Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 4809 (since 2009-09-12 00:56:04)

pabelmont

Retired. Married for 24 years to Palestinian-American, Quaker. Myself of Jewish descent, non-religious. Classical musician (cello). Run my own website, 123pab.com, 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."

Website: 123pab.com

Showing comments 4809 - 4801
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  • Video: Max Blumenthal on the ways Zionism exploits anti-Semitism
    • Well said. For safety from antisemitism in Europe, 1900-1945, Jews became Zionists and conquered and stole Palestine. Today, with hardly any antisemitism anywhere but plenty of anti-Zionism especially in M/E,, Zionists complain that they are not welcome in Palestine (surprise!) and must take more and more territory and kill and torture and attack more and more people (I suppose some of them say: in order to become safer where they are). No thought (as in 1940s) of going somewhere ELSE to find safety. South America anybody? No siree Bob, manufacturing anti-Zionism and calling it antisemitism works just fine.

  • Day before deadline, Iran negotiations coming 'down to the wire' and Netanyahu still hopes to play spoiler
    • Money may talk in politics? What a surprise! The surprise is that it is European money "talking back" to USA-Israel-Republicans -- or, to put it differently, talking back to USA's oligarchy, the suppliers of money (and exercisers of most power) in American politics.

      Israel wants USA to fight a war for Israel, Israel's benefit but America's cost. Nothing new there (Iraq). What's new is that some important part of the USA's ruling class (am I really tired of "oligarchy"?) wants to avoid another and bigger war. So if we are to avoid war, we must deal with Iran and, as matters proceed, it seems that those terms will be Iran's and Europe's, not Israel's or our Republican's. (Anyone old enough to remember Republicans as those who avoided foreign wars (1941)?

  • Clinton and Cruz both betrayed Obama's foreign policy yesterday
    • amigo: agreed. More is needed than merely recognizing Palestine (even if a territory were firmly associated with that recognition). What's needed has always been clear: a sanctions-enforced UNSC resolution (with terms like UNSC-465/1980) requiring Israel to remove all settlers permanently (during the life of the occupation), dismantle the wall and all settlements, and end the siege on Gaza.

      IOW, enforce international law as set forth (for instance) in UNSC-465 and ICJ 7/2004. See: link to 123pab.com

    • OTOH, if Obama finds himself under the bus, feels those treads, it gives him a free hand (IMO) to act independently of Clinton, Congress, the American people, etc. He can vote at the UNSC as he wishes w/o concern that he is weakening himself or the Dems. (The bums that are kissing up to Bibi should think of that before they weaken him too much!)

    • They are all throwing Obama and the Palestinians under the bus. But they are also throwing us Americans under the same bus. Our government is supposed to be run (in some vague sense) in the public interest. Whatever that means. And of course, today, no-one really supposes that any more. The government is supposed to be run on behalf of the very, very rich -- the Oligarchs.

      The question, then, is this: Is big-Zion up there with big-banks, big-defense, big-oil, big-pharma, big-agri (Monsanto), etc., in terms of power to run USA's foreign policy? The answer may be a hard one: since all the other "bigs" probably don't care whether Dems or Reps run the government (they don't care about gun control, abortion, gay-rights, civil rights generally), they are "hands off" on all Israel-questions. They just don't care. And therefore "big-Zion" although not as wealthy (I'm supposing) as the other "bigs", runs all Israel matters and the other "bigs" don't interfere. (And, of course, the CEO of a big-bank just might be a Zionist. Why not?)

      The need for getting money as far out of politics as it will go is never more apparent. "Political action" MUST BE defined and denied to any but human beings, presumably American citizens, and the total annual expenditure for "political action" per person must be defined and relatively small, $1000 better than $1M per person per year.

  • 12 pretty good signs you're vacationing in an apartheid country
    • S "everal large menacing red signs warning those colonists that it is both illegal and life-threatening for them to enter “village” areas where the indigenous people live."

      Phil -- Do Israeli signs (in Hebrew?) actually tell the settlers that it is illegal (at Israeli law) (for them?) to enter the Palestinians villages? Is that what you're saying? And if so, what do we make of the repeated attacks by settlers into Palestinian places?

      What's legal and what's illegal (at Israeli law) binding on settlers as to going here and there in the "Territories"? Does the army enforce this "illegality"?

      And, another question: whose life is threatened if they do go there?

  • Tipping point?
    • He says it, but most American Jewish voters have very different priorities. He's trying to scare Edwards and might succeed, but his assertion about 'his people' is probably an exaggeration.

    • J-Street is a "brand" without different content from that other "brand", AIPAC. . Two toothpastes, same manufacturer, different "brand".

      Or maybe there is a hair-line difference today. And maybe symbolism is enough. Say, "Of course i support Isrfael, but I do it via J-Street erather than AIPAC because I want to end the occupation, end the settlements, end the siege on Gaza, and get SOON to peace." sounds good!

    • Page: 48
  • Philosophy prof who likened Palestinians to 'rabid pit bull' ignites protest on CT campus
    • bftds: "too dangerous to bother" has indeed been Israeli policy since 1947. All the horrible attacks on Gaza and South Lebanon including Sabra and Shatilla were far more horrible than needed -- they were terrorist attacks pure and simple and way over the top. Israel is perhaps trying to teach a lesson to its own people -- we must be unreasonably tough in order that we are sufficiently feared that no-one will ever attack us. They've forgotten that no-one attacks them (much: just ineffective rockets out of Gaza occasionally) and keep up the over-the-top horror anyhow. (And the rockets always followed terrorist provocations out of Israel.)

    • Testing weapons in Gaza for its major export of weapons. Maybe testing helps USA's military also, because USA sure does support Israel and it's not just because of AIPAC. Big-defense (MIC) could stop the support if it wanted to. At worst a lot of Oligarchs in USA support Israel. At best, they tolerate AIPAC and Israel -- at least until they demand an unpopular war.

    • "Out of a job" is what happened on a very similar occasion to our friend Steven Salaita. I don't think we should call for that, even here. But hold him up to responsibility for what he said and what he thought and so forth? Absolutely!

      This is an educational opportunity and Conn College students are doing a fine job of that. The picture makes it appear that this is a very general (not only a Muslim or Palestinian) uprising.

      Keep up the good work, students! Avoid his classes! See if CC will continue to pay a salary to a professor who has no students! (But don't call for it. Maybe he'll get a job in the administration?)

  • Open Hillel's big month: Swarthmore 'Kehilah' is born and a student resigns over Hillel restrictions
  • American Voices: What lies ahead for the rocky US/Israel relationship?
  • White House will go after AIPAC next -- Newsweek
    • A confusing report, all told. But if the prediction that Obama will somehow throw AIPAC under the bus proves true, how wonderful! Think of all those conflicted Congressmen -- may even be a few not in the Black caucus -- who actually support human rights "in their hearts" and have felt like AIPAC's prisoners all these years w.r.t. I/P.

      But they are also prisoners of all the other BIGs: big-banks, big-oil, big-defense, all the backers of TPP and NAFTA and so forth.

  • CUFI Leader John Hagee confirms Christian Zionism is anti-Semitic
    • JeffB is right. Christian Zionism (or the end-times version of that if there is more than one version) is NOT antisemitic. It is equal-opportunity horrible: everybody who is not (sufficiently ?) "Christian" at the end of time will burn in hell. Everybody.

      They support Israel because their belief system predicts a cataclysmic war in M/E at Armageddon and Israel seems likely to start that war and fight it. After that, screw the Jews, who cares?, but screw everybody else as well. Burn babies. burn!

      Wow what a Christian religion those guys have. All I can say is, "Wow!" Great stuff. All that Bible (actually two of them) to read, and all they can see is anti-Gay, anti-Abortion, and End-Times cataclysm (and the Rapture, never forget the Rapture!)

  • Emails show Missouri museum canceled 'Ferguson to Palestine' event under pressure from Jewish group
    • I like it that this is in the local newspapers. All BDS work and all educational work w.r.t. Palestine must educate Americans about our skewed society where Zionist opinion (always characterized wrongly as Jewish opinion) carries weight and pro-Palestine or anti-Zionist opinion is negligible. (I think we should notify the local PD about EVERY Zionist meeting including an awful lot of Sabbath meetings in synagogues. these are people who threaten others and those others might show up and be hurt!

    • Giles: It doesn't mean that. It means that Jewish opinion is divided, something the Museum probably doesn't know. But of course you ae right over-all; why should the Museum have acted to remove Palestine just because of a Jewish group (or person) protested? Their protests carry weight; Palestinian and anti-Zionist protests seem to carry no weight.

  • 'New anti-Semitism' on college campuses is largely blowback against orchestrated Israel advocacy
    • The problem of "dual loyalty" for Zionists in America is that they are trying to (or quite willing to) sabotage the good of Americans generally to promote what they believe is the good of Israel. They are willing to act as a 5th column (enemies within the state). This hasn't seemed like much of a problem until recently because the zionists had trained all the politicians to parrot the words: America's interests are Israel's interest, no "daylight" between, no difference at all. So it didn't seem disloyal. A bit different now with Israel plumping, once again, for war (which it wants America to fight for it) -- and much of America (outside the leadership of the Republican Party) tired of unnecessary wars.

    • Trouble is, if the MSM reports of these things omit the salient details -- the details which "prove" that the so-called antisemitic actions are "blowback" -- then the "blowback" assertion fails to be proved to the general public. The public doesn't know what it doesn't see.

      It's like the modern USA trials (often "security" related) in which judges forbid exculpatory evidence to be shown to the jury and forbid cross-examination of prosecution witnesses.

  • [1]-[2]-[6]-[20]: A regional strategy for sustainable peace for Israel/Palestine
    • Interesting proposal. Doubt Israel would "buy" into it. They clearly do not want either a 2SS or a democratic-1SS. That's what the election proved. they love fighting, but have no experience being "at peace" (despite years of Egypt and Jordan peace) and my sense is that they need enemies to feel whole, complete, manly, etc.

      But glad you listed "water" as an issue. Perhaps there are other issues that should be listed. Sharing of Mediterranean oil-gas, for instance. Removal of toxic and other dumping that Israel did in West Bank. Disposal of depleted uranium munitions fired into Gaza, for instance. Reparations to Palestine for so very much, as well as or instead of PRoR.

      Peace and statehood for Palestine should permit enumeration of issues BY Palestinians who are closer to the issues than outsiders are and NEGOTIATION of those issues. That is why a dictated "peace treaty" written and enforced by USA or UNSC or anyone else would be worse than a peace negotiated by the parties.

      You say that Palestine has no power in negotiations? The nations could give Palestine that power by giving Israel something to lose from continuing obduracy. See link to 123pab.com.

  • Israel spying scandal comes to light one week before Iran negotiation deadline
    • The USA's "classified" information is stuff someone has decided to stamp "secret" -- it has a most tenuous connection to whatever "national security" may be supposed to be. Nevertheless the USA provides harsh penalties for anyone disclosing classified info (Assange, Snowden, Manning as a few well-known examples) UNLESS the disclosers are (sufficiently) high government officials for whom it is supposed the classified materials they have leaked has been (secretly? previously? after-the-fact?) declassified (Gee! it wasn't a national security thing-a-bob after all, who knew?).

      But If Israel discloses what would be a crime for Americans to disclose, it sure feels like a sort-of-you-know-crime to the Americans. Hurts our feelings. Makes us less trusting in the close relationship between security services. And like that.

  • In Israel, the mask is finally off
    • I like the psychological gloss on Israeli leadership. But my "take" is that the craziness/fear/neediness is on the part of many of the Israeli people and the Israeli leadership, like politicians everywhere (the American South, for instance), use and manipulate (and increase!) the craziness/fear/neediness of the people to mislead them (or to lead them toward the leaders' ends rather than for the people's own good.

      Right now, Israel seems like some teens in a stolen car driving towards a wall and screaming "Let's see how fast this baby can go!"
      There is no plan for the future and they don't care how many people the car kills before it finally crashes and burns.

  • Washington 'sits shiva' for the 2-state solution
    • Munayyer is so right to say there will be no progress to peace without pressure on Israel. (There is already quite a bit of pressure on Palestine -- let no-one deny it!) The pro-peace camp would do well to talk a lot about [1] the need for pressure and [2] available forms of pressure that we could militate in favor of.

      We could press for an end to the use of the USA veto in UNSC, and that might allow another symbolic advance -- full Palestinian membership in UN. But it could also allow some sort of UNSC demand upon Israel (such as UNSC-465: remove settlers and dismantle settlements) but this time with sanctions, especially if the USA were the author of the draft resolution.

      We should no doubt stress that Fourth Geneva Convention and other international law do not permit Israel to "have its cake" (endless occupation) "and eat it too" (land grabs in occupied territory). If Israel wants some of the land it must make a peace with Palestine that delivers that land; it cannot take the land before it makes the peace.

      We should also stress that the settlements (all illegal) have no benefit to Israel of a security nature whatever, and that Israel's security is already and legally achieved by its army (without any settlements), which the law would allow.

      We should also say, while keeping a straight face, that those who believed until now that the settlement project was merely a "bargaining chip" to speed Palestinian acceptance of Israeli peace proposals must now admit that they were never that -- but were always a land grab without any intention of negotiating a fair or a just-and-lasting peace. (We need the straight face because we cannot believe that anyone ever actually entertained that view, and certainly not within recent years.)

  • Joint List to lead mass march on Jerusalem, as Netanyahu forms a gov't
    • The joint list is doing the make-it-visible thing. A good move.

      Doubtful we'll see much about it in NYT, but who knows? Have we entered a new era? The battle over Jerusalem, over I-P, will be fought in USA, UNSC, EU, etc., not in "Israel" where there is no battle at all but merely the exercise of unmasked and overwhelming power. And the battle will be fought in large part on the basis of information known generally around the world.

      Selma.

  • The liberal Zionist lament: Joe Klein and Jodi Rudoren try to explain away Israeli racism
    • The holocaust was not merely violent but exterminatory -- of Gypsies, Gays, mentally-impaired, some physically-impaired, and -- oh yes!, Jews. Maybe Slavs as well. And never forget Communists, Labor leaders, etc.

      And so, for Brooks and many others who cannot see any problems other than the problems of Jews, antisemitism is violent and exterminatory.

      Unlike Israel's behavior toward Palestinians in OPTs and outside which is violent, deadly, confiscatory of property, but falls short of exterminatory. (So nice, really, not to be as bad as the Nazis! Oh the Israelis, those darlings! Not as bad as the Nazis. Not nearly as bad. I'm speaking of the Nazis of 1940s. In the 1930s, they were not so bad and Israel seems reaching for the earlier comparison.)

  • Cruz's 'unapologetic' stand for Israel plays well with VA Christians and rightwing NY Jews
    • Anyone got stomach pills? Feeling a bit queasy. The guy is holding a book and if I read its title right, it is: "How I Came to Love Israel and Got Buckets of Wall Street Money." This cruise is making me sea-sick.

  • American Jews are taking back their power from Israel
  • I want my country back
    • The harder NYT (or is it Jodi?) holds on to Bibi et al. the harder it will be to admit that the shameful "never in my (political) lifetime" promise that Bibi made is contrary to all that is decent and also (incidently) contrary to USA's position.

      There must be somewhere among the American oligarchs some few, and powerful, who desire a just and lasting I/P peace or something of the sort, or else where did Obama get the feeling he could and should act as he has? A schism in the oligarchy! Unexpected after all these years. Or is it just Obama feeling his oats? NYT seems to think it's the latter.

    • I saw the headline on paper too, and someone enriched the NYT by yet another $2.50 it doesn't deserve.

      President Obama is not, IMO, trying either to bash or promote Netanyahu or otherwise to affect Israeli politics, much as his remarks may do so. No, he is readying the American people for a change of knowledge, a change of attitude, a change of policy -- or so I hope, for otherwise what's it all for? Merely a chance for Obama to blow off steam?

      So, I hope, the president will soon announce a new policy on occupation or settlements. Whatever else could his remarks be in service of?

      And what will NYT do then? Israel as a quasi enemy (whilst still an "ally")?

  • Why did Herzog run scared? He fears the Israeli people
    • Phil, you are right on about fascism. Don't forget, either, that American presidents too have been assassinated and at least one -- Kennedy -- may have been assassinated by political activists (call them fascists) rather than by individual madmen.

      We are in a moment of possibility, today, with Obama in a two-year window without personal electoral needs and Israel out-and-out opposed both to relinquishing occupied land (no to 2 states) and to allowing an influx of non-Jewish voters (no to Israel's own 20% of Palestinians and NO! NO! NO! to a democratic 1SS).

      Sadly, Obama would have to act alone (in America) and solicit help from others (EU?) to get a UNSC resolution with sanctions to force Israel to do anything of a peaceful nature.

      I've written about it here

  • World Water Day protest targets Massachusetts-Israel Water Partnership
    • Nancy, Beautiful article. And so good to see that you are still a power to be reckoned with. This water-as-a-weapon is about as important as any aspect of I/P and the world has to know about it. Many thanks.

  • Bill Maher justifies Netanyahu's racism by saying U.S. has done much worse
    • And about 3M Jews in USA out of 230M total. About 1.3% Jews. Put 'em all in camps? summer camps? Tennis camps?

      What was Maher's point exactly? Didn't he think in a democracy there should be "get out the vote drives" for minorities? Hunh?

    • America the racist? Put African-Americans in camps (12.6% of USA) (link to en.wikipedia.org); put Hispanics in camps (Hispanics or Latin@s 16.4%? C'mon!

      Those people should call him on that! So should everyone else! And we need African-Americans and Hispanics-Latin@s on the Palestinians side. when do we need them? NOW!

  • Apartheid is no longer verboten word for Israel in 'NYT' and 'CNN'
    • Jim Besser in Ha'Aretz says that it was until now possible to view the occupation as an accidental empire, but no more. Well, many of us never did take that view, to us it was no accident, not in 1947, not in 1948, and not now. Perhaps the militarists who performed the exile of the 750,000 in 1947-8 did so w/o approval from "the people", and now the Israeli-Jewish vote responsive to BB's "never, never a 2SS" shows that, indeed, apartheid has immense approval. Whatever. Nice to see him, or anyone in any sort of seat of power or influence, say so.

      At long last. Besser and others are answering that question many remember from the Army-McCarthy hearings, "Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?"

  • US Court of Appeals upholds discriminatory ruling against transit ads critical of Israel
    • Sounds as if threats, or presumed threats, from Zionist toughs, was the key factor. Suppression by the state as a knuckling-under response to suppressive threats by gangs. Apparently the possibility of terrorism by Muslims in response to Pam Geller's ads never crossed anyone's minds! Maybe Zionists count worse (or more persuasive) terrorists among them than Muslims do.

      They should ask for a redetermination by 9th Circuit sitting en banc (the whole court rather than 3 judges).

  • 'Do US Jews need a Jewish state for our safety?' debate begins in wake of Netanyahu victory
    • OTOH, even if antisemitism seems pretty suppressed in the USA, mostly, racism (or racist-classism) is rampant. Witness the suppression of the (poor: people-of-color) vote by Republicans in many states (who seek, IMO, to preserve white privilege at the cost of democracy). It's current and it's here! Just like Bibi and the horrific prospect of a 20% Palestinian vote in Israel, though here the percent'd be higher I imagine.

  • Meet the Knesset members from the Joint List
    • Wow, what an election! And how very, very nice of Mr. BB to say the pleasant things he said just before the election and to get such a generous and supportive response from the ever-generous Israeli-Jewish electorate! USA's Jews should take note! And we should help them do so!

      And the appropriate response? The list of action that USA and others should take gets, IMO, longer and longer. Of course, they should think hard about opposing Israeli imperialism -- the now-and-future apartheid-1SS which appears determined to persist until outside pressure is strongly exerted. And the nations should think hard about taking Hamas off their lists of terrorist organizations. And they should recognize Palestine as a state-member of the UN -- a state, although occupied throughout its existence by Brits, Israel, Egypt, and Jordan at various times since its founding in 1922-23 after the division of the Ottoman Empire.

      Just what should an appropriate way be to oppose Israeli imperialism? As ever, IMO that way should be the active enforcement, by sanctions, of a requirement that Israel either end the occupation unilaterally by withdrawal of forces, etc., or an end to its settlement project by withdrawal of all settlers (and particularly and first from Hebron and East Jerusalem), removal of the wall, and removal of the settlement buildings (by demolition, following the pattern set by Israeli demolition of Palestinian villages in 1948). The USA and UNSC etc could agree, it seems to me, more easily on enforcement of international law than on any other multilateral intervention such as an imposed "peace". Far better to let Israel and Palestine choose their own fates in negotiations fueled by sanctions forcing Israeli withdrawal from the OPTs than for a bunch of other nations to decide on "peace" . Look how badly that worked in 1947.

    • This list (those actually elected) makes me proud, too. Look at the education there! Look at the willingness to compromise in favor of the common good. Look at the MLK reference (he is not the only great civil rights leader, but he has always made me proud, too). That is the signal, someone else has said it, for Israeli-Jews to join this coalition next time around and to watch it's legislative behavior, I hope in admiration, in the meantime. The "left" among Israeli-Jews may finally find a "home" after a long period in exile.

  • Netanyahu's victory ‐ what is the cost?
    • Rice: The USA sees “the folly and illegitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity, we think it unwise for this council to attempt to resolve the core issues that divide Israelis and Palestinians” .

      I agree that the council, or the USA, should not resolve the issues.. The slight-of-hand has been the suggestion -- false on its face -- that holding Israel to compliance with international law is about resolving the issues themselves, about negotiating the terms of a final peace treaty in any way. It is not.

      OTOH, requiring Israel, today, to remove the settlers and dismantle the wall and the settlements -- all of which appears to me to be consistent with the ICJ legal analysis of the wall alone -- might well do, today, what it might not have done in 1980 (say), that is, provide Israel with a MAJOR reason to negotiate a peace so as to avoid the cost and disruption of completing the removals of people, wall, and settlements. If Israel were given a time line, say one year or two, in which to gradually remove the settlers, wall, and settlements, and actually began the removals it is safe to assume that Israel would very much wish to avoid completing the removals. Hence Israel would have "something to lose" and negotiations might begin (and for the very first time) in earnest on both sides.

      But the USA would have nothing to say about the final treaty -- merely serving, along with the rest of the international community, as motivators somewhat belatedly demanding a legal occupation.

  • An American translation of Netanyahu's racist get out the vote speech
    • "And what does it say about the supposed shared values between Israel and the United States?"

      Good point. America is going towards "majority minority" to use a horrible phrase, that is, people "of color" will soon if they do not already outnumber people "of white". So racial prejudice already on a decline (as far as outward expression goes anyhow) will further decline, and Bibi's incitements to racism in Israel will be (or should be) seen as driving a wedge between America's "values" and Israel's "values".

      A wedge, not no light between etc, etc, etc. And Jews should lead the way in making this clear. The human-rights fraternity, the pro-Palestine fraternity should be making alliances with all the people "of color" in America on Palestine and police brutality (it seems USA's police are the last to "get it" on race).

  • A response to Michael Douglas
    • "Second, Douglas says too many people see Israel as an apartheid state and blame all Jews for what are really internal national policy decisions."

      Well, as to seeing Israel as an apartheid state, true. How, by the way, does Douglas see it?

      As to blaming all Jews for what Israel does, that's trickier: not all Jews support Israel's policies and practices. There are Jews who condemn the settlements and yet profess to love and honor and protect Israel. There are Jews who say Israel can do no wrong and others who say Israel can do wrong but cannot be blamed or punished for doing so.

      However, broadly speaking, Jews in the USA have made it appear (or permitted it to appear) that they support Israel and regard criticism of Israel (to say nothing of action against Israel) as antisemitic. And,l broadly speaking, it is these actions (or failures to act) which make it appear to many people that "all Jews" are guilty of whatever crimes Israel commits. Especially as Israel claims -- sometimes with help from outside -- that it is the national state of the Jewish people.

  • From Nogales, Arizona to Ofer prison: Witnessing racism in the American and Israeli borderlands
    • This article and many comments are most important for information about migrants and what happens to them at the USA border (and the courts that "try" them). Horrible.

      Also horrible is the economic imperialism, the private prisons which have been built with guaranteed (for how long?) quotas whereby either the USA or Arizona guarantees the private prisons a number of prisoners ("beds"?) at what enormous expense we may only guess and at what enormous profits, ditto.

      So the prison industry (another "BIG" in the American oligarchy along with BIG-BANKS, BIG-DEFENSE, BIG-ZION, BIG-OIL, etc.) lobbies to get laws passed to guarantee lots of prisoners for them to imprison, at a wonderful profit part of the surplus of which goes to further lobbying -- Duh!

  • Netanyahu's honesty towards Palestinians casts unwelcome light on American Jewish leadership
    • It seems Bibi has energized many folks, including (for a while?) President Obama, to think about applying pressure to Israel. Wonderful. But if such thinking is to amount to anything there needs to be a confluence of goals that may lead to a confluence of actions. For if all the people who separately wish to apply pressure to Israel do so in a variety of ways for a variety of ends, the result will be disorganization leading nowhere.

      My thought now, as formerly, is that what is needed is an organizing principle around which people can gather, and my principle is the demand that Israel conduct the occupation -- for so long as it lasts -- in conformity with applicable international law and agreements. I do not include among the latter the agreements between Israel and PA which I regard as impositions by an occupier and void to the extent (the large extent) that they purport to deprive Palestinians of the protections of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

      The goal of compelling Israel to conduct the occupation in conformity with international law has not been high on the USA's or EU's priority list. Or AIPAC's. Or J-Street's I suppose, perhaps even JVP's.

      A way around this might be a diplomatic fiction -- the claim that the nations (and organizations) have until now regarded the settlement project as an arm-twisting act by Israel, illegal but praiseworthy, intended to bring pressure upon the Palestinians to get them to agree to a two-state peace. Now, after many years, it has become clear -- especially from the recent voting in Israel -- that Israeli Jews are not on the whole interested in either a two-state peace or a one-state democracy, and that, therefore, it is (sniff!, tears!, apologies to all concerned!) time for the international community to confess that they were mistaken in their hopes that excusing Israeli lawlessness would bring about peace. It is time, accordingly, for the international community to revert to the strict requirement of lawful behavior by Israel in its conduct of the occupation. The settlers must now, and quickly, be removed; the wall must now, and quickly, be removed; the settlements (buildings) must now, and quickly, be removed. The siege on Gaza must now, and quickly, be lifted.

      I think this is a program upon which -- because it is based upon law -- the nations and most people could agree. I don't know of any other organizing principle upon which the nations could so easily agree. Or agree at all.

      Of course the demand, if couched in "mere words" as so often before, will roll off Israel's back. The demand must be backed up by the promise of action. Negotiation of the enforcement mechanism will not be easy and may be as hard as selection of the goal may be easy. But sanctions such as applied to Iran ought to be enough to get started -- and Iran had not even broken any international law!

      What do people think?

  • Barney Frank says Israel and AIPAC lobbied Congress to support Iraq war
    • JVP's stance on BDS is interesting, clever: suggests divestment etc as to organizations companies which profit from the occupation. As history unfolds this could get pretty broad.

      A good BDS strategy would be to identify the small number of kingpins who are Israel's oligarchs (I've seen a suggestion that there are fewer than 20 such people) and find ways to attack them financially. Hit their exports, their contracts, etc. I find it hard to believe that only companies physically located in West Bank and Golan are profiting from the occupation.

  • Separating anti-Semitism from anti-Zionism
    • When 9/11 made Americans ready to become overly fearful, we readily acquiesced in the destruction of what little remained of our "civil rights" -- protection from unreasonable searches and seizures is about gone now, Thanks you PATRIOT ACT and NSA.

      Similarly, the holocaust made Jews everywhere ready to be overly fearful. I say "overly" because Israel vilifies Hamas for (alleged) holocaust-like thoughts just as if Hamas were powerful enough to carry them out -- and them attacks Hamas just as if there were a real danger.

      Jews (and not only in Israel) forgot all decent tenets of Jewish religion or Jewish life and replaced them all with a SPARTAN ethos of war, war, war, destruction of anyone who might be labelled an enemy, etc. (The USA is not far different. How did Iraq "threaten" the USA or even American "interests" to justify the recent Iraq war? and how does threatening USA interests justify aggressive war anyhow? no-one asks any more!)

      Thank you Lillian.

  • Cotton's rise was fueled by pro-Israel money-- but 'NYT' and Matthews won't tell you so
    • When Bibi spoke to a packed joint session of Congress, did he (and they) appear as agents of big-Zion (AIPAC et al.), or did he direct AIPAC et al? Were they agents of a foreign government, as some would have it, or were Congress (and Bibi) agents of the lobby -- in the now normal if tawdry tradition of dancing to the tune of the lobbies who pay the pipers?

      America is run by an oligarchy -- the "bigs" such as big-banks, big-oil, big-defense, big-Zion, to name a very few -- and when they say jump Congress asks "How high?"

      Same for the letter of the 47. It appears that the letter was written by Kristol (or the like) and presented to Congress for signing on that basis (and perhaps also to favor big-defense); abd the other 46 signers were doing the normal -- making nice with oligarchs.

      The puzzle is the other 53 senators. Could another principle of governance be reasserting itself -- something other than subservience to the "bigs"?

  • We may not have Netanyahu to kick around anymore
    • I rather agree with MDM that electing anyone who will (attempt to) restart "peace process" talks will be contrary to real progress.

      On another matter: I have wondered whether the letter of the 47 was written by a broad coalition (call it the AIPAC board of directors) or by a (single) rogue meddler (Adelson? Kristol?). Now I wonder if BB's trip to Washington was orchestrated (as a letter is written) by a broad coalition or by a rogue meddler.

      Only reason I ask is that it would be funny to see BB fall due to this combination: [1] a rogue meddler with a "good idea" and [2] the full panoply of Zion-in-Congress not to mention the full panoply of AIPAC-in-action afraid to oppose an idea which they mistakenly suppose to have come from "on high". All the fear (that I am speculating about) reminds me of the fear in the legislative assemblies of totalitarian countries (Stalin's USSR, China post 1948, Germany-1930s-40s, Japan-1930s-40s) when an idea is proposed that sounds as if it had the blessings of the "glorious leader".

      Let us ask why Obama is working so hard to push forward the two "free-trade" treaties (actually protection-of-overseas-investment treaties) TPP and TIPP which will be disastrous for Americans (disastrous for labor and for environment, world-wide). Why? Because he has got into the habit of doing what the Oligarchy (very big business, especially global capital corporations) are presumed or known to desire. I suppose he does it for Democrats in 2016 -- they still need to collect campaign money even if he doesn't. But the FEAR to oppose the BIGs (the Oligarchs) explains much in American politics. Read Jill Lepore in the New Yorker, Richer and Poorer which asserts (correctly) that Democrats and Leftists in USA no longer oppose the BIGs:

      [T]oday's left doesn't engage in dissent; it engages in consent, urging solutions that align with neo-liberalism technological determinism, and global capitalism.

      In other words, America's political class have trained themselves to be docile servants of global capitalism (and other BIGs such as Big-Zion, come what may, principles be damned.

      Nice to see BB come to grief due to this cowardly lack of principle in the USA's political class. Not so nice to see the rest of the grief it causes, inaction on Climate Change being the most urgent.

  • UC Berkeley Israel group wants to ban imaginary word rhyming with intifada as 'triggering, terrifying'
    • These anti-DINs deserve to (have to) live in Israel. They are able to manufacture crisis where there is no problem, able to claim fear from no source whatever, see crisis under every rug, etc. and NEED ATTENTION! (That's what this is about: ATTENTION: LOOK AT MEEEEEEEEEE!)

      If you want to see an intifada, what better than the revolt of the 47 senators!

  • Neocon meteor Sen. Cotton is funded by Abrams, Adelson and Kristol and loves war a little too much
    • If the letter was written by Kristol (for instance), is it possible that it was not run past the entire board-of-directors (as it were) at AIPAC? Could this have been the act of a crazy "I'll show 'em, you fellas are way too cautious" rather than the well-considered act of the entire leadership of this fine & upstanding & ever-so-patriotic organization?

  • Netanyahu's accomplishment: Consolidating support for negotiations with Iran
    • I suppose the 47 senators (cf: 47 Ronin can say they were merely chatting with Iran, mot negotiating, nothing wrong with chatting. And the AIPAC initiators (or whoever outside the Senate initiated this: Israelis even, perhaps) can say they were merely talking to their senators (the meaning of "their" being a bit ambiguous, possibly indicating ownership). So, no laws broken. Did the senators negotiate or merely try to inform the Iranians of USA politics?

      I like the idea that the senators (they alone signed the letter, right?) were "doing" foreign policy and violating Logan. But it seems to me that just as high-level "leakers" of official secrets are never prosecuted (whether or not the secrets they leaked were ever and in-advance formally de-classified by persons having the official power to perform the de-classification), so too I doubt the Logan prosecutions will ever happen.

      After all, Congresspeople travel the globe all the time and talk to leaders wherever they go. Who can say that these conversations do not violate Logan?

    • Last night on WNYC (the On Point program: link to wnyc.org ) was a discussion program about the fight against ISIS and the (new and big) role of IRAN in it. Discussants mentioned fears of Iran gaining preeminence in the region, hegemony ?, power over Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Gulf nations, etc. USA seeming to OK this or even make an alliance with Iran (at least as to ISIS).

      Two things were conspicuously never mentioned while I was listening at least:

      Israel was not mentioned. And the Iran nuclear-sanctions-negotiations were not mentioned. Amazing compartmentalization there. Israeli military help to a faction in the Syrian war was not mentioned.

      The apparent cooperation (or non-interference) between USA and Iran on ISIS ought to make the sanctions-negotiations go easier and quicker and also should be making Israel (or BB) wet its pants.

  • Two-state-solution is at last disputed in Israeli elections (though not 'nation state of the Jewish people')
    • N'u wants no diplomatic settlement (in his lifetime?). The Zionist party wants diplomacy (but with whom? doesn't say!!) for at least the purpose of legitimizing Israel as Jewish-democratic. Is this possible? sure -- if the diplomacy is with US and EU and gets them to give up their own support for PRoR, perhaps even also allowing continuing Israeli presence in OPTs.

      What is the Joint List saying?

  • 'NYT''s Bruni pulls more punches than he delivers in Netanyahu column
    • I understand, I really, really do understand about Zionists loving Israel, including Christian Zionists, sure, why not? Love is wonderful as we all know.

      But does that mean that you have to go along with everything a particular demented (says himself that he's been seeing non-existent Iranian devils for 20 years) right-wing political leader says about a matter of fact, or about a matter of international diplomacy? Or about the correctness of the occupation (or of the settlements project)?

      Of course, if you are ideologically mandated to approve the settlements (maybe you think that God said * * *), that's one thing. I guess that covers quite a few Christian Zionists. And therefore covers the Republicans who woo them.

      I mean, if God said it in the Old Testament, then you've got to believe it, right? Like not eating pork? (You know, like Jews and Muslims.) And, if you occasionally read the New Testament, like turning the other cheek and giving away your wealth?

      But why does any OTHER Zionist necessarily go along with all the occupation-is-good, settlements-are-good, N'u is infallible crap?

  • It was a bad week for the Israel lobby
    • jg and Kay: How can Obama explain to the American people how he and Congress are/have been subservient to The Lobby (aka by me Big-Zion) without acknowledging (or at least suggesting) the subservience of all the above to other members of the American Oligarchy: Big-Banks, Big-Oil, Big-Pharma, BIG-DEFENSE, Big-Agri -- that is, subservience to all the folks who so kindly gave of their time to negotiate (in secret and thus outside scrutiny by labor, environmentalists, scientists, and general public) the so-called free-trade agreements already made (NAFTA, etc.) and presently proposed (TPP, TTIP), agreements which always include provisions to undo national sovereignty in favor of international globalized commercial enterprises which can sue governments for lost profits if said governments make laws or regulations //e.g. for labor or environmental// which reduce the profits of said commercial enterprises?

      Was that sentence too long? I got a bit out of breath while writing it. Gasp.

  • Netanyahu's consciousness-raising
    • It has never been clear to me why the USA and other club-members work so hard to prevent new members to the nuclear-club AND THEN simply shrug (except perhaps for N Korea) (at India and Pakistan,, the latter not perhaps a model of stability) and we hear no more about it!

      It seems to me that there is no danger in a nuclear-armed country opposed by others, because neither would dare to use the damn things: war, if at all, would be "conventional" -- you know, white phosphorus, cluster bombs, DU, DIME, high-explosives, etc., and rockets from drones and (perhaps, still, fighter jets). I don't even fear Israel's nukes, not even with Liberman at the helm. as it might be. UNLESS -- they be used before Iran has a retaliatory force. That'd be scarey.

    • Sycamores: How MJR'd feel is this: he'd feel that he might wish to move to Israel where he'd feel soooooo at home among militarist-as-a-society surrounded-by-enemies racist Jews and be damned glad that that Israel had had the foresight never to allow "return" to the Palestinian exiles of '48. Unless, of course, they went all soft-and-democratic-and-touchy-feely-antidiscriminatory on him and welcomed the exiles home and also made Israel into a democracy (like the USA would be if we coukld only get rid of all of our own racisms, classisms, etc.)

    • OK, eljay, maybe the syllogisms were Monty Pythonisms (See: The Logician). But more fun than mere carping or fishing in trees.

    • Again, Wisse: "Wisse: “Because of the cruelty directed against them in particular, Jews protect the world best when they best protect themselves."

      And all the time I heard people (Jews, nu?) saying of some proposed course of action, gotta be good for somebody, right?, "But is it good for the Jews?" Is this (some) Jews protecting the world, or is it (some) Jews looking out for themselves? Is Adelson (or any Koch ) saying, "I;m doing this for their own good"? No, very, very rich guys (be they Jews or not) are looking after themselves, personally, family, class, or tribe. It's us against them, guys.

      What Wisse seems really to be saying is: "Forgive us, everybody else, forgive us, Palestinians, we had to do what's best for the Jews." And we'll twist your arm as far as it needs to be twisted to get you to help us do it.

    • eljay: syllogisms to end all syllogisms. Gorgeous. Ought to be presented in a logic class.

    • Wisse: "Because of the cruelty directed against them in particular, Jews protect the world best when they best protect themselves." WOW!

      Wisse is manifoldly and manifestly deluded: she does it either from an ideologically-based or self-serving blindness like a famous auto maker ("What's good for General Motors is good for America"). Ruth, dear, what's good for (right-wing?) Israel is not necessarily good for America.

      What are her delusions? Jews don't seek to protect the world and also don't do it by accident. What threatens the Jews (or Israel) does not necessarily threaten anyone else. Iran does not threaten even Israel much less "the Jews". And the whole Bibi thang seems to have had as one purpose to make America continue to ignore unmentioned -- Israel's threats and attacks against Palestine, Syria, Lebanon.

      As to MJR and "dual" loyalty ("AIPAC is, by definition, an organized [sic] based on dual loyalty: supporting Israeli policy and leaders over America’s. "). Just so you know, MJR, yours is not a characterization of "dual" loyalty, but of a "single" loyalty, loyalty to Israel and disloyalty betimes to USA. My assumption is that loyalty to two sides in a conflict cannot be dual. Sympathy can be dual, but not loyalty. Loyalty demands that you take sides.

      That said, many folks do not support all an American president proposes. I did not support Bush's call for wars, nor do I support Obama's wars, NSA's spying, FBI "anti-terror" stings on mentally insufficient Muslim youth, nor Obama's (or USA's) sanctions on Cuba or Iran. (In my view, neither Cuba nor Iran has done anything wrong or dangerous to USA.) I do not regard myself as disloyal for opposing so much that USA does.

      I do find un-reasoned (knee-jerk, ideological) support for another country (Israel) a sort of "loyalty" to a foreign state. If Israel were regarded as an enemy state, it might occasion treason. As it is, and because it is un-reasoned, it is a sort of disloyalty to humankind. But until we have thought-police, people are entitled to [well-reasoned as well as unreasoned] political opinion.

  • In praise of Mr. Netanyahu’s political theater
    • "What we want" and "What is "good for us" often differ radically. Candy tastes good but is bad for our teeth and our weight. War-making at national level (and various acts often called criminal at more individual levels) satisfies human atavistic impulses toward machismo and violence and cruelty but makes our world less secure and less pleasant. Congressional giving-in to the big money boys of the American establishment (which many call our Oligarchs) makes professional employment (as congressmen) secure but is bad for our country's governance.

      The American Oligarchs are securely wedded to American imperialism, and thus to the expenditure of vast sums (Iraq cost $1T some say), and to Israeli imperialism as well, human rights as usual be damned. The American Oligarch "Big Defense" (military-industrial-congressional-media-university-complex) likes Israel to test our new weapons, to buy and use (and use up) our expensive weapons, and to keep Americans complacent with the constant war-footing of the USA and Israel. In this sense and to a large extent, therefore, there is "no light between" Israeli policy and American policy. We're both militarist imperialist monsters. Since 1945, we've both acted to make the world a far more dreadful place.

      But we appear to differ (America's oligarchs differ from Israel's oligarchs?) on one point: USA wants to pressure Iran (sometimes to obtain changes of behavior) by economic sanctions whereas Israel would prefer to pressure Iran by war; and USA wants peace between Israel and Palestine -- which Israel does not want at all -- but USA doesn't want it very much, not enough to do or forgo doing anything to secure it.

      As to N'u's speech in Congress, it only showed the power of The Lobby ("Big Zion") to those able to perceive it, and USA's mainstream media ("Big Media") don't point up the power of "Big Zion" because, as a matter of general policy, they don't point up the mechanism of the Oligarchy in any way.

  • Netanyahu speech was 'very dark day for American democracy' -- Matthews
    • "Zionism created a polity that has never stopped ethnic cleansing and that relies on the dual loyalty of American Jews to corrupt US foreign policy so that the Jewish state is never held to account. "

      Well, true, Zionism has never stopped its crimes against the Palestinians (and Syrians and Lebanese) and it does depend on the dual loyalty of someone -- but not of "American Jews" so much as of a very, very small number of very, very rich American Jews.

      I have never read the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, but I imagine them to be a description of evils alleged to have occurred because of the manipulations of a very, very small number of very, very rich Jews -- possibly described more simply as "The Jews".

      Even if a majority of American Jews support Israel in a my-country-right-or-wrong fashion, the Congress does its thing because of $$$, and the American Oligarchy includes, notably, Big Zion (AIPAC etc); and it is the power to corrupt of Big Zion rather than of The American Jews that matters where USA's support of Israel is concerned.

  • 'Netanyahu, You Don’t Speak for Me': DC rally challenges Israeli Prime Minister's speech to Congress
  • Over one quarter of Netanyahu’s speech to Congress consisted of applause and standing ovations
    • Think of speeches by "great leaders" before what Americans called totalitarian politburos. Do the Chinese (no disrespect meant) applaud so much? The Russians? Did the politburo of the USSR applaud so much? (And how was it when Mussolini and Hitler spoke?)

      And did those "legislators" get re-elected with such perfect regularity as ours seem to do? Ahh, the power of money and "the greatest Congress that money can buy."

      These guys might not always be able to walk a straight line, in the evening you know?, but they sure know how to walk a straight party line.

      Lookin' good, there, Congress!

  • Media are stunned by Congress's 'loyalty' to Netanyahu (but refuse to explain it)
    • Harry: Hope you are right about the rest of the world.

      My own take is that Iran would not be more or less of a threat to anyone if it did have a nuke. How would it use it other than to make it less likely that Israel/India/Pakistan would use a nuke against Iran. IMO we and P5+1 should drop the sanctions and let Iran (like Cuba) live its life untrammelled. Doing no harm. And be nice for Israel to have to think once in a while before starting its cruel aggressions.

  • Pelosi blasts Netanyahu speech as 'insult to intelligence of U.S.', Amanpour calls it 'dark, Strangelovian'
    • He says he's afraid that Iran will get nukes; but Israel has nukes.
      He says he is afraid that Iran will become warlike. But Israel is actively at war (with Palestine if not more) and has been since 1967 or since 1947, depends how you count, and wants to pretend it is afraid of war. Israel loves war, has built up a culture of active warfare like no other country on earth.

  • Why Iran is not and has never been Israel’s #1 enemy
    • For 25 years N'u has been saying (more or less correctly) that Israel/AIPAC/neocons can push the USA around & that it desires to push the USA into war. And that worked with Iraw, to our (and Iraq's) very great cost. Saddam was unpleasant but his Iraq was fairly stable (except when attacking Iran or after being invited by USA to attack Q8).

      Today's Iraq is very unstable (as are Syria and Libya), and the USA's unwise war-making (and overthrow of stable dictators) has created ISIS and has made things, I'd say, much less stable today than in 1990. (Not every Arab Spring was destined to succeed in a peaceable fashion. Pity about Egypt.)

      OK. And now Israel wants another war (or at least unbounded punitive sanctions against Iran). BUT THIS TIME USA is allied with several other important "powers" in a negotiation, so that Israel is opposing a whole coalition, not just a reluctant Obama. He wants Congress to pressure Obama to throw over that whole coalition. And Congress is such a lot of know-nothing hot-heads these days that they may even try to do it.

      So Obama has 2 years to complete the Iran business and sell the outcome to the Congress. Or to the senate if a treaty will need to be ratified.

      Watch this space.

    • Thanks, beautiful analysis.

  • Warren's out, as list of skippers surges, and White House offers Selma for Iran
    • No-one (Iran) will be allowed to damage Israel, but Israel will be allowed to damage anyone -- especially Palestinians (and even USA, if some of our military leaders are to be believed).

  • Journalists Goldberg and Gordon once again try to 'drag us into a war'
    • It depends. Yes, as to this "ad" and this story, not so much some other whacko "ads". But the interplay between pro and con might get some people thinking.

    • So NYT continues to run highly questionable opinion (or advocacy) as news. Ho hum. It is funny, though, how the American pundit-system works, where it doesn't matter how many times you've been wrong if you are "on the team": NYT has its team picked somehow to promote far-right Zionist policy; did they promote the Iraq war based on absolutely fraudulently wrong assertions of fact? Well, never mind. After all, this is serious. (Going to war for no reason is not serious?)

  • Netanyahu's quick stop in East Jerusalem before heading to Washington
    • Close as I can see, Obama is still a politician -- he is not a lame duck setting out to push a private and independent do-gooder agenda -- and all that's happening here is that USA (Obama) wants to push Iran via current (or worse) sanctions rather than by war and is willing to let Israel lose a bit (and AIPAC lose a lot) in the process.

      But, in the end, there is this tension: Dems need Zionist money and some Zionists (but how many?!) need to feel that they are not showing an unseemly dual loyalty (or single loyalty to Israel). Would it strengthen Obama and the Dems in the long run to weaken AIPAC, etc.? Only if, in their view, there is something to be gained from moving toward 2SS and away from apartheid. And that must be the answer. From Eisenhower onwards, presidents have complained about Israel, but done so ineffectually (praising with faint damns, in effect), and now there might be a chance to show American voters, who are tired of war and its expenses, what kow-towing to Israel has meant in the past and will mean in future if American presidents do not oppose Israel on some important issues. In other words, there may be a window opening for actual USA action to compel Israel away from occupation/settlements.

      Not every detail of all this is clear to me. After all, in overarching philosophy, there is no difference between Israel and USA: both are lawless predators run by oligarchs and run most of all by defense-oligarchs (military industrial media congressional complex).

      So maybe the whole hoo-haw is nothing more than turning down Israel on war with Iran. And, thus, not an attempt to weaken AIPAC. Be a shame if so.

  • Netanyahu's speech and the American Jewish condition
    • Agreed: It is part of the "mere words" -- and not much to these words either, although they identify a real problem -- that has failed to move Israel since 1948. (Eisenhower may have used more than mere words.)

    • " two writers for Haaretz (Anshel Pfeffer and Yossi Sarid) have written columns saying that American Jewish influence peddlers conduct themselves like the anti-semitic caricature of Jews in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion—they buy politicians openly. (Gilad Atzmon then said, this proves that “American Jews do control the world.” So that is the problem with even discussing this; anti-Semites will have a field day.) "

      So -- there is a caricature and there is the truth. And because the caricature is regarded (rightly or wrongly) as having fostered antisemitism in the 1930s-1940s, the truth may not be uttered today? If a very-very-very few very-very-very rich Jews control (much of) the world, why not say so? Especially if you say so that way (that is, use the "very-very-very few" language)! If these bozos run all those publications, why not say so? And if all those publications are stalwarts of brutal versions of Zionism (but, caution: is there any other kind? was there ever?), why not say so?

      Or, better, we might ask (keeping the word "Jew" sacrosanct by declining to utter it out loud): if a very-very-very few very-very-very rich stalwarts of brutal Zionism control (much of) the world, why not say so? Especially if you say so that way! If these bozos run all those publications, why not say so?

      And, however anyone says it, why not oppose them? If you oppose brutal versions of Zionism in your heart, why not oppose them in practice?

      But make sure always to make it clear that the evils of Zionism are not evils intrinsic to the Jewish condition, whatever many Jews may say. Give every Jew (and everyone else!) the opportunity to discover his inner anti-Zionist.

  • It's not about nukes, it's about the US shifting the power balance -- Parsi
    • Thanks, Mooser. Since Israel never says anything without saying "security", I'd insist that there is a difference between what Israel wants ("security" cream puffs for breakfast, perhaps, or an OK to assassinate people all over the earth on claims of "security") and what Israel actually needs in order to avoid being damaged by an attack in a serious way.

      Of course, given Israel's refusal to end the occupation or, failing that, to end the settlement program in every aspect, if it were up to me I'd formally end the USA's promises of security help (much less guarantees) to Israel.

    • Well, yes. It's "let's have fun with Bibi" time. But AIPAC is always in the background. Let's see which way Clinton (is she in Congress?) and Liz go. Maybe they'll both have urgent dentist appointments when the Israeli PM comes to Congress (and to AIPAC).

      Something about all this is as fun as pulling teeth.

  • Hillel's segregated lunch counter
    • Curious attitude of Hillel-Int'l ("HI"). You cannot visit (or speak publicly or something) if you ARE a BDS supporter. Means more than something about your secret thoughts I guess. Support must be visible I guess. But your reason for seeking to visit HI-occupied-territory seems irrelevant. Even to speak about green Martians, you are proscribed. You're toxic. Wonder if it corrects things for you to (later) publicly have said that you don't support BDS. Or don't support all of it. Do you stay toxic?

      "Toxic". Try it on, see if it fits. If you ever, ever in your life, spoke bad words ("bad" as defined by HI), you are thereafter toxic. Cannot do (something) in HI-occupied-territory. Cannot visit? Cannot speak? Cannot stand in the cafeteria line? Something. (I don't write the rules.)

      Think of the American south, ca 1960. Separate water fountains. Guess HI is not a place of public accommodation. Thought police! (Didn't Germany and Japan have thought police during WWII?) Well, that's OK because HI is not the government. Just a private censorship club in which frightened Jews may huddle, there to be protected from hearing unbearable opinion -- never mind that such opinion is freely available outside HI-occupied-territory.

      So it goes.

  • The Emperor's Nuke Clothes
  • What we talk about when we talk about ISIS
    • "the critical event that precipitated ISIS’s rise: the destruction of Iraq’s political order"

      Same thing happened in Yugoslavia, as all know and USA should not have forgotten when it decided to overthrow Saddam. But our presidents are essentially pirates (win that election however you can), not scholars.

      Get rid of the dictator who holds a disparate country (usually a recently-manufactured country) together, and you have chaos as the parts re-split-up. In Iraq, Sunnis, Kurds, and Shia seem to be the building blocks -- unless there is a break-away group of modernists (neoliberals? capitalists? ) to form a fourth part.

  • White House says Netanyahu offers no alternative but military action (and Liz Warren won't say if she's attending speech)
    • Two Congressmen, both Jewish, and both strong supporters of Israel. Gosh what dya say I interview them? OK, they are clearly representative of something (Jewish congressmen who support Israel?) OK. and one is going and one won't go.

      Misses this point: You can love Israel and support Israel and support Israel's security BUT not support Israel's wars and not fight Israel's wars for them and not support the occupation or the settlements just because Israel does them. Israel, like all countries, gets things wrong and that is no reason for USA to follow in folly. Find a USA-reason for USA-actions! Saying "Yassuh, boss" to Netanyahu is not good policy for USA.

      And misses this other point: After all these years, and Israel evidently unwilling to make peace with the Palestinians and Arabs (other than Jordan and Egypt), there is no reason for the USA to continue to love Israel or support Israel or support Israel's security. To do what the USA has done for all these years is to give Israel carte blanche to misbehave and that's what Israel has done.

  • AIPAC and Bill Kristol turn up the pressure
    • We are NOT being used as a door-mat by Netanyahu or by Israel.
      No, no, no. Netanyahu does not write the checks.

      We are being used as a door-mat by all the oligarchs: big-oil, big-defense, big-ZION (yes!), big-banks, big-pharma, big-health-insurance, big-Monsanto, etc. ad naus.

      Big-Zion (not Israel) uses us as a door-mat. Netanyahu is big-Zion's cheerleader, not itself. He does not write the checks!

  • Banksy goes to Gaza
    • Mocks advice for travel to nifty "undiscovered" places, too! In this case, arguably "undiscovered" by all those "liberal Zionists" who somehow don't "get it".

      A delight.

  • Leading NY institutions discuss the Nakba -- and there is not a Palestinian in sight
    • True. Hard to get ourselves counted as part of "the Jews" and part of the conversation. But the conversation among "liberal Zs" is being confined to people who favor the creation of Israel. Exclusion of Palestinians, sure, but also exclusions of everyone else -- including non-Z, anti-Z Jews.

    • " Our press doesn’t grant Palestinians (or Arabs) narrative authority when it comes to their own fucking experience".

      Yes, it's an f-bomb. But it is more: it shows the discussion (Palestinians excluded from discussion) parallels the subject matter (Palestinians largely excluded from Israel). It shows that the racism (or whatever you want to call it -- maybe the Jewish exceptionalism, you know, Israel is OUR subject so only WE get to talk about it) carries over in a straight line from 1930 and carries over not only to a discussion of Israel (which is, maybe, OK, a Jewish subject) to a discussion of Nakba which is a strictly Palestinian subject.

      How would Jews (even "liberal Zionists") feel about a place where the rule was that only Palestinians could discuss Israel?

    • Where do they get (or do you see them getting) "inadvertence"?

      "Shapira: –how he could differently have done it. Because the fact was, he understood it as a realist. That the Arabs would not give up. Why should they for god’s sake give up their predominance in the country? Until I would say the 1920s, they were actually the lords of the country. So Ben-Gurion understood that and he acted I would say in defense of history, because he felt that the Jews don’t have an alternative, and he felt that the time was running out, and he had to achieve what he could as soon as possible."

      Shapira says, at least says here, that if BG wanted a Jewish country, this is the only way to get it. She is not saying "inadvertence" here; she is saying "necessity".

      And you cannot have it both ways.

      Plan Dalet (or some other plan, written or spoken or merely felt -- who cares?) was followed; and it specified removal ("transfer") of the Palestinian Arabs out of Palestine to make way for the Palestinian Jews (as they were in 1947) and all the illegal/undocumented Jewish immigrants who formed the early Jewish population of Israel.

      It's like, you know, we (Zionists) were fighting for our own country and there was only one way to get it and that included fighting and "transfer", and, say, do you know what happened, by accident that's what we did! Although there was no other way, we never intended to do it and it happened by accident, a "divine wind" (kamikazi) blew through Palestine and blew the Arabs out, "thanks [be to] God!".

      Yeah, sure.

      On your more important point, how many years will it be before the Jewish institutions in New York allow Palestinians to be part of the conversation? Without Palestinians discussing the Nakba is pure Zionist propaganda -- all the truth that the Zionists can allow themselves to say out loud. Simpler just to re-publish Peters's "From Time Immemorial" and be done with it. what's new in these conversations -- unless it be the nearly invisibly slow creep toward honesty of the liberal Zionists.

  • Kerry says Netanyahu was wrong the last time he pushed war for the U.S.
    • The best of all this is Kerry's strong suggestion -- can this be accelerating? -- that we only went to war in Iraq because of Israel's push (to improve the situation in the region!!!) as filtered 89in part) through the neocons (a 5th column?). Raises two points.

      First, the war clearly did not improve anything. Iraq was more stable and life was better for most Iraqis under Saddam (gulp) than with ISIS and the earlier Shia/Sunni fighting. What was Israel thinking? Is today's chaos what they wanted? They surd didn't say so out loud!

      Second, what was USA thinking? What was the purpose of the war, apart from the usual enrichment of the war-profiteers of course -- always a sufficient reason.

      Easier for Kerry and friends to say (to pretend) that the USA went to war due without any other reasons than Republican war-lust (they like pushing brown-skinned people around) and Israeli war-lust (maybe some other purpose, but none disclosed).

    • I'd like to believe it too (that most Americans would condemn Israel for it,s brutality). I'd like to believe that Americans are pro-human-rights and only our governments are monsters.

  • Hillel accuses BDS activists of ‘colonizing’ student groups
    • Staggeringly marvellous article. "Projection". Outside funding! (Gosh!) Infiltration! (Gosh!) It's getting to the point that iHillel never misses a chance, never misses an opportunity, to put its foot in its mouth (next to that silver spoon). Whereas I never miss a chance to mix a metaphor.

  • Israel turns off power to hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in the dead of winter
    • Someday the world will notice and take offense at Israel's sticking its thumb in the world's (the human rights world's) eye in these manners. And then all hell will break loose.

      As it is, this is part of Israel's 66-yerar pattern: to do something fairly dreadful and then look to see if USA or anyone else takes a serious, a real (not just words) action in response. so far there has been no such action. These feeble (mostly EU) recommendations toward recognition of the State of Palestine are little better than mere words. Amend: a little better.

  • Al Jazeera publishes leaked intelligence files showing Netanyahu lied about Iranian nuclear threat
    • The Palestinian "street" has long (very long) regarded the PLO and PA leaders as corrupt (profiting from deals with Israel) (they are not the only corrupt politicians -- USA's pols are corrupt, having deals with all of OUR oligarchs: big oil, big defense, big Zion, big banks, big Monsanto, and on and on and on). That is, to some extent, why Hamas candidates won the last PA elections way back whenever they last happened.

  • The 15 billion dollar deal that will make or break Israel's regional hegemony
    • If Walid is right, this deal does smack of a way to give Israel CONTROL over PA, Jordan, and Egypt. I'm not convinced that Israel even OWNS the gas: until Israel's territory is finally established, its coast-line is not known (for sure) and I believe that "ownership" of off-shore resources goes by coast-line, not by biggest guns.

      If my argument has merit, it would be a good point for PA and Lebanon to make, and a far better idea than caving-in and signing a deal with Israel which -- inter alia -- concedes sovereignty over the coastline.

  • The importance of Palestinian recognition
    • I signed and suggested that the USA vote to admit Palestine to the UN next time the matter comes up: link to petitions.moveon.org

      I must say I do not understand why male-duck Obama is pushing so hard on behalf of all the oligarchs: TPP, TTIP, ZION, maybe OIL. As a lame-duck, he has no more elections to win and can respond to the public or to his own private better nature.

  • Racism is in the air: Video showing racist exchange between Israelis and a flight attendant goes viral
    • For more on the usual, daily, unremarkable Israeli ugliness, see: link to richardsilverstein.com where the much-vaunted (pink-washing in USA!) but somewhat imaginary gay-rights in Israel seems to turn into a reality of gay-bashing as well as poor-or-Mizrahi-bashing. Maybe this is merely right-wing misbehavior, and we have that here on Fox News, Limbaugh, etc., but it seems quite main-line.

    • You'd need a psychiatrist to say why rudeness and loudness, etc., have become national Israeli markers. Why isn't there such an article, and long ago? As I am not a psychiatrist, I've imagined that a country built and based on robbery, unearned entitlement, taking and sneering, simply ingrained aggression into daily manners. But that's my anger talking, not knowledgeable intelligence. Also, perhaps, the transition (so many years ago) from meek diaspora Jews to aggressive fighting Jews would have severed the inhibitions on beastliness. (Recall the rape and murder and assassination and looting and robbery, 1948, by these so-recently de-diasporized Jewish soldiers?) And since Israeli Jews use terrorism and violence against themselves in the political arena, perhaps there's a tendency to find violence and violent manners useful: those with more of it prosper. Look at the settler and nationalist movements taking over and erasing the so-called "left" -- seems the "left" are frightened to show their heads, a proof of the utility of violent manners (and violent behavior).

    • Once my (Palestinian-American) wife was standing in a queue that everyone in line thought moved forward far too slowly. An Israeli in the line gave expression to the universal anger. "We are being treated like natives," he said. So: "natives" rather than "Arabs". This was in America. She reported this story to me because she was personally offended (although involved only as a bystander).

  • Netanyahu flips off Harry Truman
    • talknic: Brilliant. I forgot that. If dispositive (who knows? maybe the USA's recognition of Israel s/b taken to be recognition of Israel w/i those boundaries, tending (achieving?) to make Isrfael merely a belligerent occupier of the rest (78%-55%=23% is merely occupied territory, along with WB&G).

      OTOH, Israel and others have often talked about truce-lines in 1948 war needing to be replaced with permanent national boundaries after negotiation.

    • USA 11 minutes, but USSR pretty soon thereafter. Else like ISIS, the "self-declared State of Israel". However, without USA (and the others), no UNSC allowance of Israel to join UN! In that case, a state but not a member -- like Palestine.

      BTW, it is funny, is it not, that though Palestine was "recognized" after its declaration in 1988 by lots of (unimportant?) countries, but lacks a requirement for statehood, control of its territory, Israel is always regarded as a state even though it lacks another requirement for statehood, a declared territory for it to have control over. (IMO, it is ALL "belligerent occupied territory".)

      Here's a funny: Palestine has no control over its territory (whatever that may be) because of occupation by Israel. And Israel has no declared territory because it has put off declaration -- why not? de facto, declaration is evidently not required in its case -- until occupation is over (well, and peace with Lebanon and Syria).

  • Jewish groups that blindly support Israel make US and European Jews potential victims of violence -- Avnery
    • Jews that "blindly" support Israel. Well, harrrumpfff. What to say about Jews who support Israel with their eyes wide open to the racism, the lawlessness, the cruelty and murderous violence, the pogroms, the unaccountability, (and on and on)? Jews that support Israel knowing all that are almost deliberately endangering Jews world-wide.

      Meanwhile we keep hearing of Jews still living in Iran, Morocco, Lebanon, etc., their homes, though in reduced numbers due in various ways to Zionism.

    • Wait until Jews (such as pro-Palestinian Open Hillel folks, such as JVP folks, such as a few J-Street folks (not the leadership)) start to tell the Zionist Stalwarts that they (the ZSs) are endangering Jews everywhere! Making Jews feel unsafe (on and off campus)!

      When will we have rabbis telling their congregations that aligning with Israel makes Jews unsafe world-wide -- and EXPLAIN WHY!

      NB: The explanation requires telling the congregations unsavory facts about Israel-in-Palestine which Arabs and Muslims everywhere already know but which hasbara-fed Jews have been spared (denied knowledge of).

  • 'Haaretz' says Netanyahu could incite 'another political assassination' (as 'NYT' runs cutesy election coverage)
    • All to the good. Let us imagine some fireball does assassinate one or both of those leaders. Then the attention of the world will focus on Netanyahu and the Israeli system. Notice: no arrest and prosecution for "incitement" of Netanyahu. Not yet. After all, the police etc, all work for him and his present ministers.

      BTW, isn't this what Giuliani was doing w.r.t. Obama recently? Obama, he said, doesn't love America the way he does. Is Giuliani accusing Obama of treason? Maybe not quite. But what will the right-wing crazies on Fox News do next, with this?

  • Is flying a nationalist flag ever a progressive act?
    • Maybe the right view is: a flag for the dispossessed is a signal of hope or determination for better. Once the dispossessed have achieved a nation-state, the flag will mean whatever the nation-state means. In neo-liberal times, it usually means domination of the vast majority by the top-dogs. Every once in a while, the people have a dream and get something like a government free of oligarchic control. Greece today? Maybe. Chile under Allende? Maybe. But these governments tend to be short-lived since neo-liberalism in the powerful states (USA) don't hesitate to restore disorder in such countries.

  • In Their Own Words: Four residents of Yarmouk speak
  • Hate in the aftermath of Chapel Hill
  • Liberal Zionist arguments against one state are born of moral or political weakness
    • A not-so-liberal (or not-so-"liberal") (or more honest) Zionist might say that 1SS (other than like the present apartheid version) cannot succeed because Israeli-Jews have become so viciously and so outspokenly racist against Arabs that if a supposedly democratic 1SS should somehow come into existence, it would immediately be riven by racist civil-war -- a replay of 1948 with a Zionist "need" to be protected from the holocaust and European hatred of Jews generally replaced by a Zionist "need" to be protected from Arabs, never mind that (alleged, perhaps exaggerated) Arab hatred of Zionism and Israeli-Jews was manufactured by Zionist behavior (1930-present).

      And with something of an out-flow of non-racist Israeli-Jews to Europe and elsewhere, the Israeli-Jews who will remain will tend to be even more racist (and personally violent) than Israeli-Jews are, on the whole, today.

      Really, I have never read that Palestinian-Jewish racist hatred and violence was anything like what it is today back in the halcyon days of 1930-1945, say. Rather, there was some violence from Arab farmers pushed off the land their families had tended for generations when the land was sold by absentee landlords. But better-informed may educate me and us all.

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