Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 5443 (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 5443 - 5401

  • 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
    • 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!)

  • Obama's November surprise
    • If Obama would submit a draft UNSC resolution to recall that the settlements are present in violation of I/L and demand, with sanctions for non-compliance, they be removed, on a tight schedule -- 1 year for removal of settlers, 2 years for removal (demolition) of settlement buildings -- then (see below) the USA would not need to take the unnecessary and unworkable step of dictating peace or demanding peace upon a set of "parameters" (what are "parameters" anyhow but some sort of diktats).

      If the UNSC would recognize the timeliness (at nearly 50 years of very belligerent occupation) of such a resolution, and recognize it as merely a very late but still appropriate act of enforcement of I/L and nothing further, then Israel -- facing a vastly expensive political and economic and social catastrophe -- might begin serious negotiations with PLO (or whoever). Or might begin threatening or dropping nukes here or there, if "existential threat" seemed the way to go.

      Negotiations for what? Their choice. Maybe 2SS. Maybe 1SS with democratic guarantees.

      One difficulty there (maybe "parameters" would be better?) is that by now the PLO may have dissolved into such non-representative, co-opted, corrupted subservience to USA/Israel that such "negotiations" would be dictated by Israel.

      Would the UNSC go along? Not sure. Europeans have been very slow to put any sort of pressure on Israel. November-December-January is a short time to engineer and put into effect such a momentous thing with no prior diplomacy (as we must assume).

      Still, even if it didn't work, any USA effort at all to break the continuity and inevitability of occupation-now-and-forever would be a good thing.

  • Sanders's leftwing base made him take on Netanyahu
    • Alert: People are openly questioning USA's friendship with Saudi Arabia (because of the terrorism, including 9/11/2001) flowing from S-A's Wahabbism) (and not, I think, because to Yemen-today). Well, we are over a barrel, I imagine since S-A owns so much of America (they invested lots of oil money here over the years) (gives "Buy America[n]" a new meaning).

      OK, and Israel has us over a barrel since they have nukes and are crazy enough to use them, maybe even against us, if one of their ridiculous "red lines" is crossed (you know, "existential threats" get out of hand).

      Maybe neither of them has us over a barrel. and who can say if Sanders's "base" moved him on I/P or if the debates/campaign forced him to do something he didn't start out doing, namely, talk foreign policy. I think he had a learning curve, and I'm delighted where he came out. Also, off-point a bit, I'm delighted he spoke at the Vatican conference so eloquently about ethical governance and wealth inequality:

      link to

  • Sanders' unprecedented call for 'justice and peace' marks decline of lobby's power
    • Pseudo-quote: "And no Jewish organization has figured out how to deal -- with the new (horrible) (anti-Zionist) situation."

      Too bad they cannot use the Zionist-word to describe themselves: it would have been correct to say that "no Zionist organization has figured out how to deal -- with the new (horrible) (anti-Zionist) situation."

      It still makes me angry -- why I cannot imagine, they've been doing it so long -- that they say Jewish when they should say Zionist.

  • 'NY Times' publishes op-ed writer's blatant falsehood about Palestinians without blinking an eye
    • There is, of course a web-site to damn NYT misreporting on I/P, link to

      My guess about this "they will expel 6 million Jews" claim is that the writer "learned" this fact (and his link in support, from some tendentious AIPAC-like website and never himself checked.

      The better question is why NYT decided to publish this guy (his "creds"?) and failed to check his facts. Maybe they never do for explicitly "opinion" pieces.

      I myself have regularly called for the expulsion of all Israelis from OPTs (OPTs-67) as a preliminary to a peace-deal, but I always mean (and often remember to say) they should return to Israel, be repatriated, etc. I don't mean expulsion from Israel-48, even if I (also) believe that to be part of OPT (OPT-48). I suppose my "logic" is that since the world recognizes Israel-48 as a state and in many cases says (from time to time) that the boundaries of Israel-48 are Israel's boundaries (even if Israel itself does not say so), I should go along with the world.

      Isn't it wonderful, or a splendid coincidence, that there are 6 million Jewish Israelis so that the magic number "6,000,000" can once again be used by Zionists in emotional argumentation!

  • Sanders hires a Jewish critic of Israel, as Clinton gets 'Daily News' nod as 'warrior realist'
    • "As Bernstein says, it was a mainstream NY position. Partly, surely, because NY is the financial empire and that makes it a conservative place. But undoubtedly too, because NY is the seat of the rightwing Israel lobby, which was pushing for the war– in defiance of US Jewish opinion by and large. Israel and Benjamin Netanyahu were pushing the war as a good thing. AIPAC was pushing the war",

      That going to war was a mainstream NY position (back in the3 day) I don't question. It was in some sense a mainstream USA position. Why should NYS be different? But he explanation here confuses me. Does Wall Street speak in a special voice (which cannot be heard outside NYS) to NY? to NYT? Does AIPAC? If US Jewish opinion was opposed to war, and AIPAC was in favor, why would Jews TODAY favor Clinton over Sanders, when she was opposed to Jewish opinion and he was consistent with it? Ass I said, the text is confusing.

  • Trump supporters in New York take on ISIS
    • Does anyone believe that they hate us because of our freedoms? Or do they just disbelieve THAT but fail to think what that "they" might feel like because of having American armies over there -- occupying space in their countries -- and, moreover, those armies shooting everyone up, the drones taking out wedding parties, the ceaseless fear in drone-lands of explosions out of the sky, for no apparent reason, killing and destroying? They should be grateful? And not hate "us"?

      Do Americans ever think? Reflect? Do they ever ask why the oligarchs (the establishment) (the government) (the Big Money) wants American armies "over there" in the first place?: And by what right? and -- while I'm on a rant -- why the BIGs refuse to pay taxes to support those armies?

  • Israeli journalist Derfner succinctly analyzes the anti-Semitism vs. anti-Zionism debate
    • I like that he cuts through the question -- by ignoring it -- of whether Zionism is today's version of Judaism and, therefore, a "religion" (as opposed to a nationalist political movement) with ther often-stated consequence that anti-Zionism is, precisely, anti-semitism. He ignores this silliness.

      And of course looking at numbers (or percentages), he says that the percent of antisemites among anti-Zionists is small and the number of anti-Muslims among Zionists is large. Let's all remember that.

  • Israel demands correction from Sanders: it killed only 532 Palestinian children in summer 2014
    • Afaw: "if you know Judaism and the Torah, its forbidden for israel to exist."

      Well, not exactly. It used to be held (and still is in some orthodox circles) that it was contra-Talmud for a Jew to take any action whatever to bring about the return (in gathering) of Jews to Zion. It could be argued that Israel was created by non-Jews (non-orthodox) and no sin for them (their sin was apostasy I suppose). Well, since I myself am far from orthodox * * *. Anyhow, be that as it may, a lot of people who call themselves Jews have replaced a great portion -- if not all -- of their Judaism with a sort of worship of Israel (or fealty to Israel). I guess they dumped the Talmud overboard.

    • I think the Pope invited Sanders, not the other way around. But I love it. Two powerful, ethical reformers. However the trip cuts seriously into campaigning for NY.

    • Sanders said something like, "I don't know how many people Israel killed, was it 10,000?"
      They're ignoring that he had NOT studied the matter and was remembering something vague. Anyhow, why is 10,000 a "libel" (or "blood libel") when 1500 or 2000 (1500+500 kids, perhaps adding was improper) would have been truth and (one imagines, but who knows with these bozos) NOT libel.

      I see a good outcome of this criticism.

      The USA will see the badgering that Israel & AIPAC (Big-ZION) apply to non-cowering politicians & they won't like it. Second, Sanders can get the numbers straight and correct his "guess" with numbers that, I would think, would be WORSE than the 10,000 if he includes bombing of Lebanon in two recent attacks or even going back to Sabra and Shatila, but with particular attention to the killing of Lebanese civilians and bombing of hospitals (in ALL attacks, I believe) (as I recall)(hmmm, hmmmm).

  • Why Clinton's Iraq decision matters
    • Krugman! One imagines that he has an "iron rice bowl" as long as he supports the Institutional Democratic Party (the party, today, of Clinton) and is willing to spout any sort of nonsense to retain his position on NYT. Shouldn't it be enough to be a professor with tenure, as I imagine, as for instance Chomsky is or was, and have a right to speak truth to power instead of feeling a need to speak falsehood to the editorial board of the NYT (and in public, too!).

    • Page: 54
  • The Jewish-Israeli navel-gazers
    • The banality of evil, indeed, but it is important for those outside this banality to call attention to it -- and to call it by its name, "evil". If some of the perps are, like all perps, I suppose, too self-involved to see it, the worse for them.

      Yesterday I spent several hours walking through a mostly-Hispanic neighborhood in Brooklyn, canvassing Democratic voters about their likelihood of voting for Sanders (or, of course, for Clinton). And often I thought about all the people who probably thought about the Democratic Party as a party "of the people" and hadn't noticed what it had become under Bill Clinton and Obama and others, people who dimly recalled FDR and felt comfortable "being" Democrats (perhaps as Israeli-Jews feel comfortable "being Jews") without noticing that what they were busy "being" was a far cry from what Democrats were in the 1940s, 1950s. Or maybe mine is a false nostalgia or resulting from listening too exclusively to what my parents told me. Maybe nothing has changed. For Democrats. And maybe Jews were ever thus.

  • Zionism is not really secular
    • I think that if if Zionism is a religion, that religion is a sort of "Golden Calf" religion -- putting Israel as an idol, by Zionists, in place and "before" the God of the Jews.

      But if, as this article seems to suggest, Zionism is a mere rabbinic interpretation of something, (of what, one wonders), so that he can say -- and invites others to say -- that Jewish belief, including belief by secular Jews, in the religious importance of Israel to Jews is a religious belief and not (merely) a political swangdangle, then we come down -- as we always do anyway -- to the question of power: Israel today belongs to Jewish Israelis not because they hold a particular religious belief (or even a particular nationalist political belief) but because they had the power to acquire it and the power to displace the Palestinians.

      Now, as we also recall, Hitler had the power to displace the Jews (and many others) from his (also spreading outward) domain, and he did it with great vigor and, of course, with more killing, than the Zionists have used for their displacement of Palestinians. But it came down to power.

      So, with power the essential element of the story, the question of religion does not arise, I should think.

      And if Zionist Jews on American campuses want to say that anti-Zionism is antisemitism, or that anti-Zionism makes them fearful, I answer them thus: you may believe what you like and I and my anti-Zionist friends may believe what we like. These beliefs do not conflict, because they are held by different people. We do not care what you believe and do not seek to change your minds. (We may seek to change other minds however.) Go to your places of worship and do your thing. But we are Americans and have the freedom -- until we lose it -- to protest what we consider to be odious politics. and we intend to do so. And the Zionist practices (of making realities of the Zionist ideas) are political actions, not acts of religiousity.

      And if anyone now-a-days seeks to resurrect a cannibalistic or human-sacrifice religion, however ancient, however sincerely held, they must expect that any attempt they make to put it into practice will be met with political or legal resistance. Just as Zionism-in-practice is met with political or legal resistance.

  • Bernie Sanders' record on Palestine
    • Amazing research. Disappointing result. Sanders still seems less "abject" than the alternatives.

      For me, the importance of issues is this: [1] fighting against Global Warming [2] fighting against (so much/any) BigMoney in politics, [3] Justice for Palestine.

      [[1] and [2] are perhaps in the wrong order, since getting [2] is probably necessary to get [1]. but if we could get to [1] without doing [2] that'd be better than vice-versa.

      I've been staunchly pro-Palestine since 1980, but if the world must end, solving I/P becomes rather unimportant. Or so I see it. I know, many people think Global Warming has no urgency or even no reality; I think it is a "The End Of The Wold Is Nigh" sort of thing.

  • Washington Post propagandist for Israel warns Sanders to stay away from the subject, forever
    • Sanders, the "poker player"? Love it! Or, in the alternative, squandering his campaign by carelessness on I/P.

      Could it be that he -- who has for so long had only a very few central political positions, but who sees what Clinton is about -- has calculated (it's still a gamble of course, calculation in politics is a poker game) -- that adopting a "human rights for Palestine" approach is positive for a progressive candidate in today's USA. Please recall the drift away from Israel-First "even" among Demo rank-and-file in recent years.

      Let's hope all this wasn't just a careless blunder.

  • 'Zionism is nationalism, not Judaism,' a former Hebrew school teacher explains
    • My guess? Tzvia Their prefers (as terminology) "The Zionist Entity" to "Israel" -- and probably does not like the use of the Star of David on the Israeli flag -- because these are both appropriations of religious symbols by a political movement which is at least distinct from the religion and at most antipathetic to it (as she believes and many orthodox Jews also believe).

      Now some people are at pains to point out that there are many flavors of Judaism, and Zionism might just be one of them, to which many folks formerly adherents of another flavor of Judaism have switched. But that scarcely give this one particular flavor" (that is, Zionism -- the nationalist quasi-Golden-Calf-type-of-religious outgrowth of Judaism) to appropriate all those Jewish symbols and pretend to be THE country of THE Jews.

  • Sanders is in Jewish tradition that rejected exceptionalist nationalism of Zionism
    • I've spent 35 years (since 1980, roughly) immersed in I/P. My views have not changed but my sense of proportion tells me that the TWO great political goals (for me anyhow) are interconnected: [1] starting urgent work to avert daily-worsening (mostly future) climate change and [2] getting big money out of politics.

      Sanders has the "right stuff" on big-money and climate change. Clinton is "more of the same".

      For whatever it matters, I think that there is a world of importance in Sanders's refusal to kow-tow to AIPAC. think how easy it would have been for Sanders to "do a Trump" at AIPAC. I think the Sanders-I/P-skeptics are misled.

  • NYT Public Editor: It is impossible to accurately cover Sheldon Adelson without employing anti-Semitic stereotypes 
  • A 'Genius' approach for fixing New York Times pro-Israel bias
    • MW: Do you demand context about the horrible situation of the Palestinian people in NYT reporting? Well, then, give some yourself.

      Context: NYT, like most of USA's MSM, operates within "occupied territory", occupied by a state of mind which privileges views sympathetic to the Establishment/Oligarchs/Plutocrats over and suppressing any view (or news) which takes a contrary position.

      It is not only Palestine (where the oligarch is Big-Zion a/k/a AIPAC et al.)

      Consider global warming/climate change (GWCC).

      Nowhere in USA's MSM do you find declarations of 'emergency' or 'urgency' of 'the need for an immediate war against the causes of GWCC'. The causes being wrapped up in rampant capitalism. For them (the media) it's just la-di-da let international (neoliberal) capitalism do its oppressive thing, though the heavens fall (or the waters rise) -- indeed, though the earth perish in fire and water and drought and storm and all the other perils not merely promised to arise due to GWCC but (in small ways so far) already happening. And make no mistake: capitalism is already arranging to get rich off the steps to replace fossil-fueled electric generation with "green" electric generation.

      So, which MSM are supporting that upstart Jew, Bernie Sanders, against AIPAC and the Big-Banks and all the other "BIGs"? Are there any? No. They live within occupied territory.

      Remember "Occupy wall Street" ? Well, the reality is that politics (and NYT) are "occupied by Wall Street" (and other BIGs such as NRA and Kochs and AIPAC).

      The NYT substitutes for "the highest ideals of journalism" the sordid business of getting along to go along. with the BIGs. The Palestinians are not the only people suffering.

  • Eric Alterman contradicts himself about anti-Semitism on campus
    • He says BDS is thriving "in spite of" (any) antisemitism (of some adherents). Great. He doesn't say how much A/S. He doesn't say it is much. He says it is "tainted". I think he is just saying what he is (he supposes) supposed to say. How could there NOT be A/S?

      Altman's message: BDS is thriving legitimately. I'm satisfied with that!

      As to A/S, how can one prove a negative? I could not say that there is NO A/S among BDS folks. And so what? I don't like that "ignore the message if you'd prefer to shoot the messenger" business. Even an A/S can argue BDS forcefully and "legitimately" focusing only in what Israel does.

  • 'Road to South Africa has never been shorter' -- as U of Chicago launches divestment campaign
  • Why I chose to get arrested at AIPAC
    • Many thanks to the Code Pink-ers! Real bravery!

      Yes, people in Flint and elsewhere in USA need money which is begrudged them whereas Israel always gets its money!

      How much? Well, people usually say $3B/yr, but it's a lot more than that and growing. I'd like to say (even if it's not true) $6B/yr, because "6B" has a peculiar resonance for Israel.

      Is Israel today just a reformulation of those Jews who lived near Jerusalem before 1900 ("since time immemorial") many of whom studied all day, did no other work, and lived off donations from pious Jews in diaspora? Well, sort of, though most do not study all day. But they do -- in a sense -- live off donations from diaspora, with much of these donations not coming from pious Jews but from GoUSA -- a prisoner-of-Zion, if ever there were one, held to ransom by AIPAC.

      I'd like to stop those donations, both for Flint et al., and also to "make a statement" for the USA, namely, "Free at last!". And if Israel could no longer twist USA around its little finger , it might have a harder time getting away with all the crap with the Palestinians.

      Dream away, pabelmont!

  • Young liberal Zionists, it's time to let go and move on
    • I get it. I really do. The LZ's want polite dialog (and by polite they also mean dialog which begins by allowing the correctness of the Zionist idea of a Jewish 'right' to a homeland inside Palestine). Nowadays, the idea is gaining traction outside LZ circles that Zionists stole Palestine (OK, call it colonization & expulsion), and that the Palestinians have a right to get it back, or something like that. This idea, by gaining traction, makes LZ's feel unsafe, uncomfortable, and all the other un's. "No," they say, "we had a right to a Jewish homeland!"
      OK, perhaps, the others say, but did you also have a right to take it away from someone else? Would you have "had a right" to settle your "homeland" in central London? In Manhattan? No? Then where does your "right" to Palestine come from?

      Etc. ad naus.

      Looks like progress to me,. When the LZ kids in London learn to see their core-belief-propositions from other points of view, they will also (maybe) have psychic progress (that or mental breakdowns or descent into Kahanism).

  • A history of silencing Israeli army whistleblowers – from 1948 until today
    • If Israel wants to keep its historical vaults closed, how comes it that they are open? Or are they still closed and the letter (Shabtai Kaplan) about the massacre was in a shoebox in someone's attic?

  • Testifying before the City University of New York's Task Force on Anti-Semitism
    • They might not need a "working definition. It may suffice to decide the question based on what ZOA says. You'd think a complaint about a school group would be required to be brought by another school group or student of teacher. How can a random outside group, you know like #NeverTrump for instance, have "standing" to get such a business started? Surely if there were a list of complaints made by Jewish (I mean Zionist) students, then Hillel or a Jewish Students' Club or the offended students as individuals or as a group could bring the "charges".

      It's as if the generalized societal fear of Jewish POWER makes CUNY cave in to any outside group (or person?) who merely calls itself/himself Jewish. And whatever happened to that exceedingly excellent question, Who Is A Jew? In this case, Who the Hell is ZOA?

  • What if Bernie Sanders had delivered his speech at AIPAC!?
  • Zionism is finally in the news, as officials seek to conflate anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism
    • A religion may have all sorts of tenets. One asks its adherents to use peyote, another tells them "Next year in Jerusalem". For 2000 years, "Next year in Jerusalem" was not regarded by anyone as a recipe for political or military action. It was just religion. And the peyote users probably stopped using it wherever it was banned (as the USA may well have done -- the USA is hard on what it considers "narcotics").

      Assuming that the USA may have arrested folks for using peyote, I much doubt they arrested anyone for espousing a religion that called for the use of peyote. (Or human sacrifice, for that matter.)

      Religion is a matter of beliefs together with recipes for behavior, but people are punished for bad behavior, not for bad beliefs.

      Israel sprang into existence by acts of politics and terror and war. And it severely affected the Palestinian people in doing so. Anti-Zionists are reacting to and opposing acts, not beliefs. Not even the belief that "Israel has a right to exist" which is a cock-a-mamie idea since the idea itself, as so expressed, sets no territorial boundaries and doesn't tell us if Israel has a right to exclusive possession of the whole world, of the entire Middle East, of all of Palestine, of Israel-48, or of something smaller or something else. Either does that idea say anything about the rights of the proper inhabitants of whatever territory Israel "has a right to exist" upon.

      For 2000 years, almost no Jews lived near Jerusalem, and few wanted to. Thus the Jewish religion -- as it was before it began worshipping Israel -- had no Israel fixation at all. Anti-Zionism therefore does not oppose ANY tenet of Judaism, but opposes only a vastly destructive political-terrorist-military enterprise.

  • Trump 'has no business being president' because he would be 'neutral' to Israel -- Clinton tells AIPAC
    • I wonder if big-banks, big-defense, big-pharma demand such a display of grovelling subservient loyalty-oath-spewing slavery of the politicians upon which they spend their political money as does big-ZIon. In the 50s what with fear-of-Communism and all, and McCarthy too, there were loyalty oaths required here and there, and some brave universities refused to fire professors who would not take the loyalty oaths or testify before Congressional investigative committees.

      [1951] Over 500 students crowded a lecture hall and corridors at Boston University yesterday to hear Dirk Struik, suspended M.I.T. professor, attack the president's loyalty oath. Struik, now under indictment on charges of conspiracy to overthrow the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, was sponsored by the B. U. Progressives.

      The loyalty oath, and succeeding intimidation of Americans has struck at the very basis of academic freedom, and persecuted some of the country's leading citizens, Struik said.

      Later, he insisted that he was a Marxist, and not a Communist.

      Clinton and big-Zion make me sick. Stalinism in action. See More of the Same with Hillary Clinton will not be Good for America

  • 'NYT' finally mentions 'Goliath' -- in rightwing ad smearing Max Blumenthal
    • Well, at least NYT didn't print the smear as if there were "truth" or even "truthiness" to it: an "ad" is worse than an opinion piece, because the NYT is more likely (or so I believe) to print an "ad" no matter what it says than an opinion piece, where they may (goodness, do they really?) impose censorship.

      Be that as it may, an antidote to NYT may be read in David Shulman's piece "Israel: The Broken Silence" a multi-book review) in the NY Review Of Books..

  • El Al captain indoctrinates the passengers, but only in Hebrew
    • Gee Kay, I dunno. whenever I fly on some USA airline, the pilot always comes on and says, "The temperature in Houston is 78-degrees, the sky is overcast, and isn't America the greatest country in the world, not just this world, but in all possible worlds?

      Of course he does, It's just human nature.

      Seriously now folks, these guys get paid to do their jobs, and Mr. El Al has a more comprehensive job than merely flying a plane and announcing the weather in Berlin.

  • Goldberg on Obama's Syria credibility 'crisis'
    • Why has so much in history gone wrong from the ascendancy of Little corporals? Or is it just a matter of a "little corporal" (Napoleon) complex?

    • Fabulous article and research, Annie.

      Quote: the day he defied *** America’s frustrating, high-maintenance allies in the Middle East—countries, he complains privately to friends and advisers, that seek to exploit American “muscle” for their own narrow and sectarian ends.

      Could this mean Israel? Perish the thought. OTOH, Goldberg seems a neocon whose sole interest is advancing Zionist goals? So could be.

      But, you ask, why didn't Obama go to war, when doing so would have pleased Goldberg so much? (Goldberg is wroth that Obama didn't comply with Goldberg's desires. No fun to stop being bossman.)

      Quote: We are told that Congress had “little interest” in a strike but he doesn’t tell us why. U.S. lawmakers weren’t down with the strike — and for good reason: the American public didn’t want another war in the Middle East.

      Ahh. OK. Got it.

      The great and sovereign American public and its ever-responsive Congress (to say nothing of the never-to-be-named Establishment/Oligarchy/Plutocracy, to which Congress is ordinarily ever-responsive) didn't want him to go to war, and he acceded to their desires.

      Could it be that all or most of these folks saw no threat to USA interests in the Syrian revolutionary war (and there was no oil)? E.g., we're tired of wars fought to aid others where the is nothing in it for us?

      So Goldberg/Israel/neocon-artists-generally wanted war and didn't get it. Now Assad/Iran sit on Israel's northern border, at war with ISIS today, but there's always tomorrow.. This will be called an "existential danger" ™ to Israel but will not be called a reason to comply with international law or to make peace with the Palestinians (or Syrians).

      BTW, the "credibility fetish" of the think tanks & pundits (that is, paid pressure groups, armed partisans of The Lobby) is not so much about USA's defensive (or offensive) power, but in their own power over administrations: they don't like being told that their advice ("asks") are ignorable.

      So it goes. But they'll have better luck if Clinton is elected. And many Republicans will prefer her to Trump.

  • Rubio's defeat means the downfall of neoconservatives
    • lysias: Hillary a warmonger? Yes. A big-bankster? Yes. In the pocket of the BIGs generally? Yes. Obscenely pro-Israel-hard-line (I distinguish this from pro-Israel-but-strongly-condemning-occupation-and-settlements)? Yes.

      I just sent Bernie some more $$. I think he'll lose, but what can you do?
      FYI: link to

  • Over 60 Massachusetts organizations protest ‘anti BDS’ legislation
    • Hi, Nancy!

      As to: "Legislation that bars BDS activity by private groups, whether corporations or universities, strikes at the heart of First Amendment-protected free speech, will be challenged in the courts and is likely to be struck down.”"

      As matters stand. you are probably right, though maybe not for publicly-supported universities which might fear loss of funding.

      But step back a moment and consider "Citizens United" and related S/C nonsense about allowing corporations to do politics.

      I am a proponent of a constitutional amendment to make it illegal, in America, for any entity but a human person to "take political action" in America or to pay someone else to do so (say, by donating to a PAC or political party or political campaign or advocacy organization).

      I don't like corporations taking political stands. Or giving money (or jobs) to politicians (or their close relatives). Or publishing political ads. And, to be consistent, speaking out against (or for) BDS.

      But my position is full of holes.

      Universities, newspapers, publishing houses are all out there doing "speech", claiming First Amendment rights, and "taking political action" (as I see it) by trying to change people's minds.

      Anyone have an idea how to get me out of my hole?

  • What brought you to be critical of Israel?
    • This is a terrific story. One thing I noticed and had to jump to comment upon was "I do not think it is necessary to have any particular experiences as an Israeli in order to come to a critical view of Israeli history. It can be taken on by any person, Jew or not, Israeli or not, worldwide".

      Why? Because when I was part of pro-Palestine sidewalk demonstrations in NYC, people (Israelis?) often said, "Have you lived in Israel? Then how can you criticize it?" And Ofir takes the opposite view.

      I think one might ask many people, very much including Israelis, this question: "Did you live through the holocaust? did you live in one of the extermination camps? No? Then how can you know about the holocaust, and how can you criticize the Germans?"

      The answer is the same: one can read and anyone who reads has to decide what to believe if there is a choice.

  • What Bernie Sanders should say at AIPAC (and cause a political revolution)
    • Phil, What fun to write someone else's speech! I once wrote one for the Pope and was astounded to see some (hardly all) of my points in a speech of his. (No, he couldn't really call for birth control and abortion, whatever the state of the earth's human overpopulation.)

      And then to add "Raucous applause". (Again, writing someone else's speech!).

      Love the speech. Hope one of his aides reads it and shows it to him. Don't all pols need a "rabbi" ?

  • 'Hi pal. I love you' and 'Russia has seen the lord' -- loopy Biden froths over Netanyahu
  • Clinton's date to pander at AIPAC leaves an opening for Sanders, you'd think
    • There are so many political fights that pols are invited to take sides in. I think Sanders has decided where to concentrate, to "pick his fights", and sees no advantage to his campaign by becoming outspoken either as pro-Palestine or pro-human-rights or pro-international law. He might -- just might -- drift in that direction a bit now and again, dipping his toe in that water, but that's not where his votes will come from. Or so he probably believes.

      A straight-out policy announcement that because the settlements are an obstacle to peace AND illegal therefore USA policy should be to demand the removal of the settlers and perhaps the dismantling of the settlements themselves would make he entire nation stand up and take notice, sure, resolute honest rectitude can be popular, but Kennedy got assassinated and etc etc etc.

  • A Jerusalem Pilgrim in New York
    • Sometimes the choir needs to pep itself up by a communal gathering. Many churches which have, perhaps, given up on the old-time-religion, still exist and meet to serve as a community gathering place.

      It's not all bad, preaching to the choir, but of course more is needed.

  • Netanyahu slams Abbas in wake of killing of American tourist
    • Kris: Thanks for list. Rachel Corrie was death-by-bulldozer, but Furkan Dogan was a shooting, quasi act-of-war but maybe war-crime etc. And USS Liberty is great example.

    • abc: shooting is a legitimate state-government activity. USA does it (army, police). Stabbing might be OK if Israel-State did it (tho not governmental arms of choice: guns, drones, big bombs) but Palestine is not a state, has no legitimate state government, and anyhow, it seems not to have been a PA killing.

      Does that answer your question? BTW, when did Israel kill/shoot an American?

  • Public Theater made a 'firm commitment' to Palestinian play-- I wouldn't have contributed otherwise
    • The suppression of Palestinian POV is so broad in the USA that it amazes me that TFT ever got a promise from The Public. Remember Al Hakawati (see above)? Remember Boston Symphony firing contracted-narrator Vanessa Redgrave? Same old, same old.

      The more significant suppression in the USA (tho not usually of importance on this website) is the suppression of urgent advocacy w.r.t. minimizing damage from global warming/climate change. We do -- thank God -- hear a lot about GWCC, but hardly a peep about urgency of mitigation. SAME MECHANISM!

  • Israeli 'left' comes up with plan to segregate and disenfranchise 200,000 'enemy' Palestinians
    • If the proposal is for Israel to devolve a portion of its territory, "annexed" (East) Jerusalem (de-annex it, deaccess it), then that annexation was not so permanent I guess. Or not so real.

      Yes, maybe it is finally time for all Palestinians living in what Israel calls "Israel" (a 78% + ?? 3% subset of what Israelis call the Land of Israel) to accept citizenship and the vote. The Palestinians living in Israel-48 have already done so. Let those living in Israel-67-48 do so now. And vote! Let Israel "feel" what a "democratic" 1SS feels like. See if they like it.

  • A totalitarian democracy
    • Quote" Zionism is the totalising and ubiquitous force that underlies all aspects of the citizens’ development and behaviour. It infiltrates and defines their lives from kindergarten, through primary school, middle school and secondary school, through the army, through the work place, through the media, through public discourse, in short through every conduit imaginable. The citizens of the state are formed and created by that state in the most exacting and totalising of ways."

      The omnipresent, the all-powerful. Israel as God!

      My guess? Some Jews spent so much time with the Bible and with memories of Jews being oppressed, that they got to wishful thinking and said to themselves, "Gee, wouldn't it be great, really great, and save us a lot of trouble as well, if we stopped praying to God -- those of us who did so anyhow -- and all prayed to our country, if we had one, you know, as if that country (Israel-the-state) were God? Great idea, folks, let's do it. And since a God (sorry, the One God) can get away with anything and is all-powerful, our state-of-Israel can do anything it wants (especially however greedy or cruel) and get away with it. The Bible's God was pretty cruel sometimes too, wasn't he?

      So they did it! And it worked! I mean, sometimes ideas work out, you know!

      And, what do you know? They discovered that they could get away with treating anti-Israelism as heresy, and fight against it with all the weapons of war and terrorism and entire full-throated hatred and so forth, like the Europeans during the religious wars of old.

      Oh boy, did they ever have a system! When you act like you believe a thing hard enough, sometimes it comes true!

  • 2017 is a crucial year for the Palestine Question
    • Helena: nice report. One thing I believe to be true -- and if true then very worth remarking -- is that Fourth Geneva Convention provides that no agreement by the governance of the protected people (e.g., PLO or PA) is good to the extent that it agrees to a diminishment of protections afforded during the course of occupation by the Fourth Genava Convention. So if he PLO by agreeing to roads, checkpoints, settlements, etc., agreed to violations of G-IV -- and settlements (and also settlers) surely do -- then such agreements between Israel and PLO/PA cannot be valid.

  • The Tantura massacre of 1948 and the academic character assassination of Teddy Katz
  • Divestment opponents attack University of Minnesota SJP with swastika graphic
    • JustJessetr: Not sure what your point is.

      People nowadays use the Jewish star mostly as a symbol of the State of Israel, not as a symbol of the "People Israel" (the so-called Jewish People or of the population of folks here and there who call themselves or who are called Jews).

      Therefore the Jewish star can be a symbol of pride (when used by FoI) or as a symbol of accusation (when used by people attuned to human rights, FoP, proponenets of international law, etc.) Usually you can tell how and by whom it is being used by context.

      By contrast, people these days (in the West) use the swastica (which can also be a Buddhist symbol, I believe) as a symbol for the Nazi regime, generally condemned these days (but of course, there is a resurgence of neo-Nazism these days, and neo-Nazis would use the swastica as a symbol of solidarity and pride, just as Israelis use the Jewish star).

    • The use of the swastica seems to me to reek of hate-crime. This language is also incitement against the SJP folks. I suggest that "Palestine Legal" think this one through.

    • Annie: I think many Israeli complaints/accusations against Palestinians & Friends are echoes of things they themselves have done. The old "Salami Tactics" accusation (Palestinians want to take WB&G now, but later will take more -- made in the old pre-2SS days) exactly echoes Israel's salami tactics slicing and eating WB.

      MW should make a list of these!

      See my link to for a sort of list of (mild) echoes.

  • 'Seven Jewish Children' staged at Univ. of York despite smear that students were promoting 'anti-Semitic culture'
    • Tell her, don't tell her. That's the problem. Tell the UK students, don't tell them. If Jews panic, the cause may be labelled antisemitism. Jews who panic may be labelled guilty. Kill everyone until we feel safe. And we will never, never, feel safe.

  • 'In every important way Israel has failed'-- leading American Zionist says No mas
    • Gordis: "and most depressing of all for me, is that I see no way out, no way forward which will reverse the current reality. Right wing control in Israel is stronger and more entrenched than ever. "

      To me this means that until recently Gordis [1] saw the bitter truth (probably for a very long time, he is not blind), but [2] for that very long time clung to a hope that things might get better.

      I think he wants a better world, not just a jack-booted Disneyland for Jews. I am with him, even though I never entertained his former dreams.

  • Incident at Harvard involving donor influence and Palestine event has troubling implications for law school community
    • The Law Schools should be able to solicit gifts which will be used at LS discretion and which will not be -- as to individual events -- attributed to any particular donors. The white-shoe law firms s/b willing to give to a general fund upon the understanding that they will not be deemed or said to have supported any particular event.

  • J Street is in denial of one-state 'consensus'
    • MH976: The LZ's are in denial. They hold fast to the idea of 2SS (and Israel's occasional assertion of support for the same) and thereby allow themselves to say, in effect, "You see, we've all done all we can do, Israel is OK, we are OK, the world is OK, because the right words have been (occasionally) uttered (never mind all the wrong words that are spoken much more often)." (my parentheses, not the LZ's).

    • Mr. Ben-Ami sez: Failure "to realize the vision of two states is the single greatest threat to the survival of Israel.”

      Dear, dear Mr. Ben-Ami: If you really believe that, will you be so kind to say, out loud and in public, to Israel -- its people and its government -- the only thing that will show that you have thought it through and you mean it; namely, that you demand, for the sake of the two state solution and thereby the possibility of a decent Jewish Israel, that Israel's government publish a plan: for the removal of all the settlers within a year; for the dismantling (destruction) of the wall and of all the settlement buildings within two years; and for an end to the siege of Gaza immediately -- and then carry out the plan according to its terms.

      They won't thank you for the suggestion/demand, but you will at least have the pleasure of knowing that you've spoken a form of sensible truth to power.

      They won't think you and they won't do what you suggest. Because they prefer apartheid. And the rest of us will be interested to hear what you say next. Because being a liberal Zionist is not an easy row to hoe.

      We'll also be interested in what the rest of J-Street have to say.

  • Viral video says BDS supporters want to shoot the bible and Dannon yogurt
  • London Palestine Action kicks off Israel Apartheid Week by plastering the Tube with pro-BDS ads
    • Don't those Brits have style! How I admire them.

      Of course, putting up signs in that manner is illegal, but sooooo ethical! And I'm sure quite a few British straphangers will have noticed both the signs and the pull-down.

  • Weapons manufacturers support Hillary Clinton more than any other presidential candidate
    • Not much money there. $155,340? But instructive, nonetheless. Perhaps it suggests that the "oligarchy" is so many-tentacled that each tentacle needs give only a pittance (such as $155,340) in order to buy devoted subservience. Perhaps it merely means that members of The Establishment need merely pat other members of The Establishment on the back with gentle taps, and big money is for other occasions (but which?).

      Anyone got any ideas? If Hillary is supported by one or more PACs, where'd they get their cash?

  • Hey Ambassador Shapiro, we believe in the separation of church and state!
  • Law firm pulls $250,000 gift to Harvard over Palestine event (demonstrating Zionism's pervasiveness)
    • Interesting. A law FIRM must protect its business, just as a university must protect its donors-worthiness. Big-$$ has got everyone by the short and curlies. Maybe foundations would be immune if they were already fully funded and no longer sought new funds? Odd that Millbank was not willing to leave the $250,000 upon an understanding that it could vet how the money was spent (or how the spending of the money was announced) in future (plus removal from Facebook page). After all they were not asking to censor the event itself (already past) or any other event.

  • Tunnels remain Hamas' most strategic asset in the Gaza Strip
    • Mooser, its a good thing MW pays you only twice as much as it pays Steve Grover. If it paid you four times as much, you'd go over the top. And you do jez' fine as it is. What we are all doing is a bit like digging tunnels -- doing a bit here, a bit there, none of it a-gonna get the job done, but makes us feel like we're doing something while we wait for gifts from heaven and better days.

      Heard today on NPR a former Goldman Sachs-er now a federal reserve honcho saying that the big banks are still too big to fail and something must be done, and, no, he is not a Bernie Sanders stalwart, just telling it as he sees it. That's the sort of gift from heaven that might bring about better days. Maybe someday USA will find it in its own interest to end the settlements and occupation. Or the horse might talk.

  • 'Frontline' founder says assertions about his role in development of 'Valentino's Ghost' are wrong and unfair
    • In my reading, Fanning states with adequate clarity: that he does not remember having the "conversation" with Singh and uses quote marks to cast doubt on the conversation's ever having taken place -- or having taken place as suggested by the 'alleged "transcript" ' , doubly cast in doubt by quote marks and "alleged". He also says that he did not have the power to decide what WGBH should show and that Frontline mostly did its own videos (something presumably easy to fact-check) and suggested POV as a show that might do other people's videos.

      He may be part of the "Israeli Mafia", which controls so much in USA's MSM, but this exchange of letters doesn't show it to me.

      That said, and radically changing topic, language mavens, please consider: "Shame on Michael Singh for misrepresenting me, and on Terri Ginsberg for not doing due diligence,"

      Oops, Terri is, he suggests, in "deep doo-due". This (IMO dreadful) usage *("due diligence") has crept into business-English from lawyers who sought a short-hand for saying that some task (usually an investigation done by a lawyer or law firm and having legal consequences) had not been done with sufficient care, expertise, effort, etc., etc. It doubtless fell to courts to decide how much "diligence" was required (that is, was "due"). The phrase echoes the "due" in "due process", another law term for how much care, effort, etc., governments must take in doing some task where there might be a danger of acting "off hand" or carelessly.

      Maybe "due diligence" is "as good as it gets" for a quick phrase meaning "to be adequately careful" (in the terms of one's profession and its standards), but I rather detest the phrase. Just sayin'.

  • Rubio may be a robot-- but he's the neoconservatives' robot
    • Would the independent voters in the general election possibly, even possibly, choose Rubio over either Democrat after his ridiculous (and a bit idiotic) showing? I guess this might be a real, an acid, test for the Koch/Adelson theory of democracy manipulation.

  • NY's Public Theater cancels Palestinian production, 'The Siege,' it agreed to stage in May
  • 'Let the one-state era begin'-- Tom Friedman explains there will never be a Palestinian state
    • "Many progressive Americans, including many Jews, now support BDS. Where is Bernie Sanders?"

      Well, as you noted, Candidate Clinton has promised to oppose BDS. A politician's promise. But since she claims to be "progressive" (what a bumper sticker word THAT is! No meaning) we must allow that "many progressive Americans" is not "all p.As."

      And, yes, it would be good to hear from Bernie. But I imagine that his silence is a bit like NOT kow-tow-ing to AIPAC/Adelson. And as a candidate he has (I am sure) what he considers much better revolutionary ideas to sell than any idea at all on I/P. Next to getting rid of big-money in politics and reducing the power of big-BANKS and working on Climate Change, I/P is small potatoes, and there is no rush.

      Sadly. It is never a rush as to I/P.

  • Nobody cares that Bernie Sanders is Jewish
    • Evangelicals are mentioned but Jews are not? Well, yes, but not necessarily because evangelicals are a dissed religion. Because their impact on politics springs from their religion (or the views of their religious supervisors).

      By contrast, Jews do not, on most issues, base their politics on religion. Wall-street Jews favor Hillary (or some Republicans), while main-street Jews favor Bernie. But not because he is a Jew.

      As to USA's support for Israel, that is something the media-Jews (and media-others) prefer to sweep under the rug! Even if Bernie spoke against Israel (or against the settlements, for instance), I doubt the uproar (if any) would mention that he was a Jew -- it would mention the USA's undying attachment and love for poor beleagured (never beleaguering!) Israel.

  • In yet another effort to revive dream of Jewish sovereignty, 'NYT' cites Thai restaurants in Tel Aviv
    • Amherst college, named after (or later) than Lord Amherst, a soldier who recommended using smallpox to kill American Indians, is rethinking (and rejecting) its association with the genocidal commander.

      Will Israel rethink anything it did, in the brave old days of yore (1948), even as more and more reports of 1948 slaughters come out?

      Will Israel ever admit to itself, to world's Jews, and to the world, that it came into being (1920-1950) not as an entity being attacked (for there was no Israeli entity until it manufactured itself) but as an entity with quite dirty hands attacking another which had done it no wrong?

  • To my fellow Israelis: We can stop this
    • Bravo. Israel must end Zionism. The world must end Greenhouse Gas emission.

      Two great and necessary transformations. Let's face the future bravely, resolutely, and realizing that doing what is necessary is not always at all easy.

  • Maya Angelou stood with Palestinians, but Israeli military uses her for Black History Month hasbara
  • Hunger-striking Palestine journalist Muhammad Al-Qeeq said to be near death
  • Anti-Zionist protest at LGBTQ conference was smeared as anti-Semitic
    • I know who cannot accept "any Jewish ethnocratic state". I'll tell you below, because it's a surprise.

      The article above refers to folks who "ferociously disagree with the existence of any Jewish ethnocratic state ['JES'] that treats Jews differently than its other inhabitants". Well, a lot of people disagree with that and, yes, ferociously!

      Yes, there are such folks, sure. But the word that makes this so questionable a description is "any". How about a JES located in Germany? located in Nevada? Or how about a JES about 10% of Palestine rather than 55% (UNGA 181) or 78% (post-1948) or 100% (not counting Golan) (post 1967)?

      Couldn't some of us anti-Zionists find it in our hearts to accept a JES on 10% of Palestine. I think I could!

      But the people who REALLY cannot accept "any" JES are the Zionists themselves, who demand 100% of Palestine. (Well, they don't call it Palestine. But a rose is a rose is a rose.)

  • 'Barbarism by an educated and cultured people' -- Dawayima massacre was worse than Deir Yassin
    • Truth and tears leak out. Most moral army? Maybe, because how moral is any army? But moral? Not in my book. And keeping this thing secret so many years? were they hoping for 100 years? For forever?

      Some people, politicians notably among them, are described as having an intelligence a mile wide and an inch deep. The truth-hiders are, I believe, in this group. Truth is bad for the state, bad for the Jews. Hide it.

      What will our American heroes say of this? Of the doing? Of the hiding? Of how much longer this rotting corpse can be hidden?

  • Oscar swag bag includes ten-day VIP trip to Israel worth $55,000 (Updated)
    • BDS and JVP might seize the moment to send a prize-bag of their own to all nominees, a prize-bag explaining I/P and BDS and reciting the actions of Roger Waters and Vanessa Redgrave and others as examples of how older musicians and actors might serve as guides to today's stars.

    • Have to wonder. Someone chose Japan. Someone chose Israel. Who did the choosing? Who put up the money? We can criticize the choosers even if the actors cannot (openly) turn down the prizes.

      As to turning down the prizes, my guess is that publicly stating "No to Israel" is unlikely to happen often, but failing to make such a trip (just don't have the time, y'know?) is another matter. Also failing to take walking tour of Japan.

      And who knows, some actors might (also) turn down (or fail to lift up) a "Vampire Breast Lift".

    • (Classical) musicians used (in my experience, circa 1980-90) to speak of a Jewish Mafia by which they meant a cabal among agents and concert empressarii which made "playing Israel" (or being willing to play Israel) a sine qua non for a musical career. Did it exist? Some musicians were sure it existed. If so, is it still in place? I haven't kept track.

      Anyhow, Hollywood "is" very Jewish, and "Jewish" often means "Zionist", and offending people by "gratuitous" displays of criticism-of-Israel is not likely to boost anyone's career in Hollywood. I mean, what would the Coen Brothers think, right?

  • Video: Sanders's campaign fact-checks Clinton's 'smear' defense with Elizabeth Warren charges
  • Israeli military reportedly seeks to censor private Facebook pages commenting on national security
    • "I would quote for you what they wrote to me about it in the letter I received, but I have been prohibited from quoting it”.

      I love the Israeli use of laws and decrees (and/or letters in explanation thereof) whose text cannot be publicly disclosed. I suppose they can be disclosed to a court, perhaps w/o disclosure to an accused.

      Israel: We have a law! Don't dare to break it! And don't ask what it is! And they are talking to Israeli Jews (!!) not (merely) to Israeli non-Jews and/or to those miserable souls living under occupation. How long will it take for news of this to reach American Jews?

  • Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the ghost of U.N. past
    • [1] "Israel, needing to present the Palestinians as a threat, wants, and seeks to cause."

      As with the USA, it is not (or is not necessarily) the country/people Israel that "wants, and seeks to cause" violent backwash from Palestinians, but the government/army/secret-services that do so.

      In short it is (precisely) those in Israel most directly charged (and having a fiduciary duty to attempt) to provide "security" who are doing the most to undermine it.

      [2] "It is interesting to note that during the 1940s, when Zionist terrorism was wreaking havoc in Palestine on a near-daily basis, leaders like Ben-Gurion, Weizmann, and Sharrett (then Shertok), excused the terror as a reaction to limits on Jewish immigration, and indeed went so far as to say that the terror would not stop until Zionist political demands (in the form of the Biltmore Program) were met."

      Exactly. Although the leaders may not have referred to the Jewish terrorism as "terrorism". And today's (liberal) Zionists are I dare say mostly ignorant of the stories of that old-time-religion, sorry, terrorism. As to which "Israel's Sacred Terrorism" (Livia Rokach) is a useful resource.

  • Biggest loser in Iowa was foreign policy
  • Parody New York Times 'supplement' criticizing paper's coverage of Israel/Palestine distributed on streets of NYC
    • I imagine a second version of the thing: titled Not Your New York Times, each article says something like: Well, today was no different. Human rights for Palestinians did not achieve any new successes today, and things are as bleak as ever.

      Hillary Clinton did NOT say blah-blah, IDF generals did NOT say blah-blah, US Congress did NOT blah-blah.

      Our direct parody was taken down before lunchtime. (Server Management was frightened of a major lawsuit, we suppose. From New York Times, we suppose.)

      No totalitarian country could have exercised its censorship more effectively or quicker. USA, land of the free, home of the brave, and center of world's speediest censorship. Must be doing something right!

    • This parody was terrific -- I read some of it on-line. The web-site was GONE this morning. I hope (and I am sure) that someone, somewhere made a copy of it. But I guess lawyers (and fear of lawyers) got in the way.

      I imagine some NYT folks hiding their copy inside a briefcase to read at home (but never in the office, oh no!).

    • Did they have SNL writers, or is great satire just everywhere below the surface?

    • What a gas! complete with an ad for SKUNK-WASSER! Way to go, NYT-ip!

  • Ban Ki-moon keeps woofing at Israel over occupation -- but not a word about sanctions
    • Kay24, they've realized it for years! It's not a secret unless, perhaps, from self-deluding American liberal Zionists (people who live inside that contradiction in terms and hide from much truth in order to do so).

      But generally nations all have their own skeletons in closets and also have business interests (those of oligarchs or other powerful private persons of influence) which they'd like to preserve uninjured. So they do not fancy sanctions, so much trouble after all and such an intolerable interference with the internal affairs of other countries!

      There, all better?

  • Dov Yermiya, who said, 'I renounce my belief in Zionism which has failed,' dies at 101
    • Israel will never be forgiven? I disagree. Germany has been forgiven, generally.

      That said, I believe that Israel will not be forgiven while its crimes are on-going and, indeed, increasing. The nations (by which I really mean the EU) seem to be far-too-gradually moving toward recognition of those crimes. But South Africa persisted quite a while before the total acquiescence-in-evil typical of the nations was overcome. There is HUGE resistance among nations to challenging other nations (interfering with their internal affairs).

      Well, at least while the USA protects them. There have of course been sanctions against Iraq and Iran based on military arguments -- alleged danger to principal states. Israel is not seen as dangerous to "other states" because Lebanon and Gaza are ho-hum not "principal" states in the view of the white-Western-oligarchic-blah-blah).

    • There are still prophets. He was not 101 or even 95, and safe, when he wrote "My War Diary" (1982 ?).

  • 'I cannot support Israel as long as Netanyahu is in office'-- many American Jews are saying
    • What I don't like, in what I've heard so far about "the break", is that those who express disillusionment with Israel (or with Netanyahu) are pulling away from I/P instead of re-discovering a (Jewish or human) commitment to decency and concern for human rights, etc., and trying (even in a small way) to make things better.

      What I hear is, "I wash my hands of it. I've been disappointed, my lib-Zionism has been shown to be unconnected to reality, so to Hell with it all."

  • Cultural Zionism good, political Zionism bad
    • The article and comments are replete with statements that "what is needed is" and "it is time to" . The fact is that different folks want different things, and what "liberal" Americans want is pretty irrelevant to what hard-line Israeli Hebrews want. For the record, I'd like Israel-cum-WB+G to be replaced with something politically more like the USA than like apartheid South Africa.

      The Jewish (or, perhaps better, the Hebrew) people of Israel want political right-wing illiberal apartheit Israel just as they have it, in the entire land-of-Israel built out to include the Golan (Zholan) Heights. They (overwhelming majority of them) do not want and do not need any revision which would make life comfortable for Palestinians anywhere in the world. They don't know who Avishai is, or care, ditto Beinart. Ditto me. Ditto JVP.

      To make them want or need a different politics is the job of outside pressure, just as it was with South Africa.

      There is a special constituency of "liberal Zionists" who want something not exactly like today's USA or South Africa in Israel, who want something with a more "Jewish" flavor, but who detest totalitarianism and all its less stringent flavors including the flavor developing today in Israel. But these people are, presently, of little importance in the USA (except as a "choir" to cheer each other, which is in a way what churches exist to do BTW) and of no importance in Israel.

  • Iraq war hangover is fueling anti-establishment candidates
    • Bernie's got a good point and Clinton should be made to smart for it, she the neocon hawk.

      Trump may (perhaps) be making the same point, but I sense it is lost in the welter of his other complaints. Still, in a Trump v. Clinton election, pro-Iraq-war-ism is sure to come up, along with emails and the rather general hatred of Clinton (at least among Republicans).

  • Roger Waters tells France: 'Supporters of BDS, attacked by your judiciary, have my unequivocal respect and love'
    • dfmz: On most points, I agree, However: "The funny thing is, technically, boycotting products from the settlements should be legal as they are part of Palestine"

      Really? Its OK to boycott Palestine but not Israel? Or to boycott Israeli products made in Palestine? The law probably doesn't designate a particular country which, alone, is protected (even if we all know it aims to protect only Israel).

    • Good letter. And isn't it strange that in a democracy people could (or so I suppose, but who knows) make political statements calling for sanctions against Israel -- but cannot make political/economic statements calling for a boycott of Israeli products.

      Charlie Hebdo was allowed to (and celebrated for) mocking Muhammad. "Free speech" they called it when he insulted (or intentionally published injurious words or pictures) all the world's Muslims. No prosecution there! But BDS gets prosecuted.

      Frenchmen! stand up for free speech (but not only for the "free speech" of charlie Hebdo, celebrated by Netanyahu)! Man the barricades! Aux armes!

  • Netanyahu responds to Ban Ki-moon's criticism of the Israeli occupation (Update)
    • Annie: land grabs not only incite violence, they are achieved by application of violence. There would be no occupation and no settlements without an IDF sitting by with weapons at the ready to enforce Israeli decisions and Israeli expropriations of land.

      The occupation is the war after the war. The war itself lasted 6 days, The occupation has been an armed example of warfare that lasted about 50 years (so far).

  • How many more orgasms will be had for Zionism?
    • 60% of Jews live outside Israel? That's all? In any case, please consider that, these days, 10% of Israel's (declared) Jewish population live in the OPTs, which are outside Israel-48 (even if inside what some consider "the Land of Israel").

    • At some stage, someone, rabbis I imagine, decided that the project, if such it was, to "ingather" the Jews in Zion was a project that belonged so thoroughly to God that Jews were not to do anything to bring the project forward, not even pray for it. ( Neturei Karta: link to ) So whatever "next year in Jerusalem" may mean, to people who believed this way (NK suggests it was all orthodox Jews at one time), it was not a prayer to effect the ingathering of the Jews.

      Presumably, Philo and Maimonides were of the same mind. don't know how orthodoxy changed on this point, Talmud didn't change (I suppose), but religious interpretation has ever been an iffy thing.

    • Fascinating. Sex as motivator for Zionist-support had never occurred to me, but why not? The whole pro-Zionist craziness is too overdetermined. The fear of yet-another-holocaust seems too unreal, the psychic cost (as I imagine it) of ignoring the plight of the victims, the Palestinian Arabs, seems too high. But despite all, the merry-go-round keeps going round and round. So, Sex. sure, makes sense.

  • Cut the Gordian Knot -- a response to Ban Ki-moon's landmark speech
    • "What possible confusion could anyone have regarding Palestinian motive? As if anyone anywhere — any people — would not resist a brutal occupation and the theft of their land? It’s simply human nature."

      Well, either Mr. IDF was just kidding or playing to the Israeli audience, or else he'd bought into the Zionist narrative to the point that he was genuinely perplexed, as who would say -- what, they don't love us? we, after all, who conduct out (brutal occupation) kindly administration more gently than any Arab country conduct's its normal governance?

      I wonder what they told him!

  • Jewish organizations look to co-opt 'intersectionality' in the fight against BDS
    • Years ago and perhaps still, in the USA there was a notion and practice of interreligious getting together where Jewish religious folks met with various Christians (say a rabbi or two meeting with several Protestant ministers and a few Catholic priests) for the stated purpose of smoothing out what were said to be old frictions attributable to antisemitism. It seemed to many that the real (but unstated) purpose of these meetings was to persuade the Christians that in the interest of continuing this smoothing it was necessary to suppress criticism of Zionism/Israel.

      If these anti-BDS folks try to cozy up to human rights people, I hope this suppressive purpose will be clear enough and will be combated.

  • 'If we lose the West Bank, we lose everything': An evening with a liberal Israeli
    • MDM: I imagine that all agree that Israel will not alter status quo unless forced (or adequately pressured) by an outside agent, call it BDS. Without that pressure, apartheid 1SS. With that pressure, so slow to appear, who knows? Settlers return to Brooklyn? And if so, checking their guns at the door? I'm not holding my breath on the appearance of that deus ex machina. But every once in a while EU seem to get antsy. If severe economic pressure is merely talked about with sufficient seriousness, perhaps the big-money-boys in Israel will get busy and the situation will turn around a bit. Who knows whether and who knows when. Maybe the deus ex machina could be young American Jews. One can always hope.

      But motion away from status quo cannot be expected to come from within Israel itself.

    • "If we lose the WB we lose everything." A fine phrase if you like phrases. What did it mean to the man who said it? What might it mean in general (to Israeli Jews)?

      My own anti-Zionist association with it is this.

      Israel was created by a process of terrorism (to evict the British) and terrorism-cum-war to evict the Palestinians. It followed up the initial major theft by a continuation over the years 1948-1966, during the military governorship of the Palestinians, by a process of further small incremental land-thefts based on an Ottoman law that allowed the State to acquire farm lands upon failure for 3 years (as I recall) of Palestinian owners to farm such lands -- which happened when access to such farm lands was denied to the farmers by Israeli declaration of "closed military area" and so forth, in short, a continuing, smooth process of theft.

      Then came 1967 and the entire theft process, step by smooth step, but in (or chiefly in) the newly occupied territory, continued without interruption.

      So it appears to me that to any Israeli mind, any stop to the process of continuing incremental theft is a sort of termination, a death, to the most important underlying Zionist process, the further acquisition of land (to repair the unsatisfactory terribly small 78% of Palestine, and much of it privately owned by Palestinians, that Israel got from the 1948 war).

      So, losing the WB is (in my reading) a sort of "death". But since the process of theft has been on-going since 1948 (and continues inside Israel-48 as with the destruction of "unrecognized" Bedouin villages), if the process of theft were ever to stop, something would have had to be strong enough to stop it, and that something might regard the continuous theft as a sort of "crime". Why else stop it?

      And if there were to appear upon the scene something (a "power") strong enough to stop Zionist theft and willing to exercise that strength, that "power" might wish to roll-back all that theft, as a court might roll-back the illicit proceeds from a long-ongoing process of theft even after a "limitations period" had expired on earlier aspects of that long-continuing theft.

      So, to conclude, if a "power" could take the WB away from Israel, it could roll-back the entire Zionist land-grab, roll things back to 1947. And that is what it might mean to an Israeli Jew to say that "By losing the WB Israel would lose everything."

  • 'Why do they hate us?' -- Israeli version
    • Good article. However, it would seem that if most Israelis were to read it, they would not "get" it. What? Israelis irrational! Surely not, perish the thought. Israelis have "defense mechanisms", of course, but not Freudian ones -- the IDF is their "defense mechanism"!

      I think what's really going on is that Israelis see that the USA "got away" with genocide against most Native Americans, Australia ditto w.r.t. Australian Natives (Aborigines), so why do "they" (e.g., EU) complain about Israel but not about USA and Australia? Shouldn't "nice mostly-white-skinned people" (such as Israelis are assumed to be) be automatically forgiven for breaking the moral laws? Is it fair that "we" cannot be allowed to do it today even though "they" were allowed to do it 100 years ago?

      And of course Israelis cannot wrap their minds around the fact that the EU and others see the occupation (by now, and at long last) as illegal and the settlements as illegal from their inception. They say "we" (Israel) have a right to exist but not to expand? What nonsense!

      Maybe it is not, after all, mind-bending to be an Israeli. I guess it's a bit like being one of those Bundy boys in Oregon who are so sure they have a right to occupy US gov'mint buildings. Being "sure" is so comforting. And being opposed is so incomprehensible!

  • Israeli mayors initiate boycott of Sweden over foreign minister's criticism
    • I am happy that these folks, officials in Israel, are by this declaration giving support to the use of boycott in foreign policy matters.

      Certainly the Swedish FM's comments are mere words, but these mayors think they merit boycott. How much more does Israel merit boycott for its actions (not mere words) in its conduct of the occupation (possibly illegal by now for its duration and easily apparent land grab) and its out-and-out illegal settlement project.

  • Kerry and Shapiro bring the one-state news the NYT failed to deliver
    • Rooster: Beautiful laying out of what is NOT said. Relying on Jewish Agency, do they say these folks are going to Israel or just leaving France?

      As to whether it is propaganda, it is surely self-serving propaganda for Jewish Agency. As to CNN, it might be propaganda (coerced by money or ideology) but might just be perceived as "of interest to readers" since so much USA media cover Israel and Jews these days that an editor might mistake all that for generalized interest.

      Your list of related (but ignored) topics s/b sent to CNN for THEIR comment.

    • Dreamcastle Israel? With whipped cream and a cherry? But -- importantly -- can only be looked at through rose colored glasses. Best, indeed, not to look at the reality at all. That's why NYT & NPR et al. refuse to report on the unpleasant realities, like Victorians who refuse to speak the words "piano legs" because in their time to mention "legs" was obscene (or something like that). Does make you wonder what the schools of journalism have to say about such "reporting". See no evil, speak no evil.

      And USA will protect Israel no matter how far it slides into apartheid, fascism, or anything else.

  • Clinton baits Sanders over 'destruction of Israel'
    • Manicheaism (摩 尼 教 ) anybody? Good v. Evil. The Great Good v. the Great Satan? All or nothing? War to end all civilizations?

      BTW, you really gotta love these puerile politicians, these children, who, knowing they can get away with saying anything and will never be called to account, spout the most deliciously hateful garbage. These politicians, Israeli and American (esp. witting Zionist-stooge-variety), speak an odd language com posed of nothing but "fear"-talk and "threat"-talk.

      Hope Bernie can straighten them out by continuing to build popularity in spite of their meretricious pandering.

  • National Labor Relations Board rejects Shurat HaDin complaint against United Electrical Workers
    • This article is re-printed on a lovely leftie website, PORTSIDE:
      link to

      Congratulations to Annie!

    • Did Shurat Ha'Din have "standing" to bring the complaint? What was their gripe that gave them a platform to stand up on in "court"? Apparently they did. However, the union prevailed for the following reason: The NLRB concluded

      that the Union did not violate Section 8(b)(4)(i)(B) because its resolution would not reasonably be understood by employees as a signal or request to engage in a work stoppage against their own employer.

      So, a strike or the threat of a strike as "enforcement" of a BDS boycott might violate the law (in this case) but not the mere adoption of a pro-BDS stance.

  • Activists deliver petition demanding Securities and Exchange Commission enforce disclosure laws regarding Israel bonds
  • 'Little Jewboy' moment highlights coming divorce between US Jews and Israel
    • I don't feel good that young Jews are silent and DON'T CARE. I want them to care a lot and be very angry (echoes of Trump?).

      I just read a fine and short book, "The Fragility of Goodness: Why Bulgaria's Jews Survived the Holocaust" by Tzvetan Todorov. It explains that the people of Bulgaria -- legislators, lawyers, Bulgarian Orthodox Church leaders, and many ordinary people reacted against a law that prepared to send Bulgaria's Jews to Auschwitz -- and by these protests and reactions somehow prevailed and these Jews (sadly, not some others from Thrace and Macedonia) were saved. The book tells how the Bulgarians wanted to save their OWN reputations for decency (as well as to be decent) and risked German and official Bulgarian wrath to oppose the anti-Jewish law.

      Well, I'd like to see Jews of all ages protest Israel's treatment of non-Jews (mostly but not entirely Palestinian Arabs). For me, silence and non-concern don't cut it. Disinterest and impartiality are out. Strong concern and decency (is there at long last no decency here? so to speak) is what's required.

  • Human Rights Watch calls for sanctions against Israel over settlements
    • It's a great idea, the "S" in sanctions. The only flaw in HRW's proposal -- if it is a flaw at all -- is that it proposes a mild punishment, cutting off offsetting current funding, whereas a stronger punishment is deserved and that for two reasons.

      The first reason is that Israel has been spending many billions of dollars in the settlements for many years, and the proposal merely seeks to offset current spending.

      The second reason is that if Israel were to cease entirely any and all spending on settlements, the occupation would continue, the illegal land seizures made over 48 years would not be reversed, and the HRW-suggested withholding of money would end.

      Still, it's a good step as a suggestion. If any states other than the USA are giving Israel money, maybe they'll stop doing so. The USA will not stop anytime soon, so the proposal is a bit of a nonstarter in practical terms.

      But it is only good as a first step, as a red flag. Cutting off all imports from the occupation would be another very good (if minor) step. Cutting off all trade, whether or not by stages, with Israel would be a very much more significant step. Israel itself is the criminal and Israel itself should be punished until (in terms of occupation, not in terms of BDS) the occupation REALLY ceases (not, for instance, as in the case of Gaza).

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