Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 2085 (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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  • How many 'Palestinian Arabs' want to kill 'all Jews?'
  • Obama and Kerry are spurred by 'vainglory' in pursuing talks -- Finkelstein
    • Now that you mention it, RoHa... :) It was just a readjustment for me, personally. I used to think that support for Israel was a mile wide and an inch deep (as reflected by what I thought was the genuine incorporation of Jewish life into middle America, as an indicator of sympathies for Israel), but now I think it's a mile wide and a molecule deep.

    • @JeffB- The uneven distribution of Jewish population (or even awareness of Jewish interests) and the even distribution of US Senators IS the political point.

      Sorry for straying OT, everyone. Fini.

    • Sorry, GL. More surprised than shocked. They are the top provider of kosher and halal products in town. If Passover isn't even on their self-interested marketing radar, Israel is way over the horizon as a local issue. There's exploitable politics involved in that, somehow.

    • Agree, dbroncos. I'm of the "blank slate" view. No one is hard over one way or the other.

      We're a poor state, this is a military/government town where R&D is the big-ticket local work product (which competes with operations spending), we send a lot of people away to fight these wars, and we have two Senators. Here anyway, I think those dots of local self-interest are connectable, and may yet be. Though it's not a pure binary, and it is certainly a nascent condition, they argue against Israel's ongoing political blank check.

      Appreciate your response. As much time as I spend on this site, and as important as I think awareness of others' sensitivities is, it was just odd to realize that what's important to Jews (and Muslims for that matter) is not necessarily shared very broadly or all that deeply. Muslims feel the brunt of that daily. Israel may yet.

    • Way OT, but I was just in our local [North Alabama] upscale organic grocery store. I glanced up at the giant, wall-sized event calendar they have.

      Passover wasn't even listed.

      I was a little shocked. I don't quite know what that means wrt I/P, but I think it means something significant, one way or the other.

      One Way: There is no great sense of Jewish interests out here in flyover country. If support/aid for Israel goes against local self-interest, that support goes away in a heartbeat.

      The Other Way: There is no great sense of Jewish interests out here in flyover country. Israel and its Lobby and minions can do whatever they want and nobody will care.

      The other Other Way: Complete blank slate on this issue. Educable?

      Book tours might consider bustouring their way through my part of the country with the local self-interest message tied to Palestinian justice.

      Just ruminatin'.

  • Why should planning in West Bank be divided on ethnic lines? --Palestinian villages' petition
    • Well said, HarryLaw. I was confused by this article.

      It's like the author[s] unstated assumption was a one-state context. But then they were describing [what seemed to me to be a call for equal rights] using the Occupation-based reality and decision making process as a starting point.

      Cynical me had flashes of the "Jews should be allowed to live anywhere in the WB!" settler battle cry while reading this.

      A mixed message... Maybe one of the authors will come here and explain. There's a potential for fresh insight here, maybe.

  • Tensions rise on Temple Mount as rightwing Jews seek to hold Passover rituals there
    • Heh. We don't have to imagine what would happen. It already happened in 1994 at the "shared"/divided Cave of the Patriarch. It's only a matter of time before it happens in the Haram al-Sharif.

      Kaflooey. World on fire.

  • Mark Halperin excommunicates Rand Paul, over Israel
    • Yep. And don't forget the Democratic platform vote on Jerusalem in 2012:

      link to youtu.be

      Tightening the lid just increases the pressure for voters to make their will known, imho. But it's anyone's guess as to political time-frame and/or explosiveness.

    • Paul has the Adelson kow-tow and nuke videos for campaign commercials. They are shocking enough to make this a contest by visually and viscerally trumping the Halperin/Beltway CW, in Republican primary terms anyway.

      Who votes for a guy (all of Paul's competition) who has his head so deeply and demonstrably up someone else's butt?

      I think Halperin's views are borderline wishful thinking at this point. I'm not sure they should be demoralizing.

      Further, you guys got the story on Adelson's "nuke Iran" comment. As lysias said upthread, the US voter is sharply opposed to any such policy. Couple the kow-tow with the "nukem" videos and you get voter disgust for Adelson-affiliated candidates (if the videos are used).

      Think LBJ's "Daisy Girl" ad against Goldwater, only with cause and video backup.

      Aside from the fact that that's why Boteach got into it with you as you were recording another of his little "forums" (i.e. you're having individual effect), there's every likelihood that you all have provided some pretty large-caliber rhetorical ammunition for Rand Paul (or somebody) to counter Halperin-like analysis. That's Major Political effect, at least potentially. That too might be the opposite of demoralizing...

  • Reports of anti-Semitism in Ukraine and Hungary
    • @Stephen Shenfield- Great point. And you have to ask who the dueling accusers are trying to influence to get those "dividends."

      Is it just so apparent to everyone at this point? That this manipulation of US politics becomes a lever for every/anyone else to use as they see fit for their own (non-US) interests? Are the Israel Lobby manipulators in the US that mercenary? Apparently so, on all counts.

      A few months back there was a story here (iirc) about Morocco courting AIPAC to help it "manage" the international blowback for its ongoing occupation of Spanish Sahara (archaic?).

      Israel's gift to the world is violence, chaos, and the complete evisceration of all post-WWII IHL progress - including and especially, "Never Again!"

  • Haaretz joins Rush Limbaugh and company in trying to link Max Blumenthal to KC shooter suspect
    • Great comment, Dan Walsh. I would throw in the more tactical issue to Mr. Nelson as well.

      Assuming BDS actually is collective punishment, when one is faced with the choice between losing and suffering oppression forever, and the legitimate moral question of "two wrongs...," which does one choose?

      I think what he poses as a moral binary/lefty dilemna is more a matter of degree and/or the stakes involved.

    • Shorter Mayhem: Shoot the messenger.

    • Interesting, LeaNder. Great comment.

      When did you study this? I only ask because maybe I'm old enough that 40 years ago there at least seemed to be a search for differentiating and consequential stories.

      Now I suppose there are still "breaking" stories, but they're about missing white girls or some such. Stuff the pack will glom/zebra around as validation and/or cover for the "breaker." Safe as opposed to fielding the risk of getting out in front, and staying in front.

      Breaking a story now seems like a mechanics-oriented event, as opposed to content-oriented.

      This is also a Greenwald theme.

  • Cornell student government puts the kibosh on divestment debate
    • It's just as likely, probably more likely, that the Assembly was pressured to hold the vote right before Passover in order for Jacobson to make his condemnation.

      That's CT, but this "outrage" (as with Max B's situation) is so quick and shrill and weak that it has the strong smell of coordination to it for greatest possible effect.

  • American citizen, translator and student—Mariam Barghouti arrested and detained in West Bank
    • Thanks ckg. Very informative. It looks like the right questions are being asked.

    • Sandra Tamari went through this Privacy Act Waiver circularity.

      link to mondoweiss.net

      link to mondoweiss.net

      Ms. Barghoutti's case is more acute because she is still in custody and may not be allowed to sign one. State may not be obligated to say what they are doing for her while she is in custody. How convenient.

      You would think that these spox would simply say (or the questioners ask) that/whether she has been presented with a waiver and signed it or has been prevented from signing it.

  • Fear of Arab-Americans in the public square
    • @WT- Brilliant. Words to live by, especially in the internet age.

    • I'd say pressure cooker in the intra-Jewish sense. Valve in the societal sense.

      God only knows where those two forces meet and resolve.

      Hopefully at a good/constructive place.

    • A) Couldn't agree more. This is THE point...:

      I believe these fears are overblown, and reflect a different fear entirely: the fear of Muslims daring to participate in American public life.

      A while back there was a census taken on the number of Muslims in the US. It was conducted by a Muslim org. It's results were immediately contested by the AJC (iirc) with a counter poll showing the "Muslim" poll results to be exaggerated. My naive and unanswered question then was, who cares how many Muslims there are in the US. Aren't we all in this together? But I have since come to realize that participation and influence are exactly the reasons this attempt at diminishment was so quickly put forward.

      The change in the "climate" that some Jewish students object to is the very same "climate" that Palestinian students live with day in, day out. Why should Palestinian PoVs be the mechanism of "fear" when Jewish PoVs are not? The Pro-Israel PoV is an omnipresent reminder that Palestinian views are (and "should be" for the foreseeable future) subordinate. Who's going to put up with that in the US.

      B) Muslims, and particularly MENA Muslims are a big part of the future of this country and will persevere here, politically. Ironically, to some, following the very same path of organization, focus, and precedent that the organized US Jewish community has pursued over the last century.

      C) The ascendence of "Jewish power" is laudable, imo. ALL minorities rightfully aspire to it. It's useful in political equalizing terms. But the public and overt application of that power has come to be despicable, generally, as in most cases it is used in support of an exlcusionist state, Israel, and hypocritical policies. This is the same arc that the WASP power structure eventually lost to (begrudgingly, yet rightfully), and for exactly the same reason. Exclusion is simply not a viable long-term strategy in a generally inclusive collective (i.e. the US; and we are generally and imo generically/ultimately inclusive, constitutionally, with ebbs).

      D) I predict that we're (the US) venturing into a new era where "what's allowed" is not necessarily going to be "what's going to happen." Gilded Age II, on so many connectable fronts.

      Great article. Much to ponder.

  • Palestinians can have an embassy in Jerusalem, but God forbid not a capital -- Israeli mayor
    • Yep, Annie. Woody gave the definitive response. These ruling thought processes in Israel are simply stunning.

      And to connect it to Alterman's latest blather, for Alterman to blame BDS for some imagined negative effect on Israeli leadership (wrt to his desired solution to the conflict) while this is the unremarkable (to him) existing and transcendent conventional wisdom in Israel is equally stunning.

      I know I say this too much, but you all are doing such a great job reporting this stuff by laying out these glaring contradictions side by side for all to see.

    • Maybe this is a misquote, but it sure stands out:

      Barkat: Let me take you back 3,000 years. Jerusalem is the capital of the world….

  • Alterman says BDS is helping Netanyahu
    • @Ellen- Marx was right! At least in the "vanguard" sense.

      Though he completely eviscerated his own larger argument by being "right" in that sense.

      Ah politics... :)

    • @WJ- Re: If someone seriously cares...

      Avigail Abarbanel (Via Chu) : link to avigailabarbanel.me.uk

      ... I also write for a very selfish reason. When one day, Israelis stand trial for the occupation and the war crimes against the Palestinian people, I would like to be counted as someone who spoke up. I was brought up on stories of the Holocaust. I was told that perhaps even more despicable than the Nazis themselves were all those who knew what was happening and allowed it to happen. Jews have always felt abandoned by a world full of bystanders. Being a bystander doesn’t mean doing nothing. It means collaborating. And I don’t want to be a collaborator. ...

      I've posted this before so I apologize for being redundant, but her words are magic, to me at least, and maybe more so within the context of a site (this site) dedicated to Jewish sensibilities.

    • Hi LeaNder. The "fact-finding" was reported here (at MW) by Annie and Hostage: link to mondoweiss.net

      Great article.

  • Passover for Palestine
  • China Miéville: It's become a cliche to talk about Palestine as a dystopia, but when you see Hebron you know where the cliche is coming from
    • Very cool. Were those "girls" activists, peripherally aware, or something in between?

      I'm just asking because I think it's important to get/have a sense of how deeply and to whom justice in/for Palestine resonates.

      My main interaction with "kids" that age is with my family. They are aware, in the "something in between" category. But they are all followers of my Twitter feed which I use almost exclusively for this issue.

      Don't mean to pry too much. Just curious. My sense from my own family is that awareness is building, but not at a tipping point just yet.

      As an aside, one of my nieces is a writer and has a monthly column in the local paper. I suggested, a while back, that she include Smedly Butler as an "American Hero" in one of her writings, and she did so. She wasn't taught that in school, yet she took the opportunity to look into it and agreed, and expressed. If she hadn't looked into it, she wouldn't have agreed on my say so. I guess my limited inference from that is that there is an openness to justice out there, and maybe particularly in that age group.

    • It seems somehow odd to hear someone refer to what's happening in Palestine as a "cliché." I understand why he said that. This has been going on so long and so blatantly. It's kinda like living in Alaska for 20 years and losing the urge to wave your hands to describe the auroras.

      Yet it's really hard, if not outright striking, to hear what continues to be an engineered, meticulously maintained/advanced, and [yet?; as in how can humans do this to other humans so vigorously and for so long right under everyone's noses...] heartbreaking travesty described as a "cliché." It is just gut wrenching.

      When I first read the title, I thought it was yet another misdirecting yawn of an observation burbling up from the depths of the organized US Jewish community. Glad I watched the video. Hopefully it will reach new eyes.

    • How did you do that, Blownaway? Quick-draw smartphone in real-time?

      What was the effect? Did you hold the moment long enough to make the point?

      It's so hard to do that, so great stuff! Kudos.

  • Alleged K.C. killer: 'If Jews can have a state of their own, why can't we have a White Christian state?'
    • I just refereed a soccer game this weekend where one of the dads was loudly berating a girl (U14) on the other team as she was lying on the ground crying with what could have been a broken arm. I hadn't ever seen that in person.

      Somehow these sicko tweeters remind me of that dad. And the shooter too.

      Sick is sick is sick.

      Oh well. Such is Israel's message to the world, its citizens, its supporters, and its emulators.

      ---

      Sorry eljay, meant this for downthread. Great comment, btw.

  • 'Secret' London conference seeks to link BDS to... terrorism
    • Gosh, Lauder wouldn't be advocating for forming and prosecuting a "culture of fear and intimidation," would he?

      If you could look in the ear of Zionism, you would see daylight.

    • To riff on Kricorian... "we have the brains and the courage." They also have the fundamental facts, compelling morality, and underlying desire of most normal people to do right.

      That's a tough combination to suppress, in the long run.

      Thanks Phil. Happy (if that's the right word) Passover to all...

  • Israel to annex 1,000 dunam of Palestinian land; Peace Now spox: 'faithful reflection of Netanyahu policy to extinguish last embers of negotiations with Palestinians'
    • Not "grinch," Walid. Very warranted skepticism. I try to pose vectors and you add observable velocity (if any). It's all part of the mix needed to get it right.

      I personally believe that there is movement in the right direction on this. Slow but inexorable.

      I appreciate your insights. They ground the discussion.

    • Two things:

      1) It's great the EU is starting to move toward making Israel pay for its Occupation of the WB. That's a really good sign of a fundamental shift in EU perspective, for a bunch of reasons and on a lot of fronts. But as usual, Palestinians get hurt in the process - even the process of real, beneficial change. I don't know how they keep it together.

      2) The NEW settlement wave is yet another sign that two states is over. The Defense Ministry is in charge of settlements and this may be Ya'alon's way of lashing out and backhanding Kerry for Israel's backing out of "negotiations." If that sounds incoherent and unconstructive (even from Israel's PoV), it is.

      Israel needs the chimera of two-states to blame Palestine and creep the Occupation toward annexation. This acting out (coupled with his other musings) suggests Ya'alon is getting antsy in his restraint from working within Israel's chimera-generating machine. Antsy doesn't serve Israel's interests, and is also a sign of fundamental change.

      That's two fundamentals converging to discombobulate Israel's well-oiled, generational assimilation>annexation process.

      Interesting and hopeful times.

      Thanks Kate.

  • About that special relationship...
    • @brenda- As so many people here have pointed out, your prognosis is a real and available "out" for Obama or some future admin, bolstered by irrefutable physical and moral facts (such that moral "facts" are irrefutable).

      The big question, now, is time-frame. Not so much if but when.

      I don't think it will be in my lifetime, but it will happen.

      FWIW.

    • Good points, brenda. A parting UNSC abstention or two is something Obama could do. It's within his limitations even as a weak leader to pull off, imho.

      It might not mean much domestically (US) in the political long-term, and it would certainly adversely affect his post-Presidency lifestyle, but it would set a precedent that would have to be overcome by the next Prez. As such it might/would back-foot the Israelis enough to create some exploitable international breathing room for whatever next step Palestine and the EU may be inclined to take. It could change the dynamic for a bit.

      Too many woulds, coulds, and mights in there for this to be a probability, but it is a possibility.

      This Russia/Ukraine/Crimea thing throws all the historical and current duplicity into high relief. There's opportunity in that. And if people out here in the blogosphere are able to perceive the opportunity, somebody+ in the admin is perceiving it too.

  • To reach the 'moveable middle' in Jewish life, you must be inside the tent
    • It's interesting to see these guys evoke as their principle rationale for staying within the "tent" the need/opportunity to make endless, brown PR mush by being a tiny minority within a decidedly righty org, rather than departing and creating contrast by letting that org cascade toward its natural state and simultaneously posing a clear, actionable (from their PoV; i.e. a more adamant version of the CW) alternative from outside.

      Joiners. And/or a sign of the times, generally.

      In any event, the two state track is over. These guys' version of the conversation has concluded. What's the point of discussing whether they're involved in shaping that concluded version or not? Whether one is feckless or irrelevant might be an interesting whiskey-aided philosophical discussion, but in the grand scheme of shaping events on this issue it doesn't matter all that much.

      Provide actionable alternatives, if that is the object. But it's really hard to see how that happens from "inside" at this point.

  • Amid 'climate of fear' at Vassar, president comes out against 'action and protest' re Israel
    • hophmi, the Vasser President was urging moderation in the face of ongoing violent repression. Actual, violent repression of SJP family members, if some of the Vasser SJP are Palestinian. While it may not be an identical situation surrounding the actual writing, this exhortation to moderation by Hill is exactly the same dynamic King described.

      And what Ellen said.

    • Yep. Perfect example. Amazing. King's universal observations of movement politics are becoming more and more impressive. He really recognized "the way things work" and shared that recognition so thoughtfully.

      So sad for what might have been.

  • Dershowitz plays McCarthy, and John Dingell is labeled 'anti-Israel'
    • So what is J-Street going to do about it? Go "Anti-" (the proverbial ice cube's chance)? Conform? Beg?

      Whatever happens, it's going to underscore why liberal Zionism lost the battle for relevance.

  • Florida university president who condemned boycott has financial ties to settlements
    • You're right, oldgeezer. I shouldn't have "belabored" it.

      Cheers.

    • Not to belabor this, so maybe only for Mr. Erchid's benefit at this point...

      The tax form that hophmi linked to is a statement of changes in financial position for a non-profit. So the $10K is simply a current year outlay for additional investment, in Israel Bonds per that line item. It is NOT the total current holding.

      The current assets held in Israel investments, generically, could be the entire amount of the $3.6M of the foundation's holdings. It may only be the $10K. There may be a way to find out what those assets are, but I don't know what that way might be.

      Sorry, I'm not a tax guy and it took a while to realize this.

    • @hophmi- Two points:

      1) The $10K is certainly a very small percentage of the Genshaft's overall investment. So, a) it should be easy to shed (if she's going to make these pronouncements with no conflict of interest); and, b) there is no listing of where the other $4M is invested in the 2013 return you linked to.

      2) What is listed (last page) is a $500K donation to Bayit Lepletot. link to bl-girlstown.org A noble cause (which I don't want to diminish), BUT, and it's a huge "but," located in East Jerusalem. It's an illegal location. From Bayit Lepletot's website:

      In 1969 it became obvious that we had once again outgrown our facilities. At the time, the country was celebrating its victory of the Six Day War. Bayit Lepletot's Founder and Director, Rabbi Samuel I. Stern, purchased land in one of the newly acquired, northern neighborhoods. With incredible help from Above, Bayit Lepletot was awarded a grant by the United States government, which became the seed money in constructing our Girls Town Jerusalem building. For over four decades now, the beautiful Girls Town Jerusalem campus, with its dormitory and academic center, has rehabilitated and educated hundreds of girls from dysfunctional and disadvantaged homes.

      Again, I don't diminish the cause at all, but the Genshaft Family Foundation supports the illegal settlement of East Jerusalem in a huge financial way. That's a giant, very real conflict of interest, when one (Genshaft) deigns to negatively characterize a movement that is against illegal settlements, among other things.

      In your world, settlement of EJ isn't an issue at all. Genshaft's behavior is just normal. But that's kind of the point of BDS, isn't it?

    • Great reporting. I wonder how many of the other university officials that came out so quickly and utterly against ASA also have personal financial conflicts of interest relating to Israel.

      Outside of zio-world, this thoroughly discredits Genshaft's ability to determine what is "antithetical" or not when it comes to BDS. But then, we're not really outside of zio-world quite yet.

      More exposure, please...

  • For Miliband, the road to 10 Downing Street runs through Jerusalem and Sderot
    • Agree, DD. The three-sentence question in a US townhall meeting would be:

      "Food aid [pick a line item...] to US citizens has just been cut by $3B/year. Our aid to Israel is $3B/year. Do you favor cutting aid to Israel in order to maintain food aid to US citizens at its current level?"

      Expressed entirely in US popular/voter self-interest. Don't even have to mention Zionism. Yes or No answer.

      I'd sure like to hear the explanation in front of a live audience for a "No" on that one.

  • 'Not a single person in this room would accept living as Palestinians do, generation after generation'
  • Amira Hass predicts Israel's 'colonial project' will eventually fail--but at what cost?
    • Great question. And Phil, Adam, Alex, Allison, Ira, Hostage, talknic, Samel, Shmuel, the Ratners, Max B, Vilkomerson, Benjamin, Greenwald, Silverstein, Plitnick, Halper, and SO many others (apologies for the shorthand...).

      Courageous bunch.

    • Agree, jenin. Especially the last sentence. Walid raised the question of balance and effect. Rightfully so, imho. I think you struck the balance.

      I would add, as an outsider (so decidedly fwiw), that shopping, even at Israeli malls, confers a certain "normalcy" to Palestinians in the face of the continuous barrage of Israeli propaganda that they/you are anything but.

      Palestinian "normalcy" insistently begs the question, in pictures, of why Israel continues to subjugate you and yours. There is no legitimate and/or moral answer to that question, from the pro-Israel PoV. Normal people are more able to relate to the Palestinian predicament (i.e. other normal people), not so much to their Israeli overlords. I think that's a modestly good thing, even though it is the opposite of direct action.

      Again, FWIW.

    • Taking a cue from the article, one more reason for Palestine to run away from the "Jewish State" precondition is that even when two-state talks fail, the one-state option would be hamstrung by that overlay as Palestinian-Israeli society seeks equal rights.

      I can just see BN overbearingly touting that fact above all in some Congressional speech or other.

  • 'In every generation they rise up against us' -- Passover and the Jewish imagination
  • 66 years ago today 42 members of my family were slaughtered in Deir Yassin
    • @DaBakr- The only magical thinking here is the belief that what you just wrote, facts be damned, will remain the generally-accepted narrative on Israel's murderous founding.

      Israel started the depopulation within its part of Palestine in 1947. It continued outside its part of Palestine. 250K people were driven out of their homes in both locations, BEFORE any neighboring armies took action, and BEFORE Israel "accepted" the partition on paper (i.e. Israel could not possibly be viewed as accepting [and the "Arabs" didn't...] the partition because it was already violating it before it was signed.).

      The founding mythology of Israel is going to yield to the fact that it was, and continues to be, just one big Wounded Knee exercise.

    • @DaBakr Was Deir Yassin inside the Jewish part of Mandate partition or not?

      A: NOT!

      So (beyond your own tell of the use of "Jewish fighters," meaning outside their state to kill/cleanse innocents; i.e. genocide), you blame Palestinians for fighting back. What pure cocoonish, Israeli crap, to put it mildly.

      Nobody believes any of what you/Israel say anymore. Why do you believe i? It's simply not anything resembling even partial truth.

      There's too much info to the contrary. You're sick. Unfortunately that sickness is pervasive in US politics. But it will be increasingly understood as a sickness. Sadly a lot of [Palestinian] people will have to die to move your financially well-supported view of that regional world toward actual reality.

      Again, I just don't get your view. No one will. Your "pushback" is the definition of counterproductive. It's over.

  • Australia opposed Palestinian UN bid because foreign policy was 'subcontracted to Jewish donors' -- report
    • Please define anti-semitism.

      With the establishment of the State of Israel, much of what was "trope" becomes practice. Factual, demonstrable practice. I hate the word conflate, but that's what you're doing. Maybe overlap is a better word.

      This is a transitional period for you, so the overlap can be forgiven. You simply didn't or don't know any better or different. But I think the transitional period is over.

      It's up to you to distinguish, provably so, what criticism and/or generalization is "state" based and what is "Jew" based. Otherwise, well, you know, it's increasingly ignorable.

      I guess my question is, Do you want to be increasingly ignorable? Does Israel?

    • I defy US Chief Justice Roberts to distinguish between this "ingratiation" reciprocity and "quid pro quo corruption" (aka bribery).

      McCutcheon Decision (pdf): link to supremecourt.gov

      [Roberts/Majority Opinion, p3]: ...In a series of cases over the past 40 years, we have spelled out how to draw the constitutional line between the permissible goal of avoiding corruption in the political process and the impermissible desire simply to limit political speech. We have said that government regulation may not target the general gratitude a candidate may feel toward those who support him or his allies, or the political access such support may afford. “Ingratiation and access . . . are not corruption.” Citizens United v. Federal Election Comm’n, 558 U. S. 310, 360 (2010). They embody a central feature of democracy—that constituents support candidates who share their beliefs and interests, and candidates who are elected can be expected to be responsive to those concerns.

      Any regulation must instead target what we have called “quid pro quo” corruption or its appearance. ...

      Analysis (Emily Bazelon/Slate): link to slate.com

      This MW article is about Australia, but a US Constitutional Amendment which specifically un-equates and/or decouples money with political speech would go a long way to solving this issue (and, needless to say, so many others). I think it's coming.

      I'd wager that US pols are especially tired of how overt their manipulation is wrt Israel. This issue has great potential to be both the spark and the grease that propels any such movement.

  • 'NYT' self-censors, axing headline blaming Israeli settlements
    • @American- I take heart that Miller's "reasonableness" is now noticeably self-contradictory. It's not obviously/laughably self-contradictory yet, but it's coming. As you imply, the pseudo-reasonable backfill needs more exposure and context. That's coming too. Slowly.

      Chu just posted these profound words from Avigail Abarbanel: link to mondoweiss.net

      Direct link to her site: link to avigailabarbanel.me.uk

      Irrefutable and aspirational. The "arc of the moral universe," one grain of morality at a time.

    • Miller waffling on his "belief": link to youtube.com

      The Lobby doesn't have a veto because non-Jews are a big part of our political thinking [it's up to them...]... But then he goes on to say that "until" non-Jews ante up in numbers the Israel/Jewish Lobby will hold sway.

      He is a two-stater, so that explains his NYT quote, but it doesn't explain why he declines to give "non-Jews" the political information/ammunition, in this circumstance, to make the/a/any break from the Israel lobby, again, given his "belief" that US political supplication to the status quo is anything other than a prescription for a NOT two-state outcome.

      He continues to have the opportunity and ability to provide distinguishing information, to enable a political result that he desires, yet doesn't.

      I don't get it.

    • I'm curious as to how Aaron David Miller squares his "belief" that the Israel Lobby is a chimera or paper tiger, with his buttressing of it in this article.

      Shouldn't this be an perfect opportunity for him to advance his own theory? If so, wouldn't he take embrace the moment to poke gaping holes in the very flimsy Israeli narrative? Instead he seems to reinforce the flimsy narrative.

      More BS on display from people that sound soooo reasonable in a meandering philosophical sort of way, but when it comes right down to it, are anything but reasonable. Downright SOS/group-thinkists.

  • 'Poof' -- Kerry blames Israel for breakdown of talks (Updated)
    • Thanks, Hostage. I hope everyone that visits this site reads that. Important.

    • Hi Hostage, You've probably done it before here, but if this pans out, would you consider doing an overview of what universal jurisdiction (if that's the right phrase) means and where it's applicable? (Assuming it is applicable to Israeli leaders and their "travel plans.")

      Or maybe just the treaty rights and obligations of countries where Israeli leaders might travel.

    • Great comment MHughes. Not to mention an overwhelming litany/history of connectable and supporting facts seeping out that directly refute the Israeli version of things.

      In this case the biggie is Israel's renege on the prisoner exchange deal that got this round of process going in the first place. EVERYONE understands what that means. It's not subtle. Not subtle at all.

      Media misdirection won't work this time, imo. The renege is too standalone. And should this time be the recognition point/pivot, it won't work in the future. We're living change.

  • Maryland legislature passes toned down anti-BDS language
    • Meanwhile, "Where is Sarah Ali?"

      link to mondoweiss.net

      Yes, MD legislators, that is academic freedom actually being "constrained" by Israel, right before your very eyes. Just one, and just the latest, example.

  • Apathy in Ramallah as negotiations with Israel dive
    • @libra It's not about replacing Russia's supply, imo. That would be preposterous. If it's about what MRW is speculating about, the objective would be reducing Russia's share and increasing Israel's share, perchance to selling out Israel's meager supply at a higher price.

      The Russian share of the EU market does seem to have been reduced because of Ukrainian tensions.

      Whether this diverges or converges from there remains to be seen. I wouldn't put it past Israel though. It's a nasty little amoral country, the embodiment of self-interest, and Lieberman is a known racketeer.

  • The Israel lobby’s trojan horse: ‘Reforming’ education laws to defund Middle East studies programs
    • As this article so vividly points out, no organization with "truth" in its name should be allowed within 1000 miles of education policy.

  • Reports: Abbas faults Israel for 'procrastinating,' says Palestine will move to join int'l organizations
    • Beinart spending 1000 words to say Adelson is crazy is libzio irrelevance on full display.

      How about ... Adelson IS crazy. Now spend 1000 words on how you (Beinart) are going to counter that politically.

      But they won't do that either because that would be divisive, in the intra-Jewish sense. These folks must get up in the morning and say to themselves, "Today I'm going to write something meaningless." They sure do it enough to beg the question.

  • Pollard was in it for money, and sold so many dox Cap Weinberger wanted the death penalty
    • Brilliant! lysias. So true. Tangled webs, and all that.

      I'd add that weakness and/or acquiescence may seem like the easy way out of a lot of situations, but it's really not.

  • Not an April Fool's joke: U.S. weighs releasing Pollard to keep Israelis at negotiating table
    • So the US is going to release a spy (up the ante) in order to get Israel to agree to stuff it's already agreed to and reneged.

      Sitcom material. I bet Abed ("Community" character) could explain it all perfectly.

      Meanwhile, Palestine essentially gives away EJ as part of a process "framework." Sounds like final status to me. It looks like that was the payoff to Israel for this current nine months of intransigence. I wonder what the payoff will be, what Palestine will be asked to give up, to get the next year of process (ending 2016; new US President).

      Intransigence pays off big when this is serialized. I hope Palestine parallel-tracks this now. Go to the ICC/ICJ while Israel is playing its coy little games.

      Not that any of this matters in the end. The result will be one state, and Palestinians will still have standing in the ICC/ICJ. Maybe that's the Palestinian strategy. Rope a dope.

      Thanks Ira.

  • Cutting thru hysteria over divestment, 'Forward' quotes Jews in favor
    • Great comment, Donald. MW and you all are really assembling a body of work on the patterns, dynamics, and gyres of the politics of this conflict. Maybe even a pre-history of sorts. It's all there. Pretty amazing.

  • Discrimination in the Israeli labor force mirrors inequality across Israel/Palestine
  • Attacks on BDS sharpen as it gains traction in the Jewish community
    • Thanks Hostage. Any one of your comments could be a paper, and any three could be a book, if they aren't already. I'd buy that book. (Hint.)

    • The SPLC was made "non-official" hate speech resource because of its classification of anti-gay speech as hate speech. Conservative influence, but it's anyone's guess why a Dem admin would have acquiesced.

      link to truth-out.org

      The ADL has been pinging the FBI lately over ADL allegations that the FBI is under reporting anti-semitic hate crimes. Perhaps the ADL's agenda got too aggressively narrow-minded, even for the FBI.

      link to adl.org

      Hard to tell if there's a theme.

    • Good point, Annie. I hadn't ever thought about it like this. BDS floats the "Israel. Question mark." thought out there in the ether, such that anything Israel does is a call back. That may be as or more important than BDS's burr under Israel's economics.

      It's more politically-relevant through possible grass-roots, town-hall questioning. People don't have to do or advocate anything. They just have to ask a question or two.

      Justice is winning...

  • Christie steps in deep doo-doo, promptly apologizes to Adelson. Whew!
    • Paul has enough of an energized grass roots following that he might be able to raise this issue to one of his top 5 (one or two topical campaign speeches), but as you say, cynicism is warranted.

      Still, ever hopeful...

  • A British Jew warns US Jewish orgs to heed rapidly-shifting world opinion
    • I don't think he's playing victim, Dan, other than that victim may be all he knows.

      I think the letter writer is sincerely looking for a way out of the communally-reinforced victimhood trap. The letter seemed to me to be heartfelt agonizing over the question of "Where do I go, if not where I am?"

      I think that's a legit feeling and question. I've asked it of myself ("If I was Jewish...?") a hundred times and I've never come up with a solid answer. As a non-Jew, I have zero sense of how deep that inculcated fear is, but I suspect pretty dang deep given all the self-contradictory libzio incoherence of late. This letter also gives insight into how deep, but from the angle of the convert.

    • Thanks Phil. For sharing this and that Aslan video. Both are pitch perfect, imho.

      Consensus, forgiveness, sharing form the path forward. I think that would address the concerns in both outlooks.

      The "What Happens Next?" series here at MW also has much "reaching out" ideas in its articles.

      Tough road ahead though. No question.

      Pam Olsen just posted an MLK quote that illustrates the root PTB blame mentality:

      Actually, we who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with. Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured.”

      ~ Martin Luther King, Jr. link to mondoweiss.net

      All people, not only Jews, will have to courageous and resilient as this conflict moves into its "punishment of the innocent"* phase. The people that have been right and moral on this (no matter when they came to those realizations) are going to get blamed for causing all the problems. That may be a common bond which may help alleviate some of your contact's angst.

      New families. New tribes. ...

      Thanks again. I think you all are getting out in front of this. That alone is a good sign.

      *These phase lists are meant as humor, but its very dark humor and they have a very strong ring of truth to them: link to pinetree.net

  • 'The clash of civilizations’ theory is absolutely and completely dead
  • Iymen Chehade gets ringing endorsements from '5 Broken Cameras' director and AAUP committee chair
    • Risible. Good word.

      And yet another self-inflicted wound by ostensibly pro-Israel types. From Dr. Kirstein's letter (my emphasis):

      First [recommendation]: Columbia College should offer, if sustained by adequate enrollment, Instructor Chehade two sections of the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict in fall semester 2014. Student interest has been robust and given the public scrutiny surrounding this case will likely increase looking forward.

  • Liberal Zionists are the new front line against BDS
    • Yeah, Sumud. Her whole resume recitation at the beginning was the proverbial appeal to authority fallacy. With that many across the table credits, you have to wonder who was actually across the table and/or what her purpose was in those efforts.

      She could not possibly have been in a position to actually engage and learn from all those encounters, and still tick off all the BS she did in her presentation.

    • Thanks American. Pilpul fits. But if people are smart enough to use pilpul as a tactic, they also have to be smart enough to know WHY it's being used.

      As you know, I resist attributing ugly motives to people, but that may be the only explanation for this behavior in the face of so much obvious/known Palestinian subjugation.

      By arguing to give it another year, and then another, and then another, if only we can get a USPres that gets it, good now we can make progress in his first term, we'll need another term, we're almost there, just one more year, I promise... another generation has passed. Meanwhile they expect the Palestinians to smile and nod/stepnfetchit while they (libzios) try to sort out their thinking. They've lost the battle and they don't have a Plan B. Yet instead of attacking the people they lost to, the people that
      are actually killing their 2S dream, they attack the people that are trying to add a new lever into their [albeit dead] effort to say random words and hope something might happen.

      They have to know all this. It's not some bloody game. Maybe a better question would be why are they trying to lose and take everyone down with them (except, of course, the people they actually have a beef with - the Israeli "right.").

      In the end, the Palestinians are going to do what they need to do or not do. The Greater Israel one-state wave will wash over them and libzios will be even more irrelevant than they are now (no rear guard action to perform at the behest of the ptb they despise in Israel).

      So much wasted energy.

      Sorry for venting. Thanks again.

    • @seafoid, Donald- Combining your comments, it would seem to be a creed of not looking under the rock.

      Thanks.

    • Isn't there something wistful or "phoned-in" about this liberal anti-BDS mouthing of words?

      They're aware of the amorality of the situation. They make up straw-men. They don't seem to be quite able to reconcile reality with idyll. It's almost a self-image rationalization thing at this point (hypothetically):

      I'm not bad, therefore what I have believed in for so long can't be bad, therefore what opposes what I believe be NOT bad, must be bad. ... if I am to remain "liberal."

      Quite contorted. Front line of the rear guard.

      PS. I hope someone can dissect why this notion that Israel will be destroyed if it becomes a equal rights-based state holds so much fear/sway. I don't get it at all, yet somehow I feel like I'm supposed to, if not actually care. I don't get the motivation behind the extreme insistence.

      Israel, as the state of the Jewish people, was self-determined when the Mandate partition borders were laid down. Everything since then has been/is violent expansion and wish fulfillment, not self-determination. Why should anyone, including these libzios, support violent wish fulfillment?

      It's hard to read this libzio stuff anymore. It's too disconnected from morality and reality and there's way too much pointless and selfish thrashing around to be taken seriously. Schizophrenic and uncomfortable to be around, given the risk of being drawn in to the discussion.

  • UN Human Rights Council resolution warning companies to 'terminate business interests in the settlements' or face possible criminal liability gets watered down
    • Yep. You're right about "crunch time." And agree with your "bummer." There's nothing but pain and/or death in store for the Palestinian people, at Israel's hands, for its political purposes, whichever way this goes (provocation to ensure the security rationalization for interminable "process," or a generational civil rights struggle). But then, as a keyboardist, I am so in awe with Palestinian sumud/resilience. It's as inspiring as it is hard to comprehend as an "untouched" white, US citizen. Sumud wins, though always with terrible cost.

      Who knows what Abbas will do. I hope he uses his good faith participation in this round of process to springboard into international fora. I hope the US reciprocates on that good faith.

      And yeah, I don't buy the MFA excuse either. It's laughable. But it is an example of dissembling at the governmental level. A sign.

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