Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 1069 (since 2009-07-30 21:48:05)

Richard Parker

I spent some 20 years in the Middle East (Lebanon and Jordan). I now live in the Philippines.

Website: http://richard-smallislandnotessuccessor.blogspot.com/

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  • In an effort to combat BDS, the JCRC doubles down on the occupation
    • I have just posted a report on my weblog
      link to levantnotes.blogspot.com
      that illustrates this problem (a little bit).
      Israel is using the West Bank as an open frontier where they can do anything.
      Ahava has its operations on the middle western side of the Dead Sea, where they can source their Dead Sea mud, and claim the usual outlandish claims for their products that mos cosmetic companies do.

  • When is the 'Times' going to run a furious piece about Knesset bills that discriminate against Palestinians?
    • The 'Knesset bill that would grant final say over Jewish conversions to a group of Orthodox rabbis' , plus the other law demanding allegiance to a 'Jewish State', may be the final coffin nails into the idea of Zionism.

      Who would be a Palestinian, born of people who have lived in Palestine for generations (if not forever) who could accept such nonsense from colonists?

      "What do those Orthodox Jews think when they learn their eccentric outfits were copied from the dress of the antique Polish
      nobility?

      That fact apparently confers upon them a superiority to anyone who is not an Ashkenazi Orthodox Jew (Sephardi, Mizrahi , Falasha, Arabs, Assimilated American Jews, etc, etc)

    • Phil's blog posts are not about 'The War of Ideas in the Middle East'; it's about his opinions on a small part of each day's edition of the New York Times.
      That's not enough, Phil; get out and about, and address the evolving situations that the NYT is too po-faced to consider.

  • Israeli right wants to talk about the Nakba
    • 'the entire Israeli society is responsible for the occupation.

      Yes. And the entire Israeli society will have to take the consequences when the system crashes. The jeunesse doree drinking lattes in Dizengoff will find themselves in the same position as young Lebanese doing the same in Hamra, thirty years ago.

  • 'The world won't say a thing'-- Netanyahu on ongoing Israeli expansion
  • 'America is a thing you can move very easily' (said Netanyahu)
    • Potsherd - Many thanks for the Gideon Levy link - here's another aspect of the same story which didn't get much coverage at the time:
      West Bank poverty 'worse than Gaza' - link to english.aljazeera.net

    • The Tricky Bibi video seems to have surfaced first on Israel's Channel 10 TV website on July 9, and was apparently broadcast later that evening. Richard Silverstein blogged about it on July 14, and with remarkable prescience quoted Gideon Levy, whose Ha'aretz English article was dated July 15.
      A fuller transcription of the episode in English is given on the YouTube video (also dated July 15) at: link to youtube.com!
      You get much more of the ambience of Netanyahu's comments from this (unless of course you speak Hebrew and can understand the video).

    • Well, somebody does call you a Zionist propagandist (see Shingo below) but before I fully believe your dismissal of Sharon's reported quote I would like to see some references that I could check out to convince myself. Do you have them?

  • 'Bulletin of Atomic Scientists' says violent resistance is natural response of people humiliated by collective punishment
    • I do a blog at link to levantnotes.blogspot.com that, I am loth to say, is mostly made from articles cut-and-pasted from other publications (with full attributions, but no permissions). For that purpose, I read a large number of blogs, etc, covering the Israeli/Palestinian situation.

      The constant stream of Israeli atrocities is simply to much to blog about. For an idea, read:
      IMEMC - link to imemc.org
      (A typical story of theirs, about an IDF soldier getting away with murder, is at: link to imemc.org)

      Today in Palestine: http://www.theheadlines.org

      Israel Palestine - The Missing Headlines: link to israel-palestinenews.org

      Just read the leading story in each to get an idea of what I am talking about.

      Then read Ha'aretz: link to haaretz.com
      and see how many comparable cases of Palestinian atrocities you can find.

    • Depends on who's doing the terrorising. If you count state-sponsored terrorism, then Israeli terrorism has carried on until the present day. The current Likud government and its loyal opposition, Kadima, are both direct descendants of Irgun Zvai Leumi and Lehi (Stern Gang) and are made of much the same metal, (which could be depleted Uranium. or white Phosphorous, neither of which has been used by the opposition 'terrorists').

      If I were a Palestinian of the right age, I'd eventually join one of the terrorist organizations.
      Ehud Barak

  • Politico's Mike Allen lends legitimacy to neocon smear org
    • Israel and the US are joined at the hip, so much so that a slogan like The political home for pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans is redundant. Everybody's pro-peace.

      I wonder why Israel doesn't simply apply to become the 51st state of the US (although they might have to join the queue just after Britain).

      On the other hand, they could continue their currently successful policy of turning the US into their first overseas colony.

      '

  • Anti-BDS bill makes its way through the Knesset
  • Israel still can't prove their version of the flotilla attack
  • Why I'm voting for Eisenhower over Obama
    • "Finally, he ordered Secretary of the Treasury George Humphrey to draft a change in U.S. tax regulations so that the Jewish American organization benefactors would no longer be entitled to a federal income tax deduction for contributions that benefited Israel."

      That was in February-March 1957.

      So why isn't Eisenhower's order in force 53 years later?

  • the Arab world is filled with conspiracy theories about the Israel lobby
    • Don't expect Israel to respect its next-door semi-colony (after they won the Jordan-Israel 'Peace Treaty').
      Jordan has no oil, but it does have a hugely burdgeoning problem with refugees from Iraq (in 1991 - First Gulf War), (2003 - main Iraq war) and now it is fighting the insane desires of Avigdor Lieberman, etc, to deport Palestinians from 'Israel' (including the West Bank).

  • In 'NYT,' commenters brand Israel 'fascist'
    • For $50,000 a year, I will wear a silly hat, coat and knickers, nod over my Torah and Talmud studies, and educate this fellow's children in whatever he wants.

    • American citizenship is one of the best things you can buy - ask any number of Filipinos or Mexicans.

      The American Dream is still alive in their hearts. They still, very honestly, think they can do better in Amreeka, than they can at home.

      One very telling excerpt from Citizen's link: which is well worth reading :link to forward.com
      "Jewish day schools, which together cost the family upward of $50,000 per year in tuition"

      $50,000 per year is 4 times the amount I budget for everything for 1 year to live here in the Philippines. I couldn't afford to have a kid as well.

      The disconnect between the 'Third World' and America is huge. No matter what sort of bad recession America is going through, it's still a lot better than opportunities elsewhere.

      So American Jews may be making Aliyah to Israel, to save money, but they are going to find themselves in the same game that they left.

  • It just gets worse
  • If you look at anything on this site--
    • I am introducing a regular feature into my weblog (Notes from the Levant) to be titled 'Israel's Crime of the Week......'.
      The first such feature is at: link to levantnotes.blogspot.com and features the video linked in Formerly T-Bear's post.
      The most disturbing thing about this report (and many others that are similar - link to israel-palestinenews.org) is the cold, deliberately cruel way the Israeli authorities go about their dreadful business.
      I don't think I will need to go to any trouble to find a regular weekly Israeli crime.

  • Note to Kristof: Palestinians don't need Israeli tutelage with nonviolent protest
  • 'Times' prints call for ethnic cleansing of Palestinians
    • WJ: "the threat of Israel’s Palestinians could be overcome through a combination of strategies and wisdom

      Patrick Cockburn's article, which I have just put up at my own blog includes the emphasised (by me) quote: Ever since the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin in 1995, Israel has been ruled by one of the stupidest and least responsible leaderships in the world.
      link to levantnotes.blogspot.com

    • I had a conversation last night with another Englishman who has become an expert on the Middle East by virue of a three week visit to Turkey, Syria and Lebanon.
      He openly guffawed at my answer 'East Jerusalem', to his question 'What is the largest city on the West Bank?'
      He preferred the answer 'Ramallah', as I suspect 99% of Israeli Jews and their sympathisers would.
      What do readers of Mondoweiss think?

      Latest at Notes from the Levant:
      link to levantnotes.blogspot.com

  • Viral IDF dancing video unwittingly reveals reality in Hebron
    • This video of Israeli soldiers rap-dancing in a major Hebron street that has been 'ethnically cleansed' for 10 years is, simply, disgusting.

      I have great admiration for the Palestinian woman who remains, obdurately, in her own home, but has to get out of it by climbing over roofs. Thank God for her courage.

  • Oh no
    • If the man had the guts to visit he Occupied Territories, with his wife, he could change the whole perception of the US in an instant. But he's an empty sad sack.

    • Sumud: Obama should definitely visit Israel, also Gaza and East Jerusalem/West Bank. A few days touring Gaza, a little time in Silwan, a little in Hebron, and then a visit deep in Area C where Palestinians aren’t permitted water, electricity or any structure more permanent than a tent. If Obama were serious in Cairo he could easily shift US opinion with a comprehensive visit to the OPTs
      Oh come on! He's already visited Sderot and that's all he needs to know.
      But he could do more, indeed.

  • Petraeus emails show general scheming with journalist to get out pro-Israel storyline
    • Gary Leupp's version link to thebulletin.org is very good. It makes the full story very clear indeed; so much so that I have posted it in its entirety at:
      Fruit Salad General Backpedals - “As You Know, I Didn’t Say That”
      link to levantnotes.blogspot.com
      All the teflon in the world isn't going to help this guy much longer.

      Areaman I am familiar with your species of bile, but not your total ignorance. WTF did Kuwait have to do with the Iraq War?

    • Thanks Annie & Hayate. I like your designations: Pet and petshopboi. In fact, I might use them myself.
      The fellow is going to get himself into an unholy mess in AfPak soon enough to ditch his chances of being US president, although probably the narrative can be kept going for quite a while longer. (What's another year or two on 9 years' fuck-up?).

      It's taken a bit of time for the truth about the famous operation against Marjah to come out (it wasn't a town of 50,000 people, but a collection of small hamlets in the midst of agricultural land, and the 'Taliban' is back in charge again now).

      If Pet now goes against Kandahar, as he trumpeted earlier this year (and we're not yet halfway through it), he'll meet his nemesis. It won't matter what he said about Israel.

    • No, I don't think you're stupid - just as as confused as I am.

      Quote from post: Thx, Max. (Does it help if folks know that I hosted Elie Wiesel and his wife at our quarters last Sun night?! And that I will be the speaker at the 65th anniversary of the liberation of the concentration camps in mid-Apr at the Capitol Dome...)
      might just be a joking response to a charge of 'anti-Semitism'.

      But this: From: Petraeus, David H GEN MIL USA USCENTCOM CCCC/CCCC
      To: Max Boot
      Subject: FW: On the Middle East: It's Palin vs Petraeus

      As you know, I didn't say that. It's in a written submission for the
      record...

      is a devious deception. The document was already on the table, signed off by Petraeus himself.

      I think the dumb general was conned by Max Boot and other neocons into retracting his honest opinions. He's also being led down the garden path into going into the GOP nomination contest against Palin by people who seriously think that Palin is so obviously much dumber than even he is, that American voters might realise that, and he's got a chance.

      He's no Eisenhower.

    • Depends on what you want to use him for.
      101 Uses for a Moribund General?
      link to google.co.uk

    • Jeff Huber at Pen and Sword has been doing a very good job. He made satirical mincemeat of 'Stan the Man' and will, I hope, do the same for Petraeus. But at least Petraeus is better than Palin. No?

    • To save time (and serious brain exercise) I have just stolen and posted:
      Fruit Salad General Petraeus Goes On To Next Quagmire
      Originally published as: 'Surge'' smoke follows Petraeus to Afpak
      by Pepe Escobar Asia Times July 3 2010

      link to levantnotes.blogspot.com

    • This a great story. With (or without) Phil's permission, I am linking it to my own story about Petraeus' chestful of phony medals
      link to levantnotes.blogspot.com
      I don't know enough about this man, but he certainly does seem like a schmuck.

  • Nonviolence and the struggle for Palestinian-Israeli equality
  • Israel window-dresses the blockade, but nothing really changes
    • It's about time that Hamas was recognised as a legitimate government, but not only in Gaza.

      Hamas was elected, overwhelmingly, not only in Gaza, but throughout the West Bank.
      link to washingtonpost.com

      Quisling Abbas sat in place (and still sits there, though his term has long run out). In 2007, he colluded with Elliot Abrahams and US General Dayton in a failed coup to oust Hamas from Gaza, and lost.

      The continual insistence that the PA (headed by Abbas, illegally) should regulate Israeli/Gaza is sheer hypocrisy.

  • Today in Palestine: 1 in 4 Gazan children go without breakfast
  • Barak: Israel invaded Lebanon to kibosh Palestinian state in West Bank
    • I don't believe a word Ehud Brog ever says, but if he's punting an invasion of Lebanon to deter a Palestinian state in the West Bank, then he's talking through his a**hole.

    • The 'attempted assassination' of Shlomo Argov was merely a pretext for Israel to follow up on its 1978 invasion of Southern Lebanon (occupation of 'Fatahland'), and do a lot more, while Lebanon was still in the throes of a civil war between the Maronites and Sunni Lebanese and Palestinians.

      As usual, the incompetent goons of the IDF fucked up; they occupied Southern Lebanon for another 18 years, but skittled out in 2000 when Hizbollah arose amongst the Shi'a of Southern Lebanon, and kicked them out.

  • Franken and Kagan rest on Thurgood Marshall's laurels
  • Israel's 'periphery doctrine' of non-Arab friends is in tatters
  • 'Is the open sea your father's meadow? Do you think you have the right to kill someone who has a death wish?'
    • Philip Munger June 30, 2010 at 12:03 pm
      All that was necessary was for the Israeli forces to wait for dawn and to disable the Mavi Marmara itself and wait it out.

      Absolutely. And dawn was maybe half an hour away when they attacked. They are more accustomed to kicking down doors at 3am in the West Bank, and terrorising wives and families of 'terrorists'. This, in the jargon, is 'shock and awe', designed to terrify the untermenschen. Also, pre-dawn Muslim prayers have been prescribed at this time for a millenium and a half.

      There were 350 Turks on board Mavi Marmara, but the Israeli commandos treated all of them like 'Pallys'.

      If the IDF rabble had been given more strict 'Rules of Engagement' I doubt if the goons would have understood them.

      To see some of them humiliated in the Hurriyet photographs
      link to flickr.com
      was a delight.

      Latest from Notes From The Levant
      link to levantnotes.blogspot.com
      link to levantnotes.blogspot.com

  • Ambition and orthodoxy (Kagan's hero is also Dershowitz's)
    • I like your use RW of the neologism 'conversative' it really fits into what your're trying to say, which is;

      "Then the image of Baathist conformity, implying that Barak is an example of conformity to Israeli right-wing"

  • IHH report on the freedom flotilla
    • Piotr & Hayate I am taken with both of your interpretations of the Mavi Marmara, but would like to add a third factor:

      Sayeret 13, the IDF's elite naval commando unit, is just as much a trigger-happy undisciplined rabble as the rest of the IDF, and quite incapable of undertaking a quiet, efficient, non-lethal ship takeover. They should be restricted to attacking innocent Gazan fishermen, where no-one can see them.

      One of the most revealing photos was of the Sayeret officer, being led downstairs for medical attention, blubbing and weeping, with merely a bloody nose.
      link to flickr.com
      Note: The man holding him and fending off a camera was specifically delegated by IHH to protect him.

      Read between the lines of the IHH report; the delays after the takeover, and the incidental brutality meted out to humanitarians before they even arrived in Ashdod, says it all. These were not soldiers; they were half-trained thugs.

      Richard Parker
      Notes From The Levant
      link to levantnotes.blogspot.com
      (Reviving Now!)

  • Long predicted, Goldberg's eclipse finally begins
    • Psychopathic god : However small your personal effort is, it is correct, informative, and contradicts the huge lies being told by others with more money.

  • Why does U.S. soccer fall short?
    • American Football is not a full-contact sport; no other team player of any sport is girded up in full armour, and neither is any rugby player.
      Rugby, now, is a full-contact sport, and probably resembles American Football more than any other sport (Or perhaps it should be the other way round).
      Rugby players only wear two bits of specialist clothing; a headband to stop their ears getting torn off in a scrum, and a jockstrap to stop other parts getting torn off in a scrum.
      Rugby is a hooligans' game played by gentlemen; soccer a gentleman's game played by hooligans, and American Football an automatons' game played by automatons, in time with beer commercials.
      America is classless, so has neither gentlemen nor hooligans.

    • To take from another comment:
      The US plays its own exceptional sports, and doesn’t join the rest of the world in theirs. Soccer is the major example; a passion of many nations around the world, but not in the USA (although the US team is doing OK in the World Cup). Any nation that has the gall to call its own internal national sport’s championship the ‘World Series’ is deluding itself. Most of the rest of the world don’t bother about playing rounders (baseball), or American Football, which can be better played on one of those swivelling puppet tables.

  • 'NYT' story on anti-Zionists says their 'dual loyalty' prophecy has come to pass
    • American exceptionalism: two basic problems

      1) The US plays its own exceptional sports, and doesn't join the rest of the world in theirs. Soccer is the major example; a passion of many nations around the world, but not in the USA (although the US team is doing OK in the World Cup). Any nation that has the gall to call its own internal national sport's championship the 'World Series' is deluding itself. Most of the rest of the world don't bother about playing rounders (baseball), or American Football, which can be better played on one of those swivelling puppet tables.

      2) The US (the big dumb nation) has its basic political institutions (Congress) controlled by a foreign (unregistered) agent (AIPAC)

      Parasitism is a type of symbiotic relationship between organisms of different species where one organism, the parasite, benefits at the expense of the host.

      This is unprecedented; no other empire has been infiltrated by a parasite before.

    • At an earlier stage in the British argument about (coloured) immigration, Norman Tebbit, a notorious racist, suggested the 'cricket test'. An acceptable immigrant should not support India, Pakistan or West Indies against England (!?!?). I disagreed with that idea.
      link to en.wikipedia.org

      (For Americans; England (part of the UK) plays cricket; Scotland, Ireland and Wales don't). India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand play, and are passionate about it (whether you think it's a daft game or not).

      Sport has often been characterised as an acceptable substitute for the murder, blood and mayhem of real war. It's like sending your knights out to joust instead of doing major, lethal battle.

      Israel has proved incapable of achieving anything on the world sporting scene, and prefers to use real bloody violence instead.

      Now, if all the dual loyalist Israeli/Americans could root for a competent Israeli soccer team (obviously excluding Maccabi Tel Aviv or Yisrael Beitenu), then perhaps the constant threat of war on its neighbours from Israel and its American backers might be reduced.

  • 'Safe passage' shows the siege of Gaza is about more than just nutmeg
    • I have just played the game, and I urge every other Mondoweiss reader to do so as well.

      I chose to play as an ice cream manufacturer. Underneath each category is a link to 'Meet the Real People', and there I chose Mohammed al-Tibani who, until 2004 exported 60% 0f his ice cream production to the West Bank (30 tons per day; 25% of West Bank ice cream consumption).

      Then:

      “I can compare export from Gaza to the West Bank to the collapse of a sand castle: In 2005 and 2006 they allowed us to export weekly the about [sic] same amount that we used to export daily, and a big part of the castle came crashing down. I began to sense that we had a tough period ahead of us. There were dark clouds on the horizon. At the end of 2006 and the start of 2007, the volume of exports decreased; weeks would pass by without us being able to export, until the whole thing collapsed and the closure came: The last time we exported was on May 30, 2007."

      So, in truth, the restrictions on Gaza trade were there long before Hamas was even elected.

      This has nothing to do with weapons smuggling to Hamas, or even with Hamas itself. It's an intermediate stage in ethnic cleansing.

    • The 'easing' of restrictions on foodstuffs alone is a complete and cynical sham. Netanyahu's use of the asshole Tony Blair to hail this 'breakthrough' (and his vital part in it) is part of the Big Lie that is everyday Israeli propaganda.

      His 'signature project', the north Gaza sewage plant, was comprehensively f**ked by the refusal of the Israelis to import any building materials
      link to ynetnews.com
      (see, especially, the photo of homeless Gazans, living in tents, wading through a flood of untreated sewage)

      Although the petty, vindictive (and constantly changing) list of banned food items for individuals has been relaxed to an extent, there has been no relaxation on bulk food items meant for re-processing, so business in Gaza is still at a standstill
      link to guardian.co.uk

  • Israel lobby group FLAME says black Ethiopian Jews are 'backward'
    • O'Keefe is a terrrist because the Israelis accused him of wanting to go to Gaza to train Hamas terrorists, despite the fact that he's been there before without penalty, and was released this time with little more than a couple of beatings.

    • South Africa's racial structure was considerably less than Israel's. They had only Boers, Anglos, Coloureds, Bantu and Hottentot.

    • Er, I understand all Arabs also claim descent from Abraham.

    • Israeli Jews already have a very strongly racially stratified society: from Ashkenazi through Sephardi to Mizrahi (of which the Yemenites are the least) to Falasha (Ethiopian Jews) at the very bottom. But mostly it is only the latter who earn the pejorative Hebrew term 'Kushi' due to their colour.

      America's Blacks or blacks are mostly of West African slave descent, (as are most in the Caribbean and Brazil) and are very different, genetically and physically, from Ethiopians and Sudanese, let alone the San of SW Africa, yet we tend to lump all these together as 'blacks', which is a symptom of our recent wholly artificial construction of a 'politically correct' view of racial equality.

      There is human equality, yes; but racial equality; no. What Israel needs is a Falasha champion long-distance runner.

  • Midnight on the Mavi Marmara
    • "....he reported that he did not receive any training on how to deal with such situations and their repercussions, one of which is that he has a hard time falling asleep at night. "

      And this pathetic fellow wasn't even involved in the attack.

    • What has impressed me about the 'Flotilla Incident' is the sheer viciousness and self-pity of the Israeli response.
      The Orwellian conversion of resisting unarmed peace activists into "scores of terrorist supporters" and the early adoption of this false narrative by the US Congress bodes ill for the future of other convoys.

    • There is a clip somewhere of Bulent Yildirim giving a pep talk to a Muslim prayer assembly early in the voyage. He urges them to have courage and no fear, and in passing, says something like: "If we are attacked we will throw them in the sea". Not, you might note, "to physicall [sic] rip the innards out of one of the viciously stabbed commandos".

      Sort of: "Onward, Christian Soldiers" really. Certainly a call for resistance, but in no way an incitement to murder.

      There were 350 Turks on board, mostly middle-aged men from small towns; probably all were apprehensive of what might happen when they entered Gazan territorial waters.

      They didn't have to wait for that; the piracy happened on the high seas.

  • Where Kindness Is A Crime
    • A little more discretion would have accomplished nothing.

    • Excuse the non-sequitur; I've just read Ilana Hammerman's original Ha'aretz piece,
      link to haaretz.com
      and was very moved by it.

      Can you imagine being in your late teens, an hour's drive away from the sea, and never seen it before in your whole life?

      This is the reality of Israeli Apartheid.

    • This Hammerman woman deserves to be put away for years. Deliberately smuggling three (3!) teenage Palestinian girls (any one of whom could have been a suicide bomber!!!!!) for a day on the beach in Tel Aviv. Criminal.

      Nachi Eyal, for his courage in crossing the Green Line in the opposite direction, and settling there, in contravention of countless treaties and international laws will probably be given a medal.

  • The brand is tanking, in the East River
  • Lawrence Wright: 'most ideal outcome of entire flotilla episode' would be.... release of Gilad Shalit!
  • Israeli ad looks for help sabotaging upcoming flotilla
    • Well, let's get three geriatric war criminals. Richard Silverstein has been doing some investigation and revelation on Israel's 'Flotilla Investigation' - see link to richardsilverstein.com
      and previous articles.
      He also does a better job of covering this advertisement at:
      link to richardsilverstein.com
      with a photo of the kind of Israeli colonist woman wanted for the job at:
      link to attendingtheworld.files.wordpress.com

    • They should have targetted Russian Aeroflot stewardesses directly, instead of pissing around like this.

    • In 1978, I put a similar advert in the London Times, asking for 'archaeological volunteers' for Beaufort Castle, a Crusader construction which stands on a strategic prominence overlooking the Litani River in South Lebanon, up to which the Israelis had just invaded. I gave the Israeli Ambassador's phone number for a response.

      At that time, a major Israeli justification for starting colonisation of the West Bank was 'archaeological research'

      The Israelis occupied the land they took, for 22 years, until Hizbollah turfed them out.

      I got a couple of visits from very heavy people telling me not to do such a thing again.

  • Volunteer in Palestine
    • Actually, Shmuel, Vespasian only reduced the Canaanite/Samaritan city of Shechem to ruins before founding Neapolis some way away.

      I agree. The new Israeli adoption of the name 'Shechem' for Nablus is exactly the same operation of city reduction, but in the abstract.

      And 'the Arab Palestinian city of Nablus was not 'Arab Palestinian' for another 600 years, until the Arabs (from Arabia) threw out the Hellenistic Byzantines.

      It was purely Palestinian during those years, and still is.

    • It would be helpful if some of the hasbara commenters learned a little Palestinian history before they spout.

      Shechem was a Canaanite/Samaritan city some 6km east of present day Nablus on Tell Balatah. Nablus was founded, from scratch, in 72AD, as Neapolis (New City) by Vespasian, over an earlier Samaritan village called Mabartha, after he destroyed Shechem.

      72AD was shortly after the fabled Exile of (all) the Jews.

      The Samaritans weren't included on the famous short take-away trip to the Babylonian Exile, where many Jews elected to stay. They were despised by the returnees.

      By the year dot (0AD) they were so despised by Jews that JC used one in his famous parable.

      In short, the town of Nablus has been inhabited by Palestinians (since the Jews (we are told) had already been exiled 2 years before it was founded, nearly 2000 years ago).

  • Rabbi who went after Helen Thomas has supported ethnic cleansing
    • Well sice Nesenoff tells us all what sort of a person he is, on his severely biased website, perhaps the NYT could be expected to leave it out. Shame that Helen Thomas didn't know his character before her throwaway lines, though.

  • Update from Oakland: Victory!
    • This is very good news; especially if it gets wide publicity in the US and Israel. But couldn't you have got some paint guns and a couple of helicopters?

    • Stevedoring Services of America used to be called something else; it ran a few ship services in the Pacific North West. In 2003, it suddenly won a contract for Basra port against P&O, the British company, whose army had just taken Basra, which pissed off the Brits.

      Stevedoring is, basically, having a man to sit behind a desk to employ a certain number of casual labourers for the day, to load or unload daily cargoes.

      It's basically a business with a fixed margin, so it's got a certified profit take, so long as it doesn't employ too many casual labourers. It's as easy as 1-2-3, but there's plenty of money in it.

      Remember Marlon Brando in 'On the Waterside"?

  • A year after Cairo, global poll on Obama's Israel/Palestine policy is highly disapproving
    • I really couldn't give a s**t about Witty's contribution to this. His part is very small, if vocal and frequent (verbal diarrhea), in what is actually a very small group of regular chatters, some of whom are informative, and others dire.

      Pew has shown that Israel's closest neighbours "disapprove of Obama's handling of the Israel/Palestine conflict by figures of 84 percent, 88 percent and 90 percent respectively. Can you do any worse?"

      I suspect they (or even more of them) would say the same about Israel's behaviour.

      It's not at all good to irritate your next-door neighbours like this.

      The word is 'hubris'. When Israel can get 100,000 religious extremists, in their funny hats, frock coats, and pants at half mast to demonstrate for racial segregation against Sephardim and Mizrahim in the streets of Jerusalem, then you can perhaps understand the Israeli government's vicious attacks on Turkey for 'causing the Flotilla Incident'.

      They're flailing around, trying to justify their behaviour by anything they can find. They're a bunch of incompetents, but what else can you expect from a shitty little Levantine country?

  • Movements take years to build... to Freedom Summer
    • SumudSo fragile is the zionist house of cards, so dependant on ignorance about ordinary arab/muslim lives, that a shipload of peace-loving Lebanese women are terrifying.. Imagine if they are interviewed and seen to be ordinary people with hopes and dreams, just like Americans.

      Sorry, Sumud, but Americans with hopes and dreams are not ordinary people. They are an exceptionally lucky 5% of the world's population, who consume a vastly greater proportion of the world's wealth than the other 95%.

      However, since they have so much wealth and power, they have become introverts, and think that whatever they think should apply to the other 95%

      My experience in Lebanon and Jordan taught me that, although women in Muslim countries are treated as 'inferiors' they certainly don't behave as if they are. They may be modest, wear a hijab, and stay at home, but they run that home, and their husbands are answerable to them.

  • Who does Tony Blair work for?
    • A useful overview of the Gaza gas situation is:
      War and Natural Gas: The Israeli Invasion and Gaza's Offshore Gas Fields by Michel Chossudovsky
      link to globalresearch.ca

      Pay special attention to the maps. Israel's part of the field already tapped at Or and Med Yavne is reported to be running out of gas already, so they've begun to drill sideways into the contiguous Gaza field. (For those who remember that far back, this kind of behaviour by Kuwait was a prime motivation for Saddam Hussein's attack on Kuwait in 1990 link to en.wikipedia.org), when he thought he had a green light from April Glaspie the US Ambassador to Iraq to invade northern Kuwait and Subiyan Island, but, instead, went on to take the whole lot).

      In December 2007, BG Group withdrew from negotiations with the government of Israel for the sale of gas from the Gaza Marine field to Israel. In January 2008, BG Group closed its office in Israel. The Group is evaluating options for commercialising the gas.
      ISRAEL
      BG Group relinquished its Med Yavne licence in April 2009

      link to bg-group.com

      The current situation seems to be that BG has dropped out, temporarily, from dealing with a hornet's nest.

    • Another set of photos used by the Israelis and their flacks to justify their 'no humanitarian crisis in Gaza' is shown at:
      link to paltoday.ps
      which, at first sight, shows a thriving market in Gaza City.

      But it isn't. It shows preparation time for Eid al Adha, the festival in November last year.
      - these are temporary tented stalls selling only sweets/candies, children's clothes, cheap toys, fruit, and secondhand clothes and shoes.

      This is like Christmas shopping run by a flea market.

      No staple foods, like fresh fish, meat, vegetables, grains, pulses, or spices.

    • Israel is already seen by most of the world, except the US and UK, as the prison warders of the Gaza Strip, and nothing they do, except to lift the blockade entirely, will change this perception.

      I've just come across tomgrossmedia.com, in which this premium class hasbarista illustrates and attacks Arabic cartoons about the Flotilla, and comments on Arab media, such as:
      "The London-based British-Arab paper Al-Hayat, whose journalists are favored guests on the BBC, says “Israel can be summed up in its entirety by one word: crime.”
      In a separate article Al-Hayat (UK) says “the Gaza Strip has become an open-air Nazi concentration camp
      ”.

      He illustrates his biases by showing the Roots Club in Gaza (promotional video of its opening (undated) used by the Israeli MFA very recently to propagandise the lack of a humanitarian crisis in Gaza)
      link to youtube.com
      This clearly shows the opening promotion for the club by Dr Ghaidar al Shafi (who cut the ribbon and died in 2007) and the attendance of the 'President' Mahmoud Abbas who hasn't visited Gaza since Hamas won the election in 2006

      Doublecheck your bill before you leave an Israeli restaurant, , and do the same with their published videos.

    • Here's the reference to the liberalisation of goods transfer with two different statements given by the Israelis; one in English, and one, much less definite, in Hebrew.
      link to haaretz.com

      Apart from this slimy doubletalk, no consideration has yet been given to:
      - private import of cement for private housing
      - no relief of restrictions on 43% of Gazan agricultural land which now lies fallow, due to extension of the border buffer zone after Cast Lead
      - no reliefs on export of Gazan products, including strawberries and flowers
      - no relief on restriction to 3 nautical miles of fishing allowed from the Gaza coast, also introduced since Cast Lead

      So yes, Egbert, it is certainly a sham.

  • Israel eases the siege in English, leaves it in place in Hebrew
  • Chomsky in Lebanon
    • The West Bank is mostly mountainous, with little regular rainfall. What water does penetrate through the cap rock ends up on the next layer down as an aquifer. This supplies the West Bank towns (oases), but since the layer slopes East-West, major springs and water sources are mostly on the west (Israeli) side of the area.
      See map at: link to mideastweb.org
      and compare it with this one:
      link to mideastweb.org
      The so-called Security Fence was deliberately planned to cut out, from Palestinian claims to the West Bank, any useful water sources.

  • Terry Gross has no empathy for Palestinians
    • Or perhaps they're the back-up squad to Voice of America.

    • Who the f*** is Terri Gross? I assume NPR means "NPR, the public radio network renowned for journalistic excellence and standard-setting news, information, and cultural programming".

      Why do you expect any balance at all in their broadcasts?

      Or do you somehow expect them to behave like the BBC, which has also careened down the road into non-objectivity.

  • Brits say 13 'Bloody Sunday' victims were innocent, 28 years later (flotilla echo)
    • Another interesting titbit was:
      Turkey and the Neocons, Stephen M. Walt
      link to walt.foreignpolicy.com

      Israel is about to reverse its opposition to discussion or condemnation of the Armenian genocide nearly a century ago.

      Read the story by Mark Arax; "I once tried to blow the whistle on the Israel lobby's denial of the Armenian Genocide -- and I had to leave my job"
      link to salon.com

      He quotes Abe Foxman: "Was it genocide?" he said. "It was wartime. Things get messy."

      Think about that statement in the context of Israel's Holocaust Industry

    • Seham - Many thanks - your news-aggregating sub-blog is a great addition to Mondoweiss, and I do hope it continues; Mondoweiss cannot possibly cover every new story, particularly with their concentration on America.

      We need to concentrate on the whole world; not just American's reactions to whatever happens.

      One of your headlines struck me: U.S. Citizen, Placed on No-Fly List, Is Stranded in Cairo
      link to feeds.nytimes.com

      Of course, he's not really a US citizen, rather like that Turkish-American killed on the Mavi Marmara.

      But I find it extraordinary that security guards can effectively revoke the rights by simply putting him onto a secret 'no-fly list' and stamping conditions into his passport.

  • Lobby stomped journalist over Armenian genocide
    • Please excuse double posting; I answered Seham's post before I came across Phil's on the subject of the Armenian Genocide.

      Another interesting titbit was:
      Turkey and the Neocons, Stephen M. Walt
      link to walt.foreignpolicy.com

      Israel is about to reverse its opposition to discussion or condemnation of the Armenian genocide nearly a century ago.

      Read the story by Mark Arax; “I once tried to blow the whistle on the Israel lobby’s denial of the Armenian Genocide — and I had to leave my job”
      link to salon.com

      He quotes Abe Foxman: “Was it genocide?” he said. “It was wartime. Things get messy."

      Think about that statement in the context of Israel’s Holocaust Industry.

  • Transatlantic Jewish coalition set to break the siege of Gaza
    • In other words, it becomes clear that the sea-based launch attacks were a tactical diversion.
      The real attack comes from helicopters (how were naval commandos going to board a high-sided ship otherwise?).
      The helicopters put covering fire on the upper deck, and then rappelled down commandos after the landing field was 'clean'. None of the stuff in the fake Israeli video happened.
      Then they went down, deck to deck, until they took control.
      Then they passed responsibility to Israeli 'camp guards' who handcuffed everybody, and kept them in the hot sun on the upper deck.
      After that they passed them over to Ashdod and Be'er Sheva prisons.

    • Sorry to interrupt the narrative, but Israeli commandos were clearly seen holding paint guns in the last few moments of Iara Lee's unedited video of the scenes, as they rolled up in launches alongside in the feinted moves. The guns shown clearly have paint reservoirs above the guns.
      See:
      link to youtube.com
      at: 37:61

      Mind you, the helicopter guys clearly did a lot more to the upper deck. In Iara Lee's video, they are shown sliding smoothly down to the ferry's roof, with none of the nonsense shown on Israel's first fake video:
      link to youtube.com

      Also, it is very strange that the Mavi Marmara changed its registration (and its flag) some 10 days before sailing:
      "Contrary to virtually all media reports to date, it appears the Mavi Marmara was reflagged from Turkey to the Comoros Islands around 20 May, shortly before heading the peace flotilla.
      This is very important. While the Israeli attack remains illegal, it means that the injured party - and the party with legal jurisdiction over the event - is the incapable Comoros Islands rather than the highly capable Turkey. It also greatly reduces the NATO angle, unless other attacked ships were flying the Turkish flag.
      But the question must be why on earth was the flag changed just before sailing, and who instigated it?

      link to craigmurray.org.uk (no link to individual article)

      Just asking. This situation was a lot more complicated than it appears at first sight.

  • After killing Ziad al-Jilani, Israel now seeks to question his American widow (where is Congress?)
  • Three American girls are left fatherless by Jerusalem killing
  • Who knew that the Israeli blockade is 'economic warfare'?
    • This is priceless; it's an Israeli satire entitled “World Athletics Championship 1995, Stuttgart, Germany,”
      link to youtube.com

      h/t Coteret

    • I don't see that this refutes anything at all. The thing that's missing from this study is the elephant in the room; the other Semitic peoples of the Middle East, including particularly the Palestinians, who might be expected to have a large number of genomic markers in common with the presumed ancestors of the Jews.
      When Dr Arnaiz-Villena published a paper suggesting the close relationship of Palestinians to Jews, his paper was withdrawn from the prestigious journal Human Immunology (the journal even asked recipients to rip out the article and destroy it), he was sacked from his job, and sued in court on a trumped-up charge.
      link to ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
      link to en.wikipedia.org
      because he said in his paper that 'Palestinians lived in concentration camps' - well, don't they? Ten years later the truth is coming out.

  • From birthright to boycott
    • I much appreciate your sudden epiphany on a Birthright Tour, but wonder if you're not getting a bit out of your depth in going for so many computer projects that will surely need personal maintenance and updating. For example, the GroundTruth site doesn't show a map at all.

  • Fair and balanced, the inquiry commission is
    • Obviously this commission was not chosen to have any teeth - how can they with an average age of 85?

      From Haaretz:
      "But Netanyahu's panel will have no powers, not even those of a government probe, and its proposed chairman does not believe in such a panel. In an interview to Army Radio, Tirkel said there is no choice but to establish a state committee of inquiry. He opposed bringing in foreign observers and made clear that he is not a devotee of drawing conclusions about individuals and dismissing those responsible for failures. When a Haaretz reporter confronted Tirkel about these remarks, the former justice evaded the question saying, "I don't remember what I said."
      link to haaretz.com
      So the man is not only ancient, but ga-ga.

    • Obama's 'approval' of the Israeli proposal to put together a (small, and controllable) bunch of geriatric marionettes plus a Punch and Judy of 'international observers' is on a par with his total lack of any declared sympathy (let alone indignation) for the murder of a US citizen or the piratical attack on a US-flagged ship.

      It will not cut much ice with the rest of the world, but then, nor does anything else he says or does.

    • This is an outright farce.
      The average age of the 3 members of the comittee is 85.

      'Lord David' Trimble is a Scottish ex-ruler of Northern Ireland whose Nobel Peace Prize is worth about as much as Obama's.

      On the very day of the attack, it was announced that:
      "Initiated and led by Spain's former prime minister Jose Maria Aznar, a group of international leaders is to meet in Paris on Monday night to launch the "Friends of Israel Initiative," a new project in defense of Israel's right to exist.

      The leaders - who include the Nobel Peace Prize laureate David Trimble, Peru's former president Alejandro Toledo, Italian philosopher Marcelo Pear, former United States Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton and British historian Andrew Roberts - say they seek to counter the attempts to delegitimize the State of Israel and its right to live in peace within safe and defensible borders.

      Their launch meeting Monday will be addressed by the former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, Dore Gold. On Tuesday, they will release a formal manifesto at a press conference in the French capital."
      link to findarticles.com

      I only know a little about Aznar, Trimble, and Bolton, but I've seen more of Dore Gold, the nauseating little creep who popped up on TV every time Ariel Sharon's crimes needed a gloss.

  • Let's get the facts straight on Hamas
    • I should add that leaders of both Lehi (Stern Gang) - Yitzhak Shamir, and Irgun - Menachim Begin, later became Prime Ministers of Israel, and were welcomed and feted in Western capitals, as was Ariel Sharon, who conducted the massacre at Qibyah in 1953.

    • Hamas is NOT a terrorist organisation, any more than Irgun or the Stern Gang were.
      They were each fighting foreign colonial occupation, and used extreme methods in their early days.
      - Hamas has not conducted massacres in Israeli villages (Deir Yassin , Qibyah, etc)
      - Hamas has not assassinated international representatives (Count Folke Bernadotte)
      - Hamas has not blown up any concentration of its enemies (King David Hotel)
      - Hamas has never hanged any Israeli soldiers "British intelligence corps sergeants Mervyn Paice and Clifford Martin, afterwards re-hanging their bodies from trees in a eucalyptus grove near Netanya. A booby-trap improvised mine laid underneath exploded, injuring a British sapper officer, while they were being cut down" link to en.wikipedia.org

  • Tortured Egypt
    • A very good and detailed overview of Mubarak's Egypt is given in: Mubarak’s Last Breath by Adam Shatz in the London Review of Books.
      link to lrb.co.uk

      When this man croaks, the consequences for the US & Israel are going to be as profound as at the sudden demise of the Shah-n-Shah in Persia. There is no obvious figure to take over, except his son Jimmy (Gamal), who has vast political experience as an investment banker.

      But, hovering in the background are the Muslim Brotherhood, the main opposition party; and guess who they inspired directly: Hamas in Palestine.

      Incidentally, Crown Prince Hassan, who was due to take over automatically from his brother, King Hussein of Jordan, was suddenly dropped at the last moment because of his suspected ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

  • Nader: 'Anti-semitism against Arabs is rife' in U.S.

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