Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 1138 (since 2009-07-31 19:03:20)

Colin Murray

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  • With 'last ink,' Gunter Grass breaks silence on Israeli nuclear program threatening world peace
    • Annie, most German soldiers were not members of the Nazi Party. More than 20 million German men served in the Werhmacht during WW2. Nazi Party membership rolls didn't exceed 6-8 million by the end of the war and a huge percentage of them were civilians. Many millions of Germans were communists. There is even evidence that several German soldiers (former members of the German Communist Party) deserted to the Soviets on the eve of Barbarossa to try to warn them that Hitler was about to attack. I'd provide detailed citations but alas I got rid of that portion of my book collection to focus on other areas.

      That said, most Germans, including German soldiers, supported Hitler and the Nazi Party as the rulers of Germany once they were at war. (rally-round-the-flag) Most bought into racial supremacism to varying degrees, although we should keep in perspective the ugly reality that the VAST majority of Europeans (and those of European descent in the US, Australia, etc) in the early 1940's were racists. What was different about Germans was that they tended to obsess most over Jews while others from nations with greater colonial interests obsessed most over darker-skinned Africans and Asians.

      The take-home message is that most German soldiers were NOT members of the Nazi Party, but most were racist. Likely Grass was too, at 17 years of age. Is he now? I don't know what's in the man's heart, but I don't see the least bit of antisemitism in the English-translation of his poem. Is that not the question that we should be focusing on? And if the answer is negative, we should move the discussion on to the validity or lack thereof of its message.

  • Howard Fineman seeks to redline Ron Paul's populist Iran ideas as extremist
    • "When Ron Paul says his message has appeal to Democrats and Independents, he is right."

      I think both establishment parties will be jaw-dropping shocked at how quickly Pres. Obama's independent support migrates to the Republican side if Ron Paul becomes their candidate.

  • Bachmann has secured funds from private donor to move US embassy to Jerusalem
    • "I already have secured from a donor who said they will personally pay for the ambassador's home to be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem."

      She is openly promising that she will pursue a privately-funded foreign policy for those foreign interests who can pay for it.

  • UNESCO votes to admit Palestine as a full member
    • "I would hope that the Israeli aircraft would be shot down by us in Iraq before they got there."

      This is not going to happen. Central Command officially ceded legal responsibility for Iraqi airspace to its government several weeks ago. Given that the Obama administration has shown itself desperate to find reasons to leave force structure in Iraq and that the Iraqi government currently cannot defend its own airspace, it is not unlikely that the hastiness of our withdrawal was motivated by Pres. Obama's desire not to face having to make a lose-lose shoot-down decision.

  • Karon: Why Abbas is doing US and Israel a favor by going to Security Council
    • I think Abbas knows full well that the UNSC route will 'fail'. There isn't even a remote chance of success: there will be no Palestinian state.

      He is doing it anyway because it FORCES our government (and others) to finally, at long last, very publicly choose sides. Abbas is attempting to reshape the international political environment to be more favorable to the inevitable civil rights struggle that his people face in order to obtain representation in the government that taxes and rules them.

      He is trying to shake the earth between political and social fault lines. He is forcing Pres. Obama and the grandees of the West into a corner. When the vote fails he will say, "Now that you have disallowed us the right to govern ourselves on our own land, you must allow us full civil rights within the foreign government you have allowed to exert its control over us." He hopes to begin the civil rights struggle against Israeli extremists with the West on the defensive and more inclined to constrain the more egregious misconduct of the Israeli government.

      Also, he cannot hope to successfully wage such a campaign until he convinces his own people that there is no other choice (that there will be no 2ss). What better proof could he offer than that which he is maneuvering Pres. Obama to provide?

  • I have no doubt that Palestinians will be victorious, sooner than later
    • The IDF ground force, Col. Patrick Lang, Sic Semper Tyrannis

      As a result of this system of manning, the IDF's ground force is more unpredictable and volatile at the tactical (company) level than might be the case otherwise. The national government has a hard time knowing whether or not specific policies will be followed in the field. For example, the Israeli government's policy in the present action in the Gaza Strip has been to avoid civilian casualties whenever possible. Based on personal experience of the behavior of IDF conscripts toward Palestinian civilians, I would say that the Israeli government has little control over what individual groups of these young Israeli soldiers may do in incidents like the one yesterday in which mortar fire was directed toward UN controlled school buildings.

      In Beit Suhur outside Bethlehem, I have seen IDF troops shoot at Palestinian Christian women hanging out laundry in their gardens. This was done with tank coaxial machine guns from within a bermed up dirt fort a couple of hundred yards away, and evidently just for the fun of it. In Bethlehem a lieutenant told me that he would have had his men shoot me in the street during a demonstration that I happened to get caught in, but that he had not because he thought I might not be a Palestinian and that if I were not the incident would have caused him some trouble. I have seen a lot of things like that. One might say that in war, s--t happens. That is true, but such behavior is indicative of an army that is not well disciplined and not a completely reliably instrument of state policy. In my travels in the west Bank in March of 2008, it was noticeable that the behavior towards Palestinian civilians of IDF troops at roadblocks was reminiscent of that of any group of post-adolescents given guns and allowed to bully the helpless in order to look tough for each other. I think the IDF would be well advised to grow some real sergeants.

  • 'NYT' leaves out the facts on checkpoint shooting
    • Will the Palestinian police responsible for the killing of Ben-Joseph Livnat receive a harsher punishment than Israelis who routinely kill unarmed Palestinians on Palestinian land? Is there a double standard among Israelis for what constitutes criminal misconduct?

    • Were the colonists armed when they "tried to break through a local (Palestinian) checkpoint" on Palestinian soil? If armed Palestinians "tried to break through a local (Israeli army) checkpoint" inside Israel, how would Israelis have responded?

  • Obama learns how big his district is
    • "If Obama wishes to dictate Israeli policy, he must show that he has mutual interests with Israel," Israel Radio quoted Metzger as saying. The rabbi reportedly added that these "mutual interests" should be shown through releasing Pollard.

      Mr. Metzger's choice of words is interesting. A"mutual interest" is an advantage or benefit belonging to or true of two or more people. Mr. Metzger thinks it is in Pres. Obama's interest to pardon the confessed master spy Jonathan Pollard because otherwise he won't be reelected. Blackmail is a more apt description than mutual interest for such a quid pro quo. I wonder how exactly the consequences of disobedience are to be administered to Pres. Obama?

  • Congressional bill: No money to U.N. till it retracts Goldstone Report
  • JVP says honest talk about 1-state/2-state is good for Jews
  • Israel arrests 14-year-old girl among 600-700 arrested so far in the West Bank village of Awarta
    • DNA evidence makes it pretty easy to convict a suspect that matches, ...

      I have been wondering how rigorous are Israeli police chain of evidence procedures. If they botch a frame job of some Palestinian villager and get caught, then the political environment will be well pre-conditioned for near-unanimous UN General Assembly blessing for the PA when it declares statehood later this year. However, I think they are feeling pretty desperate now and arrogance has long been a besetting sin of Israeli government authorities.

    • Avi, your take dovetails with my unease reading this Haaretz article earlier today: Israel on verge of breakthrough in probe into Itamar massacre. Is it normal Israeli police practice to announce that one is "on the verge" of a breakthrough in a creditable criminal investigation? Either there has been a breakthrough or there has not. Announcing to the press that you are about to have one reeks of almost having finished arranging it.

  • Raji Sourani says Goldstone's reconsideration highlights need for equal application of int'l law, from Libya to Gaza to Bahrain
    • ... one Israeli soldier has served 7.5 months in jail for the theft of a credit card and two others received three-month suspended sentences for using a child as a human shield.

      I hadn't know that the sentences of the child human shield criminals had been suspended. Credit card fraud -> 225 days in the pokey. Push a little kid ahead of you at gunpoint on a combat patrol -> nothing. Priceless.

  • I ran into Lieberman today
    • Good show, Louise.

      I wonder if he has dropped his enthusiastic plan for an internet kill switch for Americans now that they are firmly associated with authoritarian regimes ... and why he and his buds think they need one.

  • Roger Cohen's excellent piece on Goldstone reconsideration
    • ... of the siege mentality of a nation controlling the lives of millions of Palestinians but unsure what to do with them or with the world’s growing disavowal of this corrosive dominion that humiliates its victims and eats into the soul of its masters....

      Roger Cohen is telling it like it is, but not in the NYT edition that the vast majority of American readers will see? Can anyone confirm that this op-ed did not appear in domestic print? Is telling the truth to an American audience still too much to expect from NYT management?

      Roger Cohen is owed a round of kudos. I am particularly pleased to see his explicit outrage at the galling result of Israeli 'investigations'.

      There have been just two convictions — and the one for credit card theft brought a more severe sentence than use of a Palestinian child as a human shield!

  • Gideon Levy says Goldstone has given green light to Cast Lead 2
    • Mr. Levy's article also had this line.

      We can believe that the IDF didn't deliberately kill civilians, we don't have murdering soldiers as in other armies, but neither did the IDF do enough to prevent them from being killed.

      Every other army in the history of human civilization has contained some murderers (and rapists), but not the IDF? I assume he is mocking the ridiculous IDF 'purity of arms' exceptionalism.

  • The education of Richard Goldstone
    • Your criticism would be valid if Mr. Moor had said "Judaism and truth; ...", but he did not. Islam is a religion. Zionism is an ideology.

  • An antisemitic moment
    • And if that doesn’t scare the crap out of you, especially if you are Jewish, it should.

      It definitely scares me. However, the alternative is to bare our throats to the AIPAC'ers and let them do what they want with our civilization. The Israel Lobby is highly corrosive to rule of law, our civic culture, and our economy. What will happen to our country if the AIPAC'ers aren't checked scares me more. Also, we Americans simply don't owe to anyone toleration of their level of misconduct.

      I think a "national discourse" is certain to happen. We are well on our way. What matters now is how the conversations are guided so that the people having them leading up to the "critical mass", i.e. those spreading knowledge and understanding, have accurate information from which to form opinions. Otherwise, simplistic explanations WILL lead some to antisemitism who might not have gone there otherwise.

      American Jews fearful of or interested in understanding gentile viewpoints should ask themselves what data most gentiles receive from MSM from which to form judgments about Zionist activity both here (the Israel Lobby) and in Israel. We are bombarded with the notion that Judaism and Zionism are essentially the same thing, e.g. "the American Jewish establishment" for the Israel Lobby and "the Jewish state" for Israel. What conclusions would you draw if you were a gentile trying to understand the Lobby and Israel with overly simplistic and erroneous data?

      It may be that the woman who spoke up at the meeting wasn't intrinsically antisemitic, but didn't have data from which to express a more nuanced opposition to American Jewish support for Israeli crimes such that she didn't come across as antisemitic. Her agreement that "it was meaningful to her that the three co-editors of the Goldstone report book ... are Jewish" suggests to me that she left the conversation with a personally verified datum on which to chew: not all American Jews support Israel's treatment of Palestinians.

      I think communication problems are partially a result of the high level of abstraction commonly used, e.g. "Judaism equals Zionism" or "a Jew is either a Zionist or not and all Zionists are exactly the same." It seems to me that there is a "continuum of Zionicity" that needs to be analyzed to better categorize people and ideas. Not only could this be a wedge to crack open the orthodoxy, but it should be preferred that, when we reach a true national discourse, gentiles are able to at least differentiate between pro-ethnic-cleansing/Israel-first Zionists, less radical Zionists, and non-Zionist Jews.

      The idea of post-Zionism is all fine and good for a conversation within the American Jewish community, but the ugly reality is that, unless miraculously unforced the Israel Lobby closes up shop and the Israeli government decides to stop robbing and murdering Palestinians, eventually someone is going to be held responsible within the court of public opinion. It is obvious that it would be better if the predominate label for the guilty party were "extremist Zionists" rather than "Jews".

      This will necessitate a split in the American Jewish community. There is a hardcore of the pro-ethnic cleansing/colonization, eretz-Israel-first crowd that will never compromise. I hope their numbers are few. Irregardless, let them take sole responsibility for their actions.

  • Elliott Abrams says Palestinians must forget about '1967 borders' and make a state with Jordan
    • It is impossible that the Quartet would endorse “1967 borders,” for Americans and even the Europeans understand this would put the Western Wall inside Palestine, an absurd result.

      Abrams has his rose-colored glasses on. The VAST majority of Americans haven't the faintest clue what the "Western Wall" is and most of the rest of us couldn't care less whether it lies inside Israel or not. Abrams is projecting his own Zionist desires onto those whom he claims American and European Jews "should stand apart from."

      *******
      from Elliot Abrams, Jewish Virtual Library, A Division of the American Israeli Cooperative Enterprise

      In Faith or Fear, Abrams remarks “Outside the land of Israel, there can be no doubt that Jews, faithful to the covenant between God and Abraham, are to stand apart from the nation in which they live.” He says that this should not imply disloyalty to America or any other country where Jews live outside of Israel, but that Jews must be loyal to Israel because they “are in a permanent covenant with God and with the land of Israel and its people.”

  • Two other members of the Goldstone mission stood by its conclusions as of 3 months ago
    • Earlier at this site Yaniv Reich wrote that the last time he saw Goldstone he looked like a man worn down by relentless attacks.

      I feel sorry for Mr. Goldstone. He is at an age, following a distinguished career where he made far above average contributions to human civilization, when most people of similar means are comfortably retired playing golf (or whatever) and playing with their grandchildren. He chose instead to do the right thing one last time and was viciously ostracized by many of his own people, including with what are essentially public accusations of racial treason. I fully expect that his family felt the full brunt as well.

      He tried to make some little amends to his attackers with modest qualifications of the original report that come off like formulaic self-denunciations at a Stalinist show trial. This brought condemnation from former supporters and, of course, isn't enough for his detractors. I have not seen in seven years of paying attention to this issue an instance where supporters of Israeli ethnic cleansing and colonization have forgiven one who has publicly crossed them. I don't know whether his being Jewish will make it more or less difficult.

      The poor guy has more than done his bit. I don't know where the balance of honor and obligation lies for Mr. Goldstone, but whatever he chooses to do, we should cut him slack and wish him the best.

  • 4 of Goldstone's rightwing assailants charge him with 'blood libel'
    • I think the number of Zionists who don't give a hoot about international law, or rule of law for that matter, is much more expansive than just the rightwing. Recall Tzipi Livni who is in what passes for a left wing in Israeli politics.

      "I was the Minister of Justice. I am a lawyer… But I am against law — international law in particular. Law in general." ... from the Palestine Papers

  • 'US Boat to Gaza' organizers respond to Netanyahu charges against flotilla
    • Kudos to Hirschmann and Levy for a well-reasoned response to Netanyahu.
      *****
      I knew I had heard the name Peck before. The following is from his endorsement on the back cover of Grant Smith's Spy Trade: How Israel's Lobby Undermines America's Economy

      "Meticulously detailed in this riveting addition to his earlier exposes, Grant Smith reveals yet another facet of the extent to which the pro-Israel lobby is beyond dangerous, and has become a serious threat to a broad range of American ideals, objectives, and interests abroad as well as here at home. This book contains many highly disturbing, documented revelations. Read it." - Ambassador Edward L. Peck, former Chief of Mission in Iraq and former Deputy Director, Cabinet Task Force on Terrorism, Reagan White House

  • Former head British spook says Israeli intelligence couldn't be trusted
  • More on the debate over Zionism and the Jewish state
    • Also, it would be useful to understand further why it is so viscerably unthinkable to Slater and others who share his views that political power could be shared. I suspect deep down, the answer has to do with a sense that Arabs are, by definition, inferior and even sub-human.

      I think it is a stretch to ascribe this motive to Prof. Slater. One doesn't have to look down upon others to not want to share political power with them, one just needs to not want to share power. It's a perfectly normal human reaction exhibited countless times throughout human history by both individuals and groups.

      I suspect that the motives of American and Israeli Jews may differ to a significant degree. Sharing of power would end legally enshrined Jewish privilege that has been embedded into the social, political, and economic fabric of Israel since 1948. Generations of Israelis know nothing else. They have a culture of unconstrained entitlement. Many American Jews, on the other hand, are in my opinion more motivated by inculcated fear of gentiles and the need for a safe haven from a potential resurgence of antisemitism, whatever the cost.

    • ... the main task of the antizionist movement here in America is to find ways to sever the U.S.-Israel alliance, thereby forcing the settler entity to deal with the consequences of its occupation of the Palestinian’s homeland without being able to count on the unconditional support of the U.S. of A.

      While I quibble with your choice of words, I strongly agree with the notion.

      As for the one vs two state debate, unless the evil alliance is severed, why would the Zionist entity make any concessions to the Palestinians?

      I again quibble with your choice of words (it's not an 'alliance'), but think the answer to this question should be common sense by now for anyone paying attention to this issue.

      “Looks like we’re in serious trouble, Mr. President.”

      “What do you mean we, occupier of the Palestinian homeland.”

      I hope I live to see the day. I'd rather see Israelis preempt such an eventuality by forging a just peace, of course, but the harsh reality is that their political establishment simply has no interest in one and their population is growing more racist, fascist, and violent as the secular founding generations die off. There will be no salvation from below.

      Israelis have clearly chosen the path on which they wish to tread, and via the Israel Lobby are dragging us along behind while attempting to obscure our view of the way ahead so we don't attempt to bolt for the bushes.

      The final confrontation to neutralize the Israel Lobby will be painful enough for most Americans. It is preposterous to think the United States might go beyond this by taking the harsh stance against Israel vitally necessary to change the embedded will to ethnic cleansing and colonization of its entire political establishment. If a majority of American Jews aren't willing to do it to save Israel as a Jewish state, why should the rest of us? I think most of us simply want a comprehensive and definitive termination to our involvement in Israeli affairs.

  • The 'Nakba law' and erasing history
    • This was nicely done. Kudos to Phil and Adam for letting Shiri Raphaely voice her opinion here. While I agree with and appreciate Avi's comments, especially the one on left-leaning members of the Knesset, we ought to cut Shiri some slack. She hasn't been in Israel long enough to learn all the nuances of Israeli politics and undoubtedly has some unlearning to do, in my opinion a process everyone goes through when they first make a serious attempt to understand politics of any kind.

  • Imagine if...
    • It's a powerful photograph. I wonder what is going through his wife's mind? "OMG, now I have to raise 3 kids by myself on welfare for a year and a half."

  • Steve Walt says he would do it all over again
    • John Mearsheimer did this superbly in The Future of Palestine: Righteous Jews vs. the New Afrikaners.

      Contrary to the wishes of the Obama administration and most Americans – to include many American Jews – Israel is not going to allow the Palestinians to have a viable state of their own in Gaza and the West Bank. Regrettably, the two-state solution is now a fantasy. Instead, those territories will be incorporated into a “Greater Israel,” which will be an apartheid state bearing a marked resemblance to white-ruled South Africa.

  • 'Hamas has good reasons to believe that Israel is the one heating up the southern front'
    • from Cook's article:

      The timing of the US veto could not have been more embarrassing for US President Barack Obama. He was forced to side publicly with Israel against the Palestinians at a time when the US desperately wants to calm tensions in the Middle East.

      Forced by whom?
      The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy

  • A desperate encounter at the U.N.
    • You sometimes change your opinion if you encounter new facts or think more about it, but you never mince words.

      That's intellectual integrity in action.

      I was frightened by the man's extremism, and yet later I thought, ...

      It is frightening; I'm glad Phil thought through to the 'why?'. I think the process is similar to trying to understand how living in a state of permanent war under the continually cultivated shadow of the Holocaust has unhinged many Israeli Jews to become unrepentant ethnic cleansers and thieves. We can only find the optimally peaceful solution if we understand where the other guy is coming from, even if we still think he is a dangerous lunatic.

  • AIPAC apologizes
    • In hindsight, it was wrong of us to mention this terrible tragedy the same day it occurred in the context of this email. We are deeply sorry.

      Translation from Zio-speak:
      This shtick has always worked in the past. We are deeply unhappy that it no longer does.

  • 'Hardball' panel ascribes power of Israel lobby to Christian Zionists seeking Armageddon
  • Five years ago today, Walt and Mearsheimer gave Americans the vocabulary to discuss a central issue
  • On NPR, Marc Lynch raises a central Arab concern: 'What about no-fly-zone for Gaza?'
  • Born in Jerusalem, a Palestinian bookstore owner is stripped of his 'residency' and may soon be deported
    • I think I understand Phil and Adams' reticence about such comparisons. It almost certainly puts off some Jewish readers who might otherwise be willing to listen to criticism of Israel. It is unfortunate that it also happens to be imo the disturbingly best analogy as long as one qualifies with "pre-1939."

      I agree that you are "demonstrably correct." However, what is more important, optimization of historical analogies or maximization of number of people awakened to ongoing ethnic cleansing and colonization? Most people who have been so thoroughly misinformed that a portion of their personal identity is tied up in myth and fabrication can't handle too much truth at once.

      Victory is achieved one person at a time. Adam and Phil understand the portion of the Jewish community that is their target audience vastly better than I do, so I defer to their judgment. It can be appropriate in other venues, but this is theirs.

    • 4th Geneva Convention
      Section III. Occupied territories
      Article 49 - Population transfer

      Art. 49. Individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or not, are prohibited, regardless of their motive.

      Nevertheless, the Occupying Power may undertake total or partial evacuation of a given area if the security of the population or imperative military reasons so demand. Such evacuations may not involve the displacement of protected persons outside the bounds of the occupied territory except when for material reasons it is impossible to avoid such displacement. Persons thus evacuated shall be transferred back to their homes as soon as hostilities in the area in question have ceased.

      The Occupying Power undertaking such transfers or evacuations shall ensure, to the greatest practicable extent, that proper accommodation is provided to receive the protected persons, that the removals are effected in satisfactory conditions of hygiene, health, safety and nutrition, and that members of the same family are not separated.

      The Protecting Power shall be informed of any transfers and evacuations as soon as they have taken place.

      The Occupying Power shall not detain protected persons in an area particularly exposed to the dangers of war unless the security of the population or imperative military reasons so demand.

      The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.

    • All Fahmy had to do was apply for Israeli citizenship after 1967. He refused to do so, why?

      I'll take a wild guess. He was there before the Israeli conquest in 1967. His home in Jerusalem is legally classified as occupied territory under international treaties to which Israel is signatory (4th GC & others). The Israelis 'revoked' his Jerusalem ID with its attendant residency status. It's the equivalent of revoking citizenship, with Israelis running the de facto Palestinian government.

      Mr. Fahmy is being deported from occupied territory in which he was born. This is ethnic cleansing, pure and simple. It's yet another example of why Palestinians need a state on their own land. It reminds me of eerily similar treatment of Jews by Nazis prior to World War 2.

      Anti-Jewish Legislation in Prewar Germany, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

      The Reich Citizenship Law (September 15, 1935), Jewish Virtual Library

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  • Palestine looks out, for once
    • What is your point? Zionists seized it at gunpoint and now on a daily basis prevent Muslims from going there to pray. I'm not in the least surprised at their attitude nor am I in the least sympathetic to your whining about it. Ire directed against one is the least that one can expect when one robs people, Richard. What did you think they were going to think?

  • A Jewish student responds to the charge of anti-Semitism at UC Santa Cruz
    • Since joining this organization, however, I have been harassed by some UCSC students and even a staff member from Hillel (the center for Jewish student life) for my choice to engage in my Jewish identity and speak out on these issues.

      So its actually Zionists who are harassing Jews at UCSZ? ROFLMA Why am I not surprised? We can safely bet that Kenneth Marcus won't be investigating these incidents. Thank you, Rebecca Pierce, for bringing this hypocrisy into the sunlight.

  • Libya/Gaza
    • Thank you very much for the link. Craig is one of few voices I trust.

    • IIRC, this was something that Ron Paul warned about. A no-fly zone is an act of war because suppression of ground-based air defense is the the first thing that has to be done. This means dropping bombs on anti-aircraft weapons and sensors on the ground. Arab League leadership whining over this now is disingenuous repositioning for public opinion backlash. Did they not pay attention to how this has been done by the West before, especially in Iraq? I find it hard to believe they are that stupid, but then I think of some of our past leadership ...

  • Young Jews are turning to Palestinian solidarity, Beinart tells a Pittsburgh temple
    • Good catch. "WE" didn't blow it up anymore than "THEY" did. Also, if we are going to start properly pointing fingers at culpable individuals, then we must include the Israelis apprehended after being seen in New Jersey laughing, cheering and filming the destruction of the towers. The "high-fivers" story was very widely covered shortly after 9-11, including in the Forward.

  • Hogtied on Israel, Obama privately calls on Europe to take on Netanyahu and settlements --Economist
    • I agree. Sarah Palin horrified me with her stunning ignorance during her latest North/South Korea gaffe. If she becomes President, she WILL get Americans (and others) killed to no purpose. I knew she was ignorant as a rock beforehand, but I guess I figured even a rock would know that North Korea was not our longstanding ally, especially after years of (obviously futile) Republican party attempts to brief and educate.

      Sure I'd rather Pres. Obama came right out and called the Israel Lobby traitors in conjunction with a massive release of decades of FBI counter-intelligence surveillance documentation, but a President who gets a few jabs in here and there when he thinks the Lobby isn't looking is still a big improvement.

  • Dept of Education opens investigation into anti-Semitism at UC Santa Cruz following events protesting the occupation
    • If any Jews at UCSC have been harassed for being Jews, then I support the FBI being involved, not the DOE. However, I have not seen a shred of evidence that that is the case. What we have here are American Zionist extremists who want to enforce (at US taxpayer expense) Israeli standards of political censorship onto American citizens in violation of our sacred constitutional rights and in service to a foreign nation. Leave Israeli anti-Americanism in Israel, thank you very much.

    • It is illegal to call 911 except for a true emergency. It wastes taxpayer dollars and ties up resources that could have been used for people truly in need.

      This Rossman-Benjamin farce seems to me to fall squarely into the same category. I hope there are legal mechanisms akin to those for 911 abuse for punitive measures against Rossman-Benjamin and Marcus for wasting taxpayer money attempting to subvert Americans' first amendment right to free speech.

  • For shame
  • The BDS debate
    • There are elements of potential racism inherent in nationalism, in Zionism, but they are kept in check by those advocating for civil rights paying attention and keeping the dangers in view.

      No, they are not. That is the whole point of BDS. Israeli's who are "advocating for civil rights paying attention and keeping the dangers in view" have failed. I admire them for their efforts, but I won't blind myself to the reality that they have lost the battle and that fascists rule Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories with the support of at least a plurality of Israeli Jews. The best we can do for civilized Israelis is welcome them here with open arms when the wackos eventually drive them out.

  • Israel demolishes Jordan Valley village Khirbet Tana
    • Hehe, Steve Walt is setting a high standard. There are few people in the West who have made greater practical contributions, as opposed to disingenuous hypocritical bleating ('liberal' Zionists providing cover for literalist and maximalist brethren), to creating the groundwork for a serious public discussion of the necessity for a just two-state solution than he and John Mearsheimer in The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy.

  • Israel, and the AJC, try to shut down Miral US premiere tonight at the UN
    • I don't care if there is a precedent or not. What are we, blocks of stone who can't do anything new? Sure its a film with political ramifications, but the last time I checked politics was what the UN was all about. The blowback from Israeli ethnic cleansing and colonization is an international security problem: it is completely appropriate to screen the film at the UN.

      People who don't want it screened there don't want it screened anywhere because it will focus more attention on Israeli ethnic cleansing and colonization and they don't want to see more pressure on Israel to stop stealing. End of story.

    • Chaos4700, your comment about your Dad reminded me of an old housemate who ranted against liberalism, especially liberal spending. He was broke and literally dying of obesity and its myriad complications and was only alive because of publicly funded health care, but just couldn't make the connection that if his political vision (or rather, his brainwasher Glen Beck's) came true, he would be left out on the street to die.

      There is perhaps some truth in his viewpoint: the food stamps/card he got enabled him to buy staggeringly unhealthy food which contributed to his decline. I'm 100% for the food stamp program, but its managers really need to tighten up on what is permissible to buy. I have no doubt that there is considerable corruption initiated by various food corporations to make sure that their products make the approved list.

    • mmmm... stuffed cabbages. I know what I am making for dinner Wednesday night.

    • I will agree that the UN is an odd place to screen it. Perhaps HBO would be a better venue.

    • Moreover, the Barbara Hepworth sculpture in front of the Secretariat building was a gift from our president, Jacob Blaustein, to then Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold as a tangible gesture of support.

      Translation: Please censor the unpleasant truth on our behalf. We gave you a statue! You owe us.

      I couldn't make this stuff up. ROFLMA

  • Settler murders recall Nat Turner slave rebellion in 1831
    • This is not to excuse the perpetrators, but merely to acknowledge that the list of those directly responsible must include more than the individual(s) who wielded the knife.

      This is excellent, David. It also recalls to me that Russia for many decades before 1917 was constantly suppressing serf rebellions over its vast territory which were equally as ruthless. When one group of people treat another as subhuman and violently grind humiliation into their faces decade after decade after decade, they create conditions where some of the victims cease to see their oppressors as human. I suspect that those who go off the deep end won't see an infant, but the next master who will whip, abuse, exploit and murder their own children.

  • Deconstructing the news from the West Bank
    • Who murders random kids sleeping in their beds just because they are Jews?

      Were they murdered because they were Jews or because they had the extreme misfortune to have parents who were thieves and brought them on their messianic ethnic cleansing and colonization expedition? "Honey, grab the kids and your assault rife! Let's go ethnic cleansing!"

      The murderer most certainly deserves execution, but it is nothing but mewling cowardice not to acknowledge that the murders of these children were entirely preventable. Their parents were civilian colonists living by choice with their children in a zone under military occupation: a war zone. Just because it gets quiet for a while doesn't mean its not a war zone anymore. It just means it's quiet ... until the certain next time that it isn't. It's tragic that these children paid the price for their parents' poor judgment and character. Reality is harsh: unfortunately, they are far from being the first and they will not be the last.

      The Impact of the [Israeli-Palestinian] Conflict
      on Children

  • U.S. funded Israeli-linked security company pushes anti-Muslim ideology
    • ... what SSI calls “the Radical Islamic Threat.”

      This is simply bigoted language. It is no less offensive than if someone said "the radical Jewish threat." These fools are deliberately exciting dark forces within human nature which are normally constrained and dissipated by a healthy civil society.

      The horrors of Europe's internecine religious warfare, e.g. the Thirty Years' War, were very much in the minds of George Washington and our other founding fathers when they designed and constructed our system of governance. It was certainly one of the fears that prompted George Washington's warning in his 1796 Farewell Address that "a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils."

      I am reminded of Peter Beinart's poignant question from his The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment, "If the line has not yet been crossed, where is the line?" Americans should ask themselves where for them the line lies beyond which the damage that extremists within the Israel Lobby do to America becomes greater than that which might result from confrontation leading to their political toxification and defeat?

  • Israeli diplomats agree - Israel is delegitimizing itself
    • ... the Israeli government went from supporting and sanctioning covert discrimination and bigotry to overtly and openly peddling it.

      This is the main difference imo between 'right' and 'left' in Israel: disagreement on the need for a smokescreen to conceal Israel's ethnic cleansing and colonization from the rest of the world. It seems to me that no small portion of the Israeli right simply doesn't care what anyone else thinks and is confident that the Israel Lobby will be able to shield them from consequences of their actions.

  • The two-state solution is on its deathbed, but that news didn't reach J Street conference
    • This is a timely reminder that the two-state solution is dead and that the newest addition to the American Jewish political establishment, however well-intentioned, is fighting a battle that has already been lost.

      I am reminded of John Mearsheimer's unwelcome but important piece The Future of Palestine: Righteous Jews vs. the New Afrikaners. The veil concealing the messianic racial supremacism that has consumed Israel is frittering away and Israel as an institutionally Jewish state can only continue over the long-term by race-based subjugation and oppression of the indigenous people of Palestine or by ethnically cleansing them.

      Contrary to the wishes of the Obama administration and most Americans – to include many American Jews – Israel is not going to allow the Palestinians to have a viable state of their own in Gaza and the West Bank. Regrettably, the two-state solution is now a fantasy. Instead, those territories will be incorporated into a “Greater Israel,” which will be an apartheid state bearing a marked resemblance to white-ruled South Africa. Nevertheless, a Jewish apartheid state is not politically viable over the long term. In the end, it will become a democratic bi-national state, whose politics will be dominated by its Palestinian citizens. In other words, it will cease being a Jewish state, which will mean the end of the Zionist dream.

      The Palestinians must never underestimate the danger of mass expulsion.

      Will J-Street support a democratic bi-national state or will it wring its hands helplessly until Israel initiates a second Nakba?

  • Leslie Gelb seems resigned to Israel's 'plight'
    • And Israel can’t do anything to fix its plight. Times are not at all conducive for new talks with Palestinians.

      What a bunch of pathetic, whining claptrap. Israel can do an enormous amount to fix its "plight", hostility from Arab neighbors in response to Israeli ethnic cleansing, colonization and repeated military attack. A good first step would be to stop ROBBING Palestinians. No one respects a thief and few feel any sympathy for a thief's "plight".

      Palestinian political leadership won't engage in new talks with Israelis because the latter are currently ROBBING their people blind. A cessation of thieving is a very reasonable precondition for negotiation and Israeli refusal puts to the lie any notion that the Israeli political establishment has more interest in peace than in conquest, ethnic cleansing, and colonization.

  • Halperin says Muslim states in Arab world are 'unacceptable,' but Israel must remain a Jewish one
    • The second group was realists, that portion of the national security establishment who don't care to make a settlement-- because it's not easily attainable, or not necessary, because we "can pursue American interests" without getting a two-state solution.

      We can, in point of fact, "pursue American interests without getting a two-state solution." Israeli and American Jewish establishment intransigence (the Israel Lobby and its raison d'etre) is responsible for the demise of the 2ss. Halper is blaming American realists for his own mistakes in helping shield Israel from the results of its own misbehavior. American realists didn't kill the 2ss, and owe no apologies for seeking to pursue American interests in the aftermath of its passing.

      A well-intentioned effort to protect Israel during its infancy has extended well past its adolescence, resulting in a state with a spoiled political establishment that has never learned to properly assess its (rather than US) capability to deal with the consequences of its actions.

      ... this absurd notion that the realists know what the national security interests of the United States is and it is in Middle East oil and not in democracy in Israel, ...

      I try not to be too acerbic, but this statement is just plain frakkin' STUPID. Either Halper is a blithering idiot or he thinks the rest of us are.

      The continued existence of our civilization is dependent upon liquid petroleum. Without it, self-sustaining economic activity intense and widespread enough to support our 300 million people won't happen, especially production and distribution of food. Millions of us would die. This is ugly reality until such time as our political leadership can reconfigure our energy infrastructure.

      Israel could cease to exist tomorrow and America would go right on as before in much the same way as we survived the dissolution of Rhodesia, except for being freed from many billions of direct and indirect costs, e.g., the badly misnamed Israel-United States Free Trade Agreement. Given that the existence of Israel is irrelevant to core United States national security requirements, where does Halper get the preposterous idea that Israel's democratic status is of greater importance to American well-being than our not undergoing economic retrenchment or collapse with attendant poverty, misery, and death? That Halper labels the notion that it might not be 'absurd' shows just how tenuous is his grip on reality.

      ... and therefore [our] whole policy in the Middle East is to be explained by the Jewish vote and the pernicious nature of the Israeli lobby. That view is in my view very much a lie, and I think a real danger over time to American support for Israel."

      It is not explained by Jewish votes, but by Zionist money. Most American Jews live in states that reliably vote Democratic at the national level, hence even a radical shift in Jewish voting patterns would do little or nothing to change US government policy. Zionist campaign contributions and base party funding, on the other hand, comprise around half of the funding of the Democratic Party, and around a quarter of that of the Republican Party.
      The Israel lobby and the Jewish kings
      Yediot: Shift in US-Israel policy result of Jewish financial pressure on Democrats ahead of mid-terms

      Halper's choice of language reveals a worldview where criticism of American Zionist establishment political activity on behalf of the militarily expansionist colonial apartheid state of Israel is equivalent to antisemitism. Not wanting to subsidize Israel (a wealthy nation whose political establishment almost unanimously chooses to invest a massive portion of its human and material resources into military expansion, occupation, ethnic cleansing, and colonization) is not the same thing as anti-semitism, the best definition of which is imo hating Jews for being Jewish.

      Halper's fear of a reincarnation of the Nazi murderers of the past blinds him to the legitimate rights and needs of others who don't want to finance or be victimized by Israeli apartheid and conquest, and that opposition to victimization is not necessarily exterminatory hatred. Halper needs to learn to see more nuance in a world that is neither black and white nor revolves around his needs.

      [Oops, this wasn't supposed to be a reply, but a new post.]

  • Weiner-Baird debate lived up to its billing
  • Neocon concedes that Egypt-Israel treaty is liability for U.S.
    • "The payments" ARE the peace treaty. The piece of paper that was signed is just that; the Israeli political establishment has never not violated an agreement when it was in their interest to do so ... and when they thought they could get away with it. The Israelis have invaded Egypt twice with full intent to occupy, colonize, and annex Egyptian land up to the Suez Canal. The $1.3 billion we give Egypt annually enables them to maintain air and tank forces enough to deter Israeli attack.

      If subsidies to Egypt stop but continue to Israel, Egypt will be forced to adopt a more hostile attitude out of simple self-preservation. Egyptian military leaders aren't fools. They know that if they can't defend the Sinai, IDF tanks will roll at the command of Israel's expansionist leadership.

  • ‘Light a Candle for Gaza’ –the rabbis’ piece the Washington Post refused to publish without major changes
    • Doing the right thing when one has to pay even a very small personal price is hard for most people. I have no doubt Rabbi's Rosen and Wise pay a very high one for their public stance and think 'moral giants' is an appropriate appellation.

    • bijou is correct. The Israeli attack that destroyed the ceasefire took place on 4 November when US media was entirely focused on our presidential election. Hamas retaliations occurred later when US media was back into normal mode and they were thus spun as having attacked first, unprovoked.

  • 'Israel Peace Week' speaker Senor lauds IDF and 'economic miracle' and says nothing about Palestinians
  • There's work to do
  • Yet another threat: Dennis Ross fears the Palestinians' 'biological clock'
    • ... there is a technological clock that will empower those committed to violence with increasingly deadly and indiscriminate weapons of terror that can spoil peace at any moment.

      I think what Ross is concerned with is that Israel is losing its monopoly of conventional capability for remote destruction of civilian infrastructure. The day is coming when Israel will no longer be able to adhere to the Dahiya Doctrine, the destruction of civilian infrastructure as a "price tag" for resistance to Israeli attack, without the surety of its own burning in retaliation.

  • Mona Eltahawy’s speech signals shift in mainstream discourse that Zionists don’t want
    • The distance between Kadima and Likud ideologically is a few micrometers.

      Both J street and AIPAC are against BDS and for a two state solution.

      eee is right in this argument. The only utility J-Street has is that is has made it easier to criticize AIPAC in public spaces, opening the door to other organizations who will more substantively oppose it as an agent of a foreign government. When the chips are down, and they are down, J-Street has taken no policy positions that would hinder, much less stop, Israeli ethnic cleansing and Jewish colonization in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and AIPAC-facilitated American government support thereof. J-Street, however noble its intentions may seem to its supporters, lobbies American government officials on behalf of Israel and should be required to register under FARA along with AIPAC.

  • At J Street, Eltahawy gets standing ovation when she calls on peaceful revolution to come to Israel and Palestine
    • This obsession with Netanyahu is silly. The entire Israeli political establishment has supported ethnic cleansing and colonization, not just Netanyahu and his Likudniks. 'Liberal' Zionists just disagree with conservatives over choice of tactics, preferring a slower rate of cleansing that draws less attention and resistance.

      Netanyahu will be politically defeated sooner or later, but ethnic cleansing and colonization won't stop even in the unlikely event that a worse criminal like Lieberman doesn't come into power. There is no politically effective resistance left in Israel to continued Zionist colonization in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and there will be no Palestinian state.

  • Netanyahu seems as delusional as Qadhafi
  • 8 years on, Matthews asks angrily Why did we go to war?
  • There’s proof of Israel lobby theory in politicians’ readiness to end aid to Egypt
  • Heated Israeli Suez rhetoric burden on U.S.?
    • The threats start when they puff their way provocatively close, taunts.

      How different is Iranian behavior from Israel sending submarines with nuclear weapons through the Suez Canal to sit right off Iran's coast? It's crystal clear who taunted whom first, and with nuclear weapons. Whiny, arrogant, and petulant behavior is par for the course from Israel, but this wild reaction over one decrepit Iranian frigate and a supply ship sets a new standard.

  • 'The Palestine Cables': Bahraini elites want to reach out to Israel, but the people don't
    • This was an excellent response, Phil, and as usual Israeli ethnic cleansing of Palestinians and Jewish colonization of their land is a foundation of discontent. I think Israelis would be shocked at how much less they would be disliked if they would simply stop robbing people.

  • Long a supporter of two-state solution, Steve Walt suggests it's 'no longer practical possibility'
  • Animals Lara Logan Arabs brutal animals Lara Logan rape culture Lara Logan
    • When was the last time an Israeli mob sexually attacked a reporter?

      Israel learns of a hidden shame in its early years

      Of course, there are differences between the two incidents. The Israeli "mob" was the IDF, their victim was murdered in cold blood after they finished gang-raping her over three days, and no one has tried to defend the Egyptian criminals or cover up their crime as was done for the IDF miscreants.

  • Past is Present: Why settler colonialism still matters
    • The objection isn't to generic residence. It is to residence on stolen land. It boggles my mind that after all this time you just can't seem to get your head around the fact that Israel colonies are planted on ground ethnically cleansed at gunpoint. Objection to race-based armed robbery and squatting isn't fascism.

  • Tom Friedman: Who is more manipulable, Egyptian people or American people?
    • Lieberman is an ambulatory showcase for Israeli colonial Zionist arrogance and supremacism. His prepared statement cited in numerous articles explicitly refers to "Iranian insolence." There are many words that can be used to accurately describe Iranian government policy, but his choice tells us far more about him than about Iran.

      definition: insolent: boldly rude or disrespectful; contemptuously impertinent; insulting

  • 'NYT' beats a dead horse
    • I think the presence of the Netanyahu government is the primary obstacle.

      This is liberal Zionist delusion of the most pitiable and tiresome sort. Israeli leadership to the left of Netanyahu have had plenty of opportunities to ink a just final status agreement, but they chose not to. Their administrations chose instead, every last one of them, to plant more Jewish colonies in the Palestinian Occupied Territories.

      It is clear from the PA documents and other source material that no Palestinian offer was ever going to be good enough. They were being strung out, played. It was always going to be just out of reach. The 'peace process' benefited Israel colonial interests both by keeping Palestinian resistance mollified and involved external parties like the US from peering too closely at incessant Israeli crimes committed during the colonization process. That's why Israelis refuse to stop building colonies during negotiations. The negotiations were there to facilitate their construction.

    • I don't have the citation handy, but I read recently that he wanted to resign some years ago but was told that US/EU funding to the PA would cease if he stepped down, presumably the reason being that there wasn't a reliably compliant replacement ready. It could be that the simplest answer is correct: he wants to milk US/EU taxpayer-filled PA coffers as long as he can and his subordinates are expendable if their departure can buy him a little more time.

  • They hate us because of our freedom?
    • If King County has actually received Zionist threats over the bus adds, why isn't the FBI involved? Perhaps they are. I think it was last years FBI terrorism report that said that 7% of incidents were Islamic-related ... and 8% were Jewish related. Unfortunately my co-religionists were in the double digits, even if not explicitly classified as such. :(

      Free speech should not be squelched for fear of terrorism. It's simply cowardice which to my shock and dismay seem to be pretty widespread in America. It hasn't always been this way. When and how did we lose our gumption?

  • Another Israeli gives Americans bad advice
    • That's a great article. Thanks for the link. Everyone should read it.

    • He may be correct, but the chances of a government forming who will actively seek to attack Israel are nil. The Egyptians will be lucky if they can form a genuine republic. They certainly won't be forming a true democracy, which even only a handful of nations come close to.

      I don't see the Muslim Brotherhood as any different from our (American Christian) religious right. Our radicals would like to impose their version of sharia on us. They harp about the invalidity of church and state. We keep them in check because we have a civil society with well-established institutions.

      If supporters of Israeli were wise, they would assist its development in Egypt and other authoritarian Arab societies instead of seeking to prop up dictators. Sure there will be more criticism of Israel, and because they are engaging in state sponsored ethnic cleansing and colonization they richly deserve it. I don't have any sympathy, especially while the Israel Lobby is busy looting my country to send money to subsidize it.

  • Charity begins next door: Peres says Israel hopes Egyptians will be granted freedom
    • It's not "calling names" when it is true. I've been reading the American Jewish and Israeli press for around eight years. He is a product of his environment: the entire Israeli political establishment lies like they breathe, except perhaps for the extreme right whose negligible regard for others is such that they often can't be bothered with subterfuge.

      Also, his choice of words is revealing, if the translation was correct. Freedom isn't "granted." It is seized, as any mediocre student of history knows.

  • Here it is--
  • Crash on the Nile– Mubarak isn’t stepping down!
    • I hope whatever government forms in Egypt initiates legal action to seize back the tens of billions of dollars that Mubarak and cronies have stolen and salted away in foreign banks. Leave Mubarak penniless.

    • I hate to be a party pooper, but if Suleiman takes over and the protesters just go home, they will be culled out like sheep for the slaughter to fill secret police torture chambers.

      Who Is Omar Suleiman?

  • Israel foresaw 'military action' against Gaza in '08 because effective ceasefire gave Hamas strength
    • The 1973 war was a strategic defeat for Israel. It led to the evacuation of Jewish colonies from the Sinai.

  • Yes but what should we tell the goyim?
  • Window of democracy has likely already shut (and Hillary knocks at Suleiman's door)
    • To view the army as a monolith is also a fundamental error — the rebellion, from day one, could not succeed without a major split happening inside the army.

      I strongly agree with this statement. One division is between the very upper crust of the Egyptian military who benefit from the current utterly corrupt military-dominated economy and the vast majority who collect tiny paychecks. One thing holding army violence back is inability of military elites to be sure that orders to shoot at protesters would be obeyed by the rest of the military. Shooting protesters was supposed to the the job of interior ministry forces, not the military proper. Also, we should not underestimate Egyptian patriotism.

      Regardless, it looks like Egyptians are joining Palestinians in settling down for a very long civil rights struggle with our Zionist-dominated government supporting murderers, torturers, and thieves on behalf of the 'only democracy in the Middle East.'

  • 'JVP' in NYT-- and Zionist leader hearts 'our barbarian' Mubarak...
    • For Rothmann and his cohort, Democracy is irrelevant. Freedom is irrelevant. Equality is irrelevant. Respect is irrelevant. It's all about defending Israel's settlements on stolen land, and preserving Greater Israel as a permanent Apartheid state.

      Rothmann and fellow travelers do not hold this view just for Egypt, but for the United States. Our fungible lives, health, prosperity, and freedom are also sacrificable.

  • Military is 40 percent of Egyptian economy
    • Maintenance of a treaty (not necessarily in the current form) with Israel, as long as it is backed by the United States with troops on the ground, is going to be in the Egyptian national interest for the simple reason that Israeli expansionism has not only not waned, but arguably grown more acute. Israel has twice invaded Egypt in surprise attacks with full intent of conquest, colonization, and annexation up to the Suez Canal. This is historical fact. Are there any indications that the current Israeli political establishment is less rapacious?

      If the notion of an Israeli invasion of Egypt sounds crazy, recall eee's rhetoric from last week. Is he atypical? I think not.

      It is highly likely that Israel will be able to maintain a peace treaty with Egypt as long as the guarantors, US taxpayers, continue to provide enough military assistance to deter Israeli aggression. Such aid doesn't have to include assistance to Egyptian political police and torturers.

  • How the world can jolt Israel from its moral collapse
  • Obama's greenlight to Mubarak brings bloodshed to Egypt
  • Desperate Israeli proclaims we can reerect the Israel lobby in China
    • However, we must also focus on improving our complex relations with Europe," he added.

      Now there's an entertaining euphemistic use of the word 'complex'. The majority of Israeli trade that doesn't consist of implements of killing or repression is with Europe, and good relations would be a national security priority to any rational political establishment. But Israelis would rather steal Arab land and water ...

  • Eldar: 'Backward' American Jews maintain the settlement project
    • @ Gellian February 2, 2011 at 9:25 am

      Ethnic cleansing and colonization operations are mostly carried out by Israeli Jews. American Jews who facilitate these crimes aren't forcing Israelis to do anything the vast majority don't want to do.

  • 'Within 24 hours of the assemblyman's phone call, I was fired' --Brooklyn College adjunct professor
  • Egypt is burning and most western pundits have no idea why
  • Clinton statement celebrates 'civil society' in Middle East
    • I think we should. While I agree that she is an "unprincipled hack who blithely talks out of both sides of her mouth," her statement is a public declaration about which way she thinks the wind is blowing.

  • The road to Jerusalem leads through Tunis and Cairo
    • Mubarak’s police state could not stop the bombing of the Coptic church a couple of weeks ago. You think a “democratic” Egypt has any chance of containing such actions?

      Your view is predicated on erroneous assumptions. No amount of policing can completely eliminate terrorism: the best one could hope for is to end up like you Israelis.

      Policing is a necessary but not sufficient condition for prevention of terrorism: the only stable long term solution is an adequately healthy civil society. A post-Mubarak government not addicted to Israel Lobby-arranged handouts may not be able to achieve this, but you as a colonial Zionist have a transparently vested interest in convincing others that any change in Egypt will be for the worse.

      Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism

  • Brooklyn College's claim that it fired Petersen-Overton for insufficient credentials doesn't hold up
  • Palestine Papers: Admiral Mullen says Palestinian state is a U.S. 'cardinal interest' after raising troop deaths
  • Meanwhile, in Judea and Samaria . . .
    • This kind of drivel begs for hard questions to be asked. Where did Mr. Cohen receive his religious and social training? Is he a product of American institutions? If so, how anomalous is he with respect to his peers?

      There is not a religion, ethnicity, or nationality that doesn't have extremists of one sort or another. There is no shame in belonging to one that does (everyone does), but there is in standing meekly by while extremists who claim to speak on one's behalf commit grievous crimes against man and God.

      When the second Nakba comes and Mr. Cohen is in the 'front lines' murdering, torturing, raping, and looting ala 1948, who in the Unites State will be guilty of contributing to his being there? Who are the righteous and who are the New Afrikaners? The Future of Palestine: Righteous Jews vs. the New Afrikaners

  • Al Jazeera funeral for two-state-solution stirs fear and denial
  • NYRB blog: all that can save Israel is the new (non-Zionist) left
    • Shulman speaks hopefully about the new Israeli left (we need a name for you folks!) ...

      Respectfully, I think it is a mistake to immediately reach for traditional right/left labels. In exactly the same way that opposition in the United States to the excesses of the Israel Lobby transcends conventional political models, if Israel is to have any hope of pulling out of its nosedive to apocalypse then self-described Israeli conservatives must be able to find a seat at the new table. Having only the most superficial understanding of Israeli politics, I have no suggestions.

  • Congresswoman Barbara Lee, and the silence of friends
    • I read an article some years ago that I am pretty sure was by Hayden. It contained a brief description of the Israel Lobby's informal 'vetting' system within the Democratic Party. Unfortunately, I wasn't saving articles in pdf at the time and have been unsuccessful in finding it to add to my archives.

  • Brooklyn-Jenin: On concentration camps and Yonatan Pollack
  • Out of answers on how to confront BDS, StandWithUs comic book portrays Palestinians (and allies) as vermin, reminiscent of Nazi propaganda
  • The day after Zionism
    • I’m not on the side of “Palestinians to the ovens”.

      I didn't think that you were, or more specifically, that you want to be. I like the way Richard Silverstein put it in a comment to Rachel on his blog:

      I think Zionism, at least in its earlier stages could’ve taken a number of forks in the road & it chose the one it pursues today, which is one of violence, hate & oppression. It might’ve gone differently (though it didn’t).

      You are still standing at one of the forks not taken 30 years ago. Corporeal reality has long since passed by. You are trying to cast a write-in vote in an election already rigged by the establishment candidates. The only difference between the Bibi Netanyahu's and Ovadia Josef's of Israel is preferred timing on the next regional war and second Nakba with its inevitable blowback on American lives and prosperity. It will happen, and I won't be above telling you "I told you so."

      You’re at either/or already. War?

      I didn't choose the teams. I'm just pointing out the roster and noting that liberal Zionists stay on the benches unless they toe the extremist line. I'm not saying that there isn't more than one kind of Zionism. I'm saying that there is at the present time only one politically relevant kind of Zionism. You have no control over what its leadership does, but you do control whether you blind yourself to the full extent of their intentions and actions.

    • Richard, read the writing on the wall. Which side will you be standing?

      Israel’s Orthodox Rabbis: ‘Palestinians to the Ovens!’

    • What we are witnessing is the maturation of Zionism. Whatever social or religious versions might have preceded it, contemporary politically relevant Zionism is fundamentally about racial supremacist ethnic cleansing and colonization carried out by murder, torture, rape, and intimidation.

      Your dream is just that; it's a fantasy of Zionism without corporeal influence. Zionist violence is going to get far, far, far worse in the coming decades. Unless diaspora Jews can dissociate themselves from it, thanks to the efforts of Zionist extremists who assiduously try to link Judaism with Israeli state policies before the eyes of gentiles, they will reasonably be assumed by many to support it.

  • You know the lobby's in crisis when Beinart gets microphone from Oren and Wiesel is trying to revive Zionism
    • The most progressive approach would be for Zionist colonists and their supporters to stop stealing what doesn't belong to them. If that's too much to ask for, then perhaps a cessation of the murder, torture, and indefinite detention of peaceful protesters could be a good start.

  • Mossad chief's statement removes Iranian nuclear threat (Will the 'Atlantic' report it here?)
  • Ynet: US gov't believes that Palestinian state would be 'disaster' and 2nd Tehran
    • ... the Americans believed (just like Israel's governments) that a Palestinian state would be a disaster.

      abstraction alert: Who exactly are "the Americans" holding this view? Bush-era Zionist bureaucrats, half of whom were also dual Israeli citizens, don't reasonably abstract to the generic 'Americans'. Also, it would be nice if they were explicit about for whom exactly a Palestinian state would be a disaster. The notion that it would be a disaster for us is beyond asinine. /obviously-rhetorical Do they really think we are that stupid?

      from The Dubai Job
      As one very senior German intelligence expert told me: "The Israelis' problem has always been that they underestimate everyone—the Arabs, the Iranians, Hamas. They are always the smartest and think they can hoodwink everyone all the time. A little more respect for the other side—even if you think he is a dumb Arab or a German without imagination—and a little more modesty would have saved us all from this embarrassing entanglement."

  • Never again? Elderly Palestinian women called 'whores' on Yad Vashem tour, while racism explodes across Israel
    • eee,

      Your concerns are worthy of a reasoned response which I don't have time to make right now. I'll reply tomorrow.

    • These teenagers are racist just as there are a few racist teenagers in any sizable population.

      Yes, there are racists among any nation's teenagers, or among any other population.

      It has nothing to do with their identity or with the fact they are Jews.

      However, the racism and disgusting behavior of these particular teenagers stems from their colonial Zionist racial supremacism.

      Your claim that their misbehavior is rooted in their Israeli Zionist notion of Jewish identity is just vile and bigoted and of course antisemitic.

      How so, exactly? I said, "Their misbehavior is fundamentally rooted in their (Israeli Zionist) notion of Jewish identity." I clearly identified as the problem the Israeli Zionist Jewish identity embraced by these particular teenagers. I made no assertion, explicit or implicit, about larger Jewish identity.

      It is no more antisemitic to point out that the racism of these Israelis stems from their version of Zionist Jewish identity than it would be anti-German to point out that the racism of Nazis stemmed from their version of German nationalist identity.

      Not all German nationalists are racists and they certainly aren't all Nazis, but one cannot understand Nazi racists and their actions without accounting for their version of German national identity. Nor can one understand Israeli racism against the indigenous people of Palestine without accounting for how Palestinians' inconvenient existence conflicts with Israeli Zionist notions of self-identity. Discussing Jewish and Israeli identity is no more off the table than discussing German, or any other, identity when it is relevant to do so.

      Don’t you see that using anecdotes to generalize about a whole population is racist?

      Exactly how have I done this? I am well aware that there are good Israelis who oppose their slide into fascism, but one has to be foolishly optimistic to dismiss the mounting evidence of pervasive Israeli racism as 'anecdotal'. When half the population admit that they are racists, then the 'few bad apples' excuse rings hollow.

      Israel's top Reform rabbi: Israeli society falling into deep pit of racism

      Report: 44% of Israeli Jews support rabbis' edict forbidding rentals to Arabs in Safed

      I think what gets your goat is that I am NOT generalizing about Jews, but that I pointed out that there is marked and increased divergence between the Jewish identities of young American Jews and young Israeli Jews. Young American Jews by and large don't buy into Israeli racism and you the fear political consequences for Israel that will inevitably manifest when they come of age. Such fear is wise, but you should do someone constructive with it instead of wasting time trying to pass off these Israeli kids' misbehavior as "something that could happen anywhere in the world" (yet simply DOESN'T) instead of a symptom of a much wider and deeper problem.

    • To the extent that the character of Jewish teenagers was different from that of others their age in the diaspora, it was because they were a minority living sometimes in fear but always with some anxiety about their safety and future.

      Are you claiming that diaspora Jewish teenagers don't call non-Jewish grandmothers 'whores' because they are "a minority living sometimes in fear but always with some anxiety about their safety and future?" That's crazy. A much simpler and more reasonable explanation is that diaspora Jewish teenagers are raised to display a much higher standard of public conduct. It's cultural. There is a reason that Israel is losing the sympathy of increasing numbers of young American Jews.

      In Israel one should expect teenagers to act like other teenagers in any other place the rest of the world.

      I agree completely. I expect Israeli teenagers not to go around calling elderly women 'whores' ... exactly the same standard of behavior I expect from teenagers everywhere else on the planet.

      Israel is the one of the only places in the world these teens will be judged as humans and not as “Jews”, like you have the tendency to do.

      Their targets were gentiles and were singled out because they were gentiles. Are we supposed to ignore facts because you find them embarrassing?

      Their misbehavior is fundamentally rooted in their (Israeli Zionist) notion of Jewish identity. It is silly to think that it is fundamentally antisemitic to point this out, and doing so does not necessarily constitute judging them as "Jews not humans". I suspect your sensitivity is rooted in a desire to avoid examination of the very substantive differences between diaspora and Israeli political and social cultures.

  • Gaza was #11 in the long sad caravan of Israel's wars of regime change
    • How do you score the efforts by other countries to enact regime change against Israel?

      LOL, which efforts would those be? Please make a list for us.

  • Great shakeout in Jewish identity begins
    • Richard, nobody asked Peretz to leave. He is shaking himself out. Don't worry, though. The door will be open when he decides to come back claiming he was just on an extended vacation.

      My favorite Marty story: The Connection Man

      All of the speakers, even the pols, kept to the imposed three-to-four-minute time limit. Except Marty Peretz. Distraught over the loss of his friend and unhappy about sharing the moment, the Harvard professor and owner of The New Republic went on for nearly half an hour. When he finished, people were literally fleeing. Pete Hamill whispered to Post columnist Jack Newfield, "Marty Peretz can empty a synagogue faster than a PLO bomb threat."

  • Will Assange go the way of Ruby or Dreyfus?
    • Too bad that Assange has held back the info on Israel.

      Maybe those cables comprise the Crown Jewels in the his encrypted 'insurance policy' file. "Wack me, and I'll really embarrass you."

  • Seattle nixes bus ads decrying Israeli war crimes
    • Pay close attention to the language. At least King County had admitted that they backtracked under threat of violence. I optimistically expected the ads to run and realistically expected them to be vandalized.

      "I have consulted with federal and local law enforcement authorities who have expressed concern, in the context of this international debate, that our public transportation system could be vulnerable to disruption.

      By whom?

      "Metro sells advertising to raise revenues to provide transit service. Metro's existing policy restricts advertising that can be reasonably foreseen to result in harm to, disruption of, or interference with the transportation system.

      By whom?

      Given the dramatic escalation of debate in the past few days over these proposed ads, and the submission of inflammatory response ads, there is now (after Seattle and national Jewish establishment organizations weighed in) an unacceptable risk of harm to or disruption of service to our customers should these ads run."

  • The world will be a much safer place when American Jews stop believing these 4 bad ideas
    • 1. America's not safe for us. (Look around, pal; we have complete freedom here)

      U.S. colleges with few Jews building facilities to draw more, JTA

    • 4. We're smarter than other people.

      There seems to be some bad feeling about this point. I submit that it is irrelevant whether it is true or not. What matters to reaching the target audience of wavering or uninformed American Jews is that the Jewish tradition of intelligence/intellectual tradition, irrespective of how it compares or has compared to any gentile grouping, is now rotting from the poison of Zionist occupation.

      4. Our intellectual tradition is being corroded by what passes for contemporary political Zionism. (Young Jews are now learning to argue that Jim Crow is a beautiful thing. Lord Acton said power corrupts, and our tradition of intelligence is dissolving under the weight of power.)

  • 'The Palestine Cables': Gaza is a burning issue from Egypt to Latin America to Pakistan, to John Kerry being 'shocked by what I saw'
    • I think it is extremely unlikely. A far more logical explanation is that it is a career-limiting-move for a State Department employee to criticize Israel in more than circumspect ways. Putting substantive explicit direct criticism into writing in a cable sounds like career suicide. Self-censorship on Israeli and Jewish issues is rife in the U.S. press. It ought not surprise us to see it in government.

  • The thinktank of the Obama left is helping... Netanyahu!!
    • If we had a decent free press, someone should propose that we do a prison swap — how about they get Pollard, and the free world gets Mordechai Vanunu? Maybe that would give them a taste of equivalency.

      Respectfully, I don't see much equivalency here. Vanunu is an Israeli political prisoner with no ties to the United States. Equivalency would be trading Pollard for all surviving Israeli war criminals who participated in any way in the attack on the U.S.S. Liberty. Those murderers should be rotting in Guantanamo.

  • The smoking cable: Israel said it had 'secret accord' with U.S. over expanding settlements even as Obama said in Cairo they must stop!
  • What does Israel’s non-defense of poor Sderot say about security and policy?
    • ... and even technology ...

      I think Hizbullah's impressive electronic warfare performance in 2006, almost certainly courtesy of Iran, particularly sticks in the collective IDF craw.

    • Hophmi, hophmi, hophmi. :) How does "Gaza fly in the face of [Israel being expansionist]?" First let's recall that something like half of Gazans are refugees or descendants of refugees from parts of Palestine that Israelis ethnically cleansed before 1967. Then the IDF rolled in and ethnically cleansed Palestinians off 40% off the Gaza strip, of course including the best arable land. If driving into a new place with tanks and machine-guns, herding people off their land like animals and then planting permanent racial colonies on the ground-swept-clean with the intent to eventually annex isn't territorially expansionist, then nothing is.

      The Israeli political establishment tried and failed to steal both Gaza and Egypt. The point you are missing is that failure at armed robbery doesn't mean that the robbery attempt never happened and that one is not a robber, it just means that one is a less than perfectly successful robber. Don't feel too disappointed: Israel is still in possession of both Syrian and Lebanese land which its political establishment has zero interest in ever returning. A partially successful territorial expansionist is still a thief.

    • Here is a relevant article by the distinguished Uri Avnery: Ship of Fools 2

      There is one important difference between Ship 1 and Ship 2: then the whole world loved us; now many around the world detest us. The manifesto of the 26 leading European elder statesmen, who demand that their successors change the European policy toward Israel, is a very bad omen. When the inevitable crisis arrives, world public opinion will no longer be on our side. It will be on the side of the Palestinians.

    • The non-defense of Sderot also strongly suggests that the leadership felt that attacks on Sderot were more advantageous as a source of sympathy for Israel than was the imperative to defend the citizens.

      Why? The Israeli political establishment is territorially expansionist, solidly across what passes these days for an Israeli political spectrum. The acquisition of land by military conquest has been viewed with strong disapproval since the end of the Second World War and every dead Israeli civilian allows victimhood-steeped breast-beating to distract from Israeli ethnic cleansing and colonization.

      We should recall that Palestinians are not Israel's only victims. Israel has attempted to steal land from the Lebanese, Syrians, and Egyptians and still occupies the Golan Heights and Shebaa Farms. Egypt recovered the Sinai, conquered and colonized by Israel in 1967, by counter-attacking Israel in 1973. While Egypt eventually lost on the battlefield, the enormous damage they did to Israel in lives and heavy equipment in my opinion psychologically pre-conditioned the Israeli political establishment to eventually accept Pres. Carter's peace plan under which Israeli colonies were withdrawn from the Sinai and Egypt resumed its rightful sovereignty ... in return for staggering annual bribes to both Egypt and Israel underwritten by American taxpayers. The desirability of re-opening the Suez Canal for commercial traffic probably played a major role.

      As long as Israel continues to covet the land of its neighbors, it will never be at peace. It's long past time for a just final-status agreement with FIXED borders.

  • Howard Berman's reversal is exposed by Haaretz (where's the American press)
    • The veteran Congressman warned at the time that if Israel continues to usurp territory, it will lose its Jewish image ...

      The danger isn't that "[Israel] will lose its Jewish image" but that Israeli usurpation of territory, i.e. ethnic cleansing of indigenous people and Jewish colonization of their land, will become 'the Jewish image'. Howard Berman and other members of the Israel Lobby are helping make it happen. Who exactly is this good for?

  • Guerrilla ad campaign in SFO
  • What slapdash H.R. 1765 reveals about the lobby and public awareness
    • Sama Adnan: To most Americans uninformed on the issue, it is seemingly too remote, too inconsequential, and too tangential to American interests, although the realty couldn’t be further from the truth.

      Jeffrey Blankfort: Given what is up against the pro-Palestinian cause, both financially and in the media, what I have advocated is that people begin connecting what is best for America with the Palestinian cause, but that American issues should be put first.

      I agree completely. Sama Adnan has correctly identified money as the primary tool of political leverage, but it is not enough to merely compete with AIPAC in handing out cash. Israel-firster money deserves to be and must be made politically toxic.

  • State Department says it has 'raised' Abu Rahmah case with Israelis...
  • Jeffrey Goldberg likens BDS movement to Nazi Germany policies
    • The BDS movement is targeting the world’s only Jewish-majority state at the behest of an ethnic community that controls 22 states, ...

      Palestinians don't control 22 states. They don't have even have political representation in the one under which they live.

      OH! You meant Arabs! I guess we are back to "Let's pretend that Palestinians don't exist!" games. Complaining that it is unfair for European and American Jews to not be able to ethnically cleanse and colonize Palestine because Arabs have so much other land is akin to saying that it would be unfair for them to not be able to ethnically cleanse and colonize Denmark because Europeans have so much other land.

      ... if you believe the religion of the Israelis has nothing to do with this call for a boycott.

      Of course, it has nothing to do with Israeli state-sponsored ethnic cleansing and Jewish colonization, and from a partisan American perspective The Israel Lobby (and its malign influence on) U.S. Foreign Policy and the U.S. economy.

  • 'It is ethnic cleansing'
    • How many of us are comfortable using the term "ethnic cleansing" to describe what is going on over there?

      Ethnic cleansing is the first of a two-step process. It paves the way for the second: Jewish colonization of the ethnically cleansed land. It is obvious to me why the notion of Jewish colonization makes liberal and progressive American Jews highly uncomfortable. However, being unhappy with reality doesn't make it go away.

      Ethnic cleansing and Jewish colonization is being done in their name whether they like it or not. I liken it to being the the victim of identify theft by a close cousin. One doesn't want to get one's cousin into trouble, but if one doesn't speak up the cousin will eventually damage one's livelihood and destroy one's good name.

      Life isn't fair. Sometimes we are faced with problems that do not have good solutions. It is foolish to meekly sit and watch while others decide to solve a problem with a solution that is terrible to one's interests and well-being when one can speak up and solve the problem with a solution that is merely unpleasant.

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