Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 1275 (since 2012-07-11 03:25:13)

Lived in the ME for six years.

Showing comments 1275 - 1201

  • For Bari Weiss, Israel advocacy was both ideology and good career move

      The Electronic Intifada

      "How Facebook protects Israel"
      By Tamara Nassar, Media Watch 15 March 2018


      "The Israeli authorities are exerting pressure on Facebook to comply with more of their demands.

      "Earlier this month, members of Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, discussed how to suppress content of which they disapproved on the social media website.

      "One objective was to get Facebook to ban pictures of Ahmad Nasser Jarrar, a Palestinian extrajudicially executed by the Israeli army in February. Human rights groups have concluded that the military sought to kill, rather than arrest, Jarrar, a suspect in the shooting death of an Israeli settler in the occupied West Bank.

      "Uri Maklev, an Israeli lawmaker, claimed there is a 'correlation between social networks and terror operations,' and that 'Facebook is responsible for what is being done on its platform' and must do 'everything to remove such content.'

      "According to Israel’s state attorney office, the Israeli government requests an average of 12,000 cases of content to be removed from Facebook each year."

    • "All this proves is if you behave like a reasonable person and do the correct thing..."

      Serving as a mouthpiece for the entity known as "Israel," a thoroughly documented racist, fascistic, expansionist, illegal/brutal occupier, ethnic cleanser and serial violator of international law is NOT "the correct thing" to do.

  • Video: Roger Waters reads Darwish poem to protest 'supremacy' of Trump's Jerusalem move
  • Students from across the Universities of California call on regents to divest from Israeli human rights abuses

      The Electronic Intifada

      "AIPAC admits progressives are deserting Israel"
      By Michael F. Brown, Lobby Watch 16 March 2018


      "AIPAC sought to rally progressives to its side at its annual policy conference in Washington last week. Largely, it didn’t work.

      "The Israel lobby giant is simply on the wrong side of too many progressive concerns – and not just Palestinian rights, but free speech as well.

      "Legislation pushed last week by AIPAC has been criticized as a violation of the First Amendment.

      "The American Civil Liberties Union has acknowledged recent tweaks to the legislation that targets the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian rights.
      But the ACLU’s director Faiz Shakir and staff attorney Brian Hauss wrote US lawmakers on 6 March to tell them that the civil rights organization 'continues to strongly urge you to oppose the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, S. 720.'

      "They noted that 'the amended bill still unconstitutionally targets political boycotts for criminal penalties,' and that if passed the ACLU would consider mounting a court challenge.
      AIPAC officials were well aware of the problematic nature of the legislation in briefing their supporters the day before their 6 March lobby day."

  • 'Someone is paying Trump to do it' -- Pompeo elevation shows neoconservative lock on foreign policy
    • Just received from a Canadian friend.

      Regarding Trump's decision to relocate the US embassy to Jerusalem:

      Letter to the editor, National Post, Mar. 14/18

      From David Hughes, Grotius Research Scholar at the University of Michigan Law School.

    • Some good news from Canada:

      BDS movement makes historic gains at
      the University of Ottawa
      Independent Jewish Voices Canada March 15, 2018

      OTTAWA-"Independent Jewish Voices Canada (IJV) congratulates Palestinian solidarity activists and their allies for the landmark mobilization in favour of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) at the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) General Assembly Tuesday. The motion in favour of BDS received 241 votes, surpassing the anti-BDS camp tally by 10 votes. Since the motion would change the SFUO’s constitution, it required a two-thirds majority and therefore did not pass. Instead, it will be referred to the Board of Administrators where it will be voted on at a later date.

      "'Pro-Israel lobby groups such as Hillel Ottawa and B’nai Brith are attempting to spin the narrative and paint this as their victory. The reality is that they were out-organized and out-voted,' said Independent Jewish Voices UOttawa-Carleton Co-president Geneviève Nevin.
      'Students from Hillel Ottawa and the Israeli Awareness Committee claimed that this motion was an attack on Jews' said Nevin. 'As a Jew, I will not let my Jewish identity be utilized to justify the human rights violations carried out by the Israeli state. These organizations do not speak for me, nor do they speak for many other Jews at the University of Ottawa'.

      "The motion, brought forth by Students for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR), IJV UOttawa-Carleton and the Revolutionary Student Movement (RSM), called upon the SFUO to endorse targeted and non-violent economic measures against companies with ties to the Israeli government, military and illegal settlements, until such a time that Israel complies with international law.

      “'IJV is extremely pleased to see such mobilization in favour of Palestinian human rights,' said Nevin. 'This is only the beginning of our efforts and we are very proud of what we have accomplished.'”

    • @Annie

      It comes as no surprise to me. America has been hijacked. Dark times ahead.

  • American Jews need Israel to be safe -- megadonor Paul Singer
  • There are only two kinds of Jews, Schumers and Feinsteins
    • New book:

      Book Review | State of Terror: How Terrorism Created Modern Israel, by Thomas Suárez,
      March 13/18

      "The dominant narrative of Western and Israeli media tends to portray Palestinians as the aggressors or instigators of terrorism, and not as the victims of state violence. So when Thomas Suárez titles his book State of Terror: How Terrorism Created Modern Israel (Interlink, 2017) it might come as a surprise to some that he is referring to a vast array of Zionist terrorism carried out in the years leading to the establishment of Israel in 1948. By digging deep into the National Archives of the United Kingdom, Suárez details the history of the Zionist terror that affected Palestinian civilians, British officials and anti-Zionist Jews throughout Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. These hundreds of acts of violence not only bullied the British government into complying with Zionist demands, but also built up a significant war chest of funds and arms that prepared the Yishuv to take more land by force than that stipulated in the 1947 UN partition resolution 181. Many of those responsible for the killing of thousands of civilians came to serve as prime ministers and in other high official positions in the Israeli government after 1948."

      "Suárez’s thesis is that “It was Zionist terrorism (…) that ultimately dictated the course of events during the mandate, and it is Israeli state terrorism that continues to dictate events today.” Through a Herculean effort working with British archival material, he is able to substantiate this claim rigorously. What becomes evident from Suárez’s research is that the three major Zionist militias: Irgun, Lehi and the Hagana, utilized a vast number of different tactics to terrorize the Palestinian population, British officials and the Jewish population in the Middle East and around Europe that did not ascribe to the Zionist ideology. The number of tactics listed in Suárez’s work is substantial and includes assassinations of high ranking British officials, attacks on police and post offices, bombings of civilian targets such as markets and hotels, chemical warfare, attacks on Jewish refugees throughout Europe and indiscriminate killings of the civilian Palestinian and Jewish population in Palestine, to give a few examples. As Suárez demonstrates, these three Zionist terror organizations, the Hagana being the armed wing of the Jewish Agency, coordinated and worked together on major attacks, with the leaders of the Jewish Agency signing off on numerous bombings, like that of the King David Hotel in 1946. Just before the establishment of Israel in 1948, what had been a successful campaign of terror as part of an uneven confrontation between Arabs and Zionists, became the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians."

  • Israel 'made a desert bloom' -- and I helped -- Kamala Harris to AIPAC
    • Regarding the myth that Zionists "made the desert bloom."

      In a memorandum to Colonial Secretary Lord Passfield, dated 17 January 1930, John Chancellor, Britain's high commissioner for Palestine, called for a complete suspension of Jewish immigration and land purchase to protect Arab agriculture, pointing out that "all cultivable land was occupied; that no cultivable land now in possession of the indigenous population could be sold to Jews without creating a class of landless Arab cultivators."

      A government survey conducted in 1944 estimated that the area Jews had under cultivation in all of Palestine was 716,750 dunams (one dunam equals about a quarter of an acre) or only about sixty per cent of their total landholdings (Survey of Palestine, Government of Palestine, Jerusalem, 1946, Vol.1, p.379; cited by Prof. Walid Khalidi, Harvard, From Haven to Conquest, p. lxix), which as of 1948, amounted to about 5.67 per cent of the entire country (Hadawi, Bitter Harvest, p. 50). When the British Mandate ended on 15 May 1948, the total area of Palestine under cultivation by Arab farmers (excluding that devoted to citrus crops, which was equally owned) was 5,484,700 dunams compared to 425,450 dunums by Jewish farmers. (Khalidi, Before Their Diaspora, p. 125)

      The only part of Palestine that can be described as "desert" is the Negev in which Palestinians were farming 2,109,234 dunums as of 1935, whereas by 1946, the total amount of Jewish owned land in the Negev did not exceed 21,000 dunums. (Khalidi, Before Their Diaspora, p.125). More revealing, however, is the fact that in 1944 the area of the Negev alone under cultivation by Palestinians "was three times the total area cultivated by the entire Jewish community in Palestine after more than sixty years of loudly trumpeted 'pioneering.'" (Khalidi, From Haven To Conquest, pp. lxviii-lxix).

      In short, it was the Palestinians who made the desert bloom and they had been doing so for centuries. The proficiency and high productivity of Palestinians farmers just prior to their dispossession and expulsion by Zionists is further demonstrated by the following facts: In 1939, Palestine exported over 15 million cases of citrus fruits (A Survey of Palestine, for the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry, Vol. l, p. 337, cited by Reverend G. Simon Harak, Washington Report on the Middle East (WRMEA) August/ September 2000, p. 46.) In 1942, Palestine produced nearly 305,000 tons of grains and legumes (ibid.) In 1943, Palestine produced 280,000 tons of fruit, excluding citrus fruits (Statistical Abstract of Palestine 1944-45, 1944-45, Department of Statistics, Government of Palestine, p. 225.) In 1945, Palestine produced nearly 245,000 tons of vegetables (A Survey of Palestine for the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry, Vol. 1, pp. 325-26) and had over 600,000 dunums (150,000 acres) of land planted with olive trees that produced nearly 80,000 tons of olives and accounted for one per cent of the world's total olive oil production (Statistical Abstract of Palestine, 1944-45, Department of Statistics, Government of Palestine, p. 225.) In 1946, Walter C. Lowdermilk, assistant chief of the U.S. Soil Conservation Service found that "the soils of Palestine were uniformly better" than those of California (Palestine's Economic Future: A Review of Progress and Prospects, London, UK: Percy Lund Humphries & Co., Ltd., 1946, pp 19-23.)

      “During the 1944-1945 planting season, nearly 210,000 tons of grain were cultivated in Palestine, of which 193,376 tons were Arab crops, compared to 16,579 tons of Jewish crops. Almost 80,000 tons of olives were cultivated that year, over 78,000 tons of which were grown by Arab Palestinians. Of the over 244,800 tons of vegetables produced in Palestine that season, Arab farmers were responsible for more than 189,000 tons; of the 94,700 tons of fruit, Arab orchards produced 73,000 tons. Nearly 143,000 tons of melons were cultivated, over 135,600 tons of which were Arab-produced, while almost all of the more than 1,680 tons of tobacco grown were on Arab farms, as were 20,000 tons of figs and 3,000 tons of almonds. Eighty percent of the 40-50,000 tons of grapes and 4-5 million liters of wine were produced in Arab vineyards. The survey found that in Jericho, Tiberias and in the central coastal plain, ‘about 60 per cent of the area (nearly 8,000 dunums) planted with bananas is Arab owned.’ The overall price of the Palestinian agricultural yield that season was more than £21,800,000. Jewish cultivation was responsible for nearly £4,711,000 compared with Palestinian Arab production of over £17,100,000, accounting for almost 80% of total value.” (Quoted by Wide Asleep in America, "Operation Desert Bloom: The Zionist Myth that Won't Spoil, Wither, or Die," 30 June 2011)

      The Zionist claim that Israel has dramatically increased the amount of land under cultivation within its borders is another fabrication as is Shimon Peres' assertion that such land was "redeemed from swamp and wilderness." In fact, as of 1979, "About 80 percent, and probably more, of the 2,185,000 dunums 'brought into cultivation' [by Israel] since 1948...constitute farmland belonging to Palestinian refugees." (Alan George, Making the Desert Bloom..." p. 99)

      The truth is that during the first three decades of Israel's existence when it received a net import of capital totalling $31.5 billion (Maariv, 1 July 1977) and had the use of modern agricultural equipment as well as sophisticated farming techniques, its record of land cultivation was quite poor. "[T]he area within what became Israel actually being farmed by Arabs in 1947 was greater than the physical area which was under cultivation in Israel almost thirty years later.... The impressive expansion of Israel's cultivated area since 1948 has been more apparent than real since it involved mainly the 'reclamation' of farmland belonging to the refugees; this is probably as true for the Negev desert as for the rest of Israel." (Alan George, "Making the Desert Bloom...", p.100)

  • Dear Prince William, if you have to go, make it count
    • For the record:

      "Mohammed Bin Salman: The Truth Behind The Reformist Facade"

      By Craig Murray, 8 Mar, 2018

      "There was a revealing coincidence of timing yesterday. Philip Hammond made a speech in which he pleaded with the EU to allow the UK continued free access to their financial services markets, on the basis of mutually recognised standards. At the same time, Theresa May met the Saudi Crown Prince in Downing Street and discussed specific legal reductions of those standards in the City of London, to allow for the stock exchange flotation of part of Saudi state oil giant Aramco.

      "It is symbolic because the toxic addiction of the ruling classes to Saudi cash has been lowering British standards of basic decency for generations. The most blatant example was when Tony Blair as Prime Minister intervened directly in the justice system to prevent the pursuit of corruption charges against the stench-ridden arms dealers of BAE, on grounds of 'national security.' The myths about the impartiality of British justice have seldom been so comprehensively exposed. Where there is really dirty money, Blair is seldom far away.

      "The use of British supplied weapons by the Saudis to maim and kill children in Yemen on an industrial scale has penetrated public consciousness despite the best efforts of mainstream media to sideline it, and Jeremy Corbyn was absolutely right to highlight the involvement not just of arms manufacturers but of the British military. The government and royal fawning has been accompanied by an extraordinary deluge of pro-Saudi propaganda from the mainstream media this last two days for Saudi Arabia and its 'reforming' Crown Prince."

      "Bin Salman may have a slightly different take on religion to those previously controlling Saudi Arabia, but in fact he is a much more dangerous fanatic. He is an extreme Sunni sectarian, driven by a visceral hatred of Shia Muslims. This is expressed in an aggressive foreign policy, causing a further destabilisation of the Middle East which threatens to tip over into catastrophe, as Bin Salman seeks to turn up the heat against Iran in proxy conflict in Syria, Lebanon and elsewhere. That he is doing so in active and functional alliance with Israel is the world’s worst kept diplomatic secret. Saudi/Israeli cooperation in Lebanon and Syria is to my mind the most dangerous global flashpoint at present."

    • @Mayhem

      Don't confuse Egypt's President el-Sisi and Saudi Arabia's Prince Mohammed bin Salmen with "the Arab world." Having lived there for a considerable time, I can assure you that the "Arab street" utterly detests the entity known as "Israel" and supports the Palestinians (the indigenous inhabitants) in their struggle against their fascistic/racist/expansionist/ethnic cleanser, illegal/brutal occupier.

  • Gideon Levy on Israeli denial: 'Anyone who raises a question is demolished'

      The Electronic Intifada

      "EU lawmaker demands investigation of Israel lobby smears"
      Ali Abunimah Lobby Watch 9 March 2018

      "A prominent member of the European Parliament is demanding an official investigation into the role of a high-level European Union civil servant in an Israel lobby smear campaign targeting her.

      "Ana Gomes, a center-left lawmaker from Portugal, is being denounced by Israel lobby groups as anti-Semitic after she publicly criticized them for attempting to block her from hosting Palestinian human rights campaigner Omar Barghouti for a talk at the European Parliament in Brussels last week.

      "The Israel lobby groups’ accusations against Gomes were then amplified by Katharina von Schnurbein, the EU’s top official charged with fighting anti-Semitism, and by the EU embassy in Tel Aviv, known officially as the European Union Delegation to Israel."

      "Gomes made her call Wednesday in a letter to Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission – the EU’s governing bureaucracy – and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini.

      “'I demand an investigation into the smear campaign directed against me, as an elected MEP [member of the European Parliament], by someone at the EU Delegation to Israel and Ms. von Schnurbein,' the letter states.

      "Gomes wants the probe to determine whether these officials violated their duties under the EU’s staff regulations and social media rules.

      "In line with the practice common to democratic systems, EU civil servants are required to remain politically neutral, which makes the public attack on Gomes – an elected politician – by von Schnurbein and the EU embassy in Tel Aviv an extraordinary breach of this obligation.

      "Gomes has also lodged her complaint with the European Ombudsman, an independent body charged with investigating allegations of wrongdoing at EU institutions."


      On Friday, March 9th, 2018 in Blog, News.

    • @Citizen

      Some good news re BDS:

      "WA Court Dismisses Seven-Year Lawsuit Over Boycott of Israeli Goods"

      March 9, 2018, Olympia, WA – "Today, a Washington State court ended a seven-year litigation battle against former volunteer board members of the Olympia Food Co-op over their decision to boycott Israeli goods. The lawsuit was first filed in 2011 by five co-op members seeking to block the co-op’s boycott and to collect monetary damages against the board members. Two of the five members pulled out of the case, and none of the defendants originally named in the case remains a board member of the co-op. The court granted the motion for summary judgment from the former board members, who were represented by Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and co-counsel, finding the plaintiffs had no standing to bring a case because they failed to show the co-op was injured.

      “'We are pleased that the court has dismissed this meritless lawsuit. It is a relief and a vindication for our clients, and a victory for everyone who supports the right to boycott,' said Center for Constitutional Rights Deputy Legal Director Maria LaHood, who argued today."

      "Lawyers say the lawsuit is part of a broad and growing pattern of suppressing activism in support of Palestinian rights, a phenomenon that CCR and Palestine Legal have documented and called the “Palestine Exception” to free speech. CCR and Palestine Legal report the widespread use of administrative disciplinary actions, harassment, firings, legislative attacks, false accusations of terrorism and antisemitism, and baseless legal complaints. Between 2014 and 2016, Palestine Legal responded to 650 such incidents of suppression targeting speech supportive of Palestinian rights.

      “'We are thrilled to be found in favor of for a second time on this frivolous lawsuit. We are proud of our attorney team, and proud of our community for supporting us, and we are grateful for the outpouring of solidarity we’ve received from around the world,' said defendant Grace Cox. 'Taking a stand for economic and social justice is at the heart of the co-op’s mission. Given Israel’s ongoing violations of Palestinian human rights, we would have failed in this mission had we not approved a boycott.'"

  • 'NYT' free speech advocate Bari Weiss reportedly helped bring down a Columbia dean over 'intellectual heresy'
    • For the record:

      Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during an interview with ABC Television in Tehran on 22 April 2009: "Whatever decision they [the Palestinians] take is fine with us. We are not going to determine anything. Whatever decision they take, we will support that.... We think that this is the right of the Palestinian people, however, we fully expect other states to do so as well..." (Canada’s Globe and Mail, 27 April 2009)
      Democracy Now! September 26, 2012
      "Ahmadinejad Says Israel 'Map' Remark Refers to 'Occupation'"

      "Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is among the world leaders set to address the General Assembly today. In an interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan ahead of his speech, Ahmadinejad was asked about the oft-reported claim that he has called for 'wiping Israel off the map.'

      "Piers Morgan: 'Should Israel be wiped off the face of the map? Is that your desire?'
      Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: 'When we say 'to be wiped,' we say for occupation to be wiped off from this world, for war seeking to be wiped off and eradicated, the killing of women and children to be eradicated. And we propose the way. We propose the path. The path is to recognize the right of the Palestinians to self-governance.'"

  • New billboard campaign raises awareness about child prisoners held by Israel
    • Speaking of "child prisoners" under Zionism's boot:

      Video: ‘Stone Cold Justice’ on Israel’s torture of Palestinian children

      "A film produced by a group of Australian journalists has sparked an international outcry against Israel after it explicitly detailed Tel Aviv's use of torture against Palestinian children."

      "The film, titled ‘Stone Cold Justice’ documents how Palestinian children, who have been arrested and detained by Israeli forces, are subjected to physical abuse, torture and forced into false confessions and pushed into gathering intelligence on Palestinian activists. Australia's foreign minister Julie Bishop has spoken out against Israeli's use of torture stating that ‘I am deeply concerned by allegations of the mistreatment of Palestinian children,’ Israel's Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor has described the human rights abuses documented in the film as ‘intolerable.’ But rights groups have slammed this statement, saying that the Israelis are doing nothing to change Tel Aviv's policy to torture Palestinian children.

      "Last year a report by the United Nations International Emergency Children's Fund or UNICEF concluded that Palestinian children are often targeted in night arrests and raids of their homes, threatened with death and subjected to physical violence, solitary confinement and sexual assault. The film Stone Cold Justice has sparked an international outcry about Israel's treatment of children in Israeli jails. However, rights groups have criticized Tel Aviv for not doing anything to create a policy that protects Palestinian children against arbitrary arrest and torture."

      Precarious Childhood: Arrests of Jerusalemite Children
      This film addresses the process of arrest, interrogation, and the policy of house arrest and their effects on children. The film provides accounts of children who were arrested in order to highlight a larger policy of persecution and targeting of Palestinian children in Jerusalem.

      Re: The Gaza Strip, the world's largest outdoor prison:

  • Bibi does Broadway
    • For the record:

      "New U.S. Embassy May Be in Jerusalem, but Not in Israel"
      New York Times, March 7/18
      By Isabel Kershner


      JERUSALEM — "In two months, the United States plans to open a new embassy to fulfill President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

      "There’s just one problem: The embassy may be in Jerusalem, but it may not be fully in Israel."

      "The diplomatic compound that will serve as the American Embassy until a permanent site is found lies partly in a contested zone known as No Man’s Land.

      "No Man’s Land encompasses the area between the armistice lines drawn at the end of the 1948-49 war and was claimed by Jordan and Israel. Israel won full control of it in the 1967 war, so the United Nations and much of the world consider it occupied territory."

      “'No Man’s Land is occupied territory,' said Ashraf Khatib of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Negotiations Affairs Department. 'Any permanent status for that territory should be part of a final status negotiation.'”

  • Zionism, anti-Semitism, Israel — and the UK Labour party
    • @Ossinev

      Thanks for the video. I hadn't seen it before. More proof of what a slimy shyster Regev is.

      Zionism is inevitably doomed. As is patently obvious, it is based on theft, racism and fascism.
      No wonder it is being increasingly abandoned by Jews around the world.

      All so predictable:

      Henry Morgenthau Sr., renowned Jewish American and former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, 1919: "Zionism is the most stupendous fallacy in Jewish history....The very fervour of my feeling for the oppressed of every race and every land, especially for the Jews, those of my own blood and faith, to whom I am bound by every tender tie, impels me to fight with all the greater force against this scheme, which my intelligence tells me can only lead them deeper into the mire of the past, while it professes to be leading them to the heights. Zionism is... a retrogression into the blackest error, and not progress toward the light." (Quoted by Frank Epp, Whose Land is Palestine?, p. 261)

      Asked to sign a petition supporting settlement of Jews in Palestine, Sigmund Freud declined: "I cannot...I do not think that Palestine could ever become a Jewish state....It would have seemed more sensible to me to establish a Jewish homeland on a less historically-burdened land....I can raise no sympathy at all for the misdirected piety which transforms a piece of a Herodian wall into a national relic, thereby offending the feelings of the natives." (Letter to Dr. Chaim Koffler Keren HaYassod, Vienna: 2/26/30)

      Albert Einstein, 1939: “There could be no greater calamity than a permanent discord between us and the Arab people…. Let us recall that in former times no people lived in greater friendship with us than the ancestors of these Arabs.” (Einstein and Zionism by Banesh Hoffmann, in General Relativity and Gravitation, eds. G. Shaviv and J. Rosen, Wiley, 1975, p. 242)

      Lessing J. Rosenwald, president of the American Council for Judaism, 1944: “The concept of a racial state – the Hitlerian concept- is repugnant
      to the civilized world, as witness the fearful global war in which we are involved. . ., I urge that we do nothing to set us back on the road to the past. To project at this time the creation of a Jewish state or commonwealth is to launch a singular innovation in world affairs which might well have incalculable consequences.”

  • In Gaza
    • For the record:

      Israel is still illegally occupying the Gaza Strip:

      Human Rights Watch, 2005: “…Israel will continue to be an Occupying Power [of the Gaza Strip] under international law and bound by the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention because it will retain effective control over the territory and over crucial aspects of civilian life. Israel will not be withdrawing and handing power over to a sovereign authority – indeed, the word ‘withdrawal’ does not appear in the [2005 disengagement] document at all… The IDF will retain control over Gaza’s borders, coastline, and airspace, and will reserve the right to enter Gaza at will. According to the Hague Regulations, ‘A territory is considered occupied when it is actually placed under the authority of the hostile army. The occupation extends only to the territory where such authority has been established and can be exercised’. International jurisprudence has clarified that the mere repositioning of troops is not sufficient to relieve an occupier of its responsibilities if it retains its overall authority and the ability to reassert direct control at will.”

      The International Committee of the Red Cross: "The whole of Gaza's civilian population is being punished for acts for which they bear no responsibility. The closure therefore constitutes a collective punishment imposed in clear violation of Israel's obligations under international humanitarian law. The Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, ratified by Israel, bans collective punishment of a civilian population.”

      “In practice, Gaza has become a huge, let me be blunt, concentration camp for right now 1,800,000 people” - Amira Hass, 2015, correspondent for Haaretz, speaking at the Forum for Scholars and Publics at Duke University.

      To quote Dov Weisglass, then PM Ariel Sharon's senior adviser:
      "‘The significance of the [proposed] disengagement plan [implemented in 2005] is the freezing of the peace process,’ Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's senior adviser Dov Weisglass has told Ha’aretz. ‘And when you freeze that process, you prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state, and you prevent a discussion on the refugees, the borders and Jerusalem. Effectively, this whole package called the Palestinian state, with all that it entails, has been removed indefinitely from our agenda....' Weisglass, who was one of the initiators of the disengagement plan, was speaking in an interview with Ha’aretz for the Friday Magazine. ‘The disengagement is actually formaldehyde,’ he said. ‘It supplies the amount of formaldehyde that is necessary so there will not be a political process with the Palestinians.’" (Top PM Aide: Gaza Plan Aims to Freeze the Peace Process, Ha’aretz, October 6, 2004)

  • Schumer and Dems outdo Trump at AIPAC-- there's no peace because 'Palestinians don't believe in Torah'
    • @Steve Grover

      "How the Zionists won the body but lost the soul of US politics"

      "Despite millions spent on propaganda, the Zionists have failed to frighten the moral conscience of the US into silence."
      by Hamid Dabashi, Al Jazeera, 6 Mar 2018

      "The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the Israeli Fifth Column in the United States, is staging its annual policy conference from Sunday the 4th through Tuesday the 6th of March 2018 in Washington, DC, the very nodal core of this careworn empire.

      "'AIPAC's mission,' as they put it resoundingly, 'is to strengthen, protect and promote the US-Israel relationship in ways that enhance the security of Israel and the United States. Our staff and citizen activists educate decision-makers about the bonds that unite the United States and Israel and how it is in America's best interest to help ensure that Israel is safe, strong and secure.' And a vast propaganda machinery is at the disposal of AIPAC to spread the word."

      "Joseph Goebbels and Leni Riefenstahl could not have done any better staging a fascist duet of images to project and assert global power. But AIPAC is visually barking louder than it can bite. It overcompensates."

      "Their rich uncles like Sheldon Adelson can buy a ticket worth $5m to Trump's inauguration. He can even buy a new embassy for the US on the stolen Palestinian city of Jerusalem. The other uncle Haim Saban - who has famously said 'I'm a one-issue guy and my one issue is Israel' - had already bought and paid for Hillary Clinton in case she had a snowball chance in hell to camouflage her bone deep corruption and beat the real estate charlatan. Both rich Zionist uncles owned both the candidates just to be on the safe side. But there are more than just these two. They are so many that the Zionists have in fact coined a term for them: 'Zionaires: Billionaires Who Support Israel.'"

      "That is power. No doubt. But still the Zionists protest too much. They bark much louder than they can bite. Yes they pretend they own the body politics of American power. But, oh brother, how deeply and how eternally they have lost the soul of American politics.

      "What such gaudy and garish spectacles as AIPAC 'conferences' seek to hide, but paradoxically strips naked for the whole world to see is a deep sense of insecurity and illegitimacy. More than anyone else the Zionists themselves know full well they are fake. The loud and lurid shows they stage periodically in Washington, DC is to quiet their own inadvertent confession that they are thieves, unwanted intruders in someone else's homeland. Their tawdry vulgarity at such 'conferences' seeks to hide but ever more glaringly broadcasts their colonial thievery, and their full knowledge of it."


      The Washington Post, Mar.6/18

      "The dark roots of AIPAC, ‘America’s Pro-Israel Lobby’ "

      "The group was formed to spin positive PR after Israeli atrocities."

      By Doug Rossinow March 6/18

      "Doug Rossinow teaches history at the University of Oslo, and is currently writing a history of American Zionism from 1948 to 1995."

      "AIPAC, the swaggering and influential American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which brands itself as 'America’s Pro-Israel Lobby,' is holding its annual policy conference. Top politicians from both parties vie for speaking slots at the group’s glitzy gala. Everyone pays AIPAC attention. And for good reason. Since the late 1970s, it has informally directed substantial campaign contributions toward chosen candidates for Congress. Its messaging on the Middle East is essential in Washington’s foreign-policy conversation."

  • Nine reasons Israel is not a 'progressive paradise'
    • @jackdaw

      "The answer to my question is the name of a country in the Middle East. Any other answer is bullshit."

      Your question is nonsensical. Regardless of the situation in other Middle East countries, the fact remains that "Israel" is demonstrably not "progressive."

      To be brief:
      Eminent Jewish Israeli journalist Bradley Burston aptly sums up the horrors the entity know as "Israel" inflicts on Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem:
      “Occupation is Slavery”
      “In the name of occupation, generation after generation of Palestinians have been treated as property. They can be moved at will, shackled at will, tortured at will, have their families separated at will. They can be denied the right to vote, to own property, to meet or speak to family and friends. They can be hounded or even shot dead by their masters, who claim their position by biblical right, and also use them to build and work on the plantations the toilers cannot themselves ever hope to own. The masters dehumanize them, call them by the names of beasts.” (Haaretz, Feb. 26/13)

      Regarding Palestinian Arab citizens of “Israel,” i.e. west of the green line:
      Israel is and always has been governed under an apartheid system:

      Hendrik Verwoerd, then prime minister of South Africa and the architect of South Africa’s apartheid policies, 1961: “Israel, like South Africa, is an apartheid state.” (Rand Daily Mail, November 23, 1961)

      Jacobus Johannes Fouché, South African Minister of Defence during the apartheid era, compared the two states and said that Israel also practiced apartheid.
      (Gideon Shimoni (1980). Jews and Zionism: The South African Experience 1910-1967. Cape Town: Oxford UP. pp. 310–336. ISBN 0195701798.

      “Former Foreign Ministry director-general invokes South Africa comparisons. ‘Joint Israel-West Bank’ reality is an apartheid state”
      EXCERPT: “Similarities between the ‘original apartheid’ as it was practiced in South Africa and the situation in ISRAEL [my emphasis] and the West Bank today ‘scream to the heavens,’ added [Alon] Liel, who was Israel’s ambassador in Pretoria from 1992 to 1994. There can be little doubt that the suffering of Palestinians is not less intense than that of blacks during apartheid-era South Africa, he asserted.” (Times of Israel, February 21, 2013)

      Video: Israeli TV Host Implores Israelis: Wake Up and Smell the Apartheid

      In its 2015 Country Report on Human Rights Practices for Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, the U.S. Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor acknowledges the “institutional and societal discrimination against Arab citizens of Israel.” (U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor)

      “Construction, Not Destruction”
      “While Israeli Arabs constitute 20 percent of the population, Arab communities’ jurisdictions occupy just 2.5 percent of the state’s land area, and the process of approving new construction in Arab towns takes decades.” (Haaretz Editorial, April 4, 2017)

      One example of apartheid within Israel:
      “Jewish town won’t let Arab build home on his own land ”
      Excerpt: “Aadel Suad first came to the planning and construction committee of the Misgav Local Council in 1997. Suad, an educator, was seeking a construction permit to build a home on a plot of land he owns in the community of Mitzpeh Kamon. The reply he got, from a senior official on the committee, was a memorable one. ‘Don’t waste your time,’ he reportedly told Suad. ‘We’ll keep you waiting for 30 years.’” (Haaretz, 14 December 2009)

      Ronnie Kasrils, a key player in the struggle against the former South African apartheid regime, minister for intelligence and a devout Jew: "The Palestinian minority in Israel has for decades been denied basic equality in health, education, housing and land possession, solely because it is not Jewish. The fact that this minority is allowed to vote hardly redresses the rampant injustice in all other basic human rights. They are excluded from the very definition of the 'Jewish state', and have virtually no influence on the laws, or political, social and economic policies. Hence, their similarity to the black South Africans [under apartheid]." (The Guardian, 25 May 2005)

      Shlomo Gazit, retired IDF Major General: "[Israel's] legal system that enforces the law in a discriminatory way on the basis of national identity, is actually maintaining an apartheid regime." (Haaretz, July 19, 2011)

      Israel is the only country in the world that differentiates between citizenship and nationality, i.e., “Israeli” nationality does not exist, only Jews and non-Jews, and each citizen carries an appropriate identity card. While the implications of this absurdity for discrimination and racism against non-Jews are obvious, it has been upheld by Israel’s Supreme Court.

      The effect of Israel’s blatantly racist “Citizenship Law” and more than fifty other restrictions Arab citizens have to endure is well expressed by writer and Knesset member, Ahmed Tibi,
      “…dutifully defining the state [of Israel] as ‘Jewish and democratic,’ ignores the fact that in practice ‘democratic’ refers to Jews, and the Arabs are nothing more than citizens without citizenship.” (Ma’ariv, 1.6.2005)

      Indeed, "Israel" is the very antithesis of "progressive." Apartheid is not "progressive."
      Ruthless, brutal oppression of an illegally occupied defenseless people is not "progressive."
      The list goes on and on.....

    • @Jackdaw

      I have answered your question. The entity known as "Israel" and the word "progressive" are mutually exclusive.

    • @Jackdaw

      Referring to the entity known as "Israel," a belligerent, illegal, brutal occupier, an ethnic cleanser, a thoroughly documented serial and escalating violator of international humanitarian law as "progressive" is utterly absurd. You live in a fantasy world. Thankfully, the rest of the world, including the U.S., is rapidly seeing the entity known as "Israel" for the racist, apartheid monster it is and always has been.

    • I just received this.

      An absolute must watch video!!!:

      BBC TV: HARDtalk's Stephen Sackur, interviews Palestinian Ahmad Tibi, Leader of Ta'al and Member of Knesset, March 6/18.

  • Identity as pathology

      Press Release

      The Palestine Liberation Organization
      Department of Culture & Information

      March 6, 2018:
      "Dr. Ashrawi condemns the Israeli Knesset’s resolution to revoke the residency of Palestinian Jerusalemites as 'racist and dangerous'”

      "PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi condemned the passing of a second and third reading of a draft law that allows the Israeli government to withdraw residency rights from Palestinian Jerusalemites it considers to be involved in activities against Israel.

      "Approved by the Israeli Ministerial Committee for Legislation of the Knesset, 'such a law,” Dr. Ashrawi said, 'represents an extremely racist piece of legislation and gives full mandate to the Netanyahu government and future Israeli governments to revoke the IDs of Palestinians from Jerusalem at will and without just cause. By unethically stripping the residency of Palestinians from Jerusalem and depriving the rights of those Palestinians to remain in their own city, the Israeli government is acting in defiance of international law and is violating international human rights and humanitarian laws. This latest move is in the context of Israel’s systematic ethnic cleansing plans for Jerusalem and seeks to dispossess the Palestinians who have been the rightful and long-term inhabitants of the occupied city.'

      "Dr. Ashrawi adds, 'Since 1967, Israel has revoked the residency status of more than 14,500 Palestinians from Jerusalem using the pretext of its illegal and draconian laws.'

      "She also denounced Israel’s total disdain for Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention which states, 'Individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or not, are prohibited, regardless of their motive.'”

      "Dr. Ashrawi called on the international community to immediately 'intervene and exert all efforts to prevent the implementation of this extremist bill that serves to create unjust demographic realities in Jerusalem by illegally importing Jewish settlers while expelling its rightful Palestinian inhabitants.'”

  • Israeli army's lies can no longer salvage its image
  • AIPAC panics over progressives abandoning Israel

      Pro-Palestinian march hits DC as AIPAC kicks off

      Published Mar 4, 2018

      "Pro-Palestinian protesters descended on Washington D.C., Sunday, demanding that the 2018 American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference, which has started earlier in the day, be shut down."

    • Some good news:

      "WATCH: From Jesse Williams and Rosario Dawson to Angela Davis and Michael Bennett, Black cultural figures are supporting Palestinian teen Ahed Tamimi and demanding her release from Israeli prison."

    • Worth noting:

      "Why Young Jews and Democrats Are Waving Goodbye to AIPAC"

      "My generation has only known Israel as an occupier. We won’t back anyone who supports that injustice – including the powerful lobby that is AIPAC"
      By Emily Mayer, March 6, 2018 - Haaretz

      "As a young Jew and leader with IfNotNow who marched, sang, and chanted in the chilly March weather outside AIPAC’s annual Policy Conference last year, I know that the forces pulling progressives out of AIPAC are of the Jewish establishment and the Israeli government's making.

      "As long as they insist on supporting and maintaining the occupation of millions of Palestinians in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza, progressives will turn away from pro-Israel advocacy in increasing numbers -- both within and outside the Jewish community.
      Just look at the polling of the future American Jewish community: Support for Israel among Jewish college students in the United States dropped an astounding 32 percent between 2010 and 2016.

      "While the Jewish establishment, anxious to make sense of these numbers, points to assimilation and the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement, the fact cannot be ignored: My generation has only known Israel as an occupier which denies millions of Palestinians access to water, proper medical care, and the ability to elect their own government. Supporting such a system as dogma is a dead-end to the thriving Jewish future we all want."

    • Israel employs bounty hunters:

      "Israel will hire civilians to capture African migrants and refugees"

      By Carlos Ballesteros 1/14/18

      "Israel will offer a cash reward to civilians who sign up to become 'immigration inspectors' with the government unit that oversees the deportation of the country's large asylum and refugee population.

      "The Population and Immigration Authority, the Israeli government's immigration ministry, published a job notice last week that invites civilians to apply to become 'inspectors' for the agency's asylum request department. The ministry is offering 'appropriate pay' as well as a bonus that can reach 30,000 Israeli shekels ($8,700).

      "The ministry says it is looking to hire 100 inspectors by March 2018. Of these, 70 inspectors will be hired for a two-month period to 'carry out enforcement tasks against illegal aliens and their employers,' including the need to 'locate, detain and monitor illegal persons.' The immigration ministry also wants to hire 40 people to 'conduct comprehensive questioning and investigation of asylum seekers,' ostensibly to determine the veracity of their claims.

      "The notice calls for high school education and notes that experience in combat or security is a plus."

  • Avraham Burg speaks at Temple Israel in Boston

      March 5, 2018: "Dr. Ashrawi condemns Guatemala’s decision to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem in May"

      "PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi has condemned the 'dangerous and provocative' announcement made by Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales at AIPAC’s annual conference to relocate the embassy of Guatemala from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem:

      “'By taking such a step that defies international law, Mr. Morales, also besieged at home by charges of corruption and abuse of power, has partnered with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S President Donald Trump in violating international law and undermining the chances of peace.'"

      "Dr. Ashrawi urged the international community, Arab and Islamic states 'to intervene and hold the Israeli occupation and its partners to account for such flagrant violations and provocative actions that fuel the flames in an already volatile situation.'”

    • For the record:
      Here's a portion of what former U.S. President Jimmy Carter stated during a meeting of the World Council of Churches in Jerusalem on January 10/05:

      "More recently, we’ve seen an abandonment of the fair and objective and balanced role of the U.S. government in the negotiations between Israel and her neighbours and sometimes enemies. Lately in particular, our president [George W. Bush] has totally complied with the desires of the Israeli Prime Minister to the detriment of the Palestinians and the detriment of their hopes for the future. [Sound familiar?]

      "I personally think that Yasser Arafat did the best he could for peace. Not many of my countrymen agree. I knew him quite well. He took a heroic action in the Oslo agreement for which he won the Nobel Peace Prize. For the last 3 ½ years, as the elected President of the Palestinian people, he was kept in prison in disgrace and still expected to command the full authority of his people and he was held responsible for acts of violence."

  • An intimate portrait of Palestine: Ramzy Baroud's 'The Last Earth: A People's Story of Palestine'
    • @Ossinev

      Yes, I know. The word is that he "changed his tune" in exchange for a professorship at Bir Zeit University. What a gutless, unprincipled a**hole.

    • More on "Israel, a light unto nations [not]"

      "Israeli Border Policeman Filmed Throwing Tear Gas at Palestinian Couple Holding Infant
      The grenade was thrown as the two were running with their backs to the officers near an area where Israeli security forces claim a violent demonstration was taking place"
      Yotam Berger and Jack Khoury. Mar 03, 2018, Haaretz.

      "The video, taken by a "Yesh Din" activist, shows the mother, the father and the infant leaving the house and trying to flee the area. A Border Policeman then throws a tear gas grenade at them, although they do not seem to pose a threat. The officers seem to be walking at a leisurely pace, some with their rifles already down.

      "According to Palestinians, there were protests Friday morning around Burin after several Israelis from nearby settlements attempted to enter the village."

    • For the record:

      What happened in Palestine between late 1947 and 1949 was described by eye-witness Nathan Chofshi, a Jewish immigrant from Russia, who arrived in Palestine in 1908 in the same group as David Ben-Gurion: "...we old Jewish settlers in Palestine who witnessed the flight know how and in what manner we, Jews, forced the Arabs to leave cities and villages...some of them were driven out by force of arms; others were made to leave by deceit, lying and false promises. It is enough to cite the cities of Jaffa, Lydda, Ramle, Beersheba, Acre from among numberless others." (Quoted in Jewish Newsletter, New York, February 9, 1959; quoted by Erskine Childers in "The Other Exodus, in From Haven to Conquest, ed. Professor Walid Khalidi, Harvard, p. 800)

      Chofshi was deeply ashamed of what his fellow Jews did to the Palestinians: "We came and turned the native Arabs into tragic refugees. And still we dare to slander and malign them, to besmirch their name. Instead of being deeply ashamed of what we did and of trying to undo some of the evil we committed...we justify our terrible acts and even attempt to glorify them." (Nathan Chofshi, Jewish Newsletter, February 9, 1959; ibid, p. 803)

      In 2004, when asked by Ha'aretz journalist, Ari Shavit, what new information his just completed revised version of The Birth of the Palestinian Problem 1947-1949 would provide, Israeli historian Benny Morris replied: "It is based on many documents that were not available to me when I wrote the original book, most of them from the Israel Defense Forces Archives. What the new material shows is that there were far more Israeli acts of massacre than I had previously thought. To my surprise, there were also many cases of rape. In the months of April-May 1948, units of the Haganah were given operational orders that stated explicitly that they were to uproot the villagers, expel them and destroy the villages themselves." (Ha'aretz, January 9, 2004)

  • Jared Kushner's swift rise and long, long fall
    • @amigo

      Well said.

      With supporters like Steve Grover, Israel needs no critics.
      Keep up the good work Steve!!

  • 18-year-old fisherman killed by Israeli forces off the coast of Gaza

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