Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 717 (since 2011-08-28 23:37:40)

Showing comments 717 - 701

  • UC Berkeley Israel group wants to ban imaginary word rhyming with intifada as 'triggering, terrifying'
  • Netanyahu speech scandal blows up, and 'soiled' Dermer looks like the fall guy
    • Phil, it's from Macbeth and is Macbeth's own line in Act 3 Scene 4:

      Then comes my fit again: I had else been perfect,
      Whole as the marble, founded as the rock,
      As broad and general as the casing air:
      But now I am cabin'd, cribb'd, confined, bound in
      To saucy doubts and fears. But Banquo's safe?

      and is said just before the entry of Banquo's ghost.

      Yes, I would like to see Netanyahu 'cabin'd' and see the ghosts of all those he has had killed.

  • Russell Tribunal on Palestine: Delegitmisation of Israeli apartheid has to happen in the courtroom too
    • Palestine won't be freed with the pen. International law is useless without enforcement and the British govt chose complicity with Israel when it changed its own laws to allow Livni and others to travel freely without fear of arrest for their crimes. To me, that undermines your point, and that of the Russell Tribunal, that courts are the way forward. Actions in courts will be subsequent to the liberation of Palestine, not precede it.

  • The checkpoint is burning
    • JeffB, like every zionist you mine history to create a narrative that is partial and therefore gives the wrong impression of what was going on. The thing is that you see Palestinians as so sub-human that you want to buy them off with economic toys when we all know that freedom is priceless and can never be bought. Until you realize that Palestinians are just as deserving of all the rights that Jews and Israelis enjoy, you will never understand why Palestinians continue to resist. But keep not understanding. It's the fastest way to strengthen the resistance and get Palestine back.

      Poor JeffB - doesn't see that the Lebanese and Palestinian resistance have Israel caught between a rock and a hard place.

  • Countdown to the next round in Gaza
    • Stop spanking that poor monkey yonah. No one ever pretended that you had a good handle on motivation for human behaviour, so your inability to make sense of Palestinian behavior is perfectly explicable. But thanks ever so for continuing to display your ignorance and allowing us to enlighten you. I'm sure that nothing will penetrate the fog with which you envelope yourself but one should always be hopeful that people with your views may redeem themselves.

  • Ceasefire deal after weeks of fighting in Gaza promises easing of blockade
    • No yonah, it just shows your lack of understanding. If you can't understand why people would be happy to have fought their oppressors to end part of how they are oppressed, then I suggest you get back into the line where God gives out brains. And then join the one where hearts are given out, 'cos your compassion is infamously absent.

  • With ceasefire set to expire, Palestinians aim to lift the siege while Israel wants to turn 'Gaza into Ramallah'
    • It's really nice that the Israelis or the PA buffoons think they are in charge. Not even the Hamas politicians are in charge. Who is calling the shots is the Qassam Brigades. Those guys have learnt well from Hezbollah and they cannot go back to their community without having the siege lifted. Qassam Brigades don't care about Oslo, final status talks, the standing of the PA collaborators or hasbara talking points. Qassam is only answerable to their stakeholders and they don't live in Ramallah, Cairo, Saudi or Qatar. They live in Gaza and have been brutalized for so long they feel they have nothing left to lose. They can't go back to the siege. Netanyahu was incredibly stupid to have started this war since things will not end up the way he wants them to. When you've driven a people's collective back to the wall, they will fight like they have nothing left to lose.

  • Hillary Clinton's 11th-hour diplomacy
  • Gov. Cuomo annexes Jerusalem to Israel -- and 'NYT' echoes him
    • Obviously the Benjamins have clouded Cuomo's cognitive abilities and his mastery of geography and history is thus hindered. However, I want to thank you Phil for referring to the 'foundational' problem facing Israel in this piece: link to Comments are closed but since I've criticised you several times for buying into the hasbara of a non-violent Israeli past, I should give you kudos when you overcome that thinking! Cuomo and his ilk will be the last to get a clue, but they've already sold their souls.

  • Liberal Zionism has lost its refuge-- a plausible two-state solution
    • I think it will be more like South Africa Mooser. There will be a lot of whites who see the writing on the wall and leave for other places. There's large expat communities of South African whites in Australia, England, Canada etc. That's what many Jews will do - the ones who have second passports, or the education and language skills to be approved for emigration to other countries. Combine that with more Palestinian demographic threats, political changes in the Middle East and the waning of US power (and in absence of another sponsor for Israel) zionism will crumble just as any other colonial outpost has crumbled.

      The way I see it, zionists know they stole the land and they know deep down in their hearts it's not really theirs. They do want it for themselves but they want it exclusively, they are not willing to share it. I think they talk big but as the odds become more stacked against them, they'll leave. You can't sustain the world's or the region's enmity forever.

  • Watch: Young Israeli Jew at Western Wall calls for 'another war and another war and another war and another war'
    • This is exactly right. I also include the fascist Lebanese Christians in this mob. They have the same ethno-religious supremacy mentality. I've been calling them Christian Salafists and Jewish Salafists but referring to them as Da3ish might be a better term.

    • Hey Mooser, I love the optimism that thinks that anything can help Hophmi.

    • How representative are they, Phil?

      One only has to look back at the history of Zionists aggression during the Mandate period and in 1947/48 and to this day to realize that this is what has been foundational in Zionist theory and practice and that what we are seeing today is no different to what the world has been witnessing for over a century. What part of ethnic cleansing of~750,000 and thousands massacred does it take to understand that the greatest crimes occurred nearly 70 years ago and this is just the logical conclusion? The world just colluded in this myth that there was not an extermination of the Palestinian state, there was no 'wiping off the map' and that there were no Palestinians pushed into the sea. Netanyahu is merely preparing his population for the next stage of this slo-mo genocide. Please don't express shock over chanted slogans when the rhetoric and implementation has been going on for longer than most of us have been alive.

      Edited to add - I fear the next stage of this genocide might well be as catastrophic as 1947/48.

  • How the Israeli discourse on terrorism seeks to justify blatant war crimes
    • jon s, I'd go get some training since you really suck at this and everyone here is running rings around you. The problem is that you are so deeply sunk in hasbara to recognise it. Any even-handed person looking at this situation would see an occupier and an occupied. They would also see that the occupied, under international law, have a right to resist their occupation, which is precisely what Hamas is doing. The occupier is murdering children in their sleep and in UN shelters and while they are playing on beaches and using every propaganda tool they can to blame the victims for their own deaths. And this is after have shoved their grandparents out at gunpoint and stolen their homes and lands using terrorist methods that Jewish terrorists imported into the Middle East that were later coped by opponents of Israel.

      But I know that none of this is going to make a dent in your mind. You are so blinded by hasbara that you fail the humanity test as it concerns the Palestinians, you can only see your own pain and your own history and it blinds you to theirs. As such, you doom yourself and the country you say you support as it crashes every right-ward and becomes a shadow of what you support until eventually, you will be forced to become a fascist ultra-zionist or leave zionism behind in disgust as many of your fellow Jews are doing now during this assault on Gaza.

    • Go back to your hasbara handlers for retraining jon s. The bullshit isn't working. What the world sees is Israel pounding on the weak at the same time as it's people and politicians are spewing racist and genocidal discourse towards Arabs and Palestinians. That is why countries are withdrawing recognition and relations with Israel, refusing to supply it with weapons and that is why thousands of people all over the world are turning out in mass rallies week after week. And all you can come up with is a lame version of 'are you now or have you ever been a communist?'

  • 'Cooking is my politics': Rawia Bishara's Middle Eastern food is all about spreading culture
    • I have a hard time believing there is decent Levantine food outside of London and Paris (I have to admit that a cousin of mine owns a Lebanese restaurant in Paris) but I'll have to hit up this place next time I'm in New York. After all, she mentioned Fairouz and Tannourine, 2 of my favourite things about Lebanon.

    • Page: 7
    • Bullshit jon s. The same plant is harvested annually in Lebanon by basically every family living in the rural areas and is in no danger of becoming extinct. Israel is trying to greenwash quashing a food and an activity that is a basic part of Palestinian and Levantine culture and food.

  • Moshe Feiglin's vision of liberating Gaza by driving Palestinians into the Sinai --Updated
  • Librarians give New York subway riders a taste of Palestinian literature to protest Gaza assault
  • Reprint of Yochanan Gordon's "When Genocide is Permissible" (Updated)
  • Collective fear, collective support for war crimes -- it's the 'Time of Men' in Israel
    • Hamas’ demands for a ceasefire in turn reflect just how addicted it became to the crumbs falling from the Israeli government table.

      Then you must have missed the letter from prominent Gazans who are united in their opposition to a truce that does not include the lifting of the siege of Gaza. You don't have to be Hamas to want the lifting of the blockade nor think that it's worth fighting for since day-to-day life in Gaza is not the picnic that it is in Israel.

      Furthermore, while reducing Hamas to the level of the Israeli government, you fall into the same thinking used by zionists of the moral equivalence of both sides and mistake just how much the Palestinian people support the resistance - which is more than just Hamas.

  • In light of renewed call for boycott following latest Gaza attack, Verso Books offers free download of BDS anthology
  • As night follows the day, deaths of 10 Israeli soldiers lead to deaths of 30 Palestinian civilians
  • Where my bomb shelters at?
    • Ok, how about we give Gazans the same military technology you have. That would at least make it a fair fight and there would nothing inherent to those weapons that you could object to.

      But any sane person would realize the incredible disparity in military strength between the IDF and Gazan resistance. But only the powerful would fetishize the meagre weapons and methods of the people they occupy and oppress.

  • Kerry is off the Israel bandwagon
    • I wasn't inspired to read the rest of the piece by Hollis if this para is indicative. She obviously knows little of the region if she can make stunning generalisations like Palestine's defenders are more anti-Israel than pro-Palestinian (load of bollocks) and Israel is good friends with the extremists in the Middle East, particularly Saudi Arabia and its clients, both state and non-state actors. It's really like nails on a chalkboard when I read something like this where the writer has no understanding of the motivations and enmities of both state and non-state actors in the Middle East and how non-monolithic Muslims are politically.

  • (Updated) In Photos: Worldwide protest against Israeli attack on Gaza
    • @Taxi - an uninhabited one.

    • First, that Gazan militant should know just how much support Hezbollah, Syria and Iran have been giving them for years. Which is why their military capacity has improved. Second, that Gaza militant should see what the average Syrian or Iraqi or Yemeni is going through right now - they have their own life and death struggle. Arabs in other countries have had mostly unsuccessful uprisings against their pro-zionist rulers. Many have paid with their life, blood and freedom and were at least partly inspired to do so knowing that they were not only overthrowing regimes that not only oppressed their own people but conspired in the oppression of Palestinians. Most of those uprisings failed. But it's not for lack of trying.

    • Toni Morrison:

      The function, the very serious function of racism is distraction. It keeps you from doing your work. It keeps you explaining, over and over again, your reason for being. Somebody says you have no language and you spend twenty years proving that you do. Somebody says your head isn't shaped properly so you have scientists working on the fact that it is. Somebody says you have no art, so you dredge that up. Somebody says you have no kingdoms, so you dredge that up. None of this is necessary. There will always be one more thing.

      @ Pat: stop being as ass with your distractions and your 'one more thing'.

  • Hamas mimics Hezbollah tactics, and no one will have stability till blockade is lifted
    • then pray tell me how Hezbollah and Hamas have managed to keep their weapons stockpiles secret? And see Walid's comment below for how the resistance dealt a massive blow to Israeli intelligence by massively reducing collaboration with the Israelis such that instead of bombing Gaza from the outside, this time they've had to go into Gaza themselves to try to physically find the weaponry.

    • To clarify Taxi, I meant that while the political leadership of Hamas was being swayed bu Gulf money, the resistance never was.

    • Abierno, I think you're wildly exaggerating the strategic capacity of Abbas and the PA. They've been caught out and are trying desperately to keep up. In the first week of this massacre, they were still being mealy-mouthed and blaming Hamas for the assault on Gaza. PA politicians denounced Hamas again when they rejected the Egypt/Israel ceasefire. It's only now when Hamas is being successful and Israel is recognised to be so brutal that they realized they had to change their rhetoric suddenly to avoid bearing the brunt of the anger of residents of the West Bank.

    • Wes, the Gazans would be mad to agree to the movement of the Israeli military among them. And if Hezbollah's enemies in Lebanon have not been able to uncover Hezbollah's secret sites why would the Israeli army have better luck in Gaza?

    • Thanks Taxi, excellent summary. What I've been hearing is that the cooperation between Hamas and Hezbollah goes back quite a few years as the technical level. Hamas political leadership and the Qassam Brigades have sometimes been at odds about the relationship with Hezbollah after the Arab people started rising up. Mishaal and Haniyeh were seduced by Gulf money but the military resistance (including Islamic Jihad and others) knew where the help and support was coming from. Even now, Qatar and Saudi Arabia are trying to buy off the politicians but the military wing is calling the shots now. Hamas leaders are struggling to catch up, as are the collaborators in the West Bank who will either fall into line with the people or be overthrown.

      Edited to add I thought the Resistance would put a good showing but not this good. Gaza is difficult to defend but what they've done is an achievement. And where is ISIS?

  • 'Slate' blames Birthright for indoctrinating American Jew who was killed fighting for Israel
  • Arab reporters come under attack from Israelis
    • I can't help a certain grim satisfaction with flights to Israel being cancelled. It recalls the years Lebanese inside and outside Lebanon could only get in and out of Lebanon via the ferry from Jounieh to Cyprus. If Israelis only feel a little bit of the pain they have inflicted on us....

  • 'Telegenically Dead': Israel’s crumbling media war
    • Al-Qassam Brigades were claiming 52 Israeli soldiers dead last time I checked a few hours back. I think the Israeli govt is slow in releasing info on the dead partly to stem the pushback against such a high number.

  • Gaza onslaught is p.r. problem for Israel's 'moral authority' -- Albright
    • Albright's squeamishness seems restricted to the children dying that we can see. Apparently she thought that children dying that she couldn't see on her twitter feed (Iraq) was ok. The price was worth it.

  • Netanyahu's latest 'cartoon evidence': racist image identifying Muslims with terror
    • The most ridiculous thing about this is that the Israelis are not deterred by being proven wrong. There's no secondary explosions from bombed weapon/ammunition stockpiles in hospitals, mosques, apartment buildings or cemeteries. Yet they still keep peddling lies.

  • Massacre in Gaza: At least 60 killed in Shuja'iyeh, over 60,000 in UN shelters
  • Video: Resistance activists down power line in West Bank
    • Lots of lovely Orientalism there. Forgetting that the only way Israel flourished was by stealing most of the land and property of others and relying on years of foreign remittances and military aid. And also forgetting the constant violence Israel has rained down on Palestinians, through terrorist groups that introduced car bombs to the Middle East in the 1930s to the paramilitary groups and state apparatus that ethnically cleansed hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, placing them under martial rule, occupation and siege.

      You can pretty much take it to the bank that anything a Zionist accuses someone else of doing is just a projection of Israel's modus operandi.

  • Activists occupy UK govt office demanding end to arms trade with Israel
    • Bullshit. You draw back from the specific point about the behavior of Israelii soldiers to a general point about anti-semitism, in an attempt to recover your victim status. Double bullshit. Most of the negative feeling towards Israel is about its behavior towards the Palestinians. But you are so into the groove with your reflexive robo-thinking of protecting the tribe at all costs that you can't see the humanity of those Israel kills.

      Your conflation of Israel with Jews is the most anti-semitic thing in this thread. You're exposed to Palestinian voices here. Make use of that before history leaves you in the trash heap.

    • Zionist Jews are shooting down Palestinian children from planes and ships like they're playing video games and you think it's anti-semitic when they are called cowards and pigs? Are you having a sociopathic break from reality and compassion? It actually is cowardly to shoot unarmed children and destroy their homes from behind your scope with your advanced weaponry. My problem with this is that it's actually an insult to pigs, who don't engage in that sort of cowardly and destructive behavior.

      Go back to your handlers at Herzliya and tell the their so-called 'skilled' hasbara is spectacularly unsuccessful here.

    • It's more than just Turkey Justpassingby. Chile has suspended trade talks with Israel and is considering withdrawing its ambassador. And there lots of non-Arab Muslim countries that don't even have relations with Israel in the first place - Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Pakistan as well as a number of African countries and Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua.

    • Kay24, the wealthy Gulf countries and Morocco have relations with Israel and are in the US camp, Egypt post-Morsi is the same. They're also mostly anti-MB, which means they're anti-Hamas. Syria's attention is elsewhere (not that it would offer anything but moral support anyway) and Iraq is a mess. But Arab public opinion whatever religion or country is staunchly pro-Palestinian.

  • Mohyeldin's boss at NBC rallied 'Jewish passion' for Israel when 'it is physically threatened'
    • It's 2014 and the patriarchy is still hard at work, objectifying women and ensuring the male gaze is still entitled to pass judgement on women, their bodies, their morality and their intelligence.

  • Bowing to AIPAC, Senate unanimously passes resolution supporting Israel
    • Rusty, it's a feature of the Westminster system. It usually means that it's passed unanimously because noone objects to it. There's no roll call or division of the house which are time consuming and it makes for more efficient functioning. So the chair/speaker etc will usually ask the parliament if there any objections before stating that it's been passed by unanimous consent.

  • 'Heartbroken' at 'horrifying' killing of boys, State Dep't says Israel must do more to prevent civilian deaths
    • What has changed is that just a few years back, this sort of questioning would not be happening. Now it's a daily occurrence, not just by Matt Lee but a host of reporters at the State Dept briefing, It's great to see some reporters who are not prepared to just be stenographers. That will have an effect. I personally think it's part of why Ayman Mohyeldin was returned to Gaza. The climate is changing.

  • NBC reportedly orders Mohyeldin to leave Gaza -- after he criticized State Dep't
    • There's a petition going around to reinstate Ayman Mohyeldin: link to

      and Twitter is suing the hashtag LetAymanReport to keep following up on this with NBC.

    • Richard Engel does speak Arabic Sumud. He obviously spent some time in Egypt since his accent is Egyptian and he can also communicate in 3amia (colloquial Arabic). But he still knows which side his bread is buttered on.

  • Israeli strike kills four Palestinian children playing soccer on Gaza beach
    • You're welcome Daniel. I also hope those kids died instantly too.

    • Thanks for the link Denis. I'll provide a quick translation but nothing will really translate the anger, disbelief and despair in their voices.

      O Mother.

      These are young children, everyone, young children.

      Come, come, over here

      O, 4 children, they are 4, 5 children, see how many there are, photograph them.

      O God.

      (chatter about whether to move them carry, carry them etc)

      O God

      God have mercy, God have mercy on them. (Arabic equivalent for May they rest in peace).

      Where's the journalists?

      Then, an English-accented voice speaking Arabic says: Sahafa (journalist).

  • Sullivan and Leveretts throw in the towel on two-state solution
    • So it's the feeling of safety that is more important than the actual fact that they are safe that is more important?

      Well, while you and your fellow zionist jews are unable to reconcile their fears with their actual physical safety in countries like the US Palestinians are being killed. I'm not sorry that I don't give a shit about your feelings while people I know and love are under attack and dying while your work through your inability to cognitively recognize your safety.

  • Terrifying tweets of pre-Army Israeli teens
  • Largest British union refuses to offer support for peace talks
  • Why a false understanding of the 'Six Day War' still matters
    • tokyobk, the Israeli New Historians have long refuted the assertions you made in your first paragraph concerning Palestinians being told to flee. It was the zionist terrorist groups entering their towns and committing atrocities that led to them fleeing and more than half of the Palestinians refugees fled before the arrival of any Arab army.

      Talk about doing the job of the propagandist. Even Benny Morris is at least truthful about what happened, even if he repugnant views about the morality of it.

  • 'Netanyahu won't act without a cane to his ass' -- Erekat says, urging ICC on Abbas
    • Thanks for that Hostage. I must admit to thinking 'What would Hostage think of this?' when I read the news about the STL charging the 2 media outlets.

  • Israeli government tries to undo image of Pope at the wall
    • Thanks Walid that's much more like it!

      seafoid, agreed.

      W. Jones, I don't blog but I do belong to an Arabic language choir with members from all over the Arab world and I share with many of them an interest in our different sacred traditions as well as secular Arabic music.

    • For non-racists anyone who colludes in the ethnic cleansing and forced expulsion of a people for the benefit of their own ethnic group is a racist. That includes Netanyahu's father as well as his son and anyone else who clings to a exclusivist ideology.

    • Elaha/Alaha, potayto/potahto.

    • Walid, that's an atrocious version of the Our Father in Aramaic. The accent is all wrong as well as the music. It makes it sound like Western new age music which it's not. There are some other versions on youtube that do better from Syrian and Iraqi Christians:

      link to
      link to

      As an Arabic speaker there are words that I recognise - malakut (kingdom) bisho (evil) etc.

  • A Papal confession to the Palestinian people
    • Mondoweiss, I've been thinking you've been doing a really terrific job lately and then I read Marc Ellis...

    • W.Jones, all Orthodox Christians take communion with a spoon from a chalice that contains bread and wine that becomes the body and blood of Christ through divine mystery. Catholics, even in the East, take communion as a wafer which becomes the body and blood through transubstantiation. As someone raised Orthodox and attended Catholic school, I wouldn't call it 'nice'.

  • 'It's what happened in South Africa': Palestine seeking sanctions against Israel at FIFA Congress
    • I think the fact that the usual hasbara brigade can respond to a story like this defending Israel rather than having any kind of condemnation for the treatment of Palestinian athletes (and Palestinians in general) by Israel shows that their credibility, moral, intellectual or otherwise. is zero.

  • Denial of Palestinian self-determination in the 40s haunts U.S. policy to this day
    • Once again, the hasbara brigade deliberately misconstruing what the right to self-determination is. This could be a drinking game.

  • Israel's clanging prison bars
    • Walid, you're right. I'm just as tired as you of the 'never-ending essays revolving around Jewish exceptionalism'. However, what is refreshing about this essay is that it is about a boy who actually thinks that the crimes done against Palestinians are wrong in and of themselves rather than solely something that stains the Jewish 'soul'. He can generalize from his own religious education as well as the experience of his own suffering at the hands of his co-religionists to empathize with Palestinians. I don't think the question to be answered is the 'meaning of Jewishness' as Ellis states. I think the question to be answered is do Jews and Israelis see Palestinians as equals and therefore deserving of the same treatment they give themselves? And that's a pretty simple question that has lots of data points that can be used to answer it that does not need these endless essays.

      Furthermore, if we are going to talk about the 'meaning of Jewishness', it's pretty clear that far too many Jews and Israelis conflate their Judaism with their Zionism and those don't conflate them are get punished. It's pretty clear to me as an Arab Christian who grew up in probably the most overtly sectarian state in the Middle East that this is the use of politics in the service of sectarianism/identity politics. And that's only news to the virginal eyes of those who believe in the whitewashed view of Israeli and Zionist history in the Middle East.

      As an aside, I see these Jewish exceptionalism essays as part of an effort to drive attention away from the oppression of Palestinians. While they do seek to expose how Israelis/Jews behave/think about Palestinians, it's far more about honoring themselves as being concerned about Palestinians rather than actually being concerned about Palestinians. Noone wants to be the bad guy. But the focus is still on the oppressor rather than the oppressed and it's still the narrative of the oppressor. It's a nicer version of shooting and crying. I often think that the way I feel when I read these essays is how a black person would've felt under segregation reading about how white people feel.

  • Israel’s ongoing colonization prolongs Palestinian suffering and devalues international law
    • Why oh why do people not read Hostage's comments? The right of self-determination is held by people living in a a geographical area regardless of religion or ethnicity. It's not a right held exclusively for one sub-group in a geographical area/territory. The manipulation and misrepresentation of principles of international law is so rife by Zionists that one wonders if Zionism is inimical to reading comprehension.

  • 'Forward' runs shocking images of Israeli children glorifying violence
    • 'Not your grandfather's Israel'

      yeah right. Your grandfather's Israel merely killed and ethnically cleansed it's way through Palestine using what is today called terrorism. In what universe is that better than kids throwing stones and mock grenades?

      Look, we need to disabuse people of the myths surrounding Israel's founding. The first thing we need to do is to stop buying into that myth ourselves.

  • Priest who pushed Palestinian Christian army service is canned
    • Yes Walid, which is why so many of us want Atallah Hanna, Archbishop Theodosios of Sebastia to be the next Patriarch.

    • The reason why a lot of them join is not love of the Israeli state. They do it so they can access welfare benefits and jobs and other opportunities that are otherwise denied to them by racist laws and racist attitudes within Israeli Jewish society. It's not a stance that has a lot of support in the community at all.

  • Abunimah and Blumenthal's freedom ride
    • @pabelmont: NF gave us the cold shoulder, not the other way around. He distanced himself from the founders and supporters of BDS by calling us a cult and making other derogatory remarks. But his recent views show him to be a nicer version of Benny Morris - prepared to be honest about the way Israel was founded and the price but, with his view that Israel has a right to exist, prepared to say to those who suffered and still suffer the price - it was worth it.

  • 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

      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 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

      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.

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