Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 276 (since 2010-06-26 18:54:32)

CitizenC

have a US citizen's obligatory interest in "the question of Palestine". See http://questionofpalestine.net

Website: http://questionofpalestine.net

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  • Gaza massacre is generating ideological crisis in American Zionists
    • Jews of conscience must organize with one foot inside the Jewish community and one foot outside it. That is the only way to move the Jewish establishment, and America. Jewish Voice for Peace: a rally against the massacre, today in NY:

      "One foot inside, one foot outside" is a 50-year old illusion. It has separated the "progressive Jews" from the secular left, except as gatekeepers, and blocked any real analysis of and opposition to the "Jewish community".

      Only by recovering classical liberal standards can we think, let alone act. "To the Jews as a nation, nothing; to the Jews as individuals, everything," said Count Clermont-Tonerre in the debates over emancipation in the French national assembly.

      In today's idiom, "Jewish people yes, Zionism no!" Where Zionism includes separatist "Jewish politics" on the left, with its truncated agenda of "anti-occupation" (Quote from a chant outside a JCC a few atrocities ago)

  • Avishai says we misrepresented his views
    • I haven't read his New Yorker article, but from the letter Bernie sees Hamas and Israel as equal actors. What can you expect from the author of "Tragedy of Zionism" whose first edition I read once upon a. And he preaches to Phil about the history and nature of Zionism. For other views of the origins of the current massacre

      How the West Chose War in Gaza
      Nathan Thrall
      link to nytimes.com

      How Israel Provoked This War
      Henry Siegman
      link to politico.com

  • Reporters talk about Sykes-Picot of 1916 (and ignore the Balfour Declaration of 1917)
    • The role of Israel and its US supporters is more direct than inciting Arab and Muslim anger. The states that were created after WW1 eventually were accepted and earned the allegiance of their inhabitants. The current breakup of the region was an Israeli/neocon gambit, as Israel Shahak presciently noted in 1982. His notes and translation of Oden Yinon's 1982 article "A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties" made it notorious. Today one finds maps of a Balkanized Middle East in the NYT and elsewhere.

      This link is to the valuable Palestine with Provenance archive kept by Irish activists at Univ of Cork.

      link to cosmos.ucc.ie

  • 'J Street has to change or die': Divestment battle exposes tactical rift among liberal Zionists
    • This is somewhat off-thread, the source for Chomsky's statement that BDS cannot be imposed on Israel because Israeli Jews would disapprove. I am unable to enter it on the item about 3 critical responses to Mondo's account of the Presbyterian divestment vote, where it arose.

      The statement was made in a well-known interview given to Christopher Lee in Safundi, 10 yrs ago. Jeff Blankfort cited it in an informative piece on Chomsky written shortly afterward. Jeff discusses Chomsky on BDS and much more in this longish article, which appeared in Left Curve.

      I have no interest in an extended exchange (or any exchange) on this, but Mondovians should know what Chomsky said.

      link to leftcurve.org

  • Three critical responses to 'Growing Jewish support for boycott'
    • The authors failed to note that JVP is committed to full equality of Israelis and Palestinians; and that Chomsky is on the board of advisors of JVP.

      JVP's commitment to "full equality" is in my view merely nominal, because they have no analysis of Zionism, and reinforce conventional Jewish wisdom on critical issues. For example they don't support BDS against Israel itself, and other factors I could mention.

      Chomsky for his part has said Israel cannot be boycotted because "the majority do not approve" including Israeli Jews. He has also accused BDSers of hypocrisy and damaging the Palestinians because they don't boycott, for instance, the US.

      Where Palestine is concerned, the role of "the US" is in the first instance the work of the Zionocracy, which has captured public policy and the culture generally. It should be the focus of US protest, but Chomsky's "strategic asset" dogma gets rid of that one for him.

      In general, Chomsky (and JVP and the Jewish left) have foisted on us a minimal critique of "anti-occupation", etc, rather than rejecting Zionism categorically, as did the classical left and liberal views descended from the Enlightenment and emancipation. This is in my view the greatest failure on the left since the German Communist Party misread Nazism.

  • Scene of NY derailment that took four lives is a disgraceful mess six months later
    • I've also taken that train, since the crash, and thought about it. Very sorry about your friend Phil.

      At the time I googled a bit and found a wealth of info on Metro North safety, which had been going downhill for a while, with several accidents and official investigations and reports.

      Beneath the talk of "failed safety culture" and worker-bashing you can discern neoliberal economics. The engineers were earning enough to stay awake; the typical engineer's wage was over $100K, thanks to unionized labor. The info I found did not say, but I suspect that the wages included a fair amount of overtime.

      Also, Metro North had been hit with a wave of retirements since 2011, 30 yrs after it was spun off from Conrail, itself the patchwork of the former railroad lines. Salaries had not been keeping pace and there was nothing to induce experienced personnel to stay on once they could retire.

      As several have pointed out, this is part of the disastrous state of US infrastructure esp of public services and investment. Commuter rail has to be subsidized, because it doesn't pay its direct costs, apart from its benefits (and indirect costs of automotive transport). In rail's heyday commuter lines were subsidized by long distance passenger service. Congress let Conrail out of the commuter business for that reason in 1981, leaving it to the hard-pressed states and whatever federal policy allows (after trillions are spent fighting wars)

  • Israel spies on U.S. more than any other ally
    • At the National Summit on the US-Israel relationship, Phil Giraldi said that over 100 investigations into Israeli espionage in the US had been quashed. He had an exact figure, it was > 100

  • Fear of Arab-Americans in the public square
    • PS. I have read Rudd's piece, read it when it came out in 2005. In 1968 "Jewish radicals" were making aliyah and extolling Zionism and Israel's 67 victory as "the national liberation movement of the Jewish people". Rudd and his cohort may have had concerns related to their Jewish backgrounds, but they did not adopt such a "Jewish" politics. The Arabs and Muslims on campus are not practicing an "Arab" or "Muslim" politics, though the issues they address concern them immediately.

    • I believe these fears [of BDS] are overblown, and reflect a different fear entirely: the fear of Muslims daring to participate in American public life.

      I think it has little to do with young Arab-Americans acting as aggrieved Muslims and Arabs. Many women wore hijabs. (heavens!) They are mainly aggrieved, period.

      The Jewish establishment (campus branch) isn't worried about Arabs qua Arabs, it is worried about losing control of the environment. They have no trouble "accepting" Arabs who don't challenge them

      In fact, these young Arabs and Muslims are a lot like radical Jews who played such an important role in the anti-Vietnam-war movement.

      The "radical Jews" weren't "being Jewish", they were being radical. See Arthur Liebman's classic "Jews and the Left" on the New Left. They were not enamored of "Jewish identity" at all. That is an anachronistic projection of today's identity politics.

      The young Arab Americans aren't mainly concerned with "identity", they are concerned with mass murder and destruction in Palestine and the Arab world at the hands of Israel and the Zionist-influenced United States.

      This is not a clash of "identity", it's about politics and power.

  • Zionism has distorted American Jewish life
    • Zionism has distorted the world. It is the prime mover in the "clash of civilizations", the "war on terror" and Islamophobia. It has "distorted" western Asia, to say the least. It has distorted the US; more than anything, it incited the 9/11 attacks, and the ensuing police state. It has distorted politics on the Middle East throughout the Euro-American world. It has done same to dissent from left and right alike. As other presentations at the Summit point out, for the US.

      link to natsummit.org

  • 'NYT' music piece strikes false note on Mehta and Israeli politics
    • Come on. How many Palestinians in Israel have studied Western classical music?

      Those Ay-rabs. They're all watching Mohammed Assaf on Arab Idol, never heard of Mendelssohn Abbado.

      Here are a few Palestinian music students.

      link to ncm.birzeit.edu

      But somehow they don't make it into the Israeli orchestra.

      It's also notable that JVP had a big "standout" in Harvard Square the week before the IPO played in Boston. They posted about it on FB, congratulating themselves. Likewise they posted pix of their heroic role in the demo for SJP at Northeastern. The IPO got a pass

  • Brandeis prof blasts school's deference to Israel and AIPAC (and donors Steinhardt, Schusterman, Crown)
    • When the Goldstone report (the UN investigation of Israel's attack on Gaza, New Year 2009) was in the news Brandeis invited Justice Goldstone to speak opposite Dore Gold, former Israeli ambassador to the UN. I went from idle curiosity, but was so appalled I wrote 4500 words about it. Brandeis basically set Goldstone up, put him on trial, for the benefit of the university and Boston and world opinion. The hall was full and an overflow hall received an internet stream, and more listened remotely. Media people and their gear filled a balcony at the rear of the hall.

      I actually pulled my punches somewhat in the title, which should have been "Brandeis Tries Justice Goldstone", and the intro should have emphasized it.

      Justice Goldstone at Brandeis
      link to questionofpalestine.net

  • 'Forward' lives up to its name, bashing denial of Palestinian narrative and donors' control of Hillel
  • Conservatives for Palestine
    • Thank you Pamela, yet more indications that CZ is wide but shallow and breaking up by the day. You've seen Porter Speakman's film, by and for that audience, about Palestine? I think he is making another.

      See this long piece by an evangelical Christian Zionist warning of weakening support from his co-religionists.

      link to mosaicmagazine.com

      For reasons like this, Mears/Walt called the CZs an "important minor factor" but not the main engine of the IL.

  • National summit to re-assess the special relationship -- Friday in D.C.
    • Jeff Blankfort is alive and well. See this in re his presentation at the summit

      link to leftcurve.org

      See the several Mondo items on John Judis's new book showing (after Michael Cohen et al) the quasi sovereign power of the "Israel lobby"

    • I know that some in the Palestinian solidarity camp aren’t enthused about this gathering, regard it as American nationalist; for my part, this is how I came to the issue. Folks like Raimondo, Walt and McConnell forced me to look at Israel/Palestine from an antiwar national-interest perspective

      Our system of govt expresses the democratic sovereignty of the American people, however corrupt and attenuated that principle is. Israel's influence is fundamentally a usurpation of our sovereignty as US citizens. The foreign policy establishment and
      left democrats can agree on that. The establishment may or may not be allies in the class struggle, but they are allies in the medieval-modern struggle where Zionism operates, and their insights and influence are essential.

      The real story here is the failure of the left to develop any critique
      of the "Israel lobby", by the same people who sniff at "nationalism"

  • Israel lobby AIPAC is down, but not out -- yet
    • Executive Zionism, beyond AIPAC

      The Neocons Won
      link to counterpunch.org

      Neocons and the Ukraine coup
      link to readersupportednews.org

    • AIPAC is the "representative" face of Zionist influence. Starting with the Reagan Admin in the 1980s it was overtaken by an "executive" face within the govt, as Wolfowitz was joined by a host of neocons. This continued under Clinton, with Indyk and Ross. The neocons schemed while out of power and returned under Bush 2, to catastrophic effect. Zionist thinking continues to dominate foreign policy as Gareth Porter shows in a piece on the Iran negotiations where the US has introduced new demands that will lead to failure. See the first piece at this Porter archive.

      link to original.antiwar.com

      The overthrow of the Ukrainian govt, a disaster for eastern Europe, and for that matter for US interests in conservative terms, is a neocon job. Victoria Nuland, a Bush holdover and Hillary favorite, and undersecretary for European and Eurasian affairs, is the chief culprit, Jewish and married to Robert Kagan, among other neocon antecedents.

      Zionist influence may be past its zenith but celebration is premature. Zionism is as deeply rooted in the US as slavery was.

  • Israel lobby group compiles secret dossiers on pro-Palestinian speakers
    • Try reading the articles before sounding off.

      "After examining the sequestered files, San Francisco police inspector Ron Roth, estimated that 75% of the information had been illegally obtained..."

      ...

      "What was particularly embarrassing for the ADL was the release of information that Bullock and Gerard, who had also provided information directly to ADL officials, were also being paid by South African intelligence agents to supply information on the activities of the Bay Area’s anti-Apartheid organizations and South African exiles affiliated with the ANC and other black African organizations.

      In one of his depositions, Bullock acknowledged that doing this required no additional work since he was already spying on the anti-apartheid movement for the ADL. Foxman, on his part, had openly condemned the African National Congress as a “terrorist” organization that supported the PLO.

      One individual the South African agents were particularly interested in was Chris Hani, the man who was expected to succeed Nelson Mandela as the country’s president. Hani was assassinated in South Africa shortly after a speaking tour in California during which he was trailed by Bullock who prepared a lengthy report on it for the South African government, a copy of which was found in his files."

      ....

      "One of the targets Bullock “befriended” was Palestinian-American Alex Odeh, the head of the Orange County chapter of the ADC who would be killed by a terrorist bomb when he opened the door to his Santa Ana office on October 11, 1985.

      In Bullock’s files, police found a key to Odeh’s office as well as the floor plan. Although Bullock has not been linked to the unresolved murder, the fact that an ADL spy was in possession of such items is something that Foxman obviously would not want advertised."

      Don't know offhand how deep SWI is in but they are doubtless working with the Israeli govt at some level.

    • Plus ca change...

      ADL Spies
      link to counterpunch.org

      The ADL Spying Case Is Over, But The Struggle Continues
      link to counterpunch.org

      FBI Investigated Anti-Defamation League (ADL) for Espionage
      "Quashed case" mystery solved: culprit is once again secret Israeli intervention
      link to irmep.org

  • Jewish day school student first learned about 'occupation' when he got to college
    • This is interesting, despite the equivocation of the filmmakers, because it challenges the Jewish establishment's cure-all for liberalism, Jewish education. See Marianne Sanua's Let Us Prove Strong, her history of the American Jewish Committee post-1945. The AJC went from fretting that Jewish education was inculcating nationalist and self-segregating tendencies in children, in the 1950s, to seizing Jewish day schools with both hands in the 1990s, as the ultimate weapon against the liberal scourges of intermarriage and assimilation. Peter Beinart favors Jewish education also, as a way of reproducing "Jews" who don't intermarry and care enough to support a liberal Zionism. But not even Jewish education is fully effective, at least against Israel's current Zionism.

      We may also note the terminal bankruptcy of the US Jewish establishment (and of Beinart's liberal Zionism) in advocating "education" not as a way of enlightening and broadening minds, but of brainwashing and constraining choice.

      Actually I think Mondo had an earlier post about the indoctrination at one Jewish day school, from an alum.

  • Meet the Jewish students who are taking on the Jewish establishment
    • W Jones, I know very well what Plitnick has written. There is also a second piece by him directly addressing Mears/Walt.

      The idea that the Zionist lobby is "supporting state policies" as if these would have been the same absent Zionism, is nonsense, for starters.

      Well, I didn't really mean to get carried away and comment at length on Mondo again. I will leave you all to your regular rounds.

    • Henry, I doubt very much that the JVP leadership favors the action, given what I've read by them. The stmt strikes me as PR, attempting to have it both ways, to hold their limits and to avoid embarrassing themselves as the ASA action illuminated the issues. The fact remains that the ASA action would never have been conceived by JVP. I raised it on this thread as the likely terminus of the students' actions, after graduation.

      The organized Jewish community, of which campus Hillels and Jewish academic units are a part, is the chief source of US Zionism since 1948. That is quite a butcher's bill. Addressing all the apologetics and illusions that created it is the task facing dissenters. The detachment of M J Rosenberg's student, noted below, is needed, for starters.

    • Recall M J Rosenberg's encounter last fall with the college student on the bus, who dismissed MJ's idea that he was obligated to be active on Israel/Palestine "as a Jew". The student insisted that he was an American whose religion happened to be Judaism, that he had no obligation toward or connection to Israel, and told MJ "you're still a Zionist." MJ was totally flummoxed, but the student was exactly right. His words could have been written by Elmer Berger.

      link to huffingtonpost.com

      The student's indifference toward Israel led his activism to other issues, like poverty in the US. An appeal to be concerned about Palestine must be based on his obligations as an American, not as a "Jew".

      One of the dissident Hillel students says,

      All are welcome to walk through our doors and speak with our name and under our roof, be they Zionist, anti-Zionist, post-Zionist, or non-Zionist.

      Surely, such inclusiveness cannot be an end, but must address the role and responsibility of war criminals and liberal equivocators, or it is just apologetics. Without a strong universal reference and support, such criticism will struggle in an institutional Jewish setting.

      Elmer Berger spoke anywhere he could get a hearing, including in "the community" but he had his bearings and never felt beholden to it, on the contrary, he called it to account.

    • Your comments on the letter to the NY mayor avoid the main point, that these people ask to be listened to "Jews" as if there are no other voices. That is not an "anti-Zionist" (universalist, democratic) position.

    • Come on Annie, they did not support or endorse the ASA action, because it exceeds their limits of "anti-occupation" BDS. When the Zionist forces reacted against the ASA JVP joined in. Had it been up to JVP there would have been no action.

    • This post IMO shows what is wrong with the Mondo sensibility. Despite its admirable attention to the "Israel lobby" and cognate issues, like Jewish wealth and influence throughout US political culture, Mondo persuades itself (and tries to persuade us) that "the community" is the key arena of struggle. IMO this is quite wrong, "the community" is and will always be dominated by its wealthy Zionist machers and shakers, and the "struggle within the community" is basically Jewish public relations. The young people are still figuring it out; but they are obligated not mainly to "the community" but as US citizens. When they graduate, the default destination for their Jewish identification will be JVP, which accuses "Israel lobby" critics of anti-Semitism (see "Reframing Anti-Semitism"), declines to organize or endorse the ASA boycott (but "supports" it as "not anti-Semitic"), appeals to Mayor de Blasio to "listen to other Jewish voices" as if there are only Jews in New York City and the US, criticizes "the occupation" but never Zionism, etc.

      These activist "young Jews" are obligated as American citizens, not as "Jews". That obligation must inform their position toward "the community", which can mean only outside it, after the heroic examples of Elmer Berger, Alfred Lilienthal, and others, against Zionism, and with the gentiles.

  • Judis says Museum of Jewish Heritage has reinvited him to June 1 appearance!
    • Alison Weir of If Americans Knew and Council for the National Interest has a book called "Against Our Better Judgment. How the US Was Used to Create Israel". I've read her "History of US-Israel Relations" in pamphlet and learned some things; this looks promising also

      link to createspace.com

      Weir is co-organizing the National Summit on the US-Israel Relationship in Washington on March 7

      link to natsummit.org

  • Jewish community commits intellectual suicide before our eyes
    • It has been happening since the early 1960s, when the success of liberalism and the prospect of assimilation led to the "first Jewish continuity crisis" and measures to head off intermarriage and other liberal horrors from the American Jewish Committee. See Marianne Sanua's history of the American Jewish Committee post-1945, for this and later episodes.

      This tendency was fatally supercharged by Israel's dramatic victory in 1967. Read Jacob Neusner's collection Stranger at Home, from the 1970s and 1980s, the telling passages about the insularity and chauvinism of American Jews--from a Conservative Judaic scholar, not some peacenik. See ditto in Peter Novick's book on the Holocaust in American life. See Peter Beinart's kid glove treatment of same in "The American Cocoon" in the NY Review late last year.

      As I argued in my recent "Theses on Zionism" the modern period of Jewish history has ended. The social and political outlook of the Enlightenment, of emancipation and integration, has been replaced by "the Jewish people" in the form of the Jewish state and the organized Jewish communities abroad, as the Jewish social principle. This outlook has also deeply informed the left.

      Here are my "Theses" link to counterpunch.org

      responding to a piece of the same name by Joseph Massad link to electronicintifada.net

  • Truman feared backing Israel would involve US in 'new world conflict' -- Boston Globe
    • The US military and diplomatic establishments opposed Zionism and US sponsorship of a Jewish state, but Truman's Sec of State from 1945-47, James Byrnes, was not a diplomat but an old Washington political hand, veteran of the House, Senate and Supreme Court, and simply avoided Palestine. The task of expressing the official view fell to Loy Henderson, head of the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs. He had this to say:

      It "would not be in the national interests of the United States for it to advocate any kind of a plan at this time for the partitioning of Palestine or for the setting up of a Jewish State." Such advocacy would jeopardize "our efforts to support world stability and to prevent further Soviet penetration," damage "relations with the peoples of the Near East and with Moslems everywhere," impede plans to use
      "the resources of the area... for the reconstruction of Europe," encourage
      "violent Arab nationalist uprisings," etc. (FRUS 1947, V, pp. 1153-59, Henderson to Marshall, September 22, 1947. See also Miller, "Search for Security," pp. 163-72, and Ch. 7, "Palestine and Pipeline"; Brands, "Inside the Cold War", Ch. 12, "In the Palestine Labyrinth.")

      The "Zionists would 'win the first few rounds' but be unable to establish anything like lasting peace and stability. The American people... would find themselves increasingly drawn to the Zionists' defense. Anti-western elements would batten on the chaos ... The region would experience
      'the rise of fanatic Mohammedanism' of an intensity 'not experienced
      for hundreds of years.'" (Brands, op cit, p. 186, quoting a private letter
      by Henderson of March, 1948)

      For his acute prescience Henderson's career was essentially halted. The Zionists forced him out as NEA head; the Ankara embassy was proposed, but it was to close to Israel; he became ambassador to India.

  • Museum of Jewish Heritage spikes panel on John Judis's book as too controversial
    • I've ordered the book. I wonder what it will bring to the subject that Michael Cohen did not provide in "Truman and Israel" which is outstanding, used Max Lowenthal's papers for the first time, showed how clearly Zionism outflanked the diplomatic and military establishment, via key operatives in Truman's inner circle, bipartisan control of the parties and Congress, financial contributions, enlisting gentile opinion, etc. Cohen was torn between his scholarly integrity and competence, and reluctance to admit the picture he painted. At the very end he tries to claim the circumstances were unique, but they became a blueprint for Zionist influence, at least in its "representational" phase. A more comprehensive and insidious phase in which Zionist influence started to constitute the government, not just influence it, began with the neocons under Reagan (IMO, not Cohen's)

      link to ucpress.edu

      The ToC is accessible on the UC Press web site. Chap 15 is about "consensus on strategic asset". This reflects Pentagon appraisals of Israel's military prowess in the war, but as Cohen acknowledges, such judgments were "ephemeral", meaning overtaken by larger Cold War strategy, in which the US cultivated Arab nationalism as a potential Cold War asset, for a time at least.

  • Scholar explodes 'canonic' American Jewish belief: Russian Czar was behind 1903 massacre
    • Pamela's comments are interesting. His scholarly views are more nuanced, not to say critical.

      Zipperstein's bio of Ahad Ha'am is also required reading. AH is of course the great liberal Zionist hope for an 1891 essay about Zionism and the Arabs. Zip says that he approached AH's life expecting to find something relevant to contemporary critique of Zionism, but found only that AH was simply a 19th c conservative Zionist ideologue. Inter alia the distinction betw "cultural" and "political" Zionism vanished. AH was supremely political when it was effectual to be so; he was a confidante of Weizmann in London and was a key figure in the Zionist negotiations with Britain over the Balfour Decl. The bio is out of print, UC Press says, but surely available used

      link to ucpress.edu

      Note also Alan Dowty's translation, the first complete one, of the article on which AH's reputation rests, published in 2000; Zipperstein echoed Dowty's view of AH's instrumental Zionist attitude toward the Arabs.

      Much Ado about Little: Ahad Ha'am's "Truth from Eretz Yisrael,"
      Zionism, and the Arabs
      Alan Dowty

      Alan Dowty
      Israel Studies, Volume 5, Number 2, Fall 2000, pp. 154-181 (Article)

  • France to perform CPR on Scarlett Johansson's image -- award for film career!
  • Surviving anti-Semitism smear, Walt and Mearsheimer seem to have influence in high places
  • Bill targeting academic groups that boycott Israel halted in New York Assembly
    • Try reading something about OBL's views instead of talking with a chip on your shoulder, like your opponents are creationists. Start with Mears/Walt's discussion and sources.

    • Contra Hostage, JVP does not "support" the ASA action. They "have no position on academic boycotts" as their stmt says and had nothing to do with developing it. They have been forced by the movement around it to ask their members to "defend ASA's right to call the action even if you disagree with it". This is pure hypocrisy and doubletalk.

      The letter of Jewish New Yorkers stating that "AIPAC doesn't speak for me" is self-serving and complacent.  It accuses the gentiles of anti-semitism implicitly.   If "Jews" don't speak up they will be blamed. It assumes that AIPAC'S worst can and will happen and  resistance is futile.  The only thing they can do is say "don't blame me".

      Resistance would point out that
      AIPAC has brought us 9/11, several wars and trillions in debt, on top of what it has done to the region directly. The authors ignore all that;  they are interested only in their Jewish selves.

      This contrasts with the attitude of We Will Not Be Silent which denounces de Blasio in the name of New Yorkers as in their rally at City Hall today.
      That's the difference between democratic politics and Jewish politics.

    • It is noteworthy that the "activists" were not Jewish identified. They acted on broad liberal grounds, though no doubt many of them were Jewish. JVP opposed the ASA academic boycott, but has been drawn into urging its members to defend the action ("even if you disagree with it personally") because exposing the rationales and forces at work advances the issue.

      This is a sharp, sad contrast to the recent "Jewish declaration" opposing NY Mayor de Blasio's fealty to Israel. Non-Jewish New Yorkers are reduced to cheering the "good Jews" who proclaim "I'm Jewish and AIPAC doesn't speak for me!" As if this is the ne plus ultra of morality and politics when it is self-interested and complacent.

      New York's relationship to Israel is, need one say, an urgent matter for all New Yorkers, esp considering that 9/11 was mainly an attack on US patronage of Israel (which fact has disappeared from the culture). It is an urgent matter for all
      Americans, not to be delegated to Jewish identity politicians.

      The ASA action--against Israeli academia, not "the occupation"--raised broad issues beyond the circumscribed agenda of identity politics.

  • Fearless authors dance on third rail of US politics...
    • Phil left out the most critical title of all:

      The Fateful Triangle. The Jewish State, the US Organized Jews, and the US Empire
      by Noam Chomsky

      A comprehensive, meticulous, damning indictment from the distinguished professor emeritus at MIT, radical godhead, and "most important intellectual alive." Still going strong at 88, Chomsky illuminates with unique authority how the incorrigible racialism and irredentism of the Jewish state, and the fanatical chauvinism of the US organized Jews and their Jewish billionaire patrons, have radicalized US Middle East policy since the end of the Cold War.

      Chomsky shows how the "Zionocracy" as he calls it may have tipped the scales in the vote for the Gulf War against Iraq in 1991, the closest since the War of 1812, and long sought by the Zionocracy; how the "dual containment" of Iraq and Iran in the 1990s was implemented largely bv and for the Zionocracy, even as US foreign policy experts and business interests sought an opening to Iran after the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s; how the 9/11 terrorist attacks were chiefly against US patronage of Israel; how that led to the devastating assault on civil liberties in the US; to the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq and the effective destruction of the Iraqi state; how that wrecked the regional balance of power, increased Iranian influence, and escalated the Iran-Saudi antagonism, leading to the current dissolution of Syria; and warns of further horrors to come.

      "An inspiring jeremiad, and a much-needed spotlight on neglected issues"--Phyllis Bennis

  • The long war: Syria is at the crux of 'pipeline geopolitics'
    • As usual, the brain-damaged left acts like its cerebral fluid has been replaced by crude oil.

      Nothing to do with oil, everything to do with radical, racialist and militarist nationalism, with Zionism at the forefront, in western Asia and in Washington.

  • 'US had as much a hand in Egypt as in Chile' -- leftwing perspectives on the massacre
    • So much Zionism, so little time...

      For years GE and Halliburton were opposed, because they were doing business with post-revolutionary Iran.

      Yes, a powerful business lobby opposed the sanctions on Iran, but was no match for the Zionocracy. Here are Sasan Fayezmanesh's paper on the politics of Iran sanctions

      link to zimmer.csufresno.edu

      and his book.

      link to routledge.com

    • The situation in Egypt is not remotely comparable to Chile

      “Given the situation, a complete halt to US military support to Egypt is called for—but it will be useless, and it will likely backfire as happened in Pakistan after Washington broke with Islamabad over Pakistan’s nukes. Egypt’s military seems to know what it wants, and it won’t be deterred.”

      Is the US Powerless in the Egyptian Crisis?
      link to thenation.com

      WSJ seconds Dreyfus; I think talk of "collision course" is wrong; the US is the VW bug and Egypt and its forces the SUV in this collision; the US has lost control, while the WSJ editorial outlook interprets it as a clash of wills; but the facts are correct, the US has failed to get its way

      Allies Thwart America in Egypt
      Israel, Saudis and U.A.E. Support Military Moves

      link to online.wsj.com
      TopStories

      Egypt, U.S. on Collision Course
      Military-Led Government Says It is 'Reviewing' Relationship With U.S. Amid Criticism

      link to online.wsj.com

    • The situation in Egypt is not remotely comparable to Chile.

      "Given the situation, a complete halt to US military support to Egypt is called for—but it will be useless, and it will likely backfire as happened in Pakistan after Washington broke with Islamabad over Pakistan’s nukes. Egypt’s military seems to know what it wants, and it won’t be deterred."

      Is the US Powerless in the Egyptian Crisis?
      link to thenation.com

      WSJ seconds Dreyfus

      "Given the situation, a complete halt to US military support to Egypt is called for—but it will be useless, and it will likely backfire as happened in Pakistan after Washington broke with Islamabad over Pakistan’s nukes. Egypt’s military seems to know what it wants, and it won’t be deterred."

      Egypt, U.S. on Collision Course
      Military-Led Government Says It is 'Reviewing' Relationship With U.S. Amid Criticism

      By
      MATT BRADLEY
      in Cairo and
      JAY SOLOMON
      in Washington

      Egypt's military-led government said it was "reviewing" its strategic relationships with the U.S. and other Western governments critical of its crackdown on Islamists, deepening the divide between the Obama administration and Cairo.

      Egypt's military-led government said it was "reviewing" its strategic relationships with the U.S. and other Western governments critical of its crackdown on Islamists. Meanwhile, deposed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak could be freed from prison this week. Jerry Seib discusses. Photo: Getty Images.

      Amid expectations of more violence in coming days, the death toll rose on Sunday as dozens of Muslim Brotherhood supporters were killed in Cairo in what the government described as a prison-break attempt. The Islamist movement's leaders called for continued defiance against Egypt's generals, despite signs that their supporters were becoming limited in their ability to take to the streets.

      The weekend developments were the latest signs of the constrained ability of the administration of President Barack Obama to influence events in Egypt. The White House, while deciding Friday to postpone joint-military exercises with Egypt, has indicated it plans to continue sending $1.5 billion in military and economic aid to Egypt as a means to try to guide events there.

      Egypt's military-led government said it was "reviewing" its strategic relationships with the U.S. and other Western governments critical of its crackdown on Islamists. Meanwhile, deposed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak could be freed from prison this week. Jerry Seib discusses. Photo: Getty Images.

      But the announcement by Egypt's foreign minister of the review of its ties to the U.S., and growing opposition on Capitol Hill to the aid, might make this impossible.

      "The attempts to internationalize the discussions about this event is something that Egypt rejects," Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy said Sunday. "I ask the foreign ministry to review the foreign aid of the past and to see if those aids are used in an optimal way."

      The comments from Mr. Fahmy hewed to a theme that has dominated Egypt's airwaves and newspapers the past two months: disappointment and hostility toward criticism of Egypt's security forces by Western governments. Interim-government officials have also complained of "biased" coverage in Western media.

      Criticism of the Egyptian military's actions grew on Capitol Hill. A widening number of U.S. senators took to the Sunday news shows to challenge Mr. Obama's Egypt policy.

      "I think the actions of the last week no doubt are going to cause us to suspend aid," said Sen. Bob Corker (R., Tenn.) on ABC. He added that the U.S. should "recalibrate" its aid to Egypt while keeping open lines of communication with the Middle Eastern nation.

      The prisoner deaths book ended a bloody week of clashes that have spawned political violence unprecedented in modern Egypt. Egyptians are now looking at yet another week of potential flare-ups after supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and ousted President Mohammed Morsi announced weeklong protests.

      The violence has hardened attitudes on both sides, strengthening the appetite for resistance among both Mr. Morsi's supporters and his opponents. Leaders of the movement backing Mr. Morsi issued a call for further demonstrations on Saturday night, the same day that a police raid ended an armed overnight standoff at a Cairo mosque in which at least 173 people were killed. Egypt's military spokesman said 120 soldiers died in the siege.

      "We believe that Egyptians are determined to get their freedom back peacefully," said one senior Brotherhood official. "In history, all the revolutions were against very powerful regimes. They succeeded to overthrow them. And this is what we believe that the Egyptian people will do."

      In speeches, political leaders in the military-backed government justified last week's crackdowns and asked the public to remain steadfast in the face of what they describe as a terrorist threat posed by Mr. Morsi's supporters.

      Senior government officials have defended the crackdowns, saying military and police have shown restraint.

      Cairo's crowded capital made a tentative return to normal life on Sunday, even as a monthlong, all-night curfew first imposed last Wednesday remained in place. Businesses that had been shuttered on Saturday were open for the first day of the Egypt's workweek, and the city's familiar congestion once again returned.

      Egypt's Interior Ministry called for an end to the so-called "popular committees" of local residents who have set up roadblocks during the curfew hours. The committees, which the ministry had encouraged for much of the past week, had been "abused" by local thugs, the ministry announced.

      Both General Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, Egypt's minister of defense and the head of its armed forces, and Mr. Fahmy, the minister of foreign affairs, said that security forces were prepared to use force against pro-Morsi protesters if the former president's supporters continued to use violence. Leaders in the Muslim Brotherhood, which backed Mr. Morsi's presidency, have argued that their demonstrations are peaceful.

      "What we do is a reaction and not an action, and we exercise a great deal of self-restraint," said Gen. Sisi in a televised address Sunday afternoon. "I am confirming that those who attack, however, we will face them strictly."

      Mr. Fahmy's announcement of a foreign-policy review was a thinly veiled swipe at U.S. criticism of Egypt's recent crackdown on Pro-Morsi protesters. Many Egyptians believe the U.S. has taken the Brotherhood's side.

      Some Egyptians have also expressed outrage at Mr. Obama's announcement last week that U.S. forces wouldn't participate in the biannual "BrightStar" military exercises scheduled for this fall. Mr. Obama said he was withdrawing from the exercises after at least 600 people died when the military forcefully dispersed a pro-Morsi protest camp last Wednesday.

      The U.S. has given Egypt $1.3 billion each year in military aid since the early 1980s.

      Though leaders in Mr. Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood have pledged to maintain their vigils, there were signs Sunday that continuing violence had put a dent in the group's ability to organize supporters. In one sign of disorganization, the group canceled one of about a half-dozen marches originally planned for Sunday. But a separate march to the Supreme Constitutional Court in the Maadi neighborhood of Cairo didn't materialize after conflicting reports from Brotherhood spokesmen over the cancellation of all demonstrations on Sunday.

      A small group, numbering some two dozen, held a rally about a mile from the courthouse. "Where are your big numbers now?" one passerby shouted mockingly at the group.
      —Leila Elmergawi, Tamer El-Ghobashy and Maria Abi Habib contributed to this article.

      Write to Matt Bradley at [email protected] and Jay Solomon at [email protected]

      A version of this article appeared August 19, 2013, on page A1 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Egypt, U.S. on Collision Course.

  • 'NYT' capitulates to rightwingers, declaring settlements not illegal
    • And one more thing: The imbedding of rightwing Israeli interests inside our political culture is why the Israel situation is historically more similar to Algeria than South Africa. I'm going to be writing about this a lot in weeks to come. We've created a disaster.

      Algeria rather than S Africa, very good, Phil. Think Day of the Jackal. Packs and packs of jackals are loose within the metropole. And the pied-noirs have nukes.

  • I lose it at the post office
    • I am not so confident that we won't get a Christian dictatorship. We have Christian fascism in Texas and other red states in the fanatical attacks on women's rights and other issues. The right has paralyzed Congress and the federal govt in public policy, except as a means of coercion, and ALEC has done the same for many state legislatures.

      However, this would not be the traditional "the goyim are out to get us" Christian dictatorship decried by liberal Jews. The Jewish establishment are more powerful than Christian fundamentalists at the national level. It would if anything be their project, for the sake of Israel, and for militarism and belligerence which place it at the center, and against any serious liberal challenge.

      The organized Jews are already in bed with the Christian right for Israel's sake, in which relationship they are the dominant partner. The traditional Jewish support of secularism and separation of church and state has already been compromised and in a crisis would be thrown away entirely, whatever the Jewish public thought. It has no more say in the President's Conference than in the Pentagon.

      With these qualifications I think Phil is right to be more concerned about Zionism, but its allies are diverse and its relations very complex. FWIW

  • US Jews are so 'polarized' over Israel they can't talk about it to each other, 'Jewish Chronicle' reports
    • And did they invite the gentiles to chain with them? The whole idea of secular "Jewish anti-Zionism" is an oxymoron for reasons I explained. If you look at IJAZN's web site, you will find a truncated, Zio-Marxist critique of Zionism as colonial-settlerism. CS is simply a question of method. The essence of Zionism is a reaction against liberal modernity, against the integration and assimilation of Jews, which separatist politics upholds. See Shlomo Sand's forthcoming "The Invention of the Secular Jew". We need a sequel about identity politics in the US.

    • So when are these heroic, enlightened "anti-Zionist Jews" going to join a movement against Zionism? The Boston organized Jews staged the "Amazing Israel Race", centered on the statehouse on Beacon Hill. "The Amazing Israel Race is a fun-filled day with YOU racing around Boston with your teammates led by clues and obstacle tasks in search of sites related to Israeli culture and history."

      link to jewishboston.com

      Jewish Voice for Peace organized a demo and put out email on non-Jewish lists. "Join us to challenge a local event that celebrates Israel's settlement industry, erases occupation, and ignores restrictions on Palestinian movement."

      I was pleasantly surprised, and decided, after some thought, to show up and help them out. I brought my non-sectarian banner, "Zionism Threatens Us All". It got
      some comment from the handful of demonstrators when I unfurled it. Then people moved away, and I didn't realize exactly why. One guy attending the "race" said he opposed what Israel was doing, but insisted that the banner was dangerous. "That's what they said about the Jews. You really mean Jews." I tried to tell him that 9/11
      happened because of our relationship with Israel but he wasn't receptive.

      Then the JVPers politely informed me that my banner was off-message. I
      explained that they had to appeal to the public, that they would always lose an intra-Jewish debate, that this was an urgent issue for all of us. They invited me to stay, but not with the banner visible. Essentially, they chose to endorse the views of the man who had denounced the banner, rather than stand with the 98% of the US who pay the bills and suffer the consequences, not to mention the Palestinians and their regional neighbors. I was happy to leave in a way, had things I wanted to do.

      The term "anti-Zionist Jew" is an oxymoron, in any secular sense. Shlomo Sand's third installment in his trilogy will be "The Invention of the Secular Jew". In the modern world, people can be Judaic, practice their religion. They can be "Jewish" in a "cultural" sense, whatever that means to the most acculturated and accomplished elements of US society. "Jewish identity" in a political sense, or anything approaching it, is either a) not Jewish, but merely liberal; or b) privilege and discrimination, as the demonstration clearly shows.

  • Palestine and the Left
    • Here is a review of Shlomo Sand's sequel to The Invention of the Jewish People, The Invention of the Land of Israel.

      link to guardian.co.uk

      This is a review of the Hebrew edition from last year, more informed

      link to 972mag.com

      Note this passage:

      This was no accident: Zionism and anti-Semitism were, and to a large extent still are, mirror images of each other, both accepting the axiom that Jews have no place in Europe and that they must be “returned to their homeland.”

      As Israeli critics overturn Zionism totally, equating it with anti-Semitism, the Jewish left, in its latest form, Jacobin, calls it "a classic struggle for national liberation".

      American Jewish chauvinism is simply off the charts.

    • This is yet another colonization of the left by Zionism. It never, ever stops.

      Meanwhile, some recurring tropes within the pro-Palestine community have also blurred the issue. What is essentially a classic struggle for national liberation has been obscured by a tendency to exceptionalize Israeli crimes, distracted by a barren fixation on international law, and lost in a hopelessly abstract analytical idealism. A corollary of these analytical faults has been the so-called Israel lobby thesis, which argues that were it not for a handful of pro-Israel lobbying institutions, America might not support the occupation or continue its “special relationship” with Israel.

      This is unsurprising from the usual suspects on the masthead.

      For a different look, see my Reboot the Left on Palestine (2100 words, written as notes for a discussion)

      link to questionofpalestine.net

      And also Notes on Universalism (2800 words, bibliographic essay)

      link to questionofpalestine.net

  • Rashid Khalidi on the Israel lobby
    • Just for the record, I have read Rashid Khalidi's "Brokers of Deceit." Overall its discussion of three episodes of peace processing is very insightful and compelling. The introduction is where Khalidi gives too much weight to "strategic asset" in the US-Israel relationship. He also mostly ignores the consequences of Israel's influence apart from Palestine. He mentions Iraq toward the end of the book, not in the intro. The intro is a small part of the book but its judgments are important, importantly wrong.

    • While most of the left is in vulgar Marxist mode, Perry Anderson,
      perhaps the greatest Marxist scholar of the day, is not. After the
      Mearsheimer/Walt book on the Israel Lobby appeared, Anderson wrote:

      “The Middle East is the one part of the world where the us political
      system, as presently constituted, cannot act according to a rational
      calculus of national interest, because it is inhabited by another,
      supervening interest. For its entire position in the Arab—and by
      extension Muslim—world is compromised by its massive, ostentatious
      support for Israel.”

      “The outstanding work of John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt has finally
      broken this silence… In striking contrast has been the general
      pusillanimity of the American Left, prone to emphasizing the role of
      its bugbear the Christian Right as a more acceptable culprit, when the
      latter’s function has clearly been in effect a force d’appoint.”

      This is in section 4, and the note to that section, in this piece:

      New Left Review, n. 48, November-December 2007
      link to newleftreview.org

    • I have Khalidi's book, as yet unread. He is speaking here (Boston) next week. As someone else said above, the US did make a serious effort for a 2-state solution o n the 67 lines, under Carter. It failed chiefly because of the Lobby (an inadequate term, Zionocracy is better). Begin's obduracy was based on forces in the US. After a joint US-Soviet declaration of principles for a Geneva conference, then-Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan read the riot act to Carter, Brzezinski and Vance at a meeting in NY, made barely veiled threats to unleash the Zionocracy. Dayan forced a disavowal of the principles. That collapse is what broke Arab unity, sent Sadat to Jerusalem and the separate peace.

    • In my view not a word Chomsky says can be taken seriously. He is not trying to resolve some social/historical conundrum, he is creating one, blowing smoke, acting in pure bad faith, contriving controversy where none should exist. This is driven fundamentally by anti-gentilism, as Phil argued here

      link to mondoweiss.net

      This is true a fortiori not only of Chomsky but of the whole Jewish left which pushes this argument so adamantly, and for decades.

      Shimson and Bichler try and make an economic argument in The Political Economy of Israel, which others rely on. They claim that a "petro-arma complex" is driving things. They have causation exactly backward. Ideology and politics drive war, not oily merchants of death, and they concede this, piecemeal, directly and indirectly.

      They mostly assume causation from profit to war, and conjure up numbers. Their chief analytical construct is "differential accumulation", the claim that profits of the "petro-arma core" are higher than the average of the Fortune 500. Yet the Zionocracy dates from the 194os, when it overwhelmed US diplomacy and military strategy. Arms sales to the region were negligible then and Big Oil favored the official position against Zionism, was a chief basis for it. This factor was inoperable then.

      Otherwise, it begs examination of the same data, and global Fortune 1000 data, from other angles. Is their differential a function of size? How do other firms in the petro-arma size bracket in different industries compare? Is it a function of US firms, not foreign? Etc. A piece of simple arithmetic is a rather weak argument.

      Even if it does hold it does not at all constitute causation; it is an anachronism for part of the period needing explanation. Even in the period where it presumably explains, they concede in little exceptions and qualifications that ideology and politics drive war. US Zionism is an apex predator, in the jostling of predators that constitutes US governance, able to stage ideological and institutional productions, like the US-Israel relationship, and Islamophobia, that drive war. "Corporate and strategic interest" have adapted to this, not vice versa.

    • This is so pathetic of Khalidi, and equally pathetic of Chomsky. He is just using the idea of "US interests" to write Jewish power out of the picture. Contra Chomsky, "US interests" are not axioms from which we can deduce things. He actually says that nothing has changed about US ME policy since 1945--it's all about control of oil. So there is no difference between cultivating Nasser as possible Cold War asset in the early 1950s, to invading Iraq in 2003.

      "US interests" are not axiomatically defined, but constructed daily in Washington by the various interests that comprise society. Since the 1940s, when it overcame the opposition of the diplomatic and military establishments to US sponsorship of a Jewish state, Zionism has been one of those interests, and has radicalized US pursuit of the "corporate and strategic interests" Chomsky (and Khalidi) claim are dominant.

      Thus the anti-Iran policy encountered substantial business opposition in the 1990s, but was overwhelmed by the Zionocracy. The Iraq war was the product of the neocons and the gentile radicals and was a strategic and corporate disaster.
      Zionism has been the chief driver of US militarism since the end of the Cold War. The Zionocracy contributed to the Gulf War vote in 1990, the closest since the War of 1812. 9/11, Afghanistan, Iraq 2003, from which the dissolution of Syria has followed, the virulent Islamophobia---Zionism has turned western Asia into the eastern front of the US empire, site of its worst deeds and ideologies, like the eastern front of Nazi Germany, with the war on "Judeobolshevism" and the Judeocide.

  • Fast learner! Hagel's 112 pages of advance answers contain one reference to Palestinians -- firing rockets
    • Stephen Sniegoski challenges the conventional wisdom that Hagel conceded substantially to the neocons in order for his nomination to proceed. He finds that such tactics conceal the deeper underlying struggle between the neocons and the realists. But note his view of Obama's estimate of the Israel lobby as far more dangerous than the gun lobby and other forces he is taking on.

      A useful analogy is between the Nazis and the non-Nazi German conservatives in the 1930s. The conservatives are not allies in the class struggle, but they are in the medieval-modern struggle where Zionism and Nazism operate

      link to veteransnewsnow.com

  • MLK would have supported Palestinian protest movement -- Mercury News
  • Trump says Netanyahu is 'terrific leader, great for Israel'
  • Right wing crazies -- Remnick brings the curtain down on Zionism
    • What began as a secular movement to create a democracy has devolved into the Tea Party, a religious ideology about the bible and the land

      Began as secular, correct, in part to distinguish themselves as clearly as possible from the traditional religious reference to the Land of Israel, which found temporal interest blasphemous. However, from Ahad Ha'am onward they all had what Ze'ev Sternhell calls an "organic" view of the role of religion in nation-building, comparable to other European "organicist" (i.e. right-wing) movements (Sternhell's specialty)

      This admitted the thin edge of the wedge, and in 1948 Ben-Gurion formed the first governing coalition with the religious parties, allowing them control over civil matters like religion and divorce, and their own educational establishment. The Arab parties would have provided Labor Zionism with a majority against the conservative parties but were excluded for Zionist reasons.

      The first West Bank settlements were actually a Labor project, in the Golan Heights, in fact the Golan conquest was undertaken during the 1967 war at the behest of the kibbutz movement, against Dayan's better judgment. Gush Emunim were somewhat later.

  • Lobby leans on Schumer to block Hagel-- now that Ackerman, Berman, Frank, Weiner, Rothman and Lieberman are gone
    • I keep waiting for an open conversation about the religious ideology at the heart of the mess: Zionism.

      Really Phil. a) Zionism is not a religious ideology; and b) if the left cannot manage an "open conversation", how can it expect the mainstream to do so?

  • Since when is the left embracing Chuck Hagel, a nationalist, establishment figure?
    • Andrew, everything Ajl writes on the US-Israel relationship seems to be in the "tough Jew" vein, incl the piece on Hagel. He affects a muscular, aggrieved tone, telling the feckless gentiles what's *really* up in the world. I've read his stuff and had exchanges with him before.

      Moreover, the tough Jew persona doesn't cost him in academe, or he seems to think it won't, and he is a grad student in sociology, presumably building his CV for the job market.

    • Or perhaps, that privilege and racism are not guaranteed by civil rights as your inalienable "identity"

    • I am surprised at the uncritical reception of Ajl's piece by some, not all. And the indifference to the counterargument about Israel's radicalizing role, esp but not exclusively since the end of the Cold War. The fall of Sunni rule in Iraq due to the 2003 US invasion has led directly to the present dissolution of Syria at the hands of Gulf-backed Islamic insurgents, among other catastrophes.

      Ajl's piece tries to conceal Zionism's quasi-sovereign role in US policy, which dates from the 1940s, and which has turned the Middle East into the eastern front of the US empire, site of its worst deeds and ideologies.

      As his "Jewbonics" web site shows, Ajl is a self-styled "tough Jew", like those who earned the admiration of the Red Army soldiers he quotes, sticking it to what he sees as the flabby conventional wisdom. This chauvinism also passes without notice.

      I have zero interest in debating these issues, which lead to "Jewish identity" territory forbidden on Mondo. Let's just say that we shall overcome the "Israel lobby", not by denying its importance, as its left wing has it, but on classical left and liberal terms, which begin by rejecting the Zionism in whose name the Lobby speaks.

  • In backing Hagel, mainstream news organizations call out the Israel lobby
    • Where is the American Jewish figure with the necessary gravitas and credibility to expose the Jewish organizations in question....

      Not only does the figure "not have to be Jewish" as Annie pointed out. He or she won't be from the left either. Dismantling the Lobby begins with the Chomskyite dogma that it is irrelevant, still thriving today. See Mad Max Ajl's "Why Chuck Hagel Is Irrelevant" at Jadaliyya (note also my comment)

      link to jadaliyya.com

    • Let's hope Obomber backs up Hagel. In the meantime the Boston Globe sez Harvard prof Ashton Carter, now Deputy Sec Def, is on the short list (story behind paywall)

  • The chancellor's new clothes
    • Meanwhile, back on the other side of the kingdom, Sir Chuck is jousting with courtiers in the blue and white colors of Mordred, who want to unseat him as prospective chief knight of the round table. Will Mordred be slain, and at what cost to the king? His Majesty remains silent as the match is in the balance.

  • UC's new chancellor endorses the falsehood: Criticizing Israel is anti-Semitic
    • He does not clarify that the Columbia University petition did not call for divestment from “all things Israel,” but instead from companies that manufacture or sell arms or other military hardware utilized by Israel, in violation of US law, against the civilian populations of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

      Why should we be limited to such restrained criticism? Why can we not object to Zionism itself? As racialism, and thus inherently unjust? And object to a Jewish state as an unnatural, inherently violent intrusion in the region? I doubt the authors of the petition dispute that.

      Those who dispute it, and/or will not allow it to become the foundation of opposition, are the Jewish left, from Chomsky on down. They have imposed this minimal critique of "the occupation" and its corollaries. By suppressing systematic critique of Zionism, and imposing related orthodoxy like the "strategic asset" view of US-Israel relations, they also suppress critique of American Jewish chauvinism, which drives actors like Dirks, and many others.

      Endless repetition of the trope that "it's not anti-Semitic to criticize Israel" makes anti-Semitism the supreme issue, and suppresses awareness of the real issue, Zionism's destruction of western Asia, and its equally destructive role in the US. It is chiefly responsible for the Islamophobia of our culture (which has enough problems), and has turned our Middle East policy into our eastern front, site of our most pathological deeds and ideologies, like the eastern front of the Third Reich.

      The basis of opposition to Zionism lies in classical left and liberal sources which the Jewish left has buried, including classical Reform, Marxist internationalism, and modern secularism. Lack of their application results in tentative, limited opposition to commissars like Dirks.

  • 'NYT' equates Palestinian suicide-bombers to CT school-killer
  • Roots of Resistance: The first intifada and the non-emergence of a Palestinian state
    • Zionism is not simply a colonial-settler project in Palestine. It is a reaction against the modern world, against integration of Jews into liberal society. It first arose in the Pale of Settlement in the Russian Empire, among the thin stratum that did well in that society. Their idea of secular national Jewish culture continued the ghetto of traditional society, and with it their role and influence. Zionism was a fraternal twin of the racialist anti-semitism which arose at the same time, and shared its view of the failure of liberalism. The fundamental distinction of Zionism is not between Jewish colonizer and Arab indigene in Palestine, but between Jew and gentile everywhere. Support for Israel in the organized Jewish world outside Israel is based fundamentally on this value, which also sharply limits criticism of Israel on the left, by suppressing analysis of and opposition to organized Jewish influence in the US and elsewhere.

    • The concept that the two peoples claiming the land of Israel/Palestine can only live there in peace and security in a single, bi-national, democratic state based on mutual recognition and equality of status ceased to be an acceptable Zionist opinion after 1948. Martin Buber, Judah Magnes, and Hashomer Hatzair (The Young Guard), who previously advocated it, ultimately accepted the results of the war. This will likely never be revived as a Zionist position, but the principles remain valid.

      The "binationalism" of Buber, Magnes and Young Guard was simply Zionism by other means. In the mid-1940s, they all wanted Jewish immigration leading to demographic parity with the Arabs, when the Jewish population of Palestine was 31-33%. And demographic majority, subject to fanciful agreements. This is why there were no Arab interlocutors for "binationalism". It also explains why they easily accepted the outcome of the 1948 war. See the following piece for references. The "principles of coexistence" begin with rejecting Zionism, in accordance with classical left and liberal values, which the Jewish left, led by people like Chomsky and Prof Beinin, have buried.

      When Palestine was at Stake
      link to questionofpalestine.net

  • Another 'NYT' reporter goes to Gaza and offers condescending anthropological observations on social media
    • Asherpat, put down the law books and look at reality. Israel kills civilians on a daily basis. And all you can say is that Hamas has "neither legal nor moral right to break the laws of war." Abstractly it's true. Practically, it's irrelevant. You can hardly make a case against a people subject to daily, comprehensive anti-civilian violence.

      Or, you can, but no sensible person will listen to you. Hamas has attempted cease-fires with Israel, which doesn't want them; Israel just assassinated the Hamas military leader who was considering one. Who is responsible for the subsequent rocket fire?

      I'm not a fan of violence. The PLO's original statement that "armed struggle is the only way to liberate Palestine", and subsequent pursuit of it, was very stupid and did great damage. But it emerged from the circumstances of the refugees, rotting in their camps for 20 years, who provided most of the personnel. Nor do I think it would have made much difference.

      The Palestinians oppose the three worst forces on earth, the Jewish state, the US organized Jews, and the US national security state, the real "fateful triangle". The most sophisticated and eloquent advocacy and public relations (of which there has been some) would have made no difference to the triangle, which understands only power.

      Convicts in Australia used to be tied to triangles and the flesh literally whipped off their backs. Our job is to get Palestine off the triangle, not moralize over her failings.

    • Condescending, lame, inappropriate...

      How about Jewish supremacist? Israel has the right to massacre Gaza with jet warplanes and attack helicopters, to invade with armored brigades, to assassinate military leaders who contemplate long-term cease fire, to blockade it by land, sea and air, but Gaza has no right to resist.

  • New Yorkers to march on GE over its role in Gaza bombardments
  • Anne-Marie Slaughter doesn't know what hasbara is
    • When the Mears/Walt article, or maybe the book, came out, AMS moderated a debate at Town Hall in NY, featuring Tony Judt and Rashid Khalidi in the affirmative, and Dennis Ross and Martin Indyk in the negative. Stage a debate on the Lobby and its two biggest creatures show up to profess themselves shocked, shocked that anyone would speak of such a thing. AMS spent 10 minutes flagellating the issue over anti-Semitism, against which Tony Judt spoke, before letting the discussion proceed on its merits. AMS acted like a courtier pledging the king, or a priest crossing himself, before hearing treason or blasphemy.

  • JVP: It is unseemly for Operation 'Pillar of Defense' to invoke biblical passage from Exodus when Israel is dominant military power in the region
    • Censored again. Jewish chauvinism is de rigeur at Mondo, criticism not.

    • I have Smith's book among others on Spinoza. He was concerned to modernize Jews and Judaism and their status. Marx was also in his way. Spinoza left "the community" without a second thought and his prescriptions were all made apart from and outside it.

      You and JVP are concerned to de-modernize Jews with your infinite casuistry and infinite arrogance, even as Gaza endures another slaughter. As any child can see by comparison to my proposed stmt below, JVP's stmt is contemptible, like your brazen apologetics.

      JVP calls on our chapters, members, and supporters to join us in
      redoubling our efforts to advocate for an end to the U.S.’s
      unconditional military aid to Israel and to intensify our calls for
      divestment from all companies that profit from this escalation of
      violence and Israel’s ongoing siege of Gaza.

      Divesting from from "companies profiting", how contemptible, covering up for the real force at work, Zionism, here and there. You are the real troll here, a monster of duplicity and cynicism.

      They should have condemned the assault on Gaza as the latest episode of Zionist criminality, product of a violent, racist ideology and society that are dragging the region to catastrophe. They should have rejected the whole idea of Zionism and The Jewish People in whose name these atrocities are committed. They should have damned the US organized Jews (Seafoid above) to perdition as the chief movers of US enabling of this catastrophe. And they should have, with equal force, extolled the great Jewish proponents of enlightenment, reform and revolution, from Spinoza onward, who stood for and with humanity, without for an instant agonizing over their “Jewish identity”.

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