Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 2481 (since 2009-07-30 20:10:07)


curious nitwit from Köln/Cologne Germany

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  • 'NYT' abided by Israeli gag order even as 'EI' scooped it repeatedly
    • He may slip it in as part of the structure for the new Amazon “drone” program;-)

      That's the problem I have with the unions occasionally over here. More jobs gone easily nowadays. Another Amazon strike over here, apparently. And to be quite honest, many union representatives I met during my life ultimately were as corruptible as their counterparts "the business elites". The human element always trumps whatever basic ideas.

      I like the way they integrated the used book sellers option. It seems to work for students, who can get rid of books at relatively good prices when they don't need them anymore. Although I have no idea how much Amazon gets.

      Lately I made a curious discovery. A merchant in Frankfurt, who apparently is quite good at using existing structures, adopting to the times-that-are-a-changing. He sells over too, but even when I ordered via his online shop with in his Frankfurt base ultimately the item was handled and sent by I would assume it pays for him, both storing and sending, otherwise he wouldn't use it. -But yes, no doubt he has to pay less people doing the job.

    • I was vaguely thinking about the Blau affair, too. I appreciate that you remind us of it in this context. ...

      I have also to admit --however you want to look at it--as "aside" or as confession: I could easily develop conspiracy tales about how Ari Shavit's book was ordered by the powers that be. Since they were aware of Max' upcoming publication. Well, I have to admit, I studied literature. ;)

      In any case what restrictions does "the only democracy in the ME" have both inside and outside, and how are related? And how? And to what extend?

    • Ok, get it.

      Hostage, huge thanks by the way for one of your recent sources. John B. Quigley, Palestine is a State: A Horse with Black and White Stripes is a Zebra. That helps a lot, since I am slightly puzzled for longer now by what I call the terra incognita argument.

      Made me aware of this ebook. uses a really peculiar listing for John B. Quigley. Although his book about the Six Day war is listed as John Quigley, versus simply Quigley as in the book above, for whatever reason you don't find it if you search John Quigley. I am working on it.

      But back to his the Statehood of Palestine. Absolutely fascinating. I didn't know how the Balfour Declaration was used in WWI. It may well be one of the tiny pieces of the puzzle that may have fed into the larger stab-in-the-back-myth / Dolchstoßlegende on the extreme right over here. These tiny bits of evidence that get blown out of proportion, is exactly what I am interested in.

      Highly interesting author. I doubt there are many in his field with such a solid knowledge of Russia. Thanks for alluding me to him. The Question of Palestine is on its way from the US. I keep wondering how they can send it with the same shipping terms as if they were in Europe. Am I sponsoring slave work if I do order there?

    • ooops, correspondents, not correspondence. I guess I was tired. Initially it was foreign journalists, and then wondered about foreign in that context. Some surely are more foreign than others. On the other hand that is not really an ally I like to go down.

    • New York, New York. Are you alluding to Sullivan's timing or are you pleased to be there?

    • For whatever reason I seem to have this vague memory, that all correspondence for foreign media on the ground are somewhat restricted by rules in their reporting.

      While this is of course highly interesting, it would also be interesting to know more about the larger context.

      But maybe I am misguided.

  • The Book of Exodus and the Book of Palestine
    • May I offer you a mental bridge, Libra? To get over the passages that trigger your revolt?

      Quite possibly the vast majority always used and uses religion as some type of superficial cloth that makes them appear: righteous. ON BOTH SIDES. That is his core narrative. Don't allow yourself to be distracted by emotional responses.

      At least the Hebrew Bible details the downside. Credit where credit is due. The New Testament lacks courage. If the New Testament covered roughly the same amount of time as the Hebrew Bible does, the New Testament would stretch from Jesus to Auschwitz. So much for the Jewish God of vengeance versus the Christian God of love.

      No doubt Christians more generally would profit from the Jewish avoidance of black and white versus the Christian's own obsession with the devil, the personification of the "evil other". Which seems a deeply influential ultimately dangerous myth and apparently a core inspiration of the religious right and some religious nuts.

      But, if I may: The Nazis really weren't Christians. Their intention ultimately was to change religion according to their own Aryan designs to take it over like anything else. Look into the history of the German Christians, and the attempts to take over the Protestant church with their help. No doubt you also will find rather dubious theologians that managed to keep one foot in the party even the SS for a time and at the same time were dissenters in the Confessing Church too, just in case, it feels. And yes, even on the side of the Confessing Church its members apparently did not protect their priests with Jewish roots, maybe too busy trying to protect their church, the institution, against the Nazi takeover. Which led to the surrender of core values.

      All this for me strictly belongs into the herd and the occasionally "real Christians", whatever that may be. Where the bystanders and diverse layers of perpetrators centrally Christians?

      Compare the righteous among the nations, a variation may well be the righteous among the Christians. Remember some of the churches' representatives were among the victims too. Let's dive a bit into mystical Jewish tradition:

      Lamed-Vav Tzadikim: As a mystical concept, the number 36 is even more intriguing. It is said that at all times there are 36 special people in the world, and that were it not for them, all of them, if even one of them was missing, the world would come to an end. The two Hebrew letters for 36 are the lamed, which is 30, and the vav, which is 6. Therefore, these 36 are referred to as the Lamed-Vav Tzadikim. This widely-held belief, this most unusual Jewish concept is based on a Talmudic statement to the effect that in every generation 36 righteous "greet the Shechinah," the Divine Presence (Tractate Sanhedrin 97b; Tractate Sukkah 45b).[1]


      That said, I respect Marc's pride, if that is what it seems, in Jewish tradition and its long history. Just as I think, its a real tragedy that Judaism apparently got taken over by rather worldly interests.

  • Palestinian youth say the talks with Israel are futile
    • "The tree is not only a symbol of the Arab’s occupation of the land, but it is also the central means through which they carry out this occupation ..."

      Amazing, how one's own ideologies can be projected onto the other. But also how religion can be twisted to serve more worldly desires.

      My grandfather thought me his love of trees, I am pretty sure based on these memories, that the former owners would recognize their trees. Which no doubt may be sold sometimes in need of means for basic survival created by the occupation. A context turned upside down in the Rabbi's (?) argument. to what extend would families really resort to sell their trees? And how could one get them to as a really last solution? ... Are there merchants looking for trees that get an extra high price?

      I was absolutely baffled by the argument, an argument that seems to fit the larger context of these projective verbal activities, when I first encountered this idea: the Palestinians want to keep Judea & Samaria judenrein.

      But we also have events like putting fire to olive trees, don't we? There is a much larger context,which shows the supposedly deeply religious may in fact not be, whatever you like to call it: "fake religious". In fact some may well be turning religious/"observant" in need of a special ethic cloak in this context.

      What I am really wondering about is, that I never noticed these things when I watched the first documentaries about observant religious settles. Deeply puzzled indeed.

      But then, my friend tells me, I do not see things, I haven't read about. And have come to accept this a basic critique.

  • Haaretz joins Rush Limbaugh and company in trying to link Max Blumenthal to KC shooter suspect
    • Ritzl, if I look at your profile, we may be about the same age. But that weren't my first studies. It was a field I had to give up, when my mother begged me to leave Berlin for Freiburg University in the 70s, since my sister was in a boarding school there and wanted to move into her own flat during the last two years up to her exam. My mother didn't want her to live alone. ;) She was always slightly anxious about my younger sisters.

      I guess that resulted for me in something I had to give up, something unfinished. So I decided to flee a job I didn't like much, PR, more an accident than a deliberate choice with a language and literature background, and returned to "school" in the mid to late 80s.

    • pabelmont, during my studies (TV, film, theatre in that case) one of my profs concentrated on tendencies in TV news reporting. I probably would have never thought about that, the obvious and striking feature was the uniformity of reporting, the selection of news items. At that point I got interested what guides their choices too, some of course are obvious, and looked into news value theories. But that obviously wasn't our attention, but the general uniformity of images in that context. Handshakes, descending or getting on a plane, and so forth.

      Concerning owners prejudices, there was an interesting draft law during the Weimar Republic over here, that would have given journalists freedom of expression. Of course the Nazis did the opposite and installed one person personally responsible to carefully obey Goebbel's rules. Easy to recognize by the color the news where printed on: Has to be written exactly as it is on the sheet, and diverse layers of slightly more freedom. But obviously the law was never considered again. Obviously it would create troubles, not only with advertisers, but also with an audience that has come to expect a certain point of view.

      All this hoo-ha about the murder of three people even though on a racial/religious basis sits ill (with me) considering the general ignoring of years of Israel-done terrorism/horror.

      I don't agree. It is obviously newsworthy.

      Much more interesting is to ask the question. Why do the usual suspects, if I may, try so hard to connect the news with Max Blumenthal, with the obvious intention to establish a mental shortcut on people's minds? Max Blumenthal - Miller.

      The basic association is firmly established: The extreme right uses the texts of Jewish authors to prove their points (usually out of context). That's standard knowledge. You can also be sure, you will find evidence.

      But there is a different theme that was introduced into the post 911 world: The real antisemites are on the left nowadays.

      People like Horowitz--so he is in Germany leading another high profile travel company of sponsors, anyway?-- better divert attention from the fact to what extend they have moved towards the right themselves.

      So the act is both, politically convenient and tries to distract people from this fact. Look, if there weren't the Max Blumenthal's of this world, these guys wouldn't do what they do, or think what they think. Which obviously is absolute bullshit. But as we can see here, it could easily backfire.

      The most interesting actor surely in this context is Haaretz, and the fact that the article is anonymous. But I would put David Horowitz pretty high up on that list too.

    • Interesting W. Jones, but not really surprising.

      He testified in a 1988 sedition trial in Fort Smith, Ark., where 14 white supremacists were accused of conspiring to kill a federal judge and FBI agent, and plotting to overthrow the federal government.

      All were acquitted.

      Hmm? How does one prove plotting?

      You necessarily will have problems with informers from that camp, it feels always, except for rare cases that have some doubt about the cause already. No matter if you exploit his greed or others personal advantage like here. He is the best example in this context.

      But more back to the point you are wondering about. Informing about some colleagues had an advantage for him, but obviously it didn't automatically change his mindset or his core believe set.

      This book is dedicated to my daddy, the honorable Frazier Glenn Miller, Sr. From the rebel state of South Carolina the man I most wanted to be like when I was a child, and wish I had been now that I'm an old man Strong, decent, intelligent, honest, and brave, the man I admire above all others. And he taught me what I know. ...

      Shouldn't the fact that they were all acquitted somewhat minimize the danger to him? Look guys, I carefully choose ones that I knew couldn't be acquitted for what they wanted to prove, for instance? Or I created a rather tall tale you know cannot be proved anyway? Of course that is something he could not write about in his book ... you can take a closer look into this chapter, if you are interested in how he sells that part of his story.

  • Cornell student government puts the kibosh on divestment debate
    • ritzl, I never looked at your profile before, but I like it:

      It also suggests that just one little glimmer of reality that gets through can make a difference, one person at a time. One never knows which glimmer that might be

      Definitively it may not have been good to surrender pressure. Much less under these conditions:

      He added that they submitted it last week on the advice of a student government assembly member, who said they had a lot business to take care of in the remaining weeks.

      It seems the vast majority of the audience has no problem it is tabled. Why exactly? Where they informed about the issues decided on, and how? What percentages of the audience were present for one or the other of the business decided on that day that mattered to them?

      Is there an article anywhere that tells me something about the process leading up to last time the issue was tabled resulting in protest?

      I guess I would have preferred to use the anger for focused activity. Anger gives power. While I can understand it, I doubt had I been in the audience it would have pulled me over even at that age, hadn't I already been convinced of the issue and at least a semi-open to BDS. Quite possibly the opposite. But that may be a personal matter. I would never show it, let it control me, I would have carefully guarded it as an inner flame. Why give the other side the benefit of enjoying my rage?

  • American citizen, translator and student—Mariam Barghouti arrested and detained in West Bank
    • I am not sure, pabelmont. They would argue that was a trick and you only cuffed your dominant hand to bluff observes, the services, the military. Could you in fact prove it was your dominant hand? Maybe you trained to be able to write with both hands and to respond spontaneously with the other only before the event. They could in fact argue, this was the best evidence of all, since it proves your intentions indirectly. ;) Yes, I consider the procedures Kafkaesque by now.

      Both hands would work maybe? And keeping the key in your hotel room, or better somewhere safe or with your lawyer. Slightly uncomfortable though.

    • Hey, that is interesting. I didn't know that Richard has a twitter feed. Matt Lee too. That guy surely sticks out lately from the crowd.

  • Roger Ailes demands NY village official take down 'Facebook' post. She says no
    • Phil, I like this a lot and I get the general drift.

      My problem with this is the following. In your private The Assimilationist meanderings, which I liked a lot, although I had the impression you struggled with a basic illusion, the context was clear. The characters where easy to grasp, if it was enlarged beyond the troubles between husband and wife (favorite Jeans), e.g. the chess game. But the moment politics or the personal or ideological clashes between people enter the scene, matters are either more difficult to follow or some of us have firmly established defenses in that context.

      I remember wondering about that, when I was confronted with the activities against Norman Finkelstein. I respect him highly, but I found it absolutely impossible to read his side of the issue. Dershowitz. My brainwaves simply twisted up.

      I hate to be drawn into fights. This may be a really personal issue.

      But strictly, beyond simply getting what you are talking about. I wonder if any native speaker got precisely what in fact was happening, if he did not follow the links or looked into the story more closely. That said:

      Hats off!- Stephanie Hawkins. I don't completely understand. But I love people that have "balls of steel", if you don't mind me using that imagery?

  • Palestinians can have an embassy in Jerusalem, but God forbid not a capital -- Israeli mayor
    • And by the way, there is not one example of a city in the world that ever got split and became functional.

      West Berlin, and East Berlin, or "Berlin the capital of the GDR", is the capital of the GDR, to use the former slogan: you tube: GDR advertisement.

      Of course the BRD, the Federal Republic of Germany, moved their own capital to Bonn at the time.

      So there weren't two capitals in both parts. But Berlin had a wall too. ;)

      "Functional" they were anyway. Ask the people that lived there. Even the West was a "functional" oasis.

  • Alterman says BDS is helping Netanyahu
    • thanks, Hostage, perfect response, as always.

      I should have known. Even if I didn't catch any of your comments referring directly to this specific context, it was present in your arguments a long time now.

    • Thanks, ritzl, that escaped me for whatever reason.

    • and the findings of the UNHRC fact finding mission about the role of transnational corporations and businesses in the illegal settlement enterprise

      There wasn't such a fact finding missing yet, or was there. I would be highly interested in such a mission.

      Good argument.

  • Alleged K.C. killer: 'If Jews can have a state of their own, why can't we have a White Christian state?'
    • Annie, since it is only happening here with this specific comment thread, I admittedly wonder if it would be at least theoretically possible to target only this thread. I simply mentioned it, since I wonder if I am the only one it happens to. Odd it only happens here. But would that be possible at all least theoretically? I have never noticed this odd phenomenon before. You cannot reach a specific comment, clicking on the comment link takes you there, but then you are immediately redirected to another arbitrary spot in the comment section. It isn't a problem with Firefox, since it also happens with IE, and there too only with comment links in this thread.

      A little gossip: Baytch. by the way uses an image of Emmy Noether. Her expertise or activities, at least looking at the links that Google brings to the top now, seems to be defense of Jewish American Meritocracy. ... Reminds me of an earlier lady from the camp with the following constant refrain: pro-Israel, meritocrats, people that matter and that are successful; the pro-Palestine camp, or defenders of Palestinian rights, losers.

      Speaking of prejudices, that's where I would put the shooter. But it is not really that easy for the complete camp, at least over here. And I don't think it's very, very different in the States.

      HostageI prefer Firefox too, and mainly use it in spite of some troubles. But what I am trying to describe happens for me only on this thread, not on any other. And that is what feels odd.

      But yes, I had troubles with Firefox too. For instance with one of your links yesterday. This one: A/HRC/22/63. Seemingly a word.doc instead of a pdf.file. Doesn't load or needs an enormously long time to load, which does not change if you modify security settings. With IE it immediately loads.

      But strictly, yes, I have other troubles with Firefox too again lately. Like the close down routine seems to hang occasionally in both Firefox and Thunderbird and you cannot start it again after you closed it without doing a complete new system start. (I should look into this ...)

      But generally Firefox seems to be much more comfortable with the new software than with Phil's early blog. ;)

    • Two of the victims were only there for a talent competition. If that’s “race mixing”, then so was Hitler’s Summer Olympics.

      That seems to be the context that tree was referring to. Do you basically accept that my own personal trains of association cannot always be in line with how you expect me to respond to matters? I am firmly on your side concerning the suggested draw with Dan, by the way. And if may, appreciated your reminders of Greg Palast, who was one of my main sources at the time.

      But strictly there is something odd and confusing going on here on the Max comment thread. A kingdom, or horse if you like, for being able to look into this with the appropriate tools, ideally with an IT crack next to me.

      The day he chose to shoot up the JCC parking lot was the day it was hosting auditions for KC Superstar which is open to KC high school students of all faiths, hence the Methodist grandfather and his son got caught in the line of fire.

      My response first alludes to reading experience, a literary association, which I cannot help came to mind reading tree's comment, and second to my purely hypothetical assumptions about the specific event. I doubt this guy was aware of the event.

      But neither tree or me would know if he was. Strictly he could have been aware of the event. And had he been, then whoever he hit, maybe wouldn't have mattered to him, as tree indirectly wondered. And strictly given my reading experience on the German right and their history up to and during WWII, I would agree. That's a core of their mindset. I was fully aware this does not tell us anything about the event here. But basically we are only struggling with its political usage anyway.

      Get it?

    • In Germany there is a group called National Socialists for Israel. Check out their website (in German).

      When it popped up, it was initially in English. Didn't seem to have much support and ultimately led me to suspect it as some type of (could be privately inspired too) intelligences or misinformation campaign.

      They always use blogs, so you cannot trace back their ip's. link: Seems the last article was written in 2008.

      The context alludes to a Querfront = Third Position context. A right/left unison. With mostly dead links both right and left groups and publishers.

      In any case, I'd advise you to don't give this any importance, it does not at all suggest that the extreme right over here has elementarily changed. Quite the opposite re-read Max quote above. It could even be an attempt by the Anti-Germans to lure some from the right on the correct path of hawkish pro-Israel support. It could be many, many things. In any case it is absolutely unimportant.

    • Annie, first: yes, labeling Max: "Jew journalist Max Blumenthal" is classic antisemitic language. It has to be grammatically incorrect to keep the "zero plural Jew" (noun), instead of Jewish journalist (adjective). From a racist point of view they are all the same, and want their words to mirror their ideology.

      More importantly to these people it doesn't matter if there is another "Jew", like Max Blumenthal, or not. These guys easily find "Jew authors" and/or "the Jewish evidence" to prove their point, pretty similar action to what Nurit is doing, really.

      Nevertheless it is politically convenient to put him into this context as "mental influence", suggesting a causal relation between what Max wrote and the event. That's deliberately mud-slinging and some of it will no doubt stick.

      second: the Adelson issue. That's more complicated for me, really. Or, I am struggling much more in this context. I just deleted some top of my head responses, some type of a, b, c, ... brainstorming in this context. It touches a core field of interest to me, which I would describe thus: fiction creating reality for the herd. Thus vaguely related what is happening here, or Nurit's activities.

      But may I try something more concrete instead? The ideal outcome from my perspective would be if another candidate Adelson chooses, would loose at the vote boxes. Next election might be interesting. Considering both his ultimate choice and looking into the context of his chosen advisors and policy aims. I am sure he tries to get the right one this time, so he hasn't to shift horses in mid-race in mid-race. ;)

      This is a very odd comment section. I haven't managed one single time to reach a specific comment via the recent comment bar on the right. It immediately shifts to somewhere else. But take care Annie.

    • I’m wondering if in his sick mind he was striking out against “race-mixing”.

      tree, the moment I read that none of the victims was in fact Jewish something along these lines went through my head too. Fact is he choose Jewish institutions. But yes, I guess not only what Max wrote above but also the SPLC profile he links to suggest a possible obsession with "race-mixing" too.

      But the context reminded me of texts from the late 19th century on by the extreme German right. They often defined their enemy as: "the Jews and their fiends" for similar reasons.

      Strictly it is completely unimportant, if the victims were Jewish or not. He simply couldn't tell. Obviously he choose them quite arbitrarily. Even if he knew, there was a planned mixed event in the community center that day, there was nothing comparable in his next choice of the Jewish retirement home. Or are these two institutions related?

      Looks like a rather spontaneously decided event, maybe in an effort to deal with personal frustrations, but one nevertheless as far as his choice of locations are concerned meditated about much longer.

    • People have pointed out that the alleged shooter cited Max’s work.

      If you refer vaguely to "people" that have pointed that out, why don't you tell us who they are? As it stands, it seems you digged that up yourself, and are now trying to sell the same rumor here only slightly more vaguely. Thus making it possible to more directly associate it with events.

      Nurit Baytch ‏@NuritBaytch 7 Std.

      @AxonRad @RaniaKhalek @MaxBlumenthal No. Here is alleged shooter citing Max's RT interview w/ lie as explained before link to

      And all you have found so far to support your claim that Miller cited Max, is, Miller linking to an article by Ron Paul mentioning Max in that context? An article from Jan 2012, that isn't even available anymore? And strictly only refers to Max via Ron Paul?

      I would assume, your masters expect more of you. More solid evidence, or at least they would appreciate that. Or doesn't it matter, since its ultimately only about spreading rumors?

  • You know Israel's in trouble when 'NYT' runs op-ed saying it's replacing Iran as isolated theocracy
    • thanks piotr, helpful.

      The most visible settlers recognize Torah as the only authority and some military units are given task to operate effectively under their control, while other are under direct orders of the command chain.

      Yes, I have to admit that initially left me perplexed. It's hard to understand the power they obviously have to even control the military and beyond that the whole party system. Really odd, I cannot imagine this happening anywhere else. But maybe not really, the closer one looks into Israel's history and its core ideals.

      Concerning the hopeful scenario Krusty offers above (Labor-Shas, rumblings, Shas?) reminds me of a comment by our Shmuel (Sermoneta-Gertel, more rare lately), or more precisely his harsh criticism of Shelley Yacimovich, who I wanted to regard as a tiny light on the horizon at one point. He shattered that hope, completely. And there seems to be almost none left by now. I guess, to stay with the ladies, I cannot regard Tzipi Livni (Likud-Kadima-Hatnuah) as a sign of hope either.

      From Wikipedia:
      Pro-peace politics
      Third Way
      Green politics

      I am hesitant about "third ways". Both historical and more recent attempts.

      Isn't the more likely scenario that the parties, the vast majority of them anyway, plan to sit out Obama and hope for a GOP candidate more aligned to their security needs? Some type of second Bush jun?

  • Why are two Republican congressmen doing a walkabout on the Temple Mount?
    • Hilarious, both Dickerson and piotr.

      But Dickerson, I made short excursion into the field of "the psychopath" recently. And what troubles me most is one of its core definitions, or core registered human handicaps, if you like. It's supposed to be experiencing no emotions. Now, I can tell you that one female analyst once forced me through near hell with these constantly repeeted questions: What do you feel? What did you feel then?

      Now what do normal persons feel versus the non-feeling psychopath? I do experience empathy but not as a default either. It seems to be connected with basics of my personality, it needs roots. And I surely never killed someone, thus I cannot tell you, if, at that point I felt nothing. But I guess, it could happen if my anger, which is about the only thing I have no trouble experiencing, was all I felt at that point. Seems for the time needed it could easily trump empathy. At least theoretically, I am not a violent person though.

      The Wisdom of Psychopaths. Historically only criminals were analyzed and the history and texts that were developed and revised are based on that field of study.

      But now it seems, at least a dissident declaresPsychopathy may well be the ideal ingredient for certain careers.

      One of the authors of this book is one of the top experts on the issue, and the guy that developed the basic tests. I have to admit, that I found not only this book enormously boring and only followed the fictive account of the Psychopath in the Workplace: Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work to the end. But then, much of what they wrote was more or less familiar even "the snake" and not really a revelation. But there obviously is a huge demand in information about how to discover the psychopath at work or in the house next door. ;)

  • About that special relationship...
    • Seafoid, with all due respect. If you could drop the term parasites in this context, I would appreciate it. Reminds me of one of the most evil Nazi productions. Supposedly a documentary. The Eternal Jew of 1940.

      I may at one point have accepted it when friends called someone a rat, but parasites makes me respond slightly allergic. ...

    • Donald, I highly recommend you listen to the audio embedded in Phil's first link (bottom) of an interview with Stephan Cohen. He gets it absolutely right. It's at the start.

      I actually considered that interview an almost perfect lure to subscribe to The Nation for at least 25 weeks, for close to nothing. Since the interview is referring to an upcoming article by Cohen.

      There are right wing nationalist forces in the Ukrainian interim government. That is a fact. Badly enough they control the investigation into the shootings and this apparently leads to a cover up. There is ample evidence that shots where fired from the place where the opposition stayed. Lawyers don't get any information apart from the fact that Viktor Yanukovych ordered the shootings. Since the right controls the important ministries, highly dubious considering the resulting absolute control of information.

      Now, obviously Israel may have it's own reasons ... Crimea?

  • Two desperate anti-Semitism charges, from Foxman and Boteach
    • It seems that the irony of an Israeli theater performing The Merchant of Venice was lost on Ms. Thompson, who appears to have taken Shakespeare’s caricature of Jews a little too literally.

      The German Jewish literary critic Hans Mayer challenged the standard perception that Shakespeare's Shylock can be reduced to "an antisemitic caricature". See his book Outsiders. A Study in Life and Letters. He influenced me quite a bit. And ultimately both performances and a closer look into stage history proves him right. It's not that simple, it depends very much on the way the part is conceived.

      I would also assume that if the character could be simply reduced to an antisemitic caricature, no Israeli company would ever consider staging the play. Something that seems to escape the Rabbi, but I doubt it escaped Emma Thompson. So, no irony there only a principled stand.


      To bait fish withal: if it will feed nothing else,
      it will feed my revenge. He hath disgraced me, and
      hindered me half a million; laughed at my losses,
      mocked at my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my
      bargains, cooled my friends, heated mine
      enemies; and what's his reason? I am a Jew. Hath
      not a Jew eyes? hath not a Jew hands, organs,
      dimensions, senses, affections, passions? fed with
      the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject
      to the same diseases, healed by the same means,
      warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as
      a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed?
      if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison
      us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not
      revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will
      resemble you in that. If a Jew wrong a Christian,
      what is his humility? Revenge. If a Christian
      wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by
      Christian example? Why, revenge. The villany you
      teach me, I will execute, and it shall go hard but I
      will better the instruction.

      I find Shylock's stage history quite interesting. Obviously especially in Germany: Shylock in Germany. Antisemitism and the German Theatre from The Enlightenment to the Nazis
      (my emphasis both quote and bold):

      [quote] The emphasis on Shylock as avaricious moneylender served a scapegoat function during the rise of industrial capitalism in nineteenth-century Germany: the stigmatization of Jewish finance capital allowed the honest Christian merchants to appear in all the more positive light. During the Nazi period, especially by 1939 with the approach of war, the emphasis is less on Shylock's avarice and more on his lust for power and blood. If earlier Shylocks served as figures on whom economic vices of capitalist society could be projected, Nazi productions of Shylock put an even greater emphasis on projecting Nazi desire for domination and murderous intent onto the Jews. However, The Merchant of Venice did not lend itself to Nazi uses as readily as might be assumed. Only a minority of theaters run by particularly zealous (or opportunistic?) servants of the regime chose to bend the play in ways needed for such a purpose. [quote end]

      The conception of Nathan's part can change the play dramatically. Mayer moved him close to Lessing's Nathan, a play which was forbidden to stage under the Nazis. I have seen absolutely brilliant Merchant of Venice performances.

  • To reach the 'moveable middle' in Jewish life, you must be inside the tent
    • complete failure to understand how the American system works.

      jonah, dear, may I kindly refer you to the text in my user profile. You are welcome to use it whenever it is convenient. But strictly you choose the wrong part of the quote to prove your point. Nevertheless, you're welcome.

      We simply wondered, if we should better send the OSZE next time. You know, they take care of fair elections too. We were just worried over here in Europistan.

      But your idea that laws were partisan only, both in the Florida Supreme Court and Washington DC is interesting. Florida election laws, or anything regulating recounts didn't matter?

    • Greater access to technology with stagnating real incomes means you go into debt and then into financial distress if you income cannot cover that debt,

      Strictly, Inanna, there is no causal relation between greater access to technology and increasing debts. As Krauss suggested the access to technology has become a lot cheaper in the last decades. But obviously the housing boom was produced on the shoulders of people that were tricked into contracts partly. There are limits to increase in that sector, obviously.

      But there was a highly interesting link to a video documentary here on MW somewhere, about prof* who travels around and lectures people about issues like unions and their rights, he is quite small, drives a mini-cooper and apparently was a member of the first Clinton administration, but left after. He met Clinton on the way to a Fulbright exchange program in England. I wish I had stored the link.

      *Segal, Siegel, no i don't think that was his name. I wish I had saved the link. But apparently I didn't. Anyone around who remembers?

    • Hostage, obviously. But isn't this somehow connected to the States wanting exactly this system, since it gives them a punch above the number of their inhabitants?

    • However, a consortium of media outlets, mostly newspapers, solicited the NORC report ...

      That was slightly hard for me to follow without the necessary basic knowledge about diverse systems involved. But I get the general drift. And watched a bit the growing suspicions about the possible manipulation of voting systems, which were easy to understand and may have resulted from this strange affair.

      As for Hostage’s comment about the antiquated electoral system, I can explain it this way. The US uses an “electoral college” to elect the President rather than a simple majority vote of all US voters.

      I know this by now. Quite possibly since I watched every US presidential election after. I witnessed it three times by now live.

      It's in the middle of night, but our public channels have an excellent program to keep you awake. ;) The chaos in the GOP last time was amusing. Apparently due to a high-profile new system accompanied by badly informed supporters who had to use it. I have to admit this confirmed some of my prejudices against the GOP and their candidate. ;)

      thanks tree.

    • By the way, Katherine Harris and Florida Governor Jeb Bush had pushed through policies that made a significant number of Florida citizens ineligible to vote in the 2000 election, many of them African Americans.

      dbroncos, that I remember, since I looked into that closer at the time. I don't think all these matters would be possible over here. We don't need to register either. We are informed automatically about time and place where we can vote and in this context are given a chance to vote by mail in case we are absent at that time.

      Now on to tree, and then to the Wikipedia article which I haven't really looked into by now.

      Strictly I don't understand what sense it could make to vote for Nader in the American two-party-system in a presidential election, other than hoping for a big share and the intention of sending a strong signal. So till I get a better grasp, I would call this a draw between Hostage and Dan at the moment.

    • dbroncos, your response suggests the "5 Judges" wouldn't have changed anything by stopping the recounting, since Bush won anyway. If I read it correctly.

      Or was the the report he had won by 900 votes before, and the judgment only served to confirm it. Which would make more sense.

      Ok, I shouldn't misuse Hostage. I could instead look at this wiki article: 2004 United States election voting controversies to refresh my memory.

      Thanks anyway.

    • Great point, Hostage. but I was almost agreeing. ;)

      Nope, the blame ultimately goes to the 5 Justices who were essentially allowed to vote twice: once at the polls; and once again in Bush v. Gore, 531 U.S. 98 (2000).

      I think that was the first thing that drew my attention to the US, combined with an article in my then weekly about "the hawks" in the government as it was described.

      There’s no reason to cast blame for the outcome of any US Presidential race, except the antiquated electoral system that precludes direct selection of the President by the citizens in the first place.

      To what extend would a change in the "antiquated electoral system" have changed matters? I looked at its history at the time. No need to go into that. But: I seem to remember that Al Gore would have won Florida and the election, if not the recounting was stopped. What wrong information do I store?

      If you allow me to use your head instead of Wikipedia?

  • Amid 'climate of fear' at Vassar, president comes out against 'action and protest' re Israel
    • German Lefty, I have been involved in work around such documentary projects. I would warn you about the one-to-one reality reliability. That's all. Occasionally things aren't communicated correctly and you simply assume matters or words that come to mind, since you have no idea about the context. OK, I haven't seen it. Just as you shouldn't rule out interference from people involved in the larger production. That's all.

      But strictly--and that is the reason I responded--it reminds me of a former co-worker, who related what a friend, who worked in the Jewish retirement home here in Cologne, had told her. She didn't meet the people, mind you. But she apparently was quite able to deduct from the experience of her friend. "That 'all' these people are greedy".

      I have no idea who you are. But if you would have a job like that somewhere, do you think you would get pregnant under these conditions? Without at least the hope for a secure relationship, which wouldn't result in the scenario you paint.

      Look I am female too and have seen all type of troubles concerning the execution of the ultimate female power via the womb in my life. That may be why I am slightly hesitant about at least that example too. If you feel solidarity, since you ponder if you at one point could use this power: Good luck. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it don't. But I would always like to hear all sides in this context. What would be the procedure in Germany, do you know. Would the mother and child be allowed to stay here? Can the child stay if the mother works? Do you know? Do you care to know?

    • I got the impression that the Philippine caregivers are actually treated like maids.

      That is exactly their job over here in Germany. Here they usually are from Poland or Romania. They get a room for free and you pay from 1.800 to 3.000 € a month. No idea how much of it they get themselves. It's done via agencies that obviously take their share.

      They aren't trained in geriatric nursing. You need extra people for that. So your impression they are treated as if they were maids is quite correct, since that is exactly what they are hired for. No doubt with differences in treatment depending where they wind up. In the context of such a documentary what you see may be influenced by the people making it. The bringing of a drink could possibly serve to visualize their job is in a simple way. The moment you enter a scene with a camera you change it, not only that, but occasionally you also suggest special actions that express something.

      I looked into the issue for my parents. But I am of the opinion, as long as they can, they should stay as active as possible. According to the experiences in Japan in a special village, where a community of elders started a business together, its not bad for old people to stay active.

      My parents have someone helping in cleaning, its a big house and thus much work, but my mother still does all the cooking herself with 86 and so far needs no further help, but that may change soon.

  • The Jewish community must not embrace Ayaan Hirsi Ali
    • Well said, pabelmont. I love the anger that is present in between your words and lines.

      But strictly consider, I wont go into details to what extend this has been my personal post WWII obsession, since that is the era into which I was born, five years after,

      consider this:

      "herd instinct". If someone is honored to such an extend, you surely don't need to reflect if the person deserves it. And as a journalist with too much different stuff at hand, it assures you, you don't have to look closer into matters.

      As an afterthought. A vague memory admittedly. There was this specific American, I don't remember, if Jewish or not. But the chances are high he actually was, due to MW's focus and my own special focus on the neocons post 911. This guy desperately needed an award, any award. To the extend I remember it, he devised means to bring it about. I suppose he recognized the pattern. Herd instinct.

      Take care.

    • The cause of Palestinian rights has thoughtful, qualified advocates of Jewish background, like Naomi Klein, like Amira Hass, like Ilan Pappe, like Noam Chomsky, who oppose what Israel is doing.

      Rachel, I could easily add to your list. Both more prominent people and people here both above and here below in the comment section. I also think it is very important for us non-Jews, in spite of the verbal struggles about that topic occasionally down here.

      We know that it is the substance of what these folks say that makes them worth hearing, not the fact of their Jewish ethnicity.

      Yes, absolutely and that is why they are important voices on the issue.

      Folks on the right are just more superficial in my estimation and can’t see past identity.

      Interestingly I would have chosen the same quote as CloakAndDagger did above, had I replied yesterday. But then I decided that I had flown off into mentally undigested matters enough for the day. Maybe in an attempt to be less direct? Could be.

      Hirsi Ali, choose sides with the power camp in an atmosphere where many of us struggled to come to term with events. That's her right and ultimately paved her road to success and a multitude of honors. BUT: I cannot see anything really brave in this, in spite of the fact that she now needs bodyguards and Salmon Rushdie supports her.

      Where I would hesitate is, describing the right/conservative/neoconservatives as "superficial". I doubt they are. There are solid political positions underlying their views. Their political positions are just as solid as our own, they only are different.

      Mine teetered a lot during the last one and half decade. Maybe since the right used basically left positions to their own advantage, completely unconnected with reality. Women's rights were one of them. I was admittedly baffled to see some from the feminist camp join the powers that be flags flying. Females had to be freed in Iraq? Really? I wasn't completely sure about that. Can bombs really change the habit of clitoral circumcision? I somewhat doubt that too, since it doesn't even seems to be based on Islam but is more a cultural habit.

      Thanks for your response. And see above, why I answered slightly late. ;)

    • I find the use of the term “Right” a tad disturbing. I find this Left/Right dichotomy to be something that we have been fed as justified polar positions in this country, and it is just not true. I have been called a member of the “Right” because I supported Ron PaulFolks on the right are just more superficial in my estimation and can’t see past identity.

      You should differentiate between fast and unreflected labels and your present political positions. I guess, I wouldn't have called you "right" only based on that voting decision without further evidence. It could have been a protest vote.

      But if I were American, I wouldn't have voted for Ron Paul either. First: It hate to waste my vote. And often the choice is about the lesser evil. Second: his anti-intervention position was about the only thing that felt attractive, but for a vote that wouldn't have been enough for me. ...

      Last time I voted strategically here in Germany. I reflected a lot about it, before I actually did. Luckily enough a lot others seem to have come to that voting solution and so far it seemed to have the impact we wanted. We'll see if it is ignored during the next elections.

      Personally I find it interesting to dive into tests in the political field:

      Time Magazine. Your Personality Makes Your Politics Red state, blue state, liberal, conservative—your moral beliefs make all the difference

      I'll leave out meanderings about "isolationism", "unilateralism", or empire versus "multilateralism" and their complications in recent times. More recently multilateralism versus Turkish interests. I shouldn't even try to pretend I have come to terms with it by now. And the face Turkey showed lately to the world does not seem very democratic to me. But see above ...

    • Very important piece, Rachel. I have just meandered around a couple of angles of the topic that feel to me connected.

      Apart from Hirsi Ali, there are quite a few Muslim "experts on the threat of Islam" around lately. A phenomenon comparable to the real anti-Semites under the early 20th century self-hating Jews.

      When I looked into it, her story seemed to be slightly murky. As if at one point made to fit into a larger post 911 Zeitgeist. Didn't she get a job at the American Enterprise institute at one point?

      We have a comparable male over here. There must be some that made it to the top among "experts" in this "field" in other countries.

  • Dershowitz plays McCarthy, and John Dingell is labeled 'anti-Israel'
    • That's the correct idea, piotr. Problem is it should quite possibly have happened "yesterday". People usually don't give up a save heaven for a more insecure future. Meanwhile you can justify it to yourself. After all one may be able to force minor changes in short and long term strategies. Which maybe you do in fact, at least on the level how positions are communicated. ;)

    • @libra – Yeah, so this now seems to be an “Anti-Zionist” site with an official Zionist overseer and censor –Krauss.

      Puppies, yesterday I have written one of my most embarrassing comments for a while. I wonder now if you were present in the larger discussions at that point. I can't remember. Maybe I was in circling around what irritates me about him without being too direct: Fast and easy judgments without the basic knowledge about matters that surface in his argument. For instance: I think one can question if Ken Livingstone is an anti-Semite. He takes it for granted, I am sure without having spent much time to look into matters. But there also are occasionally points, in which I would agree with him.

      And strictly that is what marks him for me from the moment he surfaced here. I think he is struggling to find his position and this results in what I would describe as oscillation in one or the other direction. Sometimes going to far into either direction.

      I surely wouldn't label him as a Zionist enforcer though, that is polemics and additionally completely unfair. Except it was just the lowest level of personal entertainment there can be: ridiculing others that are not present.

    • Good points, Phil. For a very personal reason I love the Dershowitz link to Haaretz. It covers a bit of the ground I have long listed as counter-evidence that Dershowitz is in fact a liberal. In other words PEP, or liberal except for Palestine, isn't a valid description of Dershowitz the élitist concerns enforcer.

  • For Miliband, the road to 10 Downing Street runs through Jerusalem and Sderot
    • Ok, first look first mistake:

      "that the Zionism actually" I first had the Zionists and then changed it to Zionism. I am deeply ashamed by this mistake as I am dutifully for everything else that follows. Are you watching Sean?

    • I actually agree with Krauss in so far as Judaism is concerned. There is a completely unhistorical trend to suggest that the Zionism actually are only some kind of peak in which has always dominated Judaism, and may in fact explain anti-Semitism over the millennia. The Kevin McDonald meme. I prefer to not go into that here.

      But this leads straight into a series of related memes, like "the Jews" and "the nations" as enemies, enmity only produced by "the Jews" going back in history. And, I forget the terms that are most frequently used in this context: seclusion, separation of "the Jews"...

      One of my favorite scholars over here, originally an Egyptologist, but post his retirement he moved into cultural studies, Jan Assmann. Assman once suggested apparently producing a rather heated debate for doing so:

      All monotheist religions have two basic features, one cannot be given up, the other has to be watched very, very very carefully.

      to care about the ones that are not so well off
      to fight the other

      This is actually pretty easy to see for every European if one faces e.g. the wars between Catholics and Protestants on European ground.

      Now I am not an expert in either the debate about Livingston "the anti-Semite" or of the politician Livingston more generally. That is why I put the term in quotes above:

      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.

      I remember having looked very, very cursorily into matters at the time. And my impression was, he, like many of us was caught in "the fog of the present". One needed much more knowledge about Islamism in the ME and and how it may matter in our own countries than most of us could be reasonably expected at the time. But Livingstone was a politician representing a rather multicultural city at that point and wanted to be re-elected.

      This Wikipedia article on Livingstone traces e.g. the first use of the term: Londonistan to the New York Times in 2005. Now this is a closely related issue one has to keep in mind.

      I think that many here remember how the New York Times supported the war against Iraq. How dissenters, like the late Susan Sontag were attacked. Judy Miller anyone?

      Now strictly it wasn't so easy at the time to dissect "the fogs of the present" with its conspiracy tales (the usual one) and, what I would like to call a derivative counter-conspiracy narrative. I think one has to strongly consider the context the amazingly high support the "seize the day" activities of the Bush jun admin got at the time.

      At the same time many of us sensed a a general trend to hype up Islamophobia in this context. I don't remember that gays where a top issue at the time, but I surely remember that freeing women from Islamic Patriarchism surely was a top meme argued even in the context of the Iraq war, where I don't think it mattered as much as e.g. in Saudi Arabia.

      And some of us, like me, actually feared in that context the rise of Islamophobia. Which may at least partly explain what Livingstone did or what his intention where. Ultimately he confronted a political and media force opposing multiculturalism. And yes, Krauss, I think I would like to give him the benefit of doubt in this context.

      This is way too long, and I won't proofread.

    • King’s a college with a strong business and economics department, not the usual profile of radical Marxists, to put it gently.

      This may well be the core of my personal troubles with you. For starters: I somewhat doubt that business and economic departments anywhere nowadays have "the usual" strong "radical Marxist" profile. It's not at all my strength but I did a little post graduate studies in economics and law and find it really hard to imagine a strong Marxist approach in the field.

      I also doubt that the King's college is dominated by the strong business or economics department, since that brings to mind the London School of Economics.

      I spent some time in the arts & humanities department there, and it didn't feel unimportant at the time. While one of my best friends at King's worked on his thesis on thunderstorm activities in Physics in space in an attic above a seemingly quite strong medical department. One kept stumbling across buckets full of legs and arms in the elevator up there. I also remember English student friends studied law there, not accidentally but actually choose the King's because of it.

      It no doubt may have changed, but I doubt that the importance of e.g. its medical department was swallowed up by a dominance by economics ever. Although yes, there seems to have been a strong trend over the years into that field for decades. When I visited the university library here, I occasionally had the impression that everyone there seems to talk about economics from the little I overhear. I doubt they are inspired in their choices of the field to study by "Marxist radicalism" nowadays.

      Bottom line: one thing would change my mind. Are you studying economics. And do you have the impression your department is dominated by "Marxist radicals"? Any names, scholars in economics, that would fit that profile?

  • 'Not a single person in this room would accept living as Palestinians do, generation after generation'
    • James, I am not sure, if we should reduce his comment to From Time Immemorial, which seems to come from--at least as far the mainstream debate is concerned--comparatively "innocent" times.

      Don't ignore what I call the counter-conspiracy tale in his comment:

      I can hardly wait the 30-40 years when Moslems form the majority in England and France, and declare them Islamic republics, without their requiring a name change either.

      These narrative obviously has much longer historical roots. Bernard Lewis is mentioned occasionally concerning the religious idea of the Mahdi(?)'s return. Mahdi, the spiritual antagonist of the Anti-Christ. Quite possibly treating it not as a spiritual and religious theme but as a politically dominating force, it feels. But I didn't read him. This may belong into the historical roots of "Islam the threat" for the West scenario from my completely uninformed perspective.

      I doubt the many narratives in this context could surface in earlier decades to the extend they do post 911.

      Laurie Mylroie?

      To not go into the obvious grain of truth in the event's (911)present obvious "Muslim conspiracy". That no doubt helped a lot to get an inflated Muslim conspiracy narrative mainstream.

      Strictly it might be interesting to look at this issue from a comparative literature perspective. Or for that matter to contextualize all the Muslim Conspiracy Theories..

      These type of stories do not work without a minor "grains of truth". Since the audiences that are targete3d with this narrative, needs to be given a grain of hard factual truth that help open them up for the larger narrative, I think.

      But strictly I am never at a loss to invent subjects to study for others. ;) And this idea may be influenced by the desire decades ago, that someone would look carefully into the specific national introductions of the the Protocols in a comparative literature study. Since I wondered if and to what extend these introductions could possibly differ. After all they where a political tool aiming at different national audiences. And shouldn't the introduction offer them basic hooks via things they already knew? I may have underestimated the interconnectedness of the world at that time, I have to admit in hindsight. Strictly it may not have needed specifically national narratives. But shouldn't one expect they are modified for that aim in the Arab versions?

    • Doesn’t change the fact that the PA showed every evidence of corruption and anti democratic tendencies.

      What do you expect under these conditions, jonah? And how much do you really know about it apart from selective news. I mean hard empirical facts.

      And what about corruption cases in Israel? That's a completely different issue?

  • Simon Schama's Israel whitewash
    • Don't worry, dmm dear, it's not just to you. Hostage can be really mean to all of us nitwits. My advise: It helps to avoid pretense.

      If he is around don't even try to impress with nationalist fairytales. He is fast like an eagle and strikes without mercy. Exactly in these cases.

      Today his response ended up above yours, so don't miss it. Happens here sometimes. Since you are new, I thought I might as well point it out to you. You can also click on your name and check in your profile if someone answered to any of your earlier comments. Only in this case it wouldn't appear.

      Odd no idea what it is with the present and/or missing reply interfaces.

  • Why LA needs a city-funded Middle Eastern cultural center
    • My generation liked "freaks", maybe that is still a bit too complicated the son. But the very, very best to the project.

      Seems I can sign, since it is not an nationally exclusive petition.

  • State Dep't tries to clean up Kerry's 'Poof'
    • thanks for your support libra, ;) Sean told me that before. We know each other for a decade by now. And he knows I am German. But I actually know myself I am sometimes hard to follow for much longer myself.

      Can even happen to me in German occasionally. And I actually know why and when it happens more frequently. Let me give you two examples, I notice are pretty frequent here. It happens when a lot of things run through my mind. Some associations with underlying emotional force push themselves into the text. Or alternatively if I suppress ideas since I know, I should keep them out since they don't matter in the context. In the latter case I occasionally don't pay attention on the what I leave in the comment box. At what point I abruptly shifted, sometimes in mid sentence, or what I left out ... ;)

      What I should have written: I noticed that too. Was it mentioned here before? I didn't notice. The Washington Post mentioned it in the speculations about the Pollard release. Who are Kerry's advisers besides Martin Indyk? Apparently Aaron David is not among them.

      But I wasn't quite there mentally, when I pushed the sent button ...

      This is what ran through my mind: I recently noticed too that Martin Indyk is involved again. Pat Lang, whose blog I rarely visit lately, mentioned it in a comment. Did he just mention it, and I assume it must be in the Washington Post since that is his main paper, or did he in fact link to it? I think he linked to it. It was their article about the speculations around an early Pollard release. Indyk, they wrote, had suggested it as an incentive for the Israelis to keep the peace process going.

      The emotional load that interfered associatively: Associatively Indyk triggered Pat Lang, Washington Post. And Pat Lang in turn triggered the fact that by now I would like to put a little distance between him and me. We had a heavy private clash over the Trayvon Martin case. I still respect him for his knowledge on the ME, military and intelligence though. He supported George Zimmerman's narrative without the slightest skepticism allowed. As a lifelong member of the NRA his fears that "the left" would use the case to try to restrict his rights to carry surely played a role. But it did not completely satisfy me as an explanation. He chatted easily with a guy that uttered the most racist stuff about Tayvon Martin. His own comments were only slightly less obvious. Down to, there are hardly any black people in the army anymore. That is an indirect hint in his case they aren't worth too much. Soldiers are the better people. I doubt he is correct. At the same time he banned people that were politely skeptical about Zimmerman's narrative. I have watched undeserved abrupt bans before, but this felt very different. Somehow no dissent allowed. I was the exception among the skeptics allowed to stay, apparently. I had private clashes with him over the matter. In one comment he had written: There will be more than enough money to get Zimmerman free. What really happened did not interest him in the least. I had to be self-defense for political reasons. Without him I wouldn't have watched the case as closely as I did, and I don't regret it. Quite possibly I wouldn't even have noticed hadn't he been so obsessed with media over the case.

    • thanks Hostage, great news. ;)

      Meanwhile, Palestinian and Israeli negotiators were meeting Thursday afternoon with U.S. envoy Martin Indyk for the third time in the last five days. Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Netanyahu's envoy Isaac Molho were representing Israel at the triumvirate, while the Palestinian delegation consisted of chief negotiator Saeb Erekat and the of general intelligence, Majad Faraj.

      I noticed recently that Indyk is involved again at one of the my post Trayvon Martin case more rare looks at Pat Lang's Sic Semper Tyrannis blogs. He mentioned it in a comment, I forget the topic.

  • 66 years ago today 42 members of my family were slaughtered in Deir Yassin
    • Thanks again, Hostage, I better stop repeting this constant theme, but I highly admire your knowledge on the issue.

      What struck me in the highly interesting documents discussed in your exchanges with Nurit Bytch" was a comment by either Abba Eban or Moshe Sharett, that tried to suggest that there was no right of individuals only of States. It may have been Sharett really since I seem to remember it led straight into the discussion of what Israel was going to do. Which again contained a verbal lacunae concerning refugees. Which suggests his speech after Israel's admission. Your last comments thankfully referred especially to this context.

      These historical documents are interesting to read. Quite obviously the Arab spokesman are quite aware what is happening, and may in fact use "Zionists" in this context may be quite deliberately. Just as an Oriental waft breezes over some of the contributions, but also the historical context surfaces strongly and may have influenced one or the other. Just as some seem to refer to contacts with "Zionists", and when it enters their contributions it always feels like influenced from that area. Obviously the tragedy did not happen in Palestine and wasn't the fault of the Palestinians.

      Per Federspiel is an interesting member among the contributors which shows that it may not be so easy to simply divide the contributions into aware "Arabs" and Orientalist "Western powers".

      Although strictly I am not fond of suggesting it, could he be Jewish?
      Federspiel sounds pretty German Feder=feather; Spiel=game/play. From my more general perception--within limits, Phil's name is a standard German name--but if names are both German and somewhat attractive there is a higher chance they are also Jewish too. In any case it does not sound typical Danish to me. Thus in this context it come to my mind occasionally.

      Long aside. But it is quite interesting that he was a member of the United Nations Palestine Commission. Interesting larger context too. Abba Eban on obstructed communications.

      I ordered Quigley as a start. But I have to admit that I really long for at least a chronological list of the UN documents, also a chronological list of the diverse institutional frames, for loss of a better term in this context. Apparently not even the UN's documents are all online. And it seems almost impossible to get their search machines to render chronological list of documents.

  • Appeals court upholds dismissal of anti-BDS lawsuit against Olympia Food Co-op
    • Asking for help / or a link check. Anyone?


      Phan: September 2, 2011: The plaintiffs, five members of the Olympia Food Co-op, file their lawsuit in Washington State Superior Court (Davis et al. v. Cox et al).

      Center for Constitutional Rights - Davis, et al. v. Cox, et al.

      There specifically:

      February 24, 2014: The case was argued before the Washington State Court of Appeals. Click here for audio recording of the oral argument.

      Link to audio document:

      audio file

      For whatever reason, I cannot even access the Court of Appeals in Seattle, Washington. If I ping the address, it says it is down.

    • As for the curious typo, it appears that LP acquired a brief submitted by ACLU on some other case that included similar case law and/or arguments (no doubt in a very different factual context), and used it as a template for LP’s amicus brief here.

      Wonderful, thanks David. When I started to read your reply I immediately mentally put you into the law department.

      We call that Textbausteine, by the way. No doubt the paralegal/secretary makes ample use of these tools, necessarily, it spite of the fact that they seem to be by far the fasted typists in the world. Big bow! The one that had to sign was too preoccupied with checking if "valid" and "ultra vires" juxtaposing each other had been correctly italicized. ;)

      I have to admit that I found it fascinating at least what I saw of it so far. To use a shortcut and don't start with Shakespeare:

      MR. SULKIN: Sure, Your Honor. Ultimately, ultimately, we have two separate questions, I think, not three. And I'm sure I was the one that's at
      fault for creating this misimpression. I think on the question of discovery, all right, the question of discovery, obviously I believe there's a clear separation of powers problem. If congress --
      THE COURT: I understand that.

      For whatever reason I cannot open any link to the Washington Appellate Court today. I don't understand that. I am suppose there must be an audio-file I would like to listen to, at least it says so in the end here.

      Fascinating absolutely fascinating ... how power weaves itself in and out of this tale occasionally masquerading as democracy. ...

    • Ok, got it. Maybe. The transcript is also judge Thomas McPhee's opinion. That one I haven't read yet.

      This is great anyway. Congratulations Phan, great reports on the issue.

    • Phan, or anybody else who knows. I don't want to dive too deeply into this.

      Where do I find a link to the initial, dismissed charges. I understand filed by Avi J. Lipman, but yes that is a cursory fast check. And ideally the dismissal, opinion, judgment or whatever you call that. Anyway what the appeal's court opinion (by ?J. Dwyer?) refers to.

      OK, I'll fast check the older reports meanwhile. Maybe I find it there.

      :I can't backpedal now, or make this comment disappear. I think if it was available it would be here or there

  • In Ramallah, Palestinian Authority cracks down on Salafi anti-negotiation protests
    • tgia, I agree. At the very least I would like to suspend judgment in this context.

      “They are internationalist,” the officer said shaking his head denoting Hizb ut-Tahrir’s unpopular status within Palestinian society for their lack of a national politic and the religious edifices of which their ideology is focused.

      That would mean a return to pan-Arabism in our context. No? I am open to post-colonial critique, but I am not sure this is the best political expression for the Palestinians.

      A group founded by Palestinian Taqiuddin al-Nabhani in 1953. Which still seems to be the spiritual guide of the group. So it would make sense to know a little more about his publications. It would also be interesting to know a little more about recruitment routines. Idealistic youth are always an easy target since they can be easily instrumentalized, if you fit your tale to their needs and problems.

      Here is a British Dr AbdulWahid, Hizb ut-Tahrir member/leader interviewed on the UK's Ummah Channel

      And this is the British bilingual website. Which leads to another member, via Whois tools.

  • Friedman says Iran's friends include BDS and Jews in Open Hillel movement
    • But I was struck by Friedman’s bizarre theory ...

      You shouldn't be struck Phil. I wish Mooser was here and could help you to make more sense of it. But why not offer something that struck me not too long ago.

      Caroline Glick (video promo "The J-Street Challenge", around 2:37, watch the dramatically elegant gesture of her hand ):

      If it is all the Jews fault, then I as a Jew can fix everything.

      It is much more luxurious to be believe that it is all about me, than it is about the other guy. Cause the other guy I can't do anything about.

      Apparently Friedman is just as averse to luxury in his theories as Glick is in the basics of human life and likes to keep them simple.

  • Distracted by the peace process: What really happened during the talks
    • Taxi, the ideal scenario to give tourists that wander off into areas they aren't expected the impression of the anti-modernist "Arab village" is not such a bad idea. And this is a bit cynical.

      I have to look into security matters on my system. ... I hope that newcomer Nurit Baytch gives me some time to respond to her polite answer and the thread won't be closed meanwhile. Although, it does not really matter. Interesting question and context she raises.

    • I have only looked at first and last response. But yes, one day later the water issue still seems to be on top of things that come to mind after having read the article yesterday.

      Do you have any sources for the claim concerning garbage, outside the--I forget the name of the little wall surrounded, as I remember it, oasis--for couples with East Jerusalem and West Bank ID's?

      Ambulances, electricity?

    • I predict in the very near future ...

      I doubt that the Israelis are that stupid. That would enormously harm their image as the world's security experts.

      But Temple Mount affairs could be an old recipe to trigger revolt, which in turn could be used to feed the usual imagery into media channels.

      Although, I can see slight changes in German media reports, so they maybe shouldn't trust that it will work easily again.

  • New America's new take on Israel-Palestine
    • Welcome, Jefferson.

      curious nitwit that I am: this is a great speech, and thanks for updating me on more recent events around on the JFK assassination. Yes, me too didn't understand it at the time, but I also never forget the time I learned about it and the precise context. And yes, secrecy around a topic produces conspiracy theory in the desire to understand. I don't want to be misunderstood in this context. There are real conspiracies too, which complicates matters.

  • US is 'absolutely adamant' that Palestine not go to ICC and wreck the peace process -- Power
    • This drew my attention. From the C-SPAN video.

      Kay Granger: You know the provisions of US law that prohibit funding if the Palestinians obtain member status at the UN and its agencies such as UNESCO outside of an agreement with Israel.

      (Is that a Texan drawl?)

      Maybe I didn't pay too much attention on the precise context of the decision to stop funding the UNESCO. But these seem to be early shackles by congress on the "peace process trade:

      These are not idle threats. Back in the earliest days of the peace process, when Congress was not entirely behind White House efforts related to Madrid (and subsequently Oslo), Congress passed a number of pieces of legislation intended to block normalization of Palestinian relations and activities in the international community. These included the following provision of law -- which notably does not include authority for the president to waive the requirements of the law, even in cases where vital U.S. national security interests are at stake. 22 USC 287e as amended by PL 101-246


      (a) PROHIBITION- No funds authorized to be appropriated by this Act or any other Act shall be available for the United Nations or any specialized agency thereof which accords the Palestine Liberation Organization the same standing as member states.

      (b) TRANSFER OR REPROGRAMMING- Funds subject to the prohibition contained in subsection (a) which would be available for the United Nations or any specialized agency thereof (but for that prohibition) are authorized to remain available until expended and may be reprogrammed or transferred to any other account of the Department of State or the Agency for International Development to carry out the general purposes for which such funds were authorized.

      That must have been the most effective "stick" over the decades, what were the carrots, were there any.

      22 U.S. Code Chapter 22 - MUTUAL SECURITY ASSISTANCE ???

    • Me too, Ellen, since I really detested Hillary's campaign. Although by now I have forgotten specifics. Oh, no, not completely. Sick, no doubt.

      I have to admit too that I have a soft spot for girls/woman with freckles. ;)

      Obviously facing the stern ladies of the House appropriations Committee it wouldn't make much sense to try to change their preconceptions. Would maybe the wrong context? All she wants is make sure she gets her funds.

      Her argument not to cut them never mind what the Palestinians do, was quite good. You would make them win twice. Look, you know who would fill the empty space when the US leaves: Russia, Cuba, Venezuela. I forgot the exact countries listed, but I guess that is pretty close.

      I vaguely remember the UNESCO stopped funds debacle. But it escaped me it was a law by now, if I understood the stern ladies correctly.

      There was a obscure agency she managed to slip in at one point Oh, I see, here's why.

    • “The American people and the United States are so much better off when the United States is in good standing within these organizations, defending our interests, fighting for our friends, and not surrendering the playing field to those that would like nothing more than for the United States not to be in these organizations.”

      I guess everybody that follows Hostage here cannot avoid to get interested in the concise history of the conflict and the parts played by the UN but much more America.

      There is a recent empirical by an Italian scholar, which actually looks interesting:

      Danilo di Mauro, The UN and the Arab-Israeli Conflict American Hegemony and UN Intervention since 1947

      This book provides a comprehensive empirical analysis of the United Nations intervention in the Arab-Israeli conflict since 1947. In his structured and exhaustive analysis, the author presents a long term perspective on the UN intervention in the conflict and explains its evolution during the last sixty years. He draws on a wealth of quantitative data to provide a complete picture of resolutions addressed to the Arab-Israeli conflict by the General Assembly and the Security Council, the mediation activity, and the UN peace missions in the area. Through his analysis, Di Mauro addresses such questions as:

      Why did the United Nations have different involvement and efforts of interventions in the conflict?
      How did the role of the UN change during the dispute, and why did it change?
      Is there still a role for the UN in the Palestinian-Israeli peace process?

      Offering a contribution to both to the studies of UN intervention in conflict resolution and, more broadly, to the UN role in the international system, The UN and the Arab-Israeli Conflict will be of great interest to International Relation scholars and students, but also appreciable by historians, political scientists, methodologists and all the social scientists interested in the Palestine question and the United Nations.

      I guess I'll take a look at it.

  • Narendra Modi, a politician who presided over anti-Muslim pogrom, may be India's next leader, and U.S. cozies up to him
    • Do I have to look at the following lines in the song text as deliberate and reflected (see: video above from the link):

      female (Indian): I believe in you.
      male (I suppose Jewish): You believe in me.

      Or is it a mistake? A Freudian slip, or ... ok, what else could it be?

      Ok, theoretically I would also appreciate the author to leave out emotions in these arguments, I have to admit:

      The Zionist entity sells $1 billion worth arms to India annually since New Delhi established diplomatic relation with Tel Aviv in 1992 – making Israel second largest supplier after Russia. Watch a 2009 video below in which an Israeli arms firm used sex to sell arms to India.

  • 'NYT' readers who objected to calling Abbas 'defiant' have a point, public editor rules
    • thanks, tree. Yes, that is exactly the way I wanted it. Without delving too deeply into American football. ;)

      Now it is perfectly clear.

    • I would assume this is a football terminology:

      (And yes Sullivan had Mandel for downfield blocking.)

      This nitwit would appreciate help, even more if I am absolutely misguided in my assumption. Ok, seems I am not wrong

      Is it possible to explain this without going into to lengthy explanations of the complete football rules?

  • 'A Painful Price': The escalating war on Palestine solidarity at U of Michigan and beyond
    • Thanks, Hostage. You may have realized that my translation was guided by the larger EU frame, which obviously also forms the basis of the respective national European laws. Via the UN too?

      If I had known the Koreh case, a couple of years ago, it would have helped me to challenge the people lured into cobwebs woven by rabble rousers. One of those on the American scene consider guys like Ernst Zündel martyrs for free speech. Apparently he also went to Germany to witness the trials of Zündel, if he did not only rely on German extreme right networks. I vaguely remember he mainly concentrated on these networks present at trial and the lawyers and spread their views anyway. I almost forgot him but he surfaced here not too long ago in a link. Don't remember his name now. It is not worth remembering strictly, but it seems he deleted the articles concerning "Zündel the martyr" on his updated website. At least on a fast check.

      In his brief, Koreh suggests that the mere publication
      of anti-Semitic articles in a private newspaper cannot constitute
      "assistance in persecution." In particular, Koreh states that he
      "challenge[s] the premise that propaganda assists persecution
      merely by creating 'a climate of opinion.'" Appellant's Brief at
      47. He contends that the district court's conclusion that the
      publication of such propaganda necessarily assisted persecution
      of Hungarian Jews is based upon a theory of causation
      questionable under both tort and criminal law.

      Well prepared case. No doubt. I'll leave out all my associative meanderings. ;)

      But the periodic report. which obviously I only perused by now, has a link to a v video which may serve to show this is not about "unique is not the correct way to look on this".

      Thanks Hostage.

    • thanks Sibiriak, puppies, yes I may have misread.

      Fact is in none of the laws I know "unique" makes sense. Maybe from the perspective of freedom of speech as freedom to incite hatred against minorities.

      Here is the German law, §130 StGB, which means paragraph 130 penal code. I changed the translation of the name of the law from the online translation

      Section 130 incitement of ethnic, xenophobic or antisemitic hatred (Volksverhetzung)

      (1) Whoever, in a manner that is capable of disturbing the public peace:

      1. incites hatred against segments of the population or calls for violent or arbitrary measures against them; or

      2. assaults the human dignity of others by insulting, maliciously maligning, or defaming segments of the population,

      shall be punished with imprisonment from three months to five years.

      (2) Whoever:

      1. with respect to writings (Section 11 subsection (3)), which incite hatred against segments of the population or a national, racial or religious group, or one characterized by its folk customs, which call for violent or arbitrary measures against them, or which assault the human dignity of others by insulting, maliciously maligning or defaming segments of the population or a previously indicated group:

      a) disseminates them;

      b) publicly displays, posts, presents, or otherwise makes them accessible;

      c) offers, gives or makes accessible to a person under eighteen years; or

      (d) produces, obtains, supplies, stocks, offers, announces, commends, undertakes to import or export them, in order to use them or copies obtained from them within the meaning of numbers a through c or facilitate such use by another; or

      2. disseminates a presentation of the content indicated in number 1 by radio,

      shall be punished with imprisonment for not more than three years or a fine.

      (3) Whoever publicly or in a meeting approves of, denies or renders harmless an act committed under the rule of National Socialism of the type indicated in Section 220a subsection (1), in a manner capable of disturbing the public piece shall be punished with imprisonment for not more than five years or a fine.

      (4) Subsection (2) shall also apply to writings (Section 11 subsection (3)) with content such as is indicated in subsection (3).

      (5) In cases under subsection (2), also in conjunction with subsection (4), and in cases of subsection (3), Section 86 subsection (3), shall apply correspondingly.


      See, it's not uniquely denial of the holocaust but the denial of any genocide.

      Section 220a Genocide

      (1) Whoever, with the intent of destroying as such, in whole or in part, a national, racial or religious group or one characterized by its folk customs by:

      1. killing members of the group;

      2. inflicting serious physical or emotional harm, especially of the type indicated in Section 226 on members of the group;

      3. placing the group in living conditions capable of leading, in whole or in part, to their physical destruction;

      4. imposing measures which are intended to prevent births within the group;

      5. forcibly transferring children of the group into another group,

      shall be punished with imprisonment for life.

      (2) In less serious cases under subsection (1), numbers 2 to 5, the punishment shall be imprisonment for not less than five years.

    • Nurit you are avoiding this part of Hostage's argument, or is there a time difference between your responses which possibly influences the chronology, I wonder:

      Hostage: Well you ought to be afraid because that argument is immaterial, even if Eban intended to be clever and evasive or to obscure Israel’s intentions. He was only invited to explain Israel’s position on resolutions 181(II) and 194(III). The 207th Plenary session of the General Assembly was advised by the Committee that his declarations on that subject were contained in the Report of the Ad Hoc Political Committee, A/AC.24/72. It was up to the Committee as a whole to decide and report back whether or not his declarations and undertakings were legally binding. The General Assembly resolution on the membership application noted that Israel had agreed to help implement the resolutions.

      I haven't read it yet, but will. Maybe this does help to start with: Seems to be the: pdf: Report of the Ad-Hoc Political Committee (A/855)

    • which means the natural parties should be:

      A socially conservative economically liberal party (old fashioned Democrats)
      A socially moderate economically moderate party (old fashioned Republicans)

      Could you elaborate for a nitwit foreigner.

      How do I have to read "natural" in this context?

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