Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 2495 (since 2010-02-17 01:44:49)


Radical dissident. Retired.


Showing comments 2495 - 2401

  • On the use of provocative analogies (Nazism, fascism)
    • SEAFOID- “At least they left behind a functioning global climate .”

      That is exactly what I am talking about, the misuse of labels to define reality. The two greatest threats to the survival of our species is nuclear warfare and environmental destruction, particularly global warming. The US empire pioneered the use of nuclear weapons, then proceeded to greatly expand the nuclear arsenal as a means of world domination, refusing to seriously work to eliminate nuclear weapons in clear violation of the nuclear non-proliferating treaty. Even now, the US and Israel oppose efforts to make the Middle East a nuclear free zone as advocated by Russia, China, Iran and most of the world. The US has also led the way in promoting an energy intensive lifestyle and sabotaging efforts to reduce global warming. As things now stand, it is difficult to imagine humanity not experiencing catastrophic climate change and other environmental calamities. By focusing on the crimes of the Nazis as consummate evil, Professor Slater is de facto minimizing the current greater evil of empire.

      I might add that if Professor Slater were to review history he would discover that historically mass murder is the rule, not the exception. Third World peoples have experienced centuries of recurring holocausts at the hands of the Europeans and Americans. To help the good Professor along, I provide a quote and a link to Andre Vltchek on this subject.

      “And at present again, EU companies are responsible, together with US companies, of course, for another bloodletting of near to 10 million Congolese people (in DRC); simply because that unfortunate country is very rich in strategic minerals like Coltan and uranium, that those greedy Westerners simply cannot control their cravings. The West supports murderous regimes in Rwanda and Uganda that are killing and plundering on its behalf, by manipulating mass media, and creating insane historical narratives about the 1994 genocide… The French are openly plotting to carve off the mineral rich East Kivu from DRC, and to give it to Rwanda, so it could be ravaged in a much more organized way.”

      When it comes to the list of crimes against humanity committed by Europe, in the past and now, I never know where to begin and where to end. The list is so long, so horrible, that an entire book would, perhaps, be needed to simply compile the most exhaustive list.

      But just to give a short summary, such a list would have to include the German holocaust against the local people of what is now Namibia; Belgian super-genocides in all of their ‘dependencies’, Dutch plunder of what is now Indonesia, Portuguese ‘activities’ in Brazil, India and China, Italian barbarities in Africa, British and French holocausts and devastation in basically all the continents, which goes on to this day, unopposed and ignored.” (Andre Vltchek)
      link to

    • JEROME SLATER- “Fascism is not the same as Nazism which represents, on a scale of 1-100, absolute evil.”

      Nazism defined as absolute evil? I guess it takes a PhD to cut through the messy details and cut to the emotional essence.

      Jerome Slater: “Handwringing and ineffectual critics of the massive Israeli military attacks on Gaza five years ago and again last month ask: but how else can Israel respond to Hamas terrorism.”

      By not provoking it? AS Noam Chomsky notes: “This is, however, just the most recent of a series of ceasefire agreements reached after each of Israel’s periodic escalations of its unremitting assault on Gaza. Throughout this period, the terms of these agreements remain essentially the same. The regular pattern is for Israel, then, to disregard whatever agreement is in place, while Hamas observes it — as Israel has officially recognized — until a sharp increase in Israeli violence elicits a Hamas response, followed by even fiercer brutality. These escalations, which amount to shooting fish in a pond, are called “mowing the lawn” in Israeli parlance.”
      link to

      When all is said and done, Professor, you are a Zionist in deep denial, forever engaged in verbal gamesmanship to twist reality to accommodate your biases.

  • ISIS, 9/11, and the terrorism time loop
    • DEEPA KUMAR- “To be clear, the US did not create ISIS. That is, it did not fund and train ISIS in Syria in the way that it funded and trained the Mujahideen (from which al Qaeda emerged) to fight its proxy war with the Soviet Union in Afghanistan in the 1980s.”

      While it is true that the US did not openly fund and train ISIS like it did the Mujahideen, I have little doubt that the Godfather was well aware of what was going on and approved.

      Deepa Kumar: “It is the US’s reliance on Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Emirates to push back against the so called Shia Crescent (Iran, Hezbollah in Lebanon, Assad in Syria, and for a time the Sunni Hamas) that prompted rich donors in the Gulf States to channel funds to ISIS in Syria.”

      I am confident that the US was well aware of what was going on and approved. The very notion that Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Emirates would engage in activities which the Godfather strongly disapproved is not credible. There are analysts who feel that the US and NATO were directly involved in a covert manner. That is one of the purposes of the Special Operations Forces mentioned in the article.

      Deepa Kumar: “ISIS represents a nightmare for the US because it threatens to drag the entire region into a sectarian conflict and to destabilize the orderly flow of oil.”

      This is a totally unsupported assertion that is little more than a projection on the part of the author. The facts on the ground tell a different story. Iraq, Libya and Syria have been smashed to bits as a consequence of imperial actions. That is fact. Does this mean that empire is actively engaged in creating its nightmare? Hardly. Destroying potential competitors ensures hegemonic control. There is a lot of misunderstanding about “stability.” The US desires a dynamic stability in the power relations, not peace and tranquility. The US didn’t get to be the sole super power by continually engaging in counterproductive actions. The US is self-serving and brutal, but it is not run by a bunch of goof-offs.

      Deepa Kumar: “But ISIS also represents a dream in terms of US propaganda. It serves to bolster the aims of the Global War on Terror and to justify a vastly expanded national security state.”

      I agree, and this lends support to the conclusion that Uncle Sam is using Islamic fundamentalism to destroy selected Middle East countries and to create the impression of a clash of civilizations. The balance of the article was good. The war on terror is a pretext, nothing more. That it contributes to increased terrorism is hardly in doubt, Chomsky and others have pointed this out for some time.

  • The best U.S. 'strategy' to combat ISIS? Stop supporting religious states
    • DAN CROWTHER- “Not sure what to make of this post.”

      How about that Phil is a totally inept strategic analyst and that the Mondo cadres are totally incapable of perceiving the situation for what it is. Phil can say some ludicrous things and get compliments. There is so much wrong with his “analysis” that it is difficult to know where to begin. I wouldn’t have even bothered to respond to this except for your comment. You are absolutely correct that support for groups like ISIS (yet another permutation of the US supported mujahedeen) is to destabilize any country which is a potential problem for empire. We no longer conquer other states, we simply destroy them if it facilitates imperial control. The same is true for the Ukrainian neo-Nazis we are using to destroy the Ukraine and drive a wedge between Europe and Russia. Phil’s post makes about as much sense as asking how can the US best combat the CIA.

  • Naomi Wolf to debate genocide charge against Israel with Shmuley Boteach
    • It is a pity that this debate will be restricted to Palestine. It would be interesting to see a knowledgeable person hold Boteach accountable for his support of Paul Kagame and of the Rwanda genocide in the East Congo. A quote followed by a link to Andre Vltchek on this very topic.

      “I have spent years, going back and forth, to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Between 8 and 10 million people there lost their lives, from 1995 to this day. That is as many as the same unfortunate country (unfortunate because it is so rich in minerals and raw materials, which the West needs for its communication equipment and weapons) lost during the reign of one of the most appalling monarchs in human history – Belgian king Leopold II.”

      “Even the UN in its ‘Mapping Report’ spoke about alleged genocide. It is not some lunatic conspiracy theory. It is real and it is happening now. And two horrible fascist dictatorships, those of Rwanda and Uganda, are persistently supported and glorified in Washington, Paris and London. And the entire 1994 genocide narrative on Rwanda has been twisted and manipulated, so as to give Tutsis some moral legitimacy for the genocide they are presently committing in the DRC.” (Andre Vltchek)
      link to

  • Yasher Koach to Brant Rosen
  • Brant Rosen's prophetic voice elevated him beyond the rabbinic politics of our day
    • CRANKYLIBRARIAN- "Check out his blog; there are dozens of posts about immigration reform health care,fair trade policies, gun control and worker’s rights."

      As I suspected, a prophet on Israel/Palestine and a liberal elsewhere. “Go Rabbis for Obama!” in 2008 indicates delusion not prophesy. This guy is much closer to Phil Weiss than to Marc Ellis.

    • I wonder, was Rabbi Rosen's prophetic voice limited to Israel/Palestine, or did he criticize the American empire as well?

  • I quit my job at the Jewish Community Center over a pro-Israel rally and they called me an anti-semite
    • STEPHEN SHENFIELD- “But the fact that he is also a Jew is NOT crucial….”

      Do I understand you to mean that the Jewishness of these Jewish Zionists fat-cats, and the Jewishness of the Presidents of the Major Jewish Organizations, etc., and the Jewishness of the founders of the Jewish State is mostly irrelevant? No significant connection between Jewish history/ideology and Zionism? Are you serious? Zionism has been the highly successful organizational dynamic uniting organized Jewry following the splintering of religious Judaism. Zionism and Jewish success/power are inexorably interlinked. Unfortunately, non-Zionist Jews have foolishly taken it upon themselves to attack any discussion of these critical organizational factors as “anti-Semitic,” thereby providing de facto support for organized Jewish Zionism. I might add that Phil continues to emphasize the importance of turning American Jewry away from Zionism.

    • GERMAN LEFTY- “But he’s not an anti-Zionist. He’s a “liberal” Zionist.”

      Oops! The way everyone at Mondo was singing his praises when he first appeared on Mondo I incorrectly assumed that he was anti-Zionist. Okay, scratch him. This leaves me with bit of a problem as I have other examples but am reluctant to name the names of less famous Mondo commenters, some of whom I rather appreciate in spite of this factor. Okay, one more name. MaxAJL who used to comment (and contributed posts) was rather quick to play the anti-Semitism card, perhaps due to his Marxist outlook where the world consists of bourgeois and proletariat and not much else. He considered any mention of Jewish power and influence as anti-Semitic by definition. Pity, I thought that he brought a certain capitalist critique which helped to provide balance, however, he was somewhat hot-tempered and I wound up having a couple of acrimonious exchanges with him. I think that this may be true for many tribal Marxists who adopt a philosophy of pure economic determinism as a defense against any discussion of Jewish power. To the MaxAJLs of the world, Sheldon Adelson is just a capitalist businessman out to make a buck and nothing more. I would suggest that anti-Gentile chauvinism and a sense of Jewish victimhood is hardly the exclusive province of Zionists, and that a good many anti-Zionist Jews feel this way as well.

    • GERMAN LEFTY - "And I have always thought that only Zionists are paranoid when it comes to anti-Semitism."

      Let me begin by saying that your comment motivated me to actually read Charlie's post. Something about it doesn't sit well with me nor the favorable responses to it, yours being the exception. It seems that anyone criticising Zionism is taken to Mondo's bossom, all other factors ignored. Having said that, I disagree with your observation about only Zionists being paranoid about anti-Semitism. For many Jews, perceived victimhood is an essential part of their identity which binds them to other Jews. This is true for anti-Zionist Jews as well, some of whom can best be described as tribal anti-Zionists. We have had a number of them comment on Mondoweiss, always quick to label comments/actions as anti-Semitic, and to place undue emphasis on anti-Semitism as a problem. M.J. Rosenberg is an extreme example of this phenomenon of reckless accusations intended more to intimidate than to discuss. I would suggest thet Charlie can also be described as a tribal anti-Zionist.

  • Salaita firing turns into a 'catastrophe' for University of Illinois
    • ABIERNO- "The University of Illinois Urbana is a large, well known public - taxpayer - funded university."

      One could just as well argue that the Department of Defense is a large, well known public - taxpayer - funded organization. Tax money is routinely channeled to areas that the taxpayer doesn't want and that is to the detriment of the 99%. You and Activistgal could be right. Perhaps Salaita will be reinstated and Wise depart in disgrace. If so, then things aren't nearly as bad as I suspect they are. My thesis is simple. We live in a capitalist/corporate controlled empire degenerating towards neofeudalism. Wise's decision was vetted by the powers that be and a backdown is unlikely. Time will tell, however, I suggest that you and Activistgal pay attention to the political economy as it actually is, not some idealized myth. As for reputation, Harvard hasn't unduly suffered from its well-known connection with the CIA, and other unsavory things.

    • ACTIVISTGAL- "How is the university going to redeem itself in the eyes of the international academic community....?"

      I seriously doubt that the fat cats calling the shots are overly concerned about the opinion of those in the "international academic community," hardly a monolithic group in any event. In fact, what better way to show the academic community which way the wind is blowing and the futility of resistance than to hold the line on Salaita? The good opinion of the academic community didn't seem to help Norman Finkelstein, did it? But yeah, perhaps you are right about a fat settlement with a non-disclosure clause. Then Salaita can join Finkelstein on the lecture circuit, unless, of course, he runs afoul of the BDS crowd. I suspect that these fat cat Zionists are going to cause Salaita grief wherever he goes and whatever he does. I sense a pattern at work here.

    • PHIL- "It is now, as Columbia law professor Katherine Franke says below, an “unfolding catastrophe” for the school."

      You can try to spin it anyway you want, but the reality is that money power prevailed as it usually does. I would be very surprised if Salaita is reinstated. Neoliberal capitalism is sending a message to would be critics that to criticize imperial policy (particularly concerning Israel) will not be tolerated. It would have been interesting to see what would have happened if, instead of criticizing Israel, Salaita angrily denounced imperial warmongering in the Ukraine. Things are getting ugly and they aren't going to get better anytime soon.

    • PHIL- "Today all the mainstream Jewish organizations are Zionist...."

      Which means that effectively they all support Western imperialism. Israel simply could not exist in its present form, nor behave as it does without imperial support.

  • British pol is beaten by man in Israeli army t-shirt, and the chattering classes are silent
    • PHIL- "I keep saying that the violence will come to our shores."

      Come to our shores? Perhaps you haven't noticed that the American police have been converted to an occuppying army? As for the small scale violence which Galloway suffered, increased social conflict is an inevitable and anticipated consequence of neoliberal globalization. Divide and rule is becoming more blatant. And Zionism's similarity to other "blood and soil" ideologies will increasingly be on display.

  • Alvin Rosenfeld's Holocaust complaint
    • MOOSER- Good point, I had forgetten about that. Yes the settled German Jews were highly critical of the Eastern refugees, fearing that their arrival would jeopardise the German Jews status, particularly in view of the East European Jews reputation for anti-nationalistic Marxism/socialism. So yes, there were non-Zionist Jews who were critical of some other Jews, however, I am reasonably sure that it was primarily Zionist Jews who were severely critical of Diaspora Jews and Diaspora Jewish culture in general.

    • JOHN O- "Is Rosenfeld actually saying that what Hitler said about Jews deriding and defaming other Jews is actually true? That Hans Frank is a reliable witness?"

      There is at least some truth to the statement. Many of the early Zionists were harsh critics of Jewish life and behavior in the diaspora, frequently sounding much like the Nazis. Their thesis was that Gentile/Jewish antagonism was an inevitable consequence of the specialized Jewish role within the surrounding Gentile society, hence, the only solution was to create a balanced society in Israel. In other words, the Jews Rosenfeld refers to were Zionist Jews, certainly not anti-Zionist Jews. Of course, being a Zionist himself, Rosenfeld willfully misrepresents history in typical Zionist fashion. If I was more ambitious, I would supply a quote or two. Instead, I will simply refer you to "The Hidden History of Zionism," by Ralph Schoenman, and "Zionism in the Age of the Dictators," by Lenni Brenner.

  • Elizabeth Warren says killing Palestinian civilians is 'the last thing Israel wants'
    • The bottom line is that her statements and position are seen as probably strengthening her re-election chances. That is probably true. As long as voters reject Third Party candidates who "don't have a chance" of being elected, nothing will change. Only a groundswell of voters rejecting the corporate candidates and voting Third Party will even begin to make a difference.

  • Israel's information iron dome
    • JUST- "The US MSM could do with a critical analysis of this caliber."

      Does this mean that you have never read "Manufacturing Consent" by Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman? The entire notion of a "free press" is ludicrous mythology. I consider it a truism that the media basically conforms to the power relations within society. A reasonably balanced media is only possible in a society that is reasonably egalitarian. In the absence of wide ranging social reforms, attempts at reforming the media are a waste of time. Currently, the media is fat cat propaganda to be dealt with by finding alternative sources of information.

  • WATCH: Ultra-Zionists protest Muslim-Jewish wedding saying miscegenation is 'gravest threat to the Jewish people'
    • MOOSER- “But Mom, I said, there isn’t room…”

      Are you actually counting on a few of us to recognize and fill in the rest of that line from "Portnoy's Complaint?" Or is that a common Jewish joke that Philip Roth commandeered?

  • Our new look
    • DANNA- As usual, I am in agreement with what you say. I would add, however, that the schism you refer to transcends Jews, Jewishness and Judaism. We have entered a transition period on the road to neo-feudalism which will likely result in global social upheavals with a significant chance of social collapse and the possibility of terminal nuclear war. This is possibly the most significant juncture in human history as empire attempts to destroy any and all potential competitors. Certainly worth discussing if one can read the keyboard through the tears.

      On the bright side, your comment has inspired me to devise a potential initial vehicle for extended discussion of Mondoweiss topics. The idea is rather simple. First, you need to get your very own Blogspot. It is free and easy to set up. When making a comment to Mondoweiss, first post the comment to your blogspot using the title of the article as your title (assuming that is okay with Mondoweiss, inc.). Lead off with a link to the article for easy reference to the article/discussion. In posting to Mondoweiss, drop the Mondo link and at the bottom of your comment add a link to your blogspot post. Even after the Mondo comments close, your link will take people to your comment where they can comment. You will not be able to moderate per se, however, you can delete offensive comments, label as spam, etc. Blogspot e-mails you notification of comments you receive to your various posts. They also put stuff in a spam folder, so check that as well.

      Are you ready for a trial run? Below is a link to this comment which I have posted on my blogspot. You can click on and comment there. No need for the Mondoweiss moderators to get involved.
      link to

    • DANAA- I have mixed emotions about what you suggest. For starters, I have a free blogspot (access through my profile or go to link to ) in which I have posted 39 mini essays over a 4 year period with extremely limited legitimate comment feedback. Most of the "comments" are robospam. Obviously, I am not in high demand. In fact, I remain grateful that I have not been booted off Mondoweiss.

      And while I enjoy discussing current events, I have been relatively unsuccessful in starting local "in the flesh" discussion groups. I have reservations about any sort of electronic community which seeks to develop an alternative cyber reality to compensate for the real thing. On Mondoweis, I try to maintain a certain intellectual distance. Even though I like many of my fellow commenters, I don't want to be part of a social network.

      Finally, the comments section of Mondoweiss is as successful as it is because of the excellent (and expensive) program features and because of all of the time and effort that Phil and Adam and Annie and the others have put in, something which I am incapable of even coming close to duplicating. I have gotten a lot more out of Mondoweiss than I have put in (my modest financial contributions notwithstanding) and would be selfish to expect them to keep working their butts off for my benefit. They need to make whatever changes they feel are necessary.

      The bottom line? I'm going to wait and see how all of these changes work out after the necessary debugging. I will likely continue to make at least some comments. I am open to alternatives, however, in regards to something like Sean McBride's "friend feed," I don't do social media at all.

    • I was wrong about the cut and paste. The highlight is so pale as to be virtually unnoticable but the function works. Unfortunately, a link to the copied text also comes. Oh well....

    • MARC-B, SIBIRIAK- Based upon other criticisms, I became aware that we can no longer copy and paste from either the article or the other comments. This is a radical de-emphasis of the comments section and a significant departure from the past emphasis on comments to promote discussion, etc. Only time will tell if this new approach works for them to better achieve their objectives. This will definitely discourage Mondoweiss from continuing, at least to some degree, as a de facto social network. As I have always maintained, it is their website and they have an obligation to themselves and their funders to do what they need to do in order to achieve their objectives. Good luck to them and their new format.

    • PHIL- "And more emphasis on fresh news too."

      I noticed that the "100 most recent comments" does not appear on the new format. Does your new "emphasis on fresh news" indicate a de-emphasis on comments?

  • Salaita's hire set off fundraising alarm at U of Illinois, per emails to chancellor
    • It is interesting to compare Salaita's experience with that of Noam Chomsky, a long time harsh critic of empire and Israel. Perhaps the most significant factor is that MIT was/is significantly funded by the Department of Defense which was not overly concerned about Noam's activities as long as he did his research. MIT was much less dependent upon private fund raising, hence, major donor influence was not an issue. Lucky Noam.

      As for Salaita, while I support academic freedom, he was rather indiscreet. Failure to accomodate power has its consequences. Comments on twitter by us little people have little significant impact and are to a significant degree self indulgent. Does Noam tweet? One must deal with the political economy as it actually is, not how we wish it to be. We are in a transition period where social control is becoming increasingly harsh and repressive. Resistance needs to be thought out, not haphazard and foolhearty. At the least, Salaita should have waited until he was actually settled in. Even then, a certain modicum of discretion is advisable in these increasingly dark times unless martyrdom is sought.

  • Hillary Clinton just lost the White House in Gaza -- same way she lost it in Iraq the last time
    • PHIL- “And Hillary Clinton will once again be isolated in her own party as a warmonger.”

      As compared to peacenik Barack Obama? Whoever the Democrats nominate will be a neoliberal imperial warmonger. Whoever doesn’t vote Third Party should get a T-shirt saying “roll me over and do it again!” All of this discussion over who the Democrats may or may not nominate is a distraction which over emphasizes the political system (big business runs this country for cry sakes) and provides de facto support for business as usual. Enough already!

  • Jodi Rudoren loves a winner
    • SIBIRIAK- “True, the “actually existing” movements need to be judged on their actions, but their ideals and ideologies need to be judged on their own terms, imo.”

      How exactly does one evaluate a movement’s “ideals and ideologies” except by observing their actions? Or are you suggesting that words speak louder than actions? That their self-proclaimed “ideals and ideologies” represent reality, their dirty deeds merely a deviation from their real selves? Any honest evaluation of Zionism from day one would indicate that Zionists were quite at home among imperialists and anti-Semites if they thought that it would further their Zionist goals. Group “ideals and ideologies” which are at odds with group actions should be viewed as deceptions which misrepresent actual group goals and unspoken “ideals and ideologies.” Actual group ideology must be inferred from group actions.

    • JOEMOWREY- “This woman is a brazen propagandist….”

      You got that right. In today’s Seattle Times, under a headline which reads “Israel’s targeted bombings limit civilian casualties in Gaza,” Rudoren writes: “Hamas has repeatedly broken temporary truces in this summer’s Gaza Strip battles, vowing to fire rockets into Israel until its demands are met.”

      The reality is that Israel looks for pretexts to commit mass murder and destroy the infrastructure, and frequently manufactures pretexts if none are available. A quote and link to Global Research:

      “Former Israeli Attorney General Michael Ben Yair today admitted that the Israelis staged the alleged Hamas breach on Tuesday in order to assassinate Al Qassam leader Mohammed Deif.” (Gaza Ministry of Health)
      link to

      Uri Avnery makes the same essential point:

      “At about 16.00 hours, three rockets were fired at Beersheba and fell into open spaces. No warning sirens. Curiously enough, Hamas denied having launched them, and no other Palestinian organization took responsibility. This was strange. After every previous launching from Gaza, some Palestinian organization has always proudly claimed credit.”

      First it became known that an hour before the rockets came in, the Israeli population near Gaza was warned by the army to prepare their shelters and “safe spaces”.

      Then it appeared that the first Gaza building hit belonged to the family of a Hamas military commander. Three people were killed, among them a baby and his mother.
      For the Israeli Security Service, he is a prize for which it is well worth breaking the ceasefire and reigniting the war.” (Uri Avnery)
      link to

    • MOOSER- “And even if there was a “morally legitimate basis” (and that and $5 will get you a fancy latte at any Starbucks) it sure didn’t seem to have any effect on how it was actually done.”

      That is exactly correct. No amount of clever words or moral posturing can justify the actual facts on the ground. All movements proclaim high ideals and moral grounding, however, all need to be judged on their actions, their self-serving PR of little import except as a measure of group hypocrisy. Anyone familiar with “Zionism in the Age of Dictators” or the current Zionist support for Ukrainian neo-Nazis or Israel’s ongoing war against the Palestinians, etc., knows all they need to know about Zionism’s moral basis.

  • Democratic Party leader echoes Netanyahu's new theme: Hamas equals ISIS
    • WALID- “Also weird how the US okayed deliveries of sophisticated arms ($500 million) to the rebel faction in Syria that is allied to IS in the same way the Iraqi army left all of its weapons in Mosul before fleeing.”

      Not weird at all. How else are they going to supply their asset without being too obvious to ignore? ISIS fits rather well into empire’s plans for the Middle East, just as the Ukrainian neo-Nazis are useful in isolating Russia from Europe.

    • Netanyahu has some chutzpah comparing Hamas to ISIS. Many are convinced that ISIS is a creation of US intelligence and other Middle East allies. It is no secret that the US supported al Qaeda fighters in Libya and Syria, and ISIS provides a means to completely splinter the Middle East, reinforce the “clash of civilizations” meme, and to provide an excuse for ongoing US military involvement in the Middle East. A couple of quotes from many that I have read:

      “In fact, as has noted for months, ISIS, formerly al-Qaeda in Iraq, is a force designed by the CIA and trained by the U.S. military. It has received assistance and funds from Saudi Arabia, the Gulf emirates, and Turkey. Its mission is a continuation of the “Clean Break” plan to destroy the Middle East and further balkanize the region.” (Kurt Nimmo)
      link to

      “What is notable, however, are the circumstances surrounding the initiation of the bombing and what may have prompted American military action now, after allowing ISIS (entirely funded, directed, created, and armed by the West – notably the United States) to seize vast swaths of territory across Iraq.

      Why bomb Iraq now you might ask? And why bomb the area surrounding Erbil?

      The answers to this question lie in the simple fact that the area surrounding Erbil – the Kurdish region of Iraq – is a “hub for US oil companies.” (Brandon Turbeville)
      link to

  • 'Lesson: The Jews will defend themselves even if it means killing children'
    • CITIZEN- “…an irrational leap from a somewhat rational base of experience, eh?”

      Good point. Unfortunately, many groups have previous negative experiences which may condition their thinking towards irrational paranoia. Also, it doesn’t have to be real experiences, it can take the form of perceived persecution (two thousand years of irrational anti-Semitism?). Perhaps that is why most social mythology is fundamentally irrational? Not a hopeful situation.

      As an aside, both Britain and France wanted to loosen the financial burden on Germany if only the US would loosen their debt obligations to America, however, the US refused. Michael Hudson discusses this and other important financial considerations in “Super Imperialism: The Origins and Fundamentals of U.S. World Dominance.”

    • “Lesson of this war: The Jews will defend themselves even if it means killing children.”

      For what it is worth, during World War II, Nazi propaganda always claimed that everything that Nazi Germany did was in defense against those who wished to destroy Germany and the German people. This is standard irrational BS from an ideological fundamentalist.

    • MOOSER- “I, and thousands, hundreds of thousands of Jews in America, don’t need to “disassociate” ourselves with Zionism….”

      How to explain all of the Jewish voices for peace groups and the “not in our name” groups and Mondoweiss’ focus on Israel and the Middle East? All of this protest as Jews is a de facto acknowledgement that the “Jewish state” is inexorably linked with American Jewish support and with Zionism. I assumed that Phil’s anti-Zionism was an expression of his desire to, among other things, make clear that he does not support (political) Zionism or Zionist Israel, that is, to disassociate himself from Zionism. I thought you did too. Oh well, live and learn.

    • JOHN O- “By chance this week, in my day job, I have been editing some educational materials on the topic of the ‘Just War Tradition’. It’s a concept that goes back hundreds of years, but it underpins today’s laws and conventions.”

      Just War Theory would more properly be called “Justify War Theory.” I am unaware of any war which has been prevented by Just War Theory and seriously doubt that the Pentagon seeks the advice of “Just War” theorists prior to launching an attack or other forms of destabilization. Just War theorists earn their living and status within the doctrinal system by justifying imperial aggression while criticizing the actions of imperial enemies. Yet another example of imperial hypocrisy. R2P is a fraud and a pretext for aggression.

    • SEANMCBRIDE- “The worldwide Jewish religious establishment has projected an image of itself and of Judaism to the entire world that is entirely Zionist — for the last half century (at least) it has been fusing Judaism and Zionism into a single ethno-religious nationalist ideology and political program.”

      I essentially agree, although I phrase it somewhat differently. The enlightenment saw the end of Classical Judaism as world Jewry splintered into Orthodox, Conservative, Reformed and secular Jews. Zionism combines religious imagery and Jewish mythology with blood and soil nationalism, the product of which is Israel. Zionism is the modern unifier of the Jews providing both internal cohesion and organizational focus to an ethnically defined power-seeking collective.

      Of course, I appreciate Phil and Mooser’s desire to disassociate themselves from Zionism, something which is doable. However, it is difficult to imagine organized Jewry abandoning Zionism anytime soon, or of Jewish fat cats being anything other than empire Jews. I provide a quote and a link to an article concerning California venture capital, much of it Jewish, investing in Israel.

      “The business links between Silicon Valley and Israel aren’t apolitical. Many of California’s venture capital investors and technology executives are staunch supporters of pro-Israel causes. They have established numerous nonprofit organizations to strengthen economic and political ties between California and Israel.” (Darwin Bond-Graham)
      link to

  • Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney dodges Gaza question (and how long can he get away with that?)
    • LYSIAS- “Here in America, the legal power remains with the politicians in the executive and legislative branches, not with the fat cats.”

      Money is power, economic power in fluid form, the primary instrument of social control. This is a business run society to an extraordinary degree. The short answer is that politicians are carefully vetted to insure that they conform to business/imperial objectives. Any odd man out who gets out of line and opposes the corporate agenda will be stomped. Things are so bad that Congress does not have access to the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations which are kept secret except for a few members who had to agree not to either copy or reveal the details. It is only because of Wikileaks that any details have emerged. A revealing quote for you:

      “You mean to tell me that the success of the program and my reelection hinges on the Federal Reserve and a bunch of fucking bond traders?” (Pres. Bill Clinton)

    • DAN CROWTHER- “One might even conclude there’s a quid pro quo with Power….”

      I think it goes even deeper than that. By going along with what the fat cats want, they maintain the illusion that they have some power, some influence. To oppose the real rulers of society is to face humiliating defeat and expose their own powerlessness. Kind of like the imperial senate in Rome which debated serious matters only to conclude that they concurred with the emperor. Funny how that works.

    • PHIL- “…Sean as everyone calls him once worked for Bill Clinton and is socially progressive.”

      Progressive? Because he married a guy and RHETORICALLY supports women’s rights? I say rhetorically because Clinton’s “welfare reform” screwed poorer women. Working for Clinton is a sign of being anti-progressive, unless you think that neoliberal globalization, NAFTA, the massive increase in the prison population, etc, has been a boon for the 99%. Talk is cheap, Phil. Time to acknowledge that effective liberalism is dead in the USA. There are no more crumbs for the liberals to negotiate over. All of your so-called liberals are now solidly lined up with the fat cats camouflaged by their phony vocabulary and faded memories. In fact, one could argue that liberalism and imperialism are joined at the hip as any honest review of the foreign policy of “liberal” administrations would quickly indicate. Also, time to deal with Obama as he really is, not as you wish him to be.

  • Knight in shining armor?
    • MARC ELLIS- “In coordination with Israel and the Palestinian Authority” – that’s the order of the day.”

      Indeed, Israel (and the US) gets pretty much what it wants. Hamas is out and the PA is in to act as Israel’s police force in Gaza. It is also close to what Norman Finkelstein predicted in July. The core of Finkelstein’s prediction is as follows:

      “Abbas will negotiate an agreement with Egypt whereby the PA will staff Rafah crossing, enabling Abbas to declare that he won an end to the blockade. The quid pro quo, however, is that he will agree to prevent any arms smuggling into Gaza and to disarm Hamas. Because
      (a) Hamas’s key demand was to end the blockade,
      (b) Hamas is isolated politically and neutered militarily, and
      (c) Abbas is technically the head of the Unity government, Hamas will be forced to agree to these terms.
      If things go according to plan, it will mark the end of Hamas as a resistance movement, to the joy of the Arab states, the US, EU, Israel and, of course, the PA.
      (3) The US gave Israel total diplomatic cover during the latest massacre. So, it’s payback time. Obama and Kerry will role out the terms of the framework for peace. WIth the Palestinians battered and Hamas defeated, the PA will (happily) sign on. Insofar as Netanyahu can now ask for near-anything and get it, the US will probably tweak the framework to meet his every demand. Kerry, Netanyahu and Abbas may yet get the Nobel.”
      link to

  • The catastrophe inflicted on Gaza--and the costs to Israel's standing
    • SEAFOID- “…Lieberman told the Germans that Gaza was at high risk of a complete system breakdown in the near future, a massive humanitarian crisis engineered by Israel that it expects the Germans to pay for.”

      When the story does come out, it won’t be an honest accounting of a disaster “engineered by Israel.” Instead, the story will be that the disaster was caused by Hamas terrorism. Count on it.

  • Hundreds of scholars say they won't engage with University of Illinois unless decision to block Salaita is reversed
    • I think that it is nice that Salaita is receiving this type of support, however, I would be surprised if it makes a difference. The decision to rescind his employment was based upon power considerations. Things are starting to get ugly, and the power elite are in no mood for compromise.

  • Goldstone sequel to be co-authored by Amal Alamuddin, Clooney's fiancee
    • RC- “He got a lot of flack & possibly lost work over his efforts in Darfur but didn’t back down.”

      He lost work over support for American foreign policy involving “humanitarian intervention?” Clooney is a celebrity spokesman for empire. Call him liberal if you want but that doesn’t change reality. Permit me to quote Bruce Dixon over at Black Agenda Report on Clooney’s support for empire’s African objectives:

      “The star-studded hue and cry to "Save Darfur" and "stop the genocide" has gained enormous traction in U.S. media along with bipartisan support in Congress and the White House. But the Congo, with ten to twenty times as many African dead over the same period is not called a "genocide" and passes almost unnoticed. Sudan sits atop lakes of oil. It has large supplies of uranium, and other minerals, significant water resources, and a strategic location near still more African oil and resources. The unasked question is whether the nation's Republican and Democratic foreign policy elite are using claims of genocide, and appeals for "humanitarian intervention" to grease the way for the next oil and resource wars on the African continent.” (Bruce Dixon)
      link to

    • RC- “And he’s never been afraid to use his fame to stand up for what he believes in.”

      Clooney supported the Kiev protests, which means that he supported the US/NATO coup which led to the first openly neo-fascist government in Europe since Nazi Germany, and may yet lead to war with Russia. He is a typical Hollywood liberal, imperialist to the core masquerading as a do-gooder.

  • The academic/political context of the Salaita affair
    • HOPHMI- “This year, the Israel Studies program at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is bringing Sayed Kashua as its visiting scholar. Kashua is not a Zionist. He’s the guy who just wrote that piece in the Guardian about why he’s not coming back to Israel.”

      You have piqued my curiosity. How is it that a New York lawyer is this familiar with the Israeli studies program at the University of Illinois? Is someone feeding you talking points? Just asking.

    • I suppose that the myth of academic freedom serves the useful purpose of providing some restraint on the corporatization of higher education, however, never doubt that it is a myth. Major universities are thoroughly enmeshed within the prevailing political economy and act accordingly. All organizations are influenced by the realities of power one way or another. It doesn’t make it right, but it does make it somewhat predictable.

    • DAVID GREEN- “Earlier this year he ran for U.S. Congress in the Democratic Party primary on a platform that included support for Palestinian rights and opposition to U.S. funding for Israel.”

      You ran as a DEMOCRAT??? You spent $9,ooo for the opportunity to piss up a rope? The democratic party is beyond saving. Is there no Green Party in Urbana-Champaign?

  • Boycott Israel?
    • MARC ELLIS- “Concentrating on an occupation and blockade that for all intents and purposes are permanent has failed.”

      There is a reason for that. The same reason that a boycott of Israel would also fail. As long as Israel enjoys imperial support little will change. This is particularly true at this juncture when empire is attempting to eliminate any and all potential future competitors prior to a rapidly approaching seismic shift in the global political economy as empire risks nuclear war to lock in a form of corporate neo-feudalism which, in turn, is fundamentally unsustainable. At this point in time, empire is seeking confrontation, not compromise. Perhaps mere survival is the best we can hope for.

    • HOPHMI- “This is seriously one of the dumbest columns I’ve ever read. It is the apotheosis of leftist stupidity.”

      When you attack a defenseless straw man of your own creation you are truly vicious. Is it possible that your comprehension is really this poor?

  • 'One nation, one state, one leader' -- frightening slogan at Tel Aviv protest
    • MOOSER- “I’m a Getdown Man, myself Some people say I was descended from Putdown Man”

      And all of this time I thought you were a Biker Man. Go figure.

  • A Palestinian defends violent resistance to occupation
    • IAN MATTHEWS- “If it’s under COMPLETE Israeli control then how was Hamas able to fire thousands of rockets and build hundreds of millions of dollars worth of tunnels.”

      The control is complete at the macro level, however, the prisoners do exercise some form of resistance at the micro level. The point is that Israel remains the occupying power and remains responsible for the safety and wellbeing of the occupied population that they are tormenting.

      The rockets are homemade affairs that do little damage and pale in comparison to the massive tonnage of high explosives that Israel has dumped on this more-or-less defenseless population which is unable to defend itself against Israel’s US supplied, high-tech war machine. A comparison of the respective causalities bears testament to the one-sided nature of the slaughter. As for the “millions of dollars worth of tunnels,” what is the basis of your estimate? Remember, prisoner labor is free and the tunnels are a defensive measure in view of Israel’s massive bombing and other aggression. Perhaps you feel that the Palestinians should just resign themselves to their plight, grateful that Israel doesn’t “mow the lawn” continuously?

      Ian Matthews: “And since you’re a little hoop jumper for Noam Chomsky….”

      Nice try at ad hominem bait and switch. The reality is that you have zero intellectual integrity and your grasp of the facts is on a par with Joan Rivers. The reality is that for over 60 years, Israel has consistently shunned peace to pursue slow-motion genocide.

    • IAN MATTHEWS- “What these people seemingly ignore is that Gaza hasn’t been occupied since 2005.”

      Of course it remains occupied since it remains under complete Israeli control. This has been discussed before, however, for those unaware of the history, I am providing a long Noam Chomsky quote to indicate the actual situation.

      “What actually happened is that Israeli hawks, led by Sharon, realized that it made good sense to transfer the illegal settlers from their subsidized communities in devastated Gaza, where they were sustained at exorbitant cost, to subsidized settlements in the other occupied territories, which Israel intends to keep. But instead of simply transferring them, as would have been simple enough, it was clearly more useful to present the world with images of little children pleading with soldiers not to destroy their homes, amidst cries of “Never Again,” with the implication obvious. What made the farce even more transparent was that it was a replica of the staged trauma when Israel had to evacuate the Egyptian Sinai in 1982. But it played very well for the intended audience at home and abroad.

      Weissglass provided his own description of the transfer of settlers from Gaza to other occupied territories: “What I effectively agreed to with the Americans was that [the major settlement blocs in the West Bank] would not be dealt with at all, and the rest will not be dealt with until the Palestinians turn into Finns” – but a special kind of Finns, who would quietly accept rule by a foreign power. “The significance is the freezing of the political process,” Weissglass continued. “And when you freeze that process you prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state and you prevent a discussion about the refugees, the borders and Jerusalem. Effectively, this whole package that is called the Palestinian state, with all that it entails, has been removed from our agenda indefinitely. And all this with [President Bush's] authority and permission and the ratification of both houses of Congress.”

      Weisglass explained further that Gazans would remain “on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger” – which would not help Israel’s fading reputation. With their vaunted technical efficiency, Israeli experts determined precisely how many calories a day Gazans needed for bare survival, while also depriving them of medicines and other means of decent life. Israeli military forces confined them by land, sea and air to what British Prime Minister David Cameron accurately described as a prison camp. The Israeli withdrawal left Israel in total control of Gaza, hence the occupying power under international law. And to close the prison walls even more tightly, Israel excluded Palestinians from a large region along the border, including a third or more of Gaza’s scarce arable land. The justification is security for Israelis, which could be just as well achieved by establishing the security zone on the Israeli side of the border, or more fully, by ending the savage siege and other punishments.

      The official story is that after Israel graciously handed Gaza over to the Palestinians, in the hope that they would construct a flourishing state, they revealed their true nature by subjecting Israel to unremitting rocket attack and forcing the captive population to become martyrs to so that Israel would be pictured in a bad light. Reality is rather different.

      A few weeks after Israeli troops withdrew, leaving the occupation intact, Palestinians committed a major crime. In January 2006, they voted the wrong way in a carefully monitored free election, handing control of the Parliament to Hamas. The media constantly intone that Hamas is dedicated to the destruction of Israel. In reality, its leaders have repeatedly made it clear and explicit that Hamas would accept a two-state settlement in accord with the international consensus that has been blocked by the US and Israel for 40 years. In contrast, Israel is dedicated to the destruction of Palestine, apart from some occasional meaningless words, and is implementing that commitment.

      True, Israel accepted the Road Map for reaching a two-state settlement initiated by President Bush and adopted by the Quartet that is to supervise it: the US, the European Union, the United Nations, and Russia. But as he accepted the Road Map, Prime Minister Sharon at once added fourteen reservations that effectively nullify it. The facts were known to activists, but revealed to the general public for the first time in Jimmy Carter’s book “Palestine: Peace not Apartheid.” They remain under wraps in media reporting and commentary.

      The (unrevised) 1999 platform of Israel’s governing party, Binyamin Netanyahu’s Likud, “flatly rejects the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan river.” And for those who like to obsess about meaningless charters, the core component of Likud, Menahem Begin’s Herut, has yet to abandon its founding doctrine that the territory on both sides of the Jordan is part of the Land of Israel.

      The crime of the Palestinians in January 2006 was punished at once. The US and Israel, with Europe shamefully trailing behind, imposed harsh sanctions on the errant population and Israel stepped up its violence. By June, when the attacks sharply escalated, Israel had already fired more than 7700 [155 mm] shells at northern Gaza.

      The US and Israel quickly initiated plans for a military coup to overthrow the elected government. When Hamas had the effrontery to foil the plans, the Israeli assaults and the siege became far more severe, justified by the claim that Hamas had taken over the Gaza Strip by force – which is not entirely false, though something rather crucial is omitted.

      There should be no need to review again the horrendous record since. The relentless siege and savage attacks are punctuated by episodes of “mowing the lawn,” to borrow Israel’s cheery expression for its periodic exercises of shooting fish in a pond in what it calls a “war of defense.” Once the lawn is mowed and the desperate population seeks to reconstruct somehow from the devastation and the murders, there is a cease-fire agreement. These have been regularly observed by Hamas, as Israel concedes, until Israel violates them with renewed violence.

      The most recent cease-fire was established after Israel’s October 2012 assault. Though Israel maintained its devastating siege, Hamas observed the cease-fire, as Israeli officials concede. Matters changed in June, when Fatah and Hamas forged a unity agreement, which established a new government of technocrats that had no Hamas participation and accepted all of the demands of the Quartet. Israel was naturally furious, even more so when even the US joined in signaling approval. The unity agreement not only undercuts Israel’s claim that it cannot negotiate with a divided Palestine, but also threatens the long term goal of dividing Gaza from the West Bank and pursuing its destructive policies in both of the regions.

      Something had to be done, and an occasion arose shortly after, when the three Israeli boys were murdered in the West Bank. The Netanyahu government knew at once that they were dead, but pretended otherwise, which provided the opportunity to launch a rampage in the West Bank, targeting Hamas. Netanhayu claimed to have certain knowledge that Hamas was responsible. That too was a lie, as recognized early on. There has been no pretense of presenting evidence. One of Israel’s leading authorities on Hamas, Shlomi Eldar, reported almost at once that the killers very likely came from a dissident clan in Hebron that has long been a thorn in the side of Hamas. Eldar added that “I’m sure they didn’t get any green light from the leadership of Hamas, they just thought it was the right time to act.” The Israeli police have since been searching for two members of the clan, still claiming, without evidence, that they are “Hamas terrorists.”

      The 18-day rampage however did succeed in undermining the feared unity government, and sharply increasing Israeli repression. According to Israeli military sources, Israeli soldiers arrested 419 Palestinians, including 335 affiliated with Hamas, and killed six Palestinians, also searching thousands of locations and confiscating $350,000. Israel also conducted dozens of attacks in Gaza, killing 5 Hamas members on July 7.

      Hamas finally reacted with its first rockets in 19 months, Israeli officials reported, providing Israel with the pretext for Operation Protective Edge on July 8.
      There has been ample reporting of the exploits of the self-declared Most Moral Army in the World, which should receive the Nobel Peace Prize according to Israel’s Ambassador to the US. By the end of July, some 1500 Palestinians had been killed, exceeding the toll of the Cast Lead crimes of 2008-9, 70% of them civilians including hundreds of women and children. And 3 civilians in Israel. Large areas of Gaza had been turned into rubble. During brief bombing pauses, relatives desperately seek shattered bodies or household items in the ruins of homes. The main power plant was attacked – not for the first time; this is an Israeli specialty — sharply curtailing the already very limited electricity and worse yet, reducing still further the minimal availability of fresh water. Another war crime. Meanwhile rescue teams and ambulances are repeatedly attacked. As atrocities mount throughout Gaza, Israel claims that its goal is to destroy tunnels at the border.

      Four hospitals had been attacked, each yet another war crime. The first was the Al-Wafa Rehabilitation Hospital in Gaza City, attacked on the day the ground forces invaded the prison. A few lines in the New York Times, within a story about the ground invasion, reported that “most but not all of the 17 patients and 25 doctors and nurses were evacuated before the electricity was cut and heavy bombardments nearly destroyed the building, doctors said. `We evacuated them under fire,’ said Dr. Ali Abu Ryala, a hospital spokesman. `Nurses and doctors had to carry the patients on their backs, some of them falling off the stairway. There is an unprecedented state of panic in the hospital’.”

      Three working hospitals were then attacked, patients and staff left to their own devices to survive. One Israeli crime did receive wide condemnation: the attack on a UN school that was harboring 3300 terrified refugees who had fled the ruins of their neighborhoods on the orders of the Israeli army. The outraged UNWRA Commission-General Pierre Kraehenbuehl said “I condemn in the strongest possible terms this serious violation of international law by Israeli forces…. Today the world stands disgraced.” There were at least three Israeli strikes at the refugee shelter, a site well known to the Israeli army. “The precise location of the Jabalia Elementary Girls School and the fact that it was housing thousands of internally displaced people was communicated to the Israeli army seventeen times, to ensure its protection,” Kraehenbuehl said, “the last being at ten to nine last night, just hours before the fatal shelling.”

      The attack was also condemned “in the strongest possible terms” by the normally reticent Secretary-General of the UN Ban Ki-moon. “Nothing is more shameful than attacking sleeping children,” he said.

      Israeli officials laud the humanity of the army, which even goes so far as to inform residents that their homes will be bombed. The practice is “sadism, sanctimoniously disguising itself as mercy,” in the words of Israeli journalist Amira Hass: “A recorded message demanding hundreds of thousands of people leave their already targeted homes, for another place, equally dangerous, 10 kilometers away.” In fact, no place in the prison is safe from Israeli sadism.

      The day before, on July 31, the Coastal Water Utility, the sole provider of water in the Gaza Strip, announced that it could no longer provide water or sanitation services because of lack of fuel and frequent attacks on personnel. Al Mezan reports that by then, “almost all primary health services have stopped in the Gaza Strip due to the lack of water, garbage collection and environment health services. UNRWA had also warned about the risk of imminent spreading of disease owing to the halt of water and sanitation services.” Meanwhile, on the eve of the cease-fire, Israeli missiles fired from aircraft continued to kill and wound victims throughout the region.

      When the current episode of sadism is finally called off, whenever that will be, Israel hopes to be free to pursue its criminal policies in the occupied territories without interference, and with the US support it has enjoyed in the past: military, economic, and diplomatic; and also ideological, by framing the issues in conformity to Israeli doctrines. Gazans will be free to return to the norm in their Israeli-run prison, while in the West Bank they can watch in peace as Israel dismantles what remains of their possessions.

      It is not that Israel’s security would be threatened by adherence to international law; it would very likely be enhanced. But as explained 40 years ago by Israeli general Ezer Weizman, later president, Israel could then not “exist according to the scale, spirit, and quality she now embodies.”
      link to

  • Gaza 2014 has clarified the international struggle
    • AMERICAN- “Chairman Howard Shultz is staunchly pro-Israel.”

      Why is it that all of these Jewish fat-cats are “staunchly pro-Israel?” Is there not even one anti-Zionist Jewish billionaire? Hollywood mogul? Wall Street tycoon?

  • With friends like these...
    • “Revelations of the eavesdropping could further damage already tense relations between the US government and Israel.”

      This is pure PR. First the “green light” for the Gaza massacre, then the unanimous Senate endorsement of the Gaza massacre, then the additional aid to facilitate the Gaza massacre. “Already tense relations?” You have got to be kidding me. The US and Israel are thick as thieves, political theater notwithstanding. One empire, right or wrong!

  • How many Israeli civilians have been attacked from the Gaza tunnels? Any?
    • JAMES NORTH- “How many Israeli civilians have been attacked by Hamas fighters emerging from tunnels?”

      The short answer is none. Two quotes below provide additional info with links for more, particularly the Finkelstein interview where he indicates that the tunnels which Israel was concerned with were those inside Gaza which provided Hamas with some defensive capabilities.

      “Now, the tunnels had nothing to do with Israel. That’s totally ridiculous. Israel claims there were 12 tunnels that had passed through its border. There were many more tunnels between Gaza and Egypt. The first thing Sisi did when he came into power in Egypt was seal the tunnels. Did he have to destroy all of Gaza to seal the tunnels? Israel couldn’t have done the same thing—seal the tunnels on its side of the border, exactly what Sisi did in Egypt? What did the Hamas have? It had spoons. It had shovels. You’re telling me that Israel didn’t have the earth-moving equipment to build a wall that went deeper than the tunnels? It had nothing to do with the tunnels entering Israel.” Norman Finkelstein)
      link to

      “No civilian has ever been abducted through the tunnels….Their primary purpose is economic, a response to Israel’s seven-year siege of Gaza. The tunnels along the Egyptian border weren’t built by Hamas: it merely taxes the goods being moved through by the entrepreneurs that dig and run them. Israel talks of a ‘terrorist organisation’ that ‘deliberately embeds its terrorist infrastructure inside civilian neighbourhoods’. In fact a system of loosely regulated capitalism governs the tunnel industry. If you live near the border you are likely to go into the tunnelling business because there’s nothing else to do….Since the invasion, the tunnels have been used to attack Israel. Still, no civilian has been killed.” (Omar Robert Hamilton)
      link to

  • After Gaza
    • MARC ELLIS- “After Gaza, it is time to ask whether the United Nations, the NGOs and the churches aren’t enablers of Israel’s occupation and Palestine’s demise.”

      Of course they are, in much the same way that missionaries used to be enablers of western empires. Laudable micro deeds which partially ameliorate and enable macro suffering and control.

      Marc Ellis: “Even the Jewish establishment in the United States that supports Israel has little or nothing to say about what Israel does and does not do.”

      This is the one point I disagree with. Strongly. American Jewish Zionists provide massive funding for settlements, birthright tours, other forms of chauvinist indoctrination including newspaper ownership, and massive political funding, all of which promote a chauvinist, militarist Israel. Netanyahu received 96.8% of his campaign funding from foreign sources, over 50% from one American Jewish family. The notion that these people have “little or nothing to say about what Israel does and does not do,” is laughable, totally out of keeping with an otherwise insightful post.
      link to

  • Jodi Rudoren and Abe Foxman mull over 'the Arabs' owning New York hotel
    • MOOSER- “I do not have a “troubling indifference to Jewish post traumatic dynamics” thank you.”

      Unless I am mistaken, you have misconstrued Sibiriak’s attempt at humor.

  • Gaza war gives rise to new Jewish group targeting Jewish institutions that support occupation
    • DAN CROWTHER- “I’d be even happier if these same folks could just join existing Palestine solidarity groups and, you know, blend in, but that’s probably too much to ask.”

      Dan, I hear what you are saying and am somewhat sympathetic. However, two aspects of this give me reason to wait and see. First, most of the Jewish groups you listed have not been very successful. Joining them could well be a waste of time. Second, this new group’s approach seems to me to have considerable merit. Going after the core of domestic support for Israel hasn’t been pursued. I have long felt that AIPAC should be targeted for direct action. Throw in the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organization and you have two excellent targets. BDS is fine as an educational tool, but how much pressure can you really put on Israel when they can count on US government support? Support, I might add, strongly influenced by these two concentrations of American Jewish power. Sure, it could turn out to be another feel good distraction, but I don’t want to jump to that conclusion when they at least seem pointed in the right direction.

  • Thousands of displaced Palestinians take shelter on the fringes of Gaza City
    • BENEDICT- “Walking around gaza can you please find a hamas gunman and try to understand from him what was the idea of building tunnels into Israeli territory? Also, if he can explain how indiscriminate rocket fire jibes with international law?"

      There were very few tunnels into Israel and likely were used to smuggle provisions in an effort to deal with the illegal Israeli blockage of Gaza. The primitive rockets were a more-or-less ineffectual response to the assault against Hamas by Israel using the misrepresented deaths of the three Israeli teens as a pretext.

      I have provided two quotes and links for Noam Chomsky and Norman Finkelstein which discuss the issues you raise. I encourage all to go to the links to get valuable perspective on this. First Noam:

      “One of Israel’s leading authorities on Hamas, Shlomi Eldar, reported almost at once that the killers very likely came from a dissident clan in Hebron that has long been a thorn in the side of Hamas. Eldar added that “I’m sure they didn’t get any green light from the leadership of Hamas, they just thought it was the right time to act.” The Israeli police have since been searching for two members of the clan, still claiming, without evidence, that they are “Hamas terrorists.”

      The 18-day rampage however did succeed in undermining the feared unity government, and sharply increasing Israeli repression. According to Israeli military sources, Israeli soldiers arrested 419 Palestinians, including 335 affiliated with Hamas, and killed six Palestinians, also searching thousands of locations and confiscating $350,000. Israel also conducted dozens of attacks in Gaza, killing 5 Hamas members on July 7.

      Hamas finally reacted with its first rockets in 19 months, Israeli officials reported, providing Israel with the pretext for Operation Protective Edge on July 8.” (Noam Chomsky)
      link to

      “And then there was the domestic issue. Israel had launched a ground invasion ostensibly to stop the so-called rocket attacks, but then it turned into something different: the tunnels….So, Israel's aim was not to destroy the tunnels going into Israel. That’s ridiculous. What they wanted to do was destroy the tunnel system inside Gaza, because now an effective—not very effective, but effective—guerrilla force had been created. And Israel, every few years, has to—or less than few years, has to mow the lawn in Gaza….Well, that’s the Israeli expression. You go in, and you kill a thousand people, destroy everything in sight, and Israel calls that "mowing the lawn." So every few years they have to go into Gaza and mow the lawn. They want to make sure next time they mow the lawn—because if you read the Israeli commentators, who are really a sick bunch of people, all of them are talking now about the next war. Every single commentator is talking about the next war. This one isn’t even over yet. But they want to make sure the next time they go in, there won’t be tunnels. So that was the real aim of the mission.” (Norman Finkelstein)
      link to

  • What I said to the couple holding a banner with a swastika on it
    • MOOSER- “In fact, having closely read the thread, I would advise you not to worry about my doubts whatsoever. You got better things to worry about.”

      I agree. I have a bad feeling about this thread. One would think that this Quaker with Jewish roots (how convenient) and works for an unidentified, non-violent advocacy NGO would have welcomed the opportunity to give his group a little Mondo publicity. I have no idea who this guy is or who this group is, yet we are once again concerning ourselves with possible signs of anti-Semitism. Interesting emphasis.

  • What Jim Fallows and I saw
    • PHIL- “I agree that Jewish exceptionalism is a problem; but societies all have their elites….”

      Yes they do, and the primary problem is the current concentration of power in the hands of our power seeking elites. We live in a money driven society and concentrated wealth is incompatible with either democracy or a balanced economy. Progressive change is virtually impossible when the wealth is so narrowly concentrated in the hands of the oligarchs and corporations. The fat-cats and corporations run the global political economy and the only solution is to shrink the corporations and eliminate the fat-cats. Unfortunately, we are heading in the wrong direction and disaster looms.

  • Who broke the ceasefire? Obama blames Hamas against the evidence
    • WALID- “…there will be a new Gaza, just like there was a new Dahiya.”

      With all due respect, you are delusional. Gaza is surrounded by hostile states and is totally dependent upon outside aid for survival. Aid which must pass through either Egypt or Israel. Gaza is still effectively occupied by Israel and has no independent economy nor control over its borders or much of anything else. Its infrastructure has been destroyed and its fresh water supplies are in peril. Gaza is not Lebanon, and Hamas cannot conceivably emulate Hezbollah.

  • Reading Amos Oz on Gaza
    • AMOS OZ SAID- “This morning I read very carefully the charter of Hamas.”

      Noam Chomsky says: “The (unrevised) 1999 platform of Israel’s governing party, Binyamin Netanyahu’s Likud, “flatly rejects the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan river.” And for those who like to obsess about meaningless charters, the core component of Likud, Menahem Begin’s Herut, has yet to abandon its founding doctrine that the territory on both sides of the Jordan is part of the Land of Israel.”
      link to

  • 'Continuance of state of Israel' is in crisis, Booker says-- and Congress OKs another $225 million
    • TOKYOBK- “Cory believes in his heart everything that AIPAC people believe and acts accordingly. Deal with him on that level, not as if he is just carrying water. That is the telegram from reality for those who want it.”

      The same goes for Obama. Those who believe that these guys are basically do-gooders just waiting to break free from lobby pressure are only deceiving themselves. As I predicted before the last election, once Obama was free to be himself, he would be worse. And he is. I provide a short quote from an article well worth reading:

      The US Empire and the now-international Israel lobby are in a tightly woven symbiotic relation. They are inseparable.” (Denis Rancourt)
      link to

  • Crisis in Rafah: Palestinian civilians trapped trying to escape Israeli onslaught (Updated)
    • FRENCH JEW- “This kind of comment shows that with all the zionism, jews haven’t completely entered whiteness yet….”

      Still the victims, eh? In view of disproportionate Jewish success and influence, methinks that this is a gilded victimhood.

      French Jew says: “Anyways, this comment on jewish victimilogy was unnecessary.”

      Funny, I thought that it was quite to the point what with perceived Jewish victimhood such a critically important feature of Zionism and the defense of Israel.

  • 'Dear American Jewish community, It's time to talk about Zionism'
    • “We Jews have a lot of blood on our hands, we have been made complicit in these inhuman acts, and we have a responsibility now to do something about it.”

      Yes, but don’t stop with Palestine. All Americans are to some degree complicit in the crimes of empire. Unfortunately, the power imbalance in our society is so radically out of balance that it is difficult for the 99% to resist the 1%. Worse yet, the 99% seem to take comfort in imperial mythology, their thoughts and actions easily controlled at the macro level, exercising negligible responsibility as citizens, the all-too-willing victims of their own ideological seduction, supporting a system they don’t understand nor want to, and which they basically don’t want to change except to improve their own personal situation.

    • PHIL- “So Mooser what do you say to my saying I want to organize with one foot inside the American Jewish community and one foot in the non-Jewish community?”

      Organize? Have I missed something?

    • MOOSER- “If there is anything the Zionists know how to do, it’s handle Jews, manipulate Jews, and use Jews.”

      A rather accurate assessment. Zionism has been spectacularly successful in replacing Jewish apparent fondness for socialism with demonstrable Jewish new-found love of militarism and Israel. This, of course, was a necessary change to enable Jews to ascend the corridors of power. It was after Israel’s military success in 1967 that Trotskyists became neocons, and empire Jews became spectacularly successful.

  • Video: If you voted for Hamas, Israel has a right to kill you, says president of NY Board of Rabbis
    • DAN CROWTHER- “Enough of the Putin bashing.”

      Hear, hear! Whatever his faults, compared to warmonger Obama, Putin is the voice of restraint and moderation. Interesting, isn’t it, how effective the American propaganda system is in demonizing a targeted leader setting the stage for an imperial intervention.

  • Amira Hass and the end of Jewish ethical history
    • LIBRA- “A state - no matter how powerful - without any moral foundation will ultimately collapse as a political entity because it will lack internal legitimacy.”

      Unlike you, Professor Ellis has not confused mythology with morality. All states erect a mythological edifice proclaiming high moral standards which do not, in fact, exist. It is the belief in this mythology which provides the foundation for legitimacy. Perhaps you could provide some examples of empires which had a strong moral foundation? Let us stay close to home and focus on the US empire as a moral force in the world. Is it only in supporting Israel that the US has betrayed its moral foundation?

    • MARC ELLIS- “Contra her analysis, Israel’s invasion of Gaza isn’t hurting Israel. Rather, it’s paving the way for the future that most Israelis – and Jews – actually want and embrace. That future is low on ethics and high on power. As everywhere in the world.”

      That is exactly correct. There is no such thing as a moral empire or local hegemon, although myths of high morality are readily believed by the populace. Empires and mass murder go hand in hand, and are the historical rule.

  • Israeli embassy puts Mona Lisa in a hijab -- 'Israel now, Paris next'
    • LYSIAS- “A very good description of the situation the U.S. military faced in Vietnam. And how did that war end?”

      With Vietnam destroyed and millions of its citizens dead, now a neoliberal paradise for investors.

  • As in Vietnam and South Africa, Gazan masses are willing to pay high price for freedom -- Kasrils
    • TOKYOBK- “Therefore the only option is peace and reconciliation based on equality.”

      You do realize that this implies the end of political Zionism as it now manifests itself? Also, perhaps, the end of Israel as a Jewish state? From your mouth to God’s ear, but don’t hold your breath.

  • Joan Rivers slams CNN and BBC coverage of Gaza -- 'you're all insane'
    • It is easy to believe what is convenient to believe, and self-deception is the rule not the exception. Political theory makes reference to the rational political man, and economic theory makes reference to the rational economic man. As such, both are inevitably wrong about much of political economy. I define something as rational if it is consistent with empirical reality, and logical if it is consistent with relevant assumptions/ideology. They are not the same thing. If there is a conflict between the two, depending upon the strength of the bias, most folks will defend group mythology against unpleasant facts. I refer to this as the logic of irrationality. No amount of rational argument will change Joan Rivers’ opinion regarding Israel and the Palestinians.

  • PLO official Hanan Ashrawi: Israel's assault on Gaza is 'state terrorism' and should be referred to the International Criminal Court
    • DANAA- I agree with your comment completely. Additionally, it seems to me that this latest assault on Gaza is intended as a full blown terror campaign designed to break the back of any support for Hamas, as well as a big F U to the world. Public opinion? Who cares. The Godfather and his Middle East Capo are providing a demonstration as to the price of resistance. Look at Libya, Iraq, Syria and now the Ukraine. I provide a quote which sums up my view.

      “The United States has set the world on fire. It is nonsense to talk of a “new” Cold War, when what the world is witnessing is multiple conflagrations as intense and horrifically destructive as at any period since World War Two. Virtually every one of these armed conflicts has been methodically set in motion by the only power capable of perpetrating such massive, simultaneous mayhem: the United States, along with its underlings in London, Paris and Tel Aviv – the true Axis of Evil.”

      “Whoever coined the phrase “No Drama Obama” should be sentenced to a lifetime of silence. The First Black U.S. President systematically brought swastika-wearing fascists to power in Ukraine to start a war on Russia’s borders. The passengers of the Malaysian airliner are victims of Obama’s carefully crafted apocalypse, a pre-fabricated conflict that could consume us all. Obama methodically and without provocation laid waste to Libya and Syria, and now the jihadists unleashed by the United States and its allies are destroying Iraq all over again and threatening to erase Lebanon and Jordan and even the oil kingdoms of the Gulf. Obama has signed yet another blank check for Israel’s ghastly war of ethnic annihilation in Gaza – a crime against humanity for which the U.S. is fully as culpable as the apartheid Jewish State, which could not exist if it were not part of the U.S. superpower’s global war machine.”(Glen Ford)
      link to

  • Hamas mimics Hezbollah tactics, and no one will have stability till blockade is lifted
    • WALID- “The former employee at US National Security Agency (NSA), Edward Snowden, has revealed that the British and American intelligence and the Mossad worked together to create the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).”

      Jeez, I’m glad you brought this up. And their “victories” in Iraq consisted of Iraqi troops ordered to abandon their weapons and flee. A way to quickly and surreptitiously supply ISIS with a lot of US weapons, including tanks? They apparently have already used these tanks raising the question of who provided the tank training? Three guesses. Now ISIS is ISIL and claims the northern part of Lebanon as part of the Caliphate. A US/Israel created ISIL invading Lebanon from the north to fight Hezbollah? ISIL as a pretext for Israel to maintain “defensive” occupation of the Jordan valley? I don’t know why some folks are claiming a big Hamas victory, things look grim to me.

    • Let us not go overboard in comparing Hamas to Hezbollah. Hamas is much, much weaker militarily than Hezbollah, and is surrounded by Israel on one side and Egypt on the other, both hostile to Hamas and both massively supported by the US, also hostile to Hamas. It is difficult to imagine a more one-sided balance of forces. Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood are both under attack and I suspect that soon Hezbollah will be too, with ISIS (ISIL) coming from the north and Israel from the south. It is all part of the remaking of the Middle East and things are going to get worse before they get better, if they get better.

  • U.S. casts lonely vote against establishing war crimes inquiry in Gaza
    • TOKYOBK- “…does not fully explain why the US wants that strip of land for its own empire purposes.”

      Neither the US nor Israel want the Gaza strip. Okay, maybe Israel somewhat due to potential offshore gas fields. The primary reason for this assault, however, is to destroy Hamas, even as Egypt destroys the Muslim Brotherhood. The harsh siege came about after Hamas won the elections in Gaza, an unacceptable result for US/Israel. After Hamas, then comes Hezbollah. You are with us or against us. Every potential competitor to empire is under attack or will be. The long war is here. The present is bleak, and I fear that the future will be bleaker.

  • Israeli forces shell UN school where displaced Palestinians gathered, killing at least 9
    • LIBRA- “That said, I’ve often wondered why some people still think it's all about oil, thereby making themselves look very naive.”

      It is never “all about” any one thing, however, to deny the strategic importance of oil is to make yourself look worse than naïve, to put it charitably. It is only on Mondoweiss where I encounter this curious position. Out in the real world of geopolitics, this position is ludicrous. Here are a few recent examples. If I felt like wasting time I could inundate you, but why bother? You, and some of your cohorts will never change your views regardless of rather obvious reality. You do realize that the entire world is dependent up hydrocarbon fuels, don’t you?

      “Before the 2003 invasion, Iraq’s domestic oil industry was fully nationalized and closed to Western oil companies. A decade of war later, it is largely privatized and utterly dominated by foreign firms,” the CNN report concluded, indicating that, “From ExxonMobil and Chevron to BP and Shell, the West’s largest oil companies have set up shop in Iraq. So have a slew of American oil service companies, including Halliburton, the Texas-based firm Dick Cheney ran before becoming George W. Bush’s running mate in 2000.” (Nicola Nasser)
      link to

      “The oppressive regime of Saddam Hussein was racked with insurgency, and when vicious repression failed, it delivered a portion of the vast oil revenues to the people in the form of government jobs, social services, and subsidized industries and agriculture. The oppressive United States occupation was racked with insurgency precisely because it tried to harness the country’s vast oil revenues to its imperial designs in the Middle East. The oppressive Maliki regime is now racked with insurgency, because the prime minister refused to share those same vast oil revenues with his Sunni constituents.
      It has always been about the oil, stupid! (Michael Schwartz)
      link to

      Iraq, Syria, Nigeria, South Sudan, Ukraine, the East and South China Seas: wherever you look, the world is aflame with new or intensifying conflicts. At first glance, these upheavals appear to be independent events, driven by their own unique and idiosyncratic circumstances. But look more closely and they share several key characteristics — notably, a witch’s brew of ethnic, religious, and national antagonisms that have been stirred to the boiling point by a fixation on energy….Make no mistake about it, these are twenty-first-century energy wars.” (Michael T. Klare)
      link to

    • LYSIAS- “Is there anything Israel could do that would make the U.S. stop protecting them at the UN and elsewhere?”

      Yes, challenge the US for control of some of the significant Middle East petro states. Have you ever wondered why with all of their military power they haven’t occupied at least one significant oil state, thereby freeing themselves from being dependent upon US support?

  • Israel's 'defeat'
    • MARC ELLIS- “Some pundits are calling Israel’s invasion of Gaza a defeat.”

      Ali Abunimah and Gilad Atzmon for two. Lordy, lordy, what wishful thinking. Norman Finkelstein has an interesting perspective on this:

      “Abbas will negotiate an agreement with Egypt whereby the PA will staff Rafah crossing, enabling Abbas to declare that he won an end to the blockade. The quid pro quo, however, is that he will agree to prevent any arms smuggling into Gaza and to disarm Hamas. Because
      (a) Hamas’s key demand was to end the blockade,
      (b) Hamas is isolated politically and neutered militarily, and
      (c) Abbas is technically the head of the Unity government, Hamas will be forced to agree to these terms.
      If things go according to plan, it will mark the end of Hamas as a resistance movement, to the joy of the Arab states, the US, EU, Israel and, of course, the PA.
      (3) The US gave Israel total diplomatic cover during the latest massacre. So, it’s payback time. Obama and Kerry will role out the terms of the framework for peace. WIth the Palestinians battered and Hamas defeated, the PA will (happily) sign on. Insofar as Netanyahu can now ask for near-anything and get it, the US will probably tweak the framework to meet his every demand. Kerry, Netanyahu and Abbas may yet get the Nobel.”
      link to

  • US plays decisive role in Israel's attack on Gaza
    • “The request for $225 million in fiscal 2014 funds for Iron Dome — and the special conditions — came in a recent letter to congressional leaders from Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel .”

      Well, if the request came from Chuck Hagel, I guess that it must be okay. I’m sure glad that he’s SecDef to hold Israel’s feet to the fire! Of course, it was only after his confirmation that we discover his fondness for donkeys. Who knew?

  • Nobel peace laureates and celebrities call for military embargo on Israel
    • W JONES- “Rather, my criticism is that he was a nationalist youth leader dedicated to a nationalistic political party and worked on a nationalist kibbutz….”

      A nationalist youth leader? He was a cultural Zionist who has always opposed a Jewish state. He accepts the reality of Israel, a member of the UN. He says that nowadays he would be described as an anti-Zionist. Philosophically, he would like to see the dissolution of all nation states in the future (I disagree with him on this). You have, once again, blatantly misrepresented him. I find your fixation on Chomsky curious. Perhaps your link to the Allison Weir website with the picture of Jeffrey Blankfort provides a clue? I might add that it is difficult to respond to you insofar as you pack so much misinformation and disinformation in your comments, all “supported” by links to videos or radio interviews (hostile ones) which I have no time or desire to listen to. Based upon my readings of Chomsky’s work (primarily books), your characterization of him is way off base.

      W Jones: “Chomsky’s political party, Hashomer, had a leftist aspect and a reactionary aspect, because it wanted socialism but it also dedicated itself to one religion only in a country made of three major religions.”

      Whoa, partner. First of all, I am not aware that Chomsky is a member of any political party. Was he a member of the Hashomer youth movement in his youth? Are you saying that it is reactionary for a Christian to practice Christianity in a region with three religions? Reactionary for a Muslim to practice Islam in a country with three religions? Or is it only Jews who are reactionary for practicing Judaism in a country with three religions? What is your point, except to falsely imply that Chomsky is a reactionary? As a matter of fact, Chomsky is not religious at all and has never advocated for a Jewish state or suggested that an ideal society be divided along religious lines. I am sure that he supports religious freedom for all in a pluralistic society, and other forms of cultural diversity. Yet, you seem to insinuate that this constitutes sectarianism. More misrepresentation from you. You are a regular “Energizer Bunny” of disinformation.

      You have obviously devoted a lot of time and effort trying to find things to use against Chomsky, therefore, you can hardly be accused of ignorance. I don’t object whatsoever to honest criticism of any of Chomsky’s positions, however, I find the ongoing misrepresentation of him offensive. I find it interesting that Mondoweiss attracts so many anti-Chomskyites like you.

    • W JONES- “Chomsky on the other hand said in a debate with the ADC that it is a “small” lobby.”

      The size and strength of the lobby depends upon how one defines the lobby. If we just talk about the professional lobbyists, it is probably small. If we include all the “friends of Israel,” then the lobby is enormous and includes what I (and I assume Chomsky) would consider domestic concentrations of power. Chomsky answers this question differently at different times depending upon how the question is phrased within the specific context of the interview. My opinion on Chomsky is based primarily upon his books. I have neither the time nor inclination to view all of his video interviews. Apparently you have devoted considerable time and effort looking for isolated quotes to impugn him. The Frank Barat interview appeared to me when I initially saw it as a hostile interview by a BDS supporter who was hectoring Chomsky looking to provoke an ill-considered response.

      Jones : “In his interview with Frank Barat (Part 4/4), Chomsky said “It’s 100 times times worse in the US, or in England, or anyplace else you talk about” and concluded from this that BDS is “pure antisemitism”.

      You continue to alter your phraseology slightly on this to imply something which I don’t think reflects Chomsky’s views. First of all, the crimes of either the American empire or the British empire were much worse than anything that Israel has done so far. This is not to excuse Israel, but to acknowledge that Americans who focus laser like on Israel while ignoring the crimes of empire are hypocrites. Focusing on Israel while ignoring Americas crucial support does lend a certain credibility to charges of anti-Semitism, however, his argument that BDS should be limited to certain types of actions is not tantamount to calling BDS per se as “pure anti-Semitism,” a blatant misrepresentation. Arguably, American efforts should focus on ending US support for Israel, however, that could be too big an effort to be productive.

      Jones (from a previous closed thread): “…on certain topics related to the Palestinian Conflict, like the Lobby, Apartheid, BDS, the Right of Return, and whether a society should ideally be divided on religious lines, Chomsky takes a PEP position.”

      This is an outrageous misrepresentation of Chomsky. You are labelling any deviation from the BDS party line as non-progressive. As for dividing a society along religious lines, this, apparently, is your misrepresentation of Chomsky favoring a two state solution as being the more realistic option. All of your caveats aside, based upon your links alone, you are obviously a charter member of the anti-Chomsky brigade. The reason I even bother responding to some of this anti-Chomsky drivel is that it has become apparent to me that there is an orchestrated anti-Chomsky effort afoot. Initially, this was centered on the Right, however, as society has moved ever rightward, certain elements on the Left have found a niche in vilifying critics of empire, Chomsky being the most visible. Christopher Hitchens the best known example. As empire progresses towards neo-feudalism, some folks alter their perceptions in search of funding as full spectrum dominance includes the doctrinal system. And, all of your excuses aside, any website which praises Freeman, Hagel or Kerry while vilifying Chomsky has some serious issues.

    • “Israel’s ability to launch such devastating attacks with impunity largely stems from the vast international military cooperation and trade that it maintains with complicit governments across the world.”

      Funny, I see no mention of the Israel lobby. Is the Palestine BDS National Committee a bunch of Chomskyites?

      “We call on the UN and governments across the world to take immediate steps to implement a comprehensive and legally binding military embargo on Israel, similar to that imposed on South Africa during apartheid.”

      Who signed? Among others, Chris Hedges, Cynthia McKinney Illan Pappe, John Pilger and Noam Chomsky. I search in vain for Chas Freeman, Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer, among other Mondo stalwarts. Perhaps some sort of oversight? Easily corrected if they click on the link and add their names.

  • Gaza is a concentration camp, and it's an American delusion not to recognize that -- Weschler
    • W JONES- “Unlike Chomsky, Obama, Hagel, and Kerry are politicians and their careers depend on them saying the right thing.”

      Yes, pity the career imperialist who is constrained from speaking out against policies he supports and implements. You gave me two quotes from Chas Freeman, how about Hagel and Kerry? Some Mondoweiss commenters wrote their congressmen in support of these guys, even as they bad mouth Chomsky. Freeman is no longer in government and can speak his mind about Palestine and his troubles with the Lobby. Other than Palestine and the Lobby, how does this career imperialist’ record on progressive issues compare to Chomsky? What is his opinion on the School of the Americas, neo-liberal globalization, the Libyan intervention, the Ukrainian intervention, and the pivot to the East? Actions speak louder than words, and Freeman’s career in support of empire speaks volumes about your hero. Unless you fundamentally support empire EXCEPT in the Middle East, it would seem to me that lauding Freeman and vilifying Chomsky is irrational, unless the purpose is denigrate Chomsky for other reasons.

    • TEAR-STAINED UZI- “…it’s frustrating that he provides cover now for PEPs.”

      Curious, how expressing an honest opinion on certain aspects of BDS can be considered as providing cover for PEPs. His opinion on effective tactics differ from yours? So what. This hardly explains the extreme and unjustified vilification of Chomsky by more than a few Mondoweiss commenters. Same with Finkelstein.

    • PHIL- “Gaza is a concentration camp, and it’s an American delusion not to recognize that — Weschler”

      I am sure that those Americans responsible for US policy are fully aware of the conditions in Gaza, which they helped create and fully support. When it comes to straight talk about Gaza, here is what one prominent American intellectual and Mondoweiss villain has to say:

      “When Israel is on “good behavior,” more than two Palestinian children are killed every week, a pattern that goes back over 14 years. The underlying cause is the criminal occupation and the programs to reduce Palestinian life to bare survival in Gaza, while Palestinians are restricted to unviable cantons in the West Bank and Israel takes over what it wants, all in gross violation of international law and explicit Security Council resolutions, not to speak of minimal decency. And it will continue as long as it is supported by Washington and tolerated by Europe – to our everlasting shame.” (Noam Chomsky)
      link to

      Perhaps you could provide some comparable quotes from Mondoweiss heroes such as Chas Freeman, Chuck Hagel or John Kerry? Okay, Hagel and Kerry are former heroes.

  • Bowing to AIPAC, Senate unanimously passes resolution supporting Israel
    • KRAUSS- “Honest question, Phil: why do you keep giving oxygen to a racist bigot like MJ Rosenberg?”

      Probably because Rosenberg shares Phil’s laser-like focus on “The Lobby.” Please note that the roll call of “anti-Iranian” Jewish billionaire funders describes them as part of AIPAC, the Israel Lobby. But are they lobbyists for Israel whose actions are directed from Tel Aviv, or do they represent domestic concentrations of power with a strong pro-Israel bias? The answer is significant. If they are lobbyists, then they are foreign to the body politic and can be removed without disturbing the underlying foundations of power. If, however, they, along with the military industrial complex, the main stream media, et al, are part of a biased domestic power structure, then change would require a challenge to the very foundations of empire, something Phil has no intention of undertaking.

  • 'Are you a fucking leftist?' --Israeli fascists target anti-occupation activists in Tel Aviv
    • W JONES- “Like you, I would disagree with American that Chomsky portrays Israeli abuses as “strictly” the fault of the US.”

      Ah, an attempt to appear reasonable and unbiased, how sweet. However, your next comments involve cherry picking Chomsky based upon a particular comment or essay taken out of context and overemphasized compared to his main body of scholarly work speaks otherwise

      You quote Chomsky as follows: “…you don’t have to have sanctions on Israel. It’s like putting sanctions on Poland under the Russians because of what the Poles are doing. It doesn’t make sense. Here, we’re the Russians.” You then disingenuously attack Chomsky’s analogy. Yet, Chomsky’s point is clear as clear can be: it is hardly necessary for the US to boycott Israel when all that is required is to end the long years of shameful support, the diplomatic and financial/military support. Perhaps you feel that the US bears no responsibility in this matter? Uncle Sam a helpless victim of the Israeli Lobby?

      Let me comment on another of your quotes. Chomsky says: “… Our primary concern, I think, should be change in fundamental US policy, which has been driving this thing for decades.”

      You disagree? Israel couldn’t do what it is doing without imperial support. And while one may disagree with the extent to which an Israel Lobby (however defined) influences US foreign policy generally and specifically in Palestine, Chomsky’s assertion that a change in US policy is necessary seems rather obvious, to me at least. Focusing on Israel while exonerating empire may make some folks feel good, but is hardly realistic. And Chomsky bashing among some elements of the left seem to me to be part of a broader effort to discredit an iconic symbol of resistance to empire and militarism.

    • AMERICAN- “…the actual facts of many US actions and misadventrues contridict Chomsky’s its all capitalist & empire claims.”

      Chomsky never says this. You are again building a straw man to attack. Most of Chomsky’s work simply documents the reality of US foreign policy with both quotes from declassified documents and the observed reality of US actions such as a network of about 1000 foreign US bases and the destabilization of countless countries, along with assassinations and the training of terrorists at the School of Americas, support for Syrian terrorists and Ukrainian neo-Nazis, etc. Chomsky rarely, if ever, refers to “empire” (although I do) and I don’t recall him tying this in with capitalism.

      American says: “You either refuse to look at them or you see them but cant defeat the facts so you dont address the information and stick your head in the sand and follow your Pied Piper.”

      Typical ad hominem BS. The only “facts” I get from you are claims to have previously provided them. The notion that Chomsky is a “Pied Piper” to a group of cultish followers is the same tired old mantra of the knee-jerk, lock-step anti-Chomsky bashers on Mondoweiss. That Hostage was unable to convince you of your errors is hardly surprising. Your anti-Chomsky dogma is an essential part of your persona and of your relationship with a group of your fellow Mondoweissers.

      Finally, I find it curious that you and other Chomsky bashers were so thrilled with Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense. Or have I misread your comments on this?

    • AMERICAN- “Chomsky is the only one I am familiar with that dishonestly promotes it as “strictly” the US’s fault.”

      Chomsky says no such thing, yet you and other Mondoweiss commenters continue to misrepresent him at every opportunity. It is like a group dogma which binds the Mondo social network together. I suspect Hostage took a break from the ongoing intellectual dishonesty of the Mondo Chomsky bashers which he was powerless to correct.

  • Israeli strike kills four Palestinian children playing soccer on Gaza beach
    • JENIN YOUNES- “One woman commented on the NY Times article that Palestinians consider themselves no better than cannon fodder, so we have every right to do the same. Horrifying. Could you imagine the outrage if someone said that about any other group?”

      I don’t mean to shock you, but it is quite common for citizens and officials of Western nations to believe that our defenseless victims don’t value life as evidenced by the fact that they don’t surrender even after we have killed so many of them. A quote to illustrate the point.

      “William Westmoreland once remarked on Vietnam, where the United States killed 4 million men, women, children, and infants: “The Oriental doesn’t put the same high price on life as does a Westerner. Life is plentiful. Life is cheap in the Orient.” (David Swanson)
      link to

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