Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 10862 (since 2009-08-06 23:45:24)

Kathleen

57 year old mother of three, activist, concerned citizen

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  • Omar Barghouti: What Mondoweiss Means To Me
    • Omar "Few other oppressive regimes have mastered the propaganda machinery to the level that Israel has. It spends fortunes on hasbara—whitewashing its egregious violations of international law and Palestinian rights through a hegemonic cocktail of lies, fabrications and ample bullying and intimidation -"

      Only recently have we witnessed more accurate reporting on main stream outlets about Israel's crimes against Palestinians. In fact only this past summer. did we watch decades long silence or inaccurate coverage of this issue. Mondoweiss has been part of putting a crack in that wall of silence.

  • Yes, Virginia, there is a liberal Zionist
    • So who was Alan Gross working for in Cuba? Allegedly USAID. A contract job for

      "Gross filed reports for USAID of his four visits to Cuba in 2009. The report of the fifth and final trip was written by a representative of Gross's company.[20] A review of the reports was revealed on February 12, 2012, by the Associated Press (AP). According to the reports, Gross was aware of the risks he was taking.[21] AP reports that Gross did not identify himself as a representative of the U.S. government, but claimed to be a member of a Jewish humanitarian group. To escape Cuban authorities' detection, he enlisted the help of American Jews to transport electronic equipment, instructing them to pack items a piece at a time in carry-on luggage, and also travelled with American Jewish humanitarian groups doing missions on the island so he could intercede with Cuban authorities if questions arose. Gross declared that he was thoroughly inspected by the customs officials at Jose Marti International Airport when entering the country, and that he declared all of the items in his possession.[22] The equipment he brought to Cuba on his fourth trip, most but not all of which is legal in Cuba, included 12 iPods, 11 BlackBerry Curve smartphones, three MacBooks, six 500-gigabyte external drives, three Internet satellite phones known as BGANs, three routers, three controllers, 18 wireless access points, 13 memory sticks, three VoIP phones, and networking switches. In his report on this trip, marked as final, he summarized: “Wireless networks established in three communities; about 325 users”. However, he went to Cuba for a fifth time in late November 2009 and was arrested 11 days later.[20] When he was arrested, he was carrying a high-tech chip,[21] intended to keep satellite phone transmissions from being located within 250 miles (400 kilometres). The chip is not available on the open market. It is provided most frequently to the CIA and the Defense Department, but can also be obtained by the State Department, which oversees USAID. Asked how Gross obtained the card, a USAID spokesman said that the agency played no role in helping Gross acquire equipment.[20]"

      "Following the terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C. on September 11, 2001, the United States invaded Afghanistan and DAI was chosen to lead a variety of development projects in the midst of the counterinsurgency. A Philadelphia Inquirer journalist who visited one of DAI's projects in 2010 described it as a "model of success".[3] After the United States invaded Iraq in 2003, DAI won a project to help provide effective governance in the country. Other projects in Iraq covering agriculture and the restoration of the Iraqi Marshlands were to follow.[4][5][6][7] For his work on the later project, DAI's Peter Reiss was awarded the Lourdes Arizpe award by the American Anthropological Association.[8] The company established DAI Palestine in 2004."

      ok ok I know Wikipedia is not a particularly great resource. However this is interesting about who Alan Gross was working for in Cuba

      "Incidents[edit]

      On 26 September 2010, Linda Norgrove and three Afghan colleagues were kidnapped in the Chawkay (aka Tsawkay, Sawkay) district of eastern Kunar Province. Ambushed by members of the Taliban on the main highway from Jalalabad to Asadabad, Norgrove and others were eventually taken into the Dewegal Valley within the Chowkai District by their captors.[12][13] Eventually, a rescue attempt was carried out by Navy SEALs, from the Naval Special Warfare Development Group (also known as Navy SEAL Team 6), a unit used for high-risk counter-terrorist operations. Norgorve was wounded in the action, received emergency medical treatment and was evacuated by helicopter, but died from her injuries.

      In December 2009, Alan Phillip Gross was detained by Cuban authorities after attempting to distribute satellite communications equipment.[14] He was principal of a small business called JBDC, working as a subcontractor on a USAID project.[15] The Supreme Court of Cuba sentenced Gross to 15 years of imprisonment despite diplomatic pressure from high level American officials.[16][17]

      Criticism[edit]

      Eva Golinger, a Venezuelan-American attorney and editor of the Correo del Orinoco, a web- and print-based newspaper which is financed by the Venezuelan government, claims that the DAI is a Central Intelligence Agency front organisation for their covert actions.[18] According to the Center for Media and Democracy's SourceWatch, former CIA officer Philip Agee said that Development Alternatives Inc. gave $3.5 million to groups trying to overthrow President Hugo Chávez in Venezuela."

    • Today on the Diane Rehm show one of the guest mentioned Israel's investments in Cuba. Did not know this. Sounds like a potentially interesting piece.

      US Penalizes Israeli-Owned Company for Dealing With Cuba

      link to nytimes.com.

      Israelis build huge office complex in Havana's ... - Luxner

      link to luxner.com

      "Ironically, Israel is also becoming one of the leading foreign investors in Cuba, with private Jewish businessmen involving themselves in everything from Cuban citrus exports to real-estate projects.

      Now, in a move sure to infuriate Cuban exile groups and the Bush administration, a group of Israeli investors is sinking tens of millions of dollars into what they're calling Cuba's first "intelligent office building complex" -- a suburban Havana office park that, when completed, will consist of 18 six-floor office buildings located on 180,000 square meters (nearly two million square feet).

      The Miramar Trade Center (MTC) is the brainchild of Inmobiliaria Monte Barreto S.A., a joint venture between Cuban state agency Cubalse S.A. and Grupo BM, an Israeli entity headed by former Mossad spy chief Rafi Eitan.

      Inmobiliaria Monte Barreto's chairman is Enrique Rottenberg, an Argentine Jew living in Cuba. Rottenberg wouldn't say how much his company is investing in the project, and declined to be interviewed by this newspaper, saying it was not in his interest for the company's activities to be publicized. He wouldn't even hand out his business card for fear of having his name mentioned in the U.S. press. "

      Same article:

      "Interestingly, the Israeli government -- which has been quite vocal about its support of the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba -- has long distinguished between official ties with Cuba, which it doesn't have, and private Israeli investment, which it says it cannot control.

      Yet the government itself is quietly helping Israeli companies invest there.

      According to John Kavulich III, president of the U.S.-Cuba Trade and Economic Council, the Israel Foreign Trade Risk Insurance Corp. (IFTRIC) now provides commercial and political risk insurance for Israeli companies hoping to invest in Cuba. In 1999, IFTRIC reported insuring short-term transactions worth more than $3 billion, of which some 10% was directed toward developing countries. "

  • PA to seek UN Security Council resolution giving Israel two years to end the occupation
  • Rebecca Vilkomerson: What Mondoweiss Means To Me
    • Just donated. Wish I could donate more...much more. Not able to access the link to "what Mondoweiss means to me" Link says "this operation has been cancelled due to restrictions"

      Dear MW readers and activist:

      What a breathe of fresh air Mondoweiss has provided over the last 8 years for readers when it comes to providing fact based coverage of what has and continues to go on in the Palestinian Israeli conflict. Many of us are well aware that accurate, fact based coverage of systematic Palestinian house destruction, agricultural destruction, and the killing and injuries inflicted by the government and military of Israel has not been covered by the US mainstream media for literally decades.

      In fact for decades the mainstream media has provided a stage for Israel and the I lobby to influence US congress members in building a wall of silence around this issue as well as misrepresenting the facts on the ground that have and continue to take place. Mondoweiss as well as concerted efforts by both old and new activist and yes even the main steam has become more willing to help break that wall of silence and inaccurate coverage down.

      I truly believe that Palestinians and Israeli's will ultimately benefit when a true and just outcome becomes a reality. Mondoweiss is helping create that hopefully peaceful and just reality! Thank you Mondoweiss team for all of your efforts!

  • As Kerry and UN press on occupation, Netanyahu sees a 'diplomatic assault'
    • Great piece Annie. Thanks. Good for Switzerland not caving to pressure. Remember that conference on the Non Proliferation Treaty that the US and Israel successfully halted from happening a few years ago. Israel was going to be called out...

      Interesting to hear things opening up more in the MSM. Richard Engel mentioned anger felt towards Israel linked to terrorist acts on Meet The Press yesterday. Snowden interview on Cspan mentioning Israel's unusual access to US data mining intelligence etc.

      John Yoo mentioned how Israeli "techniques" (torture) were looked at as Yoo, Addington changed torture laws while in the Bush administrations Office of Legal Counsel. Yoo's interview at Cspan

  • AIPAC seeks to blow up negotiations between Iran and US
    • The I lobby have been mobilized in sabotaging any efforts for public negotiations between the US and Iran for decades. At the Aipac site they were asking members to directly undermine negotiations and stirring up support for unnecessary sanctions and a military strike on Iran since soon after the invasion of Iraq

    • Amnesty International's new report on Israel's war crimes in the Gaza
      BBC News - Amnesty: Israeli strikes on Gaza buildings 'war ...

      link to bbc.com.

    • Aipac and the Israel lobby in the US Congress have been interfering in US Iran behind the scene negotiations for decades. Many have been shining the light on this interference for decades. Phil so great you are bringing more attention to the threat to US National Security that Aipac has and continues to perpetrate.

      Aipac has been encouraging Aipac members and others to contact their Reps pushing for more sanctions against Iran since soon after the invasion of Iraq.

      Jinsa too. John Hannah and Dennis Ross at Jinsa. Michael Ledeen used to be head of JinsaThe Gemunder Center Iran Task Force | JINSA Online

      link to jinsa.org.

      Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs. Remember the Jinsa advisory board has been filled up with Iraq war pushers Michael (Niger Documents) Ledeen, James Woolsey, Richard Perle etc.

      Best article on Jinsa etc that I have ever read. The Men From JINSA and CSP | The Nation

      link to thenation.com

  • Israel has always been crazy
    • Yes indeed "carefully taught" Firmly believe that all prejudices, elitism, ethnocentric stances are all taught. So sad that some of this is so deeply cultivated enough so that people actually believe. We all have so much more potential!

    • Avigail ..incredible piece. So clear, spot on.

      "Without knowing it, I grew up with classic colonial rhetoric. Colonisers motivated by fear and possibly guilt, have always demonised the people they have hurt. For some people it is easier to inflict suffering if they don’t see the other as a fellow human being. Dehumanisation helps to reduce empathy and shut down the conscience. It is being done everywhere where there is injustice and abuse. "

      Sometimes tough to argue with those around you when you are young and growing up in a ethnocentric and sounds like racist environment. I had the ability as a young person to argue with my Archie Bunker type step father. He was a racist towards blacks. I argued with him endlessly from the age of 12 about his racism. Had to say that most of the Catholic school nuns I was brought up with cultivated the "we are all born in the image and likeness of God" (not Catholic now ) instilled deeply in me this core sense. Which combined with my all inclusive union member mother had me marching in the streets focused on civil rights issues at 15. Can imagine if one is brought up hearing the adults in one's life always demonizing the "other" how it would be tough to shed some light on what is really going on. Racism.

      Avigail "And they are out-of-control. But please do not make the mistake of thinking that these feelings and urges belong to a lunatic fringe. They do not. They are supported by the majority of Israeli-Jews and as Phil rightly says, they are led from the front by top politicians. These politicians are now changing the legal system to create an environment that fits these attitudes better and where they can be unleashed legally, and thrive."

      Polls during the latest Israeli massacre of Palestinians in the Gaza showed that the majority of Israeli Jews supported the assault. Along with the support of the US congress. Which has been the case for decades.

      Avigail "And to think that once upon a time I was worried that I was too extreme or unreasonable with some of my predictions about Israel… It’s all in its psychology and it’s always been there. I told you so. "

      So many have been writing about, talking about, witnessing, now documenting with cameras, phones etc what has been going on in the illegally occupied territories and East Jerusalem for decades. Many. You sound as if you have been saying this for quite some time and have been among the ranks of those seeking justice for a very long time. Edward Said 60's, 70's (deceased), Vanessa Redgrave( 70's), Former President Jimmy Carter( 70's), Norman Finkelstein (80's), Archbishop Tutu (90's), Art Gish (80's,) Phil (early 02), Medea Benjaman (took a public stand 07 or so) Max ()6 or so), ...the ranks are growing. As I pointed out with so many others on Phil's thread...the issue of Israel's embedded apartheid system continues to be exposed.

  • Pssst! Is Israel going crazy?
    • Phil quite the interchange between Chris Matthews and Senator Rand Paul last night (Wednesday). Paul addressed the destructive foreign policy and the results over the last 11 years. Israel was brought up by Chris several times. Inferences that Israel has been pushing the U.S. (something we all ready know). Interesting that Matthews was willing to go so close.

    • Last night( Monday) on Chris Matthews Hardball he threw out a comment that Iran should not go "nuclear". So fucking inflammatory, so dangerous. Matthews does not state facts about Iran being a signatory to the Non Proliferation Treaty, that they have the right to enrich up to 20% for peaceful purposes. That Israel has and continues to refuse to sign the NPT and the Chemical Weapons Treaty while they sit on massive stockpiles of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. Chris is actively helping build the foundation for a military strike on Iran with such flippant and uninformed statements about Iran. The rest of his show was focused on how Republicans etc just toss out irresponsible and inflammatory comments about "food stamps" or "Benghazi"

      Comments like his last night about Iran are as reckless and as the comments he likes to point out that Republicans make about those on "food stamps" and Clinton and "Benghazi" Purposely said to stir up superficial and destructive misunderstandings about serious issues

    • On Lori McCreary, Morgan Freeman and their willingness to go along with the continue to demonize Iran that permeates our MSM. Rachel Maddow, Andrea Mitchell, Chris Matthews etc all do it. Only talking heads that I have heard actually willing to present well educated and fact based laden guest on their programs to discuss Iran has been MSNBC's Melissa Harris Perry. Chris Hayes throws a few facts out there.

    • Stewart and his writers have opened up to the facts on the ground and doing spoofs on the racism, power of the lobby in the US far more the last 10 years. Far safer than the decade before when they never said boo about Israel's crimes against humanity, never criticized Israeli leaders (while they criticized Iranian leaders etc often) Stewart and his writers even did a clever segment on then Congress woman Jane "waddling on over to interfere in the Aipac espionage investigation" Harman. But this willingness to address these issues the way they rip on other issues is relatively new. A healthy shift...but took them over a decade of Stewart being on air.

    • Interesting to hear and watch mainstream programs like "Madam Secretary" and how they are being used to continue to demonize Iran. Last night the program (producers) ended up focusing on projecting a scenario where Iran was made responsible for murdering the former Secretary of State. Jon Stewart chose to focus on Iranian treatment of a journalist (have not seen the film yet) and chose to not focus on how Israel has actually killed many journalist and not been held accountable. Wondering why Stewart did not choose to spend his time focusing on this fact instead of Iran's gruesome treatment of a journalist.

      Iran does not even make the "Committee to Protect Journalist" top 20 most deadly countries list. Israel does. This is a gruesome list. Wondering why Jon Stewart chose to focus on Iran? Helping to build the foundation for a military strike on bad bad Iran? Producers of "Madam Secretary" doing the same?

      20 Deadliest Countries

      Iraq: 166
      Philippines: 77
      Syria: 72
      Algeria: 60
      Pakistan: 56
      Russia: 56
      Somalia: 53
      Colombia: 45
      India: 32
      Mexico: 30
      Brazil: 29
      Afghanistan: 26
      Turkey: 20
      Sri Lanka: 19
      Bosnia: 19
      Tajikistan: 17
      Rwanda: 17
      Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory: 16
      Sierra Leone: 16
      Bangladesh: 15

    • "Max Blumenthal saw/predicted a lot of this with his book of a year ago that the mainstream has done its best to ignore. Now at last the global community is frightened by this trend; the New York Times says Netanyahu’s initiative is “heartbreaking” for those who believe in Israeli democracy. You don’t have to be such a romantic to recognize that the political culture in Israel is going nuts; and that a lot of this craziness is the natural result of enfranchising one ethnic/religious group and disenfranchising another. "-

      Edward Said, Vanessa Redgrave, Ilan Pappe, Former President Jimmy Carter, Archbishop Tutu, Art Gish, Prof Finkelstein have been pointing out the "craziness" (apartheid) for decades. Just that more folks like Max, yourself have become far more aware about the facts on the ground. Awareness about the facts may push the all ready crazed with ethnocentricism closer to desperate means ...but the crimes have been committed for decades and many have pointed this out...but now the mainstream even reporting about those crimes. Awareness growing due to Carters book, Walt and Mearsheimer's book, Mondoweiss, more discussion about the facts in the mainstream.

      Has the craziness grown or just more awareness about the craziness. Crimes committed being publicly identified and those committing feeling cornered.

  • 'What is your religion?' question surprises two American visitors to the occupation
    • Simple yet powerful video Phil. Hope folks share this everywhere they can. Israel's apartheid state in action.

      Peace activist Art Gish (deceased) spent much of his time in Hebron during his over a decade in those parts

  • 'You don't want us to breathe!': Video captures everyday frustration of life under occupation in East Jerusalem
    • Walid police, highway patrol officers etc will not answer you if you ask them questions about whether they have to meet quota's

    • Not sure about that Annie...do know that cops, city structures in the U.S. have been beating and shaking down economically poorer folks for decades through these means.

      One of the anti violent and police brutality protest that I attended in Cinci almost 15 or so years ago I talked with tons of black males and females who have been burdened heavily by these economical strangleholds. Systematic methods of oppression and racism have been used in the US for hundreds of years. Just that now not able to get away with it so easily. Laws and legislation. More subtle and under the carpet now.

      Have watched poor white Appalachian's (where of course poverty, lack of a quality education, lots of drugs etc) in court rooms who are unable to pay for fines and how it escalates into jail time instead of school time etc. In Ohio local taxes are distributed for schools in a constitutionally proven unfair way. Systematic oppression for those economically challenged

    • I think it was MSNBC's Chris Hayes who did a piece on how traffic violations etc (unpaid because people can not afford) escalate into huge fines, arrest then jailing. How towns like Ferguson etc thrive on police writing up tickets for small violations and then grow into huge fines, complications. Way to beat all ready beaten down people even further.

      Systematic oppression of Palestinians by Israeli's has amassed into internal anger that clearly has to escape in some way.
      Crimes against humanity in mass over decades adds up to some pent up responses

      Israeli soldiers breaking the bones of a Palestinian - YouTube

      Video for israeli soldiers breaking bones► 0:33► 0:33

      link to youtube.com

      Israeli Cop Kicks Palestinian Child - YouTube

      Video for Israeli soldiers kicking young Palestinian child in alley you tube► 0:47► 0:47

      link to youtube.com

      Israeli Military child detention of a young boy in ... - YouTube

      Video for Israeli soldiers humiliating young boy you tube► 2:13► 2:13

      link to youtube.com

      And at the Breaking the Silence website you can read and hear many Israeli soldiers telling about how they have been trained, told to humiliate, and injure Palestinians all sanctioned by the Israeli army and government. Systematic Crimes against humanity.
      Breaking the Silence › Israeli soldiers talk about the ...

      link to breakingthesilence.org.il

  • Netanyahu's 'battle for Jerusalem' can't end well for any of us
    • Some of you may know that I have spent decades calling into national radio and cspan programs as well as linking questions and information on national host of media outlets on Facebook etc about the Israel/Palestine conflict and the situation with Iran.

      Several days ago I posted this on many (probably about 10 fb pages, including, Rachel Maddow, Chris Hayes, Chris Matthews etc) msm fb pages and now am somehow blocked from continuing to do so. Any ideas about how to get over this hump?

      "Iran signed the Non Proliferation Treaty long ago. As signatories to the NPT they have the legal right to enrich uranium up to 20% for peaceful purposes. Israel has and continues to refuse to sign the NPT and the Chemical Weapons Convention Treaty which Iran has signed along with many other nations.

      Over the last decade we have heard many of the same warmongers who pushed the invasion of Iraq based on unsubstantiated WMD claims push unsubstantiated claims about Iran's legal nuclear program often referring to their program as a "nuclear weapons" program.

      As nations continue to negotiate with Iran on their nuclear program Israel and the Israeli lobby in the US congress continues to push false claims about Iran's program. Please contact your Reps and President Obama and ask them to continue to negotiate with Iran based on facts. Contact mainstream media outlets and ask them to educate the public about the NPT and Chemical Weapons Convention Treaty. Who has signed and who has not. UNODA - Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT)"

      I did personalize each post to what I know about their generally willingness (Maddow has repeated unsubstantiated claims about Iran along with Diane Rehm, Scott Simon etc) to spread Weapons of Mass Deception about Iran. Asking all of these host to have the Leveretts on instead of going along with this decades long Weapons of Mass Deception agenda fueled by the Iraq warmongers

      link to un.org

    • "learning to share" once again
      The UN can bring peace to Jerusalem by moving its ...

      mondoweiss.net/2014/11/jerusalem-moving-headquarters

    • "learning to share"

      The UN can bring peace to Jerusalem by moving its ...

      mondoweiss.net/2014/11/jerusalem-moving-headquarters

    • Here is what Netanyahu (and many other officials in Israel over the decades) think about the US and the US congress. Never forget this.

      Netanyahu: 'America is a thing you can move very easily'

      voices.washingtonpost.com ›

      Netanyahu: 'America is a thing you can move very easily'

      The United States and Israel have made a huge effort this month to patch up the sometimes difficult relationship between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. But a newly released video of Netanyahu, speaking in an unvarnished manner in 2001 about relations with the United States and the peace process, may cause some heartburn at the White House.

      "I know what America is," Netanyahu told a group of terror victims, apparently not knowing his words were being recorded. "America is a thing you can move very easily, move it in the right direction. They won't get in their way."

      Netanyahu also bragged how he undercut the peace process when he was prime minister during the Clinton administration. "They asked me before the election if I'd honor [the Oslo accords]," he said. "I said I would, but ... I'm going to interpret the accords in such a way that would allow me to put an end to this galloping forward to the '67 borders. How did we do it? Nobody said what defined military zones were. Defined military zones are security zones; as far as I'm concerned, the entire Jordan Valley is a defined military zone. Go argue."
      'America Won't Get in Our Way...It's Easily Moved' - YouTube

      Video for Netanyahu we know how to move america you tube► 8:45► 8:45

      link to youtube.com

    • Thank you kay and Walid for the clips. Beautiful. Remember feeling high in Catholic church as a child during high masses with the singing and chanting in Latin. Not a believer but sure appreciate people's faiths if they stay peaceful.

    • Iran hangs Mossad agent' for scientist killing | Reuters

      link to reuters.com

      False Flag - Foreign Policy

      link to foreignpolicy.com

      Mossad hit-squads behind Iran scientists' murders - US ...

      rt.com/news/iranian-scientists-assassinations-israel-923

    • Mossad has been tracked to some damn twisted and horrific actions. But do you have any sources for what you are claiming? Finally the talking heads in the Mainstream are bringing up the fact that many of the leaders in ISIS were part of the leadership in Saddam's Army that Paul Bremmer disbanded for the neocons after the invasion. Putting hundreds of thousands of Iraq government employees out on the streets. As well as privatizing ownership of much of Iraq's oil industry.

      One just has to wonder if the whole deal was to purposely turn the different factions in Iraq, Syria in on themselves. Sort of a much larger Sabra and Shatilla. Disassemble (divide and conquer), provide an environment for self destruction between these different factions. Just not sure how this would provide the US or Israel with much except the privatization of resources.

    • Thanks Horizontal. Interesting.

    • Have read that there is a sizable group of individuals in the intelligence community who would go ballistic if Pollard were ever to be released. Part of his deal was based on all materials used to prosecute him went into the shadows. Sure that many would demand that the full story of just what Pollard did and the scope and scale of how his traitorous actions undermined US national security

      The Arguments For And Against Releasing Jonathan Pollard

      link to npr.org

      Why Jonathan Pollard Got Life :: Middle East Quarterly - Middle ...

      link to meforum.org

      "Life imprisonment is apparently the harshest punishment ever meted out to someone found guilty of spying during peace time. Indeed, since the execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg in 1953, during the Korean War, no spy has received a harsher sentence, even during war time. The severity of Pollard's sentence is in itself noteworthy.

      It is all the more so in light of two other factors. First, Pollard did not stand trial for his crime. Rather, he received his life sentence after entering into a plea-bargain agreement in which the government promised not to seek a life sentence. Entering into that agreement, Pollard relinquished his right to a trial, cooperated with government investigators, pleaded guilty -- all, presumably, with the expectation that some leniency would be shown in his sentence. The expectation was reasonable, but it proved illusory. Secondly, Pollard was sentenced to life in prison despite the fact that he was never accused of delivering classified information to an enemy of the United States. Rather, he was accused of delivering such information to Israel, a close and staunch American ally. There may be no other case of a life sentence imposed for spying on behalf of a strategic ally.

      All of these factors lead one to assume that there must have been something extraordinary about Pollard's crime -- that it caused damage to the United States of such enormous magnitude as to justify a life sentence, after a plea bargain, for committing peace time espionage on behalf of an ally. What could that enormous damage have been?

      THE CRIMINAL INDICTMENT

      The logical starting place to find an answer would be the June 1986 criminal indictment, in which the government detailed its charges against Pollard. Yet the indictment provides nary a clue. On the contrary, it strongly implies that Pollard's actions were not perceived as having caused great harm to American interests.

      Specifically, the indictment charges Pollard with violating 18 U.S.C. § 794 (c), the Federal law that makes it a crime to deliver defense information to a foreign government "with intent or reason to believe" that the information is to be used in one of two ways: "to the injury of the United States", or, alternatively, "to the advantage of a foreign nation." In its charge against Pollard, the government did not cite the first prong of the statute; rather, the charge against him simply cited the second prong, alleging that he had "intent and reason to believe that the [information] would be used to the advantage of ISRAEL."2

      To be sure, the espionage statute contemplates no legal distinction between spying for an enemy, which clearly would satisfy the "to the injury of the United States" prong of the law, and spying for an ally; both are theoretically subject to the same penalties. But legal equivalence is not moral equivalence. Disclosing classified information to a friendly state, though a serious offense, obviously involves much less moral culpability than disclosing the same information to an enemy. The government's decision not to charge Pollard with intending to harm the United States thus gave him good reason to anticipate something less than a life sentence; when he pled guilty to the charge of espionage "to the advantage of a foreign nation," it was entirely rational to assume that the court would show some leniency in sentencing.

      Between the time of the plea bargain in May 1986 and the time of sentencing ten months later, however, the government sang quite a different tune. And it was in the Victim Impact Statement (VIS), obtained recently by Pollard as part of his pre-sentence interview report,3 that the government appears to have first started that change"

    • Cole almost always nails it. thanks for sharing this I missed it over at one of the best websites going..along with Mondoweiss, Emptywheel's, Intercept.

      "3. Romantic nationalism imagines a “people” as eternal and as having an eternal connection with a specific piece of land. This way of thinking is fantastic and mythological. Peoples are formed and change and sometimes cease to be, though they might have descendants who abandoned that religion or ethnicity or language. Human beings have moved all around and are not directly tied to any territory in an exclusive way, since many groups have lived on most pieces of land. Jerusalem was not founded by Jews, i.e. adherents of the Jewish religion. It was founded between 3000 BCE and 2600 BCE by a West Semitic people or possibly the Canaanites, the common ancestors of Palestinians, Lebanese, many Syrians and Jordanians, and many Jews. But when it was founded Jews did not exist. "-

      This one really gets to me. What other group of people on the planet have tried to lay claim to a piece of land based on alleged holding of land over centuries ago?

    • Senseless and brutal killing is very sad which ever side of this issue that it happens on. One can understand Palestinians pent up anger over loss of enormous amounts of lives, homes, land, jobs, trees etc. Persistent humiliation ..death of relatives in mass often turns into anger and violence. Not hard to understand but still horrific and wrong .

      Wondering if the houses of the Israeli citizens who burnt that Palestinian kid to death were bulldozed? Oh yeah different rules apply when Israeli citizens or soldiers commit cold blooded murder.

    • thanks for the laugh

    • If Americans Knew - What every American needs to know ...

      http://www.ifamericansknew.org

    • Ritzl you made some great points in your response to JonS.

    • Not difficult to imagine why it was rejected at the time

    • Phil "The U.N. Partition plan of 1947 also called for Jerusalem to be internationalized; and UN mediator Folke Bernadotte was killed by Jewish terrorists in 1948 when he sought to maintain Jerusalem’s international character. They wanted Jerusalem then, and they want it now."

      Thanks for all of your hard work for peace and justice Phil and Mondoweiss team. So important

  • Israel bans renowned doctor and human rights activist Mads Gilbert from entering Gaza for life
  • New Amnesty International report accuses Israel of committing war crimes in Gaza
  • The UN can bring peace to Jerusalem by moving its headquarters there
    • Yes indeed. Experience in the region and wisdom...all mixed together. Hope we hear from Eugene more!

    • Makes so much sense. Would think Palestinians would agree but how in the hell would anyone ever get Israel to agree? Guess such a proposal would expose Israel's unwillingness to truly negotiate fairly even more. But where would it go after more exposure of Israel's unwillingness to play fair...once again?

  • Israel's Knesset upholds longest suspension in state's history against Haneen Zoabi
    • Listen to Haneen, watch Israeli Knesset members going for her jugular. They hate her truth telling.

      TRANSLATED Knesset Members Attack Haneen ... - YouTube

      Video for haneen zoabi you tube► 7:56► 7:56

      link to youtube.com
      Haneen Zoabi--Israeli TV interview on Hebron kidnapping ...

      Video for haneen zoabi interview► 19:29► 19:29

      link to youtube.com

      "No chance for two states": Interview with Knesset member ...

      electronicintifada.net/...interview...haneen-zoabi/9

  • David Brooks's romance of community
    • Brooks response to Katie about joining the Israeli army "he believes in the cause" The IDF acts as a terrorist group in the West Bank, Gaza, E Jerusalem. Committing human rights abuses and war crimes. Brooks son might want to talk to some IDF soldiers who have been willing to admit that they have and the IDF continues to commit these type of crimes against Palestinians.

      Think Brooks would ever write about these soldiers and what they are reporting? Think NPR would ever have any of the Breaking the Silence Israeli soldiers on their programming? Not. Too many facts, too much information.

      Breaking the Silence › Israeli soldiers talk about the ...

      link to breakingthesilence.org.il

      Breaking the Silence › Videos

      link to breakingthesilence.org.il

    • Brooks pro Israel stance dominates NPR. But that is nothing new with Robert Siegel with a powerful filtering position at NPR. Even the usually even handed Scott Simon, Diane Rehm and many other host of NPR shows will not touch the I/P issue honestly

    • The Aspen Institute conferences (which I have attended many times) have been dominated and shut down by pro Israel speakers and participants for decades. Walter Isaacson is the new power filter and blocker for real debate on these issues at any Aspen Institute event. Couric being aghast is her Sarah Palin moment when Couric asked her about where she gets her information what she reads. Couric and her ilk have protected Israel and the I lobby for decades by not digging and widening their own scopes in regard to this conflict and the facts.

      Katie Couric and Sarah Palin have something in common.

  • Under pretext of restoring calm, Netanyahu government is escalating Israel’s war on Palestinians in Jerusalem
    • Abdel's deadly actions are horrific! Certainly sounds like his violent actions are a case of suffering from PTSD as a result of persistent violence perpetrated by the Israeli government in Silwan etc. The IDF does not even attempt to capture and put him on trial. Shot him at close range. They do not want psychological evidence of trauma put on trial when it comes to Palestinian's. Just remove the evidence...Abdel. Ransack family home, commit more horrific acts towards his family

      Then "In Silwan, soldiers ransacked the al-Shaludi home and arrested family members including Abdel Rahman’s 15-year-old brother Izzedin. Settlers threw stones at homes, cars and property and attacked several Palestinians. Fatimah Rajabi, 11, and her four-year old cousin Wael were shot in the face while in their home by Israeli soldiers firing rubber coated bullets. -

      This morning BBC interviewed Israeli spokesman Mark Regev. He threw that hollow line out Israel "wants to calm things down" The only way to "calm things down" is to end the occupation, stop the Israeli massacres of Palestinians, stop building illegal housing and settlements. Endless violence, deaths of innocent children and adults. This cycle of violence appears to have no end in sight

  • Another New York Times' reporter's son is in the Israeli army
    • Great piece. Wondering if children of reporters for NYbloody Times are serving in other foreign countries militaries?

      Kahn "We also hold all reporters, regardless of their affiliations, to a high standard of objectivity in their work for the Times. " Such bullshit. Judy "I was fucking right" Miller was a huge player pushing for the immoral invasion of Iraq on the front pages of that bloody lying rag. Do they really expect people to have such short memories? The NYbloody Times is absolutely guilty for hundreds of thousands of dead, injured and displaced Iraqi people. They were complicit in war crimes being committed. "High standards" like this sure have gotten lots of innocent people killed.

      About Brooke's comments on NPR "often talking about Israel in a supportive manner. "

      He always talks about Israel in a supportive manner. Always

  • Israeli president's diagnosis -- 'Israel is a sick society' -- doesn't go viral in the U.S.
    • “It is time to honestly admit that Israeli society is ill – and it is our duty to treat this disease,” Rivlin told the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities on Sunday at a conference titled “From Xenophobia to Accepting the Other.” -

      link to juancole.com

  • The rabbi's fridge
    • Megan is clearly committed to human rights and social justice. A shame that one cannot say the same for Leshaw.

  • British Parliament sends a message to Obama: the people see Israel as a 'bully'
    • George Galloway has been a huge influence in getting the facts out to the public and parliament

    • Over the decades Israel has had no problem accessing any arms etc that they want from the US.

    • The best debates on Harris, Maher bigotry being examined are at Cenk Uygars Young Turks. Available on you tube What is the Root of Violence - Religion or Other Factors ...

      Video for Cenk Uygur on Maher and Harris bigotry exposed► 19:42► 19:42

      link to youtube.com Also at Professor Juan Cole's website Informed Comment Islamophobia: Is Sam Harris As Dangerous As Sarah Palin ...
      link to juancole.com.
      Juan Cole
      4 days ago - “”Whether you think him a truth-teller or a bigot, Bill Maher deserves

      Is Sam Harris As Dangerous As Sarah Palin?

      "Whether you think him a truth-teller or a bigot, Bill Maher deserves credit for launching one of the most robust...

      youtube.com

    • Thanks for this Phil. Was unable to watch. Over the years have watched and listened to the British Parliament discuss this critical issue and many more. Can you imagine this kind of honest and fact based debate going on in the US congress? Not going to happen. As Netanyahu has so often pointed out they own the US congress.

    • I like it. Israel is a bully... so is the US..

  • How 'Open Hillel' created a new community by challenging the Jewish establishment
    • "Open Hillel has also become a space for deeply engaged Jews to work out evolving feelings on Israel. Many of the attendees are in the beginning phase of activism on Israel/Palestine. But they told me they have found a space of belonging in Open Hillel. Some have transformed from committed Zionists to critics of Israel. Others still consider themselves Zionists, albeit of the liberal sort. -"

      The growth and awareness that has grown over the last decade in the Jewish community on this critical issue has been outstanding. Everyone benefits...even Israel...ultimately. But on the ground the situation for Palestinians seems to have gotten even worse.

      Bet no one from the Athens Ohio Hillel attended this conference.

  • In the last days of 'Operation Protective Edge' Israel focused on its final goal -- the destruction of Gaza's professional class

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