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Total number of comments: 58 (since 2010-07-01 23:33:33)

Irish guy

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  • Dueling messages on Iran
    • @ Richard

      Don't know what you have been reading but all I have been reading the last few days has been pretty scathing of the IAEA report.

      From Robert Kelly who worked as an weapons inspector in South Africa, Iraq, Libya and was in charge of the Iran brief up until 2005 who called the report "unprofessional" and "amateurish analysis".

      Source: link to csmonitor.com

      To the Russian Foreign Ministry who sent out a statement saying they were "disappointed" with the IAEA report and that it contained "rumours and speculation".

      Source: link to english.ruvr.ru

      To India's former Ambassador and foreign policy bigwig MK Bhadrakumar who called the report "spin". I would say that most foreign policy circles online have been dismissing the report. Indeed when journalists and bloggers online can tear huge holes in the report you would wonder what the Intelligeance agencies around the world are able to do with it.

  • Gorenberg says a one-state solution would produce another Lebanon
    • /Agree Donald

      Alot of the One State Solution debate is just people debating its merits over the Two State Solution. It would be good to have more policy debate on what steps need to be taken to make the One State Solution workable. Also history can be a good guide on how to work these things.

      For example I think joining Gaza, West Bank, Israel into one entity would cause a similar situation to German re-unification during the 90's. You would have large under-developed cities like Gaza close to developed cities Ashdod. Certainly alot of lessons from Germany could be adopted.

      Also joining the different ethnic/religious groups shouldn't automatically led to gridlock and Lebanon style civil war. Another good comparison here would be to look at Northern Ireland which has come a great way in solving its problems of warring neighbourhoods.

  • Afternoon headlines
    • That I've been watching the Iran story break. Absolutely made up. What is the US thinking?

      Why would Iran attempt to bomb the Saudi and Iranian embassies in Washington DC knowing that such an attack would give Israel a pretext to attack? What purpose would it serve them? If Iran wanted to hit Israeli and Saudi targets why not just hit them in Middle Eastern capitals where it is easier why send a cell to Washington DC?

  • Mondoweiss liveblogs the UN General Assembly speeches
    • Was a good speech touched on all the major issues. Some highlights

      - Congratulated South Sudan on attaining a UN Seat.

      - "The colonial policy of Israel is responsible for the repeated failure of negotiations." - Abbas

      - "The occupation is racing against time to redraw the borders on our land." - Abbas

      - "This is a moment of truth ... Will the world allow Israel to continue the last occupation in the world?" - Abbas

  • Palestinian statehood and the struggle for self determination and national rights
    • Great to see you on Mondoweiss Simone !

      Indeed I fully believe this statehood vote recognising Palestine will be huge moment in the history of the struggle (that is why the US and Israel have been fighting it so hard).

      I would hope that soon Abbas and Co step down and let a younger generation take the reigns. As the Al Jaazera cables show Erekat and Abbas are too weak to lead Palestine and this UN vote is the first time Abbas has ever done anything bold and brave.

  • 'DailyKos' bans Simone Daud, who sought to inject Palestinian view into US political discourse
    • Used to comment there alot around 2006 -2008. Eventually just felt very stale and after the election lost interest. Checked it out a few times since but the new design seems pretty clunky and haven't bothered to get the hang of it.

      Remember Simone Daud from the Israel-Palestine threads. Also remember that most people were Pro-Palestine or leaning that way, just a few Pro-Israelers that regularly turned up in every single I-P diary. Seems to me that Kos is killing off the most active Pro Palestine contributors while leaving the colonialists. Not going to help since most of the readers dislike Palestine.

      Just going to make people leave Daily K and go elsewhere. Plenty of alternatives.

  • Exulting over Libya
    • Possibly the most shocking piece I have read on Mondoweiss.

      Saying the US went into Libya and helped kill 13,000 people by Al Jaazera's count in order to bring democracy is like saying the Soviet Union went into Afghanistan and killed thousands in order to improve workers rights.

      Maybe its just because I'm not American. So far the only death-toll I've heard from Tripoli is 1,300 dead (as in roughly the same as Gaza in 2008). I click onto Mondoweiss and its being celebrated?

      Guess Americans have learned nothing from the times of bringing democracy at the barrel of a gun. Also just because NATO bombed Gaddaffi for 6 months (half a year) and finally took control of Tripoli does not mean the revolution is a success. Just means that after half a year they were able to conquer a city that had its fuel and food supplies cut.

      As for the Rebel council... well like all US installed puppets they will probably be worse than the person they deposed. Remember the Shah of Iran? Or Pinochet after Allende was taken out?

      Also classic Disaster Capitalism. Maybe you should re-read Naomi Klein's Shock Doctine to see who will reap the rebuilding and oil awards.

  • The case against circumcision
    • Very good article on a difficult subject. Would just bring up one thing.

      "Virtually no European men are circumcised." I'm Irish and know it was pretty common here (not sure if it still is but was in '83 when I was born). I actually don't know why I was circumcised as a baby since my parents are both non-religious so assuming it was advice from the doctor at the time.

      Maybe it was something to do with the power of the Catholic Church but don't really know. Think I asked my parents once about the topic as a teenager and they replied with the "prevents HIV" myth. Only in college and reading the internet did I find out that was bogus, so don't know why I got the chop, certainly wasn't for religious reasons in the family and if it was based on doctors advice it was bogus.

  • Al Jazeera comes to NY
    • Martinji

      As an Irish person I'm lucky enough to have had Al Jazeera for years. You are right that when the Arab Spring started Al Jazeera started off with great coverage of Egypt until the Gulf Cooperation Council began leaning on them and since then I definiately agree their coverage of Libya and Syria (and their ignoring of Shiite Bahrain) has been disgraceful.

      However saying Al Jazeera would make "the American masses even less well-informed" is crazy. Al Jazeera is a sea change improvement in world news for an American audience. To compare it to Fox/MSNBC/CNN/CBS is madness. Alot of its shows like Empire and Faultlines deal honestly with issues like the American military empire, the rise of China, a nuanced view on Iran, and issues like occupation, colonialism and imperialism.

      Recently it has dulled some of its principles but even still is a world better American corporate news. Personally prefer Press TV and RT both of which we also get in Ireland but for the Americans it is a massive improvement and should rightly be celebrated.

  • My response to 'DailyKos' smear
    • The Daily Kos mods just worship Democatic party orthodoxy. Only in a country as insanely right wing as America could they even be called a left-wing group.

      Where I live (Ireland) even the current ruling center-right party Fine Gael stands up to Israel and every one of the left wing parties; Fianna Fail, Sinn Fein, Labor, Green Party, all support BDS. It's the same across Europe. So Daily Kos can continue sucking up for attention from the Democratic Party establishment but outside the US (ie the real world) real leftists know where to stand on the topic of colonialism.

  • Haaretz: Greek move against boats was born of Netanyahu campaign for Greek financial rescue
    • It ain't over. Greece can't hold them indefinately, eventually they will need to cut them loose. In fact I'm curious about what reasoning the Greek Coast Guard used to stop the boats leaving Greek waters?

      Surely the law in Greece says that if you hold a boat against its will it has to be for valid legal reason. It's full of humanitarian aid not drugs or illegal immigrants and its not entering Israeli territorial waters so the question is what reason have the Greek given for commandeering the vessel?

      Anyway the Greek's obviously can't keep a bunch of Americans and their American registered boat in Greece and not let them leave. Also another reason to be glad when the Greek PM is toppled by the revolutionaries at the gates to his palace. He a treasonous dog for the Economic effects he has had. This just gives me another reason not to like him.

  • 'Forward' backward, Greenwald forward
  • Site news: Introducing Mondoweiss's new home
    • Wow best of luck with it. Hopefully Mondoweiss will continue to grow. Just checked out the Center for Economic Research and Social Change and certainly looks like great organisation.

  • 12 times in the last year Israel has shot and wounded Palestinians working to collect scrap near fence in Gaza-- 12 times
    • In other news Apple have shown yet again that they are scum by banning the ThirdIntifada app.

      link to haaretz.com

      Of course not the first time Apple have shown they are enemies of social justice. Just look at their shocking record in the Chinese sweatshops where the Apple products are made.

      30 Attempted suicdes in Apple Sweatshops (Gizmodo) link to gizmodo.com

  • Open letter to Gaddafi supporter Cynthia McKinney from disappointed Palestinians
    • Indeed Seham, Syria is a very murky situation. Honestly I'm not sure what to think on Syria and find myself constantly changing my mind.

      On one front is my desire to support Revolutionaries, which being a Marxist myself is something I want to see not just in the Arab world but in Europe as well.

      But on Syria this desire is weighted against alot of the shady elements you mention. The reports of armed gangs seem to be consistant and coming from many news sources and I think there many be an outside factor (possibly by Saudi Arabia) to stage an armed insurrection in Syria. The armed gangs seem to be very organised and doesn't strike me as something that would occur in a spontaneous uprising.

      Then there is also the fact that NATO seems to want the chaos to continue in order to push for an intervention something that is being delayed by Russia and China's objections. Also I think the situation could easily descend into civil war that could easily become regional.

      So in short with Syria I really don't know what to believe.

    • Ohhhhh this letter really riles me up. NATO have killed around 70-90 civilians at least and reports from Tripoli indicate it is being heavily bombed every night and I'm reading about Palestinians cheering the NATO bombs dropping on Libya?

      Secondly, any Arab Spring that there was in Libya was quickly hijacked by two groups inside Libya. Business Interests and former Monarchists. The Libyan Transitional Council is a joke. Just look at one of the LTC's first acts setting up a Central Bank or the account from Bernard Henri Levi that they agreed to recognise Israel or Mustafa Abdul Jalil the leader of the Council who thanked Saudi Arabia for its aid.

      In my general experience if the US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia support a cause then it is probably bad news for resistance movements and activists both in the region and globally.

  • Israel seeks to ban the Palestinian protest movement from iOS store
    • Hey Intifada just means a struggle or rebellion. Alot of the advocates of a "Third Intifada" plan for it to be internationalised and non violent learning from the Arab Spring, just like the protesters in Egypt learned alot from the 1st and 2nd Intifada.

      If you don't believe in a third intifada you don't believe in resistance to Zionism.

  • American flotilla passengers set to challenge U.S. support for Gaza blockade
    • Indeed Turkey gained a huge amount of good will and respect for its independent and popular foreign policy. It seems in all areas it is backtracking on that. It started off opposed to the Libya war and then once it started rushed over to the Pro-War side.

      The below link to Haaretz also gives this more context. It appears that Turkey and Israel are in secret talks to mend relations.

      link to haaretz.com

  • Israel spins the Naksa killings
    • It's ironic that while Israel blames Syria for the protests all the Arab dictators are claiming that Israel is responsible for their own protests. All these regimes are relying on scapegoats to justify there repression.

      With this specific case I will add, any soldier who deliberately targets unarmed civilians should be tried for War Crimes and hung (since Israel has the death penalty with regards to war crimes). Even the US Military, itself one of the most thuggish militaries in the world, recently moved forward with charges against the US soldiers that were part of the "Kill Team" which murdered unarmed civilians.

      So how come when US troops fired on unarmed civilians in Afghanistan they get court martialled but Israel troops who fire on unarmed civilians are allowed to continue walking free? Of course this is by far not the first time the Israelis have shot unnarmed protesters (Flotilla being just one of the famous examples).

  • Not to be a buzzkill-- but what Rafah opening does and doesn't mean
    • I think this is a very narrow concept to look at events through. Fact is the opening of Rafah is just one of many moves that is taking place in Revolutionary Egypt. Another is the reconcilliation of Hamas and Fatah done with Egyptian help. Or the talk of rising the price of Natural Gas to Israel. All these moves while appearing small on there own amount to a huge change when looked at as a whole.

      I think that when the elections take place in September there will be alot more progress on the Palestine issue with Egypt using alot more of its power.

      Also of course soon there will be the Freedom Flotilla 2 Stay Human arriving in Gaza yet another of the many baby steps that will together secure victory for Palestine.

  • Help me, James Madison. 'NYT' runs Zionist piece that hints at ethnic cleansing of West Bank
    • It's hard to take this piece seriously. Probably shows how desperate the Zionist faction has become. The chances of Israel succeeding in annexing the West Bank are as close to zero as you can get.

      There are whole cities like Ramallah, Hebron, Nablus, Jenin all cities with almost total Palestinian populations. How exactly does he propose annexing these cities into Israel? Also the language he uses for Israel taking over this territory and expelling the current residents, "legalizing our hold on the West Bank."

      It's a horrible racist plan no doubt but its also delusional and has zero chance of ever working.

  • Desmond Travers on Geo Mitchell: Irish-American Diaspora wanted an end to the troubles, Jewish-American Diaspora hasn't opened its eyes
    • Very interesting article, agree with every word. At the end of the day George Mitchell was placed in an impossible situation on I/P. Hard to see even in retrospect what he could have done differently to advance the peace process. There was to much institutional resistance for him to have replicated the success of Northern Ireland. But still... solving one long running conflict is more than most political figures achieve and he can be proud of the job he has done.

      In reply to Donald's question on Mitchell's views the only evidence we have so far on what he thinks is from his letter of resignation which ForeignPolicy.com described as "curt". Can read the letter at the link below but he appears to have kept it very vague and matter of factly and short.

      link to blog.foreignpolicy.com

  • Slap across the face
    • Should send Hezbollah in to keep the peace. None of these Zionist cowards would dare to slap a Palestinian in there presence.

  • Egyptians demand shut down of Israeli embassy
    • chet, I think Khaled Mishaal of Hamas advised Egyptians not to march to Rafah after hearing that the Egyptians planned "a million man march to Rafah".

      An official statement by Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal has called on the Egyptian activists to put their plans to march through the Rafah crossing into the enclosed Gaza Strip on hold. Warning them of the military confrontation that might ensue with the Israeli occupation forces.

      He added he believed advocating the cause by taking a political stance, sending relief aid, and boycotting would be more effective in the time being. He warned them of the military confrontation that might ensue with the Israeli occupation forces.

      link to ikhwanweb.com

      This could have been the reason the Egyptian military closed the border. The thinking being that the smartest move would be to consolidate the gains already made in Egypt and avoid a direct confrontation with Israel.

    • Wow alot of good reading material here.

      Indeed there is almost to much developments happening in the Middle East to keep track of them all. I would say I personally think the Yemen will be the next country to fall to the Revolution. Think Bahrain will eventually fall as well but will take much longer.

      All this of course is great news for the prospects of a third intifada and you can feel the grip of the US slipping in the region. Saudi Arabia's "counter revolution" like all Saudi actions will fail in the end. Typical Saudi problem they can buy guns but they can't buy cheers.

  • Walter Russell Mead says Obama never had the power to deliver freeze on colonies (Why not?)
    • Israel trusts America more than it trusts any other power; as long as that is true it will be more forthcoming in American-led negotiations than in any other forum.

      My god. Walter Russell Mead must not watch the news to often. He makes the above comment after Israel spat in Joe Biden's face the last time he travelled to Israel. He makes that comment after Obama shamefully offered Israel stealth fighter jets in exchange for a 3 month freeze (which they rejected).

      If this is Israel being "forthcoming" I would hate to see what Israel looks like when its being uncooperative.

      The whole idea that America is the best nation to mediate Israel/Palestine talks with is absurd. Just look at the last 21 years of negotiations. The result is the worse situation now than at any time in the last 2 decades.

  • Flotilla massacre all over again? Israel kills 8 Nakba demonstrators at borders
    • So what time will the US be giving its press conference to condemn the massacring of peaceful protesters? I also look forward to Sarkozy talking about humanitarian intervention. Not to mention Hillary Clinton lecturing us all on the Responsibilty to Protect doctrine. Of course British PM David Cameron must be busy right now drawing up his list of sanctions.

      Meanwhile I am sure that New York Times reporter Thomas Friedman is on the ground talking about the spirit of revolution and ipods and a flat world and all that.

      Or maybe none of that will happen. Still though I liked that speech Obama gave in Egypt 2009 in which he said: "America respects the right of all peaceful and law-abiding voices to be heard around the world, even if we disagree with them. And we will welcome all elected, peaceful governments – provided they govern with respect for all their people."

  • Mitchell resignation makes Obama the Mubarak of the Palestinian spring
    • As an Irish person I've always looked favourabily on George Mitchell. He truly did some great work on the Northern Ireland peace process.

      But it is obvious that America cannot be trusted on the Israel/Palestine issue. It has zero credibility on the issue and its role will only succeed in continuing the conflict not resolving it.

      In my view the whole portfolio of I/P should be handed over to another power to attempt to solve it. Russia and China might have more luck since they are viewed as fairly independent (and the US just recently complained that China is not pulling its weigh on International matters) and they don't come with to much of the imperial baggage of the US or EU. Another alternative would be to hand over negotiations to a group like The Elders who come with name recognition and worldwide respect.

      If the conflict does not resolve itself through dialogue (and the era of dialogue is fast closing due to realities on the ground) then it will eventually be ended through a war. That is the only two options for resolving troubles between states Dialogue or War. If dialogue fails war becomes inevitable and who is to say who will get dragged into the war.

      Either way if the War Option becomes the only remaining option its a fact that both Israeli's and Palestinians alike will suffer, which is not in the interests of anyone Pro-Israeli or Pro-Palestinian.

  • Lupe Fiasco raps about Gaza, discusses Obama and the War on Terror on the Colbert Report
  • The subject is not moral Israel's relation to immoral Israel
    • Yeah as an Irish guy was lucky to have seen the show on TV when it aired on Channel 4.

      For those that don't know The Promise is a 4 part mini-series looking at the Israel Palestine conflict from the points of view of a British soldiers in 1940's Palestine and the soldiers grand daughter in the modern day on a vacation to Israel. It weaves the two stories together fairly well to give a good view of the conflict and its history.

      Trailer @ link to youtube.com

  • Kushner says he will accept honorary degree
    • @ braciole

      I see where you coming from but think Kushner was smart to accept the degree. Wiesenfeld's goal was to stop him receiving it, so its important that he is seen as failed to accomplish his goal.

      Yes CUNY are still tainted by association with Wiesenfeld but at least Kushner has emerged victorious.

  • As Nakba Day approaches, Israeli troops 'conquer' a simulated Arab village
    • "And stop using Hamas’s news website as a source. "

      Eyeroll. The Youtube video and link to the story both come from The Jerusalem Post. Just look at the Jpost logo at the bottom corner of the youtube clip.

      But the one link to the single line in the story that referances the Maan news agency is also a lie. Maan news is not a "Hamas news website" as you claim. It actually was set up in 2002 by the Palestinian Authority ruled by Fatah (until a few days ago) and is funded by Denmark. Maan news even has offices in Tel Aviv as well as Gaza City, Jerusalem and Hebron.

      So back up your facts before you call a link "a Hamas news website" without any shred of proof or knowledge of its involvement as a Palestinian Authority project. Or maybe you just consider any Palestinian news outfit to be Hamas related. As stupid as saying all Israeli media is "settler media".

  • Obama's to-do list: Free Pollard in May so he can travel safely to Israel in June
    • Interesting speculation.

      Obama probably will go to Israel (doesn't every US political leader have to make the trip before a Presidential Election?) of course Shin Bet would close the place down tight even excluding the IDF which Shin Bet no doubt considers to have been infiltrated considerably by settler extremists.

      At the end of the day Shin Bet will probably be able to successfully protect Obama from any threats. Don't forget that Shin Bet is completely independent from the Israeli military and isn't even under the Ministry of Defense so has been pretty isolated from any extremism in the military appartatus. Shin Bet also has the mandate for this work under its Protective Security Department one of three sections within the Shin Bet organisation which deals with the protecting of VIP's.

  • Former Mossad chief says 'Atlantic Magazine' Iran scenario is stupidest idea he ever heard
    • "The most stupid idea I ever heard"

      Jeffrey Goldberg does exceed in documenting stupid ideas doesn't he:

      "There is little doubt what Saddam might do with an atomic bomb or with his stocks of biological and chemical weapons."

      Goldberg 3rd October 2002 in his article "The Great Terror".

  • Tony Kushner denied CUNY honorary degree over views on Israel
    • Shame on CUNY. You would expect a Zionist like Wiesenfeld to act the way he acted revisionism and stifling of intellectual debate are bread and butter methods of Zionists.

      What you wouldn't expect is a 11 member University board to go along with it without even a murmur of protest. Shows the level of intellectual debate that goes on in City University of New York echelons.

  • 'Foreign Policy' undermines Oren argument with graphic straight out of the 'ZOG' archives
    • “Understandably, the most sober assessment of American interests is conducted by the U.S. military. The alliance with Israel, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen told Congress in March, “is of extraordinary value.” Israel, according to America’s highest-ranking officer, is “absolutely critical” to U.S. national security.”

      Adm Mullen's views on this while instructive, don't appear to be held as a consensus view within the military leadership. General Petraeus of course famously briefed the White House and included the line "Israeli policy endangers the lives of US troops".

      Link to CNN video discussing Gen Petraeus comments.

      This is also in the same vein as Biden's comments when he visited Israel.

      People who heard what Biden said were stunned. "This is starting to get dangerous for us," Biden castigated his interlocutors. "What you're doing here undermines the security of our troops who are fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. That endangers us and it endangers regional peace."

      Source: Laura Rozen: link to politico.com

  • A question for our pro-Israel visitors . . .
    • The comparison between Pro-Israeli and Pro-American is completely false.

      I stated "Someone who is Pro-Israel is first and foremost a Colonialist". You then said "Could just as easily be applied to somone who is Pro-American".

      I would reply that someone who was Pro-American during those early days of America would have naturally also been a Colonialist. Since that is what America represented at that time and why they were called "the colonies".

      At present in Israel you have the same dynamic as those early America colonies. Israel is a colonialist state so anyone who supports Israel (ie Zionist) is supporting Colonialism.

      I also note that you mention Yamit and Gaza to reply to my comment on Colonialists never voluntarily giving up land so you also seem to acknowledge that these settlements are a form of Colonialism?

      Also while you are right that Israel wasn't "routed from Gaza" the viability of protecting Jews living on the Gaza Strip meant the Israeli's were forced to give it up. Same thing with Yamit the sustainability of the IDF having to defend a small Israeli population in the Sinai meant that it was probably wisiest to give it up. In short the two colonies had become unsustainable.

    • "Wait a minute! Now you are comparing Jews to white people."

      Yes. I used the words "white people" in the context of Colonialism and more specifically the history of European Colonialism, including the settling of Jewish Europeans and Jewish Russians in Israel as well as the settling of British Europeans in Rhodesia or French Europeans in Algeria.

      Regardless of any petty tribal/ethnic differences British or French or Jewish Europeans it is still a case of white settlers settling on lands of indigenous peoples. In that regard Colonialism was/is a Pan European project conducted by many nationalities and many religious affiliations (whether Protestants settling in Northern Ireland and Rhodesia or Spainish Catholics in Latin American countries or Jewish people in Israel).

      The differances are insignificant the system is the same.

    • The thing to remember is that someone who is Pro-Israeli is first and foremost a Colonialist. In Colonialism Studies you learn that there are 2 types of Colonialism.

      The most common form is Exploitation Colonialism: Setting up Economic systems in the colony to extract the native populations resources for the Colonialist state. (Examples would be the British East India Company and Belgium's "Congo Free State" which extracted rubber and minerals and is the setting for the book "Heart of Darkness" by Joesph Conrad) Plantation colonies and the slave trade in America were also a form of exploitation colonialism.

      The second form is known as Settler Colonialism: The migration of large numbers of Colonialists into the native land in order to supplant the native populations. (Examples in history would be Rhodesia, French Algeria, Northern Ireland and of course the biggest the settling of North America).

      I think that the State of Israel is probably one of the final experiments in Settler Colonialism and anyone who is Pro-Israel is naturally a colonist since the state of Israel as a "Jewish and Democratic state" requires the removal of the native population and its replacement with settlers.

      What people need to remember is that the father of Zionism, Theodor Herzl grew up in Europe during the golden age of European Colonialism during a time when most of the political leaders in Britain, France, Germany under Bismarck where all advocating the importance of Colonialism. Herzl's book Der Judenstaat is a call to arms for Colonialism as a reaction to Anti Semitism.

      So back to the question in this article, anyone who is Pro-Israeli would never be in favor of removing the settlers in the West Bank. I cannot think of one single case in the history of Colonialism where white settlers voluntarily chose to remove themselves without the native populations forcing them to.

  • Arrigoni: I came here because my grandfathers fought fascist occupation in Italy
  • Activist Vittorio Arrigoni's body said to be found in Gaza
    • As someone who has volunteered with the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign I've met a good few people who volunteered to travel over to Palestine with the ISM. This is awful news.

      I would say that this shouldn't discourage anyone thinking of volunteering with the ISM. The ISM mainly has its volunteers around the West Bank. Seems Vittorio Arrigoni was based in Gaza city due to his experience in the ISM (over 2 years) and also the fact that he was a journalist as well as a volunteer.

      Secondly these radical Salafists (ie Jihadists) are no friends of Palestine and never have been. It is easy to see why as well. Salafists generally don't believe in nation states (instead believe in the Ummah) and despise any group that is involved in politics (since under Salafism anyone who runs for political office is undermining the authority of the Koran). You will notice the same thing with Bin Laden and his gang, they will talk alot about freeing Palestine in speeches to get popular support for there own cause but Al Qaeda has never lifted a finger in the I/P conflict.

      PS: Wouldn't be surprised if Saudi Arabia (which funds these Salafist groups) is behind it since they have been trying to undermine Hamas in favor of Fatah. They are probably the ones who gave the green light to Islamic Jihad to escalate the rocket fire as well again in the hopes of crushing Hamas.

  • Did Israelis play the 'Atlantic' and Goldberg like a pawnshop fiddle?
    • Ahhh pure genius Philip and a definite pat on the back to Lara for a job well done. I do enjoy seeing propagandists being ridiculed and remember at the time reading Goldberg's article (which at times descended into a pop psychological evaluation of Netanyahu and even his father).

      I think Mondoweiss should make 1 September 2011 an official "Jeffrey Goldberg wrong again day).

  • U.S. cable companies aren't budging on Al Jazeera
    • In fairness this is a perfect example of why the cable companies are doomed. Within 10 years most people will be watching what they want on the Internet streamed through their TV sets and onto laptops/tablets completely cutting out cable TV.

      On the Israeli issue of course Israel would not want Al Jazeera shown on US television sets. Don't think anyone can honestly here can deny that Israel spends alot of time and energy making sure the US population only gets the Pro Israeli view of things. So obviously Israel would be opposed to a Pro Arab news channel being transmitted to every home in America.

  • Goldstone headed to Israel in July, hosted by Israeli minister criticized in Gaza report for advocating collective punishment
    • Probably right, the pressure and social exclusion against him wore him down to breaking point.

      Either that or as Prof Abu Asad Khalil diplomatically wrote the other day "Breaking News: Apartheid South African judge supports Israeli apartheid."

  • More on the debate over Zionism and the Jewish state
    • I've been rather absent and seem to have missed any previous pieces you or others wrote regarding Zionism. But just from reading this piece I have a few thoughts.

      You write:

      The larger question I’m trying to get at is whether Zionism and a Jewish state was ever justifiable, and even if it was in the past, is it today?

      I'm guessing this is the root of what you are looking at. You are wondering if the Jewish state could have been founded without the injustice on the Palestinians and whether Zionism itself is a just goal.

      My own personal thoughts are that 1) regarding the founding of Israel it is hard to see how it could have gone down any different. The Irgun stategy of frankly scaring away first the British and then Palestinians was essential to the success of Zionism in forming a jewish state.

      2) On Zionism and whether it was justifiable I'm rather boxed in. Being a Marxist and believing that most issues whether economic or geopolitical boil down to oppressors vs oppressed it seems fairly clear cut to me that that Zionism was intellectually founded and matured during colonialist times and that it reflects that mentality.

      You seem to be searching for a more moral or just form of Zionism that allows the ideals to continue but doesn't cause injustice to Palestinians. It's not a bad intellectual effort but I just don't see how that could be. The fatal flaw in Zionism and the search for a Jewish homeland was the complete disregard for the native population similar to alot of the colonialist experiments in Africa and even in Northern Ireland.

  • On land day, don't stop boycottin'
    • Great video always good to see people organising flash mobs !

      Remember if a barcode begins with the numbers 729 its Israeli !

      If you live in the UK/ Ireland check out:
      link to bigcampaign.org

      For a list of goods to boycott in all the major supermarkets chains (except Lidl, which thankfully doesn't stock any Israeli goods)

  • Cairo 2
    • Philip,

      I think you are making a terrible misjudgement with this. Seems that most Americans fall back to this default position of trusting the US Military that they have noble intentions. Writers that I would normally agree with on all issues have recently come out in support of this intervention, which leaves me a bit dismayed since I respect their opinions so much and usually turn to them for news.

      Writers like Paul Woodward @ WarInContext and Juan Cole @ Informed Comment now yourself and a few other contributors at Mondoweiss. Having people I respect and usually turn to for analysis all apparently switching sides and supporting a US military attack on a muslim nation is pretty shocking to me and leaves me very conflicted. I mean we all support the revolutionaries and desperately want it to succeed but trusting the US to help revolutionaries is like trusting Saudi Arabia to deliver democracy to Bahrain.

      The US is essentially a counter revolutionary force. It is the nature of an Empire to have compliant states and the US is no different in its need for compliant states. The only reason I see the US getting involved in the Arab revolutions is in order to hijack it for its own ends. I fear that by allowing the US military into Libya the revolutionaries will simply replace a current Anti-American dictator with a Pro-American dictator.

      There was a cliche expression that I'm sure we have all heard regarding the Iraq war. "Imposing democracy at the barrell of a gun". It was a centre piece of the Neo-Con stategy in the Middle East. Now it is being done in Libya.

      Also I would ask Mondoweiss to look at the people speaking out in support of the current Libya intervention. Stephen Walt discussed the "Neo con - liberal alliance" in a recent piece. The Project for a New American Century even sent a letter to Obama signed by 40 Neo-Cons calling for the intervention as Jim Lobe (whose reporting closely monitors the Neo Cons). Paul Wolfowitz has come out in support as has Israeli FM Avigdor Lieberman.

      When such figures as the US neo-cons and right wing Israeli officals come out supporting the bombing raids in Libya should we not ask ourselves if we should really be supporting it? ? ?

  • Is another ‘Cast Lead’ in the offing?
    • Thinking rationally about it Israel would be crazy to invade. But since that has never stopped Israel in the past it could be likely.

      Interesting news is that Egypt's new foreign minister has warned Israel against any Gaza offensive.

      link to af.reuters.com

      Indeed any attack on Gaza in the middle of the Arabic revolutions would make an explosive situation even more dangerous. Let's remember that the "Cast Lead" operation took place before Israel lost its alliance to Turkey, before Goldstone damaged its relations with the EU, before the flotilla massacre, before Mubarak lost power, before Hezbollah won political power in Lebanon. The regional dynamic now is a lot less favourable to Israel than in 2008.

      Israel will be making a massive mistake going for a Cast Lead 2. But again Israel has made plenty of stupid mistakes in the past so who knows.

    • radii,

      Firstly the bombing in Jerusalem wasn't a suicide bombing. Someone left a suitcase filled with explosives beside a telephone poll.

      link to haaretz.com

      Secondly we don't know it was Hamas, more likely its the work of Islamic Jihad or one of its many offshoots. Hell it could have even been Fatah using their militant wing to cause trouble for Hamas. At this early stage you probably couldn't even discount Hezbollah (though unlikely) or even an Al Qaeda cell.

      Thirdly global goodwill doesn't count for much when you are constantly under attack. Just yesterday 4 Palestinian civilians were killed, the reality of global goodwill is that people will say how much they support Palestine's non-violent approach and do nothing else until the day Palestine is gone.

  • Preliminary remarks in support of the Libyan intervention
    • I don't support US-EU military involvement in Libya for a number of reasons.

      1) US involvement always leads to negative consequences. Take Somalia, the UN passed resolution 733 authorising members to deliver food and humanitarian aid to Somalia. Sounded like a simple straightforward mission except the US ended up going after the warlord Aidid after he stole some aid convoys. The result ended in a complete bloodbath where the US ended up firing on the population they were supposed to be delivering food to.

      If the US can bungle such a simple mission as that they should absolutely not be taking a role in a complex situation as Libya.

      2) While the US does not have interests in Libya they do have large interests in ensuring that the Arab revolutions do not go any further. The US-EU moves in Libya and the Saudi moves in Bahrain are both part of a counter-revolutionary effort to snuff out any further revolutions.

      Obviously I like everyone here wants the Arab revolutionaries in Libya and beyond to succeed. Democracy breaking out in the Arab world would result in a much more independent leaders who will not bow to US-Israeli pressures like the current crew of dictators. The fact that the Arab streets voice will be heard through democracy will be a great result.

      However trusting the US and EU to help this process along is madness. It is against there interests to see these revolutions flourishing and they will do whatever it takes to stomp it out.

  • The unstoppable revolutionary power of al Jazeera
    • Great article as usual Nir.

      Heard in some article a few days ago the comparison of Al Jazeera being a the modern day Gamal Nasser. The political stance of being Pro Resistance and Pro Nationalist is also fairly accurate. At the end of the day think Al Jazeera simply reflects the view of the Arab street on issues.

      Its role is obviously of great importance as you can see by the efforts of governments to stop it. Libya used jamming technology on its satellites. Mubarak cursed the station and attacked its staff (remember the other great tyrant who disliked Al Jazeera? George Bush proposing to Blair that maybe they could bomb Al Jazeeras HQ). If you are to judge an organisation by the enemies it has Al Jazeera certainly deserves respect.

      PS: Your voice is vital during these fluid times in the Middle East. Have a friend who studied Middle Eastern studies a few years ago and he says that the changes are of a magnitude that his Middle Eastern studies classes will have been useless since the dynamic will have changed so much. Its therefore more important than ever that people like yourself continue working to shape the new perceptions and realities of the Middle East.

  • How the ‘NYT’ swallowed the Stuxnet worm
    • Very interesting piece.

      I have been following the Stuxnet story since it broke and will openly admit that I'm out of my league when it comes to the technical aspects of the case. The central argument that Irans enrichment has continued rising is an interesting indication of the true effects of the virus.

      The fact that the virus was designed in such a way that it would attract publicity is also interesting. Could very well be that it was designed to save face for America in its backdown from military action.

      Could also be the case that it simply makes up another part of the long running psychological campaign against Iran. The secret war has also been ongoing. Masoud Ali Mohammadi, an Iranian quantem physicist was killed in Jan 2010 outside his home by an exploding motorbike. Majid Shahriari another nuclear scientist was killed in an explosion outside a University Campus in Nov 2010 (the shady Israeli source Debka claims he was led investigator of the Stuxnet virus).

  • 'The Palestine Cables': Bahraini elites want to reach out to Israel, but the people don't
    • "Ordinary Egyptians hate Israel and want to attack her, and the same seems to hold for other Arabic countries like Bahrain. Democracy in these countries is not at all in Israel’s best interest."

      Ehhhm .... Point 1 is who cares about Israel's interests. Point 2 would be Democracy in Israel is probably not in the interests of Arabic countries doesn't mean Israel should be forced to abandon it.

  • 'The world won't say a thing'-- Netanyahu on ongoing Israeli expansion
  • The Israeli right wing and the one state debate
    • It's a plan that is disconnected from reality. Effectively allowing Palestinians in the West Bank to join a Jewish state (and vote) ignoring the fact that many have no interest in swearing loyalty to a Jewish state. Also the article states clearly that while they would tolerate 49% of Israel being Arab they would be completely against having 51% of Israel as Arab. How exactly would they stop this? How is that Democratic?

      Also it allows Israel to take over the West Bank, incorporate its land and peoples into Israel but still refuses to deal with Gaza so you would effectively have a Palestine state the size of the Gaza.

      Also insisting Arabs serve in the Military in order to be allowed to vote in elections? Can't see to much Palestinians lining up to join the IDF myself, which gives Israel the nice option of banning many Arabs from voting.

      It is still an ethnic based form of government this woman is proposing.

  • Dialogue re Kristof, non-violence, and stones
    • A good debate. The Violence/Non Violence question is an important one. Since most here would agree that the current Israel/Palestine situation has shades similar to South Africa during Apartheid its useful to here what Nelson Mandela had to say during his struggle.

      "There are many people who feel that it is useless and futile for us to continue talking peace and non-violence - against a government whose only reply is savage attacks on an unarmed and defenceless people. And I think the time has come for us to consider, in the light of our experiences at this day at home, whether the methods which we have applied so far are adequate."

      My feeling is to defer to Palestinians who say that a Third Intifada should be waged through non violent means, as this will most likely be the most successful. It does make sense.

      But I by no means worship Ghandi who also advised the Jews under Nazi Germany to non-violently resist. He was a bit of a peace radical. There does come a time when non-violence becomes a waste of energy and in certain circumstances allows to oppressor to continue crimes uninterupted.

  • Jews are fleeing a Swedish city-- why?
    • "My heart goes out to the Jews of Malmo. I fear that there will be anti-Semitic incidents in the U.S., again tied to Israel's conduct. The Forward piece is more evidence of the urgency of Jews taking on Zionism in the Jewish community, denouncing the human rights abuses Israel perpetrates, and thereby stepping away from the anti-Islamic attitudes, and clash, that Zionism is now propagating. "

      As a European I second this statement completely. People should realise that attacking the worldwide Jewish community because of the actions of Israel is the moral equivalent to the collective punishment Israel practices.

      God knows as an Irish guy I've seen this community vs community poison trickle through societies and debates and am not innocent myself of letting frustrations sometimes boil over in debates.

      Hell if I saw Jewish people marching in support of Israel during the Gaza bombing I would likely give into my strong emotions and heckle them. But throwing bottles and firecrackers and attacking people is crossing the line.

      You can disagree passionately, argue, boo them, but once it gets to the stage of violence or having Jews fleeing because they feel threatened that will simply radicalise them further and not to any good to anyone Palestinians included.

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