Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 2762 (since 2009-12-08 10:00:12)

ritzl

One summer in Germany, a while back, I met many returning US kibbutzim. The exuberance and energy was affecting. Influenced by that, a few months later in college I started to physically protest/jeer from the Israeli perspective. On one occasion we all headed to the Cleveland City Club to hear and jeer Chomsky. Between our interruptions (which he handled gracefully with a "noted" and went on), I heard him speak about water theft. For some reason, being as swept up in the Uris-like glow about Israel as I was, I had never heard (listened?) or asked about anything remotely disturbing about Israel. Afterward I started asking basic questions like, "If this is true, how can one people do this to another people, and we cheer it on?" and got few even marginally responsive answers. All the contradictions between Israel-reality and Israel-myth that appear here, were present even then. The veil was pierced and my perspective flipped almost immediately. It was the '70s, Kent State, and we were supposed to be FOR civil rights. FOR everybody. I felt grossly stupid and more than a little betrayed. My former physical tactics and experience mirror what goes on here an in the larger net world. I understand the desperate need (by Israel) to clamp the lid down hard (and keep it clamped) on the deeply troubling reality of everyday Palestinian life. It also suggests that just one little glimmer of reality that gets through can make a difference, one person at a time. One never knows which glimmer that might be...

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  • In Gaza, Palestinians celebrate resistance and credit it with 'victory'
    • Probably somewhat OT, but what are the prospects of a struggle where Palestinians, a people who do not seek vengeance as a rule, go up against Israel, made up of people who ONLY seek vengeance?

      That's not intende aa a defeatist question. It's an exploration of strategy in a tough situation.

  • 'NYT' continues using discredited figures suggesting parity between Israeli and Palestinian attacks -- Updated
    • The comparison should be in kilotons of HE. Simple and meaningful and correlates pretty directly to the witnessed death and destruction.

      It also makes for a direct comparison to Hiroshima. I think someone did this already and it came out like 2x Hiroshima +/-.

  • Ceasefire deal after weeks of fighting in Gaza promises easing of blockade
    • Edit: "intentional" was my inference, not Perry's sources.

    • That's an excellent article, gracie. Thsnks. By Mark Perry. He cites US military saying Shujaiya was a predictable and therefore intentional slaughter.

      I hope his sources are willing to testify at the ICC.

  • Our new look
    • I think MW is trying to (at least subtextually) separate Zionism and Judaism and MJR, despite (or maybe because of) his current outrage over Gaza, is trying to change Zionism with Judaism.

      Looking through his libzio sodastraw for a moment, I can see where his anger comes from. Nothing at MW makes sense to him with the "peripherals" taken away.

      MJR is a very vocal half-right. I'm happy about the half he gets right. Very right.

    • Big OBTW. To me MW still spoils us as users/commenters. Other heavy info sites seem pretty serial in the way they present info. That really does make you work for context/depth and/or offers limited conversational interactions.

      I think it's great how parallel or relational this site is. I can only guess how hard it is to make that work. It's pretty clear it's not at all easy because few others outside the bigs do it.

      Thanks.

    • LOVE this nesting scheme!

    • Hey, jpb.

      It's a trade between backlog and ownership of comments. MW owns the comments, but enabling some of us the discretion to delete our own un-moderated comments when they have clearly become irrelevant or when others have said it better might give the discussions more pace overall.

      But I don't know if it's even doable.

    • I think I'm starting to see where this is going. Cool.

      Maybe (all very much imho):

      • Definitely needs less white space. The balance between quick strategic info scan and crisp inviting look is weighted too far toward looks. As it stands now, you have to scroll and pan around to get a meaningful snapshot of site content (assuming the use of a readable font size, 12 pt or larger) unless you are viewing on a TV (39" in my case) with lots of real estate. My Mac screen makes the "front page" a single column (at readable font size).

      • If only three articles are going to be displayed in each Info Category, put the Category somewhere in the byline while the article is still featured. It will make it easier to track flow through the site, by memory if nothing else. (I don't know if the flow is going to be from Featured to Category to Archive/Chronolist, so please pardon the assumption that it is.)

      • Related to above, and in the "surely this is coming" department, where do articles go when they scroll off the three in each category? There still has to be an archive, but I didn't see it or the article flow that leads to it. I think this flow needs to be VERY obvious. Noobs aren't going to want to spend much time looking around. Tweeps and their follower-cousins exploring specific references may not broaden their page views (or drill down) if they have to work too hard for it or lose the proverbial info "scent trail."

      • A crawler or cycling header (that actually links to the article it headlines)? Idiots like me need to be spoonfed and/or love a parade.

      • Either a "NEW" tag or a "Recent Comments" page, or both. "NEW" tag/flag should apply to articles as well, if dates are going to remain light gray. Less eyestrain.

      • Related to flags, tag Mondoweiss Original Content as such. I don't know what that might mean or how you would discriminate but there's inside content and outside submission posted here side by side. It may serve a purpose to toot the MW horn a bit. That would, imho, also boost the credibility of the submissions and might create a positive feedback/resonance loop for donors.

      • A bit more (like maybe one more) contrasting but thematic color for the important stuff (like "NEW"), used very selectively and sparingly.

      ----

      I know the pros did this and you all have worked very hard to make it happen. This wish list is just based on the in-out way I process stuff.

      Huge FWIW.

      Peace.

    • Yes, and iirc you could also collapse old comments and leave the new ones expanded.

      Maybe it's coming. So much has been fleshed out for the better in the implementation in just the last day. Maybe that's one of the "simplified development" features of the new blog engine.

    • 1) Maybe too much white space.

      2) Don't see a button for my profile page where I can view my comment history. Used to be in upper right of header.

      3) Header says "Log in" after I log in.

      4) I have a comment suspended in moderation for a day now. Please enable us to delete our own comments in that circumstance.

  • Salaita's hire set off fundraising alarm at U of Illinois, per emails to chancellor
    • I apologize for my offense.

      Do well.

      Peace.

    • I love the statement (ostensibly by a UIUC student) that began with "If I happen to register for Mr. Salaita’s course,..."

      How can there be a question about that? You know who the instructor is. Either you do register or you don't register. Don't take the course if Salaita is that important to you.

      And if you are a American Indian Studies major of some sort where you would have to take a course taught by Dr. Salaita sooner or later, surely, SURELY, you can't be so completely divorced from your own chosen reality as to be afraid of someone getting angry about the genocide of his own people (i.e. just the way we killed off Native Americans; i.e. [coldly put] what an amazing opportunity to revisit and study what it felt like to be AmerIndian during our genocidal past, from the detached perspective of an 1870s white liberal).

      That "student's" concerns sound just as transparently manufactured as Cary Nelson's concerns. This whole thing stinks more and more. That such weight would be given to such flimsy reasoning is astounding.

  • Hillary Clinton just lost the White House in Gaza -- same way she lost it in Iraq the last time
    • FWIW, tree, I think you're spot on about this. I tried to think of a similar name(s) for males and couldn't come with any so specifically derogatory. Even if there were, no one would use them which is probably also a part of the problem. And a third part of the general problem is the assumption that women are somehow going against "their" virtuous true "nature" to be warmongers, therefore the special terms for that underlying and condescending assumption of self-betrayal.

      Interesting discussion.

    • @Giles- Yup. Brilliant.

    • I hope the Greens peel off about 10% of the Democratic vote in 2016. If they keep to their current platform they may just have a chance of doing that. Bye bye, Hillary.

      Gaza/Palestine/Israel: link to gp.org, among other issues that people are really fed up with, like economic justice. (Thanks, tree.)

  • As Salaita's case becomes a cause, U of Illinois issues declarations on 'civility'
    • Exactly, pab. What UIUC did to Salaita is wrong on every level. It changes everything about the way professors are hired there. Bad faith MUST be assumed to be in effect. But then what prospect would even entertain a job at an institution where the initial relationship and ongoing operative principle (to conclusion of the hiring process, but ultimately in every single subsequent discussion with UIUC admin) is that necessary assumption of bad faith? What a poisoned relationship from the get go.

      In the process of harming Salaita, UIUC mangled its reputation beyond recognition and significantly harmed itself.

      Yet another example of how Zionism corrupts everything it touches.

    • Exactly. And your vibrancy shows.

    • @pjdude- Yep. This goes to the whole notion of supporters of Israel feeling "uncomfortable" by some angry-talk, while Palestinians have to live with those same supporters of Israel expressing unfettered, mainstream, administrative approval of their families being killed.

      It's bizarre.

    • Aye, just.

      The Earth is flat. Discuss, but always remember that the Earth is flat. What a ludicrous mentality for a modern engineering school (VT) to adopt. Steam powered ships...What the hoosis...?

      Expanding out a bit, this obsession with total conformity at home and abroad is going to bite Israel in the ass. It is not possible for homegrown, groundbreaking researchers to come out of such a coercive, conform-or-else society. There just isn't a large enough "gene pool" of original thought in Israel to foster and grow them.

      I have to believe that the same concern must certainly apply to UIUC or VT or any other major university as Salaita's firing becomes a larger issue. Given a choice, which of the best and brightest (and most innovative and energized) would attend a school with such a regimented, and again coercive, academic structure? I wouldn't. It's just a recipe and advertisement for mediocrity as the upper achievement limit. Why would anyone set mediocrity as a goal early on?

      That has to be "worst nightmare" kind of stuff for the UIUC trustees.

    • How can one "reaffirm a commitment" to something one's actions show that you have not commitment to in the first place. Aarrgh.

      I think if Keith (MW commenter) had a "Globalistan" (h/t Annie, Pepe Escobar) view on this I'd probably agree with it. In my college days jobs were relatively plentiful and people had options should their protest activities result in this type of treatment. Now jobs are scarce and public acts of courage and mild outspoken-ness like Salaita's are dealt with with an iron fist. Engineered lack of economic options goes hand in hand with cramming down dissent.

      Just ruminatin'...

      Thanks for the donation link.

  • Gruesome tales surface of Israeli massacres against families in Gaza's Shujaiya neighborhood
    • I agree with you about vengeance, just. But this time it's different, imho. Just my sense of it of course, but Israel made it personal this go. Also the third time shows a pattern of behavior - an unrepentant and unrelenting pattern.

      Who knows how all that affects some small segment of a people who otherwise would prefer to rebuild and move forward.

    • At some point the families of the Gaza dead and executed are going to realize that the people who committed this slaughter have families outside of Israel and this death spiral is going to broaden.

      Hopefully families of the people that committed this slaughter will realize that simultaneously and rethink their Rob Reiner-like eliminationist and/or celebretory outlooks.

      I'd hate for the first scenario to play out, but it's just not normal for it not to in some form or other. Human beings will do anything to make the pain stop, especially when the pain is intense, chronic, and without any alternative relief (i. e. Gaza).

      I don't know if this is over the line or not, but I can't help examining what my options would be in this situation. If it is over the line, please delete.

  • 5 micro incidents of hope
    • "That is certainly some of the most beautiful music I’ve heard. It’s haunting and unforgettable once heard."

      {{eyes closed, listening through childhood's ears, smiling}}

      Beautiful thought. Thanks.

    • #5 might be that Mr. Shulman took the time to write this.

      Thanks, David. Sumud.

  • Man who saved Jewish boy in Holocaust acts to save Israel from 'racist... quagmire'
  • The catastrophe inflicted on Gaza--and the costs to Israel's standing
    • Amazing country that Ireland. And the people too! :)

    • The UN has said this is the "last time" it will rebuild Gaza for Israel.

      United Nations [6 AUG 2014]: The United Nations is ready to help rebuild Gaza but for the last time, UN chief Ban Ki-moon warned today.

      link to ndtv.com

      If that's even slightly more than just words, it would be a significant "cost" to Israel's standing in the world, and maybe more significantly, to its ability to do this yet again in a few years. The UN may have just thrown a handful of rocks into the Gaza "lawn," effect TBD.

      Apologies if someone has already posted this.

    • B-NET completely succeeded in achieving his objective. He kept his political coalition together and united popular sentiment behind him.

      The fact that he was willing to kill 459 children (yet again) to do that is just a numbers game, to him (and not even a consideration to others in the coalition). Palestinians are meat to 90% of Jewish Israelis. The world doesn't care at the government level. Why not?

      The depth of socio/psychopathy required to do this repeatedly is limited only by an observer's ability to perceive it fully.

    • I actually started to well up when I read that, American. Incredibly stark and moving story. If ever there was a must read, that is it.

  • With 'anger grounded in law,' Muslim group sues US gov't over arbitrary 'terror watchlist'
    • "didn't Israel help us with...?

      just, Now I'm starting to really want to know everything Israel has "helped" us with in the "security" realm. I'm starting to get the feeling that the US public would be shocked by the extent of Israeli involvement and the direction of that involvement. This is speculation on my part, but I be willing to bet another milkshake that every questionable practice/Constitutional rights infringement that has come to light in the last decade is an Israeli concoction. They just don't do "free" well, if at all.

  • Blaming the Victims: A night with AIPAC in St. Louis and protesters in Ferguson
  • How to respond to thoughtful people who can't help saying 'but Hamas'
    • Also, a quick "That's simply not true." works well in between the quizzical looks and shoulder shrugs.

    • @chuckcarlos- and “those people” ain’t thoughtful

      Bingoid.

    • At this point this isn't really a discussion, it's a decision. Pro-slaughter, or anti-slaughter. There is no conceivable rational justification for killing 500 children and 1500 others and making (and keeping) 300,000 of 1.8M (20-25%±) people shelterless and waterless. None, zero, Zilch. Given that this is the THIRD time this has happened in six years, anyone who thinks they know enough to "have a discussion" on this has to know by now what the issues are -- and has decided. Just ask what that decision is.

      If anyone thinks they can convince people who are pro-, or anti-..."but...", at this point to be anti-slaughter they're grasping. One just needs to turn one's back and move on. Pro-slaughter types are irredeemable scum (no job at UIUC for me...) and should be made to feel that way. The only glimmer of hope for pro-slaughter types is that if they see people care enough to turn away from them they may wonder why and re-engage on your terms -- i.e. specifically by asking questions.

      This is undoubtedly too binary an outlook for most decent people to embrace, but I can't get the screams of dying children out of my mind's ear. All of them killed so B-NET didn't have to risk his political coalition (destroying the unity government is rooted in, and driven by, Israeli coalition politics, imo). Anyone so cynical, gullible, and/or ignorant to overlook that base fact is not worth talking with. Quizzical/piteous looks and shoulder shrugs are the rule, for me anyway.

    • Thanks, Henry. All her videos are interesting.

  • Israel's foundation in a 'terroristic campaign of expulsion, ethnic cleansing and murder' is the 'deep wound in that part of the world' -- Sullivan
  • New J Street platform parrots Likud as membership continues to shift left
    • Wow! Thanks American.

      I haven't been to dKos in a while, but it's interesting to see that about 20% of the people that recommended the comment ("Excellent point MrJayTee..."; link to dailykos.com) about ZOG being an archaic term would have either recommended a comment saying ZOG references are antisemitic or steered well clear, including the author of that comment.

      Things have changed, and these are solid rank-and-file dems. I hope it's a sign of future open discussion.

  • Liberal Zionism has lost its refuge-- a plausible two-state solution
    • @Jenin- A lot of this goes to whether the 95% will [be able to] reclaim representative government or not, propelled by economic and war/peace/OPK issues, separately or collectively. I think justice in Palestine/Israel is inextricably mixed into that broader epiphany/effort/outcome progression.

      The sad experience of the Occupy movement wrt to Palestine (i.e. don't bring it up for "fear" of alienating Jews) may actually serve to make that inclusion more likely given the time activists have had to reflect on the grossly exclusive selectivity [silliness?] of that notion, compounded by the now ubiquitous and indelible images of this latest massacre. The linkage is already happening in Ferguson.

      Shorter version: We may be coming to a time where votes actually matter more than money.

      FWIW.

    • That depends on what the world is willing to put up with, ckg. I don't think it would put up with expulsion or extermination. But you're right implicity, that is a huge open question.

    • Perhaps, MHughes. But they've had an "awful" lot of evidence and time to do that and haven't. This has been going on for generations in Israel.

    • @gracie fr- "Extraordinary laboratory" indeed. A mirror even.

    • Only two kinds of people, pro-slaughter and anti-slaughter. There's not really any middle ground/cover anymore.

  • Reading Salaita in Illinois (part 2) - Cary Nelson, academic freedom's agent provocateur
    • It's sad that it takes two extraordinarily well written articles to deconstruct a couple of baseless and malicious accusations that were enough to promptly get a good man fired.

  • Cuomo and Zuckerman take a suckers' tour of tunnels (a few miles from massacres they can't make time for)
  • In 2050, US liberals protest Israeli football logo featuring ‘Fightin’ Palestinian’
  • 15 airplanes to fly over NY and NJ beaches with Israeli flags and We Love Israel banner
    • Or of you knew where they originated, tag along behind with a "second opinion" for the folks on the ground.

    • At some point the general public is going to realize all this "Love Israel!" crap is less advocacy/suggestion and more like a "but I must insist, sir" type of a command. I mean if your job depends on it, it's a command (e.g. Salaita, Hagel).

      I'm not sure how that's going to sit with the general public.

  • Israel got tank shell that killed 20 at UN school from US without Obama's approval -- WSJ bombshell
    • If it helps, Mr. Obama, just look on the people that did this to you as "whistleblowers."

    • If only Obama had the courage and conviction of a [51%] rank-and-file Presbyterian. It seems that they were up against the same Israeli Pressure Machine yet somehow managed to suck up their guts and do the right thing.

      Obama, well... not so much. He either likes being the proverbial "donkey" or is so weak that any lines he draws are meaningless. Mostly the latter would be my guess.

  • The Walzer Problem
    • Agree, just. I hope more people pay attention. He's the proverbial canary in the coalmine. Societal "methane" is probably as odorless and colorless as methane gas.

    • When there are 6M Jewish Israelis amid 200M+ Muslims, boastful, self-justifying talk of payback and revenge is terminal/suicidal, not to mention criminal for the pain it causes Jews worldwide.

      Latest from Gideon Levy (behind the paywall): link to haaretz.com

      Gevalt, anti-Semitism!
      Since its establishment, more Jews were hurt in wars and terror attacks in Israel than anywhere else. The war in Gaza endangered world Jews as well, as no other war has before it.

      (I got the full text by going through a tweet: link to twitter.com. Maybe that's a workaround.)

    • Great comment, tts. Spot on.

    • It sure seems to be a pattern. Unity government/acceptance of Israel right to exist in some fashion = time to kill 2000 people.

    • @Jon66- And there's no crime in Manhattan is there? If the Mayor of NYC wanted to stop crime he could right? So crime in Manhattan must be by design. Got it.

      And Manhattan is not populated by angry, occupied, wronged people, ALL of whom have had family members killed by Israel over the last 6 years (re: HIGHLY motivated).

    • @jon s- That first MEMRI "human shields" video (the one Jake Tapper ambushed Noura Erakat with), even if you accept their translation at face value, was a no-other-option-to-save-their-homes lament/plea that tragically relied on a belief that there was some vestigial shred of humanity in the Israelis -- that the Israelis would not simply kill helpless people standing on their roofs in plain sight.

      As it turns out there was/is not even a vestigial shred of humanity in the Israelis. I doubt if any Palestinian will make the same plea/mistake again.

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