Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 2911 (since 2010-02-17 01:44:49)

Keith

Radical dissident. Retired.

Website: http://saskck.blogspot.com

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  • The 'clash of civilizations' and the death of an Iraqi mother in San Diego
    • Folks, it has got to be said. There is a strong Jewish/Zionist presence in the organized anti-Muslim/clash of civilizations outpourings. Check out Justin Raimondo’s link to the anti-Muslim demonstration at Yorba Linda, promoted by Rabbi David Eliezrie of Chabad-Yora Linda, Pamella Geller, the Tea Party and Republican “conservatives.” Listen to the remarks of Villa Park Councilwoman Debra Pauly. Check out this link of “Conservative political commentator, radio talk show host, columnist, and attorney” and anti-terrorism “expert” Debbie Schlussel defending Pauly from the “bullying” Muslims who would silence her. http://www.debbieschlussel.com/34766/muslim-bullies-try-to-silence-councilwoman-on-islam/ Be sure to check out her bio, this “attorney and a frequent New York Post and Jerusalem Post columnist,” who “went undercover, dressed as a religious Muslim woman, to the Islamic Center of America, North America’s largest mosque, and reported, in The Detroit News on its support for terrorism, and anti-American, anti-Semitic hate.”

      “A frequent speaker at conservative, pro-Israel, and Jewish conferences, gatherings, college campuses, and events around the U.S. Schlussel was a featured speaker at the 2004 National Board Meeting of JINSA (Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs), 2004 National Conference of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), 2001 and 2002 NRA Annual Meetings, 2002 Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi) Fraternity National Convention, and 2000 Toward Tradition Conference.”

      The point of all of this is that with this much organized Jewish anti-Muslim activity, and anti-Muslim hatred in the US, I have little patience with those who continually search out examples of anti-Semitism which pale in comparison with what is going on here.

  • Zionism totalled
    • HOSTAGE- One of the more interesting things about the quote you provided is that this is not the language of a dispirited leader of a downtrodden people. He speaks of nationhood and empire. His call for a nation as a launching pad for future conquest was echoed by David Ben Gurion years later when he advocated for accepting the UN partition as the first step in acquiring the whole of Palestine.

    • ZIONISM is the ideology which justified the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine and which now justifies maintaining Israel as a Jewish state. It is the ideology which underpins organized global Jewish support for Israel. That the ideology has undergone changes in response to changing circumstances is not unusual, nor has it changed the essence of the situation. Concocting a new label for this ideology strikes me as a form of subterfuge.

  • 'Tribefest' excommunicates group of young Jews who dared to speak about ethnic discrimination
  • Holocaust consciousness-raising = harming Palestinians
    • SIN NOMBRE- If Holocaust consciousness included recognition of the long history of mass-murder to achieve elite objectives, it would be great. Unfortunately, remembrances of the Jewish Holocaust serve to both trivialize historical non-Jewish suffering and mass-murder, and to provide ideological justification for Zionist depredations. Under these circumstances, this selective memory helps to replicate in general terms that which it opposes in specific terms, hence, no good has ever or will ever come of it.

    • KLAUS BLOEMKER- Your point is very well taken. The US holocaust museums are a direct consequence of Jewish Zionist power. They do not in any manner shape or form deal with the fact that throughout history mass-murder has been the rule, not the exception. The failure of the US to establish museums acknowledging the genocide of the native Americans, as well as the slavery and death-by-attrition of the black slaves which formed the backbone of the start of the industrial revolution through the manufacture of cotton textiles, is indicative of the fact that the elites highlight what it suites them to highlight and ignore what it suites them to ignore. The US is an empire engaged in virtually non-stop warfare against the entire Third World and the doctrinal system supports and justifies this.

      And, as “Without Walls” indicates, the World War II Allies are guilty of monstrous war crimes. The fact that these pale in comparison to Axis war crimes does not relieve us of the responsibility to acknowledge that which occurred and to recognize that war itself is inherently a brutal, criminal activity. This is particularly relevant both to Israel, a warfare state, and to the US, the primary warfare state. As we rightly criticize others, we must not turn a blind eye to our own actions.

    • Uri Avnery has an interesting related article over at CounterPunch. I provide one sentence and the link.

      “Yeshayahu Leibowitz, an observant Jew, said years ago that the Jewish religion had practically died 200 years ago, and that the only thing that unites all Jews now is the Holocaust.”
      http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/03/23/the-ghetto-within/

  • One crazed murderer sparks Zionist calls for European migration to Israel
    • AMERICAN- No, what I am saying is that the early Zionists deluded themselves that the world’s Jews would all come to Israel, however, the reality is that Israel could not exist in its present configuration without a powerful, supportive Jewish Diaspora.

    • AMERICAN- “What is the end game of the zionist goal….”

      Impossible to know, but fun to speculate about. First of all, I seriously doubt that the early Zionists anticipated the current state of affairs. Like all long term undertakings, the process alters to changing circumstances. In my view, a huge change occurred as a result of the shift of power from European Zionists to American Jewish Zionists. I think that the influence of these American Zionists on Israeli society and official policies is underappreciated on Mondoweiss.

      The bottom line is that I am not sure that there is an end game. It seems to me that Israel and Zionism represent a process whereby Jewish nationalism combined with an overreaction to a cultivated sense of eternal anti-Semitism has reunited world Jewry previously split by religious differences and assimilationist tendencies. In other words, as long as Israel is continually at war with her neighbors, dependent upon American Jewish Zionist support which, in turn, unites American Zionist Jews organizationally, and can be used as a symbolic victim of Jew hatred and as a potential oasis from eternal anti-Semitism, then it is fulfilling its Zionist function. That the Jewish state has become dependent upon the Diaspora to remain a Jewish state is obvious in hindsight, but not to those at the time pursuing an illusion and engaging in self-deception.

  • Wikileaks: Google caught in spy games on execs and 'regime change'
    • MOOSER- You are quite correct. The social media appears to be an integral part of intelligence operations, gathering user supplied information while replacing the mass media as a source of propaganda. Kony 2012 an excellent example of misinformation designed to facilitate a new “humanitarian” intervention. The notion that the elites would take a hands off approach to this new source of information power a pipe dream. I have come to the conclusion that most humans have a virtually unlimited capacity for self-deception. Present company excluded, of course.

    • DAN CROWTHER- re: Jared Cohen and Wael Ghonim. Your observation is correct, but regrettably not obvious to nearly enough folks. Uncle Sam finances the Egyptian military and the opposition, just in case. Having both sides dependent upon American funding tends to result in imperial control regardless of superficial changes. And, yes, the social media is more-or-less integrated into US psy-ops. All of the Eastern European “color revolutions” have been orchestrated by the US. Yugoslavia was a test case for much of this.

  • How important is it to the Times (and us) that Greg Smith is Jewish?
    • For those interested, a very interesting article about this by Pam Martens over at CounterPunch. Here are a couple of quotes followed by the link:

      “In the last decade, Wall Street has evolved from predator to organized crime with a speed dial to Washington. Instead of Washington reforming Wall Street, it has seduced and corrupted Washington. It didn’t have to come to this.”

      “On Wednesday, March 14, Greg Smith – following in the proud lineage of Micheal Lewis, Frank Partnoy and Nomi Prins – simply bypassed the tedious route of galleys and nit-picking editors and went straight to the OpEd page of the New York Times with his resignation letter decrying Goldman Sachs for abusing its clients.”
      http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/03/19/goldman-sachs-trader-finds-a-new-occupy-tactic/

    • YOURSTRULY- “also revealing is the success story of the bank of north carolina, owned and operated by the people of that state. as it should and must it serves the interest of north dakota’s people and businesses.”

      Perhaps you inadvertently wrote “bank of north carolina” for bank of North Dakota? In any event, state banks are both good and obvious, however, the Bank of North Dakota provides funds for the local private banks and does not compete. As for other states, I seriously doubt that Wall Street will sit idly by as new state banks are created. Here in Washington, efforts to create a state bank are going nowhere fast, not surprising considering the power of the street. They don’t call Goldman-Sachs the Vampire Squid for nothing. I seriously doubt that any state has the power to break free any more than Greece does. As for private banks and the Fed, the Fed should be part of the government not private, and the whole financial system needs to be publicly controlled. No easy task considering that the financial sector effectively runs the empire.

    • SPEAKING OF WALL STREET- How could I let this opportunity pass me by to discuss the global financial system? Interesting article on CounterPunch concerning a type of derivative known as interest rate swaps. Seems that state and local governments entered into these swaps to protect themselves from rising interest rates. Seems that with low interest rates, state and local governments are now obligated to PAY WALL STREET due to the low rates. Does the Fed take care of “the street,” or what? First a quote, then a final comment.

      “Today interest rate swaps make up 82% of the total market in derivatives, measured by total notional amounts. This is partly the result of governments all over the world entering into interest rate swaps, agreeing to tie cash flows to trillions of notional dollars. What's key is that none of this has required duplicity or reckless greed on the part of bankers at Goldman Sachs or other firms. Let's be clear; this is a structural transformation of capitalism on a global scale, and it has sucked up all corporate and government entities into the new logic of hedging and efficiency. That a few powerful financial corporations have placed themselves in strategic positions to benefit from this structural shift should come as no surprise.”
      http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/03/15/a-toxic-system/

      Notice the comment “…and it has sucked up all corporate and government entities into the new logic of hedging and efficiency.” What this refers to is that the global financial system is so inherently unstable that these inadequately funded “hedges” are necessary to assuage doubts about systemic risk. This risk is an inherent part of a privately controlled financial system run by profit seeking banksters. This private system has become increasingly disassociated from the real economy, profits accruing increasingly from speculation on financial instruments. Financialization. Things are bad and getting worse.

  • 'No amount of reading and word of mouth could have prepared me for the reality' -- Remembering Rachel Corrie
    • In “Overcoming Zionism,” Joel Kovel dedicates the book to his Aunt Betty “And to Rachel Corrie, may her name live in glory”

      Yes, may her name live in glory!

  • Palestinian and Palestine-solidarity activists issue critique and condemnation of Gilad Atzmon
    • SOME ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS- What can’t be emphasized enough is that the reaction to Atzmon is far more significant and instructive than the man himself. Don’t get me wrong, I like Atzmon, but I don’t consider him all that unique or significant.

      I have come to conclude that this ongoing Atzmon brouhaha reflects the extent to which perceived anti-Semitism/Jewish victim-hood is the essential group unifier of those who self-identify as Jews. Once upon a time, a “Jew” was religiously defined. This was the era of Classical Judaism, very different from Reformed Judaism or secular “Jewishness,” although many modern Jews seem unaware of that reality. In “The Wandering Who?”, Gilad Atzmon quotes Uri Avnery: “Yeshayahu Liebowitz, the philosopher who was an observant Orthodox Jew, told me once: ‘The Jewish religion died 200 years ago. Now there is nothing that unifies the Jews around the world apart from the Holocaust.’” The Holocaust depicted not so much as a historical event comparable to other instances of mass murder, but as the symbol and ultimate proof of eternal anti-Semitism and Jewish victim-hood.

      Most Jews, protestations of anti-Semitism notwithstanding, view being a Jew as a positive thing. There are material and psychological benefits to being part of a privileged group, particularly one which can claim eternal victim-hood thereby deflecting all criticism and inquiry. As such, perceived anti-Semitism performs a unifying function and is eagerly sought out. Not real anti-Semitism, which is threatening, but relatively innocuous instances which can be misrepresented and blown all out of proportion. Why else would so many Jews surf the web looking for “anti-Semitic” websites, and know the names of “anti-Semitic” authors? A lot of effort seems to go into this, at least in some quarters, and since there is very little true anti-Semitism the rewards must lie elsewhere. In other words, attacking Atzmon primarily serves to promote Jewish solidarity and reinforce group mythology. Why else call so much attention to Gilad if not to wildly inflate the threat of anti-Semitism?

      It must be said that Atzmon has been intentionally provocative towards the Jewish left, particularly the Jewish Marxists. In his essay, “Tribal Marxism for Dummies,” he writes that “Jewish Marxism is basically a crude utilisation of ‘Marxist-like’ terminology for the sole purpose of the Jewish tribal cause. It is a Judeo-centric pseudo intellectual setting which aims at political power.” He continues, mixing together valid insights with some petty and contentious comments about Moshe Machover. He concludes with the following: “What is the secular basis of Judaism? Practical need, self-interest. What is the worldly religion of the Jew? Huckstering. What is his worldly God? Money. Very well then! Emancipation from huckstering and money, consequently from practical, real Judaism, would be the self-emancipation of our time.” Gilad Atzmon said that? No, Karl Marx said that. Having mercilessly critiqued Jewish “Tribal Marxism,” he ends with a statement by their icon Karl Marx which some might characterize as “anti-Semitic.” He figuratively spits in their face. Jewish Marxists loathe Gilad Atzmon. They can’t help themselves.

    • CHU- First of all, thanks for the link to Gurvitz. I loved it. It was everything that a deliciously nasty polemic should be. My kind of guy! You’re right. If he ever gets on some folks radar screen, he’ll be pilloried. Both Atzmon and Gurvitz are generally consistent with Israel Shahak who endured more than his fair share of abuse. I followed your link to Max ajl. Small wonder this Jewish Marxist loathes the author of “Tribal Marxism for Dummies.” (see my comment below) I have no idea what became of Avi.

    • LORDY, LORDY, here we go again. Another Gilad Atzmon stoning! Why, oh why, do folks feel threatened by Atzmon? I’m not. And if I’m not, Phil and Adam and a whole bunch of others shouldn’t be either. As I commented previously, ‘In many ways, the most significant thing about Gilad Atzmon is the reaction to Gilad Atzmon. There is nothing about him which can possibly explain the extent of the vitriol and demonization.’ For example, recently we had a thread on Yossi Gurvitz. You know, ‘Yossi, Yossi, he’s our man, if he can’t do it, no one can!’ On the “Liberal American Jews are Giving Themselves Permission to Say Goodbye” thread, CHU linked to a 2007 Gurvitz screed (I loved it, but that is another story). All of you Atzmon bashers need to read this and incorporate it into you thinking. http://ygurvitz.wordpress.com/2007/09/24/how-i-became-an-enemy-of-the-race/

      Final comment: I am sick and tired of all of this “anti-Semitism” BS. Of all of the racisms, anti-Semitism is toward the bottom of the ‘threat list.’ There is more to this obsession than the understandable defensiveness of a weak and defenseless minority. The Jews are not a weak and defenseless minority. Far from it. They are an integral part of the US power structure. Some of the worst offenders in this are the Jewish Marxists who utilize theories of economic determinism to mask the presence and impact of Jewish tribal solidarity, a factor, along with others, which they deny even exists. Lastly, Gilad Atzmon, along with Yossi Gurvitz and Israel Shahak, are/were informed by their experiences in Israel. For all practical purposes, there are no Reformed Jews in Israel. Primarily, just secular and various shades of Orthodox. Reformed American Jews seem incapable of understanding the extent to which Israeli “Jewishness” is alien to American “Jewishness,” hence, overreact to what Atzmon says. This unwholesome American Jewish obsession with “anti-Semitism” is something which needs to change if there is to be any dialogue, understanding, or progress.

  • IDF fundraiser at Waldorf Astoria raises $26 million
    • SEAFOID- “The West is going to dump Israel. Like they dumped South Africa.”

      Dumped South Africa? Why wasn’t I Informed? All this time I have been under the impression that the white South African elites who ruled the country alongside the transnational corporations with a subservient a white government, continued to do so with a subservient black government. I thought that fundamentally nothing changed except the outward face of exploitation. Was I wrong?

  • Obama rejects a Syrian deal because his team wants F15s (and other stuff I learned at lunch)
    • “What about Libya, you led that.”

      “No, that was the U.S. It was the GCC [the Gulf Cooperation Council] then the Arab League. But it was all orchestrated.”

      This is exactly what I said at the time. Libya was a US initiated regime change disguised as a humanitarian intervention.

  • Israel is sucking up all the oxygen in the White House
    • ANNIE- Your recent activity and prominence on Mondoweiss seems to have led you to believe that you have simultaneously acquired instantaneous expertise. You haven’t.

      The article by Paul Craig Roberts briefly but accurately describes the process of off-shoring and de-industrialization which has been going on for over 30 years. The whole process can be summarized as neo-liberal globalization, and involves both privatization and financial penetration and control. It predates the War on Terror, which, in fact, is a pretext for accelerating the process already underway. The prime movers behind this appear to be the financial sector. The main weapon used to get corporate compliance is through pressure involving stock price which Roberts mentions but which you apparently don’t understand. Likewise, the article you linked from “Moon of Alabama” involves speculation regarding oil prices as a consequence of the sanctions. It has no relevance to the Roberts article. The fact that you think that your link “chewed the hell out of his theory,” indicates a profound lack of understanding on this issue.

      I could go on, but why bother? You have no interest in rational discussion, rather you see your role as a defender of the Mondoweiss narrative. As such, you contribute to the echo chamber effect. “The War of Ideas in the Middle East” is turning into “the conformity of opinion regarding the control of US foreign policy by the lobby.” Pity.

    • ANNIE- “keith, speaking of ignoring comments i responded to one of yours here: link to mondoweiss.net you completely ignored it.”

      Thomson responded to my comment by ignoring the substance and instead alleging that “Keith, you can always be relied on to jump in as Apologist for the Israel Lobby. In your other role as Imperialist-Globalist Slayer, try to remember what you have said here before: It’s all connected, man. Most people who comment (or post) here seem to be much more concerned than you about the aggressions and transgressions of the Israel Lobby. You might as well accept that and try your best to explain why you wish to excuse it.”

      He didn’t ignore the comment, he ignored the substance of the comment even as he attacked me personally as an “Apologist for the Israel Lobby.” That is what I refer to as attack dog mode. Did I attack you based upon your comment? You can’t see the difference? As for your comment itself, not only am I not sure what “WOT” stands for, but it was not my intent to get in a lengthy discussion of the Paul Craig Roberts article. It was simply an example of offshoring and the ongoing de-industrialization of the US which has been going on for quite a while. A process which belies any interest by Wall Street or Obama in dealing “…more assertively with China-- say, by insisting that it reinvest its dollars here so as to grow American jobs.” I have neither the time nor inclination to go into detail about how China is constrained from making massive investments in the US economy, literally forced to accumulate treasuries to support their export oriented economy.

      “also by saying the comments here ‘are so far beyond the pale’ you do realize you are effectively insulting (attacking) all of us.”

      I continue to be surprised by how thin-skinned some folks are. I make a general comment concerning my subjective impression as to the post and comments in general and you take exaggerated umbrage. First of all, I am not insulting nor “attacking” everybody. I can’t make a general comment without you taking offense? Perhaps you tend to take offense mostly with those you disagree with?

    • Thomson Rutherford- I just noticed that I inadvertently misspelled your name, then continued to do so. Sorry, it wasn't intentional.

    • BRUCE WOLMAN- Thompson Rutherford said: “It’s something I and some others have been saying here for years: The U,S, special relationship with Israel is the controlling factor in determining American foreign policy – wherever. It chooses our political leaders and top government officials. It works to blanket our government in secrecy and misinformation. It promotes public ignorance and manipulates public passions for its own foul ends. “It” is the special relationship pressed on America by ‘friends of Israel.’”

      Do you agree with this?

    • THOMPSON- “And I’m sure you didn’t really mean it when you said I have an extremely narrow ideological focus.”

      Wrongo. You have a laser-like focus on the lobby and accuse others who take a more global perspective as apologists for the lobby. In my original comment, I made several brief statements on neo-liberal globalization, off shoring and de-industrialization, and the use of debt as a means to force structural adjustment. You didn’t mention any of this, preferring instead to (mis)characterize what I said as a defense of the lobby. This in spite of your professed interest in economic issues and political economy.

      “How many times must I assure you: You are not more anti-capitalist than I. Nor more anti-imperialist or anti-globalist or anti-corporatist or anti-Oil or anti-fascist or anti-war or anti-neoliberal “American consensus” or anti-PHARMA, etc.”

      Methinks you doth protest too much. The only time I see you discussing these things is when you defensively claim to believe them. When I brought up some of these issues in my original comment, you claimed that by doing so I was a lobby apologist, a ludicrous assertion which you have made in the past. You wear your narrow focus on your sleeve, claims of universality notwithstanding.

      “If you want your thinking to be relevant about I/P and America’s misadventures in the Middle East, you need to take the Israel lobby more seriously.”

      I take the lobby plenty seriously. I just don’t think that it is the center of the universe or the fount of all evil. And as for a firmer grounding in mainstream economics, it is my belief that mainstream economists basically earn their living misrepresenting reality in service to power. Economics is at least 90% ideology in disguise. I prefer the likes of Michael Hudson and Michel Chossudovsky, etc. As for your reading suggestions, based upon your past comments to me, I can’t help but believe that your motivation is less than a sincere desire for my intellectual betterment.

    • THOMPSON- No, I do not think that OVERALL the problems mentioned by Bruce Wolman are primarily a consequence of some overemphasis on Israel. I think that his analysis of some of these issues is quite mistaken. His whole analysis of the China trade issue is contentious in the extreme. I’ve made a few brief comments on this on this thread which, of course, you ignored. You might try to discuss some of my comments rather than continue in attack dog mode implying that I am an apologist for the lobby. Even there you provide no examples or proof, simply asserting that “This goes beyond your apparent role as defender of the Israel lobby.” Please, give us all some examples of me defending the lobby. You can’t, because I haven’t.

    • SEAFOID- The goal of terminal financialization is to lock-in global corporate/financial control. Global oligarchy. Each area is to have its specialized function, none strong enough to challenge corporate/financial control. Why would Wall Street want to preserve manufacturing in the US when they can utilize Chinese labor at slave wages? Capital transcends national borders. There has been a lot written about this. I provide one link to Paul Craig Roberts as an introduction.
      http://www.counterpunch.org/2009/02/24/how-the-economy-was-lost/

    • SIN NOMBRE- Bruce Wolman’s whole post conveyed the impression that overall our problems are adversely effected by overemphasis on pursuing Israel’s agenda. It would take much too long to rebut him point by point, however, if you compare my comment to his post you can see a huge difference in interpretation.

    • THOMPSON- “Keith, you can always be relied on to jump in as Apologist for the Israel Lobby.”

      Thompson, you can always be relied upon to de facto excuse the empire by radically de-emphasizing the role of domestic concentrations of power in policy formation. Imperial policy has been a long time in the making, the US didn’t get to be an empire by subsuming its imperial ambitions to Israel, which, in fact, is an integral part of empire. To continue to argue that Israel and the lobby are both alien and all-powerful is to succumb to the delusion that they can be excised from the body politic and everything will be hunky dory. Furthermore, it gives wildly excessive weight to the political system while ignoring the overwhelming influence of global capital. One would have thought that Wall Street, the military-industrial complex and big oil could have put up a better fight if they opposed lobby control and policies harmful to them. Finally, it ignores the reality that the lobby also functions as an imperial lobby. As Norman Finkelstein notes:

      “For Israel’s new American Jewish ‘supporter,’ however, such talk bordered on heresy: an independent Israel at peace with its neighbors was worthless; an Israel aligned with currents in the Arab world seeking independence from the United States was a disaster. Only an Israeli Sparta beholden to American power would do, because only then could US Jewish leaders act as spokesmen for American imperial ambitions.” (Norman Finkelstein)

      Let me conclude by saying that I have never heard anyone other than a diehard Zionist act as an apologist for the Israel lobby. This is simply your way of dismissing anyone who looks at political economy outside your extremely narrow ideological focus. It is the type of labeling and name calling which occurs much too frequently.

    • This analysis, and the reactions to it, are so far beyond the pale that I am reluctant to even comment. Suffice it to say that neo-liberal globalization is a global strategy pushed by US elites, primarily Wall Street. China is one big export platform for US and other transnational corporations, and is drowning in US treasuries. Offshoring jobs is part of neo-liberalism intended to de-industrialize the US, except for “defense.” All of the deficits are intentional and designed to create de facto debt servitude in the US similar to what was obtained in the Third World via the World Bank and IMF. We are undergoing a controlled demolition of the economy leading to terminal financialization. The notion that most of our problems can be traced back to “the lobby” and Israel is ludicrous.

  • Obama victory over Netanyahu gained support, time
    • “The United States offered Israel advanced weaponry in return for it committing not to attack Iran's nuclear facilities this year, Israeli daily Maariv reported on Thursday.
      Citing unnamed Western diplomats and intelligence sources, the report said that during Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to Washington this week, the US administration offered to supply Israel with advanced bunker-busting bombs and long-range refuelling planes. In return, Israel would agree to put off a possible attack on Iran till 2013, after the US elections in November.”
      http://news.yahoo.com/us-offered-israel-arms-delay-iran-attack-005157280.html

  • The radicalization of Yossi Gurvitz
    • To pursue this a little further, I think this phenomenon of ideological fundamentalism is reflected in the thread on Netanyahu giving Obama the story of Esther. What is the purpose of highlighting an ancient myth? It would seem that rationality has given way to the logic of the myth. No need to bother with factual distortions when fairy tales can be quoted verbatim. And believed. Both in Israel and the US, a uniquely religious country among the industrial nations. It should be further noted that as neoliberalism spreads additional misery to the 99%, when people feel threatened, a defensive retreat into fundamentalism is virtually inevitable. Cheers.

    • “If you think this Judaism is the wisdom of Israel, it’s not. This is the Judaism forced underground by the Christian regimes, censored time and again. It’s coming to the surface.”

      Israel Shahak discusses this in “Jewish History, Jewish Religion.” Around the 13th century, thanks to Jewish converts who translated, the Christian elites became aware of the extreme anti-Christian and anti-Gentile Talmudic writings in classical Judaism, and had the offending parts removed, or as actually occurred euphemized , Gentile replaced by idolater, heathen, etc. Now, in Israel, the euphemisms are being replaced with the original anti-Gentile phraseology.

      Quoting Shahak: “The persistent attitude of classical Judaism toward non-Jews strongly influence its followers, Orthodox Jews and those who can be regarded as its continuators, Zionists…. Since 1967, as Israel becomes more and more 'Jewish', so its policies are influenced more by Jewish ideological considerations than by coldly conceived imperial interest.”

  • Walt and Mearsheimer don't think Israel will attack Iran, and neither will we
    • “Israel’s air force capabilities can’t do enough damage to destroy Iran’s nuclear program; they can slow it down but they can’t stop it,” says Walt. “Neither can we, although we can do a lot more damage.”

      What a curious statement. As if Iran’s nuclear power program was the primary cause of our actions rather than an obvious pretext. True, if Iran had nuclear weapons to defend itself, that would restrict US/Israel’s freedom to commit aggression. However, the primary reason for our aggression against Iran has to do with US/Israel’s Middle East hegemony. With the completion of a couple of oil and gas pipelines involving Iran, the US ability to hold China hostage to the US for guaranteed access to energy resources will be compromised, and with it, significant geo-strategic leverage. The US has a narrow window of opportunity to reestablish effective control over access to Iranian oil and gas. And to exact retribution for the overthrow of the Shah and escaping US control. The Godfather likes to make examples. And then there is Israel, Saudi Arabia and the gulf monarchies seeking the destruction of Iran.

      An attack would primarily focus on the Iranian air defenses, oil/gas fields and infrastructure in general, with the nuclear facilities thrown in for credibility. The plan would be basically to destroy the country as was done to Iraq in Gulf War I. If successful, Iran would be destroyed economically and militarily. The oil/gas would be brought back on line if and when the US decided to do so. It would not be necessary to occupy Iran, effective control achieved by the surrounding bases, including special operations forces, drones, etc. An attack would likely occur in the fall (October surprise?) or early next year. This option is both fraught with peril and a long time in the planning. Of course, the situation is highly volatile, predictions unreliable. However, should Iran escape imperial control, this would likely result in a major shift in the global power structure.

  • What’s queer about the anti-occupation movement?
    • HOPHMI- “Was it queer when several dozens Jews in Hebron were murdered during the 1929 riots?”

      You continue to amaze. Would you like to do a body count comparison of Palestinians versus Jews? If it was 10,000 Palestinians to one Jew, you would lament the one Jew. The Palestinians are unpeople to you. There is no other explanation.

  • Netanyahu says, You also refused to bomb Auschwitz
    • The rather obvious way to insure that Iran doesn’t develop nuclear weapons is to establish the Middle East as a nuclear weapons free area. This is something Iran and most of the rest of the world supports, but which is opposed by US/Israel.

  • If you name your group 'Emergency Committee for Israel,' do you get to call people bigots when they say you're an 'Israel Firster'?
    • The ‘Emergency Committee for Israel’? What next, the war on anti-Semitism? What passes for reality has taken a Kafka-esque turn for the worse.

  • The NDAA -- we are all Josef K now
    • The increased militarization of our society is a direct consequence of neo-liberal globalization. Third World “structural adjustment” is now being imposed upon the First World as the Corporate/Financial elites consolidate their global control. The impoverishment of the majority will inevitably lead to civil unrest, which has been anticipated and planned for. Massive propaganda will no longer suffice to quell disillusionment. This will require increasing reliance on naked force. Liberty and empire are mutually exclusive. We live in dangerous times.

  • Responding to commenters on recent bannings
    • DAVID GREEN- “Also, for the record, I don’t advocate anyone being banned from Mondoweiss for any reason. Ever.”

      Sorry, David, but I think your meaning is quite clear when you say “If that anti-semitic statement doesn’t get this person banned from Mondoweiss, then nobody should be banned–nobody.” And let’s not quibble over whether your real intent was to get Jeffrey and Witty reinstated.

      As to the comment in question, I think that STEVIEB is overestimating the relative influence of Zionism in determining US geo-strategy, however, to casually jump to the conclusion of Jew hatred is totally unjustified. Furthermore, as I indicated, this is Phil and Adam’s responsibility, not yours or mine. Frankly, I am getting more than a little annoyed at the way some folks shriek anti-Semitism at the drop of a hat. I had a similar conversation with your buddy Max ajl here http://mondoweiss.net/2011/07/thinktank-that-promoted-war-w-iraq-now-iran-was-funded-by-steinhardt-saban-bronfman-feith-and-marcus-of-home-depot.html

      I have two problems with all of this. The first is that any examination of political economy must deal with the question of power: who has it, how they got it, and how they keep it. The struggle for power is perhaps the key issue of our time. Jewish power and influence, including the role of Zionism as a group unifier, is a valid and essential area of inquiry. This is an area which Mondoweiss seeks to explore so that we may improve our understanding of those factors influencing Middle East policy, and to reflect upon overall political economy. It doesn’t help to have some folks trying to stifle the discussion of this historically sensitive area with charges of anti-Semitism.

      The second problem I have should have been obvious from my initial comment. Anti-Gentile Chauvinism is the mirror image of anti-Semitism. It is racism, pure and simple. Yet, some Jews can’t seem to conceive of the notion that Jews can and do discriminate against Gentiles. The notion of Jewish victim hood so fundamental to their psyche that it goes unquestioned. Also, the notion of eternal Gentile anti-Semitism self-evident, not requiring proof. This is what Israel Shahak is trying to get at in the quote where he mentions a Jewish self-critique involving confronting the Jewish attitude to non-Jews.

    • DAVID GREEN- Let us begin with the part you left out: “It isn't only Jews who have been corrupted by the 'Chosen' dogma. Zionism and American imperialism are willing bedmates…”

      One would have thought that the reference to US imperialism would have resonated with you, however, you chose to conflate Zionism with Jews and overreact. Fortunately for Mondoweiss, saner heads decide who to ban and who not to ban. In my almost two years of commenting, I have never suggested that another commenter be banned. I don’t feel that it is my place, or that it would be useful. That is Phil and Adam’s responsibility and, in my opinion, they have done a good job.

      There is a bigger problem here. I have noticed the ease with which many Jews feel that it is their right to sit in judgment of Gentile behavior that is not to their ideological liking. How they are the ones to determine what constitutes anti-Semitism and what doesn’t. And how this frequently translates to anti-Gentile chauvinism whereby Gentile questioning and analysis of Jewish institutions, ideology and power is all too frequently met with almost casual charges of anti-Semitism. Unjustified charges of someone effectively being a “Jew hater” could be an indication that the accuser is in fact a crypto Gentile hater. And if an occasional anti-Semitic comment appears, so what? It’s not as if anti-Semitism is a big problem, is it? We shouldn’t be too vigorous in squelching discussion.

      One of the areas that needs discussing is the Jewish attitude towards Gentiles. I am under the impression that is one of the areas which Mondoweiss seeks to explore, albeit in prudent fashion. It is certainly an area that the great Israel Shahak sought to pursue. “Therefore, the real test facing both Israeli and diaspora Jews is the test of their self-criticism which must include the critique of the Jewish past. The most important part of such a critique must be detailed and honest confrontation of the Jewish attitude to non-Jews.” (Israel Shahak, 1994)

    • HOSTAGE- Your comment provides support for Israel Shahak’s interpretation of events in “Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years.”

    • WALID- For what it is worth, your link to Francisco Gil-White got me interested, so I started reading. I quickly picked up some real bad vibes. A few clicks of the mouse and I discovered that Francisco is a global warming denier and a Philo-Semite who thinks that Israel gave away way too much at Oslo, and that the PLO has Nazi roots. I wouldn’t touch this guy with a ten foot pole.

    • MARCUS MOHR- “I’ve already had to choose my words carefully and I know that it’s just a matter of time before I get banned too.”

      Ah, the joy of perceived victim-hood! A product of your upbringing, perhaps?

      “Congratulations, you’ve done a huge disservice to free speech and your cause.”

      Your heartfelt concern for the effectiveness of Mondoweiss moves me deeply.

  • The Rosh Hashanah sermon on Fire Island
    • PABELMONT- “Friend Keith: As to “Jewish anti-Gentile chauvinism”, shhh! Saying that’s per se anti-Semitism ….”

      Over on the “ADL enlists city of Oakland to block Atzmon event” thread, Danaa indicates that in Israel she was taught essentially that “all goys are anti-semitic at heart, and cannot be trusted.” If this doesn’t represent Jewish anti-Gentile chauvinism, I don’t know what does. This attitude, that Gentiles are inherently irrational Jew haters, exists among many Jews in the US, particularly among Zionists. This is the mirror image of anti-Semitism, but never discussed. The notion that bringing it up may constitute an example of anti-Semitism indicates the prevalence of the bias. An unmentionable topic to be suppressed. Since you mentioned Shahak, a quote to buttress my point:

      “Although the struggle against antisemitism (and of all other forms of racism) should never cease, the struggle against Jewish chauvinism and exclusivism , which must include a critique of classical Judaism, is now of equal or greater importance….Therefore, the real test facing both Israeli and diaspora Jews is the test of their self-criticism which must include the critique of the Jewish past. The most important part of such a critique must be detailed and honest confrontation of the Jewish attitude to non-Jews.” (Israel Shahak, JEWISH HISTORY, JEWISH RELIGION, 1994)

    • DAN CROWTHER- “Keith — come on man, thats not fair my brother.”

      I didn’t mean to pick on you personally, but needed to make a point. It is counterproductive to argue that it makes no difference if the king is Jewish, when we need to emphasize that having a king- any king- is a recipe for disaster. So too with ownership. It is not a mark of progress that Jews are now a significant part of the capitalist elite, rather, it is counterproductive that we tolerate such powerful elites. The concentration of elite money power is as great or greater than it has ever been. We are in the midst of what may turn out to be a terminal class war being waged by the elites against everyone else. That some of these elites tend to view themselves as eternal victims is not encouraging. I guess what I am objecting to is what I perceive in our society as a certain complacency, an unquestioning acceptance of the distribution of power in our political economy. The very survival of the species may well hinge upon how we resolve the global struggle for power. So I used your comment as an excuse to climb upon my soapbox. No offense intended.

    • “…the Jewish narrative is still about vulnerability.”

      Why is that? Why the dysfunctional focusing on Jewish “victim hood” and the lack of concern for Gentile vulnerability? Why the denial of Jewish anti-Gentile chauvinism?

    • DAN CROWTHER- “And to mooser’s last “we own this frickin’ place” — I say, “cool.” And so doesnt the rest of the country. NO ONE CARES.”

      EXCUSE ME! I am quite concerned over the increasing concentration of power in the hands of an elite- any elite. Things will always be bad as long as there are a relative hand-full of sociopaths calling the shots. Money power needs to be much more equitably distributed. We are going in the wrong direction. We are currently being ruled by the equivalent of a capitalist nobility. We have come full circle from when the capitalists successfully overthrew the divine right of kings. We are entering the period of the divine right of capital. Witnessing the rise of debt servitude. Things are looking grim.

  • ADL enlists city of Oakland to block Atzmon event
    • In many ways, the most significant thing about Gilad Atzmon is the reaction to Gilad Atzmon. There is nothing about him which can possibly explain the extent of the vitriol and demonization. Something happening here, what it is ain’t exactly clear.

  • Dershowitz wants MJ Rosenberg fired for daring to stop Iran war push
    • CITIZEN- That the US was instrumental in the writing of international laws that it has consistently violated is not in dispute. Neither is the fact that the US frequently attaches clauses and exceptions to these laws which render them moot in regards to US conduct (where is Hostage when you need him?). What you regard as high principle I would describe as rank hypocrisy. Freeman’s ongoing pretension that Israel has led a noble US astray is shameless propaganda and imperial apologetics. Freeman once was a high ranking official of empire who bears significant responsibility for US imperial actions. There is more than enough to criticize about Israel and Zionism without holding them responsible for the vast crimes of empire.

    • TETA- “…the United States, once the principal champion of a rule-bound international order, has followed Israel in replacing legal principles with expediency as the central regulator of its interaction with foreign peoples.”

      Only Chas Freeman could attempt to turn a mass-murdering Uncle Sam into Snow White. It is one thing to criticize Zionism and Israel, quite another to shamelessly whitewash US imperial behavior. US contempt for international law when it would interfere with US warmongering should be beyond dispute. Uncle Sam’s body count exceeds Israel’s by orders of magnitude.

  • NGO 'industry': a boon or bane in Gaza?
    • PAM BAILY- This is a welcome post on a neglected subject. Thanks. Now a few comments.

      “In fact, I believe that by cutting Hamas off from so many of the functions of normal governments — including the attendant ability to create jobs and raise revenue — we have virtually forced it to become as extreme as some of its elements now are.”

      This is standard operating procedure for dealing with people we want to demonize. When Castro took over in Cuba, the US virtually forced him to rely on the Soviets so that we could claim he was a Red Threat.

      NGOs can usefully be divided into three groups. The worst are ones like the National Endowment for Democracy and USAID which are NGOs in name only. Richard Falk refers to them as IGOs, informal governmental organizations, and they serve the foreign policy designs of their respective government. http://www.zcommunications.org/when-is-an-ngo-not-an-ngo-twists-and-turns-beneath-the-cairo-skies-by-richard-falk The next worse are the big NGOs which follow the guidelines of their fat cat benefactors, Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, anything connected with George Soros. You can probably throw in Human Rights Watch and perhaps Amnesty International, frequently useful, sometimes not.

      The best bet are the smaller NGOs, however, they are a mixed bag, frequently an unknown quantity. Worse, as you mention, there is the threat of the US accusing US contributors of “funding terrorism” and locking critics up and seizing assets under our recent draconian “anti-terror” laws and precedents. Our options increasingly limited as we descend into a type of police state.

      Taken as a whole, it seems to me that NGOs are a modern, secular version of missionaries. Many do demonstrably good deeds which, nonetheless, support and reinforce imperial policy. They are an essential feature of imperial control and repression.

      As an aside, any opinions on MADRE?

  • Hoenlein says irresponsible 'J Street' threatens Jewish unity (and survival)
    • Let me ad something here. Please keep in mind that Hoenlein is a member of the Zionist power elite. As such, his public pronouncements do not represent straight talk. What he says for the public needs to viewed as a stimulus designed to elicit a desired response. He is not trying to accurately describe anything. His goal is to reinforce Zionist ideology.

    • “Hoenlein: Unity has always been vital throughout Jewish history.”

      Up until about two-hundred years ago, Jewish unity was achieved through the internal solidarity created by adherence to Classical Judaism. The splintering of Jews into Orthodox, Conservative, Reformed and secular, greatly weakened this “unity.” Zionism is the modern attempt to reestablish Jewish unity through a Jewish version of blood and soil nationalism centered on the Jewish state of Israel. Jewish elites evidently prosper due to Jewish unity, aka kinship. Zionist Jewish elites strongly support Israel and Zionism as a means of maintaining strong internal cohesion. The whole business has a strong totalitarian emphasis, deviation is considered treasonous and not tolerated. Zionist actions and opinions are guided by the logic of the Zionist ideology and are rarely swayed by rational discourse.

  • Vets for Peace to Obama: Talk sense to Netanyahu to avoid war with Iran
    • KAPOK- “Not too impressed with these anti-war vets.”

      Throwing some mighty derogatory allegations around. The two biggest anti-war veterans organizations are Viet Nam Veterans against the War and Iraq Veterans Against the War. Care to share with us the number of members who “weren’t so anti-war when it came to getting their college stipend or seed money for a landscaping firm paid for in the blood of inoffensive foreigners.”? How about Bradley Manning? Is he also gaming the system? My impression is that veterans opposition to war has been at least as effective as non-veterans opposition to war. Frequently more so.

  • Sanity check on Iran
    • WALID- “People have to be naive to believe this BS about the US not wanting to see Iran bombed while the mad Netanyahu is dying to do it.”

      I agree completely. Iran is of critical importance to empire and to the transition to a transnational empire. If empire can effect favorable regime change, control will be complete, virtually unchallengeable, at least in the short run. If not, things get complicated. Real complicated. We are at an extraordinarily dangerous period. This is bigger than Israel. Much bigger.

  • 2013 US budget: 'difficult cuts' for Americans, jackpot for Israel
    • The slight increase in military “aid” to Israel is entirely consistent with the slight increase in overall US “defense” spending. The intent of neoliberalism is to eliminate any vestige of a social safety net while maintaining military Keyensianism. The class war has turned into a blitzkrieg.

  • Greenwald: Indefinite detention policies have become normalized legally, politically and culturally in Israel and the US
    • PABELMONT- I thought that you might be interested in the following quote:

      "Modern fascism should be properly called corporatism, since it is the merger of state, military and corporate power." (Benito Mussolini)

  • Wael Ghonim at Harvard: a key figure of the Egyptian revolution speaks truth to U.S. power
    • PIOTR- "There is a reasonable hope that this will end this year."

      Egypt is a US vassal state and will likely remain one, outward appearances notwithstanding.

    • PIOTR- "Civic organizations in “imperfect democracies” can use some help."

      Ah, the white man's burden endures. Is there no rest fot the weary?

    • “Members of pro-democracy groups such as the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the International Republican Institute (IRI) are brought to trial in Egypt and the U.S. is threatening to cut $1.5 billion in foreign aid.”

      Anyone who describes the National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute as “pro-democracy groups” is not to be taken seriously. Both receive primary funding from the National Endowment for Democracy created by the Reagan administration to do overtly what the CIA previously did covertly.

      “He urges us to recognize that the biggest achievement of the revolution has been to allow for democratic turnover to take place.”

      What rubbish. The army is still calling the shots. The “revolution” has been successfully contained as was probably inevitable. The degree of control that empire exerts over Egypt is much too strong for an ad hoc uprising to succeed. A “revolutionary hero” Google manager giving a talk at Harvard should be a tip off.

  • BDS interview fallout: Finkelstein 'showed his own fear of the paradigm shift in discourse on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict'
    • YOUSTRULY- The situation with Iran is absolutely crucial to how the Israel/Palestine question resolves itself. The empire has a small window of opportunity to preempt the formation of an Iran/Russia/China counter hegemonic block. My intuitive best guess is that US/Israel will initiate a decisive confrontation with Iran later this year or early next, or not at all. If US/Israel is successful in causing regime change in Iran, Russia and China will back off and the empire will proceed to morph into a corporate/financial matrix of control. If unsuccessful, there will be extreme turbulence particularly in the Middle East. In any event, I view the situation as extremely volatile, predictions basically guesses.

  • Happy Valentines Day: Anonymous takes down web sites for tear gas company and Bahrain government
  • Norman Finkelstein slams the BDS movement calling it 'a cult'
    • CLIFF- “Chomsky talks about how everyone was against a 2SS when it was possible and now pay lip service to it now, in the present, when it’s impossible.”

      Jamiesw is quite right. You are fundamentally misrepresenting Noam Chomsky. You provide a quote and a link. Your quote is selectively misleading. Chomsky clearly states that he initially advocated for a one state (bi-national) solution in opposition to a Jewish state. Between 1948 and 1967, the creation of Israel rendered bi-nationalism moot. Between 1967 and 1975, a bi-national position became tenable once again. In 1975, the PLO adopted the two state settlement as the official position and the international consensus crystallized around it. In your selective quote, the “it” Chomsky refers to is the bi-national settlement, not the two state settlement. Surely you must have been aware of this. Below I have attached a more complete quote obtained from the link you provided.

      “It’s now about 70 years that we have been advocating for what in the recent reincarnation is called the One State settlement. One State settlement, notice, not solution. A one state settlement, used to be called the bi-national settlement and if you think about it, yes, it’ll have to be a bi-national settlement. So that’s what I was doing when I was a young activist in the 1940s, opposed to a Jewish state. That’s continued without a break. And it’s kind of hard to miss. Since the late 1960s, a series of books, huge number of articles, constant talks all the time, thousands of them, interviews, all the same. Trying to work for a bi-national settlement, in opposition to a Jewish state.

      So in the pre-1948 period, this was straightforward, we do not want a Jewish state, let’s have a bi-national state. From 1948 to 1967 you could not sensibly pick that position, you were talking to yourself. 1967 it opened up again. There was an opportunity in 1967 to move towards some kind of a federal system which could then proceed further to closer integration, maybe become a true bi-national secular state.

      In 1975 Palestinian nationalism crystallised and appeared on the agenda, and the PLO, turned to a two state settlement, the huge overwhelming international consensus at that time for a two state settlement in the form that everyone knows. From 1967 to 1975 it was possible to advocate for it directly and it was anathema, hated, denounced, because it was threatening. It was threatening because it could be fulfilled and that would harm policy formation. So if it was noticed at all, it was denounced, vilified. From 1975 on you could still maintain this position but you have to face reality, it is going to have to be achieved in stages. There is only one proposal that I have ever heard, other than let’s all live in peace together, the one proposal that I know is, begin with the international consensus, the two states settlement. It will reduce the level of violence, the cycle of violence, it will open up possibilities for a closer interaction, which already to some extent takes place, even in today’s circumstances, commercial, cultural and other forms of interaction. That could lead to erosion of boundaries. That could move on to closer integration, and maybe something like the old concept of bi-national state.
      Now, I call it a settlement because I don’t think this is the end of the road” (Noam Chomsky) http://en.cubadebate.cu/opinions/2011/05/27/interview-with-noam-chomsky/

    • Some additional thoughts regarding my comment at 11:35 pm on 2/14/12. Let us begin by noting that realistically the purpose of BDS is to call attention to the situation and communicate the facts in the hope that this will create public pressure on Israel (and the US) to cease its ongoing abuse of the Palestinians. As such, the BDS message is critically important. Ours is a righteous position and we need to aggressively communicate that. For starters, Israel, with US support, has illegally acquired and occupied territory by force and needs to withdraw from these occupied territories as specified in applicable UN resolutions. Period.

      As to the BDS position on the state of Israel, this is a golden opportunity to highlight the abnormality of the situation. Recognize Israel’s right to exist? Which Israel are we talking about? An expansionist, warmongering Jewish state which seeks to expand as much as possible, even so far as from the Nile to the Euphrates? Which ethnically cleanses the native inhabitants to make way for Jews from abroad enticed to immigrate with generous subsidies? No, we cannot recognize an expansionist, borderless state. Normal states have borders which delineate them and constrain them. Borders beyond which they acknowledge as being the territory of others which will be dealt with according to international law, not through violent aggression. But Israel acknowledges no official borders, the “green line” merely an armistice line, not an official border. Israel is the only UN member state without official borders, the 1949 armistice line a de facto substitute, its admission the result primarily of US pressure. How can anyone expect the Palestinians to recognize the borders of a state which refuses to establish official borders?

      When anyone asks for recognition of Israel, the response should be to ask for a map of Israel with the official borders which Israel accepts as defining the state of Israel, and which they will not forcefully extend. In the mean time, Israel needs to withdraw from the occupied territories and end the blockade of Gaza before negotiations can resume. An occupied people cannot be expected to negotiate with an occupying power while the occupation continues. Of course, I cannot imagine US/Israel agreeing to this without substantial outside pressure. I don’t know if a two state solution is even possible. If not, the facts on the ground will manifest themselves in due course. In any event, the leadership on this needs to come from the Palestinian people, our role to support them. They are the ones bearing the consequences of US supported Israeli aggression.

    • First of all, let me say how surprised I was to learn that Norman was a one time Maoist. A MAOIST, for cry sakes. Aaargh!

      Next, while watching the video I predicted that his earnest straight talk concerning realpolitik would be misconstrued and probably vilified. He is expressing an opinion concerning effective tactics which should be rationally discussed, not attacked. I think he makes some good points which the interviewer did not effectively rebut. That, in itself, is a problem. One would think that at this stage of the game the solidarity/BDS folks would have their talking points down pat. If you can’t deal with a sympathetic ally like Finkelstein, the Zionist Hasbara machine will eat you alive.

      While I support BDS, I confess that I am somewhat vague as to the ARTICULATED goals and objectives. Based upon what Finkelstein said, I get the sense that there is a certain vagueness regarding the state of Israel designed to accommodate various anti-Zionist perspectives. I would tend to agree that this is a mistake. In other words, as Finkelstein says, if you are a one-stater, then Israel is not illegally occupying the West Bank insofar as the West Bank is part of a united Palestine. The goal then becomes the civil rights of the Palestinians in Eretz Israel. While this may be a morally defensible position, there is no legal or international support according to Finkelstein. On the other hand, to claim that the occupation is “illegal” implies that there is a distinct Palestinian state which is occupied, hence, an Israeli state with recognized borders.

      As a practical matter, we should note that the non-viability of a two state solution is a judgment call which is not ours to make. The non-viability of a two state solution will be what prevents Israel from implementing a two state solution. The big stumbling block to a two state solution is the Zionist ideology which virtually precludes this. Implementation of a two state solution would probably require Israel to break free of Zionism with all that this would entail, and all of the problem and opportunities that would open up. The first problem could possibly be civil war. At this stage of the game, it is difficult to see how all of these contradictions can be resolved.

      I would hope that it would be at least somewhat obvious that our pontifications concerning one state versus two states are largely irrelevant, the issue properly determined by the Palestinians and, past injustices notwithstanding, by the Israelis. Needless to say, I think we all support the right of the victim Palestinians for redress to the extent possible. Yet, we need to be mindful of their immediate needs and concerns, rather than on some theoretically pure solution which satisfies us. The first priority seems to me to end the current and ongoing abuse of the Palestinians by Israel. The Gaza blockade, the bypass roads, the check points, the assassinations, the general abuse and discrimination, etc. I think that BDS should focus on this. Certain issues need to be dealt with now. Others need to be deferred in accordance with the desires of the Palestinian people.

  • New book explores the history of 'New Jewish Agenda'
    • LIB319- “Nuremburg Laws, 1935?”

      Surely you must be aware of the extent to which the Nuremburg laws are a precedent for Israeli anti-Arab laws? That the Nuremburg definition of “Jew” was used as a basis for Israeli citizenship? That it is illegal in Israel to impersonate a Jew? Zionism is Eastern European blood and soil nationalism with an unsavory past, a reprehensible present, and an uncertain future.

  • The Israel Lobby on campus in Illinois: A challenge for BDS
    • DAN CROWTHER- “The system allows for, and one could say is designed for, the capture of legislative power by well financed groups with an agenda.”

      Congratulations, you have described the very essence of capitalism. The control of society by concentrated economic power. The rule of money.

    • DAVID GREEN- “The settlements are fundamental to the Zionist project. They’re not fundamental to the U.S. imperial project. But they’re tolerated or supported in light of Israel’s role in the Middle East, which is to project imperial power, control access to oil, and keep the MIC well-oiled.”

      Exactly. I agree with what you say, however, would like to add a few points of my own which you may or may not agree with. First of all, I think there is a lot of imprecision when people discuss “the lobby.” To some, this refers to an Israel lobby, to others a Zionist lobby, and to yet others a Zionist lobby writ large as in James Petras Zionist Power Configuration. This is not a trivial matter. An Israel lobby is correctly inferred to be a somewhat limited group of lobbyists who take their orders from Israel, that is, Israel is calling the shots on lobby activity. A Zionist lobby would refer to those Zionists who specifically advocate for Israel based upon their notion of what is best for Israel, which may or may not coincide with official Israeli policy, but is usually closely aligned. The final group consists of all relevant areas of domestic power which think they benefit from Israeli militarism and its relationship to empire. The military-industrial complex an obvious example. Problems arise when people refer to the Zionist Power Configuration as the Israel lobby. The implication being that the situation in Israel/Palestine is somehow external to empire rather than inexorably linked to the imperial project as shaped by Zionist influenced strategic considerations.

      In regards to the imperial project, my sense is that neo-liberal globalization is a move away from a nation based American empire towards a transnational financial/corporate empire. America functioning as a kind of Prussia to enforce a global financial, energy, food matrix of control. Nations, particularly Third World nations, dependent for survival upon the global financial system for food, fuel, etc. The US is the lone superpower on a downward trajectory which, if uncorrected, could lead to rivals capable of resisting global financial control. We have entered a small window of opportunity for the emerging global empire to use US military power to preempt anticipated challenges to corporate/financial control. An extremely dangerous period. How this will effect Israel/Palestine is unclear, at least to me. I doubt there is much chance of a change in US/Israel Middle East policy until the larger situation resolves itself, which may occur soon. When the smoke clears, if we are still here, a reassessment will be in order.

  • A lull on this site
    • DAN CROWTHER- As for Obama’s plans and media complicity, Alexander Cockburn over at CounterPunch said the following:

      “Meanwhile, on another front, the networks are ready. A CounterPunch informant reports:

      “I was visiting ABCNews the other day to see a friend who works on graphics. When I went to his room, he showed me all the graphics he was making in anticipation of the Israeli attack on Iran; not just maps, but flight patterns, trajectories, and 3-d models of U.S. aircraft carrier fleets.

      “But what was most disturbing – was that ABC, and presumably other networks, have been rehearsing these scenarios for over 2 weeks, with newscasters and retired generals in front of maps talking about missiles and delivery systems, and at their newsdesks – the screens are emblazoned with “This is a Drill” to assure they don’t go out on air – (like War of the Worlds).

      “Then reports of counter-attacks by Hezballah in Lebanon with rockets on Israeli cities – it was mind-numbing. Very disturbing – when pre-visualization becomes real.”

      Another CounterPuncher emails us:

      “Just a quick possible scoop for the news room – I have a neighbor who bounces for a Seattle bar, and he had some very rowdy US service men in the bar the other night. When he asked them what was up, they told him they were being deployed to the mid-east as a front-running group for an operation in Iran.”
      http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/02/10/or-your-lying-eyes-truth-and-fiction-in-the-news-business/

  • Bruising Judt, Fukuyama says Arabs aren't ready for liberalism
    • ROHA- “(Global temperatures fell from around 1998 to 2009. A strong El Nino in 2010 seems to have stopped the cooling trend, so there has been neither statistically significant cooling nor warming for the last fifteen years.)”

      As far as I know, all of the temperatures between 1998 and 2009 have been above the global mean average temperature, hence, have contributed to global warming. To pick a record year and then say that subsequent temperatures not as great but above the average mean temperature indicates a “falling” of temperatures is disingenuous. There is no “cooling,” simply a slight decrease in the rate of increase. Additionally, the new emphasis on coal sands tar for oil along with gas from “fracking” along with oil exploration in the soon-to-be ice free areas of the artic, indicate that should humanity miraculously escape nuclear war in the immediate future (think Iran), runaway global warming is virtually assured. You know, for what it’s worth. If you are interested in climate science, you might be interested in the link to RealClimate, climate science from climate scientists.
      http://www.realclimate.org/

  • Both sides are wrong in the ‘Israel Firsters’ debate
    • CLIFF- Above you say that "“Chomsky… said only last year that he was planning on moving to Israel.” When I asked for a source you direct me down to your comment that "He goes on to say he would not move to Israel now...." In other words, you have intentionally misrepresented what Chomsky said to imply that he was currently planning on moving to Israel. It is this lack of intellectual integrity that I find most disturbing about the "Israel lobby made us do it" crowd.

    • JAMIESW- Excellent comment! Allow me to add that there is a certain irrationality to stressing nationalism in the face of the transnational nature of elite activity. At a certain level, the dog versus tail analogy is ludicrous, the dog and tail are one. Nowadays, one of the greatest threats facing mankind are the consequences of neoliberal globalization. The power elites are linked in a matrix of control that transcends borders. They are inevitably, as you say, “Me Firsters.” Also, I applaud your emphasis on universal morality. To oppose a situation because it may arguably be contrary to the interests of the US empire is inherently flawed. We have a moral obligation to oppose human rights abuses because they are wrong. Trying to second guess strategic planners on the fly is a losing proposition. It is, however, a favorite ploy of the “Israel made us do it” crowd.

    • CLIFF- "Chomsky... said only last year that he was planning on moving to Israel."

      Do you have a source for this surprising development?

    • AMERICAN- “The point is it doesn’t make a damn whether the national interest crowd or the I/P humanitarian crowd ‘want to own and dictate the reasons’ for opposing US- Israel or I/P.”

      Sounds reasonable. It is just a pity you don’t practice what you preach as your history of comments demonstrates, the most recent concerning the “So the U.S. military doesn’t want to attack Iran….” thread. You are part of a Mondoweiss affinity group which attacks those who espouse a more overarching perspective than simply that the lobby made us do it. We are frequently referred to as apologists for Israel, Chomskyites who blame the US for everything. Noam Chomsky an arch villain for your group. Some are quite nasty, engaging in name calling and grossly misrepresenting opposing positions. By the way, the quote which you attributed to me was me quoting Jamie Stern-Weiner, the author of the post. So, if you have suddenly decided to take the high ground, I am all for it.

    • LORDY, LORDY- I am pleasantly surprised that a ray of sanity has been permitted to penetrate the Mondoweiss narrative. Yes, yes, summon the spirit of Jeffrey Blankfort to protect you from obvious truth. One of the best, and most insightful posts to appear on Mondoweiss and discomfort the Mondofaithful, for whom proof by labeling is the rule not the exception. Read it and weep!

      “The use of the term "Israel Firster" reflects a broader trend which chooses to frame opposition to Israeli policies, and US support for them, in terms of defending or protecting US "national interests", and which appears increasingly disposed to criticising apologists for Israeli occupation on the grounds that they are being disloyal to these "national interests", rather than on the grounds that they are enabling a profound injustice. I suspect that this in turn reflects an influx of liberals into the solidarity movement – in this sense the watering down and degeneration of the latter might well be a consequence of its own success – and a desire by some activists to align the movement, in an attempt to gain political influence, with those American elites who are concerned that Israel's occupation is harming US imperial interests (cf. Walt and Mearsheimer).”

  • So the U.S. military doesn't want to attack Iran and neither does Israel. Who does?
    • DANCROWTHER- “The fact of the matter is, M-W are very much FOR American Empire, their argument is that indeed there is a very powerful establishment in the US and Jews are part of it – this is totally fine with them, in fact, its almost considered a ” jewish achievement,” they aren’t looking to change anything about “the establishment” and it’s actors, they just have a problem with some of it’s advocacy, especially in regards to Israel.”

      While I think that “M-W are very much FOR American Empire” overstates the case, the rest of the comment contains more than a little truth. There appears to be a core of commenters that seek to focus narrowly upon a vaguely defined entity called “the lobby” to the exclusion of other factors, particularly imperial factors and grand strategy. While rhetorically accepting the existence of an American empire, the obvious consequences of that reality are ignored and sometimes denied, hence, the ongoing denial of the strategic importance of the control of access to oil, something taken for granted among most analysts, here hotly denied. Then there is the ongoing disparagement of Noam Chomsky, the iconic analyzer of imperial political economy considered by lobby fetishists to be a threat to their narrative, hence, attacked. None of this all that surprising. Virtually all politically oriented groups/networks coalesce around a shared narrative/mythology which provides some internal cohesion and sense of community. Limited competing narratives provide the opportunity for the group to unite in defensive solidarity. Very few political discussions anywhere can be considered rational, rather, they are the logical defense of competing narratives.

    • DANCROWTHER- What’s this? Relying on facts rather than rumors? Shame on you! If the rumor mill says that it is true, then it must be, the facts on the ground a deception. Spread the word! Empirical reality is a bummer, official gossip our salvation. Mondoyenta!

  • 'NYT' gives Israelis its magazine to make an attack on Iran 'normal'
    • KMA- "the MIC is the brain."

      I vote for Wall Street, however, they closely work together and are both committed to a warfare economy.

  • The battle between the US/EU and China/India to control world energy resources is being fought in Iran
    • DeepakTripathi- Bless you for this comment! It is a point that I have been trying in vain to make for a long time.

    • AMERICAN- Israel is the causative factor in “The race for control of energy resources (which) has become increasingly desperate…?” Wow! It is going to take me awhile to wrap my “Chomskyite” brain around that one.

    • “The race for control of energy resources has become increasingly desperate, affecting foes and friends alike.”

      Good heavens, what have we here? Mondoweiss briefly considering factors other than “the lobby” to analyze events?

    • DAN CROWTHER- An additional quote from the article you linked: “The political benefits for the US and Israel of such an attack are great. As Rami El-Amin puts it, “An attack or possible war on Iran would have the added effect of derailing the Arab revolutions and revolts and justify the continued presence of a large US military force in the oil-rich region.”

      Also, “As if by clockwork, oil prices began to rise against the dollar. But oil analysts know that this is not a long-term problem. Samuel Ciszuk of KBC Energy Economics notes, “Volumes from Iraq should be up significantly, Libya is doing very well and Saudi Arabia will increase production to compensate for some of the lost Iranian barrels.” NATO’s wars have turned the pipelines of Iraq and Libya toward Europe and the United States. They will more than compensate for lost Iranian oil.”

      In other words, the geo-political stakes are high and the situation extremely dangerous.

  • Raimondo: 'Israel firster' did not originate with neo-Nazis as Kirchick and Ackerman claim, but rather with an anti-Zionist Jew
    • ANNIE- “you can’t connect the argument to the definition of israel firster.”

      Philip Weiss writes that “The new battleground in the argument over Israel's influence on American policy is the idea that some of those pushing an attack on Iran are "Israel Firsters." Who does he have in mind? For starters “…Neoconservative Elliott Abrams….” He quotes Joe Kline at Time: “The fact that a great many Jewish neoconservatives–people like Joe Lieberman and the crowd over at Commentary–plumped for this [Iraq] war, and now for an even more foolish assault on Iran, raised the question of divided loyalties: using U.S. military power, U.S. lives and money, to make the world safe for Israel.”
      http://mondoweiss.net/2012/01/israel-firster-gets-at-an-inconvenient-truth.html

      If the neocons cannot fairly be described as “Israel Firsters”, then the phrase has no meaning. Neocons have been referred to on Mondoweiss as examples of “Israel Firsters.” Neocons are claimed to have been the primary cause of the Iraq war and the push for a war against Iran, both of which, it is claimed, are primarily for the benefit of Israel, imperial considerations scoffed at. My statement that “Hence, the US invasion of Iraq is held to be exclusively the result of Israeli pressure by simple virtue of the primacy of neocon involvement.”, seems pretty clear to me as an accurate description of the arguments which appeared on Mondoweiss, and which you avoid dealing with by rhetorical gamesmanship, saying that “there are probably a bunch of little ol ladies hanging out in resting homes in florida who are israel firsters.” Say what? The notion that my comment refers to little old ladies in Florida is a joke.

      You continue: “you are connecting them so you can load up on the term israel firster to support demonizing it as anti semitic. that little christian teenager crying over the ron paul book is an israel firster. do i think she runs the government? no. am i implying israel runs our government when i call her that? No.”

      What an outrageous, irrational comment. My comment quite clearly referred to use of the term “Israel Firster”/neocon to describe high government officials as a way of incorrectly imputing Israeli primacy in US Middle East war-mongering thereby effacing imperial strategy and culpability through labeling. I thought I had made that clear, but you seem to have a way of seeing only what you wish to see. As for crying little girls, obviously they have nothing to do with US Middle East policy or imperial geo-strategy, your point strange to say the least.

      Getting back to your scurrilous assertion that “because i think you are transmuting the meaning so it will fit into even another ‘anti semitic trope’. Now joined by “you are connecting them so you can load up on the term israel firster to support demonizing it as anti semitic.” When do you plan on providing some support to your rather serious ongoing maligning of me that my intent is to create an anti-Semitic trope to demonize people as anti-Semitic? When have I ever charged anyone with anti-Semitism? As a matter of fact, I don’t consider the term “Israel Firster” as anti-Semitic, do you? I do, however, question the vitriolic overreaction to my one paragraph comment and the blatant misrepresentation of what I said. You seem to engage in charges of creating “anti-Semitc tropes” with the same reckless abandon with which Zionists charge anti-Semitism. You are one helluva spokesperson for Mondoweiss.

    • ANNIE- “…either you can find an example of this alleged commonality or you cannot. link to something or quote someone don’t go all bloviatin’ on me.”

      Are you implying that you are unaware of all of the discussions we have had on Mondoweiss concerning the cause(s) of the Iraq invasion? That you are unaware of the majority opinion expressed ad nauseam that the war was mainly the consequence of noecon and Lobby pressure, hence, a war for Israel? That you are unaware of discussions concerning the strategic importance of resource control in which it was maintained that the Iraq war had little or nothing to do with oil, which is fungible and can be obtained on the market, therefore, the war was primarily for Israel, imperial geo-strategy irrelevant? Are you questioning my applying the term Israel Firster to the neocons? That my depiction of these discussions substantially misrepresents the situation? That Jewishgoyim and American’s comments aren’t exactly what I am talking about? Then why the request for quotes to substantiate what you should be well aware of if not a rhetorical gambit to divert the discussion to whether or not Keith can dig up quotes to prove he is not bloviating? If you assure me that you are unaware of all that I mentioned, then I will provide one link to a discussion involving this topic.

      Here is an interesting quote: “Professor Mearsheimer and I made it clear in our article and especially in our book that the idea of invading Iraq originated in the United States with the neoconservatives, and not with the Israeli government. But as the neoconservative pundit Max Boot once put it, steadfast support for Israel is “a key tenet of neoconservatism.” Prominent neo-conservatives occupied important positions in the Bush administration, and in the aftermath of 9/11, they played a major role in persuading Bush and Cheney to back a war against Iraq, which they had been advocating since the late 1990s. We also pointed out that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and other Israeli officials were initially skeptical of this scheme, because they wanted the U.S. to focus on Iran, not Iraq. However, they became enthusiastic supporters of the idea of invading Iraq once the Bush administration made it clear to them that Iraq was just the first step in a broader campaign of “regional transformation” that would eventually include Iran.” (Stephen Walt)

      Let us evaluate this comment. “…the idea of invading Iraq originated in the United States with the neoconservatives, and not with the Israeli government.” Seems to me that he is saying that the idea originated in the US, and not with the Israeli government. “We also pointed out that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and other Israeli officials were initially skeptical of this scheme, because they wanted the U.S. to focus on Iran, not Iraq.” Ah, Israel was reluctant to support an Iraq invasion. “However, they became enthusiastic supporters of the idea of invading Iraq once the Bush administration made it clear to them that Iraq was just the first step in a broader campaign of “regional transformation” that would eventually include Iran.” Seems like the Bush administration sold Israel on invading Iraq because it would eventually include Iran. Once sold, the Israel lobby kicked in and the rest is history. And because it was the neocons doing the selling and pushing, it is now claimed that the invasion of Iraq was for Israel as evidenced by the claim of neocon “steadfast support for Israel.” All other motivations and strategic considerations effaced by the de facto labeling of the neocons as Israel Firsters. Which is exactly what I said in my one paragraph lament.

      Now if Israel was initially reluctant for the US to invade Iraq, what could be the US motivation? God forbid that imperial geo-strategy should enter the discussion. “…Iraq was just the first step in a broader campaign of “regional transformation”. "…in the Pentagon in November 2001, one of the senior military staff officers had time for a chat. Yes, we were still on track for going against Iraq, he said. But there was more. This was being discussed as part of a five-year campaign plan, he said, and there were a total of seven countries, beginning with Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia and Sudan.…” (Wesley Clark, Winning Modern Wars, p. 130).

      I am not going to pursue the Iraq war disagreement any further. We have already beaten this horse to death, your lack of memory notwithstanding. Time for you to address your allegation that “i think you are transmuting the meaning so it will fit into even another ‘anti semitic trope’. You ignored my comment regarding this serious misrepresentation of my motivation. It would be most enlightening if you could provide some documentation or otherwise some sort of rational explanation as to why you believe that I am trying to create an anti-Semitic trope? You think I am preparing to charge other commenters with anti-Semitism? It is one thing to disagree with me, quite another to malign me. You have already had one chance to clear this up which you let pass to continue your attack on me.

    • ANNIE- As I said, “Hence, the US invasion of Iraq is held to be exclusively the result of Israeli pressure by simple virtue of the primacy of neocon involvement. Proof by labeling.” That the neocons were instrumental in pursuing this policy is obvious. That this is a sufficient explanation of why the empire undertook this action is simplistic. You might care to read today’s thread on the battle for the control of energy resources. The notion that Israel is dictating policy to Wall Street and the military industrial complex is ludicrous. I am not going to spend a lot of time providing quotes and examples to show you that which you don’t want to see. The reality is that there is an empire and it is being run from New York and Washington, not Tel Aviv. Which is not to take away from the strong Zionist bias in US Middle East policy. Of course, nothing I have said or could say would disabuse you of the notion that Israel and “the lobby” is the fount of all evil. Furthermore, anyone who suggests that the US empire bears some responsibility for it’s actions is dismissed as an apologist for Israel, a “troll” in jewishgoyim’s irrational screed above.

      “because i think you are transmuting the meaning so it will fit into even another ‘anti semitic trope’.”

      If I am reading you correctly, you are suggesting that I am setting things up to level the charge of anti-Semitism against critics of Israel and the “lobby”? Are you serious? What an outlandish assertion! If I am interpreting you incorrectly, I apologize, however, as it stands, you should be ashamed of making such a preposterous assertion. What is it with you people who share a myopic obsession with the “lobby”? Why is it that anyone who takes a strategic perspective is considered an enemy? Now that you are an official representative of Modoweiss, you would do well to assume a more professional attitude.

    • To a degree, I have a problem with how the term “Israel Firster” is frequently employed. All too often, the term is used as a label to imply a reality which does not exist. It is somewhat common to hear neocons referred to as “Israel Firsters” to imply that Israel is in charge of some aspect of US policy. The obvious pro-Israel bias of the mostly Jewish neocons is transmuted into a simplistic mono-dimensional decision making whereby the relationship of the neocons to the military-industrial complex and to empire is effaced. Hence, the US invasion of Iraq is held to be exclusively the result of Israeli pressure by simple virtue of the primacy of neocon involvement. Proof by labeling. Other causative factors are dismissed, imperial geo-strategy scoffed at.

  • Chris Hayes stunning 'Story of the Week' featuring Sheldon Adelson
    • FOLKS- This is a clear example of a dynamic that I have been stressing from the start, the relationship between Zionist organization and Jewish Zionist success in wealth and power accumulation. Adelson calls Tom Delay and gets a bill scuttled to the relief of the Chinese government. Why would Tom Delay do that? Adelson wasn’t nearly as wealthy in 2004 as he is now, and spending limits were still in effect. Was Delay responding to the entreaties of one man, or was he responding to a request from a representative of organized Zionism, what James Petras refers to as the Zionist Power Configuration? We can’t be sure, but some folks tend to believe that the lobby has a tad more influence than one rich Jew.

      He obtains his unusual gambling license from China in May of 2004. In December of 2004, his company has an IPO at which Wikipedia informs us that he vastly increased his wealth. You make the connection. His major “philanthropy” starts in 2005 focusing on Jewish causes. Now one can draw various conclusions from all of this. Some will see meritocracy in action, or the value this City College of New York dropout places on education. Others, like me, will see a possible connection between Zionist organizational solidarity and influence and the worldly success of Jewish Zionist fat cats who go on to fund various Zionist causes, direct their wealth consistent with Zionist organizational objectives, and work diligently to shift Israel ever rightward and to protect Israel and Zionism. Of course, one can disagree. However, is this not a relevant subject for inquiry and discussion? Or is it prima facie evidence of anti-Semitism for a Gentile to have the temerity to even broach the subject?

      Folks, it is my sincere belief that a primary determinant of much activity is the struggle for power among the elites. In the real world, power is fought for by ruthless men who are usually corrupt and rely at least as much on influence and intimidation as on any positive qualities. Machiavelli recognized the ubiquitous use of fraud by those who accumulate power. In attempting to understand political economy, it is essential to be aware of this struggle for power. Who has power, how they got it, what they are doing to keep and increase it. Power matters. Linkages need to be exposed, particularly now that we have entered a period of rampant corruption.

  • New additions to the Mondoweiss comments policy
    • BRUCE- You seem to have an overpowering desire to shoot yourself in the foot. I specifically didn’t name you because I try, as much as possible, to avoid personal attacks. Yet, here you are, making threats as usual. Rather than thread jack the current discussion, why not suggest that interested folks can go to your profile and scroll down to the “Katrina to Birthright to Gaza ….” thread, read all of the comments and judge for themselves? No need for you to copy and paste a short essay which is much too long for the comments section of Mondoweiss, you have already done that and left it for posterity. I’m not going to say anymore. Mondoweiss concerns the war of ideas in the Middle East. Our mutual dislike is not an appropriate topic for discussion.

    • PHIL, ADAM- As they say, the devil is in the details. While rule #1 is ostensibly to ban Holocaust and Nakba denial (a non-problem, in my view), you go on to say “We're not going to tolerate any discussion of the Jewish role in the rise of the Nazis.” Depending upon how this is interpreted, this could infer that references to Zionist complicity with the Third Reich, and the exploitation of the Holocaust is now verboten. That would be a pity. Zionism has a sordid history which is highly relevant to current Israeli policies. It is comparable to US history in regards to the native Americans and black slaves which was ignored or whitewashed for too long, and which needs to be taken into account to understand how we got to be an empire.

      I can’t help but notice an amazing coincidence. On Donald’s recent post, a crypto Zionist provocateur from the past reappeared to make baseless charges and gross misrepresentations of other people’s comments to provoke a response which could be misrepresented as a manifestation of anti-Semitism. I am familiar with the thread jacking techniques of this person, having once been charged by him with making an anti-Semitic comment, a foul and baseless charge and an indication of anti-Gentile chauvinism. The thread was hijacked into an extended defense refuting his charges and misrepresentations. A lengthy discussion of Zionist perfidy, I might add, that would never have occurred without his initial allegation. Perhaps that was the intent. Perceived anti-Semitism is the mother’s milk of Zionism, and certain folks have devoted a lot of time and effort to creating that perception even if untrue and even if it involves blatant misrepresentation.

      Hey, it’s your website, and you have done a hell of a job so far, much better than I could, hence, I am loath to give you guys advice. I just hope you don’t overreact to outside influences and throw the baby out with the bath water.

  • 'NYT' gives big platform to Israeli journalist to espouse Israeli attack on Iran with OK from Uncle Sam
    • CHARON- “Did the US green light the six day war?”

      Yes.

      “I know the US supported Israel, but that was because of the Soviets.”

      No, the Soviets were always a pretext which is why our basic Middle East policy hasn’t changes significantly following the collapse of the USSR. We supported Israel because they smashed pan Arabism, a threat to our control of Middle East oil reserves.

      “Unless there is an under-the-table cold war being played out or something, this is not at all in the US’s best strategic interests.”

      Second guessing the strategic planners in regards to the US’s best strategic interests is a sort of parlor game at Mondoweiss. You may be right, but only time will tell. It should be noted, however, that the US didn’t become an empire as a consequence of blundering, inept strategic planners.

  • Some elephants aren't fit to print: 'NYT' front-pages Adelson gift to Gingrich PAC without a word about Israel!
  • Ynet manufactures new threat to promote Ben White book
    • The full quote from YNET: “In other words, we may end up being wiped off the face of this earth, because we helped our enemies destroy us. The “certificate of righteousness” we shall receive will be thrown into the mass grave to be dug for us. Zoabi and her comrades shall be dancing among the corpses once their mission is completed.”

      It is difficult to find words to describe such hatred and irrationality. It is also difficult to avoid making the comparison with an earlier European “blood and soil” regime that dares not speak its name. How is it possible for Zionists to avoid noticing the similarity? Or to suggest that those who do are anti-Semitic?

  • Israel is at the heart of Jewish identity, Gorenberg says
    • MARC B- “…add a fews strands to this discussion of jewish identity, the so-called ‘replacement’ of the bible with the holocaust as the primary ‘text’ for jewish identity, etc. or something like that.”

      In “The Wandering Who?”, Gilad Atzmon quotes Uri Avnery as follows: “Yeshayahu Leibowitz, the philosopher who was an observant Orthodox Jew, told me once: ‘The Jewish religion died 200 years ago. Now there is nothing that unifies the Jews around the world apart from the Holocaust.’”

    • YOURSTRULY- Of course the Zionist imperative to maintain Jews as a people apart doesn’t justify the ongoing Nakba of the Palestinians anymore than Manifest Destiny justified the ethnic cleansing and near annihilation of the Native Americans. It is important to remember, however, that group actions reflect the goals of the group elite, usually involving the struggle for power in its various forms. In order to understand the organizational dynamics behind political Zionism, we need to try to understand why Zionists do what they do. That is what this thread is all about. Gershom Gorenberg is making the case for Jewish tribal solidarity utilizing myth speak which I am attempting to translate into straight talk.

      Political Zionism appears to me to be an attempt to maintain the internal cohesion and exclusivity of the Jewish tribe. We can assume that the Jewish elites perceive that this benefits them somehow, a discussion I don’t intend to pursue here. Jewish elites, like elites everywhere, are focused on power accumulation and ruthless in attaining their objectives. They are as unconcerned over the plight of the Palestinians as the American founding fathers were over the plight of the American Indians and Negro slaves, or of the rulers of empire over Iraqi and Afghanistan deaths. In my view, this is the main reason why there has been so much death and destruction down through the ages. There seems to be a tendency for positions of power to be held by power seeking sociopaths.

    • ANNIE- Of course there were atheists way back when! They were called withches and burned at the stake. In this regard, the monotheistic religions were much more strict than the fun loving pagans. To be accused of heresy was no joke.

    • “The insight here is that Israel has now become the basis of American Jewish identity. And so if you Americans lose Israel, Gorenberg warns, there goes Jewish communal life.”

      Israel and Zionism have indeed become the grand unifiers of the various strands of world Jewry. What else unites Orthodox Jews, Conservative Jews, Reformed Jews and secular Jews? The Judaic religion has splintered from the unifying orthodoxy of Classical Judaism. Zionism and Israel is the means by which blood and soil nationalism is utilized to counter the trend toward assimilation, the bane of Jewish tribalism. The “Jewish communal life” which Gorenberg fears will be lost is in reality the psychological sense of separation from the surrounding community which Jewish tribalism promotes. Zionism is an attempt to preserve Jews as a people apart, a function previously performed by Classical Judaism.

    • ANNIE- Winnica’s comment concerning no secular Jews, or secular anybody prior to the enlightenment and modernity is essentially correct. One thing we must all keep in mind is that it is both natural and an error to project our current reality onto past events. Two quick examples. Classical Judaism, which was the only Judaism up until about two-hundred years ago, was most similar to what we now refer to as Orthodox Judaism. Reform Judaism didn’t exist and Jerry Seinfeld would have been subjected to Rabbinical discipline. Things were different then. A lot different. The second example concerns Islam. While Islam has been relatively tolerant of both Christians and Jews as believers in the book, Islam historically has been quite harsh towards infidels, that is, secular folk. Separation of church and state is a modern concept necessitated by the need for capitalism to wrest social control away from religion justified monarchy. A short and highly informative book on historical Judaism and how it relates to Israel and the Diaspora is “Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years” by Israel Shahak, one of Israel’s greatest dissidents.

  • Why did Ehud Barak postpone joint US-Israeli military exercise?
    • DAN CROWTHER- I tend to agree with your assessment. Some folks tend to dismiss strategic considerations too easily. Part of the US grand strategy for the future is to PREVENT the emergence of any and all potential rivals to US hegemony. This has been articulated in the planning documents. If the US sits back and does nothing, the current state of affairs will gradually erode US power. The BRICS countries are currently trying to extricate themselves from the US dominated global system. This, in turn, requires achieving fuel security as well as gaining independence from the global financial system. Attempts to construct pipelines and other measures to secure reliable fuel sources as well as to develop financial alternatives are underway, but will take some time. The US, as the lone superpower, has a narrow window of opportunity to quash these efforts, thereby safeguarding the imperial system, currently in process of transmogrifying itself. Our huge military budgets bespeak of a military intervention to secure empire. It seems crazy, but, to a degree, our rulers are. The coming year looks to be extraordinarily dangerous.

      On another topic, there seems to be a “dark” space in Mondoweiss archives. I am unable to access articles between January 10th through the 18th. Also, I found Bruce Wolman’s conspicuous return on the Donald Johnson thread calling for “moderation” somewhat ominous.

  • Video: Settlers claim olive oil as 'Israeli'
    • SYDNESTEL- “Furthermore, after after 100+ years of Jewish settlement, even originally Ashkenazi Israeli Jews have become localized.”

      Sorry, Syd, but Israel remains what it was created to be- a Eurocentric “Oasis” in Arabia. A country profoundly contemptuous of its neighbors. In other words, rather than Jews returning to some revered homeland, you have European Jews invading a foreign land which they proceeded to make over to more closely resemble their beloved Europe, modern buildings rather than traditional architecture, replacing olive trees with fir trees, etc.

      Over at CounterPunch, Jonathan Cook describes Israel as a “bunker state.” He says: “The new infiltration law is the latest in a set of policies fortifying Israel's status as the world's first "bunker state"- and one designed to be as ethnically pure as possible. The concept was expressed most famously by an earlier prime minister, Ehud Barak, now the defence minister, who called Israel "a villa in the jungle", relegating the country's neighbours to the status of wild animals.”
      http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/01/18/welcome-to-the-world%e2%80%99s-first-bunker-state/

  • Jesse Lieberfeld is a, a fake, b, about to be swallowed by a whale, c, the Jewish future
    • ANNIE- “i am not going to bother to go read the other comments there but from this small sampling the amount of denial seeping thru is very telling.”

      Curious, my impression was that with a few name changes their comments would fit right in on Mondoweiss. Reasonably moderate in tone and logical within the framework of their Zionist ideology and mythology. It is what I refer to as the logic of irrationality, and it affects us all.

      I somewhat arbitrarily define rational as being consistent with observable reality, whereas, logical is consistent with relevant assumptions. Group dynamics necessitate the creation of a group ideology which, to bind the members together, must deviate from empirical reality so as to create an “us” versus “them” internal cohesion. All political groups employ an ideology which to varying degrees misrepresents reality. Membership in the group is contingent upon fealty to the professed ideology which in turn, is defended logically. The logical defense of ideology inevitably results in stated opinions which are demonstrably both ideologically logical and, at least to some degree, emperically irrational.

      The notion of a rational economic man or a rational political man is myth. Discussions, debates and arguments influenced by ideology are not so much an attempt at evaluating the rational truth, but a defense of personal/group ideology. Tightly knit groups such as settler/occupier Zionists will not be changed by rational argument which threatens their Zionist identity and group status. Looking at society as a whole, the natural inclination of elites to engage in deception to achieve their objectives means that society is, to a significant degree, a group of individuals united by fealty to fraudulent misrepresentations of reality. This is why propaganda and social myths are so effective in manufacturing consent, and why so much of what is occurring seems irrational.

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