Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 117 (since 2009-07-30 19:41:45)

Koshiro

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  • Liberal Zionists support Scarlett Johansson-- and settlements. Why?
    • "Liberal Zionists support Scarlett Johansson– and settlements. Why?"

      I think it's because of the completely dysfunctional relationship Americans (others too, but Americans in particular) have with so-called celebrities. From a rational point of view, there is no reason to believe that a famous actress has any more ethical backbone than any other person, or that her opinions on anything other than acting are relevant or well-founded.

      But the belief that people who are rich and famous are universally 'better' than those who are not runs deep. So deep that it basically forces compliance even from those who don't agree because having the 'correct' opinion on a given celebrity is almost a social duty.

      To myself it is relatively obvious from Johansson's own statements that she is either a) uninformed and unable to think this issue through, because otherwise she could not believe that SodaStream was committed to 'equal rights' for its Palestinian exploitees or
      b) does not in fact believe that but chose to claim it anyway in order to bamboozle even less well informed people.

      So, in a well known pattern, this means she is either an idiot or a liar. But you will never see any voices in the mainstream media, even among those critical of her actions, put it in nearly as blunt terms. Why not? Because this kind of lèse-majesté would be unthinkable unless and until she commits something from the catalog of sins that would officially have her good celebrity standing removed. Like being caught on camera kicking a dog or something to that effect.

  • Echoing Netanyahu, Ted Cruz slams Kerry and calls on Iran to recognize Israel as 'Jewish state'
    • You do realize that SWIFT is a European organization, that its chairman is Dutch and that its HQ is located in Brussels? The US can snoop on, and to an extent control SWIFT transactions thanks solely to a treaty the EU countries (foolishly) signed, but which can be abrogated - something that in light of the recent NSA scandals a growing number of EU politicians has been in favor of anyway. Thanks to geographical reasons alone, if push comes to shove, the US has no means of exercising control over SWIFT without a military invasion of Belgium.

  • 'If the world turns on us, we will go North Korea on them' -- say some Israelis
    • Okay Mike, I have no idea what you've been smoking, but on the off-chance that it's not illegal in the Netherlands, maybe you could send some of it my way.

      Israel will remove the settlers from the West Bank, and most definitely will put down any uprising the fanatical fringe among the settlers may want to instigate - if the large majority of Israelis, be they just as racist but slightly more sane, or even merely callously apathetic, is subjected to economic pressure. "Going North Korea" is a hilarious phrase to use in this context, because if Israel truly decides to willfully become a global pariah, it will indeed "go North Korea" - economically. And as soon as Jewish Israelis, members of the pampered global upper class that most of them are - YES, even those poor souls who can't afford a decent house anywhere near Tel Aviv - begin to feel even the slightest little pangs that will come at the very start of this development, there is indeed the serious possibility of a revolt - unless the Israeli government immediately reverses its policies and does whatever the international community demands to end its economic isolation.

      Right-wing Israelis can brag all day about how tough they are: I ain't buying it. They currently want to keep their colonies because they think there's no consequences, but if their freedom to travel, their cars, their access to the Internet, their cheap clothes, or many other things that the international community can easily take away from them if it musters the political will are on the line - they're going to comply with said international community's demands in a heartbeat. They'll whine and cry foul and call everyone on the planet an anti-semite - but they'll comply.

  • Zombie Hasbara: 'World War Z' and Hollywood’s Zionist embrace
    • "(The zombie phenomenon in pop culture perplexes me. I can understand the appeal of vampires and dragons–they may be evil, but they’re cool– but zombies? Not sure what it means.)"

      Thanks for posting this. I thought I was the only one.

  • Palestinian activist Abir Kopty: Oslo should go, the peace process serves Israeli interests
    • Revert to official, rather than just de facto, Israeli rule over and responsibility for all the occupied territories - yes. Whether this would include "collecting all weapons from Palestinian security forces" remains to be seen. Those in the Israeli government who are as blinded by their fanaticism as you are will probably want to do it, but Israeli security leaders are going to take them aside and tell them in private that it's not a good idea.

      This scenario will simply mean that Israel can no longer outsource its occupation and that the reality of said occupation becomes more obvious. It will also bury the pretense of a two-state solution. I don't see a problem with any of this.

  • Day Two of Obama in Israel/Palestine — Obama visits Ramallah and addresses the Israeli people
    • Obama’s (above excerpt) was a good and necessary speech.

      Are you kidding? The speech could have been held by Mr. Mackey from South Park. "It's important to be nice to other people, m'kay? Even if they are Palestinians, m'kay?"
      No political principles, no recognition of the allegedly universally known outlines of a "deal", no indication of the US role in this, nothing. This speech literally had no content.

    • The Audience was likely hand-picked, possibly even instructed, to applaud his vapid motherhood statements.

  • 'Peace Now' message to Obama sure to rock the boat -- not
    • If there is still time, I'd recommend for Palestinians to counter with a "We the People want Freedom!" or "We the People want Justice!" or "We the People demand our rights!"

  • Benjamin Netanyahu vs. The Two-State Solution
    • "I know that Rabin is seen as man of peace in the US"

      As far as his historical reputation is concerned, Rabin was lucky he got assassinated. I sincerely doubt he would be regarded as a purehearted peace martyr today had he lived and stayed in office.

  • How do you say, 'Let them eat cake' in Arabic?
    • The historical city of Jerusalem in 1880, 1920 or 1940 has nothing to do with the huge swath of land Israel has arbitrarily designated "Jerusalem" - and in the latter area, Jews have not been a majority since antiquity. Until Israel started ethnically cleansing it, that is.

    • Please tell me that this Facebook page is just the section for children. Please? No?

      "Welcome Mr. Obama! Hebron youth sing a rap song to the President. How many times do you hear the word Obama?"

      "Meet Air Force One, the presidential aircraft that will take President Obama on his trip to the Middle East. Do you know who is the first President to fly in his own jet aircraft?"

      "Famed aviator Amelia Earhart is financial attache Jeanne Miller’s hero, and presented on Earhart during a celebration of Women’s History Month at the America House, Jerusalem. Who’s your hero?"

      Jesus H. Christ! This type of naive-condescending language wouldn't be appropriate in a storybook for 10-year-olds. Directed at an adult audience, it can only be seen as a sick joke. I sincerely hope that at least some of it sounds better in the Arabic versions.

  • Obama visit fails to impress Palestinians in Ramallah
    • If Abbas, Fayyad or any of the politicians Obama wants to have his photo taken with had any dignity or integrity, they would just have told the President of the US they had no time for him, and he could maybe meet with a junior vice Secretary of the Foreign office or something.

  • Dennis Ross says Israel should unilaterally take 8% of West Bank while stating 'it has no intention of expanding into future Palestinian state'
  • Denied entry by Israel, American teacher prepares to say goodbye to Palestinian students
    • I don't really know what's worse about clowns like giladg. The condescending racism with which they would have Palestinians under the Israeli thumb forever or the complete cluelessness regarding military matters, obvious from totally preposterous scenario of a conventional land invasion via the West Bank.

  • Video: Israeli settler lecturing Palestinian farmers -- 'You'll all be our slaves, if you're worthy, if you behave well'
    • "Jews are willing to share, as explained by the Jewish farmer in the video. "

      As they say on the Internet: Obvious troll is obvious.

  • Merkel squirms during Netanyahu's love song to 'special relationship'
    • Meh. Merkel has two facial expressions: Sour-dour and inane smile. I wouldn't read too much into the fact that she opted for the former on this occasion.

      In any case, Merkel remain's Netanyahu's lapdog as far as all relevant questions are concerned. Most of the the German political and intellectual elite share this abject cowardice when it comes to Israel - and are increasingly out of sync with the general public.

  • Charting the 'peace process'
    • By pointing out that it is wrong?

      "The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies."

      The 'forced' transfer is mentioned earlier in the same article and refers to inhabitants of the occupied area. Naturally, Israeli is also guilty of that.

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  • Video: What if you built a refuge for a persecuted people in a place where another people already lived?
    • Exactly, joemowrey. In addition, the Arab countries did not actually "invade" any territory that was designated for the Jewish state under the 1947 partition plan. By contrast, Israeli military forces were busy ethnically cleansing not only their own UN-designated territory, but also areas assigned to the future Arab state or the Jerusalem special area (such as Deir Yassin) when the state was established.

      In short words, even if one accepts the 1947 partition plan as legitimate and as a basis for Israel's declaration of statehood, Israel has invaded and occupied territories outside of its own borders from day one of its existence and has not stopped doing so ever. The entire existence of Israel so far has been a continuous war of aggression.

  • 'We lost Europe,' says Israeli official
    • The UNSC is not going to refer a case involving Israel to the ICC.
      That is irrelevant. The ICC can prosecute cases independently of the UNSC, if they involve territory of a state member, which would now be the case if Palestine joined.
      The subsidiary principle is, as I said, judged by the ICC alone. Considering Israeli military courts' track record, it's not likely that they are considered sufficient.

      Not to mention that the deal that Abbas made with the Europeans, apparently, was to refrain from bringing cases in exchange for votes, a very good deal, in my opinion.
      You are misinformed. In fact, Abbas refused to agree to this condition, which is precisely why the UK abstained instead of voting yes.
      Get it into your head that European countries voted for the resolution because they agree with it and because they disagree with Israel's despicable conduct, not because of any "deals". Also get it into your head that this 'losing Europe' is still the kids' gloves version. If it were up to the German people instead of the government, for example, the vote would have been "yes" instead of a mere abstention. People in Europe are thoroughly fed up with Israel's bullshit.

    • a) The ICC decides that question by itself. There is no higher controlling authority.
      b) Israel is not a party to the ICC's statute and does not accept the authority of the ICC. It cannot bring any cases before the court.

  • Following poll on Israeli support for apartheid, Gideon Levy says 'making peace would be an almost anti-democratic act'
    • This didn’t happen in a vacuum.
      Translation: Our Apartheid regime is necessary to defend ourselves against people who resist our Apartheid regime.

      Should Israelis simply accept being shot at?
      Israelis should get their settler-colonialist asses out of the West Bank.

  • A meeting with the spokesman of the Jewish settlers in Hebron
    • Forget it Pam. You're never going to get an honest answer about that.
      I'll say one thing, though. Comparing Wilder to the KKK wasn't accurate. The KKK was/is upfront about their racism. Wilder lies about, obfuscates, distracts from and evades his own, which is especially obvious from the interview he linked to himself (?). It's an interesting read. (And most interestingly described as "honest", which I guess it is, as far as the questions are concerned, though I have my doubts about even that.)

      This also tells us another thing: Wilder is totally oblivious to the fact that his lies are transparent to anybody with a working brain unimpaired by the illness of racist or religious fanaticism.
      He thinks that by choosing his words carefully, he can actually make people believe he's a second Menachem Froman. Which he obviously can't, seeing how Froman is nigh-universally respected while Wilder and his ilk are nigh-universally despised for good reason. But he's very probably oblivious even to that.

  • Abbas warns repeatedly of 'new Nakba' --Israel ethnically cleansing Palestinians
    • Perhaps this explains why Israel and the US are so determined to block UN recognition despite the fact that it would not bring about any immediate change on the ground.

      In any case, that's good enough of an indicator IMHO. If the US and Israel are against it, it's with nigh certainty good for the Palestinians.

  • Video: Israeli kids in the army museum ('I picture a dead Arab and that makes me happy')
    • I guarantee every kid who can get his hands on a copy of Worlds of Warcraft is going to play.

      Your conflating WoW's cartoony fantasy world with "blood, guts, death" and mentioning in the context of real world militarization and ethnic hatred only confirms what was obvious from the start: You have no idea what you are talking about.

    • Maybe it's different in the US or Israel, but I can assure you that violent videogames are not considered appropriate for 10-year olds "the world over".

  • Abbas agrees to 'Dershowitz Formula' in NY meeting with Jewish leaders
    • Meh. Not ruling out that Dershowitz made this up whole cloth. Even if he did not: Nothing of consequence will result.

  • Ninny Middleton doesn't understand the job description
  • IHT's unkind, inaccurate cut: ‘Germany making Jews feel unwelcome’
    • I don’t see any legislation to ban ear piercing of children, which also violates physical integrity

      Actually, there has been a recent court decision banning piercings for children incapable of consent. It should also be noted that politicians, doctors and professional piercers alike recommend piercings only for older children capable of consent, about ~14 and up.

    • too much leeway.

      How exactly would less "leeway" look?
      The article you quote approvingly speaks of "rooting out", a "crackdown", "zero tolerance" etc. - what is this belligerent language supposed to mean? Should all NPD members and/or voters be rounded up and sent to prison camps?

      Germany is actually far less tolerant of hate speech and openly undemocratic political groups than, for example, the United States. But it is a liberal democracy, and in liberal democracies even highly offensive people are tolerated as long as they don't become violent.

  • AP reported anti-Islam film that sparked protests was made to help Israel, but questions surround producer of the film
    • So are you arguing that repression in Libya is necessary to keep people in order?

      No.
      I'm arguing that destabilization results in things like we just witnessed. Repression actually results in violence as well, but in the other direction.

      I guess so. Qaddafi was stable?

      Until he was not, yes.

      The same thing happened with the Danish cartoons.

      Hmmm... no? The people who died in the protests against these cartoons were protesters. Certainly no Western embassy personnel.

    • I was referring to late-period, post-sanctions Gaddafi. You know the time when he basically was the West's darling (or so he thought) in the late 90s and the 2000s. Not the early "revolutionary leader" period.

    • THIS IS NOT ISRAEL’S PROBLEM. THIS IS AN ISLAMIC MILITANT PROBLEM.

      First of all: Stop yelling.
      Now that this is out of the way: You are wrong. This is a "lack of stability" problem. Libya, thanks in no small part to the US' efforts, is an unstable country with a considerable lack of state control. People are killed daily for belonging to the wrong ethnic group or other trivialities, and now the US ambassador and his subordinates have been killed in a similar fashion.
      I can guarantee you that under a stable, strong Libyan regime (like Gaddafi's) this would not have happened. I can likewise assure you that, for example in Israel - which has no shortage of religiously fanatic Jews - something like this could easily happen if there was no strong state control.

  • Two-stater says the reality has shifted to one apartheid state
    • Can I take your artful dodging of the actual point to mean that you have no answer?

    • So I guess I should maybe make clear what my point is.

      The only thing that may yet save the two state solution is to declare it dead!

      As long as we keep pretending that the 2SS can never die and that there are no alternatives, Israel can keep the status quo going ad infinitum and there's not even a whole lot to argue against this. Because at some mythical point in the future when the stars are right, the 2SS will happen regardless, Israel can do whatever it pleases.

      Settlements? Not a problem, they don't endanger the 2SS.
      Judaizing East Jerusalem? Not a problem, doesn't endanger the 2SS.
      Solidifying Israel's grip on "Area C"? Not a problem, doesn't endanger the 2SS.

      Politicians have a habit of only acting when it's already too late to act. So the point everybody interested in Palestinians' rights should drive home in the field of public opinion is that there is a point where it is too late for a 2SS and that point is not some faraway future scenario but now!

      The fiction of a "peace process" that will inevitably bring about an immortal 2SS on St. Nimmerlein's day is a smoke screen for maintaining the status quo forever.

      Mind you, I am by no means sure if the 2SS can, in fact, be saved by such a much-needed reality shock. It may very well turn out that it can't. But even then, actually especially then, facing the reality of its failure is necessary if there is ever going to be any progress at all.

    • what exactly are the additional elements of your plan for preventing the Zionists from turning East Jerusalem into a King David theme park/resort in the next few months; displacing tens of thousands of Bedouins; and turning the Hebron area into an IDF firing range?

      Why do you care about any of these things? It's not like any of this makes the 2SS impossible, correct? It can still be implemented whenever the political conditions are just right, whether it's in 10 years or 25 years or 100 years, correct? And although two-staters are going to talk about how settlements make the 2SS "difficult", they will never ever make it impossible, so why the fuss about settlements? Anyway, see below.

    • Doesn’t “dealing with” a very oppressive “one state reality” imply finding a “solution” on that one-state basis?

      No.

    • Either way, you need to explain how you are going to achieve a single state solution.

      No, I really don't. This is not about achieving a one state solution. It's about dealing with a one state reality.

      The US, UK, and other countries have managed to keep Samoans, Chagos Islanders, and Falkland Islanders disenfranchised or in political limbo too. What will automatically insure a different outcome in the case of Palestine?

      a) Falklanders are British citizens. Your description of them as "disenfranchised or in political limbo" is nonsense. EOD.
      b) American Samoa is different, but it's neither overrun by settlers from Texas nor under the jackboot of an oppressive military occupation. Furthermore if there actually was a strong political movement in Samoa to change the status quo and acquire automatic American citizenship, it would happen.
      c) Leaves the Chagossians. What the UK and the US did to these people is an outrage, and one that needs to spoken about more. That said: There are more than a thousand times as many Palestinians in the "territories" alone than there are Chagossians. And the conflict affecting them is much more high-profile. If you think that the same applies to them as to the Chagossians just because their situations are theoretically comparable, you need to get a reality check.

    • And there goes another one...
      Carlo Strenger is coming to terms with reality as well:
      http://www.haaretz.com/requiem-for-a-two-state-solution-to-the-israeli-palestinian-conflict-1.461445

    • The PA had been pursuing a South Africa-Namibia style anti-occupation

      Now you're just being disingenuous.

      establish a Palestinian jurisdiction over the Arab and Jewish inhabitants living there

      Be honest now: Have you sold your account to Richard Witty? Which means "Are you Richard Witty?" I guess...

    • The United States occupation forces destroyed the Japanese cyclotron at Kyoto University and other equipment that could be used to produce atomic weapons. That didn’t mean that the occupied state of Japan ceased to exist.

      No, it means that state had no sovereignty and was de facto and de iure governed by the US military occupation. Which is precisely what was the case at that point.
      Come one, Hostage. Can you really be that blind to the content of your own analogies?

    • A de facto single state is quite different from a de jure single state.

      No, it isn't. That's what "de facto" actually means.

    • wishful thinking

      The only wishful thinking here is yours. It's ironic that you should use the phrase...

      wasted 25 years and countless innocent lives

      ... because the very same thing can be said about the "peace process" in pursuit of the two-state illusion. Okay, if you're pedantic, you'll have to wait another few years to fill the round 25, but you get the idea.

      The non-wishful way of thinking is to recognize the current paradigm of the 2SS has failed and that there now is a de facto single apartheid state. It is to recognize that the methods ("dialogue", "discussion", "parties to the table") included in that paradigm have likewise failed.

    • You talk about the League mandate provisions and the UN resolutions along with Israel's "acceptance" of them as if any of this had ever had any practical relevance.

      Forget Bantustans, think American Samoa.

      No, actually think Bantustans. On steroids. The situation in Palestine is very, very far removed from the one in Samoa and quite close to the one in South Africa.

      Bringing up South Africa, which I feel I shouldn't need to at this point, also shatters the illusion that "rights" will protect Israel from outside interference once the current one-state reality is formally acknowledged. Israel does not have a "right" to economic relations, much less to arms shipments, and other countries have all the rights in the world to deny them these things. And at least in Europe, if the cowardice and inertia of the current generation of politicians gives way to something more in sync with popular opinion on Israel, this is what will happen.

    • Exactly. Plus, they present a fig leaf for Israeli oppression: "See, we're having a discussion! See, we're such a democratic society! See, we have a peace movement!" None of this changes anything, but it makes useful propaganda material for those who would never touch any dialogue group with a 10-foot pole.

      Talking to Israelis in their capacity as Israelis is generally speaking worthless. There needs to be more talking about Israel instead.

    • Why, again?
      From the perspective of a one-stater, "normalization" with Israelis who basically support Israel as a Jewish state would be equivalent to the ANC accepting white members who basically support Apartheid.
      Normalization is based around the lie that one can be both "pro-Israel" and support Palestinians' rights. In the real world, rather than the dream world of those who think the 2SS is just around the corner and all it takes is "dialogue" and "discussion", one cannot.

    • And what right does an outside agency have to interfere in Israel’s internal matters, to guarantee equal rights are provided?
      The question what right an outside agency has to interfere in Israel's internal matters is irrelevant to the point of being absurd.
      The question to ask is which means outside agencies could employ to interfere in Israel's internal matters.

  • Help out antiwar leader Scott Horton
    • Can we get Phil’s notions about the fact that the first Hitler law took away private ownership of guns?
      You can get mine: It's not a fact at all.
      Private ownership of guns had first been restricted - but by no means abolished, neither in law nor in practice - in the 1920s by the Weimar Republic government, partially because the victors of WW1 insisted on disarming the German people as well as the state. (Pre-WW1 Imperial Germany had no general restrictions on gun ownership.) The comprehensive 1928 gun laws regulated the possession and carrying of firearms in a way basically similar to what Germany has today.
      After the Nazis came to power, they did not change this law - it was certainly not the "first Hitler law". Instead, they abused it to confiscate guns owned by Jews and political opponents by means of the considerable leeway the police had in enforcing the existing laws.
      When the Nazi government finally got around to reforming gun laws in 1938, they confirmed these practices as law: Gun ownership by Jews and politically "unreliable" people was outlawed. However, restrictions on gun ownership by "Aryan" Germans were actually relaxed. For example, ownership of rifles (as opposed to handguns) was no longer regulated at all, even though it had been under the Weimar republic laws.
      Actual disarmament, the near-total ban of private gun ownership, was only effected post-WW2 by the victorious allies, including the US.

  • Savage Geller bus ad hits San Francisco Muni
    • I wish I could say I'm certain that this kind of crude, hateful propaganda will only serve to justly discredit the cause of those who disseminate it. Unfortunately my confidence in the sanity and basic human decency of Western, including American, society is no longer as high as it used to be.

  • One apartheid state, with liberty and justice for Jews only
    • Koshiro and Mooser- I understand.

      You asked a question. I answered it. Apparently you don't like the answer, but as it is based on inescapable facts and rational conclusions, you can't really argue against it.

    • Can full citizenship rights coexist with a sectarian militia of a different sect being the only military on a certain piece of turf? obviously not the easiest proposition, but a useful thought experiment.)

      Q: What purpose would, under considerations of external security, the exclusion of some ethnicities from the military serve?
      A: None.
      Q: Which other possible reasons for such an exclusion are there, then?
      A: a) Inertia of traditional prejudices. b) Possible use of the military by one ethnic group against the other in internal conflicts.
      Q: If one of these two conditions apply, can we truly speak of equal citizenship?
      A: Nope.

      End of discussion.

    • There's two possibilities of what J Streeters are, if pieces like the following are any indication:
      http://www.thejewishweek.com/editorial-opinion/opinion/time-prove-two-state-solution-isnt-just-rhetoric

      The more flattering possibility is that Rachel Lerner, who shall serve as an example here, is a little fool, a useful idiot for the Settler Power. So clueless that even the ironically perfect timing of the Levy report with her smugly congratulating herself for her "success" in stymying another effort at the only thing that can bring about a just two-state solution - pressure on Israel - leaves her unable to connect the all-too-obvious dots and conclude that Israel will gladly take her lobbying work to shield it from all harm but laugh its collective rear end off at the suggestion that her political ideas about "democracy" and stopping the settlements should be given even the least amount of consideration. The added bonus for Israel being the ability to point at fools like her and say "See, we are pluralistic and peace-loving. Look at our (ignored and ineffective) peace camp. See how much better we are than the Arabs?"

      The less flattering possibility is that she is not that monumentally naive to the point of being delusional but does it all on purpose.

      Either way: The sooner "liberal Zionist" groups like J Street are marginalized and vanish from the political scene the better. They achieve nothing, actively obstruct needed pressure on Israel and serve as a fig leaf for the actual, wholly ugly face of the Settler Power.

    • Except other dark-skinned people, if we don't like them. Then even the inherently immoral act of suicide bombing becomes heroic.

  • Circumcision deaths are a legalized non-scandal
    • The state — to the extent that it’s necessary at all — is there to prevent total chaos and to make sure that there’s clean water and decent sewage.

      You may think so, but the German state (and in fact quite a lot of other countries) is built on different ideas.

    • No one is talking about my right to stone my adulterous daughter to death here. We’re talking about a scrap of skin.

      What we are talking about is objectively a bodily injury (Körperverletzung) in legal terms. To allow such an injury in the case of medical procedures requires the consent of the patient. An infant cannot give consent, but the parents can do so. However, the ability of parents to act in the stead of their children is limited: The law clearly states that parents are obliged to act in the best interest of the child. Medically unnecessary procedures involving the permanent removal of body parts are not deemed to be in the best interest of the child.

  • Tourism in Israeli settlements: Practice shooting Palestinians
    • Is it really surprising that the settlements offer an activity like this?
      No. People who willingly and unnecessarily take their children to live right in the middle of an intensely hostile population (with good reasons to be hostile, but that's irrelevant to this point) just to establish their tribal entity's dominance surely don't have any problems with turning these same children into killing machines to achieve the same end.

      The contortions Fredblogs and you go through to defend teaching 5 year olds to kill are amusing to watch, though. Tells us a lot about your allegedly being liberal, pro-peace or whatever label you invent for yourself: In reality, you're just stooges for the Settler Power, like most lip-service "liberal Zionists" frequenting this site are.

    • But as soon as they get shot they magically become terrorists.
      Exactly.

      I'm sure that these settlers will be so incredibly generous not to consider Palestinians "terrorists" if they just prostrate themselves, obediently vacate their property and move away to Jordan, and generally accept the superiority of their Jewish masters.

      But Palestinians who dare resist in any way, or make the mistake of standing next to those who do: Terrorists, of course.

      I could now list in detail how Israel has labeled basically all forms of Palestinian resistance "terrorism", but I won't. Because other people have already done that:
      http://972mag.com/crying-terrorism-through-political-use-israel-cheapens-the-term/43556/

      I'll just pick out one example because it sheds some light on what the organized settler community, specifically, considers "terrorism":
      http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3891153,00.html

    • Yeah, sure, Fredo. I’m sure if some other state had a “shoot the IDF occupier
      Actually, the analogy would be "shoot the occupiers". I'm sure Fredblogs agrees that if Palestinians children were taught to "shoot the occupiers", that could mean some hypothetical non-Israel occupiers.

      Just like when Ahmadinejad says that the regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish, he could mean any number of real or fictional regimes associated in one way or another with Jerusalem.

    • It’s like cops and robbers.
      That's the most patently idiotic thing I have read all day. And my standards for that are low.

      BTW, who says that “Mechabel” is a synonym for Palestinians?
      Okay, smart guy: Which non-Palestinian "terrorists" could these settler guys mean? Possibly?

  • Why hasn't Jonathan Pollard applied for parole?
    • Oh, the tu quoque game, eh? Let's keep it closer to home, shall we Fred?
      Like this:
      As long as Israel imprisons hundreds of people - at least - without charge, trial, legal counsel or any other of the many rights Pollard enjoyed and still enjoys, Israel and its apologists should keep their damn mouths shut about him. Concern yourself with Mamouhd Sarsak if you want to help someone who actually ist unjustly and inhumanely imprisoned.

  • Michael Oren: Al Qaida is in Egypt
    • Israel is a safe haven and Israel is constantly under existential threat!
      Palestinian Israelis love it here and Palestinian Israels are a disloyal fifth column just waiting to destroy Israel!
      Settlements are an integral part of Israel and they are outside Israel.
      Gaza is a free, unoccupied territory and Israel has the right to control its borders, airspace, and whatever internal areas it deems necessary.

      It's really quite simple: Doublethink is a basic requirement for any proper Zionist nowadays.
      War is Peace! Nonviolence is Terrorism! Occupation is Freedom! Democracy is Tyranny!

  • Theater review: In 'Food and Fadwa,' the occupation is the elephant in the room
    • I'm pretty sure you could produce a comedy about a North Korean family struggling to get by, in which the only reminder of the North Korean regime would be occasional power outages and the occasional guy in a uniform.

      I'm also pretty sure I know what the reaction to this would be.

      P.S.: I should note that I have not seen the play and that Laura's post below makes it appear that the author does in fact "cram the occupation down our throats".

  • Netanyahu: 'My plan strengthens and expands the settlements'
    • You’d be wrong.
      Or you're just lying. Experience leads me to believe this is the case.

      the Israelis taking land from people that keep firing missiles at them
      "The Arab" is just a single, amorphous mass to you, eh?

    • I'm torn. Either you are self-delusional or you're just lying through your teeth, paying lip service to ideas you oppose, but can safely support nominally because they are not going to happen anyway. Pretty certain it's the latter.

    • btw this place will remain our in any future settlement
      This horseshit term is now being applied to whatever Israel wants to grab. If it ever had any meaning, which is dubious, it does not now.

      They did help this one Palestinian, though i am not sure how and what will he do with his new acquired land, he won’t live on it and he won’t get any compensation for
      it as he should have duly received if the houses on it were not evicted.

      You know just as well as everyone else here he would have received jack squat.

  • Jewish org's letter warns Presbyterians divestment from occupation 'taps into our deepest fears'
  • Israel's reliance on US has turned it into a 'global pariah'
    • I was originally going to say: "No, it was just freezing Japanese assets and embargoing oil and virtually all other important goods."
      But then I remembered something, spurred by your clumsy allusion to the closing of the Straits of Tiran: The US did, in fact, close the Panama canal to Japanese shipping.

      The US had also moved military forces into a threatening position - what do you think Pearl Harbor was, a yacht club? Because your ignorance likely extends to military matters as well as to history, you probably don't think of battleships and carriers as the equivalent of "troops", I guess, and are fixated on land borders.

      And finally, Roosevelt had made it clear by 1940 at the latest that he considered Japan, as well as Germany, an enemy and was already giving substantial material aid to China, which Japan was actively at war with at the time - this actually goes beyond the purely rhetorical threats against Israel pre-1967, which by the Israeli military's own admission, were not backed up by an actual military strategy.

      It's funny. In your ignorance, you thought you could show the flaws of the analogy, but all you did was shine a giant spotlight on how apt it actually is.

  • German submarines for Israel outfitted with nuclear-tipped cruise missiles
    • Do most modern submarines have this capability?

      Yes, actually. Basically all you need is a torpedo tube and a fire control system. The "special hydraulic launch system" serves the purpose of making the boat harder to detect while deploying the missile. That's a nice capability to have, but not a necessary one. Incidentally, it also points to the fact that these subs are not the pure deterrent second-strike weapons they are claimed to be by apologists in the German government - because in such a role their detectability post-launch would be a rather secondary concern.

      Anyway: A missile launch capability as such isn't anything special, nor anything sinister - well as non-sinister as an instrument of killing can be. Most western submarines nowadays have the ability to launch Harpoon or similar anti-ship missiles.

    • No. Every submarine is in theory "nuclear weapons capable". You can fire cruise missiles from torpedo tubes, even standard 533mm ones, and you can fit nuclear warheads to cruise missiles. What you need is the proper fire control system, but that is not excessively difficult to retrofit.

      What's special about these submarines is that they were obviously tailored to Israel's specific needs, by fitting the larger diameter torpedo tubes needed for Israel's less advanced cruise missiles.

  • Netanyahu bats away Dershowitz's suggestion of settlement freeze
    • He has been "critical" of settlements in the same way the US government is "critical" of them. Offering meek, vapid and entirely ineffective verbal "criticism" while otherwise using every trick in the book to make sure Israel can go on colonizing at its leisure.

      Note that even if Dershowitz was actually opposed to the settlements, that would not make him any less of a pathological liar and sociopathic monster.

  • When is someone going to lose his job for calling someone an anti-Semite?
    • Of course guns make us safer – can you imagine what a pain it would be to try and fight an armed populace like the US – have to take every street in every town?

      I can imagine it being a minor hassle, provided you have the insanely powerful military needed to support an invasion of the US in the first place. Privately owned small arms are notoriously ineffective against armored vehicles or even modern body armor.
      But as Gaza has unfortunately shown us, you don't need to "take" anything anyway. You can just cordon off densely populated areas and control the flow of anything going in and out. Or you could just bomb any civilian resistance to smithereens.

  • The liberal Zionist predicament
    • So, can a state be “Jewish and democratic”?

      Short answer: No.
      Slightly longer answer: Not in the sense you mean, namely with a Jewish majority, Jewish norms and Jewish culture imposed. Democracy is not compatible with built-in ethnic supremacy. There is no such thing as a democratic Apartheid state.

      In a practical matter, this theoretical question is irrelevant anyway. Israel is not democratic because it rules millions of people without these people having any say in it.
      In an actual democratic state, subject and sovereign are one and the same. In Israel, the Jewish people are the sovereign and subject (if you're generous, you can also include the fig-leaf minority of Arabs inside the Green Line in this category), while the Palestinians are subjects only.

      Not all western democracies have the same laws and some even have laws that resemble the nationalist laws of Israel.

      Which countries are you referring to?

  • UN report on Israel is the 'most cutting recognition and condemnation of a legal system of segregation since apartheid South Africa'
    • The thing is that Ashton also mentioned the Belgian children who had recently died in a horrible bus accident. Quite clearly, she did not judge the circumstances of the deaths - because obviously there is a difference between an accident and a murder - but she was simply trying to evoke empathy for the terrible tragedy that a child's death always is for the families.

      What you colleague is thus saying is that Gazan children's deaths are not a tragedy, that they should not be mourned, that we should have no sympathy for them.
      I admire your restraint. I would have picked up my plates and moved to a different table. And that's only because breaking his nose would have gotten me into trouble.

  • Rockets are collective punishment
    • While I agree with your point that living in Israel proper instead of in a settlement does not excuse any Israeli from responsibility for the occupation, in this case you're overreacting. Mr. Burston mentioned his living inside the Green Line specifically to counter previous insinuations that he lives in a settlement. If these insinuations are factually incorrect, it is appropriate for him to set the record straight.

  • Responding to commenters on recent bannings
    • I oppose banning commenters on principle - as long as they are not openly abusive or blatantly dishonest with their comments. I don't think that either Witty or Blankfort were.

      That said, I don't think this site's discussion will be any worse off because of the absence of Witty, Werdine, eee and whatever apologists for Israel we had here. Let's face it: Their responses to topics were so predictable, you could simulate them with a software application. And since their opinions were unchanging and unchangeable, it is futile to expect them to contribute fresh ideas either.

  • In the last 24 hours an orgy of land theft and political arrests of children
    • It's more likely to be an attempt to further provoke the Palestinian side in the moribund "negotiations" currently taking place in Jordan. See it in the context of Hamas-affiliated Palestinian members of Parliament being arrested, Abbas' VIP status being reduced etc.
      Heap insults and injuries on the Palestinians while allegedly "negotiating" with them, then when they decide they can't take it anymore and quit, you can point fingers at them. That's Israel's game.

  • RNC resolution calls for one state (on God-given lands)
    • Is it possible that this is the result of stupidity rather than design? That, like our man Santorum, they do not actually realize that there is a difference in status between the WB and Israel proper? That they actually think that all who live between the river and the sea are Israelis?

  • Ron Paul on Israel
    • Yes, but:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08gTWqWrI4M

      I'm reckoning that Paul's position is actually more pro-Palestinian than he lets on in the current campaign. It is quite telling that his above statements are being dragged up now, by various pro-Israeli players, to defame him.

      But the bottom line is that supporting Paul is the pragmatic choice from an I-P view. Withdrawing all support from both sides will be better for the side which has received less support, and we know which one that is. In addition, the EU and other players may be willing to pick up the tab for the Palestinians in such a case. That they'd be willing or able to prop up Israel's arms budget in the US' stead is doubtful. Finally, if Paul says that he would grant Israel carte blanche in dealing with its neighbors, that is in no way different from the Israel policy of previous administrations.

  • Benny Morris dreams of a 'less Arab' Israel
    • A little different meaning than your snippet of Morris. He does equate Arab society with misogyny, and with rejection of Israel. That’s what he says is the “less Arabs” that he’d like to see.

      Nonsense.

      If he wanted to see less misogyny and rejection and Israel by Israeli Arabs, he would have said: "I would like to see the misogynist and rejectionist elements of Israeli Arab society reduced." Which would still make him an arrogant asshole, talking down to an oppressed minority from a privileged position, but not necessarily a racist.

      But he didn't say that. What he said was "less Arab", which means that a) he considers all of Arab society to be misogynist and rejectionist and b) that this is an unchangeable feature of being Arab.

      Both of these elements, separately, show Morris to be what everybody with even the the slightest ability to put 2 and 2 together already knows he is: A racist. It is no different than claiming that Jews are inherently greedy parasites.

  • Just wars-- and civilian casualties
    • To be fair, the US generally doesn't do "limited". Another critical failure of US (and generally Western) policy is that apparently it doesn't know how to conclude wars by anything else than "surrender".

    • I somehow get the feeling that there are others who regret this political impossibility. Bad as Israel has become, the level of hatred that would countenance a war between US and Israel is so extreme, so out of all proportion,

      Ah yes. So what does that tell us about previous (and future) US inventions? How "extreme" was the level of hatred in these cases? I do have a fairly clear picture of the level of racist hatred that accompanied the "intervention" against Japan which you cited as an example of a just war (I'd still like to know how you suppose it fits the criteria for one, by the way.) However, I'm not quite clear on how "out of proportion" you consider the level of Islamophobia evidenced by US actions in Afghanistan and Iraq. Could you clarify that?

      P.S.: You would really do your credibility a favor if you dropped Kosovo from your list. In addition to what I already mentioned you should know that NATO intentionally a sabotaged a political solution in favor of a military one.

    • It really baffles me how one can make such arguments in a world where the UN exists. Prof. Slater simply ignores this entirely. There is only the faintest allusion of an international court, and only to set up an argument which amounts to a fatalist fallacy - because international institutions are ineffective in enforcing international law, so the argument goes, they should be ignored.

      I, for one, do not think that Ron Paul's foreign policy is ideal. I do not even agree with its basic premise - which incidentally is exactly the same basic premise Prof. Slater applies: That nations are completely autonomous actors and there really is no such thing as international law.

      But if I have to decide between two different worlds where the "law of the wild" is to continue, I'd rather have the US be a hippopotamus than a pack of hyenas.

    • Would you or would you not grant the American government the right to start wars at will? And if you’re saying “only if they are ‘just’”, then who is going to decide if they are ‘just’?

      I wonder if I'm ever going to get answers to those questions.

    • And there is still more, though until now I’ve forgotten to mention it. International law is increasingly incorporating the principle that humanitarian military intervention is not only a right, but actually a DUTY of those who have the military capabilities, when the facts of the case warrant it.

      International law is actually pretty clear, isn't it?
      UN Charter Article 2(4) prohibits the use of force or threats against other states. Exceptions are Article 51 (self-defense versus an armed attack against a state) and when authorized by the UNSC.
      There is precious little wiggle room for both the Kosovo war and the Iraq war not being blatantly illegal wars of aggression by these standards. And no, the "Right to protect" didn't enter into it, a) because it was not invented at the time and b) because it does not include ignoring the authority of the UN.

      Not that a war would necessarily be just merely because it is authorized by the UNSC. The Iraq sanctions post-Gulf War I, which ruined the Iraqi economy and resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths at the very least, were patently unjust, yet authorized by the UN (by means of trickery, granted.) By the way: To leave them out of the picture and claim that the first George Bush "did the right thing" is either a remarkable oversight or downright callous. In retrospective, toppling Saddam back then would have been preferable, not because I agree with it in principle, but because the Iraqi people would at least have been spared a decade of being slowly starved.

    • How anybody, in the year 2012, can still regard the Kosovo war as justified is beyond me. We know that it was based on lies and fabrications. NATO openly broke international law with its intervention, intentionally attacked civilian targets, blocked all meaningful attempts at a diplomatic solution and in the end broke its own promises to respect Serbian territorial integrity.
      On top of all that, far from preventing ethnic cleansing, NATO made it possible. It didn't lift a finger to prevent the rampage of murder and looting against the Serbian minority, the burning of Christian churches and the creation of a hundred thousand refugees.

    • Everyone–though of course it’s better when done in a sophisticated and honest manner.

      Really? Everyone? If the majority of the people on this planet thought that a prospective war was unjust, the US would go along with that? When has that ever happened?
      You're trying to establish self-defense as an analogy. So when somebody shoots another person and says it was self-defense, do we just take his word for it? No, we don't. So why should we do so in cases of aggressive war?

      Just FYI: My question were not sarcastic at all, they were very serious. And obviously "everyone" is not the answer. Who should in your opinion have the real power to declare a war "just" and therefor intervene in foreign conflicts, internal or international?

      So, the bottom line answer to your question is that the just war argument is exactly that–an argument. One is either convinced by it, or not. In my case, I’m convinced by the just war argument as applied to Libya, but not as applied to Iraq.

      If all your considerations of just war are merely intellectual exercises to be applied ex post facto, but don't have any real consequences anyway, then I don't see the point. And I don't see why one would be opposed to starting any wars at all. That you, now, declare the Iraq war "unjust" does not make any Iraqis less dead.

      I don't see how you musing about how a war was just or unjust in retrospective is supposed to translate into any concrete political consequences. Would you or would you not grant the American government the right to start wars at will? And if you're saying "only if they are 'just'", then who is going to decide if they are 'just'?

    • I would have thought that my actual position would have been clear by now: all wars, including those initiated by the US, must be judged by the moral principles embodied in just war moral philosophy.

      Principles usually don't do the judging themselves. People do that. So who gets to judge? The President? Congress? The UN? You? Me? Not anybody in the countries about to be attacked, I guess?

      The issue is not which political party makes the decision, but a proper evaluation of the validity of the decision, on the merits and irrespective of partisan politics.

      Oh, a "proper" evaluation, I see. Who gets to evaluate that?

  • Ron Paul and the liberal interventionists
    • Except that Germans were also expelled from areas which were German before the war or any prewar expansion (East Prussia, Silesia, Pomerania), did not at any point in recent history have anything but a large German population majority and were simply emptied of their indigenous inhabitants to facilitate annexation and exploitation by Poland and Russia.

      It is actually quite similar to the Nakba, and there really is no justification for it unless you would also allow for the Nakba to be justified in principle. The key differences are that a) The German people, as a nation, did not have all or even most of their land taken away like the Palestinians did, b) most Germans, including former refugees, voluntarily agreed to settle things with Poland and Russia by means of a peace treaty and c) as individuals, former German refugees can move back to their former homes because almost all of the territory in question is now part of the EU.

  • Ron Paul's antiwar position is simpleminded
    • In a related matter: Didn't you say earlier that WW2 was a just war? But now you have admitted that it was fought in an unjust manner (by intentionally incinerating German and Japanese children, among other things.) So it wasn't a just war after all?
      I'm also uncertain how WW2 - accepting your reasoning that Roosevelt "intervened" - meets your other criteria. How exactly did Roosevelt exhaust all other options before going to war? You may or may not know that Konoe proposed a direct meeting with Roosevelt to solve the issues by negotiation and that the American side refused.
      And how was the cause just? Is defending one colonial power's possessions against another one really a just cause? What do you identify as the cause of America in the Pacific War?

    • The theory of just war as you present it (and your interpretations make it very much your own) has not exactly had a good record of success in preventing wars, including patently unjust wars.

      You would give a government, or even just a branch of a particular government, the right to decide whether it meets the wobbly criteria you'd apply to "just war" or not. The results are not difficult to discern:

      Cast Lead was a just war.
      Gulf War II was a just war.
      The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was a just war.

      Everybody fights only just wars. Nobody will ever say "We're going to fight an unjust war". And since you're willing to place the decision whether a war is just or unjust in the hands of whoever starts the war, there objectively is no unjust war - so the term has no meaning.

    • "Pat Buchanan’s book ‘Churchill, Hitler, and “the unnecessary war”‘ provides evidence for that argument about Japan, and Germany too."
      Well, I'm skeptical about that. (And I don't know Buchanan or his writings beyond what I can quickly look up on Wikipedia.) Hitler was a different league. The argument that the West should have just 'let' Hitler conquer Eastern Europe fails to take into account just how different a league. Stalin's rule over Eastern Europe was horrible but there can be little doubt, from all the German plans we actually know about, that Hitler's rule (part genocide, part enslavement) would have been far worse.
      (I am not going to fault him for effectively arguing that the Allies should have let the Holocaust happen, since the Allies did in fact let the Holocaust happen.)

    • Since the actual President at the time did not send troops to Nazi Germany to save the Jews, why would it have been a reasonable assumption that whoever else would have been President at the time would have done differently?

    • These statements rest on several assumptions I cannot support:
      a) That Japan had no choice but to go to war against the US. I disagree. If Japan had not directly attacked the US, but instead just continued grabbing undefended colonies of European nations, there would have been no immediate consequences. The decision to directly attack America was not a necessary one, and in hindsight from the Japanese perspective, it was a disastrous idea.
      b) That US military action was a decisive factor in the defeat of Germany. Again, I disagree. By the time the US made it felt militarily, the Soviets already had the upper hand.
      c) That Germany was not interested in war with the US. We know that Hitler assumed war against the US to be inevitable, and we also know that he enthusiastically and unnecessarily declared war against the US - even though the terms of the alliance with Japan did not require him to.

      Finally, it's impossible to tell if the US provoking Japan into war did any good as far as the bigger picture is concerned. Yes, Japan's colonial rule was horrible. Even more horrible was its democidal war in China. But Ron Paul would probably say that the US did not opt to negotiate with Japan in good faith in order to reach its goals diplomatically without simultaneously pushing Japan into a corner by means of an embargo.

      In any case: As I mentioned, Paul has said that US involvement in WW2 could not have been avoided at the time. But he has also said, IIRC, "Iraq is hardly Germany".

    • But since Paul, as Pollitt puts it, is against everything the U.S. government does, domestically or internationally, there is every reason to think he would have opposed FDR's decision that we had to join in the fight both for moral and strategic reasons.

      Errr... no.
      America did not "join the fight for moral and strategic reasons". Japan and Germany formally and openly declared war to America. I have never seen Ron Paul suggest that America should not defend itself when it is attacked. Questioned about WW2, Paul has said that US involvement could not have been avoided - but he did add that part of the reason was the unnecessary participation in WW1 which led to the Versailles Treaty system and a host of other problems.

  • Poof, Dome of the Rock, gone: IDF rabbinate edits Dome of the Rock out of picture of the Temple Mount
  • F. W. de Klerk on why apartheid will fail in Israel/Palestine
    • No it does not for the precise reason that international law forbids settling one's own civilian population in occupied territory and countries other than Israel tend to follow this law. Colonialism on the other hand does equal Apartheid.
      Military occupation alone would be bad and should be ended as soon as possible (in stark contrast to Israel's efforts to entrench it). But what makes Israel's occupation into a colonialist Apartheid regime are the settlements and the economic exploitation of the territory. No one with even the least little bit of historical knowledge can argue that this is not colonialism.

    • "Is Apartheid practiced Areas C?"
      Of course it is. I could not, to be honest, completely follow the logical contortions you went through in order to pretend it isn't. Israeli settlers have infinitely more rights in Area C than Palestinians have, first and foremost the right to vote for the government that rules this territory. Clear-cut apartheid.
      The same is, by the way, also true of Areas A and B. GOI still exercises sovereignty over these areas. Israelis can vote for GOI, Palestinians can't. EOD.

      Of course, the intellectual gerrymandering you're engaging in is nonsense to begin with, and is very much the same as the architects of the Bantustans attempted. Basically you are saying that in SA there was no apartheid because Blacks and Whites lived in separate areas, and inside of each of these areas there was no Apartheid. Which amounts to saying that there was no Apartheid because there was Apartheid - which is exactly the level of intellectual honesty your argument has.

    • "This is not the case in Israel/Palestine."
      Yes it is. And just to nip this bud, it is thoroughly irrelevant if Israel needs 'just' the land and the resources. The land and the resources cannot be conveniently disconnected from the people by any means other than outright ethnic cleansing, which leaves the 'omelet' analogy quite intact.

      "Israel is no demanding too much land"
      The funny thing is, it's not even possible to refute this because Israel does not tell anybody how much land it is demanding.

  • Thanks, my enemy. I love Palestine
    • "But you are right that the Merchant of Venice is anti-semitic."
      You know, the anti-semitic interpretation is just one. One other plausible view of Shylock's speech in particular is as a poignant expression of the rage of the oppressed as a trait that may collide with Christian morals, but is basically very human. This is the way I have always interpreted this part of the play.

    • It would be honest to declare.

      "Honest". Now that's a good word. It means something like "truthful", right?

      Well, here's a bit of truth:

      Israel is the Palestinians' enemy! That's the way our reality works!
      Maybe in Wittyverse, an institution that occupies your land, expels many of your people, reduces the rest of them to the status of third-class citizens at best, unfree serfs at worst, takes your natural resources, destroys your economic opportunity, routinely humiliates you just because it can and kills, maims or imprisons everybody who dares raise a finger against all this is not an enemy. But in this universe, it is.

      To not call Israel an enemy of the Palestinians would be a lie, and nothing else. No rational human being can honestly say that the state of Israel is a "neighbor" or, zenith of absurdity, a "friend" of the Palestinian people.

  • Riots over gender segregation. And silence over Palestinian segregation
    • Look at this from a pragmatic angle. The increasing power of the Ultra-Orthodox and the resulting fissures in Jewish-Israeli society are good news:
      a) They contribute to the deterioration of what's left of Israel's reputation.
      b) They have the potential to seriously fracture the Jewish-Zionist community in Israel. In the long run, this might even result in genuine civil strife.
      c) Haredi for the most part are economically and militarily useless. Their prevalence in Israeli society is bound to weaken it.

      Operating from the assumption (and this is the only reasonable assumption left) that everything that is bad for Israel is good for the Palestinians, the more internal fissures Israeli society suffers from, the better.

      Appealing to the decency of "liberal" Zionists and thinking they might recognize the parallels between discrimination against Palestinians and discrimination against women is futile. Being a Zionist (in the current sense) literally requires you to be an unashamed hypocrite and to lack the capacity for empathy.

      The most futile of notions would be to support "liberal" elements in Israel against the encroachment of Jewish fundamentalism. On the contrary, secular Jews coming under pressure is something that should be welcomed. If the increasing Iranization causes mass emigration of the secular elite: Excellent! If the Israeli economy falters because of the combined effect of brain drain and economically underproductive Haredi: All the better! If it suffers even more because women are shut out of the productive process: Wonderful!

      P.S.: Yes, I am taking somewhat of an advocatus diaboli stand here. But then again, how would you counter these points?

  • It's one country
    • No, he's not.
      a) I could be wrong, but I am fairly certain that the majority of these quarries have been established by Israel and are most definitely not simply continuations of pre-1967 operations.
      b) Israeli operations, which amount to ruthlessly exploiting the natural resources, quite definitely "seriously impair" the value of the property.

  • Ben-Ami: I advocate for Israel, Palestinian groups should advocate for Palestinian human rights
    • http://freedomfunnies.com/read.php?id=23&p=12
      The first two panels sum up the foolishness of your way in a nutshell.

      Israel is the oppressor. The Palestinians are the oppressed. They are not in any way, shape or form "peers", hence a "peer peace" is nonsense. Palestinians do not need to make peace with Israel, they need to be freed from Israeli oppression.

      Nobody who claims to have a "pro-Israel perspective" can ever approach any Palestinian and claim they are equals.

  • Former Israeli general: Provoke a settler attack, then shoot the 'Jewish terrorist'
    • It is abhorrent, but let's be pragmatic: If the two main instruments of oppression and harrassment in the WB are busy fighting each other, it's good news for the Palestinians.

    • Oooh, a "statelet". Or an "autonomy" even. How incredibly generous.
      And there people say Israel does not have a clear position. It's crystal clear and has been the same since 1967: "We are the masters of the land. You can remain and make do with the scraps we leave and manage your own affairs as long you don't make any trouble. You will never have any rights or self-determination in this land, but you can quietly live a serf's life if you properly submit to us."

  • Obama's rabbi sidekick is opposed to 'too many Arabs' in Israel
    • "Universalism is not natural and quite destructive."
      Natural: Running around naked. Eating small animals raw. Incestuous sex. Fleeing from big cats. That's about it.

      All relevant human behaviour is cultural. Using the term 'natural' in this context is a big fat warning light: 'Here lies thinly disguised social darwinism'.

  • Obama to Palestine: Drop dead
  • A single-state vision must go beyond Israel vs Palestine, and be inclusive
    • The J14 movement is in its infancy.
      If by "infancy" you mean "deathbed", sure. The J14 movement has already fizzled out and it's not likely to have any lasting effects.

  • Can I dare?
    • Death rates have more to do with age structures than with anything else. So even if one took the reported rates for Gaza for granted (which is a dubious idea, but let's run with it), it doesn't say much.

      But yeah, I agree. Physically eliminating the Palestinians is not (yet) part of the Israeli agenda. For the time being, Israeli brutality serves the following purposes:
      - Terrorism, to bludgeon Palestinians into submission. The currently discussed article is a splendid example of how that works.
      - Keep the conflict going on a level that is manageable for Israel.
      - Motivate Palestinians on the West Bank to leave, in other words ethnic cleansing.

  • Israel trades $100 million in frozen PA funds for nuke-ready submarine
    • Note how severely underreported this was in the international media, especially in the US (as far as I can see from my Internet-centric view). Naturally. You don't want people saying to themselves: "What? You can make Israel behave just by withholding some candy, I mean military aid from them? Without them throwing a temper tantrum? Why don't we do that?"

  • Revival of Geneva Initiative features divisive figure: Bernard-Henri Levy
    • "Compromise". Right. So if I want to plunder your home and kill your entire family, and you want to keep your possessions and your family members' lives, a fair compromise would be me leaving one of your kids alive and taking only 80% of your stuff.

      Seriously, there really is not anything to say about the initiative other than Richard, eee and BHL endorsing it. This is actually all the condemnation it needs.

  • Turkish government releases identities of IDF soldiers who attacked the Mavi Marmara
    • and if so much as one hair on the head of one of these soldiers is touched by any Turkish official

      ... Israel will whine, protest and bitch to no avail. Which is why all of these guys are going to cancel any future trips to countries that might extradite them to Turkey.

    • Not the kind of farce where throwing lots of money at it will get a guilty man free, I'm afraid...

  • Buttu, Erakat, Dajani, Rabbani and Abunimah respond to UN speeches
    • When he talked about Palestine as a land holy to several religions, he mentioned Muslims and Christians, but failed to mention the Jews.

      Except that he never used a phrase like "holy to several religions", nor anything similar. He just mentioned Jesus Christ's birth and Mohammed's ascension. The first mythical event is associated with Betlehem, the second with the Al-Aqsa mosque. Both are, of course, located outside Israel's borders and inside the borders of what Abbas (not to mention 100+ countries) consider the Palestinian state.

      Of course, you did not know this - because you were to lazy to read the transcript yourself rather than relying on Ravid's disingenuous interpretation of it.

  • Mondoweiss liveblogs the UN General Assembly speeches
    • "So what’s stopping Abbas from sitting down with Netanyahu right now?"
      The realization that it would be pointless and his time would be better spent doing just about anything else?

    • If East Jerusalem is to be the capital, how do you explain the Palestine Papers revelations that showed "the PA’s willingness to concede areas of occupied East Jerusalem to the Israeli state," as the Electronic Intifada put it?

      That is actually fairly simple: The resolution aims for a Palestinian state to be established, with a legal claim on all the territory beyond the green line.
      After this is accomplished, the two states of Israel and Palestine can still conduct negotiations on an exchange of territories on a bilateral basis - as equals.

  • Mr. President, we don't want a shortcut, we want our freedom
    • The method used up to now – and I am choosing my words carefully – has failed. We must therefore change our method!

      We must stop believing that a single country, even the largest, or a small group of countries can resolve so complex a problem. Too many crucial players are being sidelined for our efforts to succeed.

      I would like to say that nobody imagines the peace process can happen without Europe; nobody imagines it can happen without all the permanent members of the Security Council; nobody imagines it can happen without the involvement of the Arab states that have already chosen peace. A collective approach has become essential to creating trust and providing guarantees to each of the parties.

      That is from French President Sarkozy's speech at the UNGA. Read the whole thing (as far as it relates to Palestine) here:
      http://www.isria.com/pages/22_September_2011_346.php

      It's pretty much the speech Obama should have held and would have held if he wasn't an amoral coward. The "single country, even the largest" bit is not particularly ambiguous.

  • Obama speech was shattering to liberal Zionists
    • As a liberal Zionist, I really wonder what planet you’re living on.

      Not the one on which you can in any way, shape or form be classified as "liberal", that's for sure. You're a plain old racist who sometimes makes the less than convincing attempt to dress up his racism by using "liberal" terminology.

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