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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  • Facts on the ground: the creation of a 'de-facto binational structure'
    • Witty also gets it wrong. Since the two-state solution has gone down the plug hole, there are only three solutions to the problem in the short term:

      - Two cantons in Palestine, where the Israelis are dominant
      - Two cantons in Palestine, but called 'two states', where the Israelis are still dominant
      - A big bloody mishmash, a 'one nation' state where Israelis exercise apartheid over the whole area ( A difficult proposition, since the differences between Israelis and Palestinians are not just white and black)

      Sorry, I forgot the fourth and probably most popular alternative amongst the majority of Israelis: complete ethnic cleansing of the West Bank and Gaza.

      This won't cause a single problem to the rest of the 'civilised world'. It will rid them of a problem that has been a lot too much trouble.

    • Baruch Rosen and Richard Witty are all over this one, too.

      Rosen says: "My advice to Benvenisti is to speak to the Kurds, since they were the ones that actually created a 1 state solution and opposed a state for their people."

      Perhaps Rosen's hasbara minders got that wrong, as his statement contradicts itself

  • Ethan, take the buyout
  • Goldstone documented nightmarish case of a Palestinian 'human shield'
    • Check out the dates:
      Israeli ground forces entered Gaza on the evening of Saturday January 3rd.
      One Israeli soldier was killed and 19 other soldiers were wounded in Jabalia when a mortar shell fired by Hamas fighters landed on their patrol.
      On January 5, 3 Israeli soldiers were killed and another 20 soldiers wounded after an Israeli tank fired at their position, which had been identified as an enemy position. On January 6, at least 125 Palestinians were killed. One Israeli Officer was killed by a misdirected Israeli artillery shell. Hamas fighters also ambushed an Israeli patrol in Gaza city, resulting in a firefight. One Israeli soldier was killed and four other soldiers were wounded. All of the Hamas fighters were killed

      So by January 7th, the date of the Majdi Abd Rabbo incident, Israeli soldiers were merely mopping up in areas they had previously over-run, such as ‘Abd Rabbo neighborhood of Jabalya, Zeitoun, etc.

      In Zeitoun, the Al Samouni family were undergoing their ordeal from 6 January onwards. After the first killings in the Al Samouni house, the Red Cross was prevented from access for 3 days. Overall, 26 members of Al Samouni family were killed, including 10 children and 7 women.

      Israel artillery fired approximately 7,000 rounds during the conflict. Under the condition of anonymity, another officer said that close air support missions accounted for more than 90 percent of rounds fired. He also said that about half of those were MA25A1 incendiary based smoke rounds [ie white phosphorous - RP]used to used to mask troop movements.

      During the final week of the Israeli operation, (after January 14) many houses in Zeitoun and Izbet 'abd Rabbo were demolished, and razed, as were most of the agricultural fields around.

    • Edie I thank you for giving a perspective from Amnesty International here.

      as far as ‘human shielding’ went, only instances of IDF use of human shielding could be found.

      Enough said.

    • Areaman says: I am curious what a PA intelligence officer was doing in Gaza. Was he gathering info on Israel or on Hamas? And if he was getting info on Israel, how did he prevent Hamas from getting the data? Hamas wouldn’t let him learn Hamas secrets, and any Israel data he got would go to Hamas; So he would be working for Hamas. Maybe only for Hamas.

      Well, if Areaman wasn't as dumb as he appears to be, he would know that the PA and Hamas had a little spat in June 2007, when Hamas threw the Quisling PA out of Gaza.
      link to en.wikipedia.org
      He would therefore also know that Majdi Abd Rabbo's status as a PA (not Hamas) employee makes his testament even more credible.

    • We haven't looked into the details of Operation Cast Lead.

      After the ground invasion of January 3, 2009, the IDF ground forces literally sat in the small areas they had occupied, for 2 whole weeks until their January 18 ceasefire.

      They were too self-protective (translation: cowardly) to go any further, so set about conducting various war crimes in the area they had occupied (documented in Human Rights Watch and the Goldstone Report).

      And shat and wrote offensive graffiti all over the place. link to ingaza.wordpress.com
      link to haaretz.com
      This behaviour is typical of bored troops, hyped-up by priests, but restrained from actually doing anything worthwhile, in case they might be injured or killed.

    • Thanks, Adam. A sampling of the individual horrors documented in the Goldstone Report may wake some people up before the IDF comes in with its own whitewash report.

      I have read the same account elsewhere, from the early days after the Hannukah Massacre, regarding the very same extended Abd Rabbo family, after whom the neighbourhood is named. It is on the eastern side of Jabaliyah refugee camp, close to the Israeli border. Israel ground forces, accompanied by artillery, tanks, and militarised bulldozers, invaded it on the evening of January 3 2009, 8 days after the initial surprise bombings. Initial heavy fighting caused some Israeli casualties, but otherwise, Palestian militants, faced with overwhelming force, sensibly, and almost immediately, retreated into the Jabaliyah camp itself. (Which the IDF forces were too damned cowardly to try to penetrate).
      link to ynetnews.com

      Bear that ground invasion date (Jan 3) in mind as you read the following:

      Human Rights Watch link to hrw.org
      documents what happened to surrendering members of the family
      under the sub-title:
      Killing of Amal ‘Abd Rabbo, 2, and Su’ad ‘Abd Rabbo, 7; Wounding of Su’ad ‘Abd Rabbo, 54, and Samar ‘Abd Rabbo, 4 ‘Abd Rabbo Neighborhood, Jabalya , January 7, 2009
      The report notes: All available evidence indicates that Israeli forces were in control of the areas in question, no fighting was taking place there at the time, and no Palestinian forces were hiding among the civilians or using them as human shields.
      This report (dealing specifically with 'white flag' killings), mentions, in passing: Majdi ‘Abd Rabbo, for example, told Human Rights Watch that the IDF detained him for two days, starting on January 5, and forced him to act as a messenger between the IDF and three injured Hamas fighters who were trapped in a house.[12] According to Majdi ‘Abd Rabbo, the Israeli forces killed the three trapped fighters on the night of January 6. These fighters are apparently the three men who were killed in the neighborhood and whose photos Human Rights Watch had seen on the poster. Another man, Akram Ayish ‘Abd Rabbo, 40, told Human Rights Watch that Israeli soldiers in the neighborhood took him out of his house on January 7 and made him move with them through the area for two days, forcing him at gunpoint to search homes for Palestinian fighters and weapons.[13] According to both Majdi and Akram ‘Abd Rabbo, major fighting had ceased during the time they were in IDF custody and the Israeli forces had the area generally under their control.

  • Israeli minister seems to liken Goldstone to Hitler
    • If "The connection between the Goldstone Report and the international Holocaust memorial day is not an easy thing", then why are the Israelis deliberately making the connection? If not for the obvious reasons.

      Note: This is a French bureau report.

  • War on Goldstone now deploys human-rights orgs and, you guessed it, the Holocaust
    • We will get more of this kind of statistics twisting in the IDF's defencive report. The major problem is that most casualties were caused by airborne forces, who could not possibly have known who were militants and who were not.
      In the case of the 89 policemen bombed in the very first moments of the attack, it was determined retrospectively that Of these, 60 (67 percent) belonged to Hamas and almost all were members of its military wing, the al-Qassam Brigades. The total number of terror activists and fighters among those killed at police headquarters was 81 (91 percent).
      link to jcpa.org

      In other words the IDF killed any male they suspected of being a potential combatant, and then added up their true identities later.

    • Yael Stein seems somewhat two-faced as B'Tselem's research director. In September 2009, she published a report very critical of B'Tselem's civilian mortality figures in Cast Lead
      link to spme.net
      In which she complains that B'Tselem used a restricted definition of 'combatant' and therefore excludes 248 policemen who were 'known terrorists' (ie they were members of the military wings of Hamas). She also infers that a high proportion of the male casualties aged 17-18 (30 in total) may have been combatants, simply because of their high male/female ratio.

      However, back in 2003, discussing Israel's assassination policy against Palestinians, she was quite definite: 'The Israeli policy is both illegal and immoral...Armed Palestinians are not combatants according to any known legal definition. They are civilians––which is the only legal alternative––and can only be attacked for as long as they actively participate in hostilities.
      link to cceia.org

  • What is the endgame in Gaza?
    • Richard, you are so perceptive.

    • Palestine and Jordan are notoriously prone to earthquakes, due their proximity to the Rift Valley.
      The Dome of the Rock was built in 691AD, and Al Aqsa in 715AD. The Dome of the Holy Sepulchre was built in 333AD. All have survived whatever has been thrown at them over the past 1300+ years, including:

      • Galilee earthquake of 363
      • Golan earthquake of 749
      • The Seventh Earthquake (8th century ~748 (disputed) – this may be the same as the Golan earthquake, as its date is solely reliant on Jewish religious calendars, and it levelled the same towns)
      • 1202 Syria earthquake
      • Near East earthquake of 1759
      • Galilee earthquake of 1837
      • 1927 Jericho earthquake

      Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Earthquakes_in_the_Levant"

      I think we may take it for granted that the nuclear stocks at Dimona are sufficiently 'hardened'.

      But Tel Aviv, built on sand, may not fare so well.

    • Psychopathic God Israel doesn't need submarines to patrol Gaza's coastline. They manage to harass Gazan fishermen quite well within the 3 mile limit they allow them, with only small gunboats, armed with machine guns and high pressure water hoses. They also manage to 'arrest' peace convoys and supposed arms shipments rather further out.

      The Israelis managed a good job of wrecking the USS Liberty in 1967, without major naval forces of their own, but they got a shock when Hizbollah nearly sunk an Israeli warship in 2006.

      The submarines are designed to intimidate other prey; major Arab and Persian cities in the Mediterranean, Red Sea, and particularly the Gulf. The Israelis have no defencive interests in the Gulf, but they have plenty of aggressive ones. The subs are already armed with cruise missiles, with the usual ambiguity about nuclear bombs as well.

    • Yonira Several hundred protesters gathered in the city of Rafah began throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails at Egyptian security forces across the border, who responded with gunfire, witnesses said. In the midst of the chaos, a Palestinian sniper shot and killed the Egyptian guard, officials said.

      I think we can take it that the officials quoted were Egyptian, can't we? If an undisciplined mob of Egyptian border guards were firing on unarmed protestors, then we can take it as just as likely that the Guard was killed by 'friendly fire' just like a large proportion of the few Israeli soldiers killed in Cast Lead.

    • yonira January 24, 2010 at 10:02 pm
      Hamas needs to reconcile with Egypt also. Mubarak is pretty pissed off after one of his soldiers was killed by the sniper from Gaza.

      Yonira, tell us more of this. When and where did it happen?

      Mubarak is pissed off because he wants to keep US aid. (He's under threat of losing it if he misbehaves, unlike the Israelis, who can do no wrong in US eyes). He's an old man now, and can do no better tha groom his own son as successor.

      He's got a vast governing bureaucracy, most of the educated classes, all paid for by the US, and if he loses them, they'll join up with the Moslem Brotherhood, of which Hamas is an offshoot.

    • Avi I agree with you that Shalit is more valuable to the Israelis than to Hamas. However, the Gazans have him, and the Israelis don't.

      I wonder why the Gazans didn't capture a few more Israeli soldiers during Cast Lead?

      Well, I don't wonder too much, because the IDF were so protective of their own brave, courageous, moral soldiers that they didn't allow them into areas that weren't already totally flattened by artillery, air attack, armoured tanks and bulldozers plus white phosphorous bombs, flechette and DIME munitions.

      Having hyped their soldiers up with the help of Army rabbis, they restricted them to areas where they could massacre unarmed civilians, face-to-face, without penalty. The much-heralded drives into the town centres never happened.

      They learned their lesson from Lebanon, 2006.

      The cowardly IDF are just about fit to be prison camp guards, but no more.

      On the other hand, the IAF can inflict horrendous and indiscriminate damage, with plenty of 'collateral damage' from safely afar.

    • Ahmed Moor
      The end game in Gaza is submission or death
      as they are not allowed to leave.

      With the total blockade and sealing of borders imposed by Israel, the US, and now Egypt, they are doomed unless they jettison their elected government.

    • Ahmed MoorSorry, demonstrations in Beirut will do absolutely nothing while Lebanon has its own horrendous sanctions and restrictions against Palestinians:

      Living War: Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon
      link to electronicintifada.net

    • yonira January 24, 2010 at 5:24 pm
      1.) accept a deal to release Shalit
      2.) change charter
      3.) reconcile with Fatah
      4.) have some sort of election

      Let's deal with these in reverse order.
      4) Hamas won the US-supervised election in 2006 with 56% of the vote.
      3) The PA will never reconcile with Hamas so long as they continue to arrest, imprison and torture Hamas representatives in the West Bank.
      2) Fuck the 'charter' - Khaled Meshaal (who matters) has already publicly
      announced that Hamas can accept a 'Palestine' based on the pre-1967 borders.
      1) Umpteen deals have been proposed to 'rescue' Shalit. All of them have had 'final conditions' added by the Israelis.
      Shalit is more valuable (to both sides) as a political hostage than as a human being

  • Israeli media consultant in Maariv: 'The Haiti Disaster is Good for the Jews'
    • I'm surprised the Israeli team didn't teach the dumbfounded Haitiens 'Have a Nargileh'. Haiti grows precious little nowadays, but does export some very good pot and hashish.
      The song was created and sung by Israeli troops occupying Southern Lebanon for 18 years from 1982 to 2000, as a very obvious spoof on 'Hava Nakila', which everybody knows.

      (A nargileh is a water pipe, called hookah elsewhere).

    • Mooser I hate to disagree with you, but you are plain wrong:
      :Mooser January 24, 2010 at 12:53 pm
      And BTW, the motives of the individuals involved in the Israeli effort may be good, nobody disputes that. And they have no control over how the Israeli regime, or its supporters elsewhere, use their efforts.
      If you want to go further, I might even say that the hasbara products are an insult to the pure and charitable motives of the people involved. Happy now?
      So let’s see how long they stay.

      They've left today, 11 days into the emergency. Nothing was pure and charitableabout their major effort, though to be fair, private Israeli agency teams may be staying on.

      Port-au-Prince, Haiti — The crowd broke out in cheers as an ambulance pulled out of what was once Haiti’s main tax administration office, carrying a survivor rescued from the wreckage by an Israeli team four days after this city’s devastating earthquake.

      Bravo!” the onlookers shouted. “We love you, Israel.”

      It was a picture-perfect moment for Israeli public diplomacy.

      But Major Zohar Moshe, commander of the rescue team, dismissed the notion. “It is not about that, it is about saving lives,” he said.

      Nevertheless, on the ground was a retinue of Israelis dedicated to making sure people heard about their country’s humanitarian mission and spreading the word. Press officers from the Israeli military were flown in, as were photographers and a video team to document the work of Israeli medical and rescue personnel. They distributed daily footage to the press. Representatives of Israeli and foreign media were embedded with the group, and other reporters were invited.

      A day after the Israeli field hospital opened, two Israeli officers in uniforms canvassed the row of TV producers sitting in their broadcast positions along the city airport’s runway. “We’re telling them about our hospital,” one said.

      But no prodding was needed. The press swarmed to the Israeli site, and what they saw impressed them.
      from, of all sources, the Jewish Daily Forward
      link to forward.com

      Their fist publicity coup was: at Israel’s Haiti field hospital, they delivered what the Israeli PR flacks called “the first baby since the earthquake.” The medical staff urged the woman to name her baby “Israel” and she was only to eager to oblige. Another Israeli PR coup!
      link to richardsilverstein.com

      To lift their spirits, the rescue workers from ZAKA taught Haitian survivors to sing "Heiveinu Shalom Aleichem."

      Whether clad in IDF uniforms, wearing the flag of Israel on their shoulders or holding Shabbat prayers during a brief break from their rescue work, the Israeli aid workers' visible presence in Haiti is helping to promote a positive image of Israel in a world more accustomed to seeing the nation negatively.

      "I am sure it is good for the Israeli image, but we're not doing it only because of this," said Danny Biran, ambassador of logistical and administrative affairs for Israel's mission to the United Nations and the Americas. "We are doing it because we believe in what we are doing."
      link to zionism-israel.com

    • MRW got it right
      Qatar beat the Israelis there by a day with a c-17 (bigger than the two planes Israel sent combined) with more disaster relief (50 tonnes) and a field hospital and medical teams than Israel sent. Canada sent 80 helicopters in huge non-stop military cargo planes before we got there, and rescue teams, docs, and money. 127 countries contributed to this effort, and Israel crows it saved a Haitian! Official! Look how the world loves us! Look how wonderful we are! How kind!
      link to qnaol.net

    • yonira January 24, 2010 at 5:19 pm
      You people are sick, lives are being saved and you still try to spin it into some anti-Israel tirade.
      Your motives and ideas are so fucking skewed its absurd. This is the exact same way you treat the Palestinians, its like your hatred of Israel and the West is your first concern and the Palestinians are just an afterthought.

      Yonira, some 200,000 Haitians are reortedly already dead as the result of the earthquake. By the usual ratios, 3:1, some 600,000 survivors are gravely injured, and may die if there is no adequate medical care.

      So the Israelis pull out their medical team today having gained their PR coup.

    • MRW has confirmed that the Israeli IDF team (plus their Press Office and TV teams) are leaving Haiti today, Monday 25 January.

      They have been there for precisely 11 days, and there are no definitive reports that I can find of any continuing Israeli aid effort, although many say the Israelis are there for the 'long term'.
      Haiti mission winds down
      link to ynetnews.com

      The only conclusion must be that Israel has conducted a very cynical PR exercise
      resulting in such reports as:

      Media-wise it’s been a very successful week for Israel said Shariv. “Around the world we have gotten some very good press. But we don’t look at it that way. That’s not why we are doing this.Jewish Week (NY-based)
      link to thejewishweek.com

      That's precisely why they did it; hasbara plus.

    • I've come in late on this discussion, as usual; my time is 12 hours ahead of the US EST, so I'm asleep while you're all witing screeds.

      However, I did post, over several days, comments on James North's article:
      Why Port-au-Prince Collapsed
      link to mondoweiss.net
      which I might suggest you read (there are some useful links, including the strange and suspicious hacking incident on War in Context).

      My last comment there was made on 23 January at 8:27 pm. There are no further comments after it, so I suppose that by that time, James' article had fallen off the Mondoweiss commenters' radar.

  • Osama to Obama: No security for US so long as Palestinians lack it
    • Psychopathic god You exaggerate the importance of Israelis overflying Lebanon right now.
      They've been doing this with impunity since the 1970s, when I saw them low-flying over my Beirut apartment. But then they were shooting, at Palestinian refugee camps. They also used to 'buzz' the main runway at very low level, at the new Queen Alia International Airport in Jordan, as it was being constructed, just to show who was boss.
      Lebanon has no known anti-aircraft weapons; I hope Hizbollah gets some, soon, so maybe they can inhibit the bombing spree that Israel's IAF undertook in 2006, destroying major civilian infrastructure, in psychopathic detail, all over the country.

    • I'm a great fan of Glenzilla, but I also read, very faithfully, Juan Cole at Informed Comment, who does a great job of denigrating the latest Bin Laden tape.
      The Irrelevance of Bin Ladin - link to juancole.com (you'll have to scroll down)

      Fake, almost certainly. The fellow has been dead for at least 9 years, and his Saudi business wealth no longer sustains any 'terror group' called Al Qaida.

      Money quote from Juan: "As of 1200 GMT on 24 January, jihadist websites monitored by OSC have not been observed to post the Bin Ladin audio statement released on an Arab media website and filed as GMP20100124635002.' OSC is the US government Open Source Center, which monitors radical Muslim web sites.

      If genuine jihadist sites don't publish it, what's it worth?

      In any case, Al Qaida, as a group, was invented by the US, during the prosecutions of those involved in the Kenya embassy bombings in early 2001, long before 9/11. It was essential, for certain legal reasons, to show that the accused belonged to an organised group

  • MSM interviewer seems real uncomfortable with Joe Sacco
    • Well, thankyou, Julian, for pointing me to the Haaretz article.
      Its' a well-balanced review of the book, and I think we can forget the Israeli apologists quoted.

      Haaretz - A brilliant book by Joe Sacco.
      link to haaretz.com
      There is nothing I loathe more than people who throw abuse at an author and his book, but have not even read it.
      I suppose that one cannot expect much more from the Zionist apologists here.

      You will not find that degree of candour about Israel's behaviour in the US MSM, so put Haaretz on your must-read list

      Perhaps the only thing left of Israel's democracy is their very free press.

    • The point of emphasising Joe Sacco's 1956 massacres in Gaza is that was the first time the Israelis actually invaded a whole nation (Egypt) rather than conducting raids as they earlier did with Jordan (Qibya, etc). The Israelis didn't get control of Gaza until 1967, and were left holding it when they made peace with Egypt and gave the Sinai back in 1979.

      Since then, of course, they've conducted less discriminatory massacres in Gaza, with impunity.

  • Why all Israel lobbyists should be forced to go thru the Qalandia checkpoint
    • When I first went to Palestine over the Allenby bridge route in 1978, I was forcefully shown the sheer nastiness of the Israelis.
      We were kept waiting on the bridge itself (nearly the lowest point on earth, and bloody hot) for more than an hour. Israeli soldiers confiscated a Jordanian orange from my 9 year old son, while we sat in the heat, overlooked by an Israeli machine-gun nest. Then we were let in, and divided into two streams; foreign passports to the left, and Arab passports to the right.
      We got out relatively quickly, but I witnessed, for example, the complete destruction of the careful packing of an old lady's suitcase. She was left to re-pack, weeping.
      This is a very small example, but shows how the ill-treatment of Palestinians has been going on for 3 decades at least.
      Bearing this in mind, I don't see how sending Israeli lobbyists through the Qalandiyah crossing would do any good at all; they would go through the fast stream.

  • yes and how did that one work out?
    • Netanyahu has worked himself into a corner , and hasn't got a positive international friend left (except for his mate in Palau).
      Next time he tries something, his 'allies' will probably leave him out to dry. They don't need to do anything active, just do nothing at all.
      When his bouncer from Moldova introduces some new racist legislation in Israel, don't do anything. Let your media report it as it stands.
      (Which I'm sure will happen in Europe; I'm not so sure about America).
      Bu worst of all, Netanyahu has done absolutely nothing at all to stop all those deadly rockets, bombs and suicide bombers that are terrorising Israel. (There aren't any, or perhaps a vanishing few).
      So how's he going to win his next election?
      He'll have to think up some good reasons for invading Lebanon, or Gaza, again.
      Some new Israeli victims.
      This time, the actions just may invoke revulsion in the countries and people allied with him.

    • The Economist article is more than worth reading:
      link to economist.com. The Economist is hardly a left-wing publication, but it does say a lot about Israelis' current thoughts:

      “I’m sure the Afrikaners felt like we feel now”

      Which I certainly hope they do.

      Most of the article is about the famous raid on Osirak, the well-known nuclear arms centre in Iraq, which turned out to be nothing of the sort once it was inspected by the Americans after their invasion.

      Much of the article also concerns the derring-do of the IAF who had to fly over hostile countries and then find Osirak, whose location was already well known as being at the confluence of two well - illuminated highways north of Baghdad. All they had to do was fly there, look for the highways, and drop their bombs.

      To no good effect whatsoever.

      If Zeev Raz, who led that useless raid, 30 years ago, says he is feeling like a South African now, then I would think that some responsible Israelis are coming to their senses.

  • the architecture of apartheid fosters the architecture of a movement
    • Shmuel and Shingo

      I am glad you have read Stephen Walt's article, at:
      link to walt.foreignpolicy.com
      I hope a lot of other readers of this blog do so, too. Walt has always insisted on professing his loyalty to Israel, but not to their behaviour.

      Walt:If it grants them [equal rights to Palestinians], it will eventually cease to be a Jewish-majority state (though its culture would undoubtedly retain a heavily Jewish/Israeli character). As a long-time supporter of Israel’s existence, I would take no joy in that outcome.

      Israel already has a heavily 'Arabised' culture. Their favourite foods are copies of local Arabic dishes - dishes such as couscous, felafel and shishlik are extraordinarily popular throughout the country, none of them can be considered "truly Israel." Couscous, for example, originated in the Maghreb nations of North Africa; the roots of felafel are Egyptian; and shishlik first came from Turkey.
      link to inmamaskitchen.com

      And can we count overt corruption amongst Israeli politicians as pointing the way to the conversion of Israel to be yet another shitty little Levantine country?

      Time to close up our purses.

    • Syvanen and Mooser:
      Force Israel to directly rule the Palestinians and assume the obligations of an occupying power until Palestinian’s full rights of citizenship are granted.

      Now that's a long shot, and it's not likely to be tried by the current US President. Perhaps more 'regional' players like the remainder of the Quartet (Russia, the United Nations and the European Union) and Turkey might help.

      There would be massive public support throughout Europe and Russia (and other nations of the UN) for the quiet withdrawal or obstruction of Israel-supporting trade concessions and military cooperation (just as Turkey cancelled joint military games recently).

      The EU could also quietly freeze or reduce the millions of dollars that it pays the Quisling PA to administer the Occupied Territories, thus relieving Israel of its obligations and responsibilities as an occupying power.

      And if Israel was 'disinvited' from the Eurovision Song Contest (look it up on Google) there would be public demonstrations of joy throughout Europe, of which Israel is conspicuously not a part.

    • Sorry - that should have read:
      I would forecast that we just may expect Israel to lurch into a very messy, and probably bloody, but inevitable single state, sometime in the next decade.

    • Sorry to interrupt the blurry-eyed optimism, but I strongly suggest all of you read Stephen Walt (yes of M&W)'s masterful article in Foreign Policy, calling for:
      Time for George Mitchell to resign

      link to walt.foreignpolicy.com

      I haven't read another so detailed an exposition of why Obama failed so utterly to make any progress on the Israeli/Palestinian problem, nor details of the quiet pressures that could have been put on Israel, but weren't.

      I would forecast that we just may expect Israel to lurch into a very messy, and probably bloody, sometime in the next decade.

      We had our chance, and Obama blew it.

  • Why Port-au-Prince Collapsed
    • Apologies for the repeat of half the message, which should have ended with YNet's web link: link to ynetnews.com
      after

      The cynics amongst us who said the Israelis would milk the situation for just 3 weeks were wrong; they’re leaving after only two weeks.

    • A strange thing happened yesterday to Paul Woodward's blog, War in Context http://warincontext.org:

      An Associated Press article I linked to yesterday describing the exodus of Haitians fleeing from the ruins of Port-au-Prince, strangely was subsequently replaced by a report describing the rescue of a 22-year-old man by an Israeli search team 10 days after the earthquake leveled much of the capital.

      Today, the blog is highlighting an article by Paul himself:
      ‘The painful truth: Haiti’s disaster is good for the Jews’

      If I came up with a headline claiming the devastation in Haiti is “good for the Jews”, I could reasonably be accused of being anti-Semitic. But it’s not my headline. It comes from this report on a site run by Israel’s popular Hebrew daily, Maariv.
      (link to nrg.co.il for those who can read Hebrew)
      The message that Israel is saving Haiti was likewise captured in an editorial cartoon in Yediot Aharonot which shows American soldiers digging for earthquake survivors. A voice from beneath the rubble calls out, “Would you mind checking to see if the Israelis are available?”

      In fact Paul's link leads to a NYTimes article at: link to nytimes.com

      But, looking at Yediot Aharonot's website to find the cartoon, I found this:
      Haiti mission winds down
      The IDF's rescue and medical care team in Haiti is expected to complete its work in the disaster zone within days.
      IDF Home Front Command Chief, Major General Yair Golan, said Saturday that the army is preparing to end the mission, after more hospitals have been opened up in Haiti following the establishment of Israel's field hospital in the quake-ravaged country.

      "Done the PR bit, boys. The story will be off the radar now, so we can go home. Forget Haiti. They can look after themselves now"

      The cynics amongst us who said the Israelis would milk the situation for just 3 weeks were wrong; they're leaving after only two weeks.

      Every disaster needs a hero, the report says, and the heroes in Haiti are the Israelis.

      The message that Israel is saving Haiti was likewise captured in an editorial cartoon in Yediot Aharonot which shows American soldiers digging for earthquake survivors. A voice from beneath the rubble calls out, “Would you mind checking to see if the Israelis are available?”

      Every disaster needs a hero, the report says, and the heroes in Haiti are the Israelis.

      The message that Israel is saving Haiti was likewise captured in an editorial cartoon in Yediot Aharonot which shows American soldiers digging for earthquake survivors. A voice from beneath the rubble calls out, “Would you mind checking to see if the Israelis are available?”

    • If looting, rioting and other violence are not occurring (and it would seem from witness reports that they are not) then the US media would like to help you to assume the worst, as they did during Katrina.

      Niggers always riot in times of high emotion. Everybody knows that.

      That gives good cover for a military takeover of the country

    • Citizen: Of course you can't find those figures. None of those countries has access to Fox News or MSNBC

      Major contributors to Haiti relief have been:
      Norwegian, Finnish, Spanish, Danish and Japanese Red Cross, Iceland, Finland and Gaza (Gaza? Yes). Those are the ones I know.

      Not a single one of those is a major power, except Japan (I have no idea about the national contributions of Russia, China, India, Brazil, and Iran).

      But us little Brits have contributed something, but no troops:
      The government has donated more than £6m to the rescue efforts and the Queen has offered an undisclosed amount to the DEC appeal.
      Mr Brown also sent a message of sympathy and support to Haitians on behalf of the British public and said the country had become the "centre of our world's attention, the world's compassion".
      International Development Secretary Douglas Alexander said the government's donation would "kick-start" the humanitarian relief effort.
      "It is already clear that we are facing a major humanitarian crisis. Haiti needs help and it needs it now," he said.
      He said homeless Haitians needed food, water, sanitation, shelter and medicine.
      The UK rescue team's leader, Lincolnshire fire chief Mike Thomas, said the rescuers' first priority was to start to identify where people were still trapped.
      "We're hoping to get our dogs out there quite quickly as they will be invaluable in helping to target those areas," he said.
      link to news.bbc.co.uk

      Which is all very British, and very nice, but no details and no results have been published.

      We are not contributing any troops to the US troop surges in Haiti

    • That message had to be sent in 3 parts, due to Mondoweiss' policy on links, but here's another couple of little gems on Haiti aid:

      USAID Haiti Earthquake Fact Sheet #5
      link to yubanet.com
      Jan. 18, 2010 - As of 1700 hours local time on January 17, U.S. Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) teams had rescued 30 individuals from collapsed buildings, including one individual rescued at approximately 1615 hours local time and three individuals rescued overnight from the Caribbean Market. To date, international USAR teams have rescued a total of 62 individuals throughout Port-au-Prince.

      -- On January 17, USAID/OFDA, in coordination with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), facilitated the delivery to Port-au-Prince of 9,600 10-liter water containers to serve 19,200 people, 3,840 hygiene kits to benefit 19,200 people for two weeks, and 200 rolls of plastic sheeting to meet the shelter needs of 10,000 people.

      Here's reminding you that 200,000 are reported dead, with unknown numbers homeless, and the US sends 200 rolls of plastic sheeting?

      and

      US to increase troops in Haiti by a third as rescue teams pull back
      The US is to send another 4,000 troops to Haiti to assist the earthquake relief effort in its third troop surge to the devastated country.
      The move, which will increase the number of US troops involved in the huge aid effort to 16,000, will mean diverting Marines who were to be deployed in the Gulf and Africa....
      As the disaster entered its eighth day, international rescue teams began to pull back, with hopes fading of finding many more survivors in the rubble.

      link to timesonline.co.uk

      Of course, Timesonline is part of the Murdoch empire, as is Fox News, whose trade-marked slogan is "Fair and Balanced', so they don't identify which 'international rescue teams' are pulling back.

      I'm sure you can guess who they are.

    • But meanwhile, the gallant Israelis managed to get an IDF medical team in, very early on:
      link to mfa.gov.il

      Quote: Israeli Ambassador Amos Radian and Maj. Gen Yair Golan, head of the IDF Home Front Command, met with the Prime Minister of Haiti and toured the demolished UN headquarters and other disaster areas in order to asses the continuation of Israeli aid.

      As of 20 January:
      • 383 people have been treated in the hospital, among them dozens of children
      • 140 life-saving operations have been performed
      • 60 patients are currently hospitalized
      • 7 babies have been born in the hospital

      In other words they are nearly rescuing as many people as children they massacred in Gaza a year ago.

      I'm sure the Prime Minister of Haiti was grateful to be relieved of his greater responsibilities to escort a couple of visiting wallies around.

    • But, of course, the streets of Port-au-Prince are rife with gangs of armed looters, aren't they? Nigger places always are when there are disasters.

      Well, not exactly. Read: link to current.com written by an eye witness.

      And who’s doing the blockading, and will handle ‘security’?
      Why, the good ole generous US of A, who have already managed to land 12000 extra troops in Haiti in double-quick time, and taken over the responsibility for the main airport plus 3 others in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

      By contrast, Cuba already had 344 doctors working in Haiti, and are sending their special disaster brigade, first established to offer help to the United States when Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and the Gulf Coast in 2005, an offer rejected by ex-President George W. Bush.
      link to current.com

      If I was American, I would be squirming in shame.

    • Read about the problems of Medecins Sans Frontieres blocked relief landings here:
      link to msf.org
      and here:
      link to msf.org
      I particularly liked the detail about having to go out to a destroyed market to buy a hacksaw to amputate gangrenous limbs of 12 dying patients.

  • Ding dong the neocon...
  • memo to the west: you lost the Crusades
    • I agree with Ael, as a card-carrying anti-religionist. To have obscure biblical references mixed up with gunsight serial numbers is nothing very much.
      Until the story gets out. Then its dynamite, if you're fighting against a specific religion, which America and its allies are
      Score yet another one to the other religious fundamentalists who want to rule their own country in their own way.
      To be shot dead by strangers whose guns are blessed with words of the wrong Christian god is a powerful incentive to fight back, and kill as many of the invading heretics as you can
      So how are the Americans going to get out of this situation? Scrub the symbols off, sure, but how to explain why they were there in the first place?
      This wasn't done in secrecy; it was intended to be widely known amongst christianised soldiers, who would trust their magic guns even more.
      It's part and parcel of the deliberate uber-christianisation of the military.

  • Jewish student mag publishes one-state argument, signaling generational battle ahead
    • Baruch Rosen "Richard get a brain" with his superior knowledge and personal experience of both Israel and the Arab countries, has spoken:

      Without a conflict with Israel, many Arab countries will be forced to deal more with home grown problems, which is something they fear the most. Galvanizing their populations to focus their anger on the Jews is their best way to deflect attention.
      This is why the Arabs always refuse peace.
      Olmert found this out.

      Olmert never had any intention of making 'peace' except on his terms, which gave no meaningful sovereignty to the Palestinians he was 'negotiating' with.

      Do please enlighten us on the home grown problems that Arab countries face. And also please explain the total disdain shown by Israel towards the Arab Peace Initiative, first proposed in 2002, and re-affirmed in 2007

      Ooops i forgot, 75% of Jordan are Palestinians and Jews are barred from living in Jordan. .
      This is an outright lie. Approximately 60% of Jordan residents and citizens are of West Bank (ie Palestinian) origin. Not surprising, since Israelis pushed them out of their own homeland in 1948 and 1967. There are many Palestinian residents of Jordan who have not been allowed to take up Jordanian citizenship, (ie poor refugees still in slum city camps in Jordan) who are actively discriminated against.
      ‘Plucky little’ King Hussein married his third wife, a member of the Tukan family, who are notables from Nablus. She was killed in a helicopter crash. The current king’s wife, Rania, is a Palestinian, born in Kuwait.

      The Israeli Ambassador to Jordan is resident, but perhaps he is not Jewish.

      The Arabs have 99% of the land in the Mideast.
      That is another blatant lie.
      How, exactly, do you define the Mideast? If you confine it to members of the Arab League, and then count all of them as ‘Arabs’, then perhaps you are right, in theory. But do you count Mauritanians, for instance, as ‘Arabs’?
      Do you think exiled Palestinians should move to these countries? Many have, but when the exiled PLO leadership moved to Tunisia, Israel promptly sent in assassination teams. (That is when they weren’t murdering innocent waiters in Norway).

    • The single state of Palestine, with equal rights for all; Jews, Muslims and Christians (and the right of return for Palestinian refugees) was the original objective of the PLO, given up reluctantly for the 2 state solution sometime in the 1980s, when the PLO made some major unrequited concessions.

      The Oslo Accords seemed to be a very major step forward, but any sense of optimism (which there genuinely was, for a time) was crushed very quickly by the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin and the accession of one Binyamin Netanyahu as head of the Israeli government in 1996. He rolled back any illusions of progress., and essentially finished off the idealistic 2 state solution, 14 years ago.

      But Oslo was very airy-fairy; only an expression of intent, and the US simply resigned from putting pressure on either side, although there were a few high profile meetings (Camp David, Taba, and Annapolis) where the US continued to put pressure on the Palestians to concede.

      The solution to the problem does not lie with American Jews, but with realist American powers-that-be behind the scenes who finally decide that blind support of Israel is not worth the trouble and treasure.

      The problems arising in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, when the current senile rulers finally pop it, may prove to be the catalyst.

      Jordan made a peace treaty with Israel after Oslo, in 1994, and has almost certainly regretted it ever since. They are now treated as an industrial park, with cheap labour, and free Israeli tourism has ruined some of the most awe-inspiring wonders of the world.

      Petra, which was built by a purely Arab culture long before Islam, which I visited quite alone as the only visitor, in 1975, and many times after that, has been turned into an Israeli tourist Disneyland.

      People resent it when their own culture is prostituted, and eventually they will turn on the new world order.

  • my wife might be falling out of love
    • A big problem with America is its very right of centre political parties (compared with other civilised countries, which have a far wider political spectrum, many of whose 'far-left' groups win elections and govern very well indeed).
      So 300 million Americans vote only for personalities (as depicted on TV, where exposure and spending counts).
      Obama was pretty so the suckers flocked to him in droves.

    • Mooser - sorry, I was writing my message while you were sending yours
      He showed the depth of his courage and commitment, and it was lacking....
      What a chump. I was going to say that Obama may not even last the single term, and then it hit me: Why would they even bother to impeach him? There’s no need.

      He's too much of a genuine family man to fuck an intern, and that is the only current basis for a presidential impeachment. (Conducting illegal wars isn't).

    • Todd is dead right. America was suckered by Obama's 'progressive' image, and its touching faith that the US President has innate real power. In my own personal assessment of his presidency, I allowed him a year to achieve some of his campaign promises, against heavy odds, and he has achieved nothing at all, even with almost rock-solid party control of both Houses.

      His pusillanimous turn-around on his Israeli settlement demands fatally weakened the prestige and status of the US presidency, and his bumbling, over-extended 'consultations' on the situation in Afghanistan ended in him doing exactly what the militarists wanted; extending the unwinnable war for the sake of it.

      I had premonitions about the 'genuineness' of his early image after his nauseating appearance at the 2008 AIPAC conference, his ominous silence during 'Cast Lead', and his immediate appointment of the son of an Israeli terrorist as his right-hand man, but I still allowed hope to triumph over experience.

      That hope has now utterly and completely vanished.

      In pre-election November 2008, under the spell of Obama, I posted this image to Flickr:
      link to flickr.com

      By March of last year, I was already disillusioned and posted this:
      link to flickr.com

      I should advise that I am not a US national, and therefore have no real rights to complain.

      But as a British citizen, even residing outside the country, I have the right to free health care at any time I can show the need, due to a National Health Service that was set up 40 years ago, as in most other civilised nations. (I can even do the same in Spain, and have done). So I am astonished by the mish-mash of a phony 'Healthcare' bill of more than 2000 pages that has emerged from the US's so-called democratic processes, which now will never be passed.

  • Port-au-Hasbara
    • Niggers in Israel

      Try and take time to read this report:

      link to spinner.cofc.edu;

      which reveals the full hypocrisy of using the 'Law of Return' to stuff that piddling little Levantine country with as many Jews as they could find, anywhere.

    • Witty
      I believe that they are people, individuals, who went there to save limbs from gangrene and amputation, stanch internal bleeding, relieve crushing pain. To deliver babies. To risk their lives, using jackhammers and hydraulics and their hands to make crawl spaces under tons of concrete and silt, going in themselves to pull children and adults to safety.

      Witty, they are not people, individuals, but a ready-organised Israeli military team, ready and sitting, waiting for an opportunity to gain good PR from some disaster somewhere. They are all employed by the IDF

      They know they will have to undertake all the heroic tasks you enumerate, but after 3 weeks they will be out of it, and sitting back at home waiting for the next emergency call to make some more hasbara PR.

      link to nytimes.com
      Haitians and Hasidim Find Common Cause

      If you, Witty, actually read that, you would have realised that Jewish Hasidim in that town have not suspended their normal attitudes to niggers, nor have made any donations to a far-away nigger cause.

      Apologies to whoever is offended by the term 'nigger'. I use it intentionally as a term for a 'no-account-black-guy' as used by people who are obviously racially superior (like Hasidim, openly, and Ashkenazim who are a bit more subtle).

    • It might be apt to compare pictures of two babies:

      link to d.yimg.com
      In this photo provided by Joe Shalmoni, a newborn Haitian baby lies in an incubator at the Israel Defense Forces operational field hospital in Port-au-Prince, Haiti on Wednesday Jan. 20, 2010.

      But Kaukab al Dayah got very different treatment in Gaza:
      link to 1.bp.blogspot.com

    • Also? I think in a way, Witty posting here is how he gets off. He definitely goes out of his way to stroke his ego, and I suspect the dog and pony show is a charade intended to “prove” how much smarter he is than the rest of us, and power of that sort can often be useful for generating arousal.

      In short, he's a wanker.

    • Blackwater, and probably another few mercenary groups, will be licking their lips at the Haiti opportunity, and are almost certainly there already.

      Blackwater's new name, Xe, is derived from the Greek Chi (a symbol of Christ) and e for evangelism. Mercenary crusaders (just like the good old days of Richard the Lionheart) are in at the feast.

      The question is: when they get to Palestine, will they massacre Jews like they did the first time round?

    • Israel seized the chance to make big, positive, PR in Haiti, and they've won their gamble in spades. They've rescued a baby and got that very minor exploit publicised worldwide.

      They even ensured Medecins sans Frontieres couldn't get in before them (and still can't - see: link to msf.org)

      Only the US (who took over the airport, and now coordinates landings) could have arranged that.

      Katrina II ? - sure.

    • Richard Witty:
      I expect that now that Phil has been to Israel, he notes that Israelis are human beings, and that any political approach is both most humane and likely most effective treating them and referring to them respectfully.

      I have never attacked Richard Witty directly, and this is the first (and hopefully last) time.

      How can he possibly describe as 'human beings' an Israeli population that is overwhelmingly in support of their government's devastating attack on a vast prison camp that they never, ever see?

      How can he possibly describe the assassination campaign against Hamas leaders (Rantisi, Ahmed Yassin) with their 'collateral damage' as most humane and likely most effective treating them and referring to them respectfully

      Richard, I suggest you stay at home, and do something pleasurable, like wanking, instead of posting your incomprehensible bullshit here. It has taken me some time time to realise quite how objectionable you are, but now I know.

  • 'We struck the civilian population consciously' (Gaza's historical pedigree)
    • Mooser:
      What if the Israeli government assassinated some Arab no-goodnik terrorist, with the appropriate collateral damage.

      They've done it, long ago. I met the mayor of Nablus, whose hands were blown off by an Israeli letter bomb, in 1976.

      I also met a Fatah politician in 1996 (whose name I forget) who wore sunglasses indoors. I immediately tagged him, obviously, as 'some Arab no-goodnik terrorist' goon, but later found that his face had been disfigured by a similar letter bomb.

      Both of these people were attacked, intimately, for resisting an occupation that was not so oppressive at that time.

      Now the Israelis use much larger assassination weapons, and kill more surrounding civilians. Google: Rantisi, Salah Shehadeh, Ibrahim Macadma, and Ahmed Yassin

    • Baruch Rosen says, in the kind of flailing and ill-informed ad hominem attack he makes (and has every right to make) on this forum:

      Richard Parker, you say,
      Israel’s continuous aggression against its occupied native population and against every single one of it neighbours has led to the current situation, that the Israelis cannot possibly win.

      I should have put 'win' in scare quotes, to make it easier for you to understand.

      I say that because Israel can take one of three forks in the road:
      - Continue its aggressive wars and raids, and malicious interference in other far-flung countries' affairs (Mossad’s little games in Honduras, etc, and perhaps now Haiti)
      - Stop its continuous wars and raids, but hunker down as a defencive 'Fortress Israel' and shut the f**k up.
      - Declare the limits of its pre-1967 borders, and get on with the hard graft of making long term peace and doing trade with its neighbours.

      Israel has the privilege of behaving as it does because of the huge aid contributions given by the US, and because it has become a wholly militarised society. It cannot think, now, beyond the box it has created for itself.

      Israel may have to think beyond that box when the real US powers-that-be notice that Israel has no natural resources, and cannot be of any assistance in America's disastrous policies in the Middle East. America buys its loyalties there, but may not be able to do so for much longer.

      Did you get your propaganda from Bin Laden’s cave.
      No, from close personal experience over a thirty year period of incidents of Israel's aggressive behaviour in neighbouring countries and in East Jerusalem.

      If Israel acted like you, they would be speaking in Arabic and Iranian. No, but they might still be speaking Yiddish, except for those coopted Mizrahi Jewish immigrants who never spoke Yiddish.

      Give us some evidence of the slightest intent on behalf of Iran or any Arab country to attack Israel itself since 1967. That was an exercise in Israeli pre-emptive 'self-defence', and succeeded, but since then it is only Israel that has been aggressive, and only Israel that has attacked its neighbours.

      What makes you think that Iran has any intention whatsoever of attacking Israel in a first strike?

      As i posted above, look at all the people that are being murdered and persecuted cause they live under Arab rule.

      Where, exactly, is all this slaughter and persecution going on? Amongst Israel's neighbours? Or are you confabulating and exaggerating a number of disparate local ethnic conflicts under the evil umbrella of a monolithic Arab aggression?

      Perhaps you are thinking of the widespread peace brought to Iraq by the American invasion.

      There is no monolithic 'Arab entity' such as you apparently believe. There is every evidence of ordinary, everyday (and sometimes violent) xenophobia among Arabic speakers over a very wide area, as exemplified by the Maronites' slaughter of Palestinians in Sabra and Chatila under the paternal aegis of the Israelis. There is widespread discrimination against Palestinians in Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria, that I have witnessed personally in the first two countries.

      Arabic speakers, in general, live all over the world, but they have no clannish tendencies, and nor do they have conflicts of dual citizenship in the countries in which they reside, although a minority may well have in countries in both Europe and America where they are discriminated against.

    • Israel's continuous aggression against its occupied native population and against every single one of it neighbours has led to the current situation, that the Israelis cannot possibly win.

      The famed IDF hasn’t won a war since 1973 (and that was a desperate defencive action).

      The IDF are merely camp guards now, and no longer conquering heroes (if they ever were)

      Jerome Slater has done a great service by pointing out that this has been a long-term tactic by the Israelis (much longer than anyone might think).

      The Israeli tactics have always included assassinations and massive terror against civilian populations.

      The terrorism is in the service of a longer-term strategy:

      1) Reduce the occupied natives to small, docile, and controllable concentrations. That is the reason for the current violent campaign against Palestinian farmers in the West Bank and Gaza. That will clear large areas.
      2) Then expand. Firstly, go after South Lebanon, and capture the waters of the Litani River. If not Gaza yet again, then Lebanon yet again.
      3) Co-opt the government of Lebanon (Egypt and Jordan are already in the fold). Don’t assassinate any more Hariris.
      4) Declare a state of Eretz Israel and try to take a bit more. Don’t declare any borders, ever.

  • Anticipating Israeli response, Dershowitz blames atrocities in Goldstone Report on 'rogue soldiers'
    • Sorry, facts wrong there. Hanukkah began on 21 December and finished on 28 December, the second day of the surprise attack on Gaza.

      The timing was to take advantage of Western Christmas and New Year holidays, when most Westerners don't want to see, hear, or read more war news.

    • Cast Lead may not have been a deliberate attempt to massacre civilians, but it was certainly a major instance of intentional and indiscriminate terrorism, intended to be overwhelming and disproportionate, which has been a hallmark of Israeli military tactics from the outset.

      They are identical to the tactics used by the Nazis at Lidice, Oradour-sur-Glane, the Ardeatine Cave, and other massacres which have been forgotten. Apply overwhelming force, and don't distinguish between the innocent and the guilty when conducting a reprisal.

      Cast Lead was simply that; a massive reprisal undertaken on an totally imprisoned population. It was planned in detail even before the agreement on a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel. The ceasefire was deliberately broken by Israel. The reprisal was carefully and deliberately timed to begin after Hanukkah and end before Obama's inauguration.

      Goldstone didn't mention the deliberate timing, and nor did he mention the imprisoned target population, who could take no refuge.

      He also didn't mention that the IDF was unable to physically enter major population centres due to their fear of asymmetrical resistance. Instead they used long range weapons.

  • Nusseibeh: After 40 years of meaningless 2-state talk, Israelis remain colonial 'outsiders'
    • Israel will have no need to reconsider their democratic system; they haven't got one, except for the exclusive use of Israeli Jews, and God knows that system of proportional representation is a dog's dinner.

      Perhaps the greatest threat to Israel's 'democracy' is the growing power of ultra-right Orthodox parties, that have to be accommodated into any ruling government coalition (cf Avigdor Lieberman). This is combined with an unchallenged religious aggression from the Haredim, imposing their own far-right religious values on every other Jew.

      The Exodus from Israel, currently being undertaken by Russian 'Jews' , the Falasha, etc, and many Israel 'dual citizens' (insurance), will help the process along.

      Party time in Tel Aviv is rapidly coming to an end, but, as usual with parties, everyone ignores what is happening outside.

      The US is a blind supporter of Israel, but when they realise they are supporting an internally influential bunch of religious maniacs, and not a group of rational, friendly, and helpful Ashkenazi with nukes, then the situation may reach a flipping point.

      What will the US do when it finds it's supporting a bunch of religious crazies with nukes?

  • A slice of life in Tel Rumaida
    • This is racism, pure and simple. I'm glad that I and others have had the opportunity of seeing Reham's photos of what is happening in Hebron. Thankyou.
      I knew that settlers had moved into Hebron, and taken over much of the old town centre, but not that they had their own racial checkpoints blocking the streets, as well.

      I cannot help it if I wish Baruch Marzel the same fate as Meir Kahane. If this is how local Jews behave, then they will deserve whatever they get.

      A major problem has been the long term open (and over-) funding of Israel’s tribal wars by dumb big brother US.

      I would like to open a challenge:
      Can anyone think of a single instance where the Israelis have contributed anything at all to the security of the United States ?

      Anything, anything will do. Please try hard.

  • Sometimes a headline says it all
  • Haiti Gaza
  • What will another Lebanon war do for Obama's Cairo speech?
    • A major problem has been the long term open (and over-) funding of Israel's tribal wars by dumb big brother US.

      I would like to open a challenge:
      Can anyone think of a single instance where the Israelis have contributed anything at all to the security of the United States ?

      Anything, anything will do. Please try hard.

    • Sorry, pressed the wrong button. 'eqcontracts' should have been 'equipment supply contracts' (ie stoves fridges, etc).
      Anyway, I didn't win any contracts, and I hope they spent their money on defence weapons instead.
      I will be cheering Hizbollah on if they manage to shoot down a few arrogant over-flying Israeli planes, and also if they bring the reality of war to northern Israel. (note: in the last episode, Jewish Israelis were evacuated from Northern Galilee, but Arab Israelis weren't).

    • I thonk BradAllen is sadly right about the prospects of another so-called 'pre-emptive' war by Israel against Lebanon, and about the state of American politics leading to their utter powerlessness to rein in their 'little brother', even if they were inclined to do so.
      Americans are utterly clueless about any other players than Israel in the Middle East.
      I last actually visited Lebanon in 1992-1995, when Americans were still not allowed to visit there, and the Israelis still occupied the southern 20% of the very small country.
      It was after the end of the long civil war, and Hizbollah were gearing up their social programmes in the south, starting a programme of renovating unoccupied local city hospitals destroyed by Israelis and their local goons during the previous 20 years. I hoped to win some eqcontracts in this programme, so I met with senior Hizbollah involved. I was very impressed by them, and the fact that their underlying purpose was entirely concerned with Lebanon, not with attacking Israel.

      I hope the recent alignments and agreements between Turkey, Syria, and Lebanon may even have some effect on Israel (although, from the Israelis' recent diplomatic behaviour towards Turkey, they seem too arrogant and stupid to care).

  • Goldstone blitz shows peril for Jews breaking ranks
    • A major problem has been the long term open (and over-) funding of Israel’s tribal wars by dumb big brother US.

      I would like to open a challenge:
      Can anyone think of a single instance where the Israelis have contributed anything at all to the security of the United States ?

      Anything, anything will do. Please try hard.

  • Sullivan: blockade, racism, checkpoints, militarism are 'betrayal of Jewish virtues'
    • Mooser & Citizen - Andrew Sullivan was born, bred, and educated in England, although of Irish descent ultimately.

      He is certainly no 'Pavlovian victim of the US school system' but having been out of the English culture scene for some 25 years, has simply not kept up with the negative sea change in British attitudes (much stronger among Scots and Irish ) towards Israel.

      During that twenty-five years, nearly a million Russian immigrants were inveigled into going to Israel, most with very perfunctory checks of their Jewish credentials.

      Many used this process as only as a way station to the US.
      See our old friend Lev Leviev: link to haaretz.com

      If you have any remaining claims for Israel being a democracy, check:
      link to theisraelproject.org

      These are not elections; they are farces.

  • Mohammad Othman and Jamal Juma' freed from Israeli detention thanks in part to international pressure
    • This is good news indeed. I had thought that both of them were in the Israeli prison void forever.

      Now, if we could find out who was able to put the pressure on the Izzies to get this result, we could perhaps get some of the other 11000 (?) Palestinian prisoners released

  • Settling into Sheikh Jarrah
    • The settler has every right to move into an 'illegal home' , and displace the family who built it. He has every right to spit at a group of irritating visitors, because that's his people's custom.

      After all, it's HIS COUNTRY, and he's a super-Jew.

  • A tear for Anne Frank in Cairo
    • Anne Frank became a symbol, and a very moving one, through the mere fact that she wrote a surviving diary of experiences that she and thousands of others went through in Europe in the early forties.

      She was writing at the same time as the Irgun and the Stern Gang were terrorising Palestine.

      Irgun and the Stern Gang produced Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir as Israeli prime ministers.

      Anne Frank, saint though she's obviously becoming, said nothing about Palestine, and maybe never would have.

      She is, however, a good symbol of the close parallels between the persecution of the Jews in Europe and their transference of their revenge to a native population in their 'Chosen Homeland'.

  • Low Expectations for Hard Bigotry in Israel
    • I live amongst a people (Filipinos) whose native culture has been totally destroyed by 400 years of Spanish, and 5 0 years of American colonisation.
      I don't think I've ever seen a minaret on a local mosque (there is a 'long war' against Muslims in the South). I'm not sure if this means they've been totally suppressed, or not.
      And perhaps this is the attitude of the Swiss; they clearly don't want their landscapes to be dominated by a religious minority's constructions. I'm not so sure this is unreasonable.
      After all, in the heart of Islam, Saudi Arabia, even the white cross symbol of Swiss Airlines is viciously attacked.

  • Henry Siegman: Israel is 'the only apartheid regime in the Western world'
    • Few realise the extent of racialism/discrimination amongst the 'Arabs' themselves. It's all-prevalent and pushed under the table.

      - Lebanese dislike Jordanians because they enjoy life so much less. Vice versa.
      - Jordanians don't curse; Lebanese do, in the most colourful ways
      - Everyone despised Sadat because of that mosque mark on his forehead, and because he was a Nubian, or black.
      - the better-educated Levantine Arabs despise the Kuwaitis. the Bahrainis, Qataris, etc - because of their cowardice in front of Israeli aggression. They're right to do so.
      - Palestinians are the best educated, and all through the Gulf and Saudi, the ones who get things done. You couldn't have a better diaspora than that.

  • Two-state solution needed, and fast-- for U.S. and Israel!
    • By the way, Saudia is older than the USA. The first Saudi Kingdom was founded in 1744.
      link to en.wikipedia.org

    • Saudi Arabia is another country in the Middle East that may fragment in the next few years, breaking into at least 4 separate states, once the last of the eldest Sudairi brothers is gone (Hejaz, Najd, 'Abha and whatever the NW Shi'a part is called).

      I spent a short time (one month) in Saudia in the 80s, and can confirm that the Najdis (around Riyadh) are some of the nastiest people I have ever met, while others, in Jeddah, for example, are perfectly normal.

      At that time, the US was stationing AWACS planes in Saudia. The woman captain of one of them complained that she was hired to defend Saudia from the air, but was not allowed to drive a car in the Kingdom.

    • All of this is news to me; I normally veer away from openly "anti-Semitic" (as confused with anti-Israeli) websites and articles, simply because they tend to go over the top.

      But the conflation of Israel's interests with America's must stop. It is too harmful for both sides.

      This may be the beginning of a divorce. I do hope so.

  • Deconstructing Simon Wiesenthal
    • You Americans had a lot to do with the Holocaust. You refused Jewish immigration to the US during the critical years:

      1938: "An international conference at Evian-les-Bains, France, is called by United States President Franklin Roosevelt to deal with the Jewish refugee problem. Roosevelt’s aims, some say, are to deflect American Jewish appeals to help the German Jews. Aside from Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic, which want enormous sums of money to allow a small number of Jews to immigrate, the 32 nations attending the conference decide that they will not permit large numbers of Jews to enter their countries."

      link to jewishvirtuallibrary.org

    • Yonira- I've (personally) been to Yad Vashem, and was very impressed. The building itself is a brilliant piece of architecture, designed to make you feel contrite.

      Fuck the Simon Wiesenthal Center in LA. That's a piece of hasbara propaganda.

      Yad Vashem is only yards away from the site of first known masscare by Israelis at Deir Yassin.

    • I don't deny the Holocaust (if I did, as I said) I would be a criminal in many countries.

      I was weaned, probably earlier than many of you, on the horrors committed on the Jews of Eastern Europe by the German/Prussian/Nazis.

      Since that was part of Hitler's much larger programme, to make liebensraum for Germans in Eastern Europe, in fact the Slavs should be claiming the Holocaust for their own:

      While the term "Holocaust victims" generally refers to Jews, the German Nazis also persecuted and often killed millions of members of other groups they considered inferior (Untermenschen), undesirable or dangerous. In addition to Jews, the targeted groups included Poles (of whom 2 million gentile Poles were killed) and some other Slavic peoples, Soviets (particularly prisoners of war), Romanies (also known as Gypsies), some Africans, Asians and others who did not belong to the "Aryan race", the mentally ill, physically disabled and the mentally retarded, homosexuals and transsexual people, and political opponents and religious dissidents such as communists, trade unionists, and Jehovah's Witnesses. Taking into account all of the victims of Nazi persecution, the Nazis systematically killed an estimated 6 million Jews and were responsible for an estimated 11 million additional deaths during the war. Donald Niewyk suggests that the broadest definition, including Soviet civilian deaths, would produce a death toll of 17 million people killed
      link to en.wikipedia.org

      Wiesenthal and Weisel were the Jewish propaganda vehicles, and both are being currently exposed as phoneys.

      So, the point of my "Holocaust Denial" comes down to the use of its exaggeration to justify the actions of Israelis today, who are following identical policies.

    • This is devastating stuff for the Holocaust industry, in which Wiesenthal is regarded as almost a saint (or so I had thought). In fact, after reading this, I did a quick check on Wiesenthal and found Wikipedia's report
      link to en.wikipedia.org
      which largely reinforces the above.

      If it is true, and Norman Finkelstein is, too, then the whole Holocaust Myth is going to start crumbling and then come crashing down. This taboo subject (in certain countries I could be jailed, even for writing this) is essential to the Israeli founding myth.

      Israel will then be left with its feet of clay washed away.

      Not that it will make a blind bit of difference in the short term; but it may well affect Obama's promise to pay Israel $30 billion over the next 10 years.

  • Who knew? 'Commentary' says terrorism springing from 'suppressed political ambitions' is kosher
    • Us Brits were (and are) no bloody better at fighting 'terrorists' than anyone else.

      The term, in itself, only applies to inhabitants of a country that 'we' own. If we disapprove of the occupying country, then they are freedom-fighters.

      To make an issue of this ancient, piddling little matter in an age such as ours, is quite ridiculous. 'We' kill 700 civilians for every 5 known terrorists:
      link to dawn.com

  • Ma’ale Adumim: Annexation and the Architecture of Apartheid
  • A Palestinian corrects the New York Review of Books
    • The Balfour Declaration itself is worth reading

      "His Majesty's government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country."

      No mention of partitioning. That was done by the UN

    • It doesn't matter a damn what the new entity is called; Palestine or whatever. After all, America is named after a Portuguese adventurer, and Britain after a tribe that expired 1000 years before it was named.

      We are all too fixated (and so are Abbas and Hamas) on creating yet another fragmented 'nation'.

      Let the Israelis exist as a boil on the side of the Middle East; the anti-toxins will soon begin to work.

    • I am somewhat in favour of Jordan 'taking over' the West Bank. The facts are these:

      Jordan has a population of 6 million, half of whom are Palestinians, ie 3 million, more than are left in the West Bank (not counting Gaza).

      The West Bank has 2.4 million Palestinians. so between them, they could have a permanent majority over the 3 million Jordanian native East Bankers (ex Bedouins).
      link to en.wikipedia.org

      Then the Palestinians could join a viable state, and let the Israelis keep the margins.

      That would make a big, tough, pro-US state bang next to Israel. But it would also greatly undermine little abdullah's kingship.

      Wonder why they haven't done it?

      Black September: link to en.wikipedia.org
      which was a quarrel between Palestinians and the 3 million Jordanian native East Bankers (ex Bedouins).

      For the Gazans? Give them the option between Egyptian or Jordanian citizenship (currently, they have none). Open a totally secure road to the West Bank (not an Israeli-controlled one)

      Olmert's map link to flickr.com shows what might end up as part of Jordan (not the best bits)

    • Craig, I refer you to my previous comment. Palestinians inhabited their own land since whenever, more than half of which was taken over by Ashkenazi colonists (Central European Jews, of uncertain ancestry), in 1948.

      They certainly thought of themselves as "Palestinians" (though they were not yet named as such), and spoke like them, for a lot longer than 50 years ago.

    • I know a little about Jordan, having lived there for a time, and conducted my own business there for 20 years.

      The "Arabs" are no different in their foreigner discrimination than anyone else.

      "Real Jordanians" consider themselves very different from "Palestinians", and actively discriminate against them. I personally witnessed at least two such cases.

      Palestinians speak an Arabic dialect that is instantly recognisable. It's like a Yellow Star.

      The expulsion of Palestinians to Jordan and Egypt would be as great a crime as the original Nakba, but will probably be ignored by the world, as that was.

  • From the pyramids to the checkpoints, we have had many victories in Egypt
    • That is a problem with the collapse of the MSM as a news source. That has been countered by the rapid rise of the internet. I anyone doesn't know it, Helena Cobban is at: link to fpfd.wordpress.com

    • This is a wee bit overblown. I have a lot more than sympathy for Emily's feelings, but I'm afraid they are destined to be heavily disappointed.

      If 1300 people spent their own money to go to Gaza, then assuming $1000 each for air fares, and $1000 for subsistence and incidentals, then this operation cost $2.5m +

      That's a lot of money, compared to the absolutely free broadcasting method I outlined previously:

      Photograph the atrocities

      Publish them everywhere - on Flickr, Facebook, on your own blog, or any other outlandish place you can think of. Mail them to your congressman.

      You can find many examples, but particularly at Eva Bartlett: link to ingaza.wordpress.com
      where you can find enough horrendous images and reports to fill a mailbag.

      The internet age needs new forms of protest, apart from bodies standing on streets.

      I bet you all have computers. Get with it.

  • Now wait, who's censored??
    • Citizen: I gave up the US media about 30 years ago, after seeing CNN's biassed reports on the Beirut Siege (when the Israelis took the hilltops and shelled the city below them indisciminately, much as they did to Gaza)

      I don't care a twit about US TV personalities, whatever their so-called political leanings. What I would like to see is the 'Greatest Nation in the World' get itself a genuinely independent TV/Radio network.

      It shouldn't be too difficult; after all you're a goddam big nation, and maybe you still have some cash left over from the Wall Street bankheist.

    • Kathleen: 'And then people have the balls to claim there is not hold on our media by the I lobby. What a joke. So fucking obvious'

      That the balls being held are by AIPAC.

    • "Apparently the Arab media care more about the Israeli Soul then the fact they are all failure state dictatorships. (Which political states have nothing whatever to do with Israel) "

      I put this wrongly. I meant to say that Arab states don't give a fuck about Israel's soul, and they are not failure state dictatorships. If many parts of the rest of the world don't respect phony 'democracy' but prefer a just ruler, then perhaps they're right.

      When he becomes an unjust ruler, then perhaps they get rid of him (however slowly - especially if other meddling countries give him their support).

      Singapore was a "Western-oriented democracy" for a long time, but was run by a despot, Lee Kuan Yew, for years. He knew how to work the parties.

      Do you honestly think America, with just two closely-aligned political parties, is a real democracy?
      America has just been run, for 8 years, by a total asshole who also knew how to fix the polls.

    • I read Al-Jazeera's webpage every morning. I find their reporting very balanced indeed, and I know what unbalanced crap looks like, from long experience.

      The 'only democracy in the Middle East' is a total phony, as you all know. All you have to do, if you don't know, is to look up Israeli Ashkenazi, Mizrahi, black foreigners, or Palestinians + 'Israeli discrimination'

      Julian, having the nerve to address Phil directly, is poison:

      “The point is obvious. Arab media are trying to document the dramatic struggle that is taking place for the soul of Israeli society after 42 years of occupation. ”

      Apparently the Arab media care more about the Israeli Soul then the fact they are all failure state dictatorships. (Which political states have nothing whatever to do with Israel)

      Doesn’t the Arab media care about their own souls? Of course they care about their own souls, you asshole. But they realise they've probably got to live with Israel, analyse it, and not be in a constant state of aggression

      A demonstration in Israel is no big deal Phil. They happen all the time. It’s not an Arab country. Demonstrations happen very often in Arab countries, Julian, but are not often reported in Western media. It's only wogs quarrelling amongst themselves. Your statement is the most disgustingly racialist comment I've seen from you

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