Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 449 (since 2012-12-04 18:20:15)

I am Israeli

Showing comments 449 - 401

  • AIPAC-backed legislation targeting BDS movement advances in Congress
    • A key element here, even in the considerations in Europe in regard to boycott actions vis-a-vis Israel, is the generally shrinking power in the world of what is collectively known as “The West”. Until a century or so ago European countries ruled the world, later joined by an even bigger power, the US, but now gradually this global dominance is slipping form their hands. The newcomers to power are explicitly or tacitly hostile to “The West”, both as an entity and as a concept, and have many partners in that, in the many countries that harbor resentment to “The West” due to past negative experiences under it (or its influence).
      In such conditions “The West” cannot afford anymore to be too choosy and any entity that operates within the general confines of what The West” stands for must be protected. Hatchets need to be buried (as is mainly the case with Europe) in the name of the common cause - the very survival of “The West” and what it stands for. It is also clear to all that there will be little and short-lasting gratitude to “The West” for the abandonment of Israel - the US know that all too well and understands it much better since it got involved intensely in the Mid-East and came closer to realities there.

  • EU must take stronger action to sanction Israel following high court decision banning boycott
    • The EU is not in a position now to start a new front – it has too many open issues. The Greece saga is heating up and by all indications approaching explosion, with unpredictable impacts not just on the Eurozone but also the EU itself – there is no telling how far this can go. Ukraine is at boiling point too and Putin looks more menacing than ever.
      The rise of Euro-sceptic parties in many European countries will surely weaken the control of the Brussels headquarters on foreign policy issues. These new parties are also anti-immigrant and with that less inclined to support a yet another case of alleged discrimination, or likewise, of Muslims – they know “the story” only too well from their own turf.
      The now negotiated Trans-Atlantic trade pact of the EU with the US, a major economic move, includes a clause, demanded by the latter, which prohibits economic boycott of Israel. Peculiarly the Israeli hi-tech is now so advanced and omnipresent that the EU actually needs some Israeli-produced items – so reluctant to get into a boycott war with Israel.
      And finally, Germany, the EU economic bosses, invested too much in establishing normal relations with Israel to see it going down the drain – accused of participating in another boycott type versus Jews (especially so given how the Greeks are resuscitating now the Nazi era in their economic struggle with Germany).

  • Iran deal is important to 'keep really big bad things from happening,' Bill Clinton says
    • Just about the only way to understand the apparent contradicting statements from many key figures is to see this move with Iran as a huge gamble that necessarily comes with ambiguity. So, inevitably, there are a lot of good cops and bad cops whose positions represent the many aspects of the deal and this game will be with us for a long time.

  • Israeli racism takes center stage at Manhattan JCC
    • @Oldgeezer
      Such organizations were established in the New Land as a reaction to true and real bigotry in the Old World – rampant anti-Semitism for centuries – and they still monitor that. I am not claiming that all historical issues vanished altogether – relics of that still exist for sure - just highlighting the scene and main driving forces of this era of ours. Indeed, the ADL itself has been affected by that too – having become far more political than it used to be.

    • An important distinction is in place here: racism would be relevant only if it was directed against Arabs per se but that`s already not the case at all. There are increasingly strong ties between Israel and Gulf countries, even with the Jordanian elite and with Egyptian military. The dividing line is not ethnic but political so the racism charge is totally misplaced – a throwback to the past (that some just cannot let go out of mental inertia). The world now, in its advanced globalization phase, is an arena where political rivals compete for power and the confines of these new camps is what matters. That`s the only interpretational tool that really clarifies what goes on – not letting it cluttered with worn out slogans. Move on guys.

  • The Second Coming of Holocaust remembrance
    • Trivializing the Holocaust by comparing it to events that, even if painful, are in another league altogether will only act to remove an important warning sign for Humanity. The Holocaust has many aspects that are unique to it - there is no need to repeat them as all are aware of that – which, in turn, had profound consequences on many.
      The continent of Europe, which for a millennium dominated the world, has lost its center-podium status. Germany, which was a center of cultural and an academic power, has lost both. Europe now has to struggle with a vast population of immigrants that don`t accept its own core values (as different from the Jews that use to be there), it has had to accept the general lead of the US (to where the Jews from Europe fled and contributed meaningfully to its rise) and recognize that without it, it has little in the way of defense against an once again ambitious Russia. The Holocaust was a key factor in the establishment of Israel and that had a big impact on the region that it is in and indeed beyond – likely, a big part of that is still to come.
      And let`s not forget: it was the Holocaust that motivated a group of Jewish scientists, pacifists in personal inclination, to get into the development of The Bomb so as to try to stop Nazi Germany in Europe . The Bomb may still get us all.

  • When it comes to untrustworthiness, the U.S. trumps Iran
  • No Palestinians need apply to program on 'Palestinian issue' at Center for American 'Progress'
    • If I read right this conference is about US and Israel relations not US and Palestinians relations…
      Suppose a person decides to sit down and discuss his relationship with his girlfriend with the logic here he should invite also the other women in his (romantic) life since they will be clearly affected…

  • Obama's long & passionate Monday with Saban, Foxman, Hoenlein and other Jewish leaders demonstrates power of Israel lobby
    • I refuse to accept seriously the argument about a mystically great influence of the Jewish/Pro-Israel lobby on US politics. This apparent power of it, or 90% of it, stems from compatibility with goals and standpoints of others. There are deep reasons why support of Israel not only sits well with many Americans but appears to them as an essential interest of the US itself - not necessarily in the direct physicals sense of things but in more fundamental, conceptual and psychological, ways. That is why the Israel lobby and Netanyahu have such disproportionate impact – they simply serve, or are useful for, the advancement of broader interests and goals of others.
      It has been lucky for Israel to hit this concurrence of interests, or it (and US supporters) has been clever and effective enough to have it highlighted well.

  • 'United States of Israel' has compromised U.S. 'sovereignty' on Iran policy -- Gideon Levy in D.C.
    • @DeBakr
      Right, keeping a person like Levy (and others too) in a mainstream Israeli newspaper when what they actually do is, in the eyes of the majority of Israelis, fostering anti-Israeli propaganda, could indeed have pretty rational reasons behind it. One is what you point out, namely a vibrant democracy benefits from the free floating of (even far-flung) views and, indeed, it is only a self-confidant democratic society that can afford this luxury – one that is not afraid that such propaganda will have real demoralizing effects on it. There is then the added benefit, from the very acceptability of allowing such views to be aired in public, of further assuring the society in feeling that it can withstand such apparent self-harming talk - so a kind of immunization effect - as well strengthening its image abroad as free and democratic. That in turn helps with the appreciation (and support) from the US (or Canada and likewise) so the overall trade-off might in the end come out positive.

    • @citizen
      Since I don`t assume that in the super-sophisticated political environment of the US most people, especially the “political class”, are not aware of what you claim, you must be asking yourself how indeed this is happening (and for decades now)? The pint is that there must be something deep that drives it all, conceptual and emotional, which you are psychologically incapable to grasp due to an incompatible ingrained mindset. So the problem lies with you (and others in that psychological condition) not with your fellow Americans.

    • Truly, the only “interesting” thing about Levy is that it is an Israeli citizen that says all that but the content of all what he writes is standard anti-Israel propaganda of some circles outside Israel. So he is actually making a living as a journalist on being “brave” enough to repeat that – a “valiancy” that is carefully nurtured by constantly mentioning threats against him and hate letters. Truly though, the fact that he can do that, and regularly so for very long time now (in a mainstream Israeli newspaper), is just about the best counterproof to his life mission - a completely darkened portrayal of the state of Israel.
      Indeed, his present venture: travelling to the US to lecture it about not being “independent” from Israel, must be seen there as some kind of a farce - an Israeli journalist embarking on a mission to the US “to open its eyes” and “clarify” things to it.

  • Does Schumer have any idea how angry his constituents will be if he torpedoes his president on Iran?
    • Well, if you are true to yourself and to how you interpret your Senator duty you wouldn`t place loyalty to a President from your party over deeper convictions and broader concerns for your country (and a collapse of the world security order is NOT just Israel`s problem even if it is the most threatened). If one cannot face anger from voters when it comes to beliefs than that`s not a virtue (as this article seems to suggest) but a serious flaw

  • Who cares what Jeffrey Goldberg and Netanyahu don't like about the Iran deal?
    • All I was trying to point out that assuming that all the major institutions of your country are occupied by blinded fools or immoral creatures that sell values for own interests is not only very degrading but also quite implausible. I think looking at the mirror would tell those that hold such views where blindness and immorality really lie.

    • So, let me understand. Congress is horrible, the media is inept, the Republican Party beyond pale, the American high-tech industry (with industrial plants all around Israel) doesn`t care, the CIA, NSA and American defense industry are in bed with Israel, and so on and on. But then not all is lost because there is a blog site that saves the day – it tears all masks and reveals it all to everybody.

  • Iran is 'congenital cheating' 'Islamic power bent on world domination' -- Netanyahu tells US media
    • @just: why do label Iran a “rogue country”?
      Well, in today`s world terms a regime that is a combination of a military dictatorship and theocracy is called rogue

    • Mr. Law
      Don`t get carried away by manufactured appearances and media hypes (including what Netanyahu said here). The specter of an omnipotent Iran, which “dominates” Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen and what not, is sheer nonsense. Just look at what goes on in these countries – anybody who is ready “to own” that mess (and an indefinite one) is more than welcomed. In a world with the US, China, Russia, the EU, just to name some, Iran can never even approach “dominance”.
      The only real worry here, which is indeed serious, is an Iran with nukes (and for that matter any other rogue country too) and it is this grave danger that troubles Israel (and others) greatly.
      As for Hezbollah it does not matter how many missiles it has because its stronghold is merely a neighborhood of Beirut - that practically means that a real war is a neighborhood fighting a country. It took the Shia forever to rise to prominence in Lebanon (they used to be the lowest socioeconomically) – would they risk all that in a hopeless war (one that they can never win)? And do that while engaged in an indefinite war with a real fierce enemy and danger – the Islamic State?
      Add one to one to one and draw the conclusions

  • Hurt by the Israel lobby, Obama kisses it goodbye
    • No, Mooser, we are already in the tech-era – no boots on the ground are needed here just adequate “advanced capabilities”

    • This is all show – a classic “good cop, bad cop” formation. The bad cop (in this case the pro-Israel lobby and even Netanyahu) always looks worse but is essential. More importantly, the REAL ties between the cops are unaffected – Obama continues to be pro-Israeli as he ever been and so are the multitude of ties between the US and Israel. In a peculiar way some apparent tension between “the cops” is even helpful for their performance, so such interviews are partly tailored - especially so here given how calculated a person Obama is. This is a tricky exercise vis-à-vis Iran, which no doubt has been thoroughly calculated for its prospects and risks, and critically it is not irreversible- the Iranians know very well that violations can mean annulment.

  • DEAL!
    • It is a complex dance here. Netanyahu is playing the (ever ungrateful) “bad cop” role (together with local Republicans) and the soap-opera of the “personal distaste” between him and Obama (the “good cop”) makes the cops-array more effective - the bigger is the apparent distance between the cops the more effective it is. Both the US and Israel want (and need) Iran to fight ISIS, which is now the regional trouble-maker, and doing that is crucial for Iran too so the fundamentals for a “deal” are indeed there. The Saudis are also on both sides of the game - they too dislike ISIS and fear Iran`s influence.
      So , indeed (as the title says), some deal is inevitable, but then this is Iran, the mother of the (carpet) Bazaars and therefore some hard-bargaining is inevitable too – coming with profuse ritualistic “walk away” threats, “critical” deadlines and alike.

  • Paris university reverses decision, allows Israeli apartheid event with Blumenthal
    • I meant over in the sense of tolerating violence in France, or even just public troubles, as an “understandable” reaction to what goes on here. They understand now that this cannot be calibrated. Once you accept violence or public disorder because presumably it only concerns “others”(which included French Jews) while and we are safe and OK, that is they will never do that to us (particularly because here in Europe we also don`t like Israel) - sooner or later it will move on to other “resentment” targets.

    • People underestimate the impact of the Charlie killings on French people and France. It is not considered there yet another terror attack but a watershed event that will gradually change very many things in the general attitude in France. Before that event, Blumental would have never been blocked – simply, nobody would have cared too much plus there was also some “understanding for the justified anger of Arabs for what Israel does to their Palestinian brethren”. That`s over now.

  • It was a bad week for the Israel lobby
    • But things have changed since the initial period of his presidency: then he had 8 years to go and majority in both houses of the Congress and Syria and Libya were still stable. . Now he is a year away from the “lame duck” period and BOTH houses have moved to the hands of an assertive Republican party that is apparently determined “to run the show” (hence the invitation of Netanyahu) and his hands are full with highly problematic and violent other Mid-East arenas. Now add it all up and draw conclusions.

  • Over one quarter of Netanyahu’s speech to Congress consisted of applause and standing ovations
    • It was all gimmicks and symbolism. Netanyahu using it for the coming election and Obama using that too for the dame purpose only in the opposite direction - trying to convince Israel not to vote for him (as well as a retribution for Netanyahu`s support for Romney 6 years ago) and the Republicans using it to assert more influence on the conduct for foreign affairs now that they have majority in the whole Congress. The US and Israel are inextricably tied in fighting common grave threats but a little political “fun”, as the continual skirmishes between parties in the US, is always part of “the show”.

  • Palestine Advocacy Project goes national
    • I am surprised Annie that you don`t read the mood-map even in your own country. The comprehensive violence in Arabia or those involving Islamists all around the world has all but annulled the interest in this “old” story called Palestinians. They had been at the center podium for quite a few decades but that`s gone – even in Arabia (Egypt just listed Hamas as a terrorist group). I am sure Americans yawn when they see these ads – resurrected from the dead. These people might just as well start a Red Indians Advocacy Project.

  • Warren's out, as list of skippers surges, and White House offers Selma for Iran
    • It is possible that the Netanyahu “drama” masks a much more fundamental phase in US politics and conduct. It has been a received wisdom that foreign policy, unlike internal one, is by and large at the discretion of the president. In truth that has no base in the constitution and was rather a practice -and that is what is now to be challenged by the Republicans. They control both houses and will in the next 2 years try to navigate foreign policy too. Netanyahu was used here as a trial balloon and it also suited his own (perceived) election needs. Brushing him aside is easy because he is a foreigner but that is not so when it comes to the Republicans in the Congress. So let`s see if the latter will try on their own to block, restructure, and control the process with Iran. They would need to convince few Democrat senators, to reach the 60 mark, and that might be the real battles ahead. The Netanyahu affair will be soon forgotten because it is of no real essence in this broader process despite all the big (but artificial) noise around it – especially so if he loses the primeministership in the coming election.

  • 700 UK artists pledging not to go to Israel include Soueif, Ali, Waters, Eno, Leigh, Churchill
    • @Annie 12.36
      Israel does not invest in cultural events to improve its image but… for the sake of culture itself. I am surprised that this simple explanation did not cross your mind and perhaps that is because you have become so “politicized” – seeing everything through that prism.
      As for countering anti-Israel “intellectuals” in Europe I actually agree that it is waste of money. In my view those people will soon be busy dealing with similar issues (with Muslim minorities) in their own country - all the signs for that are there – and let see to where that will lead them.

    • I am afraid the delusional person here is not me. For almost 70 years now there is this prediction of destroying Israel by this country or another. This contact of Iran with china is very, very loose and the P5 is itself a loose association and Iran is now inclined to give up on n those nukes, not least because of its great interest to fight with the US the Caliphate guys, and then, well, at this moment the country that got the nukes is actually Israel.
      But the main aspect of the delusion here lies even more so in the distance between Iran and Israel. Firing even a missile (even just conventional) from Iran to Israel can hit, due to just half a degree deviation, Hezbollah or Gaza (the distances here are very, very small). When they had Syria it was a different matter, but where is Syria now? And that perhaps tells you why Israel decided to bomb that Hezbollah + Iranian group, which tried to set a missile base in Syria… Capito?

    • So let me understand Annie, you think that Israel is behind all that chaos in the region? (and I am too responsible for that?) Are we here are so powerful here that we can push countries in the region into turmoil? And/or can make the US act a proxy for for us in that?
      If so then surely a threat form a group of, mostly unknown, UK artists not to visit Israel must be the last thing that such an omnipotent country should worry about

    • Also let me ask: how many of those signed had anytime a contact with Israel? Reminds me of those corporations, which began to present their products as Green, even though that aspect has nothing to do with the nature of those products.
      I have a feeling that all these Israel- boycotting exercises are getting too ridiculous to be taken seriously. Remember the big fuss about a Soda drink company and a beautiful model? And didn`t I read on this site just days ago that the Trans-Atlantic trade agreement may preclude, commerce-wise, any of that?
      And also what about the succession of major Asian countries that are in close contact with Israel in increasing trade significantly? The leader of Japan just left Israel and India is already a close friend. China shows great interest too.

    • Gone are the times when an act like this has made any impression on Israel or, indeed, anywhere else. It is probably the opposite now – many would ask themselves how obsessed with Israel these people are if in the middle of an incredible, historical scale, chaos in the Mid-East, where what happens in one day dwarfs the entire Israel-Palestine saga, they cannot let their “baby” go. And what about their “home front”- where Europe is approaching battle-field conditions given what goes on now in France, Belgium and other countries in regard to similar issues? Pathetic, indeed.
      Besides, their threat is empty – who on earth will miss these people here.

  • My fellow Muslim-Americans, in the wake of Chapel Hill we can’t stop speaking out - even if our voices shake
    • It is certainly no fun to be at the receiving end of terror. The thousands trapped in those planes aimed at the twin tower and those inside them can attest to that.

  • Speech to AIPAC could give Netanyahu his out
    • #seafoid
      Man, you became an Israel addict. And you are not alone. I sometime think it is the sworn enemies of Israel and their obsessed focus on it that makes what is essentially a very, very small country look so big. After all if they are ready to spend so much energy on it, their whole life literally, there must be something exceptional in it - otherwise how could such a miniature country, stuck in the middle of the Middle-East, be so important? So should I be angry with this chorus or thank them? I don`t know - maybe angry because of the underlying bad intentions.

  • 'The New York Times' throws another sop to lovers of Israel
    • @Elliot
      There is no contradiction in that. Today`s “progressive” person, woman or man, is often the most aggressive creature around - every second word of theirs is some kind of a wild accusation (fascists, racists and worse), accompanied by some dire threats (as boycotts)…

    • @seafoid
      Don`t forget that the “Israel project” is also about “the normalization” of the Jewish people - part of that is being able to do to your sworn enemies what beforehand only the Goyim seemed to know….

    • A good looking woman, lawyer, politically skilled organizer, aggressive, eccentric – the media loves this kind of figures, makes a living out of them.

  • Tell your congressperson: Don't attend Netanyahu's speech
    • Excuse me guys. Does anybody really believe that Netanyahu has even a shred of the influence extent it takes to make decisions for the US - as serious as going to war. Adding his view on Iran is really only just that, namely another view heard. And please don`t turn things upside down – Netanyahu is merely a pawn in the internal politics of today`s superpower`s main parties. He may see in that a self-interest advantage in view of the coming election in Israel (and be therefore grateful for the event) but do I believe that those immensely knowledgeable and powerful senators and congressmen will not see what he says as just another view-input? Hearing what he has to say in accepting an invitation to do so from a highly respectable US politician?

  • Like the Wind, We Will Be Free: How being detained at Ben Gurion airport during a family trip to Palestine reaffirmed my identity
    • I hate to be the guy with the cold water but I came to believe long time ago that the limitless Palestinian capacity for rhetoric-based self-empowerment is not a virtue but perhaps the greatest problem of all – without a minimal sense of realism you only make your situation worse. It would have been far better, since 1948, to try to come to terms with the Jews in Israel rather than keep fighting them with fantasies in the head.

  • Netanyahu speech could turn Israel lobby into a political football
    • Annie, alright, let`s wait and see how it develops in practice and then we shall be wiser – it is just a matter of weeks.
      As for your comment on “posting on a US website” – I think the times for a national characterization of a website has passed. We are one world now - all the more so when it comes to the US, which is a (or the) “world center”. I remember somebody clever once defined New-York as the capital of the 20th century (it was decades back).

    • Take it easy. What really takes place here is almost like the usual internal political fights in the US. That`s how close the US and Israel has become and Netanyahu, in particular, is viewed as a “local” politician. There is little question that Obama views all that as part of the usual political theatre in the US, which is intensive and never stops, and Netanyahu just sues the opportunity for some much needed self-aggrandizing, which is especially useful given the coming elections here.

  • Pro-Israel parliamentary group in Europe says Israelis suffered 'worst' of Gaza conflict
    • @Cliff
      You can get angry with a person, me here, but that`s only proxy for the real cause of your problems: Mr. Reality. With that guy it`s harder to mess – although you and likeminded people just never give up doing that. It is already 70 years that people try to turn facts upside down in regard to Israel but to no avail. Mr. Reality keeps proving them wrong. That must be frustrating but still don`t go too far - among other assets Mr. Reality also owns hell.

    • On second thought it is perhaps better to view those that propagate this nonsense as conspiracy-theory fans (and propagandists)

    • @Annie
      I hope you don`t really believe that nonsensical argument - advanced by some crazy propagandists because it appears that temporarily there is something helpful for Israel in what the Jihadists do. But that`s all what into it and in reality the Jihadists are a huge headache for everybody, Israel included. Get serious. As for the clash with Hezbollah it is a different matter – just got conflated. It is simply impossible to be precise in the convoluted and chaotic conditions in Syria.

    • Israel may have claimed that long time ago but people in Europe didn`t want to listen. But in this era whatever has a global dimension – and few would deny that the issues with Islam today qualify for that characterization – can have the main focus (and headlines) be confined to just one of its global flashpoints only for so long. While it`s true that each flashpoint may have a local narrative and own history, it is also true that in a global era EVERYTHING within the same category get sooner or later linked. Globalization is not a cliché – it`s a reality and a process with intrinsic mechanisms (just watch for instance how strongly what goes on in faraway Syria or Iraq affects Europe). these type of realities must have their effect on Israel`s case too, the rhetoric to the contrary notwithstanding, simply because simply that`s how things work.

    • What we see here is inevitable and piling smears won`t change that. What goes on in Europe is now converging with what has been going with Israel for some time now. An instinctive anti-Israel European attitude cannot be reconciled anymore with Europe`s own worries and separating the European scene form the Israeli one (“Palestine is distinct”), a past favorite in Europe, is becoming too implausible to be sustained by serious people there. The left-of-center/liberal/human-rights-advocates, or whatever they like to call (or see) themselves will continue with the old tunes but with decreased following and influence.
      It is widely recognized now that Israel was just unlucky enough to be the first to encounter a global issue of our times, simply because of its physically proximity, and what happened there was a harbinger for things to come worldwide - a broader malaise that cannot be hidden anymore. The US understood that long time ago, followed later by Canada and Australia, and now it`s the turn of the last leg of the West - Europe.

  • French terror attacks contribute to Israeli's isolation
    • I don`t accept the thesis here. In fact there was a great desire in Europe to distance itself from Israel problems and even when Jews were assaulted there it was addressed as an internal Jewish/Israeli–Palestinian/Arab/Muslim conflict that they are not a part of. Sometime they even went further than that in “understanding the anger” among Arabs there in view of the “plight” of their Palestinian brethren (albeit the disturbing side of that in having directing that “anger” against their Jewish compatriots). It is that separation which is probably now over and paradoxically the parallel acts in this terror assault of in a French magazine and a Jewish store have accentuated the linkage – that is, Israel and Europe are really in the same boat here.

  • Avraham Burg's Israeli vision, and French passport
    • The confederation idea is, not surprisingly, a mainstream one – nothing revolutionary – as it ensures the continuity of a Jewish state while solving the current thorny issue of stateless West-Bankers. The only question is how exactly it will be formulated and the devil here is certainly in the details. What could alleviate a great deal of present aggravation is cooperation in economic developments – money and economic success can do wonders in tranquilizing political urges. That is much helped by the turmoil around Israel as the actual consequences for Palestinians of rocking the boat are all too clear to everybody there (the Gaza affair has served to accentuate that). So, one can in fact be pretty optimistic in regard to some federation framework as the likely exit from the quagmire and Burg in effect enjoys both worlds – so still remained a politician – namely, the real content of what he suggests is far closer to the Israeli center than the quasi-dramatic dressing of it.

  • Following Paris attacks the National Security State is passé, welcome to the International Security World
    • Annie, I know you spent a great deal of time (and of your life) on this issue – so it is natural that you can`t let go here. That`s your `baby” and it still Live and kicking and no worry that it will vanish anytime soon to the archives of History (so you can also not worry….). But then again, given what has changed in the region in the last decade and now also rolling into Europe full force I am afraid I still have to suggest to you to start cultivating another political passion

    • @Pabel…
      Side show it is – even in just the Mid-East region. Watching the Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Sudan, Lebanon… or Nigeria, Somalia, Kenya… scenes, makes you wonder how come people find a minute to spare there. After all it is relatively quite stable (that is, as long as there are no missiles from Gaza). But then, out of inertia, people still deal with it – or perhaps because, for some reason. “Jews are (always) news”. Go and figure out.

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  • Cuba/Palestine -- How Obama can assure his legacy
    • Well, the way I see it – it is not Cuba and Palestine but Cuba instead of Palestine. Obama indeed wanted a legacy and initially, in the famous Cairo speech at the beginning of his presidency, he aimed at reconciliation with Muslims in general and Palestine in particular. By all indications he gave up on the latter in its entirety, Palestine included, and acting real cleverly he found a substitute – the Cuba stunt.

  • Why I am not Charlie
    • @seafoid
      For a change we agree on something - Israel may be benefitting from a general trend but for the most of it, it is a bystander. We don`t agree though on the wars: they have all been a result of the initial rejection of Israel, which gradually, without really wanting or planning to be so, turned it into a mini-Sparta. Once transformed you just continue on the new track in an automatic manner.
      It was a grand miscalculation and an optical failure on the side of the Arab world – they figured out that Israel is so small in number (it had 700,000 pop at its establishment) and size (11 km width in my hometown) that if just push hard enough and persevere they will prevail in no time. The rest is History – but that`s the story in a nutshell.

    • @American
      To all those that see the hands of the Mossad here:
      Some made similar claims after Sep 11
      Some claimed that the ISIL is a CIA/Mossad creation to deepen the Sunni-Shia rift, engage Iran/Hezbollah (away from Israel) and throw Syria into chaos
      Some claimed that the Iraq war was intended to neutralize a major country/army that threatened Israel and create a major problem in the region so as to deflect attention from Israel, which was until then the main focus (and likewise now with Syria)
      Some claimed that it was Israel`s wars that destabilized Lebanon
      Some claimed, including explicitly Erdogan, that Israel was complicit in removing Morsi in favor of El-Sisi
      Some claimed....

  • Is Abbas’ war crimes bid against Israel a big bluff?
    • Practically, Israel is a life-insurance policy for the PA. Remember what happened to their colleagues in Gaza from the hands of Hamas? Those guys have no patience for “political maneuverings” or time for internal reconciliation. So while the PA helps to stop terrorist attacks from Hamas Israel stops Hamas from Gaza-like executions in the west-Bank. That`s the deal. In addition, the Palestinians in the West-Bank watches daily the horror scenes from neighboring countries and fully understand what is at stake, namely what`s the alternatives to the (relative) order and normalcy that the cooperation of the PA with Israel and the US have brought them - so Quisling-like rhetoric makes little impression there.

  • Visitation
    • Annie, you must understand that since Sep 11 “the party is over” in regard to any understanding organizations like Hamas that target civilians as a matter of POLICY (rather than inevitable consequence due effective “human shielding” practices, as in Gaza) may have – and if you help them IN ANY WAY you have dirtied your hands in the blood of their victims. Like what will happen in France now following the recent events in Paris and was long understood in Israel, which was the first to be hit by massive terror killings (mainly in the second Intifada), you got to fight these organizations to the their very end and by any means you have. You will see that happening anywhere now.

    • The problem with these people is always the huge gap between how nicely they talk and the gruesome results of what they actually do. Money channeled to Hamas in effect financed the second Intifada with cafes and buses blown up heartlessly - leaving many people weeping for long years after their dead loved ones.

  • Against self-determination
    • There were historically many attempts by Jewish groups, intellectuals and moralists to step out of a “tribe” mentality, which they claimed was responsible for the woes of Jews. The most prominent try was of course about a hundred years ago in the Bolshevik revolution in Russia that engulfed many Jews there and outside the country and many were even key players in it – prominent among them is Lev Davidowich Bronshtein (AKA Leon Trotsky).
      Somehow it never worked (in the Soviet case Stalin turned against prominent Jews at some point) and it was Jean Paul Sartre who claimed that it was antisemitism which kept Judaism over the centuries.
      The pluralistic and open environment in the new-world immigration countries may have changed that - and you are writing from there - but that is not the case AT ALL in the Mid-East context. The hostility towards Israel as an alien entity, since its very birth, and prevalent sectarian feelings in the region ensure that the lofty ideals and high hopes expressed here will make little impression on Israel`s neighbors

  • Couldn't there be just one 'NYT' columnist who was critical of Israel? (No)
    • Yes, this is part of the “let`s boycott them all” – namely all those that don`t think like I do. I suppose it`s a pleasure to read only those that are your replicas but isn`t there a price that comes with that? Also since of all us have different preferences it is clear what would happen to this world if such an attitude becomes common.

    • Well, upon reading this one would be surprised to find out that the NYT is considered in Israel as unfriendly – it has published numerous articles in its opinion section that were strongly critical of Israel. Prominent among them are those that came from Europeans – where there is strong anti-Israel inclinations. But even what Roger Cohen used to write in the past was not considered sympathetic to Israel but rather to the Palestinian cause. Apparently for some people being “inadequately” critical of Israel and not use strong-worded slandering, as common to many on this site, is enough to be seen as “soft” on it.
      That only goes to show how polarizing the subject has become – some are committed to the Israeli cause wholeheartedly –ready to do anything for it – while for others not demonizing it without any qualifications amounts to being “pro Zionist”.

  • 'You are part of the problem, not the solution': Open letter to the editors of The New York Times
    • And clearly, in terms of numbers any other parameter, the Palestinian scene is dwarfed by the extent of the atrocities around – hundreds of thousands of dead in just few years and millions of actual refugees (not just in name).

    • Blaming the media had a chance if there would not be the broader scene of the region but both media and watchers see what goes on in Gaza as part of that. Yet another turmoil flashpoint in the region, out of many, with generally the same recognized characteristics, occurring on a continuous basis – the new “normal” there.

  • AIPAC celebrates Congress for laws that will 'dramatically strengthen bond between US and Israel'
    • Ramzi, to feel “desperate” or that “the time (for this and that) already passed by”, or “I was a moderate” but now "I got hardened” etc., etc., is a luxury that the Palestinians (in the West-Bank) can`t afford, even if it is a comforting rhetoric (with some instant psycho relish) - got to stick to a looking forward attitude. Simply because the alternatives are so much worse - just take a glance at what goes on in the region around or, for that matter, even in Gaza.

    • @Annie
      OK, OK, it`s just a way of speaking. When it is a prediction, as here, it is necessarily an opinion - nobody can treat the future as a fact. Likewise with “reality” – how we view it is necessarily subjective.

    • Ramzi, see my comment above:
      (People here doggedly refuse the recognize reality that Israel has got integrated into the US to such an extent and in so many ways (*) that it is not the US bowing to Israel`s pressure (that would have been rebuffed and annulled ages ago) but rather strengthening what it considers part of its own body – so, in other words, also strengthening itself
      (*) How that came to happen is very long story)
      Correct your formula to:
      F2P: A federation with 2 parts (Israel plus the PA in the West-bank)

    • People here doggedly refuse the recognize reality that Israel has got integrated into the US to such an extent and in so many ways (*) that it is not the US bowing to Israel`s pressure (that would have been rebuffed and annulled ages ago) but rather strengthening what it considers a part of its own body – so, in other words, it is strengthening itself.
      (*) How that came to happen is a very long story

    • @Boomer and respondents
      I think many hear missed the key point” This weapon supply in fact INCREASES the chance that there will be no attack because it will make Iran even more prone to coming to an agreement with the US (to avoid this risk) and also will decrease Israel`s fears from such an agreement (and with that its counter pressures in that regard). So actually it is a pretty clever move. It parallels yet another development: the new convergence of interests between the US/Israel and Iran/Hezbollah in their common real fear of ISIL, which diminishes further the chance of an Israel-Iran conflagration.

    • @Annie
      Hey, Annie, here is a rare opportunity to agree with you. Though, I admit, I wish luck to both sides here…

    • It is not just the US and Israel – there is a new coalition in the Mid-East (even if not necessarily in formal terms) which also includes Jordan, Egypt, Saudi-Arabia and the Gulf Emirates (now also Qatar) plus allied segments within other countries (as Tunisia, Libya, Yemen, Sudan and others). Turkey used to be part of that but is now loosening out. A lot in the Mid-East depends now on the holding together and strength of this configuration.

  • A Gazan’s wishes for 2015
    • We should never forget though the disconnect between apparent misery of people and the (conveniently) blamed “others” for it – while, in reality, it could be mainly the making of own failed leadership. This is particularly frustrating if the leadership that has gone astray has imposed itself on people – I don`t know for sure what is the situation in this regard in Gaza. Most likely it is a mixed story: they managed to brainwash enough the people to be ready “to join the fight” and sacrifice for the “big cause” (after all, there were at a time elections there) but then it is also true that any opposition there is treated brutally.

  • Our top ten viewed posts in 2014 -- and five most prolific commenters, too!
  • Fireworks in Ramallah, as Abbas signs treaty to join International Criminal Court
    • Wrong, Walker - in the end they will get their share of the pie, unlike the macho-playing Hamas. The West-Bank already looks better than a lot of the surrounding countries but not so Gaza.

    • And the answer is: those people that understand that the court is biased against them and so don`t expect fairness from it. The UN is a coalition of political blocks, with “legal” measures subjugated to that (as it is in some countries: Turkey for instance).

    • The key point is that by now Israel and the PA are in fact in the same boat. There is still hard bargaining for how the final arrangement will look but both sides understand that there is no turning back on the track adopted – with the US as the guardian angel. The reason for that is elementary – the alternatives are Hamas doing to the PA what they did years back in Gaza (literally throwing them out of the windows) and Israel is the PA life insurance here. It has clearly demonstrated in the last Gaza war that it can always keep Hamas in check (perhaps that`s was one reason for the unusual harsh blows – to convince the PA about Israel total commitment in this regard).
      So whatever maneuvering will take place the fundamentals can`t change – Israel and the PA will continue on a set track, despite all the problems, for some workable arrangement and power-sharing.

  • Caroline Glick says there were no Palestinian refugees
    • Yes, as you write, the Palestinians most likely are unable to give up on the right of return claim – while that is seen in Israel as its practical end (there are millions that define themselves in that status). This by itself ensures an indefinite impasse (Jerusalem ranks second on that list and uprooting half a million settlers is the third), which means endemic instability and occasional outbursts of violence. However, while formal accords are a sheer impossibility some progress may come as a result of evolutionary processes “on the ground” – but takes time and patience though. So, in particular, all those that made the Israel- Palestine conflict their main business in whatever form, this site included (in the coverage realm), can feel assured that they “baby” is not going to vanish anytime soon.

  • 'We want Christmas without occupation': Israel attacks Bethlehem protesters dressed as Santa with tear gas
    • @Jackdaw
      I can see the point. Things are simply falling into place – it took millennia but that`s a drop on a Historical time scale. Christ considered himself a Jew so the comeback of the Jews to their ancient homeland must be in line with how he perceived things. Many Christians in the US also see it the same way and that something bigger than life is taking place here right in front of our eyes (local resident spoilers notwithstanding).

    • Using a Christmas cover just makes it worse – why desecrate an important symbol, which matters to many people for the advancement of what is basically a political goal? Is there nothing sacred to these guys? Moreover, as Bethlehem is ruled by a pro-Hamas party what we have here is Hamas camouflaging as Santa-Claus – remembering what Hamas represents that's not just sacrilege but an outrage. Shame on them

  • Hillary Clinton's decision to support Iraq war was driven by Israel concern, Chris Matthews says
    • @Taxi
      They are not Israel`s soldiers just fight common-goals wars – hence the confusion. The good guys always find their way to each other in the eternal war against the bad ones.

  • On eve of University of California honor, Bill Maher defends anti-Muslim hate speech in Vanity Fair interview
  • Israel will lose all American Jews but the crazies
    • It`s true that Israel became more militaristic – you simply get good at what you doing. After so much violence and in so many ways plus a huge industry, of global class, that has grown around that matters have indeed changed. But then similar phenomena can be observed in the US too and the intensive warring in the last decade and half has left similar marks on the US – so the Jews there may not find what changed in Israel so unusual. Besides, the political-support needs of Israel have changed too – early in its life Israel was dependent, politically and financially, on a wall to wall support of American Jews. The situation in this regard has in fact been normalized, characterized by some Jews being with Israel and others being critical of it – as is exactly the case in the broader population. That’s actually good news.

  • Bypassing Israel: The necessity of recognition in European capitals
    • The interesting point to note is that Israel too supports the notion of a Palestinian state. What`s missing are exact political definitions on the sovereignty nature of the new Palestinian entity and the specification of the security factor. No matter how the latter is downplayed, as also in this article, the second Intifada has convinced the vast majority of Israelis that a premature relinquishment of military control over the West-Bank is worse than all the alternatives, whatever their associated negatives. The recent Gaza war only fortified that since everybody understands what risk tunnels with missiles or mortars near the heartland of Israel means to the country`s security.
      In any case Israel is frantically busy extending economic ties outside Europe, as with India recently, to reduce reliance on the Europeans in case they will try to force their will. Also the 2 years period in the European proposal to the UN is exactly the time until a new president will be elected in the US and it is likely that whether it is a Democrat, as Hilary, or a Republican, a harder line in foreign policy can be expected, which could help to get Israel out of the European woods.

  • We're all anti-American now
    • Walid: “Nobody messes with the US”
      …. and its intimate allies and/or protégés

    • @Keith
      Relax, you have been apparently swallowing too much of those scare-mongers. The reality is the opposite. Putin is not Stalin and he in fact plays the West`s game, money and power, only does that as a competing brand. Take my word for it – nobody cares too much about Ukraine and surely not that much so as to even come close to a war. Sleep well.

    • @Just
      Criticism is a flexible word: if it is constructive it is OK, but e.g. the “criticism” of many on this site of Israel is no more than a euphemism for something far more sinister

    • @Just: “What does that mean?”
      It means that before you give up on your flag as a beacon for the rest world think of the EXISTING alternatives for leading it. If I were an American I would be waving the flag as high as possible, being greatly proud of the global role of my country, e.g. saving the world three times in row from big dangers to it: The Nazis, Stalin and the Jihadists – isn`t that exceptional?

    • Not all is lost tough – there are still other superpowers in the world, as China and Russia

  • 'Racist, fascist bullshit'-- Marcel Ophuls exposes Islamophobia in Israel
  • Mamdani's 'holistic' challenge: Anti-Zionists must persuade Jews they can only be safe by dismantling the Jewish state
    • @Mooser
      With pleasure, and then you will have a noise–free eco-chamber!! – what can be more enjoyable than that? (never mind reality - it will take care of itself as it has ever done). My acct. number in Luxembourg will be sent to you upon request.

    • @Horizontal
      Why? Your house is burning and you run out to reprimand a neighbor for not parking properly

    • @Kay
      Hey, you rea stealing here the main past argument against Arab countries (admittedly much less now) when Israel was their favorite fig leaf – anything that went wrong, it was the responsibility of “The Zionist entity”.

    • This is all part of a psychological warfare against Israel by Muslims. Having tried everything conceivable against Israel: wars, terror, embargo, sanctions, missiles, boycott threats, UN resolutions and failed in all they now turn to such vague threats. Are not they aware of their own constituency`s plight throughout the world? - In many African countries, China, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Myanmar, in Europe and soon also in North-America - everywhere in the world and most prominently so in the Middle-East itself - that Palestine and Israel is so central in their eyes. It is as absurd as ridiculous - Israel can ignore these fantasizing clowns at THEIR own peril.

  • 14 Palestinians injured by Israeli army fire in Ramallah clashes
    • I am no trying to fool you Annie, just to unchain you from a one-sided perspective that you got addicted to. Don`t you see what goes on in the entire region around Israel? You seem to be oblivious to the inextricable links to that. After all Hamas and the rest did not come from the moon – they are an integral part of that broader scene

    • @Annie
      The Rabbis` massacre does not, indeed, stand on its own - it was preceded by stones throwing that got increasingly dangerous. The light train was grounded, cars were attacked. Matters got worse with the Gaza war. But there is always the one event that somehow is the watershed – and this one was so brutal as to change the mindset in Israel (not a looked for pretext!). There was in fact a restraint policy in place, with the hope that by it matters will not flare up and eventually die down but the Rabbis` massacre has dashed those hopes and while there is still generally restraint, the reaction to violent acts will now be harsher. This development is an "old story" in the this conflict`s prolonged saga.

    • Yes, the gloves are off – the “restraint attitude” is over. The Rabbis massacre opened a new phase.

  • Elbit Systems loses key Brazil deal over Palestine protests
    • Yes, Annie, there is an apparent paradox here and its explanation may lie in the psychological realm. Israelis, have grown up in a constant state of fear – the many threats, the many wars, the smallness of the country (especially in its earlier years) – and that became an endemic part of their psyche. What characterizes this psychological state is overreaction - threats are magnified and fears run up high quick. BDS is after all a form of war, economic, and thus gives rise to those primal existential fears and the accompanied instinct of counteraction. Fighting back has become a second nature here.
      The tremendous growth of Israel happened only over generation or two – Israel has become a mini superpower (e.g. it competes with the real superpowers of this world in the military and technological realms) – and people`s mindset don`t change that fast. So a gap has developed between reality and its perception.
      There is also a collective psychological reaction to BDS, which is after all a modern form of exclusion. Israel, being the land of the Jews, carries the memories of past anti-Semitism, which was about being ostracized and harmed as a group, so it now it feels as if the old ugly beast is back again and hence need to be fought forcefully.

    • But there is Annie also the underlying trend: India is on a continual growth curve and it could become (especially under its new leader) one of the world biggest – it has huge untapped potential. In contrast, I think Brazil is losing steam. In any case for small Israel an economic partner like India is a truly big thing (and just in the defense sector).
      This comes at a critical juncture for Israel given the current crucial need to reduce reliance on Europe and thus be less vulnerable to threatened economic sanctions of it (given its increased wish to impose its political will on Israel in regard to the West-Bank).

    • You mean, US, Russian (and the rest) companies…

    • You lose some you gain some - in a parallel development Elbit will have no time for anybody given the just signed huge defense contracts with India (which is about to be one of the biggest economies in the world).

  • It's always been a holy war
    • One misconception in the article is that while it is true that coming back to Zion had Judaic motives the hope of many then was to avoid a war with the people already living there – about half a million Palestinian Arabs. So “the war” part of it was not intended - the Crusaders style – and it only became that when things went wrong violence erupted because of the refusal of the locals to accept the newcomers as fellow residents due to suspicions and instigation by extremists. That also makes “the rape” analog inappropriate – losing does not automatically qualifies you to that status – the party in the wrong can lose too.

  • Pssst! Is Israel going crazy?
    • @Mooser
      No, the 4 Rabbis have nothing to do with it – they have been purely into religious studies – but they may have sown the next real “crazy” phase - what happened there, particularly with the axes, has left a huge and lasting scar in the Israeli psyche and the no immediate response to that should not delude anybody. I have no doubt in my mind that just as the retake of the West-Bank by Sharon was triggered by the Park hotel massacre (scores of Passover celebrating people gunned down there) this act signaled a coming Battle on Arab Jerusalem.

    • Sometimes it pays tactically not to appear too normal/sane - the others tend to exploit a too well-behaving and predictable opponent – it could saw some fears in their hearts (they all know what capabilities Israel possess and in more than one way)

  • Activists block Jericho road to protest East Jerusalem land grab
    • @NickJOCW
      How on earth can a “tectonic shift” build when there is such a web of intricate relationships and links among the “players”. This is not just the US and Israel. For instance, those in the know understand that the last thing Saudi Arabia (plus Emirates) and Jordan, even Egypt, want now is to weaken Israel – there are vital self-interests involved here. And what is exactly the Arab League now without the latter?
      As for the “tension” within the Israeli elite – now what else is new? (as long as the source you mention, Iran`s official, is not where your main info venue)

    • @Annie
      Well, at every historical juncture things are different, that`s clear, but the key question is just how. I am sure you appreciate that there have been many times in the past when it looked that NOW is “THE moment” and they passed leaving little trace. The process marches on from phase to phase and the particular aspects you mention in regard to the coming phases are not easy to figure out in advance- they are all pretty tricky, lengthy and subject to all kinds of uncertainties (not just in respect to the direct participants but also what goes on in the hugely volatile region around). So to me it`s just wait and see. My previous comment was merely in regard to the conditions “on the ground”.

    • The question is: is it the start of another round in the Israel-Palestine saga or just transient spasms. Hard to tell but my guess is that while in Jerusalem there could be some meaningful developments in the rest of the West-Bank it won`t go too far. Simply because following the second Intifada, which was a serious matter for Israel, the country has created a whole machinery to counter it. People may have problems in the “next war” arena but rarely in the previous one.

  • Lieberman unveils racist peace plan: Pay Palestinians to leave Israel
    • @Annie
      It would have been no problem if it was me but the same applies to most of your own country people – particularly those of influence – they see the same thins and understand it the same way.

    • If you are from Libya or Morocco and want to get to Europe you pay a lot to sea smugglers and risk your life – and many still do that. As an Israel Arab all you have to do to get there is go to a travel agent and buy a ticket – no visa needed. Yet they don`t go. Does it not proves something?

    • It`s all a farce. Nobody will pay a penny for that or leave – in reality the Israeli Arabs are happy to see the West coming to them instead of them having to emigrate to it and live in slums in Europe. It`s all talk. That is also why a lot in Israel was built by Arab construction workers – they are glad to have employment near home and not live in the misery conditions of the Arab countries around. In practical terms what`s goes on in Israel is a deal between Jews and Arabs, which works for both and that is also why it has worked for so long. The next deal, still in progress, is with the Arabs in West-Bank – it`s trickier but for the very same reason as above it will materialize too. In the meantime a lot of the construction in the West-Bank is done too by Arab workers.

  • North Carolina county takes step towards dropping contract with occupation-linked company G4S
    • @Annie
      Well, there is no need to denigrate others with different views. Let`s not forget the basics. Once upon a time a debate between people was that each stated what is logical to him/her and the others, the listeners or readers, had to decide what convince them more (and in some cases even the other side conceded).

    • Well, it`s a mix of the two because while it comes at this moment from my head it is also based on accumulated knowledge- but even more importantly it`s pretty logical.

    • People fail to understand that globalization has already gone too far to make boycotts effective, especially of multinational companies. There is an intricate web of connections and affiliations there as well as multi-positioning and naming around the world. You cannot roll back globalization and all you can have is sporadic boycott acts that are too marginal for these modern-times behemoths to make any real impact.

    • So there is after all a place in the US that sees things that way. Well, what can I say, it does not leave me desperate

  • Israeli occupation stoking 'holy war' in Jerusalem
    • Seafoid: “And now they have no idea what to do” “Reality wins every time”
      That rings a bell – indeed a whole ensemble of them.
      Wasn`t that what almost everybody said when 6 Arab armies threatened to invade the embryonic Israel? And when the suicide bombers rampaged Israel in the second Intifada? And many other past occasions (one just recently with the missiles-out-of-tunnels in Gaza)
      It will indeed take time and be painful for both sides but why assume that it is this time that Israel will be at loss – when half a million Jews in Jerusalem face 300 hundred thousand Arabs there? Does Israel appear so helpless?

  • Efforts to suppress Palestinian activism on US campuses won't work
    • This obsession with Israel will end up harming Palestinians (and Arab supporters) in the most inclusive country in the world where national origins of people didn`t matter. It will add the US to the huge range of countries today where they are already under duress, mainly in their home countries in the Middle-East and in Europe. It will set against them many of the US Jews and many others there that sympathize with Israel in its conflict or those that have sharp negative views on what they see goes on in the Arab world today and very much don`t want to see that imported to the US.

  • Palestinian students fear for their lives during attack on train car in Jerusalem
    • @just
      It can`t be more one-sided than the way you describe it… A black and white world is intellectually convenient, alas don`t help too much in understanding conflicts.

    • @Annie
      My point? That you keep viewing and presenting things in a one-sided way. This is a century old conflict and there are two sides to it throughout.

    • Well, this student feared for his life but the 4 Rabbis did not have that luxury – they were (literally) axed…. (with the other 8 praying there seriously wounded)

  • 'Palestine is an anxiety' for Americans-- Salaita in New York
  • South African activists reflect on parallels between life under apartheid and Israel/Palestine today
    • It won`t work guys – no matter how hard to try. There is no way to force an analogy between SA and Israel – the situations are vastly different. Likewise with the African colonial legacies, likewise with the harmony pursuing non-violent movements (ML King and Gandhi) - It`s apples and oranges throughout and therefore, accordingly, it`s not proceeding and not going to proceed in the same way.

  • 'You don't want us to breathe!': Video captures everyday frustration of life under occupation in East Jerusalem
  • The fight to save a village continues in Wadi Fukin
    • @just
      Well, as far as I understand, by “The gates of Hell” they meant Israel and Israelis – that they later found that they in fact got opened on them is a different matter. Jerusalem could be the next example of that.
      Putting aside the greater issue of the conflict, which is anyway the main topic of this forum, I am only trying to highlight here this tendency of Palestinians to use this bombastic rhetoric, which I don`t believe for a moment that they really mean, and then get carried away with that into self-harming acts. The Jews with infinitely worse experiences – at the abyss literally - still cherished life and after the Holocaust instead of just sinking into self-pity and self-ruinous rhetoric as above went on to rebuild the nation in Israel and the New-World immigration countries.

    • @just
      The Palestinians have panache for such dramatized rhetoric. In Gaza you heard in the last war from people there the equally dramatic exclamation: “Death is better than our life – we have nothing to lose”. And from the past we have: “We shall fight 1000 years to liberate Palestine” or “I am ready to sacrifice all my sons to liberate Al Aqza”. And I lost count how many times Hamas or the Islamic Jihad opened “The Gates of Hell”.

  • Inadequate religion
    • The image problem of Islam is not anymore restricted to, or mainly originate from, what goes on in Israel-Palestine between Jews and Arabs – as was large the case only a decade and a half ago. And that is the biggest problem for those who conceived this atrocity in the synagogue, or stand behind it (e.g. Hamas). Accordingly, the role for Rabbis here is pretty limited - the focus will continue to be as ever on land, political and security issues.

  • Kahanists attack school after synagogue killings
    • What could indeed happen, in an unplanned but still intrinsically “programmed” manner, is that it will stop being just Palestinian civilians fighting facing the Israeli police or army but instead civilians versus civilians - reflecting in a more accurate way what is developing on the ground in Jerusalem (and partly in the West-Bank). That is, something like: you come to my place to destroy and kill, we shall visit your place tomorrow. That’s` a kind of different deterrent type – a new conflict format.

  • This is not yet an intifada, Palestinians say
    • Kay24: “This attack is terrible, but then so was….
      Well, that`s exactly the crux of the matter – regardless of how horrific a Palestinian atrocity is there is always this apologetic of the “but then so was….” type, which is a kind of backdoor justification of that.
      After the Sep 11 terror attack it was the same, namely it was presented as terrible with the “but then….” addition - some list of real or imaginary sins of the US towards Arabs or Muslims. Did this apologetics help there? It`s not likely to help here either.

    • Seaefoid: “There is no calm. There won`t be”
      It`s true but not the key issue – that is: to whose detriment it is? As different from past times, when Israel was less confident and less prepared to terror, this time around it could cost the Palestinians, when the dust settles, what has been left in their control in Jerusalem.

    • Don`t you have a feeling sometimes that Palestinians are not fighting Israel but History itself. This is the tenth if not twentieth round and compare today`s Israel to what it was when these battles began about a century ago. Would it not be much better for everybody directly concerned (faraway cheerleaders excluded) to accept a status-quo in which the country is indeed a Jewish state with a cooperating, rather than endemically hostile, attitude as a minority? Jews were in thousand worse conditions as minorities in other countries, West and East, yet managed in most of the time to be cooperative in their host countries. That attitude – staying loyal to own tradition yet being receptive to others – is perhaps the single most important reason why they lasted through all that so long. Indeed, if not the final, insanely murderous, assault on them in WW2 that would have continued to this date.
      Constantly fighting is not leading Palestinians anywhere but they apparently cannot stop that – pushed at every round by some arousing rhetoric that promises a lot but in the end yields little.

  • 'Zionism' is now a dirty word for American opinion elite, Frank Luntz concedes
    • @seafoid
      I think the problem is not with Luntz or others but with you, man – you make a huge effort to belittle what is intrinsically grand (see my remark above here). It can`t work no matter how much you try – a miracle is taking place and an avowed heretic fights it. What chance you have?

    • Don`t worry, Annie, Ivri is not the user name Luntz uses in this forum…
      As a matter of fact the macro historic view that this little piece of land is the natural home of the Jewish people is part and parcel of not just Zionism (which is a recent movement) but Judaism itself, whose core consists of the triplet: the Nation (the Hebraic tribe), the Religion and the (promised) Land.
      Miraculously, from a Jewish angle (and even beyond), all the three managed, after millennia, to come together in this very era. No wonder then that there is such a huge effort to cling to it whatever the challenges.

    • Classical Zionism has already served its main role – to bring about the country of Israel and create a coherent nation out of the many that arrive from so many origins. Once done and solidified the instrument indeed begins to fade and new ones supersede its centrality. The focus in Israel now is consolidating its position in the extended territories that it is spread on now, which has a Zionist dimension, and bringing about a workable and stable modus-vivendi with Arabs in the different territories, where Zionism plays no role. More recently there is also an increased focus on the role of religion in the final shape of the country – where Zionism is just part of the equation. Everything in life is dynamic and so is the establishment and development process of Israel.

  • Caltech prof says Israeli scientist passed NASA rocket secrets to his government
    • @Horizontal
      Come on, everything is relative. In THIS world what you have between the US and Israel, in many modes and forms, amply qualifies for the “close allies” characterization. As a comparison: Turkey is called a close ally too, but have you seen what they did there last week to US soldiers in the street there? Have you read the polls that the vast majority of Turks dislike the US and saw how the US is treated there in much of the media? Can its Islamist oriented dictatorial-inclined leader be trusted? Now try to compare that with the kind of relations with Israel.

    • Excuse me but NASA is not a military enterprise, the academic world is about shared knowledge and the US and Israel, as close allies, share, regularly, sensitive and confidential information . I sense a Trojan horse here…

  • Video: Routine exchange on a bus reveals racism embedded within Jewish Israeli society
    • Please, Annie, is it so surprising that a century old, occasionally real bloody, gives rise to such undesirable phenomena? Also consider what you constantly hear from the other side (e.g how Jews and Israelis are presented in Palestinian material) .
      That`s an inevitable bad outcome from a conflict so long and so loaded emotionally. The continual almost life and death struggle here does not elicit from people, particularly the weaker part of society, their better side.
      The hope is though that further normalization of relations - it can happen as it did in Europe! - will marginalize such views and their holders.

  • Sea change down under: Ex-Australian Foreign Minister announces himself a 'Friend of Palestine'
    • @straightline
      Take it easy – I use the New-World notion in a different way than the classical one - and that is also why I specified the countries involved to avoid confusion.
      As for Europe, Center-left is indeed not Left but it is still the main source today in Western Europe for anti-Israel attitudes. In an interesting way from a Jewish, or rather Israeli, angle it has replaced the traditional prewar Right – the latter were into anti-Semitism while the Center-left (or Left) is primarily anti-Israeli.
      The big difference is of course that in past times the Jews in Europe were at the mercy of the people there while now Israel is an independent country so can resist pressures. Not that the EU don`t try perennially to bock Israel, with all kinds of sanction forms, but the difference in impact is clear – and is a clear source of frustration in Europe where they got used to, over centuries, otherwise.

    • @Straightline
      Well, I don`t classify the South/Central American countries as New-World because they lack the feature of being a continual destination of immigrants from all around the world. As for East-European countries I agree with you – there are generally more sympathetic to Israel. I attribute that to several main reasons. First they don`t have a big Islamic minority. Then they feel more attached to the US (as a protector) and Israel somehow “comes with the package” there. Also due to their recent history , subjugation to the USSR with its annoying Bolshevik-speak, they are less prone to political correctness, which has similar features, and also don`t have ”center-left” tilting, which today is the main source of anti-Israel attitude in West Europe.

    • It is an interesting observation that the New-World countries, mainly The US, Canada and Australia, are closing ranks in regard to the Israel-Palestine issue and are generally supportive of Israel, which is after all yet another new-world type immigration country (even if mainly of Jewish origin).This stands in clear contrast to the Old World countries, as Europe and Arabia (and Muslim countries, prominently Iran and Turkey ), which are either far less sympathetic to the Israeli position or outright hostile to it.
      The Eastern-hemisphere countries, perhaps including Russia (which is kind of borderline in this sense), are generally neutral here - with little historical baggage or emotional loading.

  • Pressure on 'The Lancet' for Gaza letter another example of pro-Israel assault on freedom of expression
    • Do what I say not what I do….
      I have been also fascinated by this phenomenon: in their small backyard people act contrary to what they preach to others and see no contradiction in that - where I am the boss please follow my rules, whether you like it or not or whether it seems to you fair or not. But when others do the same thing, especially antagonized entities, there is no limit to the outrage….
      Go and figure out

  • Dempsey bucks Obama line by praising Israelis for Gaza tactics
    • @Annie
      Well, he didn`t say that explicitly but that`s what a reader would understand from the way he describes things (“murder and population cleansing”). While anybody is entitled to own point of view – expecting that people in the business of managing the globe will buy into such one-sided perspectives is moot too.

    • @Horizontal
      I wish you were capable of seeing matters not just from a single perspective. The way you characterized matters is not just one-sided but also extreme at it. You cannot expect serious decision makers in the American Administration not to see much broader pictures. Prominently, is the Arab or Palestinian really that harmless – innocent lambs treated by vicious monsters? Does the general historic picture as well as the broader regional scene, indeed the global one support such a proposition? I don`t think so.

    • Welcome to the post-Obama era following the results of the recent Congress elections – in this case in its Israel dimension. Dempsey is the first salvo in the envisaged shift back to an unapologetic support of Israel -Gaza today and the West-Bank tomorrow. The political pendulum in Washington is moving back to where it was in Bush times – be it a Republican or a Democrat president (Hillary?) in the next election.

  • As world marks 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, Israel's Wall has become a new global icon for oppression
    • It`s not about victimhood, Bryan, that`s gone with the establishment of Israel. It`s a sense that some people in Europe act as if they are “genetically programmed” against Jewish issues and the pathetic try to differentiate from that a deep hostility to Israel (euphemized as “criticism of the Israeli government policies”), which transcends in its emotional intensity any other foreign agenda, demands a serious explanation.

    • What I am trying to highlight is that somehow Europeans always end up seeing the Jews as the wronged party with the only thing changing is the cause. It covered religion, greed, disloyalty to nation, barbarism (gentiles` blood in Passover bread), ambition of control (the Zion Protocols), treason, intellectual manipulation and brainwashing - really everything negative you can think of. And at every junction it was both believed at the onset and disowned later. Now it has come to the national issue – it is the first time that Jews have a state of their own since millennia and well – surprise, surprise - many Europeans are once more on the opposite side, blaming Israeli Jews for the problems. And that when the situation is truly so complex and it is so easy to sympathize with Israel, as many Americans or Canadians actually do, located in a region with so many serious intrinsic problems of in the midst of mayhem and yet it does not help – Europeans once more choose, and vehemently so, to point their blaming fingers at their “usual target”. Isn`t it a disappointment?

    • There is a pathetic element in the aroused sensitivity to human right issues since WW2 and the Jewish Holocaust in it that finds its expression among Europeans in identifying in the Israel-Palestinian conflict once more the Jews as the villains. In other words, the descendants of yesterday`s Europe`s victims that as a result of those events found their way to Israel are now the blame-target of Europeans in their “learning experience”, their awakening to human-rights, from those events. Strangely, or rather sadly, the Europeans don`t seem to get the irony here. And why, consequently, this “moral outrage” of theirs gets such a meager appreciation, even counter outrage, in Israel

  • Root cause of current crisis is Israeli government effort since 1967 to transform East Jerusalem into a Jewish city
    • I read with interest, Bryan, the analogies you use but the problem is they don`t apply – the Jewish saga is unique in many ways. For instance, all the colonialist examples you give are about citizens of another country who followed their army conquests in settling away from their natural home country and were a very small minority in their new place with the indigenous people by and large used as personal servants or hard-labor workers for the benefit of a tiny foreign elite. Nothing of the kind applies to the Israel scene and there are many other issues, historical, religious, political and national – too many to elaborate on -that differentiate the Israel saga.

    • @ Annie
      I know it`s banal (what I wrote), and I too don`t like to be so, but sometimes you have a feeling that people, carried out with details, forget basic truisms – so consider it a reminder. This is history in the making – over a century now and I am sure you can see the trend (which is banal too so I spare you the details).

    • Let`s be honest about it (even if not politically correct) - there is indeed a deep desire and a concrete plan to make Jerusalem the capital of the (only) Jewish State. This is an integral part of the normalization of the Jewish people, which like all other nations, after millennia of being in exile and subject to horrendous experiences, now have a state of its own and a capital - the choice of which, given Judaism and Jewish history, cannot be but Jerusalem. This by no means excludes an Arab minority and a Christian role (with its holy places there) but the envisaged framework is the above. There is no need to be ashamed about it or deny it.

  • After deadly attack Netanyahu vows ‘iron fist’ as clashes and closures rock Jerusalem
    • “The Battle on Jerusalem” has begun in earnest. It follows a century-old pattern, invariably starting with some egregious violent acts, beginning in the pre-Israel era of Arab riots in the British Mandate times, through the immensely bloody second Intifada and more recently the poring of missiles on Israeli cities from Gaza. Now it`s the turn of Jerusalem, starting with the usual salvos of some killings and developing to full-pledged clashes. When the dust settles, after a lot of pains to everybody there Jews and Arabs alike, there will be a different Jerusalem and another phase in the Israel-Palestinian conflict saga had been completed.

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