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To help resolve the Palestinian / Israeli problem within International Law.

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  • DC meeting between Israel and Saudi Arabia marks end of Arab Peace Initiative and two-state solution
    • This rapprochement does not surprise me, when Lieberman was Foreign Minister he bragged about the good relationship Israel had with certain GCC countries.Now that Iran has been brought in from the cold, Saudi Arabia and Israel fear Iran's growing military and economic power will make it the regions hegemon. They are right, the question is what are they going to do about it, they both share an interest in seeing Syria [the low hanging fruit] in the 'arc of resistance', regime changed, to that end Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been bankrolling the Jihadis for years and Turkey with US blessing has facilitated the transfer of arms and fighters into Syria. Israel Ambassador Oran was quoted as preferring the Jihadis in power rather than Assad, it is a documented fact that Israel set up field hospitals to treat injured Islamist fighters. So it makes sense for the Saudis to do a deal with Israel, they would cut off the heads of their own Grandmothers to stay in power, so throwing the Palestinians under the bus would be nothing to them. The Saudis calculated [wrongly] that Syria would be overthrown followed by Hezbollah, leaving Iran isolated. They have failed on all fronts, the Syrian army backed up by all sections of Syrian society together with Hezbollah and the Russian air force are winning against the Jihadis [something the US for all its bluster failed to do for years on the cynical notion of, my enemies enemy is my friend] it is only a matter of time before Syria recaptures all its lost territory, leaving Israel and Saudi Arabia to face a resurgent and more determined 'arc of resistance'. Hence the rapprochement.

  • Note to Ken Livingstone: The British Labour party has supported Zionism much more than the Nazis ever did
    • Guess who else used that Naz Shah map? Yes our own Professor Finkelstein. Did you create the controversial image that Naz Shah reposted?
      I’m not adept enough with computers to compose any image. But I did post the map on my website in 2014. An email correspondent must have sent it. It was, and still is, funny. Were it not for the current political context, nobody would have noticed Shah’s reposting of it either. Otherwise, you’d have to be humourless. These sorts of jokes are a commonplace in the U.S. So, we have this joke: Why doesn’t Israel become the 51st state? Answer: Because then, it would only have two senators. As crazy as the discourse on Israel is in America, at least we still have a sense of humour. It’s inconceivable that any politician in the U.S. would be crucified for posting such a map. link to opendemocracy.net

    • Professor Finkelstein has an interesting article on the Livingstone affair and a reputable Pew survey last year on anti-Semitism in the UK ,revealed an underwhelming 7%. link to opendemocracy.net

  • Norman Finkelstein on Sanders, the first intifada, BDS, and ten years of unemployment
    • Shmuel, "A 2ss is pragmatic? Why? I think Professor Finkelstein is referring to every State at the UN, including Palestine recognize the legitimacy of the Israeli state within the borders set by the UNGA partition resolution in 1948, the Palestinians now want the borders to be based on the 1967 border with mutually agreed land swaps. It is pragmatic because all states at the UN including Iran and the GCC states will recognize any solution with which the Palestinians themselves would be happy with. There is no UN state, UN agency or political party anywhere in the world which puts forward a one state position. In order to invoke International law as the Palestinians are now doing at the ICC, it is a prerequisite ipso facto pragmatic to recognize that irrefutable fact.

    • In his Memoirs, published in 1939, Lloyd George further elucidated his position:

      The Balfour Declaration represented the convinced policy of all parties in our country and also in America, but the launching of it in 1917 was due, as I have said, to propagandist reasons…. The Zionist Movement was exceptionally strong in Russia and America…. It was believed, also, that such a declaration would have a potent influence upon world Jewry outside Russia, and secure for the Entente the aid of Jewish financial interests. In America, their aid in this respect would have a special value when the Allies had almost exhausted the gold and marketable securities available for American purchases. Such were the chief considerations which, in 1917, impelled the British Government towards making a contract with Jewry.
      Meanwhile the British government continues to ignore the very explicit safeguards that were contained within the said Declaration, which is accepted to be the foundation block that led to the subsequent establishment of the Israeli state in 1948 at the expense of the indigenous population that had been in continuous occupation of the land for over a thousand years. link to globalresearch.ca

    • This was Professor Finkelstein at his best, brutally honest and trying to influence people on what is possible in politics rather than the wishful thinking engaged in by so many so called progressives. I agree with most things he had to say particularly his views on Zionism " once you get into a conversation about Zionism, you’re talking about an elusive phenomenon" quite true, and since it could be argued that all states at the UN and most people in the world agree that the Israeli State is legitimate within the terms of the Balfour declaration and the 1948 UNGA resolution, here is the Balfour declaration...
      "His Majesty’s government view with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non ­Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country".
      Even Iran and Hezbollah as well as the Arab League [no don't laugh] have said they will accept any solution the Palestinians would be content with, i. e. a 'two state' solution broadly along the 67 borders. Does that make two state advocates like Professor Finkelstein and myself, Zionists? I think it does, at least as believers in International law which designated the Israeli State borders as outlined in the UN General Assembly resolution in 1948, most importantly those borders were agreed to by the Israeli Government.
      I also agree with his views on Palestinian resistance and how desperate it is, throwing rocks and stabbing attacks are understandable frustration unfortunately they are, in effect, acts of suicide. Similarly the Hamas rockets were totally ineffective, to make it worse that fact was known to the Hamas leadership at the time, they knew the rockets would cause little damage, but fired them anyway. At the time I likened that 7.000 rocket and mortar barrage to an imaginary 7,000 bomber raid on Germany in WW2 when the UK War cabinet ordered the mission in the knowledge that the bombers did not have enough fuel nor navigation aids to reach Germany, and as a consequence had to drop their bombs in the North Sea. As a reprisal the Germans wiped out a quarter of the UK. I suspect that war cabinet would all have been hung.
      Professor Finkelstein referred to the collusion between the GCC states and Egypt, I would include Turkey at this stage since they are also making overtures to Israel, this is shameful, particularly when these countries are operating on a purely sectarian basis in countering the only true friends the Palestinians have in the region the 'Arc of resistance' Iran, Iraq, Syria and Hezbollah now backed by Russia and to a lesser extent China. Here is the only outside help the Palestinians can rely on [the Saudi satraps would sell their own Grandmothers to stay in power] In my opinion Assad will prevail in Syria, Iran and Hezbollah will grow stronger because of that, and Iran's economic and home grown military accomplishments will make them the new hegemon in the region. That is why the inevitable growth and power of the arc of the resistance is feared by Israel and its patrons in the west.

  • 'NY Times' publishes op-ed writer's blatant falsehood about Palestinians without blinking an eye
  • Zionism is not really secular
    • pabelmont..."And if anyone now-a-days seeks to resurrect a cannibalistic or human-sacrifice religion", Wahhabism of the type practiced by Islamic State [IS] in Syria and Iraq comes very close to that definition, in my opinion military force as well as political and legal resistance is required to confront this abomination. Zionism on the other hand is an ideology which seeks to colonize and claim sovereignty over the whole of Palestine, [the land of Israel as they see it] Something neither the Balfour declaration or the United Nations [in its agreed with the GOI] declaration in 1948 on the borders and sovereign independence of Israel] wanted to happen. Since Israel was given its birth certificate, it has flagrantly ignored the UN and continues to expand its borders with impunity, and will continue to do so since no one [especially the US] is prepared to implement International law.

  • NYT Public Editor: It is impossible to accurately cover Sheldon Adelson without employing anti-Semitic stereotypes 
    • If it is true, literally, that Adelson's involvement in US politics is because of Israel [he admits it] then it is not a trope, and therefore should be reported on by the NYT, just as Phil Weiss does when he reports on Adelson's financial influence over GOP candidates, regularly.

  • Netanyahu and Sen. Leahy tangle over Israel's killing of Hadeel Hashlamoun, 18
  • National Lawyers Guild and human rights activists call for IRS investigation into charity status of Jewish National Fund
    • Just when you think it could get no worse.
      A major charity organization has its funding cut off by the British government after its sponsored an anti-Israel program.
      Britain’s Department for International Development (DFID) said the British government would no longer fund "War on Want" for inciting anti-Israeli sentiments.
      London took the step after the charity partially sponsored the Israeli Apartheid Week, which was marked across the UK in February. The annual event was aimed at raising awareness about Israel’s ongoing settler-colonial project and demanding its boycott.
      The charity, an advocate of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, frequently criticizes the Tel Aviv regime for war crimes, ethnic cleansing and apartheid.
      Reacting to the developments, "War on Want" has blasted the British government’s move.
      The charity says supporting the rights of Palestinians fits squarely with its work. It has also justified its anti-Israel campaign, saying that Tel Aviv has subjected Palestinians to systematic discrimination and abuse.
      The British government has banned all public bodies from joining the boycott campaign against Israel. link to presstv.com

    • It is to be hoped that this complaint fairs better than a similar one in the UK against JNF. A complaint made to the charity Commission and subsequent appeal were rejected because the complainant had not provided any evidence to back up the complaint and that the complainant did not have 'standing' link to civilsociety.co.uk
      whereupon an appeal was made to the charities Tribunal
      The Charity Tribunal found that not only were the papers filed out of time but that the complainant also lacked standing, see procedural issues JNF appeal in this roundup .link to bwbllp.com
      Must confess I have not followed this up closely so any other information would be appreciated.

  • Senior advisor to Clinton calls Obama's rationale for withdrawal from Mideast 'strange, bizarre, illogical, odd'
    • Krendall Mist, Good for America obviously, 3 billion dollars a year, 'chicken feed', hell the US has spent 4 to 6 Trillion dollars so far fighting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq [Linda Bilmes Kennedy Law School] link to washingtonpost.com mostly on Israels behalf, if they don't cough up 5 billion then the Israelis [like any good blackmailer] will play hardball and ask for 10 billion. The Israelis are in a good position with the US elections ahead, could we see candidates vying with one another on the security of Israel and how Iran is supplying Hezbollah with 10's of thousands of new guided missiles. With Israels security at stake why can't US senior citizens and the vast army of citizens receiving welfare benefits tighten their belts, stop being greedy, [Hej] and give more to Israel, so that they can continue to steal and ethnically cleanse more Palestinian land and kill more Palestinians? More importantly, what's an extra 2 billion to Israel when there is an American election to be won?

    • Wittes quotes Obama "American energy independence means that the Middle East is just a lot less important than it used to be" then in the same paragraph she interprets that quote thus..."So the fact that we’re pumping gas and you know finding shale oil here and even starting to export does not mean that the Middle East doesn’t matter to us anymore".
      The logic of the first quote is impeccable, but is twisted by Wittes to mean the Middle East doesn't matter to the US any more. This is fear mongering from the senior advisor on the middle East to the war Goddess, who probably agreed with her boss when she threatened to "obliterate Iran" and more generally to send in the troops on any pretext.

  • Video: Meet the brave shoemaker who filmed Israeli soldier executing a Palestinian
    • gamal.."you are saying the US does not claim to support democracy in many Arab countries?"
      Whatever the US 'claims' is one thing, the reality is another as Abu Shamsiya is well aware as are most Palestinians who voted for the victory of Hamas in the last Palestinian election [deemed fair by most observers] until the US/Israel overturned the election results. equally the US does not recognize the 2014 Syrian election results because Assad won over 80% of the vote, also not happy when Hezbollah and allies win elections in Lebanon, but go quietly when the democratically elected President of Egypt Morsi is overthrown. The theory being that General Sisi maybe a SOB but he is our [US/Israel's] SOB. Sorry all this is slightly off topic since the important thing is the safety of Abu Shamsiya who has been threatened by the IDF [when interviewed], and who should be protecting him from the braying scum surrounding his home and threatening him with violence.

    • This brave man said "The U.S. claims to support democracy in many Arab countries, except for Palestine" He is wrong, the US supports the most despotic regimes in the region including Saudi Arabia and other GCC satraps. This film by ITV gives a glimpse at one of the major US allies in the region Saudi Arabia. link to youtube.com

  • Rejected by Brazil, Israeli settler leader Dani Dayan given diplomatic post in US
    • Some settlers move to occupied territory because of financial inducements others for ideological reasons, all are culpable to one degree or another in assisting well documented war crimes, Dayan being a former leader of the settlement enterprise could be regarded as a war criminal in breach of article 49.6 of the Geneva Conventions. But so too could former Foreign Minister Lieberman who lived in a settlement. Of course International law means nothing to US/Israel, who regard themselves as above it. By the way, how is the PA complaint to the ICC proceeding or am I being too naive?

  • UN Human Rights Council to create 'blacklist' database of settlement businesses
    • Erekat is on a fool's errand if he thinks the US will confront Israel over its settlement enterprise [a grave war crime according to the Geneva conventions]. It is a fact that because the US has the veto at the UN this also allows the US and friends of the US [Israel, Saudi Arabia and others to commit war crimes with impunity] see Dr David Morrison's critique of the veto system here.link to david-morrison.org.uk Unfortunately the Palestinian leadership has thrown its lot in with the corrupt Kings and Emirs of the GCC, who in turn are colluding with Israel against the true 'arc of resistance' Syria, Hezbollah, Iraq and Iran. It is this resistance which the US and its proxy's Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey wish to eliminate, as a consequence the Palestinian cause would be lost. Fortunately the Syrian people have survived 5 years of war and are beginning to uproot the terrorists [the good and bad ones] leaving the 'arc of resistance' much stronger, to the consternation of the Israeli's.

  • Zionism is finally in the news, as officials seek to conflate anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism
    • Antisemitism is wrong in all circumstances, so tying it together with Anti-Zionism makes the additional word anti-Zionism redundant. But that would not achieve the malign aims of the resolution.

    • President Obama said, "You know, I think a good baseline is: Do you think that Israel has a right to exist as a homeland for the Jewish people," This question has already been decided when the United Nations recognized the state of Israel on borders which both the UN and Israeli's leaders agreed to in 1948. To the extent that most people recognize that state within the borders agreed to in 1948, it could be said that most people are Zionists i.e, a homeland for people of Jewish origin in Palestine. Unfortunately many Zionists regard this homeland as being Eretz [greater] Israel including the whole of Palestine, something never envisaged in the Balfour declaration nor agreed to at the UN in 1948. Therefore Zionists who believe the Jewish homeland comprises the whole of Palestine also the Golan Heights and other parts of other peoples established states in the region, are plainly arguing against International law. Political disagreement by anti Zionists of the illegal appropriation of all of Palestine, or even if only slightly more than agreed to in 1948, has nothing to do with antisemitism and everything to do with upholding International law.

  • Goldberg on Obama's Syria credibility 'crisis'
    • As Helena Cobban points out above, when the Syrian chemical attack occurred, Obama blamed Assad, but that assertion was not backed up by the authoritative and traditional "intelligence assessment", rather a "government assessment" which is merely the opinion of amateurs in the White House. “Obama was also unsettled by a surprise visit early in the week from James Clapper, his director of national intelligence, who interrupted the President’s Daily Brief, the threat report Obama receives each morning from Clapper’s analysts, to make clear that the intelligence on Syria’s use of sarin gas, while robust, was not a “slam dunk.” link to russia-insider.com

  • 'Hi pal. I love you' and 'Russia has seen the lord' -- loopy Biden froths over Netanyahu
    • These folks [Arab leaders] have had an epiphany. They’ve realized they’d rather be in your orbit than in the orbit of Daesh and ISIS and terrorism and al-Nusra, etc. Biden is wrong here, the Israelis prefer the Islamists to be in power in Syria, Former Ambassador Oran confirmed this not long ago link to consortiumnews.com But he is right in one respect, Saudi Arabia and the other Gulfies see that they and Israel have a common foe, Iran and the 'arc of resistance' including Iraq, Syria, Hezbollah and now Yemen. To this end they have just declared Hezbollah a terrorist organization and it would appear Abbas has gone along with this. It is amazing that the only resistance to Israeli designs in the region, the 'arc' is frowned upon by Abbas and his sectarian and despotic friends in the GCC.

  • 'When I have the opportunity to do it, I will': Likud lawmaker vows to demolish Al-Aqsa mosque
    • Unfortunately it seems the Israelis could get away with any crime without the 'west' doing anything about it [they may say it is 'unfortunate' or some other meaningless gesture]. Even the Arab world could care less, Saudi Arabia has just received a senior Israeli delegation "Israeli channel 10 quoted Saudi officials as saying during the meetings that they are not interested in solving the Palestinian cause. However they want the Zionist entity to stand by Saudi against Iran". The Palestinians can only rely on the backing of the 'arc of resistance' Iran, Iraq, Syria and Hezbollah. Unfortunately the Palestinian Authority still cling to the US/Saudi /Israel way forward, which means they will continue be dispossessed. The PA are backing the wrong horse. link to almanar.com.lb

  • Trump's refusal to name a 'good guy and a bad guy' in conflict is 'anti-Israel,' says Rubio
  • Weapons manufacturers support Hillary Clinton more than any other presidential candidate
    • Hillary refuses to release the transcripts of her speeches [see my comment above] to the Banks and Corporations. link to theintercept.com WHY?

    • pabelmont "Not much money there. $155,340?" Not for a Lawyer like Hillary or any Lawyer [snark] According to public disclosures, by giving just 12 speeches to Wall Street banks, private equity firms, and other financial corporations, Clinton made $2,935,000 from 2013 to 2015:link to link to theintercept.com
      Also, both Clintons have taken millions of dollars in speaking fees from the health care industry. According to public disclosures, Hillary Clinton alone, from 2013 to 2015, made $2,847,000 from 13 paid speeches to the industry.link to link to theintercept.com Carlos got her eyes just right.

  • British schoolboy questioned for pro-Palestine badge and pro-BDS pamphlet
    • The Government have published its guidance on procurement link to gov.uk it is not clear to me yet on a quick first reading how settlement products will be viewed, here is what the Government via the Foreign Office and Dept of Trade said in its advice in 2014, this new guidance is meant to supplement it ..
      We will not recognize any changes to the pre-1967 borders, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties. There are therefore clear risks related to economic and financial activities in the settlements, and we do not encourage or offer support to such activity. Financial transactions, investments, purchases, procurements as well as other economic activities (including in services like tourism) in Israeli settlements or benefiting Israeli settlements, entail legal and economic risks stemming from the fact that the Israeli settlements, according to international law, are built on occupied land and are not recognized as a legitimate part of Israel’s territory. This may result in disputed titles to the land, water, mineral or other natural resources which might be the subject of purchase or investment. EU citizens and businesses should also be aware of the potential reputational implications of getting involved in economic and financial activities in settlements, as well as possible abuses of the rights of individuals. Those contemplating any economic or financial involvement in settlements should seek appropriate legal advice. link to gov.uk It would appear the UK Government do not want any council to take risks with tax payers money quite apart from the ethical and reputational concerns of such trading it is hard for me to see any council or other public body having penalties levied against them for taking the governments own advice into account when making procurements.

    • It will be interesting to see these proposed "Regulations" or will it be guidance. When the government put forward these proposals Leicester city council was mentioned.
      "We are seriously concerned that the press release does not properly distinguish between local government boycott and divestment initiatives with Israel proper, and those that specifically relate to illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT). This apparent conflation is noted by the examples cited to justify the plans, including reference to Leicester City Council passing a policy last year to boycott goods produced in illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank". link to lphr.org.uk In my opinion a boycott of both Israel proper and any Israeli operating in occupied territory would be legal, in the first instance Israel is in many breaches of International law and in the case of the settlement enterprise companies and local authorities have an ethical duty [many written into contracts] not to trade with people who can be identified as committing war crimes [the transfer of Israelis to occupied territory Geneva 49.6] Those war criminals are all Israeli governments since 1967 plus to a lesser extent the leaders of the settlement enterprises.

  • Cartoon: Netanyahu plans fortress Israel to protect against 'wild beasts'
    • a blah chick. "Does that number include fireworks?" No, but Hezbollah have proper rockets unlike the home made sugar powered ones Hamas uses. Nasrallah claims they can reach any part of Israel, many with state of the art guidance systems. They even have drones. Probably the only truthful claim the Israelis made regarding the Iran/US nuclear deal was that Iran will be able to furnish Hezbollah with even more devastating weapons, that's correct, they will.link to thetower.org

    • They need to build it a mile high to stop the 100,000 rockets the IDF say Hezbollah has pointed at Israel link to timesofisrael.com

  • Israeli govt accelerates settlement construction, 'opposition leader' Isaac Herzog calls for electrified fence between Israel and West Bank
    • Hertzog's proposal looks interesting, a separation of 3.5 million Palestinians from Israel, what is not spelled out is where this fence will be, will it be the 67 border, or around the whole of area C which comprises more than 60% of the West Bank and has a vast majority of Illegal settlers living in it? Lapid has a similar outlook with just the same dilemma, 'where is the border' Lapid want's the occupation to continue of course, insisting on the IDF patrolling the West Bank as usual. Still, it appears some Israelis can see the coming train wreck.

  • Cut the Gordian Knot -- a response to Ban Ki-moon's landmark speech
    • The UN is only the sum of all its members, unfortunately some members are more equal than others, i.e, the five veto wielding powers, one of which, the US, consistently supports Israel no matter how many crimes Israel commits. I agree with Dr David Morrison [SADAKA] Ireland in this excellent article link to sadaka.ie "Without sanctions against Israel, the “two state solution” is dead unless serious and sustained economic sanctions are applied to Israel by the international community to force it to withdraw from the Occupied Palestinian Territories so that a Palestinian state can be established. It is a fantasy to believe that Israel can be persuaded to withdraw from these territories it occupies by negotiations alone, as the EU (and the Irish Government) appear to believe".
      The European Union is in a unique position to sanction Israel, being its biggest trading partner, and with Israel manifestly not complying with the Human rights terms of the Israel-European Union Association Agreement, the EU should act now instead of forever offering incentives for continuing bad behavior.

  • Park Slope Food Coop holds vote aimed at staunching boycott of Sodastream
    • Naomi Brussel. It may mean we need a law-suit, Go for it. That would be the first thing they would do in similar circumstances.

  • Updated: Former French Justice Minister should face questions in NY about law barring BDS speech
    • upsondundas. I agree, the settlers do mix their products with others from Israel proper, but many superstores know exactly where their stocks come from, if the Israelis are committing fraud, then on their heads be it, they will be found out. In the case of Ahava and the Golan Heights Wine etc the Israelis admit the products are made in occupied territory. Labeling those two products alone as 'Palestinian' or as settlement produced wine of Syria, would start the ball rolling nicely.

    • John Douglas, I agree, but how about going one step further and a group of BDS activists outside a French store with banners saying " Do NOT boycott Israeli goods or any goods produced in illegally occupied Palestine or the French state will put you in jail" or some such wording, not breaking the law but making the law look oppressively stupid. Any other ideas?

    • According to the French Court of Cassation the BDS supporters were found guilty of boycotting Israeli goods, if those BDS protesters boycotted goods from the occupied territories 'the West Bank' and 'Golan Heights' in my opinion that would not breach the law since the goods are not Israeli goods, here is how the UK Trade Descriptions Act describes country of origin..Section 36 of the Trade Descriptions Act 1968, Country of origin is determined thus;
      Section 36: Country of origin.
      “1. “For the purposes of this Act goods shall be deemed to have been manufactured or produced in the country in which they last underwent a treatment or process resulting in a substantial change”.
      This is consistent with World Trade Organization and European Union rules. See also European Commission-Israel Association Agreement Protocol 4.
      Here is how European Union Regulation 2913/92 establishing the Community Customs Code.
      sees it.
      ORIGIN OF GOODS. Article 23.
      1/ Goods originating in a country shall be those wholly obtained or produced in that country.
      2/ The expression 'goods wholly obtained in a country' means;
      a/ Mineral products extracted within that country.
      b/ Vegetable products harvested therein. etc etc.
      Other articles cover manufactured goods which indicate that a goods origin shall be deemed to originate where they underwent their last, substantial, economically justified processing and resulting in the manufacture of a new product or representing an important stage of manufacture.
      So as an example, imagine a situation whereby a Frenchman took up residence in the UK, who bought and operated an English vineyard, the harvested grapes, bottling and production wholly carried out in the UK, but he called his wine and labelled it French wine, obviously that would contravene the regulations, and the French wine growers would be up in arms.
      Israelis growing vegetables or producing things in occupied territory cannot call these products Israeli goods therefore a BDS call to boycott these goods in my opinion would be legitimate.

  • Among the settlers
    • irishmoses. Thanks for taking the trouble to read the Morrison piece, George Galloway regards Morrison as one of the best researchers in British politics today, he also wrote a book in partnership with Peter Oborne on Iran's troubles with the west regarding its use of Nuclear energy. My use of the word meaningless was maybe too strong a word since the wall judgement has been used politically by pro Palestinian organizations, although Professor Finkelstein berates the Palestinian leadership for failing to capitalize on the ICJ 'opinion'. Professor James Crawford who I mention lower down in the thread gives chapter and verse on the responsibilities of third parties both state and private institutions on the legal consequences of both recognizing and trading with the settlement enterprises link to tuc.org.uk It is 60 pages long but well worth the read, although it is still only an 'opinion'. His point amounts to the prerequisite that states must have the political will to take the necessary action including sanctions. I have long been an admirer of Professor Finkelstein and his insistence on the application of International law, unfortunately it is not going to be implemented by the United States, hopefully the International Criminal Court can set aside any political threats from the US/Israel and investigate the Palestinian situation as a non politicized court and come to the same conclusions as the ICJ. I hope I am not being too naive.

    • Talkback, As I indicated in my reply to irishmoses above, UN States must take account of the 'opinion' of the ICJ since it is an interpretation of International law. What other states do in practice is usually a political matter. Professor James Crawford was commissioned by the TUC to determine what other 'third parties' must do link to tuc.org.uk. Paragraph 139/ "Unfortunately, the present reality of the Political situation in Palestine is such that it is unlikely that any adverse legal ramifications will result from states or private entities continuing to engage with unlawful settlements. As noted by the court in its Namibia judgment; "The qualification of a situation as illegal does not by itself put an end to it, it can only be the first, necessary step, in an en-devour to bring the illegal situation to an end" Regrettably, the political will does not seem to exist at present to enforce principles of International law in respect of settlements.

    • irishmoses. To help illustrate my point, Dr David Morrison [SADAKA] Ireland, published an article on the UNSC in relation to the Iraq war. "The Attorney-General's legal advice was sound" I hope you find the time to read it, and if possible give your opinion. link to david-morrison.org.uk

    • irishmoses. If Israel’s actions violate provisions of the 4th Geneva Convention (to which Israel is a signatory), and a court of competent jurisdiction hears evidence and concludes Israel has indeed violated those provisions, why is it “meaningless” to describe Israel’s actions as illegal?
      I think you miss my point, I too think, as did the International Court of Justice [ICJ] that Israel is breaching article 49.6 of the Geneva Conventions, however both myself and the ICJ are only offering opinions, although it must be said that the ICJ's opinions must be taken note of by other states. So, although being merely an opinion, it is not legally binding on Israel.
      It is the case that the highest authority in the World the UNSC have declared that the settlement enterprise is illegitimate, they have so far failed to do anything about it, hence my accusation that the UNSC 's denunciation of the settlement enterprise, without taking the appropriate action [sanctions or such like] is meaningless.

    • Yes, I always say the settlements are illegal myself, similarly when the Israeli Government say the settlements are disputed, they are, with Israel and the US disputing with the rest of the world. Rather like the notorious Charles Manson and his lawyer disputing the juries verdict. I do hope the ICC can investigate, even if only the settlement enterprise. It should be in US parlance 'a slam dunk'.

    • MHughes976. "The settlers are breaking laws of many kinds and the world sees this clearly" Unfortunately these are only allegations, the World court [ICJ] did find [by 15 judges to 0 ] that Israel is in breach of article 49.6 of the Geneva Convention [on settlements] but that was only an opinion. Similarly the UNSC has not taken any action against Israel, merely stating that the settlements are illegitimate. It is meaningless to describe an action as illegal if there is no expectation that the perpetrator of the action will be convicted by a competent judicial body. In the real world, an action is legal unless a competent judicial body rules that it is illegal. While I do rule out any action for the foreseeable future on the part of the UNSC [because of the US veto] it is to be hoped that the ICC Prosecutor will not politicize her approach to the Palestinians numerous complaints [including on settlements] recently made to that body. Unfortunately the ICC does not have a good record in that regard.

  • Michael Bloomberg has been a fervent supporter of Israel, to a point
    • Bloomberg.."Israel did not have to limit itself to a “proportional” response to Gaza attacks". Bloomberg is just another war criminal advocating war crimes contrary to all norms of International law.

  • Clinton baits Sanders over 'destruction of Israel'
    • JLD, thanks for the clip of 'mad Mel' wondered where she had been, now I know she must be locked up in an asylum somewhere for her own protection. But to be fair, she does not sound much different from all of your Presidential candidates in their debates.

    • According to public disclosures, by giving just 12 speeches to Wall Street banks, private equity firms, and other financial corporations, Clinton made $2,935,000 from 2013 to 2015:link to theintercept.com
      Also, both Clintons have taken millions of dollars in speaking fees from the health care industry. According to public disclosures, Hillary Clinton alone, from 2013 to 2015, made $2,847,000 from 13 paid speeches to the industry.link to theintercept.com This does not include millions of contributions to the Clinton Foundation from contributors like Saudi Arabia, who critics say were used as bribes to influence US policy. Anyone! anyone! would be a better candidate for President than this corrupt war Goddess.

  • Human Rights Watch calls for sanctions against Israel over settlements
    • As confirmation of my comment above on the need for sanctions the Israeli opposition have just called the two state solution impossible, and that a barrier should be put in place to wall of Palestinians. "The main opposition leader in Israel, the head of the center-left Zionist Union Isaac Herzog, has today declared a two-state solution to be “impossible,” telling a high-profile security conference that the goal should be to build as big a wall as possible to wall off as many Palestinians as possible". link to news.antiwar.com

    • I agree pabelmont, Dr David Morrison writing for SADAKA [Ireland] does also in this excellent briefing..link to sadaka.ie

  • As sanctions end over nuclear program, US socks Iran with new sanctions over missile testing
    • Despite its edge over rival Boeing in the headlines, any deals Airbus strikes will also require U.S. license approval, since more than 10 percent of its planes come from U.S. parts.
      With significant U.S. interests including a new Alabama factory, the European company is expected to tread carefully. link to reuters.com

    • Iran, Syria, Iraq and Hezbollah form the 'arc of resistance' to US/Israel designs on the region i.e, Israeli hegemony backed up by the Sunni Dictators. Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Ya'alon declared that he prefers ISIS over Iran in Syria and that "believing that the Sunnis, like ISIS, are practically on their side". link to news.antiwar.com Who can doubt that? Seems the Palestinians have chosen the wrong side. While Palestinians starve in Gaza and are shot to death for no reason by their occupiers, their "so called allies" the Saudis and Gulf state allies [perverts] spend hundreds of billions of dollars on arms and cavort round the world in gold plated airplanes, and spend more money in one night in western whorehouses than the average Palestinian earns in a lifetime. The Palestinians seem to be on their own, but what is worse is they have no political leadership with any vision or with no ideas on the best form of resistance. "There are no new strategies," said Hani Habib, a Gaza-based columnist and political commentator. "There is not even a Palestinian thinking or vision, let alone strategy," he said, blaming what he called "Palestinian political bankruptcy".
      "This is the biggest disaster: the world does not bother about us and we ourselves are careless about our present and future. We have lost the respect of the world." link to uk.reuters.com

    • The US shooting themselves in the foot again, these sanctions are fairly insignificant and in themselves should not make Iran panic, rather they should not have expected anything different from the US who have a record of reneging on agreements, although coming a day after the agreement must have come as a bit of a shock. While the rest of the world rush to do lucrative deals with Iran, American businessmen must be tearing their hair out at this missed opportunity to get a piece of the action. Hillary Mann Leverett in a debate on PressTV link to presstv.com said that Obama should do what Nixon did in its rapprochement with China but that unfortunately the arrangements the US has with Israel and Saudi Arabia with the Petrodollar and 10's of billions of arms sales to the latter complicates things.

  • British Parliamentarians pay homage to Dick Cheney during debate over ISIS
    • Cheney admits visiting the dark side and to be complicit in the torturing of suspects, [waterboarding, a war crime] and said live on TV he would do it again.
      Obama said "we tortured some folks" but instead of prosecuting Cheney and other war criminals, as he is obliged to do under International law, said "we must look forward not back" as a pathetic excuse not to do so. Proving once again America's contempt for International law. And then they ask, why do they hate us?

    • The Parliamentary debate on bombing Islamic State in Syria ruled out supporting the only effective boots on the ground capable of eradicating these Jihadists, namely the Syrian Army, therefore any bombing would be entirely symbolic since the US coalition are already bombing Islamic State [or so they say]. The US have been after regime change in Syria for years, to that end have only tried to 'contain' Islamic State hoping that they could weaken Assad sufficiently for their Free Syrian Army conscripts to bring Assad down, another US foreign policy blunder. Continuing in this vein and trying to achieve by negotiation what they have patently failed to do by force, UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said a couple of days ago “We are not saying Assad and all his cronies have to go on day one,”. “What I am not prepared to discuss is what I understand to be the Russian and Iranian position, that we need to move to elections in Syria and it will be for the Syrian people to decide in those elections whether Assad should remain as their president.link to theguardian.com Could there be anything more undemocratic than that statement? The Foreign Secretary is a fool, Syria, Russia, Iran and Hezbollah will have to finish the job in Syria without the hindrance of the 'West'.

  • Israeli ambassador flings Nazi label at Israeli leaders, after latest authoritarian step
    • Where is all this going to end up? A state comprising 75% of people of Jewish origin and 25% non Jewish should not be called "a Jewish state". But lets be charitable and say that within the recognized borders of the '67' state of Israel there exists a Jewish majority and that such a majority could be maintained for the foreseeable future. This of course should not be a Jewish state but the latest report from Peace now should ring some alarm bells in the US and Europe
      Israeli settler watchdog Peace Now is warning in a new report that the Israeli Housing Ministry is seeking a massive series of new settlement expansions cutting across all sections of the West Bank, totaling 55,548 new housing units, including two new settlements.

      The new settlements would be in the E1 area, and would further divide the remaining Palestinian parts of the occupied West Bank. The possibility of building in the E1 has caused considerable concern that it would effectively prevent a contiguous Palestinian state.
      link to news.antiwar.com
      It would appear the Israelis are going for the one state solution, without Palestinians being allowed to vote of course. Or do they have more evil intent?

  • 'Israel is ours'-- Dermer's settlement gift puts spotlight on Ahava
    • Too true Ossinev, Israel recently threatened the European Union [population 500 million] with economic sanctions and threatened to cut them off from any input in the peace process. As you say they will get their big stupid friend to sort the recalcitrant EU out.

  • Israel's ambassador taunts the White House (again) with holiday gift of settlement goods
    • The White House should do what Greek politician Theodoros Pangalos did when presented with a gift from the Golan Heights in 2010.
      "The embassy had given the wine to Theodoros Pangalos – MP for the socialist party PASOK and responsible also for co-ordination of the foreign policy and defense committee in the Greek government – as a gift for the Christmas holidays with the wishes of Israel´s ambassador to Greece, Ali Yihiye.

      In a letter sent to the embassy with the returned wine, Pangalos said he was taught not to steal and not to accept products of theft". link to intifada-palestine.com

  • Kagan pushed regime change in Iraq, now says US must get over 'trauma' and do Syria
    • Kagan said it would take 50,000 US troops to take over Syria, Rumsfeld retired General Shinseki when he told Rumsfeld that at least 200,000 troops would be needed post Iraq invasion, he was proved right. Also the US had the sympathy of the Kurds and to a lesser extent the Shia in Iraq. The insurgency was conducted largely by the Sunni who numbered approximately 5 million. Compare this with the potential opposition to a US invasion, if those polls and the election last year reflect the support that Assad has and I think they do, then 50,000 troops to subdue a hostile Syrian population of over 20 million people would be woefully short,probably by some 5 to 8 hundred thousand. That's not even counting the Russian and Iranian response. The role of Santa at the mall would be too big a challenge for Kagan's intellect.

    • Kagan "the Syrian opposition now backed by U.S. forces and air power, the Syrian air force grounded and Russian bombing halted". Yes, a truly delusional proposal, this is a recipe for World war 3. Syrian and Hezbollah troops backed by Russian aircraft fighting the mythical "moderate" terrorists and US troops, the US would be invading a sovereign state in breach of the UN charter and all International law in order to topple a legitimate elected Syrian Government, absolutely crazy, you just could not make it up.

  • The only way to take on ISIS is to take on Wahhabi doctrine
    • Rusty Pipes, totally agree, what the author regrets is the US did not do 'shock and awe' from the outset, to hell with International law. He say's the "US failed to bring about a political transition that would end the conflict" he means 'regime change'. And that. "Assumes that these are the only choices for Syrians moving forward". Those ARE the only two choices since the "moderate" terrorists have always been as rare as unicorns. The terrorist who bragged about eating the heart/liver of one of Assad's soldiers was a so called moderate Free Syrian army member. General Idriss formally Commander of the FSA admitted to joint operations with the extreme terrorists and it is common knowledge that arms supplied to FSA are sold to other groups.

    • Bandolero. Joe Biden since apologized, even Hillary Clinton have made the same observations, unfortunately the Gulfies are our allies, the US has concluded 80 billions worth of arms to Saudi Arabia in recent years and of course the petro dollar is tied into the equation. Turkey is of course an important member of NATO. Until the US reads the riot act to these sponsors of terrorism, or the Russians lose patience, they will not change their ways, the US knows what it is doing, to them 250,00 Syrian dead is a price it is easily willing to pay for the geostrategic goals it hopes to achieve. The Russians and Iranians supply Turkey with all their natural gas, so Turkey is not immune from sanctions. Similarly the Russians could send the Houthis sophisticated weapons etc, I am sure Putin has a few good cards he can play, he has outplayed the West so far.

    • Bandolero. I agree, this was most evident when Islamic state crossed from Syria to Iraq along the main highways in thousands of white Toyota pickups churning up hundreds of tons of dust then attacking and occupying those northern Iraqi cities including Mosul. The most sophisticated satellite systems the US have, which can read a car number plate from space, did not notice this massive convoy. We saw nothing! Honest Gov!

    • GW Bush made the decision to back the Sunni despots against the so called 'Shia arc of extremism' hoping to isolate Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Iraq Seymour Hersh describes this strategy in 'The redirection' ...
      "To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has coöperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda". link to newyorker.com

  • Israel isn't worried about ISIS
    • in a leaked diplomatic cable sent in 2006 by acting Deputy Chief of Mission in Syria William Roebuck which contained the following “advice” on how to go about destabilizing the Assad government:
      PLAY ON SUNNI FEARS OF IRANIAN INFLUENCE: There are fears in Syria that the Iranians are active in both Shia proselytizing and conversion of, mostly poor, Sunnis. Though often exaggerated, such fears reflect an element of the Sunni community in Syria that is increasingly upset by and focused on the spread of Iranian influence in their country through activities ranging from mosque construction to business. Both the local Egyptian and Saudi missions here, (as well as prominent Syrian Sunni religious leaders), are giving increasing attention to the matter and we should coordinate more closely with their governments on ways to better publicize and focus regional attention on the issue. link to zerohedge.com
      Also in a just released document from the US Department of Defence this..

      “If the situation unravels there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist Principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran).”

    • Yadlin and Valensi want cooperation with Saudi Arabia and Turkey to confront the so called 'arc of resistance', Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Iraq now backed by Russia, unfortunately for Israel, the 'arc of resistance' is winning hands down in Syria, it is just a matter of time before the head choppers are crushed. Their other option, an Assad-free Syria brought about with the connivance of Russia is wishful thinking, the Russians have said on many occasions, it is up to the people of Syria to determine Assad's fate. Just what the people of Syria think of Assad was demonstrated last year when Assad received almost 80% of the vote in what 30 countries who observed the election described as free and fair. This finding was confirmation of a poll taken in the DoHa debates a couple of years ago [a Qatari poll, no friends of Assad] they found 55% support for Assad. When the fighting is over Israel will be in a far weaker strategic position. With the ending of sanctions, Iran will be in a financially better position to supply Syria and Hezbollah with all the latest weaponry they produce mostly manufactured in Iran. The US position in the middle east is also diminished.
      I wonder if the sword Netanyahu wants Israel to rely on, is going to be big enough?

  • Leading anthropologists group overwhelmingly passes BDS resolution at Denver conference
    • What better qualified group of Professionals are there to pass this wonderful resolution.
      Anthropology.. The scientific study of the origin, the behavior, and the physical, social, and cultural development of humans. Good work Annie.

  • Hillary Clinton equates ISIS and Hamas
    • The desire to do good is inherent in all humans, unfortunately so also is the desire to profit where possible for that altruism, especially when governments are so influenced by corporate profits or more likely geo strategic considerations, [think Libya] That is why UNSC resolutions empowering the world community at large to undertake these sometimes necessary undertakings is the fairest way . Not perfect, but it is the only system we have at the moment.

    • Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard in these remarkable interviews the first one with Wolf Blitzer lays our the folly of US intervention in Syria. This must see interview gives me hope that all is not lost.
      From Gabbard

      “Here are 10 reasons the U.S. must end its war to overthrow the Syrian government of Assad:

      Because if we succeed in overthrowing the Syrian government of Assad, it will open the door for ISIS, al-Qaeda, and other Islamic extremists to take over all of Syria. There will be genocide and suffering on a scale beyond our imagination. These Islamic extremists will take over all the weaponry, infrastructure, and military hardware of the Syrian army and be more dangerous than ever before.
      We should not be allying ourselves with these Islamic extremists by helping them achieve their goal because it is against the security interests of the United States and all of civilization.
      Because the money and weapons the CIA is providing to overthrow the Syrian government of Assad are going directly or indirectly into the hands of the Islamic extremist groups, including al-Qaeda affiliates, al-Nusra, Ahrar al-Sham, and others who are the actual enemies of the United States. These groups make up close to 90 percent of the so-called opposition forces, and are the most dominant fighters on the ground.
      Because our efforts to overthrow Assad has increased and will continue to increase the strength of ISIS and other Islamic extremists, thus making them a bigger regional and global threat.
      Because this war has exacerbated the chaos and carnage in Syria and, along with the terror inflicted by ISIS and other Islamic extremist groups fighting to take over Syria, continues to increase the number of Syrians forced to flee their country.
      Because we should learn from our past mistakes in Iraq and Libya that U.S. wars to overthrow secular dictators (Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi) cause even more chaos and human suffering and open the door for Islamic extremists to take over in those countries.
      Because the U.S. has no credible government or government leader ready to bring order, security, and freedom to the people of Syria.
      Because even the ‘best case’ scenario—that the U.S. successfully overthrows the Syrian government of Assad—would obligate the United States to spend trillions of dollars and the lives of American service members in the futile effort to create a new Syria. This is what we have been trying to do in Iraq for twelve years, and we still have not succeeded. The situation in Syria will be much more difficult than in Iraq.
      Because our war against the Syrian government of Assad is interfering with our being one-pointedly focused on the war to defeat ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and the other Islamic extremists who are our actual enemy.
      Because our war to overthrow the Assad government puts us in direct conflict with Russia and increases the likelihood of war between the United States and Russia and the possibility of another world war.”
      link to zerohedge.com

    • The US has engaged in several "liberal interventions" or 'R2Protect', unfortunately, because they did not receive the imprimatur of the UNSC and/or they consisted solely of the 'coalition of the willing', they were all illegal in International law.

    • The you tube above on Clinton has other very important segments 1/ 'Putin laughs in the face of a reporter'. When the reporter suggested the US supplied anti missile defences in Europe were against the Iranian threat. Very funny. And 2/ Putin tells everyone exactly who created ISIS. Very true.

    • Annie you think Clinton upbraiding Iran is bad, here she is Threatening both Russia and China.

      Clinton.."I don't think Russia or China are paying any price at all 'nothing at all' for standing up on behalf of the Assad regime, the only way that will change is if every nation represented here directly and urgently makes it clear that Russia and China will pay a price"
      War with Russia and China, could there be a greater danger to civilization than a President Hillary Clinton?

    • She must get her talking point from Natenyahu, it is prepostrous to equate ISIS with Hamas, rather like Bush saying Saddam was a supporter of AlQaeda when in fact they were mortal enemies. What is important for Clinton is to get a sufficient number of uninformed Americans to believe this garbage. She may succeed.

    • Clinton, "In September I laid out a comprehensive plan to counter Iranian influence across the region and its support for terrorist proxies such as Hezbollah and Hamas". Of course the way she wants to counter them is to have proxy forces like the Free Syrian Army and AlQaeda fighting those influences on America's behalf. Unfortunately for Hillary, the Russians and Iranians got there first, legally [invited by the Syrian government] and are in the process of smashing the 'good ' and 'bad' US terrorist proxy forces. She like McCain probably wants to arm the "moderate" terrorists with stinger missiles see link to sputniknews.com Here again the FSA [if they exist and are probably rarer than unicorns] sell US weapons and generally cooperate with not so moderate groups, [this is a proven fact]. The bottom line is the so called 'arc of extremism' Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, Iraq and now Russia are winning hands down, and the US does not know what to do. What Hillary and other warmongers omit to mention are that those stinger missiles and other weapons like the TOW anti tank missiles supplied to so called moderates will inevitably fall into more extremists hands, in that case US and Israeli civilian aircraft will have to steer clear of the middle east.

  • ISIS as a fascist movement
    • DaBakr, The reason I called him a traitor is because he wants to arm terrorists in Syria, no, there are no 'good' terrorists and 'bad' terrorists, they are all the same, and when blow back occurs and when US civilian and Israeli aircraft are blown out of the sky by the stinger missiles your hero John McCain wants to supply to terrorists in Syria, you may sing a different tune.

    • He may well have sang like one.

    • That's right RoHa, McCain is known to have sung like a canary when given special privileges at the Hanoi Hilton. Not calling him a coward of course, I probably would have done the same thing myself, only difference is, I don't call myself, or let others call me 'a war hero'. It is a good job the US passenger airline industry is only a small provincial and internal affair, no chance of them being blown out of the sky in the middle east by one of the groups McCain wants to supply stingers to, absolutely no chance.

    • The US has been supporting so called "moderate' terrorists in Syria for years, the Free Syrian Army are also Islamist extremists who co operate and sell arms to other not so moderate terrorists, the person who ate the heart/liver of a Syrian soldier was FSA. John McCain wants to arm them with stinger missiles
      WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Media reported earlier in October that Syrian rebels asked Washington for Stinger missiles to use them against Russia’s military jets.

      “Absolutely… Absolutely I would,” McCain said when asked whether he would support the delivery of Stinger missiles to the opposition in Syria.

      “We certainly did that in Afghanistan. After the Russians invaded Afghanistan, we provided them with surface-to-air capability. It’d be nice to give people that we train and equip and send them to fight the ability to defend themselves. That’s one of the fundamental principles of warfare as I understand it,” McCain said. link to sputniknews.com What if those stingers permanently closed down Ben Gurion airport or other airports in the Arab world? McCain is delusional, he should be arrested as a traitor.

    • Muslims of whatever sect, Christians and Jews in fact any religion or secular group that does not follow the Islamic States ideology are apostates deserving death. The Wahhabi ideology which Saudi Arabia has been exporting all over the world is closest to the thinking of these fanatics. They are not open to negotiation, they will not compromise, they have to be defeated, thankfully Putin is doing what the US has manifestly refused to do for several years [for geopolitical reasons i.e, regime change] .
      Many thanks JLD for linking 'Devil's game', sounds like a must read.

  • Actions planned to protest Netanyahu's visit to Washington
  • Obama administration will do nothing for Palestinians through end of term
    • In that photo Netanyahu is telling Clinton the size of the lies he has been telling Obama. Clinton's smile is acknowledging that when after his first meeting with Bibi he remarked privately "Who the fuck does he think he is? Who's the fucking superpower here?" Obviously Netanyahu is.link to slate.com

    • Winning the US election is the great prize, that is why the lobby cultivate a bi partisan approach to both Parties, and why there is 100% Congressional support for Israel. If individual Congress members take a critical approach to Israel, they know their opponent at the next election will be heavily sponsored by the lobby. That's the way the system works "money money money, its a rich mans world".

  • 'Netanyahu destroyed hope' -- Erekat
    • The Palestinian leadership has been too credulous over the past 20 years, how else to explain the expansion of settlements every day. These are grave war crimes, in another comment earlier, I gave an analogy whereby a tenant who had agreed to pay his landlord $100 a week, had failed to pay anything for the past 20 years. The question then is who is the fool? The Americans love winners, just one look at Abbas and Erakat [especially in that video] tell the Americans that these two are losers, and big time. One would hope that fellow Arab leaders would back the Palestinians up, but no, the Saudis and other GCC states plus Egypt have practically been in bed with the Israelis these past few years. It is very strange that the true friends of the Palestinians who happen to be Iran, Iraq, Syria and Hezbollah, known as the 'arc of resistance' are people who Abbas would not touch with a barge pole. The 'arc' with the help of the Russians are changing the face of the Middle East, this is what the Israelis are afraid of [with justification]. A strong Iran, bolstered by the lifting of sanctions, able and very willing to supply weapons and financing to its allies in Syria and Lebanon. All aimed at Israel.

  • Netanyahu's craziness is calculated, to drive out Palestinians
    • "Why don't people see this?" is a good question, and it is possible a fair number of people not familiar with the Zionist project might be taken in by the false words of Netanyahu when he said he wants a two state solution and negotiations toward that aim without preconditions. The US/EU cynically go along with this reasoning knowing it to be false, but afraid to take the logical measures necessary to stop it. To my mind the PA know what Zionism is all about, that fact has been beaten into them since 1948, It beggars belief that they cannot see, especially since Oslo, that the Israelis only goal is a greater Israel with as few Palestinians as possible. Oslo gave them the time to increase the settler population, when in fact the first settlement to be built in the West Bank [a war crime in itself] after the signing of the Accord should have been the occasion to say, If Israel builds another settlement, the Oslo accords were null and void. Because that didn't happen the PA should not be surprised there are now more than half a million settlers in their land. The PA should seriously consider using the PA security forces to defend Palestinians, instead of a force to facilitate the protection and expansion of the illegal settlements.

  • 'Can we not sacrifice ourselves?': Thoughts from the intifada
    • “No dumb bastard ever won a war by going out and dying for his country. He won it by making some other dumb bastard die for his country.” General George S.Patton.

  • Israel wants $5 billion a year in military aid from the US
    • Gary Brecher 'The war nerd' published an article some years ago 'This is how the carriers will die'
      link to exiledonline.com A very good and witty description of how vulnerable they are to missile fire. As RoHa argues below could this be the reason the US withdrew their carrier from the Gulf?

    • With the US congress yo yos 100% in the Israeli camp, why don't the Israelis ask for 20 bIllion dollars per year, no, make that 30 billion? Is Congress going to deny Israel the right to defend herself?

    • Israel wants an aircraft carrier as part of the aid package. Only one? Presumably with all the support craft that go with it. link to middleeastmonitor.com

  • Bloomberg's int'l editor to host event on 'incredible courage' of Israeli soldiers (including Netanyahu)
    • " No Mission Is Impossible", The 2006 war in Lebanon was, then the Israeli Army found it impossible to reach its objective, the Litani River this operation involved a tripling of Israeli forces inside Lebanon and aimed at encircling Hizbullah forces in south Lebanon. The plan was to advance westwards along the Litani River from the Galilee Panhandle, combined with helicopter landings behind enemy lines, intended to be the largest in IDF history, and simultaneous advances northwards in the central sector and along the Mediterranean coast. The plan was to follow up the offensive by several weeks of mopping-up operations in the surrounded territories, eliminating Hizbullah infrastructure, especially in the launching areas of Katyusha rockets.

      The offensive was called off halfway due to heavy casualties.[10] At least 33 Israeli officers and soldiers were killed and over 400 were wounded, an Israeli Air Force (IAF) helicopter was shot down and scores of Israeli tanks were damaged. The IDF never reached the Litani river and failed to surround Hizbullah forces in South Lebanon. Instead the Israeli government on August 13, accepted a ceasefire in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1701".
      Which goes to prove Winston Churchill was correct, "A lie gets halfway round the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on"

  • Anniversary of Rabin assassination is marked by incitement
    • a blah chick, The only way there can be a 'Jewish state', and for that state to be a democracy is for a two state solution based on the 67 borders [with slight negotiated land swaps]. That way a state within the borders declared by them in 1948 would ensure a Jewish majority in that area for the foreseeable future, with equal rights for any minorities within that state. It would not need to be called 'The Jewish state' but its demography would be. But it would appear that this, to my mind sensible solution is rejected by the Greater Israel zealots. In that case Peres description of never ending war, and his acknowledgement that the other side also have swords [and in the future may have more of them] may come to pass.

    • Ex President Peres in an interview with AP on Monday said some very interesting things ,
      “The alternative to two states is a continued war and nobody can maintain a war forever. If you say we should live on our sword don’t forget that there are other swords as well,” he said.

      “Better to have a Jewish state on part of the land than have the whole land without the Jewish state,” he said. “Israel should implement the two-state solution for her own sake because if we should lose our majority, and today we are almost equal, we cannot remain a Jewish state or a democratic state.

      “That’s the main issue, and to my regret they (the government) do the opposite.” link to timesofisrael.com
      Never thought I would agree with Peres

  • Park Slope Food Coop censors letters on BDS
    • Kalithea, This is a double edged sword, with a little creativity protesters in France for instance could easily circumvent any legal ban on criticism of Israel. What about this as a poster. "If you 'think' Israel is a racist state and practices apartheid, and ignores International law with impunity, Do not boycott Israeli goods or even advocate doing so, OR THE STATE WILL PUT YOU IN JAIL. Unless they can put you in jail for what you think.

    • "It’s not unusual, she said, for an editor to spend 15 to 20 hours just on BDS-related letters for a given issue of the paper, trying to avoid publication of slanderous or libelous statements and hate speech." There we have it, what is hate speech? Maybe criticism of Israel, as per French legislation and US State dept. I have never been a moderator,but I would have thought slanderous and libelous speech would not be too hard to weed out, leaving hate speech, am I right Mondo mods?

  • Three new checkpoints lock down an East Jerusalem neighborhood
    • Amazon are selling IDF costumes buy yours now. here are two customer reviews ..

      Question:
      Is this a fairly authentic replication of the actual uniforms worn by the men and women who are protecting civilization from 7th century barbarians?
      Answer:
      Yes, in fact, this costume comes with its own Palestinian, where-by he/she can practice torture, excessive force, racism, and the like while trying to dehumanize the Palestinian and steal his/her land.

      Question:
      If my child wears this can he then murder Palestinian children with impunity?
      Answer:
      I've been to Westbank.
      San Francisco or Oakland is more dangerous!
      link to amazon.com

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