Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 4074 (since 2010-05-21 23:21:46)

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

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  • 'Telegenically Dead': Israel’s crumbling media war
  • Gaza onslaught is p.r. problem for Israel's 'moral authority' -- Albright
    • I wonder if there will be hearings on this bill, and if the hearings will discuss how effective or not Iron Dome has been.

    • The U.S. Senate continues to close its ears to the news discrediting Israel. Congressional Quarterly: Senate Border Supplemental to Include Iron Dome Funding:

      Senate Democrats plan to unveil a supplemental appropriations package this week that would provide previously unrequested aid to Israel, in addition to funding for the border crisis and wildfire suppression efforts.

      A senior Senate Democratic aide said Tuesday that Appropriations Chairwoman Barbara A. Mikulski would release a supplemental spending package that fully funds the Obama administration’s wildfire suppression request at $615 million. A second Democratic aide said Mikulski’s plan would provide $2.7 billion to address the influx of child migrants on the Southwest border, slashing $1 billion from the White House request.

      The aide said the Senate supplemental would also include $225 million for Iron Dome, the missile defense system Israel is relying on to defend itself from incoming rockets launched by Hamas, which the administration did not include in its emergency request to Congress.

    • Do cruise liners still drop anchor at Ashdod and Haifa?

      And then there is a possibility of a private yacht.

      I imagine El Al still flies to and from Israel. When I was studying at Oxford in the early 1970's, I took an El Al flight to Athens, Greece (from Gatwick, rather than Heathrow, if memory serves). The flight was then going on to Israel.

  • ‘We have nothing left to lose. I would rather die with my family under the rubble of our house than have a humiliating truce’: Palestinian youth demand justice
    • Nationalist Sinn Fein, although initially an extremist movement with little support in Ireland, gained overwhelming support eventually from the Irish as a result of a series of misguided British actions: executing several leaders of the Easter 1916 rising in Dublin; seriously discussing introducing conscription in Ireland in early 1918; imprisoning Sinn Fein leaders (leading to overwhelming Sinn Fein electoral victories using the slogan "Vote for the man in jail"); and adopting a scorched-earth terror policy using the mercenary Black and Tans. The result was that Sinn Fein had in the end something close to unanimous support among the Catholics of Ireland, and the moderate Nationalist Party of Parnell and Redmond was destroyed as a political force.

    • Zionism is increasingly discredited, as these Gazans want, and so is the American political system that has produced leaders who support the crimes of Zionism.

  • Dear American media, I’m asking you to simply tell what’s happening in Gaza
    • Given how little damage those rockets do, I wonder if the most rational policy for a person might not be just to ignore them. Do you have much more chance of being killed by one of them than you do of being struck dead by lightning? I assume the risk of dying in a traffic accident must be much greater.

  • Finally, Israel is alienating the US mainstream media
    • The robotic way in which officials and pundits keep repeating that mantra that Israel has the right to defend itself reminds me of the people taken over by space aliens in old science fiction movies.

    • I see you've returned to writing unidiomatic English. Funny thing that.

    • I wonder if NBC's publicly-forced climbdown over Mohyeldin has resulted in a power shift within NBC that allows its newscasters to say what they really think.

  • Democrat Eliot Engel appears at pro-Israel rally featuring anti-Muslim activist Pamela Geller
    • It’s most interesting that neither POTUS nor any political US leader ever talks about the right of Palestinians to self-defense.

      And, when they are asked about it, they clam up, change the subject, and retreat to their talking points.

  • Massacre in Gaza: At least 60 killed in Shuja'iyeh, over 60,000 in UN shelters
    • Turns out the second American killed, Sean Carmeli from Texas, was also a sergeant in the Golani Brigade. He apparently was driving the armored personnel carrier that was hit by an antitank weapon.

    • Seafoid, I see Lerner used the inappropriate word "kidnap".

    • We learn the identity of one of them. Max Steinberg, from L.A., had been a sniper in the Golani Brigade since 2012. Sounds as if he was a professional soldier. LA Jewish Journal: Max Steinberg, L.A. native and IDF volunteer, killed in Gaza:

      Max Steinberg, a Woodland Hills native and volunteer in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), was killed Sunday along with 12 other soldiers in the Gaza Strip, amidst an Israeli operation to quell rocket fire and destroy underground smuggling tunnels.

      Although the details of Steinberg’s death are not yet known, the IDF reported that 13 soldiers in the Golani brigade were killed in three separate incidents that spanned over eight hours Sunday morning. All of the deaths occurred in the dense Gaza City neighborhood of Shejaiya.

      Seven soldiers were killed when an armored personnel carrier drove over an explosive device shortly after 1 a.m. and three more soldiers were killed during a firefight with a Hamas terror cell. Just before 9 a.m., the military reported, three Golani reconnaissance soldiers were killed when a fire spread through a building they were in.

      Steinberg, who attended Pierce College and El Camino Real High School, was a sniper in Golani, according to his Facebook page, and joined the IDF in December 2012. He was living in the city of Beersheba.

      Shejaiya has been used by Hamas as a launching pad for rockets and as a starting point for sophisticated underground tunnels that extend into Israeli territory, the IDF said.

      The military also reported Sunday that 140 rockets have been fired from Shejaiya and that 10 tunnels have been discovered there since July 8, when Israel launched Operation Protective Edge as a response to Hamas rocket fire.

      Steinberg’s name, along with those of the 12 other fallen soldiers, were initially withheld as the army waited to identify the victims and notify their families.

    • The colonel commanding the Golani Brigade was also seriously wounded and evacuated to hospital. Arutz Sheva: Golani Brigade Commander Seriously Injured: Colonel Raslan Alian the first Druze commander of Golani; four additional soldiers evacuated to Tel HaShomer.. Whatever happened, it sounds as if it was a real disaster for the IDF.

    • What were U.S. citizens doing in the Golani Brigade?

  • Hamas wants to pile up 'telegenically-dead Palestinians for their cause' -- Netanyahu, on television
    • Glenn Greenwald has now compared this comment of Netanyahu's to a passage in Goebbels's notorious Die Juden sind Schuld! article in Das Reich of Nov. 16, 1941 (an article that I cited a few days ago here on MW as an example of a self-genocide accusation). Netanyahu’s ‘Telegenically Dead’ Comment Is Grotesque but Not Original. Greenwald cites this passage from Goebbels:

      The Jews gradually are having to depend more and more on themselves, and have recently found a new trick. They knew the good-natured German Michael in us, always ready to shed sentimental tears for the injustice done to them. One suddenly has the impression that the Berlin Jewish population consists only of little babies whose childish helplessness might move us, or else fragile old ladies. The Jews send out the pitiable. They may confuse some harmless souls for a while, but not us. We know exactly what the situation is.

      Here's the German original:

      Die Juden sehen sich nun allmählich ganz auf sich selbst ge­stellt und versuchen jetzt, einen neuen Trick anzuwenden. Sie kennen doch den gutmütigen deutschen Michel in uns, der immer gerne bereit ist, für eine sentimentale Träne alles ihm angetane Unrecht zu vergessen: plötzlich hat man den Eindruck, als ob es unter den Berliner Juden nur noch putzige kleine Babies, die durch ihre kindliche Hilflosigkeit rühren sollen, oder gebrechliche alte Frauen gibt. Die Juden schicken ihre Mitleidgarde vor. Sie mögen [Seite 88] damit einige harmlose Gemüter in momentane Verwirrung bringen, uns nicht. Wir wissen ganz genau, woran wir mit ihnen sind.

    • Eventually, the strategic bombing had substantial military effect, once we started going after German oil. And of course close air support of ground operations was extremely important throughout the war. But until we went after oil, the chief purpose of strategic bombing was to keep up the morale of the British and U.S. publics, by showing them that something was being done. One has to wonder whether there wasn't some better, more militarily effective way of keeping up morale.

    • You don't kidnap an enemy soldier. You take him prisoner.

    • They did use a victim defense, They claimed they were the victims of encirclement by the other powers and of a worldwide Jewish conspiracy that had caused almost the whole world to make war against them.

  • Video: 'It's a hell of a pinpoint operation' -- John Kerry caught criticizing Israel on hot mic during Sunday news show
    • The federal government could not donate land for a synagogue.

    • At least if there were a Nakba Museum in this country, it would be commemorating something for which the U.S. has some responsibility. I've always wondered why there was a Holocaust Museum in D.C. on land donated by the federal government, when there is no museum of slavery or of the American Indian genocide in D.C.

    • The American public is still unaware of how disastrous for Iraqi Christians our invasion of Iraq turned out to be, and they are also unaware of how the U.S. government's goal of toppling Assad in Syria would be disastrous for the Christians there.

    • So why is it so important to them to stay in office?

  • This Jew can't support Israel
    • The jewish people have come to the crucial point in our history.
      the all or nothing.

      Hitler had a phrase for that: "das harte Entweder Oder". You seem to be thinking along the same lines.

      israel and judaism are one.there is no cannot be a jew and not support israel.

      From that, it would follow that Jews have a moral duty to renounce Judaism. Do you really want to say that?

  • Israel warns media they are at risk of 'injury or death' because Hamas ‘exploits journalists as human shields’
    • Journalists in need of assistance should contact the GPO to facilitate expedited passage from the Erez crossing.

      I.e., they're telling journalists to leave Gaza, and using threats to try to make them do so.

  • Arrests without charge of American beating victim's relatives in Jerusalem leave State Dep't 'deeply concerned'
    • So you're saying the U.S. government had no right to complain to the Germans about the Holocaust because the U.S. was guilty of genocide against the American Indians?

  • Hasbarapocalyse: Naftali Bennett says Hamas committing 'massive self-genocide'
    • Goebbels wrote in November 1941 that the Jews were responsible for causing a world war that would end in -- and was already resulting in -- their destruction: Die Juden sind schuld!:

      Die historische Schuld des Weltjudentums am Ausbruch und an der Ausweitung dieses Krieges ist so hinreichend erwiesen, daß darüber keine Worte mehr zu verlieren sind. Die Juden wollten ihren Krieg, und sie haben ihn nun. Aber es bewahrheitet sich an ihnen auch die Prophezeiung, die der Führer am 30. Januar 1939 im Deutschen Reichstag aussprach, daß, wenn es dem internationalen Finanzjudentum gelingen sollte, die Völker noch einmal in einen Weltkrieg zu stürzen, das Ergebnis nicht die Bolschewisierung der Erde und damit der Sieg des Judentums sein werde, sondern die Vernichtung der jüdischen Rasse in Europa.

      Wir erleben eben den Vollzug dieser Prophezeiung, und es erfüllt sich damit am Judentum ein Schicksal, das zwar hart, aber mehr als verdient ist.

      So I'd say Goebbels said the Jews were guilty of self-genocide.

  • Obama humiliates Muslim guests at White House Ramadan event, endorses Israel’s Gaza assault and NSA surveillance
  • 'We are moving from Iron Dome to an iron fist': Israel launches ground invasion of Gaza
    • If Röhm played a role in Eiserne Faust and the organization, based in Munich, ceased its existence in 1934, I suspect it was more closely associated with the SA than with the SS.

    • The organization Eiserne Faust had an important role in the early history of the Nazi Party:

      Die Organisation Eiserne Faust bestand zwischen 1919 und 1934. Sie wurde in München gegründet und war eine informelle Vereinigung völkisch-nationalistischer Reichswehroffiziere.

      Ernst Röhm vermittelte Adolf Hitler darin Kontakte zu den höheren Kreisen der Reichswehr.

  • To my fellow American Jews
  • What would you do?
    • Just what the German authorities did to the Jews left in Germany during air raids during World War Two. They too were not allowed into the shelters.

    • As Clausewitz said, "War is a mere continuation of politics by other means" (Der Krieg ist eine bloße Fortsetzung der Politik mit anderen Mitteln). I.e., the true aim of war is political. Even if Hammas cannot win a military victory, it can win a political victory by discrediting Israel.

  • Jet Blue incident shifts from anti-Semitic story to anti-Palestinian one
    • The U.S. does have the ELINT. That is what this is referring to:

      US confirms MH17 was shot down

      MH17 "was shot down" and there "may have been American citizens on board", US vice-president Joe Biden has said in Detroit.

      Senior US officials has told the Wall Street Journal and CNN that a surface-to-air missile shot down MH17.

      As explained by Barbara Starr on CNN, US intelligence had found a heat signature from "a massive event" and "information from intelligence assets" confirming the use of a surface-to-air missile system.

      "Information from intelligence assets that a surface to air missile system … was tracking an object, they believe it was the object. There was at racking of the aircraft from a surface-to-air missile system."

      "[US intelligence has] another asset that gives them a heat signature, an infrared heat signature that tells them there was a massive event … they put both of these pieces of information together and concluded that the plane was shot down.

      "What they don't know and what they're doing now is putting that trajectory together backwards

      "Was it the Russian side of the border? Was it the Ukrainian side of the border? What the launch point was, that remains the big question."

      Now, is there anyone who trusts the NSA and the U.S. government to tell the truth about this?

    • I find it hard to believe that "Russian intelligence" would have broadcast this authorization either in the clear or using a system of encypherment simple enough for the Ukrainians to be able to break it.

    • ELINT (electronic intelligence) ought to be able to determine the track and electronic signature of the missile (if it was a missile). NSA and its Russian counterpart presumably already have this information. If it was a missile.

  • NBC reportedly orders Mohyeldin to leave Gaza -- after he criticized State Dep't
    • If they took refuge in a mosque, they might not be that safe, but they would have an excellent chance of witnessing atrocities, if they did manage to survive.

    • I guess they've made sure Mohyeldin can't report what goes on during the ground invasion.

    • Of course Wolf is happy. War is great for CNN ratings.

    • And just days after Israel killed a bunch of Palestinians watching a World Cup match at a beachfront cafe. (I wonder how close that cafe is/was to the scene of yesterday's beach atrocity.)

    • Something else that one of those eyewitness reports on Democracy Now! made clear is that some 30 seconds passed between the two shells that exploded on the Gaza beach. Plenty of time for whoever was doing and directing the firing to determine that the children were children.

    • Mohyeldin's report, lasting a few minutes (long for local news), was shown yesterday evening on the News at Six local news show on the NBC broadcast outlet in D.C., right after the first commercial break, so around 6:10 PM.

      The beach story was also the lead item in the news summary that opens PBS's News Hour last night.

      By the way, Democracy Now! had a long report on the atrocity this morning, with a couple of eyewitness reports, one of which made it clear that the shells were fired from an Israeli gunboat (I have seen reports on line that the firing came from a helicopter gunship -- those reports are apparently false; it's a lot harder to understand how somebody on board a gunboat could have failed to recognize that the children were just children, a fact which probably explains the false reports).

  • Israeli strike kills four Palestinian children playing soccer on Gaza beach
    • Also quoted in Agence France Presse report that was published in the Jakarta Post.

    • One of the eyewitness reports on this morning's Democracy Now! said that the strikes were some 30 seconds apart. Plenty of time for someone on board the gunboat to determine that the children were just children. (According to that report, the first shell already killed one of the children, presumably while they were still playing soccer.)

    • Do you deny that Shaked's statement reflects Nazi-like thought?

    • NBC News gives details:

      Ashraf al-Qidra, spokesman for the Gaza Health Ministry, said: "This is a cowardly crime.”

      "When the first shell hit the land, they ran away but another shell hit them all," said Abu Hassera, 22, whose shirt was stained with blood. "It looked as if the shells were chasing them," he told Reuters.

    • RT television just had a journalist on who I believe was at the scene, Harry Fear (sp?). He said the place where the boys were hit is 20 meters from the Gaza marina which is the place where foreign journalists stay in Gaza.

    • It is a call for genocide because it declares that “the entire Palestinian people is the enemy” and justifies its destruction, “including its elderly and its women, its cities and its villages, its property and its infrastructure.”

      It is a call for genocide because it calls for the slaughter of Palestinian mothers who give birth to “little snakes.”

      The parallels with the Nazi justifications for the Holocaust in general and for including women and children in the slaughter are uncanny.

    • Moon of Alabama: July 16 Gaza News - "At least they wont breed":

      An "Israel Activist and media monitor" responded to the news of the four killed children by writing:

      At least they wont breed

  • The trojan horse of liberal Zionism
    • Thanks for the reference to Book II of the Aeneid. I recently read through the whole epic for the first time since college days, and the later books do drag. But Book II is as powerful as any poetry I know.

    • Tree, how dare Palestinian boys play soccer! They're not supposed to have any fun.

    • Alon Ben-David is not as gullible as hophmi:

      Alon Ben-David, a senior military affairs journalist with extensive Israeli military sources, said information he had seen indicated that the military had identified the beach shack as belonging to Hamas and fired at it.

      Mr. Ben-David speculated that the second blast had been aimed at the children running away, who might have been mistaken for militants. But he added that given the military’s technologically advanced surveillance equipment, “it is a little hard for me to understand this, because the images show that the figures are children.

    • That reporter interviewed on RT said that Hamas has been active on the beach, during night-time hours. The firing on the kids took place in broad daylight, in the afternoon.

    • The IDF has said that the navy misidentified the kids on the beach as Hamas fighters, who have fired rockets from that area before.

      This retired naval officer would like to know how you mistake small children playing soccer on the beach for Hamas fighters.

      Do you really expect the IDF to tell the truth about an incident like this one?

  • Watch: New Yorkers pierce through pro-war gathering with chants of 'stop bombing Gaza now'
    • Rangel is up to his ears in corruption investigations, and not the good guy we all thought he was. He would have easily succumbed to AIPAC’s lucrative offers.

      Or blackmail.

    • Sliwa was born into a Catholic family

      Not just Catholic, but partly Assyrian, i.e., Iraqi Christian. The Assyrians have suffered greatly as a result of the Israel-encourage U.S. invasion of Iraq, and continue to suffer from the ISIS invasion that seems to have been secretly supported by the U.S./UK/Israel/Saudi Arabia complex.

      In other words, Sliwa ought to know.

  • Report: Hamas offers Israel 10 conditions for a 10 year truce
    • Did Goering blame the jews for what the Nazis did to them?

      That's what he did after Kristallnacht. He made the insurance companies pay up for the damage done, but, because the Jews were supposedly to blame, the money went not to the Jewish owners of the damaged property, but to the German treasury.

    • Israel is being portrayed as a well-armed giant leaving many innocent victims in its wake during the current crisis with Hamas, Dermer said.

      Who's portraying Israel that way? Surely not the U.S. media (to judge by what I hear on NPR and see on local D.C. television).

      As a matter of fact, I believe I remember hearing Dermer himself interviewed overnight, while I was still in bed. So, it was probably on NPR (might have been BBC), and he made exactly the point he says here he wants made, how much fire Israel is under. Nobody stopped him from making the point.

  • Violence outside Paris synagogue falsely attributed to anti-Semitism (Updated)
    • Despite the identical name and a very similar ideology, the French Ligue de défense juive claims to be an entirely different organization from the JDL and to have no relationship with Rabbi Kahane. The French Wikipedia article on the LDJ suggests that this is to avoid an action that would legally dissolve the LDJ:

      Selon Yair Cohen, un des porte-paroles de LDJ en 2009, cette organisation est « une organisation sioniste qui s’efforce tous les jours de lutter contre l’antisionisme donc contre l’antijudaïsme ou l’antisémitisme »11. Selon lui, la LDJ regrouperait « une centaine d’adhérents, des jeunes entre 18 et 35 ans, en région parisienne »11. Il affirme qu'en cas de « menace grave pour la communauté » cette organisation pourrait mobiliser un millier de personnes. Il nie toute relation avec le mouvement Kach, interdit en Israël et la Jewish Defense League interdite aux États-Unis, expliquant qu’elle « était indépendante et n’avait aucun contact avec ces mouvements » tout en admettant partager le même logo que ces deux organisations11. Selon Jacques Leclercq, dans son dictionnaire des Droites conservatrices, nationales et ultras, cet abandon des références à Kach et Kahane Chai a pour but d'éviter le processus de dissolution2.

  • Hamas has agreed to a ceasefire, says senior Palestinian official (Updated)
  • Netanyahu says there will never be a real Palestinian state
  • Ceasefire. Tightening the Gordian Knot?
    • Obama speaks up at Iftar dinner with Muslims: defends Israel's right to defend itself; condemns Hamas rockets. The Hill: Obama 'encouraged' by Egypt ceasefire plan:

      Despite pledging his hope that the Egyptian plan would resolve the crisis, sparked last month by the murders of three Israeli and one Palestinian teen, Obama also defended Israel’s military action in Gaza.

      Obama said “no country can accept rockets fired indiscriminately at its citizens,” and condemned the “inexcusable attacks from Hamas.”

      But in a nod to growing anger among Muslims over civilian deaths in the Israeli counteroffensive, Obama also said “the death and injury of Palestinian civilians is a tragedy.”

      “The pictures we are seeing in Gaza and Israel are heart-wrenching,” Obama said.

  • 'We’re Like Toys for Them': Young Gazans speak about Operation Protective Edge
    • I happen to be interested in history, and Auschwitz -- Inside the Nazi State is a particularly well-done documentary.

    • Since I had just finished watching a five-hour documentary on Auschwitz, with detailed discussion of the deeds of Dr. Mengele, that was my thought exactly.

    • Somewhat OT, Norman Finkelstein on Democracy Now! this morning called for the UN to impose sanctions on Israel until it ends its illegal occupation.

    • Toys on which they conduct experiments: Is Gaza a testing ground for experimental weapons?:

      Concerns about Israel’s use of non-conventional and experimental weapons in the Gaza Strip are growing, with evasive comments from spokesmen and reluctance to allow independent journalists inside the tiny enclave only fueling speculation.

      The most prominent controversy is over the use of shells containing white phosphorus, which causes horrific burns when it comes into contact with skin. Under international law, phosphorus is allowed as a smokescreen to protect soldiers but treated as a chemical weapon when used against civilians.

      The Israeli army maintains that it is using only weapons authorized in international law, though human rights groups have severely criticized Israel for firing phosphorus shells over densely populated areas of Gaza.

      But there might be other unconventional weapons Israel is using out of sight of the watching world.

      One such munition may be DIME, or dense inert metal explosive, a weapon recently developed by the United States army to create a powerful and lethal blast over a small area.

      The munition is supposed to still be in the development stage and is not yet regulated. There are fears, however, that Israel may have received a green light from the US military to treat Gaza as a testing ground.

      “We have seen Gaza used as a laboratory for testing what I call weapons from hell,” said David Halpin, a retired British surgeon and trauma specialist who has visited Gaza on several occasions to investigate unusual injuries suffered by Gazans.

      “I fear the thinking in Israel is that it is in its interests to create as much mutilation as possible to terrorize the civilian population in the hope they will turn against Hamas.”

      Gaza’s doctors, including one of the few foreigners there, Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian specialist in emergency medicine working at al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City, report that many of the injuries they see are consistent with the use of DIME.

      Wounds from the weapon are said to be distinctive. Those exposed to the blast have severed or melted limbs, or internal ruptures, especially to soft tissue such as the abdomen, that often lead to death.

      This Dr. Gilbert was speaking about this use of DIME this morning on Democracy Now!.

  • Not In Our Name: The Jewish duty to stand with the people of Gaza
    • Micah 6:8 does say this: "He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?"

  • Christie slams Obama for creating daylight between US and Israel
    • Rosa Luxemburg would have urged voting third-party. And that is exactly what I have been doing for some years now.

  • How many people have died from Gaza rockets into Israel?
    • For the first years of World War Two, Allied strategic bombing did very little harm to German industrial capacity. The bombing's chief contribution to the war effort was that it kept up British (and then American) morale by leading the countries' publics to believe that something was being done.

  • Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder says Israel is using our taxes to 'drop bombs on children' and take land
    • But what country can they go to that will (1) be willing to tolerate them and (2) be able to defend itself and to resist demands for extradition from the new revolutionary government in the U.S.?

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