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Total number of comments: 2606 (since 2009-07-30 21:01:45)

Psychopathic god

I am an American. My major concern is US overindulgence of Israel and demonization of Iran. I also believe US rapprochement with Iran is in best interest of Americans.

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  • Lustick: Attack on Iran would end any prayer of Israel being accepted in region
    • The necessary role Iran plays in US foreign policy is as an incentive to increase weapons sellers' profits.

    • from an NPR report by Peter Kenyon on Dec 16 2009 link to npr.org

      U.S. officials, meanwhile, applauded the recent arms buildup in nearby Arab states as something that should be accelerated.
      ....
      General David Petraeus, head of the U.S. Central Command, urged Gulf leaders to beef up their weapons systems and cooperate more on security matters. He said America was feeling more welcome in this part of the world than it had for some time, largely because of worries about Iran. Petraeus said the United Arab Emirates alone in the past year had done $18 billion worth of business with the U.S., half of that coming in military purchases.

    • The Teaching Company produces a lecture series presented by Palestinian-American Dr. Salim Yaqub on US-Middle East history from 1914 to 2001 link to teach12.com

      Yaqub makes the case that the former Ottoman states were eager to form independent, democratic nations.
      Truman's endorsement of the Israeli state and the subsequent de-Arabification of the State Department in favor of a pro-Israeli contingent, tossed sand in those gears.
      Israel has been stressing the region for many years; far from "bringing democracy," the US joined Israel in the project of denying nationhood to the Islamic states.

      many of the seeds of U.S. policy and its dilemmas were planted during the administration of Woodrow Wilson.

      It's fascinating to view, with the benefit of hindsight, the later ramifications of issues like Wilson's endorsement of the Balfour Declaration, and its collision with the concept of national self-determination Wilson advanced in his famous "Fourteen Points." Or the decisions made at the 1920 San Remo Conference when Europe's victors (with minimal U.S. participation) divided the Ottoman Empire's non-Turkish areas into "mandates" to be temporarily administered by France (Syria and Lebanon) and Great Britain (Iraq, Transjordan, and Palestine) until ready for independence.

    • at least part of the deal Doug Feith and his Jerusalem law partner made with Chalabi involved oil pipelines from Kurdish Iraq to Eilat,
      link to dir.salon.com

      to replace the lucrative arrangement Israel had had with Iran, until 1979 .
      It's reasonable to assume Israel has not abandoned its quest for that oil revenue -- doesn't Witty remind us about Israeli prosperity?

      Kayhan Barzegar thoroughly examines Iran's strategic thinking, including Iran's concern that Israel is active in the Kurdish region

      link to twq.com

      Based on the theory of making allianceswith non-Arab states in the region, Israel today is more involved in Kurdish majority areas in Iraq, and is also more concerned about Iran’s increased activity in the southern Shi‘a-dominated areas and their effect in the entire Persian Gulf region.

      Israel is believed to have a plan for redrawing the Middle East as part of the "peripheral doctrine," that is, divide-and-conquer; with the added incentive of oil.

      link to oilempire.us

  • What the NYT won't tell you: Israel has lost the 'battle for int'l legitimacy'
    • Israel’s business idea is based solely on regional instability and chaos, on which Israel’s disproportional political influence is based.

      Similarly, India and Iran are cementing commercial relations link to time.com

      Iran enjoys extensive medical exchange with Germany -- German hospitals are at the forefront in helping the approximately 40,000 Iranians who still suffer ill effects from US-supported gas attacks on Iranian civilians.

      Israel is expanding its militarization and participating with the US in weaponizing the Middle East. link to encyclopedia.com

    • step away from the Christmas punch bowl, Witty; Turkey is strengthening its ties and commercial relationships with Iran -- yes, THAT Iran -- link to raceforiran.com. Turkey's prime minister Erdogan may have walked off the stage in disgust at Israeli leader Shimon Peres, but he greeted Iranian Pres. Ahmadinejad warmly, and conducted an extended dialogue with the Iranian leader on Turkey-Iran relations. Iran is a major market for Turkey's produce, and Turkey relies on Iran for supplies of petrol products for heating. Thus, the measure sponsored by zionist Howard Berman, to strangle Iran's energy capacities, is especially hateful, as well as counterproductive: it will harm Turkey, an American ally (consistent with the Lustick analysis posted elsewhere on Mondoweiss).

      India and Iran are also strengthening their relationships, and China, of course, is firmly in Iran's camp.

      Israel is the pariah, Witty; the rest of the world knows that; Americans are told otherwise, but they're getting wise to the hasbara.

      Wouldn't Israel be well advised to behave in a way that doesn't piss off the rest of the planet?

  • 'Concord Monitor' publishes letter attacking 'monstrous' Jewish displays in the era of Madoff and Occupation
    • light bulb (slowly slowly)

      no, I didn't see your point -- printing the letter was an attempt to inflame....

      well, maybe it will backfire.

      somebody needs to invent a word for anti-notsemiticism

    • I see your point, Chaos.
      or
      The letter and the fact that it was printed might also be a cry, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it any more."

      interesting tipping point we're at.

    • why any particular holiday is important at all?

      because holidays are rituals that form community, and man, being a social animal, cannot survive with some sense of community. "Finding one's identity" really means figuring out where one belongs; nobody has an identity as a solitary being, detached from all other human relatedness.

      I suspect the burr under the saddle of the Concord Monitor writer was a sense that an attempt was being made to co opt and displace an established community identity. I am sympathetic to that complaint, particularly since Jews aggressively support their particular and exclusive community identity; recite American guarantees of freedom of religion as basis for their demand that Jewish identity be respected in its particularity; demand special privileges for their particularist community; then, in addition, demand inclusion in the non-Jewish community identity. Jews want to mark non-Jewish community rituals as theirs, while additionally demanding their own exclusive community rituals that identify them as separate from that other community.

      My Italian parents used to say a little Italian phrase: tut e du? tut e du.
      That means: [Do you want] this or that? [I want] this and that.

    • those are the facts, and many are aware of them: "Judaism is a religion and zionism is a political ideology."

      However, it is predominantly zionist, or Israeli-friendly, or Jewish voices that smack down, with prejudice, many reasoned arguments that attempt to state: "Zionism is harmful because...." Such an argument is called anti-semitic; the pre-scripted hasbara is: "to oppose zionism is to oppose the right of Jewish people to have their own homeland; to oppose that right is to deny the holocaust."

      That's how it works.

      Kelsey Wrye's use of the word "monstrous" might be infelicitous, but it seems that it's necessary to speak harshly in order to be heard. People are now paying attention; a barrier has been breached. No doubt Wrye and the newspaper will suffer some retribution.

      Suggested solution:
      Next time, instead of publishing a Wrye-type letter about Israel/zionism, print a selection of photos of slaughtered Palestinian infants and children like this one: link to irishingaza.files.wordpress.com.

  • EU's foreign minister says E. Jerusalem is occupied territory
  • Neoliberals replaces neocons in proffering hawkish consensus to a POTUS
    • I would hate to see us split by different views over the inner essence of Judaism (or Islam) rather than concentrate on the actual deeds and predicaments of Israelis (or Palestinians) – this inner essence is not a thing we can fix and grasp.

      1. Israel Shahak attempts to relate the "facts on the ground" to the "inner essence" of Judaism, or Islam, Christianity, Americanism, Arabness, Persian. "This inner essence" is a thing we must be able to grasp, to understand, but never, ever presume to have the right to "fix."

      2. Natan Sharansky -- and Tzipi Livni -- emphasize the centrality of Torah to Jewish identity. I raise the matter of Thomas Jefferson's "Life and Morals of Jesus" because the thinking of Jefferson and other founding Americans should be more and more intensely understood by Americans as the authors of the "American Bible, or establishing epic, mythos, and value system; Torah is an interesting intellectual exercise but it does not define the American character and value system. I reject the notion that the Abrahamic/Noahide tradition establishes the American founding epic. I would not presume to attempt to "fix" Judaism, and I resent any attempt to reshape in the image and likeness of a Middle Eastern god the unique character of whatever is the American identity.

    • I disagree that "never has Judaism been about...proselytising or coercing;" quite the contrary. In the Roman world, many, many religious traditions and forms of worship were accepted; it was considered perfectly normal that many gods inhabited the spiritual world and that any person could worship however many and whichever gods he chose.
      Jews insisted that only one god should be worshipped: in "Heritage, Civilization and the Jews," Abba Eban makes this point very clear; so does Rabbi Spiro. Coming from a Catholic background, it's tricky to navigate the level of authority one should vest in a Rabbi Spiro -- a Catholic priest derives authority from a hierarchical system; what validates a Rabbi Spiro? Is what he writes complete nonsense? How does one know?

    • but to present the historical persecution of Jews – especially in the sweeping way that you have – as the reasonable action of elightened and outraged gentiles against Jewish “perfidy”, is both wrong and unjust.

      I agree, Shmuel, sweeping generalizations are both wrong and unjust.
      It is wrong and unjust of me to make such sweeping generalizations.
      It is equally wrong for Jews to make sweeping generalizations that they have been persecuted for thousands of years, that that sense of always and forever persecution entitles them to special protections -- such as a US government office to monitor and combat antisemitism link to state.gov. Why should "semites" be afforded special protections by United States taxpayers?

      In a blog comment I quoted earlier today a Jewish person asserted the intention to "kill millions of Arabs" should Jews feel a "new holocaust" taking shape.
      That's a pretty powerful declaration, yet that Jewish person's right to make that threat is protected by the combined force of the United States government. My right and ability to push back against it is limited to pounding on keys on a blog. For that reason, I consider it justifiable to make bold, sweeping generalizations-- call it proportionality -- to force the issue that history and even the common man's understanding of history does not support the proposition that Jews are either perpetual victims or preternaturally innocent.

      btw: I find a certain irony in some charges of "anti-semitism." Several days ago a diary on a popular political blog written by a person named Jeffrey Feldman stated: "Why did they make this anti-Semitic statement? They know I am Jewish, since my last name is Jewish."
      The irony: No, Feldman is NOT a Jewish name, it is a German name. Mr. Feldman proved Ahmadinejad's point. And my point: When Jews presume to take over the cultural legacy of another, they ought to expect that resentment will follow. You wanna show pride in your Jewish heritage? Call yourself Shmuel. But don't presume that German-ness is equivalent to Jewishness; that's stealing history.

      I agree, also, that Jews and Muslims generally get along quite well. Which is why tomes and theses such as Mike Evans', in link to amazon.com The Final Move Beyond Iraq: The Final Solution While the World Sleeps (one suspects the size of the book jacket was too small for all the fear-mongering catch-phrased Evans wished to cram into his title) is so hateful: Evans, a Jewish man who converted to Christianity, is a consultant to Bibi Netanyahu and founder of "The Joshua Project." The thesis of "Final Move" is that the US ought to follow the wisdom of Torah and condemn Ishmael and his tribe in favor of Isaac and the Jews. This is hateful.

      I have been excoriated just as vehemently for bringing attention to the positive experience of Professor Michael Broyde as he participated in a UN-sponsored conference on religion held at Qom, Iran, in 2005 link to emory.edu as you have chastised me for "sweeping generalizations" casting Jews in an ugly light.

      The moral of the story: if both positive and negative recitations of Jewish interactions in the world are greeted with criticism and censorship, it is the human tendency to react with anger and to affirm the negative impression.

    • In a PRI interview commenting on Obama's Nobel "Peace" prize acceptance speech, Michael Walzer dangerously expanded the concept of Just War that Obama laid out in his speech.

      Walzer said:

      If President Obama is trying to set a benchmark for justifying military action, Walzer says self defense is the most obvious example, and that Afghanistan fits this model.

      But there other examples, like Rwanda, where force is needed to defend others who are at risk.

      "That's a new doctrine, the doctrine of humanitarian intervention,"

      said Walzer, "which implies that sovereignty does not extend, as I think it obviously does not extend, to mass murder."

      In the first instance, on Obama's theory of justice, one is compelled to ask just how much justice one nation may exact from another. How many more Afghanis and Iraqis must die to propitiate the acts of Saudi and Pakistani ideologues?

      As for Walzer's extension of the doctrine to one that permits war cloaked as "humanitarian intervention," how does it relate to a notion explicated in Rabbi Kenneth Spiro's writings on the virulently anti-Islamic AISH haTorah website:

      link to aish.com
      This also explains what the concept of "Chosen People" is all about. Abraham, so to speak, says to God: "I choose to live with the reality of you and to bring all of humanity back to that reality." God then says to Abraham: "Then I choose you, and your descendants." What are the Jewish people chosen for? It's not for privilege (although it is a great privilege to be Jewish) but for responsibility. What's the responsibility? In Hebrew the term is called Tikkun Olam, "Fix the World." It is the ultimate cause -- to bring humanity back to the purpose of creation and create the most spiritually/morally perfect world possible. This is the national-historic mission of the Jewish people.

      If we understand the purpose of creation and Abraham's mission then the rest of our plot line for human history is pretty straightforward: Humanity returns to God with the Jewish people leading the way.

      If we understand this concept of the Jewish people leading the way then what happens to the Jewish people in history begins to make sense. When we talk about the Jewish people leading the way it means that they are out in front, like the point man in an infantry unit out on patrol. Just as the point man's job is to the lead the unit and avoid danger, so too the Jewish people's special role in history is to lead humanity to its goal.

      When Israelis or zionists or any group believes that they and they alone and uniquely have the divine right to tell other people how to live, that is the beginning of the gravest injustice in all humanity.

      To understand Rabbi Spiro's perspective is to understand why nation after nation expelled Jews from their midst -- Jews who believed that they were specially endowed with the right to tell their hosts how they should live.

      Thomas Jefferson put himself to the task of understanding Judaism as thoroughly as possible, including in his efforts the study of the Hebrew language. He concluded that "Judaism is morally deficient;" but that "Jesus was the greatest examplar of morality that humankind has known." (see Avalon.org)

  • Huffpo writer blasts 'crypto-racism' against non-Jews inside Israel
    • Does the USofA have an Office to Monitor and Combat Anti-Iranianism in the US and internationally?

      Anti-Iranianism is discrimination against or hatred toward Iran and Iranians. SEAI develops and implements policies and projects to support efforts to combat anti-Iranianism.

      SEAI was established by the Global Anti-Iranianism Review Act of 2004, and is a part of the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL). DRL produces the State Department's annual reports on Human Rights Practices and International Religious Freedom, and SEAI provides input on anti-Iranianism for these reports.

      Led by the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Iranianism Ali Mottaki Ahmadinejad, DRL/SEAM, welcomes information on anti-Iranian incidents, including personal and property attacks; government policies, including judicial/prosecutorial decisions and educational programs on the issue; and press and mass media reports. link to state.gov (sort of)

  • Insolence and hasbara are the soundtrack to these images in my head
    • We are locked in a war with sociopathic monsters who will pursue anything — even murder, of children — to further their agenda.

      note this chilling comment on Helena Cobban's (otherwise sane) blog:

      link to justworldnews.org

      Posted by Joe McCain at November 12, 2009 11:18 AM'Can Israel
      Survive?' Don't worry about it. It relates to something that Palestinians,
      the Arabs, and perhaps most Americans don't realize -- the Jews are never
      going quietly again. Never. And if the world doesn't come to understand
      that, then millions of Arabs are going to die. It's as simple as that. ...

      Well, now the Jews have a homeland again. A place that is theirs. And that's
      the point. It doesn't matter how many times the United States and European
      powers try to rein in Israel , if it comes down to survival of its nation,
      its people, they will fight like no lioness has ever fought to save her
      cubs. They will fight with a ferocity, a determination, and a skill, that
      will astound us.

      And many will die, mostly their attackers, I believe. If there were a
      macabre historical betting parlor, my money would be on the Israelis to be
      standing at the end. As we killed the kamikazes and the Wehrmacht soldaten
      of World War II, so will the Israelis kill their suicidal attackers, until
      there are not enough to torment them. ...

      And it doesn't make
      any difference whether you are pro-Israeli or you think Israel is the bully
      of the Middle East . If it comes to where a new holocaust looms -- with or
      without the concurrence of the United States and Europe -- Israel will lash
      out without pause or restraint at those who would try to annihilate their
      country.

      The Jews will not go quietly again.

      the monstrous intent is there; what is even more frightening is that zionists have so propagandized themselves that every retaliation to zionist aggression becomes "a new holocaust." Zionists require to believe that they are "existentially threatened" in order to justify their self-induced rage.

  • Israel must be held to account
    • But if Ghiada expresses no bitterness, her father insists she is angry and so is the rest of the family. "It's very hard for us," he says. "That accident took Bissan, Nour, Miar, Aya – and my brother." Dr Abu Elaish has left Gaza for Canada. "He is the eldest brother, the father of the family, and now he's gone. How can we forgive?"

      The outrage is even greater than that Israel first, destroyed the homes of Gaza's children, then, denies them the ability to rebuild them.
      Bret Tzedek Shalom, purportedly an American Jewish group seeking peace, and purportedly created to ameliorate the extremism of AIPAC, Brit Tzedek is trotting Izzeldin Abu Laish around the country, to appear at Jewish community centers where BTS can display him like a prize poodle,

      "See, this Palestinian loves Jews. He thinks Gazans and Jews should get along. Aren't we just too terrific people for bringing him to speak to you, our fellow Jews, about how great we Jews are?"

      Abuelaish, 54, drew hundreds of people to several forums last week in Boston organized by the Jewish-American peace group, Brit Tzedek v’Shalom (Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace). After one forum at Temple Beth Abraham in Canton, Rabbi David Paskin posted several photos on his blog of the event, and wrote: “A wonderful night of sharing, learning, and challenging.’’ link to boston.com

      Finally, let's not forget that AFTER the Abu Laish children were killed and Izzeldin was at an airport attempting to get to them, a Jewish woman screamed at him that it must have been their fault that his children were killed.

      link to marcgopin.com One of the most discussed reactions came from Levana Stern, whose three sons were soldiers in Gaza.

      She pushed past the reporters interviewing the doctor a day after the shelling, and yelled: “Who knows what weapons you had in your house. … If there hadn’t been fire coming from the house they wouldn’t have fired on it.” She lashed at the reporters, calling them “crazy” for listening to his “propaganda.”

      The doctor dropped his head in hands and cried: “They don’t want to know the truth; they don’t want to know the truth.”

      Larry Derfner, an American-Israeli columnist at the Jerusalem Post, said that the truth is too painful for Israelis to accept, so some just refuse to believe that innocent civilians were killed.

      “The worse it gets, the harder you have to defend it,” he said. “There’s too much to admit, there’s too much guilt to take on.”

      How sweet. The rabbi could forgive himself.

  • Chronicles of rejectionism (and Oxford American English)
    • David Howard Goldberg wrote an interesting book a few years back, titled, "Foreign Policy and Ethnic Interest Groups: American and Canadian Jews Lobby for Israel."

      In introductory paragraphs, Goldberg explains that the lobbies emerged as a result of the failure of Jews to migrate to Israel, thus misaligning the intended zionist relationship between Israeli Jews and diaspora Jews. To reaffirm that alignment, the lobbies enjoin philanthropy and political action within the diaspora countries to favor Israel through several tactics including "the aggressive promotion of hasbara.

      The purpose of Goldberg's book is to describe and compare AIPAC and CIC (Canada-Israel Committee) and their relative impact on the presidential/congressional system and the parliamentary system of their respective target nations.

      In other words, Canada is a very close second to the US as a tool for zionists to work out their utopian vision.

      Canada has been suitably "hasbaraed" and "educated" as to the "strategic importance of Israel" and the "threats posed" by Israel's neighbors; that is to say, Canada has been brought to heel.

      And to abstain.

    • are they the islands where the US tests nuclear missiles?

    • they could bring it to the attention of the SEAI, Office to Monitor and Combat Anti-Iranianism, attn. : Special Arab desk: link to mondoweiss.net

      oh,
      no, wait,
      it's not just Apple that has a certain bias;
      it's the entire f*%&king US govt:

      link to state.gov

      If you're a Jew, the full force of the US government and her 300-odd million taxpayers will bring the full force of the law against any harsh words that may chance past your tender ears.

      If you're an Arab, an Iranian, a Muslim?
      Only in parody.
      The worm in the Apple.

  • 'Green Zone' or the banality of ethnic cleansing in Jerusalem
    • what a great strategy!

      Is there something, anything, the US can do to so infuriate Israel that Israel will declare that "it's ties with [the US] are in jeopardy?"

    • Has Obama made a Devil's Bargain with Israel?

      d'ya think?

      Where have you been since at least Oct 2008, Rachel Marshall, when Jews in US and in Israel demanded oaths of fealty from Obama (HRC had already sold her soul to Haim Saban in exchange for the senate seat in NY)?

    • “Whatever happens,
      we have got
      the -Maxim gun- cluster bomb
      and they have not.”

      Barbara Slavin's words, almost exactly:

      link to c-span.org

      "Israel is the United States' ally, Iran is not. If Iran wants to be a friend to the US, it should do what US wants." (paraphrase)

      (Not to mention that Israel has US by the short hairs through singular control of Pentagon and national intelligence budgets and plans; its dominance of US media, not excluding NPR and even C Span; dominance of US financial systems; dominance in numerous federal bureaucracies; unfettered access to the personal financial transactions and telecommunications transmissions of American; access to the federal banking system's credit window, control of the US legislature, dominance of numerous states' legislatures, ....)

      notice at the end of the clip -- at about 29 min -- how the C Span moderator cuts off an Iranian who respectfully and rationally disagrees with Slavin's and Israel's position on Iran.

      the message to Iran from Israel er Slavin er Israel is exactly what the Iranian-American interlocuter declared: Israel does not want Iran to have a seat at the United Statesian table. Slavin stamped that declaration as forcefully as if it were a papal bull.

    • just got a maddening email blast from Brit Tzedek.
      This Jewish organization is concerned about the humanitarian situation in Gaza, the suffering of the Palestinian people, and the low regard in the international community to which Israel continues to descend.

      So what does Brit Tzedek propose as a solution to these problems? "Tell Obama to solve this mess."

      Whiskey
      Tango
      Foxtrot?

      Did Obama cause this mess?

      How 'bout Brit Tzedek tell its coreligionists/co-people-ists, like weasely Matthew Levitt who used a free, internationally broadcast microphone on CSpan to spout racist garbage demonizing Islam and Iran, to stop his zenophobic and lying warmongering?
      How'bout stopping the propaganda and hasbara that's coming from your side, Brit Tzedek.

    • this is not new, it is just hasbaraed out of awareness of United Statesians who support Israeli intentional ethnic-cleansing-by-architecture.

      Eyal Weizman described this strategy in 2007 in Hollow Land: Israel's Architecture of Occupation:

      link to amazon.com

      A groundbreaking exposé of Israel's terrifying reconceptualization of geopolitics in the Occupied Territories and beyond.

      Hollow Land is a groundbreaking exploration of the political space created by Israel's colonial occupation. In this journey from the deep subterranean spaces of the West Bank and Gaza to their militarized airspace, Weizman unravels Israel's mechanisms of control and its transformation of the Occupied Territories into a theoretically constructed artifice, in which natural and built features function as the weapons and ammunition with which the conflict is waged. Weizman traces the development of these ideas, from the influence of archaeology on urban planning, Ariel Sharon's reconceptualization of military defense during the 1973 war, through the planning and architecture of the settlements, to contemporary Israeli discourse and practice of urban warfare. In exploring Israel's methods to transform the landscape itself into a tool of total domination and control, Hollow Land lays bare the political system at the heart of this complex and terrifying project of late-modern colonial occupation.

      I've posted this same quote and same comment before and I'll post it again and again, as persistently as I can to counter the zionist persistence in attempting to hasbara zionism's way out of an egregiously immoral plan for creating a nation.

      If zionism is so moral, why is hasbara necessary? Why does Israel have to lie about itself?

  • 'Harvard Crimson' runs piece attacking Oren as apologist for war criminals
    • The pro Israel noise machine is enlarging its microphone at C Span, but viewers are starting to talk back.
      Matthew Levitt of WINEP spent half-an-hour spouting hasbara, proclaiming himself an "anti terrorism" expert and doggedly spinning the party line that "bad muslims are the problem." Bad muslimitis "used to be just in Europe but now it's coming to the US."

      But the majority of callers pushed back against Levitt's BS, and repeatedly forced him to have to rely on recitations of Israeli grievances with Palestinians to support his bad muslim thesis.

      A plurality of callers expressed the notion that "terrorists" are actually those who are fighting back against American and Israeli aggressions. Callers said they would do the same if the shoe were on the other foot. Callers refused to be whipped into a fear frenzy over repetitions of "9/11!!" and called on the United States to curb its bad behavior.

      Israel, are you listening? Brand Zionist is fading, the world is getting wise and speaking out.

  • Ultra-Zionism seems to foster Islamophobia
    • the thread that joins Christian zionism with Israeli zionism is that both rely on the Hebrew Torah mythology that Natan Sharansky spelled out in "Jewish Identity" -- the myth of Exodus and 'choseness.'

      For Jews, or at least Jews like AISH.org's rabbi Ken Spiro, that means the right to be the moral leaders of the world. It's all about who's in charge; it's about power.

      For Christian zionists, it's pretty much the same thing:

      stunning statement in a July 2009 Salon article about the "C Street House" and its "family (values)"

      link to salon.com

      If you're chosen, the normal rules don't apply.

      Family men are more than hypocritical. They're followers of a political religion that embraces elitism, disdains democracy, and pursues power for its members the better to "advance the Kingdom." They say they're working for Jesus, but their Christ is a power-hungry, inside-the-Beltway savior not many churchgoers would recognize. Sexual peccadilloes aside, the Family acts today like the most powerful lobby in America that isn't registered as a lobby -- and is thus immune from the scrutiny attending the other powerful organizations like Big Pharma and Big Insurance that exert pressure on public policy. ...

      ...Family leaders consider their political network to be Christ's avant garde, an elite that transcends not just conventional morality but also earthly laws regulating lobbying. In the Family's early days, they debated registering as "a lobby for God's Kingdom." Instead, founder Abraham Vereide decided that the group could be more effective by working personally with politicians. "The more invisible you can make your organization," Vereide's successor, current leader Doug Coe preaches, "the more influence you can have." That's true -- which is why we have laws requiring lobbyists to identify themselves as such.
      But David Coe, Doug Coe's son and heir apparent, calls himself simply a friend to men such as John Ensign, whom he guided through the coverup of his affair. I met the younger Coe when I lived for several weeks as a member of the Family. He's a surprising source of counsel, spiritual or otherwise. Attempting to explain what it means to be chosen for leadership like King David was -- or Mark Sanford, according to his own estimate -- he asked a young man who'd put himself, body and soul, under the Family's authority, "Let's say I hear you raped three little girls. What would I think of you?" The man guessed that Coe would probably think that he was a monster. "No," answered Coe, "I wouldn't." Why? Because, as a member of the Family, he's among what Family leaders refer to as the "new chosen." If you're chosen, the normal rules don't apply.

  • One Holocaust survivor is going to Gaza, another isn't
    • There is no basis to know whether the more accurate description is “they left a war zone”, or “they were driven from a war zone”. yada yada yada

      if the same sort of parsing were applied to any single fact of holocaust, the parser would be labeled a holocaust denier. note that one commenter felt compelled to disclaim an equivalence between holocaust and Nakba -- why not?

      in some countries, such a label could lead to loss of freedom; in many American institutions, such a label could lead to loss of employment. In the case of Iran, such a label could lead to threats of military attack and of economic strangulation with the goal of starving a civilian population.

      in Witty-ville??

  • Re Obama: Resigned
    • link to Walzer's interview:

      link to pri.org

    • In his remarks at a conference on the destructive nature of economic sanctions at Trinity College last August, Joachim Martillo heaped special scorn on Michael Walzer, who has subverted the philosopher's craft in service of an ideological agenda.

      Walzer, apparently considered a 'specialist' on just war theory, commented on Obama's speech for PRI, and revealed, again, his ideological bias, and hinted at the pressures other members of Walzer's zionist network have brought to bear on European leaders to force them to back away from endorsing the Palestinian bid for statehood.
      Walzer's comments:

      Political philosopher Michael Walzer has spent a lot of time thinking about the justifications for war. He says the President's approach -- achieving peace through war -- is a crucial point to make to the international community.

      "I think his sense of the use of force within a lot of constraints, which he talked about, is especially important in Europe, where even more than in the United States there's a growing reluctance to use force at all -- even in cases like Bosnia or Kosovo or Darfur, where it would seem to me obviously necessary."

      The notion that violent conflict cannot be erradicated in our lifetime isn't based in cynicism, said President Obama, but in what history has shown us.

      the rest of Walzer's remarks were similarly subtle hasbara-- "evil" exists, and Walzer pointed to evil here and evil there, but scrupulously avoided applying the formula to Israel's treatment of Palestinians.

    • I agree with you, Mr. Witty.

      Obama laid out no reasoning for his statements, he merely uttered assertions. His rhetoric was tonally flat and intellectually shallow. His vision did not even pretend to approach Plutarch's benchmarks-- short-term solutions with long-term benefits; rather he sounded like a teen ager caught sneaking out in the family car tossing out whatever argument he popped into his head in an attempt to defend his reckless behavior and avoid punishment.

      yahweh no likie likie BS.

  • Now do you feel better about our plans in Afghanistan?
    • Almost 1 million Afghanis are refugees living in Iran. A young Afghani I spoke with at a restaurant in Mashad, which is near Harat in Afghanistan, told me that he had been in Iran for over six years. Iran supports Afghani refugees through 'grade school' and 'high school,' but does not afford them the same access to college education as an Iranian. Further, obtaining a job in Iran, when the unemployment rate for natives hovers around 20% (thanks in part to US / Israeli sanctions), is nearly impossible for an Afghani. This young man worked as a waiter and told me he attempts to strike up conversations with as many Westerners as possible, so that he could practice speaking English in order to more readily make his way out of Iran.

      He told me that returning to Afghanistan was not an option -- he would be killed. Our tour guide told me that the young Afghani's statements were "scripted for the tourist trade."

      Maybe so, maybe not; it is truly the case that Iran is providing safe harbor for about a million Afghanis and perhaps as many as 3 million Iraqis.

      If US/Israel impose even stricter sanctions on Iran, as Howard Berman is leading over 350 Congresspersons to do, does anyone rationally think that the situation in Afghan will improve?

      Truncate that question -- when the Israel lobby is involved, does anyone in the US Congress rationally think?

  • 2/3 of members of Council on Foreign Relations say U.S. policy favors Israel too much
    • some nonzionists:

      Flynt Leverett and his wife, Hillary Mann, are to be commended for their courage in speaking out thoughtfully and intelligently on US foreign policy issues.

      link to raceforiran.com

      John Tirman at MIT speaks with an American, not zionist, voice. link to wilsoncenter.org

      With respect to Iran, the usual suspect/neocons had already packaged the theme of "game changing" by the time Obama took office; it was a strategy with failure built in to the formula. While Obama is stuck trying to work the zionist game-changing tactic, Turkey's prime minister is emerging as a genuine game changer; Leverett and Mann do some fine analysis of his strategy.

      Ergodan was the one world leader who was courageous enough to stand up for Palestinians and walk out on Shimon Peres after Peres did a Full Zionist Monty at Davos, defending Israel's brutality against Gaza. link to c-spanvideo.org

    • The dominant narrative about the Jewish people is that they have been "persecuted for 2000 years/3000 years/4000 years."

      Starting with Joseph in Egypt and working through Jews in Baghdad, Khazar Jews, Jews in the golden age in Andalusia, in Amsterdam, Jews in Poland, in Germany, all the while with a beachhead in the Levant, have Jews ever come to a comfortable relationship with countries to which they migrated that did not end in disaster -- ie. expulsion or war or elimination -- for either the Jews or the host country?

      I don't know of an instance -- seeking knowledge and understanding: if no such situation exists where Jews remained comfortable in the place to which they migrated, then WHY? What behaviors emerged that prevented Jews long-term residency in those places? Only God is an uncaused cause; antisemitism must have causal factors.

      Have other peoples similarly migrated and been expelled repeatedly?

      Is there a pattern, and if so, what does that pattern portend for the USofA?

  • An Arab-American's comment on Gaza stirs the exploration of Jewish mythology
    • bears repeating:

      MHughes976 wrote:

      But we should note that the proposition pressed on Europe by Hitler – that national (in particular German) minorities could not trust non-national (in particular non-German) governments to provide the protection and fairness due to them, so it was up to the German government to protect them by what means were necessary – was another application of the same demand. We resisted this proposition to the point of war.

      just no getting around the Golden Rule,
      unless one prefers its opposite, the rule of the psychopathic god:

      Those to whom evil is done
      Do evil in return.

      ~W H Auden

  • Israel supports cultural boycott
    • living in opposite world.
      BDS vis a vis Israel is wrong because it would "subject it to experience isolation."

      But sanctioning Iran is right and desireable, because it will subject it to experience isolation.

      Iran is evil because it announces that it has been building a nuclear facility that does not yet have nuclear materials. Because Iran is evil, it must be sanctioned.

      Israel is sacrosanct because it maintains "nuclear ambiguity," and in the event mere smoke and mirrors fails to confuse American lawmakers about Israel's nukes, Israelis take inspectors on a tour of a sham facility....

      Israeli soldiers kill innocent civilians with internationally sanctioned weapons; reports criticizing Israel's actions are squelched; the soldiers who used that white phosphorus are called "moral."

      The most heavily armed military in the MidEast needs more weapons: Ex-IAEA inspector: Press Iran harder
      By HILARY LEILA KRIEGER , JERUSALEM POST CORRESPONDENT
      WASHINGTON

      presumably, Israel needs more weapons to express its wittian "humanity."

  • Opinion is shifting, even inside the Beltway
    • Indeed.
      with respect to Iran, US companies were forced to walk away from very lucrative oil field development contracts with Iran at the behest of Israel: AIPAC forced Clinton to sign an executive order forbidding such deals. Fearful that an executive order could be reversed by a subsequent president who, heaven forfend, might declare his independence from Israeli influence, AIPAC worked the Congress until the executive order was enshrined in legislation -- the Libya-Iran Sanctions Act. Pistachios were excepted -- seems Israelis like the little green nuts.

      A few minutes of research produces ample evidence that the US did not wage war on Iraq for the sake of US oil interests. On the other hand, Doug Feith made a deal with Ahmed Chalabi for oil pipelines to Eilat.

  • 'Times' holds up Israel as 'model'
  • Walt does the math: We've killed 288,000 Muslims in 30 years
    • more people should be aware of Dennis Ross's role in ensuring that US involved itself in the conflict amongst the Arabs -- Iraq, Kuwait, Egypt, Saudi Arabia -- that descended into war due to the manipulations of the US, in the persons of James Baker, Dennis Ross and Henry Kissinger.

      The Arabs were feuding over Saddam's demands -- pleas, really -- that the other Arab states help Iraq pay its war debts incurred in the US-sponsored and Israel-benefited Iraq war on Iran. Kuwait responded by lowering the price of oil, thus further constraining the Iraq economy. Egyptian and other diplomats were attempting to resolve the insult and impasse, but Baker/Ross et al twisted the arms of the Arab peace makers, persuading them instead to accept the generous assistance of GHBW's coalition to make war on Iraq to drive them out of Kuwait -- and to humanely rescue all those babies tossed out of their bassinets.

  • History's fool
    • The idea that the US should not intervene in the oil and thereby Muslim world is fantasy. You ignore our continuing energy dependance, and propose to do NOTHING about it, in fact dismiss it as of any ge0-political importance.

      The problems with this thought pattern, Witty, are:
      1. the insulting assumption that Americans cannot be ingenious and creative to develop additional forms of energy unless there is some enemy goading them. In fact, Americans ARE developing wind farms in the Dakotas and fracturing shale to release enormous gas reservoirs in Pennsylvania, Louisiana, and Texas. The will, the creativity, and the entrepreneurship are all functioning, without the need for "monsters to destroy."

      2. Precisely what do Americans like Hillary and her cabal think nations like Iran and Saudi Arabia wish to do with their oil, drink it? Iran and SA and every other oil rich nation need to sell their oil for their own benefit, and the US, China, and Europe need to buy it for their own benefit. Isn't it cheaper to participate in an honest market than to kill people and subvert states in order to impose outside control on those markets?

    • the democratic left loves to bash Bush/Cheney.

      I think GWB eventually figured out how he was being used and warned Obama of the traps that awaited him, when Bush mouthed the name 'Neville Chamberlain' in the Knesset.

      I think Bush was warning Obama that he -- that any and every recent US president -- would end up being an appeaser of the militarized and expansion-minded, aggressive Israeli state and its American apparatus.

  • Gutsy progressive congressman Alan Grayson leads a double life
    • is Grayson informed of the several dozen 'operations' Israel launched against Iran while Israel was Iran's friend, operations whose planned outcome was the looting of the Iranian treasury in favor of Israel's military-industrial combine, or whose purpose was the assassination of Iranian diplomats and other representatives of the Iranian people?

      Ronen Bergman brags of Israel's perfidious acts against Iran in The Secret War with Iran.

      A few days ago a character named Steven Emerson, an Islamophobe, was granted the privilege of 30 minutes on C-Span's Washington Journal. One of the questions Tweeted to Mr. Emerson was this: "Has the CIA ever considered stopping the funding and military training of our future enemies? "

      The moderator pointed the question: "Is there a connection between people that we've trained as our allies one decade and the next decade they turn on us, come back to bite us?"
      Emerson's answer: "Of course...."

      Israel bled Iran dry while Israel and Iran were "friends and allies." Now Israel is pulling out all the stops to destroy Iran.

      "...allies one decade and they next decade they turn on us..."

      Why should Americans think that Israel will treat the United States any differently a decade from now, than Israel treats Iran, its former ally?

      "...allies one decade and the next decade they turn on us..."
      "Of course."

      link to c-span.org

  • Omar Barghouti and George Fletcher debate BDS
    • breaking: The letter 'Q' has been put on the US State Department Terror watch list after having been intercepted attempting to form words in a Middle Eastern nation without accompaniment by the letter 'U.'

      State Department spokesman Qami Fitzapirowitz told reporters that the State Department considered this behavior "one more indicator of the deep hatred of the US that exists in the Middle East."

      Former ambassador to Lebanon Jeffrey Feltmanq has been delegated to examine all textbooks of Middle Eastern schoolchildren to determine the ratio of 'Qs' unaccompanied by 'Us.'

  • Report from Goucher: the campus as microcosm of the conflict
    • thanks gmeyers.

      Persons prone to motion sickness should avoid the Jewish Virtual Library history of Jews in Argentina -- back and forth, back and forth....

      Juan Peron’s rise to power in 1946 worried many Jews because of he was a Nazi sympathizer with fascist leanings. Peron halted Jewish immigration to Argentina, introduced Catholic religious instruction in public schools and allowed Argentina to become a haven for fleeing Nazis. On the other hand, Peron also expressed sympathy for Jewish rights and established diplomatic relations with Israel in 1949. Since then, more than 45,000 Jews have immigrated to Israel from Argentina.

      Peron was overthrown in 1955, which was followed by another wave of anti-Semitism. In 1960, Israeli agents abducted Adolf Eichmann from a Buenos Aires suburb. The Eichmann trial in Jerusalem, in April 1961, aroused further anti-Jewish sentiment in Argentina.

      Argentina was under military rule between 1976 and 1983. During this period, Jews were increasingly targeted for kidnapping and torture by the ruling junta; about 1,000 of the 9,000 known victims of state terrorism were Jews. According to the Jerusalem Post, the Israeli government had a special agreement with the Argentine government to allow Jews arrested for political crimes to immigrate to Israel. Once the military’s power waned in Argentina, anti-Semitic attacks also declined.

      Articles referenced in Tony Greenstein's blog managed to bash Catholics in the process of bashing Jews. So I went to JVL looking to see how it was that Iran is blamed for bombing in Argentina, even though trials have been obviously rigged -- bought and paid for "justice."
      I was interested in how Iran would fare because, well, because I'm fascinated by the Iran-Israel relationship, and because, in a twist on Greenstein's thesis, that Israel abandoned Argentine Jews in favor of selling weapons to the junta, it is very much the case that Israel was extremely friendly with Iran as long as Israel could raid Iran's treasury by selling Iran weaponry-- weapons that frequently were rigged to fail or were of inferior quality.
      Shortly after the end of the Iraq war on Iran in 1988, Iran extracted Israel's hand from Iran's cookie jar. In 1992, Ephraim Sneh, whose task as deputy defense minister was to find ways to get other nations to finance Israel's militarization, lit upon the thesis that "Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons; this is a threat to Israel!!!!"
      Sneh sold his Wolfowitzian proposal to Knesset, AIPAC came on board the propaganda barge, and the result is the anti-Iranian demonization campaign that has gone on for at least 17 years, that has caused American companies to be forced to walk away from beneficial trade relations and contracts with Iran at the behest of Israel/AIPAC.

      You'll forgive me, Ms. Greenstein, if I'm less concerned that Israel abandons its own in favor of supplying weapons.
      I'm more concerned about Israel raiding and raping the US taxpayers -- those whom you claim have reduced Israel to its satrap -- and I'm more concerned that Israel has so thoroughly internalized some sick right to behave maliciously that it will not stop its attack on Iran until the entire region is in flames.

    • the money quote:

      Perhaps by pointing out to an open-eared audience the similarities between the actions of students and that of their Israeli counterparts, we can drive home the point that if they were in the ethical right, such techniques would not have to be resorted to.

      that old, Right makes might thingy -- Israel lost that appreciation when it got so militarily powerful that it did not have to worry about pissing off the rest of the ethical world.

  • my wife and anti-anti-Semitism, a Thanksgiving story
    • difference being, Citizen, that in some nations your satire could land you in jail, while Phil's gets a shrug of the shoulders.

  • Anything goes in Western Marin. Well--almost anything
    • Non-Jews have been taught to walk on tiptoes around Jews; Karin Friedemann explains: link to karinfriedemann.blogspot.com

      The problem is that Gentiles are taught through emotional pressure and violence via the media and the school system to be very sensitive to Jewish suffering so when a Zionist becomes outraged at them for challenging their world view, the Gentile really has to fight against his own inner self in a huge battle against his "inner Jew" making him feel inadequate and intimidated.

      Thus, a plurality of Jews to protest/withdraw advertising, etc., is not required. All that is required for an effective boycott is a bit of Jewish leavening, enough yeasty guilt to incent non-Jews to participate.

  • Planet Neocon: Tom Friedman says that for 20 years US policy has been dedicated to rescuing Muslims
    • economic sanctions are an attack on Iran. Once more with feeling: John Mueller: "sanctions on Iraq killed more people than Nagasaki and Hiroshima combined."

      Sanctions kill.

      Sanctions are planned for Iran.

      The Iranian people are quite capable of reforming their own government in their own style in their own time.
      I notice the Jeremy ben Ami argues that J Street was formed to lobby the US government to intervene to solve Israel's problems -- take away: Israel is not capable of solving its own internal contradictions.

      Further, ben Ami is among that oh so progressive group that says of itself that it represents the majority of American Jews, and that J Street strongly support economic sanctions against Iran.

      Talk about internal contradictions.

    • Yet Ephraim Sneh and you, apparently, are willing to risk the death by starvation of 70 million Iranians because they have a

      nuclear program which friendly or unfriendly was being hidden from the IAEA?

      There lack of transparency is why there will be sanctions

      thanks for going on record, yonira.
      Your words: hiding a nuclear program from the IAEA, a program which may be well within Iran's NPT rights to enrich or may not be, creates in your mind and the minds of Israeli influence peddlars, the casus belli to wage war by sanctions.
      I say casus belli because sanctions kill, less quickly but, as John Mueller said in a clip linked elsewhere, "sanctions killed more Iraqis than Nagasaki and Hiroshima combined."

      Witty is squealing like a stuck pig at the whiff of a threat of BDS imposed on apartheid Israel,
      ~which actually has commited war crimes and
      ~which actually is responsible for the mass destruction of innocent civilians, and
      ~which actually does have nuclear weapons.

      On a blog (link to blogs.law.harvard.edu) associated with one you linked, the argument is made that "Israel should be responsible for [destroying] Iran" because Israel does crazy so well, and because "Israel sees Iran as an existential threat."

      Your words again: Holocaust was visited on Jews because of their

      knack with money or their propensity towards world domination.

      Your words.
      Thanks for refining the point: The "existential threat" that Iran poses to Israel is that Iran refuses to allow their economy to be subjected to the Israeli "knack with money." Not ignorant of history, Iran is aware that in numerous instances, that "knack with money" involved suborning governments and economically raping innocent civilians for the personal gain of some individuals who were Jewish.

      The "propensity towards world domination" -- hmmm, are you Patrick Clawson? Clawson's doctoral thesis discussed the process of bringing "third world economies" into the global capitalist system, and used Iran as one of the examples. Clawson explained the process in Marxist terms, noting that capitalists exercise not only financial dominance over labor, but that capitalists acquire social dominance over their erstwhile workers.

      That is what the entire project, most recently begun by Ephraim Sneh in 1992 and signed on to by Knesset shortly thereafter, is about: Israel intends to exercise economic and social dominance over Iran, and is not averse to killing however many innocent people get in the way of their project, consistent with the statement of Madeleine Albright (a Jew) when asked whether the death by sanctions of half a million Iraqi children caused her a twinge of conscience: she "calmly assert[ed] that U.S. policy objectives were worth the sacrifice of half a million Arab children" link to fair.org .

    • no, I do not think Iran is at all responsible for sanctions. Were Jews responsible for the Holocaust?

    • in fact, yawnira, Iran does feed its hungry -- I suspect Iran's essential commitment to government support of its people, in practice as well as theory- is what drove Ephraim Sneh mad.
      Former defense minister Sneh is the protagonist of the demonization campaign against Iran that focused Israel's propaganda on Iran's nukes. In a speech at AIPAC in Wash, DC in 2008, Sneh urged the assembled US congress/AIPAC bootlickers to cause Iran's government to worry about how they would feed their 70 million people. I call that speech inciting genocide, a violation of the Convention against Genocide.

      Sneh wears another government hat in Israel: son of a prominent Communist, Sneh complains frequently that Israel is not living up to its socialist commitment. Israel has serious internal problems of poverty -- such poverty that each year over 50,000 Israeli women have abortions. Despite Israel's attempts to so strangle Iran's economy that Iran, too, will kill its children, Iranian government policy and national character does feed its people.

      Chaos -- US feeds Israel.
      ben Ami spouted the usual neocon bs that the US annual tribute to Israel is actually beneficial to US, inasmuch as the lucre is used to buy US -made weapons. Of course, it would be antisemitic to stretch the thought a bit and realize that a shekel of its own that Israel does not have to spend on white phosphorus to kill Gazans is a shekel that can be spent on Israeli socialized health care.

    • Jeremy ben Ami backstopped Friedman in an appearance on C-Span Washington Journal this morning . Like Friedman, Ben Ami's declarations of J Street policy made it crystal clear that the groups mission is to serve as a rear guard for AIPAC and to ensure that the TWO STATE solution, which the J Street-Brit Tzedek v Shalom alliance knows perfectly well will fail, but which is essential to create so that it, and Palestine, can fail, lest the only just resolution, one state, be imposed upon Israel.

      ben Ami's statements on C Span were textbook zionism: Palestine must recognize Israel's right to exist, must renounce violence, must surrender the right of return.
      In exchange, Israel will "compensate" displaced Palestinians for their losses, and will also resolve the problem of Israeli settlers by economically compensating them. Nothing remarkable, or even non-neoconish/zionist/AIPACist in ben Ami's 30 minutes of C Span fame.

      What was remarkable was the responses of the callers to C-Span: of 9 calls or Tweets fielded, 6 were not pro-Israel (including one that ben Ami declared was, wait for it -- antisemitic), 2 were Israel-neutral, and one, a self-described messianic Jew, that is, a Jew who converted to evangelical Christianity -- asserted that Israel MUST exist so that the Lord will come....

      Perhaps two years ago Robert Lieber of Georgetown University sat in the same Washington Journal chair. One could almost see Lieber reading the talking points he had memorized: "Americans share Jewish values;" "polls show that the majority of Americans favor Israel and disfavor Palestinians." When a caller -- presumably one of those Americans -- argued that many Americans DO NOT support Israel and Israeli values, Lieber barked at him: "You're wrong!" "Americans favor Israel."

      The worm is turning.

      Lieber didn't recognize it two years ago.
      Friedman doesn't get it.
      I suspect the motivating dynamic of J Street is that they DO understand that Israel and American Jews are increasingly in disfavor, and they are redoubling AIPAC's efforts to protect their turf.

      The callers who spoke out against Israel did not speak with any rancor or animus against Israel or against Jews, but rather argued in support of American interests and values.

      ben Ami attempted to make the case that an American pro-Israel stance would work to the benefit of American interests, but inasmuch as ben Ami forthrightly urged sanctions against Iran in order to bring Iran to heel, the state that, said ben Ami, Isrealis consider their "major existential threat," his concern for American interests cannot be considered genuine.
      Why do I say that?
      The world knows what economic sanctions do. In remarks at the University of Virginia Miller Center, Ohio University professor John Mueller repeated that economic sanctions were the "necessary cause of more deaths in Iraq than were killed in both Nagasaki and Hiroshima combined."

      J Street supports the policy that the US ought to lead the world in slapping sanctions on Iran that will kill more people than the US killed in Japan in 1945.

      How can that be in the best interest of the American people?

  • Ali Abunimah's speech at Hampshire
    • Izzeldin Abu Laish had the power and integrity to be a "Palestinian Gandhi," and is as principled and articulate as Ali Abunimah. American supporters of Israel recognized this quite quickly after Izzeldin's tragic moment became a media event.

      Brit Tzdek Shalom is doing to Izzeldin what zionists do best: co-opting his message thereby defusing Izzeldin's power so that Israelis get to bask in the glow of Izzeldin's suffering, and Palestinians are reduced to supernumeraries.

      BTvS is trotting Izzeldin around the US.
      I attended one of his first such appearances, at a Jewish Community Center. Izzeldin was unwavering in his disavowal of violence and hatred, unwavering in his insistence that Jews and Arabs can and have lived together in peace on the same land.

      Izzeldin was EVEN unwavering when one after another Jewish members of the audience took the microphone and excoriated Palestinians, blaming them for their refugee status, waving each time the bloody shirt of Holocaust.

      BTvShalom is neutralizing Izzeldin.
      Ali Abunimah has managed to avoid that trap. Godspeed, Abunimah.

      I had thought that the closest the Iranian people have to an Abunimah is Trita Parsi. Parsi walks a very fine line, and attempts to shift the focus from Iran's nuclear activities (which are a red herring created by Israel to 'Wolfowitz' the world into thinking Iran is a major threat) to Iran's internal human rights record. Haleh Esfandiari supports him in that sphere. But in legitimately attempting to improve Iranian human rights, Parsi contributes to the blackened picture of Iran, thus further weakening Iran, without simultaneously speaking out with absolute, Ali Abunimah-style clarity that the aggressor against Iran is Israel.

      Writing in these little boxes is challenging -- all the strands of thought don't get tied together --
      The interconnections between Abunimah, Izzeldin, and Parsi have to include Ahmadinejad, who, if you study his words carefully, says something similar to what Abunimah says but says it less eirenically; that's why Israel had to deligitimize him. Ahmadinejad is an embarrassment to many Iranians precisely because he has been cast as an antisemite, and Parsi uses Ahmadinajad as a target, an embodiment of all that is wrong with Iran. In that, in my opinion, Parsi errs: Ahmadinejad represents positions that genuine liberals in the US should embrace, and as mayor of Tehran and then as President, Ahmadinejad pushed against an entrenched oligopoly in Iran to gain and distribute advantages for the poor, the rural, and the disenfranchised.

      I asked Izzeldin to express his opinion on Iran's "support" for Palestinians. Izzeldin said Iran was not helpful, that Palestinians were quite capable of fighting their own battles, and that Iran interfered in Palestinian affairs, perhaps for Iran's own purposes, not those of the Palestinian people.

  • Will a Israel-Hamas prisoner swap mark the end of the PA?
    • Israel has punished Iran for over 20 years in attempts to gain the release of Israeli air force navigator Ron Arad, whose plane went down due to an equipment malfunction while Arad was on a mission to bomb PLO in Lebanon in 1986. That Arad was not rescued was due to another series of mistakes by the Israeli rescue team.
      Somehow, this is laid at Iran's feet. At least four Iranian diplomats and hundreds of other Iranians have been assassinated, captured, tortured, imprisoned by Israel in numerous 'operations' to retrieve Arad. He's still missing, but then, Israel still has Iran in its crosshairs.

    • thanks for giving this report space, Phil, especially since it comes from the inside and does not seem to have even a whiff of animus in it, just a cool tracing of the stress lines in Palestinian political life. Mr. Moor's analysis also reveals that there are maturing political institutions in Palestine, belying the simplistic propaganda, "Hamas bad," "no partner."

      Hezbollah grew to legitimacy in Lebanon. If the gods are kind, if young people like Ahmed Moor continue to analyse thoughtfully and write courageously, if people like Phil Weiss continue to bring those words to an expanding audience, if people like me send some money to Phil so he can keep doing all this.... then maybe two aggrieved parties, Israelis and Palestinians, can be talked back from angrily leaping off a cliff to their own destruction.

  • Tail bites the dog
    • yes indeed, potsherd, Israel should be disarmed.
      American Jews should consider long and hard how perilous their situation really -- Americans are experiencing only one/tenth of the economic pain the US has been causing Iran, at Israel's instigation, yet Americans are whining like two-year olds bereft of their cartoons.
      If Israel continues to threaten Iran and Iran retaliates by causing Americans to experience more economic pain, and Americans see more and more of their sons come home via Dover, eventually even Joe the Plumber will turn his gaze toward errant Israel and the American Jews who support Israel.
      If Jews are made to feel uncomfortable in the US, whadda they gonna do, make aliyeh to TelAviv, which Bibi will have cleverly situated at the other end of Iranian missile sights?
      It's 15 minutes to Kristal Nacht, right here in the USA. Germans and Jews got on quite well for many, many years, until the tipping point. Jews see the US as their golden land, the land of tolerance, until the tipping point.
      For their own sakes, American Jews absolutely must pressure their fellow Americans who advocate for Israel, and Israeli leaders themselves, to repent -- to think again, to consider the utter immorality of the campaign of demonization and threats they have been carrying on against Iran for almost 20 years.

      The utter immorality of an attack on Iran, not to mention the immorality of the sanctions US is imposing on Iran through the offices of Stuart Levey at State Department, should make every American think with horror of Abraham Lincoln's statement: "I tremble for my country when I reflect that god is just."

  • 'Responsible' Jewish human rights org says: 'It's 1938'
    • Dennis Ross has that covered, Chaos; under his chairmanship of JPPPI (Jewish People Policy Planning Institute), one of the first papers published and first projects undertaken was greasing the wheels of an Israel-China alliance, inasmuch as, quoth Solomon Wald, author of the paper, "US superpower status is on the decline."

      In Israel lobby world, the US suckers are already being kicked to the curb. We're broke; what further use are we? Even have the nerve to (timidly) resist starting another war with Iran.

  • The situation, in a nutshell
    • fascinating post on the Orange the other day:

      by Jeffrey Feldman
      Fri Nov 20, 2009 at 07:44:24 AM PST

      This morning I woke up to find an email response to my recent piece on Sarah Palin ("Don't Get Palin's Appeal? Try a Little Harder"):

      Thank you, I had forgotten why people like to stuff people like you into ovens.........

      If you really think hard, you can figure out that "people like you" refers to my being Jewish, which this reader must have deduced from my last name, which sounds--Jewish.

      umm, no, Jeff, your name doesn't sound Jewish, it sounds German.

      If you really think hard, you can figure out that some people might come to resent that their culture and history have been subsumed by another.

    • does math count in the whole "reasoning skills" plaint?

      Didn't Hebrews live prosperously in Egypt for 480 years before about 600 or 6000 of them stole goods from the Egyptians and fled to the desert with their booty?

      Didn't Jews live in Spain, prosperously, for 500 years, before being asked to leave because Jews were not content to be important in the government, they wanted to own the government (see Prof. Ruderman and the poetry of Halevy)?

      Didn't Jews live prosperously in Germany for perhaps as long as 900 years?

      Haven't Jews lived prosperously in Iran for almost 2500 years, and didn't Jews hold court from Baghdad from at least the 6th century BC until the 20th century?

      The world tires of the "Jews have been persecuted for 2000 years" meme; it's historically inaccurate.

      Ask the little girl from Austin how 'persecuted' her life has been.

  • Is there any other so-called lobby that has its own state department?
    • What is it with Israel and Iran?
      Only way I can understand it: The children of Abraham require a sacrificial lamb, lest they be required to sacrifice their own children to affirm their internal sense of behaving morally. Iran is the unblemished ram caught in the thicket du jour .

      Iran has done nothing to Israel other than pique its collective conscience and defend the oppressed Palestinians.

  • The neocon smear campaign against Trita Parsi and NIAC
    • Dr. Parsi seems to present a proxy for American Likudniks to carry on the campaign of demonization of Iran that Ephraim Sneh persuaded Knesset to launch in Israel starting in 1992. As Parsi explains in his Ross award-winning book, Treacherous Alliance, AIPAC realized one of its earliest triumphs when it gained Clinton's signature on an executive order that made it impermissible for American companies to engage in major business deals with Iran, disadvantaging American companies even as Knesset passed not such measures, and indeed, do engage in trade with Iran.

      Parsi runs NIAC and his tireless activities advocating for Iran in a highly ethical, carefully thought out, strategically astute, nonconfrontational style that I believe reflects core values of the Iranian national character. Those values are embodied in one of Parsi's mentors, Dr. Ruhi Ramazani, Professor Emeritus of Middle East studies at University of Virginia. Parsi and Ramazani both seek to understand and to make understood, and both share the hope of "bridging the divide" between the country of their birth and the country where they have made their homes. link to virginia.edu

  • Tomorrow in NYC: Omar Barghouti & George Fletcher debate boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel
    • good work, Kathleen. NPR and C Span are going the way of Faux schmooz.

      Seemed to me the callers to C Span/ ben Ami held the line that the moderator failed to draw, and mostly without animus. By my count, nine people called/Tweeted, and six of those stated views that were not supportive of Israel nor were they buying ben Ami's brand. Those six did say, however, that the interests of the US and of the American taxpayer ought to be uppermost in US foreign policy formulations.

      bA revealed that J Street is an AIPAC rear guard project.

  • A student responds to the J Street conference
    • No, I do not live in Iran, I have travelled there, one of relatively few non-Iranian Americans who has had that great opportunity. I had the enormous good fortune to have travelled with a relative of Richard Frye, an American who spent most of his long and fruitful career studying, preserving, and disseminating the proud history of Persia and the ways that western culture has borrowed from it.

      The American view of Iran is seriously skewed by (imo) the deliberate effort of Israelis and Israel's American 'advocates' to demonize Iran out of fear that a US relationship with Iran will disadvantage Israel economically and geopolitically.

      Several years ago I received a message from dear Jewish friends announcing an upcoming speech by Patrick Clawson, sponsored by AIPAC, UJF, and half-a-dozen other Jewish groups. The flier had a picture of a reddened cloud of smoke against a black ground, with the bold letters: "Iran: A Threat to Humanity." I was appalled. I attended the event and was even more distressed by Clawson's hideously distorted version of Iran, the reactions of the audience, and the actions of the sponsors -- when my friend, who is Jewish and a retired physician, challenged one of Clawson's claims, a UJF 'gatekeeper' told him to be quiet or he would be removed by Security.

      That event changed my life. I could not and will not let such a situation stand.

      I've attempted to 'arm' myself, with knowledge and networks, to push back against that demonization campaign in every instance where I encounter it, and to advance the positive view of Iran that more accurately reflects that state, its people, history, and culture.

    • broken record here, and off-topic at that.

      Qom is Iran's holy city, a kind of Islamic Vatican. It's surrounded by desert. After Khomeini came to power post-1979 Iranian revolution, mullahs acquired enough political capital to divert water from area mountain streams and channel it to irrigate a vast swath of desert land around Qom, to "make the desert bloom." The area is now lush and green, with prosperous farms that bring great wealth to some, and a sustaining income to many.

      70 million is a lot of mouths to feed in a desert-and-mountain ecology. It takes a great deal of power to power to keep the irrigation system functioning, and a lot of people's livelihoods, not to mention daily bread, depends on the flow of water to sustain the crops.

      Several thousand years ago, Iranians began the system of qants -- hand-dug deep wells connected by underground channels -- that is still maintained today. In earlier days, the persons who maintained the qants were wrapped in white shrouds as they descended to their work, for their workplace was as a tomb, which it frequently became. Needless to say, a modernizing Iran is applying its intellectual energy to the problem of irrigating the desert to feed its people without having to bury the people who make irrigation possible.

      That's where the nuclear facility at Qom comes in: Iran is attempting to husband its energy resources and use nuclear technology to, among other things, provide energy to run facilities to keep the fields around Qom watered and productive.

      Nuclear energy at Qom to 'make the desert bloom.'

      Perhaps Israel could take a few notes from Iran, and instead of banishing the Bedouin from the Negev, put Israel's nuclear arsenal to work at sustaining life, including the Bedouin and their herds, rather than threatening it.

  • Sullivan again
    • thanks coMMenter.

      (blushing pink)

    • is mention of DailyKos verboten on Phil Phorum?
      Hasbarists and gatekeepers reign supreme in the orange world of the boy Kos.
      A retired navy man wrote a trenchant critique of Hillary's missteps (or were they missteps?) in ME last week; he was persuaded to remove the article.

      Any mention of Iran or of Ahmadinejad that does not fall in lock step with the Israel first gatekeepers is denounced if not banned by a troop of protect-Israel-at-all-cost Kossacks. DailyKos is cited by mainstream media as reflective of "liberal" views and Democratic party orthodoxy. But don't look for an insightful article on Iran that might have something positive to say about the country; the few posters who have been known to write about Iran pull their punches until they've become their own sparring partner. Don't look for commentary on the Goldstone report: DailyKos seems to have missed that whole episode as it played out in Israel, in the UN, in Palestine, and in the US Congress.

      Markos knows what makes his orange bread turn green: it consists in avoiding at all cost any criticism of the blue-on-white, even it it comes at the expense of the red, white, and blue.

  • Holocaust revisionism/denial
    • 1. tell it to Bibi.
      2. you can't achieve justice without truth; unearthing the truth of the holocaust IS working for justice
      3. truth-telling IS activism on behalf of Palestinians
      4. Ahmadinejad and Iran have been 'activists' for Palestinian justice for many years, and to the detriment of Ahmadinejad's reputation and the well-being and economic vitality of the Iranian people. They have been specifically targeted by Israel and Israel's American influence-peddlars precisely because they spoke inconvenient truths and defended the rights of Palestinians. Iran is the model for pro-Palestinian activism.
      5. That being the case, advocating against the demonization of Iran in the US by Israel and its influence peddlars is ALSO activism on behalf of the Palestinian people.

    • The Wannsee Conference was in early 1942. link to scrapbookpages.com

      As eminent scholar and statesman Bibi Netanyahu likes to remind the world, Ahmadinejad is Hitler and Iran is Germany:

      " "It's 1938 and Iran is Germany.... Ahmadinejad is preparing another Holocaust for the Jewish state." "

      FACT: As is noted in the Wannsee site linked above, that the conferees at Wannsee "planned" to "kill Jews" in massive numbers is highly ambiguous. Relocate, yes, but genocide? Not supportable by the evidence.

      FACT: If the plan of the Wannsee conference WAS, indeed, to exterminate Jews, the conference was held in 1942. Did Germans compose the PLAN to exterminate Jews four frickin years AFTER , according to Bibi, the Germans began to put the plan into effect?

      FACT: Ahmadinejad is not only NOT planning the extermination of Israel, he doesn't have the power to do so even if he wanted to; in the Iranian government system, (as Fred Kagan helpfully points out link to irantracker.org ) Ahmadinejad is not the political equivalent of Hitler in 1938 or even 1942 Germany.

      Logical QUERY: If the Germans did NOT plan the genocide of the Jews in "1938," and given that even Fred Kagan recognizes that Ahmadinejad does not have the power to enact a "1938" that may or may not have occurred until 1942, then what degree of credibility should the world's decision makers place in the statements of the leader of the Jewish and democratic state of Israel?

    • Eric Cline is a professor of Jewish studies and ancient Jewish history. In one of his series' of lectures, Cline said,

      "We don't have evidence that the Jews wandered in the desert for forty years; they lived in tents, so 'proof' would be holes from tent poles. But as we all know, the 'absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.' So we continue to search, and are optimistic that we WILL uncover evidence proving that the Jews wandered in the desert."

      In the same series of lectures, Cline tackles the fact-value of the NUMBER of Jews who fled Egypt, which the Torah (and even that most unassailable of all sources, Wikipedia! link to en.wikipedia.org ) sets at "600,000."

      Cline explains that 600,000 is an impossible number, noting that the number of midwives accompanying that many people would have been wholly inadequate to care for that many people, and that it would have taken that large a number at least six months to cross the Sea of Reids. Cline concludes that the actual number of Hebrews in the exodus from Egypt is most likely 600, or perhaps even as few as 60.

    • In his biography of Ahmadinejad, Yossi Melman quoted an Iranian military leader who had fought in the Iran-Iraq war and had witnessed Iraq's gassing of Iranian civilians.

      "Never again," he said, will Iranians be unprepared to protect their people from a 'holocaust.'

      Nobody came to Iran's aid when Iraq was gassing Iranian civilians. Iranian appeals to the UN went unanswered. American leaders 1) ignored Iran's pleas; 2) counter-charged that Iran was retaliating against Iraqi forces with gas; 3) participated, with Germany, in selling the gasses to Iraq, gasses not used since they were internationally proscribed in the aftermath of World War I.

      The international community Denied the holocaust of Iranians even as it was taking place.

      The world community, led by Israel, continues to deny the facts and reality of the suffering of Iranian civilians at the hands of Iraq, assisted with US intelligence aid.

      According to Ronen Bergman, for its part, Israel was happy to keep Iraqis and Iranians killing each other: Israel was selling munitions to Iran (much of which was of inferior quality and performance) and, according to one Israeli general, "Never gave a thought to the ethics of the practice; Israel was in it for the money."

  • Gasp-- Clinton praises Netanyahu as he destroys more Palestinian homes
    • Nolan -

      hmm, Connecticut Ave too.
      I was thinking of the one on Old Georgetown Road in Bethesda, just a stone's throw from hdq of Lockheed Martin.

    • BDS is not as simple as it would seem.
      Recently I was prescribed a medication for a skin irritation caused by poison ivy. My insurance paid $77, I paid $30, for the tube of creme manufactured by the Taro company.

      According to Taro's website, it was established in Israel by Israeli physicians who dedicate their efforts to the support of Israel. I resent having contributed not just my tax dollars but even my health care dollars to support Israel.

      I don't support Israel. By the way, that doesn't make me a bad person; I'm an American, so are my children; I support the United States and will extend MY efforts to a renaissance that will reclaim the Enlightenment vision of the founders of the US Constitutional experiment.

    • I would suggest additional, more overt acts (tho they will require some courage).

      A synagogue on a main road just outside Washington, DC, has a large sign on its front lawn that says, "We support Israel." Fair enough, free speech and all that...

      So I will hang an Iranian flag next to the American flag at my house and declare, "I support American friendship with Iran."

      Because I do. I believe friendly relations between US and Iran are in the best interests of the American people, Israel, and much of the rest of the world.

      Do you support friendly relations between the US and Iran? Are you willing to say so publicly?

    • thanks for sticking with this theme, Phil.

  • J Street: Do we really need another Jewish-only road?
    • Rehmat wrote:

      “Why should Palestinians or Muslims for that matter – be made to pay for the crimes committed against the Jews in Europe by the Christians and the fellow Jews?” This question was put, first by Mahtama Gandhi in 1938 and later Indian FM, Krishna Menon, in 1948.

      and more recently by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: link to washingtonpost.com

      my second question, well, given this historical event, if it is a reality, we need to still question whether the Palestinian people should be paying for it or not. After all, it happened in Europe. The Palestinian people had no role to play in it. So why is it that the Palestinian people are paying the price of an event they had nothing to do with?

      The Palestinian people didn't commit any crime. They had no role to play in World War II. They were living with the Jewish communities and the Christian communities in peace at the time. They didn't have any problems.

      And today, too, Jews, Christians and Muslims live in brotherhood all over the world in many parts of the world. They don't have any serious problems.

      But why is it that the Palestinians should pay a price, innocent Palestinians, for 5 million people to remain displaced or refugees abroad for 60 years. Is this not a crime? Is asking about these crimes a crime by itself?

    • I wish I could agree, Matt, that J-Street is an attempt by organized Jewry to CORRECT THEIR OWN BEHAVIOR.

      Brit Tzedek has formally merged with J Street.
      I've been to seminars and training sessions run by BTVS, and also to one of the convocations BTVS organized to showcase Izzeldin Abu Laish.

      The initial seminar announced the goal of BTVS: act as a counterpoint (NOT an opposition group!) to AIPAC to encourage the Obama administration and Congress to support a two-state solution. The reason for supporting a 2-state solution was that if Israel does not implement a 2-state solution, then Palestinians will achieve a one-state solution, and that is not acceptable.
      But there's more to the support for 2-state solution: citing passages culled from Dennis Ross most recent ouvre, BTSV seminar leaders assured their audience that, in the medium term, the Palestinian side of the two-state solution will fail. BTSV supports a two state solution because they know it will fail.

      Thus, I found the PURPOSE of BTSV to be disingenuous.

      I was equally dismayed at the methods BTSV sought to employ and did implement: LOBBY CONGRESS. No mention of, "CORRECT THE BEHAVIOR OF YOUR FELLOW JEW" in congregations or internal colloquia the equivalent of a Vatican Conference; no, the agenda and of BTSV was to mimic the activities of AIPAC in influencing state and federal legislators to support the BTSV policy recommendation, which was not discernibly different from AIPAC's. Political activist trainers laid out the schedule of buses traveling to Washington, DC to mount mass lobbying efforts; scripts for phone banking were discussed and rehearsed; models of fliers, fact sheets and talking points were displayed, all geared to train a new cohort of non-AIPAC Jews to behave in the same way as AIPAC in advancing a pro-Israel agenda in pretty much its current arc.

      Perhaps goy were not invited to the sessions in which Jews CORRECTED THEIR OWN BEHAVIOR or gave expression to the ways in which "good Jews" would 'lobby' "bad Jews" to persuade them to CORRECT THEIR OWN BEHAVIOR. I certainly didn't see anything like that taking place under the Brit T'zedek V Shalom umbrella.

    • I had the opportunity to join the FORUSA peace delegation to Iran that Lynn Gottlieb led in Spring 2008. I chose to join a different group that planned a larger itinerary, but we were in Iran at the same time, and our groups' paths crossed on one or two occasions. The trip changed my life; I'd be interested to hear more about Lynn's experiences and impressions.

      In addition Gottlieb was, together with dozens of others including link to forpeace.net Phil Wilayto of Virginian AntiWar Network and CASMII, among those who had a conversation with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in New York City just one year ago.

      Hundreds, perhaps tens of thousands of people have been taken on trips to Israel; fewer to Palestine; fewer still to Iran. When those numbers become more evenly distributed, when US Congresspersons and think tankers and ordinary Americans like me travel to Palestaine and to Iran in the same numbers as have traveled to Israel, then more walls will come tumbling down, more truths will be ineradicably imprinted in the minds of more American voters and legislators and opinion shapers, and the world will be a more just and peaceful place.

      Thanks for a good start, Rabbi Gottlieb.

  • Palestinian equal rights joins the progressive agenda on 'The Daily Show'
    • the more comments such as Witty's, which boils down to, "Jews are being picked on...boo hoo," the more Karin Friedemann's explanation of goy guilt rings true. Friedemann writes:

      The problem is that Gentiles are taught through emotional pressure and violence via the media and the school system to be very sensitive to Jewish suffering so when a Zionist becomes outraged at them for challenging their world view, the Gentile really has to fight against his own inner self in a huge battle against his "inner Jew" making him feel inadequate and intimidated. But the Jew doesn’t care how much he or she hurts others. Jews only care about what's good for the Jews. … link to karinfriedemann.blogspot.com

    • chaos wrote:

      I don’t like that he dredged up the “Iran wants to kill all the Jews” and “Iran has nuclear weapons” canards but — and maybe I’m being too forgiving — he’s speaking from the perspective of the vast American populace who for the most part have been bamboozled into buying the newest re-branding of what we did in Iraq.

      Yes, you are being too forgiving. Stewart should be the corrective to the "bamboozle" narrative, not its endorser.

      Stewart and every other public person who lies and incites to war ought not be forgiven but ought to be called on it, strenuously and uncompromisingly.

      Lies are lies, and people who claim a microphone have a greater responsibility to refrain from telling lies, particularly when the lies are known to cause masses of people to die.

  • McConnell: J Street may move the templates of American politics
    • this goy is fed to the back teeth with being told by Jews that "Jews created the Democratic party."

      I can't take it anymore that the 2% Jewish population manages to have at least two Jewish reporters on every morning NPR program; that Israel is mentioned -- favorably-- on at least one news item each and every morning on NPR. From 294,000,000 non-Jewish Americans, wouldn't you think more non-Israeli news would be important?
      If Jews are blamed because US invaded Iraq, it is because Jewish voices dominated the conversation in inciting the war, just as it is Jewish voices that are sounding the call to wage war on Iran, or at least to do to Iran what was done to Iraq -- sanction the state and its 70 million citizens, with the goal, as Ephraim Sneh articulated before an AIPAC audience, of causing Iran's leaders to fear that their people would starve.

      This goy has sacrificed and spent way too many hours trying to STOP those forces from invading Muslim countries, and this goy can't take it any more, but unless this goy keeps resisting the push emanating from even Jon Stewart and the oh-so-progressive J-Street, to place punishing sanctions on Iran for the crime of speaking truth to Israel, then Israel just might do one more deadly stupid think and further target Iran, with the result that American forces in the MIddle East will be harmed; the Iranian people, who want nothing other than respect, will be greatly harmed; America's and the world economy will be harmed -- (Israel will prosper, however, from weapons sales), and, ultimately, Americans will turn on Jews in the US.

      This goy can't lay down the burden of trying to stop Israel from harming Iranians, because to do so would be to allow harm to Jews.

    • How so? In important ways, the United States has become a Judeo-Christian country. Not necessarily in a theological sense – which may be impossible, but in the sense that much of its public and official rhetoric is suffused by dual Jewish narratives of suffering and striving for social justice. If one lives in a major American city or has any sort of cosmopolitan life at all, it is all but unavoidable. As a former New York neoconservative, I was bathed in it, often without even realizing it. It is possible to roll one’s eyes at this—here goes yet another story about the Freedom Riders or the refuseniks or the desperate efforts to flee Europe in the 1930’s. But it impossible to deny that this narrative, grounded in our recent history, has real power and merits genuine respect.

      Who is Scott McClellan and why should anyone pay any attention to him?

      In what alternate universe can one say that the same people who "love Israel," which dropped cluster munitions on Lebanese civilians and used white phosphorus against Palestinian civilians "merit genuine respect" for their commitment to social justice? Joshua Muravchik claims to have marched in civil rights protests. Shall we laud his social justice sensibilities as he cheerleads war on Iraq, Lebanon, and Gaza; urges the US to bomb Iran, and supports the subversion of the Iranian government? Is that more "Judeo-Christian" social justice?

      Americans need to reassert their own, distinctly Jeffersonian Jesusian moral values, and to resist the influence of and distinguish those moral values from the way some Jews -- I'm thinking of Kagan and Kristol and Wolfowitz and Perle and Feith and Rubin and..... would attempt to subvert American Jesusian values in favor of Old Testament, falsified, mythologized, zionized narratives.

      After the way Americans have been neoconned, Jews need to start from the bottom to earn respectability again, just like Germans post WWII.

  • Amira Hass: NYT runs Israeli propaganda, and U.S. is blindered to absence of Palestinians' rights
    • America: An entire nation in the grip of kosher Stockholm Syndrome

      link to theoccidentalobserver.net "A topic that is not discussed enough is the screaming, in-your-face, hostile aggression that people must withstand when they dare to trample on Jewish sensibilities. We are not talking about the sophisticated rationalization one sees in the op-ed pages of the mainstream media, or even the smear techniques of organizations like the ADL or the SPLC. We are talking about interpersonal aggression. There is something absolutely primal about it. ...

      link to karinfriedemann.blogspot.com American Jews are actually being trained since childhood to interact with non-Jews in a deceitful and arrogant manner, in coordination with each other, to emotionally destroy Gentiles and Israel critics in addition to wrecking their careers and interfering with their social relationships. This is actually deliberate, wicked, planned behavior motivated by a narcissistic self-righteous fury….

      The problem is that Gentiles are taught through emotional pressure and violence via the media and the school system to be very sensitive to Jewish suffering so when a Zionist becomes outraged at them for challenging their world view, the Gentile really has to fight against his own inner self in a huge battle against his "inner Jew" making him feel inadequate and intimidated. But the Jew doesn’t care how much he or she hurts others. Jews only care about what's good for the Jews. …

  • Mondoweiss in 'The Nation' - American Jews Rethink Israel
    • would that azj s would work out their internecine conflicts in the synagogue, Schmuel.

      I attended a Brit Tzedek seminar last Spring. The message was, AIPAC = the bad guys, we = the good guys. AIPAC is making Jews look bad.
      The solution: join with Brit Tzedek to lobby Congress. Learn from us how to lobby effectively; travel in OUR bus to Washington to lobby Congress.

      As if the US Congress is the playground for Jews to work out their spats.

      How 'bout if AZJ s confront their co-religionists/ co-peopleists and straighten them out without dragging the rest of the world into their bloody fight.

    • Americans who speak up get censored, banned, un-elected, targeted, lose their jobs, become marginalized, lose their social standing. The label, AntiSemite is more powerful than anything Hester Pryne embroidered.

      There are a few Americans who speak in harmony with American values about US relations with Iran; betcha 100 shekels you've never heard John Tirman on C-Span or NPR, much less CNN or Fox.

    • slim comfort to Americans that the US is the host nation for a civil war between zionists and antizionist Jews.

      It's happened before: Jews work out their internecine conflicts but the surrounding culture suffers-- 'collateral damage'? Elitist Jews in Germany, and zionists, behaved arrogantly in pre-WWI Germany, battling among themselves and enraging Germans who were exercising their own newly-discovered nationalist muscle; Jews derided German pride and ambition: Amos Elon writes in The Pity of it All that Jews in Germany felt it their right to instruct backward Germans in the correct way to organize their culture. Zionism in Germany was at least partly a Jew-on-Jew battle; Germans suffered for it.

      Americans are suffering today as zionists/neocons roil the Middle East, with US weapons, treasure, and blood. It's small comfort to the parents of dead sons and daughters the "not all Jews are zionists." Where were you antizionists when Doug Feith was simultaneously making oil deals for Israel and making up s$it to provoke America to war in Iraq so that the oil deals could happen?

      The claim that "we are antizionists" amounts to putting the blood of the sacrificed lamb on the door so that the angel of death will pass over.

  • At NYU, devilish Shlomo Sand predicts the Jewish past and pastes the Zionists
    • that's exactly the process the Israel Lobby (same-same as ZionistsUSA??) used to impose the first set of sanctions on Iran in Clinton's administration: first, an executive order enjoining any US company from forming contracts with Iran of greater than $20 million.

      Concerned that a mere executive order might be undone by a different administration, Israel Lobby went to work to write and pass the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act, 1995. (see Treacherous Alliance

      Parsi points out in Treacherous Alliance that 1. the order and the legislation worked AGAINST US interests; 2. that Israel did not pass similar legislation for itself; 3. that Israel continued trading with Iran, through third parties, if need be.

      Robin Wright put a fine point on it in remarks at a Wilson Center conference:

      link to wilsoncenter.org

      If I recall correctly, Wright said something like, the sanctions cost US perhaps 10,000 jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars. That's just the immediate commercial cost; doesn't count the cost in erosion of America's standing in the world, in all the "what might have beens" of an ongoing US relationship with Iran that American legislators were bribed, bullied, hasbarad, holocausted, and Yad Vashemed into refusing to consider in preference for "our good ally, Israel."

    • Cliff said,

      Whatever Sand is doing, it doesn’t compare to the Occupation. The daily abuse of the Palestinians ....

      and

      MRW wrote,

      Just for the record, Sand is the kind of Jew I knew before the 1979 Holocaust Museum went up, and everything became heavy-handed.

      Sand is a teaspoon at the edge of the Mediterranean.
      How can that teaspoon change "facts on the ground" in Gaza and in the minds of Israelis, and how can "facts on the Mall" in the US change the minds of Americans who reflexively (and ignorantly) express exactly the opinion their propaganda ministers have trained them to express since at least 1979: thou shalt not expose the clay of Jewish feet.

    • Israel isn’t yet a nation. It is a society. It has no legal borders. It has no constitution. It has a name, and an attempted legal system with no teeth if the ruled upon dont like the verdict.

      The uneducated boobs who created the country had no knowledge of history or the grand scale of world history. They knew what they knew from their shtetls and that was it.

      Zionist leaders took as their model the nationalisms which emerged in largely undemocratic societies and seemed to have little understanding of the dynamics of free, open societies such as France, England and the United States. “We must bear in mind,” writes [Yakov M.] Rabkin, “that Zionism takes as its example the organic nationalisms of Central and Eastern Europe, where nationalists were struggling to create a state, to set up legal and political structures for an already existing nation. Contacts with the exclusive aspects of German, Polish or Ukrainian nationalism were to exert a long-term influence on the Zionist movement and Israeli society. But few Zionists were aware of a countervailing reality, such as that of France, where in a slow and deliberate process, the state made use of an existing legal and political framework to create a nation. They had never experienced the kind of tolerant nationalism that could allow for a clear distinction between nation, religion and society — the model that enables large Jewish communities to thrive in France, England and the U.S. today (and where a substantial number of rabbinical critics of Zionism can be found). In fact, once they discarded Judaism as the cultural foundation of the Jews, the Zionist movement and the State of Israel had no choice but to promote a national identity based on ethnicity and consolidated by the Arab threat. The survival of a ‘secular Jewish people’ is therefore contingent on the perpetuation of the Zionist state.”

      The genius of America is that its Founders were highly literate and intelligent; they traveled in France, Italy, Russia, they were keenly aware of the 'mythologies' that served as the foundation of 'Western' values -- Ovid, Dante, Plutarch, Herodotus -- and of the history of the development of the Italian city-states, especially the experiments in governing that took place in secular Venice, where Jefferson visited and on whose inspiration he built his home.

      America was not founded on the mythology of Torah, it was founded on the principles of the Italian Renaissance and the Enlightenment; that is the biggest difference between Israel and America.

    • And what would any other nation do with those whiny fucking Palestinians after they’d lost their, what, sixth war?

      heh.

      this comment on an essay that argues that Palestinians are most likely Jewish.

    • Ahmadinejad's major offense was to neglect his wardrobe.
      Sounds like he and Sand have a lot in common, otherwise. Iranians know their history and the intertwined history of Jews and Iranians; only Americans can be so thoroughly buffaloed by zionist mythology.

      It is terrifying to listen to Americans call in to programs such as C Span/Washington Journal. Their brains are set firmly in the cement of their Sunday school Bible stories, which they've never challenged or explored beyond the level of using every color in their Crayolo box to color between the lines on Joseph's coat, and on that intellectual foundation declare emphatically, forcefully, insistently: "Bomb Iran; them people is nuthin' but liars! ?

  • 'J Street' rebuts Israel: you're hurting American Jewish interests
    • However, the ship US is definitely sinking, and that is an admixture of not only neocon activity but an accumulation of activity over the years.

      The very people who are "sinking the ship US," (Dennis Ross, chair of JPPPI inter alia) are prepared to leap from the lifeboats to the deck of the rescuer/successor vessel of the zionist technic, China:

      TThere can be little doubt that China is emerging not only as an Asian power but as a major
      power on the world stage. China’s dynamic economic growth shapes markets worldwide now
      and in the years ahead will place an increasing demand on oil resources. As Shalom Salomon
      Wald explains in his excellent paper, China’s need for oil will give it an increasing stake in what
      happens in the Middle East.
      But this JPPPI paper is not simply about China’s emerging interest in the Middle East. It calls
      attention to the history of Jewish-Chinese relations. It observes that the Chinese reflect little or
      none of the traditional forms of anti-Semitism. Ironically, it is Wald’s contention that as China
      opens more to the world and as trade tensions potentially increase, there is a risk that a resurgence
      of “the old canard of a Jewish world conspiracy” could seep into China. To date, it has not.
      On the contrary, Wald notes that many Chinese often tend to see the Jews as a mirror of their
      own history, they admire Jewish wealth and successes, they respect the great contributions that
      Jews have made to Western civilization (citing most often Marx, Einstein, and Freud), and they
      perceive themselves and the Jews as representing the “two oldest living civilizations.”
      Wald also observes that the Shoah has become the most widely known episode of Jewish
      history, and that, too, creates sympathy for the Jewish people. Against this array of positive
      factors, there is the Intifada and its coverage in China which has begun to affect the good image
      of Jews and Israelis. The growth of the Muslim population may deepen this trend, particularly
      as the daily images of violence are, according to this research, “upsetting many Chinese.”
      With China’s increasing significance, this strategic paper makes a strong and compelling case
      for much greater Jewish engagement with China. (from Dennis Ross's preface of Solomon Wald's paper on Jewish relations with China,

      link to 74.125.93.132

    • Accurate scholarship can
      Unearth the whole offence . . .
      That has driven a culture mad . . .
      What huge imago made
      A psychopathic god:
      I and the public know
      What all schoolchildren learn,
      Those to whom evil is done
      Do evil in return.

      W H Auden September 1 1939

    • damn the attitude that thinks the "American identity" is of no value.

      somebody needs to invent the American equivalent of 'antisemitism.' The attitude that Mooser displayed, above, that "American identity" is of trivial import but that American JEWISH identity should be protected, is disgusting.

    • Thank you Todd.

      May I repeat this for emphasis:

      "As Americans, we worry about the impact of Israeli policies on vital US interests in the Middle East and around the world."

      and raise you:

      "As Americans, we worry about the impact of Israeli policies and the influence of American Jews vis a vis Israel, on American domestic policies and institutions. "

    • Can/do American Jews vote in Israeli elections?

      I learned that Iranian-Americans could and did vote in Iran's election, and wondered if there are other Americans who can affect the policy decisions of other states which which the US has relations. ie. Can British-Americans vote in elections in Great Britain? Does having dual citizenship mean that one can be a fully participating member of two different, perhaps adversarial, nations?

  • NPR's 'Morning Edition' Joins Vigilantes
    • using lumping language works for the project of keeping ignorant Americans fearful and inflamed about the "Arab" threat. In the hasbara/propaganda project, "Iranian" is frequently conflated with "Arab" and "Islamic," which many Iranians would consider an amazing feat of propaganda, since many Iranians are quite elitist and consider 'Arabs' to be beneath them, and consider Islam to have co-opted the finer Persian culture.

    • Do ‘Fire for Judaism’ (FFJ) and ‘Love of Youth (LOY), have the same blue star of david on their (KKK) white hoods, or do different groups distinguish themselves by emblazoning their white hoods with different symbols of the zionist brand?

  • Leslie Gelb admits he supported Iraq war for the sake of his career
    • tangent:

      Michael Oren was interviewed on C Span while flogging his fantastic book. Toward the end of the interview, having stated that he was born in the US but made aliyeh to Israel, Oren also disclosed that at least one son is in IDF, intelligence, working on "secret projects."

      One can't help wondering if the son of the Israeli ambassador is manufacturing 'intel' that will result in the deaths of American sons and daughters, for the benefit of Oren's Israel fantasy.

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