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Total number of comments: 569 (since 2012-12-04 18:20:15)

I am Israeli

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  • Videos: Brave Tamimi women of Nabi Saleh take down Israeli soldier assaulting injured child
    • Well, this clearly represents a state of desperation – when only extreme demagoguery and propaganda is the last thing left in trying to save a ruined cause.
      I am impatiently waiting for the next piece in the sequel: A courageous Palestinian teenager girl grabs a glass from a soldier who brags that he drinks the blood of a Palestinian baby

  • Israeli nukes are finally newsworthy-- as US gov't both releases and gags info
    • @marc b.
      That`s a good point. Perhaps the answer to this lies in how generally advanced the defense industry of Israel is. What happened is that a small country like Israel cannot sustain state-of-the-art position in this, technologically, hugely advanced industrial sector. While Israel has the people and the research capabilities it cannot have the huge money needed. So, not wishing to rely entirely on the US, which can always evolve into attached strings, the only way left, was to turn into an export industry, which will finance it. Once that happened – Israel is now in the top club there – everything became feasible. Of course the many collaborative ventures with the US also helped a lot.

  • Videos: 'Vanity Fair' story about anti-Semitic pogrom in Paris is falling apart
    • Annie: “An industry of bigotry”
      Are you kidding Annie? Are you not aware of the massive anti-Jewish bigotry in Muslim circles? And over there it is not only talking but acting? And what about the totally-out-of-proportion demonizing- industry of Israel?
      I mean, a person can elect to look just in on direction – that`s your democratic right- but then you cannot expect to be taken seriously by anybody serious - so also don`t also be surprised to find that just about anybody in the entire US establishment is on the other side.

  • Omar Barghouti on Matisyahu: 'Perfectly reasonable to oppose performance by any bigot'
    • I just read that in the end he did perform there. He was heckled by the “usual suspects” but got huge applauds from the others.
      Barghouti mistake is that in the end you cannot thrive on Negatives only. BDS, terror, missiles, mortars, violent demonstrations, hate talk, disruption of events and what not, cannot be a substitute for positive acts. They keep failing the Palestinians for a Century now – at every turn they put their faith in the new Negative that presumably will win the day for them (the next one, I think, is going to the ICC) . Try Positives – but sincerely, not as tactical moves. Learn from the Jewish post-Holocaust attitude - made peace with Germany, despite the true horror that took place, and went on to rebuild themselves.

  • End of lockstep US Jewish support for Israel is a triumph not a tragedy
    • @citizen and Kay
      Well, use your heads - you are getting things in reverse. In reality Netanyahu is merely a useful pawn here – his positions, based on perceived Israel`s interests - happen to serve other people`s much, much bigger agendas. If they thought otherwise the whole Israeli “formidable” lobby would have been shut down overnight.
      People over here, being solely interested only in a segment of the whole picture - the Israel saga, keep missing, because of that, what really and truly goes on. In particular, it means being forever “surprised” by what indeed makes no sense if you ignore the grand stratagem.
      That`s the problem with a single-issue focused site in a world where everything is linked now and where the US, the global master, is concurrently engaged in multiple arenas and issues.

  • Self-defense patrols form in West Bank as PA fails to protect Palestinians following Duma firebombing
    • @James North
      Take it easy and don`t rush into insults. Decoding Mandela`s development is not for here but even if it is true that at early stages he was militant he quickly changed tack. Google yourself and find out that he was embraced by very many in the West as a man of peace.

    • @Diaspora: Nelson Mandela
      Why on earth will all cases in the world end up like there? This is the example everybody love to cite. Just for beginners, Mandela was a pacifist while the Arab campaign against Israel was throughout drained with blood – and a lot of it. Just the terror season in the second Intifada has left lasting scars here. This by itself makes a huge difference bot in the eyes of Israelis and the world`s.

    • @accentitude
      Bring in the foreign forces and also pay for them? It is the kind of fantasy thinking that has stalled everything in this saga for decades and decades now. Until somebody in the Arab side gets real it will go on like that for more decades.

    • @Hostage
      I don`t think you thought through this ideal in its practical terms. What perfectly applied for the Israel-Egypt conditions with a huge desert separating two functioning countries is totally absent in the West-Bank where many Arab and Jewish villages, towns and settlements are juxtaposed within a miniature geographical area.
      Then, the Lebanon wars ended with similar arrangements but just about all the obligations of Hezbollah in it were violated )primarily not to be re-armed again. Israel cannot leave its security needs in other`s hands so will never agree to that.
      Also given the massive REAL big problems in Syria, and perhaps also in Iraq, Yemen, Sudan and Libya with millions dying, displaced and fleeing to other countries (including many to Europe), which are also on the UN SC agenda, just what attention span you expect it will find for this infinitely dwarfed case? Some people just refuse to recognize the far reaching repercussions, in terms of focus and centrality, of the truly immense changes in the region in the last two decades. It`s a new world here but some got so infatuated with “their case” – which once occupied the center-podium - that they are unable to move on.

  • President Obama wants us to argue about the special relationship
    • Main point missed: It`s too late. Obama is too near the end of his presidency and the process he began with Iran, or even in regard to Israel, is a protracted one and full with obstacles. Until thing will get going he is already gone (or lame duck) – and Obama is actually aware of that. If he wanted to do something in earnest about it he could have done that 6-7 years ago when he also had majority in both houses – now it`s in none of them.

  • Israeli Banks flipping out over looming European boycott
    • @Cigar
      Well, that`s a funny remark too because if you read it you can it applies perfectly to the warring factions within the Arab (or broader Muslim) world now. Yet, I bet you mean Israel, namely the last place in the region where the rights of minorities (if they are not belligerent) are fully protected. Did you follow the fate of Christians in Iraq? The Yazidis in Syria? The Kurds? And so on and on.
      I am sorry Cigar but to me this is not just a great bias and distortion plus a huge extent of unfairness but also sheer blindness.

    • OK, enjoy reading the many intelligent comments here – but make sure not to find out that you wasted a whole lifetime on the wrong track

    • That`s a funny response Mooser because that is exactly how I described it – please re-read this very short comment of mine above. It appears that you only read the first sentence…. Is it how you manage to write so many responses? Namely, not really reading what you presumably respond to

    • Since 70 years now there is always the next Big Move that will bring Israel to its knees. I can`t blame anybody outsiders for that – although there is something disturbing in their never-failing yearning for that - because it is a favorite Israeli self-scare practice. If for some reason this one does not materialize than there is still down the road: The planned French bid for a Palestinian state in the Security Council, The repeated Palestinian threats in regard to the ICC, All kinds of other BDS threats, The Iran deal`s signing…. – so the MW site can be assured of a lot of material to chew upon.
      In the meantime….

  • University of Illinois Chancellor steps down as judge upholds Salaita lawsuit against school on 1st amendment grounds
    • @MH976
      So, if I understand it right, what you want is that only views you hold right will be allowed to be expressed. That approach actually has a name.

    • All this is not about Salaita anymore. Just a huge warning sign to those who may have had a similar plan, namely turning the classroom into an anti-Israel podium - can cost you your teaching job.

  • 'NYT' turns settler murder of Palestinian baby into occasion for 'soulsearching' by Israeli Jews and Jews only
    • @just “Diskin said his agency never prioritized fighting Jewish terror”
      Well, that`s changing now. You always need a trigger – and this was now the second case (in the recent year) that moved and also deeply angered people.
      The point is that for doing so even the fringe of the fringe needs some minimal level of sympathy, even if only at the very right side of the political map, and they are not seeing that – on the contrary (including a lot of religious leaders coming out against that in the strongest terms possible). That is the way to deter from future acts. This is the Jewish nation and it is Israel.

    • Nobody in Israel needs pushing here – just about everybody here, Left and right, is denouncing that in the harshest terms possible. And in my view the ability to do that is part of the winning formula of Israel – one that the Arab world lacked - you must be able to control and contain the lunatic fringes in your own camp.
      Terror acts against Israelis, and later against other infidels (including in Europe), were approved for a long time by many in the Arab world or, if not, tolerated - perhaps even with some degree of sympathy and “understanding” for the motives (because of the “crimes” or sins of the targets). That brought untold calamity to the Arab world both by reactions by others and when, inevitably, it moved from doing that to “the enemy” into doing it to “traitors” in own camp. It appears that increasing number in the Arab world is waking up to that.

  • Obama ushers in the crisis of the Israel lobby
    • Israel`s lobby would have been in crisis if there was a unanimous view otherwise, or at least a majority of Congress had been so. But is that the case? It is fact likely that Obama will have to use his veto here – which is a rarity.
      In addition, it is clear that effective navigation of the process will be left to the next President given that this is a 10 years agreement and that a lot will only start (if the agreement is ratified by all) in earnest only about a year or so from now – when he would be about to be succeeded.
      Now what if the next president will have a contrary view about it? Say, will be one of those that oppose it now.
      This agreement issue is in reality a process, not a one off event, which has just been kicked off - there is no telling what expects it down the road.

  • The day after 9/11, Kagan father-son duo said 'take the war' to Palestine
    • @Bintbiba “America…when will you wake up and smell the putrid sewage”
      Well, it actually already did except that it is another sewage type that it is really alarmed with.

  • Obama tells Americans it is 'abrogation of my constitutional duty' to defer to Israel on Iran Deal
    • @Hophmi
      Yes, you are right. Thais was not at all an anti-Israel speech. But the people here are so eager for a bit of bad news about Israel, even just a bit of a bit, that they are not going to let that spoil their joy.
      The reality is that given the collapse of so many Arab states in the region, Obama is keen to keep Israel solid, as almost all the Capitol, Democrats as Republicans, do - there is simply no much choice anymore.
      Now, the Iran agreement is a big gamble – and Obama understands it very well. It is not yet clear that it will go through – there are all kinds of obstacles on the way. Importantly, it is not Israel opposition that Obama is really worried about – that just makes a good headline – but rather the Congress. People there now had the time to look into the fine details of the agreement and get a better grasp of the many serious holes in it. In my own view the actual materialization of this agreement still hangs in the balance.

  • Sanders risks losing left over unprogressive views of Palestine -- Washington Post
    • A man has to have his priorities. There are often clashes between objectives/goals.
      In this case: you can be socially left but support Israel in the political context that it is in. Not selling off your beliefs for votes deserves applauds.
      A personal example: I am often wary of the US big Corporations in terms of impacts of their acts on ordinary people (doing so to further their commercial interests) but I still support them because I understand that they are the power-base of the US and the US` s support of Israel is crucial. You always need to have your priorities ordered.

  • The deep roots of vigilante violence in Israeli society
    • @Cigar: “You`re home schooled”
      Please, no denigration – I have got 2 years college behind me!

    • @marnie: “hope this helps you figure it all out”
      Hamas and the Gazans spent a decade digging tunnels and filling them with missiles and mortars, which eventually they did use against Israel. I suppose if it was Christ (“Love your enemy”) the reaction was different but people here are not saints – just flesh and blood – and hence the predicted reaction. Those people, following the last war, now may truly hate the Gazans.
      In a way, all relationships in the end become symmetrical – reciprocity is the basic of inter-human relationship at all levels. The ever loathing of Hamas/Gazans of Israel/Israelis has now reached its inevitable state of (relationship) equilibrium.
      It`s a sad outcome but that`s how things work in the word of humans.
      I hope this helps you figure it all out

  • Understanding the Partition plan
    • With all due respect Mr. Fincham, the problem is, that the security concerns that I elaborated upon on one hand and leaving of the territories on the other hand are in a “chicken and egg” kind of relationship -namely, in the context here, which should come first (you seem to suggest that the latter be so). And that`s exactly the core difficulty, the Gordian knot, of the process here - cannot be just bypassed by positively sounding slogans. If you had lived here throughout the second Intifada (which actually came on the heels of the Oslo accord) you would surely understand that much better.
      Note also that the heartland of Israel proper, the Green line, is less than 10 miles wide at its center (the main vulnerability in the Intifada times) and moreover the whole area could be subject to mortars, Gaza style, from anywhere across the Green line – altogether, having the potential to disrupt life completely in Israel. That`s the story in a nutshell.

    • I agree that a federation is the reasonable arrangement and, indeed, that has been a tacit policy of Israel for a long time. However, the Palestinians for a long time blocked it through demands on Israel that it could not satisfy due to mainly security concerns (which the second Intifada made iron-clad in Israeli mindset – blocking any venue for that happening again, at all costs, has become a sine qua non for any approach).
      But apparently the Palestinians cannot agree to such an arrangement formally for a host of reasons so it is likely to happen by default – a continued stalemate that evolves into a new reality. The total chaos in the region around, which not only dwarfs the Palestinian case at large, but also gives fresh perspective to the West-Bank people about possible alternatives, will surely help that process.

  • The extremism of the center in Israel
    • Such far-reaching conclusions from of two relatively minor events? I understand that the analysis here tries to take a long-term perspective but still anchoring that to these two events, as a kind of the “ultimate proofs” casts doubts on the ingenuity of it all.
      It clearly transpires that the writer is yet another subscriber to thoroughly anti-Israel attitudes in some quarters in Europe, which by that continue a historical tradition where somehow the Jews are always at fault. Be it in religious terms (brought to an extreme 5 centuries ago in the country where the writer now lives), in national loyalty terms (“dual loyalty”, Dreyfus), power ambitions (“the elders of Zion), financial greed (Shylock), morality (the blood libel), morality (the blood libel) or as an ethnic group at large (Nazism) and now, yet again, as a sovereign nation.
      This time around however, with Europe past its world dominance and influence this deep ingrained attitude seems more pathological than ever - a "last try" of the same, which only serves to expose the nihilistic hollowness of its historical whole.

  • Inside a CUFI Summit: Christian Zionists dance the hora and prepare for end times in Washington DC
    • @just “so much hate and elation”
      Are you kidding me? Isn`t it hate what YOU are doing all along? You have just been enthroned the King of One-sidedness.
      These guys do it out of LOVE, not hate, with no self-interest involved at all. No matter how Jungle-like the world has turned into there will always be somebody holding the torch in the darkness. It also goes to explain why the so much bigger anti-Israel worldwide camp, broadly speaking, has not been able to prevail for generations now – and despite all the infinite energy spent there.

  • Why is Wasserman Schultz, Obama's surrogate, holding out on Iran deal?
    • @Mooser
      Well, if history is a guide they must be friendly… I can remember so many ominous threats in Israel`s past that somehow didn`t come into being.
      And in this case - the Iranians have made too many enemies in the region with their ambitions and are embroiled in too many complicated arenas (Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen and of course with the Small Satan itself); They are also not too much trusted by the signatories to the deal, which still needs to be ratified – so it appears that a lot can still go wrong. There could also be new dramatic developments in the general fluid situation in the tremendously volatile Mid-East.
      Anyway that`s what the spirits were whispering to me…

    • @Annie
      Or, also: Awakening; Meeting the devils in the details; Facing realities;….

    • I don`t know, something is brewing here. It appears that this “Iran agreement” is really just the beginning of a process rather than a new definitive turn in it, with all kinds of meaningful developments waiting down the road. It could be a trigger for things that are bigger than what meets the eyes now.

    • Is it possible that this Iran deal will turn out to be a much bigger thing than anticipated? It now involves all the political power centers in the US in a completely equivocal way – it isn`t any more possible to blame the opposition to it on the Republicans or chase the “money-trail” (Sheldon being the common and favorite target here).
      And it`s not only the US here but also other countries are involved, are part of the deal, so it`s a global affair.
      And Obama himself is in its last effective presidency year - the election season is already beginning – and that`s no doubt a factor too.
      And then you have the wrath of Saudis – still a key US ally in the Mid-East.
      And of course you have the complicating Syria war and Turkey now part of a US plan there.
      You start to add up all that and can wonder – just whereto and how far can this saga go? It does not seem now that it will resemble the piece-of-cake Cuba move (of which this one is a replicate).
      In particular, Netanyahu, who looked like the sore looser here, may actually be up to a much bigger thing than previously estimated.

  • In wake of January attacks, French Muslims have been demonized in manufactured 'clash of civilizations'
    • Max`s claim that Israel is playing the Islamophobic card is unfair and shows a biased attitude. Muslims played a big role, although admittedly not exclusive, in anti-Israel campaigns in France. What Israel may be doing – trying to point out to the French public similarities between Israel`s and France`s situations - has nothing to do with hate speech (anti-Israel propaganda style) but is the obvious PR thing to do in such circumstances (advancing Israel`s political interests) .
      In addition there is the side benefit of neutralizing Muslim`s ability to spend too much time on Israel/Jews since it keeps them busy protecting their own backs. Are not both of the above an integral part of conflicts 101?

  • It's time for American Jews to recognize they have been duped
    • @shmuel: “putting the cart before the horse”
      Well, is it not true that Jews throughout their exile time, everywhere in the world, prayed day in and day out (3 times a day) – it`s right in the pray book - for their eventual return to their ancient homeland, re-establishing national sovereignty there? Doing so even when there seemed no practical chance to have that accomplished.

    • @Cigar & Born…
      And the real bonus for the one who wins her heart: You might be entitled to an Israeli passport!!

    • Avigail, I see no reason for you to be afraid. I see that you live in Scotland, which is a pro-Palestinian stronghold, particularly the NSP there (but then, peculiarly, it may have actually, unintentionally, served an Israeli interest in scaring English voters (for other reasons) into the Tories camp – so you can never know in this world who will end up helping you… Maybe you will too…) .
      More to the point I am sure you know that the polemics about the Israel-Palestine saga is almost a century old and so much was written on that – from just about any possible angle possible from either direction – that it feels like there is nothing new you can really add to that anymore (just recycle arguments in the umpteenth time) and that is why I avoid it.
      So putting aside the “who is right” dimension and just turning to your central point in this article, I am pretty sure that you are fully aware of what pleading to the US, and its Jewry in particular, to abandon Israel to its fate would mean for the Jews living there now. A quick glance at what goes on in the Mid-East at large these days is enough here. This glance will also reveal in a comparative manner the conditions of Palestinians living in Israel`s territory versus those of many people, not just Palestinians, in neighboring countries – which should pose yet another question to you in regard to the veracity of this campaign that you pursue here.

    • What can I say, that was my first reaction too. A human being is a human being. This is a great photo – projects the “Israel reality”, which explains how this miniature entity defied all odds and not just survived but thrived.
      Thanks Avigail - I also hope that sometime you will “see the light” and resume your old perspective about Israel (after all you bear a last name that means something to this people and its pre-Zionist torturous history)

  • Greece’s Syriza makes military deal with Israel that only US has made
    • @mooser
      Well, in the conditions of Israel who knows? But at least that will be an interesting twist to the Israel-Arab saga.
      Truly, it`s already happening. There is an altogether order of priorities in regard to Israel in Arab countries – Israel and the Palestinians are now in the back-burner of many. There are also all kinds of (implicit) real close contacts. Things are certainly fluid here.

    • @Cigar: “Is the whole world….
      No, no need to despair and give up on things – what goes on in Syria, Yemen, Libya and Iraq may one day end. And who knows – the Arab world may even one day do a big re-think and come to a conclusion that it was all along pursuing all along the wrong target, while its real problems and treats lie entirely elsewhere.

    • @amigo
      The point is that Greece right now only feels bound, and rightly so, by its own interests. It cannot be threatened anymore by anybody given what`s going on now. Irrespective of Israel, which is sideline show in Greek`s saga, my own feeling is that with all of that the EU has lost a lot of political clout. Given the already strong Euro-skeptic forces (including the coming referendum in Britain), the still weak economies in Southern Europe and the growing Russian ambitions (even beyond Ukraine, e.g. in the Baltic countries)) and the continually weakening Euro - we are going to witness some real changes down the road in the EU structure. The Greeks understand that and hence their independent approach.

    • @scotch
      WOW, what got into you man? Throwing all the truth in the face of people in such a brutal manner with no consideration at all of how hurtful that might be? How merciless can a person be?

    • Syriza is not about being “left” (it took in the Golden-Dawn party) but exclusively about dealing with the economic-financial problems that Greece faces now. It was elected only for this reason and anything that furthers a solution, or rather a relief, there.
      It is in this light that deals with Israel need to be seen. From its angle Israel needs airspace for its modern and large air-force; it does not have too many friends in instinctively anti-Israeli Europe: and its erstwhile real good relationship with turkey, the traditional foe of Greece, is practically over. That`s the realistic basis of the deal (plus all kinds of advantages for both sides) and that`s what Realpolitik is about.

  • Christian Zionists expose their anti-Semitism at conservative summit in Iowa
    • @just “I read plenty about….”
      I am sure. You have undoubtedly developed an extraordinary talent for detecting always just the same one side of the coin… and avoiding like Hell that monster called Reality…

    • To me as a Jew – and one that takes seriously the Jewish heritage and its historical journey -this is not anti-Semitism at all. It is the right of these believers to expect that in the end of times Jews and Christians reunite again - as was the case in ancient times – even if how exactly that will happen has a different Jewish version to it. The Judeo-Christian heritage got horribly distorted in Europe but is now having a comeback in the US, which is also generally the great protector of both the Jewish world at large and the Jewish State in particular. This is something not less than miraculous and I am not less enthusiastic about it the rightly named Christian Zionists.
      The wish of Palestinians to spoil this real special relationship keeps failing and in particular so trying to use the Palestinian Christians in this regard (as in the article) - these people are fully aware that while Christians in the broader Mid-East are in great risk (the community in Iraq has been practically destroyed) – in Israel their rights are fully protected.

  • Leading European thinktank increases pressure on Israeli banks over occupation
    • @ritzl
      The difference between my views and yours is mainly in how we see the history of the conflict that Israel is in. Evidently, you, as many on this site, see Israel as the negative part of the equation while I see the opposite – and I don`t expand here because after 70 years and zillion words written on this subject both you and me understand exactly what this difference is about.
      Regarding Germany, there is no desire to push it into what is improper – that would indeed be immoral. What is expected of it that given how complex and ambiguous the situation truly is – clearly not unequivocal at all – that it would sympathize with Israel and not the other way round – that is, see things Israel`s way (as e.g. as many people in the US do) . After all, and it is here where History comes into the picture, Germany bears great responsibility to a country that many residents of are refugees from what it did in Europe. The Israel saga is the real chance For Germany to take a clear supporting stance – as different from just nice words of regret about what happened in the past. In view of that playing “moral purist” now and ignoring the truly tough circumstances that Israel operates in – just watch what goes on in the Mid-East at large – is not moral at all.

    • “Chickens coming home to roost”. Well, there are all kinds of chickens here. Recommendations is one thing, and the EU boycott threats is already a long saga, but in the end it will come to a moment of truth, which is no other than: will or will not German corporations and banks boycott Israeli corporations and banks?
      Germany is the clear boss of the EU - if it wants it can block or delay (forever) anything - and even if now there is a good (and “morally justified”) case to punish the Jews in Israel (there is no other way to present that since Israel defines itself as the Jewish State) - would not doing that be still quite problematic for Germany?
      Consider the parallel Greek drama – for too many what`s going on there brings up bad memories but Germany feels that it has no choice because of compelling macro finance and political reasons. Now what would be the parallel crucial reasons to do something that will surely garner similar reactions? Exacerbating an image problem that Germany cannot be happy about.
      So the saga is moving on but let`s see what happens when it comes to the true crunch?

  • Democrats are 'uncomfortable' with Iran deal because Netanyahu is so 'influential in our country' -- Rep. Ellison
    • What I wrote applied to the US mainly (that was the article`s topic) but that is also increasingly so in the other “New-world immigration” countries as Canada and Australia. There is also a transformation going on in India, Japan and other Asian countries – where they are beginning to see what goes on in the region here in new ways. Admittedly, Israel has a problem with Europe, mainly indeed W. Europe, where there are instinctive anti-Israel sentiments due all kinds of reasons – historical and present (large Muslim immigrant sector).
      The has been a long anti-Israel propaganda campaign, in regard to how the conflict with the Palestinians was presented but that kind of gradually collapsing because of general broader and new insights into what really goes on in here and in the Mid-East at large

    • I will never understand how intelligent people believe in this money-trail fairy tale. No money on the world can buy so many representatives for so long. It may lubricate here and there but not much more than that.
      People here are reluctant to admit that Israel prestige stems from its ability to withstand huge challenges of all kinds – doing so at the backdrop of huge failures by many countries (not just in the mid-east) – which for many replicates the frontier spirit that people still long to as a hilarious chapter in US history.
      It conflates with outright interests: Having just one real reliable and truly effective partner is not a small thing in this world- and then there is also the religious dimension (under the powerful Judeo-Christian heritage). For many Israel is no less than “the shining place on the hill” – notwithstanding the continual toxic defamation of it by those that themselves are seen to many as “part of the problem” of the US – an entity, or rather a model, that the support of which appears as a moral, emotional and psychological imperative.
      That` s the only way to account logically for what`s going on.

  • The Iran deal: a triumph of irrationality
    • @ Harry Law
      It doesn`t matter at all how many missiles Hezbollah has because it has a deadly vulnerability – it` stronghold is merely a neighborhood (and Israel has total air supremacy). Just hitting the infrastructure will force people there to flee. So is there something in Hezbollah`s eyes that would worth that such a scenario? Remember that it took Hezbollah many decades to lift the Shias in Lebanon from a low place on the socio-economic ladder there – what would be the point to lose that overnight? Even if the paymasters in Iran demand that.
      As for Iran`s missile look at the map and see that just a half a degree miss will send the missile to Beirut or Gaza (if it does not fall on the way in Iraq or Saudi-Arabia). That is why it was so critical for Iran to keep the Syria base. But that`s gone now and they cannot set anymore safe missiles bases there (also Israel prevents that occasionally). That`s the big missiles scare in a nutshell.
      That`s also one reason that Iran came closer to the US – it`s main deterrence over Israel practically gone. Moreover Hezbollah is now in panic over ISIS – their impact goes right to the very heart of Lebanon (and its sectarian make up plus millions of Syrian refugees). Clearly the missiles are of no use in this regard. In such conditions it is easy to understand that the last thing they would want now is a conflagration with the real advanced entity in the neighborhood.

  • Israeli settlements are a 'war crime,' but ICC dodges the case -- Buttu
    • @Annie
      Just one comment: there is a big difference between somebody`s acts helping you (indirectly) and somebody being your planned tool. Many seem to fail to make this distinction with regard to ISIS vs. Israel and also the US (claiming that ISIS is their design).
      ISIS is, fundamentally, a big problem for everybody, including Israel - only, temporarily, its acts happened to help Israel in certain ways.

    • @Annie
      Well, I was talking about the spirit of things – it`s quite clear to me that there is some kind of a dual approach here.
      More to the issues itself: I think what you write (and your visits` impression) has already become outdated by recent big change in circumstances. The whole situation is in a flux now and both Hamas and Hezbollah appear to be at crossroads, including in regard to any warring designs vis-a-vis I Israel.
      Generally, Hamas seems to be rethinking its whole strategy based on lessons from the past war and the fundamentally transformed relations with Egypt. It is possible that despite all the talk otherwise the West-Bank model could be repeated in Gaza in which case this front can get quiet for a long time.
      As for Hezbollah, it faces too dramatically changed circumstances with the emergence of ISIS and its threats for Lebanon (and the Shias there) and unlike with Israel, where a lot is just rhetoric hype, here matters truly deem existential. In such conditions the last thing they would want is a conflagration with Israel. Clearly as far as ISIS is concerned all those tunnels and missiles mean nothing and it is a sheer irony that they have invested so much in what may have become an irrelevancy in terms of their new real needs – and that applies to Hamas too.
      That`s perhaps far-fetched but I cannot even exclude a scenario where both of the two could see Israel as a help source in regard to ISIS. But isn`t that what already append with Saudi-Arabia (and other Gulf emirates) in regard to the Iran/Shias threat, which made it see Israel in a new way?

    • Ms. Butto must understand, and that must be simple for her if she is a lawyer, that the way this world is run in general is about proportions. Just repeating million times the “crime” term will not make building houses a focus of the world when it also has to tackle in the Mid-East what it sees going on in at least 5 Arab countries.
      Clearly, if you have in a city a whole bunch of neighborhoods with continual killing sprees plus endless number of displaced people and in another neighborhood some people are building houses on areas where the legality of their ownership is controversial – where would you send your police to? And which cases will attract the attention of the Law?
      Just because Ms. Buttu has a personal agenda with the latter will that convince the judicial authorities to act otherwise?

    • Annie, you must recognize that it is impossible to ride these two horses at the same time. In one narrative you have Hamas and Hezbollah as grand players that have managed to outwit Israel with some ultra-clever construct of tunnels with missiles – about which Israel is in the dark - by which they can gain an upper hand over Israel if only they decide so (without anything that Israel can do about it – and that`s where the pickled aspect comes in).
      The other narrative is about a ruthless Israel, with advanced military capabilities, which keep victimizing much weaker antagonists - causing them great harm in conflicts that the whole world should be caring about.
      You seem to have a divided mind here. On one hand you have this great wish to see that these two entities teach Israel a real harsh lesson - cause it great harm and impose through that their will on it - while on the other hand almost everything written in this site is about saving them from Israel.
      Very simply, Annie, you can`t have it both ways.

  • Press can't justify red carpet for Oren tract and blackout for Blumenthal's 'definitive account' of Gaza
    • @diaspora
      It`s only in YOUR mind. I have no intention to insult anybody, directly or indirectly – it serves no positive cause. However, the TRUTH can sometimes indeed hurt, that much I agree.
      Also, since you have raised this point – have not you noticed how Israel is insulted pretty much directly (without too much effort to nice it up).

    • John, the media is a business and what it chooses to focus on is what it thinks would “sell”, namely attracts enough interest. That transcends any other possible motive.

    • Not blocked out, simply 100 books and articles on the Gaza war cannot match an incident like the one in Chattanooga in terms of people`s attention. Likewise the Journalists murder in Paris. It may seem unrelated but that is not so in the eyes of the public. And that`s before we mentioned the ongoing news feeding from Syria, or Iraq, or Libya, or Yemen.
      So, it`s not some deliberate overlooking – simply, the attention span of people, as far as violent conflicts between Muslim groups and others goes, has already passed saturation ages ago.

  • Nine reasons Obama is going to win on Iran. The first: Netanyahu
    • @just
      This talk, by Margolis, of “standing up” to Israel`s lobby is pretty banal. Obama did that with Cuba too – that`s his philosophy. He actually has a point in trying to give chance to apparent “lost cases” since if they don`t stand up to standards things can always be revered. In his case, since he is near the end of his presidency, it will be somebody`s else task to follow up on things.
      Clinton was also pretty indeterminate in regard to the apparent rising threat of Al-Queida during his presidency term and it was left to Bush to deal with that in earnest.

    • My feeling is that some people here don`t understand that this is just the first chapter in a long saga. Please let History speak.
      Something from history: after the annexation of part of Czechoslovakia in 1938, Neville Chamberlain, the UK PM (and at those time the UK was still a sort of leader of the West), arrived in Munich justifying Hitler`s claims over that annexed region and signed an agreement that was hailed by him, upon his return to the UK, as historic and the start of a period of “lasting peace”. The resenting Czech leader was brushed aside as a war mongers and was seen widely as a loser.
      About 7 years later Germany lied in ruins.
      Many will wish in the future to have a chance to swallow their words now.

  • The Israeli Anthropological Association’s desperate attempt to derail the academic boycott
    • All this appears to me pretty much “poor man`s joy” – cherry-picking right at the bottom of the barrel.
      “Desperate attempt”…. – excuse me - I can see negligibly little here in the way of any Silver lining, Isaiah

  • Crisis for the lobby: Clinton bucks Saban, AIPAC doesn't know what to say
    • Let me offer another perspective here. AIPAC and Netanyahu may be playing the bad cop role here since in some sense the agreement is not really bad for Israel too as it may be defusing an insoluble dilemma – Israel does not (or cannot on its own) attack now and Obama clearly decided against doing so. The important thing is that everything is conditional here – on ratification(s), on post-agreement conduct of Iran if goes through - in case of violations it can be revoked - and the situation with the next administration in the US (depending what it will be).
      Also importantly, this agreement does not bind others (Israel and Saudi-Arabia) – they can do what they may think they need to do if they judge that things are not going right.
      If however all goes well and perhaps Iran get transformed in earnest (which is not unfeasible since all kinds of new forces could be unleashed now) then the gamble paid-off.
      So it`s all pretty tricky and despite the hype is still very much a project in progress.

  • Abe Foxman says goodbye to an America of secret Jew haters
    • @mooser
      In fact I agree and in my view that`s what actually happening. But those people are not forced to support Israel. They, and those they represent, do it out of conviction and why should that be surprising? You also cannot expect that they all see things in your way.
      In fact history shows that there always was a minority within Jews opposing its mainstream and not less harshly as you do – so nothing really new here.

    • @marnie
      The reason I raise that point is that I keep seeing here that Jewish voices for BDS, or anti-Israel in general, get prominence - in my view undeservedly so. “Jews are people too”, namely it cannot be expected that all Jews will support it (as the tendency to give prominence to anti-Israel Jews implicitly reveals). What Israel can (and should) expect is that the mainstream Jewish organizations will stand by it and it is here where Abe Foxman and other prominent leaders of the US Jewish community come into the picture

    • Well, citizen, it`s all about history – it, inevitably, has a bearing on the present. Israel is a consequence of the failure of Christian and Muslim countries to treat Jews living there decently – generations after generations. So they wanted to cling together in a country of their own. This force goy coupled with historically lingering-on dreams of Jews to return to their ancient homeland. That`s the story in a nutshell.
      In contrast, countries like the US, Canada and Australia, are new-world global-sourced immigration countries so are free of such considerations – and hence the difference.
      Now look also at the Kurds of today, who also suffered discrimination in their host countries. Many of them hope have a similar goal, which in their case is to combine their Iraqi, Syrian, Turkish and Iranian population and territorial segments into one country – one that then will then have primarily Kurds as citizens and a Kurdish language and culture.
      Of course, in all cases like that having different ethnic minorities within the country (with citizenship) is no contradiction to its overriding characterizing nature.

    • There is something fundamentally wrong in viewing Jews as a coherent collective of people. In reality it is each to his/her own and there is nothing like a Jewish agenda, which Jews subscribe to, or coordination and masterminding of some overall plan. It` s true that there are organizations whose members are Jews, as they are all kinds of organizations based on all kinds of commonalities (e.g. stamps collecting), but in these organizations it is once more each to his/her own in terms of what they do in their private life.
      At the same time though human collectives may indeed differ in regard to some general attributes, e.g. South Italians are considered more spontaneous that Scandinavians, and it is likely that Jewish learning traditions (after all the Jewish nation is called the people of the book) manifest themselves in a conspicuous manner in an era viewed as the age of knowledge.
      Now, there used to be one exception to all of that , which is the coherent support of Israel by Jews when Israel was established and going through big difficulties in a hostile environment (although that is partly a myth too because there were not few Jews who were indifferent to Israel). But that is now weakening and we see Jews for BDS of Israel and even the views of the so called Liberal Zionist are anathema to very many Israelis (despite the sugarcoating they use in presenting themselves as wishing to make the country more moral/democratic/enlightened/peace-loving and alike superlatives).

  • Clinton can't separate herself from foreign-policy buffoons Saban and Adelson
    • Pastor Hagee is a God-sent friend of Israel. And he emerged when some Jews began to desert Israel – doing so in the name of morality but knowingly ignoring the larger picture in the Mid-East. You win some and lose some – but Pastor Hagee in his sincere, intense and interest-free devotion to Israel is certainly in a league of his own. The undersigned (or, rather, oversigned here) is deeply grateful to this great man.

  • The case for US government sanctions on Israel
    • @Giles
      Get real. The problem of Arabia has very little to do with the Jews in the US – they largely stems from altogether other sources. Israel or the Jews is a convenient fig leaf and scapegoat but in the Arab countries themselves they stopped using it (as starkly different from the past) – they know better and got matured out of it (which is a good sign for the future). Some people here don`t seem to have reached that stage.

    • Gandhi was a man of peace. Look at these guys and decide for yourself if the analogy applies.

    • @just, citizen
      Sweet dreams guys. Two more anti-Israel Jews… It appears that the only way to grab attention in this respect is to have Jews support it. But what political clout the Jews for Peace have? If I am not wrong just about all the mainstream Jewish organizations in the US – ADL, JAC, AIPAC, ZOA, HILLEL, etc. – oppose BDS.
      Interestingly, the same phenomenon applies even in generally anti-Israel-inclined Europe - in just about ALL of them the mainstream Jewish organizations stand by Israel.
      In a peculiar way it confirms a broader historical rule, namely that the trans-historical Jewish journey somehow always manages to keep its core intact despite immense external pressures and bitter internal disputes.

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