Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 330 (since 2010-02-24 05:08:20)


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.


Showing comments 330 - 301

  • 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.

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  • '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

  • 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

    • '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

  • 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).

  • IDF and Ros-Lehtinen share goal: kill any chance for Palestinian state
    • It is 1776 for Palestinians. Palestine must declare its independence, stipulating that its borders are those of 1967 -- no kowtowing before UN bigots who are in turn prostrating themselves before American and Israeli terror regimes.

  • Since Obama vetoed settlements resolution at U.N., Israel has had 'free hand' in building in West Bank
    • The solution is to ignore the UN, as the Americans and Israelis already do. As I wrote in response to another post here: It is 1776 for Palestinians. Palestine must declare its independence, stipulating that its borders are those of 1967 -- no kowtowing before UN bigots who are in turn prostrating themselves before American and Israeli terror regimes.

  • Do we not write letters? (Or do the papers not print 'em?)
    • The same standards applied to reporting are applied to opinion and letters -- only lowered.

      I've written many letters to The New York Times. Not one has ever been printed. I've always tried to make a point of being polite, direct, brief, and attentive to fact. By contrast, three or four years ago, I noticed a vicious anti-Palestinian screed in the Times Letters to the Editor. The name seemed vaguely familiar, so I searched the paper's archives. Lo-and-behold, this letter-writer (a self-described therapist) had had _several_ letters published, each one attacking Palestinians or their supporters, each one stretching the truth or just falsifying things, and each one using the kind of rhetoric that would be recognized as racist if directed at any group besides Arabs. I wrote a letter to the Times noting this; they never responded.

      I routinely hear critics of Israel challenged on the facts or attacked as anti-Semitic (or most often, ignored). I rarely if ever hear such a challenge leveled at Israel-fanatics, like Alan Dershowitz or Abraham Foxman. When reporting on Jimmy Carter's book, Palestine: Peace not Apartheid, Patricia Cohen went to one and only one for comment -- Alan Dershowitz. Selective, skewed inclusion of reader responses is essentially the same tactic.

      The techniques for manufacturing consent are many: exclude, ignore, misrepresent, lie, mock, dismiss, belittle, sue, intimidate, outspend, coerce, threaten, silence, imprison, torture, kill. Israel and the US use them all, and others. Selective publication of letters is a trivially easy one.

  • Siegman: Israel always wanted territory not peace, and US is its 'captive'
    • I don't think there is any chance at all of Palestinians getting UN General Assembly affirmation of a State of Palestine. There is no limit to what the US and Israel will do to block any resolution. Israel will call it an act of war; most US members of Congress will follow suit. The US will threaten an end to funding of the UN (this would give China a perfect opportunity to assume a position the US is no longer either willing or competent to hold). Israel and the US will use financial and other threats (as recently done with Greece). Despite recent American handwringing over cyberattacks directed at the US, I think an obvious saber-rattling tactic would be for the US and Israel to engage in cyberattacks on others.

      As I said in another recent post, I believe things are escalating. Israel and its American proxies are sliding toward a new generation of atrocities. As Mondoweiss noted, settler violence against Palestinians has almost doubled. This is not incidental. The Israeli and US governments are enablers. Israel got away entirely with Operation Cast Lead. It is nearly irrelevant what the general perception is of such crimes when the world's collective hegemons are either supportive (the US and to a lesser extent Europe) or utterly indifferent (China, India, Brazil, Russia).

      In my opinion, Israel is moving toward mass expulsions from pre-1967 Israel to Gaza, the West Bank, and to the extent that refugees will be accepted, bordering countries. In the West Bank, Palestinians will be corralled into massive ghettoes (a process under way now for decades) allowing Israel to take permanent control of water resources and most arable land.

      Anti-democratic, permanent security state measures in Israel, the US, Europe will sideline or suppress criticism and dissent while other countries never allow precious little democracy to begin with (notably China).

      The only hope for Palestinians is that the US is so thoroughly self-destructing that it will no longer be able to fund and arm Israeli atrocities. But just as, in the midst of American decline, new ways are invented to transfer wealth from the poor and middle class to the rich or to perpetuate the war of America against All, I suspect there will be no shortage of invention in the service of Israeli crimes against humanity.

  • The erasure of history (Israel gives go-ahead to desecration of Mamilla cemetery)
    • A few years ago there was some _accidental_ damage to a Jewish cemetery in the Flatiron district of Manhattan. An adjacent construction site had not adequately protected against possible falling debris. The response to what was unambiguously accidental was fast and angry.

      Contrast the near-silence on the Mamilla cemetery, coupled with the revolting hypocrisy of the Wiesenthal Center. History really is being erased. Any claim that the Palestinian people have to the land west of the Jordan must be dismissed, ignored, or -- if too inconvenient, like the people themselves -- obliterated.

      The overall picture (filled out by another post currently on Mondoweiss, or arguably by _every_ other post on Mondoweiss) is deeply troubling. It points to looming genocide.

      We know that in this election year, none but the most stalwart American politicians will voice even the faintest criticism of Israel. We know that Israel is cementing (literally) its hold on the West Bank, especially on every resource that makes life tolerable for Palestinians.

      Most important, we see Israel using EXACTLY the facts-on-the ground argument to buttress its claims while denying EXACTLY the same argument for Palestinians. What is a cemetery, or a Palestinian village, or an olive grove, if not a fact on the ground? So Israel, by Orwellian necessity, denies, ignores, destroys the fact of Palestinians.

      This is violence done to a People _as_a_People_ with the calculated intent of obliterating that People. What did Baruch Kimmerling call it? Politicide? If the world is lucky, it may amount only to politicide. But Netanyahu, Schumer, Lieberman (Israel's and ours), King, and many others in the US and Israel would undoubtedly cheer on genocide.

  • 'NYT' makes glaring omission on use of drones
    • I see at least two key omissions here:

      1. The Times fails to mention civilian casualties under the US drone attacks.

      2. The Times omits (as usual) the issue of using _civilian_ CIA personnel to engage in acts of war via the drone attacks. This is a strict violation of the very definition of "illegal combatant" that the United States endorses. The CIA operators of drones are war criminals under terms embraced by the US and by the international community.

  • Israel tracked Facebook to compile int'l blacklist for flytilla
    • I would echo something like what radii said.

      First, most (possibly all, given post 9/11 developments) electronic communications are monitored by the anglophone countries, especially the U.S., U.K., Canada, N.Z., and Australia. This has been the case for many years. The Echelon facility, based in Britain, has been monitoring electronic communications for decades. It is located in Britain precisely to avoid US government violations of American law. Mention something like this in the hearing of a Times editor or reporter (like John Burns or Thomas Friedman) and you will instantly be labeled a "conspiracy theorist," despite the fact that such media figures know this to be the case.

      Second, the Obama administration has repeatedly made clear than even unambiguous speech-acts are now being taken to constitute "material support" for whatever organization is in the sights of the U.S. government. The U.S. has dug itself into a nice hole on this one (possibly with some malice aforethought). The Supreme Court has ruled (and Obama, Democrats, and Republicans have endorsed the view) that spending money is a speech act. Of course, money can be essential to material support of an enterprise. Thus, the groundwork is laid for extending restrictions on freedom of speech by likening, say, vocal support for Palestinian rights to "yelling fire in a crowded theater." And this indeed is a rhetorical/political/legal move made by diehard Israel-supporters and their willing slaves in the U.S. government and media as they seek to choke off any and all support for Palestinians.

      Finally, we know that the U.S. shares "intelligence" with Israel. Likewise, we know from recent reports that Google shares information on users to varying degrees with various countries. The U.S. leads in demands placed on Google, and Google usually complies. Israel likewise enjoys near-total compliance. We also know that the major telecoms have raised no word of objection whatsoever to U.S. demands for secret access. What Israel has demanded and received we can only guess, but given the hysterical support that Israel enjoys in the U.S., I wouldn't be surprised to find that it sees greater compliance than the U.S. government. Furthermore, there is a small army of extremist, pro-Israel fanatics ready to level any and every charge at any and every critic of Israel. Computing technology has made the collection and sorting of all this information very easy for years.

      Thus we have three components that reduce Facebook to what is likely a tiny component of a much larger monitoring (and control) apparatus:
      1. Technological means;
      2. Vastly expanding conceptions of what constitute (a) threats and (b) legitimate means; and
      3. A disparate, dispersed but nevertheless organized body of very willing participants.

      The advantages for those who support human rights, whether Palestinians' or anybody's (since I think it is safe to say that every last person on Earth _not_ in the top 5% of the most privileged is under attack) are:
      1. Sheer numbers;
      2. Growing ease of communication;
      3. Commitment to a stable, sustainable, humanitarian solution.

      I think the strategy for We the People should be
      1. Absolute openness (combat secrecy with openness);
      2. Ever-repeated commitment to non-violence;
      3. An extended, open hand even to those with whom we disagree.

  • Debunking the Israeli-US effort to thwart Gaza Freedom Flotilla: 'We are committed to non-violence'
    • There is only one possible pretext for any American persecution (I mean, prosecution) — the sweeping meaning granted "material support" to terrorism under the PATRIOT and REAL ID acts. These acts are our times' equivalent of the Alien and Sedition acts of 1798, and Obama — supposedly an expert in constitutional law — has embraced them.

      We can only hope that this idiotic saber-rattling in an election season. But given Obama's sustained assault on whistleblowing and other efforts to hold the US government to account, I wouldn't be too sure.

  • 'Peace Now' calls on Israel to end blockade but says flotilla is playing 'dangerous game'
    • As others have noted, flotilla participants are "provoking a confrontation" no less so than did African Americans who sat at lunch counters, road in the front of buses, entered public schools in the segregated American South of the 50s and 60s.

      In that time, apologists for segregation — and those who were just not willing to press for change, like New York Times editors — blamed blacks and whites activists for "provoking confrontation."

      Israel and its American apologists have repeatedly asserted that Gaza is "free," that Israel withdrew. Meanwhile, if they do not expressly support the atrocities of blockade, they grossly downplay the misery (e.g., Ethan Bronner). If they are right, then what possible problem could there be in a boat carrying medicine docking in Gaza?

      If, as is in fact the case, the flotilla is acting to assert the rights of Palestinians, and if that provokes a confrontation with Israeli war criminals, so be it.

  • 'Campaigning against Israeli apartheid has resulted in 23 Palestinian solidarity activists facing US federal grand jury'
    • I think the strategy here should directly challenge the US government. The Supreme Court has asserted that _spending money_ is a speech act. They have accorded corporations and other aggregate entities the rights of individuals.

      We need (1) an organization formally aggregating individuals who support the rights of Palestinians (of course, many such already exist) and (2) a dedicated effort to donate aid with such aid effectively identified as from this individual or that. The idea is to do something very similar to what some war tax resisters have done. Some resisters have made a very public, vocal point of asserting they refusal to pay tax that supports illegal, unconstitutional US militarism. There is some evidence that the US government has tended to prosecute less public, less vocal resisters because those who have vocally objected to US actions are more likely to get attention in any US prosecution.

      The point of the organization I suggest is to provide a rallying point for supporters of Palestine who expressly and publicly choose to challenge US attempts to criminalize support for Palestinians.

      Let's remember that the US did nothing to oppose most of those who unambiguously supported the Irish Republican Army, very clearly a terrorist organization. Rep. Peter King and several members of the Kennedy family were among that number. Likewise, many Israel idolaters in the US directly supported the most violent Israeli crimes in the past 60 years.

      The Palestinian groups or others supported by others like Maureen Clare Murphy don't even remotely approach these precedents. No one can rationally pretend they do. Campaigns by the Obama administration and others to intimidate into silence Palestinians' supporters can be vocally supported. But it can also be directly challenged by strategically forcing the hand of Obama's oppressors. Wikileaks has done this on the whistleblower front, to historic effect.

  • Bent propeller shafts in Athens
    • Imagine the thousands of pounds of pressure required to do that. The deliberate sabotaging of vessel in another state's waters -- indeed, the harbor of its capital city -- is an act of war.

      Israel and the US have attempted to coerce Greek into acceding to Israeli demands by linking financial assistance to blocking the flotilla. Greece should up the ante. It should identify the sabotage as an act of war and announce as a result it will treat all debts to enemy creditors, and tacit allies of those enemies (namely the rest of Europe), as null and void.

      Moreover, Greece is a member of NATO. Under the terms of the treaty, an attack upon on member state is an attack on all. Israel has committed an act of war against all of NATO.

  • Latest libel: flotilla passengers seek 'to kill soldiers'
    • This is why activist and resistance movements for decades have advocated _total_, _absolute_, _unequivocal_ nonviolence. It has to be clear to the entire world that a humanitarian activist group tolerates no violence at all. Why? Because in the US and elsewhere, police forces, conservative forces, government forces have repeatedly committed crimes while disguised as activists to discredit the movement. The FBI did this. The US did this in Central America. France did it. The Israelis have done it. It is a proven formula, and it is fantastically effective at bringing condemnation down upon humanitarian groups — especially from those (The New York Times, Obama, whomever) who are _itching_ for an excuse to side with the oppressor.

      There should be no doubt at all that Israel will try to plant people among pro-Palestinian groups. Those people will spy and they will try to sow dissent and they will try to push people to violence. The US has done this very recently via the NYPD in New York (during the 2004 Republican National Convention). It did it frequently in the 60s and 70s.

      It is bad enough that _any_ act of violence will likely be attributed to progressive activists (witness the NYPD cop who was _successfully_ blaming a bicyclist until cellphone videos started cropping up to prove the NYPD liars).

      Even if violence is in some way justified under the _exact_ standards of justice endorsed by Obama or Michael Walzer or Ignatieff or whomever, progressives must go to every length possible to avoid even the appearance of violence, just as progressives must make the best legal and political arguments humanly possible while right-wingers and moderates (again, like Obama) are given a pass on every kind of lying.

      In domestic American protests, when police cart protesters away, while some will lie down, forcing the police to drag them off, others will simply do as the cops say. Why? Because all it takes is one cop suffering a heart attack while kicking and beating a protester in the summer heat for the New York Times or Fox (there is little to distinguish the two in these cases) to say that the protesters were "violent anarchists" bent on injuring the police. This has happened; it's a matter of historical fact -- not that the Times will ever admit it or resist calling someone mentioning it, like me, a conspiracy theorist.

      As I said in a post a few days ago, this is emphatically not conspiracy theory. It is proven beyond any reasonable doubt -- beyond any doubt of any kind -- by decades of American, Israeli, European practice.

  • Sabotage on the Aegean: Propeller mysteriously cut on flotilla ship
    • A few days ago, on this site, I predicted something like this, suggesting that a hole might be punched in a hull. Severing a propeller is more elegant, in its way.

      I added, from necessity in the American political climate, that I was only noting a pattern of Israeli and American behavior (or French, in the case of the Rainbow Warrior in 1985), not proposing a conspiracy theory. The Times or CNN or NPR would instantly dismiss as knee-jerk theorizing any suggestion that the US or Israel might do what they have already done many times in the past (e.g., the US mining of Nicaraguan harbors during the Reagan administration).

  • 'Commandos physical violence will only last a few minutes but feel like a few hours' --Canadian boat training
    • I don't think that the inclination of the Israelis to violence should be underestimated. _Excluding_ the blockade of Gaza, the occupation of the West Bank and the massive crimes like Cast Lead, Grapes of Wrath, Sabra and Shatila, there are thousands or tens of thousands of other examples of brutish, deliberate attacks aimed expressly at civilian non-combatants.

      The United States has now _repeatedly_ and through several channels endorsed Israeli violence against the flotilla. We are in a political season when 99% of American politicians are busy prostrating themselves before Israel (and that's not including those American politicians like Cantor or Schumer who, by their own admission, place representation of Israelis over representation of Americans).

      Europe, meanwhile, is a financial basket case. China and India just don't care.

      As near as I can tell, American media are largely ignoring the second flotilla. Ethan Bronner reported on Israel's threats to journalists and made a point to add an aside about how hard-done-to Israelis are.

      As long as the Israelis don't murder willy-nilly, as long as they kill only a few dark-skinned, plausibly-Arab-looking, bearded men, they will get nothing but applause in the American media. And if it's up to Fox or Michele Bachmann or Sarah Palin, the Israelis will be applauded even if they torpedo the entire flotilla.

  • Last minute complaint regarding the 'sea worthiness' of the Audacity of Hope puts the US Boat to Gaza in jeopardy
    • Pure speculation on my part, and I suggested a hole in the hull just to illustrate a point. There are a slew of things that could render a ship unseaworthy -- rudder, engine, propulsion, navigation...

    • Time to start wondering about the US or Israel doing what the French did to the Rainbow Warrior. That is, the question must be asked whether the US or Israel would deliberately sabotage the Gaza boat, making it genuinely unsafe to sail.

      Punching a hole in the hull without being detected would be easy for either the Israeli or the US military. Then file a claim that the boat is not seaworthy, because it has been so rendered.

      Conspiracy? Well, I'm not asserting that this has been done -- just that the US and Israel are capable of doing so, that they have done comparable things in the past and that neither would feel any moral compunction about committing any crime against Palestinians' supporters.

  • US flotilla passengers are scared, but they will not be stopped
    • The Obama administration threats of prosecution should scare American humanitarians on the Gaza flotilla. Obama has proved that he is as vicious as George W. Bush is using prosecution to intimidate and silence dissent. Obama's campaign against whistleblowers is more harsh than Bush's. And we have the treatment of Bradley Manning and others to prove Obama's abuse of law to serve political ends.

      Under the Obama language, someone _photographing_ Israeli crimes could be counted as giving "material support" to 'terrorism.' Someone handing candy or medical supplies could certainly be so charged under the Obama newspeak.

  • Bachmann takes it to the mat-- US and Israel are 'two sides of the same coin'
  • Most Israelis don't see Jordan Valley as occupied
    • There is an important sidebar here. Take a look at satellite photographs of the Jordan Valley. North of the West Bank, in the stretch of the river valley to which Israel does have legal claim, there is a huge array of artificial ponds. Cross the border into the West Bank — more arid land, few if any such ponds. Likewise, cross the border from Israel to Jordan and there are like wise far fewer such ponds in Jordan.

      Israel is draining away a huge percentage of the Jordan River's water before it even flows into the border between Palestine and Jordan. The valley in Palestine remains an important source of new water flowing into the Jordan, but Israel is doing something it would call an act of war if done by Lebanon, Syria, or Jordan. Indeed, Israel has threatened Lebanon over Lebanese irrigation projects that would reduce water flow into Israel.

      One could argue that a water war has been under way for over 40 years.

  • At Netroots, Rep. Keith Ellison supports Palestinian statehood initiative at UN
    • I have to ask if Ellison spoke on the record. . . . The Democrats, Republicans and Israel Lobby terrorists will come down on him like a ton of bricks (and that's if they go lightly). Ellison won re-election in 2010, so perhaps his constituency will see past the DRIL lies.

  • What do you do when Netroots is just not that into you?
    • Tough question. . . . What do you do with people who are very committed to the view that they are open-minded, tolerant, democratic (in the small-d, broad sense), but who hang that all up on some issue? Edward Said described his friendship with Isaiah Berlin, beautiful thinker on many things and absolutely medieval on Israel. Said described Berlin just refusing to discuss the topic.

      Just goes to show that sheer force of mental power is insufficient to solve some problems. And that some great thinkers are also bigots. And most Democrats (big-D) are not even particularly _good_ thinkers, let alone great ones.

  • More bollocks from David Mamet
    • Mamet sets the standard for arrogant, pseudo-intellectual, defiantly, proudly racist anti-Arabism in the US. Elie Wiesel is a close second. In Europe, there's Bernard-Henri Levy. Other contenders: Michael Walzer, Michael Ignatieff, Bernard Lewis, Ruth Wedgwood. I exclude possible candidates like Alan Dershowitz or the Pipes brigade because they are so completely unhinged, they can no longer maintain an pretense of intellectualism.

  • 'Washington Times' yanks Weiner-married-Muslim-agenda piece
    • The dynamics behind this about-face might be fun. Did the Israel Lobby call to say that Benador was attacking one of Israel's five most fanatical friends in Congress?

  • 'NYT' characterizes '48 ethnic cleansing as 'evacuation'
  • Wingnuts focus on Weiner's marriage to Muslim
    • As Jeff Klein already noted above, Eleana Benador heads up a PR firm with extreme right-wing affiliations. (What is it about Peru that generates so many conservative nutters -- Fujimori, Mario Vargas Llosa...?) Those affiliations are worth noting further. Among those Benador represents: Max Boot, Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., Alexander M. Haig, Jr., Martin Kramer, Charles Krauthammer, Michael Ledeen, Kanan Makiya, Laurie Mylroie, Richard Perle, Richard Pipes, A. M. Rosenthal, Ruth Wedgwood, Meyrav Wurmser.


  • Weiner repeatedly lied (about Israel and Palestine-- does anyone care?)
    • Philip Weiss forgets that Lies in the Service of the Israel Delusion (LSID) are exempt from scrutiny, the standards of truth, or anything resembling the standards of journalism overtly endorsed at The New York Times or NPR or CNN. Donald Rumsfeld has been among those asserting that Israel does not occupy the West Bank. My guess is that a check of the records of Chuck Schumer, Joe Lieberman, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Alan Dershowitz would turn up similar assertions. Netanyahu certainly made the assertion before Congress.

      This is a term of Art and Newspeak. It does work. Weiner's twist on the statement (that there are no IDF troops in the West Bank) just marks im has either not particularly intelligent, even more delusional than most in the Israel Lobby, or a really stupid liar.

      To assert that Israel does not occupy the West Bank is to assert that the West Bank is _already_ Israel's, which is of course exactly the claim made by the Lobby. This is the unifying delusion: the West Bank is already Israel's; therefore, ANY concession of ANY land is a great gift to the Palestinians.

      That American media so readily relay the assertions of Israel bigots also does work. (Roger Cohen's question -- not an actual refutation -- is the furthest any at the Times or CNN or NPR will take an objection to an Israel Lobby lie.) This work is that of establishing a point of view in the minds of grossly ill-informed Americans. Then, when Palestinians claim what is theirs by right, Israelis, US politicians and 'journalists' rally in condemning the Palestinians as unreasonable.

  • Hersh says Obama is in a political 'cult' and isolated from folks with independent ideas
    • The cult is more comprehensive than Hersh seems to suggest — it is the cult of developing, nascent oligarchy. You see the cult in Obama appointees and in a wide, wide spectrum of policy, including his Daschle-confirmed opposition to the public option, his adoration of a very narrow school of economics, his near-exclusive reliance on Harvard Law School for legal counsel, his coddling of Wall Street, caving on environmental issues, willing slavishness to health insurers, the Israel Lobby, and on and on and on.

  • New White House page on Israel's security says nothing about settlements or occupation, but tons about Iran, Goldstone, slaughter of innocent Israelis, delegitimization
    • Since the border will "different than the one that existed on June 4, 1967," perhaps the Palestinians should use the Obama language as justification for annexation of Israeli land on ground of the Palestinian facts on the ground in Israel, which Palestinians' security is clearly not supplied by Israel.

  • Looking better
  • Israeli raid of cucumber fields in occupied West Bank another sign of water battle to come
    • Water may be the greatest under-recognized issue in the Palestinian struggle for independence (under-recognized in the US; Israelis and Palestinians know it well).

      Israeli usurpation of West Bank water resources goes almost _entirely_ unmentioned in American media though it has been clear for at least 20 years that Israel fully intends to retain control of nearly all the West Bank's water, especially that the Jordan River Valley.

      This is the real thrust behind Israeli demands that any Palestinian state be 'demilitarized.' It has nothing to do with Israeli security and everything to do with Israel preserving its capacity to rampage across Palestinian land at will.

      The denial of subsistence levels of water supply for Palestinians through theft to maintain Israeli and settler luxuries (like green lawns and swimming pools in an arid climate) is almost certainly a war crime.

      The further use of waste water to destroy Palestinian livelihoods and means of subsistence is definitely a war crime.

  • Settlers fabricate non-existent “eternal rights”
    • To the extent that Israel-relevant cases appear in US courts (and they do from time to time), the sad fact is that the US court system is so biased in favor of Israel that these lunatic settlers could probably (1) find a court to hear the case and (2) shop for a venue which would be sympathetic to the case.

      The obvious response would be (a) that any case must be brought in an international court (to the extent that they exist and are robust, given widespread attempts to undermine them by, among others, the US) and (b) the settlers would not have standing in an American court (which is certainly where they would want to bring such a case).

  • The assault on Netanyahu's heckler, Rae Abileah
    • Predictably, the mainstream American media is ignoring Rae Abileah. Haaretz did report it. Were the tables turned and an AIPAC figure had protested an Arab speaker before Congress (something, of course, that would never happen), the same media would be headlining it, especially if she had then been attacked by others in the gallery.

      We can hope that Rae Abileah sues for many millions.... Given the deeply anti-Arab, anti-Palestinian sentiment in the US, the case will be tossed, but in so doing, the judicial system will further highlight how bigoted this country is.

  • Netanyahu claims there are 650,000 settlers-- not just half a million
    • There is a strategy in this. When the threat looms of application of international law or of bad press or of Israel looking bad, then understate the numbers (as The New York Times, NPR, CNN, etc., routinely do). When appealing to "facts on the ground" as a 'justification' for theft of Palestinian land, then overstate the numbers.

      If the war criminal Netanyahu is going to systematically overstate the numbers (or maybe he is being accurate), then it must be part of a strategy of pseudo-justification for permanent land seizures.

      The concomitant understatement of the number of Palestinians in Israel fits with this. The rhetorical ethnic cleansing will proceed the real ethnic cleansing.

      One question: Now that the lead war criminal has granted permission to the Americans, will The Times and NPR and their fellow pathological liars follow suit and use the New Numbers?

  • An angry Obama warns the lobby that the 'world is moving too fast' (to preserve a Jewish state)
    • Philip Weiss's are the only comments I have yet seen that lead me to think I should reconsider Obama's speech, that perhaps I was too hard on him. My general view of Obama must be one that is now sadly widely-shared among progressives and others outside the US — that Obama is a pathological, self-serving liar. At the least, he is someone who is forever trying to please that subset of The People whom he has identified as in some sense needing pleasing. That is, labor and the left can be ignored — and we have been. AFL-CIO head Richard Trumka, with the kind of anger I feel, has been reminding Obama that there will be a price for this. By contrast, moderates (whatever they are in this revoltingly conservative country) and conservatives are to be coddled. So Obama has tried to coddle the neo-cons and the Israel fanatics while doing what he — probably — recognizes must be done to bring about something like stability west of the Jordan River.

      But where does that leave us? It leaves Obama having blown too much time and effort trying to please bigots who cannot be pleased while ignoring people who were falling all over themselves expecting to be pleased by this president of "change" and "hope".

      It leaves us trying to figure out what is going on in the head of a man who — it must be remembered — has also been extremely and needlessly conservative on leakers and whistleblowers, on the treatment of Bradley Manning and others imprisoned in these Wars Without End. Obama is a package — healthcare, labor, education, torture, war, etc. If he sounds one way today, that must be explained in the context of the picture.

      That picture still doesn't give much, if any, reason for a hopeful take on any recent developments.

  • With one signal -- 1967-- Obama decides to take on Netanyahu on the Arab Spring
    • It's remotely possible that the Obama people have realized they can piggyback a change in the Israel-Palestine position on the Arab Spring. The broad-spectrum, racist Israel Lobby weapon — that Arabs are genetically programmed against democracy — is suffering.

      But I wouldn't give Obama much credit. He is a master hypocrite and opportunist. Hillary Clinton is another matter. She surely remembers the pummeling she took in 1999 over her greeting of Suha Arafat.

      The fact of the matter is that the vast majority "inside the beltway" and any reasonably well-informed circle know exactly how the Israelis operate. The dividing lines fall along (1) Israel-idolaters vs. others, and (2) those who will stand up to the Israel Lobby vs. those who won't.

      My take on the 1967 line is that the key language is "starting point". That's like saying the "public option" was the starting point and look where that got us. If Obama had said the starting point was the Palestinian Right of Return and reparations for Israeli war crimes, then things would be hitting the fan. As it is, Obama has offered recognizable bait to the Palestinians — the desired border. But, as on so many other issues, Obama has blown his wad. Nobody believes him. Hysterical moderates and right-wingers in Israel and the United States will scream and rave about anything less than full-throated endorsement of Netanyahu's final solution for the Palestinian problem, but that's just their psychosis talking. The reality is that Obama is trying to salvage a ship that's already hit the bottom.

  • Wait, who started this asymmetry?
    • Some more: Barnie Frank (also terrible on Wall Street), Harvard philosopher Hilary Putnam, economist Larry Summers (who has many many other flaws, but is certainly an outstanding mind), Michael Ignatieff.

      I omit Bernard Henri-Levy because he's little more than a self-righteous grandstander.

      By contrast, there is the extraordinary list of wonderful Jewish scholars and intellectuals who have engaged in the most difficult kind of self-examination (several of whom have appeared on this website). The first that leaps to mind is the Tony Judt. I don't think it's any accident that Judt (or Chomsky or Finkelstein or Butler) also come across as incredibly expansive thinkers.

    • Couldn't agree more. Nice combination of quotations.

    • Walzer is pretty good on many things -- except Israel. There he takes a flying header into neo-con nonsense. He advocated the war in 2002/2003, then slinked away for a while when all the crap he endorsed proved to be ... crap.

      Now heeee's baaack. He is one in a long line of outstanding Jewish liberal thinkers who dump all their liberal ideals when it comes to Israel. Isaiah Berlin was another. Less stellar but nevertheless perfectly competent examples include Chuck Schumer (who's also terrible on Wall Street, so he is likely just self-serving) and Anthony Weiner. There are many better examples -- ones in the ranks of Walzer and Berlin -- just can't think of them right now.

      My own view is that a person's true intellectual calibre is tested on exactly those personal issues. The person who is, ostensibly, a great thinker but cannot turn the lens on his own views is a fundamentally flawed thinker.

  • Desmond Travers on Geo Mitchell: Irish-American Diaspora wanted an end to the troubles, Jewish-American Diaspora hasn't opened its eyes
    • A key difference between Ireland and Israel is that the Irish had to bear the cost of northern Irish conflict. Israel has spent 60 years insulating itself ever-more from the consequences of its atrocities. The IRA might have gotten some support from bigots like Rep. Peter King (R-NY), but it never enjoyed the full-fledged support of the US government. The Israeli terror-machine gets billions each year in US financial and military support. There is no incentive of any kind for Israelis to open their eyes. And there is growing intimidation of Jewish Israelis who dare to criticize their government or their fellow citizens. Israel is marching on a path diametrically opposed to that taken by Ireland.

      Note also, that The Troubles raged on for some 80+ years, with and without the mindless, knee-jerk support of American bigots. Israel is condemning itself and Palestinians and who knows who else to decades of more suffering.

  • Krista Tippett's collapse-- she calls rightwing settler Halevi 'redemptive'
  • NYT's Bronner says Netanyahu demonstrates 'territorial flexibility' on the basis of no evidence
    • Well, let's give Bronner the benefit of the doubt. He wrote that Netanyahu showed "greater flexibility" on territory. Maybe he means Netanyahu has moved from annexing all of the West Bank to annexing just 95% of it.... Flexibility, Israel-style.

      More seriously, Bronner, like nearly all pro-Israel American Middle East reporters, shows absolute imperviousness to fact -- an indicator of psychotic delusion. There is no fact or combination of fact that will move Bronner or Kershner or Friedman, Brooks, Douthat, Keller, Gradstein, Burns, or any of the mainstream sheep brigade in the slightest degree.

      Indeed, facts that clearly undermine the pro-Israel dogma are instead taken to reinforce that dogma. This is evidence of a person resolving cognitive dissonance -- embracing the more cherished belief at the expense of truth. We see the same thing in American foreign policy with assertions like "America doesn't torture" or "free markets yield optimal solutions."

  • Leslie Gelb says Arab democracy movement must leave Israel alone
  • Israeli soldier deliberately shot photog at Nakba Day demo in Gaza --Reporters Without Borders
    • There is a simple reason the Israeli excuse doesn't ring true: Israeli snipers are (1) extremely well-trained and (2) trained to take head-shots (kill shots, since targets may be wearing body armor). If the Israelis really thought the photographer was firing a weapon, they would have gone for a kill shot. They sought to wound the photographer as a part of their neverending campaign of intimidation.

  • The New York Times's shameless Nakba distortion
    • Here's the real kicker --- Unless I'm overlooking some part of the Times website and/or the paper edition, as of about 9pm (when I checked online), the Times had _changed_ the language of the intro paragraph to make their bias less blatant.

  • Mitchell resignation makes Obama the Mubarak of the Palestinian spring
    • A few things can safely be said with regard to Mitchell:

      1. He was not a groveling slave to the Israel Lobby (as opposed to Ross, who is both slave and middle-master).

      2. The Mitchell resignation plays into Israel's short-term hand because it leaves greater power with the Lobby in Washington and leaves Israel free to do what it is doing anyway.

      3. In the long run, things also continue down the path they were taking anyway -- a path toward some kind of conflagration, most likely an Israeli attempt to oust large portions of the Palestinian population from Israel itself and from sections of the West Bank Israel wants to annex by attrition (rather than the overt assertion of annexation that would bring familiar tepid objections).

      4. The wild card is the so-called Arab Spring, which I predict will largely burn itself out in some measure because the United States ultimately opposes it, despite hand-waving to the contrary.

  • CUNY trustees vote to give Kushner award after all, as faculty union calls for Wiesenfeld's resignation
    • A quick survey of the CUNY Board of Trustees makes this whole fiasco even more absurd ... and troubling. At least seven of the seventeen members are persons of color. Numerous advanced degrees (though more education often correlates with being more narrow-minded, albeit it more decorously so, in my observation).

      Wiesenfeld has also been a board member of the Washington 'Institute' for Near East Policy — a good indicator of rabidly pro-Israel bigotry. But he is among the least well-educated of the CUNY board members (so I am effectively contradicting myself on the issue of education).

      The overwhelming impression I get is that these were people cowed by wealth and by the threat of being charged with anti-Semitism, a threat clearly echoed by Benno Schmidt, who should certainly join Wiesenfeld in resigning.

  • Naomi Klein on Kushner: 'The invisible blacklisting has been made momentarily visible... it has to stop'
    • There are two parts of this tempest I find interesting. The first is that it has actually broken through to slave-organizations like The New York Times. That's largely a result of Tony Kushner being popular in 'respectable' (i.e., obedient) circles like the kinds of parties Times editors go to.

      More interesting to me is the Benno Schmidt role. This guy was president of Yale and dean of Columbia Law School (if I remember right). Supposedly, you have to be able to think to take posts like that. Of course, you also have be able to really brownnose the American übervolk — the people with money, the Jeffrey Wiesenfelds. When Yale killed the appointment of Juan Cole because of threats from wealthy donors, they went to some lengths to stay off the radar. Not Benno Schmidt. He said something that any sane person might expect to raise eyebrows — unless you think that the general population is going to agree with you.

      Schmidt figured he was saying what the vast majority of (relevant, that's important) ears would just agree with. But whoops, that didn't quite happen as planned.

      Maybe something is changing. But don't count on it. Don't underestimate the capacity and inclination of Netanyahu to commit really monstrous atrocities, ones dwarfing Cast Lead. And don't underestimate the capacity and inclination of deeply delusional American war criminals like Barack Obama to look the other way.

  • Benno Schmidt signals Kushner will get degree-- even as he sidles up to Wiesenfeld's racist statements
    • I agree with you, Citizen.

      I do wonder about the intellectual capacity of people who show little or no ability or inclination to reflect on their own positions.

    • The blowback:

      The Guardian is reporting that "at least three prominent previous recipients have declared they no longer want their honorary degrees from the university."
      - Barbara Ehrenreich, activist journalist: "Please expunge me from your record of past honorees." she said. She was joined by
      - Michael Cunningham, also won a Pulitzer: "I was shocked and dismayed to hear about the treatment Tony Kushner received at the hands of the CUNY board of trustees."
      - Ellen Schrecker, Yeshiva University historian.

      And Benno Schmidt -- former president of Yale and dean of Columbia Law School -- is busy affirming Wiesenfeld's racist line in a particularly cowardly way.

      Have to say I get a perverse pleasure from the thought of brain-dead racist ingrates like Wiesenfeld and Schmidt finding themselves twisting in the wind.

  • Awakening: Kushner mugging leads UCLA prof to reject Zionism
    • Let's note, again, that the Kushner case is one of an enormous list including, but certainly not limited to:
      - the libeling of Norman Finkelstein by Alan Dershowitz
      - the torpedoing of Juan Cole for a faculty post at Yale
      - the assault on Debbie Almontaser and the Khalil Gibran Academy (abetted by Joel Klein and Michael Bloomberg)
      - the furor over Jimmy Carter's "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid"
      - the Brooklyn College attack on Kristofer Petersen-Overton
      - the hate-campaign against Jenny Peto over her Master's thesis at the University of Toronto
      - the gross difference in treatment of Helen Thomas compared with that enjoyed by Martin Kramer or Martin Peretz (or many others)
      - death threats leveled against Princeton professor Richard Falk after he suggested that Israel had likely committed war crimes
      - attempted campaigns against Edward Said, Rashid Khalidi, Joseph Massad and others
      - the hysterical response to performances of "My Name Is Rachel Corrie"
      - the Atlantic's memory-holing of the Walt-Mearsheimer paper on the Israel Lobby
      - the University of South Florida's attacks on Sami Al-Arian
      - the campaign against past members of Congress like James Abourezk and Cynthia McKinney
      - past attacks on Vanessa Redgrave and many others who have dared support Palestinian rights

      The list grows daily.

  • 'I won't have children unless this country is free'... We hear you, sister
    • The Israelis claim that "Skunk" is harmless, but they refuse to reveal its chemical composition, raising questions about its legality under international chemical weapons conventions to which Israel is a signatory. It would be interesting to hear the deafening wail from Israelis and Americans if something like Skunk were used on Israelis.

  • Lawyer at 'Counterpunch' validates Palestinian right of armed resistance to occupation
    • Anyone who thinks that American colonials had a right to resist King George or that Jewish colonials had the right to resist the British in Palestine is _committed_ to the position that people have a right to resist. . . . Unless they take an essentially racist view that Israeli Jews or American Whites have rights that other ethnic groups do not, and that, of course, is _exactly_ the view of the Israeli and American governments.

  • Egyptian military arrests gender-law scholar, accredited to NY bar and blogger for 'NYT,' at Sinai beach resort
    • Is this the steady erosion of whatever has been accomplished in Egypt? Will the Obama cowards say a word? Human rights slack-jaw Samantha Power?

      And note that Mona Saif, quoted on Shalakany's arrest, is a member of "No for Military Trials for Civilians" -- an organization we need in the US, thanks to the Bush and Obama war criminals.

  • Congressmen threaten to cut off $400 million in US aid to Palestinians if PA cuts deal with Hamas
    • " 'There really isn't much wiggle room here,' says Jennifer Rubin at The Washington Post. Congress can't legally send a dime to any government that doesn't . . . "

      That's odd, because Congress also can't legally send money to any government that has nuclear weapons program but hasn't signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. . . . Somebody should inform Jennifer Rubin and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.

  • 'Equal rights for Palestinians' billboard is deemed offensive in Seattle
    • Well, billboards in Montgomery, Alabama, advocating equal rights for blacks in 1960 would have been banned as offensive.

      We're just seeing further confirmation of the real state of mind of a huge number of Americans and the vast majority of elected officials.

      Advocates in Seattle (or New York or Chicago or Los Angeles) need to come up with a design that cannot possibly be construed as anything but gentle advocacy for equal rights. Then bring suit when AIPAC and company go ballistic and some pissant judge or mayor sides with them. Much as I dislike Michael Bloomberg, my guess is he would actually come out on the right side of this, despite his unambiguous support for Israeli atrocities. The catch is that New York neatly legislates to bar anything vaguely political from its billboards (unless it's racist claptrap against family planning).

  • Zuckerman rag prints bald-faced lies on upcoming flotilla to Gaza
    • I was thinking exactly the same thing. Seems to me that a good case could be made against the Daily So-Called News on grounds of actionable libel.

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