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Total number of comments: 29 (since 2009-09-08 07:39:20)

Patrick

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  • Canadian Greens back BDS
    • I have some sympathy for her as well, as this is not her issue at all. I live in Elizabeth May's riding and voted for her twice. Her central issue is climate change, and in her newsletter which came out last week - it was all about dealing with climate change - not a word about I/P.

  • Mainstream obits for Wiesel offer barely an asterisk for his intolerant views of Palestinians
    • "Wiesel stuck to the safe targets. So he criticized the Sandinistas for their treatment of the Miskitos."

      Exactly right. Criticism of the Sandinista government of Nicaragua only endeared him to the Reagan administration. He should also have spoken out against the Contra war that the Reaganites had created, and which was a key factor that led to the mistreatment of the Miskito. Of course, he would then have been persona non grata in the halls of power.

  • 'NY Times' publishes op-ed writer's blatant falsehood about Palestinians without blinking an eye
    • In contrast to Benjamin Gladstone, I distinctly recall that some Palestinian leaders stated that West Bank settlers were welcome to stay in a future Palestinian state, if they wanted to.

      Can someone confirm this? I think there was also some mention that they would be paying taxes to the new state rather than Israel.

  • 'NYT' finally mentions 'Goliath' -- in rightwing ad smearing Max Blumenthal
  • Roger Cohen and Jeremy Ben-Ami go on the road for the two-state solution
    • Roger Cohen presents a strong case for a two-state solution. But he is only the latest to present this case, and others before him have made very similar arguments. He says that the only viable outcome is a two-state solution whose contours are already well understood by all.

      Where he falls very short (like others before) is on how to achieve this goal. Does he have any program to propose on how to get to a 2SS? Apparently not. He knows that the Israeli government does not negotiate in good faith, and he states that a whole new leadership is needed in Israel. But there's nothing of the sort on the horizon. It's a forlorn hope given the long term rightward shift in Israeli society, which he acknowledges.

      In terms of international action all that Cohen mentions is for the "United States to continue to make clear that expansion of settlements is inimical, is incompatible (with peace)." The U.S. has been saying this for years to no effect. This is just not a serious proposal.

  • The enemies list
  • Obama tells Americans it is 'abrogation of my constitutional duty' to defer to Israel on Iran Deal
    • The parallel with Kennedy's speech (his finest one) is the first thing that came to mind when I heard that Obama had given his address at American University.

  • 'I trust Obama more than the Prime Minister of Israel to run our policy' -- George W. Bush's former pollster
  • Al Jazeera publishes leaked intelligence files showing Netanyahu lied about Iranian nuclear threat
  • US calls ICC decision to investigate Gaza 'tragic irony'
    • Yes, I hope they do bring such claims. The most solid case that the PA can bring to the ICC is the violation of international law due to the settlements. No one can contest that there are there, and no one, except Israel, maintains that they are legal. In this instance, Israel simply has no case.

  • Caroline Glick says there were no Palestinian refugees
    • Before Glick, it was Avi Shavit who toured the U.S. and 'explained' the conflict. However, in contrast to Glick, he didn't attempt to deny the Nakba. Rather, he simply said it was justified.

      Perhaps Glick figures that this line really won't wash with the U.S. public, so she attempts to recycle all of the old lies.

  • Another New York Times' reporter's son is in the Israeli army
  • Wiesel lauds settlers for 'strengthening the Jewish presence in Jerusalem' -- and expelling Palestinians
    • It's important to note that this is a recurring theme with Wiesel. On April 16 2010, published an open letter to Obama in the Washington Post urging Obama to back off putting any pressure on Israel, and claiming special Jewish privilege over Jerusalem, that is all of Jerusalem.

      Phil wrote about this at the time:
      link to mondoweiss.net

  • Burke and Lincoln would have hated the special relationship
    • "As I reported, Brooks is now the third writer at the NYT to have a son in the Israeli army."

      Have you included Andrew Revkin who writes the Dot Earth blog on climate change? (I think he mentioned this in one of his blog posts.)

  • Beinart urges young Jews to get arrested in the West Bank for the sake of Zionism. Will they?
  • 'NYT' op-ed calls on Jews to abandon liberal Zionism and push for equal rights
    • "No decent man in the world thinks that because of these disproportionate acts these great leaders [Churchill, Truman, Roosevelt] became war criminals."

      Actually, Noam Chomsky has argued that this is, in fact, the case. He's not a decent man?

      (In the case of the Tokyo fire bombing, to which Shavit alludes, Robert MacNamara, who was involved in some of the planning of these attacks, has acknowledged that (a) this was a war crime, and (b) the reason he isn't regarded as a war criminal for this is simply because the U.S. was victorious in the war.)

  • Reprint of Yochanan Gordon's "When Genocide is Permissible" (Updated)
    • "So basically he’s telling us to get ready for an Israeli nuclear bomb."

      I bet that many among the Israel uber alles crowd in the U.S. (and elsewhere) who would be really happy if it ever came to this. Not the U.S. government though.

  • What would you do?
    • I agree with all the points that you raise. And certainly an end to the blockade is their objective. But is this the likely outcome? I really doubt it, especially now that the generals are running Egypt and quietly cheering on Israel. It seems to me that the most likely outcome is a restoration of the status quo.

    • "What if your neighbourhood was a giant prison?" Yes, that does describe Gaza, and, yes, anyone would want to fight back.

      But you would want to do so effectively. I just don't see that the rockets Hamas is directing at Israel as advancing in any way the cause of Gazans. On the military plane Israel is supreme. It makes no sense to me to fight on terrain where your adversary has every advantage.

  • The death by drone memo: a throwback to U.S. terrorism in Nicaragua
  • Chomsky supports portions of BDS agenda, but faults others, citing realism and int'l consensus
    • A cleaned-up version of my earlier comments (& apologies for the previous sloppy version):

      I think that one aspect of Chomsky’s criticism of the BDS campaign makes some sense. This is his criticism of (3) [support/promote the right of return of Palestinian refugees]. He is right that this is unrealistic; advancing this position will, in fact, undermine the BDS movement. It's a self-defeating position too adopt.

      On the other hand, Chomsky’s support of the 2SS also seems unrealistic. He knows, or should know, that there is no reasonable 2SS state that Israel is remotely prepared to accept. As the occupation grinds on, the settlements expand and settlers have become ever more deeply entrenched; it's plainly evident that they will not be removed by Israel. It seems highly unrealistic to expect otherwise. Perhaps Chomsky is hoping that if Israel is put under extreme international pressure, then it might relent. But what is BDS if not a way to put pressure on Israel.

      What is most bizarre is Chomsky’s opposition to the position of BDS regarding (2), equal rights for Palestinians in Israel. What will he say when Palestinians in the occupied territories throw in the towel on the 2SS and simply ask for equal rights in a greater Israel/Palestine? That is coming because the 2SS is dead as a door nail.

      My own view is that BDS should be very clear of its central objective: equality rights and human dignity for Palestinians and indeed for all people living in Greater Israel. This should be coupled with recognition that the 2SS has long been eclipsed by facts on the ground that Israel has created. It should criticize the ‘peace process’ as hopeless and endless charade that will never lead to a reasonable and just 2SS, and which is used cynically by Israel to gain acceptance with western nations.

    • I think that one aspect of Chomsky’s criticism of the BDS campaign makes some sense. This is his criticism of (3) [support/promote the right of return of Palestinian refugees]. He is right that this is unrealistic, and support of this position will, in fact, undermine the BDS movement.

      One the other hand, Chomsky’s support of the 2SS also seems unrealistic. He knows, or should know, that there is no reasonable two-state or one-state that Israel is prepared to accept. The occupation grinds on. The settlements and settlers are deeply entrenched and will not be removed by Israel. It seems highly unrealistic to expect otherwise. Perhaps he is hoping that if it is put under extreme international pressure, then Israel might relent. But what is BDS if not a way to put pressure on Israel.

      What is most bizarre in Chomsky’s opposition to the position of BDS regarding (2), equal rights for Palestinians in Israel. What will he say when Palestinians in the occupied territories throw in the towel on the 2SS and simply ask for equal rights in a greater Israel/Palestine?

      My own view is that BDS should clearly of its objective: equality rights and human dignity for Palestinians living in Greater Israel. This should be coupled with recognition that the 2SS has been eclipsed by the facts on the ground that Israel has created. It should criticize the ‘peace process’ as hopeless failure that will never lead to a reasonable and just 2SS.

  • 'NYT' scrubs 'analysis' that Hamas is 'seen in West as the devil'
    • Interesting then that the European Union actually welcomed the Palestinian reconciliation deal, as reported in Haaretz: link to haaretz.com

      The NYT and Jodi Rudoren should have told their readers that there is, in fact, a divergence in the reaction to this deal in the West, and that the U.S. reaction is not mirrored in Europe. This is really poor journalism.

  • Israel stops US-led peace talks citing Palestinian unity (Updated)
    • Actually, hasn't Israel negotiated ceasefire agreements with Hamas in the past? In fact, I recall reading the comments of some Israeli minister to the effect that in agreements reached with Hamas, the Israelis are confident that Hamas will hold up their end. Apparently, when it suits Israel, they've been willing to talk.

  • Peter Beinart misses South Africa's apartheid lesson, Gideon Levy gets it
    • Beinart's insistence that Israel is not an Apartheid State is really just a piece of sophistry. Yes, if one makes a distinction between Israel within the Green Line and the Occupied Territories, and defines Israel to be only the former, then that 'Israel' does fall short of being an Apartheid State. It is merely a Jim Crow State.

      But this distinction is formal and artificial. Israel is, in fact, much more than just the entity within the Green Line. It is also the entity that has spread pervasively into the Territories where it has imposed a bone fide Apartheid regime. Because Beinart maintains (against all evidence) that the occupation and the settlements are somehow reversible, that Israel hasn't formally annexed the territories, then it can escape the Apartheid label. But even if this were the case, it doesn't change the reality that is experienced every day in the Territories where an Apartheid system has been entrenched by the state of Israel. Sure, this regime doesn't extend within the Green Line. So what?

  • New America's new take on Israel-Palestine
    • The connection to Anne-Marie Slaughter may give some guidance on the thinking behind this initiative. She advanced some ideas on reinventing the two-state solution in an article published last year in the Globe and Mail: link to theglobeandmail.com.

  • Get ready, Kerry will go where no American leader has gone before -- Ben-Ami
    • Yes, and the settlers could stay where they are and pay taxes to Palestine. I think that this idea has been proposed before. But it would probably be unacceptable to many settlers on a number of levels, i.e., security, loss of privileges, connection to Israel, etc. Also, it's not just the settlers. Their supporters within Israel proper, in particular those within the IDF, that could revolt against removal of the settlements.

    • "I eavesdropped on a conversation led by a man who identified himself as an official of a Jewish organization. He said his greatest concern was Jews fighting among ourselves. "

      Indeed, I think this is a widespread fear, and one that's shared by the Gov't in Israel. As I've mentioned before in this forum, the prospect of a civil war in Israel over evacuating the settlements was raised by none other than Shimon Peres with members of the British Parliament, back in 2008. If he's raising this matter publicly, you can imagine that this sort of scenario is taken very seriously in Israel.

      See: link to haaretz.com

  • Bearing witless
    • The "security fence ... imprecisely traces the pre-1967 border between Israel and the West Bank."

      What a mendacious farce. Disgustingly dishonest. This a line that is deliberately designed to mislead and give the impression that the trace of the 'fence' happens to meander in a haphazard way on both sides of the border.

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