Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 56 (since 2009-08-09 18:44:49)

Helena Cobban

Helena Cobban is the owner of Just World Books. She’s been blogging since 2003 at JustWorldNews.org. Her 1984 book The Palestinian Liberation Organisation: People, Power, and Politics, was published by Cambridge University Press and is still in print. Her early-1990 study “The PLO and the Intifada” was published in The Middle East Journal (Spring 1990).

Website: http://justworldnews.org

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  • NY Times profile of Gazan long distance runner reveals reality of occupation
    • Ira, the 'Times" aren't a-changing very much at all, at all. Jodi Rudoren takes her "courage" in her hands and travels to *Beit Hannoun* in the far northern end of the Gaza Strip to write about-- marathon runners. She makes no mention at all of the very numerous Gaza-Palestinian students, academics, writers, business people, and plain ol' family members whose desire to travel to and from the Strip has been completely stymied by the system of control maintained by the Israeli military over all passage of people or goods into or out of the Strip.

      And she includes this mendacious and demeaning "description" of the Strip:

      Hamas imposes strict religious rules on Gaza, a dense and dirty patchwork of dilapidated shacks and concrete apartment blocks, and its 1.7 million residents bear with economic isolation, daily power blackouts and occasional Israeli airstrikes.

      Wow, amazing! The "economic isolation", "daily power blackouts" etc have no author. According to her, they just happened! (Or possibly, by implication reading her text, they are the result of Hamas's allegedly "strict religious rules"?) And the only Israeli military activity is "occasional Israeli airstrikes"?

      This is truly misleading and inaccurate as a description of the current situation inside Gaza. (Also, had she traveled a bit further into the Strip than Beit Hannoun, she could have seen lovely market garden, orchards, occasional playgrounds, etc. ..)

      Ms. Rudoren, we're coming up to the 47th anniversary of Israel's military occupation of Gaza, the West Bank (including E. Jerusalem), and the Golan. When will you get your head around the fact that this situation of generations-long military occupation is, as a whole, something that needs to be clearly identified and, by any lovers of freedom and human dignity anywhere, robustly opposed??

  • Liberal schizophrenia and moral myopia: On Ari Shavit's 'My Promised Land'
    • Great work, Alex! The work of dismantling the foundation myths of "liberal Zionism" will be long and hard; but you make a super contribution to it here.

      Like many reviewers of Shavit's book, you note the conclusion he articulates re the Lydda massacre... namely that "the dirty, filthy work [of massacre and expulsion there] ... enables my people, myself, my daughter, and my sons to live.” You're quite right to note that this denotes a truly zero-sum-game, "it's either us or them" view of the relationship toward Palestinians. But what also needs to be underlined, I think, is the sheer hyperbole (and cloying sentimentalism) of what he writes there. The doings of the Zionist colonizers did not "enable" his people, himself, or his daughter and sons to live. His "people", including his parents, he himself, and his children, have always-- since the end of the Holocaust; that is, since before 1948-- had robust and satisfying ways to live that did not involve participation in the Zionist project of colonialism, ethnic cleansing, and endless violence. Of the Jews who've lived outside historic Palestine since 1945, far fewer of them have been killed or maimed in acts of violence than the proportion of Jews who went to Palestine and participated in the Zionist project there. Jewish life in the Diaspora is rich and satisfying. If Shavit's parents had not gone to (been in?) Palestine in 1948, he could have grown up and lived a very satisfying life as a Jew almost anywhere else, and undertaken religious pilgrimages to Jewish holy sites in Palestine as and when he pleased... Ditto, his children.

      Really, his hyperbole there needs to be strongly called out!

  • By 2035, Jewish population in Israel/Palestine is projected at 46 percent
    • This 'counting' of Jews-vs-Palestinians who live in the area of Mandate Palestine is at one level a complete diversion and at another directly misleading. The government of Israel has controlled this whole territory for nearly 44 years, including crucially it has controlled who can enter or reside in not just 1948 Israel but also the OPTs. It has used this power to actively exclude not just all Palestinians who were outside this area as of June 5, 1967 but also HUGE numbers of Palestinians who were in it as of 1967 but later left "temporarily" for job or educational opportunities elsewhere-- primarily in the Gulf-- that were completely DENIED to them inside the OPTs. Tight Israeli regs have excluded HUGE numbers of Palestinians who were resident there before 1967 (and their descendants), along with all the Palestinian refugees from e.g. East Bank Jordan who prior to 1967 could at least visit or perhaps even move to some spot in historic Palestine.... Bottom line, this obsessive 'counting' of the ethnicity of the people west of the Jordan River completely ignores not only the rights/existence of the large majority of Palestinians currently forced to live outside their homeland but also the fact that the "administrative" ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from the OPTs continues to this day. These facts need to be highlighted whenever anyone gets into the "counting the people west of the river" game...

  • Unravelling the false history of the Iranian nuclear program: An excerpt from 'Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare'
    • New Yorkers! Please note that Gareth will be discussing this very timely book at two events in New York this week:

      * Tues., February 18 (tomorrow!), 10:30 am - Noon. At the "Church Center" across from the U.N. Details are here.
      * Thurs., February 20, 7:00 - 9:00 pm. At Bluestockings Bookstore, 172 Allen St, in Manhattan's NoLita neighborhood.

  • Surviving anti-Semitism smear, Walt and Mearsheimer seem to have influence in high places
    • Phil, I really do think it's a problem when you write about John M: "I found his article most moving on the human costs of the disastrous wars in Afghanistan and Iraq"... and then proceed to quote only what John writes about the costs to Americans. Right, I know that Americans (of whom I am one) are humans... but we are by no means ALL of humanity! In fact, we are < 5% of humanity! And the human costs of the United States' wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to Iraqis and Afghanis have been many, many times higher, per-capita and even just in raw numbers, than the human costs to Americans. Pus, the US invasions of their countries has effectively destroyed most of whatever physical and social infrastructure they both had prior to the invasions. So please don't ever represent the "human" costs of wars as applying only to Americans.... Bad enough, the effects those wars/invasions had on U.S. families. But 1,000 times worse, the effects they had on our brothers and sisters in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  • Jewish groups used anti-semitism smear to try to stop boycott debate -- Holocaust scholar who heads MLA
    • Hey, Phil! Nice piece. But please don't forget the freedom to travel to and from GAZA.... and indeed, freedom to travel between the West Bank and Gaza, and even around and within the West Bank itself (which also includes occupied east Jerusalem.)

      By the way, people who want to see the archived video of the hour-long Hangout we held last week with five young writers from Gaza, can do so here.

  • 'Scarlett letter' -- Social media pillory Johansson for representing settlement business SodaStream
  • Eric Alterman declines request to debate Max Blumenthal at Brooklyn College
    • It's very unclear what Yonah means to convey with the "Dennis the Menace" reference. Maybe, a little boy who creates trouble for all around him? (Oh, trying to demean him by comparing him to a child, there, are we Yonah?)

      Otoh, if we expand the analogy to think of the boy who was brave enough to call out in public that "The [Zionist] Emperor Has No Clothes!", then I think Max and all of his friends should totally embrace it! Yes, I am that kind of a "child", too!

  • Reactions to Ariel Sharon's death over social media (Updated)
    • I mean, I knew the guy was physically large but this breaks all records in Israel's longstanding policy of implanting necro-colonial settlements inside Palestine. (Anyone seen the Mount of Olives recently?)

  • Ariel Sharon, whose political career was unhindered by civilian massacres, dies at 85
    • Someone could do a real service by writing a roundup of WORLD media coverage of Sharon's death-- including, of course, reactions from some of the survivors of his many massacres. Of course it is interesting and instructive to see (once again) the cravenly pro-Zionist hypocrisy of much of the US MSM. But this is not new. I think that what discerning US citizens need to see more than anything is the huge *contrast *between the pro-Zionist pap that their (our) own dominant media feeds us with and the way the other 95% of humanity thinks about these issues...

  • Israeli champion of 'tolerance and multiculturalism' suggests medal of honor for army torturer
  • In 'intractable conflict,' Israel must periodically and forcefully 'mow the grass'
    • The latest Inbar/Shamir paper is particularly timely given the fast-approaching (Dec 27th) fifth anniversary of the start of Operation Cast Lead (one of its four 'case studies'), and provides helpful background as we all ponder the 'meaning' of that terrible, 23-day-long Israel assault on the people and infrastructure of the Gaza Strip.

  • Narrative stronger than weapons: the 23 short stories in 'Gaza Writes Back'
    • Annie: Huge thanks for this! As Refaat says in the book's Acknowledgments page, your contribution to the project was enormous!!

      By the way, everyone should know that the excerpt Annie used above was used by permission. Anyone else seeking to use substantial xcerpts from the book should get prior written permission from JWB, as the managers of the copyright for the work.

      Dr. Hatim and other friends-- one thing we're planning with some good friends, for January 16th, is a worldwide Google Hangout that will involve Refaat Alareer, some of the writers who are currently outside and (power situation permitting) inside the Gaza Strip, and people who want to join a discussion about the book from around the world! Stay tuned for more details about this!

      One thing we're currently trying to figure is: What is the best time of day for this? Should we optimize it for participants in the Middle East, the USA east coast, USA west coast, or East Asia (where Refaat currently is)? Any input on this would be much welcomed.

      Another thing we're thinking is it would be great for people to have little "Google Hangout Parties" in their homes, in cafes, or in other meeting spots, so they can participate as a group in this great discussion, rather than everyone just looking into her/his own computer... As I said, stay tuned, especially via the Just World Books Facebook page and the book's own rapidly developing website.

  • Israel shouldn't rely on Obama's word, says chair of (US) Center for National Interest
    • 'National interest'... what 'national interest'?? Maurice (Hank) Greenberg was the man at the helm of AIG, the out-of-control "insurance" (actually, big-league financial gambling) outfit at the time that it almost caused the whole US and western economic system to crash back in 2008, destroying the savings of millions of lower and middle income US citizens and making hundreds of thousands of them actually homeless. The guy should have been tried for numerous financial crimes at the time... Instead of which he got a tiny slap on the wrist and is now back rebuilding another version of his previous shady financial empire. He's not totally home and free criminal prosecution-wise yet, however..

      I think this info is VERY relevant to any discussion of whether he's qualified to speak to anything to do with the US "national interest". See e.g. link to online.wsj.com and link to reuters.com

  • 'It's 3 am, in the cattle cage' -- Susan Abulhawa publishes first book of poetry
  • Palestinian women seeking to exercise in neighboring Israeli town are told to get lost
    • What is the basis for this apparently racist comment about the Israeli-Palestinian women walkers in Aviv Engler's commentary: "they dare to do what they cannot do within the Arab community – to take care of themselves for a change." ???

  • National Security Agency gives data on Americans to the Israeli government
  • Israeli activists hit signs that segregate and promote fear of Palestinians
    • Except that the English translation on the signs of amakin filastiniyya is wrong. These are not 'Palestinian settlements'. They are 'Palestinian places.' Inded the whole area on which these signs are erected is Palestinian... Why don't they say simply, 'You are welcome in our country, Palestine'??

  • Israeli who works in DC and attends Brandeis lectures Mohammed Assaf, 'we're stuck together and not going anywhere'
    • Great piece, Annie!

      Plus, Odenheimer was an IDF veteran before he went to a college in the U.S. Maybe he should talk some about what he did in the Israeli Occupation Military to help build peace, mutual recognition, etc etc.

      It says a lot about the ATFP that they have this patronizing, tone-deaf, and privileged young man as an intern there...

  • We scoop the New York Times and Washington Post and publish-- a recipe for Ramadan (Circassian Chicken)
    • Or of course you could check out all the fab recipes in Laila El-Haddad and Maggie Schmitt's great Gaza Kitchen cookbook. It's in English. It's published here in Virginia, USA. Laila lives and is celebrating Ramadan with her family in Maryland... Phil, you don't need to go to Europe for great recipes!

  • Shrewdly positioned as Syrian interventionist, Samantha Power has neocon backing
  • Why so shy, Lieutenant T?
  • Egyptian protesters' axis of interference
    • Phil, I think Issandr's pieces at the Arabist and in the National were far more nuanced than the way you characterize them. He writes about how, in addition to making several bad moves of its own, the Morsi government has been the target of a sustained and often vicious campaign of delegitimization. Not that simply it "has now lost legitimacy."

  • US and Israel are accused of manipulating Hague to acquit accused Serb and Croat leaders
    • Ah, right, Meron's at ICTY not the ICC. Much of my earlier critique still stands, though. In particular, my critique of the idea that allegedly 'international' tribunals (or any tribunals, in any jurisdiction) can deliver a 'pure', totally unpoliticized form of justice... Plus, my critique of all these international tribunals formed during the years of 'western' dominance of the world system which somehow, mysteriously, never have the many and continuing crimes committed by western and pro-western governments (including Israel), on their docket... There is no equality of nations or responsibilities before the bar of 'international' criminal justice; and absent far-reaching reforms in the world's governance system it is illusory to imagine that there could be.

    • Actually, to be correct, in Sept 1967 he was the legal advisor to the Israeli Foreign Ministry, and offered this judgment regarding the illegality of Israeli settlements in occupied territories: link to scribd.com.

      Interestingly, in many more recent biographies of Judge Meron, his earlier service to the state of Israel has been completely expunged.

    • Some very interesting aspects to this issue:

      (1) Neither the United States nor Israel is actually a 'state party' to the ICC. It is outrageous, therefore, that the Assembly of States Party appointed an Israeli-US jurist to be the president of the court. They were kowtowing, to try to win U.S. support for the court.

      (2) Though the U.S. is NOT a party to the Rome Statute (and therefore, handily, its officials are not subject to the jurisdiction of the ICC!), it has nonetheless tried over a course of many years now to USE the Hague court in furtherance of its own imperial policies in various parts of the world.

      (3) Ted Meron himself is a fascinating figure. He was the chief legal counsel of the IDF in 1967-68 (!) But in that period he actually issued an advisory ruling to the IDF, as the occupying power in the OPT's, that the implantation of Israeli settlements in the OPTs was contrary to international law... Regardless of that ruling, the fact that a previous chief legal officer of the IDF was appointed not just a judge but also president of all the judges on the ICC speaks to the extreme political/juridical bankruptcy of the ICC as a 'world' body. (The illusion of all the ICC advocates/supporters in the western liberal glitterati, that any court anywhere could be completely a-political and 'pure' is surely unrobed by that fact?)

  • 'Palestine Through Graphics': Program teaches Palestinian youth to tell their story through graphic novels
  • Updated: Report: Obama will travel to Israel
    • In re Harry above, I've been arguing since Obama got re-elected that he should visit Jerusalem, as such, and indeed make TWO distinct visits there: One to a significant Israeli place in West Jerusalem and the other to Orient House in East Jerusalem. He should make clear ahead of time that he'll only go to West Jerusalem if it is understood that the visit to East Jerusalem will be conducted only under Palestinian auspices. Plus, in both places, he should speak clearly about the need for the conflict to be resolved on the basis of international law.

      Are these legitimate demands to make of him? You bet! How could any decent person argue against any of them?

      Certainly, if he were to do this, it could be a game-changer on the order of Sadat's visit to Jerusalem in 1977. (Sadat, as I recall, also insisted on visiting occupied East Jerusalem in addition to the Knesset-- in his case, it was the Dome of the Rock, and Al-Aqsa.)

      Anyway, for my whole argument on this point, check out the archived video of the Pal. Ctr's annual conference on Nov. 9.

  • Broadwell scandal not the first time Petraeus was sloppy with email -- in 2010 he leaked his own emails scheming with neocon Max Boot
  • Exile and the prophetic: 'israel'
    • Marc, I am very upset by the casual breeziness of your reference here to the ongoing crisis between Turkey and Syria, and inside both countries (especially Syria.) This crisis has already left somewhere around 20,000 Syrians dead and many thousands more gravely wounded-- with many of these casualties caused by the hands of the "opposition", as well as those caused by the Syrian government and its allies. This crisis and the attendant foreign "interventions" have also, like the earlier west-backed "interventions" in Mozambique, Nicaragua, etc, left hundreds of thousands of residents of the targeted country displaced either within or outside their country, and have wrecked a substantial proportion of the country's basic, life-sustaining infrastructure.

      Our country has major culpability in this situation, Marc. Do not evade that fact.

      What do you mean, therefore, by your glib reference to Syria and Turkey as "mixing it up"? Marc, there is a possibility of deeper, considerably escalated warfare between these two countries, and your language there is too glib by far.

      Also, when you say, "No question that the Syrian government is collapsing"-- what is the evidentiary basis on which you build this abrupt conclusion? People in the west have been "predicting" the imminent collapse of the current Syrian government for >18 months now. Syria is NOT, as you claim, "already the next Libya." Luckily, in Syria's case, major portions of the power elites in the NATO powers (including Turkey) have already realized that the idea of using military means-- in addition to the extremely long-drawn-out and actually very damaging imposition of sanctions by the US and its allies-- may be counter-productive for them. So we in the 'west' still have a good chance to avert NATO military action.

      Words are powerful tools, Marc. I hope that in the case of a deeply tragic situation like the current one in Syria you might try to deploy yours in a way that is a lot more considered and more compassionate than the way you do here?

  • Jingoism: 'those Muslims are so primitive they killed our ambassador over a movie'
    • Um, Phil, you know how much I admire the vast majority of your work. But the last portion of your PS here doesn't make any sense: "I supported [the US "intervention", = acts of war, in Libya]; and don't regret that support; and sense that there's pro-American feeling in Libya on that basis."

      You "sense" that there's pro-American feeling in Libya? Since when was that a scientific method? Also, you "sense" this on the basis that you supported the US war there last year? One of your weakest sets of arguments ever, I'm afraid...

  • Romney's racist bundler: J. Philip Rosen believes Palestinian society is 'pathological'
  • IDF fiction in 'New Yorker' portrays Palestinian demonstrators begging soldiers to shoot them so as to get into papers
    • No, this is ways than Golda. She claimed that the Palestinians somehow 'forced' the Israeli soldiers to shoot them. (It was never specified how this force was exerted... ) Now, this guy claims that the Palestinians strongly 'desire' to be shot, and the Israeli soldier gives in to their desire-- and this is an example of her 'compassion'.

      Lying disinfo and BS. I can't imagine why Remnick published it. His decision to do should be strongly criticized!

  • Miko Peled in NYC, June 18; in DC June 20-24
    • Ned, Miko grew up in W. Jerusalem, which was (and remains) THE most thoroughly ethnically cleansed of all the urban areas that came under Israeli rule in 1948. Jewish Israelis from Haifa or the Galilee would have had more contacts with the remnants of the Palestinian population in Israel-- though as in the old US South, this would have been mainly in service or other subservient capacities...

  • City Council bill introduced to rein in 'out of control' NYPD abuses
    • I think it's great that this movement is arising and active in NYC, and that Muslim Americans and Arab-Americans are part of it. In earlier times, Arab-Americans were generally glad to come under the US racial classification of "White" or "Caucasian" (whatever "Caucasian" actually means???) But for the younger generation, it seems fairly clear that the "White" world is going to treat them like people of color... so getting into coalition with all the country's other peoples of color (and "White" allies) seems like a very smart thing to do.

      I am also fascinated with this concept of "Desi", which is a cultural identification used by people from both India and Pakistan, that celebrates the many, many threads of their common culture regardless of religious or "national" differences. I wish there were some similar unifying cultural concept that Arabs and Jews in the Middle East could draw on and use. For mizrachi Jews, there certainly is (as shown in the work of Ella Shohat, etc). But for Indians and Pakistanis-- especially perhaps those living in the west-- the concept of Desi culture is extremely powerful, and unifying. And it defies all that divide-and-rule that the Brits used so skillfully in "British" India, for so long.

  • Turkish harbormaster let 11 of us sail (and 25 are left behind)
  • The night refuge
    • Ashkenazic Jewish Israelis have known for a long time (no surprise here) what an overwhelming proportion of their own number have either hung onto their or their foreparents' passports of origin or, since the fall of the Warsaw Pact/Soviet Union, have been able to go back to Poland, Hungary, etc and renew their family's citizenship in those countries.

      I was blogging about this in 2009, after my conversation with Yossi Alpher about it...

      Which raises some interesting questions. Including (1) the fact that so many Palestinians remain stateless-- i.e. they have zero passports and the protection of zero states in this present, state-dominated world-- while so many Jewish israelis now have two or more?? (2) Israelis love to claim that it's unreasonable for Palestinians to cling to citizenship/property rights from 1, 2, or 3 generations back... But then they themselves are still extremely eager to do so! (3) Among Jewish israelis, it's the Ashkenazis, by and large, who have this privilege and opportunity. Most mizrachim would find it far harder to 'reclaim' the citizenship of their or their foreparents' lands of birth.

      But of course, it is also easy for all Jewish israelis (but not for Palestinians) to immigrate to the U.S...

  • Flotilla massacre all over again? Israel kills 8 Nakba demonstrators at borders
    • Phil, you and everyone should know that (contra what you write in your headline) these events did not take place at Syria's border with Israel. They took place at the disengagement line between the occupied Syrian Golan and unoccupied Syria. Golan is NOOOOOT Israel! (Even though, as with occupied Palestinian East Jerusalem, the Israeli Knesset passed an annexation bill years ago-- i this case, 1981. But that has zero weight under international law.)

  • 'This should only happen in response to genocide' (two leftwingers argue over Libya)
    • Phil, have you ever lived in a country wracked by war? I have. I lived in Lebanon for the first six years of the civil war there, and could tell you so many stories... Bottom line: War is by its nature anti-humanitarian, and any act of warfare that's justified on the grounds that it's being undertaken "for humanitarian reasons" nonetheless ends up inflicting an amount of harm on civilian populations that's greater than what they would have suffered had there been no war.

      There are myriad other ways that atrocities can be prevented or, if already underway, suppressed. In the present case, many respected leaders from African Union countries, Turkey, etc were, after the passage of UNSCR 1970, actively preparing urgent missions to negotiate a peaceful resolution between Qadhdhafi and the Libyan insurrectionaries that would, presumably, have included the introduction of monitors and other measures to ensure no further atrocities would be committed by either side. (And both sides have committed them.) But the western countries "intervened" with enormous haste to launch acts of war instead.

      War is also, by its nature, quite unpredictable. How will this one end? We absolutely cannot tell. But it is almost certain that it will not end well for the Libyan people...

      Did you read what I blogged about this Saturday?

      Why could you not have have supported concerted action by non-Libyan governments to help Libya's people resolve their own differences through peaceful means? I truly can't understand how you imagine the military attacks by western nations has any chance of making things better.

  • ‘Light a Candle for Gaza’ –the rabbis’ piece the Washington Post refused to publish without major changes
    • Thanks to MJ for finding the New York mag piece on Breindel! This is deep inside it, from the account of Breindel's time at Harvard: "He was mysterious," says classmate Philip Weiss, who writes for the New York Observer. "He was sophisticated, he had a private life, he had girlfriends. And he had people who loved him. There were many people who were fiercely attached to him."

      Hey, Phil, we think you're sophisticated! You have people who love you, and are fiercely attached to you!

  • Resolved: Noah Feldman should be open about his views on the two-state solution
    • Noah Feldman, aged about 13 years old, got to write and impose a whole new constitution for occupied Iraq! He must ipso facto be a brilliant guy, right? (not.)

      And look at the guy's ridiculous, childish bragging as reported in the description of the Minow/Su/Feldman discussion linked to in the main post here: "there are established forms of legal thought that are not accessible to general reasoning." Gimme a break!

  • I bring a guide to the Middle East
    • Phil, your "some of the people here must be the children of refugees..." Well, duh. First of all, "children of refugees" are themselves refugees. And their children, and their children's children. People don't lose their claim to place, home, or nationality by being forced to be born away from them. Second, a majority of Jordanians are Palestinians-- a majority of the people you meet are probably Palestinians. Talk to them. Ask them their family stories? Even if your Arabic is not so hot, for the majority of them their English is probably pretty good. Tell us much more about them.

  • Artist who lost eye to IDF sings, Palestinians are experiencing a holocaust
  • Supporting Iraq war was, and apparently still is, a good career move
  • Cartoonists get the story, even if MSM is muzzled
    • Hey don't forget Tom Toles in the WaPo, including today, and archived... and of course the matchless Ann Telnaes.

      I think the fact that so many of the cartoonists "get" it is really significant at the level of the general culture. (Thank G-d Herb Block retired a few yrs ago.)

  • Steven Cook of CFR works overtime to make sure US shares Israel's new enmity to Turkey
  • Under his breath, Richard Cohen whispers, 'Israel, beware'
    • Phil, I think going "crazy" is the wrong word to describe what Israel's assault on Gaza did to Erdogan (and others.) A sudden breakthrough to sanity and real clarity and understanding would be more like it?

      (Also, not kind to people with mental impairments.)

  • Inside the Lawfare Project: Netanyahu's attack on human rights NGO's comes to the US
  • Tom Friedman oversaw NYT's purchase of J'lem house with Nakba legacy
  • Joe Lieberman doesn't answer the only question
    • Interesting. I deeply admire Amira.

      But let's look at some more asymmetries here. When will we see a reporter from a Palestinian newspaper getting to ask the first question at a news conference given in Israel by a high-ranking Palestinian-American Senator?

  • Oberlin students protest Benny Morris appearance Wednesday
    • No, Potsherd, if you read Ilan Pappe it's clear the ethnic cleansing started in November '47-- right after the passage of the partition resolution but before the end of the Mandate; and that it included ethnic cleansing actions in areas the partition resn designated for the Arab state in Palestine. It was deliberate from the get-go and from long before the 'war' actually started at all.

  • The leopard cannot change its spots. But the dessert--
    • Hey, quit messing with my heritage, will you?

      When i was at an English boarding school we had 'spotted dick' and 'boiled baby' as desserts. Both were steamed suet puddings. SD had currants (or 'sultanas', ha!) in it; BB had generic bright red jam that would come pouring out as you cut into the pallid, grey-colored suet pudding.

      Wonderfully descriptive names.

      And for breakfast there was a porridge that the girls used to call "boiled STs." (Don't even ask, if you don't know what that stands for.)

  • Imagine the 'Times' leaving out deaths of Schwerner, Chaney and Goodman in a story on Mississippi protests!
    • Bronner also 'reports' this: “Rioters hurl rocks, Molotov cocktails and burning tires at defense forces and the security fence,” the military said in a statement when asked why it had taken to arresting village leaders in the middle of the night ... but he makes ZERO atempt to authenticate that claim.

      I've been at Bil'in, and seen Palestinian boys and youths throwing stones, sometimes with slingshots. I've never seen either 'rocks', Molotovs, or burning tires being thrown. Don't you think if they had ever been thrown, the IOF would have video footage to prove it?

      Bronner really needs to start acting as (fact-sensitive) reporter, rather than just a govt stenographer.

  • Joel Kovel on Naomi Klein and Durban
    • On the role that the Z=R debate has played in interntional politics, I find it really helpful to remember that the concept of "race" (and thus by extensionalso "racism") is constructed quite differently in the US than in other English-speaking countries. In the US, "race" is function almost wholly of skin color-- no doubt because the US's historical issues regarding complexion-based discrimination, mass enslavement, etc. In all or nearly all other English-speaking countries, "race" is construed more or less along the lines of nationality or what the Americans call ethnicity". Hence, growing up in England, I certainly thought the French constituted a different "race" than ours.

      The effect of this in international politics is that when some people argue that Zionism is racism, mainly because of the ethnic/religious discrimination inherent in the whole Zionist movement, Americans hearing that say "No! Zionism has nothing to do with skin color, and any suggestion that it does is clearly motivated by anti-Semitism!" ... Back in the heyday of this argument in the 1970s, the international Zionist movement hurried to try to prove this by importing lots of black-complected Jews from Ethiopia into Israel and then rolling them out to "prove"-- to Americans-- that Zionism is NOT racist...

      So in any discussion of this issue, it is always helpful to take a step back and ask people who're arguing one side or the other what it is they think that actually constitutes racism.

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