Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 49 (since 2014-11-29 00:27:59)



Showing comments 49 - 1

  • At NY premiere, David Grossman will join Netanyahu minister who boycotts Darwish
    • In his book, THE INVENTION OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE, Shlomo Sand sketches the trajectory of race theory in Europe in the second half of the 19th century. The belief that Jews and gentiles are distinct racial types was “the norm” in the scholarly community, he reports. "The murals in the tombs of the pharaohs depicted . . . human types whose physiognomy was identical with modern Jews. The Jewish race . . . has retained its integrity . . . and the Jewish type has conserved its purity throughout the centuries."

      The Jewish race has “retained its integrity” because it was believed that the Jews possess "the holy seed" (THE INVENTION, Sand, Shlomo, New York, Verso, 2009, p. 77). Intermarriage cannot eliminate or dilute “the holy seed.” “The Jewish type is indestructible.” “Assimilation is impossible . . .” (79).

    • Yonah admits to not knowing the 2000 year history of the Jewish people -- only “some headlines” -- yet she scolds any readers of Mondoweiss who have not read one book by Oz, Yehoshua and Grossman. “How can you have a war of ideas if you have not read them?”

      Yonah is confused, as usual, because she has been traumatized by the horrors of the Shoah, browbeaten by the endless profiteering of the holocaust industry (an ideological weapon which portrays Israel as the “eternal victim” of antisemitism), and the popular misrepresentation of the history of the Jews -- and of the history of Zionism -- by the MSM in Israel, the U.S. and elsewhere.

      A better place to begin forming and educated opinion on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict than reading Oz, Yehoshua and Grossman would be to read Heinrich Graetz’s HISTORY OF THE JEWS FROM THE OLDEST TIMES TO THE PRESENT (published in the 1850s) because he argues that Isak Markus Jost’s HISTORY OF THE ISRAELITES FROM THE TIME OF THE MACCABEES TO THE PRESENT (first published in 1820) misrepresents the Jewish people as a religious civilization rather than an eternal people, tribe, or Volksstamm with a common lineage and inherited traditions reaching back to a mythic past.

      Graetz’s HISTORY was the first Jewish nationalist argument, of which I am aware, that characterizes Jews as a chosen moral people with a specific historical beginning and a legitimate historical teleology (as documented in the Torah). It was written at a time when different ethnic groups (especially in Central Europe) were staking claims to particular pieces of real estate, so it’s not surprising that some Jews would begin to formulate that ideological argument at that particular time (given that historical context).

      But identifying the crux of the Jewish nationalist argument is really only a necessary beginning, unfortunately, to becoming an informed student on this particular topic.

  • With white nationalism on the rise in the US, JCC bomb threats stoked fear and solidarity
    • Americans should insist on a professional (meaning: not-"enhanced" but adroit and exhaustive) interrogation of this "terrorist." We need to understand and expose his probable motivation(s). Nothing less than a rigorous and methodical investigation of these hate crimes are required.

  • The Quebec mosque shooting and the Zionist connection
    • In Louis Lipsky’s book, A GALLERY OF ZIONIST PROFILES, Lipsky has this interesting thing to say about Ze’ev Jabotinsky (1880-1940), Menachem Begin’s (1913-1992) mentor: “[Ze’ev] was doubtless influenced by his admiration for Mussolini, not as a political theorist but as a performer. In fact [Ze’ev’s] opponents were personally greatly attracted to [Mussolini]. At one time, even Dr. [Chaim] Weizmann established cordial relations with him on a social level. The same was true of David Ben-Gurion, who on several occasions was on the verge of making peace with him, but was held back by his own party. . . . [Ze’ev] would have distinguished himself and his party [the Revisionist Party], had he lived to the days when the Yishuv rose in conflict with the [British] Mandatory regime, and the power of the Revisionist Party was taken over by the Irgun (NewYork: Farrar, Straus and Cudahy, 1956, p. 100).

      I’m sure I don’t need to tell anyone who reads Mondoweiss who Bibi looked up to as a mentor (before he passed away in 1992).

  • Despite international pressure, Finkelstein gives talk on Gaza's 'martyrdom' at German institute
    • Thank you diasp0ra. I was going to comment that allowing Norman Finkelstein to speak in Germany is a big step forward. This could not have taken place in Germany just a few years ago. The BDS movement, and publications like Mondoweiss, are making it possible for scholars like Finkelstein to debate the Palestine/Israel conflict --- even in Germany. This is, for me, progress. The word is getting out. Despite the efforts of Bibi, and public intellectuals like Bernard-Henri Lévy, Germans are beginning to rethink their uncompromising policy of: "Never challenge Israel -- right or wrong. Our Nazi past prohibits any and all criticism of Israeli. That's just the way it is. We have to hold our tongues. We can never criticize Israel."

  • 'Morality within the army is becoming less important among Israeli society': Azaria conviction reveals divisions across Israeli society
    • Yeah right. That makes good sense, AddictionMyth. Give a white nationalist mass murderer a "life in prison" sentence for mass murder when Black men are executed all the time for lesser crimes. That does not make sense to me. How do you justify that, logically?

  • Netanyahu's holy war, and the coming Jewish schism
    • Hasbara culture dictates that any criticism of Israeli policies makes the critics permanent "enemies of Israel." U.S. President Barack Obama and his Secretary of State, John Kerry, join former President Jimmy Carter (and millions of other Americans) as permanent "enemies of Israel" because “a deep and wide moral abyss separates us" [Israelis] from any critics of Israeli policies.

  • Netanyahu accuses Obama of betraying 'commitment' to Israel and initiating U.N. resolution
    • It is time to start having public debates in the U.S. about terminating the war against Islam in the U.S. and Europe by dismantling the the late-19th-century, race-based state in Israel and creating a democratic multinational state, a home for all peoples regardless of their birth mother's roots/origins. States constituted according to principles based on biologically-determined, "tribal" identities have no place in the modern World System.

    • It is time to start having public debates in the U.S. about terminating the war against Islam in the U.S. and Europe by dismantling the the late-19th-century, race-based state in Israel and creating a democratic multinational state, a home for all peoples regardless of their birth mother's roots/origns.

  • Why a Texas rabbi keeps losing a debate over Israel with a white nationalist leader
    • I see Spencer as one prominent leader of a “new breed” of semi-covert racists and antisemites (a.k.a. anti-Semites). Many Americans have a difficult time challenging Spencer in public debates because -- like Rabbi Rosenberg -- they support some version of a “Jewish state” (even if they do not agree with all of Israel’s present-day policies and/or actions).

      Spencer uses some Israeli policies and/or actions to promote hate in the U.S. Many Americans -- for good reasons in some cases -- refuse to criticize Israeli policies (and/or actions) simply because they do not want to be branded as an antisemite or "self-hating Jew." This is, in my view, unfortunate.

      The fear of being branded an antisemite (or "self-hating Jew”) opens a space in political discourse for white supremacists like Spencer to promote antisemitism in a backhanded manner by suggesting that some Israeli policies and/or actions are “exclusionary” and therefore may be as “racist” as Spencer’s views. The fear of publicly criticizing Israel is, in my view, wrongheaded.

      Today, more than ever, Americans must take a stand -- with or against specific Israeli policies/actions -- just as they do with those policies/actions of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Somalia, Yemen, Iran and other countries with which they disagree. Political outspokenness should not be condemned. Fear of standing up for, or speaking publicly about, what you believe in, is (in my view), ultimately, detrimental to the United States’ political stature in the world. It also encourages American "adventurism," heavy-handed overt and covert military operations, endangers our cherished freedoms and, most importantly, perhaps, the lives of our people in uniform and innocent civilians who are the victims of U.S. military "collateral damage."

  • New anti-Semitism legislation may stifle campus activism for Palestinian rights
    • If the history of modern German literature can be said to begin "on a day in 1743 when a 14-year-old Talmudic student named [Moses] Mendelssohn entered the city through the gate reserved for Jews and cattle" (THE PITY OF IT ALL: A PORTRAIT OF THE GERMAN-JEWISH EPOCH, Elon, Amos, New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2002, p. 4), then the history of the new Christian Anglo-Saxonism in the U.S. may at some future date be ironically identified by the introduction of the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act by the U.S. Congress on Nov. 30, 2016.

  • Tulsi Gabbard's screw-the-neocons meeting with Trump sparks anger, derision, encouragement
    • Anything is possible, Atlantaiconoclast, but I'm not holding my breath.

    • Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is the first American Samoan and the first Hindu member of the U.S. Congress. As a U.S. Army National Guard combat veteran, she's seen the cost of American adventurism in the Middle East up close, so she is staunchly anti-war. She quotes Mahatma Gandhi routinely. She's a hard-core environmentalist and defender of the rights of indigenous peoples around the world. She is a voice for women's rights, minorities, the marginalized and the dispossessed. She is a close ally of Bernie Sanders. She openly opposed Hillary Clinton and spoke out in favor of including 3rd-party candidates in the 2016 U.S. presidential debates (and got smacked down for it by the DNC). You can't ask for more than that from a U.S. Congresswomen. I think it is best for Americans to stay out of Indian politics. We can't pick leaders for the Indian people and don't know all of her reasons for maintaining a dialogue with Narendra Modi and/or the BJP, please!

  • Trump aide blows off Zionist gala, and Dershowitz warns that politicizing Israel means 'we could lose'
    • Yonah is being historically accurate in pointing out that "Herzl was happy to assimilate, but [many] nonjew[s] w[ere] not happy to have him around." It's absurd to claim that "anti-goyism was the main generator of Zionism." Logic demands that correct conclusions be based on valid premises. Herzl was neither a "Jewish supremacist" nor a "segregationist." His motive for establishing a Jewish State must be understood in the historical context in which he lived, which could be described as a period in Europe when Jews were experiencing the consequences of a surge in Pan-Germanism, Pan-Slavism and anti-Semitism." He was himself guilty of entertaining some of the stereotypes of Jews spread by ant-Semites. For example, he was so angry at the Sassoons, Montagus, Warburgs and other wealthy Jewish families of his time for not supporting his Zionist project that "it triggered an outburst on his part that would have delighted the troglodytes of the Jew-baiting gutter press but which he published in Die Welt [The World] [in] October 15, 1897, under the heading of Mauschel (Yid, or kike)." In "a diatribe [which] sizzles with primitive rage," he identified the "Yid [as an] anti-Zionist" (qtd. in THE LABYRINTH OF EXILE: A LIFE OF THEODOR HERZL, Pawel, Ernst, Farrar, Strauss & Giroux, NY, 1989, pp. 345-346).

    • I agree. Trump meeting with Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is good news.

  • I'm not worried about anti-Semitism
    • I think that Annie is correct in suggesting that the "alt-right" should not be dismissed out of hand. I have noticed that many young white male Christians, atheists, libertarians and others -- non-Jews and non-Muslims of all sorts -- make racist, anti-Semitic and Islamophobic comments to me in private coffeehouse conversations. My "chrome dome" apparently makes them feel safe to speak their minds around me -- a stranger, someone they may have seen around town before -- Ventura, CA -- but do not know personally.

      I honestly believe I probably hear more comments of this sort in casual conversations than most people do. Many of these young white males appear to assume that I'm an older, fairly successful paleoconservative (or white ethno-nationalist of some sort), part of what they consider to be the new "silent majority." It is troubling and worrisome. It makes me anxious, at times. What I have always recognized as "white privilege" (or "WASP privilege") seems to have morphed into its reverse among many white males: they actually seem to genuinely believe that -- as white males -- they are the victims of discrimination in (what is for them) today's new "pc world."

      We need to make an effort to stay informed. We need to try to reason with these people. We should not ignore their comments. We should challenge them in an intellectually-rigorous manner.

      Having shared this experience, I would also add -- "with extreme prejudice" (to quote dialogue from Coppola's APOCALYPSE NOW) -- that it's too soon to become fearful, paranoid. Talk is cheap. When more of these young white males begin gathering in groups and assaulting "minorities" -- if we ever reach that stage in the U.S. (and I don’t believe we will) -- then it will be clear that it is actually time to start becoming fearful, paranoid.

      I don't think we have reached that stage of madness yet, so it seems premature to presume that the U.S. is moving rapidly in a linear direction toward some ultra-right-wing political movement which closely resembles fascism. Trump’s election may be a temporary aberration. Let's hope so. It's too soon to assume, as many of these young white males do, apparently, that this is "the new normal."

  • Where do we go from here? Our thoughts & yours on the US election
    • It is difficult at this point to predict with any specificity exactly what course Trump will chart. He may simply chart an aggressive neoliberal economic course -- combined with militant neocon foreign policy objectives along the way -- as he steers the Ship of State forward (teetering on the edge of the abyss). We may see, in other words, more of the same: a continuation of the horrific farce of U.S. Manifest Destiny -- disguised as the “American dream” -- played out with virtually no opposition from the multitude.

      Of course, his ethno-nationalist pilots and crew may advise him to steer the Ship of State radically toward the alt-Right with a vengeance, taking no dissenting prisoners as they proceed toward their white nationalist republic. As horrible as things are presently, they could get much worse posthaste. So we should not, it seems to me, remain passive/inactive.

      Either way, resistance seems the only reasonable strategy for us to adopt at this point. Mutinies do not always entail throwing the captain and crew overboard. We could shackle them with manacles and chains and fasten them to stays in the Ship’s hold, using them as ballast as we steer the Ship of State towards a social democratic stronghold.

  • The power of hasbara culture
    • Sorry, Fritz, but I believe you have completely misconstrued the probable impact of the article written by Yakov Hirsch. Exposing the way Jeffrey Goldberg and Jonathan Greenblatt demonize and dehumanize supporters of the BDS movement does not necessarily lead all Americans to fear the “power of hasbara culture.”

      You have made the same error in logic that Ernst Pawel, one of the biographers of Theodor Herzl, attributed to Herzl in his analysis of the “Jewish problem” in DER JUDENSTAAT [The Jewish State] (1896).

      Goldberg and Greenblatt, like Herzl before them, assume that “anti-Semitism is ineradicable, deeply ingrained in folklore and myth, and, moreover, justifiable as a defense [by anti-Semites] against [Jewish] dominance, [so Jews] need a land of their own in which to become a people like any other.” “Jews, in this view, were defined as such by anti-Semites rather than their own backgrounds,” traditions [and/or their own complex views of their own social identity] (THE LABYRINTH OF EXILE: A LIFE OF THEODOR HERZL, New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux,1989, p. 265).

      Hirsch distinguishes between hasbara -- “good public relations arguments in support of Israel” -- and hasbara culture, “a belief system about the world" and the Zionists' view of their place in this world. He then suggests that “The recent call by Israeli education minister Naftali Bennett for the pardon, if convicted, of Elor Azaria, the Israeli soldier caught on video executing a prone and injured Palestinian, is useful in understanding the difference between hasbara and hasbara culture.”

      “The narrative of victimhood and the politics of Jewish ethnocentricity cultivated by Netanyahu and Bennett,” Hirsch explains, “are part of the social construction of reality of hasbara culture. That is the unabashed Jewish tribalism that we see from Israel every day. It is being so ethnocentric you can’t even believe the Palestinians can be ethnocentric too. In hasbara culture every type of Palestinian resistance to Israeli occupation is about Israel[,] is about “‘the Jews.’”

      In other words, you assume that “the Palestinian people don’t have their own national narrative, their own story, that is not Jewish-centric.” “Hasbara culture,” Hirsch suggests, “is an aggressive, proselytizing culture.” It assumes not only that anti-Semitism is immutable and “ineradicable” but much worse: it assumes that anti-Semitism is “justifiable as a defense [by anti-Semites] against [Jewish] dominance, [so Jews] need a land of their own in which to become a people like any other.”

  • H to Jake to Malcolm to Maggie to Haim to Huma -- resetting the discourse on Israel in 6 easy steps
    • Zionist-Jewish Americans have, in my view, either inadvertently or deliberately become the oppressors and persecutors of Palestinians, and the apologists for Israeli war criminals, by assuming their “historical victimhood” status as “Jews” which (in their minds) makes it definitionally impossible for them to oppress others while supporting a safe haven -- commonly known as the modern State of Israel -- for “likely” future victims of anti-Semitism.

      Christian-Zionist Americans (especially the Calvinist Christian Reconstruction Zionists, Charismatic/Pentecostal Kingdom Now Zionists, New Apostolic Reformation Zionists and others) are guilty of supporting the oppression and persecution of Palestinians too, of course, but they don’t possess the “historical victimhood” status of Zionist-Jewish Americans (which makes their role as supporters of oppression and persecution of Palestinians more palatable to most Americans).

  • In Tel Rumeida, you can be arrested for laughing
    • That's a really good question, Demsh. It is not commonly known that Herzl was unable to convince the vast majority of Western-European Jews during his lifetime to subscribe to what they considered his "paranoid" views. This included the Rothschilds and other wealthy, powerful French, German, Austrian and British Jews. They would not even answer his long-winded letters, much less meet with him to discuss his “foolhardy” project.

      Most successful Western-European Jews considered themselves Austrians, Germans Frenchmen, Englishmen, etc. and believed his idea of colonizing Palestine both “dangerous” (for all Jews) and "crazy." Not only that, but the idea of immigrating to Palestine and founding a Jewish State in that part of the Ottoman Empire was not even a remotely attractive idea to them.

      Even friends of Herzl’s, like the great Austrian dramatists Arthur Schnitzler, sympathized with Herzl’s “paranoia” because anti-Semitism was “going mainstream” in politics in Vienna, and elsewhere, with the rise of pan-German and pan-Slavic political parties, but they still believed this to be a temporary aberration, and they wanted no part of Herzl’s “crazy” project because they believed it to be not only totally unfeasible, but quite frankly, a utopian fantasy, the project of an emotionally-disturbed, “paranoid” individual.

    • It's absurd when viewed from a historical perspective. The two Austro-Hungarian founders of political Zionism, Theodor Herzl and Max Nordau (born Simon Maximilian Südfeld) were atheists, but they justified the colonization of Palestine by claiming: 1) modern Jews (c. 1896) were "probably" distantly related in some way to the ancient Israelites who were dispossessed of or exiled from their homeland by the ancient Romans, 2) the indigenous people of Palestine living in the region for the last 1500 years were "barbaric" (THE JEWISH STATE, Herzl, Theodor, 1896), and 3) modern Western-European Jews were/are “civilized” and were (c. 1896-1948) being persecuted by “civilized” Russians, Austrians, Germans and other Europeans).

      In other words, the ancient Israelites of the Exodus narrative -- and those modern Jews who are “probably” distantly related to them in some way -- are valorized over the “barbaric” Arabs living under the Ottoman Empire before WWI (and later under the British Mandate, 1920-1948).

      It is therefore perfectly reasonable for modern “civilized” Jews to dispossess modern “barbaric” Palestinian-Arabs from their land because the modern Jews were/are a “civilized” people, while modern Arabs are a “barbaric” people.

  • 'Atlantic' editor says that Israel's 1948 expulsion of Palestinians was not 'a tragedy'
    • “Goldberg’s . . . Nakba denial [is]: an ethnocentric statement about Jews that does not take into account Palestinian humanity. . . . [and] is meant to obscure [the] lived reality of ethnic cleansing and occupation that we are all dealing with today [with] the collapse of the peace process and the rise of the [BDS] movement.”

      Another way of comprehending American college students’ growing distaste with present-day Zionist ideology might be to try to better understand the historical context of the establishment of a central precept of that ideology: the principle that any present-day capitalist World-System must include a Jewish State -- whose laws privilege Jews -- to avoid another Shoah or, at any rate, a world in which widespread, rabid anti-Semitism (and persecution of Jews) is inevitable.

      Most American college students -- whether they identify themselves primarily as Jewish or gentile, white or black, European-American or Native American, or however they choose to classify their complex nexus of identities -- are not convinced that that particular ethnocentric/discriminatory Zionist premise is valid. Most black youth, for example, are not convinced that a return to a (black) slave economy in the U.S. is inevitable. Why should young Jewish-Americans believe that a predominantly-Jewish, militant-nationalist Israeli regime which terrorizes its probable fifth columnists (the Palestinian population of Israel, the West Bank and Gaza) is the only thing that stands in the way of a return to a world in which widespread, rabid anti-Semitism (and persecution of Jews) is inevitable?

      Andreas Huyssen argues that the socio-cultural milieu of late 19th- and early 20th-century Europe suffered from an “anxiety of contamination” which helped produce the anti-Semitic totalitarian regimes of Stalin’s Soviet Union and Hitler’s Germany (AFTER THE GREAT DIVIDE: MODERNISM, MASS CULTURE, POSTMODERNISM, 1986, p. vii). The ethnocentric/discriminatory ideology of Zionism was formulated in that same socio-cultural milieu. The Zionists’ ethnocentric ideology is comprehensible/fathomable in that particular socio-historical context, but it makes no sense in the socio-cultural milieu of our contemporary global world order. I would argue that any militant-nationalist political regime which privileges children born of Jewish women over children born of non-Jewish women in today’s neoliberal capitalist World-System encourages -- rather than discourages -- anti-Semitism.

  • The battle over Obama's legacy, featuring Netanyahu, Zogby, liberal Zionists, and 88 senators
    • ". . . in reality, Israelis have made their choice. So the question is whether the United States can face that reality, and what, if anything, is it prepared to do about it?"

      Israelis have indeed made their choice, in my view, a choice based on their nostalgia for “lost origins,” the fictively inscribed world of the European colonizer and the native Other. What does that mean for 21st-century Israelis and Americans?

      It means that Zionists in Israel and the U.S. must recognize that they do not occupy a higher ground, morally and legally, than the indigenous Palestinian. They must acknowledge the common humanity of both the colonizer (occupier) and the colonized (occupied) and guarantee them the same rights and privileges not just in ambiguous theory but in actual practice.

  • Trump’s Israel advisor (again) argues for annexation of the West Bank with bad math
  • There's no room on campus to be progressive and pro-Israel
    • Thank you, Annie Robbins.

    • Ha . . . ha . . . ha . . . ha . . . ha. LMAO! Exactly.

    • I join other commentators in thanking Annie for her cogent analysis of Kogen's “How BDS Is Pushing Jewish Students Out of Social Justice Activism." I often wonder if pro-Zionist activists have taken the time to study the writings of Franz Rosenzweig, Martin Buber, Emmanuel Levinas, Tony Judt , Judith Butler and the many other respected scholars who have pointed out the menacing fault lines revealed by any careful scrutiny of Zionist ideology.

    • "The devil is in the details": A few details Al2Sultan leaves out:
      In his political pamphlet, Der Judenstaat [The Jewish State] (1896), Theodor Herzl characterized the Middle East and Asia of his day as a wellspring of “barbarism” and suggested that the best form of governing the Jewish nation’s Promised Land would be a combination of “democratic monarchism” and “aristocratic republicanism” in order to preserve “a true balance of power.” “Nations are . . . not fit for unlimited democracy at present,” he wrote, “and will become less and less fitted for it in the future.” “Our people” (the Jews) who colonize Palestine, Herzl suggested, will “accept the new constitution it offers them. Should any opposition manifest itself,” he made clear, “the Society [of Jews] will suppress it.”

      Herzl made his strategy for the colonization of Palestine quite explicit in the concluding chapter of this political pamphlet in which he suggested that the first colonists must be primarily from the Jewish underclass: “It is precisely the poorest whom we need at first” because “only the desperate make good conquerors.” According to Herzl’s carefully-crafted political pamphlet, the principle of “[u]niversal brotherhood is not even a beautiful dream.” In point of fact, he argued, the Christian humanist and Enlightenment concepts of “universal brotherhood” — as splendid as they may sound in theory — have turned out to be ill-advised in practice. The father of modern political Zionism — Theodor Herzl — specifically rejected the Christian humanist, Reform Judaism, Muslim and secular versions of “universal brotherhood,” claiming that “antagonism [as opposed to cooperation or collaboration] is essential to man’s greatest efforts.”

      The very idea (conception/proposition) of a “Jewish State” can never be wrenched/twisted/spun into a progressive political policy objective, never could. Why dissimilate? If you are a political reactionary, Al2Sultan, why don't you just fess up, and adopt neocon arguments from brilliant political theorists like Leo Strauss and Carl Schmitt. Why the games?

  • Solidifying behind Clinton, foreign policy establishment gins up a cold war with Russia/Iran
    • Correction: The book Cities Under Siege: The New Military Urbanism. London: Verso -- cited in my post above -- was published in 2010 (not as incorrectly recorded: to be published in the future: 2020).

    • I agree. Also, I was thinking it may be easier to understand the U.S.’ so-called “war on terror” as part of the Pentagon’s 21st-century strategy of achieving full-spectrum dominance and control of the entire planet, cyberspace, the electromagnetic sphere and space itself.

      The Pentagon defines “battlespace” as “the limitless battlefield of post-modern war . . . the environment, factors and conditions that must be understood to successfully apply combat power, protect the force or complete the mission. This includes the air, land, sea, space, and the included enemy and friendly forces; facilities; weather; terrain; the electromagnetic spectrum; and the information environment within the operational areas and areas of interest” (U.S. Department of Defense, Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms. Washington, DC: Department of Defense, 2004, p. 64).

      Over the past thirty years, “it has become increasingly clear that the nature of warfare is undergoing a radical change. Enormous battles between two regular, mechanized, and well-equipped armed forces of the industrial age have become a thing of the past. In fact, the Yom Kippur War in 1973 was the last time classic battles of this kind were fought, either in this region [the Middle East] or beyond. Other types of warfare, of an absolutely different kind, have taken their place” (Yiftah Shapir, “Trends in Military Buildup in the Middle East,” Shlomo Brom and Anat Kurtz (eds.). Strategic Survey for Israel 2009. Tel Aviv: The Institute for National Security Studies, 2009, p. 112).

      “One type, commonly called the Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA), rests on three main components: the use of precision guided, long range weapons; absolute intelligence superiority throughout the battle arena; and systems of Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence . . . that allow for integration of all the other elements. The war in Iraq in 2003 proved the absolute superiority of a military that adopted this approach over traditional mechanized military” (Brom and Kurtz [eds.], p.112).

      There are at least four different types of warfare needed today, two of which the U.S. can employ and two Israeli “niche” systems: 1) “focused logistics,” and 2) “full dimensional force protection” (Halper, Jeff. War Against the People: Israel, the Palestinians and Global Pacification. London: Pluto Press, 2015, pp. 75-76).

      The U.S. and Israel’s “military-industrial-security complexes are integrated to a degree ‘that it might now be reasonable to consider them as a single diversified, transnational entity . . . [f]ueled by the two states’ similar ideologies of permanent war’” (Graham, Stephen, Cities Under Siege: The New Military Urbanism. London: Verso, 2020, p.259, qtd. in The War Against the People, p. 72).

      Syria -- with the help of Russia, Iran and Turkey -- may be able to foil the Pentagon’s 21st-century strategy of achieving full-spectrum dominance and control of the entire planet, cyberspace, the electromagnetic sphere and space itself.

  • Outside RNC, Cornel West has inspiring words for the Palestinian people
    • Is it possible to plagiarize cliches?

      Michelle Obama's speech may be rated as too cliché-ridden in your judgment, Keith. I would think that a great deal of contemporary political discourse -- especially words spoken in public to a politically-enthusiastic U.S. Democratic Party (or Republican Party) audience -- would be rated cliché-ridden by most of us. That's beside the point.

      You are guilty of plagiarism whenever you use someone else's words or ideas without crediting them. Much of Melania's speech is virtually word-for-word identical to Michelle's speech. You can't deny that. She's guilty as charged. The excuses coming out of the Fortress Trump campaign are lame at best.

  • Guess who sent me this letter
    • Any way I could persuade you (or your great team at Mondoweiss) to delete all my previous comments on your website? I'm being hassled by the govt. and pro-Israel trolls, apparently, so I'd prefer to not participate in most social media discussions in the future for some (unspecified) period of time.

    • I'm wondering if Phil or any of his many politically progressive readers are finding FBI cookies on their laptops, having problems calling anyone, at times, problems using FaceTime -- quite often -- sending iMessages, etc.? Am I being targeted by pro-Zionist trolls, for some reason, you think . . . . or . . . . am I just being paranoid?

  • White House says Netanyahu offers no alternative but military action (and Liz Warren won't say if she's attending speech)
    • This is a real opportunity for Elizabeth Warren to distinguish herself further from Hillary Clinton by suggesting that she -- unlike most U.S. politicians -- is not "for sale."

      This is a gift! Hopefully her campaign advisors will stomp their feet and repeat in unison to her: “Standing with President Obama over and against Bibi Netanyahu will resonate with the American public.”

      The average voter in the U.S. cannot imagine any U.S. politician standing up and looking directly into the mass media circle jerk of microphones, cameras, and camcorders in an honest, forthright manner and saying:

      “I cannot be bought. If I choose to run for the distinguished office of the presidency of the United States, I will represent the American people. I will defend their interests against all lobbyists no matter how powerful, well heeled and demanding they may be.”

      “There are no rubber stamps on my desk. Lobbyists FedEx me rubber stamps every day, and I just repackage the item and write on the box: “Return to sender, address unknown.”

  • Obama reported to be looking into settler attack on State Dep't officials, even as NYT buries the story
    • I don't know, Annie? If I was president -- radical suspension of disbelief, of course! -- I would not sign legislation into law involving economic or military sanctions which I do not support. Congress can always override my (presidential) veto if they have the votes, but if they do, then my political opponents would have a more difficult time making the case that I am, always have been, and always will be an unqualified, unconditional bootlicker servicing the Zionist lobby on a daily basis.

      I like sanctions myself -- and not just the BDS version being recommended by Josh Ruebner, Anna Baltzer, Rebecca Vilkomerson, etc. Much prefer them to military intervention, for example. Why rule out a strategy which is quite effective in some cases?

    • I agree that we should all make sure we never blame the U.S. govt.'s unqualified support of Zionist ethnic-cleansing operations on "Jews" (a vague, essentialist designation), Mivasair. Michelle Goldberg's book, KINGDOM COMING: THE RISE OF CHRISTIAN NATIONALISM (2006), suggests that much of the political support for Israel's hawkish, ethnic-cleansing policies comes from Christian Zionists in the U.S.

      Christian nationalism -- like German nationalism and militarism, Jewish nationalism and militarism (or Zionism) -- should all be condemned as anachronisms. Religious, ethnic and/or cultural privilege (and bigotry) just does not make sense in the 21st century.

      Zionism must be distinguished as an (exclusivist) ideology which has no obligatory connection to religious faith, ethnic or cultural bias.

    • I like the fact that you mock the report of Obama “looking into” an incident in which Israeli “settlers” [as opposed to Zionist thugs/enforcers] threw rocks at an unfamiliar vehicle carrying U.S. State Dept. officials in Eretz Israel’s colony on the West Bank of the Jordan River, Kay24.

      Rather than focus on Obama’s apparent endorsement of Netanyahoo freezing $127 million in Palestinian tax revenues -- in response to the Palestinian Authority filing a request to join the International Criminal Court earlier this week -- let’s make sure the MSM reports on Obama’s robust investigation into a few heroic Israel “settlers”/”homesteaders” throwing rocks at foreign intruders making inquiries about IDF operations in their colony on the West Bank.

  • Dershowitz named in lawsuit alleging abuse of underage sex slave
    • Being a retro-bohemian has its advantages. Post-Zionist Israeli artists, journalists and academics -- esp. the Israeli New Historians and their revisionist colleagues in the sociology departments of Israeli universities in the 1990s -- found themselves enticed by some features of the recent past.

      Remember that they were experiencing the radical aftershocks of viewing Marshall McLuhan’s “Mechanical Bride” déshabillé. They found some other avant-garde tropes equally seductive: Berger’s and Luckmann’s theory of the “social construction of reality,” various deployments of the “hermeneutics of suspicion” by academic colleagues teaching in the humanities, Adorno’s and Horkheimer’s deconstruction of the “dialectic of Enlightenment,” and many other Kafkaesque and Borgesian strategies of disclosure and demystification, so the idea of a powerful and unscrupulous pro-Israel lobby controlled by a wealthy and politically-astute “shadow elite” did not seem too implausible to them at that time.

      They began to think in terms of Foucault’s power-knowledge structures and Gramsci’s theory of cultural hegemony. They even began to question their own roles as purveyors of a canonical Zionist ideology. Their curiosity led them to examine more carefully the master narratives of Zionism they had learned as students and were currently teaching in their own classrooms.

      Employing more critical approaches to history and sociology compelled them to confront the prevalent view of Zionism in the Israeli academy as a democratic movement of “national liberation” with profound skepticism. The obvious cosmopolitan bourgeois convictions of Herzl, Nordau and Jabotinsky did not connect seamlessly with these early Zionists’ fin de siècle views on race, ethnicity and nationalism. That recognition created, for some of them, an almost overwhelming experience of cognitive dissonance.

      So they began to dig deeper, to challenge inherited beliefs, to view the Zionist canon skeptically. They were by no means emotionally incapacitated by doubt as Zionist neocons would lead you to believe. Instead, they began to “hold back assent from opinions which are not completely certain and indubitable just as carefully as [they would] those which are patently false.” That is, they began to employ their own updated understanding of Descartes’ skeptical “method” in their search for truth.

      In fact, Ilan Pappé documents his own version of Julien Benda’s "Trahison des Clercs" -- his personal journey of discovery -- in his "The Idea of Israel: A History of Power and Knowledge" (2014).

    • I agree with the point you make, Annie. But the specific circumstances and the public "reputation" of someone like Epstein would be relevant in this case, I would think.

      To me it seems pretty dumb (for a prominent public figure like Dershowitz) to accept sexual favors from young women through an intermediary like Epstein.

      I certainly don't think men should suspect all young women of preparing honey traps, or acting as bait in badger games, but the circumstances seem suspicious in this particular case.

      I have not seen any hard evidence at this point, obviously. I am speculating about the size of an object -- viewed through a small circular aperture -- at the bottom of a large, opaque pit.

    • Check her ID? Sorry, possession of what appears to be a valid ID is not a credible defense for an adult having "consensual" sex with someone who may feasibly/possibly be a minor. The legal age for consensual sex in the geographical domain where the sex took place is the critical issue in this case, I would think.

      If there is any question of a sexual partner being underage, the adult should not only decline to have sex with the person in question, he/she should offer help, protection and show genuine concern for this person's safety and security. Robust support, encouragement, and unqualified/unconditional protection should have been offered/provided to this young woman.

      I don't detect any wiggle room for the defendant under the circumstances described.

  • On eve of University of California honor, Bill Maher defends anti-Muslim hate speech in Vanity Fair interview
    • Attempts to impose dogmatic atheism on sizable groups of heterogeneous populations in an apodeictic manner has not been an effective strategy, historically, for organizing human communities. Many individuals like to believe in freedom of thought and action (and/or free will) as well as individual liberty (and/or "open"/experimental forms of community), especially when faced with adults raised in different cultural milieus. A better strategy, it seems to me, would be to give (headstrong) human beings a range of choices: atheism, agnosticism, different forms of skepticism, and sophisticated forms of tolerant belief systems like religious pluralism.

    • I agree, Kay24. Karen Armstrong is a highly-respected historian who has written many books on ancient history, the Bible, Islam, the Crusades, biographies of both Muhammad and Buddha, but her real passion comes through most clearly, in my view, in her comparisons and contrasts between the three Abrahamic religions.

      She has devoted her entire life to studying and writing about the history and exegesis of Axial Age religions (800-200 BCE), Christianity and Islam, all the books included in the different versions of the Old and New Testament, the Quran, the Pseudepigrapha and the Apocrypha (She hasn't written extensively on the Babylonian and/or Jerusalem Talmud, however, as far as I have been able to determine).

      Maher has no scholarly background. His expertise is in tabloid journalism, celebrity chitchat, and making fun of people, their beliefs and opinions. He was a dyed-in-the-wool libertarian, Hugh Hefner acolyte with no sympathy whatsoever for the poor or minorities until 6-8 years ago when he miraculously transformed himself into a “compassionate conservative” (masquerading as a liberal progressive).

      Like Sam Harris, he’s been on an anti-Islam/pro-Israel crusade (as a dogmatic atheist) since 9/11. He was apparently raised as a Roman Catholic but claims his mother (née Julie Berman) never told him her “dark secret” (that she was the child of Jewish parents).

      Coincidentally, the late Christopher Hitchens had the same “dark secret.” His mother, he claims, kept this secret from him and his Christian brother her entire life (1921-1973). He did not know of his Jewish ancestry, he claims, until late 1987, but thought nothing of it until the first Gulf War (1990 1991), when to everyone’s surprise at the NATION magazine (where he worked) he transformed himself from a radical Leftist “dove” into a pro-Israel, Little-Bush-loving, Arab-hating “hawk.”

    • @ Jahan-Zaib H. Gilani: You have quite accurately, in my view, unmasked Bill Maher as a frequent purveyor of Islamophobia and religious hate speech. He seems completely oblivious to world history’s religious wars and the protracted, bloodstained struggle of humans for some modicum of religious tolerance, something which distinctly separates modernity from the Middle Ages.

      This kind of historical amnesia is especially noxious coming from a celebrity with a large fan base who promotes himself as a “liberal” and/or political progressive. His fans have come to anticipate his attacks on people of faith, his characterizations of them as credulous dupes or spellbound sheeple. The religious, the pious, the devout are his favorite target.

      When employing his particular style of put-down humor, Maher regularly makes fun of Roman Catholic doctrine, priests, nuns and Christian fundamentalists. But anyone who has watched him more than once recognizes that he reserves his most venomous assaults for Muslims. Like his second baseman on this particular panel, Sam Harris, Maher proudly defends his dogmatic atheism as the only valid form of belief for intelligent, well-informed, rational human beings in the 21st century. And both of them are guilty of mischaracterizing and defaming Islam as the only truly pernicious and malevolent world religion widely in use today.

      Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and other forms of traditional belief are all, for him, wholly without foundation and thus subject to mockery and ridicule. People who support contemporary religious belief systems, and time-honored spiritual practices, are all -- without exception -- characterized as either spellbound fools or people trapped in some kind of weird pre-Enlightenment time warp.

      Thank you for identifying this joker by his peculiar multicolored fool’s suit.

  • Caroline Glick melts down with European diplomats
    • That's so funny. What's an app.? You're so-o-o-o-o-o retro.

    • The Simon Weisenthal Center and Hillel International just proudly announced a new phone app “to fight anti-Semitism” which will be deployed on 550 US campuses with Hillel centers.

      In a truly alarming marriage of Paranoid Surveillance Culture and the no-desperate-move-surprises-us-anymore Israel lobby…the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC), the group known for actually building a “Museum of Tolerance” on top of a Muslim cemetery in Jerusalem, has developed the app to encourage students to literally report their teachers and fellow students. Reminiscent of surveillance posters found in places like Singapore, and I’d imagine, North Korea, this app’s catch phrase is “See it. Report It”

      Explained Hillel International spokesperson David Eden:

      “Working against anti-Semitism with the Wiesenthal Center is a natural for Hillel International. We’re proud to stand shoulder to shoulder by promoting this important tool to those who most often take the brunt of anti-Semitic attacks – students,” said David Eden, Chief Administrative Officer and chief spokesperson for Hillel International. “This innovative and simple to use app is another resource that we can use to help keep North American college campuses safe for Jewish students.”

    • According to Glick, nothing has changed. Europeans treat Jews, an essentialist corporate body, the same way, today, they have since the time of Jesus.
      Non-Jews have always misread/misinterpreted the Book.  Non-Jews are incapable of understanding YHWH's Word.  Jews alone understand YHWH's Law.  Jews alone are capable of distinguishing right from wrong.   Jews alone are capable of determining terrorists from non-terrorists. All non-Jews worship idols and/or false “messiahs,” so Israelis refuse to recognize -- or abide by -- non-Jewish (international) law.

      Better: Glick simply turns agreed-upon international law on its head by suggesting that only Israelis understand and respect international law: "We [Israelis] respect international law," Glick claims.  "You guys [Europeans] make it up."

    • Great post, Annie! This is the new face of Israel, the economic and military hegemon of the Middle East, the Near East, and Southwestern Asia who singlehandedly opposes Islamic terrorists around the world while Europeans and Americans sit on their thumbs, or worse, secretly support and finance Islamic terrorists, anti-Semites, and Jew-haters around the world.

      According to Glick, the late great Ze'ev Jabotinsky and Menachem Begin, and Zionist roadhouse bouncers like the current Minister of Foreign Affairs, Avigdor Lieberman, Israelis (and/or Jews, people of Jewish descent) have been treated in a contemptuous, patronizing and condescending manner by Europeans for hundreds -- or better, thousands -- of years.

      Why should the direct descendants of Abraham, Moses, Deborah, Ruth, Solomon and David pay any attention whatsoever to what these morally obtuse pagans, idol worshippers, and Judenhasser have to say about the way Jews govern their God-given homeland, Eretz Israel?

  • Nationalism vs imagination -- Beinart and Vilkomerson square off over two-state solution
    • Sarah Turbow and Peter Beinart, it seems to me, are expressing views common to the generation born before nationalism was understood as a cultural artifact, an ideology patched/cemented together with the bricks left behind when the divinely-ordained ideology of dynasty/monarchy was smashed and left in ruins. “As late as 1914, dynastic states made up the majority of the world political system, but . . . [that] old principle of Legitimacy [has long since] withered silently away” (IMAGINED COMMUNITIES, Anderson, Benedict, London: Verso, rev. ed., 2006, p. 22).

      “Nationalism is not the awakening of nations to self-consciousness: it invents nations where they do not exist” (Anderson, p. 6). Communities larger than primordial villages used to be imagined/conceptualized as if they were ethnically or culturally homogeneous. But they were not homogeneous. Instead, they turn out to have been ethnically, religiously and culturally heterogeneous.

      We need to learn to live together, to coexist peacefully. We cannot divide our ethnic, religious and cultural communities into competing sovereign states. Ethnic, religious and cultural pluralism are all unavoidable/inescapable. Imagining a spuriously homogeneous ethnic, religious, and/or cultural community is no longer credible.

    • Annie is exactly right. We have to stop dividing people up into separate racial, ethnic, cultural, and religious categories. Are bilingual Hispanic-Americans supposed to choose to be primarily loyal/faithful to Spain, Mexico, Cuba ( i.e., their Spanish-speaking ancestors), their Native American ancestors, or their (English-only speaking) white (or Black) ancestors? Do redheaded Americans and/or Israelis need to form secret Redheaded Leagues to fight discrimination?

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