Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 1546 (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 1546 - 1501

  • Months after saying he won't appear at Israeli foreign ministry events, Amos Oz will do just that in Paris
    • Eu-J/Z-P: [J] The child [J] of an abusive father [Eu] and the grandchild [P] of that abusive father [Eu] -- child [P] of the intervening victim-abuser [J/Z].

      All clear?

  • 'Democracy' and 'terrorism' and the parameters of thinkable thought
    • Terrorist (per Israeli): a person with malign and, more importantly, wholly irrational desire to harm members of his blood-bonded collective.

      This is VERY odd !

      In USA and most places, a "terrorist" is a person other than a public official or soldier who performs violence for the very rational purpose of inducing a government to change a policy (e.g., to induce France to leave Algeria, inducing Israel to leave the OPTs) or inducing a population to change a behavior (such as how it votes).

      I am not sure that we (in USA) even have a word (unless it be "hate criminal" or "sociopath" or "violent madman") for "someone who uses violence in a malign and wholly irrational way to harm members of an identifiable group of people"Certainly the right word, in the USA, is not "terrorist".

  • A new milestone: BDS at the Olympics
    • Yes, the USA-imposed (and multi-national imposed, I don't doubt) kibosh on enforcing international law on Israel has allowed the expulsions of 1947-50 and later to go unpunished, the victims unrestored to their homeland. These athletes may (I don't know) have risked opprobrium from their own governments, which may be friendlier with Israel than their people are.

  • The Palestine-Israel language trap
    • I don't "get it", but good luck to us all. So I/P is a problem of a settler-colonialist Israel. OK. So if Israel was ever "special", is Israel not still "special" (even as a settler-colonial state)? And if opposing Israel or any of its projects was ever antisemitic, is opposing a settler-colonialist Israel not still antisemitic since, as is (falsely) claimed, such opposition opposes the only country of the so-called "Jewish People"?

      If a person can see his/her way to OK-ing a pre-1967 territory for Israel, and many people can do that while opposing the occupation, such a person will necessarily be OK-ing a settler-colonialist project, for Israel was a settler-colonialist project from before 1947.

      Maybe the thing to do is to join BDS and its goals with a full heart and without saying what you think would be an OK diplomatic outcome (beyond achieving those goals). An end to discrimination, a right of return for all Palestinians to their homeland before 1948, an end of occupation (and with an end of discrimination and occupation apparently an end of apartheid) -- all this sounds pretty good to me.

      I guess success of BDS would in some sense roll-back Israel's settler-colonialist program. Just as the post-WWII history of Germany somehow rolls-back the holocaust.

  • Jill Stein defends BDS in CNN town hall
    • Current poll results strongly suggest that New York is a "safe" state for Clinton. Whether one likes that or not, there it is.

      A consequence of that -- if you believe the polls, as I do -- is that you may safely vote GREEN without changing the electoral vote count. But doing so may "send a signal" to the Democratic Party that the Sanders folks (or call them the anti-corporatist folks) are calling for a new Party, a different Party from Bill Clinton's and Obama's.

      Now, after this CNN interview, If you care about Palestine you evidently have another good reason to vote GREEN.

  • Defying Scottish law, football fans fly Palestinian flags during match with Israeli team
  • The politics of Jewish ethnocentrism
    • LR: Why would you expect these hi-positioned bozos to trouble themselves by gnashing their teeth? They see no problem or they wouldn't act that way: they have been trained to feel a right to complain about antisemitism, real or imagined or fraudulent; and they have been trained to apply anti-racism rhetoric to others, but to feel themselves immune to such criticism.

      (An internalized sense of, if not the actuality of) immunity and impunity are hall-marks of Israel, of Zionism generally, and of Jewish nationalists (and racists). And why not? They get away with all this crap.

      So why gnash teeth? Gentle smiling or triumphant feelings (usually well hidden behind polite outward appearance) (see picture of Bret Stephens above) is more like it.

  • The breathtaking arrogance of Alan Dershowitz's 'advice' to Black Lives Matter
    • ABC: Not quite: he speaks not as a "white" man (tho he enjoys the "white privilege" in the USA) but as a "Jew" or as a "Zionist", categories which have acquired so much privilege since 1967 (especially the privilege he claims -- of not being condemned for its condemnable behavior) that he feels protected while striking out at everybody who expreses anti-Zionist opinion.

  • Palestinian anti-racist struggle against Zionism and Black anti-racist struggle against White supremacy are crucial to building a just world
  • Beinart calls anti-Zionists 'revolutionaries'
    • Beautiful analysis, Phil!

      Change may (as you suggest) merely be change, not revolution. And a politics seeking to change an existing order in the direction of a greater good and in the direction of already codified norms may escape the designation of "anarchy" or "mindless revolution" or "destruction for destruction's sake". Pressure for folks to get with the existing norms is not usually called 'revolution" by unconcerned onlookers.

      But to Zionists, making Zionism (or Israel) conform to international norms may feel very, very revolutionary indeed. Thus Beinart writing in Haaretz may feel justified to use language that may be read (and will be read) as "loaded language" by Israeli Zionists, whereas strangers to the situation might not think the language "loaded" if they should stumble across it, if to them "revolution" merely means sudden or great change.

      And white folks in USA might find BLM unacceptably "revolutionary" since it aims to shake up the system of white privilege reinforced by police departments and by the economic and the social and the criminal-justice systems -- even though BLM merely seeks to align these systems with human-rights norms that most people would support in the abstract.

      So -- what's unacceptably "revolutionary" and beyond the pale depends on one's viewpoint.

      As it has been said: Where you stand depends on where you sit.

  • Chosen indeed: all 7 letters run by 'NYT' on Mideast article are by Jews
    • Looks like structural bias from here, especially in light of the thesis of the article. But, "bias"? In her majesty NYT? I am shocked shocked shocked -- but not astonished.

  • The dark secret of Israel’s stolen babies
  • Zionists and anti-Zionists march together for two hours in New York
    • Leonard Fein said that the creation of Israel was “the most important project of the Jewish people in our time.”

      The creation of Israel -- from before 1900 til 1948 -- was indeed a project of some Jewish people and surely dwarfs any other project of any Jewish people of the same period.

      Most Jewish people opposed the idea early on, but nowadays most (or so it often seems) are happy it was done. But many who were happy are happy no longer, or are glad it was done but unhappy in what has happened since. For the latter, the history and behavior of the Jewish people of Israel even from 1947 and earlier has been a source of sorrow, anger, embarrassment. Others are proud, happy, and supremely defensive. For them Israel may go to Hell (as many others think it already has) as long as it continues to exist and its flag to wave.

      So it goes.

  • Israeli settler leader, rejected by Brazil, gets warm welcome in New York
    • I'm glad Brazil refused him: that is the first "action", the first gesture more than "mere words" that I can recall any country doing w.r.t. Israel's int'l lawlessness. But, still, how much bettwer it would have been it Brazil had done a "real" "sanction" such as refusing all impors or refusing to allow people to arive within Brazil with Israeli passports, something along those lines.

      Seen that way, refusing to receive a monstrous politician (aren't they all, mostly?) is pretty thin gruel.

      As for USA or NYC, this monster is a representative: he does not speak here for himself or out of his own opinions or desires, or so I suppose, but out of those of his masters, GoI. And they are the real monsters, altho very welcome in USA and NYC.

      We live in lousy times.

  • 'LA Jews for Peace' proudly endorses platform of 'Movement for Black Lives'
    • "Apartheid" and "genocide" are, among other things, legal terms, perhaps having (as "terrorism"does in the USA's statutes) several legal definitions. Israel may properly be called by these terms under important existing definitions. Mass killing is part of a socially understood definition of genocide, but is not a required part of (some) international definitions.

      As to the use of these term s being unhelpful, this claim appears to me to mean that the use of these terms makes some people (read: Zionists and their fellow travellers) uncomfortable. Since I still hope that continued civil-society pressure against Zionism may someday induce governments to apply sanctions against Israel, I refuse to believe that using these terms is unhelpful -- at least not unhelpful to those who support Palestinian rights.

  • Solidifying behind Clinton, foreign policy establishment gins up a cold war with Russia/Iran
    • Another reason to vote in November for Jill Stein (Green Party). Peaceniks must "send a message" by the only means (contributing $37 to Bernie no longer making much sense) still available, refusing "lesser-evil-ism" and voting for "greater-good". How else will the once decent (but now lizard-like) Democratic Party learn its lesson?

      Douglas Adams
      “It comes from a very ancient democracy, you see..."
      "You mean, it comes from a world of lizards?"
      "No," said Ford, who by this time was a little more rational and coherent than he had been, having finally had the coffee forced down him, "nothing so simple. Nothing anything like so straightforward. On its world, the people are people. The leaders are lizards. The people hate the lizards and the lizards rule the people."
      "Odd," said Arthur, "I thought you said it was a democracy."
      "I did," said Ford. "It is."
      "So," said Arthur, hoping he wasn't sounding ridiculously obtuse, "why don't people get rid of the lizards?"
      "It honestly doesn't occur to them," said Ford. "They've all got the vote, so they all pretty much assume that the government they've voted in more or less approximates to the government they want."
      "You mean they actually vote for the lizards?"
      "Oh yes," said Ford with a shrug, "of course."
      "But," said Arthur, going for the big one again, "why?"
      "Because if they didn't vote for a lizard," said Ford, "the wrong lizard might get in. Got any gin?"
      "I said," said Ford, with an increasing air of urgency creeping into his voice, "have you got any gin?"
      "I'll look. Tell me about the lizards."
      Ford shrugged again.
      "Some people say that the lizards are the best thing that ever happenned to them," he said. "They're completely wrong of course, completely and utterly wrong, but someone's got to say it."
      "But that's terrible," said Arthur.
      "Listen, bud," said Ford, "if I had one Altairian dollar for every time I heard one bit of the Universe look at another bit of the Universe and say 'That's terrible' I wouldn't be sitting here like a lemon looking for a gin.”

      link to

  • When the language of genocide offends us more than ghettoizing another people
  • Israel calls on citizens to ‘turn in’ boycott activists for deportation
    • Gives Israel yet-another-excuse as-if-they-needed-one to deport/deny-entry-to people to whom, presumably, they have earlier granted tourist visas. With all that computing power, you'd think Israel could simply save itself the trouble and deny the visa itself. And much cheaper for the tourist. But saving trouble for the tourist is presumably low on their schedule of priorities.

      Come to think of it, though, being beaten, imprisoned, shot, etc., is actually worse than being deported/denied-entry.

  • Jewish organizations' response to Black Lives Matter platform demonstrates inability to engage with reality in Israel
  • Israel lobby panics about 'spoiled' next generation of American leaders turning against it
    • How can these died-in-the-wool Zionists understand the young Jews (or others) who are deserting Zionism in favor of universal morality?

      Support Bernie/Jill-not-Plutocracy-Hill !!
      Very similar political calls.

      In each case the moral revolutionary (that is the person who perhaps at long last abandons the political manipulators in favor of morality) has to balance loyalty to principle against loyalty to group.

      Well, I've always been a Democrat -- longing for a return of the party to morality -- but I've never been a Zionist. Nevertheless, I can see the tug-of-war for those who have been (or still are) Zionists.

  • Palestinian Foreign Affairs Ministry to World: Stop issuing useless condemnations
    • Well, OK, but why not tell the nations what Palestine would like them to do instead? Might also mention that Israel is not concerned and has never been concerned with "mere words" including the words of many, many UNSC resolutions.

      If words are not enough, then what actions would be better? Palestine, even if it is useless: Tell them! And remind them that they are not powerless in this matter, especially if they act together.

  • Israeli scholar refuses to shut up despite university punishment for saying settlers exhibit 'psychosis'
    • Misterioso: reference please; valuable facts asserted here.

    • Mooser: Yes! Arabs (it is often said by Zionists; I disagree) submit their children to danger in furtherance of an ideology (your choice: anti-Zionism, antisemitism). And here we see that settlers submit their own children to danger in furtherance of another ideology (your choice: Zionism; settlerism; greater Israel-ism, etc.).

      And the fanaticism multiplies because they want to shut-down all mention of the child-threatening ideology (or behavior) and/or its characterization as "psychosis". They don't want their noses rubbed in their own dangerous fanaticism.

      Terrible thing to sacrifice your life, your religion (if you have one), your (other) ideals, etc., to 0service of a human-rights-destroying ideology.

  • 'NY Jewish Week' speaks bluntly of 'Israel firsters' in US politics
    • The people who chiefly get hurt in the bursting of economic "bubbles" (USA's mortgage bubble of 2000-2008 & USA's securitization-of-slave-ownership 1837-ish) are those who hitched their wagons to an ever-more-valuable "market" for the bubbling securities. Bankruptcies, suicides, etc., often follow.

      The people who will chiefly be hurt when the JSIL-First hitch-a-wagon-to-Israel with its ever-more-absurd-and-strident cries of anti-semitism bubble bursts will be Jews (in Israel and elsewhere) especially those who've actually been JSIL-Firsters themselves.

      Read Blumenthal's recent book on Lincoln and read about the vitriol, the mob violence, etc. of the anti-anti-slavery folks (reminiscent of today's anti-anti-Israel, anti-anti-occupation, anti-anti-settlement folks).

      One hopes a bloody outcome will somehow be avoided.

  • Clinton to Palestine: Drop dead
  • Clintonites oppose 'occupation' mention in platform-- as Cornel West says party is 'beholden to AIPAC'
    • >>

      James Zogby, another Sanders surrogate, said that Wexler opposes unilateral actions. “Are settlements unilateral actions?” And, echoing Sanders at the April 14 Democratic debate: “Would you agree or disagree that that [Israeli] self-defense has been disproportionate?”

      “On the question of occupation,” Zogby said, “it has been recognized by every American administration that there is an occupation.”

      << Yes, not only are settlement unilatral as hell (and offensive as hell) but they are universally (outside Israel and parts of USA) as illegal, as several UNSC resolutions attest (or prove).

      Do these hypocritical Dem-Clinton-AIPAC Quizlings think that they would themselves accept someone who wishes to buy their house to jam into their house and occupy room after room of that house, all the while calling for free negotiations?

      (And note: as in parts of NYC, the police who should enforce the laws have been bought off.) see: link to


  • A government blacklist aimed at political beliefs -- NYCLU and UCC come out against Cuomo's BDS order
    • BTW, looks like boycotting American companies (which participate in settlements, for example) is NOT covered here. Hard to say what "target Israel" means. Loose drafting. How about a boycott which targets a company which is registered as a corporation in Israel ("an Israeli corporation")? How about a company which does business in Israel (for whatever reason)?

      We'll see what it "means" as Cuomo fleshes this out. Can an executive order be "void for vagueness"?

    • All to the good. But of course Cuomo knew all this and pretty well knew who'd be in opposition. He's no fool. He also knows the USA Constitution which he swore to uphold (and not to overturn). He doesn;'t care. He's a "witting" subverter of the Constitution, and a "witting" tool of AIPAC et all (Big-Zion).

      Dig We Must (Your Oligarchy At Work for a Better NY!)

  • Please boycott us, Governor Cuomo
    • Neat.

      We ALSO need one more thing. Maybe some state which has got into trouble (especially if oycotted) over bathrooms for trans-folks could publicly state a boycott of NY over the free-speech issue w.r.t. BDS. Or any group that has conferences could boycott NY. There should be CONSEQUENCES for this atrocious behavior. (Didn't Cuomo ever read his oath of office?)

  • Democrats head to a crossroads over Palestinian rights as primary season comes to an end
    • Bernie probably is "for" Israel, but seems NOT to be "for" continuation of the occupation or settlements. This NOT a contradiction. A person can "love Israel" (or whatever) (I don't) but still respect international law, generally accepted human rights values, etc.

      I/P is a situation which cries out for a stern (or moral) "parent" to "Just say no" to the wayward child, Israel. This is not the same as murdering the child. This is not the same as becoming a proponent of BDS. (Saying that Americans have a free-speech right to advocate BDS is not the same as advocating it yourself.) If the whole world told Israel to get back within the pre-1967 ("green line") borders, and declare them as its final and permanent borders, and give back East Jerusalem to the Palestinians, etc., etc., it would NOT be the same as murdering Israel. (Might, of course, feel that way to some religious nationalists.)

  • BDS movement: 'Governor Cuomo is among those standing on the wrong side of history'
  • Chuck Schumer 'worried' that his daughter was not marrying a Jew
    • Nonsense. Parents (if involved, of course, which is another thing entirely -- adult kids get married w/o parents OK) have every rioght to do their best for their kids (arranging and dis-arranging marriage possibilities) with a view to getting their kids into culturally-coherent marriage.

      When I told my parents that I was engaged to a Palestinian who I met in chamber-music-camp, a terrific pianist (like my father), they saw at once that there was TOTAL cultural coherency. We were secular Jews, she a very good person of Quaker (understated Christian) background. No problem.

      But they might have opposed my getting together with an evangelical Christian on the grounds that that would eb absolutely not culturally compatible. (Whether in such case I would have listened is of course another matter.)

      All that said, I favor mixed marriages if the mixture combines compatible differences. Seems Schumer seeks to forbid some mixtures.

  • Green Party candidate for president endorses BDS
    • Wow! Bernie, listen up! This is far more powerful than anything on this subject I've heard (but was I listening) from Bernie.

      This year is a revolutionary election year: Clinton is female (which is revolutionary) but otherwise (as I see it) a straightforward corporatist-oligarchist politician. Trump is very wild and revolutionary against the Republicans and much else American. Sanders revolutionarily rejects the corporatist-oligarchic (post Eisenhauer) manner of USA's governance. Jill Stein (Green) is (as we see here) a human-rights revolutionary.

      And there is global warming climate change (GWCC) to oppose (revolutionary !!) or to fail to oppose (corporatist-oligarchic as matters stand today).

      Long live the revolutions!

  • PEN director praises Charlie Hebdo's courage, then suggests BDS makes students feel 'isolated, vulnerable, threatened'
    • Further, a few snippets from the opinion.

      Roughly: If a boycott is attended by violence, there is a need to separate the protected political speech from the violent behavior. (BDS does not, that I know, involve violence, at least not by the BDS-ers.)

      JUSTICE STEVENS delivered the opinion of the Court.

      The term "concerted action" encompasses unlawful conspiracies and constitutionally protected assemblies. The "looseness and pliability" of legal doctrine applicable to concerted action led Justice Jackson to note that certain joint activities have a "chameleon-like" character. [Footnote 1] The boycott of white merchants in Claiborne County, Miss., that gave rise to this litigation had such a character; it included elements of criminality and elements of majesty.

      Page 458 U. S. 888

      The Mississippi court (which punished the boycott because of violence attending it) said:

      "United States Supreme Court has seen fit to hold boycotts to achieve political ends are not a violation of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1 (1970), after which our statute is patterned. [Footnote 13] Thus, the court rejected two theories of liability that were consistent with a totally voluntary and nonviolent withholding of patronage from the white merchants."* * * "The agreed use of illegal force, violence, and threats against the peace to achieve a goal makes the present state of facts a conspiracy. We know of no instance, and our attention has been drawn to no decision, wherein it has been adjudicated that free speech guaranteed by the First Amendment includes in its protection the right to commit crime."

      Page 458 U. S. 894

      Of course, the petitioners in this case did more than assemble peaceably and discuss among themselves their grievances against governmental and business policy. Other elements of the boycott, however, also involved activities ordinarily safeguarded by the First Amendment. In Thornhill v. Alabama, 310 U. S. 88, the Court held that peaceful picketing was entitled to constitutional protection, even though, in that case, the purpose of the picketing

      "was concededly to advise customers and prospective customers of the relationship existing between the employer and its employees, and thereby to induce such customers not to patronize the employer."

      Page 458 U. S. 909

    • Charlie Hebdo insulted Muslims and that's OK, even if they feel threatened, hated, disrespected, etc. Their feelings are of no account, no-one need curtail Charlie's speech in order to make them feel better, but PEN believes that the asserted (but IMO not proved) feelings (of being threatened) of some people who've been brainwashed to believe that being Jewish means that one must also be Zionist is a sufficient argument to suppre4ss BDS.

      Gov. Guomo (of NY) appears to agree, despite his oath to protect the constitution of the USA which purports to guarantee free speech. He needs to expand his reading to include at least the USA's Supreme Court's decision: NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware Co. 458 U.S. 886 (1982) in whiuch it was held (paraphrase)

      1. The nonviolent elements of petitioners' activities are entitled to the protection of the First Amendment. Pp. 458 U. S. 907-915.

      (a) Through exercise of their First Amendment rights of speech, assembly, association, and petition, rather than through riot or revolution, petitioners sought to bring about political, social, and economic change. Pp. 458 U. S. 907-912.

      (b) While States have broad power to regulate economic activities, there is no comparable right to prohibit peaceful political activity such as that found in the boycott in this case. Pp. 458 U. S. 912-915.

      read entire opinion hee: link to

      Note that this case considered violent behavior which appeared to attend a boycott otherwise non-violent. BDS, by contrast, apepars to be entirely non-violent.

  • Flanked by AIPAC and Israeli consul, Cuomo signs anti-BDS order
    • This Cuomo used to seem an OK guy, not his father to be sure, but OK. Even if a politician. But not now!

      He has sworn an oath of office which, I surmise, commits him to uphold the Constitution of the USA (and of NYS). And the first guarantees free speech (and, as interpreted by the ever vigilant S/C of the USA, guarantees that government will stay out of people's speech flight-path except when that speech creates a clear and present danger -- and a few hundred other exceptions.

      Protecting Israel frmo BDS has not -- yet -- been one of the exceptions. So Cuomo has broken his pwersonal oath as well as violated the usual rules of any government employee.

      Good work AIPAC! Nice work. So far its fascism lite. We're all waiting for the other jackboot to fall.

  • The campaign trail veers east to a key state . . .
  • Ayelet Waldman is going to change the American Jewish relationship to Israel
    • Yakov, I don't know how you relate to this upcoming book as "a professional poker player" or as "a Jew" (as I suppose). It would seem that neither "as" is needed since you can report "as" a human being. And I hope Americans who see this book -- and the reviewer at NYT ! -- will likewise review it "as" human beings.

      The problem in the mainstream USA, as also in Israel I should think. is that these two societies (not Americans generally, but the American mainstream corporatist media and policy-political elite exemplified by the Clinton candidacy) are devoted, convinced militarist-imperialist-interventionists; and the governing Jewish elite in Israel and perhaps most of the Jewish people of Israel as well are likewise devoted, convinced militarist-imperialist-interventionists [as shown in 1948 and 1967 and by the wars into Lebanon and Gaza most recently and the great popularity of settlement and land confiscation]. And people who hold these views, particularly in doctrinaire fashion, will be loathe to approve of a book which seeks to challenge the correctness of this world-view, even when limited to Israel's exemplification of it.

      For all these reasons I doubt the book will get a fair review in NYT or on NPR. But one may hope, for there are some signs that the times are a-changing and even stalwarts such as NYT and NPR may, perchance, notice these changes and approve of them sufficiently to review this book.

      Who knows? Perhaps this book will receive the same degree of favorable notice in the USA that "From Time Immemorial" (Peters) once did. Perhaps Max Blumenthal will be a contributer and reeive favorable notice! We may always hope.

  • Happy 100th birthday Bernard Lewis!
    • If Sephardic Israelis are excluded as such from Zionist tribalism, but are nevertheless urged to be/become good tribal Israelis (of 2nd class, Ashkenazic Israelis having captured permanent 1st class), that means that nihilistic Zionism has deliberately destroyed not only much European Jewish culture (Yiddish), but Sephardic Jewish culture (Sephardic Pride, Arabic as a Jewish language, other Jewish languages), and as noted has deliberately destroyed the memory of the convivencia -- Andalusian multiculturalism before the reconquest by Spanish Christian princes c. 1492 and the Inquisition & exile of all non-Christians: Jews and Muslims -- all for the sinister Zionist purpose of replacing all Jewish history with the holocaust and European antisemitism and using the resulting "victimhood" as perpetual knives in the back of Jewish rapproachment with Israel's neighbors and as perpetual sources of power for Israel over Europe and America. Zionism has exacted a high cost, a very high cost, born chiefly by Palestinians, but also by Sephardim and all others who come under the cruel Zionist iron fist.

      [I can't believe that was one sentence! Was it? No, two.]

  • Leftist and fascist Israeli leaders snuggle at Pride event
    • But not all GayPride participants are good-docile-little-Israelis: as 972 tells us

      link to

      "In the run up to Friday’s Tel Aviv Pride festivities, Israeli LGBTQ activists hung banners and spray-painted anti-occupation graffiti across the city. The signs, which read “Occupation: Israeli Pride” and “You cannot pinkwash the occupation” were hung from bridges at the main entrances to the city. Meanwhile activists graffitied slogans such as “You can’t pink wash occupation” in both Hebrew and English in dozens of locations."

    • I gather that GayPride is "celebrated" by political elites to garner votes (as here) and also to wash Israel pink. It's all politics.

      But the odd-bedfellows aspect? Well, I suppose, we're all Israelis, here, and Israel hasbara is washing pink this week, so we're all in this together.

      And the neo-Nazis (or Kahanists)? They love Gays too? What a wonderful country !

  • 'Everyone's a veteran' in Israel, says Junger. Well, not really
    • Why did Lopate raise the issue (seemingly off the topic of "Tribe") of Israeli soldiers? Just couldn't help himself, hmm?

      BTW, I sense that I have not been a "member of a political tribe" until Sanders showed that there was a way. It's a bad thing, but I nearly take offence from my friends who (proudly?) proclaim that they voted for Clinton and will do it again. Tribes. Justice. Maybe those friends feel tribal about corporate governance.

  • Clinton's foreign policy speech downplays Israel (and leaves out Palestine)
    • And M/E, in that case, is doomed. That is the importance of the Sanders effort and the thoughts of many Sanders-istas about a continuing revolution. Clinton is a creature of the military-industrial-imperialist-interventionist-complex. She doesn't know and cannot imagine another way to "be". And if she somehow wanted (in her heart) to be otherwise, she couldn't imagine a way to break out. She is trapped in her "past", by her fund-raising, and probably by her lack of imagination (and apparent lack of humane principles). Taking her at face value, she believes that America is "great" (and "safe") when it is pulverizing other countries, usually in a push for cheap natural resources and monocultured produce (coffee, bananas, etc., produced by large commercial "farmers" in countries where poor people are disposable, countries with the authoritarian governments that the USA has typically imposed and supported).

    • But it did not speak volumes to people who are accustomed to hearing these "eternal truths". They confirmed the pleasantly-moralistic feeling of "of course we'd protect Israel, it's our duty". Palestine was NEVER mentioned (except as enemies). Just as, in Israel,. Jews have usually referred to Arabs rather than to Palestinians. Not named, not thought of as victims or even as people.

  • Clinton forces dig in against changes to Democratic platform on Israel
    • There must be a way to say that the DemParty supports Israel's security but only if Israel behaves acceptably.

      Israel cannot acceptably continue the occupation after 49 years. Israel cannot acceptably continue the settlement project after 49 years -- and none of the settlers or settlements should ultimately remain in OPTs for so long as they remain occupied because they violate international law and several UNSC resolutions.

      Israel may make peace with the Palestinians and retain whichever settlements and settlers are consistent with that peace; or it may end the settlement project and the occupation. Both paths are consistent with international law and Palestinian human rights. The present one-state regime is not.

    • Page: 15
    • Maybe making both Israel and Saudi Arabia "politically toxic" (great phrase) at the same time, for various reasons? Does USA really need to protect all that oil anymore? (But, realpolitik-ly, how much American debt does SA hold and what can they do with it to hurt us? And later, after oil is really "dead in the ground" (2030 ?), what will/can SA do with all those bonds?

  • Israel commandeers UN for anti-BDS pep rally
    • This meeting (comandeering) at UN is not an anomaly or wrong. After all, there is (or was) an annual day for meetings on Palestine; I've attened a couple over many years.

      But I'm glad to see Israel get flustered about BDS. And even glad about the anti-free-speech work being done (France, USA, maybe UK) at Zionist bidding, because it shows the world Zionist power (if it had any doubt) and menace. People are surely thinking more, these days, about whether the holocaust (or anything else) justifies the fierce racism of the Zionist presence in Palestine (or even the Zionist presence itself). BDS asks only for democracy, non-discrimination, an end of occupation (BDS does not say what is to replace it) and a Palestinian Right of Return (PRoR) for the exiles of 1948 and later (exiles of the continuing Nakba). I think the world will learn this and contrast it with the hysterical Zionist claims that BDS means to destroy Israel -- or to delegitimize Israel as opposed to what Israel has done illegitimately.

  • US thinktank report, co-authored by Israelis, urges collecting 'biometric data' on Palestinians
    • Zios all (all!) have a common trait: excessive failure to be sensitive to ordinary requirements of human rights.

      Anyone know how this horrible proposal (and its American co-authors) can be identified and (roundly) denounced? These side-agreements (all side agreements between USA and Israel) must be seriously resisted including those (if any: ha!) already in place.

  • Top donor to Clinton super PAC is Haim Saban
    • "The establishment just doesn’t get it." They (the establishment core of DemParty) has for a long while thought that DemParty was a Stalinist organization -- at least as to freedom of expression on some issues, Israel being one -- and they "just don't get" that it is actually (or 'in posse') a democracy. And the kindly folks who make up the establishment core of DemParty have become habituated to the notion that sticking up for the DemParty (that is, for its controllers) rather than for the likely voters in a national election (a/k/a "the people") is correct behavior, a duty, just as the controllers of the ZionParty have habituated their ZionPartyMembers to the view that sticking up for TheJewishPeople by supporting the GoI in all things is a duty of all members of TheJewishPeople.

      So BigZion has not merely captured the DemParty (and RepParty) by money-purchase, but has infected many pols with the notion of "duty" to "solidarity" in support of Israel.

      And now this is -- at long last -- being somewhat challenged. Ya gotta love it!

  • By putting the word occupation in scare quotes the New York Times demonstrated everything that is wrong with its coverage of Israel/Palestine
    • "Malcolm Hoenlein, the executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, said he found the inclusion of Dr. West on the committee “disturbing."

      We know how to read this crap. It is 'disturbing" to HIM because ti steps on the toes of his well-oiled political machine, or reveals the deep cracks already in that machine. Poor dear.

      As to the group-think-at-NYT allegation (or "allegation" or "context"), let's ask: where did that group-think (if any) come from? From below? From people acting out their own political fantasies uncoerced and without fear of coercion? Or because of pressure from above, actual, feared, threatened, etc.? My vote (I have no proof and either does the allegator of group-think) that there was over the years a lot of pressure from above. In the 1980s NYT had a lot of pretty good coverage of I/P. I had boxes of clippings (for some reason). Now I don't bother to read NYT on I/P.

  • 'My country right or wrong' -- indoctrination in defense of Israel
    • When all the Zios are panicking, it helps THEM to "go to camp" and "sing all the old Zionist songs". It doesn't make the "songs" true, but helps with social cohesion among the "tribe".

      The corruption, here, is in indoctrinating the young, who should have a right to make their own decisions (and "know" their own "knowledge") about I/P (as about anything else), just as we here at M/W are coming to "know" our own "knowledge". I would say, to coin a term, that young Jewish Americans have a "birthright" (as Americans) to know as much "truth" as they can get.

      But we have a lot of propaganda in America too. And political manipulation. Look at Obama/Lynch/FBI sitting around waiting for the outcome of the Democratic Party convention before reporting on the famous Clinton emails.
      How many times have Americans been told that we are "the greatest nation on earth" and our Congress is "the greatest deliberative body on earth". Gee, maybe the Trump and Sanders supporters don't believe it anymore and are finding their own "truth".

      Soon, the young Jews will discover the "truth" about Israel. and it is not that there is no higher "good" than "circling the wagons".

  • Front-page play for Israel battle shows that Israel has lost the Democratic Party base
    • Article says thagt the direction (of history?) is one-way, and this (like same sex marriage) was sure to happen some day. Well, Perhaps, but there was not at all the same money opposing same-sex marraige as opposing Palestine.

    • lysias: This use by Jabotinsky of "Palestine" etc. is strange because in the early days, the Mandate was called Palestine and everybody were called Palestinians, the symphony orchestra was the Palestine Symphony Orchestra, an orchestra of, by, and for the recent Jewish emigrants from Europe.

      link to

      The Palestine Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1936 under the leadership of Bronislaw Huberman. Huberman, a violinist, at first envisioned an international center for the arts, but instead focused on developing a critically acclaimed symphony orchestra. Conditions in Europe had become such that the orchestra could serve as a haven for persecuted Jewish musicians. Many immigration certificates became available, as the orchestra could provide employment for the refugees. The new immigrants themselves provided fresh talent and energy for cultural pursuits in the yishuv.

      While Huberman continued to work on behalf of the orchestra, Arturo Toscanini agreed to become its first conductor. He was quick to help establish the orchestra's reputation. In addition to drawing talented musicians to the orchestra itself, many other chamber orchestras and groups formed throughout the yishuv.

      In 1948, the orchestra changed its name to the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. The picture presented here is that of Huberman and Toscanini.

  • Tom Friedman needs to get an inoculation (attacking BDS) before he can say how bad Israel is
    • JWalters: "it’s hard to believe he didn’t have the approval of somebody powerful in the control room." Agreed.

      Some people think that NYT is a sort of meritocracy in which, for whatever reason, a lot of Zionists have prominent positions as editorialists and reporters, and their personal bias is what causes their writing to express bias (Zionism); personal bias rather than top-down direction. I am sure, however, that there is also top-down direction or pressure, quite possibly implicit, as well as personal bias, and although Friedman is "big" enough to get away with what he wrote -- he probably had permission.

    • For perspective, though, recall that the USA has supported (and in many cases installed) dictators all over the world. USA F/P is not all nice, the people we deal with are not all nice, and Friedman knows that. The people who are "players" are used to this and "inoculated" against bad feelings because of it. Think of Clinton admiring Kissinger. Makes a sort of sense.

      Israel is different in a way, in that it is "supposed" to be nice, moral -- but isn't. A sort of orphan (holocaust) who then killed his parents (old-fashioned Judaism & Palestinians) ??

    • poor boy, gotta show his credentials, gotta stay a member of the club, gotta protect clinton (and attack sanders) -- even if doing so also protects the donald. sigh.

      circle the wagons, big-zion! tell all the boys that they gotta shape up or ship out. lotta power, that big-zion has.

  • 'Why should we give Israeli investigators a gun to shoot the victims again?': B'Tselem ends cooperation with Israeli military citing total lack of accountability
    • eljay:

      The fact that the soldier shot him (long) after he had thrown a stone (and no report that the stone hit anything, was there?) shows that this shooting (whether toward the head or the leg) was PUNISHMENT and not an attempt to prevent harm to the soldiers.

      American police also seem to be confused about their rights and duties: whether to punish folks they consider to be wrong-doers or whether to arrest them (or whether to do neither). PUNISHMENT is supposed to be the business of jailers AFTER a trial, etc.

  • Hard times: Pro-Israel group will pay young Jews $100 to watch its movies
  • Israel is at war over nature of a Jewish state, and NYT spins it as 'changing of the guard'
    • Poor NYT, balancing competing myths on the head of a pin. Not easy! Let up on them a little! Ole' NYT has this list of things that cannot be said at all, other things that cannot be said earlier than paragraph 32 (and editorials, alas, have fewer paragraphs). All the news and all the views that fit within the Procrustean arrangements to which we have grown accustomed. And other American papers (I suppose) don't dare get ahead of NYT for fear of, * * * what ?

  • Sanders appoints Palestine advocates to committee drafting Democrat's 2016 platform
    • USA can guarantee Issrael's security to its heart's content (Israel's or USA's or both) and sdo so without OKing the occupation or the settlements regime, neither of which is related in any way to Israel's security and both of which -- after 49 years -- must be deemed illegal at international law and violative of UNSC 242.

      So, Mr. Zogby would be justified to ask for a platform plank calling for American support for Israel's security together with (in tandem with) a call for an end of the entire settlements regime and withdrawal of all settlers and demolition of the wall and all settlements over a period of two years, the removal of the settlements to be required and enforced by sanctions unless and until a peace treaty satisfactory to both parties (Israel and Palestine) shall have bee achieved.

  • French premier says 'loathing of Jews' is behind BDS
    • I've never understood THOSE VIEWS of the USA's benefit from its support for Israel, not Chomsky's, no-one's, WHICH STATE that USA benefits from the occupation or settlements.

      Yes, the USA may well benefit from Israel's wars and murderous assaults on Gaza (USA military sees weapons being tested on real live people, after all, and this is of value to USA's military), and we may well benefit from Israel's spying on Arab regimes. But how can the occupation be of value to USA?

      Unless it's merely knee-jerk approval of imperialism when conducted by an ally. That is, "ideological value" rather than actual value to USA.

    • Why was Valls in Israel at the same moment that France is proposing a peace process re-start and Israel is resisting it? Whatever his reason, people who go to Israel seeking to butter-up the Israelis do say things like that: it is straight Israel hasbara. In Israel, Israel is king and "the king can do no wrong". Therefore, by twisted logic, criticism even from outside Israel (where Israel is not king !!!) must be based on antisemitism rather than licit political opinion.

      Shame on Valls, and shame on France which is apparently making further efforts to silence BDS and other criticism of Israel. I wonder how soon the European Courts will be able to rule on whether these anti-free-speech laws must be rescinded. Let us hope the judges are independent and honorable people.

  • 'New York Times' finally tells its readers: Netanyahu is 'dangerous'
    • NYT must let some truth out every once in a while to begin to condition its so-coddled Zionist readers (the rest of its readers don't count) to a different way of thinking; but it cannot afford to be accused of stating such "truths" itself. Hence its rotten reporting. One wonders if NYT would print a criticism of Zionism which stated (what the NYT itself considered to be) lies. That is, can NYT's publication of this op-ed be taken for a sign that NYT believes the truth of what is said?

    • Israel's various assaults agaisnt Gaza were superfluous but not dangerous for Israel (as long as it could avoid censure for war crimes). Attacking neighboring nuclear installations has seemed a winning strategy in the past for Israel (b/c there were no bad consequences for Israel). But attacking Iran might backfire in one way or another, and the USA believed this and therefore avoided that war.

      So attacking Iran would have been no more evil than attacking Gaza, but might have been quite dangerous. I bet "superfluous" here means "dangerous for Israel".

    • Cruel of you otherwise kindly folks to rub Clinton's nose in this, but timely, too, since the DNC (like others) reads the polls and knows that Clinton is falling behind Trump (behind Trump !!) at a time when the DNC and its special non-elected delegates still have time to choose Sanders if they come to see Clinton as a loser.

      We live in a time of extremists being (or feeling that they are) "on a roll". The Netanyahu group in Israel is a prime (and early) example of this. Israel has got where it is today by (as many must see it) ignoring world opinion, law, standards of human rights, etc. And so, being "on a roll", they continue to ignore world opinion and have dissed the French proposal for a renewed peace process. Israel doesn't want its arm twisted. They like the pretend arm-twisting from the USA. But they forget something.

      What Netanyahu & Co. forget is that they'll always get a better deal from a complacent world (as it still is today) than they'll get from an angered or out-of-patience world -- as it may well be tomorrow. And this new government seems as good as any to make the world angry.

      Not that anyone can predict anything accurately, not even the future.

  • Thank you, Chief Rabbi. Now I know: Judaism is to blame for the Nakba
    • Marnie, you ask, What are the rest of humanity, leftovers? The term of art you search for is is: "chopped liver".

      The rest of humanity are then what, chopped liver?

      Your observation is astute: Rabbis appear to believe that there is only one God for all people, Jews and others, but only the Jews have a special relationship, perhaps the relationship of "ownership". But in that case, who owns whom, one is tempted to ask. Maybe God owns the Jews (in which case, does He own the Jews alone?) Maybe the rest of humankind are a sort of living stage-setting, like lichens on land or krill in the oceans, outside considerations of morality or ethics or duty to God or protection by God, etc. In the opinions of the learned rabbis, of course, I mean.

    • YF is right. Rabbis taught that the ingathering of Jews to Zion was something for God to do, and not for Jews to do, so much so that they must do nothing to bring it about, not even pray for it to happen. I think Neturei Karta still teach this. And other orthodox groups. some live in Israel and make use of the state but in some fashion deny that it is a Jewish state.

    • Two things.

      [1] Odd that this great rabbi believes that Zionism is of the essence of Judaism which, if memory serves, came on the scene w/o mention of Zionism, several thousand years before Zionism was announced.

      [2] If, as Israel Shahak has said, strict interpretations of orthodox Judaism call for (and thus are consistent with) cruelty towards non-Jews, it could be said that Zionism (at least the cruelty toward Palestinians part) is indeed part and parcel of Judaism (whether wishy-washy modern secular Jews like it or not). Under this view, the rabbi in the quoted article is correct: Judaism embodies Zionism.

      OK, great, terrific. and the ancient Aztecs (or someone in mezzoamarica) sacrificed people as a religious exercise and people have long been cruel toward others, especially anciently, and the Jews (and perhaps not only the Jews: look at today's Evangelicals) have retained their cruelty and revel in it.

      I wonder if this is what the quoted rabbi meant.

  • Israeli leader's 'extremism' charge makes headlines around the world -- but 10th paragraph in New York Times!
    • Mooser: Nah, not pathetic, just distracted. All these years, he was thinking about something else, never noticed the trend lines. Same distraction seems to be affecting the NYT, too. Catching?

    • Pixel -- you could be right. But I always thought that Israel's slow-and-steady violence-and-cruelty was aimed at never being "bad enough" to get really bad publicity. Of course, Gaza and Lebanon and Mavi Marmara were a bit on the transgressive side, but as bridge players know, if you don't lose some finesses your not taking enough of them.

      But, yes, today's new government and the warnings from two politicians of on-rushing fascism suggest that the glove are coming off. Maybe it IS "final solution" time back at the ranch.

    • Mooser, the USA has installed militaries (supported coups) in many countries including in M/E, so why not in Israel? Surely, in the USA view, military dictatorship is generally the best government (unless "democracy" can be preserved in name but replaced, in actuality, by oligarchy). So, you are absolutely on target -- whatever the form of government, if the USA approves of it, it'll be called 'democracy".

  • Clinton campaign is 'nervous' Sanders will push 'divisive' battle over Democratic platform on Israel
    • Quotes from the new Israeli government should provide Sanders with a lot of ammunition (and pin Clinton's ears back) except, of course, among hard-right Zios.

  • Netanyahu-Lieberman deal tears 'mask off face of Israel' -- but 'NYT' keeps the mask on
  • 'Clinton scares the generals' -- Democratic Party divides over foreign policy
    • Hmm. Jewish money is mentioned in the posting: 1/4 of Repugnican money comes from (those very, very few very, very rich) Jews, and most or a lot more Democratic money comes from similar sources.

      Does this not suggest either that "democracy" among Americans has been very-nearly handed over to (those very, very few very, very rich) Jews or that the oligarchy (the CEOs of the big multinational corporations) is surprisingly made up of folks who "vote" with corporate money in a "Jewish" manner?


    • Our prayers should include: that Dems realize that, looking at State by State polls, Sanders wins the election agasinbt Trump and Clinton loses it (or very dangerously close to); that Dems realize that many Sanders voters will not vote for Clinton; and that Dems realize that Trump will open his barrage on Clinton (if she is Dem candidate) full throttle after she is nominated, which Sanders has not done, and she will become even less popular in the face of that barrage. And finally, that Dems will realize that holding onto the sinking ship of oligarchy-as-usual (and holding onto Clinton) will not satisfy today's young voters in the long run even if they squeak by in 2016.

  • Sharansky disses American Jews for assimilating, then tells 'major donors' to universities to stop BDS
    • Sharanskij: (in effect): "The Jews are the ("the" and not "a") Chosen People, and they were chosen not to be holy, not to behave well in the wider world, but to be insular (so don't assimilate) and, from inside that insular world, to do evil to others (non-Jews).

      And that is insufficient to demonstrate "chosenness": it is also necessary (as we can see from the behavior) to mistreat each other: white Jews (ashkenazi) must/may despise brown Jews (mizrahi), and both must/may despise black Jews (Ethiopian) -- or, if not despising, at least ill-treating and ungenerously treating those lower on this color-tested pecking order.

      And here sit these doddering American Jews, assimilated to the last one, but eager to assert "belongingness" to a so-called Jewish nation and therefore willing to cheer this misanthrope as if he represented something honorable, something desirable, something holy.

      And sitting dodderingly, they listen approvingly to the cruel nonsense -- which their synagogue apparently approves of ! -- that complaint by outsiders at the behavior of Israel is somehow antisemitic. Circle the wagons folks even if you don't live in the wagons and haven't done what the wagon-eers have done and continue to do.

      Sort of reminds me of how, when I go to classical music concerts I often have to sit through one "modern" or "contemporary" piece as well as old favorites -- because the powers that be dictate that concerts must include such pieces (which most of the audience usually find ugly and pointless).

      If only they'd offer me an honorary membership, so I could turn it down!

  • How Eli Lake tricks readers so as to cast realists Walt, Mearsheimer and Freeman as anti-semites
    • I think the Big Zion folks still feel (and why not?) that they rule the USA (and UK) and that folks who rebel are losers who will get no traction. Hence, Hirsch's analysis rolls off Lake's back -- in Lake's opinion. Lake's glad Hirsch spelled his name right.

      I like very much the suggestion that the USA's oligarchy is (to some extent) splitting up on support for Israel -- with Big Oil coming over against the Israeli-Saudi anti-Iran axis. Doesn't the recent fulmination against Saudi (w.r.t. 9/11) sound like a political action is taking place within the oligarchy?

      But cheap oil doesn't only militate against Russia-Iran; it also militates against renewable energy production, which is getting cheaper all the time but is not yet seen as "free" the way nuclear energy used to be advertised. Increasing the price of oil is not as good for Big Oil as they used to think.

      Interesting to see the (scary, of course) death-rattles of Big Oil and Big-Gas (Big coal seems dead) as the USA and the world are (supposed to be) ending use of fossil fuels ASAP.

    • What's "next level" mean?

      Perhaps: "Yes!. Israel's settlements are necessary not only to Israel's security but also to American security and the USA will brook no effort to remove any settlers." How's that?

    • Great article!

      5th columns and 6th senses! And Hirsch's 6th sense is right on and delicious. Let him dissect propaganda anytime! And write it, if need be: "the feverishly-Zionist rag the Jewish Press out of Boro Park". Yikes! Makes the hair stand up on one's head! Move over, Eli Lake!

      "And what if we discover together that 5th columnist is the most appropriate word; well then we are stuck in a situation where the truth is anti-Semitic."

      Errm, yes, but if the "truth" is antisemitic then, errm, it is "antisemitic" -- and there are those who will do their darnedest not to let you say it. ("The greater the truth the greater the libel"). At least, that's the way it works now.

      BTW, "5th columnist" was a propaganda term used against (partisans within) the Republican (anti-fascist) side in the Spanish civil war (1936-39) the use of which epithet caused a great deal of internecine sub-civil warfare, Republicans killing each other (communists killing anarchists). Here, I suppose, someone (Koch Bros ?) is attempting to start a civil war within the foreign policy community to de-throne AIPAC or at least (isn't this the same thing ?) make opposition to it respectable.

  • Liberal Zionist group calls for 'Obama Parameters' to resolve conflict (but no real pressure on Israel)
    • Article: "Obama should nudge the Israelis with “reality checks,” J Street says. That’s a hint that it wants the Obama administration not to veto a resolution against settlements in the UN Security Council, and to support the reported French push for a U.N. resolution aimed at renewing the peace process."

      If (as it seems) the proposed French UNSC move is no more than an attempt to restart (2SS) peace process talks, then WHAT IS the "resolution against settlements in the UNSC" that J-Street is said (above) to be asking USA not to veto. Whose UNSC draft res? What's it going to say: "eliminate all settlements" or just "no more new settlements" ?

      As to "parameters", this is more window dressing, hearkening back to Clinton et al. Of course, if there were force involved, coercion, then "parameters" could turn into a "proposed peace plan, complete with all details, batteries included."

      I've always thought that a complete peace plan was beyond even the notable skills of Israel and the best Palestinians, and was beyond what (never mind that it's Zion-encrusted) the USA could manage.

      That's why I've long thought and said (here and elsewhere) that the best bet is a UNSC resolution, backed up by significant proposed sanctions, which merely (merely!) demands that Israel remove all settlers and dismantle/destroy all settlements buildings and the wall (and end the Gaza blockade) -- giving Israel 2 years (say) time to do all the heavy lifting but only one month or so to publish a plan for getting all that done and for ending the blockade of Gaza, sanctions to kick-in if Israel fails to do the 1-month work or thereafter fails to comply with its own plan. . THIS SORT OF UNSC RES. would not (on its face) aim at "peace" but would, if Israel is sufficiently fearful of having to do the full remove-and-demolish thinggy, surely (IMO) throw Israel into full real-peace-negotiation mode. I cannot imagine any other way to get there. Pressure form the USA alone seems a dead letter, although always remains a theoretical possibility.

  • A brief history of the 'Nakba' in Israel
    • Thanks so much for this wonderful essay on Nakba "historiography", that is, on the history of history-telling about the Nakba. (I don't know if the naively honest early Hebrew books and articles referred to are available today, that is, have not been "book-burned". I hope they too can be translated.)

      You write: "Towards the end of the 80’s historian Benny Morris coined the term “The New Historians”, describing himself and his colleagues who have largely revised Israeli historiography of 1948." They certainly wrote history a different way from the We-Did-No-Wrong Israeli governmental hasbara, but -- did they do "historiography" ? Did they review a thread of different manners of telling the history of the same events, as you have so well done here? Or just tell the new history without comparisons? Perhaps this doesn't matter.

      BTW, you write: "As is evident from the following graph, the year 2011 saw a leap in googling the word “Nakba” in Hebrew." But the "following graph" is missing in this translation. Editors: Maybe it can be put back in?

  • Hillary Clinton supported Iraq war because of Israel, say Matthews and Landler
    • "[T]hat the Iraq war would not have happened without the Israel lobby pushing — is becoming conventional wisdom, now that the lobby split over the Iran war vote and the Iraq war is ancient history." ?? Since when is the lobby split? Suddenly JVP and maybe J-Street are on-a-par with AIPAC? Don't think so.

      But I do begin to think that the Democratic Party (even, just barely possibly, some of the insiders) are beginning to question absolute obsequious obedience to Israel. And the young, with sanders as cheerleader, are far ahead of the party regulars.

      It is so important for us, the alternative press, to hammer away at the stupidity of the Israeli claim to be fearful (or, let us say, to be reasonably fearful) of being wiped out by those ineffective rockets (little better than fireworks) from Gaza which almost never hit anything. why have no serious rockets hit Israel from Lebanon (Hezbollah) or Syria in all these years? Because the would-be shooters, in any, fear Israel too much to start that sort of thing. All this is clear. Israel's "fear" is pure political theater.

  • Israeli settlements 'screwed up' Kerry peace talks, Indyk says--but U.S. is still Israel's lawyer!
    • Nice that he's honest. The EU now has no fig-leaf to cover its own refusal to act; it cannot say that the superpower is an honest broker.

      It must admit that USA's I-am-Israel-lawyer action (or inaction) in peacemaking or enforcement of international law has not brought about peace (or any sort of justice or equality or non-discrimination or protection of Palestinian human rights of Palestinian national rights or Palestinian property rights). It can say, why should it act when the great-and-powerful-Oz (I mean, sorry, USA) has not acted? Or it can elect to act. (It always could -- but now the fig-leaf can be declared obviously gone.)

      Sort of embarrassing, like going into the wrong bathroom: USA was pretending (sort of) all those years to be an honest broker or referee and now is revealed to be a sort of facilitator or enabler of the monster -- all knew this, for many, many years, but now it's "in your face".

      And we wait.

  • The Making of Israel: Zionist settler colonialism in historic Palestine
    • ritzl: Thanks for the thought. Here I see no link to VP ("the source"). At VP I see so many visuals that I have no idea where to go to find THIS one. The "image location" for this one is :

      link to

      which is NOT an address at VP. anyway, broadly speaking, I know the history.

      Every once in a while my use of LINUX/UBUNTU puts me at a disadvantage w.r.t. MS/Windows users. Wonder how APPLE/MAC folks do on this one.

    • I don't get it. What am I missing? The map is just a time-static map, no history there. Is this a java-script problem?

  • When the Knesset comes to town
    • Wonder how this set-to affected the government people there. At least the affair seems to have triggered something usefully educational:

      news accounts inspired more public education and dialog around Israel’s apartheid policies, whitewashing Israel’s stained reputation, and normalization tactics.

      The MKs’ overbearing presence has energized us to redouble our efforts against the occupation and our own country’s deep complicity.

      "Whitewashing"? or calling attention to? Israel’s stained reputation.

  • At Israel's birthday party, ambassador says rising criticism comes from 'killing fields of Europe'
    • The boy wants to see birds fly instead of airplanes-in-formation? His education has been a failure, but fortunately there is still time. " Netanyahu said that Israel should revive the tradition of military parades on its independence day." Yes!!

      If Israel is not about military imperialism, what is it about?

      So, military parades. And at the focus of the parade-review there should be a raised (very raised) dais, with all the officials standing and saluting militarily (as militarily as possible, actually, of course) between huge (actually vast) columns draped with Israeli flags (ideally black, but blue and white will probably have to do). Oh, so patriotic. And maybe also some public executions. Perhaps force prisoners held in administrative detention to chose 10 % of their own number to be sacrificed! That'll show them and the crowds will go wild.

      And the Europeans will tsk-tsk in the best patrician tradition and do nothing else because, after all, they occupy the killing fields of old and have no right to protest anything about Israel, anything at all, ever agian.

      Actually, that's what "Never Again" means: Europeans will never again criticize Israel.

  • Michael Ratner was dedicated to radical social change, with humor and humility
  • Zionism threatens to bring anti-semitism full-circle
    • "assumption that assimilation is bound to fail . " In the USA, most Jews (I believe) are well assimilated and not fearful of that assimilation leading to tragedy.

      However, among Jewish elders and some juniors whose minds have been poisoned, the fear that assimilation might NOT work expresses itself, IMO, in two ways: [1] fervent Zionism (the escape hatch theory of Israel, in case America implodes for Jews); and [2] among the very, very rich, fervent AIPAC-ism, (the theory that Jewish control and domination exercised strongly and relentlessly against other Americans will keep Jews safe rather than exciting (fresh) antisemitism) (a belief that would seem to make Zionism and Israel unnecessary, but who demands consistency in emotional behavior?).

    • yourstruly: You make very important points.

      Let me take your argument in a slightly other direction. Consider the "trajectory" of world opinion/feeling over time. [A:1948] it was very positive toward Israel. Now, [B:2016], it is getting a bit negative even despite the tight censorship over recitation of history/current events by MSM in USA, maybe also in Europe, but hs not swayed the actions of governments very much.

      I see two other significant trajectory "points" .

      [C:First post 2016: governments willing to act]: the nations (UNGA, UNSC) might be ready to attempt to impose some action on Israel.

      [D:Second post 2016: governments and people ready to act from antisemitism]: the people and the governments are inflamed with strong antisemitism presumably as a consequence of some action of Israel's, and we note that today Israel is "on a roll" in becoming ever more nationalist, ever more severe on Palestinians, ever more warlike, ever less democratic, freer with "rabbinic" pronouncements of a very offensive nature to non-Jews. And, oh yes, ever more domineering over the USA. Another possible offensive Israeli action would be refusal to do whatever the nations demanded at time "C" (irrespective of how the nations conveyed their request and whether or not they proposed sanctions for non-compliance).

      I wish very much to believe that point "D" above will not occur before point "C", and that the nations will generate real peace negotiations I/P by demanding that Israel abruptly and definitively and wholly end the settlement project of the West Bank and Golan -- something that would be so expensive ($$) and so distasteful to Israel that it would consider a real peace, whether real-2SS or non-discrim-1SS.

  • Resolution 242 does not mean what you may think it means
    • The boundary between Israel and a projected actual Palestinian State will have to be agreed and as all know today, Israel has no interest in making any agreement of that sort which the PLO or any other Palestinian group could accept.

      If after all these years (almost 50 since 1967) the nations wish to intercede, good luck to them. UNSC 242 might be a guide but all it says is that Israel and Palestine must agree. The nations will have to coerce that agreement or (as we've seen in 49 years) that agreement will not occur.

      What might the nations do to coerce Israel? My recommendation, often made in this space, is that the nations require Israel to remove all settlers, demolish all settlements and the wall, and end the blockade of Gaza -- and do all this in a shortish time, maybe a year or two. and this requirement must require Israel to publish a plan to accomplish all this, and require the publication thereof within a very short time, perhaps a month or two. Failure to publish the plan or to act according to the plan will bring on sanctions. A program of increasingly severe sanctions must accompany this international action. Israel always ignores "mere words".

      So, an international requirement that Israel act backed up by sanctions. The actions required are clearly consistent with or even required by international law, so the international community would not be requiring anything other than a return to international legitimacy.

      Israel may ignore all this and put up with the sanctions. Of course. But my feeling is that if the sanctions are realistic and fierce and begin to be applied in good earnest, Israel will -- not do what is required but -- start negotiating with the Palestinians for peace!

      That is the coercion-towards-peace that I can imagine.

      For what it's worth.

  • Sabeel BDS conference pits local church against Jewish community leaders
    • Great article, terrific op-ed. The best part -- for me -- is that the church and conference stood up to the pressure, held the conference, and answered the devious same-day rabbinical op-ed.

      I think the Braverman op-ed could have been improved, without becoming much longer, by adding a little HISTORY and CURRENT EVENTS.

      As history, he could have said that Palestinian-Jews expelled and sent into exile 85% of the Palestinians-Arabs living in the territory upon which Israel was initially established, its pre-1967 territory, and at least half of that act of expelling was completed before Israel was declared a nation in May 1948 and thus before the armies of the nearby Arab countries entered the fray. Those exiles and their families have never been allowed to go home to their only country and many have remained refugees for 67 years. This act of expelling Arabs (which we now call "ethnic cleansing") was part of Israel's war-plan from the beginning and is thus part of Israel's "original sin".

      I see I've used too many words. Or maybe not. But if Christian Americans (and American newspaper readers) are going to understand why BDS is necessary, they must learn a few things. Perhaps a LINK to a historical web-site would do the trick.

  • American musicians are 'scared sh*tless' their careers 'will be destroyed' if they speak up for Palestinians -- Roger Waters
    • He's right about a career-blackmail. I the 1980s, my wife (a pianist and a Palestinian) learned from one of her musical friends, a professional, that there was (or it was believed that there was) am "Israeli Mafia" in classical music which acted through the musicians' agents and would deny a career to anyone who, having been offered a concert in Israel, turned it down.

      Same mechanism, in a way, that AIPAC uses against politicians. Accept all AIPAC-gigs or we'll support your opponent next election. Just look at the relatively TINY amounts of money AIPAC and Big-Zion generally actually give to politicians. It's not the gifts that turn the trick, but the threat of major gifts to an opponent.

      If the entire USA congress, or a big chunk of it, rebelled against Big-Zion and did it on a single day, a predetermined day of protest and revolt, it would be (IMO) impossible for Big-Zion to punish them all, and its strength would be broken. But the Congress has no way, no secret discipline, to seize on a single day for that protest.

      Even less do all musicians and other entertainers have a disciplined way to confront the Israeli mafia.

  • 'Either Assad or we'll burn the country' - An excerpt from 'Burning Country: Syrians in Revolution and War'
    • Amazing story, dreadful story. The cruelty of a dictator backed into a hole.

      BTW, doesn't this describe the Israeli system: "slower increase in violence against opponents, however, would likely go unchecked.” (UN, EU, USA do not intervene when the violence is so slowly applied).

  • Israel announces yet another new settlement, as U.S. plans to join Europe in fresh criticism
    • Anyone know anything about the possible French UNSC draft resolution? Wouldn't it be a gas if a UNSC Res. were proposed (Israel: remove settlers and demolish settlements and wall, break Gaza blockade -- ELSE SANCTIONS) and the USA did not veto it (say early in January 2017).

      Just wishful thinking, of course! Maybe a SNL skit ??

  • US Jews adopted 'deferential' relationship to Israel, and tabooed dissent so as to preserve US gov't support
    • RHE: The appeal of AIPAC's positions to the USA were never purely (or even mostly) matters of voters or of what a lot of Amerian Jews want. And therefore a change in position of American Jews cannot change American policy. AIPAC is a big part in the American oligarchy, a "BIG" right up there with big-oil, big-pharma, big-defense, and it is not wrong to call it (in that style) big-Zion. Money commands the Congress and President Obama had to work hard to get his Iran deal past the gatekeepers at AIPAC, presumably (we can only guess) with the countervailing help of other (publicly silent) elements of the oligarchy.

      Maybe, just maybe, an American president (but one cannot imagine Hillary Clinton being that president) could move against the occupation by saying that the occupation does not promote Israeli security and the USA, while committed to securing Israel's security, is not committed to support Israel's policies which run counter to American values or interests (such as America's security and that of its armies in the M/E). But any congressperson who said such things would risk the condign punishment that AIPAC reserves for dissident congresspersons. Most are not brave enough and collectively, they have not figured out how to act simulataneously so as to avoid peacemeal punishment by AIPAC.

    • Just: Thanks, great comment.

    • Thanks Phil. Did you sense that the audience at the synagogue was ready to take down the Israeli flag? Is rabbis-afraid-to-talk-about-Israel a good thing because it cuts down on party-line exhortation or a bad thing because it cuts down on humane discussion?

      All this reminds me of the current Clinton-v-Sanders hoo-haw.

      The idea that Democrats must "buy" and support ALL of Clinton's positions merely to avoid Trump misses the point that we "Democrats" have no democracy, and no way to change the "platform" that defines "ALL of Clinton's positions" unless we have freedom to support Sanders -- and also freedom (gulp) to abandon Clinton in a Trump-v-Clinton election. If, for instance, a voter imagines that Trump would be less ready than Clinton to start or continue wars, she might prefer Trump. Just sayin'.

      Our politics is badly screwed up, of course. Like the Jewish community described above that demands its members support Israel and keep their mouths shut (and offers to each Jew, as a reward, that ineffable feeling of being on the winning side, on the controlling side, as AIPAC dictates to USA and American Jews may feel part of that control), the Democratic Party Insiders (the present-day Tammany Hall, The Establishment, those who dance to the tunes piped by the oligarchy) demand that we have no political dissension and try to bury Sanders even before the platform-writing for the Party occurs. Our reward? Party unity. Duh!

      Both the monolithic Democratic Party and the monolithic "American Jewish community" are coming apart and their leaders are demanding loyalty and keep-your-mouth-shut at a time when simple humanity demands that their members protest long-established Establishment positions that are inhumane. People don't want to be "ruled" by oligarchies feathering their own beds (a feudal notion) but want to "rule" by democratically attempting to feather their own collective bed, and Jews may prefer human rights for Palestinians to solidarity with Israel.

      We live in interesting times. Keep the arguments, complaints, and humanism flowing! Long live Mondoweiss!

  • An apologia for Ken Livingstone (What would Buber say?)
    • BTW, Zionists are always saying that other countries (today) have worse human rights records than they do, so why are anti-Zionists picking on Israel and ignoring the others. So, right away, Zionists approve -- by their own actions -- the comparison of Israel's behavior with the behavior of other countries, seemingly giving "license" for such comparisons. So, one might ask, having been given such license, why should anyone be blamed or "antisemitized" for comparing what Israel does/did with what Nazi Germany did? Antisemitism, if there at all, would perhaps reside in an unfair comparison -- perhaps one which bends the facts. And when the question of "bending facts" arises, the question of "who writes the history -- and determines the 'facts' " comes soon on its heels. Are Israel's "revisionist historians" antisemites or truth-tellers? If Israel has indeed closed its (military, diplomatic, governmental) paper archives to historians in favor of censored electronic archive-copies, does this not show Israel manipulating the history, the facts?

    • Good essay, tho it drifts from the English (possibly antisemitic) politicians to the various flavors of Zionism (past: plural, present: unitary). Alluding to the suggestion (rather practical, what?) that UK politicians not use Hitler and Zionism in the same sentence, it proceeds to go over various histories (of Nazi and Zionist settler colonialism) apparently to find similarities and, in any case, in the same breath (or sentence).

      I suppose a central question about antisemitism is this: when is the statement of history, and when are parallel (or comparing) statements of parallel histories, antisemitic?

  • Netanyahu announces 'seminar on Jewish history' in his office-- for European diplomats
    • The UN drafts its resolutions in English and also in French. Apparently, the French version makes it seem that "all" was intended, and pro-Israel wordsmiths changed the English version of 242 (to omit or suggest the absence of "all") without also changing the French version.

      UNSC 242 has a preamble which declares clearly the impermissibility of acquiring territory by war: "Emphasizing the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war " a preamble which (to my mind) implies that the "all" was intended.

    • Israel claims: BDS is antisemitic because it wants the removal of the Jewish state. Some Germans, it appears, desire the removal of the settlements. Germans are not, on this showing, moving according to what Israel says is the BDS program. In the Israeli view, the antisemitic BDS program. But Israel will be steadfast: if it would not agree to the removal of the Jewish state, why would it agree to the removal of the settlements? The settlements, are, certainly, part of Israel, an essential part, a sine qua non. Or so the Israelis make it seem. And thus Germany's asking for removal of the settlements is antisemitic, for whatever other reason could Israel have for warning the Germans (the Germans!) to quit trash talking the settlements?

      What if Germany keeps it up? What if a wolf should come out of the forest, Peter, what then? Will demanding the end of the settlements still be antisemitic? Still be resisted? I hope we get a chance to find out.

      Don't quit now, Germany!

  • Democratic Party is now split over Israel, and Clinton and Sanders represent opposing camps, says Pew
    • I cannot get over the similarity in looks between Clinton and Madelaine Albright, two tough ladies who've learned to master diplomacy (and other diplomats):

      See: link to

      See: link to

    • If Clinton keeps quiet on Israel (really, need she dig herself in deeper?), Sanders is likely to talk most about economics; in which case those who care deeply about status quo in I/P will remember what's been said and -- go with Clinton. If she raises the matter, however, Sanders might have to speak a bit of history and a bit of current events and a bit of I/L, and the American public would then (if MSM repeats this stuff) (a big if) learn and have a chance to slide further from "I" toward "P".

      I think the censorship in the USA is monumental (as NYT shows us every day) and there is a good chance that the clinton-must-win-at-all-costs crowd (the Establishment) as well as the clinton-has-already-won crowd will tend to downplay what Sanders says about anything. And especially on I/P.

  • US and Russia talk peace, make war, in Syria
    • Ain't politics sumpin? Sumpin wunnerful I mean? Cartoon captures this one to a "T".

      I've just finished reading a wonderful book about a dreadful subject, the Spanish civil war 1936-1939 ("Spain in our hearts", Adam Hochschild). That war began with a right-wing military revolt against the elected ("Republican") government. The government was socialist-communist-anarchist, and the USA, UK, and France refused to aid (even to sell arms for fair prices to) the Republican government due to their fierce anti-communism (and American isolationism). That left Stalin's USSR to offer (some) support (and demand much control of the war), further antagonizing the USA.

      Meanwhile, Hitler and Mussolini gave enormous and continuous aid to the "Nationalist" military coup (ultimately led my Spanish fascist/feudalist and subsequent very long-term dictator Francisco Franco) in part to test weapons and tactics in preparation for WWII.

      "International" volunteer soldiers, ambulance drivers, doctors, and nurses went to Spain to join the Republicans, and these included Americans who formed the Abraham Lincoln Brigade (The Quince Brigada, XV Brigade) which took dreadful losses in dead and wounded. American fighting in this war was forbidden by USA and the few soldiers and others who returned alive after 1939 were called "premature anti-fascists" by the FBI which harassed them. In effect, USA (and UK and France) were pro-fascist in those days of the rise of Nazism, even after Hitler invaded Austria and Czechoslovakia, because "neutrality" and a weapons-ban to both sides amounted to capitulation to Hitler/Mussolini/Franco.

      We see something like that today in Syria possibly complicated by the hard-won knowledge that getting rid of M/E dictators often leads (as we already see in Syria and have seen in Iraq and Afghanistan) to a power vacuum followed by a (worse) civil war.

      The USA has long favored stability-maintaining dictators (providing they are adequately anti-Communist) over democracy, world-wide. I think this is one outcome of our long-term system of governance dominated by the "oligarchy/plutocracy/Establishment" of CEOs of major corporations (these days so multinational as hardly to seem "American" anymore) and by billionaire individuals, that is, by big-money folks who like to keep their path to profits uncluttered by the interference they perceive from democracy, socialism, communism, etc., anywhere in the world. (What do they really want? To make the world safe for? Not for democracy, perish the thought, but for neoliberalism, that is, generally unfettered capitalism-cum-oligarchy.)

  • Meet the private contractors manning Israel's checkpoints
    • Isn't capitalism (or is it neoliberalism thee days) really sumpin? Why on earth does any government (which can, as Israel does, conscript soldiers) pay good money to hire civilians to do military work? Answer: to make money for private enterprise at unnecessary government expense. USA has been doing it for years (hiring soldiers -- recall Blackwater) and even analysts to work at CIA, NSA. Of course, training, supervision, and selection of such non-government personnel is not as good as the army (or CIA or NSA) would do, but you cannot have everything, and private profits must be continued (at all costs).

  • Are Clinton and Sanders really all that different on Israel/Palestine?
    • Clinton says "vote for me because I am a consummate mechanic for the engine of governance (by implication -- within our plutocratic, oligarchic, Establishment-dominated system)" and Sanders says "vote for me because I am a human being who cares about other human beings, the environment, etc., and -- quite explicitly -- am NOT in bed with the plutocrats, oligarchs, Establishmentarians (--implicitly -- as Clinton is).

      The Clinton camp (the national Tammany Hall that runs the Democratic national party) are in it to protect their power, wealth, social position, etc., which they hold due to slavish devotion to the whims of their masters, the aforesaid oligarchs, plutocrats, etc (chiefly: CEOs of big multinational corporations which are called American Corporations). Presumably (by all evidence) they believe they will preserve most of their "perks" even if Clinton loses to Trump but not so much if Clinton loses to Sanders.

      I find a sort of quasi totalitarian system in place in the USA by which the corporate masters control most politicians and most (big) media. and they support those who support them -- here Clinton. (Among the Republicans they seem to have no-one to support.) American voters who identify as "Democrats" are told it is their duty to support Clinton, and the political-party-dominated convention delegates are committed (so far) to her. Loyalty is due to those who demand loyalty, not to those who deserve loyalty.

      Kinda reminds me of how AIPAC et al. "tell" American Jews it is their duty to support Israel, whether supporting Israel is good for them or not. And Netanyahu tells the Jews of the world that he is the boss of the country of the Jewish people -- support me and it! because it is your only country. And Jews must stick together and support each other. Loyalty is due to those who demand loyalty, not to those who deserve loyalty.

  • Note to Ken Livingstone: The British Labour party has supported Zionism much more than the Nazis ever did
  • Saying Israel has no right to exist as a Jewish state is not anti-Semitic
    • rosross: And if all religions WERE to be allowed to have their own nationhood and country (territory), would there not be several nations-and-countries of "Jews"? I see several flavors (or even schisms) of Judaism ranging from one or more flavors of orthodoxy (I know nothing of this, but one or several should cover it), reform, conservative, secular -- maybe more! At least FOUR Jewish countries.

      And unnumbered "Protestant" Christian countries, Catholic, Greek orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox (and on and on) other Christian countries. And then all the major and minor religions of Asia and India. And then all the "cults". And never forget all the ancient religions of indigenous peoples (North and South American Indigenes come to mind).

      A lot of the latter would love to have their own country from which they could exclude the unwelcome intrusions of capitalists and industrialists and tree-cutters and oil-drillers. But they are (said to be) within existing nation-states (USA contains what might be a Navaho nation-state) and those containing nations will not give up without a fight.

      Israel got away with military takeover from Palestine -- not because they were a religiously-organized national people but -- because they were far better armed than the Palestinians and had a warlike and acquisitive spirit. And they hold on to their country not because they are a religiously organized population but because they have powerful allies (the USA and global capitalism, apparently) and a strong army and feisty military spirit.

      Nothing like statecraft to remind us of "red in tooth and claw".

    • Mooser: I think Jews may be permitted to say, "After all, haven't I suffered enough?" (I not we).

    • kev: Israel's 'continuing in sin' should include such things as Israel's refusal (for 67 years) to allow the return of the exiles of 1948 (too late for those that died, but many still live, and I count their progeny) ; Israel's expropriation not only of the land of the so-called "absentees" but also of the so-called "present absentees" (Palestinians still living inside Israel, and citizens, but whom Israel has declared "absent" during the war of 1948 from their homes); and many other pre-1967 "sins" against the Palestinians of Israel. And, of course, as you note, the "sins" of the occupation.

    • It is possible, as the BDS program shows, to define what needs to happen in Israel/Palestine without mentioning Zionism or Jews.

      Let me demonstrate.

      In every country, I demand democracy of its citizens and conformity with international law. Having boundaries would not be a bad idea, generally.

      My first concern is a matter of international law: people who have not become citizens elsewhere must be allowed to return to their own country, irrespective of its government. Israel may not exclude itself from the reach of this rule. The exiles of 1948 and 1967 must be allowed to return to territory controlled nowadays by Israel and there to be full citizens.

      My second concern is with democracy. Israel (and every country) must allow all citizens to run for office under all platforms, to be elected, and to legislate as they choose. Any (constitutional) restrictions on all this must be fully non-discriminatory. No discrimination, no censorship, no impediments must exist which would make it impossible, for instance, for the legislature of Israel to pass a law which ends discrimination in favor of Jews and replaces it with discrimination in favor of Muslims or Arabs or Martians.

      Now if lots of Palestinian exiles from 1948 return to Israel and become full citizens, they might become a majority of voters. Under current law, Jews may continue to immigrate into Israel, keeping up Jewish numbers. In 5 or 10 or 15 years, Jews may still be the majority. Or not. If Palestinians become a majority, various laws privileging Jews may be reversed. Or not. Of course. That is democratic.

      So you see that this demand is not antisemitic or even anti-Zionist. It is pro-democracy and pro-international law. Even if it went into effect, it would not necessarily make it impossible for there to be a Jewish state, and I do not oppose that. Perhaps that state would be where Israel is today. Or, of course, elsewhere: in America or in Saudi Arabia -- close allies, both, of Israel's. But ideally it should be located in a place where a lot of people will not have to be displaced to create the state. That's been tried. Bad idea.

  • Advice to British leftwingers on kicking racism out of their anti-Israel rhetoric
    • Mooser: As to “self-hatred” and “internalized antisemitism”.
      What did Marx say about joining clubs? Oh, yes: "I don't care to belong to any club that will have me as a member."

      Well, that's how I've been feeling about the "tribe" since it adopted the loyalty oath requirement, you know, how all Jews gotta loooooove Israel and never, never, say it nay.

      And if I'm not a member of the club (or "tribe") does that make me "self-hating"? No. Surely not; "tribe-hating" at most (where the "tribe" is just the anxiously-pro-Israel subset of the larger "Tribe" of Jews).

      BTW, there's a great new movie out called: "How to stop worrying and not love Israel." (But I heard it bombed in tel Aviv.)

      Don't know where that leaves Phil.

    • Blake: Thanks for pointing out the starting point of outside help for Zionism -- Balfour.

      However, at the moment that WWII was over and Zionist terrorists were hitting the Brits and convincing them it was time to go home, Britain was not (outwardly) granting the nationalist-Zionist wish for a state but, instead, passing the buck to the UN. So Balfour promised "a national home for the Jewish people" which it greatly pleased the nationalist thread of Zionism to interpret as a promise of a state. But the action (first to expel Britain, then to expel most of the Palestinians and seize as much territory as possible) was not done by Nazis, not done by Brits, not even done by UNGA (which after all only made a recommendation in UNGA 181 (partition)) -- but was done by the Zionists themselves.

      And, please note that UDHR (12/10/48) which says that [1] everyone has a right to leave any country ALSO says that [2] everyone has a right to return to (to enter) his own country. And Israel made much use of the first provision (to get Russians out of USSR and into Israel) but has refused to honor the second provision ever since 1948.

    • silamcuz and Emory Riddle: the difference between 19th century and mid 20th is what I meant (my comment above) to point out as a reason why a currently established settler colonial regime was illicit -- and the drafting of the UDHR (adopted December 10. 1948) was certainly on-going in the post WWII period when the long planned but never until then put into effect Zionist seizure of territory and expulsion of that territory's inhabitants took place.

      To silamcuz's list we might add China (Tibet), but most of the list were Anglo (!), so convinced of our rectitude were we that we could wipe out less militarily-prepared people without blushing. And our government is still doing it, world-wide, but keeping it a secret from the more polite (or kindly) public.

    • Remember, one person’s Settler Colonial project of land appropriation is another person’s expression of national self-determination.

      And both are correct.

      Hunh? The best you will allow the anti-Zionist to say is that (expulsive) settler colonialism is not justified by national self-determination?

      "Once upon a time there was a man who robbed a bank and built an orphanage with the money he stole. He was a robber and a philanthropist. Both are true." Hmmm. Usually, if we catch them, we throw robbers in jail.

      If you treat Zionism as an enterprise of self-determination of, for, and by (some) Jews which, in the very nature of things [1] is worth while and above criticism and [2] required expelling most of the Palestinian people (i.e. the "existing non-Jewish population of Palestine") -- then what's to criticize?

      If, OTOH, you don't believe that expulsion of a population was a right and proper thing for ANYONE to do to ANYONE ELSE at that time (which was 1948, when the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was being negotiated), and especially if you also refuse the propriety of "self-determination" for a scattered group of people loosely connected by religion or social ties who (in your view) do not constitute a national group, who did not speak a single national language at the time (not even Yiddish), and especially not a national group with a better claim to Palestine than the Palestinians have) -- then you make the standard anti-Zionist arguments.

  • 'Her absurd generals, her military junk' -- Daniel Berrigan's prophetic speech on Israel in '73
    • Thank you, Phil. It really is refreshing to learn that people of consuming conscience have, sometimes, applied that conscience not only to USA but also to South Africa and Israel. The mention of the biblical justification for war crimes by those three countries is valuable.

      Nowadays many such people are afraid to criticize Israel for fear of the "antisemitic" accusation. Was that happening already at that time, 1973

  • Sy Hersh's 'forbidden statement': Sanders's liberation from NY Jewish money could change US foreign policy
    • Hersh is a brave man and a good man, but (it appears, see below) not a perfect man -- his reporting appears to be flawed by failure to knock the USA as hard as it deserves. Of course, that could be because of the troubles of getting publishers to venture to print EVEN as much as he has been reported on in this post.

      See: link to

      QUOTE: The interviewer asked why Obama is so obsessed to replace Assad in Syria, since «The power vacuum that would ensue would open Syria up to all kinds of jihadi groups»; and Hersh replied that not only he, but the Joint Chiefs of Staff, «nobody could figure out why».

      He said, «Our policy has always been against him [Assad]. Period». This has actually been the case not only since the Party that Assad leads, the Ba’ath Party, was the subject of a shelved CIA coup-plot in 1957 to overthrow and replace it; but, actually, the CIA’s first coup had been not just planned but was carried out in 1949 in Syria, overthrowing there a democratically elected leader, in order to enable a pipeline for the Sauds’ oil to become built through Syria into the largest oil market, Europe; and, construction of the pipeline started the following year.

      But, there were then a succession of Syrian coups (domestic instead of by foreign powers – 1954, 1963, 1966, and, finally, in 1970), concluding in the accession to power of Hafez al-Assad during the 1970 coup. And, the Sauds’ long-planned Trans-Arabia Pipeline has still not been built. The Saudi royal family, who own the world’s largest oil company, Aramco, don’t want to wait any longer.

      Obama is the first US President to have seriously tried to carry out their long-desired «regime change» in Syria, so as to enable not only the Sauds’ Trans-Arabian Pipeline to be built, but also to build through Syria the Qatar-Turkey Gas Pipeline that the Thani royal family (friends of the Sauds) who own Qatar want also to be built there. The US is allied with the Saud family (and with their friends, the royal families of Qatar, Kuwait, UAE, Bahrain, and Oman). Russia is allied with the leaders of Syria – as Russia had earlier been allied with Mossadegh in Iran, Arbenz in Guatemala, Allende in Chile, Hussein in Iraq, Gaddafi in Libya, and Yanukovych in Ukraine (all of whom except Syria’s Ba’ath Party, the US has successfully overthrown).

      Hersh was wrong to say that «nobody could figure out why» Obama is obsessed with overthrowing Assad and his Ba’ath Party, even if nobody that he spoke with was willing to say why. They have all been hired to do a job, which didn’t change even when the Soviet Union ended and the Warsaw Pact was disbanded; and, anyone who has been at this job for as long as those people have, can pretty well figure out what the job actually is – even if Hersh can’t.

    • matt: Right on two counts: the AIPAC money is not "Jewish money" (although there's no better short label for it, unless "Zionist money"); and the money poorer folks give to Sanders, etc., is just as Jewish, but not, in total, "Jewish money" either.

      When I'm being careful I refer to the AIPAC money as "the money of a very, very few very, very rich Jewish Zionists" (and collectively as BIG-ZION) -- and I suppose if I wanted a name for the other money it would be "small contributions from a lot of Americans who are Jews."

      Off topic, I pronounce "AIPAC" as "A-I-pac", not "A-pac" as they want us to do. "A-pac" sounds like A-for-America and although that is true, the "I" is the important letter and deserves to be pronounced separately. And spelling t "Aipac" as some do seems to me ridiculous as if it were a personal name rather than an acronym.

    • Keith --certainly the organized, long-entrenched, power-wielders among the Democratic Party are not (to say the least) a suitable substrate for progressive activism. Hillary is one of them, a good example. In bed with the oligarchs, plays the neoliberal games like a violin.

      For that reason (and, of course, in expectation of his losing), supporters of sanders are suggesting he run for President on the Green Party line, leaving the Trump/Clinton race to be won by whoever is less despised by the most voters -- and in his dust (as they hope or imagine).

      The Dems would rather lose than move left to join the vanguard -- the people. ("Better dead than red", so to speak).

    • hophmi -- yes, perhaps a majority of Americans "support Israel", but all they really know about Israel is that a vast majority of politicians and most of the American MSM say nothing but good about Israel.

      My bet: that as the censorship "rules" in USA's media and political theater loosen up a bit, and there is more talk about Israel's war crimes and oppression of Palestinians and the ethnic cleansing at the beginning (1948) and the refusal to readmit the people expelled (1948-present), Americans will change their mind -- at least as far as supporting Israel in its every demand.

      Would you recommend that we try the experiment? A lot of truth telling in MSM? Israel and its friends can tell all about the holocaust, of course, and the Palestinians and their friends can tell all about what Israel has done. Fair?

  • Trump and the war for 'Western Values'
    • Presidency is a big job, these days, not like in 1800's, too big for one person. Needs a team. But team needs a boss (or bosses).

      With Clinton, the team will be chosen mostly by the bosses, that is, the Oligarchs. And BIG-ZION will contribute a share of neocons. And we will have more war and the destabilizing and destruction of the world (over there) and fewer jobs or other supports for ordinary people (over here). Oh yes, and big banks getting bigger and no CEOs going to jail, no matter what. So we know, or believe we know.

      With Trump we don't know. I suspect Trump's (probably big-money) cronies will have a lot of influence because they're who he knows. But I have no idea. A real crap shoot. And, oh yes, unpleasantness for minorities. and women. Maybe even more "privatization" of national lands, more fabulous public-private partnerships, so rewarding to the private partner, a real bonus for exploitative businessmen. Unless, unlike tigers, Trump changes his stripes.

      With neither will we have any attempt to take big-money out of politics. With Clinton we may have some (some, I suspect not much) rational, perhaps even energetic. response to climate change.

      So, since I live in NY, I suppose I'll "write-in" Bernie Sanders's name on the ballot or vote Green. But I guess I'd prefer Clinton to Trump. A purely Republican government is too much for me to swallow. Climate change is the war we need to fight, not terrorism.


  • BDS or emigration: pick one
    • "both Benn and those he’s trying to exhort are interested in maintaining the ethnocracy rather than in de-colonizing the land."

      And, I'd add, rather than in defining the land (that place, you know, with "recognized borders") and rather than specifying a willingness to live in a land (let's agree to call it "Israel") smaller even than pre-1967 Israel (aka "Israel-48") or at least no larger.

      They want what they took in 1948, and they want what they walled-in from 1967-til-today in West Bank, just as if they took it fair and square (which raises the same question about Israel-48). If anyone, anyone at all, in Jewish Israel wishes BDS were a magic bullet, what magic is it they wish it'd do? Dare they say it out loud? In Israel, in these days?

  • Jeffrey Goldberg terrorizes peers into silence over his daily intellectual and moral outrages
    • Kay24 quotes this part of a greater delusion: "Israel battled to thwart attacks on its people".

      The problem is this: "Who, exactly, are Israel's people?" If Israel is going to great lengths to avoid harm to its people, why and who and how?

      In my book, a country's people are the people who were living there when the government changed and that includes the 750,000 Palestinians who were permanently exiled in and forever after 1948. And their kids and grandkids ad infinitem.

      Their book has it differently: We wanted, desired, were due, were entitled to, blah blah blah, a predominantly Jewish country and we did what it took to arrange to have just that. Yea!! Yippee! And now we fight those we expelled, calling them "enemies", "terrorists", "infiltrators" and we call upon all the Jews of the world -- and upon everyone else -- to say it's OK for us to have done the one and to do the other. No crime here, not by us anyhow. The nerve to suggest crime! The very nerve!

      The Palestinians were the older inhabitants of Palestine in 1900-1950; they were the parents. The Jews were the intruders, the bad children who murdered (so to speak) their parents and then asked the mercy due to orphans. Or something. (Doesn't quite work, does it?)

    • "You guys are the mystery. All the deceit, the witch hunts, character assassinations, the hysteria, the fanaticism. You guys act like a bunch of Bolsheviks."

      All the deceit! Too delicious to pass this one up, quoting myself from a comment yesterday:

      In his excellent review of the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) "Spain In Our Hearts", Adam Hochschild reports how a representative of Stalin in Republican (democratic, non-Franco, anti-fascist) Spain berated a newspaper reporter who told a (damaging) truth about the Republican forces:

      Yes, Koltsev answered cuttingly, those are the facts. How extraordinarily observant and truthful you are -- You've done more harm than thirty British M.P.'s working for Franco. And then you expect me to shake hands with you. * * * You,as the French say, have lost an excellent opportunity to keep your mouth shut. // Koltsev and [Claud] Cockburn insisted that the duty of a committed journalist was to write whatever was necessary to win the war.

      And the NYT, which clearly adopts the Stalinist wisdom, regards itself, never doubt it, as "at war".

      And as clearly, James and Jeffrey are at war, too, and although the clear-headed will notice their transgressions, fearful tribe-members will be frightened into continuing subservience.

  • Beinart's Jewish double-bind: Support oppression or you're out of the family
    • This is definitely NOT a case of "we must hang together or, assuredly, we shall hang separately". Jews who elect morality in favor of "solidarity" (and being"enablers" of a sick pseudo-relative) need not hang either way.

      And people who reject Zionism-in-practice (all can participate!) can write-in the name "Bernie" (or "Donna Edwards") on any relevant election.

      "So Jews who have been taught to hate oppression but taught that we must support Israel are in a classic double bind, of our own making". Well, Jews are asked (or told) to support Israel and to support human rights, and clearly cannot do both. But as noted (by me above) the request (from huge flocks of Jews, true) to Jews to be and remain "enablers" of the criminal Zionism-in-practice (because of some perhaps misguided fealty to some flavor of zionism-in-abstraction) is a request that everyone can refuse.

  • 'Allies for Armegeddon': The GOP candidates on Israel/Palestine
  • 'NYT' touts an Israel apologist's book
    • ABC nailed it.

      And it is the USA's job (and American Jews too, no doubt) to protect that "tiny village" and prevent it coming to harm when the volcano explodes!

    • In his excellent review of the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) "Spain In Our Hearts", Adam Hochschild reports how a representative of Stalin in Republican (democratic, non-Franco, anti-fascist) Spain berated a newspaper reporter who told a (damaging) truth about the Republican forces:

      Yes, Koltsev answered cuttingly, those are the facts. How extraordinarily observant and truthful you are -- You've done more harm than thirty British M.P.'s working for Franco. And then you expect me to shake hands with you. * * * You,as the French say, have lost an excellent opportunity to keep your mouth shut. // Koltsev and [Claud] Cockburn insisted that the duty of a committed journalist was to write whatever was necessary to win the war.

      And the NYT, which clearly adopts the Stalinist wisdom, regards itself, never doubt it, as "at war".

  • Woman and child killed in Iraq as US adopts Israeli 'knocker' bombs and leaflet drops
  • It is time to stop celebrating Jewish dissent in the Palestine solidarity movement
    • I agree entirely that, in the broad discourse, Jewish voices should not be "privileged" in the I/P discussion. Most of all, Jews should not sit alone in front of microphones, as they so often do. And Jews of mild-Zionist or Liberal-Zionist tendencies should not be permitted/encouraged to speak as if they were allies of Palestinians. Or as if they "understand" Palestinians. And least of all to speak "for" Palestinians.

      However, a lot of the discussions on I/P are happening within Jewish communities (or so we hope) and within those communities, the label "Jewish" is a prerequisite for "voices".

      As someone who was married for 24 years to a Palestinian-American and who met (in and near Cambridge, Mass.) many Bir Zeit people there (at Harvard and MIT) for educational purposes in the 1980s, I feel I have some slight knowledge. But I know that I did not (nor did my wife) suffer under the Israeli heel, nor did I participate in discussions among Palestinians about "what should be done". So I feel I am an ally and stick to broadcasting "the facts", leaving it to others how the future should play out. Indeed I like the BDS demands rather more for their failure to announce a preference for 1SS or 2SS (or something else).

      These things said, I think the long-standing American tendency (especially among the "polite" /and spineless, principles-less ?/ upper class and upper middle class) to say, in effect, "I cannot criticize Israel because some of my friends are Jews" -- and for those people (and for many Jews, too, for the same reason) to hear "Jewish Voices" for Palestine in public (non-Jewish-community) discussion is valuable as a corrective to the idea that Jews are (or should be) in lock-step. Hearing "Jewish Voices" for Palestine "gives people permission" to change their outlook and then to speak out themselves.

  • Norman Finkelstein on Sanders, the first intifada, BDS, and ten years of unemployment
    • Keith: See my comment above on getting Money out of Politics. Your remarks are exactly correct. The "Big Money" that controls the USA's POLs and MSM is increasingly controlled by and spent by the CEOs of major international corporations who are promoting and then profiting hugely from the Investor-Protection-Treaties (called Free-Trade Treaties) such as NAFTA (done deal) and TPP and TIPP (proposed). Nations are being demoted to the state of (powerless) feudal baronies while the corporations become the kings (actually emperors) of the whole world. so, in this sense, "nation states" are somewhat obsolete. But if the power were ever to be exercised to undo the NAFTA,TPP matrix of control (and long-lasting pharmaceutical patents and much else), that power would likely be exercised by nation states.

    • In a way, many of Israel's war-crimes have already been exposed and ho-hummed by the MSM and POLs. A consequence of Zionism-in-action. But the result is that they are not hammered to the American public. USA scarcely even pretends, any more, to a human rights agenda. While we're bombing Arabs, how excited can we get about Israel killing, stealing from, exploiting, oppressing Palestinians -- who have often been associated with or called "terrorists"?

      Exposing Israel for what it is is a job of ours, of BDS, etc. Governments are not going to take on that job and are going to oppose it when anyone tries to do it. They know which side their bread is buttered on. (Money in Politics 101.)

      Thus, one example of the importance of the Sanders (or "Occupy" or Revolutionary) movement to oppose big money control of government (and -- one should add -- to oppose big money owning or otherwise controlling big media. MSM) is he possibility of generating American human-rights action on the side of Palestinians.

      Quixotic remark: I don't see how to take forward the Revolution while MSM can be owned or controlled by Big Money. If "freedom of speech and press" is taken to mean that big money is allowed to own or control MSM, then what help is it to remove Big Money. somewhat, from direct political control? Of course, I'm an old fuddy-duddy who doesn't understand all the so-called social-media -- maybe there is an un-moneyed end-run around MSM.

  • Donna Edwards ends insurgent campaign by taking on Democratic Party orthodoxy, and supporters vow to continue the fight
    • All of us who look a little different, who talk a little different…for all of us standing on the outside of the Democratic party, it is time for us to call the question,” she added before walking off the stage to loud applause from about a hundred supporters who chanted “Donna! Donna! Donna!”

      Her supporters called it right. I am "white" and I admit I look a little different from Donna. And I talk a little different from Donna, I expect. She should not be talking about herself looking and talking "a little different" unless she means from the Party Bosses, The Oligarchs, the Managers of the BIG Money. America has a lot of "accents" and "colors". Nothing to "admit" but something to be proud of. And Congress should look and sound a lot more diverse.

      Maybe Donna's supporters will join the Sanders folks who will not agree to vote for Clinton (and thus for the Oligarchy, for Endless War, for Banks TBTF with CEOs TITJ). It appears that pro-Sanders Americans (actually or very nearly) outnumber pro-Clinton Americans (to say nothing of pro-Trump Americans) because of Sanders's support from independents; -- and if Clinton wins the Dem nomination in spite of all this, then the Dem Party needs to hear from its FDR/Sanders branch VERY LOUD AND VERY CLEAR -- WE ARE TIRED OF THIS PARTY OF THE OLIGARCHS.

      And if not now, then when? So, Donna, tell all Americans, tell all the rainbow, tell all the black and brown supporters of Clinton, that there is -- that there must be --another way.

  • Palestinian astrophysicist arrested and jailed for second time in 15 months
  • American University of Beirut students protest in support of Steven Salaita as school president intervenes to cancel hiring process
    • Who can doubt the "reach" of AIPAC? Imagine not only firing a teacher but seeking to close all similar avenues of employment. How does $15/hour (minimum wage coming someday soon to theaters near you) sound to you -- that is, if you can get a job at all?

  • NYU and UMass Graduate Employee unions vote to divest from Israeli apartheid
    • From: link to

      Shemayah and Avtalyon received from them. Shemayah says, "Love work, hate lordship and do not become familiar with the government." (Israel: listen up!)

      He [Rabbi Hillel] used to say: If I am not for me, who will be for me? And when I am for myself alone, what am I? And if not now, then when? (Those who are for Israel alone, listen up!)

      Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel says, "On three things the world stands: on judgment, on truth and on peace, as it is said (Zachariah 8:16), 'Judge truth and the justice of peace in your gates.'" (I have heard this paraphrased, but by whom I don't know, "Truth, Justice, and Peace, and in that order.")

  • Sanders 'put everything on the line' for Palestine because BDS movement has changed US conversation -- Peled
    • I am curious about the claims, by many people, that [1] 2SS is dead and [2] therefore they support 1SS.

      The "therefore" seems curious to me. Israel has implemented a 1SS apartheid system, clearly, as all (here) agree. And, unless adequate pressure to prevent it occur, this apartheid 1SS will go on forever (and get worse: continuing land grabs and other pressure on Palestinians to leave). So a "1SS-Jewish" seems possible if Israel can expel enough Palestinians, and a "1SS-apartheid" to continue otherwise.

      But no "1SS-democratic" is in the cards at this time.

      Now let us imagine (sadly we may only imagine) a force strong enough and focused enough to pressure Israel to do away with 1SS-apartheid. OK, faced with that force, which way would Israel jump? [1] Expel all the Palestinians and get to "1SS-democratic-Jewish"; [2] give the Palestinians (WB&G) the vote and full citizenship with the right to become a majority with majority legislative power ("1SS-democratic-mixed"); [3] back off and allow the Palestinians to make a new-mini-Palestine in WB&G (2SS).

      Why does anyone believe that if push came to shove, Israel would opt for 1SS-democratic-mixed? Wouldn't that be seen as the "destruction of Israel ("The Jewish State")" ? Would they wish to hold the lands of the WB so much that they would be willing to sacrifice their "Jewish" State? Would there have to be a redistribution of lands (in ALL The Land) to provide 50-50 land holdings for Jews and Palestinians? Can anyone see that happening?

      So, as I say, I am curious. If Mr. Peled sees this comment maybe he will respond.

  • Chabon calls occupation 'the most grievous injustice I have ever seen in my life' and says he is 'culpable'
    • abc: Yeah, it's a bad job, but someone's got to do it.

    • BTW, did American newspeople ever have trouble telling the terrible truth about things that America officially disapproved of? Anyway, Chabon is right: Hemingway and George Orwell were powerfully honest writers -- about, among other things, the civil war in which the Spanish fascists, aided by Hitler and Mussolini, took over of Spain in 1936-39.

    • Guys, it's not really about hophmi's moral compass. He's only one person. It's about Israel's moral compass and the moral compass of the US Jewish Establishment/Oligarchy, and the moral compass of all those synagogues out there which are reflexively pro-Israel and have nothing to say about the injustice.

      I guess somewhere there is a (so-called) "moralist" who is saying, "I fear, I really do fear, that somewhere someone is thinking about revving up another holocaust, and as long as anyone, anywhere can be surmised to be thinking along those lines, then NO crime by Israel can be complained about."

      And saying that with a straight face although Israel has the 4th most powerful army in the world. (Ahem!)

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