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Total number of comments: 4503 (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 100 - 1

  • Americans believe red herring-- Iran is Enemy #1. Why?
    • "they’re keeping everything secret about their accusations, so there’s no reason to doubt what they’re claiming."

      Well, no. Because of secrecy, there is no reason to BELIEVE any of it.

      One question. Apparently most world-wide money transfers via banks come through NYC (as Iran would know). This is used to justify the use of the federal court in NY. So was the government of Iran stupid enough to transfer money to this bozo via banks? But if not the GOI (that GOI) then who? Can USA get away with saying money was transferred from BANK-X and not say from which account? (Of course, with USA's secrecy, who would know WHAT to believe if USA said it?)

      And, we must all ask our Congressmen, would you go into a SECOND $1T war on the basis of a SECOND slice of baloney?

  • Do we really need another 'Gandhi'?
    • People have an image of a "Gandhi", and it matters little how close it is to a 50-year old reality. HOWEVER, it matters much that the real Gandhi was opposing British imperialism, and Britain could "go home" and finally did so, whereas Israel has nowhere to go (although in principle it could "go home" to the extent of withdrawing settlers and army from the OPTs). THAT SAID, the dynamic is different. Israel was created to steal land and its people and leaders believe deeply that they have and always had a right to that stealing. and that right is felt to extend to the West Bank and Golan.

      So the problem of the Gandhi encouraging Israel to "go home" is that Israel deeply believes that it IS at home. It is a different problem, and Israel's settler colonialism is vastly different from Britain's economic colonialism.

  • A mixture of feelings as prisoners near freedom
    • The facts of Israel's arrests, detentions, trials, imprisonments, torture (including MD cooperation) should be widely publicized so the USA's people (especially Jews IMO) cannot say "we didn't know". The USA is "occupied" by more than Wall Street -- it is also occupied by AIPAC and its fellow travelers. This army of occupation includes all those who could protest and do not.

  • Burg, former Knesset speaker, endorses idea of one state from river to sea
    • The settlers don't want to give up the lands they've seized. So 2SS is not "on". But why anyone should suppose that those same settlers would willingly allow Palestinians to vote (even merely those present today in Greater Israel) is beyond me.

      Israel will not do ANY RIGHT THING (not 2SS, not 1SS) willingly.

      So the need for external pressure remains. BDS at civil level. With luck, BDS at national level via UNGA.

      And while we wait, more of the same, spreading practical annexation, apartheid, oppression, prison for the 5000 not released, etc.

      Thank you Mr. Burg for the thoughts, but I am not cheering. Not yet. And if there ever IS SUFFICIENT EXTERNAL PRESSURE TO achieve 1SS, would it not also be sufficient to achieve 2SS? And so, the question remains, which is better (for Palestinians, perhaps for most Israelis): removal of all settlers and destruction of all settlements and wall and a real 2SS -- or a 1SS with masses of pogromist settlers angry as Hell, and a universal suffrage but perhaps laws against anti-Jewish parties! and laws against immigration of Palestinian refugees and exiles.

  • 'New York Review' publishes Patricia Storace deconstructing David Grossman's blindness
    • I am satisfied that Grossman be shown to be a racist, to embody or put forth racist talk. Good. Maybe, even, "good for him!" if he did it on purpose. (As Obama kow-tow-ed to AIPAC so excessively obsequiously, it may have been on purpose.)

      "Look at us, we Israelis are sick in our souls. To understand us you must understand our soul-sickness."

      He is, perhaps, telling it like it is. And, perhaps, in hope that telling the truth may help his society to move to a better "place".

      But thanks to NYRB for showing Americans "how it is" whatever Grossman's purposes may have been.

  • The social fabric
    • Hmmm. I get the elbow in the ribs occasionally too. Maybe, with me, more about being hard of hearing and missing stuff. But socially indelicate? Sure. You bet. (And I do better when I/P is not being discussed.) Asberger-y, wheeeee.

  • No problem-- Obama's State Dep't spokesperson is married to Romney's neocon foreign policy adviser
  • Alex Odeh's murder, 26 years ago, was an early sign of Southern California's treatment of Palestinian dissent
    • I remember the Alex Odeh case well. A pipe bomb at his office. And the FBI failure to arrest anyone.

      Sort of like the failure of Israeli police to arrest anyone (in a serious way) for terrorist pogroms in the West Bank. Law enforcement does not work well when the police and most likely suspects are from a single cohesive social class which is at odds with the social class of the victim.

      Similar, as well, to the refusal by the UK to arrest and permit the prosecution of Madame Livni for war crimes.

  • Israeli embassy tried to get alarmist Iran question into 2008 presidential debate, then coordinated Gaza onslaught's end with Team Obama
    • I'm really intrigued. Why does Israel want to start (or have USA start) a war with Iran? Is it merely for the fun and games of war? Mode medals for generals?

      If so, cannot they just start a war with a proxy, say Hizbollah? Or are they afraid of Hizbollah? If not afraid, why not start a war? But if afraid , why less afraid of Iran?

      But if they really want a war specifically with Iran, again, why? Why not with Turkey, which has recently been rather belligerent? A Mossad chief has said a war with Iran would be long and costly. Is that a reason to favor it?

      Is it just like the story of the frog and the scorpion? Israel got a stinger and it just gotta sting, else what is life for, even if you drown on the back of the sinking frog?

      Or is all this, as so much in the Middle East seems to be, about water? After all, no-one talks about water, so it MUST be the real crux of things.

  • Fragile Egypt
    • Phil, wonderful reporting. I hope someone will translate it into Arabic and show it to the Copts, who trusted you as a reporter.

      Altho the religion is deep and real (and not manipulated INTO being, whatever manipulations it may subsequently submit to), the ARMY looks to be very much a tool of USA (and hence Israeli) pressure, asserted as usual through money to the corrupt leadership. Stability has always been easier for the USA to achieve through dictators and authoritarians.

      As to the 1300 killed in Gaza in 19 days, just remember that WAR is good, TERRORISM is bad. Got that? We assassinate (and Israel taught us the say with drones and missiles) in Yemen and Pakistan as a matter of WAR, whereas Iran (so it is alleged) arranged to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador by bomb: TERROSISM.

      It is so easy to see the difference. If we CALL it WAR (as in the new/proposed USA law to allow the arrest without trial of anyone anywhere), it IS war; but if others do it, it might be terrorism (unless that "other" is Israel).

  • Some preliminary questions about the alleged Iranian terror plot
    • You bet. If they want to prosecute you, they refuse to show secret stuff. If you want them to defend you by showing classified stuff, they will refuse. The courts seem always to go along with this. The "right" to confront the evidence against one is thrown out if that evidence is secret -- you cannot see it, but the government can assert its existence and perhaps show some of it to the judge. It is a horrible perversion of justice. Normally refusing to "produce" evidence reasonably demanded by the opposing party makes you lose your case. But not if yoiu are the government and the evidence is "secret" (because you say it is).

    • On the other hand, Hollywood movies haven't been so hot recently, and USA is a land that lives on "entertainment" (if they have no jobs, let 'em go to the movies or read about Iranian plots" -- especially if a few of 'em have realized that what they REALLY should be doing is organizing against the WALL STREET OCCUPATION OF THE USA).

    • Atlantic article by Steve Clemons and referenced article by Max Fischer: Neat!

      Wish someone had asked similar questions similarly quickly about why a bunch of Saudis flying airplanes into USA buildings (9-11) justified a 10-year war in Afghanistan. Although clearly those Saudis were really intending to do what they in fact did, the questions about who they BELIEVED put them up to it (and who REALLY put them up to it) is necessarily so clouded as to reside in the never-never-land of political and "intelligence" (gotta love that word) manipulation.

  • Afternoon headlines
    • "does it make any sense for the U.S. to continue to classify Hamas as a terrorist organization?" Good point, lysias. However, recall that the USA (bless its merry little heart) dances to AIPAC's tune exclusively, not to Israel's unless by some chance they coincide, except that some Congress-mice even try to out-do AIPAC in horror. So one would expect the DoS list of terrorist organizations to continue to list HAMAS (and not any Israeli settlement organizations, for example) until the (red) cows come home.

    • Excellent question lysias:

      Hmmm, Israel not a US citizen, not a "person", not a "corporation", bizarre as that may sound. Not even a USA state. The material support law may well (for all I know) apply only to USA citizens, to persons, or perhaps also to corporations. Now if they operate outside the USA's jurisdiction (if there is any such place left, any more), then probably not subject to material-support-of-terrorism law.

  • Creeping halacha?
    • Hostage, O majestic scholar, please note: It doesn't say you cannot dig up with the stake what thou hast covered with the stake, and what better use of it than to discipline impudent girls, and, anyhow, who said the faeces came from a human source?

    • "who could be more Jewish than a man with payot (long sidelocks) and women who are covered from head-to-toe."
      AGAIN, look at the women of Afghanistan. The countryside if not the city. Total-cover black-bag dress. But Jewish?

    • The practical definition of female modesty is likely a carry-over, in each country, from pre-Islamic times. Who can doubt that the no-scarf Muslims in one place came from a different (ancient) history than the full-body-black-bag wearing Muslims of Afghanistan? BUT THE ENFORCEMENT IS OFTEN TOUGH, AND REMINDS ONE OF THE STUFF-THROWING JEWISH MALE ENFORCERS WE'RE READING ABOUT.

    • This is proof, if proof were needed, that there is a "market" for an orthodox Jewish state (or statelet), probably have to be in Palestine, but separate from any non-orthodox "Jewish State" such as Israel, and certainly separate from any non-Jewish state, like Palestine.

      Three-state solution, anybody? Maybe FOUR if you add a bi-national state for the progressive folks who like their neighbors and diversity more than they like regimentation. And, hey, the boundaries of these (four) states could be fluid, shifting every 10 years (like USA congressional districts) according to population growth and shrinkage. Abbas and Bibi, are you ready for this one?

    • Sort of like "black" "boys" walking the same sidewalks with "white" "women" in the good ol' days (southern USA).

    • Mooser hints at this: If all the women in the Hasidic neighborhoods who will agree not to walk on certain streets were laid end to end, one wouldn't be surprised.

      No, but seriously.

      These separation anxieties are yet another example of how people who get a taste of the seizure of power use it brainlessly, nye-kulturny-ly, and sometimes illegally. The desire to own the world and to rule the world (and to impose rules on weaker beings like dogs and women) IN DEFIANCE of the civil authority and the moeurs of the time and place is a sickness of Jewish fundies (and others? Muslim fundies?) and RUNS UP AGAINST THE OLD Rabbinic rule which tells Jews to make nice with the people among whom they live, not to twist the tail of the (non-Jewish) authorities (such as the secular government of Israel).
      One wonders what deviltries these Jewish fundies have in mind for the non-Jewish women (or non-fundi women) who might accidentally walk in "their" neighborhoods during days of ritual cleanliness (or separation) or fluid preservation.

  • A Presbyterian take on divestment from the Israeli occupation
    • The Bible (in one translation or another) has been with us for a long time. Even a person who believes the book is written by God or is in some other fashion holy, must realize that it is necessary to INTERPRET the writings. The question everyone should be asking themselves is, WHO gets to do the interpretation and how does a particular interpretation come to be viewed as authoritative? IN SHORT, where'd this evangelical pro-Israel world-view come from, Israel being a rather recent thing and Protestantism being a rather old thing. At what moment of time did this secular/socialist experiment of Polish Jews in Palestine come to be viewed AUTHORITATIVELY as anything of religious interest (to Protestants)?

  • Jewish Federations drop JVP leader from 'Heroes' ballot without explanation
    • This could have been wonderful. A real democratic experiebnce (as opposed to the rigged elections Americans have conme to know, where big money winnows out the candidates EVEN BEFORE THE PRIMARIES).

      We could ahve seen the JVP candidates up there along with the UV-Berkeley anti-BDS folks, and seen how the chips fell. Maybe one or ther other would have won. How nice!

      But no. Pre-election ballot stuffing (simplification? cleaning?) removes JVP candidates. How very American!

  • Kol Nidre in Cairo. Not
    • Until there is a huge anti-Israeli noise from Jews, identifying themselves prominently as Jews, they will be seen by everyone (from Obama to Tahrir) as pro-Israeli. How can it be otherwise?

      It doesn't matter if the USA's Jews identify with Israel from "family", from fear, from a need for a religion (and all other religion than love-Israel drained away) -- it matters only that there must be but is not significant dissent among Jews. where's the Jewish Warren Buffett telling people to abandon Israel? And if not now, then when?

  • The Jewish-Palestinian book of life
    • Beautifully said. Also expresses the need for atonement of all Americans for the USA's military empire which thinks nothing of killing, poisoning, maiming, destroying, etc., in the "name" of whatever is a popular bogeyman -- anti-communism, anti-terrorism, whatever. Civil liberties? Who, here, needs them? We've got more important irons in the fire. Human rights? Never mind the people over there who need them.

      And what of Jews (or Americans) who say, they don't know about the oppression of Palestinians by Israel? Let them atone for failing to learn. And what of Jews (or Americans) who say they do know, but it is not their fault, there was nothing they could do to stop the oppression, the destruction. Let them atone for not at least speaking up clearly in their various communities, small and large. "Not in my name" has a nice sound to it, especially if you identify WHAT is being done but not with your permission.

  • The Boomerang Comes Home: Obama's 'death panel' and the war on terror
    • "The result was that the West could practice something resembling colonization, or an internal colonialism, on itself." Not exactly. The government can do "to" the people, treating them (us) as a colonized people, true. Hard to say we do it to ourselves. Don't forget that the government "is" primarily an expression of the desires of large international corporations, and these have been mistreating people for 100 years. Banana-republics used to be in Central America, now they include USA. Structural readjustment (is that the term for the horribles pushed by IMF on poor countries?) is now pushed on USA.

      From the economics standpoint, which costs the government more, 10 years of prison after a trial, or a drone or two to do an assassination?

  • What do a Jewish state and a Catholic table have in common?
    • "When you say that Jews are a separate people from the rest of humanity and can only be self determined in a state of their own" "you are saying that this is true for all “peoples.”". Nah, just for Jews. No-one else is so daft.

    • "Arab" means a person whose (principal) native language is Arabic. Many Muslims are not Arabs. Some Jews are (or were) Arabs if born in Arabic-speaking countries. such as Palestine, in some cases, such as Yemen, Morocco. "Palestinian" by contrast is a territorial designation, now and formerly also a "nationality" declaration. For stateless exiles, it is the only nationality. Palestinian-Americans are hyphenated to show place of origin, as Jewish-Americans are hyphenated to show religion (or race or whatever). all these terms are flexible, though, allowing for maximum uncertainty of meaning.

    • Thank you Hostage for this research. I guess Israel can no more be "held" to comply with its promises upon accepting UN Membership than it can be "held" to comply with (other elements of) international law.

      But it's nice to know about these promises.

      If the UNGA-181 proposed division of Palestine into two states IDENTIFIED THEREIN as "Jewish" and "Arab", then, at least, it also specified that they should respect the rights of all the citizens in their respective territories, and not EXPEL them or murder them, etc., etc.

      Perhaps that cuts the "Gordian knot" regarding "recognition" of Israel as a "Jewish State" -- recognize Israel as "a Jewish State existing under rthe provisions of UNGA-181 and thus under a permanent obligation to respect the civil and human rights of all its proper citizens including among these all persons who became refugees or stateless exiles during the wars of 1948 and 1967." How's THAT for a formula of "recognition"?

    • These 2M Arabs are like the famous 6M Jews except that they were graciously allowed to remain, and not murdered at all, when they could just as well have been expelled (and expelled just as legally as the Arabs who WERE expelled in 1948). Lieberman -- master politician and legal theorist -- probably believes they can STILL be expelled. They are thus as good as gone. So they can properly be treated as already gone. So, you see, it IS ALREADY a Jewish state. (Darn those liberal crybabies who cannot see such an easy explanation without being led by the hand!)

      The 2M Arabs should just count their blessings, surely, and not insist on injecting a non-Jewish tincture into what anyone can see was intended to be a "Jewish State" (even if it was never so-called until recently) (and whatever its declaration of independence may say about equality -- declaration/schmeklaration).

  • A society coming apart at the seams: Settlers attack IDF in the West Bank
    • Feel sorry, too, for the poor IDFers -- at least for those who are settlers at heart. Imagine arresting, beating, or shooting people who are only, as such people well know, doing God's will.

      They should refuse to serve in the occupied territories, like other refusniks who answer to a kinder God not so concentrating on his real estate license.

    • Yes, and if the IDFers fire at the legs of the Israeli settlers, chances are they will either miss entirely or else actually hit them in the legs (and not in the head and upper body, where shots aimed at the legs of Palestinians so often end up).

  • 'That’s what democracy means': Kristof makes the common sense argument for one state
    • David Samel has the right issue: TIME. Palestinians are like prisoners, no charges, no trial, just prison, and not allowed to vote (or otherwise be effective citizens of the country they live in) WHILE STILL IN PRISON.

      TIME IS RUNNING. Anyone can do 1 day in prison, but 44 years (or 64 years) is too much.

      USA has refused to free the prisoners and demands that they negotiate with the prison officials who evidently believe their livelihood will be lost when the prison doors are opened.

  • Rambunctious reporters question US State Dept's double standard on Syrian/Palestinian aspirations
    • Yes, and all those parking tickets! The USA should undoubtedly cut off all funds to all UN agencies (we're dirt poor, after all, to say nothing of disapproving) and the UN should move itself to Geneva. (Wonder who'd buy the building in NYC.)

    • Precisely -- but refusing to say, refusing to admit, that the abusive pedophile IS IN FACT abusive and IS IN FACT a pedophile (what a dreadful name for a child ABUSER, should be pedophobe).

    • Three questions (only).

      ONE: Do the USA press KNOW and ASK QUESTIONS OF STATE DEPARTMENT about the bloody suppression of peaceful Palestinian (and joint Palestinian-Israeli) demonstrations against the occupation, the settlements, the wall? (As they do about Syria's bloody etc.).

      TWO: does this discussion get out into the USA's newspapers or is it (effectively) hidden in the DoS briefing (even if technically "public" because on-line)?

      THREE: On a different subject, do REUTERS, AP, AFP, etc., tell the story of the bloody events in the OPTs, and it is the MSM that ignore the news, or do the wire-services themselves ALSO ignore these stories?

  • 'It's good to be Palestinian for a change,' Sha'ath says-- and suggests that Palestinians will push Goldstone Report
    • The USA and Israel believe that slavery (slaves have no rights to take to court) is "the western answer". UNCLE SAM SAYS: "Do what you're told and say Yassah boss."

  • Better days will come
    • In 1988, there was a celebration of Israel's 40th birthday. In Boston, a local TV station had a program on it and, in a 30-second-or-so slice taken from a 1-hour interview with my wife, a Palestinian-American, asked her if she could ever celebrate Israel's birthday. She thought a bit and then said, "Yes, I could, but only after we Palestinians have our own state." A week or so later, we were in Brookline, buying bagels in a Jewish-run store and the young lady behind the cash-register said to my wife, "I saw you on TV, You were wonderful."

      The Jews in Tel Aviv do not listen to their hearts, these days, but to their fear (much pumped-up by the government) and to their land-hunger and sense of entitlement (to all of Palestine).

      My wife is no longer with us. I doubt that I will live to witness the birth of a Palestinian state free of occupation. But I hope that there will be Israelis who will celebrate that birth and Palestinians able, then, at long last, to celebrate Israel's birth. for both "sides" will understand by then what it means to long for the birth of their nation, and will understand what it meant to the "other".

  • Story of a land grab
    • If a tree falls in a forest and no woman is present to tell her man that it happened, did the tree fall? AM I CONFUSED ABOUT SOMETHING. Yes, I am.

      I mean, if only Phil's army (enthusiastic but small) hear of these dreadful things, and the GOUS (which even the Wall Street Protest cannot reach) "hears no evil, sees no evil, and definitely speaks no evil", WHAT'S THE USE.

      How do we get to a greater public, in USA, in EU, anywhere?

  • NYT reviewer: Small group of Bush advisers will take real reason for Iraq war to their (restless) graves
    • It could be AS. If Walt and Mearsheimer blamed "the Jews", "the Jewish people", etc. But, by contrast, if they blamed a very, very few very, very rich Jewish individuals (who wish to promote right-wing Zionist policies), why then they are not AS (because they do not blame ALL Jews). And I would add, it ain't anti-semitic even if it is false if it was carefully researched and carefully argued. Mistakes aren't hatred.

    • In a court of law, a lawyer seeking a judicial agreement on a point of law gives reasons to support his contention. The judge, seeking to be sustained on appeal, as a rule, offers reasons to support his ruling.

      The neocons conned Bush-Cheney who, of course, wanted to be conned, and together they conned the nation. Everything they offered the nation as "reasons" was a con. And the Congress, wanting to be conned, lapped it up like a cat drinking spilt milk.

      One wonders at the alacrity with which everyone in this daisy-chain accepted the idea that going to (indefinite) war against an (indefinite and growing) enemy was a good idea? Pure Military-Industrial-Complex (reason: to enrich the war-profiteers) or something else?

  • Behind aid-cut to Palestinian Authority, more than meets the eye
    • Seafoid: yes, Israel made many promises, and kept few. But, important to note, there was NEVER A PRICE TO PAY for its broken promises. Israel constantly "tests" its parent (USA) to see if a later bedtime can be obtained, and generally it obtains a later bedtime. Palestinian state in FIVE YEARS, starting (whenever). Promises, promises. Doesn't matter a bit. (International law, UN Charter. Also doesn't matter a bit.) (Ya gonna make me? Yeah? You and who else?) It's a tough playground out there.

  • An American Jew who emigrated to Israel is asked if the end of the Jewish state would be a tragedy for her
    • [1] But she says, Israel has no (declared) borders. And T/A is a boring monoculture. The obvious fix (if the fixing were to be done by a beneficent God) would be to assign Israel borders surrounding a small area within which T/A and other hot-spots of monoculture could exist, leaving the rest of M/P for a multi-ethnic, democratic, non-sectarian state whose people include all the sorts of people who lived in Palestine in 1930.

      [2] She says that the settlements could not be uprooted. Politically, she is right if the politics is that of today's Israel. Or of today's USA. But the international community (or a beneficent God) might gear itself/herself up to enforce the law, in which case the settlements and wall would jolly well be uprooted. (Leaving the seriously depleted aquifers as a problem for people in both countries.)

      [3] Is she a Zionist? Maybe pregnant with Zionism but considering an abortion? Isn't that the case the pro-Palestine, pro-human-rights camp is hoping for, that more people pregnant with Zionism (on opening their eyes and seeing how the pregnancy is going, and looking at the pre-natal tests) will choose abortion?

  • The death throes of Greater Israel
    • "I suspect we'll see many more videos like this, with increasing violence. Those who believe in Greater Israel will fight until the end. The death throes of an idea can be a very dangerous time."

      Yes. Israel loves violence. Jews were not allowed to practice violence for so many years that some (many?) came to lust for it. POWER! GRRRRR! And it will be hard to give up the settlements.

      Economic pressure, and very fast, will be better than any other method for rolling back the settlement project and ending the occupation.

      But Israel's violence is only one among many violent confrontations happening and to be anticipated as global warming and neoliberalism crash the system

    • Yes, there will be jobs, initially. Housing needs to be built in pre-1967 Israel for the returning (repatriated) settlers. Building trades provide jobs (used to be jobs for Arabs).

  • The jury is in - Times readers decide against Bronner
    • Let's hear it for ROSARIO A. IACONIS! However, his noble statement is wrong. It is not impropriety that gets in the way of hearing the issues -- it is the NYT's refusal to print facts, history, and law on the issue -- especially facts, history, and law that might appear to call the Zionist experiment into question or cast it into disrepute. The current pogroms by West Bank settlers -- unrestrained by Israeli police or army -- are a case in point.

  • Khalidi reflects on the 'Palestinians' Next Move' in The National Interest
    • Israel doesn't do Gandhi very well? I suppose that means the Israelis don't respond well to non-violent protest. You can say that again.

      But they DO DO BRITAIN very well. Recall Indians marching peaceably toward rows of British soldiers and, at an officer's signal, being mowed down by rifle (or was it machine gun?) fire, and the rear ranks continuing to march forward, into death.

      Israel does THAT Britain VERY well. However, Britain eventually got sick of the killing of peaceable protesters. I don't see the Israeli government (nor do I see many of its people) getting tired of killing Palestinians whether peaceably protesting or even merely living their lives within Israeli-controlled territory (itself, perhaps, felt as a form of protest by many Israelis).

  • Michele Bachmann says Obama 'laid the table' for the Arab Spring
    • Was there "daylight" between USA and Hitler in 1938, when BROWNSHIRTS ramped up pogrom attacks on Jews in Germany? Perhaps not, as it took USA a long time to get into that war.

  • Israeli settlers attack Israeli activists & journalists; 19 injured, 3 hospitalized
    • RealJew: Israel as a spoiled love-child of western powers.

      Great phrase. I remember my father telling me he'd never been proud of Jews (or, possibly, of being Jewish) until the military success of 1967. MILITARISM as a source of pride!

      Had it been defensive, it would have been OK. But it was in large part offensive (as well as first shots being fired by Israel), as the capture and gradual take-over of West Bank and Gaza and Golan (and Sinai) show.

      What we have now is SETTLER BROWNSHIRTS increasingly "empowered" and encouraged (and NOT STOPPED) from Crystal-Nacht-like pogroms not seen since 1938 as Hitler and his merry band of ethnic cleansers came into their vicious stride.

      Jews learned both sides of that story of 1938. Today's settlers are playing out the ever-enjoyable (for the cruel and vicious) role of BROWNSHIRTS. Some Israeli "activists", who learned the other lesson of 1938, are playing out a role of resistance.

      And where is the USA's MSM on all this? I've asked OnTheMedia. And when may we expect the Jewish rabbis and other supposedly "ethical" Jewish folks in the USA to speak out against these horrors?

      The silence is deafening. Heschel would have spoken out!

  • Why isn't Kusra killing on the front page of our newspapers?
    • In the time of the first intifada, Palestinians with a sense of humor used to refer to the very special Israeli bullets which, although shot at people's legs, hit them so often in the head. (Of course, it was only Israelis who were claiming that soldiers aimed only at legs. Legs were expendable. So were arms. Recall Rabin ordering his soldiers to deliberately break the arms and legs of Palestinians they chose to attack.)

      Here, was there actually an entry point in a leg and an exit from head (an exit without an entrance, that is)? Who's testimony do we have?

      And why were soldiers who are often said to have been shooting rubber bullets (whatever they may be) shooting (as "eee" suggests or, perhaps, claims) "high speed small caliber bullets" which, as he says, have a tendency to ricochet in the body? Are they deliberately shooting Palestinians (they don't shoot Israelis with these things do they? Or at all?) with such immensely dangerous weapons? Wouldn't tear-gas cannisters have done just as well?

    • Anyone notice that this "confrontation" (and its unfair treatment by IDF) is one GOOD reason why settlers should not be allowed in occupied territory?

      And, guess what? They are not allowed. Settlement by citizens of the occupier of occupied territory is illegal. so is confiscation of land for building the settlements.

      So there are CONSEQUENCES (besides land-stealing) of Israel's policy of settlement.

      Maybe someone could craft a crafty question to ask the DoS spokesman about this, and about WHY USA's DOS does not (any more) call settlements illegal (as they are).

  • The Department of Corrections: Ben-Hur, the LA Times & a place called Palestine
    • Wonderful history of the use of the name "Palestine". I look forward to the L.A. Times publishing a retraction -- or correction -- of its correction! Go to it!

      As a musician, I have been impressed that the Palestine Symphony was in full swing in 1937. Under that name!

      In the 1930s, the word "Palestinian" was often used to describe the Jews of Palestine, including new arrivals.

      CAMERA's attempt to erase "Palestine" as a name for the territory is an obsession no-one needs. It is, of course, really an attempt to deny the use of the word "Palestine" in any Jewish context -- and probably in any favorable context.

  • Vice PM Moshe Ya’alon: Regime change in Ramallah will ultimately be necessary for peace talks to progress
    • And "Oslo" is dead. So the PA should fold and return the policing problem to Israel. Israel might even hire the same police as mercenaries (as the USA hired BLACKWATER as mercenaries). Best if Hamas and Fateh could agree to a NAME for a new governing body, call elections, see if Israel permits them, etc.. This body then could represent the OPT-Palestinians in PNC elections.

    • So the puppet-master wants to replace the (former) puppet which is acting with a mind of its own. (Brave puppet.)

      As to the Jewish State matter, I suggest that Israel formally change its name to:

      "The Jewish and Occasionally also Democratic State of Israel".

      That way, PLO and everyone else can "recognize" or otherwise deal with TFI (the former Israel) BY NAME without making any statement about its politics, rights, etc.

  • PA says Tony Blair has lost all credibility (though he's better than Dennis Ross)
    • The Quartet is prisoner to the out-dated idea that negotiations will bring peace. That is the sole justification for calling the whole sordid charade a "peace process". Being a prisoner of this idea, it is small wonder that its envoy, Blair, also promotes [endless, fruitless] negotiation.

      I suppose that the USA-Quartet idea is that if pushed long enough and hard enough the Palestinians will cave in, thus showing that "negotiation" worked. After all, Israel "negotiates" confessions from Palestinian prisoners by use of torture, and isn't the entire oppressive nature of the occupation/siege-of-Gaza a form of torture, a form of "negotiation"? And aren't the Palestinians who live under occupation, really prisoners?

      The proof of this idea is that USA gives a "green light" to settlement expansion -- to say nothing about the presence of settlements in the first place, considering that UNSC demanded removal of all settlers and dismantling of all settlement buildings in 1980 (UNSC-465). This "green light" to criminal activity is perfectly in synch with insistence on "negotiation" conducted via torture.

  • 'Are there any Palestinians unaffected by the occupation?' I ask him
    • I don't really have any idea where the rudeness of Israelis (so often mentioned that I don't doubt it) comes from. So I imagine it comes from the decisions, taken before 1945, before 1930, to take for themselves what they want by force. If you prepare yourself to ride rough-shod over the "other", you must, so I imagine, change your own character generally, even in relations with people who are not "other", so Israelis would -- by this reckoning -- be rude to each other as well. "What I want, I take."

      But perhaps I am entirely wrong. Was rudeness a feature of life among the Jews who came to Palestine in the period 1900-1930? A feature of their lives before they arrived? Did it come from Poland? Is it, perhaps, a letting-go after millenia of being an under-class people in Europe, a people afraid of Poles and Cossacks and the like, a people whose measure of "being free at last" is to become ubermenschen, conquerors, top-dogs, "look at me" folks? Were kindness and politeness and consideration for others considered to be "baggage" of the bad old days, baggage thrown overboard in the freedom of arrival in Palestine?

      Anyone know the history of this rudeness, this happy savagery? Any Israelis care to comment?

  • Photos of the crowd at the opening of MECA's 'A Child's view from Gaza' Exhibit
    • Maybe MECA can arrange to have this exhibit mounted in UN Headquarters in NYC. Be nice for the diplomats to see them as they consider statehood and related questions.

  • 'Time' features generational divide over Israel-- when will 92d St Y stage this family affair?
    • If a group of folks who do not suffer from a taboo on speech SPEAK FOR BDS at a CO-OP (for instances), it transforms SOME of the Jews-who-would-prefer-silence: they TAKE SIDES, THEY ALSO SPEAK. They align with Israel. Your mother might prefer utter silence, but the power-Zionists prefer to SPEAK OUT (often to silence others) (and often to distort facts).

    • Revealing indeed. It means that -- from the perspective of these young folks -- there is no such thing as a "Jewish People" or, at least, not one DICTATED TO and CENTERED UPON Israel. And it also seems to mean that those old folks who seem to believe (or to want to believe) that there is such a Jewish People centered on Israel -- THEY TOO are seeing a dissolution of the Jewish People of their imagining because of the abandonment by the young.

      The universal ethics of many young American Jews beats the readiness to consort with evil of too many older ones. Too bad the old folks didn't recall that "when you sup with the devil, use a long spoon". They'd been co-opted before they ever learned that Israel (because of the method of its formation, because of its habit of lawlessness, because of its greedy imperialism) is a "devil".

  • Imagine if this article was about whites and blacks in the US
    • As to demographics, I don't get it. Israel is deporting Palestinians and breaking up families on an industrial scale. The mistreatment ought to mean that many Palestinians will "seep away" if they can get permission to live elsewhere, SUMUD or no SUMUD.

      And what does demographic ratio mean anyhow? Israel is perfectly happy to rule over a majority of non-Jews, doesn't bother them a bit. A proposed law if enacted will (somehow) rule that where there is a conflict in Israel between "democracy" and "Jewish State", "Jewish state" will win, and this rule would seem perfect fro removing the vote from non-Jews.

      So what do the numbers mean? Well, one thing they mean is that WATER will get shorter and shorter for Palestinians as more and more is grabbed by the increasing (and comparatively overwhelmingly water-wasteful) population of Israelis.

      How could Israel give up the West Bank if that meant giving up the West Bank's aquifer (even if Israeli oil FRACKING trashes it)?

  • Sullivan on Obama's 'capitulation' at the UN
    • Perfectly correct statement. But re-election will not free Obama of this albatross, for there is always Congress to deal with and always the next election in two years.

      His only chance for statesmanship is to make it clear that he cares little about re-election, is not chasing money, and then to vote a resounding YES on Palestinian statehood and then, himself, to introduce in the UNSC a resolution calling for removal within 1 year (and the clock is ticking) of all settlers, and dismantlement of all settlements and the wall, a schedule to which end is to be published by Israel in one month. And this resolution will be useless if it does not lay out sanctions to go into effect whenever Israel fails to meet the schedule.

      It is possible that the American people, educated to know what he was up against and how the USA was tarnished over the last 20 years and more, would overwhelmingly re-elect him. Or not. But that is the ONLY statesmanlike path w.r.t. Israel and the occupation.

  • ADL gloats over the cancellation of Gaza children's art exhibit
    • "controversial" ??? Not until the ADL etc. created controversy.

      In other words, I don't like it, therefore I controvert it, and it is (ipso facto) "controversial".

  • Background on Israel as a 'Jewish state' and the ongoing discrimination against Palestinian citizens of Israel
    • Recognizing Israel as a Jewish state may be a really, really bad move for Palestinians to do.

      But there seems to be a move within Israel itself to pass legislation to resolve conflicts between Israel as a "Jewish state" and Israel as a "democracy" in favor of "Jewish state".

      The meaning of this MIGHT be to deny the vote to non-Jews, or rule out political parties (as Kahane's party was once ruled out) which don't recognize (whatever that means) the "Jewush State" THANG Or dis-allow legislation from coming to a vote if the proposed legislation fails some Jewish-State-Test.

      Who knows? But a Palestinian majority in Israel (one state solution) would lose a bit of its savor if the Palestinians, even in majority, could not change the direction of things.

  • An Open letter to President Obama from Israel
    • Bravo! Let's hear again and again about UNSC-465 (1980) calling upon Israel to remove all settlers and dismantle all settlements. If it was right then, it is right now. With BDS as a model, it can now be demanded "with teeth" (that is, with sanctions for non-compliance).

  • Money for nothing and occupation for free: The 1994 Paris protocols on economic relations between Israel and the PLO
    • Very interesting, very important. Way over my head, economics being a black hole in my education.

      Yes, so free untrammelled travel by Palestinians to work in Israel is implied by ONE agreement but countermanded by ANOTHER (A UNILATERAL ISRAELI SELF-AGREEMENT NOT TO ALLOW PALESTINIANS TO TRAVEL TO ISRAEL).

      Another bilateral agreement not kept by Israel. The whole thing should be scrapped. The Palestinians should do all business strictly in Chinese yuan. Forget the soon-to-be-dead currencies of dollar and shekel.

      (Small story: many Palestinians lost their savings after 1948 when the local British bank, Barkley's Bank, which held their savings denominated in Palestine Pounds properly regarded those deposits as without value because the PP had wholly devalued.)

  • Stripping geography from the conflict
    • Beautiful pictures go far to explain what Israel's so-called peace proposals come down to. THESE MAPS should be published on the walls of subway stations in NYC and San Francisco, etc,

  • Kahane lives? Proposed legislation reflects rightward shift in Israel on minority rights
    • This new law would mean that Israel could offer "citizenship in the Jewish State of Israel" to all Palestinians, even those of Lebanon, etc., because their votes could be IGNORED if they were cast in an anti-Jewish-Character manner (whatever that might turn out to mean).

  • Something to contemplate as you sit in rush hour traffic waiting to get on to the Queensboro bridge
  • Let's negotiate over how we divide the pizza while I eat the pizza
    • Is Israel ALREADY working for China? When things happen which someone wants to have happen, don't always assume that they are not doing it on purpose.

    • Why are reporters even bothering to ask the representative of (the formerly great and powerful) Oz these questions?

      Why should Israel NOT build on their own territory?

      If they (as emperors) have said the land is theirs, it is as good as theirs, is it not? And if it is as good as theirs, it is, for all practical purposes, theirs, is it not? That is, it IS theirs. (As matter of law. In case you were wondering. That's what law IS) So why not build 1001 or 1100 or ANY number of housing units there?

  • Knesset to vote on full Israeli annexation of the West Bank
    • Or like the Bedu of the Negev, who have citizenship, are allowed to serve in the army (or required?) but who are constantly taken off their traditional grazing-and-living lands. No home, no home, move on, move on.

      But I agree with those who say the likelihoods are with the Jewish=-settled areas, including one imagines [1] those outside the wall, and [2] those yet to be settled. and [3] the roads that hook, or will hook, all this up, one to another. (Roads? Anyone who lives on the Jewish-only road will become a citizen? Just kidding.)

    • If "annex" means to extend one's country's legal system to a territory, then do all the (presently present) Palestinians within (the full territory of) Mandatory Palestine become citizens and get to vote? (I know, I know, gotta read the new law's text. Mumble, mumble.) After all, all Palestinians presently present in (pre-war) Israeli territory (you know, annexed to nothing whatsoever after the 1948 war) were made citizens and allowed to vote.

  • Ron Paul for Palestinian statehood: 'I believe in self-determination of peoples'
  • 'Young, Jewish and Proud' issues challenge to the Jewish community
    • Thanks. There appears to be some fraction/splinter (I hope not the whole forest!) of halachic orthodoxy that believes (and teaches, in print but apparently in "code") that respect by Jews for human rights means respect for rights of Jews (only). I believe that the late, great, Israel Shahak took a lot of flak for making this point -- at a time when the lesson wasn't so well taught by the settlers and their facilitating rabbis.

      In 1965 Shahak sent a letter to Ha'aretz in which he claimed to have witnessed an Orthodox Jewish man refusing to allow his telephone to be used to call an ambulance for a non-Jew because it was the Jewish Sabbath.[9][10][11][12][13] In the letter, Shahak also claimed that members of the rabbinical court of Jerusalem confirmed that the man was correct in his understanding of Jewish law, and that they backed this assertion by quoting from a passage from a recent compilation of law. The issue was subsequently taken up in Israeli newspapers and The Jewish Chronicle, leading to significant publicity.

    • Beautiful. Anyone wondering where the young Jewish generation is going may be reassured: it remembers JUSTICE and is not fooled by the false claims that Judaism is co-extensive with support for right-wing Israel.

      Many rabbis found they were not able to teach sabbath-observance, kosher-observance, and the like as the be-alls and end-alls of Judaism, and many came to believe that Judaism was no more (and no less) than love of the State of Israel, militant. These young people teach a different lesson: that love of JUSTICE may, alone, be a religion sufficient to them and to anyone.

      While standing on one foot, teach that JUSTICE is Judaism and all the rest is excess baggage if not worse.

  • Will a US veto at the UN invite another 9/11 (followed by an attack on Iran)?
    • "Remember when Bush administration officials lied and claimed they had no way of knowing that Al Qaeda could strike in such a way (when in fact, they'd received precisely such warnings)?"

      The lie, I think was elsewhere. I am satisfied that the Saudi folks who flew those airplanes were working for (or believed they were working for) Al-Qa'ida. Sure. They were, in fact, Saudi terrorists. But who were they actually working for? No-one knows. But why suppose Al-Qa'ida just because the "soldiers" believed that? Didn't Bin Laden deny it? They were set up. By whom? No-one knows. But the airplanes were not shot down or even directed to change course by the air force of the Great Oz. The buildings fell in a manner that made many engineers say they must have been brought down by pre-set demolition charges.

      Bush et Cie. seem to have facilitated the destructiveness of the event to such an extent that it seems to many, and to me, that this was a USA job or Mossad job, something like that, something done by people able to organize a really big bang, such as 9/11 was. It was a show put on by the folks who wanted to start a perpetual war with Islam. Or so it appeared and still appears.

  • White House sells Quartet statement on negotiations as 'a major accomplishment in Israel's favor'
    • Somewhere I read: that the USA tried for a sterner statement, but UN and Russia refused, so the "statement" was a poor compromise from the USA's viewpoint. But, anyway, Palestine don;'t need no broker, the USa's a dishonest broker, the quartet ditto (because both ALLOW the settlements, while faintly tsk-tsk-ing them (praising them with faint damns). We don;'t know if the UNGA (or its members individually) can be made to take any real sort of action, but either as individuals or as a collective, it is time for nation-level BDS, and everyone knows it. Perhaps Turkey will lead the way.

    • Provocation, however, is not a pre-condition. Either is "No Provocations". In my book, apart from being violations of international law, the settlers and settlements and wall are "provocations" and removing them entirely is something very much [in my viewe] like a pre-condition. all the talk about "freezing" settlements was a crock. The issue was (or should have been) removing them. not freezing them.

    • Don't make me commit any crimes even more horrible than those I'm committing daily today! Please, don't make me do it! (Or is is, "don't throw me in the briar patch" ?)

    • No preconditions; but Palestine must recognize Israel as THE JEWISH STATE (or "a Jewish state"). [someone should persuade Khazaria, whatever it is called these days, to re-establish itself as "a Jewish state", and be sort of Iran-ish about it. Put Israel to shame. Another state for the Jewish people.

    • seafoid: "It’s going to drag Judaism down with it, of course."

      An interesting story has it that a new rabbi was talking to the president of his synagogue and asked if he should talk about (strict) sabbath observance in his sermon. NO! Strict kosher observance? NO! [something else]? NO! Then what should I talk about? Judaism! (Nowadays, [how we all love and support] Israel.)

      What'll they talk about when Israel folds? Dersh? Anybody? Any ideas?

    • If I want to buy a house, I typically employ a broker. But no matter how "good" (or impartial or energetic or honest) my broker is, it the owner does not want to sell, the broker is irrelevant.

      Israel does not want to sell a "just and lasting peace".

      The quartet is, at best, another broker. Maybe better than USA, but seems not to be. Nevertheless, only a broker.

      If QTT demands that Israel and Palestine make peace before 12/31/11, the demand is likely to fall on deaf ears, perhaps on both sides, because each side must hear an offer they can "buy" before they tell the broker he has been a success.

      If there is to be a "sale" here, the external circumstances for Israel or Palestine or both must change. Israel must WANT to sell. Palestine must WANT to buy.

      I recommend to our side (i.e., pro "just and lasting peace a la 242") that we CHANGE ISRAEL'S CIRCUMSTANCESS by encouraging the nations, the members of the UN, the signatories to the Geneva Conventions, that they employ gradually increasing BDS pressure on Israel until Israel removes all settlers and dismantles all settlements and the wall (or makes peace) (or ends the occupation entirely, which means removing the army in addition to the rest).

  • Palestinian negotiator Hanan Ashrawi pressed on next steps for Palestinian statehood
    • Disillusioned Israeli: Yes, in principle, and on the idea of "use it or lose it", the UNGA should hit this issue heavy and hard and often. However, in reality, the USA will be in there with its thumb on the scale getting countries scared of their own shadows if they even think about voting (or ACTING) in a serious way against Israel. And, even today, the USA's no pussy-cat. So the planning of a UNGA effort (other than slightly promoting PLO's status) to really affect Israel/Palestine will require great finesse and timing and co-ordination (just as would, for instance, taking advantage of the US Congress's merely 1-inch deep support for Israel by organizing a surprise vote of the entire Congress (say on November 15) in favor of a Palestinian State (which would be organized in secret adn for which all coukld vote because they would realizae that AIPAC couldn' t punish ALL of them.)

    • "When Witty is singing your praises, you probably have a integrity problem." Not this time.

      Although, to be fair, Ashrawi (although one of the finest Palestinian negotiators and speakers (rather inaudible on this recording, at least for me)); -- Ashrawi IS a politician. But in the company of Obama, the Dersh, the Beeb, and the Lieb(s), she is a star in the heavens.

    • Lovely idea. Be good for it, also, to re-affirm that the settlers and settlements and wall are present illegally in the West Bank (and Golan), and demand removal of all, even if no sanctions are put in place. (In this bold move, the Israeli Jews present in pre-1967 Israel IN EXCESS of 1947 UNGA-181 proposal, would be regarded as settlers for purposes of removal.

      NO BUT REALLY, and on second thoughts, UNGA should save its energies for a single, REAL intervention,demanding removal of settlers, settlements, and wall AND PROVIDING TEETH by way of enforcement. (I call this nation-level BDS).

  • Turkish government releases identities of IDF soldiers who attacked the Mavi Marmara
    • Assuming the correctness of this list, one wonders: WHO WERE THE OFFICERS and HIGHER-UPS who gave the orders? I would far prefer to indict THEM.

      In future actions, ALL IDFers will wear FULL-HIJAB (i.e., black balaclavas) and no recognition of individuals will be possible.

      Anyone know if such disguise is illegal, or takes the soldier outside the protections of Geneva Conventions?

  • The UN application for the State of Palestine and the future of the PLO
    • The fact that no nation -- not an Arab state, not a South American state, not even Turkey -- has sought to bring the law of belligerent occupation before the ICJ (other than the very narrow question of the legality of the wall) shows that USA pressure against such interventions (much like AIPAC's pressure against pro-Palestine actions by congressmen) exceeds the tendency -- if any -- in favor of such intervention. Maybe we can see the Palestinian Spring influence this flaccidity.

  • 'NYT' Public Editor lets Bronner off the hook
    • I always thought that newspepople were "tight" with the people in government they talked to everyday. Not necessarily in a money-relationship, but friends, doing favors, favorable reporting, publicizing "leaks", etc. All this "making nice" is pretty close to corruption, even without explicit money-transfer. IMO.

  • Obama's impossible dilemma--and ours
    • "Over the longer run, it is possible that an international BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) might succeed. As I have argued, it also might backfire, but that is just a risk that morally must be run, in the hope that the pariah status of Israel would result in the South African outcome rather than the Samson one."

      I have advocated BDS for a while and similarly, USA action of a BDS sort since 2008, all aiming at removal of settlers and settlements and wall.

      I sadly and reluctantly agree with Slater that presidential action without Congress kills Obama and changes little. For example, if Obama were to fail to veto Palestinian membership resolution, his entire program (and not just I/P) would likely be trashed. If not re-elected, we could have one of the Republican lovelies in office for 4 or 8 years and THEIR S/C justices, etc., etc.

      If the president (or anyone else) could EDUCATE the American public and its congress, there might be a change in feeling. One would wish (following slater's argument) that such education happen sufficiently slowly for Israelis to adjust to it as something which can be met in midstream rather than as a tidal wave to be resisted with all possible force and violence and madness and suicide and nuclear weapons, etc., etc. (Just ask yourself what would happen -- in case of such a tsunami -- if Israel's NUKES are now in the hands of settler fanatics, who have infiltrated the IDF much as Zionist propagandists have infiltrated USA's media and government.)

      Slow and steady seems a better method, although starting ASAP. BDS by the nations is what we should look for.

      If there are 16 families who run Israel's economy, as seafoid says, then, indeed, focus the BDS on them.

  • Mr. President, we don't want a shortcut, we want our freedom
    • But someone -- an EU biggie? -- must TELL THE WORLD of the USA's disgrace. Otherwise there is no disgrace. If everyone says, "Oh!, USA!, wonderful speech, great president, aren't we, the world, lucky to have you?" then there will be no disgrace.

      Perhaps there will be a major, major vote in favor of Palestinian [1] state and [2] membership. after that speech, such would be one way to point to Obama's disgraceful conduct.

  • Ismail Khalidi: A tragic lecture, justifiying a vicious occupation, with no awareness that we killed the two-state solution
    • Palestinians have been practicing SUMUD (steadfastness) in face of absolutely dreadful conditions for 63 years now. They are not as bad, if you wish a comparison, as the condition of European Jews during the period 1939-1945, which (condition) had not yet been called illegal by the international community, but, by contrast, lasting 63 years during which the expulsions and non-re-admittance of 1948-50 were decried by the nations and for 44 years or more of which the expulsions and settlements and much else were clear violations of what is charmingly called "customary international law".

      I doubt that many of us would have the intestinal fortitude to practice such SUMUD. I know that Americans and Europeans have not found a way to overcome the BIG-MONEY that directs their foreign ministries to side with Israel and against international law for such a long time and so grievously.

      As the capitalist system (with its assumption or premise or promise of healthy ROI now in doubt and its dependence on the burning of fossil fuels contradicted by global warming) appears to break down, beginning with banking scandals and now with sovereign debt crises, and cascading environmental and human rights problems almost everywhere, * * *

      * * * its a bit hard to convince world leaders that solving the Israel-Palestine conflict -- by imposition of a just peace treaty, or else by requiring Israel to comply with the law by removing settlers, settlements, and wall -- should occupy a high place in their TO-DO lists.

      BDS tries to correct this.

  • Obama speech was shattering to liberal Zionists
    • "The irony of course is that Obama's collapse is a Jewish communal achievement. That is the thrust of Tom Friedman's column of last Sunday attacking the powerful Israel lobby for holding Obama "hostage." "

      Not a "Jewish communal" achievement, any more than the banking debacle of 2008-and-ongoing was a "Jewish communal" achievement. The BIG-ISRAEL (AIPAC) lobby, which is not even all Jewish, is (to the extent Jewish) the project of a very, very few very, very rich Jews. It IS the lobby, and not the American Jews, who hold Obama and the Congress hostage.

      Unless and until the Jewish community, as a whole, talks SERIOUSLY to its so-called leadership and tells them to back away from hard-line-Israel, and to make AIPAC a SHAMEFUL enterprise, however, the LOBBY is a Jewish communal enterprise by default, default of action, quiet where noise is needed.

      Am I agreeing with you, after claiming to disagree?

  • Gideon Levy (unintentionally) lays bare the contradictions of liberal Zionism
    • shingo: "I wonder what Hop would say if one were to describe the Holocaust as a case of some people not getting what they wanted?"

      Yes, especially if someone, somewhere, could find evidence of a Jew (perhaps a Banker) who did something that actually injured a German. I believe there was a lot of propaganda to the effect that Jewish bankers were injuring Germany (just as, today, there is a lot of similar propaganda -- or reportage if you prefer -- relative to Goldman Sachs and others injuring Americans), and, maybe, there was a grain of truth in it. SO WHAT -- DID IT, EVEN IF TRUE, JUSTIFY THE HOLOCAUST? (IMHO, no. But that's just me. Skinheads take another view.) (And many Israelis, adopting skinhead-type logic, think that a variety of things -- and not only Palestinian resistance to Zionist takeover -- justify Jewish terrorism 1945-48, today's settlements, the permanent exclusion of the 1948 refugees, special treatment of Israeli Arabs, etc.)

    • There is a strange psychology whereby people will decide to be allies or friends with someone on a class or color or religious basis and then completely ignore horrific information which might (and, had it been heard first and without the c-c-r stuff, would) have turned them entirely off.

      TRY THIS:

      I just love Hitler and the Nazis, they are such nice white, Christian men, such nice manners! and -- the Germans -- so cultured!

      AND THEN IGNORE the attacks on all of Europe and the Holocaust, etc.

    • Zionism at earliest moment based "on a premeditated campaign to ethnically cleanse Palestine of its indigenous non-Jewish population"? I agree. But it is far from clear that the WORLD understood this. UNGA-181 is not written that way; it calls for respect for the "other" living within each country. recall that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was being negotiated/written at this time, the WWII had just finished and had more to it than just the Holocaust, the Geneva Conventions of 1949 were being negotiated including the Fourth, with its intention to protect civilian persons in time of war.

      No, expulsion was a secret program that Ben Gurion and others carried in their hearts but scarcely mentioned in public.

      And BG also wanted far more WATER than the 1947 UNGA-181 land promised, he wanted to extend Israel to the Litani river in Lebanon which had plenty of water. (In my view, Phil tends to ignore the WATER side of Zionism, historically and today. It is HUGELY important. But little discussed, rather hidden by Israelis, a rather big elephant which is badly hidden in the closet.)

  • Neoconservative wax museum set to open in D.C. next month
    • Neocons wax nostalgic? But they are still in charge, with Tea Party pushing from behind. The GREAT THING about POLITICS is that you can concentrate on getting your way, making your ideology prevail-in-action, and NOT WORRY about what happens to "the people", "the environment" because NO MAJOR PARTY CARES about these and no BIG-MONEY forces are present (yet?) to do battle with all the BIG-MONEY forces that despise (or are malignantly rather than even benignly neglectful of) people and environment.

      And justice. Including for Palestinians. and rule-of-law.

  • Palestinians have a better chance of getting a state on Craigslist than from Barack Obama
    • People who love Palestine (or Israel come to that) or compliance with international law must "eat bitter" today. I hope some major EU leader will take time out from economic and banking troubles to "call" Obama on his dereliction of duty and abandonment of the American dream set forth in out own Declaration of Independence

  • Conservative rabbis overwhelmingly disapprove of settlers and many say they're 'sometimes ashamed' of Israel
    • It doesn't matter what "people" think, whether in Israel or in USA. People as such don't count, never did, in these leader-democracies, where leaders are chosen by elections and (at least in USA) elections are entirely "rigged" by a variety of BIG-MONEY, much of it owned or significantly controlled by pro-extreme-Zionist folks -- who support the USA's military empire and also Israel's -- who also do not believe in global warming, which, unlike the teensy-weensy problem of Israel (or of Palestine) IS A MAJOR PROBLEM. There's no room for the "people" to have a voice.

  • Can the Israeli government kill Americans with impunity?

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