Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 554 (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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  • Young Jew seeks to prepares his community for heretical & inevitable-- end of Jewish state
    • RE: "In a Jewish universe where Yom Ha’atzmaut [commemorating Israeli independence] gains more synagogue funds than Shavuot, it is easy to fall into a fantasy of Israel as the pinnacle of Jewish achievement." ~ Jonathan P. Katz

      MY COMMENT: It pains me to suggest that this fantasy is not really so different from the "white supremacy" fantasy advocated (at one time, at least, if not currently) by the likes of David Duke.
      In point of fact, The combination of Islamophobia and sixty plus years of Israeli “Iron Wall” militarism has made Likudnik Israel and right-wing Jews quite popular with many right-wing groups that were once considered anti-Semitic. Israeli flags are now showing up at demonstrations by far-right (white supremacist) groups like the English Defence League (EDL) and the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn (political party) in Greece.

  • Reform Jews offer no proposal to end occupation, says Jewish Voice for Peace
    • RE: "That’s why there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between J Street and AIPAC these days." ~ Weiss

      MY VERY WEAK ATTEMPT AT A REPARTEE: Yeah, and I'd like to throw all their Gucci briefcases in the "Poe-toe-mack", y'all!

    • RE: "Reform Jews offer no proposal to end occupation, says Jewish Voice for Peace"

      IF I CORRECTLY UNDERSTAND THIS: So, Rabbi Eric Yoffie (the former head of the Reform Jewish organization who, we can only assume, has been authorized by its current leadership to speak on their behalf as to divestment/BDS because, we can logically assume, its current leaders lack the chutzpah, or at least the moxie, to speak for themselves and Reform Judaism as to the issue of divestment/BDS) is willing to mouth the words "two-state solution" (as even Netanyahu sort of finally did along with a boatload of qualifiers back in one 2009 speech, and despite Netanyahu's many actions to the contrary since that speech), but at the very same time Rabbi Eric Yoffie (apparently speaking for the Reform Jewish organization) opposes any practical measure that would help bring an independent Palestinian state into existence. Dare I suggest that the establishment (the officials) of Reform Judaism might be "two-state fakers"*. Oh, dear me, I suppose I just did. How dreadful!

      * SEE - "Flotilla 3.0: Redeeming Obama's Palestine Speech with Gaza's Ark", By Robert Naiman, truth-out.org, 3/25/13

      [EXCERPTS] There's a half-empty way and a half-full way of looking at President Barack Obama's Jerusalem speech about the creation of an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.
      The half-empty way of looking at it is: This was Obama's white flag of surrender.
      To everyone around the world who for decades has been assuming that at the end of the day, the president of the United States would lead the way to resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict, Obama was saying: Don't look at me. Just because the United States is the principal military, diplomatic and economic protector of the Israeli government, doesn't mean that I, as the president of the United States, will do anything about the military occupation of millions of Palestinian human beings. Bibi doesn't want an independent Palestinian state; Bibi's government doesn't want an independent Palestinian state; AIPAC doesn't want an independent Palestinian state; and Congress - which defers to AIPAC - doesn't want an independent Palestinian state. Of course, many of them mouth the words - not Bibi's government, they don't even do that - but those who mouth the words oppose any practical measure that would help bring an independent Palestinian state into existence. They're "two state fakers." Settlement freeze? Impossible. UN membership for Palestine? Can't be done. No, according to the two state fakers, the only option on the menu in the restaurant for the Palestinians is to return to negotiations without a settlement freeze, negotiations that for 20 years have brought more land confiscation, more settlements, more restrictions on Palestinian movement and commerce, more oppression. And so, Obama was saying, my hands are tied. Don't look at me.
      The half-full way of looking at it is this: It was a great speech. If you "price in," as the markets say, acceptance that the US government isn't going to lead on this, it was a great motivational speech. President Obama made a very compelling case that someone else should do something. . . [and now Yoffe has made it clear that it's not going to be Reform Judaism ~ JLD]

      ENTIRE COMMENTARY - link to truth-out.org

  • Oldman labels himself an 'A-hole' for saying Jews run Hollywood
    • P.S. RE: "If the shoe fits . . ." ~ me, above

      CLARIFICATION: I was referring to the "Oldman labels himself an ‘A-hole’" part, which I should have put in bold above.
      If Oldman wanted to seriously comment on the influence of "Jews" in/on "Hollywood", he should have, at a minimum, avoided doing so in simplistic terms reminiscent of centuries of antisemitic fantasies/allegations of Jews running (virtually) everything.

    • RE: "Oldman labels himself an ‘A-hole’ for saying Jews run Hollywood"

      MY COMMENT: If the shoe fits . . .

      XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

      RE: "The Washington Post’s Soraya Nadia McDonald continues to be cynical about the Oldman apology. She pointed out at the start of this dustup that he had offended other groups as well, women and gays; no craven apology to them." ~ Weiss

      MY COMMENT: I thought ADL pretended (at least) to fight all kinds of bigotry, not just antisemitism/anti-Semitism/anti-semitism.
      Consequently, can we at least see a wee bit of pretense of also being concerned about Oldman's misogynistic and homophobic comments, ADL? If only for the sake of appearances? Or would that too much rile your major donors?

  • Photo Essay: Israeli night raids terrorize families of Azza Refugee Camp
    • RE: According to Nashash, the IDF released a German Shepherd inside the building, and he awoke with the dog on top of him, attacking him before he even realized the army were in the camp.
      “Our house must have been one of the first they went to, I was sleeping in my bed when the dog came into the room, jumped on my bed and bit my face and grabbed onto my lip,” Nashash said.
      ~ Sheren Khalel and Matthew Vickery

      MY COMMENT: Perhaps its just me, but it seems quite perversely ironic that Israel uses German Shepherds* (once an "icon of the Third Reich") to terrorize Palestinians. What's that about? Is it some type of philo-Teutonism?

      * FROM Dog Law Reporter:

      [EXCERPT] . . . In World War I, German shepherds were mobilized by a number of countries and served in national and colonial armies. Between the wars, the breed so quickly dominated law enforcement that in many places it is still just called the “police dog.” The “Germanness” of the dog obviously appealed to the Nazis, who made it into an icon of the Third Reich. They were picking up on the views of [Max von] Stephanitz himself [who is credited with perfecting the breed around 1900], who as noted above had seen the dog as reflecting the character of the Volk and described it, despite its mixed origins and recent breed status, as having an ancient and intimate relationship with Germans. Hitler named his first German shepherd “Wolf.” Shepherds were used by the Nazis to control prisoners of war and guard concentration camps.". . .

      SOURCE - link to doglawreporter.blogspot.com

  • The Israeli crackdown on the West Bank as seen from the Qalandiya checkpoint
    • RE: "Either the sudden increase in time it takes to get through the checkpoint is unrelated to the kidnapping of the young boys or the people passing through the Qalandiya checkpoint were being collectively punished for the kidnapping of the young Israeli Jewish students, a crime of which they had no knowledge or involvement." ~ Raff Piccolo

      MY COMMENT: Israel seldom misses an opportunity to seemingly over-react to security threats in a way that also just happens to enhance their social control over the Palestinians. In this case the arbitrary use of collective punishment can be used to reinforce the "maintained uncertainty"* that induces in the Palestinians a sense of "permanent temporariness".
      The seemingly arbitrary use of collective punishment can also serve as an adverse stimulus (which the Palestinians cannot escape) to instill a sense of "learned helplessness" in Palestinian.**

      * FROM ALISTAIR CROOKE, London Review of Books, 03/03/11:

      [EXCERPTS] . . . It was [Ariel] Sharon who pioneered the philosophy of ‘maintained uncertainty’ that repeatedly extended and then limited the space in which Palestinians could operate by means of an unpredictable combination of changing and selectively enforced regulations, and the dissection of space by settlements, roads Palestinians were not allowed to use and continually shifting borders. All of this was intended to induce in the Palestinians a sense of permanent temporariness. . .
      . . . It suits Israel to have a ‘state’ without borders so that it can keep negotiating about borders, and count on the resulting uncertainty to maintain acquiescence. . .

      SOURCE - link to lrb.co.uk
      temporariness

      ** FROM WIKIPEDIA [Learned helplessness]:

      [EXCERPT] Learned helplessness is the condition of a human or animal that has learned to behave helplessly, failing to respond even though there are opportunities for it to help itself by avoiding unpleasant circumstances or by gaining positive rewards. Learned helplessness theory is the view that clinical depression and related mental illnesses may result from a perceived absence of control over the outcome of a situation.[1] Organisms which have been ineffective and less sensitive in determining the consequences of their behavior are defined as having acquired learned helplessness.[2]
      The American psychologist Martin Seligman's foundational experiments and theory of learned helplessness began at the University of Pennsylvania in 1967, as an extension of his interest in depression. Quite by accident, Seligman and colleagues discovered that the conditioning of dogs led to outcomes that opposed the predictions of B.F. Skinner's behaviorism, then a leading psychological theory.[3][4]

      Experiment
      Summary
      In the learned helplessness experiment an animal is repeatedly hurt by an adverse stimulus which it cannot escape.
      Eventually the animal will stop trying to avoid the pain and behave as if it is utterly helpless to change the situation.
      Finally, when opportunities to escape are presented, this learned helplessness prevents any action. The only coping mechanism the animal uses is to be stoical and put up with the discomfort, not expending energy getting worked up about the adverse stimulus. . .

      SOURCE - link to en.wikipedia.org

  • Why a false understanding of the 'Six Day War' still matters
    • RE: "On June 5, 1967 Israel invaded Egypt, Jordan, and Syria... The accepted orthodoxy of this war...is that it was justified because Egypt, Jordan, and Syria had massed troops “vastly outnumbering Israel” along the border, and that Israel, threatened with its very survival, launched a necessary pre-emptive attack on its neighbors . . ." ~ Roland Nikles

      MY COMMENT: One of the reasons I began following developments in the Middle East has to do with the happenstance that I was away from Atlanta visiting my grandfather (with little to do but read) in June, 1967. In that part of Georgia, the television reception with a rotating antenna was much better for the Augusta and Macon stations than it was for the Atlanta stations, but since the programming of the Augusta and Macon stations was not up to Atlanta standards, the television was seldom used. This time though, as luck (or not) would have it, one of the two Augusta stations preempted its daytime programming with the deliberations by the UN General Assembly of proposals that might lessen the likelihood of war. I very much enjoyed watching several days of this, and I was very disappointed when I got up on June 5 and the station had reverted to its customary daytime programming because Israel had bombed the Egyptian air force on the tarmac in Egypt. Needless to say, I did not at all see Israel's action(s) as defensive.
      All told, this made quite a lasting impression (unfavorable as to Israel) on me !

  • Human rights orgs condemn collective punishment of Palestinians in response to disappearance of three Israeli settlers
    • RE: "The recent wave of arrests, attacks, killings and total closure of large parts of the West Bank following the disappearance of three Israeli settlers is a clear form of collective punishment against the Palestinian people." ~ the Palestinian Human Rights Organisations Council (PHROC)

      MY COMMENT: This sounds somewhat like the MO (method of operation) used after the Itamar murders.*

      * 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

      P.S. ALSO SEE: "Israel’s racist response to Itamar murders would be unthinkable in the U.S." by David Samel, Mondoweiss.net, March 25, 2011
      LINK - link to mondoweiss.net

  • Sunday morning macabre
    • RE: Brainwashing. It’s as if I was watching an indoctrinated cult member…in the rapture. ~ just

      MY REPLY: What leads you to believe you were not watching an indoctrinated cult member? According to the article below*, Chabad teaches its followers that Jews are a different species from us mongrels!

      Centres - Chabad Lubavitch UK
      Northern Ireland - Belfast. Rabbi Menachem and Ruth Brackman run the Chabad Centre for Northern Ireland. The Centre is located in Belfast.
      LINK - link to chabad.org.uk

      * SEE: "Why is the US Honoring a Racist Rabbi?", by Alison Weir, counterpunch.org, 4/07/14

      [EXCERPT] If things proceed normally, President Barak Obama will soon proclaim April 11, 2014 “Education and Sharing Day, U.S.A.” Despite the innocuous name, this day honors the memory of a religious leader whose lesser-known teachings help fuel some of the most violent attacks against Palestinians by extremist Israeli settlers and soldiers.

      The leader being honored on this day is Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, charismatic head of a mystical/fundamentalist version of Judaism [namely, Chabad-Lubavitch]. . .

      . . . Congress first passed a Resolution honoring Schneerson in 1975. . .

      . . . Schneerson and his movement are an extremely mixed bag.

      Schneerson has been praised widely for a public persona and organization that emphasized “deep compassion and insight,” worked to bring many secular Jews “back” into the fold, created numerous schools around the world, and had offered, in the words of the Jewish Virtual Library, “social-service programs and humanitarian aid to all people, regardless of religious affiliation or background.”

      However, there is also a less attractive underside often at odds with such public perceptions. And some of the more extreme parts of Schneerson’s teachings – such as that Jews are a completely different species than non-Jews, and that non-Jews exist only to serve Jews – have been largely hidden, it appears, even from many who consider themselves his followers.

      As we will see, such views profoundly impact the lives of Palestinians living – and dying – under Israeli occupation and military invasions. . .

      ENTIRE ARTICLE - link to counterpunch.org

      P.S. I have read that the CIA backed Chabad-Lubavich in the Soviet Union back during the Cold War in an effort to destabilize the U.S.S.R. Similarly, the CIA dealt with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt to counter Soviet influence in Egypt.

    • A budding cult follower like him isn't going to be satisfied with anything less than a full blown cult. I can easily see him joining 'Jews for Jesus' in a few years.
      Jews for Jesus - link to en.wikipedia.org

      P.S. 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."

  • Fire Thomas Friedman
    • P.S. RE: "It seemed like a hopelessly “Do or Die” [VIDEO, 07:03], zero-sum game . . ." ~ me (from above, where it contains a bad link)

      CORRECTED LINK: It seemed like a hopelessly “Do or Die” (VIDEO, 07:03), zero-sum game . . .

      P.P.S. RE: "Friedman’s trademark pomposity is also on display." ~ James North

      AS TO "FRIEDMAN'S TRADEMARK POMPOSITY", SEE HIM USE THE SILLIEST, MOST ASININE, ANALOGY TO THE DOT-COM BUBBLE IN REFERRING TO A "TERRORISM BUBBLE". IT IS FOLLOWED BY SAM SEDER CALLING HIM A SOCIOPATH FOR TELLING IRAQ TO "SUCK ON THIS". FRIEDMAN DOES SEEM QUITE DEMENTED, AS THOUGH HE MIGHT HAVE BEEN OFF HIS MEDS AND/OR SERIOUSLY IN NEED OF SOME NEW MEDS.
      That Time Thomas Friedman Told Iraq to "Suck on This" [VIDEO, 08:53] - link to youtube.com

    • RE: [Thomas Friedman] asserts that there is conflict in Iraq today because “too many of them are still fighting over who is the rightful heir to the Prophet Muhammad from the 7th century.” ~ James North

      MY COMMENT: Christian sects fought (sometimes literally) for centuries over whether Jesus was a human (i.e., the son of man) or a deity (i.e., G_d). It seemed like a hopelessly "Do or Die" [VIDEO, 07:03], zero-sum game until someone conjured up (thanks to "Divine Inspiration", no doubt; wink, wink [ VIDEO, 06:28 ]) the doctrine of "hypostatic union" to explain how Jesus could be both G_d and man at the same time. Two for the price of one! Now, to borrow from Rodney King, can't we all (at least us Christians, for Christ's sake) just get along?
      Well, some might say there is a bit of a 'catch' (others might call it "pure genius") in that we humans are purportedly incapable of fully understanding the doctrine of hypostatic union because it is impossible for us to fully understand how God works; and because we, as human beings with finite minds, should not expect to totally comprehend an infinite God.
      Seriously though, ten or so years ago I did spend a long weekend (three days straight w/o sleep) on the internet (mostly at Wikipedia.org trying to make sense (mostly using jurisprudence) of the epic struggle to settle this second thorniest of Christianity's many disputes. Ultimately, I decided I would believe only in a dancer who knew how to play G_d, not vice versa.
      Fortunately or not, Wikipedia seems to have new articles dealing more directly with this issue.
      Son of God - link to en.wikipedia.org
      Son of man (Christianity) - link to en.wikipedia.org

  • Wisconsin Jewish leaders open the door to-- shhh -- anti-Zionists
    • RE: "Glick is senior contributing editor of the Jerusalem Post, an author and an unabashed Zionist. She insisted that the Jewish people have the primary right to sovereignty over the entire land of Israel, and that the Jewish community in Israel and beyond should unapologetically say so." ~ Leon Cohen, editor of the Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle

      MY COMMENT: In other words, Caroline Glick believes all Jews should get in touch with their inner John Hagees* (at least as to "the entire land of Israel", if not as to the breeding of a "perfect red heifer"), and not worry about what the Lebanese, Syrians, Jordanians, Iraqis, Saudis and nearly everyone else will think.

      * SEE: "A Serial Obstructionist", By Rachel Tabachnick, ZEEK - Forward, 3/15/10

      [EXCERPTS] . . . Shortly after Vice President Joe Biden’s arrival in Israel, Netanyahu and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat were the headliners at Pastor John Hagee’s two-hour Christians United for Israel (CUFI) extravaganza at the Jerusalem Convention Center. . .
      . . . Monday’s CUFI production was based on the concept of “biblical Zionism,” or the belief that God mandates nonnegotiable borders of Israel, and any leader or nation who thwarts this divine plan will be cursed. Before introducing Netanyahu, Hagee stated, “World leaders do not have the authority to tell Israel and the Jewish people what they can and can not do in Jerusalem.” He added, “Israel does not exist because of a decree of the United Nations in 1948. Israel exists because of a covenant God made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. . . The settlements are not the problem.”
      In his books and sermons Hagee has promoted a “greater Israel,” that will reclaim all of Israel’s former biblical territory, stating “In modern terms, Israel rightfully owns all of present-day Israel, all of Lebanon, half of Syria, two-thirds of Jordan, all of Iraq, and the northern portion of Saudi Arabia.”
      At the Jerusalem CUFI event Hagee described Ahmadinejad as the Hitler of the Middle East who could turn the world upside down in 24 hours, words similar to those he made when lobbying for the attack on Iraq. . .
      . . . During a performance by singer Dudu Fisher, the God TV camera panned to the audience and centered on Joel Bell, leader of Worldwide Biblical Zionists. WBZ is currently building a center in Sha’ar Benjamin for “facilitating absorption” of Christian Zionists into the West Bank. It was established after a joint meeting held in Texas of the Board of Governors of World Likud led by Danny Danon, and World Evangelical Zionists led by Joel Bell. Speakers included ZOA’s Morton Klein. . .

      ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to zeek.forward.com

  • The world was right about Iraq-- though Israel got its 'Clean Break'
    • P.S. IN THE SAME VEIN, ALSO SEE: "Whose War?" ~ by Patrick J. Buchanan, TheAmericanConservative.com, March 24, 2003
      A neoconservative clique seeks to ensnare our country in a series of wars that are not in America’s interest.

      [EXCERPTS] The War Party may have gotten its war. But it has also gotten something it did not bargain for. Its membership lists and associations have been exposed and its motives challenged. In a rare moment in U.S. journalism, Tim Russert put this question directly to Richard Perle: “Can you assure American viewers … that we’re in this situation against Saddam Hussein and his removal for American security interests? And what would be the link in terms of Israel?”
      Suddenly, the Israeli connection is on the table, and the War Party is not amused. . .

      . . . ■ The Neoconservatives
      Who are the neoconservatives? The first generation were ex-liberals, socialists, and Trotskyites, boat-people from the McGovern revolution who rafted over to the GOP at the end of conservatism’s long march to power with Ronald Reagan in 1980. . .

      Beating the War Drums
      When the Cold War ended, these neoconservatives began casting about for a new crusade to give meaning to their lives. On Sept. 11, their time came. They seized on that horrific atrocity to steer America’s rage into all-out war to destroy their despised enemies, the Arab and Islamic “rogue states” that have resisted U.S. hegemony and loathe Israel.
      The War Party’s plan, however, had been in preparation far in advance of 9/11. And when President Bush, after defeating the Taliban, was looking for a new front in the war on terror, they put their precooked meal in front of him. Bush dug into it.

      Before introducing the script-writers of America’s future wars, consider the rapid and synchronized reaction of the neocons to what happened after that fateful day.
      On Sept. 12, Americans were still in shock when Bill Bennett told CNN that we were in “a struggle between good and evil,” that the Congress must declare war on “militant Islam,” and that “overwhelming force” must be used. Bennett cited Lebanon, Libya, Syria, Iraq, Iran, and China as targets for attack. Not, however, Afghanistan, the sanctuary of Osama’s terrorists. How did Bennett know which nations must be smashed before he had any idea who attacked us?
      The Wall Street Journal immediately offered up a specific target list, calling for U.S. air strikes on “terrorist camps in Syria, Sudan, Libya, and Algeria, and perhaps even in parts of Egypt.” Yet, not one of Bennett’s six countries, nor one of these five, had anything to do with 9/11.
      On Sept. 15, according to Bob Woodward’s Bush at War, “Paul Wolfowitz put forth military arguments to justify a U.S. attack on Iraq rather than Afghanistan.” Why Iraq? Because, Wolfowitz argued in the War Cabinet, while “attacking Afghanistan would be uncertain … Iraq was a brittle oppressive regime that might break easily. It was doable.”
      On Sept. 20, forty neoconservatives sent an open letter to the White House instructing President Bush on how the war on terror must be conducted. Signed by Bennett, Podhoretz, Kirkpatrick, Perle, Kristol, and Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer, the letter was an ultimatum. To retain the signers’ support, the president was told, he must target Hezbollah for destruction, retaliate against Syria and Iran if they refuse to sever ties to Hezbollah, and overthrow Saddam. Any failure to attack Iraq, the signers warned Bush, “will constitute an early and perhaps decisive surrender in the war on international terrorism.”
      Here was a cabal of intellectuals telling the Commander-in-Chief, nine days after an attack on America, that if he did not follow their war plans, he would be charged with surrendering to terror. Yet, Hezbollah had nothing to do with 9/11. What had Hezbollah done? Hezbollah had humiliated Israel by driving its army out of Lebanon.
      President Bush had been warned. He was to exploit the attack of 9/11 to launch a series of wars on Arab regimes, none of which had attacked us. All, however, were enemies of Israel. “Bibi” Netanyahu, the former Prime Minister of Israel, like some latter-day Citizen Genet, was ubiquitous on American television, calling for us to crush the “Empire of Terror.” The “Empire,” it turns out, consisted of Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran, Iraq, and “the Palestinian enclave.”
      Nasty as some of these regimes and groups might be, what had they done to the United States? . . .
      . . . In "The War Against the Terror Masters", he [ex-Pentagon official Michael Ledeen] identifies the exact regimes America must destroy:

      First and foremost, we must bring down the terror regimes, beginning with the Big Three: Iran, Iraq, and Syria. And then we have to come to grips with Saudi Arabia. … Once the tyrants in Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Saudi Arabia have been brought down, we will remain engaged. …We have to ensure the fulfillment of the democratic revolution. … Stability is an unworthy American mission, and a misleading concept to boot. We do not want stability in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and even Saudi Arabia; we want things to change. The real issue is not whether, but how to destabilize.

      Rejecting stability as “an unworthy American mission,” Ledeen goes on to define America’s authentic “historic mission”:

      Creative destruction is our middle name, both within our society and abroad. We tear down the old order every day, from business to science, literature, art, architecture, and cinema to politics and the law. Our enemies have always hated this whirlwind of energy and creativity which menaces their traditions (whatever they may be) and shames them for their inability to keep pace. … [W]e must destroy them to advance our historic mission.

      Passages like this owe more to Leon Trotsky than to Robert Taft and betray a Jacobin streak in neoconservatism that cannot be reconciled with any concept of true conservatism.
      To the Weekly Standard, Ledeen’s enemies list was too restrictive. We must not only declare war on terror networks and states that harbor terrorists, said the Standard, we should launch wars on “any group or government inclined to support or sustain others like them in the future.”
      Robert Kagan and William Kristol were giddy with excitement at the prospect of Armageddon. The coming war “is going to spread and engulf a number of countries. … It is going to resemble the clash of civilizations that everyone has hoped to avoid. … [I]t is possible that the demise of some ‘moderate’ Arab regimes may be just round the corner.”
      Norman Podhoretz in Commentary even outdid Kristol’s Standard, rhapsodizing that we should embrace a war of civilizations, as it is George W. Bush’s mission “to fight World War IV—the war against militant Islam.” By his count, the regimes that richly deserve to be overthrown are not confined to the three singled-out members of the axis of evil (Iraq, Iran, North Korea). At a minimum, the axis should extend to Syria and Lebanon and Libya, as well as ‘“friends” of America like the Saudi royal family and Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak, along with the Palestinian Authority. Bush must reject the “timorous counsels” of the “incorrigibly cautious Colin Powell,” wrote Podhoretz, and “find the stomach to impose a new political culture on the defeated” Islamic world. As the war against al-Qaeda required that we destroy the Taliban, Podhoretz wrote,

      We may willy-nilly find ourselves forced … to topple five or six or seven more tyrannies in the Islamic world (including that other sponsor of terrorism, Yasir Arafat’s Palestinian Authority). I can even [imagine] the turmoil of this war leading to some new species of an imperial mission for America, whose purpose would be to oversee the emergence of successor governments in the region more amenable to reform and modernization than the despotisms now in place. … I can also envisage the establishment of some kind of American protectorate over the oil fields of Saudi Arabia, as we more and more come to wonder why 7,000 princes should go on being permitted to exert so much leverage over us and everyone else.

      Podhoretz credits Eliot Cohen with the phrase “World War IV.” Bush was shortly thereafter seen carrying about a gift copy of Cohen’s book that celebrates civilian mastery of the military in times of war, as exhibited by such leaders as Winston Churchill and David Ben Gurion.
      A list of the Middle East regimes that Podhoretz, Bennett, Ledeen, Netanyahu, and the Wall Street Journal regard as targets for destruction thus includes Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Sudan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas, the Palestinian Authority, and “militant Islam.”
      Cui Bono? For whose benefit these endless wars in a region that holds nothing vital to America save oil, which the Arabs must sell us to survive? Who would benefit from a war of civilizations between the West and Islam?
      Answer: one nation, one leader, one party. Israel, Sharon, Likud.
      Indeed, Sharon has been everywhere the echo of his acolytes in America. In February 2003, Sharon told a delegation of Congressmen that, after Saddam’s regime is destroyed, it is of “vital importance” that the United States disarm Iran, Syria, and Libya.
      “We have a great interest in shaping the Middle East the day after” the war on Iraq, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz told the Conference of Major American Jewish Organizations.
      After U.S. troops enter Baghdad, the United States must generate “political, economic, diplomatic pressure” on Tehran, Mofaz admonished the American Jews. . .
      . . . On July 10, 2002, Perle invited a former aide to Lyndon LaRouche named Laurent Murawiec to address the Defense Policy Board. In a briefing that startled Henry Kissinger, Murawiec named Saudi Arabia as “the kernel of evil, the prime mover, the most dangerous opponent” of the United States.
      Washington should give Riyadh an ultimatum, he said. Either you Saudis “prosecute or isolate those involved in the terror chain, including the Saudi intelligence services,” and end all propaganda against Israel, or we invade your country, seize your oil fields, and occupy Mecca.
      In closing his PowerPoint presentation, Murawiec offered a “Grand Strategy for the Middle East.” “Iraq is the tactical pivot, Saudi Arabia the strategic pivot, Egypt the prize.” . . .

      . . . The neocons seek American empire, and Sharonites seek hegemony over the Middle East. The two agendas coincide precisely. And though neocons insist that it was Sept. 11 that made the case for war on Iraq and militant Islam, the origins of their war plans go back far before.

      “Securing the Realm”
      The principal draftsman is Richard Perle, an aide to Sen. Scoop Jackson, who, in 1970, was overheard on a federal wiretap discussing classified information from the National Security Council with the Israeli Embassy. In Jews and American Politics, published in 1974, Stephen D. Isaacs wrote, “Richard Perle and Morris Amitay command a tiny army of Semitophiles on Capitol Hill and direct Jewish power in behalf of Jewish interests.” In 1983, the New York Times reported that Perle had taken substantial payments from an Israeli weapons manufacturer.
      In 1996, with Douglas Feith and David Wurmser, Perle wrote “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm,” for Prime Minister Netanyahu. In it, Perle, Feith, and Wurmser urged Bibi to ditch the Oslo Accords of the assassinated Yitzak Rabin and adopt a new aggressive strategy:

      Israel can shape its strategic environment, in cooperation with Turkey and Jordan, by weakening, containing, and even rolling back Syria. This effort can focus on removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq—an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right—as a means of foiling Syria’s regional ambitions. Jordan has challenged Syria’s regional ambitions recently by suggesting the restoration of the Hashemites in Iraq.

      In the Perle-Feith-Wurmser strategy, Israel’s enemy remains Syria, but the road to Damascus runs through Baghdad. Their plan, which urged Israel to re-establish “the principle of preemption,” has now been imposed by Perle, Feith, Wurmser & Co. on the United States.
      In his own 1997 paper, “A Strategy for Israel,” Feith pressed Israel to re-occupy “the areas under Palestinian Authority control,” though “the price in blood would be high.”

      Wurmser, as a resident scholar at AEI, drafted joint war plans for Israel and the United States “to fatally strike the centers of radicalism in the Middle East. Israel and the United States should … broaden the conflict to strike fatally, not merely disarm, the centers of radicalism in the region—the regimes of Damascus, Baghdad, Tripoli, Tehran, and Gaza. That would establish the recognition that fighting either the United States or Israel is suicidal.”
      He urged both nations to be on the lookout for a crisis, for as he wrote, “Crises can be opportunities.” Wurmser published his U.S.-Israeli war plan on Jan. 1, 2001, nine months before 9/11.
      About the Perle-Feith-Wurmser cabal, author Michael Lind writes:

      The radical Zionist right to which Perle and Feith belong is small in number but it has become a significant force in Republican policy-making circles. It is a recent phenomenon, dating back to the late 1970s and 1980s, when many formerly Democratic Jewish intellectuals joined the broad Reagan coalition. While many of these hawks speak in public about global crusades for democracy, the chief concern of many such “neo-conservatives” is the power and reputation of Israel.

      Right down the smokestack.
      Perle today chairs the Defense Policy Board, Feith is an Undersecretary of Defense, and Wurmser is special assistant to the Undersecretary of State for Arms Control, John Bolton, who dutifully echoes the Perle-Sharon line. According to the Israeli daily newspaper Ha’aretz, in late February,

      U.S. Undersecretary of State John Bolton said in meetings with Israeli officials … that he has no doubt America will attack Iraq and that it will be necessary to deal with threats from Syria, Iran and North Korea afterwards.

      On Jan. 26, 1998, President Clinton received a letter imploring him to use his State of the Union address to make removal of Saddam Hussein’s regime the “aim of American foreign policy” and to use military action because “diplomacy is failing.” Were Clinton to do that, the signers pledged, they would “offer our full support in this difficult but necessary endeavor.” Signing the pledge were Elliott Abrams, Bill Bennett, John Bolton, Robert Kagan, William Kristol, Richard Perle, and Paul Wolfowitz. Four years before 9/11, the neocons had Baghdad on their minds.

      The Wolfowitz Doctrine
      In 1992, a startling document was leaked from the office of Paul Wolfowitz at the Pentagon. Barton Gellman of the Washington Post called it a “classified blueprint intended to help ‘set the nation’s direction for the next century.’” The Wolfowitz Memo called for a permanent U.S. military presence on six continents to deter all “potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role.” Containment, the victorious strategy of the Cold War, was to give way to an ambitious new strategy designed to “establish and protect a new order.” . . .
      . . . In confronting America’s adversaries, the paper declares, “We will not hesitate to act alone, if necessary, to exercise our right of self-defense by acting preemptively.” It warns any nation that seeks to acquire power to rival the United States that it will be courting war with the United States . . .
      . . . America must reconcile herself to an era of “nation-building on a grand scale, and with no exit strategy,” Robert Kagan instructs.? But this Pax Americana the neocons envision bids fair to usher us into a time of what Harry Elmer Barnes called “permanent war for permanent peace.”

      The Munich Card
      As President Bush was warned on Sept. 20, 2001, that he will be indicted for “a decisive surrender” in the war on terror should he fail to attack Iraq, he is also on notice that pressure on Israel is forbidden. For as the neoconservatives have played the anti-Semitic card, they will not hesitate to play the Munich card as well. A year ago, when Bush called on Sharon to pull out of the West Bank, Sharon fired back that he would not let anyone do to Israel what Neville Chamberlain had done to the Czechs. Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy immediately backed up Ariel Sharon:

      With each passing day, Washington appears to view its principal Middle Eastern ally’s conduct as inconvenient—in much the same way London and Paris came to see Czechoslovakia’s resistance to Hitler’s offers of peace in exchange for Czech lands.

      When former U.S. NATO commander Gen. George Jouwlan said the United States may have to impose a peace on Israel and the Palestinians, he, too, faced the charge of appeasement. Wrote Gaffney,

      They would, presumably, go beyond Britain and France’s sell-out of an ally at Munich in 1938. The “impose a peace” school is apparently prepared to have us play the role of Hitler’s Wehrmacht as well, seizing and turning over to Yasser Arafat the contemporary Sudetenland: the West Bank and Gaza Strip and perhaps part of Jerusalem as well.

      Podhoretz agreed Sharon was right in the substance of what he said but called it politically unwise to use the Munich analogy.
      President Bush is on notice: Should he pressure Israel to trade land for peace, the Oslo formula in which his father and Yitzak Rabin believed, he will, as was his father, be denounced as an anti-Semite and a Munich-style appeaser by both Israelis and their neoconservatives allies inside his own Big Tent. . .

      ENTIRE ARTICLE - link to theamericanconservative.com

    • RE "In 2003, in the largest global protest in human history, millions of us marched in the world’s streets, loudly proclaiming that invading Iraq would be an unmitigated disaster. Meanwhile, Israel’s neocon loyalists achieved exactly what they wanted: a perpetual nightmare of internecine conflict." ~ Matthew Taylor

      FROM "RATIONALE FOR THE IRAQI WAR" AT WIKIPEDIA.COM:

      [EXCERPTS] The rationale for the Iraq War (i.e. the 2003 invasion of Iraq and subsequent hostilities) has been a contentious issue since the Bush administration began actively pressing for military intervention in Iraq in late 2001. The primary rationalization for the Iraq War was articulated by a joint resolution of the U.S. Congress known as the Iraq Resolution.
      The U.S. stated that the intent was to remove "a regime that developed and used weapons of mass destruction, that harbored and supported terrorists, committed outrageous human rights abuses, and defied the just demands of the United Nations and the world".=[1] Additional reasons have been suggested: "to change the Middle East so as to deny support for militant Islam by pressuring or transforming the nations and transnational systems that support it."
      [2] For the invasion of Iraq the rationale was "the United States relied on the authority of UN Security Council Resolutions 678 and 687 to use all necessary means to compel Iraq to comply with its international obligations".[3] . . .

      . . . ■ The Neoconservative Rationale
      Two respected conservatives, Stefan Halper and Jonathan Clarke, argue in their 2004 book, “America Alone: The Neo-Conservatives and the Global Order,”[104] that long-standing neoconservative beliefs and the neoconservatives’ ascension to power underlie the origins of the Iraq War, but the neoconservatives chose to obscure their rationale for that war.

      Neoconservative Foreign Policy
      The authors describe the neoconservatives as a “political interest group” [104]:9 and do not believe there was any conspiracy. Instead, the authors accuse the neo-conservatives of not openly stating their rationale for the war, understating the scope of what they wanted to accomplish, and minimizing what it would cost to secure Iraq:

      The evidence is already at hand that the prime advocates of the Iraq war - notably the neo-conservatives who had been advocating this course since the end of the first Gulf War - did not level with the American people. They offered the image of a "cakewalk," keeping quiet about the true dimensions of their objectives, which involved a vast project for reengineering the political, cultural, economic, and religious face of the Middle East: Iraq at the beginning, with Syria, Iran, and Saudi Arabia to follow. Instead of putting this case to the American people and seeking their support, they spun a web of deception with a reason "du jour" being offered other than the truth. Wolfowitz would later acknowledge that Iraq's supposed supply of WMD had never been the most compelling case for war: "For bureaucratic reasons we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction, because it was the one reason everyone could agree on." [104]:202

      Partly based on views that Paul Wolfowitz presented in an interview with the Jerusalem Post, Halper and Clarke interpret the “neoconservative unspoken agenda” in the following way:

      The Middle East is a region of great strategic interest to the U.S. The security of Israel is a core commitment of the U.S. and access to Middle East energy resources is a vital strategic interest. Yet the region is highly unstable and successive attempts at intervention by past American administrations have come to nothing. Our friends in Israel tell us that the Palestinian intifada is exacting an insupportable economic and human burden. Our friends in Saudi Arabia tell us that they are sitting on a fundamentalist powder keg. The status quo is not an option. Imaginative new approaches are needed. The unelected governments comprising the Arab League must be persuaded to reform, to embrace democratic pluralism, by force if necessary. The second step will be a reinvigoration of the peace process.[104]:22

      In discussing the neoconservatives beliefs the authors interpret the “fatal neo-conservative flaw” as “conceptual overreach and the absence of pragmatism.” [104]:22.

      Opportunity to Act
      The attack on 9/11 provided the opportunity the neo-conservatives had been waiting for to act on their beliefs:

      In the tumultous days following 9/11, the neo-conservatives were ready with a detailed, plausible blueprint for the nation's response. They were not troubled that their plan had been in preparation for over a decade for different reasons, in a different context, and in relation to different countries and, as such, did not in any way represent a direct response to the events themselves. They were motivated only to ensure its adoption.
      … Thus, unlike Pearl Harbor in 1941 or the 1948 collapse of British power in the eastern Mediterranean …, the nation was not provided a policy that responded directly to the crisis at hand. Instead, the neo-conservatives succeeded in having their preexisting agenda adopted - one that, as we show below in terms of its terrorism fighting qualities, leaves the nation more dangerously exposed to terrorism and brings numerous deleterious consequences in other fields…Hijack may be a harsh word, but there is no better description for what occurred.[104]:138–139

      Ultimate Rationale
      On page 309, Halper and Clarke address the question, "Why has this proposed policy not been fully detailed by the administration?":

      The answer is found in their suspicion that Americans would be unwilling, if they knew the real agenda, to restructure the Middle East, to spend the hundreds of billions of dollars and countless lives in such an unprecedented undertaking. Leaving aside the fallacy of believing that outsiders can restructure local cultures, the methods chosen to do so have brought, as have seen, little but disapproval and isolation and a region no less combustible than at the neo-conservative point of entry. Were they to reveal their true agenda, not only would it be rejected as fantastic and impossible, but the neo-conservatives would find themselves out of office.[104]:309

      Key Players Enabling Action
      Finally, the authors argue that neoconservative foreign policy could not have been enacted if key neoconservatives had not been in positions of power and influence at the time of 9/11; these individuals included the following:

      Chief of Staff to Vice-President I. Lewis Libby; Special Advisor to the President, Elliott Abrams; Deputy Secretary of Defense, Paul D. Wolfowitz; State Department officials John R. Bolton and David Wurmser … Richard Perle and Eliott A. Cohen on the Defense Policy Board . . . [more key players]

      SOURCE - link to en.wikipedia.org

  • Think back to 2003. . . the year the U.S. didn't invade Iraq
    • RE: "Secretary of State Colin Powell prevailed in a key Cabinet meeting in early 2003, when he refused to go before the United Nations because he lacked proof that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction... A hesitant George W. Bush agreed, resisting the militaristic braying of his neo-conservative advisers, and ignoring war-mongering columnists like Thomas Friedman. ~ James North

      AS TO THIS REALLY UGLY SIDE OF THOMAS FRIEDMAN, SEE:
      Golden oldies: Tom Friedman at start of Iraq war telling Arabs to ‘suck on this’ [VIDEO, 02:44] - link to mondoweiss.net

  • Enter Ken Pollack and Tom Friedman-- the Iraq experts!
    • RE: "As the sectarian US-backed central government in Iraq loses up to half its territory to jihadist forces, the country is entering its biggest crisis in years... This would be a useful time for the US intellectual cheerleaders of the disastrous 2003 invasion to gaze upon their handiwork and consider how high that achievement ranks in their CVs." - James North

      MY COMMENT: This invasion of Iraq by Saudi-funded, Sunni jihadists (who had earlier been fighting against Bashar al-Assad's forces in Syria) certainly gives new meaning to Thomas Friedman's "suck on this" justification for the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
      Open wide, Iraq! "Big Tom" has a whopper for you to suck on, and he's not going to show you any mercy no matter how sensitive you gag reflex might be.

      Golden oldies: Tom Friedman at start of Iraq war telling Arabs to ‘suck on this’ [VIDEO, 02:44] - link to mondoweiss.net

  • Cantor's defeat had nothing to do with religion
    • RE: "This is a traditional response to the Tea Party and more broadly to American populist movements: they’re John Birchers/anti-Semites. But it’s surely simplistic. The Tea Party had no problem with Eric Cantor’s religion in recent years." ~ Weiss

      MY COMMENT: The combination of Islamophobia and sixty plus years of Israeli "Iron Wall" militarism has made Likudnik Israel and right-wing Jews quite popular with many right-wing groups that were once considered anti-Semitic. Israeli flags are now showing up at demonstrations by far-right (white supremacist) groups like the English Defence League (EDL) and the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn (political party in Greece.

      SEE: "What are Israeli flags and Jewish activists doing at demonstrations sponsored by the English Defence League?" ~ By Shaul Adar, haaretz.com, Aug. 13, 2010
      Call it a struggle against a common foe: Islam. Or a journey into the heart of darkness. Or perhaps further proof that Europe is starting to lose its mind again

      [EXCERPTS] LONDON - In March 2009 a unit of British soldiers returned from a stint in Iraq and, as usual, were welcomed with a parade and reception at home - in this case in Luton, not far from London. Standing out in the crowd of civilians cheering the troops was a group of counter-demonstrators, a few dozen long-bearded Muslims who shouted slogans against the British forces and carried posters bearing messages such as "The butchers from Basra." Many in Luton were outraged, and within a few days a group organized and eventually developed into the English Defence League.

      Indeed, what began as an emotional reaction turned into a popular movement which, according to the British media, is growing rapidly and now numbers thousands of supporters; it's hard core is located in Luton. The organization calls for taking action against the "Islamization of Britain" and Muslim fundamentalists. British media reports suggest that the league is a magnet for extremist right-wing activists and for unruly soccer fans. In late May the organization gained an important addition in the form of what it calls the "Jewish division." According to one member, "hundreds of Jews" joined its ranks, including "young people who are dying to do something." In the streets of England, Jews can now be seen demonstrating together with people they would have shunned in the past. . .

      . . . Along with its activity vis-a-vis the Muslim minority in Britain, the EDL takes a special interest in the Middle East and the Israeli-Arab conflict. Lake puts forward several rhetorical questions, such as whether there was any point in the Oslo process, because he says "those Norwegians" can't be trusted. What's the point of international decisions, Lake [an EDL member who is not Jewish] asks: The UN also voted for the partition of Palestine, but the Arabs then started the war.

      "I don't understand why the Israeli flag doesn't fly over Al-Aqsa [Mosque in Jerusalem]," Moore [an Israeli now living in London who is a member of the EDL's Jewish division] remarks. "That mosque is on our land."

      Maybe because that could lead to war?

      Moore: "Why should it lead to war? It's my land. Get out of my country. It's the Temple Mount. They destroy whatever is there and build a mosque in its place. Look what happened in Gush Katif [the Israeli settlement bloc in the Gaza Strip]: It was blossoming, with exports worth millions. Israel left the bloc and left the Palestinians everything, gave them the businesses and the homes. And what did they do? They went in and demolished everything, smashed everything, destroyed every house. There are geniuses in Israel, in the Technion, in the Negev. They grow everything in the Negev, in the desert sand. How much land do the Arabs have? But they don't do anything with it."

      Lake: "I don't understand why Gaza was given to the Arabs. I would have said that it's my land and that's that. I don't understand why there are any Muslims in Israel at all. After all, they want to destroy you. Why do you have Muslim members of parliament? You know, there are no Jewish members of parliament in any Muslim country."

      What do you think should be done with the Arabs who live in Israel?

      "Your problem is that you are trying to be broadminded and tolerant, but that will not produce any solution. It would be better already for you to kick them all out and build a Jewish society."

      "I would put them on buses," Moore adds, "and let them choose [anywhere] from Pakistan to Morocco. They have enough places to go to. And if you want to stay, you are under our law."

      "I don't understand why after two wars, you [Israelis] are so nice to them," Lake says. "I suppose your answer is that there is no choice because this is the nature of democracy and you cannot perpetrate genocide or a mass [population] transfer. But Israel is not my problem. Britain is my problem and we are too soft, we have to change so that we can stand up to Islam." . . .

      ENTIRE ARTICLE - link to haaretz.com

  • Mapping what's been lost
    • Thanks for this little introduction to Marcuse, Benjamin, etc.
      Not being very familiar with their work, it never would have occurred to me that the infamous Canada Park might be carefully designed so as to function as a type of 'social control' whereby visitors are duped into accepting the way(s) things are (rather than asking "inconvenient" questions and/or indulging in critical thought that might identify alternatives to the way(s) things are).
      I hope I'll soon be able to do some reading on these topics.

  • 'Kill those who rise up to kill us' -- a prime minister's chilling tweet
    • P.S. AS TO ISRAEL'S PSYCHE, ALSO SEE:
      "Is There a Way Beyond Israeli Madness?" [Will the Chosen People and the Exceptional People Go Down Together?] ~ by John Grant, Counterpunch, 8/31/12

      [EXCERPTS]
      The patient, by the name of Israel, walks into the room and instantly bursts into a tirade of arguments conclusively proving his credentials, and says that he is better than everyone else.
      - Ofer Grosbard, "Israel On The Couch: The Psychology of the Peace Process"

      The problem Americans have with Israel is that the region it exists in is in the midst of a major political sea change, while Israel is frozen in time and holding on to its militarist, right-wing policies of extending settlements in the West Bank. It’s a policy that harks back to the ideas of the British-trained militarist Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s Iron Wall, which is based on the idea a live-and-let-live policy between Jews and Arabs is impossible and, thus, Jews must militarily control and repress Palestinians . . .
      . . . How does a people turn back a racially-oriented demonization program with roots that extend back many decades? How do you ratchet down a nation’s narcissism so people are able to simply see the other as a human being? . . .
      . . . On our part, Americans and the United States need to stop being a permissive yes-man and begin to show Israel some tough love. We need more US criticism of Israel. No doubt this approach will be received with gales of cynical laughter from hardliners … but so what?
      In my mind, the Israeli narcissistic and arrogant mindset would benefit from a little Buddhist detachment, more of the posture that sees the world not of separate individual selves and egos but of human beings as part of a larger flow of life. The Buddhists call the self-obsessed, separatist state-of-mind [i.e. the "pale" of Israel surrounded by Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s Iron Wall - J.L.D.] that Israel thrives on and defends with weapons as “the illusory self.”
      “Once one identifies with a permanent self-concept, the pride and craving adhering to this become the pivot from which an egocentric world arises,” writes Gay Watson, a psychotherapist attuned to Buddhism.
      David Loy puts it this way: “To become completely groundless is also to become completely grounded, not in some particular, but in the whole network of interdependent relations that constitute the world.”
      I’m not suggesting Israel become a Buddhist nation. The point is for Israelis, and more important Americans, to figure a way out of the worsening condition of “us versus them” to avoid the need to obliterate them and set off a war that no one really wants. The point is to re-shape our minds to make “the other” less threatening to permit talking.
      I’m not holding my breath that Benjamin Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman are going to become peace activists.
      But I’m done as an American being a silent stooge while Israeli militarist madness fuels hatred and sets the stage for war.

      ENTIRE COMMENTARY - link to counterpunch.org

    • RE: ‘Kill those who rise up to kill us’ — a prime minister’s chilling tweet

      SEE: From Abused to Abusers: Inside Israel’s Psyche, by Gilbert Mercier, counterpunch.org, 6/09/14

      [EXC ERPTS] Groups of people, either nations or cultures, just like individuals have a consciousness. And like individuals, a civilization collective consciousness records and reacts to historical traumas. History leaves scars on people’s collective consciousness. If some individuals tend to bury personal traumatic experiences under the false assumption that ignoring the pain will heal it, some cultures tend to do the same. Bringing up the collective crimes of Germans and Japanese during World War II is a taboo subject in both Germany and Japan, as if both cultures are suffering from a collective amnesia. . . Regardless, both cultures, as a defense mechanism, suffer from historic amnesia.

      From persecuted Jews to Zionists: Why do abused become abusers?
      If Sigmund Freud was alive today, and could put Israel or more practically either PM Netanyahu or his sidekick Lieberman on his couch for a few psychoanalytical sessions, one wonders what he would find out. Most psychological studies of abusive personalities point in the same direction. It seems to be a paradox, but as individuals, most people who display abusive behaviors in relationships were abused as children. . .
      . . . It is as if the psychological damage and trauma from early childhood turns our natural and normal sense of compassion and empathy towards each other into a vicious cycle of borderline sociopathic behaviors, where inflicting pain become a source of pleasure.
      For individuals, this cycle of pain get passed on endlessly from one generation to the next. What applies to individuals is a good analysis model to a culture collective’s psyche. . .
      For thousands of years, between the Middle East and Europe, the Jewish people have been persecuted, abused and forced to move constantly around. In Europe, Jews were not allowed to own land and could not have roots as they were fleeing bigotry — such as the Inquisition in Spain — slavery, pogroms and the despotic powers of the kingdoms of Europe and the Tzars in Russia. When tolerated, they had to live in ghettos such as the one in Warsaw. This precarious existence for Jewish communities in Europe, with the constant thread of having to leave, brought crafts, knowledge and money at an essential premium for Jewish survival. Books and money are portable, and the constant persecutions against them very likely made Jews develop special skills in both areas of knowledge and finance. Jews became “the people of the book,” and to them knowledge, not material things, was the most precious possession.

      Israel: “He who struggles with God”
      “He who struggles with God” is the Hebrew meaning of the word Israel. But the Jewish state, as defined by Zionist principles, is not only fighting with recognition of Palestine as a nation, but also with Judaism’s humanist traditions. Judaism is viewed by many Jewish scholars as a civilization, not just a religion. Part of this rich Judaic cultural heritage was passed on into more recent monotheist religions such as Christianity and Islam. . .

      Gaza: A modern-day version of the Jewish ghetto in Warsaw
      After the horrendous crimes committed against them during World War II by Nazi Germany, Jews rightly decided that it would never happen to them again. They will not be the sacrificial lamb of human history, and no longer be victimized.
      But 64 years after its creation in 1948, the Jewish state is now the one doing the victimizing: evolving from oppressed to oppressor. If Jews were treated like second-class citizens and were denied land ownership for centuries, they have now turned the table of history, and Palestinians are on the receiving end of the wrath of the abused turned abuser. Palestinians are denied land while Israeli settlers keep expanding in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. Just like their ancestors in Eastern Europe, Palestinians are treated by settlers and the Jewish state as second-class citizens living in an open-sky jail surrounded by thick concrete walls. Palestinians, just like Jews during World War II in the Warsaw ghetto have become the victims, the collateral damage of history.

      ENTIRE COMMENTARY - link to counterpunch.org

  • Palestinians 'under occupation... denied dignity and self-determination' -- Clinton
    • RE: On the CNN television debate show “Crossfire,” cohost S.E. Cupp asked Tracy Sefl, a representative of the pro-Clinton super PAC Ready for Hillary, whether the former secretary of state feels she owes Israel an apology for “using the same language that Chris Christie used” ~ Haaretz

      MY COMMENT: How thoughtful of Bill Kristol to suggest this line of questioning to S.E. Cupp. That kind of zeal is truly above and beyond the call of duty.
      Now Hillary needs to make make amends for having been only 96.5% (down from 98% yesterday pro-Israel. If she wants to be able to grab the brass ring, she must completely S-U-B-M-I-T to the Israel/Likud lobby by promising it the moon, her 'first born' and anything else they might possibly want. She must further establish her Likudnik bona fides by reciting the Israel/Likud lobby 'talking points' verbatim as though she is a Chatty Cathy doll [VIDEO, 01:06] on meth. That will be truly beautiful music to the ears of the Israel/Likud lobby.

      P.S. DON'T MESS WITH CHATTY CATHY'S EVIL TWIN, TALKIE TINA!
      Talky Tina -- Living Doll -- Two Minute Twilight Zone Project [VIDEO, 01:59] - link to youtube.com

  • Settler leader Dani Dayan given yet another platform in the NY Times
    • On the one hand, Dayan’s ideology is thoroughly repulsive. His prescription for the future, which he labels “peaceful non-reconciliation,” is a combination of maintenance of the status quo while ameliorating some of the more onerous conditions Israel imposes on Palestinians. ~ David Samel

      MY COMMENT: Though Dayan’s ideology may well be repulsive, his prescription for the future, which he labels “peaceful non-reconciliation,” appears to essentially be what Netanyahu and Likud have pretty much always had in mind. To the extent they might really have been open to the "two-state solution" in the past (despite appearances clearly to the contrary), any Palestinian "state" permitted by Likud would have been little more than a charade, since it would not have truly qualified as a sovereign nation-state according to its traditional, customary meaning. More likely, Netanyahu and Likud never intended for there to be a "two-state solution".

      BEHOLD DAYAN'S "AMEN CHORUS": "Hawks question need for peace with Palestinians", by Omer Benjakob and John-Michael Kibrick, YnetNews.com, 6/09/14

      [EXCERPTS] "There is no basis to the perception that the status quo is a bad thing," said Interior Minister Gideon Sa'ar, echoing a stance on relations with the Palestinians that seems to be gaining traction among Israeli politicians, if to judge from speeches made at the 14th annual Herzliya Conference which opened Sunday at the IDC.
      Sa'ar wasn't the only official at the conference to voice a favorable opinion of allowing the two state solution to depart from modern day policy, with a reserve IDF general even going as far as saying that peace with the Palestinians is no longer in Israel's interest. . .
      . . . Amidror [Netanyahu’s former national security advisor] questioned decades of work towards a two state solution by diminishing the potential effects of peace with the Palestinians . . .
      . . . His comments seemed to echo claims being sounded as of late by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who recently said Israel needs to make peace with the Arab world and not with the Palestinians.
      Lieberman, who advocates an unpopular form of the two-state solution not based on the 1967 borders, claimed Israel must work with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states to normalize relations, regardless of the headway made with the Palestinians.
      The remarks from Amidror and Sa'ar seemed to indicate that Israel's more hawkish politicians no longer view peace with the Palestinians as a strategic asset. . .

      ENTIRE ARTICLE - link to ynetnews.com

  • Chris Matthews and David Corn defend Israel against 'slander' of apartheid
    • RE: "I think the ECI ad is about fundraising, a shot across the fundraisers’ bow." ~ Weiss

      MY COMMENT: It might have something to do with fundraising (Hillary's and ECI's), but I doubt that many contributors to the Democrats are going pay much attention to an ad produced by a group that is seen as being associated with the one of the most right-wing factions of the Republican Party.
      Personally, I see the ad as being the beginning of an effort by Bill Kristol to make Hillary Clinton completely S-U-B-M-I-T to the Israel/Likud lobby. The goal is to convince her that she must make amends for having been only 98% pro-Israel by promising the Israel/Likud lobby the moon, her 'first born' and anything else they might possibly want.
      The ECI ad just happens to have come out at about the same time as Hillary is making the PR rounds due to the release of her new book. Wouldn't this be an excellent opportunity for her to begin making amends by saying things about Israel and the Middle East that will be truly beautiful music to the ears of the Israel/Likud lobby?

  • The Banality of Religion: 'Prayer summit' at the Vatican fails to inspire
    • I wonder if the whole point of the exercise was simply to snub Netanyahu by inviting Peres rather than King Bibi. I bet Netanyahu will be secretly pouting for months.
      Perhaps this was done because Bibi's intransigence was seen as causing the failure of the recent peace process, and/or because some of his comments to the Pope during the visit seemed a bit like public rebukes made by an overbearing salesman.

  • Houston stadium security detains soccer fan for waving Palestinian flag as 'racial slur'
    • RE: "[T]here waiting for me were three more BBVA security personnel and four police officers. When I asked them what was wrong, the manager of security, Nathan Buchanan, told me I am not allowed to carry this flag because it implies a 'racial slur' and it is in BBVA Compass Stadium violation." ~ Buthayna Hammad

      MY COMMENT: I wonder if perhaps this is "trickle down" from the propaganda Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland picked up on his junket to Israel back in 2011 (paid for by JINSA, the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, a very right-wing, "pro-Israel" advocacy and research institution).*

      * SEE: "Sheriff Ortiz goes to Israel", by Eva Ruth Moravec, mysanantonio.com, 07/07/11

      [EXCERPTS] . . . For one week last month, Bexar County Sheriff Amadeo Ortiz swapped his cowboy hat for a yarmulke as he visited Israel on an organized trip with other law enforcement leaders.
      “I’ve always had an interest in Israel,” he said in an interview Tuesday. “It was a great conference.”
      Ortiz joined 16 other sheriffs, police chiefs and organization heads, including Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland, on a week-long trip, courtesy of the Jewish Institute for National Security’s Law Enforcement Exchange Program.
      The group toured a hospital’s trauma unit, Israeli Arab villages, sites of terrorist attacks, border crossings, police offices and the country’s security fence. Based on the itinerary, most of the sites and speeches focused on terrorism and security.
      Ortiz said he was impressed by Israel Defense Force soldiers, who he said are trained as soldiers and as police officers.
      “If we ever deploy troops along the Texas border, they should have training in being a soldier and in law enforcement,” he said...
      ...The junket was Ortiz’s second organized trip to Israel: last year, Bexar County footed the bill to send him to an international conference on homeland security, he said...

      SOURCE - link to blog.mysanantonio.com

  • Jewish safety in Europe and Muslim safety are interconnected
    • RE: "In other words, if we are to understand the process of radicalization that may have led to the murders in Brussels, we should be giving as much if not more attention to Nemmouche’s experiences in France rather than those in Syria." ~ Woodward

      A CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED FRENCH FILM THAT PROVIDES SOME BACKGROUND (ESPECIALLY ON THE DVD COMMENTARY):
      La Haine, ("Hate") 1995 NR 97 minutes
      French director Mathieu Kassovitz traces a fateful day in the lives of alienated ghetto youths Vinz (Vincent Cassel), Saïd (Saïd Taghmaoui) and Hubert (Hubert Koundé) -- a Jew, an Arab and an African, respectively -- who are grappling with the aftermath of unexpected tragedy. When their friend Abdel lies comatose after a police beating, Vinz vows to dispense rough justice, sealing the destiny of all three.
      Netflix listing (DVD only) - link to dvd.netflix.com
      Internet Movie Database (IMDb) - link to imdb.com
      Trailer - La Haine (1995) [VIDEO, 01:32] - link to youtube.com
      La Haine Trailer [VIDEO, 06:11] - link to youtube.com

  • Dershowitz disqualifies an entire continent from supporting BDS, citing history of 'Jew hatred'
    • RE: "And no Dershowitz column would be complete without outright fabrications, such as this whopper: Gertrude Stein and
      Alice Toklas collaborated with the Gestapo... Only from the dim recesses of the Dersh imagination. As usual, he just made it up."
      ~ David Samel

      MY COMMENT - I do not believe it would be inappropriate to at least consider the possibility that Dershowitz (despite his self-identifying as a liberal) simply could not resist taking advantage of an opportunity to smear Gertrude Stein and Alice Toklas merely because:
      • they were "leftists" (and the type really loathed by the neocons); and/or
      • they were women (and the type most loathed by misogynists); and/or
      • they were lesbians (and quite open/unapologetic about it).

  • Chris Matthews channels his inner Bill Kristol
    • RE: "Women have to now be covered up? Their faces have to be covered up? No more movies over there? They blow up Buddhas again?… Are we going back to crazy Taliban behavior?… What if the Taliban gets power again." ~ Chris Matthews

      MY COMMENT: As to the plight of the Afghan women, their lot was rapidly improving (as judged by Western standards) in the 1950's, 60s and 70s due to the influence/efforts of the Soviets. Had the U.S. not butted in by supporting the Mujahedin in the 1980s, there probably wouldn't be a Taliban, and Afghan women would be comparable to the women in Eastern Europe.

  • Jeff Goldberg gets hit from right and left for suggesting Jews should leave Europe
    • P.S. RE: "For Israelis, their country is too small to comply with existing mutual-deterrence models, because only two or three bombs are what it would take to wipe out their entire country." ~ Avner Golov & Uri Sadot

      MY COMMENT: This appears to suggest that Israel does not consider its nuclear weapons arsenal to be of any use in deterring other nations having nuclear weapons from launching a nuclear attack against it. If that is indeed the case, then it would be interesting to know of what use Israel considers its nuclear weapons arsenal to be.
      It is frightening to think that they might have enough first strike capability to see one use as making a pre-emptive nuclear strike against some nation (like Pakistan, for instance) because they suspect them of preparing to carry out a nuclear attack on Israel that would be so devastating due to Israel's small size that the Israeli's have no choice but to defend themselves by taking advantage of the first strike capability of their nuclear weapons arsenal.
      The only other use I can think of that Israel might possibly see for its nuclear weapons arsenal, would be the even more frightening one of "massive retaliation" by Israel using nuclear weapons (sometimes referred to as The Samson Option).

    • RE: "When Goldberg urges Jews to leave for Israel or the U.S., it raises the question, How safe are Jews in Israel?" ~ Weiss

      APPARENT ANSWER: Not very.*

      * AVNER GOLOV & URI SADOT (an Israeli Air Force veteran and a protege of Elliott Abrams):

      For Israelis, their country is too small to comply with existing mutual-deterrence models, because only two or three bombs are what it would take to wipe out their entire country.
      Nuclear deterrence theory requires a “stable nuclear dyad”.

      But Israelis see themselves as faced with not a single enemy that can be deterred, but rather with a broad league of states and nonstate entities who are out to get them. ~ from “Why Israel Fears Containment of a Nuclear Iran”, NationalInterest.org, 5/2/14

      SOURCE - link to mondoweiss.net

  • Palestinian citizens of Israel protest draft in Tel Aviv as passersby tell them to die or emigrate
    • RE: "This development [i.e. Israel's compelling Christian Arabs in Israel to serve in the Israeli army] comes together with a recent shift in Israel’s official policy towards the Arab minority: a new law distinguishes between Muslim and Christian citizens of the state, recognizing the Christian Arab population as a separate entity. " ~ Andreas Hackl

      MY COMMENT - Wouldn't it be ironic if:
      • Israel had in the past been able to deny that it discriminated because it had pretty successfully camouflaged its discrimination against all non-Jews in Israel by basing preferential treatment on things like military service, thereby effectively (but not explicitly) having excluded non-Jews in Israel from the preferential treatment that was effectively (but not explicitly) reserved for Jews and Israel's small Druze population; but
      • in order for Israel to begin discriminating only against some of Israel's non-Jews (i.e. the Muslim Arabs), but not others (i.e. the Christian Arabs), it was necessary for Israel to discriminate much more explicitly than it had in the past when it had been discriminating against all non-Jews in Israel; and, as a consequence,
      • Israel was now no longer able to deny that it discriminated because its discrimination had become so explicit as to be undeniable in order to begin discriminating only against some Arabs (i.e., the Muslim Arabs) in Israel, but not other Arabs (i.e., the Christian Arabs) in Israel.

      In summation, it would be the ultimate irony if when Israel began ending its discrimination against the Christian Arabs of Israel (not for altruistic reasons, but as part of a new 'divide and conquer' strategy), its discrimination against the Muslim Arabs of Israel became so obvious that Israel's closest allies (who had earlier vigorously denied any discrimination by Israel) could then only make feeble attempts at excusing it (which amounted to little more than their implicitly acknowledging it).

  • For wearing veil, woman is ordered off Jerusalem light rail and frisked
    • RE: "I was riding the light rail through West Jerusalem. Next to me sat a Palestinian woman wearing a niqab . . . As we edged toward the Central Bus Station, a male Israeli security guard approached the woman . . ." ~ Leanne Gale

      MY COMMENT: This is apparently the light rail system built, operated and partly owned by Veolia. This is significant because it means that the "male Israeli security guard" might work for (or, at least, be approved by) a French corporation, namely Veolia. If he doesn't actually work for Veolia, he might work for a company chosen (or, at least, approved by) Veolia. Even if Veolia is not actively involved in the employment of the "male Israeli security guard", it is still possible that he can reasonably be said to, as a practical matter, be employed at the sufferance* of Veolia (unless perhaps Veolia is contractually excluded from all responsibility/liability for security).
      My point is that due to a French corporation's long-term involvement with various aspects of the light rail service, this security procedure (i.e., profiling), and any racial or religious discrimination inherent in the way it was used (despite the inevitable claim that the woman was subjected to the scrutiny not because of profiling but instead pursuant to the use of Behavior Pattern Recognition), cannot simply be dismissed as an isolated example of an Israeli soldier/policeman/etc. not having been properly trained or, more likely, just being a bit overzealous. Instead, it might well be viewed as a cautionary example of a French corporation's complicity in the racial/religious discrimination inherent in Israeli-style security measures like profiling that are anathema to the values Western nations claim to hold dear. This might not only damage the venerable French corporation's reputation (and help justify/legitimate the BDS campaign against it), it might also cause considerable concern in the West over the possibility that Veolia might inevitably begin using Israeli-style security measures like profiling in their countries, thereby diminishing Veolia's prospects for new contracts in those countries (and doing so most significantly where there is considerable resistance to the idea of BDS itself, but there is nonetheless legitimate concern as a practical matter over the possibility of being seen as having been responsible for the introduction of Israeli-style security measures like profiling to the West).

      * consent or sanction implied by a lack of interference or failure to enforce a prohibition

  • Michael Oren finds Israel vindicated by UN report that it slaughtered 101 civilians, including 33 children
    • P.S. Upon further reflection, when I feel compelled to resort to a Nazi analogy (because an analogy to Italian fascism doesn't "cut the mustard"), I will follow the example of some of the progressive Israelis at +972, and specify that I am only analogizing to the Nazis of the early 1930s, and not to the Nazis from 1942 on (which means that I am retracting the inclusion of Mengele's experimentation in the analogy as it was used above in reference to Oren).

    • RE: "Can you imagine the perverted mindset of the dedicated hasbarists who culled through the UN report’s mountain of damning evidence that the IDF routinely targeted civilians with lethal force, only to rejoice at finding this one isolated nugget where Israel may be blameless?" ~ David Samel

      MY ANSWER: Absolutely yes, I most certainly can imagine that "perverted mindset", even with my hands mind tied behind my back. In fact, I began associating that "perverted mindset" with Michael Oren quite some time ago, not long after Netanyahu made him Israel's (i.e. Likud's) ambassador to the U.S.
      After reading only the first few comments he made as ambassador, I sensed that he was a truly extraordinary human being, namely: he was the type capable of producing propaganda films as depraved and shameless as Der ewige Jude (The Eternal Jew) and Jud Süß (Süss the Jew) [not to mention his being capable of insisting that his own children be killed rather than allowed to live under something other than Nazism]; and the type that sees concentration camps as providing a golden opportunity for conducting medical experiments on humans (especially on the highly sought after identical twins) without the hindrance of "quaint" concepts like 'medical ethics' (including the necessity of obtaining the 'informed consent' of subjects being experimented upon).
      As I have mentioned before, I prefer not to analogize to the Nazis due to the potential for its being seen as analogizing to the Holocaust. In most cases an analogy to Italian fascism (Mussolini and his Black Shirts) works almost as well as an analogy to the Nazis, and it has the advantage that it cannot be reasonably construed as referring to the Holocaust. Unfortunately, in the case of Oren, an analogy to Italian fascism (Mussolini and his Black Shirts) simply does not "cut the mustard" for me, so I will make this an exception where I resort to analogizing to the Nazis (especially Goebbels and his propaganda ministry).

  • Clinton cautioned Israelis on giving up Golan because Syrians might try to poison Sea of Galilee
    • RE: "And even as he negotiated with the Syrians, Bill Clinton cautioned Israel against giving up the Golan Heights because the Syrians would want to poison the Sea of Galilee. What a dishonest broker!" ~ Weiss

      MY COMMENT: Oh, Phil! Really now, you should know better. Notwithstanding its being the weekend, you really shouldn't get me started on Bill Clinton, because you just never really know what that might lead to; especially on evenings like this when I'm in no condition to even know what condition my condition is in [YouTube VIDEO 03:21]
      Well anyway, here I go.
      THE CLINTON CHRONICLES, Rant No. 18
      About ten years or so ago, Warren Buffett began talking about the fact that he paid federal taxes at a lower rate than the rate at which his secretary was taxed by the U.S. This was because his secretary paid taxes on "ordinary income", whereas he paid taxes mostly on "capital gains", which were taxed at a lower rate than was 'ordinary income'.
      Upon checking, I was surprised to discover that, as of that time, 'capital gains' were apparently taxed by the federal government at a mere 15%. I was thinking about how much lower this rate was than I had expected, when suddenly I had a flashback to the 1980s, and President Reagan was on TV defending his proposal to lower the top tax rate for individuals from 50% to 28% by reminding everyone it was just one part of his "tax-simplification" proposal (which was eventually enacted as the Tax Reform Act of 1986) that was designed to be tax-revenue neutral; and since the proposal would do away with the different tax rates for 'ordinary income' and for 'capital gains', the higher tax rate for capital gains would help make up for the lower top tax rate for individuals. Furthermore, thanks to the tax-simplification resulting from the elimination of a lower tax rate for 'capital gains', there would be no need for the hoards of accountants and tax attorneys who in the past did nothing but try to turn 'ordinary income' to 'capital gains' so it would be taxed at the lower rate.
      As my flashback ended, I instantly became even more furious than Mike Malloy seems to get during his most intense rants about Dick Cheney; because it was obvious to me that "those sorry GOP bastards" used all that hooey about "tax-simplification" and the higher tax on 'capital gains' to justify a whopping reduction (50% to 28%) in the tax on 'ordinary income' (for the most part only benefiting the very wealthy), and then when enough time had passed so that it would have been virtually impossible to undo the massive tax cut for 'ordinary income' (largely benefiting the wealthy), those sorry GOP bastards brought back ('tax simplification' be damned) the lower tax rate for 'capital gains'.
      I was really fuming at this point, and I was determined to find out how those sorry GOP bastards managed to resurrect the lower tax rate for 'capital gains' (and the concomitant hoards of accountants and tax attorneys).
      It took a while but I finally found it; but surprise, surprise, it wasn't just "those sorry GOP bastards" who were involved. In fact, it was the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 that, subject to certain phase-in rules, reduced the top marginal long term capital gains rate from 28% (i.e. the same as the tax rate for ordinary income) to 20%, and it was signed into law by none other than William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton himself (with, I assume, the enthusiastic support of Robert Rubin and Lawrence Summers)! So much for President Reagan's "tax-simplification". Viva la accountants and tax attorneys!
      And, although I am certainly no more of an economist than I am a tax attorney, I'm willing to assume that this reduction in the tax rate for capital gains was pretty effective at ginning up the economy during much of Clinton's second term. Not only that, but I think it's fair to assume that it played a significant role in the creation of the "dot-com bubble", that then made possible the "dot-com crash". The crash and accompanying recession did not do much to help Al Gore's campaign for the presidency, but it did provide George W. Bush with an excuse to send send out checks for a few hundred dollars each to most people, while he and Cheney treated their wealthy friends/supporters/donors to far more generous tax cuts, including yet another reduction in the top marginal long term capital gains rate, this time from 20% to 15%.

  • On Jerusalem Day, thousands of settlers celebrate 'conquest' of the city and say 'Kahane was right'
    • RE: Jerusalem is a borderland for Israeli and Palestinian, secular and religious. Reveling in the city’s capture, or “conquest” as most of the youth describe it, contradicts a central concept of international law, which says territory can’t be gained through war—even defensive war. ~ Deger

      MY COMMENT: One way to protect the central concept of international law to the effect that nations cannot gain territory through wars, is to insist 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."

    • RE: Thousands of youngsters wore “Kahane was right” stickers, a reference to Rabbi Meir Kahane . . . who was leader of the “Kach” political movement, which was deemed a terrorist organization by the Israeli government for inciting a series of attacks against Palestinians during the 1970s and 1980s. ~ Deger

      MY COMMENT: Bob Dylan would undoubtedly app0rove!*

      * SEE: "Bob Dylan turns 70; still hasn’t Recanted Praise for Rabbi Meir Kahane", by Amago, SpencerWatch.com, 5/24/11
      LINK - link to spencerwatch.com

      RE: He [Kahane] was also a figurehead of the “Jewish Underground,” a West Bank-based band of hooligans who organized clandestine assaults on Arabs and left-wing Israelis. Their heirs today are the hill-top youth, the renegade settlers, perhaps a few hundred at most, who have carried out a wave of “price tag” attacks over the past few years, including targeting Israeli soldiers in 2012. ~ Deger

      MY COMMENT: The hill-top youth might be hooligans and/or renegade settlers who indulge in small-time (at least so far) terrorism in the form of their “price tag” attacks, but they seem to be fulfilling Bob Dylan's über-nationalist fantasies.*

      * LUBAVICHER/CHABADNICK BOB DYLAN (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 . . .
      . . . Neighborhood bully, standing on the hill [i.e., Hilltop Youth - J.L.D.]
      Running out the clock
      , time standing still
      Neighborhood bully

      SOURCE - link to bobdylan.com

      NEIGHBORHOOD BULLY, ISRAEL TV, ORBACH [VIDEO, 05:49] – link to youtube.com

      P.S. Frankly, I suspect that at least since he fell head over heels for Chabad (if not before), Bob Dylan has gone cuckoo for a lot more than just Cocoa Puffs [YouTube VIDEO, 00:30]!
      I might add that since I have read that the CIA supported the Lubavitchers/Chabadniks back during the cold war in an effort to destabilize the the Soviet Union (much like they supported the Muslim Brotherhood to destabilize Nasser's Egypt), it appears that Bob Dylan has truly gone over to the dark side.

  • Some important details: Ben Ehrenreich on the Nakba Day shootings
    • RE: "All four of the eyewitnesses I interviewed had witnessed many such clashes and knew the difference well.) Three of them testified that they saw Israeli commanders choosing targets and pointing them out to snipers just before each boy was killed." ~ Ben Ehrenreich

      MY COMMENT: What with Netanyahu getting a lot of the blame for the failure of the peace process, and the EU trying to decide what action(s) to take, Netanyahu might have decided that a violent intifada right now would be helpful (especially in keeping the EU off his back).
      It sounds as though the IDF might be trying to get the Palestinians to start an intifada. Then the IDF will use their tried and true methods* to ensure that the intifada turns violent, thereby making the Palestinians look bad (and making it difficult for the EU to punish Israel for not being more cooperative in the peace process).

      * 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

  • But what can a poor boy do, except to boycott Israel
    • RE: "Rolling Stones are playing Tel Aviv on June 4th. Say it ain’t so Keith. Ronnie Wood says Bob Dylan told them to go." ~ Annie Robbins and Phil Weiss

      MY COMMENT: If the Rolling Stones trust the judgement of Chabadnik/Lubavitcher Bob Dylan, that's their problem! It wouldn't surprise me if, as a consequence of their following in the wake of Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones end up singing the outhouse blues.*
      Frankly, I suspect that at least since he fell head over heels for Chabad (if not before), Bob Dylan has gone cuckoo for a lot more than just Cocoa Puffs [YouTube VIDEO, 00:30]!
      I might add that since I have read that the CIA supported the Lubavitchers/Chabadniks back during the cold war in an effort to destabilize the the Soviet Union, it appears that Bob Dylan has truly gone over to the dark side.

      * SEE: "Bob Dylan's neighbors sing outhouse blues", by Bob Pool, L.A. Times, March 17, 2009
      Malibu residents say wind-borne odors from a portable toilet at the singer's compound are making them ill.

      How sweet is life when you live next to a celebrity in Malibu?

      Outside Bob Dylan's house, the answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind.

      That's what some of the singer-songwriter's neighbors are charging in an increasingly odoriferous dispute over a portable toilet at his sprawling ocean view estate on Point Dume.

      Residents contend that the nighttime sea breeze sends a noxious odor from a portable toilet on Dylan's property wafting into their homes. The stench has made members of one family ill and forced them to abandon their bedrooms on warm nights, they say.

      For more than six months, Dylan, 67, has ignored their complaints and their pleas to remove the outhouse, the downwind neighbors say.

      "It's a scandal -- 'Mr. Civil Rights' is killing our civil rights," said David Emminger, whose home is directly behind the toilet -- which is apparently intended for use by employees of the entertainer best known for his 1960s-era protest songs.

      Emminger and his wife have installed five industrial-sized fans in their frontyard in an attempt to blow the odor back at Dylan.
      They say the fans are no match for the ocean breeze that sweeps across the singer's land, however.

      Dylan, who has lived in a compound next to Bluewater Road for more than two decades, did not respond to inquiries about the toilet. Neither did his New York-based attorney.

      Malibu officials said they are investigating the complaint. As a result, they are unable to discuss the issue, they said. . .

      ENTIRE ARTICLE - link to articles.latimes.com

      P.S. ALSO SEE: "Bob Dylan turns 70; still hasn’t Recanted Praise for Rabbi Meir Kahane", by Amago, SpencerWatch.com, 5/24/11
      LINK - link to spencerwatch.com

  • CNN showed 'blatant' bias when Blitzer aired Oren saying 2 killed Palestinians may not be dead -- Munayyer
    • RE: The many, many inconsistencies, you see two young people who were supposedly shot, one to the chest, one through the back but they both fall in the same way. They fall forward which is inconsistent with what we know about combat deaths…." ~ Oren

      MY COMMENT: It sounds as though Oren, drawing upon his past experience as a spokesman for the IDF, might be laying the groundwork for a new claim in case the ones Israel has floated thus far are conclusively debunked. He notes that both of the victims fell forward, and that this is inconsistent with what Israel knows about combat deaths. He later adds that there was also a lack blood.
      So, what might account for the fact that both victims fell forward and showed no signs of bleeding? Well, if the victims weren't actually human, but were instead animatronics that were a bit heavier toward the front, that would explain it; especially when Pallywood is known to have very sophisticated, life-like animatronics.

  • Israeli government tries to undo image of Pope at the wall
    • RE: “Jesus was here, in this land. He spoke Hebrew,” Netanyahu told Francis, at a public meeting in Jerusalem in which the Israeli leader cited a strong connection between Judaism and Christianity.
      “Aramaic,” the pope interjected.
      “He spoke Aramaic, but he knew Hebrew,” Netanyahu shot back.

      MY COMMENT: You know, maybe I've been wrong in suggesting that Netanyahu is a megalomaniac who is the prime minister of an especially narcissistic nation, namely Israel.
      Now I'm beginning to see Netanyahu and Israel as being "too needy". By way if explanation, I recall seeing a film or television program a long time ago in which a young man breaks up with girlfriend because he decides she is "too needy", and that she "clings" too much to the young man. As well as I understood it, this meant (at a minimum) that she was too desperate for a husband, apparently because she somehow thought marriage would solve all of life's problems; and this meant that inevitably she would find marriage (and her husband) to be a disappointment. Furthermore, there wouldn't have been anything the husband could have conceivably done that would have saved the marriage, because his wife was just "too needy".

  • Netanyahu scoffs at Obama's 2009 summons and 'threat'-- to stop all settlements
    • RE: "How dare they!" ~ Gore campaign in 2000 (from above)

      MY COMMENT: I could not believe it when Al Gore used this cringe-worthy line repeatedly in speeches (several times per speech) during his 2000 campaign. I guess Gore and his campaign were relying on a wing and a prayer dare. Personally, I would not let the word "dare" anywhere near a political campaign unless I wanted it to end in a loss. It the type of word that brings to mind the kind of campy drama found in drag queen shows.
      "How dare they" absolutely reeks of pomposity. It sounds like something said by a society matron who is in a fit of high dungeon because her caterer substituted white dinner napkins made of 60% cotton for the white dinner napkins made of 100% cotton that she specifically requested; and if this had happened to occur in a classic Marx Bros. film, you can bet that Groucho would have had a zinger ready to put the old bag of wind in her place.
      Merely changing "dare" to "could" thereby making it "how could they" would have made it far less pretentious and therefore much better suited for a political campaign.

    • RE: Netanyahu recently met with Likud supporters, and mocked Washington’s demands . . . Asked “about peace talks with the Palestinians,” Netanyahu reportedly replied, “about the – what?” to which the audience responded by breaking out into laughter." ~ Weiss

      MY COMMENT: Did I mention how impressed I was that Indyk had the moxie to say that Israel is an arrogant nation? Oh, that's right, I was going to mention it a few days ago, but after working on the comment for what seemed like an eternity, when I finally submitted it*, I got a message saying "sorry, but the comments are closed". The nerve! Or to borrow that ghastly, "slightly lispy" (Pauline Kael's description of Chuck Norris back in the mid-70s) refrain from Al Gore's 2000 presidential campaign:
      "How dare they!"
      "How dare they!"
      "How dare they!"

      * MY SPURNED COMMENT FROM A COUPLE OF DAYS AGO: I can still mentally picture myself having stopped by my mother's house, and as I enter the den Netanyahu is speaking at the UN General Assembly for the first time since his election win in 2009. This was being carried on Fox News with more obsequious/sycophantic fanfare than they would likely have had for a U.S. President, even a right-wing Republican.
      Just as I realized the exact nature of what was on and began to listen attentively (unpleasant as that is for me in the case of Netanyahu), I thought I heard Netanyahu say something that I interpreted as his claiming to speak not only for Israelis, but for all Jews wherever they might live*.
      Perhaps I should not have been so surprised, but I was nevertheless stunned and began doubting he had said what I thought I had heard. I knew that Netanyahu's limitless grandiosity included his considering himself to essentially be "King of (All) the Jews" (i.e. Guardian and Savior of All Jews Everywhere), but I didn't think he had quite enough chutzpah to make a grand proclamation to that effect here in the U.S. in a speech widely broadcasted across this blessed "homeland" of ours (but most definitely not the Native Americans' homeland). Perhaps this has something to do with the reason that a particular aspect of Indyk's recent comments that didn't seem particularly important to most people stood out to me as though it was a flashing red neon sign, specifically: Israel's being an ARROGANT** nation. Part of the reason this was so significant to me is that arrogance is quite often associated with narcissism.
      * When I found a transcript, I confirmed that he said essentially what I thought, but he did it in a way seemingly designed so that the claim to speak for all Jews would be missed by most people since instead of saying "all Jews" he says "my people". Unless you pay very close attention so that you can interpret "my people" in the context he uses it, the significance is lost on most people. My suspicion is that the objective was for most Jews to understand the significance of what he was saying while it escaped notice by most others. It would not surprise me if articles in the Israeli (Hebrew language) press used Hebrew in place of "my people" that meant something closer to "all the Jews". Aren't I cynical?!?!
      As an aside, I wonder whether cynicism is more of a cause or a symptom of Weltschmerz. Can it perhaps at times be both with the intriguing potential consequence that (assuming the mind doesn't have entirely effective feedback inhibition) it sometimes causes the 'mind blowing' brain equivalent of James Brown's (sorry, Ella) most piercing scream. Can you dig it? It sounds awfully good to me, but then I'm a glutton for punishment!

      ** REGARDING ISRAEL'S ARROGANCE, SEE: "Is There a Way Beyond Israeli Madness?" [Will the Chosen People and the Exceptional People Go Down Together?] ~ by John Grant, Counterpunch, 8/31/12

      [EXCERPTS]
      The patient, by the name of Israel, walks into the room and instantly bursts into a tirade of arguments conclusively proving his credentials, and says that he is better than everyone else.
      - Ofer Grosbard, "Israel On The Couch: The Psychology of the Peace Process"

      The problem Americans have with Israel is that the region it exists in is in the midst of a major political sea change, while Israel is frozen in time and holding on to its militarist, right-wing policies of extending settlements in the West Bank. It’s a policy that harks back to the ideas of the British-trained militarist Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s Iron Wall, which is based on the idea a live-and-let-live policy between Jews and Arabs is impossible and, thus, Jews must militarily control and repress Palestinians [i.e. the mindset of the "pale" - J.L.D.] . . .
      . . . How does a people turn back a racially-oriented demonization program with roots that extend back many decades? How do you ratchet down a nation’s narcissism so people are able to simply see the other as a human being? . . .
      . . . On our part, Americans and the United States need to stop being a permissive yes-man and begin to show Israel some tough
      love. We need more US criticism of Israel. No doubt this approach will be received with gales of cynical laughter from hardliners … but so what?
      In my mind, the Israeli narcissistic and arrogant mindset would benefit from a little Buddhist detachment, more of the posture that sees the world not of separate individual selves and egos but of human beings as part of a larger flow of life. The Buddhists call the self-obsessed, separatist state-of-mind [i.e. the "pale" of Israel surrounded by Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s Iron Wall - J.L.D.] that Israel thrives on and defends with weapons as “the illusory self.”
      “Once one identifies with a permanent self-concept, the pride and craving adhering to this become the pivot from which an
      egocentric world arises,” writes Gay Watson, a psychotherapist attuned to Buddhism.
      David Loy puts it this way: “To become completely groundless is also to become completely grounded, not in some particular, but in the whole network of interdependent relations that constitute the world.”
      I’m not suggesting Israel become a Buddhist nation. The point is for Israelis, and more important Americans, to figure a way out of the worsening condition of “us versus them” to avoid the need to obliterate them and set off a war that no one really wants. The point is to re-shape our minds to make “the other” less threatening to permit talking.
      I’m not holding my breath that Benjamin Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman are going to become peace activists.
      But I’m done as an American being a silent stooge while Israeli militarist madness fuels hatred and sets the stage for war.

      ENTIRE COMMENTARY - link to counterpunch.org

  • Fearing divestment from Israel, Jewish orgs oppose divestment to halt global warming
    • RE: Fearing divestment from Israel, Jewish orgs oppose divestment to halt global warming

      MY COMMENT: Perhaps these Jewish organizations have looked at the best models for climate change, and despite the uncertainties such models contain, they feel Israel will be able to mitigate the impact of climate change enough so that it will not be hurt too badly. And, if worse comes to worse, most Israelis have second passports so that they will be able to escape to another country.

  • 'National Interest' readers mutiny over Israeli exceptionalist argument
    • P.S. RE: "While this type of policy may be alluring to some, it has the seeds of many future policy headaches, such as feeding international condemnation of Israel that the United States would have to work to counteract; feeding Israel’s sense of abandonment at a critical moment in the Iran nuclear negotiations . . ." ~ Robert Satloff (from an article posted by Phil last week)

      IN OTHER WORDS: Since Israel is so delicate, and sensitive, and fragile, and is such a very bad mental case, it really needs to be locked in a padded room for Israel's own good, and to keep Israel from going berserk and nuking half of the globe. Until Israel has been committed to a high security mental institution, the U.S. has to continue to enable poor, delicate Israel in anything and everything Israel wants or Israel might throw a really bad tantrum, as bad as the one she threw at Uncle Sam's checkout counter when he wouldn't give her any bunker busters.
      And just like when your daddy has a real bad hangover, you absolutely must walk tippy-toes, or on egg shells, or else Israel might have a nervous breakdown, and "go postal" (maybe even using air-mail). And because Israel is so insecure and has an inferiority complex, the US dare not risk feeding Israel’s sense of abandonment or Israel might become delusional, and thinking she is defending herself from her very most existential Biblical threat, the dreaded Amalek, she might panic and overreact by launching 20 of so of her nuclear weapons in every which-a-way, so half the earth is made uninhabitable. Oh well, what's done is done, and the U.S. will get the bill because the U.S. knew Israel had lost its pacifier, and the U.S. had not provided a replacement pacifier in a timely manner. Furthermore, the U.S. knew that highly volatile Israel suffered from the vapors, was extremely neurotic, and had severe anxiety, making Israel a nervous wreck. Not to mention that the U.S. called Israel at a very bad time one afternoon, and Israel had forgotten to turn off the ringer, and the U.S. let the phone ring 4 times, and Israel could't get back to sleep, and this understandably put Israel in a grouchy mood, so you can forget about your silly peace process until Israel, working with Arthur J. Finkelstein, gets a far right-wing Republican elected U.S. President. So, suck on that you losers, Obama and Kerry!

    • RE: "For Israelis, their country is too small to comply with existing mutual-deterrence models, because only two or three bombs are what it would take to wipe out their entire country." ~ Avner Golov and Uri Sadot

      MY COMMENT: I guess this means we can forget about the macho Israel of cocksure, swaggering men like Moshe Dayan and Ariel Sharon. Now Israel is suddenly a near-sighted, high-strung, nerdy, 90 pound weakling barely able to carry his own schoolbooks; so everyone should understand why he is so hyper-vigilant, and why he will go so far out of the way to avoid any possible chance that he might be spotted by the neighborhood bully. What a chameleon!
      Compare this to Iran, the only country the Persians have. While it is much larger than Israel, it can be completely wiped out by just a small portion of Israel's nuclear weapons arsenal. Yet, you don't hear the Iranians constantly whine about Israel's nuclear arsenal, although they do occasionally propose making the Middle East a nuclear-weapon-free zone only to have the idea summarily dismissed by Israel.

  • Why doesn't 'NYT' pay more attention to B'Tselem, the leading Israeli human rights org?
    • RE: "Why doesn’t ‘NYT’ pay more attention to B’Tselem, the leading Israeli human rights org?"

      MY COMMENT: Surely that is merely a rhetorical question! If not, the answer is because if ‘NYT’ pay more attention to B’Tselem, CAMERA, AIPAC and other pro-Israel groups would be all over the NYT "like white on rice".*

      *SEE (OR LISTEN TO): "Why the U.S. Media Barely Covered Brutal Right-Wing Race Riots in Tel Aviv", By Joshua Holland, AlterNet, 6/17/12

      [EXCERPTS] Several weeks back, Israel was rocked by a night of right-wing race-riots targeting African refugees. . .
      . . . The story received very little coverage in the. . . States. . .
      . . . Recently, Middle East analyst MJ Rosenberg appeared on the AlterNet Radio Hour to discuss the Tel Aviv riots, the stand-off over Iran's nuclear program and how the Israel lobby helps narrow the discourse around Israel in the United States. Below is a lightly edited transcript of the discussion (you can listen to the whole interview here.)
      [EXCERPT]
      . . . • JOSHUA HOLLAND: . . . Speaking of our discourse, I want to talk about an issue that came up recently that’s gotten very little coverage in the United States. There were a series of violent race riots by right-wing Israelis against African immigrants in Tel Aviv. This was a big deal. I was looking at the US coverage and it was amazing at how little attention these riots received. . .
      • MJ ROSENBERG: . . .This is a common thing. When there are bad things going on inside Israel -- the way they treat the Palestinians and in this case the way they’re treating these poor African refugees from loathsome regimes who wind up in Israel -- these stories are … I don’t want to say suppressed in the United States, but it’s striking how much coverage they get in Israel itself and how a paper like the New York Times is too scared to touch it.
      I have to say they’re afraid to touch it. The reason is when an American outlet talks about Israel in any way that’s negative, or reports on anything negative about Israel, they will be inundated with complaints from powerful people who will tell them, “why are you picking on Israel?” They always say, “why is it that China is doing all these things and you’re not writing about that?” Of course, they do. You even see it in the blogosphere too, the intimidation. If you aren’t utterly secure in your position in the media then you don’t mess with Israel. More to the point, you don’t mess with the people here who are Israel’s enforcers. . .

      ENTIRE (LIGHTLY EDITED) TRANSCRIPT - link to alternet.org

  • 'There is no veritable religious freedom here': Postcard from the Christian community in East Jerusalem
    • RE: "We see attempts by the Israeli occupation to impose a curfew on the streets including the Christian quarter during the visit. The curfew is yet another attempt by the occupying power to deny our existence." ~ A collective group of Christians from East Jerusalem

      MY COMMENT: As extremist, right-wing Jewish groups (e.g. Kahane worshipers) become more and more common in Israel (and more likely to resort to violence), the government will have a handy excuse for imposing ever more draconian security measures on Christians and Muslims (ostensibly to protect them from the Jewish extremists) while not considering it politically feasible to rein in the Jewish extremists, despite perhaps giving 'lip service' to the idea of doing so.
      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."

  • Don't let Pamela Geller speak for American Jews
    • RE: "It’s not racist or hateful to know about Islam and why the Mufti of Jerusalem supported and helped Hitler in his ambitions to annihilate the Jewish people." ~ RCCA

      MY COMMENT: In that case RCCA will likewise agree that it is not racist/anti-Semitic or hateful to know that the Mufti of Jerusalem (i.e., Haj Amin al-Husseini) was imposed upon the Palestinians in 1921 by the British Mandate’s first high commissioner, a British Jew named Herbert Samuel. Husseini was selected over the rival Nashashibi candidate and favored by the Zionist Commission.*

      * SEE - "Christian Zionism: The Root of All Evil?" ~ By Tammy Obeidallah, The Palestine Chronicle, Aug 16 2010

      [EXCERPT] . . . Not only do Zionists distort biblical history, they spread lies about more modern events as well. Proponents of Israel will often pander the tired Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini obfuscation in an attempt to connect all Palestinians to Adolph Hitler. Husseini was imposed upon the Palestinians in 1921 by the British Mandate’s first high commissioner, a British Jew named Herbert Samuel. Husseini was selected over the rival Nashashibi candidate and favored by the Zionist Commission. Husseini allied with Hitler to oppose the British, falling into the trap as so many others who have believed “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”. . .

      ENTIRE ARTICLE - link to palestinechronicle.com

    • RE: "It’s not racist or hateful to know about Islam and why the Mufti of Jerusalem supported and helped Hitler in his ambitions to annihilate the Jewish people." ~ RCCA

      MY COMMENT: So RCCA must surely agree that it’s not racist/anti-Semitic or hateful to know about Zionism and why Yitzhak Shamir (who was later to become a prime minister of Israel) tried to form an alliance with Hitler (who had ambitions to annihilate the Jewish people) and the Nazis.*
      And, given this attempt by the Zionists to form an alliance with Hitler and the Nazis, RCCA will undoubtedly agree that it’s not racist/anti-Semitic or hateful to know about the fascist origins of the Revisionist Zionism that led to the creation of Israel's Likud (Political) Party which has formed Israel's government in all but a few of the last 35 or so years.**
      Lastly, given Hitler's ambitions to annihilate the Jewish people, RCCA must certainly agree that it’s not racist/anti-Semitic or hateful to know about Zionism's efforts at stymieing international efforts towards getting Jews out of Germany and other parts of Europe occupied by the Nazis (and at resettling Jewish survivors after the war).***

      * AS TO THE ZIONIST ATTEMPT AT FORMING AN ALLIANCE WITH HITLER AND THE NAZIS, SEE: “The Origin of the Palestine-Israel Conflict”, Third Edition, Published by Jews for Justice in the Middle East

      [EXCERPT]• Shamir proposes an alliance with the Nazis
      “As late as 1941, the Zionist group LEHI, one of whose leaders, Yitzhak Shamir, was later to become a prime minister of Israel, approached the Nazis, using the name of its parent organization, the Irgun (NMO)...[The proposal stated:] ‘The establishment of the historical Jewish state on a national and totalitarian Pd bound by a treaty with the German Reich would be in the interests of strengthening the future German nation of power in the Near East... The NMO in Palestine offers to take an active part in the war on Germany’s side’... The Nazis rejected this proposal for an alliance because, it is reported, they considered LEHI’s military power ‘negligible.’ ” -- Allan Brownfield in "The Washington Report on Middle Eastern Affairs, July/August 1998.

      ENTIRE “ORIGIN” BOOKLET - link to archive.org

      ** AS TO THE FASCIST ORIGINS OF REVISIONIST ZIONISM, THIS IS FROM WIKIPEDIA AS OF 1/25/14 [Betar]:

      (EXCERPT) The Betar Movement (בית”ר, also spelled Beitar) is a Revisionist Zionist youth movement founded in 1923 in Riga, Latvia, by Vladimir (Ze’ev) Jabotinsky. Betar has been traditionally linked to the original Herut and then Likud political parties of Israel, and was closely affiliated with the pre-Israel Revisionist Zionist splinter group Irgun Zevai Leumi. It was one of many right-wing movements and youth groups arising at that time out of a worldwide emergence of fascism.[1] Some of the most prominent politicians of Israel were Betarim in their youth, most notably Prime Ministers Yitzhak Shamir and Menachem Begin, the latter of whom idolized Jabotinsky.[2]. . .
      . . . The group initially praised Mussolini for his anti-communism and fascist principles, leading it to adopt the black uniform shirt of Italian fascism for a short period. Mussolini’s invasion of Abyssinia, however, was seen as “cowardly” by Betar and led them to break with him shortly after.[12] . . .

      SOURCE – link to en.wikipedia.org

      ** ALSO AS TO THE FASCIST ORIGINS OF REVISIONIST ZIONISM, SEE: "The Hidden History of Zionism", Chapter 6, by Ralph Schoenman

      [EXCERPT] . . . Mussolini set up squadrons of the Revisionist Zionist youth movement, Betar, in black shirts in emulation of his own Fascist bands.
      When Menachem Begin became chief of Betar, he preferred the brown shirts of the Hitler gangs, a uniform Begin and Betar members wore to all meetings and rallies - at which they greeted each other and opened and closed meetings with the fascist
      salute. . .

      SOURCE - link to marxists.de
      '
      *** AS TO ZIONIST EFFORTS AT STYMIEING INT'L EFFORTS TOWARDS GETTING JEWS OUT OF EUROPE, THESE EXCERPTS ARE FROM “The Origin of the Palestine-Israel Conflict”,Third Edition (2001), Published by ‘Jews for Justice in the Middle East’:

      [EXCERPTS] . . . “In 1938 a thirty-one nation conference was held in Evian, France, on resettlement of the victims of Nazism. The World Zionist Organization refused to participate, fearing that resettlement of Jews in other states would reduce the number available for Palestine.” ~ John Quigley, 'Palestine and Israel: A Challenge to Justice'
      “It was summed up in the meeting [of the Jewish Agency’s Executive on June 26, 1938] that the Zionist thing to do ‘is belittle the [Evian] Conference as far as possible and to cause it to decide nothing... ~ Israeli author Boas Evron, 'Jewish State or Israeli Nation?'
      “[Ben-Gurion stated] ‘If I knew that it was possible to save all the children of Germany by transporting them to England, but only half of them by transporting them to Palestine, I would choose the second — because we face not only the reckoning of those children, but the historical reckoning of the Jewish people.’ In the wake of the Kristallnacht pogroms, Ben-Gurion commented that ‘the human conscience’ might bring various countries to open their doors to Jewish refugees from Germany. He saw this as a threat and warned: ‘Zionism is in danger.’” ~ Israeli historian, Tom Segev, 'The Seventh Million'...
      Roosevelt’s advisor writes on why Jewish refugees were not offered sanctuary in the U.S. after WWII•
      ...“[Roosevelt] proposed a world budget for the easy migration of the 500,000 beaten people of Europe. Each nation should open its doors for some thousands of refugees... So he suggested that during my trips for him to England during the war I sound out in a general, unofficial manner the leaders of British public opinion, in and out of the government...The simple answer: Great Britain will match the United States, man for man, in admissions from Europe...It seemed all settled. With the rest of the world probably ready to give haven to 200,000, there was a sound reason for the President to press Congress to take in at least 150,000 immigrants after the war...
      “It would free us from the hypocrisy of closing our own doors while making sanctimonious demands on the Arabs...But it did not work out...The failure of the leading Jewish organizations to support with zeal this immigration programme may have caused the President not to push forward with it at that time...
      “I talked to many people active in Jewish organizations. I suggested the plan...I was amazed and even felt insulted when active Jewish leaders decried, sneered, and then attacked me as if I were a traitor
      ...I think I know the reason for much of the opposition. There is a deep, genuine, often fanatical emotional vested interest in putting over the Palestinian movement [Zionism]. Men like Ben Hecht are little concerned about human blood if it is not their own.” ~ Jewish attorney and friend of President Roosevelt, Morris Ernst, 'So Far, So Good'

      ENTIRE “ORIGIN” BOOKLET – link to archive.org

      *** AS TO ZIONIST EFFORTS AT STYMIEING EFFORTS TOWARDS GETTING JEWS OUT OF EUROPE, SEE THIS EXCERPT:

      . . . As late as 1943, while the Jews of Europe were being exterminated in their millions, the U.S. Congress proposed to set up a commission to 'study' the problem. Rabbi Stephen Wise, who was the principal American spokesperson for Zionism, came to Washington to testify against the rescue bill because it would divert attention from the colonization of Palestine.
      This is the same Rabbi Wise who, in 1938, in his capacity as leader of the American Jewish Congress, wrote a letter in which he opposed any change in U.S. immigration laws which would enable Jews to find refuge. He stated:
      "It may interest you to know that some weeks ago the representatives of all the leading Jewish organizations met in conference. . . It was decided that no Jewish organization would, at this time, sponsor a bill which would in any way alter the immigration laws."
      . . . ~ from "Our Shomer 'Weltanschauung,"' Hashomer Hatzair, December 1936. Originally published in 1917, Brenner, Zionism, p. 22.

      ADDITIONAL SOURCE - link to jewsagainstzionism.com
      ALSO SEE - link to rense.com

    • Whenever I hear Pamela Geller spewing her noxious views, I always wonder what made her the way she is.
      One such time I recalled an article that dealt with the consequences of so many American children having their own bathroom at home, and consequently not having to grow up sharing a bathroom with other members of their family.
      The premise of the article was that when these children became adults and worked in an office, they would not get along as well with coworkers in the office as they would have if they had shared a bathroom at home while growing up (instead of having had their own bathroom).
      While this is unlikely to explain Pamela Geller's racism, I think it might help explain her behavior; namely, the zeal with which she spreads her noxious views completely undeterred by the many people who consider her views to be racist. It is as though she has her very own soapbox from which to speak (without needing to share a soapbox), and she will damn well say whatever she wants to say; and if anyone doesn't like it they can get up on their own soapbox (because she certainly has no intention of sharing hers) and say so.
      Now that I think of it more broadly, I wonder if it is possible that a child's having his or her own bathroom at home while growing up might make it a bit more likely that they will be narcissistic as an adult.
      All this leaves unanswered any questions regarding the implications of American children having a bathroom (shared or not) at home rather than having to use an outdoor privy/outhouse (and what difference it might make if the privy/outhouse is a "two-hole-er" rather than the more common "one-hole-er").
      OMG, I might be on to something really big here!

  • Israelis and Americans are ho-hum about Palestinian children's deaths
    • RE: "Israelis and Americans are ho-hum about Palestinian children’s deaths"

      MY COMMENT: I don't know about the Israelis, but as to the Americans, the overwhelming majority of them don't know anything about the Palestinian children’s deaths because the mainstream media in the U.S. hasn't really covered it. Consequently, it would be more appropriate to say that Americans are "no-hum" (rather than ho-hum) about the deaths.
      I can't help but add that the dearth of coverage of the deaths is in stark contrast to the considerable coverage of Iran's having arrested some people over an internet video showing them dancing to Pharrell Williams' "Happy". This makes the current Iranian government look bad because the arrests were not made due to the copyright infringement, but rather for a type of vague moral "offense" (i.e., "decadence") that the Saudis often arrest people for.

  • CNN airs evidence Israelis used live bullets on Palestinian protesters
    • P.S. PERHAPS THIS BETTER EXPLAINS WHAT MIGHT BE GOING ON: "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

    • RE:"CNN airs evidence Israelis used live bullets on Palestinian protesters"

      MY COMMENT: Perhaps one or more of the thousands of Israeli soldiers who resent having their hands tied by the IDF took this opportunity to give the IDF a little demonstration of how to appropriately deal with Palestinian "troublemakers".*

      *SEE: "Thousands of Israeli soldiers protest ‘their hands are tied’ while serving in the occupied territories"
      Posted on May 2, 2014 by Annie Robbins

      A video recorded in Hebron (al-Khalīl) last Sunday by Youth Against Settlements (YAS) has set off a firestorm of protest by soldiers in the Israeli military. The video shows a soldier brandishing and aiming a loaded weapon at a boy who was clearly was not a danger to him. In the wake of the Hebron video, soldiers are “demanding that the state of Israel give them the opportunity to appropriately deal with the challenges they encounter in the field.”
      ENTIRE POST - link to mondoweiss.net

  • UK's Jewish leadership sacrifices all relevance with 'Jewish manifesto' for EU elections
    • RE: “The EU undoubtedly has a role in assisting the peace process. In addition to facilitating high level diplomatic meetings, the EU could offer a variety of incentives that encourage both sides to make strides towards peace, including financial investment packages in both Israel and the Palestinian Territories, and the promotion of trade between the two sides, building trust and links between them.” ~ U.K. Board of Deputies

      MY COMMENT: In response to Michael Oren's recent op-ed claiming that Palestinians and Jews ‘choose to live apart’ from one another, the E.U. should consider proposing a "mixed" (approx 50% Palestinian & 50% Jewish Israelis) housing project for Area C. Perhaps residents of UNRWA refugee camps should be given priority in selecting the Palestinians for their 50%.
      I wonder what the the Israeli government's reaction would be. I suspect their response to the proposal might well reveal that Israel has no intention of ever relinquishing control of Area C.

  • U.S. is 'closely following' Israel's killing of 2 youths at demo, seeks 'transparent' investigation
    • RE: There’s this video footage that surfaced yesterday, and more to the point today, showing what appears to be snipers shooting and fatally wounding two Palestinian teenagers. ~ Matt Lee

      MY COMMENT: Perhaps one of the thousands of Israeli soldiers who resent having their hands tied by the IDF took this opportunity to give the IDF a little demonstration of how to appropriately deal with Palestinian punks.*

      *SEE: "Thousands of Israeli soldiers protest ‘their hands are tied’ while serving in the occupied territories"
      Posted on May 2, 2014 by Annie Robbins

      A video recorded in Hebron (al-Khalīl) last Sunday by Youth Against Settlements (YAS) has set off a firestorm of protest by soldiers in the Israeli military. The video shows a soldier brandishing and aiming a loaded weapon at a boy who was clearly was not a danger to him. In the wake of the Hebron video, soldiers are “demanding that the state of Israel give them the opportunity to appropriately deal with the challenges they encounter in the field.”
      LINK - link to mondoweiss.net

    • RE: "U.S. is ‘closely following’ Israel’s killing of 2 youths at demo, seeks ‘transparent’ investigation"

      MY COMMENT: Yeah, like the transparent investigation into the death of Rachel Corrie that George W. Bush asked Ariel Sharon to carry out. Good luck with that!
      Anyway, whatever investigation might eventually be carried out will be called transparent by Israel no matter how opaque.

  • The U.S. continues to appease Narendra Modi
    • RE: The New York Times editorial page also whitewashed the new leader. The paper did note that “many Indian Muslims blame him for failing to stop bloody riots in his home state in 2002. . .” ~ North

      MY COMMENT: On the PBS News Hour they talked about all the excitement in India over Modi's win thereby making him almost appear saintly, and giving the uninformed viewer not the slightest indication that he might have anything less than unblemished reputation. Of course, they might have been reluctant to say anything negative about him because they are aware of the potential for Modi's shortly being seen as Israel's new best friend.
      As to the U.S. Govt., their giving Modi a warm reception after years of keeping their distance from him (having once even denied him a visa to visit the U.S.) is the kind of hypocrisy that results from the pragmatism necessitated by an empire. The U.S. empire has too many big plans for that part of the world to risk being standoffish to the new prime minister of India, no matter how responsible he may have been for a little, old massacre way, way back in 2002.

  • Apartheid label is reminiscent of runup to Holocaust -- Michael Oren
    • P.S. ALSO RE: “Oren states that Palestinians and Jews ‘choose to live apart’ from one another” ~ Weiss

      MY COMMENT: Someone needs to propose a "mixed" (approx 50% Palestinian & 50% Jewish Israelis) housing project for Area C. Perhaps residents of UNWRA refugee camps should be given priority in selecting the Palestinians for their 50%.
      I wonder what the the Israeli government's reaction would be. I suspect their response to the proposal might well show their true colors.

    • RE: "Oren states that Palestinians and Jews 'choose to live apart' from one another" ~ Weiss

      MY COMMENT: That really brings back the old days! Defenders of segregation back in the Jim Crow era of the American South essentially claimed that whites and blacks chose to live apart from one another. Back then the claim was usually made in the form of saying that blacks "preferred to live with their own kind".
      That said, I guess Oren deserves a point or two for referring to Palestinians rather than Arabs, even if he only does so when he is writing for a U.S. audience.

  • 'Courting powerful Jewish donors,' Christie calls for aggressive foreign policy
    • P.S. PLEASE IGNORE THE ABOVE ON ACCOUNT OF MY RUNNING OUT OF TIME TO EDIT. BELOW, PLEASE FIND WHAT I HOPE IS THE FULLY-EDITED, BUT "NOT QUITE READY FOR PRIME-TIME" VERSION!

      I can't wait for the one-upsmanship in the GOP to engage the turbo-boost with the consequence that in one of the debates a desperate, flagging candidate announces that "leaving all options on the table" doesn't amount to a cup of warm spit!

      It sounds like something that sissy boy Obama might say, and when I'm elected president I'm gonna put the fear of G_d back in our enemies by taking a prudent action suggested by my good friend Shelly Adelson. This action is woefully needed in order to make it clear to America's enemies that not only is the nuclear first strike option on the table, it will be used at the drop of a hat or less! Shelly's suggestion, as I understand it, is to drop a nuclear weapon of our own choosing on the desert in Iran and tell them to suck on it! This will let that President Ahmadinejad and the rest of our enemies that we have a nuke with each of their names on it, and they're all on hair-trigger. And, if any of the lily-livered Washington bureaucrats make as much as a peep in objection, I'm gonna fill their briefcases with cement and throw them in then Poe-toe-mack! Did I mention that the Gucci-wearing bureaucrats would be handcuffed to their cement-filled briefcases when their briefcases are thrown in. That's an important detail that should give you an idea of how I intend to treat any Washington bureaucrat who loads up our small business job creators with a bunch of forms to complete!
      Last but certainly not least, did I mention that I intend to put "In Both G_d & Sheldon Adelson We Trust" on all U.S. currency?!?! Shelly bud, you're an American icon and we love you!
      Now let me tell you 'bout the Negro . . .

    • I can't wait for the one-upsmanship in the GOP to engage the turbo-boost with the consequence that in one of the debates a desperate, flagging candidate announces that "leaving all options on the table" doesn't amount to a cup of warm spit!

      It sounds like something that sissy boy Obama might say, and when I'm elected president I'm gonna put the fear of G_d back in our enemies by taking a prudent action suggested by my good friend Shelly Adelson. This action is woefully needed in order to make it clear to America's enemies that not only is the first strike option on the table, it will be used! Shelly's suggestion to drop a nuclear weapon of our own choosing on a desert in Iran and tell them to suck on it! And, if any of the lily-livered Washington bureaucrats make as much as a peep of objection, I'm gonna fill their briefcases with cement and throw them in then Poe-toe-mack! Did I mention that the Gucci-wearing bureaucrats would be handcuffed to their cement-filled briefcases when their briefcases are thrown in. So that should give you an idea of how I intend to treat any Washington bureaucrat who loads up our small business job creators with a bunch of forms to complete!
      Last but certainly not least, did I mention that I intend to put "In Both G_d & Sheldon Adelson We Trust" on all U.S. currency?!?! Shelly bud, you're an American icon and we love you!
      Now let me tell you 'bout the Negro . . .
  • Report: Germany cancels military subsidy deal with Israel following breakdown of peace negotiations
    • RE "Berlin has nixed a deal to give Israel a 30% discount on a $1 billion purchase of German gunboats, allegedly to be used for the protection of Israeli offshore gas fields in the Mediterranean Sea. " ~ Robbins

      MY COMMENT: I hope that Merkel and Germany will not give in to Israel's plaintiff wails and other efforts, and reinstate this in the future. Something like this has happened in the past, and Merkel/Germany relented after an aggressive campaign on Israel's part. When something like that happens, it probably makes Israel think they can always eventually get their way with Germany.
      Consequently, Germany needs to try not to appear to be easily pressured into changing its mind or Israel will never take Germany's opinions/threats/suggestions seriously.

  • After first visit to Israel, 'Foreign Policy' editor says religious, garrison state has 'passed its sell-by date'
    • RE: “The most widely accepted anti-Semitic stereotype worldwide is: Jews are more loyal to Israel than to this country/the countries they live in.” It’s an odd indicator of anti-Semitism given that Israeli leaders consistently claim to speak for the global Jewish community. . . ~ Donna Nevel and Marilyn Kleinberg Neimark

      MY COMMENT: I can still mentally picture myself having stopped by my mother's house, and as I enter the den Netanyahu is speaking at the UN General Assembly for the first time since his election win in 2009. This was being carried on Fox News with more obsequious/ sycophantic fanfare than they would likely have had for a U.S. President, even a right-wing Republican.
      Just as I realized the exact nature of what was on and began to listen attentively (unpleasant as that is for me in the case of Netanyahu), I thought I heard Netanyahu say something that I interpreted as his claiming to speak not only for Israelis, but for all Jews wherever they might live*.
      Perhaps I should not have been so surprised, but I was nevertheless stunned and began doubting he had said what I thought I had heard. I knew that Netanyahu's limitless grandiosity included his considering himself to essentially be "King of (All) the Jews" (i.e. Guardian and Savior of All Jews Everywhere), but I didn't think he had quite enough chutzpah to make a grand proclamation to that effect here in the U.S. in a speech widely broadcast across this blessed, sacred "homeland" of ours (but most definitely not the Native Americans' homeland). Perhaps this has something to do with the reason that a particular aspect of Indyk's recent comments (that didn't seem particularly important to most people) stood out to me as though it was a flashing red neon sign, specifically: Israel's being an ARROGANT** nation. Part of the reason this was so significant to me is that arrogance is quite often associated with narcissism.

      * When I found a transcript, I confirmed that he said essentially what I thought, but he did it in a way seemingly designed so that the claim to speak for all Jews would be missed by most people since instead of saying "all Jews" he says "my people". Unless you pay very close attention so that you can interpret "my people" in the context he uses it, the significance is lost on most people. My suspicion is that the objective was for most Jews to understand the significance of what he was saying while it escaped notice by most others. It would not surprise me if articles in the Israeli (Hebrew language) press used Hebrew in place of "my people" that meant something closer to "all the Jews". Aren't I cynical?!?!
      As an aside, I wonder whether cynicism is more of a cause or a symptom of Weltschmerz. Can it perhaps at times be both with the intriguing potential consequence that (assuming the mind doesn't have entirely effective feedback inhibition) it sometimes causes the 'mind blowing' brain equivalent of James Brown's most piercing scream. Come to think of it, that's my kind of "Memorex® Moment℠"! Can you dig it? It sounds awfully good to me, but then I'm a glutton for punishment!

      ** REGARDING ISRAEL'S ARROGANCE, SEE: "Is There a Way Beyond Israeli Madness?" [Will the Chosen People and the Exceptional People Go Down Together?] ~ by John Grant, Counterpunch, 8/31/12

      [EXCERPTS]
      The patient, by the name of Israel, walks into the room and instantly bursts into a tirade of arguments conclusively proving his credentials, and says that he is better than everyone else.
      - Ofer Grosbard, "Israel On The Couch: The Psychology of the Peace Process"

      The problem Americans have with Israel is that the region it exists in is in the midst of a major political sea change, while Israel is frozen in time and holding on to its militarist, right-wing policies of extending settlements in the West Bank. It’s a policy that harks back to the ideas of the British-trained militarist Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s Iron Wall, which is based on the idea a live-and-let-live policy between Jews and Arabs is impossible and, thus, Jews must militarily control and repress Palestinians [i.e. the mindset of the "pale" - J.L.D.] . . .
      . . . How does a people turn back a racially-oriented demonization program with roots that extend back many decades? How do you ratchet down a nation’s narcissism so people are able to simply see the other as a human being? . . .
      . . . On our part, Americans and the United States need to stop being a permissive yes-man and begin to show Israel some tough love. We need more US criticism of Israel. No doubt this approach will be received with gales of cynical laughter from hardliners … but so what?
      In my mind, the Israeli narcissistic and arrogant mindset would benefit from a little Buddhist detachment, more of the posture that sees the world not of separate individual selves and egos but of human beings as part of a larger flow of life. The Buddhists call the self-obsessed, separatist state-of-mind [i.e. the "pale" of Israel surrounded by Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s Iron Wall - J.L.D.] that Israel thrives on and defends with weapons as “the illusory self.”
      “Once one identifies with a permanent self-concept, the pride and craving adhering to this become the pivot from which an egocentric world arises,” writes Gay Watson, a psychotherapist attuned to Buddhism.
      David Loy puts it this way: “To become completely groundless is also to become completely grounded, not in some particular, but in the whole network of interdependent relations that constitute the world.”
      I’m not suggesting Israel become a Buddhist nation. The point is for Israelis, and more important Americans, to figure a way out of the worsening condition of “us versus them” to avoid the need to obliterate them and set off a war that no one really wants. The point is to re-shape our minds to make “the other” less threatening to permit talking.
      I’m not holding my breath that Benjamin Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman are going to become peace activists.
      But I’m done as an American being a silent stooge while Israeli militarist madness fuels hatred and sets the stage for war.

      ENTIRE COMMENTARY - link to counterpunch.org

    • RE: "the human psyche is a dangerous neighborhood" - from Weiss' summary of Rothkopf's "disquisition on history"

      MY COMMENT: Amen brother. That's one neighborhood I steer clear of 24/7. I tend to see it as being an existential threat to humans in much the same way that the Black Flag Roach Motel® is a threat to roaches!

      BRINGS COEN BROS' BARTON FINK (1991) TO MIND:
      Black Flag Roach Motel Commercial- 1983 [VIDEO, 00.30] - link to youtube.com

      PERSONAL NOTE: I like both of the Coen Bros, but I empathize far more with Ethan, who not infrequently says things incredibly similar to thoughts I regularly have. Poor guy!
      I'm guessing that Joel is far less imbued with Weltschmerz. Lucky guy!

  • Israel's clanging prison bars
    • This is an incredibly inspiring example of someone "going above and beyond" rather than being satisfied by achieving the average (i.e. splitting the difference).
      I am in awe of that degree of determination!

  • An Israeli tells American Jews they're miserable
    • RE: "I come in at the end and when the guy determines I’m with the demonstrators, he says that I’m a miserable Jew." ~ Weiss

      MY COMMENT: Tsk, tsk, I'm disappointed that he did not use the exact wording (i.e. "self-hating Jew" as opposed to "miserable Jew") specified in the officially approved hasbara, consequently I feel compelled to subtract 2 points for sloppiness. Let's have a little consistency, hasbara brigade. I expect better!

  • 'San Jose Mercury News' runs many pictures of Israeli children caressing guns
    • P.S. Here in Georgia, as is typical in the U.S., when an attorney becomes aware of a possible instance of child abuse, he/she is required to report it to the authorities for further investigation, and when failing to do so risks the possibly of being sanctioned/reprimanded/prosecuted.

    • Does anyone know what the deal is in Israel and the West Bank regarding what we here in U.S. refer to as "Child Protective Services". Some of this might conceivably qualify as child abuse by parents (at least if done here in the U.S.). Does Israel make any effort at all to protect children from abusive parents?
      My sense of it is that interest in protecting children from abusive parents rapidly declines as militarization increases, especially as a country reaches the point of becoming saturated with a "fortress (i.e., Iron Wall) mentality" where "national security" trumps all and provides a handy excuse for the government's claiming that national security is more important than virtually everything else.

    • P.S. I recall reading ten or so years ago about a study done in the years following the introduction of Viagra to the US market. The study found a statistically significant correlation between the increasing sales of Viagra in the US and a contemporaneous decline in gun sales in the US.

    • RE: "‘San Jose Mercury News’ runs many pictures of Israeli children caressing guns"

      MY COMMENT: The internet contains a veritable Smörgåsbord of sexual fetishes almost certainly including photos relating to people having fetishes involving guns, rifles etc. (but hopefully not involving children). Frankly, my father always had some guns and rifles although he never seemed to actually use them. He would sometimes take them out and admire them. I don't think it was a fetish, at least not of a sexual nature, but I did suspect that it had something to do his being both generally insecure, as well as insecure as to his masculinity.

  • Amos Oz uses the n-word-- calls settler zealots 'neo-Nazis'
    • P.S. WHEN FERTILIZING WITH MANURE, DON'T FORGET TO HAVE A LITTLE FUN WITH EXCREMENT. AFTER ALL, THE IDF ("THE WORLD'S MOST AMORAL ARMY®") WILL NOT ONLY HAVE YOUR BACK, THEY WILL PROBABLY NOT BE ABLE TO RESIST JOINING IN ON THE FUN. ISRAELIS DON'T MIND GETTING THEIR HANDS DIRTY (OR EVEN SHITTY). GO FIGURE, OR EVEN TAKE A LONG CRAP. ISRAEL'S FAVORITE PERVERSION: SCAT TODAY, SCAT TOMORROW, SCAT FOREVER!

      SEE:“Jews protect Palestinians in harvest of hate” ~ By Donald Macintyre in Awarta, West Bank, The Independent (U.K.), 10/10/08
      Israelis cross religious divide to shelter olive farmers from settlers’ attacks

      [EXCERPTS] . . . Born in Tel Aviv, Ms Siew served in the army, took a university degree, then a teacher’s diploma. Thirty-six years ago, she took the tough decision to emigrate to London, telling her parents: “I won’t come back until there’s peace.” Ms Siew, who is now 64, remains an Israeli citizen but now lives with her British husband in Hebden Bridge. She has kept to her word, except that each autumn she comes back to stay in her hometown with her relatives and spends each day of the two-month harvest season picking olives on Palestinian farmland in the West Bank.
      And Ms Siew does that for a purpose. Up on the ridge above us, you can see the red roofs of Itamar, a notably hard-line Jewish settlement, and she is here to help protect the Palestinian farmers from the threat of settler violence which has so often scarred the olive harvests.
      . . . Last year, she was in a group in the South Hebron Hills confronted by settlers who fired shots from a pistol and an M16 assault rifle, despite the presence of the army and police. “Then one of the soldiers said, ‘Look, one of them is coming down with a jug of water for you’. The settler emptied the jug over me. It was full of human shit.” . . .

      ENTIRE ARTICLE - link to independent.co.uk

    • Hilltop Youth = Kahane worshippers

    • RE: “At an event marking his 75th birthday last Friday, Oz said terms like hilltop youth and price tag were 'sweet names for a monster'." ~ Annie

      SUGGESTIONS FOR LESS SWEET NAMES FOR A MONSTER'S EXCREMENT:
      Montezuma's Ariel Sharon's Revenge
      • Spawn of Frankenstein Ariel Sharon
      • Nobody Does Excrement Like Ariel Sharon!
      • Fertilize Your Hilltops the Natural Way, With Genuine Excrement of Ariel Sharon®.
      • Always Fertilize Using The Legendary Manure Of Ariel Sharon®: "It Covers The Hilltops Like The Dung"
      • Trust Israel's Leading Producer of Manure: Ariel Sharon's Premium Grade Excrement® (Specially Formulated For Use On Hilltops)

      SEE: "Fighting Settlers’ Impunity and Immunity", by Pierre Klochendler, Inter Press Service, 12/16/11

      [EXCERPT] . . . The Israeli occupation, particularly the future of wildcat settlements built by settlers without formal government approval has been a simmering issue ever since their creation during the 1990s.
      In 2005, former head of the State Prosecution Criminal Department Talia Sasson published a landmark report on the question. Commissioned by then prime minister Ariel Sharon, the report found the Israeli government guilty of "institutional lawbreaking" and of the theft of private Palestinian land to covertly establish over a hundred "illegal outposts".
      The damning irony is that the "outposts" were a 1997 initiative by none but Sharon himself, then foreign Minister under Netanyahu, who’d urged settlers to seize hilltops in order to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state.
      The report recommended criminal investigation against those allegedly involved in the scheme, but it was shelved. Repeated injunctions have since pressed successive governments to address the issue. . .

      ENTIRE ARTICLE - link to original.antiwar.com

  • Newsweek: Extensive Israeli spying in the US kept quiet due to pressure from the lobby
    • RE: "I mean, we had government officials going over there who were offered drugs, like, ‘Hey, do you want to go get some pot?’ What? These are U.S. government officials. The drugs, women coming to your hotel room – they throw everything at you. No matter how high the official.” ~ a former top FBI official

      ALSO NOTE: "Who paid the GOP bar tab in Galilee?", By Jake Sherman and John Bresnahan, politico.com, 8/24/12

      [EXCERPT] A late night in Israel that had members of Congress diving into the Sea of Galilee — one naked, others partially clothed — began with confusion about who would cover the bar tab for House Republicans, spouses and aides.
      And it ended back in the United States, where the FBI questioned staff on the trip about the dinner, exactly who jumped into the water and whether anything inappropriate had happened as Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.) removed his clothes, according to sources with direct knowledge of agents’ line of questioning.
      The trip has gotten national attention since a POLITICO story unveiled the FBI’s involvement, Yoder’s nudity and Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-Va.) rebuke of lawmakers who had lost “focus” of the trip.
      But more details are emerging from sources close to the events, painting a fuller picture of the American Israel Education Foundation’s trip that ended up become an embarrassing incident for House Republicans and the party’s leadership. AIEF is the nonprofit arm of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, long considered one of the most powerful advocacy groups in Washington. AIEF has sponsored hundreds of trips to Israel for lawmakers, aides and journalists since 2000, spending more than $7 million on those trips, public records show.
      The night — Aug. 18, 2011 — was the group’s first free evening the whole trip. Previous evenings included dinners with policy experts, Israeli politicians and the U.S. ambassador to Israel.
      Accompanying the GOP group for part of the trip was Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire casino mogul who has donated nearly $100 million to Republican candidates this election cycle. Adelson took them to Yad V’Shem, a famed Israeli Holocaust museum, for which he is a major donor, sources said. Adelson did not travel with the group to Galilee, participants said. An Adelson-affiliated charity donated $1.2 million to AIEF in 2006, but he is not currently a donor to the group, sources said.
      The stop in Tiberias, an ancient city on the Sea of Galilee, was a time for the 40-plus GOP lawmakers and staff to relax and blow off steam. A festive dinner at Decks, a waterside eatery, began around 9 p.m., sources on the trip said. After a few hours, dinner was over, and the Republicans repaired to the bar.
      After several hours of drinking, Rob Bassin, AIPAC’s national political director, paid the tab for the entire evening, which included several hundred dollars for drinks, in addition to the earlier meal. The GOP group racked up a tab of $340 to $500 on booze
      , ranging from vodka to wine, sources familiar with the trip said.
      Steve Stombres, Cantor’s chief of staff, objected, concerned about ethics rules that prohibited the organization from paying for anything more than dinner. Stombres’s concern was so sharp that he spent the next few days collecting money from lawmakers to pay back AIEF.
      Neither Bassin nor Stombres would comment for the record. . .

      ENTIRE ARTICLE - link to politico.com

    • RE: “You can’t embarrass an Israeli,” he said. “It’s just impossible to embarrass them. You catch them red-handed, and they shrug and say, ‘Okay now, anything else?’” ~ a former top FBI official

      MY COMMENT: Not only are the Israelis not embarrassed by being caught red-handed, they are quite proud of having made the U.S. a "frayer"*.

      * FROM quora.com [frayer]:

      [EXCERPTS] There is one correct definition of the term frayer. It means "sucker" or "mark," in the sense that somebody is a sucker if he goes along with the rules when nobody else is following them, or a mark if he's a naive target for thieves. . .
      . . . In Israeli life and society, the worst thing anybody can ever be is a frayer, and most people will do anything and everything they can at all times to avoid being a frayer. The only way to be certain at any given moment that you are not a frayer is to make somebody else a frayer.

      SOURCE - link to quora.com

      * ALSO SEE: "It's a Sin to Be a Sucker in Israel", by Marjorie Miller, L.A. Times, 7/25/1997

      [EXCERPT] JERUSALEM — Why does an Israeli driver speed up when another car signals its intent to enter his traffic lane? Because he doesn't want to be a freier--a sucker. . .
      . . . So does the fear of being a sucker bear upon peace negotiations?

      Israel's bottom line in a peace accord with the Palestinians will be determined by "the sense that they are making decisions governing the existence of the Jewish state and future of the Jewish people," said a U.S. diplomat in Israel. Not by the fear of being a sucker.
      And yet, peace negotiations are affected by the fact that neither Israelis nor Palestinians want to risk being a sucker by making concessions before the other side does.
      In negotiations, an American generally will put his cards on the table, expect the other side to do the same and assume that a happy compromise lives somewhere in the middle. But Israelis and Palestinians do not bargain in this way.
      "Both sides believe anything offered up first will be pocketed by the other side," said the diplomat, who asked not to be identified.
      "Whenever things break down, this is usually the problem. They will hold out carrots but do not want to give one up until they are sure the other side will give."
      Lucy Shahar, co-author of the book "Border Crossings: American Interactions With Israelis," explained that, in the case of Israelis, this is because they do not share the American belief in win-win negotiations. "In his heart of hearts, an Israeli believes that is impossible," Shahar said. "In the Middle East, usually someone loses badly. Nothing in the Israeli experience suggests that everyone wins here or in the diaspora." . . .

      ENTIRE COMMENTARY - link to articles.latimes.com

  • 'Washington Post' runs long article on Adelson's political activities without mentioning Israel
    • RE: “All we care about is being good Zionists, [he says of himself and his wife] being good citizens of Israel, because even though I am not Israeli born, Israel is in my heart.” ~ Sheldon Adelson

      MY COMMENT: I wonder why that is. Might it have something to do with an inferiority complex?

    • RE: "Wait: Adelson has been around for a while. He gave $300,000 to the Republican Party in the 2000 election to put an end to the peace process; and George W. Bush was obedient to the neocons... And last October, Adelson called on Obama to nuke Iran. Shouldn’t the Washington Post and NPR be telling that to their audiences?"

      MY COMMENT: They just can't risk it, Phil. Even if they wanted to!

  • Abunimah and Blumenthal's freedom ride
    • RE: "As the old [two-state] paradigm crumbles before our eyes" ~ Weiss

      MY COMMENT: Hopefully, many people who have been blinded for years by Zionism (or its propaganda) will "come on down to the river of sight" and realize that "it's only castles burning". There they will find others who are likewise "turning", and then they will all "come around".

      . . . Blind man running
      through the light
      of the night
      With an answer in his hand,
      Come on down
      to the river of sight
      And you can really understand,
      Red lights flashing
      through the window
      in the rain,
      Can you hear the sirens moan?
      White cane lying
      in a gutter in the lane,
      If you're walking home alone.
      ~
      Don't let it bring you down
      It's only castles burning,
      Just find someone who's turning
      And you will come around . . .
      ~ Neil Young, 1970

      Neil Young: Don't Let it Bring You Down [VIDEO, 02:57] - link to youtube.com

      P.S. LYRICS SOURCE - link to youtube.com

  • Long faces at Israel's birthday party
  • New, for the home: apartheid wall and security tower, in dove gray
  • Mourning the age of Netanyahu
    • RE: "Right before I read Netanyahu’s missive on undermining the Jewish state, my new book arrived, FedEx, with six author’s copies, on time and packed well. I left them in the box. I couldn’t face the book I had written. They were still there – boxed – in the morning." ~ Marc Ellis

      RECOMMENDED PURGATIVE: Der Zauberberg (The Magic Mountain), 1982, 300 minutes
      Plot Summary: Hans Castorp, fresh from university and about to become a civil engineer, comes to the Sanatorium Berghof in the Swiss Alps to visit his cousin Joachim, an army officer, who is recovering there from tuberculosis. Intending to remain at the Berghof for three weeks, Hans is gradually contaminated by the morbid atmosphere pervading the place. Wishing very much to be considered a patient like the others, he achieves his ends and stays in the sanatorium for ...seven years. During this time, he has enough time to take part in the furious philosophical debates pitting against each other Settembrini, a secular humanist, and Naphta, a totalitarian Jesuit. And to fall in love with the beautiful but enigmatic Clawdia Chauchat. When he is finally discharged in 1914 - along with all the other patients - it is only to plunge into the horrors of World War I.
      ● Internet Movie Database - link to imdb.com
      ● Netflix listing - link to dvd.netflix.com
      Der Zauberberg (1981) Trailer [VIDEO 03:11] - link to youtube.com

      ALSO ON YouTube [ENGAGE TRANSLATION OF PORTUGUESE CAPTIONS TO ENGLISH]
      The Magic Mountain (Der Zauberberg), Part 01 [VIDEO 1:25:11] - link to youtube.com
      The Magic Mountain (Der Zauberberg), Part 02 [VIDEO 1:01:13] - link to youtube.com

  • 'NYT' terms Islamic Jihad's 4 percent support-- 'new traction in Gaza'
    • It should not be the job of the U.S. press to cater to (and reinforce) the biases of the American people. What's wrong with the unvarnished truth?

    • RE: "The Washington DC-based Jerusalem Fund/Palestine Centre, the Electronic Intifada and Mondoweiss systematically launch detailed challenges to the NYT reporting." ~ Victoria Brittain

      MY COMMENT: Robert Parry of Consortium News also deserves a mention. And he doesn't just challenge the NYT on its coverage of the Middle East.

      SEE: "Will Ukraine Be NYT’s Waterloo?" ~ by Robert Parry, ConsortiumNews.com, May 3, 2014
      Exclusive: As Ukrainian soldiers from the coup regime in Kiev tighten the noose around anti-coup rebels in eastern Ukraine, the New York Times continues its cheerleading for the coup regime and its contempt for the rebels, raising grave questions about the Times’ credibility, writes Robert Parry.
      LINK - link to consortiumnews.com

  • Obama outmaneuvers Netanyahu, at last
    • RE: "Not only is this remarkable in how it might affect Israeli politics (although I’m not holding my breath for a leftist Israeli gov’t)" ~ Taylor

      MY COMMENT: Good, because I would hate to see you turn all purple and develop rigor mortis! Netanyahu or not, I believe Israel has passed the "tipping point". This is not your grandfather's (nor even your father's) Israel! Not to mention that the depraved, far right-wing, American political consultant Arthur J. Finkelstein is "large and in charge".*

      * SEE: "Likud activists pushing for Liberman-Kahlon bond in next election", by Gil Hoffman, jpost.com, 4/23/14

      [EXCERPTS] A poll found that if Liberman ran on a ticket with Kahlon, the party would win 22 seats and beat the Likud.
      Key Likud activists, including heads of party branches, are pushing former communications minister Moshe Kahlon to run with Yisrael Beytenu in the next general election, political sources revealed Tuesday.

      The sources said that Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman had been petitioned by Likud activists to make a bond with Kahlon, as he did with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in the last election.

      Liberman and Kahlon are close friends.

      They both recently gave interviews in which they were complimentary of each other and critical of Likud. Liberman ruled out running with Likud, though Kahlon left the door open to remaining in Likud if it adopted a socioeconomic agenda.

      A Ma’agar Mohot poll broadcast on Channel 10 last Thursday found that if Liberman ran on a ticket with Kahlon, the party would win 22 seats and beat the Likud, which would win 19, and Labor, which would win 18.

      Makor Rishon columnist Sofia Ron Moria reported that Liberman and Kahlon’s associates had held several meetings about joining forces and that Yisrael Beytenu’s American strategist Arthur Finkelstein was involved in the effort.

      Finkelstein was the architect of the Likud Beytenu bond before the last election.

      The report said the party had requested in-depth surveys to examine the possibility. . .

      . . . Right-wing activists in Likud have been taking out ads in Hebrew in recent days, pushing Likud ministers to oppose a prospective deal with the Palestinians in which Israeli Arab prisoners would be freed. . .

      SOURCE - link to jpost.com

    • P.S. ALSO SEE - "The AIPAC Politics of Smear: The Secret Section in Israel's U.S. Lobby That Stifles American Debate", By Gregory D. Slabodkin, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, July 1992, pages 7-8, 89-91

      [EXCERPTS] During the reign of terror that Senator Joseph McCarthy unleashed in the 1950s, when the reputations and lives of many loyal Americans were ruined by false charges of "communism" and "treason," American Jewry was overwhelmingly opposed to the Wisconsin senator and his blackmail by blacklists. According to the Gallup polls of the time, the percentage of U.S. Jews who opposed McCarthy's smear tactics was twice that of the rest of the population. Many Jewish organizations passed resolutions condemning McCarthy's ruthless character assassination.
      Today, however, such national Jewish organizations as the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith (ADL) and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) are using the same tactics to stifle open debate of U.S. policy in the Middle East.
      • Secretly Circulated Lists
      To conduct this "neo-McCarthyism," AIPAC operates a covert section within its research department that monitors and keeps files on politicians, journalists, academics, Arab-American activists, Jewish liberals, and others it labels "anti-Israel." AIPAC selects information from these files and secretly circulates lists of the "guilty," together with their alleged political misdeeds, buttressed by their statements, often totally out of context.
      Just as McCarthy's permanent investigations subcommittee labeled criticism of specific policies of the U.S. government as "anti-American," or "pro-Soviet," AIPAC labels criticism of Israeli government policies "anti-Israel," "pro-Arab" or "pro-PLO." Still worse is the pro-Israel lobby's redefinition of "anti-Semitism" to include any such criticism of Israel or its actions. . .
      . . . AIPAC's "opposition research" department traces its roots to I.L. (Sy) Kenen, who founded AIPAC in 1954. As editor of AIPAC's weekly Near East Report, he often attacked critics of Israel in his aptly titled column, "The Monitor." Besides monitoring, analyzing, and responding to "anti-Israel" comment and activities in the United States, Kenen also kept files on AIPAC's "enemies." In his final year AIPAC began to expand its intelligence-gathering operations.
      Kenen's memoirs, "Israel's Defense Line: Her Friends and Foes in Washington", record how AIPAC pooled resources in 1974 with the American Jewish Committee and other national Jewish organizations to create a "truth squad." Its purpose was to combat "pro-Arab propaganda" and the emerging "Arab lobby," which Kenen believed to be a growing threat to the U.S.-Israel relationship.
      "While vigorously defending Israel's perceived interests, the organizations that created the truth squad turned into a kind of Jewish thought police," journalist Robert I. Friedman explains. "Investigators—sometimes overzealous Jewish college students, sometimes sources with access to U.S. intelligence agencies—were used to ferret out critics of Israel, Jew or gentile, wherever they might be. At ADL and AIPAC, files were opened on journalists, politicians, scholars and community activists. Their speeches and writings were monitored, as were, in some cases, their other professional activities. And they were often smeared with charges of anti-Semitism or with the pernicious label of self-hating Jew. The intention was to stifle debate on the Middle East within the Jewish community, the media and academia, for fear that criticism of any kind would weaken the Jewish state."
      When Kenen stepped down as executive director of AIPAC in December 1974, the task of monitoring Israel's "enemies" was left to the department of research and information at AIPAC, where it has remained ever since. . .

      ENTIRE ARTICLE - link to wrmea.org

      P.P.S. FROM BELOW THE ABOVE-EXCERPTED ARTICLE: Gregory D. Slabodkin, a free-lance writer in Washington, DC, was an opposition researcher for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in 1990 and 1991.

    • RE: "With its track record of self-censorship and repeatedly claiming 'both sides are to blame' so as to avoid any honest characterization of Israeli policies, will the New York Times ever set the record straight?" ~ Taylor

      ANSWER: Absolutely not! ! !*

      * SEE: "Why the U.S. Media Barely Covered Brutal Right-Wing Race Riots in Tel Aviv", By Joshua Holland, AlterNet, 6/17/12

      [EXCERPTS] Several weeks back, Israel was rocked by a night of right-wing race-riots targeting African refugees. . .
      . . . The story received very little coverage in the. . . States. . .
      . . . Recently, Middle East analyst MJ Rosenberg appeared on the AlterNet Radio Hour to discuss the Tel Aviv riots, the stand-off over Iran's nuclear program and how the Israel lobby helps narrow the discourse around Israel in the United States. Below is a lightly edited transcript of the discussion (you can listen to the whole interview here.)

      [EXCERPTS]
      • JOSHUA HOLLAND: From your inside perspective on that organization [AIPAC], what did you see as far as their tendency to call out criticism that they think is illegitimate or beyond the pale?
      • MJ ROSENBERG: They [AIPAC] consider all criticism of Israel illegitimate. It’s all beyond the pale. I suppose their definition would be if by some miracle someone like Joseph Lieberman made a statement critical of Israel it would be legitimate. When I worked there in the '80s, back before everyone had computers, they had a big war room where all they did was assemble every bit of data on members of Congress, on candidates, but also on writers, celebrities – anyone in the public eye.
      In those days they would just put them in these folders. They always had at hand all this negative information -- what they considered negative information -- to tar people as being anti-Israel or even anti-Semitic. That stuff would be given to reporters if something came up. They were either initiated on their own to give to reporters or some reporter called them because they had a treasure trove of information.
      They still operate that way. In those days they did it directly; now they have former staffers and people who are close to the organization in the blogging world and political world who do it for them. They do it so much. When you read that someone is anti-Israel they’re the ones putting it out there. They’ve got the data. . .
      [snip]
      • JOSHUA HOLLAND: . . .Speaking of our discourse, I want to talk about an issue that came up recently that’s gotten very little coverage in the United States. There were a series of violent race riots by right-wing Israelis against African immigrants in Tel Aviv. This was a big deal. I was looking at the US coverage and it was amazing at how little attention these riots received. . .
      • MJ ROSENBERG: . . .This is a common thing. When there are bad things going on inside Israel -- the way they treat the Palestinians and in this case the way they’re treating these poor African refugees from loathsome regimes who wind up in Israel -- these stories are … I don’t want to say suppressed in the United States, but it’s striking how much coverage they get in Israel itself and how a paper like the New York Times is too scared to touch it.
      I have to say they’re afraid to touch it. The reason is when an American outlet talks about Israel in any way that’s negative, or reports on anything negative about Israel, they will be inundated with complaints from powerful people who will tell them, “why are you picking on Israel?” They always say, “why is it that China is doing all these things and you’re not writing about that?” Of course, they do. You even see it in the blogosphere too, the intimidation. If you aren’t utterly secure in your position in the media then you don’t mess with Israel. More to the point, you don’t mess with the people here who are Israel’s enforcers. . .

      ENTIRE (LIGHTLY EDITED) TRANSCRIPT - link to alternet.org

  • Now Rand Paul wants to 'Stand with Israel'
    • RE: "Now Rand Paul wants to ‘Stand with Israel’"

      ALSO SEE: "Rand Paul Takes on AIPAC for Opposing Palestinian Aid Cut", By Bill Hoffmann, newsmax.com, Thursday, 01 May 2014

      [EXCERPT] A bill that could potentially cut off foreign aid to Palestinians has some surprising opposition: the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a powerful pro-Israel lobby, says Sen. Rand Paul, who is sponsoring the legislation.

      "Ironically, the group AIPAC is pushing back this bill and this is to me very troubling," Paul told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

      "If I were to speak to the 10,000 folks who come up here [to Capitol Hill] in support of AIPAC, the vast majority of them would support my bill.

      "And yet the political establishment up here thinks, 'oh we're going to stop this because we've always given foreign aid to the Palestinians and we frankly don't care what their behavior is.'"

      Urgent: Do You Support Rand Paul for President? Vote Now in Urgent Poll

      Paul believes the opposition is bound to roil the nation as news of it emerges.

      "The American people, if they knew that, would be very, very upset and think, 'you know what, those people are no longer lobbying in favor of America and Israel if they're not willing to put restrictions on aid to Palestinians,'" Paul said. . .

      ENTIRE ARTICLE - link to newsmax.com

  • Who will be the last neoconservative?
    • P.S. Bernard-Henri Lévy would also be a good possibility as to "the last neocon" (assuming that foreigners are eligble).

    • RE: "Who will be the last neocon?" ~ Weiss

      MY COMMENT: If foreigners are included, I'm betting on Tony Blair!*

      * SEE: "This war on 'Islamism' only fuels hatred and violence", by Seumas Milne, theguardian.com, 4/23/14

      [EXCERPT] The neocons are back. That toxic blend of messianic warmongering abroad and McCarthyite witch-hunting at home – which gave us Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo and the London bombings – is coursing through our public life again. Yesterday the liberal interventionists' hero, Tony Blair, was once more demanding military action against the "threat of radical Islam".

      Reprising the theme that guided him and George Bush through the deceit and carnage of the "war on terror", the former prime minister took his crusade against "Islamism" on to a new plane. The west should, he demanded, make common cause with Russia and China to support those with a "modern" view against the tide of political Islam.

      But he also demanded military intervention against Syria – backed by Russia – along with more "active measures" to help the armed opposition, which is dominated by Islamists and jihadists. It's a crazy combination with an openly anti-democratic core: the Middle East peace envoy also warmly endorsed the Egyptian dictatorship, along with the repressive autocracies of the Gulf.

      Quite why the views of a man whose military interventions in the Muslim world have been so widely discredited, who has been funded by the Kazakhstan dictator and is regarded by up to a third of the British public as a war criminal, should be treated with such attention by the media isn't immediately obvious. But one reason is that they chime with those of a powerful section of the political and security establishment. . .

      SOURCE - link to theguardian.com

      ALSO SEE: "Tony Blair believed God wanted him to go to war to fight evil, claims his mentor", By Jonathan Wynne-Jones, telegraph.co.uk, 5/23/09
      Tony Blair viewed his decision to go to war in Iraq and Kosovo as part of a "Christian battle", according to one of his closest political allies.
      LINK - link to telegraph.co.uk

  • John Kerry was right to say 'apartheid' -- more voices chime in
    • RE: "John Kerry was right to say ‘apartheid’ — more voices chime in"

      MY COMMENT: As to question of whether the term apartheid is appropriately used in regard to Israel, I highly recommend the chapter titled "The Big Quiet" (pages 351-358) in Max Blmenthal's Goliath. When you understand Dan Shueftan's concept of separation, or hafrada, that was the real impetus for the Separation Wall and other less recognizable policies, it becomes quite difficult to see the strategy as anything other than the purposeful (but somewhat camouflaged) imposition of apartheid both as to the West Bank, and (to a slightly lesser degree) as to pre-1967 Israel (and for pretty much the same reasons South Africa devised its system of apartheid).

      P.S. "THE BIG SILENCE" (PAGES 351-358) FROM MY BOUGHT AND PAID FOR* COPY OF MAX BLUMENTHAL'S "GOLIATH" - link to facebook.com

      * OK, OK, I ACTUALLY RECEIVED IT BY VIRTUE OF MAKING A CONTRIBUTION TO MONDOWEISS, BUT IN MY BOOK (AND PURSUANT TO IRS REGULATIONS) THAT'S THE SAME AS "BOUGHT AND PAID FOR". FEEL FREE TO CHECK ON IT!

    • P.P.S. ALSO SEE AND/OR LISTEN TO: "Why the U.S. Media Barely Covered Brutal Right-Wing Race Riots in Tel Aviv", By Joshua Holland, AlterNet, 6/17/12

      [EXCERPTS] Several weeks back, Israel was rocked by a night of right-wing race-riots targeting African refugees. . .
      . . . The story received very little coverage in the. . . States. . .
      . . . Recently, Middle East analyst MJ Rosenberg appeared on the AlterNet Radio Hour to discuss the Tel Aviv riots, the stand-off over Iran's nuclear program and how the Israel lobby helps narrow the discourse around Israel in the United States. Below is a lightly edited transcript of the discussion (you can listen to the whole interview here.)

      [EXCERPTS]
      • JOSHUA HOLLAND: From your inside perspective on that organization [AIPAC], what did you see as far as their tendency to call out criticism that they think is illegitimate or beyond the pale?
      • MJ ROSENBERG: They [AIPAC] consider all criticism of Israel illegitimate. It’s all beyond the pale. I suppose their definition would be if by some miracle someone like Joseph Lieberman made a statement critical of Israel it would be legitimate. When I worked there in the '80s, back before everyone had computers, they had a big war room where all they did was assemble every bit of data on members of Congress, on candidates, but also on writers, celebrities – anyone in the public eye.
      In those days they would just put them in these folders. They always had at hand all this negative information -- what they considered negative information -- to tar people as being anti-Israel or even anti-Semitic. That stuff would be given to reporters if something came up. They were either initiated on their own to give to reporters or some reporter called them because they had a treasure trove of information.
      They still operate that way. In those days they did it directly; now they have former staffers and people who are close to the organization in the blogging world and political world who do it for them. They do it so much. When you read that someone is anti-Israel they’re the ones putting it out there. They’ve got the data. . .
      [snip]
      • JOSHUA HOLLAND: . . .Speaking of our discourse, I want to talk about an issue that came up recently that’s gotten very little coverage in the United States. There were a series of violent race riots by right-wing Israelis against African immigrants in Tel Aviv. This was a big deal. I was looking at the US coverage and it was amazing at how little attention these riots received. . .
      • MJ ROSENBERG: . . .This is a common thing. When there are bad things going on inside Israel -- the way they treat the Palestinians and in this case the way they’re treating these poor African refugees from loathsome regimes who wind up in Israel -- these stories are … I don’t want to say suppressed in the United States, but it’s striking how much coverage they get in Israel itself and how a paper like the New York Times is too scared to touch it.
      I have to say they’re afraid to touch it. The reason is when an American outlet talks about Israel in any way that’s negative, or reports on anything negative about Israel, they will be inundated with complaints from powerful people who will tell them, “why are you picking on Israel?” They always say, “why is it that China is doing all these things and you’re not writing about that?” Of course, they do. You even see it in the blogosphere too, the intimidation. If you aren’t utterly secure in your position in the media then you don’t mess with Israel. More to the point, you don’t mess with the people here who are Israel’s enforcers. . .

      ENTIRE (LIGHTLY EDITED) TRANSCRIPT - link to alternet.org

    • P.S. FROM BELOW THE ABOVE-EXCERPTED ARTICLE: Gregory D. Slabodkin, a free-lance writer in Washington, DC, was an opposition researcher for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in 1990 and 1991.

    • RE: "And a month ago, Haaretz ran this article by Carolina Landsmann saying it’s apartheid now. Why isn’t this stuff in the U.S. press?" ~ Weiss

      ANSWER: Using the 'A' word (much like proclaiming that the two-state solution is dead) is definitely a bright red line with the "two-state fakers" at AIPAC*, CUFI, ADL, etc., and most people not having a virtual death wish are deathly afraid of vexing those organizations.

      * SEE - "The AIPAC Politics of Smear: The Secret Section in Israel's U.S. Lobby That Stifles American Debate", By Gregory D. Slabodkin, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, July 1992, pages 7-8, 89-91

      [EXCERPTS] During the reign of terror that Senator Joseph McCarthy unleashed in the 1950s, when the reputations and lives of many loyal Americans were ruined by false charges of "communism" and "treason," American Jewry was overwhelmingly opposed to the Wisconsin senator and his blackmail by blacklists. According to the Gallup polls of the time, the percentage of U.S. Jews who opposed McCarthy's smear tactics was twice that of the rest of the population. Many Jewish organizations passed resolutions condemning McCarthy's ruthless character assassination.
      Today, however, such national Jewish organizations as the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith (ADL) and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) are using the same tactics to stifle open debate of U.S. policy in the Middle East.
      • Secretly Circulated Lists
      To conduct this "neo-McCarthyism," AIPAC operates a covert section within its research department that monitors and keeps files on politicians, journalists, academics, Arab-American activists, Jewish liberals, and others it labels "anti-Israel." AIPAC selects information from these files and secretly circulates lists of the "guilty," together with their alleged political misdeeds, buttressed by their statements, often totally out of context.
      Just as McCarthy's permanent investigations subcommittee labeled criticism of specific policies of the U.S. government as "anti-American," or "pro-Soviet," AIPAC labels criticism of Israeli government policies "anti-Israel," "pro-Arab" or "pro-PLO." Still worse is the pro-Israel lobby's redefinition of "anti-Semitism" to include any such criticism of Israel or its actions. . .
      . . . AIPAC's "opposition research" department traces its roots to I.L. (Sy) Kenen, who founded AIPAC in 1954. As editor of AIPAC's weekly Near East Report, he often attacked critics of Israel in his aptly titled column, "The Monitor." Besides monitoring, analyzing, and responding to "anti-Israel" comment and activities in the United States, Kenen also kept files on AIPAC's "enemies." In his final year AIPAC began to expand its intelligence-gathering operations.
      Kenen's memoirs, "Israel's Defense Line: Her Friends and Foes in Washington", record how AIPAC pooled resources in 1974 with the American Jewish Committee and other national Jewish organizations to create a "truth squad." Its purpose was to combat "pro-Arab propaganda" and the emerging "Arab lobby," which Kenen believed to be a growing threat to the U.S.-Israel relationship.
      "While vigorously defending Israel's perceived interests, the organizations that created the truth squad turned into a kind of Jewish thought police," journalist Robert I. Friedman explains. "Investigators—sometimes overzealous Jewish college students, sometimes sources with access to U.S. intelligence agencies—were used to ferret out critics of Israel, Jew or gentile, wherever they might be. At ADL and AIPAC, files were opened on journalists, politicians, scholars and community activists. Their speeches and writings were monitored, as were, in some cases, their other professional activities. And they were often smeared with charges of anti-Semitism or with the pernicious label of self-hating Jew. The intention was to stifle debate on the Middle East within the Jewish community, the media and academia, for fear that criticism of any kind would weaken the Jewish state."
      When Kenen stepped down as executive director of AIPAC in December 1974, the task of monitoring Israel's "enemies" was left to the department of research and information at AIPAC, where it has remained ever since. . .

      ENTIRE ARTICLE - link to wrmea.org

  • A surprise: Bush is respected in Africa for launching huge campaign against AIDS
    • FAR BE IT FROM ME TO RAIN ON GEORGE W. BUSH'S AIDS PARADE, SO I'LL LET MICHELLE GOLDBERG DO THE (DIS)HONORS!
      SEE: "How Bush's AIDS Program is Failing Africans", by Michelle Goldberg, Prospect.org, July 10, 2007
      The president's much-lauded AIDS initiative has succeeded in saving lives through treatment. But its abstinence- focused prevention programs have put many more lives in jeopardy.
      LINK - link to prospect.org

  • Peace process: Aaron Miller moves from 'too big to fail' to 'rock and roll will never die'
    • There isn't always a nice, concise point - but I'll give it a try nonetheless. Let's just say that members of the Washington D.C. "commentariat" (represented in this instance by Aaron David Miller) are extremely unlikely to definitively "call it" as to the "(two-state) peace process" in the sense that the lead doctor in an emergency room "calls it" when there is no further point in trying to resuscitate a patient.
      This also applies to the Obama administration, despite what Kerry has said in the past about there only being a year and a half left to reach an agreement and salvage the two-state solution. When the Obama administration draws to a close, they will mumble something about the fact that despite their inability to bring about an agreement, at least there were "very fruitful discussions" that should help the next administration "get off to a good start" with the "(two-state) peace process". The U.S. government dares not admit it has been living a lie and that the two-state solution is actually dead, because it would then inevitably be asked "what's next?" And that's a question the U.S. government can't possibly cope with. Not to mention that pronouncing the two-state solution dead is definitely a bright red line with the "two-state fakers" at AIPAC.

  • Walter Benjamin's theory of fascism
    • RE: "The authors in this collection, comments Benjamin, are incapable of calling things by their names, preferring instead to imbue everything with the heroic features of German idealism." ~ Benjamin
      AND RE: "Yes I’m aware that Jews can’t be fascists – or torturers or ethnic cleansers. We can’t be – what we have become. Is this because we are (no longer) capable of calling things by their names?" ~ Ellis

      SEE: "The Semantic War in the Middle East", by Uri Avnery, Counterpuch.org, 4/25/14

      [EXCERPTS] Imagine a war breaking out between Israel and Jordan. Within two or three days the Israeli army occupies the entire territory of the Hashemite Kingdom. What will be the first act of the occupation authority?

      Establish a settlement in Petra? Expropriate land near Aqaba?

      No. The very first thing will be to decree that the territory will henceforth be known as “Gilead and Moab”.

      All the media will be ordered to use the biblical name. All government and court documents will adopt it. Except for the radical Left, nobody will mention Jordan anymore. All applications by the inhabitants will be addressed to the Military Government of Gilead and Moab.

      Why? Because annexation starts with words.

      Words convey ideas. Words implant concepts in the minds of their hearers and speakers. Once they are firmly established, everything else follows.

      The writers of the Bible already knew this. They taught “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” (Proverbs 18:21). For how many years now have we been eating the fruit of “Judea and Samaria”? . . .

      . . . Recently I listened to a speech by a left-wing politician, and was disturbed when she spoke at length about her struggle for a “political settlement” with the Palestinians.

      When I remonstrated with her, she apologized. It was a slip of the tongue. She had not meant it that way.

      In Israeli politics, the word “peace” has become poison. “Political settlement” is the vogue term. It is meant to say the same. But of course, it doesn’t.

      “Peace” means much more than the formal end of warfare. It contains elements of reconciliation, of something spiritual. In Hebrew and Arabic, Shalom/Salaam include wellbeing, safety and serve as greetings. “Political settlement” means nothing but a document formulated by lawyers and signed by politicians. . .

      . . . Peace is not the only victim of semantic terrorism. Another is, of course, the West Bank.

      All TV channels have long ago been ordered by the government not to use this term. Most journalists in the written media also march in step. They call it ”Judea and Samaria”.

      “Judea and Samaria” means that the territory belongs to Israel, even if official annexation may be delayed for political reasons. “West Bank” means that this is occupied territory.

      By itself, there is nothing sacred about the term “West Bank”, which was adopted by the Jordanian ruler when he illegally incorporated the area in his newly extended kingdom. This was done in secret collusion with David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first Prime Minister, who wanted to erase the name “Palestine” from the map. The legal basis was a phony conference of Palestinian “notables” in Jericho.

      King Abdallah of Jordan divided his fief into the East Bank (of the Jordan river) and the West Bank.

      So why do we insist on using this term? Because it means that this is not a part of Israel, but Arab land that will belong – like the Gaza Strip – to the State of Palestine when peace (sorry, a Political Settlement) is achieved. . .

      . . . So the fight goes on along the semantic front. For me, the really crucial part is the fight for the word Peace. We must reinstate it as the central word in our vocabulary. Clearly, loudly, proudly. . .

      ENTIRE COMMENTARY - link to counterpunch.org

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