Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 4657 (since 2009-09-12 00:56:04)


Retired. Married for 24 years to Palestinian-American, Quaker. Myself of Jewish descent, non-religious. Classical musician (cello). Run my own website,, for which I do all the programming (PHP, MYSQL). Favor an international intervention, as a "deus ex machina", to rescue Palestinians, Israelis, and USA from the tail-wags-the-dog AIPAC-et-alius. This probably means doing an end-run around USA's UNSC veto and doing more-or-less coordinated BDS at nation-state level. Non-Action on Global Warming is a far bigger threat to all the world than the 63-year non-action on Israel/Palestine. On this topic, I am truly hopeless: "I cry a tear for the soon to be late humanity."


Showing comments 4657 - 4601

  • Salaita sues donors for 'injecting' themselves into U of Illinois decision, threatening to withhold gifts unless he was fired
    • Terrific "complaint" aside from (at least) one typo where "any" appeared as "and". I like the "spoliation" count where the demand damages from Chancellor Wise for destroying memos (those which justified her firing him) where the law forbids potential litigants from destroying papers which might be evidence in a later case.

      And "tortious interference" (usually commercial) is a fine accusation agaisnt the JOHN DOE DONORS who threatened to withhold monies from UIUC unless his contract (as he calls it) (and as it is almost universally regarded by academics when they offer you a job and you accept it) was torn up; as it was.

      I sure hope they get a good judge! Let's follow this one closely! If CCR makes public the opposing filings, please make them available.

  • Shit dead rabbis say about gentiles
    • "Statement of the kingdom. " All that matters is "What the Jew wants". (The Jew's voice as heard by the ear of the Lubavitcher rabbi.)

      Compare and contrast:

      ISIS which seems to see itself creating a kingdom where all that matters is what the Muslim wants (what the Muslim wants being here determined by the leaders of ISIS).

      Or some of the USA's white supremacists?

  • Report accuses Israel of targeting Gaza's water facilities
    • "heavy metals and uranium from Israel’s bombing campaign may have seeped into the groundwater, contaminating Gaza’s main water source for generations to come"

      If this proves true, what a tragedy. However, in that case, it may be that nearby Israelis will also receive these gifts, because Gaza's aquifer serves a wider territory than Gaza alone. I had heard (can anyone confirm) that the drawdown of Gaza's aquifer was a rewsult, in part, of Israeli uses of the water.

  • 'Two Blue Lines,' Tom Hayes's third film on Palestine, premieres tonight in Columbus
  • Phila Inquirer publishes a lie: 'Anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism are one and the same'
    • Intelligent people all know, and most are careful to respect, the difference between antisemitism and anti-Zionism.

      However, not all people are intelligent and quite a few are miserably ill-informed. For instance, many people have been misinformed when they heard that Israel is the country of the Jewish people -- and they believe it!

      And many people have observed that most "noisy" Jews (by "noisy" I mean those that speak on radio and TV and get into MSM print and those who own big newspapers) appear to love Israel and support Israel (and AIPAC) quite as if they were loyal to Israel -- on the basis of which these miserably ill-informed people conclude, quite reasonably IMO, that all or most Jews are loyal to Israel and support Israel hook, line, and sinker. Support Israel's crimes against Palestinians.

      Now, among these (deliberately on the part of MSM) miserably ill-informed people are those who have heard of Palestinians as victims, heard about Gaza-2014, and so forth, and have become anti-Zionists. Good for them. However, some of them express this anti-Zionism as hatred of Jews.

      All very reasonable. But don't blame them: blame the MSM and blame the noisy Jews. And blame all the standing-on-the-sidelines Jews who haven't risen up in disgusted rebellion against the pro-Zionist forces. And blame Israel for its crimes done, so it claims, in the name of the Jewish people. Israel -- seeking to blacken the names of Jews everywhere.

      Now, as we all know, many Jews say, "not in my name" to Israel. But we are not sufficiently numerous or loud enough to inform the wider public. And that wider public may reasonably conflate anti-Zionism with antisemitism.

      Thanks, Israel! Thanks, MSM! Thanks, bought-and-paid-for politicians!

  • Menendez bags on Iran sanctions, and congressman says AIPAC demands deference to Israel over US
    • Standing up to the "neocons" or to AIPAC? Or is it the same thing?

      Maybe neocons are reactionaries in league with the military-industrial-complex: they like wars and shoving other people around with USA's armies.

  • 'The New York Times' throws another sop to lovers of Israel
    • Or just to suggest topics and people to profile. But of course they don't want to do that. They know who the good guys are and who the bad guys are and let's not confuse the readers.

      A profile of Diana Buttu would be nice. A lawyer for the Palestinians for a change.

  • BDS in Urbana-Champaign: A Response to Cary Nelson
    • And, BTW, whereas the accusation of Islamophobists that all Muslims are terrorists or terrorist sympathizers is denied again and again by most Muslims, so that most Muslims seek to distinguish themselves from Al Qaeda and ISIS; by contrast, most Jews (at least those who control the microphone) claim to be pro-Israel and notably fail to condemn either the occupation, the settlements movement, or the ethnic cleansing of 1948 upon which Israel was based.

    • Nelson is wrong: BDS is not the cause of antisemitism but its cure.

      I am convinced that the Zionist movement desires and promotes antisemitism (so it can present Israel as a much needed safe haven), I am convinced that its horrible actions against Palestinians, Lebanese, and other neighbors are (among other things, if not, indeed, solely) aimed at promoting hatred of Israel.

      Not only can this hatred of Israel be called "antisemitism" (falsely, of course) but the knee-jerk support for Israel among many (or most) of those Jews around the world whose voices manage to be widely heard -- together with Israel's claim to be the state of the Jewish people -- makes it seem to many viewers -- and not only in the middle east -- that hatred of Israel might as well be or become hatred of "the Jews" because, after all, they're all in it together (as it is made to seem by the Zionists and their tools outside Israel).

      So, whereas anti-Israelism makes sense to many (on the actual facts), so does anti-Jew-ism (although not quite on the actual facts) because almost every representation of international Jewish opinion (fueled by the Zionist echo machine) makes it seem that (reversing the words of the prayer called "Shema") "Hear, O Lord, the people of Israel are one" (on the subject of denying the rights of and otherwise oppressing the Palestinian people).

      It seems to me that all this is rather dangerous than otherwise to Jews. The path towards reducing antisemitism is for many, many Jews to make a great fanfare of opposing Israel's human rights abuses and joining all three points of the call to BDS.

      So Nelson is wrong: BDS is not the cause of antisemitism but its cure.

  • Former Obama aide's thinktank calls for 1/4 of French Jews to move to Israel
    • "Middle East Jews are outnumbered by Muslims 50 to 1". so, on Netanyahu's argument (and Dennis Ross's), 1/4 of Israeli Jews should emigrate. Not to Israel, of course. Maybe to France? Build up the numbers there? Maybe Germany, where opportunity abounds, Greece notwithstanding? Or ever-friendly USA -- is the USA accepting Jews now (as we didn't in 1940s)?

  • Occupier’s justice: heads and tails you lose
    • Beautiful story of infernal "justice". Tell the world! Tell the nations which say, but do not enforce, that occupier does not own the occupied land.

      BTW, did the court say just exactly when the private land came to be within Israeli (Hebronish) jurisdiction and -- more important -- subject to taxes? For how many years do they seek to collect taxes? Etc. Had it previously been subject to Palestinian taxes, no taxes?

      All in all, yuck. I'm feeling a nasty feeling coming over me, what with this and the indictment of Sheldon Silver in NYC, and having trouble remembering that that nasty feeling is (as to Israel) properly called anti-Zionism and as to Sheldon Silver is horror at ordinary political corruption, New York style.

      But what about antisemitism? How many horrors done by Jews does it take ( to screw up acceptance of Jews) before the people of the world can/should/will be overcome with an antisemitism PARALLEL TO the Islamophobia that seems to be triggered by very, very few bad Islamic actors.

  • Netanyahu speech could turn Israel lobby into a political football
    • I doubt we will be treated to a real, out loud, disagreement. Schumer may side with Obama on this, but he'll cheer for Bibi too. Let's look at the votes on anti-Iran legislation.

      And, no, this is not about Palestine. But it sure would be fun to see the AIPAC skewered.

  • Living in Israel isn't the solution to antisemitism
    • Of course, Jews in France (etc) will wish to remain and be safe.
      But Bibi's horrible remark (invitation) is quite useful -- it reminds Europeans that terrorism is coming to visit them at least in part because of Israel's horrible treatment of the Palestinians.

      Let us hope that the French will see the utility (reducing terrorism) of getting out of what are not unreasonably seen as USA's wars against Islam and also ending support for Israel-as-occupier-and-excluder of Palestinians.

  • 80+ Cartoonists And Comics Workers Tell Comics Industry: 'No Business As Usual With Israel'
    • OG -- Exactly! and probably all it would take would be significant pressure fro a few BIG Israeli businesses to persuade the pols, if not the people, to reform the policies. At least in USA the BIGs seem to control.

    • As always, the value of a statement like this is educational. I am delighted that these cartoonists connect (by implication) the deaths in Paris with deaths in Gaza.

      Aiming only at Israeli companies complicit in war crimes, occupation, etc., is not as broad as I have often advocated -- why not all Israeli companies (for as long as the occupation lasts and there is no Palestinian right of return)? Well, why not? But this is enough. It draws world attention. that is the main thing.

  • Virulent, violent verbal tactics reveal Dershowitz as a bully, says fellow Israel advocate
    • Libel? Libel v libel? They accuse him of sexual crime and he accuses them of bad lawyering (&ruining his reputation)? Delicious. Can't wait.

      "(Reuters) - Two lawyers representing a woman who claims to have had sex while a minor with prominent U.S. criminal defense lawyer Alan Dershowitz filed a defamation lawsuit against him on Tuesday.

      Former federal judge Paul Cassell and Florida plaintiffs attorney Bradley Edwards filed the lawsuit in a Florida circuit court, accusing Dershowitz of initiating a public media assault on their reputation and character, according to court documents. " link to

  • The 'NYT''s double standard on westerners who go off to fight in Middle East conflicts
    • It's not so much a double standard as a 1000-fold standard, or, rather, the racist difference w always see when one side in a conflict is seen as noble and the other as sub-human.

      Please recall that when Spain went into civil war, with insurgents allied (ultimately if not initially) to Hitler and Mussolini and government forces allied (ditto) to USSR, the kindly old USA forbid Americans to join the Spanish Republic's army (or maybe both armies?) and the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, formed of Americans defying (for the most part) the USA's edict, were volunteers dedicatedf to the anti-fascist fight (presaging WWII).

      Please note that today, USA looks kindly on Americans joining Israel's army, but in 1936 refused to let Americans join Spain's army.
      so (or so it would seem) it is not merely a mater of allowing Americans to join armies of regular countries but not allowing them to join irregular forces (sometimes called terrorists; but compare the Nicaraguan (irregular forces called) "Contras").

  • There is no pride for Jews in the state of Israel
  • ICC opens war crimes inquiry into Israel over Gaza war as Palestinians prepare another UN resolution
    • In 1988, PLO recognized Israel with UNGA 181 (1947) as its birth certificate (and also birth certificate for the future Palestinian state, I suppose).

      OK. The territory of Israel in 1988 was generally understood to be its pre-1967 territory, quite a bit larger than set out for a Jewish state on UNGA 181. If PLO accepted THAT territory, it had already made a huge concession vis-a-vis UNGA 181.

      So the issue squarely before us is this: how many times does Israel get to demand concessions from PLO before the nations get tired and shut down the whole charade?

      Oh, and did the Charlie Hebdo terrorists or their (supposed) sponsors happen to mention Palestine as a grievance over and beyond the cartoons? And if so, will the nations ever decide to cut their losses by ending I/P with a "just and lasting peace" or will it be more of the usual, "millions for defence but not a cent for tribute"?

  • Following Paris attacks the National Security State is passé, welcome to the International Security World
    • Fighting terrorism is the USA's and world's distraction of attention from its own FREE TRADE and other mechanisms to prevent significant and timely government action on climate change.

      CC/GW is the only big game in town. Keep your eyes on the ball. I/P is dear to us, but in the greater scheme of things a side-show. still, if there is time for side-shows, its my favorite.

  • Obama cites donor pressure re Iran, but 'NYT' won't tell you what he means
    • It's not about a political faction (except for the few true-believers). It's about the American method of governance which I call oligarchy.

      BIG-ZION may have different goals than those of BIG-BANKS or BIG-OIL or BIG-DEFENSE but they work their magic the same way: purchase/rental/bribing (you name it) of elected officials (and candidates). Forget democracy as long as big money (whether corporate or individual, as Koch) can be legally (or illegally for that matter) spent to corrupt officials.

  • Netanyahu's Parisian follies
    • Bibi etc. love to annoy Jews outside Israel and make them feel [1] unsafe [2] guilty for not coming to Israel [3] more unwilling (is that possible?) to criticize ior stop supporting Israel.

      I like the pushy Israeli image. NB: NOT, heaven forfend, pushy Jew. Impolite, a twirp? sure. But as with C-Hebdo and some Sunnis, people have their own ideas and some of those people have an idea of pushy Jews. And Bibi certainly reinforced that image (that is, if they forgot that he was an Israeli and not necessarily a Jew, whatever he may say).

      I just finished reading a short book, Shlomo sand's "How I stopped being a Jew". Very good. He's uncomfortable being an Israeli in much the way that war-weary, torture-weary, NSA-weary, oligarch-government-weary Americans may be uncomfortable here: but he is an Israeli, he's stuck with it (as I am stuck with being an American). But he finds for many reasons that he is not a Jew. A good read.

      I commend it to Bibi and to all Jews thinking of moving to Israel.

  • Why do Muslims object to depictions of their prophet?
    • Does the Qur'an prohibit all people from making graven images, or only prohibit Muslims from doing so?

      Graven images, photos, cartoons, etc.: are they permitted except for religious figures?

      How can anyone know that the cartoon on the most current C-H is a cartoon of Mohammad? It doesn't say so.

      But I guess everyone knows already that C-H is working overtime to offend susceptible Muslims, who therefore "know" whom the cartoon is a likeness of.

  • Sadness and anger as 4 Jewish victims of Paris attack are buried in Jerusalem
    • And when a Christian somewhere kills someone (in such a fashion) will these Israelis demand that all Christians denounce the killing? And if a Jew (say an Israeli settler) kills someone in such a fashion, must all Jews (or even all Israelis) denounce? And if the gov't of Israel knows but does not punish, then what?

      And if the IDF does a (another) Gaza, then what? Should the whole world denounce? Or only Jews?

  • Cuba/Palestine -- How Obama can assure his legacy
    • The opposition to Cuba was paltry; the opposition to Palestine is mighty. Too bad. Obama looked like he had the right feelings 6 years ago. Now he has no elections yet to fight. He doesn't personally need electoral money. He could speak out on [1] global warming, [2] money uber alles in politics, and (yes!) [3] Palestine.

      Politics is the art of the possible. Wonder what Obama thinks is possible in 2 years.

  • Jews around the world know 'deep in their hearts they have only one country, Israel' -- Netanyahu
    • Chicken Little says the sky is falling. Dear, dear, no one believes him.
      Israel causing anti-Israel expressions in France? Certainment non! C'est le antisemitism! And Israel is the safest place in the world for Jews. And I have a bridge to sell you.

      We live in a world where those who warn of real threats, real cause-and-effect, etc., are regarded as liars, as misguided, as chicken Little's (unreasonably scared of nothing at all). And why? Because the media, who declare who is and who is not a Chicken Little, are in league with those who profit from undercutting news of real threats.

  • It's not the cartoons-- a contrarian perspective from a Muslim cartoonist
    • Yes; not to mention that whereas the "threat" to the USA and its interests from world's disaffected Muslims is small, the THREAT from global warming/climate change is real, present, and unbelievably enormous.

      So governments distract folks with loud proclamations (and brutal fighting against) the wrong threat.

      So, long live BIG-OIL, BIG-BANKS, BIG-ARMAMENTS, etc., at least in the short run (not so long) while we distract people from the real threats and (other) evils of our governments (i.e., in its oligarchic identity: BIG-OIL, BIG-BANKS, BIG-ARMAMENTS, etc.).

  • Israeli education minister calls refuseniks 'radical element of reality,' but they're in the 'NYT'
    • The "millions" (if accurate) probably includes the ultra-orthodox and all those seeking exemption for mental health reasons (real or merely asserted). My guess? Many Israelis seek exemption for many of the same reasons that many Americans during the times of the draft sought exemption -- as I did during Vietnam -- and (with perhaps better access to exemption for the wealthy (recall GWBush ?).

      Most refusers (refuseniks) would presumably not be ideologically unwilling to serve as Moriel Rothman-Zecher was and as the Druse viola player Omar Saad was (see NYT).

  • When blasphemy is bigotry: The need to recognise historical trauma when discussing Charlie Hebdo
    • Thanks for this very valuable essay. Hadn't considered French anti-clericalism.

      One lesson is that any message must be considered as an attempt at a communication, a communication between two people (or two life-experiences or two viewpoints).

      The Charlie Hebdo cartoonists may have been so captured by their own anti-clericalism as to have supposed their cartoons carried only that message. Assuming they did not set out to offend Muslims, they (unforgivably) forgot that the Muslims-in-France life experience would give another meaning to the cartoons.

      A heavy price they paid for forgetting.

      I'd like to see some WMD cartoons showing world leaders (especially American ones) threatening the world (or the earth, as you prefer) with climate change -- and reminding us all that the USA went to war on a wholly fictitious assertion of Iraq's possession of WMDs but refuses to make a "war on climate change" despite its reality and world-wide deadly significance.

  • Netanyahu crashes Paris unity march, French gov't fumes
    • Leaders understand that it is important to SAY the right things (about press freedom, here) but wholly unimportant what their countries DO about the issue. USA preaches human rights but ignores them. Israel ditto. (No light between these countries on that point.)

      People scream against Islamic fundamentalists and others who terrorize in the name of Islam, but are quiet/silent on the issue of that most "clear and present" danger (and threat), climate change, which threatens all mankind with extinction or something close to.

      "We refuse to act" say the governments and oligarchs, condemning all future generations to horrors far worse than the Holocaust (at least numerically). And no-one says "boo".

      Charlie Hebdo, what are you saying about global warming?

  • Why I am not Charlie
    • A USA supreme court decision instructs us that the right to free speech does not carry over to yelling "FIRE!" (presumably when there is no fire) in a crowded theater.

      What this means to me is that one must expect words uttered to have the anticipated consequences and when those anticipated consequences include violence, the utterances create a "clear and present danger" and are no longer "protected speech".

      A lot of people, men usually I dare say, display hair-trigger violent responses to certain kinds of utterance (or publication). Some macho folks don't respond well to challenges to their "manhood" or "sexuality". Some folks react badly to "antisemitism". Some folks react with violence to slurs on their religion, Mohammad, etc.

      We all know this after we reach the age of discretion.

      My guess is that, if the matter ever came before a USA court, the court would not paper-over such utterances with the rubric of "free speech" but would choose, instead, something like "hate speech".

      In the Charlie Hebdo case, the violent response had been shown likely to occur -- here and there -- several times before. And now (among others) two policemen are dead as a result of the Charlie Hebdo utterances. In effect, C.H. killed them by incitement to violence.

      This, at least, is part of my "take" on this. I should also say the obvious -- that I do not condone lethal violence not done for a great purpose, whether by police, armies, ordinary criminals, or Islamic avengers. I am not persuaded that the C.H. killings were done for a great purpose.

  • A tale of two tests
    • David, you were a math major? So was I! (MIT BS '60). It absolutely prepared me to do the first part of your test. Morality is in the eye of the beholder.

      I agree with John Douglas, to this extent: the USA and other governments wish to reserve the use of illicit violence to agencies of government, so that terrorists (non-gov't users of illicit violence) are branded as "evil" and attacked; whereas gov't users of illicit violence (CIA, army as examples: but not all their violence is illicit) are branded as "good" and protected. Thus, no prosecution of torturers.

  • Eric Fingerhut, head of Hillel, says JVP is 'frustrating' and that Open Hillel movement has no legs
    • No-one who holds power will easily give it up. Oh, I was wrong? Sez who? So Hillel will hold on as long as it can, the same for Zionism, the same for so-called Liberal Zionism.

      Consider the slow response to global warming/climate change. Pogo said, "We have met the enemy and he is us" and he (not we) is winning. Wealth and power are God these days, not the Earth (though it is showing that it is sovereign over us twirps), but mankind believes that it holds power and will not stop even as global warming (like the trees in Macbeth?) move against us.

      link to

  • Academic freedom org supports Chris Hedges after Penn keynote cancelled over Israel criticism
    • This letter is a textbook example of the explanation of why we (Americans especially these days) need academic freedom and a diversity of expression.

      The corporatization of universities has been described as the effort to avoid dissension. As if the universities don't care if the view is pro-Israel or anti-Israel, just want to avoid dissension, and the pro-Isfael forces got there first, and anything else would cause dissension, and that settles the matter.

      Another view is that the universities -- like big businesses everywhere -- prefer monopolies, and are happy to grant the pro-Israel crowd a monopoly on the discussion.

      And either way, the pro-Israel folks give more money to the universities than the pro-Palestine folks.

      Academic freedom? Couldn't care less.

  • Media obsesses over 'free speech' in Charlie Hebdo case while ignoring Israeli targeting of journalists
  • Hillel exec likens Open Hillel to biblical rebel against Moses who was swallowed up by the earth
    • Well, well argued, I suppose, although Korach seems (what do I know about it) to have transgressed.

      But, for me, HI has transgressed, assuming the authority to define what is and is not proper like some Miss Manners, and telling OH off. I say it's their dime and they (HI) can say what they want to say about who can do what on their premises, but to exclude decent Jews after saying they open their doors to all Jews is over the top.

      Maybe its time for OH to start a new club. With its doors open, unlike HI, for discussion of the major issues of our times.

  • #NoMoreForgottenLives campaign demands accountability for Palestinian children killed by Israel
    • Shot in the back? Killer facing merely manslaughter charges? Life is cheap for these Israelis.

      I recall soldiers being fined 1 cent (more or less) for a massacre in Israel's early days. A massacre where a curfew was pout in effect but not announced and men returning from work were mowed down.

      Looked it up (link to

      On October 29, 1956, the Israeli army ordered that all Arab villages near the Jordanian border be placed under a wartime curfew from 5 p.m. to 6 a.m. on the following day. Any Arab on the streets was to be shot. The order was given to border police units at 3:30 before most of the Arabs from the villages could be notified. Many of them were at work at the time. That morning, Shadmi, who was in charge of the Triangle, received orders to take all precautionary measures to ensure quiet on the Jordanian border. On Shadmi's initiative, the official nightly curfew in the twelve villages under his jurisdiction was changed from the regular hours. Shadmi then gathered all the border patrol battalion commanders under his command, and reportedly ordered them to 'shoot on sight' any villagers violating the curfew. Once the order was given, the commander of one of Shadmi's battalions, Major Shmuel Malinki, who was in charge of the Border Guard unit at the village of Kafr Qasim, asked Shadmi on how to react to those villagers who were unaware of the curfew.

  • Book Review: In Our Power - U.S. Students Organize for Justice in Palestine
    • Thanks for the review. Sounds a very valuable book. I wonder how the Open Hillel folks will see similarities and differences with their work.

  • Anti-Semitism at Fordham?
    • "But to call someone an anti-Semite is a very serious charge. It is an accusation that can produce a great deal of personal unhappiness, destroying friendships and careers. No one has the right to make such a charge lightly or irresponsibly."

      Exactly. And so we learn, and should teach, that there is a world of difference between saying that "I feel that I am being the victim of antisemitism" (an "I feel" message) and saying "I am the victim of the antisemitism of X" (an accusation against X). It is easy to sympathize with someone who feels bad, even if inexplicably, but also easy to feel angry about someone who accuses people inexplicably.

  • 'NYT' reporter says Palestinians must make 'concessions... they have long avoided'
    • I wonder who else, on what other story, finds the NYT to be a propaganda machine? It can hardly be only I/P, can it? In the 1980s, NYT did a better job. Sometime since then they've joined the ranks of the hasbaristas (on at least this topic).

  • Dershowitz story is also an Israel story
    • hophmi: I don't think either antisemites or anti-Israel folks SHOULD jump on this allegation about The Dersh any more than anti-UK or anti-Royalty folks should * * *. Got nothing to do with Jews or with Israel. But from the viewpoint of anti-Israel (or in some cases, in many cases I hope, pro-Palestine) folks, this is too good to be true, The Dersh being what he is and all. And it fits in so well with all the sex scandals among the high-and-mighty in Israel.

  • Against self-determination
    • Walid -- may it be that Phil's idea of giving up on one's "ethnic" identity, religious identity, etc., is merely a part of a somewhat new "western" or "American" mentality, part of the more-or-less erasure of roots that is typical of many Americans? And thus unavailable to people who have not washed their minds in this "western" stream?

      And, alternatively, may not the desire by many Jews for a Jewish "nationality" or "peoplehood" be the expression of a hunger for belonging which people may feel who have become so cosmopolitan (rootless) that they feel themselves to be people of no country, people of no people?

    • Good essay Phil, but please don't give up on "self-determination" for the Palestinians unless there is FIRST a PRoR (the exiles if 1948 et seq.) and real democracy in all of greater-Israel (aka Palestine). As long as Israelis can justify anything by the short argument "but the holocaust", the Palestinians must be able to justify a demand for self-determination by the equally short "but the nakba".

  • Obama reported to be looking into settler attack on State Dep't officials, even as NYT buries the story
    • Obama will not again run for office and all the other DEMs will stick to Israel like * * * (your choice).

      THEREFORE he is free of electoral concerns and money grubbing (if he can forget about money for his presidential library and post-presidential speaking ops) to do the "right thing". even on Palestine.

      You know, revive USDS Liberty and the illegality of ALL the settlements ( not just of new ones). Forget to use his S/C veto (UN S/C Rep missed the S/C vote?). Two more yesrs is a fleeting thing.

  • Couldn't there be just one 'NYT' columnist who was critical of Israel? (No)
    • The late Anthony Lewis (link to wrote a a lovely column in NYT that was a bit critical of Israel, but that was (my recall is lousy) in the 1980s. "Though wide-ranging in his interests, he often focused on legal questions, advocacy of compromise between Israel and the Palestinians, and criticism of the war in Vietnam and the apartheid regime in South Africa. On December 15, 2001, his final column warned that civil liberties were at risk in the U.S. reaction to the September 11 attacks." link to

      I used to clip news stories in NYT, Boston Globe, and Christian Science Monitor on I/P in 1980s and in those years the NYT (and the other papers) had much fuller or more honest coverage than it does now, though quite defensive of Israel. I wonder when the almost complete clamp-down started?

      There is a wonderful new book, a love story and memoir, "Timeless" (link to by Lucinda Franks, which is a bit spoiled for me by the gushing pro-Israelism on the parts of Franks and her husband Manhattan DA Robert Moranthau, it recites. Still a good read. Takes a nip at Tony Lewis, btw, which is why I remembered him for this comment.

  • 'Spiral,' 'threat,' 'polarization,' or 'full-scale popular campaign for Palestinian freedom' -- reactions to the ICC move
    • "Israel, still an adolescent nation, is going through something of an identity crisis". And so, the world, ever so kindly to the young, must allow it its adolescent errors? Well, in that case, how much more so must it allow Palestine its errors, cuddly little eensy-weensy Palestine not yet even a baby?

      The ICC must be called upon to address the allegation that all the settlers are present in OPT illegally and as a war crime and those who support (and supported) the settlement project are criminals who must be punished. I assume this means only government and army folks, not the settlers themselves as such.

  • You don't have to suffer alone . . . the CIA is here for you
    • as to USA torturers, Lysias, one thinks of the Nurenberg trials after WWII. Nazis were tried for "crimes" that had not been crimes when the war started. New inventions. And generally it was higher-ups who were tried. (Israel caught a smaller guy in Argentina, Adolph Eichmann, and kidnapped him brought him to Israel and had a show trial.)

      I think it would be good to have show trials in any country with universal jurisdiction of a few Bushies (I won't suggest names); and it would be a pity if such trials required the defendant to be present and could be frustrated by his refusal to do so. I personally don't care if these guys get punished so much as that the world, or some part of it, get up on its hind legs, and assert moral and legal principles. And outrage!

  • 'NYT' writer takes Salaita's side, saying U of Illinois violated 'intellectual and academic freedom'
    • As to the war-crimes aspect, the 'awful human being' aspect, think also that Israel uses these attacks to test weapons and then puts those same weapons on the market as 'tested in combat' (or words to that effect) at international arms exhibitions (major, major gun shows). It is easy to believe that among all the reasons for the attack (Gaza-2014) was weapons sales as well as preparations for elections and other reasons having nothing even remotely to do with "security" of Israel.

  • Memo to Sen. Warren: More young Dems want US to side with Palestine than Israel
    • The shift toward Palestine among young Americans cannot create "heat" to be felt by DEMS unless candidates "run" on Palestine in primaries. If they don't there will be no "heat". And none of the pols wants to have BIG-ZION funding opponents (whether other DEMs or REPs).

      So, yes, I'll tell her (, but I cannot expect her to listen.

      OTOH, on-going events on the international stage may create possibilities for synergy with the shift among DEMs.

  • As Kerry and UN press on occupation, Netanyahu sees a 'diplomatic assault'
    • Israeli governments have often not followed the rulings of its own high court. To paraphrase (I think it was Stalin referring to the Pope, who disapproved of something he was doing), "How many [military] divisions has the High Court?"

  • Jews who speak out on Ferguson but not Palestine fear 'vengeance of Jewish establishment' -- Magid
    • If ALL rabbis would speak out on a single date, how could AIPAC retaliate against them ALL?
      If ALL congresspeople would jump ship on a single date, how could AIPAC retaliate against them ALL?

      Activists must enrage these people, these rabbis and these congresspeople, enrage them and educate them, but BID THEM CONTINUE SILENT until a target date: and then they must all speak out at once.

  • Collective punishment of 1.8 million human shields in a prison -- Newsweek dares publish the truth of Gaza
  • Resisting hope - prophetically

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