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Total number of comments: 203 (since 2009-07-31 06:14:34)

homingpigeon

American pilot who flies in Africa and the Mideast; libertarian pacifist; bilingual in Arabic, studying Hebrew during my second half-century;

Website: http://kelseyforcongress.com/

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  • Arthur Finkelstein ruined Israel, says Ehud Barak
    • This caught my attention: "There is a difference. Israel never wants to be suckers." I think the word they use is "frayer" which I have seen in Israeli movies. I'm under the impression that doing their best to outwit others while not being outwitted is a concern of many Israelis.

  • Karmah Elmusa rocks Elle Magazine
    • It has come to my attention that there is an unfortunate stream of thought in certain segments of the peace and justice community that the Liberty incident is not worthy of mention, and one can get badly dissed for doing so. It seems to be based on the notion that these were just imperialist tools anyway and deserved whatever fate came their way, be it deliberate or accidental. And as some militarist and nativist types and anti-Semites have taken up the cause of the Liberty, decent people should not. I have found myself arguing for empathy for the predicament of the sailors on a Palestine Solidarity site against some infantile leftists.

    • This article really did crank up the hasbara machine. Here's a link to the confessions of a hasbarist: http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=703_1395673895 This article got about 20 hasbarist comments before getting the first supportive one. What I notice is that what they lack in sophistication of argument is made up for with the sheer volume of barrage. There are several people who come across as having a compulsive disorder, spending what must be the entire day watching the site to pounce on any supportive comment. I checked the profiles, and some are real people and some really do look like fake individuals who exist only to carry out this sort of work.

    • Page: 2
  • Roundtable on the Palestinian solidarity movement and Alison Weir
    • Has anyone else noticed that no hasbarists have joined the discussion? Methinks they are sitting back, relaxing, and enjoying the fight.

      I appreciate Alison Weir and also go to JVP events when I can. The quarrel is absurd and this phenomenon is why I stay on the periphery of the issue, limiting myself to organizing for the Libertarians and the ending of state to state foreign aid. All Americans are compelled to support Israel through the blank welfare check. A nation with one tenth of one percent of the world's population commands between one quarter between one quarter and three quarters of the sum, depending on how the numbers are crunched. Can we all agree that this is absurd? Can we at a minimum agree to "BDS" the politicians who insist on ingratiating themselves with AIPAC? ... including Bernie...

    • If I talk to neo-Confederates or Alex Jones or some white cracker about why they shouldn't support the next US war abroad am I guilty of reaching out to the "WhitePeopleMatterMost" crowd?

  • Sanders risks losing left over unprogressive views of Palestine -- Washington Post
    • A similar discussion has happened among libertarians about Rand Paul, with similar excuses as to why dissidents from the system should vote for someone who is effectively sucking them back into supporting it. Like Bernie, Rand also tried to ingratiate himself with AIPAC and like Bernie he also has cranky views about immigrants and supports wars abroad. Fortunately most of those libertarians who supported Rand have dropped him and will be supporting the Libertarian Party presidential candidate. I hope the greens and socialists will also discard Bernie and his shilling for the Democratic Party. We must BDS these two old parties of war and horror. A pox on their houses.

  • Understanding the Partition plan
    • indeed, when you kick someone in the face they should agree not to mess up your boots with their teeth marks.

  • Inside a CUFI Summit: Christian Zionists dance the hora and prepare for end times in Washington DC
    • I agree with this. It is a common mistake for outsiders to try to fit Christian Zionism into the matrix of the theological anti-Semitism of the Inquisition or Luther's Reformation. They are philo-Semitic, and see every blessing and good thing on earth as being channelled through the Jewish people. An illustration of how this is as harmful as anti-semitism in the end is the story of Boer sergeants in the apartheid days when South Africa was at war in Angola and Namibia. Soldiers normally were at the front lines of combat one week out of three, but if a "lucky Jew" was discovered in the ranks, sergeants would draft him to ride along in the combat zone three weeks out of three, in hopes of divine protection. The adoration and support of Israel is the same phenomenon, on a grander scale.

  • 'American Jewish voices are most critical in the world' (to end idea that Jewish lives matter more)
    • "If I had been born Rwandan, I would root for Rwanda, if I had been born Syrian, I would root Syrian. I was born Jewish, so I root Jewish. It is my side against your side. I value my side; you value your side. That’s how war works."

      Primitive tribalism is no fun, especially when it comes to conflict with other tribes. Music, dancing, and cooking, OK, but warfare not so.

      I am a proud race traitor, a de-tribalized, de-racinated defector from the ruling white American male killer class. I seek truth and value justice. Try it, you'll like it.

  • Ambiguity on the Jerusalem train
  • 'National Interest' readers mutiny over Israeli exceptionalist argument
    • I still remember '68 and the articles I read in Reader's Digest, among others, arguing that the US should quickly sell Israel 50 F-4 Phantoms lest the Israelis, who feel so insecure, resort to developing nuclear weapons. All of the presidential candidates fell over themselves and each other promising the sale, until LBJ went ahead with it himself.

  • An open letter to J Street: Let's talk
  • 58 angry, selfish, foolish Jews don't understand: AIPAC speaks for Israel
    • "Mayor de Blasio gave a fairly run-of-the-mill pro-Israel speech. No biggie pretty much anywhere in North America, and certainly not in New York City."

      That's the problem, - "no biggie." Would we think it "no biggie" if the Mayor of New York, the Defense Secretary, the US rep to the UN, and most Democrat and Republican politicians considered it their duty to represent Abkhazia or Paraguay?

  • Kerry’s billions: US economic plans for Palestine place investment over freedom
    • To the extent the US has anything to do with attempting to solve this problem, the first step is an unconditional cutoff of all aid funds, bribes, baksheesh, deferred loans, weapons sales, etc to each and every entity, state, kingdom, authority, government, sultanate, and emirate in the region. A plague on all these regimes and our own.

      Vote Libertarian!

  • 'His eye was not dim' -- Council on Foreign Relations gushes over Sharon
    • A few decades ago on an oil rig in Saudi an Egyptian taught me a colloquial expression, "RaaH lil ma'bara u ba'at sukkara bi Teezu."

      Literally "He went to the cemetery and a sugar lump was found in his ass." The expression is used when someone unpopular with no redeeming characteristics dies. When carried to the cemetery for burial people manage to find something nice to say, finding sugar where the sun doesn't shine.

  • On House floor, Gohmert says Blumenthal is anti-Semitic Jew who'd welcome another Holocaust
    • Beloved Habibis, the scope of BDS in the US is incomplete until we extend the boycott to politicians of both of the parties of Death. Democratic and Republican candidates generally will compete with each other to see who can be most subservient to Israel. And in turn the Lukidnik AIPACers will destroy a politician who is not 101% on board with them. No other issue will count for them. Meanwhile, too many voters from the community of conscience, while understanding the Palestinian case, will vote for Zionist American politicians, playing the game of the "lesser of two evils." At the time of the election they will decide that since both are in the hands of Zionists anyway, they should choose on the basis of other issues. In this way the system is enabled.

      I submit that when we see that these candidates are competing with each other to ingratiate themselves with AIPAC, we MUST reject them both, and vote for a third party. And further we must inform them of that fact.

      My mondo friends who are horrified and bemused by Texans and Baptists might be pleased to know that this son and grandson of Baptist ministers is in Texas preparing a Congressional campaign on the Libertarian ticket against a prominent Republican. The Palestine issue will be prominent. When the time is right I'll come out of the pigeon coop.

  • Mahmoud Abbas: Hero of the anti-boycott forces
    • Those with voting rights in the US apparatus should also do BDS against politicians from the Republican and Democratic parties. When the two candidates from these parties are competing with each other to see who can be most subservient to Israel, we must inform each of them that they have lost our votes and why. Voters who take instructions from AIPAC will destroy the politician who does not toe the line. But too often I see aware people from the community of conscience try to discern the "lesser of two evils" and vote for one of them. They might accept that both are going to be Zionist stooges and just look at the other issues to make a choice between the two. I urge my beloved Habibis to vote Libertarian or Green or other third party or an independent.

  • The woman on the plane
  • Netanyahu's situation room recognizes no West Bank
    • "I must have missed the story you published regarding your outrage that the official hamas logo has an image of all of Israel…"

      Heh, heh, I was just going to say that whenever the hasbarists get outraged at something the Palestinians are doing, or are alleged to be doing, it's usually something the Israelis are doing already - the map in this case.

      Palestine from river to sea, Israel from river to sea. Okay we're in agreement that it is one country. The only thing left to discuss is whether or not there will be equal rights for all citizens - voting rights, property rights, civil rights, and so on.

  • From the Royal Albert Concert Hall to an Israeli Dungeon: Omar Saad, a young violist and conscientious objector
    • I had a Druze explain to me that by collaborating with Israel they were actually holding onto their land successfully.

      Not only is their religion secret from the rest of the world but from most of the Druze themselves. You want to be Druse, you can maybe be one in your next incarnation, and if you want to know the religion you have to wait for the next incarnation after that.

      I did manage to find out that they believe in both reincarnation and in a final Day of Judgement. When that day comes, you will be judged for all your incarnations.

  • Judaisation vs Justice: Israel’s war on the Bedouin proves 1948 settled nothing
    • "The Bedouin protestors, who don’t necessarily consider themselves ‘Palestinian’ "

      You've discussed this with them? In what language?

      But I shouldn't take the bait. People are having their homes bulldozed and you want to switch the discussion to how they identify themselves. We're getting good at recognizing hasbara techniques quickly.

      However you might consider what they necessarily consider themselves, is it proper to bulldoze their dwellings and shift them around against their will? Is this the right thing to do to people who have even served in the IDF?

  • Petition to Hillary assails 'right wing Democrats' who take 'warmonger AIPAC' cash
    • At the end of the day, Democrat and Republican politicians will accept the AIPAC generated funds they need to win their elections. Those that win will pay the piper by increasing the size of the welfare check to Israel.

      The Libertarian Party is the only one committed to ending the whole process whereby agents for a foreign country can finance an American political campaign and receive taxpayer dollars in exchange.

      Call your incumbent Congressperson and the main party opponent and tell each that as long as they are going to compete with each other to show their subservience to Israel, you will vote for neither. Then go vote Libertarian.

  • Israeli soldier discusses killing Palestinian children on Ukrainian game show
    • I hope someone can really track this story down for veracity. I thought it was so weird that it had to be a fake or that she is spinning a tall tale. There seems to be a genre of story becoming popular on the internet these days that goes beyond satire. These stories appear to be horrific and true on first reading. They reinforce the beliefs of many who read them who then go wild commenting. The more viral the story goes the more successful the prank. At some point it is revealed that the story is a hoax and people who took it seriously have egg on their faces. They reveal themselves as gullible and manifesting severe confirmation bias. I can imagine hasbarist pranksters planting wild stories of Israeli atrocities, getting us all worked up as we forward and comment, and then accusing us of spreading false anti-Semitic stories. Discrepancies have been pointed out in this Ukrainian woman's spiel, but I still haven't heard the final word. Any update?

  • In Avnery's 'Battle of the Titans,' will anyone bet that the dog wags the tail?
    • Any disaster is a consequence of several factors operating simultaneously, so I would go with the "both are right" statement. Add the factor of Christian Zionism among others. Having said that, it is clear that when there is a contradiction between the interests of imperialism and the Lobby, the Lobby wins out by a large margin. The Christian Zionists would give precedence to their hallucinations over any corporate interest. Their contribution to the Lobby is possibly greater than that of Jewish Zionists.

      Israeli "contribution" to US imperial interests would be the occasional sharing of intelligence when they are not actually spying on their ally, testing of US war equipment, funneling weapons to odious regimes and movements which our Congress does not wish to support publicly, and so on.

      Beyond that when we examine the fact that a century ago the United States was the most popular western country in the Middle East compared to the present antipathy, there is no way to conclude that Israel has served US interests. The alliance with one tenth of one percent of the world's population has put us in jeopardy with about a quarter of the world's population. During the Cold War many Arab regimes aligned with the Soviet bloc as a consequence of the US alliance with Israel. The main reason the whole Arab World did not fall into the Soviet camp was the fact that the atheism of the Soviet Union was so offensive. (Most Mondoweiss readers probably know that you are safer traveling around the Arab world telling people you are Jewish than that you are athiest).

      On a micro level, when an official not beholden to the Lobby is nominated, that individual will be smashed. The most recent one to be smashed was Chas Freeman, a loyal and shrewd servant of the empire who was close to the Saudi monarchy. His nomination was destroyed by the Lobby and there is no way a case can be made that this was for imperial corporate interests. When a Secretary of State or Defense or Ambassador to the UN is nominated, it is Israel that decides whether or not the nomination is acceptable, not corporate interests. Chuck Hagel and Samantha Powers had to swear their loyalty to Israel, not to ARAMCO to secure their positions.

  • Protest Sunday: The Israeli settler movement is not welcome in New York City!
    • Ayala, welcome to Mondoweiss, but I must warn you that you'll have to deepen your knowledge some if you're going to correct the commentators here. San Remo indeed. How about if some African representatives meet in Mozambique and decide that Peru should be "given" to the gypsies? Do you think people in Peru will calmly accept the conclusions of this conference? Maybe a conference of East Asians in Hong Kong could decide to award me and my fellow Druids all the the land around Stonehenge. When we throw the people presently living there out of their houses I could send them to you to explain the logic and justice of the matter to them.

  • AIPAC's 'unlimited' funds are greatest obstacle to peace, former British foreign sec'y says
    • Yes indeed, when hasbarists explain that Israel is only ten, or eleven, or seven miles wide at Latroun on the '67 lines and therefore is entitled to "widen" that waist lest the Palestinians someday cut Israel in half, not everyone notices that it is Israel that has successfully truncated the two Palestinian areas. I have gradually collated a list of about a dozen things that hasbara accuses the Palestinians of doing or being able to do which are projections of actions that the Israelis have already done themselves.

      "Dharabni wa baka, laHaqni wa ishtaka: he hit me and cried, he chased me and complained."

  • Pro-Israel organization sought to survey US Jews on dual loyalty
    • I have a contrary view about dual loyalty. Dual loyalty is fine. Triple loyalty is even better. Ultimately loyalty should be to truth and justice, as commentators have pointed out, but now we're talking about the treif of tribes and nations.

      The reality is that not only do we Americans include immigrants from so many nations, but Americans have married foreigners and produced children belonging to two cultures. Some of us, though American, have spent formative years abroad and have attachments to those places. So I cannot fault a Jewish American who has an attachment to Israel due to perhaps being born there, for having relatives there, having spent time there, or for believing the skilled hasbarists. After all as an American grew up over there on the Palestinian side of the barbed wire as an accident of history, I am loyal to the people and culture of the girls who babysat me, the kids who taught me to make kites, breed pigeons, and ride the bicycle. And besides the Palestinians I can think of several other peoples, nations, or tribes that I am loyal to.

      The problem is not the matter of loyalty. The problem is that in the current system, the American who is loyal to Israel has the power to influence and suborn the apparatus of the United States government to the service of Israel. Further, such an American compels me to finance Israel though taxes and collude with the murder of my friends. And my loyalty to Palestinians makes me suspect in the eyes of the Washington regime and the dominant culture of America. Palestinian Americans loyal to their heritage are prone to have their background and legal status put under a microscope in a way that doesn't happen to citizens enamored of Israel.

      The challenge is that our system presently allows any well organized group of people who can buy politicians and the media to manipulate the energies of this nation at the behest of a foreign country, and compel all other Americans to support that particular attachment with their wallets, even if not with their hearts.

      A complete and unconditional ending of taxpayer supported foreign aid, an end to foreign intervention, an end to foreign entanglements, and a withdrawal of military forces from overseas would address the matter of suspect "dual loyalty." No one could force a Zionist to support Hamas and no one could be compelled to support Zionism. No one would have to go to war and face a choice between killing cousins or being accused of treason while cranky nativists press the question of "ultimate loyalty."

      By the way, I am also loyal to Israelis and don't want any more of them killed in this horrible Zionist experiment.

      Vote Libertarian!

  • 'Our relationship to Israel causes dead Americans and enormous expense in fighting Muslims' -- Scheuer to Congress
    • Actually I wouldn't go as far as to say Israel doesn't assist with fighting Al-Qaeda or assist with any monkey business the US does in the Mideast. We won't know the truth or the details for another thirty years. We do know, for example, that Israel assisted with the supply of arms to the anti-Soviet mujahedeen in the '80s - a process which eventually led to the crystallization of Taliban and Al-Qaeda.

      I would prefer to note that without Israel, there would likely have been no Al-Qaeda in the first place. There also would have been no Hamas, Islamic Jihad, or any of the dozen factions of the PLO as they all came into being as a response to Israel.

    • True, the injustice to Palestinians should be primary, but when you're dealing with people who refuse to look at that aspect, and frame their argument as being in American interests, the response is going to be to the American interests aspect. Also note that he wasn't called in to testify as to justice in the Middle East, but to the motivations of anti-American jihadists, and he answered.

    • the important detail after the French ending is that while the Syrian Army was invading Jordan to support the Palestinians, Hafez al Assad, commander of the Syrian Air Force, refused to support the operation and engineered a coup which put himself in power. Syrian units - which were said to be "Palestinian Liberation Army" units - then withdrew.

  • MJ Rosenberg owes Ali Abunimah an apology for false accusations of anti-Semitism
    • I note that I could call for an end to "Saudi" Arabia and no one would jump to call me an "Islamophobe." I could object to Chinese behavior in Tibet or to Chinese commerce in ivory and rhino horn and no one accuses me of racist feeling towards Chinese people. I could denounce the anti Muslim pogroms in Burma without anyone accusing me of hating Burmese or Buddhists. But when we talk about Israel we examine every word, while walking on eggshells, to make sure that nothing we say could in any remote way, shape, or form, be construed as anti-Semitic. And yet even pointing this fact out could be construed as anti-Semitic.

  • How Bill de Blasio learned to love Israel
    • The best litmus test to see if a politician has integrity or is just another sharmoot is to see where they stand on this issue.

  • There Are No Facts: Excerpt from Max Blumenthal's 'Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel'
    • http://www.jpost.com/Magazine/Features/The-lost-Palestinian-Jews

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsvi_Misinai

      http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/132800#.UlrtpBAjw-8

      These are lengthy discussions of the phenomenon. The end of the third link makes specific reference to 200 years ago. This fellow Tsvi Misinai is an interesting character. I don't agree with many of his conclusions but I think there is some common ground for people working on the one country concept. He wants to accept the Palestinians as part of Israel if they acknowledge their Hebrew ancestry but doesn't think they should be required to re-convert to Judaism.

    • There's more to it than a few converts here and there. Forget about the Khazars. There is in Uganda a group of people who have converted to Judaism over the past century and they are organized into a tribe called the Abayudaya. They have been certified as kosher converts by Orthodox rabbis.

      Meanwhile in Palestine, there are Jewish Palestinian clans who converted to Islam as recently as two centuries ago. As Palestinian Muslims their property is subject to confiscation, if it hasn't been taken already, and they are in danger of expulsion, if not in exile already. Meanwhile, Ugandan converts to Judaism are entitled to the houses and property of the Jews who converted to Islam and Christianity.

      I have heard the hasbara justifications for just about everything, but I have to hear what the rationalization for this phenomenon would be. Could you humor us?

  • 'New Yorker' follows Lustick by publishing Munayyer's argument against two-state solution
    • I encourage people to not think of this as a matter of the Palestinians merely needing a national "state" as though the lack of this treif is their main problem. Just because Zionists thought a national "state" - this cankerous pustulent concept - was the most important thing for the Jews, it does not mean balance will be achieved if the Palestinians get a "state." This is why we see hasbarists talking about them having 22 "states" to go to, or that Jordan is the Palestinian "state" for a variety of specious reasons, or that justice will be served even better if they get their little "state" on a few parcels of the west bank. The core issue must come back to the fact that there are people who lived continuously in specific places in Palestine for centuries longer than the dominant population of the US have resided in North America. They are and have been systematically being denied their right of residence, their agricultural land, their olive trees, over a seven decade period. A national "state" for the Palestinians - I gag on the concept - does not and would not protect the Bedu of the Negev or protect the olive trees anywhere the Zionist state has control. I'm happy Abunimah titled his book the "One Country Solution."

  • National Security Agency gives data on Americans to the Israeli government
    • I just skimmed all the comments and got bored. I want to read the hasbarists and see how they spin this. Come on guys, where are you? We want to have fun and you need to earn your keep.

  • Chas Freeman: Kerry's talks leave out 4 of 5 Palestinians
  • Hadassah author claims American Jews are turning against Israeli military
    • "Anti-Semites say “Go to you damn Israel”. Anti-Zionists will then tell them (like I got on these pages) “Go to your damn homeland”."

      No no Habibi, - while it is true that anti Semites will tell you to go to Israel, it is the Zionists who also will tell you to go to Israel. It is the Zionist who is the self hating Jew who believes that Jews can live no where else but Israel. The true anti-Zionist will be happy to have a Jewish neighbor. I will do everything to persuade my Jewish neighbor not to move to Israel where he would live on stolen Palestinian real estate and risk getting himself hurt serving in the IDF.

      Only the anti-Semite and the Zionist are comfortable with the idea of a Jewish fellow in the diaspora going off to serve as cannon fodder in this ghastly experiment.

    • As a libertarian, I don't object if an American citizen identifies totally with Israel. (I disagree but cannot object). I know some that identify totally with Palestine. What is objectionable is that the current system allows the American who identifies with Israel to force the American who identifies with Palestine to support the Israeli project financially through the blank welfare check and a military alliance.

      With a non-interventionist foreign policy, in which state to state aid would be prohibited, a well organized Kyrgyz lobby, for example, would not be able to force Uzbek Americans to support a war against Uzbeks. Every citizen should be free to have emotional attachments to other countries or to Klingons for that matter, but no one should be compelled to support a foreign government. It is offensive enough that we are compelled to support the American war machine.

  • Palestinian hacker channeling Snowden and Swartz becomes folk hero for Zuckerberg 'exploite'
  • Update: Netanyahu complains to Kerry of incitement and cites-- Mohammed Assaf's lyrics
    • Too much chatter about what Abbas did or didn't say regarding Israelis on the West Bank in a two state solution. But that solution is so yesterday. The pioneers of the are working on the one country solution. Israelis will be able to live anywhere between the river and the sea and so will Palestinians. The only catch for the Israelis is that they will have to live as equals. No more cutting down olive trees, no more inequitable use of water for swimming pools, no more sewage and trash into Palestinian fields, no more confiscation of private property and just compensation - including rent and interest for confiscated private property that is not vacated, no more ethic cleansing of Bedu, etc. What a good deal. Be nice, live anywhere!

  • Salon writer concludes that 'judeophobe' is just code for 'anti-Zionist'
    • There is a larger question behind the discussion of whether Vidal was or wasn't anti-Semitic. I note that the people arguing that he was, seem to WANT him to have been anti-Semitic It is tempting to get into a counter argument that he wasn't, but I think we should inquire more into the mindset - and ultimately that aspect of Zionist ideology itself - that absolutely insists on contriving and believing the exaggerated worst.

      Could a case be made that it is the Zionist who is the self-hating Jew, who wants me to hate him, and will do everything he can to prove that I hate him? Does Zionism demand that I hate my Jewish neighbor in order to sustain its own logic?

  • Dispatch from the Negev: Bedouins brace for doom, under Prawer Plan
    • A tragic aspect of this is that many of the Bedu - as do Druse - will justify their service in the Israeli military as a tactic to hold onto their land. What this episode shows is that even when Arabs capitulate to the Zionists completely, they will still end up getting swindled and ripped off.

      Vote Libertarian, the only party that will cut off that welfare check completely and unconditionally. BDS the politicians - the artisans of death - from the two old parties.

    • Actually, you can criticize the treatment of Native Americans and most people would probably agree with you. Now, about those Bedu again......

      Oh and about the blank check for baksheesh that you get from the American taxpayer, is there a point at which you'll get embarrassed or are you comfortable with it as an entitlement for perpetuity?

  • Talking -- about talking
    • How about cutting off the welfare check to Israel and welcome those Israelis who so desire to come to the US?

  • Hamas and Iran have vowed 'to wipe out the Jews' just as Nazis did, AIPAC says
    • I'm not keen on analyzing military solutions before or after the fact, unless it is to debunk them, so I leave the argument about bombing the trains to those who admire the armed forces. But there is a strong argument against the whole narrative that WWII was a just war in that it "rescued the Jews from the death camps." The fact is the United States did not allow wholesale immigration of Jews from Europe when they first came under stress. We have been asked to believe that our society could not allow immigration - something that would have cost nothing, and indeed benefited America - yet we managed to come up with resources and a few hundred thousand lives in an effort to save them from Nazi genocide.

      I'm exploring another argument that has been made - that the exterminations were actually a consequence of the war and that they kicked into high gear when it was apparent the Nazis were going to lose. In other words, had Nazi victims been allowed to immigrate to the US when they first faced harassment, they would have lived. By keeping them out and then going to war the US was to a great extent complicit in holocaust deaths.

      Oh, and let's remember what a boon to the Zionist project those restrictions on Jewish refugee immigration were.

  • In 'earthquake' diplomatic move, EU calls on Israel to 'recognize in writing that the West Bank settlements are not part of Israel'
    • "if a 2SS is not signed-sealed-delivered in 2013, then it’s only 1S1P1V after that"

      Habibi, I've been hearing this "if not in the next six months, then......" since 1967. Khalas, if we believe in the one country solution, then let's work for it and not talk about the next six months forever.

  • Protests against Prawer Plan to forcibly move Negev Bedouin spread across Israel/Palestine
    • "As a second best, I would make exception for companies in settlements that have all permits from Palestinian Authority, use only Palestinian Authority utilities without being prioritized, comply with Palestinian Authority laws, and remit the taxes to Palestinian Authority."

      I like the creativity and flexibility on this. I would modify it to address the process of land acquisition - barren "state" land or confiscated private orchards, relations with neighboring Palestinians, use of Palestinian labor, etc.

      As a supporter of the one country solution I'm not comfortable with blanket boycotts of settlement material as though everything inside the green line is innocent and everything coming from any settlement is illegitimate.

  • Palestinian football player defeats the 'lies and smears'
    • If a Palestinian village did not resist in '48, it ran the risk of massacre at worst, or conquest without ethnic cleansing at best. If the people fought back, they were terrorists, and if they fled the onslaught it was proof they didn't care for and thus didn't deserve their homes and fields. But whatever, if we understand the Zionists, the bulk of non-Jews do not belong in Palestine and must leave. So this Aboushi family actually complies with the wishes of the Zionists and sadly departs the ancestral homeland. They become American. Their children become so American that one of them even plays football! And I don't give a rat's ass about football - thus falling very short on being American. Oday is more American than me and my patrilineal honkie ancestor came over in 1631! But still, that is not enough. Besides completely vacating Palestine and becoming American what penance is expected of the Palestinian just for existing?

  • Ben Rhodes says 'there’s no more difficult issue in the world' than Israel/Palestine conflict
    • I was just looking for a place to put my comments and you took the words out of my mouth already!

      To elaborate further, if people have internalized the totalitarian concept of the national state being the people, "destruction" of the state implies harming the people who live in that state. People who recognize the national state as being pustulent cankerous treif and talk about destroying it inadvertently frighten those who perceive the state as the people. The use of "transform" is much better than "destroy" in this regard. I would emphasize that that those enamored of the national state are the ones getting their children killed for it. Those who would like to transform it into a multicultural country with equality for all would sincerely like for those children to live.

      Oh and Mondonut Habibi, you've read the comments long enough to know that there are some people who accept Israel but reject the '67 conquests and argue for the two state solution and there are others who don't. I politely confess having no interest in either a Palestinian state or an Israeli state and work for the transformation of both.

  • Kerry's 'Pax Israeliana' has failed. What next?
    • "What in the one state solution, that intrinsically would push out most, if not all, the Jews, is fair and humane?"

      The point of the one country solution is that Israelis would be able to live anywhere between the river and the sea, as would Palestinians.

      It seems there are some Israelis more unsettled by the possibility of living in peace than they are troubled by the prospect of sacrificing more lives to a continued conflict.

    • Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, and Hinduism, among others, have failed.

  • 'Courage is Contagious': Glenn Greenwald electrifies Chicago crowd speaking on Snowden, journalism and the NSA
  • 'Palestine' is an ancient name, for a land of many cultures
    • Thank you for your wonderful research and detailed posts. I have argued that hasbarists are skilled at distracting us off into pedantic tangents. But now I cannot resist asking you to go off further: what is dodgy about the Mesha stone story? I'm aware of it's discovery in Dhiban, and of it being a Moabite king's version of a story that appears in the Bible. I've seen a plaster cast of the intact original in Kerak castle museum and the reassembled pieces in the Louvre. Can I impose on you to expound further?

    • "Could you please provide cites that show Philistine material culture was found in Judea and Samaria. I had thought that only Egyptian, Caananite and proto-Israelite material were found in Judea and Samaria"

      Do your own research and provide us with cites showing it as being completely absent. Meanwhile I am more concerned with the provenance of domesticated jackass bones.

    • "He doesn’t tell you that in Semitic languages the word Peleset and its derivatives (Pleshet, Plishti, Falasha, etc.) means the exact opposite, an invader."

      Wow, so where does this leave the poor and abused Falashas? Are they invaders of Ethiopia or of Palestine?

      But more seriously I think the case rests on whoever cultivated eggplants first.

    • "Did I miss anything in the bizarro history class?"

      Actually, you did. Forget about the Khazars. I have encountered a group of people from Mbale, Uganda, known as the Abayudaya. They are Jewish Bantu. They do not claim to be descended from ancient Hebrews but are descendants of a small clan and hangers on who began the conversion process about a century ago. And they are super kosher and have been certified by Orthodox rabbis. They are the real thing. Meanwhile there are communities and clans of Palestinians who are the descendants of Jews who converted to Islam. The latest conversions were as recently as three centuries ago. So these Abayudaya, according to Zionism, are allowed to "return" to their ancient homeland and dispossess Palestinians whose ancestors were unfortunate enough to abandon Judaism. I think I'm going to start bringing this one up more often as I am so curious as to what the hasbara would be.

    • Actually, Oleg and Obsidian, you probably won't have to go. Be reasonable about the Palestinian right to return and you'll probably get to live anywhere you want between the river and the sea. You'll get to travel, work, and even live and work in many Arab countries. You may not want to, but the chance will be there for those Israelis who want it. It's the safest option for future generations of Israelis and life will be a lot more fun.

    • At some point we have to ask you to do your own research though I suspect you are well aware of the truth of the matter. It is a cunning hasbara technique to distract the conversation from core issues with a quick five word factoid and then challenge people to come up with long documentations which are then nit picked and dismissed one way or the other anyway. The meme about "Palestine being only a name imposed by the Romans" which hasbarists blast out in commentaries is a case in point. It is incorrect but irrelevant either way. Yet someone like Martin Hughs goes to great lengths to write in detail about the origins of the name and its evolution in ancient history. In response the hasbarists throw out a bunch more irrelevant distractions which are as insincere as the original quibble about "Palestine" being an artificial Roman imposition. Meanwhile the discussion is again diverted from the basic fact that a group of foreign immigrants came to a land, claimed it as their own, and uprooted the majority of the indigenous inhabitants. We assist the hasbarists in avoiding this core topic by getting sucked into arcane debates about whether or not the 48 armistice line is an international frontier, whether Hawking's computer chip came from Seattle or Israel, whether the Balfour declaration included Trans-Jordan, and whether or not the Israelis are more tolerant of gays than the Arab world. I say the Palestinians domesticated the donkey first. Work on that one hasbara world.

  • American Jewish leaders are mad that settlement-boosting minister exposed their charade
    • Ooh Shingo Habibi, let me beat the hasbarists to this one - you left yourself wide open to them. Don't you know that UNSC 242 does not have the word "the" in it thus implying (to them) that they are not required to pull out of all of the territories but just some of them! Yes indeed, they have been known to divert the subject to a discussion of what the presence or absence of "the" means, and people have actually gotten into comparing versions of 242 in the other UN languages, and doing linguistic analyses of this matter. Come on mondonut and team, where are you when you are needed? Tell Shingo that 242 doesn't require full withdrawal because there is no "the" before "territories." Or don't you all go there any more?

  • Latest DC mantra: The two-state solution is dead, long live the two-state solution!
    • Actually, I agree with hophmi that there is no good reason for a Palestinian state to have an army. But neither is there a good reason for the Israeli state to have an army. It has brought nothing but misery to its citizens. It gets so many of them killed in foolish adventures. But who cares about discussing the Palestinian state as though it might exist. Our focus must be on the future nation which respects equality of the people between the river and the sea. This nation should not waste time and money on an army either. Let us aid, abet, and harbor deserters from every army and fighting force on the planet.

    • Let us loudly agree with Bennett that the 2ss is dead. And then let's ask what he's going to do about it. I would like to shift the debate. I don't want to argue with people any more to convince them that 2ss is dead. Wouldn't it be better to start forcing the issue of what the legal status of all citizens is between the river and the sea?

      Forget this neurotic distraction called 2ss. What is going to happen to the Palestinians in what most people now agree is the one state? Ethnic cleansing? Continued apartheid? Or perhaps a movement towards equality? 1p1v?

      How shall we facilitate the outcome we prefer? What tactics might be pursued? That's what we should discuss, explore, and debate.

  • Looking for 'a new devil,' Israeli leaders and supporters left scrambling after election of moderate Rouhani
    • Actually Farsi is not Semitic language. Those would be Hebrew, Aramaic, Arabic, Amharic, and Tigrinia. It's from the Aryan family which also spawned the Germanic languages. However it contains a vast Arabic vocabulary - mainly abstract, philosophical, and religious words which only came in after the Islamic conquests. From time to time anti-religious or Persian purists make a point of trying to use only Persian words.

  • Palestinian activist Abir Kopty: Oslo should go, the peace process serves Israeli interests
    • Whether the Oslo Accords were a reasonable deal or not, what we are up against is a common personality disorder in Israel regarding the concept of the "frayer." Many have written extensively about this. There is an ingrained obsession with outwitting and outsmarting others while being equally obsessed that others are outwitting outsmarting them. It happens within Israeli society as much as against outsiders. The "frayer" is the one who has come out second best in an encounter or transaction. Israelis have made frayers out of the Palestinians and live in fear that the same could be done back to them. Bear this in mind when communicating with hasbarists.

    • "The continuation of efforts to get rid of Israel, that have been going on in one shape or form since 1948, remains the root of the problem."

      Continuing confiscation of private property, and displacement of the inhabitants, that have been going on in one shape or form since 1948, and continue on a daily basis both within and beyond the green line, remain the root of the problem. Until adherents of Zionism understand this, they are threats to themselves and to others.

    • A point of information, the Palestinians with Israeli citizenship, like Abir, speak better Hebrew than the immigrants from Russia and America. It's a survival thing and they do it well.

    • Good point, discussions tend to get sloppy about land ownership and homelands - mixing up concepts of state sovereignty, state property, private property, mystical belonging, residence rights of citizens who may not have private property, community property, traditional grazing rights, tenants rights, and so on. The hasbarists are skilled at mixing these all up and baffling the world with bull khara.

    • I will happily take an Israeli Jew for a neighbor in Texas. I think it unlikely that he would be trying to take my house from me, whereas in Palestine (the land between the river and the sea) this fellow would quite likely be displacing a Palestinian. I would do everything I can to make him feel safe and happy so that he'd never have a reason to go be a threat to others and himself in that sorry experiment that occupies Palestine.

  • The horror: 'Breaking the Silence' releases women's frightful testimonies of occupation
    • I'm starting to study the hasbarist assaults. On some items the story is too embarrassing and too unassailable, so they'll leave it alone. On others there might be a little point of vulnerability, or some little crack they can get their hooks into and they really gang up in an organized way. Commentators get trapped into debating pilpuls.

  • End your illusion: Israeli government will never implement a two-state solution, top official says
    • Don't worry, Hamas which exists as a result of and unfortunate reaction to the Zionist experiment, will wither and fade along with Zionism and the state it created.

    • "Demographic advantage" is something people of goodwill are hoping to avoid as an irrelevant preoccupation. Perhaps you are projecting Zionism when you assume that with one person one vote, a 50% plus one demographic Palestinian majority means they will do to the Jews what the Zionists have done to them. This is not what will happen. Jewish and Arab communists will be in coalition, fundamentalist Jews and Muslims will be in coalition, free marketeers from all religious and ethnic communities will be working to provide services to each other and make profit. Equality in justice, civil rights and property rights is the goal of the discussion, not which community has enough of a majority to outwit and swindle the other.

      Let's get over primitive tribalism - we have nothing to lose but the chains in our minds.

  • Despairing of his Israel fantasies, Leonard Fein says racism goes 'unimpeded'
    • "What the heck can an average American taxpayer and humanist do about Israel’s fantasies when they are supported by AIPAC et al in America?"

      Vote Libertarian.

    • "These questions have to be addressed before anyone starts touting the one-state solution."

      Actually there are two very important questions that need to be addressed, and both call for a "one country solution." ("State" is so treif).

      If a pigeon fancier from one community, while flying his pigeons, has one of them stray to the home of a breeder in another community, will he be able to retrieve that pigeon or will he forfeit it as part of the "sport." This is something pigeon breeders in an area have to agree on.

      The second question that concerns me greatly is if a child from one community is flying a kite and the string breaks and the kite falls into the garden of someone from the other community, will the kid be able to retrieve the kite unmolested?

      In a one country solution, I think the pigeon breeders and kite flyers will be much happier, sjarjour Habibi.

  • Updated: al-Aqsa Foundation discovers mass graves of Palestinians killed during the Nakba in Jaffa
    • Does anyone in this group of commentators - whether hasbarist or counter hasbarist - engage in conversations with holocaust deniers about exactly how many people in the death camps died in gas chambers versus disease and how many were Jewish? I can't believe hasbarists have the audacity to quibble about the possibility of 1936 versus 1947 as though that might offer vindication.

  • 'This time we were not forced to swim naked in the sea': Gaza fishermen left jobless after illegal arrest in Palestinian waters
  • Alice Walker to Alicia Keys: Boycott, because Palestinian conditions are worse than they were in US South
    • And meanwhile, my aHbaab (Habibis), just when there is an interesting discussion and someone raises the useful idea of encouraging Alicia to follow Alice's advice, a hasbarist throws in a few irrelevant words that took a few seconds to write. The whole conversation is distracted into time wasting rebuttals - which inappropriately honor his sophistry - and we are no longer talking about how to influence Alicia Keys.

      I'm not against engaging Zionists in real debate, but too many are not catching on to what is going on. It does not matter to the skilled hasbarist whether the interjection is logical or germane or even true. The technique is to tie us up and distract us from useful work and creative action with time consuming arguments about whether bones might be from '36 or '48, if the Balfour declaration included Trans Jordan, how many times Jerusalem is mentioned in the Talmud, if the name Palestine was invented by the Romans or in fact appears in the writings of Herodotus, or whether a chip in Hawking's computer was invented in Israel or Oregon. I'm waiting for the long debate on who domesticated donkeys first.

      Hey hasbarists, Palestinian kids make a kite in which the framework is a six pointed star. Learn how to make one and go fly it.

    • Hey Hophmi has point. We should do our best to boycott the Washington regime. I live my life in a way to avoid paying taxes to it. I encourage young people not to serve in its terrorist armed forces. I do not whine for it to provide bread and circuses. I vote Libertarian and encourage others to do the same.

  • The Solyndra of Israel, adored by Tom Friedman and NPR, goes bellyup
  • If the US wants a two-state solution, it will have to impose it by force
    • I'd like to believe Mark was being ironic in the suggestion that the US use force on Israel but it sure did get the attention of the hasbarists!

      No we shouldn't use force on Israel or on anyone else. We should just cut off the welfare checks unconditionally.

      Vote Libertarian.

  • 'Forward' piece on destruction of Palestinian neighborhood fronting Western Wall is not embraced by all 'Forward' readers
    • jon s, Habibi, I would really like a reaction to the information that tree has provided.

      I am always curious in these situations when hasbarists come up with partial or historically incorrect information - were you completely unaware of the full context of the destruction of the Hurva synagogue, or were you just hoping that no one on this site would know about it?

      This is an important question. If the former, you need to look more deeply into the movement that has inspired you to go forth in its defense without all the information you need, and made you look ignorant and foolish. You don't owe them anything. If the latter, you need to be more aware that the mondoweiss readers are not your normal ignorant American schmucks to be swindled and outwitted. Give us incomplete and twisted history and you will be called on it.

  • Barbara Boxer's visa bill for Israel comes under concerted attack
    • No, no Habibi, we don't invite people like that to move to Israel. They'll live on settlements or on confiscated property. Better they stay in the US where they'll do less damage to us than they would to the Palestinians.

      In fact, whatever the outcome of this bill, which means by the way, that Russian mafia get an easy ticket into the US, I will welcome Israelis to come visit and then hopefully stay here. Let them settle down, marry, have kids and not serve in the IDF, and not be a threat to themselves and others.

  • 'If I had to choose between the wealth of the world and going home, I would go back'
    • Sumud and Hughs bring up an example of the hasbara technique which sucks in lots of people in the debate .... the Zionists are great at throwing out factoids which are wrong on the one hand but irrelevant on the other. We are vulnerable to getting sucked into arguing the facts and forget about the irrelevance. We find ourselves arguing about whether the name Palestine was imposed by the Romans or first used by Herodatus five centuries earlier, whether or not the Balfour Declaration intended to include Trans-Jordan, when the Palestinians became a "people" and so on. Sometimes I am tempted to try the same technique and claim that the Palestinians domesticated the donkey first.

  • Senator Boxer’s far-fetched defense of the visa waiver exemption for Israel
    • On the one hand, this shows once again how Congresspeople take their orders from Israel. But on the other hand I hope lots of Israelis move to the US quickly and easily and stay there and never serve in the IDF or displace any more Palestinians. I welcome them every chance I get. Then again, there's the matter of a new pipeline into the country for the Russian mafia.

  • Zionists thrill that Obama will recognize ancient Jewish connection to 'homeland' (undoing his Cairo error)
    • I have spent the last hour or so watching some videos about the Jewish ancestry of many Palestinians, which add an interesting twist to all arguments about Jewish and Palestinian right of return. A Rabbi Dov Stein and scholar Elon Jardin, who as best I can tell at this point are not part of any "pro-Palestinian" project, are on a schtick making the case that the Israelis should be tolerant and accepting of Palestinians because so many of them have Jewish roots. The last major conversions of Jewish Palestinians to Islam took place as recently as three centuries ago and many maintained Jewish symbols and customs around their homes up to modern times. Even in the rubble of some destroyed Palestinian villages are doorway archstones with Magen Davids. Many Palestinian clans are not shy of admitting their Jewish ancestry. Others are trying to hide it. Imagine being a Palestinian and on your ancient family home you have a Magen David on the arch placed there by a Jewish ancestor. Do you show it to an Israeli and hope that he will respect the common ancestry or do you destroy it for fear that a settler from Brooklyn will claim the building?

      I'm not sure if the goal of the Israelis involved in this project is to just be tolerant of Palestinians or if they are trying to suborn the Jewish ancestry Muslims into returning to Judaism or otherwise serving the Israeli state. Anyone have insight on these folks?

  • 'NYT' columnist praises fundamentalist Jews as collective of 'the future'
    • But I like the Natorei Karta. They are anti-Zionists, call for the peaceful dismantlement of Israel, and say that the future joys of the Messiah will blot out the sorrows of the present. As for their other strange beliefs, well, they are not stealing my beer or breaking my leg.

  • Following Rand Paul's historic filibuster there is room for common cause in challenging killer drones
    • Medea is again showing wisdom. There are other people among the left liberal side of the spectrum who spend their time warning us against being seduced by anyone conservative or libertarian. Much better apparently to respect and vote for a liberal democrat war criminal than an anti imperialist pro peace libertarian.

  • Israeli drumbeat grows for Pollard's release ahead of Obama visit
    • The full extent of what damage he did is one of the most closely guarded secrets. There were definitely deaths, but the full number is classified. Whenever a US politician gets close to being influential enough to potentially move Pollard's release along, he gets a very detailed private chat from some highly placed folks in the intelligence community. After this conversation the said politician does not bring up the subject.

    • Marwan Barghouti, Vanunu, and every prisoner who has done less harm to Israel than Pollard did to the the US.

  • Poet Joy Harjo responds to boycott demands over Israeli performance by adding a West Bank visit
  • Reactions to UN vote: Livni calls Palestinian move 'strategic terrorist attack'
    • For the life of me, with all the discussion of the recent UN vote, I cannot find any coherent hasbara about what it is the US and Israel are objecting to, beyond the rhetoric of their positions. It seems this has been a setback for the one country solution, and a step - albeit miniscule - towards the two state solution and Palestinian recognition of Israel. In fact Ali Abunimah and Joseph Massad have dissed the whole thing as meaningless for the Palestinians.

      I wonder if one of our hasbarists could really articulate what the objection is here?

  • An 'industry' built on hate: How the right-wing successfully brought anti-Muslim bigotry into the American mainstream
    • Last time I read something he wrote, Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch propagandized for the Crusades as a Christian defense against Islam. That premise aside, I'm wondering how his Jewish allies relate to him on the matter of Crusader massacres of Jewish communities along their march from Europe to Jerusalem.

  • Roger Waters says Israel's staggering record of impunity from world's judgment is due to elephant in the room: the lobby
    • I don't know about "international bodies" but as far as I am concerned, if I denounce US weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and US support of the Saudi monarchy, or criticize Wahabi practices, or make note of Saudi treatment of its Shia population, or discuss the status of South Asian workers in Saudi Arabia, (all of which I do) I do not have to brace myself for a barrage of criticism from Wahabi hasbarists, They will not come out of the woodwork in America to denounce me for anti-Arab racism or hatred of Muslims. Nor would my career be hurt and nor I would I risk being drummed out of polite company.

  • New ad describing Palestinian dispossession hits Metro-North, NY
    • An important point to emphasize in the discussion of absentee landlord sales is that according to the laws and customs of the area, which survive to this day, the act of purchasing real estate from a landlord does not entitle the new landlord to either evict or change the rent on the tenants. In the case of feudal peasant areas the new landlords would have been entitled to continue exploiting the peasants - along with practicing "noblesse oblige" - but not evict them.

      Also, I'm not sure it should necessarily be considered a shameful or treasonous act to sell land to Jewish immigrants or any other immigrants at the beginning of this affair. Immigrants also came from Bosnia, Circassia, Uzbekistan, Chechenya, Baluchistan, Bukhara, Africa, and even America and Germany and bought land. However as has been pointed out, Zionism subsequently claims the right of state sovereignty over areas purchased by Jewish immigrants and modern settlers - no matter how specious or tainted the purchase might be. Thus the act of selling Palestinian real estate to Jews has become an treasonous anti-social act, and codified in law as such. Hasbarists in turn will point to this as anti-Jewish discrimination on the part of modern Arabs.

  • Richard Cohen and the Jewish man's burden
    • This statue smashing thing keeps popping up. In Switzerland Calvin and Zwingli were big on cleaning out the Catholic churches they took over five centuries ago. Go into a church in Switzerland. If you see paintings and statues, it is Catholic. If you see the places where statues used to be and where paintings were scraped off the walls, then it is Reformed. There are precedents to the Taliban.

  • The occupation machine can't run on empathy
    • Actually the Holocaust museum is on the site of a destroyed village, I forget which one, but someone here can help me. And last I knew Deir Yassin is now home to a mental institution housing deranged Holocaust survivors. The story of Deir Yassin and what the site has been turned into is a metaphor for the Israel/Palestine tragedy.

  • Susan Abulhawa demolishes Itamar Marcus
    • Mondonut, Are you an anti-Semite doing black propaganda, posing as a hasbarist in order to provoke people into hating Jews? This type of sophistry buys into the worst anti-Semitic stereotype of the swindling, outwitting, outsmarting, fact twisting, not-to-be trusted Jew. So are you an anti-Semite or a self-hating Jew?

  • Homage to Alex Cockburn
    • "to send you words out of which many flowers bloom, but sloth won the day and my hand was stayed"

      I have always admired the things that people of Indian and Pakistani heritage can do with the English language.

    • I remember this incubator story well as it was the item that most angered me about the Iraqi invasion, though I continued to take a firm stand against the US response. Gradually the story fell apart. Oddly the first crack in the story for me was a tiny piece in buried in USA today quoting a Finnish hospital worker saying it didn't happen.

      The significance of this story beyond one normal atrocity fabrication is that six Senators who had up to that point been against the pending war changed their positions as a result of it. Their six votes were enough to change the balance of votes in the Senate in favor of the US military intervention. By the time the story was totally exposed as a hoax generated by a Washington DC PR firm, the war had been fought.

      Moral of the story is to not support anyone's war based on initial reports of horror stories.

  • How many of you are uncomfortable with the phrase 'oppression of Palestinians'? In the packed room, just a few heads nodded
    • "Those who deal in weapons of mass destruction must know that whether the threat on their lives is from within or from outside, their life expectancy is not long."

      Oh dear are we supposed to start assassinating American, and Israeli nuclear scientists?

    • "back then there was no people called the Palestinians."

      This is another hasbara diversion that is false on the one hand but on the other is as irrelevant as getting into an argument about who grew eggplants first or who domesticated the donkey first or which ancient Roman was the first to write the word Palestine and when. There were people there with property and an identity connected with the land. It doesn't matter if they called themselves Palestinians, or Arabs, or Syrians, or Haifawis, or Martians.

  • The 'Muslim insiders' of the War on Terror
    • For a renegade Jewish American analogous to Hirsi Ali you should refer to Adam Gadahn, also known as Adam al-Amreeki, the Al-Qaeda English language public relations manager.

      There is a difference between the dissidents and revolutionaries who take risks to transform their societies, and those who go off the deep end and align with those who are blindly and murderously at war with their own societies.

      The renegade Muslims who appear on the neo-con howler monkey talk show circuit and parrot the crudest propaganda of those who would harm their families are also notorious for being frauds. Hirsi Ali is not the only dissembler. Liberty University (i.e. Jerry Falwell's schtick) was embarrassed when the Ergun Caner, the ex-Muslim-with-a-dramatic-story they had hired as Dean turned out to be a fraud. The former jihadist terrorist from Bethlehem - his name slips my mind at the moment - also has been exposed as having a fabricated past. I'd actually enjoy they way they swindle American war mongers if their acts were less harmful.

  • Congressman with ties to Netanyahu calls J Street 'anti-Semitic'
    • Good commentary as usual, but I'm going to start calling you out on the use of "left" and "right." I concede that in Israel "left" refers to nicer people who tend to be more conciliatory to Palestinians and "right" refers to angry cranky people who don't get along with Palestinians, don't want them around, want more war, and so on.

      However ultimately these expressions mislead, confuse, and dumb down the conversation. To help you focus on my point, I will ask, what is a socialist who supports Israeli expansion? Left or Right? What is someone who is fully embracing of the free market who recognizes Palestinian rights and works for reconciliation? Left or Right? What is someone who supports Obamacare and also supports whatever war is being waged by the US or Israel? Left or Right?

      For a second reason why these expressions should never be used let us assume for the sake of argument (but happy friendly argument), that they actually mean something coherent. Whoever uses the expression "left" is at a psycholinguistic disadvantage. One is "left" behind, "left" out, "left" over, or off on "left" base. An insincere invitation is a "left handed" invitation. Something in bad taste is "gauche" - left in French. And then things can be "sinister" - from left in Italian. Meanwhile whoever uses or receives the label "right" is at a linguistic advantage. "Right" also means "correct." We speak of human "rights" not human "lefts." We get the job done "right" away, not "left" away. There is a name Benyamin - son of the "right" in Hebrew and Arabic, but there is no Benyassar. When we greet people we extend the right hand, not the left hand.

      Finally for a huge segment of the world's population, the left hand is strictly reserved for certain hygienic purposes and the right hand for eating, for handing people money or whatever is being handed.

      So stop using these words. They don't serve the quality of the your discourse.

  • Arthur Koestler's Zionist recruiters used anti-Semitic ideas
    • I recommend that this argument not be used. English is a chaotic language and the definitions of anti-Semitic and Semitic are not logical. "Semitic" refers to language groups including ancient Akkadian, Aramaic, Hebrew, Arabic, Amharic and a few other Ethiopian languages. "Anti-Semitic" is an expression coined in Europe 150 years ago to refer specifically to the phenomenon of hating Jews irrationally and blaming them for every ill in society. It was a poor choice but it has stuck and means what people think it means, though it does confuse the discussion. So, a Semite, a speaker of a Semitic language, could indeed be an "anti-Semite," an irrational hater of Jewish people. A "philo-Semite," a recent term used to describe people who irrationally love Jewish people and believe all blessings come from them, could really hate Hebrew and Arabic grammar.

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