Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 240 (since 2009-07-31 05:40:41)


Long time Commentary, Mondo, and TPMCAFE reader who would like to see peace in Isreal and Palestine. Not Jewish but have been greatly and positively infuenced by the Jews in my life.

Showing comments 240 - 201

  • Adelson newspaper suggests Swedish foreign minister deserves assassination for questioning Israeli policy
  • Ad targeting Sen. Bennet says Iran wants to nuke the world's children
  • Coulter's point is that Republicans pander on Israel to win donors, not voters
    • Wow! I wonder what Cathy Seipp would have said to this? They were pretty close back in the day. Coulter doesn't leave many bridges standing.

  • #IStandWithAhmed: Story of Muslim-American teenager arrested for bringing clock to school goes viral (Updated)
    • Reminds me of the time Star Simpson, an MIT EE student, wore a circuit prototype board with LEDs on in in a "Star" pattern when she went to Logan International to meet her boyfriend. Total freakout. Arrested for a bomb hoax and was nearly shot. She was formally charged. The whole thing was dumb overreaction probably because too many people watching too much television were under the impression that terrorist bombers put flashing lights on their sweater. You know, bombs always have flashing lights, maybe make some sort of noise, and stuff. Completely insane and indicates some serious lack of training.

  • Nadler says his vote against Iraq war caused some to question his 'commitment to Israel'
    • I was paying quite close attention during 2002-2003 and the neoconservative belief was that Iraq would become a shining, neutral if not pro-Israel, light unto the other Gulf nations. Iraq was seen as an easy military victory in part due to the ease of removing them from Kuwait earlier. Also, in many ways Iraq was the most secular country in the region even if not presented that way in the media for obvious reasons. And it was next door to Syria and Iran. Very convenient.

      What's not to like? From there to eliminating Iran's militarily significant threats would be easy.

      At first everything went swimmingly in spite of not finding WMDs though it became obvious early on that wasn't high on anyone's agenda outside of the media that kept bugging Rumsfeld. It wasn't, after all, the real reason to invade Iraq. There was even the piece in WaPo titled "We Are All Neoconservatives Now." There were pressures to "do" Syria and Iran and some of those whispers made it out into the public. More likely than not to pressure Bush to not stop now.

      Then reality set it. Turned out Iraqis weren't thrilled to be occupied and Bush started to doubt the wisdom of further expansion. It was reported at the time Rice and Bush decided to delay further expansion until things stabilized. Stabilize they didn't. Just before Bush's term expired Cheney and the neocons put a full court press on Bush to bomb Iran. My guess is he was more than pissed about the whole thing given the background of his old man and some of the old guard. But, of course, Jeb's political ambitions, like Hillary's muted anything from either W or Bill. But they know the deal and know what they must do to remain viable.

      For the neocons, it's always been about Israel. Anyone that's paid any attention to them understands that.

  • Forgiving the anti-Semites
    • Michelle,

      The "Right of Return" (how ironic) is typically tiered. Generally they would allow some percentage return with full or nearly full refunds. This usually was after they sat on the shelves for some time. Some would allow unlimited returns for just enough money to incent the merchant to return them. The point of trying to get back unsold or even used records was to get them out of the market and protect the retail demand.

      The 5/10 cent exchange some kids found is an example of arbitrage or the discovery of small economic inefficiencies to make a small profit. It's similar to people collecting aluminum cans for the refund while others throw them out because it isn't worth their time. This, nominal refund amount was offered without limitation because removing them from use protected some fraction of the full price sales. It didn't matter where they came from.

      Damaged shipments is not what was described though it's easy to see kids interpreting this breaking of the records as some sort of "taking advantage." Shipments that are damaged were refunded in full everywhere and that is done immediately after receipt as shipping damage is typically pretty obvious.

      Returned product under "right of return" was broken into smaller pieces and the pieces with labels were the ones piled in a box and returned. Cheaper postage.

    • OK folks, the actions described to Gross by Glass are not fraud. The purpose of breaking the records is not to claim damage in shipment but only to assure the vinyl records were no longer usable. It is a standard method of dealing with records that have been sitting on the shelves for a while without getting sold. It's in the contract shops make with record distributers. Keep in mind that the actual material value of records is close to nil. The value is in the intellectual property. Record companies pay for return of record made unplayable to get them off the market. Destroying them is in the contract too and accomplishes that. Record companies do this because it is in their interest for stores to buy more records than they expect to sell. This type of thing is very common in any industry where the cost of goods is tiny compared to the loss of sales by not having product.

      That apparently people (including Terry and Phil default to seeing this as fraud is an indication of ignorance of the industry. Worse though, is that it is thought of as a kind of harmless fraud and fraud is no way to run a business or anything else for that matter.

      This just plays into anti-Semitic tropes when it is an established business practice that was created for the purpose of maximizing net income for all involved.

      However, the FedEx example Phil personally told is fraud and a kind of theft. It should be quite apparent that it was unethical if not illegal.

    • Phil,

      You think records are broken in transit? Nah.

      Returning broken records isn't defrauding the record company but the opposite. It's a standard way to show that low cost, non-replaceable items that one is reimbursed for do not find their way into commerce. Books stores do the same thing. They return the covers from paperbacks they do not sell. It's an easy way to establish that the books weren't sold. Surprised you didn't know this.

      More surprised that Gross didn't know this.

  • Biden will skip Netanyahu's speech
    • Explicit in the Commentary review was that Hope was not as influential outside of comedy as other comedians because he wasn't Jewish. It isn't at all clear why they believe not being Jewish would be a principal reason that Hope wouldn't have a broader, cultural reach. Itself, an interesting assertion. It almost looks like an allusion to Jew=smarter.

    • Commentary is suggesting the PM should find a way to cancel.

      While the heavily Republican neocon publication relishes the idea that the Republicans could benefit, especially from big money, they appear to view this as harming Israel more than helping the Republicans. And, well, they are Israel Firsters.

      In other news Commentary notes in a review that Bob Hope wasn't as broadly influential as other major comedians and comes to the obvious conclusion as to why : "He Wasn't Jewish."

  • The Israel lobby rallies inside the Republican Party
    • The idea that Jews are abandoning the democrats more so than others is simply not supported by Gallup's own data and this interpretation of the recent poll is wrong.

      I must point out that the percentage of democrats in the overall population that ceased to identify as democrats declined MORE than the percentage of Jewish democrats that similarly stopped identifying as democrats.

      Specifically, there are 14% fewer Jewish democrats while there are 17% fewer democrats overall. Said another way a democrat was more likely to drop out than a Jewish democrat.

      The reason the absolute percentage of Jewish democrats dropped more is because Jews are far more likely to be democrats in the first place.

      Here are the absolute numbers of democrat percentages from Gallup:
      Jewish democrats declined from 71% to 61%
      Overall democrats decreased from 36% to 31%

      Unfortunately, the more wealthy and activist, Israel centric Jews, are increasingly republican.

  • Even Wieseltier is upset by 'indifference in Jewish world' to Gaza slaughter and wholehearted Israeli support for it
    • Another aspect is that soldiers fired upon by snipers in a village start to see no difference between civilian and military. Back in the Vietnam war it was not uncommon to hear many people say things like: "kill them all, let God sort them out." War is always dehumanizing. In part it must be so. Most all people have a hard time killing other people so they must be dehumanized and made "evil" first.

  • Elie Wiesel plays the Holocaust trump card in Gaza
    • >> "Wiesel’s theme? “Jews rejected child sacrifice 3,000 years ago. Now it’s Hamas’ turn.”"

      Between Abraham's near sacrifice and now how many peoples did the Jews obliterate, on god's command? Men, Women, Children, and Animals? Did Wiesel forget those? Easier to skip the unpleasantness.

      When you claim territory fee simple by God you can't just brush by those aspects that were barbarous.

  • 'J Street has to change or die': Divestment battle exposes tactical rift among liberal Zionists
    • I don't see J-Street as nefarious so much as a last ditch effort to save the proverbial two state solution. They were, of course, used.

      So now the question is:
      Is it Zionism uber alles or can the principles of equality and fairness override tribal impulses? I'm not holding my breath.

  • Jeffrey Goldberg leads the charge on latest BDS smear: Presbyterian Church divestment is anti-Semitic because David Duke supports it
  • 'Forward' editor says Presbyterian vote was anti-Semitic
    • "It hurts Jews"

      It's true. Israel's actions, and the State's declaration that it represents worldwide Jewry thereby entangling its actions, hurts Jews.

  • Why a false understanding of the 'Six Day War' still matters
    • I was in college when the '67 war broke out. Initially there was the story put forth by Israel, and widely believed by all, that Israel was suddenly attacked by Arab states. Then, as Israel was winning, it was said they were winning against all odds. A miracle, it was. Back then I had also swallowed the "Land without People for a People without a Land" pitch.

      As the story eked out days later that "who attacked who" was disputed the narrative was firmly entrenched. Over the years the facts came out but remain widely unknown as I regularly come across people that believe Israel was initially attacked in '67.

      And, of course, even today most people believe Israel was vastly outnumbered, out armed and only survived by the spirited, plucky, efforts of the IDF.

  • Let it go
    • Former Ambassador to Israel, Daniel Kurtzer:
      Coming down hard on Israel's interference in US politics

      "Israeli leaders need to understand the United States is Also A Sovereign Country"

      link to


  • Chris Matthews channels his inner Bill Kristol
    • >> While you attack neocons, lets not forget that the left have their fair share of interventionists, too, who cannot accept the fact that not every society either wants or is ready for Jeffersonian democracy.

      Lord Acton's Dictum in full flower. The human impulse to use power to achieve a view of what's best for others knows no politics, only the direction varies with politics. As empires decline the divergence between believed power and actual power determines the degree and scope of the stupid decisions taken.

  • Palestinian citizens of Israel protest draft in Tel Aviv as passersby tell them to die or emigrate
    • I sometimes wonder if Hamas wining and the resultant split wasn't actually something Israel wanted and perhaps worked covertly to ensure. Protests to the contrary notwithstanding.

  • 'National Interest' readers mutiny over Israeli exceptionalist argument
    • This isn't surprising or even an indication of a public opinion shift. Now if that occurred at, say, the National Review then it would be more meaningful.

      The National Interest is largely in the "Realist" FP camp though it has some diversity. Most articles in the magazine were critical of G. W. Bush's great adventure and carried some of the best arguments against it. Ones that proved quite prescient.

      Its readership is more closely aligned with Steve Walt.

  • On NPR, two states is still what 'the solution needs to be'
    • The implications of no two state solution are unthinkable therefor reality shall not intervene in the discussions but facts on the ground proceed apace.

  • Israel spies on U.S. more than any other ally
    • Just looking at it objectively Israel's intelligence services would be remiss in not pursuing spying in the US. Israel is more dependent on what the US does and doesn't do than any other country. "Friendship" has nothing to do with it. It is simply a matter of self interest as it is in any other country. There are two major levels of spying. The basic level is information gathering to assess what a country is likely to do and understanding and accurately predicting how they will respond to various scenarios. There is a more serious level though and that is having "agents of influence" which are the most valuable assets an intelligence service can have. These are people that have positions and varying degrees of influence over the decisions made in the target country but who's primary loyalty is to the intelligence services' country. It seems probable to me that Israel is particularly effective in this arena in much of the World's developed countries including, especially, the US.

  • 'Al Jazeera' examines Jewish constellation of lobby elites, and marginalized 'universalists'
    • These are my observations. There are many Jewish Americans that are disturbed by the trends in Israel but few of them are active in opposing them. Amongst the wealthier who are generally older, there is some fear that things will boomerang and they will be blamed and possibly even be subjected to pogroms. History has long tentacles and, in this case, is quite toxic to change. The Jewish Right is taking full advantage but in many cases is quite caught up in the same mindset.

      Younger Jews have, in general, just disconnected with Israel. It is just easier. The fear, palpable amongst many of their elders, isn't there except as a distant abstraction. Disconnect keeps family harmony. They may offer hope as many will become future elites but it will be a long, slow process.

  • Mark Halperin excommunicates Rand Paul, over Israel
    • Paul will likely attract some money from the techie billionaires club since they have a more libertarian bent than old money types. Thiel is of that ilk, Gates is not. However the money there is interested in maintaining the financial order and Israel isn't that important a factor. For some, Sheldon in particular, Israel is the only factor. Outside of Israel, Sheldon's politics are quite similar to Paul's yet he has declared himself willing to spend large amounts to defeat Paul. This is the value of focus. Other highly focused lobbies can be effective as well. The NRA is one such classic, narrow focused, lobby.

    • Views on Israel are the dominant factor for many sources of electioneering funds. Marketing translates this mother's milk into votes.

  • Reports of anti-Semitism in Ukraine and Hungary
    • Perhaps State, annoyed over Israel's neutral position on the Ukraine, came up with this harebrained idea to induce Israel to align more with the US position? Given all the circumstances the idea the pamphlets were anything other than some sort of provocation is near ludicrous.

      EtoA: Recall Israel and Iran were two countries that didn't support the UN vote against the Russian acquisition of Crimea.

  • Alleged K.C. killer: 'If Jews can have a state of their own, why can't we have a White Christian state?'
    • joer,

      I've had the displeasure of reading some of his scrawls. Makes me want to take a shower.

      The guy's a raving anti-Semite, not anti-Zionist. He rather admires Israel's Zionist nationalism but Jews here he hates with a blind passion, along with blacks, Asians, and everyone else that isn't lily white and preferably blonde and blue eyed.

  • Friedman says Iran's friends include BDS and Jews in Open Hillel movement
    • Friedman is much like MJR. He's a liberal Zionist appalled at the demise of the two state solution since the result isn't pretty and he knows it.

      So Friedman's approach, like MJR's, is to appeal to the liberal Jewish diaspora. They have been conditioned to fear Iran as some sort of crazy (they aren't) theocracy (they are) that is an existential threat to Israel. Like MJR, he is attacking the ones he sees as the proximate cause. I believe his primary attack target is the Israeli Nationalist Right but to gather the troops he raises the Golem.

      It's a vanishing dream. Israel has no intention of allowing a Palestinian state. Sheldon is at least honest about it.

  • Oren says Pollard 'sacrificed himself for the Jewish people'
    • Well, Oren is certainly a great example of single loyalty or an Israel Firster in MJR's parlance.

      OTOH, MJR is also but in a different way. He sees the two state solution as the only viable one and sees BDS and the current Israeli govt. as driving away from this. Hence his attacks on both BDS and that (very large and well connected) part of the Pro Israel lobby that supports the Israeli govt. Still, MJR sees the damage to his liberal Zionist dream of a Jewish state imperiled by the unwillingness of Israel to consider even a minimalist Palestinian state. He knows the current path has dire consequences. What's a liberal Zionist to do? At least MJR doesn't have his head in the sand over the implications of the almost certain Israeli direction.

  • The crisis that Israel adroitly manufactured
    • >> “If Israel faces no threat it will be destroyed within one month. Israel needs (regional) crises in a bid to continue its existence,” ...


      The reality is that Israel is addicted to existential crises. They find it highly useful to justify actions otherwise unjustifiable. It's really just a smokescreen to continue anachronistic and abusive colonialist practices.

      But sans existential ME crisis Israel would be destroyed in a month? Ridiculous.

  • Let Pollard go. But first get answers from Tel Aviv
    • I love it.

      Letting Pollard go in return for the information he stole and how Israel used it is a classic offer that sounds good on the surface but isn't viable. It's much like the non-starting, new demand of Israel to be recognized as a Jewish State condition for any deal with the Palestinians. Israel gets to claim it wants peace but what it really wants is the West Bank free of Palestinians. It can't and won't say that so it makes "offers" that would only result in Bantustan clusters with demands that are designed from the start to fail. But the claim can later be made that they yearn for peace to the outside world while what they yearn for is the land of greater Israel.

  • Evangelicals who dissent from Christian Zionism wear 'stain of indelible infamy,' Israel says
    • Don't most Orthodox view Jews who adopt Christianity as still Jewish? A rabbi wrote an article in Commentary back in the late 90's,I believe, that stated that a Jewish convert that reverted back to Christianity was still Jewish albeit a Jewish apostate. One would assume that would always apply to the Jewish born as there is no "out" that the converted Jew was a defective conversion in some way.

      From what I've read this is a matter of dispute amongst various Jewish sects but is the general rule with Orthodox.

  • Conservatives for Palestine
    • Krauss,

      I'm not Jewish but back in the day I used to pick up Commentary, Dissent, Public Interest, and Partisan Review and TNR at the local news stand. I loved the writing and found much to like in most of the articles. I don't know why I gravitated to them but possibly because they reminded me of my father's friends.

      In any case Commentary stood out as the self proclaimed leading Neoconservative exponent and one couldn't miss the Jewish connections. Though they carried few ads the bulk of them were Israel oriented, travel, I bonds, and such. The notion that Neoconservatism is not primarily a Jewish led one just seems silly to me. Still, it's not really representative of the average Jewish thought, at least based on conversations of those around me.

    • Thank you Phil, for your passionate defense of the teaching of Anne Frank and the reality of the Holocaust at the conference.

  • In 2004, Jeffrey Goldberg warned Israelis might murder Israeli PM over deal
    • >> "The reason why they don’t report these things is that the Times fears it will fuel the left’s ongoing erosion vis-a-vis Israel."

      They are right.

    • >> "But at the end of the day, these guys are a far smaller percentage of Israeli society than Islamic fundamentalists are in Palestinian society. The vast majority of the settlers are not fanatics."

      Oh Really! You need to get out more.

      link to

      "It is no coincidence that the Yitzhak Rabin Center for Israel Studies stands deserted, while on the soccer fields, the murderer is cheered and the victim is booed.
      The real Rabin legacy should be sought on the soccer fields, in the classrooms, the outposts, the yeshivas, among the secular, the religious and the traditional; in fact, everywhere in the country where - according to surveys - 38 percent of the religious public view Yigal Amir as a hero. The Rabin legacy is in fact the anti-Rabin legacy."

      But hey, Israel has surely become less polarized and more democratic in the last 6 1/2 years. Right? Hello?

  • Jewish community commits intellectual suicide before our eyes
    • Unfortunately, intellect is the servant of emotion. It's not a loss of IQ but the directing of one's intellect toward one's goals. You can see the resultant distortions in some of the more creative interpretations of older UNSC resolutions.

  • Museum of Jewish Heritage spikes panel on John Judis's book as too controversial
  • Stirring debate on BDS, 'NYT' allows readers to speak out about inequality
  • Praising Judis, Heer says Jews who abandoned liberalism for Israel are coming home
    • tokyobk,

      Indeed, the German-American community was quite strong and somewhat supportive of the Nazis. Strong enough that FDR was not urging Congress to declare war on Germany even after Pearl Harbor. And Congress limited itself to declaring war on Japan, a state that had just initiated it, as much as FDR might have wished otherwise. He had to wait a short while for Hitler to declare war on the US before the US Congress reciprocated.

      Back in those quaint days the US didn't go to war on the President's orders.

  • Fearless authors dance on third rail of US politics...
  • American Jewish leader calls Iranians manipulative 'bazaaris'
    • I recall a conversation with a colleague, a former IDF who had moved to the US, advising me similarly to be very careful when our business was looking into working with another company that was owned by a fellow with Palestinian ancestry.

      It struck me as particularly odd because the guy was otherwise quite liberal. He would steer me away from "Commentary" to "Tikkun.

  • 'I'll believe a corporation is a person the day it gets a colonoscopy'
    • I quite agree. It's the governance issues with socialism that tend to devolve into cliques of self interested folks. How to provide structures that deal with this is the classic problem. "Dissent," and the late Irving Howe struggled with this and I much enjoyed reading the mag back in the day. Quite a counterpoint to "Commentary." Capitalism, in it's current "financialism form," has become quite an engine but one that has exponentially created great disparity.

      As an aside, Bertrand Russell made a trenchant observation about the former Soviet Union's experiment commenting that he saw a great similarity between the large industrial operations there and the giant corporations of the West. The new man looked a lot like the old man to riff on The Who.

    • Oh, come on.

      This trope that a corporation is a person just plays into stupidities like SCOTUS's expansion of first amendment rights to corporations and insulating corporate executives from criminal actions because they operate corporations that are TBTF. People commit crimes and when they do it with corporations they should be charged based on the leverage gained in their managerial roles. Corporations have never been deemed human but rather entities with a selection of rights and responsibilities that are needed for their function.

      Last I saw Corporations:
      Can't Vote.
      Aren't required to attend school.
      Aren't required to get vaccinated.
      Don't have spousal immunity if they pair up with another corporation.

      I can see why a corporate entity needs to make contracts and such. Most all groups of people that get together for a purpose form a "corporation" or equivalent for purposes of contracting like leasing a church building or running a co-op.

      But really, why on Earth should corporations have First Amendment rights. That is just weird.

  • At Auschwitz: 'The IDF is the Jewish people's answer to the Holocaust'
    • There's a reason the US eschewed having a standing army until last century. A hammer is always in wont of a nail. It's the same everywhere.

  • De Blasio's leftwing base is enraged by AIPAC moment
    • Phil,

      It may seem to you that Jewish sentiments are substantially left of center but where I live in California this is not the case. Commentary magazine, the neoconservative flagship, was published until the last decade, by the AJC. Yet it was always publishing pro Israeli articles even when Israeli social/economic culture was to the left of much of the World. You live in something of a bubble. Most of the Jews I know, upwards of 60%, lean to the right on American social issues. Yet they have long supported Israel with no regard to Israel's culturally progressive aspects. These right of center folks rant and rave about aspects of American culture that is of, at best, tertiary importance when Israel exhibits similar liberal traits.

      I'd like to think your observations were more representative of Jewish opinion but there is a certain amount of self selection going on. What was the ratio between Commentary and Dissent readers at this event? That would be interesting.

  • Foxman says US gov't is conducting 'vendetta' against American Jews with Pollard case
    • Foxman would have a point if Pollard had not been Jewish but with all the facts and circumstances otherwise identical.

      It has been reported that Israel traded some of the highly classified defense secrets to the former Soviets in exchange for more Jewish immigrants. If so then his long incarceration is justified whether Jewish or not.

      Now, were we to take the same hypothetical case excepting that Pollard had not been Jewish, would Foxman and Israel be singing the same tune? Would Pollard have been given Israeli citizenship? Obviously not.

  • Truman always opposed a religious state, but caved to 'fanatical' Zionist lobby
    • >> "Congress comes from the power to legislate favoritism. This situation is not only a reality check on operating capitalist theory, but also on operating socialist theory. "

      Reminds me of Woody Allen's line in Annie Hall: "I had heard that "Commentary" and "Dissent" had merged and formed "Dysentery."

  • 'I will not uproot a single Israeli' settler, Netanyahu says, and Washington Post backs him up
    • >> "I do not intend to evacuate any settlements or uproot a single Israeli,” he said"

      This, of course, is a lie. Either that or he believes Arab Israelis don't count as real Israelis. He would like nothing better than to sever a few Arab Israeli communities should some sort of two state "solution" go down.

  • Cracks in the lobby: Wexler warns Netanyahu not to be 'cavalier' about US support
    • Speaking of Israel and China's closer diplomatic future check this out.

      Poleg ( discusses how positively Jews are viewed in China and not just in recent times but extending back for many decades.

      Poleg talks very openly about the philo-Semitic attitudes in China. There is even a cute anecdote he relates about someone complaining to him about Chinese anti-Semitism. The fellow, in ignorance about Chinese customs, says that everywhere he goes he sees Chinese spitting on the street around him believing it is because he appears Jewish. Funny stuff.

      Oh, and don't miss Poleg's reference to NY Jews being attracted to Chinese women.

      Some of the other "positive" stereotypes noted are ads from businesses seeking Israelis or Jews for the biz cred.

      All in all, quite a fascinating interview by Fish of "Foreign Policy."

      link to

  • Fact-checking Jeffrey Goldberg: the American Jewish unanimity on Israel
    • >> " Such periods are never comfortable for American Jews of all political leanings, who tend to be happier when they see their president and the leader of the Jewish state in harmony."

      Much to my surprise I agree with Goldberg. The divergence of Israeli trends with American Jewish values can create nothing happy.

      Arguably, Phil Weiss, and the existence of Mondoweiss is example no. 1.

  • 'New Yorker' says Scarlett Johansson's relationship with SodaStream may hurt her image
    • SodaStream is sold at my local Costco. They aren't exactly flying of the shelves. I wonder if the company was doing a bit of "channel stuffing?"

  • The self-hating goy
    • I was a "Shabbos Goy." Well, for one Friday night - Saturday at least.

      Some years back a friend of a friend was staying the weekend with me. He was actually a Catholic that had converted to Orthodox (no small doing!) a few years earlier. He had asked earlier if it would be OK if I operated the light switches for him when the time came and I agreed since, not being chosen, doing so wasn't offensive to the FSM, er G-d. When the time came I had forgotten his request and he sort of indirectly reminded me. It was quite cute.

      I thought of it as quirky and strange but not demeaning.

  • 'The Israel I love is increasingly hated'-- Richard Cohen
    • Really? Brush up on your math. Jews are 2% of the population. Females are about 50%. The odds of 3 people selected at random being Jewish is about the same as 17 consecutive people, selected at random, being of the same sex.

      So, no, it is not more notable that Yellin is female.

    • >> "Sometimes I think the anger comes from having repressed criticism of Israel lest it offend. "

      This may well be true. I recall reading a book about this effect relative to the breakdown of consensus amongst elites in the former USSR and Pre Islamic Iran. Basically it was how everyone tows the line due largely to the social but also very real penalties of violating custom. Then, more and more people notice that speaking out doesn't quite carry the penalties it once did and the result is an avalanche as popular opinion turns against the regime. The more oppressive a regime is the more the effect is hysteretic. Unfortunately, revolutions produce unpredictable results and sometimes worse results. I sure wish I could remember the author or book title. I think it came out in the early 80's and was by a USD prof.

      I hope we don't go through something like that if the country is forced into a war with Iran and subsequent accelerated economic/military decline of empire.

  • Palestine, 1927
    • Yeah, the British empire issued coins all around the world typically with the local name of the area. They must of pulled "Palestine" out of thin air.

  • 'Wolf of Wall St' reflects Jewish rise (though Scorsese leaves that out)
    • Yonah,

      I don't have the same take. The two articles Phil posted excerpts from are about the rise of Jews into the corridors of power and breaking through the barriers that were, at one time, present. The first article is largely about the way Jewish lawyers broke the old boys club that isolated shareholders (owners) from corporations that were largely run by management for management. They were, in a sense, good guys and had a lot of support by the people that were trying to maximize the value of public pensions. For instance CalPers was a major supporter of this effort. The PBS article celebrated the role of Jews in effecting this change.

      The second article was the reverse and Phil's point was that there, the rise of Jews, like other groups, comes with warts but in that case the role of Jews was downplayed. Phil is simply pointing out the asymmetry. Why would that be anti-Jew?

    • As I said earlier, Jews were on both sides of the corporate M&A game and frankly, I relished the general defeat of the Marty Liptons. They were the lawyers that came up with a panoply of anti-takeover defenses to preserve Management's control of these corporations. At the time most, though not all, corporate management were Wasps. They had entrenched themselves with really odd mixes of poison pills, super voting shares the founding families owned, and other anti-takeover defenses. This protection allowed senior management to essentially loot their businesses and ignore the tiny detail that they were supposed to be running the biz for the benefit of their owners, not themselves. It became nearly impossible for owners to get together and replace management. CEO's treated their positions as jobs for life. Needless to say they didn't hold the same idea re their employee subordinates. An entrenched, stagnant management doesn't create the conditions that facilitate a healthy environment for workers either. It was a lose - lose - win situation where the only winners were the CEO and top executives.

      The "Lucky Sperm Club" broke down many of those barriers erected by the Marty Lipton's. As the PBS article put it in closing:

      And that's just what they did. The control of corporate America was arguably democratized in the process. And shareholders, regardless of identity or motives, gained an upper hand they have yet to relinquish, almost three decades later

    • I'm nostalgic for "Other People's Money," about the elites, manager/owners of old family businesses that had, at some point, gone public but continued to operate as personal fiefdoms against the upstart corporate takeover specialists,

      Personally, I rooted for "Larry the Liquidator."

      Actually a pretty nuanced portrait of the conflicts between unions, execs, and owners. However, I don't recall a Jewish theme in the play.

      These days Jews certainly seem more common in law and banking but Jewish lawyers and bankers are on all sides of this.

  • Netanyahu: 'There’s a problem the Palestinians are [in the West Bank] . . . I don’t want a binational state, and I don’t want them as citizens or subjects'
  • Questioning Obama's nerve, Oren imagines 'massive' bombing campaign to 'flatten all of Iran'
    • Syria is emblematic of the split between the interventionists and war weary public. Look at Kerry and State's full court press to bomb Syria. Look at Laura Rozen's tweets at the time. She was quite supportive of bombing. The FP community had a hissy fit when Obama scotched the bombing after the chem. weapons agreement. However, there was widespread relief in most of the rest of the country.

    • The key point Oren makes is that while the American public is war weary, the (bipartisan) leadership, outside possibly of Obama, isn't. Israel, of course, is not war weary if they can get America to "flatten Iran."

      I saw that when it was first posted at LR and read the link. Chilling is right. It also reads like a bit of inside baseball that wasn't intended for our delicate ears over here in the colonies.

  • Shocker: 'NYT' publishes fair story on Swarthmore Jews bucking Hillel guidelines
  • Congress leaves town without passing lobby priority: visa-waiver bill for Israelis
    • It's odd that Israel has long had a visa waiver program in effect with Russia. Apparently the relationship between Israel and Russia is much better than is generally believed in the States.

  • Swarthmore Hillel should invite Blumenthal and Abulhawa into the schoolhouse door
    • Interesting that Andy Bachman, a rabbi that I've had thoughtful email exchanges with in the distant past, supports Open Hillel. He's a mensch, deeply pro Israel, but more deeply believing in traditional Jewish values. The dissonance is obvious and I feel for him.

  • Bill Keller says neocons are warmongers who trust Netanyahu more than Obama
    • One of the more disturbing shifts I've seen in this discussion is the idea that, should the P5+1 /Iran agreements fail, the United States is the one expected to bomb Iran. This has long been desired by Israel but is increasingly accepted as the US's responsibility. It seems both strains of neos (cons and libs) are on the same page. They can be Strange or Charming but they are both Quarks.*

      *Quantum mechanics, not Star Trek.

  • Shared values: Likud member says Prawer Plan akin to what 'Americans did to the Indians'
    • It's a bit like Japan in the 30's with its colonialist enterprise they called the "Co Prosperity Sphere." In a sense it was like the European/America colonialism that reached it's zenith in the prior century but times change and the acceptable becomes unacceptable.

  • The unspoken alliance: Israel’s secret relationship with apartheid South Africa
    • A bit of chicken v egg going on here. Israel didn't so much play the part as a consequence of BDS. It's more that BDS is in response to the separation wall and the greatly increased settler building in the occupied territories. With the mindset of Sampson and the power of undeclared but very real nuclear weaponry, Israel's troubled future may become very troubled indeed and far beyond Israel's nebulous borders.

      Oh, and Dachau, unlike Auschwitz, was a work (often to death) concentration camp, not an extermination camp to gas Jews. The Reich preferred to do that in the other subjugated countries they built them in.

  • Friedman says lobby's power to stymie Obama on major foreign policy opening stems from 'Jewish votes and donations'
    • The lobby may not win this one. Not because it isn't extremely powerful, but because the US Jewish community is split as to which, a deal or a war, is the most favorable to Israel. The Palestinians will continue to be largely ignored here while Israel pursues piece.

  • Jews who protest settlements are 'mutants' who should have been aborted, says ZOA leader
    • >> the mutants who betray us… For those who oppose a woman’s right to choose, I would say look at some of these Jewish protesters and maybe rethink a woman’s right to choose abortion.

      Man, this weird genetic predestination junk is warming reminds me of, well, I'm not going to be an example of Godwin's Law.

  • 'Economist' says lobby is trying to kill Iran talks, Roger Cohen says it's France
    • I really miss Rozen's warandpiece site but her work at Al Monitor is quite good. Sometimes. She really beat the drums for attacking Syria before the Russians stepped in, fortunately for us.

      I look at Laura as extremely plugged in and usually echoing the current thinking at State but with a bit of independence.

  • Kerry reassures Israel as Congress grumbles about a deal
    • Done. No agreement. Talks sched. for 11/20.

      Fabius is getting the "credit" for no deal.

      Firsters will be painting Obama as an appeaser willing to give everything away and was saved by the - French! Oy Vey.

  • 'Center for American Progress' rolls out red carpet for Goldman Sachs
  • Whatever happened to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process?
    • I'm wondering if this prisoner release together with settler expansion isn't an Israeli strategy to spur the Palestinians to another intifada. It would provide an excuse for a "solution" involving a crackdown then transfer while Israelis would say "We tried, we tried, but we have no partner for peace." Is this an Israeli end game?

  • Pro-Israel organization sought to survey US Jews on dual loyalty
    • Check out the current Commentary. Max Boot has a column about the necessity of spying and points out that countries have interests and they vary over time, agreeing with this:

      "We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies."

      He also states:

      "That’s why the U.S. intelligence community fears penetration by the intelligence service of Israel (an ally) at least as much as it fears penetration by the intelligence services of avowed enemies such as Iran and Cuba. And with good cause."

      Refreshing. Especially from Commentary.

      *Bolding mine.

  • Jewish leader warns Beinart that opening discussion to BDS would be like including the KKK
    • How ironic. The concept that organizations advocating breaking down segregation and tribalism is somehow similar to the KKK, which advocates tribalism and segregation boggles the mind.

  • 'The world doesn't get it' -- Highlights of Netanyahu's alienation tour
    • We've been there done that.

      G. W. Bush and Blair were fed that line in 2002 re Iraq. We take care of Iraq and the two state solution would follow.

      This pitch is as real now as it was then. It's leverage designed to corral the left into supporting another war.

  • Netanyahu's tale of Iranian deception debunked by British diplomat
  • 'Slippery slope to an unnecessary war' -- liberal groups muster popular opposition on Syria
    • Your concerns are justified:

      link to

      I am told by current intelligence officials that President Obama intends to bomb Syria in the coming days--with or without Congressional approval. With the whip count in the House of Representatives looking worse and worse for the war party, the White House is pressing Harry Reid to rush the Senate vote, perhaps as early as Monday evening, Sept. 9, the day that the Congress returns to Washington and the debate is scheduled to begin. If Obama can get a Senate majority, sources close to the White House say that he will order strikes before the House can get started.

  • Critics of Obama's narrow action cite Martin Dempsey's caution -- 'act of war'
  • Obama lost his English poodle, but it looks like he'll get a French one
    • I'm guessing cruise missiles at about 12:30AM EST. Just light enough in Syria for the drones to get high quality imagery and early enough that civilians are mostly not in the streets. Either this morning or tomorrow depending on logistics.


  • Stopping Sara from falling in love with Sammy in Qalandia
    • This sort of extreme phobia to outsider marriage reminds me of the insular Syrian Jewish community in Brooklyn. NYT had a fascinating article about them.

  • The burgeoning left-right antiwar coalition on Syria (and what it means for Iran)
    • As I said a few days ago, I think this cake is baked. We have been fully in the sales pitch mode for the last couple of weeks. Astonishing that the large majority of the more liberal MSM is on board with this.

      I do hope this isn't a cover for "doing" Iran or a FF operation. If Iran can be coaxed into entering this upon out forthcoming Syria attack so much the better it seems. If they don't a FF implicating Iran will be widely accepted as fact.

      I am afraid this really is all about Iran but is the USG in on it?

    • Laura, Laura, Laura, I'm so disappointed.

  • Glad tidings from NY: Power gets wise counsel from her hero Wiesel
  • Israel lobby wields influence on US use of force because it is connected across aisles -- Politico
    • The politico article is simply a story planted for deniability that the Israel Lobby had anything to do with this to minimize the inevitable effects of blowback. The article will be pointed to weeks or months from now to demonstrate the Lobby was not behind this. Nonsense, of course but that will be the line.

  • Do's and don'ts for progressives discussing Syria
    • My estimate is that the Syria cake has been baked for a while. The forces at work here are diverse. I don't believe Obama is the lead here but the US will contribute the bulk of the effort. The Arab League, Turkey, UK, France, the US and Israel.

      The decision has been made to sever Syria from Iran's influence. If Iran can be nudged to get involved, so much the better. It will be interesting to see how that plays out. Prepare for lots more WMD talk and scaremongering re Iran.

      Sad. I hope it doesn't play out as badly as I think it could.

      Countries, before they initiate war, analyze the risk/benefits. This is not nor is it ever public in any country. After the decision is made the public sales pitches begin in earnest. The chem attacks provide marketing material.

  • Smarting at Israeli's reception, Florida school says students must not interrupt a 'lawfully invited' speaker
    • I am sympathetic to the "marketplace of ideas" trope.

      However, steering students to the ADL's or anybody else's "sensitivity training" is targeted and implies acceptable thought v unacceptable thought. That has no place in a university.

      Their argument is against a straw man.

  • Questions about the Alice Walker case
  • Andrea Mitchell says Rand Paul is 'isolationist,' like those who wouldn't take on Hitler
    • The US declared war on Germany only after Germany declared war on the US. Germany was not required by treaty to do so but after they did the US promptly reciprocated. IMO it was indeed fortunate that Germany did this enabling the US to reciprocate.

      The Manhattan project was given a big kick in the butt as a result. The US, protected from significant attacks on it's mainland was able to produce nukes well before anyone else. Whether this was possible otherwise is debatable. That FDR, who was amongst the few informed about the potential of nuclear weapons, may have done what he could to provoke war in spite of a reluctant citizenry ( who was not informed of the potential of nuclear weapons) is unclear.

    • I don't know where this historical revisionism comes from but the US was near the last to enter into WWII and it did not even occur immediately subsequent to Pearl Harbor but only after Hitler in turn declared war on the US. Unlike Britain, which had declared itself, as promised, at war with German when they attacked Poland, the US had no such response when Hitler attacked pretty much all of Europe including the UK.

      No. We waited until Hitler declared war on us before reciprocating. We were damned lucky that he did so as Germany might well have developed The Bomb first had they not been fighting on so many fronts.

  • If Kerry fails, Israel will be an apartheid state 'and that didn't work too well the last time,' CENTCOM general warns
    • I am concerned that these new talks about talking will be a cover for attacking Iran. The line being circulated will encourage the meme that the road to peace in IL/PA will be through Tehran.

  • I lose it at the post office
    • "I was quite interested in the novel. I collect these dystopian fantasies because they are so at odds with my experience."

      "I looked into the book I determined that the author is not Jewish, so it was not my material, and I told my social friend as much."

      Curious. Does this mean that such a book written by a goy will not have the impact within the more paranoid portion of the Jewish community as a similar book written by a Jew?

  • American Jewish leaders are mad that settlement-boosting minister exposed their charade
    • I see this all the time in Israeli polls and references. The term "Israelis" is often used as a synonym for Israeli Jews. The biggest exception to this is when Israeli leaders want to tout the Only Democracy in the Middle East.

  • Samantha Power's character reference likens Palestinians to Nazis, deserving defeat
    • Why do I get the impression that politically influential Jews are paranoid that politicians aren't really as big supporters of Israel as they say? Just because you are paranoid doesn't mean you are wrong.

  • Afraid of burgeoning civil rights meme, 'WSJ' lobbyist maligns Arab women, Palestinian protesters, and Alice Walker
    • Actually, Israel was Apartheid South Africa's "best friend" at the time up to and including a high level of military cooperation.

  • Snowden/Greenwald show: left and right must overcome cultural differences for work ahead
    • I also was shocked when I ran across some of the clearest skeptical analysis of the looming Iraq war.over at the National Interest. Geez, at the time they were a part of the Nixon Center. Turned out their "realist" concerns were, for the most part, dead on. Neoconservatives, OTOH, devolved from the Left but carried a certain internationalist, vanguard thinking while the classical right paleoconservatives have been banished from most of the Republican establishment.

      I am pretty unhappy with the thinking of the whole lot. Every group has their blind spots and the more idealistic one is the bigger one's blind spots. I subscribe to the old doctor's oath: "First, do no harm."

      That's something different countries learn in different ways, only to be undone over time by natural human impulses to power leading to overreach of one sort or another.

  • Creator of 'Two and a Half Men' says other Americans want to ship him to a concentration camp
    • It's widespread.

      A friend in LA who's connected to the fairly large Iranian-Jewish diaspora there described a palpable fear at the start of Great Recession that the ovens were in their future. This was endemic amongst the older of them. It's an understandable but toxic mindset and one that I find has no basis in current reality.

      Kind of like how horribly abused kids have a skewed outlook as adults.

  • Story glorifying US tourists' gunplay in settlement is denounced as AIPAC propaganda by angry NPR commenters
    • TomAmitaUSA,
      "NPR Commenters" doesn't imply the commenters are affiliated with NPR any more than Mondoweiss Commenters or HuffPo Commenters imply affiliation. We are just commenters.

  • 'We are the army. Beware... we will come to your home' -- Israel's wanted posters for 4 Palestinian boys, 10-14
  • If the US wants a two-state solution, it will have to impose it by force
    • "... Kerry should get on the Presidential hotline and hatch a plan for American military intervention in Jerusalem that would force Israel back to the 1967 borders."

      You've really bought into the idea American military power can fix everything and you join the neocons in that illusion.

      Really though, we could stop supporting the Zionist enterprise. That alone would be a remarkable achievement.

  • Reluctantly taking down monstrous orientalist video, college union in Israel protests that it got '1000s of positive reactions'
    • That's got to be one of the most disgusting video promos I've ever seen. It says a great deal about the state of things in Israel that it could even be produced.

  • Another landmark: 'Boston Globe' honors Hawking's boycott as nonviolent effort to pressure Israel
    • Does the NYT still own the Globe? ( Yes, I see)

      This is encouraging given the multi front pushback attacking Hawking.

      Faster, Please.

  • Dershowitz calls Hawking an 'ignoramus,' a 'lemming,' and likely an anti-Semite
    • Chomsky and Hawking have both made brief appearances on The Big Bang Theory. I wonder if we'll see more of them? Or less?

      Hawking is this generation's Feynman.

  • Shareholders respond to TIAA-CREF refusal on divestment vote
    • I've had the opportunity to suggest a shareholder resolution that was written up and allowed by the SEC Staff. While that one was not political I am familiar with the fairly limited structure of these things. The SEC has long allowed these sorts of resolutions so long as they comport with the laws in the corporate domicile. OTOH, this is pushing more buttons and the buttons are firmly embedded. I expect the SEC to issue another "No Action" letter.

  • In bill discriminating against Arab- and Muslim-Americans, Boxer and 17 other senators serve Israeli gov't over their own -- Greenwald
    • I've long thought it odd that Israel has a Visa Waiver program with Russia but not the US. I guess Israel has a more "special" relationship with Russia.

      So now Israel wants a one way Visa Waiver with the US where Israelis can come to the US without a visa but Americans would still require a visa to go to Israel.

  • 'NYT' runs another piece warning people not to intermarry during delusory secular interval of 30s and 40s
    • "Remarkably, less than half of the interfaith couples in my survey said they’d discussed, before marrying, what faith they planned to raise their kids in..."

      So she finds it disturbing that people who are largely secular don't talk about what "faith" to raise their kids? What's to talk about? How about "no faith?" Maybe it's the circles she runs in but I don't see this movement of people towards "faith" as they get older as a general trend. Some do. Some don't. Some become more secular.

  • Dialogue doesn't mean inviting someone to spew 'racist hatred' -- Jews Against Islamophobia coalition
    • "Objecting to the invitation to Geller is not a First Amendment or censorship issue. Only the government can violate someone’s free speech rights."

      Of course. Isn't this obvious? There is a big difference between private schools, and public schools where the First Amendment can come into play. Good thing the US doesn't have a State Religion unlike many other countries.

  • NY synagogue's invitation to Geller to 'promote bigotry' elicits call to cancel event
    • I come down on the side of letting her speak. Getting her tossed just gives credence to her positions amongst the frenzied Islamaphobics. One of the best interviews I ever heard was an interview of an American Nazi Party spokesman broadcast by KPFK. The interviewer was so neutral and skilled that the spokesman let his hair down and said what he truly believed. It was chilling and revealing. Free speech tends to do that. Reveal, that is.

  • In 'NYT' lecture on intermarriage, Stanley Fish says religious difference is 'deep and immovable'
    • broadside,
      Perhaps one reason is that Orthodox Jews don't believe you can leave being a Jew. There was a touching essay in Commentary some 15 or more years ago by a Rabbi expounding on the problems of conversion to Judaism, in particular conversion motivated by love more than a desire to be Jewish. His example was a woman that converted but after her marriage broke up she found herself drifting away from Judaism. Many would say she never really converted in the first place but the Rabbi maintained she did and that once she became Jewish by drifting away and returning to Christianity she became a Jewish apostate. He then used this example to proscribe these sorts of conversions. It was really a touching piece even though I am about as religious as a rock. I like to understand others points of view.

  • In enforcing DOMA, and in doing nothing against settlements -- Obama lacks 'courage of his convictions'
    • To be fair the Executive branch has a legal obligation to enforce current law. Hopefully SCOTUS will change that. The legislators are the culprits that passed it.

  • Another bad review: 'Obama takes Palestinians for granted'
  • NPR can't stop talking about Jews
  • Obama gets it
    • It's hard to imagine any other figure in American politics expecting to remain in power that would say even as much as Obama did. And that's a very sad state of affairs.

      Let's face facts. Nothing more is going to happen without a significant change in Congress. That's where the effort needs to be now. Not holding my breath.

  • Obama brokers Netanyahu apology to Turkey over 'Mavi Marmara' attack
  • Hea culpa: 'New Yorker' editor backed Iraq war because Saddam had WMD and wanted to liberate Jerusalem
    • The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

      That many liberals joined with the neocons in supporting this classic and incredibly stupid war will continue to eat away at them.

      And it should.

  • Tough Brooke Gladstone gives media a pass for supporting Iraq war
    • Bogus facts were and remain prevalent. One of many is that Iraq was not cooperative with the IAEA inspectors and Saddam was pretending to have WMDs.

      This from March 7, 2003:
      "After three months of intrusive inspections, we have to date found no evidence or plausible indication of the revival of a nuclear weapons programme in Iraq. . . . I should note that, in the past three weeks, possibly as a result of ever-increasing pressure by the international community, Iraq has been forthcoming in its co-operation, particularly with regard to the conduct of private interviews and in making available evidence that contributes to the resolution of matters of IAEA concern ... "

      And much, much more: See Drinking the Koolaid by Col. Pat Lang
      link to

  • Yet another Zionist logo combines US and Israeli flags
  • Obama scared AIPAC into silence, then defeated it
    • Holy cow. I just heard Limbaugh riff on the Neo's pushback of Rand Paul's "filibuster." Basically, he thinks the neoconservatives are scared of Paul. Are the conservative, neocon co-opted, repubs breaking? Limbaugh breaking with the neos.? I sure hope so. That's a delicious food fight.

    • MJ's argument would be a lot more convincing if the Hagel hadn't had to effectively kiss the ring during his hearings. AIPAC is saving its dry powder for Iran.

  • Now it's 'Palestinians Only' buses (60 years after Montgomery)
    • How can you possibly compare Palestinian only busses to the harsh and cruel situation under Jim Crow? Palestinians get the full use of an entire bus and aren't crowded into the rear having to walk the gauntlet just to get in and out like blacks in the South.


  • AIPAC won't let us report on its policy conference
  • Denied entry by Israel, American teacher prepares to say goodbye to Palestinian students
    • Russia has a Visa Waiver program with Israel but the US doesn't.

      And Americans have this bizarre idea Israel is somehow not on friendly terms with Russia.

      Israel isn't on our list because they don't meet the 3% rule we apply to other countries. Israel's passports also lack biometric standards we require for inclusion.

      As for why Russia allows it, there are a lot of Russian expats in Israel and both countries probably use the access for spying.

  • The chutzpah of hasbara
    • I've known a lot of Mormons and they tend to have at least as strong a group identity as the Jews I know. Big difference is they love to out-marry. But only if the outsider converts. Jews allow conversion but make it non-trivial and don't encourage it. Mormons live to convert but are friendly enough and almost always leave you alone once you make clear you aren't interested.

      However, while the Jews I've had the most interaction with do have a distinct sense of being Jewish, they haven't been in any negative sense clannish or treating outsiders differently or adversely.

      Of course that is only my experience.

  • The controversy over the Oscars joke that Jews run Hollywood
    • An aspect of the Jews as perpetual victims is the service it provides Zionists in support of Israel. Thus keeping the anti-Semitism timbers in place becomes even more critical as Israel descends into ugly, and more obvious, nationalism. What a mess.

  • Ten years after Rachel Corrie's killing, AIPAC conference will feature Caterpillar executive
    • Tone deaf. Just as well as it certainly doesn't help hasbara.

      OTOH, I suspect CAT is more symbolic of equipment heavily used in settlement activities and that is widely supported amongst the AIPAC crowd under cover of the "two state solution."

  • The Israel Project-- and Chris Matthews-- say you can't make deals with Palestinians
  • Hagel news: Abrams says lobby is mostly Christian, JVP wants Americans to say 'apartheid'
  • The 99%: Netanyahu successful as Americans agree on Iranian 'nuclear threat'
    • The problem with this poll is that "Development of nuclear weapons by Iran" is the only one of the 10 threats that doesn't clearly exist. This is not to say that it doesn't exist. The CIA's NIE, which was widely disparaged by neocons, did not state Iran has no nuclear weapons program. It stated, some 6 years ago now, that Iran made a decision to terminate a nascent nuclear weapons program years earlier, that it was highly unlikely Iran had restarted the program, and that Iran was developing nuclear (as opposed to nuclear weapons) know-how but not actual weapons. However, it also stated that Iran would be increasingly likely to restart their weapons program at some point in the future absent agreement on extended protocols.

      In the event Iran decides that a nuclear weapons program would be in their national interest they have the ability to do it. However, the consequences would be most extreme to Iran and only somewhat less so to the US, Why? Not because Iran has threatened to attack Israel, though this seems to be widelyt believed. Israel is the only country where top leadership has actually threatened to preemptively attack Iran. Israel will try to get the US to do so first and it seems the US has been maneuvered into agreeing to take the military action if Iran does start working on nukes. This was in return for Israel not bombing last fall.

  • 'NYT' lecture to Palestinians on democracy was written by former 'Hasbara Fellow'
    • Because democracy scares the crap out of Israelis which is why "The Only Democracy in the Middle East" has evolved into, ahem, "Jewish Democracy." Democracy elsewhere scares them even more. It's very sad and discordant to large numbers of American Jews.

  • 'Commentary' says some elected Democrats 'pledged' to protect Israel
    • Man, every day I get an new Commentary email with the latest Hagel "discoveries"

      Secretary of defense nominee Chuck Hagel said Israel is on its way to becoming an apartheid state during an April 9, 2010, appearance at Rutgers University, according to a contemporaneous account by an attendee.

      Wow!. The horror! Hagel must really hate Jews.

      OTOH, if he really did hate Jews wouldn't he be encouraging Israel to do just that!

    • What irritates me is Tobin's casual statement that Hagel hates Jews. It's just insane.

  • Which will prevail-- latest neocon charge on Hagel over Israel, or D.C.'s fatigue over delay?
    • Exactly.
      Just when you think Commentary can't sink lower. And notice Commentary's conflation of Jews and Israel. I guess it;s OK when the neoconservative flagship does it. Foxman is nowhere in sight.

    • Commentary's latest:
      If Jewish groups speak out now in the aftermath of the cloture vote the Hagel nomination will collapse. The president may not like it but the longer this goes on the less defensible his choice for the Pentagon has proved to be. The time is now for Jewish Democrats to end this farce and send Hagel back into retirement where he can say as many hateful things about Jews and Israel either on or off the record as he likes.

  • Video: Celebrating 20 years of the peace process!
  • Israel boosters threaten civil rights claim against Brooklyn College and suggest barring student activists from campus
    • I should add that while a powerful meme, and understandably so, its power is in decline amongst many Jews not caught up in the more destuctive aspects of Zionism. Hopefully the cycle of victimhood will end someday. As Robert Wright said in signing off his blog on the Atlantic, the single most important thing human beings need to work on is being able to look at things from other's points of view.

    • The goal is to continue the basic meme of Jews as victims. Always and forever. It may seem ridiculous but it does work.

  • Hagel offers himself as secretary of Israel's defense
    • Check out Michael Cohen's twitter:

      Here's a gem:
      Michael [email protected]
      To answer Lindsay Graham's question on how the Israel lobby harms USFP - he should watch this hearing

      link to

  • Lobby leans on Schumer to block Hagel-- now that Ackerman, Berman, Frank, Weiner, Rothman and Lieberman are gone
    • The problem for both Israel and the neocons is they can only win a pyrrhic victory against Hagel at the cost of Israel continuing on it's suicidal spiral and further rapid loss for USA supporters of Israel.

      It's bizarre, insular thinking.

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