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  • Photo-cartoon making Tutu into Hitler is published then taken down by South African Jewish paper
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius September 14, 2014 at 12:47 pm

      Thanks. So essentially, it was all about skin colour? So a Jew of European origin would probably be considered 'white', while a Middle Eastern Jew would be lumbered with the 'coloured' label?

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius September 14, 2014 at 12:31 pm

      Thanks for the replies. I'm wondering if 'Jew' was considered a racial category in RSA, or simply a religion? I'd imagine that European Jews would have been considered white, but 'darkies' like your friend might have been regarded as 'coloured' or 'other'.

    • This is a genuine question: Were Jews considered 'white' in Apartheid RSA? Or did that depend on the colour of their skin?

  • Naomi Wolf to debate genocide charge against Israel with Shmuley Boteach
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius September 7, 2014 at 4:01 pm

      Have to say I'm pleasantly surprised by this.

      I had the definite impression that Wolf was a Zionist. I remember reading in one of her books, several years ago, a description of her visiting an Orthodox Jewish friend in a 'settlement' and she had not one word of criticism to say about her. I suppose in itself this doesn't prove she was a Zionist, but that was my impression. Maybe she was, and has since seen the light?

  • Israel has three years to end the occupation -- Abbas
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius September 7, 2014 at 2:09 pm

      Here's a funny cartoon showing the silliness of Abbas' repeated 'threats' to take Israel to the ICC.

      link to palestinianpundit.blogspot.co.uk

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius September 7, 2014 at 2:01 pm

      Abbas is a quisling. That has been known for many years. It now seems clear that Meshaal is little better. As with Arafat, the lure of oil and gas money has proved difficult for him to resist.

    • The Lebanese paper Al Akhbar got hold of the minutes of last month's meeting between Abbas, Meshaal and the Emir of Qatar. Makes for interesting reading - Abbas accuses Meshaal of launching a coup against his puppet rule in the West Bank.

      Abu Mazen: I do not say it is over. I want answers. We agreed on popular resistance and negotiations. They started war in 2012, which had nothing to do with us! How? And why?

      al-Hayya: The problem is that you believe anything. How did we start a war when we were the ones dying? Who told you we started the 2012 war? Wasn’t it them who killed [Hamas military leader Ahmed] Jabari? Now the war had started in the West Bank and then spread to us [in Gaza], correct? You want us not to defend ourselves?

      Abu Mazen: You started it in the West Bank, not Israel.

      Meshaal: Israel started it in the West Bank.

      Abu Mazen: No, it wasn’t Israel. Israel wants to destroy us before you, but I am keen on not giving it a pretext to do so. I have put Israel in a corner politically.

      link to english.al-akhbar.com

  • The west is safer for Jews than Israel (duh)
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius September 7, 2014 at 10:58 am

      I suppose you could argue that Jews were fairly well integrated in pre-war Germany too. Croats and Serbs were often intermarried in Bosnia. Of course I'm not trying to make a hysterical ''It could happen again'' argument, but integration is not neccessarily a bar to ethnic cleansing.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius September 7, 2014 at 10:56 am

      I wonder. Zionism is doomed - of that there is no doubt - but the question remains how and when it will meet its demise. Will it be along the South African model - whereby the dominant group gradually realised that there is no way their apartheid system could go on, and bowed to the inevitable, allowing a peaceful transition to majority rule? Or will it be along the Algerian model, with huge bloodshed and an almost complete disappearance of the colonists?

      Who knows?

    • When I read this comment, it struck me how so many Jews have chosen to live in the past. Most 'diaspora' Jews live in liberal Western democracies like the US. I'm not saying it could never ever happen, but it's highly unlikely that an entire ethnic group would just be expelled. And if it were to happen, there would be several groups, at least in the US, more likely to be victims than mostly prosperous, well-integrated Jews.

      So quite aside from the fact that the injustice done to Palestinians doesn't figure into this 'argument', the idea that Jews can't feel safe in the 'diaspora' and need a 'spare country' just in case, seems to be the same old eternal victimhood nonsense. And of course, these same people would justify any atrocity committed by Israel on the grounds that it is 'fighting for its very existence. So Israel is a safe haven when that suits, and suffering from an existential threat when that suits.

  • The Palestinian message to Israel: Deal with us justly. Or disappear
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius August 29, 2014 at 8:35 am

      Kay,

      Have you seen this Al Jazeera film ''Kill him Silently'' on the failed assassination of Mishal?

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius August 29, 2014 at 8:34 am

      Walid,

      I was shocked when I read that Meshal may have inadvertently fingered Dief by making a cell phone call to him. I would have thought that not using the phone network was fairly elementary stuff for resistance leaders, especially Meshal who has survived numerous assassination attempts. Especially as one of the reasons for Hamas' recent success is their adoptation of a Hizballah style private communications network - see article below.

      Maybe Khaled is losing his touch in his cushy Doha exile?

      BTW yesterday he said Deif was 'fine'. Now, I don't expect to see Deif strolling around Gaza smiling for the cameras, but then there's the old 'never believe anything until it's been officially denied' line. So who really knows? I doubt the Israelis do, despite their bluster.

      link to english.al-akhbar.com

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius August 28, 2014 at 5:49 pm

      This article is two years old but is an excellent account of the horrible situation many Palestinian collaborators find themselves in, and how shoddily they are treated by Israel, despite their crocodile tears.

      Many, maybe most, informers don't actively intend to betray their country. They just get sucked into out of fear and/or desperation. When you depend on Israel for just about everything, maybe including medical care for desperately ill relatives, it might be tempting to offer just a few tidbits of information, and then of course it's impossible to get out. Not that I'm excusing collaboration, but then, I've never been in such a horrible situation.

      link to english.al-akhbar.com

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius August 28, 2014 at 5:44 pm

      I'm reading this book at the moment. A great read.

      Meshal is quite an interesting character. Seems most observers considered him quite a mediocrity and would never have placed him as a leader of Hamas, but that, of course, is what he ended up being.

      link to amazon.co.uk

    • I have heard that there has been quite a rift between the Qassam Brigades fighting the real war in Gaza itself, and the emigre political leaders living in comfort in Doha. One wonders if the latter have done what all Palestinian leaders since Arafat have done, and fallen for the lure of oil and gas lucre?

      BTW last week Richard Silverstein claimed that a usually trustworthy 'source' told him that Mohammed Dief had almost certainly been killed in the attack which killed his wife and child. I wonder if there's anything to it? We haven't seen Dief since then, but he's famously elusive, so that means nothing. And while I could see a case for why Hamas might keep his killing secret to preserve morale, I don't think they have ever denied the killing of any of their leaders before, have they? Also hard to see how Silverstein's source could 'know' something like this, given how poor Israel's intel has been on Gaza.

      I also wonder if the informers killed around the same time - the only Gazans mourned by Israel over the past 5O days - had betrayed the locations of the other Hamas leaders killed in air strikes.

  • Ceasefire deal after weeks of fighting in Gaza promises easing of blockade
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius August 28, 2014 at 8:34 am

      Given that only about 5O people had died from Gaza rockets over the past decade, it's very hard to see where Morris' figure of 'hundreds' came from. Also, I'm not aware of any building being completely destroyed by a rocket, so the 'buildings would have fallen' thing also sounds like tosh.

      But of course, like a good Israeli, Morris has to play up the myth of Israeli ingenuity and concern for its citizens., never mind the facts. In reality, there's no evidence that a single Israeli has been saved by the Iron Sieve.

    • If this is true, it shows how totally and completely brainwashed and divorced from reality Israeli society is. So 5OO dead kids aren't enough for them?

      Israelis just don't get it. Violence is not always the answer. But when that's all you've got, and all you've ever had, it doesn't leave you with too many options, does it?

    • I don't think it's that, exactly.

      Israelis, on the whole - despite what we're told about the sophistication of 'start up nation' - appear to be very brainwashed and simplistic, at least when it comes to Arabs. They seem to have genuinely believed that 'hitting Hamas hard' - ie killing hundreds of kids - would 'stop the rockets'. And when that didn't work, just hit them harder, because that would be SURE to work. Even though there is so much evidence showing that there is no military solution to this mess, and that Israel, despite overwhelming military superiority, hasn't won a war for 4O years.

      So ''Yossi Israeli' was genuinely perplexed when, nearly 2 months on, the rockets kept falling. And the fact that 64 of their precious soldiers were killed had to hurt too. Israelis seem to have swallowed the myth of IDF brilliance, and when the facts show that to be false, they don't reevaulate their preconceptions, but blame whoever is in charge. Not that they don't deserve blame, of course, but the problems are much, much deeper than this or that leader. The problem is Israel itself.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius August 27, 2014 at 11:38 am

      Walid,

      I'd love to share your optimism but I suspect that while Israel will make a big show of 'easing' the blockade, within months or even weeks it will find some pretext - rockets fired at Sderot or whatever - to reimpose a full siege again.

      BTW given that Egypt is almost as crucial a player as Israel in the siege, I often wonder how reliable they are. Surely some Egyptian border guards must be sympathetic to the Palestinians? I know the upper ranks of the military detest Palestinians, but that can't be the case for the average grunts who earn a few hundred quid a month, can it? How difficult would it be to bribe these guys to let the odd shipment of contraband pass through Rafah?

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius August 27, 2014 at 11:34 am

      @Gene

      How, exactly, can Israel not 'allow' Hamas to rearm? I thought the years old blockade was designed to do just that, but it hasn't gone so well, has it? It's hard to see how Israel can make the blockade any tighter without reoccupying the strip, and we all know they haven't got the courage to do that. So Hamas will re-arm, for sure, and hopefully with better and more accurate weaponry.

      And don't you love when Isralists lecture about 'non-violence'? I take it you must be a big fan of BDS and the other non-violent tactics adopted by the resistance over the years? Or will you, like most Israelists, find a reason to oppose that too?

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius August 27, 2014 at 11:17 am

      Yes, but if all they had wanted was to get back to square one and end the massacres, they could have had that deal weeks, and hundreds of deaths, ago. Hamas and the people of Gaza were holding out for more. It remains to be seen if they've achieved that.

    • It's not working anymore, Jon.

      It really, really isn't working.

      Your weeks of concern trolling have been as big a flop as your overrated army. Admit that nobody in Israel gives a toss about Palestinian deaths, and that they never have. At least that way we can respect your honesty, if nothing else. Decades old reheated hasbara is just another reason to mock you.

    • It's very hard to get an idea of the number of non-fatal casualties in Israel.

      This is because Israel either exaggerates when it suits them - claiming that someone suffering from 'shock' or from a fall in the rush to the bomb shelter is 'injured - or plays them down in an attempt to portray their army as less pathetic than it is. I have read - sorry no source - that five hundred IDF soldiers were injured, many of them seriously. and permanently No way to confirm it though.

    • Yes, it does seem very similar to the lousy 2O12 deal, which is not good. Certainly not the great victory Hamas are touting, though like I've said, the mere fact that they were not wiped out means this is a strategic defeat for Israel.

      I'm not sure Israeli leaders will be too keen on 'mowing the lawn' next summer. This wasn't quite the nice summer Sderot Cinema special they were hoping for.

    • I believe 64 soldiers, and 4 civilians, though one of the 'civilians' was at an army base 'bringing food to the troops' and therefore was a legitimate target, and another was Thai.

      I had heard that a mortar round had killed an Israeli - not clear if civilian or soldier - in Eshkol just before the ceasefire, though this hasn't been mentioned since then.

    • They're celebrating in Gaza - and across Palestine and Jordan - and sulking in Israel.

      That's good, but I'm not sure this is the emphatic victory Hamas are making it out to be. No sea port, no airport, no release of prisoners, no transfer of funds. These are all to be discussed 'later', ie never, in the Oslo style we all know and don't love.

      That said, this is without a doubt a strategic defeat for Bibi and Israel. Hamas was firing rockets into Israel right until the ceasefire. The 'terror tunnels' have almost certainly not all been destroyed, whatever Regev will tell you. Then there's the massive PR disaster this has been for Brand Israel, and the macho doctrine of 'deterrence'. Israel's much hyped army and intelligence services shown, yet again, to be vastly overrated. All things considered, I highly doubt that Bibi would have launched a little World Cup lawn mowing if he had had a clue what Hamas had in store for him.

  • Our new look
    • I remember on the 'old' format that unread comments were flagged in green. This was really helpful, especially on a page with a very long list of comments. It can be confusing and time consuming. to have to wade through a conversation trying to spot comments you haven't read before.

    • I agree. Maybe I'll get used to it, but thus far I find the new format confusing. Like you, I don't find the categories ''Activism'' etc to be very helpful. There might be a need if this was a site with loads of new articles every day, but given that there are usually less than ten or so articles a day, it seems unneccessary. Besides, many articles don't fit neatly into the categories, and there's often overlap - eg, an 'Israel/Palestine' article could also be a 'Middle East' article.

    • Page: 9
    • While we're on the subject, any chance that the inconsistent moderating system - some comments languish in pre-mod for hours, while others are up within minutes - could get an overhaul too?

      Pretty please?

    • I also found it impossible to cut and paste text from the article to use in a comment.

  • Salaita's hire set off fundraising alarm at U of Illinois, per emails to chancellor
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius August 25, 2014 at 1:23 pm

      As far as I'm concerned, if you support Israel in any way, shape or form you SHOULD be made to feel uncomfortable, just as supporters of Apartheid in RSA should have been - and were - made to feel uncomfortable back in the day.

      In any case, since Salaita was not hired to teach about the Middle East, but about Indian-American studies, why are his views on Palestine so important? I studied Linguistics at university. I neither knew nor cared what my professors' views on Palestine, or Tibet, or gay rights, or whatever were, because they were there to teach me Linguistics, not any of the above subjects. Do academics have to refrain from expressing their views on all potentially controversial subjects, out of fear of 'offending' any of their current or future studenst?

  • Bardem and Cruz don't speak English well enough to understand 'genocide' -- Saban
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius August 25, 2014 at 1:16 pm

      I said much the same thing above. I'm not American, so maybe that explains it, but I didn't recognise a single one of those names. Of course, just because they're not known to the general public doesn't mean they don't wield great power behind the scenes. Even so, I reckon the ADL was hoping for a more star studded list. But stars just don't want to be tainted by toxic Brand Israel anymore.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius August 25, 2014 at 12:33 pm

      I also suspect the ADL was hoping for a higher calibre of signatures. Granted, I'm not American, but I don't think I've heard of a single one of those people. Hardly movers and shakers in public life.

      Same with the belated list of Hollywood 'stars' who signed on to a silly pro-Israel letter a few days ago. The only really famous people on the list - Schwarzenneger, Stallone - are decades past their prime. The rest were mostly C listers. And given that the war on Gaza is nearly 2 months old, it's amazing that it took them this long to come up with a statement. It's so obviously a response to the Spanish letter of several weeks ago, which must have sent them into a bit of a tizzy. Israel just isn't cool anymore. No young, hip Hollywooder would want their name tainted by Brand Israel. It's just not worth it.

  • Ceasefire comes to a close -- Mohammed Assaf's 'Raise Your Head High'
  • With ceasefire set to expire, Palestinians aim to lift the siege while Israel wants to turn 'Gaza into Ramallah'
    • ''Israel said these fundamental aspects of controlling Gaza’s economic life will not be touched in this round of talks. “Maritime is left to the final status,” said Steinitz.''

      The words 'final status' do not fill me with optimism. It was the notion that minor adjustments to 'ease' occupation would be enough, but that all major issues had to be put off for the 'final status' which of course never happened, which doomed the Oslo Accords.

      Obviously, I know that Hamas' bargaining powers are limited, but they do have a certain momentum behind them right now. It would be very disappointing if they were to accept just minor tweaks to the blockade which of course can - and probably will - fail to be honoured by Israel. Also, who is going to police the border crossings? Seems that the deal if for them to be guarded by the Quisling PLO, who will be more concerned with Israel's 'security' than with Palestinian freedom of movement. Let's hope Hamas can negotiate a better deal than this.

  • Checking under Israel's Iron Dome
    • I'm amazed at how so many people - including some who are normally highly sceptical of anything Israeli - are taking reports of the 'success' of the Iron Dome at face value. The ONLY source we have for the number of 'interceptions' - and indeed of the number of rockets landing in Israel - is the IDF. Since they have an obvious vested interest in portraying the Iron Dome as stunningly successful and in exaggerating or playing down - depending on prevailing PR needs - the number of rocket strikes, nobody should even consider relying on them as a source. And yet they do.

      Given that the rockets have killed about 5O people in a decade, ie less than 5 a year, it's not really that surprising that only 1 Israeli was killed by a rocket over the past month, especially bearing in mind improved Israeli early warning systems and the fact that Hamas seem to be firing rockets from the tunnels, therefore further reducing their impact. The Iron Domes seems like more of an Iron Sieve.

  • Tunnels-to-kindergartens propaganda Netanyahu peddled to NYT and CNN is exploded by Israeli news site
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius August 13, 2014 at 3:21 pm

      I would say that's entirely possible.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius August 13, 2014 at 3:19 pm

      I agree. We have seen this so many times. The Israelis know that so long as they can control the immediate news cycle, it barely matters if/when the truth comes out weeks or months down the road. By then, nobody will be watching anymore as the public is fickle and are already more interested in Robin Williams or the 'humanitarian operation' in Iraq.

      As you say, the damage has been done. The Terror Tunnels of Doom line has already been planted in the mainstream, and there it will stay.

  • The Greenhouse propaganda—How Gazan history is being rewritten to dehumanize Palestinians
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius August 10, 2014 at 4:27 pm

      It's basically an updated version of the 'making the desert bloom' propaganda line. We Israelis are so industrious, so positive, so enterprising. Whereas those indolent Arabs are too nihilistic to do anything, even when we so kindly gift it to them.

    • Garnier have belatedly said that the decision to supply female IDF 'soldiers' with these 'girly care packages' was taken at local level and that they're sorry for any offence caused.

      Too little, too late. Garnier are still on my boycott list. Just the other day I was heading to the till with a hair product, and when I noticed it was by Garnier I put it back on the shelf. I doubt I'm the only one.

  • Hollywood's latest blacklist shadows Bardem, Cruz, Almodovar
    • Really?

    • Alternatively, you might wish to inform yourself of some facts before offering insights on something you know nothing about:

      ''L’Oreal Israel manufacturers a line of products using Dead Sea minerals under the name “Natural Sea Beauty” that is exported to 22 countries. It should be noted that one-third of the western shore of the Dead Sea lies in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. While the entire shore and its resources are systematically closed to Palestinians by Israeli military occupation and apartheid practices, Israel exploits the Dead Sea for international tourism, mining and improving its image.

      L’Oreal’s activities in Israel are not, however, limited to L’Oreal Israel. While Palestinian academics and students in the occupied territories and Israel are systematically impeded by Israeli occupation roadblocks and other oppressive measures from conducting normal academic life and research, L’Oreal awarded a $100,000 “lifetime achievement” award to a scientist at Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science in July 2008. The Weizmann Institute, since its establishment, has been a major center for clandestine research and development of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons on behalf of Israel’s military establishment with which it has close ties. It is, therefore, one of many academic institutions in Israel that are in collusion with the state’s violations of international law and Palestinian human rights, and which are targeted for academic boycott by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI).''

      link to electronicintifada.net

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius August 10, 2014 at 4:29 pm

      Witness this piece of adolescent narcissistic whining as a case in point. Happily, it was slammed in the comment section:

      link to theguardian.com

    • This is depressing, and utterly unsurprising. The first thing I thought, when I read about Cruz and Bardem's courageous stand on this, was that their phones would suddenly stop ringing. One wonders if they were naive about the pro-Israel lobby in Hollywood, or they were fully aware of the risk and decided to do it anyway? Cruz' 'clarification' is fairly anodyne - she does not take back anything she said, nor do I consider it a 'walk back'. It certainly would not be enough to please the Abe Foxman's of this world, for whom nothing less than a complete disowning of her previous statement would be enough - witness the Gary Oldman affair.

      Let's hope Cruz takes the next step and ends her lucrative promotional contract with L'Oreal!

  • Elie Wiesel plays the Holocaust trump card in Gaza
    • ''Wiesel’s autobiographical classic, Night, has been read by millions.''

      Arent' there serious doubts as to just how 'autobiographical' 'Night' really is?

  • Israeli deceptions revealed in story of ‘kidnapped’ soldier
    • I think there's a huge amount of atavistic tribalism here.

      It's one thing for a soldier to be killed 'on the battlefield' - that's over and done with, and you can say he died a heroic death fighting terrorists etc. But for a precious Israeli to be actually in the custody of one of THEM - and for Israelis to be reminded of this every day - is intolerable. How dare THEY take one of OUR boys? This is the case even - no especially - if the captive is treated reasonably, as was the case with Shalit.

      Hence the 'Hannibal procedure'. Death is better than having to negotiate with the low life Arabs.

  • Israel shells another UN school-- and even the US is 'appalled'
    • It really shows hot utterly outside civilised norms Israel has become that yet ANOTHER attack on a UN school barely elicits shock anymore. It's become almost routine.

      And it's thoroughly disgusting that when even Israel itself admits to having bombed the school - albeit using the excuse that it was 'targetting militants on a motorbike' - world 'leaders' such as Obama, Ban Ki Moon and Hollande refuse to explicitly condemn them. Even the BBC referred to the school being attacked by a an unspecified 'missile' - as far as the viewer was concerned, the missile might have come from Mars. Sometimes I think the media and political class is more pro-Israel than Israel itself is.

  • The British public and the world see that Israel's actions are 'wrong and unjustified' -- Miliband
    • Let's not get carried away here.

      Only a few days ago, Miliband referred to the Israeli bombing of a UNWRA school - one of seven - as a 'tragedy', ie as though it were an earthquake, not a deliberate war crime. Also, while he has repeatedly condemned Hamas explicitly and unreservedly, afaik he has still not ONCE condemned Israel by name. He even condemned Hamas for the murder - his word - of Israeli soldiers, yes, soldiers. So as far as Milband is concerned, NO Israeli is a legitimate target, while the killings of hundreds of Palestinian children can be swept over with a 'Israel's right to defend itself must be proportionate' platitude.

      Then there's the framing of the argument in terms of what's good for Israel - as in, Israel will lose friends because of this, not because it's morally wrong to kill sleeping children.

      As far as I'm concerned, Miliband deserves no praise whatsoever. He is simply playing politics.

  • Evanston Public Library censors Ali Abunimah, saying issue is 'complex' and he'd need to be balanced (Updated)
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius August 3, 2014 at 1:51 pm

      It's only ever with Palestine that discussions have to be 'balanced'. If the library invited, say, a pro-abortion activist to speak about her new book, would they also feel obliged to 'balance' her with an anti-abortion speaker? I doubt it. This is an author discussing his book in a library. It's not a debate.

  • Sam Harris defends his silence on Gaza slaughter (or tries to anyway)
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius August 2, 2014 at 5:42 pm

      I think Harris is one of those many who feel quite comfortable being critical of the 'settlers', because they've just decided that Israel 'proper' is rational and secular, whereas the 'settlers' are nutty religious fanatics. Of course, that's not really the case - many 'settlers' are not particularly religious and just like the subsidised housing, and many in Israel itself are very religious. But making this artificial distinction allows the likes of Harris to apportion blame for what even he has to admit are Israel's flaws, without criticising the country or society as a whole. Nonsense, of course.

      As the article says, Harris puts everything down to religion. He has said that the I/P conflict is people of different religions arguing over 'god's real estate deals' or something like that. This has the convenient effect of making Israelis and Palestinians seem equal - as though one were not occupying the other - and also leaves out the obvious fact that this is a battle over land and dispossession. Even if all Palestinians were athiests, they'd feel exactly the same attachment to their land and would fight Zionism just as much. But because for Harris everything - certainly everything to do with Arabs and Muslims - has to be seen through the lens of religion, he cannot acknowledge that.

    • LOL. It's also several years old!

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius August 2, 2014 at 12:13 pm

      I think it's been obvious for a long time that Harris, despite his masquerading as a proponent of the new oh-so-rational and oh-so-free-thinking atheism which was all the rage in the mid to late noughties, is nothing more nor less than a slightly more intelligent far-right anti-Muslim ranter a la Daniel Pipes or Pamela Geller. His 'arguments' lack depth or consistency. And there's also the fact that Harris is shrewd enough to know that there's everything to be gained and nothng to be lost, career wise, by being a shameless shill for Israel.

  • Israel calls Obama's tune
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius August 2, 2014 at 7:05 pm

      If the Saudis want to help Gaza, all the King needs to do is pick up the phone and order his pet thug Al Sisi to open the Rafah crossing tout de suite.

      Anything less is just window dressing.

      The Saudi king made a statement yesterday condemning the attack on Gaza. It only took him 3 weeks and 15OO dead to realise something wasn't quite yet. Reminds me of the July war on Lebanon - the Saudis and other Gulfies stopped just short of offering an explicit endorsement to Israel, but had to furiously backpeddle a few weeks later, when the scale of the carnage and the skill of the resistance made their position untenable.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius August 2, 2014 at 6:59 pm

      ''Questioning?'' Is that hasbarist for 'torturing' these days?

      And how utterly unquestioning you are. So Isarel has discovered 'so many tunnels' has it? And you know that... how?

      Of course you dont' know it. You're just parotting IDF propaganda uncritically. We're supposed to believe that Israel hadn't a clue about ''the tunnels' until 3 weeks ago, or at least didn't consider them a threat, yet now, it's all about the tunnels. Which of course, will ALL have been destroyed so Israel can made a face-saving exit.

      You Zionists are such an incredibly gullible lot. A used car salesman dream, I should think.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius August 2, 2014 at 5:46 pm

      I think deep down the Israelis will not be happy about the way this 'war' has gone, and that there'll be some serious recriminations behind closed doors. But on the surface at least, they can claim a 'victory' of sorts. This is not the clear humiliation the July war on Lebanon was - though of course even there they tried to claim victory -but it's hardly going to go down in the annals of Zionist glory either.

      And the sad thing is, the news cycle will move on, the cameramen will pack up, and the people of Gaza will be left living in an apocalyptic landscape.

    • Bibi now saying that 'the war will go on as long as neccessary'.

      My guess is that they will withdraw the ground troops - they had never intended them to be there in the first place, as the IDF is too chicken to fight man to man, but the tenacity of Hamas forced them to be sent in. However, they will continue to indulge indefinitely in their favourite pastime of bombing Gaza from a distance on a regular basis, under the transparent pretext of 'finding the missing soldier'.

      Speaking of which, it's becoming increasingly obvious, imho, that the soldier is dead, killed during the skirmish between the IDF and Hamas. The only real question is which of the above two parties killed him. It was quite telling how the IDF announced the 'kidnapping' almost immediately, yet no Palestinian faction has claimed any knowledge of it. Seems they want to keep in reserve an excuse not that t hey need it - to continue bombing Gaza, and also to keep their public fearful and resentful.

    • I have the same feeling.

      It now seems clear that Israel is winding down the operation and will unilaterally end the war with a 'declaration' that the tunnels have been destroyed - ya sure.

      If this happens - and it seems increasingly likely that it will - where does that leave Gaza? Getting on for 2K dead, and many times that number injured, in some cases horrifically. A quarter of the populated displaced. Absolute devastation of infrastructure, with hospitals, homes, schools, and even the power plant destroyed. But with a unilateral ceasefire, there will be no prospect of the siege being lifted, or even 'eased'. So the people of Gaza will have endured great suffering, with little to show for it, and no way of having the immense damaged repaired. The thousands of injured will not even be able to find adequate medical care.

      Yes, I know that this conflict has turned your average Joe and Jane against Israel as never before. Also, the resistance has put on an impressive show, and Israel might think twice before 'mowing the lawn' so rashly again. In - pardon the pun - concrete terms, however, Gaza is a much worse place than it was 4 weeks ago, and it was bad enough then. As well as all the above mentioned devastation, the new 'buffer zone' will made it more difficult for the resistance to attack the enemy, and while I highly doubt the IDF claim that 'all' the tunnels have been destroyed, no doubt very many have. It's all very depressing.

    • Exactly. Surely it's no coincidence that Israel has elected its most extreme and far-right governments at a time of unprecedented 'peace' for Israelis? A cost-free occupation hasn't made Israelis do a bit of soul searching, but instead has encouraged them to consider making their wildest dreams - mass expulsion - into a reality.

      But while not wanting to be over-optimistic, I agree that this war really has affected the public in a way no other Israeli war has done. When I've been out on the streets demonstrating for Gaza, I've encountered nothing but sympathy among the public. In conversations at work, even with people who aren't at all political and couldn't place Gaza on a map, the reaction to Israel's massacres has been nothing but revulsion and disgust.

      The question however remains: What, if any, effect will this have on the people in power? Thus far, very little. The Western political elites have been even more shamelessly behind Israel. Perhaps the effects will only be seen at a later time. Let's hope they are seen at all.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius August 2, 2014 at 11:59 am

      I said above that 'the tunnels' are being used as a face-saving way for Israel to extricate itself from Gaza with a) a 'victory' they can sell to their gullible public, and b)without any need to come to a negotiated settlement.

      Obviously this is not good as it means 2K lives, and an obscene amount of destruction, will have been lost for nothing. Nearly half of Gaza is now a 'buffer zone' and a quarter of the population may be displaced. The infrastructure lies in ruins. with no prospect of the lifting of even 'easing' of the siege, nothing can be repaired. So Palestinians will live in horrific circumstances, while the world's attention moves on, only to feign outrage when the next assault occurs 2 or so years down the line.

    • They don't. They want us to believe that they had no clue of the existence of the Tunnels of Doom until 3 weeks ago, yet now they know where every single one is? LOL.

      I think it's fairly obvious that 'the tunnels' are being used firstly to 'sex up' this war - that whole rockets thing was a bit last decade, and anyway they're trying to flog ''Iron Dome'' so can't dwell on the danger of rockets too much - and secondly, in announcing that they have 'destroyed all the tunnels' they give themselves a face-saving way out of the mess Bibi created. There's no way in hell they anticipated still being stuck in Gaza, with more than 6O dead soldiers, at this point. So they will declare all the 'tunnels destroyed', announce Mission Accomplished, and head out leaving the carnage and devastation behind them.

      The Israelis are already talking of a 'unilateral' end to the war which will get them out of the humiliation of having to deal with khkhamaaas. The good thing is, this probably means the carnage will end fairly soon. The bad thing is, it will mean the Palestinians have lost what will probably end up being 2OOO or more lives, all to go back to the status quo ante.

    • This is from an article in the J Post:

      ''The only durable solution requires dismantling Gaza, humanitarian relocation of the non-belligerent Arab population, and extension of Israeli sovereignty over the region.''

      ''No, periodically mowing the lawn is not a policy that can endure for long – it simply will not cut it. The grass needs to be uprooted – once and for all.''

      ''The problem can only be solved by entirely abandoning the concept that Gaza should be governed by Palestinian Arabs. Any effective solution must follow this new line of reasoning.''

      This is not extreme, fringe thinking. The JPost is a mainstream publication.

      This is your vibrant, liberal, free-thinking Jewish democracy.

      link to jpost.com

  • Video: Mark Regev, deciphered
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius July 30, 2014 at 11:33 am

      Here's another subtitled interview, one of the Aussie midget's frequent demolitions by the glorious Jon Snow:

  • Israeli embassy puts Mona Lisa in a hijab -- 'Israel now, Paris next'
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius July 28, 2014 at 3:44 pm

      Notice that the fools couldn't even get their Arab regalia right. In the picture, Michalango's David is wearing a red-and white chequered ghutra of the type worn by Gulf Arabs, NOT the Palestinian black and white keffiyah.

      As'ad Abu Khalil is dead right: Israeli orientalism really is of a very poor standard.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius July 28, 2014 at 3:42 pm

      Meh. When Morsi was in power, he didn't do much to help the resistance. No, he certainly wasn't as bad as Al Sisi, but that's not saying much - not even Mubarak was that bad.

      Morsi kept diplomatic relations with Israel and upheld the siege, including during the 2012 attacks on Gaza. It's easy to grow a conscience when you're no longer in power.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius July 28, 2014 at 3:35 pm with 5 replies

      Yes, the notion that the IDF is a super dooper fighting force is decades out of date, and truth be told was never really true to begin with. The same is true for the laugably overrated Israeli intelligence services: It's so very obvious that they had no clue what was going on in - or under - Gaza, despite the fact that it's heavily surveilled by Israeli military who have it under lockdown. They also seem to have been taken by surprise by how many long range missiles Hamas have, even though they will of course deny this, and thier brainwashed people will buy it.

      Really, the IDF is more of an apartheid police force with some fancy equipment than it is an army. It has very little battlefield experience. Its recruits and conscripts have, for at least a generation, been so used to thinking of 'war' as a video game with no risk to themselves, that they do not know what to do when actually faced with a real enemy. Other than nihilistic hatred of Muslims and Arabs, they have nothing really to fight for and a lot to live for. That does not make for good soldiers, and explains one of the fatal flaws of the IDF - its complete unwillingness to take casualties of its own. Could you imagine Moshe or Yossi, foregoing their I-pads, beach parties and holidays in Thailand to live in a tunnel, like Hamas fighters are doing? I don't think so. This is an asymmetric conflict in more ways than one. One side are pampered cowards with big guns, the others are besieged patriots who have nothing to lose.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius July 28, 2014 at 2:53 pm with 1 replies

      Israel is up shit creek. When bibi launched this little 'lawn mowing' episode, there's no way in hell he expected to be giving this speech today. He did NOT envisage a long-term war with IDF casualties on this scale, even if they're only a tiny fraction of the Palestinian casualties. He did NOT expect rocket sirens in Haifa 3 weeks into the conflict. He did NOT foresee BG airport shut down, even if only briefly.

      The sad thing is though, none of this is favourable to the people of Gaza, at least not in the short term. The Israelis are crapping themselves over the thought of having to fight a ground battle. To compensate for their cowardice, they will bomb Gaza to the ground out of sheer spite. They will then call that an 'achievement'. And the siege will remain. I'd love to be more optimistic, but I can't.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius July 28, 2014 at 2:44 pm with 3 replies

      Amigo,

      I'm the same. I cannot bear to listen to Netanyahoo. Even when he's giving an 'important' speech, I wait to hear the main points summarised later, so I'm at one remove from this odious person. I had the same reaction when Bush Junior was at large, and stil do with his partner in crime Tony Blair. I fear my TV screen would not survive being hit by the nearest heavy item I'd be tempted to pick up and throw at it. And Netanyahu is NOT worth my TV screen.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius July 28, 2014 at 2:38 pm with 2 replies

      It's great that she's cancelled but her excuse for accepting in the first place - 'nobody told me there was a boycott going on' is lame. O'Conner isn't some dolly bird girl band singer - she's highly politically aware. Also, when she was initially asked to cancel, she responded by saying that she's not rich and was the mother of 4 kids etc. Granted, O'Conner is not mega-rich like the Rolling Stones or Rihanna who wouldn't even notice any money earned from a concert in Israel, but I doubt her kids would starve if she cancelled one concert.

      Anyway, better late than never.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius July 28, 2014 at 2:33 pm with 2 replies

      BTW what happened to the 'knock on the roof' hasbara line that we heard every 5 minutes during the first week of the war? That seems to have fallen out of fashion, replaced by 'it was da khkhkhamaaaas wot done it'' line.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius July 28, 2014 at 12:28 pm

      Last I heard, the Israeli military is 'refusing to comment' on whether the dead were soldiers. Also, a rocket has landed near Haifa, which must be causing meltdown at IDF Central.

      Bibi is scheduled to give a televised speech in less than an hour. I expect it's to announce an 'extension to the ground operations' although in reality what that will likely mean is more carpet bombing of civilians. The 'soldiers' are probably filling their IDF issue nappies at the thought of having to, you know, actually fight. They are losing big time, but the tragic thing is that this is not making them re-think bibi's little 'lawn mowing' exercise, but to take it out on innocent children, in the time-honoured fashion of Zionist spite and rage.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius July 28, 2014 at 12:14 pm

      Time will tell? Come on, Kay, you know better than that! Hamas rockets have killed what? 45 people in 10 years or so? How is a single 'misfired' rocket capable of inflicting such damage? And who, precisely, has been targetting hospitals for the past 3 weeks?

      Of course this was an IDF strike, and a deliberate one too. This is an old Israeli tactic: spread a lie in a - usually successful - attempt to control the short-term news narrative. All reporters will feel obliged to say ''But Israel claims....'' as a way of providing 'balance' even though all the evidence is that Israel was responsible. Then, in a few days, weeks or months time - whenever the news media has lost interest - they will admit responsibility. The Israelis know that the news cycle moves on quickly and that by the time they've owned up to the crime, nobody will be paying attention, and their original denial will still be remembered.

    • This is not the first time the Israeli embassy in Dublin has published outrageously racist agitprop. At Christmas last year, or maybe two years ago, they published a 'card' saying that if Mary and Joseph went to the inn in Bethlehem now, they'd be lynched by Arabs. They later claimed their site had been 'hacked' although it had been up for some time.

      Perhaps it's the fact that Ireland is known as being very pro-Palestinian that makes them show their true ugly face, or maybe the staff of the Dublin embassy are particularly dense, even by the standards of Israeli 'diplomats'.

    • There is no doubt whatsoever in my mind that Israel is committing war crime after war crime, just because it can. They have long ago destroyed any 'target' with anything approaching real military value in Gaza, and their absurdly overrated joke of an 'army' is far too chicken to actually go into the tunnels and fight man to man with Hamas -IDF issue nappies just aren't up to it. So they are DELIBERATELY targetting the most sacrosanct of civilian infrastructure in an attempt to terrorise the people of Gaza into giving up the fight Bibi started.

      And the world mouths platitudes about 'both sides' and let's Israel get on with it.

      Israel is a monster, a rabid mad dog off the leash. Who will stop it?

  • Kerry is off the Israel bandwagon
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius July 27, 2014 at 3:46 pm

      This is a very interesting, albeit perhaps slightly over-optimistic, article entitled ''Israel exposed: A fragile, dysfunctional, and irrelevant entity'':

      ''Second, against this backdrop the tug of war over de-escalation in Gaza has shown that even disputes and negotiations over a ceasefire do not involve Israel, but essentially take place between Arab, regional, and international powers, in that order. Let us stop and think about this political fact that Cairo, Riyadh, Doha, and even Ankara are aware of, as evident from their attitudes and approaches in locally and regionally managing negotiations, where even the U.S. role is limited and restricted by regional dynamics to a large extent.

      Third, what remains of Israel, save for its brute military strength? It is mighty, yes, but after its defeat at the hands of the Resistance in Lebanon in 2006, its strategic scope of work became confined to Palestine, if not a small part thereof, that is; Gaza. ''

      link to english.al-akhbar.com

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius July 27, 2014 at 2:47 pm

      Yes, the article is behind a pay-wall but if accurate, looks rather interesting.

      I just don't see how anything short of catastrophic defeat would force Israel to allow a complete opening of Gaza. But anything short of that is almost useful. Any 'easing' of the siege is a farce, if there are no international monitors present which can enforce freedom of movement. And there's no way Israel will allow that. Even if the war isn't going nearly as swimmingly as they had hoped, I just don't see how Hamas can inflict a severe enough defeat on Israel that they would be forced to allow this.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius July 27, 2014 at 2:06 pm

      ''Such a “peace force” is not in the cards right now given the current atmosphere, I fear.''

      A 'peace force' which involves one side being entirely demilitarised, and so left completely vulnerable to the savagery which has been visited on it 3 times in less than 6 years by a military armed with the most advanced weaponry, including nuclear bombs, is not a 'peace force'. It's an invitation to further assaults like the one we're witnessing now. People who advocate this 'solution' are really advocating the continued slaughter of Palestinians.

    • I wouldn't be so confident that Kerry's proposal involved a lifting of the siege. To quote:

      ''Palestinians need to live with dignity, with some freedom, with goods that can come in and out, and they need a life that is free from the current restraints.”

      Note the qualified remark: 'some freedom', and also ''goods that can come in and out'' - goods, but not people. This doesn't sound to me like a complete lifting of the siege, but rather a 'relaxation' of conditions, which of course can at any point be 'un-relaxed', at Israel or Egypt's whim. Any hint of a rocket being fired - and all that would be needed would be an IDF claim, not an actual rocket - and the full restrictions go back again.

      What's really needed is an agreement which allows for UN or EU personnel - though I don't trust the EU at all - to monitor the crossings to ensure that there is complete freedom of movement for goods AND people in and out of the strip. But I just don't see how either of Gaza's prison guards will allow this. Israel will really, really need to get itself into a dire situation before that will happen. Which might yet be the case: I highly doubt the IDF is in any way enthusiastic about having to go further into Gaza. I don't think they ever wanted a ground invasion at all. I reckon they thought Hamas would be forced to accept the ''Egyptian ceasefire'' and that the IDF would have re-established their 'deterrence', got to test out their 'Iron Dome' and god knows what else, all for little or no cost to them. That hasn't quite panned out, has it?

  • Destruction of Gaza's children is something 'every one of us must confront' -- Jon Snow
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius July 27, 2014 at 2:59 pm

      Or to provide a more accurate parallel, what would happen if an Iranian-American joined the Revolutionary Guard? Hamas are regarded as a 'terrorist organisation' so it's not really the same thing. But I highly doubt if an American citizen died fighting for Iran, or any Arab nation, that John Kerry would visit his parents and offer personal condolences on Twitter. In fact, the parents would probably be arrested.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius July 27, 2014 at 2:54 pm

      Jon Snow has been highly critical of Israel for many years. His interviews with Mark Regev are classics in the art of demolishing propagandists with aplomb.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius July 27, 2014 at 2:51 pm

      Israelis seem pathologically incapable of taking responsibility for their own actions. I thought it was the Arabs who had that failing, according to ''The Arab Mind'?

      Israel was supposed to be all about Jews taking responsibility for themselves and being their own bosses. Now, anytime something doesn't play well on TV, every Israeli is like an 8 caught stealing sweets. ''But but but..... HE made me do it!''

    • It's interesting. Channel 4's Facebook page linked to this video yesterday. It got well over a thousand likes and was shared more than 800 times. Then, suddenly, the link went dead. If you clicked on it, you got an 'Error' message. However, this morning they reinstated it.

      I'm kind of curious as to what went on. Channel 4 is much more courageous on Palestine than all other UK broadcasters, and Jon Snow in particular is a legend for his regular roasting of obnoxious Israeli propagandists. But I wonder if they thought this was a little bit too 'emotional', not 'objective' enough? It's all a bit odd, but the good thing is that they did put the video back up, and that in any case, it's already gone viral.

      As I've said before, Jon Snow is a hero, one of the few genuine journalists still working. His C4 colleagues, among them Jonathan Miller, Alex Thompson and Paul Mason, are also wonderful. Snow has previously been a guest at fund-raising dinners for the charity MAP - Medical Aid for Palestinians - so this is not a new thing for him. And it's wonderful to see how the hasbrats are getting extremely pissed off with Snow showing the humanity of Palestinians and the horror of Israel's indiscriminate bombing - the C4 FB page is swarming with newly created accounts spewing hasbara, obviously 'war room' trolls. But their presence, contrasted with the great humaneness shown by Snow, only makes the spitefulness and nastiness of Israel seem all the more obvious.

  • (Updated) In Photos: Worldwide protest against Israeli attack on Gaza
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius July 13, 2014 at 12:41 pm

      And the 'target' himself - the Gaza head of police - survived.

      Reminds me of the 1983 bombing of a Beirut mosque, intended to kill Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah. He survived, 80+ worshippers did not.

  • Joan Rivers slams CNN and BBC coverage of Gaza -- 'you're all insane'
    • Jews are what? 2% of the population of the US? Completely insignificant in the broader scheme of things, and even among American Jews, attachment to Zionism has faded considerably in recent years.

      I was talking about the general population. And there, Zionism is proving a much tougher sell. There was a survey only a few days ago which showed that the younger people are, the less likely they are to approve of Israel's actions in Gaza. Also, non-whites were more likely to be opposed to Israel, which is also significant, given their higher birthrates.

      A nuclear armed bully which kills civilians by the hundreds just doesn't play that well with young people, especially since the 'oh but we had the holocaust' excuse is likely to meet with increasing indifference.

    • We don't need to do anything. Rivers' generation are beyond help. Thankfully, younger people are much less tolerant of the lies of Zion. The idea of Israel as a plucky little nation populated by brave holocaust survivors, fighting for their lives against the marauding Arab masses, is dead. Rivers is a dinosaur.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius July 26, 2014 at 9:46 am with 5 replies

      Unfortunately for the Zionists, demographics are against them. Not only on their own turf, but in America too. Fanatics like Rivers are in their 70s. A recent study showed that support for Zionism in the USA is much lower among the youth than it is with older people. Young people have seen nothing but massacres and sieges from Zionism, and with the easy availability of alternative media, they don't have to rely on CNN or BBC with their 'both sides' narratives. The anti-semite slur elicits little more than a shrug, and the holocaust is ancient history.

      Rivers and her ilk are dinosaurs, a bit like the relic of 19th century 'blut und boden' ethno-nationalism known as Israel.

  • Hamas mimics Hezbollah tactics, and no one will have stability till blockade is lifted
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius July 25, 2014 at 5:36 pm with 1 replies

      Jon Snow is a legend. BTW he has attended fundraising dinners for the charity Medical Aid for Palestinians, MAP. This isn't a political organisation, but it shows that Snow definitely has his heart in the right place when it comes to Palestinians, and everything else. The rest of the C4 News crew - such as Jonathan Miller and Alex Thompson - are also outstanding.

      link to map-uk.org

      I'm sure I've posted this before, but can't resist doing so again as it's a real classic. The part at around 4 min in, when Snow tells Regev that anything he says could be used in a War Crimes investigation, is a classic. Just look at Regev's normally smug face. Love the subtitles.

  • Palestinians build tunnel to attack Israeli kindergarten, Netanyahu says
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius July 23, 2014 at 2:58 pm

      Bibi has - to put it mildly - a bit of a nerve inventing these idiotic cartoons about kindergartens. His side has killed well over a hundred children, whereas Hamas has killed zero children, and almost all Israeli casualties have in fact been soldiers.

  • 'Slate' blames Birthright for indoctrinating American Jew who was killed fighting for Israel
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius July 23, 2014 at 1:50 pm

      '' This guy might have heard nothing but good about the Golani brigade.''

      Firstly, as mentioned below he had been serving in the Golani for a year and a half. You're telling me that in that time he had no idea what kind of a regiment he was serving in? He thought their job was to hand out flowers to kids? And even if he was raised in a very pro-Israel environment in the US, he cannot have been entirely unaware of what the IDF has been accused of. Yet he chose to move to a country on another continent and not only sign up for that army, but for a particularly brutal regime. All choices he made as an adult.

      The problem with your argument is that it basically absolves grown adults of all responsibility. You could make the same claim that Netanyahu or Liebermann were 'brainwashed'. And I don't buy the argument that 'young' people - though more than old enough to have served in an 'elite' brigade for over a year - don't have any responsibility. Where do you draw the line? Is there a sliding scale?

    • So when do adults actually have responsiblity for their own free choices, do you think?

      This wasn't a spur of the moment thing. This 'idealistic' person signed up for a foreign occupation army whose record of brutality is well known and well publicised. As others have said, he served in the 'elite' Golani brigade, a brigade infamous - even by IDF standards - for its brutality.

      We're hardly talking about a naive innocent led astray. This was an adult well aware of the nastiness of the IDF, but eager to cross oceans to serve in it nonetheless.

    • I'm uncomfortable with the current trend of feeling sorry for dead Israeli soldiers because they were 'indoctrinated' - even if they grew up on another continent. It seems like another form of Zionist pity for the 'anguished Israeli solider'.

      This guy was 24, well old enough to make his own decisions. He chose to move to a faraway land and serve in a brutal occupation army. As an adult, there were any number of choices he could have made, but this was his choice. Who knows how many Palestinians he killed, or would have killed if he'd had the chance?

      People are going to criticise me for this, as they did before, but I am not going to mourn this soldier's death. Choices have consequences, yes, even for Israelis.

  • Israel's 'defeat'
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius July 23, 2014 at 3:08 pm

      Apparently, Israel is asking for ANOTHER $225 million to pay for Iron Sieve interceptors. The charity was supposed to be delivered in 2 years, but the poor Israelis say they can't wait that long.

      Isn't it funny how Zionists always boast about the economic wonderland that is 'start-up nation'? If their economy is in such fab shape, why can't they pay their own way and not rely on the goyim? I thought Israel was meant to be about self-reliance for Jews, not depending on Yank handouts.

    • ''Israeli deaths are well within what Israel’s military expected. ''

      I'm not sure. 3o in two weeks, including 15 or more 'elite' soldiers in one night?

      A tiny fraction of the Palestinian dead, to be sure, and almost all of them soldiers. But I'm guessing this 'war' has already dragged on longer than what Bibi had expected, and that the suspension of flights to BG, as well as the fact that the IDF have once again been shown up to be a crap fighting force, won't go down too well.

      ''Their desperate attempt to halt the bloodshed is noble.''

      Desperate attempt? Noble? Are you having a laugh? Ban asked Hamas to 'stop' rocket attacks, but only urged Israel to 'exercise restraint'. He has visited Israel at least once, but wouldn't dare set foot in Gaza. His condemnations of the war have always emphasised Israeli 'suffering'.

      I see nothing remotely noble in any of this.

  • US plays decisive role in Israel's attack on Gaza
    • Kerry tweated this today:

      ''Deaths of IDF/US citizens Max Steinberg & Sean Carmeli in #Gaza heartbreaking reminder of close bonds w/ Israel/condolences to all''

      Absolutely disgraceful. So American citizens prefer to serve in a foreign army rather than their own, and this is a 'heartbreaking reminder of close bonds'? If US citizens died fighting for Hamas - or any other Islamic/Arab army or militia - it would be considered evidence of a 5th column, and the entire US Muslim community would be held under suspicion. Kerry would certainly never, ever offer his condolences.

      And people wonder why Arabs deeply distrust America.

  • The deafening silence around the Hamas proposal for a 10-year truce
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius July 22, 2014 at 4:54 pm with 1 replies

      And Israel's 'friends' in the junta that came to power through a coup d'etat?

      Yup, they're real honest brokers.

      By their friends ye shall know them.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius July 22, 2014 at 4:49 pm with 1 replies

      ''Egypt and Jordan are perfect cases in point. ''

      Do you mean when Israel sent in a gang of typically inept Mossad clowns to try to murder Khaled Meshal in Amman, ended up getting caught and risked the death sentence?

      I hardly think trying to commit state-sponsored murder in another country's capital constitues a 'perfect' track record.

      BTW I see you speak of 'borders'. Could you provide a map with Israel's internationally recognised declared borders?

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius July 22, 2014 at 4:19 pm

      I wonder do they also supply nappies to the IDF boys? Given that they're not known for showing courage in battle, I suspect they might need them.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius July 22, 2014 at 10:13 am

      ''the supposed “Palestinian people’s honor”''

      One of the classic anti-Arab smears propounded by Israelists for decades has been that Arabs are irrational, emotional and concerned about their 'honour'. Yet any fool can see that it's the Israelis who are motivated by a 'shame and honour' mentality. Look at how they responded to the loss of a few of their precious professional killers in Gaza a few days ago - they went on a rampage killing tens of people, just out of wounded macho spite.

      And any 'proposal' which involves the people of Palestine renouncing the right to defend themselves against IDF monsters isn't worth the toilet paper it's written on.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius July 22, 2014 at 9:46 am

      ''Meanwhile, Kerry and el- Sisi and most probably Blair are in Egypt discussing the future of the Palestinian people!''

      Nope, not Blair. He's partying in London. Watch a Channel 4 journalist following him around to ask why he isn't in Gaza:

      link to blogs.channel4.com

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius July 22, 2014 at 9:44 am

      Like a certain Mondoweiss poster, the EU foreign ministers seem far more agitated about anti-semitic attacks than they are about the 6OO dead of Gaza.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius July 22, 2014 at 9:42 am with 4 replies

      ''Hamas resorts to violence, which is often indiscriminate and targets civilians – also due to the lack of precision weapons. ''

      But how can Hamas 'target civilians' when it has no guiding systems on its weapons? Plus, due to Israeli censorship, we don't hear of all the rockets which land close to any of Israel's many military facilities. The Beduin who died a few days ago due to rocket fire lived close to the nuclear plant of Dimona, which was presumably the target. And other than him, and on settler 'bringing food to the troops' - whatever that means - ALL of Israel's casualties thus far have been soldiers.

  • Arab reporters come under attack from Israelis
    • Funny, isn't it? A rocket which knocked a tile off a roof in Sderot, or interrupted a barbeque in Ashkelon, is a war crime so appalling that hundreds of civilians must be killed 'in response'. And if you disagree, you'll be reminded that Israelis live in constant threat of a deadly barrage of missiles, and spend their days running fearfully for cover.

      Yet now, suddenly they want to downplay the threat. A rocket lands a mile from the airport, but that's not a problem, even after MH 17? Sorry, but when you've spent the last decade telling the world how deadly these rockets are, you can't really turn around now and say they're harmless just because they threaten the tourist season.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius July 22, 2014 at 4:55 pm with 5 replies

      Israelis might have to get used to this sight:

      link to live.aljazeera.com

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius July 22, 2014 at 4:44 pm

      bilal

      And the people are a hundred times friendlier too.

    • Apparently, Bibi has asked John Kerry to use his influence to reverse the FAA decision not to fly to Israel. Good luck with that. No government will want to be seen compromising its people's safety after the Malaysia Airlines disaster. No, not even for Israel.

      Bibi clearly is NOT a happy camper. This isn't quite the lovely little 'lawn mowing' episode he had wanted.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius July 22, 2014 at 4:08 pm with 2 replies

      Not only that, but the very first thing the IDF did in their last World Cup Special - Lebanon July 2oo6 - was to bomb the runways at Hariri International Airport in Beirut.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius July 22, 2014 at 4:07 pm

      Well, the Qataris are masters of playing both sides. They also rolled out the red carpet for Shimon Perez a few years ago. And while they host a US military base half the size of the country itself, they also have Taliban offices, and were the first destination for the Taliban fighters released in exchange for that US soldier/deserter a few months ago. Perhaps the tiny size of Qatar, and its on/off - but mostly on - enmity with big brother next door, leads them to playing all sides of every game.

      link to i41.tinypic.com

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius July 22, 2014 at 4:04 pm

      I lived in Riyadh for several years, and at a party at the French embassy I got talking to this guy from one of the top Saudi families. In all my years there, he was the ONLY Saudi I ever met who had a single good thing to say about Israel. ''They have the right to live in peace and defend themselves'', he said, as though he were John Kerry, adding that if he wanted, he could travel to Tel Aviv any time, and be welcomed there.

      I felt like telling him: Don't fool yourself. For the Israelis, you're just another dumb Arab. The fact that you lower yourself to deal with them will only make them despise you all the more.

      But I didn't bother.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius July 22, 2014 at 4:01 pm with 1 replies

      The same.

      I always wish some journo would say to him: ''You come from a prosperous, liberal democracy with equal rights for all. If Israel is as dangerous as you say - with millions of traumatised people cowering in bomb shelters every day - why on earth did you choose to take up residence there, when you could be in sunny Melbourne?''

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius July 22, 2014 at 3:41 pm

      That's what I think now.

      Israel is claiming to be at war, with 'a barrage of missiles targetting millions of Israelis' blah blah blah.

      Well, if Israel is at war, then Israel is a war zone. And given the huge criticism made of MA for flying over a war zone last week, I doubt any airline is going to take the risk just now. They couldn't say they wren't warned, could they?

      And yes, if BG is out of service for some time, the Israeli ghetto is cut off. What are they going to do? Beg the Jordanians to allow them access to the big bad Jew hating world? Ha!

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius July 22, 2014 at 3:38 pm with 5 replies

      NEVER underestimate the treachery of the polygamous Khaleej sheikhs.

      Aren't there also rumours that UAE 'intelligence' were complicit in the Al Mabhou murder?

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius July 22, 2014 at 3:26 pm

      State Dept has issued statement warning against all 'non-essential' travel to Israel and the WB. Will enraged hotel owners be urging Bibi to call a halt? Or is Israel really as steadfast as it likes to think it is?

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius July 22, 2014 at 3:13 pm with 3 replies

      You clearly haven't been keeping up. 24 hours - and the rest. Several major airlines have suspended flights to Israel 'until further notice'. That sounds like a lot longer than 24 hours.

      And even if flights are restarted quickly, in this climate of aviation nervousness following the Malaysia Airlines disaster, people aren't going to be queuing up to fly to Israel. There goes this tourist season. It's a paltry matter in the face of the loss of hundreds of lives, but this war is going to cost Israel billions. Like I said, the privation doesn't compare to what hte people of Gaza or even the WB have been suffering for years, but for spoilt Israelis, it will hurt.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius July 22, 2014 at 2:49 pm with 1 replies

      I don't necessarily think there's anything secretive going on.

      Remember that following the Malaysia Airlines disaster, airlines are going to be very, very nervous about flying anywhere near anywhere that could be called a war zone. It's simply not worth the risk for them. And even if the ban on flying to TA is soon lifted, huge damage has been done. In this nervous climate, people are going to think twice about flying to Israel. There goes the image of 'Brand Israel' as a fun Mediterranean destination - never mind the war. Just think - all those years and all that money spent trying to promote Israel as a sex tourism destination, all gone with one rocket.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius July 22, 2014 at 2:03 pm with 7 replies

      ''Forty members of the UAE "aid convoy" which entered the Gaza Strip last week have been revealed as intelligence agents. They were, it is believed, trying to collect information about Hamas and its infrastructure in the besieged territory.

      According to one informed source, a local Palestinian recognised one of the agents as a soldier in the UAE armed forces. He contacted the security forces in Gaza who took the agent in for questioning. ''

      link to middleeastmonitor.com

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius July 22, 2014 at 1:51 pm with 1 replies

      On the contrary, it's an EXCELLENT sign!

      Bang goes this year's tourist season. Bang go all those holidays those poor beleaguered Israelis were looking forward to. Air Canada has recalled a TA-bound plane in mid-flight. This will cost them millions a day.

      The country which put Gaza under sadistic siege for years is now getting a teeny tiny taste of its own medicine. And not one moment too soon.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius July 22, 2014 at 1:41 pm

      Air France and KLM have followed suit, suspending flights until 'further notice'.

      Like I said, this is a miniscule fraction of the suffering the people of Gaza have been going through for years, but then, Israelis are infinitely more pampered than Palestinians and will feel the pinch. Oh, and are people still saying that the rockets are only 'targetted at civilians'? Hitting BG - which Hamas have clearly been trying to do for ages - is a master stroke.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius July 22, 2014 at 1:09 pm with 9 replies

      I can't find the link, and in any case I'm loath to link to the lying amoral toad, but I remember when Israel killed journalists in the last Gaza war, Mark Regev went on Al Jazeera and essentially said ''They're not journalists, they're Palestinians''. For Israel EVERY Arab is a legitimate target, and they know that when they kill them, there will be zero uproar anywhere that counts. Israel is deep deep into fascist territory now.

      BTW not exactly on topic, but I can't think of anywhere else to put it: The FAA has suspended American flights to Israel for 24 hours following a rocket hit 1km from Ben Gurion airport. That's this holiday season shot to hell then. It seems churlish to talk of such a minor thing when civilians are being slaughtered in their hundreds but Israel is not used to privation. This will hurt.

  • Naomi Wolf walked out of synagogue when they had nothing to say about Gaza massacre
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius July 22, 2014 at 5:34 pm

      ''I don’t get it- these were political activists, socialists, idealistic kibbutz builders striving to make the desert bloom.''

      No they weren't. Zionism has ALWAYS been about contempt for the indigenous population of Palestine. Israel could never have existed without the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of people.

      And the 'idealistic' Labour Zionists you describe were always adamant that workers' rights applied to Jews only, and Arabs had no place in their Zio lala land. There was never any such thing as an innocent Israel. Only in the deluded day dreams of soft Zionists like Chomsky.

  • Netanyahu's latest 'cartoon evidence': racist image identifying Muslims with terror
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius July 21, 2014 at 4:56 pm with 1 replies

      Yes, they're shite. They look like they were churned out by a 1st year student in Graphic Design. Or maybe even a kid with whatever Microsoft tool does that sort of thing.

      BTW this poster was being pushed by Israeli media a week or so ago. It purports to be a 'hamas poster' used in Gaza, urging civilians to act as human shields. But as was quickly pointed out, the poster has never been seen anywhere other than IDF propaganda sites. Also, Arabic speakers noted the use of diacritic marks in the poster, which is odd, as diacritics are almost never used in these cases. Then there's the fact that the style is oddly reminiscent of Israeli propaganda cartoons.

      So my guess is that it was the work of the same spotty 1st year Graphic Design student, with a bit of help from one of MEMRI's translators.

      link to s14.postimg.org

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius July 21, 2014 at 3:20 pm with 3 replies

      It also shows how comically overrated Israeli 'intelligence' is. I think it was Robert Baer who said the only thing in which Mossad excel is PR. Think about it: Gaza is under constant Israeli surveillance and siege, and although Hamas seem to have done a good job at weeding out collaborators, there are surely plenty of informers there too. And yet it seems the IDF didn't have a clue what lay in wait for them, just like they had no idea what hit them - quite literally - in Lebanon.

      Is there a single thing - other than the ability to inflict mass brutality - in which Israel is NOT overrated?

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius July 21, 2014 at 2:38 pm with 4 replies

      Cartoon agitprop for a cartoon nation. A horror cartoon.

      Imagine if the leader of any Muslim nation published a cartoon associating a guy in a kippa or a woman in a Jewish headcover with terrorism. MEMRI would seize on it, and news channels the world over would have it as headline news. Abe Foxman would decry this outrageous anti-semitism. Obama would condemn it. But because it's Muslims, it's OK.

      And what's with the baby carriage? Never mind that those dumb schmucks don't know that women in Gaza don't use those US style contraptions - even if they could buy them - I wonder if it's implying that babies are legitimate targets?

      It is, isn't it?

  • Finally, Israel is alienating the US mainstream media
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius July 21, 2014 at 3:51 pm

      ''Now play “The Hatikvah”! Go ahead, play it!''

      And the stern little nod from Rick. LOVE it!

      link to youtube.com

      BTW didn't the Israelis steal their national anthem, just like they stole their country?

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius July 21, 2014 at 3:49 pm with 1 replies

      Hmmmm...... going by this reply, you'd almost think some Zionists WANTED there to be anti-semitic attacks in Europe? But that would NEVER happen, would it?

      But I've got news for you: It'll take much more than a few hundred French Jews to save Israel. Much, much more.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius July 21, 2014 at 3:35 pm with 3 replies

      LOL Mooser very good. I don't think hophmi's problems amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world though.

      BTW it's always so funny when you take the piss out of someone and then, right on cue, they do EXACTLY what you were mocking them for. I said a few days ago that while hophmi was curiously silent about the mass slaughter being inflicted by his hero army in Gaza, he remains TERRIBLY sensitive to 'anti-semitism' taking place in another continent. Poor guy is so traumatised he forget to offer us his justification for why Israel has bombed yet another hospital.

      Priorities, priorities.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius July 21, 2014 at 3:30 pm with 1 replies

      Interesting.

      I agree that the only thing acceptable is a TOTAL end to the siege, with, preferably, all border crossing manned by EU or UN personnel. Any 'relaxing' of the crossing points will just mean that Israel will reimpose the siege with even greater vengeance once the world looks away, which it will very soon.

      Problem is: There is no way Israel will consent to a total lifting of the siege. Meshaal said today that he won't accept anything less, but who knows, it may have been bluster. Abbas is almost as untrustworthy as Bibi. I have also read that the Egyptians are open to 'changing some details' on 'their' proposal for a 'ceasefire'. Let's see.

    • ''I wonder if Obama has told nietanhayu to cease and desist and Israeli is getting as much revenge as it can before the boom is lowered on their heads.''

      I think it may be more likely that Bibi has hinted to Obama that he wanted a way out. So Obama is 'pressuring' him to accept a ceasefire, which Israel will reluctantly, magnanimously accept, so offering him a face-saving exit. And yes, I do think the vindictive rage which is such a characteristic of Zionism will lead to the rampage being stepped up even further before any ceasefire. A bit like how the humiliated IDF covered South Lebanon with landmines before running away in the July war.

      Obama doesn't make demands of Israel. Quite the opposite. I don't think Obama would have made such an open call for a ceasefire if he hadn't OK-ed it with Bibi first.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius July 21, 2014 at 1:57 pm with 7 replies

      ''Just a small remark- 40 million dollars had cost those home-made rockets alone.''

      Where are you getting your numbers from? Does Hamas make budgetary announcements? Got a link?

      In any case, $4o million is a relatively paltry sum. Your joke of an ''Iron Dome'' cost hundreds of millions for an elaborate PR stunt. But I suppose it's most American taxpayers footing the bill, so who cares?

      ''Millions were spend building bunkers- don’t you think they could’ve been spent better?''

      Hmmmm.... lemme think. I guess Hamas could have invested in trade and commerce. Oh wait, no, Gaza is under siege and cannot trade with anyone. I suppose they could have built more infrastructure? Oh wait, Israel will bomb that to smithereens at the first opportunity.

      You hasbarats need to update your talking points.

    • The Moldovan nite klub bouncer is talking about banning Al Jazeera from operating in Israel.

      The Middle East's only democracy, the serene villa in the jungle of the backward Arab masses.

      Not.

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