Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 534 (since 2009-08-02 08:11:58)


69 yr old male 5th generation New Zealander.


Showing comments 534 - 501

  • Balfour at 100: A legacy of racism and propaganda
    • Interesting style you got there Nathan. Let's try it out:

      Well, to be quite frank, I don’t have a clue what Nathan means.
      "the founding of Israel"
      Does he mean a State, as in a territorial Government for and of a people within certain recognized borders? Hasn't happened yet so far as I know.
      "It’s not going to be undone. "
      What does he mean by "undone" ?
      Is it ending policies that are either theocratic or racist (I've never been able to figure out whether a "Jewish State" is for a religious identity or blood).
      Is it allowing the rightful owners of the land to return to their homes?
      Is it ending the occupation?
      Is it ending the apartheid-like policies?
      In the real World of politics these are achievable objects - all been done before at the behest of "the International Community". Far from being the "undoing" of Israel, it could be the making of it.
      I would suggest that the Nathan define specifically what he means by these terms. That way we (and the International Community) can continue arguing for another one hundred years while the blatant injustice continues on the ground.

  • Trump's speech on Iran deal is an orgy for Israel and its US friends
  • The low-rent bullying of the Zionist ideologue
    • "As to Iran and Hizbullah- they were responsible for the single deadliest anti-Jewish atrocity since WW2, the AMIA bombing in Buenos Aires."
      The whole Hezbollah/Iran thing was blown out of the water years ago.
      "The central piece of evidence cited in Nisman’s original 900-page arrest warrant against seven senior Iranian leaders is an alleged Aug. 14, 1993 meeting of top Iranian leaders, including both Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and then president Hashemi Rafsanjani, at which Nisman claims the official decision was made to go ahead with the planning of the bombing of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA).

      But the document, recently available in English for the first time, shows that his only sources for the claim were representatives of the MEK or People’s Mujahideen of Iran. The MEK has an unsavoury history of terrorist bombings against civilian targets in Iran, as well as of serving as an Iraq-based mercenary army for Saddam Hussein’s forces during the Iran-Iraq War."

      "In an interview last May James Cheek, Clinton's Ambassador to Argentina at the time of the bombing, told me, "To my knowledge, there was never any real evidence [of Iranian responsibility]. They never came up with anything." The hottest lead in the case, he recalled, was an Iranian defector named Manoucher Moatamer, who "supposedly had all this information." But Moatamer turned out to be only a dissatisfied low-ranking official without the knowledge of government decision-making that he had claimed. "We finally decided that he wasn't credible," Cheek recalled. Ron Goddard, then deputy chief of the US Mission in Buenos Aires, confirmed Cheek's account. He recalled that investigators found nothing linking Iran to the bombing. "The whole Iran thing seemed kind of flimsy," Goddard said. "

  • Miko Peled on free speech and Zionism
    • "Freedom of speech for Nazis ends up in Charlottesville with the death of an anti-fascist woman."
      Sorry Tony. Cannot agree. Apart from the fact that here is no causal link in your example (you might just as well assert that freedom of speech for MLK caused his death) creating a category of citizen excluded from a universal right is an abomination - utterly unworkable. You place yourself in company with the very people you deplore.

      The far right and the far left of Politics has been with us since forever, will remain with us forever. Ad Hominems such as "Nazi" "Holocaust Denier" and "anti-Semite" are the weapons of weak minds unable to discuss logically with civility. Such labels should be tossed on the garbage pile along with racial epithets and suchlike. Throughout History, every time such labels have become etched in the public mind, aberration follows. Consider the History of the labels "Heretic" and "Witch" for example.
      I view the advent of laws regarding Holocaust Denial and anti-Semitism with great concern, especially since the push from Israel and Israel-firsters in both Britain and the U.S. to have criticism of the Israeli State defined as the latter.

  • The problem with Miko Peled's 'Holocaust: yes or no'
    • This is a fine kettle of fish. Lots of disparate ideas being conflated.
      There is a vast difference between Holocaust Denial and Historical Revisionism yet the two are rolled in together as one, both here and further abroad.
      History is constantly being revised. Dozens of books are published every year concerning Historical events and characters from a past far more distant than WWII. One can read accounts that paint the likes of Napoleon, Julius Caesar and King John as saints or as tyrants. This is non-controversial and serves a good purpose in questioning narratives that are formed by popular fictions.
      So should we ban Historical Revisionism? My answer is an emphatic no. Should we confine it to those who possess qualification? I am sure the unlettered Thomas Macaulay, whose 5 volume "The History of England from the Accession of James the Second" was the standard text for many years would object as would the highly qualified Howard Zinn.

      There is a spectrum of thought on both sides of this (almost non-existent in any serious sense) debate. Respected Historians' estimates on the numbers vary greatly. Raul Hilberg for example knocked a million off the commonly accepted six. He also stated that he found some revisionist points instructive yet he is not considered a “denier”. David Irving is not far behind, having stated that “a huge number” of Jews (about 3 million) were killed – yet he is vilified as a “denier”.

      For the sake of this post, let me characterize a Holocaust Denier as someone on the spectrum's extreme who, without serious study, has fixed on some anomalies bandied about on the net and and expanded them into total denial. This is balanced by extremists on the other side who have simply invented stuff for personal gain – I refer to the likes of Zisblatt, Defonseca, Wilkomirski, Grabowski etc. Elie Wiesel with his geysers of blood and "Some stories are true that never happened" assertion probably fits with this group.

      Somewhere between these extremes lies the truth but are we likely to reach a consensus while a taboo exists? I doubt it for the taboo serves only the two extremes mentioned above. It is the two extreme fringe groups that benefit if debate is not engaged. It feeds directly into the deniers’ narrative of Jewish control and allows the hoaxers license to invent. Legitimate, sincere voices on both sides are silenced.

      The reaction to Miko’s statement illustrates why legitimate Historians refuse to engage even if they agree with some of the revisionist points. The taint can destroy reputations and livelihoods. I for one think this is a bad thing.

      Danaa makes a good point: “these discussions seem to be more evocative of a theological dispute”. The treatment of revisionists and the taboo closely resembles the Church’s attitudes to heresy in the past. I think the World is better off without it. By the same token, although Religion is an appropriate analogy it is illogical to posit that because heretics in the past (I’m thinking Galileo, Tyndale etc) have proven to be correct, all heretics are likely to be – that is a fallacy. There were many heretics who were dead wrong.

      Much of this brings to mind a theme that has intrigued me in recent years. Man is not a rational creature. It is very easy to demonstrate that much of what is accepted as fact, including scientific, Historical and philosophical, is actually the product of “weight of opinion” rather than analysis. The fact that contradictory religions have millions of adherents is testament to this. Medicine is rife with contradiction and fallacy, as are other branches of science. In the absence of information, man’s default position is to go with the crowd.

      I like iconoclasts, be they right or wrong. Whether or not we agree, their activity helps us to focus and consider from possibly new angles. If, in the end we prove (to ourselves at least) that they are wrong, we are better off for the exercise.

  • 'A blot on Judaism, Jewish history and ethics' -- British Jews regret the Balfour Declaration
    • Good to see you here Israel. I remain grateful for your help in the past and your work which, with very few reservations, I heartily endorse.

    • "“The Balfour Declaration of 1917 was built on air.” "
      The Balfour Declaration had no legal status whatsoever. It was a letter from Balfour to his friend Lord Rothschild advising only that His Majesty's Government favored a "National Home" for Jews in Palestine. The term "National Home" and the proviso that "nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine" were rigorously debated and deliberately chosen.
      The question as to whether "National Home" meant sovereignty is a non-issue. It certainly did not as is very clear from the debate. Churchill (and the Zionist Congress) confirmed this in the White Paper published a month before the Mandate document:
      "....It is also necessary to point out that the Zionist Commission in Palestine, now termed the Palestine Zionist Executive, has not desired to possess, and does not possess, any share in the general administration of the country. Nor does the special position assigned to the Zionist Organization in Article IV of the Draft Mandate for Palestine imply any such functions. That special position relates to the measures to be taken in Palestine affecting the Jewish population, and contemplates that the organization may assist in the general development of the country, but does not entitle it to share in any degree in its government."
      .....and in the Mandate itself:
      "ART. 7.
      The Administration of Palestine shall be responsible for enacting a nationality law. There shall be included in this law provisions framed so as to facilitate the acquisition of Palestinian citizenship by Jews who take up their permanent residence in Palestine."

      I wrote Did the Brits really screw the pooch" nearly a decade ago. It still stands up - nothing that has come to light since alters the very clear fact that a Jewish State was never the intent of either the Balfour Declaration or the League of Nations Mandate. Everything I have read of the B.D. indicates it was a sop to powerful interests - expected to disappear down the memory hole. The participants in its genesis would be astonished at the misuse of the document today.

    • Two completely separate issues Yonah. I do not see how you can justify subjecting the People of Palestine to precisely the same "specific circumstances" in order to deliver Jewish people, unless of course you apply a different value to the latter. Furthermore, there was another, non-controversial option - the Jewish Autonomous Oblast. I would also argue that by the end of WWII, before the expulsion of the Palestinian people and the major movement of Jewish people to Palestine, Europe was a safer domicile for Jews than was Palestine, given the perfectly understandable resistance to Zionism in that land.

    • Good to see the History re-visited. Unable to alter the facts, the Zionist narrative has endeavored to push History into the background but it remains the core of this problem.
      Israel is a dysfunctional State in the same way a traumatized adolescent becomes delinquent - repressed memories of, say, parental abuse create a paradox - a conflict between experience and ideal. The traumatic event becomes unresolvable because "parents do not behave that way!" Resolution is impossible without clear acknowledgement of the facts by both parties.
      Analogies are not valid arguments, they are simply illustrative. This one illustrates the nature of the problem as I see it. In my experience, no-one who becomes aware of the History of Palestine can remain unaware of a great injustice. While the Israeli education system continues to teach a false History, its behavior will become increasingly aberrant (as we are observing). As reality is more and more distorted, reactions become more unrealistic.
      There is only one way out.

  • Israeli plan to 'transfer' 300,000 Palestinians to West Bank is new normal -- Zoabi
    • JeffB can set Spencer to rights. According to him there are no universal moral criteria. What is moral and acceptable for Jews is not applicable to non-Jews. It is written thus and can only be questioned by a qualified Halachic scholar.
      White Zionism? Dream on. Ethnically pure States are the exclusive prerogative of "the people" as defined by the Torah. Logic that does not take this into account is herem. Gast your flabber if you will, one "people" alone, have earned this privilege through a special covenant with God (who makes different covenants with others) and by winning the all-time championship in the Oppressed Olympics (the African slave, Irish and Hindu contingents were disqualified - not mentioned in the Torah). This I have learned from JeffB.
      To sum up, White (whatever that means) Zionism is destined to fail because most of its potential audience are not racist and they have long forgotten Historic oppressions plus they do not have a covenant with God.

    • Transfer is in quotation marks to indicate irony. The apposite phrase is ethnically cleansed. That process began in 1947 and has never ceased despite the progression of the Zionist narrative as the truth comes out:
      1. We didn't do it, they ran away of their own accord.
      2. Well maybe we did but it was in the heat of battle.
      3. Well yes we did it deliberately but without it there could not have been a Jewish State.
      4. Everyone now knows so what the hell, let's do it openly.

  • A plea to Israel: Don't start the third Lebanon War
    • "The goal of the war was to depose the government of Lebanon and put in place a Christian government."
      Yep Aggressive War. Some guys were hanged at Nuremberg for that offense.

    • JonS.
      Thanks for the reply from which I deduce that you and I might have been able to advance understanding a little further than JeffB and I managed.
      Yes, it is in part " he speaks calmly , with a pleasant Australian accent." that so impacted on me (an antipodean). As I said, I have never quoted the likes of Ovadia Josef as typical (except to remind Islamophobes that intemperate rhetoric exists in fundamentalists of all stripes).
      It is the contrast between his urbane, reasonable-sounding delivery and the content of his address that gave me a jolt. I don't agree that one needs to be "qualified" (as Jeff asserts) to understand that what he says and backs up with copious scriptural references conflicts with contemporary notions of equality and Humanist values.
      I have had a quick look and bookmarked your link. Indeed there is some very good and universal sounding stuff that I can readily endorse. One question troubles me however, thanks to David Bar-Hayim. When a Rabbi makes a pronouncement regarding Human Rights, who does he mean by phrases such as "the people"? Is it humankind or the Jewish people?
      I think it is misunderstanding that distinction that leads many of us to argue at cross purposes.
      I think you may understand the nub of my question better than Jeff and why I think it important that this forum discuss it.
      Many of us are constantly astonished at the dis-proportionality of responses Israel makes to resistance and its refusal to acknowledge all that proceeds from the Nakba. David Bar-Hayim provides an answer that stems from a belief system. He states quite clearly that distinct rights and privileges apply to believers. Suddenly one understands why well-meaning people from both sides can arrive at an impasse. The sides have opposing, ingrained senses of what constitutes right and wrong - what the other side asserts is incomprehensible to the other because there is no shared sense of ultimate and all encompassing morality.
      That is why I think the question as to how deeply this alternative reality is embedded in the Israeli (not necessarily religious) psyche is an important one.
      As it stands, I now feel that in discussing what I consider inhumane in Israel's policies, I must not only point to barbarity but also explain why it is barbaric to people whose World-view is shaped by a belief system and culture that simply does not accept the universal application of such concepts.
      My previous assumption that "hey, we are all Humanists here" has been called into question by a respected Rabbi and teacher who clearly differs.
      I think I do understand the disputatious nature of Judaism. A Jewish friend (now long dead) once said: "You have seen pictures of bearded sages with the scrolls - they are arguing!" It made quite an impact on my thinking at the time as I was accustomed to thinking of a "Church" as a monolithic doctrinal structure.
      No doubt David Bar-Hayim has detractors within the religious community. My interest lies, not so much in them but in the extent to which these ideas have permeated society in general in the way that the Christian tradition, despite my atheism (Pantheism if you prefer) has permeated the very basic building blocks of my philosophy.

    • Obviously it is time for us to desist. It is useless for rationality to argue with the theism and obeisance to religious authority that rules your thinking. If you had stated at the very beginning that you are incapable of even expressing your personal opinion without reference to Biblical scholars we would not have come even this far. To conclude I will say this.

      I espouse no religion unless you count Pantheism which I interpret as the rule of nature. That is to say I believe that theism is simply one of the primitive attempts to understand the nature of the universe and it has failed in this endeavor. Its ability to predict reactions in the real World is far outpaced by a simple biologist who can explain leprosy and predict its course without reference to the supernatural. Embracing theism should surely be undertaken with a healthy dose of skepticism.
      Yet you do without qualm and you base your whole political scheme on it. What is more, you do so while acknowledging that you are not qualified to comment on matters concerning belief.
      So finally, unwilling or unable to debate without reference to arcane theistic authority that you confess to not understand, you resort to the anti-Semite smear.

      Took you a while.

      I beg to differ. This discourse has been enlightening.

    • "David Bar-Hayim’s influence is in your head. You introduced me to the guy. I’d never heard of him before."
      From what you have posted, your reluctance to criticize and your statement " God makes different covenants with different people" put the two of you on the exact same page.

      "An army operating on Lebanese soil was attacking Israel. That’s an act of war."
      You chaps need to get your stories straight. Ze'ev Maoz, Professor of Political Science at the University of California, and Distinguished Fellow at the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya, Israel tells us Israel invaded to 1) "Destroy the PLO infrastructure in Lebanon, including the PLO headquarters in Beirut." 2) "Drive Syrian forces out of Lebanon." 3) "Install a Christian-dominated government in Lebanon, with Bashir Gemayel as President." 4) "Sign a peace treaty with the Lebanese government that would solidify the informal Israeli-Christian alliance and convert it into a binding agreement. Sharon said it was an attack by Abu Nidal who was not even a member of the PLO.
      What ensued indicates that number 3 was the prime motive. Beirut was laid siege to and bombed for 7 weeks with a massive toll of Lebanese citizens killed and injured.
      PLO activity was minimal in the months leading up to the invasion. The Wikipedia article is long but reasonably accurate (emphasis mine):
      "In his report for the period of 12 December 1980 to 12 June 1981 on UNIFIL activities, the Security Council Secretary General noted that infiltrations into the border zone by Palestinian armed forces had decreased relative to the previous six months.[32] In contrast the IDF had launched various attacks on Lebanese territory often in support of the Lebanese Christian militia. In doing so Israel had violated UN Security Council resolution 425 on hundreds of occasions [paragraph 58]. Where the initiator(s) of attacks could be identified in the report, in 15 cases Palestinian militants were to blame while on 23 occasions the Militia and/or the IDF were the instigators, the latter also being responsible for the most violent confrontation of the period on 27 April [paragraph 52].

      In the subsequent period 16 June to 10 December 1981,[33] a relative quiet was reported continuing from 29 May 1981 until 10 July. This was broken when "Israeli aircraft resumed strikes against targets in southern Lebanon north of the UNIFIL area. (The Israeli strikes) led to exchanges of heavy firing between armed elements (Palestinians), on the one hand, and IDF and the de facto forces (Christian Militia) on the other. On 13 and 14 July, widespread Israeli air-strikes continued. Armed elements (Palestinians) fired into the enclave and northern Israel." Israeli-initiated attacks had led to rocket and artillery fire on northern Israel. This pattern continued in the coming days.

      Israel renewed its air strikes in an attempt to trigger a war that would allow it to drive out the PLO and restore peace to the region.[34] On 17 July, the Israel Air Force launched a massive attack on PLO buildings in downtown Beirut. "Perhaps as many as three hundred died, and eight hundred were wounded, the great majority of them civilians."[35] The Israeli army also heavily targeted PLO positions in south Lebanon without success in suppressing Palestinian rocket launchers and guns. As a result, thousands of Israeli citizens who resided near the Lebanese border headed south. There patterns of Israeli-initiated airstrikes and Palestinian retaliations with attacks on northern Israel are in contrast with the official Israeli version "A ceasefire declared in July 1981 was broken: the terrorists continued to carry out attacks against Israeli targets in Israel and abroad, and the threat to the northern settlements became unbearable."[36]

      On 24 July 1981, United States Undersecretary of State Philip Habib brokered a ceasefire badly needed by both parties,[33] the best achievable result from negotiations via intermediaries, aimed at complying with the decisions of UN Security Council resolution 490. The process was complicated, requiring "shuttle diplomacy between Damascus, Jerusalem, and Beirut, United States. Philip Habib concluded a ceasefire across the Lebanon border between Israel and the PLO. Habib could not talk to the PLO directly because of Kissinger's directive, so he used a Saudi member of the royal family as mediator. The agreement was oral – nothing could be written down since Israel and the PLO did not recognize each other and refused to negotiate with each other – but they came up with a truce. ... Thus the border between Lebanon and Israel suddenly stabilized after over a decade of routine bombing."[37]

      Between July 1981 and June 1982, as a result of the Habib ceasefire, the Lebanese-Israeli border "enjoyed a state of calm unprecedented since 1968."[23] But the 'calm' was tense. US Secretary of State, Alexander Haig filed a report with US President Ronald Reagan on Saturday 30 January 1982 that revealed Secretary Haig's fear that Israel might, at the slightest provocation, start a war against Lebanon.[38]

      The 'calm' lasted nine months. Then, on 21 April 1982, after a landmine killed an Israeli officer while he was visiting a South Lebanese Army gun emplacement in Taibe, Lebanon, the Israeli Air Force attacked the Palestinian-controlled coastal town of Damour, killing 23 people.[39] Fisk reports further on this incident: "The Israelis did not say what the soldier was doing ... I discovered that he was visiting one of Haddad's artillery positions (Christian militia) and that the mine could have been lain [sic] as long ago as 1978, perhaps even by the Israelis themselves"."

      "The Lebanese army killed Lebanese residents on Lebanese soil. Sure Israel knew about it. But I’d say your sense of responsibility is a bit off."
      Israel's allies, the Phalangists did the wet work while the IDF had Sabra and Shatila under siege. They had to pass through IDF lines to do it. That Israel was responsible is not in dispute - Sharon was forced to resign over the matter.

      "The right to invade attacking nations. Lebanon choose to engage Israel. I agree it was stupid."
      We have just seen in the Wikipedia article that the attacking prior to the invasion was done by Israel with very little retaliation from the PLO.

      "Yes. The Palestinians army operating on Lebanese soil was causing them trouble. Lebanon never should have permitted such a thing."
      The Palestinians didn't have an army.

      "The government of Israel says otherwise. As far as I’m concerned government has right to determine title."
      International Law says otherwise. Oh, I forgot. A Jew can claim title to a non-Jew's property right? I guess that goes for a Jewish Government also. Again you show solidarity with David Bar-Hayim.

      "They were driven out of Jordan into Lebanon by the Jordanians because they tried to flip the government."
      They were in Jordan because they had been driven out of their homes by murder and rapine perpetrated by Zionists.

      "Those people are mostly dead of old age. If you mean their descendants. Israel has agreed to go 51st in correcting mass deportations from generations ago. Just get 50 other countries involved to put it right and Israel will go next. Let’s start with the USA returning the country to the natives."
      Unbelievable coming from one who legitimizes the Zionist project citing a 2,000 year old fictitious expulsion.

    • JeffB.
      None of the links you provide offer any such prohibition. In fact they all give carte blanche by the simple trick of defining the type of War. The only prohibition without qualification seems to be against the destruction of fruit trees and poisoning of wells - a prohibition that is breached almost daily in the West Bank and Gaza.
      The Wikipedia entry contains this:
      "In 2007, Mordechai Eliyahu, the former Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel wrote that "there was absolutely no moral prohibition against the indiscriminate killing of civilians during a potential massive military offensive on Gaza aimed at stopping the rocket launchings".[60] His son, Shmuel Eliyahu chief rabbi of Safed, called for the "carpet bombing" of the general area from which the Kassams were launched, to stop rocket attacks on Israel, saying "This is a message to all leaders of the Jewish people not to be compassionate with those who shoot [rockets] at civilians in their houses." he continued, "If they don't stop after we kill 100, then we must kill 1,000. And if they don't stop after 1,000, then we must kill 10,000. If they still don't stop we must kill 100,000. Even a million. Whatever it takes to make them stop."[60]

      An influential Chabad Lubavitch Hassid rabbi Manis Friedman in 2009 was quoted as saying: "I don’t believe in western morality, i.e. don’t kill civilians or children, don’t destroy holy sites, don’t fight during holiday seasons, don’t bomb cemeteries, don’t shoot until they shoot first because it is immoral. The only way to fight a moral war is the Jewish way: Destroy their holy sites. Kill men, women and children""

      Your remarks on the Rabbinic courts serve only to cloud the issue and I am alarmed at this:
      "I’m not a Rabbi. I’m not qualified. And I haven’t studied the source material enough to have an informed opinion."
      - since I asked you where you personally stand with regard to David Bar-Hayim’s interpretation of the Torah and History. That is a pretty simple question that requires you to set aside Rabbinical guidance and confines the source material to the dicta found in the video which I presume you have watched and which is notable for its clarity.
      I can only conclude that you are hedging or so deeply immersed in a cult that you do not feel qualified to consult your own reasoning - the very definition of cultish behavior. This answer indicates that I should take David Bar-Hayim at his word for he is so qualified. We have therefore not advanced this discussion because his pronouncement of the written word conflicts with you statement: "Jews don’t claim a divine right to steal or kill non-members" - he says very clearly that they do.

      "God makes different covenants with different people"
      Well there we have David Bar-Hayim's philosophy in a nutshell. Precisely what you have argued against. One law for Jews, different laws for others.

      This post has only served to increase my alarm at the role Judaism has in Israel's abrogation of Universal Human Rights and disregard for the Laws of War. My only positive takeaway is an improved understanding as to why Zionists constantly accuse others of barbarity while utterly denying their own - God made a different deal.

    • "The airlift didn’t affect ’73."

      "Fortunately the airlift came just in time for Israeli ground forces to stabilize their positions and eventually turn the tide in the Sinai and Golan Heights. And it was all made possible by an operation that dwarfed the Berlin Airlift .."
      - Walter J. Boyne, Director of the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution

      Speaking in Washington three weeks after the cease-fire, Golda Meir said that, “For generations to come, all will be told of the miracle of the immense planes from the United States bringing in the material that meant life to our people.”

    • "key mistake was underestimating the Syrians / Hezbollah in 1983"
      Hezbollah did not exist as anything but anger in 1983. It was a direct result of Israel's invasion of 1982:
      " It was our presence there (1982) that created Hezbollah" - Ehud Barak.

      It is astounding to read what you fellows write. It is as if all that David Bar-Hayim says is so deeply ingrained that you cannot even conceive that Israel might be wrong, that its actions might have consequences.
      Israel invaded Lebanon on trumped up charges in 1982 and slaughtered 20-30 thousand indiscriminately. The massacres at Sabra and Shatila massacre were atrocities, huge crimes for which Israel was responsible. What were they thinking? By what possible right did they unilaterally invade a militarily weak sovereign nation? Because the Palestinians were causing them trouble?
      Let me remind you that the Palestinians, to this day, legally own most of the land Israelis occupy. They were driven from their homes at gunpoint and forced to become refugees in camps in Lebanon. You pull a stunt like that, trouble is what you get.
      You write as if none of that happened.

      I doubt whether you can comprehend how bizarre a sentence like:
      "Obviously Israel handled Lebanon poorly it went from a relatively friendly country to a hostile one between the 1930s-1990s." sounds to someone who lives in the real World where laws and rights are equally distributed.

      Every single situation Israel faces is a direct consequence of its illegal and immoral actions in dispossessing a million indigenous people. Put that right and the vast majority of Israel's problems will fade - plus it just might survive the next decade without a major War.

    • The game has changed considerably. In 1967, when Israel made its surprise attack, Egypt's main forces were bogged down in Yemen and Israel popped its air force before the off. In '73, only the largest airlift in History saved Israel.
      Times change, tactics and armaments change. Israel doesn't like casualties, has always depended on heavy armour and air strikes. Hezbollah countered the former in 2006 and is now better equipped to deal with the latter plus it now has longer range missiles - can probably reach Tel Aviv - I don't have much confidence in "Iron Dome".
      The layout of the map today favors asymmetric warfare. Fighting yesterdays wars has been the downfall of just about every army in History.

    • As the map changes, the nuclear option becomes less viable. At present there are numerous, de-centralised battle-hardened groups close to Israel's borders. If Jordan falls into line, Israel is virtually surrounded. It could possibly prevail in the short term using nukes but they will not help on the ensuing battlefield and with the inevitable backlash in World opinion.

      Furthermore, should Israel nuke Tehran, Beirut, or Damascus, consider what the response might be from Pakistan, Russia and the entire Muslim World. It is well-named "The Samson Option". The U.S. public will balk at Armageddon - not sure about the unpredictable administration.

    • "I’ve never understood why the Lebanese Christians and Druze tolerate the Shia dragging them into endless wars with Israel "
      One reason might be because Israel began bombing Lebanese civilians regardless of religious affiliation long before the Shia in the South unified under the Hezbollah banner. 2006 changed a lot of Lebanese attitudes to Hezbollah which is now a substantial part of the Lebanese Government with (I think) 13 seats in Parliament.
      You need to remember that over half of Lebanon is Muslim and many Christians and Druze are not sympathetic to Israel. Civilian bombing can change attitudes dramatically.

    • "Except that Rabbis do oppose the bombing of civilians. "
      I have not seen evidence of this. Can you link me please.

      "A rabbinic court doesn’t mean as much as you might think."
      I have always assumed they are equivalent to Sharia courts - ruling on ecclesiastical matters and disputes between parties who consent to their authority. Is that a fair assessment? To what extent are their rulings binding on all believers? How fragmented is Judaism?

      I am very curious as to where you, JonS and other pro-Zionist posters stand with regard to David Bar-Hayim's interpretation of the Torah and History. I have not yet seen you dismiss his dicta. I can say unequivocally that I find his interpretation repugnant and his History risible. Can you? How widespread is this notion that divine law is selective, i.e one law for Jews, another for Gentiles?
      To me it seems a denial of mono-theism - there is one God for Jews and another (or none) for the rest. That conclusion is at odds with Islam, Christianity and even Pantheism. It calls for a radical re-assessment of attitudes towards Judaism by those groups does it not? One disastrous outcome of that would be the legitimization of anti-Semitism for it is illogical to oppose a group purely for its blood or lineage, less so to oppose a group that claims divine right to steal from or kill non-members.

      One law for all is to me, the very foundation of Humanist thought and progress - I had considered it axiomatic.

    • "Hezbollah and Iran have been threatening such for decades."
      The Iranian administration and Hezbollah have been playing a purely defensive game since and because of their respective nascences (unless you bought the totally bogus "wipe off the map" BS).
      Some have argued that David Bar-Hayim's elucidation of the halachic (if that is the right word) injunctions I posted above does not reflect mainstream Israeli thought but what could better illustrate that barbaric mindset more than the Israeli campaign to inveigle the U.S. into a pre-emptive attack on Iran?
      The "fanatical tyrant mullahs" and the "tyrant nasrallah" have demonstrated unbelievable restraint and sanity during this period of what must have been immensely threatening, Israel-inspired, wars against their near neighbors. If the Israeli administration was equally sane it would realize that the Samson option is no longer viable. They played their remaining card in Syria and lost. The enemy is now too close for nukes without unsustainable losses to battle-hardened ground troops on Israeli soil. Their only option is to make peace and that starts with the Palestinians - the option lying idle since 1948.

    • Israel's strategy of fomenting War has been plain for all to see for decades:

      "Israeli strategists have long wished to balkanize the Middle East to make it easier for Israel to dominate the region. These efforts to break up the surrounding nations into smaller units were described by Moshe Sharett in the 1950s, by Yinon Oded in the 1980s, and more recently by the neocons in the Clean Break document. (See this article for more details.)

      Since dismembering Iraq has long been desired, it is no surprise to learn of Israel’s role in assisting the Kurdish independence movement."

      American politicians, nourished by Lobby funds, have been ready accomplices:

    • JeffB.
      I am not in the habit of posting the ravings of radicals for the very reason you reference - all sects have their fringe elements and it is an error to attribute their views to the majority.
      I posted the lecture by HaRav David Bar-Hayim because this was the first occasion I had come across what appears to be a mainstream, calm and seemingly reasonable voice explaining, with detailed references to scripture, why Rabbis do not oppose the bombing of civilians.
      Wikipedia tells us that HaRav David Bar-Hayim is:
      "an Israeli Orthodox rabbi who heads the Shilo Institute (Machon Shilo), a Jerusalem-based rabbinical court and institute of Jewish education......., he initially studied in Yeshivat HaKotel, and subsequently in Merkaz Harav Kook in Jerusalem. He studied under Rabbi Moshe Zuriel, and received rabbinic ordination from Rabbi Yosef Kapach.
      For a number of years, Bar-Hayim taught Talmud, Halakha, and Jewish philosophy in Yeshivat Nahalath Tzvi......In 2006, Bar-Hayim founded the Shilo Institute for the research, elucidation, and dissemination of the Torah of Israel.......Recently, Bar-Hayim established the Beth HaVa'ad rabbinical court to focus on actualizing the Torah of Israel and serve as an address for gentiles, particularly the growing Noahide community."

      I have yet to establish what position these institutions and individuals occupy on the spectrum of Israeli thought but I think that question is important and one that this forum should seriously consider.
      The "whataboutery" of some obscure Christian sect is a lame, irrelevant response. David Bar-Hayim appears to be mainstream, the audience was totally acquiescent, the Biblical references appear to totally support his argument. What can you tell us about him and the extent to which his view is reflected in mainstream Israeli thought?
      Here he is expounding some widely held shibboleths (Mark Twain, Joan Peters etc):

    • Thank you Catalan. As you will probably know, I have always leveled my criticism at "Zionism" and its political supporters and studiously avoided lumping Judaism in with it.
      I can't tell you how deeply this lecture has affected my current thinking. Although I now have no affiliation, I grew up in the Christian tradition which taught me not to even imagine that other belief systems could be - there is no other word for it - intrinsically evil. I had thought that no matter the creed or color, a basic humanity linked us all. HaRav David Bar-Hayim has dispersed that notion.
      I am still reeling.

    • Absolutely correct Keith. All Israeli military leave was canceled three months before Hezbollah grabbed two IDF who were, if memory serves, over the line.
      That it is militarily possible to launch such an attack at short notice is total fiction. "Kidnapping" soldiers is a quaint use of the term!
      The lecture by HaRav David Bar-Hayim above explains the situation very clearly. Unprovoked attacks are not only sanctioned, they are mandated by Jewish religious doctrine because all non-Jewish are a threat - per se. Carpet and nuclear bombing of civilians is perfectly fine because "we are right!"
      How can one reason with an ideology that claims a God-given right to kill innocents ? Hitherto I had thought this the preserve of fundamentalist loonies but when one listens to this fellow's reasoning one realizes the problem is in the heart of a moral scheme that pays no heed to universal concepts of justice and humanity.
      I am coming closer to Gilad Atzmon's view that the problem lies within Judaism itself, not just its offshoot, Zionism. When one listens to HaRav David Bar-Hayim, Zionism begins to appear as the inevitable expression of a deeply xenophobic belief system.

    • Of course there will be War.
      A religious ideology that sanctions the killing of, not just opponents, but any or all non-members of its lunatic cult on the grounds that they might pose a threat will always be at War. Add the fact that this particular cult takes theft as a fundamental, exclusive right and there will be perpetual War until either the cult is quashed or all non-members are killed or enslaved.
      I have sometimes cited the ravings of such as Ovadia Yosef as examples of overblown murderous rhetoric but had never considered taking them seriously until viewing this lecture by HaRav David Bar-Hayim.

      In beautifully modulated cadence he lays it all out referencing scripture to back the thesis that all non-Jews are to be treated as snakes - killed because they might be venomous. He then teaches us that the sages ruled that theft of non-Jewish property (by a Jew) need not be restored to its owner because a Jew will use his ill-gotten gains for the benefit of humanity.

      There is a massive flaw in this primitive reasoning of course and I thought it confined to the lunatic orthodox fringes. The above video makes it chillingly clear that this ideology is more mainstream that I had ever dreamed however. It will be interesting to see if any posters choose to defend this psychopath.

  • UN takes first concrete step to hold Israel accountable for violating Palestinian human rights
    • I am sincerely interested in hearing your assessment as to the extent HaRav David Bar-Hayim's lecture reflects Israeli thought. You and I have our differences regarding History and Historiography but I have detected a common humanity and therefore respect your opinion.
      I may be over-reacting but there is something in his delivery that is at once so reasonable sounding yet perverse.

    • Enlightenment. For an extraordinary insight into the why the Zionist ideology cannot understand the non-Jewish World:

      Nothing I have ever seen compares with this presentation.
      Phil, Annie, whoever, please put it up as a lead.

    • Page: 5
  • How Israel is silently transferring Palestinians from East Jerusalem
    • "Collective punishment is a form of retaliation whereby a suspected perpetrator's family members, friends, acquaintances, sect, neighbors or entire ethnic group is targeted. The punished group may often have no direct association with the other individuals or groups, or direct control over their actions. In times of war and armed conflict, collective punishment has resulted in atrocities, and is a violation of the laws of war and the Geneva Conventions"
      - Wikipedia

  • Ten days of awe: standing with whom?
    • "Once again that way out-of-context quote from Herzl, who wasn’t even referring to the Palestinians?"
      Herzl was referring to Zionism. He tells us that Zionism, from its very inception embraced ethnic cleansing.

      Once again you seize on an insignificant distinction, a trivial nit-pick that makes no impact whatsoever on the overwhelming evidence that this statement:
      "..... mainstream Zionist leaders and thinkers envisaged living in peace with the Palestinian population, not displacing it. “ utterly refuted by the statements of mainstream Zionists.
      The words of Ben Gurion, Moshe Sharrett, Weizmann etc put the question beyond all dispute and they are just the tip of the iceberg.
      I simply cannot fathom what it is you hope to achieve by employing sophistry to deny the Historical record. The nonsense you peddle might have had some currency back in the 50s and 60s, before the documents and diaries became public but today you are simply out of time.

    • "Jews are trying to survive in a tough neighborhood"

      Agreed. Expelling nearly a million indigenous people by murder, rapine and mayhem is indeed a tough job. Even tougher is the task of convincing them to like it.

    • "despite the fact that mainstream Zionist leaders and thinkers envisaged living in peace with the Palestinian population, not displacing it. "

      Exactly who do you think you are kidding?

      "We must expropriate gently the private property on the state assigned to us. We shall try to spirit the penniless population across the border by procuring employment for it in the transit countries, while denying it employment in our country. The property owners will come over to our side. Both the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discretely and circumspectly. Let the owners of the immoveable property believe that they are cheating us, selling us things for more than they are worth. But we are not going to sell them anything back." Herzl 1895

      "We have forgotten that we have not come to an empty land to inherit it, but we have come to conquer a country from people inhabiting it" Moshe Sharrett 1914

      "Zionist colonization, even the most restricted, must either be terminated or carried out in defiance of the will of the native [Palestinian] population. This colonization can, therefore, continue and develop under the protection of a force independent of the local population --an iron wall which the native [Palestinian] population cannot break through. This is, in to, our policy towards the Arabs. To formulate it any other way would be hypocrisy." - Jabotinsky 1925

      "We must continually raise the demand that our land be returned to our possession .... If there are other inhabitants there, they must be transferred to some other place. We must take over the land. We have a great and NOBLER ideal than preserving several hundred thousands of [Palestinian] Arabs fellahin [peasants]." - Menachem Ussishkin 1930

      "The compulsory transfer of the [Palestinian] Arabs from the valleys of the proposed Jewish state could give us something which we never had, even when we stood on our own during the days of the first and second Temples. . . We are given an opportunity which we never dared to dream of in our wildest imaginings. This is MORE than a state, government and sovereignty----this is national consolidation in a free homeland." Ben Gurion 1937

      The ethnic cleansing began at least six months before and inspired Arab League intervention on May 15 1948. The War that ensued was lauded by Zionists as a wonderful opportunity to complete the task. Chaim Weizmann referred to it as:
      " a miraculous clearing of the land: the miraculous simplification of Israel's task."

      All of this is now known, it is not controversial among Historians. If you, Jon S, are indeed a teacher and you promulgate such nonsense as posted above to your students one can only conclude that you are either seriously brainwashed, incompetent or deliberately falsifying History.

      "“The provenance …is indeed obscure” . In other words, it’s a fake quote. Are you saying that accuracy is unimportant?"

      As far as the "Bride" story being a "fake" quote, that is not implied by my statement about it being obscure. It has been around for a century or more and referred to by many secondary sources. We have a multitude of primary sources such as Ahad Ha'am who expressed precisely the same notion in more prosaic language, we have masses of photographs and documents that prove conclusively that Palestine was both densely populated (twice the density of the U.S. at the time) and well developed. Whether or not the "Bride" quote is authentic makes not one jot of difference to the facts nor Ms Rothschild's thesis. Your making an issue of it defines sophistry and indicates that your purpose here has nothing to do with accuracy - it is the reverse, obfuscation.

    • On further reflection I think I understand.
      By calling the "bride" story a fabrication you imagine you are dismissing the fact that Palestine was quite densely populated and reasonably well developed before Zionism.
      Either you are incapable of recognizing the fallacy involved or you are deliberately trying to mislead.

    • 1. The provenance of the exact "Bride is beautiful" phrase is indeed obscure - most likely a 1919 cartoon.
      Why you feel it necessary to be so pedantic escapes reason however when there are many other verified expressions of the identical sentiment put in less colorful terms:
      "From abroad, we are accustomed to believe that Eretz Israel is presently almost totally desolate, an uncultivated desert, and that anyone wishing to buy land there can come and buy all he wants. But in truth it is not so. In the entire land, it is hard to find tillable land that is not already tilled; only sandy fields or stony hills, suitable at best for planting trees or vines and, even that after considerable work and expense in clearing and preparing them—only these remain unworked, because the Arabs do not like to exert themselves today for a distant future." - Ahad Ha'am 1891.
      "When I was first won over to Zionism I was hypnotised by the legend that Palestine was empty and derelict, it was regarded as most disloyal that I should discover and—still worse!—publish that this little territory contained already six hundred thousand Arabs as against one hundred thousand Jews, and that over ninety-eight per cent of its soil was in the hands of non-Jews. Well, consistency may be a political virtue, but I see no virtue in consistent lying." - Israel Zangwill c1908.

      2. There was some Palestinian support from those who stood to benefit financially - I would term that corruption - but it was minimal. Again I am puzzled as to the point you are trying to make. Is it that you consider Palestinian rejection of Zionism unreasonable behavior? An offense justifying expropriation by force?
      I can think of no people or state that would willingly surrender even partial sovereignty to a minority comprised of mostly illegal immigrants. In any event, the question did not arise - prominent Zionists insisted that they had no intention of establishing a sovereign Jewish state. Churchill tells us:
      at a meeting of the Zionist Congress, the supreme governing body of the Zionist Organization, held at Carlsbad in September, 1921, a resolution was passed expressing as the official statement of Zionist aims "the determination of the Jewish people to live with the Arab people on terms of unity and mutual respect, and together with them to make the common home into a flourishing community, the upbuilding of which may assure to each of its peoples an undisturbed national development.
      It is also necessary to point out that the Zionist Commission in Palestine, now termed the Palestine Zionist Executive, has not desired to possess, and does not possess, any share in the general administration of the country. Nor does the special position assigned to the Zionist Organization in Article IV of the Draft Mandate for Palestine imply any such functions. That special position relates to the measures to be taken in Palestine affecting the Jewish population, and contemplates that the organization may assist in the general development of the country, but does not entitle it to share in any degree in its government."
      We now know that these public statements were simply deceitful - behind the scenes the intent to displace and rule was always part of the plan.

  • Elisha Wiesel's Rosh Hashanah remembrance
    • Can never resist posting this clever response to Wiesel by Israel Shamir:

      "The touching words of Elie Wiesel painted a beautiful portrait of the Jewish people, yearning, loving and praying for Jerusalem over the centuries and cherishing its name from generation to generation.

      This potent image reminded me, an Israeli writer from Jaffa , of something familiar yet elusive. I finally made the connection by revisiting my well-thumbed volume of Don Quixote. Wiesel’s evocative article is so wonderfully reminiscent of the immortal love of the Knight of Sad Visage for his belle Dulcinea de Toboso. Don Quixote travelled all over Spain proclaiming her name. He performed formidable feats, defeated giants, who turned out to be windmills, brought justice to the oppressed, all for the sake of his beloved. When he decided that his achievements made him worthy, he sent his arms-bearer, Sancho Panza, to his Dame with a message of adoration.

      Now I find myself in the somewhat embarrassing position of Sancho Panza. I have to inform my master, Don Wiesel Quixote, that his Dulcinea is well. She is happily married, has a bunch of kids, and she is quite busy with laundry and other domestic chores. While he fought brigands and restored governors, somebody else took care of his beloved, fed her, provided her with food, made love to her, made her a mother and grandmother. Do not rush, dear knight, to Toboso, lest it break your heart.

      Elie, the Jerusalem that you write of so movingly is not now and never has been desolate. She has lived happily across the centuries in the embrace of another people, the Palestinians of Jerusalem, who have taken good care of her. They made her the beautiful city she is, adorned her with a magnificent piece of jewellery, the Golden Dome of Haram al Sharif, built her houses with pointed arches and wide porches and planted cypresses and palm trees.

      They do not mind if the knight-errant visits their beloved city on his way from New York to Saragosa. But be reasonable, old man. Stay within the frame of the story and within the bounds of common decency. Don Quixote did not drive his jeep into Toboso to rape his old flame. OK, you loved her, and thought about her, but it does not give you the right to kill her children, bulldoze her rose garden and put your boots on her dining room table. All your words just prove that you confuse your desires with reality. You ask why the Palestinians want Jerusalem ? Because she belongs to them, because they live there and it is their hometown. Granted, you dreamed about her in your remote Transylvania . So did many people around the world. She is so wonderful and certainly worth dreaming about...............
      ...........Once, walking with the Christian pilgrims to the great Church of the Holy Sepulchre, I was stopped by a Hassidic Jew. He inquired whether my companions were Jews, and, receiving a negative reply, exclaimed in amazement: “What are these Goyim (Gentiles) looking for in the Holy City ?” He had never heard of the Passion of Jesus Christ, whose name he used as a swear word. I am equally amazed that a Jewish professor from Boston University is as ignorant as the simple-minded Hassidic Jew. Jerusalem is holy to billions of believers: Catholic, Protestant, and Eastern Christians, Sunni and Shia Moslems, to thousands of Hassidic and Sephardi Jews. Still, as a city, Jerusalem is not different from any other place in the world; she belongs to her citizens.

      Twenty more years of Zionist control of this ancient city will turn her into another Newark and forever ruin her charm. Jerusalem needs to be restored to its inhabitants. The seized properties in Talbieh and Lifta, Katamon and Malcha should be returned to their owners. Professor Wiesel, respect Gentile property rights as you would like Gentiles to respect your right to your lovely house. The holy sites of Jerusalem are regulated by the 150-year-old international statute (Status Quo) that should not be tampered with. The last attempt to touch it caused the siege of Sevastopol and the charge of the Light Brigade at Balaclava . The next attempt could cause a nuclear war."

      [i] It was written as a response to a long article by Elie Wiesel, “ Jerusalem in My Heart,” New York Times, 1/25/2001 .

  • Ayelet Shaked and the fascist ideology
    • Pictures of the economically dead, mosquito infested Palestine:

    • "Does she have less or more respect for the rule of law?"

      The Rule of Law is an absolute. One cannot be "more or less" respectful of it
      Israel's very foundation stands in opposition to this principle. Shaked is just one minor figure in a long line of supremacists who claim exception on the basis of (you choose) race/religion.

    • Misterioso.
      It should be noted that subsequent to the Arab Revolt (1936-7), the Palestinian male population was decimated - one in ten dead, imprisoned or in exile and it was illegal for a Palestinian to possess a firearm. By contrast, the British armed the Jewish Settlement Police, Jewish Supernumerary Police, and Special Night Squads. From that time until May 15 1948 when between 250,000 and 400,000 (latest research by Rosemarie Esber) had been expelled from their homes, the Zionists had a virtual turkey shoot.
      The primary Zionist propaganda technique since has been to manipulate the time-line to suit the "Arabs attacked" balderdash. Put simply, the Palestinian resistance to Zionism was disarmed and demoralized, a fact the Zionists capitalized on to devastating and brutal effect until the League acted to stop the ethnic cleansing.

    • "Destroying a society is a grave act. One shouldn’t do it over a political disagreement at this level. "

      Gotta go down in the Ironical Hall of Fame.

  • Rightwing campaign against Jewish exec who called for exposing Nakba seems likely to fail
    • In my view, it depends on how you view the concept of "anti-Semitism".
      As you will be aware, I believe that the term, as it is exploited, is logically problematic in that it contains within it a form of racism.

      All acts termed "anti-Semitic" are, by definition, racist acts yet racist acts cannot be defined by the identity of the victim. The Rule of Law insists otherwise. What is an offense to one must also be an offense against all.

      Put it this way. If it is not a racist offense to pass comment on the activities of a group such as BLM, Council of Conservative Citizens or American Renaissance, how can it be a racist offense to criticize Zionist groups? The only way, in my view, is to attach a special significance to them because of their identity - which is Jewish.
      Making such a distinction is in itself an expression of racism.

      Quite frankly, I believe the term is deliberately misused to support Zionism which is a racist ideology, no matter how cleverly it is packaged and sold.

      So no, I do not think " this sort of compulsive vindictive behavior.......could lead to an increase in anti semitism".
      An increase in legitimate criticism that will be portrayed as "anti-Semitism" is a foregone conclusion however.
      The huge effort to identify criticism of the Jewish State with "anti-Semitism" is fraudulent because "State" and "race" are not synonymous.

  • Gideon Levy calls out Israel's fundamental, racist religion: Zionism
    • "how does that help the Palestinians?"

      There is a school of thought that regards truth as efficacious in every way, like a powerful disinfectant.
      This is opposed to the Zionist view that truth is irrelevant - subservient to ideology.

    • The caption to Tartakover's art should be inscribed in large letters over every entrance to Palestine:

      "And if you should come to inherit your homeland: Do not approach it as an enemy.

      But come to the inhabitants in the spirit of peace.

      Not by malice, by transgression or animosity will you build the homeland of your forefathers, but by love and mercy, by righteousness and faith.

      And you will love the inhabitants of the land for they are your brothers of your own flesh, and you will not disregard them".

      Rabbi Binyamin

    • You haven't lived if you haven't had a procrustean served on a bed of spinach, smothered in garlic butter. That's how we have 'em down our way. Trick is you have to cut the legs off to get 'em on the bed.

  • One little sentence, so many lies
    • ....during the war that accompanied the creation of Israel.”
      Ash Shajara was sacked by the Golani Brigade on 6th May 1948 - before the Arab League entered the fray.
      Yet another example of the fabulous Time Machine of Zion.

  • Prominent Israeli rabbi preaches rape in war time
  • 'Auto-anti-Semitism!' Naftali Bennett declares war on Jewish self-hatred in Israel
    • I remember reading years ago that there had been some effort to lay the blame for the Patria on the Palestinians. Unfortunately I can't trace the article but, given the track record, it is not unreasonable to speculate whether or not that was the original plan.

    • Jon S
      "The Haganah in 1940 was an irregular militia, hardly a professional military force. Therefore an amateurish miscalculation of the explosive is entirely possible, even likely"

      If it were not so utterly stupid, this would get my vote for the most criminally insane excuse ever offered by a Zionist on this blog - and that is a large field. Get yourself into rehab urgently. Ziocaine taken in such quantity is brain-damaging and likely lethal.

      For your information, the Hagannah had been blowing things up for 20 years before this incident - even had their own hand-grenade factories.

    • Israel should allow Gazans the right to return to the homes and land they were driven from.

      "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.

      Today, according to Khalidi, "some old trees grow" on the site of the village. It is "overgrown with cactuses and Christ's thorn and sycamore trees and contans the crumbled walls of unidentified buildings...."

      There were 82 houses in Najd. Children went to school in Simsim, two kilometers away. According to Palestine Remembered the village has been completely "defaced."....
      ......Najd is fourteen kilometers from Gaza. Palestinian Arabs own 12,669 dunums in Najd although Israel refuses to honor their rights to their personal property, and refuses them their inalienable right to return home. In 1945 Jews owned 495 dunums of land in Najd and public lands consisted of 412 dunums."

    • "Jews had been persecuted for centuries in majority-gentile countries. "
      Exactly which countries Jack?
      I think we can rule out England which had a popular Jewish Prime Minister during the mid/late 1800s and has had literally hundreds of Jewish MPs and Lords since the 1700s.
      Similarly Iraq whose Jewish "Father of Parliament", Sir Sassoon Eskell presided in the early 1900s, Egypt where Maimonides was a Prince.
      The Golden Age of Jewry in Spain was a period of centuries under Muslim rule. When it ended with the Inquisition, the Ottomans welcomed Jews who enjoyed security and high office right up until WWII.
      Could it have been Tsarist Russia? Here the position is more complex. I suggest close reading of the link:
      A sample:
      "In sharp contrast, a new school of Russian Jewish history writing emerged in the 1970s and 1980s, first in the United States, then in Israel, and finally in post-Soviet Russia itself. This school views the Russian state’s treatment of Jews comparatively, as part of the overall nationalities policy of the empire, a policy always marked by contradiction and bureaucratic ineptitude. In this view, antisemitism was not the motivating force of the government’s treatment of Jews, which in general was consistent with, or in some cases milder than, its treatment of other groups. Jews were largely permitted to continue their traditional way of life and education of their young, as opposed to other minorities whose native languages and school systems were outlawed by the state. Perhaps most controversially, the new school of Russian Jewish historiography argues that pogroms against Jews were not orchestrated or even approved of by the state, but were rather spontaneous and unplanned outbreaks of urban violence caused by social and economic forces beyond the control of the Russian army or police."
      "Napoleon Bonaparte of the First French Empire enacted laws that first emancipated Jews in France, establishing them as equal citizens to other Frenchmen. In addition, in countries that he conquered during the Napoleonic Wars, he emancipated the Jews and introduced other ideas of freedom from the French Revolution. For instance, he overrode old laws restricting Jews to reside in ghettos, as well as lifting laws that limited Jews' rights to property, worship, and certain occupations." - Wikipedia.

      These are just a few instances that argue against your assertion. We should also take into account the fact that in almost any period of History you care to name, prominent Jewish actors in commerce and politics are to be found. Likewise, state-sponsored persecutions of non-Jewish people can also be found - Puritans, Hugenots, Scots, Irish, Africans, Chinese, Hindus, Moslems and so on.

      Sometimes I am tempted to wonder if, embedded in Judaic culture is a set of unique principles, a way of thinking that few other cultures embrace. First is that grievance is transferable across generations. Your post seems to indicate that. We already know that Zionist actions are based on the principle that real estate, once possessed by Jews, can never be owned by anyone else - "Eretz Israel will be restored to the people of Israel. All of it. And forever" - Begin. The "ownership" of ancient grievance by descendants fits this model.
      This is not a universal way of thinking, I venture to suggest it is unique to you and your fellows.
      Similarly with guilt and responsibility. It appears they are transferable not only across generations but also across cultures - hence the Palestinian people bear the cost despite having nothing to do with the Historic persecutions you reference. It seems all non-Jewish are responsible in some way for all Jewish suffering throughout all time. The experience of the ancient Canaanites rarely gets a mention however.

      I think the answer to your ultimate question lies in abandoning the essential racism that prevents full integration and cooperation with one's fellow human beings, a racism that is not totally disconnected from the practice of excusing the violence of Zionism by virtue of belonging to a race that, along with the rest of humanity, has suffered in the past.

    • "zionism is the only answer to irrational acts like anti semitism and jew hatred.hitler and his supporters" -etc.
      So the answer to the National Socialists racial purity nonsense is Jewish Nationalism and.......racial purity. Something not quite right here. In the first place, if ethnic cleansing and massacre is an irrational act when performed by Germans, is it not similarly irrational when performed by Jews?
      Secondly, Zionism was not the only answer at the time. I have long been puzzled as to why the Jewish Autonomous Oblast option was ignored. A more temperate, larger and resource-rich Jewish State begging to be settled and with no pesky indigenes to be massacred and expelled. Perhaps mcohen can explain.
      Thirdly, Zionism first emerged in 1890s, before Hitler was born. He was just 24 and a pauper when Jabotinsky issued this:
      "All colonization, even the most restricted, must continue in defiance of the will of the native population. Therefore, it can continue and develop only under the shield of force which comprises an Iron Wall which the local population can never break through. This is our Arab policy."
      It seems to me that Zionism, having been rejected by the Frankfurt conference of rabbis, 1845 and the Philadelphia conference of 1869, was not an answer to anything but a desire for colonial conquest by a small faction of militant adventurers backed by privileged and wealthy folk such as Lord Rothschild and Chaim Weizmann.
      There is also the 1933 Havara agreement between the National Socialists and Zionists to consider. Doesn't fit the picture of Zionism as an answer to Nazism which is further colored by the offer of prominent Zionists to fight in WWII on the side of Germany.
      Sorry mcohen, I think you need to take that one back to your worry-room for a spell.

  • Israeli boys, 14 and 16, arrested for assaulting Palestinian bus drivers inside Jews-only settlement
    • "Bat Ayin is home to a staunchly nationalistic community that, as a policy, does not allow Arabs through its gates"
      The Times of Israel needs a new editor. The correct term is "racist".

  • 'Progressive' NYC official compares cancellation of Israel-sponsored event to neo-Nazis marching in Charlottesville
  • Charlottesville is moment of truth for empowered U.S. Zionists (who name their children after Israeli generals)
    • jon s.
      In the first place, I disagree with Spencer in that I do not support any form of privilege based purely on ethnicity.
      Rosenberg cannot go there of course so his argument is based on exceptionalism . His basic thesis is that oppression sets Jews apart and entitles them to exclusive ownership of "their Historic homeland". "Whites" have never been oppressed therefore can claim no such privilege.

      Whilst I do not agree that oppression creates any entitlement other than its cessation, I suggest that the Highland Clearances and the Irish genocide (to which many "white" Americans owe their presence here) easily qualifies. We don't know the death toll of the Clearances, the Irish lost about one and a half million. There are now more descendants of Highlanders in the U.S. than there are in Scotland, indicating the numbers of the dispossessed.

      The "Historic Homeland" myth has long been debunked by historians and geneticists but, even if it were valid, Palestine has another claimant - the descendants of those who did not leave. It is their claim that Zionism utterly denies and it is they who are now the victims of oppression.

      These arguments are "garbage in - garbage out". Privilege based on ethnicity is simply the other side of racist coin.

  • Why I am leaving Israel
    • Annie.
      I don't think we truly disagree - how could we? You know I love you!
      "the word “Arab” is not, in itself, derogatory nor does it carry derogatory connotations (except to racists)."
      That was what I meant by " in derivation and intent".
      Derived from a term meaning "nomad" or "passer-by", it does seem to me to be derogatory when applied to Palestinians who were a settled people with established institutions. When used by those who invaded and destroyed those institutions I find it deliberately misleading and therefore abhorrent.
      This says nothing about " how she should address her lover". My wife and I used racial epithets for each other in fun as terms of endearment as do many African Americans. It is all in the intent.
      That being said, I think it best that the Palestinian identity is firmly established in the public consciousness, particularly in view of the fact that the majority are descended from precisely the same stock as Palestinian Jews. When this is understood, most of the Zionist narrative falls apart.

    • Absolutely Greta. I too think it is a vital distinction. It was not for aught that the colonial interlopers invested so heavily in the "Arab" label. From the moment one realizes the purpose of that label, it is impossible to see it written without a jolt of revulsion as it symbolizes the edifice of racism and denial on which the Zionist ideology is based. It is, in fact, the equivalent to the "N-word" as used by racist Americans both in derivation and intent.

  • Trump response to Charlottesville sugarcoats a rotten morality
    • Keith is on to it.
      This is about History in more ways than one. It is symptomatic of a populace who do not know, have never learned and do not understand what History is or how it works. It is a perfectly predictable result of the criminal degradation of the education system from an institution that fosters citizenship to factories churning out robots for industry.
      The increasing polarization of groups within Western societies can be traced directly to the relegation of the Humanities from roughly 75% of the curriculum to a fringe discipline, a process that has been ongoing for forty or so years.
      "A society ignorant of its past has no future" is well known aphorism but there is more to it. History is complex and fluid. It is not a collection of dates and facts. It is not a simple narrative of good versus evil as Americans are mislead to believe. The Israel project is a classic example of a future created by the distortion of the past.
      The protagonists in this debacle are two mobs inspired by fictitious and simplistic symbols they believe have meaning whereas they are based on the lies that accompany all warfare. None of them know the first thing about the real History of the American civil war.
      I could go on but, good grief, why do I bother. A society that has turned over stewardship of its most precious culturally defining process to Hollywood, is informed by a corrupt media and rates itself in purely material terms is hell-bent.
      Expect more of the same from a populace that has displaced inquiry and the pursuit of deeper understanding of the drivers of conflict in favor of labels like "Nazi", "anti-Semite", "Communist", "Fascist" - while having no comprehension of the real human concerns on both sides that drive people to extremes..

  • Lessons from Finkelstein: International Law and equal rights should be the focus for Palestine solidarity
    • Finkelstein has come to believe that the return of the Palestinian refugees and the demographical change that would follow, would mean the end of the state of Israel which he says is not in accord with Israel’s legal right to exist as a state within the pre-June 1967-border
      Tried to respond to this yesterday but got bogged down and ran out of time.
      My hero Norman is wrong. The Palestinian right to return pre-dates the Israeli State. Their right to return to their homes existed in 1947, in 1847, in 1747 and so on.
      "Right to exist" as applied to States is a shibboleth, a slogan invented by neo-colonists. It has no discernible meaning for no State possesses it per se. A legislative body has a right to govern a State granted by the citizens of that State.
      The actions taken by Zionists to expel the people of the land were illegal and the U.N.'s collusion in the setting up of the Israeli State was conditional (and those conditions were not satisfied) but, more importantly, it was beyond UNGA's constitutional powers to Partition and create the Israeli State - which it did not in fact do. Israel was declared a State unilaterally by Ben Gurion. It's subsequent recognition by other States makes no law.
      I would be interested to hear Norman's authority for Israel's legal right to exist. So far as I know, there is none.

      There is, however, a large body of International Law that upholds Palestinian right to return and it is this that legitimizes their their (and our) struggle. It is also the sole path to the government of that territory gaining legitimacy in fact.

  • Video: Israeli lawmaker says he wants to 'execute' the relatives of Palestinians who killed police officers
    • Makes it easier to picture the kind of barbarians who could do this sort of thing:
      "Testimonies From the Censored Deir Yassin Massacre: 'They Piled Bodies and Burned Them'

      A young fellow tied to a tree and set on fire. A woman and an old man shot in back. Girls lined up against a wall and shot with a submachine gun. The testimonies collected by filmmaker Neta Shoshani about the massacre in Deir Yassin are difficult to process even 70 years after the fact"
      read more:

  • Rabbi Rosen's final mourning
    • "Missing from commentaries across the board has been any acknowledgment of the role played by fanatical settlers intent on wresting control of the al-Aqsa compound in occupied East Jerusalem and eventually destroying it as part of an apocalyptic vision.

      The compound, known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif and to Jews as Temple Mount, includes the al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock. It is one of the holiest shrines for Muslims all over the world, as well as a touchstone of Palestinian identity.

      ‘Game Changer’

      Israelis who seek to take over al-Aqsa see the 14 July attack and subsequent violence as an opportunity to advance this agenda. Immediately after the incident, the Temple movement’s official body released a statement calling to expel Palestinians from the compound: “We must liberate the Temple Mount from the murderous Islam and return it to the people of Israel.”

      “Looking forward to building the Temple this year and hope that you will soon see the face of our righteous Messiah,” Baruch Marzel one of the most extreme leaders among Israel’s West Bank settlers, wrote last week in an open letter to the mufti of Jerusalem – the top Muslim official in the city.

      Bezalel Smotrich, a Jewish Home party lawmaker, does not want to wait that long. “I would set up a synagogue on the Temple Mount today, this morning,” he said on Monday......
      ....Ariel added that if Muslims and Christians “raise the flag of [surrender] and say, ‘From now on, there is no more Christianity and no more Islam,’ and the mosques and Christian spires come down,” then they would be allowed to live. “If not,” he warned, “you kill all of their males by sword. You leave only the women.”

      “We will conquer Iraq, Turkey [and] we will get to Iran too,” Ariel proclaimed.

      Ariel is the founder and head of the Temple Institute, the government-funded group that has published detailed blueprints and a computer animation of what the Temple, to be built over the ruins of al-Aqsa, will look like."
      The new temple:

  • Israeli minister says Palestinians are bringing a 'third Nakba' upon themselves
    • Something of a prince this Hanegbi. Both parents members of Lehi, his father, Immanuel Hanegbi, was the Operations Officer. Let's see now. Lehi (Stern Gang) were responsible for the Assassination of Lord Moyne, 'the world's first true truck bomb' in Haifa, the bombing of the British embassy in Rome and many other bombings in Europe and Great Britain, the Cairo-Haifa train bombings, the Deir Yassin massacre, the Assassination of Count Folke Bernadotte, not to mention the infamous offer to fight WWII on Germany's side.

      Hanegbi received a six-month suspended sentence for leading an attack on Arab students.

      He headed the Prime Minister's Bureau under the pysychopath Yitzhak Shamir. After a four-year trial for election bribery, fraud and breach of trust, although the three-judge panel found him guilty of perjury, the verdict cleared Hanegbi of any criminal wrongdoing, accepting the defense's argument that this was the common practice among all cabinet members in all the previous governments since Israel's independence.
      On 9 November 2010, the Jerusalem court fined Hanegbi 10,000 NIS, and in a 2-to-1 decision imposed moral turpitude to the offense.

      So this lovely chap, feet firmly planted on stolen land, tells the Palestinian owners that they are bringing it on themselves. Turns one's stomach.

      When the World violently proceeds against Israel, as it inevitably must, will he be the one to admit Israel brought it on itself?

  • The Spirit of '68 Lives On: Zionism as racism, and the network of lies
    • Damn. I missed this stoush when it was fresh. There is a very good argument to be made that the Hebrew Bible has slowed the development of Human Society considerably. Had the Library at Alexandria not been destroyed and the Hellenic tradition of logic prevailed, chances are we would be a civilized bunch by now.

  • 'You are thieves of history!' Hotovely tells Palestinians, waving books at them
  • Novelist Houellebecq was wrong about rise of Muslim Brotherhood in France
    • One glance at that visage is enough to restore one's faith in Karma.
      Incredible how low the literary establishment will go in promoting garbage that conforms to its ideology. Look what it did for Houellebecq's buddy, faux philosphe Bernard Henri Levy.

  • Israel charges UNESCO with 'Fake history'
    • It is a fascinating subject. Gmirkin's thesis is inspired by what many other scholars have also remarked on - the similarities between Biblical Law and Greek as expounded by Plato. He postulates that the Jewish sages (at Alexandria) read Plato's "Republic" and "Laws" and were inspired by his recommendation that a successful republic needs a mythology on which to base Law. So they created one out of various legends and oral traditions around 270BC (yeah I know, sounds very much like the modern-day Israelites!).

      It is no secret that much of Genesis is lifted from the Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh (circa 2100 BC - before the emergence of Israelites). It tells tells the story of a man, Enkidu, who was created from the earth by a god. He lives amongst the animals in a natural paradise until he is tempted by a woman, Shamhat. He accepts food from this woman and is forced to leave the place where he lives after becoming aware of his own nakedness. Later in the epic, he encounters a snake which steals a plant of immortality from him.
      The story of Utnapishtim, also found in the Epic of Gilgamesh, goes like this:
      A man is warned of an imminent flood by a god and is instructed to build a large boat in order to survive. The dimensions of the boat are 120 cubits; the building materials are wood, pitch, and reeds; and there are six decks. After the flood, the boat lands on a mountaintop where the man sends out a series of birds to find dry land. He eventually lets all the people and animals free and sacrifices to the god that saved him.
      - so it seems that this: "the brilliant author wants to say something about his times and the world from his perspective" is not a good fit with the author of Genesis.
      Here's a link to a very interesting discussion:

    • Thanks for the link. This would seem to be in line with Gmirkin:
      "The Historicity of the Patriarchal Narratives: The Quest for the Historical Abraham is a book by biblical scholar Thomas L. Thompson, Professor of Old Testament Studies at the University of Copenhagen.
      Together with John Van Seters's Abraham in History and Tradition (1975), this book marked the culmination of a growing current of dissatisfaction in scholarly circles with the then-current consensus (or near-consensus) on the Patriarchal narratives. The consensus can be summarized as the proposal that, even if archaeology could not directly confirm the existence of the patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob), these Patriarchal narratives had originated in a second millennium BC setting because many personal names, place names, and customs referenced in the Genesis narratives were unique to that era. This view was expressed by John Bright in his influential History of Israel (1959, 2nd edition 1960) in these words; "one is forced to the conclusion that the patriarchal narratives authentically reflect social customs at home in the second millennium rather than those of later Israel"

    • Do you mean that those texts you refer to exist and are dated or are those estimates of the date of composition based on content? Gmirkin alleges that there is no material evidence if I read him correctly. I should have mentioned that he refers only to the Pentateuch.
      "Gmirkin’s hypothesis is that the authors of the biblical texts shared the wider intellectual ethos of the Hellenistic era with its interest in exploring ideal constitutional and legal systems. The Great Library at Alexandria, Egypt, was a repository of these ideas and resources that Judean scribes were known to access as freely as any other scholar of the day.
      Another scholar who has argued for a Hellenistic provenance of the Biblical literature is Niels Peter Lemche, although his proposals have pointed Mesopotamia and Syria as possible centres where Judean scribes were exposed to Greek ideas and writings rather than Egypt. No doubt Judeans were exposed to Greek culture throughout the Middle East but Russell Gmirkin focuses on the Alexandrian library because we know that specific Greek texts (e.g. Plato’s Laws, Aristotle’s Politics) that contain some striking echoes in the Biblical literature were housed there and we further know that Judean scribes worked there."

    • As I understand it, there has long been a question mark over the origins of the Bible. I know that most Christian seminarians were required to learn Greek as the oldest known copies of scripture were in that language and date from around 270BC in Alexandria.
      Biblical scholar Russel Gmirkin has an interesting theory:
      "He demonstrates that there is simply no evidence that the Bible existed prior to the time of Alexander the Great (ca. 325 BC). All the evidence indicates that the collection of books we know of as the Hebrew Bible was written around the year 270 BC. And not only that: they relied heavily on Greek literature, particularly Plato's final work: Laws."
      I am no Biblical scholar but his thesis does seem to me to be quite coherent.
      Does anyone know of texts that pre-date 270BC?

  • Israeli musicians to Thom Yorke: Canceling Radiohead show will disrupt Israel's 'business as usual' facade
    • Do not despair oh ye of little faith.
      If we can confine Israel to a diet of Radiohead, Leonard Cohen, Elton John, Mariah Carey, Paul McCartney, Madonna, Depeche Mode, Moby, the Pet Shop Boys, Aerosmith, Celine Dion, Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, Barbra Streisand and Kiss, it should collapse within a decade. Not a musician with soul in the whole sorry bunch.

  • UN last hurdle before Israel can rid itself of the Palestinians
    • I experience the same reaction. I suspect it is confirmation bias, having read of her pernicious stupidity before ever seeing the face. All I see now is dumb evil.

  • Westchester legislature prepares bill saying BDS 'maligns the Jewish people,' and opponents organize
    • I can speak only for myself but I suspect many others will agree that if "Israel" is dependent on exclusivity of a race/religion identity and complete denial of the fact that the vast majority of the land it occupies legally belongs to another race/religion identity who have been denied their right, guaranteed by International Law and supported by God knows how many U.N. rulings to return - then maybe it has to go.
      If the alternative, just settlement of the land and refugee condition and a truly democratic Israel for all the resultant populace is unacceptable to you Jerry Hirsch, then you are probably one of those who will find themselves responsible for its inevitable denouement.

      I am concerned about Miko Peled. He seems to have disappeared since his arrest at Nabi Saleh. Does anyone know what has happened to him?

  • Israel provoked the Six-Day War in 1967, and it was not fighting for survival
    • My understanding is that Nasser told the U.N. that the peace keepers were occupying positions essential to Egypt's defense. The U.N. agreed and sought Israel's permission to re-deploy to their side of the border. The Israelis refused.
      From memory, the authoritative reference is "War and Peace in the Middle East" by the delightfully named Odd Bull - not as one might think, a native American but from Norway where "Odd" is a common Christian name.

  • Fearless Palestinian village of Nabi Saleh defines popular protest
    • Having just read Gershon Shafir's tortuous piece which left me feeling steamrollered by colonialism and Nathan Thrall's which I found rather defeatist, this article and especially this vid stirred such emotion I probably shouldn't comment - my eyes filled up!!
      I already knew Miko was a Saint but I didn't know the extent of his heroism, didn't know he was active on the front line.
      Deepest gratitude to all involved for renewed hope. These people will prevail - even the stormtroopers seem to sense it.

  • If Trump is serious we may be seeing the most significant step in 20 years of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations
    • Very interesting take:
      Trump: dancing with wolves on the Titanic.
      "Robert Fisk put it best: “Trump Is About To Really Mess Up In The Middle East”. Following his fantastically stupid decision to attack the Syrian military with cruise missiles Trump or, should I say, the people who take decisions for him, probably realized that it was “game over” for any US policy in the Middle-East so they did the only thing they could do: they ran towards those few who actually were happy with this aggression on Syria: the Saudis and the Israelis. Needless to say, with these two “allies” what currently passes for some type of “US foreign policy” in the Middle-East will only go from bad to worse."

  • Collective post-traumatic stress disorder – Jews, apartheid and oppression
    • With the annexation of the West Bank and Golan now openly promoted by Netanyahu etc. and the re-set proposed by right wingers:
      "Daniel Pipes, the Middle East Forum president, who recently laid out the theory that imposing defeat on the Palestinians was the likelier path to peace, said decades of negotiations assuming neither side had won had resulted in a “war process” instead of a peace process.
      “Victory means imposing your will on your enemy,” Pipes said."
      .....I see little chance of reflexion/reconciliation.
      The colonial beast is shedding all disguise and with it, all conscience.

  • Prisoner hunger strike takes center stage on Nakba day
    • "In a sadistic taunt, Israeli settlers were allowed to have a barbecue in the parking lot in front of one of the prisons, apparently mocking the hunger strikers with the pungent aroma of meat being grilled. Worse than this, a fake video was distributed by prison official purporting to show Barghouti having a snack in his cell. This effort to discredit the strike and its leader has been angrily denied. Khader Shkirat, Barghouti’s lawyer, explained that there was no way food could be smuggled to someone in solitary, especially with frequent room searches. It was finally conceded by prison officials that food was delivered to Barghouti’s cell by prison guards trying unsuccessfully to tempt him to break the fast. Barghouti on his side responded via his lawyer, “I plan to escalate my hunger strike soon. There is no backtracking. We will continue until the end.” Barghouti, 58, has according to the last report has lost 29 pounds since the start of the strike, and now weighs 119, planning to refuse even water."

  • A Republican plan for peacemaking: 'break the will' of the Palestinians and force them to 'accept defeat'
    • What is being totally ignored here is the Nuremberg principle - aggressive War is illegal. It can be argued that, in view of the fact that 250,000 (minimum) Palestinians were driven out of their homes prior to the intervention by the Arab League on 15 May 1948, the so-called "War of Independence" was illegal, there is no doubt that 1967 was blatantly a War of aggression:
      "In June 1967 we again had a choice. The Egyptian army concentrations in the Sinai approaches do not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him." -Menachem Begin at the National Defense College- 8 August 1982.

      So, declare victory in an illegal War? . For purposes of argument let's say OK.
      Now what about the International Laws of War:

      Article 49 Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. Geneva, 12 August 1949.

      Individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or not, are prohibited, regardless of their motive.

      Nevertheless, the Occupying Power may undertake total or partial evacuation of a given area if the security of the population or imperative military reasons so demand. Such evacuations may not involve the displacement of protected persons outside the bounds of the occupied territory except when for material reasons it is impossible to avoid such displacement. Persons thus evacuated shall be transferred back to their homes as soon as hostilities in the area in question have ceased.

      The Occupying Power undertaking such transfers or evacuations shall ensure, to the greatest practicable extent, that proper accommodation is provided to receive the protected persons, that the removals are effected in satisfactory conditions of hygiene, health, safety and nutrition, and that members of the same family are not separated.

      The Protecting Power shall be informed of any transfers and evacuations as soon as they have taken place.

      The Occupying Power shall not detain protected persons in an area particularly exposed to the dangers of war unless the security of the population or imperative military reasons so demand.

      The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.

      It is disconcerting, to say the least, that these so-called "Lawmakers" have such a primitive understanding of Law that they have no idea of the principles that underpin our very civilization. Only in the fantasy world of computer games does winning a War imply "all your base are belong to us".

  • 100 senators throw their bodies down to end UN 'bias' against Israel
    • Not a nano meter between Bernie and Trump on this issue. Both dangled the carrot of a fair deal for Palestine. Both reneged.
      Back to the barricades I'm sorry to say.

  • Why I'm keeping my child home from school in Israel on Holocaust Day
    • "Fear is not an emotion that I would associate with most Israelis. "
      Pleased to hear it Hophead. Perhaps we will now see an end to the quadrennial slaughter in Gaza which we are told, ad nauseum, is inspired by fear of rockets which kill about .65% the number of road deaths in Israel proper.
      No my friend. Israel has made a virtue out of fear.

  • Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti's op-ed calling Israel 'moral and political failure' is buried in int'l edition of 'NYT'
    • Jackdaw. Know this. Take it to your heart and consider it deeply. Know that I and many of my fellows despise you and your ilk and our numbers are growing as awareness of what has transpired in Palestine (yes, Palestine has been the name of that land for many more years than it has been known as Israel) during these past 60 years.
      Know also that the reason I and my fellows oppose you has nothing to do with that silly concept "antisemitism". In fact it is you and your fellows who espouse a racist ideology - hidden in plain sight - a "Jewish" state - what is that if it is not a racist concept?
      Ah, you insist, "Jewish" is not a racial term. What is it then? A religious denomination?
      Ignoring the implication that a "Jewish State" would then qualify as theocratic (an equally despicable concept) does this not mean that the State is designed to favour one class of human beings over another? How could it not?
      Yours is a silly argument. Particularly so when that state is founded on victory in a war against the indigenous people who were expelled because they had adopted a different religion.
      Barghouti is not a Messiah. Neither were Gandhi, King, Jesus, Castro and a whole host of activists about whom many silly people remarked "no one cares about him" (in Gandhi's case, that includes Winston Churchill). Do I really need to remind you that History judges, not contemporaries - especially contemporaries whose awareness is obviously dimmed by an outmoded colonialist ideology ?
      Try to make your arguments free of that silly concept "antisemitism" (feel free to use "racism" in its stead). You might gain a more interested audience.

  • Trump dines, Arabs die
  • Trump makes war, and everyone swoons
    • Yonah.
      "Why would assad use sarin gas? This is not clear. I assume it is true."

      On what would you base that assumption? You assume Assad would unleash chemical weapons on Ghouta in the early hours of 21 August 2013 - the very morning the U.N. Inspectors from the United Nations Mission arrived in Syria to investigate an earlier alleged chemical weapons attack - at Assad's request.
      Likewise , based on zero evidence that Assad would cross a "red line" and alienate World opinion in this latest instance just when he has everything going his way.
      The U.N. blamed Al Nusra for the Ghouta attack:
      The chemical signature of the gas used was different from that possessed by the Syrian Army:
      Your assumption flies in the face of every report by legitimate reporters on the ground and conforms to that of the one-man Syrian Observatory for Human rights from his semi-detached in Kent, England and the Elliott Higgins character (unemployed insurance salesman and "World of Warcraft" analyst from somehere North of there.

      The evidence for this latest attack is even more flimsy. In the first place, the photographs clearly prove that it was not Sarin. Nobody in their right mind would enter the site of a Sarin attack and handle victims without full hazmat gear. There is widespread eye-witness reports of "smoke" or "mist" and white residue clearly coating everything. Sarin is undetectable by sight or smell.
      The "gas attack" was first tweeted at 6am. The Syrian forces attacked five hours later at 11 am.
      In view of this and the fact that Assad would have to be certifiably insane to do the one thing that would reverse his new-found success and U.S. policy, I think you can more safely assume that the gas release was from the "rebel's" storehouse either deliberately or by accident.
      The opposition has been caught red-handed falsifying "news" of such events previously:

  • Actor Richard Gere in Hebron: 'it's exactly like what the what the Old South was in America'
  • Michael Walzer wonders if Israel 'will let me in'
    • As it must, it is falling apart.
      Spare me apologetics for the likes of Waltzer. The crime has been manifestly obvious to all with a modicum of humanity for decades. How come he didn't proclaim it from his Ivory Tower?
      "an intellectual bulwark of loyalty to Israel" his "ardent support of Zionism" was built despite blatant atrocity and has been maintained through ongoing violence and mayhem designed to isolate, degrade and expel the other, the brother who had the audacity to embrace a different superstition.
      What form of "Intellect" can ignore the dastardly origins of the "Jewish State" - bastard offspring of colonialist criminals? Again I say spare me from these soft-brained pseudo-intellects, none of whom has understood a peasant's cry.

      Turning and turning in the widening gyre
      The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
      Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
      Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
      The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
      The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
      The best lack all conviction, while the worst
      Are full of passionate intensity.

      Surely some revelation is at hand;
      Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
      The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
      When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
      Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
      A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
      A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
      Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
      Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
      The darkness drops again; but now I know
      That twenty centuries of stony sleep
      Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
      And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
      Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

      The likes of Waltzer are midwife to this horror.

  • Obama 'betrayed' American Jews and Trump is a 'swineherd' -- Bernard-Henri Levy
    • Can never see this clown referred to an an "intellectual" without being reminded of this:
      "France's best-known philosopher, Bernard-Henri Lévy, has become the butt of intellectual ridicule after copiously quoting a leading authority on Kant who, it transpires, is a modern-day hoax........
      Mr Lévy, who in France goes simply by his initials BHL, has been doing the media rounds to promote his new work, On War in Philosophy.

      In his book, which has received lavish praise from some quarters, the open-shirted Mr Lévy lays into the philosopher Immanuel Kant as being unhinged and a "fake". To support his claims, he cites a certain Jean-Baptiste Botul, whom he describes as a post-War authority on Kant.

      But the chorus of approval turned to laughter after a journalist from Le Nouvel Observateur pointed out that Mr Botul does not exist: he is a fictional character created in by a contemporary satirical journalist, Frédéric Pagès.

      Alarm bells should have rung given that Mr Pagès, a journalist with Le Canard Enchaîneé, a satirical weekly, has penned one book under the Botul pseudonym entitled The Sex Life of Immanuel Kant.

      He has even given rise to a school of philosophical thought called Botulism – a play on words with the lethal disease – and has created a theory of "La Metaphysique du Mou" the Metaphysics of the Flabby.

      But Mr Lévy missed the joke, citing Mr Botul from a "series of lectures to the neo-Kantians of Paraguay" he supposedly gave after the war, in which he said that "their hero was an abstract fake, a pure spirit of pure appearance".

  • Why Obama waited 8 years to take on Netanyahu
    • Here’s something 90% of Americans don’t know

      Geneva Convention IV

      ARTICLE 49
      Individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or not, are prohibited, regardless of their motive.
      Nevertheless, the Occupying Power may undertake total or partial evacuation of a given area if the security of the population or imperative military reasons so demand. Such evacuations may not involve the displacement of protected persons outside the bounds of the occupied territory except when for material reasons it is impossible to avoid such displacement. Persons thus evacuated shall be transferred back to their homes as soon as hostilities in the area in question have ceased.
      The Occupying Power undertaking such transfers or evacuations shall ensure, to the greatest practicable extent, that proper accommodation is provided to receive the protected persons, that the removals are effected in satisfactory conditions of hygiene, health, safety and nutrition, and that members of the same family are not separated.
      The Protecting Power shall be informed of any transfers and evacuations as soon as they have taken place.
      The Occupying Power shall not detain protected persons in an area particularly exposed to the dangers of war unless the security of the population or imperative military reasons so demand.
      The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.

    • Best ever Phil. A real pearler.

  • Why 'give him a chance' is not an option
    • On a lighter note.
      Not for those who cannot abide expletives but listen to what Jonathan Pie has to say about labeling as argument:

      Here is Pie before the election - he got it right:

    • "After literally decades of putting several thousand hours in for D em candidates since I was 16 now 64 I could not face voting for a proven and deadly war hawk "
      Astonishing to note that this, which I believe to be the most significant factor in her defeat, is given no airplay in mainstream coverage. It only takes about a 5% shift in the electorate to force change. Trump's isolationist stance moved sufficient (I think baby boomer) voters to oppose Hillary. Whether Trump follows through on his pledge to end foreign entanglements remains to be seen.
      I remain optimistic. As I have pointed out above, a Clinton victory would have brought no comfort to any of us who abhor U.S. Foreign Policy. I think Alice misses this out. I am one who is content to await events at this juncture.

    • I beg to differ. The Electoral College is, in my view, is designed as a necessary adjunct to a first past the post system. Without it, the main concentrations of population (the cities) would elect the government creating an imbalance in policies that would cripple rural industries, agriculture and devastate the hinterland.
      A better alternative is proportional representation or a Party List system.
      What protects against " dangerous men, demagogues, Nazis, charlatans and hucksters" is the Constitution, the permanent bureaucracy, the Senate and Congress. These are yet in place. If you truly believe that Trump can evade these checks and balances, you should be sharpening your pitchfork.

    • Agree also.
      Cool heads will prevail, or at least salvage a little from this train-wreck. It is useful to remember that, had Hillary won, the situation would be worse. I don't think Trump is owned to the extent that Hillary is. Under her, Syria would become another Iraq, knocking out the last opponent to the Israel project, tensions with Russia would give Israel wonderful cover for annexation and expulsion.
      Part of me wants to believe that Trump is playing a long and complex game here. Judging by the blogs, a significant bloc of voters share that belief or hope.
      Bannon doesn't seem so bad. He must be very clever to be both pro-Israel and anti-Semitic. His reputation among his detractors stems from the content and comments in Breitbart just as Phil's is maligned among a certain group for his involvement here.
      The political reality is probably Trump needed the pro-Israel vote . That caused him to modify his original stance which was a fair deal for Palestine. It will not be difficult for him to put Israel under some pressure however, by invoking his America First mantra and he doesn't seem shy about walking back some of his stances. He knows the big money is against him. So far he has resisted the odious Bolton.
      I should probably add that I once had high hopes for Obama.

  • Challenging anti-Semitism and the Trump presidency
    • Seems like forever Mooser. So long your question reminded me of Richard Witty!
      There has always been an internecine element in this battle which is why I have always looked at Mondoweiss as a kind of "Cheers" local bar where you can watch the friends and rellys battle each other.
      I still read everything MW has to offer but offer less comment because the debate has changed a great deal. Back in the Witty days we used to argue the History. Nowadays it seems the "orthodox Zionists" have abandoned any pretense to a justified History and are pushing a more ideological line a la Jabotinsky/Benny Morris ("forget right and wrong, we conquered it, it is ours"). I have no answer to "end justifies means" but I think it has pitted the secular against the tribal as your question suggests.
      The Trump phenomenon is a lurch into the unknown but it seems to have opened some of the fault lines, one of which is the legitimacy of identity politics and labeling, the main weapon of the orthodox Zionist.
      There is a germ of truth in this obscene rant:

      See also Pie before the election:

    • Don't you just love it. Steve Bannon is being pilloried as an anti-Semite because of articles published by Breitbart. Top of the list is an article entitled "The Renegade Jew".
      Written by.........wait for it............

      David Horowitz.
      Holding my sides.

  • Terrific new book by Robert Worth has vital insights into the awful war in Syria
    • The Neo-cons are always two steps ahead. The current assault on Mosul is designed to drive Isis fighters Westward into Syria to bolster the insurgency. Meanwhile, the U.S. backed outfit "The White Helmets" is being sanctified to provide an acceptable propaganda front for the Islamists' opposition to the Assad Government:

  • In email, Clinton calls for a 'Potemkin' peace process
  • Palestinians remember Peres as 'mastermind of occupation' and tweet Abbas-Netanyahu handshake as betrayal
  • The two-stroke solution
    • I thought I had seen all there is to see about the Israeli colonization of the U.S. but this article gives a whole new (old) perspective:
      Has Israel Effectively Colonized the United States?

      India was successfully colonized by tiny Britain in the 18th century. The vehicle for colonization was the East India Company. It was only after the Indian mutiny that Britain acted directly and sent in troops to establish the British Raj. For the next 200 years India was drained of its wealth, its economy was restructured to support England’s needs and global ambitions, and its people militarized to fight and die on behalf of the British crown. The Indian leaders who remained were willing participants in this venture; those who felt otherwise were destroyed or marginalized.

  • Netanyahu's 'ethnic cleansing' video earns strong rebuke from State Department
  • Solidifying behind Clinton, foreign policy establishment gins up a cold war with Russia/Iran
    • I have seen no evidence of Putin's thuggery. To the contrary, his every comment is measured and conciliatory. Suggest you read transcripts of his speeches or listen to him carefully rather than accepting the creative interpretations made by the usual suspects.
      Consider, for a moment, what the outcry would be if he or one of his close associates had uttered something like this against the U.S.:

      Rose: “We make them pay the price by killing Russians?”

      Morell: “Yeah.”

      Rose: “And killing Iranians?”

      Morell: “Yes … You don’t tell the world about it. … But you make sure they know it in Moscow and Tehran.”

      Killing people to "send a message" is the very definition of extreme thuggery.

      Re Hillary, Trump and the Neo-Cons, it seems we are between a rock and a hard place. This surfaced yesterday:
      "HH: But if John Bolton said yes, he would consolidate and telegraph seriousness and expansive knowledge. If Jim Talent said yes, you’d get all of his experience on the Quadrennial Commission/Review Board. I mean, those two guys would make Team Trump look massively experienced right away, and the Too Dangerous argument goes away.

      DT: Well, I think that’s true. I think John Bolton’s a good man. I watched him yesterday, actually, and he was very good in defending me in some of my views, and very, very strong. And I’ve always liked John Bolton. Well, we are thinking about it, Hugh. I will say that. We are thinking about it. I mean, the negative is what I told you. But we are seriously thinking about it."

      It seems the Neo-Cons are covering all the bases.

  • The 'NYT' fails to recognize that anti-Palestinian statements can express bigotry
    • "She says Israel built the wall to stop suicide bombings "
      "We have learned that all the Israeli governments since Sharon's have been inclined to revise the barrier's route on the basis of political considerations that take the needs of settlements into account, considerations that are alien to real security needs. They have done so even at the price of leaving gaps in the barrier that terrorists and Palestinian workers were able to penetrate - and of endangering the forces patroling the barrier, according to the High Court of Justice.
      read more:

      "The significance of the second factor, Hamas’ ceasefire, was acknowledged by none other than the Israeli security services. In January 2006, Shin Bet’s annual statistics showed a considerable drop in “terror attacks” for 2005, with “the main reason for the sharp decline,” Shin Bet said, “the [Hamas-called] truce in the [occupied] territories.”

      Haaretz commented that “the security fence is no longer mentioned as the major factor in preventing suicide bombings, mainly because the terrorists have found ways to bypass it.” The “main reason for the reduction in terrorist acts,” the report emphasized, was the Hamas truce, and the organization’s “focus on the political arena.”

      Even a 2004 paper authored by an Israeli colonel that was intended to show the effectiveness of the “security fence” in reducing suicide bombing attacks referred to the wall as one of three causes for the drop. Avi Dichter, head of Shin Bet from 2000-2005, was clear in 2011 that “the West Bank fence alone did not solve the terror problem.”......
      .....While the two main myths propagated by Israel lobbyists are easily debunked, there are plenty of things we do know for certain about the wall.

      We know that from the ICJ to the Red Cross, it has been described as illegal. We know of its disastrous impact on Palestinian farmers, villages, cities, families, schoolchildren, students and many others. We know that from Jenin to Bethlehem, through the concrete-split streets of East Jerusalem, the wall has become another element of Israel’s colonization of Palestine, one more link in the apartheid chain.

      The propaganda myths about security are intended to hide this reality but, like the wall itself, they are arguments full of holes."

  • Elie Wiesel is Dead
    • Not sure how Israel Shamir is regarded on these boards but this is my favourite tribute to Wiesel. Gentle, funny, erudite - a fine piece of writing:

      "The touching words of Elie Wiesel (Jerusalem in My Heart, NYT 1/25/2001) painted a beautiful portrait of the Jewish people, yearning for Jerusalem, loving and praying for it over the centuries and cherishing its name from generation to generation.......
      ....Wiesel’s evocative article is so wonderfully reminiscent of the immortal love of the Knight of Sad Visage to his belle Dulcinea de Toboso......
      .....Now I find myself in the somewhat embarrassing position of Sancho Pansa. I have to inform my master, Don Wiesel Quixote, that his Dulcinea is well. She is happily married, has a bunch of kids, and she is quite busy with laundry and other domestic chores. While he fought brigands and restored governors, somebody else took care of his beloved, fed her, provided her with food, made love to her, made her a mother and grandmother. Do not rush, dear knight, to Toboso, or it would break your heart.
      Elie, the Jerusalem that you write of so movingly is not now and never has been desolate. She has lived happily across the centuries in the embrace of another people, the Palestinians of Jerusalem"

  • Brexit vote leaves progressives suspended between nativists and neoliberals
  • Condemn! Condemn!
    • "Israel took responsibility for the mistake , apologized and paid compensation."
      Yep. They do that when the evidence becomes irrefutable.
      I wish I had a dollar for every time during the past couple of decades I have been slandered as the lowest form of anti-Semite for suggesting they were responsible. Its a little better since the tapes were made public but not much.

      Not too snappy about taking responsibility either - eh Jon:
      "Israel is locking away millions of official documents to prevent the darkest episodes in its history from coming to light, civil rights activists and academics have warned as the country’s state archives move online.

      They claim government officials are concealing vital records needed for historical research, often in violation of Israeli law, in an effort to avoid damaging Israel’s image."
      - See more at:

  • Following Tel Aviv attack, Israel freezes Ramadan travel permits for Palestinians and seals West Bank village
    • And here is why "the right wing in Israel" is seriously dislodged from reality. From the article:

      "Israel is more globalized, prosperous, and democratic than at any time in its history."
      Sorry, it is more isolated, dependent on aid, and autocratic than ever.
      "Politically, Netanyahu’s tenure has been Israel’s least tumultuous."
      Oh groovy. He's only mowed the lawn in Gaza once. Is it permissible to factor in the mayhem in the M.E. wrought by his close buddies Wolfowitz, Perle, Feith (that numbskull) and co? The crimes perpetrated in Syria at Israel's behest? This is the most tumultuous time the Middle East has seen in all it's History.
      The right has ruled too long.

    • "A horrible way for the terrorists to spoil the holidays "
      Lotta holidays ruined for some folks:

      1. King David Hotel, July 22, 1946.
      2. Sharafat, Feb. 7, 1951.
      3. Deir Yassin, April 10, 1948.
      4. Falameh, April 2, 1951.
      5. Naseruddine, April 14, 1948.
      6. Quibya, Oct. 14, 1953.
      7. Carmel, April 20, 1948.
      8. Nahalin, March, 28, 1954.
      9. Al-Qabu, May 1, 1948.
      10. Gaza, Feb. 28, 1955.
      11. Beit Kiras, May 3, 1948.
      12. Khan Yunis, May 31, 1955.
      13. Beitkhoury, May 5, 1948.
      14. Khan Yunis Again, Aug. 31, 1955
      15. Az-Zaytoun, May 6, 1948.
      16. Tiberia, Dec. 11, 1955.
      17. Wadi Araba, May 13, 1950.
      18. As-Sabha, Nov. 2, 1955.
      19. Gaza Again, April 5, 1956.
      20. Houssan, Sept. 25, 1956.
      21. Rafa, Aug. 16, 1956.
      22. Qalqilyah, Oct. 10, 1956.
      23. Ar-Rahwa, Sept. 12, 1956.
      24. Kahr Kassem, Oct. 29, 1956.
      25. Gharandal, Sept. 13, 1956.
      26. Gaza Strip, Nov. 1956.
      26. Gaza Strip, Nov. 1956.

      The brand "terrorist" has a remarkable pedigree.

    • Shades of Miko Peled's experience. The catalyst of his conversion to powerful activism was the death of his niece in a suicide bombing attack. The fact that his sister, mother of the child, refused to condemn the movement that inspired the attack turned his World around.
      Thank goodness for such people and thank you Zaid for that timely post.

  • Democratic Party leadership lines up against BDS -- and the 'nuts' who support it
  • Remembering the Six Day War
    • " Or, jewish graves dug up with tombstones used for outhouse walls and street paving."

      I tend to grieve more over the thousands of fresh tombstones laid over Gazan graves after Israel "mows the lawn".

  • Trump's America is fascist, says Bret Stephens, but Netanyahu's Israel smells like a rose
  • Why don't you share all the good things about Israel?
    • Angel.
      It is that "bunch of other problems" that focus me on Palestine for, without Palestine, far fewer would exist - Iraq, Libya and Syria in particular - but let us examine your point of view.

      In Israel, around 400 persons die in motor vehicle accidents annually, about 2 persons are killed by Palestinian rockets. By your reasoning, Israel should ignore rockets - yes?

      Have a good life, if you can keep it. (No apologies if that seems to you to be smug, arrogant and condescending - it is.)

  • Giving up on political propaganda, Israeli consulate turns to Ted-style inspirational conference
  • Holocaust survivor and activist for justice Hedy Epstein dies at 91
  • Thank you, Chief Rabbi. Now I know: Judaism is to blame for the Nakba
    • "In any case from a Jewish point of view "
      The Zionist ideology is built on a rotten foundation made up of many such shibboleths.
      The briefest perusal of this blog alone should explode the notion of "a Jewish point of view".
      Deeply ingrained, this concept of "us" and "the other", the very heart of Zionism and a deep, dark heart it is.

    • It is not Judaism per se that gave rise to Zionism. It is just one article of faith that has attached itself to Judaism - the belief that Jewish suffering is unique and cumulative.

  • Sharansky disses American Jews for assimilating, then tells 'major donors' to universities to stop BDS
  • How Eli Lake tricks readers so as to cast realists Walt, Mearsheimer and Freeman as anti-semites
    • “Add the Star of David to the Stars and Stripes!”
      That's a graphic I'd like to cut and paste. 50 Stars of David would be nice.

  • A brief history of the 'Nakba' in Israel
    • @Mysterioso.
      Yes, I believe the figure is probably of that magnitude. I stick with "at least 250,000" as that is documented in the Arab League declaration to the U.N. and is indisputable. Haven't read Esber yet but will be very interested to find out where she gets her figure.
      Just did a quick search. She looks very interesting:
      "With example after example, Esber exposes the miscalculation of Israeli historian Benny Morris’ research, who considers the Palestinian refugee issue nothing more than a result of war and not done by design. Esber’s findings prove this theory very wrong.

      Dr. Esber’s extensive research, which she conducted for her Ph.D. dissertation in history from the University of London, is a welcomed addition to the work being done to shed light on what actually happened to the people of Palestine during the hostilities leading up to the founding of the state of Israel."

    • So many crimes, so little time!!
      Lavon is a good case in point. It is instructive to follow the progression from complete denial and vilification of the whistleblowers through "mistakes were made" to "OK we did it, waddaboudit?" You will find this repeated over and over. I believe Tantura will be the next to be admitted, vindicating poor Teddy Katz.
      Iraq (the Baghdad Bombings) remains a bit shrouded but there are credible voices (besides Naem Giladi) alleging false flag operations - from memory a British diplomat and CIA Station Chief Wilbur Crane Eveland. Here's the Wikipedia starter:
      Further research needed, the British Embassy papers would be a good place to nosy if they have been released - its been 50 years so they might be available.

    • I should add that there is a World of difference between migrating due to economic or social pressures and fleeing when your kind are being raped, massacred and expelled at gunpoint. The excuse you offer puts you in collusion with the perpetrators. Let Zionist Historian Benny Morris inform you as to who you are siding with:
      According to your new findings, how many cases of Israeli rape were there in 1948?

      "About a dozen. In Acre four soldiers raped a girl and murdered her and her father. In Jaffa, soldiers of the Kiryati Brigade raped one girl and tried to rape several more. At Hunin, which is in the Galilee, two girls were raped and then murdered. There were one or two cases of rape at Tantura, south of Haifa. There was one case of rape at Qula, in the center of the country. At the village of Abu Shusha, near Kibbutz Gezer [in the Ramle area] there were four female prisoners, one of whom was raped a number of times. And there were other cases. Usually more than one soldier was involved. Usually there were one or two Palestinian girls. In a large proportion of the cases the event ended with murder. Because neither the victims nor the rapists liked to report these events, we have to assume that the dozen cases of rape that were reported, which I found, are not the whole story. They are just the tip of the iceberg."

      According to your findings, how many acts of Israeli massacre were perpetrated in 1948?

      "Twenty-four. In some cases four or five people were executed, in others the numbers were 70, 80, 100. There was also a great deal of arbitrary killing. Two old men are spotted walking in a field - they are shot. A woman is found in an abandoned village - she is shot. There are cases such as the village of Dawayima [in the Hebron region], in which a column entered the village with all guns blazing and killed anything that moved.

      "The worst cases were Saliha (70-80 killed), Deir Yassin (100-110), Lod (250), Dawayima (hundreds) and perhaps Abu Shusha (70). There is no unequivocal proof of a large-scale massacre at Tantura, but war crimes were perpetrated there. At Jaffa there was a massacre about which nothing had been known until now. The same at Arab al Muwassi, in the north. About half of the acts of massacre were part of Operation Hiram [in the north, in October 1948]: at Safsaf, Saliha, Jish, Eilaboun, Arab al Muwasi, Deir al Asad, Majdal Krum, Sasa. In Operation Hiram there was a unusually high concentration of executions of people against a wall or next to a well in an orderly fashion.

      "That can't be chance. It's a pattern. Apparently, various officers who took part in the operation understood that the expulsion order they received permitted them to do these deeds in order to encourage the population to take to the roads. The fact is that no one was punished for these acts of murder. Ben-Gurion silenced the matter. He covered up for the officers who did the massacres."
      read more:

      Recent findings indicate that Morris is being modest:

    • Sorry betty. That kite don't fly.
      In the first place, it is simply not feasible to cite a future event in justification of a past injustice. Even if Arab States had introduced transfer policies in response to the Nakba they would be able to claim some justification. In fact fact they did not, which brings me to the second fallacy.
      Not even the "Jews from Arab lands" agree that there is a shred of similarity between the two events.
      Yehouda Shenhav deals with this topic at length here (pdf):

      For those with short attention spans, his Haaretz article here:

      "An intensive campaign to secure official political and legal recognition of Jews from Arab lands as refugees has been going on for the past three years. This campaign has tried to create an analogy between Palestinian refugees and Mizrahi Jews, whose origins are in Middle Eastern countries - depicting both groups as victims of the 1948 War of Independence. The campaign's proponents hope their efforts will prevent conferral of what is called a "right of return" on Palestinians, and reduce the size of the compensation Israel is liable to be asked to pay in exchange for Palestinian property appropriated by the state guardian of "lost" assets.

      The idea of drawing this analogy constitutes a mistaken reading of history, imprudent politics, and moral injustice............
      Knesset speaker Yisrael Yeshayahu declared: "We are not refugees. [Some of us] came to this country before the state was born. We had messianic aspirations."

      Shlomo Hillel, a government minister and an active Zionist in Iraq, adamantly opposed the analogy: "I don't regard the departure of Jews from Arab lands as that of refugees. They came here because they wanted to, as Zionists."

      In a Knesset hearing, Ran Cohen stated emphatically: "I have this to say: I am not a refugee." He added: "I came at the behest of Zionism, due to the pull that this land exerts, and due to the idea of redemption. Nobody is going to define me as a refugee."

      The opposition was so vociferous that Ora Schweitzer, chair of WOJAC's political department, asked the organization's secretariat to end its campaign. She reported that members of Strasburg's Jewish community were so offended that they threatened to boycott organization meetings should the topic of "Sephardi Jews as refugees" ever come up again.
      read more:"

      Historian (and Iraqi Jew) Avi Schlaim:
      "I was five years old in 1950 when my family reluctantly moved from Baghdad to Ramat Gan. We were Arab Jews, we spoke Arabic, our roots went back to the Babylonian exile two and a half millennia ago and my parents did not have the slightest sympathy with Zionism. We were not persecuted but opted to leave because we felt insecure. So, unlike the Palestinians who were driven out of their homes, we were not refugees in the proper sense of the word. But we were truly victims of the Arab-Israeli conflict."

      Naem Giladi:
      I write this article for the same reason I wrote my book: to tell the American people, and especially American Jews, that Jews from Islamic lands did not emigrate willingly to Israel; that, to force them to leave, Jews killed Jews; and that, to buy time to confiscate ever more Arab lands, Jews on numerous occasions rejected genuine peace initiatives from their Arab neighbors.
      I write about what the first prime minister of Israel called "cruel Zionism."
      I write about it because I was part of it.

    • Starting the Nakba timeline in 1948 is, in my view, inaccurate and gives rise to exculpatory tropes. In fact there is ample evidence of planning at least a decade before:

      "Nearly all the founding fathers of the Israeli state advocated transfer in one form or another, including Theodor Herzl, Leon Motzkin, Nahman Syrkin, Menahem Ussishkin, Chaim Weizmann, David Ben-Gurion, Yitzhak Tabenkin, Avraham Granovsky, Israel Zangwill, Yitzhak Ben-Tzvi, Pinhas Rutenberg, Aaron Aaronson, Zeev Jabotinsky and Berl Katznelson."

      JNF director Yoseph Weitz in his diary entry for 20 December 1940:
      "Amongst ourselves it must be clear that there is no room for both peoples in this country … After the Arabs are transferred, the country will be wide open for us; with the Arabs staying the country will remain narrow and restricted ... There is no room for compromise on this point ... land purchasing ... will not bring about the state ... The only way is to transfer the Arabs from here to neighbouring countries, all of them, except perhaps Bethlehem, Nazareth, and Old Jerusalem. Not a single village or a single tribe must be left."
      The History of 1947 is, so far, rather neglected but I suspect expulsions had begun during that year. What we do know is that at least 250,000 had been evicted before 15 May 1948.
      This is a very important fact as it utterly refutes the tropes "Fog of War", "Ordered to leave by Arab leaders" etc.
      That it was planned and executed with extreme, deliberate cruelty is not yet sufficiently well known.

  • Hillary Clinton supported Iraq war because of Israel, say Matthews and Landler
    • @JLewisDickerson

      The entire "Human Shields", "Arms concealed in Hospitals and schools" is nonsense.
      For a start here is scant evidence that the technique has ever been deliberately employed by Hamas (whose ideology forbids such behaviour). But let us look at the reality of an IDF assault on Gaza. Civilian dead in houses, apartments and malls. No-one questions this "collateral damage". Then some bright spark from Amnesty or some other NGO points to a school or Hospital bombing and the Israeli response is "Human Shields", "Arms concealed in Hospitals and schools". It is pathetic - really. Gaza's population density is around 9,713 persons per square mile.
      Palestinian resistance has few choices. Negotiation doesn't work. The Hamas imposed cease-fire prior to "Cast Lead" was treated with contempt - according to Israel's own monitoring group, Hamas held to it. That assault was planned months before and executed regardless of the status of rockets, threat or belligerence.
      "Human Shields", "Arms concealed in Hospitals and schools" etc are pathetic propaganda points aimed an audience unacquainted with warfare, History and Geography. Unfortunately, probably the majority of Westerners these days.

    • @ Neil Schipper
      Not concocted by Phil. That adjective belongs to Clinton who concocted a conflation between the Holocaust and Hamas who conduct a legitimate resistance armed with home-made rockets (which they fire onto their own land, currently colonised by Israelis) and are about a trillion dollars short of possessing the power to put a dent in Israel's borrowed armour.
      It is very telling when Zionista's only available response to argument is fatuous.

  • Vermont artist creates 45-foot 'street comic' telling story of the Nakba
    • jon s.

      Please point to the part of the partition plan that provides for the transfer of title to land from Palestinian owners to Zionist.
      Please explain how it came about that 250,000 Palestinians had been evicted before the proposed plan for partition was ratified (it never was), many of them before the plan was even proposed.
      Please explain the rights of Palestinians and their allies with regard to the plan. Was it within the United Nation's Charter to forcefully impose partition if the proposal was rejected by one of the parties?
      Exactly what part of the plan was accepted by which Zionists? What sentient Palestinian could accept the proposal in the face of Irgun boss Begin's statement: "The Partition of Palestine is illegal. It will never be recognized .... Jerusalem was and will for ever be our capital. Eretz Israel will be restored to the people of Israel. All of it. And for Ever."

      Do you seriously maintain that Palestinian property and political rights were somehow nullified by their rejection of a plan (and it was only a plan, dependent on the agreement of all parties) when a major figure in the Zionist movement had expressed contempt for it and was actively engaged in massacre and mayhem? Surely to do so would be irrational would it not?
      But then, that the Palestinian people are irrational has been and remains the official Zionist position (they attack us because they hate), one that betrays the inherent racism and xenophobia at its heart.

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