Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 4610 (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 4610 - 4601

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Collective punishment of 1.8 million human shields in a prison -- Newsweek dares publish the truth of Gaza
  • Resisting hope - prophetically
  • Israeli extremists charged in arson of Jewish-Arab school wanted to 'raise intermarriage issue to top of agenda'
    • Mooser: Writing as a member (?) of the Jewish People (?) who married a Palestinian Christian in 1967, I must come out in favor not only of the availability of the choice of intermarriage but in favor of intermarriage itself. Had I not so married, I'd not have known (as much or as early) about I/P and would likely not have developed my present views. While I may not quite say "Ich bin ein Palestiner", I'm not far from it. And all that without having lost whatever moral (etc.) outlooks I got from my Jewish family. Whether or not Israel was always always "bad for the Jews", it seems to me that it certainly is so now, being among other things a cause of resurgence of antisemitism (not a small thing) and a major criminal enterprise (a very large thing).

      BTW, in full disclosure style, the "(?)"s used above mean that I question both the degree (as others might see it) of my connections to the so-called Jewish People and also the existence of the same (read Shlomo Sand). Jewish-ness was pretty attenuated in my family.

  • Israel supporter used UCLA Hillel to funnel funds to student politicians opposed to divestment
  • Liberal Zionists seek to strip Naftali Bennett of freedom to travel in hope of saving two-state solution
    • Great oaks from little acorns grow. These SIP people may indeed wish to derail BDS but what they are proposing is a "thin wedge" down the "slippery slope" of sanctions: for they call on governments to act, and that's the "S" in "BDS".

      So, to these people, I say, "yes, but", the "but" meaning [1] that the call for sanctions must aim at either an end of the occupation entirely or, falling short of that, removal of all settlers, settlements, wall, and the siege (umm, of Gaza, you know) and [2] sanctions must hit more people and ultimately hit harder.

      But good start.

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  • Steven Salaita: What Mondoweiss Means To Me
    • Any university which now offers Prof. Salaita a job will know that it is on a social-behavioral cusp -- at a time of change (hence the "cusp") being an early institution to dare the economic and social powers of The Lobby by declaring that telling the truth about Israel is not antisemitic and not anti-American. This will not be easy, for the enforcement power of The Lobby is enormous -- witness its power over our brave Congress and president. We must all watch with interest -- and attempt to intervene if possible.

  • We're all anti-American now
    • USA exceptionalism? Understood differently by different people.
      One view: Americans are human, others (or some others) (or dark skinned others -- even tho many Americans, not others, are dark skinned) are not; and because not human, may be "done to" as we would not like to be "done to"; without concern or guilt. "Warfare is not terrorism -- sir! terrorism is inhuman, but warfare is peachy keen" -- he explained.

  • 'Racist, fascist bullshit'-- Marcel Ophuls exposes Islamophobia in Israel
    • " what an exercise in ethnic supremacy it is to talk to Israeli Jews and American Jews about this problem when there are articulate Palestinians who have deep experience of Zionism. "

      Well, the American and Israeli Jews are uniquely qualified to discuss Zionism considered as an (unacknowledged) dream, a pie-in-the-sky, and make all the usual propaganda, whereas Palestinians are uniquely (except perhaps for Lebanese) qualified to speak of Zionism-in-practice from the perspective of its victims.

      Both are supremely qualified!

  • 'Suicide Drones' and the Spoils of War: Israeli arms manufacturers look to cash in on the war in Gaza
  • United Auto Workers local becomes first major U.S. labor union to endorse BDS
  • As US media awake to a 'nightmare' Israel, NYT brings Blumenthal in from the cold
    • "if BDS can change Israel’s political climate, she must support BDS."

      Well, but the point of BDS is FIRST to change the behavior of all governments (or as many as possible) outside Israel. BDS must proceed from Boycott and divestment (small, civil society actions) to sanctions, governmental actions. And it is sanctions, I imagine, that will change Israel's behavior.

      And I hope that the landslide or sea change or whatever Phil sees happening will in fact happen and move the governments to action.

  • Salaita firing has 'crippled' U of Illinois's ability to hire excellent scholars
  • The Israel of your dreams has turned into a nightmare: A letter to Jewish students
    • Beautiful article. All Jewish kids (and their parents) in USA should read it.

      So, it seems, a lot of Israeli Jewish kids don't know what's going on now and what happened in 1947-50, etc. Don't know, I dare say, that Palestinians are human beings, either. Nobody told them.

      Well, in the USA, a lot of people don't know what the threat of global warming is about. Nobody told them.

      The powerful of the world keep a lot of secrets in order that "the people" won't "make waves".
      And our business is precisely to "make waves".

  • Mamdani's 'holistic' challenge: Anti-Zionists must persuade Jews they can only be safe by dismantling the Jewish state
    • Sibiriak: "I don’t see that happening in the foreseeable future. "

      Neither did Mamdani. He merely said it was the prerequisite for a fairly-voluntary negotiated peace more or less fair to Palestinians.

      He did not, I believe, discuss the alternative of a "solution" imposed on Israel (or on all parties) by outside forces. However, he did say that this is what happened, the deKlerk moment, in South Africa. and that followed a siege of BDS. so, perhaps, BDS begins the "outside pressure" Which makes colonizers re-think the matter.

    • To your list, add JVP and so forth. The challenge for Zionists is to shift their world-view so as to see all people, Jews and Palestinians among them, as equally deserving human beings rather than, as today, painting Palestinians (incorrectly) as devils whilst becoming actual devils themselves. A sea change indeed. Won't be easy for the hard cases, but seems there may be some hope for the Jewish youth.

    • Phil: "Mamdani’s speech should be required reading in the fledgling Open Hillel/IfNotNow movement. He is saying, Your work is essential, it is a historic shift in Jewish life. But it must involve organizing with Palestinians and then going into the Jewish community to explain what the future holds."

      So right!.

      I remember when an old organization I was part if (media director of for a while), "SEARCH for Justice and Equality in Palestine" changed its name to "SEARCH for Justice and Equality in Palestine/Israel".

      We gained some members and lost some members. It was the right way to go. Inclusive.

      And the SEARCH goes on.

  • Rep. Israel endorses speech saying Europe failed Jewish people in 40s and is 'failing us again today'
    • Prosor: "Israel’s ambassador to the UN, who describes himself as a “proud representative… of the Jewish people".

      Where may people who suspect they are thought to be members of the "Jewish people" sign up to protest that he does not represent them? Ugly. He does not even represent (all) those who died in the holocaust. Would those people, had they lived, have wanted Palestinians to die for Hitler's sins? Not all their children do.

  • Israel has no answer to BDS, Barghouti tells packed hall at Columbia
    • I was at this Columbia meeting, and it blew me away. A very happy event, happy BIG audience, people sitting on the stairs, let the fire marshall say what he might. A high point, was K. Franke as moderator saying she would not demand "civility" here, or anywhere else (except perhaps at a dancing class).

      Later Phil'll tell about why Mamdani did not think this was a "South Africa Moment" (as I recall the gist was that, in S.A., there was ultimately agreement between blacks and whites to talk and make peace. That is VERY far away in Palestine.).

  • In major shift, one third of Americans want US to push for one-state outcome in Israel/Palestine
    • The so-called south African Moment will occur when a poll among Israelis and Palestinians shows that THEY would like a one-demo-state.

      All that USA feelings are good for, at best, is Zilch (unless AIPAC can be defanged). Yes, yes, in NY and FL and CA and maybe elsewhere enough "Jewish Voters" who have always been presumed to be Zionists have explained those3 3 states. But AIPAC explains the many, many others.

  • Does Hillel Int'l really believe that it can decide what political and ethical viewpoints are Jewish?
    • When someone criticizes a Jew, his criticism is sometimes labelled antisemitic even though he criticized only one Jew, not all Jews, and even though no hatred for all Jews was either alleged or shown.

      Hillel Int'l's rules are criticizing some Jews. Is HI antisemitic?

      Let us say that it is not.

      In that case, let us castigate anyone who suggests that condemning Israeli actions, the Israeli settlement project, the Israeli ethnic cleansing project (most active in 1948 but still on-going), etc. is antisemitic. It is a criticism of some Jews, not all Jews, and is not motivated by hatred of all Jews.

  • For the first time Israel's high court wrestles with legality of punitive home demolitions
    • All illegal violence creates fear. But is it all terrorism? My understanding is that in order to be terrorism, the illegal violence must have a purpose of inducing a change of behavior in the people being set upon.

      Illegal violence is always illegal violence, but whether or not it is called "terrorism" is a choice by the speaker. I believe that any illegal Jewish violence against non-Jews in Israeli-controlled space is terrorism inasmuch as it (appears calculated to seem to) aim to induce such non-Jews to leave.

      Illicit violence by Israeli Jews intended to effect "transfer" of Arabs is terrorism. Israeli Jews doubtless see illicit violence in the other direction as "terrorism" although just what political action is intended to be induced by it is hard to imagine. Is it asserted that Arabs who attack Jews intended to make the remaining Jews leave Israel? Who'd believe that?

      At all events if home demolition is reserved for cases of terrorism, a close look at the definition of terrorism is required. Otherwise, home demolition is being applied on a strictly racist basis, pure and simple. And that would never do.

  • Israel's proposed Jewish nationality law is a flop on Broadway
  • British MPs call for concrete action to sanction Israel
    • This UK thing is a signal of increasingly OPEN we've-had-it-up-to-here with impunity and immunity of both the State of Israel and its leaders as individuals w.r.t. illicit violence against Palestinians.

      In the USA, immunity and impunity are, of course, still all the rage, for police officers who kill people, for torturers who torture people, etc.

      The USA is so backward that one naturally expects EU to get "there" first, where "there" is some principled action (going beyond mere words) on this Israel thang.

  • What if the USA was the state of Anglo-Saxon Protestants round the world?
    • ckg: The racially-overreaching Israelis might fall? Or might triumph!

      Israel always rides rough-shod over all who get in its way. And always gets away with it. And knows that. So far. Been on a roll since 1947.

      Even the people who (already) condemn its non-democracy usually fail to mention all those potential voters, something like 1/2 of all potential voters, who were summarily removed from the voting rolls by the expulsion by the Palestinian Jews of 750,000 Palestinian Arabs during the war of "1948" (in that part of the Nakba from 1947-1952). Today, even 80% "Jewish" (quotes because of the many so-called Jews from Russia) voter rolls seems not enough; even 90% land unavailable to non-Jews seems not enough. Today the Jewish leadership are on a roll and want a racial purity something like that desired by Germany in the 1940s.

      Perhaps Americans, and especially American Jews, will take notice and make a stink. One would hope so, but our Zionist-controlled media and political elites make it unlikely that American policy will change.

  • 'I observe that you are a fascist' -- Zahalka to Feiglin
    • If she was not only paying fealty but present at this int3rchange in the Knesset (I doubt), would she have understood a word? Doubt it. But as a USA pol, she would only praise Israeli democracy.

  • Thanksgiving: The perfect holiday to ruin with politics
    • As to Inhofe, what about "God helps those who helps themselves" ?

      Whatever caused GW/CC (I believe it is mankind), the real questions are [1] is it a clear and very present danger (my answer: yes) and [2] can mankind do anything at this increasingly late date to slow it, limit it, make it less catastrophic (my ans: I don't know). If we refuse, as we've done so far, to "help ourselves", then GW will play itself out, whatever God intends.

      Tough way to solve the I/P problem. BTW, what do the Zionists say about GW/CC? It promises to outdo the holocaust by quite a bit.

  • Nationalism vs imagination -- Beinart and Vilkomerson square off over two-state solution
    • Seafoid: "Israel is like a run-away clown car" ?! Well, I wouldn't put it quite that way. I'd rather say it's a run-away fascism-in-birth, a Germany in 1938 sort of thing. Lawyers are fond of speaking of the dangers of "slippery slopes". I doubt they ever had so beautiful an example of a (horrifying and dangerous) slippery slope as the one Israel is sliding down in these recent days.

      Beinart said he wanted an Israel with "protection of Jewish life as part of its mission statement." (That's part of the 1900 Zionist dream, I suppose.) But he doesn't say how much poison he's willing to allow the actual-Israel to turn into before he will realize that the dream has transmogrified into a nightmare which he will not support. Well, I suppose he will always ignore that question, but the world should not, Open Hillel should not, and we should not.

      If Joe Stalin had added "protection of Jewish Life" to his statement of USSR's purpose, and had his henchman Beria, his KGB, his Soviet Army, enforce it, would Beinart have thought that a satisfactory Jewish state had erupted onto the surface of Planet Earth?

      Surely this is one of the questions that must be asked today, because we are living today, and this is what Israel is becoming today.

    • An observation on the voice-to-text ("transcription") problem.

      Many people nowadays use voice-recognition software to create text files on their computers. It seems to work more or less well AFTER the speaker trains the software to recognize his own speech.

      Well, OK. So if Beinart and Vilkomerson trained s/w to recognize their speech, the transcription of their remarks could be almost fully automated. Is that how it's done? I hate to think of human transcriber sitting there with earphones a-typing away.

  • Elizabeth Warren visits Netanyahu, even as he undermines US negotiations with Iran
  • Efforts to suppress Palestinian activism on US campuses won't work
    • seafoid: I cannot hear that poem about life (and what a life!) without shaking. Thanks so much for bringing it back again.

    • I'm so glad that there is a coordinated legal defense. This means, inter alia, that there is a coordinated LIST of where the same tactics have been used.

      However, as to: "unintentionally comic tactic: an eruption of complaints by pro-Israel students that pro-Palestine banners and street theater make them feel “unsafe.” "

      Comic? To us, perhaps, but so far it seems to work. And what needs to be done is to challenge these folks to explain exactly how they feel unsafe. Get them to expand, to talk. (And look for directions from Brand Israel suggesting this "unsafe" ploy.) Are they physically attacked? Menaced? Are bad words said to them? What words? etc. How does it measure up to the feelings of Muslims under attack by Islamophobes? And ask university administrators wheter they typically demand evidence to back up complaints of unsafeness or whether the mere "feeling" sufficies.

      And ask if Palestinian students can make a claim to "feel" "unsafe" due to the presence of vocal Zionists on campus.

  • The Minds of Others: An interview with Max Blumenthal
    • Two theories might explain the German pro-as-is-today-Israelism. Max says its a Whiteness fixation (White makes right). Could be. But an equally explanatory explanation seems to me to say that Germans need to feel comfortable after the holocaust and hacve done so by all the reparations payments, and all the rest of pro-as-is-today-Israelism.

      Under this second theory, Germans would risk again feeling guilty vis-a-vis Jews if they questions their unshakable support for Israel-today. Just as their hatred for Jews was overdetermined (but why?) in 1930s-1940s, their compensatory singleminded support for Israel today is somehow overdetermined (why? holocaust guilt).

      If Max is right about his German-whiteness theory, then Germany should be far more anti-dark-skinned-immigrants than, say, France is, or England, or Sweden. Unless, of course, his pro-colonialism white-is-right is a universal throughout Europe. And if he is right, anti-today's-Israel agitation should go better in France, England, Sweden.

      I don't know enough about those countries to guess which is more likely the explanation for German behavior.

  • Like an unrequited lover, 'NYT' confesses itself heartbroken over Israel's (latest) betrayal of democracy
    • Now I get what was a mystery to me for so long. The claim that Israel and the USA have the same principles seemed to me so weird until now. Now I see it is based ion the perception that racism by the ruling class is a major ingredient in each society. Also a major arms induistry. Also imperialism. Also a loose-cannon approach to "enemy" countries (that is, a eagerness to shoot up various countries which can somehow be painted as enemies).

      No light between these countries? Makes sense.

  • Debunking Netanyahu's propaganda on Jerusalem
  • A handful of Wellesley students are trying to shut down discussion of Israel/Palestine
    • "Yet the fact that some found this lecture and discussion to be “extremely destructive” suggests a sense of unwillingness to engage "

      Rather than "found", use "stated" or, better, "claimed". In fact, use "without elaboration or explanation claimed".

      Same thing with asserted feelings of unsafety on campus. These are "unsubstantiated claims", "statements offered without justification or explanation."

      I think the next program, here, for WSJP and others at other campuses, is to challenge the complaining students to come before an open meeting and explain just what's wrong with the discussions, and why they claim to feel unsafe on campus as a result.

      What would be the result if (with somewhat better reason) WSJP members stated that professions of Zionism on campus made them feel unsafe?

  • 'Besides not having a job, everything’s great': Steven Salaita on his firing and what comes next
    • Wise: "What we cannot and will not tolerate at the University of Illinois are personal and disrespectful words or actions that demean and abuse either viewpoints themselves or those who express them".

      IMO, Salaita was disre4spectful, if at all, only of Netanyahu and the Israeli settlements program. That's politics. Not "people". Unless criticising politicians is required to be civil.

      Would a UIUC professor be deemed incivil for criticizing Hitler, or leaders or behavior of Hamas, Al-Qaeda, ISIL, Iran, Boko Haram, Pol Pot, the Rwandan massacre-ers, even in emotional terms?

    • "and it is these messages that appear to have caused his firing." Say, rather, these tweets were cited, together with a (previously unannounced and, to my knowledge, never defined) policy requiring "civility" (in, inter alia, pre-employment tweeting), also cited, as justifications for his firing (non-hiring).

      I think it best, in politics, never to say what other people believe and never to repeat their professed reasons for things, but merely to repeat what they've said. what they've said is a fact. Their reasons and thoughts and beliefs are necessarily secret.

  • Palestinian students fear for their lives during attack on train car in Jerusalem
    • No, the intention here is to prevent them from living (or from living comfortably). Pogroms, lynchings, etc., are widely known elements of racism-in-action. this is racism-in-action.

      The ever charming NYT might report the matter if Arabs were killed. But it would pain the Zios to admit (to print) that there were Kahanists alive and well out there, or racists, or Jewish terrorists, etc. Imagine a newspaper printing facts, or facing facts!

  • Israel lost the British elite after Gaza onslaught, UK ambassador says
    • Horizontal: BTW, as to grabbing land as a means to "water sources", if you mean the sub-WB aquifer or rivers (from Syria, Lebanon)? If you mean aquifer, I find myself wondering just how that aquifer replenishes (that is, from what source, and how fast) and how fast it is being bled. We know that Palestinians must now buy water (BTW: where does it come from? Are they buying their "own" water?) because the aquifer has dropped below the level of their wells, which Israel will not allow them to deepen. But this suggests (and I ask): is the aquifer being ebld dry? And if so, with what consequences for all involved?

    • eGuard: "Nor will they change their attitude. From Balfour to Cameron: they are counting on Zionism."

      Well, I do not count on them to change attitude. I put that down to big-Zion, that is, the ready expenditure of much political and economic money. But as to "they are counting on Zionism", I really have to ask: What's "in" Zionism for them, for British elites? do they stick in their thumb and pull out a plum, or is there something else "in Zionism" for them?

    • 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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