Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 4565 (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 4565 - 4501

  • Israel lost the British elite after Gaza onslaught, UK ambassador says
    • British elite opinion, or feeling, may have changed; but government goes by power and money. And that's still in the hands of big-ZIon, here and in UK. Media are in Zionist hands. The people do not see enough reinforcement for anti-Z opinion, tho it sounds as if UK TV showed a lot of the Gazan tragedy.

      But what is a pol to do, if there are big-money arms deals, trade-deals, many-of-my-friends-are Jews (he means Zionists, but how does he know?).

  • 'Palestine is an anxiety' for Americans-- Salaita in New York
    • I googled "israel skunk water spraying" and got nothing from USA MSM. Did get a few hits, tho.

      Here's wikipedia on Skunk.

      financial times: link to

      972-mag: link to

      good report in reuters: link to

      bbc: link to

      I didn't find NYT, WaPo, LAT, Boston Globe. Maybe I didn't search properly.

    • "Civility" (as used by UIUC for arm-twisting) means keeping quiet here (as NYT does, pretty much) about absolutely dreadful things happening over there.

      If a tree falls in a Palestinian forest, and you cannot hear it in NYC, did it really fall? At UIUC? The Zios are determined that no-one here (USA) shall hear the trees being felled regularly in Zioland.

      Thus the use of "civility" as a crowd-control device is a bit like Israel's spraying skunk-water on non-offending Palestinians.

      Anyone see a report in USA's MSM on Israeli use of skunk-water?

    • So, if killing all Israelis with knives seems over the top, what sort of violent response, and against whom, would be acceptable?

      But when does Israel's behavior cross a line (in people's minds) that makes it OK for its victims and non-victim opponents to wish death and destruction upon Israel? Ever? Never? How about the wish to defeat Israel in a manner similar to how Germany was defeated in WWII? would that be OK? Today? ever?

      I see Israel, today, as a land of violent racism, pogroms against Palestinians inside Israel and in the OPTs, violent racism in the Knesset, violent racism by the army, the police, the border guards, violent racism by the settlers, lawlessness everywhere by Israelis, a refusal by the Israeli police to interfere with settler violence which they see happening before their very eyes, etc. Surely some level of violence against such an oppressive society as a whole is justified -- unless its victims are supposed to "just take their lumps" without complaint or resistance.

      So, if killing all Israelis with knives seems over the top, what sort of violent response, and against whom, would be acceptable?

    • ivri: Don't know if "activism" is equivalent to "anxiety", but I've been assured that Black Americans are very much caught up in I/P, but we don't hear about it because the USA's racist and classist media refuse to report it.

    • Last night Obama said that some people who are illegal immigrants in the USA may stay (still illegally but) without government opposition (for a while).

      I'd like him to say that illegal immigrants into Israel's occupied territories (WB and Golan at present) may NOT stay; but that (as it is in the USA) legal residents MAY stay (and not be oppressed by Israel).

      My guess? He'll get it wrong.

  • It's one state and 'kumbaya' is the way forward -- former Police drummer Copeland
    • I've never understood how "the ship has sailed" on 2SS can imply that 1SS (of the right sort) is possible.

      What's current reality (and thus shown possible by demonstration) is the (to me highly unsatisfactory) apartheid 1SS. That is possible. The ship has not yet sailed on that. Perhaps it never wuill, but we can hope.

      But -- *IF* apartheid 1SS ever is overthrown, *THEN* the powers that did the overthrowing will have had to be pretty darn powerful. And they might be powerful enough to cram the NAME of democratic 1SS down Israeli throats, but would the NAME become the REALITY?

      That's why -- although many say I'm very misguided -- I hold out for 2SS based on a huge pressure on Israel, sufficiently huge to force a total or near total removal of all settlers and a general pull-out from all occupied territories.

      If there is enuf power to end a-1SS, then that power is enuf to create 2SS. That's my thinking.

      It is very much NOT a prediction that there will in fact ever BE such "enuf power".

  • Defend Palestine supporters from NY college president's anti-Semitism slander
    • amigo: yes, the Zios feel threatened. Zio students feel "uncomfortable" when people protest Israel's actions. Sure, Of course.

      And here we have the usual Zio pressure brought to bear on a college, this one the first (that I know of to be a) college of law enforcement and other aspects of "criminal justice".

      And the college, as so many others have done, has "folded", "caved", abandoned the "American dream" of free speech and academic freedom.

      Now the JJ College may be a private institution and so not covered by the First Amendment. But even so, it should respect "free speech" if just to help train future law enforcement people -- who, being public servants as a rule, must respect the first Amendment.

      UPDATE: per wikipedia, John Jay is a PUBLIC school, part of CUNY (City University of NY)

  • Israeli police ransack homes of 40 Palestinians during al-Shaludi home demolition
    • Israel claims to act in the name of the Jewish people. In their view (not mine), it is the Jewish People who desecrate the earth (and the local "holy places") by these actions. That is, the earth and hold places will do fine, but the Jewish People are (claimed to be) desecrated by these actions.

      What do the rabbis say?

  • One week in Jerusalem and -- it's not complicated
  • Netanyahu's 'battle for Jerusalem' can't end well for any of us
    • Netanyahu is not bound by Herzl's (apparent) promises. He's not bound by Israel's signatures on international agreements. He's not bound by any pan-human rules of decency, human rights, etc.

      It's time to call a spade a spade. Israel is an expansionist-imperialist-lawless-pogromist enterprise, and Netanyahu merely reflects this reality. He doesn't create it, cannot destroy it. He is a follower not a leader. But of course he is an "inciter" to Jewish (and Palestinian reactive) violence.

      Bad times and worse are coming. It feels to me like Germany 1938 (when I was born, safely, in USA) -- kristallnacht is to be anticipated in short order.

  • Inadequate religion
    • JVP offers prayers for all who suffer (without making plain that "all" includes the many more Palestinian victims). Pouring the oil of compassion over the heads of sufferers may help them, for a while, but it will have no useful effect on the ever-more-rampaging Israeli imperialist-colonialist-pogromist government and society. Or on its American enablers.

      There is a shovel which is constantly digging a grave for a "just and lasting peace" between Israel and Palestine. and it is time for all good men to call this spade a spade.

      If there had been anything tentative about Israel's program over the years since 1967, there isn't now. Today Israel and its Jewish society must be seen as in lock-step agreement on the settlements, the occupations, and the treatment of Palestinians within Israel.

      This is therefore no time softly to profess friendship for Israel "if only it would back down". This is a time to oppose Israel. If opposition doesn't erupt soon, it never will and the game will be over. The time to oppose a second Nakba is now, when it is in its early stages, not later after a grand tragedy.

  • In landslide, UCLA student govt votes to divest from Israeli occupation
    • Yup, the students said, in effect, "we live in the whole world and we want to REPAIR the world" and (this) Eytan said, "Keep out of it, it's not your business". Not a very Jewish reply, perhaps. But then the student body may not have been very predominantly Jewish, no matter who its president was.

  • For CNN and NYT, Jewish lives matter more than Palestinian ones
    • I heard a paraphrase of Abbas's statement this AM on NPR. He didn't even mention the apparently routine and frequent (and unjustified) use of SKUNK water against Palestinians as a method of out-and-out oppression (not connected with "security").

      Bet it would be reported in USA if skunk spray were used against Jews in Greater Israel (by whomever)!

      Abbas should enumerate the long litany so that, just perhaps, American and European audiences would understand the grievances here.

  • RE/MAX cashes in on Israel’s illegal settlements
  • 'Zionism' is now a dirty word for American opinion elite, Frank Luntz concedes
    • Giles: And, just in case there weren't enough A-S in actuality, these kids and their pro-Israel support folks are busily manufacturing A-S -- as well as, perhaps, a sense in USA that Jews are overly (unduly) powerful in economic and political terms. After all, can all the political manipulations w.r.t. Israel be either invisible or warm-and-cuddly?

      There was a time, perhaps as late as 1940s, when Jews kept their heads down, made nice in communities in which they feared to make waves. That time is gone, but the wealthy-powerful Jews are overdoing it, celebrating the end of the keep-your-heads-down era with an over-the-top lets run things around here and make sure everyone knows who is running things.

      I fear a nasty blowback. Maybe this article describes the beginnings of that blowback.

  • Videos: Jerusalem Skunk
    • Israelis are winning, so far, because these trees that we believe we hear falling in a forest are not being heard by the "West" 's media, which speaks-no-evil as to Israel.

      I mean, who are WE to hear these trees falling the Israeli forest? WE are no-one.

  • Europe is a weenie on Palestine
    • This is either an experimental "baby step" in the right direction or else it is a major and deeply meaningful step as part of the Israel-USA plan to force Palestine into an unworkable "peace" in the Bantustan mold.

      Hard to say which it is intended to be. It is still up to activists and "the European street" to pressure their governments into stronger action.

  • Yad Vashem
    • There is something amorphous about being pro-Palestinian -- or anti-Zionist -- you know, those two somewhat related things. The lack of form arises because there is so broad a palette of possibilities of what to work (or to hope) for. One wants improvement of circumstances for Palestinians, but which improvements, and who is to choose what is "enough"? Not me, surely. And one wants to improve the behavior of Israeli Jews, but, again, how much improvement would be enough, and what's the right improvement, and who is to say?

      I wonder if there are people who would say that they are pro-Palestinian but not anti-Zionist, or vice versa? You know, working to improve things for Palestinians but who "could care less" about what happens to Israeli Jews or any other Jews as long as they get out of the way of the Palestinians. Or wanting to erase the horror of Zionism without any care for the future of Palestinians?

      Well, there is a whole world to repair. And I/P are part of it (a fairly small part) and they occupy an awful lot of my time. It seems to me that the Palestinians are "my people" to the extent that I care about any "people" outside the USA. And my father told me before he died that he'd never been proud of the Jews until the war of 1967. Go figure.

  • Caltech prof says Israeli scientist passed NASA rocket secrets to his government
    • Blownaway: The one law in the world for Israelis: not what Israel says (Israel does not speak, though its court does, and is often ignored) but what the rabbis say and like that. "Death to all Arabs" is said, and even something of the sort by some of the rabbis, as I recall, by a "military" rabbi.

      The Israeli humanist Israel Shahak was condemned in Israel for saying that orthodox rabbis interpreted (here I'm remembering, so maybe quite incorrectly) "do not kill" to mean "do not kill Jews". If this or anything close to it is true (of orthodox teaching), one wonders what "be kind to strangers, for we were strangers in Egypt" might mean.

    • If you mean the Troian business, it is spying if the transmission is forbidden by "spying" laws, as here. Just because a person hired is allowed to see secrets doesn't change the law. If deliberately aided illegally, both the spy and the person aiding are guilty.

      As to N'yahu, well. . . .

    • The allegation of reprisals and false accusations by CalTech are, (if true) if substantiated, simply dreadful and examples of a sort of McCarthyism. To say nothing of (being an allegation of) an Israeli infiltration of even this important university, similar to the much less egregious IMO UIUC/Salaita affair. Recalls the FBI's harassment of Martin Luther King Jr. including by sending faked up letters to him (reported on NPR or MNYC this morning). Grotesque misuse of power, if true.

    • Many people know that various nations -- Israel and China come to mind -- are or were energetic industrial spies in the USA. (I wouldn't doubt that the USA does the same elsewhere.) I worked in government related computer programming in the 1970's and 1980's and well recall a visit by an Israeli inquiring into details of one of our projects. We were polite and non-disclosing. But I think we had even then a feeling of a sort of national need to "make nice" with Israelis but also to protect our business secrets (no security matters were then involved).

      But, moving on to another question: Where does this disclosure place the Technion/Cornell partnership? Does Cornell wish to be officially associated with an institution which is involved with spying against the USA?

  • Ilan Pappe offers a reminder that the 'ongoing Nakba' implicates many of us in Israel's history
    • Liz, did you know that Afif Safieh, a long-time ambassador of the PLO to a variety of countries, often spoke and wrote of Israel's desire to have "the geography without the demography" of Palestine?

      Actually, Zionism has been trying for 100 years to make correct the suggestion, wrong then adn wrong now, that Palestine was "a land without a people for a people without a land".

      The ethnic cleansing that Pappe and others write about is the attempt, still under way but slower, to create "a land without a people" (that is without Palestinians).

    • Norman F: If I steal your wallet and give the money (in charity, mind) to my landsmen, do you accuse me as a thief or congratulate me as a philanthropist?

      BTW, I am not sure that "Jewish Culture" was advanced by the Zionist experiment -- Yiddish was a vital part of "Jewish Culture" and was pretty much wiped out. deliberately. And the Mizrahi Jews who brought their own "Jewish Culture" to Israel found it disdained as "Arab" (which in a way it was, and in a way they were too if their native language had been Arab).

      So not zero-sum, not by a long chalk.

  • Why I confronted Gregor Gysi
    • hop: "You were banned because you endorse obsessively comparing Israel with Nazi Germany, and Germans find comparisons like that deeply offensive."

      Well, I should hope so! Deeply! Because Germans have "cleaned up after" the Nazi period in various ways including paying enormous reparations, but Israelis are just as racist as the Nazis were (it appears) though not yet as murderous in most cases, and not yet systematically murderous, as the Nazis were 1930s, 1940s. Israeli police and soldiers standing by without doing anything while settlers and others commit grave crimes against Palestinians and Jews comes close to pogroms, anyhow. Nazism wasn't born in a day. it took time to mature. Isrel is, sadly, a society maturing in that direction just now.

      But the comparison is offensive because Germans have said they are sorry and Israel ain't admitted to having done anything wrong yet and keeps right on doing it.

  • Pittsburgh's 'Conflict Kitchen' is latest battleground over Palestine, free speech and criticism of Israel
    • And how, one might ask, is the commonly-held view going to change if people are not permitted to suggest changing it?

      Perhaps the kitcheny presentation here will be said to fail the test of "civility", a totalitarian concept if ever there was one, which is designed to allow those who brandish the word to accuse, try, sentence, and execute those whom they accuse -- and all without ever publishing a definition of the rules of "civility". (ref: Salaita).

    • This is a great project. Long may it prosper.

      The attempt(s) to shut it down, from whatever sources, and the withdrawal or threatened withdrawal of support are surely PROOF that USA is an enemy of Palestine. It might seem that only Israel and its zionist agents here were the enemies, but when they have the power as it appears they do to interfere with free speech and for-fee Palestinian take-out service, it is sufficient proof that the USA is at war with Palesine.

  • Sea change down under: Ex-Australian Foreign Minister announces himself a 'Friend of Palestine'
    • I suggest that Mr. Carr think about finding an "engine for change". Imagine that a large number of governments across the globe came to the same thinking he has -- what could they do, given the USA/Israel steamroller?

      One thing they could do would be to think up a program of sanctions against Israel to force change. This would put the "S" into "BDS". But what would the sanctions be for? What would they demand that Israel do before sanctions would be removed?

      I've written my ideas hereas "A New Paradigm For Israel/Palestine Progress".

  • Pressure on 'The Lancet' for Gaza letter another example of pro-Israel assault on freedom of expression
    • Zionism uses Jews as human shields. Perfect!

      And let us not forget that Zionism believes in distraction. How can the editor's observations during a visit to Rambam Hospital in Israel deflect from the horror of the turkey-shoot in Gaza? So what if Jews and Arabs are getting on well inside (one city?) in Israel or not? The horror in Gaza remains. The editor's report of his visit to Rambam amounts to a kow-tow to power -- it does not invalidate the original letter at all and does not increase the (mere) 5% of Israeli physicians calling for an end to the bombing (or the siege or whatever).

  • Evangelical Christians come under attack as more move to oppose Israeli occupation
    • I am not a Christian and so am a bit bemused. does the "prophesy" here arise from the New Testament and if so is it (said to be) written or inspired by God? And does it have anything to do with Christ? I can almost imagine a religion with two or more sets of independent and possibly antagonistic beliefs, one belief of which is the Christian teaching of Love (which might be supposed to embrace Human Rights concerns and peace concerns) and the other is a story about Rapture, End-Times, War of Armageddon, etc., which seem to be consistent -- when interpreted as prophies for our times -- as embracing anti-human-rights and war.

      Wikipedia tells us: The obscure and extravagant imagery has led to a wide variety of interpretations: historicist interpretations see in Revelation a broad view of history; preterist interpretations treat Revelation as mostly referring to the events of the apostolic era (1st century), or, at the latest, the fall of the Roman Empire; futurists believe that Revelation describes future events; and idealist or symbolic interpretations consider that Revelation does not refer to actual people or events, but is an allegory of the spiritual path and the ongoing struggle between good and evil.

      That is, if we are to believe The Great Wiki, the book of revelations has been interpreted in several ways, presumably by serious Christian scholars -- and only one of these allows that it may be a prophecy for our times.

      This would seem to offer Christians of all beliefs a CHOICE and support for Israel in today's world would not seem to be mandatory.

  • In and out of love with Israel: Tzvia Thier's story
    • The Arab states' armies attacked Israel, but very lightly, very tentatively (except for Jordan which had a "deal" with G-G for Jordan to take Jerusalem and West Bank), and very late. Some read much of the Arab entry into the war as tentative attempts to seize parts of the carcase of Mandatory Palestine. Others see it as sympathetic, as help for the (for the most part) unarmed and wholly untrained Palestinian "forces".

      And, as noted by W. Jones, these "attacks" came only after Israel self-declared. Furthermore these attacks were mostly in the territory set forth for the Arab state by UNGA 181 -- so that they cannot be called attacks on "Israel" to the extent that Israel had earlier declared its boundaries to be those set forth in UNGA 181.

      But the chief thing to remember about the war of "1948" is that was begun by the Jews long before the modern State of Israel was declared. The Arabs came on the scene rather late. The Palestinians did not attack Israel, but vice versa.

      As I like to say, "No one forced the Jews of Palestine to imagine a Jewish State, or to bring one about by terrorism and war. It was done by choice. Israeli Jews like to talk about "wars of choice" and "wars of no-choice". "1948" was a war of choice.

      "1948" began with Jewish terrorism against the Brits which caused Britain to throw in the towel and which was followed, soon after 11/1947 (UNGA-181), by Jewish attacks on Arab villages all through Palestine. Read Ilan Pappe "The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine"

    • Mooser: Was the smallpox in the blankets actually inadvertent? Did delivery of blankets speed up or slow down after its deadly effects were seen? I think the blankets became weapons of extermination however they started.

    • "I want to have the family fight. I want to put four family members on stage, and fight about this in an American setting. It’s never happened. It’s starting to happen. You are open about your conversation with your sister. You don’t mind people knowing about that. And that’s important for people to know, how deep those divisions can be. Do you think we should have that fight publicly?"

      This is a terrific idea for a play.

      It might be really hard with actual family members, and maybe also valuable, better than talking only of the weather and the grandchildren, but really hard.

      But a play, "the play's the thing Wherein I'll catch the conscience of the King." (Shak.)

  • A reverend sermonizes justice in Jerusalem
    • Historically (20th century) the Liberation ideas in South America got short shrift from the established Catholic Church. Presumably the trouble was that they were not satisfied with getting the poor into heaven but wanted to shake things up here on earth in a way which battered the privileged. The privileged weren't having that.

      The current essay announces the sin of inactivity as if in Christianity there were a mandate for activity. Christians have acted qua Christians over history, especially against heresy and other perceived threats to Christianity, as in the Crusades. But although Christians often act, they do so less often qua Christians. The holocaust may have been carried out by Christians (or nominal Christians, but who am I to get all picky?), but the holocaust was not carried out by Christians acting as such.

      In Israel, Israel plays the role that the church and wealthy played in South America, the role of owner oppressor over the poor. The Palestinians play the role of the poor. The church (apart from people like MLK Jr.) aren't much in the "active" game.

      Turn the other cheek and render to Ceasar are Christian ideas which (in I/P) leave Israel in the driver's seat.

  • The hidden documents that reveal the true borders of Israel and Palestine (Updated)
    • D G Fincham:

      Does this "fully integrated land" reasoning mean that the (new) settlers who have (only) lived in West Bank for at most 47 years -- rather than for at most 66 years as in the case of the settlers in parts of Palestine (in excess of Israel-181) occupied in "1948" -- also have a right to remain in their homes where they are universally acknowledged to be present illegally (the illegality being on the part of their government rather, in most cases, than on their own part)?

      If so your principle (of long residence giving right to reside) is at least consistent. Otherwise, why is 19 years (1967-1948) so important? But if so, can the UNSC demand as it did in UNSC-465 the removal of all settlers? And if UNSC-465 was "kosher", why cannot another UNSC resolution demand the removal of the settlers from the lands occupied in 1948-67, the land in excess of Israel-181?

    • I just love the idea that the first, last, and only time that Israel stated its borders was on May 15 and that it stated its borders were those of UNGA-181. (Of course, Israel later claimed to annex bits of occupied territory such as Golan Heights and East Jerusalem. Annexing would seem to indicate a change of borders. However, for waheter it's worth, UNSC said all the annexing was null and void.)

      Now, hem, hem, I have long suggested that Israel should, in any workable :: "just and lasting" :: peace, fall back onto a smaller territory than that which it controlled on June 1, 1967. Of course I thought that that "control" was the same as its "borders". Now I know different. OTOH, a lot of countries have seemed to think that Israel's borders were fixed as the June 1, 1967 control-borders. Maybe some of the documents of "recognition" of Israel, even the USA's, can be interpreted to support the borders-as-in-181 thesis. International lawyers, please step up to the plate to explain if recognition goes with formal documents only or goes with usages, customs, the flow of history, etc.

      I recommend to Israel the benefits to it of falling back onto its declared territory, that is, UNGA-181. Why? Because in that case, enabling a PRoR (which might one day be required) would result in a smaller inflow of Palestinians into Israel -- that is, only those refugees who came from Israel-181 woulr return to Isrfael-181, the rest returning to (new, smaller) Palestine.

    • If the letter writer spoke for the government of Israel when he named the territory as in UNGA 181, then the rest of the pre-67 Israeli territory is occupied territory (although not "territory occupied in the 1967 war" a formula often seen which seems to suggest an earlier occupation).

      Some will say that Israelis have lived in the earlier occupied territory for so long that they have earned a right to consider it their home. nd certainly only a force majeure could move them out of it.

      My view is that Israel has a "bit in its teeth" and has gone crazy and cannot be expected to make a "just and lasting peace" with the Palestinians on the basis of the 1967 lines UNLESS and UNTIL a force majeure is applied to it. It is the function of BDS to develop that "force majeure" in the form of sanctions imposed by a sufficient number of nations, sanctions in favor either of making the occupation comply with law (evict settlers, etc.) or in favor of making peace and ending the occupation.

      My view is that the nations will come to such a convergence of policy (in favor of applying sanctions against Israel) so slowly and Israel will continue its aggressions so industriously and so blindly (w.r.t. world opinion) that by the time sanctions-in-bulk come into force -- if they ever do -- the by-then-way-over-enormous disfavor in which Israel will be held will motivate the sanctioning nations to apply sanctions to even bigger goals, such: [-] as rolling back not merely the 67 occupation but also the 48 occupation, or such as [-] enforcing PRoR, or [-] both.

      But in my analysis, the possibility that the nations will NEVER get their act together to do sanctions is nevertheless very likely.

  • Israel lobby stakes claim for Jerusalem at Supreme Court, but Kagan isn't buying
    • It is not only passports which are government papers wherein (as it might seem) government foreign policy is involved in this matter of "where was someone born" or, as it is sometimes asked, "what was someone's nationality". I think it is the same question, but who knows?

      When my soon-to-be-wife and i applied at city hall, San Francisco, for a marriage license, the application form required us to state bride's father's "nationality" or "birth place" (it is too long ago for me to remember the precise question).

      Her father had been born in Ramallah in 1985 and we tried "Ottoman Empire" as his nationality. No good (presumably because not on a list of OK-place-names). So then we tried "Palestine". No good. This was late June 1967, and we could have tried "Israel", but that didn't suit us. So we said, "Jordan" and we were "in like Flynn." So where did this list of place names come from? US Fed? somebody in California division of vital statistics? No idea. (No one consulted the supreme Court on that one.)

  • Will BDS become another form of ritualized solidarity?
  • The UN can bring peace to Jerusalem by moving its headquarters there
    • If UN began to assert power over Jerusalem (this presupposes a lot of agreement among countries which might, some of them, oppose the idea; of a veto could nix the idea, the USA would veto it ), Israel would surely be in an interesting spot.

      Based on its ignoring of UN pronouncements (as what I call "mere words") I'd expect Israel to tell the UN where to get off. UN would say that Israel's claim to have annexed that part of what it today designates as "Jerusalem" which it captured in the 1967 war is a null&void claim. And it'd be off to the races.

      What fun!

      Would the nations -- which have so far been too timid even to ask Israel to roll-back the settlement program in its entirety -- be bolder for this move? Coming not so soon to theaters far away.

  • Ritualized Solidarity
  • SodaStream says it plans to leave West Bank for the Negev, but boycotters promise to not let up
    • The idea of opposing Israeli re-settlement of the Bedu is interesting. It is, like all Zionist activity, a stealing of people's land and of their way of life. People who've lived in the open don't want to live in apartment buildings (even if they were decently built, but why raise another question?).

      International law may not regard such forced resettlement as illegal, but BDS can do what it pleases and horrible actions can be fought whether or not formally illegal under international law.

  • Update: Why did Netanyahu respond to chickenshit with 'grassy knoll' remark?
    • Since this was a translation from Hebrew, as I'd imagined (what with it being a speech in Knesset and all), the choice of translations would seem to be wide and the choice of "grassy knoll" where "front lawn" is possible would seem to indicate a DELIBERATE DIRTY TRICK by the translator -- UNLESS the phrase is the same that was used when Kennedy was assassinated so that the phrase would have the same resonance in Hebrew that it does in American English.

      Can someone else who can read Hebrew confirm/deny the translation of the printed Hebrew?

      Also -- was there a recording, so that we can see if the PRINTED version differs from the SPOKEN version!

    • Thanks, Kay24! Wish I'd seen it.
      Was this "clearly stating" done in English, or translated by AJ? (My question also about today's "grassy knoll" statement.)

    • Guardian: Speaking to the Israeli parliament – the Knesset – a few hours after the comments were revealed, Netanyahu angrily insisted he was “under attack simply for defending Israel”, adding that he “cherished” Israel’s relationship with the US.

      “When there are pressures on Israel to concede its security, the easiest thing to do is to concede,” he said. “You get a round of applause, ceremonies on grassy knolls, and then come the missiles and the tunnels.”

      I'm curious: Was he speaking in English or in Hebrew to the Knesset? Are we dealing with translation here, and if so is there only ONE translation for whatever the PM said? For example, maybe at the time of the Kennedy assassination,some translation was made into Hebrew which has never been used for any other purpose.

  • Al Aqsa and the war against Palestinians
    • And what is the freedom (the small snippet) being offered by Israel these days? Are Palestinians of both genders and all ages being allowed to visit the Haram Al Sharif and pray at Al Aqsa? Even if they live outside greater Israel? Even if they live in OPTs?

      My memory is of considerable restrictions on Palestinians visiting these places on so-called security grounds (as if Israel could not check proposed visitors for weapons!).

      The Mosque exists within a set of concentric circles of political control. Israel decides who can pass through each of these circles. Is it religious freedom to say that 'you may pray at Al Aqsa if you can get to Al Aqsa' ?

  • Why are liberal Zionists embracing Matti Friedman's Islamophobia?
    • I forgot to conclude: because the progress of Israel into the unspeakable is apparently inexorable, the problem it presents to the "liberal Zionists" will get more severe as time passes, and therefore (one imagines), as time passes, except for the indefinitely morally flexible, one by one they will lose either their passion for defending the indefensible ("Israel, what's that?") or will, in fact, come over to the other side (anti-Zionism or the like).

      No one wants to be aboard a sinking ship. I feel sorry for Israeli Jews who cannot avoid being Israelis and also cannot do anything to steer the boat in a better direction. We Americans have the same problem if not so blatantly.

    • Why do the "liberal Zionists" embrace Matti Friedman's distraction? Because they readily latch onto anything that will allow themselves (and they hope will persuade others) to overlook Israel's murderous excesses.

      I think that Israel is in the hands of extremists who are pushing the country inexorably in a poisonous direction. They have inured themselves to the idea that everybody hates the Jews and thus see no harm from giving more cause for such hatred. They have also accustomed themselves to the idea that they can do what they like without fear of reprisal: being a Zionist means never saying you're sorry and never fearing punishment, no matter what. "After all, the holocaust" (that all purpose explanation): the Jews must not be punished because they've suffered enough.

    • Do the 6-million (somehow, whatever the topic, it's always 6 million) brave, symphony-loving Israelis include those who scrawl "Death to Arabs" on Palestinian walls, mow down Palestinian children with their cars, and uproot olive trees, etc.?

      Actually, I like symphonies myself, and so do all sorts of people. So do Palestinians. Maybe my focus should be on the characterization "brave". How brave are these Israelis who rain death on Gaza while taking every precaution, at the cost of many additional Palestinian lives, that no Israeli soldier be injured?

  • 'Exalted anti-Zionists' are now driving the conversation
    • Chomsky is partly right. Unless the power relations change, as they would with powerful international sanctions (the "S" in "BDS") to compel something different, there is no possibility of a decent, democratic 1SS. Indeed, a power change would be necessary to get even to Chomsky's 2SS. Without international coercion, Israel will maintain and increase without foreseeable limit the rigors of its occupation, its apartheid-1SS.

      As to Israelis "defending their right to live as Jews", this formulation ignores that that's not what Israel is defending. Rather, it is defending (say with its 2014 blitzkrieg on Gaza) its stranglehold on another people, its power (not a right) to maintain the ethnic cleansing which it initiated in 1947. In a way, Israel's fighting, particularly by its grotesqueness, forces its friends outside Israel to make the every-day-more-difficult decision to ignore the horrors implicit and inseparable from Zionism or, as anti-Zionists and former-Zionists have done, to recognize them and join the fight for sanctions to roll-back Israel's refusal to allow a "just and lasting" 2SS peace or a democratic 1SS.

  • Does SJP have the right to free speech?
    • Beautiful, as a challenge to oppression (on campuses of public universities) and as a legal brief. And, as a legal brief, quite refreshingly short.

      I think I'd like to see, in addition, just a little something about suing public officials for depriving students of well-established constitutional rights under section 1983:

      Besides authorizing official capacity suits against state and local officials for structural injunctive relief, 42 U.S.C. § 1983 authorizes claims against those officials in their individual capacity for compensatory and punitive damages. Although, as discussed above, the Eleventh Amendment limits official capacity claims against state officials to prospective injunctive relief, it does not affect damage claims against those officials in their individual capacity./1/ In this section, we discuss when absolute and qualified immunity limits individual capacity suits against public officials.

      (link to

      What I have in mind is informing SJP students that when they encounter infringements on their expression on campus, they inform the university administrations that there are (personal?) costs for injuring people's constitutional rights. I must add that I have not reviewed caseslaw on section 1983.

  • Bouquets for Melissa Parke
    • Fabulous. Did anyone in Australia hear this beautiful speech? She seems to speak from behind a sparsely peopled table. Were there people opposite her in a large hall?

      Like others, she spoke some unhelpful formulas. she called (merely) for an end to settlement construction. Even though, as she also said, all the settlements are illegal. No bell went off in her head at the insufficiency of her demand.

      Anyone want to start a pool for who can guess the year in which a member of Congress (USA) or Member of Parliament (other anglophone nation) will FIRST call for a roll-back of the settlement program, with full removal of all settlers and full removal (dismantlement) of all settlement buildings? Is 2020 too early a guess?

  • 'Chickenshit' attack enrages Netanyahu and lobby, but will it stir voters against Obama?
    • Is it possible that the American public will begin to see Israel as part of the problem of the war-torn Middle East (rather than part of the USA or part of the "good and blessed" of the world)?

      Whoever decided to knock Netanyahu either fired from the hip -- spoke emotionally rather than politically -- or had calculated (but was he right?) that claiming that Israel had frustrated Obama's peace efforts [and later showing Obama kowtowing to AIPAC/BIG-ZION] will help Democrats in the elections 5 days off. (Some people not yet having voted.)

  • Malala and the Nobel Peace Prize: Why Rachel Corrie would never win
    • "However, it is not without merit that had Malala been a victim of western aggression or her allies, the 17 year olds celebrity would have endured a shorter lifespan."

      I don't know that she would have lived a shorter life. But the Rachel Corrie comparison suggests that she would not have been celebrated as a peacenik by the Nobel committee.

      As matters stand in Europe, Israel is regarded as a well-behaved nation which can bomb and over-fly its neighbors w/o being blamed by EU nations, can murder folks on boats such as Gaza fishing boats and bigger boats (Mavi Marmara comes to mind) w/o being blamed by EU nations, can carpet-bomb Gaza (ditto), etc. In short Israel is not (yet) in the dog house (as, for instance, Iran is to an extent, and therefore subjected to sanctions). Of course, various non-state actors, especially if they can be tarred with the brush of "terrorism", can be and regularly are regarded as not-well-behaved, and in-the-dog-house. Taliban, al-Qaida, ISIS all come to mind in this connection.,

      Terrorism can be erased! No-one today mentions the pre-state terrorism of Israel, its terrorist PMs (Begin, Shamir, Sharon). And, of course it is the warm-and-comfortable fashion among the rich and powerful states not to apply the word "terrorist" to any state; at worst, as with Afghanistan or Syria or Iran, it may be said to support terrorism. (Were this not so, the external-criminal arms of the states, like the USA's CIA and Israel's Mossad might themselves be branded -- oh! no! -- as terrorists.

      As long as this is so, no one who opposes Israel can be blessed with an official designation as a "peacenik"

  • 'Take your Ebola ass and get out': L.A. confrontation highlights relationship between Zionism and anti-black racism
    • Not exactly "rests with American public opinion" but "rests with" the compromises worked out within the American establishment (oligarchy) -- the folks who really decides this stuff.l tool for good decision making that the oligarchs who run Ameruica wisely (and benevolently) replaced it with oligarchy. It at least has the benefit of working well to assure the short-term interests of the oligqrchs. Not very good with any long-term stuff, such as climate change. (Or I/P.)

    • My old ears, with their hearing loss, did not distinguish the Zionist-spoken words about Ebola, etc. I must assume the words in the video were adequately clear to people with younger hearing. (With hearing aids in, I did hear "Ebola" but assumed it was the spoken by the pro-Palestine woman.) All of which is to say that one man's evidence is not necessarily persuasive to another.

      But I completely believe that the combined senses, among many Zionists, of [1] having historically been oppressed and being victims, [2] feeling angry at and hurt by anti-Zionism which feels to them like a re-play of the antisemitism of old, [3] being completely ignorant of the racism inherent in Zionism and the whole horrible story summed up in the single word "Nakba", and [4] now feeling powerful, even feeling above the law, above "civility" -- these combined senses have led the Zionists to a triumphalist racialism which is oppressive of others and hurled around "as of right" and without regard for how it reflects on (for example) the so-called Jewish People, in a way which is highly offensive to me as a human being, never mind any Jewish ancestry.

  • Loyola SJP investigation reflects double standard towards Palestinian voices on campus
    • The urge toward totalitarianism appears to be strong in the USA and appears frequently in universitries (which depend on donations from BIG-ZION, even at catholic Universities it now seems) whenever the BIG-ZION and its various agents "crack the whip".

      Of course, the same thing is happening to minority voters in the USA with lots of republican (fat-cat) legislation to require photo IDs for people who don't have them and cannot conveniently get them (i.e., before 11/4 election in a few days). It is "the same" in that it is BIGs (parts of the oligarchy) (BIG-ZION is part, BIG-DEFENSE, BIG-OIL, etc.) who see minority voting rights (aka "democracy") as frightening.

  • Why the Salaita case matters, outside the United States
    • Good stuff. Let the world know (and shout) that the USA's claims of freedom are becoming fraudulent. UIUC is a public university, and the Constitution applies to it. So does contract law. and so do, I presume, AAUP any procedures to which it may claim to adhere.

  • Sh*tstirring Jeffrey Goldberg dumps diplomatic sh*tstorm with 'chickensh*t' quote
    • I cannot imagine Obama using such a word to describe his nemesis. Staffers, OK. But no serious politician would ever forget the "Heimietown" remark of Jesse Jackson and its aftermath . As it turns out, Harry Truman did the same thing:

      Although Truman supported recognition of Israel in 1948, he was known to use anti-Semitic language. In a letter written years before he entered the White House, Truman referred to New York City as "kike town."

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