Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 3148 (since 2009-12-08 10:00:12)


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...

Showing comments 3148 - 3101

  • Day before deadline, Iran negotiations coming 'down to the wire' and Netanyahu still hopes to play spoiler
    • Great comment, HarryLaw.

      And domestically, I think the GOP base disproportionately does the fighting and dying to "support" their leaders madness. In my military town people are above their eyeballs in duty and sadness. They're exhausted.

  • Netanyahu says US is part of new 'axis'!
    • I had forgotten all about the "shelling," a blah chick. Thanks.

      And it wasn't just shelling. It was a US battleship, the New Jersey, pumping devastating, 16", one ton shells Into Druze positions in the Bekaa Valley. Retaliation was promised, in this article, by the Druze militias.

      link to

      As Annie is saying, the Marine barracks bombing could have been anyone. It was Lebanon in the '80s (aka a vicious, multi-sided, hot mess).

  • 12 pretty good signs you're vacationing in an apartheid country
    • Thanks, just.

      Riffing on this article title, one good way to tell that the Israeli version of Apartheid, Hafrada, is vastly more vicious, malevolent, and murderous than white South Africans ever dreamed of is the fact that Israel slaughters people in Gaza and then WILL NOT LET THEM LEAVE (or makes it so difficult that they die trying).

      That's just a depth of societal (95% of Jewish-Israelis) sickness that nobody really fathoms fully. It can only lead to worse and worse acts as it goes unchallenged, unchecked, and/or untreated.

  • Dear Senator Blumenthal, Thank you for your dreadful letter
  • Philosophy prof who likened Palestinians to 'rabid pit bull' ignites protest on CT campus
    • LOL! JeffB: So absolutely Salaita was a call for genocide in some vague sense."

      Beyond its humor, that sentence is the perfect nutshell illustration of why Salaita and Pessin are not comparable. Your strange statement summarizes the "case" against Salaita. and shows how it was fabricated with nonsense.

      Pessin's statements are simple, direct, unambiguous calls for killing groups of people.

      Btw, may I borrow that statement? Such archetypal examples of weasel-wording really don't come along that often. Well done!

    • Connecticut College on Twitter: @ConnCollege

    • "No he doesn’t because that isn’t happening in Gaza."

      Maybe its just me but whenever I read these extremely convoluted/non-sequitur, rationalization comments, I keep hearing ethereal Jack-in-the-Box music.

      link to

      You all seem to be winding your incoherent masking arguments tighter and tighter into a straining, spring-o-truth. Pretty soon, POP! A hundred million mental switches flip on Israel and what they've been spoonfed all these decades. Switches of people supremely exhausted with having their or their neighbors' kids sent off to war and the constant centrality Israel occupies in the never-ending chaos that is used to justify that sacrifice.

    • Good one, seafoid. For people who don't play the "Silence of the Lambs" scene, the actual movie lines are even more apt and reflective of Pessin's psychopathic, dehumanizing[ed] mindset:

      "'IT' takes the lotion and 'IT' puts it in the basket..."

    • A lot, lot, Lot, LOT less!

      Not even close.

      No legitimate comparison is there ro be made.

    • Bingo, talknic. Rhetorical gasoline (don't realize) and ignition source (therefore say it) all in one.

    • Once, just once, somebody needs to do a side by side reversal of Pessin-type comments and gauge the difference in the CC administration's reaction (if any) to calls for Israeli Jews to be "put down like dogs."

      No hypotheticals or speculative thought experiments. Just DO it and see what happens.

  • Open Hillel's big month: Swarthmore 'Kehilah' is born and a student resigns over Hillel restrictions
    • Yeah. Both senses Annie.

      Mainlining ziocane, or nominally collective.

      But as mooser says, the "collective" isn't really collective as there are significant group differences under the Jewish umbrella.

      I tried to pick a word.



      In the artful, non-apology department: I'm sorry you're confused, catalan.

    • It's great that Netanyahu's reelection is spotlighting, clarifying, driving the wedge deeper, etc., and forcing choice within the mainline Jewish community. It's all to the good and long overdue.

      I hope that nobody forgets that the price being paid for that ulimate clarity and glacial pace, is being paid solely by the Palestinians in lost lives and withered futures.

      When the history of this is written, I hope that is acknowledged, and fronted, by the Jewish component of this fight for justice.

    • LOL, Mooser. When is the book coming out? :))

  • As clock ticks in Switzerland, the Adelson primary heats up in the U.S.
    • Lol. Oh for the days when it was just, drip, drip, drip.

      Drip. Drip. Drip. Drip.

      Drip. Drip. Drip. Drip.

      Drip. Drip. Drip. Drip.



      Drip. Drip. Drip. Drip. ...


    • Surely there's a "reasonableness" threshold/test for whether AIPAC/ECI are legally agents of a foreign government And must register. With all the daily, glaring, visible evidence of direct coordination between Israel and "currently in Israel" lobbyist types, and Israel and "currently in Israel" elected US politicians at AIPAC/ECI insistence, how tough can it be to make the FARA/Foreign Agent claim stick.

      Barring the use Hillary-style personal email servers, all of this coordination is completely out in the open now.

  • American Voices: What lies ahead for the rocky US/Israel relationship?
  • White House will go after AIPAC next -- Newsweek
    • Obama should invite Ayman Odeh (Joint List) to the White House for an informal "information exchange."

      That would be something special.

  • The political geography, of colony and bantustan, is the same on both sides of the Green Line -- Amira Hass
    • Wow, just! That really is remarkable. Taking precious LAT real estate to elevate Palestinian identity is a sign the debate has changed in the most fundamental way, and for the better.

  • Emails show Missouri museum canceled 'Ferguson to Palestine' event under pressure from Jewish group
  • A pessoptimistic view of the Israeli elections
    • Wow! Really great article, Dr. Kanaaneh.

      Wearily reflective yet resiliently forward looking, exactly as the title promised.

      Long road ahead. I hope the discussion you've outlined and seeded here gets taken up several million times over. Inter-ethnically, parochially, everywhere affected by this conflict.


  • Joint List to lead mass march on Jerusalem, as Netanyahu forms a gov't
    • Yep. Well said, Walid.

      I was thinking of government action, with "it" being the protest.

      But in the context you describe, it's interesting that "it" can also mean global exposure of Zionism's malaise and dscent into madness.

      Part of the beauty of what the Joint List represents is that:

      A) it now has the global intellectual platform to proactively assert/rebut the "all is well in Israel" shiny-happy image machine with large legal protests - by "Arabs"; and,

      B) any facist-style thuggery in response, aimed at denying Palestinian civil rights and across-the-board economic equality shows the world, graphically, just how deep the sickness extends (i.e. seafoid's theme).

      I don't know. I just get the feeling that the proverbial unringable bell hasn't quite rung yet, but it's about to.

    • Ultimate!

      Not a darn thing they can do about it either.

  • I want my country back
    • Kinda gives a whole new (old) meaning to "Bring back our boys!" doesn't it?

    • Thanks MRW.

    • The Israel-centric sentiment about gentile servility in "Shit Dead Rabbis Say" (link to is writ large in this NYT piece.

      The assumptive arrogance of this article and the thinking it describes is that bus ad expressed in terms of life and death global politics.

      Maybe this article should be titled, "Shit Living Reporters Say." This would be funny if this bass-ackwardsism didn't assure more death.


      Somebody(s) has probably already said this, but beyond "Noted." who gives a rat's ass what Israelis think Obama should do? Doubly so for whether Israeli feelings are hurt, sensitivities not sufficiently addressed, or everything of the kind. The total-immersion world view that has to be in full control for this article to even germinate is beyond comprehension.

      But then the contrarian view bubbles up. Not that any of this is believable, but maybe Rudoren DOES know how repugnant this sounds to normal people and wrote it as the journalistic equivalent of/companion to Netanyahu's reelection.

      Heh. She doesn't really seem like the double agent type, but it's a thought.

  • World Water Day protest targets Massachusetts-Israel Water Partnership
    • Great article. Thank you.

      Without Palestinian water, Israel literally would cease to exist.

      There will never be a Palestinian state in the WB for that reason alone. All the political puffery, hand-wringing, and waffling in Israel is designed to mask that one simple, inescapable, immutable, root fact.

  • US Court of Appeals upholds discriminatory ruling against transit ads critical of Israel
    • Thanks Annie. I see now.

      I wonder how King Co. Metro and Geller types so blatantly get away with violating "their own" ruling by allowing one PoV while blocking the opposing view.

      Heck, how does the Court ignore its own ruling, or allow it to be ignored in the middle of a deliberation? Isn't KCMT blatantly doing what they said, they swore, they would not do, evidence that the whole basis for this decision is non-existent? Or does only testimony given at the outset matter, despite directly contradictory subsequent actions?


    • Double yep.

  • Zochrot and BADIL bring Nakba to U.S. audience
    • Thanks Mooser.

      Just general principles...

    • That's not by any stretch of the imagination, a "minority" view, catalan. It IS, however, a highly selective view as your comments here show so clearly.

      Not one word about Gaza, the current and ON-GOING extreme example of your applied sensibilities -- should they ever come to be applied that is.

      Same selectivity that generates your "Why should Jews in Greece be harmed by events far, far away that they didn't even know about?" rhetorical (to you) question.

      See, the thing is it's not rhetorical or hypothetical AT ALL. It's the whole basis for this conflict, yet somehow your curiosity or speculation or wonderment simply doesn't extend past your nose and into actual horrible real-world examples of the sinister forces you say you deplore.

      I will never understand that ability (and it is an ability make no mistake, practiced probably even) to avoid the glaringly obvious and in order to concentrate on the obscure and imagined.

    • Along those lines, is a MW Twitter list possible? It would be easier.

      I'm @grizzlebar (Yeah, yeah. Don't laugh. It was one of my five old AOL screen names. It stuck.)

      I'm a hot head who likes the imagined smell of jasmine wafting up on a summer breeze off the Med and tea on the beach amid the gentle refrain of bombs not dropping. Call me a hopeless romantic.

      It might serve some of the same purpose TwoRedDogs is asking for.

      I follow Annie, ckg, and JLDickerson that I know of.

      Just a thought.

  • Meet the Knesset members from the Joint List
    • Hmm, jon s. There's hope there. I guess we'll see where it all leads.

      Thanks for the response.

    • Yes, RoHa. You're right. I am not really Norwegian Norwegian. All heritage and family stories at this point (and an overwhelming urge to climb the rigging on large sailing ships). 100% US. I did spend some time at Andøya Rocket Range though, a good while back. Does that count? :)

      Anyway, yeah, Skål. Thanks, I had hoped you hadn't noticed that I fucked that up a second time. I should know better. :))

    • Sure, jon s. They each have an "Arab" member but ONLY one smacks very strongly of liberal, feel-goody, tokenism. More and you might have an embryonic point.

      But here's my question to you as a Meretz supporter. Would you support a union between the Joint List and Meretz? Call it JML (or the Democratic Union as a poke to Herzog).

      Would YOU, jon s, or Meretz as it's currently constituted, support including the Joint List in a "left" government coalition in a meaningful way? That means the second largest party gets Justice and Education portfolios.

      Please note, those are not "will it happen" questions. It won't. They are "would you support" questions.

    • Ha RoHa! I plead the fifth generation! :)

      Yep. Skäl.

      That sure explains a lot of kindly-funny looks over the years.

      And a hearty tectonic fissure to you, my friend!

    • Dr. Mads!!!

    • Great points on the Palestinian refugees/diaspora, Walid. I totally left them out.

      Within the context of their horrendous treatment by the Arab world over decades and from the getgo, the List may actually be their last best hope, powerless and susceptible to manipulation as it is at the moment.

      Well said.

      I know it's lame, but it's all I've got... Fingers crossed!!

      PS. Odeh's Twitter address is @Ayman_Odeh_TJL. He only has 1,868 followers as of today. A few million more might lift his spirits for the challenges to come. ;)) (He posts in Hebrew.)

    • Say what you will about Thomas Kinkade, I have this print up on my wall. It resonated for a bunch of reasons. I think it's relevant here. (My avatar shortly.)

      It's called "Perseverance" but it may well have been called "Sumud."

      link to

    • Sköl, just.

    • Hi Walid, believe it or not I agree with you. The optimism has to be cautious. Very cautious. But very energized as well. How to balance that is the issue for we observers.

      This profoundly important development/event/opportunity is still such a flood of sometimes conflicting impulses that it's tough to pull them together into a coherent stream of thought. So here are my bracketing thoughts, in no particular order, except for the first one, fwiw (and I may forget some connective thoughts in the process, there are so many...):

      1) I have already written here, rather obliquely ("...beyond keeping it together...") about the cautious part of cautious optimism. Let me make it explicit: "keeping 'it' together" is the current "Prime Directive" for the Joint List. Nothing else matters at this point. It has superceded the previous two prime directives of "Putting 'it' together" and "Getting 'it' elected." This "directive" will be superceded by "Doing something good with 'it'." The fact that Odeh has succeeded wildly, and against all odds in, working through the first two "directives" bodes well, imho, for working to and through the next political hoops. But they absolutely have to keep it together for any kind of beneficial outcome for anybody. No question. They may fail. But they may not.

      2) There is no downside for Joint List failure, but there is a HUGE, landscape altering upside for their success. That's the environment for me, for this. If they fail, they become like water on the proverbial sand of Israeli racist, meat-grinder politics. Poof. Back to the way it was. But if they succeed, there are whole new beneficial political worlds to explore. Beneficial to Palestinians (and Jews) both inside and outside Israel "proper."

      3) Buttu is a hero to me. She has been slapped down and kicked repeatedly in the ribs, emotionally and intellectually, by both her opponents and her notional PA allies. She has always gotten back up and maybe more importantly, declined to make a career out of peace process like your buddy Erekat (j/k Walid, j/k). She made it through, but not unaffected. She is pessimistic on this, and rightfully so. Her experienced and prescient voice is a HUGE part of the mix that is going to help the J/L make "it" work, because if they even begin to start believing their own BS/start down the co-opted/corrupted path, it's over. The perturbing political forces aligned against them (on all sides) will not allow for a correction.

      5) By grouping Buttu and Ghanem together you may be referring to this article: link to Three Palestinian views, a spectrum of takes on the matter. Buttu was the pessimist there. No doubt. But there was a third, optimistic Palestinian voice there of Nijmeh Ali ("The Beginnings of a Historic Shift"). Imho, all three views have to be taken together to make a judgement about the prospective outcome of this, because all three are absolutely correct.

      6) Related to (5), there was a reported 80% Palestinian-Israeli turnout in Haifa (Odeh's home area). They are Palestinians too. I have to believe that that level of voting means they sense something remarkable here too.

      7) Also related to (5) Buttu's view is informed by her Palestinian heritage and experience. I'm Norwegian, and absolutely and outsider to this. My great-great grandfather was a dirt-scratch farmer near Bergen. His son sailed the Clipper ships around "the Horn." His son was a "something from nothing" civil engineer. His son ("Dad") was a entrepreneurial pioneer in piezo-electric quartz oscillator production. My heritage tells me that the visible horizon is not [ever] "all there is." That progression informs me such that that's just the way I view these things (aka "opportunities). It may sound all "rosy scenario" but it's really a balanced judgement, expressed as a conclusion. It is what it is. I do NOT mean it to supplant Palestinian judgements and experience. I only offer it as part of the perceptual mix.

      Big FWIW, but sometimes the outsider can see what's on the other side of the "bars," especially given the Palestinian experience at the hands of successive Israeli despotic regimes. Again, just a small part of the mix.

      8) I'm not sure why anyone would conclude categorically that the J/L IS going to fail. Big grain of salt, sure, but dire predictions of failure, nope. They have shown ability, deftness, and resilience so far. That is hugely significant, imho.

      9) Odeh is a big part of my thoughts on this. He is different and inclusive. As just said upthread, "the ONLY party" (and politician) with that kind of message ("democratic camp") in all of Israeli politics. He is NOT the moldy, stale, gimpy, lip-service, calcified, phone-it-in, SOS "left" politics that his ostensible coalition partners (in or out...) [have come to??] embrace and signify. New, fresh, dynamic, coupled with capable and courageous. That "has to" resonate with disaffected voter across the Israeli political spectrum.

      The fact that he's the real deal, also makes him a threat. End of thought/not going there.

      10) Prospectively, and assuming the J/L keeps it together (which as you say, is a monstrous IF, and may not be a valid assumption), I see him, and his successors, helping WB/Gaza Palestinians by mitigating (medium-term) the pureness of Israel's evil treatment of them. Long-term, I believe they are the decades-long mechanism for inclusion of annexed Palestinians into an equality-based Israel. The shape of things to come (a la the Triumph TR7, people scoffed, but 20 years later, it was!).

      11) The J/L is now well within a nuclear political minefield. Too much "NOW! dammit!" and click-boom. With so much riding on their success, and as hard as it must be for Palestinians everywhere to embrace after SO much ill-treatment and disappointment, patience (ugh) equals perseverance in this endeavor, imho. A lot of times that equation is a political suppression/control mechanism, but in this case it would seem, to me anyway, to be the most productive path.

      I wish it were otherwise.


      Some of this may have sounded pissy. It was absolutely not intended to. I struggle with this stuff. I can only say that I fundamentally agree with you, but tend to lean more toward the significance/value of the opportunity this presents (and the pursuit of its realization), while being fully aware of the obstacles.


      Peace Walid. Your observations and context are really meaningful to me (re: Important) as an outsider. Thank you.

    • Great comment, just. "The ONLY party..."

    • Yet another great article on this, Allison.

      I hope this becomes a regular feature here at MW, almost as much as I hope the Joint List has the resilience/sumud to survive through the political storm they are about to pass into/through.

      SO much is riding on the success of these brave folks.

    • Aye just and John.

    • I'll see your million Mabruck, Ramzi, and raise you a million more.

      I can't help but feel that this is a VERY important and positive development - with all the accompanying hope for Palestinians inside and outside Israel.

  • Netanyahu's victory ‐ what is the cost?
    • Good article.

      Two things:

      • When people ask about "cost" I never know what that means? David Axelrod asked the question, "...But at what cost?" in Kershner's latest NYT article (link to Someone should define "cost" as all this analysis revolves around it. Mostly it seems to me, the discussion assumes that it's "cost" to Israel's standing in the world and the fracturing (permanent or inconveniencing/repairable) of the US-Israel relationship. Both of those "cost" senses are completely self-serving, imo.

      David Axelrod, President Obama’s former senior adviser, said Tuesday evening on Twitter that Mr. Netanyahu’s last-minute stand against a Palestinian state might have helped ensure him another victory. “Tightness of exits in Israel suggests Bibi’s shameful 11th-hour demagoguery may have swayed enough votes to save him. But at what cost?” he wrote.

      • In that vein, and to further clarify into the specifically relevant to the discussion, any definition of "cost" should be accompanied by an explicit statement of "cost" to whom.

      Well, maybe that's only one thing, and maybe it's a little thing, but it seems (to me) like the assumptions going into the use of "cost" make it such an amorphous term, with definitions filled in by the reader, that it almost makes understanding/PoV/analysis fracture at the outset.


  • An American translation of Netanyahu's racist get out the vote speech
    • Hi seafoid. This is pretty far OT but I just responded to billmon (big twitter following/seen it all) with your "remorseless working of things" Whitehead quote. He retweeted it, which is witness to the power of the observation.

      I attributed it to an "online friend" not knowing whether you were comfortable with more specific attribution. I hope you don't mind. If you do mind, please forgive me.

      link to

      Thanks for your insights.

    • Page: 31
  • Netanyahu and the unraveling of the British Jewish consensus
    • Agree also, a blah chick. Well said.

      The racist statements CANNOT be walked back. They're personal. That's the "immovable object" in all this

      And what do you wanna bet that when the history of this turning point is written the racism wasn't some thinly-veiled, passive-aggressive, insane, transferrance attempt to put an "uppity" Obama in his place for "daring" to oppose N'u free reign to interfere in US diplomacy. Sort of a "This is how we deal with your types in MY country!" indirect, misplaced, frustrated bravado thingy.

      Well, my theory may be crazy, but yours certainly is not.

  • A response to Michael Douglas
  • Netanyahu's honesty towards Palestinians casts unwelcome light on American Jewish leadership
    • @just- I can't ever get past the fact that that level of crazy leads our pols around by their imaginary, self-installed nose-rings.

      It's just scary.

    • Shorter Yoffie:

      Dear Bibikins,

      If you:

      1) Lie to me;

      2) Lie to [sniff] "them"; and,

      3) Lie to God;

      I will respect you forever or until the next election, whichever comes first.

      With eternal devotion I wish you,

      Good Politiking,

      Rabbi Eric Yoffie

      ▶ PS. Are we good then? See you and the wife at Aspen for the next Institute meet.

  • The bitter anniversary of Yusuf Shawamreh's death
  • Netanyahu's victory marks the end of the two-state solution
  • Landmark New York Synagogue attempts to shut down Nakba discussion
    • Sycamores, and here:

      link to

      Cancelling ALL the ads was critical to the majority decision. Favoritism would have made it another issue entirely. The dissenting judge raised the issue of enabling the "heckler veto" with this decision.

      That article also mentioned that other Circuits disagree with this decision, even as narrow (imho) as it is. The claim seems to be constitutional and the defense is commercial. It may be a Supreme Court candidate.


    • Hmmm. So the 9th Circuit CoA establishes precedent that violence and/or fear thereof, overrides free political speech? That HAS to be headed to the Supreme Court.

      All ANYONE has to do now to get opposition ads taken down is slip a Canadian cigarette pack (link to under somebody's door.

      How did we get this victim-y timid?

  • The historic night for the Arab List
    • Beyond simply "keeping it together" as a political objective, I hope the Joint List can undertake something ambitious like getting the vote for 300K disenfranchised yet "annexed" EJ Palestinians.

      Complex/tricky stuff that, but it's 20% more votes for the "left" bloc so some politking might get some Jewish parties behind it.

      Hey jon s. You voted for Meretz. Could/would you get behind that kind of a voter infusion if it led to a permanent left majority with problem-SOLVING abilities (as opposed to the current problem-CREATING superpowers.

      What's most important to you as a voter, a better quality of life, peace, security, etc., or exclusive dominion conflicted in perpetuity?

    • shb ... "history of things,"

      Damn random-word-inserter-posing-as-syntactic-spell-checker function!

    • I hope that in the future history if things, Odeh's (et. al., and successors) success will be couched in terms of voter affinity rather than with any phrase having the word "birth" in it.

    • I hadn't really thought about it in those terms, marc b. Do you think that the threat/fear of summary assassination is at the heart of this generalized reluctance to include the Joint List?

      Is Israel that far gone?

      Heh. Or maybe better, has Israel ever NOT been that far gone?

    • Thanks Citizen.

      All I can say is, Up the Exposure!

    • Amen, Bornajoo!!

      And 100x ditto of bintbiba's ditto. :)

      May they all stay safe.

  • Palestine, (un)Naturally
  • Who can save Israel now?
    • Great comment, Shingo, in a string of great comments.

      "Control and occupation of EJ has nothing to do with the right of Israel to have self determination. It’s not even relevant to the debate."

      Love it! (And I'm in gaping awe of talknic's meatgrinding patience in dealing with ppl who, all evidence to the contrary, believe that it iS relevant.)

      Good luck with your business.

    • @David Doppler First of all, a bit of housekeeping:

      It's Herzog-Livni-ODEH-Lapid-Kahlon, NOT Herzog-Livni-Lapid-Kahlon-Odeh.

      The Joint List is the third largest party in Israel politics.They are just as much "kingmakers" as Kulanu. Maybe more so because the road to Kahlon has to pass through Odeh first. RESPECT, please. It's been earned.


      So your view is that Herzog didn't concede, he just acknowledged N'u will have first crack and got out of the way? If so, his approach and demeanor seem pretty Al Gore 2000-ish. But fair enough. Sincerely. We just don't know 100% yet, so it is a possibility.

      I hope I'm wrong about the level of "Arab" loathing vs. the level of N'u loathing in Jewish-Israeli politics. We'll see.

    • Wow! So cool, just!

      God I hope that sentiment gets broad exposure and acceptance. It would avoid SO much pain and blood all around. (Maybe that's the bridge...)

      Palestinian-Israelis are going to have to demonstrate a whole new level and durability of sumud for that shared outcome/avoidance to take root. It's hard to tell if they can, or even if they might want to.

      One data point does not make a trend, but as of now Joint List has created something out of pure black nothing. They did something good that few thought was even possible. That's gotta count as momentum of some sort. It may be buildable.

      Sorry, I do go on an on. This is really interesting and so nakedly and realistically hopeful (I don't think I've ever used those two words together!) on several related fronts.

    • I agree with your math, DD. It's indisputable. That's why this election was/is such a profound inflection (reflection?)/discussion point.

      Herzog conceded almost immediately! Folded like the proverbial cheap suit. That almost certainly means it's over.

      When he conceded that quickly, he had to have known something about who was or wasn't going to do this or that. Stuff that we all can only guess about.

      So maybe Kulanu (which, in a fit of prophecy or eye-poking irony, supposedly means "All of Us" in Hebrew) has a really really big bug up his butt about N'u and is only relishing the spotlight by meanly flirting w/ N'u. Maybe he'll ultimately join with Herzog, Joint List and all.

      It's possible. So while it seems over, it may not quite be over over.

      Interesting stuff.

    • Thanks just. Backatcha.

      "At the same time, there is something wildly natural and in perfect alignment about it."

      Exactly right, as in "Nature abhors a [leadership] vacuum."

      " harmony and with respect."

      With each other (mostly) and the land. Probably related concepts.


    • Oh jeez, thanks lysias. I was going to say that. So important.

      I keep reading Twitter posts by Jews/libzios saying "We need a Mandela!" Well, as you say, they have one.

      Yet another sign of possibly terminal insularity.

    • I haven't read all the comments yet so this may be redundant.

      This election with the choices it presented and declined, signaled either the beginning of the end, or the end of the beginning for Israel.

      Random thoughts:

      • Mondoweiss: One of great things about this site is the ability of Phil and the masthead writers to admit mistakes, yet still press forward in meaningful ways. Those take similar courage, drawn imho from the same well, but not necessarily (rarely?) overlapping. To do both, even to be able to entertain the desire to do both, is remarkable in my experience. The constant mental shifting of priorities and allocations is exhausting, vanity tends to rule, and few succeed.

      Thanks Phil/All.

      • "Startup Nation": Every successful startup biz, ever, anywhere faces a transition from founder leadership to mezzanine leadership if it wants to go "big." The transition is binary and critical to future success of the enterprise. Since all entrepreneurs envision themselves as the next great thing (its the nature of the get-up-in-the-morning startup beast) they fail to appreciate the complexity of growth. This is always a tense period and some closely held companies don't survive the transition.

      This is what this election presented to Israel pols, voters, and the world. Israel balked completely, and failed miserably, at this first pass at its transition to an actual democracy. The world, as Israel's "angel" investors is not going to allow that to happen many more times. They/we have too much invested (and at stake) in Israel's success and/or management change into a peaceful, outward-looking, non-victim country.

      Israel has been given every chance and plenty of time to make the right decisions. It hasn't done so - by its own choice.

      • Of Kingmakers and Coalitions: Buji showed himself to be a true loser and coward. He was never going to change anything. The Joint List did their part to unseat Netanyahu. They might have suspended their disbelief and gone along with sitting outside government to do so. But Herzog (and maybe the rest of his prospective coalition) decided that their hatred of Arabs was more compelling than unseating a leader that has been destructive to Israel (the country the ZU professes to "love") in the extreme.

      Rather than include and unseat they chose exclusion and destruction. That is the state of "center-left" vision and leadership in Israel.

      • Ayman Odeh, Right guy at the right time?: I said this the other day, but it might be more relevant now. The Jewish-Israeli leadership is steeped in victimhood (Hi eljay) and insularity to the point of collectively entertaining becoming a societal black hole (as Ms. Abarbanel points out here: link to 95% of Jewish-Israelis supported Gaza Slaughter 2014. No Jewish-Israeli leader is willing, able, or both to step outside that box. NONE.

      Odeh is the notable standapart/alone from the collective, Jewish-Israeli headlong plummet toward oblivion. He is inclusive and outward-looking. Visionary and courageous. Etc., etc. Everything that seems to be missing in Israeli political leadership.

      So is it possible, in the Mother of all Paradoxes, that an Israeli Arab could save Israel?

  • 'We aim to shape the democratic and moral alternative in this country' -- an interview with Ayman Odeh
    • Also the campaign ad mention in the Forward piece:

    • Also, Palestinian-Israelis may distrust and/or not like responding to polls. Heck, they may be underrepresented by phone connection, and underpolled due to household size, patriarchy, pollster unfamiliarity or contempt, or some other discounting factor.

    • Really great article and interview, Allison. You must have some kind of [MW?] clout to get that access two days before the election!!!

      It seems, pending events unfolding to support it (the giant, lingering "if"), that Odeh is in a win-win-win situation, short-, medium-, and long-term.

      He's riding a confluence of forces that were set in motion by Israel's myopic righties.

      Win1: Short-term, he'll be a player, if not a driver, in whatever coalition-forming haggling is coming up. That's quick, suggestive leverage, but maybe (probably?) fleeting if his involvement stops there. Still, something different is good.

      Win2: He has preserved his options to support Herzog outside government, accept some (meaningful??) role within government, or lead the opposition (I LOVE the "democratic camp" framing. It has the potential for broad-spectrum political appeal.) in a biz-as-usual, national unity government. Medium-term, the underclass and disenfranchised of all stripes will migrate to him. Even the glimmer of change in Israel has to resonate with Arabs and Jews alike over time. That's remarkably well played on Odeh's part.

      Win3: Long-term, he is aligned with the dynamics of Israeli colonization and annexation of the WB. 1.5M new voters there who may well, and in large part, align right back. That's a decades long process and scares the bejeebers out of Jewish-Israeli voters, but Israel cannot keep them disenfranchised forever. That process is fraught with nuclear landmines, but he seems to have the vision, rhetorical discipline, political savvy/charisma (of the "Hmm, he's not so bad." type), and chops to bridge and persevere in that future condition.

      Here's hoping for a good outcome tomorrow.

      And now, Ommmmmmm. And double Omm.

      Again, thanks Allison. Great work!

    • Jesus hophmi, it WAS a plot to disenfranchise the Arab voters.

      It backfired BIGTIME.

      And what a blah chick said.

  • The farewell party of the mezuzah-kissers
    • In glaring contrast to these losers, the biggest contribution to the Israeli political collective that Ayman Odeh makes is a LACK of victimhood. He positively exudes it, imho. How can an Arab, or maybe better, how an Arab can grow up in Israel and come out with such an outward-looking, embracing mentality is astonishing and refreshing.

      (I think I just answered my own question. He had to.)

      Imagine all the philosophical and aspirational doors that release can open/unblock -- to the benefit and well being of Israel, its neighbors, and the planet.

      This kind of hybrid-ization of strength and desire that Odeh represents is the future of Israel. At least I hope it is.

    • Wow! Thanks Kris and just.

      What an exceptional piece. Bourdain sort of tried this, but never at the same table, iirc. This was some blunt dinner conversation and tense body language. Personally, it showed who was crazy and/or covetous and who wasn't.

      The hosts were amazingly and unapologetically factual and direct, both in word and video (Hebron garbage throwers, etc.). Having that background info presented as uncontested fact, as the context for a dinner discussion was worth the watch all by itself.

      One suggestion to the producers (like they'll read this), just once I'd like to see it suggested that such a meal would be halal, and film the production "negotiations."

      Or heck, just flip the whole deal. Halal at a table in Bil'in.

      You're right, just. Well worth the time.

    • Thanks, Mooser. Interesting. Makes national unity seem less likely. But then, they're both consummate pols trying to strike a difference (but not too much of a difference).

    • Heh, Kay24. Isn't what actually happened with NK is that we had a deal with mutual performance conditions, they kept their part, we reneged, and they went ahead and developed a bomb?

      Cotton and his brethren/influencers seem to think that's the way this process is supposed to work. That reneging is a good thing.

      Bizarre, and oh so disastrously normal.

  • Purim in the holy land: Jewish teens attack two Palestinians
  • Herzog and Netanyahu are likely to share power -- because Herzog won't share it with Arab List
    • Thanks for explaining, MRW.

      I have to ask, different style, yes, unpredictable, maybe, but to what end, either?

      Is he THAT different to conceive and implement a new direction?

      I realize the vid DD linked to was done right after the call for elections and therefore he was going to be vague about partnering and stuff, but he was pretty clear about more two-state process (trust-building...) and Arabs quiet and outside gov't (i.e. no leverage-no change... accept their place, imo), and centrist political mass going forward (rules out J/L inclusion).

      I don't know, maybe Herzog is just that good a politician (it may be genetic), but if Phil doesn't take the bet, I will.

      Appreciate'cha (and DD too).

    • Thanks, just.

      G. Levy nails it yet again.

      Great info on the duties and briefing requirements of the Knesset opposition LEADER . (Even though it hasn't happened yet, I love saying it... leader, Leader, LEADER!! See there?!)

      I hope many Jewish-Israelis do vote Joint List exactly as Levy suggests. This is truly an historic opportunity/step (i.e. not the N'u variety).

  • Even if Netanyahu loses, he can still win
    • @David Doppler

      From your Guardian link:

      Perhaps equally important as deposing Netanyahu – [Ayman] Odeh said – is that if his party achieves the electoral success the polls suggest, it would become the third largest in the Israeli parliament making him a candidate to lead the opposition if the final result – as some suspect – is a national unity government.

      “If there is a national unity cabinet [involving both Herzog and Netanyahu] we will lead the opposition.” And that would provide Odeh and his partners with a key platform to campaign for greater rights for Israeli Arabs - who make up about 20% of a population of 8.2 million and are descendants of Palestinians who did not flee during the war over Israel’s 1948 creation.

      That's an interesting wrinkle. I wonder what it means in practical political terms.

      A few months back a lot of people were asking, "If the two-state solution is dead, what is the follow-on [what replaces it]?" I think this is a glimpse of the beginnings of that follow-on.

      Another great article. Thanks.

    • Thanks, Allison. Great info.

  • We may not have Netanyahu to kick around anymore
    • Thanks again, seafoid. The "de-Grimm-ification" process is long and painful.

      Your scope is truly "breadth-taking." Seriously.

    • My bad, seafoid. Thanks.

    • Yeah, MDM. Two weeks ago he ruled it out, but I read that last week he weasel-worded something to the effect that he hadn't ruled it out (I'll find the link if I have to...).

      Imho (and sorry to be repetitive), he cannot afford to rule it out before the election because he then declares himself to be a loser, before the fact. So he plays the same politiking game with that that N'u is playing with his non-denial of a "both ways" statement on the categorical end of the two-state prospect.

      "If so, I hope they charge a high price."

      Roger that!

      I think Israeli politics is at or near an inflection point. Maybe not this time, but soon.

    • A) I agree with Donald (well said), MDM, David Samel, just, seafoid, et. al. above. The divisive magic that N'u inflicts on the "BFF" relationship has not yet run its course. A/the fracture has been suggested, but has not solidified. More time is needed to effect actual change. Zionism, in any form, has not yet been ingrained in the minds of US voters as the wart-faced witch it truly is.

      B) Whether or not the ZU gets more votes/seats than Likud is largely (i.e. not at all completely) tangential to the selection of the next PM. The process is based upon who is most likely to be able to form a government.

      Here is a poll of polls result from last week: link to

      (Last Week {March 1-7} in brackets), current Knesset seats in [brackets]

      1st 23.50 (23.66) [20] Zionist Union (Labor+Livni)

      2nd 22.83 (23.08) [18] Likud

      3rd 12.58 (12.41) [11] The Joint (Arab) List

      4th 12.30 (11.91) [20] Yesh Atid

      5th 11.91 (12.00) [11] Bayit Yehudi

      6th 08.25 (08.16) [02] Koolanu (Kahlon+Kadima)

      7th 06.83 (06.75) [10] Shas

      8th 06.66 (06.91) [07] Yahadut Hatorah/UTJ

      9th 05.58 (05.66) [13] Yisrael Beitenu

      10th 05.33 (05.00) [06] Meretz

      11th 04.16 (04.41) [02] Yachad (Yishai+Chetboun+Marzel)


      66.25 (67.08) [63] Right-Religious-Kahlon (Parties that have not ruled out nominating a Netanyahu coalition)

      53.75 (52.91) [57] Center-Left-Arab (Parties that have ruled out nominating a Netanyahu coalition)

      Maybe this week the Right-Religious-Kahlon bloc has tanked enough to make government formation a toss-up, but even so, the path for N'u to get 61 Knesset seats is simpler and arguably more durable prospectively.

      [Israeli President] Rivlin is, imho, sufficiently aware of the damage (from a Zionist PoV) N'u has caused Israel and/or the need for generic political change in Israeli politics. Even if it is close and the "left" bloc's potential coalition more tenuous, he's likely to give Herzog first shot.

      But then, the whole Joint List dynamic comes into play. What happens if Joint List MKs do not support either bloc? I don't know if that's even possible, but I suspect abstentions are an option in the Knesset. What if JL also agree with Donald and just sit on their hands, awaiting the [not forthcoming] call for explicit inclusion from Herzog? If that strategy is an option, N'u wins.

      Interesting stuff.

  • In support of a just sentence for Rasmea Odeh
    • Thanks, just. Sad.

      There's something terribly out of proportion in all this. Like faceless someones really, really, really wanted this poor woman's head on a plate. The "gratuitous and foul" fits right in with that.

      For me, this still calls up the connection and comparison to the evolving Visa Waiver legislation, whereby Israelis who commit crimes (Nakba Day Denial: link to wouldn't have to answer any questions whatsoever to come to this country, simply by virtue of the fact that Israel doesn't prosecute any of them (as opposed to the beyond-dubious 98.7% conviction rate for Palestinians).

      Completely imbalanced.

  • The Nakba Day denial
  • Bearing witness in Gaza, Kristof can't see the bigger picture
    • @DaBakr This is not about lefty or anti-Zionist control/"advocacy" of anything.

      It's about the fact that no narrative can or should ever be "balanced" by a dispassionate and/or clinical discussion of the effects of monstrous, long-duration, and ongoing crimes against humanity.

      Not by anyone. Not anywhere. Not EVER.

      To do so is to turn the/any conversation/article/ancillary observations into a grotesquerie. Yet it happens time and again in writing and discussions on Israel. The criminally horrific is accepted as either dismissable background or normal counterpoint.

      It's a conversation that is debased at its root.

      Again, disgusting.

    • Well said, Donald. Yep, "wired into..."

      I'm glad you all keep pointing that out.

    • Aw bloody hell! NOBODY said collective punishment doesn't WORK, ffs! It always does. The more extreme it is, the more effective it is.

      It's just horribly, horribly wrong. Ghoulish really.

      NOBODY has said that Mengele didn't contribute to science (to use the extreme example).

      Human experimentation is just horribly, horribly wrong.

      Kristof seems intent on, and content with, solely discussing Mengele's contributions to science.

      Yeah, I'd say he missed the big picture, or any sized picture for that matter.

      The fact that he's one of the relatively good guys (e.g. for even venturing to Gaza), speaks volumes about how "good" the good guys are in MSM.


  • Netanyahu's accomplishment: Consolidating support for negotiations with Iran
  • Two-state-solution is at last disputed in Israeli elections (though not 'nation state of the Jewish people')
    • MaxB tweeted that Rudoren said (big paraphrase) that N'u didn't really mean it (may not have meant?).

      It was unclear whether Sunday’s campaign statement was a significant shift in Mr. Netanyahu’s policy and ideology, or a more temporary assessment of the regional reality (and the Israeli political landscape, where Likud has been losing votes to the Jewish Home party, which opposes a Palestinian state).

      link to

      Dimi Reider at +972 Mag was more on about how the sematics give N'u wiggle room (which may or may not be the same thing as Rudoren's observation).

      (Update: Netanyahu’s Prime Minister’s Office has since denied (link to that he made the second part of the statement released by Netanyahu’s own Likud party, but reinforced the first part of the statement. In other words, the prime minister is sticking by his explanation of why he won’t concede any territory in the West Bank, he just isn’t explicitly following through and saying he won’t do it.)

      link to

      Netanyahu's statements are explicit, imho, but there seems to be a reluctance to "make the call" even at +972. Is that from a profound, generalized, abject fear of failure of the penultimate Zionist-but-coopted-and-internalized-as-a-Jewish project and how that might reflect on being Jewish (even though it doesn't reflect on being Jewish)?

    • "What is the Joint List saying?"

      Great question, pab. One would think that there are about a million Jewish-Israelis who would at least consider the idea of voting for the Joint List on the basis of a shared, desperate need for economic equality in Israel (equality that comes from addressing and solving the Palestinian "issue" and the vast, unproductive sums of money it consumes).

      There are significant motivations for coalition-forming at the Israeli economic "bottom" (just as there are here in the US...). Is "Jewish State..." more important than a better quality of life to Jewish-Israelis?

      And then there is the opportunity to address the moral issues that neither Jewish bloc seems to want to address seriously, and which may appeal to some Jewish-Israelis.

  • WSJ columnist says 'I'm almost grateful' for attack on kosher supermarket that killed four
    • Great comment, Pixel.

      This is one of the things I love about this site. Where I would have put that sentiment in sarcastic terms, something like "...except theyes probably don't remember the words...", you put it in such positive, aspirational terms.

      I appreciate that about you and so many others here. I really, really do. That uplift/voice is so necessary.


  • Israeli voters not impressed by Netanyahu's speech to Congress
    • Imagine that you threw everything you had into achieving a result, Adelson, Apocalypse, Argentina, Ester, and Wiesel (ffs), backed and so gently cradled by a non-stop string of subterfuge, damn lies, and political lies... and nothing happened.

      Here OR there.

      Hopefully nothing continues to [not?] happen here, and Netanyahu gets reelected anyway.

  • In praise of Mr. Netanyahu’s political theater
    • If Netanyahu's theater exposed his lies and their accompanying destructive US political sycophancy, the people who skipped the speech made it all noteworthy and discussable.

      Both were crucial for the moment to become a Moment.

  • Over one quarter of Netanyahu’s speech to Congress consisted of applause and standing ovations
  • FAQ: Palestinians and the Israeli elections
    • Thanks for the report Allison. It's a sign of change that this is even being contemplated and discussed as much as it has been, this election.

      My maybe not-so-FAQ is:

      Why would any Jewish Israeli who had the slightest niggle of a need for change in the political dynamics of Israel, vote for before-the-fact, self-declared losers of Herzog and Livni if they hold to their statement that they would not include "Arabs" in their government?

      Barring some national unity hokum (i.e. ZERO change, which they could have now without an election) they simply can't get there from here without including Palestinian-Israelis.

      Here's looking for a little vision on the Israeli left, and the courage (cough) to back it up.

  • Is flying a nationalist flag ever a progressive act?
    • Interesting question.

      A flag is just a flag. You see what isn't in the US flag. I see in it what could be. Others see it as both for different rrssons entirely and use it as a tool of exclusion.

      Short answer: Yes.

  • Stanford petition misrepresents resolution to divest from occupation
    • You're right JeffB. It is a lie. There was NO pretext. Israel just chose to blame, provoke, and then kill them en masse.

      There were no rockets prior to the rampage oldgeezer mentions. There were a few AFTER that rampage went on for a couple weeks.

      The moral to the story, and every single one prior to this, is that Israel could have calm and security if it would STOP killing and mistreating Palestinians for anything other than sport. But it can't because killing Palestinians in bunches is a political winner in that sick little country.

  • New leftwing anti-semitism is when Jews feel 'attacked' over Israel's conduct
  • Gideon Levy's argument for Netanyahu
  • Biden will skip Netanyahu's speech
    • There was a bus poster recently that describes the process, from the Israel PoV.

      “Israel’s bus company Egged has accepted this ad in Jerusalem:

      Statement of the kingdom. From the teachings=instructions of the [Lubavitcher] rabbi

      The Gentile does not want anything. He waits to be told what the Jew wants!”

      - See more at: link to

      Boehner is sacrificial. Just ask UIUC Chancellor Wise (she willingly shed any/all/a career's worth of credibility for managing an academic institution in order to do a/some donor's bidding). Plenty more where he/she came from.

  • John Lewis tells D.C. crowd he will not attend Netanyahu speech
    • Well asked, Marnie. And these are people who took an oath of loyalty/exclusivity in order to serve in their positions. Imagine how this self-indulgent public (and seemingly completely tone-deaf) uneasiness makes any Jew with any fiduciary, constituent, or membership responsibility look.

      As American said a while back, when Israel became a country, everything changed wrt to the loyalty trope. The trope turned to a legitimate question, the legitimacy of which this public agonizing would seem to underscore.

      Zionism corrupts everything it touches. Everything.

    • The oath of office for Congress:

      I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

      There aren't really any implied questions or suggested choices in there.

  • Lawrence Summers says BDS movement is 'persecuting' Israel
    • Of course it's not a crime in the US, JeffB. We support Israel's theft of Palestinian land and resources.

      But that theft is pillage under the Geneva Conventions, so it's a crime in that sense.

      My feeling/point is that with Palestine acceding to the ICC, Summers' types of heretofore accepted nonchalance are going to come under increasing scrutiny as admissions of participation in war crimes. It may be down in the "noise" now and for the medium-term, but his/this biz as usual attitude will incur increasing criminal risk as Palestine pursues its options at the ICC and it becomes accepted that everything Israel does in its occupation is criminal.


    • Summers: "...purchasing soda dispensers that had been manufactured in occupied parts of the West Bank."

      Isn't that an admission of a crime?

  • Israeli drone company won't release export data, so case against 9 Gaza activists is dropped
    • I guess my glass is half full on this one, jwp.

      It seems to me that this company was cornered/cowed into letting these folks go because releasing the information required to prosecute them would implicate the compny in what are almost certainly war crimes/crimes against humanity.

      If that is a reasonable assessment, this turn of events is a tacit admission (by this company) that doing business with Israel is fraught with exposure to criminal liability. That's a huge, unquantifiable biz and financial risk. If broadly applicable, and given that it is nearly impossible to distinguish occupation/war industry from non- occupation/war industry in Israel, this puts a damper (or at least imposes the time and/or cost of making that distnction) on doing any business in/with Israel.

      I think this exposes an exploitable theme and seam for BDS activism - including in more formal settings like shareholder fora/meetings.

    • The ICC effect, trials or no trials. Just the threat of potential prosecution hangs a big cloud over doing biz (as usual) with Israel.

      Good news.

  • The betting line on Netanyahu's speech to Congress
  • Charlie Hebdo: The sacred of the 'wretched of the Earth' and its desecration
    • Hi Walid. I agree generally and probably overstated where these developments lie on the historical continuum you lay out. Thanks for the context and correction.

      I think, though, that we're currently at an inflection point within that history. We seem to be shifting from total incoherence toward semi incoherence in short-term regional policy. The Hearst article laid out some of the why of that [nascent?] shift. Maybe what's going on in KSA means nothing, but I felt there were some tangible differences described in it wrt to KSA FP and how it might intersect with our own.

      They're still a nasty piece of work in the ways you mention, and so many more.

      PS. I didn't know MEM is a Moonie outlet. Thanks for the heads-up.

    • seafoid,

      "... The 2 evil dwarfs of US mideast policy. ..."

      Zing. Bullseye!

      PS. Maybe it's just me, but the dynamics of this issue, and all these kind of peripherals, seem to be crystallizing. The articles and you all's comments here over the past few months have really been great. They seem to be narrowing to cover actionable/changeable driving thought and creating enough movement in that thought/CW/narrative to enable more focus, a larger receptive audience/deglazed eyes (ntm, rerecognizably shriller counter-arguments), and moree oomph to the arguments for justice.

      It's a very positive, self-reinforcing cycle.

      Shorter version: You're noticeably cutting through the jungle of BS on this and it's really heartening to see it happen.


    • Aye, seafoid. And flip it. With the US running up $Ts in debt, somebody has to buy those bonds. How can US policy meaningfully diverge from that of the people it is wholly dependent upon to buy that debt/underwrite our "small war" policy? Same with China.

      There's a good article (I really like David Hearst, the author) at MEM about the house cleaning going on in KSA leadership. Salman seems to be heading toward a more coherent (i.e. non-destabilization) Saudi foreign policy in MENA.

      link to

      Coincidentally (or not) so are we.

      Meanwhile a propaganda campaign in the U.S. media was launched to rehabilitate the Syrian president Bashar Assad. On January 19 the NYT propagandist Anna Barnard pointed to a (yet hardly observable) shift in the U.S. position towards the Syria war.

      link to

      It's also, as I understand you to imply, hard figure out who Saudi over-production is helping or hurting. Low prices hurt Iran, but they also hurt ISIS and the export of Wahabism (and, apparently, the DJIA. Go figure.) Intersting stuff.

  • 'NYT' perpetuates myth Israel was 'fighting for its very survival' during 1967 war
  • Salaita sues donors for 'injecting' themselves into U of Illinois decision, threatening to withhold gifts unless he was fired
  • Video: Racist Israel supporter films himself attacking Toronto students, urinating on BDS poster
    • I wonder if he needs a visa to be in Canada.

      This is the kind of person Sen. Boxer wants to grant unfettered access to the US. I can see a whole thug tourism industry developing here.

    • I see what you're saying, Chu. It was just interesting to me, not a quibble.

      But now I'm curious what HE was feeling, other than being hopped up on about a gram of crystal meth.

    • That's funny how perceptions differ, Chu. I got more of a sense of "I can't believe I have to say this more than once!" kind of peevish tone. Like it was virgin territory.

      In any event, everyone's an Ay-rab to jerks like this. And "jerk" is by no means dismissive of this guy's ability and slightly papered-over desire to do real harm.

    • Yeah just. As the ptb fan the flames of hate to serve their murderous, 52-card pickup, destabilization agenda in MENA, they encourage and nurture the same destabilizing forces at home.

      It's gonna be hell to pay for lighting political fires like this.

    • @PTJ, because it's a way to get a million likes on his f/b page from his Israeli fan/thug base.

      They eat that stuff up big-time.

    • Jewish-Israelis don't relate to free people well. Maybe not at all. Violence and intimidation are the way and the life, respectively.

      Just ask the French PM (Valls?).

  • Independent investigation details Israel's deliberate targeting of civilians in Gaza
    • OT, but where did the Gaza water supply article go? I can still get at it from my comments and search, but it's gone from the display.

      That article was about a practice/crime that is as dark and sinister as it gets, imho. Even more damning that this article.

      1.8M people/city dwellers in the most congested area on the planet (now doubly congested) living in and among ruins are without regular water and sanitation, by Israeli design and as a tool of subjugation.

      AND they are not allowed to fix anything.

      AND the world watches it happen.

      You can not live without water. Without it, nothing else matters.


    • "... that for over 60 years and with impunity has been committing land theft, occupation, colonization, destruction, torture, murder and other (war) crimes."

      Exactly eljay. That's the known path of escalation. There's probably even a latin name for the process.

      Annie made an observation a couple of months ago that the legal definition of Genocide is narrow at the front end precisely because of the escalation and the need to prevent it. You all are so right.

      Far from "facially" or otherwise stupid, the drafters of the post WWII definition of Genocide, imho, specifically pointed to this kind of a pattern/progression of societal behavior as non-hypothetical (can/does happen anywhere), identifiable (early warning signs), symptomatic and predictive of worse to come, and sadly, all too familiar (1940s) to them.

      This report shows that Israel is past the non-hypothetical part, and well into the identifiable part. The worse-to-come part remains to be seen, but as I think you imply, ain't nothing standing in the way of it.

      I hope the authors of this report, and the report itself, don't get Goldstoned. The Israelis don't need any more political encouragement.

  • Report accuses Israel of targeting Gaza's water facilities
    • Seconded, just. This is some really sick shit.

      I tried to drink brackish water here at home for a single day just to get the tiniest inkling of what it was like. Can't be done.

      No electricity to pump or purify. Nitrates in water (ntm brackish/chloride water) cause birth defects and stunted growth and organ failure. 50% of Gaza residents are under what? 15?

      Bottled water for 1.8M people? What a joke. What a crime.

      What kind of people can do this on such a scale, and why? Because they voted for Hamas? Because they won't lay down and die?

      Sidenote: A while back I tried to find some paper or study or other about what the effects of prolonged deprivation are on a large population. I couldn't find any with a reasonably thorough search (that doesn't mean there are none). Reasonable people can speculate different reasons why, but my feeling is that studying a captive population's intentionally imposed/engineered deterioration into sickness and death, for posterity's sake, is entirely too ghoulish/Mengele-istic to undertake (though I'm sure there are some at the Israeli Ministry of Starvation who would jump at the chance to quantify the effectiveness of government policy choices.*)

      * Sorry for that, but this just makes me physically sick to think about for even a little bit.

  • Former Obama aide's thinktank calls for 1/4 of French Jews to move to Israel
    • "... In what other line of work could someone fail consistently for two decades and still have a job?”

      Heh. In the line of work where failure is the objective.

      Thanks for the reminder and your great comments, Kathleen.

  • Can we just retire the phrase 'relative calm'?
    • "Easier to equalize and equivocate."

      Great point, Mooser. Not so much weird as strategy.

      I tend to resist the thought that hypothetically sane people do this kind of stuff intentionally. I'm getting tired of the effort, but I don't like the relatively narrow thinking that giving in leads to, personally speaking. It's a character flaw.

    • It sounds like they cover Israel like it's a local beat, not an international conflict with global implications.


  • Congress invites Netanyahu to rebut Obama on Iran, and White House slams 'breach of protocol'
    • How can going behind the US president's back to ally oneself with a foreign leader embarrass or humiliate anyone but the one allying with the foreign leader?

      The fact that these writers accept the premise that it can be a humiliation is an astounding example of how normal it is in some circles to have Israel so seemlessly embedded in US politics.

      It is abnormal in the extreme.

      While reading your excerpt, Kay24, I got the crisp mental image of someone walking next to a cliff, blindfolded -- in a dense fog. Don't ask me why.

  • Gaza war blowback? Palestinian stabs 13 on Tel Aviv bus.
  • The ‘hasbara’ tweeps who brought down Jim Clancy, and their ties to Israel and the Israel lobby
    • Yeah, C&D. It's not just aid. It's a racket.

      Like *just* said, it's really good to see the circularity laid out in detail.

      Aid→profits→political contributions→aid...

  • Palestinian Bedouin dies as Israeli police fire tear gas on funeral procession
    • Hi just. It's a cut and paste from twitter on an Android phone. I haven't tried it on the mac yet, but you may be able to C/P stuff like that on any computer. Maybe...


    • RoHa, I had to go look it up. Apparently the accusation is that Iran directed it (whatever that means) and Hezbollah carried it out.

      link to

      You're right. It's hard to gleen a direct motive, but this was 1994, Israel had killed the first 10,000 Lebanese of that exercise, and there were probably some pretty crazy-mad people around. The motive given in the wiki, that Argentina broke a nuclear assistance deal with Iran, is beyond flimsy.

      Who knows? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    • I don't know, just. How could it be exploitation? I'm sure the Israeli understanding of French "satire" is pretty much the same as the French understanding of French "satire" when it comes to ugly depictions of Mohammed. I'm sure any Israeli who buys the magazine would immediately get that its cover is meant to satirize extremism in all its forms-- just as their French counterparts would.

      Oh never mind. You're right.

    • Agree Bornajoo, just, and seafoid. The rejection seems pretty universal.

      And Bornajoo, thanks for making this conversation possible with your PCR links. It was/is common ground and I wouldn't have made it otherwise. Another win for MW. ;)

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