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Total number of comments: 505 (since 2012-07-05 14:40:20)

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  • Video: 'Very fine people on both sides'
    • Leaving aside what Trump did or didn't mean for a moment, I've noticed that "moral equivalence" has become a talking point repeated in the media with regards to Charlottesville. If anyone recalls, that that was also a standard pro-Israel "meme" (or what have you) during the second intifada ("there is NO moral equivalence!") in US media when talking about the suicide bombings.

      It's frightening how hasbara language is becoming part of the discourse, even when Israel is not even the subject being discussed.

  • Alan Dershowitz has threatened to leave the Democratic Party if Keith Ellison becomes chair
  • UN resolution on settlements is a step back for Palestinians
    • I hope it's dead too, but experience proves it's like Jason or Michael rising repeatedly from the dead after being stabbed, shot, burned alive.

      Having said there the MSM has been at least mentioning the 1ss concept more and more. That may be a tacit signal that elites are willing to throw in the towel on 2ss at some point.

  • A bi-national, democratic state is the only option Israel and Kerry has left us with
    • I agree. "Bi national state" is an empty concept.

    • I have a lot of respect for Halper, it takes balls to go against the grain like he does in a society like Israel that prizes groupthink, and for so many years. It's remarkable that he hasn't given up the fight and left for another country and no one would blame him if he did.

      But I agree, it's a pipe dream at this point. It seems like his (and Gideon Levy's) main function is observing and cataloguing what is going on, try as they might to effect real change in that country. Israel seems to be growing more insular as time passes.

    • Page: 5
  • Why Obama waited 8 years to take on Netanyahu
    • Such bizarre statements. It makes you wonder if Hophmi himself even believes the stuff he comes up with.

  • The formal end of the two-state solution
  • Israeli hysteria over UN vote is solidifying country's new status, as a rogue state
    • Agree. I don't know why people keep insisting otherwise.

      Maybe the Ron Paul subset of Trump supporters, but not the group as a whole.

  • One-state solution gets fairer shake in a NY synagogue than it gets in NY Times or MSNBC
  • Scenes from a neoconservative meltdown
    • Without reading the text I assumed at first that that photo on the T-shirt was Lake himself, and that it supposed to be some type of hipster ironic statement

      He's a dead ringer for Begin.

  • Breaking: UN Security Council passes historic resolution against settlements as two-state solution 'slips away'
    • I don't know what practical effect (if any) this resolution will have, but surprising and welcome news.

      I should have known better, but I turned on national nightly news (NBC) to see their coverage of this. I think they spent less than 30 seconds on this story (all presented in the context of
      Trump, of course), and then on to Carrie Fisher. Turned to CBS and the same thing. I should have known the MSM would gloss over anything that makes Israel look bad.

  • Why my books are not published in Israel
  • Your Gift Multiplied: Support Mondoweiss's Year-End Campaign
  • Why now? Story breaks that US teamed with Israel in assassinating Iranian 'agent' in '08
    • Friedman's piece was a joke (no surprise there). The interesting part was that I got the impression that it's intended audience was American Jews rather than the general NYT readership--see this line:

      "I’ve polled many of my non-Jewish friends, who follow world politics and are sympathetic to Israel, and they really don’t like this."

  • The legacy of Joan Peters and 'From Time Immemorial'
  • Our Year-End Campaign: What Mondoweiss Means To Me
  • The member of Knesset who called for genocide -- against the mothers of the 'snakes'
    • Yes, the use of the term snakes reminds me of the "classic anti-semitic tropes" of the octopus, et al that we are always warned about here by certain posters... And biorabbi talking about Hamas being "de-fanged" on the other thread...imagine that. I guess it's only wrong if you use it against certain semites?

  • Gazafying Dissent
    • "Nobody I know gives a crap."

      Unfortunately I agree...where I am I haven't heard a single person talking about Gaza (either among friends, or overheard conversations among strangers) over the last two weeks. The only time it has been discussed is when I deliberately brought the subject up. Sadly, based on my experience, among the general population most people are either indifferent, completely ignorant of the situation, or still reflexively take Israel's side because someone else told them they should. Maybe it's different in larger metro areas or different parts of the country, though.

      Having said all that, these latest atrocities MAY change the opinion of some media elites, and/or opinion shapers. Whether that translates into any change in US policy is a long shot, though.

  • Video: If you voted for Hamas, Israel has a right to kill you, says president of NY Board of Rabbis
    • "it is a half-baked, juvenile stew of contradictions, non sequitors, and mirror gazing."

      Perfect description, especially the mirror gazing part...I would add that it also seems to consist entirely of unquestioned received opinion. I think a lot of these people actually believe there own BS at this point.

    • @Bumbleye

      Not only that, look at the banners and the background, and the way identity is being blurred. Someone holds up a sign "donate here for 'our' soldiers" -- who does "our" refer to? And the presumptuous way they arrogate NY public opinion for their own cause ("New York stands with Israel").

      The Zionists never had any serious opposition from the elites or the government or media, so they've never had to learn to form serious arguments. And the grandiosity continues.

  • (Updated) In Photos: Worldwide protest against Israeli attack on Gaza
    • @chu

      I thought it was staged as well.

    • Thanks Annie for putting that together...very heartening to see people from as far flung as Japan protesting this...

      I just watched "CBS Sunday Morning" and had to finally turn it off in disgust. Bob Schieffer wash practically gushing over Iron Dome and Israeli cell phone alerts. He let Netanyahu and Dermer get away with the hasbara without challenging it. And then a discussion panel full of shills including Jane Harman(!) Why is she still given any credibility on this issue?

  • NY Times reports source of UNRWA school attack is unclear even though Israel said they did it
    • @Adam

      Thank you for covering this...I noticed the same thing this morning. I was hoping that it really was still undetermined, but, no, NYT really decided to go there with a bald faced lie.

  • 10,000 march on Qalandia in solidarity with Gaza
  • Jews Say: End the War on Gaza — No Aid to Apartheid Israel!
    • This extreme form of chauvinism -- mobs dancing around in circles with Israeli flags, on any given day -- makes the rah rah USA stuff pale in comparison. I don't know what the exact tipping point is for fascism--they still have the outer trappings of democracy. But now that Gaza is likely to end in another stalemate, the hooligans will be filled with war fever--more physical attacks on private citizens with dissenting views, even less space for dissidents, is my guess. What happens if even a small % of the sane Israelis vote with their feet and decide use the second passport over the next couple of years? That will be the tipping point, IMO.

  • Gaza massacre is generating ideological crisis in American Zionists
    • J Street is really just a copy of "Americans for Peace Now", right? Maybe they should have a merger to cut costs.

  • Avishai says we misrepresented his views
    • "But some of us, in and out of Israel, have been willing to take the unpleasant consequences of non-conformity, criticizing the occupation and its consequences—including arguably just wars that might nevertheless have been avoided—since the time of Golda Meir. "

      Yeah, and a lot of good that's done. Tepid criticisms of the occupation and soft entreaties for peace.

  • 'Slate' blames Birthright for indoctrinating American Jew who was killed fighting for Israel
  • US plays decisive role in Israel's attack on Gaza
    • @seafoid and just:

      Just watch though, the US congress will vote to give Israel an extra billion this year to ease the pain of the flight ban and the attendant loss of tourist shekels. (I'm only half-joking, I can easily see them doing this).

  • Renouncing my Israeli citizenship
    • @jrfinkel

      Thanks for the response...I was just giving my own general impression; I can tell you know a lot more about kibbutzim, etc. (not one of my areas of knowleddge). In any case I agree that any socialist project there has failed completely:

      I think part of the problem is defining who and what the Israeli Left consists of. It's a rather amorphous term. From what I've read "leftist" seems to constitute more of an all purpose epithet in Israel for someone you despise than it does any actual large, organized group. Who is the Israeli Left exactly? Peace Now? The J14 protesters? The wealthier, educated residents of greater Tel Aviv? 972 mag? Breaking the Silence? Does it include someone like Shimon Peres who's been actively complicit in the occupation and war crimes? All of the above?

    • @Frankie P.

      Many of them may have spoken out against it "behind closed doors." We'll never know.

      However, my sense is, by and large, the Israeli left (over the last 50 odd years) has been far more focused on creating a socialist society for Jews than on a just settlement vis a vis Palestine. And a vague desire for "peace". The J14 protest bears that out--they didn't want the occupation as part of the agenda. The Gideon Levys and Jeff Halpers of Israel seem to be a small fraction of the left in that nation.

      So this is where I disagree with jfinkel. I feel that if the Israeli Left was at all capable of orchestrating and implementing a just solution it would have happened years ago. At this point the boat has already sailed.

    • @jrfinkel

      "Also, it has taken me far too long to understand how the basic contradiction between the objective conditions (which demand a single state) and the subjective conditions (which demand two states) has been unfavorably resolved by the creation of a single, apartheid state. "

      Perfectly stated, the truth in a nutshell...

      I've been enjoying your posts. I think some people here are a bit jumpy and assuming that a new posters are hasbarists without actually reading the entire content of their posts for comprehension. I hope that doesn't put you off from participating here.

  • Finally, Israel is alienating the US mainstream media
    • W. Jones,

      Perhaps, but maybe it was more the nature of the stories that dictated the media response. There was no way to cover the 1982 invasion or the first intifada AND make Israel look good at the same time. The media would have had to not cover them at all. But they were huge stories so they were forced to present Israel's true face to the world.

      In 1975, the settlement enterprise hadn't really ramped up to full speed yet, the occupation was relatively new, and Israel was looking sympathetic because of Munich and the airline hijackings. There was the nakba, but that had taken place decades before.

    • @W. Jones

      I don't want to put words in Donald's mouth, but I believe he's referring to the media's stance on I/P, not to the activities of activists. Other than their promotion of the fleeting, ephemeral 2ss I've seen little change in the media coverage over the last 20 years. I don't consider Chomsky to be a darling of the MSM in any sense.

      Now if the activism and BDS grow that could force the media to change, but that's going to be a long haul to get there.

    • I think that's the whole game--for years at a time, ignore the backdrop and context of what's happening, and Lebanon and Gaza just seem like a series of isolated, disconnected events. Meanwhile, the American public has been told over and over that "it's complicated" by Israel's supporters, so the public is intimidated by the whole subject and either wash their hands of it or adopt the default pro-Israel position.

    • @Donald

      I agree. I can remember in the past when a window for criticism has opened in the MSM only to slam shut again once whatever event triggered it was over. The problem is that there is no sustained coverage or critique of the settlements, the apartheid wall, water theft, only of bombing raids on Gaza and Lebanon, which usually only last a few weeks. And little to no context, even then. And after that it's back to amnesia.

      The one thing that could change the status quo is the unavoidable realization that the peace process is a dead letter at this point. However I could see Obama or the next president trying to revive it (someone put a stake through it's heart this time, please), so I'm not going to get my hopes up prematurely.

  • On the defensive, Barney Frank accuses Clemons and Kornacki of ganging up on him, and Israel
    • @Helena

      LOL. I thought I heard him pronounce it "Khamas" in the video but I wasn't sure...

      I remember hearing for years about how smart he was, one of the smartest members in congress. And yet he comes across as a brainwashed tool in this video.

    • @DaBakr
      Really? Is that how the average Palestinian lives in the WB? Or the PA and some elites in Ramallah? Is having your freedom movement severely restricted and your houses bulldozed what passes as normal in your mind? Being stoned and attacked by settlers in Hebron, or "price tag" attacks?

    • Life is "normal" in the West Bank? What world is he living in?

      He's no longer in office so he doesn't have to shill for Israel anymore, so he must actually believe this crap.

  • Israel is in a pickle
    • @Maximus

      I'd like to believe that this will change attitudes, but I think the coverage of the plane crash is beginning to siphon away attention from Gaza, at least in the US media. Plus people in this country don't seem have much of an attention span or willingness to see things in context when reality conflicts with their received opinions.

  • 'We are moving from Iron Dome to an iron fist': Israel launches ground invasion of Gaza
    • Related: has anyone read Wapo's editorials today? There is a Zionist piece by Charles Krauthammer, which I may not bother to read, and then a rather lame, predictable "cycle of violence" op-ed (I guess this is what Wapo considers "balance") by Eugene Robinson. However the Robinson piece does mention the one state solution. I would say that 1ss has entered mainstream consciousness at this point (or at least the minds of the elite opinion-shaper world).

    • Thanks Ron...interesting. Also there was "Grapes of Wrath" from 1996...American literary/hymn reference made to appeal to Americans?

  • Israeli strike kills four Palestinian children playing soccer on Gaza beach
    • OMG, this has gone from being just infuriating to being a complete horror. Are Americans ever going to wake up or are they too busy shopping for flat screens and tablets and taking selfies?

      Sidenote: I called Rep. Castor's office to ask about her position on the beating of Tarek Abu Khdeir and they basically stonewalled me. Weak. I told them she needs to put her constituents ahead of AIPAC cash.

  • Rachel Maddow ignores the story in Israel/Palestine
    • @Jenin

      Interesting insight about Maher, but Maddow has assiduously avoids dealing with I/P whenever possible, and when she has to cover it, she either takes Israel's side or equivocates, so I believe it's just business as usual from her.

  • Watch: New Yorkers pierce through pro-war gathering with chants of 'stop bombing Gaza now'
    • Kay24,
      Curtis Sleazewa is the ultimate self-promoting d-bag; has been for many years. Shilling for Israel is just one facet of his awfulness, which is on an exponential scale.

  • How many people have died from Gaza rockets into Israel?
    • The prevailing talking point is "no country would allow rockets to land on it's territory" (variant: the US wouldn't allow Mexico to attack it with rockets). Of course this isn't a real argument, rather it's a context-free normative statement designed to shut down any debate before it begins.

  • 'Operation Protective Edge' begins: Gaza rocked by Israeli airstrikes as Palestinian militants shoot at Jerusalem
  • After brutal police beating, Palestinian-American Tarek Abu Khdeir, 15, sentenced to home arrest without charge
    • "sentenced to home arrest without charge"...destroying the homes of suspects etc etc etc ad nauseum

      Someone explain what makes this country a democracy, again?

  • Video: Jewish mob chanting 'Death to Arabs!' stops cars in Jerusalem to check drivers' ethnicity
    • Very telling that you use despotic countries and failed states as your point of comparison for Israel's terrible human rights record. I guess Israel is only developed or "Western" when it's convenient.

    • This is chilling, and I'm sure most of us have seen this type of video from Jerusalem before (Max's video comes to mind). I agree with seafoid, Israel isn't stable, at least in the long term--it isn't normal in the year 2014 to have your streets awash in ethnic mobs.

    • I'm always amazed at stream of abusive, dirty language, first from the Hebron settlers and now from this bunch in Jerusalem. I guess that's the natural mode of expression when you walk through life with a permanent chip on your shoulder.

  • Chomsky and BDS
    • Chomsky claims that the Israel lobby isn't that powerful, but the main locus of support for Israel is in the congress, where the lobby has the most sway. On the rare occasions where steps are taken against Israel they usually originate in executive branch (ex: Baker, Bush41). And then the executive invariably backs down after pressure from congress. And if dissent originates in the congress, the representative gets voted out when AIPAC finances their opponent. Doesn't this give the lie to Chomsky's thesis?

  • Change the narrative from 'cycle of violence' to occupation, JVP says
    • "The moderators have been told again and again not to permit comments that out people’s identities in this way. STOP IT NOW. I WILL NOT BE INTIMIDATED."

      [I'm replying here because the reply button is missing under hophmi's other comment]

      LOL. I agree in general that people shouldn't be outed, but you outed yourself some time ago by being careless with your different user handles on other sites, and then attacking MW from those places. What did you expect? Blame yourself.

  • In 'turning-point' vote, Presbyterians divest from occupation-linked corporations
    • This is amazing! One the rare moments where I've felt a glimmer of hope after following this struggle for many years.

  • Fire Thomas Friedman
    • @David

      Good point...I think partly it had to do with being in the right place at the right time to get noticed...the Middle East in the 1980s from the civil war in Lebanon up to the first intifada. Also, I remember Friedman crediting A.M. Rosenthal with giving him a great deal of help in starting his career.

      The book, "From Beirut to Jerusalem" is a fast moving and entertaining read, although the analysis and prescriptions that Friedman provides at the end of the book are puerile and cringe-inducing, as I recall...

      Ultimately, I think the elite likes him because he's safe--to the uninformed, he represents a pro-Palestinian, or at least "balanced" view--to any honest, knowledgeable person he's a gatekeeper who's quite condescending to Arabs in general.

    • @David Samel

      I've always been under the impression that his popularity was due to his ability to "simplify" issues and make them digestible for the hoi polloi, usually by employing metaphors...his popularity is really just a symptom of how dumbed down our present culture is.

  • Chris Matthews and David Corn defend Israel against 'slander' of apartheid
  • Dershowitz disqualifies an entire continent from supporting BDS, citing history of 'Jew hatred'
    • OK, so Jeffrey Goldberg is telling European Jews to "get out" in the other thread, and the Dersh is lecturing all Europeans here...apparently in the minds of these people Europe (and its citizens) are peripheral and subordinate, and exist either to be scolded by America and Israel, or advised what to do in a paternalistic manner.

  • I am Palestinian, and I am human, and I am here
    • @DaBakr do you Sarah Aziza isn't a prominent activist and/or person on campus, maybe that's how they identified who she was.

  • 'Washington Post' reports that funders have excommunicated Jews who don't believe in Zionism
    • There were 13 comments under the article on Wapo's site when I looked at it...mostly written by the lamest of hasbara-bots, even more insipid than the ones here. Ugh. Are they indicative of the type of reader who still takes Wapo seriously?

  • 'NYT' calls Shimon Peres 'outspoken advocate of peace'
    • @Woody

      Upon reading hophmi's many posts I've realized that there's a fundamental disconnect between words and actions in his mind. So just wishing something makes it so. Peres is a man of peace, regardless of his actual behavior, because Rudoren said so. It doesn't matter that Sodastream is built on stolen land, because it's owner says he's a peacenik. Even though Hophmi supports colonialism, he's "left of center", because he says so.

    • I think first you/we need to define exactly what constitutes peace in this situation. Is it a cessation of violence within the Green Line with impoverished bantustans and endlessly expanding settlements in the OT? If so then "peace" may be the wrong goal here.

      As for Oslo, plenty of interested parties promoted it for less than altruistic reasons--Dennis Ross to protect his sinecure, Clinton/Obama/Peres for PR, Abbas to keep the aid money flowing in. Nothing particularly brave or laudable about any of it.

    • "Sorry Jodi Rudoren is not becoming an activist for the Palestinian cause, Jerome."

      On the contrary, by whitewashing or ignoring Peres' past for political reasons Rudoren has already established herself as a "covert activist" of sorts.

  • 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
  • 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.

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