Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 228 (since 2013-01-07 16:14:07)

hummingbird

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  • JK Rowling stumps for Israel -- what would Harry Potter do?
  • It starts early: Netanyahu warns first graders Hamas is trying to kill them
    • well, this really explains the mentality of so many Israelis. If they are brainwashed to this extent starting so early, one almost can't blame them. What Netanyahu is doing is really criminal -- teaching these children that Palestinian children are essentially evil because they are being taught by Hamas. This is how the dehumanizing of Palestinians starts, and we see the effects that it has. It's shocking to me the world puts up with this horrible human being. And shocking that he is so stupid he can't see that what he's doing is basically the same as what the Nazis did.

  • Sanders risks losing left over unprogressive views of Palestine -- Washington Post
    • sorry, I'm a bit late with this reply. I don't know if it's necessarily only about lack of funding, but something is awry with our education system. Perhaps it also has to do with the fact teachers are paid so little -- drawing maybe not the best of the bunch to the profession or overworking them so they can't perform as well. However, having a Swiss husband and spending a lot of time in that country and other parts of Europe, I am firmly of the opinion that the majority of at least western Europeans get a far, far better education than the average American, at earlier levels. I am in awe of the level of education someone without even a university degree has -- and that is an education that was public, available to anyone. I would also like to point out that the mere fact that we spend more than other countries per student does not mean we provide a better education. We also spend way more on health care than any other country but our citizens receive worse health care than those of most other developed countries. We also spend more on defense than most other developed countries combined, but we aren't really safer, mostly because of our insane foreign policy decisions like supporting Israel and creating horrible situations in countries like Iraq. In other words, it takes more than simply spending the money to be effective in any area.

    • While I am deeply disappointed by Sanders' refusal to take a principled position on Palestine, I am strongly of the opinion that those on the left should support him. That is because first, everyone else is far worse and more importantly, because his goals -- getting money out of politics, raising education standards for the poor and middle class, etc. -- will ultimately benefit Palestine. So I think it would be very foolish for progressives to abandon or refuse to support Sanders because of his deplorable views on Palestine/Israel. It will only hurt Palestinians in the end because he needs every vote he can get -- particularly in the primary.

  • 'NYT' article on UN's Gaza report strains to demonstrate equivalence in suffering
    • i also tried to post several comments--mostly in response to other readers' comments, but none were posted

  • Mainstream media covers website attacking pro-Palestine activists but downplays threat to free speech
    • I know some of the people named on the site have been concerned about possible damage to their careers, but I took a look at the website and it's laughably bad. They pretty much just cite people's membership in groups they deem objectionable, and use, for instance, a professor's reading list for one of his classes to show that he is "anti-semitic." The blog is absolutely ridiculous, the writing extraordinarily poor, filled with melodrama and explanation points and pictures of hellfire etc. I don't know what potential employer would take this seriously, and I hope no one worth working for would.

  • An open letter to Pamela Geller
  • Accusations of anti-Semitism roil Stanford campus as student coalition denies discrimination charges
    • as a criminal defense attorney, your comment makes me laugh

    • I agree Annie... Had the same thoughts when I read the NY Times article. While it's impossible to know what happened, given her established lack of credibility for lying about the policies, the fact her story is a little too close to the UCLA one, and the fact she says one thing while a number of people say that's not what happened-- well, it's pretty obvious to me she's likely lying, trying to make bds supporters look anti Semitic. Too bad the times' reporters are too simple minded (or eager for such a story) to look at her unsubstantiated allegation critically

  • Pro-Israel group concedes that Tel Aviv bikinis can't match 'justice' as sirensong to brightest young Jews
    • Ironic that the 'new' campaign arises from the realization many young Jews are way too smart to buy the bikini/ startup thing. Then they turn around and create something equally facile. I guess if what you're trying to sell is a lie, intelligent people will see through it regardless of how you package it.

      And, on another note: I find the 'history of the Jews' one of the most depressing aspects of history, in large part because it demonstrates humanity never learns the true lessons.

  • Trevor Noah, next 'Daily Show' host, is no fan of Israeli attacks on Gaza
    • I am really excited about this. I'll keep my fingers crossed that he/Comedy Central don't end up being intimidated by the zionists into forcing him to step down.

  • Bill Maher justifies Netanyahu's racism by saying U.S. has done much worse
    • Chris, I know I'm a bit late to the table with my comment, but I just wanted to defend you a little bit since your view on this topic seems to be unpopular. I've actually sworn off Real Time multiple times because of Maher's despicable views on Israel/Palestine, including during the Gaza attacks last summer, during the Gaza attacks in 2012, and most recently since the episode that is the subject of this article. I have struggled a bit with my views on him because I find his opinions about I/P so uninformed, bigoted and sick, but I do like much of what he says about the state of this country, I sometimes find him funny and I enjoy many of the panel discussions and guests. I really cannot bear to watch him talk about I/P though and I'm starting to feel I shouldn't provide any support by watching in. So my overall point is, I'm conflicted and you're not the only person on this forum who enjoys his show minus the commentary on Israel/Palestine and some of the stuff he says about Muslims.

  • 'NYT' reports 'surge of hostile sentiment against Jews' nationwide -- on what basis?
  • Pelosi blasts Netanyahu speech as 'insult to intelligence of U.S.', Amanpour calls it 'dark, Strangelovian'
    • Seafoid, thanks, hope you are right. I forced myself to watch the speech (got through about 15 minutes before I couldn't take any more) and it's just unbelievable to me, watching these politicians clapping at every other sentence, so eager to express their undying love for Israel, under the guise of caring about human rights and having values...it was Orwellian. I worry that even if public opinion changes (as it undoubtedly has) it won't really matter because our politics are dictated by the Sheldon Adelsons and Koch brothers of the world...

    • FreddyV, as an American with a palestinian parent, I can say honestly this was one of the saddest days in my life. I try to be optimistic but it seems impossible we will go from a situation where politicians are falling all over each other to kiss netanyahu's ass-- and a situation in which even politicians critical of the speech made sure to voice their unconditional support to israel -- to seeing justice for the Palestinians in my lifetime. I hope I'm wrong, but it's hard to see that happening

    • I have literally never been as disgusted and infuriated with my own country as I am today. Yes, a number of democratic congresspeople "boycotted" the speech. Yes, there are some decent statements on the subject from people like Pelosi, and I am glad to see some outrage coming from the comments section of the NYT.

      But the bigger picture makes me despair. It is clear that Netanyahu is a warmongering madman, that Israel is a country responsible for some of the most prolonged and severe human rights violations of modern times, and yet our leaders continue to tout their undying support for that apartheid foreign state. Prior to the above quoted section of Pelosi's statement, she made sure to mention our unwavering, unconditional support for Israel; just like Susan Rice and Samantha Powers and John Kerry and all of our unprincipled politicians. I understand they may not have much choice, given the power of the Israel lobby, but it makes me despair nonetheless. We are truly living in a dystopian-like reality, in which the United States of American cannot withdraw support from a racist, apartheid nation that violates the human rights of millions of Palestinians, because of a few powerful people, at no benefit to ourselves. I am glad to see some people are optimistic that the US-Israel relationship will change but it doesn't seem anything significant can or will happen.

  • White House suggests Israel is lying about Iran talks-- as Obama officials shun Netanyahu
    • I think your comment misses the point. The point is not whether Obama has lied -- which he certainly has -- but that he has been willing to say that Israeli is lying. To my knowledge, no other US president or congressperson (that was able to get reelected, anyway!) has said such a thing, so I think it's significant. Aside from the fact the Obama administration has a lot of blood on its hands.

  • Americans oppose Netanyahu invite 2-to-1, but Dershowitz is all for it
  • Three Muslim-Americans murdered in North Carolina by gunman (Updated)
    • Yonah, your comment doesn't make any sense nor is Annie's quote applicable to this article. Annie (assuming you quoted her accurately) was saying that just because anti-semitism is a bigger topic than many other sorts of bigotry, doesn't actually mean that it is a bigger problem, or that the fear Jews experience is more significant than what Muslims or blacks or gays experience.

      Pray tell, what does that have to do with the ACTUAL murder of three people?

    • Mikhael, I wasn't talking literally. Many African Americans, for instance, appear white, but that doesn't mean they do not identify with African Americans and their experiences. Or that they are not perceived as "other" because of other "differences", including cultural background.

      regardless of actual skin tone, I think it's pretty obvious neither the perp nor the media considers the three victims simply white Americans, but Muslim Americans. Thus that identity is critical to discussion

    • yes, I was thinking that both Maher and Sam Harris really show that their supposedly fair critique of religion is BS by their politics when it comes to Palestine/Israel. Both bend over backward and make the most illogical arguments to justify israeli violence (basically boiling down to Israelis are fighting this existential evil -- Islam -- so if they have to kill and ethnically cleanse some Palestinians, it's ok). I think it shows that, at heart, they are simply bigots, no better than the fox news crowd. Actually, worse, because they masquerade as liberals who care about human rights.

    • Ellen, he's just trying to make a thing out of the fact I used the perp's name but didn't name the victims. Some people apparently get some sort of kick out of criticizing every perceived misstep on the part of others. Really silly, IMHO. Particularly given the fact that I have an Arab Muslim parent, and countless Arab Muslim relatives, who have been the victims of Western and Israeli violence, so I am really the last person to think the identities of the victims are not important.

    • yes, for sure. I am curious what he says about it tomorrow. But I know it will very likely really piss me off.

      I was thinking about his stupid comment about how Islamophobia didn't kill. Imagine if someone said antisemitism doesn't kill, he'd be laughed off stage.

    • @Daniel Rich--yes, the reason I used Craig Hicks's name but not the victims is I am/was at work, there are three (not one) victims with more difficult to spell names than Craig Hicks, I didn't have the time to look up and type their names, so I was going for efficiency. Maybe we shouldn't always be attacking each other for little things like this when we are more or less on the same side. I don't really see that as fostering productive dialogue.

    • Lysias, it's my impression (at this point speculation I guess) that he may have been angry about the parking space, but his anger was heightened to the point of murderous rage due to his anti-Muslim (and anti-Christian) beliefs. Very similar, I think, to Michael Dunn shooting the black teens over playing loud music. The music may have instigated his anger, but I strongly doubt it would have ended in bloodshed had the kids been white. And same here -- had they been white American non-Muslims, I highly doubt he would have escalated this to the point of murder.

      may he rot in prison.

    • bilal a, I took a peek at his facebook page, ironically he says something about how you have a right to believe whatever you want, and he has a right to point out that your religion kills people.

      while I haven't seen definitive proof that this killing was caused by his belief system, I find it really, really, really hard to believe that his anger of a parking spot wasn't turned to murderous rage by victims' religion

    • Kay, I mentioned in a post above that a few weeks ago Bill Maher mocked students holding signs reading "Islamophobia kills." I'd like to say I hope this prompts him to rethink that, but I think like most fundamentalists, he will interpret the facts to fit his beliefs (this was the act of a mad men whose violence wasn't caused by his belief system, blahblahblah) rather than perhaps revise his beliefs to fit the evidence.

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    • well, they weren't Jewish, or white Americans, so who really cares.

      and this would confuse things for a lot of people because Muslims always have to be the bad guys, committing acts of terrorism. So better just not to address it at all.

    • Cliff, that was exactly my thought. Bill Maher on his show the other day (I'm guilty of still watching it, despite my boycott over the summer on his coverage of Gaza) mocked students holding signs saying that Islamophobia kills. Bill Maher said obviously guns and bombs kill, not Islamophobia. I hope he reconsiders now, although it should have been more than obvious to him before that Islamophobia is the reason Americans don't care about deaths of Muslims by drones, in the Iraq war, in Palestine, etc.

      I have a feeling he and his ilk (Harris, Dawkins, etc.) will find a way to differentiate this from the violent acts of Muslims -- this was just an isolated crazy, not the result of Islamophobia, blahblahblah.

      Well, I have news for them. Anyone with a brain could predict that nurturing hatred against Muslims and Islam will prompt some people to believe that Muslims are subhuman and it's ok to kill them. Maybe Bill Maher and Sam Harris wouldn't go out and shoot Muslims (although they sure will engage in twisted logic to justify killing them) but it is inevitable someone will use that worldview to develop such a hatred of Muslims he thinks it's ok to kill innocents. Just like Muslims with enough frustration and hatred sometimes use their religion to justify killing of innocents.

    • this is tragic and horrible.
      At first, I was reluctant to assume that the victims' faith was the reason Craig Hicks killed them. But on second thought, in particular given his public anti-religion stance (not that I have a problem with that -- I am an atheist myself) it seems unlikely to me he would have killed these innocent young people if they were not clearly Muslims. Just like it is hard to believe that Michael Dunn would have shot those young men in Florida over playing loud music if they were not black. Maybe their faith (and in Dunn's case, the race) wasn't what precipitated the encounter, but it seems extremely likely it is the reason for the bloody and horrendous result. I hope that Hicks is sentenced to life without parole, and I hope that the media takes this as seriously as it would if these were three Jewish students. And that this causes the media to reflect on Islamaphobia in the West, as it certainly would antisemitism were the victims Jewish.

  • 'She dedicated the whole of her young life to helping those in need of freedom, justice and peace': American hostage killed in Syria remembered for work in Palestine
    • Agreed, Ellen. you put it better than I did.

    • This is so sad. my heart breaks for her and her family.

      I find it "interesting" that the NYT article about Ms. Mueller did not mention any of her work for Palestinian rights, which was extensive. I suspect that is because, since she was obviously a heroic figure, this might prompt people to realize that those who care about Palestinian's human rights are on the right side of history.

  • Dear Mr. Netanyahu, please don't cancel your speech
    • Ellen, i never thought of Netanyahu as crazy, just plain evil, but actually looking at him through the lens of insanity makes his words and behavior a lot more understandable. Unfortunately there are many crazies in Congress too so I'm not counting on them to see them for what he is

  • Letter from a Texas Maximum Security Prison: A personal reflection on Martin Luther King Day
    • It is outrageous that this man and the other four were prosecuted, let alone convicted. Our system is sick. We give loads and loads of money to Israel, a terrorist nation that kills Palestinians and brutalizes them daily; and then we imprison someone for trying to help those under occupation by giving money to an organization that the US labels as terrorist. It's disgusting. I find it hard to live we actually live in such a world

  • Obama won't meet Netanyahu during 'bizarre,' 'historic,' 'unprecedented' visit (Updated)
    • I agree with you. These sorts of things expose to the American public the ridiculousness of our (the US's) blind support of Israel. I felt similarly about the Jonathan Pollard thing. A lot of people who couldn't care less about Palestinians were outraged that our politicians would consider putting Israeli interests ahead of American ones...and realized some things along the way that they wouldn't have otherwise.

  • Gaza war blowback? Palestinian stabs 13 on Tel Aviv bus.
    • Mooser, you're right. But he seemed to intend to kill by virtue of the injuries inflicted so I stand by my above comment regardless of whether actual death resulted

    • I think the problem with statements like these is that they are based on the same sort of problematic generalizations Israelis make about Palestinians. Who knows who the people were on that bus. Maybe some of them do not support what the government is doing but think they will help more by living in Israel and trying to change from within than by leaving it. Even those who do support the system, most likely because they've been brainwashed, do they deserve to die for their beliefs, however despicable? What about the children who've never had the opportunity to form their own opinions? So while I understand where you're coming from, I have to disagree...

    • Kaye--maybe stupid; more likely brainwashed. It's a huge part of the mentality in Israel--that they are the victims, no matter what their government is doing. That is one thing that I really learned this past summer trying to debate Israel defenders--they grow up from day 1 being taught that the world hates them and everyone is trying to kill them.

    • Kay24--sadly, most Israelis won't realize there's a message behind the attacks, but continue to blame it on antisemitism because they seem to prefer feeling victimized to addressing the reasons people might be driven to violent behavior. Not so different than the Americans, or the Europeans. Their sick prime minister won't help with this either, screaming antisemitism at the first opportunity.

    • this is terrible and I feel very bad for the bus driver and his family, as well as the others injured in this attack.

      of course I can't help thinking about the fact that an equivalent attack on Palestinians by Israelis would not be receiving such attention; about the fact that this young man was probably driven by desperation of living under a military occupation; about the fact that if he were an Israeli, he would get a fair trial but in the military court system of the occupation he will not; and about the fact that Netanyahu shamelessly uses an unfortunate incident like this to score political points. Of course no one --at least in the mainstream media-- will ridicule Netanyahu's so-called logic, but it is absolutely ridiculous to try to blame this on Hamas or Abbas; equally ridiculous that Netanyahu is incapable of looking at how his own government is responsible for this tragedy by creating a situation where people are desperate enough to carry out these actions (not that the young man shouldn't be held criminally responsible -- through trial in a fair justice system). But Netanyahu chooses to blame anti-semitism, not only because it's easy, but because it suits his political purposes. He is a very sick man.

  • Media obsesses over 'free speech' in Charlie Hebdo case while ignoring Israeli targeting of journalists
    • thanks for the link to the Greenwald article. I think it's incredible. He never ceases to amaze me

  • 'It is time to make it costly for Palestinians,' Ross warns in NYT; and readers reject his argument
    • Ross's hypocrisy is actually stunning. I can't believe he could write-- and the NYT would publish-- this title and column with a straight face. I was glad to see a lot of the comments but a bit dismayed at the number of pro- israel comments. Although they continually get more and more shrill, repetitive and off- topic (Hamas, terrorism, blahblahblah). Now if the times wants to maintain any semblance of credibility, it should give space to someone credible responding to this column and explaining why the ICC move is good

  • 'NYT' can't keep its story straight on anti-Semitism in Germany
    • I disagree that the two can't be reconciled (European anti-Semitism and Israelis moving to Germany), logically at least. It could be logically true that in some places in Europe/Germany there is simmering anti-Semitism causing Jews to move or want to move, while at the same time some areas are as described in this latter article about Berlin. Or it could be the case that there is some anti-Semitism but not enough to discourage those who really want to move there.

      That said, I have absolutely no doubt that these stories are completely overblown. From my reading and time spent in Europe and interaction with many Europeans (I have a Swiss boyfriend and many, many European friends) I do not believe this to be a real problem. I think that it is used to detract from the suffering of Palestinians, or to implicitly excuse it (see, we really need Israel, otherwise we are in danger). In short, I think this post is logically flawed but at heart it's correct. And definitely agree that it is "interesting" that they did not mention ways in which international isolation is affecting the country

  • Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders get off Israel bandwagon, for once
  • US guilty of war crimes in Palestine
    • great article. our support of Israel shows just how hypocritical we are. We support human rights when it's convenient and politically expedient, but have no problem enabling gross human rights violations when it's inconvenient and not politically expedient. our complicity in Israel's war crimes demonstrates once again that we are not a moral country at all, and we only "do the right thing" when it's easy. these days, anyway.

  • Israel and the law -- the views of three international jurists
    • because as is the case with virtually every aspect of their lives, the Palestinians have no choice. They elected a government (Hamas) democratically and look what happened. Abbas is just the puppet of Israel and the US, and when the Palestinians try to get behind a person or party who actually represents their interests, Israel makes sure to destroy said person or party. Israel and the US will and have done anything and everything to keep the Palestinians down, and that includes making sure they don't have leaders who will actually help them

  • Richard Cohen says he married Israel and has been faithful during ups and downs
    • indeed, I have had similar thoughts. With the current Gaza conflict, and with so many of Israel's other appalling and horrific actions lately (for instance the recently reported decision to steal more Palestinian land near Bethlehem) I think the Zionists realize that logic and basic morality can no longer justify their position. It is becoming more difficult as Americans more and more realize the truth about Israel and aren't buying into the old arguments anymore (Israel being a democracy, Israel being strategically valuable, Israel being morally superior to its neighbors). Accordingly, they have to turn to this emotional, romantic nonsense in order to support their position, both to themselves and to others. In other words, if you make the issue about "love" for Israel, then you remove the issue from the realm of rational and logical discussion. I believe that is what they are doing, consciously or not

    • and racist and a thief, to boot

    • if my spouse was homicidal I would divorce him.

  • Elizabeth Warren says killing Palestinian civilians is 'the last thing Israel wants'
    • American, I suppose I would be willing to rephrase my statement to "politicians believe that taking a stand against Israel's actions..." However, I think there is some evidence that it is the case that AIPAC and other branches of the Israel lobby actually are able to do such damage. But it hardly matters which is actually the case, so long as the lobby manages to make politicians believe it is true, which undoubtedly they have. One of my all-time favorite quotes on this subject from former senator James Abourezk speaks to this issue: "at least in the Congress, the support Israel has in that body is based completely on political fear--fear of defeat by anyone who does not do what Israel wants done. I can also tell you that very few members of Congress--at least when I served there--have any affection for Israel or for its Lobby. What they have is contempt, but it is silenced by fear of being found out exactly how they feel. I've heard too many cloakroom conversations in which members of the Senate will voice their bitter feelings about how they're pushed around by the Lobby to think otherwise. In private one hears the dislike of Israel and the tactics of the Lobby, but not one of them is willing to risk the Lobby's animosity by making their feelings public."

    • I had thought that, possibly, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren would be two people in the senate to speak out against Israel's actions. Obviously I was wrong. I am very torn on how to feel about them, as I am about Obama. On the one hand, I understand that taking a stand against Israel's actions likely means an end to one's political career. I do believe that is why Obama has not done anything substantive in this regard, given his earlier documented positions on the matter. On the other hand, fear of the repercussions for one's career is hardly a legitimate excuse to not only justify the killing of innocents, but actually cast a vote to assist in that killing. So I think I can readily say that Warren, along with Sanders, Obama, and so many others, is lacking some basic morality and human decency. the two-party system we have, and the Israel lobby, are also problems. But that does not absolve these politicians.

  • 40 Holocaust survivors condemn 'massacre' of Palestinians, call for BDS against Israel
    • or suggests that they ought to have died in the gas chambers. It's so bizarre, unbelievable and sad that they do not see the irony of their words.

  • Liberal Zionism has lost its refuge-- a plausible two-state solution
    • Bandolero, you make some good points. hope you are right (not regarding the economic collapse, but the fact that if such a collapse happens it will help liberate the Palestinians

    • lysias, unfortunately I think any economic collapse in the US will only affect the bottom 95%.... the top 5% will probably maintain their wealth and become even wealthier. And they are the ones who support Israel. So I fear even an economic collapse would not have the silver lining of ending US support of Israel. hope I'm wrong about that

    • my personal belief is that it will happen much like South Africa--boycotts and other forms of external pressure will force a gradual shift in Israeli society. Eventually, Israelis themselves will come to terms with the fact that they must either grant Palestinians in the occupied territories and Gaza full citizenship, and that it can no longer distinguish Jewish from non-Jewish citizens of Israel. Ultimately, I think the pressure will have to come from the US (probably in the form of loss of financial support from the US). This presents a problem due to the money in politics in the US, of course, and the fact that even if the entire American public does not want to support Israel any longer, the politicians are still acting on the wishes of the Israel lobby, which they must do in order to win elections. So I guess I cannot say exactly what I believe will happen, but I do think it will be some form of one state solution but probably not for several decades and probably not until things get worse first. My father (who is Palestinian) is of the opinion that nothing will really change until Palestinians in all three areas (Israel, OT, Gaza) so outnumber Jews due to the higher rate at which they procreate that Israel will have no choice but to grant them equal rights/citizenship or risk being a minority trying to control a vastly larger number of people at some point in the future, maybe 100 years from now

  • In 2050, US liberals protest Israeli football logo featuring ‘Fightin’ Palestinian’
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren, 1, ducks question on Gaza, 2, plans trip to Israel, and 3--
    • the problem is, as I see it, that ultimately what the public in this country thinks or wants doesn't really matter, on this or any other issue. politicians simply cater to the lobbies, those with the money that are funding them, whether it's the NRA or the Israel lobby. Thus, even if the American public in large part comes around, political support for Israel won't wane until either A) money is out of politics (unlikely with the recent SC decisions) or B) a lobby rivaling the monetary power of the Israel lobby exists (also unlikely). I hope I'm wrong about this and that I'm missing alternatives, but unfortunately don't see any other possibilities in this country.

  • israel is the golden calf
  • Sam Harris defends his silence on Gaza slaughter (or tries to anyway)
    • Mr. Sayeed, excellent and very astute article (again).

      To Sam Harris and Bill Maher and the like, white is black and black is white. The people who are actually doing the killing (in this case Israel) are always right because of their supposed superior morality merely by virtue of the fact that they are western and secular (ostensibly). The people who are being killed are always wrong, so long as they are Arab/Muslims, because supposedly they are being driven by religious belief. Basically, Arabs and Muslims are always wrong whatever they actually do or don't do, and Westerners/US/Israel are always right, whatever they do or don't do. It's truly bizarre, as well as very upsetting that these idiots have any influence whatsoever. They are both ignorant, apparently incapable of truly rational and informed though, despite what they try to tell themselves and the world. In the end they are as driven by anti-Muslim/Arab bigotry as a religious person is by his or her religious beliefs, and should be disregarded by anyone and everyone, atheist or not.

  • 'Children killed in their sleep': Israeli artillery fire hits UN school, killing at least 20
    • sick, sick, and even worse to hear supposedly intelligent people continue to justify this

  • U.S. casts lonely vote against establishing war crimes inquiry in Gaza
    • Kay, a year ago I would have said your last sentence is going too far. Now I agree. What I've seen -- the justifications, the irrationality, the hatred, the blatant racism --it's unbelievable. It seems to me that the people who defend this -- and there are too many of them -- for some reason will do anything, say anything, defend anything, to protect Israel. I don't, I can't, understand it. How can Israel be more important than life, than human rights, than everything we should have learned from the Holocaust? they learned nothing, absolutely nothing, from the tragedies of history. It truly makes me despair

    • "'The decision today by the UNHRC is a travesty and should be rejected by decent people everywhere,' the Israeli government said in a statement sent to journalists. 'The predicable result will be the libeling of Israel and even greater use of human shields in the future by Hamas.'” so let me get this straight: Israel kills hundreds of innocent men, women, and children with abandon, but the decision to investigate war crimes is the travesty? and of course, the decision to investigate will result in more human shields? how does that even make sense? how stupid do they think people are?

  • ‘We have nothing left to lose. I would rather die with my family under the rubble of our house than have a humiliating truce’: Palestinian youth demand justice
    • Kaye, I'm with you. I'm never watching his show again. What an ignorant sicko, and same for the panelists

  • Renouncing my Israeli citizenship
    • Lenny, very nice post. thank you for your courage and ability to see the truth. Best of luck to you.

  • The fascists wanted to murder us: An eyewitness account of Haifa's anti-war protest
    • Where were you when over 500 Palestinians were killed, most of them innocents, including children? Hypocrite!

    • just--thanks for the encouragement and support. Ignorance is definitely the problem. I keep wanting to leave facebook--and this harassment made me really think about it -- but I don't want to lose the opportunity to influence those who simply do not know.

    • My friend was at a protest in Nazareth today. Tear gas was released and shots were fired, as well as the intimidation from Zionists. She was very shaken after the experience.

      I myself have had a rather disturbing experience today. My boyfriend had posted last week an article about the 4 boys on the beach on his facebook feed. Apparently a facebook friend of his found this "provocative," and today started posting on my boyfriend's timeline, videos of Palestinian "terrorists" and writing, "this must be Jenin's family," and additionally posting it on other parts of the web. This person has never met me, had any contact with me, or knows anything about me other than that my dad is Palestinian and his family is still in the West Bank It's a rather shocking experience to have someone saying such things to you based solely on your ethnic background.

      At the same time, he was writing on my boyfriend's post, "everyone hates us Jews" "you Goyim can't understand," "it's our land forever, we'll never go anywhere." it's insane to me that someone can be so openly racist, and then try to claim that he is persecuted simply because others express concern for the human rights of Palestinians. What a world we live in. I try to remain optimistic but it's hard.

  • Finally, Israel is alienating the US mainstream media
    • Thoughtful post and I agree with you. People seemed more outraged this time around and it also seems to be that people who are less-informed are horrified and it's hitting home that nothing justifies this massacre. The media appears less willing to simply accept Israel's justifications and tow the Zionist line. The justifications of Israel's supporters are getting more and more ridiculous, so that anyone with basic critical thinking skills can realize how outrageous their arguments are, even without knowing all that much about the background of the conflict.

  • Israeli police ransack Tariq Abu Khdeir family home and arrest relatives in apparent revenge raid
    • @ ritzl--some have proven themselves educatable/treatable; others not so much. those are the ones I am no longer friends with.

      Nettee--hope you find some consolation here. I, too, come to the comments section when I feel the world is just too insane and to remember there are sane, good people who care about the rights of all humans

    • Yeah, speaking of malice, definitely lost some friends in the last few days. I try to keep politics and friendships separate, but I can't be friends with people who defend what Israel is doing, no matter how great they are otherwise

    • my dad never allowed me to publicize his awful experience at Ben Gurion saying he thought Israel would retaliate against his family. I thought he was being paranoid. Not any more.

  • How can Human Rights Watch conclude an Israeli didn't want to kill 4 boys on the beach?
    • I agree 100% Maximus. I have very little doubt they were targeted. Maybe it wasn't Netanyahu's plan (he's only slightly more subtle about his desire to wipe out the Palestinian people) but surely some individual or several soldiers did this on purpose.

  • Mohyeldin's boss at NBC rallied 'Jewish passion' for Israel when 'it is physically threatened'
    • If you want your day to get a little better, read the comments on bill mahers Facebook post saying the same thing. They make me feel as though the American public might not be so lost

    • yeah, I was talking about this on another thread the other day. I continue to watch him because I enjoy the guests and debates, and unlike some, find him quite funny on most subjects. Several times I've sworn off the show because of his horrible anti-Muslim blindly pro-Israel comments, but I keep coming back. He's not nearly as smart or well-informed on these subjects as he thinks he is. And whenever he actually has a guest on who understands a lot more about the history of the Arab and Muslim world, he talks over them and shuts them up by saying they're just trying to be politically correct. This latest tweet may be enough for me to stop watching him, it's disgusting to hear him say this.

    • Kay, per our earlier exchange, I think this may be the motivation I needed to stop watching his show.

  • 'Heartbroken' at 'horrifying' killing of boys, State Dep't says Israel must do more to prevent civilian deaths
    • no, he's not. I guess hasbara central is getting desperate. on the other hand, hard to sound intelligent when you have no good arguments.

    • that's what I was thinking as I read this. this is the best they could come up with in the face of a massacre? "there's more to be done?" Pathetic how our politicians are bought and paid for by Israel, and even in the face of this horror they are afraid to make more than this tiny little squeak, as you say

  • 'We are moving from Iron Dome to an iron fist': Israel launches ground invasion of Gaza
    • These people, like Ncina, will say hateful things about Palestinians no matter what they do, and defend Israel no matter what it does.

  • To my fellow American Jews
  • NBC reportedly orders Mohyeldin to leave Gaza -- after he criticized State Dep't
    • the Israel lobby is very powerful.

    • dickerson--I'm always happy to see the silver lining. the one upside of no longer existing, as you point out, is I won't have to suffer the constant rage of hearing the world, and especially this country, defend Israel's indefensible actions.

  • Israeli strike kills four Palestinian children playing soccer on Gaza beach
    • Qualtrough--yes, absolutely. and Palestinians don't have the resources to launch these massive PR campaigns to counteract that damage. If you scream loud enough, even if what you're saying doesn't really make sense, you drown out all the rational, moral voices around you. That's what Israel is doing, I am afraid.

    • I suppose I thought the "civilized" world had moved past this and recognized it as racism, pure and simple. I guess I'm wrong about that

    • I can't do it anymore either. it's too enraging. One woman commented on the NY Times article that Palestinians consider themselves no better than cannon fodder, so we have every right to do the same. Horrifying. Could you imagine the outrage if someone said that about any other group? and could you imagine if that was said about Jews it would get through the moderators?

    • good for you. I myself am feeling desperate and infuriated. How can everyone continue to go on, business as usual, at best, or defend these horrible atrocities at worst. I have never felt so aware of my powerlessness

    • if it weren't so awful, it would be like a bad joke. The Israeli foreign minister talking about making sure Israeli kids have a good summer vacation and doing whatever it takes (including apparently killing Palestinian kids) to ensure that. And people don't see how absolutely obscene and crazy this is???

    • Qualtrough-- great analogy. I'm remembering it for future debates

    • Kris--that's what I am hoping. That it's reflective more of Israel's PR efforts than actual public opinion. If it is the latter, then it's hopeless.

    • Mooser-- I like you from what I've seen so far but I don't think tokyobk is saying anything problematic. He's just saying that several photos from this present conflict are similar to the Phan photo. It seems to me-- correct me if I'm wrong-- he agrees it's an atrocity and one that may change public opinion

    • MHughes, no chance I'll stop! this is the one site that feels like a safe haven. Every time I get completely discouraged by what I'm seeing and reading everywhere else, I read something here and feel somewhat more optimistic

    • I need to stop reading comments sections. The comments to the Blaze article about this almost all blame Hamas, some say the Palestinians basically kill their own children, a bunch say that they think the deaths are faked and way too "convenient." Sickening. I felt physically ill after hearing about these poor children and their families and now I feel more so. My heart breaks for them, especially in a world where so many are willing to blame the victims and even deny their suffering.

  • Rachel Maddow ignores the story in Israel/Palestine
    • Kay, bill maher's comments about Israel and Islam are disgusting and made me almost stop watching his show several times. BUT I find many of his guests interesting and informative and I'm one of those older generation Y people who get way too much of their news from political comedy. And I know a lot of people don't care for his humor, but I find him quite funny on most topics. At the same time, he is arrogant, not nearly as informed or smart as he thinks he is, and ridiculous about Israel and Islam

    • I've been wondering about this. mention of Gaza was noticeably absent in both Bill Maher's show and John Oliver's new show, Last Week Tonight, last weekend. Bill Maher has in the past always said he is a "huge supporter" of Israel. I don't know John Oliver's position. I was speculating that the failure to mention it may be because they both are realizing the truth about Israel, but are unwilling to risk their funding/careers to mention it. Possibly the same goes for Maddow

  • The trojan horse of liberal Zionism
    • seafoid--I agree with you from a philosophical perspective. What I mean more is what approach is best to "win" them over, for lack of a better word. Maybe it's impossible because, as I've said before, for them, zionism comes first, human rights second--so if forced to give up one, it will be human rights.

    • really great article. I myself am torn about how to deal with liberal Zionists and this has given me a lot to think about on the subject

  • As we sat down to break the fast, everything in the house started smashing and flying
    • yes, yes, that's right, let's blame Hamas for not building shelters for people whose homes are being blown to bits and whose children are being killed right and left.

      NOT Israel for bombing Gaza in the first place, and NOT Israel for continuing an ILLEGAL occupation and continuing to virtually hold hostage an entire population in Gaza. There is no level too low for Israel's defenders to sink

  • Sullivan and Leveretts throw in the towel on two-state solution
    • It happens to me as well. I was thinking of asking the moderators. Could it be something with our settings?

  • Congresswoman who visited Israel on AIPAC's dime has no time for relative of boy beaten by Israeli police
    • Thanks for the kind words and I hope so much that you're right!

    • As I've written about this several times on this site when pertinent to various articles, I apologize for the repetition...but for those who haven't read my comments on the subject, I can provide another example of a very real way in which congress's refusal to protect Palestinian/Arab Americans has affected me. First, my father, who was born and raised in the West Bank, traveled through Ben Gurion several years ago to visit his family, including his 90-year-old mother. Israeli security would not let him through, strip-searched him, detained him for 3 days, and sent him back accompanied by security guards on the plane which was very humiliating for him. I myself have backed out of two planned trips at this point because I am too worried about spending my hard-earned money only to be sent back, or about spending time in detention, although I would really like to go (I am a bit of a coward in this regard, I admit). Especially because I am very open on public forums about my opinions, as well as facebook, email, etc. Accordingly, I have not seen my father's side of the family in the West Bank since 1997. I know from other stories I've read on this site that I'll get no help from the State Department or any US politicians, so I am just too concerned about what might happen. Ironically, so many of my Jewish friends who were born and raised in Brooklyn and have no family in the area, can go frequently and with no concerns whatsoever. It's a bit enraging

  • Netanyahu says there will never be a real Palestinian state
    • justicewillprevail--that makes a lot of sense to me. I had been positively surprised by the comments sections a few months ago, felt they were reflective of some positive change in the right direction. So I was really shocked when I saw recently about 80-90% of comments to Times articles about Gaza that were supporting Israel, blaming everything on Hamas/Palestinians, etc. I strongly suspected this was hasbara and not representative of the readership

    • it may be more a reflection of efforts on the part of the Israeli government to get pro-Israeli comments on every site than actual public opinion. But it is frightening and disturbing, really. I also can't believe the Times lets some of these comments through moderation; some are clearly so genocidal and racist if said about any other group they immediately would be banned. One comment said Israel should bomb everything in Gaza, including daycare centers! So many say that all Arabs are terrorists and unworthy of basic human rights. I pointed this out several times to the Times moderators but to no avail

    • yes, I have really noticed this is stepping up. Also, I believe the NY Times comments sections are more full of racist/genocidal stuff than usual. And it appears a larger number of comments are supporting Israel/blaming Palestinians. I wonder if this has to do with Israel's propaganda campaign, or if it is a true reflection of attitudes

    • well, now that Netanyahu has blatantly spoken the truth about his vision I no longer have to waste my time disputing claims that Netanyahu really wants a Palestinian state or a just solution. I guess he did us all a huge favor in this regard.

      It is clear now that a single, democratic state with equal rights for all is the only possible, and only just, solution. I am not an optimist. I think too many will resist this and would rather kill every last Palestinian while the world watches than live as equal citizens alongside them.

  • 'We’re Like Toys for Them': Young Gazans speak about Operation Protective Edge
    • Thanks for pointing out that article, aiman. It's fantastic, as of course is Chris hedges. I've read dozens of articles on the topic over the last few days; IMO this is the best one

    • It's simply sad to see people lose their humanity to the extent Benedict had displayed. This is what happens when people dehumanize each other. Unfortunately Benedict is so far gone s/he can't even consider the despair behind the voices of these three gazans. Or maybe s/he didn't read the article and is just trolling

  • Understanding Hamas
    • yes, what's just unbelievable to me is that I keep hearing people (and relatively intelligent, educated people) continuing to repeat the garbage. I just don't get it. It's so obvious what they are doing--I don't understand how they continue to get away with it

    • because in this Orwellian nightmare in which we live, Hamas and Palestinians are always the bad guys, no matter what they actually do and say, and Israeli Jews and Netanyahu are always the good guys, no matter what they say and do.

  • How many people have died from Gaza rockets into Israel?
    • but I guess it doesn't matter if the dead are Palestinians, huh Mikhael? I don't hear you saying that 1 is too many there--though there have been now about 170, I believe

    • I have heard the most terrible, illogical justifications over the last five days for this horrendous massacre. One woman I am facebook friends with continually posts that the Palestinians are faking their own injuries and deaths, not even something Netanyahu would claim. Another posts a video of a hamas spokesperson saying that he encourages Palestinians to stand on rooftops as the bomb falls (the old human shields argument). As though the fact that one hamas spokesperson says something somehow means that Israel is absolved of responsibility for killing and injuring hundreds of Palestinians. A third justification, which you mention, is that Palestinians voted for Hamas. So it's ok to kill civilians because they voted for a party that promotes some problematic ideas? what sort of logic is that? what about the fact they don't have that many choices to begin with? and what about the Palestinians who didn't vote for Hamas? just too bad for them, I guess. And then, not to mention this whole thing has been exposed as a political ploy on the part of Netanyahu to destroy the unification of Fatah and Hamas. I can't believe the world is putting up with this.

    • what is underlying the rationalization -- as exemplified by jon s below -- is that an Israeli life is worth infinite Palestinian lives. And, of course, ignoring the oppression/occupation/ethnic cleansing of Palestinians to begin with.

    • Wikipedia notoriously cannot be trusted on this subject. I read an article a while ago--can't remember where--that the Wikipedia pages are written/edited by Zionists and Israel does everything it can to make sure things stay that way.

  • Florida Congresswoman sides with Israeli police over her own brutalized teenage constituent
    • it's an interesting idea but sort of scares me. I know all sorts of people that I am very glad have no chance of becoming politicians, but would under the system you suggest. I think one major problem in our country is lack of education (which seems to be getting worse). In many European countries, representative democracies work just fine where the populace is sufficiently educated. I am particularly familiar with Switzerland because my long-time boyfriend is Swiss, but it seems to work well in the Scandinavian countries, France, Germany, etc. Not that they don't have problems, but I don't see the sort of catering to special interest groups and powerful lobbies at play here. From my experience in Switzerland, it's because the average citizen is simply far too educated to fall for it. Likewise, I think the Israel lobby can get away with a lot here because the average American is too uneducated about the subject to have any idea what is really going on, and sides with Israel for various reasons stemming fro lack of knowledge. So while I am not suggesting the situation is so simplistic it can be boiled down to one single problem, the education system in this country is surely one of the major hindrances

    • "The silence we’re witnessing from Castor and the rest of Congress gives the impression that they care more about Israeli police officers than an American teen"

      of course. sadly, this is no surprise. Israelis always come first in this country; Americans, particularly those of Arab or Muslim origin, come second.

  • Israel viciously bombs Gaza, that's the only truth
    • The reason nobody listens is because the Israel lobby has enormous influence in the United States. Significant numbers of people in this country are ignorant about the background of the conflict, and Israel has managed to make sure that what they do hear is that Palestinians and Muslims are violent terrorists who want to kill westerners and particularly Jews. That's why Europeans are much more rapidly losing support for Israel--because on average they are simply more educated, have greater understanding of the background of the conflict, and are therefore able to conduct a more informed analysis of the situation. Also, in Europe their politics are not as money driven which helps. But it is heartbreaking, simply heartbreaking, that innocent men, women and children are continuing to die in addition to being deprived of their basic human rights for these reasons.

  • The players may change, but the game remains the same: The use of racism to justify the massacre of innocent civilians in Gaza
    • first, this sort of reasoning does not apply in a context where the people you call "belligerents" are in fact occupied and oppressed by the other group. Yes, I know Gaza technically is not occupied, but no one serious historian or analyst (as opposed to propagandists for the Israeli government) disputes that Gaza is so under Israeli control that it is effectively occupied.

      Second, I notice the mention of "proportionality" in your comment. Apart from Israelis occupied and oppression of Gazans, by what stretch of the imagination is the aerial bombardment of Gaza proportional?

    • thank you!

    • Yes, I have had several friends say that to me over the last couple days, which is part of what inspired me to write this piece.

  • Terrifying tweets of pre-Army Israeli teens
    • Kaye, actually last time someone even approached calling for genocide of Israelis (although that was a mistranslation anyway of Ahmadinejad) they did everything they could to ensure a nuclear war was waged against Iran. So whining is putting it mildly

    • granted, this is anecdotal, but I have around 100 cousins in the West Bank and Jordan, and am facebook friends with many of them. I have never seen or heard them post anything nearly as vile or racist/prejudiced/whatever you want to call it. Maybe they are simply afraid of being arrested or subjected to violence by the IDF, but for whatever reason, I have never seen anything approaching this.

    • I literally laughed out loud at my desk when I read Sumud's comment

    • Sumud--thanks. I do hope you're right. It just seems like such an uphill battle, and the vile racism and justifications from the other side just seem to be getting more numerous and more awful. Maybe I should take it as a sign they are desperate rather than feeling so much despair.

    • yes, exactly. I think there is an argument to be made that this is incitement and thus not protected by the First Amendment (or Israeli equivalent). As a free speech proponent, there's an argument on the other side of course. As a human being, these tweets are abhorrent, vile and despicable, and twitter should take them down as it is not a governmental body and doesn't have to abide by the First Amendment. I am sure they would do so were the tweets about any other group of people

    • I'm using the term "racism" loosely. I am never exactly sure how to define prejudice against Palestinians by Jews, Mizrahi or Ashkenazi

    • thanks Kaye. Will do.

    • I don't actually use twitter for some reason so it just occurred to me that maybe the pics were not for this specific tweet but their general profile picture. But nevertheless, the fact they choose to accompany these photos with these vile racist comments is bizarre in addition to abhorrent and depressing

    • uh--if those are the photos the "authors" posted, what was Sheen supposed to do about it? edit out the pictures for your sensibilities? And actually, I think it's appropriate to post them because it shows how twisted the "authors" of these tweets are--that they think this is sexy and seductive.

      "Interesting" how you've tried to change the subject and attempt to make this into an unsupported point about what Palestinians supposedly say or would do were the roles reversed.

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