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  • 'Our stones are stronger than their weapons': thousands in Gaza demonstrate for the ninth straight Friday
    • jisinton, the logic of your analysis is sound. The less pragmatic, emotionally focused, will not agree, however. The simple reality that the deck is stacked, politically, journalistically, culturally, dictates the need for well thought through strategy and discipline. Many don't realize nonviolence is more powerful than an army, especially in this case. They look at it like its proponents expect Israel to welcome/reward the non-violence. The rise of Hamas was facilated, funded for a reason. The opposite, it would be recognized as a powerful weapon and resisted, punished to incite the violence that is the game they can win. Another way of making this point, a discussion of "what is fair" is exactly what hardliners have long been acting to prevent.

      Palestinians are already mostly non-violent and I hope will realize the advantages, indeed the necessity of objecting, marginalizing violence or they will lose the advantage and power of non-violence. One can't be half pregnant. Wishy-washy won't work. The head, not the heart, is needed for this difficult task. The basic idea is to isolate the problematic elements politically. Many in Congress have long resented that "ring" in their nose and would welcome having it dislodged. Palestinians have that in their power.

    • Stephen Shenfield, thank you so much for bringing common sense to this emotionally charged issue. You are hitting the nail on the head. I suspect your critics haven't had the benefit of having attempted to lobby their Member and learned what they are up against. You are offering insights into what is necessary to turn around the misfortunes of Palestinians. Let us pray there are some pragmatic Palestinian minds paying attention..... for the sake of not only Palestinians but all of us.

  • International Solidarity Movement tour conveys Palestinian trauma to a stunned US audience
  • How Palestinians can transform statelessness into strength
    • Trump yesterday showed that challenging him on the words he spoke, as opposed to condemning him, is more likely to succeed. Because he was challenged to deliver on the promised Christmas present to the American people, he signed the tax bill before it was wise for him to do so.

      In this first meeting with Netanyahu, he clearly said, one state or two," I'm good with either". That put the PLO's secular democratic state on the big table.

      Abbas has said one more effort at diplomacy, then "one state". Many are considering that as the final status.

      The full text of the Jerusalem declaration had opportunities for Palestinians to exploit. I'd like to ask him to make a declaration on rights for Palestinians too and then get onto final status negotiations.

      Since Trump is an exploiter, Netanyahu has just been given a big cake.

      If there are workable possibilities for two states, campaigning for "Freedom Or Equality", would bring them to the fore.

      Palestinians would gain by proving they were willing to live with Jews as neighbors by putting down stones and picking up placards.

  • How to love Israel: 'Sometimes it'll hurt-- bad, but I will not walk away! I will not let you go!'
    • " Israel is the democratic national home of the Jewish people in the land of Israel but only as long as Jews are a majority in it."

      Why is this taken so absolutely? Is this proposition valid?

      I was under the impression that no where had Jews had as positive a neighborly relations as with indigenous Palestinians. Why cannot a secular state with full equality and mutual respect , with a constitution to protect individual and religious rights, work? The idea was put forward by the PLO upon its founding. Sheik Yassein suggested a calming down period of 40 to 50 years for matters of co-existence to sort themselves out.

  • Palestinian who filmed shooting says Azaria sentence ‘is a joke, not justice’
    • The most remarkable thing about all this to me was what happened in the seconds leading up to the shot being fired. I saw an officer summons Azaria from way back, gives instructions to him, pushes on his rifle barrel and Azaria immediately steps forward a couple steps and fired.

      What do I not see?

  • Trump's dim view of Palestine-Israel
    • Whether Trump is foolhardy or crazy like a fox, activists on the Question of Palestine should appreciate his having changed the chemistry, incentivized proposals for two states from those who want a Jewish State and for putting the winning issue of equality on the agenda for us to get serious with.

  • Why Trump is even thinking about naming pro-Israel apparatchik who opposed him to high position
    • If Abrams gets the job, it should serve as a serious wake up call to Palestine and its supporters to get creative. America, as a system of competing interests, can be influenced.

      That Israel funded and armed Hamas at its inception was a clear indication violence was a desirable/necessary ingredient for its program. The violence Israel has encouraged has blocked/prevented activists from making headway in the political arena.

      Israel's new land grab law will help change the equation. Lets hope anger against it doesn't generate new violence that can negatively affect the equation.

  • The centrist US political system will defeat Trump
  • Video: Support for one democratic state grows as Palestinians lose hope in two-state solution
    • I understood nowhere in the world had Jews enjoyed as positive a neighborly relationship with their neighbors as with the Arabs in Palestine..... before the Zionist movement began flooding Palestine with European Jews with the idea it was a land without a people.... certainly no equal rights. Why can't that eventually become possible again if equal rights are respected?

      If the Aral League or Fatah put the issue of equality on thetable, they would likely be attacked as seeking the "destruction of Israel" as was the PLO following its founding objective, a secular democratic state with equality for all.

      A campaign for equality, emanating from the grass roots of Palestine, would have several positive impacts. It could negate the idea/narrative the Palestinian intention is to destroy Israel and kill its Jews. It could inspire Israelis and Palestinians to think co-existence. It could inspire America's political class to lend political support. Perhaps most important , it could inspire Israelis, to whom a Jewish State is important to rein in the taking of territory by force and articulate ways a two state accommodation could be designed.

  • The untold story of how the killing of Abdulfattah al-Shareef was taped
    • "One of our main goals...... a body of Palestinians who were active in this media work and in other forms of nonviolent resistance resistance..... and helping to counter the false picture that is often presented in the global media"

      It's become apparent how more effective the taking pictures is than the throwing of stones. They both take great courage. One is a challenge to the occupation, the other reinforces it. When enough Palestinian youth appreciate the value in creating peephole blinds from which to photograph, the more powerful they become.

      How to contribute to more cameras?

  • Jared Kushner fired me over Israel ten years ago
    • I'm guessing the best approach to Trump/Kushner is to appeal to their best angles with an appeal on behalf of the great good, a win/win accomodation on Jerusalem. ... then campaign for equality in the Holy Land.

  • There is no such thing as 'Progressive Except Palestine'
    • As a progressive, as a supporter of justice for Palestine, as a friend of some Palestinians, my activism over the years hasn't mitigated the brutality against them. Their pain and anger hasn't been conducive to forms of resistance that could enable their cause to get traction among politicians in America's system of competing interests. What does a friend do?

      I'd like to know the considerations of 2334 were taken seriously by both sides. I'd like to see leaders on both sides condemn violence on the basis of being counter-productive, self-defeating. With one side having effective influence of the public narrative, creative approaches have long been needed.

      Upgrading the campaign for equality by Arab Israelis or for independence or equality by those under occupation could change the entire equation and stimulate new thinking for everyone. Sure would be a lift for progressive activism.

  • In 'breathtaking' UN vote, Obama changed his policy on Israeli settlements, making them a war crime -- Finkelstein
    • Traveling around Gaza and WB during the first Intifada, I met a lot of brave young men who risked their life throwing rocks at soldiers who'd patrol the smallest of back alleys.

      Having been an activist for about 10 years, I was very familiar with the media narrative in the US... Israel the victim and Palestinians the terrorists.

      Whenever the opportunity presented itself, I made the point to Palestinians that every American knew about Patrick Henry so if they were to see placards saying "Give me liberty or give me death", they'd get the picture. Not once did the idea resonate. I saw a number of photographers but didn't see any placards.

      For me the most relevant point NF made was it's not what the law said but effective working the system.... something Israelis did so well and Palestinians didn't. I've been hoping to find the message for Palestinians in 2334 was noticed.

      NF doesn't seem to appreciate how politics work in America. Today the number of politicians who risk supporting the Palestinian position is about the same as in 1978 when I first started paying attention.

      I'm reminded of what an Israeli soldier said when I gave him a hard time for firing his gun. "We can't afford to give them what is rightfully theirs until they get to the point they can take it."

      A good start would be to teach American politics in Palestinian universities.

  • Israeli military takes computers and servers from Palestinian NGO in night raid
    • Another reason for Palestinians to exit the IDF game and get serious about a campaign for equality or independence.

  • Gaza writes to Standing Rock: Your story is our story
    • Americans understand the Native American narrative pretty well. The more Palestinians work with them, the easier it will be for Americans to emerge from the cultivated media narrative of victimization of Israelis. Also, Native Americans may help Palestinians appreciate resistance tactics that work and keep away from those that don't.

  • 'Do not blame Israelis for settlements or excessive use of force' --Clinton stance was clear a year ago
  • 'My solution is just equality for all of the people': Israeli activist Renen Raz dies at 28
    • This young man found the answer. Campaigning for quality is the most direct path to a solution.

      “My solution is just equality for all of the people. It doesn’t matter if it’s just one state solution or two state solution, binational, as long as all of the people who live there have their rights to live and have fully recognize the people and their history, and their human rights by the law. That’s what’s important. It’s not about who lives where.”

  • The two-stroke solution
    • Israel's capture of the Empire can be seen as effective competing in an immoral system of competing interests. That Palestinians took the principled position that facts mattered most enabled the capture.

      It's instructive the number of Democratic Senators AIPAC was able to corral.

      The capturel of the narrative, the political system and the media

  • US aid deal gives green light to Israel's erasure of Palestine
    • Obama speaks experience, logic and reason to Israelis and Palestinians. Neither side, or supporters, will likely hear his message while citing their "truths" and justifications.

      Enough is not enough at this point. Humanity remains in danger.

  • Israel's bogus civil war
    • The original PLO platform for a secular democratic state with equality for all was attacked as "destructive" of a Jewish state. Reviving that platform today would be the most direct route to a two state outcome as that would change established narratives and would resonate widely with those who believe in equality.... thereby incentivizing those who seek a Jewish state to advocate for a Palestinian state.

  • We, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, have been suffering from a slow death sentence for a long time
    • How to end the injustice?

      Perhaps a return to the original PLO position.... advocating for a secular democratic state with equality for all.

      This would reshape the established narrative and empower Palestine's support system to be effective with political leaders.

  • Israel lobby panics about 'spoiled' next generation of American leaders turning against it
    • Advocating for a secular, democratic state with equality for all, the original PLO position, would be a game changer....and... the most direct route to two states.

  • Former AIPAC official says Israel should get no US aid without ending 'oppressive' settlements
    • It would be helpful to frame the settlement program as a continuing pattern of "acquiring territory by force".

  • Dear Hillary, From Gaza
    • Hard as it is to understand, Israel takes the money.

      Palestine is unable to advantage itself, from this system of competing special interests, due to the permission notes regularly written by acts of resistance that get characterized as terrorism .

  • 'Palestinians ought to be free' -- Cornel West's historic moment
    • Tragically, the cause of Palestine continues to fail. In my judgment, the Black Lives Matter movement will also have a steeper hill to climb if hotheads continue throwing rocks and bottles at the establishment's army. I'm hoping Palestinians will buy into more powerful paths for resistance.

      Random murder precludes political support from politicians who want to be re-elected.

  • Israel's political crisis wouldn't be happening if not for violent Palestinian resistance
    • "Humans effect historical changes through violence. "

      Unfortunately, it's usually negative change. Thank god the Black Power Movement didn't employ violence... that would have created one hell of a mess, perhaps like what we see in Palestine. Violence, if used, has to be calculated, not random and seen as heinous.

      Political success is possible when tactics are framed in a way few disagree.

      I reason, "The ongoing taking of territory compromises the integrity of the negotiating process", should have been language considered by the Democratic Platform Committee.

      "Equality or Independence for Palestinians", one state or two is a campaign that can affect positive change.

      Violence against people who see themselves as exceptional and chosen, while being unfairly treated... Americans and Israelis.... is unlikely to produce more good than bad.

  • Israeli 'chutzpah' versus Palestinian 'sumud'
    • Many Palestinian actions are more confrontations than demonstrations.

      Actual demonstrations, with placards detailing political demands, then submitting to arrest when lines are crossed have proved effective elsewhere. Photographs of the placards would reach the Western mind.

      Non-violence diminishes the "security" argument that has captured Western politicians and doesn't undermine the work of the activist support system.

  • On Holocaust Remembrance Day, NPR promotes Israeli army but Obama takes a pass
    • Public Broadcasting is fundamental to why the Question of Palestine remains unresolved.

      At NPR Linda Gradstein had tenure year after year as a propagandist for the Israeli narrative..... ending the majority of stories with a quote from the IDF's spokesperson. No one stays on the payroll if they do not carry water.

      The Newshour is a problem too. There is a longstanding pattern of not covering news that would enable viewers to understand dynamics in foreign policy in general and the holy land in particular. The practice is to wait and put "inconvenient" news into "context" some time later and to restate questionable facts. I have yet to see a Washington Week in Review do a respectable overview when it comes to I/P.

      So many Americans, voters, depend on PBS to be informed. The editing out of relevant information and reinforcing the accepted narrative leaves the public essentially misinformed and politicians in line.

      This is a serious oversight by activists. PBS depends on public contributions and therefore subject to publicity. Public Broadcasting was created 25 years ago to bring forth voices and ideas being marginalized by commercial media. Demanding a return to that mandate would make a big difference.

      Simply bringing Democracy Now! to more stations would amount to a big step forward.

  • Are Clinton and Sanders really all that different on Israel/Palestine?
    • Clinton went put of the box and kissed Suha Arafat and talked about Palestine. Obama went out of the box and called Abbas first.

      Unfortunately, they learned the lesson all politicians learn... its not safe to walk out the limb for Palestinians. Not one Member will speak of holding back aid to Israel.

      America, unfortunately, is a system of competing special interests. Palestinians expect us to "do the right thing", something we seldom do.

      Teaching American politics at Palestinian universities would be helpful.

  • Thousands of Israelis fill Tel Aviv's Rabin Square in support for soldier who executed Palestinian
    • JLD. Serious comment.

      Also, this is the first time I've seen the culpability of the commanders discussed. Watching the video one can trace the shooter, it was clear an officer went back and called him forward. He walked 14 to 15 paces to the officer. There was another soldier when the shooter arrived. That other soldier heard the words said by the officer and immediately moved away. The officer turned to face the wounded man then reached out and pushed on the shooter's gun, obviously instructing him what to do. The shooter stepped forward as he loaded his chamber. Others nearby moved or turned away. The shooter did as he was told.

      This truly is a watershed moment for the Jewish equivalent of Sharia Law.... and for the meaning of Israel.

  • 'Forward' columnist and Emily's List leader relate 'gigantic,' 'shocking' role of Jewish Democratic donors
    • The heavy hands on NPR and The Newshour do more to sway public opinion and thereby influence politicians, than any other single phenomenon. This is done primarily by omitting relevant information and informed voices.

  • Israeli solider filmed killing Palestinian in Hebron charged with manslaughter
    • I find it amazing how what obviously happened that day, on video for everyone to see, has escaped unnoticed.

      Sgt. E. was ordered to fire the shot.

      Sgt. E. was quite a ways back hovering over the other Palestinian on the ground. An officer walked back toward him and called him forward. He then told him to kill the guy. Another soldier who was in that conversation then walked away. Others nearby, knowing what was to happen, turned or moved away. With his officer three feet in front of him, instructing him, sgt. E., entered a shell in his chamber, stepped forward and fired the shot.

      I can understand the investigators not wanting to deal with the implications sgt. E. was acting under orders. However, that seems to be the case to one who examines the video closely.

  • 'Morbid symptoms' in Palestine
    • I challenge someone to find a report by the Newshour or Washington Week in Review that actually enables the public to understand the nuances of the Palestine question. NPR has done a few, but remember Linda Gradstein had tenure there forever.

  • Netanyahu and Sen. Leahy tangle over Israel's killing of Hadeel Hashlamoun, 18
    • Note that NPR and PBS are still giving almost daily coverage to Brussels, much as with San Bernadino. Other attacks by civilians by ISIS are a one day story.

      There is a pattern we have seen by profit media as well as public broadcasting for a very long time. Information germane to an understanding of the nuances of the Palestine Question is deliberately edited out. Frankly here lies a fundamental reason this conflict has not moved toward getting resolved. Public broadcasting is at the root of the problem. It is an organ for propaganda.... by omission. I don't think it would take a lot to change this. Especially as they depend upon contributions which come in large part from peace and justice people.

    • Absolutely brilliant Strumm.

      As to the current situation. This article is about a play unfolding today and directed by long time Senator Leahy. While we fret about our critique, lets not lose sight of this unique and special opportunity. These politicians are going out a limb. Tell them if you appreciate. Stand up and appreciate them in public. As Sanders and Clinton if they respect Leahy's work?

      Independence or equality in Palestine.

  • Netanyahu defends Israeli military after soldier caught on tape executing Palestinian: 'Any challenge to the morality of the IDF is outrageous'
    • When I review the video, it seems obvious an officer, probably after it was determined the guy was still alive, walked to the rear to bring a soldier forward. The officer, facing the soldier from three feet away, instructed, "Kill him." As the soldier entered a round in his chamber, others near the body turned or moved away and the soldier did as he was instructed.

  • Top Israeli officials who issued directive to execute Palestinians hang Hebron killer out to dry
    • Watching the video several times, I saw one soldier, appearing to be an officer, walk back and bring Azraya from some ways back toward the wounded man, then watching as Azraya put a bullet in his chamber and fired. It certainly had the appearance of following orders.

  • Palestinian videos of Israeli brutality turns viewers into witnesses
    • "The unfortunate truth, however, is that the former group is the one with the most political power and it is that narrative that has the overruling voice. "

      This has and likely will continue to be the case. Those with political power have the ability to influence what others think. People are captive of their pre-conceived notions.

      I believe if Palestinians were to shift resistance from stone and knives to placards appealing to the humanity in others for respect for their human rights, that could in time discombobulate the whole game being run against them. Returning to Arafat's original position for a secular democratic state with equality for all, could work today. Back then that was successfully characterized as calling for the destruction of Israel and morphed into driving Jews into the sea.

      "Equality or independence" could shift thinking around the world.

  • Rubio's defeat means the downfall of neoconservatives
    • Hillary is a politician, first and foremost. Politicians don't act out of principle until they believe they will likely gain more than they lose. They don't lead until there is a parade to join. Another way of saying this, in a democracy, successful politicians don't lead, they reflect. They conceal their thinking until time is ripe. Its called "positioning". As Bernie says, change doesn't come from the top, it percolates. Expecting something else is unrealistic.

      I predict with Bernie and Trump saying we need to turn from warmongering to diplomacy in order to build America, Hillary doesn't miss that. She can't be a successful president by ignoring the youth of the country. She will be positioned to take on the king when she judges the time is ripe.

  • 'Hi pal. I love you' and 'Russia has seen the lord' -- loopy Biden froths over Netanyahu
    • The United States condemns these acts and condemns the failure to condemn these acts… this cannot be viewed by civilized leaders as an appropriate way in which to behave…. it’s just not tolerable in the 21st century.

      Its not just Biden saying this but, in so many words, every American or Western politician. Its sad to see the diplomatic and activist support for Palestine being set back.

  • In bid for Florida, Rubio says Trump is 'anti-Israeli' and a peace deal must wait 30 years
    • Trump is off the wall in many ways. However, he has said something important that I don't see being picked up on. He says over and over we need to figure out what is going on, get to the bottom of the hostility toward America. Bush said it was because we are free. Seems Trump is opening the door to an important conversation.

  • Waters: It is dangerous for US and Canada to criminalize a nonviolent form of protest against a foreign regime, BDS
    • "They need the support of anybody who cares about justice or love in the world to support their cause"

      So true. However its about more than justice for Palestinians. Its also about the integrity of international law and the collective ability to resolve problems according to understandings... advancing humanity itself.

      Because of the state of affairs, the failure of media to inform well, and many other factors, including the lack of resistance sophistication, justice is not on the horizon. Anyone who has tried to influence their Members of Congress, know how steep the climb is.

      I look forward to the time rockets, stones and knives are recognized as not likely to work and tactics are employed that do not knock the wind from the Palestinian cause.

  • Clinton's date to pander at AIPAC leaves an opening for Sanders, you'd think
    • My take on Trumps statement about a tremendous hatred and the need to get to the bottom of it, the need to figure out what is going on is a gift. Unfortunately, his point is near universally missed.

      US policy has been offensive to Muslims over the years, coups, interventions, enabling Israeli aggression, etc. When a large group is offended, extremists among them do stupid things.

      "Put down the gun, be civilized, join the political process." Then, "Veto".

      Fundamentalist Christians and Jews have been tolerated for the most part and that has fertilized Islamic fundamentalism.

  • Netanyahu slams Abbas in wake of killing of American tourist
    • I find the argument that death for death is reasonable to be shortsighted. There may be times that makes sense but not in this situation where one side is so much more powerful.... and has learned how to manipulate the media. All one has to do is look back over the years to get the picture. That Abbas didn't have the courage to speak against the death of an innocent is a blow to Palestine and all who work for a better world. Those who think with their heart will often lose.

  • Palestinian citizens of Israel respond to poll showing Jewish support for expelling Arabs from country
    • Mooser... I look forward to being educated by your future posts.

    • Mooser,

      I'm sure we could talk for hours about Palestine. I didn't expect the article to address the whole picture. For the last 35 years I've seen the situation deteriorate and note not one single member of Congress is willing to go out the Palestine limb in any serious way... knowing there is little appreciation that America is a system of competing special interests. For me what's most important is how to get to a better place..... not judging what is fair. Hundreds of books have been written on this subject, so of course a few words will be inadequate. I think if you review what I've written in this thread, you'll find better options for resistance than suicide.

    • Annie, you have raised several good points. I agree Israel is not looking for an opportunity to show respect and end the occupation. The "land without a people" made it clear the idea of rights or respect wasn't in the cards. I think its also true policies and practices have been pursued so as to make forgiveness impossible. Its human nature to make one you are indebted to, an enemy. A discussion of what's fair here is avoided.

      The fact is these two people's will have to eventually live as neighbors, in one state or two. The question is how to put rights and respect on the table. I'm of the opinion a people who have inculcated the idea they have and will be the victim... that the world is against them, cannot be prevailed upon by force or coercion.

      In my opinion Palestinians would be wise to campaign for their dignity in a non-threatening way. Put down the stones and pick up placards. This dismantles Israel's security argument and negates the idea their destruction is planned.

      As I understand it, the original PLO position was for a "secular democratic state, with equality for all". Because Palestinians didn't appreciate PR, Israel was able to characterize that position as "calling for the destruction of Israel" and then going on the attack.

      Today the world understands the situation much better. So going back to that original position could have very different results... over time. If Palestinians, inside and outside of Israel engaged a serious campaign for "Equality or Independence" (one state or two), that could resonate with America and the world. As it started to, Israelis may say to their expansionists, "Stop. You are threatening what is most important, a Jewish State."

      Such a campaign could appeal to the better instincts within Judaism and counter the excesses of ethnocentric nationalism.

    • The burning question for me is, "Where is Palestine's intellectual class when its youth is flailing about, apparently unaware of the logical consequences of random violence directed at Jews.? Don't they owe some feedback, insight, direction on how to operate from the head, not the heart?"

      Violence directed at individuals because they represent a group, is unacceptable and short sighted. It alienates that whole group. How can this situation that currently exists have a positive outcome? It can be understood that youth act inappropriately out of anger, seeking revenge. Where are the thoughtful adults?

      Rockets, stones and knives have proved to be counter-productive tactics of resistance, to set back international support, diplomatic support and have enabled the colonial enterprise while distancing the humanity within Judaism.

  • Why I’m going to DC
    • My hat is off to Peter Cohen for perhaps the most thoughtful analysis of the Question of Palestine I've ever read.

      A point I think is highly relevant is that NPR and PBS maintain a narrative (Israel defending and the bad things that happen to Palestinians are their own making, while editing out the "inconvenient" nuances) that makes AIPAC's work so much easier. Because they depend on contributions from the public, raising awareness about their incomplete narrative, is an effective point for surgery.

  • Milbank sponsored pro-Israel events and 'CIA torture' event-- but only raised objection to 'Palestine' event
    • Just prior to reading this article, I watched Tavis Smiley interview Roger Waters. He asked about Waters work on Gitmo and torture. I considered it a given, there would be no discussion of his work on Palestine.

      Tavis knows where his bread is buttered... as do other people at PBS... and NPR.

      Focus upon anyone or anything except policies and practices of the State of Israel.

  • Trump's refusal to name a 'good guy and a bad guy' in conflict is 'anti-Israel,' says Rubio
    • I come back to the point there is not a single member of Congress who will speak against money for Israel!

      Also, I looked about and didn't see MSM, including NPR and PBS, cover the candidate positions on being neutral. So long as public broadcasting stays with their narrative, the occupation will almost certainly continue. The public can not/will not be successful influencing their political leaders toward even-handedness.

  • Finally, Israel issue explodes into presidential primaries
    • If Trump is not rewarded for saying he'll be neutral and Rubio not punished for saying he will not, then activism is irrelevant.

  • Lamar Advertising censors 'Boycott Israel' billboard in Chicago
    • It's hard not to come back to the realization that currently not a single member of the Congress would stand up and argue for holding back funds from Israel. So, from a practical perspective, calls for a boycott are well-intentioned but unlikely to produce the desired result. Acting from the heart, not the head.

      So long as Americans don't understand the nuances and view Israel as the victims, as conveyed by Public Radio, Public TV, and mainstream media, public policy and politicians will be very difficult to influence.

      A billboard that emphasized that equality in the holy land would honor Judiasm, Christianity and Islam and would help preserve an open, free and prosperous America would be more powerful than trying to prevail upon a cultural mindset.... and would negate the victim narrative.

      Building upon the current campaign for equality is a more direct route to a more healthy mindset. When presented with the choice of equality or independence, more Israelis will take a stand. That campaign can isolate the extremists on all sides.

  • Tackling Islamophobia means challenging Trump, and your neighbors
    • Its my opinion Donald Trump provided a unique path to examine Islamophobia. He said we should stop Muslim immigrants from coming into the United States UNTIL WE FIGURE OUT WHAT IS GOING ON. It would have been far preferable had he not said stop and said only, "lets figure out what is going on".

      America has avoided this for a long time... they don't like us because we are free..... sheer idiocy! My take is that Christian and Jewsih fundamentalist have corrupted US policy for so long that Muslims in general are angry about that and consequently have been reluctant to reign in the Islamic fundamentalists who step way over the line. We've essentially said, "Put down the gun, join the political process." Then when their issues comes before the Security Council, the US sticks up its hand and says, "Veto".

      I would like to see Trump get credit for saying "we need to figure out what is going on", then appeal to him to follow through. Certainly our media hasn't.

  • OK. We knew. So?
    • I am struck by the similarities between Israel and America. Americans cannot say they don't know about the damage and destruction done just in Iraq. I have yet to hear any discussions about reparations.

  • The Kissinger friendship: Clinton called 'Henry' to intercede with 'Bibi'
    • I'm regularly surprised at those who expect leading politicians to step up and take decisions to pressure Israel's policies. All politicians know that is the path to defeat. Note GWHB or Jimmy Carter.

      Its always been to play the game, put kiss-ups like Dennis Ross in key positions, while looking for opportunities to make a difference. You don't take on the king until you are sure of victory. Note how Bill Clinton worked down to the wire at Taba to try and capitalize on his kissing up.

      Activists should take into account how few political leaders,(are there any?), who stand against the annual monies for Israel. Money that is "taken, not "given".

      America is a system of competing special interests... any cause or any participant can lose. Note how few are the voices who are sympathetic to Palestine speaking to the young, angry Palestinians who desperately need vision on how to advance their objectives in. Fact is few, if any, American politicians are willing to walk out the limb for Palestine. They assume it will be a losing proposition.

      I think the most effective place for activism here is in upgrading our media narrative, most importantly Public Radio and TV who depend upon contributors from progressives, so it may become possible for politicians to speak more openly about our national interest in the ME.

      As Bernie keeps pointing out, politicians can't manage the big problems, it will take effort by concerned citizens.

  • Parody New York Times 'supplement' criticizing paper's coverage of Israel/Palestine distributed on streets of NYC
    • It's called cultural bias and hiring policies. Reporters know who gets hired, let go, promoted. They don't have to be told how to report.

      The exact same problem exists at PBS and NPR. I challenge anyone to find a Washington Week in Review wrap that dealt with Israel/Palestine in a balanced way. The Newshour seldom reports "inconvenient" news. The practice is to hold back and maybe put events "in context" later.

      In the 80's I carried a sign, outside NPR on "M" Street in DC, saying Israel/Palestine wasn't being covered fairly. A woman came over and said, "My husband works in there and he says the same thing. A lot of them think that, but, there is nothing they can do about it."

      As long as this problem with our main media exists, it will be rare for a Member of Congress to speak on the level of funding, the laundering of American funds to build settlements or even the occupation itself. A large number of voters trust the NYT and public broadcasting to keep them informed.

      Information is key to a better future. This pressure on the NYT to shape up is a giant step in the right direction.

  • Ban Ki-moon keeps woofing at Israel over occupation -- but not a word about sanctions
    • So long as the Newshour and NPR do such an inadequate job of informing Americans on the nuances of the Question of Palestine (Ban Ki-Moon Kerry, Shapiro), we cannot expect a single US politician to talk sanctions or object to the laundering of US monies to build settlements.

  • Saying 'armed resistance is only way to liberate Palestine,' Hamas mourns 7 fighters killed in tunnel
    • We are enduring an old pattern..... the inability to work together... get on page. Glubb Pasha wrote about his frustration sixty-five years age. His book, "My Time with the Arabs" (I think) should be required reading by all students of Palestine, especially those at Palestinian college level.

      Division is not unique to Palestinians and its been exploited/developed brilliantly by the government of Israel. It has important implications for resolving the Palestine Question.

      Hamas should detail why exercising the right of armed resistance to occupation is a wise decision. I don't but that and haven't for some time. While armed struggle and stone throwing may appeal to pride and chauvinist culture, they haven't proved productive.... and they crowd out resistance practices that could move the ball forward. Also, they negate tons of activism by those sympathetic to the Palestinian cause.

  • Cut the Gordian Knot -- a response to Ban Ki-moon's landmark speech
    • Ramzi, It saddens me to read your take here. You are saying, Palestinians can achieve justice by force? I see this analysis as a great injustice to the youth in Palestine who seem to be in a fish bowl, floundering without perspective. Acting from the heart, not the head.

      Neither stones or rockets are likely to bring peace or justice to Palestine.... only dig the hole deeper. What has worked elsewhere? Campaigns for EQUALITY.

      Agitating for one state with equality for all or independence through two states, is the most direct route, perhaps the only route, to achieving a measure of justice. Such a campaign could eventually undercut the victim/security arguments, provide the American's a path toward assertiveness and incentivizes patriotic Israelis to restrain their extremists.

      Annie pointed out that the US media chose to ignore/denigrate the UN. This long pattern of keeping Americans poorly informed, therefore misinformed, is the primary reason activists cannot get the ear of their political leaders. That the Newshour has such a poor record should inform us as to where a big problem resides. With public broadcasting's dependence on contributions, therefore reputation, activists have a prime opportunity to better inform America. Mainstream media judges itself by the work of public broadcasting.

  • Dennis Ross says Clinton was the only president to stamp down anti-Israel forces inside the White House

      Ross clearly has a more nuanced understanding of the situation. He has down pat the narrative being packaged for the American people.

      While Israel introduced terrorism into the ME to drive out the British, it has craftily reframed itself as its prime victim. The very concept of terrorism has been developed as a tool. Consider the success of framing Islam as clashing with civilization when its is the expansionist policies of Israel that is inflaming Islam and undermining international law... civilization.

      This has largely been accomplished by molding the mind of the West, especially America. Note how closely the media narrative, particularly public broadcasting, parallels what Ross says. The Israelis are victims of those irrational Palestinian. While bad things do happen to the Palestinians, they bring them upon themselves.

      This narrative control becomes the basis for managing the political leadership. This, combined with the belief its unsafe to go out the Palestinian limb cause it could be sawed off at any time, maintains the status quo.

      Unfortunately too many expect America to "do the right thing" and don't realize America is a system of competing interests where any party will lose if they don't effectively compete.

  • The world the settlers made
    • Bigotry cannot long stand against campaigns for EQUALITY.

      That rallied the world against South African policies, brought marriage rights to gays, etc.

      The most direct route to two states is a campaign for equality in one state.

  • Israeli police shoot two scissors-wielding Palestinian teenage girls, killing one
    • "Maybe you can provide us with some pointers as to what should be an ‘effective’ resistance - "

      I see the Jewish people deciding how they will be in the world. Aspiring for the values of Judaism or shielding behind nationalism. They are somewhere near being equally divided and it can go either way. From this the future of Palestine will likely flow.

      The experience in Europe traumatized and left an indelible psychological impact.... a sense of victimization. Due to this, the idea of random murder based solely on being part of the group impacts the psychology of the whole group. " It could have been me."

      The Palestinian attacks are traumatizing to the whole and reinforce chauvinist nationalism.

      Additionally, that these acts are accepted as a response to dehumanization, provides further reason to dehumanize and argue that an accommodation is unrealistic.

      We are past the time when rockets, stones, or knives can advance a desirable outcome. Now is the time for placards, hunger strikes and cameras. Appealing to the decency in Judaism.

      Advocating for equality in one state will bring two states closer.

      The extreme nationalists have likely acted in brutal ways to distance any "agreement" by keeping the rage high and the logic low. They depend on the media narrative of Israel as the victim and Palestinians bringing the bad things upon themselves. They need that permission note, "We hereby give you permission to do what you want when you want."

    • Much can be said about this tragedy. Clearly these girls have gone irrational. Clearly there is a policy of killing instead of apprehending.

      What bothers me most is the damage being done to the relationship between these peoples.... and to the efforts of so many to effect an accommodation.

      In an immediate sense, Palestinians have the most to lose. Where is the intellectual class, the political leaders, who should be providing guidance for "effective" resistance to occupation?

  • NPR's Martin says that Beirut and Baghdad victims matter as much as Parisian ones
    • Consider how rare it has been for NPR to go beyond the narrative, Israel is the victim and Palestinians bring the bad things upon themselves.

      I don't recall the exact story Ari Shapiro did on the Palestine question several months back, but it was terrible in its bias. Recently he was elevated to an anchor position for ATC. This suggests to me he's there when needed. Like Wolf Blitzer at CNN. Blitzer's first question to Colin Powell, upon being made Bush's Sec. of State, "Will you be moving the embassy to Jerusalem?" There was a drive to make that happen.

      Martin will not be assigned to the bureau in Jerusalem.

  • Israeli hospital raid reflects the criminal behavior of the country’s political leadership
    • " the most effective resistance is doing one’s utmost not to descend to the unacceptable behavior of the occupier."

      For me this article delineates a couple important considerations. First, it has long seemed likely Israel treats Palestinians in a manner calculated to preclude civility or forgiveness. This prevents any discussion of "what's fair". Second, it keeps Palestinians from thinking straight about their self-interest.

      Of late we have seen Palestinian reactions set back their support system worldwide and mitigate against any plans Obama may have had about moving the situation forward in his time left.

      Hunger strikes and campaigning for equality and dignity are a far more powerful resistance than stones, knives or rockets.

  • Call from Gaza-Based Palestinian Student Blocs: Intensify BDS campaigns against apartheid Israel
    • People of conscience world wide have been taken aback by the vicious attacks by both Israelis and Palestinians upon the other side. Violence, when practiced indiscriminately, randomly, victimizes the whole group and poisons the well. Lets hope the intellectual camps on both sides are able to constructively influence the anger and rage toward co-existence. The obectives outlined in this article seem more likely achieved under a one state arrangment.

  • Obama friends Netanyahu with one-sided statement
    • Obama has to play the hand he has. He, like the peace camp around the world, has suffered a tremendous blow from the irrational "resistance". I am wondering if that "fishbowl" blindness will ever develop insight to the double game that's unfolding.

  • Beinart says 'Israeli government is reaping what it has sowed' with Palestinian violence
    • Most likely the Israel govt. is not Reaping what it has sown, rather Enjoying what it has sown. Creating chaos while yearning for peace has been the double game. Obama just got stuffed, as was Carter, Clinton.

      The failure of the Palestinian intellectual class to provide insight and direction in that fishbowl, has been a big fly in the ointment.

      Supporters of Israel have yet to choose independence, two states, or equality, one state. The integrity of Israel is in the balance.

      With NPR and The Newshour editing out of facts and realities, while promoting Israel as the victim this choice has been avoided.

  • 'NPR' and 'NYT' present Netanyahu as a-- moderate
    • Managing the information flow to the American public is fundamental to managing the political leadership! Certainly the NYT, WP and Public Broadcasting are primary tools for managing information, especially the editing out of inconvenient facts that provide insight into the falsity of the dominant narrative. Israel is the victim and Palestinians bring the bad things upon themselves.

      This influence over our media is of long standing and well entrenched. Dennis Ross is the Newshour and NPR's go to guy. This is not on merit or by chance.

      The whole system will get upended when the campaign for Palestinian equality in Israel gains traction. That will marginalize the security argument and incentivize Israelis, to whom a Jewish state is most important, to reign in their expansionists and propose a viable accommodation with a Palestinian State.

  • Antony Loewenstein's contempt for journalists
    • Media moguls get to use the public airwaves to make big profits without the obligation to inform. The rationale now is that the public will get what it needs from the overall mix.

      Rethinking the terms for use of airwaves could revolutionize the information flow.

  • On 'incitement'
    • Kalithea is articulating a perspective that should resonate to the Palestinian intellectual class.

      Is it not clear the murder of random Israelis must be condemned vociferously for the well being of all Palestinians... indeed all humanity.

  • The effectiveness of the pro-Israel lobby to intimidate our press has reached new heights
    • Walters is right on in that the influence on media leads directly to influence over foreign policy. Pushing choas and destrution of Iraq by the Greater Israel players brought great damage to America and that continues.

      This focus on media professionalism is essential to reclaiming America's foreign poliy.

      Promoting Democracy Now on public radio and TV would be a giant step toward a better informed country on the Question of Palestine. Public broadcasting is suceptible to criticism beause they depend on contributors.

  • You can't say U.S. media is reporting violence in Israel-Palestine in an evenhanded manner
    • The decades-long bias in media coverage, especially manifest in relevant information being not reported, is the foundation for control of our politicians and political system..

      We tolerate this at PBS and NPR even though they depend on public contributions and are vulnerable to sunshine on their bias.

  • PLO: France to submit Security Council resolution on international protection force at al-Aqsa mosque
  • Hillary Clinton’s Iranian enemies
    • To separate our politicians from the Greater Israel project's money and check the power of think tanks and media.... get behind the nascent campaign in Palestinian society for "independence or quality". It can not be defended against and marginalizes the "security" argument.

  • 'We deserve freedom': Photos from Bethlehem
  • American press coverage grants Israelis all the humanity
    • Walters is so right. The place to start is where the leverage exists. PBS and NPR depend on contributions largely from progressives. The ball is in our court.

  • Hillary Clinton expresses alarm for Israeli Jews, and not one word about Palestinian victims
    • ... and demanding PBS and NPR report the inconvenient but relevant facts of the day is a solid place to start. There the public has leverage.

    • Unfortunately, Clinton's words resonate.

      When a cop is arrogant and abusive, throwing things at or attacking other cops is not a wise plan. Every politician will come to their side.

      Netanyahu incites and Palestinians rage. Politicians come to his side.

      I see Palestinians being in a fishbowl, without benefit of perspective.

      Marwan Barghouti's view that the world will have to pay the price for not standing up, seems to me an unthought through strategy.

      If Israeli Arabs launched a serious campaign for equality, the whole world would embrace it. Clinton would be saying something quite different. Agents of change would be empowered. The Greater Israel people would have something to fear.

  • NPR fails to mention occupation-- while Barghouti says in Guardian it is 'root cause' of violence
    • Israel-centric reporting is the reality at NPR since its inception and has been key to the lack of understanding by so many Americans.

      In the 80's I stood outside NPR with a placard saying its coverage was unfair and promoted the "Israel as a victim" narrative. A woman came over to me and said, "My husband works in there and he says the same thing. A lot of them think that but there is nothing they can do about it."

      Contributors should insist on having a Palestinian reporter in the NPR Jerusalem bureau. Balance there would make it more likely relevant facts would reach Americans so they could understand the situation better.

  • Video: Israeli forces open fire on Palestinian demonstrators in Gaza killing seven
    • Harry Law is making an obvious point that is ignored at the expense of the well-being of Palestinians and their sympathizers around the world..... indeed all who have an interest in a calmer world.

      It has been obvious for many, many years Greater Israel has calculated that humiliating Palestinians at random enrages the population and that rage inhibits clever resistance. Palestinians seem to grab even tighter to their "right to resist". People who are angry don't think well. Demanding the right to resist gets in the way of resisting effectively. In short, they end up writing a "permission note" for greater violence and suppression against their population and aspirations.

      Marwan Barghouti's recent commentary in The Guardian makes my point. In his frustration, he points out that because the world ignores the plight of Palestinians, it will have to live with the Palestinian rage. Where are the wise, clever Palestinian voices who can provide insight to effectively resist and actually put the Greater Israel Project in fear? Isn't that the objective? Where is the argument rockets or stones will have the desired effect?

      What does Greater Israel fear? I think its the essential humanity in Jews which wants Israel to enjoy the respect of other nations and peoples of the world. A Palestinian campaign for justice OR EQUALITY, two states or one, would, I reason, resonate with all peoples, would counter the victim mentality (perhaps they don't want to destroy us but to co-eist) and would lead non-ideological Israelis to essentially say to the Greater Israel people, "Stop. What you are doing will force upon us a bi-national state. Two states for two peoples is best."

  • Ayotte, Rubio and de Blasio are bought and paid for by the 'magnificent' Israel lobby
    • Many of the people who read Mondoweiss, along with Progressives nationwide, are contributors to NPR. There is probably no other media source with greater influences on voting and US policy. Because NPR goes to the public for funding, it seems only reasonable to focus contributors attention to the fundamental problem that NPR is on the Middle East. Their narrative is clear, Israel is simply responding to Palestinian violence.... and even when treated unfairly, they are bringing it upon themselves. The selective omission of information is key.

      To bring an accommodation in Palestine, confronting NPR is a necessity.

  • Whose violence?
    • No doubt people can be driven to suicide. It is understandable.

      When a life taken is viewed as symbolic of the whole... it is taken personally.... as an attack on each and every one. This is compounded in the case of a people who has a persecution complex.

      Additionally, its the case that violence is used politically to ratchet up the usurpation. Who can see the suicide bombings of past years as productive?

      I wonder where the wise voices are that could provide vision to the oppressed to enable them to exercise their right to resist more productively. I believe this lack of wise, inspirational voices is a problem for all who seek equality and justice in the holy land.

  • 'Hamas is an asset' is the Israeli consensus
    • Sheik Yassein, the Hamas founder, probably had no clue he was signing his death warrant when he said Hamas would be up for a 40 to 50 year stand down during which matters could sort out.

      A week later a hellfire missile splattered bits of his body across his mosque wall as he rolled down the sidewalk in his wheelchair, something he did every Friday after prayers.

    • In 1988 at a press conference at Hebrew University, an Israeli journalists asked the general in charge of Gaza, "Today you arrested 200 Palestinians. All but five were Fatah, the rest Hamas and they were insignificant players. How do you explain that?" The answer didn't resemble the question.

      It's amusing to hear the claim that facilitating the rise and development of Hamas was not intentional. Hamas has written Israel the permission slips consistently over time. If it didn't exit, Israel would have invented it. How else to refuse to negotiate, to play the double game?

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