Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 946 (since 2009-10-01 22:55:09)

Nevada Ned

Showing comments 946 - 901

  • Who can save Israel now?
    • Phil's key penultimate paragraph:

      This is what Palestinian intellectuals from Ghada Karmi to Edward Said to Raja Shehadeh to Lila Abu-Lughod to Saree Makdisi to Ali Abunimah, really the list is endless, have been telling us Zionism is for many years, and they have been marginalized and smeared for saying so. - See more at: link to

      The conclusion that I draw is that it will take external pressure on Israel to get Israel to make any important concessions. The purely internal forces within Israel for peace and justice are too weak, because many Israeli Jews benefit - or think they benefit - from racial discrimination against Palestinians. Netanyahu won because he openly opposed the two state solution. And everybody agrees that there is almost no support at all within Israel for a one-state solution (invite Palestinians to become Israelis, with equal rights for non-Jews.

      So, whether the goal is one state or two, it will take external pressure on Israel to get any concessions at all.

    • Some time ago, Rashid Khalidi wrote that Israel has so much power that it can't be stopped. But Israel cannot longer disguise its actions. That's what is changed.

      Thanks to Netanyahu for saying bluntly that he is opposed to a Palestinian state. In that sense he's an honest racist.

  • Israelis go to the polls today--and nobody knows who will win (Updated)
    • What is surprising - to me at least - is how fragmented the Israeli electorate is. Getting 20 seats in the Knesset (out of 120) is only 17% of the vote. No party has 40% or even close to it. Let alone 50%.

  • Surging support for Palestine fuels JVP's biggest meeting yet
    • JVP is a very valuable organization. They have a perspective that may save the Palestinians AND Israelis. The only thing that JVP really needs is some power, and at the present growth rate that will come soon.

      I sent them a donation, and I urge other MondoWeiss readers to contribute also, whether you're Jewish or not. (BTW I'm not).

  • Kerry says Netanyahu was wrong the last time he pushed war for the U.S.
    • Netanyahu is trying to get the US to attack Iran, as many MW readers have commented. But why?

      Israeli leaders (not just Netanyahu), are happy that the US has destroyed iraq. Now they want to have the US destroy Iran, a county of 70 million. That would enable Israel's goal of being the regional superpower in the Middle East.

      One neglected point (in the MW discussion) is that Netanyahu has been supported financially by Sheldon Adelson, to the point of being a creature of Adelson. Lots of Congressional representatives fervently hope not to end up targeted by Adelson, who spent $100 M in the last election, and will likely spend even more in the future. Journalist Connie Brueck had a long piece in The New Yorker (June 2008 issue), documenting Adelson's vast influence in Israeli politics. Addison is an even bigger fish in Israel than he is in the US, because Israeli politics is a smaller pond than US politics. Addison even established a free newspaper in Israel to promote his extremist ideas.

      The system of private donations controlling public officiais is a system of legal organized bribery. In this case, Adelson controls Netanyahu, and then Adelson uses Netanyahu (and the rest of the Israel lobby) to pressure Congress to promote Adelson's drive to attack Iran.

      While Connie Brueck documented Adelson's enormous clout in politics, a full account of the Israel Lobby and its power should also include the Israeli/US businessman Haim Saban, (owner of Paramount pictures) a major donor to Democrats. Saban gave $10M to establish the Saban Center at the Brookings Institute, which is normally considered a centrist think tank, but which now has a extremist Zionist branch.

  • Israel's new Asian allies
    • Thanks for a valuable column. The first part, describing the recent advances made by the Palestinians, has Israeli officials very concerned.

      But of course, they pretend in public that they're not concerned at all!!!

  • Leaked e-mails show that Israeli consulate, StandWithUs tried to thwart Northwestern divestment (Updated)
    • At the beginning of this post, there is a photograph of NW students at a pro-Israel picnic back in September 2014. Nobody has commented that the photo shows hardly any students. It looks like a grand total of 7 students. Of course it's possible that this photo is misleading, but if the photo is representative, the picnic was a bust.

  • My invitation to speak at Hebrew Union College
    • While MLK is no longer with us, some of his lieutenants are still alive. Jesse Jackson, for example. As long ago as the 1980's Jackson visited the West Bank Palestinians and proclaimed his support for their struggle against racism. Jackson got into some trouble for his proclamation of solidarity.

      Another example (also decades ago) is the Rev. Joseph Lowery, who succeeded MLK as head of the SCLC. Lowery visited the West Bank and proclaimed his criticism of Israel's treatment of Palestinians. The response was (of course) an accusation of anti-Semitism. (Sound familiar?)
      Lowery's response to the attempted smear job was memorable:

      "I deny the allega-SHUN
      and I defy the alleg-ATOR!"

      African-Americans don't have to be "educated" about the Palestinian predicament. They already know. African-Americans know - more than most whites - what it means to struggle for equality in a political system that is supposedly a democracy, but isn't really a democracy for anyone who is the "wrong race."

  • Hanin Zoabi disqualified from Israeli elections over a mistranslation gone too far
    • The Palestinian struggle against racism has been compared with the African-American struggle in the US. Along these lines, the action of the Knesset is unseating Hanin Zoabi has a parallel in the US.

      In the 1960's, Julian Bond became the first African-American to be elected to the Georgia Legislature since Reconstruction . The Georgia Legislature refused to allow Julian Bond to take his seat. If the Georgia Legislature had used the Israeli vocabulary, they would have bellowed that Bond "refused to recognize Georgia's right to exist as a white state."

      Zombi's real crime is being a lonely voice for the oppressed Palestinians. The accusation of "terrorism" is a phony issue. After all, the late terrorist Menachem Begin is now Israel's most honored senior statesman, with all sorts of things named after him.

  • Netanyahu's disaster: speech cost 'omnipotent' lobby a veto proof majority for Iran sanctions
    • i believe that one consequence of Netanyahu's speech has already happened:
      Yahoo news carries a story about Israeli war crimes against Gaza in 2014.


      link to

      The civilian victims of Israel's war crimes range from a 92-year-old man to a 4-day-old infant.

      The article compares Hamas' alleged war crimes (5 Israeli civilians) with Israeli war crimes (1,483 dead Palestinian civilians.

      So Israel isn't responsible for 100% of the dead civilians: Israel is responsible for "only" 99.7% of the dead civilians, while Hamas is responsible for 0.3%.

    • Some things are clear:

      Netanyahu thinks this will help him in the upcoming Israeli election.

      Boehner welcomes yet another opportunity to bash Obama.

      If this speech ends up weakening the power of the Israeli Lobby, and getting Israel's supporters fighting among themselves, that's good! Good for the Palestinians, and actually also good for Israeli Jews - who are unfortunately so blinded by their own racism that they can't realize it.

  • The betting line on Netanyahu's speech to Congress
  • Salaita sues donors for 'injecting' themselves into U of Illinois decision, threatening to withhold gifts unless he was fired
    • I hope whoever is saying that Salaita may possibly get his job back knows what he is talking about. The real weapon of the Salaita forces is that the discovery process may greatly embarrass the UIUC administration. Maybe enough to give Salaita his job back, as part of a settlement.

      Shouldn't this case be decided on its merits? Actually, if it were decided on its merits, Salaita would never have gotten fired in the first place.

      By the way, today with the Obama White House in a battle with the Netanyahu administration and the Congressional Republicans, the atmosphere surrounding the Israeli lobby is open to scrutiny like never before. The atmosphere has changed significantly since Salaia was fired.

  • Surprise-- 'NYT' publishes straightforward report on Israeli human rights violations in Gaza
    • That makes the second time in one week that the NYT has told the painful truth about the Palestinians.

      In the Sunday book review (1/25/15), Ilene Prusher reviews a biography of Ben Gurion by Israeli historian Anita Shapira. Prusher writes...

      Some readers may find it hard, as I did, to read Shapira’s brief treatment of the moment in 1948 when the commanders Yigal Allon and Yitzhak Rabin came to Ben-Gurion asking whether to carry out “a large-scale population evacuation.” Rabin reported that Ben-Gurion responded with a wave of the hand, saying “Expel them.” Shapira explains here that while he forbade the evacuation of some areas, like Nazareth, “like most of his ministers, he saw the Arabs’ exodus as a great miracle, one of the most important in that year of miracles, since the presence of a hostile population constituting some 40 percent of the new state’s total populace did not augur well for the future.”

      There it is! The NYT, the newspaper of record, officially admits that Ben Gurion ordered the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians. All that propaganda over the decades ("the Arabs left voluntarily" etc) is now down the drain.

      I know nothing about Ilene Prusher. Anita Shapira is a retired Israeli historian who was well connected with the early Zionists, especially the Labor Party leaders.

      You can read the entire review here.

      Twice in one week ?! Seems like a trend!

  • 'NYT' and Matthews warn that Netanyahu speech to Congress could lead US to war
    • There's a lot that Obama could do if he really wanted to...

      e.g., while Netanyahu is addressing the Congressional reps,

      Obama could....

      meet with a delegation of Israeli peace activists

      encourage public discussion of the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty (Obama meets with survivors at the WH)

      issue a public proclamation that Jonathan Pollard should stay in jail for life,

      Revive the Larry Franklin case

      If Obama doesn't want to do this in person, he could have a surrogate to it.

      There is no shortage of raw materials!

      Netanyahu is a big fat juicy target.

  • The legacy of Joan Peters and 'From Time Immemorial'
    • Thanks, David Samel!

      When From Time Immemorial (FTI) was published, it received hundreds of positive reviews. For example, Martin Peretz of the New Republic praised the book (no surprise). Also praising the book was Judah Reinharz, an historian and biographer of Ezer Weizman.

      Many of the people praising FTI held positions of power and influence, but nobody was ever held accountable for supporting a hoax. For example, Judah Reinharz rose from a mere history professor to being President of Brandeis. It certainly didn't hurt his career.

      Some of the (positive) reviewers were run-of-the-mill book reviewers who knew little or nothing about the early 20th century history of Palestine, and who were fooled by Joan Peters. Judah Reinharz knew better - after all, he is an historian and biographer of Weizman, and he (Reinharz) knows that the early Zionist pioneers were very conscious of being a tiny minority of Jews in a land with a far larger number of Palestinians.

      Somewhere* I read that Tom Segev, Israeli historian (author of The Seventh Million), stated that the Peters book was commissioned by Yitzak Shamir, who Mondoweiss readers recognize as the head of the terrorist Stern Gang, (a. k. a. LEHI), who later became Foreign Minister and (briefly) Prime Minister.
      Segev made this statement in a matter-of-fact way, as if he were saying, "everybody know this". Israel is a small place, after all.

      *Dunno where I found it. No, I don't have a link.

      Any Mondoweisser with the time to do it could look up the book reviews of FTI in the mainstream media from the early 1980's. I'll bet they make embarrassing reading today!

  • Don't let's go to the war of civilizations again
    • Look, Mr. Double Standard:

      You write..."Nowhere in Jewish scriptures do we find commandments urging war with people who won’t convert to Judaism. The only wars Jews are obligated to fight — at the most basic biblical level — are battles to rid the Land of Israel, and only the Land of Israel, of idol worshippers and a nation called “Amalek” that everyone agrees no longer exists

      I have in my hand a copy of the Christian Bible, including the "Old Testament". Look at the book of Joshua, chapter 8. Joshua, with the help of 30,000 soldiers (and of course with the help of God), captures the city of Ai, and slaughters all the men, "until there was left none that survived or escaped" (verse 22).

      Then "all Israel returned to Ai, and smote them with the edge of the sword. And all who fell that day, both men and women, were twelve thousand." (verse 25). "For Joshua did not draw back his hand...until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai. Only the cattle and the spoil of that city Israel took as their booty, according to the word of the LORD which he commanded Joshua. (verses 26-28)"

      But wait! There's more!

      Joshua chapter 10, verse 28.."And Joshua took Makke'dah on that day, and smote it and its king with the edge of the sword; he utterly destroyed every person in it, he left none remaining; and he did to the king of Makke'dah as he had done to the king of Jericho."

      The summary comes in Joshua 10, verse 40. "So Joshua defeated the whole land, the hill country and the Negeb and the lowland and the slopes, and all their kings; he left none remaining, but utterly destroyed all that breathed, as the LORD GOD of Israel commanded.

      The Old Testament has lots of passage that are genocidal. It's not war against people who "refuse to convert to Judaism." It's a series of bloody massacres among rival stone age tribes, and the ancient Hebrews naturally reassure them selves that their tribal God commands them to carry out these massacres. Joshua kills everybody, and then loots the ruins. It's a war for plunder.

      The Bible is genocidal. Parts of it anyway. The only consolation is perhaps many (most?) of these ancient holy wars didn't happen. The anthropologists tell us that the Exodus story didn't happen. At all.

      I would be very cautious about making favorable claims about the Jewish (or Christian) scriptures.

  • Anti-Semitism at Fordham?
    • Anyone looking for examples of bogus accusations of Anti-Semitism should start with the first three chapters of Norman Finkelstein's 2005 book, Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History.

  • 'NYT' reporter says Palestinians must make 'concessions... they have long avoided'
    • Dear "a blah chick":

      You mentioned the young Jewish thugs who are running around scrawling "death to the Arabs".

      Good point, but incomplete. They are also scrawling "Arabs to the gas chambers". Do you think these young Jewish thugs are just bluffing? I don't.

      Not to mention the middle-aged Jewish thugs who helped to inflict death to over 2000 Arabe in the most recent massacre in Gaza. And the elderly Jewish thugs in policy-making roles who justified these massacres.

  • The 'bait & switch' politics of liberal Zionism
    • Two topics:

      (1) Jewish immigration from Arab countries to Israel. I don't claim to know what the truth is, but I do know what the Israeli govt is telling us. In the 1950's, the Israeli govt proclaimed that Jews from Arab countries were not expelled, they were attracted by the wonderful opportunities to move to Israel. It was pull, not a push.
      Now the Israeli govt and its supporters changed their tune. Now they proclaim that Jews from Arab countries were not attracted by Israel, they were expelled by Arab countries. Now they say it was a push, not a pull. Hophmi, being an Israeli propagandist, spouts the current line.

      (2) Archaeology. Two Israeli archeologists, Israel Finkelstein and Neal Silverman, have summarized the results of several decades of archeological research in a book, The Bible Unearthed. According to them, the old stories about Jews being slaves in ancient Egypt are just stories. They didn't happen. The ancient Egyptian government kept detailed records on many topics. They DEFINITELY would have noticed it if hundreds of thousands of slaves escaped. See the summary of the Finkelstein/Silverman book by Daniel Lazare here.

  • Campus movement against Israel is largest since anti-Vietnam war movement, Cary Nelson says
    • Hophmi charges that the BDS is funded by Saudi Arabia.
      Everything I know tells me that this claim isn't true.
      I believe that Hophmi has finally crossed the line.

      MW has a policy of banning commenters who think that "the Jews" were behind 9/11.
      What about someone who thinks (or pretends to think) that Saudi Arabia is financing the BDS movement?

      Give Hophmi an opportunity to make his case.
      Give him a week or so to produce documentary proof of this charge.

      If Hophmi can't produce actual proof (as opposed to, say, a claim by Dershowitz),

      then either Hophi acknowledges that he lied,

      or he gets banned from MW.

      For life.

  • Next U.S. elections threaten Israel's 'total isolation' -- and the Israeli public is worried
    • Phil, this is great news.

      The Israeli public is starting to feel the pressure of diplomatic isolation. If the power and influence of JVP and similar groups grows, the pressure will grow. If Max Blumenthal's book gets enough attention, the US public will be inoculated against Israeli propaganda.

      In general I don't like Josh Marshall (because he is a liberal hawk who supported the US invasion of Iraq), but I hope he is right on this issue.

  • 'Israel is becoming an isolated ghetto,' says Amos Oz
    • Yesterday's Sunday NYT has ANOTHER article about Israel. In the Magazine, Jason Horowitz has a piece entitled "In exile: Liberal Jews in America are arguing and agonizing over Israel's rightward turn - and hoping that Hillary Clinton can somehow rekindle the spirit of 1993." Horowitz writes about Daniel Zomen, a rabbi in the Washington DC area whose congregation includes a large number of Jewish power brokers . Horowitz discusses the contradictions between Zionism and liberalism. He discussed some forbidden topics: the power of the Israel lobby, the role of Jewish donors in shaping US policy, and disillusionment of younger American Jews with Israel. Horowitz even includes some pithy quotes from Rebecca Vilkomerson of Jewish Voice for Peace and their expanding membership.

      Of course, Horowitz has definite limits in a piece published in the NYT. Palestinian perspectives are completely omitted. No Palestinian or other Arab is interviewed. Perhaps Horowitz will get enough flack by interviewing JVP.

      Despite these limitations, quite a bit of the grim reality reaches the readership of the NYT. Five years ago, the NYT would not have printed this article. MW and Norman Finkelstein have written earlier (and a greater length) about the contradictions between Zionism and liberalism.

      What's new is that the NYT is printing it.

  • Ari Roth is fired by DC Jewish center -- after staging Nakba play
    • Art Roth will have his own theater company up and running by next fall. He can drum up attendance with an advertising campaign, with the tag line.

      "The Theater that the Jewish Establishment Does Not Want You to See!!!"

      Roth can turn this battle into a play, giving his side of the story. And the play can be entitled


  • Obama took on the Cuba lobby-- when will he take on the Israel lobby?
    • Let's be clear: Cuba and the US have agreed to establish diplomatic relations. However, the US economic blockade of Cuba continues, at least for the time being. Maybe the blockade will be dropped in the future, but the US has not agreed to that.

      Notice something: many Establishment figures (University presidents, for example) have been busily denouncing the boycott of Israel, supposedly a matter of moral principle. How many of these people have disagreed in public with the US blockade of Cuba? None to my knowledge.

  • Salaita firing has 'crippled' U of Illinois's ability to hire excellent scholars
    • An old saying in the academy is that "it takes ten years to gain a reputation, and twenty years to lose one".
      In other words, there is a time-lag between how good you are and your reputation. And some places "coast"' on their past accomplishments.

      In the case of U Illinois, they have gotten a bad reputation in a real hurry.

      Of course, they can always hire SOMEBODY (someone who needs a job), but they would prefer to make a national search, make an offer to the best candidate, and win a recruiting war with other institutions.

      I'm actually quite surprised (and gratified!) at the continuing turmoil at Illinois over the Salaita case.

  • Mamdani's 'holistic' challenge: Anti-Zionists must persuade Jews they can only be safe by dismantling the Jewish state
    • Consider two different ways of phrasing the goal:

      Instead of the scary-sounding "dismantling the Zionist state"

      what about saying

      "let the Palestinians return and let them be Israelis also, with the same rights as Jews"

      Netanyahu would welcome the first version. But he would have a hard time dealing with the second version. How can he scare people with the threat of "equal rights?"

  • Chris Hughes brings down the curtain on neoconservative New Republic
    • It'll be interesting to see what happens to the TNR former writers. Will they end up working for Commentary? Dissent? AIPAC? US State Dept? Various inside the beltway think-tanks? (e. g., Foundation for the Defense of Democracy?) Some of them (Walzer) are old enough to retire anyway and already have a real job (Institute for Advanced Study).

      They won't end up at CounterPunch, that's for sure.

      If this signals the beginning of the end for the Israel's pet intellectual supporters in the US, the former TNR writers might end up in the same predicament as lots of cold-war intellectuals, who had scarcely anything to do after the USSR collapsed. Consider the fate of The New Leader, which followed the US "party line" during the cold war. Their credibility was damaged in the late 1960's when it turned out the The New Leader was secretly funded by the CIA. Nevertheless The New Leader staggered on until the USSR collapsed. The New Leader went out of business (print edition, 2006, online 2010).

      By the way, the Wikipedia web page for The New Leader has covered up the CIA funding.

    • New owner Chris Hughes is cleaning house at The New Republic, and it's about time.

      If Alexander Cockburn were still alive, he would give a lusty cheer, especially at the departure of

      Franklin Foer, who accused Alexander Cockburn of being an anti-Semite. (Anyone who is surprised has not been paying attention.)

      Check out this link

  • Lieberman unveils racist peace plan: Pay Palestinians to leave Israel
    • You say
      "But I’m starting to believe that the likes of Bennett and lieberman are actually good for the Palestinian cause. These 2 fascists along with their fellow right wing cronies are no holds barred, in your face and direct. They are at least revealing their true agenda and it’s starting to spew out thick and fast. They are laying their cards on the table without the smoke and mirrors and with no pretense about their ultimate objectives - See more at: link to"

      Reminds me of an opinion I heard from an African-American friend, whose family came from Mississippi. He said he sometimes had more respect for southern whites from Mississippi who were open and honest racists, compared with northerners who pretended to oppose racism while tacitly supporting it.

      Over the decades, Israeli leaders, often very media-savvy, have attempted to impose their own narrative, which is well known: Israel struggles to survive as a democracy, and developed without pushing anybody out of the way. In more recent decades, hard-line right wingers have been more open and honest with their racism, and care little about the PR consequences. The Palestinians have started to tell their side of the story, with an additional boost by a growing number of US Jews (see Max Blumenthal and Goliath). People like Ben Gurion and Golda Meir carefully constructed a veil around Israel's reality. Now Max Blumenthal and many others are lifting the veil. Partly as a consequence, Europe can no longer be a dependable Israeli ally. And JVP boasts of big increases in their membership.

  • The Minds of Others: An interview with Max Blumenthal
  • Al Jazeera investigates the USS Liberty attack in 'The Day Israel Attacked America'
    • Hophmi has recorded a voicemail greeting on the Hasbara Hotline!

      You have reached the Hasbara Hotline:
      press 1 for "Israel attacked the Liberty but it was mistaken identity"
      press 2 for "The attack never happened"
      press 3 for "The US ship Liberty never existed"
      press 4 for "Israel retaliated in self defense"
      press 5 for "Israel had no choice"
      press 6 for "The Liberty failed to recognize Israel's right to exist"
      press 7 for "The Liberty crew were a bunch of anti-Semites"
      press 8 for "It is a blood libel to claim that Israeli forces were involved, directly or indirectly"
      press 9 for "these accusations are rejected with the contempt that they deserve"
      press the star key to repeat your choices...


    • The "special relationship" between the US and Israel has endured as long as it has because the US ruling class and Israeli ruling class think that the interests of both sides are parallel, for the most part and in the long run.

      The US wants to control the oil of the Middle East, because its strategy value is immense. The main threat to US control is Arab nationalism. In order to defeat Arab nationalism, the US wants to keep the Arab world divided, backward, and weak. (With rare exceptions, the US has maintained control, Iran being the main exception - a former US colony under the Shah, now strongly anti-US),

      For its part, Israel also wants to keep the Arab world divided, backward, and weak. A strong Arab world would support the Palestinians, who have been ethnically cleansed by Israel.

      I said the US and Israel interests, at least as seen by their respective ruling classes, are parallel, "for the most part and in the long run". There are exceptions. The Israeli attack on the Liberty, clearly deliberate, is a big exception. There are other exceptions: the Pollard case, the Larry Franklin case and some other Israeli spy cases. And the Lavi warplane (whose development costs were funded by the US and Israel, but the whole plane project was terminated by the US because it would have competed against a US warplane in world markets.)

      The Palestinians are potentially a threat to Israel's power. If the Palestinians get any power of their own - at least enough power to fend off further Israeli land grabs - then Israel would have to take the interests of the Palestinians into account. But Israel is so powerful that it can do whatever it pleases, ignoring international law, morality, and world public opinion.

      In contrast, the interests of the US would not be affected appreciably by a Palestinian state.

      So why is the US helping Israel, by building up Israeli military power and using the US veto in the UN to prevent the UNSC from making demands on Israel to (for example) withdraw from the occupied Palestinian territories? Yes, it's the power of the Israel Lobby, without any question. That's part of the answer. But the other factor is the convergence of interests between US imperialism and Israeli "sub-imperialism".

      In recent months, articles have appeared that are strongly critical of Israel, on mainstream sites like Yahoo News. That's unusual. I think important forces are worried that Israeli extremists will blow up the Dome of the Rock, poisoning US relationship with over 1 billion Moslems while getting nothing (for the US) in return. Or maybe just that the US and Israel are losing control over the information war, and critical voices are starting to be heard.

      Phil and Adam, thanks for running the Liberty story. Years ago, I mentioned the Liberty case to an air force veteran, about 70 years old, with conventional political leanings. He immediately said, "it was deliberate". Of course it was.

      On a related topic, some commenters have professed shock that LBJ would abandon the Liberty crew. Personally, I'm not surprised. LBJ, an extreme hawk, didn't care about 50,000 US soldiers killed and 300,000 wounded in Vietnam. At least he didn't care enough to avoid the war. Both George Bushs (41 and 43) are responsible for 40,000 killed and wounded in Iraq. Obama has continued the war with only minor changes, such as using drones. Actually the number of US soldiers wounded could be in the many hundreds of thousands if you include psychological wounds - Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.

  • What is the vision of Jews who want to replace Al Aqsa mosque with temple?
    • In the reporting found in the mainstream media, a few elementary facts are ignored:
      (1) There is no temple on "Temple Mount". According to ancient Jewish religious books, there used to be a temple but it was destroyed 2 thousand years ago. (These ancient religious books have a very poor record for accuracy. See The Bible Unearthed, by Silberman and Finkelstein for details).
      (2) the only religious structures on "Temple Mount" are sacred to Islam, not Judaism. The structures include the Dome of the Rock, which is the third holiest mosque in Islam.
      (3) Jewish millinarian fanatics dream of blowing up the Dome of the Rock and building ("restoring") a synagogue. Some Jewish fanatics have actually been convicted of this conspiracy, even by the lenient Israeli authorities.
      (4) Suppose this situation prevailed in the US. Suppose that millenarian Jewish fanatics plot to blow up St. Patrick's cathedral in NYC, and "restore" a temple on the same site, thereby speeding up the timetable for the return of the Messiah. Alert to the peril, NY authorities prevent Jewish fanatics from praying en masse at St. Patrick's. Some Jews complain they are excluded from Temple Mount (NYC branch).
      (5) In Israel, since 1948 Jewish fanatics have succeeded in taking over more and more Palestinian land, subjecting their conquests to Israel's systematic racial discrimination. In Jerusalem, Israel has been destroying the largest Moslem cemetery, the Mamilla cemetery. The long-term GOI goal is to eliminate any trace of non-Jews in Jerusalem. The increasing fanaticism about "Temple Mount" (which has no temple there!) is part and parcel of the pursuit by the GOI of the long-term goal of an exclusively Jewish state, achieved by ethnic cleansing of non-Jews.

  • NYT sanitizes group that wants to 'remove Muslim shrines' from Old City
    • It's better to call it the "Pro-Defamation League", since they spend so much of their time defaming people.

  • The UN can bring peace to Jerusalem by moving its headquarters there
  • As AJC and CAMERA go after Jebreal for writing up Israeli 'hate policies,' 'NYT' backs her up
    • Good thing that the NYTimes occasionalloy runs an honest piece about Israeli racism.

      Is it too much to ask when the NYT readers will hear about Israeli racism from their regular Israel reporters and editors (Bronner/Rudoren/Kirschner, etc.)?

      Sometimes it's hard to believe they're covering the same country!

  • Sh*tstirring Jeffrey Goldberg dumps diplomatic sh*tstorm with 'chickensh*t' quote
    • Off Topic, but here goes;

      Al Jazeera runs a story about the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty.


      link to

      Most Americans undoubtedly never heard of it.

      Why is Yahoo picking up the story? (And will the NYT cover it?)

      My interpretation: the US is telling Israel who is the senior partner and who is the junior partner. The US move may be retaliation for Israel cancelling purchase of US Osprey warplanes. (Alternative: the US cancelled the sale and both countries saved face by making it look like an Israeli initiative.)

      Can we look forward to stories in the US mainstream media about Jonathan Pollard and other Israeli spies?

    • Lots of speculation, few facts.

      First of all, it's entirely plausible that US officials find Netanyahu very difficult to deal with. Obama himself said something along those lines when Obama mistakenly thought his microphone was turned off.

      Jeffrey Goldberg undoubtedly wrote what he did in order to accomplish something. Lots of speculation about what that was.

      By taunting Netanyahu as a chickenshit, afraid of starting a war with Iran (which actually accuses Netanyahu of having uncharacteristically good judgement. because Iran could do a lot of damage to Israel). Goldberg was perhaps hoping to provoke Netanyahu into attacking Iran. That was perhaps the motive.

      Goldberg may have been acting as stenographer for attacks on Netanyahu from those Israelis who are even farther on the right than Netanyahu himself - Bennett for example.

      For an outsider,

  • Another New York Times' reporter's son is in the Israeli army
    • To see what the situation was a number of years ago, check out this statement by Edward P. Herman. Herman blasts the US media for misrepresentation of the plight of the Palestinians. Chomsky and Herman, in their great book The Political Economy of Human Rights, discuss the mass media at great length. C&H have led to the creation of the field of media studies.

      By the way, I hope that all Mondoweiss readers know that both Noam Chomsky and Ed Herman are Jewish. Some of the sharpest, most incisive criticism of Israeli policy comes from Jews.

      Herman and Peterson wrote another important book, The Politics of Genocide, which (among other things) shows that the mainstream account of the massacre in Rwanda is all wrong.

    • Alison Weir has a more complete list of NYT journalists who have family in the IDF.

      link to

      and see "related links" from the weir website.

      Even if you think this conflict of interest is OK, it should be disclosed to NYT readers.

    • Don't forget Joel Greenberg, an American Jew who served in the IDF, and later served as Jerusalem Bureau Chief.

      Certainly no conflict of interest there !!

      Since the NYT won't do anything about this, and since the NYT maintains that there's no conflict of interest, I suggest disclosure. By Mondoweiss!

      Once a month, Mondoweiss should print a piece about NYT correspondents and their Israeli connections. And also include other media people e.g., Wolf Blitzer of CNN, who earlier worked at a propagandist for AIPAC.

  • UCLA Hillel partners with PR firm to fight BDS movement
    • I wish I had a nickel for every time the Israelis, and the US supporters, started a PR offensive. They have brought over PR executives, "branding" experts, hasbara spokespeople, and propagandists by the planeload.

      Nothing works.

      Israel's reputation continues to sink.

      The piles of Palestinian bodies, and the devastation of Gaza by the IDF, simply overpowered the Israeli propaganda effort.

  • ExxonMobil and Apartheid South Africa have 'no right to exist,' Gitlin says
    • In the debate, four crucial words have been omitted.
      Here they are:

      Does Israel have a right to exist AS A JEWISH STATE?

      The last four capitalized words serve to justify racial discrimination against non-Jews.

      Of course, it is possible to imagine a world in which the designation "as a Jewish state" is a meaningless phrase. Many legislative bodies around the world pass cosmetic resolutions that make no practical difference. E.g., a resolution declaring "National Pickle Week" or whatever.
      It's possible to imagine such a world, but that's not the world that we (and the Palestinians) live in.

      Her are a couple of questions for Prof. Gitlin:

      Does the US have a right to exist? (Hint: the answer is yes).

      Does the US have a right to exist as a white Christian state?
      Note to Prof. Gitlin: if your answer to this is right, it may not be a meaningless declaration, like a declaration of support for National Pickle Week. It may justify racial discrimination against non-whites and non-Christians (like yourself). If the US is officially a white Christian state, nonwhites and non-Christians could be treated in the way that Palestinians are treated by israel.

      Suppose that Martin Luther King were asked whether Alabama and Mississippi had the wrist to exist as white states. I think MLK would reply that Alabama and Mississippi had the right to exist, but ought to be the properties of all races without discrimination.

  • Israeli president's diagnosis -- 'Israel is a sick society' -- doesn't go viral in the U.S.
    • IMHO three recent events are related:

      (1) Sweden recognizes Palestine

      (2) The UK recognizes Palestine

      (3) Israeli President says Israeli society is sick.

      Event 3 is a reaction to events 1 and 2. The Israeli president in effect says, "we're in trouble." He can see the handwriting on the wall. What he said is less important than who said it. Even though his position is ceremonial, the Israeli President is a member of the Israeli ruling class. And he is looking for a way out.
      That is why Mondoweiss readers shouldn't dismiss this new development as unimportant.


  • Family of Mohammed Abu Khdeir continues to wait for justice as Israeli court again postpones trial for his killers
    • "Israel's chosen crazies" ???

      The high officials and military figures of Israel (Menachem Begin, Ariel Sharon, etc.) did a lot more damage than these individual terrorists had the power to do.

      Israel's generals and politicians are Israel's real chosen crazies.

      Recall that Begin was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize (!!). Now THAT really is crazy.

    • Page: 9
  • 'NYT' can't keep its story straight on anti-Semitism in Germany
    • Three years ago, the historian Juan Cole (writing in his Informed Comment blog) discussed the importance of Israeli Jewish emigration to other countries (including Germany).

      Cole says that estimated an estimated 70-80% of Israeli Jews have a second passport, "just in case".
      Elsewhere, Cole remarks that the Jewish population in Germany is now back up to what it was on the eve of the Second World War, which I think was about 300-400K, mostly because of immigration to Germany from Russia and Israel. Some Russian Jewish emigrants moved first to Israel, and then to Germany.

      Juan Cole remarks somewhere that the Israeli government was very embarrassed at Israeli migration to Germany, because the Holocaust is a pillar of the official Israeli ideology. So much so that the Israeli government lobbied the German government, hoping to get restrictions on Israeli migration to Germany.

  • The Center for Jewish Life is stifling free speech at Princeton University
    • This is a great opportunity for somebody to sponsor a panel including Prof. Weiss., or perhaps have Weiss give a talk by himself. Advertise the talk as


      That ought to boost attendance, much as BANNED IN BOSTON helped publicize movies a couple of generations ago.

      Include a video clip for Mondoweiss!

  • In the last days of 'Operation Protective Edge' Israel focused on its final goal -- the destruction of Gaza's professional class
    • Thanks for the article. It's a scandal that the mainstream media has averted its eyes from the horrors of Israel's destruction of Gaza.

      The text came through but the pictures were distorted - stretched in the vertical direction. (I use Firefox).

  • Shlomo Sand resigns from being Jewish. Totally. Mostly. Almost
    • Jewish identity can have a religious dimension and an ethnic (racial) dimension.

      As far as the religious dimension is concerned: most US Jews are not members of any synagogue. So by this standard, most US Jews have already stopped being Jewish. Many Israeli Jews also have no interest in religion.

      The ethnic dimension persists, however. It's the real qualification for first-class citizenship in Israel.

  • Tablet types Rev. Shipman as elite, anti-semitic WASP
    • Dear Bruce Shipman:

      I urge you to buy a copy of Norman Finkelstein's book, 'This Time We Went Too Far', and turn to page 118. is probably true that the execution by a self-proclaimed Jewish state of consecutive murderous rampages in Lebanon and Gaza, and the vocal support lent these massacres by official Jewish organizations around the world, caused a regrettable - if entirely predictable - "spillover" whereby Jews generally were in some quarters held culpable. If, as the Israeli Coordination Forum for Countering anti-Semitism asserted, there was "a sharp rise in the number and intensity of anti-Semitic incidents" during the Gaza massacre", and if "with the ceasefire there has … been a marked deline in the number and intensity of anti-Semitic incidents" and if "another flare-up in the region, similar to the Gaza operation, will probably lead to an even more severe outbreak of anti-Semitic activity against communities worldwide", then an efficacious method to fight anti-Semitism would appear to be for Israel to stop committing massacres.

      This is the revised and expanded edition, published in 2011. Since then, Israel attacked Gaza again in 2012 and again in 2014. Finkelstein's book was published by OR books.

  • 'Ethnic cleansing for a better world' -- Richard Cohen says Palestinians brought the Nakba on themselves
  • Can the US Congress bring justice for the Palestinians?: A response to Robert Naiman
    • It can sometimes get discouraging looking at the enormous power of the Israel Lobby, compared with the puny power of our side. So I was delighted to read Alison Weir's piece in yesterday's CounterPunch. Weir documents that Evangelical Christians, previously mindless supporters of Israel, are increasingly sympathetic to Palestinians. What is causing the change? Israel's oppression of Christians, including Christian Arabs (e.g., Palestinians). A long time ago, about 20-25% of West Bank Palestinians were Christians. I think it has since declined to abut 4%, but it is still substantial. Christians have long played an important role in Palestinian activism, from George Habash to Edward Said.

  • Champaign-Urbana holds Rosh Hashanah service for Professor Salaita
  • Israeli refuseniks expose Occupation’s dark underbelly
    • Excellent article by Jonathan Cook, running true to form.
      A lot of Israeli and American Jews still prefer the pleasant lie to the unpleasant truth, about who is really oppressing whom.

  • Israeli Supreme Court upholds law allowing housing discrimination against Palestinians
    • The Israeli Supreme Court just legalized the "Admissions Committees", which can reject requests of non-Jewish applicants to live in Jewish villages. If we're looking for an analogy with the US, think about the "White Citizens Councils" (WCC) in the pre-civil-rights South. The WCC served to coordinate racial discrimination in housing, education, employment, and voting. For example, if a black man or woman somehow managed to register to vote, the WCC could arrange to have the troublemaker fired from their job or evicted from their apartment. Without the WCC, a landlord might not find out that a black person had registered to vote. Without the WCC an employer might not find out.

      By the way, some readers of Mondoweiss might think that the WCC is truly ancient history, and nobody has ever heard of any members.
      By now, the White Citizens Council has changed its name to Conservative Citizens Council. (The new name sounds better). One known member was Trent Lott, who became a US Senator from Mississippi. Lott was at one point the Senate Majority Leader, a powerful post at the national scale.

  • Yale president's office was involved from the gitgo in blowup over Yale chaplain's letter
    • What do Walt&Mearsheimer have in common with Rev. Bruce Shipman?
      They are speaking out and condemning in public Israel's oppression of the Palestinians.

      Many Americans involved in the I/P struggle are either Jewish or Arab-American.

      The Israelis and their US supporters and defenders are losing the previously near-monolithic support they once enjoy among American Jews. Mondoweiss is a valuable narrative of the conflict among American Jews on the I/P issue.

      Meanwhile, the Israelis and their supporters are resigned to opposition from Arab-American.

      But 95% of the US population is neither Jewish or Arab-American.
      Walt/Mearsheimer and Bruce Shipman reached out to that 95%.
      That's why the Israelis and their supporters reacted so quickly the Shipman case. The battle for pubic opinion will be won or lost among the 95%.

  • When 'NYT' reporter's son joined the Israeli army, he didn't want news to get out
    • A question for Jodi:

      You have many Jewish sources.

      When you want to get a Palestinian perspective, who do you call?

      Based on the home movie that your husband made, you don't seem to have many (or any) Palestinian contacts. Do you just ask the IDF?

  • Naomi Wolf to debate genocide charge against Israel with Shmuley Boteach
  • Joan Rivers's Palestinian finale
    • Joan Rivers' final words were NOT "taken out of context". She called for genocide, calling for "wiping out Gaza".

      Later she tried to cloud the issue. Somebody must have advised her that a lot of people think Arabs are human beings, so calling openly for genocide isn't cool.

      I can certainly understand why Netanyahu wanted to invite her to Israel as a propaganda ploy. Israel propaganda is often crude, but so was Joan Rivers.

      Joan Rivers was fairly typical of Jews of her generation. Younger US Jews are more likely to think of Palestinians as human beings, with human rights.

  • Tzipi Livni's vacation nightmare
    • Speaking of Greece...

      Back in 1982, Israel invaded Lebanon and killed or wounded 50,000 Palestinians and Lebanese. The culmination of "Operation Peace in Galilee" was the massacres at Sabra and Chatila refugee camps, an outrage that the UN General Assembly declared to be "an act of genocide". (The US has no veto in the General Assembly).

      Greek Prime Minister Andreas Papendreau, speaking for Greek opinion (and much of European opinion), proclaimed "Israel is doing to the heroic Palestinian and Lebanese people what Hitler did to the Jews!"

      That was 34 years ago. The Greeks were *way* ahead of the US curve in
      understanding the I/P conflict. The internal situation in Israel has only gotten worse, with the rise of the far-right West Bank settler block.

      The glimmer of hope is that Israel's global reputation continues to worsen.
      Israel's oppression can't be stopped, at least not in the short run. But Israel's actions can no longer be disguised, as they once were.

  • Coming to a campus near you: ADL recruits student politicians for Israel trips
    • The so-called "anti" defamation league (ADL) specializes in accusing Israel's critics of being anti-Semites. The ADL is part of the Israel Lobby, not a civil rights organization. They really ought to be called the PDL (pro-defamation league) because they specialize in defamation.

  • The Palestinian message to Israel: Deal with us justly. Or disappear
    • Sorry for the typo: a BIG (not bog) political and moral disaster for Israel.

    • Excellent article by Jeff Halper, except for the last two words: "or disappear".
      Israel is not going to disappear. Israel is too strong.

      The just-concluded Gaza Massacre was a military draw for Israel (really a defeat considering how weak the Palestinians are militarily), but a bog political and moral disaster for Israel.

      Now that the Palestinians and their supporters are starting to get out their side of the story, Israel has helped them immensely.

  • Elizabeth Warren says killing Palestinian civilians is 'the last thing Israel wants'
    • The Israeli Lobby and its grip on Congress is one factor.

      But another factor is Israel's loss of support, among Christians and younger Jews. Israel's most recent massacre brought out unprecedented opposition in civil society (though not in Congress).

      There have been important signs that some parts of the Establishment are opposing our blind Israel-can-do-no-wrong policy. I am thinking of the Walt/Mearshimer book on The Israel Lobby and Jimmy Carter's book, Peace not Apartheid. Walt & Mearsheimer are two card-carrying members of the foreign policy Establishment, who rarely write books for the general public, and even more rarely write controversial books for the general public. M&W would not have written their book unless they were convinced that our current policy is disastrous. Jimmy Carter would not have written his book without a similar conviction. How many ex-Presidents write books that draw smear attacks from a powerful lobby?

      Israel's loss of support among Christians and among younger Jews is documented in Finkelstein's book, Knowing Too Much. (Finkelstein is NOT (!!) a member of the Establishment by any stretch).

      Jewish Voice for Peace is gaining members in reaction to the most recent massacre in Gaza. They're still a long way from challenging AIPAC, but the AIPAC monopoly has been broken, at least among younger people.

      Israeli leaders proclaim that the bonds between the US and Israel are unbreakable, but Israeli leaders seem very worried, including being worried in public.

      The Nation gave very lengthy and flattering coverage to Max Blumenthal's book Goliath. Eric Alterman's bilious objections were swept away. Ten years ago The Nation would not have done that.

      Israeli policy can't really be stopped (at least in the short run), but it can no longer be disguised. And that's a step forward. I am old enough to recall when Israeli supporters would blather about how "benevolent" the occupation was.

  • 'Get me out of the rubble, please, I’m alive'
  • 'New Yorker' limits its expose of Israel lobby to AIPAC
    • I read the piece in The New Yorker by Connie Brueck. It's a pretty good piece. Yes, it doesn't go as far as MW would go, it's not a perfect piece, but it's good nevertheless. Especially in view of the readers of The New Yorker and the mindset of some of their readers.

      On the perennial issue of how much power AIPAC has (compared with anybody else), Brueck could have mentioned two important issues on which AIPAC did not win: (1) Freedom for Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard, and (2) getting the US to attack Iran. On the first issue, AIPAC has long since given up, because it's a near-hopeless cause. On the second issue, AIPAC has tried very hard without success. The alleged threat posed by Iran's nonexistent nuclear weapons has been shouted from the rooftops, to no avail. Iran's nonexistent nuclear weapons have been featured at AIPAC's annual convention, again to no avail.

  • Despite ravages of war, Gaza supports armed resistance to lift the siege
  • More Orientalist insinuations in the New York Times
    • Both Steve Erlanger (NYT) and James North (Mondoweiss) mentioned that Hamas offered a "hudna", but NEITHER ONE mentioned that Hamas offered a **TEN YEAR** hudna, in exchange for lifting the blockade of Gaza and freeing Palestinian political prisoners.
      Any Israeli government that really wanted peace would take Hamas up on the offer. During those 10 years, negotiations might be fruitful.
      The truth is that Begin, Sharon, and Netanyahu don't really want peace, because they gain too much from war.
      I understand why the NYT omits the 10 year length of the hudna. Readers would think "10 years is a very long time in politics. Wonder why Israel doesn't take them up on the offer?"

      And for those who say, "How do we know the offer from Hamas was sincere?"
      the reply is "if you think Hamas is bluffing, Israel could call their bluff."

      Israeli leaders felt that they couldn't afford to call the bluff (if it was a bluff). Israeli leaders prefer war (where Israel has an enormous advantage) to peace and international politics, where nearly the whole world supports the Palestinians.

  • Weapons fired in Ferguson come from companies supplying Israel, Bahrain and Egypt
  • Jewish Voice for Peace stomps AIPAC and J Street in latest online traffic figures
    • OT but here goes:

      Yahoo! news covered a wedding story: a Palestinian groom and a Jewish Israeli bride got married in Israel. The bride converted to Islam. The wedding was plagued by hundreds of right wingers demonstrators shouting "Death to the Arabs!"

      The strength of the right wingers in Israel is not new to readers of Mondoweiss, or to readers of Max Blumenthal's book, Goliath. But it IS news to regular readers of the New York Times, whose correspondents try mightily to disguise unpleasant developments in Israel. Yahoo! runs a story that can't be spun by Jodi Rudoren as favorable to Israel.

      Imagine if that happened in the US: Supppose there's a wedding in New York City between a Christian groom and a Jewish bride, and suppose that the bride converts to Christianity. Suppose also that hundreds of thuggish Jewish demonstrators show up uninvited at the wedding, bellowing "Death to the Christians!"

      That would be totally blow out of the water all the strenuous efforts (by the spin doctors, PR professionals, "Brand Israel" propagandists) to portray Israel as a tolerant pluralistic democratic society.

      It isn't.

      Thanks, Yahoo!

    • Thanks for this article, Phil.

      I sent a contribution to JVP because they have the right values: opposition to Israel's massacre of the Palestinians of Gaza.

      For years I've also contributed to the Electronic Intifada (EI), which does very good work despite operating on a shoestring - more like a thread. And I urge MW readers to do the same.

      FYI: I'm neither Jewish nor Arab-American, like 90+ percent of the US population.

  • Video: Gaza forces young Jew to overcome 'giant hostile ferocious backlash' of her community
    • Good film, Carey!

      I have to say I'm somewhat puzzled by the accusation of being a "self-hating Jew".

      When someone called up Saul Landau to hurl that accusation, Landau replied
      " I don't hate myself. But I hate YOU!"

  • Fraternizing with minorities in Israel
    • Of course the piece is written tongue in cheek.

      However, many Israeli Jews are dead serious when they speak of intermarriage as a deadly threat to Jews, etc etc. Dennis Ross, an Israeli shill and "peace process" apparatchik, is now employed by the Jewish People's Fund (this is the approximate title) to combat the allegedly deadly menace of intermarriage.

      There is a vast gulf between Israeli Jews (who want racial segregation) and American Jews (who are currently intermarrying at a rate of about 50%). This partially explains the over-the-top hatred that many Israeli Jews hold for Obama (beyond any policy question), because Obama's father was a black African and his mother was a white American.

  • The Walzer Problem
    • The problem with "just war" theory is that the theorist goes through a lot of philosophizing and then ends up deciding that his country's war is a just war, which is an entirely predictable conclusion.

      In Walzer's case, he has an emotional attachment to Israel, so his conclusion is exactly what you would expect. This was true even in 1982, when Israel invaded Lebanon and killed or wounded 50,000 Palestinians and Lebanese in 10 weeks. True, Walzer had some reservations about the most extreme acts of violence by Israel, but in the end he concluded that Israel's war could be justified by just war theory. He said so explicitly in the pages of The New Republic in 1982.

      No, I don't have a link. Check it out for yourself!

  • Zoabi, subject of police investigation, decries 'jingoistic consensus' gripping Israeli Jewish public
  • Hollywood's latest blacklist shadows Bardem, Cruz, Almodovar
  • Jodi Rudoren and Abe Foxman mull over 'the Arabs' owning New York hotel
    • Another NYTimes reporter, another conflict of interest.

      A while ago, the NYT reporter from I/P was Joel Greenberg, who managed to be an (allegedly) objective reporter, not partisan to either side, while serving in the Israeli military (!!)

      There's more to the story than this. Before Greenberg served in the IDF, he previously had refused to serve, and went to jail for draft resistance.

      In an earlier article on MW, Idrees Ahmad remarks that Greenberg was the first NYT reporter to incorporate the findings of human rights organizations (Amnesty, B'Tselem, HRW) into the NYT reports. Previous NYT reporting had consistently ignored the human rights organizations. This human rights heresy may have been a factor, says Idrees Ahmad, in the abrupt departure of Greenberg for the Chicago Tribune.

    • Mondoweiss has the NYT nailed!

      In contrast, the Los Angeles Times performs much better. Occasionally they run opinion pieces by critics of Israel or by Palestinian supporters. LAT is head and shoulders above the NYT.

  • On being accused of anti-semitism by well meaning liberals
  • Gaza war gives rise to new Jewish group targeting Jewish institutions that support occupation
    • FWIW, I am perfectly fine with the formation of yet another Jewish group that is critical of Israel's racism and militarism. If there's a proliferation of such groups, fine and dandy.

      You also find a proliferation of groups that support Israeli racism no matter what: AIPAC, ADL, CAMERA, Council of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), Emergency Committee for Israel, J Street, Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), Christians United for Israel (CUFI), a lot of synagogues and Jewish Community Relations Councils around the world, etc. Some of these groups have interlocking directorates with other groups. They also find it useful to have a proliferation of such groups.

      The new group #IfNotNow is named after the famous saying by a famous rabbi Hillel, "if not now, then when?" . This group will likely attract Jews for whom being Jewish has an important ethical aspect, as opposed to the supernatural aspect of religion (ANY religion).
      I think the potential audience is significant, and chips away even more at the once-nearly-monolithic blind support for Israel.

  • Israel, your brand is tanking
    • Michael Walzer has been a supporter of Israel for decades. So if even he can't support Israel's massacre of the Palestinians, the world really has changed.
      Walzer supported Operation Peace in Galilee (Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982) as justified by Just War theory, on which he has written a lot.
      Walzer also supported Operation Cast Lead (Israel's 2008-9 invasion of Gaza).
      I haven't checked out every war Israel has ever waged, but in general Walzer supports Israel down the line.
      The latest copy of Dissent (edited for a long time by Walzer) has an editorial by new editor and historian Michael Kazin, in which (surprise!) Kazin does NOT support Israel's attack on Gaza. Instead, Kazin is even-handed (between oppressed and oppressors), which for Dissent magazine is an advance.
      Walzer was a graduate student of Irving Howe, founding editor of Dissent. Norman FInkelstein's research found that Irving Howe was mostly indifferent to Israel before 1967, but became an ardent Zionist after 1967. The National Lampoon published a parody edition of the New York Review of Books many years ago (but after 1967), in which Irving Howe was identified as "an ardent opponent of all wars, except those against Arabs".

      In short.... Walzer is beating a retreat, refraining from indulging his first instinct to support Israel no matter what. That really IS big news. The world really is changing.

      A useful comparison of the present Israeli massacre is with the bloody Soviet suppression of the Hungarian uprising in 1956. The Soviets scored a military victory, but suffered a political and moral defeat.

    • FWIW, I think the Israel Lobby DOES know what's happening to it, but they just can't stop it.

      For example, a couple of years ago, the Lobby set up an astroturf group to get the US to attack Iran. The astroturf group was exposed by blogger Richard Silverstein and others at the Electronic Intifada.

      In the current massacre in Gaza, the Lobby got a 100-0 unanimous vote of support in the US Senate and a similar vote in the House, and strong editorial support by the NYTimes and Washington Post. So the Lobby still has a lot of clout. The Israel Lobby is a foreign lobby, masquerading as a domestic lobby. The Lobby exists to serve the interest of Israel, as those interests are interpreted by the group of arrogant and deluded men around Netanyahu. [This explains the persistence of hophmi, and before him Richard Witty, as Israeli shills in the blogosphere]

      But still, the Lobby is losing. The past few weeks have shown the biggest pro-Palestinian demonstrations ever, all over the world. The horrifying images of Israel's orgy of death and destruction in Gaza have convinced the previously neutral.

  • Elie Wiesel plays the Holocaust trump card in Gaza
    • Wiesel endorsed Joan Peters' ridiculous book, From Time Immemorial, which purported to show that there weren't any Palestinians. Wiesel wrote a blurb for the book. When asked about that now, Wiesel refuses to answer. This from someone who is forever droning on about the importance of "memory".

      Wiesel's memory is quite selective. He remembers the Holocaust but denies the Nakba. Wiesel was a member of Menachem Begin's terrorist Irgun. As far as I know, Wiesel didn't actually shoot anybody, but served the cause as a journalist and propagandist. He's still a propagandist.

      Why anyone takes him seriously as a moralist is beyond me. He's a horrible hawk.

      His last name ought to be pronounced "Weasel"!

  • Seven congresspeople go to Israel on AIPAC's dime-- and one gets defensive about it
    • Hophmi is an Israeli shill.

      He points out that more people were killed in the Holocaust than in the current Israel massacre of Palestinians in Gaza. So, he argues, what's the big deal?

      Let's try out hophmi's pinhead logic:

      In the Second World War, about 50 million people were killed around the world. This dwarfs the number of Jews killed by Germany, which was "only" 6 million. So why is anybody making a big deal about the Holocaust?

  • The British public and the world see that Israel's actions are 'wrong and unjustified' -- Miliband
    • Ed Miliband is a mediocre Labor politician with no firm positions but a lust for power.
      The son could not hold a candle to his father Ralph. Which make any criticism of Israel more significant, coming from Ed Miliband
      His father, Ralph Miliband, was a left-wing intellectual, who played an important role in the development of the New Left in Britain. According to his biography, Ralph Miliband "was deeply critical of many aspects of Israeli policy and from 1967 onward was increasingly committed to the establishment of a Palestinian state. Nor was this his final position, as he ultimately became far more opposed to Israel, with a decisive change in attitude following its invasion of Lebanon in 1982. He would subsequently argue vehemently with left-wing Jews who sought to defend Zionism or those who, in his view, were insufficiently critical of Israel."
      Source: Michael Newman, Ralph Miliband and the Politics of the New Left, Merlin Press, 2002, p. 135.

  • What Jim Fallows and I saw
    • Fallows is 65 and could retire if he wanted to. That gives him a certain immunity.

      I wouldn't be totally surprised if he now wrote articles that are very critical of Israel, critical enough that people at the beginning of their careers wouldn't dare to write.

      After all, Fallows was the speechwriter for Jimmy Carter for two years. And Jimmy Carter called Israeli racial discrimination by its real name, apartheid, and even put it in the title of his book. Carter knew what would happen, and he did it anyway.

  • Reading Amos Oz on Gaza
    • Amos Oz is a splendid example of the weakness of the Israeli peace movement.
      Consider the record:

      In 2006, Israel invaded Lebanon, and Amos Oz supported the war, holding a press conference with David Grossman and A. B. Yehoshua to claim that Israel was acting in "self -defense, pure and simple". But Hezbollah put up stiff resistance to Israeli aggression, Israeli casualties mounted, and Israel faced a long-drawn-out guerrilla war. The war became unpopular among Israeli Jews, and Amos Oz stopped supporting the war.

      In 2008, Israel attached Gaza, and Oz supported the massacre. Two weeks later, the nimble-footed Oz supported calls for a ceasefire with Hamas.

      The naive and untutored may say that Oz is a man of no principles at all. Actually, that's not true. Oz hold to the following principles:

      Support Israel's wars of aggression, especially if the war is popular.

      UNLESS the war becomes unpopular, in which case Oz opposes the war.

      This opportunism enables Oz to be saluted as a peace activist while in fact supporting Israel's wars.

      Amos Oz is a weathervane, not a compass.

  • 'Is the Zionist dream based on the repeated slaughter of civilians?'
    • Khalidi's piece was really great. Send the link around to your friends.
      It's really a shame that Khalidi, who knows the score, does not have a regular media outlet. Meanwhile, idiots like Tom Friedman have a regular column in the NYT!

      Different topic:

      The point of the interview with Henry Siegman and the column by NYT bigfoot pundit Roger Cohen:

      It's not that Siegman and Cohen are saying anything unusual. It's WHO is saying it: two Establishment thinkers with impeccable Zionist credentials are having very serious reservations about the whole Israeli "project". And in public, also.

  • Remnick gets the timeline wrong
    • Resnick has written a lot of rubbish about Israel/Palestine, and published even more. But even The New Yorker has a good article by Rashid Khalidi, Collective Punishment in Gaza, just out. Check it out. (Sorry, I don't have a link. Find the article yourself!)

      A few years ago, there was zero chance of this being published in The New Yorker. Now the door has been forced open a crack, and the truth is starting to leak in!

  • Video: If you voted for Hamas, Israel has a right to kill you, says president of NY Board of Rabbis
    • The only good news is that only 10,000 people showed up at the pro-war rally. If roughly 2 million Jews live in NYC, that means the turnout was 0.5% with 99.5% of Jews in NYC not attending the rally.

      That's a big decline from the distant past. For example, in the early 1970's, the Salute to Israel Parade turned out 300,000 people. (I recall reading about it in the newspapers at the time). Some carried signs saying "Arab Blood Must Flow!", so the message was the same as today. But some Jews (not ALL Jews) are becoming disillusioned with Israel.

  • Kerry is off the Israel bandwagon
    • It is VERY important that Israel not win the war. If Israel succeeds, then they'll do the same thing to the Occupied West Bank. Not everybody knows that the West Bank is totally surrounded by Israeli-occupied territory So the West Bank could become another Bantustan, like Gaza.

      Don't know if Hamas wins the war - they have paid a very heavy price. Of course, given the huge military advantage of the Israeli side, even a draw is a win for Hamas.

      Israel loses politically in this war. There is now in place the beginnings of a world wide movement in favor of the Palestinians and against Israeli policy. The worldwide protests are an encouraging sign for most of us. And a sign of hammer blows to Israel's image around the world.

      BDS will get a big boost from the current slaughter.

      A while ago, somebody (at The New Republic, I think) said that Operation Cast Lead ought to be named "Operation Make Everybody Hate Us". (Since it was The New Republic, it's unclear whether "us" meant Israel, American Jews, Jews in general, etc. That might be a good title for Israel's current orgy of violence.

  • (Updated) In Photos: Worldwide protest against Israeli attack on Gaza
    • Even in Las Vegas there was a "Stand with Gaza" protest. One of the organizers expected 20 people but over 200 showed up!
      I think it's the first pro-Gaza protest in Las Vegas, ever!

  • It's time for liberal Jewish bodies to take a stand
  • US Jews occupy Israeli army support office in NY in civil disobedience action
    • Giles, I think you're right about J street but wrong about JVP.

      J Street got a lot of good publicity when they were first established, but they turned out to be "AIPAC lite", a way of getting support for Israel from American Jews who can't stand AIPAC because of AIPAC's extremism. J Street co-sponsored the "Stand With Israel" rally a few days ago, but the latest news is the J Street is backpeddling furiously.

      On the other hand, Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) is a fine organization. They've got the right values, they just don't have enough clout! I just sent JVP some money. (I'm not Jewish). It's important for Jews who are opposed to Israel's racism to be heard.

      I should add that some of the sharpest and most perceptive critics of Israel are Jewish: Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein, Uri Avery, Amira Haas, Gideon Levy, Glenn Greenwald, Max Blumenthal, and many others not as well known. Check out the Electronic Intifada for other examples. Consider Norman Solomon, Jeff Cohen (FAIR) and Amy Goodman (Democracy Now) as examples of Jewish left activists who are active on a number of issues besides I/P.

      American Jews in the 20th century made a huge contribution to liberal and left-wing causes. Many American Jews unfortunately had a blind spot about Israel. (Why? Because American Jews were fed a bunch of lies about Israel, and a lot of American Jews believed the pleasant lies over the unpleasant truth. For a long time, pro-palestinian activists were absolutely no match for the Israel Lobby).
      That blind spot is now being removed. And that's good news!

    • Giles, I think you're right about J street but wrong about JVP.

      J Street got a lot of good publicity when they were first established, but they turned out to be "AIPAC lite", a way of getting support for Israel from American Jews who can't stand AIPAC because of AIPAC's extremism. J Street co-sponsored the "Stand With Israel" rally a few days ago, but the latest news is the J Street is backpeddling furiously.

      On the other hand, Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) is a fine organization. They've got the right values, they just don't have enough clout! I just sent JVP some money. (I'm not Jewish). It's important for Jews who are opposed to Israel's racism to be heard.

      I should add that some of the sharpest and most perceptive critics of Israel are Jewish: Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein, Uri Avery, Amira Haas, Gideon Levy, Glenn Greenwald, Max Blumenthal, and many others not as well known. Check out the Electronic Intifada for other examples. Consider Norman Solomon, Jeff Cohen (FAIR) and Amy Goodman (Democracy Now) as examples of Jewish left activists who are active on a number of issues besides I/P.

      American Jews in the 20th century made a huge contribution to liberal and left-wing causes. Many American Jews unfortunately had a blind spot about Israel. (Why? Because American Jews were fed a bunch of lies about Israel, and a lot of American Jews believed the pleasant lies over the unpleasant truth. For a long time, pro-palestinian activists were absolutely no match for the Israel Lobby).
      That blind spot is now being removed. And that's good news.

  • Naomi Wolf walked out of synagogue when they had nothing to say about Gaza massacre
    • To me, what is significant here is that Naomi Wolf is not heavily political, and not a leftist or human-rights activist. Nothing that extraordinary about her (apart from being an author). So if people like her get moved to oppose Israel's treatment of the Palestinians, it's a good sign that opposition to Israel's policies is spreading.
      It isn't just Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein, etc. any more.

      It's more like a fairly representative American Jewish liberal.

      And that's really good news!

  • Renouncing my Israeli citizenship
  • 'Washington Post' exhibits naked double standard in Israeli, Palestinian deaths (and injuries)
  • In Photos: Activists clash with Israeli and Palestinian Authority forces during protest in Bethlehem
    • The so-called Palestinian "Authority" has no authority!

      The PA is like a Vichy regime. Their job is to do Israel's bidding.
      It saves Israel military manpower by subcontracting out the oppression to an organization that is staffed by Palestinians, but controlled by Israel.

      The best thing the PA can do now is dissolve itself.

  • Kristof says Stephen Hawking and American Studies Association support Hamas
    • I commented elsewhere on the MW website about Kristof's chronic inability to get his facts straight.

      Click here and scroll down.


      It sure doesn't take much to be NYT columnist!!

  • This Jew can't support Israel
    • Ellen Davidson, thank you very much for your poignant article.

      All of us have a moral obligation to oppose the Israel/US oppression of the Palestinians.
      But Jewish voices that are critical of Israel are especially valuable.

  • Nicholas Kristof on how to end the Israel/Palestine conflict
  • Israel is in a pickle
    • For the most part, it's hard to predict what's going to happen.
      But let me make two confident predictions:

      (1) J Street will be a casualty. They joined AIPAC, the ADL, and others in endorsing Israel's orgy of death and destruction. How can they possibly have any credibility, having sided with Netanyahu, the Israeli far right, and Israel's massacre of children. Bye bye, J Street, and good riddance.

      (2) The BDS movement will get a big boost from these tragic events. The debate that raged in the Presbyterian Church about divestment will occur in other mainstream churches, but this time the advocates of BDS will have a stronger hand.

  • Jet Blue incident shifts from anti-Semitic story to anti-Palestinian one
    • Hophmi raises red herring: is Lisa Rosenberg typical or not?
      The real issue:

      Initially the story has "the Israeli narrative": Jewish doctor kicked off plane, anti-Semitism, etc. etc.

      BUT later the story gets straightened out. Jewish doctor gets abusive, deserves to be kicked off plane. And the Palm Beach newspaper gets the story straight!!
      That's what is news. A bogus accusation of anti-Semitism is uncovered and discredited.

      It really IS news.

      Whether Dr. Lisa Rosernberg is typical or not is a red herring.

      Some of the MSM seems to sing a slightly different tune on Israel's most recent war of aggression: they're reporting an Israeli "invasion" and not a "retaliation' or 'defending itself" etc etc.

  • Sullivan and Leveretts throw in the towel on two-state solution
    • The argument against the 2ss is that successive Israeli govts have killed it, by implanting so many illegal jews-only settlements on the W Bank, now up to 20% of the Israeli Jewish population, that no future Israeli govt will allow the occupied W Bank to go.
      Hence, it could only happen it if were FORCED on Israel.

      The argument against the 1ss is that it has almost no support among Israeli Jews. Hence, it could only happen if it were FORCED on Israel.

      So, either proposed solution could only happen if it were forced on Israel, by external forces, because internal forces along are not strong enough.

      Too bad that Chomsky (whom i admire otherwise) wasn't asked: do you think Israel will ever agree to 2ss or 1ss, without a lot of external pressure from BDS etc.

      It will take external pressure on Israel to get either one.

  • Congresswoman who visited Israel on AIPAC's dime has no time for relative of boy beaten by Israeli police
    • In the mid-1980's, Israel and the US Reagan Administration secretly sold advanced weapons to Iran. This was the Iran-Contra scandal, which produced public hearings and even some convictions, although in the end everybody involved received a pardon.

      When an Israeli spokesman is going on and on about the big threat posed by Iran, I'd love to see a US reporter ask, Didn't Israel sell weapons to Iran? Now, you Israelis are ranting about the Iranian threat. Back then, you sold sophisticated weapons to the supposedly terrible Iranian ayatollahs.

      This whole scandal has been willfully erased from the national memory!

  • Understanding Hamas
    • That's right. Even when Yigal Amir, a Jewish right-wing extremist, assassinated Yitzhak Rabin, the terrorist's house was not demolished. Because the terrorist Amir was Jewish.

  • Jewish activists light children's dolls on fire at Yad Vashem to protest Gaza attack
    • Daring tactics by JAG.

      There are two reasons for typical Israeli Jews to hate Neta Golan: she denounces Israeli oppression of Palestinians as (actual or potential) genocide, and she is Jewish, and intermarried to a Palestinian. Dennis Ross is now employed by the Jewish National Fund to combat this alleged plague of intermarriage.

  • Chomsky and BDS
    • You can agree or disagree with Chomsky, but let me make a point that is ignored.

      Chomsky is an opponent of US imperialism, and has devoted many books to the topic.

      He thinks the Israel Lobby is not as important as most Mondoweiss readers believe.

      The history of US empire-building includes many chapters in which the US invaded other countries and imposed a puppet government. In the Monroe Doctrine, proclaimed in 1823, the US staked a claim to the entire New World, whether people in Latin America liked it or not.

      After the Second World War, the US emerged as the most powerful country in the world, and became a global imperial power. After World War II, the US invaded Korea (1950), Cuba (1961), Dominican Republic (1960's), Lebanon (1958), Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia (1950's-1970's), Granada (1980's) Panama (1980's), Iraq (1990, again 2003), and carried out regime change in Chile (1973), Nicaragua (1980's), Honduras (recently), Indonesia (1965), Iran (CIA installed the Shah, 1979) Libya (2012) and Ukraine (happening now). [I'm doing this from memory and might have a few dates discrepant].

      What irritates Chomsky (IMHO) is that articles in Mondoweiss seem to assume that the middle east mess is all the fault of the Israel Lobby. US intervention in the rest of the world is ignored. In US invasion of these other countries, there wasn't anything like the Israel Lobby in operation.

      My conclusion is that, while the Israel Lobby is important in Washington politics, even if there were no Israel Lobby US policy probably wouldn't be very different.

      The US is supporting thugs in Israel. So? Who do you think we're supporting in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt (first Mubarak, now Sisi), Iran (under the Shah) etc. ? Thugs.

      Chomsky thinks that Mondoweiss writers and readers are letting US imperialism off the hook.

      By the way, FWIW, Joseph Massad (prof at Columbia) agrees with me. And Massad is one of the last people on earth to underestimate the power of the Israel Lobby, because the David Project tried to get him turned down for tenure. [Check out Massad's wikipedia page for an account of the David Project, which concocted a film (Columbia Unbecoming) which accused Massad of being an anti-Semite.]

  • 'Survival and well-being of the Jewish state' is a national security interest of U.S., Indyk says
    • Israel was rocked a year or so ago by a civilian uprising against the high cost of living and the shortage of jobs. It was the largest Jewish uprising in the history of modern Israel. Hophmi omits it deliberately.
      As for democracy, Israel is a democracy for Jews, but not for the 20% of Israeli citizens who are not Jewish. And Israel is not a democracy for the millions of expelled Palestinians who were ethnically cleansed in the Nakba. Hophmi omits that little detail also.

      So what is the real basis for the US/Israeli alliance? Yes, there is the Lobby, that's a factor. But another factor is that the US and Israel share a common interest in keeping the Arab world divided, backward and weak.

  • 'Forward' normalizes idea that some folks 'hate Israel'
    • If this were a real letter, I would give this advice:

      Why don't you and your lady friend actually visit Israel/Palestine and talk to the people there, on all sides. Visit the victims and get their perspective. After your tour, have a heart-to-heart talk with your lady friend.

      Or, if you don't have the time and money for a trip, both of you should read Max Blumenthal's recent book Goliath.

      What's that, you say? Shouldn't Max's book be balanced by something on the other side?
      There is NO PROBLEM finding material from Israel's supporters and defenders, on ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, Fox or in the major newspapers.

  • Liberal Zionists' denial of Israeli racism heightens danger to 'everyone living in this land' -- Blumenthal
    • So MJ Rosenberg claims that Mondoweiss is for "rich Jews who don’t face any threat to their lives, as Israelis do" ??

      The people who REALLY face a threat to their lives are the wretched Palestinians, who are oppressed by Israel. Count the bodies yourself, Mr. Rosenberg!

      Mondoweiss is for Jews and Gentiles who think that Palestinians are people, entitled to human rights.

      Mondoweiss is for anybody who talks about improving the human condition, talks about a love of humanity AND MEANS IT!

  • Jeffrey Goldberg leads the charge on latest BDS smear: Presbyterian Church divestment is anti-Semitic because David Duke supports it
    • Critics of Israel smeared as "anti-Semites"
      Round # 91,653

      Walt and Mearsheimer wrote a book, in which they document the following fact:
      Someone who criticizes Israel gets smeared as an anti-Semite by the Israel Lobby.

      So Walt and Mearsheimer criticized Israeli policy.

      And they were, predictably, smeared as anti-Semites.

      Which proved that their book was accurate!

      CounterPunch published a book, The Politics of "Anti-Semitism".
      Alexander Cockburn wrote an essay, "My Life as an 'Anti-Semite'", which can be found on the Web.

      Abe Foxman ought to change the name of the ADL to the "Pro-Defamation League" (PDL) because they spend so much time defaming Israel's critics.

  • 'Forward' editor says Presbyterian vote was anti-Semitic
    • Donald in his comment (scroll up to see it) was speaking of Martin Luther King...
      MLK first started getting publicity when he organized the Montgomery Bus BOYCOTT.

      A BOYCOTT!

      Can you hear me, Ms. Eisler?

      I wonder if the Forward had an opinion about MLK's Boycott of the Montgomery (Alabama) bus system, protesting the segregated bus system.

      If the Forward editor applied to MLK the same pinhead logic that she now applies to the Presbyterians and Israel, she would write something like this....

      "Now I'm not a big fan of Alabama's Jim Crow system. But calling for a boycott is singling out Alabama and Montgomery for special criticism. What about Mississippi where things are much worse???"

      "But when Montgomery Alabama's treatment of colored folks is judged worse than the way any other dominant group treats a minority, when it is deemed worthy of unique sanction, when other horrors around the world are ignored — how can I believe that this isn’t about the Alabama whites? And that, my friends, is anti-white agitation…Why, if this continues, our precious tradition and our Southern way of life will be trampled and torn. Blacks and whites will share the same swimming pools, the same restrooms, and the same bedrooms....Intermarriage will destroy our Southern way of life and out traditions.."

      "Alabama has a right to a white man's country, as God wanted it. Our right to exist is threatened by the race-mixers and outside agitators."

      etc etc

  • From Mississippi to Gaza -- Dorothy Zellner reflects on 50 years of struggle
    • Henry Norr,

      I respect you and your work. But I'm going to pick a fight with you here. You think that Zionist elites force the US ruling class to support Israel, even at the expense of the US national interest.
      My position is that the US ruling class thinks that the US and Israel have a common interest, at least in the long run and for the most part. Both the US and Israel want to keep the Arab world divided, backward and weak. Both the US and Israeli ruling classes are opposed to Arab nationalism, although for different reasons.
      Is the Israel Lobby a factor? Of course. But even if the Lobby didn't exist, the US would have reason to support Israel, because of the common interests in opposing Arab nationalism.
      You may say, "why is the US giving $3B/year to Israel, if not for the power of the Israeli Lobby".
      My answer: "who else has gotten tons of US aid"? Answer: "South" Vietnam, South Korea, Taiwan, etc. The US wanted to roll back communism, in East Asia (and elsewhere).

      I am mindful of the occasional conflicts between the US and Israel. (Jonathan Pollard...1956 Suez crisis...Lavi fighter cancelled..AIPAC spying case). The latest US/Israeli conflict is that Netanyahu urges the US not to work with Iran to stabilize Iraq (against ISIS). The US is trying to keep ISIS from defeating Iraq. The US is urging Maliki to step down as Prime Minister in order to unite enough Iraqis to prevent a victory for ISIS.

      Henry, if it were just my opinion, it wouldn't matter. But it is also the opinion of Noam Chomsky, Rashid Khalidi, and Joseph Massad. (Massad would never deny the power of the Israeli lobby, since they tried to get him fired at Columbia.) These distinguished scholars take the position that the US empire exists, and is an important factor no matter what the Israeli lobby does. The US has invaded many countries, especially in Latin America, and got into the empire game in a big way with the Spanish-American War of 1898. Many US invasions of Latin American countries happened before 1948, so the Israel Lobby was not a factor.

      Henry, don't be an "empire denier"!!

  • In 'turning-point' vote, Presbyterians divest from occupation-linked corporations
    • I was delighted to hear of the historic divestment vote by the Presbyterian Church.
      Given the small size of their investment, the economic effect on Israel will be very small.
      But the political effect will be very big.
      It will make it easier for other churches to vote the same way.
      The vote is a way of telling Israel, "we condemn your oppression of the Palestinians".
      And it comes from a very respectable group, which can't be credibly smeared as anti-semites.
      Of course, the Israelis and their supporters made just that accusation, out of sheer desperation. What else were they going to say?

      I was not impressed by the 1,700 rabbis against divestment. I recall back in the summer of 1982, when Israel invaded Lebanon and massacred some 18,000 Palestinians and Lebanese. A group of 1,000 American and Israeli rabbis took out full page advertisements in the New York and Israeli newspapers, in which the 1,000 rabbis praised Begin and Sharon for their "actions for the safety of Israel", and condemned Peace Now for its "poisonous propaganda".
      It's the same familiar story: 1,000 (in 1982) or 1,700 rabbis (now) will support anything Israel does.
      Meanwhile, the Rabbis for Human Rights, who are critical of some Israeli policies, musters up a grand total one or two dozen members. Among the rabbis, blind supporters of Israel's racism outnumber the critics by about 100 to 1.

  • After ADL says opera is 'biased' toward Palestinians, Met cancels broadcast, citing rising anti-Semitism
    • Why Abe Foxman should not be taken seriously

      Our story begins back in 2009, when Alison Weir, a journalist and critic of Israel, ran an article on the CounterPunch website about Israeli Organ Harvesting.
      Weir picked up on an article published the previous week in a Swedish newspaper.

      Weir declared that "Testimony and circumstantial evidence indicating that Israelis may have been harvesting internal organs from Palestinian prisoners without consent for many years".

      On August 23, 2009, The New York Times cautiously addressed the story under the headline "Accusation of Organ Theft Stokes Ire in Israel".

      Abe Foxman, quoted by the JTA, denounced the accusation, declaring (in a Sept 17 2009 interview) that "This is a new variation of the ancient blood libel." Foxman didn't bother to give his reasons for believing that the story was false.

      The Israeli story has been sloshing around for years. Five years earlier, the NY Times had run a story (May 23, 2004) under the headline

      THE ORGAN TRADE: A Global Black Market; Tracking the Sale of a Kidney on a path of poverty and hope. The NYT reporter tracked a kidney through four continents, from Brazil to Brooklyn.

      "In Alberty da Silva's case, the authorities here say, the organ's odyssey began with two middlemen based in this gritty port city of 1.5 million people: Gedalya Tauber, a former Israeli police officer, and his partner, Ivan Bonifacio da Silva, a retired Brazilian military police officer." So in 2004, the Times was reporting Israeli involvement.
      Everybody agrees that people from many counties are involved in trafficking in body parts. It is not an Israeli monopoly. But Israelis are involved.
      Foxman did not denounce the NYT for repeating blood libel.

      Now bring the story forward to October 2011, when a Brooklynite, an immigrant from Israel named Rosenbaum pleaded guilty to organ trafficking.

      The next year, 2012, the NYT ran an article by reporter Dan Bilefsky,
      Black Market for Body Parts spreads among the poor in Europe. Bilefsky's story says,

      In late May [2012], the Israeli police detained 10 members of an international crime ring suspected of organ trafficking in Europe, European Union law enforcement officials said. The officials said the suspects had targeted impoverished people in Moldova, Kazakhstan, Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.

      This is the only mention of Israel in the story.
      Recall that Abe Foxman declared back in 2009 that it's all an anti-Semitic conspiracy, blood libel,etc.

      Now let's bring the story forward to just last year, to June 20, 2013.
      Haaretz ran a story with a headline
      "Israeli MDs harvesting organs for international trafficking ring.

      What's the take-home lesson here? Nobody should take Abe Foxman seriously. Nobody.

  • Neoconservatism is 'vindicated' in fawning 'NYT' piece on power couple of Kagan and Kristol
  • Fire Thomas Friedman
    • Friedman is "the world's wealthiest pundit", having married into one of the richest families in the country. Friedman has built a gigantic mansion, valued at nearly $10M. He supported a free-trade agreement without reading the text or knowing what was in the agreement. Read what Norman Solomon said about Friedman 8 years ago.

  • Wisconsin Jewish leaders open the door to-- shhh -- anti-Zionists
    • One third of the vote is less than 50%.

      Somebody ought to cite this fact to comfort the despondent Eric Cantor, who got quite a bit more than a third of the vote, but still lost.

  • 'Netanyahu won't act without a cane to his ass' -- Erekat says, urging ICC on Abbas
    • Some Mondoweiss readers ought to take a second look at the ICC. It's a tool in the hands of the rich and powerful. They ICC has prosecuted some African dictators, and former Serb president Slobedon Milosevic. They have never thought about prosecuting any US president, no matter many countries the US invades or threatens. Or prosecuting Israeli leaders.
      Read the excellent essay by journalist Diana Johnstone on the ICC. It's a real eye-opener!

  • Think back to 2003. . . the year the U.S. didn't invade Iraq
    • James North:

      Your essay asks, "What would have happened if the US hadn't invaded Iraq in 2003", and your answer is "nothing too terrible".

      Consider asking a different questions: "Since the official justification for the 2003 US invasion was a bunch of lies, what was the real reason?"

      Noam Chomsky supplies an answer: in 2003, the international coalition (of countries that supported the US occupation of Iraq) was falling apart. The coalition provided a smokescreen, allowing the US to disguise its own interest - in controlling the oil of the Persian Gulf - as the will of "the international community". Country after country pulled out its troops. In 2003, the "multinational force" became "the mono-national force". The "coalition" in the Second Persian Gulf War was really just for show from the beginning, because (apart from the US) only Britain supplied a militarily significant (45,000) number of troops. Third place was Australia (2000 troops) and fourth place was Poland with 192 troops (!!).

      Compare that with the First Persian Gulf war, in which GHW Bush strong-armed lots of countries (including Egypt, Syria and Saudi Arabia) to supply lots of troops to the US "coalition".

      So really the choice facing George W Bush in 2003 was to watch the coalition collapse completely, or to escalate and launch another invasion of Iraq. Under the influence of the neoconservatives, he chose war.

  • Enter Ken Pollack and Tom Friedman-- the Iraq experts!
    • Yes, believe it or not, lots of Iraqis are even worse off now than they were under Saddam Hussein. Michael Moore says, "How badly do you have to suck to be more unpopular than Saddam Husssein???".

      I saw a survey of Iraqi opinion a few years ago, on Al Jazzera.
      The question posed as "Why is the US in Iraq?"
      Popular answers were:
      to control the oil,
      to build military bases, or
      to help Israel.

      How many people in the survey responded
      "to being democracy"?

      A grand total of 2%
      Iraqis know the score!!

    • Not so fast about Syria:

      In the "Arab Spring", the governments of Tunisia and Egypt were overthrown in a popular uprising that showed how little support the regimes of Tunisia and Egypt had. The regimes fell quickly.

      Syria is a very different story. It's a civil war that has lasted several years, because lots of Syrians think that if the rebels wins, they'll be even worse off than they are now under Assad. Dozens of Saudi princes - and the U S - are funding religious fundamentalist forces, taking on the secular Assad regime.

      This is the dumbest thing the US has done since.....funding the anti-USSR forces in Afghanistan, which led to the Taliban taking power, with help from Osama Bin Laden.

      Once religious extremists get power, they can be a real problem. Whether it's Christian extremists (in the US), Moslem extremists (whose growth we are fostering), or Jewish extremists (see Max Blumenthal's book, Goliath).
      They can be a real problem!!

  • Anti-Cantor coalition included Tea Partiers, Independents, Democrats
    • The pundits, who didn't anticipate Cantor's defeat, are now rushing to explain it!

      FWIW, Let me offer my own explanation:

      A LOT of people in the US are fed up and pissed off. They're being screwed by an arrogant ruling class, and they know they're being screwed. They have no faith in: Republicans or Democrats, unions or big business, or the Establishment media.

      They have a pretty good idea of what is being done to them, and who is doing it. And they have no faith that (for example) voting for a Democrat will make a difference.

      They are fed up with conventional politics, and the Occupy movement shows a potential for insurgency. In conventional politics, votes are the nominal source of power, and money is the real source of power.

      In this case, it was Eric Cantor who ended up in the crosshairs of popular rage and disgust.

      The Republicans got clobbered in 2008.
      The Democrats got clobbered in 2010.

      Earlier, in 1994, the Republicans took back the House, for the first time in a half century, under the leadership of Newt Gingrich, using the gimmick of a "contract with America",
      a marketing ploy for a Republican party with no real new policies or ideas. ("Limiting government" is not a new idea, and not really a good idea).

      The only generalization about the electorate that I can support is that the electorate is getting more VOLATILE. And I can't blame them at all.

  • Local activists welcome Gates Foundation divestment of all shares from G4S
  • Chris Matthews and David Corn defend Israel against 'slander' of apartheid
  • The most interesting journalist in the world
    • Fidel was doing what he could to avoid a war between Israel and Iran. So he's trying to reach out to Israel. Naturally he calls Jeffrey Goldberg, as a back-channel to Israel. (Technically, Goldberg isn't actually an Israeli, although he was a while ago.) Fidel butters up Goldberg by stressing how much Jews have been slandered and oppressed, through the centuries, at the hands of Christian Europe.

      If Goldberg were smart, he might grasp Fidel's message:

      The US and Israel want regime change in Iran, because the US regrets the loss of Iran as a US client state in 1979 when the Shah was overthrown. The US is hoping that economic sanctions against Iran will undermine the regime. Cuba has been resisting a US blockade since 1960, similar to the US blockade (and CIA coups) that overthrew Allende in Chile in 1973, overthrew the Sandinistas in Nicaragua in the 1980's, and overthrew the Mossadegh (pre-Shah) government in Iran in 1953.

      Fidel's message is that Iran will resist the economic blockade. And if the US/Israel start a war, Israel will suffer a lot of damage. The 2006 Israeli invasion of Lebanon resulted in Israeli casualties that were high enough to make the war politically unacceptable to the Israeli ruling class. Iran has no nuclear weapons, but does have a awful lot of non-nuclear missiles.

      Will the Israelis listen to Fidel good advice (speaking through Goldberg)?
      Regretfully, I see no sign of it.

  • Brookings offers Palestinian perspective, without Israeli 'balance' -- in Qatar
    • The Brookings Institute has a reputation for being a centrist think tank. For the most part that is true, with one important exception: their Middle East coverage comes from the Saban Center for Middle East Studies, named for Haim Saban, an Israeli who donated $13M to found the center in 2002. (Haim Saban owns Paramount Pictures.) Not surprisingly, the Saban Center reflects the wishes of its major donor. The Saban Center is unlikely to oppose Israeli policy towards the Palestinians. And Paramount Pictures is unlikely to make a movie that is very critical of Israel.
      As for the Qatar gabfest, my interpretation is that Brookings realizes what will "sell" in Qatar, and what won't sell. Brookings didn't have Dennis Ross, Martin Indyk, Wolf Blitzer, and Paul Wolfowitz on the panel. Duh!

  • Modern Language Association members condemn Israeli border policies, but vote is not ratified
    • The vote was decisive: 59.5% (=1560/2623) of those voting supported the measure.

      The problem was turnout. If turnout were higher, it would have passed, unless those not voting were radically different from those voting, and there's no evidence of that.

      I expect the supporters to try again next year, but with more attention paid to GOTV (get out the vote).

  • Jeff Goldberg gets hit from right and left for suggesting Jews should leave Europe
    • The distinguished British historian, Eric Hobsbawm, writes that as of the 20th century, no Jew had used Hebrew for thousands of years for ordinary purposes. I.e., Hebrew was used only for religious ceremonies. Jesus spoke Aramaic.
      Hebrew was like Latin in the Catholic Church: used only for religious purposes but not for ordinary purposes.
      Netanyahu had it wrong. The Pope had it right. Even an idiot (and anti-Semite) like Mel Gibson had it right, in The Passion of the Christ. Jesus spoke Aramaic.

      What's weird is that the revival of the Hebrew language is an actual accomplishment that would not have happened without the establishment of Israel in the 20th century. Netanyahu was so eager to "prove" that Jews have spoken Hebrew forever that he denigrated this actual accomplishment.
      I seriously doubt that Netanyahu actually believes this. He just pretends to believe it.
      If it suits his purpose, Netanyahu would be perfectly willing to claim that Jesus spoke Yiddish!

    • Goldberg should urge Israeli Jews to move to the US.
      That's what he did, after all.

      In the 1950's, Ben-Gurion urged American Jews to move to Israel. It didn't happen on any large scale. Most American Jews never visit Israel, not even once.

  • LA City Council members denounce student activists over ethics pledge critiquing Israel lobby trips
    • Why not require that any US politician who takes a free trip to Israel must register as a agent of a foreign power, under FARA. (Foreign agent registration act).

      If someone offered "free trips to Palestine," paid for by some Arab group, the LA city council would be singing an ENTIRELY different tune. They'd see an ethics problem.

  • Palestinian citizens of Israel protest draft in Tel Aviv as passersby tell them to die or emigrate
    • You want an analogy to Israel's latest ploy?

      In South Africa, the whites went to a lot of effort to divide the non-white opposition, between "Blacks" and "Coloreds". People of mixed race were "coloreds". The goal of the scheme was to avoid a confrontation of whites against everybody else.

      Israel has tried a similar scheme earlier, with some success: in the 1970's, Israel suppressed demonstrations by the secular PLO, and allowed demonstrations by Hamas, the Palestine branch of the Moslem brotherhood. Israel's goal was to divide Palestinians between PLO and Hamas, between secular (including Christians*) vs Moslems. It succeeded as Hamas challenged the PLO. [source: Noam Chomsky, also Barton Gellman in the WaPO] In fact the Israeli scheme backfired when Hamas won elections in Gaza in about 2006.

      *by the way, some Christians have played an important role in Palestinian nationalis, ranging from George Habash (Christian background, Marxist, founder of Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine) to Edward Said

      In British India, the British encouraged divisions between Hindu and Moslem. It succeeded so well that independence was accompanied by partition into India and Pakistan, in which millions of people died.

  • Michael Oren finds Israel vindicated by UN report that it slaughtered 101 civilians, including 33 children
  • Historic football victory provides another global stage for Palestine
    • Even those of us with little interest in football (soccer) recognize the great symbolic importance for Palestine and Palestinians. A comparable event in another struggle comes from boxing: the 1938 defeat inflicted by Joe Louis on Max Schmeling, a German. Joe Louis was one of the first public Afro-American celebrities.

  • On Jerusalem Day, thousands of settlers celebrate 'conquest' of the city and say 'Kahane was right'
  • Brandeis damaged itself by suspending relationship with Nusseibeh, Ratner says in resigning from board
    • Jehuda Reinharz is an historian, and a biographer of Chaim Weizmann. Reinharz endorsed Joan Peters' ridiculous book, From Time Immemorial, a book that claimed that nearly all the Palestinians moved there in the last few decades before 1948.
      Reinharz was only one of a large number of Jewish intellectuals who endorsed the Peters book: Elie Weisel, Saul Bellow, Bernard Lewis, the list goes on. Many of these people occupied positions of power in American life, yet they were never held to account for their part in this hoax. Some of the endorsers may have actually believed their own propaganda, but Reinharz knows better, because the early Zionists writers acknowledged the presence of the Palestinians. Reinharz, a mere historian when he endorsed the Peters hoax, rose to be a university president afterwards. The whole disgraceful episode certainly didn't hurt *his* career any!!

  • Video: Maya Angelou reads email from Rachel Corrie
    • African-Americans get it. They understand the plight of the Palestinians.
      African-Americans have been the victims of racial discrimination, within a supposedly democratic setup.

      Too many Jews just don't get it. They "support Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state" without asking. "what is it like being non-Jewish in an officially Jewish state?" It means checkpoints, ethnic cleansing, and systematic racial discrimination. Where you can live and where you can work depends on being officially declared Jewish.

      I am old enough to remember the civil rights struggle of the 1960's. In the South, most white Christian clergymen supported the Jim Crow system of racial discrimination. (That's how Jerry Falwell got his start). These clergymen thought that racial discrimination was God's will: they reassured their congregation that God was a segregationist. God wanted the to be a white man's country. Their counterpart today is the legions of rabbis who think "God gave the land to the Jews".

  • Boteach forges close ties with Rwanda leader linked to ethnic slaughter
    • Rwanda has been compared with the Middle East, according to the Establishment.

      Yes, that's true. But not in the way the Establishment claims.

      Middle East:
      Establishment narrative:
      Israel, which only wants to be left alone, is the nearly-helpless victim of Palestinian terrorism. Thank goodness for brave leaders like Begin and Sharon.

      What this doesn't explain: why Palestinian casualties are much much higher than Israeli Jewish casualties.

      Nevertheless, Israel has friends in the US media, who whitewash its record. Critics of Israel are smeared and compared to Holocaust deniers.

      Establishment narrative:
      The Hutus tried to exterminate the Tutsis. Thank goodness for brave leaders like Paul Kagame.

      What this doesn't explain: why nearly all the casualties were Hutu.

      Paul Kagame has friends in the US media. Critics of Kagame are smeared and compared with Holocaust deniers. For example, Edward Herman and David Peterson are critics of Kagame. Their 2010 book (with a forward by Noam Chomky), The Politics of Genocide, can be found here, and an article (excerpted from the book) is available online here.

      Discussions of the Rwanda genocide are like discussions of the IP conflict 30 years ago, when the Israelis and their supporters had a near-monopoly.

  • Israeli government tries to undo image of Pope at the wall
    • Netanyahu forgot to say the following to the Pope...

      So you're a Christian! That's very nice. I was once married to a Christian woman. She converted to Judaism, but we later got divorced anyway. And we all know how the Catholic Church feels about divorce.
      Really, your holiness, I had no choice. I divorced my first wife (who was Jewish) and I also divorced the Christian convert (wife #2). I'm now on my third wife.

      And those are just the wives: A couple of well-documented (hidden camera!) extramarital affairs don't count.

  • Netanyahu says Jews invented the idea of 'honoring your father and mother'
    • What are parents supposed to do with a disobedient child?

      The Bible teaches us...
      Kill the child!

      I'm a parent, and I definitely wouldn't like it if one of my children cursed me. But death is too harsh, don't you think?

      By the way, the ancient Hebrews in the time of Jesus spoke Aramaic*, not Hebrew, in their everyday lives. Hebrew was reserved for religious ceremonies. Like Latin in the Catholic world, until the 1960's.

      *There are some villages in Syria that still speak Aramaic (or at least there were before the civil war).

  • Notice who is welcoming the Pope, and who is outraged
  • Israel tries to blame killings on Palestinians as int'l outrage builds
    • So-called rubber bullets are in fact made of steel, and are coated with rubber. At close range, these bullets can kill or render the victim brain-dead.

      Mondoweiss readers already know this, of course.

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