Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 42 (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 42 - 1

  • 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...

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