Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 16 (since 2010-08-23 15:11:44)

Jeff Klein

Jeff Klein, is a retired local union president, a long-time Palestine solidarity activist and a board member of Mass Peace Action. He has a blog:

Showing comments 16 - 1

  • How Chris Van Hollen learned to love Israel
    • What, exactly, is "crazy" about what McKinney says? She recounts that Congressional candidates are pressured by AIPAC of adopt pro-Israel language to post on their campaign web sites -- a fact that has been widely reported, not least on MW. Readers should watch the interview and judge for themselves.

  • 'Say Hello to Zenobia': A report from Palmyra rising from the ashes
    • Too many US "leftists" and others seem to be playing out their own one-dimensional sectarian fantasies with the blood of the Syrians. Heller claims to know all about the situation there from his perch in the US, while dismissing what we saw and heard from actual Syrians.

      This was no "Assad tour" of the country and the participants had varied views on Syria and its government. There were arranged meetings on the trip, but we were also free to walk around, eat in restaurants and talk with whomever we pleased.

      I think it's Stanley Heller who has no clue -- and apparently he doesn't want to have any information that might conflict with his preconceived notions.

    • It seems that you may be replying to a different article than the one I wrote. I made it clear who sponsored the group in the interest of full disclosure, but I am not a member or organizer of their. It was the only way, simply, for a US citizen to get into Syria and see for oneself.

      That said, we met a very wide range of people of varied background and those are the views that I quoted. My opinions are my own.

      You regurgitate the mainstream, even "liberal" view in the US. I am no apologist for Assad, but in my opinion the main threat is now foreign intervention and the possibility of an Islamist regime imposed on Syria. "Democratic forces," which certainly exist, are divided and insignificant on the battlefields, where the future of Syria is being decided.

      Maybe you are indifferent as to whether you prefer to live under a secular authoritarian regime or a radical Salafist state where secular people and religious or ethnic minorities have no place, but most Syrians are not. Neither am I. If there is no other real option for now -- and there appears not to be, practically speaking -- I would prefer the Assad regime, which may hopefully evolve, to a Saudi-Wahhabi religious state any day.

  • Jewish West Bank settlers are as smug as white South Africans in 1980
  • Rightwing Israelis celebrate murder of a Jewish activist (and NYT won't tell you so)
    • Lakin lived in the East Talpiot/Armon HaNetziv settlement in occupied East Jerusalem. It doesn't mean he deserved to die, but neither was he the saint of peace that is described in all the liberal press coverage. It also hints at what many Israelis really mean when they talk about two states and "coexistence." Like the "two-state solution" that was organized for the Navajo, the Seminole or the Sioux in North America.

  • A cosmopolitan's regrets: Roger Cohen on the Jewish condition
    • Facile with words is one thing, but it's no substitute for coherent thinking. Zionism seems to blur that ability -- it makes people stupid -- and not just with respect to Israel. Cohen's latest column on Ukraine is full of militant bluster, historical ignorance and vacuous sloganeering that did not escape the notice of many commenters:
      link to
      Look at the readers' favorite comments.

  • Menendez bags on Iran sanctions, and congressman says AIPAC demands deference to Israel over US
  • Ohio treasurer fights divestment from the 'beacon of American values' in the Middle East
    • Of course, Mandel isn't against Divestment in general. As a state rep he pushed for an Ohio bill to drop all state pension fund stock holdings in companies which did business in Iran as part an "anti-terror investment bill."

      Documents and correspondence released by their offices show that Mandel and Jones... were aided by an array of outside groups and individuals, including Israeli and Jewish lobbyists, hawkish research groups and a growing cadre of money managers who profit from shifting money from "tainted" companies. Those groups have successfully lobbied 10 other states to divest their pension holdings in companies that invest in hostile countries. And yet another 20 or so states are considering doing so. link to

      This was part of a national campaign cooked up by Benjamin Netanyahu and Mitt Romney, as I reported in Mondoweiss in 2012: link to

  • Israel's foundation in a 'terroristic campaign of expulsion, ethnic cleansing and murder' is the 'deep wound in that part of the world' -- Sullivan
    • Yes, it's Sykes-Picot AND the Balfour Declaration, which was shamefully adopted by the League of Nations. The former was not enough to satisfy the British and was cordially re-negotiated after the war ended:

      During a post-armistice stroll though the gardens of his embassy in London, French wartime prime minister Georges Clemenceau turned to his British counterpart and asked:
      “What do you want?”
      “Mosul,” replied Lloyd George.
      “You shall have it,” Clemenceau declared. “and what else?”
      “You shall have that too.”

      December 1, 1918

  • The Walzer Problem
    • And those dastardly "Minutemen" of 1775 hid among a civilian population and kept their arms in homes. Then they had the nerve to fire on British troops from behind walls and trees. . . TERRORISTS!

      On Walzer, I remember that he served as a kind or moral and physical bodyguard for Marty Peretz a few years back when students and community activists were protesting the awarding of an honorary award to Marty Peretz at Harvard. He escorted his racist pal across the campus to shield him and show his solidarity against the demonstrators.

  • Blitzer and Rudoren pump Israeli tunnel fears (and AIPAC cashes in)
    • It's astonishing (but not surprising) that the flood of reporting on the tunnels fails to mention this. At a tiny fraction of the monetary (not to say human) cost of assaulting Gaza, the "startup nation" could easily use existing ground-penetrating radar or magnetometer survey technologies to locate tunnels-- or develop it's own new methods. Not doing this suggests the intention to use the tunnels as an excuse to attack Gaza rather than a real defensive measure.

  • Israel's unending settlements 'mortally wound idea of a Jewish state' -- Indyk
    • This is what Lord Balfour had to say two years after issuing his famous "declaration" in 1917:

      Lord Balfour to Foreign Secretary George Curzon
      November 17, 1919

      “In Palestine we do not propose even to go through the form of consulting the wishes of the present inhabitants of the country….The Four Great Powers are committed to Zionism. And Zionism, be it right or wrong, good or bad, is rooted in age-long traditions, in present needs, in future hopes, of far profounder import than the desires and prejudices of the 700,000 Arabs who now inhabit that ancient land…”

      Can anyone defend this today?

  • John Judis's Truman book is a landmark in anti-Zionism
    • Another point of the "pre-history" of the Zionist Lobby before Truman:

      On June 30,1922, the US Congress unanimously adopted the language of the Balfour Declaration and supported the British Mandate in a Joint Resolution.

    • The baleful effects of the Zionist Lobby go back much further than FDR and Truman. Pres. Wilson was persuaded to abandon his own professed principle of self-determination for former colonial peoples by the determined pressure from Louis Brandeis, Felix Frankfurter and Rabbi Stephen Wise. Wilson was convinced to acquiesce to the principles of Balfour and the British Mandate, despite the report of the commission he himself had appointed to look into the issue in 1919.

      Henry King and Charles Crane took the pulse of Arab opinion in April-June 1919 and reported that Syrians and Palestinians were overwhelmingly for independence, with a US mandate as second choice. There was near universal opposition to the Zionist project -- at a time when the Jewish population of Palestine was around 60,000 (less than 10%), with half or more religious folk, rather than supporters of a Zionist state.

      The King-Crane conclusion in August 1919, was prophetic:

      Not only you as president but the American people as a whole should realize that if the American government decided to support the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine, they are committing the American people to the use of force in that area, since only by force can a Jewish state in Palestine be established or maintained... nor can the erection of such a Jewish State be accomplished without the gravest trespass upon the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine

  • '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.’

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