Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 128 (since 2011-12-14 15:29:04)

writer, live in Vancouver, BC

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  • Daily protests rage for Gaza across the West Bank 
    • Hillary et al support a deeply racist and expansionist state, compromising the historical principles of their own nation, and undermining the democratic values of their own communities.

      If Americans want a democracy. They will have to fight for it. It won't be easy.

  • Horrifying details continue to emerge of massacre in Khuza'a
    • Then do something. You are an American? Work at it. I am Canadian. I work at it. My government is reprehensible. So is yours. Commenting isn't enough. The blood is on our hands as well.

      Don't ask others "what to do". That is part of the work we all must take on. Answers will differ.

  • 'Heartbreaking' is U.S. government's talking point for Gaza massacre
    • CTV News Channel: 'Israel is the occupying power'

      Independent Jewish Voices spokesperson discusses Israel's responsibility in the conflict and where he feels it has crossed the line
      4 mins 0 secs

      and the url, again: link to ctvnews.ca

    • Please watch this interview that somehow made it onto the air in Canada.

      The truths that have been so present by their absence, by their denigration, by the cleverness by which they are avoided and camouflaged.

      At least once, on public television, the truth was spoken.

      link to ctvnews.ca

  • Massacre in Gaza: At least 60 killed in Shuja'iyeh, over 60,000 in UN shelters
    • "sadly concluded...."

      Right. Nice of you to keep us informed. We'll keep your sadness in mind. May I suggest fluoxetine? It's not only good for sadness, it will help with the underlying obsessive-compulsive disorder that allows you to murder and blame the victims in extremely rapid cycles of recurring behaviour.

    • I don't believe it. It is not as if those two men are powerless. They could begin by speaking the truth in public. They could say, for instance, that the great crime of the Palestinians is that they are not Jewish, for if they were Jewish then the Israeli state would find housing for them, and schools, and first rate medical care.

    • Thanks, Just. Appreciated.

    • Yes, why? Blackmail? Fear of death of their own children, etc? Fear of a cooked court when they get there? Why?

      Does Hostage know, has he ever addressed that question specifically?

    • I too would like to hear it.

      I think individuals will be affected and will, by and large, as in the past, remain quiet about how it affects them. I can't see any major Jewish organization "changing direction" because of recent events. They will continue in the direction of polarization they are already following.

      Will the smaller organizations (Jews for a Just Peace, Rabbis for Human Rights, etc) begin to play a more important role? I want to believe that, however...

  • Why I, a Palestinian-American Muslim, went to the White House Iftar and what I learned
    • I think he'll explain, rather, that it was a "difficult" but "necessary" thing to do. Hard, but he was up to it. It took courage, but that is what good leaders must "find within themselves".

      That sort of thing.

  • Obama humiliates Muslim guests at White House Ramadan event, endorses Israel’s Gaza assault and NSA surveillance
  • NBC reportedly orders Mohyeldin to leave Gaza -- after he criticized State Dep't
  • Sullivan and Leveretts throw in the towel on two-state solution
  • 'Forward' editor says Presbyterian vote was anti-Semitic
    • I have two questions: 1) on what do Eisner and the Presbyterians actually agree, and 2) why don't we know that?

      We know on what they don't agree: the divestment of shares of very large public companies making money off the occupation. But on what do they agree?

      If the Liberal Zionists had really wanted to defeat the Presbyterian motion, they wouldn't have used the General Assembly and its process to simply offer a form of coercion (if you do that you're anti-Semite and we'll tell everybody and it will hurt you). To win, they would have led the Assembly's conversation towards the positive steps both sides wanted to achieve and could attempt to accomplish by working together.

      Where is the list of changes (in law or in practice) that these liberal Zionists actually want and will work towards?

  • John Judis's Truman book is a landmark in anti-Zionism
  • 'The clash of civilizations’ theory is absolutely and completely dead
    • Having been there, maybe you can explain why the most spurious intellectual traditions always have such strong support in the elite universities?

      I am thinking of the "Clash of Civilizations" the "Defense of Austerity" and the "Neocon Worldview".

  • University of Windsor President pressures Student Union to not ratify BDS referendum following demand from pro-Israel donor
  • AIPAC is losing influence in US politics because it is too tied to Israeli government -- Judis
    • The relations between Israel and the diaspora were troubled long before, but an historical moment of import that has been left largely unanalysed is the assassination of Rabin.

      The Israeli government went hard "anti-reconciliation" with the Palestinians after that (with all it entails) and the US government, against its own better interests, obligingly followed.

      Why? And what role did AIPAC play in that?

  • Thought experiment. Dateline Ukraine
    • I agree. Obama is the neo-cons errand boy. Or perhaps 'eloquent' messenger.

      What's to note is that there is no "positive vision" guiding the US. There is simply the desire to f*ck the enemies, where the enemies are pretty well everyone...

      Seriously, f*ck Russia, f*ck China, f*ck European Union, f*ck all countries in the Middle East except Israel and whoever supports them, f*ck Central America, f*ck South America...

      Quite the foreign policy we're seeing.

  • NYT obit of rabbi left out his urging Sharon: 'Very simply, wipe them out'
    • Hartman believed in collective punishment. As do many who support Zionism. It is precisely that fact which the NYT always whitewashes.

      You can try to justify collective punishment if you wish.

  • France to perform CPR on Scarlett Johansson's image -- award for film career!
  • New York Senate passes bill punishing ASA over Israel boycott
    • For the record, my experience is that the more one learns about the Palestine-Israel situation, the more one realizes how destructive and cruel state supported racism can be. I take it you disagree with that?

    • Milchan confesses to spying for Israel against the US and nothing happens.

      ASA's members, after informed debate, determine that since Israeli actions are illegal they want to join a civil society boycott and the New York state senate gets together to pass a law attempting to crush the organization.

  • Foxman says US gov't is conducting 'vendetta' against American Jews with Pollard case
    • It is my understanding that the information given by Pollard to Israel, and then traded to the Soviets, included information that outed American personnel and led to their deaths.

  • An open letter to Stephen Harper, agent of colonialism, injustice and hypocrisy
    • Members of the Liberal Party may, as individuals, be more sympathetic to the Palestinian cause, but the Liberal party is not.

      In fact, the party is currently working hard to curry favour with those Jewish constituencies in Toronto, Montreal, Winnipeg and Vancouver that have deserted the Liberals for the Conservatives due to their stance of Israel 'right or wrong'.

      Irwin Cottler has played a critical role in determining Liberal Party policy to Israel, and he has children who have fought for the IDF. He was also behind the illegal policies of "security detentions", jailing Muslims on suspicion and giving them no legal process to defend themselves.

      Thinking there will be more even-handedness in Canada's relation to Palestine under the Liberal Party, or for that matter, the NDP under Mulcair, is fantasy.

    • Yes, and many more are possible to list.

    • I'm not sure I understand your point, Krauss.

      The writer is expressing support for the Salish nations whose land is most commonly called Vancouver. Those nations ask responsible people and organizations to remember that fact, to express it, and to be clear on it. Increasing general knowledge of that situation is necessary for the eventual reconciliation that will come.

      Perhaps you are suggesting he must move away; but in fact the Salish people have not asked that of him. What they have asked of him he seems to be doing.

      harper despises the Native people, and he despises the Palestinians. He is quite content to see both treated unjustly. While Native people suffer higher cancer rates as the tar sands exploitation continues and grows, turning what were once pristine areas into toxic dumps of unimaginable magnitude, and pushing Canada ever further down the dead end of nonrenewable fuel economies, Harper dedicates his bird sanctuary on stolen Palestinian land. It is all of a kind.

      Perhaps of interest to those who read these comments is the list of members of harper's "team" and who traveled with him.

      link to scribd.com

    • Page: 1
  • Arab-American scholars back ASA boycott as legal threats start pouring in
  • Stanley Fish and the violence of neutrality
    • As to your last question: Yes, he is.

      Are they too broad and dismissive? It could be argued that they are: but the point of the sentence that you seem to miss is that "liberal authority" and "enlightened modernity" are being linked with "manifestly destined".

      In other words, Fish's argument is no different in kind than a range of arguments offered by many others to support historical genocides (manifest destiny), and that very same argument justifies the privilege of the speaker (Fish): he is a representative of that (supposed and assumed) manifest superiority.

      If you were to ask me if liberalism and all liberals are inherently racist I would say no – I don't know what Salaita would say – but I recognize that there are many racists who attempt to deny that fact by using 'liberal' arguments. Certainly in this case, Fish appears to be among the latter.

    • "He is saying that moral judgements about government policies, however negative, don’t justify academic boycotts."

      Yes, I think your distinctions are right, that is what he is saying.

      However, Salaita is addressing why it is that Fish believes he can take such a line of argument – disregarding the actual relation of the Israeli universities to the on-going state practices and the state support they receive for it – and I believe Salaita gets it right.

      I agree with Piotr that Fish's argument is casuistry, and Salaita does us the favour of explaining the conditions that allow for Fish not to see his argument for what it is.

    • A strong clear rebuttal by Salaita. To the point.

  • Major Jewish org: boycott vote is wake-up call in battle against 'extremist' delegitimization of Israel
  • Stop the Nonsense: Nobody is proposing a boycott of 'the Jews'
    • Summers position is that as long as there is injustice anywhere, Israeli injustice is off limits. In other words, Israeli justice is off limits.

    • Yes, it needed to be said, and Stephen has said it particularly well.

  • Israel will attack Iran unless you block nuclear agreement -- French Israel fixer warned Foreign Minister
    • There is no reason to be patronizing or to call me names. It's preferable if you keep your sexist innuendos to yourself.

      You claim that there are only three choices for Israel; that you know what they are; and that they lead, in sequence to: obliterate, traceless, oblivion. That is very limited thinking and, I suggest, indicates a desire not an analysis. You are hoping that I will give you examples that you will call "not realistic". However, for a start, Israel within the 67 borders.

      But to the real point: the future has more alternatives than either of us can imagine.

    • Your three options reduce to a common theme: obliterate, traceless and oblivion.

      That may be what you desire, but you are wrong on this. Your vision, and your options, are much too limited.

  • Netanyahu's man in Geneva, Laurent Fabius of France
    • Thank you for pointing to the dailymotion clip.

      Fabius begins by making it very clear that not acting in Syria will bring into question Western actions in Libya and Tunisia. He goes on to ask that we not "psychologize" our relation to Syria (and makes fun of those who believe Asad's Western ways will limit his violence) but only deal with facts. From there he moves relatively quickly, after a one-sided list of 'facts', to call for increased sanctions of businesses and their financial intermediaries dealing with Syria. Quoting Herodotus, he ends with a rather conventional appeal that while no-one wants war sometimes it is necessary, as it is in the case of Bashar al-Asad, who commits war against his own people.

      In other words, his appeal is one of continuing the 'Arab Spring' against dictatorship. Whatever he may be thinking of the larger geopolitical realities, he doesn't mention them. No mention at all of Saudi Arabia, Israel, Iran, the safety of minorities, or the Sunni-Shia divide, or even of the nationality of the 'Syrian" rebels. He mentions Russia in passing, but in the context of the BRIC countries, which he believes can be moved by international pressure.

      Fabius strictly holds to the 'dictator versus freedom' framing of the issue, as if those are the clear options. His discourse is a personably presented front.

      On the other hand, Bernard Kouchner, in his short presentation, speaks directly of breaking the Hezbolah, Syrian, Iranian axis (his words) by creating a 'democratic' Syria. It is clear that he sees the Russian-China coordination as a serious irritation. He speaks of the Syrian minorities and their fears, but dispels them due to the promises of a plural, democratic Syria. His naiveté on this is too obvious to be real.

      Kouchner is clear about what he wants to do, and believes the 'democratic' argument helps achieve that. However, for those who watch, at 6.50 he says, while smiling, that he hopes the 'Arab Spring' in all these countries will remain democratic. I think the smile says it all: he knows it won't.

      link to dailymotion.com

  • AIPAC's 'unlimited' funds are greatest obstacle to peace, former British foreign sec'y says
    • I too was brought up abruptly by that statement "that as long as that willingness is absent there will be no true solution."

      It is, apparently, not sufficient there be a state where Jews have equal rights and protections. The Palestinians, Arabs, and Muslims native to the area must willingly accept their own inferior status and unequal treatment, both legally and in practice, for there to be a "true solution".

      So a well educated seemingly intelligent person insists that her racism be normalized, and perceives that as a reasonable request to which all others should readily comply.

  • Eric Alterman on Palestine and Israel, part 2: Alterman vs. 'Goliath' (Updated)
  • Push to investigate the assassination of Alex Odeh renewed
    • Distressing, however, was the willingness of Conyers to immediately "correct" the comments of Benjamin Jealous which Annie quotes above. Conyers went out of his way to blame funding issues and "reductions of staff" as the reason why the Department of Justice did not pursue the case. Twenty-eight years? Oh, yeah.

      Check it out for yourself, just over half way at link to adc.org

  • Neocon axis of evil holds reunion with waterboarding jokes at Dick Cheney NY roast
    • Is there anyone out there doing investigative journalism into the responsibilities and work of Michael Mukasey?

  • Israel's real fear: shift in balance of power with a normalized Iran
    • IMHO, we will see a shift from the radical Zionists to a "long game".

      There are two critical areas: financing and control of the Congress both for the next midterms and the next White House; retrenching AIPAC while trying to find some kind of base-line alliance with J Street.

      Israeli backed black ops in Syria, Lebanon and Iran will increase, not lessen, as will the persecution and cleansing of all "foreign elements" in Israel.

  • Kristol says Obama appeases the new Hitler, Rouhani, making Israel 'the leader of the west'
    • Thanks for the reference, Don. Surely there's an historical irony that it was the infamous Strauss who coined the phrase.

      Is there a list somewhere of all the Middle Eastern political leaders who have been twinned with Hitler. It would make interesting reading. Was Nasser the first? (Where is McBride when you need him?)

  • Israel launches media blitz against Rouhani
    • This is the beginning of a necessary analysis: link to projectcensored.org

    • I wish more of this analysis was done, and at a greater level of specificity. One moves from ideology to fact, and can begin to answer the question 'Who benefits' with accuracy, at least as far as the transfer of resources.

      Why isn't it an active field of research in academia? Sociology, political science, economics, history: they could all be doing research of contemporary relevance.

    • I love the courage of this clear statement. We'll see, but in the interim accept my admiration for your clearly stated position.

    • In countries around the world you will find expatriate Americans who have fled their country; not because they were in any sense radical, but rather , having tried to speak reasonable truths, they suddenly found themselves on no-fly lists, or unemployed, or called to secret courts as abettors of terrorism.

      No, this is not the 'American Century'.

  • Obama's greatest achievement-- blinking on Syria
    • I agree with David Samel at 12.54. I would add that the turning point really was the British parliament's rejection of the war.

      We underestimate the importance of the British-American alliance in the invasion of Iraq in 2003 in legitimizing war in the popular mind. That held in Afghanistan with both nation's boots on the ground. The alliance fell apart going into Syria, and was very clearly seen to fall apart. The American public knew it was both standing alone and being had.

      I imagine that behind closed doors Obama is arguing that Assad can still be defeated, that further opportunities will arise, and that regime change in both Syria and Iran is a priority of his administration, if not actual military war against them "at this time".

  • Should Jews break bread on Yom Kippur?
    • It wouldn't hurt to add that many of the primary persons who adopted the ethical traditions of the Hellenistic schools into a Christian tradition lived in Egypt and Syria.

    • The issue of guilt, collective or individual, is critical to ethical thought. The concept of individual conscience and belonging through choice of faith allowed the undermining of a strict belonging through kinship. Eventually, we recognized the extent of guilt as located in the individual performing the crime, not in the family (or society) to which that individual belonged. Generally, we have thought that "progress".

      Israel openly punishes through kinship, and in the profiling at the root of the American drone program, the US punishes through kinship as well.

    • yrn: You say you are not blaming all Christians, yet in the next breath you reaffirm their collective guilt.

      Do you believe the guilt extends to the friends, acquaintances, parents and children of those who were performed the specific crimes, and if so, for how many generations?

    • I agree RoHa.

      One of the more interesting "vital" traditions is the pacifist and non-state supporting Taufer tradition (Mennonite, Hutterite, Amish, etc), an offshoot of the Protestant Reformation that was rigorously persecuted, and has remained pacifist and non-state supporting, and is very vital within its own expanding communities and the greater world.

      Anyone seriously involved in BDS or the practical support for the Palestinians is aware of their judicious use of resources and high ethical standards.

      They've endured, now, for roughly 500 years.

  • Do's and don'ts for progressives discussing Syria
  • 'The one and only Jewish state,' Netanyahu says, pounding the rostrum
  • In Netanyahu's house, Martin Dempsey 'recommits' to partnership
    • Well, with or without the "partnership" or "treaty", the US restocks vital military supplies in a timely fashion, ensures Israeli military technological superiority in the region, doesn't question the nuclear arming of Israel in breach of international promises, shares its most important intelligence information – most notably in the wars against Egypt – and even hides it own losses when attacked by the Israeli military.

      Pretty real, I would say.

      Perhaps the difference to which you are really pointing is that the Israeli military never has American officers over it, unlike the German, Canadian, British, French, etc., and refuses to enter into relations where that would happen.

  • Video: Stunning performance by young Palestinian violinist at Royal Albert Hall
  • State Department was right: Israel colonizes the West Bank as peace process continues
    • Palestinians are well aware that Abbas doesn't represent them, but can they stop Israel and the US from pretending he does? No, they can't. Anymore than they can stop the Israeli's from continuing to take their land, their water, and to erase their villages and history.

      One group of Palestinians did effectively revolt, and they are now under what is best called a quarantine. They don't even get a say in "final status" talks.

      We continue to watch a policy of ethnic cleansing and overt racism by Israel and the US, committed to the immiseration of millions of people on the basis of their religion, and we, the "educated, humane, humanist west" are profoundly mute, profoundly indifferent. We are the moral midgets, not the Palestinians.

  • Obama confidante says Iran would not use nuke against Israel, but 'I still think he will pull the trigger'
  • The language of Power
    • So, what surprising action do you think we'll see after her appointment to the UN?

      I expect to see her try to get a seat at the Security Council for Israel, and leaning on countries to achieve that, telling them that it is a "necessary part of the peace plan". I expect Canada, France, Australia and the UK to be among the first to quickly support that action.

      What do you expect to see that will support your argument that it's all "preemptive"?

    • I thinking you're missing the point, American. I didn't say that anything has changed in the Israel/Palestine situation, I'm saying Powers has changed, and now sees the world as a reflection of that change.

      And when asked about that change, she states clearly (too clearly for your liking) that she was previously wrong. In other words, she states her belief that she is a better person for the change.

      You and James think she must be lying. You probably think Obama, Hagel, Hillary, Kerry and Rice are lying too. That it's all strategic.

      But if we watch what happens, the "Lie" you postulate will have no effect whatsoever. However, the public commitment to Israel, clearly stated, will be played out fully.

    • James, you are simply taking your personal projections of the possible and interpreting her through your eyes. Not a good idea.

      In her mind – if we are going to play that game – it is just as likely that she believes she is "seeing the situation more clearly" and is "more sensitive to the historical moment".

      People do not cling to their past statements as the litmus test to their own integrity. Rather, they believe they had the courage to move on, and it is precisely that which proves their integrity.

    • For a while seanmcbride I wondered where you might have gone. It's good you're back. However, in this case, I would like you to clarify the "obvious outcome", as I can't see it.

      My best guess is an attack on Iran, but I don't know if that's really what you are implying. You might mean an undemocratic American government, as the government's functioning allegiance is not to its own people. Or perhaps you mean other countries turning away from the US as their leaders and people begin to believe what Americans are actually saying and doing.

      Or perhaps you mean something else.

  • 'Palestine' is an ancient name, for a land of many cultures
    • Our lack of information reaffirms the loss to civilization of the works kept in the destroyed Library Of Alexandria.

    • A book dealing specifically with this was published by Routledge way back in 1996, written by K. W. Whitelam, The Invention of Ancient Israel: the silencing of Palestinian history.

  • Tough love from Clinton at a 'left-leaning' celeb party beats having anything to do with Palestinians
  • Kerry’s plan: Palestinians to be cast as fall guys - again
  • Widely denounced as 'propaganda,' Israel's report on al-Dura calls attention to 950 other child killings
    • I'm not sure you're giving enough weight to the practical rationale for a report like this. It's not "breathtaking denial" as much as consciously selecting, or even making up, evidence to sustain public confusion.

      Do you really think the time of public confusion is over, and this conscious tactic is no longer effective?

  • 'Strategic Partner Act of 2013' would give US seal of approval to Israeli discrimination against Arab-Americans
    • That is was intended. Considered and intended.

    • Citizen: I haven't done the research, either, just asking reasonable questions. I'm actually beginning to side with you that a failed court case might be better than no court case.

      My preference right now would be that the case be fought on as broad a basis as possible, something like – Israel is asking the US to harmonize its administrative practices to Israel's own racist principles. In other words, get the nub of the issue in as few words as possible, and force the discussion around the relevance of the case and the competence of the court to deal immediately with 1) Israeli racism and 2) American acquiescence to it.

      At the same time one tries to lift the issue out of the negotiation between sovereign states, and to position it as Jim Crow laws being introduced through a back door, obviously diminishing the rights of Americans and open to redress by the American legal system.

      It needs to be as bold as possible, and force the real issues to the fore.

      As you say, the legitimacy of the original case should "speak for itself", appealing to concepts that most Americans would consider fair.

      I shudder when I look at the coordination of minds and powers seeking to institutionalize various degrees of American citizenship.

    • Citizen: Thank you for your persistence.

      I want to ask two questions that may look alike, but are actually separate.

      Is there an American court that would allow itself jurisdiction or competence to agree that Israeli government border policy is demonstrably racist to certain groupings of Americans, and that the fact of that be considered in the constitutional legality of federal legislation?

      In other words, you may be able to prove it, but they don't have to agree that what you prove is relevant to the case at hand, or within their jurisdiction or competency. The Court can argue that you are misusing its time as you try to overreach. They are looking at the Bill in front of them, and essentially you are trying to prove that the Israeli government is acting in bad faith, and that the American government doesn't have either the wit or desire to recognize it. Your "facts" can only be linked to the specifics of the bill through an argument of known intention on the Israeli side. No court will go there. The court's safest option is that the court doesn't have the competence to determine Israel's good faith or not, which is why state to state negotiations are necessary and correct procedure.

      (Or, reversing approaches, the lawyer for the government might even decide that this Bill goes some distance in improving and clarifying past border abuses. Strange as it may seem, your past cases then end up as evidence for why a different system needed to be negotiated, and that the non-reciprocal aspects of it are reasonable determinations among sovereign states.)

      Would the appeals court or (eventually) the Supreme Court vitiate any favorable judgement of a lower court, claiming it had no jurisdiction to intervene on sovereign state to state negotiations (at the juncture of both foreign affairs and security concerns) which, on the whole, were undertaken in good faith to improve the general situation for many Americans?

      Likely.

      What then is to be done within the courts? How can the law be brought onside?

    • In international waters.

    • Citizen, in intent I fully agree with you. There is no justifiable reason for the US to adopt Israel's core values at the expense of US citizens. But it is happening, and most likely will be legalized.

      Your argument can only be proven with empirical evidence that there has been consistent racist prejudice in implementation of a law that was "not meant" to discriminate. In other words, an effective challenge will only come after a prolonged period of implementation. If contested prior to implementation, we can be sure that the Israelis will argue, the US government will collude, and the judge will agree, that there is no racist intent, only necessary procedures to identify security risks of whatever cultural or ethnic background.

      And as to the other 29 countries with reciprocal agreements, it will be accepted that Israel lives in "extraordinary circumstances" calling for "extraordinary measures", and not being sympathetic to the existential threats would be the acceptance of antisemitism as a principle within American governance.

      To put this another way: you may think Israeli and US core values are distinct (as do I) but is there a court in the land that would agree? The accepted dominant narrative remains that terrorism actually exists because of shared core values between Israel and the US targeted by the (inferior/foreign) values of radical Muslims.

      I imagine we probably agree that what is happening, in fact, is the beginning of a formal "roll-back" on equality of citizenship as a modern concept, which suits Israeli jurisprudence just fine, as it is a state predicated on the inequality of those who live within it (and outside of it, too, for that matter), and has worked out laws, practices and legal precedents to promote and defend that very inequality.

      The greatest threat to American jurisprudence is the legalization of inequality of rights as a practical solution to issues of "security", which themselves simply mask the implementation of racist privilege.

      But since 2001, who would bet on the American Justice department defending the equality of rights for all Americans? What was his name... Furkan something? "Shot five times from less than 45 cm, in the face, in the back of the head, twice in the leg and once in the back."

      Anything come of that?

    • Remember, if one loses the court case, which I would predict: given the argument that 1) Israel has the right– for extraordinary security reasons – to negotiate a non-reciprocal relationship and 2) it is a fairly 'negotiated' agreement, deemed acceptable and freely chosen by both 'sovereign' sides, then you will have on record a legal precedent for the acceptable (even if unfortunate) two tiers of American citizenship.

    • I agree it's outrageous. But I also think there's a fair chance it will happen, and other similar distinctions will be worked into the fabric of governance, both legally and in accepted practice.

      How do you think caste systems evolve?

  • Rashid Khalidi on the Israel lobby
    • One can be a member of more than one group at a time. A study of the interlocking members of the 'Lobby' with the 'Military-Financial-Media' elite would help clarify this issue.

  • In Iraq, and now Syria, US seeks secular outcome by... promoting sectarian division
    • Using civil war to "degrade the enemy" is the very intent of Israeli-American foreign policy. They are looking to weaken countries in a structural way for the long term. Sectarian influences achieve that. Its one of the reasons Israel supported the early Hamas.

      Friedman knows he is misrepresenting the situation in his presentation, and that Assad has genuine and deep support among Sunni's. But democracy isn't the point, getting Americans to enthusiastically support the bombing of Syria is the point.

      The US – Al-Qaeda alliance is proven, alive, and well.

  • Obama allowed Zionists to feel cool again
    • I find your assessment strange. Obama commits yet more money to Israel, commits yet more military support, commits the promise of eternal ties, ignores past crimes and rampant racism, seriously trivializes the occupation (usual) and expulsion (unusual) and yet you somehow think progress has been made.

      Your evidence? That using the word expulsion 'is a fairly radical admission on the part of the U.S."

      When there is another major expulsion (small ones continue all the time) it will be condoned and paid for by the American government and labelled a timely population transfer. That is the message the "many influentials throughout the world" actually took away.

      It is business as usual, with more resources and political cover to do it.

  • New cross-Canada student coalition looks to build on BDS victories
    • This will be a long struggle, but I am heartened by seeing well-researched and well informed articles like this. Many thanks, Charlotte, and keep at it.

  • 'NYT' columnist praises fundamentalist Jews as collective of 'the future'
    • Interesting, but wrong. It is, in fact, the closed tribes which disappear. Take a look at the population/religion statistics current in the world, and you'll quickly find that the most closed religious tribes are in a race to extinction, while the most open, flexible, and welcoming, grow.

      It's about cultural strength, not birthrate, but I doubt if the historical facts will convince you.

    • The conservatives are always about furthering THEIR " communities" (usually defined by blood), but not for ANY social obligations or responsibilities to others not "of the blood".

      This leads them into a destructive form of ethnic politics and ethnic economic favoratism which has had, incidentally, catastrophic consequences for the US.

  • The historical context of the Israeli land and planning law regime
    • I am very grateful for this article, and the work it represents. Thank you.

      Only when the history becomes available do the scales fall from the eyes.

  • Biden says Jews can't be safe in the U.S. without a Jewish state
  • Will AIPAC's overreach on sequester/Iran elicit one complaint from a legislator?
  • Dennis Ross says Israel should unilaterally take 8% of West Bank while stating 'it has no intention of expanding into future Palestinian state'
  • The false equivalence of liberal Zionists
  • Israel's image takes another hit with the 'Prisoner X' scandal
  • Which will prevail-- latest neocon charge on Hagel over Israel, or D.C.'s fatigue over delay?
    • I find it odd that any complaint of Israeli control over the US is called "left".

      I suppose the implication is that any and all of the "right" should support Israeli control of the US.

  • Hagel and the lobby, the unending non-story
    • You write the US press is no better than Pravda under the USSR.

      But Pravda served the official government, and even the uninterested Soviet citizen was aware of that. The US press neither serves the official government nor truth, and it manages to maintain discipline and coordination across many so called independent companies. So even the interested American citizen, turning from one bad source to another, ends up confused, angry, and marginalized.

  • Cognitive dissonance on NPR
    • NormanF says "Tolerance and respect for others is not a noted Arab trait".

      Actually, that's wrong. Tolerance and respect are not only Islamic traits, they are Arabic traits as well.

  • Latest Kennedy to go to Congress parrots same old stale Israel talking points on Palestinians
    • Just to get the spelling right: Zapruder

    • This might help to explain the alacrity with which President Johnson hushed up the Israeli attack on The Liberty.

      It also leads to questions regarding Abe Fortas and Johnson, as well as the role Fortas played in the Warren Commission, and why Fortas was recommended as Supreme Court Chief Justice – a nomination later withdrawn. Fortas eventually resigned from the the Court when it became clear that he had accepted money from Mr Wolfson, "a wealthy industrialist who was imprisoned for stock manipulation."

      link to nytimes.com

  • US Congress seeks to thwart Palestinian reconciliation -- hearing WINEP testimony based on Israeli army blog
    • It actually gets better, she continues... " these overtures can leave the peace process in serious jeopardy."

      Imagine, the peace process is in serious jeopardy if the organizations representing the people with whom you are supposedly negotiating agree. In the usual world, their agreement would be a prerequisite for any successful negotiation.

      Can divide and let wither be any more obvious as the on-going US / Israeli position?

  • Beyond Brooklyn College: How and why Israel advocates are fighting BDS
    • I wish it were comprehensive.

      It leaves out the on-going integration of national Jewish organizations with the interests of the current Israeli state. For example, the Canadian Jewish Congress, at one time a national voice for all Canadian Jews, has been folded into the The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs. The name change says it all, and directly reflects the priorities of the organization. This has happened world-wide. The fight against BDS is being fought, bitterly, through a series of actions by the national Jewish organizations, fully informed by current Israeli state interests.

  • An unpleasant conversation with a staffer to Brooklyn congresswoman Yvette Clarke about her BDS letter
  • Hagel obeyed Senate taboo against criticism of Israel-- 'our most important ally in the entire world'
    • The international community is well aware that American foreign policy is proscribed by Israeli interests. It is also aware that Israel is a deeply racist society that continues its illegal expansion at the expense of the Palestinians, and has both prosecuted and supported wars of destruction in the Middle East, as well as being a nuclear state that is not a member of the NPT. They are quite aware that the United Nations has failed in relation to the Israeli-Palestinian issue due to the US veto.

      In short, there is a general and well justified awareness that the US supports both Israeli racism and Israeli expansion in the Middle East at whatever cost to itself. This knowledge, wide spread and general, can't be "walked back".

      Is that of any consequence?

  • Don't believe the (liberal Zionist) hype: Israel's elections ratified the apartheid status quo
    • A fair comment.

      If the Palestinians are fighting for a two state – whatever that means – then the liberal Zionists will concur, delay, and covertly expand. We know this empirically.

      If the Palestinians demand one person one vote in a unified state then the liberal Zionists will.... ?

    • This is an extremely important post. Thank you for working on it.

      For those who have studied Zionism's organization and goals in America from the 1920s and on, this falls into a pattern of misrepresentation, not miscalculation.

  • Israeli reporter admits suppressing images of 'piles of bodies of civilians' when Israel went 'crazy' in Gaza
  • Neocons never go away--Marco Rubio hires Jamie Fly, ultra-hawk on Iran
  • Fallows bridles at the use of the anti-Semitism bogy
    • Dickerson – You have a habit of both excerpting and bolding within the excerpt. FWIW, I find it difficult to read. If it's the right excerpt, why the need to bold?

  • Casual slander of Hagel as anti-Semite puts Elliott Abrams on hot seat
  • The claim that 'Jewish lobby' is anti-Semitic term is cynical and hypocritical -- Siegman
    • Boston, one thing that approach clarifies is the relation of Russian crime syndicates to Israel and to the Russian community within Israel: a whole area of financial power and political suasion that is rarely discussed.

    • Well, all I can say is that where I come from questioning Herzl and Ben Gurion was considered blasphemous, as the return to Israel was thought the very essence of authentic prophetic Jewish values. I imagine that's still the case in many places. If answering the call of "next year in Jerusalem" wasn't prophetic, what was it?

    • Annie: Isn't it Seigman's use of the word "authentic" which is causing the problem? He's making a distinction between inauthentic and authentic Jewish tradition – in that respect, knowing what he means is in fact "arcane" (defined as 'understood by few').

      It makes no difference if one is Jewish or Christian, Seigman's precise understanding of "authentic" tradition is arcane.

    • But perhaps this "Jewish or Israeli" debate actually hides the real struggle.

      Do Americans as a people believe in equality of peoples, or a hierarchy or races; do they believe in individual acts of crime or collective punishment and guilt; do they want laws based on equality of individuals and individual acts, or laws based on the propagation of collective advantage for some?

  • Exile and the Prophetic: Gender equality is worth struggling for. Gender equality within Constantinian Judaism isn’t.
    • The head of state, Constantine, actually called the Christian religious leaders together and influenced them in the development of an acceptable Christian creed. In other words, the religion was expressly shaped according to both state and religious needs; an evolutionary turning point in Christianity.

      In the same way, contemporary Israel and its political forces and personalities are forging a new Judaism for the present and the future. Ellis is seeing an historical analogy, and has (unfortunately, I think) mixed the terms to get across the point.

      The early history of Christianity is, in general, very badly understood. But let's say this: the expanse of Christianity benefited from state support (although the integrity of the religious institutions didn't), and it is supposed that the growth and security of Judaism will benefit from state support as well. Ellis wonders, though, about the integrity of the religious institutions; and if they falter (as they have) can one truly call Judaism secure, no matter how powerful the state of Israel might be?

  • Exile and the Prophetic: A Christmas tree at Auschwitz
    • Do you accept that its not only the Palestinians that might be "deeply offended – and rightly so", but the Lebanese as well? The multiple invasions and bombings are recent, and remain as present fears. And for those who died in the Iraq invasion, solidly supported and instigated by the same pro-Israeli forces visible again in the constant threats to Iran... can they, too, be "deeply offended – and rightly so".

      How many "particulars" are necessary for the "general" to be accepted? When does the fear of the general symbol become acceptable as a reasonable response?

  • Exile and the Prophetic: Michael Walzer, repeat intimidator
    • "This is how it goes: Walzer allows himself and his friends a studied pessimism. A call to action is anti-Semitism."

      I can't think of a more accurate portrayal of the general situation.

  • In 'Dissent' debate, Walzer hints that leftists who focus on Israel are anti-Semitic
  • Shlomo Sand on Zionism, post-Zionism, and the two-state solution
    • Sean, it does support the points you've made on the subject. It is clear proof, is more proof is needed, that many of those who are religious (even if broadly so) will support your argument that there is a strong correlation between Judaism and Zionism, both as to its historical nature (it has always been so) and its contemporary manifestation (it remains so).

      Can a good historian or sociologist, however, agree that it has always been so, and is currently so? I don't think so. Too many contrary examples exist, both of Jewish individuals and of Jewish groups and communities, both historically and currently.

      Thus, your central point is thought correct among those of a certain ideological predisposition (of whom there are many), but only partially correct, and certainly not true as a generalization, among those who view the question from an historical or sociological point of view.

      So, for me at least, the question I would ask you is this: are you saying that Judaism and Jewish nationalism must be equated and can't be separated; or rather that the identity of Jewish nationalism with Judaism is a belief among many Jews both historically and today?

      I would consider the first statement to be a fallacious and ideological generalization, while I would consider the second to be an historical and sociological statement difficult to dispute.

    • I think you can safely assume I'm somewhat aware of the role of the Jewish pro-Israel Lobby on American politics; I'm simply saying that the historian has to acknowledge that the policies passed and accepted within the Congress, say, or as implemented by the White House, have been bullishly pro-Israel and consistently so. To date, that pro-Israeli support has not negatively affected either of the two major American parties: in fact, both parties believe pro-Israeli policies enhance their electoral standing.

      And covertly, both the US and Europe helped Israel become a nuclear power, and overtly they actively sustain and enhance that capability even today, knowingly creating an ever greater chance of a one-sided nuclear war in the Middle East.

      I think where you are now pointing is that this historical relationship might be changing, and you are expressly pointing to its fragility.

      I'm not sure how this will play out. Certainly the cost of Israel for America is huge and continues to grow, not simply in financial and military commitments, but in the realignment (or interpretation) of its own cultural values as parallel to Israeli cultural values: the resistance to which is the origin of this site.

      Are Israeli cultural values necessarily Jewish cultural values? The short answer is no; there is a reciprocal relationship, and many Zionists (both secular and religious) claim the identity, but the good historian, looking at the history of both Jews and Judaism, would have to say that being Jewish doesn't predetermine one's values as being either pro-Israeli or a Zionist, despite what the Zionists argue.

    • The struggle for Jewish acceptance of Zionism, and self-identity with Zionism, both in Eastern Europe and in America (and often about Eastern Europeans in America) was very much alive in the early decades of the twentieth century. It wasn't as if Zabotinsky's or Nordau's writings came out of nowhere: they were even then understood as part of an earlier and on-going movement. What is needed is a good anthology of the small Yiddish newspapers and magazines both in America and Europe from about 1880 to 1930 to historically track the movement well before the Holocaust.

      Of course the Holocaust was a "tipping point' for many, but the tipping point for those who led the Zionist movements (plural) in Europe, the US and Israel came well before. No?

    • I think what can be said, to be accurate, is that the founding, existence and growth of Israel were supported by the concerted actions of the governments of the US and major European countries, despite the personal disapproval of many important American and European leaders.

      It is evident that the governments were "pushed", or "lobbied", but they did enact the policies they were asked to support, and very often vigorously pursued them, both overtly and covertly.

    • You're kidding, right Klaus?

      The Nazis very much intended to make Eastern Europe including parts of Russia into German Homeland. That was the very point of WW2. The attack on France was to forestall British and French attacks from the West while Germany dealt with and incorporated the Eastern lands it wanted.

    • Sean, did you really mean to say "in defiance of Europe, the United States and the rest of the world"?

      The establishment and recognition of Israel was with both the overt and covert support of the United States and the major European nations (the UK, France and Germany). From the Balfour Declaration to the 1947 Declaration and international recognition through the numerous wars, to the acquisition of nuclear weapons and delivery systems (including subs); all has been accomplished with the active material and moral support of the US and Europe. And its on-going, this support, in spite of the fact that Israeli intentions are clearly to establish Eretz Israel.

      It may sometimes "appear" to be in defiance, but in historical actuality its with the support of the US and Europe.

  • Exile and the prophetic: Rabbi Gordis's 'innermost circle' of caring
    • What I like about this series is that, for one reason or another, Mark Ellis is allowed on this blog – where others are deterred – to explore the relations between being a Jew, universalism and contemporary ethics. Does it well, too.

  • Exile and the prophetic: Israel's original sin
    • I appreciate this series as well. There is some overreaching within it, and tenuous jumps, but for me at least he is speaking clearly. Racism and anger are linked, and are mutually supportive. One can't talk clearly about the one without recognizing the other.

  • 'America and Israel are in it together,' Clinton declares-- and nary a word about settlements
  • Charting the 'peace process'
  • 'We lost Europe,' says Israeli official
    • Perhaps it doesn't need pointing out, but Canada is the strongest supporter of Israel right or wrong, and that policy has played well in creating the Conservative majority by helping to carry critical seats in Metro Toronto. In fact, it should be said, the current heads of all three major parties subscribe entirely to the Zionist narrative.

  • Gazans are 'ho-hum' about the deaths of relatives -- NYT's Rudoren
  • Day Seven of Israeli Attack on Gaza: Death toll rises to 141, over 900 injured; No ceasefire yet; Palestinian journalists killed
    • Declined, and still decline to give information necessary for their removal. That in itself, you'd think, would be a small item: apparently not.

  • The United Church of Canada's divestment showdown
  • One apartheid state, with liberty and justice for Jews only
    • I think Colin has this right. Israelis have made a choice that the nation, even a 'democratic' nation, is there to serve the interests of its 'natural people', in this case, Jews. Only limited 'inherent rights' are given to other individuals.

      And now the elite that supports that position wants to make the principal publicly acceptable. The debate has moved from one state or two state to "do you agree that a unified Israel is there as a reflection of Jewish collective values and should govern accordingly?"

      With this comes collective guilt, collective punishment, and a caste system based on birth, and a legal and state apparatus to implement it all. These systems are in place in Israel today.

      One thing, I know, however, is that progressive Islam will not accept its people being treated as second class at birth: to support those Israelis and Americans who support a racist Israel is to lengthen the long war against that which is most admirable in Islam.

  • David Remnick erases Norman Finkelstein
    • I think its a shame that the work of Moshe Menuhin has been edited out of our consciousness. The father of Yehudi Menuhin, he was an ardent anti-Zionist. He wrote both 'The Decadence of Judaism in Our Time' (1965) and 'Jewish Critics of Zionism'.

      He was prescient in much that he said.

      I seriously wish more time was spent with many of the strong anti-Zionists of the past, Moshe Menuhin certainly being one of them.

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