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Total number of comments: 3166 (since 2009-08-03 18:12:37)

marc b.

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  • A Jew who visited Palestine responds to 'NYT' assertion that Palestinians want to kill all Jews
    • woody, jeff has done the maths. don't you see the dates and numbers? (3568/(2010-1968) X 2 = 100% of Palestinian Arabs want to kill 'all the Jews'. I double checked. He's right.)

    • the times is incorrigible. Michael Gordon, who with Judith Miller helped spin the webs of lies about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, and more specifically, was a link in the press/government circle jerk over the Iraqi nuclear weapons program, is back at it again in Ukraine. (well, Geneva at least, I believe. too much shooting going on in the Ukraine.) see link.

      link to historycommons.org

      (The Miller-Gordon Siamese bullhorn quoting anonymous government sources, with government sources subsequently approvingly quoting articles written by Miller-Gordon.)

  • Bridgegate 2.0: Israeli tech students manipulate traffic patterns
    • and this definitely doesn't pass 'the shoe on the other foot' test ritzl. imagine the reaction to Iranians/Russians doing this?

    • nothing was 'misinterpreted'. the system worked as it should have. the problem was the introduction of fraudulent information. and this from the article:

      The Waze software, believing that the bots were on the road, started to redirect actual traffic down different streets, even though there was no traffic jam to avoid.

      so this wasn't a closed simulation. it caused the redirection of real traffic, down real streets. brilliant. so, hypothetically, some poor schmuck driving his wife to the hospital to deliver a baby could have been rerouted around a fake bottleneck.

    • "Little boys pulling wings off flies! "

      that's a crude but accurate summation of the psychology. I seem to remember something about fear of an uncontrolled nuclear reaction during the development of the first A-bomb.

    • don't kid yourself: the 'students' are actual bad guys. and who knows if these design defects are flaws. backdoors are often built in at the behest of security services, which leaves them open to exploitation by 'the bad guys'.

      (it never ceases to amaze me, the absolute amorality of people like this who operate under the superficial veneer of science-y objectivity while causing mayhem; dipshit geneticists creating superbugs, engineers building nuclear bombs. frightening people.)

  • Fear of Arab-Americans in the public square
    • 'overblown'? most of the potted history of Jews in 2oth-21st century America is just plain wrong.

      1. is no 'history' of jewish ascendance in America complete without the autoerotic myth of the 'perseverant plucky' overachiever? Jews did not reach positions of importance due to the irresistibleness of their brilliance. if WASPs were bent on maintaining an ethnocracy ruled by WASPs, no amount of cleverness could have overcome it as quickly as it was overcome. WASPS recognized that the process was just as important as the result, whereas the myopics just want their cake. (it's certainly not a strictly 'jewish' trait, but ruthlessness has risen to the top of desired skills, ruthlessness being an unspoken substitute for its synonym meritocracy, which is whey we see institutional corruption so rampant. this isn't just a feature of government, but is a proven trend in the sciences, arts, etc., so we reward and have the benefit of the most ruthless scientists, economists, all playing cheerleader mom. the problem is that this reward system essentially guarantees we don't promote the best scientists, economists, etc. but rather the most grasping and amoral of the bunch.)
      2. the history of anti-Semitism and exclusion of jews from the halls of power is inaccurate. again, if Harvard didn't want the oppenheimers of the world on its campus, there really wasn't much to prevent it from being more selective. and as I far as I can see, institutional anti-Semitism wasn't much of an active force after WWII at all, rather it's the inferiority complex that lingered on. so we have blowhards striking macho poses about winning wars without shots being fired, such comments serving the dual purpose of fluffing for Jewish masculinity and denigrating the gentile.
      3. fear of the muslim/anti-isreal sentiment amongst jews on campuses? if it's sincere it's also pathological. muslims have a crumb of power, and the biggest things that they have going for them (if I could lump them into a homogenous mass) are the luxury of being 'right' and the sense that they have little to lose in what remains of a democracy. (oh, and the fact that their critics insist on lumping them into a homogenous mass, thus creating a sense of solidarity that might not otherwise exist as strongly as it is becoming.)

  • Simon Schama's Israel whitewash
    • I'm glad you raised this point, gamal, as it undermines slater's credibility from the start. I think it's fair to assume when you read some version of

      one of the most acclaimed, visible, and popular contemporary historians . . . specializing in the French Revolution, Dutch history, British history, American history, baseball, art, matchstick manufacture, etc. etc.

      that the 'historian' is a historian of a certain sort. ferguson is another of these types, as you point out, having a book published expounding on the latest subject of his unparalleled expertise almost as frequently as I change my underwear. it wouldn't surprise me in the least that the most basic of inconvenient facts about Israel are completely unknown to schama.

  • Friedman says Iran's friends include BDS and Jews in Open Hillel movement
    • ” This “B.D.S. movement” — to boycott, divest from and sanction Israel — is gaining adherents not only among non-Jews on American campuses but even within some Hillels, campus Jewish centers.”

      what I take from that statement by the overheated and absurd friedman is his incorrigible stupidity. I don't think that he's capable of remembering what BDS stands for (or, for that matter, CIA, NATO, NFL, LOL, etc.) without inserting a cue. does he remember that 'Hillels [are] campus Jewish centers'? for the few who actually take time to read this half wit, who does he think benefits from that clarification?

  • Oren says Pollard 'sacrificed himself for the Jewish people'
    • I said would take it if it fell out of the sky. That’s different than whose investing in the footwork.

      And that's just one error in your analysis. Nothing 'falls out of the sky'. Even if a traitor like Jonathan Pollard showed up on the door step of the Israel embassy unsolicited, years of work would go into intelligence collection if its in depth vetting process determined he was a potentially productive source. There are always 1000s of deceptions, thefts, and on after opportunity knocks.

    • I agree, to a degree, but it also depends on context. If we are involved in a decades long 'war on terror', shouldn't there be some consensus on what constitutes 'terrorism'? I don't know of a satisfactory definition.

      And I like this bit from a dicaprio movie after he witnesses the caning of an informant or agent operating in Jordan under the supervision of the head of intelligence:

      Roger Ferris: I thought you didn't believe in torture, Hani Pasha.
      Hani: This is punishment, my dear. It's a very different thing.

      So it makes me wonder if the exact same physical act could possibly be 'torture' or 'punishment'. And surely the qualification matters. (Doing this on iPad mini so don't mind the clunky response.)

    • sorry, jeff, that's just not the case. Israel has the 3rd most active intelligence gathering operation in the US, only being beat out by our other 'friends', Russia and Cuba. so, no, there is no equivalence between Israel and 'every single [other] country with an embassy in the United States.'

    • pabelmont, I have been doing some 'definitional' research (trying to come up with clear definitions for 'torture', 'terrorism', etc.) to facilitate conversations about these topics, and you raise a good point here. what does 'national security' mean? the definition has certainly expanded greatly during the progression of the cold war and now the war on terror, and Israel has had a heavy hand influencing the evolution of this term. exchanging US intelligence for exit visas from the USSR would likely fall into its vision of what satisfies national security. and, of course, under this regime setting import levels for oregano to Gaza also serves national security interests. in other words, I'd guess that there isn't an issue, ideology or physical material that isn't subject to national security scrutiny in the maximalist state: sexual relations, sun tan oil production, consumption of Iranian pistachios, publication of potentially embarrassing materials involving public officials, printer cartridge technology.

  • US Jewish leaders blast Harvard students on pro-Israel trip for taking photo at Arafat's tomb (Update)
    • Imagine the crisis we’re in, when inquisitive Harvard students offered a free visit to Israel make a stop in Palestine and dare to be photographed at Arafat’s tomb and are smeared all over the American Jewish press. Imagine how these Harvard students are going to regard the Israel lobby after this. Once again, we see the American Jewish community committing intellectual suicide, right before our eyes.

      It's not Zionism that will be the downfall of zionists. It's chutzpah, moral, intellectual, cultural, psychological. The migraine these particular goofballs are experiencing is the result of their inability to understand that the apex of their influence is only fully recognizable at the precise moment of the beginning of its inevitable, impending decline. If I were advising them, I'd tell them to shut the f*ck up in public and continue to work their magic by buying off politicians to talk for them. That would at least slow the decay. But they won't shut up, because they can't, and every time they engage directly in public debate it's one more grain of sand down the hourglass.

  • Randi Zuckerberg to headline event for new AIPAC 'technology division'
    • thanks krauss. she did win an award, yes, which in some cases may be evidence of talent. I found the two chapters I slogged through while waiting for my kids at the local library to be bad, really bad, although admittedly my perspective was poisoned, direct exposure apparently being no antidote. my real problem with all these people, or more accurately the phenomenon they represent (aside from my jealousy of course - my criticism must be motivated by jealousy I'm told) is their tone deafness, their self-induced autism, their Teflon-coated self confidence in the face of evidence of their mediocrity and multiple failures. they are a symptom of the worst characteristics of 'Western' predatory culture, the ideology of inevitable progress through the development of technology - and reliance on the mindset of the engineer - when what we are witnessing is the opposite. How is that you become a multi-billionaire like Bezos while your company regularly posts losses, especially, and perversely, your books sales and publishing departments? (The answer is that he is a stellar example of the neo-liberal business model, ruthlessly crushing competition by selling at a loss, treating your employees like shit - the sign of a visionary and objectivity - and sloughing off any sense of morality as an irrational irrelevance.) But even Bezos, with his overdeveloped brain stem and his tongue-darting lizard ethics, realizes what a Ponzi scheme he's part of, which is why I think, in part at least, he has hitched his cart to the national security state, an organization (of sorts) that is also firmly convinced of its own indispensability and will take whatever steps to ensure its survival, regardless of any analysis of effectiveness and 'profitability'.

    • don't be a hater, annie, just because she didn't take the "normal, traditional path" to Broadway . . . or to the office of CEO of a multi-billion dollar something-or-other. I'm sure she's a great performer, like Mackenzie Bezos is a great novelist. (I do worry for their historical legacies though. Who will be Homer to Jeff's Odysseus? Who could do literary justice to Jeff's heroic navigation of the rocky shores of internet disposable diaper and dildo sales? Who?)

  • Lockerbie: 25 years of geopolitics over truth
    • It would be interesting to have a better understanding of Sarkozy's apparent long-term relationship with Gaddafi, Walid.

      France's second-largest public television channel has aired an audio excerpt from an interview with Muammar Gaddafi in which the late Libyan dictator repeatedly claimed that he financed Nicolas Sarkozy's presidential campaign in 2007.

      "It's me who made him president," Gaddafi said in an interview recorded in 2011, broadcast by France-3 on Wednesday. The former dictator was speaking in Tripoli in mid-March, just a few days before the first Western strikes that led to his downfall and killing by militias in October.

      "We gave him necessary financing to enable him to win presidential election. He visited me when he was Interior Minister and asked me for financial support," Gaddafi told Le Figaro journalist Delphine Minoui, without providing any evidence.

      Asked whether he felt betrayed by France's recognition of the opposition to the regime, Gaddafi, who was received in Paris with fanfare and grandeur in 2007, said he did, later adding that "Sarkozy has a mental disability."

      NB it should be noted that the French Minister of the Interior serves a police/intelligence function in France, as distinct from what the US Secretary of Department of the Interior is responsible for.

    • excellent article.

      I don't want to take a trip down that rabbit hole here, but there is significant circumstantial evidence that some US military intelligence types may have been the target of the bombing, rather than the generic 'western' passenger plane. if you look at the case from that angle, it takes on a different complexion.

      as for the legal saga, it's suspicious to say the least. nipping a trial in the bud is an oft used tactic to keep inconvenient facts out of the public domain. if I had to guess, that is probably what will occur with the 'marathon' bombing trial, the prosecution already putting the death penalty prominently in play, and the usual suspect death penalty specialist coming to the 'rescue' to convince the defendant that a trial is too risky. the metaphorical equivalent of killing bin laden. (better to have college drunks cheering his execution, than a multi-year trial with the facts of the case subject to daily scrutiny.)

  • Dateline, Ukraine: How the State Department 'midwives' democracy
    • there have also been a series of unsolved 'photogenic' killings of opposition members attributed to various evil dictator types.

      see, e.g. Neda Agha-Soltan, an Iranian beauty who just happened to have been followed through the crowds on a phone-cam at a demonstration in Tehran in 2009 only to be shot in the head while being filmed, and a Venezuelan beauty (a professional model), Genesis Carmona, who was similarly shot in the head during a recent demonstration in Caracas, I believe.

    • They may well be in the larger boat of neo-cold-war thinking, but they hardly are the only force in play.

      I think that hits the nail on the head, Lea. The Zionists as prime mover for this manufactured crisis is an overstatement. As you reference, Reagan, influenced by the Coors-funded Heritage Foundation, did increase support for low intensity conflict in the 80s, to include operations in Eastern Europe. (The Heritage Foundation hosted groups such as the World Anti-Communist League (WACL) and the Anti-Bolshevik Block of Nations (ABN) both of which had strong ties to Eastern European 'nationalists' interested in undermining and chipping bits off the Soviet European empire) On the other hand, it's more accurate to say that Reagan just took a more muscular approach to the exploitation of ethnic and nationalist divisions in the USSR, an approach that has its roots in German policy towards the USSR during WWII, and was extended by the US-West German alliance after the war. (see Gehlen Organization for example) Here, though, I see a fundamental divergence of interests. It appears to me that, amongst other things, US planners are looking to push its military closer to Russian borders and gain a measure of control over Russian energy supplies to Europe, an approach that many Europeans are only luke warm about. (This isn't to say that there is no connection between Russian policy in Syria and the Ukraine 'crisis', and not to say that the maximalist state isn't inserting itself into the crisis.)

  • State Dept to 'check out' vicious attack on Palestinian athletes
    • the discrepancies in Haaretz are atrocious

      they couldn’t even get the names right

      Adam Jamous, 17, and Jawahar Halbiyeh, 19, are residents of Abu Dis, a town east of Jerusalem.

      is that intentional? unlike typical Euro names, most search engines don't seem capable of efficiently sorting out versions of/identifying minor errors in spellings of latinized arab names.

  • Pelosi calls Israel's creation 'the most spectacular political achievement of the 20th century'
    • @ecru: everything has to be described in the superlative, otherwise even compliments are considered an insult.

      @MY1: there is no 'fairness' and 'reality' in such a ranking system, which is all about psychology and nothing about history; and there is no single 'most spectacular political achievement of the 20th century'. she was working the crowd. geddit?

    • It is my honor to join our distinguished Speaker, in absentia, and the Republican Leader Mr. Cantor in welcoming you to the United States Capitol once again.

      BTW, what ever came of the apparent connection between Cantor and Rabbi Pinto and questionable campaign financing schemes?

  • Thinskinned AIPAC blackballs Jim Lobe
    • Kerry was on with the chimp-faced David Gregory this morning. He was aghast at the Russian intervention in Ukraine, what he called an 'invasion on phony pretexts'. That's not how international relations work in the 21st century, says he. Funny stuff.

  • Thought experiment. Dateline Ukraine
    • I'd add Keith:

      1. This strategy long predates B. Kennan put it succinctly, partly in the context of US control over ME energy, that it was his job to ensure that the great material disparity enjoyed by the US over the rest of the world (including our 'rival' in the ME, the UK, who expressed their historical control of that region as their Monroe Doctrine) was protected.
      2. So, the EU, and single states such as Poland, Lithuania, Sweden, can be as much our rival in the Ukraine as Russia. Hence, F the EU. The last thing we need is the Europeans exerting control over Russian energy supplies after we spent so much capital managing their access to ME energy supplies.
      3. What's occurring in the Muslim 'borderlands' in China is part and parcel of the offensive. Under reported terrorist attacks by various separatist types.
      4. Now that Iraq/Afghanistan is winding down a bit, nothing like a new Cold War for warrior types.

    • One of the interesting parts of this is the greenwald-omidyar connection. Omidyar, with greenwald as (willing?) bait has now tied up NSA materials and what I thought were some of the best journalists, wheeler, taibi, etc. greenwald is smelling more and more like a fake.

    • Regrettably Timothy Snyder was on NPR recently cooking up similarly runny pablum about the Ukraine. I don't remember a single detailed fact, or counterfactual, just platitudes and smug condescension about conspiracy theory.

  • AIPAC denies us credentials for its policy conference
    • it doesn't look like her bio adds up to 'human rights specialist'. she's an LSE-educated events planner. before she came into the position to tell you to take a long walk on a short pier, she was selecting the caterer for HRW honorific dinners, and choosing the font and paper quality for the invitations. you've been snubbed by people with much more intelligence and integrity than her.

  • Ramaz says, Jewish high schoolers can handle Beinart, but Khalidi would overpower them
    • oh, it makes perfect sense, annie. word is the school turned down an opportunity for the students to attend a talk to be given by the spirit of Maimonides because his knowledge of the torah would be too profound, too intimidating. in his stead they had a first year yeshiva student from Brooklyn.

  • 'New Republic''s literary editor attacks its senior editor as nasty, ignorant self-hating Jew
    • well, that's the problem in a nutshell, isn't it? Luxemburg's empathy for and solidarity with 'others', and the threat of contamination which naturally (or pathologically for the race police) knocks the Wieseltiers of the world off their pedestal.

      Weiss has now posted heilbrunn's neat, concise psychoanalysis of the wieseltier-type, for those who believe in that sort of thing, which could also serve as a description of the bitchy misogynist, Freud, although Freud, like Tonya Harding, had someone else do the clubbing.

      he has a proclivity not only for extremism, but also for attacking his brethren. To put it more precisely, he is an expert practictioner of what is known as prolicide—in his case, the killing of one’s intellectual children…

      to heibrunn's characterization I'd add in paraphrased form Fredrick Crews partial list of criticisms of Freud 'the scientist':

      that the analyst/literary critic ignored the contaminating effect of his own prejudices, and that, as a result, he failed to maintain even a minimal demarcation between his own obsessions and those of his patient/the subject of his critique.

    • Qu’elle idiot!

      that's 'Quel idiot!', half wit, 'Quel _!' being an exclamation in which 'Quel' and the following noun have to be in agreement in gender and number. Sigmund, the grasping, narcissistic quack speaks for himself. So far as I've read, Sigmund never did anything that wasn't designed to promote Sigmund. But if you have any documentation showing that he lifted a finger in an attempt to help save the lives of other European Jews, besides his immediate family members and servants, I'd be happy to read it.

    • the eternal return of the headline hairsplitter, purveyor of 'fortune cookie' history.

      yes, when you make serial allegations that someone's actions are 'nasty', 'shabby', 'shallow', 'ignorant', 'insulting', that adds up to a personal critique, not simply an analysis of his work product. we are in large measure what we do. i'll be more precise, so that even you can't confuse the issues. Wieseltier is a scum bag of the Alterman variety. he admits to his own ignorance on the topic of Judis's book, but then goes on to dismantle his character, or more importantly his Jewish character. (And I'd take one Rosa Luxemburg over ten Freuds any day of the week. She died fighting fascists. Sigmund bravely packed up his oriental carpets and divan and fled.)

      As for Ron Radish, I offer this tidbit of hophmiesque pretzel logic from his PJ Media tantrum:

      Both in this essay and in his book, Judis joins writers like Max Blumenthal and the BDS movement in attacking Israel and questioning its right to exist. Nevertheless, Judis makes assertions in the TNR excerpt that deserve attention, because they show how he uses history not to learn from the past, but for current political purposes.

      'he uses history not to learn from the past, but for current political purposes'? isn't that precisely what 'learning from the past' means?

  • In 2004, Jeffrey Goldberg warned Israelis might murder Israeli PM over deal
    • I wasn't going to wade into it Sean, but the Sharon family history is a star-crossed one, as they say of the Kennedys.

      for some interesting bits on the confluence of officialdom, organized crime, etc. see for examples from recent articles

      Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino addressed on Sunday the recent chain of underworld assassinations in Israeli cities and said the issue was a national problem.

      "The source of most of the explosives (used in the assassinations) is the Israeli Defense Forces," said the police commissioner. "We work closely with the IDF, and try to prevent the spilling of such explosives."

      Danino, who made the remarks during a visit to the Akko Police offices, added that "we use technology and cameras in order to reach those who plant the explosives, also retroactively after the blast occurs. Statistically, despite the wide media coverage of the issue, the amount of blasts in 2013 was not greater in comparison to the previous year. But it doesn't matter. Each explosion is one too many."

      The car bomb is the latest in a series of at least 10 bombings inside Israel in recent months that have killed four and injured five more.

      A car bomb destroyed the vehicle of a senior prosecutor in the Central District State Attorney’s Office in Tel Aviv Thursday evening in yet another incident believed to be linked to organized crime.

      No one was hurt in the explosion.

      According to police, the car belonged to a senior member of the state prosecution who led the cases against major crime organizations and was considered an aggressive prosecutor.

      so Israel, with a similar population to the state of Tennessee has 10 mob-related car bombs in a span of a few months, including an assassination attempt on some Rudi Giuliani type. fascinating.

    • 1. has the NYT ever published a front page article wherein an Israeli official refers to settlers as 'terrorists'? (no, not on the 'front page' of a NYT blog.)
      2. read the last paragraph of your comment again, slowly, and let me know if you spot any rhetorical and/or logical problems with your conclusion. setting aside, of course, your imaginary poll of the number of fanatics amongst the settler population.

  • Our museum is not allergic to controversy -- director explains Judis's reinvitation
    • ael, you're assuming that the 'scholar's' description of events is accurate. I'm skeptical. my experience in numerous work places over the several decades is that management is typically incapable of assessing its own weaknesses and often displaces blame below.

  • 'Can you tell who is an Arab?' appeal is tax-deductible
    • And I yours, ritzl.

    • My comment was (half) tongue-in-cheek. If you spend a bit of intellectual capital trying to unravel all the patronizing, racist clap trap that is the foundation of the 'plea', it gets pretty ugly. (Btw, are we to know which swarthy model in the lineup is an 'Arab'? Or is that part of the point, 'everyone is suspect' until proven kosher?)

      See also articles on the 'rape by deception' case of a few years back.

      this is an example of racist patriarchy. A man, Sabbar Kashur, has been imprisoned for doing nothing more than having consensual sex with a woman, whose name has not been disclosed. Both parties were of age, and no one alleges that the transaction took place without consent. Initially, this was not clear, as the original complaint suggested that there had been some coercion. But as the woman's testimony in the course of the trial made clear, the only crime that Kashur, now convicted of rape, committed was to have allowed the woman to believe that he was Jewish, when in fact he was an Arab. He did not even actively perpetrate a deceit, merely chatted the woman up and didn't say "by the way, I am an Arab". And that has earned him 18 months in prison, on the basis of a plea bargain. Judge Tzvi Segal explained:

      "The court is obliged to protect the public interest from sophisticated, smooth-tongued criminals who can deceive innocent victims at an unbearable price – the sanctity of their bodies and souls."

      Are you getting it yet? Sex with an Arab constitutes a violation of the sanctity of body and soul - an "unbearable price". This is not a freakish opinion in Israeli society. For example, half of Israeli Jews believe intermarriage between Arabs and Jews is equivalent to national treason (that demographic 'timebomb', you see). Some are determined to enforce this sexual separation through violence or policy. Gangs of men in a Jerusalem neighbourhood roam around, behaving as a de facto vice and virtue squad, to 'protect' young Jewish girls from Arabs. One local authority has set up a squad of counsellors and psychiatrists to 'rescue' Jewish girls who are dating Arabs.

    • Jewish teenage girls from dysfunctional homes are seduced and lured into Arab villages regularly beaten and raped, often locked up with no way escape.

      Right. So is this an example of what a misogynistic society Israel is? A ten year old Palestinian throws a rock at an IDF armored personnel carrier and he's spirited away into an interrogation site for weeks, but nothing is done about the kidnapping and rape of Jewish teenaged girls?

  • Truman feared backing Israel would involve US in 'new world conflict' -- Boston Globe
    • interesting that Weiss should bring up Parsi's work. Apparently the Greeks and Americans have recently foiled attempts by an Israeli arms merchant who was *allegedly* sending spare parts for Iranian F-4s to Iran via Greece. no word on his prosecution in Israel, this not being the first charges for such an offense. see Richard Silverstein.

      pistachios and weaponry. okay to trade in with Iran if you are Israeli, but not American.

  • Princeton restaurant promotes night of Israeli wine-- from occupied Golan
    • making it an arguable net positive that the golan is in Israeli hands?

      interesting point, Yitzhak. Coincidentally I've just gotten off the phone with their ambassador in Tel Aviv, and I'm told that the Swiss are willing to occupy Israel for a 10 percent management fee, an arguable net positive having Israel in Swiss hands. wadja say?

  • Stirring debate on BDS, 'NYT' allows readers to speak out about inequality
    • Moreover, you’re not boycotting anyone else . . . and more nonsense.

      bullshit. look at the list of sanctions currently imposed by the EU, the US through the Dept. of Treasury, individual European countries, etc. Israel is not the only target of sanctions. and it's not the only country/entity being boycotted by private individuals and groups.

  • Krista Tippett puts occupied East Jerusalem in Israel
    • this is to talknic re: the 1966 attack.

      That offensive is what lead King Hussein of Jordan to conclude that Israel intended to annex the WB. He predicted June 1967 in November 1966.

    • the Israelis had prepared a hysterical, fictional narrative that was broadcast on national radio describing in detail the Egyptian 'offensive'. Rabin (then chief of staff) had also prepared plans for a sort of Levantine Gleiwitz, wherein the IDF was going to lob a few artillery shells and blame the blasts on the Egyptian army thus justifying a 'defensive' response.

      there is absolutely no question (despite the bleating of the likes of mayhem) that Israeli actions were pre-planned and offensive in nature, and no question (despite some initial disagreement and equivocation) that land conquest was the primary, anticipated outcome. (Ben-Gurion and others had been kicking themselves for two decades over their indecisiveness and failure to take the West Bank in 1948.)

    • Another in the series of 'the vanishing reply button'.

      This is posted in support of sumud's position.

      The deception had begun with the war itself. Only half an hour after Israel attacked Egypt, an army spokesman announced on state radio that Egypt had attacked Israel. (Eban was still making this claim with a straight face at the UN General Assembly two weeks later.) This announcement was followed by Dayan’s statement that Israel had ‘no aims of conquest’. Dayan, who had never resigned himself to the failure to capture the West Bank in the 1948 war, forgot his pledge in a matter of days. His desire for more ‘living space’, as he put it, was widely shared: Ben-Gurion described the failure to seize East Jerusalem in 1948 as a cause of ‘lamentation for generations’; Israel appointed a military general of the West Bank in 1963, four years before it even captured the territory; and Allon, just before the 1967 war, declared that in the next round of hostilities Israel had to ‘achieve total victory, the territorial fulfilment of the Land of Israel’. There was no master plan for the conquests of 1967 – as Avi Shlaim argues in a new anthology of essays – but the war aroused an expansionist streak that had been dormant since the Suez war, when Ben-Gurion agreed to withdraw from the Sinai and Gaza only under intense American pressure.[*]

      Less than 24 hours after the final ceasefire, the cabinet annexed East Jerusalem. In an act of linguistic subterfuge that would become a familiar pattern of its rule in the Occupied Territories, annexation was cast as a ‘municipal fusion’ intended to provide services to Palestinian residents of the Old City. The cabinet also secretly decided that Gaza would remain part of Israel, and that Israel would not withdraw from the West Bank – soon to be renamed ‘Judea and Samaria’, and populated with civilian settlements disguised as military outposts – until peace treaties were signed with the Arab states. Israel had never set much store by peace treaties – ‘the weakest guarantee of the future of peace’, in Allon’s words – but the insistence on them now served a purpose. In Cabinet Resolution 563, adopted on 19 June 1967, Israel proposed peace agreements based on ‘international borders’ and the vaguely defined ‘security needs of Israel’, and a withdrawal from Sinai and the Golan. Eban later claimed that the resolution astonished the Americans with its generosity, but that the Arabs had rebuffed it. However, as Raz points out, there is no indication that the resolution was passed on to the Arabs, or that the Israelis wanted it to be (the American records state that Dean Rusk, the secretary of state, considered it ‘helpful to have these preliminary thoughts’). Eban himself told Eshkol that the aim of the resolution was to ‘give the Americans something which would motivate them to thwart the Soviet drive for a UN resolution demanding an unconditional Israeli withdrawal’. Even the promise to withdraw from the Sinai and the Golan, Raz observes, was carefully hedged so that Israel could retain parts of both.

      The 19 June resolution was also conspicuously silent as to the future status of the West Bank. The conventional explanation is that the Eshkol government – a national unity cabinet, wracked by political differences and personal animosities – was too divided to reach an agreement. As Begin put it, the government ‘decided not to decide’ because it was easier not to. But, Raz argues, at bottom there was a consensus. The various plans for the West Bank that were debated over the next few years, and which he anatomises in dizzying detail, differed over which parts of the West Bank Israel should keep: whether the leftovers should go back to Jordan or be turned into a semi-autonomous Palestinian entity; whether King Hussein should be overthrown and his kingdom declared a Palestinian state; and where the refugees should be resettled (Eshkol favoured Iraq). But none of these plans envisaged Arab sovereignty, a withdrawal to the 4 June lines, or – least of all – the return of East Jerusalem. Land was security, Israelis believed, and they weren’t about to give up land that offered them more of it – especially land this sacred. Eshkol and his fellow Labour Party members were swept up in the same wave of messianism as other Israeli Jews. ‘We have returned to our most holy places,’ Dayan said, ‘and we shall never leave them.’ Going back to the 4 June lines was unthinkable, as much for reasons of faith as for security: Eretz Israel had, at last, been ‘liberated’.

      From Adam schatz's review of 'the bride and the dowry' by avi raz.

  • 10,000 Israeli teens follow mother-hen of extremist settler movement in anti-Kerry protest
    • Shmuel beat me to it. Besides his unequivocally annihilationist statements, he regularly referred to Gentiles as the slaves of Jews, animal more than human. (Does the slaughter of animals constitute a 'genocide'? And would Fredman be parsing words if the ayatollah publicly called upon Allah to annihilate 'the Jews'?). In any event, when a spiritual leader petitions 'g_d' to smite this sinner and that unbeliever it's not simply a prayer, it's also a call to action.

  • NYT obit of rabbi left out his urging Sharon: 'Very simply, wipe them out'
    • no, the assumption that two opposing groups are 'equally critical' of NYT coverage does not necessarily lead to the conclusion that it must be doing SOMETHING right. (what is it with these screechers and the CAPS obsession?) for argument's sake, it's only evidence that they are both critical of NYT coverage, in equal measure. that's it. end of logic lesson.

    • that's preposterous. the effect of the 'media' is broad and collective. it's you who's inverted the calculus. the two examples you provide that a rigorous, open, objective debate exists even undermine your argument. friedman's recent castigation of the GOI doesn't represent a fundamental criticism of Israeli interests (the maintenance of Jewish prerogative in Israel and effective control of the OT), it's a tactical maneuver in response to recent minor, but worrisome PR successes of BDS. and how does his light, tactical criticism stack up against decades of war drum beating? it's the sheer volume of his stenography and piss poor analysis that's significant, not his belated, superficial wink to decades of objectively bad conduct by the Israelis. as for Barghouti, that's the exception that illustrates the rule as you prove yourself. (so BDS has received more attention in the last month than in the prior 8 years? how does that support your position that there is no filter, internally imposed or otherwise? it took some imbroglio over a starlet's whoring to bring BDS into the public's consciousness.) with all due respect to seafoid, it's a strawman argument that there is a 'media blackout', suggesting complete censorship of a particular viewpoint. that's not how commercial news and neoliberalism work. there was a media study conducted after the first gulf war I believe, and it concluded that there was an absolute negative correlation between the number of hours of TV news watched, and objective knowledge of facts on the ground, not that the objective facts went completely unreported, but that the nonsense narrative of the DoD and others was overwhelmingly represented in MSM news coverage. so, for example, most people can now regurgitate verbatim the MSM talking points about the 'Iranian nuclear weapons program', which is repeatedly referred to, but yet does not exist, or recite evidence of Saddam Hussein's connection to 9-11, also fictional.

  • At Sochi Olympics, Israel is in... Europe!
    • Reviews of ‘Israel has Moved’, by Diana Pinto, which, unfortunately, I haven't been able to read yet. it appears to describe the schizophrenic schism that will be part of Israel's undoing. post-modernist uber-hip transcendence of geography coupled with 'biblical rootedness' to a patch of land. sometimes contradictions produce complexity, and sometimes psychopathy.

      [Pinto] presents impressions and interviews that reveal both Israeli truculence to go its own road as well as deep schisms within Israeli society. The author's vivid characterizations of Israeli society expose its deeply problematic nature: as 'autistic,' in that its brilliant young people and leaders operate within a self-contained obliviousness of others; as a 'realm of collective psychosis' in thinking, as ultranationalist religious Zionists do, that the Temple in Jerusalem could ever be rebuilt, since it would obliterate the Dome of the Rock, a holy site for Muslims; as a postmodern Utopia in its scientific and genetic advances; as a 'very large and ultrasophisticated aquarium' containing exotic fishes, all 'turning rapidly away to avoid the others, and all of this in utter silence.' From the choosing of which road to take into Jerusalem (through heroic landmarks or the less-traveled Route 443 leading to various Arab exits) to the country's spectacular embrace of high technology and Asian investment, which offer a glaring juxtaposition to the pre-modern lifestyles of the ultraorthodox, everywhere Israel is awash in contradictions. But does Israel really care who thinks so? Fewer and fewer sophisticated Israelis bother to envision a two-state solution, and Pinto fears that this solipsism is engendering a dangerous "self-satisfaction bordering on hubris"--and it can't last...A solid work of intellectual criticism. (Kirkus Reviews 2012-12-01)
      This book takes Israel's built environment as a departure point to offer broader reflections on shifts in the nation's psyche, sometimes to brilliant and startling effect. Diana Pinto delineates the physical landscape of present-day Israel--its highways, restaurants and shopping malls--using it to describe the country as it is, not as the rest of the world would like it to be...Pinto's acute--and, in my view, apt--diagnosis of Israel's defining ailment is that it is 'autistic': trapped inside its own increasingly comfortable, security-defended bubble, unable to connect with--much less identify with--its neighbors, starting with the Palestinians...Overall, the effect is of enjoying an engaging and trenchant dinner party conversation with an intelligent traveller brimming with impressions from a trip. (John Reed Financial Times 2013-03-24)

      It’s rare for any book nowadays to cast totally new light on the Israel-Palestine conflict, but Diana Pinto’s Israel Has Moved does just that. She argues that the political, military and financial elite of Israel are turning away from Europe and even from America, which they regard as mired in economic difficulties and riven by ideological contradictions, and are looking to align themselves with those regimes in the Far East, China in particular, which have, like them, scant regard for human rights and a fierce determination to succeed economically and politically. Written out of a profound reverence for Enlightenment values, this desperately sad yet elegant and witty book asks us to contemplate the possibility that the Enlightenment, far from gradually conquering the globe, may, after 250 years, be slowly dying before our eyes. (Gabriel Josipovici Times Literary Supplement 2013-11-29)

  • EU Prez Martin Schulz wreaks havoc during speech at Knesset
    • you can just see the contempt welling up in Schultz as he sits there amongst the lunatics.

    • i have to assume that Schultz has a basic grasp of the underlying facts, otherwise I can't image he would have raised the issue. AI and others have published reports on the evolution of the policies assisting in the water grab by the Israelis, particularly since 1967. for example, the 'security' wall in the WB appears to have been designed, in part, to control access to water.

  • 'NYT' reporter treats boycott as immoral and anti-Semitic, reminiscent of Nazis
    • will the despicable ruderon cover this?

      Forty-two years late, another Israeli war crime emerges from the shadows. In this case, dozens, and more probably hundreds, of Israeli soldiers kept a decades-long vow of secrecy. One of them is Shlomo Gazit, today a respected (in Israel, at least) academic at Tel Aviv University. In January 1972, Ariel Sharon decided that 3,000 Bedouin were in the way of a massive military exercise he wanted to conduct in the southern Negev and northern Sinai. So he summarily expelled two tribes in the el-Arish area of the Sinai from their homes, during a deep winter spell. At least 40 people died, mostly babies, children and the elderly. A young army researcher, Clinton Bailey, heard from other Bedouin of the expulsion and went to meet the families. He photographed 28 small graves at their new makeshift location. He then brought the expulsion to the attention of the head of the army, David Elazar. Although Elazar ordered the tribes to be returned to their land, it was too late for the dozens who had died. No action was taken against Sharon or anyone else. In fact, Sharon’s military and later political career prospered on such “exploits”. Bailey and everyone else covered up the crime for four decades, fearful of the damage it would do to Israel’s reputation. The silence has been broken now because Bailey divulged the incident to journalist David Landau, who was preparing a new biography of Ariel Sharon.

      from Jonathon Cook.

  • France to perform CPR on Scarlett Johansson's image -- award for film career!
    • looks interesting, but I guess I am going to have to fork over the 3 quid for the full article. piterberg is worth it though.

      besson is a creep of the bigger is always better variety of cinema (see the brief on the production of 'lucy').

      Filming . . . will take place for the most part at the Cité du Cinéma, the brand new megastudio located on the outskirts of Paris. According to EuropaCorp CEO Christophe Lambert, this film will have the highest budget in the history of EuropaCorp. He also stated that Luc Besson has never put so many special effects in a movie. . . . Filming in Taipei, Taiwan [includes] Taipei locations [such as] Taipei 101, the world's fifth tallest skyscraper.

      ugh.

      'nikita' was well done, but it descended from there into the pederast's fantasy of 'leon the professional' (that movie almost makes me feel sympathy for portman, but with her background, it looks as if her exploitation/ascension was predestined.) and 'lucy' looks to include the recurring theme of the violence-induced birth of the 'new man/human' found in 'nikita', 'leon', 'messenger', the '5th element', etc. a mixture of trauma and narcissism.

      Johansson's skin deep appeal is looking flimsier every day.

  • Goldberg and Cohen stoke fears of BDS
    • you euros are light years ahead of us when it comes to GMO, lea. I think it was Californians who recently voted down a law that would authorize the labeling of GMO ingredients in food. astonishing.

    • not a problem, henry. I might not call it disingenuous, but there is some natural tightrope walking that occurs when it comes to how people describe actions that may be directed at a Jewish collective, of whatever type. Foxman has made a career of conflating criticism of Israel, the ADL, etc. with anti-Semitism. (I think he is retiring. interesting to see who his replacement is.)

    • it strikes me as a little disingenuous . . . we can’t deny that if #3 is ever achieved, Israel – whatever its borders – will cease to have a Jewish majority, and if #2 is also achieved, it will quickly cease to be a “Jewish state”

      henry, I did not mention the right of return, but my previous comment makes perfectly clear that BDS as a tactic and the ultimate goals of Palestinians are a threat to Jewish identity, i.e. Jewish prerogative. but as I also said, the conflict/narrative was constructed by Zionism. the problem with Goldberg/Cohen, et al. is that they pretend that the attack on Jewish supremacism arises, in large part at least, from some essentialist anti-Semitism, not primarily as a rational response to Jewish Israelis' mistreatment of Palestinians. which is why, apparently, they're incapable of doing a simple Google search to learn that boycotts, sanctions, etc. have been used regularly by private consumers or by political bodies for the past 50-ish years.

      in any event, 'so be it'.

    • and that's not even nearly a complete menu of recent or ongoing boycotts, sanctions, etc. the French have variously boycotted American fast foods restaurants, organized a boycott of Quick (a French fast food chain) when it began to institute a halal-compliant menu, farmers from a number of countries have boycotted the use of GMO seed, and on and on and on, with numerous privately and publicly based and endorsed boycotts, not to mention the complete severing of relations with countries like Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Myanmar. (Despite all of the navel-gazing whining by Zionists about being singled out, by Europe for example, the EU is in the process of restoring full bi-lateral relations with Cuba, a variety of official sanctions being imposed by the EU for several decades now to "encourage a process of transition to pluralist democracy and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms . . ..")

      The EU ambassador to Havana, Herman Portocarero, said the talks came in response to "serious" changes in Cuba.

      "It is to some extent a vote of confidence in the reforms and that the new realities in Cuban society are irreversible, and that we want to be on board," Mr Portocarero told the BBC.

      "We hope to promote a future model of Cuban society which is closer to European values."

      But he added that the EU had a number of "red lines" in order for the relations to be normalised. These included such issues as human rights and the possibility for civil society groups to have legal status.

      The move indicates the most important diplomatic shift since the EU lifted sanctions against Cuba in 2008.

      so, no, BDS as a tactic is not uniquely applied to Israel.

    • Friedman said Europeans were behind it

      this is just all so much beguilement, disguise and suffocation. every year is 1933, which is why its necessary to raise the specter of European anti-Semitism both as an existential threat to Jews everywhere, and as an excuse for inaction in Israel. This is the poison pill of the argument for Palestinian rights: BDS does target Israeli Jews, but its Zionists who have established the Jew/Gentile dichotomy in the current form of the Israeli state, not those who oppose the policies of the State. When Israeli Jews are afforded superior rights to Muslim and Christian Israelis, of course the prerogative of Jews is being attacked, just like the prerogative of SA whites.

  • 58 angry, selfish, foolish Jews don't understand: AIPAC speaks for Israel
  • Jewish groups used anti-semitism smear to try to stop boycott debate -- Holocaust scholar who heads MLA
    • woody, you've read too many so-called 'books' and watched far too few movies. eli roth defeated Nazi Germany, didn't you know?

    • this is bizarre. I don't get the sense that Hirsch's critics are even capable of understanding the clear meaning of a simple declarative sentence in English, at least not when it comes to this topic. She/MLA is/are criticizing 'restrictions' on the freedom of travel of students and academics, isn't she? what am I missing?

  • I stayed away from Israel just as I stayed away from Nazi Germany -- Hugh Trevor-Roper
    • he was one of the best, Kathleen. I heard snatches of interviews with him on the radio yesterday as I was in and out of my car. curiously, or not, I don't recall a single reference to his role in 'before the devil knows you're dead', and his character's heroin abuse in that film. (unfortunately the last movie I saw him in was the latest installation of 'the hunger games'. not a great performance.)

  • 'NYT' fails to disclose that Op-Ed author arguing Israel's case against BDS is husband of 'NYT' reporter in Israel/Palestine
    • a bout of liberal Zionist schizophrenia

      that sums it up. and it's just so natural. no Jekyll and Hyde potion necessary.

      Military occupation comes with checkpoints, antiterrorist barriers, military courts, armed soldiers and tanks. That’s the reality, no matter what your politics, and just the ammunition the Palestinians and their supporters need in their new war.

      except that 'ammunition' and 'war' in the context of BDS are metaphors, whereas 'house demolitions' and 'tanks' are not.

  • American Jewish leader calls Iranians manipulative 'bazaaris'
    • Negotiating is unmanly

      That's why I favor negotiations. Testosterone levels ain't what they used to be.

    • two perfectly related questions, shmuel.

      1. my impression is that US representatives are not particularly skillful negotiators, not because the US is a novice, but because
      2. the art of negotiation is not an appreciated or cultivated skill for an unrivaled military power.

      so, yes, if 'we' start feeling like 'we' are out of our element, we can always launch a missile or two to make a point, while hoenlein keeps his hands firmly on his pockets to make sure the bazaaris haven't stolen his lunch money. (similarly, why innovate when you can just spy on your competitors with a little help from the NSA?)

      this reminds me of a WSJ article on the Korean wild west bazaar of freelance tutors competing for schoolchildren clients, analogous to the 'big dumb sex' mindset that has become the ideological fashion in the US:

      It is about as close to a pure meritocracy as it can be, and just as ruthless. In hagwons, teachers are free agents. They don't need to be certified. They don't have benefits or even a guaranteed base salary; their pay is based on their performance, and most of them work long hours and earn less than public school teachers.

      how's that for a non sequitur? it seems to me that the system as described, the cause of so many premature ejaculations among Rand acolytes, will always reward the most 'ruthless' operator, no matter the context, and yet ruthlessness (the willingness to drop bombs on people's heads, for example) might not be a particularly valuable trait for a tutor, or a nurse, or even an indicator of that person's underlying teaching/nursing skills. so here, everything is reduced to the war metaphor, the 'negotiations must be won', the 'US negotiating team was outgunned', and on and on. there isn't even of crumb of recognition that there might be a shared purpose in avoiding an open war, that Iran might willingly concede points or retreat from positions, as it has apparently done, in the interest of, say, preempting the Israeli plans to drop bombs onto Iranian stores of radioactive materials.

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