Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 631 (since 2009-08-02 08:11:58)


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


Showing comments 631 - 601

  • 'An Arab is an Arab'
    • The British, and their colonial offspring, have always had a penchant for racist epithets - "wog", "coon", "Abo", "Hori". I have always viewed "Arab", when applied to Palestinians, as just another one of these.
      Zionists adopted it with relish as it supported the silly theses of Meir, Peters etc. which were built on one outstanding Historical misconception - the Roman expulsion of Jews from Palestine around 70AD. This is a firmly embedded myth.
      So far as I have been able to ascertain, the "Great Jewish Revolt" was really a fiasco. It was not a general revolt but a series of terrorist style skirmishes, perpetrated by a loony bunch - Zealots and the Sicarii (who didn't seem to care who they killed, Jews, Romans or Greeks). Both groups were opposed to the Jewish establishment who did not revolt.
      Their one victory against a small Roman Garrison went to their heads (God on their side they thought) so the Romans bottled them up in Jerusalem and laid siege.
      During the siege, the factions took to fighting among themselves, one group destroyed the food stocks (to encourage God to intervene) then quite possibly having set the Temple on fire themselves to cover their escape through the tunnels beneath (because God didn't intervene), they legged it to Masada and did a Jim Jones.
      There was no subsequent expulsion of Jews - the Sanhedrin was set up about 70 miles from Jerusalem where it remained for 300 years.
      Virtually the only good thing that resulted was a group who modelled themselves on the rebels nearly two millennia later - Monty Python's Flying Circus.
      “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.” – Prof. Israel Bartal, dean of the humanities faculty of the Hebrew University.

      I am often perturbed that very few people seem to grasp what is, to me, a very obvious fact. The Palestinians are the descendants of the people (including Jews) who inhabited the area in Roman times who, in the words of Geneticist Ariella Oppenheim, were "Christianized, Islamized and eventually culturally Arabized.

  • British Parliamentarians pay homage to Dick Cheney during debate over ISIS
    • rugal_b.
      It doesn't appear you have bought my argument that Earle is playing with symbols for the implication you draw from it depends on a literal interpretation. I can only re-iterate that the song would make no sense if it was meant literally, as is the case with the great majority of great political/protest songs. Pete Seeger didn't actually work in the Winnsboro Cotton Mill, I don't think Dylan's "I hope that you die and your death will come soon" was aimed at any individual. Song-writers deal in symbols. I shudder to think what great and inspirational works would have to be proscribed if your word/crime regime were to be followed to its logical conclusion.
      If, for the sake of of argument however we put all that aside and follow your drift, we run into some phantom support for your argument.
      "In reality, having a man often leads to the woman making harsh compromises, to accommodate the needs of the man i.e. she would be better off alone. Don’t believe me? Just ask any women here or those in your real life circles. "
      This is pure supposition on your part and it is not supported by my friends and associates. Consider, the number one factor in rehabilitation and reform, way ahead of religious conversion, was the entry of a "significant other" into a career criminal's life, according to a Corrections symposium broadcast on my National Radio just the other day.

      No. I do not think words should be given the injury status of physical acts. That mode of thinking is meat and drink to propagandists and promoters of War. The appropriate response to verbal "injury" is verbal.

    • Sorry rugal, not buyin' it

      "most of the time, it is words that hurt people"
      Words can possibly hurt, if you are yet to make the transition from adolescence to adult. Bombs, on the other hand can really ruin your day.
      That is why Mooser is unphased by your scurrilous words: " I feel bad for your wife and your children, especially your daughters."

      Charlie Hebdo is a disgrace and an apt example of the double standards that prevail among some who share your philosophy. It is a disgrace, mostly because it is not what it purports to be - funny.
      People get very confused when they try to hold contradictory ideals in their heads. Free speech and "words hurt people" are not congenial bedmates. In the Hebdo case, they wind up justifying the attackers and that opens up a huge can of worms.

    • GAS.
      Jeez, you got me again.
      Guitar Acquisition Syndrome
      Give A Shit
      General Adaptation Syndrome
      Guilty As Sin
      Good Academic Standing
      Growth Arrest-Specific
      Great American Smokeout

      ....but none really work. I know I'm gonna regret this but me.

    • I believe there is a World of difference between the emotional state induced by love and "being high on cocaine or piss drunk" but I think you are missing the point.
      Earle's song would make little sense taken literally, it is a metaphor, a scathing indictment of an American people to whom power is an aphrodisiac. To mistakenly interpret it as literal, one would have to ignore Earle's entire catalogue and particularly the album on which the song appears, The Revolution Starts Now, a collection of songs influenced by the Iraq war and the policies of the George W. Bush administration (that, incidentally won a Grammy for best contemporary folk album). Within this context, Earle's comment is simply an expression of the sentiment "make love not War", not a comment on "some sort of psychological reaction to not having a guy to sleep with".
      Your last line is decidedly offensive and a prime example of the viciousness inherent in the politically correct dogma you seem to espouse for you have aimed a disgusting smear at someone with whom you disagree on a matter of interpretation. You've jumped the gun. If Mooser's interpretation is genuinely held, your smear could not attach. So the applicability of the smear depends on your assessment of what Mooser believes. This is something you cannot know - the "correct" interpretation is irrelevant. This is the case in all ad hominem slurs (which is what these PC memes consist of) and precisely why I do not consider them a valid or useful contribution to debate.
      I'd like to amend my thought above to:
      How much wonderful romantic writing (and living) have these bastard neo-cons and their unwitting supporters, the Word Police, robbed us of?

    • Where, in the name of all that is burnished, did you get that Mooser? I got Heller:
      "In April a livelier iris gleamed upon the burnished dove" ....who probably got it from Henry van Dyke:
      "The burnished dove puts a livelier iris around his neck, and
      practises fantastic bows and amourous quicksteps along the verandah of the pigeon-house and on every convenient roof. The young male of the human species, less gifted in the matter of rainbows, does his best with a gay cravat, and turns the thoughts which circulate above it towards the securing or propitiating of a best girl."

      How much wonderful romantic writing (and living) have these bastard neo-cons robbed us of?

    • rugal_b
      Yes, I did consider that aspect but I don't think Earle is either misogynistic or homophobic. The song is deeply satirical, sending up those who "get off" on power like Condoleeza, who is a symbol for the cabal that has killed so many. I drew attention to the line because I believe Earle put it there to dispel any ambiguity in the song. Don't forget the performance was at Montreux which attracts a progressive audience and the reaction by that audience was positive. I think Earle used a little off-beat humour to make his point that these people are lacking in simple humanity.
      That being said, I must admit to being a little politically incorrect in that I judge verbal "assaults" by the degree of harm they are capable of inflicting rather than the modes promoted today. Earle's comment has the potential to hurt no-one but Rice and I doubt that she, who is party to the deaths of over a million civilians is likely wounded by having her humanity questioned. I kinda wish she was but that is his point isn't it?
      In general, I am often amused by the current trend towards making crimes out of words. It seems to me that members of that fraternity are quick to call others "sexist", "racist" or "anti-Semitic" (labels that can really do some harm) in response to either valid criticism or a little fun.
      My mother (1903-1978) taught me "sticks and stones will break my bones, words can never hurt me". I have never, during a long life amply supplied with insult and name-calling, had reason to doubt her wisdom.

    • Rice has her own memorial:

      Don't miss the throwaway line at the finish - "We could probably save a lot of lives if we just got her a boyfriend - or girlfriend"

  • A Response to Ben Norton on silence over war in Yemen
    • Evan W. Sandlin is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of California

      "Assad is a criminal and a murderer. Hezbollah has shown itself to be an unprincipled sectarian militant group willing to starve children to death".

      What do they teach at that school?

  • The sons of Sa'ir
    • rugal_b

      Thank you for this opportunity to express something that has long been "burning in my breast". It will take me "off-topic" somewhat so I beg indulgence.
      My own journey began with an epiphany in a restaurant on a small Pacific island back in the 70s. I was dining with and listening to a lovely woman tell tales of her upbringing in the Fiji islands. I was struck by two impressions - one was her beautiful "alabaster" skin (she was a descendant of very early settlers) and the other, the fact that she spoke as a native Fijian and only as a Fijian. That experience brought me up face to face with the fact that, despite five generations over 140 yrs in New Zealand, I still thought of myself as some kind of European, as did most of my peers. I remember vividly the sudden realization that I probably had much more in common with Pacific Islanders than with the English.
      I returned to Aotearoa with a much altered perspective towards the indigenous rights movement which was then effecting change (it ultimately brought about the Waitangi Tribunal and other measures ensuring a more cohesive society here in the "Shaky Isles").

      I don't think of this as particularly "enlightened", simply the product of a logical progression from that epiphany, a gradual realization of what it is that creates "belonging" and the part that "belonging" plays in our social well-being.

      Today, things have changed a great deal. The times I grew up in were a period of remoteness - Kiwis lucky enough to do "OE" (overseas experience) went by ship, the NZ population was under 2 million, immigration was at a very gentle, non-disruptive pace. Now I view, with some trepidation, the homogenization of NZ society brought about by a rate of immigration too rapid to allow assimilation and the preservation of that cultural uniqueness. New Zealand cities are now indistinguishable from the commercial, consumerist wastelands of their foreign counterparts. Folk like me tend to settle in rural communities where the communal spirit clings, tenuously - a spirit that, for me, began over dinner with a beautiful woman.
      I can only imagine the horrors of seeing one's society invaded, as in the 30s and 40s Palestine, by huge numbers of foreigners boasting not only an unwillingness to assimilate but a determination to rule and drastically alter the character of the land and people, bringing traditions and methods alien to the cultural and physical landscape

      The Zionist colonial model is the very antithesis of my credo. When I encounter Zionists deriding the "fellaheen" as "illiterate" prior to their invasion (therefore, I guess, deserving of subjugation) I am appalled at the blindness to the vast store of wisdom that resides in any indigenous community regardless of literacy.
      Oral traditions require prodigious intellectual powers. I have a close friend of Maori/Pakeha lineage who stands astride both cultures like a colossus. He has been to Harvard yet his greatest asset is an encyclopedic knowledge of the flora and fauna, the lore of this land and the genealogy of its people - all product of the oral tradition. He often tops polls for "preferred Prime Minister" because of this, not his Harvard education. Were he Palestinian, he would certainly be marked down for assassination by Shin Bet.

      In recent years I have been privileged to return to that same Island group in an Aid and Development capacity. My approach, informed by the above, has been one of communally and cooperatively seeking local solutions to local problems rather than pushing "best practice" based on Western models. My programmes are based on my long association with that Island group and its people, they incorporate traditional wisdom and have produced measurably better outcomes than the norm. As a result, I now have another "home" where, incidentally, I am a "Chief", entitled to land for a dwelling and speaking rights in chiefly councils.
      Would I take that offer up? I consider it seriously despite the fact that, were I to do so, my home would no longer be my castle and I would be expected to contribute more to the common interest than most (due to my ability and resources to so do) and I would be surrounded by folk who do not read books. By way of compensation however, my age would be valued and I would remain a functioning part of that village until I shuffle off, rather than increasingly becoming a stranger in the land of my birth as us old folk often seem to be regarded in the Western paradigm.
      In fact I probably will not leave New Zealand for, despite the changes I fear will be the lot of future generations, these trees are my trees, these legends are my legends, these Maori people are my people by virtue of a process begun that night over dinner and continues to gain momentum as the value of "belonging" overcomes more temporal, material desires and possessions.
      There are a few notable Israelis who have reached similar conclusions I think. Matti Peled, Uri Avnery and a substantial number of Mondoweissers. Bless 'em all. I haven't yet reached any conclusions with regard to Bernie.

    • italian ex-pat

      Your comment indicates a common confusion indicated by this phrase: "the territory the UN allocated them in 1947".
      The U.N. did not contemplate or sanction any transfer of property. Their allocation was exclusively Governorship. The "territory" (as in ownership) was seized by violence. Palestinians seek the rightful return of their property. Of course, were this to occur and Israel were to remain a "democracy", vast changes would be occasioned - which points straight to the massive lie that Zionism is composed of.

    • Yes Annie. As a Kiwi of Scottish/English descent I can attest that there comes a time in one's personal development when, no matter how many generations of occupation you can boast of, you must embrace the character of the land - become a part of it, listen to it and obey its impetus and direction. This is best achieved through full integration with the indigenous people who possess this knowledge in their very genes.
      5th generation Jews in Israel originating in Europe who have not done this are what? Europeans still. Not (as we say here in Aotearoa) Tangata Whenua - People of the land.
      My children and grandchildren, by the way, have beautiful, sun-resistant skin.

  • Christmas in Bethlehem
  • Palestinians took over in the afternoon, at the Haaretz NIF conference
    • This incident has all the appearance of a motor vehicle accident. Not saying it was, just observing that no-one could possibly distinguish between an accident, the like of which occurs every day in some part of the World, and this incident on first glance.
      We will never know of course but then, neither did the Israeli Police.
      Why then did the police open fire immediately? Don't give me the "he had an axe" - any police officer worth his salt could cope with that.
      Was the vehicle identifiable as Palestinian?

  • Israel should give back the Golan
    • "Writing for the London Review of Books, Seymour Hersh alleged that President Obama had “cherry picked” intelligence reports and deliberately misled the American people in an attempt to garner support for military operations in Syria this past summer. Hersh reported that military and intelligence officials had confirmed to him that a “deliberate manipulation of intelligence” had taken place in order to lay the blame for sarin gas attacks on President Bashar Al Assad and his regime. He also alleged that the Obama administration purposely buried intelligence relating to Syrian rebel groups and their involvement with sarin gas.

      Hersh says the media and others engaged in confirmation bias, seizing upon an uncertain UN report which linked the munitions used to deliver the deadly gas to those which are possessed by Assad’s regime. However, MIT Professor Theodore Postol and other experts later reviewed photos and determined the delivery vehicle was likely a local-made improvised device, pointing to the rebels as the culprits.

      Russian President and Assad ally Vladimir Putin has maintained that Syrian rebels had access to sarin. He told the G8 that Russia had evidence that the sarin gas was produced by Sunnis in Iraq. “We know that opposition fighters were detained on Turkish territory with chemical weapons,” Putin said. “We have information out of Iraq that a laboratory was discovered there for the production of chemical weapons by the opposition.” In his open letter to the American people, Putin asked why Assad would gas his own people and risk raising the ire of the international community."

      Read more: link to
      Follow us: @TheLibRepublic on Twitter

  • The 'betrayal of Jewish history' -- an interview with radical theologian Marc H. Ellis
    • I'm with you Keith. As someone who works in Aid and Development among many cultures (hence my frequent absences from these boards) my former conviction that the Judeo/Christian tradition was, at least, a civilizing process is diminishing. There are many other traditions that offered prophesy, enlightenment and systems of government yet died on the vine due to lack of a viable counter to aggression. The aggressiveness and obsession with War inherent in the Judaic tradition, prophesied by that tradition, are manifestly evident in all we see today. It is no longer a useful influence if humanity (with its diversity) is the goal.

  • (Update) This year for Halloween your child too can help defend the Israeli occupation
    • I stand corrected - thanks. My atheism can also stand

    • I grew up in a Halloween - free World although the school I went to had a chapel called "All Hallows" (All Saints). How did Saints become macabre ghosts, specters, wraiths and demons?
      I suspect at the bidding of commercial interests such as Walmart who figured Christmas couldn't be milked for more profit.
      This latest obscenity is just one more reason to reject such perversion of History, culture and humanism in the ungodly name of Mammon.
      My atheism is taking a hit.

  • Rescuing atheism from Harris and Hitchens
  • 'New Yorker' says anti-Zionism is 'firmly rooted' in British left, and it's anti-Semitic
    • "Imagine if an American politician, running for high office, had been filmed uttering those sentences " i.e. proposing talks with Hamas and Hezbollah.

      Nothing could more graphically illustrate the parlous state of the U.S. media-driven group-think.
      The only way to accord with one's perceived foes is through dialogue. Abandon dialogue and all that is left is violent conflict. Violent conflict leads only to greater polarization and, no matter who wins, sews the seeds of later and greater conflict.

  • A guide to the worst refugee crisis since WWII
    • A word from Deborah E. Lipstadt.

      Are these migrants fleeing for their lives, or are they trying to find a better economic and social future for their families? Some are coming because of intolerable and swiftly deteriorating security conditions; others may well see a strategic opening. We must be vigilant about humanitarian issues and more wary of an unquestioning open-door policy.
      What about Israel? In a rare personal turn, I find myself almost agreeing with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision not to accept any refugees. Israel has given extensive medical aid to Syrians caught in the bloody civil war. Many of them, while grateful, hide the fact that Israel helped them, and they do so because of the open hostility Syria’s citizens feel toward Israel.

      link to

  • White House uses Cheney to bolster support for Iran Deal
  • 'Jimmy Carter's cancer is God's punishment,' says leading Israeli newspaper
    • Jimmy has lived 15 years beyond a normal life-span. By the very same idio-logic it could very reasonably be argued that God allowed him those extra years to do exactly as he has done - speak against the Political direction the State of Israel has taken.

  • Why did a Jewish Day School student cry hysterically when she learned about the Deir Yassin massacre?
    • The false narrative is deeply embedded and very obviously false. To defeat the proposition that "Israel declared statehood then the surrounding Arab States attacked" it should only be necessary to quote the Declaration of the Arab League:

      (b) Peace and order have been completely upset in Palestine, and, in consequence of Jewish aggression, approximately over a quarter of a million of the Arab population have been compelled to leave their homes and emigrate to neighbouring Arab countries. The prevailing events in Palestine exposed the concealed aggressive intentions of the Zionists and their imperialistic motives, as clearly shown in their acts committed upon those peaceful Arabs and villagers of Deer Yasheen, Tiberias, and other places, as well as by their encroachment upon the building and bodies of the inviolable consular codes, manifested by their attack upon the Consulate in Jerusalem.
      link to

      ....which clearly demonstrates that the ethnic cleansing of 250,000 Palestinians and the massacres at Deir Yassin and Tiberius had already taken place when the League intervened. Ignoring this incontrovertible evidence can only be the result of a willful, orchestrated attempt to conceal the true nature of Zionist intent.

  • 'NYT' and Chris Matthews are frank about Jewish role in Iran Deal debate
    • I was always under the impression "allies" were those who stand shoulder to shoulder in conflict. Now I'm not sure I can recall a conflict in which the IDF and U.S. armed forces did this.
      We (NZ) did - WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam (to my shame) then we got booted out of ANZUS for banning nuclear armed ships from our harbours:
      link to
      Strange old World.

  • Racism is part of the landscape in the southern Israeli town of Dimona (Updated)
    • How does a society get to be this way?
      In my view, this essay goes a long way towards explaining:

      The populace is “educated” at schools and the universities staffed with submissive, and cowardly teachers and professors.

      The populace is “informed” by hundreds of thousands of servile journalists and “analysts”. There is almost no deviation from the official narrative.

      Congratulations, Western Empire! You have succeeded where others tried but failed. You have achieved almost absolute obedience and discipline, a total servility.

      And more than that most of the people actually think that they are free, that they are in control. They believe that they can choose, that they can decide. They are confident that theirs is the greatest civilization ever built on Earth!.....
      The extreme degree of compliance of the majority of men and women living in our societies makes old books like “Fahrenheit 451” and “1984” only moderately disturbing. Our reality of “2015” is much more psychedelic, bizarre and appalling… as well as shameful!

      link to

  • AIPAC spending estimated $40 million to oppose Iran Deal
    • They don't make Trolls like they used to!

    • Exactly what disaster is about to result from Iran agreeing to refrain from an activity that, according to Mossad , the UN's chief weapons inspector, American intelligence agencies Iran either never pursued or gave up years ago?

    • August 14, 2015
      AIPAC: Headed for Defeat (But That’s Not Why It’s Bad for the Jews)

      by Andrew Levine

      Mainstream media still try to keep news of its machinations to a minimum. But it is a losing battle. The lobby’s activities have become too flagrant, and the word is out.

      This is even more the case now than a few weeks ago. Since the successful conclusion of negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program between the P5 plus 1 (the United States, Great Britain, France, Russian, China and Germany) and Iran, the Israel lobby has cast discretion aside.

      Between now and late September, when Congress finishes “reviewing” the decisions reached in Vienna, AIPAC, along with other leading Israel lobby organizations – working in tandem with reactionary Iranians — will be pulling out all the stops, trying to undo what has been done.

      They have declared war on the Obama administration.

      link to

  • It's not bigoted to call out the Israel lobby over Iran Deal
    • Thank you Annie. I had not seen that vid. I love it and am experiencing a moment of pride and I am glad I brought the subject up.
      It seems to me that we live in a World where the moral imperative is subjugated to the expedient. I disagree. David disagreed. He was a friend of mine, he came from my town.
      It is possibly time his message, given here, is deserving of a revisit.

    • Page: 6
    • Perhaps I am stretching the bounds of the topic and pushing my own country's barrow a bit but I'm sure some of you will enjoy our sainted Prime Minister David Lange in full flight. An ordinary man who by some extraordinary circumstance, became a hugely popular Prime Minister. A man to whom morality took precedence over expedience. Here he is winning a debate with Jerry Falwell on the nuclear issue.

    • I was just musing on Hoppy's stout denial of Israel's pushing the U.S. into War in Iraq, Syria etc on this thread when it is very plain to see that this effort to derail the Iran accord is a push for a U.S. War with Iran - yet another "War for Israel".

      Another example of "chutzpah" is this article by Elliott Abrams, the arch-neo-con, who:

      repeatedly and purposely misled Congress about the government’s involvement with the death-squad-riddled Salvadoran military, the Nicaraguan Contra counter-revolutionaries and other Central American mass murderers. He whitewashed their massacres as well as the abuses of the Argentinean junta (who were kidnapping babies at the time and selling them) and the genocidal Guatemalan regime of Gen. Efrían Ríos Montt (currently on trial for crimes against humanity). Abrams did all this while casting aspersions on the motives of journalists and human rights workers who sought to tell the truth about these crimes. As a result of these offenses, among others, Abrams was forced to plead guilty to unlawfully withholding material information from Congress and to apologize to the Senate Intelligence Committee. He was also disbarred in the District of Columbia.
      link to

      He writes:

      The same accusations were then made about the second Gulf War, in 2003: Jews, and especially Jewish “neocons,” dragged America into that war. In their infamous tract The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer wrote that as what to do about Saddam Hussein was debated “there was another variable in the equation, and the war would almost certainly not have occurred had it been absent. That element was the Israel lobby….” And that view is widely spread across the Internet as well, and is a staple of anti-Semitic sites and organizations.
      link to

      This from a renowned Israel-firster, signatory to PNAC's letter to President Clinton calling for the removal of Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq by force if necessary!!

    • There is something rather comical about denying the influence of Israel's lobby in boosting America's Wars in the M.E - following an article clearly demonstrating that the Lobby is pushing to overturn the Iran accord. For what else is on the table if the agreement is indeed scuppered but War.

      The ‘Washington Institute for Near East Policy’ is itself one big false flag operation that uses ‘policy analysis’ to push far rightwing Israeli plans for perpetual war and Occupation in key US government agencies. US government personnel are even *detailed* there to ‘learn’ about the Middle East!

      Clawson and his shop were important in fooling the US into the Iraq War, and here is a little golden oldie from that effort:

      Patrick Clawson, ed. How to Build a New Iraq After Saddam, Washington Institute for Near East Policy, 2002.

      I hear the sequel, “How to Build a new Iran after Khamenei,” is just about out.
      link to

      Netanyahu steered U.S. toward war with Iran – the result is a deal he hates

      What truly focused U.S. priorities was that Israel made it clear to the White House in 2011-12 that Washington could otherwise be dragged into a war it could not control. One that would likely have devastating effects on both the United States and Israel. Thus started Obama’s urgent search for a nuclear deal.

      In clinching the deal with Iran, Obama has, above all, succeeded in averting a disastrous war that would not have prevented Tehran from acquiring nukes. And it was Netanyahu who made sure Obama thought war was on the horizon.
      link to

      Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert says the government of Benjamin Netanyahu spent almost $3 billion in the past two years preparing for a war against Iran's nuclear program that it probably never intended to wage......
      ......He said the extra spending was designed to make the United States believe that Israel genuinely intended to attack Iran’s nuclear program. Netanyahu hoped the perception would prod President Obama, who opposes an Israeli strike, to organize tighter sanctions against Iran and take action of his own to prevent it from crossing the nuclear threshold
      link to

    • Thanks Annie, I hadn't seen that one. Does it come any plainer? I suspect hasbarartists like Hoppy deny the bleeding obvious just to wind us up!!

    • Notes:
      "With Iraq no threat, why invade a sovereign country? The answer: President Bush’s policy to secure Israel. Led by Wolfowitz, Richard Perle and Charles Krauthammer, for years there has been a domino school of thought that the way to guarantee Israel’s security is to spread democracy in the area. Wolfowitz wrote: “The United States may not be able to lead countries through the door of democracy, but where that door is locked shut by a totalitarian deadbolt, American power may be the only way to open it up.”
      - U.S. Senator Hollings
      link to

      "removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq, an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right."
      - A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm, 1996 by Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, and David Wurmser, later chair of the Defense Policy Board, Undersecretary of Defense and special assistant to the Undersecretary of State for Arms Control respectively in the Bush spawn cabinet.

      "On no issue is the JINSA/CSP hard line more evident than in its relentless campaign for war–not just with Iraq, but “total war,” as Michael Ledeen, one of the most influential JINSAns in Washington, put it last year. For this crew, “regime change” by any means necessary in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian Authority is an urgent imperative. Anyone who dissents–be it Colin Powell’s State Department, the CIA or career military officers–is committing heresy against articles of faith that effectively hold there is no difference between US and Israeli national security interests"
      link to

      "Only nine days after the outrage, William Kristol (the son of the group’s founder, Irving Kristol) published an Open Letter to President Bush, asserting that it was not enough to annihilate the network of Osama bin Laden, but that it was also imperative to "remove Saddam Hussein from power" and to "retaliate" against Syria and Iran for supporting Hizbullah."
      - Uri Avnery
      The signatories:
      William Kristol - Gary Bauer - Max Boot - Frank Carlucci - Eliot Cohen - Midge Decter - Thomas Donnelly Frank Gaffney - Daniel Goure - Bruce P. Jackson - Donald Kagan - Robert Kagan - Lewis E. Lehrman - Tod Lindberg - Rich Lowry - Daniel McKivergan - Danielle Pletka - Norman Podhoretz - Stephen P. Rosen - Gary Schmitt - Randy Scheunemann - William Schneider, Jr. - Richard Shultz - Henry Sokolski - Chris Williams - R. James Woolsey

      "The military and political leadership yearns for war in Iraq, seeing it as an opportunity to win the war of attrition with the Palestinians. "
      - Aluf Ben writing in Haaretz Feb 16, 2003

    • Hoppy, the U.S. involvement in Afghanistan is long and shameful but that is a side issue, I don't remember referencing it in any of my posts. - what its got to do with the topic at hand I really don't know.

      In support of "Central to the activity that inspired the attack is U.S. support for Israel " I offer the words of Osama as given to The Daily Ummat in 2001:
      "All that is going on in Palestine for the last 11 months is sufficient to call the wrath of God upon the United States and Israel."
      If you seriously believe that Israel is not the primary grievance inspiring Islamic wrath you are left with “they hate us for our freedom” which is idiotic.

      "Hehe, yeah. Show me evidence that taking any other position was politically viable after 9/11."

      I would suggest the example set by Britain during decades of IRA attacks and the (albeit rather less significant) example set by my own nation after the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior. In my view, if a candidate had stepped forward and insisted that 911 was not going to divert America from its devotion to freedom and human rights, Bush Jnr would not have secured a second term.
      I hope I am not the first to inform you of two utterly incontrovertible facts. Habeus Corpus is essential to human rights and torture is neither productive of viable intelligence nor human. It is pure barbarism. The relationship between citizen and State hinges on the absolute observance of the former and the prohibition of the latter.

      "Dick Cheney isn’t Jewish. Neither is Donald Rumsfeld. Neither is Colin Powell. Neither is Condi Rice. Neither is John Ashcroft,"

      Once again you use the term "Jewish" despite the fact that I don't equate "Jewish" with Israel supporters (the phrase I employed for corrupt apparatchiks of that ilk is "like-minded individuals") What point are you trying to make? Are you suggesting that, for my thesis to hang together, every single individual involved has to be “Jewish” ? No, you are simply trying to find a peg to hang your anti-Semitism tag on. Sorry, not guilty mate, I'm talking ideologies here.
      Dershowitz is in there because of his advocacy of torture BTW.

      "you’ve provided no supporting documentation that they are “connected to the Israeli right-wing,"
      Oh please. Google the names. Information that easily accessible needs no "supporting documentation".

      “Post 911, every response from Israeli politicians urged repressive and violent response.”
      Here I refer you to Walt and Mearshiemer:

      “Pressure from Israel and the Lobby was not the only factor behind the U.S. decision to attack Iraq in March 2003, but it was a critical element. Some Americans believe that this was a “war for oil,” but there is hardly any direct evidence to support this claim. Instead, the war was motivated in good part by a desire to make Israel more secure........On August 16, 2002, eleven days before Vice President Cheney kicked off the campaign for war with a hard‐line speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Washington Post reported that “Israel is urging U.S. officials not to delay a military strike against Iraq’s Saddam Hussein.”'

      For those interested in Hoppy's style, here's a pdf of Hoppy's handbook by Frank Luntz

      Couple of relevant BBC docos:
      link to
      link to

    • Ooooh Annie. Beat me, spank me, impossibly incorrige me, read me some of your prose - I'm on fire!

    • I think the choice facing America in the wake of 911 was fairly simple. Either cut back on the activity that inspired the attack or strengthen the power of the State to repress it.
      Central to the activity that inspired the attack is U.S. support for Israel which is also a key component in political funding so the Politicians opted for the latter.
      I cannot think of any example in the History of Empires when such a move has prevented the inevitable consequences - the people's loss of confidence in the state and the eventual collapse of the system of Government.
      There is enormous irony in the semi-literate Bush stating "They hate us for our freedom" then immediately ushering in all kinds of curbs on it, trashing Habeus Corpus and funding torture. Can anyone seriously deny the influence that Perle, Wolfowitz, Chertof, Abrams, Feith, Ledeen, Libby, Frum, Zakheim, Dershowitz, Cohen, Kristol, Grossman, Bolten and a host of other, like-minded individuals had on these policies and their connection to the Israeli right-wing? Is it pure coincidence that places them on the side of both torture, war and repression and Israel?
      Post 911, every response from Israeli politicians urged repressive and violent response. Not one even speculated that U.S. and Israeli actions might have inspired the event.
      I'm sorry Hoppy. No matter how frantically you wave the anti-Semitism flag I cannot deny the evidence of my ears and eyes and besides, even if the term had any real meaning, it would not apply to me. If you lived next door to me I might debate with you but I'd still mow your lawn if you needed it (not in the Israeli sense of "mowing the lawn" you dig).

    • Its a common tactic, taking events from the distant past that civilization has rejected and reformed and using them to justify Israel's current behaviour - ignoring the centuries between.
      Somebody coined the useful term "whataboutery" to describe it. Primitive illogic.

    • Oldie but a goodie. A bit cheeky of me to post it but in many ways it summarizes my view of Israel - Keystone cops in lethal garb, the despicable defending the unspeakable making complete idiots of themselves.

    • " I’m responding to some idiot who blames the US tendency to do this, a tendency it’s had for the last 200 years, on Israel, a state that’s been around for 67 years. "

      This idiot compared the change in America since his time there just a few decades ago and now and suggests possible influences. In any two centuries a nation will have many "tendencies", some contradictory. Primitive minds ascribe immutable trends and proclivities to national and racial groups. You will note that I do not use the term "Jew", my remarks are directed at the mindset that currently dominates Israel and their lickspittle neo-con acolytes in the U.S.

    • What is "wrong" with me Hoppy is a World-view and philosophy that is the polar opposite to yours and that which rules in Israel. All of the responses you list are primitive and wrong. They are counter-productive and result in the majority of citizens paying a heavy toll - the rise of deep state surveillance and repression which creates yet more tension and dissension. Israel has pioneered this sort of thing because it has, at its very core, a deep dark secret that must be protected by force - a State founded on theft and ethnic cleansing.
      If you want to go deeper into the esoterica they can be found in the revolution against Judaism 2,000 years ago which tried to replace "eye for an eye" with "turn the other cheek". This is not a philosophy based on some impossible ideal, it is simply more effective as it is based on the positive view that morality springs from self-interest and that injustice breeds violence.
      Israel provides a vivid example of how a society based on injustice requires force to maintain itself. Instead of coming to terms with its past, Israel has added layer upon layer of "security" thereby creating more and more resistance.
      This is the example America has chosen to follow, ably assisted by politicians and bureaucrats in Israel's thrall.
      Behind every " major threat it has ever faced" lies an injustice. The enlightened statesman first identifies and rectifies that injustice.
      " Israel, which has faced terrorism for 80 years and continues to be a liberal democracy".
      A "Liberal Democracy" in which squats half on stolen land having evicted its indigenous people and occupies the other half, denying citizens there any rights of citizenship.
      Pull the other one, its got bells on it.
      Here is your "liberal democracy" out for a Sunday drive:

      Note the wonderfully relaxed and cheerful demeanor of these liberal democrats.

    • Yup. Is she married?

    • Best ever Annie. Taken just as a piece of writing its right up there, even Hoppy should acknowledge that!! But you have expressed what I, as a non-American am very concerned about.
      Y'know, I once considered becoming an American - back in my yachting days when it would have been a doddle. I had an offer from Anacortes Yacht Charters that would get me a green card. Too many other exciting things to do at the time so I gave it away but I'm not sorry now. In recent years I have detected a huge change in America. The wonderful hospitality and welcome I used to feel when visiting dissipated as America became, it seemed to me, paranoid. And when I look to the underlying causes of this paranoia, I find dual loyalties. The same names keep cropping up. Chertoff, Wolfowitz, Perle, yahda yahda, you know the rest.
      The America I loved back in the day would not have reacted to 911 by curtailing freedom and attacking other States. This behaviour is typical of Israel and, to me, indicates just how deep the penetration is - and it is killing everything good about the U.S.
      The proper response to 911 (in my view) was to accept that freedom has a price and stick with it, that support of a racist, expansionist and ethnic cleansing entity in the Middle East might need a re-think. The U.S. response, crafted by the Neo-Cons (all of whom are Israel-centric) seemed to me to play right into the hands of those who would wish to destroy everything good about America.
      Here is an example of just how differently the U.S. treats its benign allies today:

      Kicked out of the US: 33 hours of hell
      Kiwi journalist Lisa Scott tells of the reality of US border security and how she and her partner were detained, denied a phone call and deprived of their passports.
      link to

  • Defying Obama on Iran deal, Schumer cites Hamas
    • Oops, I just posted that article above - teach me to read the whole thread before opening my big gob.
      Anyway, nice to see great minds thinking alike!!

    • In my view there is actually no difference between opposing a trade deal that will set in place provisions designed to subvert a State's right to govern itself and opposing a peace treaty. Both are indeed treason. It is only the treacherous faction that differs. In the case of TPP it is the proponents who are treasonous, in the Iran deal, it is the opposition.
      BTW I just had word (from a former Govt Minister) that NZ's participation in TPP is dead in the water despite the efforts of our Wall St Bankster Prime Minister. Did I mention that our PM is Jewish? He's had an interesting career:
      Lane Walker Rudkin (now bankrupt or, as we say here, tits up.)
      Elders Finance - tits up
      Bankers Trust - tits up (after making a run on the Kiwi Dollar)
      Merrill Lynch - tits up. He was "Managing Director, Debt Markets" - the guy tying the big fancy bow on the boxes of dodgy mortgages that created misery for millions in '08.
      Came out with $50 million. The NZ sheeple thought he might be a good Prime Minister seeing he was so rich.
      So it goes.

    • Israel's defense minister hinted on Friday that the Jewish state's intelligence services were behind the rash of killings of Iranian nuclear scientists.

      In an interview with the German-language Der Spiegel, Moshe Ya'alon said that he bore no responsibility "for the life expectancy of Iranian scientists."

      "Ultimately it is very clear, one way or another, Iran’s military nuclear program must be stopped,” Ya’alon said. “We will act in any way and are not willing to tolerate a nuclear-armed Iran. We prefer that this be done by means of sanctions, but in the end, Israel should be able to defend itself."
      link to

  • Obama tells Americans it is 'abrogation of my constitutional duty' to defer to Israel on Iran Deal
    • RoHa
      I thoguht so too!
      Thnaks to all.

      Oh well, back to the drains.

    • Hoppy.
      "You’re the type of callous person who would ask a father whose wife and children were murdered by a home invader to move back into the house where they were killed."

      Once again you give us a peek into the mind of a Zionist, and what a bizarre sight that is. Did you forget that this forum is dominated by folk who sympathize with Palestinians who would like nothing more than to move back into the houses where their forbears were subjected to just such an evil as you claim - as your shield, your mantra and your exclusive property.
      One would have to cast a very wide net to ensnare a more vivid example of the perversity at the very heart of Zionist thought.

    • Sorry for the double post. Obviously I exceeded the the word limit in trying to elucidate a point and my edit got posted twice, without the addendum. Too tired to re-write. Hope the mods will delete the dupe.

    • Yonah's response deserves a far more referenced and solid refutation than I can spare the time for right now (I've a drainage disaster of heroic problems on my hands). But he is wrong on several counts. Karski's account did not convince "The leaders of the free world ". Even Hilberg disputes his account. But even if it did, what action could they have taken? I have read some idiot calling them to account for not bombing the railways leading to the camps - which would have resulted in starvation earlier than it did occur in 1945.
      I may be imagining it but do I detect an effort to skew the raison d'etre of WWII into some narrative placing the plight of European Jews smack in the forefront? I was born three years after the end of that War but I can attest that I ingested it with my mother's milk. All of the men who impressed my childhood had served. My favourite uncle was captured (in France) and interned by the Nazis, escaped and was recaptured in the Western Desert and again interned in a POW camp. The Jewish situation was not a blip on his radar. His experience was such that he never again grew bodily hair.
      We (and let me remind you that I am a Kiwi, the nation that contributed over twice as many War dead per head of population than the U.S.) fought against what we thought was an attempt at hegemony (kinda like what the U.S. appears to be fighting for in this era) - but that's another story - one that sheds light on the common political realities that accompany disproportionate power incidentally.
      Let me be very clear Yonah and Hophmi. If you push this barrow too hard, it will overturn.

    • "The world allowed Hitler to kill six million of my people "

      Hoppy, I wonder if you could, just for a moment, consider how this statement is received by relatives of the 50 million among the Allies who died fighting the Axis and the millions of wounded and traumatized who survived, none of whom knew anything of the Holocaust until late in 1944.
      To allege that they "allowed" it is, to me at least, a disgustingly ignorant act.

    • "given the collapse of so many Arab states"

      Not the "mot juste" in my humble opinion. Some others:


      I would be happier with Obama if he had renounced all predation on Israel's behalf such as the ongoing Syrian catastrophe:
      link to

  • Leading US Jewish group opposes Iran deal, citing 'baseless hatred' of Jerusalem temple destruction 2000 years ago
    • Sadly it was so long ago that I can no longer recall the author or authors but I read a seemingly well researched and coherent account of the siege of Jerusalem that had several Jewish factions fighting it out within the walls while the Romans simply sealed the city off and waited. The temple was already blazing when they entered, set alight by the Zealots who escaped to Masada.
      Does anyone really know the truth of it? I have an idea that Yohanan ben Zachai might have been the authority given for this version of the story. Huge irony if it is indeed accurate!

  • Understanding the Partition plan
    • My thanks also Hostage and DGF. You have opened seams I hadn't excavated and I look forward to examining this very important information in detail when I tame the stormwater in my back yard. I can even feel a slight urge to re-vitalize my old blog with some of the material you point to.
      The History was my primary interest and it lead me into sympathy for the Palestinians via my then-growing understanding of our own indigenous situation here in NZ. The moment the word "indigenous" inserted itself into my Historical meanderings around Palestine I became more devoted to current events and almost ceased writing about the History .
      You chaps have reminded me that I once believed strongly that the key to resolution lies in promoting the real History, destroying the puerile Zionist narrative that has become embedded in the common consciousness.
      Its a slow process but as I look back on the past few decades there has been progress. Quite a few old memes have bit the dust. "Land without a people for a people without a land" for example. "Nakba" is now a term so well-established that we can probably look forward to Nakba studies entering the curriculum in better Universities.
      Well done.

    • I wrote this essay about the British involvement leading up to partition back in 2008:
      "Did the Brits really screw the pooch?"
      link to
      Readers keen on the History may find some points of interest in it, unfortunately I haven't time, at present, to fully digest this thread and comment specifically. The History of the period has been distorted beyond recognition by Zionist revisionism based on incremental-ism - the practice of seizing every small opportunity to strengthen their position then re-writing the intent and spirit of what was meant at the time. I came to the conclusion that the British probably tried for an equitable settlement but the Zionists grossly exploited any concession, playing both sides against the middle.

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

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

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

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

      link to

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

      link to


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

      By Robert Parry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • @ Roha.

      Made my day!

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

      Pure poppycock.

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

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

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

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

    • The new anti-Semitism:
      link to

      It ain't Brooklyn.

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

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

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

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

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

    • Had you in mind when I posted it Just.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      link to

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

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

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

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

    • Andrew P. Napolitano :

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

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

      Read more: link to

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

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

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

      Y'mean like:

      October 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      - See more at: link to

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

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

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

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

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

      link to

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      There is no reward for Palestinian trauma.

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

      A picture worth a thousand words.
      link to

    • DaBakr.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • adjective: bizarre

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      The audacity of Hope?

      Our Mania for Hope Is a Curse

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Compare with:

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

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

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

      Source: link to

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

    • Keith.

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

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

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

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

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

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

      link to

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

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

      link to

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

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

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

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

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

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

      (Posted in memory of Israel Shahak)

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

    • After further reading the situation becomes more interesting:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      (signed) William Hobson, Lieutenant-Governor.

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

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

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

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

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