Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 4735 (since 2009-09-12 00:56:04)

pabelmont

Retired. Married for 24 years to Palestinian-American, Quaker. Myself of Jewish descent, non-religious. Classical musician (cello). Run my own website, 123pab.com, for which I do all the programming (PHP, MYSQL). Favor an international intervention, as a "deus ex machina", to rescue Palestinians, Israelis, and USA from the tail-wags-the-dog AIPAC-et-alius. This probably means doing an end-run around USA's UNSC veto and doing more-or-less coordinated BDS at nation-state level. Non-Action on Global Warming is a far bigger threat to all the world than the 63-year non-action on Israel/Palestine. On this topic, I am truly hopeless: "I cry a tear for the soon to be late humanity."

Website: 123pab.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Something about all this is as fun as pulling teeth.

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

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

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

      So it goes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      A delight.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      And you cannot have it both ways.

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

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

      Yeah, sure.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • NY City Council trip to Israel leaves out occupied Palestine
    • Yes, the occupation since 1948. However, the little dears from NYCC probably don't see it that way and won't think of it that way.

      Instead, like Joe Stalin asking (1935) "How many divisions has the Pope?", NYCC members ask: "How many voters [and contributors] will be pleased by this trip and how many will be PO'd?"

    • Subhuman is as subhuman does.

  • My invitation to speak at Hebrew Union College
    • The new monied-interference, here, didn't cancel the event but seems to have changed its subject (and the ensuing discussion). The elephant in the room was some squeezed into the closet where it was not remarked upon.

    • Page: 47
  • Dershowitz's comments are 'shockingly vicious and sexist,' says Harvard Law Record article
    • just: Speaking of Jewish congregations of power players, here's a story that really happened to me: I was acting, in NYC, as a lawyer in two related cases and came up against a lawyer from Houston (I think that was the city) representing a credit card company. Later, in a similar case, I came up against another lawyer, also for a credit card company, who asked me if I remembered the first lawyer. I said I did. He then told me that lawyer #1 had recently converted to Judaism and joined his, #2's, synagogue -- the one all the power players in Houston belonged to (or did I imagine that part?). Talk about country clubs! Those credit card companies may have persuaded the judges merely by the frequent flyer miles of opposing counsel! Or by mumbling to the judge in Yiddish, as some do in NYC.

    • Well, prisoners of ideology always think they are right, Right, RIGHT. But ideology is, inter alia, blinkers. You cannot see what other people see, because your ideology "colors" what they see to make it "kosher" with the ideology.

      For example, there is, broadly speaking, a "human rights" ideology. Or you could call it "common decency". I am infused with such a thing and think that Palestinian Arabs were harmed and injured in 1947-50 by the Palestinian Jews. Impermissibly. See how distorted my mind is by ideology?

    • John O: If he -- himself -- paid her? But perhaps he assumed (rebuttable presumption) that the "pay" was implicit in the situation.

    • Be nice to see him viewed in the light he should be seen in ("vicious") instead of his manufactured persona ("defender of underdogs" -- adn celebrities). Same with Wiesel. But the persona-makers usually triumph, at least to start with.

  • Israel sentences Palestinian teen Lina Khattab to 6 months in prison for protesting
    • They have to prove to themselves that they have a right to the land without protest, without anyone fighting back, and their curious way to "prove" this to themselves (O fearful Israelis!) is to mistreat their victims. Isn't this how the master race of Germans inj 1930s-1940s proved their genetic superiority to Jews, Poles, physically deformed, mentally impaired, Gypsies?

  • One-state 'fantasy is very dangerous' because it cannot tell us what the military looks like -- Manekin
    • In all discussions of "what happens next", the questions of land ownership should occur. Looking only at West Bank, is there any argument for continuing Jewish ownership (as at present) of what are today called settlements? And what about Palestinian land ownership if and when there is a PRoR into Israel-48? On the second point, UNGA seemed to call for payments for land confiscated, although maybe they called for payments ONLY if the refugee elected not to return (did return mean to the country or to the country and also to the originally-owned land, buildings, etc.?

    • Rarely is an armed attack ordered by the army (rather than by the government). Ditto the decision to make it so vast and horrible. All this comes from the government (take note: ICC). However, a soldier can always resign rather than follow an order. Or be fired for refusing (like the IDF chappies who refused to obey orders to remove settlers).

    • No 2SS and no 1SS, just a continuation of occupation-cum-apartheid, the continue "as is" solution.

      I greatly preferred (not that my druthers matter much) 2SS based on EU&UNGA forcing Israel to remove all settlers and the wall (and in my dream version, demolishing all settlements -- as a parallel to what Israel did in 1948 to Palestinian villages, and also to let them know that this splitting up of things was real and permanent).

      But 1SS must be based on PRoR (and even my 2SS, above, should include PRoR) into Israel for all Palestinian exiles of 1948 and later who wish it.

      This would make the demographics almost half-and-half. How you'd get people to get along together beats me, which is why 2SS looks better. But if 2SS also included PRoR -- and shouldn't it, by rights? -- then Israel itself would be almost half-and-half.

      No, not an easy problem. But, here's a way to think about it: Ask what Israel would look like today if there'd been no expulsion in 1948 or later. Wouldn't there be, today, a fairly large Palestinian population? And wouldn't that have been "right"?

  • Stanford re-votes, divestment passes in a landslide victory
    • Terrific. Glad they pointed out the atrocious behavior of anti-divestment students and overcame it on he second try. Glad they HAD a second try. BRAVO. (How has this sort of thing fared at the Lair of the Golden Bear -- UC-Berkeley?)

  • Boteach and Israeli ambassador say everything from BDS to Abbas places Jews under threat
    • Israel has two barrier policies w.r.t. Palestinians. The wall around Gaza is to keep people in. The wall around greater-Israel is to keep Palestinians (the exiles of the 1948 war) out. The wall inside the West Bank is to keep Palestinians separate from parts of occupied territory which Israel claims for itself -- in perfect continuation of the war of 1948.

      Israel and its stooges claim that others delegitimize them, but give no ear to Palestinian claims of legitimacy as residents of the territory of Palestine (1946). It is thus the Israelis who are the delegitimizers here. They seek by mistreatment to delegitimize the Palestinians but only succeed in delegitimizing themselves.

      When Israel grants citizenship, residency, and the vote to all Palestinians exiled by Israel -- in 1948 and thereafter -- and to their progeny, Israel will on that day have made a huge step forward toward legitimacy. And toward peace with justice.

    • USA has an all-volunteer army now but had conscription until Vietnam. Israel has conscription. But here we hear that Israel presumes to draft all Jews, not merely all Israeli-Jews, into its (figurative) army. Maybe that's why the opponents to Stanford's DIVEST vote were so obstreperous during the first vote -- they were soldiers (onward Jewish soldiers!) -- whose (only) nation, Israel, is under attack. (No dual loyalty there!)

  • Closed-door debate on divestment by U of Toledo student gov't to include officials from Jewish Federation
    • Sadly, truth often does not prevail. Fluoridation of water, vaccination, global warming, (flat earth, Darwin,sun-centric solar system). What does prevail is the exercise of power and money-is-power (disguised by USA S/C as money-is-speech). And cults often prevail over any other sort of truth -- from fear, oppression, etc. Zionism is fed by a really strange fear -- the fear of what would happen if Zionism were to be discredited or disappear. (BTW: I favor a rule against inter-marriage by a strongly-convinced Zionist -- to preserve the mental health and cult-free status of potential non-sc-Z partners.)

    • Annie: re: resentment of Zionist democracy-cancelling students, I wrote to the UT folks as follows:

      Mr. Notestine:
      Dr. Nagi Naganathan:

      A closed-door UT student-government meeting on a subject of divestment from certain companies (regarding Israel's violations of Palestinian human rights) is reported at

      link to mondoweiss.net

      I am sure that by now you have had an opportunity to re-think about how this meeting should be held.

      By now you realize that efforts to exclude the student-body (either as witnesses or as speakers) from a meeting to determine the business of the student government is not only ridiculous but undemocratic and possibly a violation of applicable university rules (or applicable law).

      I sympathize with Jewish Zionist students who feel uncomfortable when Israel's activities are criticized. After all, many of them were fed their Zionism from earliest childhood and their Zionism is, in effect, a belief system derived from constant propaganda.

      Like any cult.

      But their discomfort should lead them to re-think their adherence to Zionism, not to re-think their adherence to democracy in the USA.

      And the university should assure all its students a voice in student affairs without attempting to adopt anti-democracy as a means to protect the too-delicate feelings of the Jewish Zionist students.

      Sincerely,

      Peter Belmont

    • Wow! Are there any "open meeting" rules for such debates which this set-up is breaking? A "student government" gig to which outsiders are invited (or allowed) to participate but students are for the most part excluded?

      Wow. Wow?

  • Israeli court's rejection of Corrie family appeal is not fit for print in our leading papers
    • All the army does is OK in a war zone (by the Israeli S/C) -- but what about a zone of occupation where the occupier has responsibilities? Oh, yes, Israel now claims not to occupy Gaza which (in Israel's view) has reverted to being an unoccupied part of ?? Palestine? And the soldiers firing on farmers in the close-to-Israel no-go-zone is not occupation? Not a military enforcement of control?

  • Netanyahu calls on Jews to leave Europe en masse in wake of Copenhagen synagogue attack
    • "Sadly, the Israeli government seems not to recognize that Jewish Americans are not “Israelis in exile."

      True. Also and more sadly, the Israeli government seems not to recognize that Palestinian refugees of 1948 (and some other Palestinians outside Israel) are INDEED “Israelis in exile", that is, have a right to return under UNGA resolutions and Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

      So, Beebity, wrong on two counts. (Also on safety of Israel. It is actually quite safe, and the hand-wringing is a fake.)

  • A place where Palestine doesn't exist (Notes from a Zionist education)
    • Great essay. No-one who hadn't been there would have imagined Jewish camps being this way. I'm reading a terrific thriller called "Zoo Station" by David Downing which is set in Nazi Germany about 1939. One of the recurring themes is the Nazi youth efforts: Hitler Youth, "jungvolk" and so forth. (Also a mandatory year's service for 17 year-olds called arbeitsdienst]. See link to ushmm.org and link to holocaust-history.org.

      So it cannot be said that Israel learned nothing from Germany in the bad old days.

  • Netanyahu says Labor will bring ISIS to Jerusalem
  • Happy Palestine Day
    • ejay: Not so fast: the partition was a mere proposal for an agreed (an agreed!) division between Jews and Arabs. The agreement never happened (so far) and the proposed boundaries are unimportant (unless, perhaps, because PLO (Arafat) in 1988 recognized Israel and the UNGA 181 as its birth certificate -- as I recall).

      I think Palestine was a state, carved from Ottoman Empire in 1923, and existed up to mid-1948 as a full operating state; then it became fully occupied, and it has remained fully occupied. The (undoubted) state of Israel was carved out of Palestine (leaving the rest AS Palestine) but since its borders were never either claimed (by Israel) or agreed to with any other states -- other than some borders with Egypt and Jordan -- it is not clear exactly what territory was carved out of Palestine. Israel obviously thinks it is a matter to be decided by force and -- so far -- seems to be right. Although some states in Europe seem to be getting ready to rethink that.

    • Lovely. Whether the huge valentine-shaped "hole" in the wall is real or a trompe-l'oeil, it tells a wonderful story. So does the candy. Just lovely.

  • The left needs to stop hounding Elizabeth Warren on Palestine, says Warren supporter
    • Lenchner's essay "My Problem with BDS" includes this:

      My problem with the Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment (BDS) movement is that it treats the entire field of democratic contention in Israel as so much wasted breath. Was all that effort I put into inviting Jews to meet Palestinians for the first time just wasted? Were all those weekend seminars and visits to Arab villages, the West Bank and Gaza for nothing? All the time spent passing out election flyers and poll watching – just wasted effort? What about the months I spent in military prison as a refusenik?

      .He seems to think there is some sort of progress to be made by letting Israelis (Jews mostly) hash this out to their hearts' content. Or if not progress, then at least comfort for them.

      Whereas BDS believes (as do I) that pressure must be applied to the whole she-bang (or much of it). We don't want to wait because he might be uncomfortable.

      Same for democrats. Pressure. An old political line is: politician to lobbyist, "OK, you've convinced me. Now pressure me." so we pro-Palestine folks need a PAC to funnel our contributions through.

  • Warren supporters can't talk about Palestine
    • Warren has taken on the banks, that slice of the oligarchy which rules America which I call BIG-BANKS. Can she also be asked to take on (assuming she even understands the issues) the Palestine question (sometimes with some justification aka the Jewish problem)? People who read Mondoweiss year after year do understand the issues, but not everyone is immersed in I/P.

      Hillary on the other hand understands completely but has apparently allied herself with the money, what I call BIG-ZION. Ho-hum human rights.

      Not (yet) a pretty sight. Maybe the Netanyahu hoo-haw will change things a bit. But BIG-ZION is not going away. Even Warren knows that much about I/P.

  • Remembering Bob Simon
  • AIPAC behind new US/EU trade legislation designed to thwart BDS
    • See Eva 2/11 7:04PM below for enormous detail on this.

    • BumbleBye: TPP like NAFTA and other "free trade" treaties is a give-away to big corporations, allowing them to be freed from further labor laws or environmental laws or any laws that impinge on their profits. In other words, it is a give-away of SOVEREIGNTY by all the countries that sign it.

      The men in black helicopters, the UN tyrants, are the sovereignty-destroying imaginary boogeymen of the far-right, but the free-trade are the actual sovereignty-destroyers. And our governments do them again and again and again. The race-to-the-bottom (environment. labor, maybe other things) was in place with the first free trade agreement.

  • Let's honor Kayla Mueller-- and other women leaders during the war on terror
  • Stanford petition misrepresents resolution to divest from occupation
    • These pro-BDS and anti-BDS statements are apparently repetitive of other pro-BDS and normal (Israeli-hasbara-tainted) anti-BDS talking points. That means that a lot of pro-BDS labor could be saved by taking both the initial pro-BDS petitions and the replies to the anti-BDS statements "out of a can" of previously prepared argumentation. There should be a BDS-central-arguments-repository both for the arguments in favor of BDS petitions and also for the put-downs to the anti-BDS statements.

      Of course, in some cases the pro-BDS material must be suited to the institution, the occasion, the facts-of-actual-investments, etc.

  • Israel: Schabas resignation cannot ‘whitewash’ bias in UN war crimes inquiry
  • A cosmopolitan's regrets: Roger Cohen on the Jewish condition
    • "Till I read that story I will find the Zionism unconvincing, and after he writes it, I imagine Cohen will feel the same way."

      Phil, I think that is an important take-away: anyone who can describe emptiness and suffering, displacement, exclusion, and all the rest, and describe Zionism (the one of the myths of 1948, perhaps, or maybe what we now call "liberal Zionism") as a cure for the ills Jews have suffered from the rest of the world -- and not see the Palestinians -- is in denial and may wake up someday, or not.

      My guess is that the older Zionists will not wake up: facing the duplicity of crying for succor while displacing another people and destroying their society and staling their lands and possessions and (in 1948) crops will be too great a psychic strain. They will not even be as honest as the Israeli generals who say with the cruelty of militarists that you must break (other people's) eggs to make an omelet. No, they will simply continue not to know, not to admit, not to be conscious of the costs of Zionism.

      But the next generation will contain many people whose life experiences have not prepared them to embrace the (may I say) criminality of Zionism. And either the Jewish people who have replaced Judaism with pro-Israelism will wake up and find some other meaning in "being a Jew" or their "Judaism" will drift away into full assimilation.

  • I misremember Iraq
    • Brilliant, indeed.

      Maybe this ties in with the question of why so many Americans don't believe (some, selective) stuff that scientists tell them. Vaccines will help not harm. Global Warming is our fault and there's still time to prevent the worst. You should fluoridate your town's drinking water. Men landed on the moon.

      I mean why not, "It's all lies anyhow? I'll believe what I want. F**k 'em."

  • Ari Shavit pimps AIPAC in Scarsdale
    • Didn't Hitler use to stage huge rallies where flags were everywhere and a lot of cheering? Isn't that the way to rally the troops and make them believe that they are on the right side?

      Let's encourage American Jews to feel loyal to another country to the point of opposing more general American interests such as avoiding war with Iran -- make us some more Israel Firsters.

      Yay AIPAC!

  • New leftwing anti-semitism is when Jews feel 'attacked' over Israel's conduct
    • I love JLD's pointing up the double-standard which is not allowed and yet required. No double-standard, and yet must cut slack for holocaust.

      Sounds a bit as if the State Dep't, acting through its antisemitism czar (nice thought, that) wants to limit political speech in the USA by labeling it hate-speech. And to let the object of obloquy define hate-speech instead of letting an even-handed objective definition come along (form out the woodwork?).

      Does the USA really need an antisemitism czar, anyhow? Where's that in the budget? And is there an anti-Islamophobia czar, an anti-anti-black czar, an anti-anti-LGBT czar, etc? Surely we need those, at least!

    • In other words, if someone says, "Oi, shmoi, I'm feeling so attacked today" then someone else has been very naughty in an antisemitic way.

      My advice to those Oi-sayers is "toughen up". Stop feeling attacked if you are not being attacked. Paranoia, even on a grand scale, is not proof of attack. Let's get real (instead of fanciful).

      And that's the answer I'd give to those ever-so-delicate flowers at Harvard and elsewhere that say they "feel" attacked when someone criticizes Israel or demands sanctions (BDS) against part or all of the Israeli society.

      And it might make sense for some of them to hitch their wagon to a different star. Israel is no fairy princess. Sorry for mixt metaphors.

  • Do we really want Benjamin Netanyahu guiding U.S. foreign policy?
    • Hillary, your local rep for: [1] NARAL and women (?) [2] Israel (!), [3] Big-Banks (*), BIG-DEFENSE (!).

      Democracy. We have a choice. Tea-and Money-soaked Republicans -- or Money-soaked-Democrats.

  • Censored SeaMAC ads grace San Francisco buses
    • Dunno who sees the little video, but, if I'd seen it, I'd sure have liked to give them a dollar to "help bring apartheid a little closer."

      Actually, I'd have wanted to learn a little more. Are all those hideous allegations really true? Gosh. Who knew?

  • Pro-Israel campus activists acting as agents of state propaganda and intimidation
    • Tyler Levitan lives on unceded Algonquin territory? OK. I hope he spends some time helping the Algonquins with their problems with Canada and BIG-OIL and also urging them to learn about and join him on Palestine. Putting that to the side, he has made an enormous voyage of discovery and change of perspective -- terrific! (More than I ever did -- I started in the Palestinian camp and don't expect to leave it since I don't expect them to become tyrants, as Israel has done, in my lifetime.)

  • Why now? Story breaks that US teamed with Israel in assassinating Iranian 'agent' in '08
    • "Israel firster" should be resurrected but all them IF's should be disbarred, so to speak. Got no business giving advice to good ole USofA.

      And another thing: why is it in the CIA's interest (or USA's) fo CIA to claim credit for an assassination? Will that make ISIS or Al Qaeda or Taliban back down? Get nice? Play softball? Or strike back?

  • Media coverage of Adelson's support for Christie leaves out Adelson urging Obama to nuke Iran
    • Oh Phil, so crabby: the MSM don't have TIME to tell about recommendations to bomb Iran as well as mentioning Shelly is FOI. And opposes gambling that would weaken his own empire (I spose). Be grateful for the "supports Israel" and mention of supplying an airplane for a huge junket.

      BTW, what's the tax angle on that gift? Did Shelly-babe pay gift tax on it? (Is there still a gift tax in USA?) And is it income to Christie? Or to the others on the trip?

      Just askin'. Not sayin'.

  • Netanyahu 'babysitter' ad warns that Labor will give away Israel's house and carpet
    • It's all a lie, according to Gideon Levy, the Laborites won't give away anything. They'll out Clinton (Clinton-1) and out Bush-1,2 and out Obama them all: let's have another 5-year plan called stalling under a banner which reads "peace process".

  • Lawrence Summers says BDS movement is 'persecuting' Israel
    • I think some people missed one thing that Summers said. He said that other countries were worse than Israel. That implicitly admits that Israel is bad.

      Now I guess he doesn't want to say "how" bad. And he doesn't want to admit that the occupation and settlements and daily persecution (and the biggies like Gaza-2014) were all wholly unnecessary since the PLO offered the generally understood peace in 1988!

      In other words Israel is being bad just because it wants to, not because it must. But the entire justification ever offered for Israel's 1948 land grab (and, ahem, people exclusion) was some sort of necessity. Israel is "here" on the basis of an argument of necessity and behaves very badly (thanks, USA, for that $3B+/yr).

      It might -- just possibly -- be antisemitic to call for Israel's erasure, but not to call for lawful behavior -- even if other countries are worse.

      And Jews will not take kindly to summers telling them that Israel is bad -- just not as bad as others -- and they should support Israel to the hilt. Whaddya mean calling Israel bad, Mr. Summers? Brrrrrr.

      Mr. Summers in Winter.

  • Israel gets trashed at the 92d Street Y
    • I'm an old guy, but not on upper west side and don't watch "sophisticated" TV (or any TV). DIdn't understand the humor. No sense of humor I guess. Or "had to be there" but wasn't. Err sump'n.

      So -- I cannot tell whether the audience at the "Y" understood that this was a send-up (and criticism) of Jewish attitudes or (as it might seem to some) a true expression of valued Jewish attitudes. People laughing at good ole Uncle Shmuel, you know. A little cracked, perhaps, forgetful sometimes, but heart in the right place.

  • Auschwitz revisited
    • Yes, the holocaust (in such cases named "The Holocaust") is used by Israel as a distraction of attention from what it is doing and has already done to Palestinians. It is used to clear away any moral scruples that Jews or others may feel w.r.t. I/P. Thus it is indeed time to give it a rest.

  • Charlie Hebdo: The sacred of the 'wretched of the Earth' and its desecration
    • Thank you, Houria Bouteldja, for this heart-felt cry.

      There are many indigenous peoples, some more integrated into modernity and some less. We (moderns, industrialized) should listen to them all, for in a variety of ways they are telling us the same thing -- that the way of modernity, colonialism, capitalism, industrialism, oligarchy-in-place-of-democracy, neoliberalism, EXTRACTIONALISM (of oil, gas, coal, gold, other metals; the cutting of forests, etc.) is against nature and part of the evil of modernity which brings on climate change (global arming) and many kinds of pollution (by industrialized, chemicalized farming) and over-human-population.

      I heartily recommend Naomi Kline's terrific book "This Changes Everything" which has taught me this important lesson (where was I all this time?) and which nicely parallels the message above about the "wretched of the earth" (WOE). The WOE are almost the only people from whom the rest of us can learn, if we will but listen, about how mankind can live on earth without wrecking it.

      We should listen to the WOE because many of us are becoming WOE, the victims of modern forms of colonialism. (Think of fracking in your backyard.)

      The Charlie Hebdo blindness that allowed the cartoonists to think that it was perfectly fine to make light of the religious sensibilities of the WOE is like all other forms of colonialism: it begins by disregarding the WOE as people and their practices and knowledge (and Naomi Kline would add: their understanding of the earth and right-living upon it). The Charlie Hebdo cartoonists did not pause to reflect that we are all living as neighbors in this small world and should treat our neighbors kindly; no, they did not pause, because moderns (as a form of colonizers) think of ourselves as the only people that count.

      Today, many of us (moderns) are becoming WOE: think of the people losing their lands and drinking-waters to fracking, losing their jobs to "free-trade agreement"-facilitated off-shoring of jobs, of all of us losing our democracy to oligarchy (the rule by the very rich). It is possible that the new government of Greece will follow through and cancel a vastly destructive gold-mining operation planned by the old government which was (like the USA today) subservient to the demands of EXTRACTIVE industrialists and the soul-crushing demands (called "austerity") of the greatest colonizers of them all, the bankers.

      It's all interconnected and it's all going down the tubes unless people get shaken up enough to fight back.

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

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

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

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

      Compare and contrast:

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

      Or some of the USA's white supremacists?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      A heavy price they paid for forgetting.

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

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

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

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

      Charlie Hebdo, what are you saying about global warming?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      link to 123pab.com

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

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

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

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

      Academic freedom? Couldn't care less.

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

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

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

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

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

      Looked it up (link to en.wikipedia.org):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      So, yes, I'll tell her (http://www.warren.senate.gov), but I cannot expect her to listen.

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

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

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

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

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

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