Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 147 (since 2010-08-23 15:11:44)

Jeff Klein

Showing comments 147 - 101

  • 'NYT' provides frank descriptions of lobby's power in review of Truman book
    • Yosef Grodzinsky, IN THE SHADOW OF THE HOLOCAUST: The Struggle between Jews and Zionists in the aftermath of World War II (Monroe, ME: Common Courage, 2004) reports that most Jewish survivors in the DP camps expressed a preference to re-settle in the US or the UK. The allies cooperated with Zionist operatives to give them control of the camps and virtually compel the majority -- especially fighting-age men -- to Palestine.

  • 'New Republic''s literary editor attacks its senior editor as nasty, ignorant self-hating Jew
    • The vile Leon Wieseltier characteristically misquoting Rosa Luxemburg writes, “Remember Rosa Luxemburg’s letter to her friend in which she proudly announced that she had no corner of her heart for the Jews?”

      What she actually said, in a letter to her friend Mathilde Wurm (who was also Jewish) written on 16 February 1917 from her cell in Wronke Fortress:

      ‘What do you want with this theme of the “special suffering of the Jews”? I am just as much as concerned with the poor victims on the rubber plantations of Putumayo, the Blacks in Africa with whose corpses the Europeans play catch. You know the words that were written about the great work of the General Staff, about Gen. Trotha’s campaign in the Kalahari desert. “And the death rattles of the dying, the demented cries of those driven mad by thirst faded away in the sublime stillness of eternity.” Oh that “sublime stillness of eternity,” in which so many cries of anguish have faded away unheard, they resound within me so strongly that I have no special place in my heart for the ghetto. I feel at home in the entire world, wherever there are clouds and birds and human tears.’

  • Cary Nelson, the AAUP, and the privilege of bestowing academic freedom
    • Absolutely devastatingly on-target. Bravo!

      A small point of cultural knowledge that should be corrected since pro-Israel folk might use it to discredit the argument.

      The prophet Elijah has a chair waiting at a Passover Seder, not a bris -- however attractive the latter imagery. . .

  • AIPAC fail: Goldberg leads, and Sen. Blumenthal climbs off the war bus
  • 'We can't let Israel determine when and where U.S. goes to war,' says Feinstein, but Hillary is quiet as a mouse
    • Very strong statement by Senator Feinstein! I admit to being pleasantly surprised.
      Meanwhile, Chris Mathews on MSNBC had a good piece on sabotage of the Iran negotiations in Congress-- except that the culprits were. . . the Republicans!

      GOP cannot sabotage peace process with Iran: link to

      The usual self-censorship. Even a commentator as dense as Matthews cannot fail to understand that it is Israel and AIPC. What is Menendez, Democratic chair of the Senate Foreign Relatiions Committee -- chopped liver?

  • On House floor, Gohmert says Blumenthal is anti-Semitic Jew who'd welcome another Holocaust
    • Kachiiing! A speech like that starts the contributions meter running.

      There used to be such a thing as "Court Jews" -- Now there are "Court Goyim" . . .

  • Palestine, 1927
    • Did you even read the Wiki article you cited? Or do you think people are too clueless to even check?

      Here's the paragraph you selectively quoted:

      "In 1913 and 1914, Filastin was suspended by Ottoman authorities, once for criticism of the Mutasarrif (November 1913) and once for what British authorities summarized as "a fulminating and vague threat that when the eyes of the nation were opened to the peril towards which it was drifting it would rise like a roaring flood and a consuming fire and there would be trouble in [store] for the Zionists."[3] Elsewhere, a historical compendium of antisemitism called the cause for Falastin's suspension "racist hate propaganda."[4] Following the suspension, Falastin issued a circular responding to the government charges that they were "sowing discord between the elements of the Empire," which stated that "Zionist" was not the same as "Jew" and described the former as "a political party whose aim is to restore Palestine to their nation and concentrate them in it, and to keep it exclusively for them."[3] The newspaper was supported by Muslim and Christian notables, and a judge annulled the suspension on grounds of freedom of the press.[3]"

      Anyway, the point I made was not to endorse the al-Filastin newspaper, but only to point out that there was a concept of "Palestine" in modern times, even before the British Mandate.

      And yes, I knew that the EY in parentheses after Hebrew "Palestina" abbreviated "Eretz Yisroel" but that isn't the same as asserting (don't believe your lying eyes!) that the inscription on the coin "means" Land of Israel instead of Palestine.

    • It says in Hebrew: "Palestina (EY)"

      The first modern (Arabic) newspaper in Palestine antedated the British Mandate and was founded in 1911 by two Orthodox Christian brothers named 'Issa (Jesus). It was called al-Falastin.

  • Kerry (and NYT) carry water for Netanyahu on 'Jewish state' demand
    • Do Jews get to vote on whether their nation-state is the one where they actually live and hold citizenship, rather than Israel, with which they may have no connection whatsoever? Who gave Netanyahu -- or Kerry -- that right to decide for them?

      This was why the majority of Jews opposed Zionism during its formative years. It undermined their belonging and potentially their rights in their own countries.

  • Veolia, a local BDS target, loses Massachusetts commuter rail contract
    • Anything that sticks it to Veolia is clearly a good thing -- and the intrepid local activists who worked on the BDS effort deserve a lot of thanks. Raising the profile of BDS and undercutting the image of Veolia are worthy activities.

      But. . . there is very little evidence that the BDS campaign, or the allegations of anti-union Veolia management, played any significant role in denying them the contract.

      Today's Boston Globe reports from the final hearing to announce the new contract and BDS was not mentioned. In fact, most of the unions testified to their uneasiness with the proposed change. I don't write this to undercut the BDS efforts in any way. Just in the interest of not overestimating a supposed "BDS victory".

      link to

  • 'Wolf of Wall St' reflects Jewish rise (though Scorsese leaves that out)
    • Brilliant, Phil! I can recount a personal story which illustrates the “prehistory” of this Wall Street era.

      When I was in High School at Brooklyn Tech around 1960 I got a part-time after school job at the Ormont Machine Company on Broadway, just north of Houston St. Ormont – long gone from Lower Manhattan but apparently still operating out of Paramus, NJ --built die-cutting presses and machines to stuff pillows and toy animals. Difficult as it is to imagine now, all those trendy boutiques and lofts were then still the home to a thriving small manufacturing industry.

      The elderly founder of the company was a Mr. Goldberg, known as “Mr. G" to all of us, and his wife Mrs. G. ran the office. Their son was strangely known as Mr. Garwin. It wasn’t until years later that I figured out that the name Ormont was made-up French for “Gold Mountain” or Goldberg, meant to camouflage the Jewish ownership of the firm.

      A very different time.

  • Avigdor's triumph: Israel reportedly wants to transfer northern villages into Palestinian state
    • Sorry, you're wrong. Maybe you are confusing the Taibe in the Triangle with the village Taibe in Galilee (there's another in the West Bank too). Taibe's population is almost 40,000 (and Um el-Fahem is bigger).

    • Look, it's no great mystery. People's opinion about matters like this depends overwhelmingly on their perception of safety and standard of living -- even in the face of discrimination. You think Latino citizens of Santa Fe want to be transferred to Mexican sovereignty? It's not because they have equality or don't face discrimination in the US, but because life in Mexico would be worse.

      It is a rational choice for Palestinian citizens to preserve residence in a developed country with modern infrastructure, and some, even if second-class, civil rights, rather than be transferred to an impoverished bantustan with no rights whatsoever and the constant target of Israeli settlers and security forces.

      By the way, Alex, a small point, but Um al-Fahem and Taibe are CITIES in the Triangle -- or maybe (large) towns if you like, but certainly not "villages".

  • Cory Booker joins 13 other Senate Dems in bucking Obama on Iran-war bill
    • piotr and Toivo:
      I very much hope you are right. The administration lobbied and testified against the previous sanctions bill but did not go to the mat. But 37 votes to sustain a veto would be a major accomplishment and not so easy. Meanwhile Reid has apparently fast-tracked the bill:
      link to
      And Shumer's prominent sponsoring role is meant as a threat to fundraising for Senate candidates who don't play ball. He is a major rainmaker for Wall Street and pro-Israel campaign contributions, especially for the Senate.

    • Are you kidding? The last Iran Sanctions bill that was opposed by the Obama administration (and future Sec. of State Kerry) passed 100-0!

      Getting enough votes to sustain a Presidential veto is not obvious.

  • Rightwingers say Geneva deal is... Munich
    • Let's see:
      At Munich the major European powers agreed to placate an aggressive and rising military country by allowing it to annex a part of it's neighbor. They were reluctant to confront its violation of treaties -- and anyway they expected it to fight a proxy war against their common enemy to the East, rather than against themselves. Of course, the winner of Munich soon grabbed the whole of its neighbor anyway, and there was no stopping its military aggression in the end.

      So today, if it's Munich, just who is who?

  • Why do US media insist that Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Gulf states oppose Iran deal?
    • "P.S. Can’t wait for Saudi Arabia to push on a nuclear-free Middle East."

      The countries of the Middle East are all on record supporting the concept of a "Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone" and have been actively pressing to move it forward. Even Israel says it is for this, though in some distant future when there is "regional peace".

      Next month there will be an international conference in Haifa organized by the Israeli Left -- link to -- to publicize and promote the idea, which has received scant notice in the US press. US and Mass Peace Action are sending delegates, of which I am one and I plan to report on it when I return. Maybe write something about it in the next couple of days too.

  • Update: Netanyahu complains to Kerry of incitement and cites-- Mohammed Assaf's lyrics
    • CAMERA has a table of the pre-Oslo prisoners slated for release: link to
      The first four were convicted for attacking an Israeli army base -- and many others for violence against Israeli solders. Not "terrorists" by any reasonable definition, unless by terrorists we include the whole IDF. Not a bad idea!

      And how ludicrous is it for Netanyahu to complain about Palestinian "incitement", meaning complaints about Israel ACTIONS and an unwillingness to accept Israeli colonization as legitimate. . .

  • 'We failed' (In which a Palestinian activist abandons the peace process)
    • Thanks for the comments.

      But you know, if you read carefully, my friend has given upon the "Peace Process" but not on the struggle for Palestinian self-determination. In the face of defeat of the Oslo process, going back to the land is a sensible pause, not surrender. He still volunteers for the Independent Trade Unions, the FIDA Party and other forms of struggle. Unfortunately, the next generation is not so steadfast -- or has fewer illusions, depending on your point of view. I found the second-generation youth on both sides of the Green Line typically less political and more religious.

      I don't think it is permanent, but I find the sense of defeat and de-politicization very widespread. No point if glossing this over. However, taking the long view, as I tied to indicate, the Palestinians are not surrendering and I believe there will eventually be a renewed upsurge of struggle.

  • Syria's faultlines extend into Lebanon and Palestine
    • Thanks for the comments. I would have thought the point about "sectarian war" was obvious enough. Only one side speaks about the conflict mainly in religious terms -- "our" side.

      I was fortunate to be visiting the area accompanied by a local friend. That's probably why people were willing to speak to me. But not everyone! I never met any of the military commanders. Of course it was a moment of great pride in their military achievement at al-Qusayr, so maybe people were feeling less guarded than usual. . .

      Unfortunately, news from Lebanon right now is very bad and possibly getting worse.

  • Invisible Man
    • So "Russian" Israelis belong in Moscow, not Netanya?
      And if immigrants from south of the Rio Grande insist on being called Mexican-Americans we should threaten to deport them? Puerto Ricans? Italian-Americans? Jewish-Americans?

  • Obama White House blew off idea of celebrating Emancipation Proclamation anniversary, says leading Lincoln scholar
    • This is what Obama had to say at the airport when arriving in Israel last month:

      "Why does the United States stand so strongly, so firmly with the State of Israel? And the answer is simple. We stand together because we share a common story -- patriots determined to be e a free people in our land,” pioneers who forged a nation, heroes who sacrificed to preserve our freedom, and immigrants from every corner of the world who renew constantly our diverse societies."

      Irony -- or principle -- is not his strong suit. . .

  • Israel Project 'makeover' shows how U.S. stands between Israel and total isolation
    • From Obama's arrival speech in Israel:

      "Why does the United States stand so strongly, so firmly with the State of Israel? And the answer is simple. We stand together because we share a common story -- patriots determined to be e a free people in our land,” pioneers who forged a nation, heroes who sacrificed to preserve our freedom, and immigrants from every corner of the world who renew constantly our diverse societies."

      Unconscious irony. . .

    • One way would be to sponsor and publicize a poll on aid to Israel. Worded the right way -- with information about the amount, comparison to other countries and the relative prosperity of Israel -- I have little doubt that the numbers would be strongly negative. Why no group has done this yet is a mystery to me. The tribute we pay to Israel thrives mainly in secret, without any public say. The mainstream media might even pick something like that up

      And despite polling which indicates much more support for Israel than for the Palestinians, this support is rather thin. Other polls show that, when given the choice, strong pluralities say to "stay out of it".

  • Day Two of Obama in Israel/Palestine — Obama visits Ramallah and addresses the Israeli people
    • It's funny, but bagpipes are part of the scout (as is Boy Scouts) culture in Palestine and are commonly heard during parades in Ramallah. I imagine the tradition goes back to the British Mandate, maybe further. . .

  • US Jews leave 'Gatekeepers' asking why we give money to Israel -- says Oren, outraged
    • I recently watched the wonderful film "The Time that Remains" by Elia Suleiman for the second time and a certain scene struck me in particular.

      In Ramallah, during the Israeli attack and curfew in 2002, a young mother pushes a stroller with her child past a group of heavily armed Israeli soldiers. One of them yells at her: "Go home!" She replies, simply, "You go home!" and she continues on.

      The history of Zionism in 20 seconds. . .

  • Vivian Gornick stashed book critical of Israel lest she 'commit literary suicide'
    • I have nothing in particular against Jews who want to invite non-Jews to their Seders. However, the type of public Seders I am referring to have a different, and political, character. They occur in every big city, usually sponsored by the local JCRC. And they do constitute "an offer you can't refuse" -- unless you want to risk being marked as a potential anti-Semite, lose Jewish political support or risk being blackballed by Jewish charitable funders. This is particularly the case regarding African-American social service agencies.

      The same with the various Jewish-led "educational" programs. No accident that widespread high-school Facing History curricula -- important for building the right kind of college application -- steer clear of the Palestine issue. Years ago I offered to make a presentation at such a class attended by my son. The very liberal (Jewish) teacher was agreeable at first, but somehow it never worked out, despite repeated reminders from me. Of course they studied the persecution of European Jews in elaborate detail, visited the Holocaust Museum, etc.

    • This reminded me of the raft of "interfaith" and "multicultural" Passover Seders going on the the coming days. Labor Seder, Black-Jewish Seder, International Seder, etc. where Jews "invite" -- I should better say demand -- that people of other (or no) faith attend and acknowledge the Jewish religious/historical experience. I may be myopic, but I do not get the sense that other religious communities make the same demands on faiths other than their own.

      This kind of practice seems to an exercise in celebrating both Jewish victimhood and Jewish power simultaneously. Likewise, the various interfaith Holocaust observations, school visits to the Holocaust Museum and educational programs like Facing History.

      They all make an offer you can't refuse. . .

  • Obama scared AIPAC into silence, then defeated it
    • As my mother used to say: "From your mouth to God's ear."
      The Arabs have a like expression:
      Min tummak la baab issama - "From your lips to the Gate of Heaven"

  • NY Historical Society to host man who smeared Defense Secretary as anti-Semite
  • Dov Hikind dons blackface for Purim party (Updated)
    • I remember years ago when my children were little they were given a set of alphabet blocks as a gift from my father-in-law. The letter "I" had a picture of a Native American "Indian" in feathered"Redskin" headgear. He didn't understand at first when I tried to explain that this was offensive.
      When I wondered how he would feel to see the letter "J" illustrated by a guy with a beard and a broad-brimmed hat, he got the idea. . .

  • Dershowitz's hypocrisy and dishonesty over Brooklyn College BDS conference
    • Thorough -- and lawyerly! -- take-down.

      Thanks so much for the reminder of what a gigantic fraud is "The Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law" at Harvard. This guy is a very smart, very shameless liar. Someday psychology graduate (and law?) students will write studies of his twisted career and twisted mind.

  • Latest Kennedy to go to Congress parrots same old stale Israel talking points on Palestinians
    • The US Congress is the present-day Zionist Masada. Have our "representatives" made a suicide pact as well?

  • US Congress seeks to thwart Palestinian reconciliation -- hearing WINEP testimony based on Israeli army blog
    • Annie, you just don't get the Israeli message filtering through Ros-Leitinen:
      Palestinian disunity is a barrier to peace -- and Palestinian unity is a threat to peace.
      What's so hard about that to understand?
      Zionist think there will be peace when Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish and Democratic state in Biblical Eretz Yisroel -- followed by their self-deportation or suicide.

  • You could become 'another Goldstone' -- friendly warning to Yale prof whose study cleared Palestinian textbooks of demonization charge
  • Chomsky: Obama strongly supported Israel's 2006 Lebanon invasion
    • Obama was also the principal sponsor of the 2007 Iran Sanctions Enabling Act, a law designed to promote state-by-state divestment campaigns. It was clearly an effort to place himself for the 2008 presidential campaign. The house sponsor was mega-PEP Congressman Barney Frank, Enough said.

      The whole Iran divestment campaign was hatched in Israel by Netanyahu and promoted in the US by Mitt Romney -- who was also running for president in 2007.

      link to

  • 'Most moral' army in the world is looking more and more like Bull Connor enforcing Jim Crow
  • Hagel obeyed Senate taboo against criticism of Israel-- 'our most important ally in the entire world'
    • Shared Values?
      Jennifer Rubin, resident Neocon and Israel apologist at the Washington Post, cited an anti-Hagel letter from Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) in which the legislator claimed “As a non-Jewish Senator who strongly supports the State of Israel, let me assure you that my support is rooted in the shared values of our two democracies”. link to
      Perhaps Imhofe had this in mind: Israel admits giving contraceptive injections to Ethiopian immigrant women link to;
      or this: Some Fear a Soccer Team’s Racist Fans Hold a Mirror Up to Israel link to;
      or this Millions disenfranchised in Israeli vote due solely to ethnicity and geography link to

  • Hagel called for all-but normalizing relations with Iran so as to engage it as an ally on Israel-Palestine issue
    • WND is apparently test-marketing another approach to stirring up the wingnuts against Hagel without even mentioning Israel -- that he is an internationalist intent on taxing Americans to send more money to the "Third World". And in an article by virtual -- if not actual -- Israeli agent Aaron Klein (no relation!) written from Jerusalem. . .

  • In Honor of Titans
    • Terrific article!
      I wonder if any participants in the Palestinian uprising can comment on the influence of events in South Africa during the years before the Intifadah? The rebellion in the townships began a few years earlier and seemed to my eyes to preview the unfolding of events in Occupied Palestine. Was the South African Mass Democratic Movement and the process of making the townships "ungovernable" a stimulus or a model? And did the Israelis learn from it too? Their response was much more violent.
      In South Africa, the uprising led eventually to negotiations and the orderly retreat of the Apartheid regime toward democratic majority rule.
      In Israel-Palestine, it led to. . . Oslo and a quieting of mass resistance.

  • Merkel squirms during Netanyahu's love song to 'special relationship'
    • Looked like a marriage counseling session where the wife has already decided to call it quits but agreed to go through the motions -- and the husband is on speed. . .

  • Election results: The Jewish right goes down in the House and Senate
    • And Mass Congressional incumbent John Tierney won in a squeaker, despite allegations of family gambling corruption. Tierney was targeted by Kristol's Emergency Committee on Israel (their TV spot against him is still on line) as one of the relatively few in Congress who expressed misgivings about Israel's criminal attack on Gaza.

  • Eric Yoffie says Jewish leaders can criticize the settlements, but nobody else
    • Notice that when Zionists attack the letter from Protestant church leaders, they rarely provide a link to the text so that people can judge for themselves whether or not the message is "anti-Israel".

      Here is the link:

      The third paragraph of the letter states ( before the proposal to re-examine the appropriateness of military aid to Israel): link to

      "Through this direct experience we have witnessed the pain and suffering of Israelis as a result of Palestinian actions and of Palestinians as a result of Israeli actions. In addition to the horror and loss of life from rocket attacks from Gaza and past suicide bombings, we have witnessed the broad impact that a sense of insecurity and fear has had on Israeli society. We have also witnessed widespread Israeli human rights violations committed against Palestinians, including killing of civilians, home demolitions and forced displacement, and restrictions on Palestinian movement, among others. We recognize that each party—Israeli and Palestinian—bears responsibilities for its actions and we therefore continue to stand against all violence regardless of its source. Our stand against violence is complemented by our commitment to the rights of all Israelis, as well as all Palestinians, to live in peace and security."

      Just what more could they have written -- other than refraining from criticizing Israel at all? Of course, as Phil writes, the idea is that they should just shut up. . .

  • Romney must break with neocons, who want to outsource war decisions to Netanyahu -- Simes
  • 'NBC' likens Iran boycott to anti-apartheid struggle
  • J Street sells its soul, completes evolution to AIPAC lite
    • We should also examine whether our $3.5 billion in military aid to the Palestinians passes US legal muster. We can only be even-handed only if we stop our gifts of F-16 fighter planes to Hamas as well as Israel.

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  • Israelis celebrating Sukkot beat Palestinians worshipers
    • Mooser, you are a hoot. I wish I could have thought of some appropriately ironic response to your citation of "schism" as a Yiddishism. Give it a shot, please. (No offense, libra!)

      Actually, the real Greek element in Hebrew/Yiddish is worth considering, if you happen to find yourself sitting in a synagogue, opposite the bema and maybe reading from one of those books of the Pentateuch . . .

    • Schism in the . . . community, yes and necessary. Americans of Jewish descent have to decide: with the people in that photo or not. And saying NO doesn't mean throwing grandma under the bus either. She would have been just as repelled.

    • That photo -- and this story -- should be reproduced and circulated far and wide among Jewish Americans, who are overwhelmingly secular and Liberal, with the simple question:

      Are these your people?

  • Pamela Geller's 9/11 gathering features speaker calling for Islam to be 'wiped out'
    • Catchy name for Geller's international alliance of nutbag fascist groups:

      Stop Islamization Of Nations -- SION

      Has a familiar ring, no?

      But of course this initiative has nothing, nothing to do with Israel. . .

  • Obama threatens 'significant negative consequences' to Palestinians if they seek higher UN status
    • ". . .Palestinian statehood "can only be achieved via direct negotiations with the Israelis" . . .

      Newly discovered memo via the wayback machine:

      "The end of segregation in Birmingham can only be achieved via direct negotiations between the Civil Rights leaders and Police Chief Bull Connor. . ."

  • Remember when neocon David Frum slamdunked Obama for saying Holocaust was basis for Israel's existence?
    • Miura intentionally obscures my point by limiting his numbers purely to post-WWII emigration from Europe to Palestine. Without the Nazi rise to power, persecution of the Jews and the impending war (along with restrictions on immigration to the US, the UK and France), how many of the 300,000 or so Jews would have arrived in Palestine in the decade from 1931 to 1941, when the Jewish settler population in the Mandate almost tripled? Only the tiniest number of these came from outside Europe.

    • This is just nonsense and typical of Zionist obfuscation. Prior to the creation of Israel political Zionism had almost no purchase among the Jews of the Arab and Persian lands. What fostered immigration from those quarters was the combination of post-independence Zionist propaganda and the (regrettable) persecution of local Mizrahi Jews in response to the Palestinian Nakba and Israeli aggression. Even then, the Zionist agents had to push things along through the application of intentional provocations, especially in Iraq. The leadership of the Zionist movement in those days was almost entirely European in origin.

    • It's simply incontestable that Israel owes its existence to the Nazi persecution of Jews in Europe. Without that, Zionism would have remained the tiny fringe movement among Jews that it was up to the 1930's. Even after the Second World War, the majority of surviving Jews in Europe wanted to go to the US or the UK, until they were left no choice but to remain in camps or go to Palestine. The allies allowed Zionist agents to maintain control over the displaced persons camps and essentially force the survivors to Palestine.

      The new emphasis on the "ancient" Jewish biblical claim to Palestine has grown largely as a preemptive response to the logical question asked by Frum (and Phil), as people are learning more about the dispossession of the Palestinian Arabs and the "Land Without a People" myth loses all credibility.

      Here is what the Arab League had to say on the eve of the Nakba (quoted by Benny Morris in his book 1948):

      [the Arab states declared that they were] second to none in regretting the woes which had been inflicted on the Jews of Europe by European dictatorial states. But the question of these Jews should not be confused with Zionism, for there can be no greater injustice and aggression than solving the problem of the Jews of Europe by another injustice, that is, by inflicting injustice on the Palestinian Arabs.

      Who could argue with that?

      The recent efforts to implicate the Palestinians in the European slaughter of Jews (especially Dershowitz) has the same aim of negating this argument.

  • Follow the money, stupid
  • Geller's 'savage' bus ad meets strong resistance from the Bay Area
  • Romney's racist bundler: J. Philip Rosen believes Palestinian society is 'pathological'
    • I haven't seen this fact mentioned in the back and forth over economic performance and "Palestinian culture":

      Most Palestinians are poor in the West Bank and Gaza under Israeli occupation, but remarkably successful economically and educationally everywhere else. The Gulf states could never have developed -- even with oil wealth -- without the contribution of Palestinian brain power and business acumen. In the US Palestinians are also disproportionately educated and successful as an immigrant community.

      So what "culture" is holding them back in their homeland?

  • Aaron David Miller: After a short 'peace process,' look for war with Iran in 2013
    • Miller's article is fundamentally dishonest -- as one would expect from a scholar who is reflecting primarily a liberal version of the Israeli perspective. Glossing over the uncertainties and simply assuming, without evidence, an Iranian commitment to nuclear weapons is meant to provide a softer, non-Neocon, justification for war and regime change.

      Here's a giveaway: "perhaps even export its stockpile of weapons-grade material out of the country". . .

      Nobody, no country, not the IAEA claims that Iran possesses highly enriched weapons-grade uranium (90% plus). The 20% enriched uranium that Iran possesses -- all of it under IAEA monitoring -- is still classified as LEU by the Non-Proliferation Treaty and very far from what is required for a weapon.

      Miller's is not honest commentary.

  • Tail has stopped wagging, so dog can stop talking about war with Iran
    • I completely agree. Not to underestimate the power of Israel's supporters in the US, our military/security complex is not exactly without influence either. The military brass, the Pentagon leadership and the intelligence agencies have recognized the catastrophe of the Iraq/Afghanistan wars and are less than eager for a replay in Iran.

      Although domestic politics constrains them from speaking out forcefully in public over here, they are in close and constant contact with their Israeli counterparts -- who recognize that the military calculus and the necessity for close US cooperation is different from the way politics plays out in the US. And in Israel, the generals have more scope for speaking out publicly than they do here. Clearly they are singing their song with lyrics supplied from the US military.

      At a recent Iran Teach-In held in Boston, Andrew Bacevich emphasized three points arguing against the likelihood an Iran war in the immediate future:

      1-the political dangers -- and uncertain consequences -- of a new war for Obama's reelection, so the reluctance of the current administration
      2-the opposition of the military command in the US and Israel
      3-the Israeli leaders are risk takers but likely to be "rational actors"

      Becevich, a West Point grad and former colonel, is no mere outside observer, but clearly has good contacts within the military command hierarchy.

      Of the three factors, I think we can be pretty confident of the first two. Not so much of the third. Much of the Israeli Right is operating from a "Messianic" mind set, as cautioned by former Shin Bet director Yuval Diskin.

      The war danger is not over, however. The likely continuation of Iran sanctions and the relentless US military build-up in the Gulf continue to stoke tensions that could spark a conflict, intentionally or not. And if our own Messianic Mitt becomes president -- with his stable of Neocon foreign policy advisers -- then possibly all bets are off.

  • Israeli police barricade and arrest activists attempting to commemorate the Nakba
    • Hare's why I say "deranged": there's nothing wrong with observant religious people using whatever calendar they want. But linking the date of "Independence" to the Jewish religious calendar was an artificial gesture by the secular, atheist founders of Israel. Did they normally keep track of days according to the Jewish lunar calendar? Obviously not -- and those who observed the ancient traditions in those days were not Zionists. . .

    • Israel celebrates "Independence Day" according to the traditional Jewish lunar calendar, so the date moves around in our calendar. Another deranged way of trying to connect the modern Jewish state with ancient Biblical tradition. . .

  • My spirit is American (a religious manifesto)
    • Yes, a beautiful piece of introspection. However, it goes to the very edge of the unthinkable and hesitates:

      Who is "Jewish" -- and why?

      The question merits further discussion which I don't have time for now.

      My short answer, when asked, is that "my parents considered themselves Jewish, but I am not."

  • Palestinian and Palestine-solidarity activists issue critique and condemnation of Gilad Atzmon
    • The Atzmon controversy presents some thorny problems. First, what progressive isn't opposed to ethnic hatred and racism? Atzmon's language is often intemperate and deliberately inflammatory. It is understandable that Palestinians and solidarity activists should want to disassociate themselves from any hints of an ideology that could give comfort to anti-Jewish racists.

      On the other hand, "cultures" exist and it seems illogical to shield "Jewishness" as a culture (not a religion) from criticism, even though we all acknowledge that individuals have the capability of accepting or overcoming the culture of a group to which they belong by decent.

      Perhaps Jews are no different in many respects from other ethnicities which practice internal solidarity and hostility to outsiders. And the history of their persecution makes this even more understandable than in other cases. But to deny that the sense of chosenness, standing apart, and innate superiority plays no part in "Jewish" attitudes, pro-Israel politics and in the actual playing out of Zionism today is to deny a reality that I believe must be confronted. This does not justify hatred of Jews in general, but it is a view that cultures can be culpable and that Zionism will not be overcome without a critique of the cultural foundations of modern Zionism and Jewish exceptionalism throughout history.

      Don't take my word for it, read Israel Shahak's Jewish History, Jewish Religion:
      The Weight of Three Thousand Years link to for example -- or any number of contemporary Jewish fiction writers.

      Do I have to remind MW readers of Eastern European extraction that the expression in Yiddish for "stupid" is goyische kop?

  • 'New Yorker' defends Rosenberg (and use of term 'Israel firster')
  • Consequences of an attack on Iran are no joke
    • Although the cost in American lives and health of a US attack on Iran would be trivial compared to the carnage in the region, still here is something I wrote which makes an argument that I haven't seen elsewhere:

      We're already paying a 'War Tax' at the gas pump
      link to

      It's timely to remind folks about why gas prices are actually rising now, especially as the Republican/Neocons are using it as a campaign tactic. Another cost of our "unbreakable bond" with Israel, which I suspect would affect some of those polling numbers if people knew.

  • The Israeli case for war in 'The New York Times'
    • I referred to this article on a different thread, but here it is again:

      We're already paying a 'War Tax' at the gas pump
      link to

      I also think the Israelis see the nuclear issue as their window of opportunity to get the US to destroy another of their regional enemies. They would be just as anxious to see Iran attacked, whether or not it had a nuclear weapon, but without being able to wave that "nuclear threat" around, there is little chance they would get the opportunity to pull the US into doing it for them. That's why all the level-headed reporting of comments from Panetta and others is irrelevant. "Iranian nuclear weapons" are the opportunity to get what they wanted anyway. They don;t want to let the pretext for war to slip through their fingers. Like Iraq.

    • Interesting that The Times offers a small correction to the op-ed for getting a date wrong, but allowed this zinger:

      "After the Osirak attack and the destruction of the Syrian reactor in 2007, the Iraqi and Syrian nuclear programs were never fully resumed."

      Possibly correct for Syria -- if they even had a nuclear program -- but glaringly wrong about Iraq, which had a nuclear program legal under the NPP in 1981 but launched an accelerated covert nuclear weapons program after the Israeli attack. And contrary to the author's implication that the US approved of the Israeli attack, it was strongly condemned by the Reagan administration, which cast a rare vote against Israel at the UN.

      Of course, Iraq's nuclear program was dismantled after the first Gulf War, to little effect in forestalling the 2003 US invasion. The lesson is exactly the opposite of what the writer suggests.

  • Surprise-- courageous Elizabeth Warren is craven on Israel lobby
    • Someone I know attended a talk by Warren recently and wrote this:

      "I went to one of her fundraisers in JP -- all very liberal types. Many party luminaries and officials were there. She gave the same stump speech we've all heard. They 'allowed' questions and I tried to make sure I was first so they wouldn't stop me.

      I asked her directly about whether she had the courage to lead in the direction of peace in the Middle East, to resist the pandering to the Israeli govt and the language of Israel is our best friend right or wrong and find a more truthful representation of what is happening in Palestine.
      She replied that she didn't need courage because she believes deeply that Israeli govt is our best friend and she would resist any attempts to change that.

      They then stopped having questions soon after, and when I tried to speak with her, they hustled her out the other door."

  • Hoenlein says irresponsible 'J Street' threatens Jewish unity (and survival)
    • It's ironic how the Jewish establishment in the US is constantly whining about the loss of Jewish identity among the youth -- and then they go about sucking up to Fundamentalist lunatics like John Hagee, warmongering Neocons and Republican Party/rightwing nuts who are anthema to most urban and secular Jews. In effect they have replaced Judaism with Zionism as their religion -- and then they wonder why so many US Jews want no part of it. They claim to seek the survival of a Jewish community in this country, but their Zionist choice makes that priority take second place to "what's good for Israel" as they see it. Does anyone think that the likes of Dershowitz can be an attractive role model for educated American Jews who have not drunk the Zionist Koolaid?

  • Would you buy a used metaphor from this warmonger? (Niall Ferguson's 'creative destruction' echoes Rice's 'birth-pangs')
    • Ferguson is a joke as a scholar and a thinker. No doubt the dons at The World's Greatest University thought a Scottish accent would lend some tony Adam Smithian gravitas to their ranks. But of course even a fool can be dangerous if given credence by the gullible.

      Interesting here that it is one of the very rare acknowledgements in the MSM that Israel actually launched an attack against Egypt -- rather than the usual story that it was defending itself against Nasser's genocidal onslaught. But it has a purpose here: to justify a "preemptive" attack against Iran tht would be hard to disguise as "defense" in real time.

  • The Iraq war coverup: What did AIPAC do and when did it do it?
    • And if I remember rightly, US Jews polled strongly against the war -- in contrast to Israeli Jews who were almost unanimously in favor.

    • And that is just specifically AIPAC. If you look at Israel itself and other Lobby organizations the picture of pushing for and approving the Iraq is overwhelming. Remember PNAC, which was essentially the blueprint for the Iraq War long ahead of time. It's true that the government of Israel and the Israeli public were, even then, promoting an attack on Iran ("Real men go to Tehran!"), enthusiasm for the invasion of Iraq was unrestrained. Polling indicated that Israeli were one of the only countries of the world (other than US poodles UK and Australia) where public opinion supported the war. In fact, Israeli enthusiasm at 79% was even higher than in the US (74%, at its peak -- Mission Accomplished!) in June 2003.

      link to

  • Nabi Saleh protester injured by live sniper fire during Friday protest
    • Just a reminder, the IDF .22 caliber sniper rifle -- often with silencer for a more terrifying effect -- is made by Ruger Arms in Newport, New Hampshire. The Haaretz link cites the brand name, but not the US source of this weapon.
      link to

  • Gingrich has opened an important door
  • AIPAC posterizes Obama in Senate, 100-0
    • Yes, there was a roll-call vote and it was reported on the US Senate web site (and will obviously be in the Congressional Record). Sorry, I don't have the link hand, but you can find it easily.

      My point was that nobody outside of the Israel Lobby and a handful of political junkies nobody will learn about the vote unless they search for it. That's the way our media works and why the power of the Lobby is amplified.

    • Yo know, when I saw that tweet and read the article I was sure it must have been a voice vote -- which often takes place on AIPAC-drafted legislation -- but in fact it was a roll-call vote. Just incredible.

      One partial way of understanding this kind of event is that such votes are rarely reported about in the US media, at least in any detail. You have to read AIPAC press releases (or the Israeli media) to learn about such actions in Congress, or in the UN for that matter. So, as far as the Senators were concerned, there is only one audience paying attention to this kind of vote and it is 100% Rightwing "pro-Israel."

  • Why is Charlie Rose hugging Seth Klarman?
    • Thanks, Phil. This is brilliant and goes to the crux of US-Israel politics. Until there is a real and open split within the self-identified Jewish community in our country it is hard to see how the Zionist domination of all levers of US political power will be undermined. Figures like Klarman -- and their money -- need to be repudiated by people of good will. And the vast majority of US citizens who do not want our government "occupied" by a foreign power will have to wake up and speak out. When this will be is hard to predict, but a start would be to hold our media accountable and to focus on the cost -- political and financial -- of our subservience to Israel. When will we see a nationwide political poll asking whether people support annual US aid to Israel of upwards of $3 billion, while programs people want are facing cuts at home?

  • Lacking 'legitimacy' in its neighborhood, Israel is imploding -- Sullivan
    • Most Jewish survivors of the Nazi extermination in Europe expressed a desire to emigrate to the US or the UK. Instead, Zionist functionaries were put in charge of the DP camps and most of the refugees were forced to Israel -- in many cases explicitly for the purpose of serving as cannon fodder in the Haganah.

      Yosef Grodzinsky's little-known book "In the Shadow of the Holocaust" documents this.

  • Romney and Perry get chummy with the anti-Muslim, anti-Palestinian crowd
    • Walid Phares and the Guardians of the Cedar were a fascist Maronite militia during the Lebanese Civil War with plenty of blood on their hands. Like many others of that ilk, Phares sought refuge in Israel after the Taif Accords in 1989 and eventually made his way to a new career in the US. Fanatic and lying Islamophobe Brigitte Gabriel is another --- both popular on the profitable right-wing and Zionist lecture circuit.

  • Why isn't Kusra killing on the front page of our newspapers?
    • Just a reminder, the "small-caliber" live fire weapons used by the IDF for "crowd control" are Ruger 22 rifles (with silencers!), made by the US company at its New Hampshire plant. The weapons are responsible for at least half a dozen Palestinian deaths over the past couple of years -- and many more wounded.

      There is information in the article at the link on how to let them know what you think about that:
      Another Made in USA “less-lethal” weapon kills in Palestine
      link to

  • The Department of Corrections: Ben-Hur, the LA Times & a place called Palestine
    • Unpublished letter of King George III to the Continental Congress in 1776:

      "Never in history was there a sovereign independent state called "America" and there has never been such a thing as 'the American People' or the 'United States People.' For a century after its redemption from the savages the land was always called 'New England' or some variation of that, so the the idea of a country called the United States has no historical validity. America has been and should by rights remain an English colony. We will never recognize such an absurdity as 'The United States of America.'"

  • Let's negotiate over how we divide the pizza while I eat the pizza
      The president believes that in the dispute between civil rights protestors and the City of Birmingham, Alabama, there is no alternative but for the parties, led by Martin Luther King and police chief Bull Connor, "to work things out between themselves through direct negotiations. This is the only way to achieve desegregation of public facilities in the city."

  • Mondoweiss liveblogs the UN General Assembly speeches
    • Netanyahu made essentially a campaign speech aimed at American Jews and Israeli voters back home. Notable, I thought, was how the Israelis managed to pack the visitors' gallery, punctuating Netanyahu's speech with applause, which, when re-played in hasbara videos, might lead viewers to imagine widespread international support.

      Contrast that with the loud and obviously heartfelt ovation from the delgates welcoming Abbas to the podium.

  • Jewish National Fund uses 9/11 to say Israel and US are joined at the hip
    • Why should anyone be surprised that the Zionists make a big deal of 9-11?
      After all, Netanyahu was correct to note that it was good for Israel:

      'Asked tonight what the attack meant for relations between the United States and Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, the former prime minister, replied, ''It's very good.'' Then he edited himself: ''Well, not very good, but it will generate immediate sympathy.'' He predicted that the attack would ''strengthen the bond between our two peoples, because we've experienced terror over so many decades, but the United States has now experienced a massive hemorrhaging of terror.''' link to


      'The Israeli newspaper Ma'ariv on Wednesday reported that Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu told an audience at Bar Ilan university that the September 11, 2001 terror attacks had been beneficial for Israel.

      "We are benefiting from one thing, and that is the attack on the Twin Towers and Pentagon, and the American struggle in Iraq," Ma'ariv quoted the former prime minister as saying. He reportedly added that these events "swung American public opinion in our favor." ' link to

  • Carmageddon, Irene-- what will Americans dream up next to make ourselves feel important?
    • A friend of mine -- a Palestinian living in Israel -- wrote this (and my reply follows):

      "How are you. My sympathy with you and with American people, in your struggle to beat the natural disaster that has befallen the USA.
      Take care."

      Thanks for the thought, but the news reports tend to exaggerate in this kind of situation – storm hysteria is a cheap way to get lots of eyes for their advertisers. And of course it is nothing compared to the “unnatural” disaster the US has helped Israel to impose on the Palestinians (not to mention Iraq and Afghanistan).

  • Wikileaks: In '06, Lieberman told US ambassador of need to transfer Palestinians from Israel-- and US says nothing
    • I haven't seen many people commenting that the area in Israel's "Little Triangle" which Lieberman and other right-wingers suggest be transferred to the Palestinian statelet is located precisely in the narrow "waist" of the country, which they claim is "indefensible." In other contexts they use this argument to oppose territorial concessions and the 1967 border.
      Of course their entire argument is in bad faith and they don't envision a real Palestinian state, so the transfer of Arab towns within Israel is only a matter of adding to the Palestinian Bantustans/Indian reservations that they envision in the West Bank.

  • State Department awards $200,000 to Elliott-Abrams-led thinktank repeatedly cited by mass murderer Breivik
  • Even Washington Post does story on 81 House Reps to Israel. Will network news follow?
    • When Eric Cantor proposed last year that aid to Israel be removed from the foreign aid appropriation and voted on separately (so it would be easier to cut the rest across the board) there was near panic in the Lobby and the idea was quickly withdrawn. When (never) do you expect a national poll to ask whether people support $3billion in annual aid to Israel? My guess is that the support would be under 5% if the question were honestly put.

    • No US tax dollars spent? Nonsense.

      The American Israel Education Foundation is a tax-exempt charity, so donations to it are tax-deductible. That is, the tax obligation of donors are transferred from the US revenues to the private use of AIPAC. . which then helpfully lobbies for more US aid to Israel.

  • Palestinian photo-journalist says he was attacked by Israeli soldiers for 'misrepresenting' them
    • Of course, the Zionists will do what they do and face little in the way of consequences from the international community and especially their lapdogs in the US Congress and the White House.
      However, the real scandal -- seldom commented on -- is that the Palestinian Authority gives only lip-service to the protests while doing all it can to discourage mass participation and allowing the villagers to battle on in isolation. Along with this is the failure of the Palestinian political factions to do anything to mobilize their bases (to the extent they still exist) in support. It is not uncommon to observe larger participation of Israelis and international activist than by non-local Palestinians, though most of these villages are no more than half-an-hour from major Palestinian population centers. Really shameful.

  • First he found WMDs in Iraq-- now Jeffrey Goldberg finds 'Jihadists did this in Norway'
  • Impounded US boat to Gaza
    • I just got this statement as an email from the US State Department. Apparently Greece was bowing to more than Israeli pressure. Quite a jewel of cynical diplo-speak, capitulating to the Zionists on virtually every point, this mealy-mouthed statement. Yes, Tony Blair will make everything OK. I'm surprised the Russians agreed.

      (my emphasis)
      The following is the text of a statement released by the Middle East Quartet (United States, United Nations, European Union and Russia) in New York on July 2, 2011:

      The Quartet remains concerned about the unsustainable conditions facing the civilian population in Gaza but notes that efforts have improved conditions over the last year, including a marked increase in the range and scope of goods and materials moving into Gaza, an increase in international project activity, and the facilitation of some exports. In that regard, the Quartet commends the recent approval by Israel of materials for new homes and schools to be constructed by UNRWA, but notes that considerably more needs to be done to increase the flow of people and goods to and from Gaza, including a liberalization of the market in aggregate, steel bar and cement. Members of the Quartet continue to urge full implementation of Israel’s June 2010 policy decision and further meaningful steps to improve the situation in Gaza consistent with Security Council resolution 1860 (2009).

      They will work, including through UN and Quartet Representative Tony Blair, with Israel, the Palestinian Authority, donors and the international community to ensure that the needs of the people of Gaza are being met.

      The Quartet recognizes that Israel has legitimate security concerns that must continue to be safeguarded. Members of the Quartet are committed to working with Israel, Egypt and the international community to prevent the illicit trafficking of arms and ammunition into Gaza and believe efforts to maintain security while enabling movement and access for Palestinian people and goods are critical. In this context, the Quartet strongly urges all those wishing to deliver goods to the people of Gaza to do so through established channels so that their cargo can be inspected and transferred via established land crossings. The Quartet regrets the injury and deaths caused by the 2010 flotilla, urges restraint and calls on all Governments concerned to use their influence to discourage additional flotillas, which risk the safety of their participants and carry the potential for escalation.

      The Quartet also calls for an end to the deplorable five-year detention of Gilad Shalit.

      PRN: 2011/1110

  • The 'No Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza' Canard: From massacre myopia to blockade blindness
    • 'However, the name of the person who was supposedly quoted is actually "Mathilde De Riedmatten" - a minor difference, sure, but one that proves that every subsequent news outlet has simply parroted the IDF line without question or due diligence.'

      Probably because the original was written in Hebrew and the name variously transliterated. . .

  • "As long as the Za'atar remains. . ."
    • I inadvertently left out the link to a report about the struggle of the Neqab Bedouin to remain on their land:
      (Dr. Thabet Abu Ras)
      The Arab Bedouin in the Unrecognized Villages in the Naqab (Negev): Between the Hammer of Prawer and the Anvil of Goldberg
      link to

  • Wingnuts focus on Weiner's marriage to Muslim
    • If you click on the link to Benador's bio at the Washington Times article you get the following:

      "Goodwill Ambassador Eliana Benador, US Representative of the Shomron Liaison Office, Israel, former head of ex-Benador Associates, political analyst, global strategist, national and international.
      You can follow Eliani here at the Communities at the Washington Times, the Goodwill Amabassador , or her website The World As I See It.
      Follow Eliani on Twitter @ElianaBenador "

      So she is a supporter (member?) of the fanatic settlers around Nablus. Also, Benador Associates represented extreme Islamophobic speakers like Charles Jacobs and Daniel Pipes, so "not a Pam Geller type" may be over-generous. Geller's motivation was also apparently Israel.

      Benador Assoc. seems to be out of business, thankfully, but you can get a flavor here: link to

  • Our demands (designing placards for a demonstration)
    • And in Lydda/Lod the Jewish residents demanded -- and got! -- a wall built to separate them from a nearby Arab neighborhood. . .

    • It's not remotely true that Arabs are free to live in most "Jewish" areas -- and the restrictions are not just informal discrimination but also legal and institutional. There are a tiny number of exceptions, but that doesn't change the pattern. Jews, of course, are free to live anywhere in 1948 Israel, but obviously choose not to live in Arab towns -- which are poorer and suffer from under-financing and sub-par infrastructure and schools -- or when they do it is usually part of a process of gentrification and removal of the Arab population, as in Jaffa. The few Jews who live in Arab towns are mostly women in mixed marriages with Arabs. You can say this isn't Apartheid, but what is it then?

    • It's not true that segregation of Arab communities exists only in the West Bank! Inside 1948 Israel, Arab and Jewish areas are almost totally separate, including some urban ghettos of the US type in the few so-called "mixed cities" and exclusively Arab and Jewish towns in the center and north of the country. And Arab towns are discriminated against in zoning for residential housing (which is why they are very crowded and house plots there are prohibitively expensive); they also receive markedly fewer services and financing from the state. Apartheid is not just in the Occupied territories.

  • Obama's mild defiance at AIPAC cost him $10 million in Jewish donations
    • I don't think this is true. As someone who has fought against the use of union funds -- and other public money -- the buy Israeli bonds, I never heard of any holdings of state bonds from other countries. I'd be interested to know the source of this comment.

  • Netanyahu claims there are 650,000 settlers-- not just half a million
    • It was also the first time I ever heard anyone characterize the large settlement enclaves in the central area of the West Bank as part of "Greater Tel Aviv."

      Really disturbing and depressing to see the grovelling reception of Netanyahu -- and the multiple standing ovations for statements that contradicted established US policy. The immediate occupation we have to end is that of the US Congress by Israel and its Lobby. . .

  • Obama's overflowing 'love' for Ireland shows up his rage toward Israel/the lobby
    • I had exactly the same reaction to a snippet of Obama's Ireland speech I heard on the radio. Enthusiasm, joy, happiness there -- contrasted with his grim and strained demeanor at AIPAC. Maybe Phil's sunshiny hopefulness is catching.

      I often note to audiences that however much US politicians may feel compelled to bow to the Lobby, that doesn't mean they are happy about it. Powerful people don't like to be coerced. Payback, when it seems allowable, could come suddenly and strongly fromunsuspected quarters.

  • An angry Obama warns the lobby that the 'world is moving too fast' (to preserve a Jewish state)
    • I just got around to watching Obama's speech and it seemed to me -- as Phill wrote extensively -- that he was angry at some level with the necessity for him to grovel before AIPAC. Whether there will be any operative outcome is hard to imagine. Here I think Phil is over optimistic. But if Netanyahu and the Lobby continue to spit on him, maybe Obama will develop some resolve -- or backbone, at least. However, the latest report is that Netanyahu is already moving to defuse the situation, since he got what he needed from Obama.

  • With one signal -- 1967-- Obama decides to take on Netanyahu on the Arab Spring
    • I have to agree. I can't blame Phil for seeking some light of optimism in what Obama said, but the tempest over "1967 borders" is a conscious attempt by Israel, the right and the Zionist Lobby to massage public perceptions and move the discourse in the direction of Greater Israel, with a Palestinian "Indian Reservation" in the West Bank.

      The idea of "defensible borders" has no meaning in the light of modern military technology -- and the idea that Arab tank armies might cross the Jordan and strike across Israel's narrow "waist" is pure demagogic fantasy. Israeli military leaders, the decisive victors of 1967, know this better than anyone.

  • Wait, who started this asymmetry?
    • Walzer strolled arm-in-arm with Marty Peretz across the Harvard campus when students and others were protesting a social studies award for Peretz. The latter's crude racism and Islamophobia were clearly motivated by emotional attachment to and defense of Israel. So is Walzer's casuistry. Philosophy trumped by tribalism.

  • A story of the most powerful army in the Middle East chasing 18 cows.
  • 'Geronimo EKIA'-- as Indian wars continue in Palestine
    • Not so far-fetched, really. The Pilgrim/Puritans were obsessed with ideas and imagery from the Hebrew Bible.
      Remember that famous quote from Gov. Winthrop about "building a City upon a hill"? The analogy was to Mount Zion. There is lots more.

  • It's like fluoride, in the water (Mario Cuomo narrates Masada oratorio at Temple Emanu-El)
  • Flying blind, with Wolfowitz, Power and Avnery
    • It is not "Orientalism" to understand that the opposition to Gadafi is in partly Islamist and partly tribal. The best analysis I have seen is this article in the NYRB by Nicolas Pelham, "The Battle for Libya"
      link to
      Regardless, it is not up to us or any other former colonial power to pick the winners in a civil war. Our military intervention is both unwise and illegal.

  • Libya/Gaza
    • It is hardly encouraging that the loudest demands to “do something” about Libya come from the Neocon Right, as for example a call to arms issued by a virtual who’s who of Israel-firsters and Iraq War cheer leaders: link to

      As for Gaza, not only is it true that Israel broke the truce that Hamas was abiding by, but that the Israeli attack was in planning even before the truce was signed, as has been reported in the Israeli press. The Bush administration even rushed shipments to Israel that fall of the latest generation of US bunker-busting bombs , which had not even yet been deployed to US troops in Iraq.

  • Israeli flag is dropped off at Colo. legislator's office in the nick of time
    • Eric Cantor is the Republican HOUSE majority leader. A while ago he did propose separating military aid for Israel from the general foreign aid appropriation as a way -- he thought -- to protect it from Republican efforts to cut foreign aid overall. But this raised a furor in the Lobby and he quickly backed off.

      The last thing they want is for there to be a separate and accountable vote on $3 billion for Israel, which cannot survive the light of day. Hardly any of the general public know about this money -- and if they did, they would be overwhelmingly against it. That's why aid to Israel can never be discussed or voted on in the open. . .

      So when supposed "progressives" oppose Cantor's original suggestion, they are aligning with what the Lobby wants.

    • You know, sometimes I have thought you were too hard on efforts like J-Street -- even though they are very far from where I am personally. However, when I got an email from them earlier today (link to crowing about a supposedly progressive letter to Obama from 116 congressional reps, I was curious to see what it said.

      Here it is: link to

      Basically a plea to continue more than $3billion in annual aid to Israel, and yeah with maybe something for the Palestinians, and, oh, two states would be nice. . .

      Really, really pathetic.

  • Move over, Iowa
    • The GOP's Israel primary

      "Aspiring politicians in New York once made a point of visiting the three I’s: Italy, Ireland and Israel. For the GOP’s presidential prospects in 2012, it’s all about one: Israel. A stop in the Jewish state is becoming as critical to a would-be president’s political resume as an early trip to Iowa or New Hampshire, a sort of global two-fer. Get some early foreign policy street-cred and play a little dog-whistle politics with Christian conservatives who are deeply invested in Israel’s fate - some because they view it as critical to the Biblical vision of the end of days."
      link to

  • Brandeis Hillel imposes pro-Israel litmus test, excluding 'Jewish Voice for Peace' chapter
    • Yes, the Zionists have defined modern Judaism as tribalist support for Israel, rather than any true religious faith. Does that mean that pious and anti-Zionist believers, like secular people who self-identify as Jewish but don't support Israel, are not "real" Jews? What a perversion of history and religion..

  • What is the left's answer to military intervention in Libya?
    • Here's a truth about the effects of "intervention," buried in a Times article about a strategic pullback of US troops in Afghanistan:
      link to

      “What we figured out is that people in the Pech really aren’t anti-U.S. or anti-anything; they just want to be left alone,” said one American military official familiar with the decision. “Our presence is what’s destabilizing this area.”


  • 'Washington Post' says repeatedly, the West Bank is part of Israel
    • Witty,

      What part of this can you not understand (from part 2 of Rubin's column):

      "Late in the afternoon on my day on the West Bank, my guide, Naftali Bennett, and I continued on to Ariel. This is literally the center of Israel, the point midway on both the north-south axis and the east-west axis. "

  • Long a supporter of two-state solution, Steve Walt suggests it's 'no longer practical possibility'
    • Yes, much of the "aid" to Israel comes back to US military corporations -- but that is part of the problem that excessive military spending is bankrupting us and needs to be reduced. At least if Israel paid its own bill for US hardware that would be some progress. Why should US taxpayers subsidize Israel's standard of living?

      Other countries actually pay for their US arms purchases. And direct aid is only part of the problem, given how many untold millions of tax-deductible contributions are allowed, along with US corporate investments, public and union purchases of Israel Bonds, etc.

      As I wrote earlier, if Israel is supposed to be so popular with Americans, why don't you let them know how we subsidize Israel and allow them to have a say in whether this is right?

    • Here's a simple test I would ask Israel supporters to try:

      Why don't we ask that the $3billion in annual aid to Israel be separated from so-called "Foreign Aid," written up in the press/MSM and voted on separately? Care to guess the popular support for that? When Rep Eric Cantor suggested that earlier this year, in a misguided effort to spare Israel aid from general budget cutting, The Lobby had a fit and he backed right off.

      Have you ever seen an opinion poll question like:

      "Israel, a relatively well-off country, receives $3billion in annual US aid -- more than any other country. Do you support that?"

      "In response to budget constraints, should we cut $3billion in education funding, and nutritional aid to women and children, or $3billion in aid to Israel?"

      For the record, the vast majority of newly-elected Republican House members went on record that aid to Israel should not be touched: link to

  • Khouri: Tunisia is Gdansk shipyard of '80 with Jazeera as megaphone to other Arab countries!
    • Egypt's Mubarak and Jordan's King Abdullah must be crapping in their pants over this -- with sympathetic cramps in Israel and the US State Department. It's no wonder that Netanyahu isn't happy. These regimes, like Tunisia, were the closest things to US puppets in the Arab world, and, not coincidentally, more than willing to cooperate with Israel regardless of their rulers' crocodile tears for the Palestinians.

  • World-renowned computer scientist suffers harrowing mid-air IQ drop
    • When I posted an article a while back on
      Martin Kramer, Harvard and the Eugenics of Zion"
      link to
      the editors shortened the ending to leave out what was my favorite part:

      "Ironically, for a movement which embraces eugenics as policy, it would seem that an excess of Zionism not only promotes racism, but also – like too much TV news – makes people stupid. Not for nothing was Zionist mole in the Pentagon Douglas Feith (Harvard ’75) called "the dumbest fucking guy on the planet." What could be more depressing than to observe the buffoonish antics of extremist politicians in the Israeli Knesset; lunatic settlers and genocidal rabbis in the West Bank; Commentary Magazine, Abe Foxman or Alan Dershowitz? Just lately, the Simon Wiesenthal Center has begun construction of a “Museum of Tolerance” in Jerusalem – on the site of an ancient Muslim cemetery.

      "Surveying the bleak political-intellectual landscape in Israel and among its supporters in the Diaspora more than 60 years after the founding of the Jewish State, one is tempted to recall the famous conclusion of Justice Holmes’ Buck v Bell opinion: 'Three generations of imbeciles are enough.'”

    • Silverstein's article was reprinted here (among other places):
      link to

  • Palin doesn't threaten pogroms
  • Brooklyn-Jenin: On concentration camps and Yonatan Pollack
  • Palin gets an experienced attorney in the rapidly-growing field of blood-libel accusation
    • I don't think Palin's use of "Blood Libel" was some kind of accidental misstep. She has some prominent Neocon/Likudist advisers and boosters, not least the despicable operative Bill Kristol. It is a low-cost investment in a potential presidential candidate that could pay off big for the Israel Right and peace rejectionists. They probably see her as a good mobilizer of Goy/Fundamentalist pro-Israel opinion. Palin often appears wearing a pin with the US and Israeli flags.

      And "Blood Libel" is a potential dog-whistle or wink to big Jewish/Likudist donors.

  • Good guys actually won this shootout at the Hasbara Corral
    • And now, after IDF/Zioblogger versions a, b, c, d, e and f, have been debunked, its

      "The Israel Defense Forces declined to go on the record about the investigation. Speaking to NPR by phone, right-wing Knesset member Danny Dannon, who belongs to the security committee, says the Palestinians are cynically trying to manipulate the case."

  • Bil'in Popular Committee produces 4 eyewitnesses to Jawaher Abu Rahmah's teargassing
    • Jake, er, I mean the IDF, explains it all. . .

    • And the story has virtually disappeared from the mainstream Israeli press. . .

    • This is such a classic illustration of the way Israel/Zionist propaganda works when there is an action damaging to Israel's international image. Throw out any number of false stories (from "anonymous" IDF sources in this case):
      Jawaher Abu Rahmah wasn't there; it was an honor killing; she died at home of cancer; the medical reports are "suspicious"; she was there but far away from the gas; nobody dies from tear gas anyway. . . and so on.

      Then the fake version is picked up by the pro-Israel blogosphere and spread far and wide, before the vile stories are shown to be blatant lies. But by then it is already circulating and echoed in pro-Israel circles, inflaming their sense of persecution.

      Very much like the Mavi Marmara story -- though in that case the Israelis managed to get their version out ahead of the story told by the victims because they were held incommunicado and their video/audio evidence seized.

      Now a web site that first published and then removed the slur has the story back, only a little more "measured" and with various speculative (and contradicting) evidence:

      "Arab Woman "Killed" by Teargas Probably Died of Cancer - The Abu Rahma Hoax"
      link to


  • Goldberg's next war sure sounds a lot like his last one
  • IDF pushes claim that 'Palestinians lied' about Jawaher Abu Rahma's killing
    • Interesting, a posting at a right-wing Zionist blog (with many links):
      "Arab Woman "Killed" by Teargas Actually Died of Cancer - The Abu Rahma Hoax"
      link to
      has been removed and the link no longer works. Maybe a sign that the Israelis are already backing away from their vile smear. . .

  • The teargas grenades that killed Jawaher Abu Rahmah were most likely 'made in the USA'
    • Apparently the item is now marketed under a new name, "Han-Ball" grenade.

      Link here with photo):
      link to

      Han-Ball™ Grenade - CS Crowd Management
      Han-Ball™ Grenade
      PART IDs:
      1092 CS
      1091 CN
      1093 Saf-Smoke™

      The Han-Ball™ grenade is a fast burning, high volume continuous discharge grenade available in CN, CS, and Saf-Smoke™. The outdoor use grenade expels its payload in approximately 15-20 seconds.

  • 'TNR' will stop publishing Peretz's blog 'The Spine' (the lobby is melting down)
    • Apropos, I noticed a new and more accurate characterization of the settlements in Bronner's last article:

      "The international community considers all settlement building in the lands won by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war, including East Jerusalem, to be illegitimate and illegal. Israel annexed East Jerusalem and does not consider building there to be an act of settlement. It argues that the West Bank is disputed, not occupied, and that building housing there for Israelis violates no international law."
      link to

  • Don't kill dialogue
    • I remember meeting the mother of one of the young Palestinian Israeli citizens killed by Israeli security forces during protests and solidarity demonstrations in Galilee at the start of the Second Intifada in 2000. The boy had been a participant in the well-known program Seeds of Peace, which brought together Jewish and Palestinian children at a camp in Maine. She was furious that the organization made a big deal (and no doubt raised significant donations) in commemorating her son's death, but refused to explain how and why he had died. The mother wanted nothing more to do with the organization. Dialogue.

  • Hasbara at UN
    • Israelis are up to their eyeballs in the blood diamond/arms trade in West Africa: see link to

      Voting against at the UN (with crocodile tears) reminds me how Israel consistently voted public against Apartheid, while covertly supplying the South African racist regime with arms and nuclear technology.

  • Slater: What's really wrong with the Goldstone Report
    • The background to the Gaza attack is even worse than Slater writes. Haaretz reported that the Israeli military was engaged in detailed planning for the assault even before the truce was signed. And, of course, we know that the US was delivering to Israel a new generation of lighter bunker-busting bombs that fall (even before they were deployed with US troops), so I presume there was coordination with the Bush administration to launch the attack before Obama's inauguration.

  • The real Yitzhak Rabin
    • Some readers might assume that Rabin's command to "break their bones" in response to the First Intifada was metaphorical. No, he meant it literally and riot-control troops were issued clubs to do the job. The thinking was not only to punish unarmed protesters, but also to overburden their families and the Palestinian medical system. What a saint!

  • Wolff: Peretz's 'vast corpus of disgusting statements' stems from support for Israel
    • And not "just" support for Israel, but a re-birth (re-emergence?) of narrow tribal consciousness and group loyalty. That is, to these modern chosen philosophers, Jews are more worthy as humans than "others" and a Jewish life is more precious than that of a Goy. . .

      As I have said elsewhere, this is what Zionism has done to a once-proud Jewish intellectual stance in the world. A shame and a tragedy.

  • CAMERA will release motheaten lions to gobble up 'Jewish defamers of Israel'
  • A 'party for Marty' greets Peretz at Harvard
    • When Harvard security people tried to spirit Peretz out of a side door on the way to an honorary luncheon in Adams House, across the Yard, he was surrounded and heckled all the way by a noisy and determined crowd. Peretz, accompanied only by stony-faced Princeton Prof. Michael Walzer, tried to maintain a smug detachment, but he was visibly shaken.

      At the luncheon (from which undergraduate students were barred), I understand that the entire staff of Social Studies tutors – non-tenured faculty who do most of the teaching in the program – got up and walked out when Peretz rose to speak.

      James Fallows, who had both defended and condemned Peretz, rightly called the public response before today's protest “The Power of Shaming.”
      link to

      That effect was very much in evidence today.

  • Harvard Crimson: 'No donation is worth indebting the University to practioners of hate and bigotry'
    • It should not be forgotten that the campaign against the Sheikh Zayid funding was led by extreme Zionists, on and off the campus. And, remind me again, who was Harvard president at that time?

  • Harvard students: Peretz invitation 'lends legitimacy and respectability to views that can only be described as abhorrent and racist'
    • Sorry for all the bold. . . I echo the request of many for a better editing tool and preview for postings at Mondoweiss!

    • This is what Zionism has done to the once-proud Jewish intellectual tradition!

      A while ago I posted an article:
      Martin Kramer, Harvard and the Eugenics of Zion
      link to
      from which the editors unaccountably (for length I presume) left off the original conclusion:

      Ironically, for a movement which embraces eugenics as policy, it would seem that an excess of Zionism not only promotes racism, but it also makes people stupid. Not for nothing was Zionist mole in the Pentagon Douglas Feith (Harvard ’75) called "the dumbest fucking guy on the planet." What could be more depressing than to observe the buffoonish antics of extremist politicians in the Israeli Knesset; lunatic settlers and genocidal rabbis in the West Bank; Commentary Magazine, Abe Foxman or Alan Dershowitz? Just lately, the Simon Wiesenthal Center has begun construction of a “Museum of Tolerance” in Jerusalem – on the site of an ancient Muslim cemetery.

      Surveying the bleak political-intellectual landscape in Israel and among its supporters in the Diaspora more than 60 years after the founding of the Jewish State, one is tempted to recall the famous conclusion of Justice Holmes’ Buck v Bell opinion: “Three generations of imbeciles are enough.”

  • The advance of the anti-Muslim movement across America
  • Crossing into Israel: 'two highly-charged narratives'
    • Phil would have gotten a better understanding of the Palestinian experience if he had crossed over via the King Hussein/Allenby bridge -- where all Palestinian residents of the Occupied Territories and Arab visitors have to go. That's why there were no Palestinians on his bus to Jerusalem. It is much less calm and easy-going than the crossings at the North or South, which pass from Jordan directly into 1948 Israel.

      Many have described the horrific delays and mistreatment of Palestinians at Allenby and it is worthwhile seeing for yourself. Unfortunately, Phil won't be able to exit back that way either, unless he first gets a Jordanian visa in Tel Aviv. Normally, you have to go out and back into Jordan the same way you first came.

  • CAMERA doth protest too much re its role in Boston anti-mosque campaign
    • Zionist organizations and Jewish communal groups were very prominent in building and sustaining the so-called SaveDarfur movement. There is a lot of information available on this, which would be worth publicizing more widely. People like Charles Jacobs were actively promoting the issue with an eye toward discrediting an Arab country and stirring up anti-Islam sentiment.
      Of course there were also sincere people who were concerned with the human suffering from civil war and ethnic conflict. However the framing of the issue -- particularly as "Arabs" oppressing Africans -- was the product of an ideological campaign promoted very consciously by people with a pro-Israel agenda. The American Anti-Slavery Group, founded by Jacobs, was certainly part of this operation.

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