Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 3154 (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 3154 - 3101

  • Washington gets a glimpse of Gaza
  • 'United States of Israel' has compromised U.S. 'sovereignty' on Iran policy -- Gideon Levy in D.C.
    • Good question, Kathleen.

    • Amazing, just. Great catch. The ambivalent, detached, and/or self-congratulatory tone of that article is mind-numbing (well past "boggling"). It reminds me of the article seafoid posted here a few years ago about how Israeli scientists congratulated themselves for discovering a strain of MRSA unique to Gaza, without going into the how and why of its development.

      I'm sure most people here already know this, but:

      A) The Coastal Aquifer doesn't replenish because Israel uses all the upstream water (surface water that would become groundwater in a natural environment) to irrigate.

      B) All the flooding this winter was because the Israeli retention ponds that keep the water on the surface for sole upstream use by Israeli agribusiness could not handle the amount of rainfall and overflowed. In a natural state (i.e. a broad, slow-moving flood plain) much, if not most, of that water would have seeped into the ground before it hit Wadi Gaza.

      C) Israel takes the upstream, normally aquifer-destined water without sharing, let alone paying for it, and then SELLS it back to Gaza. More Occupation Industry of the direst form.

      D) 5MCM is 5 billion liters. Gaza's minimum needs at the WHO 100 liters/day/person (all uses) threshold is 66 billion liters per year. A 5MCM annual increase is nothing against that need, given that there is very little potable groundwater in Gaza to begin with.

      E) Israel bombs the sewage treatment capabilities of Gaza and restricts electricity for their operation.

      F) Walid and/or Abierno noted here that Wadi Gaza is an open sewer even in "good" times.

      G) All this [MRSA-laden?] sewage is drawn by the currents in the eastern Med right up the Israeli coast where a gyre pushes it smack onto Tel Aviv beaches. No mention of that in this clinical, Gaza-as-science-experiment discussion.

      link to
      - or better -
      link to

      This "soda-straw" view of the world that Israelis seem to have, scientifically, politically, and morally, is going to bite them in the butt. I don't know. It seems like separate and unique and/or avoidance is a way of life there and it shows in everything they say and do. They won't see the systemic (system of systems) products of their own malfeasance until it hits them hard. Water use/misuse is just the early, tangible manifestation of that, imho.

      Poof goes the "good life."

      How does the world deal with such an ingrained, self-destructive bent?

      End of rant.

    • Shalom: "Instead I suggest an internationally sponsored ongoing National Dialogue that brings Palestinians and Israelis together until enough understand each other and each others humanity to act together to change the political reality and bring about Two State and Peace."

      Yeah shalom. You have the beginnings of exactly that with the Joint List. NOW. You don't have to "suggest" anything. It's right there in front of you. It exists. But precious few Jewish-Israelis will have anything to do with it or the opportunity for dialog it represents.

      What are you DOING, now, to support the Joint List and the "dialog" you say you crave?

    • Why do the words "antebellum South" spring to mind?

      And I bet people like Levy keep the trains from running on time. How can anyone have a "good life" when the trains don't run on time, I screams?

      SG- Pay the Palestinians for 50 fucking years worth of their water that you've stolen to live your so-called good life. Then get back to us/the rest of the world.

    • +10 bintbiba! +10.

  • 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.

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