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Total number of comments: 3770 (since 2010-05-31 18:07:51)

piotr

American university faculty member born in Poland.

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  • You're on a roll, Mr. President, so abstain from vetoing the Palestinian bid to the UN Security Council
    • I have very mixed feelings -- should Obama resist demands for a veto.

      On one hand, it is a profound principle of this Administration that every reasonable move in foreign policy should be balanced with something bafflingly stupid. For example, diplomatic relations were open with Cuba, so .... the Administration refuses to exchange the ambassadors with Venezuela. Or the Administration supports Kurds in Kobane in their fight with taqfiris, even though Erdogan despises them, and supports taqfiris in the south of Syria, plus spins plan to train 5000 of moderately crazy taqfiri fighters, but as this could upset the reasonable/stupid balance, implementation is quite slow, perhaps waiting for an opportunity to do something sensible.

      So a reasonable step if such magnitude, first lack of veto for SCUN resolution affecting Israel since ???? would be balance by something so moronic that I shudder thinking about it.

  • NY Times says a Palestinian majority would 'endanger Israel's democratic ideals'
    • In "1066 and all such" you can learn that this is persistent theme in the most advanced country. Britain was a benighted barbaric corner of Europe up to the advent of British Occupation. After a civilizational setback of Ango-Saxon domination, highly cultured Normans conquered and for a while the country was ruled by French speaking nobility. In time, a hybrid Germanic-French language was formed, spoken outside barbaric Celtic fringes, and Britain became a "top country".

      This book is satitical, but it depicts well the mode of thinking of the British ruling class at the time it supported the project to "restore Jewish national home".

    • Non sequitur alert: "The United States, trying to protect Israel’s interest, wants at the very least to delay a Security Council vote until after the Israeli election. That makes sense, since a showdown now almost certainly will benefit the opponents of a two-state solution."

      I am agnostic if United States should protect "Israel's interest", but "That makes sense, since" is followed by the explanation that the election have nothing to do with the subject of the Security Council vote. A larger question is what is "Israel's interest", because "protecting it" without knowing what is it is what my people would call "buying a cat in a sack" (dictionary says that it translates into "pig in a poke", but what is a poke?).

  • Palestinian UN effort seeks to set 'terms of reference' for negotiations and promote shift away from US leadership
    • link to ynetnews.com

      Highlights:

      'Tough day for Israel'

      In Geneva, the international community delivered a stinging rebuke to Israel's settlement construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, saying the practice violates Israel's responsibilities as an occupying power. [...]

      In Luxembourg, meanwhile, a European Union court ordered the Palestinian group Hamas removed from the EU terrorist list for procedural reasons but said the 28-nation bloc can maintain asset freezes against Hamas members for now. [...]

      Israel did one win diplomatic engagement in Europe on Wednesday, this one at the European Parliament. The lawmakers meeting in Strasbourg, France, stopped short of pushing for an outright recognition of a Palestinian state, urging renewed peace talks instead.

      Legislators voted 498-88 in favor of a compromise resolution supporting "in principle recognition of Palestinian statehood" - but as part of a two-state solution with Israel. The resolution supports two states on the basis of 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as the capital of both.

      =======

      I would note that this so-called "Israeli success in Strasbourg" is a resolution that is on a collision course with the current and probably also with the future Israeli government. Since the next Israeli government may be most extreme ever, I guess Europeans are preparing signals to Israeli voting public. On one hand, the speed of change in Europe is rather glacial, but on the other, stopping a moving glacier is a tall order.

  • 'NYT' writer takes Salaita's side, saying U of Illinois violated 'intellectual and academic freedom'
    • Even so, "The settlers should all kindly move back home" sounds more civilized.

    • This is why I will not donate until "edit" is enabled again. I quite MFE entry of ToI blog starting with the second sentence above.

    • An article in the blog of Times of Israel also discusses the same issue, from the opposite perspective. In a recent letter addressed to Timothy Killeen, the university’s newly appointed president, thirty-four department chairs and program directors describe how thousands of academics are refusing to visit the Urbana-Champaign campus, resulting in the cancelation of dozens of previously scheduled guest speaker events, colloquium series, and conferences. Faculty searches have been jeopardized, as promising candidates aren’t even bothering to send in their applications. And graduate students are frightened that their own job prospects are being compromised.

      You’d think, given this litany of woes, that Salaita would call off the boycott, empathizing with the students, faculty, and staff of a university that he’s now suing.

      Not a chance.

      Read more: After Salaita: How professors can better protect their Jewish students | Miriam Fendius Elman | The Blogs | The Times of Israel link to blogs.timesofisrael.com
      Follow us: @timesofisrael on Twitter | timesofisrael on Facebook

      Professor Miriam Fendius Elman deserves an honorable mention in the competition for "Twisted Argument of the Year Award".

    • I am in academia, so I can comment on "standards of free speech". It is not constitutional free speech, the freedom from criminal sanctions, but basically the expectations of goodwill on the side of university administrations in honoring the contracts with the faculty members.

      The central part of it is in what circumstances faculty can be hired and fired. Salaita got an offer of a tenured position, which means that he should be fired only after a process with input from himself and his peers in the university. If such an offer can be rescinded in a secret proceeding where only one side presents its arguments, it really undermines the core principle of functioning of reputable universities, as opposed to frankly biased institutions like Liberty University. The idea of academic freedom is a constant irritant to powerful interests who prefer the "free market of ideas" to be arbitraged according to political power in state legislatures of truly market power: one dollar one vote.

      For example, in the previous academic year a tenured professor was almost fired, and temporarily removed from teaching at University of Kansas because he offended NRA in a highly emotional tweet. Another time, governor of Maine was pressuring a university of fire an openly atheist professor. An untenured professor in Kentucky was hounded out because he dared to suggests that some aspects of the diet in Kentucky (eating squirrel brains) explains high incidence of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in that state. Without administration showing some spine, American universities and researchers will be subjected to unending harassment, rather than occasional one we witness now.

  • Caroline Glick melts down with European diplomats
    • Purely practical aspect of inviting people to your home is the potential for losses in furnishings, tableware and even life and limb of other guests that may ensue, or not, after serving alcohol. Drunken Danes are famously good natured. Now imagine inebriated Caroline Glick...

    • Why Danes love Israel (or not all that much): link to youtube.com

    • hopmi's allegation that Annie is a "self-hating woman" is ludicrous of course, but indeed, some women fall short in delivering ludicrous statements compared to men.

      My first data point was a comparison of Colin Powell who was selling lies about Saddam's Hussein phantom weapons of mass distraction with perfect, measured baritone with Condolezza Rice who was always nervously twitching her head. Perhaps having a thick neck and deep voice gives an advantage. That said, most of the hysterical productions of Zionism extremists seems to be delivered by men.

      On another note, I think she garbled a talking point laboriously prepared by Zionist think tanks. Foreign countries definitely do not "directly fund" Moroccan settlements in Sahara. There is an agreement of EU with Morocco allowing EU boats to pay fees to fish in Moroccan economical zone that includes the coast of Western Sahara. Then she made a point that EU violates conventions of not aiding terrorists by "funding Gaza". This is TOTAL bovine manure, and I am sorry to say, Glick more or less repeated what the think tanks produced (that why think tanks are bad for the environment: valuable fertilizer is tragically misused, plus, think how all that methane is contributing to global warming). A very angry article in Jerusalem Post was accusing the government of the Netherlands to financing attempts to annihilate Israel (those very words!) because it donates to UNRWA.

    • I think that the Ambassador would understand Glick even better if she sang her speech after putting on her had a winged helmet and waving a spear

  • A Knesset without Arab parties?
    • If you count all parties that were formed by former Likud members, then they will probably get the majority. However, some of them may join Labor/Livni government. So the question is if the next government will be "Zionism with human face" or "Zionism in your face".

      If Arab parties would increase their representation, perhaps there could be a minority center-left government with "constructive opposition" or something like that from the Arab parties. In principle, it is very feasible to cobble suitable inducements for Arab and Haredi parties, that would clearly infuriate so-called "National camp", but how that would sell electorally, I have no idea. I would guess that some voters would be receptive to the idea that Israel has to avoid "diplomatic isolation", i.e. accommodate Europeans who increasingly demand "real negotiations", and who do not recognize the legality of the settlements, and consider actually doing something about it. It is enough if European pressure swings several percent of voters.

  • Why Israel's Jewish nationality bill is a big deal
    • "Whereas Muslims demand Islamic law apply to non-Muslims, Judaism has no parallel. Jewish law applies only to Jews."

      False on both counts. For example, Islamic Republic of Iran allows alcohol to be sold to Christians, Jews (and Zoroastrians?), and of course, consumed by them. Of course, criminal laws are common to all inhabitants, but this is a matter of societal norms. E.g. death penalty and comparatively ridiculously long prison sentences and wide use of solitary confinement is within the cultural norm of U.S.A. but not in Europe. So one can ponder if U.S.A. is closer to Iran or to Europe in its criminal laws and law enforcement.

      Concerning religious inspiration impacting Israeli laws, one of the basic issues is property right. Can the state take away property on some conditions, and if yes, can those conditions be predicated on religion (OK to take from non-Jews but not from Jews in some particular circumstances). So the property was taken away from non-Jews if they were "absentees" (even if they were actually present nearby and prevented from visiting their properties by military force), and equally absent Jews (in the West Bank) we "given their property back" upon conquest (reconquista?). And the inspiration was religious, as God gave the entire Holy Land to Jews, with the advise to slaughter the current owners.

  • Liberal Zionists seek to strip Naftali Bennett of freedom to travel in hope of saving two-state solution
    • Quite silly idea. Not without precedent, most recently, United Kingdom denied entry to an American citizens who wanted to run seminars how to pressure women effectively to have sex. The guys offers online courses on the topic, so it does not change much, but registers the will of the United Kingdom to defend the tranquility of its maiden -- however ineffectively.

      The common ingredient is the need to "do something, anything", and in our particular case, creating an exhibit case that opposition to BDS can be combine with some type of humanitarian thought. Not exactly "You have to be a Zionist to be nice" but "You can be a nice Zionist". But it reminds me a lot Tom Friedman harrumphing that this or that "is not serious". What should the liberal Zionist propose to be serious? A good start would be to request that donations to organizations that financially aid settlements in West Bank and East Jerusalem cannot be counted as "public interest non-profit", and better yet, disallowed altogether, like the donations to charities that "objectively help Hamas".

      But the purpose of the initiative is to document that the participants are nice and moderate, a political equivalent of being cute -- it easier to seem cute if you give an appearance of an airhead.

  • Steven Salaita: What Mondoweiss Means To Me
    • Personally, I will not donate a penny until the "edit" option is added to comments. Abandoning that option was a lamentable instance of regress, and this site should be progressive. And I pledge to donate (as I did in the last few years) the moment I can see and use that option.

      That said, I would like to express my warmest wishes to Prof. Salaita, and to Mondoweiss. Soon we will celebrate Saturnalia, Christmas, coming of "Ded Moroz" or just enjoying long starry night of winter solstice.

  • We're all anti-American now
    • link to harpers.org

      I did not look at the reports, so I wonder if it touches upon horrific stories like the one published by Scott Horton in Harper's. If you bother to check, it is a story of senseless sadistic murder in Guantanamo, cover-up so brazen that it takes breath away and, the cherry on top, total impunity achieved by the refusal of Obama Administration to investigate.

      Extra buttresses of that impunity are American refusal to join ICC, efforts to emasculate ICC, and huge diplomatic effort to assure that other countries will not cooperate in prosecution of American war criminals. There is a certain circular logic at work: what should you do when you can do anything, being "the last remaining superpower". Number one, assure that you can get away with murder. But then, wouldn't it be a wasted effort without committing any murders? Furthermore, even piddling countries can get away with some murders, torturing here and there and so on, so to show that we are number one we have to do it on a scale that befits our global position.

      And, of course, accountability is the reverse of impunity, impunity shows might, and accountability, weakness. Of course, in any large enterprise there will be some participants so minor and manifestly week that they can be held accountable, like Specialist Lynndie England.

  • 'Racist, fascist bullshit'-- Marcel Ophuls exposes Islamophobia in Israel
    • Having to raise 60 thousand euros through crowd-funding is not a sign of a flourishing career but of non-conformism that has to find shelter away from money interests. (A bit like comparing finances of "major Jewish organizations" with J-Street (still, few millions raised from some rich donors) and then Mondoweiss .) Yet, it is indeed a sign of times that The Times sees it as news fit to print. If weathervanes are of any use, they can at least show where the wind is blowing.

  • As US media awake to a 'nightmare' Israel, NYT brings Blumenthal in from the cold
  • A point by point response to Alan Dershowitz’s 'Ten Reasons Why The BDS Movement Is Immoral'
    • It is a bit hard to properly address the non-sense spewed by the good Professor. An occupational risk is absorbing the validity of the types of arguments he uses.

      For example, it would be immoral to call piotr a male chauvinistic pig because on three occasions, in 1967, 1982 and once in this century he actually behaved nicely toward a female. And on several other occasion while his behavior was not nice, it was objectively justified. What kind of argument (point one) is that? Of course, if we had the true record of what transpired at those occasions we could draw different conclusions, but the very argument makes no sense.

      Or take that: "The BDS movement is making a peaceful resolution harder." For starters, is it clear (from Zionist perspective) that a peaceful resolution is desirable? For example, this book got Israeli Prize: Saving Israel: How the Jewish People Can Win a War That May Never End
      by Daniel Gordis. Furthermore, can one truly offer a convincing scenario that BDS is removed from existence and, as a result, peace starts reigning in the Middle East?

      Or that: "Israeli universities are hot beds of anti-Israel rhetoric, advocacy and even teaching." In spite of the efforts of our good Professor, who denounced BGU's Neve Gordon (Dept of Political Science) as a Fifth-Rate Pseudo-Academic and Traitor, and a number of professors from Tel Aviv University as well. As we well know, he would gladly fire all those low-life, but in another points pretends that putative suffering of Palestinian workers and leftist faculty members would make him sad (and causing that would be "immoral".

      When Dershowitz campaigned to deny tenure to Norman Finkelstein, did he sincerely believe that Finkelstein was "the worst"? Surely, among thousands of tenure cases in that year there were less deserving ones. When some war criminals of Bush Administration got professorial positions at law schools, was Dershowitz involved in any way? Well, why should he, as he himself theorized justifications for torture and slaughter. Which really gives serious doubt that Dershowitz has any inkling about what is moral and immoral. The above list, and his long record, suggest otherwise.

    • seafoid, I never felt so happy that I am ignorant of 70s porno flicks. What kind of individual could gain pleasure from watching Dersh? Perhaps "Dominatrix Amanda and Dersh"?

      I myself wondered how his argument were structured if in his young years Dersh was a lumberjack or yakuza and now had eight fingers rather than ten. I guess he should not get rid of the terrifying vision of BDS movement using poor Iran as its pawn which in turn unleashes its proxies which in turn provoke Israel which in turn increases the following of BDS. In short, while looking deceptively powerless, BDS is a demonic controller of world events.

  • Israel has no answer to BDS, Barghouti tells packed hall at Columbia
    • As one born in this part of Europe, I would make some objections. One should be consistent: borders at the time of birth, or at the time of the declararion, or today? That said:

      Odesa is probably Odessa
      If Grodzisk Mazowiecki counts as Poland, so should Góra Kalwaria
      The following spellings are Romanian: Rîbniţa, Făleşti, Mărculești (I guess in Molvova, previously Russian Empire and Soviet Union)
      Chernovitz is German spelling, Czerniowce is Polish, Chernivtsi is (transliterated) Ukrainian, Cernăuți is Romanian, city originally in the Principality of Moldova, then in Austria, Romania and now Ukraine

      Bobruisk is transliterated Russian and Babruysk is transliterated Belorussian
      If Vilnius counts as Lithuania, so does Kaunas

      In any case, like Cohen suggests a Jew, Bathouti is a very distinctly Palestinian name.

  • A defensive Netanyahu announces elections hours after firing opposition members Lapid and Livni
    • It is easy to understand that Lapid and Livni had some limit -- however lax -- on tolerating right wing drift. But what is Lieberman doing there? The only thing I can think about is that his party was supposedly secular, and while before deviation from "secularism" did not bother him too much, Israel Beitenu was actually loosing the Russian vote, while he was also bypassed as ultra-nationalist by the "standard" Likud.

      There is indeed quite insane atmosphere in Israel. Bennet is fighting with hardliners of his party! People with a tenuous hold on reality are slugging it out with abjectly insane. There is a legislature in the work increasing the penalty for unauthorized officiating of Jewish marriages to two years in prison. Inevitably, when many people are energized in that fashion, many are also revolted, so my "political theory" would suggest that political following in the electorate will have very wide swings.

  • Israel has always been crazy
    • Concerning "Judaism holding an inner promise of universalism": I think that this is standard Christian doctrine. I guess your attitude to Torah is more in line with Manicheism.

    • I think you agree that there was no hijacking involved in the passing of Civil Right bills, and that these laws are not particularly egalitarian. For example, there were complaints that school integration affected only the poor Whites, so education remained segregated by income.

    • OyVey: "Interestingly, up until the end of WWII (in fact probably until the late 50s) every Western government would have acted exactly like Israel. Israel is like a time capsule that survived the hijacking of Western politics by leftist egalitarian ideology."

      It is puzzling to me how the political life of "Western democracies" in the last 50 years can be characterized as "hijacking", "egalitarian" and "leftist". It is not like those countries were overrun by a bloody red revolution. Nevertheless, there were significant changes. Balfour Declaration was formulated in the same period as the passing of South Africa Act (5 years prior) that lead to constitutional basis of Apartheid. During the subsequent decades colonial rule was in full swing, white farms in Kenia and Rhodesia expanding while the natives were forcibly removed from most fertile areasand so on. I guess that one of the first "radical egalitarian" changes was to abandon the idea that mass starvation of colonial subjects (or the Irish) should not be alleviated, lest the subject people succumb to sloth after receiving aid.

      The question is: why did it end? Epidemic of idiocy? Hijacking by malevolent imps? Or actually some rational reasons?

  • Palestinian flag is an 'enemy' flag-- Netanyahu's latest crackdown
    • Jones, Gomulka was not a President. I could comment at length, but the fact that there were anti-Semitic campaigns using "anty-Zionism" slogans does not mean that every criticism of Zionism is invalid. By the way, I was very much on the receiving end of the Polish "anty-Syjonizm" in 1967/68, so I have some experience how quickly "abhorrent can become laudable".

    • This is not serious an unnecessarily inflammatory. However, there is an actual point here, namely, that some conditions do progress to be worse and worse. I would call this condition "war thinking".

      Basically, during a war we have a reversal of normal human norms, starting from murder: abhorrent becomes laudable. When wars last longer, this reversal is more and more profound. To me, the most striking example was the quest of British and American high commands during WWII to perfect the art of incinerating large cities, with notable successes in Dresden, Hamburg and Tokyo. Firestorms created by carpet bombing indiscriminately killed hundreds of thousands (and we are not even talking about the nuclear bombs). This example shows the effects of war thinking in the absence of nasty ideologies.

      Israel cultivates state of war, and that removes inhibitions on what is fair or unfair in respect to people classified as "enemies". One can dispute what was the original nature of Zionism, but there was definitely several varieties of which the most radical, Revisionist, is ancestral to most non-religious parties -- Likud and three major offshoots. While initially "mildly fascistic" (think of Mussolini before Pact of Steel), revisionists mellowed while in opposition, and started to appreciate "democratic values", and that is the origin of the "mildest" type of the ideology, with Rivlin being a representative. But the "war thinking" progresses and Zionist becomes increasingly intolerant and undemocratic. A parallel evolution can be observed in organized Judaism.

  • Lieberman unveils racist peace plan: Pay Palestinians to leave Israel
    • I recall Lieberman peddling this idea a while ago, which basically shows him as a maturing responsible politician, compared to his earlier ideas like bombing Asuan Dam or supplying buses to drawn Palestinians in the Dead Sea.

      But really, he is spouting the same stuff for years.

  • A handful of Wellesley students are trying to shut down discussion of Israel/Palestine
    • From Ha'aretz: Atshan said that the Jewish state was established in its present location “only because Uganda wasn’t available,” said Berger. “He equated all non-Zionist Jews with Jews of conscience, which makes Zionist Jews something else, I guess,” she said. “It was extremely destructive, and with the posters and the lack of face-to-face dialogue, added to the stalemate on campus.”

      Memo to parents: 100-200k spent on liberal education of your daughter are not wasted! I bolded an instance of a correct deduction!

      That said, I have no idea what is wrong with having "stalemate on campus". What else: slug it out until there is one man (girl) standing? "Stalemate" can be also called "co-existence of different points of view". Should College Democrats and College Republicans dialogue face-to-face until there is a consensus? It is not that they should never talk to each other, but they will not "resolve differences".

    • link to ynetnews.com

      Sometimes I check Ynet News for a sample or reports, commentaries and comments to get idea of news and sentiments in Israel. Yesterday I found something that fits the topic. The most recent danger besetting the Jewish State seems quite metaphysical:

      Evil spirit taking over Middle Eastern studies
      Op-ed: The source of hostility toward Israel can be found in the American academia.

      Evil spirit taking over! That really puts events in Wellesley in perspective.

  • Palestinian youth hospitalized after being attacked by Israeli settlers in Jerusalem
    • "Logic has gone bankrupt." The usual story: first, they torture logic. Then there is an open season for unwanted facts, some denied, some "put in context". Eventually nothing can stop dispossession, oppression and murder.

      However, I would disagree with the premise of that Ha'aretz opinion piece, that Netanyahu is the king for the expanding fanatic Israeli majority. Israel remains a small country, and the only morality for the state is what it can get away with, and the special position of Netanyahu is that he is more trusted to properly gouge what Israel can get away with than more insane fanatics like Feiglin, Danny Danon, Benett etc.

  • Israel lost the British elite after Gaza onslaught, UK ambassador says
    • Today, London, tomorrow, Paris?
      link to reuters.com

    • Presumably, in the next stage Israel will be like a guy from a mouthwash commercial: a handsome fellow in an elevator, exchanging smiles with pretty girls, until he opens his mouth and all the girls faint because of olfactory emissions from that orifice (but with no simple cure like using the advertised product).

  • David Remnick undermines Israel's one-state president
    • I would like to add that Remnick stuffed his article with every possible political, cultural and personal bias that he could. This guy cannot write a sentence without some stupid stereotype.

      It is a rather annoying part of "high journalistic style" in USA to put "personalized vignettes" in articles that are totally unilluminating. Remnick starts with his impression on Rivlin looks who has a "mug" rather than a face, and how large Rivlin proboscis is. Personally, I have a rather large nose (I can hear chorus: why are you so modest, Piotr?) and I do not feel that I should be ashamed or that my visage should be described as a mug. Then he dwells on "Borscht Belt", and again, how it relates to anything in the article, except to show that Remnick has to block the admirably narrow holes in his own nose to write about such unhip peasant like Rivlin.

      So no one should be surprised that Remnick finds Palestinians to be even less hip that Rivlin. I really wonder, is this this link to orcutt.net a self-deprecation by New Yorker, or a manifesto?

  • Netanyahu's 'battle for Jerusalem' can't end well for any of us
  • Muslims' beliefs are 'untrue' and 'ridiculous,' 'Salon' author says, offering support for Maher's intolerance
    • Didn't Conflict Kitchen got a death threat about a week ago?

      I am only a hobby historian, but it seems that Quranic idea of "Holy War" was borrowed from Torah, more or less with the attribution. Every religion and every secular ideology has a dark side, and usually the bright side too.

      It is a matter of record that prominent rabbis called for a holy war of retribution, and offered curses for soldiers showing mercy to enemies, while other prominent rabbis cannot stop talking about "unprecedented measures to spare innocent lives" when they discuss slaughter of thousands and massive destruction of human habitation and basic infrastructure. Regretfully, nowadays they are the mainstream of Judaism.

  • Why I confronted Gregor Gysi
    • People who can consume 16 ounce rare steaks should not complain about baking products that are a tad harder than "sliced bread".

    • I think it is a bit more complicated, and a bit weird.

      Die Linke, the party of Georg Gysi, as actually leftist, and Israeli right wing trolls of 972 Magazine occanally call the writers there as "paid stooges of Greens", because the foundation of German Greens gave few thousand Euros subsidy to that on-line magazine, and their political profile is pretty close to Blumenthal and Mondoweiss (there are many writers and the spectrum of their views is wider). On foreign policy, Die Linke tends to be "anti-imperialist", e.g. anti-NATO and against the support of the current Ukrainian government. Opposition to the right wing policies of Israel would fit that profile, and it is doubtful that the party depends much on money from Israelophilic donors. However, Die Linke has a number of fractions, some could not care less about cooperating with bourgeois politicians and some want to participate in "left-of-center" coalitions. You can guess where Gysi is in that spectrum.

      The hosts of Blumenthal and Sheen are members of Die Linke who were passengers of Mavi Marmara and witnesses of the IDF assault. As their party did not condemn them for being arrested etc. by IDF, it became Exhibit One in the book chapter of "Global Antisemitism: A Crisis of Modernity" which is devoted to Die Linke (result of Google search, one can long excerpt in Google books.

      To summarize, Die Linke is a linchpin of the global conspiracy of Leftists and Islamists who plot to eradicate Israel and impose a combination of Sharia and soclalized medicine on the humanity (well, Die Linke, being radicals, go as far as advocating free child care), according to the Zionist narrative, so Gysi seems to be a traitor within that plot.

  • Evangelical Christians come under attack as more move to oppose Israeli occupation
    • I would like to make "Appalachian comment" on the frequent Hasbara claim that was presented in the JP article linked here:

      One of the false accusations made against Israel employs oft-repeated Hamas propaganda that says Israel targeted civilians in Gaza. Even if one does not want to believe what the IDF website says about the multiple steps it takes to warn civilians in advance of a strike on a military target, statistics concerning the identity of the fatalities should be convincing.

      According to a July 14, 2014 article titled “Reporting of Casualties in Gaza” on the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America website, “fatalities are disproportionately among young males, which corresponds with the characteristics of combatants.” In addition, “only about 12 percent of the total fatalities are female, though females make up half the population.”

      Here, in Appalachian woods, the biggest annual event is the deer hunt. In my state there are about a million participants, and they kill several hundred thousand deer. There are several seasons for the hunting, and when there is a season to hunt males, the hunters kill very few females. According to the Hasbara logic, hunters act in self-defense, responding to deer aggression and making all steps to avoid innocent casualties. For example, all innocent individuals can learn when and were the hunts are conducted, perhaps years in advance! And if that were not sufficient, there are warning shot! (Very useful to figure out when not to hike even if you did not check the web site of Game Commission.)

  • A reverend sermonizes justice in Jerusalem
  • NYT sanitizes group that wants to 'remove Muslim shrines' from Old City
    • link to nyti.ms

      As if "sanitazation" were not enough, in NYT Op-Ed, Shmuel Rosner depicts Glick and his cause as a modern day saint fighting for human rights. The editorial is weird even if you do not know what the issue is, like one of those articles that argue more or less that "we never tortured, although we should" so "let us at least torture logic". And of course, the Op-Ed commissioned by NYT is heavily bigoted.

      TEL AVIV — Yehudah Glick is a Facebook friend of mine.

  • Ambassador Power to kick off 3-hour event on 'never-ending' genocide of Jews
    • Samantha Power is an imperialist first, and within that category, has "human rights interests". Empires dabble in genocide now and then, and U.S.A. is no exception, but American or American-supported slaughter did not seemed to interest her, revolt suppression in conquered Philippines, Vietnam, "collateral destruction" of Cambodia, slaughter of Communists in Indonesia, slaughter of Maya in Guatemala.

      But still, she was allegedly a scholar, although I do not want to waste coin on her book, so perhaps she tried to define when a slaughter is an atrocity, and when an atrocity is a genocide. Then one could try to define what does it mean "never ending genocide": at least 100 thousands slaughtered each decade? 10 thousands? One thousand? One hundred? Or does it depend solely on the ethnic label of the victims?

  • Israel's Knesset upholds longest suspension in state's history against Haneen Zoabi
  • 'We are in a violent fight with extreme Islam' -- Feiglin leads rightists to pray at al-Aqsa Mosque
    • It is high time to recognize that monoteism was a mistake and to restore the Temple of Jupiter. And if you are a monoteist who believes in the Lord of the Universe, why should the Lord have such strong preference for one spot over another? Clearly, even in their own mythology, people of Yudah did not get Jerusalem right away, during the Conquest of Joshua, but generations later, and when they build a temple there, they did not convince many other tribes that this is The Temple. After a few hundred years, that temple was demolished, restored, demolished once more. While the Universe was there all the time.

      In modern terms, the Noble Sanctuary has its owner, a religious foundation with Hashemite kings as leaders, and the way it is used should be determined by the owner. What religious rites can be performed, by whom and when should be up to the owner. By forcing the owner of the Noble Sanctuary to accept Jewish visitors who want to pray and wank to the vision of restoring their Temple, the property rights are violated. Israel was never great on property rights, but Americans are supposed to be less casual.

  • A visit to Auschwitz
    • “Salt mine tour that bus,” barked a hefty looking Polish woman. “Auschwitz, that bus,”

      Serious mistake. Salt mine Wieliczka is actually very interesting.

  • Update: Why did Netanyahu respond to chickenshit with 'grassy knoll' remark?
    • I think that rather than having a hidden meaning, the reference to "handshakes on grassy knolls" is simply incoherent. Iconography of diplomatic handshakes does not offer many examples of grassy mounds used as locations. For example, Arafat and Barak are shown either indoors, or in a flat, non-grassy forest at Camp David.

      In the context of the full sentence, I would say that Netanyahu is not only paranoid, but he also suffers from acute acrophobia (intense fear of modestly elevated places).

  • Sh*tstirring Jeffrey Goldberg dumps diplomatic sh*tstorm with 'chickensh*t' quote
    • ADL should count their blessing. Anti-rich prejudice is most rampant in USA:

      "Seventy-seven percent of Americans say that too much power rests in the hands of large corporations and a few wealthy people, according to a poll released Thursday from the Pew Research Center."

      This is the minority that is most threatened in USA, even though, so far, it enjoys as much freedom as anywhere else, but that only because of indefatigable efforts to stamp out anti-rich sentiments.

  • Under pretext of restoring calm, Netanyahu government is escalating Israel’s war on Palestinians in Jerusalem
    • "ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant" [where they make desolation, they call it peace] and when they unleash repressions, they call it calm.

  • Kerry just snubbed a gov't minister who calls for segregated bus lines. And that's a bad thing?
    • This is Ashkenazi "sushi". link to kotlet.tv

    • On a cynical note, it seems that the war in eastern Ukraine is a much better testing ground for sophisticated weapons. It is hard to see how Israel could "battle test" anti-tank missiles recently, except of providing their own tanks to be tested in Lebanon. Notably, India is not ordering tanks from Israel.

    • Richard Silverstein is an Israeli (voluntary) exile, inside Israel Feiglin is viewed differently: link to jpost.com

      That made me think a bit what does it mean to be libertarian, and apparently, the Ayn Rand version is exactly that: enthusiastic on Zionism and colonialist genocide, I guess that for those folks Congo Free State is close to the ideal (unfortunately, prematurely conceived before the advent of antibiotics).

    • "Israel is a wealthy society with a western-European idea of itself, and inevitably it exploits Palestinian labor. The settler-colonial model is alive and well. "

      No, it is not well. Israel eliminated the need for Palestinian labor with South-East Asian (and South-East European?) labor, but with even with those polite foreigners there are troubles, and in particular, if they somehow manage to pollute Jewish blood, the resulting offspring would not even look Jewish. For example, ministry of labor developed a plan to eliminate foreign sushi chefs -- just think about the possibilities of crafty Far Easterners seducing Jewish girls by plying them with choice fish cuts and charming banter.

      From that perspective, the labor that returns to its foreign dwellings every night is very attractive, especially if it can be humiliated to the heart content on the daily basis. Additionally, permits can be issued or denied according to the collaboration with Shin Beth and so on. Then again, these folk can also start crawling underground and appear in bedroom closets.

  • 'Village on the volcano' is latest effort to change the subject from the occupation
    • Remember that this is the only safe place for Jews, who should abandon such dangerous locations of their exile like Boca Raton and Toronto and flock to the Promised Land, and bitterly complain that the villa is in the jungle, the village on the slope of volcano, the neighborhood is crappy and so on.

      Apparently, when the spies told Moses that the land ahead has milk and honey they forgot some details, like the surcharge for kosher products.

  • Allegations of anti-Semitism used to cover up anti-Palestinian hate crime in Brooklyn
    • My bad, "civility" is the proper word. As far as role models for Jewish youth are concerned, the standard is (Wiki:) Bnei Akiva, the largest religious Zionist youth movement in the world. You can check the Wiki page for "Controversies":

      In July 2014 Rabbi Noam Perel, secretary-general of World Bnei Akiva [...] wrote on his Facebook page: "An entire nation and thousands of years of history demand revenge ... The government of Israel is gathering for a revenge meeting that isn't a grief meeting. The landlord has gone mad at the sight of his sons' bodies. A government that turns the army of searchers to an army of avengers, an army that will not stop at 300 Philistine foreskins". According to Ha'aretz newspaper, he was "alluding to the biblical tale of David, who killed 200 Philistines and gave their foreskins to King Saul as the bride price for his daughter".

      Later Rav Noam issued an apology, it gives bad example to the younglings to take such liberties when quoting the Holy Book (like 300 rather than 200).

    • Any guesses if Prof. Leonard Petlakh will be held to the standards of politeness?

  • An exciting night at the opera: 'Klinghoffer' opening dominated by protest and heavy police presence
    • True liberals believe in universalist ethic, and Zionism as practiced is predicated on tribal ethic, so it a true and non-confused liberal has to oppose the practices of the State of Israel. And if those practices are necessary for the survival of that state, than the whole concept is a mistake.

      Anti-Zionism falls under the definition of "new anti-Semitism", but I do not believe that new anti-Semitism is anything to be ashamed of, unlike the genuine "paleo-anti-Semitism". And paleo-anti-Semites are as likely to admire State of Israel as oppose.

    • Truly liberal Zionists exists, although they are rare -- beliefs are often contradictory, but this is a difficult combination.

      Other than that, Zionist do not care a whit about artistic and academic freedom, using whatever powers that may have to cause dismissal of academicians or censoring art. Of course they complain very loudly when boycotts are advocated, and in those situation they mention freedoms they do not care about, sometimes so energetically that one could think that they are serious.

      In the case of Klinghoffer opera, clearly the New York Metropolitan has to have generous donations from rich and often Zionist New Yorkers. I guess those people (former mayor Bloomberg comes to mind) pride themselves to be sophisticated and a better breed than the radical Zionists who demonstrate against the production.

      The charge of "romanticizing terrorism" is obviously ridiculous.

  • 'Another Jew!' Speakers at 'Klinghoffer' rally blame Jews for promoting anti-Semitism
    • The opera is anti-Semitic in the same sense as refraining from building a monument of Stepan Bandera is a treason to Ukrainian nation (topic or recent violent demonstrations in Kiev). Or specializing in obstetric complication is murdering innocent children (an ostensible reason for insulting the host of debate between Congressional candidates) link to rightwingwatch.org

      All around the globe people of all creeds raise their conviction to ridiculous levels and view everybody less strict as vile creatures (they could be called anti-Semites, non-Muslim, baby killers, Commies and so on).

  • A peek inside the Israeli subconscious as revealed at the King Hussein crossing from Jordan
    • This is not subconsciousness, but systematic indoctrination and prejudice. I visited Israel around 1990, and got a bit lost near Cesarea on Friday afternoon, together with my family, and that means onset of Shabbat and loosing the last ride on public transit. An Orthodox man "saved us", inviting to his home and calling a Shabbat breaking taxi driver (a Ukrainian), and commented that we were in danger, because if we continued walking in the direction we tried, we would reach an Arab community. I could imagine a similar situation in Brooklyn or Queens.

      Even somewhat liberal Israelis would discuss the Israeli Arabs as "enemies", and the Muslim under the occupation are of course "savages" -- at least to the majority of Jewish Israelis who are not "somewhat liberal" anymore.

  • Anti-semitism charge is increasingly being leveled against Israel's mainstream critics
    • I think that contrary to mooser, I would see the following as very salient observation of Yonah Fredman: "I think the Israeli general who said that Gaza’s Palestinians have to be given a carrot, so that they will protect that carrot and not allow Hamas to have that carrot destroyed by the israeli stick is on the right track, but it is not clear that the prime minister and right wing of israel can shift gears in this direction."

      That Likud and Israeli Home would rather cut off their pinky fingers instead of "giving Palestinian a carrot" is manifestly clear, but Kadima and Labor under Barak were not overly proficient in the carrot department either. The hatred and contempt is of such magnitude that even if the concept can be formulated, as Livni, Olmert and Barak were capable of doing, execution is impossible. This is rather typical in conflict zones like Azerbaijan-Armenia or India-Pakistan, so I would castigate Americans and Europeans more than Israel. Israel is not a rational actor here, and policies predicated on rationality of Israel (patiently explain etc.) are themselves irrational.

      A neat contemporary example is from domestic/foreign policy of Turkey. The current government needs wedge issues and accomplishments to differentiate itself from the opposition, and it got the idea of normalization of the conflict with Kurds, extending them political and cultural rights and thus securing domestic peace. Several steps were taken, and it looked promising. However, even though they conceived the plan, the rulers of Turkey are still as bigoted as the Kemalist opposition, and the delivery of carrots to Kurds does not work.

  • Europe wearies of Netanyahu's diversions
  • As Kerry scrambles to prevent Palestinian action at UN, Israeli govt makes clear it will never accept Palestinian state
    • To make clear what I meant by "Zios driven to conniption", here is the description of adequate American diplomatic posture by Rabbi Shalom [whatever] from Atlanta. I pasted it from another page in Mondoweiss, but it deserves a separate quote.

      When the war began, the President of the United States, the leader of the Free World, should have immediately, instinctively invited to the Oval Office, the leading Democrats and Republicans of the Senate and the House, his cabinet and all significant Washington political players. Every domestic and international news organization should have been notified and the following talk broadcast across the planet. “Fellow Americans – a crisis has erupted once again in the Middle East and I have been told that the war between Israel and Hamas is complex and nuanced. I have been told that our great nation must be evenhanded- but I am here to say with no equivocation, with no hesitation, this war is not complex. This war is not nuanced and we will not be evenhanded in this confrontation of good and evil, of right and wrong, of civilization and savagery. We Democrats and Republicans, Liberals and Conservatives from sea to shining sea, stand together in unshakable support of Israel against foul, corrupt, murderers who sacrifice the lives of children in their pursuit of power. To Israel we say – do whatever you must. To Israel we say, take whatever time you need to crush this vile enemy and whatever you require, you can count on us. To the world we say, Israel is fighting for all of us – for our values, for our principles, for our civilization. Support her efforts, as we do, in every way possible. I will not tolerate any words of disparagement against our greatest ally and friend in the Middle East. God bless Israel and God bless the United States of America.”

    • The short summary of American policy is that some fiction of negotiations should be maintained, but ultra-nationalistic GoI does not want them, so the Administration displays the sharpest arrow in its diplomatic quiver: "If you will not behave better, Mommy will be sad," which is countered by domestic chorus of AIPAC-trained politicians, "how can you be so cruel!!". So Mommy is forced to smile, and that drives Zios to conniptions, because the smile is not sincere enough.

      That may be OK, because the last remaining superpower can afford to be crazy and survive, but of course it has a price. When USA wants allies to behave "nicer", say Saudis, Egypt, Turkey or new adorable pro-Western democrats in Ukraine, they take the cue.

  • 'Progressive' rabbi ascribes Roger Waters's concern with 500 Palestinian child victims to rocker's alleged drug use
    • Personally, I found Waters behavior disturbing, but rather than casting unrelated aspersions concerning substance abuse, one should focus on the real problem here and put him on trial.

      Good morning, Worm your honor.
      The crown will plainly show
      The prisoner who now stands before you
      Was caught red-handed showing feelings
      Showing feelings of an almost human nature;
      This will not do.

  • Hamas is Nazi Germany and Israel is valiant and desperate England -- explains Canadian Jewish leader
    • Frenchman Mehdi Nemmouche, suspected of killing four people at Brussels' Jewish Museum in May, was remanded in custody for another three months on Friday, judicial officials said.
      Nemmouche, 29, of Algerian origin and who spent more than a year fighting with Islamic extremists in Syria, has been charged with "murder in a terrorist context" after an Israeli couple, a French woman and a Belgian were shot dead at the museum in central Brussels.

      There was also a surprisingly similar case in Toulouse. Two young people, obviously socially maladapted, seek foreign adventures to "realize their potential fighting for a noble cause", a cause that was heartily supported by their government, toppling the "anti-Muslim tyranny of Assad", and return with good marksmanship and totally messed up minds. This is what war does to people.

      Thinking about violence (that includes war, but also terror, torture etc.) somehow also messed people's minds, not merely actual combat (or personal participation in torture etc.) But really, getting crazy in Montreal and Atlanta, isn't it really too much? Or in NYC, I really expected better of Gitlin.

      By the way, I like to observe "eternal truths". Like "nobody is more innocent than our soldiers". Hence, "Rise of global anti-Semitism". A perplexed naive person could ask: didn't it risen a while ago? It is alway, "now, more then even, Israel needs your help, and so do the suffering Jews of Montreal, Atlanta and New York City". Actually, reports of eyewitnesses are inconclusive. Natalie Portman claimed that NYC is the only non-anti-Semitic place in USA, while she also lived in Boston and in DC. In the same time, Gitlin reports from NYC hordes of anti-Semitic leftists who single out Israel in their criticism, and Tablet reporter writes how he suffered through snide remarks of well educated WASPs.

  • British Parliament votes overwhelmingly to recognize Palestinian state
    • By the way, anyone wondered why Sweden recognized Palestine?

      I recall that Swedish minister of education visited Israel about a year ago, and he was reputed to be the most pro-Israeli member of the Cabinet. As his Israeli counterpart was insisting that Israeli school children should take excursion to Hebron, he decided to make such an excursion too. However, he was in the company of Lutheran activists who invited a local Palestinian to provide his perspective too. On the famous Shuhada street a settler women noticed that and attacked the minister. Nothing happened to the minister because his Swedish body guards were effective, but the military patrol threw them out for having a Palestinian in a non-Palestinian zone, so the exhibit of Apartheid, extremism of the settlers, the support of the military to the extremists, and the obnoxious attitude of GoI were all nicely exhibited.

      Sweden is not the only country that got exposed to Israeli arrogance, sabotage and insults, so perhaps what we see is a dam leaking.

    • The Guardian is a weird newspaper: they got an ambition to present a "fresh voice" in the American territory, and that necessitates the most stale attitude to Middle East, and foreign policy in general. So who comments on the vote to recognize Palestinian state in Guardian?

      "Dr Azriel Bermant is a research fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University. Twitter: @azrielb". The freshest Hasbara, straight from the oven! It is a piano Hasbara, strictly for export. Some concern for the peace process. But it is the conclusion that is the most delicious: "Britain would probably do better by taking its cue from the Egyptian president, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, who has a stronger grasp of the realities in the region, and has called for a revival of the Arab peace initiative of 2002. Netanyahu has acknowledged that the recent Gaza war demonstrated the new possibilities of cooperation with potential partners in the Arab world."

      I may be only an amateur of history, so I do not know a contemporary leader who would be as complete fascist as Abdel Fatah al-Sisi. Cult of personality, massacres of opposition, murderous judiciary, grotesque censorship, all in the best traditions of Mediterranean fascism. Given that Revisionist Zionism has the same intellectual pedigree, the cooperation is only natural.

  • British Parliament to vote on recognition of Palestinian state on Monday
    • Can a British participant comment on the fact that more than 350 MPs abstained?

      And why the vote was symbolic? Is it because the resolution was structured to be symbolic?

      In any case, it shows that Israel has support in Europe that is thiner than paper, but over there, the inertia is most powerful force of them all. Hard to predict when we will see any impact.

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