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Total number of comments: 646 (since 2011-08-28 23:37:40)

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  • To reach the 'moveable middle' in Jewish life, you must be inside the tent
    • I think you are missing the point that Carlin makes. Even you acknowledge stagnating real wages for the vast majority of Americans. Combine that with oligarchical media ownership, attacks on unionisation and the real decline in the minimum wage over time, as well as the perversion that campaign finance does to the political process and the massively militarised response to protests like the Occupy movements and the protection of the bankers who defrauded million of people in this country (and it's the homeowners who are being punished) then it looks like Carlin has got a lot of it right. Certainly enough to be depressed about.

      Greater access to technology with stagnating real incomes means you go into debt and then into financial distress if you income cannot cover that debt, particularly when you pay a greater share of your income in rent or mortgage payments and your 401K has tanked. That's not a better life and neither is living with the type of unemployment that the GFC has wrought in the US and Europe or the bursting of the Japanese bubble in the 1990s. You've got a lost generation of youth in Greece, Spain and Italy who have to leave in order to work or unable to find work so they live at home and are unable to marry or have children since they have no income. I'm not sure that I would classify any of this as 'better'.

  • 'Not a single person in this room would accept living as Palestinians do, generation after generation'
    • You don't seem to realize that the comment I responded to was replete with Islamophobia, completely in denial about how the Jewish state was formed on the backs and necks and lives of Palestinians, denial of the Palestinians as a people, as well as ignorant of what Arab Jews say about their Aliyah. Spare us the pity party you're having and think about why someone would respond negatively to the ugliness you've shown.

    • He said 'time immemorial'. I think that really says it all about this comment. Thanks, Joan.

  • Why LA needs a city-funded Middle Eastern cultural center
  • Aussie media focus on Carr's assertion that Israel lobby had 'direct line' into Prime Minister's office
    • Sumud, you may recall during the last Gaza offensive, just after Labor was voted in, Gillard was acting PM while Rudd was on holiday. She gave a statement to the media that was what you'd expect the lobby wanted but I found her demeanour telling. She was nervous and shaky and was parsing her words very, very carefully. I think that someone had made it clear to her what was at stake and as someone who was seeking power, she sold herself to the highest bidder.

  • State Dep't tries to clean up Kerry's 'Poof'
  • Where is Sarah Ali?
    • mondonut, talknic is right. Under the Camp David Accords, and the MoU brokered by Condi Rice in 2005, Egypt has basically given up a chunk of its sovereignty to Israel when it comes to Gaza. If Israel chooses not to allow a Gazan out, Egypt basically has to accede to it. The two countries coordinate when it comes to the Gaza/Egypt border and there have only been a few isolated instances when Egypt has not cooperated. The one who is out of touch with reality it you. I suggest that rather than deriding others, you go do some reading to fill up the deficiencies in your knowledge.

  • 'For me, Palestine is paradise': An interview with Leila Khaled
    • @bystander

      Your basic mistake is that you are ignoring who the oppressor is in this case and then blaming the oppressed for fighting back against the oppressor. Your problem is that Israeli violence and oppression is the context for the life of Khaled and many other Palestinians. Please stop concern trolling re: Palestinian refugees if you aren't going to listen to what they want and support their rights or even acknowledge who put them in the situation they are in.

    • You know bystander I really have to wonder about your thought processes. You acknowledge both the points I made but then introduce other points that are completely irrelevant or contradict yourself. I mentioned nothing about Palestinians living outside the mandate having a right to return. However, if we are going to mention them, then those who were outside the country on government service, work, tourism, study etc who would normally make their home in Palestine but were not there or were prevented from returning due to the hostilities should have the right to return.

      As for your point about Khaled, it's craptastic. You are once again blaming the Palestinian victims and by using Jewish victimhood. There are many proposals out there for how to facilitate the right of return and the return of properties stolen from the Palestinian people. For example, many of those stolen properties are now controlled by the JNF, which leases them out to Jews only. A legal process can be set up to establish their rightful Palestinian owners and the leases transferred/ended. There can also be a system set up to compensate the Palestinians for the use of their property without payment, less the improvements made on the property and so forth.

      Of course we should prioritise the needs of the refugees. The ones living in the camps should be first to return. But even those who have found citizenship elsewhere should also have the right to return since this is a right held equally by all Palestinians. But for some reason my spidey senses tell me you are concern trolling.

    • OMG, the stupidity, it hurts.

      First, lets try some basic math. I think you did a simple growth rate formula to get your results, forgetting that something like population growth compounds continuously over time (ie, at each successive time period, you must include the increase in the previous time period). It's called exponential growth and the formula should be something like:

      Population (in current time period) = Initial population (in first time period) x constant term to the power of the rate of population growth x the time periods (in this case years). So using your numbers an initial population of 720,000 growing at 4% for 65 years gives something like 9.7 million people. At 3.5% it gives 7 million, which is most likely closer to the mark. This is pretty simple high school math and is what demographers use to project population growth.

      Second, there's really no justification for ethnic cleansing. Zionists stole the land and property of a whole bunch of people. By denying Palestinians their rights, you are saying that one groups has superior rights and thus engaging in ethnic supremacist discourse. Your view of how happy Khaled is in her personal life really has no bearing on this issue. All it shows is that you are refusing to listen to her in this interview which is all about her desire to go home. It's not the first time a Palestinian has not been listened to and being told what is good for her, as you are doing. And you're refusing to recognize that Israel also acquired Palestine 'with a gun'.

      I'd given up reading comments in a lot of sites I go to but decided to dip my toe into this thread and I've been given ample proof that my previous ignorance of what goes on in the comments section is really bliss.

      Edited to add: I can't believe that bad math is being used to extinguish the rightful claim of Palestinians to refugee status. When will the immorality end?

    • Yeah. Imagine how those Arab Jews felt when they came to Israel and quickly learned they had to leave behind their language and culture. But not to worry, you Israelis beat and bullied the language and culture out of them.

  • Reports: Abbas faults Israel for 'procrastinating,' says Palestine will move to join int'l organizations
    • Walid,

      It's not worth the sh*tstorm that would fall on Obama if he allowed Pollard to go. The intelligence community is dead against it and Obama is not going to put them off side. They are too powerful a constituency in their own right for him to want to risk the consequences of releasing Pollard and you can be sure this view has been made known to the President. There's a reason why Clinton and Bush 2 didn't do it and it's the same reason Obama won't do it.

  • Student who exposed 'leftist' teacher is honored at Knesset, while teacher gets violent threats
    • Also I have never understood why this generation of Mizrahis are so anti-Arab, it’s not like they have ever lived in an Arab country.

      Most likely a form of compensation, a blah chick. Remember these Jews lived with Arabs as Arabs for centuries, had the same culture and were integrated into the Arab community in the same way other non-Muslim minorities were. However, once the call to Zion became a politcal-nationalist one with many Mizrahis going to Israel, they found their Arab-ness denigrated. What better way to fit in to their new society than to internalise the prejudices of the Ashkenazi elite, to denigrate where they came from and the people they had lived among and to become even more Israeli than the Israelis.

  • A Namibian newspaperman, now gone, guides my reaction to Kerry's (unlikely but possible) framework
  • Kerry's wingmen Friedman and Beinart praise boycott, to pressure Netanyahu
    • Poor liberal zionists. Soooo deluded. Removing the settlers would start a civil war and Israeli Jews are not going to do that to themselves. Don't they know that Israeli Jews would rather beat up on Palestinians than each other?

  • Palestinians launch campaign against Israeli annexation of Jordan Valley by reviving village of Ein Hijleh
    • Since the Palestinians are reclaiming a Christian Orthodox monastery it's appropriate to say: Allah ma3kun!

  • How we can oppose the Assad regime and Western intervention at the same time
    • I didn't read beyond the fourth paragraph. Why? Because the author is lying to a western audience, betting on their ignorance of civil society in Syria that has been both anti-Assad and anti-imperialist for years. He neglects to mention the grass-roots opposition to the Assads that has existed for years, people who have put their lives on the line, people who have been imprisoned, tortured, killed and disappeared. People like Haytham al-Manna from the National Coordinating Body and many others who want real change Syria from Assad but don't see violence, sectarian rule and ripping their country apart as the way forward. What the author will not tell you is that there are other oppositions to the government and he won't tell you because he is pushing the propaganda for a Saudi/American policy that real opposition to authoritarianism in the Middle East will not support.

  • Obama says likelihood of Iran deal and Israeli-Palestinian agreement are both under 50%
    • Obama is just saying this to manage expectations so that when he gets a deal on something, he'll be touted as a miracle-worker.

      Obama knows that the I/P talks are going nowhere. But he's not focussed on that. He's using it to help him get his deal with Iran through and he'll throw the Palestinians under a bus to get out of the Iran issue and help him to get his pivot to Asia underway and avoid looking weak when the sanctions regime starts to unravel, as it already is. It's a classic political ploy.

      There's more chance of a deal with Syria but it's complicated by what Saudi Arabia will do. If it was just Russia and China on the other side (like Iran) it would be a lot easier to work out - Saudi is the spoiler. But Saudi is wounded by the Iran deal and there isn't much the Americans have to offer Saudi in return for giving up on Syria, like Obama can offer up the Palestinian sacrifice to the Israelis. However, Obama might be prepared to play hardball with the Saudis since there is not domestic constituency to consider and the Europeans are spooked by the whole foreign jihadi thing blowing back on them. This could come in the form of discontinuing weapons transfers and clamping down on intelligence-sharing and coordination on Syria. I think the Syria deal could go either way.

  • Rejecting collective punishment from Gaza to Syria
    • What'll they do to Bandar this time when he fails, Taxi?

    • If we Arabs decide to prioritize the struggle against zionism and imperialism then it's for us to decide so arrogant western liberals can just move on since it's our decision.

      It seems to me that the choices that the west wants for us are compliant absolute monarchs like the Gulf model which is just as or even more authoritarian & sectarian than the Baathist model or else we become sectarian/tribal basket-cases like Libya or Iraq, with your oh-so-benevolent help. How convenient for you and how terrible for us.

    • Wrong.

      According to a study in the Lancet: link to thelancet.com

      In both the West Bank and Gaza, 11% of children are overweight and 4% are obese, thus making the 15% for all Palestinian territories, not Gaza only.

      Israel lets enough calories into Gaza to keep them just above starvation. 6% of children in the OPT are stunted (in terms of their growth) as a result. I'm sure that if we had the numbers for Gaza alone (I don't have access to the Lancet studies to look at the detail of the numbers) they would show lower rates of obesity and higher rates of stunting than the West Bank.

      And while I condemn the Syrian govt's siege of Yarmouk, at least they had the decency to allow the majority of the 160,000 residents to leave the camp, unlike Israel which colludes with Egypt to keep Gazans trapped while they circle them with CCTV, shoot Palestinians when they enter the 'buffer zone' and bomb them from the air on an almost daily rate. And it's not like Syrians have been attacking Yarmouk since the 1950s like the Israelis have been doing to Gaza. So while I deplore and condemn the suffering that the Syrian regime has been heaping on Yarmouk, it doesn't even compare to the misery of displacement, ethnic cleansing, expulsion, dispossession, massacre, siege, bombing etc that Israel has been heaping on Palestinians since 1947.

  • Israel's '60 Minutes' attributes success of boycott movement to unending settlement of West Bank
    • An aside: is there anything that gives away the zionist alienation from the land of Palestine than the architecture of its settlements? It's repetition, uniformity, soullessness, artificiality and shallowness just kinda say it all to me about zionist settlement.

  • While you were neutral about Yarmouk
    • I agree with you that Assad didn't read the writing on the wall but I don't think that he could've stopped the Saudi/US onslaught against him. The Saudis have too much invested in the anti-Iran/Syria/Hezbollah thing to pull back and the Americans were only playing nice with Assad in the years prior to the uprisings in order to use honey to lure him away from Iran and Hezbollah rather than the stick. But they still kept up all their funding to 'democracy' movements in Syria and pounced on the chance that was presented to them to funnel money, arms and fighters in. The same can't be said for Oman.

    • Inanna, the point of me bringing up the ideological tendency of Fath al-Islam was to illustrate that the purported wackiness of any antagonist group is IRRELEVANT to the crime of denying a civilian population food during a siege!

      Except if you read the UN press releases more carefully, you would see that they are being militarily supported by the regime to deliver food to the camp and are prevented from doing so by the Saudi funded Islamic wackos. UN officials are saying that this could be considered a war crime: link to un.org. As far as I remember, whether you are an Islamist or not, it's still immoral to deny people food. Israel does not allow Gazans to leave but the Syrian govt allows people from Yarmouk to leave with the aid of pro-govt Palestinians in the camps.This is not suggesting that collective punishment is palatable. This is suggesting that you are trying to claim some moral superiority by using the emotion that we all feel surrounding the Palestinian cause in the Syrian situation. Utter fail.

    • Thanks Walid, you make some very good points.

    • I think the overwhelming majority of people concur that Fath al-Islam were a bunch of scurrilous Islamist wackos.

      Lol. How are they any different from the al-Qaeda linked al-Nusra front or Ahrar ash-Sham or Abdullah Azzam brigades (Abdullah Azzam was a bin Laden groupie) or Liwaa as-Islam or the Tawhid Brigade any of the other Islamic groups that are now wacko-ing it out in Syria? (A leader of Fath al-Islam was killed in jihad in Syria: link to longwarjournal.org)

      Those groups I have named are as much radical Sunni groups as Fath al-Islam but I think that a lot of leftists fall into the trap of supporting them in Syria because they think they are being anti-authoritarian. But these groups are even more authoritarian than the Assad regime with an overlay of ugly sectarianism as well as a dose of pro-imperialism supplied by Saudi and Gulf money and western training and coordination. It beats me why leftists are supporting such paleo-right-wing nutjobs as these. Particularly when they are against them in Lebanon, Iraq, Somalia and Mali.

      edited to add: not every enemy of your enemy is your friend.

  • AIPAC fail: Goldberg leads, and Sen. Blumenthal climbs off the war bus
    • The nightflower has been exposed and its wilting.

      Everyone is finally seeing that the emperor has no clothes.

      I have no doubt that they'll try to fight back. I have no doubt that the forces within our government pushing back against AIPAC are not friendly to any progressive causes. But I'm going to savor the delicious brew of schadenfreude at seeing just how easily exposed the lobby is and, having been exposed once, it will be much easier the next time and the next and the next.

  • Israeli settlers set mosque on fire as UN says settler attacks have quadrupled in last 8 years
    • There wasn't any need to make anything up. You equated Hamas and other terror groups with Israeli terror. You also seem to be confused about the sectarian/secular divide. Hamas and its members are also Palestinian by nationality just as Jews are Israeli by nationality. Think about what that does to your response to seafoid.

    • If boycotting a country or making an arm gesture are considered so very terrible, then just how should setting fire to a place of worship and painting bigoted graffiti be viewed?

      I somehow think that on the hasbara moral continuum, the last is considered far less terrible than the first two.

    • oldgeezer you are making the mistake of not differentiating between the oppressor and the oppressed. If you don't like how the oppressed (like Hamas) react against the systematic violence of the oppressor, that's fine. But please don't equate it with the actions of the oppressor.

  • Europeans with 'no legitimate claim' to America wiped out indigenous people -- 'totally different' from Israel (Harris)
    • So you want a free pass from everyone to keep doing what we have all realized is so criminal that humanity in the 20th century has decided to set up an entire body of international law to make sure it doesn't happen again.

      Well done hophmi. You've got a GPA of 4.0 from Hasbara U.

      And before you ask, yeah, I think that we should be giving land back to aboriginal peoples in the New World. It's easy enough to return public lands but I think there should be wider campaigns to return sizable amounts of privately-owned land to the living descendants of the dispossessed. In the case of Palestine, since so many Palestinians can prove ownership of homes and lands through deeds issued by Ottoman or Mandate authorities, it should be pretty simple to take it from the JNF and return it to the rightful owners.

  • 'We can't let Israel determine when and where U.S. goes to war,' says Feinstein, but Hillary is quiet as a mouse
    • piotr, Saudis and Israelis are not a strange coalition at all. Both are sectarian states using religions for political ends. As such, the Saudis are as rational as the Israelis.

      As for Feinstein, she is merely speaking for the elites in the US who have decided the Iranian venture is no longer in American interests and it's time to leave it and move on to the next thing. Whether she's PEP or not (and I would argue there's not much progressivism there to have any exception to) is not the point. She's standing on a foundation of interests that have decided to move on from the demonizing of Iran and thus the rhetoric surrounding Iran has suddenly become very reasonable and rational. This is looked on with some glee by many on the Hill who have had their toes trodden on by the Israel lobbies, regardless of what their views on Israel actually are.

    • This confirms what I have always believed (and I'll try to put it in the most non-marxist jargon I can): no lobby has the power to drive a country to oppose its own interests, except maybe in the extreme short-term. What the administration is seeing (and what the lobby and their bots are not) is this:

      1. We are no longer in a uni-polar world. America needs to re-position itself in light of that reality, which is part of what the pivot to Asia is all about. Part of this as well is that the US does not need another mid-east war for all sorts of domestic and international reasons
      2. The sanctions regime against Iran is starting to unravel. China and Russia are pushing against it. The Europeans want back into Iran. Rather than lose face watching it happen, America needs to be ahead of the curve so that it doesn't lose face.
      3. Unlike the propaganda, the US knows that Iran is a rational actor, hasn't attacked anyone in how many centuries and the Saudi-Israeli decades of panic Iran is OTT so they know they can make a deal with it.
      4. Israel is a pain in the butt and many of its "supporters" in the administration and Congress would love nothing more than to stick the arse-end of a pineapple up its butt. What is said in private on the Hill and in the White House about Israel is very different to what is said in public and the establishment has shown in the form of Feinstein's speech and those MSM editorials that there's a new policy and the Israel lobby/ies is out of luck.

  • BDS: The best hope for a true peace
    • The last one is Israel, which enjoys democratic governance by its Jewish population, while millions of Palestinians in the West Bank have spent 46 years under military occupation, watching as their land is steadily confiscated for the use of Israeli settlers.

      No Mr. Goldwag, the problem goes back to 1948 and earlier with the ethnic cleansing of nearly 800,000 Palestinians and the denial of their right to return home. By framing this as a 1967 problem rather than a 1948 problem, you are missing a huge part of the injustice done and the redress that needs to occur before a real peace can be possible.

  • Poor showing among heads of state for the lonely funeral of Ariel Sharon
  • Chilean soccer team puts Palestine front and center
    • There's many stupidities and inanities in this comment but I'll just focus on this:

      The Palestinians of Chile have been anti-Semitic for a long time. Anti-Semitic? OH! Yeah! They held Masses for the Martyrs of Gaza in 2009. What idiocy was that . An orthodox priest saying Mass for Muslim martyrs? The Palestinian groups of Chile will lose however, because some of their rhetoric is borderline Nazi-like.

      which goes way over the line. It's neither objectionable nor anti-semitic nor borderline Nazi-like for a Christian to pray for the dead of any religion nor to support the liberation of Palestinians from Israeli oppression. You're so stuck in your own sectarianism that you cannot comprehend that Christians and Muslims (and Jews once upon a time) lived with each other for centuries with respect for each other's traditions. It is a tradition in the Middle East for the different religions to invite each other to celebrate our holy days and to mourn our losses together. As a sign of respect during Ramadan, a Christian or Jew would not dream of eating publicly during the day. In the area where I grew up, Christian shopkeepers shut down on Fridays and Muslim shopkeepers shut down on Sundays. At Easter you will see Muslim clerics at Christian churches and Christian clerics celebrating Eid al-Adha. But instead of really understanding what goes on in the Middle East, you speak in massively wrong generalizations that are a vile calumny. And you are too ignorant to even begin to be ashamed of yourself.

    • There was a massive genocial massacre of Christians in the Lebanon/Syria area from around 1860.

      Er, no Mike, what you are referring to is not a 'genocial' massacre but rather simmering tensions for several decades between families in Mount Lebanon that led to the strife of 1860. The families involved were Maronite and Druze. The Druze are a Muslim minority, considered heretical by many other Muslims. This was a situation of vendettas and reprisals, not genocide of Christians by Muslims. It did spread to Damascus but it also must be recognised that the massacres were quelled by the Muslim rulers of the time who ensured the Christians in Damascus were protected. Not exactly a genocide by Muslims. The French did not 'intervene', they worked with the Ottomans to broker sectarian rule in Lebanon. It was really a a re-assertion of Ottoman power in Syria (including what we know today as Lebanon) and the arrest and trial of the perpetrators.

      Dhimmi status was ended for both Christians and Jews in the middle of the 19th century so referring to the Christians as dhimmis in 1900 is incorrect. Many non-Muslim Ottoman subjects did flee conscription and their community leaders set up many objections to it such that it was incredibly unsuccessful.

      I think that you are so obsessed with this notion of 'Islamic tyranny' that you will combine wikipedia-level knowledge with assumed ignorance of your audience to spout incredibly ill-informed conclusions that are cringe-worthy. Please stop.

    • Bullshit Mike Konrad. Your attempt to use sectarianism to divide the Palestinian community is a very transparent one. Anyone with an elementary knowledge of Palestine before and during the Mandate knows that there were many prominent Muslims particularly in Jerusalem who led anti-zionist movements. There are several books out there on the origins of Palestinian nationalism that would contradict you. Go read them instead of regurgitating your wishful thinking.

  • Will 'sex in the toilets' really renew Zionism?
    • Krauss, I think you've got it right about the eroticization of the New Jew. And, as such, Jews are still object, not subject and it's one of the tribe doing it and he doesn't even realize that he is objectifying Jews just as anti-semites do. Even for Shavit Jews are not subject. Maybe he thinks that this is 'positive' rather than negative objectification so that's ok? He seems so trapped inside the bubble that he doesn't realize what he's doing.

  • Israel's endless enemies -- the dangerous myth in Ari Shavit's book
    • Your ideas of what happened is either incomplete or wrong. What happened is that a resistance group prevented a superior military force from entering their country for 33 days. The Israelis failed to achieve their objective (destroying Hezbollah and retrieving its two soldiers) so it's difficult to construe that as a 'huge victory'. I remember that the Winograd commission said that this was a war Israel 'failed to win'.

      As for kill ratios, we know just how talented Israel is at killing civilians, but this time the military losses were far more even than in previous confrontations. It's difficult to be accurate here since Hezbollah and various agencies give different death tolls for Hezbollah losses.

      Lastly, while you give a reasonable account of the damage to the Lebanese economy (although my understanding is that the figure is below $4billion according to the Lebanese govt) you don't tally damage to the Israeli economy. Israel spent over $5 billion in prosecuting the war and then suffered approx $1.5 billion in economic losses, mostly to businesses in the north. In addition, the Israeli govt paid compensation claims of over $300 million to its citizens.

  • Palestinian negotiators angered as Kerry proposes Israeli demands
    • You're exactly right Ramzi, this is the price Israel extracts for the US agreement with Iran. But as we know, all this talk is merely a façade that allows Israel to continue working towards the goals of 1948. And now the fig leaf has truly dropped off and we see the US pushing Israeli goals onto Palestinians. But as long as there is injustice, there will not be peace, no matter how much the Americans and Israelis delude themselves.

  • Mockupation Israel: IDF trains in Ashkelon playground because it ‘looks like Gaza’
  • From the Royal Albert Concert Hall to an Israeli Dungeon: Omar Saad, a young violist and conscientious objector
    • ritzl, in the Middle East we say that the Druze will hold up the strongest wall. What is means is that, as a minority, they are historically characterised as supporting the strongest group, since their survival depends on it. Thus in Lebanon you see Jumblatt switching support to whomever is strongest, in Syria you see Druze leaders supporting the Assad regime etc. In Israel, many Druze have tried to normalize into mainstream Israeli society but there are still many who do not. I congratulate Mohammad Saad at the same time as my heart breaks for him. There will be too many who suffer before justice is achieved.

  • Obama and Kerry drop talk of Palestinian state for 'state institutions' and 'transition'
    • By cutting off any peaceful attempts at justice on this issue, the American and Israelis are ensuring that violence will be the only option left.

    • MLK Jr's Letter from Birmingham Jail makes prescient comments about white liberals like Kerry. But I wonder what MLK would think about black liberals like Obama.

  • Corasanti responds to Abulhawa: My purpose in writing 'The Almond Tree' was to shine a light on Palestinian suffering and help bring about peace
    • yeah, I had to laugh at the mix-up of Marcel Khalife with Michel Kleifi. The former is a great Lebanese singer who has great sympathy for the Palestinian cause and has even put the poems of Mahmoud Darwish to music in a recent CD called Fall of the Moon.

      Thanks for an excellent comment vacy.

    • Page: 6
    • Taxi, when I read that phrase I was incandescent with rage.

    • Excellent points Abierno

  • The Almond Tree: When novels distort legacies of struggle
    • Yes I get that Inanna, but to a large extent, that is inevitable.

      I know what you are trying to say but I don't agree with you. As someone from the oppressed culture, I'm not only not happy about being shat on, I'm not happy about anyone being ok with my being shat on for my own good.

    • You know what Hostage? Those Israeli Jews who currently have their boots on the necks of Palestinians did not suffer the Holocaust. They have grown up in a country where they are the dominant culture and are oppressing someone else. So while I have all empathy and compassion for the past experiences of suffering of Jews, I'm not sympathetic to the Holocaust card being brought up in the context of the current suffering of Palestinians. The demand to pay obeisance to a past instance of suffering to the culture/group that is currently kicking the stuffing out of your people is completely effed up.

      And it has nothing at all to do with the topic which is how orientalist tropes and racist assumption are employed by writers (and others) to colonise an oppressed culture and frame the narrative of the oppressed culture...oh wait, maybe it does. Too bad you don't see that.

    • @Shingo, I think you missed the point. It's not the license that a creative work takes that Susan is necessarily objecting to - it's how racist/orientalist tropes are used by someone of the dominant/powerful culture to frame the narrative of the subject/repressed culture in a literary work, compounding the physical oppression with a cultural one, all the while allowing those of the dominant culture taking part in this practice to pat themselves on the back with how nice and concerned they are.
      As an Arab, I'm not prepared to be shat on by 'nice' people from the culture/society that is involved in the oppression and death of those I love.

  • American Task Force on Palestine finds funding from anti-Palestinian billionaire and a repressive monarchy
    • The American Arab community is well-aware of the zionist-GCC alliance and its role in funding organisations such as ATFP. Which is why there is so little grassroots support. http://www.ikhras.com does a great job of exposing them.

  • United States takes a 'new path' forward in the Middle East!
    • seafoid, Israelis have been cleverly playing kabuki with the peace process but Netanyahu will be remembered as the incompetent one who couldn't maintain the kabuki on Iran. But it's not really his fault - there's only so far a client state can push a superpower against its interests but Netanyahu and his fellow freiers don't appear to know that. Thus lies their problem.

      I think in response, Israel will work more closely with the Jordanian and Saudis to try to get at Hizbullah/Syria. They'll try to destabilize the region even further in a petulant spitting of the dummy. And of course they'll pound on the Palestinians even more than they normally do.

  • Real estate, racism, and righteousness -- a grim visit to Israel
    • Phil, Israel was militarised before it became Israel. The minority of Jews in Palestine was heavily armed and determined to drive out non-Jews. That says to me that the militarisation and its accompanying racism were there from the start and did not have to wait until the 1967 occupation. As I've said many times before, 1967 is simply a continuation, not something new.

  • 'NYT' publishes hagiographic profile of Israeli 'philosopher-general'
    • Donald, not sure you realize this but you are really speaking from a position of privilege. The privilege of being a citizen of a country that is so strong that noone is going to attack or invade you. Others of us don't have that privilege. I would really like to have the option that you have - of being able to stand on the sidelines and observe and categorize. But I don't have that luxury.

    • To me, the increasingly sycophantic stance of organs like the NYT towards Israel is indicative of the desperation that comes when you know that the hasbara is failing. Let them get as desperate as they want, soon the fact that they have no clothes on will be evident to all.

    • Could we stop the false equivalence? Israel is the usurper and the invader and we in Lebanon have the right to repel anyone seeking to invade us. After between 18-22 years of occupation in various areas of southern Lebanon and thousands tortured, imprisoned, killed and disappeared by the Israelis, we have the right to not want them back and use whatever weapons we have to keep them out.

  • Protest Sunday: The Israeli settler movement is not welcome in New York City!
    • Someone here has a problem

      That's the first step to getting help, ayala. Dig deeper and you might see just why so many Jews are turning away from the diet of bullshit they've been fed. Then go meet a Palestinian who was kicked out of their home and talk to them. You might realize that they got a raw deal and we should try to fix things up for them too. Just because they are human and as such are just as worthy of being treated well as anyone else.

  • 'Quietly, with no fanfare,' Israeli army delivers Philippine baby alongside NBC's Dr. Snyderman
    • You're right about Australia. It is built on colonised land. But at least Australia is coming to terms with its past in a real way. The Australian High Court abolished the concept of terra nullius in the famous Mabo case and the federal government then went on to create legislation to return all sorts of lands to native Australians. The concept of native title now exists in Australian law and surviving Aboriginal communities, mainly in the north and west of country are having traditional lands returned to them, or allowed certain rights to land and water under native title. Not to mention that former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd apologised for the suffering inflicted on aboriginal Australians in 2008, in particular for what is known as the Stolen Generations.

      As for the alcohol and drug control policies in aboriginal communities, it is the communities themselves who have often taken the initiative in demanding that governments not license liquor shops due to the devastating impact that alcoholism has on life expectancy and health in aboriginal communities. Often the complaint of many aboriginal community leaders is that they don't get enough support from governments, particularly state governments that benefit from the revenues brought in by sales of liquor licenses. see this link for more: link to nationaldrugstrategy.gov.au You will note that many of the recommendations target all Australians, not just aboriginal Australians, since it would be a mistake to assume that alcohol misuse is only a problem in aboriginal communities.

      If Israel could bring itself to recognise the title held by Palestinians, if its High Court could recognise that lands should be returned to their rightful owners and if Israelis could bring themselves to apologise to Palestinians for how they treated them and bring themselves to make amends both financially and psychologically, Israel would then be on par with Australia. Until then, it's not.

  • Gaza's waste water treatment plant breaks down, floods neighborhood
    • And thank you for your support for Israel's crimes. I'm sure that in the scale of things, my rather mild expression of disgust will not be seen as heinous as Israel's actions in terrorism, ethnic cleansing, theft, torture, murder, kidnapping, false imprisonment, occupation, blockade and siege.

    • Love the commenters who try to blame the victims rather than the countries - Israel and Egypt - who have Gaza under blockade. This game that is played by people like Ethan Bronner and others in downplaying the situation in Gaza is sickening. You are not willing to subject Israelis to this condition but the fact that you make excuses for how Palestinians are treated effortlessly reveals the dehumanisation and racism you subject Palestinians to.

      tf7 3alaykum.

  • Richard Cohen's racist ABC's: Arab culture, biracial children, Chirlane McCray's sexuality
    • Perhaps Cohen could also expound on what it is about Palestinian culture that explains the fact that the Palestinians enjoy per capita income that is less than half of the surrounding Arab countries. I think I know what it is. Palestinian culture occupies itself, steals its own land and property to give to others, ethnically cleanses itself, builds walls around itself, builds checkpoints to keep its people imprisoned and blockades itself from contact with the outside world such that goods and people cannot be moved.

      Palestinian culture has some talent, let me tell ya.

    • Well said Hasbara Buster.

    • Cohen wouldn't have lasted 5 more minutes in any job if he had said anything negative about Jews. However, having said them about Arabs and still maintaining his employment shows the acceptability of anti-Arab discourse in this country.

  • New Israeli film profiles the soldiers who carried out the Nakba
    • Look, I hear what you are saying. It's great when you hear someone from the other side recognise the injustice of what their government is doing and is actively fighting against it. I do understand her rationale. But this is precisely what separates me from zionists. I don't recognise the legitimacy of the theft of Palestine. And I refuse a solution that does legitimise it. That means that just as European Jews were allowed to retrieve the property stolen from them during WW2, Palestinians have the right to retrieve the property stolen from them since 1947. That means that zionist colonial laws like the Absentee Property Law and zionist colonial institutions like the JNF should be abolished. Compensation should be paid in lieu of rent for the illegal confiscation of that property for the last 60+ years. And not to the Palestinian state but to the rightful owners and their descendants. People's individual rights to their property is not a bargaining chip for their political equality.

    • That's funny Walid because my response was the opposite to yours. I've known about his film for a while and have been looking forward to its release. However, in this interview Lia says all sorts of things that make me rather angry - like the settlements aren't obstacles to peace. That triggers me because I have a close friend from Bethlehem whose father's land was stolen by the Israelis and her father died a broken man as a result. That land belongs to real people who are Palestinian and the fact that it was stolen from them is a crime that should be rectified, not overlooked.

  • Will new cable thriller focused on Jerusalem archeology whitewash the settlers?
    • Well, Israel did settle over the ruins of Palestine and our mainstream media has been ignoring that for over 60 years. I'm sure they'll also turn a blind eye to the colonial settler thugs in East Jerusalem. After all, what distinguishes them from their predecessors?

  • Kerry reassures Israel as Congress grumbles about a deal
    • I'm going to go out on a limb and say I still think that the US will push for a deal. The problem that Obama has is the risk that Iran sanctions are unravelling. The US already monumentally screwed up its policy in Syria and had to be saved by the Russians with the chemical weapons deal. It doesn't want to lose more face on the Iran sanctions regime, which many countries are getting impatient with. I think that this is all the kabuki before a deal is done. The US wants to move onto 'fixing' things in Pakistan and Afghanistan and pivot to Asia and meddle more in Africa. It doesn't hurt that so many leaders dislike Netanyahu & would love to see him get his compeuppance. It doesn't hurt that there is money to be made in Iran. It also does not hurt that Americans don't want another war and the zionists are overplaying their hand.

  • What Comes Next: One State, Two State, Red State, Blue State
    • Sorry, what's this about distrust that both sides harbor for each other? The victims of massacre, theft and ethnic cleansing have the right to distrust the perpetrators. And the perpetrators' distrust comes from fear of retribution for their criminality. So please don't talk about both sides as if they were equivalent. They are not.

      Great to see you have the right of return. Are Israelis also going to return the property of the refugees that was stolen from them? This thing I keep hearing about the only path to one-state is via two-states is just ridiculous in a world that patently indicates two-states is a fantasy; and Israeli Jews don't want to live with Palestinians - they are quite happy to have them stay out and also get rid of the ones left over. They're just biding their time for the next phase of transfer since the slo-mo version happening now is too slow for them.

      As Taxi says above, it's going to come to war and it will be the fault of all those zionists who cannot see the self-destructive logic of ethno-religious supremacy founded on blood and soil nationalism.

  • Palestinian-American student denied entry to Israel after being told, 'there is no such thing as Palestine'
    • When it comes time to pay the debt that Israel owes to the Palestinians, I hope that you are treated a lot better than Palestinians are currently treated by Israel. Because even though you are an ethno-religious supremacist, even you don't deserve to be treated like you treat them.

  • George Mitchell praises SodaStream settlement factory as beacon of cooperation
  • Infographic: How the Syrian crisis created a disaster for Palestinian refugee children
    • If the Jews who stole the land, homes, property, bank accounts etc of those Palestinian refugees returned them, then there would be no need for other countries and the UN to give money to Palestinians and there would be more money available to deal with these newer refugees. There's a huge bill coming to zionism and every day, zionists just make it bigger.

  • Beinart is leaving 'Daily Beast,' and 'Open Zion' is closing
  • Jerusalem gov't invites you to watch knights battle in the occupied city
    • This is just vomitous. Don't these stupid people know the history of Crusaders and just what the Crusaders did to the locals during their invasions and occupations? Of how the locals suffered regardless of their religion? They must be ignorant of Jewish history as well since Jews did not fare well at the hands of the Crusaders. Or maybe its just an unconscious identification with the invaders and occupiers on Israel's part, as well as a way to appeal to the Christian zionists and European Islamophobes. If Israel sees itself on the side of the Crusaders, not only does it dishonor the memory of its own dead in the Crusades it is also blatantly licking the butts of Westerners in an attempt to maintain their 'villa in the jungle' phantasy of themselves a European outpost. It's sad, it's desperate and it's bathetic. As for how this is going to play out with Arabs, let's just say, NOT WELL. But then that's not any different to the last 60+ years, is it? Israel's fate is going to be no different to that of the Crusader states - it's the logic inherent in zionism that it contains the seeds of its own destruction.

  • Netanyahu expands separation wall to Jordan Valley
    • Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
      What I was walling in or walling out,
      And to whom I was like to give offence.
      Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
      That wants it down.

      Robert Frost, Mending Wall.

      Walls have a habit of tumbling down, whether in Jericho or Berlin. They will come down in Palestine.

  • Pat Boone sells tiny plots of Israeli land to Christian Zionists
  • Netanyahu's sweet deal: 104 prisoners for thousands of settlements
    • You're right Walid. Palestinians are not well-served by these puppets. They are part of the peace process, a process many predicted would never bring anything to the Palestinians and over 20 years later that has proven to be correct. Abbas and Erekat should really do their fellow Palestinians a favor and get out of the way.

  • Reports say peace process is 'fantasy' and 'worst' since Oslo-- but blame falls on Israel this time
    • The hasbara is getting so stale it can't be recycled. Noone believes anymore that Israel wants a Palestinian state and they know where to put the blame. With the narrative breaking down, I wonder what desperate zionists will come up with next? It's not going to end well since desperate people do desperate things and in this case, it's Palestinians who will pay the price.

  • Video: Peaceful NYC protest of Israeli musician Idan Raichel met with racist response from fans
    • "65 years of loosing"? "Loosing track?" Where did you learn your English? English for Dummies?

      As for the rest of your diatribe - repetition does not make it so. Jews already erased Palestine off the map, pushed the Palestinians into the sea, and have kept them entrapped in open-air prisons, stealing their land and resources, yet you have the gall the accuse them of trying to do those things to Israel. You are the one not seeing reality. You are the one denying the crimes committed against Palestine and Palestinians. Stop this insane denial and projection before its too late. If zionism leaves you with any shred of humanity, ask for atonement for what you have done to Palestinians before it's too late and your militarist city-state fantasy collapses from its own contradictions.

  • AIPAC's 'unlimited' funds are greatest obstacle to peace, former British foreign sec'y says
    • I once sat on a very long flight on Olympic Airways from Athens to Singapore where the lovely elderly Eastern European Jewish couple next to me tried to convince me that the Falashas in Ethiopia were originally white and gradually become black by living among black people, not by inter-marrying with them or converting them. Same for European Jews. They just got lighter hair, skin and eyes by living in a cold climate. When I asked about the incidence of the breast cancer gene in Ashkenazi Jewish women that is not carried by non-European Jews, they were silent and I decided there was not point in continuing the conversation with over 8 hours of flight time to go.

      So yeah, by their standards, Wilf really is Middle Eastern. And it shows how an ideology can really dumb down its believers.

    • I'm the first person to argue the structuralist line but I think that we have to recognise that the cultural influences here are also important and help to reinforce the structuralist features. The Israel Lobbies have very strong organisations to reinforce and mobilise the power that the structural features (US weapons manufacturers, oil companies etc). There are limits to this power - those lobbies have not been able to get the US to attack Iran, for example or invade Syria but they maintain the fealty of key congresspersons.

      Contrast that with Saudi Arabia. SA buys massive amounts of weapons from the US and pays for it. They were stopped from buying all sorts of things from US weapons manufacturers in the 1980s by Congress even though Reagan and his cabinet supported the sale. It was lobbying by AIPAC that did it. SA then went to the UK where Margaret Thatcher eagerly welcomed them and their oil money and US companies mourned. But SA changed its tune to a more US/Israel friendly one and the Congressional doors opened. In this case, the cultural features won over the structural. Saudi Arabia does not have the local sub-population or the lobbying apparatus geared towards its interests. It has chosen to invest heavily in the US - buying US banks, media interests etc - that is, it has chosen to become part of Big Capital in the US, part of the "structure". That has limits too, in that they have not received the cooperation they want from the US on Syria.

      The lesson here is that these elites within the structure do not themselves have one interest but also compete against each other, whether those elites are weapons manufacturers or member of lobbying groups. I think that to speak in terms of unlimited power/money on the part Jews is at the very least insensitive and it plays to anti-semitic tropes concerning Jews/wealth/business acumen. But to speak of the role of cultural elites in enforcing a narrative and using the resources they have to lobby for their views is in no way anti-semitic. I think that it would be good to have Straw's words rather than rely on Dr Wilf who seems a very unreliable narrator.

  • What Comes Next: Strategy before solutions
    • I love how you think that's an appropriate comeback hophmi. You should be denouncing both of those genocides. But you won't, since you kinda like being an apologist for massive crimes against humanity as long as they ensure a Jewish state. Fortunately for Palestinians the balance of power is much better for them than for the Native Americans. At least they'll be able to get redress at some point.

    • You can stand on your dunghill and crow as loud as you like. Still not gonna change the fact that Israel is built on the wreckage they created of Palestine and bleating about your rights does not change the wrongs committed in your name (or even by you) to gain those privileges and that, at some point, the punishment for those wrongs will commence.

  • Christian Zionists help settler-farmers take over Palestinian lands
    • There are radical differences between the old and new testaments but that doesn't mean there aren't similarities. However, to say that those differences aren't different enough to make Christians different from Jews is wrong. I'm not talking about the hypocrisy of Christianity in respect to their behavior, I'm just talking about doctrine. One could argue that Islam and Judaism have less hypocrisy in behavior since they both think it's ok to 'smite your enemy' whereas Christianity is not. At least in belief.

    • Thanks ritzl. Yes, religion is at the service of politics and imperialism - everyone's doing it.

    • I'm not a fan of any religion ziusudra, and given the fact that the Abrahamic religions owe large debts of gratitude to Mesopotamian and other myths, I wouldn't be surprised at all if there was not historical Christ. But I thought that people calling themselves Christians would at least be aware of the theology of their religion's founder.

    • That's not their belief ritzl. They want the Jews to come back because it's necessary for their End Times prophecy to come true about the second coming of Christ. The Jews must return, Israel must be recreated and apparently the Jews who don't convert to Christianity will be massacred. It fits in really nicely with militarist/imperialist notions in the west and forgets the Christians in the Middle East. I'm sure they're ok with dispossessing them, if they even realize there are Christians still in the Middle East.

      I'm not sure why any Jews would be friendly with people who want them dead or converted (in what would basically be a cultural as well as non-cultural genocide) but I guess some Zionist Jews would say their prophecies are wrong and accept their help anyway.

    • These people have basic problems with reading comprehension and logic. How do they achieve any logical coherence between Christ's teachings - loving your enemy, turning the other cheek - with the smiting your enemies? Christ apparently brought in a new covenant, of which all humanity is included, not just the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. That new covenant frees mankind from the burden of original sin and promises eternal life with Christ. The new covenant makes no provision for smiting, but for love and forgiveness. There are radical philosophical changes from the Old Testament to the New. I fail to understand how any literate person would miss them.

  • 2 Republican presidential hopefuls bump into each other in... Israel
    • Maybe the Nevadans want a few tips on how how you keep your swimming pools topped up and your lawns green by stealing someone else's water.

      Seriously though, why aren't these guys in Iowa and New Hampshire? Beware the ire of people who come from states that have mottoes like "Our liberties we prize, our rights we maintain" and, even better "Live Free or Die"

  • What Comes Next: The one state/two state debate is irrelevant as Israel and the US consolidate Greater Israel
    • Don't thank me. That comment of mine comes from seeing the self-destructive path that Israel is on, one that you cannot see since you are so inside your fears you can't step back and see what is really going on. You can't see what you need to do right now to bring about real peace - the delusion of zionism will blind you until it's too late. Israel will go the way of all other settler-colonial city-states in the Middle East. They all perished due to their own internal contradictions, the incredible amount of resources required to maintain themselves in a hostile environment and the eventual loss of external support that made their existence possible.

    • You're right Taxi. Destiny is going to fulfil all of Israel's fears - demographic fears, regional fears, existential fears. All that guilt from Israel's wrong-doing comes out as fear. In the course of time, all those Israel has wronged will make Israelis' fears come true. And all the words written and spoken about which state solution is better will be 7aki fadi.

  • Update: Assaf's first video as global star affirms role as voice for the voiceless
    • I agree with almost everything your wrote Walid except I think the video was trying to show that all Arabs, both wealthy and poor are united by the issue of Palestine. Having said that, I still don't like the video. It deals in too many Arab (and non-Arab) tropes and presents a sanitized gloss over an issue that has real substance to all of us. The lyrics are brilliant though and I'd rather just listen to Nizar Francis' words sung by Mohammad Assaf than watch a video that could've been made for any pop star singing about nothing.

  • MJ Rosenberg owes Ali Abunimah an apology for false accusations of anti-Semitism
    • Lots of projecting going on there Mike. Jews actually cleanse the Palestinians from the land, wiping Palestine off the map and yet you turn around and accuse them of genocide. Your fears are justified though, you fear that the fate you (plural) visited upon Palestinians in 1947/8 will be visited on you. It's only people who have committed such wrongs who fear retribution. Guilt is the shadow side of zionism. You created your own prison with the illusion of Jewish freedom and self-determination but the reality is a vicious dance of prison guard and prisoner where noone is really free. Why would anyone sane want to protect that.

  • Girl rapper tells of sharing stairs to her Jerusalem house with Jewish settlers who flash pistols
    • She's pointing out which houses have Arabs living in them and which ones have Jewish settlers living in them. Pointing out those facts is in any way controversial. I bet you listen to Beatles records backwards.

  • What Comes Next: If the goal is to change U.S. policy, American Jewish opinion can't be ignored
    • What bugs me about this post is not its lack of realism (the one-state posts haven’t been any more realistic), but its framing of the struggle in terms of what US Jews would be likely to accept (and consequently laying blame for the lack of a solution on the Palestinians themselves – odious Abba Eban quote and all). This would be problematic even if it were actually a workable, pragmatic solution. Since it is not even that, it is simply offensive.

      Thanks Shmuel. That's exactly right.

    • @Eva: I think you should consider that this would not happen in a vacuum. Hamas would certainly respond in this situation and refugees fleeing to Syria and Lebanon would certainly lead to a response from Hizbullah. I agree that this is definitely a mainstream fantasy in Israel but there are too many countervailing forces at work right now for it to succeed, imho. Which is why Israel wants to weaken the Hizbullah/Syria/Iran axis.

    • A few points:

      All that liberalism on the part of American Jews has not secured better human rights for Palestinians nor a state for them for the last 65 years. American Jews are comfortable with their PEP and the hypocrisy that entails. It seems to me that you are indulging in an argument that is not really logical.

      Palestinian liberation does not rely on waiting for Israeli or non-Israeli Jews to liberate them because the oppressor never liberates the oppressed. Go read MLK Jr's Letter from Birmingham Jail. Especially that bit on white moderates. It seems to me that's where you fit in. I know you'll protest that categorization but what you want to give the Palestinians is only enough human rights that are acceptable for American and Israeli Jews because that is what's realistic. Well what's realistic can change and Palestinians are changing that every day. You know, with their "cult".

      Stop with the immature attacks on people don't agree with you and start listening to what they are saying. I guess if its Anna Balzar you are debating then you'll be more civil but I guess Mondoweiss is not sexy enough to warrant civility. If you were civil then we can at least disagree with you civilly rather than be left with a sense of distaste at your behavior and name-calling as well as the desire to discount anything you may say in the future.

      Reading your views from an Arab perspective leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. I've run out of patience for westerners and their parochialism. It's this kind of parochialism that continues to objectify Palestinians and reduce their demands to what is acceptable to westerners that will ensure that this conflict will not end after you have applied your solutions.

  • Report: Summers rejects Netanyahu offer to be top Israeli banker
    • Since Fischer has held positions at both the World Bank and IMF, he would know that being able to become head of the IMF is not possible. Not only is he too old but a European traditionally holds the IMF seat. I feel Summers would not be welcomed back to the World Bank given his own controversial tenure as Chief Economist and VP. And, as an American, the IMF role would also be barred to him.

  • Liberal Zionist Peratis comes out for BDS to shake up, and preserve, 'Jewish Israel'
    • We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct-action campaign that was "well timed" in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word "Wait!" It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This "Wait" has almost always meant "Never." We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that "justice too long delayed is justice denied."
      .....
      I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season." Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.
      ...
      I had hoped that the white moderate would see this need. Perhaps I was too optimistic; perhaps I expected too much. I suppose I should have realized that few members of the oppressor race can understand the deep groans and passionate yearnings of the oppressed race, and still fewer have the vision to see that injustice must be rooted out by strong, persistent and determined action.

      Guess who the white moderate is in this case.

      MLK Jr Letter from Birmingham jail. link to abacus.bates.edu

  • The face of young Israel: Palestinians shouldn't be in the Knesset, or in relationships with Jews
    • You're just proving Walid's point. You are deliberately trying to erase anything distinctively Levantine/Canaanite/Palestinian out of the Palestinian population. Repeating the hasbara ad infinitum does not actually make it true. Perhaps when you understand how a Jew can be an Arab then you'll have an understanding of how a Palestinian can be an Arab and still be Palestinian.

  • 'Why are you polite when you ask the soldiers not to shoot at the Gaza farmers?'
  • J Street's achievements
    • I'd go further Walid and say that not only has the Arab League done nothing for Palestinians but that many Arab leaders have actively sold the Palestinians down the river for decades. We need to get rid of the monarchs and dictators before we get any kind of justice, not just for Palestinians but for all Arabs.

  • Sh*t rightwing Zionists say about liberal Zionists
    • The problem for zionists is that the disease is actually as old as their state - 65 years. It didn't just spring up in 1967. It began in 1947 and continues to this day. Please stop falling into the trap of making 1967 a new, distinguishing feature when it's just a continuation of the same.

  • Israel and its Middle East allies have embraced the three state solution
    • Walid, the Gazans have been troublesome peoples historically and that is certainly their reputation in the Arab world. There's a reason why Egypt never annexed Gaza and a reason why they don't want them in the future either. I'm sure Egypt and Israel both plan to siphon off all that juicy offshore carbon fuel without having to touch Gaza with a ten-foot pole.

  • From Truth to Redress: Tel Aviv conference to convene on the grounds of Shaykh Muwannis to explore practical aspects of Palestinian return
    • Actual Jews and Palestinians didn't behave like it was total war until a certain day in 1947 when it was total war. And many Palestinians died, were kicked out without being allowed to return and had their homes, lands, property, bank accounts, nation and state stolen from them. Those Jews lived in anticipation of a time when they would transfer all non-Jews out of Palestine. And they seem to have adjusted to their theft quite easily, except for the hyper-militarism and vigilance necessitated by trying to protect your ill-gotten gains.

      You seem to possess a poor knowledge of history. And an equally poor understanding of the causes of illness, not to mention being horrifically judgemental and cruel and ugly, thus revealing a great deal about you. I wonder how Jews who have died of cancer would feel if you judged them as you do these Palestinians who died of cancer. I'm sure all those Jewish women who carry the breast cancer gene will be delighted to hear what you have to say.

    • What you've written in not responsive. But the only comeback by zionists is evasion since you plural are in the wrong in your treatment of Palestine and the Palestinians. Have fun enjoying the fruits of your theft, massacres and ethnic cleansing. You won't get to enjoy it long.

    • Disagree Walid. I've worked with many Palestinian groups in the diaspora and many are eager to return to their homes and lands. It's not just return to a state as such that has meaning but to their balad and their community. I think you underestimate the fervour with which many Palestinians desire to return to their roots. Many want to take their skills home to rebuild. I agree that not all will return but many will. For example many returned after Oslo and many more will return under a real solution. As a friend of mine frequently says 'I am from Yafa and I'm going to return to Yafa'. And it's usually to thunderous applause.

  • Should Jews break bread on Yom Kippur?
    • Yes, Walid, I'm aware of those clerics. Each religion has their kooks and fundies and extremists and I'm quite happy to denounce them. But to say as Ellis does that Christianity has not had a vibrant ethical tradition is patently ridiculous to those who have studied the history of Christianity in both the east and the west. There has also been a vibrant tradition of theological discussion and influence among Christianity, Islam and Judaism - we only have to look at Islamic influences in Maimonides' work or St John the Damascene as well as the influences going the other way to Islam. This is something that is continuing in Islamic and Christian universities in the East. His ignorance of these conversations might be excused if he doesn't read or speak Arabic but it's still ignorance and still wrong of him to draw the types of conclusions he has. It s also ignorant of him to think that Catholicism and Protestantism is all there is to Christianity since it's not. I find this article lazy.

    • Is that what you want the Palestinians to say? That's what the Israelis want, for the Palestinians to say 'Is that so?' If you think the Israelis are going to be like that beautiful young Japanese girl and finally do the right thing, don't hold your breath.

    • Can you see the possiblity that you are blind to the offence caused? Or are you so certain in your judgement that you cannot even consider where the offended ones are coming from? Perhaps it's you that has missed something here.

    • Actually Walid, there is a lot here to be offended at by both Christian and Muslim Arabs. You misrepresent Sunnis when you tar all of them with those clerics who are willing to sell themselves out to political interests and create ridiculous fatwas to suit their purposes. There still are inter-faith discussions and contact by both laity and clergy between Arabs and Muslims. And I know this because I know personally several priests and monks as well as theology students who are involved in them. They occur not only in communities in the Middle East but also in the diaspora. Let's leave it to the Orientalists to generalise about us - let's not do it ourselves.

    • Did you deliberately set out to offend Arabs and Muslims with your comments in this post?

      Or are you perhaps revealing your own ignorance of the rich tradition of discussion between Islam, Christianity and Judaism that occurred in the East for centuries? Or perhaps talk to Eastern Christians and Jews to learn of their experiences and relationships across the faiths? It seems to me that you are so stuck in Amero- or Anglo-centric views that you don't see what is happening elsewhere. Would that you would expand your view and cease the needless and offensive generalisations.

  • Shady PR operatives, pro-Israel ties, anti-Castro money: Inside the Syrian opposition’s DC spin machine
  • Latest 'generous offer' leaked: Israel wants to control Jordan River and 40% of West Bank while Palestinians get 'temporary borders'
    • @Mahane

      Stop trying to use Christians to whitewash the Israeli regime that has treated my people so unjustly for so long. The problems of Christian communities stem from 2 sources - Israel and Saudi Arabia with America supporting both. You certainly are spouting hasbara and I'll call you on that bullshit every single time.

    • They join the IDF so that they don't get discriminated against for social benefits and jobs.

      Israel does not allow spouses from the West Bank or Gaza to emigrate to Israel anymore and uses this as a way to transfer as many Palestinian Israelis and their demographically threatening babies outside the Green Line.

      Having an Israeli passport means no checkpoints, far less hassle at the airport and borders, not living under military law, access to medical care (which Palestinians outside Israel must pay for fully) etc. But they do get discriminated against in all sorts of areas under nearly 30 laws and also receive far less in govt funding for schools, infrastructure, transport etc.

      Once again, most Palestinian Israelis won't want to transfer their citizenship because they know that the new Palestinian state won't be a real state at all - it will still be under the thumb of the Israelis. Better to be a hated minority than be a citizen of a pretend state that will still be under Israel's thumb.

      I'm not sure what Iraqi Bishop said that but he's wrong. Palestinian Christians were ethnically cleansed and killed by the Jews from 1947/8 until now. They share the same problems as their Muslim brothers and sisters - land theft, checkpoints, military rule, imprisonment, torture, administrative detention, occupation, siege etc. Which is why the Christian population of Israel/Palestine is shrinking, not growing. How about you tell my friend from Bethlehem that she can have her family's land back - you know, the land they stole from her father?

      The Syrian 'refugees' you are talking about who enter Israel to be treated medically are actually rebel fighters whom the Israelis support. You won't say that Israel has not offered to take any Syrian refugees in and only offered to take in Palestinians from Syria if they would renounce their right to return to Palestine. Shameful to use the fears these people have in a desperate situation to take away their rights from them - the fact that Israel asked this of them shows that they know the right of return is legitimate and is seeking Palestinian surrender.

      I have a feeling that you adding comments to your links won't really help anything since they're so full of hasbara that the links will be to. So save yourself the trouble.

  • Israel's dancing soldiers
    • Dear, sweet, naive Mahane. Soldiers do receive orders to kill people. It's what armies do. And the Israeli army does it really well when it comes to Palestinians. If Israel did think that Palestinians were not sub-human, then perhaps they would not discriminate against them, not evict them from their homes and steal their land, not put them behind checkpoints and occupy them at gunpoint, not blockade them and declare no-go zones where they take potshots and kill those trying to farm their land.

      But this will not last too much longer. Palestine's children will return and they will have justice.

  • Stopping Sara from falling in love with Sammy in Qalandia
    • The concept of the People of the Book has nothing to do with marrying non-Muslims to convert them. It's a recognition of the inheritance of Islam from Judaism and Christianity. Nor are any Muslims encouraged to marry non-Muslims whether they are people of the book or not just to convert them. I know people who have married Muslims (including members of my own family) and converted and many others who have not converted. Muslims aren't the ones who are worried about demographic threats or 'marrying out'. The racist discourse is coming from Israeli Jews wanting to maintain ethno-religious supremacy over non-Jews.

      So how about you tone down your Islamophobia for a bit. There are plenty of Arabs and Muslims around here ready to smack you down when you start writing bullshit about us. I'm amazed at the stupidity of the hasbarats who think that we're gullible enough to swallow this tripe.

  • Do's and don'ts for progressives discussing Syria
    • @ Taxi: I always wondered if Elias Muhanna's name for his site came from this line of poetry:

      Qifa nabki min thikra manzilin wa habibin?

      Seems to me lots of people in Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Bahrain and Yemen know how that feels.

  • Young New York City Muslims speak out on how Islamophobia impacts daily life
    • Israel maintains a show of democracy inside the Green Line while they have historically underfunded Arab schools and municipalities, passed laws that discriminate against Israeli Palestinians in all sorts of areas including housing, employment, welfare etc and then allow token representation of Palestinians in the Knesset whom they then either ignore when it comes to forming government or try to strike them off the ballot, take away their parliamentary privileges etc. A point like this one will only convince the ignorant and credulous, of which you are certainly one.

  • Video: Stunning performance by young Palestinian violinist at Royal Albert Hall
    • That young Palestinian violinist can certainly give Kennedy a run for his money.

      Kennedy is right - Palestinians can fly even higher if there was no apartheid. Thanks Annie and bintbiba. Keep the Palestinian success stories coming!

    • If we're talking about educational attainment - literacy, years of education etc, Lebanon is at the top in the whole MENA region. If you don't believe me, you can look it up on World Bank Edstats and see for yourself. West Bank and Gaza is not far behind and would probably be level or even higher than Lebanon but for the impact of the occupation and the repression of Palestinians insidand outside the Green Line. Palestinians in Israel have far lower levels of educational attainment than their peers in Israel - much of this is explained by the lower levels of funding of Arab schools. Much of the reason why we saw little progress in the situation of the Palestinian communities in the Middle East in the 50s and 60s is that the Nakba was an incredible shock to the entire region and to a people recovering from horrific events such as death of loved ones, displacement from homes and loss of all their assets and their country. The fact is that it took all their resources both emotional and financial to just keep existing. How the hell do people who've just had everything stolen from them find the resources to immediately build a university, you fool?

      Yes, you wouldn't dare to judge Palestinians against Israelis because then the results would reveal that resources are purposely directed to Jews and away from non-Jews to create an apartheid state. Just like the Jews in Israel enjoyed the advantages of stealing someone else's country as well as the individual property, lands and homes, of millions of people. Enjoy your apartheid while you can.

  • Remembering Jaffa
    • Yours is an unattractive, graceless comment. How dare you impose your view on how Amal and her family would look upon Jaffa. And since when were the Ottomans westerners? I'm sure that a surprise to Turks and Arabs.

  • In new era of cooperation, Israeli drone kills '5 jihadis' in Egypt
    • Speak for yourself Walid. It worries me plenty.

      Edited to add- it's one reason I don't totally buy Taxi's view on Egypt. In their eagerness to be rid of Moris, the people of Egypt have put their trust in an institution which is just as bad.

    • OMG Oleg I never thought that I would get so much pure unadulterated entertainment from the stupidity of zionists! You've plumbed new depths of ignorance here and the belly-laugh did me a world of good. How can I even begin to explain to you the ignorance and parochialism and misogyny that you reveal here (and not in a good way).

  • McCain and Graham flipflop on aid to Egypt-- after AIPAC speaks up
    • the weakening of USA-israel-gulfies axis brings with it a very dangerous and real possibility: as losers, they will push hard to ignite a regional war, in the hope that warfare would change their declining fortunes.

      Exactly. And Lebanon is that battleground and Hezbollah the target. That's why the Israelis are sending their soldiers over the border (nevermind that they mined the hell out of the border areas themselves) and that's why buckets of money are heading from Saudi to groups in Tripoli etc. They want to bring what is happening in Syria to Lebanon.

  • Turns out the dabke is an Israeli dance, according to The New York Times
    • It started with thousands massacred, hundreds of thousands ethnically cleansed and having their lands and homes and country stolen from them. Where did the hate come from hophmi? It came from the Jews and Israelis who kicked out the Palestinians and continue to repress them to this day. The projection of hate by zionists like you who are the ones who condone hate and death and theft is what needs to stop.

    • It's not imitation, it's cultural appropriation. It's fine when Americans take pizza and pasta and make something out of it that your average Italian would shake his/her head it - the US is not busy repressing and occupying Italians. But in this case Israel is busy repressing and occupying Palestinians so it's understandable Palestinians would be pissed. Not to mention that calling his show 'Dabke' is incredibly arrogant. It's like creating a show called 'Ballet'. Noone would dare to do it since it's incredibly presumptuous to think that you can capture Ballet or Dabke is one show. But then I guess that people like the Israelis who have stolen a land and massacred or ethnically cleansed its people, having the chutzpah to give the name of entire art form to a show is to be expected.

    • Wrong. It's hasbara because it's news when an Israeli does it.

  • 'Oh Jerusalem my tears are scattered,' Mohammed Assaf sings in occupied Bethlehem
    • To the Mondo team and especially Annie and Enass a huge SHUKRAN JAZEELAN to all of you for your continued coverage of Mohammad Assaf. You're right about his impact on the Arab world and it makes me incredibly happy to know that non-Arabs are as affected as we are by his talent and his incredible poise.

      At around the 12 minute mark he did a little bit of a lovely Bedouin song which just goes to show just how wide his range is. He reminds me of Fairouz (not only for the amazing voice) but like Fairouz he sings for all Arabs.

  • Iranian president's description of occupation as a 'wound' echoes Obama's description of conflict
    • yrn, you ignore the gravity of the crimes of Zionism in actually wiping a people and a country off the map in 1947/8. Stop engaging in projection of this onto others and start realising that the state you support has committed massive crimes and should be held accountable. No matter how hard you try to cover this up with hysteria about Iran (look over there!) we do not forget the crimes that your country was founded and still has not accounted for. Funny how you think the words of a former Iranian president are somehow worse than the actions of many Zionists in Palestine who massacred and cleansed the land of non-Jews. You want to see examples of people being driven into the sea? It happened in Haifa and Yafa and it was Jews driving out non-Jews. That's the dirty underbelly of your cause.

  • Brace yourselves for-- 'Kerry's generous offer'
  • The fate of Syria’s Alawis... and the fate of Israel’s Jews?
    • I think this article is a great example of how Mondoweiss should stay out of things it does not understand. The fact that the editor who decided to publish this didn't know that calling Alawis 'Nuseiris' is an extremely pejorative term (never mind all the other fantasies and inaccuracies in this article) is something I find extremely disturbing.

      So Mondoweiss, stick to your day job and stop publishing offensive crap like this.

  • Talking -- about talking
    • @Mike: Why is it that the solution is to pay the Palestinians to leave but not the Jews? It would be far better if you looked inside yourself and saw the ugliness of your prejudice and rebuild your world view again based on some semblance of kindness and compassion rather than the heartlessness that you show here.

  • Noted Arab expert Martin Peretz is back, spouting racist generalizations, at the 'Daily Beast'
    • Where does one even begin to correct the many, many wrongs in the quote by Peretz?

      Antonius' work was a work of history that traced the origins of Arab nationalism to the 19th century revolts by Muhammad Ali Pasha in Egypt in the 1820s against Ottoman rule and the civil war/revolt against Ottoman rule in Lebanon in 1860 led by Yousef Karam. It's in no way a bible against Zionism unless you wish to claim that Arab nationalism born more than a century prior to the creation of the state of Israel and at least 70 years before modern Zionism could somehow have predicted the rise of Zionism in order to 'react' to it. Which is patently stupid.

      And yes, we have the zionist canard of Egypt staring the 1967 Six Day War. Just how many Israeli historians and former Prime Ministers does Peretz need before he will acknowledge that Israel started that war?

  • Israeli who works in DC and attends Brandeis lectures Mohammed Assaf, 'we're stuck together and not going anywhere'
    • It's not your position or Natan Odenheimer's position to demand Assaf or any other Arab to save you, to grant you forgiveness and salvation and atonement. How about you and Natan start atoning for the wrongs you have done to the Palestinians. Look at the wrongs you have done and fix them before you dare to ask anything of him.

    • Some people are just so desperate for the approval of the West. I find her just as vomitous as this Odenheimer.

    • Righteous rant, Annie!

  • Sec. Kerry, you should know better than to think you can nickel and dime a peace deal
  • Palestinian journalist is humiliated by Israeli security at US ambassador's July 4th party
    • Oh please, stow the sanctimony. The comment right above you by just tells how this is a pattern with Arab and Palestinian journalists. Anyone who read the linked article or followed this site on a regular basis knows that this is not an isolated incident against Arab journalists in Israel and that non-Arab journalists are not treated this way (except those who cover the Friday protests in the West Bank who get skunk and tear gas canisters aimed at them).

      You hide behind faux logic and 'lawfare' but you cannot hide the rotten core of zionism - theft, massacre, ethnic cleansing, deep, deep guilt assuaged by projection and hyper-militarism to maintain its ill-gotten gains.

  • Never mind the coup: U.S. military aid will continue to flow to Egypt
    • Of course the US will still give money to the military in Egypt. We like those guys, we trained them and they do our bidding. I think the veil has truly been stripped away from America - we know that they are completely uninterested in human rights, freedom, democracy etc. In the past we thought that was only for non-Americans but now we know they feel that way about America too.

      This can be seen as a defeat for Qatar, since they were so heavily invested in MB. Not sure if it qualifies as a win for Saudi Arabia since the Salafi Nour party, which Saudi strongly backs, is not going to win a majority at the next elections. But it certainly qualifies as a win for the US since the Egyptian military are 'our' bastards.

      You can bet the homestead that the first thing the new Prez will talk about is 'Egypt respecting it's international treaties' - code for keeping Israel secure, which is what the Egyptian military is expected to do for all that cash.

      I would classify this coup as reactionary - instead of letting the pressure of the protests leading Morsi to conclude that he had lost the confidence of the people and recognising that early elections are needed, we have a situation where the old guard can now set the terms for the next elections and next constitution. There are two problems with this - the old guard is dictatorial and dominated by US views and does not consider the will of the people - and the MB is now left nursing their wounds and bemoaning the overthrow of a legitimately elected government. They will not go quietly and now there is the possibility of civil war in the Egypt, or perhaps an Algerian style campaign to wipe out Islamists that will cost thousands of lives and push back the possibility of real liberation and democracy for Egyptian, as well as cause untold economic and social distress.

  • Set off a Roman candle for 'the anti-authoritarian instinct' -- and Edward Snowden!
  • Kerry's 3 a.m. diplomacy is greeted with skepticism, scorn, ridicule
    • When even your own propaganda organs don't believe your propaganda and won't sell it, maybe it's time to change tactics. Or don't raise expectations about something so hopeless. (Sad to see the continued incompetence of our DoS who don't seem to understand the diplomacy game and end up looking like idiots).

      I've been thinking lately that the US doesn't have to pressure Israel to do anything. Maybe the US should just withdraw support. Ignore Israel. Abstain at the UN. No visits, no attention. Probably the worst thing you could do for such a narcissistic place and its Prime Minister.

      A girl can dream, right?

  • 'This is worth it, folks,' Kerry says of talks-- and warns of 'avoiding war'
    • Thanks Annie. You're pretty heroic but even you can't be everyone at once!

    • I consider myself a serious student of the Middle East. I speak Arabic, have an advanced degree in a relevant discipline and spent years working in and on MENA. Yet I have never heard of this Barry Rubin. Could it be that he is an expert on Israeli issues rather than Middle Eastern ones?

      Edited to add: is the casual racism on display in this comment really acceptable here? Shouldn't these type of generalisations be moderated out no matter who they are aimed at?

  • Attack in Tel Aviv: 'Jewish girls do not go out with Blacks!'
    • The variations between how people look are extremely minor genetic variations. We all have eyes and the difference between eye color means what? Absolutely nothing except what people ascribe to it. Same with skin, hair etc. It only has the meaning that we ascribe to it.

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