Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 642 (since 2009-08-02 08:11:58)


69 yr old male 5th generation New Zealander.


Showing comments 642 - 601

  • Reminder: They got Capone on tax evasion
  • In propaganda coup for Israel, NYT frontpager ascribes Gaza's misery to Palestinian infighting
    • Expelled at gunpoint around the same time as Deir Yassin Dimadok. Not that it makes a whit of difference, by every law in the book, not to mention morality, they are entitled to return to their property, no matter why they left.
      Wriggle and slither as much as you want. Even if you wish to rely on the U.N. partition which was neither legally binding (unless both parties agreed) nor within the U.N. mandate, nothing in it contemplated the transfer of proprietary rights. Zionists "own" very little of the land of Palestine and a reckoning is coming. Keep a bag packed at the ready.

    • It has nothing to do with ousting Hamas, Israel's creation. It is about ousting Palestinians, the rightful owners of the land.

    • "we do not own a thing to Gaza residents" (sic)

      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............

      Najd's villagers were mainly farmers and engaged in animal husbandry. "Fields of grain and fruit trees surrounded Najd on all sides."

      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.......

      - Khalidi, Walid, ed. All That Remains: The Palestinian Villages Occupied and Depopulated By Israel in 1948. Institute for Palestine Studies: Washington, D.C., 1992.

      These people and their descendants are imprisoned behind the Gaza fence, forbidden, on pain of death, to even visit their homes and property. You see the pattern here, Dimadok?

  • NYT fails to report that Netanyahu started air war over Syria as corruption probes close in on him
    • I see I left this out"One prominent theory in the commentary is that the drone was sent up to lure the Israel plane into an ambush."

      I think you can discount this entirely - it wouldn't make military sense to send an F16 against a drone. The Israeli footage shows the drone taken out by a helicopter.

    • "moving on Iran has been part of the plan for years now"
      I think that train left the station empty some time back.
      Iran is now part of an alliance stretching in a broad curve from Beijing to Moscow and possibly beyond. Their military is now spread throughout the region, an attack on the homeland would come at too great a cost to Israel.
      "a new axis of evil has been formed under tRUMP’s control – US, Israel, Saudi "
      Hmmmmm. Saudis broke and bogged down in Yemen, Israel unwilling to risk domestic damage, the U.S. broke and bleeding everywhere? Possibly dangerous but not particularly potent. Furthermore, I think the other side has better "rock, paper and scissors" skill.

    • Thanks for that Sibiriak. Always good to get the military perspective. Mine is from a political/Historical point of view and my knowledge of missile systems fairly minimal. That being said, I think both are necessary when we try to analyze the "why" of these actions.

      Events in the Middle East have greater direct impact on Russia than they do on the U.S. and Putin appears to be playing a long game along these lines:

      I have been puzzled as to why Israel seems to have enjoyed a free hand to try and tip the balance against the Syrian government (which has Russia's support for many reasons of its own, not to do with the traditional conflicts in the region). Putin is reputedly a good chess player. I suspect he has lulled Netanyahu into a false sense of security while slowly getting his pieces in place. My prediction of an IAF craft going down was based on the idea that nothing would happen until the cost of escalation was too high for the Israelis. In my view we have now, with a re-vitalized SAA and Hezbollah and with Syrian air defenses in place, reached the point at which Russia can reveal its hand and force some long-term resolution. I think Nasrallah's (a man not known to issue idle threats) recent speech is part of it. The cost to Israel is now too high. Interestingly, "Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah called on Israel to dismantle its nuclear reactor in Dimona on Thursday, warning that it poses a threat to Israel's existence should it be hit by one of Hezbollah's missiles.
      Nasrallah made a similar threat against Haifa's ammonia tank last year, saying that a missile hitting the facility could have the affect of a nuclear bomb. Last week, a Haifa court ordered the tank closed, citing the security threat."
      Putin has had to tread a fine line so as not to come into direct confrontation with America. I think he has been largely successful and, incidentally, I see "Russia-gate" as part of the neo-con push to bring the U.S. in. Neo-con ideology, being "top-down", authoritarian, needs to be pro-active, ahead of the game and this is where they have a slight problem with Trump. He has shown a propensity only to react.
      All too complex for one small post but I hope you see where I am headed. In my view, I think Israel just blinked.

    • The NYT piece is almost laughable in its clumsy attempt to whitewash Israel's actions. The language is a real hoot:
      " Israel intercepted what it said was an Iranian drone that had penetrated its airspace from Syria. The Israeli military then attacked what it called the command-and-control center from which Iran had launched the drone"
      "one of Israel’s F-16 fighter jets crashed in northern Israel after coming under heavy Syrian antiaircraft fire."

      The drone (origin unknown) was over the Golan, occupied Syrian territory. Official Israeli sources declared that they had possession of it while, at the same time, showing a video of a drone being blown to bits in the sky! Most likely it was a cheap Israeli drone or archival footage , retrospectively used as justification of an air attack on Syria that went wrong.
      One (possibly two) of their of their ships was hit by Syrian anti-aircraft missiles (most likely S-200s that Russia finally gave permission to deploy after their plane was taken down a few days ago). The Pilot ejected but, according to some usually reliable sources, died in hospital last night.
      The Israeli spin is mind-numbing but their reaction may have surprised some. About six weeks ago I predicted both the event and the reaction. It was only a matter of time before Syria got the green light from Russia to retaliate against Israel's air attacks which have been numerous and carried out with impunity:
      Netanyahu offered up a load of bluster but appears to be abiding by Putin's advice "avoid any steps that could lead to a new round of confrontation."
      It is good advice. The Syrian War has not worked out as planned and the re-vitalized and re-armed forces on Israel's border are capable of doing much damage within Israel. Classic blow-back. Despite Netanyahu's desperate need for a distraction right now, I don't think even he is foolish enough to chance it.

  • Thomas Friedman justifies slaughter of Arab civilians by 'crazy' Israel
    • Epithets such as "left" and "right" are no longer valid and, though there used to be a commonality of political/social views along these lines, that is no longer the case.
      There is a view that interested parties have deliberately created schisms to split the traditional "left" whose main concerns were health, justice and poverty into smaller groups because, as the wealth gap increased, the proportion of them was bound to increase and with it, political power. I think they were very successful.
      The remarkable thing about politics during the past few decades is that, as the wealth gap dramatically increased, so did the prevalence of right-wing governments in the developed World. With corrupt/dumbed down media compliance (I strongly recommend this interview with the late and severely missed Robert Parry ) both sides of the political spectrum abandoned first principles in the struggle for power and the maintenance of of a system that has become subject to cynical manipulation and infiltration.
      Political operators such as Hillary Clinton have successfully portrayed themselves as leftists by embracing fringe issues while maintaining hard right-wing economic and foreign policy stances. This has confused the electorate. As I said, there is a view that this was deliberate.

  • 'NYT' praises Israelis for restraint in attacks aimed at Arafat that killed 100s of innocents
  • Struggle for equal rights for Palestinians is 'right choice,' and will lead to 'significant exodus of Jews' -- Henry Siegman
    • Thanks Yonah. My interest is purely academic or at least rooted in my youthful interest in religion/theology. Up until university days I was a Jerusalemite. University converted me to Athens.
      Most Judeo/Christians assume that the "Bible" is a collection of ancient texts that have been passed down through millennia. Gmirkin et al allege that in fact, the Septuagint originates in the Alexandra Library around 300BC - a collection of legend and story drawn from many sources and inspired by Plato's blueprint for a Republic which calls for a "divine" narrative to underpin its legitimacy.
      Given that these texts have had such a profound effect on the cultures and even the epistemology of so many of us, I am intrigued by the idea that they may in fact be so recent and "written to order" as it were.
      We do know that there are antecedents to some of the stories - Eden and Noah for example are found in the Epic of Gilgamesh (c. 2100 BC) - and this would seem to support Gmirkin's thesis.
      If there were evidence that Judaism was not monotheistic before 300BC, or that dietary laws etc were not adhered to it would support Gmirkin. I don't think there are any Biblical documents yet discovered that predate about 300BC so far as I know (the Dead Sea Scrolls mostly date from around the time of Christ) but it should be possible to detect their existence if there is evidence that the rules they contain were being adhered to prior - to my way of thinking.

    • Very interesting post Yonah, this caught my eye:
      "a line of barbed wire between the Jerusalem of animal sacrifices and the Jerusalem of imagination"
      I have had my curiosity aroused by Russel Gmirkin's theories that indicate that Judaism post-dates Plato and draws on his "Republic" and "Laws".
      I am not a Biblical scholar so I can only repeat what he has alleged but it seems he makes a good case and is reasonably well respected. There is a debate here:

      I seem to remember Gmirkin alleging that there was evidence of Judaism being polytheistic up until about 300BC. Do you know anything about this?

  • The not-so-secret life of Mathilde Krim
    • For me, as a child, "The Riff Song" always stood out for its clever melody and generally exciting feel:
      I wonder how many others remember a time when Arabs were often portrayed as noble, romantic and chivalrous - even by Jewish writers such as Romberg, Mandel and Hammerstein?
      It is easy to see that what is now commonly believed to be a centuries-old enmity is in fact a 20th century invention, a revision of History to justify Zionist activities.

  • Norman Finkelstein's new book on Gaza is a meticulous account of Israel's crimes
    • The Likud Platform:

      a. “The Jordan river will be the permanent eastern border of the State of Israel.”

      b. “Jerusalem is the eternal, united capital of the State of Israel and only of Israel.
      The government will flatly reject Palestinian proposals to divide Jerusalem”

      c. “The Government of Israel flatly rejects the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan river.”

      d. “The Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza are the realization of Zionist values. Settlement of the land is a clear expression of the unassailable right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel and constitutes an important asset in the defense of the vital interests of the State of Israel. The Likud will continue to strengthen and develop these communities and will prevent their uprooting.

      According to Boris, "Hamas’ charter calls for the destruction of Israel " yet their charter clearly contemplates a two-state solution.

      According to Likud, a Palestinian State will never even be contemplated.

      It is also instructive to consider the Netanyahu attitude to honesty and good faith negotiations:

    • Thanks Boris. I always enjoy a little nonsensical hasbara with my morning coffee.
      "Hamas’ charter calls for the destruction of Israel" is simply hasbara shorthand for "Israel as a Jewish supremacy based state is incompatible with International Law and norms".

      Suggest you re-calibrate your Hamas-o-meter to reflect the 2017 revised charter:

      A few clauses:

      12. The Palestinian cause in its essence is a cause of an occupied land and a displaced people. The right of the Palestinian refugees and the displaced to return to their homes from which they were banished or were banned from returning to – whether in the lands occupied in 1948 or in 1967 (that is the whole of Palestine), is a natural right, both individual and collective. This right is confirmed by all divine laws as well as by the basic principles of human rights and international law. It is an inalienable right and cannot be dispensed with by any party, whether Palestinian, Arab or international.

      20. Hamas believes that no part of the land of Palestine shall be compromised or conceded, irrespective of the causes, the circumstances and the pressures and no matter how long the occupation lasts. Hamas rejects any alternative to the full and complete liberation of Palestine, from the river to the sea. However, without compromising its rejection of the Zionist entity and without relinquishing any Palestinian rights, Hamas considers the establishment of a fully sovereign and independent Palestinian state, with Jerusalem as its capital along the lines of the 4th of June 1967, with the return of the refugees and the displaced to their homes from which they were expelled, to be a formula of national consensus.

      Feel free to discuss any or all provisions of the charter that you find incompatible with natural justice.

      If Israel can be "destroyed" by conforming to universally accepted morality and, furthermore, refuses to accept a two-state solution, I suggest its legitimacy can now be seriously questioned.
      Israel's refusal to obey International Law and permit the right of return for all Palestinians is still the issue.

  • There are two narratives, but one reality: Palestinian dispossession
    • " acknowledging the original sin (that can’t be undone) "
      And here was me thinking that Zionism was dedicated to undoing an original sin that supposedly was committed against Judaics back around 70AD. One for which there is scant evidence I should add.
      Strange that a very well documented "original sin" committed within living memory can't be undone yet a mythical one two millennia previously can.
      This despite the ongoing settlements of tribal claims in post-colonial societies all around the globe.
      I disagree that "The conflict is not so simple". What could be more simple than obeying every concept of justice (not to mention International Law) and permitting an illegally displaced citizenry to return to their homes and property?

  • Braying donkeys
  • Nuwara family fights secret plea deal with Israeli officer who killed their teenage son during Nakba Day protest
  • Ahed Tamimi offers Israelis a lesson worthy of Gandhi
    • "Israel faces a possible International Criminal Court war crimes probe over its 2014 assault on Gaza, which killed more than 2,100 Palestinians, including over 500 children. For more, we speak with Norman Finkelstein, author of the new book “Gaza: An Inquest into Its Martyrdom.” He is the author of many other books, including “The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Human Suffering” and “Knowing Too Much: Why the American Jewish Romance with Israel Is Coming to an End.”"

  • Haass and Kristof can't cross the Zionist Rubicon
    • Probably a bit too flippant of me Annie. Grabbed that chart from:
      I had been trying to find the number of Israelis killed by lightning strike or some similar unlikely occurrence to compare with the number killed by rockets - which was about 2.7 per annum for the ten years 2001 - 2011 (much fewer since).
      I used to compare the road toll (400 deaths p.a) to give perspective. always good for the totals.
      Israel always publicizes the number of rockets rather than the casualties as the death toll is so small. I also like to point out that the rockets are aimed at land that is still legally owned by the senders. For quite a while I couldn't figure out the rationale behind them. Then I read the History of Sderot and realized that the rockets' purpose is to discourage the growth of settlement on stolen lands.

    • Rockets, smockets, for every 15 people killed in the conflict, 13 are Palestinian and two are Israeli.

    • Concepts in collision - Jewish State and Democracy. The outcome is inevitable, precedents abound.
      Paradoxically, the greater the push-back from the United States of USrael, the swifter the advent of collapse.
      The Geopolitical scene is now vastly altered, the change brought about by Israel's attempts to destabilize surrounding States has galvanized the East. Every day the broad alliance that stretches from Russia to China becomes tighter and more formidable.
      I still predict collapse from within. As Israelis begin to comprehend the very clear-sighted and increasingly unified forces that encircle them, they will bow to the inevitable.

  • If you genuinely back the Palestinian cause, you must support the right of return
    • Dabakr is obviously not up with the play. That argument was scotched years ago - by Zionists.

      I strongly recommend close reading of The Jews of Iraq, Zionist Ideology, and the Property of the Palestinian Refugees of 1948: An Anomaly of National Accounting
      Author: Yehouda Shenhav

      Avi Shlaim is also good:

      "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."

      "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........
      .....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. Such remonstration precisely predicted the failure of the current organization, Justice for Jews from Arab Countries to inspire enthusiasm for its efforts."

      read more:

    • Might be able to help you there. Isn't a proselyte one of those ladies of the night who first talks you into a transaction then doesn't charge?
      "came by to asses my syntax"
      Never had my syntax assed. Sounds like it might make your eyes water a bit.

    • "lachrymographers"
      Love it. I'm going to file that away in my lexicon!

    • Roha.
      "I think you should adopt “Sheepfold at the End of the Universe” as a title of honour."

      I am proud to be part of a remarkable tradition. I was raised on a sheep farm in the Southern Waikato, spent many a season in the shearing sheds both in NZ and Australia in student days. My father was an accomplished trainer of both horses and dogs. He had a border collie bitch (what we call an eye dog) that would drive a wild ram backwards between his parted legs, obeying just his whistle. He turned down an offer of 2,000 pounds (probably equivalent to $50-60,000 in today's money) for her.
      This video shows how these dogs work:
      My brother was taught to shear by this fellow (wrongly called Geoffrey in this clip, his name was Godfrey):

    • Yonah.
      If you lay off the ziocaine for a spell and do a course in relatively recent History you will find similar transitions have been made in the former Soviet Union, China, South Africa and more. Going back a little further there are more relevant transitions from colonial entities to people's democracies all over the World.
      Perhaps most relevant (and instructive) are the arguments made against the abolition of slavery which your post so resembles. They too predicted dire consequences and had difficulty imagining a World without it. Interestingly, like Zionists, they used biblical references to bolster the case for its continuance. The parallels are quite striking.

    • Yonah.
      After several readings your post still looks like gobbledegook to me. Is it the effort to discount a right of return for a populace expelled within living memory in favor of those allegedly expelled two thousand years ago that has so depleted your ability to debate coherently?

    • Nathan.
      Speaking of contradictions:

      "It really doesn’t make a difference if they are the descendants of the Martians or of the Israelites. They are now Israelis. They were born in Tel-Aviv or in Haifa or in a kibbutz or in a moshav. I understand that for the anti-Israel crowd the passage of time is irrelevant, but still it is worthwhile bringing to your attention that it’s been four-five generations already."

      Countless generations of Palestinians were born in those same territories yet you do not appear to accord them any rights whatsoever. Please explain.

      Professor Sand is trained in the craft of History. You may debate the facts and method of his book (which has nothing to do with Cinema) but his other fields of study are irrelevant.
      For your information, Sand's major thesis is backed by none other than Israel Bartal, Avraham Harman Professor of Jewish History, former Dean of the Faculty of Humanities at Hebrew University and chair of the Historical Society of Israel:

      "No “nationalist” Jewish historian has ever tried to conceal the well-known fact that conversions to Judaism had a major impact on Jewish history in the ancient period and in the early Middle Ages. Although the myth of an exile from the Jewish homeland (Palestine) does exist in popular Israeli culture, it is negligible in serious Jewish historical discussions. Important groups in the Jewish national movement expressed reservations regarding this myth or denied it completely."

    • The right of return is the very heart of the matter and the simplest to argue for. Anyone familiar with the History of the conflict knows this, which is why Zionists always attempt to divert debate to other issues or try to turn it to advantage by citing a fictitious exile and claiming the very same right. That this is ludicrous is very easy to demonstrate.
      A Palestinian can take you to the exact tract of land on which their parents or grandparents lived before being driven off by violence. No Zionist can do this, neither can they cite a time or circumstance in which their ancestors left. I doubt any could actually name that ancestor.
      The right of return is enshrined in International Law.
      The right to enliven myth and legend is confined to writers of fiction and fantasy.

  • Shmuley Boteach's unhinged attack on Lorde will only help the movement to boycott Israel
    • I have taken a little interest in Smellybutt since his days as the (largely self-appointed) Rabbi to Oxford University in 1988 where he engaged in self-promotion and self-enrichment until even the Lubavitcher clergy had had enough of his antics and fired him in 1994. There are a number of skeletons in that closet. I shall try and dig them up but it was a long time ago.
      This article, which mainly focuses on his psychological problems, contains a few clues:
      Some choice quotes:

      “When I met Boteach, I was immediately convinced that he was totally unsuitable,” Gross wrote to me, in an email. “He was totally self-obsessed and lacked any form of objectivity. He turned the Chabad house into a vehicle for his self-promotion and self-advancement and basically became an impresario by using the prestige of Oxford to attract celebrity speakers. I informed the Chabad leadership immediately, but they said that he was charismatic … and claimed that they could control him, which was delusionary.”.....
      ......Then, in 1999, the government’s Charity Commission opened an investigation into “the application and control” of the L’Chaim Society’s funds and froze the group’s assets.........The commission’s inquiry concluded that “excessive payments” had been made to Boteach and his wife and that mortgage payments made on the Boteachs’ home from Society funds were “difficult, if not impossible, to justify.”

      In my view, this silly attack on Lorde is simply a vehicle for soliciting funds for the lucrative enterprise known as Smuley Boteach.

  • Jewish activist who counseled Lorde on BDS gets the full 'kapo' treatment in the Israeli press
    • Over 100 artists sign pledge supporting Lorde's Israel decision
      Khalid Abdalla, Actor
      Tunde Adebimpe, Musician
      Rachel Aggs, Musician
      Yasmine Al Massri, Actor
      Kevin Allen, Screenwriter and Director
      Amir Amirani, Filmmaker
      Adjoa Andoh, Actor
      Frankie Armstrong, Singer
      Conrad Atkinson, Artist
      Sarah Beddington, Artist
      Yves Berger, Painter
      Caroline Bergvall, Writer and Artist
      Nicholas Blincoe Writer
      Leah Borromeo, Filmmaker
      Jonathan Burrows, Choreographer
      David Calder, Actor
      Julie Christie, Actor
      Ian Christie Film Historian, Broadcaster
      Chipo Chung Actor
      Caryl Churchill Playwright
      Dominic Cooke, Director
      Kia Corthron, Playwright and Novelist
      Joseph Coward, Writer and Artist
      Molly Crabapple, Artist and Writer
      John Cusack, Actor, Writer, Producer, and Board Member Freedom Of The Press Foundation
      Selma Dabbagh, Writer
      Cherien Dabis, Film And TV Director
      William Dalrymple, Writer
      Angela Davis, Writer
      Dror Dayan, Filmmaker
      Laurence Dreyfus, Director and Phantasm Viol Consort
      Carol Drinkwater, Filmmaker
      David Edgar, Playwright
      Nancy Elan, Violinist
      Brian Eno, Musician
      Eve Ensler, Playwright and Performer
      Samir Eskanda Musician
      Jodie Evans, Writer and Producer
      Shepard Fairey, Artist
      Michelle Fairley, Actor
      Saeed T. Farouky, Filmmaker
      Fat White Family Band
      Yasmin Fedda, Filmmaker
      Bella Freud, Designer
      Peter Gabriel Musician
      Lisa Gerrard, Composer
      Tom Gilroy, Film Director
      David Gray Musician
      Kathleen Hanna, Musician and Artist
      John Keane, Artist
      Reem Kelani, Singer and Musicologist
      Peter Kennard, Artist
      Al Kennedy, Writer
      Jonathan Kent, Theatre and Opera Director
      Hari Kunzru, Writer
      Talib Kweli, Musician
      David Lan, Artistic Director, Young Vic
      Paul Laverty, Scriptwriter
      Tom Leonard, Poet
      Ken Loach, Film Director
      Miriam Margolyes, Actor
      Kika Markham, Actor
      Yann Martel, Writer
      Emel Mathlouthi, Musician
      Pauline Melville, Writer
      Tom Morello, Musician
      Jenny Morgan, Filmmaker
      David Morrissey Actor, Director
      Viggo Mortensen, Actor, Writer, Musician, Artist
      Peter Mullan, Actor and Director
      Rebecca O'Brien, Film Producer
      Andrew O'Hagan, Writer
      Eugene O'Hare Actor, Writer
      Maxine Peake, Actor
      Miranda Pennell, Filmmaker
      Brendan Perry, Musician
      Nancy Platt, Filmmaker
      Jocelyn Pook, Composer
      Dave Randall, Musician
      Mark Ruffalo, Actor
      Alexei Sayle, Comedian and Writer
      James Schamus, Producer, Writer and Director
      David Scott, Music Producer and Sound Engineer
      Nabil Shaban, Actor and Writer
      Wallace Shawn, Actor and Playwright
      Farhana Sheikh, Writer
      Gillian Slovo, Writer
      Cherry Smith, Poet
      John Smith, Artist
      Chris Somes-Charlton, Artist Management
      Ahdaf Soueif, Writer
      Juliet Stevenson, Actor
      Jennie Stoller, Actor
      Samuel Toms, Musician
      Alice Walker, Writer
      Naomi Wallace, Playwright and Screenwriter
      Roger Waters, Musician
      Hilary Westlake, Theatre Director
      Susan Wooldridge, Actor and Writer
      Nicholas Wright, Playwright and Director
      Emily Young, Artist
      Benjamin Zephaniah, Poet and Musician

    • Judging by the reply tweets it might have been a tactical blunder. Among the young, the tide is turning I hope.
      Nice friends he has!

    • Smellybutt at it again:
      A full-page advertisement has been taken out in the Washington Post calling Kiwi musician Lorde a bigot and accusing New Zealand of prejudice against Israel.

    • Ha!
      Many would agree Gamal though sailing is more my thing. I neglected to highlight another of NZ's achievements - taking on the economic and technological might of the U.S. and swiping the America's Cup in 1995.

    • "maybe all those ‘palestine’ arabs could settle there"

      I can never read this sort of thing without a sense of revulsion at firstly the Historical and etymological ignorance behind the mis-application of the term "Arab" and secondly the blatant racism that that mis-application implies.
      Suggest you stay well away from my country aloeste, multi-culturalism doesn't sound like your bag.

    • A serious oversight dear Annie. Particularly so as the cockiness in my post is probably due in no small measure to the optimism many of us kiwi SJWs feel since the election result - after three terms with a Likud luvin', pony-tail fetishist Wall St bankster in the Prime Minister's seat.

      Jacinda's home town is just a few miles from my own and a close mate is in her cabinet so I and my circle are feeling involved again. They are a younger and untried government but there is a battle-hardened and very canny element in the coalition (Peters and Jones) that should stiffen them up. I know them personally and they are on the right side of Israel/Palestine (though they don't broadcast it). Look forward to a more decisive stance at the U.N.

    • “The difference between you and me, Justin [sic], is that I’m an Israeli Jew and you’re a Jew. That’s it. You have no nationality. You live in a negligible, insignificant sheepfold stuck somewhere at the end of the universe: New Zealand”

      Halloo to Wohl. Baaaaah from the end of the Universe, home, not only to Lorde (down here we prefer Ella) but also Ed Hillary, conqueror of Everest and Rodham Clinton namesake (her folk must have been prescient), the best rugby players in the World and first country to give women the vote. NZ, by the way, had the highest count of WWII dead combatants (per capita) in the Commonwealth (6684 per million) (with Britain at 5123 and Australia, 3232).

      Now I realize this pales into insignificance beside the cherry tomato but may I point out that New Zealander Earnest Rutherford was the first man to split an atom - so we are not too far behind that remarkable pomodoro and the drips that water it.

      Perhaps I should also mention that it has been said (probably by an Aussie) that Aotearoa New Zealand is a land of 43 million sheep, 4 million of whom think they are human. Think about it. You might just fit in.
      There are exceptions however. For example, those of us who have learned to distinguish between racial/religious identity, Nationality and proprietorship. Now contrary to popular belief, not all kiwis are related or even know each other. I do not know Justine but there is a strong possibility she is among these.

  • How Ahed Tamimi was slapped first, and why no one is talking about it
    • Hasbara in a nutshell.
      Omit the first incident and a defense becomes an attack.
      Prime example:
      "The Arab-Israeli War of 1948 broke out when five Arab nations invaded territory in the former Palestinian mandate immediately following the announcement of the independence of the state of Israel on May 14, 1948."

      By the time the Arab League moved, between 250,000 and 400,000 Palestinians had been driven from their homes by terrorism and massacre.

      You will find this technique employed ad nauseum and supported by a compliant, Zionist supporting media.

  • Pop star 'Lorde' honors BDS call, cancels Tel Aviv concert
    • Aotearoa New Zealand's resident Israeli shill, Juliet Moses (spokesperson for the New Zealand Jewish Council), weighs in with an extraordinarily fact-free diatribe:

      Having just demonised Palestinians and confirmed apartheid (""Peace for us means Israel's destruction and nothing else". Their ultimate goal, as stated by a founder of the campaign, Omar Barghouti, is the complete end of Israel, the world's one Jewish state.") she concludes that:
      "Resolution and real peace, in the form of self-determination for two people - a two-state solution - will not come from estrangement, segregation and a demonisation of one side."

    • Page: 6
  • The never-ending crisis of Zionism
    • @Neil Schipper

      Responsibility for those displaced from Syria and Iraq can be sheeted home to the Neo-Conservatives. Guess on whose behalf they engineered those wars.

      "So I came back to see him a few weeks later, and by that time we were bombing in Afghanistan. I said, “Are we still going to war with Iraq?” And he said, “Oh, it’s worse than that.” He reached over on his desk. He picked up a piece of paper. And he said, “I just got this down from upstairs” — meaning the Secretary of Defense’s (Paul Wolfowitz) office — “today.” And he said, “This is a memo that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.”"
      - General Wesley Clark

  • Palestinians celebrate resounding Trump and Israel failure at the UN
  • Israeli Jews 'will never accept' giving vote to Palestinians -- liberal Zionist leader
    • Aw shucks, thanks guys.
      You can always tell a "Liberal Zionist" at the negotiating table. He is the friendly looking guy humming the theme from Exodus.
      ......this mine.....God gave this land to me.....

    • Danon: "You can call me paranoid but I think I am realistic"

      134 Israeli children have been killed by Palestinians and 2,167 Palestinian children have been killed by Israelis since September 29, 2000.

    • Nathan.
      What is it you mean by "A Jewish State" and how do you establish who is and is not a Jew?

    • As I have previously stated, "Liberal Zionist" is a contradiction in terms.
      At one time I used to applaud their efforts but over the years I have come to the realization that they simply do not understand the problem, their thinking reminds me of the post-colonial settler classes in New Zealand before the realities faced by the indigenous peoples fully penetrated their minds. Their "liberal" thinking addresses itself to solutions to present-day "realities on the ground" and ignores the very heart of indigenous grievance.
      I am informed by my own journey from settler/colonist to full integration which only started to progress when I began to understand the History of colonial settlement in Aotearoa New Zealand and realized that, after five generations in this country, I still regarded myself as some sort of British person.
      Integration is essential to a harmonious society. This does not mean fully adopting the belief systems and customs of "the other", it means according respect to them and acknowledging the circumstances that led to the dominance of an immigrant culture over that of what we in NZ call the Tangatawhenua (People of the Land).
      My own journey began with marriage into Maoridom but that was a very small beginning. A series of subsequent epiphanies were much more significant.
      One such was on an occasion when some disaffected Maori gang-members created a violent incident in our district and a meeting was held in the Town Hall. All sorts of punitive proposals were mooted then one Maori elder stood up and asked what we expected to achieve in this Pakeha (white man) forum. "This meeting should be down on the Marae (meeting place) with those boys present. I propose we adjourn this meeting and hold another there" he said. Cue the sound of a one-armed bandit jackpot. I, for one suddenly realized the significance of this (that a system of dispute resolution had pre-existed and been arrogantly displaced). Suffice to say, what transpired at that Marae meeting was extraordinary. One outcome I recently discovered is that one of the chief offenders (the barely literate Master at arms of the gang) is now a qualified Lawyer, working within the system he once had zero respect for. I like to think that the respect shown to the Marae system, the willingness to debate within his cultural institution and on his terms was essential to that transition.
      I think Matti Peled understood this and passed it on to Miko. So-called "Liberal Zionists" do not. Any form of Zionism is anathema to even the most liberal Palestinian because it is incompatible with universal justice/human rights. Liberal Zionists talk about " negotiations for peace". What can a Zionist of any stripe bring to a negotiating table? The conviction that they possess rights that the other party do not by virtue of their cultural identity? A non-negotiable sense of privilege based on a litany of fables that are not only disbelieved by the other party but now increasingly known to be false by Israeli Historians.
      Whatever form Zionism takes it is simply the expression of a nostalgia for a brief period of ancient History when Judaics were victorious in numerous barbaric battles for dominance. It has succeeded inasmuch as it has engendered a cultural return to those times and unless abandoned, will produce the same result.
      Zionists are primitives. Many cultures have long ago learned the difference between (and often incompatible nature of) love and possession.

  • 'Leftist' Israeli general threatens to 'tear the Palestinians apart' and 'toss them across the Jordan'
  • Times super-Zionist Bret Stephens commits fallacy and falsehood, on Jerusalem
    • DaBakr.
      Your post has me confused. What exactly are you referring to as "a nice concise bunch of distortions and non scientific lies?" My impression is that contemporary, mainstream Israeli Historians are the chief proponents of the view that the "diaspora" was not a result of expulsion and this contradicts what "people generally believe ".
      These are the statements of two leading Israeli Historians:

      No “nationalist” Jewish historian has ever tried to conceal the well-known fact that conversions to Judaism had a major impact on Jewish history in the ancient period and in the early Middle Ages. Although the myth of an exile from the Jewish homeland (Palestine) does exist in popular Israeli culture, it is negligible in serious Jewish historical discussions. Important groups in the Jewish national movement expressed reservations regarding this myth or denied it completely.
      – Israel Bartal, Avraham Harman Professor of Jewish History, former Dean of the Faculty of Humanities at Hebrew University and chair of the Historical Society of Israel.

      Here, Bartal addresses what you refer to as "the asinine ‘khazzer’ theory":

      Here is what was written about the conversion of the Khazars, a nation of Turkish origin, in the Zionist Mikhlal Encyclopedia that the State of Israel’s Zionist Ministry of Education recommended so warmly during that “period of silencing”: “It is irrelevant whether the conversion to Judaism encompassed a large stratum of the Khazar nation; what is important is that this event was regarded as a highly significant phenomenon in Jewish history, a phenomenon that has since totally disappeared: Judaism as a missionary religion….

      Perhaps you did not read the link I gave to Israel Jacob Yuval, Professor of Jewish History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem so here is a direct quote:

      Medieval Jewish apologetics, willingly and thus paradoxically, adopted an ancient Christian myth as a kind of foundation myth for their own local communities. The myth that the Jews were exiled from their land after the Second Temple’s destruction allowed the Jewish communities of Europe to see them-selves as miniature Jerusalems and to weave messianic hopes for the future, when the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the Temple would be accompanied by the people’s return to their land.

      It seems to me that you are quite vehemently opposed to the conclusions reached by these prominent Historians. In view of their status and for the sake of this discussion I think it incumbent upon you to tell us why you so disagree and what sources you rely on for "the many thousands of Jews who fled out of judea by Roman, Greek, Arab colonialists north or west across Africa or through Iran to east Europe". I am particularly intrigued as to why thousands of Jews would flee from Roman, Greek and Arab colonialists - into Roman, Greek, and Arab lands.

    • It is an interesting topic. My first clue that the "expulsion" story might be doubtful was when I read about Yochanan Ben Zakkai (who was a friend of Vespasian) being smuggled out of the besieged Jerusalem in a coffin. He then moved the Sanhedrin to Yavne, about 20 miles or so from Jerusalem - with Vespasian's blessing. This is incompatible with a general expulsion.
      I must confess I am not an expert on the either the period or the place but I have since found that most mainstream Jewish Historians seem to agree with Israel Bartal (see my post above) about the expulsion being a myth.
      I think it is also helpful to bear in mind that two thousand years ago "Historians" were more tellers of tales and employed none of the rigor that today's Historians regard as part and parcel of the craft. Josephus is a good example - much of his stuff is wildly exaggerated.
      Of course it makes for an interesting academic debate and defeats one plank in the Zionist's edifice but it is not very important in the present-day scheme of things. Very few populations have remained on their ancestral lands unmolested throughout the ages. As Erich Fromm pointed out, the World would be a madhouse if they all claimed ownership based on such criteria. I believe modern-day Zionists adopted the idea so as to leverage off the indigenous rights movements of the late 20th century. I don't believe the circumstances are analogous but that is a whole different argument.

    • "it’s a question of what we make of Dio Cassius 69:12 with its very high casualty figures figures for Judaea."
      Dio Cassius was not born until nearly a century after the events about which writes. In a largely illiterate age, such hearsay is not considered reliable. Unless I am mistaken, there is no independent evidence of any large-scale exodus at that time and neither is it practically feasible or precedented.
      Israel Jacob Yuval, Professor of Jewish History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem makes the case:

    • Complete nonsense. The Romans did not depopulate the region of its Jews. They may have captured and taken some Zealots as slaves but that was the extent of it. The Sanhedrin was re-located from Jerusalem to Yavneh in 70 AD where it remained for centuries.

      "Although the myth of an exile from the Jewish homeland (Palestine) does exist in popular Israeli culture, it is negligible in serious Jewish historical discussions. Important groups in the Jewish national movement expressed reservations regarding this myth or denied it completely……."
      - Israel Bartal, Avraham Harman Professor of Jewish History, and the former Dean of the Faculty of Humanities at Hebrew University. Since 2006 he is the chair of the Historical Society of Israel.

      I read about these deeds many years ago and have long awaited their publication. Apparently those pertaining to Jerusalem were handed over to the Palestinians and the Jordanian Government last year:

      There are 171,306 deeds recorded in 46 registries of Jerusalem in Ottoman archive records. Of these, 133,365 are private property and 37,671 belong to foundations. In addition to this, Turkey's archives also have records of Jerusalem between the hijri years 950 and 1917.

      Among the records of private property were 139 deeds belonging to Sultan Abdul Hamid II, 137 of which were transferred to the treasury in the past. The remaining two are in Jerusalem's Erihav region. The records show that there is a plot of land approximately 30,000 square meters in size that is recorded under the name of Sultan Abdul Hamid II [1842-1918].

      The deeds proving that Palestine belongs to Palestinians were handed to Palestinian officials. Israel did not ask for deed records from Turkey. Had Israel requested these records, it would mean that Israel would be accepting that it is occupying Palestine.

      A memorandum was signed between Palestine and Jordan. Procedures such as the maintenance and repair of foundations in Jerusalem were transferred to Jordan. Therefore, in 2016, upon the request of Jordan, Turkey provided copies of the deeds of foundations in Jerusalem to Jordan.

  • Democrats abandon the resist Trump movement when it comes to Jerusalem
    • Time for a re-read of Shamir's delightful "Rape of Dulcinea":

      "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........
      .....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......"

    • "That has always been Israel’s policy. I had a conversation with the chair of the Palestinian Delegation to the Middle East peace negotiations. He told me that the Zionists have not changed their position since the Basel Convention of 1897. They want all of Palestine. What is happening now in Jerusalem is a step in that direction.

      If you look at the recently leaked so-called peace plan that was presented to [Palestinian President Mahmoud] Abbas in Saudi Arabia, he was basically given an ultimatum to either accept some tiny bantustan or forget it. It is very clear that they want all of Palestine, all of the West Bank, all of Jerusalem. They want the Golan Heights and maybe even some more of Syria."
      - Professor Francis Boyle, who teaches international law at the University of Illinois College of Law and served as a long-time legal adviser to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

  • Dionne and Shields ignore the Adelson in the room
    • "violating what is sacred in journalism."
      Quite the reverse.
      Objectivity in journalism went out the window decades ago. What is now sacred is Israel, it is heresy to point to the manifestly obvious power of the mainstream media owners and the bias it imposes. There is a long list of heretics - fine journalists and writers who have been sidelined because they dare to challenge the editorial policies by writing simple truths.
      Robert Parry
      Seymour Hersh
      Israel Shamir
      Chris Hedges
      Gideon Levy
      Mike Carlton
      Tim Willcox
      Helen Thomas
      Rula Jubreal
      Nafeez Ahmed
      ......I could go on.

      It is considered anti-Semitic to even touch on this subject - an indicator of just how powerfully that ridiculous concept has been embedded in Western culture. I say ridiculous because it is a deliberately contrived conversation-stopper, a device by which the genuine offense known as "racism" can be extended to include any criticism of any Jew no matter how justified such criticism might be.
      Israel Shamir calls the Jewish media magnates the "masters of discourse". He is correct.

  • An ominous warning: 'Netanyahu needs a war with Iran. And he needs it soon'
    • "Derfner does not believe Hezbollah or Iran would start the conflict, “because they know they’d get crushed.” He explains, “The only one I see starting it is Israel, because Israel is both strong and paranoid.”"
      Neither Hezbollah nor Iran will start a War and Israel would be foolish to. For all its bluff and bluster, Israel suffers the aversion to body bags that comes with being a technologically oriented aggressive force. A War with a now battle-hardened, better equipped Hezbollah will involve casualties in Israel cities and IAF losses. I suspect you will see the end of Netanyahu and a more circumspect Israeli foreign policy, possibly the return of Shebaa and the Golan.
      The Syrian War has not gone as planned.

  • Dangerous signs that Trump, Netanyahu and the Saudi Crown Prince are planning wider Mideast war
    • The man is not just an ass, he's a dangerous ass.

    • Israel Shamir has an interesting article called "The Dog That Didn't Bark" - highlighting the media's absence of coverage of what is actually a sensational story - billionaires including Prince Al-Walid bin al-Talal, a billionaire 18 times over, an “important partner” to Bill Gates, co-owner of 21st Century Fox and Twitter, of Paris’ Hotel George V and London’s Savoy Hotel being hung upside down, Mussolini-style until they cough up. As he puts it:
      "Not a single voice, neither from liberal left nor from authoritarian right objected to this amazing deed of mass torture and extortion. While the co-owner of Twitter has been subjected to daily beatings, the prime voice of liberal conscience, Tom Friedman of the New York Times, eulogised MBS as the bearer of progress. In an article as panegyric as they come, titled Saudi Arabia’s Arab Spring, at Last and subtitled “The crown prince has big plans for his society”.

      Tom Friedman does not use the word “extortion”, saying that [MBS’s] “government arrested scores of Saudi princes and businessmen on charges of corruption and threw them into a makeshift gilded jail — the Riyadh Ritz-Carlton — until they agreed to surrender their ill-gotten gains.” No condemnation at all! Can you imagine what he would say if Putin were to arrest his oligarchs “until they agreed to surrender their ill-gotten gains”?"

  • Israel has more legitimacy than US because the bible mentions Jerusalem, not New York -- says David Harris
    • Actually, that question is very interesting. Russell Gmirkin has a strong case:

      " he is perhaps best known for his research on the late date and Greek sources of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and its laws. His 2006 book called Berossus and Genesis, Manetho and Exodus: Hellenistic Histories and the Date of the Pentateuch was one of the first to discuss specific Greek sources used by the biblical authors. His latest book, Plato and the Creation of the Hebrew Bible, identifies Plato’s Laws as perhaps the most influential such Greek text, a source for many of the Laws of Moses and for the very notion of an approved national literature (the Bible).

      Some of the key innovations found in Gmirkin’s writings include the identification of the authors of the Pentateuch (Genesis–Deuteronomy) as the same group of Jewish scholars that tradition said translated these books into Greek for the Great Library of Alexandria around 270 BCE"

  • Israel's top diplomat spouts anti-Semitic criticism of American Jews -- 'having quite convenient lives'
    • Most reasonable folk finding themselves in that position would give some thought to the possibility they might be on the wrong side Jackdaw.

  • Israel to move checkpoint deeper into West Bank, cutting off Palestinian access to spring
    • So utterly preposterous I am reluctant to even reply Jack.
      The Assyrian captivity AKA the Lost Tribes ??
      An biblical event with not one shred of archaeological or Historic evidence.
      Tudor Vernon Parfitt is a British historian. He is Emeritus Professor of Modern Jewish Studies in the University of London at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), where he was the founding director of the Centre for Jewish Studies.
      Here is what he says about this fable:
      "the Lost Tribes are indeed nothing but a myth"
      - Parfitt, Tudor (2003). The Lost Tribes of Israel: The History of a Myth. Phoenix. pp. 1, 225.

      My understanding of the (again probably mythical) Babylonian exile is that it lasted about 70 years then they returned.

      The Romans we have dealt with. You can find references to anything from 100s to 100s of thousands of slaves taken by the Romans. The logistics of moving captives at the time argues against a large number. No one has a clue how many but since Vespasian gave permission for the Sanhedrin to be moved to Yavneh at that time, we can be certain a great number remained, many of whom became Christian and Muslim during the subsequent couple of millennia. There was no general expulsion, as Israel Bartal explains. Any slaves were taken from the Zealots to whom the majority of Jews were opposed. That you cite the Menorah in Titus' Triumph as "proof" of 20,000 slaves makes me question your fitness to debate these issues. There is a trumpet next to the Menorah. Does this prove Satchmo was among the captives? There is an equivalent logical connection - i.e. none whatsoever.

      Is this the best you can do? Are you seriously suggesting these events (even if they were fact) justify the expulsion of a populace descended from the very same stock and who had lived on the land for thousands of years? Please address that question.

    • Jack.
      The "crime" you refer to is regarded by the foremost Historian of Israel as a myth. Did you not read the words of Israel Bartal, Avraham Harman Professor of Jewish History, former Dean of the Faculty of Humanities at Hebrew University and the chair of the Historical Society of Israel.
      I shall put them in bold type this time:
      "Although the myth of an exile from the Jewish homeland (Palestine) does exist in popular Israeli culture, it is negligible in serious Jewish historical discussions. Important groups in the Jewish national movement expressed reservations regarding this myth or denied it completely……."
      Above you state:
      "There were earlier expulsions"
      - which indicates that you do not rely on the mythical Roman expulsion. I asked you to provide evidence of these but you have ignored my question - among many others.

      A terrible crime has indeed been committed however and the victims are readily identifiable. It began in 1948 and was achieved by massacre and rape:

      Ari Shavit: According to your new findings, how many cases of Israeli rape were there in 1948?

      Benny Morris: 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.

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

      Benny Morris: 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.

      A million people (most likely the descendants of Jews) were driven off their land at gunpoint in 1948 and 1967. There is no dispute about that and the list of massacres is growing. Tantura has been confirmed.

      Perhaps you might like to explain to me on what rational basis you can possibly assert that the rights of descendants, a hundred generations removed from a mythical expulsion, should take precedence over the rights of a populace expelled within living memory.

    • Jack. Took you a while. Was consultation necessary?

      "There were earlier expulsions."
      Tell us about them. You obviously disagree with one of Israel's foremost Historians: "Although the myth of an exile from the Jewish homeland (Palestine) does exist in popular Israeli culture, it is negligible in serious Jewish historical discussions."

      "It’s like adoption. If a couple adopts a child that child will have the same inheritance rights as the couple’s children who were not adopted."
      Quite possibly - if such inheritance rights existed. You are begging the question. Can you point to any codified law or precedent for such rights applying to any person or people by virtue of their unsubstantiated claim to be a member of a race or religion. My native land (NZ) is a World leader in the restoration of indigenous land rights:
      ......yet the process of identification of both individual and land ownership is both rigorous and specific.

      "Why would “Rebels who were taken as slaves by the Romans” result in loss of inheritance?"
      Didn't suggest that they did. If such inheritance rights existed, they would quite possibly be first in line. The fact is they don't and neither you nor any of your fellow Zionists has the first clue as to your descent from slaves, converts, slave-masters, collaborators, Zealots, Turkomen, landowners, tinkers, tailors, soldiers or sailors.

      "Jews who migrated of their own accord & Jews who sold their plot before departing would not be entitled to inheritance, but over the years they’ve mixed with descendants of Jews who did not leave of their own accord."
      You have some evidence of this? Point me to it.

      "Even if we had perfect records, there’s a problem in saying that this plot of land belongs to a particular individual. "
      Precisely, which is exactly why the laws concerning inheritance simply do not apply.
      "If all nations would suddenly claim territories in which their forefathers had lived two thousand years ago, this world would be a madhouse. …"
      - Eric Fromm.

    • You might have a point Mooser. Is myopia a symptom? It seems Jack has paid a visit and failed to see my question. At least I assume he didn't see it. If he had he would have answered would he not?

    • Both. They are not mutually exclusive.

      Now I have answered your question, how 'bout answering mine:
      “If you are just taking back your own land, that’s not stealing.”
      I am sure the police would agree with you but first they would want to see some proof of ownership. What do you or your fellow Zionists have Jack? Can any of you point to a plot of land and truthfully state that this is where my ancestors lived? How do you know that they did not sell that plot before departing? Bear in mind that few Historians believe that there was a general expulsion of Jews around 70 AD.
      In fact, the so-called "diaspora" began much earlier:

      "As early as the middle of the 2nd century BCE the Jewish author of the third book of the Oracula Sibyllina addressed the "chosen people," saying: "Every land is full of thee and every sea." The most diverse witnesses, such as Strabo, Philo, Seneca, Luke (the author of the Acts of the Apostles), Cicero, and Josephus, all mention Jewish populations in the cities of the Mediterranean basin. See also History of the Jews in India and History of the Jews in China for pre-Roman (and post-) diasporic populations." - Wikipedia.

      Let me now quote Israel Bartal, Avraham Harman Professor of Jewish History, and the former Dean of the Faculty of Humanities at Hebrew University. Since 2006 he is the chair of the Historical Society of Israel.
      "No "nationalist" Jewish historian has ever tried to conceal the well-known fact that conversions to Judaism had a major impact on Jewish history in the ancient period and in the early Middle Ages. Although the myth of an exile from the Jewish homeland (Palestine) does exist in popular Israeli culture, it is negligible in serious Jewish historical discussions. Important groups in the Jewish national movement expressed reservations regarding this myth or denied it completely.......
      ,,,,,,The central book of the Zionist "Jerusalem School," "Toldot am yisrael" ("History of the Jewish People," published in 1969), speaks extensively of the Jewish communities that existed in the Diaspora before the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem and whose total population exceeded that of the tiny Jewish community in Palestine. As one would expect from a work that reflects a profound knowledge of scholarly studies in the field, the Zionist "Toldot am yisrael" explains that the number of Jews in the Diaspora during the ancient period was as high as it was because of conversion, a phenomenon that "was widespread in the Jewish Diaspora in the late Second Temple period .... Many of the converts to Judaism came from the gentile population of Palestine, but an even greater number of converts could be found in the Jewish Diaspora communities in both the East and the West "

      My question to you is, which group retain title to real estate and which do your ancestors belong to?
      Jews who migrated of their own accord?
      Converts to Judaism?
      Rebels who were taken as slaves by the Romans?

      Do you know? Any Land Court in a sane society would surely need to know before issuing judgment.

    • And so it goes - ethnic cleansing by unrelenting pressure, incremental theft. How anyone can imagine it is not a deliberate policy of expelling the indigenous people is beyond my comprehension.
      But then most do not know.
      How did that come about?
      How is it that some of the wealthiest, most influential people in this World support this dastardly enterprise?
      It will end but it will not end well.

  • Video: Living Under Fire
  • Prince Charles decried White House's failure to take on 'Jewish lobby' over Israel
    • Can never hear "Talk to the trees" without thinking of Prince Charles' favourite comic Spike Milligan whose version goes:
      "I talk to the trees, that's why they put me away"

    • You piqued my curiosity Bumblebye. Nothing to do with Zionism however according to Wikipedia. She was deeply religious (Greek Orthodox):

      " before she died she had expressed her wish to be buried at the Convent of Saint Mary Magdalene in Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem (near her aunt Grand Duchess Elizabeth Fyodorovna, a Russian Orthodox saint). When her daughter, Princess George of Hanover, complained that it would be too far away for them to visit her grave, Princess Andrew jested, "Nonsense, there's a perfectly good bus service!"[52] Her wish was realized on 3 August 1988 when her remains were transferred to her final resting place in a crypt below the church"

      .....though she is "Righteous Among the Nations" for her work with Jewish refugees in Athens during WWII.

  • How Avi Shlaim moved from two-state solution to one-state solution
    • Avi Shlaim is a true gent. I had a query concerning the History once and ventured an email to him. His response was prompt, courteous and kind though we had never met.

  • Five Palestinians bodies recovered from tunnel bombing after Israeli court ignores emergency rescue petition
    • Goodness me. This thread is still going.
      “If you are just taking back your own land, that’s not stealing.”
      I am sure the police would agree with you but first they would want to see some proof of ownership. What do you or your fellow Zionists have Jack? Can any of you point to a plot of land and truthfully state that this is where my ancestors lived? How do you know that they did not sell that plot before departing? Bear in mind that few Historians believe that there was a general expulsion of Jews around 70 AD.
      In fact, the so-called "diaspora" began much earlier:

      "As early as the middle of the 2nd century BCE the Jewish author of the third book of the Oracula Sibyllina addressed the "chosen people," saying: "Every land is full of thee and every sea." The most diverse witnesses, such as Strabo, Philo, Seneca, Luke (the author of the Acts of the Apostles), Cicero, and Josephus, all mention Jewish populations in the cities of the Mediterranean basin. See also History of the Jews in India and History of the Jews in China for pre-Roman (and post-) diasporic populations." - Wikipedia.

      Let me now quote Israel Bartal, Avraham Harman Professor of Jewish History, and the former Dean of the Faculty of Humanities at Hebrew University. Since 2006 he is the chair of the Historical Society of Israel.
      "No "nationalist" Jewish historian has ever tried to conceal the well-known fact that conversions to Judaism had a major impact on Jewish history in the ancient period and in the early Middle Ages. Although the myth of an exile from the Jewish homeland (Palestine) does exist in popular Israeli culture, it is negligible in serious Jewish historical discussions. Important groups in the Jewish national movement expressed reservations regarding this myth or denied it completely.......
      ,,,,,,The central book of the Zionist "Jerusalem School," "Toldot am yisrael" ("History of the Jewish People," published in 1969), speaks extensively of the Jewish communities that existed in the Diaspora before the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem and whose total population exceeded that of the tiny Jewish community in Palestine. As one would expect from a work that reflects a profound knowledge of scholarly studies in the field, the Zionist "Toldot am yisrael" explains that the number of Jews in the Diaspora during the ancient period was as high as it was because of conversion, a phenomenon that "was widespread in the Jewish Diaspora in the late Second Temple period .... Many of the converts to Judaism came from the gentile population of Palestine, but an even greater number of converts could be found in the Jewish Diaspora communities in both the East and the West "

      My question to you is, which group retain title to real estate and which do your ancestors belong to?
      Jews who migrated of their own accord?
      Converts to Judaism?
      Rebels who were taken as slaves by the Romans?

      Do you know? Any Land Court in a sane society would surely need to know before issuing judgment.

    • Jack.
      I strongly recommend that you read the articles to which you have linked as well as the Eran Elhaik work I linked to above (which is the most recent and comprehensive, taking into account other factors such as linguistic geography) if you are interested in the topic for its own sake for it is extraneous to the main issue.
      As I said above:
      It is very complex and, in the end, a really rather stupid argument when applied to the Israel/Palestine question.
      Who, in their right mind, can assert that a tract of land belongs to them by virtue of their DNA?
      Perhaps you might like to comment on that. Do you believe that land ownership is somehow connected to genetics?

    • "The genetic studies reinforce the historical, archaeological & religious claims."
      Simply not so.
      All, including Ostrer have found that Palestinians and Mizrahi are virtually identical and that Ashkenazim are quite distinct.
      The latest research has re-vitalized the Khazar hypothesis:

      It is very complex and, in the end, a really rather stupid argument when applied to the Israel/Palestine question.
      Who, in their right mind, can assert that a tract of land belongs to them by virtue of their DNA?

      "It is often said that the Arabs fled, that they left the country voluntarily, and that they therefore bear the responsibility for losing their property and their land. It is true that in history there are some instances — in Rome and in France during the Revolutions when enemies of the state were proscribed and their property confiscated. But in general international law, the principle holds true that no citizen loses his property or his rights of citizenship; and the citizenship right is de facto a right to which the Arabs in Israel have much more legitimacy than the [European] Jews. Just because the Arabs fled? Since when is that punishable by confiscation of property and by being barred from returning to the land on which a people’s forefathers have lived for generations? Thus, the claim of the Jews to the land of Israel cannot be a realistic political claim. If all nations would suddenly claim territories in which their forefathers had lived two thousand years ago, this world would be a madhouse. … I believe that, politically speaking, there is only one solution for Israel, namely, the unilateral acknowledgement of the obligation of the State towards the Arabs — not to use it as a bargaining point, but to acknowledge the complete moral obligation of the Israeli State to its former inhabitants of Palestine."
      - Eric Fromm.
      Jewish Newsletter [New York] (19 May 1959); quoted in Prophets in Babylon (1980) by Marion Woolfson, p. 13.

    • You mean like most of the the justifications for massacre given by Israel?

    • Again Jack, you should read the articles you cite. From your latest, right after the misleading quote you posted:
      "Curiously, a 2013 study of the maternal origins of Ashkenazi Jews suggests that their ancestors were prehistoric European women from the Northern Mediterranean—and not the Middle East or the Caucasus, as other research has posited. The study analyzed mitochondrial DNA (loops of genetic material passed down from mother to child in tiny organelles carried by their eggs).

      Led by Martin B. Richards of the University of Leeds in the UK, the research suggests that 40 percent of the variation in Ashkenazi mitochondrial DNA can be traced to prehistoric Europe, indicating that the maternal ancestors of most modern Ashkenazi Jews converted to Judaism some 2,000 years ago."

    • I wonder if Jack reads the stuff he posts. From the preamble to the article:
      "The existence of some eastern Eurasian haplotypes in eastern Ashkenazi Jews supports an East Asian genetic contribution, likely from Chinese. Further evidence indicates that this connection can be attributed to a gene flow event that occurred less than 1.4 kilo-years ago (kya), which falls within the time frame of the Silk Road scenario and fits well with historical records and archaeological discoveries. This observed genetic contribution from Chinese to Ashkenazi Jews demonstrates that the historical exchange between Ashkenazim and the Far East was not confined to the cultural sphere but also extended to an exchange of genes."

    • Jack.
      Most of us try to deal with the real World of deeds and actions, not paranoid fantasies.
      Do you have an example of such a Doctor ?

    • Very simple to explain " the ratio of civilian to combatant deaths in Gaza was by far the lowest in any asymmetric conflict in the history of warfare".
      Israel counts every Hamas death as combatant. 90% of Hamas revenue is spent on social services however so the vast majority of Hamas people are teachers, nurses, cleaners, office workers etc.
      This also explains why so much Hasbara is dedicated to branding Hamas as blood drinking terrorists which they are not. 90% of their revenue is spent on social services.

    • Well I mean...., golly....., gee, I don't know what to say Jack.
      A quote from an unnamed, purportedly Hamas operative boasting of "capturing Israel" on Rosh Hannah 2014 in a book authored by a loony fundamentalist Christian Zionist pommy twat whose end-times scribblings explain "the logistics of understanding God's plan for Israel".
      I must have missed reporting of the 2014 Rosh Hannah attack Jack. Apart from a few patently absurd echo-chamber reports of "Hamas plans" citing an "unnamed source" around that time, tell us what happened. How many civilians have been killed using tunnels? How many IDF soldiers?

      If you truly are frightened by unnamed sources who describe "Hamas plans", try Mooser's remedy. He reckons Ziocaine is good for Pre-traumatic Stress Disorder.

    • @loeste
      "they are there for one reason only—to kill jews "
      Shockingly inefficient then.
      Tunnelers have taken a toll of about one Israeli soldier per year. That is about one twentieth the annual suicide rate in the IDF. The primary cause of death in that outfit:

    • Vanity Fair had the full story:
      "After failing to anticipate Hamas’s victory over Fatah in the 2006 Palestinian election, the White House cooked up yet another scandalously covert and self-defeating Middle East debacle: part Iran-contra, part Bay of Pigs. With confidential documents, corroborated by outraged former and current U.S. officials, the author reveals how President Bush, Condoleezza Rice, and Deputy National-Security Adviser Elliott Abrams backed an armed force under Fatah strongman Muhammad Dahlan, touching off a bloody civil war in Gaza and leaving Hamas stronger than ever."

    • "Tunnels played a crucial role in the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. Tunnels were used to bring in food and weapons. Without tunnels, the earlier death rate in the ghetto from malnutrition and consequent disease would likely have been higher. In the end, many of the fighters used the tunnels to escape the fate of those who did not fight: transit to a death camp.

      The various groups in Gaza did not build tunnels because they like to dig. They were dug for the same reasons the Jews had in Warsaw: to get supplies. And both some of the Jews and some of the Palestinians used the tunnels to get the weapons they needed to fight the army of the nation that had put them in their respective ghettos."

  • Thousands march to UK parliament calling for justice on Balfour centenary
    • Dear Greta. Lovely to see you here. I still miss our friend Earl, was with him in KL not long before he passed. Mike (Angelgabriel) stayed with me here in Kiwiville for some months and is currently visiting his home state. How time flies. Truthout is a long time gone!
      Regards to you and gratitude for all the good work.

    • "the Palestinian Arabs 1,400 year occupation and colonization of the land "

      Mr Hirsch not only doesn't understand the "terms occupation and colonization", he has not read any reliable History of the region, contemporary genetic analysis of the Palestinian and Middle Eastern Jewish origins or linguistic History and displays a disposition towards belief in fantasy, indicating (I suppose) that Israeli schools must teach this nonsense along with nursery rhymes at a very early age for it to have taken root in his consciousness in spite of all the contrary evidence and in defiance of common sense.

      In Biblical times, the people of this area were a collection of closely related (genetically speaking) tribes whose main differences were found in their belief systems. For a very brief period (mostly mythical), Judaism prevailed. In the post-Roman era, these myths were overlaid with a narrative largely invented within Judaism but also promoted by the emerging Christian adherents who, by the twentieth century, comprised about 20% of the Palestinian population. This narrative included the now utterly refuted idea of a Roman expulsion of Jews and confused belief systems with racial/tribal concepts.

      Leaving aside the Muslim faction for the moment, just who were these Christians? Their language (Aramaic) was also the language of parts of the Hebrew Bible, indicating that even within Judaism, rifts and schisms were already appearing. It is reasonable to assume that the Christian Palestinians were descendants of Jews who adopted this branch of Judaism.

      Might it not also be reasonable to suspect that when Islam came (and with it release from the oppression of Judaism under the Crusaders) many Christians and Judaics embraced this second offshoot? Bear in mind that the "conversion by the sword" is now a discredited myth although power has always played a part in the spread of belief systems.

      What Hirsch calls colonialism was in fact the movement of ideas, not people. The DNA record confirms it, the Historical record confirms it both positively in the literature of the day but also in the absence of any descriptions of population movement at the time. The belief that Jews have held strictly to one faith is a fantasy exposed by the various sects within Judaism, the changes within it and, in this modern era, the growing numbers of non-religious Jews both in Israel and Worldwide.

  • Jewish leaders seek to shut down anti-occupation movie in MA because it 'sniffs of Nazism'
    • May 19, 2016 On Reality Asserts Itself with Paul Jay, legendary musician Roger Waters and Sut Jhally discuss their new film about the Israeli public relations campaign to influence U.S. public opinion

  • Cartoon of Dershowitz mingled appropriate satire and anti-Semitic imagery
  • Gerard Butler, Gene Simmons, and Pee Wee Herman help raise $53.8 million for the IDF
    • "For 2,000 years, we were a stateless people....."
      "Larry Ellison was born in New York City, to an unwed Jewish mother. His biological father was an Italian American United States Army Air Corps pilot.
      Although Ellison was raised in a Reform Jewish home by his adoptive parents, who attended synagogue regularly, he remained a religious skeptic. Ellison states: "While I think I am religious in one sense, the particular dogmas of Judaism are not dogmas I subscribe to. I don't believe that they are real. They're interesting stories. They're interesting mythology, and I certainly respect people who believe these are literally true, but I don't. I see no evidence for this stuff." At age thirteen, Ellison refused to have a bar mitzvah celebration.[11] Ellison says that his love affair with Israel is not connected to religious sentiments, but rather due to the innovative spirit of Israelis in the technology sector"
      - Wikipedia.

      Watchu mean "we" white boy ?

    • "Star studded" ?
      Must refer to the piercings. I've seen more talent at my granddaughter's school play.

  • 'Daily Californian' cartoon of Dershowitz dripping blood unleashes another furor over anti-Semitic canards
  • 'It being clearly understood…': What the Balfour Declaration tells us about Israel
    • "British Colonial Secretary Lord Cavendish also wrote about this agreement and its result in a 1923 memorandum to the British Cabinet, stating: “The object [of the Balfour Declaration] was to enlist the sympathies on the Allied side of influential Jews and Jewish organizations all over the world… [and] it is arguable that the negotiations with the Zionists…did in fact have considerable effect in advancing the date at which the United States government intervened in the war.”Former British Prime Minister Lloyd George similarly referred to the deal, telling a British commission in 1935: “Zionist leaders gave us a definite promise that, if the Allies committed themselves to giving facilities for the establishment of a national home for the Jews in Palestine, they would do their best to rally Jewish sentiment and support throughout the world to the Allied cause. They kept their word.”[xxiv]

      Brandeis University professor and author Frank E. Manuel reported that Lloyd George had testified in 1937 “that stimulating the war effort of American Jews was one of the major motives which, during a harrowing period in the European war, actuated members of the cabinet in finally casting their votes for the Declaration.”"

  • Balfour and Britain's broken promise
    • @DaBakr
      Sorry old mate. From where I sit your post looks like 90% gobbledegook, the balance being the outright falsehood contained in:
      "mistakes the Arabs have made in avoiding negotiations"

  • US Jews need to stop criticizing Israel if they want two-state solution -- Israeli liberal
    • "you can’t build something healthy on a criminal foundation"
      - Avigail Abarbanel.
      Ain't that the truth. The rot permeated colonial and imperial enterprises more slowly before the information age but it is swifter now.

    • "I think the dangers of the middle east are very real"
      Yes, things have changed a lot since Gertrude Bell, an unaccompanied European lady, was free to wander around the place advising Sheiks and potentates:
      Something must have happened. Any clues yonah?

    • "but he didn’t say anything not even one word about the Palestinian responsibility for the conflict. About the incitement, about the terror, about the opportunities they missed every time! Nothing. It was like they didn’t even exist. "
      Obviously he did not say anything about the massacres, rapes and dispossession either.
      Lets see now. A mass of immigrants invades and expels an indigenous population by massacre and mayhem and this woman speaks of "the Palestinian responsibility for the conflict".
      I am forced to believe Atzmon is correct about liberal zionists.

  • Maryland governor's order against BDS is sure to backfire, boycott advocates say
  • Balfour anniversary drives a wedge into British consensus on Israel
    • Wheels within wheels:
      "British Colonial Secretary Lord Cavendish also wrote about this agreement and its result in a 1923 memorandum to the British Cabinet, stating: “The object [of the Balfour Declaration] was to enlist the sympathies on the Allied side of influential Jews and Jewish organizations all over the world… [and] it is arguable that the negotiations with the Zionists…did in fact have considerable effect in advancing the date at which the United States government intervened in the war.”Former British Prime Minister Lloyd George similarly referred to the deal, telling a British commission in 1935: “Zionist leaders gave us a definite promise that, if the Allies committed themselves to giving facilities for the establishment of a national home for the Jews in Palestine, they would do their best to rally Jewish sentiment and support throughout the world to the Allied cause. They kept their word.”[xxiv]

      Brandeis University professor and author Frank E. Manuel reported that Lloyd George had testified in 1937 “that stimulating the war effort of American Jews was one of the major motives which, during a harrowing period in the European war, actuated members of the cabinet in finally casting their votes for the Declaration.”"

  • Trump plays to the neocons and Netanyahu to get some establishment support
    • It is little more than a gut feeling at present but I think Putin may have planned his legacy - the taming of Israel and the neo-cons.
      It was the Russian AT-13 Saxhorn-2 that disabled 50 Merkava tanks forcing Israel to a cease-fire in 2006 despite Hezbollah having virtually no anti-aircraft defense. During that affray, an Iranian modified missile severely damaged an Israeli Sa'ar 5-class corvette 10 miles off the coast.
      The other day an Israeli aircraft was reportedly hit by a Soviet era S-200 (the IDF admitted damage but said it was "bird-strike").
      Good analysis of 2006 here:
      Nasrallah has stated that Hezbollah now has the capability to target all major cities in Israel with missiles and he is not known to issue idle threats. I'd love to know if Israeli civilians are moving out of Bekaa and the Golan. I think it highly likely.
      Right now I think that the IDF will be very nervous about attacking anyone or even possibly defending the Golan if Syria and its allies decide to take it back.
      The incremental nature indicates a chess-player's mind in back of these events. If the cooperation between Hezbollah, the SAA and Iran holds, Israel is between a rock and a hard place - particularly if Jordan grows a pair and joins up.
      I believe this is why the push is on to degrade Iran. How Putin would respond is anybody's guess but no doubt he has a contingency plan.
      Interesting times.

  • Balfour at 100: A legacy of racism and propaganda
    • Sorry to put you to the bother of writing yet another obfuscation Nathan. My post was what the British call a piss-take, the point being that Israel is all bad faith negotiations, no change in behaviour. Amigo puts it in context.

    • 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.

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