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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 300 - 201

  • Wait-- who is afraid of nukes in the Middle East?
    • Well said. Needed saying. Specially the racism part. Wish there was something about anti-North Korea and the seeming absence of anti-Pakistan and anti-India on the is NUKE question. Why is Iran so special? why do the IAEA countries SEE it as so special? where'd the present sanctions and sanctions-threats come from? Is it from FEAR of Israeli action (hinted at by the history of 1973 above)?

  • Dueling messages on Iran
    • Thanks, Annie, for China. Also, where you stand may depend on where you buy your oil. I forgot that. I guess that is part of "where you sit".

    • Debunked? In the eyes of the movers and shakers?

      USA acts as if it were not debunked and, for the USA (GoUSA) it is not debunked -- it is a red flag. Ditto GoIsr.

      OTOH, GoRussia and GoIndia (perhaps) and GoIran (certainly) are not persuaded that there is a casus belli in the report; so, for them, it is debunked.

      Where you stand (what you "believe" and speak) depends on where you sit. So "debunking" is not a logical process but a political process.

  • Wayback Machine: The UN debates Zionism
    • RW, "political"? And what isn't?

      Was UNGA-181 (1947:partition) passed on merely "political" bases? Probably. It nearly failed and passed only after strong arm-twisting by USA. Today, USA twists arms against self-determination (and against enforcement of international law), but still only for "political" reasons.

  • Letter to the FM of Sweden from Gaza youth
    • A beautiful letter. Implicit is the idea that there will be no just and lasting I/P peace until the nations -- and Sweden among them, perhaps leading them -- create such a changed set of circumstances in the environment in which Israel exists (in the sea in which Israel swims) that Israel finds it more to its interest to withdraw the settlers, demolish the settlements and wall, and end the siege, and indeed end the occupation, and share the water than it has for 44 years found it in its interest to insert settlers and build settlements and wall, and impose siege on Gaza and continue the occupation, and steal most of the water.

      Palestinians cannot do it by themselves. They need help from outside. Sweden can and should help. How shocking that it does not.

  • Gorenberg says a one-state solution would produce another Lebanon
    • Jeffrey Blankfort: But why armed force? Why not by economic BDS from the nations if they would simply notice the horror and the 44 years and get off their bottoms and act. And of these two, economic sanctions or armed force, which is more likely to occur?

    • To answer eee's question, I think financial pressure on large Israeli exporting corporations (and even on small ones) would perhaps create a desire on the part of Israel (or on the part of its financial masters, if (like the USA) it has them, to end the lawlessness and even to end the occupation -- assuming any part of it be lawful which, after 44 years, is itself hard to imagine.

    • He says the settlers have to move, to save Israel's soul. This means that they have to move voluntarily (the Jewish people of Israel must decide, voluntarily for their own Jewish reasons, to move AWAY from settlements and occupation and war).

      Wouldn't that be nice?

      Because those very Israeli Jews have for 44 years been accelerating their movement TOWARD settlements, occupation, wall, siege, and war -- I perceive that they must move AWAY (as he says) but because of a reaction to EXTERNAL pressures. That's what BDS is for. That's what PLO/PA's UN maneuvers are for. That's what Mondoweiss is for.

  • TV won't tell me why students are occupying Berkeley--
    • Another view of the police-at-Cal

      Excerpt: It was an unbelievable scene representing a moral breakdown on the part of the university. Predictably, word of the beatings and arrests spread quickly, leading to a significant increase in the size of the protest, which led to further confrontations and more arrests as the night went on.

      I am truly dumbfounded by the way the university responded. It’s not like the whole thing caught them by surprise. The protest was well advertised. The organizers made their intentions clear, and the university was sending out “warnings” to faculty and staff all week about the impending “disruptions”. Which means that they decided in advance to do whatever they had to to prevent the students from setting up camp.

    • Colbert showed the "Occupy Wall Street not Palestine" sign but left it to the viewer to notice it. He did NOT have to even show it.

      Then he showed the police brutality and called attention to the minification thereof by some newsy (which called it "police nudging").

      I would say it was VERY GOOD coverage of the protest and of the police brutality and of UC-Berkeley mismanagement and lying (UC ad: 'our campus supports activism or protests or something').

  • Ross's departure will hurt Obama's reelection hopes, Abrams explains
    • If Obama loses a very large amount of Zionist campaign money, threatening he can kiss 2012 goodbye, then he can turn up the fire under Israel (MIC allowing, assuming MIC does not contribute compensating finance). Why not? and would he? Sure. He'd be angry and have nothing to lose.

      AIPAC knows this. so it must not cut off funds to that point. My prediction is that it will not cut of funding significantly, adn for exactly this reason. It cannot afford Obama as a loose canon even for one year. However, timing matters. Quid-pro-quo money might be promised for late delivery and then not delivered.

      If there is a way to "watch" AIPAC contributions in real-time, I'd be watching.

  • 'Washington Post' runs long prominent piece on young Palestinians who reject 'shriveled' state and emulate civil rights movement
    • USA has a sort of one-state-solution, but the 1% rules the 99%, and one imagines two states intermingled in the same territory but with the power firmly in the hands of the 1%. Strange things can slither into reality, masquerading as "democracy", single-states, etc.

      France had a lovely revolution once upon a time, and many heads rolled, and everything was wonderful -- perhaps -- and then Napoleon arrived and established a wonderful empire, altering for a time the wonderful French democracy.

      Later, (2011) Egypt had a glorious revolution, establishing "democracy" -- headed by the long-established military, still taking money from USA.

      Ah, democracy. Ah, one state. What does it all mean?

    • Joel Greenberg? Article in WaPo is unsigned (today 10:42 AM). Nice article, good to see in MSM.

  • Wexler on the warpath: Opening volleys of major push for Iran war by liberal Zionists and hawks?
    • Stopping Iran will make Israel feel safe enough to make peace? Huh? What were the dreadful fears (over 44 years) that prevented Israel from making peace (and, significantly, required or motivated it to spend all that money on settlements and highways), especially since 1988, when PLO recognized Israel in its pre-1967 borders?

      Unless Wexler (and his tribe) can justify a realistic "fear" for all those years, they must be pinned down as blowing smoke on this one, in promising peace as a consequence of a USA attack on Iran.

  • IAEA report is a dud, and 'Moon of Alabama' busted it wide open with "Nanodiamonds"
  • Elliott Abrams seems to think that Obama is anti-Semitic (and so does Newt Gingrich)
    • Can anyone name a country other than Israel of which it could be said without laughing that the POTUS must talk to its leader every day? Says something about the power of AIPAC that this is immediately believable, as is the implicit request for sympathy. I sure wish it could be painted as such a slur on AIPAC that POTUS could escape; but he cannot or will not. Why does this man want to be president for 4-more-years if he anticipates spending all that time with AIPAC and Bibi?

  • Saul Bellow didn't like WASPs
    • Perhaps no record of Jews persecuting Christians AS SUCH. But plenty of history of Israeli Jews persecuting Palestinian Christians. Assuming you admit the persecution, you might say that was not religiously-motivated persecution but merely territory-grabbing persecution (just as many pro-Palestinian folks say that anti-Zionism is not religiously motivated but merely territory-restoring in nature).

    • I don't mean to defend the wife's pro-Israel anti-Palestine ideas and comments. But she, as he, was a human being, and he understood the need to live with people who have (a few) very bad ideas, fixations. He made a leap toward being open to new understandings, but she could not.

      Look at all the holocaust survivors and their kids many who lived after others died. Some (it seems only a few) defend Palestinian rights, others are trapped in an anti-human-rights view.

      We all have limitations. Be thankful his dear wife was able to go shopping and the discussions could occur.

    • The link to the story of the GS from a Jewish POV is very interesting. But seems irrelevant to the question how the story was INTENDED at the time of writing it (maybe [1] as a moral teaching to be a good neighbor in a new way, a Christian way, possibly going beyond the way taught to Jews, which makes sense, if Christ was a revolutionary; or [2] (merely) a snipe at elegant/wealthy Jewish behavior and teaching at the time) and how it was RECEIVED and UNDERSTOOD at the time it was earliest promulgated; or [3] a snipe at all Jewish behavior and teaching at the time) and how it was RECEIVED and UNDERSTOOD at the time it was earliest promulgated

      That Jews of today would see it as a snipe at Jews generally may be way off track. OTOH, such a reaction may be in line with an orthodox belief-system which makes it correct to refuse to help non-deserving people in certain situations (non-deserving because impure, because non-Jewish, because insufficiently Jewish; (nowadays) because anti-Zionist).

      It is easy to see how Christians in any era could see it as a teaching toward "Christian charity" which some would follow and many would ignore, it being difficult and unusual to be a good Christian; and/or as a snipe at Jews (or at rich Jews if they so understood Levis and Cohens) at the time of christ, explaining WHY it was necessary to have a revolutionary teacher. HOWVER I give myself away here: I do not regard Christ's emergence into history as a divine event; Christians do. Some might therefore regard this story as a revelation of God's intent that charity be more general than some Jews (of those days) were practicing.

    • Scary! If I were to be in an I/P rut, my mind would go as quickly as most politicians (who limit their "thinking" to figuring out very-short-term political advantages for themselves and have no mental processing available for moral, human-rights, the "other", etc., etc., all of which locks USA's pols into our capitalism-based political-action-for-sale economy).

      Sometimes I feel that I live in a fog of "senior moments" infrequently interrupted by "junior moments." Think how bad it must be (though they'd never know) for politicians traveling on a single track (rut). The USA's republicans are so bad all they aspire to is remembering their debating lines. Obama might once have had a politically active soul, but has had to submerge it to what he considers the demands of politics. So sad.

  • How to avoid war with Iran
    • There are things that are worth doing even if they are likely to fail of their avowed purposes. USA saying "sorry" to Iran is such a thing. (USA has many other countries to say "sorry" to, of course. Iraq and Palestine, for recent starters. Most of Central America. etc. ad naus.)

      However, USA cannot offer a "broad agreement on nukes" because it cannot compel Israel, Pakistan, India to join such a treaty (I suppose these are in Iran's "region" what with long-range missiles these days).

      Better, IMO, is to back off all the anti-nuclear stuff. I don't see the danger of a few nukes here and there if they are kept for national use and not given-to-or-stolen-by terrorists. (Can we say for sure that Israel's nukes have not fallen into the hands of terrorists, such as the settler-groups in the IDF?)

  • Oh, Weakness; or, Shylock with a Split S: An excerpt from Udi Aloni's What Does a Jew Want?
    • I never read anything so powerful. Thank you, Udi Aloni. "After years of an unsuccessful attempt to be both Jewish and democratic, socialist and greedy, enlightened and racist, fighting whole-heartedly against the occupation and serving in a brutal occupying army, the Jewish left understands it has reached a dead end. For decades the Israeli Jewish left perceived themselves as the lords of the land, only to find themselves losing ground, with awe and despair in their eyes."

      The Jewish left in Israel, assuming readiness to give up privilege, needs help. It always needed help. (So does the left in the USA.) It might be able to ASK for that help. That help must come from outside. The ASKING might be heart-felt testimony (like the story of Lydda with which you began). The HELP must be international action, both civil, personal, and national, of a BDS character which will let Israel know, gently if possible, but certainly firmly, that the occupation and settlements must end, that the discrimination inside Israel must end, that the exclusion of the refugees from 1948 must end). MONDOWEISS exists to help the Israeli Jewish left ask for that help.

  • Israelis respond to Obama snub on Facebook
    • He's done much for Israel hard-liners, true, but the UNESCO money-denial was merely a matter of following USA law (statute, passed by Congress and presumably signed by some president).

      I suspect AIPAC will not cut (all) the money to Obama because, if without money, he could REALLY blast Israel (at no cost so to speak).

  • Warmongering Jeffrey Goldberg calls on Obama to use missile strikes against Iran
    • Phil -- on the problem of identifying and searching for comments by name of commenter -- ask the programmer to see if the comments (e.g., by "AM_American") are in fact tagged accurately with the name (or whether the "_" somehow gets in the way of accurate tagging. Next, ask the programmer to see if the Search Function errs when the search key has an "_". For example, it might be necessary to spell one or both items with "\_" [backslash-underscore] or the like.

    • Maybe the BIG OIL oligarchs (that help run USA) want to shut down a lot of oil to see the price shoot up. Big profits for them. But you'd think the other oligarchs (that help run USA) would NOT want to interrupt the flow of oil, or its dollar-pricing.

      But it would be wrong to think that each and every CEO of a "BIG" has thought through all of this. More likely, they have been scared by the idea of an Iranian "nuke" and think the war is necessary. (Why should they be immune to the scare talk that the media parrots?)

      And it probably seems natural to those who have , ahem, an Israel sensitivity, to imagine that Iran would shoot a nuke anywhere in the vicinity of the dome of the rock, the third most holy site in Islam.

    • War-mongering pure and simple. Who keeps twerps like him on the air-waves?

  • 'Delegitimizers' of Israeli sovereignty said to be Islamist-leftist network (joined by P.A.'s UN bid)
    • I would say to a mixed audience that nothing would please me more than to declare Israel free of crime, free of human rights violations, free of violations of international humanitarian law, etc.

      I imagine Israel retracted to its pre-1967 territory and using only the water it is entitled to use (leaving an appropriate amount of water for the Palestinians in the sovereign state next door). Wonderful! I'd celebrate. I'd declare Israel :legitimate". (Might still grumble about the rights of Palestinians within Israel.)

      But Israel wants to paint itself as conflict free whilst continuing an illegal and illegally-conducted occupation, and for so long as it does so, it pleases me to complain about all the bad stuff. If Israel thinks that delegitimizes them, then so be it, That is their own take.

  • Behind closed doors Sarkozy and Obama spill the beans
    • It's is Jew-bashing (if it is at all) because Israel and its supporters have DECIDED (and by vast PR MADE) anti-Zionism out to be anti-Semitism (which, as we all know, used to mean Jew-bashing and occasionally still does, when it serves the interests of the Zionists to have it so).

      Otherwise, as any sensible person knows, anti-Zionism or even mere criticism of Israel is just that -- and has nothing to do with anti-Semitism. [Possibly the extreme form of anti-Zionism which denies the Jews the right to a country of their own AT ALL in Palestine might, just might, squeeze by as anti-Semitism.]

    • Peace&Justice: Suggested revision: "Journalism no longer even pretends to be more than a branch of government flackery." Sensitivity would make it MORE entertaining. FLACKERY is what moves media to suppress.

      Recall when Jesse Jackson got stung making a remark about "Hymietown" when he thought he wouldn't be heard? Politicians (sort of) know about microphones these days, sooooo * * *

      Might this exchange have been intentional? On the theory that politicians will not be believed unless their speech is (apparently) intended to be private?

  • Jewish Feds General Assembly seems paranoid about 'who is on our side' inside Jewish community
    • dumvita: as to the Balfour declaration and as to the land-deeds given (I suppose) by Israel to settlers: "nemo plus iuris transfere potest quam ipse habet."

    • Very powerful video.

      The Muslim speaker clearly makes the case that the enemy is not non-Muslims and not Jews and not Judaism but zionism.

      Powerful snippet: Finkelstein refuses to give in to the crocodile tears of the Holocaust rememberers. (One felt badly for the girl whose tears may have been real) but Finkelstein is right to refuse to back down before those who prefer to ameliorate the sufferings of those now dead (Holocaust dead) in favor of those now living (Palestinians).

    • You are with us or against us. "Us" means what I say, and we are not about to engage in any discussion of what it is that are our goals, our positions, our ideals, even our ideas.

      Once upon a time, it was said in English law, that "a man and his wife are one person, and the man is that person." Here, AIPAC has somehow persuaded the BIG ZION apparat that it is a single monolith and AIPAC speaks for it.

      Stalinist! And J-Street-ist!

    • I like it. Yes, AIPAC and other Jewish orgs are delegitimizing A CERTAIN ISRAEL by beating the drums of war ONLY for Greater Israel, non-democratic and apartheid. SO IS THE USA CONGRESS, altho it could realistically claim that it is a SLAVE which cannot but do as it is told.
      But, YES, startt the discussions. Or continue them.

    • "Though Israel has overcome many challenges since its establishment, today the Jewish nation faces an unprecedented assault on its very right to exist."

      They MAY have decided to treat demands to remove settlers as an attack on Israel's right to exist. IF SO, for them, West Bank *IS* part of Israel, already, never mind the law of belligerent occupation and ALSO never mind the non-extension of citizenship rights and the vote to the people who live there.

      ALTERNATIVELY, they may be talking about BDS's typical demand that the 1948 refugees be allowed to return (which would reduce the Jewish majority in pre-1967 Israel.


  • '48 is beginning to replace '67 in discourse -- even at UVa
    • Whose color-blind courts of law? Who are the judges. as I recall some Zionists got hot under the collar when the ICJ rules that the wall was illegal. I thought the ICJ was pretty color-blinc, but then, who am I to think anything?

    • "discourse-suppression organizations in the U.S. media and the U.S. academy." GREAT PHRASE.

      "[T]he question of the Palestinian refugees as being bearers of rights is still seen as anathema" (for many Israelis): YOU CANNOT MAKE ME TALK ABOUT IT! (discourse suppression at the max).

  • Freedom Waves prisoners abused and imprisoned; 'Anonymous' hackers strike back
    • The jamming of all communications could, perhaps, be attested to by onshore supporters of th flotilla. We should be shown videos transmitted up-until the shut-down of communications.

      Shutting down communications seems to me as much an act of war as shooting at people. It certainly makes it impossible for a counter-narrative to be shown to the world simultaneously with whatever Israel chooses to put forward.

      I assume the entire stopping of the flotilla happened outside Israel's (or Gaza's) internationally recognized national waters. Stopping ships in international waters and SHUTTING DOWN THEIR COMMUNICATIONS seems massive and illegal. Also dangerous. what if a ship needed to send as SOS (for instance, if it ran into another ship; or if the bridge caught on fire)?

  • 'WaPo' columnist embraces Condi Rice's peace process fiction
    • "* There is also Ariel settlement which was set up on the largest water basin. It was not set up simply to provide Israeli with housing units but rather to control the water basin.

      Livni: - The idea behind our desire to annex Ariel settlement was not to get more water but because thousands of people live there. We want to have an answer for those who have lived there for forty years."


  • Former corporate execs Leader (AOL) and Cooperman (Goldman Sachs) back online 'Jerusalem U' that does 'Israel advocacy'
    • A disgrace that any USA university would offer university credits for studying propaganda. The rest is ho-hum, what would you expect.

      Touro should lose its accreditation.

  • Remnick favors containment of Iran, calling war plans 'a heedless attack that risks the whirlwind'
    • There's a lot of nonsense about Iran's bomb. Or anyone's. If Iran had a bomb, it would never explode it (e.g., over Israel) for fear of the retaliation. I almost believe it would refrain from doing so if Israel exploded ONE A-bomb (small) over Iran FIRST.

      All this hoo-haw seems science-fiction. Perhaps Israel (and its citizens) who have been practicing real war-making "as if crazy" for many years are unable to imagine a country which -- if armed with an A-bomb (or H-bomb) would not use it in a "crazy" way.

      I just don't get it. What I especially don't get is the knee-jerk way that everyone (meaning pundits) in USA accepts the absolute undesirability of Iran getting nukes but have nothing to say about India and Pakistan in this respect, Pakistan being a rather undisciplined country (apparently) (to say nothing about the most war-like of all countries, except perhaps the USA, Israel, with its bombs).

  • Super Stuxnet?
    • What does NPT say? That it's OK to keep 'em if you've got 'em? But not to pass technology along to others (as Israel did to South Africa during SA's apartheid period)?

      And did they say that 0.1% of Americans control 80% of the wealth? And 5% of the nations control 100% of the nukes?


    • "leaders of the three major software companies, Sergey Brin at Google, Steve Ballmer at Microsoft and Larry Ellison at Oracle have been working with Israel'"

      Is this an accusation of these three guys (and their companies) or praise? If Iran (or the next by-USA-called-bad-guy out there) wonders which people and which companies to attack, they've got a good list here.

  • Bellow: Diaspora Jews support Israel because it restored our 'manliness' after the Holocaust
    • The Arabs did not ask to remain a majority, and large Jewish immigration was anticipated. They did not ask to remain a majority.

      They asked to remain. In their homes, on their land, in their homeland. They had been promiosed (by LoN mandate) to be granted self-determination for which, it was said, they were nearly ready. Then a great Jewish immigration occurred, adn they rejected it (just as Israeli Jews today reject a great Arab immigration, even the return of the 1948 refugees). Easy to understand.

    • eee: You report what seems both accurate and bizarre.

      The USA mother who did not lose her son in WWII did not mourn, but the USA Jews mourned all 6 million unrelated Jewish dead. (I suspect the Gypsies mourned their dead. I suspect the mothers of the labor union folks, the insane, the retarded, the homosexual, etc., also mourned.)

      Mooser's point is that all THIS OTHER grieving fails to get the HUGE MEGAPHONE and the FEED-BACK-LOOP which keeps Jewish mourning ever-youthful and ever on page 1. The other mothers get over it and get on with their lives. My mother lost a brother, Jewish, in WWII. She grieved for a while, as anyone might, and then stopped.

      The indefinite grieving of Jews re the Holocaust is not natural -- it is a manufactured thing, an artifact, as is the new use of the term "anti-semitism" to mean (and almost only to mean) anti-Zionism.

    • Yes, Jews seem to feel no "anti-semitism" at characterizations like, "after 1967 we knew that Jews could be brave," but bristle at a statement like, "after 1967 we learned that Jews could be wholesale violators of international law." It's sort of part of the THANG that well-documented friends of Israel will never be called anti-Semites no matter what dreadful things they say about Jews, but people who criticize Israel will be called anti-Semites even if they praise Jews generally. TOPSY TURVY LAND.

    • "But the Western world now exhibits a certain unwillingness to sanction the Israeli solution—in other words, to let the Jews get away with it."

      But, as we have seen, any reluctance of the West to allow Israel to get away with it has been very slow coming. The English-speaking world (USA, UK, Australia, Canada, some of South Africa) seem determined to love Israel to death (its? ours in the case of USA?) and abrogate international law (and cast Palestinians into eternal darkness) rather than treat Israel like a normal country under the Rule Of Law.

      The UNESCO deal was not the work of the West. All the abstentions (effectively: NO votes) promised for UNSC/Palestine are by the West or result from pressure from the West.

      Waiting for punitive sanctions on Israel from the West is like waiting for Godot or hell to freeze over (or for global warming to be opposed).

  • Voice in wilderness, Ron Paul calls for friendship with Iran
    • I love the idea of the USA forcing Iran to seek and accept a monetary unit for oil other than USD. There's Iran, selling oil to China for Yuan (RMB). And looking good! And price of dollar-priced oil going up, perhaps. and other oil producers seeing the sense of demanding Yuan.

      A great triumph for the knee-jerk pro-Israel jerks.

  • Obama administration approves navy warships seizing two boats carrying peace activists and letters to Gaza as necessary for Israeli 'security'
  • Tom Friedman pushed Iraq war as 'radical liberal revolution' to 'install democracy in heart of Arab world'
    • Be fun to make Friedman explain just why it is that the USA was in favor of "democracy" -- under multi-trillion-$ duress -- in Iraq, but disfavors it (even though it'd be cheap) absolutely for Palestine (despite having once plumped for elections) and but lukewarm about actual democracy in Egypt (I am too polite to mention Bahrain).

      Or, BETTER YET, to get Friedman to express HIS OWN views on these matters, to see if he can square the circles within circles.

  • When is it okay to say that Jews own Wall Street?
    • There is an awful lot here, a bit hard to digest, but thanks so much for putting it all together.

      What I got out of it is that the Zionist crowd will gladly excuse anti-semitic remarks when they are made by a staunch friend of Israel and conversely regard unfriendliness towards Israel as anti-semitic.

      In summary, a complete re-definition has been made -- by today's Zionists, neocons, etc. -- by which "anti-semitism" is used to mean anti-Israel as a primary meaning and anti-Jewish only secondarily and only when not used by a friend of Israel. That is, the secondary meaning -- anti-Jewish -- can be excused for political reasons which trump the racism, today's speakers of "anti-semitism" using the term primarily (and overwhelmingly) as a tool of political manipulation.

      The net of this method of political manipulation is to take the discussion of Israel away from the matter of the rights and wrongs of Israel and place it where it does not belong, in a discussion of racism.

      In a parallel stream, friends of bankers and/or capitalism more generally are using "anti-semitic" also to savage people who are attacking bankers and the banking system, or capitalism more generally. Why? Apparently on the grounds either that banking and capitalism are largely controlled by Jews or that this is the perception.

      The net of this method of political manipulation is to take the discussion of banking and capitalism away from the rights and wrongs of banking and capitalism and place it where it does no good at all, into the discussions of racism.

  • 'Forbes' column seeks to discredit neoconservatives' 'entangling alliances'
  • Neoconservative brinksmanship
    • You forget the scorpion story. Are the USA's pols that mad? Sure, if need be. Didn't the Congress run pell-mell into Iraq when there was no hurry, no believable justification? they did. And it was mad. Didn't want to be called "wimps" I suppose.

      USA pols are big on voter "feelings" but low on analysis. Oh, oil prices might rise? Gee, never thought of that. But "evil" must be eradicated. and the USA as sole superpower must show the world we're still the boss (even if we're not). etc. Madness is the rule. don't discount it.

  • 'Powerful lobby is hellbent' for US to go to war w Iran
    • Want to see how badly drafted (or dangerous, indeed, DRACONIAN) the House Foreign Affairs Committee proposed "crippling sanctions" legislation is?


      A determination to impose sanctions under this title
      shall not be reviewable in any court.

      So, the president (say President Cain) may, arguing to himself -- evidently not to any court -- that a "person" (corporation usually) has done the naughty by helping Iran develop petroleum production may SANCTION that person, and that person has no right to review such sanctions in any court.

      Wow! Not as bad as "the president may order the assassination of any person, anywhere, irrespective of any consideration or law, without such person's having any right to judicial review or compensation either before or after such order (or such assassination); PROVIDED HOWEVER that such president mumble the word "terrorism" under his breath while making such order." (BTW, THIS APPEARS TO BE OBAMA's view of his present powers!)

    • 1. It does not declare Iran or any part thereof a terrorist.
      2. It leaves dangerously in the air what "presents a threat to the United States or is affiliated with terrorist organizations" means as applied to any person that "is an agent, instrumentality, or official of, is affiliated with, or is serving as a representative of the Government of Iran; "
      3. It is not clear who is a person "employed with the United States Government" [with, not by] :: does this include contractors?
      4. It does not prohibit contacts by folks not employed "with" USG, thus does not prohibit contact via some third parties.
      5. IT APPEARS TO PROHIBIT DIPLOMACY conducted by DoS personnel -- who are surely employed with USG -- IF such diplomacy would be with a representative (etc) of Iran who was also a terrorist or a threat to USA :: but who is that?
      6. Seems to suggest that Secretary Clinton may not talk to the guy who gave money to the Mexican drug cartel to assassinate the Saudi unless he is non-Iran-gov't.
      7. Seems to sanction USG, not Iran (except for cutting off some contacts).
      8. Might prohibit a USG policeman from arresting one of these folks (if an arrest is a "contact").

      Rather confused in purpose and in provision. If I worked for or with the USG, I'd be careful if this becomes law.

  • 'Adbusters' seeks right of reply to 'NYT''s smear of anti-Semitism and fails to get it
    • "American Jewish Committee which alleged that "the main organizer behind the movement — Adbusters editor Kalle Lasn — has a history of anti-Jewish writing." This means that NYT was quoting AJC and the slur was theirs, not NYT's (or am I missing something?).

      If NYT stated as a fact that Adbusters has a history of anti-Jewish writing, then Adbusters ought to have the right (IMO) to demand to see the NYT's evidence and answer it. It is a serious charge.

      Otherwise, if NYT was merely quoting AJC, Adbusters should ask NYT to show the statement by AJC which claims Adbusters/Lasn has a history, etc.

      If AJC did indeed say that, Adbusters/Lasn should demand to see AJC's evidence of anti-Jewish statements by Adbusters/Lasn.

      If AJC does respond, Adbusters/Lasn should deal with the "evidence" in a short letter to NYT, if appropriate.

      If AJC does not respond, a simple letter to NYT might say, "Adbusters/Lasn asked AJC for the writings by Adbusters/Lasn which might justify the characterization as anti-Jewish. AJC declined to respond. Accordingly, Adbusters/Lasn is justified in saying that AJC has a history of false accusations of anti-Jewish writings, that is, has a history of false accusations of public anti-Semitism.

    • Fixed in inner title, but NOT fixed in URL spelling.

  • Strategic asset or rogue state? Israel's threats to Iran 'concern' Pentagon
    • The Vets Today article seems to suggest (leaks apart) that the war-scare is related to bets on the oil commodities markets, called "futures", and that the war-scare is an attempt to manipulate the futures prices so someone (doing the manipulation, natch) can make a killing on the futures market.

      "Follow the Money" is a good rule in politics, and manipulations in markets (anyone recall the mortgage balloon and all the derivatives hedging?) allow the well-placed to make lots of money.

      Just a thought about what is REALLY going on. Maybe Bibi is being manipulated by some canny oil-futures investors!

    • Timing may be important. If the Israelis attack Iran too soon before the election (after the money has been collected), Obama could -- in principle -- refuse to join and hang Israel out to dry, explaining to the American people how the war is stupid, is against the American interest, and how he'd told Israel not to do it, how they tried to twist his arm, and why he refused to be twisted.

      If, however, they attack while he is still collecting money (and the Congress is still collecting money), then the money-blackmail that is officially called "democracy", he might have to join-in, despite all costs to America, or kiss the election good-bye. HOWEVER, if the costs to America become manifest early after the attack and are clearly too high, he could still appeal to American patriotism to avoid a war that we have no interest in fighting and much reason to stay out of. Israel would then paint itself into a corner.

      (Glad I am not a political strategist!)

    • Anon: My late wife was raised in Ramallah, a Christian town at the time (1932-1944), and what I got from her fond memories of life as a child in Palestine included very easy and friendly relations between Christians and Muslims. At the Friends Girls School, where she was a student, there was even one Jewish student. There seemed to be -- in those halcyon days -- no religious difficulties, even though the (few) early bullets arising from Jewish aspirations at domination of Palestine were already flying. In the years 1980-1990, when I become acquainted with the I/P problem, Palestinian visitors to Greater Boston, where we lived, told stories of the friendships and co-operation between Christians (which most of our visitors were), Muslims, and Jews from earlier days.

      Those earlier days (before 1930?) were days when, of course, people did not see themselves as citizens of Jewish, Christian, or Muslim "nationality" but just as people. In those days one could have imagined a single multi-ethnic non-confessional state. A bit harder to imagine that now, after all that has happened, and after the fires of Israeli Jewish nationality have burned so fiercely in the hearts of the Jewish Israelis and so harmfully in the flesh of all the others.

    • Charon, for years I imagined (Fantasy Alert!) a nuke, made in Israel and installed in the air-conditioner at the top of a Wall Street building. Nuclear blackmail against the USA.

      Then there was 9-11, and because the engineering consensus seemed to be that the WTC buildings were brought down by demolition charges (the heat from gasoline fires being too small to melt the steel beams supporting the buildings), the question of who-done-it reduced to "who had the access to plant the demolition charges?" The cover-up seemed purely USA, but only a few voices suggested Israel as culprit. But since there is such tight co-operation between Israel and some (not all, I suppose) USA CIA types and military types, the answer could be that it was a co-operative job.

      Anyway, nuclear blackmail is one way to get the USA to do things not otherwise in our interest. And 9-11 happened. If all the perps wanted war with Afghanistan or Iraq and used 9-11 to get those wars started, then there was no need for blackmail. Otherwise, * * *

    • Annie, you're right, of course, in general, which is why Congress should NEVER ask military folks to testify: they are under orders and it is like talking to the administration flaks.

      However, every once in a while we see a general fired when he (appears to) talk(s) out of turn. I assume that in those cases, if he was not drunk or something, he is a patriot, a whistleblower and is ready to suffer the punishment of dismissal.

      We should all recall that soldiers are (theoretically) ready to die for their country, and they must always decide whether they work "for" the country or "for" the president. Whistleblowing is therefore extraordinary and rare and, as you note, the "correct" path is to resign first and then to speak out. (Same at State, i believe.)

    • Wonderful if true. I was wondering why I didn't hear the USA military piping up against an attack (by anyone) on Iran. You're saying they already have. Funny to think that Air Force might like an attack because they have all the modern fly-stuff and an attack could wipe out the rival Navy!

    • What gives, if several Israeli ex-Mossad leaders are making extraordinary warnings against Israel-v-Iran, but USA's CIA is preparing for it (or for Israel&USA-v-Iran).

      Maybe the wannabe-warrior class in the USA (here, CIA and Perry) just loves war so much and WHO CARES about the price of gasoline? Some people still think the USA is an unbeatable superpower. Other people think you jist gotta attack bad guys no matter what. Let us all observe a moment of silence, now, for those brave CIA dead at Bay of Pigs (assuming any CIA at all joined the Florida-Cuban attackers), another wonderful CIA idea pushed onto an inexperienced president. (But, by now, Obama is at least experienced.)

      However, what are USA military saying?

  • Ultrazionists have met the enemy and he is... Tom Friedman!
    • Israel its own worst enemy?

      Well, the world (IMO) is not seeking to delegitimize Israel (in its pre-1967 territory), and complaints about settlements being illegal, and complaints about war-crimes, and other complaints about occupation, and complaints about Israel's refusal to negotiate for peace in good faith -- well, all these complaints paint SOMETHING as illegitimate, but I think it is not Israel per se .

      However, Zionist Israelis may see things differently. for many of them, the essence of Zionism is that Israel (and no other state whatever) should occupy all of Palestine west of River Jordan. People (such as Bibi) taking this view take each and every one of the above complaints as a delegitimization of Zionism and, hence, in their view, of Israel.

      So, yes, who one sees as Israel's worst enemy depends on who's doing the seeing. Pro-Palestinian folks tend to see Israel as its own worst enemy. Arch-Zionists see everyone as an enemy who seeks creation of a Palestinian State inside old Palestine. (It'd be OK on the moon!)

      Glad to clear that up.

    • And to think that some people attack universities because they permit pro-Palestine political agitation to occur.

      This rabbi is not a professor, I suppose, but the Jewish students are likely to be more washed in the poison of his fulminations than they could ever be in the lectures of a Massad-like professor (whose course they had voluntarily taken) and who is committed to truth rather than to agitprop.

  • Times readers respond to Goldstone
  • Goldstone needs a reality check
    • OK, and another question, was South African "apartheid" actually apartheid? we could argue for days.

      Was the Holocaust a holocaust? Are Jews (or anyone else) afraid of a repeat of the Holocaust? Silly, shouldn't be, because COMPARISONS ALWAYS FAIL. There cannot be another Holocaust, only something more or less like it in one respect or another.

      So instead of using language the way we usually do, using words in their generally understood way, let's agree that there will never be another holocaust, never another apartheid.

      And when we describe Israel's treatment of Palestinians living in the OPTs, just don't use the "A" word, but MAKE A COMPREHENSIVE LIST GOING ON TO 500 pages of the particular events, with footnotes, Ha'aretz and Ma'an references, and so on.

      Oh, but I'm being silly. Just call it Israeli Apartheid.

      And if you were wondering why it matters so much to Zionists not to have bad names applied to their dear-Zionistic-project-of-Israel-in-all-of-Palestine, read about it here. The reason is, that Zionism is (or must be) legitimate, and Zionism calls for Israel in all of Palestine, and since that project is legitimate, no-one should be allowed to criticize any part of the EXECUTION of that project, and especially not by using horribly loaded critical words.

      My mother is saintly, and you called her "apartheid"? Them's fighting words.

    • I agree. Goldstone should never have taken part in the initial report. Today he stands to be compared with moral giants and comes up a moral midget. Worse, he argues with the slickness that often tarnishes the reputation of some lawyers, of most politicians, and even of some judges. (Such misdirection by telling of semi-truths gives Jewish argumentation a bad name if it is at all typical. Is it? I say "if".)

  • Ultra-Orthodox pose greater risk to Israel than Iran -- fmr Mossad chief
    • Charon -- Thanks. Yes, he could mean (by ultra-orthodox threat) the entire movement in Israel toward war with Iran. I didn't read it that way, however, because he could so much more understandably have said that the push-toward-war-with-Iran was more dangerous than Iran is. Is Bibi ultra-orthodox?

    • Halevy cites "ultra-Orthodix extremism" without (as quoted here) explaining what he means. He might mean the settler movement, the settler-price-tag movement, the settler-pogrom movement, or merely shutting down certain public bus-lines on Saturdays.

      I'd like to know what he meant and what average Israelis understood him to mean. Can anyone help with this question?

  • Creeping halacha rolls on
  • If US drops out of UN intellectual property org for Israel's sake, wouldn't that compromise our 'national security?'
    • It is vastly important that the USA shoot itself in the foot, and repeatedly, and with highest public attention, because of its vile anti-Palestine policy. Not sure that DoS Q/A quite does it, but it's a start. Wonder what the argument will look like, or even if there'll be one at all, when Congress revokes the anti-Palestine (no-UN-funding provision from 1990). Probably invisibly attached to a bill funding the USPS.

  • Turkish harbormaster let 11 of us sail (and 25 are left behind)
  • Students protest Israeli spokesperson at Wayne State University
    • No, the rules are the same. At least one main reporter for NYT in Israel is an American newsie with many ties to the gov't he is supposed to be reporting impartially on. Within USA, many newsies are megaphones for the gov't trading "access" (for which they pay with subservience) for independence. That's how the game works under capitalism where everything is for sale.

    • As Taxi said above, OWS could use a good color, and RED might be a good antidote for the GREEN of $$$.

    • The red tape is brilliant (visually and conceptually). No nned to speak. No need to risk arrest. Very visual to the speaker if he is looking at them.

  • UNESCO vote shows the US and Israel represent the 1% against the 99% of world opinion
    • Good analysis. The important thing here, one hopes, is that the oligarchy that controls USA policy and governance is (at least as to I/P) single-minded: the various BIGs either care a really lot about Israel (BIG ZION, BIG ARMAMENTS) or don't care at all. So the 1% is -- in effect -- aligned together on this. SO FAR. Now there may be fissures and crumbling and elements of the 1% may see that their interests require combating BIG ZION here. So I hope.

      Be fun to be a fly on the board-room walls.

  • The Netanyahu Guide to Middle East Peace
    • Funny but true, if mislabelled. This Bibi's plan -- not for peace but -- for achieving Israeli maximalist territorial ambitions and maintaining non-democratic apartheid-style 1SS for the indefinite (but long) future.

      But, yes, he (or Obama) probably does call it a "peace plan".

  • Goldstone's major error: By looking for South Africa, he missed Israel's own brand of apartheid
    • A perceptive friend, who follows I/P but less cl;osely than I, read the Goldstone essay in NYT and said it read as if he had a gun to his head.

      Well, we all remember the bar mitzva. Defenders of Zion will attack anyone it will seem to help them to attack, Goldstone, Iran, etc.

  • Sadly, Americans need permission from Israeli heroes to stick a fork in Zionism
    • Israel was raised on pogroms and holocaust. at least on stories about them. Then it became criminal to steal from Palestinians, dehumanized them (in Israeli eyes) and further mistreated them. they "gave themselves permission" to misbehave and told themselves stories to justify the behavior. The high schools train the kids for the army with hate and fear.

      Hard to see how people raised this way can change. BDS aims at changing the OLIGARCHY which controls Israel -- in the pocketbook. BDS does not aim to change the horrible victimhood-allows-all psychology.

    • Sometimes DoS gets things right. In the old days, when they still employed (had not yet fired) "old China hands", old Arab hands, etc., DoS had some useful ideas.

      Now it is all politicized which -- in these oligarchic times -- means controlled by big money. We tend to notice BIG ZIONISM. OWS notices BIG FINANCE.

      --Off Topic Alert--

      However, BIG OIL is pushing through the so-called Keystone XL pipeline to transfer -- from Canada to USA's ports -- very dirty oil from Canada's very dirty tar sands extraction stations. The prospect for terrible environmental damage to USA from building and running the pipeline is enormous, but DoS is pushing it. Let global warming be damned as well as the more immediate environmental damage.

  • Halper: Israel may attack Iran so that we won't hear the word 'Palestinian' for another 5 years
    • Justice WP: "But their thirst for more violence and aggression instead of facing the reality of a Palestinian state is deeply embedded. The most despicable aspect of their warmongering is that it is very likely that they will sacrifice US and Iranian citizens, but no Israelis in their Dr Strangelove attempt to bring yet more death and destruction to the Middle East and beyond."

      This does seem to be the mentality of the Israeli warrior class. They believe in making horrible war and no accounting of what you or I might call failures will stop them.

      They also believe, not w/o reason, that the kindly old retard, the USA, will enter and try to save their chestnuts. I don't think we should try to save them. But we might try, because our own political system is so screwed up and also because we have an image of ourselves as macho war-achievers that will not be put to rest even after 10 years of nonsense in Iraq and Afghanistan.

      As someone said above, Russia and China must love every minute of this nonsense.

  • 'You lost' -- reporters at State say UNESCO vote isolates U.S. from world opinion (and possibly from intellectual property enforcement)
    • BTW, I know how to phone and email my congresspeople. BUT THEY ARE NOT THE GOVERNMENT.

      How do I phone and email the OLIGARCHS? BIG ZION? BIG BANKS? BIG ARMAMENTS? BIG Intellectual-Property? These guys *ARE* my government and I'd like to be able to contact them,

    • I know nothing of "punk" or of popular music whatever, but his story is fascinating and his decision to lose so much money in support of BDS is fantastic, a model. I hope others in popular music learn of this and maybe read it. VERY WELL WRITTEN, IF A BIT TOO LONG. (Maybe you could overthrow a government with followers of popular music; you never could with followers of String Quartets, my music. I am not pooh-pooh-ing popular music, just saying it's not my thing.)

    • And then, "she wants to make sure that companies understand that Palestinian membership in WIPO could trigger – would trigger similar funding restrictions and could diminish U.S. influence in an organization that’s very important to these companies. So we need to make sure that our companies understand the implications of what’s happened and begin that conversation with them."

      DoS is courting the BIGs (the VERY BIGs) to belly up to the bar and use their campaign-finance money to COUNTER AIPAC! So far, for 44 years, AIPAC (and M-I-C) have been the only BIGs making pressure on USA policy for Middle East, and they've been on Israel's side. MAYBE NOW we can get some players to start weighing in on the other side.

      AIPAC doesn't have to win every battle in a slam dunk, but someone BIG will have to educate a lot of congresspeople and get them to change their reflexive pro-Israelism.

    • "Who’s shared goal? Who shares this goal, other than the 13 other countries". DoS dummy-pants really put her foot in it there! Meant shared by USA and Israel, because people are always (reflexivey) assuring themselves (and us) (and especially Israel and AIPAC) that there is no sunlight between Israel's interests and the USA's. And then she couldn't say so!

      What glorious fun! Helen Thomas missed her moment. Lee is great, but how I wish she'd had the chance at this dummy-pants.

  • Germany takes a toy away from the spoiled child
    • teta: Well, yes, the crimes of Zionism are their own (modulo connivance and help and blocking-international-law by USA). Right now, many countries, even in EU are calling the building/settling of EJ (OEJ) "illegal" but do not propose to do anything and do not speak of doing anything to enforce international law. They regard I/L as a dead letter. so perhaps we could blame them too, not for the crimes but for the failure to deter or punish.

      But, again, YES, Germany is not at fault for Zionism's crimes.

    • You have my attention. Canada and Australia are in the same deep pocket as the USA. Something sick in the English-speaking world. So sad. My father was born in Calgary, moved to California as a child.

      Perhaps you can spare a Canadian's view on tar sands oil recovery and the proposed Keystone XL pipeline (even if it has no obvious connection to Zionism)(does it?).

    • German restitution to Israel (a phony to begin with because Israel is *NOT* the Jewish people) should by now be revoked in favor of German restitution to the secondary victims of the Holocaust, the Palestinians.

    • On date of Haaretz (Saudi) article: 02.01.10 : seems not to be 2002. Maybe Jan 2, 2010.

    • I think Arafat used the "spoiled child" phrase quite a bit. See also this from 2002 (I think)

      As to whether the long USA dominance of the world is coming to an end, don't hold your breath. The nations are facilitating PLO action, but it is the PLO that must take the action.

      In the mean time various countries (I believe I heard on the radio this AM) are denouncing Israekl's plan to build more housing in EJ, and remarking that settlement is "illegal". WELL. HAH! It may be illegal, but I haven';t heard any nation submit to the UNSC a resolution calling for enforcement of that law. UNSC 465 (1980) already called for removal of settlers and dismantlement of settlements. No teeth. And no use. Israel doesn't hear "signals".

  • Goldstone lesson: what's so great about international law?
    • You are right. He ignored a tremendous amount of easily available information. If you want Israeli crimes, they are there to be seen.

      So, again, what was he doing, and why now? I imagine his family, his community, and his Zionism forced him to do what amounts to an ideologically-motivated (his ideology? his community's?) "suicide bombing" of law, of logic, of truth.

      A sad fall of a great man. In a way, the great man is dead, and there should be kaddish.

  • Bronner lets controversy subside, then cancels 92d St appearance w/ Perle and Bolton
    • True, and I often refer to AIPAC as the work of a very, very few very, very rich Jews. What the supposition of Jewish control (or even merely large presence at the top) of BIG BANKING is that (perhaps many of) these (very very few) bozos collect their loot (including bailouts from USA) AND PLOW IT BACK into doing the work of -- yes! -- AIPAC.

      THUS, when the BIG BANKER is calling his friend in Congress, asking for a favor, a bailout, whatever, on behalf of his bank (of course) and its bond-holders and stock-holders, natch -- he may just say, as well, "Oh, by the way, nice vote on Israel the other day", letting Ms Congress know that the VERY BIG CAMPAIGN MONEY coming from the bank also comes from a (powerful) FOI (and don't you forget it!).

      In my imaginary, he uses the bank's weight to further his concern for Israel -- which may very well NOT be a concern of the bank's bond-holders and share-holders.

  • Goldstone sugarcoats persecution to try to save Israel
    • RW: You've perhaps heard of the new law in Israel that allows certain communities to refuse to allow people they don't like to buy property in such community? OK, it is Palestinians who are being excluded. THIS IS A STATUTE with full intent to provide for discrimination in housing.

    • Whether he intended to or not, Goldstone was asking for someone -- for YOU -- to write this and similar essays. He was damning Israel with faint praises. He was like the USA congresspeople who applauded 98765 times for Bibi and thus showed total subversion, total submission, total degradation for all to see. He makes as if to excuse Israel (like defendants in Stalinist show-trials confessing) and thereby shows (or invites you to show) how really, really bad things are.

      He loves Israel, but he cannot save Israel by himself. He needed you. He should thank you.

      I do thank you.

  • Caption contest
  • South Africans think Israel is practicing apartheid
  • Does the UNESCO vote pave the way for broader Palestinian acceptance within the UN system?
    • I agree that Gazan rockets could be aimed (insofar as aiming at all is even possible with such crude weapons) at military targets. the shooters could certainly say that they hoped to hit military targets. Q: did you know where there even WERE military targets? A: No. Q: But you hoped? A: Yes.

      Israel, by marked contrast, is always rocket-bombing automobiles and saying, "We knew that there were shooters | Hamas officials | terrorists aboard". And then hitting the car plus a few others.

      I am not so sure that the world should accept Israel's claim to "know" it had a proper target, only perhaps that it knew as well as it could. And that is the problem for Gazan rocketeers, too.

      Slippery ground all round/

    • Matt Lee! Wow! (If only NYT published this exchange, verbatim. does AP?)

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