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Total number of comments: 311 (since 2009-09-01 00:19:34)

jewishgoyim

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  • How many would be alive today if Obama had not quashed Goldstone Report?
    • That sums it up pretty well. There is a childish dimension in their parochial nationalism. Children can be cruel. But they have parents to teach them what's what.

  • Pro-Israel Facebook page is titled, 'Death to Dianna Buttu'
    • And still nothing from Phil about Rula Jebreal. I just don't get it.

    • Are murder incitements part of facebook's user's agreement? Or are they just ok against people critical of Israel?

      I mean WTF? Don't they moderate anything starting by "death to"?
      F----ers!

  • 'Slate' blames Birthright for indoctrinating American Jew who was killed fighting for Israel
    • At least he wanted this fight and was wearing a uniform. I'm more concerned about the death of civilians and people who would have rather avoided the fight. He came to the fight and did not see it imposed on him.

      Phil, what's your take on Rula Jebreal? Why is there so little about her on Mondo?

  • US plays decisive role in Israel's attack on Gaza
    • Good piece.

      I don't understand why there are no comments by Mondoweiss contributors about Rula Jebreal and her courageous stance. It is for the first time (finally!) mentioned in this piece but the author is not a Mondo regular...

      I thought Phil would jump on this new, convincing, face of Palestinian activism on national tv. Even if she gets fired in the end. Also the fact that she's intermarried in the US establishment is interesting. Why is Phil so slow on this? This story has "Mondoweiss" written all over it!

  • Watch: 9 Jewish activists arrested after occupying Friends of the Israel Defense Forces office
    • Why isn't there anything on Mondoweiss on the Rula Jebreal outburst? Am I missing something here?

  • Chomsky supports portions of BDS agenda, but faults others, citing realism and int'l consensus
    • "“Chomsky and Finkelstein have betrayed the Palestinian people with their petty bullshit.”

      I wouldn’t go that far–"

      I would.

      You cannot pretend to be on the forefront of the left on the issue and be so unequivocally against BDS. It's where the rubber meets the road.

  • Why I pull against the U.S. in the World Cup
    • "Rooting against the US!" What an interesting concept. You make it sound like the US is this huge soccer juggernaut.

      I always thought you were more likely to side with the weak and the afflicted! ;-)

      There is no need to root against the US soccer wise. They will meet their fate in due time. And yes, France will win this world cup because we have the best coach (if not the best President). :-)

  • Khalidi: It's time for Palestinians 'to get off their knees' and turn to Europe and ICC
    • Not sure why Khalidi sees hope in Europe. France is as zionist as can be (it is more neoconish than the Obama administration - calling for BDS is frowned upon by the ministry of justice since 2010 (!) and France was at the forefront of the Israeli wet dream of bombing Syria). And since Germany is unlikely to take the lead against Israel, I think Khalidi's faith in Europe outdated. That's 1990s thinking.

      Other than that, I think this new stance from Khalidi is a breath of fresh air. But as he says, not clear how far Abbas is willing to go in upsetting his suitors. I'm sure children of the Abbas family are eager to study in the US...

  • Obama and Kerry are spurred by 'vainglory' in pursuing talks -- Finkelstein
    • Like Chomsky: can someone ask the guy a pointed question about the office of special plans or the Clean Break report?

      How guys very concerned with the issue can argue more or less that Iraq is all about American imperialism without any Israeli angle? LIARS...

      "Nobody would have put up with the attacks" except maybe someone on deep cover whose usefulness depended precisely on getting attacked this way.

      I mean, are we seriously supposed to take everyone at face value in this game or be called a paranoid lunatic? Only the imbecile will not have detected a pattern of deceit on some individuals on the issue (see Indyk and David Aaron Miller). Once this is established, suspicion is warranted for any individual behaving oddly.

      Also people can be compromised or turned if they cheat on their wives or can be otherwise blackmailed. We know that Israel has a back door to the NSA more or less. Let's not be surprised if they can turn people every now and then...

  • 'Poof' -- Kerry blames Israel for breakdown of talks (Updated)
    • Poof! Poof! Poof! That's quite a breath of fresh air! Let's hope Kerry "poofs" Netanyahu into submission sooner rather than later.

    • Page: 3
  • Let Pollard go. But first get answers from Tel Aviv
    • Sometimes, the most reliable websites and individuals seem to defend positions that are not understandable. Like when Glenn Greenwald was pleading FOR Scooter Libby in the Plame affair.

      Why on Earth would North and Weiss all of a sudden push for a long standing goal of the Israel lobby on "humanitarian grounds"? I think James and Phil have things obviously backwards. First let us know what happened and then decide on letting Pollard go. How do we know that Pollard he's not lucky he has not been sentenced to death at this point? It is altogether possible that justice has had kid gloves with him. We don't know.

      Releasing Pollard now is sending a clear message: if the lobby is now strong enough to have him freed, anyone can spy for Israel without taking any risks: we have your back!

      This is disastrous. Why are James and Phil now pushing for this??? I think honest players concerned about Pollard can only ask for the truth, then, maybe, for his release.

  • Liberal Zionists are the new front line against BDS
  • Beinart: Saving Israel took too much time away from my writing career
    • David Petraeus.
      Elliot Spitzer.

      And a bunch we don't know about but who have been threatened with satisfactory results...

    • Or maybe Beinart has cheated on his wife and someone from the NSA or (its Israeli headquarters) told him to tone down the rhetoric or else they'd have to give her some hints.

      I think that in every case where people make surprising 180° turn nowadays, we have to envision this kind of foul play from our masters. It won't be true every time but it will be true sometimes.

  • Yair Lapid is much more charming than Netanyahu, but message is the same
    • Phil writes:
      "Lapid has an effortless charm that makes Netanyahu look like a boor, but his view that Jerusalem must never be divided, and that Palestinians cannot have a capital in East Jerusalem because the Jews have returned to the city of David after 2000 years, are hardline religious right ideas."

      When it comes to the Israeli political spectrum, I'm not sure that these ideas fit as "hardline religious right ideas" anymore. Nowadays, they feel pretty mainstream, middle of the road views in Israel's Jewish population.

      Let's face it: Israel has become a theocracy bent on fulfilling a biblical prophecy, left, right and center. It is the main source or religious extremism in the West and the major factor in stirring the perception of a "clash of civilization". Much more so than radical Islam which has less/no incentive to promote this idea (whereas Israel can use it as a way to coerce the entire West into its messianic project).

      It is covert, wearing dark suits, but when it comes to the Middle East, this extremism is making policy. (Surprisingly less so in the last month or so to be fair. Let's see where this goes...)

  • Roger Waters says Israel's wall is '100 times more horrifying' than Berlin wall
    • I have to say he is very steadfast and eloquent in his replies to this zio-bot. He is thoughtful. The last question rings like: "Ok you're annoyingly effective in replying to my questions but you'll soon be dead, right?".
      I had no idea he was such a good advocate for cultural boycott.

  • Obama is competitive with 'Mr. Snowden'
    • I'm always a little concerned by stories like that of Snowden that we're supposed to take for granted and that nobody ever questions. I have two questions about the basic narrative although I don't pretend to have researched the story:

      - Snowden said that in Hong Kong, the CIA had an antenna "round the corner" from his hotel. So as soon as the scandal was leaked and that Greenwald was in Hong Kong, it was pretty safe to assume that the CIA knew where he was. They must have done damage assessment and who could doubt for one second that if they thought Snowden were an imminent threat, he would have been taken care of in a matter of hours "Jason Bourne" style (or at least his 4 computers filled with data taken back). All that long before Snowden was known to the public. Especially when someone pays close attention to what happened to Michael Hastings.
      - the Guardian editors told Charlie Rose, when asked whether what had been published had threatened "national security" at the end of June that every document leaked had been shown previously to the White House (and the NSA for good measure). I had never heard Greenwald bragging about this fact. At the same time, there was an article about Greenwald "electrifying" the "Socialism 2013" via skype on Mondoweiss. I watched the one hour youtube filled with admiration for Greenwald and electrified myself. So seeing his two bosses claiming everything was run by the authorities was somewhat of a letdown. It's what I was expecting of the Washington Post, not from the Guardian and certainly not from Greenwald. Several days later, Greenwald linked to the charlie rose show (see after minute 4).
      link to charlierose.com
      One editor said that the NSA and the White House had no specific objection against any of the leaks. At one point, one editor had to clarify what the other was saying by adding "I think it's fair to say they would rather we did not publish any of this".

      So these two aspects of the Snowden case makes me wonder whether we should not envision these cases with more scrutiny and skepticism. Not that I think this is all organized by some segment of the US government. Many more things would make that hard to believe among which the Bolivian President's plane incident and the Putin summit cancellation do not seem likely to be pieces of a larger storytelling about Snowden. Yet the two Guardian editors adressing the oligarchy through Charlie Rose (reassuring in short that they were members in good standing) seemed to strike quite a different tone from Greenwald adressing "Socialism 2013".

  • If Kerry fails, Israel will be an apartheid state 'and that didn't work too well the last time,' CENTCOM general warns
    • I wonder how familiar this guy is with the Israel Lobby. He's probably not reading Mondoweiss everyday but I wonder if he realizes to what extent he is probably getting on Blitzer's nerves by saying what he is saying on Israel. Does he know Blitzer worked for AIPAC for instance? Not that he would not say it if he knew but does he get this kind of subtleties?

      He is 100% behind "the Iranians using an alcoholic car salesman" theory for the first ever deadly terrorist attack in the US (through some Mexican drugs cartel...). This seemed like an obvious manipulation and it surprised no one that the Obama administration did not really act on it. Is he not so smart or does he know things that we don't? Was he taken in by this plot? Can he be this misinformed?

      Or did the Iranians really used an alcoholic used car salesman to hand the US the best casus belli ever on a golden platter? Really? Or is he really propagandizing on Iran? Pure and simple? It boggles the mind.

  • Clinton and Israel-- the Marc Rich story
    • I just checked her wikipedia page and discovered she became senator on January 3rd 2001. I did not know her political career was that advanced at the time of the Rich pardon. I thought she was just a former First Lady and that her political career took off later.

    • "my interpretation of these events is that Clinton's real interest here was backing for his wife from the lobby."

      Maybe he was not thinking that long term. Maybe he just thought he'll make more money on the lecture circuit if he had this constituency securely in his pocket (or a few millions more in his book deals).

  • Shrewdly positioned as Syrian interventionist, Samantha Power has neocon backing
    • Well, with the way Congress welcomed Netanyhu, it is clear that they would not have done so with the Israeli disagreeing. After Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood does not seem to be on a roll...

  • Tough Brooke Gladstone gives media a pass for supporting Iraq war
    • Of course, as for any war, a lot of constituencies had stakes in the Iraq war, benefited from it and were happy to go along with it. But the neocons were instrumental in triggering the war.

      Who were the Perle/Wurmser/Wolfowitz/Feith/Abrams of the oil lobby? Where is the clean break report of 1996 of the oil industry? It was not a "a new strategy for securing the realm" of Exxon it was "a new strategy for securing the realm" of Israel. Was the Office of Special Plans stuffed with Oil industry representatives?

      So during the run-up to war (it was obvious long before the beginning) you had hidden in plain sight the massive role (notably OSP) of quasi Israeli/Likud/Eretz Israel operatives (the redactors of the Clean Break Report) high up in the Bush administration and this was never tackled in the mainstream media. Never. (specifically the Clean Break Report that linked so many of them to a smoking gun admitting that at some point in 1996, some zionists had a dream so ambitious that unsuspecting people would just not think it could be dreamt: for a country as small as Israel, reshaping its entire political neighborhood even though the said neighborhood is composed of different and somewhat hostile ethnic and religious groups - no less). You had to read people like Raimondo, Bill and Kathleen Christison, Pat Buchanan, some Counterpunch articles or the aggregator "Cursor".

      But to me, it was not the crime (aggressive war),but the media cover up of these conspirators that unearthed the reach and immense power of the Israel lobby and personally made me feel like I was in a bad German propaganda movie of the 1930s called "Jews agitating for war". I remember wondering: is there any adult supervision in the Jewish community? Can anyone notice how bad this looks and straighten out these neocons? I have to admit that in the end, it went fairly unnoticed and that this storyline is pretty much ignored unless one considers that Walt and Mearsheimer have gone mainstream which I don't (I'm talking real mainstream that influences votes, I'd agree with Phil that they've changed this debate forever but at a still arcane level).

      Then I remember one of my super-liberal Jewish friend who happily came to an antiwar demonstration with me. She noticed too many "No war for Israel" posts so she did not show up at the second demonstration. Think about it. Although she was sincerely antiwar, the fact that neocons were stirring up the pot (unbeknownst to her) and that some demonstrators had caught on to that made her actually drop her overt support for peace. That is why Mondoweiss is so important in trying to bring diversity in the Jewish discussion on these matters. And make the influence of Jews organized together to further what they define as Jewish goals questionable.

      But ten years later, we can see on Iran that neocons are still having a field day as polls do massively support an aggressive stance against Iran (thanks to 30 years of unabashed propaganda culminating these last few months/years with BS ssuch as Iranian second-hand car dealers or jokes like Argo... Best movie? Really?) that is backed up in reality by a case maybe as flimsy as the one against Iraq.

    • What "tough" Brooke Gladstone is doing is called "bullying" and that's what neocons are known for. Haven't they bullied hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who rest in their graves now? So some tough talk on NPR is truly small beer for your average neocon.

      They will keep rewriting history until it does not make them look so ugly.

  • Why I'm for boycott
    • Well thank you but my doubts were more about the scope of what Phil and/or BDS are suggesting we boycott: "Israel proper" or economic activities by Israeli interests in the occupied territories?

    • Pabelmont, you say: "A word about why I am for boycott of all things Israeli (and not merely things somehow directly related to occupation)."

      Is Phil merely for boycott of things somehow directly related to the occupation? I'm not quite sure. Can somebody clear that up for me? I'm not too sure about where the BDS stands on this matter. And if I'm not mistaken, Phil is endorsing BDS, right?

    • It's about punishment.

  • 'Odious and wrong' -- politicians threaten to shut down Brooklyn College boycott debate
    • "particularly in your older comments."
      Now that's funny you should say that because I have stopped reading the comments for a while and I find a brand new Hopmi. More conciliatory and less extremist. Maybe the banning of Witty caused him to be more subdued.

      I've always wondered whethere people like Hopmi (or Witty although I may liean toward him being sincere) are "men on a mission" here to try to stifle the debate and prevent the mondo community from having constructive conversation or whether they are honest individuals whose psychology naturally led them to invest themselves that much into barking at people on mondo's forum.

  • Chicago youth message to OneVoice: 'We will not work with you'
    • I don't know if it's late or what but your comment is a little obtuse to me. Who is the "we"? How is the "we" misusing democracy? Does democracy really have faith in "us"? Thanks if you can clarify...

    • I haven't followed who onevoice was but reading the letter, is it yet another poor attempt at controlled opposition? Is there an iota of good faith in Onevoice's position? Or is it just an attempt at controlling under the veil of cooperation much like what we saw with the "interfaith dialogue"?

      We'll give you some kind of kosher imprimatur and some respectability (but be careful what you say...).

      Isn't this tactic getting a little tired? Am I too cynical? What's going on here?

  • Bill Maher says Islam and Christianity are 'warlike religions' but Israel 'kicked ass' in its 'little war'
    • Bill Maher... Oh and did he mention that taking any other position would be very damaging to his career? Just how many prominent media figures stand on the side of the Palestinians? Propaganda is useful because it gives people a way avoid admitting they think what they think because they are cowards and submissive to power however illegitimate and criminal it is. It preserves the self-esteem of guys like Maher (and that of a lot of less famous people). People crave ways of justifying what's happening because it allows them to avoid responsibility.

      I mean how does Maher KNOW that Israelis were responding to Palestinian rockets and not the other way around? Because he chooses to believe it. Because not believing it would be harmful to his interests. The beauty is that most people will never acknowledge they have no choice other than thinking what they think... It's so internalized they don't even realize it. I'm sure Maher thinks he's a courageous guy.

  • Charting the 'peace process'
    • I don't think it will be brought down altogether and I don't wish it but but let's organize to boycott the whole damn country until they go back to the 1967 borders. Until then, let's not forget that:
      "Palestine has the right to defend itself."

      Also before any negotiation to stop the boycott, I suggest we impose on Israel that they recognize Palestine within the 1967 border. And Palestine "as a Muslim State" for good measure. And let's never forget that:
      "Palestine has the right to exist."

      Oh and let's use US military might to topple any Arab countries too friendly to Israel during the boycott.

      Let's get on with it, enough talk.

  • 'We lost Europe,' says Israeli official
    • I forgot the link of Lévy at FPI with Kagan.

    • I wish I could be that optimistic. I'm glad about yesterday's vote but I think "neoconism" is making huge progress in Europe. Maybe it does not show on such a high profile issue and traditions get the better of new trends but I think that since the Iraq war, the US pro Israel lobby has identified Europe as a possible issue and has directed some of its efforts towards having a better handle on politicians here.

      And I think it worked. Not in this particular case. But in making any Chirac-Schröder axis impossible, it certainly did succeed. Also Europe is a lot less vocal against Israel at a time when Israel's behaviour is more and more unacceptable.

      So, yes, as the vote shows, Europe is different. But its ability to bring a bit of sanity in the middle of the orchestrated "clash of civilization" is less than it was ten years ago. Significantly less in my view. I mean Europe is even leading the way for "humanitarian" intervention in Libya or Syria.

      Here is Bernard-Henri Lévy pitching Syria intervention at the Foreign Policy Initiative (former PNAC) to Robert Kagan. Remember Chirac and measure how France has changed (I recognize Lévy is not a French official but the role French politicians have let him play in the past few years has been substantial so he is somewhat of a (radical) proxy to France's positions).

  • Maguire: Sanction US for its $8 million a day in military aid to Israel
    • Yes. I never really understood how BDS restricted to "products from the settlements" was supposed to bring about any change.

      Now if South Africa had been boycotted only to the extent of the products coming from some Bantustans, I think we'd still have this bright and shiny apartheid state in the community of nations (now I get there were no "settlements" in these Bantustans but you get my drift - I hope).

      Is there any point at all in BDS "restricted to products from the settlements"? How can they have enough impact to bring about meaningful political change? If one wants to change the behavior of a State, one has to boycott the State, not some tiny subsections of it. All this militant energy against products from the settlement seems misdirected to me.

  • Brzezinski challenges Obama to put world peace ahead of 'specific constituencies'
    • Shorter Zbig: "Obama has to be courageous at once and be really tough on this constituency that is so powerful that I, myself, am just too scared of to put a name on."

      Yeah guys! Let's get real tough on this constituency we dare not name!!!

      Now wait: shouldn't it be the other way around? Shouldn't people be courageous enough to name it before they can fathom getting "real tough"?

  • NYT's Rudoren: Gaza funeral 'didn't feel incredibly human to me'
    • And what if some Palestinian hearts were a little bit hardened compared to the average "oh so delicate" upper westsider? Would that say something about the humanity of the Palestinians or something about the hardships they went through?

      I'm sure that after a while in a war, or in a concentration camp for that matter, people get insensitive to the suffering around them in a way that would be absolutely shocking to all of us who live in good conditions. It does not mean they are less human. It just means the conditions in which they live are less human.

      But for Rudoren to even suggest there can be different degrees of humanity is really, really troubling. But then again, someone who comes to Gaza under fire but has "her first tear" for somebody in good health in Israel AND FEELS THE NEED TO REPORT IT seems to be just a tad out of touch. I wonder whether the Palestinians were "human enough" to deserve her second tear, or third...

    • "it didn't feel incredibly human to me."

      Rudoren does not feel incredibly human to me.

    • "and stops just short at calling Islam and Palestinian culture a "death cult.""

      Right on. This is what It made me think about. It's just Pamela Geller tamed for liberal consumption.

      "this reveals a much deeper-seated bias which puts the credibility of any future reporting from the region in serious jeopardy."

      Right again but since I am a commenter I can say it out loud: she must go. And I think she's going to be kicked out, not because her NYT bosses disagree with her but because she is not smart enough to hide her bias in a more sophisticated way.

  • NYT's Jodi Rudoren responds to criticism of Facebook comments
    • From Rudoren:
      " taking everything out of context to support his agenda. Luckily, he included fat excerpts of my posts "

      Ok. Is it me or the first part contradicts the second part? Nobody's doing a hatchet job of anybody's writing here. It's the internet, not the nyt. We have standards.

    • Yes what kind of Shtetl is that? One wonders...

      The good thing is that nobody can ignore MW anymore. As a reader of Phil since 2005 or so, I can tell you it has not always been like that!

  • Gazans are 'ho-hum' about the deaths of relatives -- NYT's Rudoren
    • Yes. And what strikes me is what is "au fond": sheer tribal stupidity.

      I mean above a certain level, I would have expected Israeli supporters to know they are mistreating Palestinians in order to expand territory and that they would not fall for this kind of racist crap.

      I mean I expect most high level Israel supporters to know they are f---- over the Palestinians and that it's impossible to do that and look good at the same time. So they are in full damage control mode thinking and that the end justify the means.

      Thinking that a NYT reporter abandons herself to run of the mill racism to escape this inconvenient truth is a testament to how stupid tribal allegiance will make you. It shows how self righteousness takes roots in stupidity. I thought a NYT reporter would be too smart and too educated to fall for that.

      It makes me think I'm too kind to journalists in general. I think they are evil manipulators when most of them are manipulated, clueless tools. Most of them believe their entire career the crap they and their friends are spouting out. Most of them don't even know they are vile servants to power.

  • Israeli strategy is unsuccessful, just foments hostility by oppressed -- Piers Morgan
    • "They all speak the same shit."

      Is that news to you? Ever heard about hasbara?

    • I think Phil is too optimistic as he is every now and then. I just read 58% of the US people supported the gaza strikes (now this poll may be bogus as one would expect a poll on the subject in the US to be in this context). But it's hard to see the Israeli narrative is "falling apart". And this tidbit is certainly no proof of that.

      Are there more demonstrations against the strike in the US? Are there public figures taking stands? No, the USG is more supportive of the strikes than four years ago and from what I've seen, the media are more prepared to soften the blow to Israel's reputation than last time.

  • On the Jewish Israeli street, there's no solution to Palestinian issue but more violence
    • This is from John mearsheimer:
      "Ehud Olmert said in November 2007, when he was prime minister, that if ‘the two-state solution collapses’ Israel will ‘face a South-African-style struggle’, and ‘as soon as that happens, the state of Israel is finished.’ One would think Israel’s leaders would appreciate where they are headed and allow the Palestinians to have a viable state of their own. But there is no sign that is happening; instead, Israel foolishly continues to rely on military campaigns like Pillar of Defence to break the Palestinians."
      link to lrb.co.uk
      Who I think makes good sense of the situation.

      But why is nobody asking about the Israeli game plan? How do you go from where we are to Eretz Israel? The gap seems so wide that I wonder if there are not people somewhere who could think that the only way to bridge that gap would be "a new Pearl Harbor". Some serious people somewhere must be thinking of this apparent Israeli bridge to nowhere and how to make it arrive somewhere. Creating a new Pearl Harbor seems the only way. A crisis that could be an opportunity like Rahm Emanuel likes to underline.

      Or is it really the slowest, most painful and cankerous ethnic cleansing in the history of mankind??? What is the plan here? Why is no one asking the question.

      It's like the Israelis are lying about being intent on expanding and nobody is looking pass the lie. Some people are pointing out the lie, fair enough. But what are the outcomes possible in 50 or a 100 years? What are the Israelis shooting for (litterally)? They are lying. But what do they have in mind? Ever expanding Israel for a millenium?

      And if there is a gap between what they want and what can be achieved and that they feel cornered and hated around the world because of that, isn't a new Pearl Harbor a way out? What are the other possible exits?

      Also what is creating this extremism within Israeli society? It wasn't always like that. In 2002 one could see how hearts could harden with suicide bombings all over the place. But now? There seems to be absolutely no compassion in the Israeli psyche. Maybe it's just that one has to hate in order to mistreat and that mistreating Palestinians is the policy. It's coming from the top so people comply in order to live comfortably otherwise it's dissidence.

  • Gaza, Now
    • I'm in France. The media here are shameful. It is cast lead all over again but if I remember well, at the time, it was pretty clear to everybody that Israel's actions were unacceptable even though we heard all the hasbarah narratives about "retaliations to Palestinian rockets", "you don't know what it's like to live in Sderot", "they had it coming" etc...

      I think the media commentary and the atmosphere is different this time. First, there is overall less commentary and almost no outrage anymore. Then when it is reported, it is really like a sports game where two opponents are on a leveled playing field (with of course a much more dramatic undertone). The idea of Israeli aggression has disappeared. (The US is much more squarely with the Israelis too it seems to me, no shame at all this time)

      I am, for one, still at a loss really understanding what is exactly going on here and I would truly appreciate if someone could explain to me what the Israelis think they are gaining by leading these actions every four year (if it follows the same pattern as last time). I remember an Israeli military or politician using the expression "mowing the lawn" but I don't understand it. And also, why are the Palestinians replying or shooting rockets to Israel? Don't they see how being only victims would further their cause? Do they get any tangible political advantage by applying this constant (albeit weak) pressure on Israel? It would not be a stretch for me to blame squarely Israel for everything that's happening here but the fact is I don't understand the dynamics. It just does not make sense. What is Israel gaining? Why do Palestinians fight back at all? And shoot rockets here and there from time to time? What do the Palestinians gain by blurring even just a bit their quite obvious victim status? Is it possible that some of these Palestinians attacks (in my view useless and so damaging to them) are manipulated by Israel? Why give Israel even a preposterous pretext if they gain nothing from it?

      On media in France, I would add, that this is all part of a very scary and shameful evolution "from Chirac to Hollande" where ultra right-wing neoconism in general went from "actively fought against" in France to "totally complied with" without any admission of its very existence all along. This all made possible by stronger and stronger relent of islamophobia bordering more and more on sheer racism, all sanctioned by the mainstream media. The very fabric of the French (and seemingly European) resistance to the AIPAC line has been destabilized, further isolating and alienating our significant Muslim minorities which could previously often find some relief in the useless but still symbolically empathetic governments' line towards Palestinians.

      It feels like the conflict of civilization is now completely ingrained in our Western European psyche. And contrary to the US where neoconism has met some resistance due to the Iraq war, it seems like Europe is all the more vulnerable to it that nobody really has identified or understood the threat as such. The threat of the conflict of civilization narrative much greater in Europe because "Eurabia" (as neocons coined it) has no choice but to respect its huge Muslim minorities as human beings. We cannot go the American/Israeli of dehumanizing and counting "these people" for nothing.

      So it is really scary to see Europe becoming more pro Israel than the US on some levels (think I'm pushing it? Think about Iran sanctions, think about Sarkozy's diplomats in league with US neocons to pressure the Obama administration into taking a harder stance on Iran - Europe is still more balanced ont the Israelo-Palestinian conflict but it is changing fast).

      Note: an interesting tidbit is that our 2nd car manufacturer Peugeot here is going through huge difficulties. It seems like a huge chunk of them is due to leaving the Iranian market altogether in February (500000 cars a year built in France and assembled in Iran) and it has been absolutely ignored by the media. Peugeot's troubles are all over the media but the Iranian angle has been completely cleansed from the discourse. (The longer story is that this drop of the Iranian market is linked to a deal with GM so was probably engineered in Washington DC but this cannot explain the media silence.)

  • On the West Bank, the mood is resigned, edgy
    • Well, no, Gaza 2008-9 was Olmert's? No?
      I checked. Olmert stopped being prime minister on March 31st 2009.

    • Why Olmert did what he did before Obama's inauguration is quite clear and proved to the world Obama would be Israel's poodle as he said nothing as president elect and the offensive stopped right before he became President.

      Now why this offensive would happen more or less four years later is quite a mystery to me. Is Obama less likely to protest at this time of his mandate? Why?

      Does one need to "mow the lawn" every four years? (some Israeli said that about the last Gaza war)

  • Battle within the Presbyterian church over stance on US aid to Israel
    • Now that does not prove anything but he does look a lot like John Bolton.

      (Not sure this will go down well with the new mondo uptight moderation standards. Oh well...)

  • Is the 'New York Review of Books' afraid of Islam?
    • I did not know that Phil believed in "a clash of civilization". I don't know if Phil means something like a "natural" confrontation that needs to run its course but if that's the case, he might as well close Mondoweiss and hand out the keys to the lobby...

      I think what we're seeing is rather "differences in civilizations" that could easily be copped with if the Western world were not adamant in seeing "gay prides" in Teheran (not in Riyad by the way) at once!

      This "clash of civilization" is the basis of the neoconish propaganda apparatus. It is more and more difficult as events like 9/11 and plain fabrications are succeeding in changing the Western psyche but in my view, one must draw the intellectual line in the sand ways before conceding there is a clash of civilization.

      The "clash of civilization" theory is a fig leaf for westerners to explain away why the absolute control demanded of Arabo-muslims may here and there be met with some resistance. It is a fascist and colonialist concept to impose total submission (and silence internal opposition like mondoweiss, antiwar, greenwald...).

      We are propagandized into seeing the Muslim world as this dangerous juggernaut out to get us precisely as the violence we impose over there is many folds the violence it is able to project to our shore (I'm talking more than 1 to 100 or a 1 to 1000).

      It is ridiculous. The Muslim world is in truth weaker than we make it out to be. Most of the clash of civilisation is a fabrication. What would be left of it with a Palestinian State and a "soft power" approach to the region?

  • France's Hollande slams Palestinians for getting uppity at UN
    • It seems like Sarkozy had a tough love approach to Israel (but love nonetheless) that he could afford in part due to his Jewish origins (he is a quarter Jewish - 93% of French voters in Israel voted for him against Hollande) and that he also had a strong dislike of Netanyahu which seems only natural when one is confronted with such a character.

      Hollande on the other seems absolutely beholden to a pro-Israel line. Hollande has very little backbone and I think that can explain why he seems obsequious way beyond what would be necessary to keep Israel and its supporters in France happy. The only risk at this point for him seems to be that pro-Israel supporters ask him to behave in a more dignified way so that he does not embarrass everybody.

  • CBS no longer categorizes American Jews as 'ethnic minority'
    • Not sure about the new moderating policies. I'm trying them out these days...

      To your question about the 1%: I don't know the percentage of Jews among the 1%. Yet I remember an article from the Jewish Telegraphic Agency stating that as per their calculations, 40% of the 50 richest Americans were Jewish and 35% of the 400 richest. It was based on a fortune 400 rankings a couple of years ago. They also pointed out that Jews were 1.8% of the US population.

      Now I don't know if that is in line with the new comment policy but just for the record, this article I mentioned from JTA was linked here at Mondoweiss... ;-)

      Now I have to say that people here never put any smileys in what they write. This gives to Mondoweiss a very "highly educated, über elite, holier than thou" flavor but it feels also a bit disconnected from the rest of the internet. So there it is and too bad if my smileys get moderated. One should not have to have an ivy league background to comment on Mondoweiss! (I'm just pretending here guys. I'm just like you people: I have an Ivy League background. Or not. If I'm a Jewish Goyim, I may well be an Ivy League blue collar - still don't know if Goyim should be capitalized, I asked the question once but don't remember the answer if I got any...)

      :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-)

  • 'This is travesty of American criminal justice': Supreme Court denies Holy Land Five appeal
  • Holy Land Five appeal could set precedent on using 'secret evidence' in U.S. courts
    • I would be curious to list all the Israeli stinky policies that have been adopted by the US following 9/11.

      "Target assassinations" (now done with drones) is the most obvious. But I also remember that at the time of Abu Ghraib, it had been said that some of the techniques had an Israeli flavor to them but I cannot back that up with a link. Also there was this technique for interviewing people climbing aboard an American plane that was piggy backed on El Al (dropped now I think). I'm sure there are plenty others like this "secret evidence" justice.

      I mean a book needs to be written on the israelification of the USA after 9/11! Or maybe there is one already? Somehow I doubt it as the topic is kind of verboten and I'm sure such a book would have made a big splash.

      It is somewhat different but I also have vivid memories of accounts of Israeli telcos playing big roles in the US and kind of being part of the new surveillance society we're leaving in. Funny how I was taught the USSR was evil because the regime opened the mail of dissidents or listened to them in their home. Now the USG is preemptively doing that to everybody but that's ok!!!!

      Or people who are still praising movies like "The live of others" in East Germany and ponder on how the stasi was "horrible, horrible!". Never mind that the surveillance is much wider now in the US. And this has many ramifications. For instance, if someone is a problem to the regime, they will just pull out his file, find his weakness and make him shut up (Elliot Spitzer and Scott Ritter come to mind). Anyway, I drifted...

  • Traveling through the occupied West Bank on an Israelis-only road
  • Sacha Baron Cohen settles with Palestinian he slandered as 'terrorist'
    • "I just can't find any evidence for it."

      I'd be curious to know what Finkelstein thinks of the "Clean Break Report" and the fact that many of its authors were part of the Bush administration. "Can't find any evidence?" How about "Bill Kristol" as "exhibit two"? Who is Finkelstein kidding?

      Finkelstein is dishonest because I'm quite certain he knows better. As to why he would be such a turncoat at this particular point in time, I have no idea. The fact is: he is.

      "Can't find any evidence" is a bold face lie.

  • The art of resistance
  • In Hebron Hills, Shulman sees that social justice is not at the core of Jewish identity
    • "They are at the peak of their powers now. "

      Not too sure about that. In the brave new world that's coming ahead of us, new extraordinary means are going to be available for the few to control the many. With unrestrained access to computer data, monitoring huge crowds of people will become easier and easier. Just by suggesting to people that they are monitored (even if the computer programs and the brains behind the algorithms were lacking) most of the work is done. There are a few nexuses of power in this brave new world and I'm quite certain our friends have done this analysis and are considering ways to get access/control them.

      If one controls the internet on one side and the drones (domestic or otherwise) on the other, one has things pretty much covered.

      Do we know for sure there's not a file somewhere in the NSA about Mondoweiss afficionados? I would assume there is...

  • DNC member resigns after emails faulting Israeli 'aggression' and Palestinian burden for Holocaust
    • To some extent, the fact that Obama is today so close to to attacking Iran after being elected as one of the rare guys who said no to Iraq gives us a sense of the kind of pressure being applied on a President. Now pushing Gore into invading Iraq may have been a stretch. The arm twisting may have had to get ugly. Also Gore may have been less opposed on the international stage which would have made the whole thing more manageable (although not more legitimate when all is said and done).

      I'm appalled at the complete disappearance of the "Chirac line" in France. I think Chirac and Schröder knew precisely they took a stand against neoconism. Now everyone in France is reflexively embracing intervention in the Middle East as the default position. Libya, Syria, Iran. France is über hawkish. Even with Sarkozy now gone. People do follow blindly whoever is at the wheel in foreign policy matters... Chirac Schröder was a big thorn in the neocons' side. Now the West is nice big monolithic block.

    • " She said the private emails had been released “by someone I believed was my friend.” "

      Well, there we go. For what other topic do you have to make absolutely sure you trust the person you're talking to before engaging about it? What kind of totalitarian state of affair are we in? This is appalling but that's the world we're living in.

      How can a private email have political potency? My god this is bad. What a shame she had to renege on this. Couldn't she see she was toast? She might as well have left the DNC with her head high.

    • "It reminds me of dissident intellectuals in communist countries being forced to renounce their views on television."

      Yes. I always remember how totalitarianism was explained as this evil system were a child could tell on her parents for having said things against the party. There is a similar party one cannot criticize today in the western world for fear of losing friends and family. The mildest questioning can raise eyebrows. Let's wait for the day when young children go to the police station reporting that "Daddy made a critical comment about the occupation at the dinner table yesterday". "Oh really? Has this happened before?...".

    • Well yes. From what I understand of politics in Florida, she may well have thought that but writing it and hoping it would square with her political ambition was a display of a serious lack of political acumen. She is most likely an idiot. Integrity on this matter will help no one among the democrats.

  • Et tu Elena-- Justice Kagan's in Israel, celebrating 'deep commitment to the rule of law'
    • TNR and all the neocons went batshit crazy about her not being nominated instead of Sonia Sotomayor.

      Then they pushed for her for the next available spot like crazy. They must have known something that we did not!!!

  • Race, class, religion-- an American wedding
  • A debate about the two-state-solution with Norman Finkelstein
    • So nothing about the Israel lobby. That's some rather extreme dilution of the original topic...

  • Sullivan unmasks Goldberg as a propagandist for Netanyahu's 'lies, bluffs and deceptions' aimed at getting us into war
  • Sen. Rand Paul blocks Iran sanctions bill, calls for 'thoughtful debate' before we start another war
    • Well. I had doubts about Rand Paul. There were stories (probably true) of him meeting with Bill Kristol during his campaign. I thought it could have been about giving Billie Boy assurances about his views on Israel? On the fact that he would be less of a pain than his father? Well, I have to say that he delivers spectacularly with this move. Kudos to him.

      As for the 99 other Senators... How many times can you repeat that the political system in the US is in a terminally corrupt state?

  • Boycott measure goes down, 60-40, at Park Slope Food Co-op
    • "considering all the money and politicians that these israel firsters threw into the campaign,"

      Are our foes above manipulating the votes? I mean I certainly have doubts about the diebold voting machines so I'm not really sure why I should take any vote in an obscure NY coop at face value. Do we know about that?

      Note: About diebold electoral machines controversy, you probably think that it is an old, warmed up story. Everybody thought they could be hacked after Bush got reelected and the exit-polls on election day went for Kerry (never seen any such discrepancy between estimates and results on election day in France - never - but I guess it's French genius: our pollsters must be way superior!). Conventional wisdom had it that since a half-black Democratic President got elected in 2008, it was definite proof that the electoral process in the US was sound. And I went along with everybody else. Now that we can look back a few years, we can be sure that the oligarchy (or whatever you call it) could not have made a better move than put Obama in charge to put a human face on Bushism and lock down the country once and for all in the post 9/11 neo-fascist mindset.

      So I believed Obama proved the soundness of the electoral process without a doubt until I watched the Russian ambassador to the US on Charlie Rose a few weeks ago (last third of the interview). Charlie was his usual "impeccable" self lecturing the Ambassador about election processes and democracy and the ambassador lost it somewhat and replied to the discomfited Charlie: "And do we ask questions about your voting machines?".

      Now if the Russian ambassador to the US brings that about if you push his hot buttons, I truly wonder what the Russians do know that we, Western opions, don't...

    • I'm afraid Norman Finkelstein has already made clear he's against BDS so it is very likely to be him. Ranting about "Holocaust Industry" and what have you all the time but when it comes to real action, there's nobody there. Very puzzling.

  • Ethnocentrism and journalism (Beinart's double standard for Israel and Iraq)
    • I'm not sure I buy Beinart's change of heart. I mean, Phil points out what this guy has been able to write before the Iraq war. I mean, come on, I know everybody looks at him like the nice and "oh so bright" Jewish boy but come on. If you write this kind of thing during the run up to the Iraq war you're either an idiot or a sorry propagandist. And if not an idiot, a guy who, if he's being sincere, will not ever deserve to be called "bright" nor "moral".

      So I'd say Beinart was a sorry propagandist. Which brings me back to what is becoming my pet peeve on MW comment section: "controlled opposition". How "out of this world" is it to think that some people in Zionist circles may start thinking: "we're losing the youth, we'd better do something". And then they reflect and say: "who do we have who could look credible to young Jews? Hey Peter! We have an assignment for you: you make believe you've seen the progressive light on Israel, given your establishment credentials everybody is in awe and you quickly become a figure of the new "zionism criticism which will never push things too far" (oh yes, we'll even do this "fight to the death" back and forth with Jeffrey Goldberg - it'll be fun! ;-) ). Then you corral these young idiots into thinking things that are not to detrimental to our goals. They'll get to their senses growing old anyway!".

      I mean this guy is so obviously the teacher's pet in desperate need to please any authority figure he might meet. He clearly threw intellectual integrity out the window before the Iraq war (not giving a dime about countless fatalities) and all of a sudden we are to supposed to believe that he's become this moral colossus who obeys all of a sudden to a very different set of rules and motivations? A free mind who does not seek validation from the same people anymore, he is now ready to challenge the very establishment that proclaimed him a whizz kid just a few years before to his delight.

      How about Beinart being a one man "J-Street". All bark and absolutely no teeth?

  • 'J Street' review-- mixed, but positive
    • "Controlled opposition". What Phil is saying is that the bosses are AIPAC type but that the rank and files are progressive even on Palestine type. 'Nuff said...

      I mean I do admit that the nature of the debate seems very different at J-Street than at AIPAC conference but that's just for show. That's so that progressive won't get scared away by netanyahu flanked by two bodyguards with a scary music.

      As for Iran... "(Though J Street has not opposed Aipac’s militant letter;"
      'Nuff said... If you're against war with Iran, pull a "Rand Paul". Anything else is for show.

      I mean when did J-Street show us the goods for real???

      Anyway, I hope Phil continues to go and keeps us posted...

  • 'I didn't say I liked Beinart's book' -- J Street head sells his star guest out to his antagonist, Goldberg
    • "Goldberg is, like it or not, the ‘liberal’ fig leaf of the Israel lobby."
      Goldberg may be a "liberal fig leaf" in the UWS. Everywhere else, he is a hardcore Greater Israel enabler.

      "I don’t see why AIPAC is so against J Street. By pretending to be liberal, J Street buys Israel critical time." J Street is a very poorly executed case of "controlled opposition". I can't believe we're still wasting so much time on them... They're not buying anything to anyone. Some people may have paid some attention to them within Jewish circles. I feel sorry for those who still do. Dwelling on them is really an ethnocentric pastime.

  • J Street and Peace Now organize opposition to BDS
    • Are there any redeeming quality to what J-Street is doing? Am I missing something?

      Isn't it time we categorize them once and for all in the "controlled opposition" category? And a very weak attempt at that for that matter?

      This is a fascinating topic. If I were the CIA, I clearly would attempt to create things like wikileaks. Imagine that! Every wannabe leaker in the world giving her files first to... the CIA. Not passing judgment on wikileaks here, rhetorical hypothesis. Just trying to draw attention to organizations whose real purpose is exactly contrary to their stated/apparent goal. Organizations whose goal is only to tame and channel the opposition. This happens quite often and is probably "power 101". It's been seen in unions for instance. The only thing that pleads for J-Street not being one of those is that it looks so much like one. If you want to the build some street creds for an opposition group, you have to make it look like it's opposing at least once or twice. I don't even see that in J-Street...

  • Rendell (of MSNBC and Friends of IDF) is under investigation for ties to Iranian terror group
    • I'm not sure how independent these proceedings are from the Obama Administration but after all the officials spilling the beans about the true state of Iranian nuclear program, it could be like high noon between Obama and the neocons/likudniks (aka Israel firsters).

      I mean it looks like they could be hitting hard on all the undercover operations aiming at bullshitting the American people. They are below the radar for the general public but very real for the organizers. A bit as if Bush had started going after Doug Feith in 2003... Anyway, I'm probably dreaming.

  • Israel's bogus case for bombing Gaza obscures political motives
    • Susan Rice is out of control. She was the idiot who gave credence to the "babies' incubators lie" of the Libya intervention: the pro Gaddafi mass-rapists who took viagra.

      She's an idiot, a liar and a tool.

  • Hasbarapocalypse at Ynet: 'Zionism will only cease being demonized when the West stops demonizing colonialism'
    • "It’s funny how the writer is insightful/smart enough to realize that, and at the same delusional enough to embrace a policy of rehabilitating colonialism. Good luck with that! Even if Western countries try to downplay or whitewash their colonial pasts, no one is going to be favorable to present day colonialism."

      I disagree. Neocolonialism is everywhere. Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan. Pretty soon Syria even. Bush used such expressions as "civilized world" in his speeches. A lot of people supported the Libya intervention because they knew that the Arab Spring could mean less Western control over predominantly Arab/Muslism countries. It is understood that Western people have a sovereign right to shape the Middle East as they see fit. Starting with Bush but with Obama's rubber stamping (and Sarkozy who overturned the Chirac jurisprudence) colonialism is back with a vengeance. I grew up in a world where the Western world had been guilty of "colonialism" (and would not start aggressive wars too). Things have changed now. We're almost back to square one. The only thing that is still taboo is the vocabulary. This guy is right that rehabilitating colonialism as such would be very beneficial to Greater Israel. And to me, he's not the first to have this idea and I think this line of thinking has been thoroughly implemented for quite a while now. Sure everybody stops short of calling it colonialism but the Western World in the Middle East has been mimicking Israel in the occupied territories since the Iraq war.

      What this guy describes as a wish is what is actually happening. He misses the big picture by wishing that people would use the actual world "colonialism". It is true that they don't us the word but it does not really matter. That France decided to become king maker in Libya without anyone raising any eyebrows is a testament to that. Just imagine France doing the same in 1965, three years after Algeria's independence! Colonialism is the new flavor of the day. Just don't call it that.

  • Netanyahu says, You also refused to bomb Auschwitz
    • There is no way Netanyahu believes this crap. He's a sorry propagandist. What he doesn't want is Israel being part of a community in the Middle East. The only acceptable situation is if each and every neighbors of Israel can be wiped off the map at will with absolutely no possibility of retaliation. Anything below this threshold is "Auschwitz". He is the sociopathic mad man.

  • Three harsh critiques of the lobby
    • You sound like you want to take the man down. One fellow at a time. CAP style or MJRosenberg style. You want to ban blankfort from the site. Why do you remind me of a wolf in sheep's clothing?

      "Hey fellow like-minded liberals (yes, yes I'm one of yours, read my touchy feely comments! ;-) ), how about we never hear from this guy ever again!"

      You're acting exactly like the Dersh. And pretend to be "like-minded"... My reply to you without even a cursory review of what you have previously written would be: "How about you get lost, like-minded fellow!"

      Just a quick reply on a gut feeling, I apologize in advance if you're not the mini-dersh I suspect, willing to corral the the discussion which is Phil's job, not yours. I have been on the internet for years and I have never suggested any moderator to erase anything. And the way you suggest to Phil to erase Blankfort from his mind forever strikes me as inappropriate. If you want to do that, just create mondokrauss.

    • Found this on wikiquotes:
      • I do not agree that the dog in a manger has the final right to the manger even though he may have lain there for a very long time. I do not admit that right. I do not admit for instance, that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade race, a more worldly wise race to put it that way, has come in and taken their place.
      o To the Peel Commission (1937) on a Jewish Homeland in Palestine

      Churchill has written a lot. Is he a known racist? Is this an aberration? Was everybody über-racist at the time? I mean WTF? This legitimates genocide on the basis of race superiority. I really do mean WTF?
      link to en.wikiquote.org

  • In 45 minutes with Obama, Goldberg asks repeatedly about Iran, nothing about Palestinians
    • This guy was the best! I haven't read him in ages. He showed up on Dailykos at some point. He was one of the best reads in 2002-2005. He had to move on for some reason.

      As for BillM, it was more like wishful thinking. I did not read everything he wrote and wondered...

    • Are you the blogger formerly know as Billmon?

    • And there is no upside in getting info. People instinctively know they can only get hurt by forming an opinion on this.

  • The last time a Democratic president took on Benjamin Netanyahu...
    • I reread the extract from the book from Sidney Blumenthal "The Clinton Wars" and Bill Kristol did not break the story. However, Drudge broke the story "late Saturday night". I don't know how widely read Drudge was at the time but Kristol was the first to mention it on the Sunday morning show.

      As per Blumenthal: "Kristol had learned of the latest Drudge posting from Richard Porter, who had been one of Kristol's aides in Vice President Quayle's office and was now Kenn Starr's law partner at Kirkland and Ellis." (p 321, hard cover edition)

      See below about "the likud faction" mentionned by Blumenthal in a comment below.

    • Well, I remember reading someone's biography on Clinton and it said that the Lewinsky scandal was propped up at the very beginning by none other than our main man Bill Kristol!

      Plus the eternal question: why not send the dress to the cleaner?

  • Responding to commenters on recent bannings
    • I'm glad Witty is out of the conversation because he hijacked many threads over the years by reacting very early and having people angrily replying to him. This was hindering the conversation people were trying to have on this site. And I'm sure Witty was perfectly content with this result. I mean people vociferously disagreeing with the editorial line may read like the site is a place of debate and tolerance. Now it's clear that if you have mini-dersh trolls hijacking all the threads, we're in a situation where readers cannot learn and share in the forum.

      I understand now that it was Blankfort who was targeted a few weeks ago about this role of Zionism in the rise of the Nazis. Never read anything about it. Now he's been warned before and probably kept doing it so I'd agree with the ban. On the other hand, I hope Blankfort has a site so I can check out what he has to say...

  • Journalists Mike Murphy of NBC and Donna Brazile of CNN to speak at conference promoting Iran war
    • Chirac and Schröder not being there anymore may explain some of it. Also the fact that people in the West have been taught to hate Iran ever since 1979 so it is really, really hard to explain that the case for war is oversold (again). Ahmadinejad being demonized is part of the story but he did not help himself out with his conference with David Duke etc...

  • Neocons and AIPAC both want war-- but AIPAC has the Dems
    • Me replying to me again but my last edit did not go through:

      Sharon knew from the get go (9/11) that Iran was a much higher hanging fruit than Iraq. And you can be sure he was all for invading and taking down Iraq as a power. So I'm quite confident that from 9/11 to the invasion, Sharon has been "skeptical" about invading Iraq for zero second.

      This all stuff about "Iran being the real threat" (to Israel of course...), "Real men go to Tehran" is just neocons' snobbish "smarter than thou" daydreaming. It was never in the cards. And I doubt Sharon is a huge daydreamer. (addendum: notwithstanding his present situation to which I did not intend to refer originally. For an average person I probably would have changed the wording but really I don't feel the need here.)

    • Huh. Replying to my own post here but I followed the link to Lobe's article and I would suggest people interested read the second comment by Stephen Sniegoski who wrote a book about the rise up to war because he says too that Jim Lobe is pushing it but characterizing Sharon as "skeptical".

      "But I differ somewhat with Jim Lobe’s view that Sharon “was quite skeptical” of the neocons’ plan to attack Iraq. Sharon and most Israeli strategists had held that Iran was far more dangerous to Israel than Iraq. But the neocons saw attacking Iraq as merely the first step to attacking Iran and Israel’s other enemies as part of the reconfiguration of the entire Middle East."

      A possible explanation is that Jim Lobe is talking about the period right after 9/11. I'd be surprised if Iraq being the target had ever been questioned by Sharon publicly. We have to remember that Iraq was the natural target after years of beating the drum of war against it.

      I do remember reading that "the real threat was Iran" but Iraq was the low hanging fruit militarily. A very good starting point for "securing the realm" (subtitle of the Clean Break Report). Did Sharon try to talk to the Americans about taking Iran first? I'd be surprised... Did Sharon think at some point that having the Americans not invading a huge Muslim country so close to Israel was not a good thing? Knowing what we know of the guy, it does not make any sense. So it is clear that from 9/11 on, Sharon was behind the Iraq attack and not skeptical at all. I think Jim Lobe is flat out WRONG.

    • AIPAC stayed on the sideline because it was not needed. The main thrust for invasion was coming from within the Bush administration. And no one wanted to draw any attention to the fact that the Iraq war was in Israel's interest as described in the Clean Break Report in 1996 by Perle/Wurmser/Feith.

      So I'd agree with Lobe about AIPAC not being at the forefront for the Iraq invasion. His explanation about Sharon not supporting the Iraq war from the get go is just plain wrong from an August 2002 guardian article "Israel Urges US to strike" (there may be better stuff to prove this but it does the job) :

      "Any postponement of an attack on Iraq at this stage will serve no purpose," Raanan Gissin, a senior Sharon adviser, said yesterday.

      "It will only give Saddam Hussein more of an opportunity to accelerate his program of weapons of mass destruction."

      Israeli intelligence officials had new evidence that Iraq was speeding up efforts to produce biological and chemical weapons, he said.

      link to theage.com.au

      I'm almost sure there was a direct quote from Sharon to this effect too. I've never seen this idea that he had been skeptical or anything. I'd love to see Lobe back it up. It was clear that Israel was discreet in the run-up to war. But "skeptical" at any point? Where does this one come from? And I respect and I am a huge fan of Jim Lobe but on this one, it's just not what I remember.

  • Surprise-- courageous Elizabeth Warren is craven on Israel lobby
    • Elizabeth Warren has as much teeth as a toothless old lady (do I get a prize for this metaphor or what? Does it even qualify as a metaphor? I truly wonder...).

    • We're all dying to know what you think about us. Waiting for the grade. I hope it will be good! And whether you're gonna think whether what we say is acceptable, questionable, repulsive... You decide.

      And if you think from time to time we are crossing some boundaries, please tell us because what we are really looking for if to fit into whatever orthodoxy you deem acceptable.

  • Robert Wright says Palestinians have lacked political rights, including the vote, for 45 years
    • Thank you for the update, Annie. Glad to hear there may still be some life in this bid in the end.

    • "The Israel lobby performed the coup de grace with its dismissal of the statehood initiative of last fall, extinguishing hope."

      What happened there? It feels like everybody stopped talking about it... Did the Palestinians cave in? I remember the seats on the UNSC were changing on January 1st. Is the new composition worse for the Palestinian statehood initiative? Where did this thing go? The MSM completely stopped reporting on it but I don't remember too many things on Mondoweiss either. How did this thing die? What does the autopsy report say?

  • Look over there! All eyes on Iran as Israel quietly devours Area C
    • Keiser has the goods on the financial crisis. He has his own style but it wakes people up. 2008, with the instant fusion of political/monetary/financial powers was an economic coup. As simple as that. The meta class decided at that point that mere sound accounting and good old law abiding were too much of a constraint to it. More to the point, respecting these principles would have meant an end to its rule.

      The relative stillness these evil wizards have managed to maintain in the economy in the aftermath of this abomination is quite amazing and works immensely to their political profit. At this point, things have to go awfully wrong for these guys to be in the level of vulnerability they fell down to in 2008/09. Not that they won't. They will. And now, the armies of drones are ready to directly do their bidding in population control. Welcome to this new financial tyranny...

  • 'Center for American Progress' doubles down with lobby
  • Sanity check on Iran
    • "Who gave the neocons power?"

      Now this is the million dollar rhetorical question and I'm not sure the answer that Phil gives is satisfying:

      "Liberals did. And culture played a significant role."

      What does Phil mean exactly?

  • Raimondo: 'Israel firster' did not originate with neo-Nazis as Kirchick and Ackerman claim, but rather with an anti-Zionist Jew
    • One thing about imperial geo-strategy as a diluting factor of neocons' influence on the Iraq war. Walt and Mearsheimer argue to the contrary that the very fact that the Iraq war was so far away from a realist imperial geo-strategy is a testament to the strength of the Israel lobby's impulse for the Iraq war.

      You make it sound like 95% of the decision to invade Iraq could be seen as a normal course of business for the Empire. But the reason people wonder so much about the neocons' influence is precisely that there are almost no alternative explanations that make sense (WMDs? Oil was flowing already...). The Clean Break report is the closest thing we have to a (twisted) rational explanation from people involved in the decision making process!

      Remember Stephen Colbert at the White House Correspondents dinner? "Why oh why did we invade Iraq?".

      So the world is very complex, I'll give you that. There is an empire, I'll give you that too. But from that, you seem to draw the conclusion that singling out the neocons is foolish. The larger (unsaid) implication is that people who do are obsessive, irrational people who probably have an axe to grind (say, hatred for the Jewish people for instance but I'm putting words in your mouth now).

      Tom Friedman (!) has said that if you had sent 25 people in an island in 2002, the Iraq war would not have happened. The idea here is that the Iraq war was a war of choice and not in the natural strategic trajectory of the US. I don't know what you were doing (or more to the point reading) in 2003 but what was clear at the time was that a lot of the people who were agitating for war with Iraq from within the US government were people who were committed to the territorial expansion of Israel and who wrote a report advocating the reshuffling of the entire Middle East in a way that could be compatible with Israeli expansionism (clean break report). You could see that along the years, many of these people had been associated with a larger crowd of people who had been pushing for war with Iraq (PNAC, the 1998 letter etc...). A lot of them could also be associated with very aggressive pro-Israel positions.

      The most shocking thing to me was not that this was happening (although it was shocking) but rather that no one was talking about it. People like Feith were the poster children of conflict of interest and there was absolutely no one in the mainstream to point it out. These people were protected by the fact that they were part of the Israel lobby but also by the sheer enormity of the crime they were committing - for most people giving a cursory look to the situation, the mere idea that Israel operatives could be ambitious enough to try to remold the entire region just did (and does) not compute (and it's true that were it not for this document, it could be quite difficult to fathom and could be easily dismiss as a conspiracy theory - you have to remember that back in 1996, it was not clear to everybody that this kind of document could be all over the internet a few years later).

      Since there was no debate at the time (try to find mentions of the Clean Break report in mainstream outlets from mid 2002 to mid 2003), it is much harder now to convey this difficult reality of the time. The hammer of antisemitism ("oh so you want to rebuild Auschwitz?") is making this discussion extraordinarily difficult. That is why Mondoweiss is nothing short of heroic in explaining what neocons are up to.

      I called you a troll and maybe that was unfair as I can't say you're on Witty's level from what I have read from you. Yet the neocons were at the time and are now on Iran a clear and present danger to the rest of us. Nothing helps them more than silence and people who'd rather look elsewhere. And that's what you're encouraging us to do when you try to dilute them in a sea of competing possible explanations. I'm not saying there are none. I'm saying it's by far the least talked about compared to its impact (one book and a few websites in 10 years) and compared to its present influence on the Iranian question.

      (there were more books than one, let's say just one book that's been talked about (somewhat))

    • "in jewishgoyim’s irrational screed above."

      I must admit my post was of very low quality. Lazy, inarticulate and all over the place. Granted. Thankfully, American made points that explain to you most of what I would have wanted to add or explain better.

    • I started reading antiwar in 2002. Raimondo was quite a discovery. Back then, he had a strange picture of himself that made him look like he was telling everybody to take a hike. The all concept of "antiwar" made me feel uncomfortable. Weren't wars useful and a necessary evil? Then came the war in Iraq and it changed my worldview quite a bit. Basically, what you could read on the internet was completely different from anything else I had ever read. Google news was also just starting. Billmon, Cursor, Greenwald, Phil Weiss and Daily Kos, Counterpuch, TPM. Those were the days!

      Anyway, antiwar is in Greenwald's blogroll. But not in Mondoweiss'. Greenwald is not pointing to Mondoweiss and Mondoweiss is not pointing to Greenwald. Yet Greenwald made a reference to Phil Weiss in a post two days ago which is not that common and shows that mondoweiss is getting more and more mainstream. Raimondo Quotes Weiss more readily than Greenwald and Weiss can be heard every now and then on Antiwar radio (Greenwald too). Mondoweiss does not refer to Greenwald or Raimondo that often. Except Adam Horowitz did today.

      The Adelson story is bringing together this Mexican army of talented people. Mondoweiss is clearly the most daring publications when it comes to the Israel lobby with Raimondo a close second. Greenwald tries a little harder to offer no possible angle of attack to the Jeffrey Goldbergs of the world who hate him nonetheless. It works since Goldberg can only attack him on the suspicion of not loving Israel enough which is very very weak.

      I'm just wondering how many readers here would say they also read regularly antiwar and Greenwald. I bet quite a lot...

    • Well, from Irving Kristol (taken from mondoweiss). How monocausal is all this, Keith?

      Senator McGovern is very sincere when he says that he will try to cut
      the military budget by 30%. And this is
      to drive a knife in the heart of Israel… Jews don’t like big
      military budgets. But it is now an
      interest of the Jews to have a large and powerful military establishment in the United States…
      American Jews who care about the survival of the state of Israel have to say, no, we
      don’t want to cut the military budget, it is important to keep that military
      budget big, so that we can defend Israel.

      It is oh so very complex and multi dimensional, Keith. Is Keith another troll saying there is nothing to see here? Because it's so multi dimensional and stuff? "These are not the neocons you are looking for ?" (for Star Wars fans).

      Now Keith you should read some stuff about the lead up to war. I suggest the clean break report to start with. Just trolling mondoweiss saying neocons also care about their dogs and their cats is not very helpful. And it is not true: they don't give a dime about their cats and their dogs. And they hate puppies.

      Keith, were you like Witty so surprised that Adelson could be so concerned about Israel? Do you have a hard time believing that Sabban "is a one-man issue and that issue is Israel". But the world is so complex, and multi-dimensional that actually thinking and organizing against neocons is a waste of time. Well, Keith, I'm a "one-man issue and that issue is that neocons are pissing me off". How about that?

  • Wait-- do you like Israel? (Jeffrey Goldberg's ultimate test)
    • It's just the "self-hate" smear in a slightly milder expression. What Goldberg implies to his like-minded readers is that all good Jews love Israel(/themselves). Glenn Greenwald looks to him like he doesn't love Israel(/himself). Hence Greenwald is self-hating.

      Which leads me to wonder about "self-hating". Anybody can agree that hating oneself is not a healthy mental state. So what does throwing "self-hating" around tells us about people who do? To me, it is very similar to calling someone crazy. What are the kind of regime who retort to calling political opponents "mentally deranged"? The USSR comes to mind along with a great history of exciting ideologies!

      Jeffrey Goldberg is a fascistic imbecile along with his fellow neocons. How this idiot got to become the gate keeper of all debate about Israel in the US is a very big mistery to me.

  • Boycott Divestment and Sodastream
    • I don't get it. Is it a Palestinian product making money for Palestinian people? Or is made by a bunch of settlers in the occupied territories? Or worse: by a bunch of Palestinians for a dirt wage for an Israeli boss?

  • Chris Hayes stunning 'Story of the Week' featuring Sheldon Adelson
    • I understand Citizens United changed the rules of campaign finance by allowing superPACs to spend as much as they want on the candidate that they want.

      What I don't understand is that the US political system has been corrupted to the core by money well before Citizens United. Yet, there were limits ($2000/person for presidential election?). So I know there were "bundlers" and all but I don't understand how the political system could have been so corrupt with these limits. Also the amounts involved seemed rather small. One could think "if it costs so little, why aren't there more bidders for the US political system?". (The explanation is probably that those who own it will price out any new bidders and that "would-be" new bidders know it.)

      So I don't see how the US political system could become more corrupt than it was during the Iraq war or the financial crisis. Yet Citizens United is removing a real limitation. What am I missing?

    • I agree with Annie. By the end of the video, I had come to notice this bothering jazzy/noisy sound in the background which makes me think it is really out of the ordinary. Difficult to know what the people with the gizmos can do when the show takes a direction that is unwanted.

  • Robert Reich pretends he's stupid
    • I think Robert Reich is very different from the other dudes you cite. I think the others are kind of "liberal" neocons. It would not surprise me to learn that Reich is on the Mondoweiss side of the fence but that he has too much to lose as a public figure to say it. It is a little different from the neocons in sheep's clothes that you single out.

      It is true that some people are disappointing in what they say compared to what one can think they think (Krugman comes to mind). But then not being explicit in criticizing the Israel lobby cannot be put on the same level as carrying water for it.

      I mean Jeffrey Goldberg = Robert Reich???? C'mon!!!! And I agree that he could have been a little more courageous on Adelson but still. The general direction of what he's saying is 180° from what your other guys would say.

  • Following weeks of smears, Zaid Jilani resigns from Center for American Progress to take new job
  • Gingrich says his backer's 'central value' is Israel (and NBC drops the subject)
    • We hear that all the time. It's always "multi-dimensional" and oh so very "complex". "Support for Israel is one among so many explaining factors". Well, there you have it for Adelson... And frankly I'm sure you'd still be surprised if you heard the same thing for Sabban.

      But if anybody impugns the motives of these gentlemen, it is so antisemitic and conspiratorial. If you don't see through someone like Adelson who is quite forward about his motives, no wonder you're always in disbelief when you hear about an Israel lobby. By systematically refusing to connect the obvious dots, you sound partisan and governed by tribal loyalties.

      Which of these high profile donors said: "I'm a one man issue and this issue is Israel" or something similar?

  • Bibi throws in with GOP, Democratic base turns critical, and Israel finally becomes partisan wedge issue like abortion -- Blumenthal
    • Yeah on the financial crisis or Foreign Policy, I'd say RT is like Al Jazeera: way above whatever the US MSM can deliver.

      So basically the US MSM is not doing its job and those outlets just rushed into the gaping hole. Smart of them and useful to the entire planet except maybe to US citizens who may have a very hard time understanding and admitting that RT and AJ is putting out a much better news product than the absolute crap they're being fed everyday (at least as far as the US is concerned).

  • Neoconservative responsibility for the Iraq war
    • Yes and by the way, I saw the Wesley Clark video on Greenwald's blog a few weeks ago. I think it needed to be quoted but then it may also have been some place else.

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