Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 942 (since 2009-10-01 14:26:50)

Pamela Olson

Pamela Olson is the author of Fast Times in Palestine. She blogs here.

Website: http://pamolson.org

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  • Friedman prepares American Jews for a divorce from zealot Israel
    • "There are now about 350,000 Jews living in the West Bank."

      Bullsh**. It's more like 600,000. He was JUST talking about Gilo, then his numbers leave Gilo (and all other East Jerusalem settlements) out.

      Consistency is nice, Mr. F.

  • Palestinian writers bring Gaza's hardships to American audience
  • American Studies Association adds over 700 new members since Israel boycott call
    • Aw, poor widdle victim hophmi. He's gotten used to being in total control, and now his little house of cards is starting to wobble.

      Well, get used to it. This thing is only going in one direction. And it's not the one you want.

      I understand it stings to lose privilege that you've come to take for granted. But on the bright side, the Palestinians won't have to be at the blind, brutal mercy of the likes of you for much longer.

  • When Anja Niedringhaus went to Gaza
    • Mati, when it comes to my work in particular, my main goal is to let as many people read it as possible. The story belongs to the world more than it does to me. If I thought distributing it online for free would result in the widest distribution, I would. But something like that wouldn't make it into libraries, university classrooms, and bookstore travel sections, nor result in interviews, reviews, etc.

      I'm still not making much money at all, and I've given away literally thousands of copies for free, both paperback and digital. (Which has the added benefit of creating exposure, reviews, and word-of-mouth.) If I died, I would want people to distribute my work as widely as possible, however possible. It's a story that I think needs to be told. That's the main reason I wrote it.

      I get that other people need to protect their career and income so they can continue doing what they're doing. And lord knows I wish I was paid even minimum wage for the hours I put in. But this photo speaks to something larger than one woman's career, as distinguished and important as it was. And in this case in particular (posting it on Mondoweiss), I would guess the loss to her income and that of the AP is negligible. In fact, the exposure may be a net positive for both them and her. And it's a photo that deserves to be seen as widely as possible.

      Just an opinion, from someone who's admittedly not very career-minded.

    • I'd like to point out, in case anyone is unaware, that "martyr" in the Palestinian context means anyone killed by the occupation -- even a baby in her mother's arms. I'm afraid some people will see that word and assume they were engaged in hostilities somehow. It's an honorific meant to bestow some dignity on a (usually) completely senseless death.

      If the US were occupied and treated the way Palestinians are treated, slaughtered with no recourse, etc., I imagine we might also harken back to the days of Christian martyrs (known for their steadfastness and bravery in the face of oppression) and bestow the honorific on anyone killed in this manner.

    • Very sorry to hear about this very sad loss.

      On the subject of posting the photograph, there comes a point, in my opinion, when a certain kind of image belongs to the world, and to history, not to mention to the actual subjects of the image, more than to any corporation. I understand people need to get paid, but there are things more important than getting paid sometimes. I personally can't imagine wanting to hide an image like that behind a paywall. I would want it shouted from the rooftops.

      Different strokes, I guess.

  • Boteach stops reporter from videotaping Columbia University debate
    • Plus their "friendly" videotapers can hand it over to be edited however they see fit. So they can analyze it and hide it if they accidentally say something racist or otherwise outrageous.

      Zionism can't be fully exposed to the unwashed masses. It must be sanitized for mass consumption.

  • 'The clash of civilizations’ theory is absolutely and completely dead
    • In the Stanford political science department, even before 9/11, the "Clash of Civilizations" was treated as a serious idea. It sounded stupid to me even when I was barely out of Oklahoma and barely out of my teens.

      The whole political science department smelled to high heaven (with Democratic and Republican types just about equally bad, and people who advocated human rights and international law marginalized in almost every way -- they were seen as rather "cute" and "not really serious" -- not in so many words, but that was the vibe).

      After 9/11, I had a sick feelings about how things would go. Unfortunately, it was even worse. How f***ing stupid are we humans, honestly? All you have to do is study history and keep your wits about you, pay attention. Is that really so much to ask?

  • Saudis don't care about Palestinians, say American commentators
    • I met Tamara Cofman Wittes when I first moved to Washington in 2006 (she was at Brookings then, too), all bright-eyed and hopeful that I would find at least a few like-minded folks around town. I had no idea then who Saban was. My whole time in Washington was one disillusionment after another. I'm actually writing a book about it. It's one thing to hear how corrupt and morally and intellectually cowardly Washington is -- another to see it in action, among people you would otherwise consider friends and colleagues.

  • 'I'm reminded of Jackson, MS, closing all public pools rather than integrating them' -- Franke on Barnard's Banner-gate
    • "I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that the present tension in the South is a necessary phase of the transition from an obnoxious negative peace, in which the Negro passively accepted his unjust plight, to a substantive and positive peace, in which all men will respect the dignity and worth of human personality.

      Actually, we who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with. Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured."

      ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • U of Michigan student gov't meets tonight, amid anticipation of divestment vote
    • JeffB, you are not even speaking coherently. Tough to have a discussion with incoherence.

    • JeffB: Again: Hundreds of Palestinians cross the Wall every day to work in Israel without a permit. If someone wants to attack Israel, he absolutely can. It will just be a bit more expensive.

      The SHIN BET said it wasn't an effective security measure. So take it up with them.

    • Regarding Israel's Wall and whether or not it's effective in preventing terrorism:

      The Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security and intelligence service, credited the sharp decline in violence in 2005 to the truce and Hamas’s desire to enter the political arena -- not to the Wall.

      The Shin Bet admitted that the Wall was “no longer mentioned as the major factor in preventing suicide bombings, mainly because the terrorists have found ways to bypass it. The fence does make it harder for them, but the flawed inspection procedures at its checkpoints, the gaps and uncompleted sections enable suicide bombers to enter Israel.” Hundreds of Palestinians cross the Wall every day to work in Israel without a permit. If someone is really motivated to get across, he absolutely can.

      The main reason for the drop in attacks was “the fact that Hamas, in general, stopped engaging in terror activities . . . Its focus on the political arena and the preparations for the Palestinian parliamentary elections [because the bombings were not supported by the Palestinian public] have limited its active involvement in terror to a large extent.”

      Source: Amos Harel, “Shin Bet: Palestinian Truce Main Cause for Reduced Terror,” Haaretz, January 2, 2006.

  • A movement grows in a Georgia church basement
    • Tremendously hopeful and inspiring. Huge gratitude to both Josh and Adam. The work is not easy (or glamorous), but that's how you eat an elephant -- one bite at a time.

      Segregation, the Soviet Union, South African Apartheid -- these things all seemed rock-solid. Until their rotting foundations finally collapsed. Here's hoping Israeli apartheid will go out without too much of a bang...

  • Iymen Chehade fights Chicago school's cancellation of his class
    • Leave aside, for the moment, the fact that Chehade's main "bias" is toward historical fact, international law, and equal rights for all.

      If the shoe were on the other foot -- say, if a professor were an admitted Zionist, and taught primarily from a Zionist perspective -- would he be accused of "bias" and therefore unqualified to teach a university class?

    • I was lucky enough to meet Iymen when I was in Chicago. His class looks terrific, and he seems extremely knowledgeable. Which is precisely why he is targeted. Can't have him corrupting the youth with the truth.

  • Bloodbath in Jenin
    • That's what I'm saying -- there wasn't any real hope anyway. But they had to do this... "just in case"?

    • The other shoe drops. As always. Precise Israeli army/government timing to scuttle any slim hope of coming to any kind of even minimal accord or agreement.

      Not that there was much hope anyway. But this is just gratuitous. I don't even know what to say anymore.

  • 'What's being done to Palestinians is wrong,' evangelical Christian says on NPR religion show
    • Christians have an idea of what "Christlike" people should be like -- effortlessly loving, forgiving, welcoming, kind, and open to all comers. I have never met a group of people who fulfill that idea more than Palestinians. They of course aren't perfect, but as humans go, they are some of my favorite I've ever had the privilege of living and traveling among.

    • Makes sense. I distinctly remember Jesus saying, "Love your neighbor. Unless he's a Palestinian or something, yuck!"

      Er... nevermind JESUS HIMSELF WAS A PALESTINIAN. And the first Christian community was Palestinian. And the living church in Bethlehem and Jerusalem and Nazareth... is Palestinian.

      *deep, deep, deep sigh...*

  • 'This wall will fall' (the writing on the wall, at Ohio State)
  • Evangelicals who dissent from Christian Zionism wear 'stain of indelible infamy,' Israel says
    • Hophmi: "Baseless accusation featuring false equivalency"

      Pamela: *Ignores troll*

    • “The attempt to use religious motifs in order to mobilize political propaganda and agitate the feelings of the faithful through the manipulation of religion and politics is an unacceptable and shameful act. Using religion for the purpose of incitement in the service of political interests stains the person who does it with a stain of indelible infamy.”

      I couldn't have put it better myself.

  • Grindr in Hebron: A dispatch from the last debate
    • No Grindr dates in Hebron -- that's a new one to add to the list of grievances of oppressed Jewish Israelis in the Holy Land. God gave them the land AND the option to have a gay date WHENEVER AND WHEREVER THEY WANT. Seriously... what is up with that? Step it up, men of Hebron!

  • Battle over Maryland's anti-boycott Israel bill heats up
    • Speaking of suppression of free speech and thought -- exciting news from Florida.

      Prominent Rabbi Bruce Warshal wrote an article in a Florida newspaper about how he is "getting off the Hillel bandwagon" because of its egregious violations of free speech and thought in the interest of pleasing conservative donors -- who have turned it into "just another Zionist organization" with little to do with actual Judaism. Powerful words.

      link to touch.sun-sentinel.com

  • Conservatives for Palestine
    • Unfortunately I couldn't make it to Bethlehem for the conference, but I heard his talk was pretty disappointing, unfortunately. :(

      Still, I'm pretty shocked he even went at all.

    • Here's the most exciting thing I've heard in a while: The president or Oral Roberts University here in Tulsa will be speaking at the Christ at the Checkpoint conference in Bethlehem this month!

      Why is that so exciting? Well, Oklahoma is the buckle of the Bible Belt, and Oral Roberts University is perhaps the little diamond in the center of the buckle. Full-on conservative Christian heartland stuff. I would never in a million years have expected their president to attend such a conference this early in the game:

      link to christatthecheckpoint.com

      Now that I live in Tulsa (we just moved here from New York), I expect to get in touch and hopefully give some talks on the ORU campus to help bring around some of the students and faculty as well.

      Moving right along!

      P.S. Anyone in the Kentucky/Ohio/Tennessee area, I'm coming through in the next couple of weeks on a book tour. Would love to see some Mondo readers along the way. Here's the schedule:

      link to fasttimesinpalestine.wordpress.com

      I'll also be at the Sabeel conference in Portland in early April. I'd love to see some of you there, too!

      link to mideastpeace.net

  • House delivers for AIPAC, 410-1, passing Israel as 'strategic partner' bill
    • “Israel has… never been as strong as it is now. Think of Israel’s economic dynamism, its entrepreneurial spirit, innovative culture, and you get a better sense of why there is so strong a bond between the United States and Israel... It’s this dynamic economy and society that are building blocks for Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge and its relationship with the U.S. The U.S. benefits when Israel is strong. This legislation stands by our values; stands by our interests; and stands by Israel.”

      What a bunch of flipping baloney. Since when are we such f**king cave men?

      What happened to the days when we worshipped anything but raw power and economic might? It seemed there in the 90's we might make a little turn toward that direction. Then came Dubya, and we lost all our brain cells.

      Disgustappointing. (Disgusting + disappointing.)

  • National summit to re-assess the special relationship -- Friday in D.C.
  • Penn Hillel pushes Birthright-like trip for non-Jewish students
    • Um, no -- I was not suggesting the Israeli embassy would have any interest in that whatsoever. Rather, people who support justice and peace in the region based on equality. We need to step up our game as much as we can.

    • I wonder if someone could raise a few hundred dollars to send these student leaders copies of Goliath, The General's Son, Fast Times in Palestine, and/or etc...? I can get mine out at wholesale prices. Wish I could afford to just distribute them free myself, a la Alan Dershowitz.

  • 'NYT' buries Amnesty International call to suspend arms to Israel in 5th paragraph, page A9
    • "Real shocking that your a big fan of a guy who was denied entry into the US because of his ties to terrorist organization."

      Oh man, that's some funny stuff right there. Thanks for the Saturday morning cartoon, Shuki. :)

  • Memo to Ramaz: UN high school students heard Khalidi speak, and survived
    • It's interesting the visceral reaction I had when I learned the students learned Israeli AND Palestinian folkdancing, and there was a real debate in front of them by real people with real differences of opinion.

      I thought, "Holy crap, they actually let Palestinians have a say and a voice, too!" It's so rare. Israeli speakers/programs so rarely allow any kind of contradiction to their Israel-only narrative. And then, of course, they bray to the heavens when a supporter of international law and justice in the region dares to speak somewhere without an Israeli narrative minder. Hey, it's the only time they can get a word in edgewise!

  • Sheldon Adelson to honor Sean Penn at neocon ball
    • Not particularly relevant, but I've always loathed Sean Penn as an actor. He never disappears into his characters. Whenever I see him in a movie, all I can think is, "Hey, look at Sean Penn acting." He chews up the scenery for little good effect, and he seems pompous for absolutely no reason at all. I have no idea why he's so venerated. To me he's just an emperor with no clothes.

  • Israel arrests Palestinian journalist for writing on Facebook: 'occupied Jerusalem'
    • The article never said it was Yasser Abed Rabbo. There's more than one person with the surname "Abed Rabbo" in Palestine. Do you actually have any idea who this particular Mr. Abed Rabbo is?

      I don't, but I'm not the one making categorial statements about him.

  • 'NY Times' and 'LA Times' run op-eds by an AIPAC board member without telling readers
    • When they actually do allow comments, because the reader-recommended comments are usually much more accurate than the articles themselves. They apparently don't enjoy being humiliated in that manner. Very cowardly.

  • Scholar explodes 'canonic' American Jewish belief: Russian Czar was behind 1903 massacre
    • It was just a general impression -- which could have been colored by the fact that I was still in the turbulent rage stage about what I had witnessed in Palestine and how I had been lied to about it all my life. He might have found me tiresome because I was still a rank newbie.

      In any case, he was kind to meet with me and address some of my questions -- and to allow me to audit his class even though I was no longer a student. I did learn a lot. But I was disappointed by how Palestinians were barely an afterthought.

    • When I got back from Palestine the first time, in early 2004, I spent six months just cramming my head with as much information as I could about the conflict and its history -- I had a lot of catching up to do, as I had known virtually nothing before I visited Palestine.

      I audited Prof. Zipperstein's class on the history of Zionism, and I was amazed that Palestinians were almost totally ignored in the class and the readings. As if they had never existed, had never been an issue. Once you leave the Palestinians out of the equation, Zionism sounds pretty nice in a lot of ways. It was easy to see how people could be seduced by a laughably incomplete narrative.

      I spoke with him in person, and his views were somewhat more nuanced than his class. But I remember him seeming to feel I was tiresome with my uncomfortable questions. I was still pretty ignorant about a lot of things, but one would hope a professor would welcome a young person coming in with burning questions. (In general, in fact, I did not find this to be the case at Stanford -- the big-deal profs were largely disappointing in that respect, with some shining exceptions.)

      Anyway, it's kind of a blast from the past to see his name popping up a few times lately. Glad he's willing to follow at least some difficult truths to see where they lead. Hopefully pretty soon he'll go all the way...

  • 'Washington Post' runs article denouncing gross censorship by JCC
    • Did you even read the article? This point was specifically addressed.

      Not to mention it's stupid to compare people who love Israel and want to help it with a little tough love to people who hate or are against something. Israel "vs." David Harris-Gershon is hardly comparable to Muslims vs. Ayaan Hirsi Ali or Evangelicals vs. Richard Dawkins. Or do you honestly not realize that?

  • Revealed: Right-wing group StandWithUs' strategy to combat Israel Apartheid Week
  • Israel and apartheid: a response to Hirsh Goodman
    • Right, no extrajudicial hangings. Just blowing people up in the street or in the middle of the night amidst sleeping children. Or white phosphorus over, you know, whoever.

      But hey, no hangings! That's one in the plus column for sure...

  • Fearless authors dance on third rail of US politics...
  • 'You seem to be on both sides of this legitimate/illegitimate kind of a thing': State Dept. spox says neither Israeli settlements, nor settlement boycotts, are legitimate
    • My hunch after working in Washington for two years -- where Career is King -- is that they have pretty much convinced themselves that because they have a High Position and make a Lot of Money, they are inherently worthy human beings.

      People in Washington, whether at the bottom, the middle, or the top of the ladder, tend not to question much. Questioning leads to thinking, which leads to moral dilemmas, which leads to either misery or speaking out. Miserable people don't last long, and neither do people who speak out.

      The crap rises to the top. The more thoughtless and convinced of your worthiness you are (no matter what you are asked to do), the more likely you are to become Big Bad Madame Spokesman. And all the little ones coming in from college look up at that shining mountain top and think, "Wow, how do I get there?"

      And the cycle begins anew.

  • Watch the Scarlett Johansson SodaSteam ad banned from the Super Bowl (not for the reasons you'd hope)
  • Truman always opposed a religious state, but caved to 'fanatical' Zionist lobby
  • 'I will not uproot a single Israeli' settler, Netanyahu says, and Washington Post backs him up
  • Obama 'outraged' by Schumer, Gillibrand, & Booker's deference to Netanyahu
  • What Irish hero Michael Davitt tells us about Jewish history
    • A beautiful and haunting poem, thanks for sharing.

      The best poems have universal significance, and this one could be read over many massacres, from Wounded Knee to the Armenian genocide to Deir Yassin and Sabra and Chatila.

      May we find in our hearts empathy for all, as equal sojourners on this world, animated by the same spirit.

  • Why Americans must see 'When I Saw You'
    • It is very strange to assume that because it pains me to see or be reminded of real suffering via narrative fiction... I somehow trivialize or fail to empathize with, er, real suffering?

      I don't really see what you are getting at, other than trollish and/or uncharitable behavior.

    • My husband and I are going to the MoMA to see it tomorrow (Sunday) at 2:30pm. Really looking forward, though with a pit of dread in my stomach. The harrowing horrible harshness of this exile hurts afresh with each new telling, and this looks and sounds like a very genuine and penetrating one.

      I look forward to the day when justice is finally done and films like this are historical retellings rather than fresh living pain with little hope of resolution.

  • Eric Alterman continues to justify lack of Palestinian voices at 'The Nation'
  • Netanyahu continues moving the goalposts - announces new settlement bloc Israel must keep in deal with Palestinians
    • There have been several attempts by both Jewish and Christian fanatics to destroy or desecrate the Muslim holy sites on the Haram al Sharif. It would be hearthbreaking and terrifying if they succeeded.

    • "Jewish heritage site"? Um... What about the many, many Muslim (and Palestinian, and Christian) heritage sites inside the '48 borders of Israel?

      Oh, right. Only the Jewish religious claim to the land actually matters, for some reason which has still never been made clear to me. Christians, Muslims, Baha'i, Samaritans, and others also have religious and historical ties to the Holy Land. Why do only the Jewish ones matter?

  • Sharon's death is 'perfect time' for settler siren's new Miley Cyrus parody, ode to Gaza settlers
    • Political ideology aside, the way she acts perfectly represents the five-year-old "poor me" eternal victim butthurt id of the settler movement.

      A glutton for punishment, I read the free sample of her book on Amazon. My good lord. It reads like a parody of a parody of an entitled white colonialist. The lack of self-awareness is absolutely breathtaking. The fact that she's so proud of her out-of-touch crude tasteless cluelessness is the skunk icing on the manure cake.

      If you don't know anything about Gazans or Palestinians -- or if they simply didn't exist -- some of what she says might make some kind of sense. But that's like analyzing aspects of the Deep South during Jim Crow as if black people and the policies that oppressed them didn't exist. Just incredibly unapologetically thoughtless and frankly racist.

  • The self-hating goy
    • Wow, that was... really, really, really racist. And embarrassingly self-aggrandizing, at the expense of a population that is currently being victimized. If they were going for "So racist it's not racist," they failed. It's just gross.

      Speaking of which, has anyone else seen the Book of Mormon? Maybe the cast I saw played it too straight, but to me it was shockingly racist against Africans, with a full-on white savior complex thrown in for good measure. It was supposed to be over-the-top and goofy, I get it, but even within those parameters, I felt uncomfortable while I watched.

      Anyone else get that feeling?

  • Imagine a white supremacist southern senator dies -- and 'NYT' leaves out black people's views of him
    • Journalists in that high of a position get nudged, punished, censured, praised, by "voices that matter," until they fall neatly into line. If they weren't neatly in line already.

      Obviously, Palestinian/Arab voices don't really matter. They just hand out sweets when bad things happen to other people. That pretty much sums 'em up! (Oh, and they don't cry at funerals.)

      God I'm sick of this "polite" racism.

  • MLA delegates pass measure against Israel denying entry to academics
    • On that note, this is one of the more painful things I've watched in a while -- Prof. David Palumbo-Liu of Stanford (a supporter of the ASA boycott) being interviewed by Mark Golub on Shalom TV.

      Naturally Mr. Golub goes in hard on Prof. P-L with fastball hasbara (a veritable mountain of half-truths and bullsh**), which David handles easily and with infinite class.

      But then at the end, Golub adds a little uncontested epilogue, which is just nauseating -- actually, more than that it's embarrassing. Check it out:

      link to blip.tv

  • Sharon's racism was etched forever in mind of Israeli officer he busted
  • PLO official: Kerry threatened to stop funds if Palestinians do not agree to his framework
  • Jewish establishment slams MLA boycott panel for not including Israel advocates
    • I LOVE the word "butthurt." It's the perfect word for all those Zio concern trolls and powerful people who act like angsty teenagers whose world is crashing down when someone says something they disagree with in or near any of the spaces they inhabit (and largely dominate).

    • People who support Palestinian rights should start going to every conference where only an Israeli or pro-Israeli speaker or panel is present and demand balance as well.

      Except we're not a bunch of well-connected hypersnickity butthurt hypocrites who can't stand a real challenge or debate.

  • 'Camera' takes credit for 'NYT''s craven corrections
    • CAMERA -- the same guys who hounded CBS for an entire year after the "Christians of the Holy Land" piece on 60 Minutes. I guess NYT is more susceptible to yap dogs than CBS News.

  • Simon Wiesenthal Center calls Falk, Walker, Waters, Blumenthal and ASA anti-Semites
  • Stanley Fish and the violence of neutrality
    • "Fish and other Protectors of Timeless Standards were less tortured before the ASA resolution. It is yet another reason to support boycott: it has required liberal Zionists to explain themselves, which has validated the suspicion that their main intellectual substance is mutually-conferred prestige."

      Exactly.

  • American Studies Association caucus seeks support against campaign to discredit ASA
    • It seems few people actually read what the ASA proposes. They just hear "boycott" and "Israel" and go into ballistic indignation and smear mode.

      Thanks, ASA, for taking this on, knowing what was probably coming. It's not easy being on the vanguard, but you'll go down in history as people who took a stand and were on the right side of history when it was not easy to do so. It is deeply appreciated.

      I hope more people will take a stand and stand with you.

  • Snowden's Christmas address
    • The video seems to be blocked for copyright reasons. Any chance there's another copy floating around somewhere that you could post?

      Many thanks and Merry Christmas! (I'm happy to say "Merry Christmas" on Christmas, just like I'm happy to say "L'Shana tova" at the Jewish New Year and "Kul 3am wa intum bikhair" during Ramadan) :)

  • Palestine is no longer a word hesitantly murmured at George Mason U
    • Sounds like Coughlin's movement was based on ethnically-based bigotry.

      Such things are usually unsustainable, and don't last too long. Or at least they shouldn't.

    • Very well done -- amazing and inspiring what you have accomplished. Pretty soon it will be dangerous for any supporters of Israeli apartheid to speak or accept awards at US universities, in that every single time it will create a platform for social justice activists to raise awareness about the realities in Israel/Palestine.

      You can't fool all the people all the time, and these cats are quickly using up their nine lives...

  • Swarthmore Hillel attendance spikes because of decision to invite anti-Zionists
    • Boom.

      I would add: Oleg, you seem very willing not just to bet on the lives of the wives and daughters and friends of Palestinians, but to actively destroy their freedom and economy and steal their land and resources until kingdom come, setting them out ever-shifting goalposts that your government makes sure they can never reach while besieging and bombing their civilians, assassinating and imprisoning their leaders, and squashing non-violent resistance.

      Do YOU believe Israel can be compelled to end its systematic oppression of Palestinians without bloodshed?

      I certainly hope so. And I certainly hope you support BDS -- a non-violent resistance alternative that seems to be gaining traction fast.

      Or do you expect Palestinians to just roll over and accept whatever mutated statelet and whatever non-free status Israel chooses to confer on them? Forever?

  • Remnick asks Shavit whether Zionism is a historical mistake
    • By the way, didn't Fayyad resign in part because the occupation destroyed the Palestinian economy so thoroughly, he basically had almost nothing to work with?

      In any case, the arrogance of this guy telling the Palestinians what they need to do to appease people like him is sickening. He clearly doesn't really understand their situation at all, and he's telling them what to do? And implying they deserve their fate until they do? It's like tying someone up in chains, throwing him in a river, and chastising and punishing him if he can't swim.

  • The 'genetic truth' of Jesus's (and Hanna Rosin's) 'classically Semitic appearance,' as revealed to Jeffrey Goldberg
    • I didn't say it made a difference to claims or rights to be anywhere. I'm just pointing out how extra-special stupid a lot of Zionist claims / talking points are.

    • It's as likely as anything that many or even most Palestinians are actual descendents of the original Jews and Christians. And he lived on their historic homeland. So it makes perfect sense for them to claim him.

      To claim the Palestinian people "did not come into being until roughly 100 years ago" is frankly bizarre. Did they spontaneously spring into existence? Did they come from outer space?

      They may have changed what they called themselves for various reasons throughout history, but guess what? THEY WERE STILL PEOPLE. And they still had/have rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness -- same as any other humans.

    • I think Jeffrey Goldberg must be pescitic. He has that classically puffer-fish-esque appearance.

  • Israel is uniquely sexy -- Ari Shavit tells Sally Quinn
    • I long for the day when I can appreciate Israelis' superficial qualities without feeling nauseous about the horrific oppression taking place that most of them turn a blind eye to (if not actively participate in). I really do.

      Afrikaners are often kinda sexy, too. The accent carries a similar sense of arrogance and danger. It's nice now that we can hear it and just appreciate it for what it is, instead of cringeing at the policies they might support that are still going on...

  • The woman on the plane
    • Yep, that's the one and (hopefully) only.

    • A wonderful story. Don't feel too bad about lying. You played the percentages -- odds were, it would have been a very unpleasant flight if you hadn't lied. I also find myself hedging when people ask what I do and what I write about.

      The nice thing is, I'm finding the hedging less and less necessary. More and more people are at least curious and open to our type of perspective on this issue. Little by little, we are moving into polite company and the mainstream. It's the others who will soon have to be hedging before admitting their views.

      It is easier not to humanize "the other," but it's deeply dangerous for everyone. I read part of that settler girl's book (the girl who did that awful Miley Cyrus settler video), and it also reads like a bit of a parody. (She calls her book "The Settler.") Her childish sense of entitlement and complete blindness to the Gazans surrounding her family (before the disengagement) is utterly laughable if you know the larger reality. But she doesn't see it. Still, you can feel for her family being thrown out of their homes of 24 years (after moving from perfectly nice lives in California to the subsidized villas and boutique businesses of the Gaza settlements). It's jarring to lose something you feel you built, even if it's built on stolen land.

      You just think, "Look, people are people, everyone likes a nice life and an affordable home with lots of space next to the beach... But if only they could open their eyes just a little! Just broaden their perspective enough to realize what their little paradise costs other human beings... and what it ultimately costs them."

      In the book, the girl's brother was killed in Gaza while trying to protect settlements. She squares that circle by saying that if the settlements weren't there, the Palestinians would be attacking Israel inside the green line instead. But the whole thing feels like an attempt to inject meaning into life by simultaneously living in cushy luxury and living in constant danger, telling yourself you're on the "front lines" of something important. I get it. My life also felt more meaningful, vivid, and charged when I was living in the West Bank.

      But my God, if only they would open their eyes just a little... Have just a little compassion for others. You can't do anything with people who live so far in a bubble of propaganda and paranoia, they've lost perspective entirely. And why should other people have to suffer so badly for their blindness?

  • Do Palestinian-Americans get to register an opinion on academic boycott?
    • Christians calling for a boycott of "the Jewish state" is deeply taboo, I'm afraid, especially in the timid mainstream media. It's a miracle churches are even talking about it amongst themselves. It's a testament to how bad things have gotten for Palestinians, and how hard it is to hide that from determined people of conscience.

  • Israeli government kills plan to uproot Bedouin
  • Narrative stronger than weapons: the 23 short stories in 'Gaza Writes Back'
  • Shared values: Likud member says Prawer Plan akin to what 'Americans did to the Indians'
  • In 1990 'Nightline' town hall, Jewish leaders call Mandela 'hypocritical' and 'amoral' over support for PLO, Koppel warns it isn't politically wise to upset lobby
    • Senator Boren of Oklahoma:

      “I think the American people understand what has gone on in South Africa. We have seen families divided because they’ve been classified according to race. We know that people are denied the right to vote because of race. We know that people are detained and not even given a trial because of race. And the American people, regardless of party of position on other issues, are not about to relieve the pressure until that system has changed.”

      Hm... why does all this seem somehow familiar? And yet... totally unfamiliar at the same time...?

    • I don't think someone of Mandela's courage or principle would be allowed on Primetime American TV these days. No pundit would allow himself to be (gently) schooled and humiliated the way Koppel is in this interview.

  • The Almond Tree: A peace proposal
    • The only swamp I'm aware of that Israel drained was the Hula Swamp. And it was such a disaster (causing environmental degradation and even some extinctions and damaging an important stopover point for migrating birds) that they ended up filling it in again.

      Has anyone else heard of any other swamp drained by Israel? Or is that simply pure propaganda?

  • Netanyahu's 'gift' to Pope: book on Catholic church's persecution of Jews
  • A loving remembrance of Peter Kaplan
    • I'm not talking about values scared into you or given to you. I'm talking about looking deep within. Sometimes some people could use a little help. They are missing the forest for the (internally logically consistent) trees. Or maybe they're in the wrong forest altogether.

      It's logical for Scrooge not to care about the Tiny Tim's of the world. They're just surplus population, not useful (in his mind). It's easy for many Zionists not to care about Palestinians. They're just surplus population, not useful.

      It takes more than logic to transcend that self-imposed trap. The logical post-rationalizations will only come after you've subjectively come to the conclusion that will ultimately lead to less cognitive dissonance and more happiness (that is, if you value happiness).

      Or you can stay a "perfectly logical" robot forever and never get in touch with the heart of things -- with yourself and what you really value.

      I've heard a lot of Zionists talk about what a profound relief it was to finally let go of their denial. They never talk about someone rationally arguing them out of it. It usually happens all at once, due to a subjective experience (an internal feeling when things happened that put the lie to all their "logic"). Once they have the feeling, then they post-rationalize it with new logic to make things internally consistent again. But the feeling is the primary experience.

      Which isn't to say we're all just hostages to whims. Our feelings -- our deeper, truer, more solid and lasting intuition of things -- is often deeply rooted in reality. We're children of this universe, after all. It has shaped us from the beginning. Sometimes there are glitches, like when fear overrides everything else. But living in constant (often unreasoning) fear is not a very pleasant way to spend time.

      So if you're aware enough to do so, you work backwards from the feeling of unpleasantness and try to convince yourself of logical reasons why not to live in fear, so that you can enjoy and appreciate your life more. But the feeling (usually) comes first.

    • Logic is grounded in subjective experience. If you don't know what you truly value, logic becomes meaningless.

    • Sorry for your loss, and thanks for this lovely, soulful tribute.

      As far as Dickens -- "A Christmas Carol" has been thoroughly overdone by now, but it has always struck me as an incredibly powerful piece of prose. Someone with the least possible chance of changing his mind and his life is given the gift of being shown reality for what it is -- and it finally breaks through and changes him completely. Breaks him out of his prison of denial, loneliness and grimly satisfied despair. I've met lots of people I think would benefit greatly from a visit by three ghosts.

      If only the spirits of past, present, and future could visit Israel -- show them what really happened, what's truly going on now, and where things are actually heading. Would it do any good? Will we ever know?

    • "It’s all about proximity and access. If you have someone’s ear, you can make things happen."

      Ah, but how do you get that proximity and access?

      I'll tell you: By telling those in power what they want to hear. They love listening to that sh**.

    • "He wanted the power of observing the dirty game, not playing it."

      Perfect turn of phrase. All journalists should be like this. Instead, most are making gravy from the game itself, and negating themselves in the process. No longer a journalist -- just another horse trading hack.

  • Corasanti responds to Abulhawa: My purpose in writing 'The Almond Tree' was to shine a light on Palestinian suffering and help bring about peace
    • Of course, I should hasten to make very clear -- this book is not meant to replace Palestinian narratives, and I sincerely hope it will not do that. Just hopefully deliver innocent readers toward *at least* a more nuanced perspective of things, and hopefully toward, as I said, Palestinian narratives. People who wouldn't otherwise pick up a Palestinian narrative because they were either too ignorant or too brainwashed.

      If this is the result, I think it will be a positive. If the result ends up being silencing or replacing Palestinian voices, that's a different story.

    • Hi Hostage,

      I also wrote this about the book:

      Like Uncle Tom’s Cabin or Cry, the Beloved Country, The Almond Tree is a kind of “hybrid” or “gateway” book that tells a Palestinian story but with Western sensibilities in mind. None of these books is perfect, nor can they ever be perfectly authentic. But they can hopefully do their job—both to educate ignorant societies about otherwise very foreign subjects, and to inspire them to read and understand accounts by the victims of oppression themselves.

      When I re-read my review, I also realized I should have been more explicit about what part of Mornings in Jenin I was comparing The Almond Tree to. I was comparing the two in the similar time sweep, similar subject matter (following an individual family through decades of outrages), and readability -- not authenticity or literary value.

      As for my analysis of the book, I read it not as condoning a reality where a Palestinian -- even a genius Palestinian -- has to grovel before racists in order to get ahead. It was instead revealing this reality in a way that I hope anyone with a conscience will see is deeply wrong.

      Dr. Hatim Kanaaneh, a Palestinian-Israeli himself, had a similar reading:

      link to mondoweiss.net

      Overall I felt it was a book whose heart was in the right place, and it's apparently striking a nerve and selling a lot of copies among people who wouldn't normally read about the Middle East. I hope it will be kind of a "gateway" book that will pique people's interest enough to get them to read more authentic books by Palestinians.

      There are problematic aspects to the book for sure, but overall I thought the positives outweighed the negatives. And I have to admit I enjoyed the read, despite the false notes that rang sometimes. Overall I was impressed by how much she got right.

      Just one person's opinion.

  • Heard any good gentile jokes lately?
  • 'What happened there was historic': A report from the American Studies Association boycott debate
    • Definitely puts a sting of tears of joy in my eyes.

      You are among the most tireless, my dear :)

    • This is so amazing! Was so ecstatic to hear the news. A huge push toward the mainstream for Palestine solidarity activism. Lots of respect for the professors and students willing to learn difficult things and speak their conscience.

      And for people like Phil and Max and countless others who've worked tirelessly to open this space up.

  • ADL connection is suddenly a liability for a court nominee
    • Oooh, oooh, he's already on the fourth pillar of Zionist talking points: Everyone sucks! Such a great argument!

    • More on-topic:

      The American Studies Association recently held an open and rigorous meeting about the academic boycott of Israel. The members are overwhelmingly in favor, and less and less terrified of the only real tactics the opposition has: Intimidation, punishment, and harassment.

      "In the intellectual world, the resort to force is not a position of strength. Saturday evening at the ASA showed the power of reasoned, moral argument. And there is no going back from that. In the struggle for justice for the Palestinian people, a turning point has been achieved."

      Changing times, indeed.

      link to electronicintifada.net

    • Off topic a bit, but did anyone else see this hatchet job on the entire Palestinian people in the Boston Globe:

      link to bostonglobe.com

      It's Jeff Jacoby's reaction to the Al Quds University "controversy" that basically says Palestinian values are the same as Nazis. I wrote a letter to the editor:

      Dear Editor,

      I'm an American woman who lived in Palestine for two years during and after the second Intifada, working as a journalist based in Ramallah. Reading Jeff Jacoby's op-ed, I was shocked at the racism and essentializing that got past The Boston Globe's editors in the years 2013. The ease with which anti-Muslim and anti-Palestinian bigotry slides off today's op-ed pages is a sad parallel to the "acceptable in polite company" anti-Semitism of old. It should be condemned just as soundly.

      I can't, in 200 words, offer systematic proof that Palestinians aren't, as a collective, fascist, hate-filled, genocidal maniacs who can never make peace simply because of who they are, and thus don't deserve fundamental human rights (such as freedom, fair trials, self-determination, etc.) like the rest of the world. (None of these rights is granted to Palestinians under Israeli occupation.)

      But when such grandiose and damaging accusations are thrown around, I would encourage people of conscience and reason to dig a little deeper before accepting (and publishing!) what amounts to a blanket condemnation of an entire civilian population -- a characterization I find deeply unfair and inaccurate, given my long experience living among Palestinians, and also profoundly damaging to prospects for genuine peace in the region.

      Sincerely,

      Pamela Olson, author of Fast Times in Palestine

  • American Task Force on Palestine finds funding from anti-Palestinian billionaire and a repressive monarchy
    • Washington is a dangerous place. You start to forget there's a real world out there. You get sucked into the incestuous circle-jerk that tells you you don't exist without money and power -- and you don't get money and power if you don't play the game.

      It basically kicks out (or shuts up) almost anyone with principles. Whoever's left after many years is... well, you can imagine. The scum rises right to the top. And stays there. Forever. Schmoozing and climbing (or furiously treading water) and really not doing a whole hell of a lot else.

      Career above all. This should be DC's official motto.

  • Klug on Kristallnacht: Opponents in Israel/Palestine debate are locked in an 'acrimonious circle'
    • Muslims have to deal with this kind of bigotry all the time. Right now some pastor from Georgia keeps spamming my Facebook inbox with horrible anti-Muslim bigotry, as if he's trying to "fix" my "brainwashing." Another rando saw that I was married to a Muslim and emailed me, "Be careful, you don't want to end up like that Tsarnaev woman." I wrote that he was a bigot and extremely offensive, and he wrote back that he didn't understand why I was getting so defensive.

      It's just never-ending. It drips through endless threads and feeds and comment sections. And most people don't even recognize it as bigotry and essentializing and horribly insulting; they just think this is how Muslims are.

      The parallels with anti-Semitism are so obvious and sad.

  • Israeli soldier discusses killing Palestinian children on Ukrainian game show
    • I've been following Rick Steves' dispatches from Palestine, and he showed a picture with some cute Palestinian children. Someone wrote, "Sure, children are cute... except when they are taught to hate."

      I replied, "Listen to yourself. Don't you realize you are the one who has been taught to hate children you don't even know?"

      I understand some degree of brainwashing. But this hatred against children? It's terrifying and incomprehensible to me.

      Even if some given children are brainwashed (which certainly happens all over the world in various guises, not least in Israel itself) -- shouldn't one feel compassion (or at least pity) rather than hatred and contempt? The comprehensiveness of the dehumanization is breathtaking.

  • Real estate, racism, and righteousness -- a grim visit to Israel
  • Boston Globe reporter defends absence of Bedouin and Palestinians from article on water in the Negev
  • Adelson organization sets out to save Israel with photo of Natalie Portman circa 1995
  • Brandeis tosses Nusseibeh off board for not condemning militant rally at his school
    • In my experience, the occasional "support for Hitler" meme isn't some deeply ingrained or seriously thought out ideology. It's more of a lashing out, a way to try to hurt the feelings of the people who do unimaginably horrible things to you, your family, your land, your past, and your future. (Better than throwing rocks, right?)

      It's almost always done by hot-headed young men who've endured some of the worst of the horrors of occupation. It's a middle finger that's understood by the recipients of the message as an enduring racial hatred leading toward genocide. Very crossed wires, and sadly easy to exploit because of all the associations most Westerners have toward these symbols.

      I condemn these rallies, because they are spiteful and stupid, and it's not helpful. But condemning them without even more forcefully condemning the many illegal and violent actions of the occupation regime (without which no one would be sending a middle finger like this in the first place) is sheer hypocrisy.

      Anyway, I'd be much more concerned about state-sponsored rabbis justifying the killing of gentile babies, personally. Has the president of Brandeis condemned that yet?

  • Mohammed Assaf invades! (50 years after the Beatles)
    • Ya rab, this makes me so happy I can hardly stand it. So much wish I could have made it to one of his concerts! But I was traveling all during his tour (with some near-misses, dang). He's not still coming to the NY/NJ area, is he?

  • Turn the Gaza lights on
    • I heard a horrific story of several children burning to death in a home where they were forced to use candles for light during a power shortage, and one of the candles was knocked over, and the carpet apparently wasn't fire-retardant.

      So many victims of the occupation who never quite make it to the statistics page, but who would be alive if their situation were a little more fair.

  • Ari Shavit's Zionist revival is a hit in New York
    • It’s as if Shavit were saying: “Since the Palestinians won’t forgive and forget regarding 1948, Zionists are justified in CONTINUING the land grabbing, ethnic cleansing, war crimes, human rights violations, terrorism etc.”

      BINGO. Although Shavit would add, "But let's be a little more smart about our crimes against humanity, shall we? Wrap some silk around our truncheons. Don't want the world to get all uppity on us while we do this necessary work..."

    • But check out the reader-recommended comments on the Friedman piece! Something like 19 out of the first 20 could have been written by Mondoweiss contributors...

      link to nytimes.com

    • This from Friedman's piece in the NYT:

      But, ultimately [says Shavit], “it is the Palestinians’ responsibility to overcome the painful past, lean forward and not become addicted to victimhood.”

      Oh. My. Lord. That is about the richest thing I have ever read.

    • Shavit is a rare and fascinating thing: An honest Zionist.

      He doesn't deny the crimes of Zionism, or any of the realities. He just says, "Oh well, it's worth it so I can have a place where I can't get married the way I want and Orthodox Jews can sit around and twiddle their brains on old texts, at my expense."

      He is, in other words, a walking contradiction -- just like modern Zionism itself. He is the perfect face of it. He's the new phase of public Zionism, since all the old BS isn't working anymore. He doesn't even put lipstick on the pig. He just says, "Well, it's a pig, but that's OK because... I get something out of it, and the Palestinians just have to suffer because... I said so."

      Then he mumbles something about a "tough neighborhood," harkening back to the bad old hasbara, because he really doesn't have anything other than, "We conquered brutally, we're still doing it, but I like the result, so that's that. Palestinians have no power, so until they resign themselves to this result (which I admit is totally unfair), they'll just have to cry about it, hopefully behind a nice wall if possible, and with some bon bons we might kindly throw their way."

      It's really fascinating to watch this guy operate. I don't know how his head doesn't explode with cognitive dissonance.

  • Lipstick on a pig
  • Right wing finds new way to dismiss Blumenthal: liken him to Dostoyevsky
    • "in ten years time, Blumenthal’s view may well prove to be the prophetic one."

      I have little doubt. Because he tells truths everyone else ignores. What a brave and important book. Of course it's attacked by people too cowardly to face difficult and painful realities.

  • Palestinian-American student denied entry to Israel after being told, 'there is no such thing as Palestine'
    • I was going to say the same thing, John. It isn't up to Eljay what someone considers his or her homeland. What counts is behavior -- whether you violate anyone else's rights to claim that homeland. All she's trying to do is claim the rights that are afforded to her and her family under international law, but are denied her by a lawless regime that takes what it wants by force.

  • Natalie Portman and Woody Allen see anti-Semitism as pervasive
    • Beautifully said, of a very ugly reality. What blindness and arrogance to say these things while others, every day, are suffering from oppression, dispossession, and worse so she can enjoy the stories of windowsills... Never mind the screams she doesn't seem to hear.

      That's what's so infuriating about Ari Shavit's piece in the New Yorker. He *just almost* hears the screams. Then he sighs and says, "Oh well..." Back to our regularly scheduled programming.

  • A lynching by another name would be a political murder
    • "the Palestinian Authority erased all the videos taken during this event because אhey were ashamed about it"

      Kind of like, I don't know, the Israeli soldiers who killed nine unarmed civilians on the Mavi Marmara and then erased all the evidence?

      The gentleman doth project too much.

    • A comment can never be as cruel as what Israel ACTUALLY DOES to innocent people, and then turn around and feign outrage -- OUTRAGE! -- when Palestinians do something relatively mild by comparison.

      (Only two were killed, both were uniformed combatants, etc., though of course they should not have been killed after they were neutralized -- much like the two Palestinian prisoners mentioned in The Gatekeepers shouldn't have been murdered after they were in custody, and several more Palestinian prisoners shouldn't have been shot at point blank range after they were neutralized, and Sharon shouldn't have helped the Phalange murder thousands of innocents in Sabra and Chatila, and...)

      But you and other Israel apologists fail to mention that in the first two weeks of the second Intifada, Israeli forces killed sixty-eight Palestinians, including fifteen children, and injured a thousand more. Twelve Palestinian-Israelis were also killed. One of them was a well-known seventeen-year-old peace activist named Aseel Asleh, killed by a shot to the neck at point-blank range.

      In those same two weeks, Palestinians killed three Israeli soldiers and two civilians.

      That's when the second Intifada was born. The first suicide bombing didn't take place until six months later. By that time more than three hundred Palestinians had been killed, including ninety-one children (half of whom were killed by gunfire to the head).

      In the same period, fourteen Israelis were killed in Israel and fortynine were killed in the West Bank and Gaza, one a child.

      None of it's good. But it's a hell of a lot more complicated than, "Look at those savage Palestinian killers."

      I could go on, but that's a bit to chew on for now.

      You tell me what's cruel.

  • 'Apolitical' arts organization combatting BDS is front for pro-settler group tied to Israeli Foreign Ministry
  • Einstein letter, on sale at Ebay, blamed Jewish terrorists for risking 'catastrophe' in Palestine
    • Einstein identified the two key players in creating and perpetuating the conflict in Palestine, one of which was apparently asking for his approval. He didn't offer that approval -- that was the subject of the letter. He also didn't deny anything. Try reading it again.

      The likes of you calling one of the greatest geniuses in human history a fool ranks among the finest chutzpah I've ever witnessed. Mazel tov.

      (He was occasionally wrong even in his physics. But there's a difference between saying someone was wrong and calling him a fool. And before you do so, I'd suggest you give your own fixed ideas a re-think. Einstein was many things, but he was no fool.)

    • Ah yes -- Obsidian calling Einstein a fool. Can a comment possibly be any richer than this?

  • What Comes Next: A manifesto for the Jewish-Palestinian Arabic-Hebrew state
  • What Comes Next: A secular democratic state in historic Palestine - a promising land
  • Journalists should tell their readers if they're Zionists
    • This isn't about their personal life -- it's about ideology. If a journalist is, for example, a card-carrying communist writing about the economy, it will most likely affect the lens through which they see the world. If they are a Hindu writing about Muslims in India, that's pertinent information. It's of course not necessarily true that their religion or ideology will affect their analyses. Arguments should be judged on their merit.

      But an author's core ideology (and therefore many of their unspoken assumptions) shouldn't be kept hidden.

      It's funny that no one dared answer Andrew Sullivan's question. If you're NOT a Zionist in today's media (or at least if you say out loud that you're not), you're in trouble. It's taken as an article of faith, virtually untouchable. (That's finally starting to change, though, little by little.)

  • 'The bra is a security threat': Harassment and interrogation at Ben Gurion airport
    • Not Israel's government -- Israel's governmentS. Every one since 1967 has built more settlements and supported more brainwashing. Their myths couldn't survive otherwise, and their discriminatory, oppressive state (not to mention the occupation regime) couldn't survive without the myths. (Arguably their myths could have lived longer without the settlements, but we'll never know.)

  • Jewish stage in Washington cancels Nakba play by Israeli, amid donor pressure
  • Moments in Palestine
  • de Blasio praises racist rabbi for 'wisdom, charity, sensitivity' (and J St gave him shoutout)
    • I oppose racism and other forms of bigotry everywhere. Especially when a country falsely claims to be a democracy that "shares values" with my own country, which shovels $8 million per day into its coffers and gives it blanket political cover to continue and intensify its racist policies.

      Now answer me: Are you as exercised about racism in Israel as you are about racism in the Arab world and elsewhere?

    • "Colorful language," oy! If that's what you call vile racism, it reveals a lot about you (not that we didn't have it pretty well sussed already...)

  • J Street's achievements
    • We really need a "Like" button on these comments :)

    • "They only reject (some of) Israel’s crimes because these crimes harm the reputation of the criminal, and not because these crimes harm the well-being of the victims."

      Sadly apt...

    • I think he was commenting on the very fact that they are foreigners trying to tell us Americans what to do. Americans don't tend to respond to that very well for very long. (Well, it's been too long already, but we're starting to catch on and get a bit annoyed about it...)

    • The "H" in Hamas (and hummus, habibi [darling], and hurriyeh [freedom]) is a lovely sound, similar to fogging up a mirror with your breath. There is no friction in the throat or roof of mouth when pronouncing it properly in Arabic. You can immediately tell an Israeli by the fact that they cannot pronounce this letter correctly to save their lives.

      The Arabic word for Gaza is Ghazzeh (the first letter being a letter we don't have that sounds like the Parisian 'R'). It's Israelis who pronounce it 'Aza (another dead giveaway).

    • They did accomplish one thing (whether intentionally or not): They gave Israel a sterling offer it had no right to refuse -- the best offer they will probably ever get from the most pliant Arab world they are ever going to encounter -- and Israel refused it anyway.

      We can always point to that -- they missed their biggest opportunity to make their denial of most Palestinian rights permanent, through no fault but their own. If people begin to understand what's happened, Israel will never again be able to claim with a straight face that it's the Arab world that's the "extremist, recalcitrant" one.

      (Of course, this has been the case for a long time, but a very recent, relevant example makes it easier to make it clear what's what.)

  • A honeymoon apart
    • Having just gotten married myself, I can definitely feel for a bride losing her chance at a honeymoon (not to mention having to deal with so much painful, dehumanizing, discriminatory bureaucracy). :(

      Gorgeous couple, though. Alf mabrook, I wish you many years of happiness!

  • In Ramallah market, Max Blumenthal shows the fruits of occupation
    • If they abrogate those protocols, they will be excoriated as people who don't keep contracts, don't hold to their word, aren't civilized, can't be trusted, and are not a serious partner for peace.

      Oh wait, they already are. So what does the Palestinian Authority have to lose?

      Power, privilege, wealth, prestige, relative freedom (to travel, etc.), business contacts and deals, their identities (as national leaders recognized on the world stage, etc.), and possibly their lives.

      So far Israel has them pretty well sewn up. I wonder what it would take to finally shake this formula.

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