Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 3290 (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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  • The Flotilla didn’t make it to Gaza, but Israel didn't win
    • Thanks, Citizen.

    • Thanks, just. On the Euro-Med report, almost the same script as last time. Coerced confessions to false allegations, etc. I hope these heroes left their credit cards at home. Israelis stole and used the last bunch.

      Yep. Pirates.

      The possibly big difference this time is the Marianne is Swedish-flagged. The Mavi Marmara was Comoros-flagged, iirc. Sweden MAY be less likely to acquiesce to having its ships hijacked in international waters than Comoros.

    • Er, make that 16 lbs./person/day, actual.

    • Heh, and Zionist math: 800 (trucks per day) X 40,000 (lbs./truck; very high avg. estimate) / 2,000,000 Palestinians = 2,000 lbs./person/day.

      Everybody else's math: 800 X 40,000 / 2,000,000 = 12 lbs./person/day (includes dense stuff like fuel, shelter materials, and animal feed)

    • Ahmed Alqattawi: "Imagine how it would feel if someone else had the power to randomly cut off your oxygen supply, turning it back on when you are about to suffocate."

      Yep. Collective waterboarding (i.e. torture).

      Collective punishment is for wimps. So last century.

  • 'A traumatized society is dangerous'
    • Pippilin, this is not intended to be argumentative, but it's already been three generations.

      Well, maybe just a little argumentative... :)

    • "It makes utter, absolute , complete sense, Avigail !

      And Thank you for your expert replies to comments !"

      Double ditto, bintbiba!

      Thanks Avigail. I hope that Palestinian dynamic is durable and buildable. It's the only thing, that I can see anyway, that is positive, hopeful, and relatively internal enough to the situation to be some kind of change agent/counter to the Jewish Israeli bunker mentality.

      Coupled with BDS from the outside as the stick, it MAY be just enough of an "out" for Jewish Israelis who genuinely seek a peaceful outcome to decades of conflict, to embrace.

      And now I'm just repeating myself. Great article.

    • Perfect sense, just. Thanks

    • Great comment, sawah.

      To expand a little, I'd like to see a similar analysis on why the Palestinians, after decades, have reacted to their ongoing trauma in a very different, dare I say, forgiving (e.g. live and let live/Golden Rule) way.

      That difference may just be a matter of practicality not magnanimity, but it's definitely different.

      Going further out on that limb, this difference is a big part of why I believe the Palestinians are going to lead any one-state reconciliation - and Israel (or whatever hyphenated name the new state takes on) into the future.

      Thanks to Avigail Arabanel, Hazel Kahan, and MW for the thought-provoking article.

  • 'Jewish cow' is udderly superior to all other cows in the world, Netanyahu says
    • Well said, John O.

      The whole world is moving away from this artificially/genetically/hormone-stimulated milk production - as a function of increasing health consciousness. It's becoming a food industry anachronism.

      Maybe the whole world will move away from the Zionism anachronism as a function of increasing mental health-consciousness.

  • Guess who sent me this letter
    • "It [NIF]is obviously operating inside a Jewish Zionist space, and the map that it encloses indicates the Occupied Territories with a lighter shade of green,..."

      "Occupied Territories" being Judea and Samaria? "Zionist space" indeed.

  • We must break out of the paranoid survival myth
    • Lillian- "There is no kinder gentler Zionism.

      Totally agree, but RoHa pointed out that using the words:

      “It is not the Zionism started once by idealistic Communists and Atheists as a liberation movement.”

      implicitly suggests there might be, or once have been, and can be returned to, if only... something, something, something, ad nauseam. I agree with that as well.

      That narrow opening is all that is needed (and is used constantly), imo, as an escape clause for some (not you) to avoid the problem and the reflection you rightfully say is needed.

      As you say, there is not, and I would add never has been a kinder, gentler Zionism. That provides a clarity that takes the endless loop out of the discussion.

    • +1, RoHa.

      The article is a good soulful reflection, but unless one recognizes and contemplates the harsh colonial roots of the problem, there's always the wistful tendency to opine for a kinder gentler Zionism. That can make the personal internal discussion one of hoping for the return of something that never existed in the first place. That is an irreconcilable and non-conclusive (i.e. interminable) process, imho.

      One can never quite get "there" from wherever one is in the process.

  • 'We are doing you people a favor by allowing you to be seated here,' Netanyahu deputy tells Palestinians in Knesset
    • "Is it me or is the craziness accelerating exponentially?"

      Hi abc,

      I vote: link to youtu.be

    • Thanks, just. And you were right the other day, that security thug should never have laid a hand on her. Speaks volumes about Israeli mentality toward its Palestinian citizens that she felt she had the right to do so.

      I have a hard time picturing a security guard touching a Member of Congress, in the chamber, to remove them. There'd be hell to pay.

    • Anyone know why Zoabi was ejected and no one else? What did she say?

  • In letter to John Kerry, 19 reps stand up for Palestinian children behind bars
    • Great work!!!

      Speaking of Tariq Abu Khdeir, even with this political cover, his Rep, Kathy Castor, couldn't bring herself to be even slightly supportive of her brutally beaten constituent, and sign the damn letter.

      What an ongoing disgrace she is.

      link to m.huffpost.com

      And J Street also seems to have an ongoing issue with publicly supporting the obvious and most fundamental right thing to do. Worthless, especially and dangerously when given the role as acceptability-decider as they seem to have been given in this effort.

      Does timid, private assent give them the zero-cost option to change their minds later?

  • Irish activists hit hard against 1st Irish dance competition in Israel
    • Thanks, amigo. It WAS a GREAT story!

    • Yep, abc. A quick sanity check on bing says that's the majority view.

      Yes, hopefully our Irish friends will clear it up.

    • Wow! That's a keeper.

    • Sorry Citizen. I posted the same thing downthread. I should have read the comments.

      I agree with just. Great comment!! ;)

    • Wasn't the style of Irish folk dancing a product of/protest against English oppression, where dancing was banned yet the Irish kept dancing with their lower bodies behind a closed lower door while the visible upper body remained still so the English would not retaliate.

      I think I read that somewhere. Great story. If so it would seem that the very concept of performing dances with such a core anti-oppression heritage in a country that thrives on oppression, would be simply out of the question. Seems to me it would fundamentally dishonor the art, if true.

  • 'Obama coffee' is black and weak -- racist tweet from wife of Israel's vice premier
    • Words to live by:

      "One moral is that if you show any weakness to people who are already inclined to despise you they will despise you some more."

    • White people can talk about color all we want, yonah. This wasn't talking. It was a racist insult, and perhaps more importantly, intended as a racist insult.

      There's also a huge difference between a valid, if slightly arguable, observation on movement dynamics (akin to MLK's "white moderate" observation, and echoing even now in today's civil rights movements) and a racist "joke" by one of Israel's political elite.

      There's just zero common context here, imho.

    • She probably was being "classy." Somehow I get the feeling that the original "joke" was worse, as those racist things tend to be.

  • Israeli diplomats 'are not allowed to speak' on US campuses, but North Korean diplomats are, Israeli official says
  • State Dep't report on latest Gaza onslaught itemizes children's deaths for first time
    • Yeah WJ. This isn't a MW topic given it's significance and the amount of time that has passed w/o a mention. There's a discussion at Plato's Guns (Taxi's site).

      I'll conclude by saying that, to my limited knowledge, Chomsky was never a strident universalist, so he's consistently and understandably selective. JVP on the other hand proclaims strident universality and is using that as their basis for shunning AW, yet they are against meaningful PRoR. The latter flat out belies the former, yet here we are. There's some other explanation.

      And the Pappe point is also illustrative.

      Peace. Fin.

    • Err, "first principle..." Hi Ho.

    • Hi WJ. The rethink is along the lines of people who would do this to someone as dedicated and tireless and inclusive as Allison Weir are not really interested in justice for Palestinians -- certainly not as a first principal and maybe not at all.

      Or alternately, justice for Palestinians is immediately sacrificial in pursuit of some other more theoretical, ill-/narrowly-defined, and/or unstated goal. To me that's just not the basis for a stable alliance/relationship.

      I'm still a bit in shock about this. Allison Weir, ffs.

      ---

      As to the JVP allegations and Weir's response, her words (people can make up their own mind): link to secure.campaigner.com

      The tell to me was that there was apparently no complaint when she appeared on equally racist Zionist radio talk shows to get her message out.

      It's a f'd up situation. I just happened to run across it elsewhere.

    • REALLY disturbing, rensanceman. And Max Blumenthal concurs. Max is doubly disturbing because one of the smears JVP used against AW/IDK is EXACTLY the same smear used against Blumenthal after those murders at the JCC in Kansas(?) -- that the murderer cited him a few times in his writings. Bizarre.

      Too off topic to go on, but I feel a top-to-bottom personal rethink coming on.

  • Israeli leader turns on US Jewish journalists Friedman, Wieseltier, Remnick and Silvers for disloyalty and anti-semitism!
  • Jewish community must 'welcome' anti-Zionist, pro-BDS Jews, Beinart says-- but Shavit says, Excommunicate them
  • BDS could cost Israel $4.7 billion a year
    • Great point, Sibiriak.

      I was guided by what has become as US truism, Carville's "It's the economy, stupid!" and traditional economic-political effect here in the US.

      But you're right there are other factors involved.

      If it hasn't been done already, I bet there's a dissertation topic in, say, "The Effect of External Economic Influences on Domestic Political Dynamics; A Multivariate Analysis."

      The axes could be:

      1) Type of Government - Athenian ▶ Parliamentary (multi-party)▶Parliamentary (2-3 party)▶Bicameral▶Oligarchy▶Authoritarian▶Totalitarian

      2) Percent of GDP from Exports (i.e. level of self-sufficiency)

      3) Percent GDP Effect of External Influences

      There's probably an ellipsoid of "maximum change effect" in there revolving around Parliamentary▶Oligarchy, bounded by say, 30%-70% export based, and 5%-10% GDP hit.

      Russia and the US would fall on different places on that plot (again, great point!). I think Israel is smack dab dead center of that ellipsoid and is susceptible to being influenced externally, unless it goes full frontal fascist for the whole world to see. But that would be the end of biz-as-usual itself.

      It'll be interesting to see where the political off-ramps/trades arise for Israel while they rage to have it all, but know (deep down??) they can't. I just hope Palestinians don't get killed because Israelis get peevish as they are increasingly, assertively reminded that they are expected to do the right and moral thing.

    • Hi Citizen. It's been a long time since I tried to untangle that morass, but to me, that looks right. Others may be able to be more specific.

      I think, though, that all that is already folded into Israel's GDP, so the BDS effect is a top-line net number.

      But you're right to imply (I think that's what you did. :) ) that the US taxpayers could be called upon to subsidize future BDS effect/losses such that BDS would/could have zero net effect on Israel. What's a hundred more schools (give or take) in Detroit to the US taxpayer anyway?

      And I, and I'm sure you, have actually seen that argument made with a straight face. Closely paraphrased, "It's just a drop in the bucket for US taxpayers."

    • $4.7B is about 1.5% of Israeli GDP ($273B). Economies live and die, governments fall, programs go unfunded, and deficits mushroom (Israel is already running one) on 2-3% fluctuations.

      No wonder they made such a fuss about the Orange announcement.

      And BDS is only starting to gain traction...!!

      To touch on Israel's massive desalination initiative again, if this level of BDS effect is sustainable and/or buildable, it could have a major impact on how large and rapid that initiative becomes. The current government would potentially have to make some hard tradeoffs -- water or settlements or capricious foreign adventures or massive sovereign debt or low-income housing or cutting back on the safety net or some other popular "goodies."

      Another 1% and life in Israel changes dramatically for a large portion of the population.

      Great news!

    • Heh. "Buy our products or you're an anti-semite!" does have a catchy-grabby ring to it as a marketing slogan. Great for billboards.

  • Video: Israeli soldiers violently attack unarmed Palestinian man
    • Yup. Soldiers enforcing a belligerent occupation over decades is as blatant a provocation as there is. The nerve if some Palestinians reacting poorly to that.

      Yet another example of Israel's, "The beatings will continue until morale improves." style of Occupation beneficence.

    • Right, matti. Speaking of armchair and faceless... Since you live right there, have you gone to live in Gaza for a week? A day? An hour? The duration of a fleeting thought?

    • Great summary, oldgeezer. I would just add that in catalan-speak, from the Israeli perspective BDS is the lymphoma, not the cure. It is the reason/motivation to actually find the "cure," whatever form that takes.

      If catalan reads what you an Annie have written in response, he would probably understand that it's all been done before. Nothing happened. No motivation, no solution. No "cure."

      Maybe we should ask catalan why his plan/cure would be implemented when all others have failed.

    • Annie, yep. He did seem pretty categorical, didn't he. Like, "Previously undiscovered concept here! Guaranteed to WORK! [If only people would listen.]"

      Should be interesting.

    • @catalan- "The point of bringing up BDS was not deflect but to point out it is the wrong cure. - See more at: link to mondoweiss.net"

      Just out of curiosity, what do you believe the right (npi) cure to be?

    • Yep Marnie. Someone posted this a few years ago at Daily Kos. It perfectly illustrates what you wrote.

      The soldier isn't even looking at the person he's detaining. He expects him to follow like a dog.

      link to i1012.photobucket.com

      Photo by Hamde Abu Rahme

  • Israel failed to interview eyewitnesses to soccer boys' slaughter
    • Isn't one of the prerequisites for ICC prosecution an inability to pursue these cases domestically?

      I wonder whether this IDF internal "investigation" satisfies/supports the requirements to initiate prosecution, or the requirements to avoid it.

  • Munayyer-Beinart debate revealed toothless sentimentalism of liberal Zionism
    • Why is it so hard to say "occupied PALESTINE" instead of "occupied territories?" "Occupied territories" is identity-negating Zio-speak. The country that is occupied is called Palestine.

      When the USSR occupied Czechoslovakia post WWII did anyone anywhere ever call it or any part of Eastern Europe an "occupied territory?"

      Other than that great article.

  • Untold Stories: First-ever US Nakba Museum opens in Washington DC
    • Brilliant observation, MHughes!

      The Zionist plan for Palestinian culture is to make it a museum piece of the second kind amid much gentle musing and a few quiet tears on the harsh necessities of history.

      I never would have thought about it that way.

      This museum is an unequivocally consciousness-raising good thing, but which seems to be treating something as history that is ongoing. As you, abc, and Walid say, there's a significant element of premature sentimentalizing about the demise of the Palestinians in this. Kind of a "WE can all get along, as long as YOU accept that this is HISTORY" approach/motif.

      Great point. Really great point.

  • UN report catalogs Israeli attacks on Palestinian children, but leaves Israel off child rights abusers 'list of shame'
    • This is why the citizenship status of hypothetical Presidential candidates is so important. If you're a citizen of the country doing this and you do or say nothing about it, how can you expect to be taken seriously on any issue of gross human suffering, let alone modest economic change.

      ---

      It sounds like Israel topped the list but was kept off. I wonder if they leave a memorial blank spot and move on to #2, or are all other violating countries just moved up a notch?

  • 'You have dual citizenship with Israel' -- NPR host hits Sanders with internet canard
    • I don't know what you mean by Zionist, DaBakr, but here's a poll from the Washington Post/Pew (2013):

      link to washingtonpost.com

      Your 94% number would appear to be wildly exaggerated. Here are the numbers as analyzed by Max Fisher (afaik, not a flaming anti-Zionist):

      4. Only one in three Jews feels strong "emotional attachment to Israel"

      • 30 percent of American Jews answered "very attached" when asked the level of their "emotional attachment to Israel." 39 percent said "somewhat attached" and 22 percent said "not very attached," with only 9 percent citing no attachment.

      • Still, that means 69 percent feel some meaningful level of attachment to Israel. More than half of every group answered either "very" or "somewhat" attached – except for secular Jews, who selected "very" and "somewhat" by 12 and 33 percent, respectively. This group makes up 22 percent of American Jews.

      • Orthodox Jews feel the strongest attachment, with 61 percent saying they feel very attached and 30 percent somewhat attached.

      That means that 31% of Jews in the US are "not very" or "not" attached to Israel. That would sure seem to rule them out as Zionists. That means that only 69% of US Jews may be Zionists of varying degrees of fervency and/or self-identity. The bottom line is that your 94% number is just wrong in any meaningful sense.

      Here are the results Fisher discusses:

      1. Sharp divide on whether Israel was "given to the Jewish people by God".

      2. Orthodox Jews and Evangelical Christian share skepticism of two-state solution

      3. Few trust Palestinian peace-making; Israel's efforts also viewed skeptically

      4. Only one in three Jews feels strong "emotional attachment to Israel"

      5. No group supports settlements, but Orthodox come closest

      6. Most Jews feel Israel gets the right amount of U.S. support

      7. Most Jews approve of Obama's handling of Israel

      8. "Caring about Israel" not a top feature of Jewish identity [Yikes.]

      Taken together, but especially #4 and #8, this all sure seems to suggest some really soft support generally, and that a distinction between Zionists and Jews is completely warranted. That's the statistical evidence from 2013, pre Gaza Slaughter2014. They're probably more skewed to the "not much"/"no" support end now, but that's just speculation on my part.

      Anecdotally, you have the energy, reflectiveness, morality, and righteousness of non-/anti-Zionist Jews who post here vs., say for example, you. That gaping chasm of introspection, compassion, morality, and drive has to reflect similar dynamics in the greater Jewish "community" (sorry Mooser, I don't know how else to say it. "Spectrum" maybe?), imho.

      I stand by the distinction and my statement.

    • Kathleen, and I bet she sometimes even asserted them in statement form. Yet no call for apologies, let alone "rolling heads."

      How could such reckless behavior go completely unnoticed and unpunished for so long?

      Pfffffffft.

    • Italian ex-pat, JFK got repeatedly slammed for exactly that (loyalty to the Pope). It was a theme.

      He slogged it out and won (possibly with a little help from his Italian friends in the Chicago precincts, but that's a story for another day).

      I have to believe this vein of questioning is much more about the response than is about the question itself.

    • Thanks Jethro. Didn't know. Important, as is the subtitle:

      "Why It’s Important for Us to Know."

      And the last graf:

      At the level of individual members, transparency is essential. For example, a constituent should know whether or not another state loyalty is involved when his or her representative speaks out on a major issue, such as on military assistance to Israel or recognition of Palestine as a state. Only if we know who are the dual citizens in Congress and what are their second countries, can we intelligently assess the credibility of their policy statements and actions.

    • DaBakr, if you think the reaction to Rehm's implied question, whether she carelessly asserted it as a statement or not, is taking political lumps and working through it, you're deluded. The reaction was that it should have never been asked, even though the facts are (the facts he knew or should have known) that he could well be (or have been) a citizen of Israel.

      Even Sanders was flustered, meaning he was completed unaware of the reality of his own situation and its implications. It's not unfair to ask and he's going to get asked again and again, until he comes to understand why it's a legitimate question to ask a prospective President of the United States, and puts it to bed. That's what I mean by "taking his lumps."

      Responding with a chorus of "How dare you!" and forcing Rehm to apologize for the concept, as opposed to her method, is the opposite of "taking his lumps."

      As for a Jewish President, no problem whatsoever, as long as this obscenely defensive, "Thou shalt not question me on this issue." BS goes away. I voted for Jill Stein last time, largely because she and her platform were forthcoming on this issue. I'd vote for Sanders this time, if he would do the same. But running away from it doesn't cut it. He runs away from this, he runs away from everything, meaning he's an idea guy, not a President.

      BTW, a Jew saying a Jew will never be President is the very distillation of why you zios (not Jews) have no credibility on this issue, or any issue for that matter. You lead with paranoia, you immerse yourselves in paranoia, everything you do or say is twisted by that paranoia. It's totally foreign to so many of us, yet it seeks to dictate where our kids should fight and die, among other things.

      I guess coming back to my original comment, Sanders has a chance, now in real time, to step well away from that paranoia and become embraceable (less foreign) by the huge reservoir of need and good-faith out here in the heartland that wants someone like him to step up. So far he's not doing that.

      Seven months until New Hampshire. TBD.

    • I'm probably not going to say this right, but here goes anyway...

      One of the very best things that could come of this Sanders episode is a realization that Jewish politicians can and should take their lumps just like everyone else. A realization by Jews and non-Jews alike.

      What a great thing that would be. Ultimate assimilation.

    • Yep, just, and JFK as well, though more in the loyalty (to the Vatican) sense as opposed to the citizenship sense.

      I mean, deal with it folks. This is a hoop that simply must be successfully jumped through to get to be President.

      The absolute worst thing Sanders could do (at this point or ever) would be to claim privilege or an exception because he's Jewish.

    • -John-, Screw the sensitivity. Sanders is running for President.

      Other than that, I agree. She should have asked.

      But also, Sanders got flustered by this as he did taking questions on the Gaza slaughter in his town hall in Vermont. It's obviously sensitive, and HIS answer should have been better researched and presented as well.

    • +10, just. Totally agree.

      The easy and commonplace conferring of Israeli citizenship is a well-documented, real thing that happens often.

      The Obama-Kenya citizenship fake issue is not a real thing.

      Completely different.

      Rehm should have asked instead of stated, but other than that, fair game.

      And as you also say, it is a completely legitimate full-disclosure issue for everyone in high public office to whom it may apply, maybe more specifically in an office that deals with foreign policy in any way - major or minor.

      If people in office are trying to hide something that's real via the usual poo-pooing exercise, that needs to be known. If none of them have Israeli citizenship and the method of receiving Israeli citizenship does not/could not affect or apply to them, then that needs to be known as well

      It's good that Phil brought this up. I wish he would share his own experience on the matter. Did he get granted Israel citizenship by visiting Israel? Dual citizenship doesn't matter in its own right, so it's not an intrinsically bad thing. Many people have it. But this has specific implications.

      My guess is that no Congressperson can have any dual-citizenship because they have to take an oath to the US Constitution that [in my understanding] voids all others -- even the potential of seemingly automatic/assumed oaths as the Israeli process seems to use.

      I think Hostage has broached this before, but maybe he can weigh in here as the conversation I remember was about military oaths.

  • The Peter Beinart Double Standard: Why is this boycott different from all other boycotts?
    • Isaiah.Silver, great comment.

      Particularly: "...but even if you are right, is running an apartheid system in only some parts of a territory OK?

      That's gotta sting.

    • Hi Gil, Sometimes when I try to keep it short, I mush it up. I was not at all trying to say, "Oh so close." Emphasizing "his" box, was a way (it seemed so clear at the time...) to imply that "his" box is not the box that needs to be considered. It's irrelevant actually, but none the less it shows some personal courage for him to step outside even that, imho.

      The subtext of that, for me, is that ultimately, if and when they have their epiphanies, some of these libzios will be allies with Munayyer and the Palestinian leaders of their search for real justice. I believe that his search and efforts shows that he is one of those potential allies. The J Street types, not so much.

      Beinart will have to be dragged, kicking and screaming to that epiphany. He will never be a leader in the search for justice, but he seems to have the ability to actually reflect a bit, a trait that is completely absent from almost all Zionists, liberal or otherwise. I think that is something that can be worked with (conditionally) as the movement progresses in front of him. He's talented and introspective. I think that he may well become the very thing that today he says can never exist: someone who believes there is a way forward together, rather than separated. All that talent and evolution may be a useful combination in the right circumstances.

      All this is why I mostly disagree with Krauss on this. Beinart is losing the argument. I think everyone knows that he is losing the debate. I think even he knows it (or at least that was my take from the debate).

      This side-by-side with Munayyer hastened that result. The only way for Beinart's version of the hasbara to continue and be effective would have been for him to avoid this debate like the plague. For whatever reason, he did NOT avoid it. With all the above, I think that makes him the antithesis of a supremely effective hasbara agent. To the contrary, I think he's (witting or un, as you say) supplying the free sledgehammers with which to ultimately pulverize Annie's "Zionist wall" to dust.

      TBD

    • Thanks for the article.

      As much as there is to be critical of Beinart's indefensible positions and inconsistencies, I have to say he has probably put out as much effort to effect some kind of real change as all other libzios combined.

      He has been pretty courageous about stepping outside his box.

  • Schumer says Jewish and American interests on Iran deal differ but he has 'to do what's right for U.S.'
    • Thanks for the clarification, a blah chick.

    • That's it just! Jeez you're amazing!

      Maybe it's as a blah chick said, Mr. Lapon declared aliyah (wittingly or not) and Sanders didn't. Or maybe the entry processor just checked the wrong box or thought Lapon looked like he wanted to make aliyah but couldn't find the words.

      Phil Weiss had been there often. Is he a dual-citizen? I don't remember him saying one way or the other.

    • Lysias, Sanders said he has visited Israel a couple of times. I remember reading (here iirc) an account of someone (Jewish) being automatically conferred Israeli citizenship upon entering the country. He was trying to give back his Israeli passport but was not allowed to do so.

      If that experience is true and relevant and Sen. Sanders has traveled to Israel, he may well be a dual-citizen. He may not want to be, but he may well be.

      Same situation for all the Jewish members if Congress.

      Hmmm. Interesting. Mostly because if all Jewish members if Congress whi have visited Israel are dual-citizens, it will be interesting to see how they sort it out.

    • If it was all actually about group survival, you might have a minor point, hophmi.

      But it isn't, and you don't.

      This is about using the painstakingly-nurtured paranoia of a small group of well-publicized and/or powerful people to further the domestic political goals of a tiny foreign country -- in direct, in-depth, and open coordination with that tiny foreign country.

      All to the detriment of the lives and livelihoods of 400,000,000 others not living in or associated with that tiny foreign country.

      I mean I drive daily over a literally crumbling bridge a few hundred feet from my house. I am not unique in that, neither locally nor nationally. It needs fixing before it collapses. Fixing it creates jobs here. It's a real thing. Schumer doesn't care, preferring instead to give my bridge to Israel by serving the interests of a country that never seems to be able to solve its own [self-created] problems (and in fact continues to create them, real and imagined, at an astounding rate).

      What's the current euphemism in DC for something-glaringly-wrong-but-everyone-is-afraid-to-confront-it-directly? Bad optics?

    • Sounds like Schumer not only discussed dual-loyalty, but confirmed it.

      His country, the US, despite overwhelming evidence to support its transcending priority, after much agonizing by Schumer, came out only slightly ahead -- for now.

      Unfit for high national office, imho.

  • Is BDS practicing a double standard with respect to Arab countries?
    • To me, a huge amount of the "the antipathy Israel faces in some quarters of the American left" stems from betrayal, nothing more and nothing less.

      Israel had it and blew it. Voluntary support and/or affinity for Israel is a thing of the past and/or of an Adelson-unit* shelf-life.

      And again, Beinart fails to acknowledge that all those other evils are universally condemned. NO ONE holds them up as positive examples. Israel, alone, is not condemned and is constantly and falsely touted as a positive/virtuous example. That's why the focus is there. It has nothing to do with being viewed as "Western" or anything of the kind. It's about unchallenged hypocrisy over decades (heh, which is certainly a "Western" trait, but not its definition).

      It's also arguable that, given all the global political energy and money spent on protecting Israel's falsehoods and wrongdoing, solving this problem is the singular gateway to solving the others.

      ---

      * How long does he have left, anyway?

    • Great comment, Keith. Spot on.

  • Israel's free speech double standard: ‘Incitement’ law used to crack down on Palestinian political expression
    • The Attorney General office’s responded curiously. In a letter to Shehadeh (PDF), the office said that “Lieberman sought to send a message that it is imperative that the authorities struggle – not a private individual – and not in a violent manner necessarily – against anyone who is disloyal to the state.”

      Gotta love the art of weasel wording. "not...necessarily" eh? As opposed to, say, "sometimes, but only under the right circumstances?"

      Sheesh.

  • Obama's disgust for Netanyahu's 'stink' signals coming era of Jewish persecution in the U.S., says 'Tablet'
    • Bingo, eljay!

      If one wants the world to change permanently, stop engaging in the very behavior that one finds so loathsome.

      Stop setting the murderous example/precedent.

      Stop expecting the world to look away when you do it, and respond immediately when it's done to you.

      Stop making a mockery of the very laws that were implemented (almost specifically) to protect your own people.

      Shorter version: Get your head out of your ass.

  • Supreme Court slam dunks the Israel lobby on Jerusalem, 6-3 (and Rubio, Oren, and Engel are angry)
    • Or the simpler, more immediate/direct version, Bornajoo... You really have to wonder if the three Jewish SCOTUS justices are now going to get "Goldstoned."

      I hope and pray that if even a whiff of an attempt to exert family influence on those three justices occurs, they expose it immediately and publicly. They have a responsibility, though Scalia never took his outside-the-court interactions with Cheney very seriously, so I'm not all that hopeful. But it could happen.

      Given past coercive practice in these situations, this is very, very dangerous territory for Zionists wrt their impact on Jews in general. Heck, dangerous for all of us.

      Will they/Zionists be able to restrain themselves from attempting to subvert the US Supreme Court? History suggests they will not be able to restrain themselves.

    • Because Rubio so joyfully seeks to eviscerate international law, he should remember that as President he will have to explain, on camera, to all the grieving mothers of dead US soldiers of all our "little wars" who were captured in uniform but executed anyway...

      ...that it's all perfectly acceptable because international law doesn't matter.

    • Given all that precedent, Hostage, 6 to THREE.

      Even so, Happy Independence Day!

  • Notes from the Munayyer-Beinart debate
    • Hi David, tactical question: How do you counter Dersh-style firehosed falsehoods in a verbal debate? You're absolutely brilliant in characterizing the tactic as you did just below to bintbiba.

      People of good faith tend to try to respond point by point and get lost in the swamp. Meanwhile Dersh-types are forming the next blast of nonsense. Not being particularly burdened with the need to be sincere in those situations, I use the sentence, "All that would be true, except that it isn't." That kinda clears the path to move forward, but it is a bit flippant and may put an audience (live or reading) off.

      Since you so obviously understand the problem, do you have any tips on a Dersh counterattack? A lot of people here debate this, at every opportunity. Your/any advice would be very helpful, imho.

      ---

      PS Adding to the chorus, Great article! Thanks.

    • Yep, pab. That was a [yet another] gaping hole in Beinart's feasibility description of the possibility and therefore preferability of two states. He simply ignored Jerusalem, all the while touting "land swaps of equal size" (which he subsequently corrected to "equal size and value").

      Are there land swaps of equal value to expanded Jerusalem in other parts of Israel? I suppose they could give the Palestinians the all of the Negev, complete with Dimona, but that's not likely to happen (yuk yuk). Or maybe they could give the Palestinians the Golan (two birds and all that). Or maybe the Sorek desalination plant and its associated vertical technology and patents (link to waterworld.com ; now there's an idea with implications/legs, not that Mr. Beinart was thinking in that direction).

      I don't know... I don't make quizzical faces and physically scratch my head much on these inconsistencies anymore, but I did there. Quite the whopper of an omission.

      I just can't wrap my head around how anyone capable of dressing themselves in the morning can insist so strenuously that there are land swaps in any/all of Israel that are of equal value to Jerusalem and its surrounding settlements -- and then to insist that is the basis for his entire two state feasibility argument.

      PS, it's also a sign of the limitations of these types of side-by-side debates that Munayyer didn't go for the rhetorical "kill" by exploiting this hole in Mr. Beinart's argument.

  • People behind BDS are also responsible for 9/11 attack, Israeli centrist tells NY synagogue
    • This uptick in Israeli anti-BDS word and deed kinda puts a different, but still positive, spin on that old cartoon: "Last Great Act of Defiance" (ie, showy, but the rat [decades of Israeli impunity] still gets et in the end).

      link to bing.com

  • Rivlin to announce 'joint Israeli society' -- and try to curb Palestinian house demolitions
    • This is why Peter Beinart is so myopic and wrong regarding one state. When he says "nobody on either side," "no way," and "never" about one state, little embryonic relationships like this put the lie to those kinds of absolutist, my-way-or-the-highway/just-because-I-say-so/pure preference, projection ravings.

      Who knows how hard it's going to be or how long it's going to take, but so it begins...

  • Munayyer and Beinart's historic debate on the solution to the conflict
    • Hi Annie. I mostly agree. My use of that paraphrasing was meant to characterize what Israel does, epitomized by "Khamas Charter!!", to avoid making or responding to meaningful overtures. It's a crutch, refined to perfection by constant use and historical acceptance.

      I do think Beinart and people of similar bent, DO TRY to act in good faith, but the absolutist and/or immutable thought patterns that are endemic in Israel, and from which libzios osmotically draw their methods (the zio part), mean Beinart, imho and whether he realizes it or not, allows/uses a slightly less absolutist personal variant to guide his judgements. I don't think he can help himself.

      I think my way of agreeing with the rest of your comment is to say if this debate was about getting people to drink orange juice for breakfast, Beinart would be saying, "nobody will like it because it's not apple juice", where Munayyer is saying, "try it, you may like it (and want more)".

      You're right. Munayyer's approach is exploratory and potentially embraces everything where Beinart's approach is narrow, self-defining, loaded with unstated assumptions, and is therefore likely to embrace almost nothing. Munayyer's approach is so much more appealing, constructive, inclusive, etc. and would seem to be most likely to yield durable results, whether the topic is orange juice or justice for Palestinians.

      Great comments in this thread. I hate it when you/you all make me think. It burns us. :)

    • Yeah, great post just. At the risk of being the proverbial broken record, that article shows that the intransigence driven by the Israeli need for Palestinian resources is only going to get worse as Israel's population increases. On the water issue, desalination is not likely to "solve" Israels needs because Israels needs grow at a pace similar or greater to its ability to expand capacity. That's almost certainly true on all the other scarcity issues that Israel faces, to which the "pesky" Palestinians offer cheap solutions.

      Two states is just never going to happen, or if it does, contrary to the conventional wisdom, one state will have to happen first. Current resource needs and the unending Occupation reality will force Israel and Palestine to become "Czechoslovakia" before they can even contemplate [amicably] splitting up into Czech Republic and Slovakia.

      Thanks for the info and context.

    • Great points, Donald, Annie, and Bornajoo.

      Beinart used the "because it's bad now, it will always be bad"/"nothing EVER changes" argument to say why a 1SS isn't possible. It's the classic argument (because it seems to have worked, so far) that Israel uses to avoid actually talking to Palestinians in a good-faith, problem-solving way. To me, and I think I'm just paraphrasing your point about "falling flat" Donald, it's the equivalent of defining the word using the word itself fallacy. Purely tautological, but nobody ever seems to call them on it.

    • The main neither even touched on is the water-energy issue. Israel will never accede to a Beinart-style Palestinian state because it needs Palestinian water to replenish the Sea if Galilee (and other ongoing uses). If the argument is accepted that Israel is going to be water self-sufficient in the near future, then Israel requires Palestinian energy resources to make that happen.*

      Beinart completely skipped over this principal driving fact, and Munnayyer, remarkably, never brought it up in rebuttal. I suppose that's the limitation of having a political discussion about what is fundamentally a resource issue (and always has been if the early, 19. C Zionist maps are any indication). Beinart was talking consuming desire and Munayyer was countering with inarguable morality, when both should have been talking about the effect and remediation of water scarcity. Dull as drying paint, but the driver of everything (imho, of course, but one simply must maintain that European lifestyle in the middle of the desert by any and all means necessary, musn't one).

      ---
      * Desalinated water is about 4x more expensive than ground eater due to the energy required to produce it. Therefore Israel needs Palestinian natural gas in Gaza either to use or to sell to cover the cost, or both.

      link to forbes.com

    • So why would Beinart agree to do this?

      There's a reason Libzios only debate nutcases to their "right." The assumptions are collective and therefore never challenged. The context is narrow. Everybody gets to come away with a win. It's all so self-congratulatory, interminable, and career-propping.

      In this debate, as it is here, EI, and every Gideon Levy column, there would seem to be no upside for Mr. Beinart. His arguments, serviceable elsewhere, would/were simply exposed for the inconsistent hodge-podge they are -- to all but the true believers, that is.

      Any sense of why, or is PB so completely immersed in his little uncritical world/past practice that the notion, let alone the implications, of actual public contrast never entered into his thinking?

      I'm not sure of the subtext (subtextual dynamics?) here, but there does seem to be some. A significant some maybe even.

  • Gaza’s al-Nasser Salah al-Din Brigades prepares for next Israeli war
    • You live in a war zone of your own making, jon s. Own it and accept the consequences of taking someone else's home for your own. Gosh, they want it back. Hoodathunkit!!

      AKA stop whining.

      BTW, you can easily emigrate to the US and protect your family from all the tribulations that come with living in someone else's ill-gotten "house." But then there's laws about equal rights and such that you would have to obey here, so it may not be too terribly to your liking.

    • BRILLIANTLY STATED, JLD!

    • Critical mass approacheth.

    • The circle of total absurdity becomes nearly complete when they, seemingly unknowingly (but I'm not so sure anymore), endlessly celebrate and glorify the notion that Israel means "Jews now fight back." They tout fighting back is a prime virtue, incessantly. Incessantly enough that if any of 'em were in possession of the slightest bit of micro-sincerity, the epiphanies would volcanic.

      To live with, and deny, so much internal and external repression must really wither and consume one's soul.

      Great comment, a blah chick. Revelatory.

    • Yonah, by "paucity of ideas" d ok you mean stuff like propose 10-year hudnas, almost completely halting rocket attacks (numerous times, but most notably in summer 2008), and asking/begging for a seaport for exports to fuel desperation/violence-reducing live-and-let-live economic improvements, ending suicide bombing as a tactic?

      All of those were answered with merciless slaughter and/or derisive dismissal. Seems the "paucity" or lack of problem-solving skills/courage lies almost solely on the Israeli side. That's about as self-evident as it can possibly be.

    • Agree, Shingo.

    • Interesting sidenote, jon s is a Meretz supporter.

      To talknic and everyone pointing out the tireless incoherence of these Zio-assertions, I really don't know how you maintain the energy to be equally tireless with the much needed "corrections."

      It's as amazing as it us uplifting. Thank you all.

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