Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 19 (since 2011-06-12 04:56:51)

I am a University lecturer, with a long term interest in pacifism, Tolstoy-ian 'anarchism' and peace in the Middle East with full justice for Palestine.

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  • Chomsky says 'Snowden should be honored' for 'telling Americans what the government was doing'
    • Is Snowden for real, or just a farce ?

      M'Weiss readers really should check out the following video before they dismiss it.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iy1hP6F5i98

      ...did Snowden tell us anything new? For all his posturing about 'spilling the beans' giving us the details about the US secrets that are going to change the whole game, he STILL hasn't told us anything WE DIDN'T ALREADY KNOW.

      I am still waiting for him to tell us what he found out from all his diligent spying.

      All he tells us is that the NSA, American power, google et al are spying on us, with the assistance of the UK...

      Well, no sh*t Sherlock...

      Who'd a thunk it...

      No -- I will believe Snowden when he actually tells us something.

    • Snowden has told us NOTHING we didn't already know. Even in mainstream society, people have known for a long time we are all being spied on : everyone I meet, everyone I work with,from the admin to the mothers and housewives, to the workaday golf-playing squares and drones, even those with absolutely no interest in politics whatsoever -- they have all been aware of the US/UK spying strategies.

      So -- can anyone on M'Weiss tell me ANYTHING new that Snowden has told us?

      He's not for real. Putin know it, which is why he distanced himself from him as soon as possible. The Chinese know it too, and were glad to be rid of him. The South American states initially showed an interest, but that has lessened as the penny has dropped.

      For all Snowden's posturing and publicising, he has told us NOTHING, ZILCH, ZERO.

  • Dissecting IDF propaganda: The numbers behind the rocket attacks
    • JMartin writes above, “While we’re discussing the propaganda behind these rocket attacks why don’t we discuss the possibility that these Gaza rockets are themselves pure propaganda. Why don’t we talk about the possibility that at least some of these Gaza rockets are Israeli false flags intended to give Israel the provocation/excuse they need to conduct their attacks on Gaza.”

      Yes, I agree — I have thought the same myself — how many are really rocket attacks from Hamas, and how many are false flags from Israelis hidden among the Palestinian population? After all, planting Jewish agents in Palestinian territories would be so easy — loads of Israelis are Arab Jews, and have the same apearance as the Christian and Muslim Palestinians, and loads of Arab Jews ( Mizrahim) speak fluent Arabic too. It would be so easy to do.

      Just think for a moment — if you knew that smashing a huge hornets nest would bring very little benefit to you, but would certainly bring massive harm upon you and all those you loved dearly — would you be mad and stupid enough to do it? In the exact same way, if you were a Palestinian, and you knew that sending a home made rocket to Israel , may possibly kill or injure a handful of Israelis — but would bring untold numbers of catastrophic casualties on your own people — would you just go ahead and do it?

      Think about it — it just does not make sense.

      I agree with JMartin — I’d wager lots of these Hamas rockets are Israeli false flags.

    • JMartin writes above, "While we’re discussing the propaganda behind these rocket attacks why don’t we discuss the possibility that these Gaza rockets are themselves pure propaganda. Why don’t we talk about the possibility that at least some of these Gaza rockets are Israeli false flags intended to give Israel the provocation/excuse they need to conduct their attacks on Gaza."

      Yes, I agree -- I have thought the same myself -- how many are really rocket attacks from Hamas, and how many are false flags from Israelis hidden among the Palestinian population? After all, planting Jewish agents in Palestinian territories would be so easy -- loads of Israelis are Arab Jews, and have the same apearance as the Christian and Muslim Palestinians, and loads of Arab Jews ( Mizrahim) speak fluent Arabic too. It would be so easy to do.

      Just think for a moment -- if you knew that smashing a huge hornets nest would bring very little benefit to you, but would certainly bring massive harm upon you and all those you loved dearly -- would you be mad and stupid enough to do it? In the exact same way, if you were a Palestinian, and you knew that sending a home made rocket to Israel , may possibly kill or injure a handful of Israelis -- but would bring untold numbers of catastrophic casualties on your own people -- would you just go ahead and do it?

      Think about it -- it just does not make sense.

      I agree with JMartin -- I'd wager lots of these Hamas rockets are Israeli false flags.

  • Rebranding Israel
    • To add, I will say that Israel is NOT the land of your forefathers -- Jews are not a race , Jews are not a nation.Your forefathers were probably from Krakow or Kiev, not Palestine. Shlomo Sand's research proves what we all knew anyway -- that Jews are not a race group.

      Not only that, Israel was planned and settled by EUROPEAN Zionists,from Germany, Austria, and Poland, all of whom were resolutely secular, with no interest at all in the Jewish religion anyway.

      Jews are -- just like Muslims, Catholics and Buddhists -- a religious group and sometimes, they are an identity grouping, but they are obviously not a nation or race. Compare a Jew from Ethiopia or Yemen, with their coal black, almost purple black skin, and African and Arab features and hair, and a Jew from Poland or Lithuania, with their fine hair, fair skin, blonde or even ginger hair and European facial features -- don't tell me they all have the same ancestors and forefathers in Israel.

      Saying as you do, that all Jews are orginally from Israel and implying that is the land of all your forefathers, is exactly as false, absurd and inaccurate as saying all Muslims all over the world, from China, Indonesia and Turkey, are originally all from Saudi becuase that is the birthplace of Islam, or, it is as false as saying all Buddhists are from India, or,for that matter, as false as saying all Christians are from Nazareth becuase that was Jesus' origin.

      Jews are a people of disparate origin and 'race' -- just like Muslims and Buddhists -- and all Jews do not go back ethnically to ancient Israel.
      In fact, Shlomo Sand's research shows that it is highly likely that hundred of years ago, many of the ancient Jews and Israelites in the land we now know as Israel, converted to Christianity, and then, converted to Islam.

      And you know what that means, don't you -- it means that it is far more likely that the present day Christian and Muslim Palestinians of Gaza and Nablus and Jenin are far, far more likely to be descended from the real ancient Jews of the area, than are the present day European Jewish settlers from Brooklyn and Lithuania.

      That is the truth that you can't handle.

    • Yawn, what a long list of 'what-a-bout-ery' -- some of what you have written about other religions, other conflicts may well be partly true -- but in no way does that excuse a lot of Polish, Ukranian, Latvia, Lithuanian, Russian and Austrian Jews, with no connection whatsoever to the land of Palestine ( besides in their imagination/religious narratives) turning up in 1948, and expelling 750,000 of the local people from their land, people who had lived there for hundreds and hundreds of years.

      Now THAT is what we are talking about -- very simple. You can talk all you want about other countries, and and other conflicts -- none of that makes what European Jews did in 1948 ok. None of what you wrote can possibly justify a Jew from Krakow or Kiev, or Addis Ababa or Benghazi or Moscow or Paris, taking land away from the local peoples who have been there for countless generations.

      Now you process that Lorna, because that is the truth that you and your European settler friends from Krakow and Brooklyn and Moscow can't handle.

      If you prefer, or if it makes you feel better, you can go on and on and on about 'honour killings' in some small Muslim community in the North of England, or you can go on and on about one African tribe killing another -- but it does not, for one single second, in some kind of evil check and balance game,make what the European Jews did in Palestine ok.

    • Mayhem, Israel does a great enough job at delegitimising and undermining itself, and making itself look awful -- it doesn't need anyone outside to make it look so.

    • American, agreed with that list, but couldn't most of those be applied to most governments from 'developed' countries ?

      For sure, UK matches most of 'em.

      And in the face of such creeping disempowerment, ( A ) most of the UK population are lulled to sleep, so they would be under the illusion -- like the Americans -- that they are shining examples of total freedom and peacful democracy, or,

      ( B) other UK citizens -- like Americans -- are so drunk on cheap alcohol and dope that they are blissfully ( self ) excluded from any debate on the issues that matter anyway.

      Then,( C) there are the citizens who do know what is going on, but are powerless to do anything about their gradual disempowerment. And the whole damn system is so chamelion like, and elastic, that it can withstand blows to its exterior image anyway, as witnessed by the completely easy going smug self stasified response of Tony Blair and Alastair Campbell, when openly confronted and faced with their crimes by protestors attempting citizens arrest etc. In fact, they just turn such acts to their own advantage, saying it is 'proof' of how 'open and free' our 'democracy' truly is.The same can be seen in the utter contempt that Condie Rice showed for Code Pink's impressive demos against her.

      Then there are ( D ) the random acts of frustrated, directionless anger, such as the burning and looting riots in London last year -- the system simply does not care-- it is rich enough to stand the losses to property, and the faceless bureaucrats are cold hearted enough not to care one bit if 'the plebian class' destroy their own neighbourhoods and mug and rob from each other.

      The ruling class are above it all and impervious to it.

      Hold tight for the new reversion to the kinds of 'serf/master' relations we last had with the state and the powers in the 1800s and early 1900s -- it is going to be a rough ride.

      Hold tight.

    • Phil writes ; "The next day in Brooklyn, I asked an anti-Zionist friend whether it is possible to rebrand Israel as a fascist country. He considered the idea and nodded."

      Ze'ev Sternhell, leading scholar on the roots and evolution of fascism, has been over and over the debate,many times, most recently with Uri Avnery, and I quote, "(T)he positions of Professor Ze'ev Sternhell indeed stand out sharply against the darkness of the sky. He warns against Israeli fascism. This week, Israeli fascists laid a pipe-bomb at the entrance of his apartment and he was lightly injured.The choice of victim seems surprising at first. But the perpetrators knew what they were doing."

      Read here -- http://zope.gush-shalom.org/home/en/channels/avnery/1222552857/

  • A debate about the two-state-solution with Norman Finkelstein
    • American, well said there, and clearly, that is why American neo realists are so relevant to the debate here -- because American neo realists know very well that idealists have to be part of the debate if we are to achieve anything at all -- that is obviously why men like Mearsheimer and Walt constantly pay constant, respectful attention to what men like Finkelstein,Israel Shahak, Mondoweiss, and other idealist sources have to say.

      The cold hearted bastards in power in USA/Germany/France/Israel/Russia and the puppet Gulf states will lead us to hell if they are allowed to -- idealists and intelligent neo realists are the voice of sanity.

    • Pilgrim Soul said : "But is the dialogue about attitudes, or about what Israel will do? The problem is that Israel’s political class and its proxies in the US may not want to think rationally, do not want solutions, do not want a settlement... what they really want is destruction, I’m afraid. Historically, such things have happened before. "

      Exactly right -- not forgetting too, amongst Israel's founding ideologues were men like Jabotinsky and others, who were inspired by fascism and Mussolini.

      "The real question is not what good people like Finkelstein and Phil want, and the enormous mental energy they exert to imagine their noble objectives."

      Exactly right -- the 'facts on the ground' as Sharon, Ben Gurion and others showed, were established by sheer violence,racial contempt, and cunning, conniving evil, not by Jewish intellects and gentile voices of conscience, either inside or outside Israel -- all voices of conscience have been repressed or marginalised.

    • Sumud wrote : "I agree with you about the racism in Israeli society but I’m not sure that can’t be changed."

      But how can it be changed? It seems to be derived from religious supremacist separatist ideas ( see the behaviour of Orthodox who do not wish to be tainted by anything or anyone that just might be 'non Jewish' ) and by plain old colonial racism, and, also it is informed by deep rooted tribal reactions imported from the places that Israelis immigrated from, like Ukraine and Poland (and a look at the daily papers shows us what the Ukrainian and Poles think of 'non pure' foreigners entering their space ). Beyond a fringe element of Israeli anarchists and peaceniks, I can't see see Israelis ever accepting non Jews.

      Sumud : "I agree with you also Israel being the leading world power. As long as the US has it’s back, that is the case. But, US power is in decline, and I have to believe there would be *some* red line that would cause the US to withdraw their support for Israel. Can it really be that American politicians are so spineless and beholden to the Israel lobby that they can start exterminating Palestinians en masse and Obama will merely say “that isn’t helpful”…?"

      But I can't see there is any red line at all; I can't see that US would ever withdraw support, and even if they did, the European govts would offer support, and even if that were withdrawn, Israel has enough collosal power in its own right to continue meddling, inflicting collosal suffering and oppression in the region and beyond.

      Sumud : " For all their bluff and bluster, I don’t believe Israelis have what it takes to endure long periods as a pariah nation under sanctions."

      But would the world have the balls or the integrity to impose sanctions ? UK/Germany certainly wouldn't impose sanctions, and Americans wouldn't impose them, because, generally speaking,the American public hate Arabs and they like the religious and /or 'white' macho, spartan warrior, 'frontier spirit' aspect of Israel -- you can't under estimate the hatred of Arabs and all things Muslim -- a cursory look at the US/UK tabloid/conservative press and blog pages shows a distinct support from the public ( as judged from the comments from the public on the articles ) for drone attack murders, etc. Even so called enlightened papers like the Guardian show some degree of public support for killing Arabs and Muslims via drones etc ( see 'Comment is Free' pages.) China and other far eastern powers wouldn't impose sanctions, because they are un interested in the conflict, have no historical/religious connections to the region, and are pragmatic enough to see that if they had to choose sides, 'Jewish power' is far more useful to them than 'Arab power' ( though that might fluctuate depending on oil needs in Asia).

      Sumud "Either their behaviour will modify, or they will nuke all of the Middle East and Europe in childish spite. To be honest I’m not sure which is more likely, and that scares me."

      Yes, I agree with you -- it is frightening.

    • I posted the following on the other Norm/BDS thread, but it is equally relevant here -- The Israelis are quite right to fear the one state solution -- they know, very well, the ceaseless humiliations that they have heaped on the Arabs, and they fear that the Arabs will never, ever forgive them, and will never turn the other cheek. They are right -- most Israelis, surely, must know what they have done. I am not suggesting Israelis feel guilty or sorry about it -- they are racist supremacists -- but they know very well Arabs will not forgive them.

      It is not at all the same case as when West and East Africa was handed back to its original African owners -- in those cases, the white population, annoyed and peeved that they could no longer enjoy their manicured lawns, cucumber sandwich garden parties, cricket, evening cocktails and 'England in the summer' lifestyle, simply packed up their colonial bags and returned to the rolling fields of Southern England or France. Think about it -- how many of the original white population of settlers stayed and worked with the new African governments? Very few -- an eccentric white tea planter here or there, or a working class white electrician or engineer, with little to go back to in Europe remained -- but not a great amount of white people remained in Kenya, Malawi, Zambia, and even fewer white people remained in Nigeria, Niger, Mozambique Algeria, Morocco, etc.

      In Southern Africa it was different -- the white settlers had deeper roots going back to the late 1600's, and had developed a rural white peasantry, a working class and an affluent middle class, who had long severed their European roots. And in these countries, the black populations usually lived in chronic under class slum poverty, servitude, and even lived quasi hunter gather rural lives, a state for the most part, worse than the serf status of Europe in the 1600’s, with no education and no real means of taking organised, directed revenge beyond numerous random gruesome stabbings and lynching of white people, etc, which did happen in South Africa.

      In Israel though, it is different -- you have a literate, well educated, powerful Arab population, with a long and enlightened cultural memory, with a sense of identity and dignity that goes far further back than the middle ages, a sense of pride, supported by very powerful connections worldwide, and all of these Arabs know they have had their faces shoved in the dirt and trash for decades -- and they will not live in peace with those who turned up from Poland and Russia, Paris and Brooklyn, stole their homes and then proceeded to intentionally hurt everything sacred to them.
      The Israelis know that, and thus will not accept one state -- that is the truth.
      Also, as Shahak and other have shown, Israeli society, culture, and religion is riddled with racism, prejudice and exclusion – the Israelis would never accept being on equal footing with 'the other'. Not only that, many of Israel's immigrant population hail from Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Russia, Moldova, Poland -- ALL of these countries are deeply, deeply racist, macho, inward look, excluding societies, mired in ethno centric nationalism, and exclusion of the 'other', and the Jewish immigrants have carried that racism with them to Israel.

      Do you think Ukrainians and Poles and Moldovans would ever accept equal rights with Arabs -- never. Israelis will not either.

      Two states is not going to happen -- the Jews have contempt for the very idea of giving up, or sharing the land. One state isn't going to happen either.

      Things do not look good -- unless, that is, Israel becomes the leading world power, and can thumb its nose in contempt at everyone else -- they seem to be doing a pretty good job of that so far.

  • Finkelstein stands by 'BDS cult' accusation, says it's 'historically criminal' to not support the two state solution
    • The Israelis are quite right to fear the one state solution -- they know, very well, the ceaseless humiliations that they have heaped on the Arabs, and they fear that the Arabs will never, ever forgive them, and will never turn the other cheek. They are right -- most Israelis, surely, must know what they have done. I am not suggesting Israelis feel guilty or sorry about it -- they are racist supremacists -- but they know very well Arabs will not forgive them.

      It is not at all the same case as when West and East Africa was handed back to its original African owners -- in those cases, the white population, annoyed and peeved that they could no longer enjoy their manicured lawns, cucumber sandwich garden parties, cricket, evening cocktails and 'England in the summer' lifestyle, simply packed up their colonial bags and returned to the rolling fields of Southern England or France. Think about it -- how many of the original white population of settlers stayed and worked with the new African governments? Very few -- an eccentric white tea planter here or there, or a working class white electrician or engineer, with little to go back to in Europe remained -- but not a great amount of white people remained in Kenya, Malawi, Zambia, and even fewer white people remained in Nigeria, Niger, Mozambique Algeria, Morocco, etc.

      In Southern Africa it was different -- the white settlers had deeper roots going back to the late 1600's, and had developed a rural white peasantry, a working class and an affluent middle class, who had long severed their European roots. And in these countries, the black populations usually lived in chronic under class slum poverty, servitude, and even lived quasi hunter gather rural lives, a state for the most part, worse than the serf status of Europe in the 1600’s, with no education and no real means of taking organised, directed revenge beyond numerous random gruesome stabbings and lynching of white people, etc, which did happen in South Africa.

      In Israel though, it is different -- you have a literate, well educated, powerful Arab population, with a long and enlightened cultural memory, with a sense of identity and dignity that goes far further back than the middle ages, a sense of pride, supported by very powerful connections worldwide, and all of these Arabs know they have had their faces shoved in the dirt and trash for decades -- and they will not live in peace with those who turned up from Poland and Russia, Paris and Brooklyn, stole their homes and then proceeded to intentionally hurt everything sacred to them.
      The Israelis know that, and thus will not accept one state -- that is the truth.
      Also, as Shahak and other have shown, Israeli society, culture, and religion is riddled with racism, prejudice and exclusion – the Israelis would never accept being on equal footing with 'the other'. Not only that, many of Israel's immigrant population hail from Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Russia, Moldova, Poland -- ALL of these countries are deeply, deeply racist, macho, inward look, excluding societies, mired in ethno centric nationalism, and exclusion of the 'other', and the Jewish immigrants have carried that racism with them to Israel.

      Do you think Ukrainians and Poles and Moldovans would ever accept equal rights with Arabs -- never. Israelis will not either.

      Two states is not going to happen -- the Jews have contempt for the very idea of giving up, or sharing the land. One state isn't going to happen either.

      Things do not look good -- unless, that is, Israel becomes the leading world power, and can thumb its nose in contempt at everyone else -- they seem to be doing a pretty good job of that so far.

  • 'I better not call Betty' -- My long path to unreasonable optimism about the conflict
    • Kevin, I'd like to say again, no sleight is intended towards you or your article.

    • Kevin, I emphasise, I was not taking a cheap shot at you -- I do not know you. I can clearly see your good intentions, and I do not respect keyboard warriors taking anonymous shots at the well intentioned and thus, I would not do so -- I'd like to say I was just making a wider point about why some Americans and Europeans suddenly find out 'they are Jews.' It seems to be an increasing phenomenon in recent years.

    • I apologise in advance to all those Americans who have campaigned for Native Indian rights, and drawn attention to the colonial injustice carried out by Americans and Canadians ( such as Jeff Blankfort, who has mentioned that very point here on M'Weiss more than a few times, and Finkelstein also very thoroughly made that point in his "Image and Reality" book ) -- but -- I have very often heard hard line Israelis querying why they should take anti-Israeli Americans at all seriously, asking why many Americans campaign relentlessly against settlement of Palestinian land, making it a centre point of their lives -- when Americans and Canadians are STILL settlers on someone else's land too, and many BDS Americans/Canadians seem to devote little or no time to getting more rights for Native Indians.

      And you know, the hard line Israelis do have a point there.

      I was recently involved in a discussion with an 'anti colonial' Canadian, who was proudly chastising and belittling an English guy amongst us, for having been from a one time colonial settler country -- the Canadian fellow was very smug, self satisfied at his 'anti colonial' credentials, and very self righteous -- incredibly, it did not seem to occur to him that Canadians still ARE settlers on someone elses land, living at the expense of the REAL owners of the land.

    • Roha said, : "Europeans seem more interested in whether their ancestors were members of the aristocracy".

      Roha, a very small so called 'upper class' European elite like to show off about their so called 'aristocratic' and 'lordly' ancestors -- while the rest of us know their ancestors were robber barons who invented these categories. However, I have met and still do meet, so many Americans who, after a beer or two,either tell me their grandmothers were Sioux, Cherokee, or,equally madly, seem to think they were related to 'Austrian princes' who had castles etc. You don't know how many times Americans tell people these absurd stories.

      Americans are delusional -- that's what comes from stealing and robbing a whole vast country from the native population and killing most of them in the process.

      The Europeans also committed the same appalling crimes -- but they have one very small saving grace -- they have now ( admittedly reluctantly ) de-colonised. They no lnger 'lord it over the savages' in Rhodesia, Malawi, South Africa, Algeria etc. The Americans and Canadians however, are STILL colonial masters, lording it over a native population they either ignore or pretend are not there.

    • Forgive my cynicism about what is surely a well intentioned article from a man with no agenda other than a decent one, but I found the following more than a little fanciful, showing that his affiliation with Judaism, secular, orthodox, 'ethnic' or cultural, is, clearly almost non existent : "What I found out from my mother was that her father's family was in some hazy unrecorded way actually German and Jewish, but they had assimilated and converted long ago. "

      Why is it so common -- especially amongst Americans -- for people to suddenly 'find out' that they are 'Jewish?'

      I used to get so tired of Americans who were clearly from English, Scottish, German, or Norwegian origin, saying to me with a romantic air : "oh yes, well , you know I am half Cherokee.My grandmother was a native American Indian." It was very very difficult to take these people seriously when it was highly likely that their great grandparents had no Indian connections whatsoever, were probably from a small sleepy , rural English or Austrian village, had more than likely approved the apartheid system in USA, and, had utter contempt for native Indians in the old days.

      Now, it seems very common to meet people who come out with the line, "Oh, you know, my dad's uncle's cousin told me that we were probably Jewish you know, and I have found a photo of my grandparent's cousins, and they sure do look Jewish and they have a Jewish sounding name, and now I remember it, my grandfather was a little Jewish looking too, you know..."

      It seems fashionable to 'discover' one is 'Jewish' in American right wing politcal circles, American/European 'art/lit' circles, and now, in anti Israel circles.

      What is it with Americans and Europeans with these fanciful ideas about their 'ancestors?'

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