Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 453 (since 2009-08-02 08:11:58)

Brewer

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

Website: http://brewerstroupe.blogspot.com/

Showing comments 453 - 401
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  • 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."

      http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Palestinians-must-admit-defeat-Republican-caucus-says-489194
      .....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."
      https://richardfalk.wordpress.com/2017/05/16/the-palestinian-hunger-strike-our-chains-will-be-broken-before-we-are/

  • 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:
      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/uns-carla-del-ponte-says-there-is-evidence-rebels-may-have-used-sarin-in-syria-8604920.html
      The chemical signature of the gas used was different from that possessed by the Syrian Army:
      http://disq.us/url?url=http%3A%2F%2F21stcenturywire.com%2F2017%2F04%2F06%2Fmit-researcher-syria-wmd-facts-were-manufactured-to-fit-us-conclusion-for-ghouta-in-2013%2F%3Aw4dAbFFaNLB_PRDqjNjXoagngvE&cuid=97631
      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".

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/7196517/Bernard-Henri-Levy-caught-out-by-fake-philosopher.html

  • 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:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLG9g7BcjKs

      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.

      http://www.breitbart.com/2016-presidential-race/2016/05/15/bill-kristol-republican-spoiler-renegade-jew/
      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:
      http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/10/24/87796/

  • 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.
      http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/09/07/has-israel-effectively-colonized-the-united-states/

  • 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.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8XPFUYRQsUI
      http://valdaiclub.com/opinion/highlights/vladimir-putin-meets-with-members-of-the-valdai-discussion-club-transcript-of-the-final-plenary-sess/
      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.”
      https://consortiumnews.com/2016/08/12/mike-morells-kill-russians-advice/

      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: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/what-we-have-learned-from-the-barrier-1.450015

      "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."
      http://khamakarpress.com/2014/01/12/did-israeli-apartheid-wall-really-stop-suicide-bombings/

  • 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"

      http://www.unz.com/ishamir/rape-of-dulcinea/?highlight=Dulcinea

  • 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: http://www.jonathan-cook.net/2016-06-09/why-israel-is-blocking-access-to-its-archives/#sthash.eIFTbEl8.dpuf

  • 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."
      http://www.wrmea.org/2009-april/under-the-cover-of-war.html

    • 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:
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1950%E2%80%9351_Baghdad_bombings#Claims_for_Israeli_or_Iraqi_Zionist_involvement
      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: http://www.haaretz.com/survival-of-the-fittest-1.61345

      Recent findings indicate that Morris is being modest:
      http://mondoweiss.net/2016/02/barbarism-by-an-educated-and-cultured-people-dawayima-massacre-was-worse-than-deir-yassin/

    • 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):
      http://people.socsci.tau.ac.il/mu/yshenhav/files/2013/07/The-Jews-of-Iraq-Zionist-Ideology-and-the-Property-of-the-Palestinian-Refugees-of-1948.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: http://www.haaretz.com/hitching-a-ride-on-the-magic-carpet-1.97357"

      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.
      http://www.inminds.co.uk/jews-of-iraq.html

    • 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."
      http://worlddialogue.org/content.php?id=236
      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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