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  • Gaza goyim jailbreak
    • Robert Naiman

      Policy Director, Just Foreign Policy

      If Liberal Zionism Were Dead, What Actions Would That Imply?

      Posted: 08/26/2014 12:54 pm EDT

      On Sunday, the New York Times ran an opinion piece by Antony Lerman, a former director of the Institute for Jewish Policy Research, with the provocative title, "The End of Liberal Zionism," which raised the question of whether "Liberal Zionism" -- broadly speaking, the ideology that has animated such "pro-Israel, pro-peace" groups as J Street and Americans for Peace Now -- went from moribund to clinically dead during the recent (ongoing) Israeli assault on Gaza.

      It's an important, well-meaning, thoughtful piece that Americans who care about these issues should read. But in suggesting that we should abandon pursuit of the "two-state solution" to the conflict in favor of a "one state solution" that ensures equal rights for Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs in a single state between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, the article fell into a common fallacy of left discussions about this issue.

      The fallacy goes like this: there are two possible solutions to the Israel-Palestine conflict that would meet minimal standards of justice for the Palestinians: the two-state solution based on the 1967 borders, or a single binational state with equal rights for all. The main argument, from the point of view of justice for the Palestinians, for preferring the two-state solution over the equal-rights one state solution has been that the two-state solution appeared to be much more politically realistic: it was plausible that the Israeli government would agree under international pressure to implement the two-state solution. The two-state solution has clearly failed, the argument goes: therefore, the only remaining option is the equal-rights one-state solution.

      This argument is like saying: I have two choices for a career. I could be a lawyer or I could be an astronaut. I thought that being a lawyer was more realistic, so I went for that. But I failed the bar exam repeatedly because I didn't study hard enough. Since the strategy of becoming a lawyer failed, I should now try to be an astronaut instead, since that is the only other choice.

      The problem with this argument is: becoming an astronaut is much harder than becoming a lawyer. If you don't have the discipline to become a lawyer, you probably don't have the discipline to become an astronaut.

      The problem that this argument never seriously engages is: What is the process that will compel the Israeli government, which is already enjoying a "one state solution" in which it does not have to grant equal rights to Palestinians, to accept a one state solution in which it does have to grant equal rights to Palestinians?

      The answer given to this question, to the extent that an answer is given to this question, is that "boycott, divestment, and sanctions" on the Israeli government will eventually bring about sufficient pressure on the Israeli government to compel the Israeli government to accept an equal rights one state solution, "just like it did to apartheid South Africa." Some people seem to think that is sufficient argument that the equal rights one state advocates have a plausible political strategy to reach their goal.

      But even if you and I and everyone we know could agree to the proposition that the experience of Palestinians under Israeli rule is very similar to the experience of black South Africans under apartheid, that would only matter to the degree that the world would agree that faced with the same situation from the point of view of the victims, they should advocate for the same political solution, and, crucially, apply a similar amount of pressure to achieve the same political solution.

      In other words: in order for the BDS-South Africa equal rights one state story to work, the same actors -- the same governments and political groups -- who have failed to compel the Israeli government to accept the two-state solution would have to use the same tools of pressure on the Israeli government that they have so far refused to use to bring about the two-state solution -- a solution that they officially endorse -- in order to bring about the equal rights one state solution, a solution that they are very far away from officially endorsing.

      In other words: the core problem is not one state or two states. The core problem is the failure to organize effective pressure on the Israeli government to force it to change its policies. Why would we think that "abandoning the two-state solution" is a solution to the problem of the failure to organize effective pressure on the Israeli government to force it to change its policies?

      The most crucial failing of the Liberal Zionists has not been that they have a morally contradictory ideology that cannot manage the tension between the liberal value of equality and the Zionist assumption of Jewish supremacy in Palestine. The most crucial failing of the Liberal Zionists has been that they have been politically passive, unwilling to fight politically for their stated beliefs, using the same nonviolent political pressure tactics that a labor union or an environmental group or a women's group would use to force the changes in government policy that they want.

      There is a boycott of SodaStream, an Israeli company that is based in an Israeli settlement in the West Bank. Liberal Zionists claim that they oppose Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Many Liberal Zionists personally support the boycott of Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Why aren't Liberal Zionists leading the campaign in the United States to boycott SodaStream? Why are so many content with merely personally supporting a boycott, instead of engaging in organizing that would have much broader political impact?

      There is a divestment campaign against Caterpillar, which supplies bulldozers to the Israeli military to destroy Palestinian homes in the West Bank. The Presbyterian Church supports this divestment campaign. Liberal Zionists claim that they oppose destroying Palestinian homes in the West Bank. Why aren't Liberal Zionists leading the campaign to divest from Caterpillar?

      Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas went to the United Nations seeking recognition for a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, in a diplomatic bid to save the two-state solution. For this peaceful diplomatic move President Abbas was viciously attacked by the Zionist right and the "one state" left. Why didn't Liberal Zionists forcefully defend President Abbas when he was taking heavy fire for peacefully advocating the position that they claim to support?

      Liberal Zionists claim that they care about Congress. Why don't Liberal Zionist groups ever send their members an alert asking them to contact their representatives in Congress in support of any form of pressure whatsoever on the Israeli government to bring about the policies that the Liberal Zionists claim to support?

      The core problem with the Liberal Zionists, the key reason that they are politically moribund, is not that they believe in Zionism, but that they do not believe in organizing effective pressure on the Israeli government to bring about the policies that the Liberal Zionists claim to support. The problem is not that they support two states; the problem is that they are "two-state fakers," people who claim to support the two-state solution but oppose the pressure on the Israeli government necessary to bring it about.

      "Abandoning the two-state solution" doesn't address this problem at all. And, until now, the "abandon the two-state solution" people have no realistic strategy at all for trying to engage and move the U.S. government, or any other government. For people who care about changing government policies, the problem of the failure to organize effective pressure on the Israeli government to change its policies is what should dominate our attention, rather than academic and philosophical debates on ideology.

      link to huffingtonpost.com

  • The new center
    • Here a few of the comments about today's NY Times op-ed by Antony Lerman, "The End of Liberal Zionism."

      norman
      nyc 2 days ago

      American Jews made a mistake with Communism. They supported the Soviet Union even after the evidence of Stalin's brutality became overwhelming.

      Now we're doing it with Zionism. To prove your loyalty, how much Israeli brutality are you willing to accept? The murders of 5-year-old children? Blowing up entire families? Blowing up entire city blocks?

      How imaginative can you be in making up excuses for this behavior?

      Donald
      Yonkers 2 days ago

      "The first war Israel ever loses will be its last". Well that can't be true. Israel was driven out of southern Lebanon by Hezbollah. They didn't leave because they wanted to. They had their brutal Christian allies in the SLA and they helped run a torture and interrogation center at Khiam, but they finally left.

      Iced Teaparty
      NY Yesterday

      You place too much emphasis on the leadership, Hamas. The Palestinian people are not maximalists; they want their land and peace back and will settle for that; but they are maximalists of this moderate cause. If you don't give them back their land and their peace, they'll take up with Hamas or whoever will fight for them.

  • Hillary Clinton just lost the White House in Gaza -- same way she lost it in Iraq the last time
    • Much will depend on our mainstream media whose owners are disproportionately Jewish, and, vastly more important, 100% in support of Israel no matter what Israel does. The degree to which that media gives serious (and regular) coverage to America's Jewish opponents of the doings of the zionist state will determine the outcome Phil wants.

  • 'Ads Against Apartheid' is going national
  • 'NYT' op-ed calls on Jews to abandon liberal Zionism and push for equal rights
    • Note the difference in these NY Times headlines to help us understand who are the evil doers.

      Israeli Strike Hits Family of Hamas Leader

      Gazans Suspected of Aiding Israel Are Killed

  • Anti-occupation activists in New York blast United Jewish Appeal for supporting attacks on Gaza
    • This marks a huge age divide, not that there aren't older Jews opposed to Israel's massacre of the Palestinians.

      A few days ago Haaretz had stories of young American Jews off to college where one typical example was someone off the Florida where she intended to organize a Jewish Voice for Peace chapter. Our Jewish media mavens choose not to notice this divide.

  • What's 7 letters and begins with Z and runs in the 'NYT'?
  • Dead American soldier in IDF signed up to fight global jihadists plotting 'Holocaust 2.0'
  • 'Lesson: The Jews will defend themselves even if it means killing children'
    • When the US media fails to mention that Israel's massacre of Palestinians is done in the name of Judaism, it only fuels anti-Semitism.

    • Page: 29
  • Air strikes and rocket fire resume as Gaza negotiations collapse
    • Barak Ravid:

      "The collapse of the Cairo talks over a long-term truce in Gaza was a failure foretold. One needed to be extremely optimistic or totally clueless about the diplomatic realities to think that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s most generous positions would meet the minimum demands of Hamas leader Khaled."

      link to haaretz.com

  • Mort Zuckerman claims he toured the devastation in Gaza. Really?
    • Israel Bars Amnesty, Human Rights Watch Workers from Gaza

      Published on Monday, August 18, 2014 by Haaretz

      by Amira Hass

      Israel has been refusing to allow employees of Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch to enter the Gaza Strip in order to conduct their own independent investigations into the fighting, using various bureaucratic excuses.

      Both human rights organizations have been trying to obtain permission from the Civil Administration to enter Gaza since July 7. Two different reasons have been cited for the refusals: The first is that the Erez border crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip is closed and no entry permits are being granted until further notice; the second is neither group is registered with the Social Affairs Ministry as a humanitarian aid organization.

      In fact, Erez was open throughout most of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge, which began on July 8. Among others, journalists, United Nations employees and Palestinians needing medical care or returning from abroad (with special permits), were allowed to pass through.

      The spokesman for the Coordinator of Government Activity in the Territories told Haaretz yesterday that it was suggested to both groups that they submit a special request with the COGAT ombudsman, but that no such request had as yet been received. Human Rights Watch said it had only received the suggestion late last week. Amnesty said it had not heard of the suggestion at all.

      Both organizations had hoped to have researchers in the Strip during the fighting, accompanied by weapons and munitions experts with military backgrounds: Figures in the NGOs said there are no Palestinians in Gaza with the requisite professional military knowledge to independently evaluate claims being made by both the Palestinians and Israelis. While testimonies can be taken and cross-checked after the fact, physical evidence such as shell impact craters or traces from munitions is usually removed quickly.

      Both groups have in the past published reports critical of Hamas. Following Operation Cast Lead (2009) and Operation Pillar of Defense (2012) they documented incidents that raised allegations of war crimes by Israel. It should be noted that both groups conduct investigations in the West Bank and in Israel proper without any interference from the authorities.

      Human Right Watch investigators have been barred from entering Gaza via the Erez crossing since 2006, while Amnesty’s people have been barred since June 2012. Until the Morsi government in Egypt was brought down, they would enter Gaza from Egyptian territory through the Rafah crossing. On December 6, 2012, the international department of the Gaza Coordination and Liaison Administration (which is part of the Civil Administration) told Amnesty that it would no longer process its requests to enter the Strip because it only handles requests from groups registered as aid groups with either the Israel Foreign Ministry or the Social Affairs Ministry. The notice acknowledged that this was a change in policy and said the change had come “from a higher authority.”

      In subsequent discussions that Amnesty held with the Israeli authorities, it emerged that only UN agencies are registered with the Foreign Ministry. Yonatan Gher, Amnesty’s executive director in Israel, told Haaretz that the Foreign Ministry had specifically told his group that it couldn’t register with the ministry. As for the Social Affairs Ministry, the group explained that it doesn’t fall under the category of aid or humanitarian organizations that work regularly in the territories, and which register with that ministry to get work permits. Gher said that while he had gotten verbal promises from the Civil Administration that it would continue to accept Amnesty’s entrance requests, in recent weeks the only thing that had been raised is registering with the Social Affairs Ministry.

      Bill van Esveld, a researcher with Human Rights Watch, said he was first told by the Civil Administration offices in Beit El that his requests to enter the Strip were not being handled because of the military situation, but the Coordination and Liaison Administration at the Erez crossing told him that his requests weren’t being handled because the organization wasn’t registered with the foreign or the social affairs ministries.

      Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said in a response that he had no knowledge of the complaints by Human Rights Watch. Regarding Amnesty, Palmor said its people could not enter Gaza because it isn’t registered with the Social Affairs Ministry.

      “Entrance to the Gaza Strip through the Erez crossing is permitted primarily to humanitarian and aid organizations, journalists, diplomats, and international political officials. This is government policy and the criteria that the government set. I am not aware of any effort to withhold entry permits or registration from Amnesty for any political reason. As noted, the organization, by its own admission, does not meet the criterion set [humanitarian aid].

      Amnesty has asked several European foreign ministries to raise the issue with Israeli diplomats and the Israeli Foreign Ministry. No response has been received as yet.

      COGAT’s written guidelines for the passage of foreigners through the Erez crossing, from September 2013, says employees of unrecognized (i.e., not registered with the Social Affairs Ministry) organization “may submit an exceptional request that will be considered in light of the prevailing policy based on the political-security situation.” In other words, the guidelines acknowledge the option of granting a permit to cross at Erez, if the authorities are interested in doing so.

      link to commondreams.org

  • Man who saved Jewish boy in Holocaust acts to save Israel from 'racist... quagmire'
  • Accounts of Israeli war crimes in Khuza'a, Gaza pile up
    • Idan Barir, Former Crew Commander, Israeli Artillery Corps

      Why It's Hard to Believe Israel's Claim That It Did Its Best to Minimize Civilian Deaths

      Posted: 08/13/2014 11:45 am EDT Updated: 08/13/2014 11:59 am EDT

      Among the difficult reports streaming in from Gaza over the past few weeks, two especially painful events have captured my attention.

      The first was the shelling of a UN school building in Jabaliya, where a number of families that had escaped or been forced to flee their homes had taken refuge. At least 15 civilians were killed, and dozens more wounded. Israel argued they were targeting an area from which fire had been directed at Israeli forces.

      The second was the bombing of a bustling market in the Shuja'iya neighborhood. At a time of precious few opportunities for civilians to safely buy food and other vital supplies, 16 people were killed and around 200 were wounded. Shops, stalls and merchandise were burned or destroyed.

      Harsh criticism of Israel followed each incident but -- as in the past -- Israel defended its actions, arguing that it was targeting militants and doing its best to avoid civilian casualties.

      I served as a crew commander in the Israeli artillery corps at the beginning of the Second Intifada, and I feel compelled to counter this claim from Israel. The images, evidence and army reports from recent operations in Gaza -- of more than 1,900 deaths (a number which will likely increase by the time you read this) and a large amount of the population left without shelter -- show that Israel has deployed massive artillery firepower. Such firepower is impossible to target precisely.

      Artillery fire is a statistical means of warfare. It is the complete opposite of sniper fire. While the power of sharpshooting lies in its accuracy, the power of artillery comes from the quantity of shells fired and the massive impact of each one.

      In using artillery against Gaza, Israel therefore cannot sincerely argue that it is doing everything in its power to spare the innocent.

      The truth is artillery shells cannot be aimed precisely and are not meant to hit specific targets. A standard 40 kilogram shell is nothing but a large fragmentation grenade. When it explodes, it is meant to kill anyone within a 50-meter radius and to wound anyone within a further 100 meters.

      Furthermore, the humidity in the air, the heat of the barrel, and the direction of the wind can all cause unguided shells to land 30 or even 100 meters from where they were aimed. That is a huge margin of error in somewhere as densely packed as Gaza.

      The imprecision of this weaponry is so great that Israeli forces are compelled to aim at least 250 meters away from friendly troops to ensure their safety -- even if those troops are sheltered. In military terms, this distance is called the "safe range of fire."

      In 2006, when shelling was first used against the Gaza Strip, the "safe range of fire" for Palestinian civilians was reduced from 300 to just 100 meters. Shortly afterwards, a stray shell landed inside the home of the Ghabeen family in Beit Lahiya, killing a young girl, Hadeel, and wounding other members of her family.

      In response to this and similar tragedies, human rights organizations appealed to the Israeli High Court of Justice to cease this lethal practice, and in June 2007 the Attorney-General announced that no more artillery fire was to be used in the Gaza Strip.

      But just a few years later, during Operation Cast Lead, extensive artillery fire was again aimed at the heart of the Gaza Strip. And up until the recent ceasefire, throughout Operation Protective Edge, Israel has fired thousands of artillery shells into Gaza -- causing intolerable harm to civilians and widespread destruction, the extent of which will only be fully exposed when the fighting ceases.

      It's true that in at least some cases, the army has informed civilians of its plans to attack a certain area and advised them to leave. But this in no way excuses the excessive damage and huge toll on civilian lives.

      I write this with great sorrow for civilians hurt on both sides. Sorrow for our soldiers who have fallen in this operation, and sorrow for the future of my country and the entire region. I know that as I write, soldiers like me have fired shells into Gaza.

      They had no way of knowing who or what they would hit.

      Faced with so many innocent casualties, it is time for us to state very clearly: this use of artillery fire is a deadly game of Russian roulette. The statistics, on which such firepower relies, mean that in densely populated areas such as Gaza, civilians will inevitably be hit as well. The IDF knows this, and as long as it continues to use such weaponry, it will be hard to believe when it claims to be minimizing civilian deaths.

      As a former soldier and an Israeli citizen, I feel compelled to ask today: have we not crossed a line?

      Idan Barir served in the Israeli artillery corps during the Second Intifada and is a member of Breaking the Silence

      link to huffingtonpost.com

  • Cuomo and Zuckerman take a suckers' tour of tunnels (a few miles from massacres they can't make time for)
  • Watch: Young Israeli Jew at Western Wall calls for 'another war and another war and another war and another war'
    • The following is part of a comment on Common Dreams,

      "Israel" is turning into a mirror image of Nazi Germany, which is hardly surprising as the new ideology of National Judaism mirrors in many ways the ideology of National Socialism.

      link to commondreams.org

  • Tough Hillary Clinton says 'dreadful' pictures of dead women and children make it hard to get at truth-- Hamas is to blame
    • Israel’s new lawyer: Hillary Clinton
      She sees the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through Bibi’s eyes, which could be the reason she gets so much wrong.
      By Peter Beinart | 17:24 11.08.14

      Who’s the Israeli government’s best spokesperson? Ron Dermer? Michael Oren? Bibi himself? Nope. It’s Hillary Clinton. In her interview on Sunday with Jeffrey Goldberg, Clinton offered the most articulate, sophisticated, passionate defense of...
      link to haaretz.com

  • The Greenhouse propaganda—How Gazan history is being rewritten to dehumanize Palestinians
  • 'We are all Palestinian'
    • The Observer view on Gaza and Israel's international reputation

      Those who have Israel's best interests at heart and expect better of it may feel in certain respects it is the loser in this violent futility

      Observer editorial
      The Observer, Saturday 9 August 2014

      The resumption of hostilities in Gaza, following the expiry of the latest ceasefire between Israel and Hamas after the Palestinian group restarted its rocket attacks, is as unsurprising as it is dismaying. The idea that either side achieved or decided anything of lasting importance or substance during more than a month of horrific violence is fatuous.

      Israel's military says it has killed 900 Hamas fighters, destroyed 3,000 rockets and unearthed 32 tunnels. But thousands of rockets remain intact and, judging by its latest statements, Hamas is more determined than ever to use them and all other means at its disposal to continue fighting. The human cost, principally to the civilians of Gaza, whose suffering Hamas appears to cynically exploit, is thus likely to rise from the current totals of approximately 1,900 dead and many more injured. Four hundred children have been killed. An estimated 30% of Gaza's 1.8 million people is internally displaced. This great distress is not justified by, nor does it facilitate, any long-term Palestinian political objective. Hamas, like Israel, cannot "win" this war, any more than either side won previous confrontations in 2012 and 2008. But both believe they must not be perceived to "lose". And so the fighting goes on, destructive, foolish, immoral and pointless. For all their antagonistic braggadocio, all that Israel and Hamas have established is a balance of impotence.

      Yet against this backdrop of violent futility arises the uncomfortable thought – for Israel's leaders but also for those who have the country's best interests at heart and expect better of it – that, in certain key respects, Israel is already the loser. Its prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, initially held the line following the kidnap and murder of three Israeli teenagers in June.

      The former commando's restraint was sadly short-lived. Netanyahu insists, above all else, on Israeli citizens' right to live in peace and security. But this latest bout undercuts that aim. It has re-emphasised Israel's vulnerability – with 64 soldiers and three civilians killed – and its inability, as in the 2006 conflict with Hezbollah in Lebanon, to vanquish its opponent militarily. Rockets continue to threaten southern Israel and beyond; Hamas is not disarmed. In contrast, Israel's disregard for the safety of Arab civilians has shocked and alienated an international audience.

      It may be that Israelis, inured to periodic outburst of bloodletting with the Palestinians, have yet to realise the damage this latest episode is doing to the country's international reputation. It is not merely soft-hearted Europeans or people in Muslim countries, watching the blanket coverage on television or social media, who express outrage. The fury at what is seen as disproportionate Israeli behaviour has registered forcibly in the habitually insouciant US. Netanyahu's relationship with Barack Obama's White House has sunk to a new low. This rift is not a mere political blip.

      A gradual sea change may be under way, especially among younger generations, in America. Netanyahu and other Israelis who take US goodwill for granted on numerous fronts should take a longer view.

      Israel's assault on Gaza has other wider consequences injurious to its interests and those of its allies. One disturbing outcome has been the sharp upsurge in antisemitic attacks in France, Germany and elsewhere. Racists are responsible for their racism, and cannot use Israel as an excuse. But Gaza has stirred up a scum of unmistakable anti-Jewish prejudice that, even if peripheral, is feeding dangerously on the repulsion felt by many ordinary people towards the suffering of civilians in Gaza. Likewise, the excesses of the Gaza operation do a disservice to the wider, shared objective of curbing Islamist extremism in Iraq, Syria and the Maghreb. For their part, Arab states have failed miserably in either offering help to Palestinians in the short term, or seeking to eliminate increasingly vile forms of extremism within their borders.

      Israel's leaders complain of western double standards discriminating against their country. But it works both ways. It is clear that more and more people across the world – justifiably or not – are asking why western governments may assert a moral and legal right to mount air strikes in defence of embattled women and children dying in the mountains of northern Iraq, but should simultaneously ignore the plight of those buried under rubble in Gaza. With Israel's latest, often indiscriminate bombing of Gaza, that question gets harder and harder to answer.

      link to theguardian.com

  • Three Palestinian men killed in separate West Bank protests, one outside a Jewish settlement
    • (US media fails to report that Israel's war against the Palestinians is being fought on 2 fronts.)

      West Bank Continues Uprising, Israeli Army Injures 40 at Hebron Demo for Gaza
      By contributors | Aug. 9, 2014

      HEBRON (Ma’an) — At least 40 Palestinians were injured in central Hebron on Friday afternoon as Israeli forces dispersed hundreds taking part in rallies condemning the ongoing Israeli assault on Gaza as well as the Israeli occupation.

      Sources at the Red Crescent said that 25 Palestinians had been shot with live fire and 15 with rubber-coated steel bullets during the clashes, and the injured had been taken to hospitals.

      Dr. Hazem Shalalda, director-general of al-Mizan Hospital, said that Nader Idriss, 40, was undergoing complex surgery after being shot in the heart by Israeli forces during the clashes.

      The march began after Friday Prayers at al-Husseini Mosque and moved toward central Hebron, where clashes erupted with Israeli forces in Baba al-Zawiya.

      An Israeli military spokeswoman said that “approximately 300 rioters who rolled burning tires, firebombs, and rocks” Israeli soldiers.

      She added that they “responded with riot dispersal means, and a few hits were confirmed.”

      Hebron is a frequent site of tension due to the presence of more than 500 Jewish settlers in the heart of the Old City around the Ibrahimi Mosque, also known as the Tomb of the Patriarchs.

      The settlers protected by tens of thousands of Israeli soldiers and frequently harass local Palestinian residents in order to force them out of the area and allow the settlements in the area — which often consist of merely one or two buildings — to expand.
      link to juancole.com

  • 'NYT' is furiously rewriting history of Gaza conflict
  • Moshe Feiglin's vision of liberating Gaza by driving Palestinians into the Sinai --Updated
    • Not so different from those who openly call for the genocide of the Palestinians by Israel, believing that Hitler's sin was in his choice of victims.

  • Bob Schieffer in a 'world gone mad'
    • London Times refuses to run Elie Wiesel ad denouncing Hamas' human shields
      The ad, which specifically refers to children, has run in The New York Times, Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal, among other U.S. newspapers.
      By JTA | Aug. 6, 2014

      The London Times refused to run an ad featuring Nobel Prize winner Elie Wiesel speaking out against Hamas’ use of children as human shields.

      The ad sponsored by The Values Network, which was founded by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, has run in The New York Times, Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal, among other U.S. newspapers. The refusal was first reported by the New York Observer.

      The London Times refused the ad because “the opinion being expressed is too strong and too forcefully made and will cause concern amongst a significant number of Times readers,” according to a statement from a representative of the newspaper, the Observer reported.

      Headlined “Jews rejected child sacrifice 3,500 years ago. Now it’s Hamas turn,” the ad began running last week. It reads, in part: “In my own lifetime, I have seen Jewish children thrown into the fire. And now I have seen Muslim children used as human shields, in both cases, by worshippers of death cults indistinguishable from that of the Molochites.

      “What we are suffering through today is not a battle of Jew versus Arab or Israeli versus Palestinian. Rather, it is a battle between those who celebrate life and those who champion death. It is a battle of civilization versus barbarism.”

      Countering the London Times statement, Boteach said in his own, “Elie Wiesel is one of the most respected human beings alive, a Nobel Peace Laureate, and is the living face of the Holocaust. No greater expert on genocide exists in the whole world. His call for the end of child sacrifice by Hamas, who use children as human shields, and a stop to their genocidal charter, which calls for the murder of Jews everywhere, could only offend the sensibilities of the most die-hard anti-Israel haters and anti-Semites.”

      link to haaretz.com

    • Today's NPR On Point program that discussed the war crimes charge against Israel illustrates the problem with our mass media. Even the weak kneed critics of Israel selected to be on the program did not portray the Palestinians as actual human beings. We have to thank social media for the 38% figure.

  • Killings of 2 protesters on 'Day of Anger' brings West Bank deaths to 13
    • More evidence that Abbas is losing his clout in the West Bank. A new infitada will bring his inglorius reign to an end.

      "Tulkarem governor ‘threatened’ after trying to stop Israeli raid
      When Tulkarem Governor Abdullah Kamil refused to withdraw PA forces early Thursday, an Israeli military official threatened to fire at Palestinian police with “all kinds of weapons” if they chose not to leave, the sources said. The Israeli military official reportedly added: . . The incident highlights growing controversy around the policy of security coordination even among top PA officials, as President Mahmoud Abbas has repeatedly come under fire in recent months for complying with Israeli military dictates despite increasing levels of violence directed against Palestinians."

  • To my Jewish friend (you know who you are)
    • Liberal on everything but Israel? There’s a name for that!
      By Katie Halper
      Tuesday, July 29, 2014 8:00 EDT

      Do you feel dovish most of the time but suddenly hawkish when it comes to Israel? Are you critical of the Democrats for being too centrist but supportive of Likud? Do your liberal ideas apply to every issue except for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

      If you answered yes to the questions above, you may be a PEP (Progressive Except on Palestine).

      But you are not alone! PEPism is extremely common, especially among liberal Jews. In fact, if you are a liberal Jew, there is a high probability that this syndrome runs in your family. If you aren’t a PEP, you likely have some relatives who are. Though not genetic, PEPism is sometimes, though not always, passed down from one generation to the next. Two PEPs will frequently, but not necessarily, have PEP offspring, some of whom will outgrow the condition. Conversely, occcasionally, the offspring of two PEPs will experience an adverse reaction, manifesting in hyper-keffiyeh use and fetishization of all things Arab.

      The onset of PEPism varies. Children of PEPs tend to manifest symptoms as pre-teens. People who do not come from PEP parentage might experience a later onset, especially following a Birth Right trip or, in later years, after a move to Florida.

      I am not a PEP and come from a PEP-free family. I have, however, seen how PEPism can affect people’s judgement, end relationships, and make social media extremely unbearable. So, I am speaking out.

      And I’m not the only one. The term PEP appears in alternative media. But it hasn’t penetrated traditional media, for the most part. Though I don’t know who came up with the term, and I can’t remember where I first heard it, I unknowingly helped raise awareness about the syndrome via The Washington Post. In a review of Laughing Liberally, a political comedy show which I co-founded and in which I perform, journalist Emily Wax-Thibodeaux wrote,

      With her heavy Upper West Side accent and frequent references to Zabar’s, comedian Katie Halper often stuns the audience by giving voice to the Palestinian plight — as a Jewish liberal….

      …. Some in the audience laugh. But some clearly experience what Halper, a Laughing Liberally co-founder, calls the “PEP Phenomenon,” or Progressive Except on Palestine.

      Because I’m so humble (and/ or was kvelling over seeing my name and my show in print), I didn’t realize the significance of the appearance of PEP in the newspaper, until Adam Weiss wrote a blog post at MondoWeiss called “‘PEP’ (Progressive Except Palestine) makes the Washington Post.”

      Do you think you or someone you know might be a PEP? Tomorrow, I’ll have a diagnostic test for people to take. Remember, getting tested is the first step.

      Born and raised on the mean streets of New York City's Upper West Side, Katie Halper is a comedian, writer and filmmaker. She is the co-host of Morning Jew, writes for places like The Nation, Feministing, Jezebel and appears on places like MSNBC, RT, Sirius radio (which hung up on her once). Katie's had her photo taken with Rudy Giuliani and was called "cute and somewhat brainy" by the National Review.

      link to rawstory.com

  • Hasbarah Bingo
    • Patrick Cockburn reveals who is the author of Israel's talking points:

      Sunday 27 July 2014
      Israel-Gaza conflict: The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
      World View: The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz

      Israeli spokesmen have their work cut out explaining how they have killed more than 1,000 Palestinians in Gaza, most of them civilians, compared with just three civilians killed in Israel by Hamas rocket and mortar fire. But on television and radio and in newspapers, Israeli government spokesmen such as Mark Regev appear slicker and less aggressive than their predecessors, who were often visibly indifferent to how many Palestinians were killed.

      There is a reason for this enhancement of the PR skills of Israeli spokesmen. Going by what they say, the playbook they are using is a professional, well-researched and confidential study on how to influence the media and public opinion in America and Europe. Written by the expert Republican pollster and political strategist Dr Frank Luntz, the study was commissioned five years ago by a group called The Israel Project, with offices in the US and Israel, for use by those "who are on the front lines of fighting the media war for Israel".

      Every one of the 112 pages in the booklet is marked "not for distribution or publication" and it is easy to see why. The Luntz report, officially entitled "The Israel project's 2009 Global Language Dictionary, was leaked almost immediately to Newsweek Online, but its true importance has seldom been appreciated. It should be required reading for everybody, especially journalists, interested in any aspect of Israeli policy because of its "dos and don'ts" for Israeli spokesmen.

      These are highly illuminating about the gap between what Israeli officials and politicians really believe, and what they say, the latter shaped in minute detail by polling to determine what Americans want to hear. Certainly, no journalist interviewing an Israeli spokesman should do so without reading this preview of many of the themes and phrases employed by Mr Regev and his colleagues.

      Mark Regev Mark Regev The booklet is full of meaty advice about how they should shape their answers for different audiences. For example, the study says that "Americans agree that Israel 'has a right to defensible borders'. But it does you no good to define exactly what those borders should be. Avoid talking about borders in terms of pre- or post-1967, because it only serves to remind Americans of Israel's military history. Particularly on the left this does you harm. For instance, support for Israel's right to defensible borders drops from a heady 89 per cent to under 60 per cent when you talk about it in terms of 1967."

      How about the right of return for Palestinian refugees who were expelled or fled in 1948 and in the following years, and who are not allowed to go back to their homes? Here Dr Luntz has subtle advice for spokesmen, saying that "the right of return is a tough issue for Israelis to communicate effectively because much of Israeli language sounds like the 'separate but equal' words of the 1950s segregationists and the 1980s advocates of Apartheid. The fact is, Americans don't like, don't believe and don't accept the concept of 'separate but equal'."

      So how should spokesmen deal with what the booklet admits is a tough question? They should call it a "demand", on the grounds that Americans don't like people who make demands. "Then say 'Palestinians aren't content with their own state. Now they're demanding territory inside Israel'." Other suggestions for an effective Israeli response include saying that the right of return might become part of a final settlement "at some point in the future".

      Dr Luntz notes that Americans as a whole are fearful of mass immigration into the US, so mention of "mass Palestinian immigration" into Israel will not go down well with them. If nothing else works, say that the return of Palestinians would "derail the effort to achieve peace".

      The Luntz report was written in the aftermath of Operation Cast Lead in December 2008 and January 2009, when 1,387 Palestinians and nine Israelis were killed.

      There is a whole chapter on "isolating Iran-backed Hamas as an obstacle to peace". Unfortunately, come the current Operation Protective Edge, which began on 6 July, there was a problem for Israeli propagandists because Hamas had quarrelled with Iran over the war in Syria and had no contact with Tehran. Friendly relations have been resumed only in the past few days – thanks to the Israeli invasion.

      Frank Luntz Frank Luntz Much of Dr Luntz's advice is about the tone and presentation of the Israeli case. He says it is absolutely crucial to exude empathy for Palestinians: "Persuadables [sic] won't care how much you know until they know how much you care. Show Empathy for BOTH sides!" This may explain why a number of Israeli spokesman are almost lachrymose about the plight of Palestinians being pounded by Israeli bombs and shells.

      In a sentence in bold type, underlined and with capitalisation, Dr Luntz says that Israeli spokesmen or political leaders must never, ever justify "the deliberate slaughter of innocent women and children" and they must aggressively challenge those who accuse Israel of such a crime. Israeli spokesmen struggled to be true to this prescription when 16 Palestinians were killed in a UN shelter in Gaza last Thursday.

      There is a list of words and phrases to be used and a list of those to be avoided. Schmaltz is at a premium: "The best way, the only way, to achieve lasting peace is to achieve mutual respect." Above all, Israel's desire for peace with the Palestinians should be emphasised at all times because this what Americans overwhelmingly want to happen. But any pressure on Israel to actually make peace can be reduced by saying "one step at a time, one day at a time", which will be accepted as "a commonsense approach to the land-for-peace equation".

      Dr Luntz cites as an example of an "effective Israeli sound bite" one which reads: "I particularly want to reach out to Palestinian mothers who have lost their children. No parent should have to bury their child."

      The study admits that the Israeli government does not really want a two-state solution, but says this should be masked because 78 per cent of Americans do. Hopes for the economic betterment of Palestinians should be emphasised.

      Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is quoted with approval for saying that it is "time for someone to ask Hamas: what exactly are YOU doing to bring prosperity to your people". The hypocrisy of this beggars belief: it is the seven-year-old Israeli economic siege that has reduced the Gaza to poverty and misery.

      On every occasion, the presentation of events by Israeli spokesmen is geared to giving Americans and Europeans the impression that Israel wants peace with the Palestinians and is prepared to compromise to achieve this, when all the evidence is that it does not. Though it was not intended as such, few more revealing studies have been written about modern Israel in times of war and peace.

      link to independent.co.uk

  • Video: Protesters set Israeli checkpoint aflame following funeral in Beit Ummar
    • If this keeps up, Israel may look for someone to replace Abbas as head of its approved variation of the Nazi Judenrat.

  • 'The unity is stronger than ever': Report from historic march on Qalandia checkpoint in solidarity with Gaza
    • The beginning of the end of Mahmoud Abbas?

      David Hearst

      Editor, Middle East Eye
      Mahmoud Abbas' Epiphany Over Gaza
      Posted: 07/25/2014 1:38 pm EDT

      Mahmoud Abbas is having something of an epiphany. Only two short months ago, the Palestinian president said security co-operation with Israel in the West Bank was "sacred." Now Abbas is quoting a Koranic verse which says" Permission [to fight] has been given to those who are being fought, because they were wronged. And indeed, Allah is competent to give them victory."

      What has happened to him since he said in a speech in Jeddah, shortly after the kidnap and murder of three young settlers: "The security coordination with the Israelis is for our own benefit, to protect our own people?" What indeed has happened to the PLO which issued a statement after an emergency meeting in Ramallah chaired by Abbas which praised: "the resolute stand of the great Palestinian people and the forces of resistance that are fighting heroically against the occupying army that is committing crimes and slaughtering our compatriots?"

      What conversion has Saeb Erekat, the Palestinian Chief Negotiator, miraculously undergone? He now says that every Palestinian is a target of Israel. Could this be the same Erekat who, according to the Palestine Papers, offered his counterpart Tsipi Livni , the " biggest Yerushalayim" in history?

      Strange things are happening in that part of the West Bank, which Erekat has not bequeathed Israel as another fact on the ground. Hamas flags were seen in the 30,000 strong march which converged on Qalandiya checkpoint on Thursday night. The loudspeakers of mosques called Palestinians to the demonstration. Those lines of Palestinian Authority riot police seemed less willing to stand between the demonstrators and the lines of Israeli police and border guards.

      Abbas himself has come under a torrent of Internet abuse from the ranks of his own constituency since his Jeddah speech. Amira Hass quoted in Haaretz a Fatah member who is a resident of a refugee camp and a former prisoner as saying that only 10 percent of Palestinians now support the aging president. There has even been reports that his wife and grandchildren have fled Ramallah for Amman.

      What is happening to Abbas is a political earthquake. The veteran PLO fighter may spin the new pro-Hamas line from Ramallah as an attempt to strengthen himself as a negotiator. This, too, is a difficult space for Abbas to inhabit. His closest Arab partner Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is behaving even worse than Netanyahu is -- not only by holding up aid on the Egyptian side of the border, but by urging the Israeli prime minister to finish Hamas off militarily once and for all. Without Sisi's and King Abdullah's daily voices in his ear, it is doubtful that Netanyahu would have acted so decisively in Gaza. Abbas's allies damn him with the people who matter, the Palestinian street, because they are an essential part of the Israeli assault on Gaza. Sisi is the prison warder who keeps the door closed as Israeli guests beat the inmates up. Be it as president or negotiator, Abbas's stock is plummeting as each day passes.

      As the death toll in Gaza gallops towards the four figure mark, few have stopped to think of the effect the operation will have on the unity deal which the military operation tried to smash.

      When the unity deal was signed, Azzam al-Ahmed member of Fatah's Central Committee whispered that "Hamas had taken off all their clothes," meaning that Hamas had surrendered too much, and certainly all authority over Gaza. Initially, Khaled Meshaal was thought to be have paid too high a price. The deal was unpopular in his own movement (particularly in the West Bank) and that discontent crescendoed when Abbas refused to pay the 50,000 government workers in Gaza who stayed loyal to Hamas.

      Hamas seemed to have emerged from the deal the weaker partner, betrayed once again, in their eyes, by Abbas's lack of faith. Today, the position is reversed for two reasons.

      The unity government broke the psychological barrier between Hamas and the PLO, and presented the fleeting vision of a unified nation. The all out war that Israel's army has declared on Gaza has only cemented that unity. If disunity had been one of the reasons preventing a third intifada from starting, that obstacle is no longer there. It still may not materialize, but after this week's scenes in the West Bank, no one can dismiss it as peremptorily as they once did. It is now a real possibility.

      If this unity does now exist, who stands to gain? In war, that role falls now to Hamas for their response to the Israeli operation. In peace, Abbas and the PLO may now have to make way for a new leader capable of representing all factions.

      Abbas can make a series of feints like pressing ahead with membership of UN institutions, and taking Israel to the International Criminal Court. But the margin of error for the arch political survivor is narrowing. When the ceasefire comes, Hamas be naked no more. It will be fully clothed in military fatigues, as Abbas himself once was.

      link to huffingtonpost.com

  • Watch: 9 Jewish activists arrested after occupying Friends of the Israel Defense Forces office
    • I hope the word gets out about this. Thanks to the US media, largely Jewish owned and 100% in support of Israel's efforts to wipe out the Palestinians, news of Jewish opponents of those policies get even less coverage in our media than even Palestinian critics.

  • Gaza is a concentration camp, and it's an American delusion not to recognize that -- Weschler
    • To appreciate the news coverage of Gaza by 100% of our main stream media, think of the Germans getting news from their media during the Warsaw Ghetto uprising whose sources were exclusively the German government and the German military.

  • Another prominent liberal Jew runs away from the Zionist label
    • Another case of supporting the theory of zionism but opposing it when he saw that theory put into practice.

  • On the day two Palestinians are killed, 'NYT' reporter flashes snark
    • When Israel muders Palestinians the US media treats them as anonymous, usually without mention of age, sex, etc., of the victims. If the reverse happens, we get full color pictures along with the details of the Israeli victims.

  • 'It's time to build the future of the American Jewish community': Open Hillel announces first national conference
    • Rebel Jewish student movement to hold first national conference
      Open Hillel says speakers will include BDS supporter Judith Butler, Palestinian-American scholar Rashid Khalidi and others banned by Jewish groups.
      By Haaretz | May 16, 2014 | 1:07 AM
      The budding Open Hillel movement of Jewish college students, which has rebelled against mainstream Hillel's ban on non-Zionist and pro-BDS speakers, announced on Thursday it will hold its first national conference in the fall.

      Organizers said in a statement that the conference – to be held October 11-13 at Harvard, where the movement began in November 2012 – will highlight speakers who have been barred recently from addressing Jewish groups.

      Those named were philosopher Judith Butler, a BDS supporter recently pressured into canceling a talk at the Jewish Museum of New York; author David Harris-Gershon, who was forced to scrap an appearance at the University of California at Santa Barbara Hillel because he refused to condemn all boycotts of Israel; and Rashid Khalidi, a Palestinian-American scholar barred from speaking at New York's Ramaz Jewish high school.

      “One conference – the Conference of Presidents [of Major American Jewish Organizations] – has put most of its effort lately into the exclusion of Jewish voices,” says Lex Rofes, an Open Hillel organizer. “Our conference will instead focus on inclusion. We are inviting all who are interested to attend a communal event that will deepen and broaden our knowledge of crucially important issues facing our world and of one another.”

      The Open Hillel movement has caught on among Jewish student groups at elite Eastern universities such as Vassar, Wesleyan and Swarthmore. They have broken with Hillel International's guidelines, which hold that campus chapters may not "partner with, house, or host organizations, groups, or speakers that as a matter of policy or practice: Deny the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish and democratic state with secure and recognized borders; delegitimize, demonize, or apply a double standard to Israel; support boycott of, divestment from, or sanctions against the State of Israel; exhibit a pattern of disruptive behavior towards campus events or guest speakers or foster an atmosphere of incivility.

      Today the movement claims "over a thousand supporters and nearly 50 student organizers from dozens of schools across the country."

      Hillel International President Eric Fingerhut, who opposes Open Hillel, has said that while “Hillel should and will always provide students with an open and pluralistic forum where they can explore issues and opinions related to their Jewish identity … [it] will not, however, give a platform to groups or individuals to attack the Jewish people, Jewish values or the Jewish state’s right to exist.”

      link to haaretz.com

  • After first visit to Israel, 'Foreign Policy' editor says religious, garrison state has 'passed its sell-by date'
    • In a talk at a DC synagogue yesterday, Glen Greenwald said he had never ben bar mitzvaed and clearly saw no need to change that. That was a declaration of independence from his inherited religion.

  • Historical whitewash: Great Britain must be held accountable for its role in the Nakba
    • Not just the UK but all the UN members who voted to partition Palestine, which is why they too should be at the table during negotions between Israel and the Palestinians since they are the ones who created the problem.

  • 'It's what happened in South Africa': Palestine seeking sanctions against Israel at FIFA Congress
  • Why the two-state solution never got anywhere
  • America's rabbi hoovers celebrities
    • The failure of the celebrity loaded US "Journalism" to report on the Palestinian victims of Israel's apartheid is currently being matched by its failure to cover the victimization of protestors by the government of Ukraine including its neo-Nazi civilian stormtrooper allies.

  • The latest page in Israel's divide and conquer playbook: enlisting Palestinian Christians
  • John Kerry was right to say 'apartheid' -- more voices chime in
    • The US fails to comprehend that what it thinks "peace process" but Israel thinks "piece process."

  • Our eviction action at NYU created more dialogue than ever before
  • Racism in service of a pro-Israel agenda-- two 'NYT' editors reveal a bias
    • I have yet to hear of a single non-racist person who supports Israel's efforts to wipe out the Palestinians.

  • Israel stops US-led peace talks citing Palestinian unity (Updated)
  • Federal agencies express concerns about Israel's entry into the Visa Waiver Program
    • Since the visas would only be given to Israeli Jews, they could all be stamped with the Star of David. That has been effective in the past.

  • Snowden revealed a world of conspiracies I once would have scoffed at-- Bryan Burrough
    • Except for McClatchy, I don't know of a single one of our major print and broadcast media outlets that is willing to its own contribute resources rather than recycle government propaganda.

  • 'NYT' abided by Israeli gag order even as 'EI' scooped it repeatedly
  • About that special relationship...
    • Israel's foreign policy has consistently been independent of any other country's interest. The same cannot be said about US foreign policy.

  • Dershowitz plays McCarthy, and John Dingell is labeled 'anti-Israel'
  • 'Not a single person in this room would accept living as Palestinians do, generation after generation'
    • Let us remember that America's earliest religious leaders led the charge to eliminate native Americans from the face of the earth.

  • Amira Hass predicts Israel's 'colonial project' will eventually fail--but at what cost?
    • She is a model for all journalists who assumes her job is to monitor to those who have power and how they use it. That being the case, she reminds her listeners that it is not her job to give equal time to the jailer and the prisoner.

  • 'In every generation they rise up against us' -- Passover and the Jewish imagination
  • Christie will get another crack at not saying 'occupied territories' at NY Adelson fete
    • In the olden days when Americans acted as agents of a foreign power it was considered an act of treason.

  • Appeals court upholds dismissal of anti-BDS lawsuit against Olympia Food Co-op
  • Zionism has distorted American Jewish life
    • Add this from Ha'aretz,

      A Special Place in Hell
      by Bradley Burston
      Sorry, Children of Israel. No Exodus for you.
      What if the rabbis urging a ban on dovish Jews in New York's upcoming 5th Ave. Celebrate Israel parade had been in charge of the Exodus from Egypt? Many of us Hebrew slaves would have been turned away. That's the rabbis' message: If you don't support settlements, no Israel for you.
      By Bradley Burston | 20:33 08.04.14

      link to haaretz.com

  • Because Rep. Jones voted 'present' on Israel aid, lobby group runs attack ad with burning flag
    • If he dares, he may be the first politician to successfully use the campaign slogan that if AIPAC opposes him, Jones must be doing something right.

  • New America's new take on Israel-Palestine
    • Long before Hitler's mass murder of the Jews he treated them the way Israel tries to rid itself of Palestinians. When zionists argue that Israel is not as bad as Hitler they refer to the late Hitler, not the earlier "good" Hitler.

  • No thanks for Zionist 'chaperones' --Wesleyan declares itself an Open Hillel
  • Israeli troops fire live ammunition on protest in support of Palestinian prisoners
  • Oren says Pollard 'sacrificed himself for the Jewish people'
    • Oren would have a better argument if Pollard had accepted Israel's $50,000 for his "sacrifice" in shekels instead of dollars.

  • 'A Painful Price': The escalating war on Palestine solidarity at U of Michigan and beyond
  • It's the borders, stupid
    • Israeli-Palestinian blame game is on, but the outcome is known in advance
      Both sides are practicing clever claims and crushing retorts, but basic reality will clinch it: Israel is the occupier and Palestinians are the occupied. Period.
      By Chemi Shalev | 23:40 02.04.14 | 0

      link to haaretz.com

  • Reports: Abbas faults Israel for 'procrastinating,' says Palestine will move to join int'l organizations
    • Kerry’s desperate Pollard gamble could cost him the entire Israeli-Palestinian ball game
      The plum political prize that Kerry was handing Netanyahu convinced Palestinians that they were getting the short end of the stick; now Kerry must salvage the talks that only a few still believe in
      By Chemi Shalev | Apr. 2, 2014 | 12:43 AM

      The late American psychiatrist Robert Custer, a pioneer in the treatment of compulsive gambling, identified three stages on the way to total addiction: first winning, then losing and finally desperation, when the gambler loses his sense of proportion and commits to ever-growing wagers. Judging by his willingness to put the release of imprisoned Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard on the Israeli-Palestinian negotiating table, there is room for concern that John Kerry may also be on a path to losing it all.

      Like a gambler sinking deeper and deeper, Kerry has whipped out one of the strongest aces in the American hand, so that all the time, energy and reputation that he has invested in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process won’t go down the drain. But the potential return on his bold bid was modest from the outset: release of Israeli prisoners, a “quiet” freeze on settlements and an extension of negotiations that only a few still believe in.

      But not only has Kerry failed to secure his limited goals, the prospect of Pollard’s release may have actually contributed to the breakdown of his efforts on Tuesday. When the Palestinians compared the pittance they were receiving, in their view, to the plum Pollard prize that Kerry was bestowing on Prime Minister Netanyahu, they decided to walk away in a huff. If Bibi gets Pollard, they told Kerry, we will look like fools if we don’t demand something just as big, like jailed Palestinian activist Marwan Barghouti.

      In America, reactions to the proposed release deteriorated throughout the day, from surprise in the morning to discomfort by noon to open opposition at sunset. “It’s a sign of weakness and desperation,” said former U.S. diplomat and peace envoy David Aaron Miller. We welcome Pollard’s release, said Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League, but “it should not be intertwined with the Arab-Israeli conflict.” Senator John McCain described the administration’s linkage between the two as “disgusting” although he supports Pollard’s release; his Republican colleague Mark Kirk, a loyal friend of Israel, said Pollard should “rot in jail forever.”

      Of course, opposition to Pollard’s release is not as harsh as it used to be. CIA director John Brennan is unlikely to threaten to resign, as his predecessor George Tenet did 16 years ago when President Clinton was trying to convince the same Netanyahu to sign the Wye River Memorandum. Pollard is going to be eligible for parole by November 2015 anyway, on the assumption that his health holds: “Maybe they just want to release him quickly so that he doesn’t die on them in jail,” one particularly cynical American told me on Monday.

      It the kind of ambivalence that characterizes reactions across the political spectrum to the admittedly premature reports of Pollard’s imminent release. The hawkish right is torn between support for Israel, that wants to see Pollard freed, and the urge to depict the proposed parole as yet another indication of President Obama’s inherent global weakness, from the Black Sea to Benghazi. The moderate left would like to see the peace process continue, but is concerned about handing Netanyahu such a clear cut political victory. And American Jews would like nothing better than to see the end of the 30 year Pollard saga, but they are wary of renewed focus on insinuations of “dual loyalty” and of the negative impact of the “Pollard festival” that Israel will inevitably hold, if and when the jailed spy is indeed set free.

      Of course, one can mount a credible geo-political defense of the sudden U.S. willingness to pay so much for so little. With Obama locking horns with Vladimir Putin in Ukraine, the last thing he needs is a flare up on the Israeli-Palestinian front that could entail international bickering as well as an internal spat between the Administration and Congress. Maybe that’s what Kerry told the President when he was imploring him to let him use Pollard as a bargaining chip, though people in his state are liable to say anything, as long as they can keep on playing the game.
      link to haaretz.com

  • Pollard was in it for money, and sold so many dox Cap Weinberger wanted the death penalty
  • Not an April Fool's joke: U.S. weighs releasing Pollard to keep Israelis at negotiating table
  • Cutting thru hysteria over divestment, 'Forward' quotes Jews in favor
    • It's a shame that the Forward is not a mainstream media outlet. Elsewhere on Mondoweiss there is discussion based on the fear of a kind of blowback against Jews as a group as more people become aware of Israel's apartheid. Reporting by the Forward about Jewish opponents of Israel's policy gives a defense against such a blowback. How ironic that individuals like Sarah Bloom and organizations like Jewish Voice for Peace and not AIPAC or J Street, including their media minions, will be recognized as the defender of America's Jews.

  • Christie steps in deep doo-doo, promptly apologizes to Adelson. Whew!
    • Even if Jews owned 100% our our big media, that would not be the issue. The point is that 100% of these Jews support Israel's ethnic cleansing. If anyone can name a single execption who has gone public with their opposition, please share the name.

    • I have also pointed out that this is why Jews who support BDS are never mentioned by those same media owners. No wonder considering Richard Falk begins his story of the history of US Israel relations with the attack on the USS Liberty. If you know of a Jewish owned major media outlet that opposes Israel's ethnic cleansing policies, please share it with us. Incidentally, Einstein pointed out in the 1920's that it was a myth that Jewish owned German banks added up to serious money though he noted in the same speech that the owners of German newspapers were disproportionately Jewish. It is obvious that Israel's ever more terrible treatment of the Palestinians is not unlike the early Hitler long before the mass killings of Jews. Why do the owners of our media who are Jewish miss that?

    • The one thing Adelson doesn't need to waste his money on is our Jewish owned media conglomerates who already give 100% support to Israel's efforts to wipe out the Palestinians.

  • A British Jew warns US Jewish orgs to heed rapidly-shifting world opinion
  • 'I'm reminded of Jackson, MS, closing all public pools rather than integrating them' -- Franke on Barnard's Banner-gate
    • I think the Israel Lobby came to very real power when LBJ twice called back rescue efforts to aid the survivors of Israel's attack on the USS Liberty.

  • Columbia debate on Israeli policies features 3 Zionists, no Palestinians
    • Keeping in mind Hitler's plan to deport Jews to Madagascar and Bishop Desmond Tutu's observation that South Africa's apartheid sought to exploit blacks whereas Israel's apartheid seeks to eliminate Palestinians, comes this Guardian headline, "Plan to transfer Arab-Israelis to new Palestinian state seeks legal approval."

      link to theguardian.com

  • 'NYT Book Review' owes readers an apology for printing blatant racism about Palestinians
    • Is it anti-Semitic when the Times' owners refuse to mention fellow Jews who oppose Israel's effort to eliminate Palestinians?

  • Some liberal Zionists will blame Netanyahu for failure of talks
    • Meanwhile, another victory for BDS.

      Israeli architects face suspension by international body
      Royal Institute of British Architects is latest professional organization to join Israel boycott movement.
      By Haaretz | Mar. 23, 2014

      The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is the latest professional organization to boycott Israel, the Guardian reports.

      The RIBA council decided last week to call for the suspension of its Israeli counterpart, the Israeli Association of United Architects, by the global architectural body – the International Union of Architects.

      The motion was passed by 23 votes to 16, with 10 abstentions.

      Addressing council members before the vote, former RIBA head Angela Brady said that failure to back the motion “would send a clear message to the world that we as an institution turn a blind eye or by inaction support what’s going on – land grabs, forced removals, killing the state and human rights, and reinforcement of apartheid.”

      But other council members pointed to human rights violations in other parts of the world, such as North Korea, which is a member of RIBA. "Don't you think architects are designing prison camps and torture chambers there?" asked one council member, Francesca Weal.

      Prof Baruch Baruch of the IAUA said the decision was "astonishing." He added "I don't think architects can be blamed for government policies. I don't think boycotts will help to solve any of the problems in the Middle East."

      His organization, which includes Israeli-Arab architects, was not complicit in settlement construction. "A lot of members are against settlements and building in the West Bank. They won't be helped by a boycott."

      The vote follows a similar motion earlier in the week by the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland.

      link to haaretz.com

  • In Abbas meeting, Obama dropped formula about recognizing Israel as Jewish state
    • On yesterday's Dennis Bernstein's KPFA Flaspoints program Ilan Pappe reminded listeners of Bishop Desmond Tutu's observation that South Africa's apartheid was designed by whites to exploit blacks whereas Israel's apartheid was designed to eliminate Palestinians.

  • Loyola University Chicago student union passes resolution to divest from Israeli occupation
  • Lebanon 'affirms right' of citizens to resist Israel
    • Because the US denies the modern weapons necessary to defend Lebanon's national air space, its coast, and its borders from invaders such as Israel, Hezbollah has opted to become the nation's sole defense. If the US wanted to eliminate or weaken Hezbollah it surely knows how to do just that.

  • 'NPR' denies the Nakba
    • Let us not forget Seigel's hosting one of Israel's most prominent racists, Avigdor Lieberman. NPR has a long history of serving as one of AIPAC's many many silent partners among our media owners.

      link to mondoweiss.net

  • Northeastern University SJP chapter suspended as members are subjected to police interrogation
  • US Homeland Security investigates Israeli arms deal to Iran
    • Name a single Jewish owner of US print and broadcast media who has publicly opposed Israel's ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. The rest of our big media is pretty much Fox territory. What else explains that reports on Jews opposed to Israel's ethnic cleansing policies are missing from that media?

  • Evangelicals who dissent from Christian Zionism wear 'stain of indelible infamy,' Israel says
  • The Israeli Occupation Presents: IDF Diversity Week
    • A common religion and a shared racism treatment of Palestinians are the glue that holds the IDF together.

  • Israel lobby AIPAC is down, but not out -- yet
  • Cut off arms to Israel, Amnesty Int'l says, citing 22 civilians killed at protests last year
  • Jewish day school student first learned about 'occupation' when he got to college
    • Board members of NPR stations are in a position to insist that Israel/Palestine be accurately covered rather than covered up by NPR since its income heavily depends on that paid by member stations.

    • The lack of a visible physical barrier makes it imperative that our media always distinguish between Israel's West Jerusalem or Israeli occupied East Jerusalem. What justifies this being an age appropriate issue?

    • A simple start to ending this miseducation is to use West Jerusalem and East Jerusalem the same way East Berlin and West Berlin were used when that city, like Jerusalem today, was divided. What will it take for the New York Times to report with that acuracy?

  • Jewish community commits intellectual suicide before our eyes
    • Zionists believe that the liquidation of the Palestinians is required if Judaism is to survive. Where would Christianity be today in the US if its leaders continued to push for the liquidation of the Indians?

  • When Israel attacked Gaza, killing 100 civilians, Hillary Clinton said we have to support it '110 percent'
  • 'NY Times' and 'LA Times' run op-eds by an AIPAC board member without telling readers
    • If the Ochs and Sulzberger's require ordinary "reporters" to toe the line, why should op-ed writers be any different?

  • Scholar explodes 'canonic' American Jewish belief: Russian Czar was behind 1903 massacre
    • It would be nice to hear how this will be received in Russia. This is a reminder that the anti-semitism of Stalin, et. al., was endemic to Russia as Jewish bolsheviks were well aware.

  • Unravelling the false history of the Iranian nuclear program: An excerpt from 'Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare'
  • Hell freezes over (NYT publishes glowing profiles of anti-Zionists)
  • After big loss, AIPAC goes... Progressive!
    • The job opening is of course not for a progressive but for someone who can bring in people who imagine themselves "progressive."

  • 'Washington Post' runs article denouncing gross censorship by JCC
  • At Sochi Olympics, Israel is in... Europe!
  • EU Prez Martin Schulz wreaks havoc during speech at Knesset
  • New York Times assault on the BDS movement reinforces Israeli fears
  • 'NYT' reporter treats boycott as immoral and anti-Semitic, reminiscent of Nazis
    • The NY Times bosses choose to promote Israel's ethnic cleansing and occupation of the Palestinians. It pays its employees to be part of that problem.

  • Influential Jewish group pushes New York bill aimed at Israel boycott
  • SodaStream stock sinks, and Bloomberg cites 'sanctions over Jewish settlements'
    • Here's a comment on a site that is offering SodaStream at a sale price.

      Ah, this one - produced by indentured labor in occupied Palestinian territories. I'll pass.

    • No matter what different people may say are the causes of the fall in SodaStream's stock price, the publicity linking the company to Israel's illegal settlements is helping BDS.

  • The demand for a demilitarized state is telling Palestinians to give away the right to be free
    • The US prevents Lebanon from getting sufficient arms to defend its air, coasts, and borders from invasion by Israel. Thats's the kind of independence and self-determination Palestinians should expect from their US paymastes.

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