Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 4520 (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 4520 - 4501

  • Why did Netanyahu respond to chickenshit with 'grassy knoll' remark?
    • 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?

  • 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.

  • '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
    • 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."

  • Under pretext of restoring calm, Netanyahu government is escalating Israel’s war on Palestinians in Jerusalem
    • All good points. Q: Are Palestinians considered evil by zios because they are Palestinians (victims of Zionism) or simply because they are goyim?

      One other matter: "Hamas" s/b so spelt unless you are parodying Israelis (a bit unfairly) or their un-learned American friends (fairly) who pronounce it Kxh-amas (due to the exigencies of modern (German-influenced?) Hebrew pronunciation. Needless to say, Americans who pronounce Hamas as KHamas have only listened to Israelis and their friends. NPR folks, perhaps? Not that I am any expert on the right sound (or transliteration) of Arabic "H"s -- of which there are more than 1 -- but I believe that they are all "softer" than the very gutteral modern Hebrew "KH".

  • Another New York Times' reporter's son is in the Israeli army
  • UCLA Hillel partners with PR firm to fight BDS movement
    • What a great campus for an Open Hillel movement. Let students ask for a debate at the Hillel auditorium, a debate on BDS and the place of Hillel and of Jewish students generally on the BDS question. What will happen? either the debate will be scheduled or the permit denied. Either can be reported. If the debate permit be denied, the debate can be held elsewhere with support (or sponsorship) from Open Hillel.

  • Resistance is our duty, too
    • One form of resistance open to Americans and others outside The Land is to advance the opinion that, as a remedy for Israeli lawlessness, the illegal settlers must all be removed and the illegal settlements structures (buildings, the wall) must be demolished.

      Sounds extreme, right? Cannot happen, isn't a-gonna happen, so why call for it? Aren't these "facts on the ground" facts, permanent, immovable, impervious, immutable?

      But if we call for justice, for the rule of law in international affairs, to say nothing of peace, how can we not call for this remedy? And practically speaking how else can space be made for the Palestinian people within Palestine, whether in a 1SS or a 2SS?

      And, speaking even more practically, how other than by pushing with all our hearts and all our minds and spirit, can we show Israel that it has something to lose (a lot to lose) if it continues to refuse to make a "just and lasting peace" as envisioned by UNSC 242 (1967)?

  • Kerry just snubbed a gov't minister who calls for segregated bus lines. And that's a bad thing?
    • "“Ya’alon bans Palestinians from Israeli-run bus lines in West Bank, following settler pressure."

      Everyone understands the concept of BDS directed at ALL Israeli companies, institutions, sports, culture, academy, trade, etc. But not everyone who approves of (some) BDS approves of this ("full-court") BDS.

      Question for the halfhearted BDSers who would sanction only companies which either do business in occupied territories or facilitate occupation: If these bus-lines are run by the Israeli national government, or by some regional Israeli sub-government, does this make sanctioning Israel as-a-whole (or the Israeli government as a whole) OK? Or does it remove this bus-line from the possibility of sanctions?

    • Page: 45
    • The new "acceptability" for politicians is called "civility" (made famous at UIUC aqs a reason foir not hiring Steven Salaita). You are "civil" if you speak in a low voice and smile. what you say doesn't matter (although if your communication is in print, it will be deemed "incivil" and therefore punishable if the words look as if they had been shouted).

      Ya'alon smiles, thus is "civil" and his call for segregated bus lines is OK to those whose measure of OKness is civility.

  • 'Jewish students were barred from attending' pro-Palestinian event -- Alterman misrepresents
    • Alterman warns the students and his warning has much to be said for it. "Don't make waves" is the way to keep out of trouble.

      But those who want to put the "progress" into "Progressive" must make waves. There is no other way. The students are determined to speak truth to power, to make waves, and to influence other and still more students. They welcome trouble.

      More power to them!

      PS. If Alterman has pretensions to be progressive, he should rething many things, and not only his advice here.

  • Israel and Palestine is not about Jews vs. Palestinians
    • Are the Israeli-Jews who are moving out of Israel and into EU, into Germany, into the very teeth of virulent antisemitism (as some say) -- are they not in many cases voting pocketbook issues? And if so, does this not suggest that money and power are making changes in Israel -- if not peace, justice, mom, and apple matza-ball soup?

      This verdammt Zionism is kept alive by the continued pumping in of propaganda and the continuing refreshing of ideology, to say nothing of sclerotic brains among the older (and sadly, among the very wealthy) Jews who believe nothing ever happened after the holocaust except the creation and progressive triumph of Israel. The commodification of world-politics doesn't hurt either, what with the Zionist best-money-can-buy control of the world's ruling classes (oligarchies).

  • Chomsky used to need police protection when he spoke about Israel, no longer
    • Israel is a tiny bit mentally sclerotic. In the valuable book "The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine", Pappe tells us that Ben Gurion moved his military away from what they called "retaliation" (for Palestinian resistance) and toward "cleansing" (expulsion into exile) when he sensed that the world would permit it. He was reading Arab strength but also reading world opinion. Zionists have done so ever since.

      World opinion is beginning to change, quite possibly because Israel has gone so far, so very far, into its despicable brand of imperialism. The signs are that the control of Israel is no longer in the sole hands of one clever (if unscrupulous) leader but, rather, in the hands of an ever more demanding group of extremists.

      My belief? Israel will go down the tubes because the ideologues have beaten the realists.

  • ExxonMobil and Apartheid South Africa have 'no right to exist,' Gitlin says
    • The Harvard Divest folks (as we all) should also be alarmed by a non-ethical concern: that their university's (or other) investments are to some (probably large, or what's the fuss about?) extent invested in fossil fuels at a moment when those investments can be expected to lose value as anti-climate-change activity "fires up" (PtP).

      As matters stand corporations have a right to exist and to do legal business, and citizens have a right to protest and to do legal politics. BDS and Divest are politics. Nothing in them about right-to-exist of corporations, nations, etc. (Indeed, BDS seeks a rights-respecting Israel, an Israel that is as vastly transformed from its present state as S.A. is from its Apartheid past.)

  • An open letter to Birthright participants past, present, and future
    • Many people try to convince others of a proposition by telling only part of the relevant story. That's what propaganda is for. Birthright is just such a partial (in both meanings) story-telling. Hannah Friedstein shows this nicely. Bravo.

  • Allegations of anti-Semitism used to cover up anti-Palestinian hate crime in Brooklyn
    • Israel is indeed a producer of terrorism. It does not limit its activity to waving flags, however, but does its own (severe) violence against Palestinians and others and has done so for 66 years.

      Waving a Palestinian flag may be a provocation (to Zios) but is (IMO) more like speech than like action and is certainly not violence. Punching the flag waver is violence and is, in this case I'd argue, a "hate crime".

      Protecting the violent and waving-off the injured is standard behavior for police forces which see themselves as in the business of [1] protecting status quo and protecting the rich and powerful rather than [2] enforcing the law and preventing crime. (These are actually different jobs, and only [2] makes sense for a truly public-serving police force.) NYPD, is this you?

  • Recognizing Palestine—and political reality
    • I think it is time for the Palestinians (PLO?) to state that just as they are unhappy with an Israel which has obscured its national borders, so too it cannot expect the world to be happy with a Palestine which has not stated its borders.

      Accordingly, Palestine should state as its borders the borders proposed in UNGA 181 and note that all of its territory is under belligerent occupation by Israel, some occupied in the "1948" war, and some in the 1967 war. It could refer to the Eliahu Epstein letter for the proposition that Israel has, indeed, stated its borders although it had already, by mid 1948, by territorially acquisitive warfare, occupied additional Palestinian territory.

      The advantage of this plan is to get the world attuned to the benefits of declared borders, to draw the world's attention to Israel's (sole?) such declaration, and to set the stage for a world-opinion that rolling back one occupation is not enough -- there are two occupations to roll back.

      As to Israeli "security", Palestine could drily note that it has no plans to demand that Israel give up the nuclear weapons, if any, or other military weapons it may from time to time possess, although in any removal of Israel from occupied territories, Israel will of course have to give up any military bases located in such relinquished territory.

  • The hidden documents that reveal the true borders of Israel and Palestine
    • 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.

  • Israeli president's diagnosis -- 'Israel is a sick society' -- doesn't go viral in the U.S.
    • Annie, good points. Dialog is a fake, like "civility", a thing to promote to keep people in line without actually doing anything, a way to calm down dissent. It is instead of progress.

    • Softening Israel is the job of BDS. But of course, it may merely harden Israel (as J-Street, JVP, and others may perhaps be warning). BDS now is fairly ineffective, and Israeli Jews can say, well, they all hate us, what else is new? But if BDS became more effective or even very effective, AND always stated its requirements for ending (removal of settlers, removal of wall and settlements, end of siege of Gaza as an example of possible requirements), then the Israeli Jewish folks could say they hate us for what we are doing, not for who we are, and they didn't ask us to commit suicide.

      If BDS also asked/demanded a PRoR, well, Israeli Jews might see THAT as a demand for suicide. Even though they could accept PRoR while avoiding demographic "suicide" aka non-Jewish-big-majority by the simple (if unpleasant for them) expedient of accepting a significantly smaller territory in which the full Jewish population could crowd together so as to form a 80% majority or whatever they deem necessary for non-suicide.

      Ghetto mentality deserves a small ghetto territory.

    • He doesn't (here) seem to care about peace, justice, blah-blah [I/P] , but only about inter-Israeli social issues. Oh well, gotta start somewhere.

  • The rabbi's fridge
    • Every drop of water, every fridge-message, wears away the awful stone of Zionism. But bear in mind, Richard Falk at the annual Edward said lecture at Columbia U. the other evening reminded us that even though we maintain hope against great odds, it would be nice to receive (dear God, send us) a miracle.

      People are living longer these days, especially wealthy Jews who give money for university medical centers. How long must we wait fro the sclerotic old guard to die off? How long, how long, Oh Lord? (How long? too Long).

  • Academic institutions that violate academic freedom deserve to be boycotted
    • "A boycott of Israeli institutions is not the sort of action that we call for lightly. Yet the participation of Israeli universities in violating the basic human, educational, and academic rights of Palestinians and their allies leaves us no other choice."

      The UIUC evidently thinks there is another choice -- civility (= passivity). UIUC governors want to be allowed to do their corporate-style will unhindered and any and all hindrance is dubbed uncivil and, if they can do so, punished. Thus Salaita.

      The boycott of UIUC is a beautiful example of why boycott is exactly the proper way for academics to treat academies which don't conform to academic standards.

  • Junot Díaz comes out in support of the academic and cultural boycott of Israel
    • On the theory that no nation is "too big to fail" or "too bad to fail", yes, those calling for boycott against the universities of seriously bad countries (such as Israel) should call for boycott of USA's universities, most of which support USA's imperialism and militarism one way or another (if only by allowing military recruiting on campus -- as required by law).

      ASA does not, I imagine, call for a boycott of all Israeli institutions but merely for a boycott of Israeli universities (on the fairly correct assumption that they are all complicit in the occupation and the imperialistic IDF actions). This would seem to mean that ASA would oppose its members going to attend a conference at (or perhaps only if sponsored by) an Israeli university but would not oppose an Israeli scholar coming to an American conference unless that Israeli scholar were somehow too closely connected with an Israeli university.

      Some oddities here. Imagine an Israeli scholar who, at his university has no representative capacity for the university, but who has contracts with the IDF. Would ASA policy welcome such a scholar?

  • An exciting night at the opera: 'Klinghoffer' opening dominated by protest and heavy police presence
    • I have a dim memory that when the opera first came out, some people criticized it for trashing Palestinians -- tarring them with the brush of terrorism.

      Be that as it may, clearly, today, a lot of the same people who help keep USA's politics on I/P in place also feel that any depiction of I/P (even an opera) must be slanted their way, must be their propaganda rather than whatever (other propaganda, or other balance) the composer wanted.

      Can we wonder at the horrible coverage of I/P in NYT, NPR, WNYC?

  • 'Another Jew!' Speakers at 'Klinghoffer' rally blame Jews for promoting anti-Semitism
    • Good points. Easy to see why these protesters protest. But also easy to see why Palestinians and their friends and allies might dislike the characterization of Palestinians generally (if that's what the opera does) or of the hijackers.

      Let us not forget that the last time Israel attacked Gaza in force, they killed far more people than a few hijackers killed on the Achille Lauro (as they also did when Israeli fighters hijacked the Mavi Marmara, killing only 9 people).

    • Do these people demand action to prevent CLIMATE CHANGE which could kill more Jews than Hitler did? Or are their toughts and energies focused solely on antisemitism?

      Boy-o-boy, if they can damn Foxman they are crazies beyond crazies, and I thought NRA and anti-abortion folks were single-minded.

  • Indian Summer: An Open Letter to Sayed Kashua on the occasion of his piece in the New Yorker
    • "Stick with Haaretz my friend! They know the facts on the ground a little better".

      Well, I'd say publish these two New Yorker stories everywhere! Americans will never know what the MSM refuses to tell them unless someone else tells them, and these two articles are funny, light, and a far better introduction to the (real) facts-on-the-ground (that too small ground they speak of) than a morose or legalistic (my awful style and viewpoint) discussion.

      These stories have everything: beer, pizza, kids, taxi-drivers. Yes and many essential facts.

  • B'Tselem video: Israeli soldiers blindfold and detain 11 year old disabled child
    • Thank you, lysias. "But one voice echoing popular global sentiment is surprising – the President of Israel. Israel President Reuven Rivlin says Israel has become a “sick society” that lacks human decency and is unable to engage in dialogue with Arabs due to racial animosity and prejudice – a rather stunning indictment by a head of state of his own country." He really said this? Is there proof? in NYT?

      Those cheering settlers say it all. "Death to Arabs". They know, or should know, that the settlements and themselves are present ion OPTs illegally (in contemplation of international law), and yet they celebrate Israel's lawlessness with a showing of a descent into bestiality (of which their cheering of this arrest of an 11-year old is a telling indication). They are saying, (my translation) "We've become savage animals without human feeling, tearing and rending the Palestinians who live among us, and it gives us great joy. This land is ours, all of it, and only ours, not anyone else's, and we are proud that we got it and maintain our control of it ONLY from the barrels of guns. Soldiers, arrest those kids and imprison them and torture them and throw away the key."

  • NYT takes on Europe's recognition of a Palestinian state
    • "For the pro-Israel commentators, recognizing Palestine is “premature” and detracts from Israel’s longstanding position of only allowing for a Palestinian state as the fruit of a negotiated agreement."

      Well, well, again we are reminded that many people feel OK about asserting "Israel's longstanding position" as it it were the be-all and end-all of any discussion involving Israel.

      Well, in that case, to be fair, as we all should be, shouldn't we all say that recognizing Israel is premature unless and until it occur as a result of a negotiated agreement with the Palestinians? And even if we earlier grant Israel's RtE, no recognition of Israel's proper territory can occur before such an agreement occur. So Israel is (at best) left with a territory entirely held by military occupation but without any portion of it held as-of-right the wqay most nations hold their proper territory.

      It almost makes me sad to contemplate dear, sweet, deprived Israel -- until I contemplate the still more deprived Palestine.

      But, returning to the issue -- recognition by EU and UK of the Palestinian State -- the lack of clarity in what it means is no defect: after all, all Balfour said (promised) in 1917 was a Jewish homeland in Palestine, and the lacking detail was fiulled in by later events. same could happen here. That's what BDS (and especially S) is for.

  • 'Settlement endorsement should be put on a par with racism, sexism, homophobia and anti-Semitism' --British pol
    • Terrific speech. Sows seeds which may germinate and later be harvested. The anticipated harvest is the taking of a proud political position, by himself and others, for UK condemnation of the settlements and a call for actual action (sanctions come to mind) intended to persuade Israeli voters (and Israeli businesses, particularly if the sanctions cut into Israeli trade) to use Israeli democracy to bring about a recall of all settlers, removal of the wall and demoltion of all settlements buildings, and end of the siege on Gaza.

      Let us hope that these seeds are of a fast-sprouting variety. Be nivfe to plant some here in the USA as well.

  • 'I know how the brainwashing works'
  • Does 'the thief of Jerusalem' deserve US aid? (Update)
    • "If U.S. policy prohibits American aid to illegal settlements, why can’t it challenge nonprofits using tax subsidies to fund the takeover of occupied Palestine".

      A good question. But, since money is fungible, and since the GoI "aids illegal settlements" by funding much for settlers in OPTs including subsidies to settlers of various kinds, road building, etc., and also police and army "protection" for the settlers (when it s/b for the "protected persons" a/k/a Palestinians) -- gasp --- then why is not the USA's own contribution to GoI of $3B/year --[ coming up for a vote VERY SOON and at a time when due to sequestration money is being cut out of most federal budgets including the military's which they need to deal with and avoid climate change ]-- also prohibited? Write your Congressperson and Senators!

  • Europe wearies of Netanyahu's diversions
    • Gerald Ford, it was once said, could not chew gum and walk at the same time. The Rt. Hon. Benj, Netanyahu appears to be unable to keep more than one thought, or project, in mind at one time.

      The Rt. Hon. Benj. has in mind the danger -- as he professes to assess it -- of an Iranian nuke and (therefore?) cannot also keep in mind the business of I/P.

      If EU folks are indeed ready to lose patience with these not-at-all-new antics, well and good. After all, they've had quite a while to consider all the Israeli diversions which they have allowed to divert them from the illegality of the settlements and the wall and the siege of Gaza and, as they might come to see it, of the occupation as a whole which appears an effort to take permanent hold of occupied territory by force of arms, contrary to UNSC 242 and UN Charter. They've had quite a while to think about how to react to these illegalities without embarrassment for their own tardiness in making such reaction.

      Better late than never will do, folks, Get on with it, please.

  • 'NYT' can't keep its story straight on anti-Semitism in Germany
    • Maybe you can have both: [1] a resurgence of antsemitism in Germany (perhaps only in some places) and also a flow of emigrants from Israel into Germany (perhaps only into some different places).

      NYT should get its (Oh! so careless) act together and report on facts which will reconcile these two stories (or show as this essay suggests) that the Israeli immigrants into Germany are moving in, apparently happily, even in the face of actual growing antisemitism.

      The meaning of that would be: life in Germany today, even with increasing antisemitism, is better than life in Israel today.

      Could be it's just the price of pudding of course. Maybe they'd think of ASKING the new immigrants why they moved. Ask a lot of them, get a range of answers, I'd suppose.

      Maybe North/Weiss could find someone to do the job for NYT (which would probably be reluctant to do real informative reporting on such a topic anyhow).

      Any sociologist or pollster in the house?

  • AIPAC rabbi calls for 'militant nonviolent resistance' to racial injustice in St. Louis
    • So our unrepentant rabbi says that rockets-out-of-Gaza forced Israel into overwhelming and disporportionate response?

      [Hamas fired rockets] " knowing that Israel would have to return the fire and cause the kinds of heartbreaking casualties in Gaza that turns public opinion and brings in money for aid. The world and especially the press, loves the underdog, and the suffering."

      Israel, dearest rabbi, had many choices. One was to return rocket fire on a one-for-one basis, firing into unoccupied territory for each rocket out of Gaza which landed in unoccupied Israeli territory, etc, and using small rockets like the ones that were in fact fired from Gaza.

      No-one forced Israel into massive response: that was Israel's choice, a choice as to which it appears to be unrepentant. (What does she say about Israel "mowing the grass" and other charming Israeli military equivocations?)

  • As Kerry scrambles to prevent Palestinian action at UN, Israeli govt makes clear it will never accept Palestinian state
    • Israel is NOT eating up the land (except, perhaps, where they have dumped toxic wastes and made the land effectively unusable).

      The Nov 5 initiative is an interesting one. It is not the only one that can be imagined. I'd propose another (which might be easier for UN members to agree to):

      Palestine should define a demand for minimum Israeli compliance with international law of occupation and ask the UNSC to confirm this demand in a resolution with compliance provisions ("teeth"). If I were drafting such a demand I'd set forth: [1] permanent removal of all settlers as residents or even as sojourners from OPTs (within 1 year); [2] destruction without rebuilding of the wall and all settlements within OPTs (2 years); [3] permanent lifting of the blockade of Gaza (immediate).

      And why not float both resolutions simultaneously? One to end the occupation and the other to make it "legal". (Israel would react to the "legality" resolution much as if it were the other resolution, anyhow, IMO).

      But, of course, Palestinian diplomacy may well have floated both draft resolutions and decided which has the best chance of passage. we arm-chair diplomats don't know everything, do we?

  • The Missing Context: 'Islamic State' sectarianism is not coincidental 
    • This entire essay and its comments speaks of strategy (and sometimes also of actions) which amount, as to USA and Israel, of divide and allow to self-destruct. Not divide and conquer.

      Israel has always had strategic thinkers who put stuff on paper, B-G included, but often (as with plan-D) there is denial that the plan was put into effect, or that the plan dictated or guided military action. These denials are not particularly believable but raise a question: was Yinon (Brewer above, from: Israel Shahak) speaking for Israel or merely floating balloons?

      The USA in Iraq seems to me to have been essentially clueless rather than cleverly maleficent (as to divide and allow to self-destruct). Bush-2: wanted his war; was encouraged to that (or even initially motivated to it) by neocons/Israel; was as stupid as they come and as careless (recall there was no plan for "after", and recall the trashing of the Iraqi museum of antiquities; was motivated by the immense profit-making revolving-door of [1] have American troops destroy and [2] let American corporations rebuild. None of this was a plan for Iraqi recovery, for democracy, for peace, or for getting USA out. It was a great splash of profit-making amid otherwise cluelessness.

      But Obama is caught in the same web of bad advice and a bad situation. Our current general Islamic-o-phobia requires blaming ISIL rather than blaming ourselves or blaming the so-called Iraqi government. Obama's possible restraint, currently, may be a sign that he (his advisers) recognize that this mess is not a-gonna get cleaned up easily and we've made enough trouble and should keep out.

  • 'Progressive' rabbi ascribes Roger Waters's concern with 500 Palestinian child victims to rocker's alleged drug use
    • What of the Zionists themselves, especially but not onmly citizens and residents of (greater) Israel (including occupied territories including occupied East Jerusalem)? Hmm? Gideonites all? don't see much in the way of meekness, mercifulness, or kindness to the strangers (earlier occupants) of their land.

    • Anyone ever ask Holocaust-concentrators why they concentrate on "The Holocaust" (capitals some always implied) to the exclusion of, say, Pol Pot's bloody removal of (was it?) 1/4 of the Cambodian population? Or Stalin's starvation of many millions in and near Ukraine (link to

      It seems that, by some, it's deemed OK to concentrate nearly exclusively on a crime against one's own people but not to concentrate on a crime committed BY one's own people (or against a people that one's own people have deemed enemies [never, never: victims].

    • If the message hurts, shoot the messenger. Did Israelis killed 500 children (recently!), and did Waters say so publicly? Then say he is/was/associated with druggies (or criminals or wife beaters of republicans or democrats -- whatever will move your audience). And ignore what he says.

      Partial disclosure: I never "did drugs" (though I did/do ingest coffee, chocolate, alcohol, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and several more).

  • Israel's Dead Soul: Steven Salaita's critical scholarship explains his dismissal from the University of Illinois
    • Interesting, but difficult work. Some typos and mistakes (as I read them). I've suggested changes in [brackets]

      [1] "I am working form [from] the belief that Israel’s soul died at the moment of its invention"

      [2] "What are the ethical consequences of the [loudly asserted by Zionists, but frequently denied by others] coterminous relationship of Israel and Jewishness? They are many, none of them positive." Comment: this "coterminous relationship" is a claim, not an unassailable fact.

      [3] "What is the point of using multicultural apparatuses to promote Israel as the apogee of Jewishness?" Comment: Agreed, good question. I don't know what "multiculturalism" is, but I wonder if those who practice it (I imagine they do so as an argument for societal, national, and religious inclusiveness) would wish to extend their accepting embrace to enfold and protect ardent advocates of an ideology, call it a religion if you will, that promoted human sacrifice, the genital mutilation of women (or men), or the removal (or killing as the Nazis once did) of whole classes of people from a society. In short, does "multiculturalism" have rules of inclusion and exclusion? If so, what are those rules, and how do they relate to Zionism-in-practice, pro-Israelism-today?

  • Clintonite turns on Netanyahu for trying to bend US 'to his will'
    • Thanks for this good news. We must count on readers to make the mental jump from mild pressure (end certain tax deductibility) to less mild (sanctions to compel Israel to remove settlers, pull down wall and settlements, lift the siege of Gaza, readmit the exiles of "1948").

      Clintonite pols are beholden to Madame Clinton as well as to President Clinton, and she is still to be feared (except by Big-Zion).

  • Israel wields 'significant US domestic power' to foil peace process -- NY Review of Books
    • We must wait to see what the world outside the poor (greatest power on earth) USA fails to do becaues its (oh so powerful) hands are tied. Sweden, UK have taken baby steps. We wait for a strong state to demand (what UNSC 465 and ICJ/2004 demanded): removal of settlers and dismantlement of wall and settlements buildings.

      Recall 1948 when 50% of the Palestinians in all-Palestine became refugees and so many villages were razed? Well, the 10% of Jewish Israel should be removed from their homes (West Bank and Golan) and their buildings razed. The law seems to call for it and anyhow it's only fair.

  • British Parliament votes overwhelmingly to recognize Palestinian state
    • Yes, Phil, we want the EDIT button back. I've got very thick and unruly fingers. I may not be alone.

    • Jack Straw has now said out loud what most realists must long have realized, that Israel has never (and not only under B-N) responded to what I call "mere words" (you know, UNSC resolutions w/o sanctions and the like). Israel will respond to sufficient pressure. The question of "sufficiency" remains to be determined. That's what BDS is all about. Civil society began it with the "B" and "D" but only governments can apply "S" (sanctions).

    • Of course, the House proposes, but the Government disposes, and it has not yrt acted to recognize Palestine and seems unlikely to do so.

      Perhaps, tho, it's just a matter of waiting to see how long a popular mandate can be ignored by a government which -- I imagine -- is, like that of the USA, controlled by a monied oligarchy which consists of people who are either "in bed with" or are actually Zionists.

    • Not sure what Israel's "territory in question" is. Israel has boundaries only by treaties with Egypt and Jordan, and each of these boundaries is more a boundary of the Arab country than of Israel since Gaza lies on the Egyptian line and West Bank lies on the Jordanian line.

      Many people believe that "Israel" means, territorially, the territory Israel held on May 31 1967. But Israel does not say so.

      Some analysts are pointing out, these days, that ISIS is the (claimed) Islamic State without claimed or defined boundaries in the Middle East and Israel is JSIS -- the Jewish State without boundaries in the Middle East.

    • Wonderful vote!

      Dreadful speech in a way by Sir Richard Ottaway. It is almost a full-out pro-Israel speech that absolutely fails to recognize the Palestinians' many injuries and demands -- end settlements, end occupation (not at all the same thing), remove the wall, end siege of Gaza, and end the exclusion of the Palestinian exiles of 1947 and later.

      But OTOH it recognizes the final (for him) slap in the face, one land grab (among many not complained of by him, one might point out). And it recognizes what is too obvious to ignore, the size of the pro-Palestine vote and the support of the UK's people for it.

      A fine fall day.

  • 300 young people to gather in Cambridge to shake off Zionist orthodoxy of the Jewish establishment
    • "Should those who love Israel but worry for its future and are therefore led to support, for instance, a so-called “one-state solution” be excluded from participation in Hillel?"

      And what about those who do not love Israel? In 1914, did very German-American "love" Germany? In 1933? In 1945? and why sho9uld they? And why should every member or visotir to Hillel "love Israel"? (Especially, hem-hem, THIS Israel?)

  • After South African Jewish leader compared Tutu to Hitler, new Jewish group leaped into action
    • When Jewish voices are raised against today's Zionist hate, they empower more Jewish voices and also empower the voices of all others who see the evil of Zionism-in-current-practice and wish to do something about it without risking the slur of antisemitism.

      No Jew can forget that there are real antisemites here and there, but the need to empower all people of good will to stand up for the human and national rights of Palestinians -- as well as for the human rights of those Jews who wish to speak truth to power on this issue -- transcends the need to suppress or fear the antisemites.

  • Wiesel lauds settlers for 'strengthening the Jewish presence in Jerusalem' -- and expelling Palestinians
    • Sukkot is, among other things, or so I believe, a sort of thanksgiving, a celebration of the harvest. The booths are temporary structures which may be and sometimes are set up in agricultural settings.

      The Jews of Israel have a great harvest to celebrate, in these dark times of hatred, a harvest of thorns.

      BTW, my late wife, who grew up in Ramallah, Palestine (Mandate), told me that at harvest time the Palestinian farmers used to set up temporary shelters in their fields partly to be closer to the work of harvesting (not so far to walk from home) and partly to discourage robbers. Her opinion was that this was a practice "from time immemorial" and that the Jewish custom (of booths) might have sprung from ancient customary agricultural practice.

  • Israel and the g-word
    • Too bad we need short names for crimes.

      Is it a "hate crime" to liken Desmond Tutu to Hitler? Perhaps an "abomination"? Has Israel acted -- 1947-present -- in "genocide" or "ethnic cleansing" or "abomination" or maybe something with a different name (or with no name!) but is it not still a crime?

      A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, and a crime by any other name would smell as foul.

      If we intend to "go to law" to prosecute alleged actions as alleged crimes, we do indeed need short (statutory) names, such as "violation of section 345.67 of the criminal code" or, more succinctly, "a 345.67".

      But if we mean to inform the public of the nature of acts (as we perceive them), what better than short words?

      Can the Zionists do any better, in this respect of using short words, than in branding Tutu as "Hitler"? Can the anti-Zionists do any better than in using "genocide"?

  • Put a spike in the wheel of injustice
    • This is a splendid sermon. Christians should hear it and read it.

      For one thing it has facts. Unpleasant facts that Christians need to know, facts about oppression and USA's support and enabling of the same.

      For another it has moral force, which Christians need also to hear.

      BUT: "This is where McGrail is moving but the price that Romero and Bonhoeffer paid is high. Is the church that she represents – are the churches collectively, the NGOs, the United Nations and the Palestinian Authority – ready to pay the price?"

      Well, with all due respect, the UN and the PA are not, are NOT, churches. Either are many churches and synagogues these days. Preaching against injustice is not favored everywhere. Nosiree.

      But there are some Christians and some Jews and many others out there who need to hear all this. Broadcast this message.

  • Ofra Yeshua-Lyth and the case for a new Israeli left
    • Sounds good, but won't go far.

      Anyhow, when people speak of a democratic society, they should always (at least in Israel's case) pay attention to the tension between "One Enfranchised-Citizen One Vote" and Israel's decision (1948 and thereafter) about who shall be counted as an Enfranchised-Citizen.

      The exiles of 1948 and thereafter are not merely suffering from human rights abuse; they are also suffering from removal from voting rolls. so are all the Palestinians living in Gaza and West Bank including occupied Jerusalem (East Jerusalem), at least as to citizenship within Israel.

  • NY rabbi implores those in her congregation who are joining Israel's enemies to love the country
    • Unless and until the rabbis who adopt such a cozy touchy-feely view of Israel can address and condemn Israel's very long-term violations of Palestinian human and national rights (to say nothing of violations of international law), I shall characterize their palaver as:

      "The excuse that Israel is so necessary to THE JEWS and so excellent and so marvellous that it should be supported in all things and despite all things, and no-one Jewish or otherwise should be tolerated to point critically and in condemnation to Israel's violations of law and human rights.

      Any people, any country which is necessary and marvellous automatically cannot commit crimes and therefore cannot be accused of doing so."

      Pish-Tush. JVP and others must take this up. disgusting!

  • Academia, the 'battleground' in the Palestinian solidarity movement
    • Anybody keeping a score-card with the names of universities which have interfered with pro-Palestine activities or speech (and descriptions of all that happened, blow-back, etc.)? And those (if any) which have helped (or not hindered) pro-Palestine activities and/or speech?

      I bet the first list is getting quite long about now.

  • It looks like Obama is checking out on Israel
    • Phil: "But Israel hasn’t changed, it’s just gotten more obdurate. The people haven’t risen to Obama’s challenge, haven’t softened their hearts."

      True, and not for the first time. Nor is Israel the only country whose government marches to the beat of a drum other than the people's drum. (UAS and big banks, big defense, big Zion, big fossil fuels).

      However, Israel is a democracy and could -- in principle -- react to pressure on the people and/or on the businesses. Hence the need for BDS aimed generally at Israel.

      Obama will not lead the BDS charge. Sadly. Although he hints at it's power.

      EU begins with glacial (that's the old glaciers, pre-golbal warming) slowness to pressure Israel (Sweden, UK) on Palestine, with Sweden promising to recognize Palestine as a state and UK considering the question.

  • Fineman and Robinson blast Sam Harris and HBO for promoting ignorance about Islam
    • Not sure if acts done "in the name" of a religion are therefore "religious acts". Not sure.

      Was the creation of Israel (in terror and war) a "Jewish" act or an act done by a lot of (mostly socialist, irreligious) people of Jewish ancestry?

      Were the crusades (wars by Christians nominally against Muslims but also against Jews and non-Catholic Christians) "Christian" acts, or merely acts by Christians? How about the 30-years war (wiki: "Initially a war between Protestant and Catholic states in the fragmenting Holy Roman Empire, it gradually developed into a more general conflict involving most of the great powers of Europe,[15] becoming less about religion and more a continuation of the France–Habsburg rivalry for European political pre-eminence.[16]")

      One view has it that ALL "Abrahamic" religions gave (and still give) themselves over to violence against heresies, non-believers, etc. and that all this apparently religiously-based warfare is, indeed, "religious" (and we see Christianity as a major, major practicer of religious warfare. And terror (consider the Russian and Polish pogroms).

      But if, as in the 30-years war, the war was also about the usual -- land, money, power -- we may instead see a war BY religious factions ABOUT land, money, and power.

      In the current round of Middle East wars, insurgencies, etc., I believe we are seeing in part actions by those previously in power (Sunni) against those previously out-of-power but now-in-power (Shia) and, often, all of these against the American and European invaders, colonizers (USA, Israel, UK, France, etc.)

      Just as "turn the other cheek" is a Christian teaching which has not prevailed noticeably to dis-arm the American, European, or any other armies, any peaceable Islamic teachings seem not to dissuade the Islamic fighters.

  • White House is now in open spat with Netanyahu over his 'American values' lecture
    • "It’s American values that have led us to fund and build an Iron Dome system that has protected the lives of countless innocent Israeli citizens."

      This formulation seems to acknowledge that there are non-innocent Israeli citizens. May we hear more about this, please? (Or are they ALL innocent, perhaps, in this administration's view?)

  • Sweden's recognition of Palestine will license activists
    • The Swedish PM should answer Israel's blather about negotiations by saying that, as matters stand, Israel is not prepared to negotiate toward a "just and lasting peace" and in order for Israel to become ready, it must either end its occupation of Palestinian lands or bring its occupations into conformance with international humanitarian law by removing all settlers, demolishing the wall and all the settlements, and ending the blockade on Gaza.

      And he should say this with maximum persuasiveness and publicity to the EU in particular.

  • Knesset shell game: Aid meant for Israeli towns affected by Gaza war sent to illegal settlements instead
    • Is that like the holocaust-reparations (money) from (West) Germany which was delivered to Israel but not by Israel to the holocaust-survivors living in Israel, many of whom went on relief?

      Also, is this part of the inherent racism of the (socialist, Ashkenazi) Israelis who forced newer immigrants (from Arab countries or Africa) to live in "development towns" near the borders of the arab countries where they'd be likely to be caught up in the wars that were anticipated (and caused or started) by those same socialists? (WHO, EXACTLY, IN ISRAEL, ethnographically, suffered from the blast-at-Gaza-2014?

  • Jewish New Yorkers to Schumer and Gillibrand: Enact the Leahy Law and stop US military aid to Israel
    • Where can I sign a petition to that effect?

      But more seriously, folks, how can you cut off funds to part of IDF unless you cut off funds to Israel as a whole? Money is fungible, meaning that money sent to Israel can be spent any way Israel wants to spend it and if they do not spend it on IDF, then they can free-up some other money to spend on IDF.

      We need also to make USA donations to Israel or to settlements, etc., [1] not tax deductible and [2] illegal as donations to terrorists

  • Salaita says UI appeased 'a few wealthy donors' and destroyed his career
    • CIVILITY IN ACADEME? He sent tweets to his prospective class's students? To the university's students? No, to the world and not particularly to UIUC. How can they get away with claiming he was incivil in the academic setting, striking fear into the hearts of (UIUC) university students?


    • JLD:

      These are great lists. Thanks.


      Could Mondoweiss have a research "section" in which to record
      [1] basic documents,
      [2] useful essays *(such as these above),
      [3] maybe something else

  • Bill de Blasio ruins the liberal Zionists' glorious hour
    • DeBlasio is not progressive, merely a (possibly sometimes progressive) NY-Politico and, thus, at best a PEP.

      This is, like so many things in these end-times, a disappointment but not a surprise.

  • Why must Gaza wait in the dark?
    • What Israel does to Gaza may qualify as "collective punishment" only if it is, first, "punishment". It is certainly collective oppression. What if there were no "crime" (no, for instance, occasional rockets or rock throwing)? Would Israel (in that case) lift the siege? How soon? etc.

      This collective oppression is part of Israel's plan and consistent with its mind-set to "win" against Palestine and, in the mean time, to keep the "West" off its own back.

      BDS is also "collective oppression", but since it is not violent it cannot (I suppose) be called "punishment". The world needs more BDS against every Israeli company, institution, government, culture, sport, academe, etc.

  • Read the genocidal sermon a notable Atlanta rabbi gave this Rosh Hashanah
  • Ilan Pappé on Israel’s 'post-Zionist moment' and the triumph of 'neo-Zionism'
    • I have not read the book.

      My guess is that "post-Zionists" are people who once believed that the premise for creating Israel (1930-1948) was correct, that the act of creating Israel AS IT WAS CREATED was also OK, but these people's views changed after the passage of time (hence 'post" Zionism) to the view that:

      [1] the Israel of today (thus the Zionism of today) is not OK (Israel was OK but is no longer OK); or

      [2] the seeds of the Israel of today necessarily grew out of the history up until 1948 or a bit later (Israel was never OK, but we only came to understand that a bit late).

  • Liberal Zionist group Zonszein once worked for paints her as a 'radical' because she likes democracy
    • Sonszein: The Israeli peace camp — which remains obsessively focused on stopping settlement expansion and pursuing the ever-elusive two-state solution while ignoring Israel’s failure to separate religion and state and guarantee equal rights for Arab citizens — has been incapable of challenging this mentality.

      And that's not all: the Israeli peace camp (so it would seem) and the USA and UK etc. all ignore two other things: [1] removal of the settlements and the settlers and the wall from occupied territories where each is present illegally and will remain illegal for so long as the occupation continues (that is, while not superseded by peace treaty) and [2] allowing return to pre-67 Israel of the exiles of 1947 and thereafter who were never allowed to return to their homes.

      Sonszein may not want to talk about these two points, and NYT might have refused to publish her piece had she done so, but the truth is that these two points (among others, I forgot Gaza here) are being ignored by so-called peaceniks.

  • Netanyahu's 'poison' -- latest settlement will distance Israel's closest allies, State Dep't warns
    • Nietanyahu: Nobody in their right mind thinks Israel will move out of E-Jerusalem.

      I'm ever hopeful that Israel will indeed be so required, and will be so BDS'd, and will be so forced: to do exactly that.

      Guess I'm not in my right mind.

  • 'Ethnic cleansing for a better world' -- Richard Cohen says Palestinians brought the Nakba on themselves
    • Cohen says, if I get it right, that IF the Palestinians had managed to accept the UNGA 1947 partition, which the Zionists didn't like, and which chopped the land into (as I recall) 6 pieces with three for Jews and three for Arabs, very separated (like the Bantustans now seemingly proposed for new-Palestine),THEN the Jews (in their 55% of The Land) would not have attacked anybody and would not have evicted anybody.

      Who can believe this theory given the talk of "transfer" and "iron walls" which preceded 1947? I believe that as well as being a nasty piece of post-hoc pro-colonial fluff, it is quite wrong headed even on its own terms.

    • 1948: Jews had more money, more support and friends abroad, more advanced weaponry and more weaponry altogether than the Palestinian Arabs had -- or, indeed, than all the surrounding Arab countries combined had; and knew it. Is this what is meant by "advanced culture"? And is the argument that people with "advanced culture" (such as people whose culture is so very far advanced that they base their claims on a Bible consisting of fictional stories several thousands of years old) have the right to wipe out or displace people with a less advanced culture an idea that had acceptance in 1945-50?

      If so, what (precisely) was Israel's complaint about Germany (with its ever so advanced culture)?

  • Netanyahu at the United Nations: Hamas, Iran, ISIS and 100 cheering Israelis
    • Israel itself (never mind Hamas) has never declared either its own boundaries or its maximal boundaries. It has held for 47 years with no sign of relinquishment, for example, the Golan Heights, part of Syria, which is way outside historic Palestine and of course way outside of "Israel 1948-1966". To criticize Hamas for much less is (to say the least) monumentally hypocritical.

  • NYT's opening to a 'fringe voice' excites rage from Israeli army, journalism, business leaders
    • My guess: NYT likes to "prove" that it is "open" to a variety of opinion (even while slanting the "news" / Rudoren et al.). So maybe Israel is a little intolerant, or a lot -- what I wonder is how intolerant the USA's MSM/political-elite are. As matters stand, AIPAC standing at the ready, USA is very intolerant. And that is not something that NYT will publish.

  • 'Tip of the BDS iceberg': Kuwait excludes Veolia from $750m contract
    • Harry, Exactly! BDS must target all-of-Israel. Imagine, for instance, a revision of occupation in which NO Israeli companies making products do so in OPTs or using materials taken out of OPTs. And all the settlers still there! Then there'd be nothing for OPTs-only-BDS to focus on. And the problems would remain.

      The BDS-for-OPTs-only is a liberal Zionist ploy (or in its style). It makes no sense. and Abbas is apparently caught in the jaws of the usual corruption. He should be joining ICC without talking about it. He should be calling for an end to settlements, entirely, instead of calling for negotiations. Being a puppet of USA/Israel does not grow giants, at least, Abbas is not a giant.

    • I've always doubted the "titanic" idea for BDS, because the process of BDS is usually (or so far) so very gradual. I wish it were faster or more general. I wish its triumphs were better known.

      But what I imagine is that profits will decline, slowly but discernibly, for enough Israeli companies that the capitalists who -- as in the USA -- run things will tell the government that it is time to end the settlements regime, remove all the settlers, destroy all the settlements and the wall, end the straightjacket on Gaza, and maybe more. I imagine this will happen, but not soon, and not in a rush. It will be gradual. Of course that could be the boil-a-frog scenario and never result in the result I desire, but I think businessmen can read the writing on the wall. and can get things done. And of course "democracy" could result in Israeli citizens taking notice of the squeeze of BDS and then either [1] calling on the government to get with the BDS program or [2] calling on the government to get even worse. (You never can tell with democracies. Especially in the presence of an ideology-controlled media.)

  • Netanyahu heads to New York to ‘refute all the lies’ and praise ‘the most moral army in the world’
    • The UNGA or other may censure Israel, but so what?
      Israel never attends to what I call "mere talk", at least they never attend by changing their opprobrious behavior.

      And the nations find that talk is cheap but action is expensive or dangerous or pointless or * * * (even though they have no trouble imposing sanctions on Iran and, in 1990s, on Iraq, USA imposing sanctions on Cuba, etc.)

      It'll be a long time before the hell of Israel (or even merely its occupations, freeze over.

  • The name games
    • As to the "A"-word. Arab, I dare say, not Apartheid. But still.

      Here I sit, as English-speaker born and raised. Am I an American, as I always supposed, or will someone tell me that there are many Anglophone countries (UK, including I suppose Scotland, NZ, Australia, USA, Canada -- pace Quebec, south Africa (or is that an Africans country, you know, among the non-natives).

      What I meant to ask is: Can I call myself an American, even if I am sometimes considered a Jew, no, sorry, an English-speaker (Anglophone)?

      Can an Israeli be a Palestinian (nationality) or an Arab (language of ancestors if not indeed of self), because we know the one thing he cannot be -- in terms of officially recognized nationality -- is an Israeli.

      So delightfully confusing.

  • Netanyahu erases the boundary between world Jewry and Israel in celebration of 'our country'
    • Dan, you seem to agree with what I said at my comment (12:17, above). And you are much briefer!

      But your last line troubles me. The tone of your comment (and mine) is that being Jewish does make us all complicit ("The rank and file in ANY group bear responsibility for the groups actions") and while it also requires us to speak out, and to say "sorry", it more importantly requires us to ACT (make trouble for Israel, for USA, for Jewish orgs, for those blasted big-money-boys who support Israel).

    • Phil, I agree that Israel is not the country of all Jews, no matter how often its leaders, its people, and others may say so.

      But whether all Jews are proper "targets" of non-Jewish wrath at Israel is another question. (Hint: Think "collateral damage", because this is or should be war.)

      I believe that BDS (sanctions, boycotts, trade embargoes, cultural and academic embargoes, travel embargoes, diplomatic embargoes, etc.) should be directed at Israel generally, because Israel is a democracy and its voters (after they "hurt" enough) might direct the Israeli government to do stuff -- stuff such as removing the settlers, demolishing the settlements and wall, lifting the blockade of Gaza, etc. Even making a "just and lasting peace" with the Palestinian people.

      And I intend that Israelis, broadly, should "hurt". How else turn things around? But this means that lefties (if any are left in Israel) and Israeli-Palestinians -- and any non-Zionist Israelis -- would also "hurt". Even though not themselves complicit. "Collateral damage."

      And so, since broadly speaking, American Jews have supported Israel in every way including in its crimes, war-crimes, crimes against humanity, etc., and ditto, ditto European Jews, and since Israel keeps claiming to be the country of ALL Jews, and the non-Israeli Jews fail in significant numbers (or significant NOISE) to deny this, well, then we are -- as a group -- as complicit in Israel's crimes as Israeli citizens are complicit, again, as a group.

      There are many exceptions, of course, but, in each case, as a group, the support for Israel's crimes, and the failures to speak out against them -- and the failure to distance ourselves from Israel -- make us, again, as a group, complicit.

      I am not calling for collective punishment of all Jews nor yet of all Israeli citizens. But I am calling for BDS treatment (non-violent, and thus not collective punishment, although necessarily collective "something") for all Israeli citizens, businesses, institutions, etc. And to be consistent, I should be calling for collective "something" for all Jews, at least until such a day come that Jewish protest against Israel (as it seems to do, but narrowly, at Mondoweiss) becomes so broad that all the world will see it and know, for sure, that Israel-the-middle-eastern-state and Israel-the-Jewish-people are not one.

      What do you think? Especially with the (as NYT claims) upsurge of antisemitism in Europe?

  • Another scholar cancels at U of Illinois, saying school doesn't 'protect faculty from donors'
    • Cicala's letter is priceless. Why should universities have scholarship, academic freedom, discussion of current issues -- if democracy [thanks for the intervening comments!] (at universities called academic freedom) has been shut down in favor of plutocracy (as in USA's governance)?

  • Obama says Muslims bear responsibility to counter radical Islam (so are Jews responsible for Israeli violence?)
    • Does NYT really say, in so many words, that there were Israeli atrocities or Israeli crimes (or war-crimes or crimes against humanity)? My guess, not having read NYT on this, is that they didn't -- getting only as close as "perceived" by anti-Zionists and/or anti-semites.

      If NYT *DID* expressly mention Israeli crimes etc., then did it call upon Israel to STOP DOING IT? (My guess: nope). Did it call on USA to call on Israel to stop? (ditto).

      NYT -- a paper you can rely on, trust, to hold a party line.

  • 'Civility' is for dancing classes, not universities, and is tool of pro-Israel political operatives -- Franke
    • Civility: it is important to remember that the USA, Bush-2 et al, were ever-so-polite when they voted to allow Bush to make war on Iraq, a country that had never attacked or offended the USA in any way. We bombed, shot, maimed, showered with depleted-uranium-dust, and so forth, but always in CIVIL FASHION.

      Israel kills thousands of Palestinians and even kills or means to kill one of its own soldiers possibly captured by Gazan militants, but without ever raising its collective voice, i.e., CIVILLY: link to

      USA decides (with its satelite countries) to impose sanctions on Iran which never broke any laws, but refuses even to discuss imposing sanctions on Israel to force Israel, renowned lawbreaker, to remove illegally-present settlers, settlements, and wall. All decisions made CIVILLY.

      Doesn't matter what crimes you commit as long as you do it quietly and with a smile.

    • I'd like to see an exhaustive list of academics denied a job, denied tenure, etc., because of I/P censorship, Norman Finkelstein (perhaps several times and places) and now Steven Salaita are familiar cases. I imagine there are more. Let's make a standing list to show the "reach" of this anti-academic 5th-column conspiracy.

  • US elites are vulnerable to donor pressure on Israel question
    • This is a fine collection of quotes on the uses of Big-Money by the Zionist project.

      A lot of similar talk is going on about the use of paid-research at universities to keep university scientists from embarrassing folks such as Monsanto, Big-Tobacco (old story), Big-Pharma, etc.

      And a lot of talk about Big-Money being used to keep an Oligarchy going to rule the USA by buying up politicians, media, think-tanks, universities, etc.

      Each of these is a bit different, but the common thread is the well-proved idea that human activity can in many cases be commodified (bought).

    • But Peretz may have supposed (or known) that Jewish big-money pressure was brought to bear to KEEP Summers at Harvard and that it failed. The Big-Money failed. (The banks must also have wanted him to head-up Harvard, just as they wanted him to head-up USA's Treasury (or some such job).

      And Peretz may confuse/confound/confute failure to succumb to Jewish-Big-Money pressure with anti-semitism. I dare sya some Zios think that way since they maintain pro-Zio by their Big-Money antics and call anti-Israelism anti-semitism.

  • No Surprise Dep't: David Brooks's son is in Israeli army
    • More on OLIGARCHY: See Bernie Sanders's report of his (and Rep Ellison's) ikntroduction of a bill to cut SDUBSIDIES to fosil fuels!!!

      link to

      How much chance this bill passes? A Fat Chance.

    • Krauss: And ask also how many shares in BIG-OIL and BIG-BANKS those who own, control, edit, report-for NYT and NPR, et al., have.

      OLIGARCHY is not just about government. It is about media and Supreme Court and universities as well.

      OLIGARCHY is not just about I/P. It is the mechanism by which the USA is governed, and our ability to change-policy on Israel, on fossil-fuels, on banking generally and student loans and credit card debt vis-a-vis bankruptcy and big-PHARMA and on and on, and on BIG-DEFENSE (aka MIC) is limited (or zero) because of the entrenched power of OLIGARCHY.

    • So, media corruption comes not only (unwillingly) by pressure from big-money but also (willingly) from pressure from personal feelings and family members.

      But, as this essay notes, NPR, NYT, etc., often fail to identify the feelings, family connections, ideologies, and of course big-money pushes and pulls which influence their reporting and editorializing.

      NYT and NPR should have some reporters with ideologies and family in occupied Palestine!

  • West Bank settlers exporting dates labelled as 'Made in Palestine'
    • "Danish Foreign Minister Martin Lidegaard yesterday called for “taking new steps, including changes to our trade relations with Israel” in order to force it to make concessions in its talks with the Palestinians. Danish newspaper Jyllands- Posten reported Lidegaard calling for “imposing Danish and European sanctions on Israel”, noting the commercial sanctions are “vital”. “If nothing happens in the peace talks this time, and if we don’t see a new pattern of response from Israel’s side, then we will need to discuss the possibility of taking new steps, including changes to our trade relations with Israel"

      Why is it, does anyone suppose, that all these so-timid politicians FRAME this as a matter of negotiations rather than as a matter of compliance with international law and UNSC resolutions and the ICJ decision of 7/2004?

      Why not simply TAKE STEPS to cut trade until Israel remoacves all settlers and removes the WALL and all settlements (or makes peace with Palestine, whichever comes first)?

  • Rabbis want to criticize Israel but fear donors (and 'NYT' buries the news)
    • "who are often the ones with the purse strings. They are not necessarily the numerical majority, but they are the loudest.”

      Money YELLS! This is what Bernie Sanders is openly saying about money in politics (on the subject of BIG-FOSSIL-FUEL preventing action on Climate Change).

      Read 4 letters to New Yorker (9/22/2014, p.12) on same topic, 2 on AIPAC as an instance of big-money: pay-wwall'd: link to

  • Yale official barred discussion of Israeli settlements and apartheid at monthly meeting
    • Shmuel: You ask, I guess about Yale and/or its chaplaincy, "Are there any other questions that must not be raised? Excellent questions, both.

      But the questions should be broader in two ways. First, as to mechanisms for intimidation, mechanisms for censorship, we must ask (about ANY discussion-medium, any forum, which is shut down in part) WHAT IS THE MECHANISM OF CENSORSHIP? And second, what OTHER FORA are shut down?

      Are NPR, NYT, generally the American MSM shut down on various topics? Which topics? which fora? Can (and do) they talk about TOPIC#1: the power of big-money on politics? on media? on universities? on public schools? Is CONGRESS ITSELF shut-down?

      And note: censorship on Israel/Palestine is just one slice of the presumed censorship more broadly of "politics".

  • South Africa High Court rules in favor of BDS South Africa billboard
    • Political advertising, whether about upcoming elections or about a review of politically interesting facts (as here), are always "contentious". Constitutional guarantees of free expression (USA, SA, UK ?, Israel?, elsewhere) are inconsistent with (local) rules forbidding "contentious" matter. Political controversy will often make a group of people uncomfortable.

      I think the court here did the right thing in judging the local by-laws (or whatever) unconstitutional, unenforceable, and judging that private (non-governmental) parties were bound with a "negative" duty not to infringe on publicly guaranteed rights and, thus, not to act in consequence of a local rule which was itself unconstitutional.

  • Warren, Schama, and Lipstadt address Holocaust echoes in Gaza conflict
    • I had an Israeli neighbor, once, in Massachusetts, who said that holocausts (plural) were different and worse than other killing for one reason (which she'd experienced as a child in Europe during WW2): in a holocaust the intended victims know in advance that they are being hunted down by an implacable power intent on (and capable of) torturing and killing them. It was the FEAR of the hunted-for-extermination, not the death itself that made the holocaust special.

      She accorded the same quality to the hunting down of victims of Pol Pot and denied that there was only one holocaust.

      Something to think about. OTOH, knowing that Gengis Khan was heading your way and known to wipe out whole villages and cities upon arrival cannot have been too happy an experience.

    • I'm so pleased that Sen. Warren seems to have turned an important corner. She was formerly so staunch an AIPAC puppet (or, let's more charitably say, a convinced supporter of Israel no-matter-what). She cannot be innocent enough not to know what AIPAC and its friends in the political funding world will do. Therefore she is either brave and martyr-ish, or else sees a corner before her other colleagues do.

      Schama stinks. Someone should ask him if the fact that Warsaw ghetto fighters attacked Nazis gave Hitler the right to kill whatever children were then present within the ghetto. The trouble with off-the-cuff remarks (here, Schama's, and maybe mine) is that there is no back-and-forth for CONSIDERED analysis of the SOUND-BYTE.

  • Rabbi in Ohio U. controversy leads group that denies there's an occupation
    • There seems to be, in many Jewish organizations, a tendency on the part of the big shots to declare publicly that they speak for all the nearby Jews -- and then to wish to silence any nearby Jews who might appear likely to adopt a contradictory stance.

      As if to say, "We Jews speak with one voice and that voice is mine. So shut up already [spoken to on-conforming Jews]."

      It's the same with these feeling of discomfort they go on and on about. some may feel discomfort, and so they should!, but others may get relief from speaking of war-crimes adn occupation.

      And, of course, if it is proper to seek to preserve the comfort of Jewish students, why is it not proper to seek to preserve the comfort of Palestinian, Arab, human-rights-loving, liberal (if that is the right word) students in the same schools?

  • The elephant in the room, in Marin County
    • Israel is surely a large elephant in any USA governmental room. But it is not in there alone.Major corporations and wealthy individuals (Kochs for instance) are in there too.

      Obama is talking up CLIMATE CHANGE but also talking up ENERGY INDEPENDENCE (meaning: support for oil/gas/coal use in the USA).

      I guess I am surprised to hear him talk up climate change. But the increased use of oil/gas (fracking) is no surprise. America is Corporate State in all but name.

      Israel is a big player, but not the only player.

  • Encounter at a post office
    • Yes, and it is not easy to achieve a "normal voice" to say, “Yes, what Israel is doing to Palestine is terrible. I am following the situation closely. I am resisting. I am doing what I can.” Outrage is just around the corner.

  • US Congressman Danny Davis calls for lifting the blockade of Gaza
    • I congratulate all the activists for persevering with Rep. Davis. They have worked a sort of magic.

      It is an old adage of politics, "OK, You've convinced me; now pressure me!". Here it appers that educating and convincing ab honorable man was enough. He is a Congressman. he knows the score. He knows what awaits those who oppose Israel.

      I wish there were a re-election PAC for pro-Palestine folks (and pro-Human-Rights and pro-International-Law folks) to support such people as Danny Davis, Keith Ellison, and Barbara Lee. Anyone know of one?

  • Five lessons from the struggle to reinstate Steven Salaita at the University of Illinois
    • UIUC will try to divide these fine people. And to conquer these groups, one by one. That is what power does.

      The Salaita matter made blatant and very public what "power" (capitalism, big-money political donors, big-money educational donors, who so openly regard themselves the masters of our society that they don't trouble to hide their machinations) does and how it does it.

      These people are right to seek a broad coalition. Power has become absolute power, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. It's no joke.

      Power, instead, to the people!

  • Moe Diab debates SWU operative Philippe Assouline (Updated)
    • Glad someone on TV in USA is doing it right.

      The "On Point" team need not only to set out the "civility" rules for the debaters but ALSO for the audience if they are talking to anyone who might be expected to go off the rails. And where it is blatant, perhaps never invite him back again.

  • Ohio University filibuster: harangue or free speech?
    • In the broad American context, we believe in (and most support) ONE MAN ONE VOTE (altho voting is being suppressed here adn ther), but I'd like to add: ONE MAN ONE VOICE and note thet BIG-MONEY gives a huge multiplier to a rich man's (or rich corporation's) "voice".

      At this meeting, those that grabbed the microphone to harrangue were practicing ONE OPINION ONE THOUSAND VOICES AND NO LET-UP.

      What a dreadful society we live in where people have appointed themselves (ZIOS) as the controllers of this discussion.

      Glad the discussion is happening anyhow.

  • University of Illinois trustees vote to reject Salaita reinstatement
    • Very sad, but not unexpected. BoD people, like members of Congress and others, live in a sheltered world were things ordinary human beings value -- like ivil rights, academic freedom, decency, etc. -- are mere slogans, of no weights, and are brushed aside in favor of oligarchic interests -- the things big money values, things like the possession and rough exercise of power.

  • J Street can't tie Israel's latest 'illegal land grab' to cutting US aid
    • Come on, guys and gals! Don't be too hard on poor ole J-Street!

      They've now said, it appears, that it is OK (or mandatory?) foir the USA to say that the settlements are illegal. Well, yes, and let's all get on that band-wagon.

      Does J-street hesitate? Sure. Are they caught between a rock and a hard place? Indeed.

      Don't expect the world from J-Street. Welcome and ally with any statement that the settlements are illegal.

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