Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 271 (since 2011-10-27 19:23:40)

Am passionate about the Palestinians seeing a fare end to their dilema

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Showing comments 271 - 201

  • 12 pretty good signs you're vacationing in an apartheid country
    • ....Poignant and heartfelt piece on the realities of the Israeli Occupation..!!! Thank you!!!
      People have to see it and above all understand what they are seeing. Hopefully there will be more truthfully informed trips to Palestine in 2015

  • Philosophy prof who likened Palestinians to 'rabid pit bull' ignites protest on CT campus
    • ....Connecticut has been on the front lines when it comes to defending the quest for Palestinian justice, but it is more than hypocrital that Pessin has now taken the posture of victim, alleging he’s been targeted because of his support for Israel, even as Protestant Chaplin Bruce Shipman was forced to resign from Yale when he criticized the Gaza War in a New York Times op-ed....

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  • The political geography, of colony and bantustan, is the same on both sides of the Green Line -- Amira Hass
    • I concur with Amira Hass that there was never going to be a final “Peace Agreement”
      between Israelis and Palestinians and that Oslo was a sham from the beginning. So many “resolution” clauses were purposely open ended with the telltale adjuncts of…”as yet to be determined; in the advent of mutual understanding; in reciprocity to “their good will”; pending further negotiations….etc. And with a thoroughly demonized Yasser Arafat, deemed by Labor Premiere Ehud Barak, wholly responsible for the opportune Second Intifada (….Sharon’s visit, which was coordinated with Palestinian Authority West Bank security chief Jibril Rajoub….)
      it was obvious that there would never be a partner for peace on the Palestinian side.

      …..Barak seems to hold out no chance of success for Israeli–Palestinian negotiations, should they somehow resume, so long as Arafat and like-minded leaders are at the helm on the Arab side. He seems to think in terms of generations and hesitantly predicts that only “eighty years” after 1948 will the Palestinians be historically ready for a compromise. By then, most of the generation that experienced the catastrophe of 1948 at first hand will have died; there will be “very few ‘salmons’ around who still want to return to their birthplaces to die.” (Barak speaks of a “salmon syndrome” among the Palestinians—and says that Israel, to a degree, was willing to accommodate it, through the family reunion scheme, allowing elderly refugees to return to be with their families before they die.) He points to the model of the Soviet Union, which collapsed roughly after eighty years, after the generation that had lived through the revolution had died. He seems to be saying that revolutionary movements’ zealotry and dogmatism die down after the passage of three generations and, in the case of the Palestinians, the disappearance of the generation of the nakba, or catastrophe, of 1948 will facilitate compromise.
      I asked, “If this is true, then your peace effort vis-à-vis the Palestinians was historically premature and foredoomed?”
      Barak: “No, as a responsible leader I had to give it a try..........”

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  • Jeb Bush bashes Iran talks as 'foolish' and hails Israeli settlements as 'new apartment buildings in Jerusalem'
    • ......."The Obama administration treats announcements of new apartment buildings in Jerusalem like acts of aggression....."

      So who's going to straighten out Jeb Bush's blatant misconception, one that is making him look like a complete idiot and an embarrassment!! But then again, I suppose the AIPAC people applaud this travesty as it plays so well to the audience of American ignoramuses....Get a map folks.....

  • Netanyahu and the unraveling of the British Jewish consensus
    • "When Bibi says “circumstances must change” he is in the realm of messianic times, that distant horizon when the moon and stars are aligned and all the Middle East is at glorious peace with itself. "

      ........"Given his paranoid style, it is unsurprising that Netanyahu has identified the leader of the suicidal Masada bandits, Elazar Ben-Yair, as one of his personal heroes in his ironically titled 1994 book, A Durable Peace. During his speech to the Congress just before the election, boycotted by 58 Democratic lawmakers and Vice-President Joseph Biden, Netanyahu channeled Ben-Yair’s final words: “For the first time in 100 generations, we, the Jewish people, can defend ourselves. This is why—this is why, as a prime minister of Israel, I can promise you one more thing: Even if Israel has to stand alone, Israel will stand.”

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  • Who can save Israel now?
    • Netanyahu’s comments present a coherent and chilling vision of his long-term strategy. His intention is to maintain singular Israeli control in perpetuity over the entire territory that the early Zionists were once happy to partition into two states. This course will eventually lead to pressure for Palestinians to gain a democratic voice within the institutions that control their lives, but Netanyahu treats that as illegitimate, as well. He proposes to snuff out every peaceful outlet for Arab political aspirations.

      In this light, his bumbling attempts to transform Israel’s alliance with the United States into an alliance with its conservative movement looks less like a blunder (as his former ambassador Michael Oren has described it) and more like a plan. In the long run, a deep American alliance with the kind of garrison state Netanyahu envisions will become untenable. The only remaining diplomatic strategy will be to deepen Israel’s ties with right-wing America, whose support for Israel is not contingent upon it fulfilling its liberal, democratic ideals. The Republicans who hailed Netanyahu as a Churchillian prophet are cheering a figure who no longer disguises his intention to bury forever the original Zionist dream.
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  • On first campaign stop in West Bank, Netanyahu warns that 'radical elements' want to take over Israel
  • Over one quarter of Netanyahu’s speech to Congress consisted of applause and standing ovations
    • Much has been made of the various influences on Prime Minister Netanyahu. A thesis could be written—perhaps by a scholar of psychology rather than politics—arguing that he sits at the center of a triangle formed by his father, his wife, and his brother. His father, Benzion, who died, aged 102, in 2012, served as private secretary to Vladimir Jabotinsky—the founder of Revisionist Zionism, the maximalist creed that insisted on a Jewish state holding the entire, biblically-defined Land of Israel (which would include the West Bank, Gaza and all of what is now Jordan).

      Nevertheless, the most obvious mentor is the one Bibi never met. Netanyahu has been re-enacting the Churchill story for more than two decades: as a junior member of the Knesset, he was warning that Iran was just “three to five years” away from a nuclear bomb back in 1992. He’s sounded the same alarm at intervals ever since. We are always on the brink, he is always the lone wise man, able to hear the rumble of the gathering storm.

      The great value of Churchill syndrome to one who suffers from it is that it is self-vindicating. The more Netanyahu’s warnings of the Tehran menace are dismissed, the greater his similarity to the cigar-chomping seer who was fatefully ignored in the 1930s. True, even Israel’s own defense and intelligence chiefs think Netanyahu is wrong on Tehran—the former Mossad boss Meir Dagan has described the prime minister’s approach as “stupid”—but weren’t the British brass similarly misguided about Hitler?
      None of this bothers Bibi. Isolation only convinces him he’s right. Much as he loves the adoration of Congress, which has become a home venue, the hatred of his enemies makes him stronger. Because it makes him more like you know who.

      As if to confirm the Israeli PM’s historical fantasy, his host, House Speaker John Boehner—whose unilateral invitation triggered the whole controversy— presented him with a parting gift, a statue of the only world leader besides Netanyahu to have been granted the privilege of speaking to Congress three times. The Israeli prime minister left Washington with his very own bust of Winston Churchill.

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  • Factchecking Netanyahu: An annotated guide to the Israeli P.M.'s speech to Congress
    • Netanyahu is appealing to the fear and hatred of Islam and Muslims that has been cultivated in the United States by many of the same members of Congress who are listening to Netanyahu to say it's all this big morass, and if we make a deal with Iran, then we're in effect supporting so-called militant Islam........

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  • Netanyahu claims to know 'details' of Iran deal -- and State Dep't mocks him
  • White House suggests Israel is lying about Iran talks-- as Obama officials shun Netanyahu
    • It would seem to me that Obama and Co. have played this poker hand well!! The White House, Pentagon and State Department know what they know about ongoing negotiations with Iran and have purposely left Netanyahu out on a limb to fill in the blanks with only products and insinuations of his twisted imagination. Israel's Icarus's wings seem to be melting. Let's hope for a condemning "gotch'ya" moment and an embarrassing crash landing in front of the toadies present in a half empty Congress.....

  • Netanyahu calls on Jews to leave Europe en masse in wake of Copenhagen synagogue attack
  • Speech to AIPAC could give Netanyahu his out
    • The leaders of the pro-Netanyahu lobby not only believe that the prime minister’s speech is essential, they are convinced that the White House is inciting Congressional Democrats against Bibi; they are seeking to exploit the situation in order to eat away at traditional Jewish support for their political rivals and they have, of course, one more critical characteristic in common.

      “It’s really an anti-American, anti-patriotic position to take”, according to Mort Klein, president of Zionist Organization of America, a group heavily funded by Sheldon Adelson. We will make sure people know that the Bibi’s boycotters “chose partisan interests and to stand with President Obama,” says Matt Brooks, executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC), a group that basks in the largesse of Adelson, Sheldon. “If they boycott the speech, they’ll be casting their lot with the more liberal, not pro-Israel base of the party,” is the formulation proposed by Ari Fleischer, an RJC director who is also, you guessed it, close to Adelson. “There really isn’t any debate as to what the right decision is,”, says the sole Jewish Republican in Congress, Lee Zeldin, whose winning election campaign in November was helped by generous donations, direct and otherwise, from Adelson et al.

      So this is their plan: to inject even more inter-party venom into hitherto bipartisan support for Israel, to pour high-octane political fuel on the already burning fires, to stain Obama loyalists as Israel-haters whose place is outside the fence, where they should remain.

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  • John Lewis tells D.C. crowd he will not attend Netanyahu speech
    • “It’s going to get worse”: Democratic backlash against Netanyahu speech continues
      With members threatening to boycott the Israeli PM's upcoming congressional address, a revolt is mounting .....(Goodie goodie...!!!)

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  • Netanyahu speech scandal blows up, and 'soiled' Dermer looks like the fall guy
    • Mr. Kurtzer said while it was unlikely the Obama administration would take the extraordinary step of declaring Mr. Dermer “persona non grata” — the official method for a foreign diplomat to be ousted from a country — it could request that Mr. Dermer be reprimanded or removed...........

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  • Netanyahu speech could turn Israel lobby into a political football
    • In wake of the Boehner invite and the White House's Iranian dilemma, what has been going on in Argentine President Cristina Fernandez's back yard over the past ten days has all the makings of a dizzying cloak and dagger thriller where the accuser committed suicide that wasn't a suicide over a report" confirming" Shi'a nation was behind the 1992 bombings, accusing the President of an "oil deal' with Iran when Argentina has barrels of the stuff on it's own turf....

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    • "It could do so by fracturing the lobby: by forcing pro-Israel Democrats to side openly with the American people’s interest over Israel’s interest. There are already reports that some Democratic hawks want to give Obama time on Iran rather than imposing new sanctions....."

      Lest we forget how impossible it is for most members of the US Congress to be rational enough to distinguish between anti-Israel and anti-Semitism when the stalwart backers of the Jewish State begin their hue and cry on the subject and throw in a smidgen of "Holocaust Denier" for added effect. Cave-ins can always be blamed on those pesky constituents back home, especially in an election year.....
      But I hope I'm wrong....

  • How a culture remembers its crimes is important: A review of 'American Sniper'
    • You may be right Walker. But add to the mix the fact that there was never a renowned Congressional authority figure with a following who publically came out against torture during the Bush/Cheney "dark side" reign, all of them being too intimidated by the prospect of ....the next attack....

    • Last Year we had Zero Dark Thirty. This year it's American Sniper. For a good part of the 52 week cycle of entertainment plus reruns, we've been treated to "Homeland". The themes are similar....."track 'em down and take 'em out... Who now could possibly be reaping the propaganda rewards.........??????

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  • Obama won't meet Netanyahu during 'bizarre,' 'historic,' 'unprecedented' visit (Updated)
    • Here is some more ‘bizarre,’ ‘historic,’ ‘unprecedented’ stuff to throw into the mix....

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    • ...Merci Just... !!!
      The whole conjunction makes me nervous all the same....

    • Anti Muslim/anti Islam rhetoric has reached a fevered pitch at a time when several geopolitical and (American) cultural factors have miraculously (???) converged, beginning with the recent Paris bombings and Netanyahu’s photo-op with some of the world’s most unsavory repressive heads of State.
      “In the past several days we have experienced the same repeated shocks as all our fellow citizens. As Jews, we were profoundly upset by the horrible attack carried out on Jews solely because they were Jews. This can only evoke memories of the worst periods of Judaism in France….Israel's successive governments have addressed themselves over the same period of time to French Jews, urging them to leave France, with all its supposedly anti-Semitic Muslims, and make their aliyah to Israel.
      Many Jews have fallen into this trap, given their emotional and familial ties and their identification with Israel, and given Israel's history as presented in Zionist mythology. Little by little, they have become the potential "representatives" in France of the Israeli soldier or the Israeli settler, abandoning their critical judgment in the heat of increasingly problematic confrontations. They have at the same time sacrificed their own capacity for empathy with others, including occupied peoples, people deprived of all their rights and subjected to massacres, as in Gaza last summer. Their only concern is to preserve at any cost this "small, fragile state surrounded by enemies" and alone capable, they believe, of protecting them from anti-Semitism.

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      The reason for bringing Netanyahu is that Boehner wants to craft a super-majority in Congress that can over-ride Obama’s veto of new sanctions on Iran. He doesn’t have enough Republican votes to do so, but if he can get Democrats beholden to the Israel lobbies of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee to join the veto over-ride effort, he might succeed……US hawks in both parties and the Israeli political right wing want to prevent Iran from having any nuclear enrichment program at all, so as to prevent Iran from having the security that comes from the deterrence Lite produced by latency.
      The US Joint Chiefs of Staff looked at this issue and have decided that only an Iraq-style invasion, occupation and regime change could hope to abolish the nuclear enrichment program.

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      On to the stage walks American Sniper, with its 7 Oscar nominations.
      Chris Kyle, the Navy SEAL who the Oscar-nominated box office sensation "American Sniper" is based on, wrote a book by the same name that encapsulates his hatred, bigotry and enthusiasm for killing Iraqi "savages". But Kyle's unrepentant bloodlust is missing from the movie, which valorizes him as an anguished hero. Given the cultural illiteracy innate in the majority of Americans the unquenched craving for revenge which is alive and well, it's no surprise that some moviegoers came away from "American Sniper" inspired to kill Arabs and Muslims.

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      And last but not least, Sam Harris and his cohorts continue to appeal to the rational Cartesian minds of America's atheist intellectual class.

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      The Israeli Prime Minister address to Congress will likely have a rapt audience based on recent and ongoing events both foreign and domestic. He has found the most “perfect storm”….

  • It's not the cartoons-- a contrarian perspective from a Muslim cartoonist
    • - Islam is not just a religion, but a way of life. By demonizing Islam, you demonize everything associated with it, including, of course, Muslims.
      – The vilification of Islam which morphed into massive western-led Islamophobia helped validate the actions of western governments, however violent and abusive. The dehumanization of Muslims became an essential weapon in war.
      – It was also strategic: hating Islam and all Muslims is a very flexible tool that would make military intervention and economic sanctions possible anywhere where the West has political and economic interests. Hating Islam became a unifying rally-cry from advocates of sanctions on Sudan to anti-immigrant neo-Nazi groups in Germany, and everywhere else. The issue is no longer the violent means used to achieve political domination and control of natural resources, but, magically, it all was reduced to one single word: Islam; or, at best, Islam and something else: freedom of expression, women rights, and so forth.
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      The fact is that the role of religion in radicalisation (and deradicalisation) is grossly overestimated. There is actually no empirical evidence to support the claim that religion (any religion) and ideology are the primary motivators of violent extremism...[ Factors such as anger at injustice, moral superiority, a sense of identity and purpose, the promise of adventure, and becoming a hero have all been implicated in case studies of radicalisation. Religion and ideology serve as vehicles for an “us versus them” mentality and as the justification for violence against those who represent “the enemy”, but they are not the drivers of radicalisation.]

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      Given his prior thorn-in-the-side status with the government, the Facebook comment for which Dieudonné was reportedly arrested was a convenient excuse and described as “justifying terrorism.”
      And of course the implications go far beyond the personal situation of Dieudonné.
      The French daily Le Figaro reports that Dieudonné was arrested by judicial police at his home near Paris for investigation of “apologie de terrorisme” – justifying or making an apologia for terrorism.Le Figaro published this screenshot of a posting on Dieudonné’s Facebook page that apparently precipitated the arrest. It is dated 11 January, the day of the Paris march.
      It states:
      After this historic march, what do I say… Legendary! A magic moment equal to the Big Bang that created the universe … or at least (more local) comparable to the crowning of [Gaullish king] Vercengétorix, I’m finally back home. Know that this evening, as far as I am concerned, I feel likeCharlie Coulibaly.
      Launching the French government’s newly declared (or re-declared) “war on terrorism,” and its crackdown on dissent, Prime Minister Manuel Valls said that “racism, anti-Semitism and justifying terrorism” were “not opinions.”
      The arrest of Dieudonné shows that the government will decide what constitutes an “opinion.”
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      Saudi Arabia declares all atheists are terrorists in new law to crack down on political dissidents
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      Prominent Rabbi Calls on Europe to Allow Jews to Carry Guns

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      Capitalizing on division, pandering to bigotry and fear. We've seen this before, along with the harm it causes. In the end however, who benefits from the escalation of militarization surveillance and the imprisonment of dissenting voices....?????

  • When blasphemy is bigotry: The need to recognise historical trauma when discussing Charlie Hebdo
    • Blasphemy comes in many forms. The above comes after a discussion with a neighbor (Yes, I live in France) and a cynical educated view of deliberate scare tactics followed inevitably by legislated "shock doctrines"......

      Did the massacre at Charlie Hebdo succeed, in terms of furthering the interests of extreme jihadi al-Qaeda-type Islamic movements? The incident itself is over with the deaths of the murderers, but the degree of their success will only become clear when we see how far French political leaders are lured into an over-reaction......
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    • “The satirical depictions of Muslims and Islam, however distasteful they may be, are not merely defensible because they are manifestations of free speech, they must be defended because the tempering of religious power through blasphemy is fundamental to liberty of expression in the French experience.”

      Nevertheless, 17 French citizens died at the hands of “radical Muslim extremists” a political reality that the French public saw enacted before them on national television. Front National political leader Marine LePen exploited two previous attacks over and over again and will make hay with this latest tragedy . Her ownership of the belief that Muslim hordes are destroying the country has a resounding appeal to “les Français de souche”...the average Joes who truly belief that assimilation is impossible because “those people with their Shari'a Law, strange religious practices, foreign attire and incomprehensible language(s)” constitute a cancerous 5th column, an avant guard for the future “Caliphate”. She is an advocate for canceling citizenship, deportation and a return of capital punishment, a platform that risks to sway voters in the upcoming Vote Départementale in March and Régionales in December 2015 if the Socialist government of François Hollande doesn't act quickly(....??????.....) to protect France.

  • Netanyahu crashes Paris unity march, French gov't fumes
    • PM Netanyahu's meeting with French Ambassador Maisonnave
      re he made the decision to go.........

    • Indeed, everything "fell into place" when Benjamin Netanyahu got wind that Avigdor Lieberman would be going to Paris in a covert (not really) "one-step-ahead" campaign maneuver in order to smooze bi-national French Jewish voters into his camp in view of upcoming elections March 17. In the wake of last week's violent attacks on Jewish victims, Bibi repeated again, I always say to Jews wherever they are -- come to Israel and make it your home..... we care about your safety."

      That triggered a war of words with Hollande, who slammed Netanyahu for turning the visit into a campaigning opportunity ahead of elections . "Netanyahu came to France to campaign," Hollande said in private remarks leaked by a French newspaper.

    • .....Attorney General Eric Holder had been in Paris for meetings earlier in the day, but he did not attend the march, which left American Ambassador Jane Hartley as sole representative of the US.....

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  • Against self-determination
    • The number of Israelis who renounced their citizenship rose by 60 per cent in 2014, compared to 2013, according to figures collected by the Israeli authorities. ...In 2014, 765 Israeli citizens requested to renounce their citizenship, compared to 478 a year earlier, Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth reported, citing data collected by Israel's Administration of Border Crossings, Population, and Immigration and Israeli embassies abroad.
      The paper said that one of the main reasons cited in the applications included the unwillingness to hold a dual citizenship while others said they do not want to be subject to the Israeli passport or don't see themselves living in Israel anymore.
      Most of the requests were received in Germany, United States, Netherlands, Austria and the United Kingdom, the figures showed.

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  • Dissecting 'The Jewish Voices on Campus': a predictable but necessary endeavor
    • Less than a year after a small number of pro-Israel groups attempted to convince state legislatures and Congress to pass legislation punishing academic associations who took political positions critical of Israel’s human-rights abuses of the Palestinian people, many of the same groups are once again conspiring to deprive those deemed insignificantly deferential to Israel of academic freedom.

      While last year’s target was mainly the American Studies Association, who along with the Asian American Studies Association and the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association endorsed boycotting Israeli state institutions complicit in human-rights abuses, including the abridgement of Palestinian academic freedom, some pro-Israel groups have now set their sights on a familiar target—Middle Eastern studies departments. A coalition of groups led by the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law and the AMCHA Initiative are leading a campaign to end federal funding for college Middle Eastern studies programs unless they adopt means to oversee and police the alleged ideological content of those programs.

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  • 'Israel is becoming an isolated ghetto,' says Amos Oz
  • On eve of University of California honor, Bill Maher defends anti-Muslim hate speech in Vanity Fair interview
    • What is Zionism? Zionism is the idea that the Jews have a homeland in historic Palestine, in the ancient land of Canaan. That's spiritual Zionism. Practical political Zionism means that the Jews have more right to be on this land, and then they must be a Jewish majority on this land. How do you do that in a place that was never empty, in a place that, first of all, was already home to competing national movements, that was already engaged in very rich and ancient culture, both from the Ottoman Empire and the Arab invasions, and was--this place is the crossroads of human migration. How do you come to this place, which is in the middle, between Asia, Europe, and Africa, and you say, no more, here's our walls, and we're building a wall with Syria and Lebanon and Jordan and Egypt, and no one but Jews can get in? As I'm sure you know, there's no immigration to Israel unless you're a Jew. You can't immigrate, you can't come in. It's a state for Jews and only Jews, and we will eventually get rid of anyone who is not a Jew. That is political Zionism today. ............................

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  • You don't have to suffer alone . . . the CIA is here for you
    • Yes Lysias, very early on some people (myself included) expected as much. Israel, America's prime ally in the Middle East has been torturing its anti-colonial recalcitrant population for years, and in broad daylight without any more condemnation other than "this policy is not helpful.....for ongoing peace negotiations." To the list of copied procedures adopted by the US, we could add verbal "euphemism" or the Kafkaesque distortion of language; the condemnation, maltreatment and imprisonment without trial of human beings excluded from the body politic, the dissolution of families under duress, and intimidation of Human Rights organizations as well as journalist and whistleblowers....

      All these tactics are efforts to silence through fear, even the best of people, to go quietly into the dark night.....

  • Israel supporter used UCLA Hillel to funnel funds to student politicians opposed to divestment
    • This month, the union of graduate students at the University of California voted to join the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel. This marked the first time that the membership of a major American union voted to endorse BDS. I am a member of the union, which represents about 13,000 student-workers, and I fought the resolution, writing in opposition. But as I campaigned, I also came to realize a bitter truth: BDS will only gain strength, unless U.S. Jews provide another path to end Israel's occupation of Palestinian territories.

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  • Liberal Zionists seek to strip Naftali Bennett of freedom to travel in hope of saving two-state solution
    • "A nascent group of well-known academics is calling on the U.S. government and European Union to impose personal sanctions on four prominent Israelis “who lead efforts to insure permanent Israeli occupation of the West Bank and to annex all or parts of it unilaterally in violation of international law.......Scholars for Israel and Palestine (SIP) a group that describes itself as “pro-Israel, pro-Palestine, pro-peace” is asking the U.S. and EU governments to impose visa restrictions and to freeze the foreign assets of Economy Minister and Habayit Hayehudi leader Naftali Bennett, Housing Minister Uri Ariel, Likud MK Moshe Feiglin and Ze’ev “Zambish” Hever, a former Jewish Underground member who heads the Amana organization, which oversees the settlement enterprise, including illegal outposts."

      Apart from being an almost "random" act of designating naughty poster boys, if the move get AIPAC/Congressional attention, it may also galvanize the Knesset's fervent right wing and ardent settlers into heedless acts of reprisal.

      I can't believe that these Scholars for Israel and Palestine (SIP) people still hold out hopes for a negotiated settlement while condemning BDS, to date the main act of leverage that has both American and Israeli Jews rattled to the core.....

      "“This would provide a way of mobilizing votes against blanket boycotts but equally against the attempts to make the occupation irreversible,” Shafir said. “It would allow us to find a place in the middle and remain distinguished from but remain part of the ongoing dialogue in a productive way that is protective of Israel’s ties with the U.S., the world and liberal intellectuals.”

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  • We're all anti-American now
  • Israel has no answer to BDS, Barghouti tells packed hall at Columbia
  • AIPAC seeks to blow up negotiations between Iran and US
  • A defensive Netanyahu announces elections hours after firing opposition members Lapid and Livni
  • It's always been a holy war
    • Former President Shimon Peres has said that the law would “destroy Israel’s democratic status at home and abroad.” Netanyahu has insisted that he merely wants to require all Israel schools “to teach the history, culture, and customs of the Jewish people.” In fact, he clearly sees a conflict between democratic standards and Jewish national privileges, which, in his view, needs to be resolved in favor of the latter. The judiciary—governed by democratic standards, and unconstrained by a legally binding national purpose—is his real target. His unstated argument is that the courts advance an abstract concept of citizenship, which, unchecked, will erode the concept of Jewish national self-determination. “The judiciary, which recognizes Israel’s democratic side, will also have to recognize that Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people,” he said, in a statement about the bill, at a recent cabinet meeting.

      If this law were, as Netanyahu mostly seems to want the public to believe, only about collective rights, it would be superfluous, irritating to the Arab minority, perhaps, but not inconsistent with democratic norms—and not even preëmptive of confederal relations with a future Palestine. Democracies everywhere protect their distinct national cultures and languages. The point is, however, that this new law is not really about conserving collective cultural rights, but rather about confirming individual legal privileges. Israel’s democratic freedoms are real, to be sure, but they coëxist with legalized inequalities between Jews and Arabs........this bill is about writing into the law old Zionist provisions that have morphed into racist and theocratic practices. It will make judicial correctives nearly impossible.

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  • Israel has always been crazy
    • From recent events it would appear that "inter-cultural horizons" are narrowing drastically in Israel, folding back upon themselves into a restricted Talmudic/Zionist moralism. The religious nationalists have seized the day (almost) and we can see the idea of a true democratic country fading before the eyes of the world in real time. I should think those people who think of themselves as open-minded pluralists/multiculturalists might contemplate fleeing like rats would a sinking ship, if given the opportunity.

      How bad does the situation have to get before even those brave dissenting voices loose courage and walk away.....???????

  • Like an unrequited lover, 'NYT' confesses itself heartbroken over Israel's (latest) betrayal of democracy
  • Debunking Netanyahu's propaganda on Jerusalem
  • Palestinian students fear for their lives during attack on train car in Jerusalem
    • Karen Armstrong:

      ...... nationalism is hardly rational. But you know, we need mythology in our lives, because that’s what we are. I agree, we should be as rational as we possibly can, especially when we’re dealing with the fates of our own populations and the fates of other peoples. But we don’t, ever. There are always the stories, the myths we tell ourselves, that enable us to inject some kind of ultimate significance, however hard we try to be rational.

      We’re haunted by terrible fears and paranoias. We’re frightened beings. When people are afraid, fear takes over and brings out all kind of irrationality. So, yes, we’re constantly striving to be rational, but we’re not wholly rational beings. Purging isn’t an answer, I think. When you say “purging,” I have visions of some of the catastrophes of the 20th century in which we tried to purge people, and I don’t like that kind of language.

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  • First they came for the Palestinians . . .
    • Annie Robbins.....wonderful and pertinent cartoon!! Thank you for reminding us the importance of brave dissenting voices who protest in the face of unlawful discrimination and harassment wrought by single minded governments......

  • Defend Palestine supporters from NY college president's anti-Semitism slander
    • .....My my...You don't say......!!!!

      Under his leadership, John Jay has been transformed into a senior college offering a rigorous undergraduate liberal arts program with new majors in Economics, Philosophy, Global History, Law and Society, Political Science, English and Gender Studies. The College expanded its Graduate Programs and is poised to launch John Jay Online. Since his appointment in 2004, President Travis has increased baccalaureate freshman enrollment by 58% and expanded full time faculty from 338 to 421. Over that time, John Jay College’s external funding for faculty research has tripled. President Travis also launched the College’s first capital campaign for $50 million, which will meet its goal ahead of schedule. Since 2005 Travis has served as a member of The Committee on Law and Justice of the National Research Council and was named Chair of that Committee in 2012. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Urban Institute......

      And for someone who penned several books about the reinsertion of "juvenile delinquents " back into society one would think he would have more compassion. But affiliation with the NYPD and its targeting of Muslims, might have killed that......

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  • Israeli police ransack homes of 40 Palestinians during al-Shaludi home demolition
  • Netanyahu's 'battle for Jerusalem' can't end well for any of us
    • Precisely from such a society is one permitted to demand some attention to the Palestinian blood that is also spilled in vain; some understanding of the other side’s pain, or even a measure of empathy, which in Israel is considered treason.

      But this doesn’t happen. Aside from exceptional murders and hate crimes by individuals, there is total apathy — and the obtuseness is frightening. Killings (we dare not say murders) by soldiers and policemen will never shock Israel. The propaganda machine will whitewash everything, and the media will be its mouthpiece. No one will demand condemnations. No one will express shock. Few will even consider that the pain is the same pain, that murder is murder.

      How many Israelis are willing to give a thought to the parents of Yousef Shawamreh, the boy who went out to pick wild greens and was killed by an army sniper? Why is it exaggerating to be upset by, or at least give some attention to, the killing of Khalil Anati, a 10-year-old boy from the Al-Fawar refugee camp?

      Why can’t we identify with the pain of bereaved father Abd al-Wahab Hammad, whose son was killed in Silwad, or with the Al-Qatari family from the Al-Amari refugee camp, two members of which were killed by soldiers within a month? Why do we reserve our horror for the synagogue and not consider these killings disturbing?

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    • ...."You are overstating it because you insist on always putting the worst spin on everything. There have been at least four terrorist attacks in Jerusalem in last couple of weeks......"

      Yes these attacks are indeed heinous, but how many attacks against Palestinians have been reported with Israeli "hasbara spin" or not reported at all...???? Then of course, there is the unacknowledged "back story" behind such acts of desperation......

    • So sorry for the unintentional double post....these things happen.

      Your right about Begin Seafoid. From his lofty perch in government, he started the ball rolling and now we have an avalanche.....

    • Today we have an unprecedented convergence of Mitel Europa political Zionism with radical religion-driven settler Zionism, a melding of epic proportions……

      At the beginning of July 1967, David Ben-Gurion spoke at Beit Berl, the “think tank” of the Israeli Labor party. He had about him the air of a prophet who had walked out of his tent to die, but had paused on this last journey to tell truths which the less farsighted could not see and which only a man possessed by the spirit would dare tell. He warned his listeners against the euphoria that had swept the Jewish world in the aftermath of the Six Day War. Ben-Gurion insisted that all of the territories that had been captured had to be given back, very quickly, for holding on to them would distort, and might ultimately destroy, the Jewish state. He made only one exception of consequence: the Israelis should not relinquish control of the whole of Jerusalem. Ben-Gurion’s most striking assertion that night was that he did not expect immediate peace with the Arabs; for its own inner health, he said, Israel needed only to give back the territories very soon in return for a workable set of armistice arrangements.

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    • Today we have an unprecedented convergence of Mitel Europa political Zionism with radical religion-driven settler Zionism, a melding of epic proportions……
      At the beginning of July 1967, David Ben-Gurion spoke at Beit Berl, the “think tank” of the Israeli Labor party. He had about him the air of a prophet who had walked out of his tent to die, but had paused on this last journey to tell truths which the less farsighted could not see and which only a man possessed by the spirit would dare tell. He warned his listeners against the euphoria that had swept the Jewish world in the aftermath of the Six Day War. Ben-Gurion insisted that all of the territories that had been captured had to be given back, very quickly, for holding on to them would distort, and might ultimately destroy, the Jewish state. He made only one exception of consequence: the Israelis should not relinquish control of the whole of Jerusalem. Ben-Gurion’s most striking assertion that night was that he did not expect immediate peace with the Arabs; for its own inner health, he said, Israel needed only to give back the territories very soon in return for a workable set of armistice arrangements.

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  • Israel sows despair and senseless violence
    • In a press conference immediately after the synagogue attack, Netanyahu made a U-turn on early elections, instead inviting opposition parties — those representing Palestinian citizens of Israel exempted — to join a national unity government. While Labor and the more dovish Meretz rejected the invitation out of hand, the parochial but pragmatic ultra-Orthodox parties are considering it. Even if expanding his coalition doesn’t buy Netanyahu much time, it could provide some buffer against pressure from the opponents whose challenge is most threatening: his coalition partners on the right.

      Until now, the hawks in his coalition have demanded more of what Netanyahu was already doing, such as expanding settlements and blasting Gaza. But on Jerusalem, they seek a qualitative change, looking to alter the delicate status quo in the city, especially regarding the Temple Mount. Pressure on Netanyahu from right-wing nationalist groups to expand Jewish access to the Temple Mount, home to Al-Aqsa mosque, has begun to lend an increasingly religious character to what was hitherto a primarily national conflict — just as religious violence is spiking across the Middle East.

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  • Palestinians who targeted Jerusalem synagogue have sights set on U.S. -- Israeli propaganda
    • The body, which was sent to Jerusalem for an autopsy, was that of a West Bank man who had no permit to enter Israel, according to a police statement cited by Israel's public radio.

      yes, this is definitely suspicious. Apparently the "authorities" are more concerned at his illegality than the fact hat he is dead...

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    • A Palestinian pathologist said the report published by the Israeli police speculating that the Palestinian bus driver, Hasan Yousef Rammouni, hanged himself to death is inconsistent with autopsy findings that indicate he was murdered, and did not commit suicide.

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  • Netanyahu announces return of controversial punitive home demolitions widely viewed as collective punishment
    • As tensions seethe in Jerusalem the Israeli government has resurrected polices from the Intifada-era including punitive home demolitions as a measure of deterrence against attacks on its citizens......

      My, did "punitive home demolitions EVER stop.... or are we talking about a new "intensity factor" publically in order to "prepare" the international community for an up-tick in these abhorrent abuses???

  • Video: Routine exchange on a bus reveals racism embedded within Jewish Israeli society
    • Guardian video reveals Palestinian youngster's intimate knowledge of Settler takeover in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of east Jerusalem and the hostile response of a group of brainwashed (American) tourists....6 minutes of Palestinians' reality......

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  • What is the vision of Jews who want to replace Al Aqsa mosque with temple?
    • All the razzle dazzle "democratic principles" jargon coming out of the mouths of those interviewed... logical as many of ultra Zionists seem to have grown up in multicultural north America.

      But can some one shed some light on the WHY and HOW they became so single mindedly obsessed? It's as if evil deed Baruch Goldstein, an American doctor spawned a new generation with one aim in mind! Why from the States? Why from Canada?

  • Root cause of current crisis is Israeli government effort since 1967 to transform East Jerusalem into a Jewish city
    • Zionism’s basic mistake in the eyes of religious extremists going back to Rabbi Kook the elder followed by Kook the younger and protégés, has been its attempt to bring Jewish Israelis back into the community of ordinary nations in the eyes of the world after 1948….one people among the peoples of the world and to grant its (Jewish) citizens legal, economic, medical and educational opportunities available to civilized democracies. After 1948, Palestinians in Israel remained trapped off stage and those in the West bank under Jordanian tutelage. But beginning in 1973, certain elements of the religious community (Gush Emunim) advocated “Torah isolationism” as they saw it essential in preserving the uniqueness of the people and the State and a legitimate means of upholding a recalcitrant stand when it came to accusations of breaches in international law.
      Today the right wing is fearful. The Jewish people remain in a situation in which formal peace with the Arabs will bring about forced “assimilation” of parts of the nation with the “Muslim Other”. The religious zealots almost see the state of war as the hand of divine supervision in order to preserve “apartness” out of reasons of moral and physical safety. The “wholeness of the People is preserved” under the guise of violent chaos, while more and more of the Land of Israel is corralled in an act of Redemption.

  • David Brooks's romance of community
    • But underlying this debate is a profoundly painful process that many liberal Jews, both in Israel and the Diaspora, are undergoing: They feel like let-down lovers. They wonder, what place can they give in their emotional lives and their identity to an Israel that does not correspond to their core values of universal human rights? Can they remain attached to a country that violates these principles, primarily through an occupation that has now lasted for two-thirds of Israel’s history?

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  • Al Aqsa mosque is closed off for first time in 47 years as tensions flare
    • Under mounting religious tension (and housing takeovers in adjacent Silwan) there was bound to be "an Incident" which has more to do with steady disenfranchisement of traditional Waqf oversight of Muslim Holy places and displacement of Palestinians than outright "ethnic hatred" of Israelis;

      With East Jerusalem already smoldering, it emerged this week that the Israeli parliament is to consider a bill that could set the region ablaze. The measure would lift limitations on Jews visiting the al-Aqsa mosque compound, the most sensitive site in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

      Details of the measure have yet to be published. But one possibility is that it will overturn a prohibition in Israeli law on Jews praying at the site, ending also a rabbinical injunction against such activities. Other reports, however, suggested it would extend visiting times for Jews, possibly by forcing the Islamic authorities to divide the site and create a dedicated area for Jewish visitors.

      The bill that apparently has the backing of the Eli Ben Dahan - Israeli politican, Rabbi and the deputy religious services minister - would create arrangements similar to those already in place in Hebron where there are security procedures and restrictions on times of worship.

      Jewish settlers posing as tourists have been visiting al Aqsa in ever larger numbers. During the week-long Jewish holiday of Sukkot this month, hundreds of such “tourists” were escorted by armed police on to the esplanade, triggering a furious response from Muslim worshippers.

      Jordan, which is officially responsible for the site, protested to Israel. The Jordanian ambassador to Palestine, Khalid al-Shawabka, told Maan TV that "the al-Aqsa mosque and Jerusalem are red lines”.

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    • ....with the restriction of " Muslim men over 50"........

    • So who are the Temple Mount Faithful and what do associated Rabbis believe.....????

      Though the arrests may suggest otherwise, the Temple Mount Faithful movement has recently made a giant leap towards the mainstream. Just last year, their activists were firmly planted in the far-right messianic fringes of Orthodox Judaism and were shunned by most religious Jews. This has ceased to be the case [2012] was also the first time activists for repealing the ban on Jewish ritual on the Temple Mount have managed to translate their predominantly theological campaign into a concrete political program. MK Aryeh Eldad (National Union) has tabled a bill, and MK Ze'ev Elkin (Likud) made a public statement, both calling for changing the legal status of the Temple Mount for the first time since 1967, the year Israel occupied the Old City of Jerusalem and barred Jews from entering the compound, as well as allocating prayer times for Jews. One of the main impediments to changing the status quo at Temple Mount has been the stern halakhic ban on Jews visiting the site, for reasons of religious purity. But that prohibition has worn off in recent years, as more and more Zionist rabbis have permitted visits to the site, and even gone themselves.

      "The messianic tension surrounding the Temple Mount could ferment Jerusalem and the whole region," warns Dr. Gadi Gvaryahu, among the founders of the Tag Meir forum, which is acting against religious extremism. "The attempts by the 'price tag' people to mount to Temple Mount and pray there, together with acts of arson and vandalism of mosques, might end up in some fanatic group damaging the mosques on Temple Mount, in a similar manner to the Jewish underground that operated in the 1980s," he said.

      Yehuda Glick, spokesman for the Temple movements’ coalition, says his goal for[2013] is for "Jews to become part of the scenery at Temple Mount." But the Rosh Hashanah cards the joint staff sent to their followers spell out a far more radical aspiration: "May this be a year of redemption… A year in which the disgrace is lifted from us, a year in which the Temple is rebuilt and the Kingdom of Judah takes back the reins."

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    • Tomorrow (Friday) will be telling.......

      The Fatah movement in Jerusalem called for a day of rage against Israeli authorities on Friday following the killing of Mutaz Hijazi, in what many have compared to an extrajudicial assassination by Israeli security forces.

      Shot on the rooftop of his family home, Hijazi was still alive when Israeli soldiers entered the premises. Eyewitnesses say that instead of arresting him, the soldiers dropped a water tank on his injured body, killing him, and later stole his body from a Red Crescent ambulance that tried to take him away.

      The secretary-general of the Fatah movement in Jerusalem, Adnan Ghaith, told Ma'an that the killing Mutaz Hijazi without giving him a chance to defend himself and without definitive proof that he was responsible for the shooting, was an "act of terrorism" by Israel.

      "Israeli crimes are systematically increasing to target Jerusalem through killing, detentions, assaults, demolishing houses, and preventing worshipers from praying inside the compounds of the Al-Aqsa mosque [ although Israeli authorities on Thursday evening decided to reopen Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque compound after ordering its closure and following Arab and US calls for Muslim worshippers to be allowed in].."

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  • 'Chickenshit' attack enrages Netanyahu and lobby, but will it stir voters against Obama?
    • So Israeli papers, reporting the anonymous comments Wednesday morning, had to settle on something less evocative than “chickenshit.” The consensus translation that emerged among major news sources was “pachdan,” or coward. Haaretz did a little better, using “pachdan aluv,” or “lowly coward.”

      As any poultry farmer can attest, none of these are chickenshit. “Coward” lacks the crude, sandlot insult quality that “chickenshit” conveys. “Coward” is what you’d call someone before a duel. “Chickenshit” is what you’d call someone before a bar fight.

      To compensate, Israeli news articles put the word, in English, in their articles, such that “chickenshit” is clearly visible in the opening paragraph, running counter to the Hebrew text.

      A friend of mine suggested that Israeli reporters could have avoided all this by translating the phrase to Hebrew literally: “Hara shel tarnegolim.” Of course, that’s also not quite Hebrew: “Hara” is a swear word in Arabic.

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