Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 4389 (since 2009-09-12 00:56:04)

pabelmont

Retired. Married for 24 years to Palestinian-American, Quaker. Myself of Jewish descent, non-religious. Classical musician (cello). Run my own website, 123pab.com, 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."

Website: http://123pab.com

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  • No space for Zionism
  • Some Jews support BDS 'from a place of love' for Israel, says AJC official
    • A BIG FEAR: fear "of losing a racial majority". (Doesn't quite fit the South Africa situation during the battle to end apartheid, but fits Israel&OPT&refugees to a "T" and fits "alt right" fears about America just as well. Does not seem to fit France very well -- no huge perceived-as-non-French near-majority, is there? The fear is there and is exploited, of course.)

      I'm not sure why you use "finds justly objectionable" here: " Joseph Goldstein finds justly objectionable in the alt-right: endless rhetoric of losing a racial majority." I mean, it may be objectionable to Goldstein (or to you or to me) but makes a lot of sense to the alt-rightists.

  • Sanders suggests giving Gaza a portion of $38 billion US military aid to Israel
  • Israel's neverending occupation is bringing 'infamy' to Jews worldwide, making Jewish life 'precarious' -- Tony Klug
    • Thanks Teddy. "Love Israel, hate occupation." This (implicitly) is LESS than BDS demands, because it says nothing about H/R and C/L within Israel-48. BDS, bless its heart, demands non-discrimination inside Israel -- which I take to mean in future, ANY future. (BDS should also demand non-discrimination within ANY Palestine, none today, but maybe in future.)

      So If Israel were to retract to 10% of the territory of Mandatory Palestine (no sign of that, so BIG IF), BDS demands that it should not discriminate within that 10%. same for 100% (as today).

    • "This new reputation is feeding the surge in anti-Semitism around the world and making the Jewish position in the west “precarious.” Therefore, Diaspora Jews have a responsibility to issue an ultimatum to Israel: End the occupation or grant Palestinians equal rights."

      Well, I don't know whether or not awareness of Israel's nefarious doings is adding to antisemitism (other than by adding to anti-Zionism wrongly identified-as-antisemitism); but it seems to me that diaspora Jews always had at least one reason to utter ultimata -- morality/ethics (Jewish or universal or otherwise).

      The argument quoted is however wrong: If antisemitism is growing, then Diaspora Jews do not have a responsibility but rather a self-interest to issue ultimata. There is a difference.

  • Power of donors over Israel discussion in Jewish community is 'the $60 million question'
    • Yes, the history of Zionism and the more-or-less concurrent history of the subversion of American Jewish organizations is terrible.

      I'd like to ask everyone, and especially the "donors", if they believe that money (or the ability and willingness to donate or spend a lot of money) is the equivalent of morality, wisdom, value-as-a-person, information, well-informedness ? And this is exactly the same question we should also pose to all Americans.

      Our Supreme Court, bless their well-meaning-but-shriveled hearts, have decided a series of cases whose joint effect on the USA is that money is (or buys) the kind of speech which is protected by the First Amendment and THEREFORE cannot be regulated ANY MORE than speech in a private living room or unamplified public speech from a soap-box on a street corner can be regulated, and EVEN LESS, because the latter speech can be regulated for many things such as "time, place, and manner" although not for "content". The court has not bought -- if indeed it has ever been offered -- the argument that big-money acts not a speech but as an AMPLIFIER or LOUD-SPEAKER for speech and can be regulated just as could a truck driving through your town shrilly and deafeningly putting forth a political message.

      Big money folks have a wonderful quality which the rest of us do not, but it is not "morality, wisdom, value-as-a-person, information, well-infoformedness". What is it? It is "having"-money.

      Now, last time I checked, some religions (but is this a matter of religion, after all, or of ethics or morality?) believe and teach and act-as-if having a lot of money ("success") is a sign of having God's favor; but Judaism is not one of them.

      Am I wrong on this today? Would I have been wrong on this in 1900? And if I'm right, why should Jews give big-money folks the right to dictate anything to anyone else?

  • Finders Keepers in the Holy Land: So who was there first?
    • Zionism claims Palestine as a land (or the land) for "a people without a land", that landless people being of course the (so-called-by-some) "Jewish People" (tm).

      But take care. Read Shlomo Sand's "The Invention of the Jewish People" ( https://www.amazon.com/Invention-Jewish-People-Shlomo-Sand/dp/1844676234 ) which makes a very strong case that there are lots of Jews but no "Jewish people" especially if by "people" is meant a racial group, descendants of a few folks from a single place. Far far too many Jews had no "blood" connection to the "soil" of Palestine. There were converts to Judaism back in the day. Just are there a re quite a few "Russian Jews" who immigrated into Israel recently who have little connection to the so-called Jewish people (tm) even religion.

      And of course a lot of Jews remained in Palestine after the Roman period and became Christians and Arabs and Muslims. Armies swept through this hub, this centerpoint, and people died and people remained who came from afar and people were born with fathers from afar. I don't know anyone who thinks that those second-class citizens of Israel, the Jews from Africa and India and China (all -- if any) are "blood descendants" of Jews from 1000 years ago, 2000 years ago, 3000 years ago. From which I conclude that this (formerly so-called) "land without a people" had a lot of people in it already who called themselve Palestinian Christians and Muslims and ("and, not "but") who were descendants (in part, isn't it always so?) from Jews-in-Palestine in, say, year 0.

  • Elor Azarya's 'normative' support for genocide
    • If "death to Arabs”, “death to leftists”, “kill them all” apparently including Journalists who were assumed to be affiliated with B’tselem" (in the hyperventilating rhetoric typical of Facebook-rants, Tweets, and political-rally-slogans) means 'death to enemies of Israel and its Jewish -ness and business-as-usual-as-of-2017' -- then a lot of people just received a death threat -- including quite a few Jews.

      Something to think about. JVP? J-Street? [ahem, TheJewishPresidents (tm)]?

  • Tom Friedman begs Trump to 'save the Jews' from themselves
    • If American Jews (let's say, young people and people who've fallen away from the Zionist hold of synagogues, AIPAC, other organizations, a few organization leaders) "fall away" from Israel or even start criticizing it, calling for decency -- what then?

      First, The JewishPresidents, AIPAC, and the current heads of the various organizations will carry on as long as breath is left to them. They are convinced, cannot "fall away". They'll support Israel (any Israel, every Israel, this awful Israel) until their dying breath. They are incapable of any ethical or moral thought but one -- that Israel is necessary to the salvation of The Jewish People (tm). despite being so jolly comfortable in the USA that they wouldn't move to Israel for any reason.

      Second, USA politics would continue to support Israel because it always has, because AIPAC will not go away, and because (as Chomsky always points out, and rightly IMO) there are many players in the American oligarchy, AIPAC (BIG-ZION) is only one of them, BIG-DEFENSE is another and a bigger) which support Israel,support imperialism and think that supporting Israel's imperialism also supports our own ("there is no sunlight between the policies, goals, values of USA and Israel"). Even Trump and his white-supremacist cronies are on board this line.

      And, as to those American Jews visibly falling away, Israel -- those ultimate toughies -- will throw them overboard and continue on their own. Who needs those softies, the American Jews, anyhow? We can do it on our own, we can make any desert bloom, ANY desert, so there!!! (And what else could they do?)

      OF COURSE, if the world ganged up on Israel and hit her where it hurts -- trade, especially the arms trade -- in other words if the world put the "S" into BDS -- it might be otherwise. Israel's industrial leaders know which side of their bagel is smeared with bacon fat! (Sorry, goose grease, but the image of "bringing home the bacon" is too strong and "bringing home the goose", well, feh.)

      And this last comment is true whether or not American Jews "fall away" from Israel. But such a falling away, if visible, might help the just-plain-folks in EU-land to get their ever-reluctant governments (so resistant to anti-Zionism) to get with the program.

      So, maybe Friedman has it exactly wrong. To save Israel it is necessary for American Jews to fall away, do it visibly, and get the Jews and others in EU-land to speak truth to power.

      And what else would work? And what could happen? ANYTHING. A full withdrawal from OPTs could happen (and from the Golan for that matter). Or a democratic one-state. anything.

      But it requires an "S" in BDS. And a lot of people-power.

  • Trump is putting the crunch on liberal Zionism
    • Annie and pdxmuscle: Palestinians hold on to the memory/myth of the lovely days of old when all Palestinians lived happily together. This makes their identity. My late wife was raised in Ramallah and had friends in the USA who were Christian (mostly: Ramallah was before 1948 a Christian village) amnd Muslim. No problem. there was one Jewish girl in her class at Friends Girls School (or maybe that memory is from another memoir). Barren women in one town, Christian, Muslim, and Jewish, all prayed under a certain ancient tree to get with child. Perhaps the stories are true, but certainly the stories all make an "identity".

      And American Jews having largely lost any cohesiveness as Jews other than mere society, a couple of important annual holidays, and support-for-Israel, are unlikely to want to lose that last part of their Jewish identity (if they still hold on to it) -- the love-for-Israel.

      I've always thought I was "Jewish" but the idea had little content besides admiring my mother's delicious motza ball soup and chopped liver (I never understood the "what am I, chopped liver?" of New York), noticing my own love for discussion, argument, etc., and admiring (if that is the word) my mother's intense anti-religious attitudes played out, among other ways, in a wonderful recipe for stuffed zucchini which combined motza-meal and bacon bits. SO MY Jewishness, such as it is, has never had trouble with such things as marrying a Palestinian-American or aligning with MondoWeiss.

      But I really wonder about anyone Jewish who has fused pro-Israelism into that Jewish identity. Hard to let it go.

    • Right. One is wrong to think that any of this constitutes an ultimatum to Israel to do anything good. Au contraire! Best bets? Continue apartheid forever, while "negotiating". another 50 years anybody? And, at the same time, encourage Palestinians to leave. How many generations of Palestinians will remember what "sumud" means? for example, the very large number of Palestinian refugees who live in Gaza, together with all other (pre-48) Gazans, may have to "leave willingly" because of the loss of potable water. How they'll leave through the Israeli siege I don't know. By death? Or otherwise?

    • Qvelling and waltzing at the same time. What happiness!

  • 'NYT' runs Israeli's op-ed recommending that Palestinians 'emigrate voluntarily'
    • hideous proposals in Fleshler’s opinion piece. It is a blot on the New York Times, and a sign of the corruption of Zionism, that Roderick Balfour is not granted op-ed space; while ethnic supremacists who take their writ from the bible

      Well -- Not sure Zionism has been corrupted: it started out as it is. Not shiny but not corrupted.

      OTOH, NYT used to be a pretty good paper. In the period 1980-1990 I subscribed to NYT (paper of course) and clipped I/P daily, finding a lot of useful stuff. Nothing like the pure-propaganda of today. Including the recent Fleshler "blot".

      The NYT has been corrupted, fer sher.

  • Open Letter to Progressive Jews: The ADL and AJC are not our allies
    • If ADL or AJC or Hillel or "TheJewishPresidents" (tm) wish to co-sponsor a SJP group on your campus, should you turn down their participation? Admittedly, this seems a bit unlikely to happen. But it appears that co-sponsoring does happen sometimes w.r.t. helping refugees.

      It would be nice if one could cleanly and neatly distinguish Jewish groups as being either from Group A (ethical, decent, universal-human-rights-respecting) or from Group B (anti-Palestine and anti-universal-human-rights-respecting). If that were possible, one could cleanly refuse to have anything at all to do with the Group B folks.

      Maybe what we need is a bit of that awful bitterness that used to flare up between Communists and Socialists. Draw bloody lines in the sand. And maybe Israel as now very nearly admitted apartheid state -- with its enforced single-state-solution apartheid-style -- will provide the opportunity to draw the line: Group A (anti-apartheid) and Group B (pro-apartheid).

  • Liberal supporters of Israel slam Trump's 'terrifying' comments-- some saying Jews need to keep a majority
    • All this mumbling about a "solution" (1SS or 2SS) is amusing. For various reasons. First, of course, the Palestinians resisted partition in November 1947 whereas the Jewish agency professed (misleadingly by all evidence) to accept the proposed partition (UNGA 181). In those days they wanted a single state of Palestine. All proper residents welcome but not 2 states and not Jewish supremacy. Today it is the Israeli Jews, led by the nose by the settlers, who demand a 1SS. But their ideal 1SS is either an apartheid state (as at present) or one from which most of the present Palestinian residents have been removed.

      The chief point for progressives is, I believe, to insist that the present arrangements are themselves a "solution", a "one-state apartheid solution". It is not agreed to by both sides, but it is a fact. Let's call it by its name.

      The subsidiary point for progressives is to say that since the Palestinians cannot be expected to agree to Israel's "down-your-throat apartheid 'solution' " or any mild revision of it which does not provide full rights to Palestinians including a right of return, it is to be expected that the present 1SS (apartheid) will be as permanent as world affairs can be. If it depends only on Israel and Palestine and the USA. Things being what they are.

      As for "the art of the deal", Israel understands the deal better than TheDonald ever did. Israel wants an agreed deal whereby they own all of Palestine. They are "dealing" with the Palestinians for this "deal". But "dealing" takes time,. And while they wait, they treat the situation as if they had achieved the deal. So, clearly they do not need an "agreed" deal -- "as is" is good enough for them!

      So let's call a spade a spade: there *IS* a 1SS in place today, we don't need to wait for it to eventuate. Apartheid is here and now. Call it by its name.

  • Trump says he's 'happy' with one-state outcome, ringing in a new era
    • The problem? The offer of one man sometimes one vote will be made, will be turned down by PLO,, and the present apartheid will continue.

      Maybe, just maybe, the fraud of "only democracy in M/E" will be dropped. The fight will go on.

  • Israeli govt and its supporters admit the fight to defeat BDS has failed
  • New Israel Fund response to Ben Gurion harassment reinforces very system it claims to oppose
    • So, every country has the right (at least by custom) to police its own borders. The USA does it, none more energetically than Trump, and Israel does it, the birds and the bees do it, (cosi fan tutti). What the hell's the complaint here? She weas treted a good bit better than many people and apparently not sent home.

      If these guys complain ("everybotty hass gomblaints") about here treatment without complaining even louder about the treatment of others they are counterfeit human-rights-ists (if the pretend to be human-rights-ists at all).

  • Israel's efforts to erase Palestinian history reflect 'incremental genocide,' Ehrenreich says
    • As to "holocaust" and the misuse of language. See also "genocide".

      We should not let these bozos get away with pretending that the use of "holocaust" is patented, copyrighted, etc.

      Well, it may be said that there was only one "TheHolocaust"(tm) in which six million European Jews were killed by Germans etc. (And no one else s/b mentioned as "killed", only Jews.).

      But there have been many "holocausts" including that by Pol Pot in Cambodia against his own people, Rwanda, Boznia, maybe China if you count the killing of the pre-communist propertied class.

      Each is different, even as every "murder" is different. And yet we have only one word, "murder" to cover many different kinds of acts. And "manslaughter" to cover somewhat similar but somewhat different acts (w.r.t. intention to kill).

      And we have only one word "terrorist" although we have many words for types of armed groups: armies, paramilitaries, militias, gangs, mercenaries, "private military company" (Blackwater, Xe Services), thugs, terrorists, security forces, and probably others. But every act of "terrorism" is different. Israel has called killing soldiers "terrorism". Others, I believe (am I wrong?) use "terrorism" to mean killing civilians -- and then only when the killing is done by non-army folks. (Under some definitions, and there are many, even within the USA's statutes, terrorism is usually (but I believe not always) said to be an act of a non-army (or non-state).

      So with a few words and so many meanings (holocaust, genocide, murder, terrorist), we should not let these bozos get away with pretending that the use of "holocaust" is patented, trademarked, copyrighted, and may be used only to refer to "TheHolocaust" (tm).

  • Rand Paul warns neocons will 'scurry in' with Abrams, and Kristol says that's anti-Semitic
    • Of course "infest" and "scurry" are anti-semitic (that is, of course, "anti-Zionist"). What else can these words be? Who else does it (scurries, infests)?

      (oops). What I really meant to ask, "of what other group is such language ever used by anybody?". Of course the Zionists have protect themselves by calling all their enemies by a single name, "antisemites", so they never need to resort to "scurry and infest" although **some Israeli higherups** once used to refer to Palestinians as "drugged cockroaches in a bottle" and so forth, pretty close to scurry and infest I think.

      Maybe "scurry" and 'infest" sometimes refer to Palestinians, so not automatically antisemitic! (So there!)

  • SJP demands that NYU president speak out against email threatening Muslims, Arabs and anti-Zionists
    • Is there a means for public to join this protest? petition?

      This is his email: [email protected]

      Isn't there a part of DoJ that is supposed to investigate threats against students? Does it Cover threats made on a political basis (as threats against Black Lives Matter might be seen to be)?

  • Gaza military court imposes heavy prison sentences on eight Fatah members
  • 'NYT' should stop hiding the truth: settlements are illegal under international law
    • Bernie Sanders is quoted somewhere as saying that 90% of news media in the USA are owned by (what? I'll guess) 10 giant corporations. So of course his campaign got no important (and only 1) newspaper recommendation and little news.

      Since no media-corporation wants to rub Israel's nose in its dirt, it's not a-gonna happen, not NYT, not NPR, not any of them

      Ho Hum. The revolution will have to be carried out either w/o and in spite of the corporate news media or else by co-opting those media (by production of "news events" which for whatever reasons cannot be ignored by them). It may have to be carried out w/o the courts as well.

      How is life in fascism-city?

  • Danwatch: Major EU pension funds invest billions in businesses linked to Israeli settlements
  • Maryland legislature, which supported boycotts of grapes and South Africa, targets BDS
    • Fabulous letter. Put it "in the box" to use for all the occasions when legislatures are preparing this sort of trashy legislation (or have already done so).

  • Ellison assures Dems he has made up with Haim Saban despite 'anti-Semite' accusation
    • ""Disaster for relationship between Dems and Jewish Community [meaning small number of grotesquely large donors]" who have traditionally given big percent of Dems political money.

      Well, ,maybe, but some of us can remember back to the heady days (of yesteryear) of Bernie Sanders and the large number of "small donors".

      Ellison's choice (and Dems, too) is between trying to resurrect the oligarchic neoliberal party of Obama and both Clintons -- and promise to commit subservience and corruption, as most politicians have been doing -- or try something fresh hopefully appealing to the rebellions of the Sanders supporters and also of the Trump supporters, both of which groups wanted to be freed of the shackles of the oligarchs )although each group also had other possibly conflicting "druthers").

  • Obama 'betrayed' American Jews and Trump is a 'swineherd' -- Bernard-Henri Levy
    • "the students were arrogant and cruel to a humble man"

      Gosh, sure sounds like the settlers today (including "students" and not a few rabbis). Giving stupid youth a sense of unearned entitlement (As Trump -- as a kid -- may have had) ought to be one of the deadly sins. Haven;t we heard from some rabbi: even a gay Jew is superior to a non-Jew! (hah, two birds with one stone).

  • Letter to Fordham: 'Have you ever seen an instance where a university gains in the long run from speech suppression?'
  • Fear that Israel is becoming 'South Africa on the Mediterranean' is expressed in Park Avenue synagogue
    • Trouble is, that just as the MSM don't tell Americans what's actually happening in I/P, and don't tell Americans what AIPAC et al. are doing (and what their power is); so too MSM doesn't tell Americans that these talking-heads are playing the cover-up game.

      Americans who read MondoWeiss or Electric Intifada or the like know these things and 'exist' in a world essentially alien to the world occupied by most Americans.

      I know the feeling of being nekulturny: I listen to classical music, mostly chamber music which I also play, and don't listen to jazz, pops, swing (!), R&B, hip-hop, or any other manifestation of popular music. And as a consequence I am totally out of touch (musically) with most of America. Readers of MondoWeiss are nekulturny in the sense that we "know" stuff that most American s don't and (perhaps) vice versa.

    • American taxpayers buy aircraft that the Armed Services don't want because BIG-DEFENSE (or should I say BIG-ARMS-MAKERS) want to sell them to the USA and that means selling them, in effect, to the Armed Services. Congress bows to the MIC. And similarly, it bows to AIPAC (BIG-ZION). We've made our political bed so that political decisions are made to profit Fat Cats (the "BIGs") rather than the public or the national interest (whatever that may mean).

      Let's all watch as BIG-PHARMA and BIG-INSURANCE defeat single-payer health care (again) io Post-Obamacare as they did originally in Obamacare. Let's look with delight as BIG-OIL and BIG-BANKS put their stooges into all the cabinet posts in Trump's gift -- and think of our powerlessness to avert Climate change or the net financial bubble.

      Pfui.

      Hillary was defeated but her backers seem to have won.

  • Fordham bans Students for Justice in Palestine
    • Do they have a Hillel chapter? Another question: most "national" groups of students (Irish Students, French Students) (if they exist as organized groups) have a diverse cultural agenda. But Palestinians, because of the severe character of their national experience, are inevitably tied to a particular political agenda of which BDS is one expression. It is noteworthy that Jews, whose Hillel organizations are nominally "about" Jewish religion, culture, and experience, sometimes (sadly: often) take one strand of Jewish culture and experience (not religion IMO), namely the defending and promotion of the modern State of Israel, as a sine qua non or dominating definition of Jewish culture and experience.

      Does this dimwit who denies Palestinian students a nationalist campus presence at Fordham also deny a Jewish campus presence to Jews? To Hillel? And if the "comfort" of other students is the measure of the allowing of students to join in clubs, is the "comfort" of Palestinian students considered when granting privileges to Jewish groups or to Hillel?

      But perhaps Fordham does not allow Jewish students to form campus groups and has no Hillel.

  • It turns out Jews are as stupid as everyone else
    • PW: "My mother pointed to the holy trinity of Einstein, Freud and Marx".

      Hmm, so did my mother, Proud? I guess. And she was resolutely anti-Jewish-religion, resolutely. Cooked bacon and had a pot on top of the stove to collect bacon fat. Made a delicious dish combining matzo-meal (instead of bread crumbs) with broken bacon bits.

      Life is full of interesting contradictions.

  • On eve of Paris talks PA support for two-state solution not shared among Palestinians
    • This is so, Joe, and there will never be a "fair" 2SS or a democratic 1SS (either of them to replace the present apartheid 1SS) until an even stronger thing than Israel's iron fist comes along and actually (for whatever reason) actually wants to get the job done. It's either war or sanctions or indefinitely continued apartheid.

    • Annie, is this ("105") another "Not in my lifetime" joke? Remember when God was asked when there might be I/P peace?

      "Then there is the story about the Korean, Indian and Israeli leaders asking God when they might live in peace. "Not in your lifetime," is the answer to the first two, who get up and leave the room sobbing. To the Israeli, God says "Not in my lifetime" and gets up and leaves sobbing."

  • To be successful the French Peace Initiative must be based on international law and human rights
    • Well, if there's another UNSC vote, let Obama vote away,. Cannot be worse than Trump (unless he has not yet seated a UN Rep !)

      The resolution should indeed formulate its goals based on I/L and human rights laws and concepts. Right. (like the goals of BDS, but "shhh").

      However, the resolution must also find the way forward to "sanctions". If Chapter 7 UNSC is vetoed, then the sanctions may have to be voluntary and spotty, spotty in time as well as per country applying them. But they should start soon. If EU dissolves then its countries would be able to take individual F/P actions again and there might be progress there.

      But any country which applies (institutes) sanctions must -- like the UNSC Res. -- state the purpose of the sanctions clearly so that it will be clear when they should terminate (or be increased).

  • Jared Kushner fired me over Israel ten years ago
    • And Trump. who likewise (IMO) doesn't know what he doesn't know, but thinks he does -- he knows GWCC is a hoax and probably "knows" many other lies -- is surrounding himself with yes-men and others who don't know what they don't know and DON'T CARE EITHER. People who are so filthy rich they live in a bubble that excludes any sight or sound or thought or sympathy for people outside that bubble should not be allowed to hold public office. IMO.

      But who am I? I doubtless live in my own bubble. I, for instance, know the slogan "Black Lives Matter" but I know very little of Black lives.

  • There is no such thing as 'Progressive Except Palestine'
    • Thanks, Donna, very clear. Makes me wonder, for example, about people who yammer about the holocaust but are not willing to demand action against greenhouse-gas-emissions on a war-footing ("Oh, anthropogenic climate change is not a threat to Jews alone, but only to everybody equally, so not my THANG").

  • Netanyahu has isolated Israel and is driving the US 'off a cliff into chaos' -- Lloyd Doggett
    • A lot of what Congressmen say is so anti-fact as to be the mental-heath equivalent of saying the earth is flat.

      On global warming, Republicans are flat-earthers, but most Democrats are oblate-spheroid-earthers (I guess).

      But on Israel, even most (elite, imperial, oligarchic, neoliberal) Dems are flat-earthers.

      Truth is really taking a beating in the USA's congress.

      And where it matters (to us on MW), it is flat-earthy on military history, diplomatic history, matters of international law, matters of military fact (how can Israel's settlements be important for "security" and wouldn't Israel be more "secure" if all settlers were replaced by soldiers? Or even a few of them?

      And where is matters to all humankind, the Congress (or just the majority which is Republican) is flat-earthy on GWCC, and all the earth (but not for 25-50-100 years) will suffer for it -- even if Miami Beach is frequently overflooded due to GWCC-caused rising sea-levels.

  • Memo to Kerry: Support for one state is growing among Palestinians and Israelis
    • When people say they support 2SS, they mean different things. Palestinians mean a real country occupying the entire WB+EJ+Gaza. Israelis mean a small and fractured Palestine w/o army and w/o much more, smaller than the 22% represented by WB+EJ+Gaza (or else both smaller and larger, bolstered by giveaways of territory Israel would be glad to be without and settled by people (Palestinians !) who might prefer to remain Israelis).

      When people say they favor 1SS, they also mean different things. Israelis favor Jewish majority power in government, maybe even no vote for many/most Palestinians, Palestinians mean a real non-discriminatory democracy. Israelis certainly do not mean to permit a Palestinian majority with full rights of citizenship and the vote.

      When the international community says 2SS, some may envisage (as I do) removal of all or most settlers and demolishment of all or most settlement buildings. I doubt many Israelis see it that way.

      What everybody needs, just now is a negotiation to determine -- not the outcome but -- the definitions of what is (or is not) on offer.

  • In 'breathtaking' UN vote, Obama changed his policy on Israeli settlements, making them a war crime -- Finkelstein
  • John Kerry picked the wrong timeline for the Jewish state
    • I agree that the 1SS imposed by Israel over the years after 1967 must, by any reasonable person not a diplomat, be regarded as a fait accompli (even though in principle it could be reversed or altered by diplomacy or war or that lovely middle ground between diplomacy and war, "sanctions"). and it is clearly an "apartheid" regime where nearly 1/2 the residents are denied either full citizenship or any citizenship.

      We must hammer at this!

    • What are the May 15, 1948, borders? Those proposed by UNGA 181? Or some (early) wartime temps? After all, the "1948" war itself continued (the Arab State armies did not even enter the picture until May 15, 1948) and the major trucial agreements came later and set the borders for what is usually called pre-1967 Israel or Israel-48.

    • Has RoHa been reading the (IMO completely discredited) "From Time Immemorial" (Peters)?

      See: http://normanfinkelstein.com/2015/01/28/norman-finkelstein-on-joan-peters-legacy-and-dershowitzs-legal-troubles/

      The bizarre chapter of Joan Peters’s contribution to the Middle East debate does not end with her death. Her arguments, both those she adopted from others and those she formulated herself, still constitute a huge portion of the go-to hasbara repertoire.” I interviewed Norman Finkelstein and asked him to reflect on her work and legacy, as he played a central role in debunking much of her work as described in his book Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict.

      Adam Horowitz: Could you start by saying a bit about how From Time Immemorial was received?

  • Democratic politicians want no part of Obama's courage at the U.N.
    • Some are asking, "What next for the Democrat(ic) Party or for an alternative new Progressive Party?" I wrote the following to [email protected] (self-styled and perhaps actual progressive democrats), not yet having read the (so disappointing but not surprising) outpouring of Zionist posturing reported in this post:

      PDA-ers:

      Rebuilding the DNC is going to require some kinds of compromise or shift
      of positions and allegiances.

      The old-guard (Clintons & Obama), who BELIEVED in (or hitched their
      wagons to) "oligarchy" as a method of governance will need to move over
      (somewhat or a lot) to the new Sanders/Warren progressives. The move
      will be hard on them. And the progressives may have to move toward the
      "oligarchic" folks. Hard on them.

      So how will all this be done? Dunno.

      Happily, Obama/Kerry have at long last done something (albeit timidly)
      like "reading the riot act" to the hard-line supporters of Israel's
      settlements/colonization/1SS-occupation&apartheid-forever folks. And
      many DEMs (and many younger and a few older Americans of Jewish
      heritage) have already made the shift away from that hard-line.

      I wish us all well. Happy 2017!

  • Alan Dershowitz has threatened to leave the Democratic Party if Keith Ellison becomes chair
    • Although all the tweets have an air of "cyber-bullying" about them, actually, they are all politics-in-action. TheDersh evidently hopes to scare DNC into sinking Ellison (in favor of more Zionist money), and the challengers are trying to persuade DNC that TheDersh (and some of the Zionist Money) are either already gone or don't matter all that much.

      The gamble, at DNC, may be over a calculation -- whether sufficient of what I might call "Jewish Money" (that is, motivated by non-Zionist ethics) will remain after "Zionist Money" has been moved to the Repugnicans. Bernie Sanders raised a lot of money on principles which were (IMO) in line with Jewish ethics, and my hope is that there will come into being (after the odious reigns of Clinton and Wasserman Schultz) a DNC which I can hope will push for ethical goals such as a real fight about global warming and a real fight against big money in politics as well as a real fight to preserve safety nets and reduce the disparity in wealth through taxation, etc., As a party in opposition DEMs will have nowhere to go but up, and I believe that Ellison could help lead the fight upwards.

  • Israeli hysteria over UN vote is solidifying country's new status, as a rogue state
    • At 972.mag we read: a possible reason for Israel's leaders to be more upset at the UNSC vote than the Resolution itself justifies:

      One pereivable consequence of the Security Council resolution is that it might embolden the International Criminal Court prosecutor to decide to open a formal investigation into the Israeli “war crime” of building, expanding and populating settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory. The prospect of Israeli political and military leaders facing prosecution for war crimes over their support and administration of the settlement enterprise is one of the few X-factors these days that could possibly alter the trajectory of Israel’s otherwise stable occupation of Palestine. It’s an unlikely scenario, but considering the clarity of international law on settlements — now explicitly reaffirmed by the UN Security Council — combined with the ICC’s desperate need to show that it does not only indict black African despots, it could be enough to move an investigation forward.

    • Maybe the really good fall-out of the UNSC vote is the cast-in-concrete (one hopes) OKing for DEMs to criticize Israel, ask for another policy.

  • Netanyahu ignored US warnings and brought Israel's 'international isolation' on itself -- Ben Rhodes
    • Ideally this UNSC Res is a prelude, and not too distant a one, to sanctions. But one must always ask: sanctions to what end? I'd always wanted what it appearsa USA will not allow -- a demand that all the settlers (and perhaps also all the settlement buildings) be REMOVED. Instead, this "mere words" bit of faux-diplomacy merely asks an end to further expansion, as if it is illegal, immoral, and/o fattening to point out that ALL the settlements violate G-IV and should (per ICJ 2004 advisory opinion) be removed.

      If they cannot demand that, what can they demand? Equal citizenship for all Palestinians actually present within Mandatory Palestine (= most of Greater-Israel)? Democracy? In the only "democracy" in the M/E? They could ask/demand THAT? Not in my lifetime.

      But one may always be surprised.

  • Hell just froze over: the New York Times runs an article saying Zionism is racist
    • Similarly, the Oslo and other agreements between PLO and Israel are coerced. According to Fourth Geneva convention, no provision of an agreement between PLO and Israel is valid which purports to surrender any right guaranteed under Fourth Geneva Convention (a war-time human rights convention).

      I'd imagine that that would void a lot of Oslo! (If any country cared to enforce or even speak well of G-IV).

  • Friedman pick will force good liberal Zionists to admit the peace process has failed
    • A quibble: "there is one state between the river and the sea, and Palestinians live under apartheid conditions and worse in East Jerusalem and the West Bank."

      Yes, Palestinians do live under Apartheid, but so do Israeli-Jews. In South Africa, the weight of Apartheid fell on blacks, but the system operated on both. Two laws for two peoples: In Israel/Palestine there are also two laws for two peoples.

      I am not crying for the rotted-out-souls of the Israeli-Jews who have established this Apartheid system. But having a rotted-out-soul is damage and is a damage of Apartheid. We often hear warnings and recognition of the damaged souls of IDF folks who have performed evil service in OPT. But the system (as BDS recognizes) is established by ALL Jewish-Israel.

  • Gaza music school uses Mozart and Fairuz to overcome effects of war
    • I learned music (cello) as a kid and stuck with it. Now I am 77 and it centers my life. But I was privileged to live in a country which war did not visit closely (USA) and I have no idea about how the troubles in Gaza affect music-learning and music-playing. I hope some of the kids keep going with it and I salute the Edward Said (Palestine) Nat'l Conservatory of Music for doing what it can.

  • Azaria's conviction will end a totalitarian ideology
    • So, hasbara culture is revealed as cultural practice aimed at preserving and propagating ("projecting") the worldview that Israelis (or perhaps Jews) are not human at all but divine, maybe angels, and can do no wrong (although, surprisingly, wrong can be done to them, so that they need police, border guards, army , navy, each of which is -- because divine -- the most moral in the world).

      But this practice rubs off on Americans so that Americans "of" hasbara culture also tend to treat Americans (or American armed forces especially as collectives) as semi-divine and semi-most-moral, to the end that they are largely above criticism on a human-rights basis. Samantha Power plays her part in this wondrous "projection" of American (and Israeli) power and divinity.

  • Theresa May adopts a definition of anti-Semitism that demonizes Israel's critics
  • 44% of Israelis support annexing West Bank; half of those favoring annexation think Palestinians shouldn't be given equal rights
    • xx% of Israels would GIVE Palestinians equal rights.
      Seems 100% of Israelis would TAKE 100% of Mandatory Palestine.

      All the active verbs are for actions being acted by Israel. Palestinians are seen as passive and taking no part. International law is not referred to and is seen as playing no part (apparently).

      No surprise. And the governments (but maybe not all the people) of the world seem to take the same view. The Fourth Geneva Convention (1949) is "SO" 1950s!

  • 'Love thy neighbor as thyself' -- Really?
    • I am content that most tribes, peoples, have thought of themselves as special, as superior. Naturally. And no surprise that old religious writings (Jewish, here) take the same view.

      And since in modern times, many people have taken to a universalizing way of thinking about many things including morality, it is no surprise that the Texas A&M rabbi thought (perhaps having failed to consult old texts but merely modern universalizing glosses) that Torah took a unversalizing view. "Love thy neighbor as thyself" to a universalist takes "neighbor" to mean any human being, not "any Jew".

      The big importance in the Texas A&M fandango is that the rabbi was struck dumb when forced to contemplate the bald-faced fact that Israel does not practice universalist values. "Oops," he said. "We Jews in America have robust universalist values and those zionists, well, not so much."

      That's all.

      Of course, many orthodox Jews (or former ones) have let the unattractive cat out of the bag, *especially Israel Shahak* that Torah (or is it Talmud?) teach rather beastly lessons (beastly at least from a universalist viewpoint),

      What would be a striking revelation would be to show that when Jesus said to "Love your neighbor as yourself" he meant the same thing that Torah meant rather than the universalist thing that moderns suppose him to have meant.

  • 'NYT' bias amazes: long article about online incitement in Israel/Palestine only blames Palestinians
    • MoJ Shaked: "This is a war between two people. Who is the enemy? The Palestinian people. . . the people who started the war".

      Hunh? The Ps forced Israel to burst into rebellion (terrorism) against the British and then to make war against the Ps ?

      What am I missing? Perhaps she is merely doing the "who started this mess" two-step and, as an Israeli, taking the early violence by Ps against Js as [1] the start of the difficulties and [2] indeed the start of the "war". I always supposed that Palestinian-Js oft-declared intention to create a majority-Jews Jewish state (1920s-1940s) followed up by Jewish terrorism [1945-48] was the start of the trouble.

      My bad? If not, how do decent people let people like her get away with that lying?

      But suppose there is some sort of reasonable explanation for what she said. In that case, why do decent people let her get away with SAYING it but not EXPLAINING what she meant by "war" and "started". Without this explanation, it is nothing more than "incitement".

  • Defending Ellison, Jewish writers publish 'apartheid' description of Israel in 'Slate' and 'Washington Post'
    • Phil, Where does "[Michelle] Goldberg sell[] Ellison to liberal Zionists as “no anti-Zionist” ? Not in the *article you linked to*. Be nice to tack down all the corners of this hopeful carpet.

    • Sounds better and better, Phil. In the past I've thought your happiness at change within Am-Jewry was a bit early. Not any more.

      Ellison comes on the coat-tails of a DNC which saw and heard Bernie Sanders and voters who Felt-the-Bern, but (deafened by the noise in the DEM echo chamber) ignored him in favor of a same-old same-old candidate who seemed almost determined to ignore both the Feel-the-Bern rebels within DEM and the Trumpists outside DEM. If there is a political equivalent of tone-deaf, Clinton surely exhibited it.

      Now comes Ellison, with Sanders and Warren I believe, to create a new DNC and a new DEM. And somehow he has attracted the opprobrium of BIG-ZION and -- here's the surprise -- BIG-ZION seems to be losing to young-or-liberal Jews who find Ellison eminently desirable. And the internecine war among Jews seems to be protecting Ellison by showing all Americans that old-DEM's pro-Israel-ism ain't necessarily true forever and ever amen.

      Amen.

      Of course, there is likely to be an important consequence. New-DEM will need to discover either that the usual DONOR CLASS will continue giving or else find a Sanders-style large class of small-donors. That would be wonderful, bring in all Americans, labor, young, lively, all but the BIGs.

  • Groundswell for Ellison signals end of the era of political assassination by Israel lobby
    • "Forward editor Jane Eisner said Ellison’s statements about Israel’s influence over U.S. policy were “awful.”

      It would be interesting to know whether anyone ever asked Eisner why she characterized Ellison's statements about Israel's influence as "awful" and, if so, what answer she made.

      After all, perhaps she (merely) wants the "influence" to be identified as lying with the AM-Jewish community (or with AIPAC) rather than with "Israel" and is offended at being ignored. Or sump'n.

      IMO she should be made to explain what she meant beyond the obvious -- "I don't want him to be DNC chair".

  • It’s junket season again in Massachusetts
    • Hi Nancy, good to hear from you again.

      Do you suppose the national Democratic Party membership (not establishment) opinion favoring sanctions against Israel w.r.t. settlements holds true also in Massachusetts? And if so, do these junketing Solons know? Or care?

  • Oren was surprised by backlash to his memoir -- 'slinky' 'self aggrandizing,' and 'reckless'
    • In the recent election campaign, the hard-line-DEMs were out of touch with the rust-belt, out of work, out of self-esteem, out of luck, and out of patience blue collar folks (many of whom, among other things not noticed, were also so depressed that they were sinking into various forms of addiction including opioids). Such depression was not a form of announcement that life under Obama was so wonderful they wanted 4-more-years of it. Clinton and her crew missed the signal (didn't get the memo) (what is it in "We Want Change" that was hard to understand? Trump's voters and Sanders's voters were both saying it.)

      So Oren being out of touch is not as surprising as this article makes it seem.

      Politicians spend so much time with friends and colleagues that they live (in effect) inside a bubble the hard shell of which excludes "signals" from "other people".

      Just as Clinton said things that went down well with the hard-line-DEM insiders and therefore seemed to her to make sense, Oren writes things that go down well in Israel and therefore seem to him to make sense.

      Yuck.

  • More than half of US aid 'to entire world' goes to Israel and it ignores our warnings on settlements -- Kerry
    • Kerry's settler-count: "Today there are 385,500 or so".

      Pfui! The real count is more like 800,000 (see below).

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Israel says (as of 9/2016 ??)

      6,819,000 Inside green line All Israelis
      0,455,000 E Jerusalem Israelis
      0,345,000 Elsewhere WB Israelis
      0,042,000 Golan
      --------------
      0,842,000 Settlers total, 800,000 in Palestinian lands.

      (NB: More than 10% of ALL Israelis !!) The command -- if it ever came -- to remove ALL settlers would really scratch an itch, what?

      Kerry ? You listening ?
      Maybe his settler-count is just settlers moved-in since he last "read Israel the riot act". Or sumpn.

  • Obama would have overwhelming support from US public to allow UN establishment of Palestinian state
    • JWalters: When Bernie Sanders mentioned that the USA was being "dragged around by the nose" (JWalters) by big banks, he got a very enthusiastic response: You're right, a lot of voters said in a "poll" (actually a lot of primary elections), and we want to stop it.

      The mechanism by which the BIGs (BIG-BANKS, BIG-ZION, BIG-DEFENSE, BIG-OIL, etc, etc., etc.) lead the Establishment Democratic Party (EDP) around by the nose is the same -- big money. The resentment of many Americans at the BIGs (and it seems also at the EDP, H Clinton, former cheerleader in chief) is out in the open.

      But EDP has chosen its partner/jailer.paymaster and is sticking with it. "Oligarchy yesterday, today, and forever," cries EDP, and Obama is with it, championing TPP, resisting action on Palestine.

      Perhaps Michelle Obama has thoughts about running for office (NY Senator? President?) and Obama doesn't want to poison her chances to run on the EDP ticket by jumping to the position preferred by Americans on Palestine. That's how it went with the Clintons.

      Politicians choose their sponsors and hug them tightly in a seemingly paralytic death-grip which they cannot relax. (H Clinton was shown the way by B Sanders, but couldn't relax her embrace of the oligarchy and therefore couldn't show concern or pretend to solutions of the problems of the many downwardly mobile, out of work, out of home, out of luck, and out of hope Americans upon whom D Trump preyed. At home in her bubble, she couldn't see them and couldn't see the folks who voted for Sanders either -- perhaps some of the same.

  • A missing piece of the puzzle of Trump's victory: the 2003 invasion of Iraq
    • Many comments about the Clinton loss mention that she was supported by DEM regulars who are all (or very largely) members of elites who live "inside a bubble" where this phrase means (it seems) that they believe a small group of beliefs that are ideological rather experiential, moral, etc.

      So one thing they seemed to believe is that all the USA's d--m (almost entirely perceivable as anti-Islamic) wars are "good" and, moreover, broadly perceived in the USA as good. That's a bubble-thought if a majority of Americans believe the wars to be bad, unnecessary, evil or the like.

      another thing they seemed to believe is that the economy is improving so all Americans just loooove the DEMs for doing such a good job on the economy, and they are "shocked, shocked" at the idea (expressed, inter alia, by Bernie Sanders) that the economy is lousy if you've been fired, foreclosed, are in college debt, have a badly paying job (especially if you ever had a better paying job), etc., which appears to mark a large majority of people. How could party-regulars believe such tripe (and how could Clinton run on more-of-the-same without so much as a nod to Bernie Sanders and his voters) except by being in a bubble?

      Trump is in a climate change bubble, so there are bubbles all over the place. It is not just a DEM problem. But it is an avoidable problem and it is stooooopid. And dangerous.

      As to bubbles, see: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/dec/01/stephen-hawking-dangerous-time-planet-inequality

  • US Senate quickly passed the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act
    • Th ASAA is stupid, all but beyond imagining in that it flies in the face of the USA's constitution's first amendment. Hard to imagine it deals with a "clear and present danger".

      A lawsuit ought to begin today, in a well-chosen federal district court (NY?), alleging that ASAA is facially unconstitutional because it "chills" free-speech rights.

  • Saban calls Ellison 'clearly an anti-Semite' (and not on Wikileaks)
  • ADL is leading 'witch hunt' against Keith Ellison over Israel comments, J Street exec says
    • Well, Carter says to Obama "do this" and AIPAC says to Obama "don't do that" and Obama (but why?) sees his toast buttered on the AIPAC side. And now the DEMs are wondering whether to go in a Sanders-like direction at DNC or an oligarchic (Obama/Clinton-like) direction at DNC.

      Having committed suicide once they toy with doing it again. Four years of Trump (as payment/punishment for ignoring the poor, the young, the idealistic) may not be enough for the corporatist-DEMs. Let's lock-in the REPs, they seem to say.

      Or, "let us tweak our message without making any real changes" and maybe we can oust Trump and get back into the comfortable Clinton/Obama rut again. They want to fool Americans, not serve Americans.

      So sad.

      And then there's the "shout down all negative comment" cries from AIPAC, from TheForward, etc., and you see that BIG-ZION wants to win at all costs, even at the cost of democracy in the USA. Well, of course, we knew that already.

      Thanks Ben-Ami.

  • Jimmy Carter's proposal to recognize Palestine is dissed by all the usual suspects
    • Citizen: The Palestinians HAVE declared a state of their own, but not as Israel did. The difference? Israel had a large and sufficient army and the Palestinians have not. And the other difference: major states "recognized" Israel when it self-erupted into existence (its "declaration of independence" was really a "declaration of self-creation"; independence from whom, exactly ?)

      As to Carter and Obama. Well, I expect the powers that be will lose this opportunity as they've lost all others. That's what unimaginative slaves to oligarchy (or to ideology) do, after all. Read about it here !

      But if President Obama DID recognize Palestine, submit a UNSC resolution favoring full UN membership rfor Palestine and, most important, demanding -- with sanctions for coercive force -- that Israel remove all settlers within a time certain (and according to a uniform schedule of removal so progress could be measured) in, say, 2 years (or 5 years), THEN such coercion might give Israel that little "umpf" which would get it to negotiate SOMETHING with the PLO, whether a democratic 1SS or some kind of 2SS.

      I agree with the thought that a "state" does not matter but rights within some kind of non-discriminatory system is what's required.

      After all, both Jews and Muslims and Christians co-existed quite well for 400 years or so under the Ottoman Empire, and none of those religious groups lived within a "state" of its own, and it was OK, typical of the life of those days. Other people lived within other empires such as the Astro-Hungarian empire; it was OK then, and Palestinians could live well inside an Isaeli empire -- but only if it were quite different from the present version (same empire, of course, same ruler, same army, but one wants to call for non-discrimination and full democracy).

  • 'Make this my dream as well' -- in historic appearance, Palestinian offers one-state vision to a NY temple
    • But, sputter, Kuttab is talking to NY Jews, and imagine if 100% of NY Jews (or 100% of American Jews) agreed with him both that 2SS is impossible (due to Israeli negativism -- they would not move the settlers off the land) qand also that 2SS (democratic and nicey-nice) is a desirable replacement -- what difference would that make inside Israel?

      On 11/29 Jimmy Carter's op-ed in NYT called on Obama to recognize Palestine, to work for full UN membership for Palestine, and for a UN(SC?) resolution declaring all the settlers present illegally (no word as I recall that the settlements (buildings) were also present illegally and like the wall s/b pulled down). Carter also mentioned the possibility of UN and USA action being eclipsed by a peace treaty. Carter was saying -- as I read him -- let Obama in the 2 months remaining to him get a start on a DUAL TRACK, moving toward 2SS by coercion while inviting a deal mutually agreeable to Israel and Palestine in place of that coerced 2SS (for instance, some sort of 1SS).

      I've been calling for coercion (as has BDS) for many years, and glad to see Carter in NYT more or less calling for the same thing.

      But time is short.

  • Teacher with Down syndrome breaks stereotypes for Gaza's mentally disabled students
    • Wonderful she can be employed, really usefully, and probably be a better teacher than another who had never had similar problems. Bravo for Shurafa and her school.

  • The lynching of Dwight Bullard
    • I hope the anti-lynching community is wider than blacks-only and gets to hear of this in a forceful way. DEMs used to be in favor of human rights, civil rights, and like that. I hope those in Florida still are, or can be reminded that what a Zionist money-bags and his hired help (Debbie Wasserman et al.) want is not necessarily what is good for Florida.

  • The link between Israel's forest fires and the 'muezzin bill'
    • Importing a landscape from Europe? Importing non-native species (invasive species) deliberately may not have been intended (as such) but that was the effect. In a dry climate some trees burn quicker than others. Israel was foolish to choose matchsticks to grow everywhere, whether to beautify Israel or to hide evidence of the previous Palestinian presence. In a dry climate now made drier by GWCC.

  • FL State Sen. Dwight Bullard opposed an anti-BDS measure -- and lost his job
  • It is time to imagine how one state-- one person, one vote-- will work
    • Mixed marriages? Well, then, how about various new forms of marriages and also divorces w/o religious rule interventions.

      What about the lands that settlers took for individuals, from other (Palestinian) forms of land ownership (village communal; mosque-owned (waqf) land)?

      Even if the authors (here) wish/reluctantly-admit that 2SS is impossible, would they agree that the SANCTIONS-BASED THREAT (say by UNSC) to require Israel to remove all non-military traces from all occupied territories (Golan,West Bank) (appearing to honor 2SS as a possibility) would in fact serve usefully as a prod toward the sort of 1SS proposed here?

  • Tulsi Gabbard's screw-the-neocons meeting with Trump sparks anger, derision, encouragement
    • It comes hard for me to "want" Assad to prevail, after how cruelly he put down the early attempts at rebellion. But we know what happened to Yugoslavia after the boss Tito disappeared and to Iraq after the USA deposed Saddam Hussein. seems sometimes a dictator may be better for the people than a war to replace him with (?) what, a USA-puppet? Neoliberalism? Gag. And so I opposed Clinton. Othersd elected Trump.

      Good for Gabbard. Speaking, as we all should do, truth to power. I wonder why Trump listened.

  • Keith Ellison seeks to placate Israel lobby, by saying he is against BDS
    • My email to Keith Ellison ( [email protected] )

      Keith Ellison:

      The website MondoWeiss reports that you've spoken AGAINST BDS:

      http://mondoweiss.net/2016/11/ellison-placate-against/

      “I have long supported a two-state solution and a democratic
      and secure state for the Jewish people, with a democratic and
      viable Palestinian state side-by-side in peace and dignity,”
      Ellison said, in an emailed statement. “I don’t believe
      boycotting, divesting and sanctioning Israel helps us achieve
      that goal.”

      This is shocking. Perhaps you were asleep? How will Israel ever "come to
      the table" to negotiate peace unless and until some pressure is put on
      it? Since 1967 there's been no pressure and no peace. Since 1967, Israel
      has moved about 10% of its Jewish (and of course only its Jewish)
      population into the occupied territories (West Bank and Golan Heights).
      Israel now says it is AGAINST 2SS. The present system is aparheid and
      will remain so until Israel is pressured to end it with 2SS or a
      democratic 1SS.

      There will never be justice or peace until there are sanctions
      threatened or imposed on Israel.

      If you so easily cave in on BDS (as it seems you have), how will you
      avoid caving in on all other issues of international-justice,
      economic-justice, environmental-justice, etc., that Bernie Sanders and
      his voters (I was one) think America (and the folks who normally make up
      the Democratic Party "base") need, deserve, and demand.

      Why do you think Clinton lost, anyhow? It was because the
      democratic-oligarchic-aparatchik-establishment-neoliberal-elitist-imperialist-party-bosses
      IGNORED "the people" -- the working people who've lost jobs, lost homes,
      lost faith, lost out in America.

      The USA needs a new party, a progressive party that cares for and fights
      for "the people" and not for the 1%. It is not necessary for that party
      to be called "The democratic Party" but that would be convenient. But
      that party must be progressive.

      And not PEP -- Progressive Except for Palestine.

      Get with it! Get a backbone. If not now then after you are elected.

      -- Peter Belmont

  • Sanders says fight among Democrats is to go 'beyond identity politics' and stand for all working people
  • Trump aide blows off Zionist gala, and Dershowitz warns that politicizing Israel means 'we could lose'
    • Bannon and ZOA means something? Right? YES! But what? Bannon is only one guy, not all of "the Trumpies".

      EITHER it means that he is not trained to fear BIG-ZION, has no idea that ZOA (and presumably other elements of BIG-ZION) need be feared, lacks the training that the establishment DEMs all had -- who so slavishly bowed and kowtow-ed to BIG-ZION -- OR it is a deliberate slight. Fun to think it the latter. Giving BIG-ZION the bird.

      If he "gets away with it", it would appear to mark a diminution of BIG-ZION's power (at least against the Trumpies). OTOH, if other Trumpies begin to fall "in line" with BIG-ZION, well, that'll be another story. If they don't, it will appear that something is broken.

      We'll watch and see.

  • Zionists embrace of Trump and Bannon is no surprise
    • deBakr: " the existence of the only nation for jews in a neighborhood of some 20 other nations for muslims".

      Imagine if a Jewish state had sprung up or been created by the victorious allies (using, of course, all requisite force) in postwar Europe, sending into exile 85% of the residents of the territory upon which they created their state. You know what I mean -- instead of doing the very same thing in Palestine.

      Well, that young state would be surrounded by nations not Jewish and would have faced great anger for the stealing of the land and the exiling of the previous residents, probably Christian or of Christian ethnic heritage. Europe harbored a lot more antisemitism then than Palestine did then. How might such a state, so formed and in such a place, have fared, have been perceived and received, 1945-present?

      Why do people persist in failing to understand why Palestinians and Arabs resent and resist Israel -- and blaming antisemitism when Israel's crimes are the actual source?

  • General under consideration by Trump for Defense has slammed Israel for impending 'apartheid'
    • Yes, by Israel's decisions and actions, 2SS is dead. And therefore what we have (not what we'll someday arrive at, but what weer have today) is apartheid. And so what? Until the UNSC or some similar force takes decisive action (putting the "S" into BDS), there will be no push-back other than small scale violence from Palestinians which Israel both deisres and courts and also is easily able to handle, always calling it "terrorism".

      Will Gen. (ret.) Mattis change his stripes when he butts heads with the pro-Israel Congress? Perhaps we'll see soon. He wouldn't be the first. Will Trump decline to propose him for fear of that same Congress (recalling that the Republicans as well as the DEMs belong to AIPAC)? Again, we'll see soon.

  • I'm not worried about anti-Semitism
    • The belly aching of some Jews may be a result of seeing or feeling some itsy-bitsy instance of antisemitism, but after all the years of Jewish "crying wolf", I think the current crop is merely the reflexive behavior of people who used to (and may still) profit from "crying wolf". Think of the mindless (except that it is not mindless to repeat a technique that works!) desperate cries of "Antisemitism !!!" (yes, with triple exclamation points) whenever Israel or its current behavior is criticized (or its anti-human-rights steam-rolling over Palestine in any way threatened). Jews (or the powerful elites in media and government) were "on a roll" and crying "antisemitism" was part-and-parcel of the mechanisms they used to maintain that power. so why not keep crying it? it might still work !

  • Why was the Clinton campaign obsessed with fighting BDS?
    • These guys really annoy me. Kurzer is quoted about who supports BDS: "Some people who are simply anti-Semetic. This is a small percentage."

      Could Kurzer be Jewish? Who knows! And does it matter? But, and here's what DOES matter: Why can't he spell "anti-Semitic" properly?

      And there is a guy (I guess a reg'lar reporter for WNYC (public radio, NYC)) who pronounces "antisemitic" as if it were spelled "antisemetic" (rhymes with "emetic" which makes me want to throw up).

      And another thing. They don't like BDS.

  • When Sanders changed political reality. And hasbara culture slapped him down.
    • Zionism may be injured in the USA or its politics or its media -- but the big-money Zionists are still at it (consider the otherwise nearly empty candidacy of HRC) and much MSM is still with it.

      If injured then not much and surely not dead yet.

      More's the pity.

  • Dershowitz backs down, concedes Bannon's 'anti-Muslim, anti-women' bigotry disqualifies him for high office
  • In standing up for Bannon, Dershowitz is true to his Orthodox Brooklyn roots
    • "We are entering a period of open political warfare between Jews over Israel, thanks to Donald Trump. And Dershowitz too, making the case for Israel."

      This is all very good BECAUSE it elevates to prominence the issue of whether Jews "must" support other Jews come-what-may, though-the-heavens-fall, my-country-right-or-wrong. Of course, in my view (formed in a lifetime well outside any Jewish pressure to conform to anything at all) that "must" is pernicious nonsense.

      The idea that "good people should support other good people" (I know, I know, not very well defined) makes a kind of sense, but the idea that "every Jew should stand up for every other Jew" (or for Israel) is pure hokey, particularly considering the old "2 Jews 3 opinions" notion.

  • A most mournful gathering
  • Where do we go from here? Our thoughts & yours on the US election
    • WIth Sally Parker, I'm relieved the neoliberals and neocons associated with Clinton are gone (as I suppose). I fear Trump mostly on GWCC (global warming climate change), supreme court nominations, and miscellaneous craziness and shoot-downs of human rights and civil rights. Voting rights may take a long while to recover.

      My big gripe and real hot anger is with the DEMs who refused to realize there was one if not two "camps" of really-really-dissatisfieds in USA, Trump appealing to some, Sanders appealing to some, and the dissatisfieds outnumbering those willing to vote for more-oligarchy (which is what Clinton was offering). I think some dissatisfieds who voted for Trump would have voted for Sanders had he been nominated. And some didn't vote at all. (I voted for Stein.)

      My hope now is that a new party will be established along "progressive" lines, I hope funded without money from the BIGs (BIG OIL, BIG BANKs, BIG DEFENSE, etc., the oligarchy), I hope willing to declare for a full-scale mobilization (on a war footing as after Pearl Harbor) to combat GWCC, and I expect this new party to be called the Democratic Party. (Even if the Green Party espouses all the right positions, it is too small to do the job.) Perhaps the leaders of the Republican Party entertain a similar but reciprocal hope. Those presently calling themselves DEMs need a leader and I shudder to think that it will be Schumer and hope it may be Ellison/Sanders/Warren in troika.

  • Challenging anti-Semitism and the Trump presidency
    • If any substantial acted-out antisemitism should begin to occur in he USA (and Trump seems the leader to encourage it or permit it), it will be interesting to see if American Jews (who have defended imperial settler-colonial Israel -- originally thought of as a safe haven for Jews) start emigrating to Israel, to that safe haven. My guess is that it will take a great deal of such acted-out antisemitism to cause even a little such emigration.

  • DNC chair tweets from Islamophobic gathering in Florida
    • The whole Clinton campaign seemed to me to reek of arrogance -- we're entitled -- arrogance of Clinton to be the candidate even if it sank the party, arrogance of the political insiders and other "elites" who thought they understood matters so thoroughly that they had no need to ask or even to wonder why the Sanders phenomenon had happened. "Out of touch" with various realities is the name of the arrogant elite game. "Do it our way though the heavens fall, and with our eyes shut."

      So why not attend a conference with islamophobes, after all, Trump's won and he seems to be an Islamophobe, must be OK, right? We "got with the program" before, and let's keep doing it now.

  • Before Trump's revolution, there was Sanders'
    • Do I hear a note of pessimism ni the comments of Keith and Joemowry? I sympathize with their frustration but beg to disagree.

      Third parties do badly in USA. Bernie had to start his/our revolution inside DEM, not outside it, even knowing he couldn't win. When Trump (or, really any other) won the Republican nomination, he had to choose between electable evils. (Jill Stein got my vote, but note that early polls in NY showed Green with 3% and ultimately it got 1%.)

      Now we must remind the DEMs that Bernie would likely have won had he been nominated

      And after rubbing their dirty neo-liberal, imperialist, elitist noses in this fact, state our own aims, namely, to start a PROGRESSIVE PARTY in the USA (which may if circumstances justify it, be called the Democratic Party) with some or all of these principles (at odds with present DNC decisions):

      [1] anti-imperialist and reduced "Defense" budget
      [2] use reductions in "defense" budget to budget for fighting global warming climate change
      [3] wipe out socialism for the rich (Israel, defense production industries, big Pharma, big banks, other "bigs"
      [4] bring on "Nordic (Finnish, Swedish)-type pro-people policies (child care, elder care, education, healthcare, as social guarantees rather than as things to be purchased)
      [5] equitable taxes to pay for all this (maybe reducing "Defense" a lot would suffice ??)
      [6] end of empowering large corporations over all others (NAFTA, TPP, and other so-called free-trade treaties)

  • Analyst: If Trump gives Netanyahu a green light 'Palestinians will detonate in the face of Israel'
    • Pippilin: "The Palestinians are the only realists in the area".

      Well, not so sure. The Israelis are not exactly self-destructing -- at least not because of being unrealistic about USA's support. I sometimes hope that Israel's shift to the ultra-orthodox-religious-nationalist right will ultimately tick-off American Jews to such a point that their support for Israel will reverse into criticism (as seems to have happened among some young American Jews) but Israel can stand that as long as the Zionist's with lots of money continue to use a bit of it to buy American government connivance with Zionism.

  • Biden speaks for Trump, assuring 'anxious' Jews of 'no diminution' in US support for Israel
    • Should Jews be worried about Trump? You betcha! He plans another holocaust! Now, to be sure, the holocaust of the Jews will be folded up within and as a part of the much wider holocaust of all large-animal life on earth as Trump attempts to prevent any action to bring USA's (and world's) emissions of greenhouse gases to a halt. But it still means an end of the Jews.

      They should be worried even if so many Jews are intermarried.

  • Some big Jewish donors to Clinton don't seem to care about Israel. Hallelujah
    • If Jews are empowered and several are rich and are believed to be staunchly pro-Israel, why must/might it matter to Clinton (or other Dems) that some are NOT much concerned about Israel? If only one part of the group are yammering and thsoe are yammering pro-Israel, and all are giving, Clinton's gonna stick with Israel.

      Now if some of this "donor class" were staunchly AGAINST Israel, you'd have a fight and Clinton and folks like her would have to choose. But they don't have to choose, not today. Pro-Israel is a strong feeling, but pro human-rights (or ho-hum on Israel) are weak feelings: who do you think is gonna win?

  • 'Ruling class' must regard Trump's rise as response to 'ill conceived wars' -- Matthews
    • Terrific essay. Things to think about right after Nov 8: coalition-building for
      pro-Palestine, pro-international-law, anti-imperial-wars (Israel and USA and maybe Russian Fed and/or China), serious-action-and-urgency-on global warming climate change, economic justice and environmental justice and big-money-out-of-politics at home in USA and the like.

      Readers might like to read // Steven Zunes's take on the election // and also to consider that if Chomsky has it right that USA's F/P is the result of a CONVERGENCE OF INTERESTS among the oligarchs (rather than just the strength of AIPAC alone), then any coalition the peace-and-environmental-and-justice camp manages to put together has a LOT to oppose (BIG-DEFENSE, BIG-BANKS, "deep state", etc.).

      FWIW, my take is that the total refusal of the corporatist-Democratic-Party (or Clinton) to "bend" to any pressure against war, for Palestine, or anti-oligarchy is a signal that the oligarchy may not be afraid of a Trump win -- and thus coerced corporatist-DEMs to take a BETTER TRUMP THAN ANTI-OLIGARCH stance for this election.

  • H to Jake to Malcolm to Maggie to Haim to Huma -- resetting the discourse on Israel in 6 easy steps
    • Annie gave us an invaluable link (https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/) and you can search it (I searched for "Israel") and found a gem (lots of big-names, big-emails, big-telephones) at (https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/45253):

      ENJOY (See below the text for the lists)

      Dear _______: I am writing to express my grave concern at the growth of the odious alarm at the growth of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction movement, or “BDS”, a global effort to isolate the State of Israel by ending commercial and academic exchanges. This campaign against Israel, a nation that shares our fundamental values and interests, is unfair and unconscionable. I know you agree that we need to make countering BDS a priority. I am seeking your advice on how we can mitigate its ramifications and effectively reverse this trend. As you know, BDS seeks to isolate and punish Israel in an attempt to dictate how the Israelis and Palestinians should resolve the core issues with which they are grappling. This is not the way to peace. We need two states for two peoples achieved through direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. Israel’s long-term security and future as a Jewish state depends on it. But the terms of that agreement cannot be internationally imposed. BDS is the latest attempt to delegitimize Israel in a global arena. Sadly this has been tried for years at the UN and elsewhere. I reject such efforts and believe America must defend Israel at every turn. And as Senator and Secretary of State, that’s what I did. I have opposed nearly 100 anti-Israel resolutions at the UN, Human Rights Council, and other international organizations. I fought the biased Goldstone Report, making it clear that Israel must be allowed to investigate itself like any other country. And I directed the U.S. to veto the Palestinians’ effort to use the UN to unilaterally declare statehood. Time after time, no matter the venue, I have made it clear that America has Israel’s back. More specifically, I am appalled by attempts to compare Israel to South African apartheid. You know as well as I do that Tikkun Olam is a touchstone of the Jewish experience. Jews have led the way on human rights and civil rights, always raising the bar. It is wrong to ignore this tradition and use the tools that were applied to apartheid to undermine the legitimacy of Zionism. Particularly at a time where global anti-Semitism is on the rise, we need more understanding, not less. After all, it was only six months ago that four Jews were targeted and killed in a Kosher supermarket in Paris as they did their Sabbath shopping. So I am seeking your thoughts and recommendations on how leaders and communities across America can work together, in a united way, to counter BDS. From Congress and state legislatures to boardrooms and classrooms, we need to engage all people of good faith on BDS, its ramifications, and why it is counterproductive to the pursuit of peace regardless of their political persuasion in explaining why the BDS campaign is counterproductive to the pursuit of peace and harmful to Israelis and Palestinians alike. I hope that you will work with me on this priority. It’s hard to believe that it It was nearly three decades ago when Bill and I took our first trip to Israel. During that visit, we walked the ancient streets of Jerusalem’s Old City, prayed at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and reflected at Al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock. Israel became a special place for us and I’m lucky to have had many opportunities to return. The Jewish state is a modern day miracle – a vibrant bloom in the middle of a desert. We must nurture it however we can. I hope that we can work together to think through how we can most effectively tackle BDS head-on in a way that advances the common interests and values we all embrace so deeply. I look forward to hearing back from you, and pledge to speak out on this issue in the days and weeks ahead. I would like to invite you to a meeting at XX on XX to get your views. After that, I pledge to speak out on this issue on the days and weeks ahead, with the benefit of your advice. Sincerely,

      On Wed, Jun 24, 2015 at 1:05 PM, Eizenstat, Stuart <[email protected]> wrote: Jake: Per instructions received from Stu Eizenstat, please find contact information for each individual listed below:

      1. Malcolm Honlein - Tel.: (212) 318-6111; [email protected]

      2. Eric Fingerhut - Tel.: (202) 449-6560; [email protected]

      3. Rabbi Richard Joel - Tel.: (212) 960-5300; [email protected]

      4. Arnold Eisen - Tel.: (212) 678-8072; [email protected]

      5. Rabbi Aaron D. Panken - Tel.: (212) 824-2219; [email protected]

      6. Unknown

      7. Gerrald (Jerry) Silverman - Tel.: (212) 284-6700; [email protected]

      8. Dan Mariachin - Tel.: (202) 857-6500; [email protected]

      9. Abraham Foxman - Tel.: (212) 490-2525; [email protected]

      10. David Harris - Tel.: (212) 751-4000 (ext. 202); [email protected]

      11. Howard Kohr - Tel.: (202) 639-5272; [email protected]

      12. Jeremy Ben-Ami - Tel.: (202) 596-5207; [email protected]

      13. Mortimer Zuckerman - Tel.: (212) 744-3995; [email protected]

      14. Ronald Lauder - Tel.: (212) 572-6966; [email protected]

      15. Charles Bronfman - Tel.: (561) 863-7180; [email protected]

      16. Lynn Schusterman - Tel.: (918) 879-0290; (202) 289-7000

      17. Debbie Hoffman - Tel.: (202) 296-2588; [email protected]

      18. Marcie Natan - Tel.: (866) 303-3640; [email protected]

      19. Haim Saban - Tel.: (310) 557-5100; [email protected]

      20. Morton Mandel - Tel.: (216) 875-6501; [email protected]

      21. Arthur Schneier - Tel.: (212) 535-5800; [email protected]

      22. Elie Wiesel - Tel.: (617) 353-4561; [email protected]

      23. Lester Crown - Tel.: (312) 899-5010; [email protected]

      24. Frederick Lawrence - Tel.: (781) 736-3001; [email protected]

      25. Gene Block - Tel.: (310) 825-2151; [email protected]

      26. Deborah Lipstadt - Tel.: (404) 727-2298; [email protected]

      27. Joel Fleishman - Tel.: (919) 613-7376; [email protected]

      28. Dov Zakheim - Tel.: (703) 824-2000; [email protected]

      29. Stephen Trachtenberg - Tel.: (202) 994-9820; [email protected]

      30. Jane Harman - Tel.: (202) 691-4202; [email protected]

      31. Eric Goldstein - Tel.: (212) 373-3204; [email protected]

      32. Steve Hoffman - Tel.: (216) 593-2837; [email protected]

      33. Stephen Lassiter - Tel.: (202) 225-4755; [email protected]

      34. Steven Rakitt - Tel.: (404) 870-1608; [email protected]

      Should you require additional assistance, please contact Steven Glenn @ [email protected] or Laurina Holte @ [email protected].

      Thank you. Steven Glenn Covington & Burling LLP One CityCenter, 850 Tenth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001 T +1 202 662 5926 | [email protected] http://www.cov.com

  • Miserable night, bleak forecast
    • USA's gift of $38B may have more to do (or as much to do) with big-money power of Defence Industries, which will be paid that money. Just as the private prisons industry coerces American state governments to enact harsher laws leading to incarceration, USA's Defence Industries coerce federal gov't to support Israel (that and keeping the war-pot boiling in the M/E.

  • Why Standing Rock matters
    • Standing Rock ~ Palestine. Right on!

      If I told that to Hillary Clinton, she'd probably say, "Right, and both lose, as they properly should, to White Supremacist Nations".

  • 'Atlantic' editor says that Israel's 1948 expulsion of Palestinians was not 'a tragedy'
    • An Israel founded in 1938 that expelled 85% of the existing non-Jewish population would have been better (probably) for the Jews of Europe, and just as bad for the Palestinians. But in 1938, the Stern Gang et al. would not yet have had the military training they got in 1938-45,

  • Roger Cohen's epiphany
    • I hope Obama does NOT lay out parameters (that is, if by "parameters" is meant a definition of sharing of land, water, cleanup of garbage, sewage, nuclear waste, chemical waste, whatever Israel's been dumping on WB land; Gaza; refugees/exiles from 1948; democracy without discrimination). NO. That's what a settlement negotiated between the parties is for, and USA is not a party.

      What Obama should do is ask UNSC for a demand that Israel remove all settlers and demolish all settlement buildings over a shortish time and according to a schedule for uniform removals over that time, a schedule to be published by Israel within a very short time, and that a program of described sanctions be set forth to be acted upon in the case of Israeli failure to comply with the schedules, it being understood that a peace agreed to between the Israeli people and the Palestinian people (I don't trust the PA "government" to speak for the entire P-People) will call off the sanctions (unless Israel fails to keep to the terms of the agreement).

      There are a million details to a proper peace deal that we cannot expect the USA alone or the entire UNSC to even think about, much less "get right", that peace must be negotiated. But, also, Israel must be pressured to negotiate in good earnest, and a requirement to observe international law seems to me an adequate pressure.

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