Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 4151 (since 2010-05-21 23:21:46)

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

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  • Claim that Hamas killed 3 teens is turning out to be the WMD of Gaza onslaught
    • Ali Abunimah debating with JJ Goldberg made an issue of the pronunciation of Hamas.

      Only because Goldberg criticized his pronunciation of "chutzpah". Otherwise, I'm sure he would have had the good manners not to say anything.

    • Wasn't the attack on the Achille Lauro also ordered by somebody who turned out to be working for the Israelis?

    • Israeli police spokes Mickey Rosenfeld also said if kidnapping had been ordered by Hamas leadership, they'd have known about it in advance.

      I think that must mean either that Israel has an informant in the Hamas leadership or that they are somehow able to monitor their discussions. (Of course, it could be disinformation meant to sow discord within the Hamas ranks.)

    • Whether or not Israel was somehow involved in the murder of the three teenagers, I am convinced Israel was deliberately provoking the Palestinians to do something violent when those two Palestinian teenagers were killed. And doing something like that may well have been what Netanyahu had in mind.

    • Abba Eban was indeed Cambridge-educated (where he got a triple First, whereas I only got one First at Oxford), but he originally came from South Africa.

  • Oren's charge that networks showcase Palestinian dead at behest of Hamas is 'obscene' -- Penhaul
  • 'The unity is stronger than ever': Report from historic march on Qalandia checkpoint in solidarity with Gaza
    • I forgot to mention songs by Richard Strauss. And what could be sexier than Rosenkavalier?

    • Daniel Rich,

      German language too brutal to be sexy? Have you read any Goethe, or Heine, or Rilke? Have you listened to any songs by Schubert or Schumann?

    • All Israel's dreams of Divide and Conquer, all the effort they devoted to fostering Hamas as a rival of the PLO, all gone up in smoke.

  • Which crowded cities can you fire into?
    • Yitzgood, you think it was terrorism when the IRA attacked the British Army in Northern Ireland? I don't.

      What about when Jews attacked the British Army in Palestine in 1946-8? Do you consider that terrorism?

    • One of the 1944 German conspirators gave that Genesis passage as a reason why they had to go ahead with the plot, whether or not it succeeded.

    • Arabs generally hate Jews.

      you mean as opposed to those screaming crowds of jews shouting "death to arabs" ? ah huh, i get your point.

      Classic projection.

    • I could never understand why the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon was considered terrorism, when the Pentagon is a military target par excellence. (By the way, I have worked in the Pentagon myself. As a naval officer.)

    • They showed IDF HQ on Democracy Now! yesterday. Downtown Tel Aviv. Right next to a big hospital.

  • Controversial, illegal, and documented: Israeli military strategies in Gaza
    • New piece from Israel in a New Yorker blog by Etgar Keret, writing from Israel, that suggests that a Dolchstosslegende [stab-in-the-back myth] is very much in the making in Israel now that I suspect will flourish once it becomes clear to Israelis that Israel has lost another war. Israel’s Other War:

      It’s an awful thing to make a truly tragic mistake, one that costs many lives. It’s worse to make that same mistake over and over again. Four operations in Gaza, an immense number of Israeli and Palestinian hearts that have stopped beating, and we keep ending up in the same place. The only thing that actually changes is Israeli society’s tolerance for criticism. It’s become clear during this operation that the right wing has lost its patience in all matters regarding that elusive term, “freedom of speech.” In the past two weeks, we’ve seen right wingers beating left wingers with clubs, Facebook messages promising to send left-wing activists to the gas chambers, and denunciations of anyone whose opinion delays the military on its way to victory. It turns out that this bloody road we walk from operation to operation is not as cyclical as we may have once thought. This road is not a circle, it’s a downward spiral, leading to new lows, which, I’m sad to say, we’ll be unlucky enough to experience.

    • You say Hamas is starting to lose morale. Why should it, when it is winning the war? Why should it, when the people on the West Bank are expressing such support for it? Why should it, on the day Nasrallah expressed such support for it and said that Hamas has already won?

      Nasrallah: Israel on a path towards "suicide" in Gaza:

      Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah Friday vowed "all means of support" to the Palestinian resistance in its battle with Israel, saying the latter had failed miserably in the 18-day conflict in Gaza.

      Nasrallah, in a rare public appearance in Al-Suhadaa Complex in Beirut’s southern suburbs, also spoke out against recent developments in Iraq and the establishment of the so-called Islamic caliphate by ISIS, saying: "Our duty as Muslims today is to condemn what Christians and Muslims are facing in Iraq."

      Speaking on Jerusalem Day, Nasrallah warned Israel against expanding its offensive in Gaza, saying the resistance in the enclave had already won the fighting.

      “We, in Hezbollah, stand beside the Palestinian people and the Palestinian resistance without an exception. We will not spare any means of support that we can and are able to provide,” Nasrallah said. “We feel that we are true partners with the Palestinian resistance. ... Your victory is our own.”

      He said the party was closely following up political and field developments in Gaza, where more than 830 Palestinians have been killed since Israel launched its offensive on the coast strip.

      “To the Zionist I say: In Gaza, you are moving in a circle of failure and do not go to the circle of suicide or a total collapse,” he said. “Iran, Syria and the resistance in Lebanon, primarily Hezbollah, as much as we could, never neglected to support the resistance in Palestine on the political, media, psychological, logistical and arms support.”

      Nasrallah commended the resistance in Gaza for its steadfastness, saying it had changed the rules of engagement, adopting a tripartite formula “similar to the golden equation functioning in Lebanon."

      The formula, Nasrallah explained, rested on three main pillars: fighting on the field, the people’s steadfastness and political resoluteness.

      “With this formula, the resistance succeeded in imposing new methods on the enemy, and that’s not easy for someone like [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu to admit,” he said.

      He stressed that the resistance should remain resolute on achieving its goals from this conflict, primarily ending the siege on Gaza, saying Hamas had shown creativity on the field, in its ability to fight behind enemy lines and in firing rockets into locations in an unprecedented development.

      “From the very first day, they hit Tel Aviv in the first rocket launching from Palestinian territories into Palestinian territories and covering the entire Palestinian landscape,” he said. “At the end, the resistance will eventually force Israel to look for a solution, similar to what happened in 2006.”

      During the 18-day conflict, the most serious since 2012 between Israel and Hamas, the latter has not observed any of the cease-fire deals including a truce drafted by Egypt to end the hostilities.

      Nasrallah said Hamas remained defiant “despite some Arab leaders’ calls to Israel encouraging them to continue with its operation.”

      Declaring the resistance as victorious in this most recent conflict, the Hezbollah leader said Israel has failed miserably in several fields including on the intelligence level.

      “On the first day of the 2006 war, Israel set high-level objects and gradually demoted such goals until it reached a point where it just wanted the war to end,” he said.

      “The objective in this conflict is to simply destroy tunnels along the border ... but when we get to the 18th day and Israel and the world have not yet achieved a single goal in this aggression, this only means that Gaza and the resistance have won.”

      According to Nasrallah, Israel failed to settle the battle with its air offensive and ground operation as well as an attempt to reach a cease-fire with Hamas.

      “When they say the resistance fired 100 rockets from Gaza that require transportation, assembling, finding a hideout, guarding them and so on, this only highlights a tremendous intelligence failure on the part of Israel.”

      He also spoke about Israel’s long-term plan since its occupation of Palestine to create wars, conflicts and divisions in every Arab and Muslim country to divert attention from the principle Arab cause.

      I trust Nasrallah's judgment a lot more than I do yours.

    • “Well I heard someone say that Israel does not want to agree to this cease fire because it shows “terrorists” won.”

      Correction: Israel (i.e., the Israeli government) does not want to agree to this cease fire because it will create the perception that “terrorists” won", and that will hurt the careers of the politicians who will be blamed.

      And that reasoning, such as it is, is very much like the reasoning that prevented U.S. administrations from ending the Vietnam War after it became clear that the war was unwinnable.

  • Dr. Kristol's curriculum: US 'special responsibilities' include 'ancient longings' of Jewish nationalists
    • In the early 20th century, America's favorite ethnic group was the Armenians. Children who didn't clean their plates were told to think about the starving Armenians. People were told all the time how horribly the Armenians were treated by the Turks.

      What, if anything, is left of that infatuation now?

  • Israel's actions 'unjustified' in eyes of women, non-whites, Dems, indy's, and those under 50 -- Gallup
    • Piketty in his bestseller and Paul Craig Roberts (another highly trained economist, and one who has served in high government positions) in his recent book The Failure of Laissez-Faire Capitalism both discuss at great length the falsehoods that have been taught for several years now by academic economics departments.

    • The only thing she loves is her career.

    • I suspect a lot of it is a fear of being ostracized. So much for higher education promoting independence of thought.

      It's shocking how many SS officers had advanced degrees.

    • Those with a postgraduate education have upper-middle-class incomes and thus a stake in the maintenance of the status quo. Piketty has quite a bit to say about them in his bestseller.

      It would be interesting to know to what extent Jews are overrepresented in that group.

  • 'Israel is wrong by any moral standard' -- Robinson says, as US media pile up
    • There are interesting differences between the first paragraph of Robinson's column as it appears in today's print edition and the paragraph as it appears on line.

      In print, we have:

      The civilian toll in Gaza from Israel's latest incursion is appalling. The right to self-defense is inalienable, but it is not free from moral constraints.

      On line, we have:

      The Israeli government’s motivations in Gaza deserve to be taken seriously. But they do not justify the onslaught that is now in its third week. For Israeli military action to be justifiable, it must be proportionate. What we’re witnessing is not.

      I wonder why the mantra about Israel's right to defend itself was taken out of the on-line version. I wonder if an editor inserted it, and Robinson, discovering the insertion, objected so strenuously that it had to be deleted.

      Another interesting difference between the print and on-line versions of today's Washington Post. The front-page story on the strike on the UN school has in print the following headlines: 16 killed in strike on U.N.-run school in Gaza: MASSIVE PROTESTS FOLLOW IN WEST BANK: Israelis suggest Hamas could be responsible. On line, the two subheadlines, including the one suggesting Hamas might be to blame, do not appear.

  • NY Times reports source of UNRWA school attack is unclear even though Israel said they did it
    • Correction: The person on Democracy Now! was a spokesman for UNWRA, not its head.

    • The head of UNWRA was on Democracy Now! this morning, and made precisely that point about the five rockets landing together and the unreliability of Hamas's rockets.

    • Headlines on front-page lead story in today's print Washington Post: 16 killed in strike on U.N.-run school in Gaza: MASSIVE PROTESTS FOLLOW IN WEST BANK: Israelis suggest Hamas could be responsible:

      Not until the second and third paragraphs of the story is any doubt cast on the Israeli blaming of Hamas:

      The question now is who did it.

      A senior Israeli military spokesman, Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, said Thursday night that “there was a possibility” shells from Israeli forces­ struck the U.N.-run school in the Gaza Strip. But he also suggested that Hamas mortars or rockets could have been responsible. The Israeli army was investigating the incident “to see what exactly caused the deaths and injuries,” he said.

      The misleading subheadline is missing from the story on line.

  • In photos: Over 1,000 New Yorkers protest Israel's attack on Gaza
  • 10,000 march on Qalandia in solidarity with Gaza
    • From Wikipedia entry on Ben Gurion Airport:

      Short runway[edit]

      When it was originally built, the short runway (direction 03/21) was 1,780 m (5,840 ft) long, making it too short to accommodate most mainline passenger jets. At the time it mainly served cargo aircraft of the Israeli Air Force and as a taxiway for runway 26. However, by late 2011, the runway was closed and most of the activity in the military apron to the east of the runway was permanently relocated to the Nevatim Airbase in southern Israel. In May 2014 the runway was reopened after having been rebuilt and lengthened to 2,772 m (9,094 ft), allowing it to handle most types of aircraft. It is equipped with an ILS and mostly handles landings from north to south.

      Sounds as if BGA was used a lot by the IAF until 2011 and that it is still used some ("most of the activity"). And that's on bot-censored Wikipedia.

    • "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

      ("Unalienable" was Adams's spelling, adopted in the final version. Jefferson's drafts had "inalienable".)

    • Even in a column critical of Israel in today's Washington Post, Israel is acting as if it is free of moral responsibilities, Eugene Robinson feels obliged to genuflect before that mantra:

      The Israeli government’s motivations in Gaza deserve to be taken seriously. But they do not justify the onslaught that is now in its third week. For Israeli military action to be justifiable, it must be proportionate. What we’re witnessing is not.

      Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that Hamas is “targeting civilians and hiding behind civilians,” which he called a “double war crime.” He was referring to the fact that Hamas targets Israeli civilians with its rocket attacks and positions its military installations in residential neighborhoods or near schools and hospitals.

      Netanyahu is right that these practices are reprehensible and that Israel has every right to respond. But none of this absolves Israel from its own moral responsibility. A civilized nation does not repay every heinous act in kind.

      The first paragraph in the print edition is different:

      The civilian death toll in Gaza from Israel's latest incursion if appalling. The right to self-defense is inalienable, but it is not free from moral constraints.

      I wonder if the reference to the right to self-defense was inserted by an editor, but Robinson later objected, so that they had to take it out.

  • Hamas mimics Hezbollah tactics, and no one will have stability till blockade is lifted
    • Mad or not, Hitler at least had the sense to keep his genocidal program a state secret, and, even so, most of the world joined together to defeat him.

      Can Israel get away with doing this sort of stuff very much out in the open?

    • danger : smoke grenades may displace oxygen in closed passages.

      Ah, but are the tunnels closed? They might communicate with each other, and all have air hatches.

    • I’ve just been in Lebanon, and the Arab press says that Israeli intelligence is woefully lacking. That Israel doesn’t know where the weapons caches are, how many there are, what quality they are, or how to get to at them.

      That must mean Israel has not succeeded in infiltrating Hamas. That was just how Michael Collins's IRA differed from earlier revolutionary Irish groups, that the British weren't able to infiltrate it. No wonder Israel is so intent on destroying Hamas.

      Collins was able to defeat the British at the intelligence game because he was informed by Irish collaborators within the official (British-run) Irish government and security forces. I wonder if Hamas is getting any such help.

  • U.S. casts lonely vote against establishing war crimes inquiry in Gaza
    • Mikulski is a she, Barbara Mikulski. (One of my senators, as it happens. Being from Maryland, she's also a big supporter of the NSA, Maryland's biggest employer. A Democrat, like Obama.)

    • Sen. Mikulski, chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, has released the draft text of her emergency supplemental bill, which includes extra funding for Israel's Iron Dome. Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act. It brazenly says "in support of Operation Protective Edge":

      11 TITLE III
      12 DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
      13 PROCUREMENT
      14 PROCUREMENT, DEFENSE-WIDE
      15 For an additional amount for ??Procurement, De-
      16 fense-Wide??, $225,000,000, to remain available until Sep-
      17 tember 30, 2015, which shall be for the Secretary of De-
      18 fense to provide to the Government of Israel for the pro-
      19 curement of the Iron Dome defense system to counter
      20 short-range rocket threats: Provided, That such funds
      21 shall be transferred immediately only through an exchange
      22 of letters to address emergent operations in support of Op-
      23 eration Protective Edge, notwithstanding section 3.1.3.2.1
      24 of the U.S.-Israel Iron Dome Procurement Agreement:
      25 Provided further, That nothing in this paragraph shall be
      July 23, 2014 (11:28 a.m.)
      U:\2015REPT\CONF\Supp\Draft2014.xml
      24
      1 construed to apply to previously appropriated funds for
      2 the procurement of Iron Dome: Provided further, That
      3 such amount is designated by the Congress as an emer-
      4 gency requirement pursuant to section 251(b)(2)(A)(i) of
      5 the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act
      6 of 1985.

    • My understanding is that Hagee is very much paid off.

    • Hitler says in Mein Kampf that the Nazi Party (and similar parties) should pick only a single enemy, because, if too many groups disagree with the party, even party members will start to wonder whether the party might not be wrong.

      The thought that too many parties disagreeing might have this effect -- which even Hitler recognized -- seems not to have occurred to the Israeli leadership.

  • Jews Say: End the War on Gaza — No Aid to Apartheid Israel!
    • Rome still had the trappings of the Republic centuries into the reign of the emperors. "SPQR" (Senatus Populusque Romanus [The Senate and People of Rome]), the official name of the Roman state under the Republic, continued to be used on the standards of Roman legions and on Roman coins into the reign of Constantine.

  • Gaza massacre is generating ideological crisis in American Zionists
    • Can anyone say, with confidence, that there is any action the Israeli government could take that the U.S. government would not seek to justify?

    • If it's a war between good and evil, I know which side is the evil one.

      The only thing that will stop it is the total disarming of Hamas, a terrorist organization that has hijacked a country.

      How about totally disarming the terrorist organization(s) that has/have hijacked Israel?

    • The corrupt policies of those Arab regimes probably makes them so unpopular with their populaces that they are very ripe for being toppled by ISIS, if ISIS were ever to decide to attack them.

      Has ISIS said anything yet about this Gaza horror, anybody know?

    • Brandeis was of course thinking of the U.S. government. I wonder if he would have made the same demands on an Israeli government.

  • Israeli forces shell UN school where displaced Palestinians gathered, killing at least 9
    • Again with the unidiomatic English.

    • If it’s Satanic to support terror, what does that make people who support Israel’s actions?

      You didn't answer my question.

    • I ought to express this lawyer's opinion, in case Mahane's threat disturbs anyone at this site, that, if he were to bring a legal action for accusations against him that he considers false, he wouldn't have a leg to stand on, and the suit would be dismissed for failure to state a claim, because -- as I understand it -- Mahane has not revealed his real identity and any accusations are therefore only against a screen name.

    • I want you to delete this comment by seafoid, if not I will do all legal efforts to close this satanic, terror supporter web site.

      Satanic? Satanic?!!! You have the nerve to call this site -- rather than the actions of Israel (wnich you defend)-- "Satanic"?

      If it's Satanic to support terror, what does that make people who support Israel's actions?

    • RT television just had a brief report on this attack in their headlines at the top of the hour. I think they said "at least 15 dead", but it might have been "at least 50 dead".

    • Is there anything Israel could do that would make the U.S. stop protecting them at the UN and elsewhere?

    • The fact that their forces are committed in Syria (and, I think I've read recently, also in Iraq) may prevent them from risking an Israeli incursion into Lebanon.

      But they certainly have the missiles that would force a long-term shutdown of Ben Gurion Airport.

  • Why Israel's legal justifications for 'Operation Protective Edge' are wrong
    • US Airways to resume Tel Aviv flights, other airlines wait:

      TEL AVIV: US Airways said it would resume flights to Israel later Thursday after the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration lifted a ban imposed two days ago when a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip landed near Tel Aviv airport.

      About 30 carriers had suspended services to Ben Gurion International Airport, Israel's main hub. Other major airlines have yet to announce a resumption of flights.

      Europe lifts ban on flights to Tel Aviv airport

      European airlines have been told they can consider flying again to Tel Aviv airport in Israel.

      The decision follows a similar one earlier on Thursday, in which the US aviation regulator lifted its ban on US carriers flying there.

      The European Aviation Safety Agency stopped short of saying that resumed flights would be safe.

      It said airlines and national authorities should make their own decisions, based on the risks involved.

      The decision of these authorities to change tack was immediately followed by the UK airline Easyjet resuming flights to Tel Aviv.

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