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Total number of comments: 880 (since 2009-10-01 22:55:09)

Nevada Ned

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  • Big Jewish donors are suddenly balking at giving money to Israel, says leading sociologist
    • Good piece.

      MW should have mentioned that Norman Finkelstein had a 2012 book on the topic (published by OR books) , entitled Knowing Too Much: Why the American Jewish Romance with Israel is coming to an end. Finkelstein cited Stephen Cohen's work.

  • Israel supporter refuses to share Bard stage with Dima Khalidi and cites stereotypes about Jews smelling bad
    • I hate to stay this, but if you go back a few centuries, ALL of our ancestors bathed rarely and smelled bad. For example, check out this website about European royalty and their bathing habits.

      After you finish reading about this stuff, spray your computer monitor with Lysol !!!!!

  • Months after saying he won't appear at Israeli foreign ministry events, Amos Oz will do just that in Paris
    • In 2008, when Israel launched its "Operation Cast Lead" massacre against Gaza, Amos Oz initially supported the assault. Less than a week later, Oz criticized the assault as "disproportionate". Two months later, Oz reversed himself again, calling the operation "understandable and acceptable."

      Two years earlier, in Israel's 2006 invasion of Lebanon, Amox Oz initially supported Israel's aggression. Oz was not alone: he was joined by the writer A. B. Yehoshua and David Grossman, fellow members of 'The Peace Camp", who held a press conference to announce their support for the war.

      There is a pattern here: some members of Israel's "peace camp" are lionized in the US as Israel's moral conscience, etc.Back in the Middle East, it's a very different story. The famous peace camp members from time to time oppose Israeli policy, but their opposition is weak, timid, equivocal, and hesitant. They're a very weak reed to lean on.

      Oz and others even use their peacenik reputations to enhance their support of war.
      Since even the famous peace camp members Amos Oz, A. B. Yehoshua, and Grossman, support this latest war, everybody should support it, etc. etc...

      Source: Max Blumenthal, Goliath. Max B knows the score and speaks the truth.

  • The politics of Jewish ethnocentrism
    • Cory Booker used to be a fervent Christian Zionist, displaying more religiosity than most other US Senators. (Maybe he still is)
      So his support for the Iran deal is a good sign.

  • New San Francisco bus ads say: 'Boycott Israel Until Palestinians Have Equal Rights'
    • CORRRECTION:
      In the original article, the New York governor who signed the recent anti-BDS bill is Andrew Cuomo, not Mario Cuomo.

  • Democrats 'no-fly, no-buy' sit-in bolsters racist, ineffective and arbitrary surveillance of Muslims
    • Alex, thanks for this article.

      At the Las Vegas airport, one man routinely gets to the airport several hours before anybody else. Why? Because he shares a name - Carlos Garcia - with another person on the no fly list.
      See this account in the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

      Now imaging the same story except the man's first name is Muhammad. Fill in the details yourself....

  • Palestinian-American Jesse Sbaih loses Nevada Democratic primary to Reid-backed candidate
    • I live in Nevada's third congressional district, the open seat for which Jacky Rosen and Jesse Sbaih were running. I got a lot of postcards from the Rosen campaign. A volunteer from the Nevada Democratic party knocked on my door to support Rosen. Rosen also had a lot of TV ads.

      The Sbaih campaign sent me one postcard, and I only saw one TV ad. It was a nearly invisible campaign. I voted for Jesse, but I only have one vote.

      In the general election in November, Rosen may well win. Her Republican opponent, Danny Tarkanian, has a lot of baggage and a history of running for office (and losing).

      I dunno how much campaign Jesse had, but it looks like he was badly outspent.

      None of this contradicts the suspicion (voiced by Mondoweiss) that Sbaih was a victim of anti-Palestinian racism.

  • Condemn! Condemn!
    • I could be wrong, but when I checked out the Lavon affair a few years ago, the story was that Ben -Gurion pinned the blame on his cabinet minister Lavon for the false-flag attacks. Ben-Gurion even produced a key incriminating document signed by Lavon. That seemed to clinch it.

      Lavon claimed that his signature was forged. Naturally, Mondoweiss readers will think ?? FORGED ?? fuhgettaboutit.

      But it turned out that Lavon's signature really was forged. Ben Gurion "retired' under distress and lived out the rest of his life in disgrace.

      This could be checked out by critical reading of reporting around the time of Ben Gurion's retirement. Perhaps a Mondoweiss reader, fluent in Hebrew, will take it on as a project ??

  • Democratic Party leadership lines up against BDS -- and the 'nuts' who support it
    • Meanwhile, over at the Washington Post today, a story headlined

      "Israeii minister wants to annex half of West Bank, and kick out the Palestinians"

      The story can be found here >

      Of course, the WaPo is just as much a member of the media Establishment as the NYTimes.

      Even at the WaPo, whose editorial page is full of neoconservative hawks, the times may be changing. How much credibility do the Israelis and their supporters have in their alleged struggle against anti-Semitism when even the WaPo occasionally blurts out the truth?

      Check out the comments by readers on the piece!!,

      Do you think

  • Flanked by AIPAC and Israeli consul, Cuomo signs anti-BDS order
    • I looked at the photo of the signing ceremony of Andrew Cuomo's executive order.

      It includes AIPAC, the Israeli ambassador, and Malcolm Hoenlein.

      Was there anybody else at the ceremony who is *NOT* Jewish? (Except for Andrew Cuomo himself)??

      If all the supporters at the ceremony are Jewish, it means that Israel's supporters
      have lost control of their non-Jewish base of support for Israel.

      A long time ago, Israel had a significant base of support among Christians, either humanitarian liberals or conservative Christian Zionists. Where are they now?

      Why wasn't Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell's son (and successor) at the EO signing ceremony?

      I interpret the all-Jewish nature of the support at the EO signing ceremony as a show of weakness.

  • Israeli leader's 'extremism' charge makes headlines around the world -- but 10th paragraph in New York Times!
  • Defying official censorship orders, Brown and RISD students hold Nakba discussion inside Hillel
    • It's great that these youngsters showed the documentary films, defying the censorship efforts of official Hillel big shots.

      What's the next step? If the Brown/RISD students want to do something really radical, what about inviting a outside speaker who is an expert on the Nakba? Or more than one speaker?

      My impression is that there's now agreement among academic specialists about the basic facts about the Nakba.

      There is controversy, but It's only controversial if you include non scholarly propaganda (eg., "the land was empty when we got here", etc).

      For decades the Palestinians have been burning to get their story out. They are starting to succeed.

      This is a rare piece of good news!!

  • 'Her absurd generals, her military junk' -- Daniel Berrigan's prophetic speech on Israel in '73
    • Mearsheimer and Walt (M&W) said it: the Israel lobby accuses anyone who criticizes Israel of being an anti-Semite. Mearsheimer and Walt criticized Israel, and of course they were denounced as anti-Semiites. Which proves M&W knew the score.

      Jimmy Carter criticized Israel for oppressing the Palestinians. So of course the Israel lobby accused Jimmy Carter of being an anti-Semite.

      Nothing new here, except for one thing: Mearsheimer and Walt are card-carrying members of the foreign policy establishment, and highly respectable. Jimmy Carter has been a well known public personality for many decades. Somehow nobody noticed Carter's alleged anti-Semitism, but after he criticized Israel, the usual suspects noticed it right away.

      The question naturally arises, who is doing this "policing", shielding Israel from criticism?

      The Israel lobby, according to M. J. Rosenberg, is a foreign lobby that pretends to be a domestic lobby. Rosenberg knows what he is talking about, because he served as Executive Director of AIPAC for years.

      You can find, by goggling around, reference to Israeli government plans to combat the Palestinians and their advocates, in the new social media online.The Israeli government hired people to do this!

  • It is time to stop celebrating Jewish dissent in the Palestine solidarity movement
    • I can't really agree. Participation by American Jews in the movement for justice for Palestinians is a very good thing. The more the merrier. And a movement including both Jews and Arabs is potentially more powerful than only one or the other.
      Of c course, some 90+% of the US population is neither Jewish nor Arab, and the struggle to reach a tipping point will be decided in this group. I'd like to mention two such important contributions:
      Mearsheimer and Walt's book, the Israel Lobby, And Jimmy Carter's book, Palestine: Peace not Apartheid.

  • Maryland coalition defeats anti-BDS bill in State Assembly
    • Never forget that Martin Luther King Jr first came to national attention when he led the Montgomery (Alabama) bus boycott, mobilizing mostly poor southern blacks against segregation in the public bus system. Naturally, supporters of Jim Crow accused King of "refusing to recognize Alabama's right to exist as a white state."

      Gandhi led boyotts in India against British colonialism.

      And of course boycotts of apartheid South Africa speeded up the demise of the apartheid system.

      I wonder what the BaltimoreJewish Council has to say about these other boycottts ??

  • 'NYT' exposes Clinton as most hawkish candidate when it's too late for readers to choose
    • The question in the picture is "Does Clinton agree with Sanders that Israel must end its 'disproportionate response' to achieve peace?"

      A logically prior question is: "Do Israeli leaders like Netanyahu really want peace?"

      and the answer is: "Men like Netanyahu, Ariel Sharon, and Menachem Begin don't really want peace, because they gain too much from war".

  • Clinton will hold fundraiser in Tel Aviv
    • Good piece. I especially liked the following sentence..

      Haaretz said Trump’s AIPAC speech sounded in part like it was “taken verbatim from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s talking point sheet” thanks to this assistance

      Exactly the same point was made in Counterpunch back in 2002 (14 years ago!) by George Sunderland (pseudonym for a Washington insider) who wrote

      In fact, to make things easier, the speeches are sometimes written by an AIPAC employee, with cosmetic changes inserted by a member of the Senator’s or Congressman’s own staff.

      For details, see the whole article (""Israel and Congress") at

      http://www.counterpunch.org/2002/05/09/israel-and-congress/

  • PEN director acknowledges 'legitimate concerns' about Israel sponsorship but won't give back the money
  • 'NY Times' has double standard for Arab and Jewish reporters
    • Isabel Kirchner is Jewish but that isn't even her biggest conflict of interest. Kirchner is married to Hirsh Goodman, Israeli propagandist and founding editor of The Jerusalem Report. Kirchner also worked for the hawkish Jerusalem Report.

  • Unitarian Universalists divest from companies profiting from Israel's occupation
    • I'm a member of a UU congregation, which has an affiliated book club. A few months ago, the book club read and discussed Jimmy Carter's book, Palestine, Peace not Apartheid. In the discussion, nobody in the book club supported Israel's treatment of the Palestinians.
      Nobody! The discussion was not contentious.

      I don't know what the same people might have said a decade ago, but as of now, Israeli's oppression of the Palestinians and Netanyahu's right wing policy has devastated support in UU for Israel.

  • Palestinian running for Congress in Nevada says Harry Reid told him a Muslim can't win
    • I live in Nevada, as you might guess from my name. I vote in the congressional district discussed in this article. And I drive past the synagogue Ner Tamid regularly.

      It's real interesting that Reid's office tries to discourage a Palestinian from running for office, but of course doesn't discourage the head of a local synagogue from running.

      Reid is a mormon, but does not discuss this point in public. Undoubtedly he calculates that he is already getting as much support as he can from fellow Mormons. Public discussion of his religion will only encourage and mobilize anti-mormon sentiment among the rest of the population. Most mormons are Republicans anyway.

      I know from reading the local newspaper that Reid has been unable to find a strong candidate for the open seat. This is embarrassing to the Reid machine. Open seats in Congress are rare.

  • 'We don’t want to find ourselves in a position like apartheid South Africa': A report from Israel's first national conference against BDS
    • This anti-BDS conference may backfire on the Israelis. When Israeli officials are shouting

      IT'S TERRIBLY UNFAIR TO COMPARE ISRAEL WITH APARTHEID SOUTH AFRICA

      the message heard by the average American may well be

      GOSH, I DIDN'T KNOW THAT ISRAEL IS LIKE SOUTH AFRICA!

      The participants in the official anti-BDS conference are loudly proclaiming that BDS is not having any effect. But the same officials are very worried, denouncing BDS as a threat etc etc.

      This is not the first anti-BDS conference that Israel has held. It's the first "national" anti-BDS conference. I guess the previous anti-BDS meetings were not national in scope. Obviously the earlier conferences didn't work, that's why they'll holding yet another anti-BDS conference.

      Watch out for the following future news items:

      Israel announced the SECOND national anti-BDS conference...

      Israel announced the first worldwide anti-BDS conference...

      Israel announced the first interplanetary anti-BDS conference, with speakers flown in from Mars and Venus.

  • Finding 1 'Arab' in Israeli basketball, NY Times espouses Zionist racial theory
    • Buried at the end of the article is Karam Mashour's college career in the US. He played college basketball at UNLV and Morehead States University. As an average college player, he had not the slightest chance of playing in the NBA, and I believe he knew it.

      As far as I can tell, Mashour strictly declined to discuss politics, and I can certainly understand that. He's at the mercy of Israel's racist fanatics.

  • Israelis don't exist
  • Why Shmuley Boteach was banished from Cory Booker's memoir
    • in the past, Cory Booker has been criticized for being a fervent Zionist, and for being in fact more fervent than required to raise campaign funds and political support. So what has changed? My guess is that Israel's image has become more toxic recently, as the Palestinians are starting to get their side of the story out. And the political winds are shifting, and ambitious politicians sense the shift

  • Sanders will not attend AIPAC, offers to share remarks
    • Sanders is the ONLY Presidential candidate to skip the AIPAC meeting. See the coverage over at Common Dreams.
      Sanders says that he's skipping the AIPAC meeting because of his campaign schedule, but all the other candidates (Trump, Cruz, Clinton) are going. What do you expect Bernie to say?
      "Sorry, I'm washing my hair!"

    • Bernie Sanders is following the received wisdom that "foreign policy can't win an election, but it can lose an election".

      Bernie has attacked the establishment, Wall Street, etc., and has called for a "political revolution."

      On foreign policy, he has been more cautious.

      He was the first US Senator to announce that he was not going to attend Netanyahu's idiotic speech to a joint Congress. .

  • What Bernie Sanders should say at AIPAC (and cause a political revolution)
    • Great speech.

      Too bad AIPAC won't invite Bernie to address them.

      And of course Bernie won't ask Phil Weiss to be his speechwriter.

      I am reminded of a slim book authored by Howard Zinn in the late 1960's, entitled
      "How to End The War in Vietnam."

      The book was a compendium of various pretexts given by hawks to justify the war, all refuted by Zinn.

      In an Appendix, Zinn included the text of a possible speech (authored by Zinn) for delivery by Lyndon Johnson, announcing the withdrawal of all US troops from Vietnam, and the end of the war.

      Did LBJ pay any attention? At the time, of course not! Finn's helpful advice was ignored. Too bad: it would have saved hundreds of thousands (or millions) of lives.

      Will Bernie give Phil's excellent speech? Eventually, yes. But not for the foreseeable future. I do expect that something like that speech will happen at some point in the future.

  • 'In every important way Israel has failed'-- leading American Zionist says No mas
    • The American Jewish Committee published Commentary magazine for decades. Commentary was edited for a third of a century by Norman Podhoretz, an influential neoconservative.
      It's an important organization in the Israel Lobby.

      As for Rabbi Gordis, it's better late than never. And I think his statement is important because of who he was. And because he's saying it in public. Even some of the hard-core Zionists are beginning to wake up.
      And it took a considerable amount of courage on his part to express his views in public and without equivocation. Certainly he'll be getting a lot of grief about betraying his people, etc etc.

  • And the winner of the Sheldon Adelson primary is... Hillary Clinton
    • Lotta speculation in this piece, but few actual facts.

      Yes, so far Adelson hasn't offered a pronouncement about who he'll support.

      So what?

      In the past Adelson has not been as effective is you might expect for a gazillionaire. He backed ZOA instead of AIPAC for example.

      Addison doesn't like the major GOP candidates?

      So what, I don't like 'em either!

  • Most US Jewish students don't see Israel as 'civilized' or a 'democracy,' Luntz tells secret anti-BDS conference
    • I forgot to mention one other way in which the Israelis and their supporters are fighting back:
      they're hiring agents to monitor social media (such as Mondoweiss) and try to disrupt the discussion.

      Regular readers of Mondoweiss recognize a troll when they see one.

    • Thanks for a valuable story..

      I'd like to know when this secret meeting occurred. This week? Last month? Last year?

      Who was there at the meeting?

      Supposedly it was as secret meeting, but somebody leaked it. Obviously.

      The Israelis and their supporters and defenders are in trouble, and they know it. They're looking for a way out.

      Nothing in this story convinces me that they have found a way out.

      Instead, I have a feeling of deja vu. Every year or so, we have a story that Israel is losing support, even among its supporters. They bring in propagandists, and "branding" experts, and pollsters and advertisers, etc etc, but Israel's reputation continues to decline. Despite all their efforts. In the past, Israel and their supporters fought back by smearing critics of Israel as anti-Semites (etc) but that didn't work on Jimmy Carter (Palestine Peace not Apartheid) and it didn't work on Mearsheimer and Walt either.

      Here's a related story....
      If you find the wikipedia entry for "Charlotte Beers" you will find the story of a power PR executive who tried from 2001-2003 to "sell" US policy to Moslems. She failed (after spending $15M) just like other campaigns. Moslems around the world didn't buy it. Just like (most) Christians and Jews aren't buying it.

  • Did dodging foreign policy doom Bernie Sanders?
  • Israel detains Washington Post bureau chief in Jerusalem accusing him of ‘incitement’ --updated
    • In the interest of full disclosure, the NYT ought to print a list of its journalists having children in the Israeli military, now or in the past. The NYT ought to print this list once a month.

  • OK. We knew. So?
    • I'm very glad to hear that "Don't Say We Didn't Know" is published by Haaretz in Hebrew.

      I hope that the booklet gets translated into English and Arabic as well.

  • The list of foreign policy experts Bernie Sanders should be consulting
    • Zbig has already done a lot of damage. He convinced Jimmy Carter to work with Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, establishing a network of jihadi schools for desperately poor Afghan boys. The result? the Taliba and al Quada. As Zbig planned, they gave the Soviets a hard time in Afghanistan. Then the Al Quaeda went on to bigger things, like the 9/11 attacks.

      Abig is skeptical of Israel, but in all other respects is a failure.

      OT but did you notice Donald Trump denouncing the Iraq War in the Republican debate tonight?

  • 'Let the one-state era begin'-- Tom Friedman explains there will never be a Palestinian state
    • I forgot to mention an excellent book on Friedman:
      The Imperial Messenger, by Belen Fernandez.

    • Friedman is a bombastic advocate of violence and aggression, and an early and enthusiastic supporter of the US invasion of Iraq.

      In a just world, Rashid Khalidi would have a regular column in the NYT, not Friedman.

      But all of this makes Friedman's criticism of Israel and his proclamation that the 2SS is dead.

      In the past, prominent members of the foreign policy Establishment have complained about Israel's behavior: Mearsheimer and Walt, and Jimmy Carter. Now event the NYT, "the newspaper of record," is criticizing Israel and especially the Israel right-wing extremists around Netanyahu.

      Yes, of course, many others made some of the same points a LONG time ago: from Chomsky to Finkelstein to the activists around the Electronic Intifada, to Mondoweiss. But don't expect Friedman to give them any credit. He's a bigfoot pundit after all..

  • To my fellow Israelis: We can stop this
    • Slightly off topic, but there's a new documentary film out, The Settlers, by Shimon Dotan, professor at NYU. The movie was just shown at the Sundance Film Festival.

      Very recently, Shimon Dolan was on Democracy Now, hosted by Amy Goodman. The interview can be found on you-tube. here

      I hope MW will cover the movie.

  • Adelson-owned newspaper denies Rubio endorsement came from Adelson
    • In the 2012 election, Adelson gave $5M to Newt Gingrich early on, and tons more to Mitt Romney later on, for a total that year of $100M.

      This year, let's guess who will be the beneficiary of Adelson's campaign donation.

      Give up?

      May I have the envelope please!!!...I predict...Marco Rubio!

      Surprised?

      Me neither.

  • Dov Yermiya, who said, 'I renounce my belief in Zionism which has failed,' dies at 101
    • In his book, The Fateful Triangle, about Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon, Chomsky drew on Yermiya's book, My War Diary.

  • 'I cannot support Israel as long as Netanyahu is in office'-- many American Jews are saying
    • Krauss:

      You don't think that American Jews will ever break with Israel.
      Krauss, you should read Norman Finkelstein's 2012 book, Knowing Too Much: Why the American Jewish romance with Israel is coming to an end.
      Finkelstein documents his case very convincingly, quoting American Zionists who are very very worried.

      You don't have to agree with Finkelstein on every issue, but I think he's right about this issue.

  • Palestinian citizens of Israel hold the key -- Zellner
    • Henry Norr has a good point. The rhetoric of equality could be used to undermine the southern Jim Crow system. Israel doesn't even pay lip service to equality for non-Jews. So it's even more difficult for the Palestinians than it was for African-Americans.

      However, consider other straws in the wind. Just off the top of my head.....
      (1) The Nation used to call for the two-state solution, being blind to the reality. In the last couple of years, The Nation ran a large and favorable article about Max Blumenthal's book, Goliath.
      (2) Just in the past week or so, the NYT finally noticed Breaking The Silence (which has been around for a decade).
      (3) The Israelis and their supporters in the US lost the New Republic as a base of operations.
      (4) Despite an all-out effort Netanyahu failed to get the US to attack Iran.
      (5) Membership in JVP has grown rapidly in the last couple of years.
      (6) Recently, 1000 Afro-Americans artists, intellectuals and activists have voiced support for the Palestinian struggle.

      And I'm sure that there are lots more that I'm forgetting.

  • Sophisticated Orientalism in the New York Times
    • Lots of opinions out there.

      Want to hear from an actual expert?

      Listen to Najam Haider of Barnard College, asst prof of religion. At the website of the valuable Institute for Public Accuracy. Haider writes about the myth of entrenched sunni/shia conflict.

    • Orientalism is exactly what the NYT is proposing.

      James North gave a hypothetical example. Let's go with some actual history: the 30 years war (1618-1648) that raged in Europe, especially in Germany. Nearly all the major powers in Europe were involved.

      The public justification for the war was religious: Protestant vs Catholic. However, Catholic France was aligned with the major Protestant countries. IMHO this proves that the French leaders were not motivated by religion, IOW they didn't believe their own propaganda.

      There's a lot of that going around today. The Israelis and their US supporters and defenders put great stress on the supposedly horrible Iranians and the menace that Iran poses to Israel.
      Nobody mentions the 1980's, when Israel and the US (Reagan administration) sold modern weapons to Iran. This inconvenient fact has disappeared down an Orwellian memory hole.

  • Suddenly, comparing Jewish state to ISIS is OK
    • "Since then, the Shin Bet has arrested suspects and obtained confessions through means of torture. "

      I knew that Israel tortures Palestinians, it's standard procedure.

      But I wondered about whether Israel tortures Israeli Jews.

      Thanks for the clarification.

  • US spying on Israel reveals cynical heart of the 'special relationship'
    • Obama seems to think that the US has no power over Israeli behavior. Is that really true?

      What would happen if the Obama administration leaked to a friendly reporter (or to Mondoweiss) the story about the Israel lobby and its helpers in Congress? The Israelis and their lobby are lobbying the US Congress & Senate.

      At the very least, somebody ought to demand that the Israel Lobby register as an agent of a foreign power. The ground has been prepared by Walt and Mearsheimer, and by Jimmy Carter.

  • Mort Sahl said Israel was not a partner to peace, 24 years ago
  • 'NYT' and 'Washington Post' run professor's articles defending settlements without stating he is a settler
    • The media is full of attacks on religious violent extremists, which is understood to be Moslems.

      But what about Jewish religious extremists, such as Kontorovitch and many many others?

      For that matter, what about violent Christian extremists?

      Don't expect any criticism (not even mild criticism) from the GOP because they are the mass base of the Republican party.

  • Leading anthropologists group overwhelmingly passes BDS resolution at Denver conference
    • The Israelis and their supporters and defenders are of course opposed to BSD. They make two arguments: (1) the BSD will not accomplish anything, and (2) The BSD is a deadly menace to Israel. Logically, these two arguments of course cannot both be true. If BSD isn't accomplishing anything, why are the Israelis so concerned ? Why the tone of panic?

      BSD was a small movement some years ago, but it has grown. And as it grows, it becomes stronger. Future larger victories become possible. When church A passes a pro-BSD resolution it makes it easier to win support from church B. And so on.

      Of course BSD could not succeed without the unwitting help from Begin, Sharon, and Netanyahu and their helpers.

  • The US spends $35 billion on foreign aid . . . but where does the money really go?
    • Foreign aid is often criticized because it's supposed to contribute to economic development, but it doesn't.

      Long ago, a State Department official admitted that often economic development wasn't the goal in the first place. The goal may have been to buy a vote at the UN, or to prevent a country from going Communist, or a variety of other goals. But not economic development.

      Also, much foreign aid is siphoned off corruptly, at one end (US) or the other (recipient country).

      The upshot is that nobody should really be surprised by the persistence of poverty in Israel among Jews, even though Israel has received enough money over the decades to give each Israeli family over $100K. A few years, large numbers of Israeli Jews protested that they couldn't even afford to buy sour cream, and spontaneous uprising seemed to threaten the Netanyahu regime. (Of course, Palestinians are even worse off).

  • Netanyahu did everything but use the 'n-word' against Obama to stop the Iran Deal -- Susan Rice
    • It may come as news to Dennis Ross, but all members of the UN promise "to refrain from force or threat of force", so when the US tells Iran that 'all options are the table' that is a threat of force. And that is a violation of solemn promises made by the US and many other countries.

      Dennis Ross is of course intentionally blind to all of this. What would restore his eyesight?
      If the US told Israel that "all options are on the table" in dealing with Israel. That definitely would get his attention.

      Those who, like Netanyahu or Ross, never tire of proclaiming that "this is Munich", never think about how much like Munich it must look to the other side. If the Iranians capitulate to US/Israeli military threats, the US/Israel will threaten Iran again.

  • Debacle for the Israel lobby: Booker jilts Boteach, and Netanyahu sinks AIPAC
  • On the Road to Tantura: Interview with Hala Gabriel
    • Yet another couple of Nakba-doubters! Just like the Holocaust doubters...

      Do you think the Palestinians left Tantura voluntarily??

      Do I think that Israeli court decisions were "somehow corrupted or unfair"?

      Indeed I do. The courts are part of the network of control over the "inferior" Palestinians.

      I have read FInkelstein's book, Beyond Chutzpah, and it's VERY convincing.

  • Churchill, Iran & 'Duck Dynasty': Mike Huckabee brings his presidential bid to the Israeli settlements
    • Netanyahu pushes the analogy;
      Israel = Great Britain
      Iran = Germany

      This can't be taken seriously.

      Does anybody remember the Iran-Contra Scandal of the 1980's?
      The US (Reagan Administration) and the Israelis sold advanced weapons to the Iranian government.

      So the next time an Israeli spokesman starts blathering about how horrible the Iranian mullahs are, someone ought to stop the conversation and ask
      "If Iran is so horrible, why did Israel and the US sell weapons to Iran??"

      My conclusion is that Netanyahu and the Israeli "leaders" don't believe their own propaganda.

  • Danny Danon 'would only make Israel look more extreme' -- former Israeli ambassador
    • Israel has had plenty of right wing leaders: Begin, Sharon, Shamir. So that's not new.
      And even those past Israeli governments that were not right wing, judged by the standards of Israeli politics, were still very bad for Palestinians.

      What really IS new is that Israel's extremism can no longer be disguised.
      You hardly ever hear people praising Israel's democratic pluralism etc. etc. Those outdated slogans no longer work, with today's Jewish extremists chanting "Death to the Arabs" and "Arabs to the gas chamber".

      Impossible to disguise the truth.

  • Meeting Jimmy Carter
    • Jimmy Carter walked into a storm when he publicized the plight of the Palestinians. He knew what to expect. The real significance is that ex-Presidents do not normally get involved in current controversies. To my mind, this shows that the US ruling class - or part of it - understands that the Israel Lobby has too much power.

  • AIPAC spending estimated $40 million to oppose Iran Deal
    • I propose "truth in labelling": when a Senator of Congressional Representative goes on the talk shows, they ought to be identified:
      Mary Smith (D-Pennsylvania)
      Raised $2,000,000 from the Israel Lobby

  • Can Holocaust compensation agreements be a model for Nakba reparations?
    • Before endorsing this proposal, read Norman Finkelstein's book about the Holocaust industry.
      Small amounts of funds for Holocaust survivors are dispensed by self-appointed members of the Holocaust Industry (who have become very rich). Both Finkelstein and Commentary magazine (who almost never agree on anything) agree that it's a racket.

  • Congressional support for Iran deal solidifies-- and Cory Booker pushes back against friendship ultimatums
    • The deal is very unfair to Iran, a country that has no nuclear weapons, and no program for obtaining them. Hilary Clinton has promised to continue the savage economic sanctions regardless of the nuke deal, in order to deal with Iran's other alleged bad behavior.

      The deal allows the US to 'snap back" the sanctions based on a fake incident (like Saddam Hussein's alleged "Weapons of Mass Destruction").

      The only real argument for the Iran deal is that the alternative may be war.

  • Christian Zionists expose their anti-Semitism at conservative summit in Iowa
    • The attitude of some Christians towards Israeli Jews is best described as "Filosemitism": liking the Jews because the 1948 restoration of Israel is proof that we are living in the End Times.
      The Messiah (Jesus) is just about to return.

      By way of disclosure, I should add that I grew up in a Protestant Christian family, and as a child I thought it "obvious" that Catholics were mistaken.

      I also thought (as a child) that Jews were mistaken for not recognizing the "obvious fact" that Jesus was the Messiah.

      As a teenager, I thought about what did or did not make sense to me.

      I became an atheist, and the antics of John Hagee has given me no reason to regret my decision.

      The political impact of religion is ambiguous. Often it's reactionary, but not always.

  • 'If we don't take out Iran,' it will reenact the Holocaust in US and Israel -- Steven Emerson to Times Square rally
    • Steve Emerson is one of those pundits who rarely gets his fact straight, but somehow that hasn't affected his career at all. Emerson's track record as a pundit has been reviewed here for anyone interested.

    • ALL the US spy agencies (some 12-16 of them) have examined the Iranian situation and ALL have concluded that Iran has no nuclear weapons, AND that Iran doesn't even have a program for obtaining nuclear weapons. This is impressive, in view of what must have been heavy pressure on the spy agencies to find Iranian nukes or at least a program.

      When the US built nuclear weapons in 1945, the Manhattan project employed over 150,000 people. A program that big just can't be disguised. So don't think that maybe a few scientists and technicians could make a nuclear bomb secretly.

      So who is clamoring for war with Iran? Israel. Hophmi evidently wasn't paying attention, but Netanyahoo's recent speech to Congress centered on the (nonexistent) Iranian nuclear weapons.

      You know who is REALLY dangerous? A country with nuclear weapons - Israel.

      Hitler's insight - that a small lie is not believed, but a big lie is believed, if repeated often enough - is now being used by the Israelis and their US supporters, including some US Senators who really ought to register as agents of a foreign power.

      They have hundreds of nuclear weapons, a track record of invading their neighbors, leadership from the extreme right, and a dedication towards ethnic cleansing of non-Jews.

  • The Iran deal: a triumph of irrationality
    • The article shows that the public reasons for demonizing Iran - Iran's alleged (but nonexistent) nuclear weapons program - is just a lie. So what is the real reason?

      Iran used to be run by the Shah, installed by a CIA-organized coup in 1950's. Iran was in effect a US oil colony. The Iranian people rose up in 1979 and overthrew the Shah.

      Ever since then, the US has tried to return Iran to its previous colonial status.

      The US and Israel policymakers - most of them anyway - don't believe their own propaganda.
      Recall in the 1980's the Reagan regime and the Israelis sold advanced weapons to Iran. (the Iran-contra scandal).

      It's no at all unusual for the real reasons for a policy to be different from the public reason.

  • Clinton can't separate herself from foreign-policy buffoons Saban and Adelson
    • Folks, this is how the political system works in the US, on all issues, not just the Israel/Palestinian issue.

      Running for office is expensive. You have to pay consultants and buy airtime to propagandize the voters. Candidates for public office run using private money.

      In form, it's a democracy. But in content, it's a plutocracy.

      Votes are the nominal source of power, but money is the real source of power.

      It's a bourgeois democracy. The upper classes have a vastly disproportionate share of power.

      One left-wing* historian, Eugene Genovese, allegedly described the book The Godfather, authored by Mario Puzo, as a great book about how the US political system REALLY works.

      Saban and Adelson are the Godfathers of the big Israeli/US donors.

      Of course, in addition to these two Godfathers, the Israel Lobby also includes the AIPAC and related organizations (ADL, Washington Institute, UANI (United Against Nuclear Iran), CUFI (Christians United for Israel), etc. Their power dwarfs the power of the pro-Palestinian activists.

      *Genovese, the founding editor of the journal Marxist Perspectives, later became a conservative Catholic.

  • Michael Oren misrepresents 1971 synagogue bombing that changed his life
    • I grew up on northeastern New Jersey in the 1960's, and lived in NYC (Manhattan) in the early 1970's.

      I have to say that I never saw this allegedly pervasive anti-Semitism that Oren talks about.
      Maybe it was there, but I just didn't see it. I had a lot of Jewish friends. Back in those days, the burning issues were the war in Vietnam, and the Afro-American struggle against racism.
      Late in the 1960's, the new feminist movement arose.

      Israel was mostly NOT a big preoccupation, not even for some 1960's radicals.

      You need to have been there to understand this.

      Rashid Khalidi has spoken about what a difficult time he and others had in the 1960's, in trying to get a hearing for a Palestinian perspective. For example (these are my examples, not Khalidi's examples):
      Chomsky's book, The Fateful Triangle: Israel, the US, and the Palestinians, was published in 1983, in response to Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon.
      Edward Said's books, Orientalism and The Question of Palestine, were published in the late 1970's.
      Alexander Cockburn was nearly alone in criticizing Israel in the pages of the Village Voice, but Cckburn didn't start at the Village Voice until 1973.

      In short, the Israeli "narrative" was pretty much unchallenged in the 1960's and early 1970's.
      Hard though it may be NOW to support the Palestinians, it was infinitely harder back then.

      What about the bombing of the New Jersey synagogue that Michael Oren twrites about? Since the crime was never solved, it's anybody's guess who dunnit and the significance. The JDL and similar organizations might have done it for all we know.
      After all, Irv Rubin, head of the Jewish Defense Organization (JDO) went to jail for planning to bomb Darryl Issa, a Congressman from California who is of Lebanese extraction.

  • Episcopal Church rejects BDS resolutions citing fears divestment would hamper church in Jerusalem
    • During Watergate, it was Charles Colson who proclaimed, "get them by the balls, and their hearts and minds will follow."

      It didn't work: Nixon was impeached, and Colson went to jail.

      A regime that relies only on brute force is always in danger.

  • Israeli leader turns on US Jewish journalists Friedman, Wieseltier, Remnick and Silvers for disloyalty and anti-semitism!
    • Robert Silvers, editor of the New York Review of Books, has kept the pages of NYRB closed to Noam Chomsky since the 1970s, even though by some surveys Chomsky is the most influential public intellectual alive in the world today.

      I'm old enough to remember the 1960's, when Chomsky's articles in the NYRB (about the US attack on Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos) were an important factor in the rise (and good reputation among intellectuals) of NYRB. But starting some time in the 1970's (4 decades ago) Chomsky has been blacklisted by NYRB.

      And Oren accuses Silvers of insufficient enthusiasm for the Israeli cause!!

      OT, but I'll quote a joke about NYRB attributed to Gore Vidal:

      The New York Review of Books is written by intellectuals who are so highbrow that they never actually read books, only books ABOUT books.

  • BDS could cost Israel $4.7 billion a year
    • The BDS movement gives the average person an opportunity to say, "I don't approve of Israel's behavior". The normal behavior of our "democracy" is that politicians pander to the views of big donors, with Sheldon Adelson as the extreme case. He gave $100M in the last election.
      For the average citizen, $100 is a big donation, and $1,000 is a REALLY big donation. So Adelson can outweigh a million donors at $100 each, or 100,000 donors at $1000 each. That's how undemocratic it is.

      BDS has been used in the South African anti-apartheid struggle, by Gandhi in the campaign for Indian independence, by Caesar Chavez in the grape boycott, and by Martin Luther King in the Montgomery Bus Boycott. In each of these struggles, the oppressors told themselves (and anyone else who would listen) that the BDS campaign by the oppressed was "a smoke and mirrors campaign".

      As long ago as 2003, a poll of Europeans found that the #1 country posing the biggest threat to peace is Israel (the US came in #4). For details on the poll, click here. And Israel's reputation has sunk even lower since 2003 because of Israel's several large-scale massacres of refugees in Gaza.

    • The US gives Israel a lot of aid. It may be complicated to calculate exactly how much that aid is. I recall some years ago that Rashid Khalidi cited the usual figure of $3B/year, but later quoted a much higher number, which I think was $14B. It depends on what is included in aid, I suppose.
      The immediate economic impact of BDS may be modest, but the prospect of more and more boycotts in the future is not modest.
      People in nearly every country in the world support the Palestinians, except in Israel and in the US. (I am speaking of public opinion and not the official position of governments). So the potential future impact of BDS on Israel could be very big.

      The Israelis and their supporters and defenders loudly proclaim that BDS won't have any big impact. So why are Sheldon Adelson, Haim Saban and others proclaim that Israel faces a big emergency?

      The BDS is a small movement, but it is scaring some of the most powerful men in the world!

  • 'You have dual citizenship with Israel' -- NPR host hits Sanders with internet canard
    • Speaking of "confirmed bachelor" Lindsay Graham....
      I sometimes wonder about that guy.

      Max Blumenthal, before writing Goliath (about the right-wingers in Israel) wrote another book, Republican Gomorrah, in which Max profiled a large number of right wing Republicans in the US, including a lot of evangelical Christians, politically conservative, who are also closeted gays. I was surprised at how many there are.

      And if LG is the Republican nominee, expect this story to go viral. Guaranteed!

    • Bernie Sanders is also irked at rumor that he is (gasp!) a DEMOCRAT.

      Not true. He's an independent.

  • Foxman bashes Israel for taking US and Jewish support for granted and not coming up with a peace plan
    • Foxman make a large number of interesting admissions in his talk at the 92 st Y. Israel's behavior makes it harder and harder for Foxman to take the ridiculous positions that he does.

      For example, people like Foxman toss around claims that Israel faces an "existential threat".
      It's certainly not a military threat: Foxman knows perfectly well that Israel has an enormous military superiority over all the Arab countries, which was shown in 1967. Israel's military advantage has only increased since 1967.

      The "threat" is that Israel might have to accept racial equality. Israel could change its racist policies, Worst possible case: Israel would become the state of all of its citizens, regardless of race., instead of being a state of only its Jewish citizens.

      It would not be easy to achieve racial equality, even if Israeli leaders wanted it. Which of course they don't want. They fight tooth and nail against racial equality.

      The people who really face an existential threat are the Palestinians!

  • People behind BDS are also responsible for 9/11 attack, Israeli centrist tells NY synagogue
    • Yair Lapid throws a lot of accusations at the BDS movement. He blames them for 9/11 and everything else.

      I'm surprised that he didn't blame the BDS movement for the assassination of President Kennedy! Or Lincoln!

      Unless Lapid is a total moron, he knows that the BDS movement had nothing to do with 9/11.

      He just finds that it's a serviceable pretext for smearing the BDDS movement.

      Is there anything positive about the whole charade?

      Yes, surprisingly yes.

      I'll bet that the attendance at the fanatical speech was sparse.

      About a decade ago, I went to a Bot Mitzvah of the daughter of a friend of mine. The ceremony was celebrated in a mid-town Manhattan synagogue, maybe on Park Avenue (I'm not sure). Could be the same place where Yair Lapid gave his fanatical speech recently.
      At the Bot Mitzvah, the synagogue was nearly empty. That's attendance at a typical Saturday. Yet if even 5% of the Jews from the surrounding apartment buildings showed up, the place would have been packed. Or even 1%

      Any data available about attendance at the Yair Lapid speech?

  • A banner day for BDS -- though you'd have to read the Jewish press to know it
    • Gideon Levy is in unusually good form, even for him.

      Levy could have pointed out that for decades Israelis have told themselves the Palestinians can be conquered, and Israeli occupation continued forever, if only the right hasbara is employed.

      So for years now, Israel has unleashed PR experts and hasbara experts and image consultants, and Charlotte Beers (remember her?) and Congressional visits and military liaison people and and writers and intellectuals and lobbyists and propagandists and birthright people and "brand" experts, and journalists and social network consultants etc etc

      BY THE PLANELOAD!!!!!..

      To no avail.

      BDS activists, operating on a shoestring (barely a thread) have slowly gained traction against
      Israel and the Israeli network.

  • In NY, a Palestinian and Israeli detail forgotten war in Gaza -- 'wiping families off the planet'
    • Phil, thanks for covering this event.

      What is really remarkable about the presentation is that the New America Foundation hosted it. The New America Foundation is a centrist, Establishment organization, not a left-wing organization or human rights organization. Look at their board of directors; Fareed Zakaria, Walter Russell Mead (who supported of the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, Mead is editor in chief of The National Interest)

      What does it mean that an Establishment organization like the New America Foundation is sponsoring presentations about Israeli war crimes and Israel's wars of aggression? It meanss that Israel's actions can no longer be concealed. Maybe Israel is so strong that it can't be stopped, but Israel's crimes can no longer be concealed.

      By Phil Weiss's account, nobody, or almost nobody, attempts to explain away or support Israel's assault on the refugees in Gaza. Not even in New York City. The situation a decade ago was quite different. For example, 9 years ago, in 2006, Tony Judt was scheduled to give a talk about Israel, but the talk was cancelled after pressure by the ADL and the American Jewish Committee.

      The Palestinian perspective is starting to get out, despite attempts by the Israelis and their supporters to suppress it

  • Saban and Adelson put aside presidential differences to save Israel in Las Vegas this weekend
    • Even before this latest development, Sheldon Adelson and others had been attempting to combat the BDS movement.

      Recall that the US Supreme Court has said that rich donors have an unlimited right to make campaign contributions, and those contributions can be anonymous.

      That means that the BDS movement can accuse its opponents of being on the payroll of Sheldon Adelson, and those opponents can't refute the accusations - because Adelson can make enormous anonymous contributions.

      And Adelson has a bad reputation, among a large number of people, starting with the workers at his nonunion casinos.

  • The grotesque injustice of Obama's speech at the Washington synagogue
    • The connection between the US and Israel is that the US ruling class and Israeli ruling class both want the Arab world to be divided, backward, and weak. The US wants to stop Arab nationalism and nationalization of the oil. Israel wants to prevent the Palestinians from regaining their rights, their land and their society.
      So there really is a common interest, although it's not the lofty thoughts expressed by Obama in his groveling to the Israel Lobby.

      It is certainly *not* the US feeling sorry for Jews because of the Holocaust.

      Want proof? If you look at the pattern of US aid to Israel, you find that it was quadrupled around 1973 in the wake of the 1973 war and the oil embargo. Aid has stayed about the same level since then. *

      Which US president quadrupled US aid to Israel? Nixon, who strongly disliked Jews (in general). The Nixon heirs fought (and lost) a battle to keep private the tape recordings of Nixon's ranting against Jews.

      *It's on the website of the US State Dept.

  • The U.S. is at last facing the neocon captivity
    • Anything in last 20 years?

      2002 attempted military coup in Venezuela, as U S attempts to oust Hugo Chavez.
      Chavez defeats coup attempt.

      2009 military coup in Honduras succeeds, US thwarts attempt of Honduras to break free of US influence.

      Siege of Cuba (blockade) continues

      US occupation of Guantanamo continues

      UN General Assembly passes annual resolution calling for end of US blockade of Cuba. Vote is overwhelming, opposed by the US, Israel, and a few Pacific atolls.

      By the way, I never denied that there is an Israel lobby, or that the lobby has influence.
      My point is that the lobby does not act alone. And other factors also apply -- desire of US to control the oil of the Middle East, for example.

      Whoever controls the oil of the Middle East really has a lot of power over China and Japan, which need to import oil. Coincidentally, China and Japan happen to be economic rivals to the US.

      Incidentally, if y you're willing to back 28 years, consider the Lavi fighter airplane. Israel developed the Lavi with help from the US. But after the development was finished, the plane never went into production. The plane would have been a competitor to the US fighter planes. So Israel, under US pressure, cancelled their own airplane. The 1987 cancellation of the Lavi shows conflict between the US and Israel. And it's an inconvenient fact for those who think that Israel always gets what it wants from the US.

    • I hate to rain on Phil's parade, but here goes.

      I agree the US invaded Iraq under the urging of the neoconservatives.
      But here's question: the US has invaded a LOT of countries.
      A short list would include: US invasion of Panama (when George HW Bush was President)
      US invasion of Grenada (Reagan was President)
      Us invasion of Haiti (a few decades back)
      US invasion and occupation of Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia (presidentsKennedy, Johnson, Nixon)
      US invasion of Dominican Republic (1965, Johnson)
      US invasion of Cuba (Bay of Pigs, Kennedy)
      US invasion of Iraq (twice, under George Bush 41 and 430
      Now US invasion of Afghanistan, bombing of Pakistan (Obama)

      the list goes on, and on especially in the earlier 20 century when the Us invade a lot of Latim American countries

      The point is this: the Iraq was is not the first time that the US has invaded another country.

      My position is that, yes the Israel lobby (neoconseratives) was a factor, in the invasion of iraq in the Second Persian Gulf War.

      But what about the other invasions? Including the First Persian Gulf War (George H W Bush)? That GHW Bush had a famously frosty relationship with the Israelis.

      In my opinion, the US might very well have invaded Iraq in 2002 even without the support of the Israel lobby. After all, we invaded a lot of countries and the Israel lobby was not the reason on those cases. The US was invading Latin American countries long before the 1947-1948 establishment of Israel.

      For a history of US Dollar Diplomacy, see

      Dollar Diplomacy, by Scott Nearing old book, (published around 1920, lots of info about distant past US interventions)

      Killing Hope, by former State Department employee Bill Blum (available online at billblum.org)
      a list of US interventions, complied by Zoltan Grossman which can be found
      http://academic.evergreen.edu/g/grossmaz/interventions.html

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