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Total number of comments: 705 (since 2010-07-06 22:23:36)

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  • In Israel, Steny Hoyer promises, US financial crisis won't cut our aid package by a dime
  • How could Congress be so tone-deaf as to go to Israel when US is in crisis?? Greta Van Susteren asks
    • To talk candidly to competing parties and interests.

      Please tell us, kind sir, how many of the Gang of 84 will be visiting the West Bank or Gaza to talk with the Palestinians.

      One? None? If you don't know, then cut it out with the amateur-hour hasbara. You're way out of your league here.

    • In what has become an established pattern of in-your-face defiance, Israel has chosen to announce provocative new housing construction in East Jerusalem while U.S. Congressional delegations are visiting.

      Israel's Interior Ministry has given final authorisation for 1,600 apartments to be built in disputed east Jerusalem and will approve 2,700 more in the next few days, officials have said, detailing a plan that could complicate diplomatic efforts to dissuade Palestinians from declaring statehood at the UN.

      link to guardian.co.uk

      Remember how the Israelis snubbed Joe Biden? There's a malicious aspect of their behavior, in which they give an upraised middle finger to visiting U.S. officials -- just because they can -- while demanding the customary $3 billion in tribute ... or else. This from a country whose unemployment rate is 3.5% lower than ours. Oh, the chutzpah!

      If countries were caricatures, Israel would be Calvin of the Calvin and Hobbes cartoon, pissing on America's leg with an evil grin on its adolescent mug.

      After all, Israel is the little country that never grew up.

  • 'We recognize neither the legality, nor the morality, nor the wisdom of the walls between us': Israeli academics endorse civil disobedience campaign against Israeli entry laws
    • USA Today features an article about a Delta Airlines partnership with Saudi Arabian Airlines. The Saudis are notorious for not allowing anyone with an Israeli stamp in their passport to enter the country, and probably discourage Jews in general from visiting. Understandably, Jewish groups are upset:

      ------------

      "Saudi Arabia, a U.S. ally, should be strongly condemned for its despicable discrimination against Jews," said Kenneth Bandler, a spokesman for the New York-based American Jewish Committee.

      "For an American company, our nation's values should trump narrow business interests. Delta should be the first to reject Saudi airlines as a SkyTeam member."

      Dan Diker, secretary general of the World Jewish Congress, said he hoped "Delta will not be complicit with what appears to be a demonstrably anti-Semitic and racist policy by Saudi Arabian Airlines."

      link to usatoday.com

      ------------

      All well and good. Presumably, then, the AJC and the WJC also will be supporting the civil disobedience campaign against Israel's racist policy of not allowing Palestinians -- some of whom are refugees from territory now occupied by Israel -- to enter their own land? Yes?

  • Newt Gingrich lauds ‘Jerusalem Day’ extremists
    • '... the land of Israel that has existed not for mere decades, but for thousands of years.'

      Here is standard zionist obscurantism, seeking to draw a literal equation between the scriptural 'Israel' and the modern state founded sixty-odd years ago. Newt knows the difference, but some of the staunch believers among his listeners don't. Gingrich converted to Catholicism in 2009, after spending his adult life as a Baptist. But his theology evidently remains hardball evangelical.

      Newt Gingrich took to the airwaves almost twenty-five years ago, seeking to put a human front on his reptilian, Darth Vader public image. Judging by the recent mass defection of his staff, nothing has changed. He's an abrasive character, not so much smart as calculating.

      Shamelessly sucking up to militant zionists by regurgitating applause lines which they probably drafted for him (what would Gingrich know of the Feast of Shavuot?) isn't going to change either his unelectability or his basic irrelevance. It's pretty shocking, though, that the Republican Jewish Coalition hosts speakers which cheer on racist lynch mobs.

    • Page: 7
  • A young American Jew describes being arrested for standing in opposition to the Jerusalem Day parade
    • Classic trolling technique on display here -- the 'When did you stop beating your wife?' meme, adapted to fit the I/P issue, along with a drive-by allegation of irresponsibility.

      Got to hand it to brother hophmi -- he's a hasbara pro. But his audience has all seen this movie before. And it gets old.

    • From this editorial posted in a student newspaper, I gather that Lucas Koerner is a student at Tufts University:

      link to tuftsdaily.com

      It doesn't say where he's from. But someone who knows where Koerner lives should contact his U.S. Representative and Senators, and ask them both to intervene (by demanding that the U.S. ambassador offer consular visitation and protection), and to make a statement concerning Koerner's harsh treatment by the 'middle east's only democracy.'

      The video of Koerner's summary arrest is an effective antidote to the billowing fantasies spun by Netanyahu about Israel being an advanced, modern and tolerant state. A video is worth 10,000 words. And an unorthodox kippah is worth a free escort to jail, evidently.

      By the way, when will Abe Foxman be issuing his statement condemning the absence of 'tolerance' on display in the video? Just asking!

  • State Department blames flotilla participants for 'risks' they incur from Israel
    • So who is 'Mark Toner' anyway? Prolly the spoiled young son of the guy who has the printer cartridge monopoly, doing his noblesse oblige bit in government service.

  • Mustafa Barghouthi's 2-state/1-state straddle
    • Barghouthi said, "The first day we declare that we are giving up on a two-state solution ... they will say, you are the ones who want to destroy Israel."

      Mustafa, my man, they are already saying that. 'Hophmi,' for instance, in a comment on the nearby Clenchner essay:

      The Palestinian Liberation movement’s chief aim is to reverse the events of 1948, always has been, and still is.

      Arguably the two-state charade (Oslo and all that) cost the Palestinians twenty wasted years.

      Barghouthi is dead right that Netanyahu's speech to Congress was the "death sentence of the two-state solution." Take this meme and run with it -- it places the blame squarely where it belongs.

  • Are Palestinians standing up for an inclusive national identity?
    • 'I’m contrasting the inclusive nature of the South African freedom movement with the exclusive Palestinian freedom movement.'

      Well, I think you've set up a straw man with the alleged inclusiveness of the South African freedom movement. This is from Wikipedia, concerning the Freedom Charter:

      The document is notable for its demand for and commitment to a non-racial South Africa, and this has remained the platform of the ANC. Members of the ANC with opposing Africanist views left the group after it adopted the charter, forming the Pan Africanist Congress.

      Note that the 'nonracial' stance came about partly because the ANC had valued allies in the South African Indian Congress, and in another organization for Coloured (mixed race) people. That was a structural difference in South African demographics (and apartheid-era laws) which doesn't apply in Israel/Palestine.

      Thus, South Africans had a diversity of opinions about inclusiveness; so do Palestinians. And your point was ...?

    • 'Can we point to any elected Palestinian leaders that represent voters (in Israel, Gaza, or the West Bank) or members (trade unions, professional associations, etc.) who are on record articulating a vision of Palestinian national identity that includes Hebrew and Russsian speakers?'

      Probably not. But it's understandable that when living under a violent, kleptocratic occupation, advocating for a multi-ethnic society that would integrate the occupiers tends to be regarded as collaboration.

      A culture so collectively aloof that it constructs a tall concrete wall around itself doesn't invite much speculation about how it could be included.
      Palestinian leaders can only offer theories of multi-ethnic governance in connection with an absolute Palestinian right of return, to which Israel's response is "NEVER!"

      When the 'Jewish state' colonial experiment ends -- more likely owing to economics than politics -- enlightened Palestinian leaders certainly will want to retain as much of its valuable human capital as possible. By one count, a fifth of South Africa's white population has left since apartheid ended in 1994. The overwhelming reason is to escape South Africa's endemic violent crime.

      Assuming that civil order is maintained in the future unitary state of New Palestine, how much of its Jewish population will nevertheless seek to leave? Should Palestine consider an exit tax, to fund reparations such as removing the Wall? It would be tempting to apply such a tax only to Jews. But that would be discriminatory and wrong, of course. We's all one big happy family now!

  • Obama can't stop talking about love (and that's bad news for the Israel lobby)
    • Watch what he says, not what he does. Reading John Pilger provides a bracing reality check against wishful thinking:

      ------------

      As "Mr. Hopey Changey" (the name that Ted Rall, the great American cartoonist, gives Barack Obama), is fawned upon by the British elite and launches another insufferable presidential campaign, the Anglo-American reign of terror proceeds in Afghanistan and elsewhere, with the murder of people by unmanned drones – a US/Israel innovation, embraced by Obama. For the record, on a scorecard of imposed misery, from secret trials and prisons and the hounding of whistleblowers and the criminalizing of dissent to the incarceration and impoverishment of his own people, mostly black people, Obama is as bad as George W. Bush.

      The Palestinians understand all this. As their young people courageously face the violence of Israel’s blood-racism, carrying the keys of their grandparents’ stolen homes, they are not even included in Mr. Hopey Changey’s list of peoples in the Middle East whose liberation is long overdue. What the oppressed need, he said on 19 May, is a dose of "America’s interests [that] are essential to them." He insults us all.

      link to lewrockwell.com

  • Netanyahu says 'all men are created equal' message on Lincoln Mem'l is a Jewish concept
    • 'They're basically Jewish concepts that were originated at the time of the Bible, thousands of years ago. You know, that all men are created in God's image. That no ruler is above the law. That there should be universal justice. These were revolutionary Jewish ideas that were introduced thousands of years ago when the Earth was ruled by -- slave empires.'

      Netanyahu conveniently omits referring to passages in Exodus and Deuteronomy regulating the treatment of slaves. Jewish ideas of the time weren't anti-slavery as Netanyahu's revisionist history would have us believe. They merely preferred the owner role to the chattel role, as anyone would, and implored Ol' Hebrew Massah to treat his human livestock well.

      It's no coincidence that a charlatan like Netanyahu would idolize Lincoln, whose own post mortem revisionist history emphasizes his role as the 'Great Emancipator' while air brushing away his staunch white supremacist views. After emancipating Negroes, Lincoln hoped to deport them back to Africa ... much as Netanyahu hopes that Palestinians can be deported east of the Jordan.

      Time for the 'Plant a tree for Israel' campaign to an inaugurate an Abe Lincoln Park on the ruins of a Palestinian village. Feel the emancipation!

  • In NY harbor, Ahmet Dogan tells the wrenching story of the murder of his son, freedom rider Furkan Dogan
    • Thanks for sharing Dr. Ahmet Dogan's thoughts with us. Mostly the MSM just swept under the carpet the fact that one of the nine victims on the Mavi Marmara was a U.S. citizen. The U.S. administration refrained from criticizing Israel; dozens of members of Congress actually praised the murderers.

      While we reflect on Dr. Dogan's recollections, let's not forget the foam-at-the mouth fascists among us, still seeking to criminalize peaceful protest. This snarling thug will no doubt be back:

      ------------

      Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA) publicly called to arrest and prosecute "any U.S. citizens who were aboard or involved with the Freedom Flotilla" under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996.

      Rep. Sherman serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and chairs the subcommittee on terrorism and nonproliferation.

      According to Rep. Sherman: "[It's] absolutely illegal for any American to give food, money, school supplies, paper clips, concrete ... so I will be asking the Attorney General to prosecute any American involved in what was clearly an effort to give items of value to a terrorist organization."

      Hamas is considered a terrorist organization.

      Rep. Sherman also stated that he was planning to work with the Department of Homeland Security to ensure all non-U.S. citizens aboard the Flotilla would be permanently barred from entering the U.S. This list includes Nobel peace laureate Mairead Maguire, former UN assistant secretary general Denis Halliday, plus numerous parliamentarians and government officials from Ireland, Britain, Spain, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Palestine, and Israel.

      link to wakeupfromyourslumber.com

  • Land swaps? Israel doesn't have enough land to give the Palestinians
    • It would indeed provide for Palestinian contiguity -- but at the cost of either ceding or isolating Beersheba and the all-important 'Yes we have no nukes' Dimona plant.

      Just to turn the tables on Israeli-style thinking, the Palestinians could graciously offer Israel a walled corridor or transit tunnel across the Palestinian Negev to reach their southern cities. Who could object to that?

  • Republican drumbeat begins: Obama will bring about 'destruction' of Israel
    • '[Bachmann] is plainly doing this to raise money.'

      Maybe, but in her case, a plea of chronic mental debilitation would also be justifiable:

      I have been a long time supporter of Israel. The first time I went to Israel was the day I graduated from high school. I spent a summer working on Kibbutz Be’eri near Beer Sheva in 1974. I’ve been 4 times in Israel – 3 times as a Member of Congress. I loved Israel – from the moment I first landed.

      link to tcjewfolk.com

      For Bachmann, the 'love affair with Israel' obviously started with religion and ideology. Its seductive pecuniary potential only manifested itself later.

      Speaking of ideology, what was a staunch, cloth-coat Republican doing, working on a socialistic kibbutz? Is she a closet pinko or something? ;-)

  • Egypt working with Israel on Rafah policy
    • Yousef Munayyer's blog (second link in the list) provides a clear overview of Gaza's status as an economic satellite of Israel. From his latest post 'What Opening Rafah Means and Doesn't Mean,' here's a dismal fact that you aren't likely to hear from the Isabel Kershners and Ethan Bronners of the MSM:

      ------------

      Since [January 2010], the power plant [in Gaza] has twice had to shut down completely, due to lack of fuel. The plant now operates using one turbine, producing only 30 MW of electricity, compared to its average production of 60-65 MW in 2009.

      Israel's control over the vast majority of electricity generated outside of Gaza, and their ability to deny the sustainable development of electricity generation inside Gaza by preventing the materials necessary for bringing the power-plant up to capacity, gives them effective light-switch control over Gaza.

      ------------

      Electric power consumption across nations can be compared on a per capita basis, in watts per person. The U.S. clocks in at a bountiful 1,460 watts per capita (enough to run an air conditioner, a hair dryer, or 14 hundred-watt lamps); the EU at 700; Israel at 734.

      By comparison, Gazans consume a microscopic 0.02 watts per person (not even enough to make a flashlight glow) -- far below most of sub-Saharan Africa. Even Haiti, the poorest country in the western hemisphere with a notoriously debilitated power system, achieves 4 watts per capita.

      link to en.wikipedia.org

      While Netanyahu dazzles Congress with claims that 'the Palestinian economy is booming. It’s growing by more than 10% a year,' Gaza limps along under medieval conditions with half its electricity generation shut down ... for years. Israel's brutal policy of keeping Gazans on a diet just short of starvation continues.

      Nevertheless, the opening of Rafah crossing has symbolic significance. Egypt has bestowed overnight at Rafah what years of fruitless negotiations with Israel failed to achieve: opening of the Karni crossing on a permanent basis for personal travel.

      The lesson for Palestinians is unmistakable: the patronizing 'peace' on offer from Israel and America amounted to little more than a condescending adult-supervised recess for school children, which could be revoked at will. That dead-end route to bantustandom is over. Freedom for Palestine will have to be achieved on its own terms, with as much help as possible from other Arab regimes jarred loose from their oppressive orbits as U.S. satellites.

  • Why did I disrupt?
    • 'So we have a very skewed policy that ... gives $3 billion a year of our tax dollars to the Israel military when we need this money here at home.'

      Amen, sistuh! If Americans can't or won't understand the moral issues which you explain so well, they can at least grasp the pocketbook aspect.

      As repellent as Netanyahu's triumphant rant was, it still deserves to be quoted over and over for its extravagant non sequiturs. Consider this masterpiece:

      My friends, you don’t need to do nation building in Israel. We’re already built. You don’t need to export democracy to Israel. We’ve already got it. You don’t need to send American troops to defend Israel. We defend ourselves.

      If Israel is so self-reliant, then why does it need $3 billion a year from the US? If Israel is so rich that it could join the OECD 'developed nations' club last year, why does it get multiples of the aid sent to the poorest of the poor?

      Netanyahu seamlessly segues into calling US aid 'an investment in a common future.' UGH -- we don't want a common future with an apartheid state.

      To secure a common future with Israel, we'd need to repeal the Civil Rights Act of 1964, repeal the Fair Housing Act of 1968, and institute a white-only immigration policy. And that's just for starters.

      Thanks, Rae Abileah, for confronting this racist thug. Keep disrupting!

  • In 'The American Interest,' minister's kid Mead says God favors and protects Israel like he protects the U.S.
    • 'For 1000 of years, the OT was simply used to confirm that Jesus was who he said he was– there was no other real investment in the OT, except as important stories ... the ten commandments, the creation story etc.'

      Descriptively, this is quite correct. But keeping the OT as canonized holy writ rather than downgrading it to an appendix comes with a terrible price.

      Most Christians and Jews would agree that the ten commandments are still the law. But mighty few would go to bat for the levirate marriage mandated in Deuteronomy, which explains that if a man refuses to carry out this sexual 'duty' with his brother's widow, she must spit in his face, take one of his shoes, and the others in the town must always call him 'the one without a shoe.' [Howdy, I'm 'Barefoot' -- pleased to meetcha!]

      So you end up with textual quicksand, in which any passage can be characterized as either 'historical' or 'mandatory,' according to one's fancy. It should be no surprise that this ancient obscurantist tract leads to calamities such as the biblically-induced 'love for Israel' which roils our politics, as Mead points out.

      In Christian churches, hymns and scripture readings invoke the biblical 'Israel,' which is not synonymous with the modern state of Israel, since it didn't exist until 1948. Yet the vague impression sinks in that the modern state is being lauded; the chants and the songs and the incense bypass the reasoning faculties. Many Christians could no more make the distinction than they could explain the difference between 'affect' and 'effect.'

      Fourth-century canonization councils could have performed the wholesale editing needed, after the OT's supposed role of presenting prophecies that were fulfilled in the NT has become less significant. But they wimped out; we're stuck with the unedifying dog's breakfast they left behind; and Israel (the state) collects a fabulous but undeserved goodwill bounty from the historical confusion.

  • Mearsheimer on dual loyalty and William Safire
    • 'Here are innumerable instances where siding with the foreign leader is the right thing to do (just one example – Salvador Allende and Richard Nixon).'

      As usual, David Samel makes a thoughtful point. Dozens more examples could be named where siding with a foreign leader would have been appropriate -- ranging from the Nicaraguan junta when Reagan was mining its harbors [the ICJ decided in Nicaragua's favor as well], to Saddam Hussein when he denied Bush's false charges of weapons of mass destruction.

      What's remarkable about Netanyahu is unlike these other foreign leaders, he succeeds in going over the president's head to secure Congressional support. The Lobby's demonstrated track record of results puts it in a class by itself, in terms of foreign influence.

      While 'dual loyalty' can be misused as term of abuse or bigotry, it's also a concise way of highlighting a pathological level of collaboration with a foreign influence which probably wouldn't be tolerated from any other nation.

  • Feeling the ignorance at AIPAC 2011
    • 'One interviewee could not distinguish Palestine from Pakistan.'

      Reminds me of a childhood incident, when a minister from central Africa was visiting the U.S. As a recipient of 'missions' contributions from our church, he was invited to address our congregation, deep in the piney woods in the land of Jim Crow.

      Garbed in the flowing green robes of his native land, he described his efforts to spread the word of the Bible in his impoverished land. The offering plate, it was announced, would be dedicated to his mission.

      Afterward, one of the more hardboiled congregants addressed our local minister on his way out the door. 'G-u-s-s-s-s,' he said -- turning the preacher's one-syllable name into two or three -- 'I thought you said this feller was visiting from Africa.'

      'He is, he is,' the reverend averred.

      'Well, he looked like just a regular ol' nigger to me,' the member concluded.

      And so it is with AIPACers. Pakistanis, Palestinians -- what's the difference? They's all just regular ol' Mooslims, ain't they?

  • Rae Abileah takes on the 'culture of silence' in the Jewish community
    • 'If this is what democracy looks like, that when you speak out for freedom and justice, you get tackled to the ground, you get physically violated and assaulted, and then you get hauled off to jail, that’s not the kind of democracy that I think I want to live in.'

      This is not mere boilerplate. Many of us got the same impression in Feb. 2003, protesting the imminent Iraq invasion in the streets of New York, when Bloomberg's snarling NYPD hurded us into 'protest pens' and his snipers pointed rifles at us from rooftops.

      In most countries on this earth, however humble in economic circumstances, people own their own culture. But the grotesque spectacle of Congress groveling and ululating for Netanyahu reminds Americans that the commanding heights of their own culture have slipped through their hands ... and Potemkin 'democracy' in the form of 'any flavor you want, as long as it's Democrat or Republican' can't bring it back.

      Watching a hijacked empire decay and curdle is a major drag. One can live better than this, in normal nations that don't aspire to rule the world.

  • Alas, the battle over a Jewish state in the Middle East is an irrepressible conflict
    • '[Netanyahu] is the ultimate expression of Zionism: the Revisionist belief that Jews have a right to all the land between the river and the sea because of the Bible.'

      I don't know whether Phil's use of general terms rather than proper nouns in this sentence is intentional. But Zionists would applaud the creative ambiguity, since the river their bible references is the Euphrates [Genesis 15:18, etc.]

      Curiously enough, the anachronistic terms Judea and Samaria which Netanyahu employed in his speech only appear in the Christian New Testament, in the book of Acts.

      That's the Big Tent approach -- keep both the Jewish and Christian fundamentalist crazies happy, as their so-called holy scriptures keep people at each others' throats for millennia on end.

      Makes a great case for the alternative of magic mushroom worship, I'd say, where there aren't any hokey old scriptures, just cool psychedelic movies. Bearing in mind, of course, that this was probably how those wacked-out scriptures were written in the first place.

  • Actually, 67 borders are perfectly defensible
    • Quotes from Netanyahu's speech to Congress:

      ------------

      'They [Palestinians] continue to perpetuate the fantasy that Israel will one day be flooded by the descendants of Palestinian refugees.'

      'Palestinians from around the world should have a right to immigrate, if they so choose, to a Palestinian state. This means that the Palestinian refugee problem will be resolved outside the borders of Israel.'

      'Israel will not return to the indefensible lines of 1967. Jerusalem must remain the united capital of Israel. In Judea and Samaria, the Jewish people are not foreign occupiers. It is vital that Israel maintain a long-term military presence along the Jordan River.'

      ------------

      None of this is inconsistent with the goal of creating a Greater Israel comprising ALL of historic Palestine, by bulldozing the West Bank's entire Arab population across the river into Jordan.

      On the other hand, by insisting that a theoretical Palestinian state in the West Bank be entirely demilitarized and surrounded by Israeli troops, Israel preserves the option of pouncing on and reoccupying it. No such state would ever be secure against a power whose expansionist proclivities are on constant display.

      Netanyahu harped on Israel's limited geography. One bit is only nine miles wide, he said -- half the width of the Washington beltway. Israel is at least larger than Delaware, larger than Rhode Island, he said -- comparing it to America's smallest states.

      All of these remarks support one conclusion: Israel wants ALL of Palestine. By stipulating unacceptable terms for peace, Netanyahu indicates that the status quo of expanding settlements will continue indefinitely, until Israel is forcibly stopped.

      That the US Congress hooted and howled their approval of his bristling rant -- Netanyahu's sequel to Khrushchev banging his shoe on the UN podium -- demonstrates that like the former Soviet Union, the United States encourages reckless aggression and territorial expansion by its satellites.

      Unless the rest of the world sides with the Palestinians against the U.S./Israel axis of aggression, their best hope may be that Bin Laden's 'tar baby' strategy of bankrupting the U.S. empire in the desert sands of the Middle East succeeds. There is no better way to stoke anti-Americanism across the entire awakening Muslim region than by siding with Netanyahu's extremist, intransigent rants. Which, in turn, will only accelerate America's descent from mere insolvency (negative net worth) to illiquidity (no cash flow).

      Israel is our misfortune.

  • The Emperor’s clothes are still on, for now (while his heckler is roughed up, hospitalized)
    • 'fences, barricades and barbed wire were erected around many government buildings in Washington, DC'

      Sounds a lot like Israel and its security wall. Shared values, you know. Everybody happy.

    • Let's take it a little farther. If not for the president's State of the Union speech being constitutionally mandated, there is little doubt that the high honor of addressing Congress would be extended to Israel's prime minister, and not to the U.S. president.

      Would that be enough for Americans to get how completely they've been sold out?

  • We can only pray that Congress's supine conduct before a rightwing foreign leader will have political consequences
    • 'What is up with you people?'

      Nothing's up with us, GF; it's the politicians. They no more represent us than Bibi and Avigdor represent you.

      I'll be interested to see whether even one Member of Congress contradicts Netanyahu's appalling fundamentalist assertions about 'Judea and Samaria.'

      For anyone who's as upset by this as I am, the lesson is never again vote for a Republican or a Democrat. Do not read between the lines of political pronouncements to imagine a commitment to enlightenment and reform when none exists. Not only are both these parties fatally compromised; their future candidates will be vetted to ensure that they toe the pro-Israel line in every jot and tittle.

      For instance: is there a single Member of Congress who has not taken an expenses-paid junket to Israel? (Serious question; I don't know the answer.)

      Netanyahu's wildly-applauded speech was an upraised middle finger, tattooed red-white-and-blue, to the Palestinian version of the Arab Spring. This is the one positive point of today's vulgar events: the phony U.S.-sponsored 'peace process' is over for good, with Congressional perfidy and extremism on full display. Palestinians now understand with crystal clarity that AIPAC's entwined Israeli-U.S. flag gets a more heartfelt and impassioned salute from a compromised Congress than its own forsaken stars-'n-stripes, which lies trampled with Netanyahu's filthy bootprints.

      If former Congressman Paul Findley reissued his 1985 book today, he'd have to call it They Daren't Speak Out: People and Institutions Fellate Israel's Lobby. Depublicrats don't spit; they swallow.

  • Head of DNC sees eye to eye with rightwing funder Sheldon Adelson when it comes to Netanyahu
    • Check out this hilarious spoof in the Onion:

      WASHINGTON—State Department diplomat Nelson Milstrand, who appeared on CNN last week and offered an informed, thoughtful analysis implying that Israel could perhaps exercise more restraint toward Palestinian moderates in disputed territories, was asked to resign Tuesday. “The United States deeply regrets any harm Mr. Milstrand’s careful, even-tempered, and factually accurate remarks may have caused our democratic partner in the Middle East,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in an unequivocal condemnation of the veteran foreign-service officer’s perfectly reasonable statements. “U.S. policy toward Israel continues to be one of unconditional support and fawning sycophancy.” Milstrand, 63, will reportedly appear at an AIPAC conference to offer a full apology as soon as his trial concludes and his divorce is finalized.

      link to theonion.com

      Of course we all realize that 'Nelson Milstrand' is Barack Obama, Israel's Vice President for American Affairs [pace Mantiq al-Tayr], who felt obliged to flee overseas to distance himself from the degrading spectacle that's taking place today.

  • Cantor says Arabs have a culture of 'resentment and hatred'
  • I'm fed up with criticism of Israel being shouted down as anti-Semitic
    • Mooser,

      For some time I've suspected that the 'Richard Witty' persona is a Turing machine -- a bot, that is. Evidently its programmers sought to mimic human behavior by introducing 'fuzzy logic' (going a bit overboard in that respect, obviously) and a habit of changing the subject, as a not-very-good human listener would do.

      But technology has moved on. Out of respect for other participants, I call on the developers to upgrade to 'RW 2.0,' or else withdraw this outdated autoposting app. Thanks in advance.

    • 'I’m fed up with criticism of Israel being shouted down as anti-Semitic.'

      Today's NYT contains a classic example from columnist Stanley Fish:

      There is, as everyone knows, an ongoing debate about whether criticism of Israel can be separated from criticism of Jews, that is, from anti-Semitism. ... Israelis and their supporters will hear in any criticism of policy echoes of the diaspora, the blood-libel, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and the Third Reich’s final solution. Those who offer the criticism can never quite be sure that their distaste for Israel’s actions with respect to the Palestinians is entirely innocent of the influence of centuries of vilification. And that seems to be where we are.

      link to opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com

      Far from 'shouting,' Fish masterfully plays the role of passive-aggressive emotional manipulator. While claiming that he's just a humble ink-stained wretch observing the way things are, he casually smears Israel's critics as un-self-aware closet racists, unwittingly influenced by the worst extremes of Naziism.

      An appropriate response in the US context is that the Establishment clause of the constitution reflects a cultural consensus that religious states are a bad idea. Fish, who stipulates that Israel 'is, after all, the Jewish state,' is welcome to disagree. But Americans certainly aren't obliged to accept the alien concept of a religious state, prohibited by their own constitution. This means that they are free to criticize the laws and policies of such a foreign state without being subjected to Fish's slimy, insidious imputations of extremism.

  • Chris Matthews is in, and up to the hub! Taking on AIPAC
    • '[Matthews is] asking why Republican lawmakers are lining up with a foreign prime minister against their president -- Netanyahu and AIPAC.'

      All one need do is to review the roll calls on pro-Israel resolutions which have passed the House with 400-plus votes, and the Senate with 90-plus votes, to realize that siding with a foreign power against the president is a thoroughly bipartisan phenomenon.

      Matthews is just employing the MSM's standard sports-contest metaphor to gin up some imaginary Republican vs. Democratic drama, when in fact they're all playing on the same pro-Israel team.

      If the blowhard Matthews had anything intelligent to say, he wouldn't be on television.

    • Justin Raimondo expands on annie's theme that 'zionism is rightwing':

      The Israeli electorate is so far to the right, these days, that a neo-fascist party and a Jewish version of Hitler [Avigdor Lieberman] have made huge gains of the sort that were once unthinkable. In its religious fervor, and millennialist hysteria, the Israeli zeitgeist has abandoned its Western and European antecedents, and become almost indistinguishable from its Arab neighbors: fundamentalism is as much a problem in Israel as it is in, say, Egypt, or Jordan. Israel, in short, has returned to its Asian-Oriental roots, and is very far from the idealistic experiment its European founders envisioned at the beginning.

      link to original.antiwar.com

  • Obama's overflowing 'love' for Ireland shows up his rage toward Israel/the lobby
    • Gibberish:

      “We’re glad to see that progress is being made in stabilizing the economic situation here,” [Obama] said after meeting with Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny in Dublin. “I know it’s a hard road, but it’s one that the Irish people are more than up to the task in achieving.”

      link to noir.bloomberg.com

      Reality:

      Bloomberg (May 23): 'Irish 10-year [bond] yields advanced 29 basis points to 10.83 percent [vs. benchmark German bonds at 3.01%].'

      Bloomberg (May 15): 'The European Commission said today in Brussels ... [that] Irish debt will reach 112 percent [of GDP], the forecasts show.'

      link to businessweek.com

      Historical data show that when their debt goes above 90% of GDP, it is rare for nations to recover without restructuring (a euphemism for default).

      Like the U.S., Ireland is drowning in debt because it chose to bail out its banksters in full, rather than merely protecting deposits while letting holders of bank equity and debt eat the loss in a bankruptcy process. The previous Irish government even stole from pension funds to bail out the banks.

      In Ireland, the burning populist issue of the day is to scrap that corrupt deal. Obama does not support the Irish people in this ambition. He supports the banks, the EU and the IMF in collecting every penny they are owed, by grinding the faces of the Irish with pitiless austerity.

      Talk is cheap. Follow the money. Obama is an anti-populist who acts as an enforcer and debt collector for global capital, the military-industrial complex and Israel. A cute translation of his campaign slogan into Irish doesn't change these inconvenient facts.

  • First they came for Norman, then they ate the hummus
    • So, what was the result of the referendum vote, which was supposed to end at 9 a.m. last Friday?

      Evidently DePaul students are getting a Gaza-style lesson in 'managed democracy.' It doesn't matter how they voted; 'the product will remain on our shelves.'

      Thanks for voting, kids. The result wasn't important enough to mention. Have a nice day.

  • What Netanyahu won: no talks, no Palestinian state (and the fire next time)
    • 'One more American president has been turned away from active engagement with the challenge of the occupation. No further pressure for an independent Palestine is likely to be initiated by the US before the 2012 presidential election.'

      Talk about a non sequitur -- 'no further pressure for an independent Palestine ... initiated by the U.S.'

      Last I heard, the U.S. plans to initiate pressure against an independent Palestine by vetoing the predictable UN General Assembly vote for Palestinian statehood.

      Despite the hundreds of posts at Mondoweiss exhaustively documenting how the U.S. functions as Israel's lawyer, Bromwich would have us believe that Palestine has lost a valuable advocate with the U.S. disengaging from the 'peace process.'

      If I were a shrink, I'd write Bromwich a Risperdal scrip -- the man is clearly schizophrenic and delusional.

  • An angry Obama warns the lobby that the 'world is moving too fast' (to preserve a Jewish state)
    • '[Obama] is on our side in his heart. On the side of the world moving forward with progressive ideals.'

      Where have we heard this before? Oh, yeah ... it was in the summer of 2008, when so many on the left wanted to believe that Obama was antiwar because of his attendance at a Chicago peace demonstration in the fall of 2002. And that Obama was pro-civil liberties because of his opposition to renewal of the USA Patriot Act, and his intention to close the Guantanamo Bay prison.

      But as the Afghan war grinds on, and US drones smash Third World villages, and the practice of imprisonment without charge widens, we know differently.

      Yes, Obama must be furious about a foreign leader such as Netanyahu, insulting and implicitly threatening him on Obama's own turf. No other nation would remotely tolerate such a degrading spectacle. But as George H.W. Bush learned to his sorrow, trying to strike a reasonable balance between Israel's demands and U.S. policy doesn't earn any dividends from the Lobby. These people do not deal in subtleties. They share the blunt Bush fils mentality: either you're with us or against us.

      And Obama, they've concluded, is against them. For the most trivial of reasons: because he dared to say '1967.' To most Americans, 1967 has little resonance, other than perhaps with the Summer of Love in Haight-Ashbury. But because it was a traumatic year in the life of a tiny, faraway client state, we're not even permitted to mouth the words anymore. Would the French 'soixante-sept' serve as an acceptable euphemism? As Dennis Ross says, 'Don't go there, mon pot.'

      You're right about one thing: Obama is indeed angry. But as the pop song lyrics go, 'In spite of all my rage, I am still just a rat in a cage.' Until the president confronts the Lobby head on, in plain words that the average American can understand, the Lobby will continue to bully him. The post-zionist youth already know that he's 'pwned.' My son calls him a fraud.

  • 'Colonization is indefensible, not 1967 borders' - Cohen in NYT
    • Well, I'm glad there's a couple (or maybe one-and-a-half) points of light in the dimming firmament of the New York Times-Titanic. But weighing on the opposite side of the balance are planted broadsides such as yesterday's risible "Obama's Peace Tack Contrasts With Key Aide, Friend of Israel." You've got to read this unedited personal cameo for yourself, to believe that I'm not just inventing it to terminally discredit the NYT:

      link to nytimes.com

      'Key aide' is the title which Dennis Ross has modestly bestowed on himself. His swaggering fusillade marks a stunning new milestone in the Times-Titanic's breathtakingly rapid descent into financial and intellectual bankruptcy. Evidently enraged by the president's bold mention of the forbidden word '1967,' Israel's lawyer Ross fired off a headlining salvo in the former 'newspaper of record,' laden with fawning accolades for himself and dire warnings to Obama about the cost of crossing him and his furry, faithful Doberman pinscher, 'Abe.'

      Folks, pressitutes just don't come any cheaper or sluttier than Helene Cooper and Mark Landler, the ghost authors of this ADL-drafted puff piece/blackmail note. Ross is not stingy about laying on lavish, over-the-top plaudits for himself. After all, one needn't be shy about ladling on the self esteem when ventriloquizing through unnamed 'administration officials' and spread-eagled stenographers:

      Once at the White House, Mr. Ross became invaluable, administration officials said, because of his close relationship not only with Mr. Netanyahu, but with the Israeli prime minister’s top peace negotiator, Yitzhak Molcho. “If Dennis Ross was in the inner circle in the early days, this administration would not have made that colossal settlements error,” Mr. Foxman said. “He would have said, ‘Don’t go there.’ ”

      AH HA HA HA -- the great, great Dennis Ross: a legend in his own mind! 'Don't go there' in opposing settlements -- as true today as it ever was, according to the received wisdom of Dennis and his ever-watchful guard dog.

      Needless to say -- as in the legendary Truman-MacArthur dust-up fifty years ago -- no president can tolerate such a cheeky, barely concealed public sandbagging. If I were Obama, the conversation would go like this:

      "Dennis," I'd say gravely, tapping my pen on the big presidential desk for emphasis as he squirms in his chair. "You know I love you like a brother. But you ain't makin' me any money, so I'm gonna have to fire your ass. Now why don't you and 'Abe' just get on your bikes and ride home?"

  • Netanyahu has nothing to worry about
    • James,

      Much as Jimmy Carter once admitted to Playboy that he 'lusts in his heart,' I fear that our Richard suffers from the same corrosive malady of the soul:

      Lets work to identify the lusts (as distinct from the needs), and make that the basis of our political assessments.

      It's rumored that on full-moon nights, Richard can be seen running his hands through the rich soil of his garden like a miser fondling his gold coins, whispering 'My Judea! My Samaria! My precious-s-s-s-s!'

    • Obama’s criticism of the settlements was limited to the fact that they are “continuing,” and of course the Palestinians were to blame because they “walked away from talks.”

      Supposedly it's been established U.S. policy for the last 44 years that Israel should not build settlements in the West Bank.

      In 1991, Bush Sr. actually took a stand against U.S. loan guarantees for Israel which would be used to subsidize settlement construction. The Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations savaged him for blurting out that his lone guy on the Hill was facing a fire-ant army of hundreds of pro-Israel lobbyists. Bush was forced to write a humiliating 'Dear Shoshana' climbdown letter to the Conference of Presidents' Mrs. Cardin. Bush proceeded to lose his re-election bid the following year, with most pro-Israel votes and campaign contributions going to Clinton.

      Now as then, it's a pre-election year. Evidently, the president of the United States no longer dares to publicly articulate U.S. policy regarding settlements. As if gagged by court order, he can only mildly, cautiously allude to the public knowledge that settlements continue. It's up to the informed listener to infer that this is objectionable and (presumably) still contrary to U.S. policy.

      What a stunning situation, when a flyspeck country of 7 million can lead a nation of 300 million by the nose! Netanyahu's ability to demand frequent White House meetings with the president, and to address a joint session of Congress, are privileges extended to no other foreign leader. Annual attendance of hundreds of Members of Congress at the AIPAC convention, and regular addresses to it by the Secretary of State and President, are privileges extended to no other lobby.

      The NYT's deadpan reporting of these events offers not a hint of observation or analysis about the gross abnormality of Israel's exorbitant political privilege in the U.S. Like its steadily-advancing illegal settlements which the president can't bring himself to identify as such, Israel's flagrant exploitation of the U.S. government represents another variety of 'facts on the ground' which steadily encroach on U.S. interests. Whether legal or not, it is distasteful and wrong for a foreign country to exert control over U.S. leaders via the veiled threat of ejecting them from office.

      Can you imagine the prime minister of Britain or France threatening to unseat Obama, or Members of Congress, if they decline to kowtow to his demands? It's utterly inconceivable.

      Quite aside from the particulars of the I/P conflict, Israel's excessive political influence, per se, cries out to be confronted and denounced. This is our country, and we're not obliged to silently tolerate presumptuous foreigners like Netanyahu lecturing our elected representatives about how to run it. The mere fact of his invitation to address Congress is a humiliating national disgrace.

      Put the obnoxious Israeli haranguer on a plane with a one-way ticket home.

  • Rosa Parks's bus doesn't stop in this country
    • 'What was he hinting at with the line about the growing number of Palestinians west of the Jordan? Was he talking demographics? If so, why didn't he say it forthrightly?'

      Evidently he was, for the benefit of his well-informed listeners. To the mass of ill-informed Americans, this will sound remarkably like anti-immigration rhetoric ('a growing number of Hispanics live north of the Rio Grande'), although Palestinians of course are not immigrants in their own land.

      Obama's 'growing number of Palestinians living west of the Jordan' trope is a clever form of 'demographic threat' demagoguery -- subtle enough for deniability, but perfectly plain to residents of the region.

      Rosa Parks isn't here to dissociate herself from Obama's provocative remarks. Obama's slimy hijacking of her good name recalls this incident from Missouri:

      In 1994 the Ku Klux Klan applied to sponsor a portion of United States Interstate 55 in Saint Louis County and Jefferson County, near St. Louis, Missouri for clean up (which allowed them to have signs stating that this section of highway was maintained by the organization). Since the state could not refuse the KKK's sponsorship, the Missouri legislature voted to name the highway section the "Rosa Parks Highway". When asked how she felt about this honor, she is reported to have commented, "It is always nice to be thought of."

      link to en.wikipedia.org

      In this same spirit, I propose to name one of the Jewish-only settler roads the Barack Obama Highway.

  • Obama won't have to write another speech for AIPAC on Monday
    • 'Nothing new here.'

      Right -- '1967 borders with swaps' were exactly where the negotiations stood before they broke off due to Israel's refusal to extend the settlement freeze.

      Obama imagines that talks can just pick up where they left off -- with no settlement freeze this time, and as if the Arab Spring and the Palestine Papers never happened.

      Obviously he doesn't get out much.

    • I hear Beavis and Butthead in the background: "Ha ha, he said 'contiguous.'"

      But you're right, this does seem to be unprecedented.

      Of course, the minimal interpretation would be Israel's idea of a tunnel from the West Bank to Gaza ... perhaps with an iron portcullis midway through, which the Israelis can clang shut on Jewish holidays, and whenever the Palestinians 'vote wrong.'

    • 'A growing number of Palestinians live west of the Jordan River.'

      This is a bizarre formulation. To American ears, it's like saying 'a growing number of Mexicans live north of the Rio Grande,' implying some sort of infiltration. From this statement, you'd never guess that Palestinians are FROM the area west of the Jordan River. Some who are hazy on geography and history will get a false impression.

      'Israel as a Jewish state and the homeland for the Jewish people.'

      And its corollary: second-class citizenship for non-Jews. This is Barack Obama's emphatic endorsement of Plessy v. Ferguson, the infamous 1896 Supreme Court decision which held that making black folks ride in the colored railway carriage posed no constitutional problems. So, making Arabs live with legal disabilities in Israel is no problem either.

      It's a real head-buster that America's first black president would be standing tall for Ol' Jim Crow overseas. But truth is stranger than fiction. And money talks. ;-)

  • Shifting the occupation to the academic battlefield - South African academic Na’eem Jeenah detained and deported
    • As South Africans would say, they've left the apartheid laager (the defensive circle of settler wagons).

      Israel remains barricaded in there; all alone, armed to the teeth, and muttering to itself. Its self-imposed isolation is making it awfully tetchy with its former settler buddies from ZA, now that they've fallen into the 'one man, one vote' heresy.

  • Netanyahu pushes two settlement expansions today, to spit in Obama's eye
    • 'Upsetting the Americans is not a concern.'

      Classic definition of a codependent abusive relationship. Israel insults and humiliates the US as calculated policy. Masochistically, the US hands Israel another $3 billion, as it pleads 'Please stop hurting us.'

      Both of these psychologically disturbed countries are in dire need of counseling.

  • Help me, James Madison. 'NYT' runs Zionist piece that hints at ethnic cleansing of West Bank
    • If it wasn't clear before, it is now --in its own way, Israel is just as radical, extremist and violence-prone a nation as a North Korea or a Libya.

      Danon's essay would be unexceptional, if he were merely a David Duke style racial supremacist, writing in Stormfront or some such. But Danon is a deputy speaker of the Israeli Knesset, using a leading U.S. newspaper as his megaphone.

      That's incredible.

      As extreme an ideology as Zionism may be, Israel did not get this way on its own. Three billion a year in US aid, and unconditional US backup in international fora, feed Danon's heedless zio-skinhead strutting.

      Americans used to fear, disdain and resist fanatics like Danon. Now we subsidize them.

      Again, that's incredible.

      Beam me up, Scotty. This planet's swerved into the ditch.

    • 'And this is in the New York Times? "Making the land of Israel whole". What is wrong with American society? The New York Times feels a responsibility to run this kind of racist argument, to placate an important bloc in the American establishment, rich conservative Jews.'

      It's somewhat paradoxical, but as it sinks deeper into financial distress, the NYT will become ever more orthodox and hidebound in telling its readers and advertisers (which include an important Jewish demographic) what they want to hear. Or so they assume.

      Racist rants such as Danon's are unpleasant to read, but they also drive another nail into the NYT's coffin, as far as its chances of survival. Odds are that NYT will enter bankruptcy within five years.

      But the demise of the old grey meretrix will only brighten the future of its alternatives. As the iconoclastic Maria Bustillos asserts,

      There's an enormous difference between understanding something and deciding something. Only in the latter case must options be weighed, and one chosen. Mondoweiss is like a laboratory for this new way of public reasoning for the purpose of understanding, an extended polylogue embracing every reader in an ever-larger, never-ending dialectic. Rather than being handed an "authoritative" decision, you're given the means for rolling your own.

      link to theawl.com

      Okay, I cheated -- Bustillos was actually talking about Wikipedia, not Mondoweiss. But the extension of her logic is valid, I think. Once you've sampled the range of content here, the impoverished brittleness of the NYT's skewed selection of biased advocates, such as Likud's ethno-supremacist martinet Danon, is all too apparent.

      Just as a steady diet of nothing but french fries would soon incapacitate you, a steady diet of the NYT's pro-Israel baloney amounts to intellectual malnutrition. As Grace Slick used to say, Feed your head!

  • 'Third Intifada' flares up across the Middle East and on a Chicago campus
    • From the Forbes article linked by GuiltyFeat:

      ------------

      PURCHASE, N.Y. (AP) (Mar 31, 2008) - Soft drink maker PepsiCo Inc. said Monday it completed the formation of its joint venture with Strauss Group to operate hummus maker Sabra.

      The joint venture will make and sell dips and spreads in the U.S. and Canada. PepsiCo's (nyse: PEP) Frito-Lay North America unit and Strauss will both own 50 percent of the partnership.

      In 2007, PepsiCo said Sabra had sales of $65 million. PepsiCo said U.S. sales of hummus last year totaled about $192 million.

      ------------

      This is very helpful. Publicly-traded companies such as Pepsico are frequently subjected to shareholder-initiated proxy resolutions -- a great vehicle for free publicity.

      Image-conscious companies, especially those in the consumer retail business, are fairly responsive to pressure from US consumers.

      I'll fire off a letter to PepsiCo tomorrow. Thanks for the tip!

  • The '48 discussion is replacing the '67 discussion
    • 'NOONE [sic] alive can affect what occurred in 1948. The most that people can do is to address title issues on all individual properties.'

      When has an Israeli court ever recognized a pre-'48 Arab title? Refugees can't even get into Israel to lodge a suit. And their erased villages are covered with 'plant a tree for Israel' parks, so regaining title would accomplish little now.

      But thanks for the laugh anyhow!

    • Worked out pretty well for Lech Walesa et al:

      link to en.wikipedia.org

    • It feels like Mondoweiss has just turned a page here; as if mid-May's Nakba Day marked the beginning of not only a new year, but a new era:

      The '48 discussion is replacing the '67 discussion. '48 is an existential discussion. This new conversation, which reflects the reality that the two-state solution is a dead letter, is a sign of the next stage.

      Oh, the horror! What was just a few isolated rocks clinking downhill has morphed into an avalanche that's reshaping the geopolitical landscape.

      Bill in Maryland (above post) has it right. Proclaiming Palestinian statehood on the '67 lines may be a case of thinking too small, conceding too much.

      Allocating 22% of historic Palestine to Arabs is not a fair division, in proportion to Jewish and Arab populations. Ceding the Mediterranean seafront entirely to Israel would leave the West Bank a landlocked statelet. Worse, it would relinquish Palestinian claims to what have been described as fabulous oil and gas reserves in Israel's offshore waters. And most fatefully of all, it could render the Palestinian right of return a dead letter, as Netanyahu already has asserted.

      A Palestinian state would have a firm basis in international law for reparation claims in the tens of billions. But as the experience of Jewish Holocaust victims has shown, the process of obtaining reparations can extend over many decades. Far better to go 'back to the land,' back to basics.

      History shows that states will literally fight to the death to avoid yielding even an inch of hard-won territory. This is why Israel wanted to negotiate from 'facts on the ground' -- even a full retreat to the '67 lines is too painful for Israel to contemplate; much less accepting a viable, contiguous Palestinian state with sea frontage.

      Israel's 20% non-Jewish, second-class citizen cohort is a better wedge than territorial partition. Relentlessly citing the civil rights theme will eventually pave the way to a single non-discriminatory state, in which all can share the resources and benefits. That was the way out for South Africa after partition failed there. It's likely to be the path for Israel too. South Africa found mercenary stooges to govern its bantustans, but the future president Nelson Mandela (whose birthplace was denationalized by South Africa as the 'Transkei' bantustan) never wavered in proclaiming that South Africa belonged to all of its residents -- as does historic Palestine. Let it be ...

  • Desmond Travers on Geo Mitchell: Irish-American Diaspora wanted an end to the troubles, Jewish-American Diaspora hasn't opened its eyes
    • A brilliant and thought-provoking interview! This is the sort of in-depth analysis that the NYT used to publish, before it became a PR Wire for Israel.

      Travers' skepticism about religious states is well-founded. The founders of the U.S. came to the same conclusion in their era. His remarks about the tendency toward corruption in crony states have already been amply borne out.

  • Another country, another time
    • Probably every single one of the 535 Members of Congress would piously pay homage to the Freedom Riders. The PBS documentary reflects this social consensus, which is not controversial at all.

      But in a letter last week to the Turkish prime minister, New York's Rep. Steve Israel and 35 other representatives warn that 'if [Gaza] flotilla organizers carry out their confrontational plans, the Israelis will have little choice but to board the vessels and search for weapons. We fear violence could erupt just as it did last year.'

      link to gazatvnews.com

      'Confrontational' is exactly what civil rights marchers and riders were accused of being. Martin Luther King, who now has a federal holiday dedicated to him, was branded as an instigator of violence, although in fact he was the target of official violence. Rep. Israel and his 35 accomplices invoke this familiar, factually-inverted accusation against the Gaza freedom flotilla.

      Yep, it's definitely easier to endorse civil rights struggles after they're already over and the medals have been handed out, rather than the ones underway now which are so uncomfortably 'confrontational.'

  • Picking apart the New York Times Zionist narrative on the Nakba . . . using the New York Times
    • Munayyer cites a half dozen NYT references to back his assertions. You cite none to support yours.

      Citations talk, hasbara walks. Better luck next time.

    • 'It makes you wonder; do the people that write the New York Times read the New York Times?'

      Probably not, actually. Reporters are busy people, and like most us, 'live in the now' during most of their waking hours.

      Like Yousef Munayyer, I have access to the NYT historical database going back to 1851, and enjoy trolling through it. The accepted narrative of the world has morphed dramatically with each passing decade. Since few people other than doddering academics and historians personally review the transcripts of the past, glaring continuity glitches in the Matrix are really not a problem.

      As Orwell foresaw around the same time that Israel was founded, the canonized past can easily be revised after only a short passage of time, with hardly a ripple in reaction.

      After the communist revolution, China changed and simplified hundreds of its written characters, making its past inaccessible to all but a minority of scholars conversant with the old lexicon. In the U.S., such drastic measures are quite unnecessary. An incurious people, drilled in the merits of unquestioning 'compliance' (itself a recent meme) at school and work, don't bother to poke into troublesome matters of the distant past which don't concern them.

      Doubtless Israeli history works the same way, such that many fervent zionists honestly don't know, and aren't amenable to knowing, the atrocities that occurred in the chaotic run-up to Israel's declaration of independence. Someday Nakba museums may document the tragic events of 1947-1949 with the same thoroughness that Holocaust museums present the horrors of 1939-1945.

  • NYT's Bronner says Netanyahu demonstrates 'territorial flexibility' on the basis of no evidence
    • Definitely they're playing a better game. It's a huge step to end-run 20 years of sham negotiations which led nowhere.

      But Palestinians need to prepare for Israel's next move. Netanyahu has already signaled that the Palestinian right of return will be declared dead if the UN accedes to a Palestinian state. Who knows how Palestinian refugee claims will be treated under international law after September? Best to make discreet inquiries beforehand.

      As you say, the Israeli economy is fragile. Taking a leaf from the post-Holocaust playbook (decades of successful pursuit of damages), Nakba victims could turn the tables on Israel by getting judgments against it.

      The US Congress would rapidly lose its taste for sending $3 billion a year to Israel, if Israel were obliged to pay on the same amount to the state of Palestine as reparations for the illegal occupation. Then Israel might find it convenient to discuss ways of easing its financial pain.

      The world wonders: where is the Israeli de Klerk?

    • While Ethan Bronner flawlessly fulfills his customary role as Netanyahu's U.S. press secretary, Mahmoud Abbas has taken to the Op-Ed page to present his thoughts, which have nothing to do with negotiating on Israel's terms. Abbas essentially dismisses the endless, empty negotiations:

      This September, at the United Nations General Assembly, we will request international recognition of the State of Palestine on the 1967 border and that our state be admitted as a full member of the United Nations.

      We go to the United Nations now to secure the right to live free in the remaining 22 percent of our historic homeland because we have been negotiating with the State of Israel for 20 years without coming any closer to realizing a state of our own.

      link to nytimes.com

      Let's hope this works out. But Palestine's proposed journey to statehood is a perilous one.

      Statehood's great merit is to jolt negotiations out of the Israel-centric 'facts on the ground' framework promoted by the Quartet, and back to UN resolutions and ICJ decisions which declare all Israeli settlements and walls outside the 1967 borders to be flatly illegal.

      But the potential drawbacks of Palestinian statehood are quite serious:

      For one thing, statehood compromises the Palestinian right of return. Israel will assert that by forming their own state, Palestinians have thereby relinquished any claim to return to Israel. [Netanyahu: 'The problem of the Palestinian refugees will be resolved outside of Israel and not within its borders.']

      For another, the original proposed partitions of Palestine into Arab and Jewish areas in 1947 were far more equitable than the 1967 borders. As Abbas points out, a Palestinian state within 1967 borders would be left with only 22% of historic Palestine, while Israel retains the best land, water and mineral resources (including recent offshore oil discoveries), and the strategically important coast.

      Finally, a Palestinian state leaves Israeli Arabs as permanent second class citizens. Hopes for a unified democratic state covering all of historic Palestine would be set back by the formation of a rump Palestinian state. As a de facto economic satellite of Israel, its independent viability is shaky at best.

      While wishing the Palestinians well, and sympathizing with their need to reset the stagnant and miserable political status quo, I fear that the downside of statehood may exceed the benefits. Israel's clever lawyers, aided by US experts such as Dennis Ross, will subvert Palestinian statehood to promptly strip Palestinians of their historic claims, while blocking most of the benefits it was expected to provide.

      At a minimum, Abbas should rely on existing ICJ rulings, such as the one declaring Israel's wall illegal, to demand very substantial reparations from Israel. An amount in the $20 to 30 billion range (equaling but a decade of U.S. aid to Israel) is reasonable and financially doable.

    • '[Netanyahu] said Israel needed to hold onto all of Jerusalem and the large settlement blocs in the West Bank, thereby suggesting that he would yield the rest.' -- stenographer Bronner

      Other than keeping ALL of East Jerusalem (which the Palestinians want as their capital) and its LARGE settlement blocs in the West Bank, it's hard to think of anything else Israel wanted except its military presence in the Jordan valley. And since Netanyahu didn't mention the Jordan valley, probably he's not implying a willingness to yield it either.

      In other words, nothing has changed. Israel is willing to yield 'the rest' of the West Bank, meaning the little blobs of territory outlined by its settler roads and checkpoints, the way grout outlines little chunks of mosaic tile.

      Although the Palestine Papers blew apart 'facts on the ground' negotiations for good, Israel (like Richard Witty) remains hopeful that the talks can pick up where they left off any day now, as if nothing had happened.

      The baseball game's over, but Netanyahu is still standing at the plate and pointing confidently to the bleachers at Ebbets Field, as the empty stadium gazes impassively on his heedless folly.

  • Leslie Gelb says Arab democracy movement must leave Israel alone
    • From Gelb's screed:

      Further, it would be folly to forget what Israelis can never remove from their minds: the Palestinians crushing against the borders don’t really want to negotiate with Israel; their goal is to destroy the state of Israel.

      Here in broad daylight is displayed the insolent presumption of a Jewish Israel sympathizer, presuming to tell us what Palestinians think and want.

      The tragedy is that Gelb's CFR cabal has its tentacles deep into the US political duopoly. No Depublicrat candidate gets nominated without being vetted by, and often joining, this elitist global steering group.

      Caught flat-footed by the Arab Spring, the CFR is scrambling to co-opt and neutralize it, while maintaining the calm, urbane facade adopted in Gelb's essay. At all costs, the illusion of control must be sustained.

  • The Arab spring comes to Palestine
    • Press accounts about Palestinian protesters 'approaching Israel from four directions' illustrate a difference between Egypt's Tahrir Square demonstrations and those of Palestinians: Egyptians at least owned their own capital, if not the regime which controlled it.

      Symbolically, Palestine's Tahrir Square should be -- probably will be -- in Jerusalem. The horrific irony is that the vast majority of yesterday's protesters have never been there, and under the current Israeli checkpoint regime, have no prospect of going there.

      Reuniting a dispersed diaspora was the idea behind the foundation of Israel. Turns out another diaspora wants to reunite there too, and perhaps more fervently than the previous one.

      Onward to al-Quds!

  • Palestinians are driving the train of history now, Beinart acknowledges
    • Quite right, Bill. Those Palestinian throngs at the fences weren't there to lend their endorsement to the PA's negotiating positions exposed in the Palestine Papers.

      Beinart writes as if those revelations changed nothing about Israel's plan to herd Palestinians into a tightly supervised bantustan. To revise his own sentence,

      'The more America sticks by the 2SS, the less relevant America will become.'

  • Gaza flotilla is the Freedom Ride of this era
    • 'On May 11, 2011, 36 members of the U.S. Congress in a bipartisan letter to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged the Prime Minister to stop the 2011 flotilla from departing Turkey for Gaza.'

      Here's a link to the text of the letter from the Gang of 36:

      link to israel.house.gov

      By the way, the above url -- 'israel.house.gov' -- refers to the office of the Democratic Congressman from New York, not to the state of Israel having its own web address in the U.S. House of Representatives. Although it's hard to tell the difference, frankly.

      As Congressman Israel says about Israel:

      Israel is a leader in the House in supporting U.S. assistance for the State of Israel and has been an active voice on behalf of U.S.-Israeli relations. He was considered an instrumental Congressional influence in helping to monitor and close tunnels from Egypt to the Gaza strip.

      link to israel.house.gov

      Yeah, I'm sure closing smuggling tunnels in Gaza is really helpful to Israel's constituents in suburban Long Island. They should be thankful that Egypt isn't trying to close the Midtown Tunnel and the Triboro Bridge in response.

  • The New York Times's shameless Nakba distortion
  • When the Shoah met the Nakba
    • 'Hundreds of thousands of Arabs fled, and were expelled from their homes.'

      Great. Now here's a complete history of the European Holocaust, inspired by the telegraphic conciseness of Tom Segev:

      'Hundreds of thousands of Jews fled, and were expelled from their homes.'

      Any questions?

  • Walter Russell Mead says Obama never had the power to deliver freeze on colonies (Why not?)
    • From the Wikipedia entry on Walter Russell Mead:

      Until 2010, Mead was the Henry A. Kissinger Senior Fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations.

      Any questions?

      I'd rather read Margaret Mead on those sexy Samoans, even if she made it all up.

      After all, both Meads are factitioners.

      link to urbandictionary.com

  • Flotilla massacre all over again? Israel kills 8 Nakba demonstrators at borders
    • In the NYT's case, we're talking about the byline of Ethan 'My Son Serves in the IDF' Bronner.

      For all we know, Ethan's boy may have proudly carved a new notch in his rifle butt today, as he picked off an unarmed Palestinian teenager.

      Let's give credit where credit is due to these zio-stenographers masquerading as American reporters.

    • Yes. Is it just coincidence that after the release in January of the Palestine Papers, showing that PA negotiators were preparing to waive the Right of Return for all but a symbolic trickle of elderly refugees, today's Nakba demonstrations were huge?

      Evidently the Palestinian people aren't on board with sacrificing the Right of Return for a patronizing grant of glorified bantustan status from Israel.

      The outsized key held by a protester shown in the Reuters photo linked below is a compelling symbol which is instantly understandable worldwide.

      link to reuters.com

      One effect of the Arab Spring has been to give Palestinians a louder, more articulate voice overseas. Israel is caught flat-footed, carrying water for decrepit dictators. Three billion a year of unmerited US aid made Israel fat, slow-witted and complacent. Now Palestinians are running rings around Israel's anachronistic, tub-thumping hasbara, as moveoveraipac.org snaps at Israel's heels during its annual US propaganda/begging bowl event.

      Let 10,000 keys bloom!

    • One if by land, two if by sea ...

      Israel has a PR disaster on its hands, and it can't be fixed.

      Where is Palestine's Tahrir Square?

    • So the moral equation is complete:

      Netanyahu = Mubarak = Assad

      All leaders who directed their troops to fire indiscriminately into unarmed crowds, killing protesters.

      Now the Arab Spring has materialized at Israel's gates ... and it responds by holding an AIPAC pep rally in Washington, DC?

      Israel needs $3 billion, for more bullets, for more blood. Mitchell resigned just in time, didn't he?

  • How the peace process became a 'cruel enterprise'
    • 'While Palestinians' strong commitment to peace is genuine, the fruitless pursuit of a "peace process" framed according to the exclusive conditions of the occupying power leads to compromises which would be unacceptable in any other region of the globe.' -- Ziyad Clot

      Clot gets it right. The Quartet assisted Israel in basing the peace negotiations on 'facts on the ground' established by the Israeli occupation, rather than on the long train of UN resolutions and ICJ decisions which declared Israel's occupation to be illegal, and thus of no validity as a bargaining chip.

      The Palestine Papers blew this sham process out of the water, and the Arab Spring sealed its fate. Now Palestinian aspirations can aim higher than being a dismembered Israeli bantustan on a very short leash.

  • From Mississippi to Gaza City: The spirit of the freedom riders lives on in the effort to break the siege
    • As Christopher Whitman's post immediately above indicates (not to mention Israel's murder of nine passengers on the Mavi Marmara last year), racist Israel responds to freedom rides from the same playbook as Bull Connor and George Wallace.

      At least those long-ago segregationist thugs weren't accorded the honor of addressing Congress, as Israel's Netanyahu will be on May 24th.

      "Zionism now, Zionism tomorrow, Zionism forever," Netanyahu will proclaim in one form or another, echoing George Wallace's 1963 inaugural address. And America's KongressKlowns will rise to their feet, whooping and cheering.

  • Challenging AIPAC's abuse of taxpayers money
    • 'Even today as the number of jobless and homeless in the US is on the rise, Israel has no shame in asking for more billions in extra help and the US legislators have no shame in agreeing to give it.'

      Let's complete that thought. Even though we'll hear Israel described as America's best and most reliable friend during the coming AIPAC convention, there isn't the slightest notion of any reciprocal aid from Israel for the US during its time of need. Nor has there ever been.

      Israel's sole credible claim to helping the US is in the field of intelligence sharing and security cooperation. But this intelligence is necessitated only by Israel's provocative role in the mideast, seeking to prop up Arab dictatorships which inspire popular resentment. Israel functions as the closet arsonist who helps demonstrate the value of the local fire brigade.

      In summary, the notion of Israel as a friend and ally of the US is an absurd lie. The relationship is entirely one way: we do the giving; Israel does the taking. At best, what we get in return is cynical, self-serving flattery; at worst, our citizens are executed with bullets like Furkan Dogan, or conked on the head with tear gas cannisters like Christopher Whitman.

      Had enough? I sure have.

  • Reporting from the perspective of 1948 - a profile of Jonathan Cook
    • 'Major papers generally avoid this kind of narrative, according to Cook. Policies like that of the Guardian, which rotates Middle East correspondents after two or three years, hinder in-depth reporting, he argues. “I remember a foreign editor once saying that the reason [for the time limit] was that they [reporters] tended to ‘go native,’” Cook explains. “What he meant was that they started to get sympathetic to the Palestinian point of view.” '

      Precisely. And who wouldn't? Whereas in London and New York, Jewish readers and (more importantly) advertisers outnumber Muslim ones by an order of magnitude. Thus the deliberate distancing from too incisive, too disturbing reporting which strays from the conventional 'Israel is our trusted ally' narrative.

      But it would be an ugly form of ethnic stereotyping to assume that all of the important Jewish demographic toes the zionist, pro-Israel line. Slowly, this is changing. By the time the anachronistic mainstream media catch on to this seismic shift, they likely be will be out of business.

      The economist Dr. Gary North recently advocated that the NYT ditch its printing presses and reporters, and stake its future on leasing its Times Square office building. I heartily concur. Let seasoned resident professionals such as Jonathan Cook handle the journalism, Mr. Sulzberger. Your Judith Millers and Ethan Bronners have spectacularly struck out.

  • Peace demands challenging Israel's exceptionalism
    • 'U.S. autoworker John Demjanjuk was convicted of 28,060 counts of acting as an accessory to murder at a Nazi death camp, one for each person who died during the time he was ruled to have been a guard at the Sobibor camp in Nazi-occupied Poland.

      'There was no evidence that Demjanjuk committed a specific crime. The prosecution was based on the theory that if Demjanjuk was at the camp, he was a participant in the killing - the first time such a legal argument has been made in German courts.'

      link to latimes.com

      When are such charges -- 'accessory to murder' -- going to be laid against the founders of the state of Israel, based not on any specific evidence, but merely on the fact that they were present when documented atrocities were committed in Palestinian villages?

      Despite the 63 years which have passed, dozens of elderly Israelis must be eligible for a prison term on the same standard used to convict Demjanjuk.

      Let the expatriations to Germany begin! Justice at long last!

  • Even 'NY Jewish Week' calls Wiesenfeld an extremist
    • Nice 'modified limited hangout' (in the Nixonian style) by NY Jewish Week.

      They admit that Weisenfeld is an extremist, but can't bring themselves to the obvious conclusion that an extremist has no place on the board of a public institution committed to nondiscrimination.

      Too bad JFK never got round to publishing his sequel, Profiles in Pusillanimity.

  • Pizzarotti should follow in Deutsche Bahn's footsteps
    • 'The idea that the train would some day link Ramallah, a sort of "railroads for peace," has often been trotted out by Israeli officials looking to defend the extraterritorial railway.'

      Not merely railroads for peace, but 'Right of Return' homecoming trains!

      Like the scene at Checkpoint Charlie on 9 Nov 1989, with West Germans welcoming their bewildered eastern cousins with flowers and spending money.

      Dream on, Pizzarotti ...

  • Israel admits to forcing 140,000 Palestinians from the West Bank using administrative trick
    • Peter Beinart writes approvingly that 'Israel was created not merely to be a Jewish democracy, but to be a Jewish refuge.' Sounds lovely, in theory. But policies such as stripping Palestinians of their West Bank residency through trickery are where the rubber meets the road, in terms of maintaining Israel's character as a Jewish state.

      Through legal subterfuge, economic oppression, and (when all else fails) military violence, ethnic cleansing of Palestinians is the logical and necessary consequence of 'Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state.'

  • Exhibit C(UNY): How the lobby works
    • To help his buddy Jeff Weisenfeld out of his foot-in-mouth jam, why doesn't generous donor Larry Field endow a Department of Eugenics at CUNY, to construct a scientific foundation for Weisenfeld's off-the-cuff claim that non-human Palestinians are the product of a culture unprecedented in history?

      Since no other U.S. university has a department covering this neglected but vital field of study, it would be a ground-breaking first. Its proposed title: the Larry Field Center for Racial Excellence*.

      * PNNA -- Palestinians need not apply.

  • CUNY board member Wiesenfeld linked to settler organization with 'no Arabs' policy
    • 'And this guy's on the board of trustees?'

      This is the most amazing aspect of l'affaire Kushner. If Weisenfeld had claimed that (say) 'Hispanics who worship death for their children are not human,' he would have been dismissed instantaneously from the CUNY board. And there would have been complete consensus -- not one lawmaker or blog or fellow board member would defend such an unacceptable remark by an official whose institution is obliged by law to practice nondiscrimination.

      Weisenfeld's continued tenancy in office vividly illustrates the inverted 21st century version of the 'Gentlemens Agreement,' in which the paranoid generation still can flash their [expired] Holocaust free passes, and receive total impunity from the consequences of scurrilous hate speech against Arabs.

      Weisenfeld doesn't belong on the board of a New York City university. His intellectual contemporaries are the Aryan Nation, the Ku Klux Klan and Dr. David Duke. And they don't need no more stinkin' degrees ...

  • Kushner effect: Beinart calls for an American conversation re Israel that includes anti-Zionists
    • Here, let's rewrite Beinart's blurb in a different context:

      While there is certainly a tension between America's white-ruled and democratic character, America's Negro citizens do serve in America’s armed forces and legislatures. Indeed, they enjoy more rights and live better lives than do their cousins in most of Africa, which is why most American Negroes would rather live in a white-ruled state than a black-ruled one....

      Such over-the-top racist patronizing would be a monumental gaffe for anyone to seriously assert. The writer would literally get laughed out of town. Yet zionist Jews get away with such thoughtless, anachronistic ethnic slurs on a daily basis.

      How did one group of people become so fantastically self-deluded?

  • Benno Schmidt signals Kushner will get degree-- even as he sidles up to Wiesenfeld's racist statements
    • 'The new cards, to be introduced in the coming months, will also include six Stars of David, representing the 6 million victims.'

      To Woody's comment about 'branding' -- a future generation, ignorant of history, probably will think the Magen David is a postwar corporate logo whose six points refer to the six million.

      Now they just need a service-marked slogan to go with it.

  • The upshot of the Kushner muzzling
    • Plus, Goldberg's statement conforms to the obligatory Equivalence Rule, which demands that any mention of a zionist transgression must also cite a comparable Palestinian offense which may have justified it -- even if the reality involves orders of magnitude difference, or even a wholly unilateral situation.

      For example -- Israel possesses unauthorized nuclear weapons? Well, Palestinian boys possess unauthorized slingshots. And so forth.

  • Wiesenfeld says his mother would call Kushner a Nazi collaborator
    • "Anyone who accuses the Jews of ethnic-cleansing is participating in a blood libel, so yes, he's a Jewish anti-Semite."

      This is probably the most succinct statement ever of the 'Holocaust free pass,' a form of ethical impunity once believed to be established in perpetuity.

      Obviously Wiesenfeld didn't get the memo that it expired on 27 December 2008.

  • The dangers of the nationalistic fever and bloodlust over Osama bin Laden’s death
    • Some background on the 'dancing students' --

      Fewer than half of American eighth graders knew the purpose of the Bill of Rights on the most recent national civics examination.

      At the same time, three-quarters of high school seniors who took the test, the National Assessment of Educational Progress, were unable to demonstrate civic skills like identifying the effect of United States foreign policy on other nations or naming a power granted to Congress by the Constitution.

      link to nytimes.com

      Doubtless not even one student, anywhere in the land, could quote from Amendment V -- 'No person shall ... be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.' And 'due process of law' doesn't mean by executive decree. Or at least it didn't use to.

      Do you want to live out your life under a democracy of oblivious know-nothings? Me neither. I am so out of here ...

  • Drink the elixir of nationalism, speak the language of violence
    • 'This presence of American imperial bases, dotted, not just in Iraq and Afghanistan, but in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Doha – is one that has done more to engender hatred and acts of terror than anything ever orchestrated by Osama bin Laden.'

      The late Chalmers Johnson made exactly this point in his seminal book Blowback, published in 2000, which anticipated retaliatory attacks before 9/11 happened.

      Johnson's point is just as valid today. Unlike the abandoned notion of a 'peace dividend' which surfaced in 1991, today there isn't the slightest suggestion of ending US interventionism in the mideast.

      Nor is there any inkling of US pressure on Israel to end its 44-year illegal occupation of Palestine. Naturally the context-free mainstream media fails to mention that the Palestinian occupation was one of the provocations explicitly cited by Bin Laden. When will this ongoing injustice be rectified? The president doesn't care to say.

  • The U.N.'s rogue alliance in Libya
    • Thanks to Virginia Tilley for this insightful commentary. Let's not beat around the bush: NATO has become a rogue organization.

      NATO's charter describes a defensive alliance: 'an attack on one is an attack on all.' But under Bill Clinton, NATO burst its borders to engage in the aggressive bombing of Serbia, a non-member state. Such so-called 'out of area' deployment of NATO military resources is not authorized by the NATO treaty. But since the US finds it convenient to form 'coalitions' to disguise its lead role in global aggression, this alarming precedent promptly became the norm.

      When the Soviet Union folded in 1991, NATO should have declared victory and gone home. Now, illegal 'out of area' operations -- in Afghanistan, Libya, and other far-flung non-member states -- are virtually ALL that it does.

      The menacing anachronism of NATO needs to be disbanded. There's a Yahoo group called stopnato which is on its case like white on rice -- invaluable for keeping up with NATO's daily train of violent abuses.

  • Arab winter: Israel has urged US to intervene to prop up Saudi monarchy
    • Not unrelated to Israel's stance on Saudi Arabia is its reaction to the Fatah-Hamas rapprochement. According to NYT stenoographer Isabel Kershner, 'Israel said on Sunday that it was delaying the transfer of almost $90 million in tax revenue owed to the Palestinian Authority in a move against the emerging reconciliation between Fatah, the party that dominates the authority, and its Islamic rival, Hamas.'

      Why does this sound familiar? Oh, yeah, it reminds us of when Israel began withholding customs revenues collected on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, after the Hamas victory in the elections five years ago. Once again, the middle east's soi disant 'only democracy' shows its inability to refrain from strong-arming electoral coalitions and results in Palestine according to its needs, not the will of Palestinian voters.

      Never mind that under current agreements, remittance of tax revenues that Israel collects on behalf of the PA is not contingent on 'good behavior' as defined by Israel -- it is obligatory.

      One of many reasons that the 'two state solution' is dead, is that Israel continuously engages in bad-faith abuse of its chokehold over Palestinian trade, movement, and government revenues. Israel has convincingly demonstrated its untrustworthiness as a peace partner. The Israelis' incorrigible refusal to comply with existing agreements -- much less UN resolutions and ICJ resolutions -- shows that Palestinians cannot negotiate their freedom with an outlaw state.

  • It's like fluoride, in the water (Mario Cuomo narrates Masada oratorio at Temple Emanu-El)
  • 'NYT' front-pages Egyptian shift in policy re northeastern neighbor
    • Jordan has not gone through the political transformation that Egypt has, remaining on the US aid leash. But odds are that it will.

      Geostrategically, Israel cannot maintain its siege of Palestine once it has lost control of borders managed on its behalf by US client states.

      To pabelmont's point, a new Israeli attempt to occupy Gaza would impose enormous costs. Even a worried and belligerent Israel will be reluctant to assume such a burden.

    • After Mubarak's resignation, I speculated in comments at Mondoweiss that Egypt's opening of the border with Gaza could, at one fell stroke, actually make Gaza more free than the West Bank, where Israel still speaks anachronistically of 'imprisoning' Fatah leaders to punish them for their Egyptian-brokered rapprochement with Hamas. Now this exciting possibility is coming true!

      Egypt's opening of the Gaza border is an arrow in the heart of the defunct two-state negotiations. Why should the West Bank accept a demeaning, de facto bantustan status in an agreement with Israel, when Gaza can obtain a more open border without securing Israel's patronizing permission at all?

      A larger lesson is that dirty US money no longer commands either obeisance or respect in the Arab world. Two billion a year of grudging US aid to Egypt -- essentially just a crude 'make nice to Israel' bribe -- pales in comparison to Egypt's future opportunities to assume its forsaken mantle of cultural leadership in an Islamic region of a billion people. Egypt's normalizing of relations with Hamas and Iran signifies its shift in vision from inward-focused, repressive autarky to outward-focused regional preeminence.

      Israel's five million Jews are a flyspeck in the context of the emerging Islamic world. Certainly it is preferable to keep the peace with them, since Israel remains a menacing nuclear outlaw nation which refuses to accede to confidence-building international nuclear treaties. (A more confident Egypt doubtless will press this point more strongly in international fora.)

      But the future of the region is not all about Israel anymore, if it ever was. And this includes Gaza and the West Bank, which can open their repressed economies via liberated Egypt and Jordan, respectively, without needing to grovel for a one-sided deal with either the control-obsessed zionist state or the Arab lackeys of the meddling United States.

      Once again -- thanks to visionless, sold out 'leaders' such as Peace Laureate O'Bomber and Field Marshall Clinton -- the US is on the wrong side of history. As it slides into insolvency, after a decade or two the American colossus will become mostly irrelevant in the middle east.

      Goodbye, zionist delusion! Hello, Arab spring!

  • Egyptians continue protests against Israel and call for a million-man march to support Palestinians
    • 'Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Thursday that Tel Aviv could punish the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas by “imprisoning” him in the West Bank after he signed a reconciliation agreement with the Hamas movement.'

      This contemptuous statement demonstrates the utter bad faith of Israel, as it seeks in the defunct two-state negotiations to retain total obsessive control over Palestinian borders, movement and trade -- an opening which can be revoked at the slightest whim.

      Israel was never a partner for peace. Recognizing this fact, the Palestinians and the Egyptians have moved on to find an end run around the unyielding zionist obstruction.

      Perhaps some future Arab poet will write, pace Shelley,

      And on the pedestal these words appear:
      “My name is Netanyahu, king of kings:
      Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
      Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
      Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
      The lone and level sands stretch far away.

  • Zuckerman rag prints bald-faced lies on upcoming flotilla to Gaza
    • 'Nine of the brigands died when Israeli commandos were forced to board and came under assault.'

      I laughed out loud at the hokey term 'brigands,' which recalls heavy-handed rants against 'hooligans' from the Soviet era.

      But when you look past the anachronistic boilerplate, one of the nine was an American citizen, Furkan Dogan. Not only does the Daily News fail to mention this, it sides completely with the foreign military commandos who brutally murdered him.

      Which goes to show that when it comes to zionists such as Zuckerman, the label of 'dual loyalty' is no canard. But I could be wrong -- perhaps his sole loyalty is to Israel.

  • 9/11 and western prejudice fostered the Arab revolutions --Abdelkader Benali
  • 'NYT' leaves out the facts on checkpoint shooting
    • Like Israel's tattered 'only democracy in the middle east' canard, the NYT paywall is full of holes. Just enter the headline of any NYT article into a search engine, click on the search result, and you're in like Flynn.

      Don't feed the MSM trolls and Israeli PR flacks.

  • 'Foreign Policy' seeks 'rebuttal' of Oren tripe from Satloff, Benn, Goldberg and oh, Walt
    • The image included with Oren's original article -- of a U.S. flag defaced with Magen Davids in place of five-pointed stars -- is offensive.

      link to foreignpolicy.com

      It fits in with a contemptuous Israeli pattern of appropriating and vandalizing U.S. symbols, even as it proclaims its friendship. AIPAC does this too.

      A rough equivalent, in terms of insult value, would be to replace the Magen David on the Israeli flag with a swastika.

    • Try reading George Washington's letter to the Jews of Newport:

      The citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy; a policy worthy of imitation. All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship.

      link to teachingamericanhistory.org

      Contrast what Washington is lauding -- 'all possess alike the immunities of citizenship' -- with Israel, where Jews worldwide can make aliyah, but Palestinian refugees who were born in present-day Israel have no right of return.

      Washington a zionist? Only in your delusory dreams.

    • Walt: 'The United States is a liberal democracy, where people of any race, religion, or ethnicity are supposed to enjoy equal rights. Israel, by contrast, was explicitly founded as a Jewish state, and non-Jews in Israel are second-class citizens both de jure and de facto.'

      The Lobby's 'Israel shares US democratic values' riff is an absurd canard, designed to cover up the painfully obvious fact that Israel is an ethnic supremacist society which resembles the Jim Crow South far more than the post-civil rights era United States.

      Ambassador Oren should take a lesson from President Nixon: often it's not the crime, but rather the cover-up which ends up costing you. The world's last apartheid state isn't fooling anyone, as it wraps itself in Uncle Sam's skirt.

  • Can you imagine being forced to organize a 'humanitarian delegation' in order to simply visit your grandparents?
    • It will be six years this summer since Israel withdrew its settlers from Gaza. But it maintains Gaza in a remorseless state of siege.

      The unpredictability of the border crossings not only creates uncertainty for visitors such as Lydda Forty-eight, but also it destroys the economy. Gazan exporters have watched their agricultural crops rot as Israel closes the crossing. Essential imports such as cement have been blocked by Israel. Multiple smuggling tunnels along the Egyptian border at Rafah show that official crossings act as a choke point on trade.

      This flagrant bad faith on the part of Israel is why any notion of a 'two-state solution' is ridiculous. Israel similarly controls access, movement and trade in the West Bank, and has made clear that it wants to retain such control. Gaza's plight shows that Israel has no intention of behaving honorably. Collective punishment, along with racist contempt for non-Jews, is still the order of the day.

  • A concoction of distortions, half-truths and emotionally-potent oversimplifications of scripture is Christian Zionism
    • 'I could bring scholarly sources rejecting the divine authorship of all Testaments and the Quran, and “prove” that all the scriptures contain internal contradictions -but will that convince anyone here or anywhere else of the “incorrectness” of their particular religion/cult/sect/creed/belief?" -- Samuel

      Well said. The Old and New Testaments of the Christian Bible -- one describing a remote, vindictive tribal God, the other a universal God of love who fathered a love child with a teenaged virgin -- are hopelessly contradictory; an absolute dog's breakfast. And it's quite likely that the divinity of Jesus is a postmortem personality cult, since it wildly conflicts with his repeated populist claims to be nothing but a humble prophet.

      Stating as Craig Neilson does that 'the possession of the land is not absolute but conditional upon the Jewish people’s acceptance of the “yoke” of the Torah,' presupposes that these ancient, flawed documents are divine writ.

      If people want to believe that, fine. But I flatly reject any holy scripture -- Jewish, Christian, or Muslim -- which claims that the Deity hands out land deeds on earth. What a self-evident scam.

  • A liberal NY Jewish institution invites an ethnic cleanser and a neocon to its stage
    • From the 92Y announcement:

      Jerusalem, an ancient city that is ... a critical factor in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and negotiations for a two-state solution.

      *sigh*

      So they're still complacently flogging the hoary old 'two-state solution' myth, which died months if not years ago.

      This is what passes for enlightened thinking at 92Y? One could probably find more intellectual challenge around the corner, sitting on a barstool and dropping quarters into the jukebox.

      At least it wouldn't keep playing the same tired old song.

  • 'NYT' readers bridle at Netanyahu's congressional conquest, saying it goes against the American interest
    • Addressing the U.S. Congress is a fairly rare honor, usually extended only to distinguished foreign leaders who have rendered major service to the United States in crises.

      Netanyahu, the leader of a small client state which has caused immense trouble and embarrassment for the U.S. by actively undermining its long-standing policy against settlement expansion, does not remotely qualify for such an honor.

      Much as Bill Clinton was criticized for letting a parade of donors sleep in the Lincoln bedroom of the White House, House Republican leaders such as Boehner and Cantor are now prostituting the white-marble U.S. Capitol for a pocketful of Jewish campaign cash.

      No wonder P.J. O'Rourke called it a Parliament of Whores. The only shocker is that you can buy them so cheap ... and they'll strap on their knee pads to do absolutely anything you ask, no matter how degrading.

  • What future for the Goldstone Report?
    • 'Dr. Falk doesn’t really know the evidence that Judge Goldstone saw.' -- R. Witty

      What an Orwellian inversion of reality! Not only the Goldstone report, but also the six other reports cited by Falk which buttress its conclusions, were undertaken for the purpose of establishing facts and publicizing evidence.

      If Goldstone actually withheld evidence as your unfounded allegation so facilely hints, then he would have violated his mandate, and neither he nor his recent retraction would retain any credibility.

      Sorry, Richard Witty, but neither your muddled reasoning nor your feeble rhetorical skills are up to the task of refuting Richard Falk's devastating marshaling of the evidence.

      Reading your murky circumlocutions is like watching someone whose sole aeronautical qualification consists of running Microsoft Flight Simulator on his home computer, attempting to land a jumbo jet with a flamed-out engine in heavy crosswinds. Best just to avert one's eyes from the predictable fiery wipe-out!

  • Bronfman's Passover questions come 10 years too late
    • 'I speak up because I am a committed Zionist who loves Israel.'

      Presumably Bronfman means that he is committed to the Zionist vision of Israel as a Jewish state.

      But 20 percent of Israel's population is non-Jewish. In a Jewish state, they will continue being second-class citizens, living under numerous Israeli laws which deprive them of privileges available to Jewish Israelis.

      Zionism cannot be squared with contemporary concepts of human rights. 'Second-class citizens' are relics of another era; of 19th century slavery and early 20th century ethnic supremacy.

      Bronfman talks a good game of liberal open-mindedness. But real-world Zionism is inherently illiberal. What if North America mirrored Israel's ethnic engineering by encouraging Christian immigration, while prohibiting Jewish immigration and stripping Jews of their citizenship if they failed to maintain their residency? And then, to add insult to injury, described this policy as tolerant and open-minded?

      Young Edgar would be singing a different tune then, I reckon.

  • From Arrigoni to Bernadotte to RFK to 9/11-- how much global damage has this conflict produced?
    • Just last year Israel killed nine unarmed Turkish men who were moved by Gaza's suffering to risk their lives on the high seas. -- Philip Weiss

      At last, the leaders of the Free World have responded:

      Barack Obama, David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy last week described the government attack ... as a "medieval siege … to strangle its population into submission."

      OOPS! They were talking about Misrata in Libya, not long-suffering Gaza. My bad!

      link to guardian.co.uk

      The awful price of Zionism is official silence in the face of wrongful death.

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