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Total number of comments: 277 (since 2011-04-24 19:04:00)

Interested in finding helpful dialog on the Israeli/Palestinian conundrum since visiting Israel and the West Bank.

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  • F. W. de Klerk on why apartheid will fail in Israel/Palestine
    • From the story on the Apple investment:

      Apple's deployment of R&D activities is in line with this policy and the company has only one technology development center, which is at company headquarters in Cupertino, California. All activities outside of company headquarters revolve around marketing, sales and support. Strategic development is carried out at home.

      You make it sound like Anobit is the only company that provides flash memory technology. The company I work for acquired a similar capability by acquiring U.S.-based Sandforce. Given the fact that Apple is notorious for having low R&D percentages I would be surprised if this operation hires more than a couple dozen people.

    • We didn't do that but in 1924 we gave Native Americans the choice to become American citizens. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_Citizenship_Act_of_1924

      Plan to do that soon or do you plan to remain stuck in the Nineteenth Century forever?

    • So let me get this straight. You have no need for Palestinians economically. So how come you have settlements in the West Bank then? Because if you truly had this wondrous high tech economy all you need is office parks in Tel Aviv. What you really are saying is you have no need for Palestinians just their land. So you take their land and water and leave them completely disenfranchised. This makes you morally worse than the white South Africans who at least admitted like F.W. de Klerk to needing the people in addition to their land.

  • Real News Video: JNF 'Judaizes' expropriated land
    • Hostage also note that the Palestinians are being denied self-determination for mutually contradictory reasons. So, according to PZ, the Palestinians should not have self-determination because they didn't shake off the Ottomans, or to use the Arabic word for shake off, have an Intifada. Now they are not to have self-determination because they are seeking to shake off their current oppressors. This is typical of an oppressor or tyrant, blame the victim.

      It's true that violence and oppression is deeply embedded into the human condition (and is why both Roman Catholics and Protestants hold to the doctrine of Original Sin). What's shocking about the latest Zionist form of this is the utter shamelessness of it. You start pushing me on the history of violence and anti-Semitism in the history of Christianity and I will readily admit it. (Those amongst my friends who deny the violence of Christianity are curiously enough also Christian Zionists. Hmm.) I will also add that the root cause of this corruption of Christianity is the same as what is currently corrupting Judaism, the conflation of faith and the sword of the state. Until Constantine Christianity was a religion of peace but after that it's been a (literally) bloody mess.

    • Wow. Note how the Palestinians don't deserve self-determination, a basic human right. It's clear with such racism why the Israelis haven't done the right thing voluntarily for over 63 years and why Omar Barghouti is right about BDS. They need to be forced.

    • Here's what gives. Given all that you said and adding that the Palestinians were called upon in WWI by the British to fight the Ottoman oppressors (in return for self-determination that they were shafted out of) they still would prefer that to Israeli occupation. I'm talking about Christians and even Armenian Christians. That's how bad the occupation is. I suggest you do what I did and go to Nazareth and Bethlehem and talk to the Christians who live there. While it sounds pessimistic there is a root of optimism in this. That's because the core of the problem is not Judaism nor Christianity nor Islam. It's Zionism. If Zionism is gone all of the three major monotheistic religions can live in peace like that did before Zionism showed up. Because of the Zionist oppression the Christians are leaving. Before they go please talk to them.

    • Another way to visualize. This shows the land loss in a number of Arab municipalities inside Israel proper.

      http://i484.photobucket.com/albums/rr202/rblinne/ScreenShot2012-01-02at94640AM.png

      Source: David A. Wesley, State Practices & Zionist Images: Shaping Economic Development in Arab Towns in Israel, Berghahn Books: Oxford, 2006.

      During my tour entering into Kafr Kana was a very eye-opening experience. It was on Land Day. There was a huge line of police cars just outside the village. Once we got inside of Cana there was a very peaceful and orderly protest. There was also a general strike both there and in Nazareth. This meant many of the shops were shuttered. The Israeli guide tried to "explain" this by saying they were protesting for their "brothers" in the occupied territories and made a comment that this was Land Day. Not knowing what Land Day was I Googled it in my hotel room that night. There I found they were protesting not just about 1967 but also about 1948. Note the large land loss so they weren't just protesting for their brothers but also for themselves. Our guide also made a snide, racist, comment that the general strike would mean that there would less thieves. Note we were not in the Occupied Territories so this shows the typical racist Israeli attitude towards Arab Israelis.

      Another way to visualize. Here's Google Maps of Kafr Kana:

      http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Kafr+Kanna

      Note how all the Jewish settlements are on the hills, e.g. Nazareth Illit and Tsipori and Givat Ela, that bottle in the Arab villages into the valley. Note the forest next to Tsipori which are the remains of Saffuriyya. The quarter in Nazareth where the refugees live is a mere 5 km away from their stolen land which they are forbidden to return.

    • Let's visualize this for a second. See these four maps:

      http://arenaofspeculation.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/land.png

      Source: Malkit Shoshan (of B'Tsalem which Witty supposedly loves)

      The first map is Jewish owned land in 1918. The second is Jewish owned land in 1947. Then we shift to the stolen so-called 'state land' which we have been discussing here. The third map is the state land from 1960 and the fourth map is the same from 2002.

      Imagine how much land the Palestinians would have had if it was purchased from them rather than taken from the point of a gun. Imagine.

    • A sure way to be put a Christian on the defensive is to invoke the Crusades. So, a comparison to the Crusaders is a very low bar. My Christian guide in Bethlehem longed for the day like when they were under the caliphate rather than Israeli occupation. That's because for all the invaders -- bar none -- none were more brutal and barbaric than the Zionists. For example, Saladin allowed free passage to the Holy City by Christian pilgrims following fighting Richard I. Saffariya was a multi-ethnic and multi-religious city for centuries but the Zionists only allowed the Jews and destroyed the city and allowed no one to return which no other invader did.

    • Here's how the emergency regulations are used to steal land from the Palestinians by the use of the continuous state of emergency.

      Numerous other laws were used by the Israeli authorities to confiscate land. One example is the Emergency Land Requisition of 1949, which though giving the government the power to confiscate land in the case of ‘emergency’, by 1953 had been used for over 1,000 orders, ‘half of them for the purposes of settling new immigrants’. Other methods used depended on the military rule to which most Palestinian citizens were subjected after 1948, like Article 125 of the Emergency Regulations. This enabled an area to be declared ‘closed’ and then, using the Land Acquisition (Validation of Acts and Compensation) Law (1953), the Ministry of Agriculture could declare the land ‘uncultivated’ and expropriate it for Jewish use. Shimon Peres praised the use of Article 125 as a means of ‘directly continu[ing] the struggle for Jewish settlement and Jewish immigration’.

      Ben White (2011-12-05). Palestinians in Israel (p. 25). Pluto Press.

      Why doesn't the state of emergency get revoked. Note these candid comments in Haaretz June 2005 [emphasis mine]

      http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/features/a-state-in-emergency-1.161607

      The answer lies, therefore, in the Justice Ministry. Deputy Attorney General for Legislation Yehoshua Schoffman and his aides are wary of the immediate implication of replacing the old legislation with new laws. Unlike the existing laws, which are immune to High Court intervention, any new laws would be exposed to constitutional scrutiny under the basic laws.

      The legislation that would replace the old laws would require the establishment of arrangements that infringe on human rights and might not withstand the test of the High Court of Justice.

      Schoffman admitted as much in a Knesset discussion. "If we take the anti-terror order and erase the emergency clause, it would constitute new legislation subject to constitutional scrutiny," he said.

      "The government fears that amending legislation whose validity depends on the emergency state would open the way to examining these laws in light of the Basic Law on Human Dignity and Freedom, while older laws would be immune to this scrutiny," says attorney Dan Yakir of ACRI. Yakir says that this consideration, which is the only reason for the government's repeated extension of the state of emergency, is invalid, improper and inappropriate.

    • The necessary action is to work within the system to repair it. The only alternative is a revolutionary approach, which has far far worse likelihood of gross suppression of civil rights during wartime (if wartime extends for generations, that is whole generations of both Israelis and Palestinians living under the psychology of forced conformity to the party lines), and great risk of worse suppressions than existed and exist currently in the reactions to the reactions to the reactions.

      You act as if this some future threat. There has been a non-stop 63 year plus gross suppression of civil rights during alleged wartime due to the abuse of "emergency law". Note the following from May 24 of last year in Haaretz:

      http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/israel-extends-63-year-state-of-emergency-over-ice-cream-and-show-tickets-1.363640

      The Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee yesterday declared a "state of emergency" at the cabinet's request. This was not due to an expected outbreak of war or terrorism, but to ensure the state's continued supervision over such issues as ice cream production, show tickets and amniocentesis tests.

      Actually, the state of emergency was declared 63 years ago. But the committee extended it for another year, rejecting a request by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel that the extension be limited to six months.

      What are these emergency regulations?

      They include, for example, regarding travelling abroad, the law to prevent infiltration, the law enabling the army to commandeer private property, the seafaring vessels law, the emergency laws for arrests, searches and land confiscation, the law supervising goods and services and the law prohibiting baking at night.

      The suppressions that exist within Israel proper are at most parallel to Jim Crow, which is reformable.

      A better parallel is with the other tyrants in the region such as Hosni Mubarek who also had decades of emergency law to take away the rights of the citizens and the solution to the "problem" is the same.

      I suggest that the path of remedy is statehood, viable self-determination, self-governance.

      Nope. The path of remedy is for the Jewish and democratic state to become a democratic state, period. Once that happens a host of one and two state solutions become suddenly viable.

    • What in the world are you talking about? The 1952 Citizenship law established separate categories of citizenship and nationality. The latter is only reserved for Jews as stipulated in the 1950 Law of Return. Thus, the law enshrined discrimination from the very beginning and was Israel's original sin. All the issues we discuss must be resolved by insisting that Israel adopt a constitution with only one category of citizenship for all who reside inside her borders with equal protection under the law, as was insisted upon in Resolution 181 .

    • It's also not merely community between just Christians and Muslims but we all -- Christians and Jews and Muslims -- can live in harmony, too. See here for a way out. The conservative wings of Christianity and Judaism are captured by fear. Within the Christian tradition we have a saying, though, love conquers all fear.

    • Annie, you may know that and I know that but my friends are being conned by this "clash of civilizations" BS. All the indigenous Christians we met kept trying to get through but alas it was for naught because of the Hasbara-inculcated fear of the scary brown Muslim. Since this is racially motivated these same Christians are also tarred as being terrorists. So at the risk of repeating myself I will speak for those who have no voice. See the upcoming Christ at the Checkpoint conference sponsored by the Bethlehem Bible College.

      http://christatthecheckpoint.org/index.php/blog/82-palestinian-christians-call-on-evangelicals-for-action-

      "If your end-times theology trumps the clear commands in Scripture to love neighbours and enemies, then it is time to rethink your theology.”

    • None of the above although there was some (understandable) conversions after the disastrous Battle of Hittin during the Crusades. Note that Nazareth is only a few miles away and it was majority Christian until the Muslims fled to it following the Nakba. Even so -- as was described to me by a Christian in Nazareth -- the Muslims and Christians got along historically and to this day. The mayor of Nazareth Illit has been having an ongoing war on Christmas and insists on it being a Jewish only city with no Christian symbols even though it is 15% Christian. The Christians there have underground worship services because of the persecution there.

    • See here for more details of the failure of the Moshav movement at Tzippori and the involvement of Moshe Dayan's father:

      http://books.google.com/books?id=7itq6zYtSJwC&pg=PA216&dq=safuriyya&hl=en#v=onepage&q=safuriyya&f=false

    • Typical low information Hasbara. This was from a Wikipedia page which redirects from Saffuriyya. Note this on the mosaic:

      http://www.carnegiemuseums.org/cmag/bk_issue/1998/sepoct/feat3.htm

      Zodiac Circle. The zodiac is depicted in a number of ancient synagogues, but the Sepphoris example is particularly rich and detailed. In the center of the zodiac section is a chariot of the sun god, Helios, with an image of the sun—possibly a symbol for the power of God. Surrounding the chariot are the seasons, months and celestial bodies, representing the divine order implicit in nature and the universe. The zodiac signs feature youths bearing symbols, and are labeled in Hebrew. The four seasons are personified by women, with their names inscribed in Hebrew and Greek.

      Back up the truck! A synagogue with a Zodiac? That's because Saffuriyya was not a Jewish monoculture. In the 14 centuries between the rule of Herod Antipas and the Ottoman empire, the city had a diverse, multiethnic and mutlireligious population of some 30,000 living in peaceful coexistence.

      Before the Wikipedia page was hijacked by the Hasbarists to point to Tzippori there was a section on the history of Saffuriyya which is still there:

      In the late nineteenth century, Saffuriyya was described as village built of stone and mud, situated along the slope of a hill. The village contained the remains of the Church of St. Anna and a square tower, said to have been built in the mid-eighteenth century. The village had an estimated 2,500 residents, who cultivated 150 faddans (1 faddan = 100-250 dunums), on some of this land they had planted olive trees.[25] In 1900, an elementary school for boys was founded, and later, a school for girls. A local council was established in 1923. The expenditure of the council grew from 74 Palestinian pounds in 1929 to 1,217 in 1944.[12]

      Though it lost its centrality and importance as a cultural centre under the Ottomans (1517-1918) and the British Mandate (1918–1948), the village thrived agriculturally. Saffuriyya's pomegranates, olives and wheat were famous throughout the Galilee.[26]

      In summer of 1931, archaeologist Leroy Waterman began the first excavations at Saffuriya, digging up part of the school playground, formerly the site of a Crusader fortress.[1]

      In 1944/45 a total of 21,841 dunums of village land was used for cereals, 5,310 dunums were irrigated or used for orchards, mostly olive trees.[12][27] By 1948, Saffuriya was the largest village in the Galilee both by land size and population, which was estimated at 4,000 Arabs.[28]

      On July 1, 1948, during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, the village was bombarded by Israeli planes.[28] It was captured by Israeli forces along with the rest of the lower Galilee in Operation Dekel. All but 80 of the villagers fled northwards toward Lebanon, some settling in the refugee camps of Ein al-Hilwa, Sabra and Shatila in Lebanon. After the attack, the villagers returned but were evicted again in September 1948.[3] On January 7, 1949, 14 residents were deported and the remaining 550 were resettled in neighboring Arab villages such as 'Illut.[3] Many settled in Nazareth in a quarter now known as the al-Safafira quarter because of the large number of Saffuriyya natives living there.[26] As the Israeli government considers them absentees, they cannot go back to their old homes and have no legal recourse to recover them.[29]

      The site of the Arab village was planted with pine trees.[28] On February 20, 1949, the Israeli moshav of Tzippori was founded southeast of the former village.[28] The pomegranate and olive trees were replaced with crops for cattle fodder.[30]

      Cattle fodder? Making the desert bloom my ass.

    • I still remember my visit to Yad Vashem where my guide mentioned how the JNF planted trees in honor of the "righteous Gentiles", while pointing to the Jerusalem Forest! As shown by Zochrot the real purpose of these artificial forests is to erase history. Ilan Pappe in the Ethnic Cleansing of Israel noted that the Forest of Birya, which is the largest man made forest in Israel, conceals the land of six Palestinian villages; Dishon, Alma, Qaddita, Amqa, Ayn al-Zaytun, and Birya.

      You don't have to trust Ilan Pappe, just your own eyes. Here's the village of Saffurriya just outside Nazareth with a photo of Saffurriya at ground level.

      http://i484.photobucket.com/albums/rr202/rblinne/Picture10938.jpg

      I decided to see what this looked like on Google Earth. Here's the screenshot.

      http://i484.photobucket.com/albums/rr202/rblinne/Screenshot2011-05-29at23228PM.png

      While I was at it I also overlaid the ethnically cleansed villages on top of a map of the UN partition (border in blue).

      http://i484.photobucket.com/albums/rr202/rblinne/Screenshot2011-05-28at94247AM.png

      Needless to say the shameless abuse of the Holocaust allowed me to endure any false charges of anti-Semitism and allowed me to speak up here and elsewhere. They don't care about the victims of the Shoah, it's just a talking point.

  • Ron Paul prose on Israel allegedly makes woman cry
  • Ron Paul and the left
    • Too much has been made about Paul's beliefs rather than his supporters. What Paul represents is the Religious Right absent Dispensational theology. I'm a non-Dispensational Evangelical. I readily admit it's possible to be non-Zionist and not anti-Semitic. So, I can grant that this may be the case for Ron Paul personally and even be the case -- though less likely -- with respect to the racism charge.

      That being said, if Paul is the apostle of non-Zionism I predict it will be the occasion of full-orbed anti-Semitism like his namesake. There is simply too much paranoia in his overall message. I've witnessed a lot of latent support for Paul amongst my friends in the Religious Right and a win in Iowa and beyond is not out of the question given that Romney is a Mormon.

  • Riots over gender segregation. And silence over Palestinian segregation
    • Note one of the suggestions in the panel discussions here:

      http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/insidestory/2011/12/2011122714115357269.html

      One of the "solutions" mentioned was everybody including the Haredi should be in the army. It wasn't mentioned why there was an exception, namely that it violated the Three Oaths.

      The Three Oaths are not merely based on the Talmud but also the Song of Solomon and Jeremiah 29:7.

      "Seek out the welfare of the city to which I have exiled you and pray for it to the Almighty, for through its welfare will you have welfare."

      Jeremiah continues:

      "Do not let your false prophets among you and your sorcerers seduce you, do not heed your dreamers which you cause them to dream. For they speak falsely to you in My name. I did not send them."

      The Haredi make an easy target but the root of the problem is the Jewish ethnocracy. All religious minorities -- whether they be Haredi or Palestinian Muslims or Palestinian Christians or Messianic Jews -- suffer discrimination because of the Zionist program of ethnocracy. Until Israel adopts real religious and political freedom inside the 1967 borders all we discuss relative to the conflict will fail. See Ben White's recent book, Palestinians in Israel, for more details.

  • How a comic book healed the wounds of normalization
    • It's not merely the veto. The veto makes the U.S. effectively half of the Quartet. The U.S. blocks sanctions not only for itself but also as part of the UN. The State Department also labels any independent sanctions against Israel by an individual state as delegitimizing. This has a profound effect on Europe so now we are at three quarters of the Quartet. Thus, there is no hope for any governmental action on the part of the international community. Thus, it's left to individuals in civil society to do the heavy lifting here, particularly those of us who are Americans because our government does not express our wishes (as was the case in SA). Thanks, eee, for providing an excellent justification for why we need BDS!

    • Thanks. This was very helpful. Coming from a conservative background I disagree with right-wing Zionism -- both Christian and Jewish -- but I believe I understand it. Left-wing Zionism was always confusing to me. That's why I was completely blindsided on Daily Kos after coming back from visiting Israel. On every other issue the left had stood for justice, the little guy, and was anti-war. After seeing the truth with my own eyes I had assumed that this would apply to the I/P conflict, also. But, there is another part of the left-wing psyche that contributes to this. As with all generalizations don't take this too far and your mileage may vary. Generally speaking, the right wants fear or respect and is authoritarian. The left wants to be liked or loved and is egalitarian.

      Right-wing Zionism is all about power, even Christian Zionism. In the case of the latter, the unconditional support of Israel is so Jesus returns and then roll credits. Left-wing Zionism more reflects the left's psyche. Asymmetrical relationships remind the left too much of the right's authoritarianism and furthermore cause issues with its innate egalitarianism. In cases such as climate change the left realizes the media's equal treatment of "both sides" is in and of itself biased. Even here as long as you belong to the oppressed group rather than an oppressing group falsely applying a bogus symmetry doesn't happen. But, what happens if you belong to an oppressing group like me being a modestly wealthy, white, male, evangelical Christian? Or in the case of left wing Zionism being a modestly wealthy, white, male Jew? Does being a generic liberal assuage the guilt? I say no.

      Fighting against oppression must be on the terms of the oppressed and not on the terms of the (feeling) guilty oppressors. It's not about how we feel or what people think of us. It's about justice and freedom. If pursuing those ends means we look like crap and we are dissed -- or to use a term of art from the conflict -- delegitimized so be it. In my opinion and speaking as a former right-winger this is where the left, whether Zionist or non-Zionist, needs a small right-wing injection. We need to not care what other people think of us. Until we do that we will have all these useless "conversations" that do nothing to relieve the oppression of the Palestinian people.

  • Israeli gov't cancels oafish ad campaign targeting Christmas, US marriage
    • Note this:

      News from Goldblog Headquarters: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered his country's Ministry of Immigrant Absorption to immediately shut down its ridiculous Diaspora-bashing ad campaign, which was meant to guilt Israeli expatriates in America into going home. I first wrote about this campaign here; the original post prompted Israel's Immigration Minister, Sofa Landver, to tell Shmuel Rosner that Goldblog is a know-nothing and to defend rather too vociferously the ad campaign.

      Goldblog just got off the phone with the Israeli ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, who had brought the campaign to the attention of the prime minister after my first post on the subject appeared. Oren read to me the following statement:

      "The Ministry of Immigrant Absorption's campaign clearly did not take into account American Jewish sensibilities, and we regret any offense it caused. The campaign, which aimed to encourage Israelis living abroad to return home, was a laudable one, and it was not meant to cause insult. The campaign was conducted without the knowledge or approval of the prime minister's office or of the Israeli embassy in Washington. Prime Minister Netanyahu, once made aware of the campaign, ordered the videos immediately removed from YouTube, and he ordered that the billboards be removed as well. The prime minister deeply values the American Jewish community and is committed to deepening ties between it and the State of Israel."

      So there you have it: Another Diaspora-Israel crisis averted. The prime minister has acted swiftly and correctly. Goldblog's work here is done. Shabbat Shalom.

      But I just went to Klita's channel and there was "Daddy" right on the front page:

      http://www.youtube.com/user/KlitaGov?feature=watch

      I just took a screen grab just to prove it in case they pull it later. Note also that your ability to see the ad above is proof that the video wasn't pulled. Sounds like Goldberg had a W-style "mission accomplished".

    • See Al Jazeera's insightful take on this:

      http://www.aljazeera.com/video/americas/2011/12/201112351511123220.html

      Yes, the Israelis are clueless in their messaging but they are not clueless in the need for the ads. At the end of the Al Jazeera piece the reporter noted the why for the ad campaign. Over the last few decades the flow of Jews is from Israel to the United States and not the other way around. The last question asked is particularly pointed:

      "... leaving many Israelis asking which place is really home."

      Let's compare the U.S. and Israel for a moment. One is a multi-cultural location where Jews can speak English and celebrate Christmas with their Christian friends if they chose. I celebrate Hanukkah with my Jewish friends. Respecting other religious traditions does not mean adopting other religions. Many American Jews understand this and is one reason why they were offended by the ads. Or, one where only Hebrew is spoken (but apparently read see the English-language Economist on the "abba's" chest), and only Judaism is respected and other religions effectively banned. American Jewry has spoken with their feet on this important question and like many other issues recently the Hasbara machine is panicking.

  • Salon: Israel pushes US warmongering via neocon dog-tail-waggers
    • Connecting the dots...

      Here's how Dean is encouraged: speaking fees. Here's a list of the key speakers for the MEK:

      http://big.assets.huffingtonpost.com/Speakers_0.pdf

      This in turn produces appearances as follows on MSNBC:

      In March, one of the largest MEK support groups, the Iranian American Community of Northern California (IACNC) hosted a lavish conference on Capitol Hill with eight professional speakers, including Sec. Ridge, Gov. Dean and Mukasey, as well as nine members of Congress.

      http://iacnorcal.com/wp/2011/03/22/capitol-hill-conference-former-us-government-officials-members-of-congress-urge-president-obama-to-unshackle-irans-principal-opposition-the-mek/

      Here come's the Israel connection. One month later, the group hired a prestigious D.C. law firm, Akin Gump, to lobby directly for delisting the MEK.

      http://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/165921-top-lobby-firm-works-to-remove-group-from-terrorist-list

      Who's a key member of Akin Gump? Former Congressman Bill Paxon.

      http://www.akingump.com/bpaxon/

      Why is this important?

      While in Congress, Mr. Paxon also served as chair of the House leadership, founded the House Republican Israel Caucus and was a member of the following committees: Energy and Commerce, Banking, Budget, Small Business and Veterans Affairs.

      In a policy paper in 2001 the firm noted the following concerning sanctions against Iran:

      Diplomatic considerations are unlikely to sway members of Congress, however. Many members will be reluctant to allow ILSA to expire without a serious debate. The position of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and other interested groups, which generally advocate a hard-line approach to both Iran and Libya, will be important factors in determining how events unfold. If this produces an initiative to extend ILSA in some form, a difficult debate on U.S. sanctions policy toward these countries is likely to ensue.

      http://www.akingump.com/docs/publication/222.pdf

    • No kidding. See this morning's front page of the NY Times for all the congressional supporters of the terrorist cult, the MEK.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/27/us/politics/lobbying-support-for-iranian-exile-group-crosses-party-lines.html

      The extraordinary lobbying effort to reverse the terrorist designation of the group, the Mujahedeen Khalq, or People’s Mujahedeen, has won the support of two former C.I.A. directors, R. James Woolsey and Porter J. Goss; a former F.B.I. director, Louis J. Freeh; a former attorney general, Michael B. Mukasey; President George W. Bush’s first homeland security chief, Tom Ridge; President Obama’s first national security adviser, Gen. James L. Jones; big-name Republicans like the former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and Democrats like the former Vermont governor Howard Dean; and even the former top counterterrorism official of the State Department, Dell L. Dailey, who argued unsuccessfully for ending the terrorist label while in office.

      This is not the first time this was reported in the NYT:

      http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/14/opinion/sunday/an-iranian-cult-and-its-american-friends.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

      A FEW weeks ago I received an e-mail from an acquaintance with the subject line: Have you seen the video everyone is talking about?

      I clicked play, and there was Howard Dean, on March 19 in Berlin, at his most impassioned, extolling the virtues of a woman named Maryam Rajavi and insisting that America should recognize her as the president of Iran.

      Ms. Rajavi and her husband, Massoud, are the leaders of a militant Iranian opposition group called the Mujahedeen Khalq, or Warriors of God. The group’s forces have been based for the last 25 years in Iraq, where I visited them shortly after the fall of Saddam Hussein in April 2003.

      Mr. Dean’s speech stunned me. But then came Rudolph W. Giuliani saying virtually the same thing. At a conference in Paris last December, an emotional Mr. Giuliani told Ms. Rajavi, “These are the most important yearnings of the human soul that you support, and for your organization to be described as a terrorist organization is just simply a disgrace.” I thought I was watching The Onion News Network. Did Mr. Giuliani know whom he was talking about?

      Former DNC head, Howard Dean, even went so far as to offer an Op Ed with Tom Ridge on fox news.com!

      http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2011/11/03/whats-next-for-iran/

      Dean's argument was that we should support the MEK because of the plot against the Saudi ambassador even though the co-conspirator is alleged by Iran to be a part of the MEK!

      https://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/19/world/middleeast/iran-says-saudi-plot-defendant-belongs-to-exile-group.html

      Since the Republicans and Democrats disagree on everything including such minor things as JOBS all this unanimity means just one thing, Israel's involved. A quick Google search confirmed my suspicions.

      The Guardian reported that a recent "accident" in Iran was a covert Israeli operation in conjunction with the MEK:

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/nov/14/israel-mossad-iran-blast?cat=world&type=article

      A series of news reports linking Israel's intelligence agency the Mossad to a blast at a military facility in Iran, in which 17 people were killed and a further 15 wounded, has gained widespread coverage in the Israeli media on Monday.

      While Iranian officials insist the explosion at the Bid Ganeh base was accidental, caused by the movement of ammunition, claims from anonymous western and Israeli officials that Saturday's blast was a covert Israeli operation have gained momentum.

      Leading Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot picked up a post by US blogger Richard Silverstein claiming the Mossad had teamed up with Iranian militant group Mujahideen e-Khalq (MEK) to execute the alleged attack. MEK denies involvement in the attack.

      The MEK was also used to be a front for the Israelis to leak friendly info about the Iranian nuclear program without Israeli fingerprints. Note this cheerleading by Mrs. Rajavi:

      http://www.ncr-iran.org/en/ncri-statements/iran-resistance/11420-mrs-rajavi-the-new-iaea-report-shows-the-clerical-regime-is-the-most-significant-threat-to-the-world-peace-and-security-and-that-its-containment-can-only-be-achieved-though-a-regime-change

      "It is delightful that the agency did not give in to pressure from some member states that wanted to continue to cover up the clerical regime's nuclear projects, and exposed part of the military aspects of the regime's nuclear drive. But the bulk of the information contained in the agency's report, had been exposed by the Iranian resistance since many years ago and made available to the IAEA who could have been published years ago", she added.

      Was the Iranian resistance finding out about the Iranian nuclear program or is this just a repeat concerning the so-called Iraqi resistance and Saddam's W.M.D.s. Note this March 2006 New Yorker piece showing it's the latter:
      http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2006/03/06/060306fa_fact_bruck?currentPage=all

      An Iranian-American political activist told me, however, that the N.C.R.I.'s [MEK's] intelligence had actually come from Israel. This person said that Israel had earlier offered it to a monarchist group, but that that group's leaders had decided that "outing" the regime's nuclear program would be viewed negatively by Iranians, so they declined the offer. Shahriar Ahy, Reza Pahlavi's [the former Shah's son] adviser, confirmed that account up to a point. "That information came not from the M.E.K but from a friendly government, and it had come to more than one opposition group, not only the mujahideen," he said. When I asked him if the "friendly government" was Israel, he smiled. "The friendly government did not want to be the source of it, publicly, If the friendly government gives it to the U.S. publicly, then it would be received differently. Better to come from an opposition group." Israel is said to have had a relationship with the M.E.K. at least since the late nineties, and to have supplied a satellite signal for N.C.R.I. broadcasts from Paris into Iran. When I asked an Israeli diplomat about Israel's relationship with the M.E.K., he said, "The M.E.K is useful," but declined to elaborate.

  • 'In Hebron I felt that God had abandoned earth'
    • Annie when Ben is talking about the still, small voice this is what he is referring to (1 Kings 19):

      And the word of the LORD came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

      He replied, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”

      The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.”

      Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. [Note: King James translates this as "still, small voice"] When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.

      So, when Ben talks about God abandoning Earth he's not blaming God but rather noticing like Elijah did that the children of Israel abandoned the covenant. The Torah is also clear that if the children of Israel abandon the covenant the promise of the land is made null and void.

  • NPR story on Dead Sea Scrolls makes listener feel like a goose being force-fed Israel propaganda
    • Not only did he want a final say on Judaism remember the comment was directed at me and thus he also wanted a final say on my evangelical Christianity. I am not a relativist. Facts are not constructed for my personal convenience nor are they contingent on my belief in them. Most evangelicals crave certainty. A popular evangelism technique asks are you 100% certain that you are going to Heaven. Since most evangelicals also claim that Scripture is 100% true down to the minutest historical or scientific detail it makes them very susceptible to unscrupulous manipulation. This is why they so easily fall for things like Intelligent Design because you have "experts" that confirm their belief in the inerrancy of Scripture against a modern World that introduces fear, uncertainty, and doubts.

      The same thing happens with Christian Zionist tours. They are told when they see the landscape that archeological evidence confirms exactly what is recorded in Scripture. It doesn't matter which fact is confirmed but rather there are many facts that are done. This includes, by the way, confirming the historical claims of the New Testament. This happened so much there was some speculation that our guide was Christian. This illusion was shattered when he didn't know a thing about ahistorical things such as the Parable of the Prodigal Son. Then they return saying how this was the most important spiritual event in their life because those nagging doubts are quelled all because the Israeli guides lie about the archeological evidence.

      The key difference between Christian and Jewish Zionists is as follows: The Christian Zionists care about the text of the Bible while the Jewish Zionists only care about the maps in the back, showing a United Monarchy from the River to the Sea. Israel has been lying about her borders now for over two and a half millennia.

      Here's how to take the facts above and use it to be influential with evangelicals. Expose the double game the Hasbarists are playing. What will be devastating about what Jonah said is not where he disagrees with me but where he agrees. He only cares about establishing the Kingdom of David and if Scripture is a little exaggerated, meh. With evangelicals this is a VERY BIG DEAL. So instead of trying to convince evangelicals of the archeological truth show how much the Harbarists are a bunch of shameless liars by showing what they say to us as contrasted with what they say to them. Evangelicals are no different than any other person here. They hate to be lied to. Furthermore, you have people that already are shown easy to convert. Not only will they flip but they will flip hard like I did this year.

    • Don't blame the girl. When you go on these tours the Israelis do not sound like Jonah. They keep telling the gullible Christians how all this archeology supports the Bible but it doesn't. But for people like Jonah all they want is a political David and not the religious one that my friends care about. So, they say one thing to me here and a different thing to my friends. Problem is I live in both worlds and I hear the two conflicting propaganda lines. Evangelical Christians care about confirming the Bible. So, they get used as useful idiots so that they will lobby their Congress critters back home.

    • Is the difference between monotheism and paganism clear to you?
      I can guess where your religious relativism wants to go …

      Yes. I know the difference.

      The earliest undisputed ritual find in Jerusalem is a fragment of a ceramic cult stand with molded human figures on it. The stand was made in the Canaanite tradition, and perhaps it should be attributed to a shrine that was built on the nearby hilltop. More evidence of early ritual practice is a small niche with a stela and two chalices found on the lower slope of the city and dated to the 10th–9th centuries B.C.E.

      Thousands of clay figurines and parts of clay figurines of women, as well as hundreds of figurines or parts of figurines of animals, were found in strata from the times of the kings of Judea. The number of figurines found in Judahite Jerusalem is the largest found in any site in Israel. The fragments of figurines were found in almost every structure excavated in the site, sometimes dozens in one place. These figurines tell us about a very widespread popular belief in the importance of female figures—an expression of an unofficial religious practice that may have been the exclusive realm of Jerusalem’s women.

      To this day no conclusive evidence has been found as to the existence of a temple in Jerusalem, even after the excavations around the Temple Mount/Haram al- Sharif and the sifting of the dirt fill from the hill. Thus my comment of no evidence of mono-theism.

    • It's a lot more honest than when I visited the so-called City of David. There was no evidence of David, nor Solomon, nor even monotheism in the Tenth Century BCE. The Jebusites had an impressive kingdom on the other hand. (To call David a king is a huge stretch.) Another item exaggerated is the Babylonian Captivity. This was only a crisis for the ruling elite. The common folk probably didn't notice much. The common part of Jerusalem was not attacked and they had already voluntarily leaving the city for over a century before the Babylonians came. In other words, most of the diaspora didn't happen and it could very well be the case that it's more likely that Palestinians have more ancient Jewish blood coursing through their veins than Jews do!

    • Here's some scientific teeth behind the issue of founder population.

      http://bloodjournal.hematologylibrary.org/content/90/7/2654.short

      The Two Common Mutations Causing Factor XI Deficiency in Jews Stem From Distinct Founders: One of Ancient Middle Eastern Origin and Another of More Recent European Origin
      Hava Peretz, Avital Mulai, Sali Usher, Ariella Zivelin, Avihai Segal, Zahavi Weisman, Moshe Mittelman, Hannah Lupo, Naomi Lanir, Benjamin Brenner, Ofer Shpilberg, and Uri Seligsohn
      + Author Affiliations

      1 From the Institute of Thrombosis and Hemostasis, Department of Hematology, Chaim Sheba Medical Center, Tel-Hashomer, Israel; the Chemistry Laboratory, Sourasky Tel-Aviv Medical Center, Tel-Aviv, Israel; the Rosh-Haayin Outpatient Clinic, Rosh-Haayin, Israel; the Department of Medicine, Hasharon Medical Center, Petah-Tiqua, Israel; and the Thrombosis and Hemostasis Unit, Rambam Medical Center, Haifa, Israel.
      Abstract

      Previous studies showed that factor XI (FXI) deficiency commonly observed in Ashkenazi Jews is caused by two similarly frequent mutations, type II (Glu117stop) and type III (Phe283Leu) with allele frequencies of 0.0217 and 0.0254, respectively. In Iraqi Jews, who represent the ancient gene pool of Jews, only the type II mutation was observed with an allele frequency of 0.0167. In this study we sought founder effects for each mutation by examination of four FXI gene polymorphisms enabling haplotype analysis in affected Jewish patients of Ashkenazi, Iraqi, and other origins and in Arab patients. Initial population surveys of 387 Middle Eastern Jews (excluding Iraqi Jews), 560 North African/Sephardic Jews, and 382 Arabs revealed allele frequencies for the type II mutation of 0.0026, 0.0027, and 0.0065, respectively. In contrast, the type III mutation was not detected in any of these populations. All 60 independent chromosomes bearing the type III mutation were solely observed in Ashkenazi Jewish patients and were characterized by a relatively rare haplotype. All 103 independent chromosomes bearing the type II mutation in patients of Ashkenazi, Iraqi, Yemenite, Syrian, and Moroccan Jewish origin and of Arab origin were characterized by another distinct haplotype that was rare among normal Ashkenazi Jewish, Iraqi Jewish, and Arab chromosomes. These findings constitute the first example of a mutation common to Ashkenazi Jews, non-Ashkenazi Jews, and Arabs and are consistent with the origin of type II mutation in a founder before the divergence of the major segments of Jews. Our findings also indicate that the type III mutation arose more recently in an Ashkenazi Jewish individual.

      In English it says that Middle Eastern Jews and Arabs had a common founder. The reason why it appears that Jews are distinct genetically is the focus on Ashkenazi Jews that due to cultural and religious reasons had huge genetic bottleneck effects which in turn caused large amounts of genetic drift. This is the primary reason why such Jews suffer disproportionately from genetic diseases such as Tay-Sachs.

    • There is enough written and archeological evidence now to objectively say that there was indeed a united kingdom of Israel under David and Salomon in the 10th century BCE, with capital Jerusalem, even though not to the extent as described in the Bible …

      First you quoted Wikipedia and is typical for any article dealing with Israel has all sorts of Hasbara fingerprints on it. The only source for the article is a non-peer-reviewed report from Eilat Mazar. Note that Mazar is a Senior Fellow at the Shalem Center, a foundation that was established in 1994 to promote Zionism and free market economics in Israel. Back when I was looking into the pseudo-science of climate change I saw the exact same M.O. with politically motivated organizations sponsoring research that sought to overturn the overwhelming consensus view. The only difference I can see is the bogus climate research was sponsored by rich Gentiles rather than rich Jews.

      Again, all the Wikipedia article quoted hinges on Mazel's work which to put it most charitably is extremely controversial. The attitude of the scientific community not captured by radical Zionism toward Mazel is best summed up by the following quote from Israel Finkelstein:

      The biblical text dominates this field operation, not archaeology. Had it not been for Mazar’s literal reading of the biblical text, she never would have dated the remains to the 10th century BCE with such confidence.

      Israel Finkelstein, Ze'ev Herzog, Lily Singer-Avitz and David Ussishkin (2007), Has King David's Palace in Jerusalem Been Found?, Tel Aviv: Journal of the Institute of Archaeology of Tel Aviv University, 34(2), 142-164; p. 154

      Your citation of Nova is much better and again the archeological consensus is accurately portrayed by the following quote from your citation:

      But I think most archeologists today would argue that the United Monarchy was not much more than a kind of hill-country chiefdom. It was very small-scale.

    • I recently talked about the City of David but there's another archeological site that's been politicized and that's Tel Meggido. (You cannot go on a Christian Zionist tour without going to Armeggedon!) When you go to the visitor's center you see the following of Tel Meggido from Solomon's time.

      http://bigbible.org/israel/megiddo/DCP_0811.html

      What you don't see in the still picture is a slice of the model moves to show what it looks like now. The archeologists that predated the Israelis dug through multiple layers to the Canaanite inhabitants. This means explaining the digging to the level of the Canaanite gate.

      http:[email protected]/5442166594/

      The big interest is the so-called stables of Solomon because the Biblical account. (1 Kings 4:26 and 9:19) This account noted four thousand stalls for chariot horses. So in order to help the imagination the following sculpture is there:

      http://ferrelljenkins.wordpress.com/2010/08/page/2/

      First let's look at the Biblical account and then look at the site:

      1 Kings 9

      15 Here is the account of the forced labor King Solomon conscripted to build the LORD’s temple, his own palace, the terraces,[f] the wall of Jerusalem, and Hazor, Megiddo and Gezer. 16 (Pharaoh king of Egypt had attacked and captured Gezer. He had set it on fire. He killed its Canaanite inhabitants and then gave it as a wedding gift to his daughter, Solomon’s wife. 17 And Solomon rebuilt Gezer.) He built up Lower Beth Horon, 18 Baalath, and Tadmor[g] in the desert, within his land, 19 as well as all his store cities and the towns for his chariots and for his horses[h]—whatever he desired to build in Jerusalem, in Lebanon and throughout all the territory he ruled.

      As I stated previously the supposedly massive palaces were a disappointment in Jerusalem. I've been to Italy so I know what ancient runes look like from an advanced ancient civilization. We also have archeology from the Roman, Canaanite, and during the time of King Ahab in Israel and even on this very site. Everything points to Solomon being a minor chieftain. So, let's see these wondrous stables of Solomon!

      http://www.itsgila.com/images/megiddo5.gif
      http://www.itsgila.com/images/armageddon5.gif

      There's another problem. The Israeli guide goes on and on about Solomon and the tie into the Bible. If you go to Israel's tourism bureau's web site then you see this description:

      http://www.tourism.gov.il/Tourism_Eng/Articles/Attractions/Megiddo.htm

      "... sites include the stables from Ahab’s time"

      What??!? Yes, these stables have been dated to Ahab's time. Other things at the site from the time of Ahab includes a very impressive water works. But Ahab is a bad boy of the Bible. The story that is being sold to the Christian Zionists is there was this huge golden age but the archeology doesn't support it. It does support an advanced Canaanite civilization before David and Solomon and a respectable one after. The only time the Jews had a "great" civilization was when they were under Roman occupation. That was where the archeology was truly impressive. It doesn't stop the propaganda from spewing forth, though, because it doesn't -- surprise, surprise -- support the Zionist narrative.

  • Condi Rice was 'shocked' by 'ethnic purity' claims for Jewish state
  • Six Palestinian Freedom Riders arrested traveling on Israeli-only bus
    • This is worse than Jim Crow. Imagine going back to the American Revolution. The British declared due to American "terrorism" that all carriages from Bunker Hill to Boston were British only. Don't you think that would have made the list of "intolerable acts"? Jim Crow preferred one class of citizen over another. The Israelis prefer foreigners over residents. Desmond Tutu noted that Israeli Apartheid is worse than South Africa. It's also as we see here worse than Jim Crow.

      While it's nice to harken back to the American Civil Rights movement we need to acknowledge that the Palestinians have it worse and have a deeper moral flaw to correct than we had/have to. This is not to minimize the ongoing problems here in the U.S. Rather, realizing the depth of American depravity it illustrates even more so the Israeli depravity. The Palestinian activists should be honored in their own right and not just because they stand in the tradition of Martin Luther King and the Freedom Riders.

  • Five Republican congressmen take Christian Zionist solidarity tour of settlements
    • You're both right. It's an amalgam of both. The "tribe" is both racially and religiously based and there is a natural distrust of others outside the tribe. (This is why white and African American evangelicals have radically different politics.) Ironically, a Christian virtue taught in the New Testament is hospitality which comes from the Greek word φιλόξενος, literally meaning lover of strangers or foreigners.

  • Dueling messages on Iran
    • One more thing. I highly recommend the following for archeological background on the City of David and should be required reading prior to going on any Christian Zionist or Birthright tour. Warning: the following link is a large pdf.

      http://www.alt-arch.org/docs/Guide_English_Complete.pdf

    • Thanks for you comment on CT. I added the following two comments.

      Rich
      November 13, 2011 11:05am
      "there has never been an archaeological discovey that has disproven any part of the bible. " Yes and no. The archeological evidence points to the conclusion that the Biblical description of ancient Jerusalem was exaggerated. On the other hand, the same evidence confirms the prophetic era and its commonality with today, especially the occupy movement. Social tensions accompanied the expansion of the city, and there is a correlation between the Prophets’ warnings and the physical evidence: substantial gaps in income and signs of resistance to the ruling elite. Over the years many houses were abandoned in the lower city, and on the eve of its destruction, the city was a sparsely populated shell. When the Babylonians captured the city in 586/7 B.C. only the northern part of ancient Jerusalem -- the elite quarter -- was looted and set on fire; the other parts of the city had been abandoned -- over the course of the previous century -- without the physical destruction of the houses.

      Rich
      November 13, 2011 10:01am
      That Mazar is a serious scholar is without question. "She's a good archaeologist," said Lawrence Geraty, a former ASOR president. "She understands stratigraphy..." Really? The City of David uses tunneling rather than stratigraphy which has been accepted for over a century now. The tunneling makes dating nearly impossible and allows ignoring the Byzantine period and the Jewish quarters under Muslim rule because that doesn't fit the Israeli narrative. Showing Jews and Muslims living in peace is bad for the "clash of civilizations" narrative. By the way, the Christians that I talked to who live there also said they suffer more from Israeli occupation than Muslim oppression. Even with the substandard techniques the truth still comes out when you visit. The Jebusite water structures are impressive but the wealthy section of Jerusalem in the 10th Century BC was pathetic. While there were many inscriptions praising minor officials there were none referring to any of the kings of Judah.

    • I know this off topic but it's about another debunked narrative. Christianity Today posted yesterday a story which promotes the narrative of archeological spade in one hand and the Bible in the other, talking about Israeli archeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar. It then discussed that propaganda park, the alleged City of David.

      http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2011/november/archaeology-rebel.html

      When the ribbon was cut to dedicate Jerusalem's newest archaeological attraction last summer, Eilat Mazar stood among the dignitaries like a proud parent.

      The 56 year-old Israeli archaeologist didn't just direct the final excavation that prepared the Ophel City Wall site for visitors. She also linked the silent stones with one of the Bible's most eminent and holy kings: Solomon.

      What the article failed to mention and as I pointed out in the comments was that just last month Dr. Mazar had a falling out with the City of David over its well-known shoddy scientific practices.

      http://forward.com/articles/144184/#ixzz1aobqgb5K

      An archaeologist who worked with the Elad association in Jerusalem’s City of David claims that the association and the Antiquities Authority are carrying out excavations “without any commitment to scientific archaeological work.”

      Dr. Eilat Mazar - a Hebrew University archaeologist who worked in close cooperation with Elad over past years, and who is considered one of the most productive researchers in Jerusalem and in the City of David area in particular - has castigated Elad for the excavation of a large subterranean pit, called “Jeremiah’s Pit,” at the entrance to the City of David visitors’ center complex.

      In a sharply worded letter she sent 10 days ago to Prof. Ronny Reich, chairman of the Archaeological Council, Mazar demanded an urgent discussion of the excavations, which she says are being carried out in violation of accepted procedures.

      Mazar’s claims against Elad are being leveled at a crucial time as a proposed law to privatize public parks is being considered. If approved, the bill will enable Elad, a private association which excavates, maintains and conducts tours of the City of David, to maintain control of the historic site - situated in the predominantly Arab village of Silwan, adjacent to the Old City.

      “To my astonishment I discovered that for over a year Elad, together with the Antiquities Authority, has been secretly planning a tourism gimmick called the ‘Jeremiah’s Pit Project,” writes Mazar in her letter, noting that the excavation is only two meters away from the excavation area that she directed between 2005 and 2008. She says that she wanted to continue digging in the present area, but was prevented from doing so “for logistical reasons, since north of the site the Antiquities Authority permitted Elad to build a special events hall,” and because of the area’s proximity to a residential building and a road.

      Mazar claims that the excavation in the area of the pit contravenes several accepted practices in archaeology, among them, the digging up of an unusually small area of a mere “two squares,” or 10 square meters, which makes it difficult to analyze the findings in relation to the overall area. An excavation of this size, claims Mazar, is made only in situations where there is no other choice.
      Mazar is also critical of the diggers’ intention to destroy the wall of the pit, which has not been properly investigated. She also notes that the dig “interferes with the nearby excavations,” which will undermine her ability to complete the research in the area. She claims that it is not acceptable to transfer an area being excavated by one archaeologist to another one, without the former’s consent.

      Mazar raised these complaints to the director of the Jerusalem area in the Antiquities Authority, Dr. Yuval Baruch. He conveyed them to Antiquities Authority director Shuka Dorfman, who in turn rejected the complaints and approved the continuation of the excavation.

      Antiquities Authority personnel said yesterday that Mazar, who asked to excavate the site and was turned down, received the status of a consultant to the excavation, but she wasn’t satisfied with that and turned to the council. An official reply from the Antiquities Authority said that “the excavation is a rescue dig for the purpose of tourism and the development of the national park. Near the site several archaeological excavations have been conducted, including that of Dr. Mazar. It seems that Dr. Mazar is trying to appropriate the site to herself and we regret that.”

      Elad officials explained that it is not the association, but the Antiquities Authority that decides which archaeologist will conduct an excavation. Elad also claims that for several years Mazar has been aware of the project, which was designed to enable groups of tourists to visit the pit, and that she even promised not challenge it.

  • Reporters again turn State Dep't briefing into moshpit, scorning US 'impotence' in the conflict
    • Here's a quote from McClellan's book that Toria should look up when Matt asks yet again about being in campaign mode:

      "Operating in the campaign mode means never explaining, never apologizing, never retreating. Unfortunately, that strategy also means never reflecting, never reconsidering, never compromising."

  • Caption contest
    • I'd rather listen to Vogon poetry.

      "Oh freddled gruntbuggly/thy micturations are to me/As plurdled gabbleblotchits on a lurgid bee.
      Groop I implore thee, my foonting turlingdromes. And hooptiously drangle me with crinkly bindlewurdles,
      Or I will rend thee in the gobberwarts with my blurglecruncheon, see if I don't!"

      Nimrod was right. It is science fiction.

  • Netanyahu needs a history tutor -- Can UNESCO experts help?
    • It's not just a vague sense. Basically the Israeli guide literally gives chapter and verse from the Bible. While the guide admitted that there was nothing directly attributable to David or Solomon in the City of David, he failed to mention the tons and tons of pagan idols found on that site. It's also set up to make damn sure you don't talk with anyone from Silwan. You exit a locked gate with your bus waiting for you. One of the functions of the "tunnels" is not merely to hide history but to hide modern Palestinians.

    • Your sense is absolutely correct. I remember reading many years ago in Biblical Archeological Review about the access controversy but hadn't put two and two together until I got back from Israel last Spring. All the manuscripts were initially placed under the oversight of a committee of scholars appointed by the Jordanian Department of Antiquities. This responsibility was assumed by the Israel Antiquities Authority after 1967. The IAA then created the infamous "secrecy rule" that limited access to the scrolls. There are forty volumes of materials known as the "Discoveries in the Judean Desert". To date only one volume has been published.

      Wikipedia -- for once -- gives a good summary on how the Israeli secrecy rule was ultimately broken:

      Most of the longer, more complete scrolls were published soon after their discovery. The majority of the scrolls, however, consists of tiny, brittle fragments, and haven't been published. These unpublished documents was severely limited to the editorial committee. In 1991, researchers at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio, Ben Zion Wacholder and Martin Abegg, announced the creation of a computer program that used previously published scrolls to reconstruct the unpublished texts. Officials at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California, led by Head Librarian William Andrew Moffett, announced that they would allow researchers unrestricted access to the library’s complete set of photographs of the scrolls. With their monopoly broken, the officials of the Israel Antiquities Authority agreed to lift their long-standing restrictions on the use of the scrolls.

      After further delays, public interest attorney William John Cox undertook representation of an "undisclosed client," who had provided a complete set of the unpublished photographs, and contracted for their publication. Professors Robert Eisenman and James Robinson indexed the photographs and wrote an introduction to A Facsimile Edition of the Dead Sea Scrolls, which was published by the Biblical Archaeology Society in 1991. As a result, the "secrecy rule" was lifted.

      What this shows is the importance of Palestine joining UNESCO. With Isreali control -- and even worse settler control -- of things like the Dead Sea Scrolls and the so-called City of David they can lie about the history and pretend the long-standing presence of the Palestinians in the land between the river and the Sea didn't exist. I hope UNESCO can kick Elad out of the City of David and stop their "salvage archeology" which has been eschewed by the archeological community for over a century. See my Daily Kos diary I wrote on the City of David after returning utterly shocked from Israel (read after the fold).

      http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/05/15/976225/-We-are-all-Milad-Ayash

  • Where occupy and tea overlap
  • Breakthrough: 'Ynet' honestly seeks answer to question, How did American Jews get so rich?
    • The other thing that should be noted is the "trigger" for the anti-Semitism was promoting Islamophobia. Israel's clash of civilization narrative is a very dangerous game. Note also how Sicily differed from England. Again, what promoted safety was the pluralism that existed in Sicily in the 12th Century.

    • EEE, you are really clueless aren't you. My point is Israel itself is what makes it dangerous for American Jews. Just as the mob in the 12th Century only saw Jews as proxies for the Crown so will the mob see Jews as proxies for Zionism. And just like the British discarded the Jews so will the Americans once they have stopped serving their purpose. This will put Israeli Jews in danger because they will no longer have their American patron. The only way to keep the Jews safe is to distinguish Judaism from Zionism. Conflating the two only promotes anti-Semitism.

    • The closest analogy to modern America is Angevin England. Richard I needed to fund his foreign wars and given his grandfather's Stephen fondness for the Jews he used them as an extension of the Norman Exchequer. This -- not their mythical business prowess -- produced for them great wealth. At the same time in Sicily Richard's sister, Joanna was married to William the Good. This realm was marked for the peace between the Christians, Jews, and Muslims.

      Since Richard was bleeding England white over his taking the cross popular resentment grew and his rivals also wanted to make sure they could get out of paying for the Third Crusade. The result was mob violence and wholesale massacres of the Jews. Among the reasons for the violence was the Jews were the face of the cost of foreign wars and the Muslim "infidels" were far away while the Jews were right next door.

      It's important to define success properly. Who was more successful the Jews in England or the Jews in Sicily? The former were wealthier but the latter lived. It's also important not to attribute internal factors for success such as business acumen or intelligence when being useful to the establishment is a more reasonable cause. The Crown and the Church passed many futile measures trying to protect the Jews from the mob not because of some great philosemitism but because they were useful in funding the foreign war. When that usefulness stopped the result was the 1290 Edict of Expulsion by Edward I.

      This to me seems the best historical parallel to the present day. The Christians are funding foreign wars where the people are being bled white. The enemy is again the Muslims. Jews are helpful both in the funding and selling these adventures. The only real difference is we are not seeing the massacres of the Jews by the angry mob and the Jews ultimately being discarded by the Christian elite. Yet.

  • Why Palestinian rights are not front and center for OWS meta-brand
    • See here:
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7825039.stm

      Critics of neo-conservativism have sometimes sought to portray it as an exclusively Jewish phenomenon. But while many of the best-known neo-cons are Jewish, this is incorrect.

      In Washington DC, the favourite neo-con think tank was the American Enterprise Institute.

      Here they authored a series of papers arguing for a more forceful US foreign policy, the centre-point of which was a rejection of conventional negotiations on the Palestine/Israel peace process.

      Instead, they harboured the much bolder ambition of a US-instigated region-wide democratic transformation.

      The first phase was the overthrow of Saddam Hussein - which, they believed, would have a sort of "demonstrator effect" on the region.

  • Why did Steve Jobs not want to meet his Arab-American father?
    • In a different NPR interview for Morning Edition Isaacson related how Jobs felt abandoned by his biological parents while simultaneously felt chosen by his adoptive parents. Another anecdote from that interview was just plain weird. Jobs was not sure if there was an afterlife or whether death is just turning off the switch. This was why -- according to Isaacson -- Jobs didn't put on/off switches on his devices.

  • Occupy Wall Street movement is making room for Palestinian issue
  • World condemns Israel's Jerusalem landgrab, while US says it is 'within the frame of our policy concern'
  • As settlers disrupt olive harvest, Israeli officer declares: 'I am the law, I am God.'
    • Doesn't this:

      Some postulate that the Zionism deters the messianic era, others regard Zionism as a fulfillment itself, earned or unearned.

      Contradict this?
      There is though no movement for fundamental assimilation.

      Namely, it is those Jews who believe that Zionism deters the messianic era are one and the same with those who argue for assimilation. (By assimilation I mean here applying Jewish values to the pluralistic society in which they live.) So in one statement you argue that something exists and in the other you argue that it doesn't.

    • The new messianic iteration is stimulated by Zionism. “What are we asked to do now?” that A return is in process seemingly in conformity with prophecy.

      Actually Zionism is in contradistinction to the prophets because the promise of a nation is conditioned on obedience and justice. Here's what happens when the Jewish nation abandons justice like it is doing right now.

      Micah 3
      1 Then I said,

      Listen, you leaders of Jacob,
      you rulers of Israel.
      Should you not embrace justice,

      2 you who hate good and love evil;
      who tear the skin from my people
      and the flesh from their bones;
      3 who eat my people’s flesh,
      strip off their skin
      and break their bones in pieces;
      who chop them up like meat for the pan,
      like flesh for the pot?”

      4 Then they will cry out to the LORD,
      but he will not answer them.
      At that time he will hide his face from them
      because of the evil they have done.

      5 This is what the LORD says:

      “As for the prophets
      who lead my people astray,
      they proclaim ‘peace’
      if they have something to eat,
      but prepare to wage war against anyone
      who refuses to feed them.
      6 Therefore night will come over you, without visions,
      and darkness, without divination.
      The sun will set for the prophets,
      and the day will go dark for them.
      7 The seers will be ashamed
      and the diviners disgraced.
      They will all cover their faces
      because there is no answer from God.”
      8 But as for me, I am filled with power,
      with the Spirit of the LORD,
      and with justice and might,
      to declare to Jacob his transgression,
      to Israel his sin.

      9 Hear this, you leaders of Jacob,
      you rulers of Israel,
      who despise justice
      and distort all that is right;
      10 who build Zion with bloodshed,
      and Jerusalem with wickedness.

      11 Her leaders judge for a bribe,
      her priests teach for a price,
      and her prophets tell fortunes for money.
      Yet they look for the LORD’s support and say,
      “Is not the LORD among us?
      No disaster will come upon us.”
      12 Therefore because of you,
      Zion will be plowed like a field,
      Jerusalem will become a heap of rubble,
      the temple hill a mound overgrown with thickets.

  • Gary Ackerman blasts NYU divestment campaign, NYU students and faculty blast back
    • I was attempting to dialog with you.

      Why the dismissal?

      Pappe’s questions are good ones, no? Answered?

      I only dialog with those who are capable of it. For example, you say, "As the goals of proponents of BDS are so divided its a question that is impossible to answer..." Pappe sees the different problems and issues of the BDS movement in different countries as a point of understanding, listening, and dialog. In fact, Pappe is even able to have a dialog with himself!

      My son is autistic. He can go on and on about rock music but he cannot see what it takes to have real dialog because of the way his brain is wired. So, he has a legitimate excuse. What's yours? I try to inculcate listening, empathy, and understanding in my son and he takes a social skills class in high school that seeks to do the same. That's what makes for dialog rather than parallel speeches as Sophocles so brilliantly portrayed.

      The reason why you are berated here is not the questions you ask. Rather, it's the failure to listen to and empathize with the answers by others followed by Creonian soliloquies.

      I go to a church on Saturday evenings with my son to accommodate his attention span. The sermon was on Ecclesiastes 5. If you cannot listen to Sophocles maybe you will listen to Solomon. Here's some of the verses we heard last night:

      Do not be quick with your mouth,
      do not be hasty in your heart
      to utter anything before God.

      God is in heaven
      and you are on earth,
      so let your words be few.

      As a dream comes when there are many cares, so the speech of a fool when there are many words.

    • Ilan Pappe argues that one purpose of BDS is the moral delegitimization of Israel. This is accomplished through shining a light on Israel and then allowing her to delegitimize herself. The assumption is BDS doesn't work because Israel as a state, a military, and as an economy are strong. This blinds Israel and her defenders to her moral weakness due to their pride.

      This is not unlike what happened in the ancient Greek play, Antigone. The play is two hours long yet the "action" takes only 5-10 minutes. The reason is the prideful self-defense and long soliloquies of Lord Creon. For Lord Creon the state was everything and his decree that Antigone's brother was not to be buried since he was a traitor to the state was inviolable. If he relented he argued then the authority of the state would be gone, and Thebes would be no more. Antigone's disobedience motivated by her faith and love for her brother could not be countenanced. Not only did Antigone but Creon's son and an augerer tried to get Creon to change his mind. For everyone who tried to get Creon change his mind all were falsely accused of not having integrity and being bribed, all without evidence. The play ends with Creon's son dead and his wife committing suicide along with her accusation that he murdered his son. The final chorus said the ultimate tragedy was Creon acquired wisdom only through suffering.

      Israel and her self-appointed defenders are like Lord Creon with their endless longwinded self-defenses and false accusations. (If brevity is the soul of wit then Witty has no soul.) It appears that they can only gain wisdom through suffering. Hopefully the mild suffering of BDS will be sufficient for Israel to come to her senses -- where she ceases Zionism's false religion of the state -- rather than falling into the ultimate tragedy pointed to by Sophecles.

    • Also at the same conference Rafeef Ziadah shows links between BDS, the Arab Spring, and the other occupy (fill in the blank) movements.

    • Here's a recent talk Ilan Pappe on the whys, whos, and hows of BDS. About halfway through he discusses the issue of the academic portion of the boycott.

  • Finkelstein thinks shift in young Jewish opinion means there will be 2 (viable) states. Mearsheimer doesn't
    • Think again. This is all of one piece. The Discovery Institute was started by a couple of Reagan political operatives. It was only later that they became involved with ID. ID is only one front of the "culture war" involving fear of the "other". It's just the "other" is different from context to context. It could be the Soviets, or secular scientists, or anti-Wall Street types, or scary brown Muslims. I'm not making a leap here, either. Here the Discovery Institute explicitly got involved in I/P by one of the founder Reagan operatives, George Gilder. Note he wrote a whole book on the subject and how he sounds just like the rest of the Hasbara crowd here:

      http://www.discovery.org/a/17041

    • It depends on what group of Jews you are talking about. For the Jews here, Mearsheimer's assessment is accurate. One advantage of being an evangelical is I swim in a sea of the lack of critical thinking, c.f. what my friend Karl Giberson bemoaned on the pages of the NY Times yesterday.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/18/opinion/the-evangelical-rejection-of-reason.html

      One of the reason I was active at DK was to escape the nut house. Then I hit the I/P issue and it looks exactly like what I experienced in the evangelical community and the reason is exactly the same. There are astroturf organizations in both communities that scam the average person there. On the evangelical side for example there is the Discovery Institute that posit lie after lie that are accepted uncritically. Mearsheimer is right to focus on the Israel Lobby but often it's treated like any other political lobby but it's real purpose is like the organizations that lobby evangelicals: to propagandize the average folk and not necessarily the powerful. Insular communities like Jews and Evangelical Christians will uncritically accept things coming from the inside particularly if it is mixed with fear. Even evangelicals had more critical thinking when there wasn't fear mixed in. Thus, you would have evangelical books that exhibited critical thinking in the 90s and even the first half of the 2000s. The key thing about young Jews I've noticed is the fear is leaving and that's why critical thinking is making a comeback in the young Jewish community.

  • Is Occupy Wall Street anti-Semitic?
    • Here's Paul's interpretation of that passage when he was talking to Gentiles in Galatia. So anytime Paul uses the word "we" he is referring to predominately Gentile believers. Emphasis mine:

      21 Tell me, you who want to be under the law, are you not aware of what the law says? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman. 23 His son by the slave woman was born according to the flesh, but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a divine promise.

      24 These things are being taken figuratively: The women represent two covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves: This is Hagar. 25 Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother. 27 For it is written:

      “Be glad, barren woman,
      you who never bore a child;
      shout for joy and cry aloud,
      you who were never in labor;
      because more are the children of the desolate woman
      than of her who has a husband.”[e]

      28 Now you, brothers and sisters, like Isaac, are children of promise. 29 At that time the son born according to the flesh persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit. It is the same now. 30 But what does Scripture say? “Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman’s son.”[f] 31 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman.

      If a Christian is going to claim a Zionist perspective that Zion is the heavenly one and not the physical Jerusalem which according to Paul was under slavery and a child of Hagar. In short, Christian Zionism is a contradiction in terms because the promises in the OT are to be taken figuratively and not literally. This is the case both for the content of the promises (spiritual ones) and to whom it applies (the spiritual descendents of Sarah).

    • I can relate to the Jewish self-perception problem here. Namely, people are upset at rich bankers and it gets internalized as being anti-Jewish since many rich bankers are Jewish (of course, not the other way around). Next week, our Sunday School class will be discussing a 2005 essay by Philip Yancey where he bemoaned the effect on evangelicals of the perception (!) that the Religious Right and by extension evangelicals are hateful and the left will have nothing to do with evangelicals as I result. He tried to explain to his liberal friends what was going on -- he believes it's more fear than anger -- but to no effect. I plan on bringing up the point on Sunday that it's our politics and not necessarily our religion that bring about the opposition from the left. Like the Jews that see anti-semitism where it doesn't exist my friends see the opposition as anti-Christian persecution.

      My challenge is my friends truly don't see their behavior -- or more commonly behavior of people they support -- as hateful. It's far easier to see the sins and flaws of others like the videos being discussed here. To see that you are doing the exact same thing takes much more humility and introspection. I plan on raising the following local example of the anti-John Hagee demonstration in Arvada yesterday.

      http://www.coloradocalendarofevents.com/archives.html?r=20110917002550

      This was co-sponsored by Jewish Voice for Peace, and Sabeel Colorado, and Strait Gate Ministries. Here's the letter that Charles Carlson wrote the pastor of Faith Bible Chapter, a Denver-based mega church.

      http://whtt.org/newwhtt/main.php?nid=10044&ncateid=1

      Dear Pastor Morrison:

      Project Strait Gate has organized peace vigils on public right-of-ways outside many churches around the country. We visited Faith Chapel several years ago, and we are again planning to visit your church on October 16, 2011, for your Annual Israel Awareness Day, where John Hagee is your announced guest speaker.

      Our prayer is that you will examine your own position and make a Christ-like commitment in regard to the continued American slaughter in the Middle East, and the Israeli occupation of Palestine. We trust that you are concerned about the destruction of human life, but your guest for this program, John Hagee, is not.

      Israel's abuse of human life, both to its own unborn, and to its neighbors, the Palestinians, is no secret. Anti-war demonstrations have turned to demonstrations for independence all over the world. Evangelical churches like yours and your members should be, but are not, the most peace-seeking persons on the globe. They are not peacemakers because of your support for Israel, a nation at war with its neighbors for all of its existence, and the only country in the world that is openly imprisoning an entire population at gun point. If you deny this is fact you have not visited Gaza, as has this writer.

      A nationwide movement, Project Strait Gate, has initiated silent vigils at American churches with a message of peace and brotherly love, as taught by Jesus in a similar time of war and hatred. Jesus calls the leaders of His church to be “peacemakers.” Churches like yours can not be a peacemaker church if you support the occupation of the Palestinian people, and wars that kill civilians in other countries. We have learned that Christian Zionism is a distorted departure from Christianity. We have described it as an acquired mental disease, similar in some ways to Anorexia Nervosa, where those who have it not only break the hearts of others, but often destroy themselves. Your association with self-proclaimed Zionist John Hagee labels Faith Bible Chapel as infected with Christian Zionism.

      Your mission statement states you believe, "the Bible is true in every way." But Jesus is believed by Christ Followers to have said, For as much as you have done it (both kindness and evil) to the least of my brothers you have done it unto me. Your guest John Hagee has said many times the USA should bomb Iran, and that the Palestinians have no right to the land they live in. We invite you to show us where Jesus ever made even one statement that allowed a Christian to approve or participate in taking the life of an Iraqi, Afghani or Palestinian, and most especially the lives of women and children.

      Jesus’ words dictate the need for Project Strait Gate. I am personally available to you with a detailed biblical explanation of why “Evangelical Christian Right” leaders should not support serial wars, including Israel's ongoing occupation of the land of the Philistines, and why your followers should not be among these. I would be pleased to discuss with you the question. "Is political Israel the fulfillment of Biblical Prophesy?" If you would like a presentation for your staff, Sunday school, youth group, etc., please contact me.

      Toward the Strait Gate,
      Charles Carlson

      What I plan on discussing is not the particulars of the debate here but rather how the demonstrators were treated. Note the contrast between the conference attendees and the Christians and Jews mentioned in the bolded paragraph at the end.

      http://robertjprince.wordpress.com/2011/10/16/protesting-john-hagee-and-rabbi-franklins-appearance-at-faith-bible-chapel/

      Overall the responses were not particularly friendly, although we were prepared for that. Most of those with whom we spoke were hiding behind their bibles. They could quote the Old Testament, but had hardly read newspapers. Indeed the level of ignorance revealed was so impressive that I hardly knew how to respond to much of it. Did I have a personal relationship with Christ someone asked me. `No, only with Nancy’ I responded. Several people asked me if I were Christian, as if that would determine whether or not they would even engage in conversation. Alot of nasty comments, curses and let us say unfriendly gestures. Still we talked to a fair number of people who were curious as to why we were there, and what it was exactly that we were protesting.

      It is good for the soul – a kind of reality check – to picket at the Faith Bible Chapel. I think that in the future, whenever I begin to have a little hope that humanity is `turning towards the morning’ as Gordon Bok, Ann Mayo Muir and Ed Trickett put it, I return to the Faith Bible Chapel to be reminded just how dumbed down and inhumane is modern humanity.

      It was not an easy place to be.

      Although it was not at all dangerous in the sense that we were physically threatened (or we threatened them), it was difficult – a kind of culture shock actually – to respond politely and rationally to many of those who engaged us, pickled as they were in their particularly narrow brand of Christianity. The place had the appearance of a beehive of little brainwashed ants. When some one tells me to `read Genesis 16 (or was it 17) in order to understand the current Middle East crisis or excuse Israeli practices against the Palestinians it is hard to overcome the urge to respond, let’s say, `unkindly’. I was amazed watching Charles Carlson, from Project Straight Gate. He handled these folks like a pro, quietly, efficiently, countering all their quotations from scripture (a talent at which I am somewhat lacking).

      A number of racist comments about Moslems came our way.

      There was one woman who made particularly vile comments about Moslems from her car window. The bumber sticker on her car truck had a pro-vegetarian message. Reminded me of an animal rights type from Boulder who felt a great deal of compassion for dogs, but very little for Palestinians.

      Another meshugeneh, on the verge of apoplexy, imagining that he had to power to do so actually cursed us and our children. If I remember correctly he said that our children would turn to worms. I could have easily told him to #$@!, but since I was on `sacred grounds’ (actually – no – on city property) and this was a Christian event, I was trying muster up a bit of Christian charity and so I just smiled.

      There were a fair number of Jewish people in attendance. It was not their facial features which gave them away but their yalmulkas. (or the fact that several of them identified themselves to us as being Jewish). Most of them were not happy to see our new Front Range Jewish Voice For Peace banner which read `Not In Our Name’ (see photo above). With one lady, an esteemed member of Denver’s Orthodox Jewish Community I could not help but to engage in `lively exchange’. She was visibly upset that some of us protesting Israeli policies are Jewish.

      But many more people – both Jewish and Christian – were glad we were there and they told us so in emails, phone calls and the like. Two Jewish women contacted me `I can’t make today’s protest due to a sinus infection…but I am with you in spirit. ‘ Another, who works for a conservative Jewish organization wrote `I wish I could be with you today. I hope you give them hell.’

      Then I plan to tie it back to Yancey's conclusion:

      I thought, too, how tempting it can be—and how distracting from our primary
      mission—to devote so many efforts to rehabilitating society at large, especially when
      these efforts demonize the opposition. (After all, neither Jesus nor Paul showed much
      concern about cleaning up the degenerate Roman Empire.) As history has proven,
      especially in times when church and state closely mingle, it is possible for the church
      to gain a nation and in the process lose the kingdom.

  • Boycott update: Champion fencer Sara Besbes stands down rather than plays Israeli
    • You make an excellent point. I propose that any Israeli posting outside the UN-mandated boundaries should be "boycotted" and not allowed to post here. As I noted earlier this morning you can easily find this information from the numeric I.P. of the comment. Cities that would be banned from posting include: Jaffa, Acre, Beersheba, Nazareth, and Jerusalem. A more detailed boundary can be found in U.N. resolution 181 as quoted by the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library:

      http://www.trumanlibrary.org/israel/unres181.htm

      A. The Arab State

      The area of the Arab State in Western Galilee is bounded on the west by the Mediterranean and on the north by the frontier of the Lebanon from Ras en Naqura to a point north of Saliha. From there the boundary proceeds southwards, leaving the built-up area of Saliha in the Arab State, to join the southernmost point of this village. There it follows the western boundary line of the villages of 'Alma, Rihaniya and Teitaba, thence following the northern boundary line of Meirun village to join the Acre-Safad Sub-District boundary line. It follows this line to a point west of Es Sammu'i village and joins it again at the northernmost point of Farradiya. Thence it follows the sub-district boundary line to the Acre-Safad main road. From here it follows the western boundary of Kafr-I'nan village until it reaches the Tiberias-Acre Sub-District boundary line, passing to the west of the junction of the Acre-Safad and Lubiya-Kafr-I'nan roads. From the south-west corner of Kafr-I'nan village the boundary line follows the western boundary of the Tiberias Sub-District to a point close to the boundary line between the villages of Maghar and 'Eilabun, thence bulging out to the west to include as much of the eastern part of the plain of Battuf as is necessary for the reservoir proposed by the Jewish Agency for the irrigation of lands to the south and east.

      The boundary rejoins the Tiberias Sub-District boundary at a point on the Nazareth-Tiberias road south-east of the built-up area of Tur'an; thence it runs southwards, at first following the sub-district boundary and then passing between the Kadoorie Agricultural School and Mount Tabor, to a point due south at the base of Mount Tabor. From here it runs due west, parallel to the horizontal grid line 230, to the north-east corner of the village lands of Tel Adashim. It then runs to the northwest corner of these lands, whence it turns south and west so as to include in the Arab State the sources of the Nazareth water supply in Yafa village. On reaching Ginneiger it follows the eastern, northern and western boundaries of the lands of this village to their south-west comer, whence it proceeds in a straight line to a point on the Haifa-Afula railway on the boundary between the villages of Sarid and El-Mujeidil. This is the point of intersection. The south-western boundary of the area of the Arab State in Galilee takes a line from this point, passing northwards along the eastern boundaries of Sarid and Gevat to the north-eastern corner of Nahalal, proceeding thence across the land of Kefar ha Horesh to a central point on the southern boundary of the village of 'Ilut, thence westwards along that village boundary to the eastern boundary of Beit Lahm, thence northwards and north-eastwards along its western boundary to the north-eastern corner of Waldheim and thence north-westwards across the village lands of Shafa 'Amr to the southeastern corner of Ramat Yohanan. From here it runs due north-north-east to a point on the Shafa 'Amr-Haifa road, west of its junction with the road of I'billin. From there it proceeds north-east to a point on the southern boundary of I'billin situated to the west of the I'billin-Birwa road. Thence along that boundary to its westernmost point, whence it turns to the north, follows across the village land of Tamra to the north-westernmost corner and along the western boundary of Julis until it reaches the Acre-Safad road. It then runs westwards along the southern side of the Safad-Acre road to the Galilee-Haifa District boundary, from which point it follows that boundary to the sea.

      The boundary of the hill country of Samaria and Judea starts on the Jordan River at the Wadi Malih south-east of Beisan and runs due west to meet the Beisan-Jericho road and then follows the western side of that road in a north-westerly direction to the junction of the boundaries of the Sub-Districts of Beisan, Nablus, and Jenin. From that point it follows the Nablus-Jenin sub-District boundary westwards for a distance of about three kilometres and then turns north-westwards, passing to the east of the built-up areas of the villages of Jalbun and Faqqu'a, to the boundary of the Sub-Districts of Jenin and Beisan at a point northeast of Nuris. Thence it proceeds first northwestwards to a point due north of the built-up area of Zie'in and then westwards to the Afula-Jenin railway, thence north-westwards along the District boundary line to the point of intersection on the Hejaz railway. From here the boundary runs southwestwards, including the built-up area and some of the land of the village of Kh. Lid in the Arab State to cross the Haifa-Jenin road at a point on the district boundary between Haifa and Samaria west of El- Mansi. It follows this boundary to the southernmost point of the village of El-Buteimat. From here it follows the northern and eastern boundaries of the village of Ar'ara rejoining the Haifa-Samaria district boundary at Wadi 'Ara, and thence proceeding south-south-westwards in an approximately straight line joining up with the western boundary of Qaqun to a point east of the railway line on the eastern boundary of Qaqun village. From here it runs along the railway line some distance to the east of it to a point just east of the Tulkarm railway station. Thence the boundary follows a line half-way between the railway and the Tulkarm-Qalqiliya-Jaljuliya and Ras El-Ein road to a point just east of Ras El-Ein station, whence it proceeds along the railway some distance to the east of it to the point on the railway line south of the junction of the Haifa-Lydda and Beit Nabala lines, whence it proceeds along the southern border of Lydda airport to its south-west corner, thence in a south-westerly direction to a point just west of the built-up area of Sarafand El 'Amar, whence it turns south, passing just to the west of the built-up area of Abu El-Fadil to the north-east corner of the lands of Beer Ya'aqov. (The boundary line should be so demarcated as to allow direct access from the Arab State to the airport.) Thence the boundary line follows the western and southern boundaries of Ramle village, to the north-east corner of El Na'ana village, thence in a straight line to the southernmost point of El Barriya, along the eastern boundary of that village and the southern boundary of 'Innaba village. Thence it turns north to follow the southern side of the Jaffa-Jerusalem road until El-Qubab, whence it follows the road to the boundary of Abu-Shusha. It runs along the eastern boundaries of Abu Shusha, Seidun, Hulda to the southernmost point of Hulda, thence westwards in a straight line to the north-eastern corner of Umm Kalkha, thence following the northern boundaries of Umm Kalkha, Qazaza and the northern and western boundaries of Mukhezin to the Gaza District boundary and thence runs across the village lands of El-Mismiya El-Kabira, and Yasur to the southern point of intersection, which is midway between the built-up areas of Yasur and Batani Sharqi.

      From the southern point of intersection the boundary lines run north-westwards between the villages of Gan Yavne and Barqa to the sea at a point half way between Nabi Yunis and Minat El-Qila, and south-eastwards to a point west of Qastina, whence it turns in a south-westerly direction, passing to the east of the built-up areas of Es Sawafir Esh Sharqiya and 'Ibdis. From the south-east corner of 'Ibdis village it runs to a point southwest of the built-up area of Beit 'Affa, crossing the Hebron-El-Majdal road just to the west of the built-up area of 'Iraq Suweidan. Thence it proceeds southward along the western village boundary of El-Faluja to the Beersheba Sub-District boundary. It then runs across the tribal lands of 'Arab El-Jubarat to a point on the boundary between the Sub-Districts of Beersheba and Hebron north of Kh. Khuweilifa, whence it proceeds in a south-westerly direction to a point on the Beersheba-Gaza main road two kilometres to the north-west of the town. It then turns south-eastwards to reach Wadi Sab' at a point situated one kilometer to the west of it. From here it turns north-eastwards and proceeds along Wadi Sab' and along the Beersheba-Hebron road for a distance of one kilometer, whence it turns eastwards and runs in a straight line to Kh. Kuseifa to join the Beersheba-Hebron Sub-District boundary. It then follows the Beersheba-Hebron boundary eastwards to a point north of Ras Ez-Zuweira, only departing from it so as to cut across the base of the indentation between vertical grid lines 150 and 160.

      About five kilometres north-east of Ras Ez-Zuweira it turns north, excluding from the Arab State a strip along the coast of the Dead Sea not more than seven kilometres in depth, as far as 'Ein Geddi, whence it turns due east to join the Transjordan frontier in the Dead Sea.

      The northern boundary of the Arab section of the coastal plain runs from a point between Minat El-Qila and Nabi Yunis, passing between the built-up areas of Gan Yavne and Barqa to the point of intersection. From here it turns south-westwards, running across the lands of Batani Sharqi, along the eastern boundary of the lands of Beit Daras and across the lands of Julis, leaving the built-up areas of Batani Sharqi and Julis to the westwards, as far as the north-west corner of the lands of Beit-Tima. Thence it runs east of El-Jiya across the village lands of El-Barbara along the eastern boundaries of the villages of Beit Jirja, Deir Suneid and Dimra. From the south-east corner of Dimra the boundary passes across the lands of Beit Hanun, leaving the Jewish lands of Nir-Am to the eastwards. From the south-east corner of Beit Hanun the line runs south-west to a point south of the parallel grid line 100, then turns north-west for two kilometres, turning again in a southwesterly direction and continuing in an almost straight line to the north-west corner of the village lands of Kirbet Ikhza'a. From there it follows the boundary line of this village to its southernmost point. It then runs in a southerly direction along the vertical grid line 90 to its junction with the horizontal grid line 70. It then turns south-eastwards to Kh. El-Ruheiba and then proceeds in a southerly direction to a point known as El-Baha, beyond which it crosses the Beersheba-EI 'Auja main road to the west of Kh. El-Mushrifa. From there it joins Wadi El-Zaiyatin just to the west of El-Subeita. From there it turns to the north-east and then to the south-east following this Wadi and passes to the east of 'Abda to join Wadi Nafkh. It then bulges to the south-west along Wadi Nafkh, Wadi 'Ajrim and Wadi Lassan to the point where Wadi Lassan crosses the Egyptian frontier.

      The area of the Arab enclave of Jaffa consists of that part of the town-planning area of Jaffa which lies to the west of the Jewish quarters lying south of Tel-Aviv, to the west of the continuation of Herzl street up to its junction with the Jaffa-Jerusalem road, to the south-west of the section of the Jaffa-Jerusalem road lying south-east of that junction, to the west of Miqve Yisrael lands, to the northwest of Holon local council area, to the north of the line linking up the north-west corner of Holon with the northeast corner of Bat Yam local council area and to the north of Bat Yam local council area. The question of Karton quarter will be decided by the Boundary Commission, bearing in mind among other considerations the desirability of including the smallest possible number of its Arab inhabitants and the largest possible number of its Jewish inhabitants in the Jewish State.
      B. The Jewish State

      The north-eastern sector of the Jewish State (Eastern Galilee) is bounded on the north and west by the Lebanese frontier and on the east by the frontiers of Syria and Trans-jordan. It includes the whole of the Huleh Basin, Lake Tiberias, the whole of the Beisan Sub-District, the boundary line being extended to the crest of the Gilboa mountains and the Wadi Malih. From there the Jewish State extends north-west, following the boundary described in respect of the Arab State.

      The Jewish section of the coastal plain extends from a point between Minat El-Qila and Nabi Yunis in the Gaza Sub-District and includes the towns of Haifa and Tel-Aviv, leaving Jaffa as an enclave of the Arab State. The eastern frontier of the Jewish State follows the boundary described in respect of the Arab State.

      The Beersheba area comprises the whole of the Beersheba Sub-District, including the Negeb and the eastern part of the Gaza Sub-District, but excluding the town of Beersheba and those areas described in respect of the Arab State. It includes also a strip of land along the Dead Sea stretching from the Beersheba-Hebron Sub-District boundary line to 'Ein Geddi, as described in respect of the Arab State.
      C. The city of Jerusalem

      The boundaries of the City of Jerusalem are as defined in the recommendations on the City of Jerusalem. (See Part III, section B, below).

      Boundaries of the city

      The City of Jerusalem shall include the present municipality of Jerusalem plus the surrounding villages and towns, the most eastern of which shall be Abu Dis; the most southern, Bethlehem; the most western, 'Ein Karim (including also the built-up area of Motsa); and the most northern Shu'fat, as indicated on the attached sketch-map (annex B).

    • Richb,
      Seriously, I have no idea what you’re talking about. I’ve never heard of volleyboy, never posted on dkos…
      I live in Israel, in Be’er Sheva.

      It's a pretty amazing coincidence. Both you and volleyboy are named Jon S and you also have a very similar "voice". This can be easily resolved. Back when I was running a group blog we had a terrible sock puppet problem where I suspected a woman posting to an e-mail list I was on was posing as someone else on the blog. The blog logged numeric I.P. addresses of the comments. Using whois and nslookup you can get where the post is coming from. I matched the location to the same Orlando suburb from the I.P. address in the e-mail headers. In your case we don't need to have that granularity. All the people who run the blog need to do is to see if you post from Israel or California. If it's the latter then they can block the I.P. address you are posting from and all we would notice here is things were more pleasant.

      On a larger scale if the blog owners suspect other sock puppets they can see if different users are posting from the same I.P. address and block those addresses.

    • Note that Volleyboy's and Mets102's stint of not being able to hit rec people lasted about one week and Simone Daud is still banned.

    • I do live in Israel .

      Really?

      http://mondoweiss.net/2011/06/uc-santa-cruz-students-denounce-anti-palestinian-hate-message-posted-on-pro-israel-student-group-facebook-page.html

      hey, have you read the other jon s, otherwise known as volleyboy? you guys have so much in common. he’s the queen of narrative equivalence ‘positioning’, and he volleys so well. don’t miss the comments, where he really shines. note his attitude w/joe whose tag line says “Israel will have peace when it has equal rights!”

      Annie should know because she got banned from DK for outing volleyboy.

      http://mondoweiss.net/2011/07/why-this-fund-drive-is-important-for-us.html

      Is this what an outing looks like? nah, an outing is what dkos accused me of doing. linking volleyboy to jon s’s threads on zionism. uber ouch! merely the suggestion i thought they had a similiar voice(i didn’t mention volleyball’s ‘real name’ is jon s, which i presume everyone he emails back , including me, already knows) got me banned on dkos. ultimately they did me a favor, team shalom and their ideological cohorts are a drag. you’d like it there GF, it’s your kind of place. look on the bright side, i don’t think anyone here would ban you just because you used to work as an undercover media troll for this web.2 thing.

      From Volleyboy1's profile page.

      http://www.dailykos.com/user/volleyboy1

      Gender: Male

      Location: California, U.S.A

  • Fragile Egypt
    • Of course Zionism is not benign. There is persecution against Messianic Jews and there have been -- as has been documented by the U.S. State Department -- violence against them including bombs and church burnings. Careful readers should see a trend. Theocracy is humanity's single dumbest idea. My theocracy is no better than your theocracy. The best protection of religious liberty is a secular democracy. It's the right answer in the U.S. and Egypt and Israel.

    • To put it bluntly, in Egypt your parents have freedom of religion. You don't.

    • In addition to what Walid is saying too much was read into the tattoos. Note the comment by the Coptic Pope concerning infiltrators yesterday. If you wanted to identify yourself as Christian it's on your ID card (by law). If you are an infiltrator you could have phony ID. On the other hand, if you are really a Christian you would have the wrist tattoo. The tattoos originated to identify orphans as Christian and not be brought up Muslim. Much of the violence is concerning "forced conversions" and the tattoos are used as proof to avoid the violence. With respect to the ID cards you are required to identify your religion and you have only three choices and cannot pick none of the above. If you don't have the cards you don't have rights.

      See this story for more details on the ID cards: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2011/jan/24/egypt-christian-muslim-religious-sectarianism

  • Some preliminary questions about the alleged Iranian terror plot
    • Curveball was a loud mouth self-serving individual who was merely saying what the Americans wanted to hear. How in the world do you a conspiracy with only one person?

    • And given the fact that we've admitted to doing false flags in order, for example, to get the Shah installed we are doing something very, very dangerous. That is, put Iran in the position of if we're going to get blamed it might as well be for something true. Idiots.

    • Juan Cole's hypothesis that it's an Iranian drug cartel behind this is more plausible than the Iranian government. But, even this has a problem. Drug cartels would know just as Iranian intelligence operatives do about the $10,000 money laundering trigger. Also, if they are going to bring in an amateur like here they would also bring in someone who doesn't have a criminal record. So far, everything points to no conspiracy at all and it's Curveball II.

    • Rachel Maddow ironically may have provided the evidence to blow this whole thing all apart. The start of the segment above was on Rachel's experience trying to buy German T-shirts. As an amateur she was unaware of the $40 fee for international wire transfers and that as an American she had to go through a New York bank. She noted that apparently neither was the suspect aware of the fee where he stiffed who he thought was an assassin $80 from his promised $100,000 and his wire transfers also went through a New York bank. Which brings us to the lack of evidence against the second suspect.

      The transcript of the informant's wire would get you a wiretap warrant in any court. Furthermore, since there was alleged state-sponsored terrorism a warrant is not required in advance under the Patriot Act. As far as I can tell there are no intercepted calls between the two alleged co-conspirators to send the money. Remember, the suspect told the informant the money was not his but coming from his cousin which brings us back to the New York banks and the Iran-Contra affair.

      The Reagan administration wanted to get money to Latin America even though Congress forbade it. So, Ollie North came up with the "brilliant" scheme of giving weapons to the Iranians and they in turn would send money to the Nicaraguan Contras that wasn't traceable back to the United States.

      So, if the allegations of the Iranians being behind this murder-for-hire plot then it would not go through New York banks and they would have paid the $80 to make sure the assassin gets all of his $100,000. Rachel just assumed that the suspect's international wire transfer went through a New York bank and her international wire transfer went through a New York bank that ALL international wire transfers between Iran and Latin America go through a New York bank. If on the other hand, it's all the suspect's doing and this was amateur hour then the facts would be exactly as we see them.

      When investigating all criminal conspiracies follow one rule: follow the money.

    • Did anybody else see Rachel Maddow last night?

      http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/vp/44868350#44868350

      She was in fine form with the short skirt and the pom poms. She should know better concerning the Republicans. She was going on and on about "see how government works". The Republicans will give Obama zero credit and will call for war rather than going through a court case, particularly if the case ends up falling apart.

      She made the mistake of actually quoting from the criminal complaint that pointing to evidence for entrapment and a definite possibility that this will end up as a Curveball II. We don't have on tape who brought up the bomb first. Supposedly the informant was to attack the Saudi embassy. But what was on tape was an attack on a restaurant. It was the informant rather than the suspect that brought up if innocents might get killed in the context of where the ambassador was to be killed. So how did an attack on the embassy (off tape) turn into an attack on a restaurant with the killing of innocents being an afterthought? When asked EXACTLY what does the Iranian general wanted the suspect answered he wants you to kill this guy (not blow up the embassy like Al Qaeda did in Africa). The suspect goes on to say they wanted the ambassador done if the hundred get killed f em. Hmm. Sounds like a drone killing of a Hamas leader in Gaza.

      Here's how the suspect was characterized by people who knew him:

      Tomscha said Arbabsiar, 56, a naturalized U.S. citizen who holds an Iranian passport, was likeable, a bit lazy and "no mastermind."

      "I can't imagine him thinking up a plan like that. I mean, he didn't seem all that political. He was more of a businessman ... He was sort of a hustler," he said.

  • Panic and shock sweep Cairo
    • Wow, eee the mind reader.
      The Coptic leadership is trying to quiet things down and retain a good relationship with the army and that is why they are blaming third parties instead of the army.

      Egypt’s Pope Shenouda III, the patriarch of the Coptic Church, will lead the prayers in today's funeral of the those killed last night in Maspero clashes between the army and protesters.

      The cermony will take place in Abbasseya Catherdral where thousands of Copts have gathered since the early morning waiting for the arrival of more than 20 coffins from the Coptic Hospital, one kilometre away.

      Three coffins have so far arrived at the cathedral, with others expected shortly.

      Earlier today Pope Shenouda discussed last night's clashes at Maspero with a group of bishops of the Holy Synod, the highest Coptic entity in Egypt, in a previously scheduled meeting that was supposed to discuss periodical issues in the Church.

      The Coptic Church is yet to release a statement on the violence.

    • Now state TV is saying oops no soldiers killed and the lie was due to a "nervous" anchor. Some news from the funerals:

      A march of thousands from the Coptic Hospital on Ramses Street has arrived at the largest Coptic cathedral in Cairo in Abbasseya. Protesters chant, "Muslims and Christians are one hand!"

      Thousands of protesters are marching along Ramses Street, carrying the dead bodies of 17 people killed in the Maspero violence from the hospital to the Cathedral in Abbasseya. As they march, they are chanting: "Down with military rule!" and "This is not a sectarian conflict, this is a military massacre."

    • Here's his report this morning on Democracy Now:

      http://www.democracynow.org/2011/10/10/chaos_and_bloodshed_25_die_in

      AMY GOODMAN: In Egypt, at least two dozen people died Sunday in clashes between Coptic Christians and state security forces. The violence broke out after a protest in Cairo against an attack on a church in Aswan province last week. Democracy Now! correspondent Sharif Abdel Kouddous was in Cairo during the clashes.

      SHARIF ABDEL KOUDDOUS: Last night saw some of the worst violence and bloodshed in Egypt since the fall of Hosni Mubarak eight months ago. A march of largely Coptic Christian protesters started off in the port district of Shubra marching towards the state TV building headquarters in downtown Cairo. That march initially—filled with men, women and children—came under attack from some rock throwers. That was a brief incident. But the march continued towards the state TV building. They were protesting a recent attack on a church in southern Egypt and the recent attack on a demonstration last week by the army.

      At the state TV building, there was a massive security presence that had gathered there. Many armored personnel carriers were there, many hundreds of military police with batons, with shields, with helmets, lining the streets around what’s called Maspiro, the state TV building. There was already a group of several hundred or a few thousand demonstrators in front of Maspiro awaiting the march. People were lighting candles and chanting peacefully. It was a largely peaceful scene.

      But this scene turned into bloodshed and chaos in a matter of seconds. Some protesters pushed back some military police, pushed them back towards where the APCs were. And then the military attacked. They came rushing forward, beating anyone in their path. Then they started opening fire. The sound of gunfire filled the air, and it was not stopping. Some people fell over as the stampede was coming back behind the Hilton Ramses, a hotel nearby. On the other side, on the main street, I was not there, but eyewitnesses have said that several armored personnel carriers began to drive into the crowd, running over people, six or seven at a time. The sound of women wailing began to fill the air. I saw people being carried out in blankets covered in blood. There were fires lit. Several cars were lit on fire. The police began charging, firing tear gas.

      All this was happening while on the state TV channel, the Egyptian state TV channel was basically inciting violence, telling honest Egyptians to fill the streets and protect the army from the Coptic demonstrators, who they said were attacking the army. Military police also stormed the stations of a channel called 25 and another channel, al-Horreya, and shut it down to shut down any independent reporting.

      There was also groups of thugs that then filled the streets, some people chanting "Islameya, Islameya," which means "Islamic, Islamic," and began attacking the demonstrations. It was really a scene of chaos, a scene of bloodshed, the likes of which I have not seen since the revolution here in Cairo. And the reaction of the army does not bode well for the future. So, it remains to be seen what will happen. But October 9th, I think, is a day that will go down in infamy in Egypt.

      AMY GOODMAN: Democracy Now! correspondent Sharif Abdel Kouddous reporting from Cairo.

    • From the BBC:

      "Protesters also called for the resignation of the military council, in particular its chairman, Field Marshal Mohamed Tantawi."

      The respect for the Army is gone. When the Interior Minister organized a false flag operation on the Two Saints Church on New Year's Day you could say it was just the Mubarek regime. Now that you have the Army closing down all but state TV and asking for attacks on Christians I'm forced to conclude that the Army is also complicit in trying to foment sectarian violence.

      The AP cannot be trusted. The AP story with unsourced claim that protesters took army weapons and fired back now says source was state-sponsored outlet, Al-Akhbar.

    • As is typical the U.S. response is off key. Last week SCAF was praised by Secretary Clinton as a source of stability and security. See starting at 1:15 about how we would express "concerns" if the military misbehaves.

      Now she is quoted on Al Arabiya warning SCAF to "not tamper with minorities". Is this our having concerns?

  • In Cairo, we consecrate the freedom of religion
    • Vivian holding hand of her dead fiancee, Maikel, killed by army.

      http://s1.proxy03.twitpic.com/photos/large/419635664.jpg

      Picture from her engagement party:

      http://a.yfrog.com/img878/3496/aqfu.jpg

    • Some more video from Maspiro showing Army vehicles running over unarmed mostly Christian and some Muslim protestors:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ps0cZESV-ec

      Graphic video of victims:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFKUmwWz4DE

      More info:
      http://www.arabawy.org/2011/10/09/army-and-police-massacre-protesters-at-maspero/

      The army and police committed a horrible massacre against peaceful protesters today in Maspero, Cairo. Army vehicles ran over protesters. Live ammunition was used. Extensive rounds of tear gas were fired, and showers of beatings from the military police and the central security forces. At least 19 people have been killed, and more than 150 injured. The toll keeps increasing.

      The Army also stormed Al-Hurra TV station and 25 January TV stations, and took them off air. The Egyptian state run TV is inciting the public against the “Coptic protesters” and even called on the citizens to take to the streets to “protect the army”!! SCAF is trying to instigate a sectarian civil war.

      The protesters are not only Copts. There are Muslims present in the protests too and are talking active part in resisting the police and the army. There are ongoing battles as I’m writing now. The unifying chants in downtown Cairo is against the army and field marshal Tantawi. Protesters are chanting: “Muslims and Christians… One hand!” and “Death to the Field Marshal.”

    • Show that you really care about the Copts. They are being slaughtered today by the SCAF. All private stations were turned off are so that the state TV can promote sectarian violence. See a military vehicle running over protesters. http://pic.twitter.com/gHj4LLTV

      WARNING. The following photo is extremely graphic. http://yfrog.com/odyxhsj

      On the other hand a Muslim protestor was heard saying, "Let's head to the front. I'm not going to let the Christians take a bullet alone." and "One hand, Muslims and Christians."

      The real enemy of the Copts is the remnants of the Mubarek regime. Again, if you really cared you would really ask the Copts. A quick way to do so is to follow hashtag: #maspero.

  • Kol Nidre in Cairo. Not
  • The Jewish-Palestinian book of life
    • As Christians we too often look at the "church" as the individual congregations of which we are members. In reality the church is the ekklesia, the called out ones. Like you I'm in an individual congregation that is similar to what you describe. We oftentimes are called to be a voice of one crying in the Wilderness and are to comforted like Elijah that there is a remnant who haven't bowed the knee to Ba'al. You are not alone. See this:

      http://go.sojo.net/WarNoMore

  • Yom Kippur fast in solidarity with political prisoners to take place at Occupy Wall Street this Friday
    • When the Two Saints Church in Alexandria was bombed on Christmas Day (January 6) Muslims attended as human shields. http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/0/3595/Egypt/0/Photo-Gallery-Egypts-Muslims-attend-Coptic-Christm.aspx

      During the Tahrir protests Christians created a cordon around Muslim prayers on Friday. On Sunday when Christians were having a mass in Tahrir Square the Muslims returned the favor.

      Yes, there are some Christians and Muslims who promote violence. But, both of those traditions hold their adherents to a higher standard not merely to read names but to put their lives on the line for peace and justice as part of living out their faith. I guess Judaism is different and that you are correct and they are held to a different (lower) standard. Thank God for sites like this that demonstrates that there are Jews that hold themselves to a higher standard instead and that you are not at all representative of your fellow Jews.

  • Sullivan on Obama's 'capitulation' at the UN
    • The technology is far from perfect, particularly from a security standpoint. One wonders how many of the over 2000 people killed were militants and how many civilians. Note this:
      http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/10/virus-hits-drone-fleet/

      A computer virus has infected the cockpits of America’s Predator and Reaper drones, logging pilots’ every keystroke as they remotely fly missions over Afghanistan and other warzones.

      The virus, first detected nearly two weeks ago by the military’s Host-Based Security System, has not prevented pilots at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada from flying their missions overseas. Nor have there been any confirmed incidents of classified information being lost or sent to an outside source. But the virus has resisted multiple efforts to remove it from Creech’s computers, network security specialists say. And the infection underscores the ongoing security risks in what has become the U.S. military’s most important weapons system.

      “We keep wiping it off, and it keeps coming back,” says a source familiar with the network infection, one of three that told Danger Room about the virus. “We think it’s benign. But we just don’t know.”

      Military network security specialists aren’t sure whether the virus and its so-called “keylogger” payload were introduced intentionally or by accident; it may be a common piece of malware that just happened to make its way into these sensitive networks. The specialists don’t know exactly how far the virus has spread. But they’re sure that the infection has hit both classified and unclassified machines at Creech. That raises the possibility, at least, that secret data may have been captured by the keylogger, and then transmitted over the public internet to someone outside the military chain of command.

      Drones have become America’s tool of choice in both its conventional and shadow wars, allowing U.S. forces to attack targets and spy on its foes without risking American lives. Since President Obama assumed office, a fleet of approximately 30 CIA-directed drones have hit targets in Pakistan more than 230 times; all told, these drones have killed more than 2,000 suspected militants and civilians, according to the Washington Post. More than 150 additional Predator and Reaper drones, under U.S. Air Force control, watch over the fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq. American military drones struck 92 times in Libya between mid-April and late August. And late last month, an American drone killed top terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki — part of an escalating unmanned air assault in the Horn of Africa and southern Arabian peninsula.

      But despite their widespread use, the drone systems are known to have security flaws. Many Reapers and Predators don’t encrypt the video they transmit to American troops on the ground. In the summer of 2009, U.S. forces discovered “days and days and hours and hours” of the drone footage on the laptops of Iraqi insurgents. A $26 piece of software allowed the militants to capture the video.

    • It's not merely the lack of precision of the drones. Contrast the coverage of the (alleged) death of Awlaki this morning. The self-congratulatory U.S. coverage was how successful this was going to be in combating AQ in the Arabian Peninsula. It took a good three minutes before NPR mentioned oh by the way this is an extra-judicial killing of an American citizen. Of course this was the first thing mentioned on AJE. The second thing mentioned was how this strengthened Saleh.

      The hard power only approach encouraged by the Israelis is going to have serious blowback. Think Abu Ghraib on steroids. The corruption in both the U.S. and Israeli governments is so endemic that even with people like Sullivan screaming at them they will hear nothing until -- like 9/11 -- it's way too late.

  • Turkish government releases identities of IDF soldiers who attacked the Mavi Marmara
    • One interesting thing about the Comoros Islands. While both Turkey and Israel are not parties to the ICC, the Comoros Islands is.

    • Of course, readers will see one key difference. In the case of the Achille Lauro where an American citizen was murdered on an Italian cruise ship both countries wanted to prosecute the murderers to the point that their respective militaries lined up against each other. In the case of the Marvi Marmara where an American citizen was murdered on a Turkish cruise ship only the Turks want to prosecute. In one case the murderers were Palestinians and in the other the murderers were Israelis. Do you all think that might have something to do with the difference?

    • Murder on a ship gives jurisdiction to the flag country. The largest diplomatic row between the U.S. and Italy was over the murder of Klinghoffer on the Achille Lauro. Italy since it was the flag country demanded jurisdiction over the hijackers and Abu Abbas. Reagan intercepted the plane going to Egypt and had it land on a NATO base in Sicily. It got so bad that Carabierni and Navy Seals lined up against each other. When Abu Abbas was captured in Iraq, Italy still demanded extradiction. Abu Abbas died of "natural causes" the next day.

    • It's not for us to determine but rather the prosecutor. Neither my nor your opinion counts. Mehmet Akif Ekinci's does.

    • No hophmi, the maritime terrorism treaty that Israel signed gives jurisdiction to the flag country (and the port country) on terrorist acts against ships in international waters. This jurisdiction includes criminal prosecution of the alleged terrorists.

  • Border anxiety in the West Bank
    • If you visit there it becomes really obvious that the wall is not for security. For example, the security at the Western Wall complex was the worst I ever saw anywhere. One of our pastors has a metal hip and when he left the United States he was wanded and had a full body scan. I had a bag and I set it on a table when I walked through. It was not inspected in any way. The pastor set the metal detector off but he was just let in. One key feature: our group was white.

      Our guide suggested we leave our passports in our hotel room on our free day because they might get stolen. When you are on the "preferred" side of the prison walls security is notably lax. I crossed the green line from my hotel room in West Jerusalem and then walked into the Old City. I also walked into Silwan after exiting the Dung Gate and there was no security anywhere.

      The difference between the settlements inside Silwan and Silwan itself is stark. Poverty difference here cannot be explained by either Hamas or Fatah because neither are in charge here. If you look at economic statistics you find that Palestinian Israelis and Messianic Jews both suffer massive discrimination resulting in a 5X poverty rate of the rest of the populace.

      At the City of David the security was done by the settlers and the military was there as tourists to be propagandized. The same was true with respect to the tunnels underneath the Western Wall. It was the settlers and not the military or the police that guarded things.

      It would be interesting to do a map of the terrorists of the Second Intifada and see which side of the wall they came from. Even Shin Bet admits that the wall doesn't enhance security.

      http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/shin-bet-palestinian-truce-main-cause-for-reduced-terror-1.61607

      The Shin Bet and the Israel Defense Forces attribute the reduction mainly to the improvement in their joint capability to foil terrorist attacks and to act against terrorist organizations.

      The security fence is no longer mentioned as the major factor in preventing suicide bombings, mainly because the terrorists have found ways to bypass it. The fence does make it harder for them, but the flawed inspection procedures at its checkpoints, the gaps and uncompleted sections enable suicide bombers to enter Israel.

      And let's put this all in perspective:

      Terrorist attacks claimed the lives of 45 Israelis last year, compared to 117 in 2004, marking a 60 percent reduction.

      This is the third year in a row in which the number of terrorist acts has been reduced sharply. At the height of the intifada, in 2002, 450 Israelis were killed by terrorists. An equal number of Israelis were killed in traffic accidents in 2005. In other words, the number of terror fatalities in 2005 is less than one-tenth of the number of traffic accident fatalities.

      The claim this is all about security is BS. It's about stealing the land and keeping the Palestinians and other non-Jews in economic servitude.

  • Well ain't that America: Obama ignores Palestine in UN speech on freedom, and the world watches the US execute an innocent man
    • More culture of death:

      http://au.christiantoday.com/article/new-documentary-highlights-breast-cancer-tragedy-in-gaza/12074.htm

      Women Die Waiting, a documentary exploring the dire situation for women in Gaza who are diagnosed with breast cancer, will screen next week in Broadmeadows.

      The film will be screened at the launch of Anglicords Women Die Waiting campaign, and will be introduced by Mr Bryan Dawe, one of Australias finest political satirists.

      Breast cancer in Gaza is often diagnosed at an advanced stage and the surgical remedies available inside Gaza are not sufficient to treat it. Women must then apply for permits to leave Gaza for treatment in surrounding countries. This is a lengthy process, and often their permits are arbitrarily revoked at the checkpoints. As a result, many women die waiting for treatment.

      "Regardless of the reasons for the blockade of Gaza, women should not be left to die of breast cancer," said Misha Coleman, CEO of Anglicord, who recently led a delegation of Australian Parliamentarians to Palestine to learn about the impact of the blockade.

      "Radiation treatment is not available in Gaza, because the importation of radioactive material is prohibited," Ms Coleman said. "Chemotherapy, the other mainstay of breast cancer treatment, is also not available, due to the unreliable provision of medications."

      Anglicords Women Die Waiting campaign will be officially launched by Maria Vamvakinou, the Federal Member for Calwell, who has been a long term advocate for the people of Palestine.

      "We take availability of health care for granted in this country, because we live in a democratic and free society that respects the rights of all, and we all are equal before the law," Ms Vamvakinou said earlier this year in a speech to the Australian Parliament.

      While cancer itself does not discriminate, issues relating to late-stage detection and access to appropriate treatment does, and it certainly does for the women in Gaza.

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