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Total number of comments: 7474 (since 2009-08-03 02:01:29)

DICKERSON3870

Georgia Tech, B.S. / Mercer U., J.D.

Website: http://www.facebook.com/jlewisdickerson

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  • State Dep't says it's 'not OK' that Israel detained another American teenager without informing us
    • RE: "Yesterday Alex reported that since the lynching by Israeli settlers of Mohammed Abu Khdeir, 16, in occupied Jerusalem on July 2" ~ Phil Weiss with Alex Kane

      MY COMMENT: According to the alleged ringleader, it was actually a human sacrifice* (not a mundane lynching).

      * SEE: "Abu Khdeir murder suspect recounts grisly killing", by Daniel K. Eisenbud, JPost.com, 8/13/2014

      [EXCERPTS] Chilling testimony from the main suspect in the July 2 murder of 16-year-old east Jerusalem resident Muhammad Abu Khdeir confirmed the brutal homicide was indeed rooted in revenge for the three yeshiva students abducted and killed by Hamas operatives in June. . .

      . . . During his testimony, the alleged ringleader behind the kidnapping and subsequent torture of Abu Khdeir, said he first discussed seeking revenge following the funerals of Gil- Ad Shaer, 16, Eyal Yifrah, 19, and Naftali Fraenkel, 16.

      “We began talking about what happened, about the kidnapped youths, and decided that they needed to be avenged,” he said in his testimony.

      “I was furious at [the killers] while the entire country was silently praying.”

      According to Ben-David, the three then agreed to go on a “human hunt” for an Arab victim.

      “We planned to hurt a soul, meaning to kill... to torture him and kill him,” he told police, adding that he wanted his victim “to know that he was about to die as a sacrifice for the Jews that were murdered.”

      To that end, Ben-David testified that he filled three empty bottles with the gasoline used to burn their victim alive. . .

      ENTIRE ARTICLE - link to jpost.com

  • Religious entitlement behind 'incineration' of Gaza resonates with Nazi ideology -- Siegman
    • Siegman suggests that because of "messianic Zionism", "[t]oo many Israelis seem to believe they have a God-given right to occupy, suppress, disenfranchise and displace non-Jews—particularly Arabs—in Israel." He adds: "That belief may also account for the fact that adherents to a Jewish religious tradition that stresses the sanctity of human life and man’s creation in the image of the divine react so callously to the destruction of innocents, as Israelis have, 80 to 90 percent of whom have approved Israel’s incineration of so many of Gaza’s non-combatant population."
      Siegman's repeated reference to "incineration" brought to mind a recent human sacrifice involving incineration:

      [EXCERPTS] Chilling testimony from the main suspect in the July 2 murder of 16-year-old east Jerusalem resident Muhammad Abu Khdeir confirmed the brutal homicide was indeed rooted in revenge for the three yeshiva students abducted and killed by Hamas operatives in June. . .

      . . . During his testimony, the alleged ringleader behind the kidnapping and subsequent torture of Abu Khdeir, said he first discussed seeking revenge following the funerals of Gil- Ad Shaer, 16, Eyal Yifrah, 19, and Naftali Fraenkel, 16.

      “We began talking about what happened, about the kidnapped youths, and decided that they needed to be avenged,” he said in his testimony.

      “I was furious at [the killers] while the entire country was silently praying.”

      According to Ben-David, the three then agreed to go on a “human hunt” for an Arab victim.

      “We planned to hurt a soul, meaning to kill... to torture him and kill him,” he told police, adding that he wanted his victim “to know that he was about to die as a sacrifice for the Jews that were murdered.”

      To that end, Ben-David testified that he filled three empty bottles with the gasoline used to burn their victim alive. . .

      ~ from an article by Daniel K. Eisenbud on 8/13/2014 at JPost.com titled "Abu Khdeir murder suspect recounts grisly killing"

  • Air strikes and rocket fire resume as Gaza negotiations collapse
    • RE: "Hours before a ceasefire was set to expire between Israel and Hamas, negotiations in Cairo have collapsed and rockets and air strikes have resumed." ~ Deger

      MY COMMENT: I wouldn't mind being a fly on the wall in the Obama compound out there on Martha's Vinyard. Not permanently, of course. Most certainly not in perpetuity. Anything but!

      KAFKAESQUE - A MUSICAL METAMORPHOSIS [VIDEO, 01:37] - link to youtube.com

      (Soderberg's) Kafka 1991 (Jeremy Irons, Theresa Russell, Joel Grey, Alec Guiness) [VIDEO, 1:34:25] - link to youtube.com

  • Revenge devoid of purpose: Punitive demolitions of Palestinian homes
    • RE: The High Court Justices Yoram Danziger, Issac Amit, and Noam Sohlberg (the last a settler) ruled against all evidence, including that of the IDF itself, that the demolitions were essential to deter acts of violence – particularly given “the significant deterioration of the security situation.” ~ Cody O’Rourke and Jeff Halper

      MY COMMENT: Since Israel and the U.S. share the same values, I'm surprised the use of house demolitions here in the States has not likewise been deemed "essential to deter acts of violence – particularly given the significant deterioration of the security situation (e.g., in Ferguson, Missouri).”

      According to an article at ElectronicIntifada.net:

      [EXCERPTS] At least two of the four law enforcement agencies that were deployed in Ferguson up until Thursday evening — the St. Louis County Police Department and the St. Louis Police Department — received training from Israeli security forces in recent years. . .

      . . . While there is a wealth of scholarship on police militarization in the US, there has been little to no examination of the ways Israel’s security apparatus facilitates it.

      Decades of testing and perfecting methods of domination and control on a captive and disenfranchised Palestinian population has given rise to a booming “homeland security industry” in Israel that refashions occupation-style repression for use on marginalized populations in other parts of the world, including St. Louis.

      Under the cover of counterterrorism training, nearly every major police agency in the United States has traveled to Israel for lessons in occupation enforcement, a phenomenon that journalist Max Blumenthal dubbed “the Israelification of America’s security apparatus.” Israeli forces and US police departments are so entrenched that the New York City Police Department (NYPD) has opened a branch in Tel Aviv.

      In 2011, then St. Louis County Police Department chief Timothy Fitch attended the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) National Counter-Terrorism Seminar, an annual week-long Israeli training camp where US law enforcement executives “study first hand Israel’s tactics and strategies” directly from “senior commanders in the Israel National Police, experts from Israel’s intelligence and security services, and the Israel Defense Forces,” according to the ADL’s website.

      Until Thursday night, the St. Louis County Police Department appeared to be the largest most militarized and brutish force operating in Ferguson. “St. Louis County Police” was scrawled across the side of most of the tactical unit vehicles and appeared on the combat-style uniforms of officers aiming assault rifles at peaceful protesters.

      The ADL boasts of sending more than 175 senior US law enforcement officials from 100 different agencies to the seminar since 2004, which are “taking the lessons they learned in Israel back to the United States."
      The ADL is just one of several pro-Israel groups forging close ties between US cops and Israel’s security and intelligence apparatus.

      Another is the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), a neoconservative think tank that claims to have hosted some 9,500 law enforcement officials in its Law Enforcement Exchange Program (LEEP) since 2004.

      LEEP “takes delegations of senior law enforcement executives to Israel to study methods and observe techniques used in preventing and reacting to acts of terrorism” and “sponsors conferences within the United States, bringing Israeli experts before much larger groups of law enforcement leaders,” according to JINSA’s brochure..”

      Former St. Louis Police Department police chief Joseph Mokwa is listed as having traveled to Israel as part of a LEEP conference in February 2008.

      Following nationwide outrage and embarrassment, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon pulled St. Louis County Police forces out of Ferguson and placed the Missouri Highway Patrol in charge of policing demonstrators. The St. Louis Police Department voluntarily removed its officers from Ferguson.

      As a result, Ferguson no longer looks like occupied territory, though the underlying issue, Michael Brown’s murder, has yet to be addressed. . .

  • More Orientalist insinuations in the New York Times
  • Four arrested after occupying Senator Feinstein's LA office to protest military aid
    • RE: "Four arrested after occupying Senator Feinstein’s LA office to protest military aid"

      MY ATTEMPT AT REPARTEE: Can't we all just get along? These disruptive dissidents need to learn to BEHAVE and mind their Ps and Qs instead of challenging AUTHORITY! When the plebes of ancient Rome began to go astray instead of giving their unabashed, enthusiastic devotion to their emperor Caligula (possibly a bit eccentric, but certainly not nearly so much as the dilettantish firebug Nero), the greatest empire the world has ever known went straight to hell in a handbasket*!

      * OSCAR WILDE'S GRAND TOUR OF AMERICA (1882):

      In 1881, Oscar Wilde took to the Atlantic Ocean to embark on year-long lecture tour in the USA. It was on the outward voyage to his year in an alien land where the great writer may or may not have told a customs officer; “I have nothing to declare but my genius”. We wouldn’t put it past him – the man’s silver tongue has produced its fair share of classic one-liners.

      An oddity at the best of times, Mr Wilde made quite the scene when he arrived in some of the more provincial towns of the US. Decked out in his fabrics and furs, satins and silks, turban standing proud and cane trailing elegantly behind, Oscar was a peculiar sight for America’s humbler folk. On arrival in Leadville, Colorado, a small mining town in the Rocky Mountains, you’d think the great writer would be out of his depth. We can only imagine the looks he got, and the nudges and winks aimed his way. The locals thought they’d have some fun with this odd Irishman, and invited him down the town’s silver mine to have a little fun with him. Firstly, they told him that to get down the mine, he had to use a transportation basket – basically, a rickety old bucket on a chain. Expecting him to back out with his tail between his legs, the locals misjudged the great writer. Never one to shirk a challenge, Oscar jumped into the bucket [basket] and down he went ("to hell in a handbasket"), even managing to look classy in the process – “I of course true to my principle being graceful even in a bucket."

      Down the mine, Oscar really kicked off the party. The locals gave him a tour, expecting him and his fine silks to have an aversion to dirt and dust, but Oscar endured, and after the tour, Wilde made himself at home and cracked out his whiskey, his cigars and sat down to a hearty meal. The cave walls rang with laughter, the locals starting to warm to Wilde and his razor wit. A man at ease with himself, Oscar took the Irish approach to welcoming himself into the company of his new neighbours - through the Irish method of good spirit, banter and the drinking tale, Oscar earned his miner’s stripes. They drank and drank, and Oscar was the last man standing, going from target to a bit of gentle ribbing to miners hero in one fell swoop.

      It goes to show, at the end of the day, a bit of wit and charms wins over all else.

      SOURCE - link to tullamoredew.com

      Company of Thieves: Oscar Wilde (Live From City Winery) [VIDEO, 05:33] - link to youtube.com

  • Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney dodges Gaza question (and how long can he get away with that?)
    • RE: "Sean wrote back and completely ducked her ask." ~ Phil Weiss and Joan Turner

      MY COMMENT: I hate to break this to you, but "Sean" did not write back. Some $22,000/year déclassé/flunkie (18-25 y.o.) in Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney's congressional office (read a letter, I assume, from Dr. Turner to "his/her Member" of Congress, and in reply) sent what is referred to as a "bed bug letter"* by entering a few bits of info into the 1980s-era word processing program. It is printed/typed on an endless run of the "Member's" stationary (incredibly over-priced ecru-colored computer paper) processor and signed using the Member's "autopen".

      Personally, I do not even open these letters for fear of it making me a masochist. In any case, I don't believe in wasting perfectly good sadism on my worthless self. Therefore, I scrawl "Addressee refused delivery" on the envelope, and put it back in the mail.

      * "Don't let the bed bugs bite."

      Dear [constituent's title] [constituent's last name],

      Thank you for contacting me about our nation’s [enter subject code # 1-176]. As your representative in Congress, I appreciate hearing your thoughts on the issues most important to my neighbors in the Hudson Valley.

      SUBJECT CODE #37 "FOREIGN POLICY"
      Our foreign policy must always reflect our national security priorities and our American values like freedom and democracy.
      FOR SUBJECT CODE #37,I- "FOREIGN POLICY, ISRAEL NEGATIVE"
      Key to this strategy is supporting our ally Israel, which is essential for security in the Middle East.
      FOR SUBJECT CODE #37,I-,ME "FOREIGN POLICY, ISRAEL NEGATIVE, MIDDLE EAST"
      I am also deeply concerned about the ongoing conflict in Syria as well as Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons capability. I currently support the Nuclear Iran Prevention Act, which would strengthen and expand enforcement of current sanctions on Iran.
      SUBJECT CODE #37,I,-,ME,BH "FOREIGN POLICY, ISRAEL NEGATIVE, MIDDLE EAST, BLEEDING HEART"
      We must look at solving conflicts through diplomacy before they divulge into large-scale crises that could cost American lives….

      Thank you again for sharing your views with me. My staff and I are here to help, so please contact my office to let me know how we can best serve you, either in Washington or at home in the Hudson Valley.

  • Weapons fired in Ferguson come from companies supplying Israel, Bahrain and Egypt
    • P.P.S. MO' SHUGAH, MO' SHUGAH, MO' SHUGAH (AIN'T IT SWEET): "How We're Footing the Bill for Violent Crackdowns on Dissent in the Middle East", By Anna Lekas Miller, AlterNet, 4/17/12
      A global, for-profit system binds together US weapons companies, repressive governments in the Middle East and taxpayer money.

      [EXCERPT] . . . The nondescript warehouse-like buildings in rural Pennsylvania . . . are the headquarters of Combined Systems, Inc.—one of the largest manufacturers and international suppliers of teargas, stun grenades and other “non-lethal” crowd control devices in the world.

      Israel, or more accurately, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), is their most frequent client. And Combined Systems’ relationship with the IDF is an emblem of a global system that binds together US weapons companies, repressive governments and taxpayer money.

      Here’s how this system generally works: a foreign government requests a certain amount of military assistance from the United States government. If the US government chooses to accept this request, Congress appropriates the amount into the budget, and once the budget is passed, the recipient can use the money to purchase weapons from US manufacturers. Israel is a case in point.

      The United States has given foreign aid to Israel since 1949. By 1962, this money was used to fund the purchase of US weaponry, forming the foundation of the relationship between the US government and Israeli military. Due to an Israeli economic crisis during the 1980s, military loans to Israel were eliminated and replaced with grants. In 2008, all economic aid was eliminated and replaced exclusively with military aid.

      Today, Israel receives about $3.1 billion annually from the United States in foreign military financing, or more simply, military aid. Since this form of foreign assistance is part of the congressional budget, this collective amount is financed entirely by the US taxpayer.

      Despite proposing drastic cuts to domestic programs, President Obama's most recent budget proposal suggests increasing US military aid to Israel by $25 million. Aside from this increase, the Israeli government has recently requested an additional $700 million to construct more Iron Dome and Magic Wand missile and rocket defense batteries. . .

      ENTIRE ARTICLE - link to alternet.org

    • RE: "Weapons fired in Ferguson come from companies supplying Israel, Bahrain and Egypt"

      MY COMMENT: Pipe down everybody, it's all quite kosher because these here defense contractors "pay to play", and do so quite handsomely! The "payees", of course, are our senators and congressmen. The "payor" defense contractors' "play" is Uncle Sam's "1033 Program", which permits the Pentagon to give military hardware to local police departments only to then buy more equipment for itself! That's a win (local police), win (Pentagon), win (defense contractors), win (senators & congressmen)! Ain't it sweet?!?! Like shugah!

      SEE "Ferguson Police Militarization: Cash Flowed To Lawmakers Who Voted To 'Militarize' Police", By David Sirota, IBTimes.com, August 15 2014

      [EXERPT] As local law enforcement has deployed martial tactics against those protesting the police killing of an 18-year-old in Ferguson, Missouri, a debate is suddenly raging over how municipal police forces came to resemble military units. A new report suggests the trend may, in part, have to do with campaign contributions to congressional lawmakers.

      At issue is the federal government’s so-called 1033 Program, which permits the Pentagon to give military hardware to local police departments.

      In a June investigative report, the New York Times documented how that program, among others, has allowed police departments to “receive tens of thousands of machine guns; nearly 200,000 ammunition magazines; thousands of pieces of camouflage and night-vision equipment; and hundreds of silencers, armored cars and aircraft.” Newsweek notes that the program originally started in 1990 as part of the so-called War on Drugs, the idea being “that if the U.S. wanted its police to act like drug warriors, it should equip them like warriors, which it has — to the tune of around $4.3 billion in equipment.”

      That represents potential profits for the defense contractors, because the program effectively creates a secondary market and additional demand for those contractors’ goods. The Pentagon can, for instance, pass equipment and ammunition to local police departments, only to then buy more equipment for itself. Meanwhile, those local police departments often spend money on parts and maintenance for the equipment, thereby providing another potential stream of money to the contractors. And once the department gets used to the surplus goods, there’s always the chance that the department itself becomes a direct buyer of those goods.

      The group’s new report looked at a June congressional vote on legislation, offered by U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., that would have blocked the Pentagon from spending resources on transferring military hardware to local police agencies. The bill was defeated 62-355.

      According to data compiled by Maplight, the lawmakers “voting to continue funding the 1033 Program have received, on average, 73 percent more money from the defense industry than representatives voting to defund it.” In all, the average lawmaker voting against the bill received more than $50,000 in campaign donations from the defense industry in the last two years. The report also found that of the 59 lawmakers who received more than $100,000 from defense contractors in the last two years, only four voted for Grayson’s legislation.

      Though thought of as a political force primarily in federal policymaking, the defense industry also spends on state politics, which influences law enforcement procurement decisions. According to data compiled by the National Institute for Money in State Politics, more than $8 million of campaign contributions has been dumped into state elections in the last decade by military contractors and their employees. . .

      ENTIRE ARTICLE - link to ibtimes.com

      P.S. What's that stench I smell, Denmark? No, I guess it's just the cesspool runoff from Capitol Hill (originally Jenkins Hill).

  • With ceasefire set to expire, Palestinians aim to lift the siege while Israel wants to turn 'Gaza into Ramallah'
    • P.S. EARLIER KABUKI REHEARSALS IN ISRAEL: "Netanyahu tried to hide Egyptian cease-fire proposal from cabinet", By Barak Ravid, Haaretz.com, Aug. 18, 2014
      Only when Lieberman brought copy to cabinet meeting did PM reluctantly admit its existence.

      [EXCERPT] Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tried last week to hide from cabinet ministers the draft of a cease-fire agreement drawn up by Egypt. A senior Israeli official said that during last Thursday evening's cabinet meeting, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman confronted Netanyahu, showing him the copy of the Egyptian proposal that he, Lieberman, had received, and demanded an explanation.

      The Israeli official said Lieberman surprised Netanyahu with this revelation. This was the first that the other cabinet ministers had heard that Israel had received a draft cease-fire agreement from the Egyptians, and they demanded copies of their own so they could review it.

      A stormy atmosphere ensued and Netanyahu found himself on the defensive. The official said Netanyahu told the cabinet members that it was only a proposal, one of many that had been updated again and again in previous days.

      "I didn't say 'yes' to this draft and for now we do not accept it," he told the ministers. At one point Netanyahu exited the cabinet meeting to speak with some visiting mayors from the south. That get-together was to last only a few minutes, yet Netanyahu stretched it out to more than an hour. Eventually Lieberman and Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon lost their patience and left the cabinet meeting. It was decided to adjourn and continue the following morning.

      When the ministers entered the cabinet room Friday morning, Netanyahu had no choice but to present the Egyptian proposal to them. He told the cabinet members that he was rejecting it because it did not answer Israel's security demands. . .

      ENTIRE ARTICLE - link to haaretz.com

    • RE: "With ceasefire set to expire, Palestinians aim to lift the siege while Israel wants to turn ‘Gaza into Ramallah’"

      MY COMMENT: The gods have already spoken (and brokered an agreement)! Cairo is just a midsummer night's Kabuki*!!!

      *SEE: "Israel coordinated with US on gradual end of Gaza blockade", by Attila Somfalvi, YnetNews.com, 08.19.14

      Israel coordinated with US on gradual end of Gaza blockade
      Sources in Jerusalem claim Israel, America secretly agreed on steps to ease humanitarian hardship in Gaza by opening crossings.

      [EXCERPT] Sources in Jerusalem said late Monday night that Israel had coordinated with the US to define the details of a future permanent accord with Hamas.

      The sources claimed that US Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to arrive in Israel next week in a show of support for Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and in order to demonstrate that the two allies' relationship is not in crisis.

      The same sources added that Israel and the US secretly decided that Israel will agree to a gradual lifting of the blockade on Gaza Strip, starting with the land crossings and eventually opening up sea traffic.

      Under the agreement, Israeli will not oppose the transfer of salaries to Hamas civil workers in Gaza and will allow for the rehabilitation of the Strip with the use of international assistance.

      The issue of the Strip's demilitarization, which Israel demanded during Operation Protective Edge, will most likely not be included in the accord developing in Cairo, though the US will support the Israeli demand for the prevention of Hamas and other terror organization's efforts to rearm. Israel said it would actively work to promote the issue on the international arena.

      Though there has been no official American confirmation of the agreement, according to Israeli officials Kerry and Netanyahu will announce in a joint statement that the ties between the two countries are strong, and that the disagreements between them are only on certain points. . .

      ENTIRE ARTICLE - link to ynetnews.com

  • Social worker, 45, among 3 killed by Israeli soldiers at one protest in Beit Ummar last month
    • RE: "A social worker and father of three, Hashem Abu Maria was killed by an IDF sharpshooter during a protest against the Gaza war." — Gideon Levy & Alex Levac, Haaretz

      SEE: "The Dogs of War: The Next Intifada", By Uri Avnery, Counterpunch, 9/03/11

      [EXCERPT] . . . The second (“al-Aqsa”) intifada started after the breakdown of the 2000 Camp David conference and Ariel Sharon’s deliberately provocative “visit” to the Temple Mount. The Palestinians held non-violent mass demonstrations. The army responded with selective killings. A sharpshooter accompanied by an officer would take position in the path of the protest, and the officer would point out selected targets – protesters who looked like “ringleaders”. They were killed.
      This was highly effective. Soon the non-violent demonstrations ceased and were replaced by very violent (“terrorist”) actions. With those the army was back on familiar ground. . .

      ENTIRE COMMENTARY - link to counterpunch.org

  • Man who saved Jewish boy in Holocaust acts to save Israel from 'racist... quagmire'
    • RE: "Over more than six decades I have however slowly come to realize that the Zionist project had from its beginning a racist element in it in aspiring to build a state exclusively for Jews. As a consequence, ethnic cleansing took place at the time of the establishment of your state . . ." ~ Henk Zanoli

      A RELEVANT BOOK REVIEW - "Rereading: Khirbet Khizeh by S Yizhar", Jacqueline Rose, The Guardian, Friday 11 March 2011
      In his novella of the 1948 war, the Israeli writer S Yizhar sought to preserve the memory of the Palestinian nakba. Jacqueline Rose on a haunting tale that still stirs intense controversy

      [EXCERPTS] Near the beginning of Khirbet Khizeh, the extraordinary 1949 novella by S Yizhar, the narrator describes the dangers, to a soldier, of thinking: "we knew that when the thoughts came, troubles began; better not to start thinking." Khirbet Khizeh is a tribute to the power of critical thought to register the injustices of history. It is published by Granta this month in its first full English translation, first issued by Adina Hoffman for Ibis editions in Jerusalem in 2008. Khirbet Khizeh tells the story of the expulsion of Palestinian villagers from their home and land during the 1948 war that immediately followed the founding of the Israeli state: the war of independence or liberation, as it is referred to in Israel; for the Palestinians, the nakba or catastrophe. By the end of it, 750,000 Palestinians had become refugees. This story, this moment, is, to say the least, still controversial. In July 2009, Israel's education ministry announced that the term nakba, introduced two years previously into Palestinian-Israeli textbooks, was to be removed on the grounds that its use was tantamount to spreading propaganda against Israel. In May last year, a law was passed – widely termed the "Nakba Law" – that withdraws government funding from any group judged to be "acting against the principles of the country", which includes the commemoration of the nakba. The law effectively criminalises the right of the Palestinian people to remember.

      Renowned for many years as the only tale in Israeli literature to tell the story of the 1948 expulsion, Khirbet Khizeh also owes its power and status to the way that it recounts the resistance to memory which this dark episode of Israeli history will provoke in the nation's consciousness: "True, it all happened a long time ago," the story opens, "but it has haunted me ever since. I sought to drown it out with the din of passing time, to diminish its value, to blunt its edge with the rush of daily life." In fact Yizhar wrote Khirbet Khizeh in 1948, long before the question of memory could even have arisen. But it is as if, in the charged moment of writing, he already saw that his task was to rescue this history from oblivion. Unlike the other soldiers in his unit, the narrator knows that this story is not going to go away. As he walks through the desolate Palestinian landscape, his soldier companion exults in the emptiness which he sees as proof of the superiority of the Zionist pioneers: "Wow! Our old-timers used to break their backs for any strip of land, and today we just walk in and take it!" For the narrator, by contrast, the Jews who reap the profits of this war, the future inhabitants in whose cause the war is being fought, will be haunted: "The people who would live in this village, wouldn't the walls cry out in their ears?" . . .

      . . . Khirbet Khizeh is the story which, with the least ambivalence, offers to official Zionist history its strongest, unanswerable, counterpoint. The translation is long overdue. In lyrical, haunting prose – evocatively rendered into English by Nicholas de Lange and Yaacob Dweck – the narrator describes what was done to the Palestinians in 1948. As the story builds to its climax, the writing at times is paced and slow, such as when the soldiers languish and wait; then it suddenly erupts, like the exploded stone house of a woman who "leapt up, burst into wild howling and started to run in that direction, holding a baby in her arms, while another wretched child, who could already stand, clutched the hem of her dress, and she screamed, pointed, talked, and choked". All at once she understands "that it wasn't just about waiting under the sycamore trees to hear what the Jews wanted and then to go home, but that her home and her world had come to a full stop, and everything had turned dark and was collapsing; suddenly she had grasped something inconceivable, terrible, incredible, standing directly before her, real and cruel, body to body, and there was no going back". By recounting this crisis from inside her mind, Yizhar dismantles at a stroke the poisoned rhetoric of enmity, the image of the Palestinians as unknowable, distant, threatening. You cannot read Khirbet Khizeh without experiencing 1948 – "body to body" – as a tragedy for the Palestinians. . .

      ENTIRE BOOK REVIEW - link to theguardian.com

  • Israel and its advocates have a new target in sight: Head of UN inquiry William Schabas
    • RE: The New York Times also reports on Schabas and how Israel is bracing for war crimes inquiries on Gaza. . . The Times also mentions that “Professor Schabas was filmed in New York almost two years ago saying Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was his ‘favorite’ to be in the dock at the International Criminal Court.” ~ Alex Kane and James North

      MY COMMENT: I'm certainly not an expert as to international law, but if I were to guess as to a surefire 'war crime' it would be the IDF's activation of the Hannibal Directive in response to the “kidnapping” of Hadar Goldin on 8/01/2014; accompanied by massive firing upon residential sections of Rafah (without the IDF having given the residents any warnings); and causing the deaths of between 130 and 150 Palestinians (mostly civilians, including many women and children).
      Apparently Netanyahu is not particularly keen on the prospect of Israelis finally being put in the dock (in absentia, if not in person) at The Hague since he is imploring his supporters in the U.S. Congress to "help Israel stay out of the International Criminal Court."

  • Israel's foundation in a 'terroristic campaign of expulsion, ethnic cleansing and murder' is the 'deep wound in that part of the world' -- Sullivan
    • RE: "[W]hen you say the Israelis only want to live in peace with their neighbors, is that why 1948 is regarded by any non-Israeli in the region as a 'catastrophe'? Was that living in peace with their neighbors? That was a terroristic campaign of expulsion, of ethnic cleansing, and of mass murder. That’s how Israel was founded." ~ Andrew Sullivan

      A RELEVANT BOOK REVIEW - "Rereading: Khirbet Khizeh by S Yizhar", Jacqueline Rose, The Guardian, Friday 11 March 2011
      In his novella of the 1948 war, the Israeli writer S Yizhar sought to preserve the memory of the Palestinian nakba. Jacqueline Rose on a haunting tale that still stirs intense controversy

      [EXCERPTS] Near the beginning of Khirbet Khizeh, the extraordinary 1949 novella by S Yizhar, the narrator describes the dangers, to a soldier, of thinking: "we knew that when the thoughts came, troubles began; better not to start thinking." Khirbet Khizeh is a tribute to the power of critical thought to register the injustices of history. It is published by Granta this month in its first full English translation, first issued by Adina Hoffman for Ibis editions in Jerusalem in 2008. Khirbet Khizeh tells the story of the expulsion of Palestinian villagers from their home and land during the 1948 war that immediately followed the founding of the Israeli state: the war of independence or liberation, as it is referred to in Israel; for the Palestinians, the nakba or catastrophe. By the end of it, 750,000 Palestinians had become refugees. This story, this moment, is, to say the least, still controversial. In July 2009, Israel's education ministry announced that the term nakba, introduced two years previously into Palestinian-Israeli textbooks, was to be removed on the grounds that its use was tantamount to spreading propaganda against Israel. In May last year, a law was passed – widely termed the "Nakba Law" – that withdraws government funding from any group judged to be "acting against the principles of the country", which includes the commemoration of the nakba. The law effectively criminalises the right of the Palestinian people to remember.

      Renowned for many years as the only tale in Israeli literature to tell the story of the 1948 expulsion, Khirbet Khizeh also owes its power and status to the way that it recounts the resistance to memory which this dark episode of Israeli history will provoke in the nation's consciousness: "True, it all happened a long time ago," the story opens, "but it has haunted me ever since. I sought to drown it out with the din of passing time, to diminish its value, to blunt its edge with the rush of daily life." In fact Yizhar wrote Khirbet Khizeh in 1948, long before the question of memory could even have arisen. But it is as if, in the charged moment of writing, he already saw that his task was to rescue this history from oblivion. Unlike the other soldiers in his unit, the narrator knows that this story is not going to go away. As he walks through the desolate Palestinian landscape, his soldier companion exults in the emptiness which he sees as proof of the superiority of the Zionist pioneers: "Wow! Our old-timers used to break their backs for any strip of land, and today we just walk in and take it!" For the narrator, by contrast, the Jews who reap the profits of this war, the future inhabitants in whose cause the war is being fought, will be haunted: "The people who would live in this village, wouldn't the walls cry out in their ears?" . . .

      . . . Khirbet Khizeh is the story which, with the least ambivalence, offers to official Zionist history its strongest, unanswerable, counterpoint. The translation is long overdue. In lyrical, haunting prose – evocatively rendered into English by Nicholas de Lange and Yaacob Dweck – the narrator describes what was done to the Palestinians in 1948. As the story builds to its climax, the writing at times is paced and slow, such as when the soldiers languish and wait; then it suddenly erupts, like the exploded stone house of a woman who "leapt up, burst into wild howling and started to run in that direction, holding a baby in her arms, while another wretched child, who could already stand, clutched the hem of her dress, and she screamed, pointed, talked, and choked". All at once she understands "that it wasn't just about waiting under the sycamore trees to hear what the Jews wanted and then to go home, but that her home and her world had come to a full stop, and everything had turned dark and was collapsing; suddenly she had grasped something inconceivable, terrible, incredible, standing directly before her, real and cruel, body to body, and there was no going back". By recounting this crisis from inside her mind, Yizhar dismantles at a stroke the poisoned rhetoric of enmity, the image of the Palestinians as unknowable, distant, threatening. You cannot read Khirbet Khizeh without experiencing 1948 – "body to body" – as a tragedy for the Palestinians. . .

      ENTIRE BOOK REVIEW - link to theguardian.com

  • New J Street platform parrots Likud as membership continues to shift left
    • RE: "This new platform begins with a non-sequitur and a non-starter. To suggest that the most important demand is to protect the 'security needs of Israel' is at best hypocritical, and perhaps sociopathic. . . The continued existence of Israel is not at stake." ~ Ron Smith

      MY COMMENT: Somehow people must be taught/convinced it is a myth that Israel is existentially vulnerable to even the most modest security threats.* As Ira Chernus put it, "[t]he US government will never give up its pro-Israel bias and take an even-handed approach to the conflict until the public understands that the myth of Israel's insecurity has no basis in fact."

      * SEE: "Three Myths of Israel's Insecurity And Why They Must Be Debunked", By Ira Chernus, tomdispatch.com, 4/17/2011

      [EXCERPTS] Here are the Three Sacred Commandments for Americans who shape the public conversation on Israel:

      1. For politicians, especially at the federal level: As soon as you say the word “Israel,” you must also say the word “security” and promise that the United States will always, always, always be committed to Israel’s security. If you occasionally label an action by the Israeli government “unhelpful,” you must immediately reaffirm the eternal U.S. commitment to Israel’s security.

      2. For TV talking heads and op-ed pundits: If you criticize any policies or actions of the Israeli government, you must immediately add that Israel does, of course, have very real and serious security needs that have to be addressed.

      3. For journalists covering the Israel-Palestine conflict for major American news outlets: You must live in Jewish Jerusalem or in Tel Aviv and take only occasional day trips into the Occupied Territories. So your reporting must inevitably be slanted toward the perspective of the Jews you live among. And you must indicate in every report that Jewish Israeli life is dominated by anxiety about security.

      U.S. opinion-shapers have obeyed the Three Commandments scrupulously for decades. As a result, they’ve created an indelible image of Israel as a deeply insecure nation. That image is a major, if often overlooked, factor that has shaped and continues to shape Washington’s policies in the Middle East and especially the longstanding American tilt toward Israel. . .

      . . . Ironically, that myth gets plenty of criticism and questioning in the Israeli press from writers like (to cite just some recent examples) Merav Michaeli and Doron Rosenblum in the liberal newspaper Haaretz, and even Alon Ben-Meir in the more conservative Jerusalem Post. In the United States, though, the myth of insecurity is the taken-for-granted lens through which the public views everything about the Israel-Palestine conflict. Like the air we breathe, it’s a view so pervasive that we hardly notice it.

      Nor do we notice how reflexively most Americans accept the claim of self-defense as justification for everything Israel does, no matter how outrageous. That reflex goes far to explain why, in the latest Gallup poll matchup (“Do you sympathize more with Israel or the Palestinians?”), Israel won by a nearly 4 to 1 margin. And the pro-Israeli sentiment just keeps growing.

      Our politicians, pundits, and correspondents breathe the same air in the same unthinking fashion, and so they hesitate to put much pressure on Israel to change its ways. As it happens, without such pressure, no Israeli government is likely to make the compromises needed for a just and lasting peace in the region. . .

      . . . If American attitudes and so policies are ever to change, one necessary (though not in itself sufficient) step is to confront and debunk the myth of Israel’s insecurity.

      ● Three Myths in One

      Israel actually promotes three separate myths of insecurity, although its PR machine weaves them into a single tightly knit fabric. To grasp the reality behind it, the three strands have to be teased apart and examined separately.

      Myth Number 1: Israel’s existence is threatened by the ever-present possibility of military attack. In fact, there’s no chance that any of Israel’s neighbors will start a war to wipe out Israel. . .

      ENTIRE COMMENTARY - link to tomdispatch.com

  • Israel got tank shell that killed 20 at UN school from US without Obama's approval -- WSJ bombshell
    • P.S. ALSO SEE: "IDF Col. Ofer Winter’s Holy War Against Latter-Day Philistines", by Richard Silverstein, Tikun Olam, 8/07/14
      LINK - link to richardsilverstein.com

    • RE: "White House and State Department officials had already become increasingly disturbed by what they saw as heavy-handed battlefield tactics that they believed risked a humanitarian catastrophe capable of harming regional stability and Israel’s interests." ~ WSJ

      REGARDING THESE "HEAVY-HANDED BATTLEFIELD TACTICS", SEE:
      Col. Ofer Winter: Poster Boy for IDF’s New Dirty 200, Ceasefire Dies (Again)
      , by Richard Silverstein, Tikun Olam-תיקון עולם, 8/07/14

      After Operation Cast Lead, peace activists prepared a list of 200 IDF officers who played major roles in the sowing the killing fields of Gaza with blood. I’m hoping someone is right now preparing a similar list for Operation Protective Edge. The level of mass mayhem in it far exceeds that of the prior campaign. More dead, more injured, more orphans, more devastation.

      Remember this name in particular: Ofer Winter. He’s the poster boy of IDF war criminals. He was also high on the list of those accused of similar acts during Cast Lead. It was he who wrote the genocidal battle plan announced to his troops in the accompanying image:

      History has chosen for us to be the bayonet point of battle against the Gazan terrorist enemy which curses, defames and abuses the God of Israel’s military campaigns…

      God, the Lord of Israel, make our path successful, as we are about to fight for Your People, Israel, against an enemy who defames your name. In the name of the IDF fighters…make the phrase “For the Lord your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.” come true, and we shall answer: Amen.

      Lest you think I overstated the term “genocidal” above, anyone who knows their Bible will recognize this language. It is the language used to describe those tribes which the Israelites wiped out in their campaign to capture the land of Israel and populate it with their offspring. Tribes like the Amalekites, Moabites, Jebusites and others were all exterminated in battles in which the ancient Jews followed what they perceived as God’s will in taking over the land.

      Winter’s Givati brigade played a key role in the slaughter in Rafah in the last week of the war in which 160 Palestinians were killed by vengeful IDF forces seeking vengeance after a Hamas attack that killed an IDF major, sergeant and captured Lt. Hadar Goldin. . .

      ENTIRE COMMENTARY - link to richardsilverstein.com

  • How many Israeli civilians have been attacked from the Gaza tunnels? Any?
    • RE: "How many Israeli civilians have been attacked by Hamas fighters emerging from tunnels?" ~ James North

      MY COMMENT: You're kidding, right? That was just a pretext* (one that apparently scared the bejesus out of the gullible Israeli populace)!

      *VOLTAIRE REGARDING "PRETEXTS", AND THE NATURE OF THEIR PROPONENTS:
      "To the wicked, everything serves as pretext." ~ Voltaire

      ALSO SEE: "Gaza Ceasefire: After 1,800+ Dead, What Led Israel to Stop the Assault — and What Comes Next?" ~ Democracy Now! ~ 8/05/14

      [EXCERPT]
      NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: And then there was the domestic issue. Israel had launched a ground invasion ostensibly to stop the so-called rocket attacks, but then it turned into something different: the tunnels. Now, the tunnels had nothing to do with Israel. That’s totally ridiculous. Israel claims there were 12 tunnels that had passed through its border. There were many more tunnels between Gaza and Egypt. The first thing Sisi did when he came into power in Egypt was seal the tunnels. Did he have to destroy all of Gaza to seal the tunnels? Israel couldn’t have done the same thing—seal the tunnels on its side of the border, exactly what Sisi did in Egypt? What did the Hamas have? It had spoons. It had shovels. You’re telling me that Israel didn’t have the earth-moving equipment to build a wall that went deeper than the tunnels? It had nothing to do with the tunnels entering Israel.

      The problem was, the tunnels in Gaza, it turned out, they had created a fairly sophisticated network of tunnels, incidentally—I know we’re not allowed to make these comparisons—not unlike the bunkers that were built in the Warsaw Ghetto—primitive, but effective—and the Hamas fighters were able to come out of the tunnels, and they inflicted a significant number of casualties on Israel. During Operation Cast Lead in 2008, '09, 10 Israeli combatants were killed, of which four were from friendly fire. This time it was about 65. Now, during the Lebanon War in 2006, about 120 Israeli combatants were killed, but that was against the Hezbollah, which is a formidable guerrilla army. So, half and more were killed in Gaza this time. So, Israel's aim was not to destroy the tunnels going into Israel. That’s ridiculous. What they wanted to do was destroy the tunnel system inside Gaza, because now an effective—not very effective, but effective—guerrilla force had been created. And Israel, every few years, has to—or less than few years, has to mow the lawn in Gaza. And so, they wanted to make sure the next time they mow the lawn—

      AMY GOODMAN: Why do you say "mow the lawn"?

      NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Well, that’s the Israeli expression. You go in, and you kill a thousand people, destroy everything in sight, and Israel calls that "mowing the lawn." So every few years they have to go into Gaza and mow the lawn. They want to make sure next time they mow the lawn—because if you read the Israeli commentators, who are really a sick bunch of people, all of them are talking now about the next war. Every single commentator is talking about the next war. This one isn’t even over yet. But they want to make sure the next time they go in, there won’t be tunnels. So that was the real aim of the mission.

      The problem was, they had reached a certain point in Gaza, and now, if they went further, they would have to enter what are called the built-up areas. And those are very densely populated. Remember, Gaza is six times as densely populated as Manhattan. So if they went into the densely populated areas, we would be talking about thousands and thousands of casualties. And Netanyahu knew the international community wouldn’t accept it, because when Israel goes into a place, it doesn’t want combatant casualties, so it blasts everything in sight. You go into densely populated areas and you blast everything in sight, well, then you’re talking about thousands and thousands of casualties.

      The other problem was, these tunnels were actually not vulnerable to aerial bombing and artillery shells. So even if they destroyed everything in sight, the tunnels are still there, Hamas comes out, and significant Israeli casualties. So Netanyahu realized ground invasion is over. There’s no further they can go, because of the domestic Israeli constraint: They don’t tolerate combatant casualties. The international constraint kicked in when Obama said, "It’s over, folks. Have to stop. Killed too many U.N. people this time." And then the ceasefire was signed. . .

      ENTIRE TRANSCRIPT (AND VIDEO) - link to democracynow.org

  • Moshe Feiglin's vision of liberating Gaza by driving Palestinians into the Sinai --Updated
    • RE: "Does it make sense to sacrifice 64 Israelis, and to bomb densely populated civilian areas for four weeks, 24 hours a day, to gain three or five years of “quiet” from pesky, but ineffectual rockets. Not peace, but quiet. Feiglin doesn’t think so, and in that, surely, he is right." ~ Roland Nikles

      HOW 'OPERATION PROTECTIVE EDGE' MIGHT MAKE SENSE:
      I'm a bit surprised that no one anywhere seems to have raised the possibility that Operation Protective Edge might actually be the first op of an operational trilogy. Israel's second op would be neutralizing Hezbollah in Lebanon.
      After these two prerequisite ops have been completed, and Hezbollah and Hamas have been deemed sufficiently neutralized, the third op (i.e., the Grand Finale) would be Israel eliminating Iran's nuclear program.

      P.S. Put another way, I wonder whether the Obama administration had to sign off on Israel's Operation Protective Edge in order to keep Netanyahu from raising a stink about the talks with Iran being extended.

  • Thousands of displaced Palestinians take shelter on the fringes of Gaza City
    • RE: The el-Algan family has joined over 550,000 displaced Palestinians across the besieged Gaza Strip. They fled nearly two weeks ago from their home in Zeitoun near Shuja’iyeh, a northern town that today is a desolate, post-apocalyptic wasteland of bombed out buildings where bodies are still trapped under rubble. “I built it new eight years ago,” said Hussein Mohammed Ali el-Algan, 50, of his former home. ~ Allison Deger

      MY COMMENT: Frankly, since almost all of this destruction was accomplished with U.S.-supplied armaments (many of them provided by the U.S. to Israel as military aid), and since the U.S. Government apparently gave Israel the 'go ahead' to launch this campaign of destruction against Gaza (including Operation Protective Edge), I believe the U.S. and Israel should be held responsible for compensating the people of Gaza (especially those who in no way contributed to the damage) for damage to their properties.
      The UN General Assembly should pass a resolution decreeing that the U.S. and Israel are responsible for compensating the people of Gaza for damage to their properties.

  • The selected writings of Samantha Power
    • RE: "The four Palestinian boys playing on the beach in Gaza City were like boys everywhere, restless for play. Their deaths are heartbreaking . . . And the Israeli authorities have opened an investigation into their deaths." ~ Samantha Power (aspiring to be U.S. Secretary of State)

      THAT REMINDS ME: I wonder how much progress Israel has made in the "thorough and transparent investigation" the US State Department said it expects Israel to make* into the videotaped shooting/murder by the Israeli military of the two Palestinian teenagers during the Nakba Day protests outside Ofer prison in the West Bank back on May 15 (nearly 3 months ago).

      * SEE - "US to Israel: Investigate killing of Palestinian teens", by Yitzhak Benhorin, ynetnews.com, 5/21/14
      Following release of footage documenting killing of two Palestinians near Ramallah, US State Department spokesperson says US expects Israel to 'conduct a thorough and transparent investigation'.
      LINK - link to ynetnews.com

  • Rightwing Jews who want to destroy Muslim holy site in Jerusalem raise funds on Indiegogo
    • RE: "[T]he Third Temple project is explicitly aimed at destroying Muslim sites of worship, including the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa mosque." ~ Weiss

      MY COMMENT: This is yet another reason that Jerusalem must be made an 'international city' pursuant to General Assembly resolution 181 (II) November 29, 1947, which provides for the full territorial internationalisation of Jerusalem: "The City of Jerusalem shall be established as a corpus separatum under a special international regime and shall be administered by the United Nations."
      Netanyahu recently made it clear (albeit speaking only in Hebrew) that as far as he is concerned there will never be a sovereign nation-state of Palestine in the West Bank (with, or without, E. Jerusalem as its capital). Consequently, unless Jerusalem is protected by virtue of its being made an 'international city' administered by the UN, it is just a matter of time before the Dome of the Rock, the Al-Aqsa mosque and numerous other historic sites come under existential threat as Israel's radical, extremist nationalists (like the Temple Institute) become more and more determined to completely "Judeaize" the city.

  • UK activists shut down Israeli arms factory
    • I am so embarrassed for the U.K. police shown in the first/top/uppermost photo looking on as the protesters occupy Elbit's roof. I have never seen police decked out in such cheap, geeky, light-colored, butt-ugly protective gear. Have they no self-respect? Their gear looks like the type of protective gear that the teletubbies might wear.
      If the U.K. wants their police to be taken seriously (rather than being snickered at), they should invest in the type of kick-ass armour that turns mere policemen into über-intimidating RoboCops.

  • Where you can donate to help Gaza -- Updated
    • ANOTHER WAY TO HELP THE TRAUMATIZED PEOPLE OF GAZA:


      Please make a tax-deductible donation payable to The Gaza Mental Health Foundation Inc.

      Your gift will be sent to The Gaza Community Mental Health Program, which is providing vital mental health support to the traumatized families of the Gaza Strip.
      Your donation is tax-deductible to the extent provided by section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
      To donate, please print out brochure or send a check with your name, address, telephone number, and email address to:
      Gaza Mental Health Foundation
      PO Box 380273
      Cambridge MA 02238

      SOURCE: Gaza Mental Health Foundation - link to gazamentalhealth.org

      P.S.
      GAZA MENTAL HEALTH FOUNDATION - BOARD OF DIRECTORS
      Bill Slaughter, President
      Donald McInnes, Treasurer
      Hilary Rantisi, Clerk
      Devin Atallah
      J. Timothy Davis
      Nancy Murray
      Alice Rothchild
      Sara Roy
      Ahmad Tahaha

      GAZA MENTAL HEALTH FOUNDATION - ADVISORY COMMITTEE
      Cindy & Craig Corrie
      Jess Ghannam
      Ellis Goldberg
      Elaine Hagopian
      David Hall
      John Pirroni
      Yale Rabin
      Ted Rynearson
      Therese Saliba
      Tom Suarez
      David Trimble

      SOURCE (CLICK ON "ABOUT") - link to gazamentalhealth.org

  • israel is the golden calf
    • RE: "israel is the golden calf"

      CONTRAPUNTALLY SPEAKING: "Assault on Gaza—Rafah, a Case Study; Israeli’s Adeptness at Genocide", by Norman Pollack, Counterpunch.org, 8/05/14

      [EXCERPTS] The Jewish State uses religion as a subterfuge to hide political-military aggrandizement. Nothing quite like this psychotic exhibition of statecraft—and utter desecration of religion per se. To all critics, Israel and its propaganda organs abroad, notably, AIPAC, rush in to charge “self-hating” Jew to silence dissent among Jewish people, while non-Jews are merely and quickly labeled anti-Semites. How long can this racket continue? How long the BLASPHEMING of Judaism, yes, nothing short, because insulting G-d through acts of murder, cruelty, vengeance, and therefore the profanation of a religion devoted to His service and therefore treating what is sacred with contempt? How long ethnic cleansing, population displacement, promiscuous killing of the innocent, hauteur and sangfroid in the act of bombing hospitals, refugee-packed UN schools now shelters to escape the constant bombing and ground-forces’ actions in residential neighborhoods? Not a tear (except of the crocodile variety, rote, sanctimonious in the face of gut-wrenching human suffering), never an admission of wrong-doing, always an insinuation, the slyness of the authoritarian mind, that the other party is culpable. . .

      . . . Netanyahu, the night before [Aug. 2], announced on Israeli television an ostensible pullback of troops in certain areas; in an understated version of the no-compromise position, he declared, “We promised to return the quiet to Israel’s citizens, and we will continue to act until that aim is achieved. We will take as much time as necessary, and will EXERT AS MUCH FORCE AS NEEDED.” (my caps.) There will be no negotiated settlement. The damage will be done, Israel maintaining its right to flex its muscle power at will, as in the now-current phrase, “cutting the grass,” to signify periodic offensive operations in the Territories to keep Palestinians underfoot and locked into permanent subjugation. Meanwhile, children die, whether by bombs, inadequate nourishment, or loneliness, their parents taken from them in a world that doesn’t care.

      My New York Times Comment to Steven Erlanger and Jodi Rudoren’s article, “Gaza Operation to Last as Long as Needed,” (Aug. 2), which began the recent round of reports on Gaza, follows—except that it will no longer be found in the Comments section, having been deleted presumably because a reader found it objectionable (I entered a complaint to the Public Editor):

      “[We] will exert as much force as needed.” This, despite leaving Gaza already a wasteland of rubble, having also attacked hospitals, power plants, UN shelter/schools, mosques–scenes reminiscent of World War 2 and possibly worse. Yet world Jewry applauds the war crimes of Israel, unable to see how much Israeli war lust defames, sullies, makes a mockery of Judaism itself, which over the last 150 years has been in the vanguard of human rights.

      The real “self-hating” Jew is the Israeli, who blindly and bluntly tears apart the sublime ethics of Jewish philosophy. Israel hides behind Judaism to commit war crimes. It doesn’t get uglier than that. The Gaza invasion is GENOCIDE.

      ENTIRE COMMENTARY - link to counterpunch.org

  • Elie Wiesel plays the Holocaust trump card in Gaza
    • RE: "Elie Wiesel can’t help himself. If he hasn’t debased himself and his cause enough on the subject of Israel in recent years, his latest is a stunner." ~ Marc Ellis

      SEE: "Elie Wiesel, Moral Mercenary", by Richard Silverstein, Tikun Olam, 2/09/10

      [EXCERPTS] Did you know morality is for sale? No? Well, as far as Elie Wiesel is concerned it is. If the Palestinians had $500,000 THEY might find moral favor in Elie’s eyes as well. You see, since Bernie Madoff blew Wiesel’s foundation assets, I guess he’s found a need to sell his scruples to the highest bidder. Last year that would’ve been John Hagee, before whose Christians United for Israel conference Wiesel pronounced the anti-Semite and homophobe his “dear pastor”:
      For delivering one speech to Hagee’s congregation, Wiesel received a check for $500,000 toward his foundation, according to Marita Styrsky, the wife of Christians United for Israel Eastern Regional Director Victor Styrsky (Christians United is Hagee’s lobbying arm)

      . . . And the next time you hear of some good deed performed by the Elie Wiesel Foundation remember it’s probably funded by a man who said that Hitler was half-Jewish and doing the work of the Lord, John Hagee.

      SOURCE - link to richardsilverstein.com

      P.S. WIESEL ON HIS SUPPORT FOR ISRAEL:

      “My loyalty to my people, to our people, and to Israel comes first and prevents me from saying anything critical of Israel outside Israel… As a Jew I see my role as a melitz yosher, a defender of Israel: I defend even her mistakes… I must identify with whatever Israel does – even with her errors.” ~ Elie Wiesel, “Against Silence”

  • Israeli deceptions revealed in story of ‘kidnapped’ soldier
  • Tariq Abu Khdeir goes to Washington -- and finds surprising support
    • RE: "Shibly said that Israel’s refusal to hold security forces accountable for abuses against Palestinians and Israeli Arabs is prolonging the conflict."

      THAT REMINDS ME: I wonder how much progress Israel has made in the "thorough and transparent investigation" the US State Department said it expects Israel to make* into the videotaped shooting/murder by the Israeli military of the two Palestinian teenagers during the Nakba Day protests outside Ofer prison in the West Bank back on May 15 (more than 10 weeks ago).

      * SEE - "US to Israel: Investigate killing of Palestinian teens", by Yitzhak Benhorin, ynetnews.com, 5/21/14
      Following release of footage documenting killing of two Palestinians near Ramallah, US State Department spokesperson says US expects Israel to 'conduct a thorough and transparent investigation'.
      LINK - link to ynetnews.com

  • Israel calls Obama's tune
    • RE: "This is tragic and embarrassing. Israel is calling the tune for the Obama administration on Gaza. In the last 24 hours since the alleged capture of an Israeli soldier by Palestinian militants, the Obama administration is now laying all blame on Hamas for Israel’s slaughter of over 1300 Palestinians in Gaza." ~ Weiss

      MY COMMENT: Get real, Phil. You've got to look at 'The Big Picture'. The Democrats are in the midst of prime time for raising money for the 2014 elections?!?! This is money the Democrats desperately need in order run enough TV ads so as to have a chance of holding on to the U.S. Senate!?!? If in order to raise that kind of money, Obama has to blame Hamas for Israel’s slaughter of over 1300 Palestinians in Gaza, then "a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do . . ."

      HENRY SIEGMAN, 7/22/14:

      . . . I’m sure the president’s political advisers are telling him that a congressional election year is not the time to take on the Israel lobby. They are wrong, not only because it is always election time in the United States, but because successive polls have established that American Jews vote constantly and overwhelmingly Democratic for a wide variety of domestic and international reasons, but support for Netanyahu’s policies is not one of them.

      And if the president wishes to convince Israelis and Palestinians that Israeli-Palestinian peace is a cause worth taking risks for, should he not be willing to take some domestic political risks as well?

      SOURCE - link to politico.com

  • Reprint of Yochanan Gordon's "When Genocide is Permissible" (Updated)
    • RE: "Reprint of Yochanan Gordon’s “When Genocide is Permissible” (Updated)

      MY COMMENT: I have noticed that something about Operation Leading Edge seems to have made it quite fashionable for Israel's supporters to cavalierly call for the genocide of the Palestinians.* I don't recall having seen this phenomenon back during either "Cast Lead" or "Pillar of Defense".

      * A COMMENT AT POLITICO IN SUPPORT OF THE IDF PERPETRATING A GENOCIDE IN GAZA:

      Jack Jackson • a day ago
      I don't care if Israeli operations are pinpoint or not. Don't stop until the vermin have been exterminated
      • Reply•Share ›
      Avatar
      dickerson3870 Jack Jackson • a day ago
      RE: "Don't stop until the vermin have been exterminated" ~ Jack Jackson

      MY COMMENT: Exterminated? Really? Would you approve of the IDF locking all Gazans (Muslim, Christian and otherwise) into as few buildings as possible, and then using Zyclon B to gas those buildings?

      Would you approve of the IDF using the same tactics to effectuate a genocide of the Palestinians in the West Bank? Christians as well as Muslims? What about the Bedouins? And the Druze?

      Would you approve of the IDF using the same or similar tactics to effectuate a genocide of the Palestinians in Israel proper (i.e., within the green line)?

      Additionally, please tell us a little about yourself, Mr. Jackson. For instance, are you a devotee of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane. Are you a member of the JDL/JDO? Or, are you perhaps a member of John Hagee's Christians United for Israel (CUFI)? Also, would you be willing to participate in a study of how character traits unique to psychopaths manifest themselves on the internet. I certainly hope so, because you would clearly be a highly prized test subject.

      Lastly, thank you, Jack Jackson, for enlightening us with you fascinating 'world view' (a/k/a, worldview)!

      SOURCE - link to politico.com

  • Collective fear, collective support for war crimes -- it's the 'Time of Men' in Israel
    • RE: "Collective fear, collective support for war crimes — it’s the ‘Time of Men’ in Israel"

      ALL HAIL MIGHTY PRIAPUS, AND HIS MASSIVE ORDINANCE PENETRATORS!!!

      BIBI NETANYAHU: "[A] man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do . . ." ~ Brian Williams interview, NBC Nightly News, 7/21/14

      CHABADNIK BOB DYLAN: "Well, the chances are against it and the odds are slim, that he’ll [i.e., Israel will] live by the rules [i.e., International Law] that the world makes for him... ~ from Neighborhood Bully, 1983

      Well, the neighborhood bully, he’s just one man
      His enemies say he’s on their land
      They got him outnumbered about a million to one
      He got no place to escape to, no place to run
      He’s the neighborhood bully . . .
      . . . He got no allies to really speak of
      What he gets he must pay for, he don’t get it out of love . . .
      . . . Well, the chances are against it and the odds are slim
      That he’ll live by the rules that the world makes for him

      ’Cause there’s a noose at his neck and a gun at his back
      And a license to kill him is given out to every maniac
      He’s the neighborhood bully . . .
      . . . Neighborhood bully, standing on the hill
      Running out the clock
      , time standing still
      Neighborhood bully

      SOURCE - link to bobdylan.com

      P.S. ALSO SEE: "Israel, the 'Neighborhood Bully': Deconstructing the Lyrics of Bob Dylan in the Light of the Gaza Crisis", By Adeyinka Makinde, Global Research, July 28, 2014
      LINK - link to globalresearch.ca

  • US suspended aid to Egypt after it slaughtered civilians -- why not Israel?
    • RE: "US suspended aid to Egypt after it slaughtered civilians — why not Israel?"

      MY RETORT: In the midst of prime time for raising money for the 2014 elections?!?! Money the Democrats desperately need in order to have any chance of holding on to the U.S. Senate!?!?
      Get serious, dude!!!

  • The Brits are way hipper about Palestine than Yanks
    • RE: "It’s about blood, and how much more of it will have to be shed before Israel finally feels 'safe'" ~ Laurie Pennie

      MY COMMENT: I don't think it is unreasonable consider the possibility that Israel will never feel "safe"*, which means that as to the amount of blood to be shed, the sky's the limit (especially as long as the codependent U.S. acts as Israel's enabler). Frankly, if Israel were ever somehow able to feel "safe", then it would no longer really be Israel** (at least, not the congenitally insecure Israel we have come to know). As to Israel's primary enabler, the codependent U.S., it also will probably never feel "safe". Ditto for the rest of the nation-states. And the globe's multinational corporations. And . . .

      SEE: Is Israel a "Jewish Nation"? Is the US an "American Nation"?, by Ira Chernus, CommonDreams.org, 1/31/14

      [EXCERPT] . . . All countries define themselves, Hind Khoury, a former Palestinian minister and ambassador, told Rudoren. “Why doesn’t Israel call itself at the U.N. whatever they want to call it — the Jewish whatever, Maccabean, whatever they want. Then the whole world will recognize it.” But, Khoury added, “We will never recognize Israel the way they want, I mean genuinely, from our hearts. ... Why for them to feel secure do we have to deny our most recent history?”
      "For them to feel secure" -- There's the heart of the matter, as Americans should easily understand. Israeli Jews, like white Americans, have always known that their claim to the land they call their own is dubious.
      Ever since the first Europeans arrived in what would become the United States, they have paraded an endless array of papers, all claiming to be treaties signed by native peoples ceding their lands to the conquerors. "You see, we have a right to this land," the whites proudly proclaimed. Never mind that most of the treaties were either coerced, signed by native peoples who did not understand them, or outright fraudulent. They gave at least the appearance of legal right.
      Israel has a somewhat stronger case with UN Resolution 181, passed in 1947, providing for "independent Arab and Jewish States" in Palestine. But the right of the Jews to have their own state in Palestine has still remained a matter of contention (pardon the understatement) ever since.
      Why did so many white Americans find it so important to be able to waive those pieces of paper "proving" their "legal right" to the land? Why do a sizeable majority of Israeli Jews favor the demand that Palestinians acknowledge Israel as "the nation-state of the Jewish people"? Obviously, both peoples are insecure about their right to their land. If they can get the former inhabitants to relinquish their rights, it gives the appearance, at least, that the vanquished concede to the victors a moral right to the land they have taken. . .

      ENTIRE COMMENTARY - link to commondreams.org

      ** SEE - "Itamar Murders: How the Israeli Narrative of Victimization Is Fed", By Ira Chernus, Truthout,
      30 April 2011

      [EXCERPTS] How painful it must have been for Motti Fogel to get up and speak at his brother Udi's funeral. Udi, his wife and three of his children were all buried that day. All were killed by intruders while they slept at home in the Jewish settlement of Itamar, near the Palestinian village of Awarta on the West Bank.
      However difficult it was, Fogel forced himself to eulogize his brother because he had something so important to say: "This funeral has to be a private affair. A man dies to himself, to his children. Udi, you are not a national event. Your horrible death mustn't make your life into a tool."
      But Fogel must have known that his warning was in vain, that his brother and the whole slain family had already become a tool - a political tool. All he had to do was look across the gravesite and see Moshe Yaalon, Israel's right-wing vice premier and minister of strategic affairs. Such a high-ranking official doesn't show up at some ordinary citizens' funeral unless there is political hay to be made.
      In case there was any doubt, Yaalon erased it as soon as it was his turn to speak. "This murder reminds everyone that the struggle and conflict is ... a struggle for our existence," he proclaimed. "We cannot continue speaking about security while the essence is neglected - the essence which is Israel's right to its land" - which includes, he had no need to explain, the entire West Bank. "In this difficult hour, we must rise from the rubble and do the most natural thing - continue building and developing Israel."
      Indeed, on the very same day, other Israeli cabinet ministers were proclaiming that the government's response to the murder - approving several hundred new housing units on the West Bank - was not nearly enough. "We must build in Jerusalem as well as Judea and Samarea," Housing and Construction Minister Ariel Atias insisted. "At least a thousand new homes for each person murdered," Interior Minister Eli Yishai demanded.
      To most Israeli Jews, the logic was clear; it was the logic of war: They killed our people. We must strike back. . .
      The pressure on the Israeli army to find someone to blame was immense. A reign of terror was imposed on the village of Awarta from the day the murder occurred, with some 300 people being arrested in the investigation. It's not hard to imagine that the Israelis would trump up false charges. The Jerusalem Post even reported claims that the teens confessed under torture.
      But you won't find that in the US media, not even in the nation's most respected newspaper. Kershner did report that "about 35 residents of Awarta remain in Israeli detention" even after the case was supposedly solved, and that the mayor of Awarta has "many doubts about this Israeli story" and demanded an independent investigation. But she did not follow up his claims.
      Two weeks earlier, when she reported on the draconian investigation - "The army has repeatedly raided the village, searching homes, forcing doors and breaking furniture, residents said. Hundreds have been arrested" - she depicted the murder as a clearly political act, another battle in an ongoing war. Her lead: "In the rolling hills of the northern West Bank, Palestinian villages and Israeli settlements exist in a geographical intimacy that belies decades of mutual hostility, suspicion and fear. Here neighbors are also enemies, and the brutal killing of five members of the Fogel family in the settlement of Itamar three weeks ago has done nothing but harden that division."
      . . . The US government will never give up its pro-Israel bias and take an even-handed approach to the conflict until the public understands that the myth of Israel's insecurity has no basis in fact. Despite isolated attacks like the one at Itamar - which may not have been politically motivated at all - it's the Palestinians, enduring the ceaseless cruelties of military occupation, whose lives and livelihoods are constantly most at risk.

      ENTIRE COMMENTARY - link to truth-out.org

  • 'Is the Zionist dream based on the repeated slaughter of civilians?'
    • P.S. FROM MAX BLUMENTHAL'S "GOLIATH" - (PAGES 351-352)

      [EXCERPT] The men and women who set out to build a Jewish state in historic Palestine began with a dream of escaping from the crippling confines of European anti-Semitism into an imagined utopia in which Jews would be a normal people like the English or Germans and whose normality, even socialism, included aversion of nineteenth-century Western colonial-ism, an uplifting “mission civilisatrice,” as the French put it. Those who invented modern Zionism had little knowledge of, and no regard for, the actual people living in Palestine, then a province of the Ottoman Empire. And if they had any regard for them, it was expressed in typically colonialist terms. Zionism’s intellectual author, Theodor Herzl, a Viennese playwright and journalist, described the country “as a portion of a rampart of Europe against Asia, an out- post of civilization as opposed to barbarism.” “All the means we need, we ourselves must create them, like Robinson Crusoe on his island,” the literary-minded Herzl told an interviewer in 1898. The Labor Zionist movement’s chief ideologue, Berl Katznelson, blunter than the dreamy Herzl, declared in 1929, “The Zionist enterprise is an enterprise of conquest.” More recently, and perhaps most crudely, former prime minister and Defense minister Ehud Barak described the goal of Zionism as maintaining “a villa in the jungle.”

      Those who dedicated themselves to the formation of the Jewish state may have formulated their national identity through an idealized vision of European enlightenment, but they also recognized that their lofty aims would not be realized without force. As Katznelson said, “It is not by chance that I speak of settlement in military terms.” Thus the Zionist socialists gradually embraced the ideas of radical right-wing ideologue Ze’ev Jabotinsky, who outlined an utterly unromantic strategy in his 1923 essay,“The Iron Wall,” for fulfilling their utopian ambitions.

      “Zionist colonization, even the most restricted, must either be terminated or carried out in defiance of the will of the native population,”Jabotinsky wrote. “This colonization can, therefore, continue and develop only under the protection of a force independent of the local population—an iron wall which the native population cannot break through. This is, in toto, our policy towards the Arabs.” According to Jabotinsky, residents of the Zionist yishuv (community) could not hope to enjoy a European standard of life in the heart of the Arab world without physically separating themselves from the natives. This would require tireless planning, immense sacrifice and no shortage of bloodshed. And all who comprised the Zionist movement, whether left, right, or center, would carry the plan to-wards fulfillment. As Jabotinsky wrote, “All of us, without exception, are constantly demanding that this power strictly fulfill its obligations. In this sense, there are no meaningful differences between our ‘militarists’ and our ‘vegetarians.’”

      One of the greatest misperceptions of Israeli politics has been that the right-wing politicians who claimed Jabotinsky’s writings as their lode-star were responsible for the most egregious violence against the Palestinians. While brimming with anti-Arab resentment and surging in influence, the Israeli right’s real legacy has consisted mostly of producing durable strategies and demagogic rhetoric. Until very recently, it was the Labor Zionists who bore the real responsibility for turning the right’s ideas into actionable policies. The dynamic was best illuminated by the way in which successive Labor Party governments implemented the precepts outlined in Jabotinsky’s “Iron Wall” under the cover of negotiations with the Palestinians.

      As early as 1992, the peace camp icon Yitzhak Rabin advocated the construction of a concrete wall to “take Gaza out of Tel Aviv,”closing off the Gaza Strip and West Bank to pave the way. But it was not until the violence of the Second Intifada accelerated that the process of what Rabin and Barak called “hard separation” became a plausible strategy. Suicide bombing confirmed to even liberal-minded Israelis the stereotype of the Arab native as inherently violent, incurable, and culturally retro-grade. By extension, the wave of terrorism ratified Jabotinsky’s original thesis. “Something like a cage has to be built for [the Palestinians],”the famed Israeli historian Benny Morris declared in a 2002 interview. “There is a wild animal that has to be locked up in one way or another.” . . .

      SOURCE - link to facebook.com

    • RE: "Is the Zionist dream based on the repeated slaughter of civilians?"

      MY COMMENT: I think it can be argued that establishing and maintaining the "iron wall" of Ze'ev Jabotinsky's Revisionist Zionism might very well be accompanied (but is not necessarily) by the "repeated slaughter of civilians", especially civilians claiming the same land as the Zionists and not having the protection of the type of formal army associated with a nation-state.

      FROM WIKIPEDIA [Iron Wall (essay)]:

      [EXCERPT] . . . [Ze'ev] Jabotinsky argued that the Palestinians would not agree to a Jewish majority in Palestine, and that "Zionist colonisation must either stop, or else proceed regardless of the native population. Which means that it can proceed and develop only under the protection of a power that is independent of the native population – behind an iron wall, which the
      native population cannot breach."[1] The only solution to achieve peace and a Jewish state in the Land of Israel, he [Ze'ev Jabotinsky] argued, would be for Jews to unilaterally decide its borders and defend them with the strongest security possible. . .

      SOURCE - link to en.wikipedia.org

      ENTIRE 'IRON WALL' ESSAY: "The Iron Wall (We and the Arabs)", By Vladimir Jabotinsky, 1923 - link to marxists.de

      P.S. ALSO SEE: "The Ethics of the Iron Wall", By Vladimir Jabotinsky, 1923 - link to jabotinsky.org

  • Remnick gets the timeline wrong
    • RE: "[T]he cause of the present flare up is the Hamas/PA reconciliation pact, which Netanyahu went more or less apoplectic about." ~ Roland Nikles

      MY COMMENT: In fact, I think it's quite accurate to say that the Hamas/PA reconciliation pact caused Netanyahu to go ballistic.

  • Over a hundred people join Norman Finkelstein for civil disobedience outside the Israeli consulate in midtown Manhattan
    • RE: "He actually said that? Presumably with a straight face too."

      NBC NIGHTLY NEWS
      Netanyahu: ‘A Man’s Gotta Do, What a Man’s Gotta Do’
      In an interview with NBC’s Brian Williams, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says that while he is worried about public opinion, Israel has no choice but to defend itself.
      Published July 21st 2014, 12:40 pm

      [EXCERPT]
      BRIAN WILLIAMS:
      Perhaps you're detecting there what we've been detecting here however, and that is that this time the capacity of even your allies to watch this seems to differ a little bit. We heard our own secretary of state in an unguarded moment while wearing a microphone yesterday-- mocking the pinpoint operation aspect of the IDF attacks. That, plus the rise of social media, are you more worried now about losing public opinion?

      BENJAMIN NETANYAHU:
      Well, it's always the case. And look, I could tell you that in this case we not only showered them with leaflets, we-- we call them on cell phones, we text them. And we had 20 soldiers killed, 20 soldiers killed, some very fine commanders. And they had a few dozen killed. By the way, according to our estimates, about half of them were combatants. So this happens in every war. And especially in one in which Hamas embeds itself in the-- amid civilian population and prevents the civilian population from leaving.

      Am I worried that this will have an effect? Of course it does. But you know, at a certain point you say what choice have you got? What would you do? What would you do if American cities where you're sitting now, Brian, would be rocketed, would absorb hundreds of rockets? You know-- you know, what would you say?

      You'd say to your leader, "A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do." And you'd say, "A country's gotta do what a country's gotta do." We have to defend ourselves. We try to do it with a minimum amount of force or with targeting military targets as best as we can. But we'll act to defend ourselves. No country can live like this.

      ENTIRE TRANSCRIPT - link to nbcumv.com

      VIDEO - link to nbcnews.com

    • RE: “Hey, Bibi, whaddaya say, / How many kids did you kill
      today?”
      ~ chanted by protesters

      BIBI NETANYAHU: "[A] man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do . . ." ~ Brian Williams interview, NBC Nightly News, 7/21/14

  • Slaughter is not self-defense: The assault on Gaza and the corruption of language

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