Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 435 (since 2012-07-05 14:40:20)

Showing comments 435 - 401

  • Goldberg and Cohen stoke fears of BDS
    • hophmi said: "There’s no gross distortion. There’s only your political campaign to elevate one national group above the other. Just don’t tell me it’s about human rights."

      And please don't try to change the subject...

      Others on this thread have already explained eloquently why the definition of self-determination isn't normally extended to include occupiers and colonizers, so I won't go into that again...

      However, is it your contention that American Jews lack self-determination? This would seem to fly in the face of the facts since proportionally there seem to be more Israelis who'd like to emigrate here than vice versa.

    • Annie, after thinking about it, maybe it's not the narrative, per se, but just the flow of "appropriate" information...I am sure they would rather have not mentioned BDS at all, but then Kerry put it out there. Goldberg and Cohen know that you can't put toothpaste back in the tube, hence their need to frame the issue on their own now.

    • Thank you for a great article, Annie...It's finally happening: they're losing control of the narrative, and it's largely their own fault. Too many cooks in the kitchen now, who don't know how to do the nightflower thing: Scarjo, Hagee, Glenn Beck, congress, ad nauseum...Zionism is slowly collapsing under it's own weight.

    • Thank you. I am sad, but not surprised, to see that hophmi is still peddling this gross distortion of the term self-determination here.

  • Why do they hate us? Robust support (even by liberals) for ethnic cleansing
  • 'Scarlett letter' -- Social media pillory Johansson for representing settlement business SodaStream
    • "Not everyone is going to go over the edge with you Annie. Jews have a right to live and work in the Judea and Samaria, the place you call the West Bank."

      I personally find it refreshing that giladg is willing to come out of the closet as a full-fledged zionist, unlike another prolific poster on this site who claims to be "left of center" and "anti-occupation" while he's clearly just here to do hasbara.

  • Eric Alterman declines request to debate Max Blumenthal at Brooklyn College
    • "I think maybe Alterman is tired of Blumenthal, and others in the pro-Palestinian movement, being untruthful about his views and his writing, and he feels no need to provide Blumenthal with an additional platform."

      From what I've heard, it was Alterman who dismissed and/or distorted the ideas "Goliath" without giving an adequate explanation.

      As for Alterman's views on I/P, the only thing I'm familiar with is some list he created years ago of people in the media who were biased in favor of or against Israel, according to him.

      For whatever reason, he's decided to promote a liberal zionist position at this point, but I suspect he just isn't knowledgeable enough about I/P to hold his own in a debate. Or maybe he doesn't even believe strongly in the position he's taken--he could have done that hatchet job in the Nation strictly for careerist reasons.

    • "Max Blumenthal is Dennis the Menace. Why would anyone sane debate him?"

      And yet Alterman didn't have a problem with reviewing Goliath...

  • No 'breakthrough' and no 'agreement' in the Middle East, Indyk says-- anonymously
    • Woody, it sounds like the same "creative ambiguity" BS they were trying to peddle a few years ago...
      Re Sharon: he's awful, but there will always be Sharons in history...the people who really infuriate me are the so-called intellectuals, statesmen, etc. who've helped facilitate these crimes over the years, either actively or passively. People who know better.

  • Roger Cohen (who doesn't live there) explains the need for 'my Jewish state'
    • Israel as spare tire.

      I suppose psychiatrists might have something to say about this mentality...sounds like malignant narcissism?

      I agree that Cohen will never break with Zionism and support 1ss. It's going to be very interesting when someone else "mainstream" finally does--maybe Remnick?

  • Remnick asks Shavit whether Zionism is a historical mistake
    • I agree, Remnick's an excellent writer...he reminds me of Benjamin Schwarz...Schwarz has written some very pessimistic pieces about I/P, although it's hard to tell where he comes down personally on the issue--he holds his cards pretty close to the vest.

  • Will 'sex in the toilets' really renew Zionism?
    • The title of this post (and the quote from Shavit) is priceless....there was a notorious gay club called The Mineshaft (before my time, just read about it) in NYC with trough style toilets where people would piss on each other, and apparently many other unmentionable things that went on...finally it was closed down in the '80s by the health department. The title just reminded me of that....LOL. Is this really how Israel wishes to market itself?

    • @Shingo

      Your welcome...the Israeli government seems to be dumping these people on India instead of dealing with the fallout, much as it offloads it's religious fruitcakes into the illegal settlements.

    • That might also explain why so many flock to places like Goa to drug themselves out after their army service...also, apparently there are thousands of Israeli burnouts wandering around India who never make it back home--there is a documentary about this on youtube, here is the trailer:

      slightly off topic: I can understand why people enjoy promiscuous sex, but I've never understood people who feel the need to broadcast it or share all the intimate details with other people (who usually aren't even interested).

  • Why is the Egyptian regime demonizing Palestinians?
    • "And please tell Dick and Jane that it is money well spent. "

      This is an oft repeated claim. Sure, it does provide some employment, I suppose. But I would assume it also promotes rent-seeking behavior and cozy triangles in the US firms that supply Israel, the US gov't, and Israel itself. Also I would ask what the opportunity cost of propping up the the "defense" industry (as opposed to some other sector/activity) in this manner is for the US, and what exactly is the benefit of taking the long way home by circulating this aid money through Israel back into the US if the US gov't was presumably going to spend it on something regardless?

  • Alicia Keys show in Israel has propaganda backbeat-- repeatedly tweeted by consulates and Foreign Ministry
    • so Israel is “baaaaaad” coz it must check carefully people who arrive at the same airport that the terrorist Kozo Okamoto killed dozens upon arrival?

      Silly comment. Because of something that happened over 40 years ago every minority needs to be hassled at BGA?

  • Netanyahu aide with neocon links appointed as Israeli ambassador to U.S.
    • It's all very cozy and incestuous, isn't it? Where exactly do the Israeliness and the Americanness begin and end? I wonder if Oren's "aliya" was purely a calculated political move. Fat chance of the US govt ever doing anything about this.

      As for the new neocon, might as well have him in there--at least it's clear to everyone where he stands. Obama et al are just upset because they'd rather have a Peres-like fig leaf to give the illusion of progress to the uninformed masses.

  • In electric atmosphere, Medea Benjamin takes over the president's speech
    • I knew vaguely that something was "off" about Israel for a long time--it was just a little too pat the way the PLO was reflexively dismissed away as a terror group by "right thinking" people--but it wasn't until the 1996 shelling at Qana that I began to really learn about the issue. So I've been involved in this longer than some people here, and for a much shorter time than others like Kathleen. However my activism has been limited to marching in some protests, trying practice BDS as a consumer, and making some donations for Gaza relief. Phil and Medea have put themselves on the line much more than I have, and I'm sure they've had to endure opprobrium from relatives, and perhaps lost some relationships because of their stances, so I'm uncomfortable judging someone by the length of their involvement/knowledge of this issue. Also I don't think we should assume that someone was "complicit" in the occupation just because they only recently became involved in this issue--they may just not have known much about I/P in the first place.

      I understand what Kathleen is saying, but I think one has to accept that being an activist or devotee for a cause often means being an unsung hero, even if one was involved in it for a long time. It's entirely possible that if a democratic 1ss or a viable 2ss does manage to come into being that the US government will somehow manage to take credit for it ("spreading freedom" and all that) despite decades of open obstructionism. Or some Tom Friedmanesque opportunist(s) will glom onto the cause and receive undeserved praise in the MSM. We have to be prepared for that possibility and remember that the end goal is what's best for Palestine, not recognition of our personal efforts or dedication.

  • There's been a sea change in US opinion on the conflict
    • The only people I meet who express strong support for Israel are 1. Jewish (and obviously I don't mean all Jews here) 2. hard right, Glenn Beck listener types 3. people who personally benefit from the status quo in some way, i.e. work in the defense industry. I believe any "support" expressed by others not in those three groups is thin at best.

  • Former AIPAC lobbyist assumes weighty mantle (and travel budget) of US Special Envoy on anti-Semitism
    • Must be nice to move seamlessly through the revolving door from a cushy job at AIPAC to a fluffy government sinecure.

      I'm still not understanding how Israel/Nazi comparisons are specifically anti-semitic. Seems more like just a bad analogy to me.

  • Demonizing Mandy Patinkin is a tough sell
    • @tokyobk

      The fact that we all agree that Peace Now is useless doesn't negate the emotional impact of Patinkin's speech.

  • Glenn Greenwald brings facts and reason to 'Real Time', ruins Bill Maher's night
    • Wow, Maher was fuming. I guess he's used to having his anti-Islam views validated, rather than challenged. Wonder if Greenwald will be invited back on in the future?

  • Carl Bernstein addresses 'Florida Loves Israel' convention
    • "And it sounds as if Bernstein was not entirely propagandistic:

      “But he cautioned his listeners to look beyond pamphlets they receive from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, known as AIPAC, and consider multiple sources to find facts on the state of Israeli life and politics.”"

      This makes Bernstein even worse in my book. He knows damn well what's going on but he decides to participate in this type of event anyway. For the money?

    • Florida loves Israel? Sorry, this group needs to speak for itself.

      These types of gatherings really reek of desperation. If the love of Israel is so widespread and innate, why the constant need for these propaganda events? Reminds me of DebWaSchultz signalling members of congress when to stand and clap during Netanyahu's speech.

      I'd also like a moratorium on any collective invocation of "the American people's" will/beliefs by politicians, and not just on the issue of Israel. We're individual human beings, not an undifferentiated blob.

  • Obama White House blew off idea of celebrating Emancipation Proclamation anniversary, says leading Lincoln scholar
    • I think it’s a very revealing character trait of Obama that the first thing he thinks about, his visceral instinct, is; “what will other people say?”

      Then I guess we need to cross Obama with Bloomberg to get something decent. Is that machine from "The Fly" still in working order?

  • 'NYT' runs another piece warning people not to intermarry during delusory secular interval of 30s and 40s
    • Those who marry in their 30s and 40s, especially educated professionals, are often at the most secular points in their lives.

      Not only does she not cite evidence, she doesn't clearly define the terms she's using. What exactly does "secular" mean in this statement-- total lack of belief, a crisis of faith, or just too busy shuttling kids to soccer games to attend church/synagogue?

      I'm guessing she's referring to a temporary lack of religious service attendance here. That's an odd use of "secular". Really a very awkward formulation in every respect.

  • Israel Project 'makeover' shows how U.S. stands between Israel and total isolation
    • @seafoid

      I was thinking the same thing. And this "makeover" will be like a bad botox job that accentuates the underlying problems rather than covering them up.

  • For Brookings talk on Arab women-- no Arab women!
    • Maybe they could still book Brigitte Gabriel to appear. I'm sure she'd be deemed acceptable.

  • Debating BDS in midair
    • "Reut, he claims, is an “apolitical, Zionist” institute, and should never have been listed there along with “Fascist groups such as Im Tirzu.” "

      I just had deja vu while rereading this (excellent) article. The American settler/student in the recent piece on Ariel University also described herself as "not political." Is this the latest hasbara meme making the rounds? Do they figure that if they repeat this enough ten gullible people out of a hundred will swallow it? Or is it more a way of rationalizing their own dubious aims to themselves?

    • "He thinks of the tactics of using divestment and boycotts as if it was a global organization, somehow covertly led by a few gentile anti-Semites, mostly Palestinians, with a plan to “destroy Israel,” followed by misinformed and confused progressives. All the Jews he mentions are of the second category."

      Yes, BDS is really a sinister multinational enterprise (run by George Soros?), engaged in the same "rabbit breeding" techniques the Communists used to rope in naive dupes in the early twentieth century. If Shayshon truly believes this, he's being more than a bit insulting to his co-religionists--he basically labelled all Jews as useful idiots with this statement.

  • Obama went to Israel to try to rescue the state from deepening isolation
    • I'm wondering if the rapprochement between Netanyahu and Erdogan was really set up in advance (maybe the US had nothing to do with it?) as a quid pro quo for making the trip to Israel and keeping mum on the settlement issue. In return Obama gets to look forward to puff pieces like this one:

      link to

  • NPR can't stop talking about Jews
    • Well this is an edgy article for a thread. As a non-Jew I don't know if I would personally feel comfortable bringing this subject up or delving into it, but if someone else wants to, I don't see an issue with it. But the problem with this taboo, as with all taboos, is that when the dam finally breaks there will probably excessive discussion of it since it's been suppressed for so long.

      Anyway I avoid NPR like the plague--the presentation is always a little too stylized and precious, especially the way each reporter is required to pronounce every syllable with unerring diction.

      I know far too many liberals who pat themselves on the back for listening to NPR when in fact most of them are intellectually lazy because they accept what they hear there uncritically. At the end of the day it's still received opinion, and the revolving door of Very Serious People whom the station has on as guests should be a clue in and of itself that the hidden assumptions and ideologies are often at work, whether they stem from government funding or from the dictates of "high liberal culture", if I can borrow a phrase from one of Phil's articles.

  • Tribalism in the Jerusalem speech
    • "Yes, I think BDS and much of the One State impetus relies on non-normalization and yet normalization is the first principle of a just One State."


      Was South Africa "normalized" by the international community before it became a "just state"?

      Israel has been given everything it could have dreamed of by the US for decades now. The economy is good there, and yet the settlements continue.What level of normalization is going to change things at this point? If you're hoping he the UN is just going to overlook what's going on, you're dreaming.

    • I see you've taken this opportunity to make your own speech...bravo.

      I don't see tribalism in the Palestinian movement, I see all types of people, including Jews, coming together for a common cause, one that they (as individuals) often have no ancestral or cultural ties to. If anything it transcends tribalism. On the other hand, the adherents of Zionism seem to be overwhelmingly Jews, along with some anti-Islam/Christian Zionist types who've glommed on to the cause, and powerful people who profit by it politically and/or financially. That doesn't seem too diverse to me.

      "Reflexive essentialism" is limited to the "right" in Israel (and anyway, what is that, 80% of the population?), but it's "across the spectrum" among Palestinians? Really?

      Unfortunately you seem to have gotten the idea that your putative support for 1ss gives you carte blanche to sh*t all over the BDS and solidarity movements, which I'm sure was your main goal anyway.

    • Page: 4
    • Well now we know what Israeli style "centrism" means. The Israeli polity seems even more torpid and bereft of new ideas than the one in the US. That's saying a lot.

  • Obama's visit will produce no meaningful talks, mainstream voices say
    • Wow hophmi, the venom and condescension really come out full force when you address a Palestinian.

    • Well, unless Obama's got something else up his sleeve that we don't know about (possible, but I doubt it), this blows a big hole in the main argument from the "Economist" magazine that was posted here the other day. Any agreement on a settlement freeze may not actually matter on the ground, since Israel would eventually use some pretext to "freeze the freeze" as it were, but Obama has now shown that he can be pushed further by the Israelis than anyone may have thought previously. And I think even the most ardent Zionists here on Mondo would agree that for 2ss to actually work (whether said posters agree with 2ss or not), a real settlement freeze is essential. So who's tilting at windmills now, Economist?

      What I found odd about his speech was that he seemed to be exhorting the I's and P's to negotiate in a way that suggested they would be doing it directly, with no mediator this time. There was something glib about the whole speech--maybe he's decided privately to write the peace process off?

  • Obama praises Israel to high heavens as Israeli and American elite cement 'unbreakable' alliance
    • thanks Annie

    • @biorabbi

      No need to engage in "mondofreude". Despite the anger on this thread I suspect most of us were already quite cynical about Obama and aren't surprised by this. I'm more interested in the backstory to this trip. Whose idea was it? Peres? Why travel thousands of miles on taxpayer dollars just to parrot the same bromides that politicians utter everyday in the US?

    • I'm the last one to give Obama the benefit of the doubt, but is it possible this whole thing is just a way to placate some people temporarily, and he really has plans to take some actions that Israel won't care too much for? Otherwise what's the point of this stupid trip?

  • Benjamin Netanyahu vs. The Two-State Solution
    • Avi,

      What about the claim that Israel doesn't need that water because it's perfected water desalinization? Are they really desalinizing large amounts of drinking water or is this just more hasbara?

  • Israeli soldier on Facebook: 'There's nothing better than a dead Arab'
    • These are simply classic anti-semitic tropes being repurposed for deployment against against a different group of people. Substitute "cancer" for "vermin". Or "drugged cockroaches in a bottle" comment from years past. Unfortunately the MSM never delves into this, and these incidents are passed off as anomalies, if they are covered at all, by major news outlets.

      To be fair, similar comments about Israelis have been made by some Palestinians, and in the Arab media. But who has the power in this situation? Who is engaging in ethnic cleansing?

  • Students at mega-settlement Ariel buoyed by Obama visit despite being left out of big speech
    • "Koolyk, a young American from Rockland County, New York, said she attended Zionist summer camp and always wanted to live in Israel, though she insisted she was not political. "

      Sorry, Koolyk, sometimes making life choices that effect large groups of people adversely causes you to become "political" whether you want to recognize it or not.

      I'd like to believe that these kinds of statements aren't deliberately disingenuous--that these young people are just naive and have a chance of waking up one day.

  • Making privilege an axiom, 'Economist' says Israel's Jews won't do what South Africa's whites did
    • If Obama really wants to do something real, rather than beating this dead horse of a peace process for another three years, he should just abstain from doing certain things, i.e. not using the veto the next time Israel comes up for a vote at the UN Sec. Council. I still don't think he'll do it--it would be the least travel/time intensive option, but perhaps the most politically risky one, and so far he's proven to be rather passionless and loathe to stick his neck out on any issue, let alone one as divisive as I/P--but he did "evolve" on gay marriage, so one can hope. Maybe another loose cannon (probably not Joe Biden the Zionist this time) will inadvertently(?) push him into evolving on this issue too.

    • "You don’t think Israel is already there now?"

      LOL. Obviously bilal a hasn't read "Start Up Nation".

    • All of the ideas in this Economist article are stale. It reads like something that was written 15 years ago and was subsequently updated to include a few current events. By the time I reached the obligatory glib references to "land swaps" my eyes had started to glaze over.

      Austin I'm not sure if his thesis is that Israeli Jews won't accept 1ss, or that neither side will. If it's the former, I would say that's because the Israelis have very rarely had to make any concessions or exhibit flexibility, not because they're unable to when push comes to shove. And if it's the latter, and both sides are somehow congenitally unable to get along with one another, how does one reconcile that with the fact that 20% of Israel is of Palestinian descent? Or the fact that, as Zionist love to remind us, Jews have always had a presence in Palestine.

      The author concludes by implying that Obama is going to insist on a 2ss. He may give some lip service to that this week, but the clock is ticking on his second term and I see no indication so far that he's going expend a lot of political capital on such a tenuous project. Remember, the "historic handshake" occurred in 1993 so Clinton devoted at least six years of on and off work to the peace process only to have nothing to show for his efforts in terms of "legacy building" in the end. I don't see Obama doing the same thing.

  • Vivian Gornick stashed book critical of Israel lest she 'commit literary suicide'
    • "Yes, this is definitely somebody worth taking seriously. LOL. "

      I don't know about that. I found her perceptions depressingly accurate. And you haven't done her justice with your weak summary of her points. There are many online stories of idealistic "anglo olim" who move to the country only to be ripped off or taken advantage of by the Israelis because they're perceived as being wealthy. And "connections" made in IDF service at a young age are what cements one's future career and success--if you make aliyah at a later age and don't have lots of money or relatives already in country, you're SOL. This, added to the busybody questions about her personal life she was constantly subjected to, perfectly explains her sense of alienation. That's the paradox of Israel--a country of immigrants that somehow manages to remains firmly closed and insular.

  • Why Fran Korotzer stopped saying 'ethnic cleansing' and started saying 'genocide'
  • Ann Lewis, former Clinton adviser, dismisses concern about segregated buses in West Bank
    • "I don’t know why Zionist commenters are allowed to refer to Palestinians as “Pals”."

      I agree, although allowing it through does have the benefit of exposing the bigots for what they are.

  • Gay porn mogul unveils pinkwashing documentary
    • @Kathleen

      Or go to the Newseum in DC, where the I/P conflict, one of the biggest news stories for decades, is barely featured, almost as if it doesn't exist. Why is that?

  • 'Gentiles of the Year 2012' include singer who performed for Israeli army benefit in LA
    • What a story Ellen. A good reminder of just how crazy some stars (and "the business" in general) are.

      While we should applaud those with an informed social conscience who act on their beliefs, it's better not to expect too much of celebrities. Many of them are shallow, concerned about their image, or worse, venal and only after the $$$$. There was a case recently of someone who performed for some despot in either one of the CIS states or former Yugoslavia (can't remember which) for one million dollars, and then claimed later she didn't know of his activities.

      If and only if it becomes severely detrimental to one's image to perform in Israel, etc., then we will see everyone in Hollywood jump on the bandwagon, as has happened with gay rights in recent years.

  • Chas Freeman to the Middle East Policy Council: 'American diplomacy has been running on fumes for some time. It is now totally out of gas'
  • Following weeks of controversy, Barghouti and Butler deliver sharp response to critics of BDS movement at Brooklyn College event
    • I think this whole fracas has only been a huge boon for BDS. It's helping to push the movement into mainstream consciousness, especially since Bloomberg had to get involved. Lew Fidler et al aren't exactly nightflowers--they have all the subtlety of a mac truck, and people are noticing. With all of these big mouth "friends" of Israel (including the Republican senators at the Hagel confirmation), AIPAC and liberal zionists risk losing control of their narrative and the PR war.

  • Bloomberg backs Brooklyn College over BDS event as another official withdraws funding threat
    • Yonah your argument might hold up if the Zionist narrative hadn't already been promulgated in the US almost exclusively for the last 40 years. Oren et all are out of talking points and ideas. What are they going to say at this point that everyone hasn't already heard?

    • There's certainly issues with Bloomberg, but he doesn't strike me as irrational. Perhaps he's not quite the ardent Zionist he purports to be. I'm sure some of it is just reality of ethnic identity politics in NYC and how pols stay in office there--there's a commonplace about catering to the "three I's" (Italy, Israel and Ireland--and maybe throw in Puerto Rico too...). Maybe he'll "evolve" publicly if attitudes in the US begin to shift due to BDS and further Israeli intransigence...

    • Never thought I'd see the day...kudos to Bloomberg for doing the right thing, regardless of his personal views. This is a big step up from the time when Giuliani had Arafat thrown out of that concert.

  • Why I'm for boycott
    • hophmi,
      History has proven that the only time that Israel starts to negotiate in earnest is when it's hit hard (usually by force). Their near loss in the Yom Kippur war resulted in Camp David. Oslo was the result of the first intifada and a recession in Israel. They left southern Lebanon after a war of attrition with Hezbollah. The only exception I can think of may be the withdrawl from Gaza (not sure of the history behind that).

      Instead of criticizing BDS, you should be happy that the Palestinians have moved on to non-violent resistance.

  • Official who threatened Brooklyn College funding calls BDS speakers 'anti-Semitic fools'
    • Was it considered de rigueur to have someone present the Afrikaner government position every time South Africa was discussed in an on-campus venue in the '70s and '80s?

  • Report: Hillary pushed for Middle East peace deal, Obama wasn't interested
    • Hillary Clinton, peacenik.

      I agree that if it happened it must have happened this way. Another instance of doing something just for appearance's sake.

  • Brooklyn College BDS event appears likely to go forward (as JVP explains it is in no way anti-Semitic)
    • @Mike_Konrad

      Is that the best you can do, carry on about Arab despots in every thread? You seem to be a one trick pony.

  • A story that even 'hasbara' cannot explain
    • Predictably, they are already trying to spin in on some other "liberal" forums. It was just a few isolated incidents, the government didn't actually approve it, depo only lasts for three months, ad nauseum

  • The latest existential threat to Israel? Those Russians the world was implored to free
    • Good lord. If a country has so many "existential threats" (real or imagined) you have to wonder at some point if it's really a viable entity. The only other place with such a
      "threat" that I can think of is Taiwan, but you don't hear them carrying on about it incessantly.

  • Hagel hearing set for next Thursday as Jewish Dems line up in support
  • Netanyahu out as PM?: Yair Lapid shocks Likud/Beiteinu in Israeli election
    • I wouldn't get too excited about this yet. It was a centrist government that orchestrated Cast Lead. Has a centrist or Labour government ever removed WB settlements (other than some isolated "outposts")?

  • When will liberal Zionists give up on their dream?
    • This new "centrist" coalition, along with some empty peace processing by Obama, might breathe new life into liberal zionism.

  • Neocons never go away--Marco Rubio hires Jamie Fly, ultra-hawk on Iran
  • The limits of liberal Zionism: 'NYT' columnist Roger Cohen misrepresents the Nakba and the right of return
    • Sorry, I didn't look at the byline--I thought Phil wrote the article. Duh. Great article Yousef.

      I don't know if NYT and WaPO are censoring pieces on IP on the editorial page--if so how did Robert Novak survive for all those years? I think it's more likely that (for the most part) they hire people whom they know are very unlikely to rock the boat.

    • Thank you Phil once again for calling these PEPs and sounds like you hit a nerve.

  • Jim Crow was complicated, too
    • One small quibble: labelling Naftali Bennet et al as "crazy" may not be accurate or helpful. I see their extremism more as the logical endpoint of Zionism rather an as some outlier. How many Israelis quietly agree with their aims?

  • Obama Goldberg's liberal Zionist lament
    • @Stephen Shenfield

      What a nightmare scenario. That would allow the US to promote a new false dichotomy between "secular Israel" and the new settler state, even though the former birthed this monster. A few more ineffectual liberal Zionists might get in the Knesset. Maybe a Labor government or two. Meanwhile, school segration, discrimination against Arabs, Ethiopian Jews, etc. in Israel (along with aid to the settler state, as you mentioned) would quietly continue. The American MSM could then demonize the new state while whitewashing Israel's behavior.

      Although I don't see how Israel could completely wash it's hands of it. Would the IDF stand by if the settler state was hit by rockets from Jordan (very unlikely, I know, but for argument's sake)?

  • Hagel prostrates himself before the lobby, gets votes
    • the vast majority of Americans support a strong US-Israel relationship. There’s no nightflower necessary. It’s not controversial.

      That's rich, coming from someone who feels the need to spend all their free time feverishly posting hasbara messages on Mondo. Yawn.

  • AP headline projects 'Jewish state's end'
    • @Citizen

      I don't know if this is just more hasbara, or if Livni and others like her are just totally lacking in socio-political awareness.

  • Palestinians establish new village-- Bab al-Shams, 'Gate of the Sun'-- in Occupied E1
    • religion is not at the core of the conflict, colonialism is.

      Right on Annie. Getting more people to understand this is the key to change. Although I'm sure giladg is perfectly happy to let people continue wallowing in ignorance. I've found that people who believe it's about religion are often the same ones who believe this I/P conflict has been going on for "thousands of years" (eye roll).

  • 'Birthright' ecstasy in Jerusalem -- Ziojuana, no occupation, lotta Jewish babies
  • Jim Crow in our time: 'NYT' credits Israeli poll that excludes 20% of population who aren't Jewish
    • Read the reader's comments in the Times. At least half of them see right through Peres.

      Could it be that the NYT is printing these ridiculous puff pieces to appease a segment of their readership, while at the same allowing the reader's comments through to show what they (the Times' writers) really believe?

  • 'This is war propaganda, and you are the target'--latest anti-Muslim subway ads get another makeover
  • Elliott Abrams calls Chuck Hagel an anti-Semite
  • The education of Rand Paul
    • Ron Paul captured the imagination of so many tea party types and libertarians because he was willing to challenge the Lobby.

      I would say that the Tea Party was infatuated with Paul in spite of his views on Israel. They were more interested in his promises to gut government programs. If anyone was enticed by his Israel position it was disaffected leftists and maybe some paleocons.

  • Obama taps Hagel with combative speech-- following outreach to AIPAC
    • It's a sad day when the US president has to "lobby" a foreign agent just to appoint someone to his cabinet.

    • On one of the talking head shows (I think Chris Matthews) on Sunday morning, during the "prediction" segment, Bob Woodward said he was worried that we would be talking about Israel "more than any of us would like" over the next four years. I don't know what Woodward's views are but I take this statement as meaning he would rather sweep the lobby and settlement issues under the rug rather than have to discuss them openly.

  • Only non-Jews can save Israel, Eldar says
    • The demographic problem is complicated even further by the stated desire of many to keep secular population higher than that of "the religious". Will American Jews keep supporting an Israel that's dominated by haredi?

  • Multiple reports say Chuck Hagel to be Defense Secretary nominee
    • would doubt that more than a third of Americans know what the BBC is.

      The low opinion you have of your fellow Americans is really showing through in your comments on this thread.

  • Israel's poor, including ex-settlers, face cuts as state funds head to the West Bank
  • Hasbara fail: the ambassadors mutiny
  • Endless 'debate over two-state solution' is cover for the real story, annexation of West Bank
    • @Nevada Ned

      Great post. The "Labor as benign" myth is one that's going to have to be exploded before any real change comes. This will probably won't happen directly. Instead people will finally realize that Labor is fading into irrelevancy politically so there's no need to factor them into any future discussions of the conflict. Even Tom Friedman, of all people, has hinted at this recently.

  • Scene on an Israeli bus
  • After Islamophobic hate crime in New York City, mayor wants public to 'keep death in perspective'
    • This mental illness whitewash is the same tactic they used to try to explain away Baruch Goldstein. Just a lone crazy.

  • With conventional wisdom solidifying behind Hagel, will Obama finally declare on 'Meet the Press?'
    • "Who is feeding this to you?"

      I don't know if anyone is feeding hophmi anything, he's just seeking out information that reinforces his own point of view. He knows what his primary objective is and if that means he has to be a feminist on Monday, a Republican on Tuesday, and then a gay rights activist on Wednesday, he's perfectly willing to do that.

    • "because there is a dearth of women in this cabinet"

      So the pick should be made based on quotas?

    • Well, he didn't declare, and no mention of the I-Lobby by Gregory.

  • Do not let settlers expel us from our home in Sheikh Jarrah
    • "What troubles me is why there are so few responses."


      I think we (Mondoweissers) tend to get too caught up in the all the stateside internecine squabbling over Beinart, Hagel, Joy Harjo, Pollard, [fill in the blank]. As a result some of the posts that relate the human dimension of what's happening on the ground in Palestine get lost in the shuffle.

  • Neocons, wearing jackboots, are suddenly on the defensive over Hagel
    • @mcohen

      I wouldn't be so quick to ascribe the kippah reactions (if they actually happen as you claim) to anti-semitism. Some euros seem to be uncomfortable with any public display of religious garb (witness all their debates about the hijab).

  • Jolly Christmas: BBC celebrates 'return' of a 'lost tribe of Israel' -- and not a word about Palestinians' right
    • Excuse me if I don't shed tears of joy over this lost's a like a dystopian version of the rainbow coalition...I'm surprised Israel hasn't transferred the African "infiltrators" from South Tel Aviv into some settlement on the West Bank yet.

  • Tom Friedman's endorsement of Hagel as the DefSec Israel needs is wakeup call to Bill Kristol on Boxing Day
    • Note Friedman's lament that Israel won't "slow" (rather than halt, or reverse) it's settlement activity. Is this just a sop to Zionist readers or is Friedman okay with continued colonization as long as it's not too obvious?

  • Almost there! Help Mondoweiss reach our fundraising goal in the next six days
    • Thanks. I'm planning to make a donation, although it won't be over $100 (sorry).

      Any word on buying Mondoweiss t-shirts? This would be a great way to advertise the site to the general public.

  • Obamas' Christmas card gets thumbs down over cranberries and trifle
    • @Krauss

      He always seemed kind of dubious to me. I was actually rooting for Hillary during the debates, and I don't even like her.

      During the initial phases of the 2008 campaign, much of the black community was cool towards Obama. The easy explanation for this is that is upbringing was "too white" but I wonder if they didn't sense there was something fishy about him. In my experience AAs are very good at seeing through BS.

  • Israel turns again to East Jerusalem neighborhood, ordering Palestinians out
  • Bagel for Hagel?
    • I had no illusions about Obama when I voted for him, but I didn't expect him to capitulate less than 2 months after being re-elected. I didn't care for Rice but he wouldn't even stand up for her. Maybe he'll surprise us on Hagel, but I doubt it.

  • Terror lurking in a Christmas tree? Israel tries to ban non-Jewish celebrations
  • No surprise: Chuck Schumer refuses to stand up for Hagel
    • @David Doppler

      Bibi is so off-putting to so many that it may be better if Likud wins. The need for BDS would then become more obvious. Historically, the other two major parties haven't shown the political will to stop the settlements either.

      I'm in favor a new peace process if it's an honest one. However (and although I hate to say it) I don't see Obama having the intestinal fortitude for that. That would mean another fight with the lobby in terms of choosing a controversial negotiator. Instead I see more dead end peace processing with BS "confidence building" measures with more settlements and the world going into a collective coma again.

    • @American

      I am gay and I tend to agree with you. I couldn't give less of a crap about something that Hagel said back in the '90s. He's apologized for it and it's over. What do they think he's going to do, reinstate DADT?

      Unfortunately, there's a myopic segment of the gay community for whom gay rights (or the lack thereof) seems to form the lynchpin of their entire worldview. IMO these people are either self-involved or uninformed (probably both). This doesn't just involve Israel's pinkwashing campaign--it's a general problem of not being able to see clearly where the gay rights struggle fits in to the larger picture, and sometimes of allowing the cause to be co-opted by people and corporations who are up to no good. You're going to support weapons manufacturers or polluters because they offer their employees domestic partnership benefits? Really?

  • Veolia withdraws bid for North London waste contract under boycott pressure
    • This is great news. What is needed is for a large corp. to finally say "it's not worth it anymore" and break completely with Israel. It would be better if it were an American company with higher name recognition (Caterpillar), but Veolia would do as well.

  • Defending Hagel, Hayes & Greenwald assail neocon stranglehold on policy
    • I know some here can't stand Miller, but I find him refreshingly candid in his statements at times. And he exposed Dennis Ross in his book, which is worth a lot...

  • Lobby versus Hagel (NYT goes after his 'record on gays')
    • Well posters on some of the "Democratic" forums are buying the gay angle hook, line, and sinker. Of course the real issues don't matter to them, only whether someone has a "D" or an "R" after their name...they only care that their sports team wins.

      The whole gay rights/democracy/women's rights argument smacks of neocolonialism to me. It reminds me of when various groups tried to hitch women/hijab-wearing issues onto terrorism fears after 9/11. I'm in favor of these things but the fact is a western country was plopped into the Middle East and now we expect it to influence these other countries so that can become more like us. And, besides, it's not even working. Where is the evidence that Israel's vaunted "democracy" is influencing the governance style of the surrounding countries? If anything, Israel has been moving in an anti-democratic direction for years now.

      We've seen all this before. The Shah's regime was somewhat "western" and permissive socially. It didn't last because it was just another a case of putting lipstick on a pig. If change comes to these societies, it has to come organically from internal movements within them, not from the putative influence of US client states in the region.

  • 'NYT' equates Palestinian suicide-bombers to CT school-killer
    • Actually, Lankford's argument is really a double-edged sword. While his argument is facile, it can be turned around to serve as an indicator that there is nothing "uniquely evil" about Arab/Muslim suicide attacks. Some facet of the American cultural milieu (at least in the shooters' minds) is producing these school attacks--it isn't just the availability of guns. Of course those who've been paying attention already knew about the Tamil Tigers and kamikaze pilots, but this is a much more current and accessible example.

  • In 'Dissent' debate, Walzer hints that leftists who focus on Israel are anti-Semitic
    • @sean

      Part of me thinks that Israel will succeed in it's project and all this will be conveniently forgotten. However, if that doesn't happen, when the dust finally settles, a lot of intellectuals and media figures are going to be called to task in the same way that Heidegger, Sartre and others were for their participation in or silence in the face of various Nazi/Soviet outrages. A black cloud will hang over a lot of people's legacies.

    • @Citizen

      At their core, all hasbara arguments rely on legalistic hairsplitting, special pleading, and Procrustean formulations. That's why they're so unsatisfying when dissected and always fail at the logical level.

      The only convincing arguments I can think of for supporting Israel and it's behavior are realpolitik ones that focus on it being a strategic asset. These may have held up to some extent during the cold war but I don't think they're valid these days.

  • Abrams and Ross blame Palestinians for failure of peace process-- and never say the word 'settlements'
    • @Ramzi

      I agree with all your points, but I wonder if a third intifada is possible at this point, and if so what form it would take. In terms of rock throwing, etc., the Palestinians are physically isolated from the Israelis by the wall and outsourced PA "security" at this point and Israel seems to have gradually replaced Palestinian labor with guest workers from Thailand and other places, so a general strike doesn't seem viable. I'm assuming non-violent resistance would be the answer, but would the Israelis even care at this point? That leaves the rockets. While I understand why they are using the rockets, I don't think it's a particularly good idea or strategy for a number of reasons.

    • Fascinating indeed. What a bubble these people live in. Thanks for posting this.

      The supreme irony is that if any of these three men had tried to be even-handed in their criticism some other segment of the lobby would probably have come forth to smear and disown them. The bias is policed and self-reinforcing.

  • 'We will make sure every American knows he is an anti-Semite' -- anonymous neocon threat to Hagel
    • I think Hagel means well, and I hope he gets in, but the concern is not so much the confirmation but that he'll have to conform to intense "pro-Israel" pressures once he's in office. Even people like Baker and Bush41 who tried to stand up to the lobby while in office failed at enacting any substantive change--US policy has remained essentially unchanged for decades now. The policy consensus of the Washington establishment (and congress) has proven thus far to be much more powerful than the will of any one individual. I really, really hope to be proven wrong on this, though.

  • Family of teenager killed in Hebron calls fake gun story a 'fabrication'
  • Shlomo Sand on Zionism, post-Zionism, and the two-state solution
  • Lieberman's wild claim that Europe is ignoring another Holocaust masks effort to rob Palestinians of $423 million
  • Poet Joy Harjo responds to boycott demands over Israeli performance by adding a West Bank visit
    • Now let's see if she backs up that sense of connection with action or if she's just after the cash...

      And if she truly has no grasp of these issues at her age, where has she been living, under a rock? I seem to remember Margaret Atwood playing dumb as well, claiming she was caught off guard.

    • @mymarkx

      Phil and other journalists/activists visit the WB all the time. I'm sure she'd have no issue going there.

    • I had to read some of her poetry for a college class...when I opened the link I thought it would be good news, until I saw her wishy washy statements.

      Sounds like another aging academic/entertainer/rock star Israel is wooing with cash in an attempt to burnish it's image. Nothing to see here. Based on the circles she probably travels in and her work on indigenous rights, it's hard to believe her views are really so muddled and uninformed this late in the game.

  • Palestinian teenager shot dead by Israeli soldiers in Hebron
    • I've often wondered why the Israelis allow this Hebron situation to continue. The settlers there give Israel some of the worst PR imaginable. If they moved them out of there (which would be easy to do), they could go about their settlement project in a less obvious way (not that I want to give them any ideas).

  • Israeli army raids three civil society offices in West Bank at 1 a.m.
  • Citing growing division among Australian Jews over Israel, cartoonist refuses to apologize for likening Gaza to Nazis' victims
    • @seafoid

      100 years? I'd say it's more like 50. It seems people in the '40s and 50s (Einstein, Arendt, even Time magazine) could be a lot more candid with their views without fear of repercussions. I think the dialogue began to shut down around the time of LBJ's term in office. Tragically, the rapidly growing acceptance of the Jewish community in the US (along with the advent of the lobby) seemed to close the door on open debate about Israel in the MSM. We swung wildly from the anti-semitic statements of Henry Ford and others to an equally unacceptable conflation of anti-semitism with any criticism of Israel. I blame the lobby, overly "PC" attitudes and a lack of awareness and critical thinking skills in the American public for this.

  • 'Lincoln' is an argument for equality in Israel and Palestine
    • @Mooser

      I'm still not clear on what tokyobk's views are but he(?) seems more rational than some of the other posters here. I don't get the impression he's a hasbarist.

    • Jews were not accorded an unfettered right to practice their religion, and they certainly were not accorded such rights in Enlightenment Europe; they aren’t accorded such rights in today’s Europe.

      So you're now claiming that Jews in the UK and France aren't allowed to practice their religion? Link, please? What is your definition of "unfettered rights"? Are you talking about the most extreme Hasidim and their rigid set of practices?

    • @tokyobk

      NOT being snarky, but I'm still unclear on your views. Do you support 1ss with equal voting rights for all?

    • Well look who crawled out from under a rock...sadly, people with your mindset do "make policy".

  • Another Jew describes his journey away from Zionism
    • @MLE

      It says he met and fell in love with an Israeli soldier in 1987, so I'm assuming he was at least 18 yo. at that time.

    • @Kathleen and Mooser:

      I agree this guy is way late to the party. The idea that he was over there while images of children being brutalized during the first intifada were being broadcast around the world and didn't notice anything wrong strains credulity to the breaking point. But I think we have to welcome people like this and be content with ending this and realize that others may get the credit for it even if they did little. When and if Zionism collapses there will probably be some new American myths spun out of whole cloth that ignore the support this country gave to Israeli regimes for decades.

  • 'J Street' and 'Peace Now' say it's now or never for Obama to bring Netanyahu to heel
    • @douglasreed

      I agree. I've been thinking for some time that this will result in another war. Perhaps Israel will be the flashpoint for a wider war involving more countries? WWIII? WWI was started over less.

  • One day later: B'nai Jeshurun leaders regret voicing support for Palestine UN bid
  • Demolitions: Jerusalemite forced to demolish his house, and Hebron family, grocery and marble factory served orders
  • Will Israel's government investigate the Israeli billionaire who is looting the Congo?
    • The Bloomberg article reports that Gertler flies to Tel Aviv every week to spend the Sabbath with his family

      That's got to be at least a six hour flight. I can't imagine doing that every weekend--maybe once a month. Although something tells me he's not flying coach...

  • Khalidi, Karon and Bronner (!) deliver a post mortem for the two-state solution
    • @Stephen

      I don't think that would work at all. It's that kind of constitution/power arrangement handed down by the French that started the civil war in Lebanon.

    • It's significant that even Bronner comes across as more level-headed than Beinart in this discussion. Beinart seems to be clinging desperately to the hope that this can still be worked out by internal changes in the Israeli government and an entre nous conversation among American Jews.

  • It's time for the media to talk about Zionism
    • I agree with Phil but the acceptance and (grudging) admission of realities in the political/media sphere that most of us on this forum have known for years is so glacially slow that I don't have a lot of hope at this point. The peace process is dead? 2ss may not be possible because of settlements? REALLY? Edward Said saw clearly in the early '90s that Oslo was fatally flawed that the PA was corrupt and ineffectual and yet the media has been glossing over these facts for almost two decades. No one in the media wants to mention the elephant in the middle of the room because it might hurt their careers, or they might not get invited to the best cocktail parties anymore, or maybe they just don't care.

      As for Obama, I have no doubt he knows how f*d up Israel is but at heart he's a politician and will just go with what the Washington policy establishment consensus is if it furthers his own power and prestige. I hope to be proven wrong but the way things are going I fear that public acknowledgement of the realities of Zionism may not come in our lifetimes (although it will come).

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