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Total number of comments: 1705 (since 2012-11-18 22:35:07)

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  • In yet another effort to revive dream of Jewish sovereignty, 'NYT' cites Thai restaurants in Tel Aviv
    • Classic Ziobabble. Zionism is all about the Jews. No mention whatsover of the millions of innocent victims of Zionism.

      Like I said on another post, Jews are hardly the only people ever to have suffered from discrimination or persecution (though to listen to Zionists, you'd swear they were). But no other persecuted people has demanded a 'homeland' on another continent, at the expense of the people who already lived there, who of course were not asked if they consented to having foreigners steal their land and expel them at gun point.

      And then they had the nerve to act as though THEY were the victims.

  • Maya Angelou stood with Palestinians, but Israeli military uses her for Black History Month hasbara
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius February 9, 2016 at 2:44 pm

      "you want history to begin in 1948. it doesn’t. "

      No, indeed it doesn't. The history of the colonisation of Palestine by European Jews begins much earlier, in the mid 19th century. I know that doesn't suit your attempt to use the emotional blackmail of the holocaust (though I'm baffled as to why you thought it might work here - this isn't the New York Times) but such is life.

      " they moved there out of a very solid need. and a jewish army is one of the first expressions of this need."

      I know it's a central creed of Zionism that Jews are the only people ever to have been persecuted, but sadly, history is full of persecuted peoples. However, I can't think of any others who invaded a country on another continent and displaced the people living there, and STILL think it was all morally justified.

      In fact, I would turn your story on its head: I would say that the existence of Palestinian resistance movements is an expression of the need of the Palestinian people to defend themselves. Had there been a proper Palestinian army in the 1940s (or even th 19th century) the European Zionist invaders might never had had the chance to steal Palestine.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius February 9, 2016 at 11:26 am

      "Thus relating to the need for the IDF and its lack in the years immediately prior to the birth of the IDF."

      Yes, because the existence of an army in Asia would of course have prevented a genocide in Europe.

      I've not heard one convincing argument to support the silly notion that had Israel existed in the 1940s, the holocaust would never have happened. It's just emotionalistic nonsense.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius February 9, 2016 at 11:24 am

      Particularly ironic when the quote is juxtaposed with a photo of the most cowardly rabble on earth. You could call that 'army' many things, but 'courageous' is not one of them.

      BTW the only thing that surprises me about that image is that all of the 'soldiers' appear to be male. Israel is very keen to stress/invent the 'feminist' aspect of their army (even though women very rarely perform in combat roles) so I'm surprised they didn't manage to put a few conspicuous females in their propaganda shot.

  • Oscar swag bag includes ten-day VIP trip to Israel worth $55,000 (Updated)
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius February 9, 2016 at 10:39 am

      The little gasps are my favourite part too. So easily shocked, eh? I wonder what would happen if a star made a similar speech today?

      And the term ''Zionist hoodlums" is just pure genius.

    • Page: 17
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius February 8, 2016 at 5:24 pm

      "‘The Israeli tourism minister, Yariv Levin, said the unprecedented initiative was intended to allow some of the world’s most privileged and wealthy individuals to “experience the country first hand and not through the media”.

      Right. Because "the world’s most privileged and wealthy individuals" couldn't afford to shell out the cash to pay for a trip to Israel by themselves? Or are they admitting that Israel just isn't an attractive enough destination for people who could go anywhere they want on holiday, and they needed to give it away for free? Even at that, I would be surprised if a single one of the nominees takes them up on their 'gift' (except Israel shill Stallone maybe). Brand Israel is toxic, and PR conscious celebs aren't going to want to be turned into a hasbara prop, with Bibi greeting them at the airport and photos of them flanked by armed guards on the Temple Mount. Because one thing is certain: anyone who takes them up on the 'offer' will for sure be used as a hasbara tool.

    • The Guardian now has an article specifically about the 'free' Israeli holiday.

      Naturally - given how terrified the Graun is of allowing free speech on this issue - it is not open for comments.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius February 7, 2016 at 12:02 pm

      Yeah, I'd be shocked if any of the nominees made a big show of refusing the 'gift' - although Mark Rylance was one of the signatories of a letter by well-known British figures saying they support a cultural boycott of Israel.

      However, I'd also be shocked if more than a handful of them (if that) actually make that 'free' trip to Israel - maybe Stallone, who is one of the few actors prepared to hitch his wagon to Israel these days. While actively taking on the Zionist hoodlums definitely isn't a good idea in Hollywood, being associated with Israel just isn't cool anymore.

    • At least we'll always have Vanessa and her Zionist hoodlums:

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius February 7, 2016 at 11:57 am

      And it was a horrible film - cynical, manipulative Holoporn.

      Kate Winslet did indeed deserve an Oscar that year, but for her performance in ''Revolutionary Road'', not ''The Reader''.

  • Tel Aviv housecleaning service advertises higher rates for European help than Africans
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius February 7, 2016 at 12:15 pm

      ''Hershel"

      Can I ask - for future reference - if you think that the appropriate context in which to judge Israel is by comparison with Arab countries? Because if I was discussing alleged discrimination in, say, the UK, I woudln't compare it with Arab countries, but with other liberal Western democracies like, say, Sweden or Germany. I take it that, by choosing to compare Israel with Arab countries, you are agreeing that Israel is not in fact a liberal Western democracy and should not be considered as such?

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius February 7, 2016 at 12:12 pm

      Exactly. So a handful of Israelis - most of them illegal colonists or occupation soldiers - have been stabbed (usually non-fatally) by Palestinians? Big deal. Why should anyone in the West be concerned, when there are much worse things happening every day?

      Another variant on this is the old refrain "Oh, the Middle East is just a cesspool of violence and irrationality, so I say we should just let them kill each other. Not our problem." 9 times out of 10, the people who put forward this 'argument' would be the same people who clutch their pearls every time a Palestinian so much as Israeli 'settler' the wrong way.

  • The irreconcilable differences of liberal Zionism
    • I always laugh at the idea that activism in favour of Palestinians' human rights endangers the 'safety' of Jewish students. How? What kind of 'safety' requires that students fail to protest against an injustice taking place on the other side of the world?

      Another variant is that Jewish |(for which read 'Zionist') students feel 'uncomfortable' with these protests. Well, good. We all feel uncomfortable when our deeply held views are challenged. But why should Jewish students get special protection from that? I thought university life was supposed to make you reexamine your views and broaden your outlook.

  • Pro-Israel group wants to send army colonel to your campus to explain battle for west's 'way of life'
    • Good point. And aren't Israelis supposed to be the 'indigenous' people of the region, ie, Middle Eastern, not Western at all? Or is it a bit like how Israel wants to be considered 'Western' when it suits, but judged relative to ''African hell holes'' when it doesn't suit?

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius February 5, 2016 at 3:00 pm

      misterioso

      " As the US Senate 9/11 Committee and the Pentagon declared, Israel is the principle reason enmity and terror are directed against America."

      A case in point: Bin Laden explicitly said that his hatred for America was in large part motivated by their support for Israel, referringly to how he had felt while watching the bombing of Beirut as a young man. Yet this was almost completely ignored by the mainstream media, who were much more comfortable focussing on his resentment of the Saudi royals, or, even better, ''they hate us for what we are, not what we do''.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius February 5, 2016 at 10:27 am

      "Wow, I would never want my children in any army that was hesitant to get them killed. Those Israelis sure are idiots"

      They are. For a chest-thumping macho nation costantly at war, they seem unaware that if you want to win wars, you have to be able to take casualties, not just inflict them. That doesn't mean you don't try your best to minimise casualties, just that winning wars tends to involve rather more than bombing refugee camps and children on beaches. Any idiot with a fancy computer can do that.

      Thing is, for at least one generation of Israelis, 'war' means little more than uploading 'cute' pics of yourself toting a gun onto Instagram. Not surprising, given that 'military service' in Israel tends to involve kidnapping children and harassing pregnant women at checkpoints. You can buy or beg fancy weaponry. You can't do the same for courage and stoicism, qualities this narcissistic society lacks.

    • It's just the latest variant on 'our enemies are your enemies', the song Israel has been singing since September 2001, if not long before. And what's a 'front outpost' in any case? Is it different from a back outpost, or a side outpost?

    • If you read again the little quote where he outlines his 'logic', you'll see just how absurd it is. Note how Hizballah magically transformed into IS, within the space of a few sentences. This, despite the fact that while several regional and Western nations have sent their armies to fight IS, Israel hasn't done one single thing to help the fight. Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

      Which is just further proof of what I've often said: Israel is not an ally of the West. It is a burden. It does absolutely zero to earn its keep. When the chips are down, Israel is of no use whatsoever. If they're right there in the region, with a fancy army supposedly 'up to any challenge' (ha!) and yet instead of asking them to do their bit in the fight against IS, countries from the other side of the world are having to send their armies to the region to fight IS, just what use is Israel as an ally? Not much use, clearly.

    • Hi everyone,

      I'm a general in an army which, despite having free access to the best weaponry US taxpayers' money can buy, hasn't won a war since 1973. And this isn't for the want of trying - au contraire, we've fought 4 wars in the past decade alone, and even though our enemies were local militias whose weapons cost maybe 1000th of our fancy boyz toyz, in each case we still had to retreat without having achieved any of our war aims. Some analysts suggest this is due of the fact that, while our public has an almost limitless tolerance for Arab casualties, it lacks resolve and stoicism, and thereby objects when their own military casualties go beyond single figures. In other words, I suppose, you might say that while we can give, we can't take.

      We can, however, manage to kill a huge number of women and children and inflict massive damage on civilian infrastructure, so I'd be happy to give you some pointers on the above. I will be happy to take questions, provided you are aware for you to pose any question I dislike will instantly brand you as a vile anti-semite.

      Best wishes,

      Colonel Incompetent Loser

  • Ban Ki-moon keeps woofing at Israel over occupation -- but not a word about sanctions
    • I said a few days ago that Ban's words are meaningless. The only reason he's plucked up the 'courage' to issue his rather mild rebukes is because he's leaving office soon, and in any case it's only words, with nothing to back them up. And even the words are fairly innocuous - his main concern seems to be about the silly '2 state solution' and the impact on Israel, not on the hardships suffered by Palestinians. Note how he refers unambiguously to Palestinian resistance as 'terrorism' and hauls out the old 'cycle of violence' cliche.

      Ban sounds like a 'liberal Zionist' wringing his hands over the 'soul of Israel', not like someone who genuinely seeks justice for the Palestinians.

  • 'We are all Jews' -- the Holocaust as imperial export
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius February 1, 2016 at 11:22 am

      Others have already pointed out that Israel is not in fact defending itself, but I have another point.

      If the only thing allowing Israel to survive is the fact that they have slicker weaponry than their 'enemies', that's not much of a recipe for long-term survival, is it? Things never stay the same. Israel might have the best equipped armies today, and its enemies may be in disarray, but that will not always be the case. Even with the best weaponry US taxpayers' money can buy, Israel has not won a war since 1973. Fancy guns are all very fine, but they don't win wars against people who are prepared to live underground for months on end, while all your boyz can think of is whether they look hot in their uniforms in their Instagram pics.

      Israel has created so much hatred, not just among Palestinians, but among millions of people in the region. You seriously think you can hold that at bay indefinitely, just because you've got shinier guns? Wouldn't it be better to try to get along with your neighbours, who outnumber you many times over? After all, Jews outside of Israel don't depend on donated weaponry to survive. They just form a normal part of the socities they live in. Sounds a lot better than a miserable existence of war after war after war, which is all going to come tumbling down some day.

  • Park Slope Food Coop puts up firewall against boycott of Israeli goods
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius February 1, 2016 at 12:21 pm

      "Name one country that recognizes Israel but considers past the partition line to be occupied territory."

      All of them. Not one nation on earth considers the occupied territories to be a part of Israel. Not even the US. Ask yourself where all of these countries situate their embassies to Israel.

  • Jewish West Bank settlers are as smug as white South Africans in 1980
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius February 1, 2016 at 10:53 am

      Yeah, I read that too. It actually makes me think even less of the UK and US - they had first-hand evidence that Israel was killing civilians, but chose to do nothing about it. On the other hand, it's got to be an 'ouch' moment for 'start-up nation'. Israel quite literally sells itself on its 'high-tech' expertise, but these reveations call that into question big time.

      Seriously, are there any Israeli 'selling points' that are not at best overrated, at worst outright lies?

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius January 30, 2016 at 11:49 am

      "Mossad can provide plenty of stolen or forged Australian and British passports."

      Or New Zealand. Wasn't there a scandal several years ago when Israel stole the passports of mentally handicapped New Zealand citizens?

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius January 30, 2016 at 11:48 am

      " It sounds to me like a lazy estimate based on the assumption that all Israeli Ashkenazim have or are entitled to European citizenship of some sort."

      I don't know about 'all', but I'd expect a good many are. Many European countries adopt the 'grandparents' rule, whereby if you can prove a grandparent was born in the relevant country, you can claim citizenship. That would entitle a very large percentage of Israeli Jews to citizenship in an EU country, or one of the post-USSR states.

      "Of course there is a huge difference between having and being entitled to (without considering legal, financial and other obstacles), but even in terms of eligibility the assertion sounds fishy."

      The figure may well be exaggerated, I agree, but I don't think "there is a huge difference between having and being entitled to" in the context we are discussing. Which is that if the EU imposed travel bans on Israeli civilians (exceedingly unlikely) then obviously if those Israelis could obtain EU citizenship, then those bans would be null and void.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius January 30, 2016 at 9:41 am

      "I don’t think James, Yonah or anyone here thinks such a scenario is likely any time in the foreseeable future."

      But then what's the point of the article?

      "The anti-Semitism card is useful only up to a point. You may curse “those anti-Semitic frogs/limeys/etc.” when you find out Israelis are not eligible for that grant, fellowship, tender, etc., but you would still very much like to have gotten it."

      But my point is that fear of the 'anti-semitism' slur will prevent European politicians from taking any decisive steps against Israel in the first place. There's no way that any European leader would try to ban Israeli passport holders from travelling to the EU - remember that it took them years to agree on the wording for the labelling, not even the boycott, of 'settlement' produce.

      "Most Israelis don’t have western passports, "

      I heard that about half of Israelis have (or are eligible for) at least one other passport (not neccessarily Western) though I don't know if this is actually true.

    • "Do you think something even remotely like that would not have an effect on Israelis, so many of whom consider Europe their stomping ground?"

      Firstly, I think it's highly unlikely to happen - the squeals of 'anti-semitism' as in ''Jews once more being denied freedom to travel in Europe", would be deafening, and no European politician wants to go there. Secondly, many Israelis - including a very high proportion of those 'liberal Israelis' most likely to see themselves as part of the West - have EU or other Western passports, so it would be impossible to deny them travel.

      If such a thing were to happen, despite the above obstacles, it's hard to say what effect it would have on Israelis. Some might question if the whole occupation lark was worth it. Some might be driven even further to the extreme right. Impossible to say, and we're unlikely ever to find out in any case.

      And while there are many parallels between Israel and RSA, one important difference is that, when push came to shove, the latter had few powerful friends in the US or Europe. The Afrikaners' ethnic kin, the Dutch, mostly despised them and saw them as am embarrasment. This is almost the opposite case with Israel, where 'diaspora' Jews - a wealthy and influential minority - are mostly very Zionist and not at all afraid to lobby Western governments on its behalf. Add to that the fact that the Palestinian cause is very much associated with Muslims/Arabs - who are the current 'bogeyman' in the West - and we can see that it will be much more difficult to encourage any real official pressure against Israel than it was against RSA.

  • Roger Waters tells France: 'Supporters of BDS, attacked by your judiciary, have my unequivocal respect and love'
    • Didn't France sign up for the EU sanctions on Russia? And didn't it until very recently participate in the very harsh sanctions on Iran? So I simply do not see how you can possibly make a legal case against boycotting Israel.

      In any case, I don't see how it can be effective. BDS is a grassroots movement. Nobody seriously expects the French state to enact sanctions against Israel (though it would be very nice) How is this 'law' going to stop individual citizens from refusing to buy Israeli oranges? And it seems to me that it has massive potential to backfire spectacularly. I'm not French but if I were, this would make me even more enthusiastic about BDS.

      So much for je suis Charlie.

  • Israeli govt accelerates settlement construction, 'opposition leader' Isaac Herzog calls for electrified fence between Israel and West Bank
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius January 29, 2016 at 9:58 am

      "opposition leader’ Isaac Herzog calls for electrified fence between Israel and West Bank"

      No he doesn't. He calls for an electrified fence between one part of occupied territory and another part of occupied territory. He does not intend for this fence to run along the internationally recognised borders of ''Israel''.

      This is Israel's liberal, moderate, left-wing alternative. Enjoy him, libzios.

  • Netanyahu responds to Ban Ki-moon's criticism of the Israeli occupation (Update)
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius January 29, 2016 at 9:50 am

      "The UN chief, who is in the final year of his term"

      The last nine words are the most significant, imho.

      " also said that “you can count on me to speak up” to help achieve an Israeli-Palestinian peace."

      Oh really? Funny you never got the courage to make even an anodyne statement like this until you were on the way out. Typical. All these politicians suddenly develop a conscience when they're (almost) out of office.

  • Did Obama blunder in Haiti because he has to pay so much attention to Israel?
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius January 29, 2016 at 2:08 pm

      And remember hopknee, this isn't the New York Times. Nobody cares about your lame 'antisemitism' jibes. But I suppose when that's all you've got, it's all you've got.

  • 'If we lose the West Bank, we lose everything': An evening with a liberal Israeli
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius January 27, 2016 at 10:29 am

      "What I meant was: what pressure there is (it’s not much!) is aimed toward the international two-state consensus. "

      Sure. But firstly - as I said - the 'pressure' is mostly empty words. Secondly, the countries most responsible for giving lip service to the ' international two-state consensus' are those very same countries - namely the EU and US - who have done the most to ensure that '' international two-state consensus" will never happen, because of the blind-eye, if not outright support, they have given for all of Israel's wars, occupations and sieges. I see the current 'pressure' more as personal peeves with Bibi for his general obnoxiousness rather than a principled objection to Israel's behaviour. Let's not forget that France, like the US, is coming close to banning any pro-BDS voices, and the EU, in the same statement where it announced the momentous (not!) move of labelling 'settlement' goods, said that they are actively opposed to boycott. So I just don't see this 'pressure'. Let the Israelis vote in a 'moderate' next year, and it will all dissolve and we'll be back to 'peace process' and 'painful sacrifices on both sides'.

      "What kind of regional rearrangement could lead to a complete collapse of Zionism and a single democratic state in Palestine?"

      I don't know about 'single democratic state'. However, to repeat: Zionism has 'succeeded' thus far not on its own merits, but because it has had pretty much everything its own way. The European and especially US elites are very pro-Zionist (maybe not out of principle but out of fear of losing bribes/accusations of 'anti-semitism'), Israel's 'natural enemy' the Arab world, has been disunited and in any case, most of the countries which count are allies of Israel, overtly or covertly. This isn't out of any love of Zionism, but because the major players in the region (the Gulf states, Egypt and non-Arab Turkey) are very much a part of the Western power system in the region and therefore it benefits them to be friendly with Israel.

      There are signs, however, that the pro-WEstern status quo in the region is dissolving and the Middle East is rearranging itself. This will not be peaceful and will likely take decades to sort itself out. However, it's most unlikely that the results will be as favourable to Israel as what we have seen thus far. The rise of Iran and the relative fall of the Gulf monarchies is one of the more positive signs. Couple this with the fact that most Israelis - as Dana has said - are rather 'soft' and perhaps likely to flee when the going gets tough (especially as many have at least one other passport), and with the fact that, as I've mentioned, any forced explusion of hundreds of thousands of fanatical 'settlers' will lead to civil war in Israel, then Zionism's own internal contradictions may not stand up to any genuine (as opposed to fabricated) threats.

      Again, I am aware that all of this is very vague. But I just cannot see Zionism being capable of doing what other colonial movements have failed to do in comparable circumstances. I see the complete defeat of Zionism as being a question of 'when' and 'how', not 'if'.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius January 27, 2016 at 8:34 am

      "I guess what I am saying is that israelis are not like iranians. The modern israeli, even a fairly religious one, will not willingly make the kind of material sacrifices that iranians made, without it causing a near-revolution. "

      That's a good point. It's often been said that despite their macho self-image, Israelis are actually a 'soft' people. We see this in their many 'wars'. They dont' care about how many civilian casualties they inflict, but have a very low tolerance for their own casualties. That is a large part of the reason why Israel, despite having gone to war 4 times in the last decade, hasn't actually won one since 1973. They can give, but they can't take.

      So it is indeed possible that most Israelis - considering themselves very much a part of the Western world and all its comforts - would respond to sanctions if they were severe enough. On the other hand, it could bring out the 'us against the world' victim mentality which is so much a part of the Israeli psyche. It's very hard to know unless it's tried, which is why I'm all in favour of trying.

      "Articles would be written about how much it’s costing the country to maintain."

      Is the occupation really costly for Israel though? Sure, keeping millions of people under your thumb isn't cost-free, but then, remember that Israel also steals the land and resources - including, most importantly, water - from the occupied territory. An Israel reduced to its legal borders wouldn't have much going for it. Then, aside from the material cost, there's the fact that any real two-state solution - as opposed to a Bantustan 'solution' - would involve the eviction of all or almost all of the half million 'settlers'. If even 10% of these are armed fanatics (and I suspect it's considerably more) then Israel will have a war on its hands, especially bearing in mind that the 'settlers' now have a lot of influence in the military.

      So I don't think dismantling the occupation will be cost-free for Israel at all. Quite the contrary.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius January 27, 2016 at 8:22 am

      "The pressure is definitely building right now–for two states"

      If 'pressure' builds at this rate, we'll be waiting a million years!

      Where is the payback for Israel if/when it continues expanding its 'settlements'? I see no mention of it, because there won't be any payback. People refer to the EU labelling decision as a major step, but as I said above, it's really only a symbolic gesture. The EU isn't boycotting Israel - it opposes that - it isn't even boycotting the 'settlements'. The US is still donating billlions of dollars a year to Israel. Sure, Bibi and Obama hate each other, but the latter will be out of office in under a year, and the former may soon be replaced by a 'moderate' who will keep the same policies but put a more pleasant face on apartheid. So I see no likliehood for any serious pressure on Israel any time soon.

      "As opposed to military force being used to enforce international law and UN resolutions, perhaps to secure the West Bank at Palestine’s request and/or break the blockade of Gaza?"

      I see zero chance of any Western military action (which would have to actively involve the US) being taken against Israel, for any reason. Why would countries which have at best ignored and at worst assisted Israel's policies over the space of decades, suddenly turn against them?

      And when I say 'by force', I don't mean by Western force of arms. What I see is Israel destroying itself from within (we're already seeing that happen) and a rearrangement of the entire region which will not be in Israel's favour. Arguably we're already seeing that, with the rise of Iran and the decline of the Saudis. It will take more than that, of course, but I don't think anyone can doubt that the region is in for a massive shake-up. Most of the countries in the Middle East didn't exist a century ago, and I suspect that most of them - including Israel - will not exist a century from now. If you had told anyone in the mid 19th century that there would be a 'Jewish state' in Palestine, they'd have laughed at you. Like I said above, Israel has benefitted massively from an international and regional balance of powers that has been almost entirely in their favour. That will certainly change.

      I know my answer is vague andtherefore not very satisfactory, but I simply do not see a 'two state solution' as a realistic option. It will be all or nothing.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius January 26, 2016 at 2:15 pm

      "But every once in a while EU seem to get antsy."

      "antsy" is a good word, because unfortunately that's all it is. As I've said before, it's instructive to contrast the mere hours it took for the EU to agree on a boycott of Russia - a move which damaged several EU economies - with the literally years it took them to agree on what is nothing more than a symbolic slap on the wrist.

      " If severe economic pressure is merely talked about with sufficient seriousness, perhaps the big-money-boys in Israel will get busy and the situation will turn around a bit. "

      Perhaps. That is the hope of BDS, and I certainly support it. But as I said below, I suspect that a 'solution' will more likely come in a less peaceful manner and will not be in Israel's favour. It's possible that with pressure, 'liberal Israelis' will decide that the settlements just aren't worth it. It's equally possible that it could simply exacerbate the trend towards extremism which we now see in Israel.

      "But motion away from status quo cannot be expected to come from within Israel itself."

      That is certainly true.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius January 26, 2016 at 2:07 pm

      "So, following your logic, one could just as well say, “even if one considers it to be a worthwhile goal, the ‘1S1P1V solution’ simply isn’t going to happen.” -

      You make some very good points.

      However, I don't think the endgame here is going to be subject to what Jewish Israelis want or will concede to. I think that at some stage, a solution is going to be imposed on them by force, just as Israel was forced onto the Palestinians without their consent.

      If you ask me how or when this will happen, I couldn't tell you. But I do believe that just as Israel was 'born' in catastrophe - the catastrophe aof WWll and the holocaust - so too it will end in catastrophe. The Middle East is in a state of upheaval now, and I expect will remain so for some time to come. Who knows how it will end, but I doubt it will end in a way favourable to Israel. Israel has survived thus far not out of its intrinistic features - as its apologists claim - but because world and regional politics have been almost entirely in its favour. That will not remain the same, because things never remain the same. Again, I couldn't tell you how things will work out, but I do think the endgame in Israel will not involve a South African style situation where the oppressors realised that the benefits of apartheid were outweighed by the drawbacks.

    • We're always told that 'most Israelis are against the occupation'. Probably that's what they tell pollsters. However, it's well-known that people tend to tell pollsters not what they actually believe, but what they think people want them to believe (even in anonymous surveys). My guess is that deep - or not so deep - down, the vast majority of Isrealis are like this guy. They may have no ideological attachment to the occupation, but they see no real reason to 'relenquish' the West Bank.

      For starters, what would they do with the half million 'settlers' - a good number of them armed and fanatical? These people are not going to simply fold their tents and ride into the sunset. If Israel atempted anything approaching a 'two state solution', there would be civil war, especially as the army has become more and more alligned with the settler movement in recent years. Even if one considers it to be a worthwhile goal, the 'two state solution' simply isn't going to happen. Israel - aided by 'liberal Israelis' and the outside world - has made it impossible, while at the same time telling us there is no other solution.

      So now what?

  • The world the settlers made
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius January 27, 2016 at 5:25 pm

      Judge: “How does the defendant plead?”
      Defense: “We plead ‘Guilty, but Jewish'”
      Judge: “Oh, that’s allright then, (Bang) Case dismissed!

      I've always thought it must be nice to be Jewish. Nothing is ever your fault.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius January 27, 2016 at 5:24 pm

      LOL.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius January 27, 2016 at 12:33 pm

      Oh yes, I forgot that this ''passionate Zionist'' lives alongside so many other ''passionate Zionists'' in New York City.

      Can't be all that passionate.

    • "t face it: the Arab middle east is clearly dysfunctional."

      A suggestion, Yonah: If you and your fellow Israelis don't find the neighbourhood to your liking, why don't you up and leave? It's not like you were ever invited in the first place. Many/most of you have other passports anyway. I can assure you that not one person in the region will shed a single tear for you when you go. In fact, they'd throw a party to celebrate. So would I.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius January 27, 2016 at 11:08 am

      "They could stay in their homes in a future “Palestinian” state and it would not be Judenrein?"

      Firstly, they're not 'their' homes. They are squats built on land stolen from the indigenous Palestinian people (no scarequotes from me). These people are criminals. And notice while you wail about the very distant possibility of a Palestinian state where your colonial settlers would not be welcome, you ignore the fact that not one single Palestinian lives in these 'settlements' which are to all extents and purposes Jewish-only colonies. Arabrein, if you prefer.

      In any case, perhaps in the event of the establishment of a Palestinian state - which of course these 'settlers' would do every single thing in their power to prevent - why shouldn't the state get to decide who lives within its borders? Don't most states reserve that right? Perhaps that state would be magnanimous and allow these 'settlers' to remain, provided they adhered to the laws of that land, which might include renouncing any other citizenship.

      But, how cute is it that you are way more exercised over what is at most a hypothetical problem, and ignore the immense suffering inflicted on the Palestinian people by your precious 'settlers'?

  • Israeli mayors initiate boycott of Sweden over foreign minister's criticism
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius January 24, 2016 at 2:54 pm

      "It’s absurd that European countries let this blasting of Wallström take place."

      It really is. The EU's pussyfooting around Israel is pathetic. It took them about 2 seconds to agree on a major boycott of Russia - a move which hurt many EU farmers - yet they took literally years to agree on the mostly toothless gesture of labelling (not even boycotting) 'settlement' goods. And now they are allowing a minister from an EU nation to be abused without saying a single word in her defence. All this, for a shitty little country to whom they owe nothing.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius January 24, 2016 at 2:38 pm

      The Germans - or at least the German political class - is still so embued with Holocaust guilt that Netanyahu could personally tie them to the stocks and pelt them with rotten meat and they'd still say he was justified. I hope and expect that that will change soon, with a younger generation of Germans questioning why they have to support injustice against Palestinians simply because their ancestors committed terrible crimes against the ancestors of some of the Jewish population of Israel.

      About Denmark, I'm not so sure. The Nordic countries have traditionally had a deep sense of social justice, but Denmark has been lurching quite far to the right in recent years

    • Good news. Israel isolating itself still further. Showing the world that Israel is not a rational actor which responds to reasonable criticism. Making it impossible to criticise BDS without inviting accusations of hypocrisy. All great stuff. Israel is imploding before our eyes.

  • Adelson newspaper suggests Swedish foreign minister deserves assassination for questioning Israeli policy
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius January 24, 2016 at 6:34 am

      Can anyone send me the link to where MEMRI translated this piece? Thanks.

      Joking of course. MEMRI exists only to present Iranian or Arab media in as negative a light as possible. You can be 100% certain that if even the most obscure rag in any Muslim country published an article justifying the murder of a European ambassador, and hinting at the same treatment for one of his successors, it would be front page news. And not just for MEMRI.

  • Clinton baits Sanders over 'destruction of Israel'
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius January 24, 2016 at 7:31 am

      And just like her fellow British 'passionate Zionists', Maureen Lipman or Jonathan Freedland (of whom Mad Mel is simply a less sophisticated version), Philips' love for Israel' does not of course extend to actually living in the kip. All of these people have done very well out of life in a liberal, multi-ethnic democracy, but they would deny this to Palestinians in their spare country.

  • 'Little Jewboy' moment highlights coming divorce between US Jews and Israel
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius January 22, 2016 at 4:44 am

      "Annie, I wish I could share your optimism, but I’m afraid Ismail’s view is more realistic"

      Have to say I agree completely.

      Last year, "liberal Zionists" were confidently predicting a victory for the 'moderate' Herzog, and couldn't restrain their dismay when he lost. Not because they thought he was interested in justice for Palestinians (since when have they cared?) but because they thought he would provide the 'fig leaf' which would allow them to take 'pride' in Israel once again. That was why I was happy Netanyahu was reelected - with this thug on course to be the longest-serving PM in the country's history, it made it much harder for the lib-zios to shrug him off as an aberration.

      However, if/when a more affable person is elected in Israel, we'll be back to Square One. The same inane talk of 'both sides', the 'peace process', 'painful sacrifices', 'no partner for peace' and so on. That said, with Israeli politics lurching ever more to the extreme right - Netanyahu would now be considered a moderate in the Israeli context - the chances of a 'moderate' being elected are getting slimmer all the time. Israel is destroying itself from within, as many of us long predicted it would do.

  • As sanctions end over nuclear program, US socks Iran with new sanctions over missile testing
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius January 20, 2016 at 9:51 am

      I actually don't think this is such a big deal. Likely it was a gesture to appease the headbangers who say Obama 'gave in' to Iran. In the bigger picture, with international sanctions lifted, they're fairly insignficant.

      My guess is that Iran is going to be very cautious about doing business with the US. Not worth the risk. Why should they, when they have the rest of the world clamouring to sell stuff to them? I think the fact that they have just signed a huge contract with Airbus rather than Boeing, as mentioned above, is a sign of things to come. It's really America's loss. There will be no rolling back of sanctions. Bibi can do all his staredowns and cartoon dramas, but it's a done deal.

  • Forty Brazilian diplomats issue statement against Dani Dayan appointment
    • If the Israelis had any sense at all, they would have quietly withdrawn Dayan when objections were first made, and sent another ambassador acceptable to the host country. That, after all, would be in line with diplomatic protocol, whereby the host country always has the right to accept or reject a foreign diplomat. Nobody would have been any the wiser.

      But no, they have to insult the host nation and make a spectable of themselves on the world stage. And do they seriously think that the Brazilians are so worried about losing Israeli military 'expertise' (which I doubt is unique) and can be bullied into submission? It shows the extraordinary arrogance and autism of Israel, seen at the highest diplomatic levels, and also i the thuggish behaviour of Israeli airline passengers who don't think normal rules apply to them.

      A Millwall onto the nations. Nobody likes us. We don't care.

      And yet the same country would barely last a day without Gentiles propping them up.

  • My one word interrogation at Ben Gurion airport
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius January 10, 2016 at 12:25 pm

      Exactly. They weren't worried about 'security'. They were just being racist, plan and simple.

      But the crew were definitely at fault here. I don't envy them having to deal with a braying mob of thugs, but surely airline staff are trained for such eventualities, and IATA guidelines recommend a 'zero tolerance' policy for unruly passengers. The staff should have taken control of the situation from the outset - they should have refused even the first request to have the Palestinians' papers rechecked (since when do passengers get to dictate security measures?) - and when the Israeli passengers refused to cooperate, they should have been threatened with removal from the plane there and then. They were still on the ground, so the police would have been there within minutes of a call from the cockpit. How on earth did they allow this to go on for an hour and a half, and only then 'resolve' it by having innocent passengers 'agree' to leave? Aegean for the boycott list, methinks.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius January 9, 2016 at 9:24 am

      Is there anything Israelis don't think they do so much better than everyone else? I suppose the country that gave us the cherry tomato can achieve anything.

      BTW I ventured into the comments section of a JPost article about the Aegean Airlines incident. A few commenters were on the side of the Palestinians, but the main line of 'thinking' seemed to be ''Come on! There must have been SOMETHING dodgy about those guys'' (even though they were double checked and no problems found) and/or ''Serves those Israelis right for not flying El Al. They're the only ones who know how to look after us." With this mentality, is it any wonder why Israeli tourists are hated everywhere they go? That said, Aegean deserves to be boycotted for caving in to their thuggery.

  • Inside GILEE, the US-Israel law enforcement training program seeking to redefine terrorism
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius January 6, 2016 at 2:31 pm

      I remember those incidents. Kind of underlines why Israeli tourists are hated everywhere they go, including by people who couldn't care less about the Palestinians.

      But what's particularly disturbing about this incident isn't the Israeli racism - that's familiar to all of us - but the fact that the airline so shamefully colluded with them. And according to one site I read, the reason given for suspecting the passenger was that he 'looked scary and had a very intense look'. Again, reverse the roles and we would have had a MAJOR scandal all over the media, and would be hearing about it as 'proof of resurgent anti-semitism' for god knows how long.

      Check out Aegean's Facebook page (you don't need to have an account yourself). It's full of comments from people rubbishing Aegean's cravan 'explanation' and saying they'll never fly with Aegean. I reckon the airline has made a big mistake here.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius January 6, 2016 at 11:37 am

      Check Aegean's Twitter feed. They made this 'announcement':

      "Athens, January 5th 2016 – Following related published articles, AEGEAN would like to note that on the scheduled AEGEAN flight A3 928 from Athens to Tel Aviv on January the 3rd, a number of Israeli passengers persistently and vocally complained about two Israeli co-passengers. The company undertook additional security checks, which, as expected, revealed no issues.

      This isolated and unfortunate event was quickly resolved thanks to the cooperation of the two passengers, who were offered tickets for the next flight to Tel Aviv, all expenses covered by the company.

      AEGEAN would like to express its gratitude to the two Israeli passengers for their understanding and cooperation, as well as its dissatisfaction for an unfortunate event that does not reflect our values and modus operandi. "

      "an unfortunate event"? You'd think the plane was delayed due to a bad storm, rather than to Aegean choosing to appease a racist mob. Again, while I understand their actions, I am sorry that the two Palestinians ''chose'' to ''leave'' the plane rather than insist on flying, and let the racist Jews disembark is they were that bothered. Now they will not be able to bring a case against Aegean, and it also gave rags like The Guardian the opportunity to basically blame them, as they did in their disgraceful headline.

      On the plus side, Aegean's 'announcement' was responded to by many people accusing them of moral cowardice and pledging to boycott the airline. Good. Aegean should be made to pay for their enabling of racial discrimination and thuggery.

    • Not on topic, I know, but did anyone else see this story:

      link to theguardian.com

      "Aegean said: “An initially small group of passengers very vocally and persistently asked for two other Israeli passengers to be checked for security issues.”

      The airline said one of the men held an Israeli passport and the other had a valid Israeli residence permit. It did not mention their ethnicity.

      “While it is indeed unfortunate that they were possibly racially profiling the customers, indeed their fellow Israelis … safety must be first,” the company said.

      By the time the police arrived to check the two passengers’ passports, finding nothing suspicious, the outcry had spread.

      “It started with three or four people and by the end there were 60-70 people standing up, demanding that the pair disembark,” a company spokesperson said. “The pilot said anyone who does not feel safe to fly should disembark and would not be compensated. But by that stage, the two men were in a poor state and wanted to leave themselves.”

      (Note how The Guardian - which hid the story as much as possible - tries to give the impression that the Palestinians chose to 'leave' the aircraft).

      Could you imagine if the roles were reversed and a mob of Arabs demanded that two Jews leave a plane, even after having been checked? The EU would formally condemn it, Bibi would claim it as proof of ongoing European anti-semitism, and the airline would be forced to issue the most grovelling apology. As they should. It's an absolute disgrace that Aegean gave in to the racist Israeli thugs. And while I can understand why the two Palestinians just wanted to get away from the braying mob, I do wish they'd stood their ground and said that they were going to fly, and if their fellow passengers didn't like it, THEY could get off the plane.

      And note that not a single one of the Jewish Israelis said a word in defence of their fellow citizens. Not one.

  • Sophisticated Orientalism in the New York Times
    • @Annie, my impression is the same as diaporas. The Shias are the largest single sect (some claim they may be 40% of the entire population) but not an outright majority. For the reasons you state, many people - mostly the Maronites - are none too keen to do an official survey.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius January 5, 2016 at 12:22 pm

      "Another factor is that (according to my readings) is that the Saudi royal family is not so very religious but the inhabitants are militant radical sectarians (Wahhabis) who would gladly overthrow them if the Saudi Govt did not reflect the Wahhabi point of view "

      I think that's a bit of an exaggeration. Many Saudis are indeed extremely religious and conservative, but you have to ask how much of that is due to the fact that they have been indoctrinated i n the Wahhabist creed from the day they were born. If the Saudis permitted a less extreme education system - as they do in Qatar, where the locals are also Wahabbis - I'm sure many Saudis would be considerably less extremist.

      The real issue for the House of Saud is the centuries' old 'contract' they have with the Wahabist clerics, who helped them into power way back in the 19th century (if not before). The deal was: You allow us (the clerics) free reign domestically and you can do what you like on the broader world stage. So the 'royals' simply cannot alienate the clerics too much. It's a tightrope they've been walking for some time now, and one day, someone is going to fall off.

    • " It ignores history completely but gives someone who has no grasp of the region an easy scapegoat they can blame to feel “informed”.

      Thank you. My thoughts exactly.

      I'm tired of hearing people say ''Oh, those silly folks have been fighting each other over religion for hundreds of years. Let's just leave them to it''. Whenever I ask them to name for me all these sectarian battles and wars, I draw a blank.

      "Saudis and Gulf Arabs love to take their vacations in Lebanon, a Shiite majority country"

      Are they really a majority? I had heard that they were probably the single largest sect (it's all guesstimates, as there are no official statistics) but that no one sect has an outright majority.

  • Israel charges two Jewish extremist youths in Duma killings
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius January 5, 2016 at 2:01 pm

      Not to mention that the people hopknee cutely refers to as 'civilians' are actually illegal occupiers, many of them armed.

  • Israeli ambassador flings Nazi label at Israeli leaders, after latest authoritarian step
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius December 31, 2015 at 2:09 pm

      I've got a funny feeling that Herr Greg, who thinks everyone in Iran with a beard is the same man, is going to be giving us all a lot of laughs on this forum!

    • I've just noticed that 'greg:'

      a) doesnt' know the difference between Khomeini and Khamenei, as evidenced by the Twitter site he linked to (clue, the former has been dead over a quarter of a century);
      b) thinks the latter is the former's son, even though both of Khomeini's sons have been dead for several years (I guess all Iranians are the same to him);
      c) thinks 'Seyed' is a name when in fact it is a title. He probably also thinks Merkel's first name is 'Frau'.

      In other words, we've got ourselves a particularly clueless newcomer here.

    • "Well @Maximus it might surprise you to know that his son Seyed’s last name is also Khomeini and he is also an Ayatollah"

      It would indeed surprise me, 'greg', since both of Khomeini's sons have also been dead for several years. And neither of them was called 'Seyed'.

      Want to have another try?

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius December 30, 2015 at 3:12 pm

      @Greg

      "Ayatollah Khomeini talks about an unrealistic ethnic cleansing of Jews from Tel Aviv and all other areas"

      He does? That's some achievement, given that he's been dead for over a quarter of a century.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius December 30, 2015 at 12:47 pm

      Nobody buys your transparent victim blaming concern trolling here, ''Greg''. Nobody. You might like to try the New York Times.

  • Brazil and Israel square off in diplomatic showdown over settler envoy
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius December 30, 2015 at 12:38 pm

      "Brazil, like so many countries, including the USA, depend on Israel’s “battle tested” security stuff developed on Israel’s lab rats, the Palestinians."

      Do they though? Genuine question.

      Is Israeli technology really so unique that no other country on earth can fill the gap? Secondly, so far as I know Brazil isn't facing any military threats right now, or likely to do so in the foreseeable future. Do they really need Israel and its fancy technology more than Israel needs them?

    • You can't arrest an ambassador though, except with the consent of their own country, which certainly would not be forthcoming in this case. However, Israel tramples on diplomatic customs all the time, so I suppose why shouldn't Brazil?

      I really do hope Brazil stands firm and refuses to appoint this criminal.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius December 30, 2015 at 9:49 am

      This is Israel we are talking about. No argument is too small to pick. No time is inopportune. No point is too petty.

      It's their modus operandi, and in fairness, it might actually be quite a clever tactic. If even the slightest deviation results in an enormous headache for the 'offending' nation/organisation, then it makes it impossible to even contemplate genuine action against Israel. Another case in point is the song and dance Israel is making over the EU's labelling of settlement produce - something which, at the end of the day, is nothing more than a symbolic slap on the wrist.

  • In rare move, Palestinian police kick Israeli soldiers out of West Bank town
  • 'NYT' reports differing perspectives when there is no doubt that one is false
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius December 27, 2015 at 10:23 am

      "Yeah, it’s called the “Middle ground fallacy”.

      Excellent expression. Thanks for pointing it out!

      I guess it's a variation on the ''both sides'' tactic. A bit like how 'rockets' which do nothing more than knock off a few roof tiles are equated to bombs which destroy entire buildings and wipe out whole multi-generation families in one go.

    • I haven't paid a huge amount of attention to this particular story, but I definitely agree that this tendency to focus on 'perspective' rather than facts, and to turn everything into a 'X says this, but on the other hand Y says that' is a cop-out tactic used by media who don't dare to report the actual facts - and yes, facts do exist - because they know they will invariably reflect very poorly on Israel. So they retreat to the comfort of 'perspectives'. And it's not just the New York Times, but the BBC and increasingly The Guardian and probably most other mainstream news sources too.

      I remember during last summer's World Cup massacre, Ali Abunimah was on the BBC (naturally they tucked him away at about 4am when they knew nobody would be watching). When the interviewer tried the usual ''But the Israelis claim......" line, Ali just retorted by saying ''There is such a thing as facts. Maybe you should focus on them". The interviewer seemed flustered at such a novel approach and lamely finished the interview by saying something about trying to give a 'balanced' report. Funny how 'balance' is only ever required when it comes to Israeli massacres and occupations.

  • 'A real Israeli doesn't abandon his duty'
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius December 27, 2015 at 6:34 am

      "These “toys” are today`s warfare tools – times have changed – and mastering them is what is needed."

      Name me a single war which has been won purely through technology, and not through boots on the ground and considerable casualties from the victorious forces. Just one.

      " Indeed, the definition of “winning” itself is not anymore what it used to be – namely, who had the upper hand at the end"

      Actually no. The same definition of victory applies now just as it always has - victory means you achieve most or all of the goals you set yourself before going to war. This has not been the case for any of Israel's many wars over the past 40 years, though I suppose in a 'country' where the definition of 'self-defence' is bombing refugee camps and schools, I shouldn't suppose that normal definitions apply there.

      “inevitable demise”
      That`s wishful thinking – at least because already repeated for decades and decades now"

      Decades is a very short time span in the scheme of things. The Crusader Kingdoms lasted a lot longer in that part of the world, and where are they now?

      "That`s because it was blocked in every instance. "

      How? By the cowardice of the 'soldiers' who think it's So Macho to harass pregnant women at checkpoints, but run away squealing from a real enemy. By the Israeli society that has unlimited tolerance for Arab casualties, but can't stand it when their own run into double figures?

      Strangely enough for a country so self-absorbed, Israel isn't very good at introspection. Or maybe it's not that strange.

    • "Given that a lot has shifted to the technological arena, where the need for human soldiers is much smaller"

      Thank you for putting in words the delusion which has seen Israel not win a single war for over 40 years - despite having gone to 'war' 4 times in the past decade alone.

      A trained monkey can drop bombs on refugee camps or blast boys playing football on a beach (though the monkey would need a particularly sadistic streak, especially for the latter). Israel has done the above with glee on a biannual basis over the last ten years, and what has it got to show for it? Other than extreme Arab suffering (to which it is at best indifferent), a smack in the fact to its macho cult of 'deterrance' and growing disgust around the world, it has got pretty much nada. This is because killing lots of women and children does not win a war. All it does is create more enemies. To win a war, you need to have soldiers prepared to fight and die, not waiting for a chance to upload their cute war porn pics to Instagram. When faced with a real enemy in Hizballah, the willy wavers of the IDF shat their combat pants and ran away. Twice.

      But by all means continue with the illusion that a few fancy boyz toyz paid for by your American sugar daddy is going to preserve Zionism. It will only hasten its inevitable demise, and that's fine by me.

  • Video: O little invasion of Bethlehem
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius December 27, 2015 at 5:50 am

      'ivri'

      I get that English isn't your first language, but not a word of what you've written makes sense.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius December 26, 2015 at 2:58 pm

      I see that you're quite new here, 'herchel'. Perhaps that's why you're not aware that the ol' ''anti-semitism'' slur just doesn't cut it on Mondoweiss. You need to up your game. Considerably.

      Or maybe that's all ya got?

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius December 26, 2015 at 2:05 pm

      My goodness, 'ivri', I can almost FEEL your overwhelming joy at the Paris attacks from here! It's actually quite sick how much glee so many hasbarists take in terror attacks in the West, hoping - in vain - that this will lead people to forget that Israel is, and has been for decades, engaging in a brutal military occupation, and is now experiencing the inevitable blowback - though considering the immense suffering Israel has imposed upon others for years, it's pretty mild blowback.

      "because Israel is closer to “the scene”.

      WTF is that supposed to mean? Oh silly me, I know what it means - it's hasbarists doing what they do - expressing their bigotry towards all Muslims and Arabs, and rubbing their hands together in glee in the hope that such bigotry will be catching.

      Here's a tip, 'ivri': If you and other Israelis don't like it in the Middle East, feel free to go just as quickly as you arrived. Having lived in the region or the 'scene' as you prefer to call it - I can assure you here and now that nobody will shed a tear.

  • Israeli settlers at a wedding party cheer burning of Palestinian baby
    • Herchel,

      As is well-documented, last summer quite large numbers of Israelis Jews took sofas, beer (and maybe popcorn too) to a hilltop in order to get the best possible view of the slaughter happening just a few kilometres away. When bombs exploded - very likely killing civilians, including children - they whooped and hollered in joy.

      Can you link to the official condemnations of this delight in the deaths of children? You can't, because these killings were state-sanctioned, and approved by the overwhelming majority of Israeli Jews. There has never been a time when killing Palestinians has not been very popular among 'ordinary' Israelis, including those who consider themselves 'liberal' and 'left-wing'. Every single one of Israel's many wars has had extremely high approval ratings among Israeli Jews. Seems they are quite happy to 'celebrate the death of innocent civilians'.

  • Israel's ambassador taunts the White House (again) with holiday gift of settlement goods
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius December 23, 2015 at 2:32 pm

      "Historians will not really come at the central issue – a large section of the U.S. establishment are Jews and the vast majority of them are Zionists"

      Actually, I think future historians - who unlike contemporary 'journalists', will be free of the fear of being smeared with 'anti-semitisim' - will readily acknowledge what as you say is a blindly obvious fact, however un-PC it is to recognise it.

      "t always boggles my mind how they can be viewed as “the closest ally in the region” considering that they are doing fuck all to actually lift some weight"

      The excuse that I always see trotted out is that if Israel gets involved in any US initiative, the Arabs will feel obliged to back out as they can't be seen to be in a coalition with Israel. To which I'd answer with two points: firstly, the Israelis don't give a toss about Arab public opinion when their interests are at stake. You never hear them saying that they can't criticise the Iran deal as this would alienate the Arab dictatorships who also oppose it. Secondly, if it is true that Israel can't get involved in any Western military project in the Middle East, then what exactly is its usefullness as an 'ally'? Of course, we're always told that they help 'behind the scenes' with their supposedly outstanding 'intelligence' services. But the reality is that most experts belive their much-hyped 'intelligence' services are vastly overrated, and cannot be truested anyway, in the sense that they'll only feed their 'allies' with 'information' which benefits Israel. Much of the misinformation about Iran's 'nuclear programme' came from the Israelis.

      So to get back to my question: Can anyone name a single tangible benefit which America's alliance with Israel has given to America?

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius December 23, 2015 at 1:24 pm

      Exactly. Herzog complained that Bibi was not 'tough' enough in last summer's massacre, and has openly said that many of the 'settlements' will remain in ''Israel'.

      However, because he's polite, 'moderate' and 'left-wing', he would have been trearted like a Zionist Mandela. I remember Jonathan Freedland in The Guardian practically crying over the fact that he was not elected, as he and all the other libzios had wanted and expected. Their copious tears, of course, had nothign whatsoever to do with the welfare of the occupied people, but with the 'soul of Israel' and the ability of libzios to feel good about themselves again. I detest Netanyahu, but I am grateful to him for not giving them that particular pleasure.

    • That's why I was happy when Netanyahu was reelected. I was really hoping that the 'moderate' Herzog wouldn't get elected to provide the fig-leaf all the libzios were praying for. Netanyahu is on course to be the longest serving PM in Israel's history. And yet there are still those who hold him up as some sort of aberration or flash in the pan. In all liklihood, his successor - whenever he/she appears - will be even more racist and right-wing than he is.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius December 23, 2015 at 12:15 pm

      Oh yes, I forgot the cherry tomato. Sacre bleu! Mon dieu! How could I do that? Where would the world be without the cherry tomato?

      And don't forget that dead eyed chick in 'Wonder Woman' or the washed up knicker model dumped by Leo Di Caprio. Such immense contributions to civilisation.

    • I've said it before and I'll say it again: future students of history will marvel to learn how one country (the most powerful on earth) could do so much for another (a minor Asian entity) for so little. So little that is, other than having their soldiers and civilians killed, being spied upon, having their leaders insulted and humiliated and now trolled in front of the world. And just think! All this - and more - can be yours for a meagre $3 billlion a year, and counting.

      And what, exactly, does Israel do for the US other than being an expensive albatross around its neck? How many of America's many Middle Eastern wars has Israel sent its soldiers to die in? Take the current 'war on IS'. Nations throughout the Middle East and the West have sent soldiers to that 'war' yet Israel has done sweet FA. This, despite being right there in the region, having a supposedly brilliant military and intelligence services, and - or so we're told - deserving of all that cash because it's America's best ally in the Middle East. Really? Can anyone think of a single tangible thing which Israel has done to help the US, or any other of its Western allies, without any benefit to itself?

  • Merry Christmas and get out of Israel, you blood-drinking Christian vampires
    • It goes without saying - but I'll say it anyway - that if even the most obscure Iranian or Arab leader said something similar, MEMRI would be all over it, the MSM would pick it up within hours, and we'd never hear the end of it. It would be used as 'clash of civilisations' fodder, and 'evidence' that the West just simply is not compatible with the Islamic faith.

      Speaking of which, does anyone else ever question the trite phrase ''Judeo-Christian civilisation'' or ''Judeo-Christian values''? Christianity was a REJECTION of Judaism. Sure, they share the same roots and some of the same scriptures, but so too does the Islamic religion (not the same scriptures, but many of the same characters and 'storylines'). I've always thought this term is just another way of 'including' Jews, Judaism and Israel - and excluding everyone else - even though it's hard to identify a common 'civilisation' which they share.

  • Will Israel's policies fail of their own accord?
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius December 23, 2015 at 5:15 am

      ".I don`t see mainstream politicians across the political spectrums cravenly and overtly seeking Zionist funding to support their campaigns."

      No, but that's not how politics work in Europe, or anywhere outside the USA. Pressure is a bit more subtle than that, but it's there. Read my comments above about the ''Friends of Israel'' groups, the hysteria over Corbyn and the blatantly Zionist BBC.

      " as well as the recent EC labelling requirement for settlement products"

      I take completely the opposite view. It took the EU literally YEARS to come up with what is in reality no more than a symbolic slap on the wrist. Have they banned Israeli products? No. Have they even banned ''settlement'' goods? Not even that. This is an extremely watered-down move which means very little in practice. Had they wanted to genuinely punish Israel, they'd have imposed sanctions and/or revoked the 'favoured trading partner' status which Israel enjoys. They did neither.

      By contrast, witness how speedily they imposed sanctions on Russia following the Crimea annexation. It took them no time at all. This, despite the fact that these sanctions seriously harm the economies of EU members such as Poland. Sanctions on Israel would hurt nobody except Israel - despite us being told that every hospital and office in the world would have to shut down without the fruits of Israeli genius.

      Zionist lobbies have a huge amount of power in Europe, they just wield it in slightly less in-your-face ways than in the US.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius December 23, 2015 at 5:08 am

      Yes, I think part of it is 'stealing our Holocaust' nonsense.

      But another factor is Israel's relationship with Turkey (which despite the Mavi Marmara massacre and Erdogan's bluster, is still fairly solid) as well as with Turkey's oil-rich client Azerbaijan, with which Armenia fought a bloody war not so long ago.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius December 22, 2015 at 6:36 pm

      " I can’t recall the name of the British Jewish Zionist organization"

      Conservative (or Labour, or Liberal Democrat) Friends of Israel.

      Approximately 4 out of 5 of the current members of the UK parliamentary party - including the Prime Minister and Chancellor - are card carrying Friends of Israel. Witness the panic engendered by the election of the pro-Palestinian Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the opposition. Not a single mainstream British politician explicitly criticised Israel's massacre last summer, though almost all were free-flowing in their condemnations of the Palestinian resistance. The BBC is also heavily influenced by the Zionist lobby, even though it's funded by taxpayer money.

      So while the situation in the UK may not be quite as bad as in the US, Zionist lobbies still have a huge amount of baneful influence.

  • Christmas in Bethlehem
    • I hate when Zionists try to concern troll over Palestinian Christians. Like they give a toss. Even worse is when they pretend to care about Palestinian gays - that's been a major propaganda line for years now. The reality is that Palestinian Christians - from George Habash to Hanan Ashrawi - have been disproportionately represented in the Palestinian struggle. So the old 'divide and conquer' thing really hasn't worked.

  • Adam Sandler says he's devoted to Israel because of his parents
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius December 23, 2015 at 5:38 am

      I'm not 'chalking it up to silver spoons'. I'm sure most of these people were indeed talented (tbh I'm not that familiar with American comedians). I'm just saying that I don't think being Jewish was the barrier to success in showbiz that Sandler seems to want it to have been. And besides, until well within living memory all minorities - not just or even primarily Jews - were discriminated against in the US, often quite legally. Even so, I don't think it can be denied that Jews are dispropotionately represented in showbiz, both at the business and the creative end. And that's fine. I don't begrudge them that one bit. I could just do with hearing less of the ''Jewish victim'' line from the likes of Sandler.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius December 23, 2015 at 5:20 am

      can we agree to disagree?

      Well, in the sense that I think Johannsson is a horrible poutress who ' acts' with her lips, then yes!

      But on your wider point, how many of those mentioned above actually openly shill for Israel? How many of them have done high-profile fund-raisers, for example? I don't deny that very many in Hollywood do indeed 'support' Israel, but the days when it was 'cool' to do so, and everyone wanted to be seen to be a 'friend of Israel', are long gone. Israel just isn't a 'brand' most people want to be associated with anymore, whatever their private views.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius December 22, 2015 at 6:25 pm

      I said something similar above. What does it mean for a rich American Jew to be 'devoted' to Israel? Empty sentimentalism and feelings of 'identity', nothing more. I'm sure that Sandler would hate to live in the provincial kip that is Israel, and he certainly would not have had the opportunities there that he has enjoyed in the US.

      But of course Palestinians must continue to waste away in refugee camps just so rich Americans can feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Because that's fair and just.

    • But Streisand is from an era when the real elite of showbiz were almost all openly pro-Israel. Those days are gone. Only a handful of has-beens like Sylvester Stallone turned up for a pro-Israel gig recently. While no doubt there is much support for Israel among Hollywood moguls, most celebs simply do not want to be associated with it these days.

    • And like I said above, Sandler and other American Zionists benefitted greatly from growing up in a country where minorities are free to prosper and enjoy all the perks of citizenship in a liberal democracy. Sandler would deny the same to non-Jews in the Israel he is so 'devoted' to. Liberal, multi-ethnic democracy is great when Jews are a minority; not so great when it comes to the ''Jewish state''.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius December 22, 2015 at 5:51 am

      "“I’m doing this because my father and grandfather love Israel” comes through his statements (and he is keeping up the chain by putting the Israeli flag in his son’s bedroom"

      I've often wondered: What exactly does it mean for a Jewish person living in America or another Western country to say they 'love' Israel? Does it mean they are going to take up residence there? Certainly not. Does it mean they visit as often as they can? Not that either. Seems this 'love' amounts to little more than putting up flags in your kids' bedrooms, maybe making the occassional brief visit to Israel where you'll only meet with 'liberals' who make you feel good, and issuing cost-free declarations of 'love' on TV shows.

      "Sandler said when he started doing comedy, the late Rodney Dangerfield (born Jacob Rodney Cohen in 1921) and his own father told him not to advertise the fact that he’s Jewish"

      Yes because Jewish comedians - Jackie Mason, Jerry Seinfeld, Sarah Silverstein - are such a harrassed, persecuted group, aren't they?

      And the fact is, Sandler (or any of the others above) would never have attained their great wealth, fame and success had they lived in Israel. They have benefitted enormously from living in a liberal, multi-ethnic democracy. They would have got nowhere had they lived in the provincial, inward-looking ''Jewish state'' that Sandler 'loves' so much - from a comfortable distance.

      I remember duing the Cold War, Western 'fellow travellers' were often asked ''Since you love the USSR so much, why don't you go and live there?" I would ask the same question of Western Jewish Zionists, whose 'love' for Israel seems to be equally vague. They love the IDEA of Israel, not so much the tawdry reality which they'd rather not acknowledge.

  • Sanders warns U.S. against 'quagmire' of 'perpetual warfare' in Mideast for 20, 30 years
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius December 20, 2015 at 2:03 pm

      "Indeed, the Mossadegh mistake of more than 60 years ago was trending last night; former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley also mentioned the Mossadegh coup as a foreign policy error."

      Interesting - but not surprising - that these people see the toppling of a popular leaderonly in terms of what is and isn't good for the US.

      Besides, I'm not sure if the Mossadeq coup d'etat was an 'error' for US foreign policy. The Pahlavis served US - and Israeli - interests very well until the Islamic revolution in 1979. Neither the Americans nor the Israelis want an independent, democratic Iran, whatever they might say for public consumption. A return to the Pahlavis, or similar, would suit them much, much better than the genuine democracy Iran may have been becoming back in the Mossadeq days.

  • Large majority of Palestinians in WB and Gaza think a full scale Intifada is on the horizon
    • "Consider the Indian experience, and the example of Mahatma Gandhi who brought an arrogant empire to its knees."

      Not that myth again. Gandhi was important obviously, but he did not bring "an arrogant empire to its knees". What really did the heavy lifting was the massive violence of WWll, which devastated Britain and made foreign colonies into an unaffordable luxury. Combine that with the fact that British public opinion had turned against empire by the 1940s, and you'll see that Britain would have let India go anyway, with or without Gandhi.

      "Not until the Palestinians learn to emulate the example of Gandhi and HCM can they hope to prevail. It starts by finding and supporting a strong, determined and charismatic leader whose name and rhetoric will become known to the entire world."

      I'm not sure if you're trolling or are being super naive. Any such leader would instantly be slandered by Israel as a 'terrorist', and the rest of the world's media would obediently go along with it. HE would be refused visas to Western countries, assuming of course he hadn't been imprisoned indefinitely by Israel, which of course he would be. Get real.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius December 20, 2015 at 11:55 am

      "anyway, it now seems evident that so many of the progressive, human rights loving, hand-wringing left wingers are totally gung ho war hawks when it comes to attacking israel for arabs to “take their country back”. whatever that means. "

      "typical tit-for-tat response."

      Not at all. Just pointing out the abject hypocrisy of whining about the Palestinians' 'romanticising' resistance to occupation, while ignoring the fact that Israel routinely gives its massacres faux macho names which look like they were invented by a particularly slow 14 year old boy.

      But to address your 'point'

      Firstly, an occupied people have the right, under international law, to resist the occupation by violent means, if they so choose. Their occupiers, by contrast, do NOT have the right of defence against an occupied people. Like most hasbarists, you invert that - an acknowledged principle of international law - entirely.

      Secondly, if you don't want the occupied to resist their occupation by violent means, how do you suggest they do so? I'm willing to bet a large amount of cash that you are also very much opposed to BDS and any other form of peaceful resistance. Basically, you just don't want the Palestinians to resist occupation at all, in any way, violent OR peaceful.

      I'm right, am I not?

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius December 18, 2015 at 5:05 am

      " that can’t be presented as all ‘quaint’ just by using the romantic sounding intifada instead of the more accurate ‘full blown war’)."

      Even better, maybe they should just massacre children and other civilians, and give it a cutesy name like ''Operation Protective Edge''? Or invade another country, killing well over 10,000 civilians, and give it the Orwellian name of ''Operation Peace for Gallilee"?

      Or something like that?

  • More than 1,000 Israeli forces enter Shuafat refugee camp to demolish Palestinian attacker's home with explosives
    • So it takes 1000 - yes one thousand - heavily armed thugs to enter one refugee camp? And this is considered a 'military operation' watched with awe by the IDF top brass?

      I've said it before and I'll say it again: It makes me snigger when I hear hasbarists claim that Israel could go to war with Iran. This gang of clowns up against the Republican Guard? As if!

  • Top Israel advocate uses San Bernardino killings to attack Islam
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius December 4, 2015 at 9:32 am

      " A husband and wife workplace killing? Name one. You can’t."

      How many husband and wife Islamist killings can you name? I can't think of a single one off the top of my head.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius December 4, 2015 at 9:30 am

      They happily use the 'Jewish' label when it comes to victims though, as in ''Palestinians love killing Jews''. The same people would never say ''Jews killed 500 children last summer". If anyone else did, they'd be wailing about 'anti-semitism'.

      Jews are only Jews when they are, or can be portrayed as, victims.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius December 3, 2015 at 5:10 pm

      Was about to say the very same thing.

      It seems it's not actually psychologically possible for hophmi to offer anything more than the most conditional and half-baked condemnations of Israel and its supporters.

    • It's quite depressing to see the unbridled glee which so many Zionists are taking in the Paris attacks, and now here again.

      And I include many of very own Mondoweiss hasbarists in that number.

  • Taking on jihadists without taking on racism is a lost battle
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius December 3, 2015 at 2:07 pm

      " the Baath Party is simply the Arab version of the Nazi Party. "

      Really? I thought that was the Phalange, whose founder, Pierre Gemayel, openly said he had been 'inspired' by the Nazi Youth Movement, which he witnessed first hand at the Berlin Olympics.

      But then, given that Israel supported Gemayel's son Bachir as Lebanese president, only to fall out with him when he refused to be as servile a puppet as they needed, it's not convenient for you to mention the avowedly Nazi origins of the Phalange.

  • On #GivingTuesday, meet our new Development Director
  • 'There is no justice here in Israel': Two found guilty of murdering Mohammed Abu Khdeir, but ringleader verdict delayed
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius December 3, 2015 at 7:07 am

      Talk about adding insult to injury.

      I remember when this atrocity happened, and the hasbara responses were twofold: 1) that Israel was so kind and caring that it paid for the family's medical treatment, and 2) that unlike the Palestinians, who celebrate killers, Israel would hunt down the perpetrators and bring them to justice.

      Well, 2) fell apart long ago - Israel, despite its much-vaunted 'intelligence' services, still hasnt' managed to even arrest the known perpetrators, much less bring them to trial. And now it appears 1) has bitten the dust too. I guess that just as soon as the cameras moved away - which they do very quickly in the case of Palestinian victims - the Israelis saw no reason to maintain the pretence of caring anymore.

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