Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 3745 (since 2010-05-21 23:21:46)

I am a lawyer with several degrees in Classics (Greek and Latin).

Showing comments 3745 - 3701

  • 'Israel is the home of all Jews,' declares a right-wing official
    • That was typical British hypocrisy. Britain wanted Jews in Palestine for imperial reasons: to provide a local force that could help to defend the Suez Canal and British rule in Egypt, it it came to that. And indeed, when the Palestinians revolted in 1936, the British armed and trained the Jews in Palestine, who then helped to suppress the Palestinian revolt.

    • Jews must need to kvetch

      Do Israeli Jews kvetch? Hasn't Israel done its best to suppress Yiddish and the humor which is inherent in that language?

    • Marcel Ophuls's movie Hotel Terminus (an excellent movie) has a great deal to say about the close connections between Barbie and U.S. Army counterintelligence in the immediate postwar years.

    • I can't help being reminded of Rudolf Hess's words at the 1934 Nuremberg party rally, as shown in Triumph of the Will:

      Dank Ihrer Führung wird Deutschland sein Ziel erreichen, Heimat zu sein... Heimat zu sein für alle Deutschen der Welt.

  • Mark Halperin excommunicates Rand Paul, over Israel
  • 'NYT' abided by Israeli gag order even as 'EI' scooped it repeatedly
  • Reports of anti-Semitism in Ukraine and Hungary
  • Stephen Walt: publishing 'Israel lobby' ended any thought of serving in US gov't
    • Allen Dulles on the American people:

      Allen Dulles summarized his opinion about the American public at a Congressional meeting: "But nobody reads. Don't believe people read in this country. There will be a few professors that will read the record... the public will read very little".

      If people actually read the 9/11 Commission Report, complete with the footnotes, they would see that all the commission's account of the operational details of carrying out 9/11 rests on the testimony of detainees, some of whom we know were tortured, all of whom we know were subjected to severe pressure. Anybody who reads that cannot escape concluding that this is the reason why torture was used. Torture is notorious for eliciting the testimony that the torturers want, not for eliciting truth.

    • Paul Craig Roberts, a professional economist who is not employed by an academic institution, goes on and on in his recent book The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West about how corrupt academic economists and academic institutions in general have become in their pursuit of dollars from donors and donor institutions.

    • Paul Craig Roberts has a great deal to say about our degeneration into plutocratic rule by lobbies in his recent book The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West , which I am currently reading. Of course, he constantly mentions the business lobbies, given the subject of his book, but he also frequently mentions AIPAC when talking about the lobbies.

      (Oddly enough, although the author is of course an American, the book first appeared in German, as WIRTSCHAFT AM ABGRUND. Der Zusammenbruch der Volkswirtschaften und das Scheitern der Globalisierung , in July 2012, before the English-language version appeared in America in February 2013. Roberts happened to mention in that English-language version that his book was just then also being translated into Chinese.)

    • Interesting item from New Yorker piece on Elizabeth Warren:

      In 2008, Warren joined a five-person congressional-oversight panel whose creation was mandated by the seven-hundred-billion-dollar bailout. She found that thrilling and maddening, too. In the spring of 2009, after the panel issued its third report, critical of the bailout, Larry Summers took Warren out to dinner in Washington and, she recalls, told her that she had a choice to make. She could be an insider or an outsider, but if she was going to be an insider she needed to understand one unbreakable rule about insiders: “They don’t criticize other insiders.”

  • Resurrecting Passover?
    • True enough. But causing the deaths of all the first-born sons was a serious enough matter.

      In any case, Passover is the current festival.

      Both stories serve to justify abominable treatment of people that do not happen to enjoy the favor of God.

    • Speaking of Passover, doing evil, and the angel of the Lord, I've always felt that what happened to the Egyptians was very wrong.

  • Friedman prepares American Jews for a divorce from zealot Israel
    • Another sign of a change, an article in today's Congressional Quarterly, Fears of Israeli Spying Underlie Reluctance on Visa Waiver Program (subscription required):

      Lawmakers and staffers on two House committees are concerned that admitting Israel to a program that eases entry of foreigners into the United States would increase the risk of Israeli espionage, congressional aides say.

      For several years, Israel has sought admission into the U.S. Visa Waiver Program, which comprises 38 nations whose citizens may enter the United States and remain for 90 days without first obtaining approval for a visa at a U.S. consulate.

      Until now, U.S. officials have said they have refused Israel’s entry into the program only because the Jewish state does not meet specific requirements for inclusion, including a rate of refusal for Israelis seeking U.S. visas no higher than 3 percent and reciprocal courtesies for U.S. citizens visiting Israel.

      Several senators are pushing a bill that would effectively waive those requirements for Israel.

      But this is the first time congressional aides have indicated that intelligence and national security concerns also are considerations in weighing Israel’s admission into the Visa Waiver Program.

      “The U.S. intelligence community is concerned that adding Israel to the Visa Waiver program would make it easier for Israeli spies to enter the country,” a senior House aide said.

  • About that special relationship...
  • Amid 'climate of fear' at Vassar, president comes out against 'action and protest' re Israel
  • 'No decision has been made on Jonathan Pollard,' says State Dep't
    • If Israel really doesn't support America's stance towards Ukraine and Crimea, then for once I agree with Israel. Stopped clock, and all that.

  • For Miliband, the road to 10 Downing Street runs through Jerusalem and Sderot
    • One does wonder why no press in any English-speaking country has been willing to publish Solzhenitsyn's 200 Years Together, about the history of Jews in Russia/USSR, in English-language translation. Not in the U.S., not in the UK, not in Canada, not in Australia, not in New Zealand. Not only that, but also not in Ireland, not in South Africa, not in any of the West Indies, not even in India or Pakistan. What's up with that?

      You can order the translations into German and French (which appeared promptly after the Russian-language original) from and Amazon in the U.S. even sells the Russian-language original, but not an English-language translation.

      What could better illustrate the power of the Lobby throughout the English-speaking world?

    • Circa 2008, I had the dubious pleasure of attending a reception at the British Embassy in D.C. in honor of a visiting Labour M.P. who was a big shot in educational policy (hence my invitation to the reception as a former Marshall Scholar). Shortly before the reception ended, I happened to overhear the British Ambassador arrange with the guest of honor for their visiting the AIPAC meeting, which was then in full swing in D.C.

    • Israel has done its best to suppress the Yiddish language. Not only is it associated with the allegedly weak, unmilitaristic Jews of Europe that Zionism and Israel have repudiated, but it is a language with a sense of humor.

  • 6 DC heavyweights tell Kerry, Netanyahu in West Bank is like Putin in Crimea
    • Lieberman has been making noises about cozying up to Russia, especially if the U.S. distances itself from Israel.

    • The Russians moved into Ukraine by Stalin want to be part of Russia. The Israelis moved into the WestBank by Israel want to be part of Israel.

      Can you please write that in English? I have no idea what you are trying to say there.

      I think the idea of keeping people trapped in states they hate and reject is grossly immoral and a true danger to world peace.

      Which would seem to imply that it would have been grossly immoral and dangerous to force the Crimeans to remain in Ukraine after the coup in Kiev, and that it is now grossly immoral and dangerous to force the Palestinians to remain under Israeli rule.

    • The Polish aristocrat Brzezinski is never very rational about Russia.

      I knew the Polish Jewish historian Richard Pipes at Harvard. When it came to Russia, he was equally irrational.

      Both of them hated/hate Russia, whether it is Communist or not.

  • Aussie media focus on Carr's assertion that Israel lobby had 'direct line' into Prime Minister's office
    • Didn't the Aussie Israel lobby play a big role in deposing Kevin Rudd as PM and replacing him with Gillard? (Not to downplay the also important U.S. influence to the same effect.)

  • State Dep't tries to clean up Kerry's 'Poof'
    • Also yesterday Kerry met with Avigdor Lieberman and said that the U.S. friendship with Israel is unbreakable.

      Which is as much as to say, it doesn't matter what Israel does, the U.S. will always remain Israel's friend. What a pathetic thing to say.

  • Because Rep. Jones voted 'present' on Israel aid, lobby group runs attack ad with burning flag
  • 'NYT' readers who objected to calling Abbas 'defiant' have a point, public editor rules
    • When apartheid was ending, there was a lot of fear of a civil war in South Africa, with hard-line Afrikaners rebelling. It didn't happen, because Mandela, who had learnt Afrikaans in prison, met the hard-line Afrikaner leaders and charmed them.

    • And Jesus. And Spinoza. And Karl Marx.

    • If the NYT's reputation could survive all the pro-Stalin mendacious reporting by Walter Duranty, I doubt if I/P dishonesty is going to sink the NYT.

      If the NYT changes its line on I/P, will it continue to get all those advertising dollars from the NYC department stores and from the lines of clothing?

    • Some of the best reporting Mencken did was of the 1948 party political conventions.

  • The crisis that Israel adroitly manufactured
  • Boteach posts censored videotape of Columbia debate
  • Let Pollard go. But first get answers from Tel Aviv
    • Pollard is no innocent. As a naval intelligence operative, he was trained on the significance of the information that he sold. Remember, he also tried to sell secrets to apartheid South Africa.

  • Pollard was in it for money, and sold so many dox Cap Weinberger wanted the death penalty
    • Not just Mossad. The Soviets made Philby a colonel.

    • Take the word of someone who spent a career in military signals intelligence. This really was a big deal (a lot more serious than anything Manning or Snowden has done).

    • Page: 37
    • The RASIN Manual involved a lot more than Middle Eastern vulnerabilities to NSA surveillance, as is stated in the Wikipedia piece on Pollard:

      As of 2014[update] the full extent of the information Pollard passed to Israel has still not been officially revealed. Press reports cited a secret 46-page memorandum, which Pollard and his attorneys were allowed to view.[36] They were provided to the judge by Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, who described Pollard's spying as including, among other things, obtaining and copying the latest version of Radio-Signal Notations (RASIN), a 10-volume manual comprehensively detailing America's global electronic surveillance network.[14][37]

    • one of the comments they said was, don’t give us any secret information, we don’t need that level. Only top secret and SCI [Sensitive Compartmented] information.

      The computer system from which Bradley/Chelsea Manning got the documents he/she released had nothing on it classified higher than Secret.

    • If the Russians want to embarrass Obama, they could release information on what Pollard (indirectly) turned over to them.

    • Congressional Quarterly: Proposal to Free Convicted Spy Pollard Angers Senators. According to the CQ story, Lindsay Graham, Bob Corker, Tim Kaine, and Angus King either opposed Pollard's release outright, or expressed misgivings about it. Charles Schumer and Foxman/ADL supported releasing Pollard.

  • 'NYT' editorial writer savages Republicans for 'pro-Israel, philo-Semitic' curtseys to Adelson
  • Boteach stops reporter from videotaping Columbia University debate
    • I guess voice recordings would not represent competition with a video run and sold by Boteach's outfit. I wonder how Columbia/Barnard feels about having its rules flouted for commercial reasons.

  • Not an April Fool's joke: U.S. weighs releasing Pollard to keep Israelis at negotiating table
    • Of course, we could also restock our supply of people sentenced for spying for Israel, if only we had the will to do it.

    • So do they think it was scary for the Rosenbergs to be imprisoned (I'm ignoring their being executed, because I have serious doubts about that myself) and for their several accomplices, many of them Jewish, to be sentenced to prison terms?

    • I wonder to what extent this willingness to release Pollard represents Democratic Party panic over their increasingly ominous-looking prospects for the 2014 offterm elections.

    • Combined with the leaks to the Washington Post about the uselessness of the CIA's torture program, this news will do nothing good for the morale of the intelligence agencies.

  • Christie steps in deep doo-doo, promptly apologizes to Adelson. Whew!
    • Last week, the Washington Post published a listing of Paul's inner circle of backers. I spotted not one Zionist in the bunch, and the list was led by billionaire gay activist and libertarian Peter Thiel, cofounder of PayPal. I don't think Paul needs Adelson's money.

    • Adelson and the other Zionists are in a panic over the increasing likelihood that Rand Paul will be the next Republican nominee for the presidency (and he's probably the only Republican who could beat Hillary Clinton in 2016).

  • A British Jew warns US Jewish orgs to heed rapidly-shifting world opinion
    • I don't think you have to be looking at French history through a Jewish lens to regard the Dreyfus affair as extremely important, probably the most important event in France in that decade (with the possible exception of the alliance with Russia, an event with which it was related): it overturned French politics, brought to power, in place of conservatives, liberals (in the European sense) with a strong anticlerical bent, and discredited the French right, church, and army.

    • From Wikipedia entry on Betar Naval Academy in Civitavecchia, Italy in the 1930's:

      Italy was a source of ideological, historical and cultural inspiration for the Zionist Revisionists of the 1920s and 1930s.[3] The country under Mussolini was seen as a historical reminder of the roots of the Jewish people and as a contemporary example of a once glorious culture reclaiming its role in the world through the affirmation of power and national pride.[3]

      . . .

      In 1933 the Italian foreign ministry (Mussolini was also foreign minister) began circulating internal policy documents arguing that a strong Jewish state would be in Italy's best interests.[8]

      Although Jabotinsky had still not been able to arrange a meeting with Mussolini it became clear that the Italian government did view the Revisionists as potential ideological partners.[8] It was this change that facilitated the creation of the Betar Naval Academy in the Italian port city of Civitavecchia.[9]

    • If Israel loses the support of diaspora (including American) Jews, will U.S. support of Israel continue? If it does not, can Israel survive?

      And, if Israel fears it will not survive, will it then use its nukes? That would, I think, constitute a major historical event.

    • Bugliosi himself wrote a massive tome defending the Warren Commission fiction. Why, I ask you?

    • One more suggestion that the times may be changing, even among American Jews. Today's Washington Post (the print edition, no less, page C4) has this piece by Sidney Schwartz about a squabble in the Jewish community in the D.C. area about a new play, What lies beneath the drama over Theater J. Schwartz's piece opens

      Given the controversy surrounding Theater J’s production of Motti Lerner’s play “The Admission” at the D.C. Jewish Community Center, I expected to see a full-scale indictment of Israel’s conduct during its 1948 war of independence. Instead I encountered a play that probed the complexity of war, politics, memory, ethnic identity, love and survival with astounding sensitivity and nuance.

      After the play was scheduled last summer, a small group of Washington-area Jews organized themselves into a group called Citizens Opposed to Propaganda Masquerading as Art. The group exerted enormous pressure on the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington to cut funding to the DCJCC because of Theater J’s sponsorship of plays that ask uncomfortable questions about Israel. The effort is similar to actions taken in New York and San Francisco to shut down Jewish film festivals over films critical of Israel. In a display of courage all too rare these days, the executive director and president of the Jewish Federation declared that they would not cave to COPMA’s pressure, even though holding firm would likely cost the federation tens of thousands of dollars in contributions.

      In fact, the DCJCC and Theater J did make a concession to the protesters. It downgraded “The Admission” from a full production to a “workshop” and inserted into the spring schedule an additional production of “Golda’s Balcony,” a play about former Israeli prime minister Golda Meir.

      and concludes (significantly, in my opinion)

      One gift Nelson Mandela gave the world was the understanding that no healthy nation can be built on the back of a historical injustice without a process of truth and reconciliation in which all parties come to grips with the past. There is plenty of blame to go around on all sides. Until the parties to the Middle East conflict are ready for such a process, perhaps art will have to suffice.

    • The moment is fast approaching when Israeli Jews, if they do not accept a South Africa-type deal, will be faced with the fate of the pieds noirs European settlers in French Algeria. There is very little time left.

  • 'I'm reminded of Jackson, MS, closing all public pools rather than integrating them' -- Franke on Barnard's Banner-gate
    • Virginia Gildersleeve, long-time Dean of Barnard College, would not approve of this:

      Some historians consider Gildersleeve to have been "the most influential leader" of the Christian "anti-Zionist lobby" of her era.[7] Gildersleeve wrote that "after (her) retirement from the Deanship at Barnard, (she) devoted (her)self mainly to the Middle East,"[8] describing herself as "struggling ardently against" the creation and, later, the continued existence of the Jewish State.[9] She blamed her failure to prevent the creation of the State of Israel on "the Zionist control of the media of communication." [10]
      Gildersleeve repeatedly testified before congressional committees and lobbied members of Congress and President Harry Truman to deny American political, military, and financial support to Israel.[7]
      Gildersleeve was a trustee of the American University of Beirut and a leading figure in the Christian opposition to Israel's statehood in 1948. She helped found and chaired the Committee for Justice and Peace in the Holy Land, which merged into the American Friends of the Middle East.[11] According to historian Robert Moats Miller, of the University of North Carolina, the group was funded by the Central Intelligence Agency and ARAMCO.[12] Miller states that Gildersleeve's "sympathies were indeed overwhelmingly with the Arabs." [12]

  • Loyola student government president vetoes divestment resolution
    • You're assuming it was a promise. It could just as well have been a threat. (Of course, it could have been both. Carrot and stick.)

  • 'NYT Book Review' owes readers an apology for printing blatant racism about Palestinians
    • Don't blame the New York Review of Books for the publication of this letter. This letter was published by the New York Times Book Review, a very different publication. Unlike the New York Review of Books, the New York Times Book Review is part of the New York Times.

      By the way, I'm not sure it's sufficient to say that the opinions in the letter are those of the writer of the letter, not those of anybody on the New York Times. I know from my experiences writing letters to the New York Times that the newspaper is very selective in which letters it chooses to publish. I imagine the same is true of the New York Times Book Review

      By the way, Walter Schimmerling appears to be a scientist who works for NASA. This letter would appear to deal with matters outside his field of expertise.

  • Kerry isn't satisfied by Israeli minister's non-apology for calling Obama a wimp
    • JFK was not a wimp. He did his level best to stop the abuses of the national security state. Granted, that cost him his life. But the fact that he made the effort knowing the risk proves that he was not a wimp.

    • Obama is a wimp, or he would have stopped the abuses of the national security state long ago.

  • The battle over Palestine is raging--and Israel is losing: Ali Abunimah on his new book
    • People of color, indigenous people, African Americans, are viewed as a demographic threat that needs to be controlled with ever-more sophisticated and total methods of control.

      Abunimah is there talking about how white Americans -- not Israelis -- think (although I suspect he would agree that Israeli Jews share the belief, certainly I think they do).

  • Israeli teens dressed as KKK and in 'black face' for mock lynching at school Purim party
    • Correction: Haman's alleged, probably fictional plot to massacre the Jews as alleged in the work of fiction known as the Book of Esther.

      In fact, no ancient people was friendlier to the Hebrews than the Persians.

    • As for the meaning of this stunt, hint: it happened on Purim. Somehow I don't think this was meant to criticize the KKK.

  • D.C. Metro ads target US aid to the Israeli occupation
  • Netanyahu's map of 'Israel' annexes West Bank, leaves out Gaza
    • Actually, some of the German war footage (largely stuff shown on the Wochenschau newsreels) is available commercially.

  • Israel wages war on universities because it's lost control of the narrative -- Hedges
    • Washington Post: Hillary Clinton says she is ‘personally skeptical’ about an Iran nuclear deal:

      NEW YORK — Hillary Rodham Clinton cast doubt on the interim nuclear agreement with Iran, saying in a muscular policy speech here Wednesday night that she is “personally skeptical” that Iran’s leaders will follow through on a comprehensive agreement to end their march toward nuclear weapons.

      Still, the former secretary of state and potential 2016 Democratic presidential candidate told a pro-Israel audience in New York that she stands behind the Obama administration’s negotiations with Iran, and she commended the work of her successor, John F. Kerry.

  • Lockerbie: 25 years of geopolitics over truth
    • If Megrahi had been guilty, the British government wouldn't have gone through such contortions to avoid deciding his second appeal.

    • George H.W. Bush on the shootdown: "I will never apologize for the United States — I don't care what the facts are... I'm not an apologize-for-America kind of guy."

    • Capt. William C. Rogers III, the commander of the USS Vincennes, which shot down the Iranian Airbus, was outrageously given a medal after he left that command. (And so was his air-combat officer, LCDR Scott Lustig, who was if anything even more responsible for the shootdown.) CDR David Carlson, who commanded the USS Sides, which was alongside the Vincennes at the time of the shootdown, wrote a scathing article on Rogers and the shootdown for the Proceedings of the U.S. Naval Institute. I happened to work as a naval officer in the Pentagon shortly after the shootdown, and my boss, the second-highest-ranking civilian lawyer in the Pentagon, told me that Rogers had the reputation of being trigger-happy.

  • Northeastern president is urged to restore SJP's First Amendment rights
    • The establishment foreign policy mag is CFR's Foreign Affairs.

    • Challenge these universities in their wallets, where it hurts. Submit complaints to the organizations that give them accreditation.

  • Does Israel Have a Right to Exist as a Jewish State?: An excerpt from Ali Abunimah's 'The Battle for Justice in Palestine'
    • The Irish Free State and its successor the Republic of Ireland did strongly favor Roman Catholicism (although on paper it gave equal rights to religious minorities,) but, to all intents and purposes, those days are over. The Catholic Church so disgraced itself with the child abuse scandal in the eyes of the Irish that the favored position of the Catholic Church is virtually gone. To all intents and purposes, Ireland is now a secular state, and the land of all Irish, of whatever religion (or lack of it).

      And there have always been Irish Protestants living in independent Ireland, with theoretically equal rights, even if many Protestants left Ireland after independence, largely because it was psychologically difficult for them to accept the loss of political dominance (they retained much economic power). A Protestant has occupied as high a position as President of Ireland (and a Jew has been Lord Mayor of Dublin).

  • University of Windsor President pressures Student Union to not ratify BDS referendum following demand from pro-Israel donor
  • 'Northeastern SJP will not be silenced or intimidated': SJP responds to suspension from Northeastern University
  • Northeastern University SJP chapter suspended as members are subjected to police interrogation
    • I once attended a reception at the UK Embassy in D.C. in honor of a Labour MP who was a big shot in education policy. This was late in the presidency of George W. Bush and while Gordon Brown was PM. I overheard the British Ambassador discussing with the guest of honor how, after the reception ended, he and the guest of honor were going to attend the AIPAC meeting which was then going on in D.C.

    • Joseph Aoun appears to be a Christian Arabic name. Aoun's first degree listed in his Wikipedia entry is a Master's in Oriental Languages and Literature from Université Saint-Joseph, Beirut, Lebanon, 1975. Two years later, he got a diploma from the University of Paris.

  • Evangelicals who dissent from Christian Zionism wear 'stain of indelible infamy,' Israel says
    • Hophmi, to regard Christ as both the Messiah and as divine is two different things. Christians believe both. Muslims only believe the first (that Isa/Jesus was al-Masih, the Messiah).

      You conflate belief that he is/was the Messiah and belief that he is/was divine, but your very willingness not to cast out Jews who are also Muslims surely shows that you too see -- or at least sense -- the distinction.

      But surely that means that what you find objectionable is not that anybody should think Christ is/was the Messiah, but only that they should think he is/was divine.

    • Racism towards Persians puzzles me. They speak an Indo-European language. They are quite fair-skinned. And the Old Testament is full of praise of Cyrus and the Persians, who freed the Jews from their Babylonian capitivity and were quite tolerant of other religions, including the religion of the Jews of that time.

    • I thought Jews' objection to Christianity was that it asserts the divinity of Christ. Why is saying that he was the Messiah so objectionable? Did the followers of Sabbatai Zevi automatically become non-Jews when they accepted his claim to be the Messiah? I thought they were only rejected after he and they converted to Islam.

      Which raises the matter of why Jews (or at least a lot of Jews) consider Jews who convert to Islam as non-Jews, just they way they look on Jews who convert to Christianity. But what is so objectionable about Islam? It's a monotheistic, legalistic religion that has taken over dietary laws and a lot of other stuff from Judaism. I find it hard to understand why somebody couldn't be both a Jew and a Muslim (as many people claimed to be in the first couple of centuries after Mohammed, and as the Dönme followers of Sabbatai Zevi claimed to be, and indeed still claim to be). Is the objection that Muslims regard Jesus (Isa) as a prophet, a messenger of God, and even the Messiah (al-Masih)?

    • They believe in Christ, but also observe some, but not all of the Jewish faith.

      That's what the first Christians did as well, isn't it?

  • Robert Caro, Nakba-denier
    • Arthur Krock is said to have been hired by Joe Kennedy to write most of JFK's Why England Slept.

    • The Irish always side with the side they consider the underdog. It's in our blood.

    • Judging by Caro's treatment of the JFK assassination, I expect no anti-LBJ (or, perhaps more to the point, anti-Israel) treatment of the USS Liberty incident. In his latest volume, Caro accepts the Warren Commission fairy tale lock, stock, and barrel. He says at one point that he will say nothing about the charges that LBJ was involved in the assassination conspiracy, because he has seen no evidence that he was (thus ignoring, for example, the testimony decades later of the recently deceased Billy Sol Estes, as well as the mountains of evidence presented just a couple of years ago by Douglas Horne, Chief Analyst of Military Records of the Assassination Records Review Board, in his five-volume, 2000-page Inside the Assassination Records Review Board). Despite the portrait that Caro's earlier volumes paint of LBJ as a moral monster, Caro's latest volume accepts at face value LBJ's proclaimed liberalism during this presidency.

  • 'Apartheid on the Hill': Students transform Tufts campus to highlight Israeli occupation
    • I just read in Craig Steven Wilder's Ebony and Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America's Universities that the Tufts campus was earlier occupied by Ten Hills Farm, the 600-acre plantation of the Royall family that had many slaves before slaves in Massachusetts were emancipated during the American Revolution.

  • Dateline, Ukraine: How the State Department 'midwives' democracy
    • The reason Reagan started that policy was his anti-Communism. That he was willing to change that policy if circumstances changed is shown by his behavior towards Gorbachev in the last years of his presidency. Now, Communism is dead (certainly in Russia), so I think it is very unlikely that Reagan would have continued that policy.

    • The Soviet Union is dead. Putin and his government are closely associated with the Russian Orthodox Church, which was severely persecuted under Communist rule. Just what policies are the neocons continuing?

    • Anybody who wants to know what Scientology is really about should read Kate Bornstein's A Queer and Pleasant Danger: The true story of a nice Jewish boy who joins the Church of Scientology, and leaves twelve years later to become the lovely lady she is today. Bornstein does not paint a pretty picture of that "church".

      According to Bornstein, the "Church" of Scientology plans to take over the world. And for no good purpose. It all seems to be for selfish ends.

    • I just read an allegation that Yatsenyuk (and his sister) are scientologists. Oh boy!

    • In the case of Ukraine today, those neocon Zionists happen to be supporting a bunch of neo-Nazis. Perhaps not so surprising.

      Interesting that "Yats", who Nuland was saying should be prime minister and who, lo and behold, now has become prime minister, happens to be Jewish (as well as a financial expert apparently liked by the IMF).

  • 'NYT' provides frank descriptions of lobby's power in review of Truman book
    • The next shoe to drop on Brandeis will be the idea that he converted to Zionism in 1912 so as to be representative of the attitudes of Eastern European Jewish immigrants, and thus to be qualified to be the first Jew on the Supreme Court (i.e., Thurgood Marshall not Clarence Thomas)

      Interestingly, in that same year, 1912, Brandeis played a major role in Woodrow Wilson's campaign for the presidency. Indeed, after Wilson won, he credited Brandeis with having had a big share in the victory.

  • Anti-anti-semitism: How did a movement against bigotry lend itself to another form of bigotry?
    • You're wrong. I'm Irish (well, Irish-American), and I know how the Irish feel. Apart from some antediluvian troglodytes.

      And what needs justification is treating people unequally. Ireland treats its citizens equally. (Unlike Israel.) It can no longer be called a sectarian state. The Catholic Church has lost most of the excessive power that it once had.

      If Israel ever starts treating its citizens equally, I will no longer say that it needs justification. But then, it will no longer be a Jewish State.

      And it's interesting how you react to my call for imitating the forgiveness of the Irish with insults.

    • Just to be clear, I, unlike my late cousin, am proud of the fact that most Irish Catholics have buried the hatchet.

    • Will the Jewish people ever get over the Holocaust the way (to take my own people) the Irish have gotten over Cromwell and the Potato Famine? If and when they do, what will remain of the justification for a Jewish State? If they never do, will that be right?

      (Mind you, the Protestants in independent Ireland have, on paper at least, equal rights. In fact, one can make a case that in fact they retain a privileged economic position -- a fact that a radical nationalist cousin of mine much resented, while he was alive.)

  • Netanyahu mentions 'BDS' 18 times in denouncing movement and its 'gullible fellow travelers'
    • I am almost finished reading Gareth Porter's Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare. It's astonishing how much mendacity it reveals on the part of the Israeli and U.S. governments. Especially by Netanyahu and Obama.

  • Scarlett Johansson is featured at AIPAC, to applause
  • 'NYT' dismisses Wieseltier attack on Judis as tempest-in-a-teapot
    • Not many Irish-Americans go to live in Ireland (economic reasons), but some do. And all those who qualify for Irish citizenship and an Irish passport have the right to.

    • The idea that I should enjoy a right-of-return to Odessa is ridiculous.

      Perhaps debatable, but hardly ridiculous. Anyone at least one of whose parents or grandparents was born in Ireland (either Northern or the Republic) has the right to Irish citizenship. (Since all my parents and grandparents were born there, I do in fact have Irish citizenship, in addition to American.) And I believe much the same is true of all countries that use jus sanguinis to determine citizenship.

    • I think my explanation is more likely to be correct: BDS is already affecting investment in Israel.

    • But the Zionists always play up any threat to Israel. Why the sudden shift in tactics?

    • Notice how that story quotes some Zionist big shot saying that BDS does not threaten Israel, but does threaten the peace process. Why would he play down the threat to Israel? Methinks it's to stop people failing to invest in Israel because they think it is a hazardous investment. I.e., BDS is already working.

    • Times story features a photo of Hughes (with Wieseltier). Besides being very handsome, Hughes looks very gay (as I understand he is). I wonder if the reason he chose to buy The New Republic was that Andrew Sullivan, as editor of that magazine, was the first to make a big issue of gay marriage.

  • Israel lobby AIPAC is down, but not out -- yet
    • Why does neocon Victoria Nuland (formerly of Cheney's vice presidential office, and married to Robert Kagan) occupy such a powerful position in the State Department? As we know from her intercepted phone conversation, it cannot be because she has any diplomatic skills.

    • Interesting article on AIPAC's decline in today's Financial Times.

  • Thought experiment. Dateline Ukraine
  • 'NYT' says East Jerusalem isn't occupied, and Israel lobby takes credit
    • I'm sure they must have. Tobacco companies were big advertisers back then.

    • If what matters is what the situation was pre-1948, does that mean that Lydda/Lod (with lots of other places) is now Israeli-occupied territory?

      Sorry, David Samel, I see that you already made my point.

  • AIPAC member threatens to sue Code Pink over parody video (Updated)
  • Sheldon Adelson to honor Sean Penn at neocon ball
  • 'New Republic''s literary editor attacks its senior editor as nasty, ignorant self-hating Jew
    • If I were Judis, I would be delighted to be compared to Rosa Luxemburg. Talk about someone who has been vindicated by history.

    • As the son of a Kerrywoman, I hope that Power and Sunstein did not choose to be married in a (Catholic) church in Kerry because of any family connection between Power and County Kerry.

      However, I am glad to learn from Power's Wikipedia entry that she has seen to it that their two children have Irish names: Declan and Rian.

    • Peretz critical of Israel? If he ever was, I bet it was over things like the Oslo peace process.

  • AIPAC chair pushing sanctions on Iran is crucial Obama backer
    • A book that I'm currently reading, Gareth Porter's Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare, has a lot to say about the involvement of Israel and the Israel Lobby in perpetuating U.S. hostility towards Iran.

    • I wonder just what Israel's objectives are that she thinks Iran ought to satisfy.

    • Penny Pritzker is now Secretary of Commerce.

  • Jewish community commits intellectual suicide before our eyes
    • What time period was Dershowitz talking about? Felix Frankfurter was hired as a full professor by Harvard Law School before 1917. Around this time, Harry Wolfson was a full professor of Jewish Literature and Philosophy, Milton Rosenau was a full professor of Medicine, and Paul Sachs was an associate professor of Fine Arts. Oscar Handlin taught at Harvard from 1939 to 1984. I believe he became a full professor in the 1950's, and he was made head of a newly formed institute there in 1958. I think Henry Kissinger would have had to have been already a full professor -- or at least an associate professor on tenure track -- when he was made associate director of Harvard's Center for International Affairs in 1957.

  • Truman feared backing Israel would involve US in 'new world conflict' -- Boston Globe
    • Yes, but the counterfactual that could have prevented Israel is if FDR had lived.

    • Since 2012, Chris Hughes has been the owner and editor-in-chief of TNR.

    • FDR had such great self-confidence and such political clout that I don't think he would have felt obliged to surrender to the lobby. And the promises that he had made in early 1945 to the King of Saudi Arabia suggest strongly that he would not have wanted personally to create a purely Jewish state in the Mandate of Palestine. So it is a pity he died when he did.

      (Henry Wallace, on the other hand, was so committed to the Zionist cause that a President Wallace, although he would probably have done other good things like avoiding a Cold War, probably would have supported the creation of Israel.)

    • [Truman] felt put-upon by Zionist groups clamoring for his administration’s support and comes across as whiny — the “one constant in his reproaches were the ‘emotional Jews’ of the United States,’ ” writes Judis — but also aware of the political risks of taking sides.

      Any political risks were only if he opposed the creation of Israel. As the passage later points out, there was no Arab or Muslim constituency that would have opposed his siding with Israel.

      As far as a new world conflict is concerned, there was no immediate danger of that occurring if he supported Israel. The Soviet Union, remember, also supported the creation of Israel. Any conflict that resulted from the creation of Israel would only have been a regional one (as indeed happened), not a world conflict.

  • Stirring debate on BDS, 'NYT' allows readers to speak out about inequality
    • I think it would have made most sense to establish a Jewish state in the former East Prussia. By the winter of 1944-45, most of the Germans had fled. Those remaining were expelled by the Russians and Poles in the next couple of years. The Soviets wanted Königsberg/Kaliningrad as a port/naval base, but that could have been established in a Jewish republic within the Soviet Union. Such a republic would have been in no military danger. The Russians and Poles had great difficulty finding people to settle in East Prussia after the Germans had left.

      Stalin eventually turned against the Jews, but his motive there seems to have been disappointment at Israel's turn towards the U.S. and distrust of Soviet Jews' enthusiasm for Israel. Without an Israel, I wonder if he would have turned, and anyway he had only a few more years to live in any case.

  • Krista Tippett puts occupied East Jerusalem in Israel
  • 'Washington Post' runs article denouncing gross censorship by JCC
    • Last week in Haaretz, author David Harris-Gershon wrote about the cancellation. He said Washington JCC ceo Carole Zawatsky called him to tell him just before his fourth-grade class to tell him he was a “mensch” and

      that my political views are so untenable that the DCJCC could no longer host my “Authors Out Loud” book event, at which I was to talk about the power of reconciliation and dialogue embedded in my memoir, What Do You Buy the Children of the Terrorist Who Tried to Kill Your Wife?

      So now it's bad to be a Mensch? Huh?

  • Student who exposed 'leftist' teacher is honored at Knesset, while teacher gets violent threats
    • Thank you. I'm glad to have my instincts on this confirmed.

    • @Daniel Rich: "Nazi" was just a shortening of the full name of the party, Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NSDAP, not NDSAP). The nickname was not just used by enemies of the party. One of the party's own publications was entitled "Der Nazi Sozi".

    • Mädchen is not a diminutive form of Mädel. Both words are originally diminutives of the word Magd (= English "maid"), with different diminutive suffixes -chen and -el (variant of -lein) appended.

      I'm not sure why the Nazis used the form Mädel for their girls' organization. Mädchen is a much more common word. Perhaps it has to do with the Nazis' predilection for archaic words. The -el suffix is common in South German dialects, like Austrian German. Maybe it has to do with the fact that the Nazi party arose first of all in Bavaria.

    • Not just in Nazi Germany. Also in Stalinist Russia. Pavlik Morozov.

  • Why is the American elite scared of BDS?
    • Yes, you're right. Earlier they were terrified of the Occupy movement for the same reason. And it is for that reason that they have constructed their massive surveillance state. If the populace ever becomes really rebellious, they think they have the means to keep it under control.

    • In 2001, I argued that policy in every area must be debated vigorously, but respect for those who risk their lives for our freedom must be a basic value.

      The post-9/11 American state no longer stands for the freedom of Americans, and therefore it is no longer for the freedom of Americans that the members of the U.S. military now risk their lives. This retired naval officer says that with deep regret, but he has to face the truth.

  • Congress is next battleground over boycott of Israel
  • Ultra-nationalist rabbis warn John Kerry of divine punishment for the peace process
    • This punishment (if it ever happened, which I very much doubt) was inflicted on the Persians, who freed the Jews from their Babylonian captivity, allowed religious freedom not only to the Jews in Palestine and elsewhere but to other religious minorities like the Greeks and Babylonians (we have an inscription in Greek from Darius proclaiming this policy, and the cylinder of Cyrus from Babylon in Akkadian proclaiming the same about Mesopotamia), and created an atmosphere where the Old Testament could be put together.

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