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Total number of comments: 1759 (since 2011-01-07 20:19:21)

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  • Fear of Arab-Americans in the public square
    • Pressure cooker.

      Because at some level these people are aware of what they are doing, which builds up even more anxiety as the self-defrauding continues when their world is slowly being teared apart.

      Surely we are different! Right? Right?

      Definitely pressure cooker.

    • P.S. Part of the reason why I think it has become okay to write about Sheldon Adelson is that he functions as a pressure cooker for liberal Jews in the elite media who have a conception of themselves as liberals but somehow keep ending up accusing pro-BDS people of anti-Semitism and being nervous about giving muslims/Arabs their voice in the elite media.

      By focusing on Adelson, they are basically performing the same ritual of trying to blame everything that Israel has done on the Likud, with the magic number of 1967 as the baseline(ignoring the Nakba, of course, and the previous colonization).

      Adelson in this case becomes the scapegoat, a safe target to channel your anxieties, by telling yourself you and your friends are different. He's the crazed loon.
      And its true, he is a very, very easy target.

      Adelson doesn't make Obama fearful because of attack ads.
      But it is much easier to target him, instead of looking at Pritzker, Crown, Saban and the others and their role in pushing Obama and all other democratic candidates far to the right on Israel/Palestine.

      Because you can maintain the illusion that you're different. That all that is happening in crazy town. Its not you. You're the good liberal. Who donates to the colonial JNF, supports muslim-bashing ADL, and refuses to give up on the 2SS, because that would force you to choose what was always a false choice: A state primarily for one race or a genuine democracy, for all.

      No, lets not deal with any of that. Its all Adelson's fault. Just like its all Likud's fault.
      And anyone who disagrees is an anti-Semite. I read it in the NYT, so it must be true.

    • Perfect to a tee.

      You've got everything right, as well as the Jewish angle. The Jewish identity, based on ethnic resentment vs WASPs(who so many of us seem to marry these days, try untying that Freudian knot).

      The critical outsider has turned into the defensive insider, just like the WASPs of the 60s and 70s. As you note, this clashes fundamentally with a lot of people's core identity. Mark Rudd's writing basically sums it up quite perfectly.

      This dated fixation of WASPs is actually less of a resentment these days, the notion of WASP/Jewish rivalry is completly outdated, at least to my generation. Its primary function is to provide a comfort blanket against the fact that we must face: we're the establishment now. We have arrived.

      Without the WASP bogeyman, who else is there?

      It leads to the conclusion: we are now primarily fightning people who are non-white, who are less wealthy, less powerful and less privileged than we. They don't have the same kind of elite access we have to the major institutions in America.

      We've become the new WASPs. And we are struggling, like they were, at keeping out the newcomers from entering our discussions. Back then Vietnam. Today, Iraq, Palestine.

  • Palestinians can have an embassy in Jerusalem, but God forbid not a capital -- Israeli mayor
    • Theodor Herzl the founder of political Zionism on many occasions promised the czar, the Pope, the kaiser, and the sultan that Jerusalem would remain an international city. Under the U.N. Partition plan, Jerusalem was to be an international city apart from the two states alongside it. Thus Israel’s annexation of Jerusalem in 1967 was considered illegal.

      Well, too bad three of the four are gone and the fourth has no political power to speak of anymore.

      Still, dividing Jerusalem was always a foolish idea. I agree with Nir here.
      The difference is that he wants it under Israeli control. I want a secular binational state to control instead.

  • Alterman says BDS is helping Netanyahu
    • Alana Goodman just published an idiotic smear piece where she tries to link the KC shooter as an admirer of Blumenthal at the neocon ragsite Washington Free Beacon(no I'm not even going to link that kind of filth).

      Basically: Max wrote bad things, then the shooting happened!

      And then there's this idiocy from Frank Bruni:

      link to mobile.nytimes.com

      Words are not enough to portray it accurately in its stupidity.

  • Alleged K.C. killer: 'If Jews can have a state of their own, why can't we have a White Christian state?'
    • Pabel. It seems he wants what Israel wants and is willing, as is Israel, to kill people to get it.

      Exactly. The white supremacists are correct to note that there is a double standard.

      They, like me, want a single standard in the Western world. The difference is that they want it to be acceptable to act like Israel.

      I don't.

    • Can't say I have followed his life's work, to put it mildly, but was he really a Christian? (In a strict religous sense)

    • I heard it was 2 non-Jews. It was pretty underreported in the media, I wonder why..

  • You know Israel's in trouble when 'NYT' runs op-ed saying it's replacing Iran as isolated theocracy
    • Shorter Krauss: Phil, the piece is the standard-issue "liberal" Zionist fearmongering, portrayal of BDS as anti-Semitic, attacking/scapegoating the Orthodox for diminishing peace chances; thereby implicitly saying that the hope for peace lies in secularism, in the face of ALL Israeli history up until now.

      Who stood for the ethnic cleansing? The emergency laws? The racial laws dictating every aspect from schooling, marriage, immigration to the housing market? It's shocking how stupid their kind of claptrap analysis is. And this is somehow a "radical" Op-Ed?

      It is not hard at all to see why NYT would accept it.
      It is doing nothing but checking every box of prejudices about the conflict that any establishment "liberal" Zionist institution has.

      Come back when someone writes on the Op-Ed page from a non/anti-Zionist perspective that isn't replete with factual errors and blatant fantasies about the history and the present moment of the conflict.

      Until then, move along, people, move along.

    • Not sure if I agree.

      The whole Op-Ed reminds me of Sasha Polakow-Suransky's book about the Israeli-South African alliance. It was written from a Beinartesque point of view. Basically, everything in Israel went wrong after 67 and that Israel had provided "moral leadership" before 67. That book was published in 2010, not 1950, yet its analysis is dated over 50 years. The same strain runs through this Op-Ed.

      Let's begin by this:

      while Naftali Bennett, Israel’s economy minister, labeled Mr. Kerry a “mouthpiece” for anti-Semitic elements attempting to boycott Israel.

      You'll notice that the last bit isn't in scare quotes. It the way the authors portray BDS in a neutral way. Not "how he sees it". The point is to say that Bennett is incorrect to say that Kerry is a mouthpiece for "anti-Semitic elements" - but not that those elements pushing for BDS are anti-Semitic itself.

      It's hilarious as it at once tries to portray Bennett as a right-wing extremist(which he is) and at the same time, seconds later, it fundamentally agrees with his diagnosis of BDS and that of Netanyahu, which branded BDS as anti-Semitic in his AIPAC speech. This is the slippery dance of "liberal" Zionists we all know too well.

      Later, it says:

      Israel’s secular democrats

      Where are these democrats? Tzipi Livni? The woman who sees Arab babies as the biggest threat to Israel and the former darling of Ariel Sharon who praised him as a second father?

      Honestly, humor, name even one which is a genine democratic liberal.
      You have secular ethno-nationalistic racists in Israel, plenty of them, but that isn't the same thing. Yet to the authors, because they have J-positive blood, that inoculates them from being what they would be called in any other Western state: racists.

      Israel’s shift toward orthodoxy is not merely a religious one. Since the vast majority of Orthodox Jews are also against any agreement with the Palestinians, with each passing day, the chances of reaching a peace deal diminish.

      Ah, blame the Orthodox! All the seculars in Israel are peaceniks! That's funny, because the vast majority of the Israeli elite up until now have been seculars. All the tired tropes of "liberal" Zionism bubble up to the surface.

      This, coupled with the passing of the older generation and a high rate of interfaith marriage among American Jews, means the pro-Israel lobby will no longer be as large or as united as it used to be.

      And then some fearmongering about intermarriage rate at the end. The only thing missing is expressing racial anxiety about Arab babies and the circle would be complete.

  • 'Secret' London conference seeks to link BDS to... terrorism
    • For all those who pooh-pooh how effective BDS is, this should be proof of exactly the opposite.

      Or Netanyahu mentioning BDS 18 times in his AIPAC speech.

      Yeah, BDS has no effect whatsoever!
      We've already won the mental battle. They are fightning on our turf.
      Now we're slowly starting to win the broader cultural battle.

      Lawfare is a doomed project. Pretend and extend.
      Not only is it wrong in terms of tactics, you can't stop Palestininan solidarity by "outsuing them", it also reinforces the image of Zionists as a bunch of isolated bullies with no grassroots support and a willingness to corrupt with money.

      As I like to say: if these are our enemies then let them multiply! They are providing themselves with rope and a gallows, hanging themselves on their own volition. We can only watch in amazement as they commit intellectual and cultural suicide before our eyes.

  • About that special relationship...
    • Possible oil in the future. Plus, you have to consider that Bibi and the gang actually mean what they say. Yaalon is the prism into Bibi's thinking and he truly believes in American decline, and he respects the way Putin invaded Crimea. After all, he himself flounts international law all the time, so it isn't hard to see why he wouldn't respect Putin for doing it, too.

    • When will the US ever learn?

      It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.

  • Two desperate anti-Semitism charges, from Foxman and Boteach
    • The reason why using anti-Semitism in Zionist advocacy is dangerous is precisely because it weakens any attempt to root out real anti-Semites, who are much fewer than the Likudniks and their Mapai/Laborite fellow-travellers claim, but who do exist and are allowed to wallow free because people like Foxman and other Zionsits have overused the charge, immunizing real racists.

      As Blumenthal spoke about in his speech to U of Michigan, it may come a day when real anti-Semites wear that label as a badge of pride, and that is no small worry. Foxman and company are not helping matters by using it cynically against even mild criticism against Israel.

  • To reach the 'moveable middle' in Jewish life, you must be inside the tent
    • The problem with Carlin is that he is euro-centric(the correct term is "Western centric" but it sounds worse).

      Here is the World Bank's development economist about globalization.
      I understand Carlin wasn't heavy on math when he lived, and probably not some of his fans either, but it pays to pay attention:

      link to blogs.worldbank.org

      Basically, the world has gotten a lot better. For much of the Western world, there have been increases but modest increases. (You often hear about stagnating wages in the US and that is true, but if you look at how much people spend on food, for example, it is way less than in the 60s and 70s. Technology has also become much more powerful, and cheaper. You don't even need a dedicated camera these days for family vacations etc).

      Wars in the world have become far fewer. There are more democracies than ever before.

      Even if you limit yourself to America, racism has declined(but we don't live in a post-racial society by any stretch of the imagination just yet), women have joined the work force in much larger numbers, graduate from college at higher levels.
      In addition, pollution has come way down. Crime is down by over 70% from the 70s, and so on.

      People like to rant about the mythical decline of life quality, but in fact on almost any given metric it has gotten better. But it can, of course, get a lot better. The main issue is taxation, we are seeing a much larger share of the rich getting their income from capital rather than from work.

      But these things are fixable, and they will. Nothing will last forever, especially as Democrats are in the process of wiping out the GOP demographically. After that, we'll go after the cronies in our own party, as we'll be able to take the hit in the polls without worrying too much.

      By and large, things have gotten a lot better in the world. And even in the Western world, there have been increases in real income per capita, even if it has been more modest, costs have also fallen way more, in addition to that other stuff nobody bothers with, like, uh, crime, pollution, gender equality, racism etc.

      Carlin was a biased depressive. That's why he killed himself. He made a mistake.

  • Amid 'climate of fear' at Vassar, president comes out against 'action and protest' re Israel
    • Phil, side note, but do you follow Max's Twitter feed? He tweeted a link to Caroline Glick's crazed "campus brownshirts" column in Jpost. I didn't see it until a few days ago. She heavily referenced your report from Vassar.

      Kind of interesting that this site is now being viewed as the center of anti-Zionism, which in many it is, but its profile has grown tremendously in the past few years to the point where Likudniks like Glick is now reading it, apparently.

      P.S. The latest interview with Remnick, someone I used to respect, with Greenfield at 92nd Y was a disaster. On domestic politics he is as sound as sound can be, but he kept retreating into the same old "liberal" Zionist alibi for neocons on foreign policy. Slamming Rand Paul as a "isolationist", mere minutes after admitting he was wrong on Iraq(hilarious cognitive dissonance there), praising the neocon-ordered purge of the conservative movement (which was more or less related to foreign policy and their tendency to be even-handed to the Palestinians) etc etc.

      It's easy to see him as a genius, if he is talking to Ari Shavit.

    • zzzzzzzzzzzz

      P.S. hilarious that hophmi, a defender of a Jewish supremacist ideology - and a follower of said ideology - is trying to lecture anyone on human rights.

  • Israel's brand rides high on NPR
    • For reporters like Melissa Block, it is a form of self-therapy. She is a true believer in the project. Thus she talks about Arabs 12 times(but omits "Palestinian", because that would have the unfortunate effect of acknowleding past crimes), she projects her own desperation with the situation, coupled with the fact that she refuses to budge.

      She will go down to the end, insisting that the 2SS is coming nigh.

      I'm predicting we will see much more of these kinds of pieces as the vast majority of Jewish journalists are in liberal media and many of them will channel their own personal crises into their work, to the detriment of us all, as we will get these kind of nakedly propaganda efforts when the 2SS paradigm collapses. By which I mean, it is no longer an article of faith among the reactionary Clintonite Democrats. Which is fast approaching.

      Get ready for plenty more Arabs from Israel who will serve as the Token Minority, telling white liberal Jewish Zionists that they are not racist and that peace is possible. Hussein Ibish made a career out of this in America, but most Palestinians see him as a sellout(and for good reasons). So they'll import people from Israel.

      Finally, ask yourself, how relevant is a chef from Israel to an average American listener? Sometimes you get the feeling people like Block are only doing programs for her own extended community.

  • Dershowitz plays McCarthy, and John Dingell is labeled 'anti-Israel'
    • That's Charles Krauthammer.

      But yes, you're right that Kristol's speciality is the whole "Israel's business is our own". This is the kind of logic that allowed them to push for the Iraq war, and now a war with Iran. As soon as things start to fall apart, just quote Churchill and compare any Iranian leader with Hitler.

      I'm disappointed with the American right. They should have deposed the alien neocons a long time ago. Most of the base don't like the neocon candidates anyway, but the GOP media establishment - which is by and large controlled by neocons - makes sure to destroy any other candidate. That's why they are waging war against Rand Paul now. (He has disastrous economic policies, but he's good on foreign policy, precisely the fact that makes Sheldon Adelson an enemy).

  • For Miliband, the road to 10 Downing Street runs through Jerusalem and Sderot
    • eGuard et al, I've given plenty of instances about Ken Livingstone.
      It's not for a lack of evidence, it's for a lack of audience, who have come to refuse that anything such as anti-Semitism exists. To entertain such a crowd is as fruitful as trying to convince a Likdunik that the occupation is wrong. Pointless.

      By the way! I went with my gas mask on, into the Sewers, into the comment history of puppies. Here's what I found:

      A rabid obsession with Jews and Judaism.

      Of course it is "merely" a religion. Except if you want to argue that Jews are a race (you know who last argued that...) Or present solid proof of anything other than religion in common between so-called "Jews"

      Jews are now supposed to be put into scarequotes. How noble.

      The only ones with a little life and honor left in them are the Salafis..

      Ah, praising Islamists and gaybashers. Just like Ken Livingstone with his praise for Al-Qaradawi. Now why am I not surprised that puppies goes bonkers when Ken Livingstone is called out? Because Puppies shares the same views, only more extreme.

      Let's go on in our little expedition in the sewer of an anti-Semite.

      You got it bassackwards as usual. The Zionists were invading just as the Nazi did in France in 40, then pretended to pull out, leaving their puppet administration. No difference. Their journalists called it "win" just like Friedman did.

      The Zionist enterprise was a criminal enterprise but to compare it to the Nazis?
      We got a loon on our hands! But it gets better!

      The "some things" phrase was from Hughes, to designate traits objected to by the so-called "antisemites". The point of logic is not exemption from criticism of an inborn trait the but impossibility of its correction; that there is no such exemption in the facts is proven by the existence of racism.

      If "antisemitism" is meant as racism directed at "Jewish" persons as a group, it may be better to just have it called racism, as this may keep the accuser from showing racism against others in the same breath.

      If by "antisemitism" some people mean disapproval or dislike of any acquired and discussible things like religion, irreligion, cultural superstructure, politics etc., then they deserve a quenelle.

      Ah, more scarequotes around Jews/Jewish. And a praise for a quenelle! You know, the half-hitler salute!

      Now do people get why puppies gets outraged when the anti-Semitism charge is raised?

      He is one.

      But as I keep going through the sewer of cancerous hatred that is his mind, more and more ugly racism keeps spewing up. It's like he can't contain himself for all his hatred of Jews!

      But it keeps going on!

      Zionists and other tribal exceptionalists show their true colors by protesting "Antisemitism" by any name.

      Yeah, anti-Semitism is now also put in scare quotes. It mustn't be recognized for how else can I get away with my hatred of Jews!

      @JeffB "I’m not speaking for all Jews. I’m speaking for Jews in the aggregate. There are exceptions to any group but when we talk of groups acting an overwhelming majority is fine."

      You got that one absolutely right!
      Whoever keeps his tribal ties with a bunch of, in its overwhelming majority, supporters of invasion, dispossession, mass murder and war of aggression, can and should be taken to task!

      It's perfectly OK to point out that statistics don't determine individual behavior and no one may automatically assume one's individual position from collective categories.

      But the fact of not breaking with a group that is criminal in its overwhelming majority signals you as part of it.

      Now we start to unpack the core of it. In his mind, Zionists = Jews, just like in the mind of most far-right Likudniks.

      Apparently, Jews in "overwhelming majorites" are supporters of "mass murder". And we are a "group that is criminal in its overwhelming majority".

      This is a classic blood libel. And this concerns the overwhelming majority of Jews on this site, too, part of a group that "is criminal in its overwhelming majority" and "who supports mass murder".

      Not some Jews. Not most Jews. But "in overwhelming majorities"
      Let's see how this Jew-hater will try to spin himself out of this one.
      "No I meant most Jews there!".
      Try harder Jew-hater.

      ______________________________________

      Mind you, I've only chosen a few comments dating back no longer than April 5th. And this is what I found in such a short space.

      Puppies, it's not even borderline with you. You're a raging racist with a deep-seated hatred of Jews. You're obsessed with us.
      You are a piece of anti-Semitic filth.

    • Seafoid, his defence of Yusuf al-Qaradawi - a notorious Jew-hater - is pretty obvious. His Jew-baiting of a Jewish journalist by referencing Nazi concentration guards is another. His deliberate conflation of Jewish and Zionist in order to say things about Jews he couldn't otherwise is another.
      The list just goes on.

      As for Miliband, it was widely perceived as an anti-Semitic news article, even by the leftists at the Guardian.
      There are plenty of Marxists in the UK, but few have had their national loyalties questioned in that kind of way.

      It's the ancient theme: Jewish Marxists threatening to "undermine" the cultural hegemony of the white Christian nation from within with their progressive, radical politics. This is the theme of any white supremacist, it's all the Jews fault for feminism, multiculturalism, "political correctness"(a.k.a liberal values, broadly defined) and so on.

    • American, I'm not sure you can lecture anyone on nuance.

      Going to Israel and pandering to them, Miliband is doing not much different than Obama going to Ireland and "discovering his roots". Naked ethnic pandering.

      That there are different kinds of pandering, which was my point (why I distinguished between the Bob Carr relevations, how Gillard went beyond pandering and, in his words, "subcontracted the foreign policy of australia"). This is the point you seem to have missed.

      Another key difference: In the Bob Carr case we had substance to judge it on. Here we have nothing but a campaign stop. Shoring up the Jewish vote in the UK is not as clear-cut for a Labor politician, since the vote is more divided than in the US. (And yes, of course donations play a role, like with any interest group).

    • Puppies, you have to shout louder, I can't hear you loud enough from the sewers. You've been down there for so long, you now think everyone shares your fate. We don't.

    • Just to clarify my comments, pandering to a specific group(Jews in this case) is not news worthy in of itself. Bob Carr's relevations are on a different scale because he says he couldn't even issue a routine condemnation, which he then compared the statements of the UK PM (which, as it happened, were exactly the kinds he wanted to issue, measured, "liberal" Zionist-esque, statements)

      Miliband has faced a lot of criticism, not least because he failed to back away from Ken Livingstone, the former mayor of London who was very critical of Israel (and, frankly, at times anti-Semitic). And his intermarried wife didn't help matters.
      He also faced anti-Semitic slurs by the former pro-Nazi Daily Mail, or rather, his dad did and by extention his family, for "hating Britain".

      What he is doing on these trips is basically what all pandering is about: telling the people you pander to what they want to hear. When it starts to affect genuine policy, like it has with Australia, then it becomes much more newsworthy.

      (I'm not denying that BICOM has an influence, but when the conservative PM of Britain talks about Gaza in a way that even a leftist like Sen. Bernie Sanders wouldn't, I'm saying the situations are radically different than a purported leftist like Carr who has to adopt an almost Likudnik line).

    • Phil, I understand and respect your intentions here, but how is this different than any of the usual pandering politicians do to various interest groups?
      Sure, this is a site about the Middle East but these kind of routine pandering trips are not on the same playing field as Bob Carr's relevations.

      If anything, the Jewish community(and by "community" I really mean the same hard-right organizations like BICOM, the JCC etc that are dominating in the UK like AIPAC, AJC and the ADL are in America. In short: not representative) in the UK has been critical of Miliband.

      Cameron is widely seen as more "pro-Israel" than Miliband. And Cameron talked about Gaza as an "open-air prison camp" a few years ago.
      Which tells you a little bit about how the UK is oceans apart from America in how far they've come on this issue. Even the current ambassador to Israel, who is a conservative Jew, has admitted that Israel is losing even the centrist backbenchers.

      P.S.

      Here's King's College, part of the University of London system, passing a pro-BDS resolution in the student senate.

      link to thejc.com

      Just a few weeks ago. Other than Berkeley, I don't know of any major university in US that's among the Ivies that has passed one. And Berkeley is super liberal.
      King's a college with a strong business and economics department, not the usual profile of radical Marxists, to put it gently.

  • 'Not a single person in this room would accept living as Palestinians do, generation after generation'
    • I'm reading Shira Robinson's brilliant book, ironically entitled "Israel's liberal settler state".

      She gives an enormous amount of detail for the period after the establishment of the state and '67, thereby crushing the "liberal" Zionist myths about "how Israel democracy collapsed in the 67 occupation".

      And Beinart's right out of her book. And it's not only Jewish colonialists. She writes at length about gentile European "liberal" imperialists who viewed the non-white masses through the lens of paternalistic racism. They didn't hate them, per se, but viewed them as inferior and dangerous to democracy. Thus they needed to be given "time to prepare" for democracy, under the firm white hand that ruled them, of course. Beinart's no different.

      We sometimes portray these old colonialists in a cartoonish way, with the same broad brush. But the fact was that there were moderates, people who believd themselves to be liberals, who worked within a colonial system.
      Of course, the end results were the same for the people being ruled over, but in their own minds, they were humanitarians.

      Beinart's fear are common to all Zionists, and by extention, colonialists: demographics. And demographics because they fear the outcome, a loss of racial supremacy.
      He doesn't talk about his fundamentally racist views in an honest way, but rather, like Mill disguises them in humanitarian garbs, as a pretense for a paternalistic expression of concern for the hapless non-white masses who need a firm white hand to guide them(and not to the ballot box!).

  • Amira Hass predicts Israel's 'colonial project' will eventually fail--but at what cost?
    • Her comments seem to be in congruence with those of Blumenthal and Abuminah (re: Palestinians shopping at settler malls). Namely, that there's been a great deal of progress, but nearly all of it is outside of Israel.

      Which could also explain the Israeli Jewish tendency towards blindness, since they have only cemented their control and indeed expanded it, but have failed to fully understand the deep, structural shifts in the world, or at least in the Western world, including the former bastion of America.

  • American Studies Association adds over 700 new members since Israel boycott call
    • Adam, did you guys cover this?

      link to thejc.com

      LSE is a major university.

      Don't know if you have a Haaretz subscription, but this is about the renewed efforts of the Israel lobby in the UK:

      link to haaretz.com

      And more from the Jewish Chronicle, about the NUS(the umbrella organization of UK students), delaying a boycott debate after organizational pressure from lobby groups:

      link to thejc.com

      P.S.

      Here's even more from the JC(they've been on top of the story!).

      Lauder, the president of the World Jewish Congress is admitting his organization is knee-deep in the efforts to attack the BDS movement and he is now shifting focus to the UK.

      link to thejc.com

  • 'There's a lot of anti-Semitism out there' -- Johansson reviews her role as 'new face of apartheid'
    • To Scarlett, Palestinians do not exist.

      That in of itself shouldn't be surprising, in Hollywood she is in good company, the place of regular IDF fundraising dinners.

  • Aussie media focus on Carr's assertion that Israel lobby had 'direct line' into Prime Minister's office
  • State Dep't tries to clean up Kerry's 'Poof'
    • Sumud, that's brilliant :D

    • Domestic politics.

    • It's actually quite remarkable that Kerry, the Foreign Secretary of the world' most powerful country, feels pressured to assure the FM of a tiny country that the US is devoted to them to an almost slavish extent.

      Lieberman, in a normal world, should be hunting Kerry and not the other way around and ask what he and his country can do to help the negotiations.

      People don't react anymore because they have become socially conditioned to this bizarre situation.

  • Australia opposed Palestinian UN bid because foreign policy was 'subcontracted to Jewish donors' -- report
    • People don't? People talk openly about Adelson. Sure, you still have your self-censoring Matthews', but lots of other folks are upfront about his Israel politics.

      The WSJ had an article showing the exact percentages of Jewish donations to both American parties last year or was it in 2012? It garnered a lot of controversy. It was something like 60-70% for both parties, so much more than the 20% for the Australian labor party.

      Tony Blair's chief fundraiser tapped Jewish donor networks, too.

      The reason why all these people are going through the money route is very simple: they are weak on campuses and in the grass roots. Beinart explains this quite well in his book on Zionism(the first half is far better than the latter half).

      Although Beinart's book deals with American Jewry, the analysis is by and large true across the Western world. Plus, as Mearsheimer points out, there is typically no major interest in Israel/Palestine among major non-Jewish donors, which means that there isn't really any competition. Arab-American donors are basically nonexistent.

      And anyway, while money matters, its importance over the long term is overblown. Money can't buy policy forever, and it certainly can't stop a cultural force which we are witnessing now.

      P.S. Phil, have you read Shira Robinson's book yet? I am reading it now, it is amazing. I was wondering if you'd do a review of it or just write a general commentary based on your reading on it(not necessarily a "strict review" per se).

    • Yes, it can be both true and an expression of prejudice.

      That's an illogical statement to make. To be prejudiced is to pre-judge before the facts are known. We are merely judging after the facts are known.
      Note that Carr said that 20% of the donations came from the Jewish community, this means that the vast majority of the money came from non-Jews.

      So why does it matter? Because politicians know that Zionism is the big issue for Jewish donors aside from the usual positions that attracted them to the left or right in the first place.

      Just like a mining tycoon giving money to the Australian right might have an economic interest in the right in general but has specific interests in the mining sector. Same rule applies here.

      20% might not be a huge amount, but if it is perceived that most of them care very deeply about a single, relatively marginal issue like Israel, then it can have a big impact, which Carr also notes.

      The same here. I think that hoppy’s charge requires him to do more than allege that the statement could be viewed as antisemitic. I think he’s got to show that the claim is factually false or that there is an antisemitic motive at work.

      Hophmi's tactics are hit and run. The fact that you even bother to engage in these kinds of distractions shows that his tactics can be work from time to time(which is why he continues).

      Hophmi fundamentally doesn't want a debate about Jewish influence/power. It makes him uncomfortable. He also happens to be a person who defends Israel on even the most heinous of actions it makes.
      Are the two linked? Well, the Israel-right-or-wrong crowd can easily morph into Jews-right-or-wrong.

      Generally speaking, the fight to prevent talking about Jewish donations, Jewish political pressure etc has long been lost.

      And it has been lost for a very simple reason: nobody is fooled by the BS explanations of the Almighty Paster Hagee and his ultra-influential CUFI group which can't even get Romney to talk to them on an election year. Nor are people fooled by the incredibly important role that geezer Jews in Florida have, despite the fact that the state has been less important than places like Ohio for 3 consecutive elections.

      Australia have neither geezer Jews in large numbers nor does it have an equivalent of CUFI. Jewish donations become necessary to explain why Gillard goes against almost her entire government on a relatively marginal issue(for Australia).

      People got serious about Israel/Palestine. People started to ask the necessary questions. Jewish donations to both parties is a requirement to follow if you are serious about the reasons behind the policy. It isn't the only factor, but is is a primary factor.

      And the policy looks the way it looks because the money isn't representative of the wider Jewish community, but of the top 0.1% of Jews, whose politics on I/P is somewhat to the right of Attilla the Hun.

  • 'NYT' self-censors, axing headline blaming Israeli settlements
    • By the way, this is just something that is a guess, but do you guys think Israel's almost-intentional blowing up of the peace talks had anything to do with the fact that Iran and the Western powers(plus Russia & China) are about to meet in Vienna this coming week? They are pushing for a much more comprehensive deal.

      Netanyahu has long wanted to focus on the Iranian issue and blowing up the talks would not only allow him to do that, it would also prevent him from getting too serious in the talks. I'm sure he'll try to bring them up again in a year or two. Just endless talking.

      But in his mind, Iran is where he wants the focus to be, and a simmering "peace deal"(even if never serious) would zap energy from the issue he wants the world to care about, plus it allows him to fearmonger uninhibited.

    • There is a new piece up on the NYT website on the controversy of Kerry saying the obvious:

      link to nytimes.com

      Headline: Israel Says It Is ‘Deeply Disappointed’ by Kerry’s Remarks on Peace Talks

      Not quite "Kerry blames Israel", but more along the lines of psychodrama between what is supposed to be America's closest ally and America itself. Or - what is increasingly obvious to even mainstream conventionals - is becomming or has already become an albatross around America's neck

      In the past few months, the passive-agressiveness between Israel and America has been astounding.

      America should have ditched Israel as a favoured nation a long time. Even on purely realist grounds, it has long since outlasted its usefulness. And the notion that Israel is a "light unto the nations", nobody but the most delusional believes that anymore, even among Zionists.

  • Appeals court upholds dismissal of anti-BDS lawsuit against Olympia Food Co-op
    • P.S.

      Note the sociology of this. The pro-Israeli side is dependent upon donations from rich moguls while the BDS crowd can get lawyers working for them on a pro-bono basis; idealism.

      That really tells it all, who has the grassroots support and who is forced to rely on astroturfing. A tellsign of the future.

    • Phan's been doing yeoman's work on this issue. So my heartfelt thanks out to you for having the energy and stamina for following this story through and giving us unprecedented details. In many ways, reading you reminds me of the best quality journalism on this issue, typically from folks like Max Blumenthal and you too of course.

      As for the resolvement of the Olympia Co-Op BDS case... this is an important victory, not just in the narrow, immediate sense but also as a precedent for similar cases.

      If there will be intimidation campaigns against similar pro-BDS initiatives - and there will - then courts will have something to learn from as they make their call.

    • You can never have enough old Western songs. Apparently?

  • Chris Matthews gives Adelson and the lobby a pass
    • Phil, you are not blunt enough. The Israel lobby contains Christian elements. Most Zionists in America, by numbers, are non-Jews.

      What we have here is something entirely different. Basically; Jewish money.
      Old Jewish men like Singer, Marcus, Adelson and many others. Men in their 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s who can afford to spend tons of cash.

      It is remarkable how little money you need to spend on think tanks to have a measureable impact, just look at Haim Saban(who, with Pritzker, Lester Crown and other democratic mega-donors performs the same duty for the democratic party).

      The reason why Matthews will not touch this issue is because it brings up a topic which is unpopular: Jewish political and monetary influence.

      That's why it is okay to attack WASPs like the Koch brothers. You can talk about Adelson, but try to ignore his Israel politics as much as possible. What you cannot do, however, is to see a pattern.

      Why is it that the democratic and republican parties are both so craven on Israel?
      Inevitably you have to talk about Jewish money in particular, and you have to go into Jewish sociology, something even most Jews are unwilling to do. (You're an expception that confirms the rule).

      Even "blunt-talking" Rahm Emanuel whimps out.
      Interestingly enough, Chris Hayes have less of these inhibitions. My guess is that because most of the Jews he knows are much more relaxed about these issues because they feel a lot safer in America. Adelson, Marcus and the others grew up in a vastly different America, where you'd get beaten up for being Jewish and where Israel was truly under serious threat.

      That world is long gone, but people's minds have not yet caught up, and Matthews is part of that generation. His concept of Jewishness is not much different from the older neocon Jews he is supposed to cover; centered around vulnerability.

      Hayes' courage can at least partly be explained by this generational gap, in fact, in some sense it becomes less courageous for him to talk about these issues than it would be for someone of Matthews' generation, because how Jewishness and Jews are perceived is so much different.
      It requires a much smaller leap. 50% of all Jews in Hayes' generation are out of intermarried families. And Jews are if anything closely aligned with the establishment of America at this point, the Anglo-Jewish axis that runs the country.

      For people of Hayes' generation, the differences between a Koch and an Adelson is basically none. For Matthews's generation, Adelson's Jewishness still requires a special kind of consideration which Hayes' generation see of little benefit.

      P.S. While money has a corrupting influence, I also think it is sometimes overstated. It can delay but not prevent the emergence of a new conconcus, something we have seen demonstrated these past 10 years.
      You can buy off academic deans by threats of fewer donations, but you can't buy off students.

      And lest we forget the 2012 election, where Obama lost the fundraising race but won the popular vote by a considerable margin. Money corrupts, but in the end it does not prevail if the grassroots are determined enough to change the culture and the political understanding of the nation.

  • Outspoken Rahm Emanuel goes off-the-record when asked about Israel
    • It's not just that. Chortiner is a "liberal" Zionist of the old TNR mold, just like Jonathan Chait. Both of them have carried water for neocons numerous times in the past, just like both attacked Chas Freeman in 2009.

      Chortiner isn't just interested in the status quo for the sake of career advancement, he has an ideological vested interest in keeping it going, even if his career would stumble as a result.

      He's one of those types who will choose Jewish over democracy if he ever had a choice, like Chait or like Goldberg, even if they all pretend that isn't the case, that's how they act. They will continue to pretend the 2SS is viable for many decades to come, in order to avoid going public what they believe in private: Jewish supremacism forever.

  • Friedman says Iran's friends include BDS and Jews in Open Hillel movement
    • (continued)

      If this indeed happened, and it is starting to happen now, it would also open up a radical experiment: can Israel survive as an Apartheid state without its diaspora blocking any meaningful action, or at least without being able to do it as effectively in the past?

      There will be serious splits in the future; we can already see the contours of them today with the rise of the Open Hillel/JVP/Jews in BDS on campuses today.

      Israel can certainly survive in the physical sense. It doesn't actually need American military aid, but it makes life easier.

      The question then becomes cultural. Remember, white-ruled South Africa was not threatened in any military way. While boycotts had hurt some of the country, it was not actually in a very bad shape economically. It's a very resource rich country, they were deep in the weeds throughout the rest of Africa, often serving as a conduit for Western businesses who outwardly were distancing themselves but who used intermediaries to interact with the Afrikaaners because they knew Africa better than anyone and were more than willing to help other white people exploit black people.

      What led de Klerk to throw in the towel was the cultural isolation. When all was said and done, white Afrikaaners identified a lot more with European and Western culture rather than with their surroundings(sounds familliar?). And as Abuminah likes to point out: the white base of de Klerks political party was in many ways deeply hostile until the very end.

      The major difference is that Israel is unlikely to see a de Klerk any time soon.
      On the other hand, where will Israelis go when they are seen as pariahs across the Western world? They will want to visit Jewish communities, like Lieberman just did in Brooklyn. How will Shavit feel when he no longer gets the red carpet treatment by the "four mensches"?

      Israel's isolation will be less economic but more cultural. It doesn't identify with the Arab world. How many Israeli Jews can talk competently about Indian or Chinese popular culture? How many Israeli Jews know anything about Bollywood aside from the usual bromides?

      What BDS is threatning, ultimately, is the Jewish identity of people like Friedman, but it is also threatning to cut off Israel's primary contact with the outside world, a contact it feels is intimate. It was a telling comment when the NYT interviewed an Israeli Jewish academic in the aftermath of the ASA BDS vote. He said it "felt like a stab in the back from a family member". The problem for Israel is that you only have one family, and there is no new one out there willing to adopt it once it becomes an orphan. How long will it be able to suffer through that condition?

    • This entire story reminds me of Amos Yadlin's dismissal of international pressure which Alex Kane reported about on this site a week ago or so.
      It may be counter-intuitive, but allow me to explain:

      Yadlin was interviewed by notorious Zionist Ethan Bronner(who smiled and joked as Yadlin said one racist thing after another). When asked by Bronner to talk about what Bronner felt was "Israel's increasing international isolation" Yadlin dismissed it all by saying "So, some Europeans will be upset. So what?".

      What I think Yadlin misses is that the Zionist movement is losing America now, too, not just Europe. Yadlin is correct to dismiss Europe; it hasn't mattered for over 60 years. And Europe is, when all is said and done, America's poodle. It was the U.S. which had to step up against Russia because the Europeans wouldn't get their act together. It was the U.S. which intervened in Kosovo because the Europeans couldn't get their act together and dithered even as genocide was happening on their own continent.

      But this is different. Yadlin is out of touch with reality and Bronner, unable as he is to actually fundamentally challenge any Likudnik, allowed Yadlin's fantasies to go unchecked.

      Friedman understands what happens in America much better and doesn't seem to be as easily comforted as Bronner when a Likudnik spins his tales of delusions. Friedman also understands that if Israel loses liberal elite opinion; then it is finished.

      Most Americans didn't want to see Jim Crow ended, but the liberal elites had their mind set to do it. You can go down the line on issue after issue, the liberal elites, people who populate academia or the liberal press(which inevitable affects the mainstream media to a much larger extent than conservative media is) have brought about change. Mostly positive.

      So Friedman understands that the general polls is pretty useless, since what you need to focus on is young people and left-of-center/progressives. And how is Israel doing? Badly. That's why he is invoking BDS and Open Hillel(in all but name).

      Finally, to go back to Yadlin, one thing that Yadlin seems to miss is that Zionism for a lot of Jews, especially older Jews like Friedman or Bronner, is their Jewish identity.

      And even if China and India will matter a lot more in the next 20 years than they did in the last 20, the vast majority of Jews outside of Israel are in Western countries. And if Zionism truly becomes as popular as the Afrikaaner White Nationalist movement in the West, that means that Israel can forget the help of the diaspora in any meaningful way, at least for those under the age of 40 today, who will be of prime earning power in 10-20 years.

  • Bill de Blasio gives Avigdor Lieberman the Big Apple
    • Someone should have asked him when he thought Israel could get an Arabic-speaking PM(who had Arabic as his or her mother tongue) in addition to a Russian-speaking one.

      I would have paid a small sum to see his face.

  • New America's new take on Israel-Palestine
    • Goldman has been hired at the NAF for a long time now. She does regular events at the NAF on I/P.

      Notice, however, that NAF is run by a woman and the person in charge of Middle East affairs at the think tank is also a woman. Goldman is hired as the necessary Jewish blocking back against any smears from right-wingers and their enablers in the media(Jeff Goldberg).

      It seems to me that a lot of intitutions in America, think tanks and businesses, should perhaps follow the NAF and allow women to take control of more aspects of our lives. Things have gotten a lot better at the NAF. They do a lot of valuable stuff, not just on politics. Their focus on technology and resources/energy is also a lot better than most of the stuff in D.C.

      Finally, the tragedy of CAP continues unabated. It's sad to see how they've allowed to become a mere liberal whitewashing tool of rich Zionist funders. And I don't think it's just the liberal versions of Adelson(the Pritzker types), it's also a kind of significant unwillingness to take on the power structure. The NAF are not revolutionaries by any stretch of the imagination, but they are at least raising the important, uncomfortable and, ultimately, inevitable questions. CAP is just bending over and jumping like a little Pavlovian dog every time a funder barks at them. Zero courage. Zero relevance.

  • Why the 'Forward's' support for SodaStream is antithetical to progressive values
    • Great logic!

      Supporting illegal settlements will prevent Palestinian terror in New York! Because we all know that oppressed Palestinian farmers are the major geopolitical threat that America faces!

      What are you going to advocate next? Nuke the West Bank's hinterlands, Adelson-style? You know, just kill a few rattlesnakes. The radiation won't be a big problem!

    • Great Op-Ed. One mystery that remains unresolved is why the Yiddish version of the Forward is so much better than the English version. Max Blumenthal's book was savaged in the English version but got fair treatment in the Yiddish version, for instance. And although my Yiddish is a little bit shaky, I have picked up the Yiddish version from time to time and typically their political coverage is a lot more objective and far less rigidly Zionist.

  • Adelson would install Netanyahu in the White House if he had his druthers -- Avnery
    • I understand that logic, blah chick, and to a large extent share it.
      At the same time, considering the economic wipeout in black communities, which reached epidemic heights in 2011(when the lawsuit was filed), can we blame them if their kids were going hungry to school at the time? Jobs were extremely scarce.

      The best scenario would be if their litigation succeeded and they got jobs with people who actually respected who they were. Does anyone know how the lawsuit came out?

  • US is 'absolutely adamant' that Palestine not go to ICC and wreck the peace process -- Power
    • The slow, ongoing political prostitution of Samantha Power is one of the more sadder spectacles in the public arena that I have witnessed. She, who was so early with a clear conscience about the situation, sold herself - willing - to people like Boteach and Foxman for nothing but power.

  • Narendra Modi, a politician who presided over anti-Muslim pogrom, may be India's next leader, and U.S. cozies up to him
    • I know at least 10 times as much about India and its basic history as you do.

      So you claim, yet you completely miss the 1984 riots. It doesn't exonerate what happened in 2002, but it puts it in perspective since the INC never came clean. Your quote is more bluster than fact.

      I'll begin with the rest from the bottom.

      Another point. The Economist is nothing if not realist

      Nope. The Economist is an ideological paper, it's a neoliberal paper. In India, the two alliances are both neoliberal so the Economist can then go after BJP. It does so not because it cares about human rights - it supported the Iraq war, which is another facet of the Economist, it is "liberal" interventionist, or neocon lite, too - but because over a billion muslims matter a lot more to its revenue than a few tens of millions of Sikhs.

      But the U.S. stupidly threw away any bargaining power it had by letting Modi in from the cold before the voting even started.

      It's been obvious he would win for at least half a year now. The US has no bargaining power. You live in a fantasy world. The US has exceptionally limited leverage over India. You claim you know a lot about India. You keep disapproving your own hilarious statement with other statements like the ones you just made.

      Modi’s BJP party will probably come in first, but regional and minor parties will get up to half the votes, forcing him to try and cobble together an unwieldy coalition. If the United States had maintained its policy of boycotting Modi, a potential governing block might have been forced to pick someone else, from one of the smaller parties, as prime minister.

      Hahahahahaha!

      His political alliance is likely to be bigger than the current political alliance that won in 2009. Indian politics doesn't quite work like you say, regional parties matter on a regional level, but they don't set national policy. The minority parties can block agendas but they can't drive the country.

      Secondly, it is absolutely hilarious that you think that the U.S. has a reasonable chance of overthrowing the leader of India, the world's third largest economy and soon the most populous. The U.S. can't even overthrow Assad, and you think it has a chance of overthrowing Modi?

      Again, remember what I wrote:

      This may seem self-evident but his phrasing suggests he somehow thinks America is the center of the world; it isn’t.

      That you seriously think that the US can swap out PMs of India shows that you have completely lost touch with reality, North. At this point I am merely toying with you. You are no longer a serious debater, this is more for fun.

      Why don’t you go over to their site and lecture them about how they should “take international relations seriously as a subject?”

      The Economist's article was biased, but it was not delusional. They were correct to point out his fingerprints in the massacres. They were weirdly absent on the role on the very dark and brutal history of their opposition, something the BBC has not been able to do. But the Econoist is not delusional - it does not think America can swap out Indian PMs - and you are.

      Your “argument” boils down to what you think of as hard-headed realism, basically arguing that the U.S. has to overlook Modi’s genocide because he may be the next leader of an economic powerhouse. Even setting aide the morality of your view — something that few visitors to Mondoweiss will want to do — the U.S. policy is stupid even from the “realist” point of view.

      I wrote earlier that you don't seem to understand the basics of international relations and this quote is saved for last because it underlines my point.

      I'm not arguing that the U.S. has a choice of overlooking anything - which would imply a moral position. I'm arguing that the U.S. has no choice to work with whoever is PM because Indian-US relations are too big to fail. When you have no choice, that means that morality is thrown out of the window. Some people don't like such situations, and these people are disconnected from reality, which you've demonstrated amply throughout this article and in subsequent replies.

      And I also giggle over your attempt to dismiss the realist argument but completely misunderstanding what realist IR policy is. You should read up on John Mearsheimer. He got the I/P conflict right.
      Guess what? He got a lot of other stuff in the world of international relations right, too. He might teach you a thing or two, and you'd end up a much less foolish place than you have throughout this exchange.

      Morality is bound to choice and leverage. And you can only manufacture morality, like you have tried, by massively inflating the actual choices the U.S. has over such a massive power like India. Again, if the U.S. can't get rid of Assad in such a tiny country like Syria then how delusional would one have to be to think that it has a serious shot in India?

      Finally, let me speak about your morality. Where is your outrage over the eight times as deadly anti-Sikh riots and the INC's/Congress' inability to resolve the blame there? This is the kind of selective morality that undermined the Economist's case, not because it was wrong about Modi, but because it serially ignored the unresolved genocides of the past of the other party. The 1980s is not a long time ago. And I don't see you having a lot of outrage. Maybe you'd support Stalin's pogroms because he had the "right" ideological leanings? A lot of leftists did until the moment they no longer could. You remind me of them.

      For me, neither the BJP nor Congress are attractive parties.
      But unlike you, I am not willing to forgive one side.

    • P.S. the most hopeful thing about these elections is the rise of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). Sure, there have been things that they have proposed that have been populist in a bad way(free water for everyone but no taxes to fund it).

      Nevertheless, their focus is on the right place. And, crucially, they are not afraid to take on business interests or biased media. NDTV is basically a sub-division of the INC.

      Mukesh Ambani has been allowed to rip off Indian gas customers, which at this stage is a lot of poor households, in an outrageous way. He has, unsurprisingly, threatened Kerjiwal with law suits for speaking the unspeakable.

      Another interesting thing is that the AAP has gotten a lot more support from overseas Indians. They have reached out in a major way, they just held a townhall for 700 Indians in London. They have a team of dedicated Indian engineers in Silicon Valley, some of whom have dropped jobs at Apple and other companies to dedicate themselves to fight corruption.

      The Congress and the BJP both have stains on their records, whether it is ethnic riots or endemic corruption, that explains the meteoric rise of the AAP. This election is yet too soon for them, but the next one could be a lot more interesting.

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