Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 4236 (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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  • Reports of anti-Semitism in Ukraine and Hungary
    • Foxman: "We strongly condemn the anti-Semitic content, but also all attempts to use anti-Semitism for political purposes.”

      Glory be! Next year in Jerusalem! Of course, I'm not sure what he means. Or of whether he means it at all. The constant repetition, by Zionists, of the story of the holocaust seems to me rather close to using antisemitism for political purposes.

      And someday will Foxman condemn the use of anti-Palestinianism for political purposes?

  • The Book of Exodus and the Book of Palestine
    • For many years -- so I have been given to understand -- orthodox Judaism forbade Jews from making any effort to gather the Jews into Palestine. FORBADE. The work of ingathering the Jews was understood (and taught!) to be God's work, and definitely not man's work.

      Indeed, even praying (so I read somewhere) for the ingathering was forbidden because praying was done by men, not by God.

      In the context of those teachings, "Next Year In Jerusalem" is a strange thing, not a prayer (I suppose, such a prayer being forbidden) but the expression of a hope, the hope that God would find it (at long last) appropriate to perform this miracle, the ingathering.

      The creation of the modern imperial colonial Israel is man's work, no question, and not God's work. No more than the construction and operation of certain facilities at Auschwitz can be said to be God's work. (Not a comparison, just saying.)

      I know little and (therefore?) usually care less about religion. This essay is wonderful. I don't know what relation religion bears to what Ellis calls "the prophetic". If anything can rescue religion from what it has become, I dare say it is "the prophetic".

      I was a slave and now am free. Now I keep slaves. Happily and without any notion of contradiction. Hmpfff.

  • Stephen Walt: publishing 'Israel lobby' ended any thought of serving in US gov't
    • American: If you want to charge loss-of-service-of-good-men against The Lobby, then the list becomes quite long. All the academics who were denied tenure and jobs. The terrific nominee for National Security Advisor, Chas Freeman, and I believe other nominees for high posts. All the nominations never made in the first place.

      And looking to other lobbies, all the great economists not appointed to SecTreas because they did not bear the imprimatur of Goldman Sachs. Etc., other lobbies.

      Oligarchy does not produce good government, only predictable government.

    • lycias: Very interesting. Here's my comment. I believe Summers was a Goldman Sachs agent in government (and at Harvard).

      Joseph Stiglitz couldn't believe his ears. Here they were in the White House, with President Bill Clinton asking the chiefs of the US Treasury for guidance on the life and death of America's economy, when the Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Larry Summers turns to his boss, Secretary Robert Rubin, and says, "What would Goldman think of that?"

      Huh?

      Then, at another meeting, Summers said it again: What would Goldman think?

      See: link to gregpalast.com

      In a sense, ALL lobbies act against the national interest. If the lobby wanted what everyone else wanted, there were no need to impose a view, there would be no need for the lobby to exist or to act.

      So: Look at BIG-BANKS (possibly aka Goldman Sachs) which seems always to cause to be appointed one of its own to USA Sec Treas. And look at the horror of the debacle that began with the securitization of mortgages, progressed to the real estate bubble and the horrendously unjustified issuance of [yikes, variable rate] mortgages to people unable to understand them or, more importantly, to make the payments, and onward to the invention and massive issuance (by AIG) of pseudo-insurance-like derivatives which ended with the crash of 2008. Thanks you BIG-BANKS, a lobby.

      So BIG-ZION is not alone in acting against the USA's national interest, the lobbies all do. That is the oligarchic nature of big capital these days. It was once said that, "What's good for General Motors is good for America". I doubt anyone would say that today for ANY of our large industries, sending jobs to Asia and refusing to pay taxes.

      But this is not to diminish the evil that is BIG-ZION.

  • Resurrecting Passover?
    • Passovers, like birthday parties, are a good time to get together with friends. But, as to Passovers, don't read the minutiae of the (food) label too closely. Agri-poisons, over-used antibiotics, palm kernel oil, all disguised with "natural" labels. Feel-good while doing ill.

      The overall sense of your essay is correct.

      Feel good while doing evil (for those who do evil in Palestine). Feel good while enabling evil (for those who actively support Zionism from afar). Feel good while ignoring evil (for those who refuse to know, refuse to hear, demand to be left to old dreams).

      The Ultimate Disastrous Feel-Good

      BTW, I'd say that I/P and the "Fate of the Jews", the truths and falsities of Christianity and Judaism, and almost any other traditional concerns are of minuscule importance in the greater scheme of things wherein all of daily life, when carried on without active concern and action to divert climate change (the on-rushing whole-earth holocaust), is like a feel-good Passover Seder. But the angel of the lord is not going to pass over the earth or its inhabitants if we don't divert that angel. The signs are not good.

  • Haaretz joins Rush Limbaugh and company in trying to link Max Blumenthal to KC shooter suspect
    • Ellen, somewhat to defeat your defense of Burg --

      Most boycotts and sanctions have been aimed at non-democracies. Although I call America an oligarchy (ruled by the big-money boyz), it is still in some fashion a democracy and Israel (as far as I know) is more so.

      Of course, democracies may be run by racists, crazies, oligarchs, etc., but they have a chance to respond to pressure. The people, injured, have a chance to set things straight. tThey may not do it. They may get their backs up instead and dig in their heels. (Backs, heels, the mixed metaphors!) But in non-democracies where only the people are hurt, the people have no chance to re-direct their government.

      Israeli citizens and/or businesses -- if hurt by boycott and sanctions -- could decide to end the occupation (or, a bit less, to call back the settlers, etc.).

      I favor a general boycott and, later, general sanctions.

    • If Pipes, no slouch at it himself, claims that Max was raving, he should give examples of the raving. Perhaps he means to say (I do not for a moment seek to defend Pipes) that Max told only the seamy 1% side of rosy clean-as-a-whistle (Oh how I love ya!) Israel. That is not how I read Max's book.

      To me, accepting Max's assertions as facts (and helped to this view by Alterman's saying the book is “mostly technically accurate”), I saw it as a general denunciation of the Israeli society as a whole, not a selective peek at dirt (however black) under small corners of a large, clean rug.

      So, Pipes, where are the ravings? Or is the mere act of criticizing Israel res ipsa loquitur "raving"?

    • McBride: You amplify part of my point.

      I guess what I was after, more than facts, was meta-facts.

      What is reported and what is ignored? If reported, how is news characterized? And how do various publications stand up as reporters of ALL the important (to me) news as opposed to being reporters of what suits their owners' prejudices or propaganda programs.

      All this hoo-ha about the murder of three people even though on a racial/religious basis sits ill (with me) considering the general ignoring of years of Israel-done terrorism/horror. (It is, of course, par for the imperialist-apologist course, as NYT probably did not make much of Iraqi and Afghani and Yemeni and Pakistani deaths and dismemberments as a result of USA's free use of terrorism (thinly disguised within the USA as a war-on-terror)

    • seafoid, If you are right, and Guttenberg has been vilified (but talk is cheap, does vilification make a villain of a person?) then are all people who read anything in print villains? And if so, does the act of reading the hagada at Passover make one a villain?

      Just checking.

    • Well, Max B, rest (and be active) in peace.

      On the KKK front, it strikes me that you can count the present-day instances of KKK-type violence (call it terrorism if you must, but definitely call it hate crimes) in USA on the phalanges (phalanxes) of one finger of one hand, but you cannot count the number of KKK-like attacks by Israeli settlers (and police and border guards and IDF) on Palestinians on all the phalanges of all the fingers of all the hands in the Israeli Knesset (when in session, of course).

      Go figure. And are these KKK-like events reported in Ha'Aretz? in NYT? More likely in the former, but still . . . And are they characterized as KKK-like (or any recognizable equivalent)?

      And isn't "phalange" a happy echo, in this context?

  • Friedman prepares American Jews for a divorce from zealot Israel
    • DN: Yes, fighting the big-money boyz (America's oligarchs, BIG-DEFENSE, BIG-ZION., BIG-OIL, BIG-BANKS, Monsanto, etc., etc.) is much more important than I/P. Why? Because the USA is prevented from dealing with Climate Change by the oligarchs. If the whole world dies (due to Climate Change), no-one will be left to remember who "won" on I/P.

      As to BDS against America. if you can see how it might happen, go for it! I've always supposed EU and then others could be moved to sanction Israel if BDS were sufficient. I doubt anyone could successfully sanction or boycott the USA.

    • The Zios never count the settlers in (and near?) so-called (vastly expanded) Jerusalem when they count the settlers in OPTs. That is because [1] they like to keep the count low, [2] they think they will keep undivided Jerusalem no matter what else happens, so since it will later be part of Israel it may be considered part of Israel today. This is the argument parodied in Mikado for saying that a man not yet dead is dead:

      When your Majesty says, " Let a thing be done," it's as good as done, practically, it is done. Because your Majesty's will is law. Your Majesty says, " Kill a gentleman," and a gentleman is told off to be killed. Consequently, that gentleman is as good as dead; practi-
      cally, he is dead, and if he is dead, why not say so?

    • AIPAC isn't going away. If the $3B (or $6B or whatever it really is) is already voted by Congress, then so be it. However, if the president can ever break loose from the trammels of AIPAC (i.e., Obama is lame duck and needn't be personally concerned with any BIGs including BIG-ZION), he can use UNSC and public speaking (speaking truth to power) to get something started.

      If he were going to do that (speak truth to power), I'd prefer he speak out in favor of a constitutional amendment denying the right to non-humans to conduct or pay for political action. If it works, it'd allow work on Climate change and also on the much smaller problem of I/P.

    • Powerful thinkers often fail to be powerful as militarists. Give them 3 years? Give 'em hell! But words alone, independent of the speaker -- even UNSC and ICJ -- have never moved Israel.

      Words alone have never moved Israel.

      Words alone have never moved Israel.

      So we wait. BDS by its name (which includes "S" for "sanctions") implores the nations to act, to create a reason for Israel to cave in on settlements, occupation, anti-democracy, and continued exile of the exiles of 1948 and their progeny.

      So do I. But I ask the nations to enact and enforce sanctions -- economic, sport, culture, academic, travel, diplomatic, total -- to do a limited job which I believe the nations could agree to (because they already have, mostly: see UNSC 465/1980): goal: remove all Israeli settlers, dismantle the wall, and dismantle the settlement buildings -- again, all: residences, businesses, government, university, etc. Give Israel 6 months to publish a schedule to accomplish these removals and dismantlements in 2 years and then apply sanctions if Israel fails to publish the schedule or thereafter fails to keep to the schedule.

      This is a plan.

      But in my mouth, it is mere words.

  • American citizen, translator and student—Mariam Barghouti arrested and detained in West Bank
    • Mariam Barghouti and other translators (and reporters) should learn from this. Those who can should approach demonstrations with their (dominant) hands handcuffed behind their backs (or to their cameras, microphones. etc.). This would (or at least might) create a hardship for the IDFniks who'd have to think up a different story to tell the police and the judges. Rock-throwing would (or might) seem prima facie unlikely in this scenario.

  • Let God's people go -- and return, too
    • Marc Ellis -- Thanks so much for a beautiful re-interpretation. Indeed, with so many seeming contradictions, there is room for every "religious" leader to find what he wants to find in any religious book.

      For instance, Who (in a Jewish view) are God's people?

      At a seder last night (Monday) there were so many hagada books, and therefore so many versions of everything, that it was marvellously confusing. One thing was surprising and pleasant: In some (or all?) books, God used "my people" both to refer to Jews (as it seemed) and also to Egyptians ('Do not celebrate the suffering of my people Egypt').

      Well, as you suggested, since Christians are a very moral people, therefore the horrible Crusades (and Pogroms?) were, of necessity, moral. And since Jews are a very moral people, therefore the creation of Israel and all the horror for Palestinians that followed and still follow from it, to the extent done by Jews anyhow, were of necessity moral.

      Or something.

      Also the horror for Americans (we suffer AIPAC, but not only AIPAC, due to the Supreme Court's ever-so-moral interpretation of our "religious founding document" the USA's constitution: the S/C's interpretation that "money is wisdom" being the preferred version of the more usual "money is speech", both being very inventive, even Talmudic or Jesuitic, I suppose, and, oh yes, "corporations are people".

      If you liked religion, you'll love the law.

      As Kurt Vonnegut said, "And so it goes."

  • Roger Ailes demands NY village official take down 'Facebook' post. She says no
  • Palestinian writers bring Gaza's hardships to American audience
    • Israel's policies of allowing/disallowing travel are a disgrace. Perhaps there is a sort of silver lining.

      Before 1948, Gaza and West Bank and Jerusalem were part of one country, one state, Mandatory Palestine. One government (not democratic), one currency, one postage stamp, one passport.

      Then came 1948 and then came 1967. Now Israel treats Gaza and West Bank/Jerusalem as separate somethings, separate states, separate nations, whatever. This seems to give Israeli legal cognizance to the fact that Gaza was controlled by Egypt and WB/J was controlled by Jordan after 1948 and until 1967. SO THEREFORE Israel recognizes that they are now occupied! Cognizance has been given to the 1948-1967 control of those territories by OTHER states.

      Of course, Israel likes to pretend that these territories are not occupied (a legal concept as to the application of which within the former Mandatory Palestine the world has no question) but merely (what?) recovered and "disputed" with disreputable people who have no business disputing anything with a super-power like Israel. But this keeping G and WB/J separate speaks to me a recognition that the occupation(s) are seen as such by Israel.

  • Fear of Arab-Americans in the public square
    • seafoid: "Daddy, daddy, anti-GW/CC activity is making me fearful, they must stop! Stop them, daddy!! Stop them!!" And when should I sell by BIG-FOSSIL stock which has been going up, what with the wonderful success of fracking -- fracking the best invention since sliced bread. Making us energy-independent as well all die

    • Kraus:

      Not sure I've got the argument. Yes, the Zios on campus claim to find themselves in a climate of fear. What is the "fear" that they claim to be newly and unpleasantly enveloped in?

      [1] The claimed fear might be wholly illusory (that is, a lie); [2] it might be the fear of the Liberal Zionist who finds his position as such untenable both internally (conscience) and externally (cannot explain his stand to others); [3A] it might be a fear of the loss of power of pro-Isaelism, a power-position until recently which is now threatened by BDS; [3B] it might be a fear of walking among decent people and knowing or fearing what they think of you because of your deliberate association with Israel; [3C] it might be fear of antisemitism, because these folks have been taught that outrage at Israel is a form of antisemitism.

      Has anyone ever asked these folks what they are suddenly fearful of? Someone should. Might get several different answers. Be interesting.

      But I cannot for a moment believe that the "fear" they claim to live in (due to BDS) is fear of being "outed" as fraudulent "outsiders", and the Jews of conscience on campus are not claiming to have become fearful due to BDS unless it be fearful of anti-BDS authoity -- they have joined hands with BDSniks including Arabs and Muslims. The Loyal Hillelniks are "fearful" (if at all, because it sure sounds like crying wolf to me) of being recognized for closet KKK-niks (if price-tag and IDF and Border Police are like KKK) and this fear is very uncomfortable.

      Now, of course, I hope that Jews who've for so long been comfortable wrapped in the flag of Liberal Zionism will open their eyes and lose the scales. But they are faced with regaining conscience at a big cost -- admitting to and rejecting, perhaps in public, previous membership of a KKK-type. to say nothing of affronting their as-yet-unreconstructed friends (some of my best friends .. . . ).

      So maybe there is fear of losing preeminence in the USA, but I doubt it.

      The fear as I see it is a fear of being outed as being current-KKK-types, as BDS paints Israel and LZs have not yet dropped their defense of Israel.

  • Alterman says BDS is helping Netanyahu
    • And although Altman's idea that some BIGs might not want to be associated with BDS (sometimes considered antisemitic), might have some merit, here or there, does he point to any instance of a BIG opposing settlement of occupation BEFORE BDS came on the scene?

  • Passover for Palestine
    • BTW, eye-for-an-eye sounds bad, but it was a liberalization from the older practices of over-the-top revenge. It meant "only an eye for an eye, not more".

      Comparing this to Israel's practices today shows that Israel (nominally a country whose people are religiously aware) has retreated away from this particular liberalization. I think the USA has too.

      On the other hand, perhaps Israel and the USA (or their governments) have allowed themselves to drift into the mindset that they ARE God (or that they ACT FOR God) -- that God being an old-testament type. So if the God that is described rescuing the Jews from Egypt with such horrible plagues then modern Gods such as Israel and USA give no thought at all to limiting their own excesses. I imagine Hitler and Stalin and Mao harbored some feeling of kinship with God: when you've got all this power, doesn't that mean you have a free hand to use it anyway you like?

      Beware the free hand that wields a sword, especially when it is your own.

  • Alleged K.C. killer: 'If Jews can have a state of their own, why can't we have a White Christian state?'
    • He wants a white country for white separatists to live in together safe from contamination by horrible, awful "people of color" (not his quotes) and, of course, "Jews". Wonder where he stands on Catholics. So, for him, killing Jews is not a sign of dissing Israel.

      He and his friends have got a lot of killing to do if they'll make the entire USA or even a big chunk of it a "white" nation. But if that's a part of what was cycling around in his mind, then this killing was not entirely "senseless".

  • It's time to reveal the Israeli role in the US surveillance machine
    • Nancy, great article. I love the WaPo diagram, labeled "Top Secret ... NoForn" and apparently blasted on the front pages even despite all the governments "men" Stuxnet? Flame? HeartBleed? -- Intelligence?

      Still, one must make a small moue at mention of a USA/Israeli MOU which shows the ?? unintended breadth of NSA surveillance:

      The MOU requested Israeli intelligence to “destroy upon recognition” communications going to and from “officials of the Executive Branch (including the White House, Cabinet Departments, and independent agencies), the US House of Representatives and Senate (member and staff) and the US Federal Court system (including, but not limited to, the Supreme Court)” as well as communications of civilian and military personnel on official business of government.

      When I think about the thousands of NSA employees who must be presumed to have access to all emails, etc., and then think about the thousands more of employees at private corporations -- whether Israeli or otherwise -- who have the same access; and wonder at the security "vetting" of these folks, perhaps especially of those not part of the USA's "intelligence" aparat, I do wonder that American NSA honchos are so sanguine about illicit use to which such info might be put.

      And, of course, if blackmail is part of the general pattern of things here, then might not the Justices of the US Supreme Court be just as much subject to blackmail -- and thus to the will of NSA, Israel, and the oligarchy in general -- as any lesser mortals?

      Oh, well, a little blackmail and theft of secrets and stealing from bank accounts [by non-government folks, I mean!] must be regarded as a price we agree to pay (who agrees to pay?) for safety and security (from which enemies again?).

      Could it be that this giant stethoscope on the communications of the world exists, perhaps even primarily -- apart from empire building and making money, the usual reason for things -- to allow Israel to blackmail the USA into supporting its policies such as settlement and de facto annexation? After all, if Israel got seriously angry with USA, what damage could they not do?

  • Two desperate anti-Semitism charges, from Foxman and Boteach
    • BTW, now there are "vendettas" against the mad bombers who blew up this and that right here in the USA. For some reason, hard to fathom, killing people with bombs (aka "weapons of mass destruction" unlike guns which spray bullets at 3/sec) is called "crime" and the pursuit of such "criminals" is called "law enforcement" whereas , in some deeply troubled circles, pursuing and punishing people for disclosing box-car loads of state secrets is called (by them) "vendetta" and "vendetta against the entire Jewish people". Isn't linguistics fun?

      Well, this Jew (if he be a Jew) declares it as his considered opinion that holding Pollard in prison (aka 'durance vile") for his life-time is not a "vendetta" against anyone but mere "law enforcement".

  • Amid 'climate of fear' at Vassar, president comes out against 'action and protest' re Israel
    • Phil: follow-up reporting:

      If the trip happened, what happened during the trip? Whom did they talk to, what did they see? Was it basically a white-wash ("La-la-la-la, isn't Israel wonderful?") or was it a deep exploration of inequalities within the societies of Israel and/or under occupation, or both; and modes of governance?

      We need to know what happened. We need to know if Vassar was instrumental in determining, in advance, what happened, including choosing the professors who led the trip. Were there other professors, with other POV, that could have led the trip? Did Israel dictate the itinerary?

  • The Jewish community must not embrace Ayaan Hirsi Ali
    • We have seen various people "silenced": Norman Finkelstein and others denied tenure, speakers dis-invited, etc ad naus.

      OK, that was due to "the people" speaking I suppose, "the people" in those cases being big-money folks.

      Did the Tablet, The Forward, The NYT, The NPR, The Presidents of blah-blah raise their voices, collectively or severally, to condemn all this silencing, all this anti-academic-freedom-ism?

      But here they (or some of them) raise their voices to condemn (as if on a matter of principle) in the case of a woman being dissed (as to an honorary degree only -- she did not lose a bid for tenure and was invited to speak later, so she was not precisely silenced).

      Some matter of principle! Jews OKing the silencing of other Jews but condemning the not-really-silencing of a person of Islamic upbringing who had complained rather fulsomely of all Islam (without exception, as I read somewhere).

      Why is this honorary degree different from all other honorary degrees?

  • Florida university president who condemned boycott has financial ties to settlements
    • She wouldn't misbehave wso badly for a miserable $10,000 investment, surely. However, she wouldn't make that $10,000 without strong pro-Zionist feelings, adn there is the COI on the matter of the vote to divest.

      She should get out of the way, and the students should call for her resignation. By her actions, she has disqualified herself from running a university.

  • 'No decision has been made on Jonathan Pollard,' says State Dep't
    • Putting Palestinian politics to the side, Marwan Barghouti is in jail because -- or so I imagine the Israelis would say -- he committed (or planned) RETAIL killing of Israelis. Now Begin-Shamir-Sharon and many other Israelis committed WHOLESALE murder of Palestinians and were not imprisoned by Israel.

      A point to consider.

      I like calling for his release (and the release of all other political prisoners held by Israel or by the PA (and who knows by how many other splinter "security" organizations and disorganizations [think of USA's CIA's prisoners])), because I'd like to see a robust politics among the Palestinians -- and the PA/PLO's apparent permanent election-free capture of governance (away from the people and away from HAMAS which I also champion and for the same reason, democracy) is horrific because it is undemocratic.

    • Exactly: let Israel "win" on a really outstandingly awful one -- one so obvious that rank-and-file Americans can "see" it and react to it and then, under suitable guidance, to the entire AIPAC operation.

      Might even have some positive vibes in the long fight against oligarchy -- the ownership of governments by the super-rich.

  • For Miliband, the road to 10 Downing Street runs through Jerusalem and Sderot
    • SO: some follow-up questions: Does Miliband feel close to any other group of people than Jews? to any other country (outside UK) than Israel? Has he demonstrated (or created) his foreign policy creds or experience by visits to any other country than Israel? Is it his Zionism which is basic to him or his liberal (questioning the settlements) feelings?

      My guess is that UK has its own AIPAC (BICOM?) and that it is very nearly as puissant as our own, our very own, American, our dear, our precious AIPAC, bless its twisted heart. That's how politics works in a world of global-governance-capitalism, global oligarchy. If international corporations and rich-guys control USA, why not everywhere else -- at least everywhere else that governance has been made a commodity?

      It is often reported -- perhaps merely hopefully -- that the UK "street" is finding the message of BDS persuasive. If that is true, how soon before that message makes its way up the flagpole to those who govern (or aspire to govern) UK?

      Maybe Miliband's Zionism doesn't matter. DeBlasio did even worse and he's probably not personally a Zionist. And Miliband did condemn the settlements.

  • 6 DC heavyweights tell Kerry, Netanyahu in West Bank is like Putin in Crimea
    • ZB is intelligent? Maybe. But Israel has been playing its games for a long time and he has been (I imagine) rather quite or approving of USA support for Israel.

      Until today. Gee. what's up? (Crimea? USSR redux?) (A sudden need for consistency as to annexation?)

      People change and situations change. ZB was not, I dare say, always against the settlements,. not always, I dare say, ranting about (the lack of Israeli) "morality", etc.

      So what's interesting here is not to test ZB or the others (imperialists all, I dare say) for consistency, or for hating Russia, or loving Israel (or not): but to test them for showing that there is a change going on (or might be) in USA's politics of knuckling under to Israel and AIPAC.

      Shall we say, thank you Gospodin Putin?

    • Abrogating such an agreement is an example of what -- more generally -- might be called "sanctions". The point of sanctions might be no more than expressing outrage, but most usefully sanctions would be part of an enforcement regime aimed at requiring Israel to do something.

      Require Israel to do what? Well, the nations have not yet agreed to that. far from it. But if they DO agree to require SOMETHING, that something would most easily (most easily agreed to by the nations that is) be a requirement that Israel conduct the occupation(s) legally and, accordingly, remove all settlements, the wall, and the settlers. Remove (as to settlements and wall) means DISMANTLE (DESTROY). see UNSC 465 (1980), which calls for that.

    • The USSR moved Russian speakers into Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Ukraine and many others and with the dissolution of USSR those people ("settlers") are stranded. Russia should offer them a right to return home to Mother Russia and perhaps they should also have a right to remain (if the countries they are inside welcome them). The international law was perhaps not so clear then and the law that forbids Israel to settle its nationals in OPTs may not, for all I know, have made USSR's settlement program formally illegal.

      Anyhow, the present Israeli settlers are clearly present illegally and everyone (except possibly the settlers themselves) knew it from day one. So there should be no question at all of allowing them to remain -- and certainly not now, during the long-continuing occupation, when their presence is illegal.

      The settlers should be removed and the settlements (buildings: residences, public buildings, the university, factories, all) should be dismantled (UNSC 465). In fact it is pretty hard to imagine a path toward peace other than an international push, with sanctions as enforcers, to requirer Israel to remove the settlers and dismantle settlements and wall. By contrast, a sanctions-enforced requirement on Israel to get that done in one or two years would powerfully concentrate Israel's mind on the benefits of a negotiated peace.

    • Lee Hamilton -- on of the 6 mentioned above -- was in Congress back (in 1978?) when a joint committee asked the Legal Advisor of the State Department to give a legal opinion of the legality of Israel's settlements under international law. He gave a fine analysis in a three page letter (as I recall) and concluded that the settlements were violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

      At some early moment after 1967, or so i read, a legal advisor to the Israeli government gave a similar opinion to the Israeli government.

      Both governments ignored the legal advice. I suppose that ever since 1967 (and, indeed, before) it has been a matter of "How many divisions have the Palestinians" -- to paraphrase Joseph Stalin's famous question The Pope! How many divisions has he got?

      Neither morality nor lawfulness are very high on the priority lists of imperialists like the USA and Israel (or USSR, Nazi Germany, or older imperialisms -- Pharaoh's Egypt?).

      That being the case, what exactly is bothering Les Six? does the USA really have something to lose here, as so many critics of AIPAC so confidently assert?

  • 'In every generation they rise up against us' -- Passover and the Jewish imagination
    • A little pilpul.

      Let "all who are hungry" come and eat. And what means "all"? Does it mean "all Jews" or does it mean "all people"? How shall we know?

      But wait! Later we read "the Holy One, blessed be He, rescues us from their hands." It says "us" and "their". This establishes an us/them and thus an us/all distinction.

      It did not say "all of us who are hungry" (come and eat). So it must mean "all people who are hungry, Jewish or Palestinian, or others." It must also mean "all strangers" for we were strangers in Egypt. And today there are strangers, black Africans in Israel (as well as Palestinians outside Israel yearning to go home) who need to be "fed" (spiritually and bodily nourished and cared for).

      Well, glad we got that out of the way. Whew! I don't do this sort of argument often. I'm trained to mathematics and law, not Talmud. And, so, maybe I got it wrong. Maybe the authors of these fine words only meant "Let all Jews who are hungry come and eat". After all, Jews were (most of the time and in most places) not well fixed (or even well disposed) to invite all strangers to their tables.

      Today, in Israel, there seems little disposition to invite the strangers (or the exiles) into people's homes (even and particularly if these people are the original owners of the said homes, but I digress).

      So, once again, it seems perpetually, the Jews need to be rescued. sometimes from other people's bad acts, and sometimes from their own.

      Let it be so (Amen).

    • Page: 42
  • State Dep't tries to clean up Kerry's 'Poof'
    • For me, the "poof" remark should be taken to be less about who is to blame than about the fact (yes, fact) that 23 years of "peace process" has produced no peace or anything close enough to be worth pursuing by negotiations alone.

      Israel has used the "peace process" as a screen for its settlement project which violates international conventions, law, human rights norms, and UNSC resolutions. UNSC 465 called, inter alia, for the dismantlement of the then-existing settlements:

      Para. 5. Determines that all measures taken by Israel to change the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure or status of the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, or any part thereof, have no legal validity and that Israel’s policy and practices of settling parts of its population and new immigrants in those territories constitute a flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War and also constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East;

      Para. 6. Strongly deplores the continuation and persistence of Israel in pursuing those policies and practices and calls upon the Government and people of Israel to rescind those measures, to dismantle the existing settlements and in particular to cease, on an urgent basis, the establishment, construction and planning of settlements in the Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem;

      (bold added)

      and it would make sense for the UNSC to re-issue Res. 465 but this time to include a demand for the dismantlement of the wall -- and to include "teeth" (sanctions) to back up the demand.

      Israel does not listen to mere words. It might listen to sanctions.

      And faced with the urgent need to remove from occupied territories (including occupied Jerusalem) nearly 10% of its population and to "dismantle" (destroy) the settlements, including at least one university and several large cities, it might -- who knows? -- see a reason to make a peace with the Palestinians which the latter would be glad to accept.

  • 66 years ago today 42 members of my family were slaughtered in Deir Yassin
    • LT: Years ago (1980s) (and perhaps still) there have been well-funded Zionist programs to assist public schools in creating lesson plans to teach holocaust awareness. Whether the courses prepared and taught to unsuspecting school kids in that way taught any tragedies other than the Jewish part of the holocaust created by Germany in the 1940s I don't know: the holocaust itself had many victims besides Jews and Pol Pot and Rwanda come to mind as (other) tragedies that might have been taught -- as does Palestine.

      My own reaction was that these courses were examples of "Oh, look at me! How I (and my Jewish people) have suffered. No need to consider any other type of suffering and especially not any suffering caused BY Jews" And I argued in a local newspaper that such a course should not be taught unless Palestine was taught as part of it. I got considerably shot down in the letters column of that local paper. At least the conversation happened.

    • Shall they murder and inherit?

  • 'NYT' self-censors, axing headline blaming Israeli settlements
    • It's interesting to see headlines change. Was an electronic copy made of the original headline?

      NYT: "Ohhhh, excuse me, I misspoke! Really!" Well, they are in good company. Christie misspoke when talking in the imperial presence -- of the current Dearth Vader, also known as Shelly Adelson.

  • Zionism has distorted American Jewish life
  • Because Rep. Jones voted 'present' on Israel aid, lobby group runs attack ad with burning flag
    • This is the BIG threat. Hope he survives it.

      AIPAC spends rather little on support for the people who knuckle under, but reserves the BIG money for punishment. I wonder if BIG0-BANKS, BIG-OIL, etc., do it the same way.

  • 'The struggle for Palestinian liberation has become a mainstream global civil rights movement of our time': CUNY panel discusses the BDS movement
    • "There are other parties for whose academic freedom we should be concerned."

      Yes. Palestinians, whose academic freedom is greatly reduced by occupation (for those living under occupation), exile (for those outside MP), and Israeli racism (for those living inside green-line Israel).

      And, yes, American academic freedom, which has been so violently attacked by Zionist power in recent years, both as to denial of tenure for professors, and as to suppression of student pro-Palestine work.

  • Friedman says Iran's friends include BDS and Jews in Open Hillel movement
    • Krauss: If EU is America's poodle, as of course it has often seemed, and America is AIPAC's poodle, and AIPAC is far-right-settlers' poodle, then a fairly small dog (Adelson joining in all this somewhere as a bit independent of AIPAC) is wagging some mighty big dogies. But poodles sometimes break loose: USA on Iran war; and EU on small BDS movements.

      And even if the EU is America's poodle, we've seen a small amount of motion from the EU nations, severally, of a BDS nature, and this must (assuming the short-leash poodle theory) have been with American acquiescence. Whichever way, and considering motion within EU publics, there is some BDS progress in EU.

      I've forgotten how the voting was on Palestine membership in UN.

    • Friedman is classy, crafty! Notice how he disguises Israel's refusal to return its settlers to within the green-line and make a 2SS peace on the basis of the green-line. I think most rational people, assessing the power facts between Israel and Palestine, would see that it is Israel that has the power to unilaterally remove itself from occupied territories, and that Palestine has the power (if that is the right word) to do little besides roll over and play dead.

      So for Friedman it is Iran and BDS and Hillel (all of which detest the occupation) that are forcing Israel to misbehave and thereby to incur near universal detestation (and delegitimacy of a kind) -- not Israel itself, and surely not the USA!

      So, for Friedman, all bases are covered! But, this is mere statecraft on his part. All readers who know the score know that the point of this article is that Israel is in trouble, that BDS and Hillel are showing up the trouble, and that Israel needs a new plan.

      And that is what this article means. It is exactly like Kerry warning of BDS. This article pretends to find villains elsewhere, as power-brokers in DC must pretend, since it is impolitic to assert that the USA or Israel could be at fault for anything.

      His inclusion of Iran in all of this is delicious "cover", since his assertions that Hillels and BDS want to prolong occupation are a bit, may one suggest, tenuous.

      And -- to remain true to myself -- I should mention that the powerful's refusing to see evil is nowhere so pronounced or so dangerous as in Washington's and USA's refusal to speak openly about Climate change/global warming so that we may all begin to do something about it.

  • Bill de Blasio gives Avigdor Lieberman the Big Apple
    • Hmmm, wonder if Ralph occasionally are oil, lebanee, and zatar on pita for breakfast?

    • puppies -- sorry, but "Sefardi" is the only word I know for Jews from Morocco and other Arabic-speaking countries, generally used in contrast to "Ashkenazi" (Polish, Russian, German). I can well believe, as you say, that the word was twisted by those who have managed the discourse -- of course, always happens. But Spanish speakers -- after 1492? Maybe some are speakers of Ladino.

    • They are both so sweet! Cuddly!

      Oh, dear, but Krauss has expressed a complementary POV. Yes, it would be wonderful to see all their sun-shiny faces if an Arabic-speaking PM of Israel (or president of USA, for that matter) were to emerge. In Israel, such a speaker might well be an older Sephardi! I've always been partial to the idea of Jewish Arabs (in and out of Israel).

  • Courageous conductor, democratic society -- the NYT's Mehta meme
    • We live in a time when lukewarm dissent is honored as if it were big-time stuff. Perhaps this is the sad result of so little hot dissent from people with something to lose.

      It would -- from my BDS perspective -- be quite something if Mr. Mehta resigned from his Israel connections in a BDS-like demonstration that -- in his opinion (I cannot of course speak for him) Israel's settlements policy and (by now) its policy of indefinite occupation are impermissible and require all principled people to withdraw their support for Israel until these matters are entirely corrected.

      But such things don't happen often, haven't happened here, and will beall the more noteworthy when they ultimately do occur (if ever).

      We live in a time of ultimate denial: and nothing but denial can explain the broad refusal of decent people to speak truth to power on: I/P (a small matter, although dear to us few including Zionists among "us few") and global warming/climate change (GW/CC), a dreadful calamity that will make the holocaust (for example) pale in comparison. In each case, the relevant facts have been available for a long time and those who cozy up to power (or who value a conflict-free lifestyle) have learned to practice a reticence which makes of denial a virtue.

      One wonders where the religious leaders are, if not on I/P, then on GW/CC?

  • Why the 'Forward's' support for SodaStream is antithetical to progressive values
    • That the Forward had a history of decency and respect for the problems of the down-trodden I do not doubt. I've long believed (i.e., was taught) that Jews (as a class) had those values and worked politically and practically to advance them. When the civil rights movement erupted in Americna in 1960s, it seemed still to be in gear. But VietNam was raging and then came the M/E war of 1967, and American Jews (as a class) appeared (to me) to move to the other side, at least as far as condemning either USA's or Israel's war crimes etc. And, of course, a subclass of Jews in America had become very, very comfortable -- undermining their concerns for the downtrodden at exactly the moment that a Jewish escape from being pushed around seemed assured (and embodied) in Israel.

      Jewish values-in-practice (in many cases) took a flip-flop.

      Protecting Israel, apparently a case of protecting 'my mother drunk or sober' (and protecting 'my country wrong or wrong') took precedence over asserting older (progressive, decent) Jewish values.

      Perhaps this business of protecting 'my country wrong or wrong' is what Jews had earlier experienced as 'court Jews' in Poland and elsewhere. support power (and its evils) and rise like cream in milk.

      I'm glad to read that the Forward's Yiddish readers get better treatment, thereby showing that a decent Jewish flame is still alive (for a while, one would imagine for only a short while more) which has been blown out in Israel and in much of America.

  • US is 'absolutely adamant' that Palestine not go to ICC and wreck the peace process -- Power
    • As to "doing two things at once": My error. I forgot that the PP has dual purpose. First is to look (perpetually and in perpetuity) as if the parties (and the USA) are negotiating for peace, without actually doing so; but the second purpose was that the PP would be the ONLY thing the Palestinians would be doing -- but not, as we know, the only thing that the Israelis would be doing. so going to the UN is (by this definition of the PP) abandoning the PP.

    • A threat to Israel? How can the Palestinian threat of going to ICC be a threat to Israel unless -- OMG ! -- Israel has been (can it be?, Oh!, say not so, Samantha!) doing criminal stuff? Oh, say not so, Samantha, say not so. Here is a high USA official accusing Israel of at least arguably criminal behavior! This is indeed newsworthy!

      And devastating to the peace-process? Well, why should that be so? Cannot Israel (and PA) do two things at once? Cannot they chew gum and walk at the same time? Cannot they appear before ICC at the same time they do whatever it is they do during those interminable PP sessions?

  • 'NYT' readers who objected to calling Abbas 'defiant' have a point, public editor rules
    • The problem here was that the official "party line" in our one-party "democracy" is that Israel can do no wrong and the corollary is that it's always OK to blame Palestinians for things that "go wrong" (as the peace process is said to have done -- once more, and counting in the 100s). So a NYT reporter who often talks to the usual DoS folks is likely to pick up the usual vibes (blame Abbas). This is a problem rather like racism and other unconscious knee-jerk ways of talking (and thinking). Apparently this time, the knee-jerking was on the part of a headline writer (who has been writing similar headlines for years and knows the "drill").

      This was how the failure of the Clinton Camp David peace-process-event was unfairly blamed on the Palestinians.

      Knee-jerk jerks. Meanwhile, "the danger of peace has receded" sez Likud pol., not troubling with the crocodile tears.

  • Ehud Olmert's JNF-sponsored tour nixed after corruption conviction
    • As to Olmert: A corrupt man may be a peacenik. We are always confusing matters of personal morality (and political morality) with matters of statesmanship.

      Of course, the LZ's are always in trouble since their idea of peace has little to do with the "just and lasting peace" imagined by UNSC 242 ("the need to work for a just and lasting peace in which every State in the area can live in security"), or, for that matter, with Abraham Lincoln earlier use of the phrase:

      With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.

      Although, of course, Palestine was not a "State" in 1967 and God is always everyone's ally.

  • 'NYT' stamps Jimmy Carter 'radioactive' and not 'a force for good'
    • And what's to love about being forced (by BIG-ZION) to make nice with apartheid? Does the slave love his master? Obeys, yes, smiles perhaps, but loves?

      And to make my feelings on this clear, I believe the USA would dump Israel (or at least its occupation and settlements) if it could. It cannot: slave.

      Can anyone point to anything that suggests that the Israeli settlements (or prolonged occupation) are positive for ANY US interest (other perhaps than BIG-DEFENSE which sells a lot of arms to everybody)? But as to BIG-DEFENSE, would they not sell as many arms -- or even more so -- if Israel were confined to a smaller territory? Would Israel start fewer wars, test fewer US arms, spy less on Arabs and Persians?

    • Al Gore has spoken rather clearly about the CC/GW problem. I'm sorry that the ex-presidents don't get together to try to tell the public what the p-in-office cannot or will not say, about I/P, about CC/GW, about American economy, overblown military, about the Oligarchy (the very rich running everything). I suppose it is misplaced politeness -- you know, "I had my turn and now it is your turn." This is misplaced, however, because when in office they had all the fund-raising problems w/o which control by oligarchy would not work. On that view, being out of office is the FIRST time a president has the chance to "tell it like it is."

    • I guess I agree. But I'm not sure the NYT writes "to" a group of aging (conservative and/or careful not to offend) Jews. I think it doesn't write "to" anyone but writes "for" a constituency which might be its owners, its advertisers (in the days of advertisers), or the social class of its owners and editors (or the class they aspire to be in) -- in short the Oligarchs (or at least the BIG-ZION / AIPAC slice of the Oligarchy), or close enough as makes no never mind. As to Jews = / = Zionists, I think that's the young (outside the birth[right]ers and their ilk) and those who were not so poisoned by holocaust as to lose their ethics and ideals (as those poisoned by many oncological drugs lose their hair).

    • Deeply Jewish? Maybe that too. But surely deeply Zionist, primarily. For its Zionist propagandistic leaning landslide is enormously offensive to many Jews.

  • Ultra-Zionists push back as Jewish establishment tacks toward center
    • Black is white. Both are grey.
      NYT tries to tell the truth. Grey at best. (Is omission truth-telling?)
      NYT is not (or should not be) called the Grey Lady for nothing.

  • Oren says Pollard 'sacrificed himself for the Jewish people'
    • C&D -- great idea! Let it look like Israel begged for the return of their hero.

    • Krauss -- Well said. And since Pollard gave stuff to Israel which [1] damaged USA security and [2] did not help Israel's security and [3] supported Israel's non-security goals (getting cooperation from USSR on Jewish emigration) -- well, hrumpfff, Oren values it because it helped Israel, doesn't care that it hurt USA, and cares not a whit for the "traitor" aspect (compare to the Mordechai Vanunu matter, where Israel cared a real LOT).

  • 'A Painful Price': The escalating war on Palestine solidarity at U of Michigan and beyond
    • Frightening indeed. And just as the USA's Supreme Court (USA's highest and virtually unanswerable legislative body) has nearly confirmed the oligarchy's triumph over democracy. The concrete is almost dry on the feet of democracy. And similarly on college campuses which have already showed a dismal tendency to listen to Zio-$$$ when deciding whether free speech and academic freedom have any future on campus.

  • An open letter to J Street: Let's talk
    • If Israel is prepared (as I dare say it is or could easily be) to "annex" more of the West Bank -- as it has "annexed" the Syrian Golan and the so-called Jerusalem (a very large territory which contains the much smaller Old City and other pre-1948 territory then known as Jerusalem -- then it will be prepared to "annex" just as much or as little of it as it likes. There is no reason for Israel to "annex" the whole thing, and certainly not Gaza.

      I use quotes on "annex" because it is my understanding that all Israel's claims, so far, to have "annexed" occupied territory have been denounced as null and void and without legal substance by the UNSC.

      But of course Israel doesn't really care much about the UNSC.

      So, the 2SS is over? Well, well, took long enough for almost everyone to say so. Maybe Kerry and Netanyahu will actually sya so as well now, or on April 30. But that is not at all the same as saying that apartheid has ended and it is very far from 1SS. All of those things are things which require a great deal of muscle from outside.

      And that is the ingredient which has been missing since 1967.

  • MJ Rosenberg’s conundrum
    • MJR and Shavit and other "liberal Zionists" are not likely to give up their fears -- roughly, I guess, either fear of another holocaust somewhere outside Israel if Israel does not remain Jewish-dominated or fear that the loss of such an Israel would itself be in-and-of-itself another holocaust.

      These fears make them proof against the ethical demands that normal people recognize -- including most normal Jews. These feears also seem to cloud their thinking, preventing them from thinking any thought that would unseat the fears.

      They don't see this, they cannot, for their fears are like the Teddy Bears that little kids seem to carry with themselves everywhere they go.

      Don't get me wrong -- I love little kids and think they are ever so cute, including their Teddy Bear need. I remember turning around after driving the first hour of a four hour trip to go home to get my 3-year-old son's special blanket that we'd somehow left at home. Those blankets and Teddy Bears are really important. for mental health. Everyone's.

      But MJR and Shavit are getting a bit old for dragging their particular dirty, bedraggled Teddy Bear around with them for very much longer.

      I think they will grow old and die clutching that horrible, destructive Teddy Bear, unless, perhaps, their children or grandchildren turn their backs on Israel (or on Zionism, not the same thing) and do so in a way which might teach their elders that the damage done by Zionism-in-practice was far worse than any benefit gained by it. After all, losing your kids due to crimes you approved of (and perhaps participated in) would be a heavy price to pay. Worse than losing a Teddy Bear.

  • Tell Bill Gates to divest from Israeli occupation profiteer G4S
  • Liberal schizophrenia and moral myopia: On Ari Shavit's 'My Promised Land'
    • Great review: makes clear and explicit the problem of Zionism for any Zionists with pre-1900's moral/ethical perceptions. But the original Zionists and many of today's Zionists have bought that the fate of the Jews depends on doing "what it takes" to survive in Israel as a Jewish majority state, and they have been cruel in the extreme in determining what "what it takes" means. They had choices which they rejected.

      Most clearly, these days, they have rejected the choice of a smaller Israel. Today they want all the West Bank and especially the settlements and the Jordan Valley. Their goal might once have been (mere) survival, but today it is territorial aggrandizement -- and ever continuing ethnic cleansing.

      If Shavit is ever to get his eyes opened in a personal way, I suppose it will come when his children or grandchildren opt either to leave Israel or to transform it into a decent land for all its people.

  • Jewish National Fund lures singles to Israel with tasteless sexual joke in NYT
    • I'm no expert and way too old (beyond 3 score and ten) to know what's today thought to be in "good taste". For all I know, all these sex ads are in perfect taste for the crowd they're aimed at. And, again, perhaps young "Jews" are not the same -- taste-wise -- as young Quakers or young Catholics; or as (other) young atheists. (Or maybe they are!)

      These jokes (or whatever they are) remind me of the very crude humor of the "humor" magazine published at my mostly-boys-then alma mater in my freshman year in the 1950s.

      So maybe Israel -- which maintains a large standing army of very crude toughs -- is aiming for army recruitment at EXACTLY the right folks!

    • Is "judaism" protected in the USA under the rubric of "free exercise of religion" (1st Amend.) or under "protection of property" ("nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation") (5th Amend.). I suppose one preliminary question is whether or not "judaism" could be taken (by anyone for any purpose away from anyone else) (and then, always a popular question: who owns judaism? [Big Zion or some one else?].

  • Reports: Abbas faults Israel for 'procrastinating,' says Palestine will move to join int'l organizations
    • Fantastic? Yes, if it happen.

      Meanwhile, PA throws some water on the idea that there is nothing more important than negotiating for peace with a deadbeat.

      MJR says Kerry plan is a joke. And he's right.

      Maybe Kerry is just protecting the Dems' Zionist money and doesn't care if Abbas stays with him or jumps ship. Hope that's it.

  • Pollard was in it for money, and sold so many dox Cap Weinberger wanted the death penalty
    • Obama considers giving Pollard away as a quid pro quo for what? For something substantial or important or long lasting or to anyone's credit? No.

      He wants to give Pollard up to induce the Israelis to release a few prisoners they had already agreed to give up as part of the current "round" of the (infinitely looping, never ending) merry-go-round called the "peace process". And when he gioves them Pollard, and even if they follow through and do as they appear to have promised (for Pollard; not to the PA), then -- there'll still be no peace, Kerry will have empty hands -- again -- and Abbas will again have to search his soul to see if he has the courage -- against very great odds: Israel and USA -- to go to ICC.

      And Pollard will be out and home free, and Israel can re-arrest the Palestinians, or arrest someone else, and on and on and on.

      What crap.

      And no-one serious talking about implementing UNSC 465 again but this time with teeth: settlers and settlements gone. Wall gone too.

      That would not be crap, even if it didn't happen it'd be nice to hear it talked about. But, Noooooooo. That probably crosses some Israeli "red line". (USA has no "red lines", does it? Or courage. Or standards of decency.)

  • 'NYT' editorial writer savages Republicans for 'pro-Israel, philo-Semitic' curtseys to Adelson
  • Boteach stops reporter from videotaping Columbia University debate
    • There are performances of copyrighted plays, music, etc., where the theater legitimately says NO RECORDING. And the theater, or author, or other permitee/licensee of the copyright-holder may nevertheless record. SURE.

      But at a university-staged debate (or was this a hired hall?)? A public debate? With a sign which can be interpreted as permission to record (altho also as a warning of possible recording)? On a topic of political importance? a REPORTER cannot record? Jeeze Louise!

      WARNING: the sign seems clearly to allow recording BY Barnard College and by no other. It tells attendees that their image and voice may be recorded, they give their permission for such recording AND for Barnard College's future use of the recordings. WAS THIS AT BARNARD COLLEGE? Who put up the sign?

      So who exactly were the ALLOWED videographers? Barnard College? or Boteach et al.?

      SIGN should have said, and to me implies the thought, NO VIDEO/RECORDING w/o explicit permission of Barnard College. But it did NOT say so.

      The sign did not give the permission of audience members to be video'd or voice recorded by BOTEACH et al.

      Even if Barnard (or the moderator) gave him permission, arguably it wasn't his (moderator's) to give, since the audience had not given their permission to be recorded, blah-blah-fuss-fuss.

      Boteach et al should NOT be permitted to use the recordings, because (implicit by the sign) no-one had given THEM a waiver or permission to use such a recording.

      PHIL: Call Columbia and get a complete statement!

    • There are performances of copyrighted plays, music, etc., where the theater legitimately says NO RECORDING. And the theater, or author, or other permitee/licensee of the copyright-holder may nevertheless record. SURE.

      But a t a university-staged debate (or was this a hired hall?)? A public debate? With a sign which can be interpreted as permission to record (altho also as a warning of possible recording)?

      Call Columbia and get a complete statement!

  • Cutting thru hysteria over divestment, 'Forward' quotes Jews in favor
    • There is no political discussion, demonstration, push-and-pull on a contentious topic that does not make someone feel uncomfortable. Therefore, unless political expression is to be outlawed, the argument that some people feel uncomfortable must be rejected as a justification for shutting down the discussion.

      The idea that some people are being attacked as Jews, or that some Jews feel uncomfortable is sad but also not a basis for shutting down discussion. (I assume that there is not, in fact, any physical attack on Jews or anyone else.) Zionists are being told that they backed the wrong horse, so of course they have a lot of emotion tied up in Zionism and feel uncomfortable to be told they are wrong. They are being told they are immoral when they've spent a lifetime being told and believing that they were super-moral. Very uncomfortable. They are not hard of hearing; they are hard of listening. They must learn to listen.

      As a point of reference, Palestinians have been told for a long time (in words but especially in Israeli actions) that they have no human rights, no property rights, and no national rights in Palestine. I don't recall anyone saying that praise of Israel on university campuses must be "shut down" to spare Palestinians the discomfort of being reminded of this. Will anyone say that there has been no solidarity with Israel on these college campuses? So if discomfort for Palestinians is OK, why not discomfort for Zionists?

  • Attacks on BDS sharpen as it gains traction in the Jewish community
    • American -- you've nailed it. good phrasing.

      In American law, governments acting to restrict freedoms (in pursuit of other and laudable goals) are required to show that they've acted in favor of those goals in the least restrictive manner. No-one who argues that Israel is entitled to achieve self-determination for Jews in Palestine can argue (after all the evidence that's now "in") that they've done so in the least restrictive way.

      Let a Zionist come forward who states she's willing that Israel exist on a territory within Palestine the size of New York City (which has a similar sized population) and I might agree to "least restrictive". But, no, Zionists want the whole thing, and bits of Lebanon and a big chunk of Syria as well.

      Nothing "least restrictive" about it. So I don't believe them when they say they justify Zionism by the need for Jewish self-determination. It's clear that they justify Zionism by "might makes right" and "he who lives by the sword lives by the sword". And that is in fact what we see every day in Palestine.

  • Mahmoud Abbas vs Mohammed Dahlan: The showdown begins
    • And where does all this leave the wonderful possibility of a PLO joining the ICC and other UN groups? Will all (all!) Palestinian "leaders" be shown to be QUISLINGS? PUPPETS OF ISRAEL AND THE USA?

  • Christie steps in deep doo-doo, promptly apologizes to Adelson. Whew!
    • The remark was public but the apology private (tho reported, and hence public)? What is the public deemed to make of it? Show of Zionist muscle, quite proper, nothing wrong, why'd anyone even mention it? Or -- how revolting, cannot call a spade a spade around here!

  • A British Jew warns US Jewish orgs to heed rapidly-shifting world opinion
    • I don't see the EU press, hear its radio, see its TV. I don't listen to the conversations in coffee shops, around the water cooler.

      I wish I did. PHIL: Is there any way to bring this stuff to USA? Can your mysterious correspondent help? Please ask.

      Americans should know what other people think (on a wide range of topics: but I/P is surely one of them). We also need to know how what Chomsky called "Manufacture of Consent" works in USA and how it works in EU. Sometimes Public Opinion is manufactured, sometimes it is (in a way) suppressed, as information is manufactured (advertising, propaganda, lies, emphases) or suppressed (no news at all on topic).

      We need to know how we in USA are being manipulated and how EU folks are being manipulated. But w3e also need to know what Public Opinion is, manufactured or not.

      Of course we'd prefer the manipulation (?) to be of this sort: Here's the true information, make up your own mind.

      How do you describe the feeling that your life has been a lie? I think that the reason Jews are so reluctant to acknowledge what is clearly in front of them, is that shifting from ‘Israel is never wrong’ to ‘we have created a monster’ is such a terrifying realisation, self delusion is the easier path.

      Please hold my hand. I need you to talk me ‘down from the ledge’ because as I finally see the horror in front of us, I am petrified. I’m reaching out because I don’t know what to do and I hope that by explaining to you, how scary shifting your position on Israel is, I can help us establish a process for other Jews. I need help.

      The correspondent from EU is fearful of a savage over-the-cliff shift in Public Opinion (and can government action be far behind? Well, yes, but how far?) in which support for Israel, sympathy for Jews, etc., drops precipitously. I have no way to measure the accuracy of this fear. It may be irrational (on the facts the correspondent experiences). Or it may be entirely rational.

      If he/she is right, then it is clear (to me) that circling the wagons is NOT the right way for Jews, Liberals, Liberal Zionists (?), or hard-right-Zionists to go. Rather they must join the morality of "the people" and quickly show themselves to be on the side of morality rather than on the side of "monsters". Of course, I've wanted Jews to do this for a long time: I regard myself as Jew (others might not), and I want Jews to have a "good name"; supporting the monstrosity of Israel cannot, it seems to me, be the way to get a good name. A "name for power", sure, as long as the power lasts, but not a "good name".

      And didn't an awful lot of 19th century and 20th century antisemitism arise from a sense -- whether right or wrong, whether accurate or exaggerated -- that Jews had aided "power", been tools of "power", ultimately BECOME "power" themselves (e.g., the so well known "Jewish Bankers" before 1945) and thus marvelously objectionable?

      So, I agree with the correspondent that the path trod by American Jews is (or ought to be) a path over a very dangerous cliff -- dangerous, initially, to Palestinians, but dangerous ultimately to American Jews. The Jewish sense of invincibility may be the most odious feeling ever -- because it allows horrible immorality, here called monstrousness, and because it allows those who feel that way to ignore the possibility and likelihood of pushback.

      Thanks for this article.

  • 'NYT Book Review' gives platform to Radosh to accuse Judis of writing 'what-if' history
  • 'Contractually obligated' to say the peace process is alive, Aslan told Americans to get ready for one state
    • If you are hired as an actor in a play, you learn the4 script and perform your part. No-one forces you to accept the job of an actor. Same with a flack. It's slightly different when the "job" is hinted at, or generally understood (as it must be on NPR, NYT, etc.), but if yo break the rules you are likely to be out on the street pretty soon. Uncooperative, you know?

      So this is a rare find.

  • Journalistic malpractice: Washington Post suggests Abbas doesn't recognize Israel's right to exist
    • There was an old joke current years ago about I/P: A scorpion wants to cross a river in the MIDDLE EAST and asks a frog to carry him; but the frog says, no, you'll sting me; but the scorpion says, No, I won't because I want you to carry me over the river; so the frog takes him on his back and begins to swim across the river; at which point the scorpion stings him. As they are both going down, the frog asks the scorpion why he did it, and the scorpion says -- it's because this is the MIDDLE EAST.

      One could also say, it was the scorpion's nature.

      OK, very funny. Who's the scorpion? Israel? Or someone else?

      Anyhow, WaPo and the other speakers for power are reactionary because that's who hold power. REACTIONARIES: REAL AWFUL PEOPLE but very powerful.

      Are they conservative? Sometimes. They are conservative in that they want the powerful to continue to hold (and increase) their power.

      But they never hesitate to adopt change (once thought to be the opposite of conservatism) when it might help them -- the 2008 mortgage/derivatives BANK horrors, all modern science and engineering, lots of change. Most of the change is poisoning the plant, and the POWER folks are content because they are incapable of sympathy for unpowerful people and incapable of imagining that they themselves might lose power (as they would if climate change proceeds as expected and remains unopposed). The oligarchs hold all the power, all power of governance.

      Guess we non-oligarchs must suck it in.

      REACTIONARY are not holding to OLD ideas or OLD people. They are GRASPING people and what they are grasping is power today, damn the torpedoes of climate change and other environmental disasters.

  • Saudis don't care about Palestinians, say American commentators
  • UN Human Rights Council resolution warning companies to 'terminate business interests in the settlements' or face possible criminal liability gets watered down
    • Interesting that UNHRC backed down on the strong warning. But it is also noteworthy that countries can issue stronger warnings if they wish to, think of the pension funds backing out of Israeli banks, and criminal prosecutions -- if otherwise justified -- can proceed even without the warnings.

      Of course, the criminal prosecutors can later back down just as the UNHRC did (as reported here). There's a lot of politics in the business of criminal prosecution.

  • 'I'm reminded of Jackson, MS, closing all public pools rather than integrating them' -- Franke on Barnard's Banner-gate
    • I may have missed somewhat but it seems that the banner was taken down [1] because powerful people demanded it be taken down, [2] because the same powerful people said it made some Barnard students feel uncomfortable (but doesn't politics always make someone uncomfortable?; and [3] after the Hillel party assert meanings and messages which they asserted to be manifest in the banner [destruction of Israel, I think] , which they also (or preeminently) found unpalatable -- i.e., they objected not to the banner so much as to certain meanings and messages (not facially present on the banner) which they asserted were inseparable from the banner -- and which they also asserted were impermissible.

      Since when does a university allow dissenters to speak for their opponents and then to demand the chastisement of those opponents not for what they did or said but for what it was claimed was implicit in what the did or said.

      And what about that banner? "Stand for Justice" is hard to argue with. I doubt the Hillel party would admit to being against Justice. (They probably think the replacement of Palestine with Israel IS Justice!) And it said "Stand with Palestine", and the Hillel party (or some Hillel members, but not all if Hillel happens to be "open") have every right not to agree to that. And it displayed a green figure, which could be interpreted as a map, but which was unlabeled. It did not say "Israel" or "Palestine" on this figure. And yet this was interpreted by some Hillel folks as "erasing Israel" from the map.

      Some famous jurist once said that the proper response to bad language was better language. All the Hillel party needed do was hang a similar banner saying "Stand for Justice -- Stand for Israel" (with a blue map of ??)(always a puzzle, that!) somewhere.

      But no! Down with free speech in Murka, the land that big money (power) rules.

  • JJ Goldberg says Adelson's influence fulfills anti-Semitic belief
    • It may well be blow-back time, because the I-First crowd are so stupidly blatant. No messing around behind the scenes for them, Oh! No!.

      However, the monopolists (some of the same people, some others: together I call them the oligarchy and their projects the BIGs, as BIG-OIL, BIG-ZION, BIG-PHARMA, etc.) have many projects that come in under the popular radar: the refusal by Obama and Congress to rein-in the BANKS even after 2008; the new "free trade" agreement being made for the Pacific, which puts foreign corporations OVER (local) governments and thereby guts labor laws, environmental laws, and many more; fracking (against the environment in a big way); the pipelines (ditto); ignoring climate change (again, ditto and DITTO); and many etc.

      The BIGs pay for their lobbyists to push for what they want, but there is no organized (big) money to sound the call to arms for a populist uprising against all this oligarchic trends. All of the BIGs can buy what they want -- including it would seem dear Mr. Adelson.

  • BDS' big night: Loyola student government passes divestment, U. Mich votes it down
    • Palestinians may not have invented SUMUD, but their practice of it is exemplary. Living for one more day without giving up or giving in is the victory of that day.

      Triumph is the style of victory for imperialists. This is unavailable for most people.

      As, day by day, more formerly dyed-in-the-wool Zionists become something less, a bit critical, as they see the implacable demands and continually lawless behavior of Israel more and more clearly, there is a shift in American (and other) public opinion. One cannot say when it will have become enough. One can only hang in and continue the good fight.

      SUMUD.

  • Liberal Zionists turn on media darling Ari Shavit for promoting Netanyahu's bluff
    • Zionism consists largely of a special mental sickness, which commits crimes and demands respect without making apology. A Zionist who really believes that Israel was created (at the time, you know) as a necessary safe haven for Jews and recognizes the dreadful cost to Palestinians -- whether or not he still believes that the need for a safe haven for Jews still exists -- could apologize, and such an apology could lead to compromise and peace. But this mental sickness demands almost that the Palestinians apologize for their needing a safe haven in their own land. The Zionist says, we did not crimes, we had the right, all others are in the wrong, and if they will not meet our (escalating) demands, then too bad for them.

      And it looks to be too bad for everyone.

  • Avigdor Lieberman claims transferring Palestinian citizens is perfectly legal
    • Annie -- I didn't know about the little triangle as a dumping ground, tho I'd read that dumping (toxics, chemicals, trash, sewage, nuclear(?)) was being done in the West Bank.

      This suggests new conditions (to be publicly spoken) by PLO on the negotiations (not to get to peace but to educate the world): "We will not settle for land which has been trashed, nor will be settle without equitable sharing of water and replacement by Israel of stolen ground-water (iniquitous previous use of West Bank aquifer)."

      The proposal also -- on the basis of your "dumping" information -- makes it clear (and this should be said out loud, too) that Israel regards Palestinians as trash to be dumped into a new, smaller Palestine -- and expects the USa and Palestinians to go along with the idea.

    • Lieberman's proposal is interesting to me for this reason: it validates my idea, posted long ago (2010), that Israel could live with PRoR (not that I hear Lieberman saying he'd accept PRoR) and also maintain a large Jewish majority within its own territory if Israel contracted its borders (removed to a smaller territory).

      Of course, my idea was for Israel to make itself really small -- as small, say, as New York City (all five boroughs) which has about the same population as Israel. That way, the PRoR would allow return of a small number of Palestinians because those that would return to the newly smaller Israel would return to a smaller area: fewer Palestinians would have been exiled from that smaller place in 1948 and therefore fewer would be entitled to return to it post-peace.

      Of course, Lieberman is not proposing this plan. But he is pointing at it. He is saying that Israel does not have to be as large as it had hitherto desired to be.

      Now we need only to get him (i.e., to get Israel) to agree to give up not only this small triangle of land but also all of the territories occupied in 1967. Oh, well.

  • U of Michigan student gov't meets tonight, amid anticipation of divestment vote
    • Keep us posted. Student actions are terrific. Open Hillel. BDS. Divest.

      Another thing I'd like to see -- may take some faculty help -- would be teach-ins and/or conferences, all-day things, with speakers and a variety of topics.

      I very much remember a conference by NYC law school professors at Fordham Law School in NYC, which celebrated the wonderful advances in international human rights law over the then last, perhaps 50 years, , but which failed to mention the Fourth Geneva Convention -- which has been flouted by Israel since 1967. How could these well-meaning law professors celebrate something that was being ignored by all governments?

      But today, it would be timely to have teach-ins and conferences aimed at explaining to students and the nation, all citizens and visitors, what the law is, what it calls for, how it's been ignored and transgressed, etc.

      "Hurry up please, it's time!"

  • Ohio State Hillel member calls Desmond Tutu a 'neo Nazi' for criticizing Israel
    • Don't think most of them know it. I rather fear what will happen, what Masada-like explosion (hope not involving nukes, but nukes in the hands of terrorists is not a good idea, as many people say -- without thinking it through) -- I rather fear what explosion will happen if-and-when the majority of zios do in fact learn that things are going badly (and even a small defeat, like the end of the settlements, or even of some of the settlements, might seem like "doing badly). These people have been raised on a dream of omnipotence, they see themselvews as invincible supermen, AS OF RIGHT (God's promises), and it'll be a mess when it ends, as it must, because their atrocities are accelerating to the point that even the brain-dead Europeans with their holocaust-guilt and their bought-and-paid-for oligarchic governments will no longer be able to ignore.

  • Columbia debate on Israeli policies features 3 Zionists, no Palestinians
    • Yes, unbalanced people. But also a weird topic: "Are Israel’s Policies Justified in Light of the Security Issues it Faces?"

      Maybe Columbia Law School (at SJP's request? or sua sponte?) could have a conference on a slightly different topic: "Are Israel’s Policies Justified in Light of International Law?"

  • D.C. scribes party with red wine, vinyl, and image of a terrorist
    • The BAD is not the terrorist act itself (especially after the alleged warning) "but the refusal of the people in charge of the hotel to be intimidated by Jewish terrorism."

      Well, not exactly. It is the FACT that the failure of the Brits to evacuate the hotel might (in some eyes) have made the terrorists look bad, just as if (as some commentators surmise above) no advance warning had actually been given at all, hem, hem. Maybe, in those early days, bringing down a building without killing human persons (Jews and English and Arabs) was a sufficient goal for terrorism and therefore the bombing needed to be made to seem like an attempt to do only that much damage. So whether or not warning was given, the post facto announcement of a ante-facto warning was needed to make the bombing conform to (some) societal norm of "OK terrorism".

  • US desperate to keep futile peace process going a little longer
    • James Canning: Obama has no guns aimed at his head, but acts as if he had.

      Obama is a lame duck, needing no electoral money at all for himself -- and no big-money at all unless he dreams of a big-money supported "presidential library" and huge speaking fees after he leaves office.

      He is caught as all presidents recently have been in the trap of deeming his non-Constitutional job as chief legislative director for his "party" more important than other aspects of leadership. Congress needs electoral money, but Obama does not.

      He doesn't have to do that! Give it up! He DOES direct USA's diplomacy, and its UN rep. Action on I/P could happen there, but only if Obama can shake loose from the invisible and wholly imaginary chains which (don't really) bind him to big-money. (Not that he is in any way a "worker of the world", but truly he has nothing to lose but his chains!)

      Imagine Obama speaking to the nation and the world in a really earth-shaking speech at the UN calling for enforcement of Fourth Geneva Convention and other international laws, agreements, conventions, etc., which Israel has been violating non-stop since 1967 if not since 1948. Imagine him announcing that a just and lasting peace is within reach and apologizing for the USA's (and his own) role in frustrating it for all these years. A statesman! Maybe be elected for a third term (I know, I know).

      Imagine any politician talking straight talk to the American people about any important issue as to which BIG-MONEY has thwarted good policy over the years!

      Oh!, My heart, my heart!

    • American I/P-diplomatic effectiveness would maybe be improved by some Viagra. But, seriously, now, there is no way fro America to be effective at doing the stupid do-nothing job which it has taken as its leadership-place-in-the-universe, that is, accepting sh*t from AIPAC and Israel and dishing it out to Palestine, always with a smile. Tastes good, doesn't it?

      Better for the USA to openly say there is no way Israel will agree to anything close to acceptable to Palestine or acceptable to the world. USA should abandon peace-diplomacy in favor of leading the world on lawfulness-enforcement. The settlements, settlers, wall, and siege of Gaza (for starters, the list is longer) VIOLATE INTERNATIONAL LAW. Think how much relief all the USA diplomats could feel if they said that, with full voice, standing tall. And insisted on enforcement-sanctions to bring Israel into compliance!

      The good feeling would last until the BIG-ZION money men completed the switch to Republicans and the USA became in name what it almost is de facto, a one-party state: the capitalist-one-party-state in contrast to the old USSR's communist-one-party-state.

  • Democrats have no problem with Israeli envoy addressing GOP group opposed to Obama
    • Somehow, I've developed quite a non-passion for Hilary Clinton. I hope it's not mere sexism, because a lot of men are as opportunistic as she comes across (to me) to be. Maybe it's because I once thought her genuine (when she briefly seemed to have befriended some Palestinians -- whom she doubtless by now has disowned or ignored and forgotten).

  • 'NYT Book Review' owes readers an apology for printing blatant racism about Palestinians
    • Wouldn't it be a welcome novelty if NYT and other papers clearly labelled such cruft ("Palestinian Arabs have avowed as their goal the killing of all Jews") as OPINION rather than allowing it to stand as an assertion of FACT. why, they could even do the same in their "news" reports!

      Oh frabjous day, caloo calay!

  • US Jewish leaders blast Harvard students on pro-Israel trip for taking photo at Arafat's tomb (Update)
    • Two lessons from the Holocaust may be useful to Israelis here: Let Israelis ask, "Who, in Germany, today remembers the Jews?" and, "Who, among the Jews, today remembers the leaders and fighters of the (ill-fated) Warsaw uprising?"

    • seafoid: Cute and quite possibly true. But, hey!, you have to break eggs to make an (Israeli) omelet and they cannot ALL be Palestinian eggs! War is hell, and reluctant people have to be brought into line!

  • Some liberal Zionists will blame Netanyahu for failure of talks
    • Whether Obama is holding ANY cards or not depends (IMO) on his ability to overcome the traditional idea that as president (even as a lame duck) he is the legislative leader of the Dems.

      The constitution says nothing about parties or about the president as legislative leader.

      If he could assign that role to someone else (or just abandon it), he'd not risk losing the Dem-controlled Senate (something some polls are now suggesting will happen in any case) if he stopped going after MONEY and started talking to America about important issues (I/P, climate change, economy, the bloated military) and acting independently where he CAN act independently -- foreign policy and diplomacy, especially at the UN come to mind.

      Hard to see how he could be doing any worse on most of these if he determined not to be controlled by the oligarchs (BIG BANKS, BIG OIL, BIG DEFENSE, BIG ZION, etc.). However, he lives in America and remembers what happened to JFK and MLK.

    • Here's a puzzle: How can USA say they protect Israel's "security" to the hilt, and always will, but do NOT see the occupation or the settlements (or the so-called annexations) as contributing to Israeli security in any way, and the USA opposes these things because they are contrary to American national interests and USA demands roll-back on all of them -- although still supporting Israel's "security".

      Obama has said that attacking Iran is not in USA's interest, adn so far has gotten away with it. why not say, as well, that Israel's continuing presence in ANY territories captured in 1967 is not in USA's interest and weee demand blah-blah-blah.

      Of course, at that point, AIPAC steps in, and democrats loose mucho elections and it's too late to take the money out of politics, or to fight climate change, or any other desirable thing.

    • The puzzle is how to do these two things: [1] get USA to stop vetoing in UNSC and otherwise supporting Israeli lawlessness; and [2] to get EU and others to overcome 46 years of (like USA) ignoring Israeli lawlessness.

      The reason I've long urged concerted action to enforce international law (that is, as I see it, a concerted sanctions-promising demand for removal of all settlers, dismantling of the wall, dismantling of all settlement buildings) is that this seems to me something the nations could agree to MORE EASILY than agreeing to a diktat of terms for peace, terms for PRoR, and/or terms for Israeli democracy (all legitimate goals of BDS which might seem outside the smaller demands of long-established international law). Of course, I also desire PRoR and Israeli non-discriminatory democracy.

      If a sanctions regime sufficient to generate a just and lasting peace acceptable to the Palestinians could be generated by the UN, then I suppose it doesn't have to be targeted (initially) on the goals I set above. But getting a sanctions regime in place is (for me) the test of good policy, and its goals can "morph" as more nations get "on board" and momentum sets in (i.e., the sanctions get severe enough that they "work").

  • Is the U.S. quietly imposing travel sanctions on Israeli officials?
    • If there is (later? soon?) visa-waiver for Israel, will the laws (on which visas are sometimes denied) be powerless or can entry be denied on grounds (and by mechanisms) other than visa-denial?

      It should be worth noting, here, that Israel routinely grants visas to foreigners and then, at the airport, denies them entry (as well, of course, as subjecting them to terrible and intrusive ordeals). the USA could APE this as it apes so many Israeli security inventions.

      If it does, I hope it limits the practice to people from countries with which it has visa-waiver agreements.

  • Israeli embassy pressured Amnesty to cancel launch of 'apartheid' book -- Ben White
    • But Joe, what other embassies do is of no importance here because Israel's embassy isn't just "any embassy". It's practically a member of the House of Lords in the UK and also in the USA. (Oh, yes, we don't have a House of Lords in the USA. Not officially at least. I meant the "oligarchy" in the USA. Of course. You knew that.)

      And so, of course, it can feel free to mess around in the internal business of whichever nation it happens to be within at the moment. Sort of like cancer cells in metastasis, floating around the cancer patient's body invading all the organs and feeling free to mess about. And Israel's warm-bodies-abroad [in the USA] don't even have to register as lobbyists of a foreign country. But, then, either do AIPACateers. Or JNFsters.

  • British architects vote to ban Israeli group from industry association over expanding settlements
    • Boycotts inevitably cut too wide a swath. Innocents will be hurt. Same thing happens, BTW, when Israel (or USA) bombs specific targets and kills and injures and destroys so-called collateral victims. At least boycotts are non-lethal, even non-violent.

      Suppose the Israeli architects were now, as a consequence of boycott, to call (perhaps very secretly) on government for an end to new construction in occupied territories, or to openly refuse to work on such projects. As a single profession, their efforts would not be enough to make much difference. But if BDS cut more widely, then Israel might experience a sort of attack-by-1000-small-cuts. And, ohh!, those paper cuts do sting.

      And meanwhile, if a lot of Israeli architects did refuse to do work in OPTs, then the work would go to other, likely higher-priced, architects, and the business of building in OPTs would become that much more expensive initially (and of course, in a sense, more expensive when the time comes -- if it does -- to tear all the settlement buildings down).

  • Eyewitness account of Israeli soldier killing Palestinian judge reveals barbarity of occupation
    • Phil et al. This story reminds me that there is a public in Europe (and elsewhere) and that we, in the USA, should be aware of the stories being published elsewhere. Do "people" in Europe "know" more about I/P than "people" in the USA "know"? (All the quote-marks because, of course, the totality of the people never know the totality of the facts, but in the US there is very little totality either way. I hope it is better elsewhere. and I'd like to know.

  • Israeli teens dressed as KKK and in 'black face' for mock lynching at school Purim party
    • "Jews do not expel Jews." But they do expel others. Well expressed.

      Look at the orange photo. In the UK version of the song, "With sun-shiny faces, we all know our places." Our places are to expel, not to be expelled. How happy we are! Yea!

  • Ululating at Vassar: the Israel/Palestine conflict comes to America
    • They should either cancel the trip or re-schedule it to do 50%-50% in experiential learning about the USES of water in I/P. If they want to learn about technical progress (drip irrigation, or whatever), fine -- a day at most. But if they don't DRINK the water in Gaza, experience the swimming pools and lawns in the settlements vs the water-by-truck in OPTs, the land theft (and traditional water management practices) in Jordan valley and among the Bedu of Israel, then they are merely being flummoxed for hasbara purposes. The re-planning should be done with the cooperation of Palestinian students of water-management -- apply for info at Bir Zeit U.

    • Israeli Student: “My Israel identity is important to me,” she said. “It is super intimidating to walk into the College Center and feel that that identity is questioned. It’s really difficult to come to terms with hearing that a place you call your homeland shouldn’t exist… I’m not saying SJP makes those claims, but a lot of Jewish students feel that way.”"

      This is important and very well expressed.

      She acknowledges that [A] SJP does not say Israel should not exist but [B] a lot of Jewish students (and Israelis?) feel that way. And are intimidated by what they mistakenly suppose was said. Some doubtless feel that these people hate us. "Us"? Jews? Israelis? Zionists? And is the hate well motivated? Did they ever hate the Nazis? Why? can hate be well-motivated? Is it today? And, again, if someone is hated, who is it?

      OK. They "play" the messages of SJP (and BDS? and other pro-Palestinians) through their own internal distorting sound-amplification systems and it comes up "no Israeli right to exist, into the sea with them, Auschwitz here we come, etc.). They imagine that they hear messages that are not there. Their hearing is distorted.

      And of course, they hear (real) messages about the illegality and disgustingness of occupation, oppression, brutalization, murder, torture, theft, settlements, et al., and distort these messages into "Israel is illegitimate".

      This distortion needs to be addressed. By Jews and Israelis. But to do so, I guess they need first to admit to what I called "disgustingness of occupation, oppression, brutalization, settlements".

      There could be a seminar at Vassar:

      Whichever (Israeli) speaker admitted (above) that she heard messages that were not spoken (one form of craziness is often called "hearing voices") could lead a seminar among Jews and Zionists and Israelis on listening closely and distinguishing reality-based opposition to Israel from antisemitism-based opposition to Israel, Zionism, Jews.

  • In Abbas meeting, Obama dropped formula about recognizing Israel as Jewish state
    • Yes, the goals should be precisely equivalent. State EACH requirement without reference to the country for which it is a goal.

      A state for the citizens (and prospective citizens) of each country. Security (defined as you like) for each country. Fair and equitable sharing of those natural resources which demand or admit of sharing (water, petroleum -- briefly, as the world grapples with climate change). Fair sharing of LAND. fair sharing of access to Mediterranean. etc.

      To the extent fairness means :"per capita", a reasonable guess about the populations of the two states 10 years after re-partition. (This might, who knows, allow Palestine to claim a lot of the exiles from 1948 (those now living in Gaza for instance)).

  • Explicit censorship of Palestine solidarity work is becoming the new normal on American campuses
    • We "are equally troubled that academic institutions are violating our Constitution by quelling legitimate political speech on the policies of a nation-state."

      I love the broad sweep of this statement, but am uncertain -- to say the least -- at the claim that universities violate the Constitution when they "quell" political speech on campus. If they are government universities, then, of course, they are bound by the First amendment. Private universities, I should imagine, are not so bound -- even if, as in most cases, they accept government funds for research, etc.

      On the other hand, the concept of "academic freedom" seems widely accepted -- if not widely enforced -- and is in some ways akin to the idea of "free speech" (First Amendment freedom). And universities may well have charters, mission statements, etc., which asse3rt a dedication to support free discussion of important issues which (one would wish) would operate, in practice, as "little" First Amendments for institutions -- such as Brandeis, Barnard, which are private universities.

  • Brandeis prof blasts school's deference to Israel and AIPAC (and donors Steinhardt, Schusterman, Crown)
    • Mairson: "We [at Brandeis] have a phalanx of centers devoted to institutionally supporting Israel—including the Crown Center, the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies, the Steinhardt Social Research Institute—with significant endowments, access to the University seal, webpage and other public relations machinery, funds to put on high-visibility conferences with ideologically friendly speakers, power to frame the discussion, and so on. The goal of these centers, quoting ex-President Jehuda Reinharz, their creator, is hasbara: to address “Israel in the eyes of Americans—a call to action.” The Crown family, Mrs. Schusterman, and Mr. Steinhardt funded these institutes because they, and their institutes, support Israel as is."

      JusticeforPalestine tells us that similar crap (sort of Hillel-like, as I read it) threatens accreditation of a (it appears) Jewish secondary school.

      Looks as if a number of schools, and not only Brandeis, have (at least unofficial) "charter" responsibilities to support Israel "as is". This is not so far different from the Israeli schools which are addressed in the ASA boycott.

      How might a person, a group, etc., "boycott" a school -- such as Brandeis -- which allows its official seal to be used by an AIPAC/Hillel/IsraelFirst organization -- in conflict with the school's charter/mission/constitution (or with the USA's sense of the between-the-lines-meaning of the First amendment)?

  • Johansson got career boost from 'comic farrago' over SodaStream -- 'New Yorker'
    • OMG, tunnel vision? Us? Really?

      Reluctantly: well, if so, better ours than the one which sees a tiny light at the end of the tunnel (Greater Israel, lawless forever, without peer and hence not subject to peer review) and horrible, detestable antisemitism everywhere else, everywhere outside that tunnel.

      And why shouldn't SodaStream be a career plus for Scarlett? That's the N'yrkr doing a realistic-capitalistic THANG rather than a moralistic THANG. E=MC2 doesn't care about Palestine, and either does capitalism.

      But why did N'yrkr publish this thing at all? Is it assumed its readers care about Scarlett the starlet? Guess so, if it was an "arts piece".

      But then one must ask: What has N'yrkr had to say in "arts pieces" about the people who DID follow the BDS program?

  • 'Forward' lives up to its name, bashing denial of Palestinian narrative and donors' control of Hillel
  • BDS supporting rock star Roger Waters hits back against vicious smears
    • Shall Israeli rabbis be protected when they make vicious anti-gentile statements, but others (as Waters) be attacked when they point to those vicious anti-gentile statements?

      Is it to be the new rule that it will be called antisemitic (by the self-appointed antisemite police) to publicize unpleasant (or inconvenient) truths about notable Israeli Jews which are well known in Israel? But not antisemitic to be the speaker who spoke the horrid anti-gentile statements in Israel?

      In other words, gentiles gotta watch their mouths but notable Israelis can mouth off to their heart's content? And when gentiles attack or defame Jews, we are to be reminded that no-one listened when Hitler said * * *) but when Israeli rabbis attack or defame gentiles, we are NOT to be reminded about no-one listening? (And this at a time when Israelis are killing and foot-shooting Palestinians daily?)

  • Israeli high school student leader calls youths' refusal to serve 'declaration of war'
    • "I refuse to make cannon fodder of other human beings." This is a declaration of war? Or of surrender -- because, as all know, Israel is surrounded by enemies who desire its demise and will be powerful enough to bring it about UNLESS all Israeli kids serve in the military -- in which case, surely, Israel will prevail. Or something. (Oh, yes, and Israel's nukes. Tiddly-pom. Pocketa-pocketa-pocketa-queep.)

  • Lebanon 'affirms right' of citizens to resist Israel
    • Talkback: That ("Hagana") would mean that Hezbollah is a pre-state army or militia -- but not terrorists -- any more than (as some would say) Hagana was terrorists. so that in the event that there were multiple armed groups in Lebanon (official army, Hezbollah as "one", and also other smaller ones), the other groups could "be" the terrorist groups like Israel's Stern Gang, Irgun, etc.

      Principal difference here (or am I wrong?) would be that the various armed groups in Lebanon, as also in Syria, include groups funded and possibly actually directed by outsiders (Iran, Israel, USA, Syria) whereas in 1947-48, the Jewish armed groups in Israel were all internal, not "directed" although possibly funded from outside.

      In any case, Annie's story tells us of a "policy statement" that declares a right of all Lebanese to defend Lebanon (and themselves) against Israeli attack. Not to do offensive war, but only defense. Not against all (possible) enemies but only against Israeli attack. That's supposed to endear them to fuzzy ole uncle Sam?

      I wonder what it would take to get Hezbollah off the USA's terrorist list? I wonder what it would take to get Israel on the USA's terrorist list? After all, isn't it all politics?

  • Does Israel Have a Right to Exist as a Jewish State?: An excerpt from Ali Abunimah's 'The Battle for Justice in Palestine'
    • Walid, Maybe we should all be attending more to a different question, what Jewish religious law imposes on Jews as duties to strangers. I am no expert on this. Not at all. A quick Google search turns up:

      Mentioned no fewer than 36 times throughout Scripture, the Torah’s exhortations on the treatment of the stranger often appear with a companion explanation: Heed the stranger’s treatment because "you know the feelings of a stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt" (Exodus 23:9).

      I find it hard to reconcile this statement to Israel's behavior over the 66 years of its existence (and before!).

    • AA: "The cumulative impact of Israeli policies deemed necessary to protect Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state can be seen in the yawning gulf that exists between Jewish and Palestinian citizens".

      Also: The cumulative impact of Israeli policies deemed necessary to protect Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state can be seen in the yawning gulf that exists between Israeli statutes and court decisions, on the one hand, and international law, conventions, agreements, and human rights norms, on the other.

      It is to BOTH of these "yawning gulfs" that SJP, BDS, and others protesting Israeli iniquities (and inequities) should refer, list, advertise, and denounce.

  • Northeastern U administrator: SJP's suspension is 'not [issue] of free speech or the exchange of disparate ideas'
  • It is time to repeal the law being used to criminalize French BDS activists
    • The intent is to damage BDS by frightening people. Imprisoning them or imposing fines would be OK with Alliot-Marie and her successors (if any). However, the damage is that being accused blackens the names of the accused and costs them money for legal assistance. the whole thing (the MEMO, not the law) should be attacked in court as over-reaching interpretation of the 1881 law).

  • Want to boycott Israel? There will soon be an app for that.
    • Fabulous! Some Israeli H/R group had to take down their list of Israeli- (or Israelis inside OPT-) made products, due to Israel's anti-BDS law (legal status of which inside Israel still pending but assumed to be a very scary law). So, the APP-maintainers pick up that list and other people's lists and I assume that, as to products with bar-codes, you can read on the APP: [A] made-in-Israel, or [B]made-by-Israelis-in-OPTs.

      Will the APP also tell of upcoming BDS-events in nearby cities?

      Fabulous!

  • 'Northeastern SJP will not be silenced or intimidated': SJP responds to suspension from Northeastern University
    • Assuming Northeastern is a private university, "free speech" as a 1st Amendment matter does not pertain to university actions. However, universities are often parties to agreements regarding "academic freedom" and "free speech" often sneaks in under the banner of "academic freedom". Whether such rules, if any, pertain to students or merely to faculty is another question.

      The chief resource for SJP is to embarrass the university and its officers. And they should be powerfully embarrassed by these actions.

      And certainly, get a list (as Real Jew) says, of the official warnings, demands, rules, rulings, admonitory letters, etc., which Northeastern claims to have promulgated (and a list of those it claims SJP or some of its members have violated). And see if any other students have had DEMOS on other topics which have violated any of these and the violations been ignored.

      Expulsion is serious business. Get the ACLU involved. Get Nancy Murray on the case if she's not already.

  • Barnard removes SJP banner calling on students to 'Stand for Justice, Stand for Palestine'
    • "We do not equate the State of Israel with all Jewish people, and we staunchly believe that making such a conflation is anti-­Semitic itself."

      Well, that apart, what if Israel DID have the support of all Jewish people, what then? (Peter and the Wolf: What if a wolf DID come out of the forest, what then?) Israel's crimes and bad behavior would still be worth complaining about. A complaint about a crime is not anti-semitic just because the accused is a Jew. (Or because the accused claims to represent all Jews.)

      Back to Barnard. What would Millie McIntosh have done and said?

  • Israel is now attempting to 'de-Arabize' Palestinian Christians, but in the 1950s it was Jews from the Middle East
    • As I understand it, many Arab Jews moved to Israel at Israel's request, demand, under instigation -- even because of Israeli terrorism -- and then became 2nd-class citizens, discriminated against by Ashkenazis.

      The scandal of the Yemeni orphans was where the Yemenis were spirited to Israel by airplanes and separated from (some of) their children which were thereafter adopted by the aforesaid Ashks and brought up without the true faith. For orthodox Jews, as the Yemenis were, the scandal was this last part, not the separation (even if they really WERE orphans). Israel was destroying Judaism.

      Anyhow, it appears that these Sepharidis became sort of the rednecks of Israel, despising the Arab non-Jews in order to have someone else to look down on (as the Ashkenazis looked down on them). Also, the Ashks forced the Sephs to live on the borders with the Arab countries where they were (early on) subject to anti-Israel attack, which even more so created anti-non-Jewish-Arab feeling among these Sephs [whereas some anger should have been reserved for the Ashks who forced them to live as pariahs in the border towns].

      It is very hard for people to turn against the hand that (now) feeds them even if they had it (in some respects) better before that hand intervened. Some of the Jews of the Arab world -- such as Morocco -- were slow to move to Israel and IMO had done better to stay at home. There are still Jews in Iran, Lebanon, and Syria (woe betides those still in Syria, I imagine), and this seems to me proof that aliah to Israel was not EVER necessary (except where force was applied) to Jews of the Arab world. The move to Israel forced Arab Jews to give up much of their culture, and that is a profound curse of any forced exile.

  • US Homeland Security investigates Israeli arms deal to Iran
    • Why, for heaven's sake, should the USA enforce its sanctions (except when its PEOPLE want to)? We are a nation ruled by MEN, not laws. (MEN and WOMEN, Rice, Clinton, etc.) They enforce what they want and not what they don't want. Got that?

      Why, equally for heaven's sake, should NYT et al REPORT the stuff they don't want to report? Who said they had to inform the public with ALL relevant facts? They are a propaganda bureau and properly act like one. Trying to shame them is hopeless.

  • Marty Peretz's message to Chris Hughes: Keep 'The New Republic' on Israel's side
    • Peretz is caught in a trap of his magazine's own making. Of course, he can say TNR is a magazine of opinion, and his own opinion is that Zionism is the greatest thing since sliced bread. But if he praises/slimes/characterizes Judis with the "virulently anti-Zionist" label, he may again explain this characterization by adding, "in my opinion, and I have a right to my own opinion."

      Which goes nowhere. If he says, "because Judis reports on Truman's views where he might have remained silent" then he is saying that any red-blooded Zionist would hide the truth. (Well, yes, but that, too, won't float well in public.) And if he says, "Judis misrepresented Truman's views" then he is up against history, truth, verifiability, in short matters NOT of opinion alone (unless Truman's).

      So what's a poor man to do? He seems to make a whimper in favor of consistency. "TNR is a Zionist Rag. And should stay that way." I imagine that too would not fly. Not any more. People are interested in The Lobby, even of yesteryear.

      Dear, dear.

  • Evangelicals who dissent from Christian Zionism wear 'stain of indelible infamy,' Israel says
    • The ebb and flow of argumentation about Zionism is, indeed, something to stand in awe of. How can often-ethical people support any aspect of Zionism -- especially the settlement program and refusal to end the occupation? Well, many arguments are like that, as was the long argument of the 20th century about Communism (and Stalinism and Trotskyism). I've written a quasi book-review of David Caute's "Isaac and Isaiah" which relates the fierce arguments between English (formerly Latvian and Polish) Jewish philosophers/historians on the subject of Communism.

      Human nature when arguing about fiercely loved (or detested) "isms" doesn't seem to change much.

  • Grindr in Hebron: A dispatch from the last debate
    • Anyone interested in powerful polemics on an older subject of dreadful contention -- Stalinism/Trotskyism/Communism -- might read the (densely argued) book "Isaac and Isaiah" (David Caute) about the fierce antagonism between Isaiah Berlin, English (born in Riga) Jewish philosopher, and Isaac Deutsher, English (born Poland) Jewish philosopher/historian.

      Our troubles with the "right" (or not) of Zionist Jews, first, to expulsively take over green-line Israel in 1948 and, second, to behave to the remaining Palestinians as they did through 1967 and thereafter on a larger scale pale in comparison to what Marx-Lenin-Stalin etc. did, where the comparison might be made either to the size/extent (number of victims) of the crimes or to the per-capita violence.

      It is quite a read, to see how the defenders of Communism did their best to excuse the horrible dictatorship of the Party (not of the Proletariat) over the people, the Stalinist purges, the starvation during the early collectivization of the Ukrainian farms, the deportation to labor camps of many non-peasants/non-workers, etc.

      It gives perspective also on how illogical people can be when arguing fiercely held positions. Berlin, for example, decries the horrors visited upon "the people" by Communism but didn't "see" (didn't anyhow condemn in public) the horrors of industrialization, capitalism, environmental degradations, et al. which -- having been seen rather accurately by Marx served as justification for those who aligned themselves with Communism.

      Living as we do in the time of oligarchic control (rather than democratic control) of the USA, a control made possible by the commodification of political power (which meant that capitalists not only owned everything else but also owned the government), we might see the sense of revolution, even if few have the energy, daring, etc., to seek to bring revolution about.

      For us, the Zionists seem unable to see the crimes they've committed w.r.t. the Palestinians, presumably either because they have an inescapable sense of Jewish superiority (or of promises said by some to have been made by God) (a racist view allowing them to feel fine about their crimes against the "other") or because they have an overwhelming sense of the wrongs done to Jews in Europe which (to them) gave them the right to perform a "transfer" seldom identified under that name, namely, the transfer of the homeless, refugee, uprooted -status of postwar European Jews into the homeless, refugee, uprooted -status of most of the Palestinian people.

      I believe that the sense of entitlement of Zionists is so deep-rooted that (just like the fiercely held pro- and anti-Communism described in David Caute's book) they will never voluntarily make restitution for anything, not 1948, not 1967-present, and must therefore be forced to do so by external pressure. In that context, long live the educational venture known as BDS and may its lessons fix themselves into the hearts of mankind.

  • Battle over Maryland's anti-boycott Israel bill heats up
    • There would seem to be several reasons a person would wish NOT to hear about Israeli persecution/oppression of Palestinians. [1] One is ideological -- a closed mind, not to be confused with facts. [2] Another is political, not wishing to to incur Zionist wrath by (being known to) listen to facts of Israeli oppression. [3] No time, learning facts is so darned time-consuming, as I'm sure you'll all admit, my dears, and I'm a busy legislator trying to get my job done (to say nothing of fund raising which sadly is part of my job de facto if not de jure).

      And, contrariwise, the reason these legislators should listen is [4] to learn why the BDS / ASA boycott activities are well-justified, sensible (if not the only game in town, at least a game that makes sense and is not antisemitic).

      I think the speakers at such legislative meetings should recite my reasons [1], [2], [3], and then [4] so that the legislators may be shamed if they vote against BDS without having learned the facts (or some of them).

  • A model factory for a colonialism in trouble: the SodaStream saga revisited
    • Levy writes, inter alia: And the gargantuan neighborhoods of the capital, which were built during Teddy’s term and span extensive Palestinian territory, have never been considered a controversial issue.

      Bird watchers take note. There it is! In full feather, the speckled PASSIVE VOICE LIE.

      Maybe there was once in Israel a sufficient anti-settlement crowd to create a "controversial issue" of the settlements in EJ. But not recently. But that does not mean that there is no controversy about the settlements in EJ. It's just not within the small, happy family of Israeli (Ashkenazi ?) Jews, all of whom know each other, adn to whom (I suppose) Levy is writing here.

      But I detest the settlements, all of them, and if that fact alone does not create a "controversial issue", then I don't know what such a thing is.

      Boo hiss. Why, oh! why, couldn't Levy have written to the world audience (which he has, from time to time) and say, instead:

      And the gargantuan neighborhoods of the capital, which were built during Teddy’s term and span extensive Palestinian territory, have never been considered a controversial issue by Israeli Zionists, even by those who oppose other settlements..

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