Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 5566 (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 5566 - 5501

  • Honor Edward Said's legacy by supporting BDS
    • BDS does not quite say "no compromise with the privileged oppressor". Nearly perhaps, because it does say "no discrimination" and also "no further refusal to allow readmission of the refugees". In other words, it almost says, "stop being bad". But it does not call for the removal of the privileged oppressors who stole Palestine from the Palestinians by force of arms (their own and, earlier, British).

      OTOH, Zionists will see every part of the call for justice that BDS makes as a call for eradication of exactly what makes Israel precious to them -- discrimination in favor of Jews, continued and permanent dispossession of the 85% of resident Palestinians expelled in 1948 and their progeny, that is, continued non-readmittal of the very people, roughly, who would have been living in pre-1967 Israel had no expulsion ever taken place.

      Zionists want Palestinians and all others to understand the horrors of the holocaust and to sympathize with them -- but makes no allowance in their own hearts or anyone else's for sympathy for the Palestinians whom Zionists wronged.

      What a tragedy.

  • 'Beholden to AIPAC' -- progressive senators Warren, Murphy, Brown sign letter seeking to limit Obama's actions
    • 12/88. Brave 12.
      Sordid 88. senators from the sovereign State (of the USA) of Israel.
      BTW the French initiative does not (as described here) sound like much of a muchness. More mere words, which Israel has always ignored.
      What's needed is a demand from the UNSC -- backed by spelled-out and increasable sanctions for non-compliance -- that Israel remove all settlers and remove all settlements buildings, all within specified and short time spans, from all territories occupied in 1967 and still occupied, and a lifting of the siege on Gaza.

      That would mark international recognition of international law. More going-after-peace will not.

  • NYU pro-Israel group blocks public from IDF terrorism talk at last minute
  • Powell emails expose depth of media self-censorship re Israeli nukes
    • Americans having a false conversation about Iran's (and Israel's) nukes? Perish the perish! And after so very many years having non-false conversations about Israel & Palestine, hunh?

      "Hunh?" indeed. Why be surprised?

      As to "Not even the old Mutual Assured Destruction doctrine that preserved peace between the U.S. and the [USSR]." See my essay on quite a different topic: the-new-mutually-assured-destruction

  • ADL throws Netanyahu under the bus to try to make new friends
    • Yes, ADL's "We love nice cuddly Israel and we detest nasty, prickly Netanyahu" does seem somehow to say that isral is nice and cuddly.

      We await ADL and others saying, "Yes we used to think Israel was cuddly, as it was supposed to be and as we were all taught in Hebrew school, but sadly it isn't and never was. It was all a lie. Now let's try to make it at least decent if not actually cuddly."

  • Hillary Clinton should lean on her friend Pfizer to drop high cost of pneumonia vaccine
    • And "progressive Americans" are all supposed to vote for Clinton -- and give money to DemParty, etc., in spite of the fact that her loyalty is to the Pfizers of the world and not to the people of the world (or of the USA). We're trapped, the idea is, because Trump would be worse, say on the shooting-from-the-hip on war or on Supreme Court appointments.

      Am I scared enough NOT to vote for Jill Stein (in New York state where Clinton seems, so far, WAY ahead)?

      Too bad we ("progressives") cannot enforce a rule that candidates and parties must either take money ONLY from "the people" (as Bernie Sanders did) or ONLY from the plutocrats (as Clinton and many Dems do). Then at least, we'd not be plagued by requests for funds for DemParty and Clinton who would seem devoted to "doing us all in".

  • Amos Oz would never stand in the street in Tel Aviv shouting 'Kill all the Arabs'
    • Being a Zionist may, perhaps, once upon a time have meant supporting the creation of "a Jewish home (or state) in Palestine as a refuge for Jews. "A" home, "a" state, "some" state.

      But even before 1947, this ideology survived only as a slogan for innocents, because the new driving doctrine was that a Zionist demanded "a big Jewish state", all of Palestine. And, even more, they wanted it without non-Jews. The Zionists wanted the geography without the demography, the land without its people. This is quite different from wanting (and "deserving") "a" home, "a" state, "some" state. This is what the war of 1948 showed, and the war of 1967 perfected.

      So after Britain appeared (Balfour) to promise to Jews a national home within Palestine whilst preserving the rights of the Palestinians (the "existing non-Jewish population"), and after UNGA 181 suggested one form of partition, again with rights of existing populations protected, the Zionists demanded, and took by force, most of Palestine and expelled most of the Palestinians. So much for "deserved" (unless in their own eyes). And so much for protecting existing populations.

      But Zionists are dishonest, so they continue to say they have a right to what they have taken by force, calling "this state" "a state", and for them to say that "this Israel has no right to exist" is deemed to mean "no Israel would have a right to exist". Thus, if Palestinians would -- I don't say they would, I say "if" -- allow a small purely Jewish enclave to exist within Palestine, maybe 1/4 the size of Palestine, this would satisfy the "a state" formula but would not satisfy today's Zionists who want it all. (BTW, the Jewish population of Israel is about that of NYC and would fit in NYC, about 1/10 the size of Palestine I once figured. I wonder if I was right on the arithmetic.)

      Just want it to be clear. And to be more clear, wishing to remove (or reconfigure or repopulate) today's Israel is not, in my view, antisemitic; it is merely a wish (a very Jewish sort of wish at that) to repair the world, to repair a great and terrible damage done by the greedy Zionists.

  • Why I single out Israel
    • Great article. I like best the argument that American Zionists themselves "single out Israel" (for praise, social support, giving, political support, etc.) but object when you also single out Israel, this time for criticism, BDS activism, etc.

      Now if you were in no way a Jew (or a Palestinian), it would make less sense. But as a Jew raised in Zionism, it makes every sort of sense. The teachers, the dominant and dominating community wanted you be obsessed with Israel, and so you are.


  • Jeffrey Goldberg will be silent till he finds a way to spin all the bad-for-the-Jews news from Israel
  • 'NY Times' rigs a purported news article to push U.S. escalation in Syria
  • The United States of Innocence -- the worldview of Major Todd Pierce (retired), Part 2
    • The problem of gov't control, of "liberal" subservience to big-money (a/k/a "corporate") ideology goes much farther than issues if war-and-peace, surveillance, etc. If "fascism" is a danger, it is a danger in every way possible, not just war-peace, surveillance.

      Overall, our "system" -- gov't-media-entertainment-corporations -- has been ignoring or greatly underplaying the dangers of global warming/climate change (GWCC) and the consequential need for immediate action to forestall GWCC. Just look at how little any government inside the USA is doing. There are some exceptions, but I don't read about them, I don't see them. It's still "ho-hum". It's still "we have years and even decades to do" what we should have begun to do in 1970.

      As for me, in 1980 I first learned about I/P and became engrossed with it. It was my chief preoccupation until recently. Then I was as unaware of GWCC as I was unaware of I/P in 1970s. Now GWCC is far greater concern for me, because when all the world suffers, I/P becomes small potatoes and all Palestinians will suffer more. Increasing water shortages and heat waves and storms, etc., is likely world-wide (though not uniformly) and reactions to water shortage et al. will inevitably be partly a climate thing and partly a political thing.

      So when USA ignores GWCC, ensuring that environmental tragedies will become increasingly horrible in later years, it is a result of political and economic manipulation. And government/corporate/media controls.

      Call that manipulation "fascism" if that label suits you.

      But recognize that such "fascism" goes -- in its threats to humankind -- well beyond matters of war and peace. In the nuclear war "game" there used to be talk of "assured mutual destruction", threats of retaliation used to prevent nuclear war. OK, perhaps those threats worked. So far, nuclear war has indeed been avoided. But today, multinational and especially USA's inactivity to forestall GWCC guarantees mutual destruction itself, and is not a strategy to prevent some climate threat. It is a strategy to assure destruction. Each day we wait, more destruction is guaranteed.

      See my hysterical essay: link to

      I feel like one of those long-derided-in-the-cartoons people who walk around with signs saying "The End Of The World Is Nigh". I don't like carrying that sign. But I don't like the truth of its message either.

      I wish that everyone who analyzes what's going on these days would make a point of including action (or inaction) on GWCC as part of his/her message.

  • There's no room on campus to be progressive and pro-Israel
    • I should think PEP Zionists could continue to support all other (or many other) progressive causes (that is, except Palestine). Why not? I have many friends who support Hillary Clinton and did so when there was a choice to support Bernie Sanders; and others who adopted Hillary after Bernie lost within the (hardly progressive) DNC. They are still my friends and they continue to support many worthy causes.

      My guess: the PEP Zionists are seeking to demand support for Zionism from progressives in groups unrelated to I/P. Sorry, I mean P/I. Gosh, what a slip.

  • Many leftwing Israelis are leaving the country -- 'Forward' breaks an important story
    • So: hat’s off to the Forward and Zonszein for breaking a story that is in the mainstream’s lap. The New York Times or New Yorker should have done this story. They didn’t because they do not want to confront the political crisis that Israel is experiencing, before the world’s eyes, with Haaretz writers and military leaders speaking openly of Nazi and fascistic trends in the society, and the occupation entering its fiftieth year.

      "In the mainstream's lap" ??? Hardly. As you say, the NYT and New Yorker have not picked up this story.

      My take? I have no way to know how numerous the folks are who are contemplating leaving Israel. But the problems facing those who are are very interesting as a human-interest story. Those who reflexively support Zionism (NYT and NY among them) will, of course, not wish to tell either story -- neither the emigration story nor the human interest story. which makes one wonder shy Forward did publish it. I guess it is merely a dirty-laundry story "within the Jewish family".

  • Months after saying he won't appear at Israeli foreign ministry events, Amos Oz will do just that in Paris
  • '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.

    • 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".

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