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Total number of comments: 2059 (since 2009-08-03 18:12:37)

marc b.

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  • Bret Stephens's greatest hits
    • wsj suffers from neoliberal toxicity. It used to provide some relatively objective reporting for the elite, or those simply interested in what the elite found important, even some humor from time to time. (An article on the 'glass floor' saving idiot nephews and other favored relations from inevitable failure, or another piece on the lack of need for mental health coverage in publicly-subsidized health care, since the most deranged folk were sitting on the management boards of Fortune 500 companies.). Now it mostly sucks.

  • 'New York Times' on Palestinians sounds like it's opining about 'Negro Problem'
    • He is out of his f*cking tree. And if they are holding themselves hostage, who are 'we' supposed to negotiate with?

  • Jewless Holocaust. Israel first.
    • The mass murders in Poland after the blitzkrieg. You mean the attempt to exterminate the Polish nobility and intelligentsia? There was no organized attempt to round up Jews as Jews en masse immediately after the invasion.

    • I don't see how 'mainstream establishment' inaction is surprising or even controversial. Jewish identity is now inseparable from the state of Israel, so of course the survival of Israel would trump the memory of the holocaust. and there are still many who believe Israel and 'the Jews' cannot survive as a nation/people without enemies. 'There is no Jew without the anti-Semite.' See Dershowitz, The Vanishing American Jew. This blow up fits neatly into that paradigm.

    • Catalan, if it were so easy, why has no one done it? Respected historians have estimates ranging from 5.1 to 6 million, and these estimates are cited by Yad Vashem in its Holocaust history, so presumably there is no controversy that a precise calculation is impossible.

    • Antidote, this is the definition from the website for the U.S. Museum:

      The Holocaust was the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators. Holocaust is a word of Greek origin meaning "sacrifice by fire." The Nazis, who came to power in Germany in January 1933, believed that Germans were "racially superior" and that the Jews, deemed "inferior," were an alien threat to the so-called German racial community.

      Yad Vashem also officially defines the Holocaust in the same narrow way. Wikipedia regurgitates this definition. In some cases, 'other victims' are recognized, but not as part of the Holocaust as a separable offense. Other definitions refer to the Holocaust and the Shoah as interchangeable. Few include non-Jewish victims as part of the Holocaust definition, even those rarely identifying the victims any more precisely than 'others' or 'millions of others'.

      If the Holocaust was not commemorated as a distinct historical event directed at European Jews there would be no controversy with the Epshteyn drafted press release.

    • It is disheartening to read this. A professor at a major university incapable of recognizing his own biases, and worse, naive to the tactics of provocation. If you look at the WH statement in isolation, there's no denial of Jewish victims. The holocaust is by definition the murder of Jews. So how could a statement recognizing the victims of the holocaust on International Holocaust Remembrance Day be reasonably interpreted as erasing Jewish victims from history? It can't. The real problem for Ellis is that 'Jews are not front and center', an admission that there was no excision of Jews from history, but symbolizes their demotion to the rest of humanity. (No one should have to write it, but I will anyway. The German eastern front war had as its goal the elimination of tens of millions of Slavs, permitting the resettlement of Russia with ethnic Germans. That the Germans were incompetent in the execution phase of the plan leads to the whole disgusting accountancy theory, ranking suffering.)

      As to his naïveté, the offending statement was drafted by Boris Epshteyn, his job being political provocation, and the resultant gnashing of teeth was entirely predictable, and so reasonably interpreted as being intended. In sum, the emerging 'new anti-semitism' meme gets a publicity boost by the alleged anti-Semite Trump, while settlement is full steam ahead as is the imminent war with Iran. Sounds like a trifecta for the Netanyahu, king of israel and the diaspora.

  • What would Anne Frank do?
    • My thanks to you, Steve, and your ouija board, for sorting this all out.

    • those questions can be asked, just not by you. that's fredman's unspoken gripe.

    • i don't have the time to work through a translation right now with my rapidly declining, never so great german skills. but this is one of the articles in a variety of 'reputable' news publications addressing questions of authenticity.

      http://magazin.spiegel.de/EpubDelivery/spiegel/pdf/14317313

      i have no doubt that Anne Frank was killed by the 'Nazis' because she was Jewish, but there are legitimate questions about the authenticity of her diary, or portions of her diary, that probably could have been resolved were it not for the endless tug of war over monetizing her legacy, withholding entries, 'editing for impact', etc.

    • it looks water color-ish, but presume it's digital something or other. it is very warm, and 'human', and still iconic. portraiture is a lost art, from what little i know. (no francis bacon, or even lucien freud for me. too grotesque.)

    • BTW, beautiful portrait of Anne Frank.

    • so says the apologist for ongoing ethnic cleansing and murder, petty propagandist.

      Yet if readers automatically suspend their critical faculties when it comes to the Holocaust, the inevitable consequence will be frauds like Wilkomirski’s, which proliferated—not by accident—over the last few decades. At the same time, if fidelity to historical fact becomes the only benchmark by which to judge Holocaust writing, we overlook the crucial role the creative imagination plays in the greatest of these works. Authors like Tadeusz Borowski were writing poetry about their experiences while still in the camps. And even the testimonies that feel the most authentic—Anne Frank’s diary, or Elie Wiesel’s Night—were written and re-written with an eye to increasing their impact. Their “literary artifice” isn’t a fatal flaw: it’s part of what makes these books both memorable and important.

      Franklin goes on to cite 'The Painted Bird' and write about the blurring of lines between fiction and non- when commemorating the Holocaust. An issue only only appropriate for discussion in some circles.

    • My daughter *eyes rolling* was dispirited to find out that 'Night' was on her honors English syllabus for the semester. There hasn't been a year since middle school where holocaust literature wasn't part of her curriculum. (Careful, Citizen. It's never wise to try to mix science and religion.)

  • The Quebec mosque shooting and the Zionist connection
    • Today, we remember the millions of Jews & the countless other victims who were murdered during the Holocaust.

      That is the official definition of the Holocaust, as tweeted by the male mannequin from the North. 'And others', or 'countless others'. What an empty sentiment.

    • not a 'jewish person', a self-hating jew. obviously.

  • Netanyahu's tweet for Trump suggests two leaders have cut a deal on Jerusalem or Iran, says former ambassador
  • Trump's anti-interventionism helped him win, says Obama's former Middle East adviser
    • oy, citizen. i had read some similar articles before, but what a load of fluff. poking through all of the fawning about his manners, i would assume that his father (a frothing at the mouth lunatic - literally, not metaphorically) is trump's 'closest adviser', and that junior is the ventriloquist's dummy.

  • American Jews will 'divorce' Israel if it is at peace -- Foxman
    • ben gurion is just as responsible for the mess as anyone. he was the leading proponent of the bible as history homogenizing strategy, which has created the schizophrenia that is the thread that connects the collective israeli mental state. (ooo, that's a long sentence.) secular jews are just as fervent in their belief of divine right as are the settlers, which is why there is no peace.

  • The dismal cartography of Trump's pre-fascist state (and opportunities for progressive populism)
    • Well, that's brilliant. I'm unworthy of your attention, and yet you had to respond. Regardless of your opinion of me or Falk, his commentary in this post is nonsense. That's my point. Try re-reading what he wrote and tell me you can't find fundamental problems with his analysis.

    • I suppose that Trump may be a similarly sanitizing influence on the Left.

      i'm not sure i follow your analysis, or understand the 'sanitizing' statement. the 'left' in the US has never had more potential, or less power, in the 20th century than at this moment. nixon could be mistaken for a card carrying member of the SDS compared with anyone in congress right now.

    • obama and eric holder did do a bang up job with the remote killing thing, and i wouldn't have expected clinton to let off the gas. not that this a trump endorsement. i have not cast a ballot for the president since 2008 (would have voted for bernie if he weren't knee capped). just that my guess is that trump will be less worse than clinton on some issues, and more worse on others.

    • That is a silly statement. Less than a week into his term, with overwhelmingly bad press, and Falk pretends as if there is some significant, historical trend to be read in the trajectory of 'reliable' polls.

    • Falk's off his rocker. This is very bad, every which way. Progressives for John Brennan? Democratic Party potential as the anti fascist vanguard? The political class of both political parties isn't corrupt? The added humiliation of mass deportation and drone assassination programs perpetuated by 'mainly white men'? This isn't analysis, it's a power point temper tantrum which reveals more about Falk than the Trump presidency.

  • MIT President meets with rightwing pro-settlement Israeli leader
    • i went to graduate school and became friends with a student who had his PhD in the maths from MIT. back in the day he and some class mates had approached chomsky to ask for his support for a janitors' strike at MIT or some such matter. chomsky blubbered on in response, 'what can i do about this . . .', etc. chimpsky in a nut shell.

    • So what does Noam have to say about this?

  • Obama 'betrayed' American Jews and Trump is a 'swineherd' -- Bernard-Henri Levy
    • annie linked to one, but there are several good posts and supporting comments on the 6-Day war on this site.

      eshkol lied about who fired the opening salvo, and he also confided prior to the start of the war that he intended to take Jerusalem 'back', confirming the double lie of the war: its cause and Israeli goals.

    • thanks for doing the heavy lifting. i did not assume anything you or i wrote would have an impact on persons unnamed. there is no objective controversy as to the underlying causes and motivations of the parties, and contrary to what some have said, Eshkol's and others post-war comments about rectifying a prior mistake do constitute evidence of intent. (there have been recent document releases from the CIA calling into question the narrative about the '73 war as well.)

    • "There were matters that had remained as if they were a cause of mourning for generations to come . . . . Generations have not yet passed and all these matters have been repaired. All the defects have been repaired," Eshkol stated in the first cabinet session after the ceasefire, on 11 June. He was referring to an expression coined by his predecessor and now political foe David Ben-Gurion, who had defined the government's September 1948 rejection of his proposal for the capture of the West Bank as a cause of "lamentation for generations to come." The euphoric mood, which replaced the fear and the somber atmosphere that had prevailed in Israel since mid-May, was summed up best by Dayan, who announced at the Air Force's victory ball: "we are now an empire."

      The Bride and the Dowry, Avi Raz

    • Yes, your notes. Which are proof of what exactly?

      American and Israeli intelligence all agreed that Egypt was not prepared nor intended to attack Israel, and Israelis have admitted it was a war of choice. The war was a 'do over' since Israel regretted not taking the West Bank in '48. So spare us your propagandizing musings.

      You got kicked around and made a fool of a few years back on this topic, on this site, but like rain off a metal roof . . .

  • Donald Trump is ready to bring Islamophobia into the White House
    • Bannon asked him about those remarks, and said that what Trump really meant was that New York police needed informants within mosques. Trump replied: “That’s right.” That’s cold comfort for Muslim Americans, who, since September 11, have been targeted by both the FBI and the New York Police Department in their places of worship.

      wha? i didn't vote for the guy, but what am i missing? trump's continuing support of practices in place since shortly after 9/11 is proof of . . . ? blownaway hits the nail on the head: trump is yeltsin of a sorts without the gin blossoms or party experience, another revolution around the toilet bowl for america till enough citizens get a lung full of water and start thrashing. the libdem hysteria over this 'watershed', 'historical' election is embarrassing. it feels like an ahistorical moment, if there is such a thing.

  • We are in an era of conservative counter-revolution
    • Yes, I caught that too. Be hard to miss for anyone not irrevocably bound up in their own analytical framework, facts be damned. From Gorbechov to Putin, skipping the dipsomaniac, asleep at the wheel while the country is looted and half the population drinking itself to death in despair. Echoes of the opioid epidemic and clinical depression in many parts of this country. And the contemporary conservative 'counterrevolution' is nonsense. It's been in full swing since at least '68, not withstanding the revolutionary advances of some narrow populations. Even there, there is deep dissatisfaction with strategy and results. Not all are happy with the neccessary adherence to deeply conservative values in order to advance gay rights for example.

  • Let's talk about Russian influence
    • actually the article is about American foreign policy interests and objectives and whether the media should be colluding with elements of the US government and others who are fomenting a hot war with a country which has 'the world's second largest nuclear arsenal'. (and what exactly is an 'increasingly current enemy'?)

    • please. the media has no collective guilty conscience, anymore than there is group fretting over lost virginity in a whore house. some individual 'media' types may hold onto vestiges of an ethical obligation to objectivity, but even in those circles I have never heard any truly anguished apologies for the media's role in the mass atrocity in Iraq, for example, just shoulder shrugging half-admissions of mistaken reliance.

  • 'The Forward' fails to find source of anti-semitism hoax that its reporter concocted (Updated)
  • Clintonites on message: Vote for Trump, and you get Putin
    • "knight to king 4"

      profound. let me just add for clarity's sake: 'king me'; 'you sunk my battleship!'; 'go fish'. i think you catch my drift, mcohen. *wink*

    • What does that even mean? Weiss is actively promoting the 'giving of the Baltics to Russia?' oh, the man's omnipotence knows no bounds. Yes, and the mathematical formula C[onsistency] X T[ime]= short term memory loss. ( I too remember G*d dictating the North Atlantic Treaty to moses.)

  • Afghanistan: The forever war we never question
  • The list of foreign policy experts Bernie Sanders should be consulting
  • Another Netanyahu lie exposed: Hamas is not ISIS
    • Given israel's encouragement of the growth of Hamas as a counterpoint to the secular PLO, and it's current aid to Isis and other Syrian 'Rebels', perhaps the growth of Isis in Gaza is not a strictly organic process.

  • US spying on Israel reveals cynical heart of the 'special relationship'
    • Yes. But I think the impression left by the news is a bit off. Netanyahu cannot, individually, put a stop to a U.S. Foreign policy initiative. It's his help mates in Congress. I think the surveillance of yahoo was intended to sweep up U.S. citizens who couldn't/shouldn't be 'bugged' directly. There was nothing inadvertent about it.

      As for Goldberg's 'fatalism', he's [email protected] looney. Not only do we have to satisfy Israel's every whim, we have to do it with unconditional love and affection, tears streaming down our face. Like in North Korea.

  • Top Israel advocate uses San Bernardino killings to attack Islam
  • Israeli nukes are finally newsworthy-- as US gov't both releases and gags info
    • "After five decades of pretending otherwise, the Pentagon has reluctantly confirmed that Israel does indeed possess nuclear bombs, as well as awesome weapons technology similar to America’s."

      So says Bill Greider, leaving unanswered the question 'how did Israel's 'awesome weapons technology' come to be so similar to America's'?

  • 'I love Obama' 'You're infatuated' (The argument on the left)
    • I join you, Keith, with another 'no' vote. Cuba/Iran are tactical maneuvers. At best, he is engaged in legacy building for personal purposes and for continuity sake for the democratic party. The Dems smell dissatisfaction in the ranks with the hot mess Obama terms 1 and 1/2 have cooked.

  • We must break out of the paranoid survival myth
    • a mild criticism: although there is a specific reference to the evolution of Zionism, there is a blurring of Jewish history and the special brand of the modern meme of Judaism equals Zionism, and vice versa. Zionism of the Glicks and Gellers seems to be more of a revenge cult than a sincere expression of fear. Revenge and entitlement.

  • Israeli leader turns on US Jewish journalists Friedman, Wieseltier, Remnick and Silvers for disloyalty and anti-semitism!
    • yes, he was on the ropes for a bit during the phone hacking scandal for his outspoken sympathy for the Palestinians. TB are the initials for Tony Blair, not tuberculosis, although you could mistake one for the other.

      His growing confidence could startle. In 2002, Campbell records in his diaries, Rupert Murdoch, James and Lachlan came to dinner at Downing Street. The conversation turned to the Middle East: "[Rupert] Murdoch said he didn't see what the Palestinians' problem was and James said it was that they were kicked out of their fucking homes and had nowhere to fucking live. Murdoch . . . finally said to James that he didn't think he should talk like that in the prime minister's house . . . TB said afterwards he was quite impressed with the way Murdoch let his sons do so much of the talking."

  • The Peter Beinart Double Standard: Why is this boycott different from all other boycotts?
    • I'll second (third?) the Kraussian analysis. My only quibble is that I don't find him all that sophisticated. ('Jewish and Democratic'?) The blind spot to his antics is a product emotion, not intellect, because his wrongly perceived argument effectively produces a middle ground solution for both sides of the debate. But, to paraphrase Krauss, this is a tall glass of bullshit posing as skim milk.

  • Obama's disgust for Netanyahu's 'stink' signals coming era of Jewish persecution in the U.S., says 'Tablet'
    • President Obama? I don’t blame him, but I do think his disgust with Benjamin Netanyahu, which seems almost physical, as if repelled by the stink of the man, has given certain practitioners the sense that it’s safe to come into the open. It’s a frequent topic of conversation among my friends: Do you feel that chill?… Then there’s the Iran deal: To get the papers signed, the president must separate from Israel.

      Cohen is psychotic. Obama hates Netanyahu, as does Cohen, but Obama's hatred isn't intellectual, it's visceral. (Really, why can't the schwarze get it right?) How Cohen knows this isn't entirely clear, but presumably it's his fine-tuned divining rod for ineradicable anti-Semitism, the stirred, not shaken, ancient paranoia in him. The last sentence, though, clarifies the source of his paranoia, which isn't the hyperbolic drama of the rising tide of public practitioners of the dark art of Jew hatred (Cohen can live with that inevitability after all), it's the possibility that Obama can do without the advice of Netanyahu (and Cohen) on matters of US national security.

  • Notes from the Munayyer-Beinart debate
    • got it catalan. a single state will never happen. maybe you should contact the starry-eyed Oily Bennett and Deputy FM Hotlovely since they are both publicly proposing the annexation of the OT. or maybe better yet Netanyahu should contact them since he allegedly retracted his campaign promise to abandon the peace process. there never was a plan for a 2 state solution, at least from the Zionist perspective, so that's one option off the table.

    • 'immigration and public holidays and symbols'. that's a whole lot of ideology packed into a few words. if you tease it out a bit, and that's all Beinart wants, what you have is the religious authority to determine qualifications for full citizenship, the conflation of pseudo-history/archeology and the bible, what some have called Israel's secular religion, which in turn justifies Israel's ongoing expansion of its borders, and on and on. that's a whole lot of advantages.

    • David, (and I know it's not your position) Beinart's 'Czech' argument is superficial. I assume that you are right, that Beinart's point is that less contentious relationships have undermined national unity, but I still don't see how the Czechoslovak velvet divorce says anything about the prospects for a one-state solution. (Beinart doesn't attempt to explain the history, even in brief, of his examples.) Any modern state larger than Andorra has a multitude of ethnic/cultural differences, and yet Spain manages to 'keep it together' with all its regional tensions, the US survived a civil war, and the EU and its member states have managed to take a breather from 1000 years of bloodletting as its physical borders are erased. But, again, a grocery list of superficial histories does not add up to a useful historical analogy.

    • I'm not certain I understand the Czecho-Belgium argument at all, and as for the 'double standard' persecution complex, Russia, Iran, Cuba, N. Korea, and on and on. There are sanctions regimes imposed on many countries, with the support of Israel, much more stringent than BDS proposals. see e.g. SWIFT sanctions against Iranian banks and EU attempt to compel SWIFT sanctions against Russia.

  • People behind BDS are also responsible for 9/11 attack, Israeli centrist tells NY synagogue
    • Which is why Netanyahu is on the verge of a mental collapse. People aren't adhering to his father's brilliant historical script. I fully expect him to go into a nationally televised, spit-flecked convulsion, and that will be his legacy, the dramatic personification of the collapse of political Zionism.

    • BDS linked to the Mufti? Isn't he dead? Is BDS linked via séance? Ouija board? And 9/11? No, Lapid, you ignoramus, the Israeli government is in bed with the Saudi degenerates, the country of origin of the alleged hijackers, not BDSers. (he obliquely makes reference to Syria, also the responsibility of BDS, although he shouldn't pick that scab too vigorously.)

  • Munayyer and Beinart's historic debate on the solution to the conflict
    • i looked, but couldn't find, a clear, concise statement from beinart about his vision of a two-state solution. is it unequivocal support for retreat to pre-67 lines, or is he advocating the 'concessions' line about the need for adjustments to the facts on the ground, Israel's security needs requiring modification of the 67 lines, retention of control over Jerusalem, etc. I'm afraid that there is nothing like a consensus of what a two-state solution looks like amongst liberal Zionists, and frankly still cringe every time beinart falls into his 'jewish and democratic' parrot act.

  • Sam Harris and the dangers of false atheism
    • I'll have to take a look at Asad. Very interesting. Irrational belief systems and the secular modern state.

    • He is stupid, and dangerous, and to call whatever it was that occurred between him and Chomsky an 'exchange' implies a seriousness that doesn't exist. Harris's foot in the door of Chomsky's virtual domicile is the intellectual equivalent of a teenage groupie sneaking backstage to blow the singer in the band. No doubt he will be telling the tale of his relationship with Chomsky years from now as he promotes himself 'gone girl'-style as some radical intellectual, radical now meaning criticism of the state's 'restraint'.

  • The U.S. is at last facing the neocon captivity
    • I seems to me that the more democratic Arab countries become, the less likely they are to embrace Israel.

      yup. and the other way round too. Israel's closest Arab allies are the most despotic regimes.

  • 'This is where we are, and we are not leaving here' — Notes from BirthWrong
    • Funny that. I thought the Armenian genocide was perpetrated by the secularized Turkish state. How is this part of a unified 'Islamic History'?

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