Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 5476 (since 2010-05-21 23:21:46)

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

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  • Anti-Zionism will reemerge in American Jewish life -- Beinart
    • Rabbi Benjamin Blech's Complete Idiot's Guide to Learning Yiddish is an extremely funny book. Yiddish was a language with humor.

      Jill Suzanne Jacobs's Hebrew for Dummies (about modern Israeli Hebrew, rather than Biblical Hebrew) is not only utterly humorless, it is a depressing read with all the stress on consumerism and creature comforts.

    • Peter Beinart is calling for a boycott of products made in the Occupied Territories in a new interview with the German magazine stern: "Grass untergräbt seine Argumente" ["Grass Undermines His Own Arguments"]:

      Siedlungspolitik bedroht Israel mehr als der Iran [The settler policy threatens Israel more than Iran does]

      Die Bedrohung durch den Iran hält Beinart nicht für zentral. Für ihn ist die Siedlungspolitik das entscheidende Manko. Daher fordert Beinart im Interview mit dem stern, dass Produkte aus den jüdischen Siedlungen im besetzten Westjordanland in deutschen Supermärkten besonders gekennzeichnet werden sollten. "Ich will, dass die Leute anstelle von Produkten aus den Siedlungen Produkte kaufen, die in Israel hergestellt wurden", so Beinart. Mit seinem Aufruf zum Siedlungs-Boykott will er eine Debatte über die Politik der israelischen Re-gierung anstoßen, "Juden zu subventionieren, damit sie ins Westjordanland ziehen." [Beinart does not regard the threat from Iran as central. For him the settler policy is that decisive deficiency. Therefore Beinart in his interview with stern demands that products from Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank be specially marked in German supermarkets. "I want people to buy products made in Israel, rather than in the settlements." With his call for a settlement boycott he wants to provoke a debate over the policy of the Israeli government that subsidizes Jews who move into the West Bank.]

  • Amira Hass explains why Israel's U.S. model of ethnic cleansing failed, and why 'Jewish regime' will 'crumble'
    • Important defense of Günter Grass by Alfred Grosser in today's Süddeutsche Zeitung: Alfred Grosser über Kritik an Israel "Grass hat etwas Vernünftiges gesagt" ["Grass Said Something Sensible"]>

      Meanwhile, Grass himself in that same journal doubles down, comparing Israel's entry ban on him to the two others that he has had to face in his life, from East Germany and Myanmar: "Wie bei Minister Mielke" ["Just Like With (State Security Minister) Mielke"]. That piece has a great final paragraph:

      Die DDR gibt es nicht mehr. Aber als Atommacht von unkontrolliertem Ausmaß begreift sich die israelische Regierung als eigenmächtig und ist bislang keiner Ermahnung zugänglich. - Allein Birma lässt kleine Hoffnung keimen. [There no longer is any German Democratic Republic. But the Israeli government, as a nuclear power of uncontrolled dimensions, feels it has untrammeled power and up to now has paid no attention to any warnings. Only Burma allows us to have a bit of hope.]

    • Since Hass seems quite pessimistic about the prospects of a two-state solution at this point, this paragraph amounts to a call for a one-state solution:

      The real question is not whether the solution is "two states" or "one state." History in any case does not recognize end points - every stage leads to another. Visions are also not lacking. The visions must develop and change during the struggle for equality and justice, otherwise they will become gulags. The question was, and is, how much more bloodshed, suffering and disasters will be needed until the Jewish regime of discrimination and separation, which we have created here over the past 64 years, crumbles.

  • A humble shepherd is run off his grandfather's grandfather's land because of settlers' 'security'
    • If I understand him correctly, Peter Beinart is calling for a boycott of products made in the Occupied Territories in a new interview with the German magazine Stern: "Grass untergräbt seine Argumente" ["Grass Undermines His Own Arguments"]:

      Siedlungspolitik bedroht Israel mehr als der Iran [The settler policy threatens Israel more than Iran does]

      Die Bedrohung durch den Iran hält Beinart nicht für zentral. Für ihn ist die Siedlungspolitik das entscheidende Manko. Daher fordert Beinart im Interview mit dem stern, dass Produkte aus den jüdischen Siedlungen im besetzten Westjordanland in deutschen Supermärkten besonders gekennzeichnet werden sollten. "Ich will, dass die Leute anstelle von Produkten aus den Siedlungen Produkte kaufen, die in Israel hergestellt wurden", so Beinart. Mit seinem Aufruf zum Siedlungs-Boykott will er eine Debatte über die Politik der israelischen Re-gierung anstoßen, "Juden zu subventionieren, damit sie ins Westjordanland ziehen." [Beinart does not regard the threat from Iran as central. For him the settler policy is that decisive deficiency. Therefore Beinart in his interview with stern demands that products from Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank be specially marked in German supermarkets. "I want people to buy products made in Israel, rather than in the settlements." With his call for a settlement boycott he wants to provoke a debate over the policy of the Israeli government that subsidizes Jews who move into the West Bank.]

    • OT, interesting paragraph from Jennifer Nelson, The Role the Dutch Reformed Church Played in the Rise and Fall of Apartheid:

      The history of the Dutch settlers (later to become the Afrikaners), bound to their strong Calvinistic beliefs, became the cornerstone of white South African history in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The Great Trek (the emigration from the Eastern Cape Colony into the interior of Southern Africa by some 12,000 to 14,000 Dutch-speaking farmers between 1834 and the early 1840s) is regarded by Afrikaners as a central event of their history and the origin of their nationhood. It was during The Great Trek that the Afrikaans language and their unique culture developed. It was during this period that the Afrikaners’ attitude toward the British hardened and the Afrikaner philosophy of apartheid (separateness) was formulated. It was during The Great Trek that the Afrikaners came to believe that they were a “chosen race” and that it was their “manifest destiny” to populate the areas north of the Orange River.

  • Jewish press concoct threat against 200 Jewish students in Florida university
    • Churchill's mother was American, after all.

      I'm sure my own English must contain Irishisms that I inherited from my parents of which I am totally unaware.

    • Paul Newman played an Irish-American very convincingly in The Road to Perdition. I'm Irish-American myself, and I saw no flaws in the performance.

    • Timothy Snyder, Tony Judt's coauthor of Thinking the Twentieth Century, observes at one point in the book that American Jews can recognize other American Jews, whereas Israelis cannot recognize American Jews, and neither can non-Jewish Americans. Judt responds that that means that America is the Jewish assimilationist's dream, and it is odd that Zionism should have become so predominant here.

  • Is the Pope also barred from entry into Israel?
  • The symbol of Nakba: Deir Yassin remembered
  • Romney has friends in all the right places
    • Yes, the Washington Post article I linked to above does list Robert Kagan as one of Romney's foreign policy advisers as of last October. That article doesn't mention Max Boot, but Boot's own Website says that he is "currently serving as a defense policy adviser to Mitt Romney's campaign."

    • Mitt Romney taps foreign policy, national security advisers (Oct. 6, 2011).

      The advisers: Cofer Black, Christopher Burnham, Michael Chertoff, Eliot Cohen, John Danilovich, Paula Dobriansky, Eric Edelman, Michael Hayden, Kerry Healey, Kim Holmes, Robert Joseph, Robert Kagan, John Lehman, Walid Phares, Pierre Prosper, Mitchell Reiss, Daniel Senor, Jim Talent, Vin Weber, Richard Williamson, and Dov Zakheim.

  • Hasbara in 1988: 'despite difficulties, South Africa is a vital, progressive state with much to admire '
    • Interesting paragraph from Jennifer Nelson, The Role the Dutch Reformed Church Played in the Rise and Fall of Apartheid:

      The history of the Dutch settlers (later to become the Afrikaners), bound to their strong Calvinistic beliefs, became the cornerstone of white South African history in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The Great Trek (the emigration from the Eastern Cape Colony into the interior of Southern Africa by some 12,000 to 14,000 Dutch-speaking farmers between 1834 and the early 1840s) is regarded by Afrikaners as a central event of their history and the origin of their nationhood. It was during The Great Trek that the Afrikaans language and their unique culture developed. It was during this period that the Afrikaners’ attitude toward the British hardened and the Afrikaner philosophy of apartheid (separateness) was formulated. It was during The Great Trek that the Afrikaners came to believe that they were a “chosen race” and that it was their “manifest destiny” to populate the areas north of the Orange River.

    • Tony Judt confirms in Thinking the Twentieth Century that there were no Arabs working on the kibbutzim where he lived in the 1960's.

    • Speaking of South Africa in 1988, I recently read Fidel Castro's autobiography (as told in interviews to the journalist Ignacio Ramonet,) and learned to my surprise that there was a big battle at Cuito Cuanavale in Angola in 1988 in which Castro claims his Cuban forces defeated the South Africans (Wikipedia says both sides claimed victory,) after which South African withdrawal from Namibia, the release of Mandela, and the end of apartheid followed in short order. If I had ever heard of that battle before then, I had completely forgotten about it. And yet it was apparently one of the decisive battles of world history.

    • Wkipedia confirms that the Xhosa, the most southerly group speaking a Bantu language, did not make contact with the Boers (who were themselves migrating north from the Cape) in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

      It is a fact generally accepted by linguists that the Bantu languages spread through the southern half of Africa only in relatively recent times. This is what I learned when I studied linguistics over 40 years ago, and I recently heard John McWhorter confirm it in one of his DVD courses from the Teaching Company.

    • When the UN General Assembly passed a resolution declaring Zionism to be racism in 1975, I remember virtually everyone in this country regarded that proposition as self-evidently absurd. I remember being puzzled at the time, because the proposition struck me as pretty clearly true.

  • Israel bars Gunter Grass from entry under law barring former Nazis
  • Iran has 'promised' 'another Holocaust' -- CBS commentator
    • From Fredblogs's source about post-war pogroms in Poland:

      The exact number of Jewish victims is a subject of debate, but the range is estimated as 1,000[1] to 2,000[2] (with 327 documented cases).[3]

      Deplorable, yes, but obviously it bears no comparison with what the Germans had done.

    • The Polish were more enthusiastic mass murderers than even the Germans were.

      A slander against the Poles. I'd be surprised if the Poles were guilty of mass murder even in the four figures. What are your sources?

  • 'Israel's policy endangers world peace' -- Jakob Augstein and Gideon Levy have Gunter Grass's back
  • Grass smears in 'Times', plus new translation of his 'I've had it with the West's hypocrisy' poem
    • Ahmadinejad is in a real sense a creation of the Bush administration. If the Bush administration had not rejected Iran's offer of a grand bargain in 2003, Ahmadinejad would probably not have been elected president in 2005.

    • Sen. Robert Byrd had been a member of the Klan in his early 20's. The future Justice Hugo Black joined the Klan in his mid-30's. I don't think many people think these youthful indiscretions discredited either man.

  • MJ Rosenberg is leaving 'Media Matters' to start his own blog
  • Connecticut Senate hopeful calls congressman a ‘whore’ for AIPAC in televized debate
  • Finkelstein 'not going to be an Israel-basher anymore' but remains 'appalled and disgusted'
    • If so many powerful "liberal" Jews and Jewish donors to the Democratic Party had not supported the Iraq War, there probably would have been much more determined Democratic opposition to the war, and it probably could not have taken place.

      Remember, until the end of 2002 the Democrats had the majority in the Senate.

    • Violence played as big a role in ending British rule in India as did nonviolence. Indian National Army leader Subhas Chandra Bose is still a big hero in India.

      It was the insistence of the British authorities on trying for treason the officers of the Indian National Army that led in 1946 to mutinies of the Indian Royal Navy and the Indian Army that convinced virtually everyone in the British government that the game was up and that they would have to leave India.

  • Jazz reviewer pulls glowing review of my album so as to 'stand with Israel'
  • Beinart awaits Netanyau's 'epiphany'
  • With 'last ink,' Gunter Grass breaks silence on Israeli nuclear program threatening world peace
    • There's an interesting article in the latest New Yorker about Karl May, the German who wrote novels about the Wild West in the decades before the First World War.

      The author, Riva Galchen, observes that a German asked her (I'm assuming from her name that she's a woman), during her recent travels in Germany researching for the article, why the U.S. has a Holocaust museum, but no museums about slavery or the genocide of the American Indians.

    • Der Tagesspiegel happens to be the newspaper I regularly read during the two years that I was stationed in Berlin with the U.S. Air Force. (Well, my military duties also obliged me to read the official newspaper of East Germany, Neues Deutschland, a paper that our own U.S. newspapers have more and more come to resemble.)

    • Mooser hat eine idiotische und zugleich komische Kolonialvorstellung von Israel.

      is my no doubt too literal attempt to translate the sentence.

      Perhaps one of the native speakers of German who inhabit this site can favor us with a more idiomatic translation.

    • My chief reason for making my comment was in the hope that Mooser might eventually see it.

    • Not until you mentioned that there are things on the left of the screen did I realize there was anything there. For me (both in Mozilla Firefox and in Internet Explorer) almost everything to the left is cut off.

      Only because of what you said did I notice the "w" of "show" and the "ts" of "contents" that had not been cut off. When I clicked on them, sure enough, the texts of all the comments appeared. But I never would have known that without your comment.

    • Als Fehler bezeichnete es der Autor, dass in seinem Gedicht von Israel und nicht konkret von Israels Regierung die Rede sei.

      Google's translation of that sentence is not intelligible English, so let me try:

      The writer [i.e., Grass] said it was a mistake on his part to have spoken in his poem about Israel, and not specifically about the Israeli government.

      And the next sentence,

      Er hege große Sympathien für das Land und wünsche, dass es auch in Zukunft Bestand habe.

      I would translate:

      He said he had great sympathy for the country and hoped that it would continue to exist in the future.

    • For those who can read German, the comments that appear below the Tagesspiegel article are extremely interesting. The usual hasbarists, but a lot of people who disagree with them.

    • Grass isn't backing down. Der Tagesspiegel: Grass legt nach und warnt vor "Drittem Weltkrieg" [Grass Lays it On, Warns of "Third World War"]:

      Günter Grass sieht sich an den Pranger gestellt und hält an seiner Kritik fest. Jetzt warnt er vor einem "Dritten Weltkrieg", der drohe, falls Israel Iran angreife.

      Interesting observation by Grass later in the article:

      Als Fehler bezeichnete es der Autor, dass in seinem Gedicht von Israel und nicht konkret von Israels Regierung die Rede sei. Er hege große Sympathien für das Land und wünsche, dass es auch in Zukunft Bestand habe. Er selber würde eine Föderation zwischen palästinensischen Gebieten und Israel als politische Vision bevorzugen, aber dies sei zur heutigen Zeit nicht vorstellbar.

      So Grass would prefer as his political vision a federation between the Palestinian Territories and Israel, although he considers this possibility as "unimaginable" at the present time.

    • Grass was born and raised in the Hanseatic Baltic port city of Danzig. Even though that city was within the province of West Prussia, it had the cultural flavor of a Hanseatic Baltic port. Commercial, not Junker.

      Because Danzig was made a free city under the League of Nations and outside Germany after World War One, a free city in which the Polish government had many rights, German nationalism was particularly inflamed there. Large parts of the provinces of West Prussia and Posen (Poznań) were taken from Germany and given to Poland at the same time, and, even though these areas had Polish majorities, they also had substantial German minorities, and the Germans felt aggrieved, rightly or wrongly. This served to intensify the German nationalism of the 95% German majority in Danzig.

      As a result, Nazism was quite powerful in Danzig. Until World War Two broke out, ultimate authority in the city belonged to the League of Nations High Commissioner, but the city had a local government that had a lot of power within the city. And the Nazi Party took over the local government in May-June 1933.

      The overwhelming majority of Danzig Germans fervently wanted to be reunited with the Reich. World War Two opened with the German battleship Schleswig-Holstein shelling the Polish fortress in Danzig harbor, and Danzigers greeted rapturously the arrival of German soldiers and, in short order, of Hitler himself into the city.

      Danzig was annexed to the Reich, and local government was taken over by the local party Gauleiter, Albert Forster. The Tin Drum deals with this period, and Forster makes a prominent appearance in the movie (and therefore, I would presume, in Grass's book as well).

    • From the Wikipedia entry on the Waffen SS:

      At the post-war Nuremberg Trials the Waffen-SS was condemned as a criminal organization due to its essential connection to the Nazi Party and involvement in war crimes. Waffen-SS veterans were denied many of the rights afforded to veterans who had served in the Heer (army), Luftwaffe (air force) or Kriegsmarine (navy). An exception was made for Waffen-SS conscripts sworn in after 1943, who were exempted because of their involuntary servitude. In the 1950s and 1960s, Waffen-SS veteran groups successfully fought numerous legal battles in West Germany to overturn the Nuremberg ruling and win pension rights for their members.[7]

    • Well, Bibi seems not to be too happy about Grass's poem: Facebook: Prime Minister Netanyahu comments on the hateful peom by Guenter Grass:

      Prime Minister Netanyahu comments on the hateful peom by Guenter Grass
      by The Prime Minister of Israel on Thursday, April 5, 2012 at 7:09am ·
      Guenter Grass's shameful moral equivalence between Israel and Iran, a regime that denies the Holocaust and threatens to annihilate Israel, says little about Israel and much about Mr. Grass.

      It is Iran, not Israel, that is a threat to the peace and security of the world.

      It is Iran, not Israel, that threatens other states with annihilation.

      It is Iran, not Israel, that supports terror organizations that fire rockets on innocent civilians.

      It is Iran, not Israel, that is supporting the Syrian regime's massacre of its own people.

      It is Iran, not Israel, that stones women, hangs gays and brutally represses tens of millions of its own citizens.

      For six decades, Mr. Grass hid the fact that he had been a member of the Waffen SS. So for him to cast the one and only Jewish state as the greatest threat to world peace and to oppose giving Israel the means to defend itself is perhaps not surprising.

      But decent people everywhere should strongly condemn these ignorant and reprehensible statements.

      Marc Neunueller's comment says it all:

      Its [sic] is Israel, not Iran who has the atomic Bombs.

    • I should add that Grass joined the Waffen-SS because he was conscripted into it.

      People here may remember that, during the Vietnam War, young men were drafted not only into the Army, but also into the Marine Corps.

    • "b" of Moon of Alabama's thread on the poem is worth a read: Günter Grass - What Has To Be Said.

      The poem in the original German was published in yesterday's Süddeutsche Zeitung, very much a mainstream newspaper in Germany: Grass' Gedicht im Wortlaut: Was gesagt werden muss.

      Grass is going to recite his poem and be interviewed about it on German national television tonight: Günter Grass äußert sich in «Tagesthemen» und «aspekte».

    • If memory serves, it was Grass himself who "unveiled" the fact that he had served in the Waffen-SS.

  • International Criminal Court refuses to investigate 'Cast Lead' because the UN does not officially recognize Palestine as a state
    • Is there any basis in the Rome Treaty that established the ICC for the conclusion that only entities that have the status of states within the UN can bring charges?

  • Muslim leaders address Manhattan audience organized by Jews Against Islamophobia
    • Meanwhile (again off topic,) it looks like Sarkozy is riding the reaction to the Toulouse murders to re-election: Sarkozy Widens Poll Lead:

      PARIS—French President Nicolas Sarkozy has widened his lead over Socialist challenger François Hollande in polls ahead of next month's first round of voting, continuing his marked recovery from the lowest popularity rating for an incumbent president since World War II.

      Mr. Sarkozy overtook Mr. Hollande for the first time two weeks ago, and his lead has grown ever since. A survey released on Thursday by polling firm CSA showed 30% of potential voters would vote for Mr. Sarkozy for a second five-year term, if elections were held now, while 26% would pick the Socialist candidate. The poll was conducted on Monday and Tuesday. The pollster's previous survey, one week ago, put the two presidential front runners neck and neck, at 28%, far ahead of the other eight candidates.

      While no margin of error was given, it is generally 3% in polls of this size.

      Mr. Sarkozy has clearly benefited in opinion polls from his highly visible presence in the handling of the security crisis that culminated with the killing of suspected killer and self-proclaimed al Qaeda activist Mohamed Merah by police last week.

      And look what's just come out about those Toulouse murders: Merah family lawyer claims 'Toulouse Killer' dispatched [i.e., deliberately murdered by the police]:

      (AGI) Algiers - According to a Merah family lawyer, Zahia Moktari, the Toulouse killer was intentionally killed by French police. Acting on behalf of Mohamed Merah's father, the lawyer held a press conference in Algiers today claimed to be in possession of two separate 20-minute video recordings of the French special forces raid, in which Merah is clearly heard saying "Why are you killing me? I am innocent." The lawyer went on to claim having received the footage from "persons directly involved in the events, wishing to have the truth come out." Moktari went on to claim that "Merah was manipulated and used in several French secret services operations and subsequently dispatched in order to avoid letting the truth out." The lawyer also said she would be informing French justice officials of the names of three persons involved in the cover-up, namely "a French secret service official and two other persons, of different nationalities, who also worked with Mohammed Merah." Moktari's version of events is at odds with French authorities' portrayal of events, including claims that the so-called 'Toulouse Killer' was given every chance to escape the shootout alive. . .

      These murders have turned out to be as convenient for Sarkozy as the way Dominique Straus-Kahn was set up.

    • Off topic, after the Muslims in Bradford just elected George Galloway to be their Member of Parliament largely on the issue of the wars against Muslims, it looks like Red Ken Livingstone is using similar issues to appeal to the voters in London in his campaign for Mayor of London (Election on May 3.)

  • The liberal Zionist predicament
    • What's the date of the report? I.e., when will the 20 years be up?

      UPDATE: I see the report was being referred to in print in February 2009: Fearing a One-State Solution, Israel’s President Serves Pabulum to Washington:

      According to a CIA Study currently being shown to selected staff members on the US Senate Intelligence Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Israel’s survival in its present form beyond the next 20 years is doubtful.

      The Report predicts “an inexorable movement away from a two-state to a one-state solution, as the most viable model based on democratic principles of full equality that sheds the looming specter of colonial Apartheid while allowing for the return of the 1947/1948 and 1967 refugees. The latter being the precondition for sustainable peace in the region.”

      To President Peres’ chagrin, the Executive Summary states that “during the next fifteen years more than two million Israelis, including some 500,000 Israeli citizens who currently hold US green cards or passports, will move to the United States. Most Israelis not in possession of these documents will receive ‘expedited waivers.’ The Report claims that, “Alongside a decline in Jewish births and a rise in Palestinian fertility, approximately 1.6 million Israelis are likely to return to their forefather’s lands in Russia and Eastern and Western Europe with scores of thousands electing to stay, depending on the nature of the transition.”

      So 3 of those 20 years have already passed.

  • Beinart gets a Jewish conversation going in the media (just don't call us a cabal)
  • 'German GQ' gets a political story American media have ignored: Palestinian youth
    • Günter Grass speaks up in the Süddeutsche Zeitung about Israel and the looming war with Iran: Gedicht zum Konflikt zwischen Israel und Iran: Was gesagt werden muss [Poem on the Conflict Between Israel and Iran: What Has to be Said]:

      Warum schweige ich, verschweige zu lange,
      was offensichtlich ist und in Planspielen
      geübt wurde, an deren Ende als Überlebende
      wir allenfalls Fußnoten sind.

      Es ist das behauptete Recht auf den Erstschlag,
      der das von einem Maulhelden unterjochte
      und zum organisierten Jubel gelenkte
      iranische Volk auslöschen könnte,
      weil in dessen Machtbereich der Bau
      einer Atombombe vermutet wird.

      Doch warum untersage ich mir,
      jenes andere Land beim Namen zu nennen,
      in dem seit Jahren - wenn auch geheimgehalten -
      ein wachsend nukleares Potential verfügbar
      aber außer Kontrolle, weil keiner Prüfung
      zugänglich ist?

      Das allgemeine Verschweigen dieses Tatbestandes,
      dem sich mein Schweigen untergeordnet hat,
      empfinde ich als belastende Lüge
      und Zwang, der Strafe in Aussicht stellt,
      sobald er mißachtet wird;
      das Verdikt "Antisemitismus" ist geläufig.

      Jetzt aber, weil aus meinem Land,
      das von ureigenen Verbrechen,
      die ohne Vergleich sind,
      Mal um Mal eingeholt und zur Rede gestellt wird,
      wiederum und rein geschäftsmäßig, wenn auch
      mit flinker Lippe als Wiedergutmachung deklariert,
      ein weiteres U-Boot nach Israel
      geliefert werden soll, dessen Spezialität
      darin besteht, allesvernichtende Sprengköpfe
      dorthin lenken zu können, wo die Existenz
      einer einzigen Atombombe unbewiesen ist,
      doch als Befürchtung von Beweiskraft sein will,
      sage ich, was gesagt werden muß.

      Warum aber schwieg ich bislang?
      Weil ich meinte, meine Herkunft,
      die von nie zu tilgendem Makel behaftet ist,
      verbiete, diese Tatsache als ausgesprochene Wahrheit
      dem Land Israel, dem ich verbunden bin
      und bleiben will, zuzumuten.

      Warum sage ich jetzt erst,
      gealtert und mit letzter Tinte:
      Die Atommacht Israel gefährdet
      den ohnehin brüchigen Weltfrieden?
      Weil gesagt werden muß,
      was schon morgen zu spät sein könnte;
      auch weil wir - als Deutsche belastet genug -
      Zulieferer eines Verbrechens werden könnten,
      das voraussehbar ist, weshalb unsere Mitschuld
      durch keine der üblichen Ausreden
      zu tilgen wäre.

      Und zugegeben: ich schweige nicht mehr,
      weil ich der Heuchelei des Westens
      überdrüssig bin; zudem ist zu hoffen,
      es mögen sich viele vom Schweigen befreien,
      den Verursacher der erkennbaren Gefahr
      zum Verzicht auf Gewalt auffordern und
      gleichfalls darauf bestehen,
      daß eine unbehinderte und permanente Kontrolle
      des israelischen atomaren Potentials
      und der iranischen Atomanlagen
      durch eine internationale Instanz
      von den Regierungen beider Länder zugelassen wird.

      Nur so ist allen, den Israelis und Palästinensern,
      mehr noch, allen Menschen, die in dieser
      vom Wahn okkupierten Region
      dicht bei dicht verfeindet leben
      und letztlich auch uns zu helfen.

      "b" of Moon of Alabama's translation:

      What has to be said

      Why am I silent, conceal too long,
      what is obvious and in war games
      has been trained, at whose end we as survivors
      will at the most be footnotes.

      It is the alleged right of first strike,
      with which the Iranian people,
      subjugated by a loudmouth
      and steered towards organized elation,
      could be snuffed out with,
      because the building of a nuclear bomb
      within its fiefdom is assumed.

      But why do I prohibit myself,
      to name that other country,
      in which for years - though kept secret -
      a growing capability exists
      though out of control as
      not open for audit?

      The general concealment of this fact,
      to which my silence subjugated,
      feels for me like a burdoning lie
      and a coercion, which promises punishment;
      the verdict "antisemitism" is commonly used.

      But now, because from my country,
      which for its very own crimes,
      which are incomparable,
      is called up again and again and taken to task,
      repeatedly and businesslike, though
      by slippy lips declared as reparation,
      another submarine to Israel
      shall be delivered, whose specialty
      consists of, steering all-annihilating warheads
      whereto, the existence
      of a single bomb is unproven,
      but as a fear shall be conclusiveness,
      I say, what has to be said.

      But why my silence so far?
      Because I though, my origin,
      which has a not redeemable taint,
      prohibited me, to strain,
      with this fact as spoken truth,
      the country Israel, to which I am
      and want to stay beholden.

      Why do I speak only now,
      aged and with my last ink:
      The nuclear power Israel endangers
      an already fragile world peace?
      Because it has to be said,
      what already tomorrow could be too late;
      also because we - as Germans burdened enough -
      could become supplier for a crime,
      which is foreseeable, which is why our complicity
      could not be redeemed
      with the usual subterfuges.

      And admittedly: I no longer remain silent,
      because I am disgusted with
      the hypocrisy of the west; additionally there is hope
      that many may liberate themselves from their silence,
      to request the originator of the discernible danger
      to abstain from force
      and also insist,
      that unhindered and permanent control
      of the Israeli capability
      and the Iranian nuclear installations
      through an international authority
      shall be allowed by both countries governments.

      Only this way can all, the Israelis and the Palestinians,
      even more, all people who live in the delusion occupied region
      near by near as enemies and in the end even us,
      be helped.

  • Flabby Zionism
    • Stalin's Soviet constitution paid a lot of lip service to all sorts of liberal ideals. They even had elections, of a sort.

  • The Israel/Palestine conflict will be resolved when Arab countries kick the U.S. out of the region
  • Video: 'Long range acoustic device' and other weapons used on Palestinians on Land Day
    • Sorry, I formatted that wrong: the quote from Wikipedia ended at "LRAD deployed at Occupy Oakland link to ustream.tv". The blockquote should have ended there.

    • The Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) has been used a number of times against protesters:

      The LRAD device was on hand at protests of the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York City[6] but not used; it was extensively used against opposition protesters in Tbilisi, Georgia, in November 2007.[7]

      The magazine Foreign Policy has revealed that LRADs have been sold to the government of the People's Republic of China. American companies have been banned from selling arms to China since the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.

      Local residents of Dusit in Bangkok witnessed it in use during protests of Triumph factory employees against dismissals on August 28, 2009.[8] The LRAD was used for the first time in the United States in Pittsburgh during the time of the G20 summit on September 24–25th, 2009.[9][10] Pittsburgh police again utilized LRAD as a precautionary measure to prevent unruly crowds from getting out of control following the 2011 Super Bowl. LRAD systems were also purchased by Toronto Police for the 2010 G20 summit.

      In 2009, the government of Honduras used it on at least two occasions, on September 22 and 25, to communicate to those seeking refuge in the Brazilian embassy. In addition to embassy staff, these included the deposed president of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, his family, and some supporters and journalists.

      LRAD was also used against college students in the city of Macomb, Illinois at the Wheeler Block Party at Western Illinois University ("WIU")[11] on May 1, 2011.[1]

      LRAD was reportedly[12] used by the Oakland Police Department during the clearance of the Occupy Oakland encampment on the morning of 25 October 2011.

      The Polish Police acquired LRAD units in December 2010 and used them to communicate with protesters during the 11 November 2011 riots in Warsaw. [13]

      LRAD was present, but not used, when the New York City Police department cleared Occupy Wall Street protestors from Zuccotti Park on the morning of 15 November 2011.[2]

      LRAD was present, but not used, when the Boston Police Department cleared Occupy Boston protestors from Dewey Square on the morning of 10 December 2011. [3]

      LRAD deployed at Occupy Oakland link to ustream.tv

      At the time the LRAD was used in Honduras, there were reports that a "retired" Israeli general was in charge of the operation:

      There have been repeated recent reports that Israeli soldiers have been training and supplying the golpista forces in Honduras. This report from yesterday, Ejército de Honduras usa armas electrónicas de última generación indicates that a retired Israeli general on scene is in charge of the operation:

      "Sonic gun" used by police in Honduras now used against G-20 protesters?

      Ejército de Honduras usa armas electrónicas de última generación:

      La pregunta obligada es ¿Quién les está proporcionando armas electrónicas al ejército de Honduras? De nuevo, denuncias hechas a través de Radio Globo, nos dan pistas. Se denunció hace unos días que quien está entrenando y dirigiendo a las fuerzas represoras es un general retirado israelí. Nuevamente nos surgen muchas otras preguntas a partir de esta revelación. ¿Quién es ese misterioso general retirado israelí? ¿Qué intereses tiene en Honduras? ¿Qué conexiones tiene que puede acceder a ese tipo de material y “donarlo” o venderlo a un país como Honduras? ¿A cuenta de que, estaría proporcionando ese tipo de material?

      Hace unas semanas concluyo un periplo de alto nivel del régimen israelí por Latinoamérica. Son claros sus intereses en la región cuando ve debilitada su posición internacional y su influencia en la geopolítica global. Esta puede ser una de las razones por las que -tras bastidores- estarían apoyando con asesores y equipos sofisticados al régimen golpista de Micheletti. Seguiremos investigando estas relaciones.

  • Former State Dep't official says Obama calls for human rights and democracy are 'undercut' by position on Palestinians
    • A president does not have to obey his donor base. Not, that is, if he puts doing the right thing above being re-elected.

    • George Wallace in his Inaugural Address as governor of Alabama in 1963:

      n the name of the greatest people that have ever trod this earth, I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny, and I say segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.

      I think the segregationists too were determined to go down in flames if they couldn't preserve segregation.

      And, if you question the segregationists' determination, there are other examples, like the pieds noirs European settlers in French Algeria.

    • Speaking of Jim Crow Virginia, the reason segregation ended in this country was that it became a liability to America's position in the world during the Cold War.

      Sounds like Israeli apartheid has become a liability to America's position in the world today.

  • Marwan Barghouti calls for popular uprising for statehood. Israel puts him in solitary confinement
    • All that you say could have been said in the middle of the nineteenth century about Ireland by an Englishman who supported the continued domination of the Protestant Ascendancy in Ireland.

  • Sullivan forces American attention on the settlements
    • John Marshall and the U.S. Supreme Court held the European settlers' rights to land superseded the rights of the American Indians in Johnson v. M'Intosh, 21 U.S. 543 (1823):

      On the discovery of this immense continent, the great nations of Europe were eager to appropriate to themselves so much of it as they could respectively acquire. Its vast extent offered an ample field to the ambition and enterprise of all, and the character and religion of its inhabitants afforded an apology for considering them as a people over whom the superior genius of Europe might claim an ascendency. The potentates of the old world found no difficulty in convincing themselves that they made ample compensation to the inhabitants of the new by bestowing on them civilization and Christianity in exchange for unlimited independence. But as they were all in pursuit of nearly the same object, it was necessary, in order to avoid conflicting settlements and consequent war with each other, to establish a principle which all should acknowledge as the law by which the right of acquisition, which they all asserted should be regulated as between themselves. This principle was that discovery gave title to the government by whose subjects or by whose authority it was made against all other European governments, which title might be consummated by possession.

      . . .

      We will not enter into the controversy whether agriculturists, merchants, and manufacturers have a right on abstract principles to expel hunters from the territory they possess or to contract their limits. Conquest gives a title which the courts of the conqueror cannot deny, whatever the private and speculative opinions of individuals may be, respecting the original justice of the claim which has been successfully asserted. The British government, which was then our government and whose rights have passed to the United States, asserted title to all the lands occupied by Indians within the chartered limits of the British colonies. It asserted also a limited sovereignty over them and the exclusive right of extinguishing the title which occupancy gave to them. These claims have been maintained and established as far west as the River Mississippi by the sword. The title to a vast portion of the lands we now hold originates in them. It is not for the courts of this country to question the validity of this title or to sustain one which is incompatible with it.

      . . .

      But the tribes of Indians inhabiting this country were fierce savages whose occupation was war and whose subsistence was drawn chiefly from the forest. To leave them in possession of their country was to leave the country a wilderness; to govern them as a distinct people was impossible because they were as brave and as high spirited as they were fierce, and were ready to repel by arms every attempt on their independence.

      . . .

      However extravagant the pretension of converting the discovery of an inhabited country into conquest may appear; if the principle has been asserted in the first instance, and afterwards sustained; if a country has been acquired and held under it; if the property of the great mass of the community originates in it, it becomes the law of the land and cannot be questioned. So, too, with respect to the concomitant principle that the Indian inhabitants are to be considered merely as occupants, to be protected, indeed, while in peace, in the possession of their lands, but to be deemed incapable of transferring the absolute title to others. However this restriction may be opposed to natural right, and to the usages of civilized nations, yet if it be indispensable to that system under which the country has been settled, and be adapted to the actual condition of the two people, it may perhaps be supported by reason, and certainly cannot be rejected by courts of justice.

  • Sen. Cardin tells how he and Hillary Clinton muscled foreign ambassadors to block 'anti-American' Palestinian statehood
    • Cardin isn't doing this to keep his seat in the Senate. That seat is utterly safe. There is zero chance of a Republican beating him in an election, or of his losing a primary. This is Maryland, after all.

    • Cardin's committee assignments (according to The 2010 Almanac of American Politics) are: Budget; Environment & Public Works; Foreign Relations (where he also sits on the Subcommittee for Near Eastern & South & Central Asian Affairs); Judiciary; and Small Business & Entrepreneurship.

  • 'We must expel Arabs and take their place': Institute for Palestine Studies publishes 1937 Ben-Gurion letter advocating the expulsion of Palestinians
  • Sfard on Israeli Supreme Court ruling on Migron outpost: ‘It’s Our Brown v. Board’
  • Zionism totalled
  • One crazed murderer sparks Zionist calls for European migration to Israel
  • Israeli academics call for massive attack on Gaza to 'mow the lawn' -- before November election ends the 'opportunity'
  • Those killed in Gaza have a name, and each has a family that grieves for them
    • EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton said, in reference to the killings in Toulouse, "all should remember the young people who have been killed in all sorts of terrible circumstances - the Belgian children having lost their lives in a terrible tragedy and when we think of what happened in Toulouse today, when we remember what happened in Norway a year ago, when we know what is happening in Syria, when we see what is happening in Gaza and in different parts of the world - we remember young people and children who lose their lives."

      Avigdor Lieberman's response:

      Earlier Tuesday, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman critisized the EU FM's comments, saying they were "inappropriate and I hope that Ashton reexamines and retracts them."

      "Israel is the most moral country in the world, despite having to fight terrorists operating from within a civilian population. The IDF is doing everything it can to not hurt that population even though it is defending terrorists," Lieberman said.

      The FM added that the "children Ashton needs to focus on are the children of south Israel, who live in constant fear of Gaza rocket attacks."

  • 'Daily Beast' ode to Livni makes no mention of Gaza assault
    • According to the documents, in 2008 then-US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice suggested that Palestinian refugees could be resettled in South America. “Maybe we will be able to find countries that can contribute in kind,” she said, “Chile, Argentina, etc.”

      What about resettling them in the U.S.? This country certainly bears a large share of the responsibility for what happened to the Palestinians.

      If they were resettled here, there would at any rate be a large ethnic interest group to counterbalance the Israel lobby.

    • Her parents were prominent Irgun members. Her father was chief operations officer of the Irgun. Tzipi herself did her military service in the elite Mossad unit responsible for Operation Wrath of God (the tracking down of people involved in the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre that forms the subject of Spielberg's movie Munich.)

    • Don't forget: the Olmert/Livni government was also responsible for the 2006 Lebanon war.

  • The myth of Israel's favorable treatment of Palestinian Christians
    • If Saddam's government forced Christian Arabs to declare that they were Arabs, what's so outrageous about that?

    • Saddam Hussein's Ba'athist government of Iraq treated Iraq's Christians well. Second man in the regime Tariq Aziz was a Christian. After the U.S. invasion that Israel encouraged, Christians were murdered and terrorized in the civil war conditions that followed, and half the Christians left the country. Various people, notably including the Vatican, had warned the Bush administration that something like this was likely to follow a U.S. invasion.

      Most of the Iraqi Christian refugees found refuge in Ba'athist Syria, where the regime also treats Christians well. Now the U.S. and Israel are seeking to undermine that Ba'athist regime as well. And if the Syrian Ba'athists lose power, whatever regime follows is very likely to treat the Christians who supported Assad badly, especially considering that the Muslim Brotherhood, which the Syrian Ba'athists have persecuted for decades, is likely to play a large role in such a post-Ba'athist government.

      Israel is doing no favors to the Christians of the Middle East.

  • Obama rejects a Syrian deal because his team wants F15s (and other stuff I learned at lunch)
    • Fidel Castro says in his autobiography (as told to Ignacio Ramonet) that the Israeli deal to supply nukes to apartheid South Africa was done with U.S. (clandestine) approval, as was the Israeli attack on Osirak.

      Eisenhower's coolness towards Israel was arguably unusual for a Republican. Remember, archisolationist Bob Taft was a fervent supporter of Zionism.

  • Gaza scoreboard
    • Sebastian Haffner comments in one of his books how Germans on the home front during World War One came to regard war reports like those from sporting events. If memory serves, he also connects this mentality with the Nazis coming to power.

  • Another civilian massacre and the savagery of our soldiers
    • Is it possible to cross-examine witnesses overseas via some kind of data link?

    • Actually, I did hear an interview with the surviving father of the family of a lot of the victims on the radio overnight. I think it was on NPR, although it might have been on the BBC (I have both of them on overnight.)

    • People who try to minimize the sergeant's guilt ought to realize that, to the extent that they reduce his guilt, to that same extent they should assign guilt to the people responsible for his having been sent to Afghanistan.

      I don't think they do that.

  • @IDFSpokesperson tweets inaccurate video and fake civilian casualty statistics
    • After the last glimmerings of dissent over the Iraq war, pretty much all the main media organs in Britain, notably the BBC and The Guardian, were corporatized.

  • Massacre in Afghanistan
    • That moment when the helicopters depart from Afghanistan is drawing ever closer: Panetta Is Safe After Breach Near His Plane at Afghan Base:

      KABUL, Afghanistan — A tense visit to Afghanistan by Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta got off to an unscripted start when a stolen truck sped onto a runway ramp at the British military airfield as his plane was landing. Mr. Panetta was unhurt, but Pentagon officials said the Afghan driver emerged from the vehicle in flames.

    • AP reports a vidoe showing a lone soldier giving himself up has now surfaced: Afghan official: Soldier's surrender on video:

      (AP) KABUL, Afghanistan - The U.S. soldier suspected of killing 16 Afghan villagers on a rampage was caught on surveillance video that showed him walking up to his base, laying down his weapon and raising his arms in surrender, according to an Afghan official who viewed the footage.

      The official said Wednesday there were also two to three hours of video footage covering the time of the attack that Afghan investigators are trying to get from the U.S. military. He spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

      U.S. authorities showed their Afghan counterparts the video of the surrender to prove that only one perpetrator was involved in Sunday's shootings, the official said. The shootings, which killed nine children among the 16 dead, has further strained already shaky relations between the U.S. and Afghanistan.

      Some Afghan officials and residents in the villages that were attacked have insisted there was more than one shooter. If this disagreement persists, it could deepen the distrust even more.

      I thought I had read someplace that U.S. officials have admitted that the story that the soldier gave himself up was untrue.

      Five days since the massacre should have given the CIA enough time to fabricate a video.

    • That's basically why gangs have murders as initiation rituals.

    • That's what somebody suggested on Moon of Alabama, that they have yet to decide who the fall guy is going to be. The fact that they've already revealed that he's a staff sergeant at a Fort Lewis Army unit, married, with two children, who has done four tours in Iraq, all of that suggests he's already an identified individual that they have just chosen, for whatever reason, not to reveal the name of yet.

      Of course, if he's a totally fictional person, like Comrade Ogilvy in Nineteen Eighty-Four, then that might explain why they haven't put a name to him yet. Although that doesn't make much sense either, as it serves to cast doubt on the whole story.

      Well, the best explanation I can think of so far has to do with the fact that it's now revealed that he was taking part in a special operations program (although they're careful to emphasize that he himself was not a special operator.) AP: Alleged soldier rampage in Afghanistan a blow to special operations village security program:

      WASHINGTON — The Army staff sergeant accused of massacring Afghan civilians while they slept was providing security at a remote base for special operations forces that were teaching the Afghans how to defend themselves.

      While the soldier had no special operations training, his alleged actions deal a blow to the elite outreach program — called “Village Stability Operations” — which the U.S. says is key to handing off security to Afghans and keeping the Taliban at bay.

      Established in early 2010, the VSO program sends small units of Green Berets or Navy SEALs to remote villages to help provide security, as well as to learn the local culture and tribal structure.

      Since they are generally reluctant to reveal the identities of special operators, maybe the same applies to NCO's working alongside them. Or maybe they're not telling us the truth about his not being a special operator. Maybe there are other ways to become a special operator than going to special operations training. We know from other reports that this staff sergeant was trained as a sniper.

      Or, if special operators went along with the staff sergeant on this rampage, the secrecy of all that special operators do might explain why they are so insistent that the staff sergeant was acting alone.

    • At the time of the U.S. bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade during the Kosovo War, I had a part-time job transcribing CNN. I was really struck by how, whenever the network's newscasters mentioned the bombing, they always uniformly referred to it as the "accidental bombing".

      As a matter of fact, didn't the rest of the media do the same? (I paid less attention to them, because I wasn't transcribing them.)

    • More comes out that makes the official story seem even less likely: Time: Afghans Skeptical Over Shooting Account:

      But Abdul Rahim Ayubi, a lawmaker from Kandahar province, said the houses that were attacked were over a mile (2 kilometers) apart, raising questions about how a single soldier could have carried out all of the shootings.

      "It is not possible for only one American soldier to come out of his base, kill a number of people far away, burn the bodies, go to another house and kill civilians there, then walk at least 2 kilometers and enter another house, kill civilians and burn them," said Ayubi.

    • Sure thing: The soldiers were killed after some “holy books” got burned. Self-defense was not involved.

      The U.S. military in Afghanistan had already killed plenty of Afghans during the 10-year occupation, even before the massacre over the weekend. Burning those Korans was just adding insult to injury.

      Can't you picture Americans shooting and killing members of a foreign army occupying this country after one member did something like burning a U.S. flag or a copy of the U.S. Constitution?

      “Shoot if you must this old gray head, but spare your country’s flag.”

      Remember that?

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