Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 1733 (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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  • 'Palestinians ought to be free' -- Cornel West's historic moment
  • Modern-day lynchings: an international view
    • I hope someone takes the next step in documenting Israel's negative effect on US policing and specifically points out which cities with these "street execution is acceptable practice" policies (and maybe even which officers) have had Israeli training.

  • Netanyahu's bloody incitement
    • When you say "occupied territories" you simply confirm to the majority of Americans that the Palestinians are just whining murderers and Netanyahu is right.

      Most Americans Believe Palestinians Occupy Israeli Land: link to original.antiwar.com

      Why not be specific and educate some folks?

      Occupied PALESTINE.

  • Video: All hell breaks loose in Knesset as Zoabi demands apology following Israel-Turkey agreement
  • Clinton marshals African-American surrogates against BDS to stop pro-Palestinian influence 'in the public narrative'
    • Brilliant JWalters! Tweeted using that as the lede. Sums it up perfectly.

      (Hope you don't mind.)

  • Clinton to Palestine: Drop dead
  • 'It's a real problem if the thing we get upset about is stones' --Ehrenreich deflects talking points on public radio
  • Israel should be deeply disturbed by the Brexit vote
    • @RoHa June 27, 2016, 10:49 pm...

      Great holistic comment. Thanks.

    • Libraries will be written about this vote.

      There were probably a dozen major reasons to vote Leave or Remain, but the bottom line to me, 6000 miles away, is that the "system" taken as a whole wasn't working for 52% of Brits and they voted to change something (whether Brexit was the right something or not is the stuff of more libraries).

      We kinda have the same choice to make here with Trump the "Leave" vote and Hills the "Remain" vote. The other EU countries are probably going to decide if the "system" as a whole is working for them as well although, as you point out Ossinev, for different motivating reasons.

    • Wow amigo.

      The Israelis really have totally accepted/self-justified their ugly morality as a civilized global norm. The arrogance (or is it simply that, after so many generations of visciously subjugating another people, the ugliness is invisible to them - like the green screen in a green screen visual effect?) that demands the rest of us accept that norm or we're ironically labeled as "haters" (or as nasty green screen pointer-outers) is TRULY breathtaking.

      I mean I literally held my breath reading that article waiting for an Act III/the Prestige that never came. I thought it was all a setup to make a point. Heh.

      Thanks. A classic.

    • Hi MHughes,

      Didn't see this before I wrote my original comment, but it shows how the economics and interventionism are intertwined. Michael Hudson on the Real News:

      link to m.youtube.com

    • Argh. Twitchy.

      To finish:

      That all these MENA destabilizations are fully supported by Israel as being in its best interests,... the vote represents, to me, a popular, though indirect, refutation of Israeli interests.

      ...

      That’s unattributed... and probably a self-selecting sample of one but it would be interesting to see a broader poll of British military on that specific topic.

    • Fair enough, MHughes. You're living it.

      My extrapolated political math from here is UKIP is a "Leave" driver and xenophobic. East Euros are the current "issue" in Britain for economic reasons. "Bad" enough, but TV has image after image of MENA refugees heading north. That wave hasn't affected Britain yet, but with open borders/common policy of acceptance, it's coming. It will compound the current economic problem. War is the source of the refugees. Enough.

      That may seem complicated, but I think the implications of more immigrants in Britain due to policy set in Brussels and implemented in Greece, Italy, and Turkey are immediately grasped and fold seamlessly into the whole "Leave" vote equation you lay out.

      That all these MENA destabilizations are fully supported by Israel as being in its best interests, the

      FWIW/anecdotal, but this got me going in this direction (Paul Craig Roberts):

      "Information continues to come in about the Brexit vote. A member of the British Army said that 90% of the lads in his unit voted to leave. They voted exit because they do not believe they should be involved in Washingtons wars. He said that his unit agreed that the wars are dictated by Washington, via Brussels, and not by the British people. ..." link to paulcraigroberts.org

      That's unattributed and probably self-selecting but it would be in

    • This was a vote against perpetual war in MENA as well (as a driver of millions of refugees heading toward the EU).

      Since some big wheel in Israeli intelligence just let slip that Israel wants ISIS to remain undefeated (perpetuating and expanding the refugee crisis in EU) this vote is a DIRECT refutation of Israel's don't-give-a-whit-about-ANYONE-else methods and policies whether the "Leavers" realize it or not.

    • Yup.

      "Even though it's 99% for us, it's 100% against us!"

      I'll never be able to comprehend such a total lack of self-awareness.

  • Brexit vote leaves progressives suspended between nativists and neoliberals
  • Bloomberg runs Soviet-style report on Israeli crisis, saying Netanyahu is best man for the job
    • Is this a takedown of the Eli Lake-types for their basic inability to deal with facts, or pointing out that their intentional omissions signal that something big is happening in Israel?

      I probably agree if it's the latter but only in the sense of how much worse it's going to be for Palestinians in Palestine (ie. the severity/abruptness of the method of their removal).

  • Emad Khalil's story as a Gazan worker in Israel
    • I'm just going to apologize in advance.

      Mohammed Saleem:

      Emad Khalil’s story is a sample of history in which, outside the domain of political maneuvering, there may have been an alternative road of shared social and economic prosperity for Palestinian and Israeli citizens. - See more at: link to mondoweiss.net

      Very respectfully, this article sounded like raw exploitation (of Emad) at gunpoint from start to finish. That's not my idea of shared prosperity and/or a synergistic future. But as an indication of just how bad things are in Gaza - how far removed "normal" in Gaza is from what most of us know - my sense of that last paragraph is that raw exploitation by Israel is an aspiration in Gaza.

      The other thing is that Israel has NEVER offered even that raw exploitation (which 90% of Gaza workers would jump on) as a good-faith gesture of a desire for some non-violent/non-starvation based method of creating a path forward. On a positive(??) note, this article shows just how completely within reach that opportunity is and how compleyely foul the full spectrum of Israeli political leadership is for preferring to inflict suffering and death instead.

      Again, sorry. I'm being cranky lately. Really good article. Very illuminating (x2,000,000).

  • Democrats 'no-fly, no-buy' sit-in bolsters racist, ineffective and arbitrary surveillance of Muslims
    • Great article. What could they have they been thinking?

      Politics is so completely broken/confused/muddled/upside down/inside out in the US that Trump isn't an opportunist, he's an inevitability.

    • Hothead! :)

  • Letters to Hillary
  • Smile -- it's the Upper West Side
    • +10, Chu. Choices not bindings.

      OR...something else (unstated) is going on where it is an externally-imposed bind rather than a choice.

    • @David44

      I assume you also read my last paragraph.

      My observation and experience is that supplication (whether you view it as that or not, THEY do) only provides the affirmation of their power that fuels their intransigence.

      Do you have a modern day example of this technique working to defuze/diffuse intransigence and effect change (or minimal case, create some space where change can occur)? I can't think of any offhand, but that's just me.

      It just seems to me that supplication is an acceptance of an inferior position which precludes an ability to expect change as one would expect change from an equal. I think that expectation of change is critical to actually achieving change.

      One last thing, the relationshipship where you feel compelled to consider others' feelings who don't even slightly consider the validity your own just stinks of the way things are done in Israel. Its how Palestinians are forced to relate to their oppressors. It seems out of place in the US. There's a distnct distaste when reading about it as a tactic. It seems like an ugly transferred characteristic where Palestinians here are expected to behave like Palestinians there (and many Palestinians here accept that condition given what Israel can and will do to captive family members and decades of experience with that system).

      But again, Ms. Fadil is Kairos so she/you may be adopting this method out of true and noble belief. If so, and as I wrote upthread, I'm in complete and sincere awe of that courage. Heck, I'm in awe of your courage, period.

      Prevail.

    • Great article.

      Is it possible to effect change without making the people who need to change feel uncomfortable?

      We want to recognize the emotional and psychological fear expressed by people living here on the Upper West Side who feel uncomfortable when they hear the policies of the state of Israel being criticized...

      Why?

      They don't recognize that your dead extended family in Gaza (hypothetically) were even human. Or that you are for that matter. I've never dealt with anyone on that basis so I don't have a clue how it feels, but it seems to me that it would be impossible to accept that assumption, perennially argue from a position of inferiority, and ultimately succeed in changing anything.

      You all are exceptional spiritual people for trying though. For putting other people's feelings first and giving them the benefit of the doubt (over long periods of time) that they will respond in kind. I admire you all very much for that strength and resilience.

      Justice.

  • Question for the Israeli left: Why do you discount the possibility of a second Nakba?
    • As Annie pointed out a few months back the legal definition of genocide was intended to stop genocide before it started in earnest. To prevent genocide.

      The definition was based on the authors' then recent observations of the signs leading up to the WWII-level genocides. They knew what they were talking about.

      Notably, the phrase "in whole or in part" was included. Israel is definitely in the "in part" phase of that definition and is therefore on the path to ethnic cleansing on a mass scale. It's probably a year or two away from a white-shirt emulation of "kristallnacht" in EJ.

      WRT the participation of the Israeli left in all this, I don't get the sense that they give a rat's ass about what happens to Palestinians in Palestine. After all, their political leaders proudly proclaim that they're not "Arab Lovers." Say no more.

      It's happening and the left explicitly doesn't care. I don't know if "shaming" (as this article seems to attempt) works in that circumstance.

      PS. Mr. Abu Rass, do you really think those four kids playing football on the beach were killed by mistake? Is that how you have to say it in order to avoid consequences back home?

  • Post Orlando, a Muslim's comment on homophobia within the Muslim community
  • Netanyahu agonistes
    • Yakov,

      ...for explaining what?

      That you were writing to expose the people.

      To me there were three interrelated concepts in the article:

      ● The gratuitously "gappy" facts presented by these people.

      ● The significance of those gaps (ie. what's now going on in Israel that makes it significant).

      ● These people have been doing this for years without repercussions.

      None of these are new phenomena so I didn't understand where you were going with this until you explained above that you are going to tackle the last one.

      For some reason I just wasn't seeing your direction. That's just me.

      Cheers.

    • Thanks for explaining this Yakov. I didn't understand.

    • Please define "get serious with..."

      Shiloh goes?
      Jordan Valley goes?
      Full RF spectrum (banking, water, borders, etc.) control?
      Airport (WB AND Gaza)?
      End siege/blockade (or just entertain/experiment with the notion)?
      Return/reparations?
      Sovereignty?
      De-stagnate the discussion by letting the Joint List into a governing coalition or serve as opposition leadership?

      Ad infinitum.

      There isn't enough "serious" left in Israel to get "serious" enough to solve any of this. Therefore this really isn't about Netanyahu at all. This is about a lot of loud but totally inconsequential caterwauling about that unsettling feeling you get in your gut during free fall by the very people who all jumped off the cliff willingly and together as a political class.

      Is the next Israeli PM who is not Netanyahu going to change anything? Sure seems like they were all participants in/architects of the current situation. ALL of them.

      What's new now?

  • Palestinians in North America: Our rent to pay
    • Love your writing, Ms Elia. You have a gift for giving substance to somewhat ethereal concepts.

  • American Jewish identity: Moving beyond 'love for Israel' and the Holocaust
    • Thanks Roland and Mooser. I was just curious if there was something to return to should the idolatry of Israel fade.

      Also, it seems like the Holocaust killed the benevolent God-half of Jewish tradition. Well, more temporarily erased or drastically de-emphasized than killed, but it left a huge hole to fill. Israel filled that positive-aspiration void. I was wondering if there was something big to fill that void. In my own fumbling terminology, will the benevolent God-half return to Jewish tradition in some emphatic way?

      I figured I'd try to explain my question. There's about 10 Jews here in Alabama so it's tough to do this in person, but it's the preferable way so I think I'll try to find a synagogue that might entertain big questions from total strangers.

      Anyway, thanks for a thought provoking article.

      Cheers.

    • mcohen, is that supposed to make sense?

    • If there was one...

    • Page: 17
    • Being non-Jewish, I guess I have to ask. What was the cornerstone of Jewish identity before the Holocaust and Israel?

  • 'Boycott' Israel over J'lem prayer rules, but 'work' against occupation -- Forward's double standard
    • @Shmuel -

      The first “targeted civil eliminations” (in the words of Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz)?"

      Heh.

      Kinda like Babe Ruth calling his shot by pointing at the center field stands (link to en.m.wikipedia.org). I can almost hear the Mafia-like "You can't prove anything!" non-denial denials coming soon.

    • Hey Annie. 246 comments show up for me on your "Worldwide Protest" article. Was that all of them?

    • EI said they had a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack a few weeks ago. Now masses of comments missing here.

      Coincidence, or Israel's attempt to digitally win hearts and minds?

    • Sorry to hear that Shmuel and gamal. That's a big loss for the site.

      A few thousand of mine are gone too. See, some prayers do get answered. :)

    • Yep MHughes. Should have been persecuted and/or punished. Cuomo skipped right past the due process part.

    • Another question is whether Cuomo knows she would have to be prosecuted under his decree.

      I'd love to see her letter stating her reasons to be taken off the list.

    • One would think.

  • Democrats who care about Palestine -- prepare to be censored by the media
    • It looks like Alison Weir was right to find alternate media outlets. She was strategically brilliant but could/should have done better tactically. Now the people who cut her off at the knees instead of working with her to improve the tactical application of a brilliant strategy are all in a tizzy about not being able to get the exact same message out anywhere.

      Meanwhile Palestinians in Palestine are being killed by the hundreds every year and many more are dying from occupation-caused bad water, lack of medical care, etc., etc., etc.

      Seems odd to me to put so much energy into purifying (apparently by fire) your media outlets/channels when you don't have many/any alternatives and so many Palestinian lives and futures are at stake.

      I fear for the Palestinians in Palestine. They always seem to come in last place on everyone's list.

  • NY state senator wants to cut off university funds to SJP
    • I don't think it's a "Jewish-Gentile" contention, Talkback. This is a small group of rabidly insular lunatics (and their well-funded and disposable minions) who are attempting to gut the Constitution for everyone, non-Jew and Jew alike.

      I don't think they'll succeed, but if they do they'll be creating precedent that can be turned right back on them by the next group in power. In that context you can argue that they're even at war with themselves.

      Please don't make this into something it's not by generalizing to all Jews (ie. "Jewish national struggle").

  • Barak says Trump should name Rice or Gates v.p. to improve his chances from 30 percent
    • Agree Rusty. All of this talk was strangely wishful, wistful, tangential, and/or otherwise consigned to sad, unachievable what-if-ery.

    • "Extract"?? Ho hum.

      Why is Barak offering advice (on what to look for) to would-be Jewish funders of Trump when Clinton is so perfect for Israel? Is this an acknowledgement of the seriousness of, and a hedge against, the roiling/uncertainty on Israel in the Democratic party?

      How can Barak chastise Netanyahu for failing to move toward the mythical two-state outcome (and thereby propelling Israel's lurch to the right) when he himself punted on making that deal (and STILL lost to Netanyahu, iirc)?

      Sounds like this was a "Please save Israel from itself!" plea from a former PM who had every opportunity to do just that. Not sure what it all means.

  • Are comparisons of South African apartheid and Israel useful?
    • Interesting observation. Thanks.

    • A) Call it Hafrada. Same crime. No semantics involved. And yes I get the "name recognition" niceties and/or legalities. So call it Hafrada-Apartheid.

      B) Are the authors Israelis? Do they consider Palestine a state?

  • Family of Tel Aviv attacker tries to understand how star pupil turned to violence
    • I always wondered if Area C was historically sparsely populated (~100,000 Palestinian residents in roughly half the WB). This article shows that it is not historical. It has been ethnically cleansed.

      How can one possibly watch one's village grow 10X because of ethnic cleansing (with no end in sight and as the world yawns) and not be REALLY pissed off and helpless. Bad combination angry and helpless.

      -----

      Allison, is it possible to do an article on the father of one of the victims who seemed to somewhat understand the motivation (but not the crime). Sounds like a similar path to Miko Peled and David Harris-Gershon (both had family victims of Palestinian terrorism), from anger and condemnation to addressing the root problem.

      DHG would be a particularly interesting comparison to me as we all watched him evolve away from bitterness and revenge when he first started posting at dKos. Pretty remarkable. I wonder if the same personal transformation could take place within Israel.

      Perhaps one or both of those two could co-author something with you (and/or the victim's father, though too fresh). It would be a compelling read, imho. It would bookend this article in all sorts of ways and levels of understanding.

      Just a thought.

  • Cuomo's sliding scale
    • Eh. Nevermind. Boris is just wrong. It's not even a discussion. My bad.

      "In Rutan v. Republican Party of Illinois,11 the Supreme Court held that the government could not deny employment opportunities to punish public contractors in retaliation for political beliefs."

      link to ccrjustice.org

      Thanks to Annie for the CCR link.

    • Boris, it's hard to tell if you read Katie's link or not, but here is the decision (right up top):

      Held:

      1. The nonviolent elements of petitioners' activities are entitled to the protection of the First Amendment. Pp. 458 U. S. 907-915.

      (a) Through exercise of their First Amendment rights of speech, assembly, association, and petition, rather than through riot or revolution, petitioners sought to bring about political, social, and economic change. Pp. 458 U. S. 907-912.

      (b) While States have broad power to regulate economic activities, there is no comparable right to prohibit peaceful political activity such as that found in the boycott in this case. Pp. 458 U. S. 912-915.

      Assuming for a second you're not just making stuff up, you (and Cuomo and company) appear to be arguing that a state's "right" to boycott (Ie. impose an economic penalty on) protected political activity/speech is NOT a "prohibition" under Claiborne, nor would it be legally construed as an imposition of "liability" (read further at the link) on protected activity/speech.

      Gosh the intent of Claiborne was crystal clear - protected speech CANNOT be financially penalized - tortiously - as a form of prohibition. But Claiborne didn't rule on a whether a state can financially penalize protected speech directly (ie. non-tortiously) and/or whether Cuomo's EO157 constitues a liability or prohibition as covered in the ruling.

      Maybe it's so glaringly laughably legally obvious that something like EO157 IS an unconstitutional prohibition of protected speech that no case has ever made it to the Supreme Court on the issue, or, Cuomo and Company think they have found a loophole where they are going to contend that a STATE imposing a financial penalty (or any penalty) on protected speech is NOT an unconstitutional "prohibition" of that speech because Claiborne donly ealt with liabilities between private parties.

      Can a state or any government body simply declare protected speech unprotected by taxing it? If so you may be right that NY has a "right" to boycott boycotters. Seems like a bizarre, and frankly un-American, argument though.

      TBD.

    • Cuomo to NY: "There but for the grace of ME, go YOU."

  • Clintonites oppose 'occupation' mention in platform-- as Cornel West says party is 'beholden to AIPAC'
    • Bingo Talkback!

      The contradictions are always so glaringly obvious yet they don't ever seem to realize that they are contradicting themselves. Or maybe they do and it's always worked so they don't care.

      I suppose people who argue like Wexler rationalize their constant discontinuous blather by assuming that Israel alone has the right to make such determinations on the status of its subjugated people/captive population of 50 years. That Palestinians simply don't matter...at all...not the least little bit. That Palestinians are less than zoo animals (dolphins in current events) where their keepers decide when to release them back into the wild.

      It's one or the other. Both possibilities (scary delusional or flat out racist) should be openly and unapologetically discussed until Wexler-types start to own up to which it is.

      There's just no other explanation.

    • Great article.

      On "divisiveness" (or accusations in general):

      Jesus: "Let you who is without sin cast the first stone."

      Operative establishment/Clinton corollary: "S/he who casts the first stone usually knocks the other guy out."

      -----

      Advocates for change have never really found an effective/resonating proactive tactic to counter that establishment corollary, imho. Or maybe they have, but are not willing to use it. Something along the lines of Lloyd Benson's, "...and you are no Jack Kennedy."

      Sanders' folks are getting defined by their opponents.

      I understand what PW means when he says, "there *ought* to be division...", but my devil's advocate quibble is there ought NOT to be division. The party should just agree (be able to agree) on simple facts that it IS occupation and settlements are illegal. The make-or-break political power play/threat of "...if you want the votes (and $27x10,000,000) in November [you'll have to make this gesture of good faith that across-the-board change is actually even remotely conceivable]..." is there to be used as leverage -- should someone choose to use it. Throw the risk calculation back on the establishment. Or better, LEAD with that threat. Let "them" know what's at stake right up front.

      Money or votes. Decisions, decisions.

  • As San Francisco mourns Orlando, Trump pulls Clinton his way
    • "The Gays" and "the Muslims" are sounding, courageously, against all odds, like actual leaders. How refreshing. More please.

      "The Usuals" not so much. Less please.

  • By stressing accused Orlando shooter's Muslim name, Trump can gain upper hand on Clinton -- Michael Oren
    • Oren: "This changes race."

      Well it would for sure in an irredeemably racist country like where Oren is from. We'll see about here.

      Heck, if Oren's racist theory was correct, Trump could just say Muslims are coming out in droves to vote and he'd win easily.

      TBD...

      Really getting sick of Israelis coming here and overlaying their perverted/failed/absent morality on us. We have enough problems in that area.

      How refreshing it would be if Israeli officials in the US offered us help instead of corruption and paranoia. Jeez, when Israel has a problem with BDS, US Ambassador Shapiro offers to stage a phony peace process to help relieve the worsening perception and growing pressure. Why can't Israel offer to dial back its occupation brutality for a while and/or aggressively prosecute a couple of the people there who burned kids alive (they have more than a few to choose from)? Ya know, just to relieve some pressure on us in the Muslim world as a show of good faith and reciprocity.

      HaHaHa.

      Hey Israel, throw us a bone.

    • Posted this OT in the Lerner thread:

      I’m watching CBS coverage (@1245) of the LAX response to the Orlando horror and somebody’s waving an Israeli flag behind the podium.

      I can only guess that the flag-waver is trying to send the message that this shooting is good for Israel by bolstering support because the murderer has a Muslim last name. What other purpose?

      Disgusting.

  • Condemn! Condemn!
  • Michael Lerner brings down the house at Muhammad Ali funeral by standing up for Palestinians and against Netanyahu
    • I'm watching CBS coverage (@1245) of the LAX response to the Orlando horror and somebody's waving an Israeli flag behind the podium.

      I can only guess that the flag-waver is trying to send the message that this shooting is good for Israel by bolstering support because the murderer has an Arabic last name. What other purpose?

      Disgusting.

    • Sibiriak, Agree and disagree.

      Yes Lerner laid out an enlightened moral vision in the good parts. Agree.

      But then he muted/muddled that beautiful moral message by soliciting support for a presidential candidate who's history and immutable predisposition going forward (as evidenced by her apparent inability to learn lessons from past catastrophic errors in judgement) to continue down that "war as first resort," "We came. We saw. He died." psycho-"path."

      The killing of "brown people," which Ali tirelessly protested, is apparently completely acceptable behavior for Clinton. By including his solicitation for Clinton, Lerner zeroed out his moral message and Ali's moral legacy (within the context of the eulogy). So I disagree. The "structure and content of the speech" did not suggest otherwise. Not the whole speech.

      Perhaps Lerner is an extremist optimist and thought that Clinton could be "pressured" into becoming more Ali-like, or at least internalizing some of his views, but that's a forlorn hope, imho. As a result he, again imho, was simultaneously advocating both for and against Ali's vision in this eulogy.

      Lerner merged potential spiritual uplift with demonstrated, real-world proclivities, and told us it's all good. What a shame. What a waste of a pristene moment.

      Having said all that, reasonable adults can take the good bits (which you listed) to heart, ignore the bad/self-defeating bits, and be inspired. I was just disappointed that the insertion of highly-debatable politics meant we (or selfishly, *I*) were left with the need to make that choice.

      I never should have brought this up.

    • "...everyone talking about Clinton"...no.

      In the context of Lerner's eulogy about political advocacy, that we're in the middle of a presidential campaign, and Clinton is the only woman candidate...yes.

      To me, if one is advocating for a candidate, they're advocating for the policies of that candidate. If those policies and historical practices of the candidate touted seem directly opposed to Ali's own words, it stands out.

      To state my assumption, when Lerner says "she" in the above context he is saying "Vote for Clinton." I could be wrong about that, but it read that way to me.

    • Hi Annie.

      "Tell the next president of the United States that she..." - See more at: link to mondoweiss.net

      Anywhere Lerner said "she" he was talking about Clinton, and by extension advocating her signature policies of destabilization and death abroad and the effects of free trade here at home.

      "Dropping bombs and bullets on brown people" is specifically what Ali said he would not do at risk of prison. To fold a political pitch for a candidate that promotes policies that would - perhaps arguably - be anathema to the Muhammad Ali of the 60s, into a eulogy for him was pretty out of line. To me anyway.

      My recollection/sense of Ali was that he would have opposed both Trump and Clinton. I have no idea why Lerner would tarnish Ali's legacy by associating him with Clinton - even if, but also especially because, the association is so highly debatable.

      Ali's words at the time:

      “Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go 10,000 miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on Brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights? No I’m not going 10,000 miles from home to help murder and burn another poor nation simply to continue the domination of white slave masters of the darker people the world over. This is the day when such evils must come to an end. I have been warned that to take such a stand would cost me millions of dollars. But I have said it once and I will say it again. The real enemy of my people is here. I will not disgrace my religion, my people or myself by becoming a tool to enslave those who are fighting for their own justice, freedom and equality.… If I thought the war was going to bring freedom and equality to 22 million of my people they wouldn’t have to draft me, I’d join tomorrow. I have nothing to lose by standing up for my beliefs. So I’ll go to jail, so what? We’ve been in jail for 400 years.”

      link to fusion.net

      But like I said there were good parts. And who knows, maybe today Muhammad Ali did support Clinton. I just found that the references to "she" took me right out if the moment.

    • Parts were really good and spoke to Ali's model of courage and timeless inspiration. ··sniffles··

      Parts were really bad and promoted politics of killing Muslims, destroying whole countries for no apparent reason, facilitating domestic economic apocalypse and inequality, etc., that were completely at odds with Ali's stand-up-and-cheer (wish-he-was-still-here) message and moral legacy.

      Yep. Lerner then, like me now, should have left any references to current, profoundly non-laudible, muddled and muddling (the anti-Ali effect), tarnishing domestic politics out of any tribute to a very great man.

      Sorry.

  • Activists descend on Cuomo NYC office to defend right to boycott
    • Joe, I probably misunderstood your comment. Are you saying "divest their money and assets" does NOT mean cancelling or proscribing state contracts with entities and/or people on the list?

      I really don't know what "divest" means there. It's either the broad meaning of government contracts or some narrow meaning applying to relatively rare situations where NY actually, non-contractually, invests in some form public-private partnership (eg. providing a building for a long-term program).

      Have to say though, that the narrow meaning could actually be construed broadly and pernisciously if say sidewalks used for this protest got zealously classified as "investment" under this EO (or meeting rooms in colleges, or colleges that provide meeting rooms, etc.). That may all seem ridiculous, but then so does the whole EO. If "they" can be so obviously unconstitutional in crafting this, "they" can and probably will do anything they want.

      The EO seems pretty vague to me. Whether that means it is intended only for show/to make a point/secure Cuomo's campaign contributions, or to enable a very real and ruthlessly-cast broad net, it's hard to tell, for me anyway.

      Hope the unconstitutionality makes any of this deciphering moot.

      Cheers.

    • It needs to be pointed out, apparently repeatedly, that when Sodastream closed its factory in Occupied Pakestine it could have kept those "valued" Palestinian employees except that Israeli Apartheid "legally" prohibited them from working in the new location (20km and a company bus ride away).

      BDS forced the move but had ZERO to do with any lost jobs for Palestinians.

      link to theguardian.com

      Good action protesting Cuomo and EO157.

  • Why I use the triple parentheses on my byline
    • Noble sentiment (sincerely).

      Equally sincerely, is there a way to similarly diffuse/defuze anti-Palestinian bigots?

      It's hard for me to adopt this when (((Jeffrey Goldberg))), who doesn't give the tiniest hoot about bigoted treatment of Palestinians, uses it to highlight his own victimhood. When you, (((James North))) adopt it, it means something important.

      How do I merge the two intents?

      Jonathon Ofir just wrote about this victim tautology today:

      "Condemn! Condemn!, link to mondoweiss.net

      Mr. Ofir's summary of the difficulty:

      I oppose violence. If I thought this condemnation was about opposing violence – even about opposing terror – then I would feel that it was very responsible to condemn. But this is not what it’s about. The condemnation that Israel wants is a card of sympathy for its violent policies of collective punishment, and general terrorizing of a whole population. I am concerned that I will end up supporting terrorism, by condemning it.

      He relates it to violence, but the same circularity can apply here as well. Bigots mimicking bigots to protest bigotry, mixed in with, and indistinguishable from, good people mimicking bigots to protest bigotry.

      Idk. Just trying to wrestle with this.

      Thanks for the article.

  • The struggle of refugees in Lebanon, Greece, and Germany: An interview with Hala Gabriel
    • Sorry Stephen. It's an excellent interview. I tweeted it for a little exposure to people who may not be familiar.

      I didn't comment because all this non-stop intentional destruction, torment, injustice, and death that results in the plight of refugees and IDPs in that tortured part of the world is overwhelming, for me anyway.

      A couple bucks here and there is all I know to do to help. We're about to elect a President who wants more refugees and has more money to make that happen.

      A few years ago This Week in Tech (TWiT; Leo Laporte) did part of a podcast on how massive, insoluble problems tend to turn potential donors off because they don't see a way to help in any meaningful way. He showcased a guy that instead focused on personal stories (the grains of sand in the disaster beach) and had better fundraising appeal. IIRC. The assertion was that people innately felt they could more readily and effectively help individuals rather than populations and were therefore more willing to try to do so. The top-line need and use/distribution (ie. to help populations) was the same but the affect and effect of the appeal was more compelling as a human-to-human connection.

      That may seem obvious, but I'm not sure it is. Such huge-magnitude issues tend to overwhelm the people making the appeal ("This is SO big, they'll HAVE to be moved...") as well as those receiving it.

      I tried to search for that podcast episode but couldn't find it. It was really insightful. Maybe someone else who has better search skills can.

      This is not a criticism of your interview whatsoever. This interview just made me think of that TWiT episode.

      If it's not to late, Thanks for writing this.

      FWIW.

  • Video: Palestinian carrying watermelon is stopped for four hours by Israeli soldiers
  • Please boycott us, Governor Cuomo
  • Following Tel Aviv attack, Israel freezes Ramadan travel permits for Palestinians and seals West Bank village
    • John O, what was he saying that might invite blowback?

      (Not sarcasm, just curious on your take.)

    • Visiting the victim’s families this morning Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin said, “Let the Palestinians understand – they cannot break us, anyone who lets terror to operate, will find at the end of the road the terror on his doorstep.” - See more at: link to mondoweiss.net

      Is there a shortage of mirrors in Israel, or do these guys simply not see a reflection when they mouth such omnidirectional platitudes?

  • To the Holocaust survivor I interviewed, in regards to Palestine
    • Annie, re: vile, seafoid made the observation a while back that pro-Israel "advocacy" is like "The Picture of Dorian Gray."

      link to en.m.wikipedia.org

      They try to maintain the pretty "only democracy" face but the insides keep getting uglier and uglier.

      You do great work.

  • Democratic Party leadership lines up against BDS -- and the 'nuts' who support it
    • The raw expectation of absolute followership for racist/colonial policies by 21.C political leaders on this issue is well beyond astounding. It's fricken' paranormal activity.

      How do human beings, fundamentally conflicted as a part of being human, develop (and espouse) this level of certitude for something so obviously contrary to ALL the lessons of US genocidal and racist history, and maybe more importantly, the correcting acknowledgements, accepted common wisdom, and/or actions made to compensate for that ugly history?

      Anyway, I'm glad that most reasonably-aware normal people don't suffer from the same bag-over-head-since-birth syndrome that these leaders apparently do. It'll be interesting to see how funded political zealots react to an upwelling of political reason, morality, and sense - on the Dem side at least.

      Thanks for the article. Tough to get through.

  • With BDS order, Cuomo imports the anti-democratic spirit, from Israel and France
  • The List: Cuomo's anti-BDS executive order is a first amendment nightmare
    • What also bothers me about this is that it is so clearly unconstitutional (and makes no sense on the surface) that while we're all riveted to the Cuomo Show something else is happening out of frame.

      Maybe something significant.

      Is that too paranoid?

    • "Never know how this will turn out..."

      Bingo. The coin has been tossed and is still in the air.

      I still can't get my pea-brain around the fact that so much effort and ballyhoo is being put into a method that at best has a 50% chance of succeeding as intended.

    • There may be some stigma associated with the list, but I think that when this EO is reversed in court the biggest effect by far will be that it will be seen as a badge of courage. More people will buy their products. I know I would.

      The proposed teeth (whatever "divest state resources" means) of this EO are the potential problem for the listees.

      Now if this article is suggesting that some completely illegal coordinated restraint of trade action will be undertaken by anti-Palestinian businesses based on this list, that's another issue entirely. But there again, if word gets around the business community that the chances are pretty good that any company which ceases operations in Israel of getting capriciously added to this list and therefore exposed to this anti-Palestinian backlash, no one will risk entering the Israeli market in the first place. Just not worth it.

      And the "word" that "gets around" doesn't even have to be true. Accepted myth (bolstered by the concrete reality of a list generated by the state if NY for the specific purpose) that retaliation WILL occur would have the same diminishing effect.

  • PEN director praises Charlie Hebdo's courage, then suggests BDS makes students feel 'isolated, vulnerable, threatened'
    • It read to me like she was backed into a corner where she couldn't expand any further on her belief that BDS is an exception to her and PEN's free speech mission without publicly turning that mission into a total farce of selectivity... and THEN she changed the subject.

      She was just that close to making herself and PEN
      America an irrelevant laughingstock (akin to the Newseum).

      "Forced to grudgingly mouth the words by fiduciary constraints" doesn't constitute "belief in," imho. I got the impression that by not answering a simple question with a direct, affirmative, mission-consistent, universal answer of an advocate she practically screamed that she didn't believe BDS is free speech. From that glaring omission-by-subject-change, I also got the impression she'd bring Thor's hammer down on BDS if she was employed elsewhere (eg. a "next level" Clinton administration).

    • So do people like Nossel come packaged with funding? Are cash starved rights orgs making (forced to make) a Hobson's choice between a compromised message and no message at all?

      Is it that bad out there, or is this a decision based on trading quality/credibility of mission for maintaining a certain quality of institutional life?

      Hard to tell. If the former, selling out may be understandable. If the latter, unforgivable.

  • Flanked by AIPAC and Israeli consul, Cuomo signs anti-BDS order
    • MHughes, I believe the US Constitution ensures that free speech is not a reversible or reciprocal right. People have the right but the state does not. I'm going to get in trouble here, but my high school civics classes make me want to say that the whole Bill of Rights here was about rights for citizens and limitations for governments.

      So, no it's not the same thing, in the US anyway. France otoh...

      FWIW.

    • Here's the pdf link to the full text of the EO.

      link to governor.ny.gov

      I may have missed it.

    • Who decides who is on the shit list? Are names submitted by NY citizens? Petitions for inclusion voted upon statewide? An illegal office in E. Jerusalem (oh the irony)? Delivered by God to random recipients on the site of the Third Temple? Santa Claus (makin' a list...)?

      Is there any promise of openness in this EO list-generation process? Sounds pretty Star Chamber-ish to me.

    • By executive order? What are the implications of that in terms of reversibility or appeal or open, public hearing-based process?

    • So this is what the end game looks like.

      Either it is constitutional or it isn't.

      Do away with US Constitutional democracy at Israel's insistence, or preserve it in spite of Israel's insistence.

      Perhaps overstating a little (but not much), this is just that fundamental.

  • Ayelet Waldman is going to change the American Jewish relationship to Israel
    • I think I agree. Her conversion seemed almost too easy and/or abrupt. Maybe even flighty or trendy. But trendy is good. It implies a trend.

      Calender marked.

    • I hope she does her book tour with a Palestinian author from the West Bank or Gaza. I'm sure some are worthy.

  • 'Why do you go around with a pistol if it's so peaceful here?'
    • Does Airbnb list Palestinian homes? Or does Israel prevent that? Does Airbnb not even try? Does Airbnb even WANT to list places in Palestine? Can people go from a settlement to a Palestinian home to compare (and return home with a potentially enlightening tale)?

  • Why don't you share all the good things about Israel?
  • Happy 100th birthday Bernard Lewis!
    • As you point out pabelmont, there seems to be more than enough potential political fissures there to enable that realignment.

    • I wonder what prevents Sephardic Israelis from rejecting the Ashkenazi worldview in Israel and politically allying with the Joint List to recreate Convivencia as a modern problem solving method/force in Israel.

  • Leftist and fascist Israeli leaders snuggle at Pride event
    • Thanks Ofer.

      It must be kinda flattering (to someone) that Israel has its own little informal variant of the US Aspen Institute where notionally polar political opposites pillow talk and then slink back home to collaborate on how to collectively screw the uninvited.

      "...nonpartisan venue..." http://www.aspeninstitute.org

      Hypothetical hashtag: #democracyinaction (both senses)

      :P

  • Clinton's foreign policy speech downplays Israel (and leaves out Palestine)
    • I would love to see the Greens and the Libertarians suck up their guts and join forces to get the 20% vote requirement to be a feasible party. There's some commonality there (eg. foreign aid, solving problems domestically, ending perpetual war lowers taxes, anti-security state, etc.) even on big issues.

      Combined they're polling at about 8% now (3% Green and 5% Libertarian). A "Libergreenian" message might create some voting synergy, or maybe even enough, to make a national difference next time. I wish they would both try to be open-minded enough to see the opportunity to lift themselves out of obscurity and give us all a credible non-protest voting alternative.

      Sanders has shown it's fundable.

  • Clinton forces dig in against changes to Democratic platform on Israel
    • Wow.

      I really can't remember a Presidential election where so many people (outside the conspicuously dazed and confused Beltway crowd) not only "get it" but get it in shared specifics and are willing to ally on that basis (come what may).

      One has to wonder at this point how many Trump supporters who are living on the same dire economic bubble* would also vote for Sanders.
      -----

      * The PBS Newshour did a piece last night about a poll showing 40% of Americans would NOT have $400 to cover an emergency. That condition cuts across traditional party lines.

      link to pbs.org

      OTOH there's this truly "mind-blowing" finding about historical voting habits (Tavis Smiley's show):

      Vavreck: Okay. This is what’s really mind-blowing about the robustness of how the nation’s economy affects the two-party outcome in a presidential election. Now let’s be clear. It is more about when we look at what’s driving what.

      It’s more about the state of the nation’s economy, GDP change, for example, than it is about how you personally, Tavis, have done this year or in the first six months or how you think you’re going to do in the next six months.

      So your personal–people somehow divorce their personal experience with the economy from some general assessment of how they think things are going nationally. We don’t actually know a lot about why they do that.

      link to pbs.org

      I really hope the above voter disconnect is one of the things that's changing this year and propelling the current/potential upheaval. That it IS changing seems to explain pretty well the political fracturing that's going on now.

      And to bring it a little more on-topic, I am guessing that changing perceptions may not only be a soda-straw-view of economic change/self-interest. It may be a broad questioning (and rejection???; without solution, yet) of the value of all policies that have brought us to this political point in time.

      FWIW

    • Thanks Annie. Great YS/NC article.

      YS makes a compelling case that something is very different this time.

      Voters want this election to be an omelette and Hillary looks like a nice big egg.

    • Thanks again lysias. I'll pick it up. Important stuff imo.

    • Thanks lysias. Really interesting.

      Are there exit poll data/stats comparisons somewhere to elections that were considered fair and honest by everyone? That is, is there some way to rule out flawed exit polling as the issue as opposed to rigged elections?

      It may be at your link, but I'm not smart enough to be able to mine the stats without some hand-holding. I get that it's extremely improbable that exit polling and election results are that divergent, but it's hard (for me anyway) to see/understand what the statistical assumptions were (if any) to arrive at that improbability.

      I'd like to understand, but it just may not be necessary given that that degree of improbability may relegate any nuance to statistical noise.

    • Schrode is seeking to get elected in a district with 10.4% unemployment and she makes Israel an adamant priority. Wow. Perfect example of how out of whack the traditional "unbreakable bond" (showing a bit of machine humor, autocorrect almost made that "unbreakable bind") spiel has become.

      link to ballotpedia.org

      Wave bye-bye to Bernie voters, Ms. Schrode.

      -----

      @Annie. Isn't this your home turf? Marin County and north along the coast? Thoughts?

  • Israel commandeers UN for anti-BDS pep rally
    • @Jon66

      If that's sarcasm it's terribly misguided.

      It's not my interpretation. It's cost-benefit (risk) analysis 101.

      ● At risk of harming corporate image or branding and losing global business by doing business with what is widely perceived as an Apartheid state. (Mass market brands are most sensitive.)

      ● At risk of corporate liability and/or shareholder suits for violating international law.

      ● At risk of losing access to major markets because some non-defined process or person in, or friendly to, or both, a small market may or may not like their reason for ceasing operations and decided it was a boycott - apparently without appeal.

      Decision: Avoid Israel like the plague.

      You scoff, but all these anti-do-the-right-thing (aka anti-BDS) constitutional perversions lay the foundation for the compulsion you describe. Anti-BDS efforts are the first steps down the path of compelling business behavior in non-public welfare (ie. heretofore totally discretionary decision-making) areas. Anti-BDS tells companies what they must NOT do. If any if these anti-BDS efforts survive with effect, dictating what business MUST do is the next very short step down that compulsion path.

      I say go for it Israel. Nothing like using the power of the state to compell people to like you and want to play with you.

      As Jonathan Ofir just wrote, "The problem is the problem." The reaction (BDS) to the problem (perpetual violent subjugation of Palestine and Palestinians) is not the problem. Solve the problem. All this attacking personal and corporate conscience only builds resentment (personally) and aversion (corporately). It is counterproductive to your own goals and it does nothing to solve the "problem."

      In case you weren't being sarcastic... Nevermind.

    • No rational business is going to START doing business in Israel if they risk losing the ability to do any business with the State of NY should they pull out for any reason. There's absolutely zero assurance that the reason for a pullout will not be judged as a moral boycott by some (single?) Israeli decider and the company denied access to a market many times the size of the Israeli market. It's just unacceptable business risk.

      The more of these anti-free speech spasms are passed, the quicker new investment in Israel dries right up.

    • Oh FFS. Lauder himself laid it out.

      To repeat Lauder's words as reported:

      “. . . and he (Richard Lauder) pledged to place ads in major newspapers to encourage students to report BDS and anti-Semitic activity to the WJC”

      Breaking it down:

      ● "report BDS..." = report constitutionally protected political speech. Why? Define all BDS "activity."
      ● "...and anti-Semitic activity" = equating BDS to hate speech, implying punishment is in order.
      ● "to the WJC (World Jewish Congress)" = Jewish database.

      Is this proposed Jewish database of reports of BDS activity by who knows who under who knows what circumstances going to be open to everyone to research and/or dispute? If not, it's SECRET. I didn't see Lauder offering it up for public scrutiny. Yep, SECRET in its conception.

      The canary site Annie mentioned is NOT open for that type of investigation and it is SPECIFICALLY set up to punish activists for Palestinian justice by "encouraging" employers to check there first. The precedent is in place for using this WJC database in that way, and when BDS activity is likened to hate speech - by the proposer of such a database - it's perfectly reasonable to believe that that's exactly what it will be used for (punishment).

      If this proposed database isn't going to be used to capture every comment then why "encourage" informers to report BDS comments (are comments an activity?). BDS activity as defined by whom? That's so utterly broad as to be meaningless and is a clear exhortation for anyone to report anything. Aren't there currently a dozen places one can go to report anti-semitic behavior? Why a new database if BDS activity isn't the primary target? Why collect the information if you're not going to use it - at the macro or micro level?

      Unless you subscribe to the strange notion that this type of information has historically been, and therefore will prospectively be, used with discretion and caution by the Lauder's of the "BDS is anti-semitic" (clue: NOT a discrete or cautious equation) community, this is an incredibly, incredibly, incredibly bad idea. It pits a small number if Jews directly against a large number of non-Jews (and Jews).

      As far as my anti-semitism goes, F'k off. I didn't propose this abortion and I'm not reading anything into it that isn't without precedent. Actually, skipping the double negative, it's all completely precedented. What IS new is formally folding clearly-political BDS activities in with the ugly stuff to be reported. That's WAY over the line.

      And it's absolutely not my fault or flaw that none of you anti-Palestinian types can seem to grasp how alienating this constant barrage of symptoms-targeting, morality-crushing garbage is. It just constantly pits a small amoral segment of the US Jewish community (while claiming to speak for all Jews) against tens of millions of reasonably-moral normal people. Lauder has a really messed up/dangerous worldview, imo.

      Solve the base problem (Israel's violent subjugation of Palestine and Palestinians) and all this goes away. What a better world it would be if all your energy went in that direction instead of perpetuating it.

    • Thanks Annie.

      hophmi, the Palestine Legal comparison is a complete disconnect.

      Placing ads in newspapers encouraging US Jews (ie. advertising the fact that they will now be doing this; Beware!) to report any and all completely legal and constitutionally protected BDS activity to some secret central Jewish database with the specific intent/implicit threat of [potentially career-ending] retaliation (cf. Steven Salaita and Leanne Mohamad) is not the same as representing someone - after the fact - who has been actionably wronged.

      To me anyway.

      If Palestine Legal (to use your example) advertised nationally to have people report to them any pro-Israel comments in the classroom or at McDonalds that would be equally implicitly threatening, chilling, and flat wrong (and would likely get a few US Arab/Muslim kids killed as "terrorist spies" in the resulting paranoia). But they don't, do they?

    • So Ronald Lauder seeks to turn 6 million Jews into snitches on the other 300 million of us.

      I'm sure that can only end well.

      Again, everything the anti-BDS crowd does or tries to do is counterproductive/detrimental to their own avowed self-interest. They have no viable options left to keep the debate entombed in the "traditional" boundaries.

      The discussion is over, but strangely their lips are still moving.

  • 'My weekend in Palestine' changed an Australian man's life
    • Doubtom, I explained why above. The reason in the original comment and my response to tokyobk are related as excuse to avoid enlightenment and pursuing enlightenment, respectively.

    • Dear Mooser,

      [insert lengthy, profuse, legitimizing, and glowing praise here]

      Signed,

      A Fan

      -----

      Feel better? :))

    • Thanks tokyobk. I asked because I do believe that how Jews inform themselves and/or transition on this issue informs/creates space for others who may wish to follow.

    • I guess I have to ask if Martin is Jewish. Not that it matters much if he is, except that if he is it would expose the whole "I'd be killed if I did this..." excuse/refrain from Jewish, pro-Israel, fact-avoiding, apologists/accusers for the vacuum-derived drivel that it is.

      As an indication of which way the proverbial "arc of history" bends, I suspect that even the Max Narr's of the Jewish world would be invited into occupoed Palestinian home(s) to share a meal should they ever deign to ask.

    • Big ditto bintbiba!

  • Yehuda Glick's meteoric rise from messianic margins to Israeli parliament
    • Oh Dear Lord.

      "...a judge noted that Ettinger encouraged acts of violence that harmed Israel’s security,..."

      "harmed Israel's security"? Is that what the Israelis call burning a whole family alive?

      There are no laws there. At least not the kind that are accepted by every civilized country on the planet.

      I think Shmuel pointed out to me a while back (on Knesset procedures) that even long and deeply held legalities in Israel are (completely?) contingent on the whims of the moment. It appears here that the need to softpedal heinous murder is now one of those whims.

      Sickening. It truly is.

    • Heck Talkback, why be so vague? ;)

      Muslims between the ages of 16-55 (or whatever the current restrictions are) CURRENTLY RESIDING in Jerusalem cannot (re: have no right to) pray there. If equal rights are the issue (haha), that would be the place to start.

  • Hebron victim is buried 2 months after Israeli medic killed him, but medic's lawyers wants him disinterred
    • #LetLeanneSpeak

    • Did you all read the definition of "blood libel" in Thalwen's article?:

      [Thalwen] Oh and this is how he defines “blood libel”…really, I am not kidding.

      Israellycool: "Those are both libels (defamatory lies) and they both involve blood (death)."

      By this standard, falsely saying a funeral home has bad service is a blood libel. Note that Leanne Mohamad’s speech did not contain lies, and certainly not defamatory lies.

      These are the kind of ridiculous lies and slander that Palestinian activists have to endure every day. These are the kinds of people that major organisations, including Labour, think are worth listening to. Now listen to Leanne’s speech and read these people’s writing and tell me who is full of hate and libel.

      Really good article.

      I would just add that this spurious crap is all it takes for these malevolent pro-Israel hounds to try to ruin the life of a 15 year old. Somehow, though, I get the feeling that, to paraphrase Adm. Yamamoto, they have only awoken a sleeping dragon and filled [her] with a terrible resolve. "Terrible" from the accusers PoV, that is.

      I keep getting the sense that everything the pro-Israel watchdog types can only backfire at this stage of the awareness war. They're out of options to squash increasing awareness. I think Ms. Mahamod's current travails only reinforce that sense (if she doesn't let it get to her).

      Worst case, she now knows she is far from alone in her quest for justice.

  • Top donor to Clinton super PAC is Haim Saban
    • Soooo... Progressive except Golman Sachs (PeGS)?

      Gosh, this could be a fun board game.

      Progressive except...****

      Progressive except Every Voter with Income Under $50K (PeEVwIU-50). OK, maybe a little less fun than I thought. :)

    • @just

      Shalev claims Jewish voters will bolt based on a more evenhanded platform fight and MJ Rosenberg maintains that they won't. They both can't be right.

      Further, Shalev's cautionary voting "math" is completely self-serving. Yeah, so 500K Jewish voters bolt nationwide because of some evenhandedness creeps into the Dem platform, "crudely"/unconventionally expressed or not, the number of non-Jewish voters who will bolt nationwide is probably 10x that number if some evenhandedness is NOT expressed, however mildly. The PeP disconnect as national policy is increasingly not a viable platform option and/or voting attraction. It "neon red flags" a leadership ability to selectively ignore/not give a hoot about universalized justice issues which are key to addressing why so many people are hurting "out here."

      Money or votes. Decisions, decisions.

      Interesting election.

  • Shift: Two NY Jewish leaders describe checkpoints, innocent Palestinians killed, and 'good Jews' who denounce Israel
    • Well said, yourstruly.

      PIP is a stable/consistent end-state which can't be undone once reached. PEP is an unstable, rationalizing bridge-state-of-convenience which is fleeting almost by definition, never to be revisited.

      This awakening process is something of a reality v. idyll contention. These laments about re-educating conscientious Jewish youth by re-stressing the idyll sounds like just so much "barn door closing," "gotta say something, darn it" afterthought.

      As you say, there's NO turning back.

      Great comment.

  • Giving up on political propaganda, Israeli consulate turns to Ted-style inspirational conference
  • Holocaust survivor and activist for justice Hedy Epstein dies at 91
  • Hard times: Pro-Israel group will pay young Jews $100 to watch its movies
  • Thank you, Chief Rabbi. Now I know: Judaism is to blame for the Nakba
    • OK calm. Now I understand why your question sounded so squirrely - you were paraphrasing yet another pro-Israel fact-free assertion.

      "No new settlements since Oslo." is an engineered definitional loophole for international propaganda purposes. In order for a settlement to be legally "new" it has to be approved by the GoI. The GoI doesn't approve any (well, three since 1996). Ipso facto, no "new" settlements "since Oslo." They do however build them on confiscated Palestinian land. They just don't approve them. Typical Israeli BS.

      Yossi Gurvitz describes the process at 972.mag:

      link to 972mag.com

      Anybody that says "no new..." really isn't all there. Maybe a way to respond is to point out that three is not none and ask whoever is making the claim if there is any other part of it they want to correct.

      Please forgive my disbelief above. Your question had an insincere smell of rhetorical bait to it. Lo and behold, the insincerity was real but originated with the GoI.

    • Others can and maybe will supply links, but the answer to your question is all of the above.

      It's not even a question really. Nor is it confusing in the least. It's just a sad ongoing expansionist fact. If you "keep reading" what you say you keep reading, read somewhere else.

      Google "outposts Israel" or "Silwan" or "Jordan Valley Israel" or "Hebron Shuhada" or "E1." Read Electronic Intifada or If Americans Knew. Allison Deger, here, keeps pretty good tabs on settlement expansion. That may be a decent start.

      Israel expands population in existing settlement footprints, confiscates Palestinian land for new settlements/expanded footprints, AND "buffers" (multiples of actual settlement footprints) those outposts and settlements by destroying adjacent Palestinian agriculture and water resources (cisterns). Israel, as policy, dumps sewage and industrial waste (south of Ma'ale Adumin and outside of/downhill from the Barkan Industrial Park outside of Ariel) outside of settlement footprints. Is that "expansion?" It's certainly a confiscation for non-Palestinian use.

      Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc.

      Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. .......

      But the real punchline to your question is "since Oslo!" Jeez. Beside the fact that "Oslo" long ago stopped having any relevance to anything, somewhere between 200K and 400K settlers have moved onto stolen Palestinian land (both in terms of expanded footprints and expanded population) "since Oslo." Better to ask, if you ARE serious, "this year?".

      Oh yeah. I can't remember specifically if Oslo limited settlement expansion or not (I think it did implicitly because it was explicitly supposed to lead to a 2-state resolution in 5 years which would have ended settlement expansion), but population transfer is black letter illegal under international law and treaty obligations, so the question is moot. Oslo is irrelevant (and a fiction).

      I have to say your questions are pretty odd, terribly open-ended, and jam-packed with a maze of assumptions/screwy context, but that might give you enough to get googling and/or until the really smart/knowledgeable people here engage.

      Now you got me curious. Are you writing a high school essay or something? C'mon. Dish.

    • It's not an either-or question.

      But first, since everyone here is going to think this is a joke or sarcasm, tell us a little about yourself and why you ask that question in that way.

  • 'NYT' blames Hamas for civilian deaths in front-page article that sounds like Hillary Clinton
    • How does building tunnels inside Gaza justify bombing civilian neighborhoods again?

      I know the contorted-beyond-all-recognition logic that asserts that it does, but does it actually?

      This acceptance of the completely psychopathic Israeli killing mentality as a normal/immutable/driving condition of life in Gaza is ultumately going to come to be known as "Gaza Syndrome. "Don't build tunnels near me!" is not a criticism of Hamas, it's a simple [generational?] survival mode based on past experience with Israel's Golda Meir-ish glee at slaughtering Palestinian children by the hundreds for no reason whatsoever - and repeatedly watching the world say that psychopathy just fine and dandy (or alternately, watching the blood drip from George Stephanopoulos' smiling mouth as he calls slaughtering children, "Mowing the Grass.)

      At some point all that environmental psychopathy-as-normal has got to shift your priority from what's right to what's survivable.

      Sadly in the case of Gaza it doesn't matter. Israel doesn't need a reason (or can create one instantly) to slaughter children in Gaza. There is no stopping it, nor is there a way for residents to position themselves away from harm.

      Has the world ever seen a concentration camp population of millions of people subjected to this treatment for years and years? Don't think so.

      Yup. Gaza Syndrome.

  • 'Clinton scares the generals' -- Democratic Party divides over foreign policy
    • Yeah. I wonder what the overlap is between the Koch-funded/directed astroturf Tea Party and the Israeli Lobby-funded/directed astroturfCUFI. If the overlap is significant or substantial (likely, imo), who's voting orders will they follow ultimately?

      So many strange/new forces and realignments in play this time. It's hard to see political things staying the same. Hopefully whatever changes gives us a vision and opening and energy and resolve, and maybe most importantly, some sense of synergistic political cross-spectrum common purpose (there are enough common hurts/themes being echoed by Sanders and Trump to suggest a "we're all in this together" sense could bubble up) at the grassroots level to do things that can make the world slightly better for everyone instead of always vastly worse.

      It could happen.

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