Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 550 (since 2009-07-31 08:50:48)


I'm a teacher in a small midwestern community college, and am a member of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel.

Showing comments 550 - 501

  • Who can save Israel now?
    • @ Sycamores

      Unfortunately, I think you are exactly right. There is absolutely no accountability in the US for anything any politician or media pundit does or says, and no consequences to one's career whether in public service or the media.

      The whitewashing of events less than 48 hours old is no different from the airbrushing in or out of old Kremlin photographs in order to create a certain reality that fits the official policy.

  • Palestinian flag is an 'enemy' flag-- Netanyahu's latest crackdown
    • Just to set the record straight on that 3/5th rule, it was the slaveholders who wanted blacks counted as a full person, and the abolitionists who wanted them counted as zero.

      That was simply because counting slaves as full persons for congressional apportionment purposes gave immense political power to wealthy plantation slave holders. One slaveowner of 5000 slaves in Louisiana would receive the same share of congressional representation as 5001 free citizens of Maine.

      Get ten of those slaveholders together and you may well have had enough population for a congressional district--50,000 slaves and 10 free citizen voters.

    • @ Annie

      I may be incorrect on this, but a long time ago I heard that when the Austro-Hungarian Empire emancipated Jews, they were then allowed to take German language names.

      If you had the money and were connected you could pay the registry clerk for a nice name like Blumenthal--"flower valley".

      Obviously, Eisenkot's ancestors got stuck with whatever suited the clerk at the time. Perhaps the clerk not only had a bad day, but was prescient as well.

    • So, if a Jew converts to Hinduism, Christianity, or Confuscianism, does that Jewish gene get passed out like a kidney stone? According to Orthodox doctrine I believe it is.

      And under Israeli law, a Reform conversion does not implant the gene, yet an Orthodox conversion does the trick.

  • 'What is your religion?' question surprises two American visitors to the occupation
    • And yes, up until 1970 or so it was virtually a requirement that a woman entering a Catholic church in the US was expected to wear some sort of head covering.

  • Israel lobby stakes claim for Jerusalem at Supreme Court, but Kagan isn't buying
    • I'm an attorney, DoubleStandard, and know enough about con law to know that the legal issues presented, at least on their face, are not particularly complicated.

  • The UN can bring peace to Jerusalem by moving its headquarters there
    • Obviously, as you imply, there would have to be US approval--or at least no veto--of this move. But that sort of sea change on the part of the US would indicate that the US had already abandoned its role of diplomatic cover for Israel.

      In that case, there would then already be UN enforced international sanctions against Israel, and the zionist project would already be on its last legs, and moving the UN wouldn't be necessary, though I think the idea has a lot of appeal.

      Perhaps if and when justice is achieved in Palestine, Jerusalem would make an appropriate location for the UN.

  • B'Tselem video: Israeli soldiers blindfold and detain 11 year old disabled child
  • Achieving a hudna and ten years of calm in Israel/Palestine
    • Not sure where to post this, but this thread seems appropriate.

      This is an excellent interview of Shir Hever, "an economic researcher in the Alternative Information Center, a Palestinian-Israeli organization active in Jerusalem and Beit-Sahour", detailing the financial crisis Israel finds itself in as a result of the latest Gaza War, including the effects of BDS on major Israeli corporations.

      link to

  • I see five bears
    • Congratulations on seeing your first bears.

      A couple of years ago, my wife and I drove and ferried all the way from Iowa to Newfoundland and then up the coast of Labrador--supposedly all great bear country with some of the largest black bears in N. America.

      Not one bear to be seen in that great bear wilderness habitat, but . . . . . .

      That is until we were driving back several weeks later and not more than 10 miles from our house in small town Iowa--a bear ran out of the cornfield and across the highway. In Iowa. Which has no wilderness whatsoever and is amost entirely industrial scale agriculture.

      Go figure. Lol.

  • Palestinian-American teen denied access to Israel’s airport
  • Hillary Clinton just lost the White House in Gaza -- same way she lost it in Iraq the last time
    • She didn't get the 2008 nomination primarily due to her support of the Iraq war, a war which had the full support of neocons and zionists.

      But being against that war was not considered a vote against Israel among most of the electorate. Mostly it was weariness with how wrong that war had gone.

      She may not get the 2016 nomination primarily due to her support of neocon, warhawk positions on Libya, Syria, Iraq, and Ukraine.

      And being against those positions is not primarily considered anti-Israel, again at least among the electorate.

      So, I don't really think the 2016 nomination will turn on how much the voters approve or disapprove of Israel, but basically on how sick of war those voters are.

      And on that basis, I think she has created some real problems for herself--which are well-deserved.

  • 'Cooking is my politics': Rawia Bishara's Middle Eastern food is all about spreading culture
    • Mmm. Makes me hungry.

      For those of you in the area, another great Palestinian restaurant and grocery is the Holy Land on North Central Ave in Minneapolis.

      I always stock up on my za'atar and Palestine olive oil everytime I go.

  • The member of Knesset who called for genocide -- against the mothers of the 'snakes'
    • And Senor is married to Campbell Brown, former NBC star and daughter of former Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Brown who did time for an insurance scandal awhile back:

      From wiki--

      "In April 2006, Senor married Campbell Brown, then weekend anchor of Today on NBC[28] and host of Campbell Brown, formerly on CNN. They have two children.[29][30] His father-in-law is former Louisiana Insurance Commissioner and Secretary of State James H. "Jim" Brown, a Democrat."

  • Pro-Israel Facebook page is titled, 'Death to Dianna Buttu'
  • At Sochi Olympics, Israel is in... Europe!
  • Ariel Sharon, whose political career was unhindered by civilian massacres, dies at 85
    • Don't know if it's been posted previously, but for a little political humor on his death and his possible burial site, from the Arab Enquirer:

      "TEL AVIV: Following the death of former Israel prime minister Ariel Sharon – who has been in a coma since 2006 – plans for the 85-year-old’s state funeral have now been released.

      According to arrangements made by the Israeli government, Sharon’s burial plot is set to displace over 15,000 Palestinians living in the West Bank."

      More at:

      link to

  • The 'genetic truth' of Jesus's (and Hanna Rosin's) 'classically Semitic appearance,' as revealed to Jeffrey Goldberg
  • Israel will attack Iran unless you block nuclear agreement -- French Israel fixer warned Foreign Minister
    • While Israel is not capable of launching an effective military strike that would take down Iran's nuclear program, it is capable of doing enough to provoke an Iranian military response, in which case Netanyahu would be pleased to demand the "assistance" and "protection" of the US and others.

      Not sure if he's crazy enough to risk Iranian missile retaliation against Israel, but he could be.

  • Israel's real fear: shift in balance of power with a normalized Iran
    • Thus far, China hasn't shown much interest in using its economic prowess for political advantage, unlike the US.

      I'm not sure that foreign intervention will become part of China's agenda even when it becomes the world's largest economy, so I wouldn't project that just because China displaces the US economically, means that it assumes the US model as the world's cop, taking the lead in areas that don't directly affect its security or economic interests.

  • Nairobi mall massacre makes NPR do a 180 on Israel-style racial profiling
    • I have been at the Mall of America in Bloomington MN numerous times and on occasion there have been a number of Israelis selling various gadgets out of kiosks.

      Minneapolis has a large muslim population with many women wearing the hijab at the mall. I overheard one Israeli salesman making derogatory remark after derogatory remark about those women as they would pass by--out of their earshot, but not mine.

      I finally told the guy this wasn't Israel and he should shut up.

      I wonder now if those salespeople aren't part of security.

  • When it comes to North Korea, everyone's a coldblooded realist
    • I take your point regarding the different reactions to North Korea versus those to Iran.

      As a note, I would add that the demonization of North Korea is also a product of the same strategic messaging, courtesy of the MSM, as the demonization of Iran.

      And as far as provocations go--imho, the US is far more at fault than North Korea. The US is the nation with troops, naval forces, and military aircraft on North Korea's border, and the nation that sent--not threatened to send--nuclear armed aircraft on a practice run over the peninsula.

  • Rand Paul's populism is purging the neocons
    • Is this the new GOP talking point on drones? "I will murder muslim children, but I won't murder you!"

      Beats Obama's position, I guess. I suppose in this day and age, that constitutes progress. Some choice there.

    • Unfortunately, much of the "left" with rare exception, has ridiculed Rand Paul.

      Glenn Greenwald had an in-depth look at that hypocrisy recently:

      link to

      So, I don't there should be much concern about the "left" media--including such stalwarts as Lawrence O'Donnell, Ed Schulz, and Mother Jones who have heavily criticized Paul--transforming him into a lefty anytime soon.

      With these outfits, the only principle is "democrats good, republicans bad".

  • 'Most moral' army in the world is looking more and more like Bull Connor enforcing Jim Crow
  • NPR story on Geo Wallace's apology and redemption is message to Israeli racists
    • Yes, that's correct. There's an excellent book by a Birmingham native, Diane McWhorter, "Carry Me Home" which details Alabama politics, racism, labor, and just about everything in between, from the 30s through the 60s

      Wallace was basically a New Deal democrat whose base was blue collar whites and labor (back in the 30s, Birmingham was an industrial giant--it even had a sizeable Communist Party).

      He turned to bigotry when push came to shove in the 50s after losing an election to some greater bigot.

      Still, as governor he pushed education--started Alabama's community college system and laid the foundation for a great university, UAB, as well as pro-labor policies and other blue collar interests.

  • Out with the old Islamophobe, in with the new: Texas Republican tapped to chair Homeland Security committee
    • McCaul's district extends from the edge of Houston to the edge of Austin with miles of farmland in between. I can't speak for Austin, but having lived in Houston I can say that it's as ethnically diverse as Los Angeles for example, and if the congressman ever ventures the few miles into the city he would routinely run into muslims in every walk of life. So, on occasion I would say that he like King, is "at least somewhat exposed to reality". But also like King, doubt he'll know what to do with it.

  • The day after
    • If Palestine goes to the ICC, I think it should be over the criminal settlements in occupied territories. Not that Israel's criminal wars shouldn't be subject to a prosecution, but I think the litigation over the settlements would be a quicker and easier one, and perhaps one with more meaningful results in the long term.

  • 'America and Israel are in it together,' Clinton declares-- and nary a word about settlements
    • So, in 2016 perhaps it will be Hillary v. Rand Paul who, himself, just made a visit to Israel to pledge his fealty.

      Increasingly, I suspect that these affirmations will not play as well with the American public though as with the donors.

  • US engagement fostered rogue Israeli policies, but Tom Friedman can't say so
    • I feel that most posters--and I include myself among those--have the belief that a large part of what it would take to achieve justice in Palestine would be for the US to drop its unconditional diplomatic, political, military, and financial support for Israel.

      I'm no longer so sure. While there's no doubt US support has allowed Israel to go down the rabbit hole like it has, I also believe that the irrational and the crazy is so entrenched in zionism that I could imagine an Israeli public and politics feeding on a go it alone, us against the world strategy. That's part of Israel's core values anyway. And it makes sense that Israel would have a plan for that, along the lines of--"the West? f*** you, think we're brutal already? Just wait"

      Could that strategy work in the long-run? Probably not, I think the state would ultimately collapse, at least in its present form, but that collapse would not be immediate and in the short term that could equate to an Israel even more dangerous and brutal than it is now.

      And no, this post should not be construed in any way as advocacy for continued US support for Israel . I'm just speculating.

  • Gazans are 'ho-hum' about the deaths of relatives -- NYT's Rudoren
    • From the opening chapter of the 1935 original version of Laura Ingalls Wilder's "The Little House on the Prairie":

      "There the wild animals wandered and fed as though they were in a pasture that stretched much farther than a man could see, and there were no people. Only Indians lived there."

      The language was altered in the 1952 version to read:

      "There the wild animals wandered and fed as though they were in a pasture that stretched much farther than a man could see, and there were no settlers. Only Indians lived there."

    • That term, “upper-class international intellectual(s)" or very similar ones, historically was used to slander Jews.

      What's next? Phil as a cosmopolitan?

    • OT, but related--

      Ali Abunimah of the Electronic Intifada does an excellent take down of the Al-Jazeera anchor during a live interview.

  • Divorce is coming: Israeli-Americans vote overwhelmingly for Romney
    • Yes, marc b., thank you for the link.

      As you are no doubt aware, there are dozens of other excellent articles debunking the lesser of two evils argument.

      What I find particularly galling is the belief that "progressives" should only vote 3rd party in states that are safely blue. In other words, where the vote will truly be meaningless.

      I live in swing-state Iowa and fully support Jill Stein. You want to show the national importance of progressive politics? Have enough Jill Stein votes in enough swing states to defeat Obama.

  • Romney would abdicate US power to Netanyahu --Ignatius in 'Washington Post'
    • While I agree with you, though try as the West might wish, I don't think that the anti-imperial game has fully played out yet in Libya, Egypt, and certainly not in Iran or Syria.

      Those nations may yet resist with some degree of success.

  • Tel Aviv and the failure of the Zionist dream
    • @Dutch

      I presume your response is tongue in cheek. I've been posting at mondoweiss and criticizing Israel and zionism for years and you are saying because I found Lonely Planet useful for a trip, I am now an advocate of "Eretz Israel" and pack an "Israel Survival Kit"?

      I hope not.

      Gosh, good thing I didn't eat a bagel with my serving of Newfoundland seal flipper pie!

      No, it's the online edition that is, believe it or not, available to even us small town Iowans when we dare venture to either coast.

    • Hey, Lonely Planet's not all bad. :)

      I found some good information on camping and eats for Newfoundland and Labrador last spring using it.

      For my money, I'd rate St. Anthony Nfld far above Tel Aviv, though. lol

  • In 'The Nation,' Birnbaum says Netanyahu has exposed Jews to dual loyalty charge (and Dennis Ross is an Israeli agent)
    • Most folks I talk to who could be pigeon-holed as the "lunchpail crowd", which is probably most people, and certainly most people I know, are aware that Israel has a brutal policy towards the Palestinians, are aware that Israel receives a disproportionate share of US money, and dislike our political subservience to Israel.

  • 'NPR' airs Ken Pollack's Iran war games and leaves out his last war
    • As someone who grew up in the South in the 50s and 60s, I think the basic difference between the South then and present day Israel now is the fact that virtually no one thought that blacks didn't belong in the South, or thought that blacks weren't Americans. They thought that blacks belonged "over there" in another part of town, but not "over there" in another country.

      And it went without saying that even in those days, black culture was acknowledged as an integral part of southern culture.

      Whites recognized that there were two social or cultural norms--black and white. While many whites disliked the black norm, they recognized its existence, and they knew that the white norm was not the only one.

      Edit: although I was born and raised in the South, my father was an Irish immigrant from Chicago. The attitude among first generation European immigrants in Chicago to blacks was a bit different from that of southerners in the South. In Chicago, it seemed to me that those immigrants viewed blacks as from another planet, that Chicago belonged to the Irish, the Polish, Italians, whatever, and that blacks really had no right to be there at all. It was far more tribal than the South in that respect.

  • Netanyahu arrives in NY with his public image in smithereens
    • Who knows?

      I wondered myself as I wrote it. One possibility might be the Israeli military which has an interest in maintaining good relations with the US, as well as Israeli defense contractors.

      Anyone basically who considers Bibi "bad for business".

    • I agree with Phil that Israel will get rid of Bibi in the next 6 months or so.

      I also agree with you that his replacement will be someone more pr friendly, with a nicer smile, some "liberal" cred, and so on, someone without the barnyard political vulgarism that is Bibi, and someone who will carry out the same policies. As is said of Obama, Bibi's replacement will be the "more effective evil".

      And much of the present anti-Israel (anti-Bibi really) animus in the Obama admin will quickly deflate, as his successor will be proclaimed as "someone Obama can work with".

      Certainly, the powers that be in Israel understand that Bibi is now a liability.

      I don't see the contradiction at all between Phil's statement and yours.

  • A young Israeli woman gets her picture taken with African 'animals'
  • Florida election theatrics: Netanyahu fearmongering on the campaign trail
  • AP reported anti-Islam film that sparked protests was made to help Israel, but questions surround producer of the film
  • Netanyahu can 'squeeze' Obama because media and Congress will take his side if he attacks Iran
    • Obama can't ignore an Israeli attack on Iran, but if he had the cajones and the principles, he could deal with the hasbara and the political pressure effectively.

      The US public supports Israel reflexively--"Israel?, yeah sure, they're an ally", but I think that's about it. There will be no public support for the US to enter a war on behalf of Israel. There will be no US military establishment support for that war. The intelligence community will not support that war. Whatever economic thinkers Team O has around will not support that war.

      By refusing to jump in, I think Obama's electoral position would actually improve despite the heavy sniping from the media and the political establishment.

      There's an easy way to thread that needle--Obama could flat out refuse to directly engage the US military, but still supply Israel with war materiel, and make threatening noises to Iran about US interests, all the while working publicly--and behind the scenes--to negotiate an end to the war.

      That position worked in the Falklands War.

      Will he do any of that? Probably not.

  • Barak to US: Be afraid, be very afraid of 'the sword at our throat'
    • I live in Iowa and have never noticed any passionate support for Israel here. Much of the upper midwest has isolationist roots, a focus on Main Street, and a dislike of foreign intervention--essentially conservative positions by some standards, but the polar opposite of neo-conservatisim.

      If you walked up to most people on the street here and said, "we should support Israel", you would probably be met with a surprised stare and then the question, "why"?

      Frankly, Iowans are also tightwads or, to put it nicely, frugal, and take a jaundiced eye towards US aid to countries such as Israel.

    • A unilateral attack by Israel on Iran before the US election seems a risky play for Israel politically (and of course militarily and economically as well).

      I assume that Israel would think it's certain that election politics would force Obama to immediately jump in.

      Well, maybe not. Let's assume Obama says no to Israel--yes, a big assumption I know--and despite all the hasbara and msm rhetoric, Obama goes ahead and wins the election. That could happen. I think the US public's support for Israel is a mile wide and an inch deep, and certainly secondary to the public's concern about the economy.

      So, Israel overplays its hand, Obama wins, and Israel is stuck with a loser of a war. Not a good scenario for Israel the next four years.

  • Romney visits Western Wall, ignores question, Does Israel have a right to annex West Bank
  • On Syria, Clinton spins a fast one
    • I was going to post the same thing. She looks nuts--or something else--in that first photo. I've also noticed that in other recent photos.

      It's not just aging either.

Showing comments 550 - 501