Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 3390 (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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  • Did the BBC cover up the anti-Semitism of Gaza's children?
    • You have such a giant, kind, generous, and resilient heart, just.

      Just sayin'. :))

    • Bandolero, I agree with you if you're saying that the difference between anti-semitism and, say, warranted extreme dislike, is the difference between hating* the 95% of local Jews who either don't care if your family is slaughtered and/or actively participate in killing them, and lumping the 5% who do NOT in with them.

      I agree that Arabic and Persian media push pretty hard and incessantly on the latter. Classic "bread and circuses" delection stuff, as much for domestic consumption as anything (imho).

      Maybe the quibble I have is that the Palestinians don't seem to buy into it to any great degree because as so many people have commented here already, their daily lives embrace the 5% as well. They're living both sides of the embrace.

      To me that's a huge credit to the Palestinians that they don't succumb, and it's a similarly amazing phenom that the efforts of the Jewish 5% mean as much to the Palestinians as the malice of the 95%.

      That's my perception anyway. Maybe some of the Palestinian contributors here can provide more/better insights.

      -----
      * I use the word hate because I have no idea how life in Gaza would affect me. Hate may be too strong.

    • I guess I'll be more explicit on the muddled wrongness of the title:

      "Did the BBC cover up the anti-Semitism of Gaza’s children?"

      Two things are contained in that title:

      A) "...THE anti-semitism of Gaza's children" is posed as FACT. Not alleged. Not hypothetical. Not a question. Actual, premising fact.

      B) That falsehood has to be stated as fact, and can only be read that way, because it sets up the discussion question of the rest of the article, "Did the BBC cover it up?" No anti-semitism, no cover-up.

      It's a classic, "When did you stop beating your wife, and why have you not been straight with us about it?" construct.

      It's not anti-semitism if it's with cause and in context.

      To malign all the children of Gaza this way, here and everywhere else it has been shared, given everything they have gone and continue to go through is well beyond offensive -- no matter what point the article is trying to make and why. It feeds into how the killing is justified ("little snakes" and all that) in Israel and abroad. This phrasing is an enabling factor in the ongoing dehumanization of Palestinians and therefore contributes directly to their ongoing oppression.

      The discussion set up can be done without heaping another layer of crap on Gaza. It's just not necessary.

      Maybe something more to the point like a simple, "Why did the BBC change 'Jews' to 'Israelis' in a recent article?" Or heck, go straight after the Jewish Chronicle with, "JC calls Gaza's children anti-semitic." and background/discuss from there as a teaching moment.

      I think there is enough stuff to change out there on this issue without creating more. We should change what is within our ability to easily change, and in this case it's the @$!& title.

      Cheers. FWIW.

    • Dunno, Bandolero. Maybe the Arab media reinforces and/or hardens the attitudes of these kids, but all these kids have to do is look up at the Star of David painted on the aircraft/tank/ship/uniform that just killed their family (or as someone already mentioned, drawn in feces on their living room wall) and that PoV is slammed in place.

      Pretty organic, imo.

    • I wish I could edit on the phone. I'd take out a lot of the "even"s. Sorry.

    • Yeah, Fritz. That one jumped out at me too. WTF?!

      I don't know if it was meant as a simple, declarative fact or as a purely dismissable rhetorical pivot point/device/foil. The latter is bad enough as the disclaimer is TOTALLY unwarranted, but if the former, an unforgivable expression of the merciless, murderous, maniacal cheering section for slaughter that lurks just beneath the surface of even on the Jewish left (who this author would seem to count himself among).

      I'm probably in the minority here, but to me this article is a textbook example of the banality of "balance" as a perpetuator of ongoing evil. It all seems so rational.

      I don't see this topic as even as the slightest bit relevant to any solution to the screaming problem of Jews killing Palestinians by the thousands on a regular and planned basis, for no reason whatsoever. The tone and word choices here imply that there might just be a reason for that slaughter. Very off-putting.

      I don't get a sense even of what value this strident balancing act has even in an intra-Jewish context, except to show why such deeply-embedded equivocation makes it highly unlikely that, with a handful of notable, unequivocating exceptions (many here), Jews are very unlikely to lead (from concept to conclusion) any effort for Palestinian justice. Too thin-skinned. Too willing to walk away when the going gets rough (as this article implies, in one of the things it does get absolutely right, is coming).

      Oh well.

      ------

      PS MW Editors, the title to this article reads as a rhetorically suggested FACT on Twitter. I hope you can massage it some so there is more of a overt questioning of the assertion for headline readers.

  • Sheldon Adelson bankrolls NBA player trip to Israel to fight BDS
  • Rand Paul turned into a hawk on Iran and libertarians are burning his stuff
  • Israeli general likens attack on Gaza towers to 9/11 attack, as 'symbol'
    • Thanks, just. I was being cynical. I didn't know the reality was worse than even my very jaded view.

      I hate it when that happens. I really do.

    • Great observation, Kay24.

      Whatever works. It all seems to.

    • I wonder how many Gaza first-responders were killed trying to evacuate civilians living in the towers who were "double-tap" notified of their imminent execution.

      They were idolized here for their bravery. Why not there?

      And wasn't there some fund or other set up to aid the families of these heroes, using the 9/11 perps (or someone's) frozen assets.

    • Bingo, Empiricon.

      Explicitly political.

      Admitted publicly the perps.

  • It's time for American Jews to recognize they have been duped
    • Well said (as always), Danaa.

      Just wanted to echo this:

      I know that sometimes, it feels like we said it all before, but there is always a new way of stating old truths – this this essay and the comments it inspired prove it.

      I descend into sarcasm too often on this issue. Too many years of the same stuff, over and over. But, with Avigail's affecting positivity and determined guidance, this thread was genuinely uplifting. Uplifting enough to make old hopes sift through the filter of a harsh known reality and become new hopes.

      No small thing that.

      ---

      PS. Sorry for the flowery language, but I don't know how else to describe this pleasant-weird feeling.

    • One of the best comment threads ever!

      Avigail, your crisp participation really propels a bunch of already gifted, knowledgeable, and well-written seekers to new heights of shared insight.

      Beautiful and inspiring. Thanks.

    • Yup. Brilliant!

      Thanks RHE.

    • Avigail, wrt catalan's sarcasm... I think he fancies himself a bit of a MW[anti-Zionist]-whisperer. Calm-assertive explanations stemming from a position of superior understanding, factual completeness, and/or [alpha] leadership position. Unfortunately he doesn't seem to realize that none of those required (for "whisperer" success) components are present in/behind his arguments.

      Therefore It all just comes across as a misplaced soda-straw view and a little hapless. Once you understand such reflexively defensive glibness is an inevitable symptom of the substance-free condition you are describing here in your article, you get used to it. It seems to me to be a subconscious admission of weakness. At least that's the way I take it.

    • Top 10, all time, Mooser. ^^^ Imho.

      That really is the choice these guys face every hour of every day, isn't it. They never seem to be able to see outside their personal mental cloister, if they try at all.

      I just can't imagine going through life like that. It seems so doggedly uninquisitive, if not unimaginative.

      ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

      But then, I suppose that's what Ms. Abarbanel's article is all about.

    • Good one, talknic.

    • Another great article, Avigail.

      "Duped" is such a great word!

  • Hundreds of Israelis join protest to save Bedouin village on brink of demolition
    • Hypothetically, the industrial music of sitcoms.

      link to en.m.wikipedia.org

    • LMAO! How do they come up with such comically breathless exclamations.

      A while back there was a show on TV called "Herman's Head." It was a sitcom about the personification of the voices in our heads. Kinda cute. Very predictable.

      Maybe a genre-bending remake called "Dahan's Head" might maybe be a little less predictable. Darker. Edgy-er. Unsettlingly confused. Tragi-comic. Something on SyFy that you wouldn't necessarily want your tween kids to watch unsupervised because the tagline would be, "They really ARE out there."

      Such depths waiting to be explored.

    • I wonder if the international notice of Sussiya's struggle isn't a subset of the much larger and more important phenom (imho, and if real) of people finally becoming ready to listen.

  • Congress needs to stand up for American people's interest over Netanyahu's
  • Vast majority of Palestinian citizens of Israel support the Iran deal
    • Aye, Keith.

      "...one of which is to increase the US ability to influence/control Iran."

      How or whether Iran resists that pressure will perhaps be the most interesting part of the deal's aftermath. They do have options wrt which international "orbit" they slide toward. Perhaps BRICS becomes BRICSI?

      Great comment.

  • Christian Zionists expose their anti-Semitism at conservative summit in Iowa
    • Just curious, ckg, but did she try, or would she have been allowed to minister to her own congregation about the actual situation in Palestine?

      I'm glad you all "woke up" too, but I get this feeling that your "sleep" was always a bit fitful. :)

    • The big kicker (but not a surprise) for me in these interviews is that none of the interviewees knew anything about Israeli treatment of Palestinian Christians.

      Deaf, blind, amoral...and stupid.

      Perfect use-and-throw-away fodder, with votes, for Zionist manipulation. I get why none of the Zionist "names" care one whit whether these folks are "anti-semitic" (great discussion!) or not. They're considered too goofy for their opinions to matter.

      But here again, the Zionists are tickling the dragon. CUFI is a 2 million person mailing list one mouse click away from realizing a mass betrayal of dispensationalist (I hope that's the right word) proportions.

      I wonder what direction CUFI goes now that Brog has taken his $Ms of Adelson "walking-around" political cash over to the anti-BDS front.

  • Leading European thinktank increases pressure on Israeli banks over occupation
    • @ivri- Actually, I don't know what our differences are about. That's why I asked. I can't imagine there being a difference, all you have to do is read Kate's litanies (just one) to see something is wrong, very, very wrong, in/with Israel (sanction-worthy wrong). To not be affected by those litanies is to be a stone.

      But, you may have given a couple of Freudian slips of partial answers.

      "The Israel saga is the real chance For Germany to take a clear supporting stance..."

      Chance? They've been DOING it for decades. My guess is that they will NEVER succeed, in your view (and the GoI view, as stated by that reporter who recently let slip that it's GoI policy to keep Germany on the guilt hook - no matter what they do and how long they do it for).

      Answer: You simply want the dotage to continue.

      History?? Are you really saying (I think you are) that what Germany did to the Jews gives them/you license to kill whomever you want, wherever you want, and for as long as you want. Does Israel's (again "Jews" in your calculus) past and ongoing treatment of the Palestinians give them license to kill you, wherever they find you, and for however long they might want to pursue you? We ALL know the answer to that. So why the special case for Israel/Jews?

      Which leads to the second Freudian slip/glaring assumption:

      "Evidently, you [ritzl], as many on this site, see Israel as the negative part of the equation while I see the opposite..." (i.e. "We're the good guys. Why are we the good guys? Because we just ARE.") Ergo, it's all persecution -- by definition.

      That's circular reasoning wrt logic, and target fixation wrt effect. The alternative course would be to recognize both, as normal people would, and take steps to pull out of the dive. I just don't understand why you maintain that you have to (have the right to) kill Palestinians and no one is supposed to mind. It's weird.

      Answer: Because what's theirs is mine (or something along those lines) and I want it.

      You still didn't answer the question about why, in your view, BDS only impacts Jews and not Palestinian citizens of Israel.

      Yep, the differences in your view and mine ARE stark. Normal people can read our explanations and decide whether condemnation of, and sanctions for, bad acts perpetrated by Jews against a people who had ZERO to do with Nazi Germany's horrors, constitutes persecution of Jews.

      I don't think they would.

    • @ivri-

      A) There is absolutely another way to put it. "ISRAEL, the country, is doing..."

      B) Even if you accept the "Jewish State" manipulation as somehow suggestive of a real and ongoing persecution of Jews, you have to swallow the falsehood that the "Jewish State," and therefore "the Jews" in your calculus, can NOT conceivably do anything worthy of sanction.

      It is self-evident to everyone (even you, I suspect) that that is simply not the case -- and has been for generations now.

      60+ years ago that argument had sway given the recency of the Holocaust. People were willing to overlook the Nakba, wrongly so, but willing nonetheless, out of the guilt you're seeking to induce. But after generations of glaring documented murderous contradictions to that assertion, it has become a meaningless claim.

      That you would and continue to trot it out NOW says something. Maybe desperation. Maybe something else. Who knows.

      Maybe you can explain why you assert a claim for unique impunity for murderous acts performed by Jewish-Israelis. Are we supposed to ignore "our own lyin' eyes," feel bad, and change our minds?

      I don't get the thought process. What am I missing? Please explain.

      ---

      PS. Once again, your construct ignores 20% of the population of Israel who would take the hits right alongside their Jewish countrymen. Poof! For the sake of your argument, they don't exist. Please explain that thinking while you're at it.

    • Great comment Annie.

      I think it's a matter of the EU slowly building a case. Incrementally unfurling the big red flag.

      So a big Thanks for your efforts! Please keep them coming. All this does matter.

      And you're right about writing for posterity. The archives here do and will show how the seemingly unassailable tangle of pro-Israel, Zionist influence was ultimately unwound.

  • 'If we don't take out Iran,' it will reenact the Holocaust in US and Israel -- Steven Emerson to Times Square rally
    • I wish there was a way to add a "control" to the global international relations experiment by taking Israel out of the equation. Just for one month!

      I bet all this agitation and destabilization would damp down almost immediately. All of it.

    • @msmoore- About 10 years ago I was watching CSPAN coverage of Robert Gates (then SecDef) testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC). It was a normal annual authorization hearing, but then one of the Senators asked Gates something to the effect of "Why did we support Iraq in that war?" Gates looked up with a shit-eating grin, and replied (wink, wink), "Senator, we supported both sides in that war."

      I'll never forget it, especially his little smile. Even then (1980s) we were OK with and/or wanted death and destabilization on a massive scale in the region, as policy. As an incrementalist (in terms of believing that our policy is unabashedly and murderously psychopathic at/from the top), it was a turning point for me. It's clearly psycho.

      I wish I could find the clip, but I've searched over the years and no luck.

  • The global arms race between the US and China is devastating Africa and the Middle East
  • Democrats are 'uncomfortable' with Iran deal because Netanyahu is so 'influential in our country' -- Rep. Ellison
    • Bring back the draft. NO exceptions.

      Let the kids (and their kids) of the wafflers and the people instigating the waffling (the Israeli Lobby) serve right alongside the rest of us. For the duration of our "little wars for Israel" (i.e. a couple generations).

      Inject some significant personal downside pain into the equation and see who waffles then.

  • If Americans support Iran deal, 56-37, what gives Israel the power to 'croak' it?
  • How long will I have to convince liberals that Palestinians matter?
    • Agree with can of worms, Qualtrough. You will never be unpopular here.

      While the Palestinian cause stands on its own intellectually/on the merits, it is too weak to stand on its own politically.

      A specific example: I remember in the heyday of the Occupy* "movement," Sandra Tamari tried to tie in the Palestinian cause to the broader protest via modest "teach-ins" and other outreach efforts. She was told it was "too divisive" meaning that it would offend some Jewish principals in the movement. That weakened her (Palestinian) case because she could not get it put on the same level of injustice that all the other injustices were receiving by Occupy*.

      Not being able to link the Palestinian cause to the broad front weakens the effort -- in terms of both political/movement power and public perception (i.e. secondary to no importance).

    • Totally agree, lyn117. Except there's no "sort of" about it. Especially for the crusader-candidates.

  • St. Louis Jews call on ADL to cancel honor to police
    • echinococcus July 20, 2015, 12:53 am:

      ... But see: when I work together, say with “liberals”, wishy-washies, Democrats even, staunch Goldwaterians, tea-partiers and outright racist-fascist types against some war action, I don’t inject any of my other views in that. I don’t start yelling for the exclusion of Buchanan and he doesn’t try to call for my hanging as a commie while we two are in the same line of work. So it’s not really a Pt of view question. Maybe these groups will reconsider the fight they started (again) out of matters unrelated to the aims of the Resistance. Even if they are buried somewhere in some bylaws, as a trick for creating trouble on demand.

      Bingo! Bingo! Bingo!

      No effective alliances to accomplish anything could be formed if all participants had to hew to some purity threshold on some issue as determined by some subset of the members of the prospective alliance. That is an instantly self-fracturing and therefore self-defeating effort - if it ever tentatively congeals in the first place.

      This self-defeating purity test is exactly why coalitions are not formed in the bottom v. top economic struggle - despite such overwhelming need and common cause on that particular issue. It's always left v. right despite the lack of even a shred of energizing and action-oriented difference at the top of that construct. The oligarchs and the Zionists (in this case) are sitting back, sipping their brandy, puffing their stogies, and laughing at us for this kind of squabbling. The Sabans and the Adelsons hold hands and know that zero serious opposition comes from/can come from these efforts.

      I always use the tragi-positive case of "Big" Jim Folsom on this. He was a former governor of Alabama who was elected twice in the 1940s and 50s (height of Jim Crow). He formed a coalition of blacks and poor whites to get elected. These groups had "ISSUES" with each other that, to put it mildly, make the JVP/ETO "issues" with Weir look like birthday greetings. Yet they successfully put themaside to make change.

      Folsom's administrations were separated by a gap, so not only did he form the necessary coalition, he maintained it while out of office, and used it to get elected a second time. In 1959 George Wallace overtly fanned the embers of racial hatred to destroy that coalition (plus, Folsom by that time was a raging drunk; who wouldn't be having to deal with a splintering force orders of magnitude beyond this one).

      link to en.wikipedia.org

      From the wiki:

      Folsom was among the first southern governors to embrace integration and enforcement of civil rights for African Americans. In his Christmas message on December 25, 1949, he said: "As long as the Negroes are held down by deprivation and lack of opportunity, the other poor people will be held down alongside them".[1]

      ---

      Meanwhile Palestinians are getting killed on a daily basis. By the thousands at regular and planned intervals.

      Cue the scent of Cohiba's and faint but hearty laughter.

      Focus. Focus. Focus.

      PS. I wish Howard Zinn was still around to explain why we little people trying to effect change keep falling for this manipulation (self- or otherwise)

  • 'She intended to kill a soldier' --Palestinian teen charged with stabbing soldier at roadblock outside settlement
    • Yep, oldgeezer. The meticulousness of Israeli suppression of the Palestinians is astounding.

      One would think that two workers, working literally side by side, would be covered by the same laws. But not in Israel.

      One set of Jordanian laws for Palestinians, and Israeli laws for Jewish-Israelis, all working on the same patch of stolen Palestinian land. One would think that the Jordanian legal heritage would apply to all of them, if laws apply at all (Which, of course, they don't. It's all just made up on the fly.).

      I guess the moral of amigo's story, to me, is that just when you think you've heard it all...stop thinking that.

    • Yep, Teapot. It probably goes something like this...

      Her statement: Today was my mother's birthday. I intended to walk straight to the store to get her a gift. Along the way I saw a news report on a cafe TV about someone I knew who had been shot and killed in Nablus by a live bullet fired by an IDF soldier. I stopped to talk about it and didn't get to the store until later.

      IDF "confession" version: I intended to...kill...a...soldier.

      Probably happens often enough.

  • Don't touch occupied village of Susiya! US warns Israel
    • Lol! Immaculately conceived red heifers. If that isn't a sign of the end times, it's hard to imagine what might be.

  • Nine reasons Obama is going to win on Iran. The first: Netanyahu
    • Correction: Shelby is NOT SAC Chair, Cochran still is. Shelby is #3 in the majority, full committee and SAC-D.

      Still powerful, more top 20ish, but not like I made him out to be above.

      Sorry. My bad.

    • If Netanyahu is the main reason Obama wins, doesn't if follow that if pretty-boy/nice-guy Herzog had won there would be no deal?

      That's a scary thought. Maybe true, but scary as heck.

    • Love ya, JLD, but I think that peace is a vastly bigger, longer-term, more broadly-distributed money maker. War profits (via destroying everything in sight) are a less-than-zero-sum game (there are only so many things you can destroy before nothing gets rebuilt and you run out of big-ticket enemies/targets/opportunities) but it has the vastly simpler and more visceral explanation to move the masses to support the quick cash-in (by people not them).

      As you imply, broad, peace-based prosperity requires an honest explanation and pols are poorly equipped and/or motivated to do that.

      FWIW

    • * macine=machine

    • Good article. Personally, #3 is a distant #1. The rest are all fuel for that macine.

    • Just bolster a few of those points, the most watched (by far) TV station in my arch-conservative, military R&D town, Huntsville AL, aired a local arms "expert" as their one and only take on the deal. The expert's view?: the choice is NOT between this deal and some hypothetical better deal, it's a choice between this deal and no deal.

      That's the brief, but completely sane rationale for approval of the deal. This station is a reliable dispenser of feel-good, conservative cognitive resonance here. For them to make this their sole, on-air take on this was remarkable. If that editorial view/community reflection percolates up here, I can only imagine what's going on in the rest of the country.

      link to whnt.com

      PS. As I mentioned a few days ago, Sen. Richard Shelby, Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, probably the third or fourth most powerful politician in the US, has close advisors here. The WHNT news report wasn't presented in a vacuum, nor did it evaporate, unnoticed, out into the ether.

  • Not everyone is allowed to have a 'Good Life in Germany'
    • Hi bintbiba.

      "Then one fine day she can (maybe) go back with her degrees to a Palestine she can help be reborn and flourish by her shining example."

      I think this is the core of why this particular story got me so good-agitated. This has turned out to be a remarkable "local girl makes good" story. Everybody and their cousin can identify with that. Everybody and their cousin now identify with yet another Palestinian doing that.

      I mean "Palestinian refugee in Germany courageously discusses her status with the German Prime Minister and is subsequently notified she will be given asylum." It just oozes simple, uplifting, heartwarming serendipity (aka magic).

      I don't know. Good stuff.

    • "...allowed to stay..."

      Great news, just. Yer amazing!

      I hope someone writes an article about how that decision came about so quickly after this incident. Or her movie script path from escape to asylum, complete with happy ending. Made for TV, this is.

      As you say, millions minus 1 still waiting for some form of justice, anywhere, from anyone. Maybe Reem can be/will be another inspirational and transformative figure in that process - like Mohammed Assaf and Raed Zidan (first Palestinian to summit Everest; link to raedzidan.com).

      As an aside, I bet those three Palestinian heros represent a second dire threat to Israel (first being Iran NOT developing a bomb) -- Palestinian achievement and notoriety developing freely outside of Israel's ability to limit it. It would be great to see all three of these folks go on a speaking tour together.

      And needless to say, there are millions more Palestinian heroes climbing their own personal Everests every single time they use the Qalandia checkpoint, or rebuild their illegally demolished homes, or just live another day in Gaza.

      Again, good news.

    • Yes, WH. Because she's "integrated" into German society, the consensus seems to be she probably won't be. I should have said "imminent" deportation to be clearer. But...she is not NOT facing it either.

      She's in limbo and still at risk.

    • Haaretz title: “Palestinian girl defends Merkel in wake of viral video controversy."

      Agree. Class.

      But I'm going to be a bit cynical on this one, just.

      To fix the Haaretz title:

      “Palestinian girl who's entire family is facing deportation to a refugee camp in Lebanon, defends Merkel (who is the Prime Minister of the country threatening that deportation) in wake of viral video controversy."

      This is a big public poke in the eye for Merkel. I wonder if she is the forgiving type, or is it "Get me that damn file!" as soon as she gets in the limo?

    • Sorry I don't speak German. Nuanced in what way?

    • tarski, What a strange takeaway. This and Deger's article are only subtextually about the nuts and bolts of broader German refugee policy.

      They're explicitly about the deadly, cold-blooded hypocrisy of specifically and uniquely Palestinian treatment at the hands of the governments that cause and perpetuate their condition by supplying Israel with all the tools - military, political, and diplomatic - it needs to do negate Palestinian identity and force them into deportatable refugee status anywhere outside their Western-funded and Israeli-built and maintained cages.

      Germany (and the US and other such "enlightened" countries) have not recognized the State of Palestine. That FORCES bright/sincere/motivated Palestinians like this girl to literally escape their pens in pursuit of a better life that is simply denied them through "legal" means. They must do this by dangerous and "illegal" means, only to risk deportations. This girl simply did not, and does not, have the option to apply for a visa to study in Germany/US and return home when finished. She is trapped, "legally" speaking. She has no "home" to return to, even if she could and did get out and better herself. All this is by design. Everyone in that auditorium knows all this. EVERYONE.

      So Merkel, as a principal architect of this situation, sought to console this girl with her "life is tough" spiel knowing full well she was the one making her life "tough."

      Nope. This wasn't a policy question/moment. It is an ongoing passion play. Ongoing over generations of Palestinians, I might add.

      No policy research required. The moment was stand-alone and self-explanatory. The girl (Reem) exploded in the insincerity-amplified helplessness/hopelessness of her situation. She got it exactly right and so did most of the rest of us normal people, right alongside her.

    • And lest we forget, Merkel so loved this stroking treatment that she felt obligated to share the love -- or the condescension, you make the call:

    • You're too young to be so cynical, abc. :)

    • Yep, CigarGod. Broaden in at least a couple of ways.

      1) Apparently this girl is a immigrant-myth-exploding class president. Apparently a majority of her classmates (future voters) want her to stay. That would make this an oops on every level.

      link to pecand.com

      2) Maybe this causes people in Germany and everywhere else to begin to have a clue that all the "Western" destabilization and killing causes these poor refugees to have no where else to go but to the countries supporting, if not causing, the killing in their own lands. IOW, safely behind the lines.

      Maybe also, it starts making people see and question the insanity of the Israelification of everything in the MENA. This whole "kill them and make them stay put (in pens) so we or somebody else can kill them later" world view is viscerally repugnant.

      This garbage worldview, and the psychopathy that generates it, is so pervasive that I keep wanting to say I give up, but that really isn't an option.

    • What Merkel also fails to consider is that her government is providing Israel with the weapons to keep Reem and her family in the refugee camps and kill them PRN, for Israel's propaganda/victimhood purposes.

      I hope that Karma is a cruel as Merkel explains politics to be.

      And I keep coming back to the scene in the movie "Contact" where this situation is [not so] fictionalized. One character gives the Merkel desiderata explanation, and the response is that the world is what "we" (I suppose "we" would include Merkel) make of it. Tru dat.

      (Interesting that the subtitles are in Arabic on this upload.)

  • Angela Merkel makes a 14-year old Palestinian girl cry by telling her she is not welcome in Germany
    • Aye, piotr. This is known behavior. Argentina in the 80s. US cities in the 00s. Greece now. Probably a bunch more in there.

      Always the same: Lend → Squeeze → Privatize.

      The really sad part is that the borrowers know this is known behavior and still willingly enter the slaughterhouse cattle chute.

    • Kay24, yeah, after all this time without correction or remedy, let alone nary a harsh word about it, you could almost say (with limited argument) that the major, practical, post-WWII lesson learned about genocide is not "Don't do it," but rather "Do it slower."

    • Amazing, innit?

    • Non-recognition by explicit policy design, not by oversight or low priority (haven't gotten around to it).

      It's disgusting.

      Thanks again, just.

    • Sorry I missed this one and went to the second article on this. Didn't mean to be repetitive of all the great comments in this thread.

      Almost 1300 Tweets! Neat!

    • +1000! (or more if I had 'em).

  • Israel's real fear about the Iran deal: It puts pressure on the occupation
    • Yeah catalan. Like the guy Israel just imprisoned for 17 months for a Facebook post?

      link to mondoweiss.net

      In order for you guys to stage your ever-so-tired, "the distnction is SO obvious even YOU should be able to grasp it..." act, the distinction actually has to be, you know, obvious.

  • The challenge for Tzedek Chicago
    • Thanks Mooser for mentioning this article in the other thread.

      I was going to skip it as yet another fence-straddling, lip-service, intra-Jewish, easily-cowed, self-styled, presumptuous, "But we're DIFFERENT! [Trust us, or you're a bigot.]", thin-skinned, feel-good organizational foray into the "Jews really are for universal human rights." game -- but Tzedek appears to be none of those things (well, maybe the "feel-good" bit).

      As a Brant Rosen endeavor, this is very sincere, very positive, Very important, and maybe most importantly, durable enough to grow.

      I hope it works out and grows beyond all expectations. There's certainly a need/receptive audience, inside and outside the Jewish spectrum.

  • 'We should seize it' -- Obama announces Iran deal as 'new direction' for the Middle East
    • Thanks ckg. What a waste of an opportunity with Webb.

    • Thanks HarryLaw. Pitch-perfect interview.

    • Hi just.

      The right President, the right Secretary, the right time! And on the other side, the right President, the right FM, the right time! They seized the day, together.

      Well said!

    • Poor feller.

    • Hi just, yep.

      I think the answer is embedded in and/or implied by the deal itself. Namely that Iran becomes our new best bud in the region. We have so many ACTUAL shared geopolitical desires/needs, stability being the main one, of which ISIS is the visible subset du jour. But it's also the largest country/market, the most strategically located in all directions, the least (I don't think this is even arguable) repressive of the "ally" choices, and the country with the most untapped potential to actually move in the right direction in all the above. Solution oriented relationship and situation.

      Despite the antagonism over that last 40 years, and the policy incoherence toward Iran and the region, I don't think any of this has been lost on non-insane policymakers. They have been looking for a moment. They may have found/engineered one. Problem has been the opportunistic, Israel-centric personnel/policy takeover during the same period.

      To me, our evolving and improving relationship with Viet Nam is a pretty indicative and consistent model for what can happen with Iran -- bitter enemy to "anchor" regional ally.

      Sidenote: Gas prices went down $.10/gallon today locally. Related?

    • @Fred Garvin- I think whether this aids the deal's opponents (GOP/paid-for Israel supporters) or not is largely dependent on whether, in 18 months' time, it is viewed as bad by US voters.

      That is certainly a possibility, maybe even probability. Arguing against that is that it IS, fundamentally, a good and welcome deal/change for the people that send their kids off to war and biz interests slavering at the Iranian market, and a military stretched very thin. The ingredients of its success and voter appeal are built-in.

      Also, the majority of voters already support this, so, imho, in 2016, unless the Lobby pulls out all the stops, it is likely to be a non-issue for all but a few loonies who by that time will likely (imho) come to be correctly viewed by voters AS loonies (who would send OPKs, but not their own kids, off to fight and die for nothing).

      Another indicator from my recent conversations with family conservatives is the realization that college tuition (Ohio State) is getting out of reach but yet we have $Ts to spend on endless war. People are starting to connect the broader dots and relating the corrupt picture to the lack of attention to their own very reasonable self-interest.

      But who knows. Media leverage and the sheeple factors can't be underestimated.

    • To riff on FDR, "July 14, 2015 is a day that will live in 'famy'."

    • Agree, tokyobk. This deal is 5 (of 10) parts doing the right thing, 3 parts trying to constructively drag Israel kicking and screaming out of rogue nation status, and 2 parts FU to Netanyahu, et.al.

      Question is what happens if (i.e. when) Israel utterly fails to take the "hint."

    • Thanks Kathleen.

    • Yep. It's gonna be a giant WWF (World Wrestling Federation) "Cage Match of the Century" of a political fight.

      I think the military swings behind it, out of sense and practicality as well as duty. In my military town, people/military families are pretty tired of the endless asks in support of perpetual war. Bone weary, tbh.

      My theory is that our Senator Shelby, Chairman of the full Senate Appropriations Committee, gives opposition to the deal some lip service and then moves on to new issues and opportunitie$ much more beneficial to local biz interests than the Operations budgets for war readiness have been. IOW does the generally right thing for mostly the wrong reasons.

      I could be, and often am, wildly wrong, but I just get th he sense locally ths this deal is a prime, face-saving, political pivot point on war issues for the more practical DC pols. The ideologues are another matter.

      TBC/D.

    • Fingers crossed. Toes too!

  • 'Suck Iranian ****' --- Netanyahu's Farsi twitter account earns negative reviews
    • In a variation of the, "If you're a hammer, everything looks like a nail." truism, "If you're an Israeli, everything (and everybody) looks like (and is) an object."

    • Yeah...

      “With the continuation of the show of compromising with Iran, the path to Iran getting a nuclear bomb is paved, and they are being given billions of dollars for terrorism and invasion.”

      Israel in yet another nutshell. A Twitter account ostensibly set up to talk directly TO the Iranian people uses the third person to talk ABOUT them.

  • US public supports Iran deal, but lobby groups seek to quash it
    • Young faces in the picture is so VERY heartening! Those girls are young enough to have everything to lose by protesting, yet there they are.

      What profound courage! Sa-LUTE!

      ---

      How many issues where the people are on opposite sides of a corrupt/ed government to change the dynamic of ignoring popular will? It would be interesting if Ms. Benjamin shared her thoughts on that tipping point.

      In the last few days, I've just had long conversations with my relatively conservative Bro-in-law, my VERY conservative mother, and a conservative manager at a local chain restaurant. ALL of them see the "system" as breaking and/or irretrievably broken (via money corruption). Broken being defined as not serving the interests of the middle of society.

      I try to point out that it has always been that way for the bottom 40% (median income). I think they're now getting the fact that the corruption is working its way up. For my mother in particular to admit that without prompting, was quite a revelation.

      I wish we didn't [seemingly always] have to go through the apocalypse phase to get to the solution phase, but it seems we do -- as a principle human characteristic.

  • In West Bank Snapchat story, life under occupation was the elephant in the room
    • Yeah, it did not show life under occupation, and it did show Palestinians as actual human beings. The latter arguably trumps the former because normal human beings don't murderously subjugate other normal human beings (aka people like themselves).

      The use of "West Bank" instead of Palestine is another thing entirely as it [yet again] robs Palestinians (or seeks to rob, if there was an intent there) of their identity.

  • 3,000 killed in Yemen in first 100 days of Saudi-led bombing, half civilians
  • Jews have replaced WASPs in foreign policy establishment-- Heilbrunn in NYT
    • Great comment, JWalters. I totally agree with this one.

      My philosophical context for what we're discussing is that a general backlash against all Jews is completely avoidable. History moves in spirals not circles, imho described and channeled by known and historically-entrained personal moralities, but also coupled with/to the unknown and unknowable (and potentially wildly variable and all-consuming) drift of future group dynamics. So my take on this is not to speculate what might happen, but only to point to the explosive dynamics currently lurking just below the surface.

      Maybe and hopefully they'll be defuzed by the outlets and constraints you mention, but the Los Alamos physicists called this flirting with big, barely-contained forces, "Tickling the dragon/dragon's tail." The price of getting it wrong is too awful to contemplate for long, but it does have to be contemplated if, again as you point out, mechanisms can be and are created to avoid societal bad stuff.

      Thanks for making me think and refine. :))

      Appreciate'cha.

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