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Total number of comments: 681 (since 2009-08-02 08:11:58)


69 yr old male 5th generation New Zealander.


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  • If I had to live in Israel again, 'it would actually drive me insane' -- Shaul Magid
    • "I think Jews have learned successfully to be in America as Jews. The haredim have learned how to live in America, the assimilated Jews have learned to live in America, non orthodox Jews have learned to live in America…"
      ....from where I sit (the Historical bench) this is one of the silliest among an entire genre of lachrymose, self-absorbed statements invented by those culturally infused with an obsolete, unjustifiable sense of (and obsession with) "apartness".

  • Literary hero Yossi Klein Halevi says anti-Zionist Jews aren't Jewish
  • Tom Friedman has advice for Palestinians: Embrace Zionism
    • They know they've lost the justification battle. The History is out there. It is quite rare, around the blogs these days, to hear the old fables. The current thrust is at changing the dialogue into "Aww shucks, past is past, we're willing to make a deal".

      Of course the deal will be one the Palestinians could not possibly accept so the radicals will get testy and fire a few rockets (there have been few in the last few years).

      Another mowing of the lawn, a little more cleansing in the occupied territories - a step closer to annexation.

      All with barely a tut tut from the likes of Friedman.

  • Israeli ambassador lodges anti-Semitism complaint against Dutch song mocking Israel's human right record
    • Many of the most viewed Youtube clips are films of disasters.

    • At the last meeting of my local Musicians Association it was proposed that a petition be mounted asking Israel to keep the Eurovision Song Contest in perpetuity.
      It was decided that such a move would result in a marked increase in the quality of music in both Israel and the rest of the World.

  • Documenting Palestinian invisibility for 40 years -- an interview with James Zogby
    • "I think that it’s in the best interest of the Palestinians to end the conflict with Israel and to strike a deal."
      Undoubtedly you do.

    • @Nathan.
      The denial of Palestinian Human rights predates the "armed struggle", continues during it and has never ceased.
      Their rights were traduced by Imperial forces who imposed a flood of immigrants on them against their stated wishes - an immigrant horde whose leaders boasted of making their homeland "as Jewish as England is English".
      Their rights were denied when the Mandate imprisoned or killed one tenth of their able menfolk and confiscated their weapons.
      Their rights were denied when the well-armed immigrants drove them from their homes amid massacre and rapine.
      Their right to return to their homes and property remains denied to this day.

      It is enshrined in International law that defeat cancels no rights whatsoever.

      That these rights remain invisible to you, hidden behind a primitive and profoundly mistaken concept of War and its capabilities is testament to how apposite Zogby's phrase is.

  • For we are God's special victims (an ode to the state of Israel)
    • Misterioso. You and I seem to frequent the same internet bars and dives. Always good to see your contributions.
      Khalidi writes with palpable, quiet love for the land and its pre-colonial ways. I grew up in rural New Zealand in a similar cooperative environment and can truly relate to the essential relationship between the soil and its carers that is interwoven with the History he writes. It is a whole different emotion to the Zionist attitude to what they allege is their "ancestral homeland". Palestinians like Khalidi are "of the land" - the soil possesses them. With Zionists it is the other way around.

    • Naftush
      You are correct, Resolution 181 speaks only of “such compensation” only in the event of land expropriation for public purposes". It doesn't specifically deal with the theft of land by way of massacre and rapine. One can only speculate that the writers were under the impression they were dealing with civilized folk.
      Always a mistake when dealing with a psychopathic ideology such as Zionism.

    • Your post inspired a response.......but I made it to the lavatory in time.

    • "an Israeli couple near the town of Sderot watching the military attack Gaza"

      I wonder if it ever crosses their mind:
      "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 people are behind the wire in Gaza.

  • Philadelphia Jewish groups try to stop publication of article critical of Israel, insist on BDS training for Inquirer editors
    • I would suggest that any re-coloration is down to her publicist who probably advised her to lose the coke-bottle glasses for the shoot. Despite the khaki wash, the publicity shot is more glamorous than the somewhat homely reality :

  • Netanyahu's cheap theatrics fall flat, but alas, he has an audience of one -- Trump
    • Thanks JD. I'm doing a study of sense of humour among sociopaths.
      Your comment is useful.

    • Thanks JA. It sprang, fully formed, into my head whilst watching Netanyahu's exhibition of hypocritical obfuscation. Was there ever such a display of exceptionalism? It truly is a national psychosis.

    • May 1 Statement on Iran by the IAEA Spokesperson:

      In December 2015, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano presented the Final Assessment on past and present outstanding issues regarding Iran’s nuclear programme to the IAEA Board of Governors.

      In the report, the Agency assessed that, before the end of 2003, an organizational structure was in place in Iran suitable for the coordination of a range of activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device. Although some activities took place after 2003, they were not part of a coordinated effort. The Agency’s overall assessment was that a range of activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device were conducted in Iran prior to the end of 2003 as a coordinated effort, and some activities took place after 2003. The Agency also assessed that these activities did not advance beyond feasibility and scientific studies, and the acquisition of certain relevant technical competences and capabilities. The same report stated that the Agency had no credible indications of activities in Iran relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device after 2009. Based on the Director General’s report, the Board of Governors declared that its consideration of this issue was closed.

      In line with standard IAEA practice, the IAEA evaluates all safeguards-relevant information available to it. However, it is not the practice of the IAEA to publicly discuss issues related to any such information.

    • Mossad Chief: "Bibi, all those files we confiscated off Vanunu are taking up space in the basement. Can we dump 'em?"
      Netanyahu: "Deliver them to my office. You've given me an idea."

  • 'I came today to tell the Israeli sniper we are not afraid of him': the Great March of Return continues in Gaza
  • Killing Palestinian protesters turns into a PR debacle for Israel
    • The "Israeli territory" proximate to Gaza belongs to the inmates behind the fence - by International law and U.N. dictate.
      Your sentence should read: "Then once the Hamas guys come into occupied territory" which obviously negates this " the IDF can legitimately open fire".

  • 'NY Times' covers up Israel's killing of nonviolent protesters along the Gaza border
    • "Back in 1915, Mexican revolutionaries crossed the Mexican-American border"
      Arguments by analogy are not only lame they are fallacious.
      Jackdaw's comment confirms one suspicion that has been growing in me for some time: Zionist ideology is at least a century out of date.

    • "I think that the leaders of Hamas, having encouraged this, now can go ahead and lead by example. "

      Following the example set by Netanyahu and the Likud Cabinet??

      Stick your ridiculous double standard where the monkey stuffs his nuts.

  • Older Jews are officially terrified of young Jews' views of Israel
    • Steve Grover.
      It is probably not wise to reveal the interior of a dirty little mind when one is publicly debating, purporting to possess some kind of moral righteousness. Your grubby little comment has annihilated any shred of credibility you might have possessed.

  • The problem with Passover
    • Jon s
      There is a vast difference between the simple observance of harmless rituals arising out of a mythologized past and the practice of ethnic cleansing - based on those myths. That is the essential difference between anti-Judaism and anti-Zionism. Precisely the same as anti-Islam and anti-Islamic fundamentalism. That posters here are anti-Zionist is manifestly obvious.
      Put a note in your play-book. That stuff doesn't work anymore.

  • 'NYT' free speech advocate Bari Weiss reportedly helped bring down a Columbia dean over 'intellectual heresy'
    • Mr. Ahmadinejad did not say what the US Subcommittee on Intelligence Policy reported that he said: "They have invented a myth that Jews were massacred and place this above God, religions and the prophets." He actually said, "In the name of the Holocaust they have created a myth and regard it to be worthier than God, religion and the prophets." This language targets the myth of the Holocaust, not the Holocaust itself - i.e., "myth" as "mystique", or what has been done with the Holocaust. Other writers, including important Jewish theologians, have criticized the "cult" or "ghost" of the Holocaust without denying that it happened. In any case, Mr. Ahmadinejad's main message has been that, if the Holocaust happened as Europe says it did, then Europe, and not the Muslim world, is responsible for it.

      Why is Mr. Ahmadinejad being so systematically misquoted and demonized? Need we ask? If the world believes that Iran is preparing to attack Israel, then the US or Israel can claim justification in attacking Iran first. On that agenda, the disinformation campaign about Mr. Ahmadinejad's statements has been bonded at the hip to a second set of lies: promoting Iran's (nonexistent) nuclear weapon programme.

      - Virginia Tilley is a professor of political science, a US citizen working in South Africa, and author of The One-State Solution: A Breakthrough for Peace in the Israeli-Palestinian Deadlock (University of Michigan Press and Manchester University Press, 2005).'s%20mouthhtml.htm

    • Whatever one might think the fellow, "petty tyrant" is not a fit. He was an elected official, answerable to the Majlis (Parliament) with few, if any, executive powers. Close reading of his actual words revealed perfectly reasonable argument. The distortions of them in the MSM were an altogether different story.
      Kudos to professor Anderson for inviting him. The reaction in the press and among neo-cons such as Weiss was disgusting.

  • Rabbi Cardozo: outlawing circumcision would 'end the state of Israel'
  • Jared Kushner's swift rise and long, long fall
  • 18-year-old fisherman killed by Israeli forces off the coast of Gaza
    • The British are not in the habit of firing rockets onto their own land at present. I dare say that would change should some alien immigrants occupy it and force them into a fenced off enclave however.

  • In calling for end of Jewish state, Avraham Burg is painted as 'troublemaker' at liberal NY synagogue
    • The outstanding example being Sheikh Ahmed Ismail Hassan Yassin.
      Yassin, a quadriplegic who was nearly blind, had used a wheelchair since a sporting accident at the age of 12 .
      Israel sent a helicopter gunship that killed him and nine innocent bystanders. His crime?
      He was instrumental in founding a political movement called Hamas.
      According to the Israeli Human Rights organization B'Tselem, which uses data independent of the Israeli military, Israeli targeted killings claimed 425 Palestinian lives between September 2000 and August 2011. It is worthy of note that these targeted executions are accompanied by an equal number of dead bystanders.

  • Iran wants to annihilate 6 million Jews -- Netanyahu's Munich rant, interrupted
    • Mayhem.
      Y'mean like these tens of thousands protesting?:
      Oh. Hang on a minute mate, those are the huge pro government demonstrations in response to the West-sponsored "Green" protests..

    • To push Iran back, Israel ramps up support for Syrian rebels, 'arming 7 different groups'
      With the Assad regime's advances the civil war and America's reduced involvement in the region, Israel has been forced to make significant changes in its policies in the Golan Heights
      Amos Harel | Feb. 21, 2018 | 2:10 PM
      Analyst Elizabeth Tsurkov, who has followed events in Syria closely for the last several years and has interviewed many rebel militiamen and residents of the Syrian Golan, published a detailed survey of developments in southern Syria in the War on the Rocks blog last week.

      Tsurkov said the scope of Israel’s involvement in southern Syria has changed in recent months in response to the regime’s successes in the civil war and Iran’s consolidation in Syria. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warns about the latter on every possible occasion and has repeatedly said Israel will work to thwart it.

      According to foreign media reports, over the past few months Israel has begun carrying out airstrikes against Syrian army facilities and targets linked to Iran and its Shi’ite militias, in addition to its longstanding targeting of convoys carrying arms to Hezbollah. Tsurkov also reported on other developments taking place.

      Dozens of rebels who spoke with Tsurkov described a significant change in the amount of aid they receive from Israel. Moreover, she said at least seven Sunni rebel organizations in the Syrian Golan are now getting arms and ammunition from Israel, along with money to buy additional armaments.
      - Haaretz

    • Please elucidate Mayhem.
      "what the Iranian regime is doing to destroy the economic fabric of its own society"
      What exactly are they doing?
      " their hegemonic ambitions"
      What are they and where are they evidenced?
      "the alliance that Syria has with Iran is just as valid as the alliance of Israel with US"
      Is there some reason why it is not equally "valid"?
      "if Israel were not the balancing force in the Middle East politik, that prevents the whole region from descending into a cataclysmic Islamic inferno"
      From where I sit, this is a blatant inversion of fact. Please support it with Historical evidence.

    • "Why does the Iranian regime deny its people hope and respect by jailing journalists and activists? "
      There were massive protests in both for and against the Iranian Government in Iran recently.
      To the best of my knowledge, no-one was jailed for simply protesting.

      "You complain about Iranian executions. "
      This is a bit more tricky, it being difficult to prove a negative but I can say that the much vaunted tale of two gays being hanged from cranes was put about by Mujaheddin El Kalq through their IranFocus site as an execution for being gay. In fact they were hanged for the kidnapping, rape and murder of a 13 year old boy.

      Close examination of the Iranian system reveals it to be a one of competing power centers elected by universal franchise with a high percentage of participating adults over 18. Much higher than the less than the roughly 50% that participate in most Western democracies. In short, it is possibly more democratic than the oligarchic system in the U.S. You can criticise it if you will but independent polls consistently reveal a far higher percentage of voter satisfaction with their government than is found in most Western so-called democracies.

      Incidentally, I watched this fascinating documentary by Adam Curtis (of "The Power of Nightmares" fame) last night. It is somewhat relevant:
      Netanyahu's speech is directed at those who have been convinced by the false propaganda that emanates from.......Israel.

  • The emperor's new terrorist
    • One can lie and claim that an Iranian drone on Israel's border is a brazen form of baiting, while routine Israeli bombing doesn't violate anything. One can claim that the Israeli film Foxtrot is anti-Israeli without having seen it, because lying is allowed. One can say the Tamimi family is a terror family and call a girl who slaps an armed soldier a "terrorist," because lying is allowed. The police commissioner can falsely accuse a teacher, Yakub Abu al-Kiyan, of being a "disgusting terrorist" linked to the Islamic State, because lying is allowed.

      Huge amounts of money can be transferred to the settlements because lying is permitted and necessary, and so is stealing. It can be claimed that the tunnels from Gaza are an existential threat and that Hamas endangers Israel's existence; that we've left Gaza and it's free, and that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is an anti-Semite. Of course it can, it's all lies............
      .......And what's the claim that the country that controls the lives of 4.5 million subjects without rights is democratic if not the mother of all lies? And equality of Israel's Arab citizens - that's not a lie? The High Court of Justice controls the country, there's no increased religiosity, there's no discrimination against the Mizrahim, all the Arabs fled in 1948 and all the wars have been wars of no choice - all lies. The right can't do without them. Israel can't do without them by now.

      - Gideon Levy

  • 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!

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