Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 571 (since 2009-08-02 08:11:58)


66 yr old male 5th generation New Zealander. University educated in History and Philosophy, married into Maoridom, got grandkids with skin to die for. Worked as a sailor, musician, Publican, Teacher, carpenter, boatbuilder and joiner, now living my ideal - an acre and a half of garden which I eat, a workshop where I play. Recently did 2 years volunteer aid work on remote Pacific island. Might do it again if the bug eating my prostate keeps at bay. Mondoweissers are welcome to visit - just leave your racial identity on the side of the road outside.


Showing comments 571 - 501

  • It's time for American Jews to recognize they have been duped
    • BJ.
      "Do you trust Bob Dylan?"
      I was afraid someone would ask me that. His stance on Israel is confusing (or confused) but he is so far out in front artistically I can't deny his talent. Same for Paul Simon whom I dislike personally but "Graceland" is a masterpiece in my book despite the exploitation involved.
      Cohen has nothing in his catalogue to compare so I can live without him.

      CG. My sentiments exactly. I reckon Cohen's muse is Edward Bernays!

    • I disliked Leonard Cohen long before I disliked Israel. Many of my friends thought he was Christ on a bike but to me his "incredible lyrics with their profound meanings" lacked nourishment, seemed to be coming from a rather shallow pool.
      These days I am confirmed in my instincts for I truly believe that no-one wise to the Human condition could harbour sympathies with Israel's behaviour unless they were profoundly ignorant of it.
      Either way, Cohen is not someone whose writing I could ever trust.

  • Congress needs to stand up for American people's interest over Netanyahu's
    • It's late in the evening where I am. I'd like to recommend this documentary. It's off-topic perhaps but consider the "think" that is going on and how different it is from the combative, race-based ideology called Zionism.

      link to

      I used to do a few Bill Withers songs, I didn't know why until I watched this.

    • Just before Obama became a serious contender I saw a video of a speech he made on the back of a truck in Iowa or someplace. To my utter astonishment, my eyes ran with tears (I usually have difficulty crying, even when I need to - it's a Kiwi male thing). After Clinton and Bush, imagining there was such a man even close to the seat of power in the U.S. was emotive beyond belief.
      Well. Imagine my disappointment when he appeared to kowtow to Israel in exactly the same manner as his predecessors.
      Nowadays I am more aware of the enormous power of the lobby and I am beginning to wonder if this is perhaps the money quote from the above:
      " If Iran becomes a stable strong power in the region".

      Perhaps Obama, aware that any overt action to bring some balance to the Middle East would get him killed or thrown out of office, has scored an end goal in the only way open to him. A re-vitalized Iran will bring some order to Iraq and Syria. Israel is not an honest player in the region - it's interest lies in warring, therefore impotent states (see link to and link to Maybe Obama has been playing a longer game than I had perceived?
      Comment I'm reading indicates that the way he has structured this deal, with the involvement of Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and China has made it a slam dunk no matter what Congress comes up with.
      If this scenario is correct, this is a watershed moment.

  • Christian Zionists expose their anti-Semitism at conservative summit in Iowa
    • @ can of worms.
      Thank you. I have been mining a similar vein:

      What is there in the term "Anti-semitism" that is not contained within the term we use to condemn acts or utterances aimed at a person's ethnic identity ie. Racism?
      Is there an act or utterance that is a wrong when applied to Jews but not wrong when applied to any other race or creed? If so surely this entails that Jews are a special case which would seem to be a form of racism in itself.

      I think this is an important question.
      - See more at: link to


      The point I'm trying to make here is that the term "anti-Semitism" was adopted with alacrity by Zionists and promoted to put the spur to immigration. I think it was Herzl who said that antisemitism could be harnessed to the Zionist cause. The article indicates that it is still being used in this way. Although an anti-Semitic action is fully described by the term "racism", that term (racism) could not be applied in the manner used above. In my view, the proper response to an accusation of anti-Semitism is to ask the accuser if he/she is implying that the accused is racist. This puts a whole new complexion on the argument. - See more at: link to

      I think it is a very interesting topic. Since first recognizing this fallacy in "anti-Semitism", the concept has become, for me, an illogical one, a falsely constructed "meme" that has taken root in public consciousness where it has caused much confusion.

  • 'If we don't take out Iran,' it will reenact the Holocaust in US and Israel -- Steven Emerson to Times Square rally
    • Further reading:

      The Eurasian Big Bang
      How China and Russia Are Running Rings Around Washington
      By Pepe Escobar

      Let’s start with the geopolitical Big Bang you know nothing about, the one that occurred just two weeks ago. Here are its results: from now on, any possible future attack on Iran threatened by the Pentagon (in conjunction with NATO) would essentially be an assault on the planning of an interlocking set of organizations -- the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa), the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization), the EEU (Eurasian Economic Union), the AIIB (the new Chinese-founded Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank), and the NDB (the BRICS' New Development Bank) -- whose acronyms you’re unlikely to recognize either. Still, they represent an emerging new order in to

    • Robert Parry has been a lone, sane voice for some time. Shut out by the MSM he now publishes here:

      link to


      Despite the disastrous Iraq War, neocons still dominate Official Washington’s inside-outside game, government policymakers coordinating with think-tank opinion leaders to keep world tensions high and money flowing to military projects, a process personified by Robert Kagan and Victoria Nuland, says Robert Parry.

      By Robert Parry

      If the neoconservatives have their way again, U.S. ground troops will reoccupy Iraq, the U.S. military will take out Syria’s secular government (likely helping Al Qaeda and the Islamic State take over), and the U.S. Congress will not only kill the Iran nuclear deal but follow that with a massive increase in military spending.

      Like spraying lighter fluid on a roaring barbecue, the neocons also want a military escalation in Ukraine to burn the ethnic Russians out of the east, and the neocons dream of spreading the blaze to Moscow with the goal of forcing Russian President Vladimir Putin from the Kremlin. In other words, more and more fires of Imperial “regime change” abroad even as the last embers of the American Republic die at home.
      Much of this “strategy” is personified by a single Washington power couple: arch-neocon Robert Kagan, a co-founder of the Project for the New American Century and an early advocate of the Iraq War, and his wife, Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, who engineered last year’s coup in Ukraine that started a nasty civil war and created a confrontation between nuclear-armed United States and Russia.

  • The Iran deal: a triumph of irrationality
    • " It doesn`t matter at all how many missiles Hezbollah has because it has a deadly vulnerability – it` stronghold is merely a neighborhood "

      More misinformed rubbish. Hezbollah is part of the Lebanese Government and in cabinet with about 20% voter support. In an open contest it would probably garner 30 - 40% of the vote but it chooses to downplay it's political side for very good reasons - a Hezbollah Government would attract attack by the combined U.S. and Israel.
      Instead it takes care of the business of keeping Lebanon free of attack from Israel by maintaining a potent militia which could probably outshoot the official Lebanese Armed Forces should it come to a stoush. It won't. Lebanon is very comfortable with Hezbollah. Nasrallah is Lebanon's Che Guevara.

    • When you see rhetoric such as this:
      “About 170,000 rockets and missiles are pointed at Israel "
      " Hezbollah alone has 100,000 rockets"

      ....with no mention of type or class you know it is tripe. If the writer had any knowledge of the subject, you can be damn sure he/she would specify the type of weapons because that is what counts.

    • "Not sure how citing polling data......etc "

      No I'm not sure you can read. That Iran figures just 7 points greater threat than North Korea clearly indicates the analytical abilities of around a third of Americans, which is why I added:

      I would suggest that the 39% of Americans who view Iran as a threat include the 29% of Americans who trust Fox News and a few other loonies who buy the criminal spin out of Tel Aviv.

      Notice that you use the term "Holocaust denial conferences" to support your thesis. This is called "garbage in - garbage out". The conferences was called "Review of the Holocaust: Global Vision" and the organizer made clear its objectives:

      "Today people who claim to be against Nazism have a record of colonialism and racism," he said. "The objective for organising this conference is to create an atmosphere to raise various opinions about a historical issue. We are not seeking to deny or prove the Holocaust."

      I am not sure how to debate an issue like this with one whose attachment to the Holocaust is so religious in nature he cannot see these events for what they are - quid pro quo for the Israeli denial of the Nakba and a demonstration of the hypocrisy exhibited by the West over freedom of speech in the wake of the Mohamed cartoons fiasco. I'm not even sure I want to, for this debate concerns whether or not Iran is "serious threat ". Hosting a two-day conference about an Historical event (albeit a good tug on Israel's beard) does not raise a blip on my threat radar. As for them being "anti-Semitic", the presence of Neuterai Karta should be sufficient to defeat this trope.
      Ditch these straw-man arguments.

    • Hophead.
      "No. Instead, the Iranians have others do the destabilizing for them, like Hezbollah and Hamas."

      Hezbollah and Hamas are Liberation movements. Iran supports them as do I. There are limits however as is clearly evidenced by the weaponry those groups wield. Iran gives just enough to defend against Israel's illegal and immoral attacks. To characterize this level of support as " destabilizing " is pure poppycock. I don't even need to get into the whataboutery of Israel's support for the destabilization of entire Middle East and yes, I'm talking Iraq, Syria, Libya. The lines of responsibility for what has made a pig's breakfast of geopolitical stability in this era lead directly and incontrovertibly to Israel through Perle, Wolfowitz, Ledeen, Kristol and the rest of that cabal. I know it, you know it.
      Neither should I get into the whataboutery of of the U.S.'s utter destruction (never mind destabilization) of Iran's democracy during Mossadeq's time and the on-going covert support for the MEK by both the U.S. and Israel but the degree of your myopia seems to warrant it.
      Its over Hoppy, your arguments are garbage.

    • @ Roha.

      Made my day!

    • "People in the United States don’t trust the Iranians because they are not allies of the West and because their regime is bombastic and antisemitic "

      Pure poppycock.

      Washington (CNN)Americans see ISIS as a bigger threat to the United States than Iran, Russia, North Korea or China, according to a new CNN/ORC poll.

      Overall, 68% say ISIS is a very serious threat, compared with just 39% who say so about Iran, 32% about North Korea, 25% on Russia and 18% on China. Nearly 9 in 10 see ISIS as at least a moderately serious threat.
      link to

      I would suggest that the 39% of Americans who view Iran as a threat include the 29% of Americans who trust Fox News and a few other loonies who buy the criminal spin out of Tel Aviv.
      As for the "bombastic and antisemitic" tripe, that is and has always been inseminated by the mistranslations and spin emanating from known agents such as Rita Katz and the M.E.K. In a decade of following the Iranian Government's pronouncements I have never seen one controversial statement that did not dissolve once the correct translation or interpretation was applied.
      Tell your masters you've lost this one Hopawrong.

  • Press can't justify red carpet for Oren tract and blackout for Blumenthal's 'definitive account' of Gaza
  • Michael Oren misrepresents 1971 synagogue bombing that changed his life
    • Interesting sidelight.
      Oren's missus was a Dead Groupie:
      link to

    • The new anti-Semitism:
      link to

      It ain't Brooklyn.

    • I asked if you could explain it, not point to a dubious home-baked "report" about it. A report produced by an outfit dedicated to inflating "anti-Semitism" statistics.
      The Kantor institute's statistician is one Haim Fireberg. Here is how this worthy defines "anti-Semitism":
      "Anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism, Haim Fireberg, director of Research at the Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry at Tel Aviv University, told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday."
      link to

      Conflating anti-Zionism with anti-semitism is precisely what I mean by defining it out of existence for it is not possible to lump opposition to a political movement in with an irrational hatred of an ethnicity. That particular baby goes out with the bathwater.

      I must admit I am influenced by a former Israeli Minister of Education:

    • Jon s.
      Can you explain the extraordinary coincidental rise in anti-Semitism with Israel's attacks on Gaza without defining the term out of existence?

    • @ 2sense.
      My thanks also.
      The facts in your post would be informative in a review of Oren's book on Amazon.

    • Had you in mind when I posted it Just.

    • "ranks with the greatest works of art yet revealed."
      Oh boy. That was a jolly fine Pinot Gris last night!
      But it is good isn't it. I like my music live and that is as near-perfect a performance by each participant as I have seen. Great songs flawlessly delivered. So glad you liked it Marnie - very generous of Boz to put the entire concert out there for us.

    • Time to lighten up. Have a look at this, a musical event that, in my opinion, ranks with the greatest works of art yet revealed.

    • The fact that "half-Jew" is in your lexicon tells me that you are someone who places some importance on ethnicity. Where I come from this is known as racism. Most of us take people as people.
      I am beginning to understand why some people could react negatively to Jews if Jewish relationship to their cultural and ethnic identity overrides their humanistic considerations.
      If we could remove this, what would Palestine look like today?

    • Thank you for that very pertinent and valuable contribution Tree.
      Memes govern all human behaviour. Of all the Memes, anti-Semitism is the most pernicious. It has distorted discourse for too long. To those who wish to cling to it I say sorry. Not for what I just said, I am sorry for you, for the World in which you dwell.
      As I have pointed out above, tragedy and oppression is part of our heritage - all of us.
      Enlightened members of the human family refuse that inheritance. They pick up, move on and do not oppress others.

    • "when Oren was a kid and would come home with complaints his father would show him photos of the death camps in Europe"

      There is so much wrong with this I don't know where to begin.

    • "Zionism might have been the worst possible solution but the problem of antisemitism was real."

      No doubt but surely the point is that all of us have similar reference points.
      Highland Clearances.
      Christian persecutions.
      .....and so on.

    • "in fact I heard two examples of it, both nearly identical in claiming that Jews were obsessed with money"

      My father's favourite joke:
      "Two Scotsmen walking down the road, one spotted a half-crown in the gutter. The other one borrowed it to get his eyes tested."

      Och Aye. I'm mostly Scottish. Gimme somebody's land.

    • Shorter Hop.
      "Someone called me a fat Yid today. The sky is falling, the sky is falling!"

    • " I prefer to believe......."
      Ain't that the truth.

    • Reality check on the article that Phil, according to Hophmi (rightly in my opinion) ignored:

      Anti-Semitism: The Numbers
      Over the 10-year period, the indices in France and Germany ended up in a lower range than where they began. The index in Sweden ended up in a higher range. The indices in Austria, Belgium, Ireland, and Slovakia went up and down. The index in the Czech Republic peaked in 2009 and has been falling since.
      link to

      Anti-Semitism, being a false construct, has a peculiar susceptibility to statistical manipulation.

      I have taken the figures from the table on page 42, pictured below. Note how the incidents are broken down into categories. The numbers of incidents are then totalled up arithmetically to produce the annual time series which formed the basis of evidence of a sharp rise in 2014. Let’s first say that there are some blindingly obvious issues with this methodology; for a start it equates an act of “extreme violence” with an act of “abusive behaviour”. That would mean that a year in which 500 Jews were brutally murdered but none insulted would be a “good year” for antisemitism compared to a year in which 1000 were insulted and none murdered. It’s a ridiculous methodology........
      ......Combine with the above a survey conducted by the Campaign Against Anti Semitism which purported to show an increased fear of antisemitism amongst Jews, and then you have a complete media narrative on which to base dozens of scare stories. The whole premise is totally false.

      It would be possible to go much further into the figures and methodology finding more issues but this simple exercise above seems sufficient to completely discredit the main finding.

      It is often the case with crime in general that perception of crime rates increasing often occurs even as crime rates decrease. Such is the power of our media to create fictional narratives to serve tacit political to

    • Can't speak for my Grandchildren, they seem to have grown up in a different World but I can speak for myself, growing up as a white kid in rural New Zealand in the fifties. Got beaten a few times.
      How much of Oren's experience was due to his ethnic identity we will never know but what we do know is that the experience was common regardless of ethnicity. Judging by the fact that the mature Oren is obnoxious, I suspect the youthful Oren was equally so.
      Non-Jewish kids simply did not have the panacea of "anti-Semitism" to salve their wounds.
      Oren's double-standards are very evident. In his world, retaliation against the likes of Kahane, Irv Rubin, Earl Krugel et al is anti-Semitism. Retaliation against Palestinian activism is Holy.
      No criminal action should be defined by the ethnicity of the victim. Anti-Semitism, viewed as a specific crime, is the type of thinking that gave rise to lynchings. In those cases, it was the ethnicity of the perpetrator that created the circumstances, not the act itself.
      Anti-Semitism is just the other side of that worthless coin.

    • Got the bash myself a few times when I was young and in yer face. Very few of my generation got through youth unscathed. Almost wish I was Jewish.
      Y'see having something other than one's behaviour to blame must be a tremendous boon. Saves all that introspection and angst.
      "They hate us because we are Jewish" avoids any responsibility whereas: "they resist being dispossessed, disenfranchised and bombed" demands introspection and redress.

  • Saban's PR firm promotes Israel's illegal settlements-- so when will Hillary Clinton condemn it?
    • A little off-topic but I want to insert this piece into the mix in case anyone, like me, had not discovered Donald Neff and read the story of his journey from avid Israel supporter to authoring several books that I, for one, will seek out and read:

      One of the top journalists to report on Palestine-Israel has died.

      Donald Neff passed away on May 10 in his hometown of York, Pennsylvania, at the age of 84. The cause of death was heart disease and diabetes.

      Neff was a luminous writer and meticulous reporter. From humble beginnings, he had reached the top ranks of American journalism. When he then turned his formidable talents to writing books and articles about Palestine, his contracts with mainstream American publishers dried up, his income plummeted, and his fame faded.

      Today, even many activists in the growing Palestine solidarity movement are unaware of Neff’s groundbreaking work. This is unfortunate, since he exposed critical facts about Palestine with unparalleled precision and elegance. Much of the information he uncovered is still significant today.

      link to

  • Michael Oren cannot hide his disrespect for Jewish Americans
  • Cultivating megadonors, Clinton waffles on Iran and stands by Netanyahu
    • Apropos of the above:

      Whistleblower Julian Assange implicated the United States – along with the Saudi Arabian government – in a plot to overthrow the Syrian government. Saudi Arabia, the United States, France, and Britain were involved in a secret 2012 deal to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Assad, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said Sunday....
      ...Last week, Assange’s whistleblowing website WikiLeaks released a batch of more than 60,000 of what it said were classified Saudi diplomatic cables. ​The leak aimed to prove that Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey had a secret deal to topple Syria’s President Bashar Assad as far back as 2012.
      link to

      France's Former Foreign Minister: UK Government Prepared War in Syria Two Years Before 2011 Protests
      link to

      Hellooo? Is this thing on?? Can you hear me??

    • Andrew P. Napolitano :

      In the course of my work, I am often asked by colleagues to review and explain documents and statutes. Recently, in conjunction with my colleagues Catherine Herridge and Pamela Browne, I read the transcripts of an interview Ms. Browne did with a man named Marc Turi, and Ms. Herridge asked me to review emails to and from State Department and congressional officials during the years when Hillary Clinton was the secretary of state.

      What I saw has persuaded me beyond a reasonable doubt and to a moral certainty that Mrs. Clinton provided material assistance to terrorists and lied to Congress in a venue where the law required her to be truthful. Here is the backstory.

      Read more: link to

  • 'America I'm putting my queer shoulder to the wheel' -- Allen Ginsberg
    • Never could get along with this Ginsberg character even though I am almost of a generation. But then I have never really "got" post-modernism. Always seemed to me the triumph of marketing over talent. The "poem" above appears to be jotted diary notes concerning some very good ideas for possible poems.

  • Oren's memoir reveals Israel's elite is hyper-sensitive to U.S. criticism
    • I mean, could the message be any clearer? Why do you, Hophmi, remain in denial?? Let me repeat_
      The document is signed by over a hundred Palestinian Church leaders, diplomats, and civil society leaders and organizations, including Archbishop Atallah Hanna, Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, and Patriarch Emeritus Michael Sabbah, Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem.
      You are vulnerable on this point and its about time you gave some consideration to other vulnerable points in your acculturated philosophy.

    • "Christians living in Israel proper, who were likely to say positive things about Israel, or Christians in Gaza, who are oppressed by Hamas"

      Y'mean like:

      October 2014

      In a Middle East region that continues to suffer from the consequences of violence, the people of Palestine continue to live under occupation and in exile. Palestinian Christians, the descendants of the first Christians, are an integral part of the Palestinian people, continue to suffer, just like our Palestinian Muslim and Samaritan brothers and sisters, we have been denied of our national and human rights for almost a century. From Jerusalem, our occupied capital, we send our urgent message to the whole world and particularly to Europe: We are yearning for justice and peace. Recognizing Palestine and defining Israel’s borders is a first step towards that goal.

      We have endured dispossession and forced exile since 1948, when the majority of Palestine's Christians were forcibly expelled from their homes in the Holy Land. We have persevered through 66 years of exile and 47 years of occupation, holding on to the message of peace of Our Lord. We are tired of calls for resumptions of negotiations while we can’t reach our churches due to a foreign power and our people continue to be humiliated by an undesirable occupation. We are waiting for the day that our churches will ring celebrating freedom and justice.

      Christians have a duty to resist oppression. We believe the international community and particularly Europe has not done enough in order to achieve a just and lasting peace. You cannot continue holding our right to freedom and self-determination as an Israeli prerogative. We have a natural right to be free and Europe has a moral, legal and political duty to hold Israel accountable and support Palestinian non-violent initiatives to end the Israeli occupation, including the recognition of the State of Palestine on the 1967 border with East Jerusalem as its capital.

      Until when will you continue accepting Israel’s violations of your own resolutions? Until when will you allow that the prospects of peace will continue to be destroyed by Israeli colonization? Until when should we be allowed to be treated as foreigners in our own homeland? Ending Israeli occupation is the only way for Palestinians, Christians and Muslims, to enjoy a life of prosperity and progress. It is also the surest way to secure continued Christian presence in this, our Holy Land, and to grant Israel the security that it continues to demand. Without Justice there can be no peace nor security.

      It is time for Europe to understand that the only way to defeat extremism and terrorism in our region is to bring justice for all, starting by ending the historic injustice inflicted against the Palestinian people, an open wound that continues to bleed as the hopes for an independent Palestinian state are more elusive due to the expansion of Israeli settlements and the many restrictions imposed on our own people, including forced displacement.

      In our Kairos document, we Palestinian Christians declare that the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land is a sin against God and humanity because it deprives Palestinians of their basic human rights, bestowed by God.

      We believe that recognizing the State of Palestine on the 1967 border is the first step towards changing the current status quo. Banning settlement products and divesting from companies and organizations linked directly or indirectly to the Israeli occupation is also a must. 66 years after the beginning of the Palestinian Nakba and 47 years after the occupation, it is time for the State of Palestine to be free and become a full member of the United Nations. That is why we call upon European governments to fully endorse the just Palestinian quest for freedom and independence.

      The international community, and particularly Europe, have a historic responsibility towards the rights of the Palestinian People. Europe has long championed the values of peace and human rights. Now, Europe can reflect this principled position by helping Palestine.

      From the Holy Land, we call on you to take this principled position to recognize the State of Palestine and to abide by your legal responsibilities towards a nation under occupation, in order to be able to celebrate justice and peace in the land of the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ.

      The document is signed by over a hundred Palestinian Church leaders, diplomats, and civil society leaders and organizations, including Archbishop Atallah Hanna, Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, and Patriarch Emeritus Michael Sabbah, Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem

      - See more at: link to

  • Oren's criticism of US Jews earns his book five thumbs down: 'slinky,' 'self-aggrandizing,' 'twists reality'
    • "sadly shifted from measured historian to breathless polemicist "

      No shift. Never was "measured Historian", ask Norm:

      It would seem that Oren's main achievement is lending a scholarly veneer to, as it were, the Abba Eban version of the June war. To reconcile the historical record with this apologetic narrative he resorts to several distinct, if overlapping, procedures:

      attaching equal weight to a public statement (or memoir) and the hard evidence of an internal document contradicting it
      burying in an avalanche of dubious evidence a crucial counter-finding
      minimizing, misrepresenting, or suppressing a crucial piece of evidence

      In the ensuing pages, I will illustrate how Oren skews the historical record of the June war by deploying these techniques.

      link to

  • 'A traumatized society is dangerous'
    • " it took a long time before I felt I understood why he talked in that shocking way"

      Exactly my experience - until I began to discern that he is utterly without prejudice.
      I suspect it has a little to do with his profession. My own sporadic forays into music broke down a number of prejudices I didn't know I had. When some muso comes alongside looking like everything one would normally avoid - and you discover that he/she not only understands the sound you are striving for but is just as passionate about it - it breaks down a lot of barriers.
      In one sense, Gilad is an anti-Semite. He is against the co-opting of Jewish identity as a tool of political struggle. I share this belief and have banged on about it here:
      link to

      Many folk would be appalled at the backstage banter between musicians where racial epithets are traded like ping pong volleys but this is the antithesis of racism, a mini-society so free of prejudice that no offense is either given or taken. For example:

      "Hey M.....f....., you play pretty good for a Honky!"

      ....or "Hey Mooser, you write pretty good for a 4x2!"

    • .....and what is it that you do?

    • Atzmon has been trumpeting this for some time. I wish he could be rehabilitated here on Mondoweiss

    • " why the Palestinian reaction to trauma is so different."

      There is no reward for Palestinian trauma.

  • The living martyr, a visit to the Bakr family in Gaza
    • so then explain why its a “cheap shot” to point out the symbols of violent assault and resistance on the childrens posters?

      A picture worth a thousand words.
      link to

    • DaBakr.

      Please save me the time, energy and disgust I am tempted to invest in eviscerating the putrid corpse of your post by telling me you were paralytic on rotgut whiskey when you wrote it. You'd be doing all of us a favour.

  • Does Israel have a toxic personality? Ask Michael Oren
    • Looks like a couple of "post turtles" to me.

    • "When Israel reacts defensively"
      I think Lawrence Davidson's description of Israel's reaction is a better fit:

      Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has taken it upon himself to set the tone of Israel's counter-attack on BDS. He has declared that there is an "international campaign to blacken Israel's name" and he alleges that it is not motivated by Israel's policies toward the Palestinians but rather seeks to "delegitimize Israel … and deny our very right to live here." In other words, he is claiming that present criticism of Israel is really an attack on its existence, and not on its behavior. For Netanyahu this has to be a form of anti-Semitism. As Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the PLO executive committee, describes Netanyahu's argument, "If you criticize me you are anti-Semitic … . If you accept any kind of punitive measure or sanctions against Israel, you want to destroy Israel." That is how the prime minister avoids confronting the facts.

      As bad as this is, it gets even worse. Declaring the goal of BDS to be the elimination of Israel allows the Zionists to use their influence with Western legislators to make cooperation with the boycott subject to penalties. In the United States, AIPAC, the most powerful of the Zionist lobbies, is working on legislation similar to that used against Iran and also the Arab boycott of Israel in the 1970s. This legislation would penalize businesses, both at home and abroad, that favorably respond to calls for boycott. If this works we can expect the Zionists to go further and try to subvert the U.S. Constitution's free speech provisions and then go after individuals as well as businesses. In this regard, efforts are also under way in Canada and France.
      link to

  • The peace process is 'a savior for war' -- Ari Shavit
  • Munayyer-Beinart debate revealed toothless sentimentalism of liberal Zionism
    • “you can’t have a productive debate on solutions if you can’t agree on the problem.”
      Israel and its supporters have expended enormous effort in obfuscating the problem. This has been to buy time. At the current point you have liberal Zionists like Beinart admitting that bad things were done but, what the heck, its all in the past and you can't change things now.
      I call that bullshit. If all the land that was stolen were returned tomorrow in an orderly fashion, it would cause less trauma than the Nakba.
      During the debate I kept waiting for someone to interject "but what is the MORAL, LEGAL and RIGHT thing to do?"
      There is only one answer. In its absence, these people have no claim to any moral high ground.

    • adjective: bizarre

      very strange or unusual.
      "a bizarre situation"
      synonyms: strange, peculiar, odd, funny, curious, offbeat, outlandish, eccentric, unconventional, unorthodox, queer, unexpected, unfamiliar, abnormal, atypical, unusual, out of the ordinary, out of the way, extraordinary;

      Origin: mid 17th century: from French, from Italian bizzarro ‘angry’, of unknown origin.adjective

      Most apposite. A word I use a great deal when dealing with folks who maintain a right of return spanning 2,000 years for people whose forbears left for unknown reasons (mostly voluntarily) while denying the same to people forced out at gunpoint within living memory.

      Truly bizarre. Can't think of a better word except it doesn't quite capture the criminality, the cruelty or the racism.

      Great debate btw. I think we can look forward to more realistic commentary from Beinart after this woodshedding.

  • Kim Philby's last straw
    • Thanks Phil, that is truly a revelation. I suspect it will insert a number of missing pieces into the puzzle. Wright's book raised more questions than it answered but few, if any considered the Zionist angle which may be the clue to the roles of many of the actors in that drama. Back then it was a bi-polar World (us and the Reds) - no-one understood Zionism as an ideology with its' own infrastructure of covert operatives and ulterior motives.
      Anyone sufficiently intrigued by this story as to follow through should also look to the parts the following cast of characters played:
      Anthony Blunt
      Peter Wright
      Moura Budberg
      James Jesus Angleton

  • The grotesque injustice of Obama's speech at the Washington synagogue
    • "But he does mention Sderot."

      Sderot was settled by Jews in 1951. According to Walid Khalidi in All That Remains, it along with the settlement of Or ha-Ner, founded in 1957, were established on the village lands of Najd, which means "elevated plain" in Arabic.*

      Najd's Palestinian villagers, approximately 620 in 1945, were expelled on 13 May 1948, before Israel was declared a state and before any Arab armies entered Palestine. According to UN Resolution 194 and also the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 13, Section 2, the villagers of Najd have a right to return home to their personal property and to their native village.

      link to
      I often use this example to introduce neophytes to the conflict and to explain rockets. "Imagine being driven from your home at gunpoint and confined in the concentration camp called Gaza, where, from behind a barbed wire fence you can almost see your former home. For sixty years you watch the invaders build their homes on your land while no-one hears your protest. Who would not fire a rocket?"

      The audacity of Hope?

      Our Mania for Hope Is a Curse

    • @Kris (and every poster with an IQ above room temperature).

      "Sorry, Hophmi. I see that I myself linked to the Occidental Observer"

      Please do not apologize for linking to a site no matter how it is perceived.

      In the first place, whether or not common perception labels it an anti-Semitic site has no bearing on the information or argument you wish to reference. The information or argument stands or falls on its' own merits.
      Secondly, if a source identifies itself as a “white identity” website, how does this differ from a "Jewish Identity" website" or a "Black American" website? Are we similarly to dismiss all ideas emanating from any source that declares its' bias on it's banner? I hope not.

      Diners at this feast of ideas are surely mature enough to distinguish the message from the medium. The trick of dismissing valid argument by attacking the medium is effective but is not logical.

      Anti-Semitism is a canard. The concept is itself racist, I have written about this before with little or no dispute:

      Anti-Semitism is a very odd concept in that it posits that an action is of a particular type if (and only if) the recipient is of a certain group.......
      ....Racist acts are the same class of action when perpetrated against members of any group. The identity of the victim is not (or at least should not be) relevant to the act, its severity or the response, yet if a Jew is the victim of racism or assault, that is exactly what happens - the act takes on a different name, motive and response and what is more, other acts or speech that would not normally be considered racist (e.g. political, critical) can now be included, bringing the full weight of every crime against every individual Jew throughout History behind the the severity of the "crime". - See more at: link to

      Despite this, I acknowledge that the "anti-Semitism" canard is powerful. I believe however that it is part of the responsibility of clear thinkers to deconstruct it and relegate it to the museum of false concepts.

      Personally, I read any and all opinions regardless of reputation. To me it is the logic that matters.

  • Sam Harris and the dangers of false atheism
    • Apologies for the above - wrong thread.

    • First take a look at Asma al-Assad. In the first place she's much better looking. Secondly she is articulate, humane and knowledgeable. I find it impossible to reconcile the husband of this remarkable woman with the demonic image ascribed to Bashar al Assad.
      link to
      The follow up clip is Bashar's interview by Barbara Walters.

    • "a couple of individual cases of Indian Muslims fighting alongside Isis"

      Compare with:

      Australia: 250 (ASIS, April 2014)
      Belgium: 250 (Official figure, April 2014, 200 still in Syria)
      Canada: 30 (CSIS, February 2014)
      Denmark: 100 (PET, May 2014)
      Finland: 30 (Supo, March 2014)
      France: 700 (Official figure, April 2014, 275 still in Syria)
      Germany: 270 (BfV, January 2014, ‘about 300’ March 2014)
      Indonesia*: 30 - 60 (Official estimate, May 2014)
      Ireland : 25 - 30 (Ministry of Justice, February 2014)

      *Indonesia has a Muslim population of 204,847,000.

      Not sure how to interpret this but it appears other factors besides religion are in play.

      Source: link to

  • The U.S. is at last facing the neocon captivity
    • Citizen and Keith.
      I have given consideration to both your points long since. They are valid but neither individually nor together do they constitute a unifying theory given the lead up to, the conduct of the War and its' aftermath. Certainly they are contributing factors but if you follow the careers of the major cheerleaders, only some have connections to the plutocracy and Military/Industrial. All have strong ties to Israel or are the tools of those who do. Wolfowitz, Feith, Perle and Wurmser devised "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm," for the Israeli Govt.
      I will try to put something more comprehensive together soon, unfortunately I am occupied elsewhere at present.

    • Keith.

      The destruction of intellectual capital was implemented from what my American friends call the "get-go".
      Dig deeper. Follow the tracks of Wolfowitz, Perle, Ledeen (who orchestrated the laptop "evidence") , Abrams, Feith, the Wurmsers et al . Read this Mondo article about "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm" again and follow the links:
      link to

      The pattern is unmistakeable. The same names keep popping up.

      Now that MW has at last brought this to the table I will try to put all the evidence into some coherent order. Unfortunately I am busy with other projects at the moment.

    • Thanks from one old geezer to another - and I am getting old for when I read of this atrocity I wept old man's tears. Nothing in my studies of History steeled my imagination for a crime so heinous.
      Was it known that preservation of the intellectual capital of Iraq was essential to its' rebuilding? Of course it was.
      Was the destruction of its' intellectual capital deliberate?
      Of course it was. If it was not, protection would have been a priority.

    • "The key explanation is indeed energy policy and oil."
      Do the damn numbers. Here is a start:

      NEW YORK The U.S. war in Iraq has cost $1.7 trillion with an additional $490 billion in benefits owed to war veterans, expenses that could grow to more than $6 trillion over the next four decades counting interest, a study released on Thursday said.

      link to

    • You are getting close but this: Iraq didn’t go as planned is not correct.
      Iraq has gone precisely as planned.
      The plan was basically to degrade Iraq back to a dysfunctional state. That is why 26 modern Universities along with their faculties were obliterated.
      Here is a list of 193 academics killed.
      link to
      Estimates were around 380 by 2006.
      Here is an article from 2012 about the destruction of the institutions and paltry efforts to rebuild:
      link to

      In 2004, John Agresto, the US Senior Advisor to the Ministry of Education, assessed the rebuilding needs of devastated Iraqi universities. He requested from Congress $1.2 billion even though the UN and World Bank had estimated it would take almost $2 billion to “ensure minimal quality standards of teaching and learning.” Nonetheless, Agresto received $8 million, less than 1 percent of what he had asked for.

      link to

      You need to dig deep but the inescapable conclusion is that the complete destruction of Iraqi society was deliberate, as is that of Syria and Libya - as per the Oded Yinon plan.

    • Since first coming across the Yinon document some six years ago it has become, in my opinion, the touchstone for all that I have witnessed in the Middle East.
      When Bush II declared War on Iraq, I asked one of my colleagues "why". When he replied "for the oil of course", I quickly calculated the projected cost of the War and realised that the entire Iraqi oil reserves, were they simply stolen, would not represent a realistic return on the investment in war.
      In my semi-retired state I have had the leisure to research. Educated in History and Philosophy and a writer well used to academic rigour, I consider myself analytical, not inclined toward popular sentiment but sceptical of mainstream media comment.

      Events in the Middle East are a puzzlement but most observers satisfy themselves with simplistic rationales - "they hate our freedom", "we are bringing democracy and modernization", "securing resources" despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

      In my view, there is one unifying theory which, once understood, makes sense of it all, eliminates all the "buts" in the argument and in fact explains a great deal more besides.

      Israel exemplifies an ideology that has adherents in all states. Israel is the guiding light of right-wing thinkers who truly believe that its, not just survival, its expansion is crucial to the furtherance of their ideology.

      The breaking up of the States that surround Israel is essential to Israel's survival. The Yinon plan makes that very clear. If one admits of the influence of Israel within the U.S. political establishment (and who could seriously deny it), and understands the significance of the "Strategy" - all the pieces fall into place.

      (Posted in memory of Israel Shahak)

  • 'For Palestinians, history is never behind us': Family memories on Nakba Day
    • Mooser.
      This turned out to be another case, the like of which I have become accustomed to. In my experience, if something doesn't gel with what I have come to learn about pre-Nakba Palestine, there is always a counter-narrative to be found if you dig deep enough.
      Its understandable really. Given that these fundamental religious adherents have a core belief in God-given rights and privileges for their own kind, it is inevitable that they will conflict with the indigenous population. This case is interesting in that it seems they were initially shown cooperation and the proverbial hit the fan when the debts went unpaid. I dare say that the arrogance of the true believers contributed to the growing antipathy as the debts piled up during the twenty years it took before the locals finally said "enough" and (I'm speculating here) reclaimed the building materials.
      Happens every day in the real World. Only through the lens of Zionism can it be viewed as cassus belli.

    • After further reading the situation becomes more interesting:

      "In the year 1700 a company of several hundred Ashkenazi families riding donkeys and dressed in white had appeared at the gates of the city. They were Shabbateans, followers of the false messiah Shabbatai Tzvi, who, in the mid-seventeenth century, had created pandemonium among Jews who had believed him the long-awaited messiah. Even after Shabbatai Tzvi's conversion to Islam and his death, the controversy over his claims had barely subsided, and the Shabbatean Yehuda He-Hasid (" Judah the Righteous") and his followers were forced to disguise themselves discreetly as ordinary Jewish pilgrims. They had come to Jerusalem to await their messiah's promised arrival in the year 1706, the thirtieth anniversary of Shabbatai Tzvi's death. Spreading baksheesh liberally in every direction, they had won permission to settle in the city and immediately established their center in the heart of the Jewish Quarter in a ruined thirteenth-century synagogue, which they reclaimed and rebuilt at great expense.

      From the beginning things did not go well. Only five days after their arrival, the charismatic Yehuda died, leaving the group leaderless. Soon his followers fell to bickering among themselves, and when the long-awaited date of Shabbatai Tzvi's arrival came and went without a sign of him, the small community collapsed. A number embraced Islam out of disillusionment; others, including Yehuda He-Hasid's own niece, were baptized. In the end most of the group returned to Europe.

      The few that remained fell on hard times. The funds they had brought had long since run out and there was no possibility of raising more, either through donations or through gainful employment. Having squandered huge amounts on rebuilding their synagogue and forced to borrow simply to support themselves, they fell deeper and deeper into debt. Finally, in 1721, their Muslim creditors, tired of waiting for their money and seeing their repeated warnings go unheeded, destroyed the synagogue. The Ashkenazim were driven from the city, and after that any European Jew caught in Jerusalem was liable to be held for the outstanding debts. The synagogue and the other buildings that made up the complex, called the Hurva, or "ruin," remained in Muslim hands, waiting for its future redemption."

      From Jeff Halper's Between Redemption and Revival: The Jewish Yishuv of Jerusalem in the Nineteenth Century P. 37-38.

      So this Jack, along with the bombardment of the Synagogue from which the Hagganah were attacking the Jordanians (and were given the opportunity to withdraw) is what inspires a hatred sufficient to justify the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians generations later.

      For the sake of my descendants I earnestly hope I never run afoul of you or your kind.

    • Jack.
      A little reading indicates that the story of Yehudah he-Hasid and his synagogue is more complex than your myopic version:
      link to
      It is an interesting tale involving unpaid debts, lack of building consent (sound familiar?) and War. Close reading indicates plenty of grievance on both sides and some goodwill eg.:

      "The Hurva Synagogue was designed and constructed under the supervision of Assad Effendi, the sultan's official architect".

      It is interesting that on this thread, you have pleaded "fog of War" excusing the expulsion of Palestinians on the one hand and cite the destruction of Ha Hurva as cassus belli. What do you make of this:

      "On May 25, 1948, during the battle for the Old City, commander of the Jordanian Arab Legion, Major Abdullah el Tell, wrote to Otto Lehner of the Red Cross to warn that unless the Haganah abandoned its positions in the synagogue and its adjoining courtyard, he would be forced to attack it. Moshe Russnak, commander of the Haganah in the Old City, ignored his request, knowing that if the Hurva fell, the battle for the Jewish Quarter would soon be lost. On May 26, 1948, the Jordanian Arab Legion delivered an ultimatum to the Jews to surrender within 12 hours; otherwise the Hurva would be bombarded."

      Whatever the rights and wrongs of that situation, invoking it as justification for ethnic cleansing exemplifies primitive tribal violence.

    • Is this the general direction of your argument Jack:
      "The Arabs and the Turks beat, abused and murdered my ancestors in 19th century Jerusalem"

      ..... therefore I am justified in dispossessing and abusing the Palestinian people, some of whom might be their descendants*.

      Put this way I think the fallacy involved becomes rather obvious yet this justification is still the linchpin of Zionist argument, developed ex post facto. You will find no reference to any such grievance in early Zionist literature.

      *The Palestinian people are in the main, the descendants of the populace that have inhabited the area since at least the neolithic age. To characterise them as Arabic and Turkic is deliberately misleading. A great many are descended from Jews who adopted Islam and Christianity during centuries of Ottoman rule.

    • Jack.
      A dissertation covering the entire settlement History of New Zealand is not appropriate for me to give in these pages but it is not difficult to establish the gulf that separates it from the Zionist model. In the first place, the colonisation of New Zealand occurred a full century prior to that of Palestine when such concepts as "Manifest Destiny" were common but in fact it took, and retains, a very different form from that of Palestine in a supposedly more enlightened age. .
      New Zealand has a founding document. The Treaty of Waitangi:
      link to
      Some relevant clauses:

      HER MAJESTY VICTORIA Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland regarding with Her Royal Favor the Native Chiefs and Tribes of New Zealand and anxious to protect their just Rights and Property and to secure to them the enjoyment of Peace and Good Order....
      ....Her Majesty the Queen of England confirms and guarantees to the Chiefs and Tribes of New Zealand and to the respective families and individuals thereof the full exclusive and undisturbed possession of their Lands and Estates Forests Fisheries and other properties which they may collectively or individually possess so long as it is their wish and desire to retain the same in their possession...
      .....In consideration thereof Her Majesty the Queen of England extends to the Natives of New Zealand Her royal protection and imparts to them all the Rights and Privileges of British Subjects.

      (signed) William Hobson, Lieutenant-Governor.

      Now therefore We the Chiefs of the Confederation of the United Tribes of New Zealand being assembled in Congress at Victoria in Waitangi and We the Separate and Independent Chiefs of New Zealand claiming authority over the Tribes and Territories which are specified after our respective names, having been made fully to understand the Provisions of the foregoing Treaty, accept and enter into the same in the full spirit and meaning thereof in witness of which we have attached our signatures or marks at the places and the dates respectively specified. Done at Waitangi this Sixth day of February in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty.

      This is a living document. The Waitangi Tribunal (Māori: Te Rōpū Whakamana i te Tiriti) is a New Zealand permanent commission of inquiry established under the Treaty of Waitangi Act 1975. It is charged with investigating and making recommendations on claims brought by Māori relating to actions or omissions of the Crown, in the period largely since 1840, that breach the promises made in the Treaty of Waitangi. You can read about settlements made under its auspices here:
      link to

      Again Jack, you are attempting a diversion. That this is fallacious is easy to demonstrate.
      Suppose the indigenous people of New Zealand had been subject to wholesale slaughter and dispossession. Would that somehow excuse the Nakba?

    • @Just.
      Appreciate your generosity but I truly feel that it is thanks to MONDOWEISS and its writers that such as I can now make such comments succinctly without including masses of History in support. It is worthy of note that Jackdaw does concede ethnic cleansing : "That did happen in Palestine in 1948. It happened a lot"
      This I believe marks significant progress attributable to this site, its authors and posters.
      Look past Jack's pedantry and I think you see a mind approaching that tipping point when the full extent of the Nakba is comprehended and such "counter-truths" are seen as insignificant tropes adding nothing to the narrative. Its a journey we have all made.
      I'd like to mention that I read MW every day but do not post so often due to the enormous up-tick in Historical awareness both on the site and among the general public. You guys are to be congratulated. Us old History-buffs are becoming redundant!

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