Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 684 (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 684 - 601

  • The two-stroke solution
    • I thought I had seen all there is to see about the Israeli colonization of the U.S. but this article gives a whole new (old) perspective:
      Has Israel Effectively Colonized the United States?

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

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

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

      Morell: “Yeah.”

      Rose: “And killing Iranians?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      link to

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      The brand "terrorist" has a remarkable pedigree.

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

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

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

  • Trump's America is fascist, says Bret Stephens, but Netanyahu's Israel smells like a rose
    • To narrate the thoughts this article inspires in me and the connection with what I begin to understand about the brain's ability to hold utterly contradictory ideas would require a book-length diatribe. The outrage Stephen Erlich/Stephens inspires would require yet another.
      There is one possible explanation for a brain so devoid of intellect as his:
      "Slime that can 'think' its way through a maze could turn our idea of intelligence upside down"

      Read more: link to

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Recent findings indicate that Morris is being modest:
      link to

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • 'Either Assad or we'll burn the country' - An excerpt from 'Burning Country: Syrians in Revolution and War'
    • Yonah
      "But Assad’s rule was one of the most dictatorial in the world and was seen as such in 2010. If you have some list of democracies and dictatorships that you assert is more valid than those compiled by groups that aren’t as anti Israel as you, please present them. Until then the validity of those lists is hereby asserted. Before 2011 the world recognized that Assad was a stone cold dictator."

      Oh dear. There is so much wrong with this it is hard to know where to begin. Hang on a minute, maybe not.
      " Assad’s rule was one of the most dictatorial in the world and was seen as such in 2010"
      = "Everybody knows Assad was a Dictator".

      Yonah. "Everybody knows" doesn't count for much around here.
      In the first place the statement is incorrect. Most of my friends would not agree - and they are people who take an interest in Syria and whose knowledge of Syria is profound as opposed to the vast majority who could not find the place with a GPS.
      So a more correct statement might be "Everybody (apart from those who take an interest in Syria) knows Assad was a Dictator"

      "If you have some list of democracies and dictatorships that you assert is more valid than those compiled by groups that aren’t as anti Israel as you, please present "

      I must admit this has me bluffed so I'll hazard a guess as to where you're going with it.
      I'll assume you are promoting those groups who (in ignorance of the horrendous crimes that resulted in the Israeli State) actually believe that Israel is a democratic beacon in the Middle East - a force for good in a benighted area beset with ignorant savages and promote regime change in favour of the Israeli model.

      This is not a persuasive argument for any but those who believe in the existence of "ignorant savages" and that resistance to the Israeli/U.S. ideology is (per se) evil. This is demonstrably incorrect. Need I list the perfectly legitimate organizations that support the proven rights of Palestinians?

      "Before 2011 the world recognized that Assad was a stone cold dictator.""
      Sorry. I am part of the World and I happen to believe that Bashar Assad was a mild mannered ophthalmologist thrust into the politics of Syria who has done every damn thing he can to to progress that nation - see straight's link link to

    • Likewise here in Kiwiville straight.

    • New (to me at least) voice in protest:

      link to

      I done Syria Afganistan Iraq and Iran
      North Korea tell me where does it end
      Well the bodies keep piling up with every day
      How many more of em they gonna send

      Well they send their sons and daughters off to die for some moral
      To control the heroin
      Well son I hope you don’t grow up
      Believing that you’ve got to be a puppet to be a man

      Well they cut off your hair and put a badge on your arm
      Strip you of your identity
      Tell you to keep your mouth shut boy and get in the line
      Meet your maker over seas

      Wearing that Kim Jong-il hat while your grandma’s selling pills stat. Meanwhile, I’m wearing my ‘can’t pay my fucking bills’ hat

      Nobody’s looking up to care about a drone
      All too busy looking down at our phone
      Our ego’s begging for food like a dog from our feed
      Refreshing obsessively until our eyes start to bleed
      They serve up distractions and we eat them with fries
      Until the bombs fall out of our fucking skies

      Turn off the TV
      Turn off the news
      Nothing to see here
      They’re serving the blues
      Bullshit on my TV
      Bullshit on my radio
      Hollywood telling me how to be me
      The bullshit’s got to go

      - Sturgill Simpson - Call To Arms (live at KCRW)

    • I'm not buying this article. In the first place, there is absolutely no doubt that Assad has the people with him:

      "The survey, conducted by ORB International, a company which specializes in public opinion research in fragile and conflict environments, [2] found that 47 percent of Syrians believe that Assad has a positive influence in Syria, compared to only 35 percent for the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and 26 percent for the Syrian Opposition Coalition."
      link to

      "The 2014 election in Syria is an event that the ‘Ministry of Truth’ in the West desperately wants to be memory-holed, as it runs in stark contrast to the narrative they are still trying to inculcate in the minds of the public.

      In June of last year, Assad won Syria’s Presidential election with 88.7 percent of the vote, in the country’s first multi-candidate election in almost five decades. In a country which had a population of 17,064,854 in July 2014 (according to an estimate from CIA World Factbook), over 10 million people voted for Assad. 73.42 percent of the Syrian population voted in the election, with voting only taking place in government controlled areas."
      link to

      "Suppose a respectable opinion poll found that most Syrians are in favour of Bashar al-Assad remaining as president, would that not be major news? Especially as the finding would go against the dominant narrative about the Syrian crisis, and the media considers the unexpected more newsworthy than the obvious.

      Alas, not in every case. When coverage of an unfolding drama ceases to be fair and turns into a propaganda weapon, inconvenient facts get suppressed. So it is with the results of a recent YouGov Siraj poll on Syria commissioned by The Doha Debates, funded by the Qatar Foundation. Qatar's royal family has taken one of the most hawkish lines against Assad – the emir has just called for Arab troops to intervene – so it was good that The Doha Debates published the poll on its website. The pity is that it was ignored by almost all media outlets in every western country whose government has called for Assad to go."
      link to

      Secondly, the use of dubious memes like Sarin and "barrel bombs" sets off my BS meter.
      The gas story is now so undermined responsible commentators should leave it in the dubious basket and "barrel bombs" is a propaganda construct that defies investigation. Nobody seems to know what they are or how they work, much less why the administration would employ an improvised weapon when other, more effective ordnance is in plentiful supply.

      Whenever the inexplicable is rationalized in terms of the irrational (i.e. Assad is a crazy bloodthirsty Dictator) it must be questioned for such cases are actually extremely rare. In this case, masses of evidence points in quite another direction. Even Fox carried the story back in 2011:
      link to

      The rational narrative follows the now well-known playbook employed in Iraq, Libya and Ukraine. Propagandize, sanction, create insurgency, overthrow then install puppet government.

  • Miko Peled's viral video
  • Trump and the war for 'Western Values'
    • I hesitate to comment, being a Kiwi watching from the sidelines, but my interest in justice for Palestine has drawn me into U.S. Politics which I now follow avidly.
      First let me state that, if all I read in the press about Trump were true, I wouldn't want a bar of him. My close following of Israel/Palestine has taught me to be wary of the press however. I have seen Trump explain his utterances in context. Let me also state that Bernie seemed to be the man for me and, for a moment there, he looked like bringing off a major upset. Unfortunately that now looks less likely and we have to consider the strong possibility of a Clinton/Trump face-off.

      My reading of the blogs indicates that much of the Bernie vote is not transferable to Clinton. It is a reaction to her espousal of things abhorrent. I have seen serious polls that show Bernie beating Trump but Trump beating Hilary and I think Foreign Policy is the catalyst.

      Back to Trump. His Foreign Policy speech is fraught with howlers indicating a profound ignorance of the realities (which will change if he takes office) but his one consistent message has been America first. I am intrigued by the possibility that a Trump exposed to the inner workings of the lobbies might actually smell a rat, that he is a loose enough unit to recognize manipulation when he sees it. I don't think he has much truck with neo-cons. I think they fear him.

      It is truly sad to contemplate a "least bad" scenario but please reflect. Clinton is the past, present and future of Israeli oppression and the assault on the Middle East.

      America has survived loony Presidents before. Goodness knows why, but Reagan (demented through much of his term) is lauded.

      Awful situation I admit but Trump might be the fall-back position.

  • Clinton will hold fundraiser in Tel Aviv
    • How do they get around this:

      Prohibition on contributions, donations, expenditures, independent expenditures, and disbursements by foreign nationals (2 U.S.C. 441e, 36 U.S.C. 510).
      (3) Foreign national means—
      (i) A foreign principal, as defined in 22 U.S.C. 611(b); or
      (ii) An individual who is not a citizen of the United States and who is not lawfully admitted for permanent residence, as defined in 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(20); however,
      (iii) Foreign national shall not include any individual who is a citizen of the United States, or who is a national of the United States as defined in 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(22).
      (4) Knowingly means that a person must:
      (i) Have actual knowledge that the source of the funds solicited, accepted or received is a foreign national;
      (ii) Be aware of facts that would lead a reasonable person to conclude that there is a substantial probability that the source of the funds solicited, accepted or received is a foreign national; or
      (iii) Be aware of facts that would lead a reasonable person to inquire whether the source of the funds solicited, accepted or received is a foreign national, but the person failed to conduct a reasonable inquiry.
      link to

  • Advice to North Carolina
    • Grammy award winning singer-songwriter and producer Barry Manilow announced on Wendesday that he is planning to perform in Israel in June of 2016.

      Alice Cooper to perform in Tel Aviv, Israel. June 16, 2016

      Wiz Khalifa to perform in Tel Aviv, Israel. June 25, 2016

      The Searchers in Haifa and Tel Aviv, Israel. August 19-20, 2016

      They're welcome.

    • Bruce's July 2016 tour schedule from link to

      Sun, Jul 3 San Siro Stadium Milan, ITALY
      Tue, Jul 5 San Siro Stadium Milan, ITALY
      Sat, Jul 9 TW Classic Werchter, BELGIUM
      Mon, Jul 11 Accorhotels Arena Paris, FRANCE
      Wed, Jul 13 Accorhotels Arena Paris, FRANCE
      Sat, Jul 16 Circus Maximus Rome, ITALY
      Wed, Jul 20 Casa Arena Horsens, DENMARK
      Sat, Jul 23 Ullevi Stadium Gothenburg, SWEDEN

  • Why Clinton's Iraq decision matters
    • Money was not the object.
      "The plan operates on two essential premises. To survive, Israel must 1) become an imperial regional power, and 2) must effect the division of the whole area into small states by the dissolution of all existing Arab states. Small here will depend on the ethnic or sectarian composition of each state. Consequently, the Zionist hope is that sectarian-based states become Israel's satellites and, ironically, its source of moral legitimation.
      link to

      "Israel can shape its strategic environment, in cooperation with Turkey and Jordan, by weakening, containing, and even rolling back Syria. This effort can focus on removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq — an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right"
      link to

    • "Kay24’s points about the outrageous financial costs of the Iraq/Afghanistan/…upcoming Iran(?) debacles are absolutely essential to understanding what these mendaciously contrived military adventures have cost the American public."

      In my view it is essential to understand that the object of these campaigns, as intended by the promoters, has been achieved. Iraq, Libya and Syria have been degraded and ruined. Years of social and economic progress annihilated. That was the intent and it was successful.

      The potential economic cost was widely known, as was the potential for debacle. The promoters of these unprecedented crimes were not concerned in the least, they considered the effects on millions of civilians both in the subject states and the U.S. merely collateral damage. The promoters' allegiance was not to the United States.

      The promoters are well known and many still hold high office and are involved in today's politics. Cruz has Abrams, Woolsey and Chertoff associate Sweet on the team. Hilary has Kristol, Kagan since Rubio dropped out:
      link to

  • No Escaping the 'Cohen': Nick Cohen is becoming a Jew (again)
    • "You are intellectually lazy – that’s all"
      Quite possibly, on an occasion where I choose to have a little fun - but coming from someone lacking the intellect to even understand the joke I cannot take the criticism seriously. You see it epitomizes intellectual laziness. You state "You are...." the arch-typical ad hominem, an invalid and erroneous statement given my catalogue of over 600 comments on this site examining the History of this conflict (with a few forays into the logical fallacies that accompany the conflation of valid criticism with that contrived and illogical concept - anti-Semitism - in which you indulge).

    • Sorry Miriam. The fact that my comment lampoons people such as yourself and the ADL, who take such nonsense seriously was, of course, not evident to you.
      Here's one of my father's favourite jokes:
      A Scotsman and an Irishman were walking down the street when the Irishman found a half-crown. The Scotsman borrowed it to get his eyes tested.

    • That picture qualifies for the ADL's cartoon of the week

      link to

  • The Tantura massacre of 1948 and the academic character assassination of Teddy Katz
    • Yes. Morris' vicious Zionism was once balanced by a true Historian's dedication to the accuracy of his craft but no more I fear. Coincident with the time references to his History began to appear in the mainstream and unraveling the official fantasy, he began attacking Pappe on spurious grounds and offering opinions in place of facts. It is as if he had thought the whole deal done and dusted, that no harm would come from relating the History. Many did not understand that the whole edifice would crumble if the truth were known, that every truth added credibility to the Palestinian narrative (see diaspora's comment above). When he realized the potential damage the truth of the past could inflict on the present he began backtracking. A complex and, in my view, a rather nasty little man but I am thankful for his early work and even his current opinions can be put to good use in exposing the vicious nature of the ideology. The image of a loose cannon on the deck of the Zionist flagship fits him rather well.

    • Good point Bill but I fear wielding a shovel in the vicinity of any of these (minimum) 25 massacre sites would be seen as "terrorism" and very hazardous!!

    • I am reading Phil's interview with Ilan Pappe and am immediately struck by this:
      "I think I became aware of this paradox once I was aware of how significant the shift in civil society or in public opinion was. In other words, the moment you understand that the new attitude toward Israel is not marginal or esoteric you suddenly encounter it everywhere– among people who are in the know, among people who have only partial information, and– it sounds simplistic– but almost any decent person you meet in the west has a clear view of Israel/Palestine with varying degrees of knowledge or commitment. There is a sense of a significant shift, and you would expect that this shift would manifest itself in mainstream media or politics, if not for genuine reasons, then for political reasons, because it is an important issue for your voters.

      To my great surprise, and even after the three horrific attacks on Gaza, 2008-2009, 2012, and culminating with the attack in the summer, the cumulative effect has still left the mainstream politics in the same place they were in 20 years ago. I find that bewildering to say the least."
      - See more at: link to

      - a point I inadequately sought to reference above.
      I share his bewilderment and cannot help but think that the vast gap between public and political opinion contributes to the bizarre primaries we are witnessing. Sanders and Trump represent the "no more lobby" vote and a significant portion of online discussion is aimed at the sway held by the Israel Lobby over Clinton, Rubio and Cruz. Despite the obvious hazard of a lunatic (Trump) in the White House*, I am seeing this as positive. If Clinton is defeated, the shackles imposed by lobbies and funders may be broken for a time.

      *Not unprecedented, Reagan was terminally confused for much of his latter term and no-one seemed to notice.

    • I've been waiting for this.
      Awareness of the massacres and mayhem upon which the State was built remain, in my view, the most significant factor forcing a change in the tide of opinion in today's World. I have watched the Zionist narrative disintegrate as the facts of the forties have emerged and I have witnessed the shock with which former Zionist supporters (steeped in the myths) recant their former faith in the light of such facts. It is now possible to reference these horror stories in most comment pages with barely a whimper of dissent and that, only from obvious trolls.
      The establishment was very effective in sabotaging Katz and Pappe and I was afraid that this one was lost. Many thanks to Jonathon Ofir and please continue to research and publicize Tantura for it is particularly potent in that it cannot be explained away as unofficial or rogue activity. It points to the very heart of Zionism and the "most moral Army".
      In recent times, the defense has been reduced to a version of Morris' " Without the uprooting of the Palestinians, a Jewish state would not have arisen here".
      read more: link to
      It will be interesting to see if Morris, who admitted rape at Tantura, is going to admit the massacre.

  • 'No Wars for the Billionaire Class': A look at a possible Sanders foreign policy
    • I probably shouldn't comment. I'm a Kiwi and U.S. politics belongs to you guys but from where I sit and from what I understand of the system, I suspect Bernie has some baggage he cannot eject at this stage of the game. He is, however, subtly projecting the right message.
      I don't think the electorate is ready for a declared platform of disengagement with Israel and such a platform could be hazardous to one's health, in realtime.
      I find myself trusting the guy's integrity just as I did Obama's so who knows. Maybe I'm just steeling myself against a possible one-term Jimmy Carter style Presidency during which the machine grinds every good intention into pulp.
      One thing I am reasonably sure of is that the struggle will not end with a Sanders Presidency
      link to

  • Nobody cares that Bernie Sanders is Jewish
    • Several computers ago I compiled a list of politically powerful Jewish figures in World History as counterpoint to certain recurring themes raised by trolls. An impressive list - I doubt any minority group has had anything approaching the influence in Europe, the Americas and yes, the Middle East.
      I often use Sir Sassoon Eskell, the Father of Iraq's Parliament, as an example of the ravages Zionism wrought on Arab/Jewish relations.
      link to

  • In yet another effort to revive dream of Jewish sovereignty, 'NYT' cites Thai restaurants in Tel Aviv
    • Had a Thai restaurant open up in my little town recently, also a couple of startups and movies shot 'round here. Should I be worried?

  • 'Barbarism by an educated and cultured people' -- Dawayima massacre was worse than Deir Yassin
    • "myth-busting historical document"
      I believe so, it is very powerful. I look forward to an engaging the next Nakba-denier who crosses my sights.
      Thanks to Haaretz and Jonathan Ofir for the ordnance.

    • Benny Morris has always been something of an oddity - a Zionist who puts the integrity of his profession above his loyalty to Zionism yet, ultimately, his Zionism triumphs over any form of morality:

      "Ben-Gurion was right. If he had not done what he did, a state would not have come into being. That has to be clear. It is impossible to evade it. Without the uprooting of the Palestinians, a Jewish state would not have arisen here."
      read more: link to

      Its a syllogism available only to a Zionist:
      "A Jewish State could only have come into being through barbarism. A Jewish State is a good thing - ergo - barbarism is excusable".
      Benny's logic seems to have cleared his way back into the fold.

  • '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:

      link to

      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

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