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Total number of comments: 1168 (since 2012-09-19 14:29:56)

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  • Inside a CUFI Summit: Christian Zionists dance the hora and prepare for end times in Washington DC
    • @Annie, Thank you.

      @RobertHenryEller. You may want to review the arguments by many commenters on a previous post by Ben Norton. Many comments make the same point.

    • Thank you, Ben. I sympathize with your contempt for flags. I hate all flags, and all nationalism too. But I have exceptions.

      As someone who grew up in a deeply evangelical home, I read the Bible cover-to-cover twice and Hal Lindsey's works all before I turned sixteen. But I think it's a mischaracterization to think of Christian Zionists as anti-Semitic. Yes, Christ will return and damn Jews who haven't been born again to the fiery depths of Hell for all eternity. But he will damn anyone who isn't born again, or so they believe. That includes Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, and even many Catholics, many Mormons and many mainline Protestants like myself who don't subscribe to a narrow definition of Christianity. Christian Zionists are in fact philo-Semitic. And you don't need a black friend to confirm that this is environment is racist. But Christian Zionist racism is primarily focused on Arabs and Muslims. Herman Cain, Alan Keyes and Allen West are at home.

  • Pelosi says Iran deal has the votes, and Podhoretz urges Israel to attack Iran
    • Completely lacking in self awareness, Grace Meng once explained to Washington Jewish Weekly why she has worked to strongly oppose BDS: “I think that it’s important that we do whatever we can to stand against demonstrations of hate and ignorance and to me that’s what it is.”

  • John Kerry, please don't act like Israel's foreign minister
    • Yes, Citizen. Savage is not unlike Texas state Rep Molly White, who asked Texas Muslims visiting her capitol office to declare allegiance to the U.S in front of the paired flags of Israel and the U.S. on her desk. Clueless.

    • Kerry understands the power dynamic. But many people think the current power dynamic is a good thing. On my commute home yesterday I heard Donald Trump on Michael Savage say it was "inconceivable" that Chuck Schumer would support the Iran deal. When Savage asked whether Schumer had actually said he was going to support the deal, Trump replied, "nobody knows what he is going to do. Actually I'm surprised that Israel isn't putting tremendous pressure on Schumer because they do have a lot of power over Schumer."

      Indeed, a foreign nation has a lot of power over our lawmakers, but Trump doesn't question that. He only questions why Schumer hasn't complied.

  • Sheldon Adelson bankrolls NBA player trip to Israel to fight BDS
  • Congressional support for Iran deal solidifies-- and Cory Booker pushes back against friendship ultimatums
    • (Dearborn is the heart of the U.S. Shia community.)

    • @lysias. Carl Levin retired in January, so he is beginning to act more like a citizen than a politician. Unfortunately his successor Gary Peters (Dem) is a definitely a politician and is undecided about the deal. Sander Levin, interestingly, recently announced his intention on running for re-election in 2016. His congressional district represents some of the most predominantly Jewish communities in Michigan--Bloomfield Township, Franklin, Bingham Farms, Huntington Woods. He probably considers his seat safe--he won in 2014 by a 24-point margin. In contrast Debbie Dingell, who represents Dearborn, is strangely undecided.

    • Sander Levin's support for the deal really shouldn't come as a surprise since his brother Carl came out in support over a week ago. Good for them both.

  • Amnesty: Israel committed war crimes in retaliation for capture of Israeli soldier
  • Huckabee's 'oven' comment echoes many Netanyahu statements equating Iran to Nazis
    • When Netanyahu gave his 2011 speech to congress, he received a standing ovation for a Holocaust reference in the specific context of Iran's nuclear program: "When we say 'never again,' we mean never again." DNC chair Wasserman Schultz led the cheerleading for the Democratic lawmakers.

    • One person who has noted Netanyahu's similar rhetoric is Joshua Keating at Slate:

      But to be fair to Huckabee, it’s not hard to see why he felt the comparison was within the bounds of acceptable discourse, given previous statements by Israeli leaders. After the Obama administration presented a “framework agreement” for a land swap deal with the Palestinians in 2014, deputy foreign minister Zeev Elkin rejected Israel’s 1967 borders as “Auschwitz borders.” Netanyahu compared Iran to the Nazis in a speech at Israel’s Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem in April, asking whether the world had learned nothing from the “incomprehensible universal and Jewish tragedy” of the last century.

      link to

  • Time Warner executive moonlights as speechwriter for Netanyahu
  • When a U.S. president demanded inspections of a nuclear facility in the Middle East (and failed)
    • I would also hope that Jonathan Pollard never be released from prison and if he is, that he is never allowed to leave the US.

      This afternoon, Pollard's lawyers say he will be paroled on Nov 21. The lawyers said under the terms of his parole, Pollard must remain in the U.S. for five years, although he has petitioned to be able to move to Israel immediately. link to

    • Interesting, But if Meyer Lansky and elements of the Government of Israel were involved in the plot, why would the latter deny the former RoR and send him back to the U.S. when persued on federal tax evasion charges?

  • Christian Zionists expose their anti-Semitism at conservative summit in Iowa
    • I can recall a Sunday morning many, many years when my first generation Palestinian-American sister-in-law invited her mainline Presbyterian family to her evangelical church service. We all dutifully attended, but she was mortified when the sermon turned to how to support Israel. I am glad we Presbyterians woke up early. I am especially glad UCC trumped us.

    • Thanks JLD. As as lifelong admirer of the superb HLM but a watcher of Hagee, your quote is fitting.

  • Video: Israelis in West Jerusalem call for attack on Iran
    • It's scary that current affairs are being driven by this.

      Last week five top-tier GOP presidential candidates courted the two million members of John Hagee's CUFI. Here is what Hagee said in March 2014 about Gog and Magog:

      John Hagee spent most of yesterday's "Hagee Hotline" explaining to his viewers how the current crisis in Ukraine is a precursor to the invasion of Israel as foretold by the Book of Ezekiel that will usher in the Last Days.

      As Hagee explained, the Gog and Magog prophesied in Ezekiel 38 are Russia and its leader which, along with Iran, Germany, Turkey, Libya, and various Arab nations, will lead a ground invasion of Israel "in the Last Days."

      "That's right now," Hagee said. "What you are seeing happening on the television screen is the Russian bear coming back to life, wanting to be a global super power. It's going to take all of the nations it can with them and there will be, at some point in the future, a land invasion lead by the Russians."

      But when that invasion takes place, God will destroy five out of every six invading soldiers by causing a massive earthquake as well as a deadly hail storm that will kill thousands of them, while even more will die when God confuses the various armies and causes them to kill one another with friendly fire.

      In the end, Hagee assured his audience, "Israel is going to be victorious and defended by the hand of God":

      with video: link to

  • How long will I have to convince liberals that Palestinians matter?
  • Israeli settlements are a 'war crime,' but ICC dodges the case -- Buttu
    • ivri: some people are building houses on areas where the legality of their ownership is controversial.

      Only in your bubble is it controversial. As Harry noted above, the ICJ judges ruled against their legality 15-0.

    • Thank you Harry. You are a great resource here.

    • And it was the PLO that dodged acceding to the court's jurisdiction until the grassroots pressure became too intense.

    • My understanding is that the ICC has not dodged the settlement issue because it considers the matter a political one to be resolved through negotiation, but rather that until recently Palestine had simply not established standing in the court. But I highly respect Ms Buttu and could be mistaken.

  • Press can't justify red carpet for Oren tract and blackout for Blumenthal's 'definitive account' of Gaza
    • I give Hillary a lot of grief, but I am glad she hasn't tossed her family friend Sidney overboard because of his outspoken son. At least not yet. But the sharks seem to be anticipating.

  • Nine reasons Obama is going to win on Iran. The first: Netanyahu
    • Huckabee, I think, is the least politically pragmatic of the passengers in the clown car. He may not give two hoots about whether the fight is winnable. In this respect, he's the anti-Hillary.

    • It's ominous that six top-tier GOP presidential candidates spoke at Hagee's conference last week when just a few years ago GOP nominee McCain felt compelled to throw Hagee under the bus.

    • O/T. When Dem hopeful Martin O'Malley recently praised Harry Truman for quickly recognizing Israel, he also praised Truman for quickly ending WW2, without a word about how he accomplished it.

    • Nuclear weapons can also bust bunkers.

    • On #9. The Israel Lobby now is more than AIPAC. It's CUFI too. And that addition alone will alienate many Democrats. Fox News has a report, Pastor Hagee calls Iran nuke agreement 'historic, bad deal for the world'. Hagee is toxic to almost everyone who doesn't abide by his armageddon preaching.

  • Not everyone is allowed to have a 'Good Life in Germany'
    • In a NYT op-ed in May, a Stanford professor proposed settling Syrian refugees in Detroit. Unfortunately the readers pick comments were uniformly hostile and ridiculing of the proposal.
      link to

    • As a Detroit area resident, I find all anti immigration rhetoric unsettling. The mayor's top priority here is to tear down as many abandoned homes as possible because there is no one to live in them. They have all left for the sunny desert states where there is no water. Yet Arab immigrants have revitalized areas of the metro area with entrepreneurial spirit. Some areas of Dearborn have seen property values increase perhaps ten-fold. For twenty-five years I have eaten at a Lebanese bakery that began in a dilapidated, run-down building. Now the property is worth over $2M. And these are the unwanted others we now won't welcome. yeesh

    • Kay, Bourdain remembered his previous trip to Beirut: "That experience changed everything for me. One day I was making television about eating and drinking. The next, I was watching the airport I'd just landed in a few days earlier being blown up across the water from my hotel window."

    • I mean ritzl--sorry.

    • It's definitely worth watching, lysias. Bourdain ends the episode with a depressing line. "In the real world, good people and bad alike are often crushed under the same terrible wheel."

    • Kay, in this episode he replays some of his footage from that Israeli war on Lebanon including from the airport. (A few relatives of my wife were in the airport when the runways were being bombed.)

    • I hadn't heard that CG. I know both have filmed here in Dearborn. On No Reservations Bourdain dined at a popular Lebanese restaurant and ate traditional arabic fare, whereas Zimmern ate down the street at less-known establishment and had a lambs brain sandwich. Zimmern can seem respectful, but I find the show's title Bizarre Foods just a bit condescending.

    • Very touching. A few weeks ago, CNN broadcast Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown Return to Beirut episode, Bourdain listened to a Palestinian english teacher who had fled Syria during the civil war. The Palestinian was unable to work in Lebanon and unable to leave the refugee camp in Beirut lest he be "collected and thrown back to Syria." The Palestinian explained, "We have no area in the world. We have no place in this universe. We belong to nowhere. Nowhere."

  • British gov't welcomes Iran back into the 'community of nations' -- why can't we?
    • I really don't think Cardin's religion/ethnicity is relevant. Recently some critics of Diane Rehm pointed to her ethnicity. It's the flip side of the same coin.

    • I don't think the caller should have brought up Cardin's religion/ethnicity. After all, Jews are well-represented in the ranks of Israel's critics. There were other callers who questioned Israel's oversized presence in the debate, but no one will take note of what they said. Instead the media accounts will focus on this one caller crossing the line. For example, in the Mediaite article headlined, "WATCH: Jewish Senator Shuts Down Anti-Semitic C-SPAN Caller", the caller is quoted saying, “Mr. Cardin looks like a regular white guy, nice guy, but in actuality he’s a Jewish white guy.”

  • Israeli military invades Susiya to make 'offer' for village to relocate
    • I can see that Silwanic reported on Tue July 14 that indictments were handed down against the boys, including the American. This most recent report referred to "Omar Yaseen" instead of "Omar Yasin", but the photo is identical. The charge is rock throwing. Thanks again, Kate.

    • Kate, Thanks for the tip on using Silwanic. I'll just go directly to their website for the reports. Are there other useful sites for arrest reports that you have found?

    • Thanks Kate for the follow-up. I often peruse the arrest reports for Americans and send Matt Lee (@APDiploWriter) the information if I find any. He frequently brings up the cases at the State Dept daily briefings.

    • Kate, Thanks for all the work you do. Have you found any news updates on the fate of 14-year-old Palestinian-American Omar Yassin who was arrested in or near Jerusalem June 23 along with a number of other children?

  • Crisis for the lobby: Clinton bucks Saban, AIPAC doesn't know what to say
  • 'We should seize it' -- Obama announces Iran deal as 'new direction' for the Middle East
  • Abe Foxman says goodbye to an America of secret Jew haters
    • “If you are a people who cannot work the soil and cannot be in carpentry, you study.”

      I am sure everyone with the name of Plotnik or Plotnick will find this 'fact' surprising.

    • O/T. UNESCO decided for Jordan over Palestine on whether Jesus was baptised on the eastern bank (now Jordan) or western bank (now OPT) of the Jordan River. Here is how the U.S. media is headlining it:

      NY Post: Jesus was baptized in Jordan, not Israel, UN says

      Christian Science Monitor: Where was Jesus baptized? UNESCO says Jordan, not Israel Jesus' baptism site gets UN nod to Jordan, not Israel

  • Clinton can't separate herself from foreign-policy buffoons Saban and Adelson
    • The Times of Israel has a summary of the forum. Much talk focused on the Iran deal. Here is the summary of the I/P discussion:

      Both Huckabee and Santorum disavowed longstanding US policy of supporting a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, ruling out the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel. “I am not for a two-state solution,” Santorum told attendees at the annual conference. “I don’t think it’s the role of the United States of America to be dictating solutions any more than if there is an internal territorial dispute in the United States.” But fundraising powerhouse Bush, seen as one of the more centrist contenders in the crowded GOP field, took a more cautious approach. In a pre-recorded interview, Bush affirmed that that it was “in the interest of the United States for a Palestinian state to come into existence,” but conditioned his agreement with the comment that “it has to be under the right conditions.” Bush did say that Israel should be allowed to continue to build in the West Bank, “in areas that are developed,” but questioned construction in “green field” areas — a possible reference to a policy that would differentiate between existing settlement blocs and construction of new neighborhoods or towns. In contrast, former New York governor George Pataki said that he would “work with the Israeli government toward an intelligent approach toward Judea and Samaria.” “I’m not going to demonize them when they believe it is in the national strategic interest to establish a community somewhere,” Pataki added. He said that the US couldn’t “expect the Israelis to sit down with [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud] Abbas and the PLO government when their strategic partner has been Hamas.” Senator Ted Cruz of Texas did not specify whether or not he supports a two-state solution, instead telling moderator Bret Stephens that he doesn’t “think it is the role of the US or any other for nation to try to impose a specific solution on the dispute between Israel and the Palestinians.” “Israel is a sovereign nation,” Cruz added. “Whatever the ultimate solution that is arrived upon by those two parties — whether it is a two-state solution or a one-state solution is a decision for Israel to make.” Cruz did, however, take the opportunity to turn his answer into a critique of the current administration — one of many aired during the 90-minute forum. Asserting that “Israel is not the obstacle,” to peace, Cruz added that “sadly, President Obama, and Hillary Clinton and John Kerry have trouble understanding the idea that the impediment to peace is not Israel, but the Palestinians who refuse to lay down their arms.”

      Since the GOP no longer is united on the principle of a 2SS, I wonder if a plank supporting two states will appear on the 2016 party platform, as it consistently has in recent times. This also makes me wonder if Bush has given up on winning the Adelson primary.

    • Thanks, eljay. I missed the CUFI summit Candidates Forum because I was working. Perhaps it will be re-broadcast on youporn, but I am not going to check.

    • On the itinerary today (Monday):

      1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
      The CUFI summit Candidates Forum
      Top tier presidential candidates will share their perspectives on Israel and the Middle East. This will be the only 2016 candidates forum dedicated exclusively to Israel and the Middle East.
      · Governor Jeb Bush
      · Senator Ted Cruz
      · Senator Lindsey Graham
      · Governor Mike Huckabee
      · Governor George Pataki
      · Senator Rick Santorum

      Cable TV network Daystar is carrying the conference live and also has a live stream on its web page: link to

  • Why the Charleston massacre isn't terrorism, and Palestinian resistance always will be
    • Unfortunately, more people think like Plato than Aristotle.

    • 'Terror' and 'Terrorism' are words that are commonly used to bolster and even inflame conflict against Muslims and Arabs. I don't believe the best solution is to correctly reason that other crimes meet the definition, but instead we should retire these politically charged words from our language. When people use the word 'terror' they aren't thinking of a definition. Rather, they are thinking of a paradigm. That paradigm is usually a Muslim Arab committing a politically charged crime against Israel or its supporters.

      Arguing correctly that McVeigh, Breivik, or Roof are terrorists by definition is about as effective as arguing that tomatoes are not vegetables but fruits and that peanuts are not nuts but legumes. Even rational listeners will nod their head in agreement and then revert to their old paradigms.

  • Lies, smear, and two-steps -- Why did organizers really cancel the Feis?
    • Interesting. In contrast I think many U.S. sympathizers of Palestinians are deeply skeptical of nationalism in any form, which is partly why you may find so many one-state advocates on this site. This division no doubt reflects the different kinds of injustice that Irish and Americans have observed.

  • Michael Oren misrepresents 1971 synagogue bombing that changed his life
    • The homes were average in size, and families were middle and upper middle class, and heavily skewed to white collar and professional occupations.

      Census figures seem to agree. In 2000 West Orange had a median household income of $69K, compared to $51K in all of New Jersey and $42K nationwide. [Wikipedia]

  • Carter says Israeli rejection of 2-states forced US to withdraw as mediator 'for first time in modern history'
    • Thanks, Annie. I am aware of doubts of the authenticity of the quote. I would be surprised if the Times of India published it.

    • Can you link to the quoted article in the Times of India archives?

    • DaBakr: Carter has made numerous top 5 lists as either THE or one of the top 5 worst presidents the US has ever had.

      Wikipedia has catalogued 18 notable scholar surveys that rank presidents--16 surveys since 1982. The lowest Carter ranks in any notable scholar survey is 34 of 40. On average, he ranks 27 of 43 in the middle of the third quartile.

    • It will be interesting to see if Carter is invited to the 2016 DNC convention. Dershowitz convinced Obama to shun Carter in 2008, keeping him away from the convention. If the nominee is Hillary, I'm sure she'll be no different.

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