Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 4414 (since 2009-09-12 00:56:04)


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


Showing comments 4414 - 4401

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Power, instead, to the people!

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

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

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

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

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

      Glad the discussion is happening anyhow.

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

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

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

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

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

  • The death by drone memos (Part II)
    • Just asking: What shall we understand by the claim that the USA was making a "targetted drone attack"? Does it seek to distinguish something else, if so what? Did the USA previously practice "un-targetted" or "random" or "really stupid and wasteful and unlawful" drone attacks? does it seem to distinguish USA's destructive efforts from thiose of (say) Hamas which are (or are said to be) "shots in the dark", "un-targetted"?

      I am a bit horrified by the thought, true as it might nevertheless be, that the USA (previously) practiced un-targetted drone attacks.

      Now as to those kids sitting behid joy-sticks in Nevada, say, adn targetting these drone attacks, how "good" (accurate) are they? And how good is the information they base their targetting upon? If an Afghan's (not too nearby!) neighbor hates him and tells the CIA that he is a terrorist, and a drone-attack results, should we call that attack "targetted"?

  • Front-page 'NYT' piece on foreign influence on D.C. thinktanks leaves out Israel
    • Of course, Israel is not on the list b/c it doesn't buy influence, and AIPAC is not on the list b/c it is not a foreign power.

      AIPAC is of course a Fifth Column, but that's something else entirely.

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  • The west is safer for Jews than Israel (duh)
    • "Israel is not worth the price it is exacting from us. There is a nationalist-religious-ultra-Orthodox majority, and our lifestyle will not survive in our homeland - See more at: link to"

      [A]: The highlight/copy on the NEW MondoWeiss seems ALWATS to add the see-more text (see the quote above). This vexes me.

      [B] The NYT and Forward (I guess) do not print this stuff because the RELIGION of USA Jews is to keep an imaginary and wonderful Israel in mind (land of milk and honey), and this sort of reality (as also one hopes the Gaza sort of relaity) spoils the religious image. NYT policy is "to hell with reality if it spoils the dream." (Also, "money talks".)

  • Untangling the Salaita case
    • Israel occupies Syria's Golan Heights and Palestine's Gaza and West Bank. Except for Gaza Israel occupies with both settelrs and army (and government employees outside the army, such as police) present within the occupied territory.

      I consider all of opalestine as occupied, some occupied (settlers and soldiers) in and after 1948, some in and after 1967. Since some Israelis are Palestinians and some are Jews who lived in Palestine before 1948, I guess some Israelis live -- but not as settelrs --in occupied Palestine.

      An important thing is that after 1948, Israel never had (and never announced or even claimed an intention of announcing) its boundaries. The post-1948 boundaries were all truce-lines and subject to change. The treaties with Egypt and Jordan DO create some boundaries between Israel sand other states, but there is no boundary with Lebanon, syria, and most important with Palestine. That's why I think the whole of pre-1967 Israel is "occupied territory" -- it is held by military force after having been acquired by war.

    • Israel occupies Syria's Golan Heights and Palestine's Gaza and West Bank. Except for Gaza Israel occupies with both settlers and army (and government employees outside the army, such as police) present within the occupied territory. Gaza is nevertheless occupied because Israel controls its borders.

      I consider all of Palestine as occupied, some occupied (settlers and soldiers) in and after 1948, some in and after 1967. Since some Israelis are Palestinians and some are Jews who lived in Palestine before 1948, I guess some Israelis live -- but not as settlers --in occupied Palestine.

      An important thing is that after 1948, Israel never had (and never announced or even claimed an intention of announcing) its ENTIRE boundary. The post-1948 boundaries were all truce-lines and subject to change. In principle, Israeli territory could expand or contract. This is still true.

      The treaties with Egypt and Jordan DO create some boundaries between Israel and other states, but there is no boundary with Lebanon, Syria, and most important with Palestine. That's why I think the whole of pre-1967 Israel is "occupied territory" -- it is held by military force after having been acquired by war.

  • It's 'bomb or bombing' in Iran inside of a year, Israeli leader tells US pol
    • In American law, you never know what the law is ("what the courts will do") even after the Supreme Court has spoken. In I/P you never know if EU or Brazil or Turkey or UN will do something helpful (or if "the people" will do so) until it happens. The pro-Isael forces are awfully strong. But, then, the opera ain't over until some-one sings.

      What was the impact of the French revolution on western civilization - too early to tell." (Chou En Lai). How will I/P resolve itself? Too early to tell.

  • Yasher Koach to Brant Rosen
    • Brant Rosen's leaving his post just after writing a public criticism of Israel has echoes of University of Illinois hiring (sort of?) ansd then firing Steven Salaita.

      It is easier for anyone with pretenses to morality to criticize the mote in another's eye while ignoring the beam in his own eye. The mote: Rosen aned salaita making Zionists feel bad (boo hoo). The beam: war crimes and so forth by Israel since 1947.

  • 'NYT' headline implicating Hamas in teen killings is a lie
    • ckg: Thanks. Seems the NYT's editors and headline writers can lie without even the thin veneer of the use of statistics. NYT must have an in-house Zionist proofreader, language lawyer, hasbarrister. Imagine if there were an in-house Palestinian super-ego to correct the junk that comes through!

  • Brant Rosen's prophetic voice elevated him beyond the rabbinic politics of our day
    • Mooser: "The Jews" may, many of us, be out of the ghettos (and out of Judaism, too, many), but the pull of the ghetto on Jews is apparently immense, and Israel has created a huge ghetto for its Jewish citizens even as it's made a prison and killing ground of Gaza and a land of Palestine generally in which there is little left other than sumud.

  • Deconstructing J Street's statement on the latest Israeli land grab
    • J-Street "as" AIPAC-lite is a familiar accusation ("meme" ?) and seems mostly accurate.

      Everyone has principles, but some are universalistic and some are not. J-Street cannot shrug off the need to comply with an Israeli-centric (and Israel approving) principle.

      Count me out, not in my name, etc., etc.

      BTW, the USA and EU manage (sometimes) to say that the settlements are all illegal, and it says so right in UNSC 465 (1980), but they wring their hands and say (or imply) that there is nothing they can do about this now 47-year-old illegality. Meanwhile, sanctions are applied to Iran. that's something they can "do" iof Iran is the miscreant (as they propound), but not if Israel is.

      Ho-hum. J-Street fis right into washington as-it-is, and that may have something to do with J-Street aping AUIPAC as a rule.

  • As Salaita's case becomes a cause, U of Illinois issues declarations on 'civility'
    • When someone is offered a job at a second university, he relies on that offer to give up his job at the first university -- in common decency, and universal practice, he offers the first university a resignation and thus a (kind of a) chance to replace him.

      If an offer of a tenured job cannot be relied upon as a definite offer (as here, apparently), unuiversity professors will begin to demand the complete "rubber stamp" (or otherwise, as here) BEFORE tendering their resignations.

      Professors, particularly pro-Palestine professors: check with your lawyers before giving up any tenured job. Do not, repeat do not, accept a job (and resign a job) on the basis of an incomplete job offer.

      On the other hand, if the offer of a tenured position as actually THAT (and not merely an offer to seek such an offer from the tenure committee or trusttes, or AIPAC), and such offer were accepted, the university should be "stuck" and he could sue for consequential damages of their renigging (including damages arising from reasonable reliance on their offer -- the giving up of remunerative jobs by himself and his wife).

      I sure hope the university has dug itself a deep hole, and not merely a deep hole from him and his family.

  • My personal BDS
    • This criticism from the "colleague" within Israel is more than just trying to take useful words out of the international lexicon -- as "holocaust" and "apartheid" have been removed, or have been tried to be removed, from discourse about I/P.

      It is that (it seeks to remove "ethnic cleansing" from the I/P discourse, quite something for a LINGUIST to do!) but it is more: it also seeks to remove the words so as to justify the historical events. It says, it was terrible, it was like a crime, but it was not a crime because it was done out of fear that a great and wonderful project would not succeed.

      I am an anti-Zionist, so I will say that the project itself, creating a predominantly Jewish population in all or part of a well-populated-by-Arabs Palestine, was a criminal enterprise in its intent and the "ethnic cleansing" was not an accidental incident but part and parcel of the project itself. There may well have been fear among individual Jews as to the success of the project, but not (I believe) among the leaders, and in any case the "ethnic cleansing" was not a response to fear but policy for the success of the project.

      So the "colleague" was trying to shore up Zionist mis-history and ideology even while trying to distort language.

      I've long been a proponent of a full-court BDS against all of Israel (especially travel, culture, trade) because I want every Israeli to know that (the BDS part of) the world is condemning the occupation, the refusal-of-PRoR, the discrimination, etc. I believe that if EVERY Israeli feels this, then each Israeli can help the Isreali democracy make up its mind whether to continue into splendid criminal isolation or to make a "just and lasting peace" with the Palestinians (and others). BDS must creep into the fabric of Israeli life, must become a palpable presence -- if not initially a strong force -- and it must grow stronger.

      The current Israeli attack on Gaza should help BDS grow.

  • HAMAS made me do it!
    • The strongest people on earth have no agency at all, but act only because someone "made them do it". Great idea. Of course, they will deny it. They will claim authorship of their crimes -- but deny that they are crimes at all.

  • Rob Reiner wants to pick Palestinians' leaders for them
    • These guys think that Jews (altacockers?) rule the world, or should. And in the USA they are not far wrong -- recent political and social and business experience in the USA backs up this racist (and triumphalist) idea.

      But what undergirds it -- this is truly remarkable -- appeears to be an (old, rich) Jewish communal assumption -- that in earlier days would not have been revealed in public but which they are revealing by having a conversation in public the content of which is as if it were a private conversation among Jews.

      And what is this formerly private (among Jews) but now public assumption? First, that it is OK to say that Palestinians and other Arabs do not matter, do not deserve human rights, self-determination, etc. And, of course, the idea of Israel uber alles.

      And second -- because this discussion is blatant and public -- the newer thought that non-Jewish Americans are invisible, must listen to these ideas contrary to American decent and democratic ideals, must acquiesce in their trashing of human rights, their assumption of primal importance for Israel (and for Jews).

      These guys (Reiner, King) think they've got America by the b*lls and they flaunt it. That's part of the message of this conversation. How long will it take Americans to realize this? (Absolute power currupts absolutely.)

      They do not speak for me.

  • With 'anger grounded in law,' Muslim group sues US gov't over arbitrary 'terror watchlist'
    • Sounds as though the old no-fly-list (equally unaccountable and very interfering with the right to travel, the powqer of citizens to make and keep contracts (airline tickets)) has expanded.

      What fun for the totalitarians masquerading as anti-terrorists! (Do they ever state the definition of "terrorist" that they are using, the sorts of "evidence" -- if any -- they rely on or require to put folks on their lists?

  • Top legal scholars decry 'chilling' effect of dehiring scholar Salaita
  • How to respond to thoughtful people who can't help saying 'but Hamas'
  • New J Street platform parrots Likud as membership continues to shift left
  • White House says US can't stop 'tsunami' of boycott and isolation if Israel won't end 'occupations'
  • What the MLA vote showed: Israel is losing the battle for liberal support
  • Risk!
    • The churches are, among other things, political teaching institutions. Catholic churches, for instance, have not hesitated to teach parishoners to vote against birth control and abortion. One who knows no history (me!) imagines that the churches were active teaching in regard to USA's civil rights in 1960s and anti-apartheid later.

      So teaching seems to me far more important than the odd symbolic (and cost-free) actions of divestment, no matter how loudly discussed and announced.

      Let's hear church leaders (and synagogue leaders) speak out politically against Israel's occupation and discrimination, etc.

      Let the churches not hide their moral voices under a bushel.

  • Enter Ken Pollack and Tom Friedman-- the Iraq experts!
    • People say, "USA started the war in Iraq for this reason. or for that reason. or for another reason." They're all wrong. Governments take large actions (as wars are) when a sufficient convergence of powerful interests wants the war and no sufficient convergence of (other) interests opposes the war. (Except to the extent the decision is taken secretly and without wide consultation. The "people", for example, and even the Congress, are not consulted or even notified until the decision is taken.)

      Many words are trotted out to justify the war, but this is window-dressing and cannot, in the nature of things, describe the diverse reasoning of those whose interests converged to bring about the decision. Over time, Bush gave many "reasons" -- all of which I judge to be false, misleading, "political", and "after the fact".

      The Iraq war may have been fought in part to suit oil interests, water interests, Israeli interests, pure militarist interests (the many then-merely-potential war profiteers), partisan political interests, and the hard-for-liberals-to-credit neocon/conservative/reactionary/hardline interest in making war as a demonstration (and a manufacture) of national resolve ("Go out and kill some folks, it'll make a man of you!").

      This should be said to the American people. And someone (USA?) should now fight ISIS I suppose. They sound particularly dreadful, just like Taliban. (Q: Did the USA's interventions by commerce and war create the Taliban?)

  • 'We've succeeded in taking peace negotiations off agenda,' Israeli leader crows
    • All (local) politics is local. Israeli pols say that there is no down-side to end of negotiations for 2SS. No down-side from Israel or from Palestine. Sure.

      But could be the EU will tire of this Israeli smirkiness and show there is a down-side by creating one,. And ICC. And maybe other things. (Unless PLO's hands are tied, as the leaders may well suppose they are. Note the submersion of Hamas.)

  • 'Numb, speechless, sad', Israel supporters grieve Cantor's loss
    • Feathers: "signals that money is no longer all that it takes to win an election".
      Perhaps. A lot of Dems sure hope that.

      But this was a primary when few people vote and the kooks come out of the woodwork. And the Teaparty was paying a lot to get its own voters out, enthusiasts if ever there were any. The next election is for the general electorate and presumably more than merely enthusiasts will come out to vote.

      So if Cantor changes his mind and runs a la Murkowsky, he might yet be elected. If so -- question -- would he keep his seniority and post, or would he no longer be a Republican and therefore not have seniority-as-a-Republican?

  • 'Will FIFA free our sons?': International football associations discuss the Israeli occupation ahead of the World Cup
    • FIFA is a part of world capitalism and will not rock the comfortable boat unless and until there is major public uproar. Nice to hear that Israel itself has promoted EXPULSION (altho for another country) because its own arguments can be shown as justification for Isfrael's own expulsion: it's own occupation is illegal in so many ways even if it can be argued that Palestine is not yet sovereign.

  • Chris Matthews and David Corn defend Israel against 'slander' of apartheid
    • Conservatism (and AIPAC has learned all the lessons of other conservative groups) thrives on manufacturing or retaining unearned privilege, and does it by any means that come to hand. Decency and honesty and making-sense and listening to other views are all seen as weakness and play no role.

      (This is one problem for liberals who as a class play fairly, are honest, and are willing to listen to all sides of a question. the deck is stacked against them, because conservatives see no reason to "play fair.")

      So liberals must be on the attack at all times. And since Israeli occupation IS ALREADY apartheid, and Kerry was just being polite (actually kow-towing) to Israel, we must say so.

  • 'Israel is bitterly dividing American Jewish community' -- AP
    • Just-the-perplexed: Not good for the professional AIPAC-type pro-Israel hardliners who've made their lives on this revision of religion. When they can no longer "believe" (or force others to claim to believe) in Israel's perfection, they will be out of jobs and out of favor and out of a community of hard-liners they've belonged to since 1948 (or since 1967). VERY HARD FOR THEM.

      AS TO: "Some Jewish activists have formed watchdog groups… to monitor programming for perceived anti-Israel bias". NOTE: This reports merely an attempt to quash openness among Jews. To prevent further ideological erosion among Jews. It says nothing about the heavy hand of MSM, POLs, etc. on all the rest of Americans.

  • Boston subway ads are shocking-- 'and so is the reality on the ground'
  • Neocon Brooks tells US to deal with Taliban -- so what about Hamas?
    • "Sometimes national leaders are called upon to take the sins of the situation upon themselves for the good of the country, to deal with the hateful and compromise with the loathsome. That’s their form of sacrifice and service."

      Yes, well.

      Consider how our ever-so-reluctant leaders (Bush/Cheney et al.) forced themselves to do the dirty (for the good of the good ole USA of course) by attacking Iraq, torturing some of their prisoners, and doing all the hideous kidnapping, indefinite detaining, and rendering for torture. But, hey!, a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do. Oh yes, and destroying the last vestiges of the USA's constitutional civil rights. So sorry, but war is hell, even if we started it and it was wholly unnecessary and illegal to boot.

      And, of course, neocons and conservatives LOVE violence and love to show that they are above the moral weakness of complying with international law (or any other law, come to that), are above rules and morality, are tough macho men, gangsters. And these same neocons and conservatives hate the communist command-economy government, but love our oligarchy-commanded economic and governmental system, much promoted by these stupid wars. (Pity the people: nobody loves democracy any more!)

  • Let it go
    • As to "nudges" --

      One type is Americans learning more about what is going on. If Pope Francis or the EU or the ICC acts "loudly" enough to be heard through the silencing filter of MSM.

      The other type of nudge is another stupid war fought "to order" for Israel. Yes, HRC dancing to AIPAC's tune (as Obama almost but not quite does).

      Also, actions by church groups, student groups, minor political parties, and "great men" (if any there be). Maybe Carter again.

  • Hillary Clinton's flipflop: We were wrong to take hard line against settlements
    • Many hard-right Europeans are anti-semitic: they want to get rid of the Jews who live among them (also Moslems, Blacks, etc., just like some Southern Baptists, etc., in the good ole USA). But they are NOT anti-Israel, for they are conservative hawks and revere any "strong hand", any imperialist. They worship violence, the overthrow of international law (they don't like restrictions on their own behavior, which would like to be violent. They are like out neocons.)

    • piotr: America never experimented with anything! Never! Because they all knew that AIPAC would punish any deviation. [Altho IRAN?] But all presidential public talk is to the world or to Americans -- sound (without fury) signifying nothing.

    • Donald: Yes, probably ONLY personal ambitions, together with "get us a Gal for President" and other semi-personal stuff. But if (a big if) she believes that she would beat a TeaPartier and no other Dem would do so, then she might run not for personal ambition but for the good of something bigger (the world, the nation, the party).

      I would strongly want not to vote for ANYONE who pandered to AIPAC as they all do, but whom else can one vote for? And there are other issues which matter. Do we all know how to hold our noses at the polling place?

  • Houston stadium security detains soccer fan for waving Palestinian flag as 'racial slur'
    • OK, my next comment is wrong, wrong, wrong. It was an enticement to violence -- violence from Israeli fans who (more or less alone in Houston) would recognize the flag and be motivated to soccer hooliganism by seeing it.

      The police acted against the flar waver to prevent Israeli violence (agianst her I suppose).

      OK, got it.

    • One can never be sure of anything, but the action by private and public police to remove either a Palestinian flag or the waver thereof sounds like a "situation", not a "de-escalation" of a situation. Is Israel (suddenly) a "race"? Come to that, are the Jewish People (if any such exists) a "race"? Is a Palestinian flag a racial slur against Israel, which is earnestly trying to appear to be making peace with Palestine? Against the Jewish People? Against the dimwit who noticed the flag (I bet few others did or knew what it was -- I bet it was a lousy way to "communicate" a "slur" or anything else, even if it had been wqaved in the city of Palestine, Texas.

      But I digress. would someone kindly de-escalate the I/P "situation"?

  • Teju Cole explains (and shows) that one side has been dispossessed in Israel and Palestine
    • Hostage: Thank you for pointing up this valuable document (1951 UN Refugee Convention) and referring back to Zack's link to "Flight and expulsion of Germans (1944–50)".

      "The tide started to turn when the charter of the Nuremberg Trials of German Nazi leaders declared forced deportation of civilian populations to be both a war crime and a crime against humanity, and this opinion was progressively adopted and extended through the remainder of the century.

      This is valuable material. It would be good, if you have time, to create a single web-page to point to all relevant UN and other documents of this type, perhaps with a one-paragraph description of each document. And, of course, this may already have been done.

  • Video: 'CBS This Morning' runs hard hitting spot on boycott of Israel
    • Wonderful. And think of the flack they'll take from the usual suspects! Wouldn't it be great if someone challenged them on the "illegal" and they built up some references to ICJ and UNSC.

  • Israel announces major escalation in settlement expansion (Update)
    • just: "I get it that Palestinians have massive sumud, but I sure don’t. I have these Hague fantasies that won’t let up. They could frame it as “part of the reaction efforts…just the beginning”."

      Agreed. They must have sumud, but we can afford dreams and fantasies. My fantasy is the EU or some other grown-up announcing sanctions to back up the 3 demands of BDS. I mean, Israel is so outrageous. Like a little kid lacking parental attention who misbehaves a bit and then a bit more, etc., until his parents finally notice him, albeit in a negative way. Question here is whether any of the world's nations are up to parenting, tough love, or just responsible juridical behavior.

      Kay24: I love your "hasbaracudas".

  • BDS lays the basis for a true peace process
    • Kay24: Yes, After Israel gets USA and others to "recognize" it as a "Jewish State" it has a better chance to portray efforts to secure Palestinian RoR as "destroying" the Jewish aspect and, therefore, destroying the "Jewish state".

      a better chance. But of course reality is that the nations have long demanded PRoR and also done nothing to make it happen. that is BDS's job. Might happen! If it does (if many nations impose real sanctions seeking to achieve the 3-point BDS program) Israel may find that its best choice is to allow PRoR. In that case, there would still be an Israel, but one less majority-Jewish. Keep tuned!

  • I am Palestinian, and I am human, and I am here
    • Stephen: Anticipating the comment below of Sarah Aziza: we are, ahem, encouraged, on this website, to say "Zionist" rather than "Jew" when in fact that is what we mean. The bum may have been a Jew but the particular portion of his bad behavior that we are particularly noticing here marked him as a demeanor of Palestinians which comes close to being a Zionist. And he needn't have been a Jew to be a Zionist.

      I once (1956, just post high-school) worked as junior member of a surveyor's gang. Some of the older (Southern?) men in the crew made it clear that they hated or despised Jews, Catholics, Blacks, and who knows who else. For some people bigotry is built-in.

      Moreover, read Jan's comment below.

  • #Assaf360: Palestinian Singer Mohammed Assaf & Grammy-Winning Producer Rodney Jerkins create song for World Cup (Update)
    • It is not every day a Palestinian will sing as official singer to the real world, that is, the world's soccer (futbol) fans. This is terrific, as he is.

      As RealJew says, he sings also to the FIFA officials. He will not ask for the FIFA to oust Israel, but the message will "be there between the lines" if people know about it. let's help make sure they do.

  • Blacklisted by the 'Jewish community' over Israel, the Shondes take their stand
    • " That kind of policing is the antithesis of the Judaism we love."

      Well, yes and no. BDS is an enterprise that does not require participants to be Jewish, but nothing in my knowledge of Judaism of Jewish communitarianism suggests that using boycott to educate people about immorality on the part of apartheid-like states is un-Jewish or anti-Jewish. So: BDSers practice a certain kind of "policing" too.

      I am so glad, so very glad, that the DC Jewish community (and Hillels and many others) are openly and proudly practicing "policing", "censorship", "exclusion", It shows that they APPROVE of BDS (at least, when they themselves practice it).

      BDS asks rock bands not to play in Israel and DC-JCC asks (some) rock bands not to play DC-JCC.

      We're all one happy world. And the Jewish pressure politics (against Jews!) is there for all to see. Perhaps ordinary Americans will become aware of this tribal BDSing and ask themselves "How much worse must Israeli action against Palestinians be if FOI treat Jews like this?"

  • Soldiers detaining Palestinian schoolgirls for picking cherries is reminiscent of Germany in 30s -- Misgav
    • Misgav compares Israel today to Germany in 1932, a very good point. Great oaks from tiny acorns grow. In this case, the quasi-Germany-in-1932 has already grown big and strong in Israel and BIG-ZION prevents Americans from knowing about it (by suppression, in our oligarchy-controlled media, of daily news of horrors inflicted by Israel and by Israelis on Palestinians).

      I wonder if this sort of analysis is getting any play in Germany today. Hope so. And everywhere else, of course.

      I suppose Dr. Ruth would find nothing to complain of. After all, the sex in Israel is said to be good. But, pace Dr. Ruth, sex is not everything. And someday many people who have forgotten them will remember their morals -- and the history of Germany then and of Israel now.

    • Phil: "The conversation about Israel’s future inside Israel is (yet again) more honest than the one about Israel’s future in our mainstream media."

      I had to read it twice to see what you meant. You are right, of course. But I was distracted by [1] Israeli future inside (pre-1967) Israel or [2] future as discussed inside Israel.

      How's this: "The conversation inside Israel about Israel’s future is (yet again) more honest than the conversation in the USA's mainstream media about Israel’s future."

  • 'Violence of Jewish power' in Jerusalem has 'poisoned the Jewish community' -- 'Forward' reports
    • Leanne Gale "gets it" and is righteous. Reminds me a bit of the American civil rights movement and the fight for civil rights for Americans of African descent. A pity that her elders, who surely took pride in the Jewish contributions to that fight, forgot all decency in 1967 and have never got it back.

      Is life too short?

  • Public debate on Zionism sets a crucial precedent
    • It is surely curious that the various branches of so-called Jewish community forbid discussion of what seems an enormously important ideological point. This means that whereas Judaism has evolved into three or more branches (or tendencies) only one of which is called "orthodox", ALL of these branches (at the leadership/money level) insist on a degree of orthodoxy on the Israel ideology that they would never insist upon on matters of Jewish (excuse me, I mean: religious) doctrine.

      Or am I wrong? are there red-lines on Jewish religious orthodoxy? Do scholars debate Talmudic questions or merely recite ancient "received" answers? Was the answer to the question "can a Jew throw an electric switch on Saturday?" already set in stone 2000 years ago or was there discussion more recently?

  • 'Washington Post' reports that funders have excommunicated Jews who don't believe in Zionism
    • "Are you now or have you ever been?"

      Human? A Jew? An envelope-pusher? A pusher of anything else? A destroyer of democracy? A demagogue?

      Yes, Senator McCarthy! You created a catchy catch-phrase there.

      Nice to see Jewish Washington admitting to McCarthyism and money-loving (to say nothing of money-denying as a spur to ideological [not ethical] conformity

  • In Bloomberg internal news memos, 'there is no such country' as Palestine
    • As to Palestine, Bloomberg seems approx correct to me, altho seems to have a HEART OF ICE.

      One problem, tho. If there is no State of Palestine today (no boundaries AND no armed control of the territory), then there is also no Israel (tho it has an army, it does not have a declared territory).

      Of course, Israel does have a de facto territory (either pre-67 or the 1SS apartheid hoozy-whatsis we have today, equally de facto) but no de jure territory, since the boundaries with Lebanon and Syria (and Palestine) have not been made and declared, even unilaterally by Israel. And all as-yet so-called Israel's "annexations" have been declared null and void by UNSC.

      So maybe Bloomberg should have restrictions (I didn't read carefully enough to see if he did!) on use of "Israel" as a geographic term.

  • Soldiers detain four Palestinian schoolgirls-- aged 11 to 15 -- for picking settlers' cherries
    • It is the absurd sense of settler entitlement that REEKS. A few cherries (or so claimed).

      It also recalls the arrests of Palestinians returning (1948-ish) to their lands to harvest crops and orchards left during the war, and being arrested or shot as (first: "infiltrators", later: "terrorists"). (Sing: "All of this land is our land!")

      Now it's "cherry pickers". Sounds like an "easy shot" to me.

  • But what can a poor boy do, except to boycott Israel
    • Stones are like anyone else -- go with the flow, go with the money. It takes effort to learn the issues, and it takes going against the flow (boycotting oneself, for many people) to boycott Israel when for so many years the USA's and world's power structures have said how terrific Israel is. Also, they may believe that Dylan told them to go, as indeed he may have, and who are they to say him no? [Some of my best friends are Zionists.]

  • John Legend derides portrayal of Palestinians as 'demographic challenge' in speech at Penn
    • What’s the difference? No difference.

      And what shall we say of that OTHER demographic problem, the millions of Palestinians -- stateless, passportless -- who are or descend from the exiles of 1948? Israel speaks of a demographic problem in terms of the Palestinians now present (present within Greater Israel = Mandatory Palestine): how much greater would it be if they had not (so shamefully) expelled and/or refused to re-admit all the 750,000 Palestinians exiled in and after 1948? And how much LESS would these so-called demographic threats be if Israel would agree to live on a much smaller territory, say 1/2 of Israel-1948.

  • Anthony Bourdain laments 'twisted and shallow' depiction of Palestinians in US media
    • Charles, PoW, is kept out of the USA because he is "privately" (but not entirely privately) pro-Palestinian? The PoW is a sort of POW? And for believing what the British Jewish Board of Deputies said they believe: that all mankind are made in God's image and therefore deserving of being well treated (human rights for all)(even Palestinians).

      Well, it is high time that a lot of folks, especially many Americans and Israelis, were prudently keeping away from travel to a lot of places.

  • UK's Jewish leadership sacrifices all relevance with 'Jewish manifesto' for EU elections
    • What about all that German reparations money that was paid to Israel and the 1/4 or so of Holocaust survivors in Israel who live below poverty level? surely there should be a pass-through from Israel to those survivors of German money? And if not, shouldn't Germany stop making reparations>

  • Repentant Enablers: German Christians, the Holocaust and the resurgence of German power
    • Perhaps the ticket here is "suspension" of reparations.

      If Germany cannot bring itself to the point of saying

      We're sorry and we've paid reparations to Israel for the harm done to European Jews. We're still sorry, but the payments so far made are now sufficient. We're moving on

      then it could instead say,

      We're sorry, and we've paid reparations, and we intend to continue to pay reparations for some presently undetermined period in future, BUT, taking the apparently unending nature of Israel's occupations into account, and considering our undertakings under the Fourth Geneva Convention and other matters of international law, we are suspending reparations payments and military support, etc., until Israel ends its occupation of all territory seized by it in 1967 and still occupied -- including its blockade on Gaza.

  • Canadian Jewish paper censors piece defending Zionism because it mentions Blumenthal debate
    • "Some day 20 years from now people will read this and not believe it actually happened. The most educated, privileged, affluent group on the continent, and its official bodies stoppered their ears."

      Well, no. Not "their ears".

      They tried to stop the ears of their members, of the Jewish community. Maybe of a wider community that might have learned of the debate had the advertisements and article not been denied a place. (BTW, did you know that people with these attitudes have actually tried to prevent "sex education" in schools lest the children learn accurately about sex in school -- instead of from their loving but often straight-laced parents and from their don't-know-much friends.)

  • 'NYT' runs fair story on horrendous killings
    • I suspect that the soldiers have orders, "rules of engagement", that [1] allow shoot-to-kill when a soldier is threatened with sufficient harm and [2] decide in advance that ANY throwing of stones, for instance, threatens soldiers sufficiently, even when the stones do not reach them and probably couldn't reach them, and even when the stone throwing has already stopped.

      The convenient thing about such a treatment of stone throwing as a killable offence would be that Israeli soldiers could always claim that the person they killed was throwing stones (some time earlier). Videos can show what happens but often will not show all that happened.

    • Why did NYT do so (fairly) well on this one?

      For one thing, this one stinks to high heaven!

      Woody suggests: Jill out, or maybe the new guy not on his feet yet? But they both take orders (Jill perhaps without sufficient servility) from the same Oligarch.

      Other possibilities: Things are a-changing, and it's time for a change, in I/P. Kerry's pointing the finger of blame at Israel. The UN's H/R committee [including much of EU] being unanimous (except for USA) condemning Israel for numerous H/R violations. German submarine blip. BDS. Open Hillels.

      About that UNHRC vote:

      Even before the vote, Italy's representative Maurizio Enrico Serra told the council that the EU supports the motions and member states would be voting accordingly. This united stance by European members of the Council was lamented by Israeli officials, and well they might - for it undermines a key part of the propaganda campaign against the UNHRC.

      If I had to pick one of these, I'd pick "stinks to high heaven".

  • Apartheid label is reminiscent of runup to Holocaust -- Michael Oren
  • BDS is the only means of ending the occupation -- Derfner
    • Derfner: "to meet the Palestinians’ demands, which are backed by the entire world (myself included), and which involve, but are by no means limited to, the removal of between roughly 100,000 and 170,000 settlers from the West Bank…"

      The "entire world" said that? I think the "entire world" speaks with a forked tongue, demanding a full right of return for the exiles of 1948, but never doing anything to back up that demand. And BDS is intended to energize the "entire world" to take tougher stands. tougher than what? We'll see.

      Well, I'm glad Derfner has bitten this bullet. Must be risky in Israel to recommend any flavor of BDS, what with the anti-BDS law and public uproar and all.

      But as to his quote, I think he is reading Abbas's last negotiating position as the permanent position of the Palestinian people. Well, the Palestinian people had no say and Abbas's offer was quite possibly merely trying to show Israel up as opposed to ANY reasonable peace.

      Why should there be a "ratchet" in peace negotiations? Why must Palestinians be held to always offer more than last time?

      If BDS were to succeed in getting Israel into the mood, then such a BDS might be strong enough to get Israel even farther into the mood than merely to accept Abbas's last "offer".

      There are about 600,000-650,000 settlers all told, including in the Golan. They should all be required to fold up their tents (that is, dismantle their settlements). Any BDS worth its salt demand THAT.

      So what is Derfner signing on for?

  • Crashing the Party: Activists educate pro-Israel festival about the Nakba
  • Commencement meltdown-- students are wisely rejecting elite authority
    • Good essay, Donald. The essence of conservatism (of Republicans and sadly also of Democrats) is the protection (or re-acquisition) of privilege to the (already) rich and powerful. Those who wage war are particularly members of the class of the powerful, and therefore to be protected. Why did Obama not prosecute the Bushies for torture and war crimes? Because he is (in the sense I set forth) a conservative and works for the oligarchy, conservatives all, and therefore must protect others of the rich-and-powerful class.

      The students are protesting the criminality of the rich and powerful. Yes, they disagree, but not with ideas onlt but with the fact of immunity and impunity for the ricdh and powerful.

  • Inspiration on the quiet streets of Palestine
    • Alex: "Among Israeli Jews, there is no reason to confront the horrors happening a short drive away. They are not paying a cost for it. With no intifada on the horizon, Palestine is out of sight, out of mind for ordinary people."

      The purpose of BDS is, of course educational and more to the point to force ordinary Israelis to "pay a cost for it".

      But why is "an intifada" seen as a cost? The first intifada was a thrilling and society-wide anti-government protest but quite peaceful (or at least until Israel felt the need to inject violence) (all as I recall). The broader question is this: why does Israel put down protest and intifadas with such extreme violence?

  • Report: Germany cancels military subsidy deal with Israel following breakdown of peace negotiations
  • The NYT and the NSA: Abramson and Baquet have different journalistic values
  • Rothkopf's jailbreak from the Zionist captivity is sure to embolden others
    • marc b and Walid-- you nailed me! When I wrote, carelessly, without quotes, "we defer because we are yoredim and you’ve made aliya", I meant that Phil knows this argument, knows people who feel this way, not that HE HIMSELF feels this way.

    • "Why the deference to madmen?"

      I defer to you, Phil, on subjects close to Zionism, you know, we defer because we are yoredim and you've made aliya. May work for some people, even still. Not for the rest of us. Not for me.

      But I see two reasons for mollycoddling Israel and Israelis. First, we still live in the USA, land of power-politics and oligarchy, and BIG-ZION is not yet demonstrated to have been defenestrated. It is still a threat. so watch your mouth! [2] We (who have gone against the settlements, against the occupation, against the continuing expropriation of Palestinian lands inside Israel-48) are trying to persuade Israel, not to frighten it. Big difference. If the shift you, Phil, are celebrating a bit prematurely in this posting comes quite a bit further to pass, there may be American Jews now in power (and not merely Open Hillel types who are possible leaders of next generation) saying, and not molly-coddling:

      Israel: now hear this! Settlements are illegal, settlers are illegal, the wall is illegal, the siege is illegal. Get rid of them. Do it now!

      that could frighten Israel, and Israel does awful things when frightened (even worse then when not frightened).

      I would say that these two reasons have slowed people down who might have said already what Rothkopf has said. It's also what slowed down his saying it and made his statement so weak, so mollycoddling.

      But, yes, it is a fine start.

  • This just in: Glenn Greenwald was never bar mitzvahed
    • Ha'aretz suggests: GG is not qualified to receive the polite attention of the American (or other) public, because, as it now transpires, he was never Bar Mitzvaed. OMG! And there I was, actually listening to (or reading) him!

      Well, well, a declaration of religious power if I ever saw one: WE (who were BM'd) are ELECTORS !! And We elect to "out" GG for not being a member of the electors !!

      This was not a story about GG at all. It was a story indicating the primacy, the centrality, the POWER, of we, who were BM'd, as ELECTORS. May we aspire even to be known far and wide as the ELECTORS ELDERS OF ZION? (But let me come clean. I was never BM'd either. I'm just a member of the non-elector 99.99%.)

      Or was there another newsworthy reason for mentioning this at all? Africa and China and America (really, most of the world, even Laos!) are full of people who were never BM'd. Does Ha'aretz policy call for a "story" on each of these? (Did they do a story on Obama never having been BM'd?

      Must have been a bad news day.

  • 'It's time to build the future of the American Jewish community': Open Hillel announces first national conference
    • seafoid: So, this announcement is a "declaration of warts" ?? Maybe a symbolic elbow in the eye of the "police" of the Hillel Reactionary Hierarchy -- after the said HRH grabbed Open Hillel by the * * * conscience ??

  • 'NYT' publishes unvarnished ADL propaganda: 93% of Palestinians are anti-Semites
    • Nothing wrong with pushing the Zionist Agenda (ZA)? Hmmm. But since the ZA states something about "Jewish and democratic", and since that seems -- in the current state of play -- to be impossible, and even unwanted by some orthodox (and many anti-Palestinian) Jews, pushing the ZA is i8mpossible for any decent person to do with a straight face.

      Conservatives and Reactionaries, who believe in creating or recovering power for the chosen class -- or the formerly powerful class -- do not regard lying and failing to make sense as undesirable. "Win at all costs" is the ticket, (Liberals often let their side down by being unwilling to lie, cheat, and steal.)

  • After first visit to Israel, 'Foreign Policy' editor says religious, garrison state has 'passed its sell-by date'
    • QUOTE: "I guess what I’m saying is that I think Israel has a real problem with losing the narrative that can’t be rationally argued away but needs to be addressed. I’m just a canary in the coal mine."

      He says the problem is a lousy Zionist narrative. Well, but what about the even lousier Zionist behavior?

      He's a bit tentative, refuses to "dump" Israel here and now, refuses the "apartheid" label. so, Like Obama/Kerry, he is warning Israel of difficulties lying ahead. He's a "canary in the coal mine".

      I think this is significant because it adds to the Obama/Kerry talk, it backs it up, it says the sands are shifting in the elite establishment, what I call the BIGs, the Establishment, the Oligarchy. (And if the sands were not shifting there, how explain Obama/Kerry?).

      And Oren will go back to Netanyahu adn tell him, and BB will wring his hands and say his coalition will allow him to do no other than to keep on keeping on.

      Ride that horse over the cliff, because it is the only horse in the game.

      Just like the politics of ignoring Climate Change has been (mayne that's changing?).

  • Right-wing group's new vendetta: Demonizing California professor critical of Israel
    • This is a terrific letter. It should be sent, broadcast, to ALL university presidents. It will not change their behavior if they have fund-raising problems with BIG-ZION, but it might rescue the others from error (in the letter identified as "bordering on anti-Semitism in itself").

      Author says that American Jews are NOT monolithic supporters of Israeli government policies, something you'd (presumably) never guess from all the attacks by AMCHA and others on many, many professors -- Finkelstein, Abdulhadi, and many more.

  • 'It's what happened in South Africa': Palestine seeking sanctions against Israel at FIFA Congress
    • How odd that Palestinian FA should seek sanctions BEFORE PA goes to ICC. But one small step at a time, I guess. And maybe "sport" sanctions TODAY will catch Israeli attention in a different and more profound way than ICC condemnations of politicians DAY AFTER TOMORROW.

  • Israel's clanging prison bars
    • Walid, As I read it, the concern is not about Jews being imprisoned by the State of Israel. It is about conscience, conscientious objection to military service, and ESPECIALLY about the ill-treatment of the prisoner by the guards.

      Israeli society (like most societies, sadly) is hierarchical, conservative (that is, seeks to preserve the unearned privileges of select groups at the top of the hierarchy, especially Jews generally, but the STATE and its concerns are higher on the hierarchy than mere Jewishness. And Israel is a warfare-state (that is, not one that is prepared to resort to war when needed, but one which insists on making war on its neighbors from time to time to keep its weapons sharp adn to keep its neighbors angry and frightened). This means that being anti-war is a high crime, hence the bad treatment of the prisoner.

      I think that various states (perhaps cities then) run by Jews in ancient times may have been warfare states, but Jews have been out of power for 2000 years (until Zionism) and todays Jews (outside of Israel) are for the most part uncomfortable with the idea of Jews-as-warriors.

  • An Israeli tells American Jews they're miserable
    • Dickerson:

      This was (probably) not hasbara!

      Racism is part of conservatism, that is, of the ideology of preserving unearned privilege. Typically in USA, this means preserving privilege of this group or parts of it {rich white straight male} over everyone else {women blacks poor labor-unions gays}.

      Since, lately, "political correctness" has forced conservatives (for the most part) to give up OVERT expression of some of this, REACTION (which I guess makes reactionaries out of conservatives) sets in when the bums feel safe enough to return to overt expression of their prejudices.

      In Israel, the absolute triumph of Jews over Palestinians (and everyone else) being in a way part of the essence of Zionism and evidently part of the outcome of Zionism in practice, racism and Zionist privilege comes out OVERTLY in Israel to such a point that Israelis over here sometimes forget where they are and blast away with overt racism and allied expressions.

      American Jews, led by AIPAC et al,, have let Israeli Jews imagine that that TRIUMPHAL OVERT Israel-uber-alles is proper, not shameful, and "flies" even over here.


  • 'NYT' correction privileges Israeli military investigation over firsthand Palestinian accounts
    • Much of social life is about the maintenance by those in power of subordination. This practice is called "conservatism". Sometimes it is called "reaction" and its practitioners are deemed "reactionary". This means that the rich act to keep the poor "in line". Whites in some places and times have worked to keep "blacks" "in line" and to discourage civil rights and voting rights. Companies act to keep workers "in line" and to discourage the labor movement.

      The police seem usually to act on behalf of the powerful in the society which pays them. "Liberation Theology" is a name for a religious plan to adjust a power imbalance. Revolution is concerted action to change power relationships. "Reform" which always meant politics aimed at changing power relationships, may once have meant something like "power to the people" but nowadays masks conservative efforts to take power back for the white, the rich, males over family, employers over employed, police over policed, etc.

      These Israeli police and soldiers are part of a mechanism which sees its job as keeping Palestinians subordinate, suppressing insubordination, frightening Palestinians.

      So of course they beat Palestinians up, as a matter of course. NYT and others (AIPAC comes to mind) see nothing wrong with this, go along, because they are part of the power-holders in USA's power-hierarchy.

      So it goes.

      And "liberals" in the USA who might object to such behavior by police in the USA (NB: "might object") don't object when it happens in Israel, which the USA's pols have determined must come out on top, always.

      Read "The Reactionary Mind" by Corey Robin.

  • Circular logic: Israel agrees not to discriminate against Palestinian-American travelers -- not that it ever did
    • The advantage of VISA is that Israel could ask people if they were going to visit OPT, if they were members of this and that. and refuse the VISA. Granted, today they DO require visas and ALSO turn people away to whom they had already granted a visa. Does the USA ask why a visa was granted but entry denied? SHOULD!

      Without visas, they can say, "Oh, this is the first opportunity we had to inquire." Better, in my view, to require visas in BOTH countries. We've got a lot of reasons not to admit Israelis.

    • Henry-- good point. We should demand that the USA either refuse to grant the visa waiver (best choice; too many Israeli criminals and spies) or else require that Israel call in the USA's official whenever it delays any American upon entry by more than one hour. And the official shall count these delays (and of course count the ultimate delay times), and shall ask Israel to explain EACH instance of delay above one hour and to explain what was learned during that one hour that resulted in a refusal to admit entry (in such cases). Refusal to admit an American shall be counted "discrimination" unless a satisfactory answer is immediately given. Visiting OPT and such-like shall not be allowed (by the USA) as a legitimate (that is, a non-discriminatory) reason for refusal.

  • Boycott movement reaches new heights
    • Shuki -- I appreciate what I take to be irony.

      BTW, if citizens of Jordan are allowed and feel free to do the BDS-tango, and citizens of Israel do not, even to the same music, then which is the better (let us not say any longer the only) democracty in the M/E?

  • Open recriminations begin over failure of peace talks
    • Off topic, what about proper sharing of Israel's and Palestine's oil and gas in the Mediterranean? Who owns it? How should it be split?

      Does Israel have a unilateral right to develop these resources and take all the wealth?

      Please recall that Israel has de facto military rule over all the Palestine Mandate but has a rather porous border. Treaties with Egypt and Jordan assert final borders of Israel with those countries but there is no border with Palestine, Syria, Lebanon.

      That great sucking noise I hear (or imagine) is land previously thought to be Israeli land, particularly along the coast, becoming Palestinian land in a great land transfer (to allow Israel to own the land of the big settlements). And that coastal land would give Palestine a bigger share of the oil and gas.

      Something to think about.

    • This moment, this spring, of I/P discontent is a time to reflect, O brothers and sisters, on what the goals of the many and various parties are and on what might move the I/P along if those goals became more focused.

      One thing we seem agreed on: left to itself alone (with continuing USA support, natch), Israel will continue the status quo, which is [a] apartheid, [b] a continuing push toward regional hegemony, [c] further settlement and land confiscation, and [d] further war. It is correctly said that Israel is a warfare state. It is also, increasingly, led by the nose by Greater Israel fans, anti-democratic religious nationalists. How big will Greater Israel be in 2050?

      Next, America has acted to change status quo. I much doubt that Obama opposed AIPAC without support from other powerful players in the USA's Establishment/Oligarchy/Plutocracy. Sure, AIPAC pushed for status quo. And, sure, Democrats want to win elections. So the money for this change must "be there". Maybe some big Zionist donors are backing away from maximal-AIPAC-heit.

      Finally, all the nations which have been (safely) calling for justice, international law, etc. (really, folks, read UNSC 465/1980) -- whilst (IMO) hiding behind the fig-leaf of not interfering while peace process was a-processing -- are now out in the open with no cover, no excuse for not acting. And their people are getting restless.

      Well, I hope it was a fig leaf and not a cover for absolute apathy. The fig-leaf is gone. BDS is here.

      So I hope for (and recommend we all work for) an international push toward the goals of UNSC-465, that is, a legally-conducted occupation. (An end to occupation would be OK too.) (A unilateral Israeli withdrawal from OPTs, including lifting siege on Gaza could be accomplished by Israel w/o a treaty.)

      A legally conducted occupation has no settlers, no wall, no settlements 9buildings).


  • 'Forward' runs shocking images of Israeli children glorifying violence
    • I am merely "shocked, shocked." Which is to say, I knew there was gambling (terrorism training by Israelis) going on in Israel.

      Good to hear that (perhaps) Americans are "shocked" to learn this. really shocked.

      Chances are they will (many will) say that Israelis are threatened on all sides and need to arm themselves and be ready to fight, whereas Hamas has nothing to fear from anywhere (drones, what drones? automated machine guns, hunh? soldiers firing into the Gaza Strip? surely you jest!) and has no business to teach its children to hate Israel.

  • Israel's unending settlements 'mortally wound idea of a Jewish state' -- Indyk
    • I don't think Indyk means Israel would voluntarily make a democratic non-discriminating single state to replace the current apartheid single state. I think his fear is that such a (dreadful in his view) thing may be forced upon Israel in some near future, adn that it would not be forced upon Israel if Israel renounced either the entire occupation/settlements or lots of it/them. He's prodding Israel (or WINEP) to abandon the settlement project in favor of something that can be sold to the world and to the Palestinians as a satisfactory 2SS.

    • Giles,

      I really don't know what undertakings Israel made at the time of its application for UN membership. And, of course, i don't know which such were "required" by UN for the membership. Do you have a link to info on this?

    • What if the result (of history as it unfolds) is that there remains / is created a Jewish and democratic state inside Mandatory Palestine which occupies 50% of the territory of pre-1967 Israel plus a few of the dense settlements around Jerusalem.

      Would that be a tragedy (for whom?) of historic proportions? Because of SIZE? Shouldn't be, because no-one talks about size when they talk about Jewish state. Well, they also don't talk about water either, do they. A lot of things too embarrassing to talk about.

      As far as I am concerned, the smaller the (predominantly) Jewish state, the better.

  • Newsweek: Extensive Israeli spying in the US kept quiet due to pressure from the lobby
    • The "drip, drip" is well said. And the newspaper says, and I quote, "LOBBY": "Always lurking, former intelligence officials say, was the powerful “Israeli lobby,” ".

      That's a part of the "drip, drip".

      Did he mention the lobby is trying to get Pollard out? They did mention "early release".

  • Beinart predicts J Streeters will tackle immigration before thinking critically about Israel
    • Immigration? Now he's talking!

      Recall that after the war (and before) Jews were clamoring to enter the USA and the USA turned them away. What if, today, seeing the cruelty of that stance 65-years ago, [ ?? and enjoying money from BIG-ZION ??], USA opened the gates to immigration from Israel? Would that help with the I/P problem?

  • Now that Israel has killed the two-state solution, will liberal Zionists support equality or ethnocracy?
    • Agreed. But tho occupation s/b brief, it is not defined to be brief.

      What IS defined are the rules for conducting the occupation. I see the "key" or "leverage" for EU/UN to get something going is to begin to insist (with sanctions) on a legal occupation. The nations s/b able to agree to a set of goals (e.g., remove settlers, wall, settlements, siege) and with somewhat more difficulty to agree on a set of (perhaps gradually applied) sanctions for forcing Israel to do as it is told.

      Imagine Israel being strongly required to remove all the settlers and to dismantle all the settlements. And progressive sanctions beginning to come into force, a vise tightening, slowly and inexorably. Imagine the Israeli banksters and businessmen contemplating this, the sanctions moving onwards towards 9or into) trade cutoffs. I think there is room to be cautiously optimistic that there might be progress toward peace.

    • GL: But, try to remember, it is not for you (or me) to oppose 2SS or to prefer it (or to define it, etc.). If a mechanism exists for the Palestinians to ratify a draft treaty (and for the Israeli people or -- gasp -- Jewish Nation -- to ratify the same draft treaty) and each side does so, then BINGO! they have a treaty. Let them each wear it in health!

      OTOH, I think we properly see ourselves as trying to educate our readers to what we see as the issues. We do our best.

      The Palestinians may be tireder of all this than we are, or more forgiving. Or maybe all they want is citizenship in a passport-issuing country so they can scatter around the world as nationals instead of stateless refugees.

    • I don't see the older generation (my generation and older) shaking off Zionism. But the young -- if they maintain a concern for the problems of Jews -- should flock to Equality-ism in regard to I/P as they've always done for all other problems.

      This article is wonderful. Some LZ's will buy this, for it is wonderfully persuasive. Though not new. But Zionism has been sold hard, the LZ's are victims of that hard-sell, and coming out of that Zionism-induced mental paralysis will be very hard for many of them, hard for most perhaps, because Zionism was a thought-suppressing addiction, what was once called a "pipe-dream" where the "pipe" was filled, instead of with opium, with rosy perceptions of Israel and hideous perceptions of the next holocaust.

      This essay makes plain (as we all know now) that 2SS as a talking point rather than as a real goal is merely a device for letting the clock run and run while Israel piles up its crimes.

      Hitler thought he had a Jewish problem and the holocaust was his solution. The Zionists agreed with Hitler, perhaps chiefly because Hitler had become the European Jewish Problem, and their solution to the Jewish problem was Zionism -- transformation of European hate and discrimination against Jews into a Jewish hate and discrimination against Palestinians.

      The American Jews of 1933-1945 had a European Jewish Problem -- they did not want the savagely treated Jews of Europe coming to America (and nor did the USA's government) and therefore supported Zionism as a way to get them out of Europe -- but away from America. (That is why the American Jews who supported Zionism for the most part did not go to Palestine. It was not a "solution" for the problem, if any, of American Jews, but for the problem (too plain to miss) of European Jews.)

      So older American Zionists have in addition to their addiction to Zionism a sort of holocaust-guilt (we did not want them here!) of their own.

      One last thought: Zionism "suckered" everyone. It promised a land without people to Jews to get them to come to Palestine. False! It promised democracy and non-discrimination in its declaration of independence. False! It intended "transfer" now called "ethnic cleansing" (aka forced expulsion and permanent exile) for the Palestinians and kept it a secret. A lie! It seemed to promise nicey-nice Jews, Americans and others, democrats, liberals, that Israel would be a kind and decent place, but the settlements and the price-tags and the unpunished pogroms against Palestinians and the on-rushing anti-democratic laws all belie that (seeming) promise.

      I should think that LZ's would wake up, smell the coffee, take a look at reality -- the game as she is being played, not as the promises promised -- and oppose Israel (or at least join BDS's liberal demands) just as they would in any other place.

  • "Your 'independence' day is our Nakba": Thousands of Palestinian citizens of Israel join 'march of return' to destroyed village of Lubya
    • Kerry has talked (advised? hoped for?) a third intifada. Norman Finkelstein has said that a third intifada (and all the OBVIOUS Israeli violence it would bring on) would galvanize the international community of nations to grasp -- at long last -- with I/P.

      Are Kerry, NF, and Liberman on the same page?

  • Abunimah and Blumenthal's freedom ride
    • just: I agree with you. the ball should have passed out of the hands of the Palestinians into the world's hands. After all, when the Nazi death camps were liberated after WWII, no one demanded that the prisoners inside them should have made an armed insurrection (or whatever) in order to MERIT being released.

      But the world does not read Kate and others on MondoWeiss. The world (especially the American world) doesa not know the pogroms, the police brutality, the army brutality, the unfairness of the legal system (as a lawyer I shudder, but the USA is going the same direction). Even NYC has just convicted a woman of attacking a policeman when she struck him with her elbow after he grabbed her right breast from behind. 7 years in jail! So Israel isn't alone. There are horrors to go around.

      The world does not know the awful facts, especially in the USA. So maybe a new intifada (the first was not really violent and the third need not be either) would get the I/P back on page one "over the fold".

    • One of the comments above says that the brightest voices on I/P are mostly merely preaching to the choir. This is a way of asking a question: what will it take to make the I/P conflict a central issue, internationally and in America.

      Norman Finkelstein gave his answer to that question this week.

      On Monday 5-5-14 Norman Finkelstein gave a fabulous book talk at a Columbia University bookstore for his new book "Old Wine, Broken Bottle", a severe take-down of Ari Shavit's recent and highly acclaimed (anyone remember Peters's "From Time Immemorial"?) "My Promised Land". (The video should show up on Democracy Now.)

      It's a short book and well worth a read.

      In the talk, NF said that the world will only give its full attention to Palestine, again, if there is further fighting, a third intifada. More blood of martyrs need be shed, he advised, although he couldn't fault the Palestinians for backing down after all the years of getting no-where. His idea, I think, is that despite the successes of BDS, the world is only "primed" to take action on I/P (to put the "S" into "BDS") and needs another violent reminder that things will not get better without international involvement. I don't know if he's right, but July will be TEN YEARS since the ICJ told the nations that it was their duty to force Israel to remove the wall -- and the nations did exactly nothing.

      I often reflect that the weakness of the Palestinian position in the USA and elsewhere is that the Palestinians did NOT walk the road of terrorism outside I/P. they are not seen as a danger by anyone, certainly not by Israel. I don't advocate terrorism, I merely say that violence has often caught the international imagination whilst passive suffering has not.

      This is only to say that perhaps NF has made an important perception.

      ALSO, NF made it a point, once again, sadly in my view, to say that BDS was flawed because it did not explicitly recognize Israel and its so-called right-to-exist. So sad, I think, because BDS does implicitly recognize Israel (it makes demands of Israel!) and also demands that Israel behave in a non-discriminatory manner within Israel itself.

      NF is a great man. His analyses are priceless. His perceptions are matchless. Please don't continue to give him the cold shoulder because of his views on BDS. We are none of us perfect and, after all, as to BDS, he might somehow be right.

  • Long faces at Israel's birthday party
    • "Many of us don’t know how to reconcile it with what we’ve understood to be the Israeli miracle. Was it no miracle after all?…"

      Most things are multi-dimensional, have many facets, describe it as you will. Yes, the creation of Israel was a "miracle". Maybe not a surprise (to those in the know militarily) but a miracle.

      Definitely a miracle. That is to say, it seemed wonderful (and unexpected, hearts-in-mouths) to on-lookers in 1948, and the State of Israel has since become a great military power, a nuclear power, has wonderful modern (not-particularly-Jewish) cities and night-life and universities etc. etc.

      On the other hand, it was a dreadful tragedy for the Palestinians, for the Jewish people outside Israel who -- having chosen to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Israel are somewhat responsible for the Nakba and all the rest (so well documented on MondoWeiss), for the Jewish people of Israel, for the Jewish religion (if Rabbi Lerner can be beleived:

      Those policies are in complete opposition to the Torah’s most frequently repeated injunction, namely one version or another of the following command: “When you come into your land, do not oppress the stranger (the other, ha’ger), remember that you were strangers (the Other) in the land of Egypt.”


      So a miracle? Yes! As an anti-Zionist I say so.

      And a disaster? Yes. And even Zionists are beginning to say so. (I've said so for a long time, but I was not brainwashed by Zionism, had a Palestinian wife, and my "stance" is no particular credit to me, nor was it at all difficult to arrive at.)

      May one fairly grieve for almost everyone here? Yes. Maybe not for the war-criminals and torturers, but ordinary Jews caught up in the (often money-enforced) Synagogal getting-on-board-Israel-train are to be pitied -- they lost whatever was good in their religion and substituted a particularly odious golden calf. for the Jews of Israel? sure, a disaster. They've been taught they deserve all, can count on all, are beyond the law, beyond punishment and, anyway, did no wrong. The settlers have bought even more and even worse.

      So, a miracle and a disaster.

    • JJ Goldberg: "For years most of us didn’t see it [roughly, the Nakba], or wouldn’t. In part we were blinded by the other side’s violent hostility."

      I wish he'd written " In part we were blinded by what we saw and what we (were) taught was the other side’s violent hostility."

      After all, the push to expel the Palestinians and take over The Land was not a Palestinian push, and was extremely violent and hostile. But JJG ignores Israeli violent hostility. He's not alone.

  • New, for the home: apartheid wall and security tower, in dove gray
    • Oh, is Palestine shrinking? Guess I heard that. Before.

      But, but, sputter, sputter, in that case what was N'yahu talking about when he complained about the danger of a shrinking Israel?

      “There are, of course, those who do not want Israel to be defined as the nation state of the Jewish people,” he said. “They want a national home for the Palestinians to be established alongside us, and that Israel will gradually turn into a bi-national, Arab-Israeli state, inside shrunken borders.”

      Oh well, maybe its as they all are saying, in these modern times, the whole world is shrinking.

  • Jewish neocons and the romance of nationalist armageddon
  • Mourning the age of Netanyahu
    • Netanyahu: "and that Israel should gradually become a binational, Arab-Jewish state inside shrunken borders".

      OK, I understand that PRoR means, to him, binational. Maybe Palestinian human rights and civil rights as citizens (not nationals) of Israel also seems to him "binational".

      But "Inside shrunken borders" ! How ghastly to have to rub shoulders with people of another nation inside a SHRUNKEN state! Ouch! (Of course, we New York city folks, perhaps most Americans rub shoulders with all kinds of people every day without trouble, even through we don't honor those differences with the name: nationalities.

      But back to "shrunken Borders."

      Does N'yahu claim, then, that Israel has bigger borders now, today? Bigger than what? does he claim Greater Israel out to the wall, including the Jordan valley? Is that what he fears will shrink?

      Or does he fear that a peace treaty with the Palestinians could reduce Israel's size from its internationally recognized (provisional) borders, that is, those agreed to in treaties with Egypt and Jordan and the rest the provisional, armistice, lines of 1948?

      Or does he see international action coming soon as a result of the Kerry abandonment, and fear the unspeakable but doubtless heavy hand of the international community -- let by nasty BDS-made ideas -- falling on Israel and compressing it, shrinking it?

      Delicious, is it not? And will a further anti-democratic law in Israel make all this more likely or less likely?

  • Israel spies on U.S. more than any other ally
    • I worked in a defense-related software-development firm in the 1990s. I very much remember our company being approached by an Israeli who somehow insinuated himself into our offices to inquire about our progress on a certain publicly-announced project.

      I think we managed to be polite without revealing much information. On the other hand, we were not the sort of people to know about such things as left-behind microphones and the like.

      All of this rings such a charming bell in my memory.

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