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Total number of comments: 936 (since 2009-10-01 22:55:09)

Nevada Ned

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  • 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

      link to counterpunch.org

  • 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..

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  • 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
      link to academic.evergreen.edu

  • Netanyahu: Jerusalem was always the capital 'of the Jewish people alone'
    • I first heard of Rabbi Levinger when the journalist Alex Cockburn wrote about him many years ago. Looks like a religious extreme nationalist.

      I know the situation is serious, and not funny. But still....did you see in the material above where Rabbi Levinger studied under another Jewish fundamentalist, Rabbi Kook?

      Yes, that was his real name. Rabbi Kook.

      I know it sounds like a character in a bad novel.

      But that was his real name.

      Why?

      Because he was one.

      A kook.

      Levinger and Kook were two excellent arguments in favor of atheism.

  • What if the Times had sent Rudoren to Selma in 1965?
    • Hat's off to James North.

      While Rudoren can't entirely deny that Ayalet Shaked is a racist, she (Rudoren) can and does try to minimize it.

      One important difference between the plight of the Palestinians now and the plight of African-Americans in the Jim Crow south:

      The Palestinians are much more segregated than African-Americans were. Southern whites had more contact with African-Americans than Israeli Jews and Palestinians do now. Some jobs (bad jobs) were reserved for Afro-Americans in the south. For example, many white families had black domestic servants. This didn't mean racial equality, but there was contact.
      In contrast, Israeli Jews and Palestinians today have very little contact.

      A full discussion would include the role of religion. Southerners - black or white - were nearly all Christians, while Jews and Palestinians adhere to different religions.

      The language barrier between Hebrew-speakers and Arabic-speapers is a big problem for anyone trying to organize across racial lines.

      Iin the Jim Crow south, white southerners did not actually hate African-Americans.
      White southerners respected and even liked any blacks who were willing to accept a position of inferiority. White southerners really did hate anything that smacked of racial equality.

      Finally, Ayelet Shaked and people like her clamor to expel the Palestinians. Very few southern whites called for that, because the Southern economy needed black labor.

  • 'This is where we are, and we are not leaving here' — Notes from BirthWrong
    • You article about birth wrong is perfectly OK, but I think you're forgetting about one thing:

      you don't have to go all the way to Spain to find a Jewish heritage worth discussing.

      In the US, Jews have accomplished a lot that they can be proud of.

      Especially including the prominent role played by US Jews in the development of the US left (and liberalism).

      It's certainly true that a lot of American Jews fell in love with Israel, but now the Palestinians are starting to get out their side of the story. So there progress even on that front.

  • 'BirthWrong' in the Cradle of Jewish Culture: Jews gather in southern Spain for tour that aims to repudiate Zionism
    • Actually, IMHO American Jews and UK Jews have something in common that makes them very different from Israeli Jews. American Jews are a minority (2-3%) of the US population. British Jews are a minority also (dunno the percentage in the UK population). number but it's small).
      So it's in the interest of US and UK Jews to oppose racism in very form.

      However, Israeli Jews have expelled enough Palestinians that Jews are now a majority in Israel. So they're in a different position. Israeli Jews have (or think they have) a stake in racial discrimination against the minority Palestinians,

      An unpleasant fact. But a fact.

  • Jews of France: should they stay or should they go?
    • "according to its (Israel's) leaders" Iran is hell-bent on developing nuclear weapons etc.

      But in reality, there is only one country in the middle east that really DOES have nuclear weapons.

      And the name of the county does start with the letter "I".

      But it's not Iraq.

      And its not Iran.

      (the answer is left as an exercise for the reader...)

  • Netanyahu played 'decisive' role in Senate bill aimed at stymieing Iran deal
    • Hophmi, I wouldn't call it democracy.
      US public opinion has been trumped by an Israeli lobby.

      Decades ago, Menachem Begin blurted out the truth during a confrontation with then-President Jimmy Carter. Begin said to Carter, "Mr. President, I have more votes on Capitol Hill than you do!"

      AIPAC ought to register as an agent of a foreign power.

  • No Palestinians need apply to program on 'Palestinian issue' at Center for American 'Progress'
    • I notice that the first panel in the program features Mel Levine, former congress-critter from California. He served in the House until 1993. What happened then?

      In 1992, he ran for the US Senate, and bragged that he was the only candidate in the race who had supported the First Persian Gulf War (waged by George H. W Bush). The formerly liberal Mel Levine was the only candidate who had the guts to stand up to Saddam Hussein, etc. etc. The L. A. Times called him "two-faced".

      He lost in the Democratic primary. Didn't come in first. !! or second!! He came in THIRD.

      At least in the Democratic primary in California, running as an openly pro-war candidate was "the kiss of death", as long ago as 1993. Antiwar sentiment has grown steadily since then.

      Rejected by the voters, Levine went on to be a lobbyist. Probably made a wad of money. Not that he was broke anyway - Levine's father founded the Bank of Beverly Hills.

      Levine is married to Connie Brueck, the journalist, who wrote a chilling profile of megabucks casino king (gigabucks?) Sheldon Adelson in The New Yorker.

  • DEAL!
    • Woops, meant to say "waning" influence, not "waving", in the 3rd sentence.

    • I have no inside information about the agreement with Iran.

      But I want to draw the attention of MondoWeiss readers to an important development last week, the formation of a China-backed new international bank that competes with the World Bank and the IMF. This is a sign of the waving influence of the US-backed World Bank and IMF.
      It also signifies that the US may run into real difficulties enforcing trade sanctions against Iran. After all, Iran wants to export oil, China imports oil. A strong common interest!

      So China does not want a US blockade of Iran to be successful.

      The US may have wanted to use the negotiations with Iran as a way of manufacturing a justification of an economic blockade, weakening Iran. Anyone who knows the history realizes that similar economic blockades were used by the US to overthrow the Sandinistas in Nicaragua in the 1980's, and the democratic socialist Allende government in Chile in 1973, and Iran in 1953. So the economic blockade ("sanctions") have worked in the past. But I think they won't work now. The US is relatively isolated politically, and the formation of the new China-backed bank is a serious blow to US hegemony.

  • 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 mondoweiss.net

      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:

      link to news.yahoo.com

      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

      THE GRIPES OF ROTH

  • 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 mondoweiss.net"

      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...

      THANK YOU, AND HAVE A NICE DAY!

    • 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.

      Story title: THE DAY ISRAEL ATTACKED AMERICA

      link to aljazeera.com

      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 ifamericansknew.org

      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.

      -Ned

  • 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.

  • '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

      THE TALK THAT THE JEWISH AGENCY DOESN'T WANT YOU TO HEAR!!!

      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).

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