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  • Report from Bethlehem: An American moment
    • Thank you very, very much Walid.

      That's a terribly important article, imho. The immense chronicle of crimes against the Palestinian people needs to be all- inclusive...this helps.

      It should also anger/hurt any human being to read. It should mobilize human beings to get on board with working for Palestinian justice and freedom and equality..

    • I think Avnery is being cautiously optimistic that the US might just change their tune... could it be that the US is 'wearing" a poker face?

      (Hope so, anyway.)

    • I read this telling tidbit today wrt "interfering in elections":

      "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has so far raised nearly 539,000 shekels ($137,000) in his bid to retain his position at the head of Likud. The sum came from 15 donors, all of whom are from overseas. Fourteen are from the United States, while one is from Spain.

      At this point, Netanyahu’s only challenger is Danny Danon, who has raised a total of 261,000 shekels from 11 donors – 10 of whom reside in the United States.
      ...
      Among the U.S. donors to Netanyahu’s campaign is Kenneth Abramowitz, who heads the American Friends of Likud and contributed about 40,000 shekels. The donors also included four members of the Miami-based Falic family, which owns the largest duty-free retail firm in the United States. The four each gave the maximum permitted."

      link to haaretz.com

    • Thanks for the link, Mooser.

      From the link:

      "This week, Obama threw an international bomb: after 56 years of burning enmity between the US and Cuba, he announced the resumption of diplomatic relations. This shows that he has decided to use the two years left to him in power, without the possibility of being re-elected, in order to do what he reality wanted to so all the time, but was afraid to do. He can spite the Congress and do what his soul desires.

      He can decide to act now decisively to achieve Israeli-Palestinian peace.

      Let’s hope he does."

      This is what I'm hoping for, wishing for, praying for and what I believe about this President.

    • Thanks, Mark.

      The intransigence of Israel on full display:

      "Hatnuah Chairwoman Tzipi Livni said Jerusalem will always remain under Israeli sovereignty during a Hanukkah candle-lighting ceremony at the Western Wall on Sunday, which she held together with Labor head Isaac Herzog.

      "Israeli sovereignty here, in this place, in Jerusalem, is the expression of "the historic link between a people and its land" Livni said during the ceremony."This holy place, this historical place, this place to which our deepest recesses are tied, will remain under Israeli sovereignty forever."

      The issue of the sovereignty over Jerusalem is one of the most contested core issues between Israel and the Palestinians. After the 1967 war, Israel formally annexed East Jerusalem, an act which was never internationally recognized. The Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the seat of a future Palestinian state.

      PM: Israel won't abide to outside dictates

      Meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would oppose the Palestinian resolution in the UN Security Council setting a deadline for Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank.

      "We expect responsible elements in the international community to reject this proposal, but in any case we'll oppose it determinedly and of course, would not abide by any dictates," Netanyahu said at a Hanukkah ceremony he held will IDF troops at a base near Jerusalem."

      link to haaretz.com

      How the US/ world can support this is really and truly unfathomable.

  • Shmuley Boteach taunts Palestinian solidarity demonstrators in NY
  • Why is a retired neurosurgeon 'awed' on his first trip to Israel?
  • You're on a roll, Mr. President, so abstain from vetoing the Palestinian bid to the UN Security Council
    • thank you very much, talknic.

      And, no surprise here:

      "Report: India weighs dropping support for Palestinians at UN in wake of closer ties to Israel

      Diplomatic ties between Israel and India have warmed considerably since the election of Narendra Modi in April."

      link to haaretz.com

  • What's he texting in the bomb crater?
    • Ugh, Walid.

      Gideon Levy, today:

      "Israel's society, still shaped by military arrogance

      A new play recently opened in Tel Aviv about a Yom Kippur general shows that nothing has really changed: We are still permitted to do anything, in the army and in civilian life, then and now.

      Gorodish again? That war again? How much more can we wallow in it? There is an excellent show in town, run and see it. You mustn’t miss “Gorodish,” written and directed by Hillel Mittelpunkt, at the Cameri Theater in Tel Aviv. Haaretz theater critic Michael Handelzalts already praised it to the skies two days ago on the Haaretz Hebrew website. But it is not (only) the wonderful script, the remarkable directing, the magnificent acting, the lighting, scenery and music. It is the relevance that cries out.

      First performed in 1993, the play is even more relevant in 2014. It is the incomprehensible Israeli alchemy. In 1993 it was a nostalgic play, “this is how we once were”: the generals, the debauchery, the arrogance, corruption, inflexibility and blindness. At the time we thought we had changed. That the 1973 war had healed us. That there were no more Gorodishes, nor Moshe Dayans. And look at the nightmare we’re in now. They are all back, and in spades. In fact, they never left.

      There is no point in counting all the similarities. At a time when suspicions of sexual harassment, weapons theft, misuse of donations and cover-ups by commanders are being investigated in a storied army brigade, Gorodish is here and now. Maj. Gen, Shmuel “Gorodish” Gonen, who was raised in a religiously observant home, has (allegedly) been replaced by Givati Brigade commander Col. Ofer Winter, who sends his troops into battle in the name of the Lord of Hosts. The hotels have been replaced by bed and breakfasts, the sexual harassment of female soldiers by that of male soldiers as well. There are suicides in both “Gorodish” and in Givati’s Tzabar Battalion, and nearly everything else is unchanged. Not only “Kahane lives,” so does Gorodish.

      But the rot in the Israel Defense Forces — one deputy battalion commander already compared conduct in the battalion with organized crime — is just one side of the picture. The other is the military and the political arrogance, and we have both. Back then its name was Golda Meir, today it’s Benjamin Netanyahu, both of them speaking the smoothest English. Then it was Sharm el-Sheikh, today it’s Sheikh Jarrah, and the attitude is the same: Israel will decide everything, according to its whims and caprices, and there is no other. What about time? It continues to work in its favor.
      ...
      ...The Israeli ethos still hinders criticism. A great army of propagandists covers for it. Even when a scandal like that in Givati breaks out, they hurry to say that these are exceptions. Watching “Gorodish” prompts another thought: Not only is this the esprit de IDF, but the army’s contribution to the Israeli state and society also includes the army’s inherent corruption and arrogance. The arrogance and corruption of the happy days of Gorodish are an inseparable part of the behavior of an occupying army. If in 1973 we thought that we were healed and in 1993 we thought that it was nostalgia, then we were as dreamers.

      The conclusion is clear: Instead of defending the IDF and placing all the blame on the politicians, the time has come to understand that the IDF is the people’s army. It does not only reflect society, it also shapes it. Perhaps the corrupt behavior of former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and the rape committed by former President Moshe Katsav were born in Gorodish’s barracks. The bullying on Israel’s roads and the violence in its clubs were born there too. We cannot continue to treat the army as only a victim of society and the soldiers as only people who carry out orders. The one who ran riot during Operation Protective edge in the Gaza Strip will do the same in battalion headquarters. And a bully who went crazy while carrying out the Hannibal Directive in Rafah will be a bully in his home as well. The spirit of 1967 has never faded: We are permitted to do anything, in the army and in civilian life, then and now.

      In one of the highlights of “Gorodish,” Epstein, the general’s loyal assistant, says: “We have been praying for peace, singing songs of peace since nursery school: peace, peace ... Do I believe my government would prefer occupied territories over peace, and as a result would sacrifice hundreds and thousands of lives for them? I, Cohen, am a rotten person. I believe so.” Nothing has changed. Curtain."

      link to haaretz.com

  • On eve of University of California honor, Bill Maher defends anti-Muslim hate speech in Vanity Fair interview
  • JVP offers bold universalist Hanukkah message in the wake of Gaza slaughter
    • lol!

      You are such a mensch, Mooser. Thank you. You always make me smile. You give joy and are a gift.

    • It's painful to read again, seafoid. From your link:

      "Israel's years of calm are over

      The bubble has burst. The combination of Hamas' fanaticism, desperation and rocket capabilities are only the precursor to what we can expect over the next years and decades."

      Israel has only ever created chaos and misery.

      Q: When is justice, peace , and self- determination referred to as "fanaticism"???

      A: When a 'Liberal Zionist' says so.

    • Salem Shamaly, RIP.

      There was no "war". There was another massacre. JVP is part of the new "Enlightenment". Israel is not.

  • Obama took on the Cuba lobby-- when will he take on the Israel lobby?
  • U.S. seeks to counter Palestinian UN resolution with alternative offer, says French diplomat
    • Pathetic, indeed.

      Pitiful, as well.

    • Thanks, Harry.

      The solution is for the US to stand up and declare the illegal settlements illegal~ no veto, no abstention.

      Then things will be better for everyone concerned~ most importantly, the suffering Palestinian people.

    • Why didn't he speak about the terrorism in Pennsylvania and Oregon and of the IOF Occupiers?

      How about tending to the Ofer Winter group?

      "Something is rotten in the IDF's Givati Brigade

      Recent allegations of sexual harassment, improper use of funds and unexplained suicides indicate a severe problem of oversight."

      link to haaretz.com

      Freedom, self- determination, and justice are not "gimmicks".

    • There's nothing at all "aggressive" about the resolution.

      Does "self-determination" translate into something different in Moldova?

  • SodaStream rejected, at Harvard (and in Brooklyn)
  • Palestinian UN effort seeks to set 'terms of reference' for negotiations and promote shift away from US leadership
    • Insanity is the former norm.

    • it's "something" alright.

      I do think that President Obama has had enough, though. We'll see.

      (Meanwhile, I am crossing my fingers and toes!)

    • Wonder what the Cuba Lobby is saying.

      Menendez, Ros-Lehtinen, Cruz, Rubio, etc.....

      (I'm sure there's some gnashing of teeth)

    • Normalize relations with Iran, Cuba and Palestine!

      It's happening, finally.

      As for:

      "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said conference attendees were engaging in “staggering examples of European hypocrisy,” continuing, “It seems that too many in Europe, on whose soil six million Jews were slaughtered, have learned nothing. But we in Israel, we’ve learned.”"

      We've learned much about Israel and hypocrisy.

      Too much to ignore. Time to ante up.

  • Israel will lose all American Jews but the crazies
  • You don't have to suffer alone . . . the CIA is here for you
    • I read a story about a hero not long ago:

      "A US navy nurse has refused to force-feed prisoners who are on an extended hunger strike at Guantánamo Bay, the first protest of its kind at the detention centre, a rights lawyer and US official has said.

      The unidentified nurse declined to participate after deciding the practice was a criminal act, said Cori Crider,a lawyer for the British legal rights group Reprieve who spoke in a phone interview from London.

      "This guy is basically a hero, and he should be permitted to give care to detainees that is ethically appropriate," Crider said.

      It is the first time a nurse or doctor is known to have refused to tube-feed a prisoner, said Col Greg Julian, a spokesman for southern command, which oversees Guantánamo. He said in a phone interview that the nurse was a lieutenant and had been assigned other duties at Guantánamo.

      "It's being handled administratively," he said.

      The Guantánamo spokesman, Capt Tom Gresback, did not respond to messages seeking comment.

      Crider said she learned about the case during a phone conversation with Abu Wa'el Dhiab, a 42-year-old Syrian prisoner she represents who has never been charged and has been a candidate for release and resettlement since 2009.

      She said Dhiab, who is on a hunger strike, told her in the 10 July call that he had got to know the nurse well and that the nurse had been the leader of a medical group for two to three months.

      "Even before his decision, though, you could tell he was very compassionate," Crider quoted Dhiab as telling her, according to notes she shared of their conversation.

      Dhiab said other medical officers had told prisoners that they did not like force-feeding but had no choice, Crider said.

      "But this one soldier stood up and refused to do it. This takes real courage," Crider quoted Dhiab as saying. He added, according to her: "Refusing to force-feed us was a historical act and a strong statement. We were all amazed.""

      One person stood up and did the right thing. One, out of many, refused to torture people.

      link to theguardian.com

      Thank you, Katie. As abc wrote, you hit it out of the park again! Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden are in "jail"...

  • US feels the heat on Palestine vote at UN
    • I should have said: "Beinart gets it mostly right".

      1S1P1V! I can put heaps of blame on every President from Truman until now~ the West gave away something precious that was not theirs to give.

    • Beinart gets it right:

      "“If thought corrupts language,” wrote George Orwell, “language can also corrupt thought.” Take the Israeli government’s rhetoric about Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ effort to get the United Nations Security Council to endorse a timetable for Palestinian statehood. The United States must veto such a resolution, a senior Israeli official told reporters this week, because “the consistent American policy for the past 47 years has opposed such unilateral steps.”

      Note the corruption of language. According to Google, a “unilateral” action is one taken “without the agreement of another or others.” But the Palestinian effort is entirely dependent on the agreement of others. The Palestinians are asking the countries on the UN Security Council to vote to end Israeli control of the West Bank. (Formally, in fact, they’re not even the ones asking. Since the Palestinians don’t have a seat on the Security Council, Jordan will introduce the resolution). Israel, by contrast, is asking one country – the United States – to veto the resolution irrespective of how the other Security Council members vote. Which side, then, is advocating unilateral action?

      Besides, why is Israel suddenly so offended by unilateralism? The Gaza disengagement was unilateral. So was building the separation barrier. It’s hard to think of anything more unilateral than settlement expansion: Virtually the entire world opposes it, and yet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does it anyway. In fact, unilateralism – the idea that Jews should rely on themselves rather than the tender mercies of the gentile world – is deeply ingrained in Israeli political culture. As David Ben-Gurion famously said, “What matters is not what the goyim say, but what the Jews do.” As recently as last month, while speaking about Iran, Netanyahu proclaimed his unilateralism proudly. Israel, he said, “reserves its right to defend itself by itself.”

      The Palestinians, by contrast, are too weak to do almost anything unilaterally. That’s one of the costs of not having a state. For decades, they’ve been locked in a bilateral struggle against a far more powerful adversary. For decades, Palestinian leaders have hoped the United States would balance the scales. And for decades, the United States has refused. Even during the 1990s, writes former Clinton administration peace processor Aaron David Miller, “Not a single senior-level official involved with the negotiations was willing or able to present, let alone fight for, the Arab or Palestinian perspective.”
      ...
      U.S. President Barack Obama surely knows all this. Given his personal experience in Kenya and Indonesia, he identifies with the colonial subjugation Palestinians suffer in the West Bank. And given his personal experience with left-leaning Jews in Chicago, he identifies with a liberal Zionism that can only be preserved if the occupation ends. Again and again during his presidency, he has abandoned his own moral instincts under domestic political pressure. And as a result, he may well go down in history as the president who presided over the two-state solution’s death.

      Now, in the autumn of his presidency, the Palestinians are no longer asking Obama to save them. They’re merely asking him to get out of the way. It makes sense for the United States to try to influence the terms of a UN statehood resolution: Such a resolution should spur serious negotiations, not substitute them. But if the United States vetoes, and thus denies the Palestinians any leverage over Israel, it will be condemning them to a bilateral “peace process” that its own officials admit has become a sham.

      “The arc of the moral universe is long,” Obama likes to say, quoting Martin Luther King, “but it leans toward justice.” But that’s not quite right. It only leans when people bend it. On the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, this may be Barack Obama’s last chance."

      link to haaretz.com

    • The $3+++ billion that we give to Israel annually would make a lot of people more secure/happy/healthy in the US... even in the South.

      All that President Obama needs to do is to explain it ~ destroy the myth straight up and straight out from the Oval O.

    • President Obama and the American people have nothing to lose but a bad habit.

      "Friends don't let friends drive drunk"!

    • I feel your pain, Boomer.

      "U.S. willing to back UN resolutions on Palestinians, if 'no unilateral moves' included

      Kerry said earlier Tuesday that the U.S. hadn't made any final determinations regarding the proposals expected to be submitted to the UNSC this week"

      link to haaretz.com

      What does that mean, anyway?

    • Simply gorgeous.

      Yann Tiersen is so giving and gifted.

    • Here are some real stars:

      "Edward Snowden, whistleblower
      ‘You have inspired an angry public’

      Happy birthday, Chelsea Manning. I thank you now and forever for your extraordinary act of service and I am sorry that it has come with such an unbelievable personal cost.

      As a result of your courageous act, the American people are more informed about the workings of our government as it positions itself for endless war. You have inspired an angry public to demand a government that is accountable for its perpetration of torture and other war crimes, for the true costs of its wars, and for conspiring in corruption around the world.

      The distinguishing strength of democracy is self-correction – that no matter how bad things get, the public in partnership with a free press can detect and correct mistakes of public officials. You valiantly renewed this self-correcting, self-determining American tradition of governance. For this, we all thank you. Happy birthday, Chelsea."

      link to theguardian.com

      and:

    • rotflmao. so they say and think...

      Thanks, amigo.

    • Do Zionists ever look at the stars and dream of being better people?

      You know, people filled with empathy and kindness and joie de vivre for others as well as themselves?

    • In 1948, the "world" gave away what was not theirs to give.

      "The Israeli public, due to elect a new Israeli government in three months’ time, increasingly regards the US role as toxic."

      95% of Israelis supported the slaughter of innocent men, women and 500+ children in Gaza.

      ante up, America. Do it this time, by voting with humans and not against them~ take the responsibility and try to save lives, dignity, freedom and create some justice. Stop rewarding Israel's noxious/toxic behavior.

      We might just be able to save ourselves in the meantime...

  • 'NYT' writer takes Salaita's side, saying U of Illinois violated 'intellectual and academic freedom'
    • "Hartman- I am certainly biased in favor of Hartman. I met him, I come from his milieu". - See more at: link to mondoweiss.net

      There are other "milieus" and clubs, yonah. What Professor Salaita tweeted was not noxious. Helen Thomas said "go home" and he said nothing worse.

      Both of them paid a price for speaking the truth. But you and others continue to pay nothing.

      (Thanks to tree and adele.)

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