Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 174 (since 2010-02-24 05:08:20)

hughsansom

Malcontent, ne'er-do-well, thorn, economist, philosopher, artist, writer, photographer based in New York City, and a few other things that can't be mentioned in polite company.

Website: http://apocalypseroad.blogspot.com/

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  • Reprint of Yochanan Gordon's "When Genocide is Permissible" (Updated)
    • Former Mayor Mike Bloomberg asserted that there is no limit to permissible responses to rocket attacks — no limit. So Bloomberg implicitly rejects the notion that a response can be disproportionate, meaning that he rejects international law (that makes such responses war crimes) and he, by implication, would see no problem with genocide — as long as the victims are Palestinian. Barack Obama's vile indifference suggests he would acquiesce in such a move. And Chuck Schumer's undiluted embrace of all Israel attacks that he would do the same as Obama, or worse.

  • State Dep't says Israel has a right to defend itself, but can't say the same of Palestinians
    • After an attempt to pin an American official down on whether Palestinians have a right to self-defense, reporters need to ask the following: "Can you name a right that the administration believes Palestinians do have?"

      "Does the administration believe that Palestinians and Israelis are all human beings? . . . Does the administration believe that Palestinians have all the rights that Israelis have by virtue of being human?"

      We know what Netanyahu and his American idolaters think. We need to know whether Obama and his fellow war criminals in the US agree.

  • 'NPR' suggests that opponent of Syrian intervention has dual loyalty
    • The obvious question for Melissa Block or anybody from NPR (and, of course, WINEP) is why the many personal connections between NPR (or New York Times, or WINEP) reporters or experts doesn't call into question their own objectivity or possible dual loyalties.

  • Slamming intellectuals who backed Iraq war, Hedges says he lost job at 'NYT' for opposing it
    • I thought Hedges had lost his NYT job because of that Harper's essay in which he recounted his experience seeing IDF troops toss candy out to lure Palestinian children into the open so the soldiers could terrify them by firing on them.

      If I remember right, Sydney Schanberg was also forced out of the Times for his failure to obediently support some war Times editors adored.

  • Israel boosters threaten civil rights claim against Brooklyn College and suggest barring student activists from campus
    • It's well past time that wild assertions like Jeffrey Wiesenfeld's be treated as actionable slander. Blithely asserting that members of a certain group, like the Muslim Students' Association or BDS, can be (and is intended to be) both intimidating but also career-destroying. An academic career for Norman Finkelstein was destroyed by such claims. The Israel fanatics attempted to destroy the careers of Juan Cole, but he was already tenured at the University of Michigan when the fanatics torpedoed Yale's offer to him.

      Wiesenfeld's charges leveled at someone just completing a degree could easily derail an entire life of work. The victims of these charges need to see some victories in court against such slander.

      The problem, of course, would be the difficulty in bringing such a case. Courts are not the a-political, neutral environments America's hagiographers like to pretend. Judges needn't be biased (though certainly can be) to be susceptible to pressure exerted through the media.

      One way or another, the Alan Dershowitzes and Jeffrey Wiesenfelds need to learn that idly, maliciously trying to tar and feather critics of Israel as anti-Semitic or worse (e.g., advocating "another Holocaust") has consequences.

  • Dershowitz's hypocrisy and dishonesty over Brooklyn College BDS conference
    • Dershowitz's determination to destroy the career of any critic is not restricted to Norman Finkelstein or only to Finkelstein's tenure review at DePaul. When Finkelstein's "Beyond Chutzpah" was in preparation for publication at the University of California Press, Dershowitz threatened the press. The press subjected the book to a level of scrutiny few academic works are ever subjected to. (Far greater scrutiny than Harvard ever gave the work of Dershowitz.) When the press stood firm, Dershowitz tried to coerce the governor of California — Arnold Schwarzenegger. That failed also.

      What role Dershowitz may have had in torpedoing Juan Cole's job offer from Yale is unknown.

      After the publication of Walt and Mearsheimer's "Israel Lobby," Dershowitz tried to hound Walt out of Harvard.

      Dershowitz was a key figure in the campaign to destroy the nomination of Charles Freeman to chair the National Intelligence Council.

      Perhaps someone else can comment on what attacks Dershowitz has in the past leveled at the likes of Edward Said, Rashid Khalidi, Joseph Massad, Sara Roy and others.

  • In discussing options with Iran, NPR's Siegel lists military response, leaves out deterrence
    • "If National Public Radio host wants to talk about going to war, he has an obligation to discuss deterrence as a policy alternative."

      Not least because Siegel's darling Israel is a leading example of a country using deterrence (among other things). As Kenneth Waltz (and many others) have noted, Iran wouldn't directly attack Israel because of Israel's capacity to retaliate massively. It is precisely because a nuclear-armed Iran would have a credible deterrent that the US and Israel are so determined to block proliferation there.

  • An unpleasant conversation with a staffer to Brooklyn congresswoman Yvette Clarke about her BDS letter
    • The experience of Cynthia McKinney tells us that this has a great deal to do with political contributions.

      Also among the signatories to the 'progressive' letter are:
      - Hakeem Jeffries (whose primary opponent, Charles Barron, compared Israeli treatment of Palestinians in Gaza to the Nazi treatment of Jews);
      - Daniel Squadron, otherwise one of the most liberal members of the New York State Senate;
      - Rep. Nydia Velasquez, typically pretty liberal (even by my standards).

      It's hard to imagine that none of the signers are aware of the gross hypocrisy of trying to shut down free speech at Brooklyn College. Jerrold Nadler, liberal otherwise, is a vicious anti-Arab racist. Likewise Marty Markowitz. But the others? Depressing.

  • 'NYT''s Erlanger calls Gaza 'Hamastan'
    • Again, we have the familiar American media double-standard. If any prominent journalist at any major news organization were to use comparably loaded language to refer to the right-wing extremist government of Israel, there would be instantaneous and widespread calls for his firing.

  • No diversity: NPR's 'National Conversation' on US-Israel future includes 5 Zionists, no Palestinians
    • We can be sure of one thing. Any NPR-moderated, Wilson Center-hosted discussion on Arab-US relations certainly would include at least one decidedly pro-Israel figure, probably someone connected to the Israeli government or US-Israeli policy. In all likelihood, the entire panel would consist of unambiguously pro-Israel figures (e.g., 'experts' from WINEP), perhaps a token moderate and probably a token Arab (though one who would be reliably critical of Arabs and Muslims). I was floored recently when Charlie Rose, arrogant bigot who routinely talks over anyone he isn't toadying up to, actually had Rashid Khalidi on.

      It less often the case now, but there was a time when any mainstream media 'discussion' would have seen no Arab voice of any kind, and quite possibly have seen a majority of speakers who were not just clearly pro-Israel, but Jewish and pro-Israel.

  • Two reporters are too coy about the 'Israeli-American establishment' Clinton is truckling to
    • The Clinton parents are also now watching out for the political prospects of the Clinton brat, Chelsea. It's some indication of just how low the Bush fortunes fell with the evil, loathsome W that the Bush brats are sidelined. The offspring of other political powerbrokers are all well-placed — Kennedys (still, despite an almost uninterrupted history of crimes and misdemeanors), Clintons, McCains, Cheneys, and on and on. The mainstream media often serve as the farm leagues for these groveling creatures. Consider the numbers who have been given (they certainly haven't earned) high-paying, prominent jobs on various "news" programs.

      Chelsea has enjoyed an unbroken string of handouts, even as the Democrats she aligns with have joined Republicans in decrying handouts for those who desperately need them.

      The Clinton kowtowing to AIPAC and Israel serves both Hillary's ambitions and any nascent ones Chelsea may harbor.

      21st century aristocracy and neo-feudalism at work.

      And note which presidential set were not granted seats by default among the privileged . . . the four Carter children, four in all. Jimmy Carter, for all his failings, has been the only president in the past 45 years to utter a word of genuine, sustained criticism of Israel. Hardly a strict causal relation, but I can't imagine a Carter running without the Sheldon Adelson brigade getting into a snit.

  • The AP's George Jahn serves up Israeli propaganda on Iran yet again
    • Olli Heinonen and David Albright are examples of just how successful you can be if you say the scary things that the 'right people' want to hear. George Jahn is one of those little animals that survives off the waste of the likes of Heinonen and Albright.

      Nima Shirazi only begins the story of how grossly flawed Jahn's story is. A google of "graph of yield of nuclear weapon" shows that the 'graph' has already been widely picked up by a predictable array of second rate media outlets. Something like this gets repeated and repeated until we have some dingbat on ABC WorldNews or the House Armed Service Committee reporting it as established fact.

      The real question is just who would 'leak' such nonsense. It's not the least bit convincing. Diane Sawyer would take it seriously. Wolf Blitzer would. But much as I despise The New York Times, they wouldn't. And Israel has plenty of its own genuine simulations that it could doctor to be 'Iranian.' And if you are going to doctor that, why not doctor the axis labels to show how advanced the Iranian software is — as opposed to having to use that stuff pirated from Microsoft . . . you know, the "Build Your Own Bomb" expansion pack for Windows.

  • CBS no longer categorizes American Jews as 'ethnic minority'
    • I think Philip Weiss has quietly nailed a key factor in weighing whether Group X is part of the establishment: A group is a member of the permanently privileged if it can be bashed in ethnically specific terms without alarms going off regarding bigotry.

      If that criterion is plausible, it's still more fluid than many imagine. Norfleet's book came out in 1988 — a lot has changed, but less than claimed by those who insist that the US is the world's greatest everything. Chomsky wrote that he went to MIT in no small measure because it was well-known at that time that Jews just didn't get tenure at Harvard. That much has changed. But, if treatment of Arab and Muslim Americans is any sign, we're losing ground again. One step forward, two steps back.

      As a matter of historical curiosity: How was the first instance of a wealthy Jew buying a major sports franchise received? Was it noted at all?

      People were upset that Mikhail Prokhorov bought the Nets — a sign of American bigotry, maybe; definitely not a sign that Russians are or were a victimized minority, though they're certainly an ethnic minority in the US, even if not expressly identified as such.

      There are wealthy and powerful African Americans, but it would be absurd to suggest that Blacks are not still a discriminated-against ethnic minority.... But... With the election of Obama, how many people were talking about the "end of racial politics" even as many across the US were brazenly airing grossly racist views? (And as, recently, reports have shown that Americans are _predominantly_ hostile to blacks.)

      So all in all, I'd say that whatever 'standard' or 'thinking' is behind the 60 Minutes assertion, it's just factually wrong — on several counts.

  • Now settlers are stealing Palestinian.... soil
  • Mona Eltahawy arrested for defacing Geller's racist savage ad in NYC subway
  • 'Crisis initiation is really tough': WINEP Director of Research suggests a covert attack to get a war on with Iran
    • "[C]risis initiation is really tough."

      What a striking comment. Of course, the US has done a lot of crisis initiation. The Bush administration initiated the post-9/11 crisis with Iraq. I've often thought that the cruel sanctions regimes, previously imposed on Iraq and now on Iran, are calculated to provoke the victim.

      When I saw the headline here, I thought that "covert attack" war's idolaters might have in mind would be more in the vein of old-fashioned US covert ops. During the Reagan years, the US would dress up its "advisers" and Contra terrorists in the uniforms of the Nicaraguan Sandanista soldiers, then have them commit atrocities while so outfitted. The idea, of course, was to bring down blame on the Sandanistas.

      The IDF and Mossad are known to have their operatives dress up as Palestinians. Reports have noted that they are so well-trained that their accents can match regional Palestinian ones.

      The caveat here is that such reports are easily misstated (over or under) and even more easily dismissed as "conspiracy theory." Past charges by Americans (especially African Americans and Native Americans) that FBI or local police forces were infiltrating protester ranks to sow discord or provoke violence have invariably been dismissed by the likes of Man's Greatest Newspaper, the Times. The catch is that such charges have repeatedly been shown to be true. For example, we now know that the NYPD infiltrated protester groups during the 2004 RNC and continues to do spy on Muslims and Arabs, including through planted NYPD operatives.

      Seymour Hersh and others have reported on US/Israeli covert operations already underway in Iran. If these have failed to provoke the overt Iranian response that Clawson would like to see, one has to wonder why he thinks a sabotaged submarine would. My guess is he has something more drastic in mind — something like the 1988 US destruction of the Iranian Airbus, killing 290 innocents.

  • Brecht Forum event with Antony Loewenstein of 'After Zionism'
    • Has MondoWeiss considered adding a calendar to the website? I'm sure this was publicized, but a calendar would make it quick and easy to check on upcoming events (those specifically related to MW and others).

  • Ninny Middleton doesn't understand the job description
    • 1. Who cares what people wear on the beach or at their multi-gazillion dollar villa? Topless, naked, white tie and tails — to each his/her own. If modern humans weren't so obsessed about appearance, this wouldn't be news at all.

      2. All this really tells us (besides 1) is that Britain is about 400 years overdue for a republic. My suggestion regarding royals is the same as my suggestion regarding presidents who support drone strikes on innocents. But I can't state my suggestion explicitly without breaking the law in the US. Just look to the French of 1789.

  • NPR's Raz cites Adelson support for rabbi candidate without any mention of Israel issue
    • Raz is a perfect example of what is so absurd with the false balance/objectivity dogma that infects US mainstream media. There is little pretense that American 'journalists' are entirely without their own opinions — just that they are experts at not allowing their opinions to influence their reporting. Raz is one whose opinions routinely and clearly influence his garbage on NPR (much like Terry Gross on Fresh Air or Isabel Kershner at the New York Times). If we had a sense of where they actually stand, we could filter their reporting accordingly. Instead, to maintain the false objectivity pretense, they contrive feeble pseudo-objective reports that are obviously nothing of the kind. The absurd outcome is that those reports are made more impenetrable by the lack of any clear accounting of where the journalists' opinions really lie. Observers are left to reverse engineer the positions of the reporter or the media outlet based on the omissions, the misrepresentations, etc., as in this case.

      As for Boteach, he's very much like Dov Hikind (familiar to any who know New York City politics) — proudly, viciously racist.

  • In leaked e-mail exchange, FBI official says NYPD intelligence activities are 'felonious'
    • Isn't the Center for Constitutional Rights suing them?

      The problem is that courts are consistently ruling in favor of the government (another thing Greenwald has written about).

    • So let the speculation begin! What would be worse than unconstitutional surveillance, and also something the NYPD would be inclined to do? ...This is not unlike speculation about what is in Romney's tax returns that he wants to keep hidden. The difference, of course, is that the NYPD activity is likely, even certain, to include serious violations of human rights.

      We already know that the FBI and NYPD have entrapped people, doing everything they could do 'encourage' those who might otherwise have done nothing to attempt acts that might be considered violence. (Glenn Greenwald has written extensively on the constitutional issues regarding this.)

      So what else is there? Is the NYPD engaging in 'enhanced interrogation techniques' as in the 1970s and earlier? Are they stealing identities, creating false ones? In the 1960s, the FBI and police forces infiltrated groups, tried to encourage rifts and also encouraged acts of violence. During the 2004 RNC in New York, there was at least one instance of the NY cop committing a criminal act with the NYPD trying to pass it off as protester violence. In Central America during the Reagan atrocities, US-supported terrorists dressed up as Nicaraguan soldiers, committed atrocities, then blamed them on the Nicaraguan government under Daniel Ortega.

      Speculation like this borders on the irresponsible. Sadly, the track record of the NYPD and FBI and others in the US make it necessary.

  • NYPD Blue (& white)
    • I guess the one surprising thing in this story is that the NYPD didn't open it's Israel branch in the Occupied Territories.

      Put this together with the other Mondoweiss report on how the NYPD's worst activities dwarf the already-revealed unconstitutional spying on Muslims, and some interesting questions suggest themselves.

  • Dennis Ross urges Iran war in deceptive 'NYT' op-ed
    • If all options were on the table, as Ross pretends, we'd be talking about international sanctions imposed on Israel for violations of international law and an international or UN protection force to secure the safety of Palestinians under Israeli attack.

  • NY state senator David Storobin's office: 'Visitors [to the Israeli/Syrian border] are required to don a uniform and carry a gun'
    • I would have thought that Storobin might face some legal issues. He's not some run-of-the-mill American claiming duel-nationality. He's an elected official in New York State and subject to the New York State Constitution, which requires an oath of office that includes a pledge to support the United States Constitution. Donning the uniform of another state could arguably (indeed, almost certainly) imply a violation of that pledge of support.

  • Geller's 'savage' bus ad meets strong resistance from the Bay Area
    • The San Francisco ads strike me as hate speech, but my gut feeling is still that they must be permitted under free speech protections. In Europe, it's likely these ads would be illegal. But ban these or take them down, the precedent will be established for any who want to libel pro-Palestinian, pro-human rights speech as anti-Semitic (which happens routinely anyway with bigots like Alan Dershowitz and Pamela Geller).

  • New NY commuter ads seek to justify Islamophobia
    • There's an asterisk by the number "19,250" that seems to point to "and counting" at the center right. If not, I'm curious what it does point to.

      I find these claims about attacks since 9/11 very interesting. "19,250" deadly Islamic attacks since 9/11 — in the United States? Obviously not. Not even delusional moronic racists like Geller are claiming 19,250 dead in the US in post-9/11 attacks. And it's not 19,250 in Israel. Nor is it Europe. So they're including attacks in Arab and Muslim states. The source of the number is no doubt the imagination of someone like Dennis Ross, or anyone at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

      The obvious follow-up: "NN,NNN deadly Israeli attacks since 9/11." I'm probably understating the number of attacks there by a factor of 10 or so.

      This will escalate until some local government or MTA flunky tries to silence it. Since they will want to silence pro-Palestinian voices but not pro-Israel ones, there will be some hollow gesture toward content-neutrality that will have the effect of limiting voices to the ones politicians obey.

  • Shelly Adelson rides to Mitt's rescue in West Jerusalem
  • On the RJC’s drive to get Romney votes from Israel: Block the vote here, rock the vote there!
    • This September will see the 30th anniversary of the Sabra and Shatila massacre. We'll see how all those calling for recognition of the 40th anniversary of the Munich massacre respond to calls for recognition of Sabra and Shatila.

  • Stand With Us to run counter-ads to maps showing loss of Palestinian land
    • I think this is a good thing. For one, it will betray how grossly thin the Israel-fanatics' message really is. More important, it will firmly establish precedent for future pro-Palestinian ads, robbing the bigots of one avenue for suppressing free speech. Bigotted politicians won't be able to whine about removing pro-Palestinian ads when they've allowed the Israel Lobby stuff.

  • Susan Abulhawa demolishes Itamar Marcus
    • Itamar Marcus illustrates why I am so pessimistic compared to Philip Weiss or others who see reasons for optimism in a broad array of events revolving around Palestinian independence and self-determination.

      Israel's war is a war on all fronts in a way that very few wars ever are. Itamar Marcus's utter hostility to fact is an example of the war on truth, waged in news media around the world, in academia, and in political institutions. Israel engages in a hot war against Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza, and in Israel itself. This includes the ceaseless attacks on Palestinian property, institutions, and people. It wages economic war, political war — it is relentless.

      I'm reminded of the Babri Mosque in Ayodhya, India, destroyed by thousands of people swarming over the building. Israel's assault on Palestinians is much the same, steadily tearing apart every element of Israeli society.

      Itamar Marcus proves himself to be a racist revisionist, but a revoltingly large percentage of Americans, including those who certainly should know better like Donald Rumsfeld (who famously said he didn't think there was any occupation), share maliciously anti-factual views of Palestinian and Israeli history.

  • 'Atlantic''s Rob't Wright says Alex Kane deserves an apology
    • As I suggested in an earlier comment on the other piece regarding Armin Rosen's libelous attacks, it's way past time to bring out the legal guns. Vicious, lowlifes like Rosen or Alan Dershowitz or Abraham Foxman have casually hurled the charge of anti-Semitism for decades and they have never suffered any downside. There has been subdued admission from New York Times editors or academics or a handful of well-positioned others that this is part of the Israel Lobby's campaign of intimidation. But, while Dershowitz or Ariel Sharon have successfully deployed legal forces, pro-Palestinian individuals and groups have either not done so, been unable to muster the funding to do so, or have done so ineffectually and ineffectively. That has to change. These days, it's clear to all but the completely delusional that Alan Dershowitz is unhinged, perhaps really mentally ill, to judge from the ravings he indulges in. But others, like Rosen, have to learn that career-destroying, baseless allegations cannot be made with impunity.

  • Responding to 'the Atlantic' smear on Mondoweiss
    • Once again, I'm stunned by how low the bar is for admission to "The Discourse" if one is conservatice, like Armin Rosen. And I'm dismayed, again, to see how conservative the once-excellent Atlantic has gone.

      As Kane, Horowitz, and Weiss note here, the charge of anti-Semitism, made frivolously and maliciously with no other intent thato silence dissent, is actionable. It's well past time that some cases be brought. The viciousness with which Alan Dershowitz's favorite accusation is brought needs to be rendered inadmissable.

  • Democratic Congressman's aide who said there are no Palestinians says he wasn't speaking for his boss
  • Reminder: 'New Yorker' fiction parody contest ends in 3 days!
  • Amnesty Int'l collapse: new head is former State Dept official who rationalized Iran sanctions, Gaza onslaught
    • Amnesty International has had a poor to deplorable record on Israeli human rights abuses for many years. Suzanne Nossel's placement reflects long-standing AI hypocrisy rather than any change of course for the organization.

      AI gives every indication of taking an approach seen with a large percentage of well-funded, well-connected NGOs — play down criticism of major powers (public or private) in the interest of maintaining contacts and funding sources. We see much the same pattern in several major environmental organizations.

  • Iranian nuke would balance Israel and produce stability -- Waltz
    • This view of a nuclear-armed Iran has been floating around for years. The thesis is pretty simply — unbalanced power is unstable. The US has lusted after war for 20 years because its power has not been balanced as it was when the USSR presented a plausible threat.

      In the Middle East the problem is aggravated by Israel's warmongering supported by a nearly-as-warlike US. Iran is needed to balance the Israeli threat. (And, if Iran were to become so powerful, the irony would be that Israel would then be needed to balance Iran.)

  • Footballers rally to Sarsak's cause as he vows to continue hunger strike till death
    • It's worth remembering the hunger strike of Bobby Sands, who was unambiguously a member of the Provisional IRA. Sands got mountains of very sympathetic coverage in the US press, not to mention glowing support from the Kennedys and from the likes of Rep. Peter King (who continues to deny that any Irishmen ever committed an act of terrorism of any kind).

  • The media Israel complex
    • Yep — I noticed this morning's NPR propaganda trip on the mythic wonders of Israel's military-innovation complex. This is a variation on the military Keynesianism we see in the US. Vast government spending is bad bad bad — unless it's on the military, in which case it's good for exactly the reasons leveled against regular Keynesianism. Then add in the perfect ingredient of virulent anti-Arab, anti-Muslim racism in Israel and you have a sublime stew of neo-con neo-lib Orwellian absurdity.

  • Ozick, anti-Palestinian polemicist, is shortlisted for a big prize
  • '60 Minutes' profiles Palestinian Christians, Michael Oren falls on his face
    • As I watched the 60 Minutes segment, I was wondering what Mondoweiss would have to say about it. Unlike so much of what is spewed forth by The New York Times or NPR, it was genuinely balanced. And Bob Simon did something that American journalists almost never do — he really challenged a person of privilege and power. Oren came across as the pathological liar and advocate of atrocity that he is.

  • Auden wrote 'by far' the best book in 1945, but was denied the Pulitzer for alleged Communism and aloofness from WW II
    • Have to admit I've never heard of Shapiro, and I don't think I'm poorly read. But one thing we can say with confidence: Auden has stood the test of time better, and a PUlitzer in 1945 didn't have any effect one way or another on that.

      My own view is that prizes of the PUlitzer sort (or Nobel or MacArthur or take your pick) are really quite damaging. Some become obsessed with winning the prize. I knew a chemistry prof years ago who had been passed over while his colleague won for work they had collaborated on. The man was bitter beyond the telling of it. The joke among physicists was that it was called the "No-Bell" because the actual discoverer of pulsars — Jocelyn Bell — was ignored by the prize committee while her thesis adviser shared the prize (the physicist who had theoretically predicted the existence of pulsars, Thomas Gold, of Cornell, was also passed over).

      Others, having won, can't get past it. And then there's the history of terrible recipients, not least the long list of real monsters who've won the Nobel Peace Prize.

      A small handful of people have taken a stand against such prizes. The one who comes immediately to mind is N. David Mermin, physicist at Cornell. His public opposition to a Nobel Prize of any kind cost a stellar Cornell physics department at least a couple of Nobel Prizes in physics. Now, how could that be if the committee were saintly, impartial arbiters of genius that they would like us to believe they are? It's well-known that Graham Greene, though nominated more than any other for the Nobel in literature, never won because there was one person on the committee who swore up and down that no Catholic would ever win as long as he had anything to do with it.

      It may be difficult to say whether the PUlitzer in poetry or fiction is politically tainted by short-sighted, narrow-minded bigots on a committee, but the prizes for journalism, history, etc., certainly are. An Eric Hobsbawm or Tony Judt or Edward Said is a wildly unlikely recipient (albeit, not impossible) compared with nice, safe candidates. I was astonished that AP reporters won this year for revealing the gross misconduct of the NYPD. (Giuliani would have called for closing Columbia University.)

  • 'NYT Book Review' gives 'Crisis of Zionism' to Zionist with predictable result, a slam
    • The New York Times has long been known for its policy (presumably informal) of farming out reviews to capture editors' political positions. Conservative Sam Tanenhaus manages the Book Review. Whether he also oversees daily reviews I don't know, but the Times position is clear. They handed off the first review of Jimmy Carter's "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid" to Patricia Cohen who quoted only Alan Dershowitz for 'balanced insight.' Then the Book Review gave it to Ethan Bronner — big surprise. Steven Erlanger did Rashid Khalidi's "The Iron Cage," David Shipler did Edward Said's "Politics of Dispossession" in 1994. The list goes on. There are some exceptions, but the pattern is clear. And this says nothing of all the work that the Times just consigns to its memory hole.

  • 'I've been duped' -- America's travel guide Rick Steves says our media black out the brutal occupation
    • It'll be interesting to see how NPR or PBS respond. There will certainly be calls to drop any and all of Rick Steves's programs. NPR and PBS have shown no spine of any kind at all on the Israel-Palestine conflict (or they have shown themselves to be tacit supporters of whatever crimes Israel sees fit to commit).

  • Grass smears in 'Times', plus new translation of his 'I've had it with the West's hypocrisy' poem
  • Head of Bill Kristol's lobby group calls on Israeli army to use Palestinian protesters as 'target practice'
    • Hold onto this guys, take screen shots, because Pollak will pull it before the day is out. (Unless he's a really proud racist like Alan Dershowitz or Rep. Peter King or Glenn Beck.)

  • UN report on Israel is the 'most cutting recognition and condemnation of a legal system of segregation since apartheid South Africa'
  • Wall Street firm slammed the door on young Warren Buffett for religious reasons
    • There are many, many stories like this. Noam Chomsky went to MIT in the early or mid-60s because it was well-known then that Harvard wouldn't hire Jews to faculty posts. Today the widely, quietly endorsed bigotry is anti-Arab.

      The flip side is a phenomenon repeats itself again and again in different variants — a false sense of security and superiority built on exclusion. The state universities became great in the late 19th century because they would teach subjects and allow departments that Harvard, Yale, etc., shunned — engineering, agriculture, ecology — all the "hands-on" stuff that was about to turn the US into the worlds economic and industrial titan.

      The general problem is close-knit cultures that thrive on "being part of the family" — loyalty means more than substance. Bill Clinton and Barack Obama suffer from the same narrow-minded, blind adherence to intellectual monoculture. Conservatives who oppose immigration do likewise. Right-wing Israelis, convinced that they have to remain "racially pure" in some twisted, 21st century sense do, too.

      On and on, turning and turning in the widening gyre.

  • @IDFSpokesperson tweets inaccurate video and fake civilian casualty statistics
    • Lourdes Garcia-Navarro at NPR has been obediently parroting Israeli government and IDF claims for days. 'Reporters' like her are repeatedly, frequently contacted about their patterns of unquestioning acceptance of official lines (official from US or Israeli governments, not from Iran or Palestine, needless to say). They continue to repeat the official line anyway. This tells us that it is not just a mistake on their part. It is deliberate, planned.

  • Breaking report: US/Israel military drill cancelled, after US tells Israel to back off
    • Who knows . . . Maybe the US got wind of Israeli intentions to use the presence of thousands of US troops as cover for the Iran war. When better to launch an attack then when you already have a hesitant co-conspirator's forces on your soil?

  • Video surfaces of American forces urinating on dead corpses in Afghanistan (and Pamela Geller loves it)
    • The main point to be made with respect to Pamela Geller or Dana Loesch is that if similar comments were made in response to the defiling of an American or Israeli corpse, there would be instant, strident calls for the bigot's firing. And the bigot would be fired. Let's remember the American response in 1992 when Somalis dragged around the corpses of American soldiers who had attacked them. Or the response when corpses of US contractors (illegal combatants under the American definition) were strung up on a bridge: link to washingtonpost.com

  • Tariq Ali and Oliver Stone to discuss 'On History' in NYC
  • Preparing for 'Internet terror to strike'
    • This is a hoot given Israel's and the US's penchant for cyberattacks, not to mention the more bloody variety.

      If you want to see what Americans and Israelis will be raving about 'terrorists' doing in the future, check what under-million-dollar crimes the US and Israel are committing today.

  • Again, 'NYT' ties anti-Zionism to white supremacism (apropos of Ron Paul)
    • So Frank Bruni — former restaurant critic for the Times — is now an expert on both electoral and ethnic politics. Gotta love the Times. Their attitude is that ANY Times reporter on ANY subject must be better than ALL other journalists on ALL subjects. The Times reporter on garbage collection on Staten Island must be better than any and all journalists — anywhere — on any topic of any kind. Why? Because they're reporters at Man's Greatest Newspaper.

      What's more important here is recently flurry of widely-read figures identifying criticism of Israel with "anti-Zionism" and then, by implicit extension, with anti-Semitism.

  • Iran airs footage of US drone intact
    • I look forward to the day when an Iranian drone goes down over some sensitive area in the US, and American media, politicians, and 'academics' scream and rave that the sky is falling, that Iran is committing an act of war by spying on the US, and on and on.

  • Evidently Harvard University chose not to acquire this celebrity lawyer's papers?
    • This is a fun story, but my guess is that Dershowitz offered his papers to Brooklyn; he was an undergrad there. And the blunt truth is that Dershowitz is little more than a loudmouth, an outstanding criminal defense attorney, and an unalloyed pro-Israel bigot. I've never seen any suggestion that he is considered much of a legal scholar. There is little or nothing to give his papers lasting scholarly interest, I suspect, because there is little of lasting scholarly interest about the man.

  • Behind closed doors Sarkozy and Obama spill the beans
    • The catch with this gem is that we don't know what Obama was up to. We do know that he says what he thinks his audience wants to hear. Was he just trying to ingratiate himself with Sarkozy? Or was Obama expressing his dislike to the Israeli war criminal? When Obama meets with the war criminal, will he make some disparaging remark about Sarkozy?

      Obama is a perfect coward. Or at best, a particularly vile opportunist.

  • UNESCO votes to admit Palestine as a full member
    • If the US were concerned with the law — as Victoria Nuland pretends — then aid to Israel would be severed under American laws restricting aid to non-signatories to the Non-Proliferation Treaty that pursue nuclear weapons.

  • Rachel Abrams says Palestinian children are 'devils' spawn'-- while Israeli children play with Transformers and draw your heart strings
    • Surely this is someone masquerading as Elliot Abrams's wife, or someone happening to share the name?!

      Imagine the furor if the spouse of a prominent American supporter of Palestinians said anything remotely as hate-filled. (Recall the response to Hillary greeting Suha Arafat with a traditional peck on the cheek.)

      This should serve as a reminder that even if routine Israeli crimes are getting somewhat more attention and even if the mainstream press is daring to voice something that might approach criticism of Israel, the atmosphere in the US is still such that people like this can spew language perfectly recognizable in an entirely different, far worse time and place.

  • Take notice D.C. - Panel of distinguished Arabs analyze the 'Arab Spring' at Harvard
    • This is a change. Not to long ago, the entire panel would have consisted in 'experts' from the "Washington Institute for Near East Policy" with perhaps a Thomas Friedman or Ethan Bronner. Alan Dershowitz would have been screaming, so a companion panel would have been set up on Israel with Israeli Likudniks and the likes of Bernard Lewis and Bernard-Henri Levy.

  • Obama speech was shattering to liberal Zionists
    • What is the explanation for American behavior or, more specifically, Obama?

      I think the US is looking very much like the United Kingdom after World War 2. The US is utterly different in many respects (it hasn't suffered they way the UK did in the war, for one thing, and it is vastly larger for another), but its painful inability to address reality is much the same.

      The age of American ability to dictate to the rest of the world is over. It can still dictate to Europe because the Europeans, and especially the British and Germans, are almost as delusional as the Americans (more delusional on issues like fiscal responsibility, less so on some others). But China, Brazil, Turkey, South Africa — all clearly understand facts the US won't even admit.

      Obama is more a President for Our Times than I realized. He is essentially weak, risk averse, cowardly, dishonest, self-serving to the detriment of all but those whose approval he craves. He toadies up to bullies as if he will be made stronger by doing so.

      As for Israel, the question is how much horror will the US support Israel in visiting upon the Palestinians all so that a small band of bigots can exercise their sadistic inclinations.

  • Bernard-Henri Levy, philosopher for hire
    • There is one clear problem with Udi Aloni's essay — Bernard-Henry Levy is not a philosopher. He is diametrically opposed to wisdom. He isn't even a sophist. He's a race-baiting, hate-filled propagandist.

  • Tom Friedman suggests Arabs are 60 years behind the rest of us, or maybe 100
    • I find myself thinking of the comment Chinese premier Zhou Enlai made to Kissinger. Kissinger asked Enlai what he thought of the French Revolution. Enlai answered, "It's too soon to say."

      Absurd that Friedman should (again) be passing judgement on Arab societies when the criticism he makes of them are arguably better directed these days at the United States. Bush and now Obama are marching us into a repression never seen in the US while Friedman and most at the Times and other US media outlets cheer.

  • StandWithUs says that those seeking end to US military aid to Israel wants to 'eliminate state of the Jewish people'
    • As with similar Israel-fanatic campaigns to silence dissent, this attack borders on libelous. Members of the Obama administration and Congress have made noises about criminalizing criticism of Israel. This is clearest in moves to identify _speech-acts_ supporting Palestinians as "material support for terrorism".

      This being the case, attacks like those of Mike Harris and "StandWithUs" should be treated as actionable.

  • Kinky Friedman supports Rick Perry because of-- (wake me up when this is over)
    • So this person has one and only one reason to support Perry -- Perry's stance on Israel. Yet Friedman ran against Perry for the governorship in 2006. Presumably, he offered Texans at least _some_ reason to oppose Perry in his favor. All those go by the board because of Perry's Israel fanaticism. . . .

  • China announces support for Palestinian UN statehood bid
    • That's an interesting question. I don't think the Israel Lobby can use Tibet the way it used Darfur. The criminal actors in Darfur had no substantial external support or anything to offer that would garner support. China has an enormous amount to offer. Indeed, China has already made inroads into Africa by presenting itself as the not-US. Furthermore, the Israel Lobby has to be wary of overplaying what hand it has. Force non-fanatics to choose between Israel and China, Israel will lose. More important, American business has nothing to gain from Israel and trillions at stake in China. . . . Follow the money.

    • This is a work of art of Chinese statecraft, and one perfectly predictable on realist understandings of international relations. The US -- dominated by petty-minded, money-grubbing bigots like Barack Obama and Charles Schumer and the huge majority of members of executive and legislative branches of US government -- gave the Chinese a no-lose hand. By endorsing every crime Israel has invented, the US has drastically weakened its position with Arab states, a position further weakened as Arab peoples have sought greater democratic control of their countries. All China had to do was adopt the position that could not possibly lose -- support for Arab peoples. The one country (besides Israel) that the US won't challenge is China. The kinds of pressure that the US and Israel brought to bear against Greece are impossible with China. So China only stands to gain by supporting Palestinian statehood.

      Arab democracies emerge, China wins because of long US support for tyrants. Arab democratic movements fail, disgruntled Arab populations rsent the US for not voicing greater support, especially in the longest running Arab effort -- Palestine.

      Palestine wins recognition, China wins Arab allies. Palestine fails to win recognition, Arabs (rightly) blame US obstructionism and bigotry.

      There is no outcome on which China loses.

  • Wikileaks: In '06, Lieberman told US ambassador of need to transfer Palestinians from Israel-- and US says nothing
    • Here we have the Saban Forum propaganda sheet from . . . 2006! when Avigdor Lieberman was channelling his fascist predecessors. All the usual suspects: Haim Saban of course, Avigdor Lieberman, Tzipi Livni, Dov Weissglas, Ted Koppel, both Clintons, Tom Lantos, Joseph Lieberman, Bill Kristol, Martin Indyk, Michael Ignatieff, Jane Harman, Thomas Friedman, Dennis Ross. . . .

      link to brookings.edu

    • 'Experts' are waving their hands over tribalism in Libya. How are the abuses of Avigdor Lieberman or Netanyahu (or Joseph Lieberman here in the US) any less tribalistic?

      Rather than raise alarms in the US, Avigdor Lieberman is enthusiastically welcomed by the Clintons, Ted Koppel, Charles Schumer and the like. (I believe there are photos floating about on the web show a warm welcome for Lieberman at the Brookings Saban Center.)

  • Israeli air strikes on Gaza threaten shaky truce
    • If true, this would a classic Israeli Orwellian take on 'truce' -- truce or ceasefire means that Palestinians cease all violence while Israelis continue war crimes as usual. Likewise, the "peace process" means Palestinians accede to all Israeli demands while Israel makes a handful of cimmitments that it breaks even as it's making them.

      And Americans and Israelis wonder why nobody on Earth finds them credible.

  • State Department awards $200,000 to Elliott-Abrams-led thinktank repeatedly cited by mass murderer Breivik
    • Tweet queries regarding why MEMRI is not being prosecuted under Obama admin standards of "material support to terrorism" can be directed to Hannah Rosenthal - @HannahAtState

    • Given Obama administration standards for prosecuting groups for "material support" to terrorism, the obvious question is why MEMRI isn't being prosecuted.

  • Geller and Spencer's work actually shaped Breivik's ideas, Walt explains
    • In the case of Pamela Geller, we know -- by her own admission -- that she concealed the identify of an anti-Arab, anti-Muslim racist who had described stockpiling weapons in Norway. Moreover, she has since deleted some of the relevant material from her website. By the very definitions enthusiastically embraced by Obama and conservatives across the US, Geller could be prosecuted for giving "material support" to a terrorist.

      See: link to twitlonger.com

  • My response to 'DailyKos' smear
    • For what it's worth, the post on DailyKos is certainly actionable. My guess is that Philip Weiss has better things to do with his time than sue a petty bigot at DailyKos, but the language of the DailyKos screed is directed, specific, and malicious. The charge of anti-Semitism is a career-destroying one. It can be made legitimately. It can also be used by the likes of Alan Dershowitz, Daniel Pipes, and others to viciously suppress opinions they will not tolerate being aired (with consequences like those we've now seen in Norway).

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