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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 200 - 101

  • Goldstone contra Goldstone
    • Exquisite. Thanks so much for making this effort. I have not checked the quotes, but they look reasonable and should very much like to see anyone try to falsify this essay. More likely, it will be ignored. It belongs in the annals (if there are such) of debunking Zionist Hasbara.

      Perhaps (ho-ho-ho) the NYT will publish it!

  • What Palestine's UNESCO membership could mean on the ground
    • The list of direct possible gains from UNESCO is wonderful, even if it merely describes what UNESCO seeks to provide and in no way describes what Israel will allow. But it is a fine start, and illustrates how UNESCO's goals for humane treatment of peoples is at odds with Israel's view of its various cruel droits de seigneur.

      Beyond any other thing, changing USA's policy regarding I/P depends on educating the USA public to facts of Israel's mistreatment of people living in the OPTs. I hope this essay find wide readership.

    • Palestine must still cross the Teas and dot the Eyes, particularly by something called "ratification" (I suppose of the UNESCO rules and of the membership). Palestine's system of governance is weird (elected, but too long ago, and the Hamas legislators mostly in jail unless recently released) and what would constitute "ratification" remains to be seen. Of course, UNESCO would presumably be judge of its own rules * * *.

  • The law and practice of apartheid in South Africa and Palestine
    • I will not defend Goldstone but seek to understand him: "The situation in the West Bank is more complex. But here too there is no intent to maintain “an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group.” This is a critical distinction, even if Israel acts oppressively toward Palestinians there."

      I think Goldstone wants to say that the rules and practices which embody the oppression are not legislated according to a system of statutes or regulations which state a purpose of discrimination and oppression. Or perehaps he means that neither "Jews" nor "Palestinians" nor "Arabs" are "races, so there cannot be "racial discrimination", even if there may be other discrimination.

      If this is what he means -- that the lack of a statement of purpose to discriminate and oppress is all that (in his view) makes the Israeli regime in OPTs fail to constitute apartheid -- then he should say so more clearly.

      In my view and Dugard's (I believe), the appropriate rule is not to look for explicit statements of malign purpose but, rather, to apply the "looks like a duck, sounds like a duck, walks like a duck" rule for identifying ducks.

      Goldstone is a broken man, now being used as a tool of the AIPAC crowd and NYT. Treat him with kindness.

  • UNESCO votes to admit Palestine as a full member
    • And here we all thought it was the Israelis who had the remote control for our suicide vest!

      Psst, Madame Secretary, ask the Congress to change the law. You know, I feel sure, that the Congress writes the laws of the USA, not Israel, and not Palestine. It is in our hands, Madame Secretary, not anyone else's. If we wear a suicide vest, it is by our own choice, and we can take it off any time.

    • Nice analysis of UNESCO vote at 972mag

    • RW, you ignore reality. Israel has LONG SINCE HUNKERED DOWN.

      Israel LOVES the anti-democratic apartheid 1SS which has been in formation since 1967 and is cast in concrete by now, the settlers being so ascendant that Gideon Levy declares a hostile takeover of Israel by the settlers.

      I/P peace (if it is to be other than the 1SS I described above) has for many years depended on a change in external circumstances, as the state of food in a frying pan depends critically on whether or not there is a fire under the pan. UNESCO is a small bit of fire.

      More to come.

    • The defunding: Loser takes his marbles and goes home. Actually, loser is losing his marbles. USA should congratulate Palestine. so should they all (one makes allowance for Israel not joining the happy party).

      The Palestine which joined UNESCO is not science fiction but, rather, anticipatory: a people with a well-recognized right to national determination has declared its territorial boundaries, generously allowing Israel the pre-1967 territory, and the world is saying, YES AND HIGH TIME.

      Uncle Sam wants to try the King Canute (Knut) trick, commanding the waves to stand still, but forgets the rest of the story:

      Henry of Huntingdon, the 12th-century chronicler, tells how Cnut set his throne by the sea shore and commanded the tide to halt and not wet his feet and robes. Yet "continuing to rise as usual [the tide] dashed over his feet and legs without respect to his royal person. Then the king leapt backwards, saying: "Let all men know how empty and worthless is the power of kings, for there is none worthy of the name, but He whom heaven, earth, and sea obey by eternal laws." He then hung his gold crown on a crucifix, and never wore it again "to the honour of God the almighty King".[94] This incident is usually misrepresented by popular commentators and politicians as an example of Cnut's arrogance.


  • How's that for turnaround time? -- US cuts off funding for UNESCO
    • Not simple under the USA's oligarchic (money elections) system for the USA to "buck" the AIPAC party-line. Simple in principle, impossible as matter of political fact.

    • USA: Palestine is not merely a prisoner, but must be kept in "solitary" -- cannot talk to the other children -- until the jailer (Israel) is pleased to say it is OK. Someone naughty (UNESCO) made a hole in the wall and now Palestine, still a prisoner, is talking to the other children. Tsk, tsk. BAD UNESCO! BAD KITTY!

  • If Sen. Ron Wyden wants to end arms sales to Bahrain for 'violently suppressing peaceful civil dissent', why not Israel?
    • Bahrain, I believe, hosts a major USA military installation, and the USA's military empire would like to remain on friendly terms there. selling arms would appear to help with that.

      Why Sen. Wyden is unconcerned with this matter of empire is curious. Perhaps he knows that his pro-human-rights move will bring him votes locally and he is, perhaps, also an enemy of empire.

      Israel, I believe, doesn't do a darn thing for the USA but for domestic political reasons, the entire USA political system would like to keep friends with Israel. Perhaps Sen. Wyden is enough of a political realist to realize that and for that reason he keeps mum on Palestine.

  • Netanyahu needs a history tutor -- Can UNESCO experts help?
  • New report says Israeli home demolitions in East Jerusalem violate international law, may constitute a war crime
    • Can Israel "preserve a demographic balance in the city of a Jewish majority" without ALSO VIOLATING I/L by settling the occupied place with settlers?

      Israel seems to want to have it two ways: [1] it recovered its own land which Jordan had occupied 1948-1967. The land is no longer "occupied" having been restored to its proper owner and sovereign. In that case, it should have extended citizenship to the people living there. It did not. It has two laws. etc. [2] it occupied someone else's land in 1967, and therefore need not make citizens of the residents.

      [2] is the generally understood view, but settlements and settlers are forbidden in this view.

  • 2 reports say Israel may be preparing Iran attack
    • Not logical. Like the story of the scorpion who cons a frog into ferrying him across a stream ("I wouldn't sting you mid-stream, it wouldn't be logical, I'd drown") and then stings the frog ("Hey, I never said I was logical -- this is the Middle East").

      Israel NEEDS WARS and NEEDS FEAR. At least its leaders do.

      (QUESTION: assuming an attack on Iran actually occurs and Israel and USA survive the various outcomes and blow-backs and world reactions, WHAT COUNTRY DOES ISRAEL USE AS ITS NEXT TARGET? NORTH KOREA?)

      Some of Iran's leaders are blow-hards about Israel. So what? When Hitler began to talk about stuff, he controlled not much. Later he controlled a large and quickly militarizing industrial nation. Iran has not much just now. It will not soon rival Germany or USA as an industrial power. What's the THREAT TO ISRAEL (OR TO ANYONE) JUST NOW? Nothing, to my thinking.

      Does Iran need a nuke or two to offset Pakistan's nukes? To offset Israel's? Fine, I'm all for deterrence. Of course, an Iranian deterrence may be EXACTLY what Israel fears.

  • Where occupy and tea overlap
    • I don't really know the tea-party thinking, but I'd assume (from Koch support) it is typical-Republican in that it objects to REGULATION and SOCIAL SPENDING.

      If this is so, then it does NOT object to big-government where the "big" means corporate give-aways, tax-breaks, break-down-of-environmental-protections and the like. It does NOT object to big-military (enrichment of MIC, Blackwater, etc.). It does NOT object to "security-state", "anti-terrorism-state", diminution of civil liberties ("lock em up and throw away the key", no trials, assassination perfectly OK, especially at those dratted OWS thingies, police brutality is great and justified by anything any low-level cop or civil-servant elects to describe as "terrorism").

  • Romney promises to abdicate American foreign policy towards Israel . . . to Israel
    • I think the M-I-C (esp. arms makers and sellers) control 1/2 the USA's budget (think armed forces, intelligence, anti-terrorism, homeland defense [recall when that was the sole province of the armed forces?] They WANT to sell expensive toys to Israel and the Arab countries. And they DO. (Israel buys its with USA's money sometimes.)

      So it is not only BIG ZION but also BIG ARMS that provide the oligarchic momentum for the USA's pro-Israel (pro-conflict) stance. Chomsky might well believe that BIG ARMS is the bigger of these.

      Watch the attempts to solve the USA's debt without reducing the ridiculously too large military budget. It is to laugh. Taxing the very rich will be EASY compared to really reducing the military budget.

    • Agreed, appeal to Christian Zionists. But after the primary, and after they ALL start beating the same drum, will the Republican primary winner PULL BACK from Israel? Not if Obama is any measure. Not if they want to win CZ votes (as well as money and primary votes).

      The timing of this (let's move the embassy to EJ) adnm of the threats about Iran seem designed to influence the 2012 USA election by tying-up ALL USA pols to Israel's apron-string (as if it hadn't alrady happened).

      Interesting question is whether such overreaching can backfire. Hasn't yet. One can always hope. especially as to war with Iran. I'd kinda like (well, I hate war, but yo know what I mean) Israel to attack Iran and horrible blow-back against Israel and USA which CANNOT BUT BE ATTRIBUTED TO ISRAEL.

    • So Romney would take orders from the leaders of Israel, not from (or in the interest of) the American people. GOOD WY TO RAISE MONEY. Just what the entire Congress did a short time ago, with 584736 instances of applause when Bibi spoke to them in the USA Knesset, I mean the USA Congress.

      It is possible that some (few, to be sure) Republican (primary) voters would take affront at this IF IT WERE KNOWN, but it is probably not widely known. Giving direction of US foreign policy to furr'ners doesn't sound like a good move for a Mur'kin politician. BUT THE VOTERS HAVE BEEN TAUGHT THAT ISRAEL KNOWS BEST. No-one at this point is telling them anything different.

      Better would be a stand-up Obama speaking in, say mid October 2012, pointing the this OPEN obsequiousness as disloyal and possibly pointing, as well, to the horror that had ALREADY IN FACT OCCURRED (say in oil prices) AFTER ISRAEL DID ATTACK IRAN. suggesting Israeli interests and USA's interests are NOT the same.

      Hard to judge the future.

  • 'NYT''s Gordon (who gave us Saddam's 'mushroom cloud') relies on Israeli expert to interpret Saddam
    • OK, Phil, you're conspiratorial. So there. But you've uncovered the big one (big and quite old).

      It's not this, tho interesting: NYT quotes an Israeli to interpret a selected few documents (from a trove of many more documents) captured by Americans in Iraq and made public (to all the public, I suppose). [1] Who selected which dox to make public? [2] who selected what to tell NYT? (Answer: the Israeli).

      It's this: NYT turns to Israeli to interpret dox which (he says) tell false story of USA/Israeli conspiracy. NYT is telling the USA: "Hey, we trust Israelis, and so should you!" On matters dealing with Israel (and perhaps critical of Israel), we turn to an Israeli to tell us what to think, to do our reading and our thinking for us. We think this is proper procedure, impartial, whatever, AND SO SHOULD YOU.

      Me to NYT: I think you're off your rocker and the USA should think so too. why not ask an Iraqi (or a Palestinian) (or Juan Cole) to look over ALL the recently released documents and read them and make a precis and tell the USA what they say. even if he gives the same answer, he'd be more believable.

      NYT: We know you want to make BIG of not being believable, to flaunt your flouting of proper journalistic practices, to prove your bone fides to AIPAC. OK. You've done it well. Be proud of yourselves.

  • Racism toward Arabs is what unifies the Zionist right, says JJ Goldberg, liberal Zionist
    • A fine indication of the imbalance of power that Jews, who are in control of so much (especially in USA) profess fear (and loathing) of anti-Semitism but so often have no trouble (and express no loathing regarding) expressing anti-Arab (which often means anti-Muslim or anti-Muslim-Arab) feeling or opinion.

      It is as if to say: We who are so powerful must be protected against anyone who attacks us hatefully, but we who are so powerful must be allowed to attack others hatefully. (In short: what's mine is mine and what's yours is mine, or heads I win and tails you lose.)

  • Palestine's UNESCO bid to come up Monday (amid Simon Wiesenthal Center hypocrisy)
    • If I were a praying man, I'd pray for UNESCO to OK Palestinian membership and thereby -- not wholly incidentally and not wholly unimportantly -- sending a signal (as they say) to the slowly withering Big Troglodyte (USA)

  • 4-year-old Palestinian girl is rendered quadriplegic by Israeli military training in occupied West Bank
    • My understanding of the (so called) law is that occupier cannot take (or take over) land except for reasons of military necessity.

      TRAINING could be done in pre-67 Israel, so training in OPTs is not necessary -- and is illegal.

      I wish I could apologize to her and to all the others for the intransigent, insensitive refusal of most of the human race (or of its governments, anyhow) to prevent this sort of thing by (at a bare minimum) enforcing the existing (since 1949) international law of belligerent occupation.

  • 'A historic forum:' Sylvia Schwarz tells Minneapolis gathering that privileging Jews is racism
  • Boston Zionists fail to excommunicate Vilkomerson and her call for 'equality, respect' and boycott
    • JVP is indeed excluding itself from the mainstream Jewish conversation -- with the hopes of shifting that conversation and BECOMING MAINSTREAM.

      She (and we) should work on lifting Jewish fears and seeking allies among Jews, young (and often idealistic) and old (and often fearful).

      I disagree with JVP (or Vilkomerson) taking the position that RoR for Palestinian involuntary exiles must be "negotiated". If it is a right, it should be enforced, and not negotiated away by people who did not create the right and cannot destroy it.

      Similarly, the right of people living under occupation should be whatever the law says, and not negotiated away either by the PA or by the USA.

      When you stand up to oppression, it should be FAR EASIER to get a cohesive statement of policy if the goals are clear and universalistic. Support for international law (and for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which declares a right of return) is far simpler and more obviously correct than support for something as wishy-washy as "negotiation".

      If I'd been on the panel, I'd have asked Leonard Fein this one multi-part question:

      Mr. Fein, who do you think would be living in the territory of pre-1967 Israel today, had the Palestinians and Arabs accepted UNGA-181? How many of those people are now refugees? If you justify what we today call "ethnic cleansing" by Israel in 1948, how do you justify it?

  • Romney's adviser on Middle East has had a career boosted by Israel lobby
    • McBride writes: "Mitt Romney, like most Republicans and many Democrats, is totally under the thumb of the most extreme right-wing regime in Israeli history — a regime whose values and agenda are radically at odds with basic American values and interests." Well, true.

      But I bet they are also both under the thumb of Military-Industrial-etc.-etc.-etc.-Complex, Big Banks, Big Oil, etc.

      USA's politicians are employees of the BIGs. That's what OWS is (or s/b) about. People who read this blog have a particular burr under their saddle (as of course do I) about Zionism. But it's a systemic problem. The big banks regulate the USA, and not the other way around. Ditto AIPAC.

  • Reform Jews' biennial will feature ultra-right, Sharansky and Kristol
    • Mike Dukakis, at the time governor of MA and married to a Jewish woman, hosted a breakfast for Boston's (Massachusetts's) Arab (Arab-American) community. Very nice breakfast. POLS DO THIS SORT OF THING! THEY MAKE NICE WITH IMPORTANT CONSTITUENTS.

      Of course, that said, things about Israel have got WAY out of hand. We can but hope (and work: BDS) for better times.

  • US handwringing plea to Israel: building settlement units will only help Palestinian statehood bid
    • Israel FM is (unreliably) reported to have said to Uncle Sam, "Well, if our building plans make your job harder, then you'll just have to work harder, won't you?" (Who's the boss around here, anyway?)

  • Leading progressive magazine gives Palestinian solidarity the Swastika stamp
    • I think you are right, RW, makes a lot of sense. It is of course horrible that any Jew, anywhere, should feel pushed around unreasonably just for being asked to live and let live, to live according to international law and norms.

      But, clearly, the wonderfully cheery and bloodcurdling advice of the Jewish mom ("Go out and shoot at Palestinians dear, and don't worry about them shooting back, because you've never done anything to them to justify it") is taken at face value by many Jews who see nothing to complain about in an ever-expanding apartheid Israel.


    • I think that it is preferable for a genuine anti-Semite to express (also) genuine anti-Israel feeling, when justified, to expressing pure anti-Jewish hatred.

      I'd think that Jews including Israelis who believe that anti-Semitism is a threat to anyone -- if there are any who are not merely using anti-Semitism as a rhetorical tool -- would see the importance of cutting back on Israel's crimes (all right, "perceived crimes" if you prefer); instead, the crimes become more blatant even as the cries of anti-Semitism become louder.

      It's a case of "have your cake and eat it too". It's like that joke, "Go out and shoot at some Palestinians, dear." "But, mom, what if the Palestinians shoot at me?" "What, why should they do that, what have you ever done to them?" (The "perceived crimes" are invisible, made invisible in some few cases by a belief that because they are justified they are not perceived as crimes.)

  • Lacking 'legitimacy' in its neighborhood, Israel is imploding -- Sullivan
    • That's fine for Jews who do not live in Israel, but what shall they do, and the settlers (especially the thugs, but who would know for sure?) -- who are their neighbors they should make nice with?

      Oh! I get it! They should roll-back the occupation, recall the settlers, demolish the wall (and if the PA desires it, the settlemetns as well), demolish the checkpoints, open all roads, adn then get out of the way. And, oh yes, make nice with MAJOR REPARATIONS FOR THE GRIEF OF 44 years.

      Think Israel could get the timing right? Increasing the misery right up to the moment that the USA cweases to offer support and then turning it around? (And where'd they get the money from to do it?) HINT: DO IT NOW, WHILE THERE IS STILL TIME.

    • The EU is artificial, but essentially voluntary. Presumably the pain of the USA's civil war can be avoided if it comes apart.

      The amalgamation of Palestine into a (before 1900 purely notional) Israel has been essentially involuntary. It has been manufactured by a single continuous war, begun by pre-Israel as terrorism in 1945 or earlier and continued by never-ending over-the-top usually-unjustified violence started by Israel.

      Does the world ever let the victor retain the spoils? Often. Will it here, where the robbery continues without end, spills over, is blatant, embarrasses the USA and those arm-twisted into lock-step with it? Well, we'll have to wait and see, won't we?

  • Breakthrough: 'Ynet' honestly seeks answer to question, How did American Jews get so rich?
    • Does that mean that Chinese-, Japanese-, and Korean-Americans will soon be the richest Americans? In my small experience, talented music students in USA (who used to be overwhelmingly Jewish) are now CJK. I'm happy with it, because the recent immigrants from those countries (also) believed in hard work and education. It may work the same way in science, industry, banking (feh!), etc.

  • J Street presses division inside Jewish community, blaming neocons for leading 'charge to war in Iraq'
    • Taxi: Obama does seem hung up on the get-re-elected thang. I guess that anybody who runs for president just has that bug and keeps it if re-election seems at all possible. TOO BAD because if he were willing to NOT SEEK re-election, he could (but WOULD he?) do the right thing on Israel/Palestine.

      That said, can you imagine the Supreme Court nominations and other doings of any of the current Republicans? If you think things are as bad as they can get, think again.

      And while you are thinking again, pray that OWS gets some traction and the big-money boys (including you know who) can be kicked out of politics. (Pie in the sky is better than no pie at all.)

    • "This effort to stifle debate on U.S. policy toward Israel runs counter to this American tradition. Accordingly, the RJC will not be silenced on this or any issue."

      RJC thinks it's winning and wants to be allowed to shout. (IMO it IS winning, hands down.)

      The test of success of the "let's talk about USA and Israel" idea is whether average Americans (and average American politicians) will ASK-OUT-LOUD whether USA's support for Israel is in USA's national interest. It is the ASKING that matters, not the ANSWER.

      There can be no discussion as long as the discussion itself is disallowed. The censorship is HUGE. Imagine NPR having a program discussing American attitudes toward continuing/discontinuing support for Israel (or merely asking if USA should enforce international law to require Israel to remove all settlers and to dismantle all settlements and the wall).

      Imagine all the non-Jewish people saying to themselves, "Gee, I wish someone else would raise this issue [of USA's support for Israel], but I'm afraid of sticking out like a sore thumb. Don't want to offend Jewish friends. What if almost everyone also wanted a discussion, and we were all afraid to be the first to open our mouths! Scarey! But I will not go first."

      The (social) censorship not only limits politicians to ONE position but also prevents the very discussions that could -- in principle -- make it possible or even necessary for those same politicians to change their positions.

  • Jennifer Rubin's fast track to intolerance
    • How many non-Jewish graduates of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism does it take to screw-up a foreign policy?

      (Or to straighten it out by opposing the censorship? Are Phil and Adam grads of Col UGSoJ?)

  • Israeli police target Sheikh Jarrah store for hanging posters of Erdogan
    • Maybe Erdogan will pay the fine! Or, better, work to end application of Israeli laws in occupied EJ (cannot believe a no-signs law was in effect during the Jordanian occupation, but always willing to learn).

  • Bad Elliott
    • Don't go easy on them, now. I mean, really, that's just too tame. But since I know (they tell me) that this whole blast is just a ruse,
      one could perhaps call it a "Thème Russe" (apologies to Beethoven).

  • The writing on the wall
    • I have a difficult time with the idea of "Jewish martyr" as opposed to the (apparently) vastly more correct "Israeli victim". Generally, no-one is killing Israeli Jews because they are Jewish. It is not a religious thing. The very few Israeli (Israelian) Jews who are killed (if killed by Palestinians) are killed because the killer thinks of them as members of the people that stole the Palestinian land.

      Killing a robber is not a religious thing, even if the robber has a religion, and even if the robber is identified (for victimhood) by religious symbols.

      Anyone who does not understand by this time that Israel (that is, the Jewish Israelians, collectively) stole and continue to steal Palestine and its people's land has a very perverse way of understanding things -- even if he believes that the stealing was justified.

  • Gelb's 2007 analysis of Middle East policy proved dead wrong (on settlements, Palestinian state, neocons, Arab dictators)
    • "at 66, completely connected-- and not having the spine to oppose a stupid war because of careerism." MAYBE he was reluctant to stop receiving invitations to those nice dinners. It takes a kind of guts to stand up for what is right when all your pals, your career-pals, your social-pals, appear to be in lock-step to do the wrong thing.

      I have a persistent fantasy: That large numbers of people, a MAJORITY, including well-placed politicians and well-placed people of all religions are secretly pro-human-rights, secretly pro-Palestine, but DARE NOT SAY SO because they are persuaded that their social-cohort are opposed -- EVEN THOUGH the question of attitude within the cohort CANNOT BE ASKED because to ASK is to violate the CENSORSHIP.

      WHO DARES TO BE FIRST TO SAY THE EMPEROR HAS NO CLOTHES? Even when every person perceives it!

  • Funded by Israel lobby, insider Werritty seems to have pushed Brits to allow Israeli arms sales
  • 'J Street' urges Israel lobby group to sever ties with Elliott Abrams's wife Rachel for 'unhinged hate speech' against Palestinians
  • World condemns Israel's Jerusalem landgrab, while US says it is 'within the frame of our policy concern'
    • Why USA? As you say, its hands are tied. [USA is one of the "bovi"] But surely, if Turkey and EU and maybe Brazil, India, China took some kind of real action (either a series of un-coordinated economic sanctions or a UNGA-coordinated ditto), Israel would take notice. Say a few canceled contracts with weapons makers, closing of embassies and cutting of commercial airline connections.

      But talk is never enough with Israel. Israel does not "hear" "signals" (does any country?) Concrete action and perhaps a great deal of it is required.

    • 17 or 397 more countries merely TALKING condemnation are no less than the same GREEN LIGHT that the USA flashes when it says "counterproductive". ("bovi"). [Israel, riding on the USA's shoulders: "Iovi"] ["licit": what you can get away with.]

      There must be a UNSC resolution to stop the building and roll-back the building of settlements, etc. That (short of war) is an ACTION which goes beyond the sending of permission (praising by faint damns) that the 17 or 207 states have been sending.

      And, of course, after 20 years, they know it perfectly well. And are too timid to do it. Or do not give a damn. Almost the same thing.

  • For neoconservatives, Israel is a foreign and domestic issue
    • Israel started (US Jewry perception) as nice little self-determination enterprise, consistent with liberalism. Comes 1960, USA enjoys burst of liberal pro-democracy, pro-civil-rights at home, Jews still liberal. Comes 1967, Jews proud of poor beleaguered Israel, remain liberal. AND THEN Israel begins its push to Greater Israel, a lotta push-back, a lotta anti-Israel feeling develops, USA's Jews abandon human rights (for Palestinians), abandon self-determination of peoples (for Palestinians), abandon international law and UN, LO AND BEHOLD neocons are born [to protect poor little Israel, the dear little mere experiment in self-determination, Oh Dear!, Oh Dear!].

      USA Jews lose all religion other than love and protectiveness for Israel (our Mother is always right, drunk or sober).

      However, Jewish youth has, in some cases, been taught Jewish ethics and sees through Israel. Wrinklies will die secure in their religion of pro-Israelism, youth may find a new religion (not Judaism, but still) in universal ethics. Or so one hopes.

  • My wife forswears the groovy iPad forever
    • I sympathize with every view here. I am A Trog-Luddite (or something) -- no devices whose names start with "e" or "i", no microwave, no TV. BUT turning on a desktop [OK, OK, but I used to be employed as a programmer] every time I need a telephone number or address is a major drag. Of course, I could print the list, and have done it, and have lost the lists, and they are alway out-of-date. Gee, an i-whatever would really be handy * * *.

  • The US has a 'perfect record of abysmal failure' with the peace process -- it's time for new leadership
    • American: Who cares if USA's pols are liars or mental cases? (Of course, we do!)

      But: Perspective! Perspective! Except on issues like abortion and gun-rights, Americans are irrelevant to their national governance. The pols listen only to the oligarchs who can not only (in effect if not at law) bribe them in so many ways (jobs for family, jobs after out of government, loans, business-possibilities, investment advice) but also -- thanks Supreme Court! -- by unlimited lobbying and campaign contributions and by direct political communicating.

      That's why we have two parties (in name) as similar as two flavors of one manufacturer's tooth-paste, but probably not as good for your health.

      That's why Glass-Steagall has not been re-instated despite the financial-meltdown occasioned by its removal. The foxes rule the fox-houses, I don't know where the hens are anymore.

    • "conclusively demonstrate that the United States is incapable of mediating anything other than a one-state outcome."

      WRONG or INCOMPLETE. USA is capable only of aiding longevity of apartheid, non-democratic, slowly-strangling, status quo (strangulation and shrinkage is part of the status quo). The threat to the status quo from Israeli settler pogromist-terrorists (who could perhaps expel the Palestinian residents) is IGNORED. The threat to status quo from PA UN manoeuvres is violently opposed. The see-through fig-leaf of "support for negotiation" is part of the USA empire's "Emperor's New Clothes" which no-one can see but the emperor.

  • Abunimah on why negotiations between Israel and Palestinian groups are unfair
    • Nice to know why there's been no progress. I'd figured that Palestinians needed an active (and anti-USA-hegemony) international community without any analysis further than looking at the 20 years that have gone by since Madrid -- w/o progress.

  • Nationalism reduced religious tolerance in Middle East
    • I've been "propagandized" to believe that, until 1900, Jews and Christians and Muslims got along well in Palestine. Women from all three groups who wanted babies prayed at the same shrines (or trees! sounds a bit animist, doesn't it?)

      Fighting for political predominance along ethnic lines (think of poor Lebanon) has not been good for harmony. Yugoslavia, Iraq, once held together by "strong-men" coming wildly apart due to -- what? religion? nationalism? A determination by some leaders to demonize the "others"?

  • In anxious/nostalgic interview of Amos Oz, NPR's Rob't Siegel says Shalit was held 'hostage'
    • I feel the same. However, how can we ever break the Zionist choke-hold on WNYC/NPR if we leave the funding ENTIRELY to Zionists?

      The problem is that even a shadowed discussion of Zionist money (money received and threatened/feared not to be renewed) creating CENSORSHIP on NPR is vorbotten. doesn't happen. THEREFORE it could well be the case that a majority of donors (actual and potential, dollar-weighted) to NPR would PREFER good reporting on Israel/Palestine, but there is no way to find out -- the investigative question cannot be asked!

    • Avi: spoiled children, true, but with this difference: children grow up. The Zionists want to die without having their fantasy disturbed by close attention to unpleasant facts.

    • "Hostage" is a functional descriptive word, expressive of why the captor is holding the captive. Israel held thousands of Lebanese "hostages" after the 1982 war and has held thousands of Palestinian "hostages" right along, often 10,000. How do we know they are hostages rather than POWs or criminals being punished according to law? Because Israel opportunistically offers to trade them for things it wants, such as the release of Schalit.

      He was a POW and also a hostage.

      Similarly, the West Bank is "administered territory" because it is (like most of the earth) administered (really, not a very useful word, is it?) but it is also, and more importantly, "occupied territory". Hah! It is also "disputed territory". so West Bank is "administered", "disputed", and "occupied". Only the last of these terms has legal significance at international law.

  • Struggling for water in Gaza
    • eee sys, "The population growth in Gaza does not make things easier there either". I agree. (They are largely 1948 refugees from Israel and should be allowed to return there.) I have said, in an earlier comment here, that Israel may be over-populated (and please consider the situation if all the Jews who were invited to Israel had actually come and if the Israeli Jews who have emigrated had stayed put). I assume that the Palestinians are also over-populated, considering water-resources, even assuming 50-50% water-splitting.

      Without incisive action by the international community, the USA-Israel will indeed make matters ever more intolerable for Palestinians. eee writes "If you want to wait 10-20 years, be my guest" a cruel statement from someone closer in attitude to a (cruel) jailer than to a prisoner, but true. I hope the world recognizes that the ESSENTIAL WAITING is THEIRS. They it is who have ignored international law for 44 years. They it is who have the strength -- should they come to their ethical senses -- to bring about a just and lasting peace, including 50-50% splitting of surface and (remaining) aquifer water.

    • Water thus figures in two ways in I/P.

      First, DENIAL of water to Palestinians is a STICK to force Palestinians to leave. Thus we have long seen swimming pools full of water and lush lawns in settlements next door to Palestinian villages which are denied right to drill water wells.

      Second, Israel seizes water it is by no normal reckoning entitled to, including the water from Shebaa Farms, Lebanon, and the more ancient seizures from Jordan River's sources.

      It is possible (not for me to say) that Israel has too little water even for Israelis (let's say for Israeli Jews), because they are building desalinization plants. There are two problems. One is simple -- overpopulation, for Israel has invited far too many people to live in this small place. The other problem is per-capita over-use, for the European use-pattern is ill-suited to the water-poor Middle East.

      Lacking water (and Ben-Gurion was always extremely concerned about water resources), Israel cannot give back land in West Bank if to do so means also to give back sources of water. (If Israel can grab and hold on to underground water, then it's a bit different, but more water for Israel means less for Palestine, and aquifers -- even if wholly controlled and used by Israel -- can run out. Aquifers are like bank-accounts except to the extent that annual or decadal recharge resupplies them.)

      Turkey and Lebanon may (perhaps) have a bit of excess water which could go to Palestine, even to Israel, in exchange for a decent peace deal, but I've seen no offers and no signs of a decent peace deal either.

      But they are all near the Mediterranean. "Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink."

  • Egyptian revolutionary cartoons (part 1)
  • 'Neocon' is suddenly a bad career move (and Rachel Abrams ain't helping the Elliott Abrams brand)
    • Gelb: "My initial support for the war [in Iraq] was symptomatic of unfortunate tendencies within the foreign policy community, namely the disposition and incentives to support wars to retain political and professional credibility. We ‘experts’ have a lot to fix about ourselves, even as we ‘perfect’ the media. We must redouble our commitment to independent thought, and embrace, rather than cast aside, opinions and facts that blow the common—often wrong—wisdom apart. Our democracy requires nothing less."

      Unfortunate tendency? Huh? "[D]isposition and incentives to support wars to retain political and professional credibility. " Oh, yes. Got it. CORRUPTION. Don't go with your professional judgment, go with your professional advancement. same with politicians, (Hey! These guys are, in a way, politicians. They are runners on the professional rat-race. And they are hand-maidens to actual politicians. Like economists, BTW. So, when are these political scientists lying? When their lips are moving? that it?

      But he's saying he's sorry. Oh, good. Tell the facts rather than hiding them behind propaganda. Good to hear. Let's start with the Israeli occupation, shall we?

      Mr. Gelb? Are you there? Hello? Hello? Are we going to have your facts-hiding neocons around us years after the humanities departments have got rid of the career-taint of post-modernism, deconstructurism, and other isms? (Probably)

  • Even Fayyad forecasts struggle for equal voting rights in I/P
    • How can the USA and EU support the denial of democracy? How not!

      The USA and EU can associate themselves with the denial, sillies, as they've always associated themselves with the denial of democracy -- by DENIAL. And DOWN-THE-MEMORY-HOLE.

      Where do you see the USA MSM telling Americans that West Bank and Gaza Palestinians should be allowed to vote, but cannot? When did you last see them tell the stirring, uplifting story of the USA and Israel killing off the elected government after HAMAS won the election (and Israel arresting and imprisoning so many of the HAMAS legislators)? This is a really great story of American love of democracy, but it is the greatest story never told. remember USA loving Gaddafi and his torturers? See it in MSM?

      USA has no trouble sweeping inconveniences under the rug, off the map, into prison w/o charge or trial, out of life w/o c-or-t, etc.

      This is not a problem, Trust me.

  • AJC and ADL urge Jewish community not to bicker, so that US politicians don't waver in support for 'the Jewish State'
    • "as candidates have challenged their opponents' pro-Israel bone fides or questioned the current administration's foreign policy approach vis-à-vis Israel."

      Oh, that kind of bone. "Bone fides." Have I got a bone to pick with you.

      BTW, why are these organizations inviting speculation (among non-Jewish pols) by appearing to ASSERT division among Jews? I thought pro-Palestinianism was limited to Phil and Adam and their Friday-night poker game friends. Maybe its bigger than that.

  • Muammar Gaddafi captured and killed in Sirte
    • "The Japanese government today deplored the Israeli Government plan to construct 2,610 new housing units in Givat Hamatos, East Jerusalem, and say that such settlement activities are a violation of international law"

      Deplored but did not act. Words but not actions. In effect, a GREEN LIGHT. Or, to put it more charitably, Japan recognizes that there is not, today, any way to enforce international law. (Minus three cheers for the USA's veto in UNSC.)

    • Russians: "The realization by Israeli authorities of such plans, just like the intention to legalize the many settlement outposts built in occupied Palestinian territories, run absolutely counter to the commitments of the Israeli side under the Roadmap,” said the press release."

      SHOWS THAT RUSSIA is a prisoner of the USA's idea that agreements *(such as OSLO, ROADMAP) replace and supplant I/L. The settlements are illegal, as Russia should say. *ILLEGAL*. and the settlers s/b removed and the settlements demolished. PERIOD. ASAP.

      Which country will be the first to say this out loud in the public space? If new-Palestine presented that idea in a UNSC draft resolution, which would vote for it?

  • Gary Ackerman blasts NYU divestment campaign, NYU students and faculty blast back
    • Indeed. By words and actions he (and most of the USA Congress) increases anti-USA feeling and anti-Israeli feeling (and, by the uninformed, anti-Jewish feeling) in the world.

      But don't blame him too much. He is merely obeying his marching orders. He doesn't think, has no purpose, sees no consequences -- beyond the corrupt benefits to himself of remaining in good standing with AIPAC. Corruption is, of course bad, but the AIPAC-style of corruption of Congress is no worse than big-Pharma's, big-Oil's, big-Bank's. It's all dreadful, and the pro-AIPAC corruption may injure fewer people than, say, the pro-fossil-fuel corruption which leads us all inexorably to the worst horrors of global warming.

      Ackerman is no worse than the others, though hs is, to be sure, absolutely awful.

  • 'Atlantic' expose on Rick Perry's affinity for Israel ignores the H2Occupation of Palestine
    • Thanks so much for a wonderful expose on WATER, the HEART-OF-HEARTS of the I/P Conflict.

      Israel also wants to hold on to Shebaa Farms, Lebanese territory captured by Israel, for the water which rises there:

      According to the Lebanese Water Ministry, 30-40 percent of the River Dan’s water flows into it through underground supplies originating in the Shebaa. “Israel is worried that if Lebanon gains control of the Shebaa, it can then control the flow to the Dan River."

  • Palestinian citizens of Israel are second class citizens, even in the Prague airport
    • One thing makes me VERY curious, and whether the security inspection (apparently "make work" in this case) was done by El Al, by Israel-government, or by another government (or someone else entirely, maybe Martians). I am assuming, probably wrongly, that these Arabs had just arrived in Prague from Israel on an El Al flight. But maybe they'd been traveling in Europe and arrived at Prague airport from the outside world where all manner of nefarious things might have been done -- but only by Arabs, of course, of course.

      THE ONE THING: Does anyone imagine, even for a moment, that these Arab-named passengers had NOT been screened in all these ways by Israel/El Al BEFORE leaving Israel?

      What am I missing?

  • Pro-Israel donors are at the heart of Defence Ministry scandal in Britain
    • Yeah, yeah. Blame it on AIPAC, the poor dears.

      You know, the Bankers got Congress to repeal the 1937 Glass-Steagall law regulating banks and then, WHAMMO!, the bad-loans and foreclosure fandango, bail-outs out the wazoo, Europe and USA down the tubes, etc. YOU'D THINK, dear ones, that Congress would immediately reinstate Glass-Steagall, what with all the publicity and all the suffering, etc., but you'd be wrong.

      Yes, wrong! Imagine! Because there is a disconnect between what the public knows (or what the public wants) and what Congress does. So who cares if "Carter, Bryzinski, Ritter, Hersh, Zinni, General Jones, Micheal Scheuer, Queen Noor, King of Jordan and so many others have been saying the same thing for a long time."

      It doesn't do any good. Congress has not, for decades, had it in mind to protect the USA, to do the right thing, to represent their constituents (rather than the big-money folks). I mean, what do you think, government is like a 1950s "civics" class? "Democracy", I mean, come-onnnnnn.

      Maybe if Carter, Brzezinski, Ritter, et al., would BURN THEMSELVES IN WASHINGTON SQUARE PARK AT NOON, well, maybe (maybe!) NYT would report it and there'd be a response, but not unless.

      There is a general problem. OWS knows it. We I/P folks know it. The problem is getting Congress to wake up and represent the PEOPLE instead of bellying-up to the trough of big-money.

      Easy problem to describe. Hard to do anything about. Mr. Smith goes to Washington and learns to be corrupt. So simple. How's he gonna unlearn it? Join the Congress's "not-corrupt caucus" and bring its membership up to, what?, 10?

  • 'New York Times' claims that 'Fatah runs the West Bank'
    • When you consider Israeli refusal to issue building permits and destruction of houses, cisterns, water-wells due to owners' non-possession of (impossible to get) Israeli building permits, it is especially galling to be told that it is all Fatah's fault. Additionally, many people are indisposed to believe that fatah is responsible for all the land confiscation and settlement building that's going on in WB.

      Of course, one possibility in extenuation for poor-dear Ethan Bronner is that by the term-of-art "West Bank" he means the small part [of the West Bank including East Jerusalem] in which Fatah has some sort of governmental role. But even there, Israel has a heavy hand.

  • Rachel Abrams says Palestinian children are 'devils' spawn'-- while Israeli children play with Transformers and draw your heart strings
    • Publicize this amazing statement widely, especially among USA Jews, who may (if knocked on the head hard enough) recognize racism at play when they read it and (if necessary) re-evaluate their own feelings and thoughts and political activities.

  • Homeland security and 'control of the sidewalks'
    • Would have been just as objectionable -- if not quite so easy to object to -- had the complainant been one of the "other" (a hard concept in our USA's majority person-of-color population where, numerically, so-called "white" people should be the "other".

  • Quotation of the day
    • Politics is, for many aspiring rulers, a game not unlike piracy where the "pol" tries to "win" and, if he win, to use government for his own purposes. In the USA this is regularized as big-money rule or oligarchy, even though some individual pols stand out as more grasping than normally acceptable. We -- the public -- have a problem much like the problem expressed in the quote, to overcome this entire regime, and especially the big-money part, which puts control outside electoral politics and makes democracy a near sham. The 99.99% being ruled by the 0.01%, to modify OWS's slogan a bit.

      It is not enough for us to throw the bums (elected politicians) out; we must cut the umbilicus to the big-money boys.

  • More creeping halacha
    • Good point, eee, except that Adam IS protesting BY publishing.

      For myself, I don't give 2 cents if halacha inconveniences Israeli Jews -- they bought their ticket for that strange country and took their chance. And they can vote there.

      I only care if it inconveniences members of existing Israeli non-Jewish populations and visitors. Always assuming, of course, that the halacha-bus-rules are CONTRARY TO ISRAELI LAW. (Or international law, of course, but I am unaware of any I/L bus rules).

  • Endangered Palestinian village gets int'l media attention-- except from the U.S.
  • Netanyahu cuts his deals with Hamas, not Fatah, and here's why
    • I agree that Israel mostly organizes the Gazan "tickles" by armed violence called "provocation" (and generally ignored, played down, or justified by USA MSM). But even if HAMAS or other Gazans take it into their heads to "tickle" Israel some more, if they stick to the sort of small arms they've been using so far, we'll see no damage to Israel (and much damage to Gaza, as a matter of course) and if they go BIGGER, i hate to think what Israel will do by way of retaliation. I mean, look what Israel has done to Lebanon, 1982 and 2006, for no reason whatever, with no "provocation" except PLO peacefulness in 1982.

    • Israel would rather have war than a 2SS (or 1SS) peace? But it would really rather have neither, and the tickles it sometimes gets from Gaza are not "war", not even close. No war and no peace means continuing siege and apartheid. THAT is what USA and Israel love.

  • Blindered Blitzer likens Hamas to Al Qaeda... typical
    • CLIFF: Hard for me to watch -- halting all the time -- but WONDERFUL. THANKS SO MUCH! I'd add that Luxemberg doesn't seem to fear anyone, possibly because it hasn't stolen anyone's land or murdered and dispossessed its people.

    • And the corruption in the PLO (now Fatah-PA faction) could not have happened w/o Israel's happy cooperation. Same way, the corruption of the Egyptian military needed USA's aid. (I'll not discuss the corruption of the USA's Congress, you cannot make me, so there!)

  • Finkelstein thinks shift in young Jewish opinion means there will be 2 (viable) states. Mearsheimer doesn't
    • 2SS is stressed, not dead? Well, if the settlers, settlements, wall, horrible water-distribution are left in place, then 2SS is deader than dead.

      If the nations get their act together, it should be possible to roll back the settlement project. There are only 550,000 Israeli settlers to be moved away, and israel has already shown (as early as 1948) how easy it was to move 750,000 people!

      2SS and also democratic 1SS are both doomed unless and until internationals exert sufficient force to bring Israel to its knees. that's it. USA and Israel are more than content with apartheid and worse than SA-style-apartheid, and have shown it conclusively over the years. Neither USA not Israel will act for a decent 1SS or 2SS without major pressure. USA's and UK's Jews, even if all moved toward decency and democracy, could not do it. It requires something stronger than AIPAC, stronger than the USA's rotten oligarchic political system (called "democracy" to keep the natives from getting too restless).

      Perhaps we must wait for the decline and fall of the USA.

    • "who’s going to put pressure on Israel?" Aye, there's the rub. Gotta be a/the international consensus. Led by Turkey. They've just gotta be really, really tired of kow-towing to USA while it is kow-towing to AIPAC and Israel. when will they be tired enough to stand up on their own? Hard to say. Keep on truckin' folks.

  • The US media reports: Gilad Shalit swapped for 1000 non-people (per Blumenthal)
    • Some comment on NAMELESS Gazans. The reason for the lack of discussion would seem to be racist (or USA-stenographic purity), but wouldn't naming names make those people less safe? I mean, Israel knows who they are and so does HAMAS, but need everyone know? Privacy may be worth respecting.

  • Release
    • It's written in ink stronger than the Constitution. The "C" can be re-written by the S/C, who professed, for example, to discover in it that corporations are persons (for free speech), when corporations are not mentioned in the text of the "C", but NO-ONE can mess with USA's pro-Israelism, no-botty!

    • Assuming that some Gazans "value death" in the sense of killing Israelis (or killing themselves whilst killing Israelis), well, protect yourselves, sure, BUT THE OVERWHELMING AMOUNT OF KILLING IS BEING DONE WITH THE UTMOST RELISH AND PLEASURE AND DELIGHT BY ISRAELIS, and I am unable to doubt that these Israelis "value death" as much as anyone. think of the sharpshooters who used to kill or wound Palestinian kids who were throwing rocks from so far away they'd never even hit much less injure an Israeli soldier. think if Rabin's order -- so thoroughly carried out -- to break their bones. If anyone doubts that Israelis worship death (for non-Jews), think again.

      However, if Israelis merely worship extreme pain and persecution and maiming (rather than death), well EXCUUUUUUUUSE ME.

    • There are layers and layers of oppression, like an onion. Where, as here, the MAJOR OPPRESSION comes from Israel, it seems a bit off base to be looking closely at more minor oppressions.

      And then, of course, although in some cases some men and religious leaders and women too may (for all I know) be oppressing girls and women on the modesty question, it may also be (in other cases) that girls women are choosing hijab freely, as ISLAM BECOMES MORE OF A RELIEF AS ISRAELI OPPRESSION DEEPENS AND THE WORLD'S DO-NOTHING STANCE PERSISTS.

  • Erdogan dis'd Obama to his face-- US is Israel's 'lawyer'
    • Even if Erdogan might be a "Messiah", he will not get his work done in my lifetime. The land, the water, sometimes hope, is being taken continuously and at an increasing pace. If anyone is going to do something they better do ti soon.

  • Is Occupy Wall Street anti-Semitic?
    • "The video features clips of Democratic politicians expressing sympathy for the OWS protesters, followed by clips of some protesters alleging a Jewish conspiracy controls the banking cartels that exploit the American people."

      This echoes the Arbabsiar plot line, tying big shots in Iran to a little-shot in USA to get the big shots to back down on something entirely different (the Iran nukes). Here, effort is to paint these DEMS as anti-Israel. If only.

    • The rich Zionists will stoke the flames, and the poor Zionists and non-Zionist Jews will get burned. (The rich, whether or not Zionists, t6he whole lousy 1%, live in gated communities, have police or private-militia protection, and don't care how hurt or angry the 99% become. The two-flavor, one-party American democratic system nearly guarantees that voters will never have a significant choice -- nearly, not always, because one of the 1% paid an entry fee for the Tea-Party and now voters DO have a bit of a choice (but not progressive voters).

  • Oren rationalizes Israel's isolation (then rants about Abbas denying 4000 years of Jewish homeland)
    • Murder in NYC is not the reason the so-called "peace-process" has been all process and no peace. BUT EVEN SO it is right and proper for the NYPD to arrest murderers and the prosecutors to prosecute those accused. Why? Because murder is a BAD THING and ALSO ILLEGAL (in NYC).

      SETTLERS residing in occupied territories is a BAD THING and also ILLEGAL. Confiscating land in occupied territories to build settlements (unless for reason of a suitably urgent military necessity) is also ILLEGAL and another BAD THING.

      Therefore (irrespective of progress in the "peace-process" or of the price of coffee or the phases of the moon), the settlers should be removed and the settlements dismantled (see UNGA-465 (1980)). Many people praise the "RULE OF LAW", and it is a good rule which should be enforced.

  • Lionization of Edw Said at Boston Palestine Festival signals new moment of American Palestinian recognition
    • Blessed be god who has allowed us to live until this day. It is the birth of this "day", a "day" like the 6 days of creation, but a "day" now well begun. Soon may it be a "day" complete of which people say, "It was good."

  • Don't just stand there, let's get to it, strike a pose, there's nothing to it
    • Vanessa Redgrave, all over again. I hope she does NOT lose jobs, but that, if she do, it be reported widely (and sympathetically). The "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil" folks are ever active and seem to believe (and not unreasonably -- it has worked for a oong time -- that hiding ISrael's persecution of Palestinians will prevent trouble for Israel (and for themselves).

      Be kinda nice if I-love-Israel's-oppressive-behavior folks could take enough flak to make them think twice about adopting that position.

  • A Palestinian mayor explains how Israeli army starves his village of water
    • Phil, someday you must post an essay that EXPLAINS the LAND-OWNERSHIP system of Palestine before 1922 and maybe until 1947.

      It's explained, I believe, by a book by Raja Shehada. The point is that it is not the same as western, or British, or American real property law. Ownership is not limited to PERSONAL, STATE (or VILLAGE). There are also (as I dimly recall) various types or grades of communal lands, for grazing for instance, used by all residents of a village and regarded as their land. there is also land owned by religious "trusts" (waqf land).

      Israel pretends that land not PERSONALLY owned is STATE land and that they may usurp it at will. This is probably not true EVEN of actually state land, under international law, but it is especially galling where it conflates various types of non-STATE#, non-Personal ownerships with state-ownership.

      Check it out.

  • Fat lady sings -- Israel announces new E J'lem neighborhod called Givat Hamatos
    • Anon comments: "We can’t even get them to stop colonizing currently (with settlement expansion not supported by MANY Israelis), so drop any dreams of serious forceful international pressure to transform the entire country against the will of the vast majority."

      "We"? Well, I am powerless. Maybe all of Phil's readers combined are a powerless "we". But if the nations (who else could do it?) get together -- forming a new and powerful "we" -- there might be some progress. Not, I fear, in my lifetime (next 10-20 years). However, might be a bit motivated by any attack on Iran. PA's shenanigans at UN might offer a means of some action. ICC. Another ICJ decision, on settlements and settlers and confiscations of land. Who knows? "Hanging in there" is what sumud is all about.

    • Israel not only wishes to push and shove the world (and the USA) but TO BE SEEN TO DO SO and no better time to push and shove than when critical events are happening.

      Look at me; my bedtime used to be 8PM but now, only 1 year later, its 1AM! Aint I cool (and powerful)? Parents are cream puffs if you know how to treat them, but you have to KEEP TRAINING them to the leash.

    • exiled at home: What do you imagine will/would be Palestinian "claims" inside old-small-Israel IN THE EVENT of a 1SS? Do you see a general reversion to Palestinian ownership (by individuals, families, villages, cities, waqfs) of all but 6% of the land? Can you imagine Israeli-Jews acquiescing in such an idea?

      But if not that, then what? What do you imagine?

      Would you feel as vehement against 2SS if a 2SS provided to Palestinians ALL of WB&G and a nice corridor in between and gave Israel old-small-Israel plus a walk-way to the Wailing wall?

    • Peace process made "comatose" by Givat-Hamatos". Well, no and no.

      First, if settlements would make it dead, it's been dead for a long while, so G-H didn't kill it, just made the rubble bounce. Second, since all settlements could be blown up, bulldozed, reduced to rubble (and their residents shipped back to old-small-tiny-insignificant-cannot-live-there-need-lebensraum-Israel, again, G-H does not kill the 2SS.

      Now that we're all clear on that, the chance that the world community will gather up its forces, gird its loins, and oppose USA-Israel sufficiently to bring about a removal of settlers/settlements is, at this writing, -50 on a scale of 1-100. Even an unprovoked Israeli (or USA) attack on Iran wouldn't have that effect, though the after shocks might be pretty devastating here and there.

      Somehow it feels unpatriotic to wish, as an American, for the demise of the American empire. I wonder how many Germans felt that way about Hitler's (short-lived) empire?

  • 'Commentary' smear of Occupy Wall St. doesn't bother to get basic facts right
    • Whaddya mean, Commentary is wrong? Gee whizz, complain, complain.

      It's clear that OWS is anti-Semitic (that is, anti-Israel, but we pronounce that "Anti-semitic" (in Boston) (and in NYC)).

      Why? That's easy, silly. Because it uses the word "Occupy", and everybody knows that to even say the "O" word is anti-Israel (i.e., a-S). And the protesters, who cannot agree on much else, are agreed that they are doing an "occupation".

      So there it is! Commentary is right, once again. Whew!

      Of course, I say that Wall Street is occupying America.

  • Neocon orgs seek to paint Wall St protests as anti-semitic
    • Maybe so, but the impetus for Gazans' hatred for Israel is land theft and oppression (under occupation), not generalized anti-Jewish feeling. Do some research on the excellent communal relations between Christians, Muslims, and Jews in Palestine before 1900. The anti-Jewish stuff that erupts is really anti-Israel stuff and is (IMO) entirely justified. The idea that Jews (or any Jews, or some Jews) had a right to take over all or part of Palestine is not an idea which Palestinians should be expected to adopt whole-heartedly, and no surprise that they don't. (If Israel would stop claiming to be THE COUNTRY OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE, the anti-Israel feeling would stop being confused and coming out as anti-Jewish feeling.)

  • Boycott update: Champion fencer Sara Besbes stands down rather than plays Israeli
    • I don't know why I react as I do, but if the default (Israeli) winner was in tears, then the gesture was felt strongly by her, even as it pushed her forward in competition. She was denied HER chance to compete, but (here) only with one competitor. And (see below), politically, SHE WAS DEFEATED.

      How I wish that SHE had spoken out against the occupation, or the settlements, assuming the competition rules did not forbid HER from speaking out. Or that SHE has refused to touch Sara Besbes 5 times and BOTH had defaulted this particular competition, again assuming the rules would permit. (I wish both competitors well and hope that, in another time, they may be friends -- and competitors.)

  • Barney Frank needs to answer the aid-to-Israel question
    • If you speak at a public meeting, ask Barney why the UN should not seek to enforce the Fourth Geneva Convention (and other international law) by compelling Israel to remove all settlers, and as soon as possible, WHOLLY INDEPENDENT of progress on peace.

      I raised this sort of question with Senator Edward Kennedy in 1980s (in an open public meeting in Lexington) and he brushed it off, saying (in part), "What, are you a professor or something?"

      Good to have a few friends in the hope that several similar questions can be asked.

  • Americans believe red herring-- Iran is Enemy #1. Why?
    • Be interesting to see if THIS idea (opponent of Iranian regime) sees the light of day anywhere else. (I DOUBT IT WILL.) I suppose many ex-pats are enemies of the regime where they refuse to go home.

    • Not from our tax-dollars; from our borrowing from China. see Pay as you go wars, suggesting we pay for on-going wars with currently collected taxes, not borrowing.

    • Beautiful editorial. And in English!

    • But backwards: Iran does not propose to invade or bomb Israel, just speaks badly of it. Hence not an enemy (except symbolically). Israel does, however, intend or think seriously of attacking Iran and is, for that reason, an enemy of Iran.

      "Enemy" is a word that needs an arrow A---enemy--->B must be distinguished from B---enemy--->A.

      Iran is not Israel's enemy, but Israel is Iran's enemy. "Intended victimizer" might be a better term.

      The USA and Israel may be playing a different mental game here, saying something like, "My importance in the world depends on people fearing me and if I never attack anyone no-one will fear me, and IRAN threatens me by acting unafraid of me, so I must attack IRAN in order to protect myself -- to protect myself from the injury of no-one fearing me." God save us and our proposed victims from such mental games. Do the psychiatrists have a name for this sort of thing?

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