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.


Showing comments 300 - 201

  • Opposing narratives (in Europe and U.S.)
    • The flour mill was in relatively open country, west of Jabaliya, so no 'Dahiya Doctrine' was necessary. The Israelis did plenty of that in Jabaliya itself and to towns between there and the border, and to Rafah, in the south on the Egyptian border.
      See UN satellite damage map at:
      link to

    • Further confirmation of the El Badr air bomb comes from The Independent today:
      link to
      with the extra detail that only half (unexploded) of the bomb was found and finally defused on Feb 11.

      Maybe it was after that when they brought the tanks in, to finish off the job

      There is also an excellent piece by Robert Fisk (required reading) on his attendance at the Herzliya Conference in Israel this week, headed: Israel feels under siege. Like a victim. An underdog
      link to
      You might check out his other listed articles as well. He is probably the best commentator going on the Middle East.

    • It might be worth comparing the air photos in the Israeli report with the very precise damage shown in a full-face view of the factory at Adam's previous blog on the flour mill on 27 January - link to

    • Mr. Hamada testified before the Fact-Finding Mission that after the operation he found empty bullets on the roof of the flour mill. This could not have been the result of IDF fire, since – as was evident from the findings of the command investigation – the IDF forces which occupied the mill’s compound three days after the incident did not occupy the roof of the mill, where they would have been exposed to enemy fire.

      But we are asked to believe that Hamas fighters did so

    • Sorry only the first part of my post turned out, when I submitted it.

      The full Israeli whitewash of Cast Lead can be read at:
      link to

      Most of the paper is taken up with detailed explanations of the methodology of Israeli military investigations, but some individual incidents are covered.

      This is part of the report covering the El Bader Flour Mill is from page 47 (para 163), onwards:

      164. From the outset of the Gaza Operation, the immediate area in which the flour mill was located was used by enemy armed forces as a defensive zone, due to its proximity to Hamas’s stronghold in the Shati refugee camp. Hamas had fortified this area with tunnels and booby-trapped houses, and deployed its forces to attack IDF troops operating there.
      For example, 200 meters south of the flour mill an IDF squad was ambushed by five Hamas operatives in a booby-trapped house; 500 meters east of the flour mill another squad engaged enemy forces in a house that was also used for weapons storage; and adjacent to the flour mill, two booby-trapped houses exploded.
      165. 165. The IDF ground operation in this area began on 9 January 2009, during night time. Before the ground operation, the IDF issued early warnings to the residents of the area, included recorded telephone calls, urging them to evacuate. Such telephone calls were made to the flour mill as well.
      166. While preparing for the operation, the commanders identified the flour mill as a “strategic high point” in the area, due to its height and clear line of sight. Nevertheless, in the planning stage, it was decided not to pre-emptively attack the flour mill, in order to prevent damage to civilian infrastructure as much as possible.
      167. In the course of the operation, IDF troops came under intense fire from different Hamas
      positions in the vicinity of the flour mill. The IDF forces fired back towards the sources of fire and threatening locations. As the IDF returned fire, the upper floor of the flour mill was hit by tank shells. A phone call warning was not made to the flour mill immediately before the strike, as the mill was not a pre-planned target.
      168. Several hours after the incident, and following a report about fire in the flour mill, the IDF coordinated the arrival of several fire engines to fight the fire.
      169. The Military Advocate General reviewed the findings and the records of the command investigation and other materials. In addition, the Military Advocate General reviewed the information included in the Human Rights Council Fact-Finding Report, as well as the transcript of the public testimony of Mr. Hamada to the Fact-Finding Mission.
      170. Taking into account all available information, the Military Advocate General determined that the flour mill was struck by tank shells during combat. The Military Advocate General did not find any evidence to support the assertion that the mill was attacked from the air using precise munitions, as alleged in the Human Rights Council Fact-Finding Report. The Military Advocate General determined that the allegation was not supported in the Report itself, nor in the testimony to the Fact-Finding Mission by Rashad Hamada, who had left the area prior to the incident in response to the IDF’s early warnings.
      Photographs of the mill following the incident do not show structural damage consistent with an air attack.
      171. The Military Advocate General found that, in the specific circumstances of combat, and given its location, the flour mill was a legitimate military target in accordance with the Law of Armed Conflict. The purpose of the attack was to neutralize immediate threats to IDF forces.
      172. The Military Advocate General did not accept the allegation in the Human Rights Council Fact-Finding Report that the purpose of the strike was to deprive the civilian population of Gaza of food. In this regard, he noted the fact that shortly after the incident, the IDF allowed Palestinian fire trucks to reach the area and extinguish the flames, as well as the extensive amount of food and flour that entered Gaza through Israel during the Gaza Operation.
      173. Although the Military Advocate General could not conclusively determine that the flour mill was in fact used by Hamas’s military operatives, there was some evidence of such use. The Military Advocate General noted that Mr. Hamada testified before the Fact-Finding Mission that after the operation he found empty bullets on the roof of the flour mill. This could not have been the result of IDF fire, since – as was evident from the findings of the command investigation – the IDF forces which occupied the mill’s compound three days after the incident did not occupy the roof of the mill, where they would have been exposed to enemy fire.
      174. Accordingly, the Military Advocate General found no reason to order a criminal investigation regarding the case.

    • The full Israeli whitewash of Cast Lead can be read at:
      link to

      Most of the paper is taken up with detailed explanations of the methodology of Israeli military investigations, but some individual incidents are covered.

      This is part of the report covering the El Bader Flour Mill is from page 47 (para 163), onwards:

  • No one is accountable in maiming of Tristan Anderson
    • Haaretz 31/01/2002 (Quoting AP report):
      link to

      The Justice Ministry declared Sunday that no indictments will be filed against police in the case of an American activist who was hit by a tear gas canister and left comatose during a violent demonstration in the West Bank last year.

      Tristan Anderson, 38, of Oakland, California, was critically injured during a Palestinian protest in the West Bank village of Naalin last March. Amir Moran, spokesman for Israel's Tel Hashomer hospital, where Anderson is being treated, said his condition has not changed.

      Justice Ministry spokesman Ron Roman said the investigation determined there was no criminal intent in harming Anderson. The investigation was opened in May and closed several weeks ago, but results were made public only Sunday.

      Human rights groups charge Anderson's case highlights a culture of impunity toward Israeli forces, because incidents of harm against Palestinians and their supporters are rarely investigated and few reach prosecution.

      The number of civilians harmed and injured and then the number of
      investigations - a small minority of cases, and a tiny number of prosecutions - point to a very, very clear picture of impunity, said Sarit Michaeli of Israeli rights group B'Tselem.

      There were around 400 protesters at the demonstration where Anderson was
      injured in Naalin last year, the military said at the time. Some of them threw rocks at troops, who used riot gear to quell the unrest, it added, without elaborating.

      Anderson's family was not immediately available for comment

  • White phosphorus reprimands are highly selective
    • The full Israeli whitewash of Cast Lead can be read at:
      link to

    • Kawther Salam (author of the rogue's gallery link to has a very extensive gallery of portraits of IDF ًWar Criminals & Terrorists at her own website at:
      link to
      Each officer's name (red) is clickable to link to a detailed résumé of his activities.
      It is useful to be able to put names, faces, and activities together.

    • And this, from Haaretz today on white phophorous use:
      But the IDF on Monday flatly denied that Division Commander Brig. Gen. Eyal Eisenberg and Givati Brigade Commander Col. Ilan Malka been subject to disciplinary action by GOC Southern Command Maj. Gen. Yoav Gallant. It did not deny that the munitions were in fact used during the war, however.
      link to

    • Israel produced a 42 page report to the UN on Friday, to exonerate themselves from allegations made in the Goldstone Report. One notorious incident was the deliberate targeting of the El Badr flour factory, countered by the Israeli excuse that Hamas militants were in the area, and that the selective damage to the flour factory was caused by stray artillery shells.

      Then, today, this, from The Guardian:
      The Israeli report looked in detail at a handful of incidents, including the attack on the al-Badr flour mill in northern Gaza, which was severely damaged.

      The UN mine action team, which handles ordnance disposal in Gaza, has told the Guardian that the remains of a 500-pound Mk82 aircraft-dropped bomb were found in the ruins of the mill last January. Photographs of the front half of the bomb have been obtained by the Guardian.

      This evidence directly contradicts the finding of the Israeli report, which challenged allegations that the building was deliberately targeted and specifically stated there was no evidence of an air strike. Goldstone, however, used the account of the air strike as a sign that Israel's attack on the mill was not mere collateral damage, but precisely targeted and a possible war crime.
      But the Guardian visited the mill days after the war last year and on the first floor of the building saw what appeared to be the remains of an aircraft-dropped bomb in the burnt-out milling machinery.

      The UN mine action team said it identified an aircraft-dropped bomb at the mill on 25 January last year and removed it on 11 February. "Item located was the front half of a Mk82 aircraft bomb with 273M fuse," according to the team. "The remains of the bomb were found on an upper floor in a narrow walkway between burnt-out machinery and an outside wall." The bomb was made safe by a technical field manager and removed.

      The team also provided two photographs of what it said were the bomb remains, marked with the date and time it was identified: "25 Jan, 14:38". The team did not do a damage assessment of the building to see what other ordnance hit because that was not its task.
      link to

  • Neocon junket: 'live penetration raids in Arab territory'
    • Had I not misunderstood a very misty photo of the Dome of the Rock, advertising a very low-key Ultimate Mission to Israel, in Haaretz, I would have clicked on it and gone straight to Shurat Hadin's website currently advertising the junket, as I did today. You can see the ad here: link to
      In fact there are two of them on this page, the small one I refer to and a larger, more explicit, animated version.
      Apologies for suggesting that you got the dates wrong, but not for suggesting that you feature up-to-date links.

    • Julian you really are an asshole.

    • Well, 56 US congressmen, for a start, enjoyed Israel (maybe) but they probably spent all their time, when they weren't cruising around in luxury, at their luxury hotel. In the bar.
      Don't talk to me about 3rd world pest holes.
      Do you have a constant temperature, in February, of 76F in the morning and 83F right now, at 8:45pm?
      Go and freeze your balls off, if you have any

    • Sorry. Missed the reference to the original Shurat Hadin promotion highlighted in Philip Weiss' presentation:
      link to

    • There is a small problem with this post; the trip was advertised a year ago, by Shurat Hadin, the so-called Israel Law Center, for:
      An unparalleled and unprecedented Israeli reality-check at June 8 - 15, 2009 in Jerusalem: etc etc.

      While there very well may be a similar 'Mission' organised this year (2010 in case you've forgotten), there doesn't seem to be any advance advertising for it.

      Philip Weiss could very well have refrained from changing the date by a year in his summary. That has changed a truthful blog to yet another crap one.

    • I've never had the luck to find a luscious female hasbara agent in my hotel room, although I've had several luscious callers to my hotel rooms that had no hasbara objectives in mind.

      Mordechai Vanunu suffered from such a trick, and spent 18 years in jail, from 1986-2004, as a result. He is apparently back there now or under house arrest, because he has a Norwegian girlfriend
      link to

    • No, it's not your imagination. It's just a complete propaganda reversal of whatever you've ever thought.

      Wait for the YouTube release (probably next week) of Jewish settlers in Hebron singing 'We Shall Overcome'.

    • Of course they were. Pure lamb. Muslims don't go for pork either.

    • Psychopathic god US taxpayers do not subsidize tours of Israelo-disneyland. Some of the $3 billion per year that Americans pay to Israel comes back via political contributions through American Jews, and that money subsidizes the junkets, via various Congressional accounts, from which junketing Congressmen can claim any job-related expenses they want.

      Obviously, a trip to Israel to support the US' greatest ally in the Middle East is such a justifiable expense

      20+ Congressmen went to Israel last summer, during the recess.

      If the trip is free, so much the better. It wouldn't surprise me if US Congressmen were accepting free trips, and keeping all the invoices, to submit these again for an expenses bonus.

      Otherwise, who the hell wants to spend 8 whole days in a shitty little Levantine country?

      Which means the cash is officially in a separate expenses account, not directly subsidized by American taxpayers, although it may appear to be.

      You sucker American taxpayers are probably not subsidizing, but paying twice over for tours of Israelo-disneyland.

    • Actually, I might have preferred a trip that included a small venture in a light aeroplane (or military helicopter) over Gaza, with my very own chance to bag a few Pals of my own. The planes must be equipped with hunting rifles?

      I might even have taken the optional extension week, with guided Tours of the West Bank and Gaza by vetted Fatah/Hamas collaborator/minders. Then I could have had even more chances to bag a few Pals of my own. And, of course, I would have cellphone photos of my minders to send to all my friends.

    • Wow. I should have done my trips to Israel with this bunch, instead of staying in cheap pension houses in the Ayrab part of town. I could have met with senior IDF officers, and their assassination squads, face to face, instead of running down the street, and hiding to avoid their junior goons.

      Wow. And I could have had a cook-out barbecue in the Old City, instead of a couple of kebabs outside a coffee house.

      Wow. And I could have met some genuine Ayrab collaborators, not the miserable anti-Israelis I met on my own. I would have my own cellphone, too, so I could take photos of them and send them to all my friends.

      Wow. I'd love to be briefed by Israel's war heroes (who saved the country), although most who survived '67 and '73 must be zombies by now. And perhaps I could have taken photos of them, too, and sent them to my friends

      Wow. What fun it would be to take a small plane ride over the Galilee (and probably, parts of Lebanon, as well, and a jeep ride over the occupied Golan. (Haven't the great Israelis fixed the roads there yet, after 40+ years of occupation?)

      I imagine that this is the standard trip set up for US Congressmen, who take fully-paid junkets to Israel, and return full of fire, ready to vote down anything that might bring peace to Palestine.

      Wow. What fun it would be to be a US Congressman, getting all this for free.

      And with all that heavy programme, I'd never have had to meet a normal Palestinian (Israeli or Arab) in the street.

  • Israel not always a force for good in Haiti
    • BSDNOW January 31, 2010 at 10:28 pm
      We should applaud when people save lives. Israel did a great job in Haiti and we can’t let our feelings about the I/P issue get in the way encouraging help to the Haitians who are suffering.

      Oscar January 31, 2010 at 10:50 pm
      BSDNOW, the entire Israeli team is already back home, leaving the rest of the world to deal with the ongoing humanitarian disaster in Haiti. They were the first ones to pull out. No more applause for them.

      yonira January 31, 2010 at 11:22 pm
      Israel is a small country, with limited resources [but the 4th biggest miltary in the world] they can’t stay there as long as the United States, France, or Britain. They saved lives, I just don’t understand what the point of denying that, or trying to belittle their efforts.

      Now, as Israeli doctors and nurses work around the clock at the hospital that was established in Haiti, one can only hope that Israel’s contribution to the suffering nation will now focus on saving lives, and not on weapons shipments.
      I am surprised you didn’t leave this paragraph out Phil.

      Perhaps because Phil wasn't even thinking as he cut-and-pasted. Because the famed and celebrated Israeli field hospital is no longer there, and the Haitiens are having to make do with only 15,000 US troops

      Still, he managed to glorify, a bit more, the piddling little Israeli contribution that has already been glorified enough

  • Dershowitz's latest celebrity client
    • I'm not sure that these comments get us anywhere. There's a small core of commenters on Mondoweiss, who say much the same things every day, but their comments have no effect whatsoever on the rest of the world.

      I regret this. It's sad.

    • Israel did accept the promise of Hamas' ceasefire, (which worked, for 6 months) but didn't follow up on its own undertakings
      The Israeli government deliberately decided not to honour the promise of lifting the Israeli siege of Gaza, and deliberately attacked Gaza to stop a so-called 'tunnel to kidnap' IDF soldiers, on November 4 2008, when the world's attention was switched to the US election

    • BSDNOW - still can't get the spelling right? You're very obviously a troll, following the Israeli line
      Mohammad El-Baredi's job was investigating anyone's nukes, but he didn't have the opportunity to investigate Israel's very real 200+ nukes, because Israel has never signed up to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

      So he could never investigate the Israeli bombs

    • The Israel Hasbara Committee has a little list , of authors, on which Alan Dershowitz features, not once, but twice which I feel is a little greedy. I am not all sure, Rehmat that this brands Dershy as a senior member of the committee, but just an author who wrote something sympathetic about Israel at one time, that the IHC picked up. This blind 'honours list' of Israeli supporters has not been revised for a long time, because it doesn't even get names in alphabetical order (look at what happens after Z)
      link to

      The list goes on and on, there are plenty of dual-loyalty names of interest on the list. If my name was on it, then I would be very scared about anonymous assassination at any time.

      - Bob Dylan, singer
      - Caroline B.Glick, journalist, Jerusalem Post (featured 3 times)
      - Charles Krauthammer, journalist and TV pundit (doesn't like Germans very much)
      - Dan Gillerman, Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations (also featured twice)
      - Daniel Pipes, Ph.D. , academic (listed twice)
      - David Brooks, journalist (NYT)
      - David Miliband, British Foreign Secretary
      - Frank J. Gaffney Jr. TV pundit (listed 3 times)
      - Gary Cooperburg, internet author and publisher of Project Shofar link to (listed 3 times)
      - Henry Kissinger, consultant
      - IDF SPOKESPERSON, spokesperson
      - JUDITH MILLER, journalist
      - Larry Derfner, journalist (featured twice)
      - Mahmoud Abbas, politician
      - Peter Falk (as Columbo) , actor
      - Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada
      - Associated Press (listed 3 times)
      link to

  • Goldstone explains why Israel is being singled out (after South Africa and Serbia)
    • I'm sorry; I've forgotten the cake story.

      But don't you realise? Israel is a Special Nation-State, set up to take over other inferior Arab people's territory, and establish a state with a population of Ashkenazi Jews (non-native, and mostly from Poland. No native Israeli (apart from Netanyahu) has ever become Prime Minister.

    • There is a full list of UN Resolutions, all totally ignored by Israel, at: link to

      It may be important to remember that the much-reviled United Nations is the world's parliament.

    • A Jewish state, or at least an autonomous province, already existed, long before Israel, in the Russian Far East. The Jewish Autonomous Oblast (Russian: Евре́йская автоно́мная о́бласть, Yevreyskaya avtonomnaya oblast; Yiddish: ייִדישע אווטאָנאָמע געגנט, yidishe avtonome gegnt. [It] forms a federal subject of Russia (an autonomous oblast) situated in the Russian Far East, bordering Khabarovsk Krai and Amur Oblast of Russia and Heilongjiang province of China. Its administrative center is Birobidzhan. It has has existed since 1934, when Stalin set it up.

      Israelis never lacked somewhere to go to make a homeland, but took someone else's territory instead

    • Goldstone said "Israel isn’t the only nation that’s being treated disproportionately and, let me say, in my view, unfairly… It’s a matter of politics, not of morality. The United Nations has a dominant group of the non-aligned movement, and the issue of the Palestinians has assumed a tremendous importance to them, and they’re using it."

      Because the non-aligned countries form the democratic majority in the UN. That may be very inconvenient, but it's true.

      Goldstone also said to an Israeli who was angry about being singled out, Look, if a priest hurts someone, we go after the case because we hold the priest to a higher standard I don’t have the quote right; but that was the judge’s point. It left the Israeli answerless.

      Goldstone was right to say that singling out Israel from among the world's most murderous countries was unfair, but he was also referring to "the world's most moral army", in mentioning the UN's going after a case where a higher standard should prevail

  • Israeli NGO: IDF combat doctrine in Gaza 'caused intentional and large-scale damage to civilian infrastructure'
    • Tuyzentfloot: the IAF [was hitting] on the families of the Hezbollah militia while the men were entrenched near the Litani. This is intentional targetting of innocents, no doubt about it
      The bombing was hitting fatherless families. Good stuff that.
      And the Israelis never even got near the Litani river that time (2006). They may try harder next time.

    • The Israeli Air Force is an integral part of the IDF. It has indiscriminately killed more Gazans (and Lebanese) than anyone else.

      Just put yourself in the place of any of the gung-ho fighter/bomber pilots, the Apache helicopter pilots, and the drone pilots in front of computer screens.

      They are given computerised target coordinates, so they have no idea at all whom they are hitting (except for the sedentary drone pilots, who can see in real time, what they are doing).

      The rest get in, do their stuff, and get out, as quickly as possible
      The Gazans have absolutely no air defences

      It's not surprising that no IAF members have joined 'Breaking the Silence' They had no idea that they were doing anything wrong.

    • “Unfortunately, I think that selective use of killing civilians has been very much on the agenda for fighting terror,” said Yaron Ezrahi, a political scientist at Hebrew University who has been lecturing at defense colleges. “The army believes that a weak spot of Israeli deterrence is its strong commitment not to kill civilians, and there has grown the sense that it might have to temporarily overcome that weakness in order to restore deterrence.”
      link to

      I met an Israeli ex-soldier named Moshe on an overnight boat here, who told me of his experience as a sniper in Hebron. A small boy, with a carrier bag, crossed an open square during a temporary curfew. The sniper was ordered to shoot, and did, killing the boy with a single shot. It turned out that the bag was filled with oranges being taken to the boy's grandmother.

      The next day Moshe was deliberately assigned sniper duty at the boy's funeral, "to toughen him up". He spent an hour viewing the scene with his rifle 'scope. No-one needed to be shot, but he was heavily affected by seeing the grieving mother at close range.

      Moshe had also been in a special explosives squad in Tyre in Lebanon and had lost two fingers as the result of a botched bomb disposal activity. His squad set an IED outside the home of a known Hizbollah activist. When a car drew up, Moshe identified the brother of the activist, not the wanted man himself, with his family. He was ordered to "Kill them anyway. The only good Arabs are dead Arabs", which he did.
      Captain R. claimed in court, "I didn't think of anything except of my duty to push back the terrorists, push back the treat,/b>[sic], and make sure that the contact line is not broken, as it had happened in Morag." Every word is carved in stone. Except there were no terrorists, no threat, and no contact line that was about to be broken. We are left with a dead 13 year old girl, and an acquitted Captain.
      link to

      Unfortunately, a problem with this report is that we are given no identity for the girl, or where she was killed, and no information about the context of the killing of the girl. Presumably the author of the report could go to jail if he revealed such secrets.

      Yes, the 'most moral army in the world' does knowingly kill civilians indiscriminately, and often. The Israeli Air Force kills even more civilians, even more indiscriminately

    • It is like saying – “in order to minimize the casualties to our troops, we will totally bomb an entire neighborhood, because we know that somewhere in there is the enemy.” That is exactly what happened to Dahiyah, as can be seen from before and after photographs
      link to
      link to

      Except that in the case of Dahiyah, there were no Israeli troops anywhere in the vicinity. It was carpet bombing for the sake of it. Somewhere in there may have been the enemy.

  • A window into the rightwing American mind re Israel/Palestine
    • Cliff Your link
      link to
      doesn't surprise me at all.
      I witnessed, at first hand, the destruction of the Palestinian Research Centre in Beirut in 1976. The building was a unique archive of original Palestinian papers and property deeds. It was used by a few old scholars, all of whom that were present were killed.
      The perpetrators were an Israeli commando squad, disguised as 'South Africans', who managed somehow to rent a car and load it with rockets, for a surprise attack.
      Later the same morning they did a similar attack on the PLO HQ on Corniche Mazraa.
      The PRC was directly across the road from my office, and I can tell you that seeing, out of my window, such a destructive attack actually happening in front of my own eyes powerfully affected my sympathy for the Israelis.

    • Citizen I agree with your contention that 'economic class' is as important as colour, with the important proviso that most niggers are poor, as are most hillbillies.

      The Philippines has more than its share of natural disasters; typhoons, floods, landslides that engulf whole towns, and the lack of any aid at all is striking. The answer seems to be: rebuild your own house, and mourn your lost family quietly.

      Just the same attitude as applies to Gazans.

    • Avi: Jewish Mississippi? Open apartheid exists, certainly, in the attitudes that Israelis show to their minority Arab citizens, and to the casual (legal or illegal) Palestinian labourers who come into their society.

      Their attitudes towards the 'other' Palestinians are deflected by the Arabs' isolation behind the West Bank Wall, and the borders of Gaza.

      MRW I wouldn't be so confident that Civil Rights laws have really taken hold in the South. The treatment of Katrina victims is a case in point.

      I am Anglican, born and bred, now relapsed, but I don't have equal rights (or citizenship) here. When I was invited to become a godfather, I was interviewed by the local godly-waddlies, who pressed on whether I was a Protestant. I got away with saying I was an Anglo-Catholic. (Which meant, if I was one, that I used incense in some church services, and Latin in some others).

    • Here's a man feeling bad about his attitudes to niggers:

      From the Jerusalem Post:
      Rattling the Cage: Segregation blues
      27/01/2010 21:40

      I spent the day in Nazareth recently, doing a story about Israeli Arabs in hi-tech, and when I got in the car with the (Jewish) photographer to leave, I said to him, "Isn't it a relief to talk to Arabs as regular people?" He smiled in agreement.

      I had the same feeling when I was doing a story on B'Tselem, the anti-occupation NGO in Jerusalem, and found myself making coffee in the kitchen next to an Arab woman who was getting a glass from the cupboard or something. We were together for about a minute, I don't remember any conversation, any particular notice we took of each other. It was only afterward that I felt this revelation: For a minute, I wasn't living in a segregated country. For a minute, the sharing of space with an Arab, as equals, was unremarkable.

      This is a vision of life in this country as most Jews and Arabs, I think, wish it could be - and it's so amazingly rare. We cross paths, but usually on opposite sides of a counter or standing next to each other in line. With few exceptions, we live in segregated neighborhoods, our kids go to segregated public schools, they play in segregated parks.

      Nearly 25 years ago, not long after I moved to Israel, I rented an apartment in the Kababir neighborhood of Haifa, right on the informal border between the Jewish section and Arab section. The building had two Arab families along with about 10 Jewish families. I'd see one of the Jews talking with one of the Arabs in front of the building, griping about the plumbing, about the noise - the things neighbors talk about. I got to know one of the Arab families, and once they invited me in to their apartment.

      It's only in the decades since then that I've realized how rare an experience that was for an Israeli Jew. Before moving to Modi'in, I lived in three different apartments in Jerusalem, two in Tel Aviv and one other in Haifa, but that year in Kababir was the only time I've had any Arabs neighbors. In Modi'in, a city of 70,000, the only Arabs I've seen are illegal Palestinian construction workers sneaking into town or under arrest at the police station.

      IN 20-plus years as a journalist here, I've interviewed hundreds of Arabs, but only had one as a colleague. I've never had an Arab friend or even an acquaintance. I can't recall a party or any purely social, nonprofessional setting I've been in where an Arab was present.

      I know there are quite a few Israeli Jews who do have considerable contact with Arabs, who get to know them through work - especially if they work in a hospital - but the great majority of Israeli Jews, unless I'm badly mistaken, have exactly no Arabs in their circle of friends, coworkers and acquaintances.

      Isn't this wonderful? I feel like I left Los Angeles, went back in time and moved to Mississippi.

      And let's face it - what we've got in this country is not separate but equal. We Jews are the privileged ones; the Arabs are the supplicants. They're knocking on our door; we're not knocking on theirs.

      This, finally, is why it was such a relief to be talking with Arab hi-tech people in Nazareth, to be puttering around a kitchen next to an Arab NGO employee in Jerusalem. The equality and ease we had, as fleeting as it was, relieved me of my guilt - my guilt at being in a superior position to Arabs in this country, simply because I'm a Jew.

      Ah yes, Jewish liberal guilt. I know - I can't stand it, either. In fact, one of the most vivid memories I have of my first days in Israel are of a field trip to the Knesset, of standing outside in the snow and thinking, "Thank God I don't have to be a liberal anymore. Here my people are the underdogs, I don't have to feel guilty or apologize to anyone." Little did I know.

      Things are in sad shape when it's such a rare thrill to be in the same room with an Arab and not have the walls crack from the tension, for the words, "Arab... Jew... Arab... Jew..." not to be running through your head. I don't have the patience for this. I really don't want to set aside a day to take an Arab to lunch. I don't want to have to join a goddamn encounter group for my kids to play one game of soccer with Arab kids.

      I'm really not such a big liberal. I don't need Israel to be the rainbow nation, and I don't expect it to be. I actually want it to go on being a Jewish state. I'm just tired of it being a Jewish Mississippi.

    • I never heard of Hannukah or the menorah before I visited Palestine at Christmas, 1973. Then I got an earful, from earnest Israelis, and something different from the Palestinians amongst whom I stayed, but not a lot about Eid Al Fitr, the major Muslim celebration at the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. (Much like Easter, but no eggs).

      Now, Hannukah is a public festival, and even celebrated specifically in the White House. Look at this photo of Obama and Michelle welcoming Jewish kids to their Hannukah Party, and then look at the expression of Senator Biden.
      link to

      With 1.7% of the American population (5,128,000), Jews deserve some recognition, with conspicuous partying events at the heights of American politics.

      But Muslims get nothing of the sort. Eid al Fitr is not celebrated at all, anywhere although Muslims comprise from 2.5 million to 7 million of the US population (from 5 to 140 times) the number of Jews.

  • Breaking the Silence publishes shocking testimonies from women who served Occupation
    • The 'innocent little girl' is nothing of the sort. She has been taught, by a very real and genuine hate movement, to despise and attack the Palestinian [expletive deleted by webmaster] she lives amongst

    • There are very, very many decent Israelis, and they would be as shocked by these reports as we are, but the incidents happen Over There, beyond the Wall.
      Sometimes we forget the very small area we are discussing. The distance between, say Nablus, and Tel Aviv, is only 30 miles. It used to be possible, pre-1967 to drive from Amman to Jerusalem for lunch.
      Israel is living within its own concentration camp.

    • Strange that the only free democracy in the Middle East should classify its own as minors until they are 18, but Palestinian niggers only until they are 16

      This BBC News item from aparisian is quite shocking:
      link to

      Gerard Horton is an international lawyer for DCI. He said Mohammad's Ballasi's story is a familiar one.

      ''We see these stories again and again. Israel is a signatory to the UN convention against torture. It's also a signatory to the UN convention on the rights of the child - and under customary international law, it's not permissible to mistreat and torture, particularly children, who are obviously more vulnerable than adults."

      He told me that Israel arrested 9,000 Palestinians last year. Seven hundred of those were children.

      9,000? 700? And these in areas which are supposed to be under self-rule?

      700 children arrested? That is under-16s by Israeli definition.

      On one side you have 18 year old drafted IDF soldier kids dressed up to the nines in Martian battle suits, armed with tear gas grenades and so-called "rubber bullets" and, on the other, angry kids with 2000 year old sling shots.

      Anyone who puts these two categories in direct opposition is quite mad. But it happens regularly, a few miles away from Tel Aviv or Jerusalem, so it doesn't matter too much.

    • Mooser there won't be a 'new generation' of any kind. You have to think of every kid who has been inducted into the IDF, and brainwashed with attitudes towards 'nigger' Palestinians.
      And these are not just a few kids, but every Israeli kid.

    • Perhaps Julian should understand why reports from IDF soldiers are anonymous. Attaching a real name to any such confession could lead to a lifetime's persecution in Israel's 'free, democratic society'.

    • Nice one, lyn117 I haven't seen Avatar, and probably never will since the nearest cinema is 200 miles away, but I can find out enough about it to appreciate Juliano Mer-Khamis' feelings.

    • In a totally militarised society, where both sexes have equal rights and equal military obligations (but not if they are male and religious) this kind of young female behaviour (wanting to keep up with the boys) is bound to occur.The casualness of the evil is most striking.

      I see exactly this kind of attitude in young Israeli surfers who come here, after military service, who act as if they own the place. They've been quietly banned from my town; very excusable anti-semitism. Local native-born surfers have formed a loose grouping that makes sure they never, ever get a wave, or quietly beats them up if they are too provocative. Local native deference to such foreigners has long gone.

      No need to wonder what kinds of racialist anti-Palestinian attitudes become innured in whole future generations, for ever. No need to wonder how 94% of Israelis approved of Operation Cast Lead.

      What is truly amazing is the stoicism of Palestinians undergoing such casual daily treatment.
      Apartheid is quite definitely there, but it's mostly out of everyday sight.

  • trying to get Washington's head around... 'basic human rights'
    • Psychopathic god The tissue vs washing issue after defecating is not just a question of lack of water. In the Philippines, we have plenty of it. I have measured 18 inches of rain over 24 hours several times. My own (rented) home's 'Comfort Room' has a china toilet bowl, but no flushing system apart from a large plastic bin kept full of water and a tabo or plastic dipper used to flush the toilet pan. Most Filipinos crouch with their feet on the rim of the toilet bowl and wash their backsides afterwards. Public loos are usually of the footprint/hole type, with a water tap within reach. When I travel, I carry my own roll of tissue paper.

    • Citizen whatever else, KSM's trial, whether held at the 'scene of the crime' in New York, or anywhere else, will be a show trial of an already notorious terrorist.

      Most of us will remember the only photo published
      link to

      which shows clearly that if he wasn't a terrorist, then he should be. He was subjected to no less than 183 waterboardings, which proved it.
      link to

    • Sorry, got that wrong The tissue dump is to the left of the bog, not the right.

      Muslims, sensibly, use one hand (the right, for eating, and the left for other purposes).

    • America First you are displaying basic ignorance of under-developed countries' lavatory practices. 90% of them WASH their assholes after shitting, instead of using tissue paper.

      Amongst that 90% are most Muslims. Modern Muslim homes put a waste basket to the right of the bog, to take the dry tissues that will be burned every other day. They don't appreciate tissues being thrown down the hole.

      If Hasidic admorim are talking about tearing up toilet paper in advance of the Sabbath then they are seriously mentally depraved.

  • Report from Gaza: 'The current situation is much worse than the crisis of 1948'
    • Thankyou, Mr Glatzer, for returning to the fray, and facing up very well to the critics. I look forward very much to seeing your articles on your visits to Palestine outside of Gaza.

      I was surprised at the incident with the keffiyeh. It is a long time since I was in Palestine, but I always understood that it was a symbol of Palestinian freedom, not of Fatah alone. Yasser Arafat wore one always, but then he was also very bald, and very vain. And he was the chief of Fatah.

      He was wearing his usual black-and-white one when I was brought before him for obvious drunken driving through a Palestinian check point near the Arab University in the very frightening early days of the Lebanese civil war. His infectious grin, and finger-wagging lecture to me, left me relieved. He instructed one of the grim goons standing behind him to drive me home safely.We talked on the way. I learned a lot, and I paid his taxi fare back.

      Something similar occurs with the fez, in Lebanon. It is a symbol of Ottoman times, when things were rather better than under French direct rule. No-one wears them these days (or even 30+ years ago), except retired politicians, who were active in the struggle against the French. Ottoman rule was wholly uninvasive, as it was in Palestine.

    • And a further thankyou for your report, (I hope we'll see more) with just a few reservations.

      Gaza is very beautiful, or could be. Their 41km of Mediterranean sand beach (much the same as other Mediterranean coasts) could be the Eastern Mediterranean equivalent of the Costa del Sol.
      If they were allowed to have an airport.
      Or if there was any way for foreigners to enter the territory.

      Hospitality: This is 'legendary', but very true. I have visited poor Jordanian homes where all their carefully saved tin cans of delicacies were opened and put on the table in front of me.

      When you see a can of beans, or sardines, opened in front of you, and added to the mezzeh, your first reaction is"Well this isn't very much". It is, though.

      I was invited to lunch, by an Egyptian teacher I met in Aswan. We went to the Officers' Club, and he ordered an entire grilled chicken for the two of us. He most adamantly refused to let me pay for the meal, which cost him half his monthly salary. I still feel ashamed.

  • Student confronts Obama at Tampa town hall over human rights hypocrisy
    • It's very obvious that the question was planted (or not controlled properly). It was articulated by a strident lefty, wearing a Communist red outfit, with a very un-American name, who may be no more than a first-generation American citizen. That obviously raises the question of dual loyalties.

      The response of the President: " err..Hold on one second. I gotta answer my question. Lemme just talk about the Middle East generally......The Middle East is obviously an issue that has plagued the region for.....centuries, and the remainder of the response (which totally avoided the question asked) is the answer of a quick-thinking President who can think and speak on his feet.

      He was obviously thinking that, if he fucked up and gave the right answers, Fox News would be all over him.

      "The Middle East is obviously an issue that has plagued the region for.....centuries" is a profoundly new view of the situation, that has never been articulated in that way before, and is clearly not quite true.

      Nor has the proposition that the "Middle East" is obviously an issue. That the entire Middle East is an issue, and has been, for centuries, is a possibly laudable statement for the President of a country barely 2 centuries old, to make, even if he perhaps exaggerated a little while speaking on the hoof.

      Your wonderful president, after an initial few hesitations, dealt very well with an underhand question that had not been pre-screened by his minders.

  • Israeli campaign against Palestinian protest makes the 'Times' as Bil'in leader is arrested again
    • I find it strange that many of my comments are published in full on Mondoweiss,, but bear the rubric: Your comment is awaiting moderation., while a following comment, which only makes sense by reference to the first one, passes through with flying clean colours.
      Strange, that.

    • Please remember, when making libellous accusations against noble Israeli institutions, such as the IDF, the most moral army in the world, that in most of the West Bank (Area C, approximately 59% of the area, and not under PA civil control) the IDF is the law, although it is itself subject to Israeli Law, of course.

      There is no Israeli law that prohibits arrests by squads of goons in the early hours of the morning, nor that prohibit the rousing and terrifying of entire families, including young children, although that doesn't seem to happen to Israelis very much.

      link to
      link to

      Area A comprises Palestinian towns, and some rural areas away from Israeli population centers in the north (between Jenin, Nablus, Tubas, and Tulkarm), the south (around Hebron), and one in the center south of Salfit. Area B adds other populated rural areas, many closer to the center of the West Bank. Area C contains all the Israeli settlements, roads used to access the settlements, buffer zones (near settlements, roads, strategic areas, and Israel), and almost all of the Jordan Valley and Judean Desert.
      Areas A and B are themselves divided among 227 separate areas (199 of which are smaller than 2 square kilometres (1 sq mi)) that are separated from one another by Israeli-controlled Area C.
      The Palestinian Authority has full civil control in area A, area B is characterized by joint-administration between the PA and Israel, while area C is under full Israeli control. Israel maintains overall control over Israeli settlements, roads, water, airspace, "external" security and borders for the entire territory.
      Approximately 30% of Palestinians living in the West Bank are refugees or descendants of refugees from villages and towns located in what became Israel during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War - 754,263 in June 2008 according to UNRWA statistics.
      The West Bank has 4,500 km (2,796 mi) of roads, of which 2,700 km (1,678 mi) are paved.
      In response to shootings by Palestinians, some highways, especially those leading to Israeli settlements, were completely inaccessible to cars with Palestinian license plates, while many other roads were restricted only to public transportation and to Palestinians who have special permits from Israeli authorities. Due to numerous shooting assaults targeting Israeli vehicles, the IDF bars Israelis from using most of the original roads in the West Bank. At certain times, Israel maintained more than 600 checkpoints or roadblocks in the region. As such, movement restrictions were also placed on main roads traditionally used by Palestinians to travel between cities, and such restrictions are still blamed for poverty and economic depression in the West Bank. Since the beginning of 2005, there has been some amelioration of these restrictions. According to reports, "Israel has made efforts to improve transport contiguity for Palestinians travelling in the West Bank. It has done this by constructing underpasses and bridges (28 of which have been constructed and 16 of which are planned) that link Palestinian areas separated from each other by Israeli settlements and bypass roads" and by removal of checkpoints and physical obstacles, or by not reacting to Palestinian removal or natural erosion of other obstacles. "The impact (of these actions) is most felt by the easing of movement between villages and between villages and the urban centres".
      However, some obstacles encircling major Palestinian urban hubs, particularly Nablus and Hebron, have remained. In addition, the IDF prohibits Israeli citizens from entering Palestinian-controlled land (Area A).
      As of August 2007, a divided highway is currently under construction that will pass through the West Bank. The highway has a concrete wall dividing the two sides, one designated for Israeli vehicles, the other for Palestinian. The wall is designed to allow Palestinians to freely pass north-south through Israeli-held land.
      According to a 2007 World Bank report, the Israeli occupation of the West Bank has destroyed the Palestinian economy, in violation of the 2005 Agreement on Movement and Access. All major roads (with a total length of 700 km) are basically off-limits to Palestinians, making it impossible to do normal business. Economic recovery would reduce Palestinian dependence on international aid by one billion dollars per year.
      Pro-settler opponents claim that the barrier is a sly attempt to artificially create a border that excludes the settlers, creating "facts on the ground" that justify the mass dismantlement of hundreds of settlements and displacement of over 100,000 Jews from the land they claim as their biblical homeland.

      link to

      So apart from a few Jewish settler malcontents, the whole arrangement is one of sweetness and light.
      Any stories that you might hear to the contrary are the concoctions of egregious lefties, who will be imprisoned if they are Palestinian, or deported if they are not.

  • At Yale, Judge Goldstone faces down his accusers
    • “The money will not itself repair the buildings and facilities damaged,” he further explained.
      Some 53 installations used by the United Nations Relief and Works agency were damaged during Israel's Gaza campaign, including 37 schools, six health centers, and two warehouses.
      Which was criminal; $10.5million can do nothing under the Israeli/Egyptian blockade.

    • Israel has so many 'smart missiles' donated by America (through various financial channels and phony rules) that it can and does 'test' them on real people.

      You can be absolutely sure that the IDF had the exact coordinates for this attack:
      link to
      and this one:
      link to

      The evil intent of the perpetrators of these crimes becomes obvious when you realise that they were doing this from afar, on a computer screen, and were simply zapping someone, no matter who.

    • The slow massacre is still going on; this is the story of a young boy standing in the sea shallows on 4 October 2009, shot by an Israeli naval sniper.
      link to
      On 4 October, Ashraf Abu Suleiman, a 16-year-old from Gaza’s Jabaliya refugee camp, went to the northwest coast town of Sudaniya to visit an ill school friend. The teen then went to the sea, where he rolled up the legs of his pants, waded into the water and enjoyed the late summer morning. He took some photos of the sea and of the area around him, intending to play with the photos later on Photoshop, a hobby he and his father share.

      Minutes later, Ashraf was running in blind terror as Israeli soldiers in a gunboat off the coast began shooting at Palestinian fishermen. He was hit by an Israeli soldier’s bullet which bore through his neck and grazed his vertebrae, fracturing C-4 and C-5, leaving him bleeding on the ground and unable to stand up.

      There is no question that this is plain, simple, attempted murder.

    • Apartheid in Israel - Apartheid is a particular term applied to South Africa, and does not apply directly to Israel or the Occupied Territories, where the system is much harsher.

      The State of Israel's treatment of the Palestinians has been likened to a system of apartheid, analogous to South Africa's treatment of non-whites during its apartheid era. United Nations Special Rapporteur John Dugard has reported to the responsible treaty monitoring bodies that a system of control including separate roads, inequities in infrastructure, legal rights, and access to land and resources between Palestinians and Israeli residents in the Israeli-occupied territories, is different from the apartheid regime, but resembles some of its aspects. Some Israeli commentators and Palestinian rights advocates extend this analogy to include Arab citizens of Israel, describing their citizenship status as second-class. Others use the analogy in relation to the special status that Israel accords to Jews, or to Orthodox Jews, without reference to Palestinians. Israel has also been accused of committing the crime of apartheid. An International Court of Justice judgment declared that Israel is violating the basic human rights of Palestinians in the occupied territory [by building a wall] and that it cannot use its own security to excuse violations of the non-derogatory provisions of international laws and conventions.
      link to

    • he was holding Israel to a higher standard, and the judge said that he was, you do that to countries that say they are democracies

      Whatever else may be said of him, this man seems to have been scrupulously fair, and is being hammered for it. I am surprised that he still has the courage to take on such gatherings.

  • Media watchdog asks: Is Ethan Bronner's son in the IDF?
    • Ethan Bronner now works from, and lives in, Jerusalem, although he also has a home in Pelham, NY. He has had his current job (Jerusalem Bureau Chief) since March 2008.
      But he has been based in Jerusalem previously:
      He worked for The Boston Globe from 1985 until 1997, where he started on general assignment and urban affairs. He went on to be the paper's Supreme Court and legal affairs correspondent in Washington, D.C. and then its Middle East correspondent, based in Jerusalem.

      Another website puts Bronner's dilemma in stark perspective.
      I don't know what it's like to have children, but if a close member of my family joined the U.S. military -- or any government agency or private company -- my natural, human reaction would be to develop some kind of sympathy, if not affinity, for the organization. If someone criticized the organization, I might, instead of joining in the excoriation, come up with lines of defense, if not to shield the entire group, then at least to excuse or explain my relative's role.

      It would take restraint for a journalist to prevent any tinge of that bias from invading their writing. It would take significantly more effort to make sure the bias wasn't subtly affecting less-controllable but related aspects of their job: developing human sources, choosing their reading, deciding which stories to cover in the first place. I doubt that I would be as inclined as I was before to seek out stories that would damage my relative's organization. And on the other hand, there would also be a risk that I might overcompensate by seeking out stories I normally would not, simply to prove that I could, in fact, overcome the appearance of a conflict and criticize my relative's business.
      Silverstein and others have raised hypothetical comparisons to point out the conflict of interest inherent in Bronner's having a child who belongs to the army of one of the nations involved in a conflict he must write about every day. What if a reporter's son belonged to Hizballah, or if Bronner was a business reporter whose son worked at a Wall Street firm? Would business-reporter Bronner or the man with the son in Hizballah be allowed to keep their positions?
      Evan Hill link to
      From another Bronner article, on West Bank settlers
      link to
      Bronner reports:
      Some settlers have engaged in, and vow more of, what they call "Price Tag," meaning that any time Israeli security forces move against settlement outposts, the settlers exact a price from Palestinians, mostly by burning Palestinian fields and orchards or by blocking roads.
      And there's more. Since the 2005 "expulsion" from Gaza, the settlers have turned more toward "ancient Jewish texts and rabbinical pronouncements," Bronner says. They live by the motto "God is king." They don't recognize Palestine. Bronner's purpose is to focus on the settlers, so he doesn't note it, but the parallels to Islamic revivalist movements are just too obvious here.

      Bronner has never mentioned the regular cooperation and protection that the IDF give to the settlers' attacks on Palestinian farmers, which means that the august people who read the New York Times have no idea of the secret land clearance of Palestinians that is happening daily.
      link to

  • Testimony to Goldstone: 'What happened at the mill is total destruction'
    • It's not often that you see happy, lively children turned into corpses. This video puts the process into reverse, with the happy five sisters showing up long after their dead bodies.The video editor clearly made a major editing mistake.
      link to

    • This song/video is stunning. Thanks for giving the link.

    • Yes, it is.

      March 8-9, 2008
      Israel Plots Another Palestinian Exodus
      The Meaning of Gaza's 'Shoah' - BY JONATHAN COOK
      Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai’s much publicized remark last week about Gaza facing a “shoah” -- the Hebrew word for the Holocaust -- was widely assumed to be unpleasant hyperbole about the army’s plans for an imminent full-scale invasion of the Strip.

      Vilnai, a former general, was interviewed by Army Radio as Israel was in the midst of unleashing a series of air and ground strikes on populated areas of Gaza that killed more than 100 Palestinians, at least half of whom were civilians and 25 of whom were children, according to the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem.

      His comment, picked up by the Reuters wire service, was soon making headlines around the world. Presumably uncomfortable with a senior public figure in Israel comparing his government’s policies to the Nazi plan to exterminate European Jewry, many news services referred to Vilnai’s clearly articulated threat as a “warning”, as though he was prophesying a cataclysmic natural event over which he and the Israeli army had no control.
      link to

      Well his 'Shoah' threat came true 9 months later, so I really don't think comparing a flour factory's destruction, together with innumerable other atrocities, shouldn't be compared with the Holocaust, which took 7 years, while this has been going on for 62 years (Or only 43 years if you only count from 1967). Any previous Palestinian massacres in Gaza (as documented by Joe Sacco) were just 'incidents'.

    • Sure, he would be technically lying if he said that the missile came from an F-16 airplane, when it really came from artillery. How would he know the difference about something coming from the sky?

    • Which is why the photo of the complex shows extensive damage to the buildings either side of the flour mill - doesn't it? The very comprehensive damage to one particular section was the result of a very smart artillery bomb, or several, given precise coordinates for the only productive flour factory in Gaza.

    • Shame that BSDNOW can't even spell words like 'anti-semetic' or 'ad-hominum' or write two sentences that make sense> Best to just avoid even glancing at anything headed BSDNOW.

    • aparisian That is why there were no reported casualties, and only a single guard, and no employees were present when the flour factory was attacked.
      The IDF gave several warnings to Hamada, by telephone, from 30 December onwards, including a final call on 4 Jan 2009, but didn't warn him when the factory was to be finally attacked on 9th January.

      The IDF is so fucking incompetent that it needs 9 days to put together an artillery attack

    • Of course they advised him, several times, to evacuate the factory, and he did so. There was no warning for the final attack.

    • BSDNow why can't you spell your pseudonym right?
      Are you a quiet hasbara or what?

      I also think Rehmat's comments seem sometimes to be over the top, but when I look into the details on her website, I find she's right

    • Hamada's account of what happened is very impressive, except that he could not personally confirm that an air attack destroyed his flour mill.

      This will be a major plank in Israel's defence of their activities in Gaza, so look out for an 'Artillery Error'.

      Perhaps the Goldstone committee might have called the on-site guard as a witness.

      It seems that, in fact, a ground-based heavy artillery attack caused the very specific damage to the flour factory (leaving tomato and diaper plants undamaged). The photo link to shows just how accurate the Israeli attack was.

      To target a factory like this, with such accuracy as to leave the side parts still standing, demonstrate the Israelis' intentions better than almost anything else

      There is not a lot of difference between artillery and airforce bombs, these days, because, in both cases, the operators know exactly what they hitting, and their advisors, safely behind the lines somewhere in Israel, who give them the exact coordinates, know exactly what they are doing.

  • Friedman Beat Goldstone to Gaza/Lebanon Comparison
    • Hamas: Rocket fire at Israel was aimed at soldiers, not civilians.
      link to

      The article does not explain Hamas' statement, in any way, but may explain so many Israeli reports of random Gazan rockets into the Negev, the desert adjacent to Gaza.
      Obviously, Israel has a large, and very secret, military presence all along the Gaza/Israel border, and doesn't tend to announce any breaches of the security 0f its military facilities.

      More details of the Israeli breach of the ceasefire, on November 4th 2008:
      Israeli troops crossed into the Gaza Strip late last night near the town of Deir al-Balah. The Israeli military said the target of the raid was a tunnel that they said Hamas was planning to use to capture Israeli soldiers positioned on the border fence 250m away. Four Israeli soldiers were injured in the operation, two moderately and two lightly, the military said.

      One Hamas gunman was killed and Palestinians launched a volley of mortars at the Israeli military. An Israeli air strike then killed five more Hamas fighters. In response, Hamas launched 35 rockets into southern Israel, one reaching the city of Ashkelon.
      In Gaza, a Hamas spokesman, Fawzi Barhoum, said the group had fired rockets out of Gaza as a "response to Israel's massive breach of the truce".
      "The Israelis began this tension and they must pay an expensive price. They cannot leave us drowning in blood while they sleep soundly in their beds," he (Fawzi Barhoum) said.
      link to

    • Hamas basically said that when dealing with a nonstate actor, the IDF, nested among civilians, the only long-term source of deterrence was to exact enough pain on the civilians — the families and employers of the militarists — to restrain the IDF militants in the future. [...] That was the education of the IDF.
      Thomas Friedman in the New York Times
      link to
      with two 'purely cosmetic' name changes.

    • Also a gem was Ali Gharib's quote here from Tom Friedman's NYTimes column
      at: link to
      regarding the 2006 attack against Lebanon, when Friedman managed a perfect justification for state terrorism:
      Israel basically said that when dealing with a nonstate actor, Hezbollah, nested among civilians, the only long-term source of deterrence was to exact enough pain on the civilians — the families and employers of the militants — to restrain Hezbollah in the future. [...] That was the education of Hezbollah.

      Friedman also perpetuated a major lie in the opening to the same article:
      What Hezbollah did in 2006 — in launching an unprovoked war across the U.N.-recognized Israel-Lebanon border, after Israel had unilaterally withdrawn from Lebanon — was to both upend Israel’s longstanding peace strategy and to unveil a new phase in the Hezbollah-Iran war strategy against Israel.

    • Potsherd thanks for your link to the UN debate link to
      which I can find reported nowhere else.
      But what I did find was a nauseatingly sentimental report about Shimon Peres lecturing the German parliament about the Holocaust (in Hebrew, which most Germans understand perfectly)
      link to
      and also an hilarious article about a hip-hop Auschwitz survivor, also in Germany:
      link to
      Pity the IDF reps didn't get their day in court to defend themselves; I was looking forward to doing a very personal demolition job on that.

  • Canadian students launch campaign to divest from the occupation
    • Julian's contributions here are crap, but not only crap; vicious crap.

    • The long-running Arab League Boycott of goods from Israeli or Israel-investing firms (such as Coca Cola, Ford, and Columbia Records) almost totally ran out of steam in the 1980s, with only Lebanon and Syria still adhering to it stringently.

      I was personally subjected, as an exporter, to
      The secondary boycott [that covered] threatened companies outside the Arab world "from investing in Israel, building plants, granting franchises, or any cooperation beyond trade. Companies that violated the instructions of the boycott offices were blacklisted." The products of foreign artists, filmmakers, and musicians are also boycotted if they are considered to be too close to Israel.
      In 1977 the Congress of the United States passed a law that then-President Jimmy Carter signed, and according to which fines would be levied on American companies which cooperate with the boycott.

      link to

      The patently pro-Israel bias of this Wikipedia article plainly shows that it needs neutral revision. (Then-President Jimmy Carter is simply a gratuitous insult to Americans, who elected him).

      My business was a one-man show, so I had to provide a certificate of compliance from the Boycott Office, in order to get paid (by a British bank) through a Letter of Credit. (When you are personally in debt, to the tune of several 100,000s of dollars, to a whole string of manufacturers, you have to make sure your paperwork is totally in order).

    • Brave effort, Carleton, and I congratulate you, but I do wonder if it will get anywhere, in the current political climate in Canada.

      British efforts to introduce a boycott of Israeli academic institutions have, so far, gone nowhere.
      'The proposals have been opposed by many scholars and politicians, who describe the campaign as "profoundly unjust" and relying on what they consider to be a "false" analogy with South Africa. One critical statement has said that the boycotters apply "different standards" to Israel than other countries, that the boycott is "counterproductive and retrograde" and that the campaign is antisemitic and comparable to Nazi boycotts of Jewish shops in the 1930s
      link to

      Read, especially, the section on Accusations of Antisemitism link to

  • The adviser who never was
    • Blind worship of Israel is a specifically American religion. American politicians who do not believe must keep very quiet indeed, and those who perceive that the worship is of Moloch and not Yahweh had better not say so, publicly.

      That may be why almost all the (American) commenters here use pseudonyms, rather than their real names. Self-defence.

    • I am not at all impressed by Richard Witty's credentials.

      He says he once 'visited' the totally-occupied Israel section of Palestine, but I don't what else he has to support his implied expertise.

    • I am very impressed by Rashid Khalidi's credentials, and especially his service in the American University in Beirut from 1976-83, during the early, and perhaps the most critical part of the Lebanese Civil War. That took courage indeed.

      I was trapped in the corner coffee shop opposite the main entrance of AUB for an entire day in 1976, when two factions, (I don't know who), held a cross-street firefight just outside. The cafe had only the two Beatles compilation tapes, so we held a Beatles party at full volume to try and drown the noise of gunfire outside.

    • Blind worship of Israel is a specifically American religion. American politicians who do not believe must keep very quiet indeed, and those who perceive that the worship is of Moloch and not Yahweh had better not say so, publicly.

      Obama's differing treatment of Rashid Khalidi and Rahm Emanuel show the situation perfectly.

      Both are first-generation Americans, and both are wogs (Westernised Oriental Gentlemen) with un-American names, but:

      1 - one is the son of a well-known terrorist
      2 - one is a noted expert on the Middle East
      3 - one writes that the problems that plague the contemporary Middle East are in large part the "toxic debris" of American interventions during the Cold War
      4 - one writes that the founding of Israel caused the uprooting of the world's oldest .. Jewish communities, which had found in the Arab lands a tolerance .... was nonexistent in the often genocidal, Jew-hating Christian West.
      5 - one's family changed its name to reflect ist new nationality
      6 - one is a qualified ballet dancer

      No prizes for guessing which is which, but do try

  • I laughed and then it felt weird
    • Israel has free newspapers, and free television, neither of which are available in the US now.
      The link that Phil gave to the comedy show critique in the NYTimes (dated 2006) says it all:
      link to

      No such satire would be allowed in the US, although 'The Simpsons' does sometimes get near the line.

      As for PC, I have been castigated for using the word 'nigger' in this forum, even though I have clearly used it in a context where it should have been obvious that the original use was by other people. I will continue to do so.

      I spend a lot of time here arguing with foreign resident racists who categorise the local people as 'Flips' or 'Fillos', who they generally assume to be feckless, lazy, and thieves. Just like niggers, really.

      The black American Vietnam veteran who runs the nearby music bar (with available whores) is known (by both local Filipinos and foreigners) as the Nigra.

    • Avi's link to:
      (See Naomi Wolf’s 10 Steps: link to
      is very worth watching. America is truly becoming more Fascist by the day. (see SCOTUS relaxation of campaign funding by corporations).

      So is Britain. I will be travelling to Spain in February via a British airport, Gatwick, which involves, technically, entry into Britain. (The ongoing flight leaves from the same airport, but from a different section). I am really quite concerned about how I may be treated. This will be my first visit back to Britain (or Spain) since 2006.
      Britain is also introducing full body scanners, and I am also worried that recordings of my miserable dick will be widely available.

  • 'No safety for civilians' (the unbearable likeness of Rabin and bin Laden)
    • But Baruch Rosen also gives the opportunity to reveal the patently false 'Bin Laden Tapes' that Rita Katz has been peddling for years.
      She fucked up with the November 2007 one, where Bin Laden is shown suddenly with a black, dyed beard. It is extremely unlikely that a dedicated Wahhabi would indulge in such personal vanity.

    • "Baruch Rosen' has been scattering his crap all over this site today. I imagine he gets his instant responses from an internet sweatshop, manned by imported workers in Tel Aviv.

    • I would like to point out that, in 1993, when Rabin made his statement, Israel had already been occupying South Lebanon (20% of the country) for 11 years, Hizbollah had only recently been formed, was letting off rockets from that same occupied country, and Rabin had not yet won the Nobel Peace Prize.
      It took two more years for the relevent Israelis to assassinate him, and another 5 to skulk out of Lebanon, almost altogether.

    • I think it's unfair to compare Rabin and bin Laden, since both are very dead.

      However, had Rabin survived he would have prevented the first term of one Netanyahu, which would have been a Good Thing. Instead, his absence made the contest for the succeeding Israeli PM a contest between the miserable Peres and Netanyahu.

      Netanyahu co-opted a number of American neocons (or they volunteered) to write 'A Clean Break' that led directly to 'Project for a New American Century' written by much the same people, that uncannily included the statement "Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event––like a new Pearl Harbor" It also advocated a war on Iraq.

      Both events happened.

      Rabin's assassination immediately cast gloom over the optimism that followed the Oslo Accords, which hasn't been recovered in the following 15 years.

      Had Rabin lived, it is very possible that a two-state solution would be in existence now.

      Had bin Laden not died, we would have had to invent him, as we have (see the ludicrous bin Laden tapes). He is the Emmanuel Goldstein of the New American Century.

  • Israeli activists: Germany's blanket support for Israel is 'harmful and immoral'
    • There is an old Arabic story about this:

      GOD offered the 3 prophets (Moses, Jesus and Mohammed) their choice of the women of the world.

      Moses, the eldest, chose Jewish women, for obvious reasons.

      Jesus was a bit of a problem, because he never married, and might be gay.
      He chose white, European women.

      Mohammed got the rest but said they must cover their faces.

    • It's also being co-opted for the release of the Israeli reply to the Goldstone report
      Also very sick

    • I don't have any problem with France banning full-face burkas. It is not an assault against Islam, because Mohammed never ever said women should cover their faces, although he sensibly asked them to be modest.
      If the religionist fantasies grow too far, then they have to be stopped.

    • Eileen Fleming - this was a very powerful message. Thanks.

      However, I don't think that John Kennedy's murder had anything to do with Jews or Israel.

      If it had, we'd have dead Presidents lying all around us.

      However, Robert Kennedy's killing was different. The convicted murderer, Sirhan Sirhan (obviously an Arab name, but not necessarily a Palestinian one) has been imprisoned for 42 years, but no hint of his confession or motives has been released.
      By the way the Sirhan valley is that area of Jordan that juts into Saudi Arabia.
      Many Arabs (and others) name themselves after their home area.

    • Citizen I think you're probably right, but I don't think they will have much effect, as the Germans have no laws giving compensation, or any other rights to 1-3 generation Holocaust survivors.
      Germany will wake up soon to the fact that their millions of Holocaust compensation money went (and are still going) to a completely corrupt Israeli government corporation that passed little or nothing to genuine Holocaust survivors.
      Then they will get angry.
      As all too many of them do (visit any German website that discusses Israel).

    • Sorry, but the Israeli activists won't have much effect on the German government, which has recently donated potentially nuclear weapon carrying submarines to the most aggressive nation on earth (after the US).

      Germany has already paid millions in reparations for the Holocaust, most of which has not found its way to the surviving victims, but to the Israeli government.

      I find it strange that the writers of this petition call themselves "Some of us are 1st, 2nd or 3rd generation Holocaust survivors, and we are all activists who are pursuing peace and justice for everyone in our troubled region".

      How can you be a 2nd or 3rd generation Holocaust survivor?

      I might as well say I'm a 5th generation survivor of the Napoleonic Wars (which I am) so I want compensation and special treatment from France.

      'everyone in their troubled region' is everyone who is constantly getting attacked by the Israelis - no-one else (apart from the Americans in Iraq) is troubling the region.

      As for the very thought that Shimon Peres should even be considered 'representative of world Jewry' I find laughable.

      In short, these activists are doing the right thing, but have got their language wrong.

  • Why Haiti is Poor (IV): the Aristide Failure
    • James - Aristide never had a chance, as the first Haitien president since the American Marines' occupation, to give a fuck for his people
      You give a very good description of the so-called deteroration of democracy under his presidency. He was using (perhaps) exactly the same methods, but with a very different, better purpose, as his predecessors.
      He is still the democratic choice of the majority of the Haitien people, but the US has sent in 20,000 troops to stop his return.

    • Haiti has been a pseudo-colony of America, for which America claims no responsibility, for more than 100 years.

      The irresponsibility is breathtaking.

      Hillary Clinton visited Haiti on the fourth day (16 Nov) after the earthquake, when the response to it was gearing up, and every moment of access to the country's only working airport was precious.

      The international airport was shut down for 3 hours to give 'security' to Ms Clinton.

      At one point, she even sent an airplane out to bring her a new pantsuit.

  • Facts on the ground: the creation of a 'de-facto binational structure'
    • The Israelis already exercise an insidious form of apartheid over their own (20%) Arab population, with discriminatory laws that leave them very much outside the general protection and promotion of incoming Jews (via the Law of Return), even if the immigrants are a bunch of fleeing Russians who have no Jewish connections at all, and are using Israel as a way station to the US.

    • But perhaps I should have made Rosen's crap and contradictory statement a little more clear:

      “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.

      It is clear that his Israeli-imported sweatshop advisors haven't got the story right, and Rosen is talking babble

Showing comments 300 - 201