Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 3801 (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 3801 - 3801

  • 14-year-old Palestinian girl shot, 12-year-old Palestinian girl tortured after alleged attacks
    • From the Dima Al Wawi ordeal:

      "The courts also demanded a 25,000 shekel (Dh24,400) fine, knowing that her father had his work permit in Israel revoked after Dima’s arrest. The judge then requested that our family put our land up as collateral."

      In order to acquire Palestinians land for settlement expansion it looks like the Israelis arrest 12-year olds, torture them into some admission, then get the family to bond their land to free her.

      What a sick racket. What a sick country.

    • Page: 38
  • Trump and the war for 'Western Values'
    • Bandolero,

      I noticed that about Sessions. What's up with him? He's my Senator. I've met him a few times back when I was doing that stuff. I used to be friends with his DLA staffer at that time. He was the last person/the last office I thought would buck the system. I kinda gave up on both him and Shelby, so I thought his refusal to sign that letter was a fluke.

      This is an interesting development. I might have to re-investigate. What's his motivation these days? Do you have a link handy? If not, no biggie.

      I guess it's interesting because these kinds of 180° changes suggest some hidden yet pretty powerful forces are in play. It's good to understand what they are and how they affect these changes, perchance that others might be encouraged to be similarly affected.


  • Censorship in Brooklyn: Food Coop bars 'any events related to BDS or Israel' from meeting room
    • Oh cry me a river Zach S.

      Israel just jailed a Palestinian poet for publishing a poem on her Facebook page. That's just one example of Israeli instigation and brutal enforcement of a cultural/academic boycott out of probably hundreds of examples just this year alone. (Read Kate's semi-weekly litany if you're honest or interested.)

      Something about the beam in your own eye applies here, donchathink? You guys are even hypocritical about your accusations of hypocrisy.

      But this article was about buying Israeli products by/at a Co-Op in Brooklyn, wasn't it? My question stands. How does not buying Israeli products impact anyone's free speech?

    • Where do you see "Israeli free speech" being stifled?

      Does not buying Israeli products stifle free speech by anyone, anywhere, ever?

      Just curious. Barely.

    • Heh. Great catch. :)

  • BDS or emigration: pick one
    • Is "cut and run" the new "shoot and cry?"

      I would encourage them to stay.

      The US has enough problems without having a wave of handout-dependent, liberal "I'm not an Arab lover" racists, used to living in their own violently segregated way, coming from a Constitution-free political culture (ie. the only rule is there are no rules, but that can change later today), crashing over us making things worse.

      They're not wanted.

  • Beinart's Jewish double-bind: Support oppression or you're out of the family
    • A brilliant bookend to Ms. Elia's article.

      Is it just coincidence that both of you posted simultaneous, insightful, dovetailing articles, or is something changing environmentally outside and/or organically inside the movement that is driving this mutually-supportive introspection?

  • 'Allies for Armegeddon': The GOP candidates on Israel/Palestine
    • ● CUFI is an astroturf organization "directed" by Jewish-Zionist, David Brog. Brog does double duty as the head of the Adelson-Saban-funded effort to derail BDS.

      link to

      ● Kasich recently cited Saudi Arabia as our best Muslim ally in the Middle East.

      ● Not sure any of this is worse than Hillary's demonstrated track record of a few million dead Muslims and a few tens of millions of destroyed refugee lives. The Republicans are all so, well, theoretical (at this point). Clinton has already shown that so much death isn't worth a second thought. She's buds with Kissinger ffs. CUFI or Kissinger... decisions, decisions (not really). None of the Above.

      ● Hell, where are the PETA activists, with their blood buckets, when they're needed (probably canvassing for Clinton. Meh.)? Or that super-courageous (and paid a huge price) girl at Ohio University who did the "blood bucket" protest?

      link to

  • It is time to stop celebrating Jewish dissent in the Palestine solidarity movement
    • Thanks diasp0ra. Great comment.

    • Wow. What a train wreck.

      The fact that some people claim Nada is inventing a problem is pretty strong evidence that there IS a problem.

      The minimum threshold good-faith response (especially of an ally) to this article has to be a silent note-to-self to guard against "privilege." Dominance games miss that threshold by a good bit.

      Actually, dominance games are pretty much at the vanishing point at the opposite end of the response spectrum. Classic/predictable/tired gatekeeper response.

    • Was it this one about Rabbi Table's hypocrisy?

      link to

    • @Juliana

      Yes, by all means celebrate common cause and courage, but "intersectionality"* doesn't appear to me, an outsider, to be working very well for the Palestinians. I get the feeling that way too often (not always but enough to hurt) the intersectionality is primarily about curing Judaism and THEN dealing with Palestinian justice. That blunts the Palestinian message especially, as Annie so deftly pointed out upthread, to us non-Palestinian, non-Jews. Palestinian activists seem to accept that ordering of things and the blunted message. I don't know why. Maybe that ordering/deference is seen as necessary for some reason.

      I guess that's where I was going with "polite" but also with "disciplined." Tough stuff.

      The existence and/or extent of any subordination of the Palestinian message in the interest of "intersectionality" is a difficult conversation to start, let alone maintain. Loaded nuance and explosive assumed binaries. Nada did a great job here navigating the minefield to start a conversation.

      Oh yeah, did I say I agree with you?


      * That word may not mean what I think it means.

    • It's all so binary to so many. As in, if it's not the way it's always been, the only alternative is exclusion.

      It's not binary at all. That's why it would be great if you could keep writing about this. The relationship between Palestinian and Jewish advocates for Palestinian justice needs to be discussed and maybe recalibrated a bit.

      You have your work cut out for you just discussing it.

    • Juliana, I think Nada is saying, ever so politely, that things are tough all over. Let's discuss.

      I think it's a measure of the extreme lengths and discipline (and ultimate success, imo) that you and Palestinian advocates in general will go to be polite while family and friends are being killed. The threat of ostracization pales in comparison as a mechanism to elicit deference.

      If you all stopped being polite and inserted some firm but modest prioritization, insistence, and/or urgency into the movement mix, would your current Jewish allies go away or follow your lead? Is that even a legitimate question to ask internally? I think it is, but then I'm a bit of a hot head.

      Appreciate what you do.

    • Great comment Annie. All of them actually.

      You're doing a beautiful job explaining why an article of faith in Palestinian advocacy that pretty much everyone views as normal needs to be identified and questioned.

      I don't know if you saw this at dKos, but Sandra Tamari wrote during the Occupy* period that she wanted to conduct some Palestinian advocacy/solidarity seminars as part of a movement that was protesting everything else, and was told that it would be "too divisive."

      I'll never forget those words.

      Too divisive for whom?

      IMHO, that rejection was/is the quintessential example of what you and Nada are pointing out and explaining here.

      Your explanations in this thread suggest (I think) that she should have held them anyway. Calmly, assertively ignore the arrogant subordination and teach away.

      It's amazing that Jewish sensitivity is assumed to be so overriding that excluding the Palestinian voice from the Occupy* agenda would somehow NOT be "divisive." That Palestinian supporters of Occupy* would just fold and participate anyway (which they did, iirc).

      That acquiescence may be evaporating. Collegially, but evaporating nonetheless. That's why I think this article, Nada's previous article and Peter Feld's current article are significant, especially taken together and with your comments to tie them together.

      Idk. It feels like something is changing. Maybe significantly. Definitely for the better (better meaning more effective in this case).



    • As a human... Brilliant article! More please.

      This goes directly to Dr. Finkelstein's reasonable lament that there are no Palestinian organizations capable of structuring the current wave of resistance. If, and to the extent that, Palestinian voices are routinely subordinated to Jewish voices within the movement for Palestinian justice, those needed movement structures are not likely to ever materialize.

      link to

      And thank you Mondoweiss.

  • How Chris Van Hollen learned to love Israel
    • Figuratively known as the "fighting the last war" fallacy.

      There are probably other names for it as well. Heh.

    • Thanks Philip. I'm just intensely interested in what changes people on this issue, especially public figures. You never know if, when, and/or how that info might be used as a useful point of communication/connection with others who may be rethinking their views.

      Appreciate you.

    • Great story. Just out of curiosity, why is Berkowitz more skeptical now?

  • Norman Finkelstein on Sanders, the first intifada, BDS, and ten years of unemployment
    • @Jackdaw Nope. Not Hamas. But "only" five innocents killed, er, executed. My bad.

      Not Hamas: "According to J. J. Goldberg, the military indictment contains no evidence of orders from Hamas itself and strengthens the thesis that the incident was organized by the Qawasmeh family alone from start to finish.[47]"

      link to

      Five Palestinians killed, including at least one child: link to


      But by being so completely wrong you inadvertently highlight yet another sick Israeli occupation credo: Let the punishment define the crime. IOW, "We killed them so they had to have been Hamas terrorists (by definition)."

      Karma's a bitch.

    • @Jackdaw Yup. Yet another classic example of the Israeli "terror clock" always starts a microsecond before a Palestinian does something.

      Israel was killing Palestinians (14+/-, iirc) who had absolutely nothing to do with the kidnapping and murder of those kids (who the GoI knew were dead, therefore making those 14 dead simply murdered for sport) for about a month before a single rocket was fired. With its month-long murder spree, Israel was provoking a response and they would have kept killing innocent West Bank Palestinians until they got the response they needed to then satisfy their orgasmic bloodlust by slaughtering themselves a few hundred kids.


    • OK. Last time. Promise.

      It's OCCUPIED PALESTINE goddammit. Or better, as Annie said a few days ago, Israeli-occupied Palestine.

      The reason that there are no popular organizations to collectivize the Palestinian struggle is because people like the authors of this article do their small bit to completely negate Palestinian identity by using the terminology: "the occupied territories."

      That is Israeli terminology DESIGNED to have the effect Finkelstein describes. It is DESIGNED to obliterate the existence of Palestine, DESIGNED to obscure the legitimate grievances of the people of Palestine - the Palestinians, DESIGNED to deny their collective agency by portraying them as random, unfocused "disputers" as opposed to A PEOPLE [collectively] fighting so desperately to preserve its COUNTRY that is being absorbed by Israel. Palestinians will not be taken seriously if the legitimacy of their grievances and efforts is diminished by even a little bit.

      How can people who ostensibly seek to help Palestinians in one breath so complete refute themselves and deny the existence of Palestine and diminish the Palestinian cause in the very next breath?

      This is important because relatively few people, other than insiders (who are NOT the target audience btw), know what territories are being occupied and by whom. More than half of the people in the US believe the Palestinians are occupying Israeli "territories." Israel's Plan A. So by all means, perpetuate that ignorance. Or maybe better in question form, why is it editorial policy here to perpetuate that ignorance?

      link to

      At this point I have to conclude that seemingly informed people who use the phrasing "the occupied territories" uses it intentionally to be dismissive of Palestine and Palestinians. They have some priority OTHER THAN justice for the people living in the country they can't seem to bring themselves to name (eg. to preserve the insider nature of the discussion... Who knows.).

      It's incomprehensible to me how people who seek big changes in others cannot make small changes in themselves. Palestinians are poorly served if their ostensible allies cannot even bring themselves to name the country of origin of the people they say they are trying to help.

      Oh well.

      Peace. Love. Ambiguation.


  • American University of Beirut students protest in support of Steven Salaita as school president intervenes to cancel hiring process
    • Sounds like President Khuri could have a long and glorious career as an "expert reviewer" of McGraw-Hill textbooks on the Middle East.

      The same strict attention to detail and open process is required.

  • Donna Edwards's campaign unsettles the Israel lobby inside the Democratic Party
  • Another interview on Israeli TV
  • Trump, Sanders and the battle of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn for blue collar Arabs and whites
    • Sarsour is great. Spot on.

      “Their Muslim neighbors are exclusive to all the things they hear about Muslims. The reason why you have Trump supporters and Bernie supporters is that they’re both anti-Establishment. They’re anti-status-quo. They actually have a lot of values that they share, believe it or not –– [pu]t the racism part to the side. If you listen closely, you hear very similar things,” she said - See more at: link to

      Someday a leader will emerge that will be able to diminish those differences, amplify the similarities, and create a movement that has a real prospect of changing things for the better for tens of millions of people. This clueless divisive destructive rote political methodology all the candidates trot out is getting old. Importantly, many people are realizing it's past its shelf life though they don't quite have a sense (or perhaps the courage) of the next step.

      Ms. Sarsour, are you free for the next 20 years? Seriously.

  • 'NYT' exposes Clinton as most hawkish candidate when it's too late for readers to choose
    • True WH. But neither is Clinton an island. She's surrounded by warmongers, free traders, and rapacious bankers. My personal take is that countless dead people and unfettered perpetual violent destruction of whole swaths of the planet for no apparent reason are more acute problems. Rightly or wrongly.

      I also believe that solving the perpetual war issue liberates tremendous funds and equally tremendous personal energies that can be used to address the other issues. It also largely eliminates the "hated other" concept from the problem-solving obstacle set.

      We're a very very weary country. Perpetual war is the source of that weariness. That weariness precludes us from doing the right thing in so many other areas. People are deathly afraid of taking one more financial hit so they reject everything - including their neighbors who are different than them. Hillary won't end, or even begin to end, perpetual war. Trump might.

      Imho of course.

    • Re: "false choices"

      Exactly right.

      I don't know how you all do it - tirelessly try to make sense out of nonsense and/or point out why it is nonsense. I can't do it anymore, if I ever could. It's all a blur to me at this point.

      My only question is whether it takes more energy to create plausible-sounding nonsense or to tear it apart. Hopefully the former.

    • War and peace is the #1 issue of our time. Trump is NOT the greater of two evils. Trump is the lesser evil.

      Obama set immediately to screwing the people who voted for him and his "Hope is a change you can believe in" amalgamated sloganeering. Trump will likely turn away from his thuggishly racist supporters as well, and be far far far less likely than Clinton to use war and death as a first resort. Politicians disappoint. That's Trump's disappointment mode, imho. Bad for his supporters. Relatively good for the rest of us.

      Still can't vote for either of them though. I'm voting Green and hoping a third party takes enough votes from Hillary that she loses and we have a chance, however small, for some smidge of sanity to return to our foreign/war policy.

      Shorter version: Trump is the lesser of the two evils, not Hillary.

  • Israeli pronouncement on policing West Bank solidifies one-state apartheid regime -- Erekat
    • Edit: shb "...everything that they CAN do now..." iow, no options.

    • To riff on Lou Reed: And the Labor guys sing..... what?

      Any audible "protest" about this abrogation from the so-called Israeli left?

      I'm starting to get the sense that everything Israel and its anti-Palestinian supporters do now is self-defeating. All these actions, from anti-BDS legislation here to officially abrogating Oslo there, seem to inevitably lead to the opposite of their intended "pro-Israel" image/propaganda effect.

      Is this a sign that they got nothing left (but money influence), have cornered themselves, can no longer hide the reality, and we are AT an actual, demonstrable tipping point a la South Africlast

      Even if we're not at an advocacy/remedy tipping point, Israel seems bound and determined to cause harm to its own stated best interests. As an example, US Ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro, offered up at the recent anti-BDS conference that the US would support a renewed two-state peace process as a mitigator for BDS. This GoI action would sure seem to drive a stake through the heart of that "undead" concept.

      link to

  • Occupation chronicle: stealing trees, smashing solar cells, forcing people to undress
    • Great report. Useful. Thanks. Tweeted.

      Yousef Munayyer did a similar analysis a few years ago and pointed out that the Hebron district has always been the wretched worst but that Hebron-style violence has been moving north. Is that still a trend, and if so is it important to point it out when discussing the Occupation? IOW, from a Palestinian point of view, is it a more impactful to point out "bad and worsening" or stick with a blanket "horrible(++) all over?" Both are accurate descriptions, imho.

      How do Palestinians in Palestine talk about this violence among themselves?

  • Clinton will hold fundraiser in Tel Aviv
    • gamal: "Are things really that bad?"

      A) Yes.

      B) Sarsour's display of religious/personal devotion while fronting for a major party candidate is unique. I think it screams (not in a bad way at all) to Muslims and any other interested people, "This guy gets it. ASK THE QUESTION!" It's courageous, iconic, inclusive, meaningful, sincere, and, again, unique political symbolism. That combination spells outreach to me in this current campaign's climate and choices.

      I hope what wrote wasn't offensive in some way. I feel hijabis are remarkable and inspirational examples of personal courage in today's US. That's why I chose that particular shorthand description. No tokenism or objectification (if that was your take) intended.

      Did I completely miss your point? I think there's something important here I need to understand.

    • Define "Outreach Director" as narrowly as you want, when Sarsour opens for Sanders at an event the hijab IS the outreach. Little more need be said.

      I'm not sure why "paid" is the threshold but I'll bet you a milkshake that she even makes phone calls to Muslim youth and/or community leaders, paid or not.

      As far as I can tell, Sanders is the only candidate with someone performing Sarsour's function, whatever you want to call it.

      Tomato, tomAHto, imo.

      Having said that, your larger point is spot on.

    • Sanders has Linda Sarsour.

    • Someone should artfully photoshop a Clinton speech with the "Kill Them All" sign as background.

      Hi Katie Miranda! :)

  • Obama's November surprise
    • +100

      I don't get this article. I don't know if it was awkward phrasing or what, but it had a "Steve Grover" feel to it.

      Does Phil really believe ("...justly proud...") that the ONLY way for politicians to adopt a new position on Israel and regional foreign policy writ large is for Jews to convince "Jewish money" to change its mind and give them (pols) permission to do so? Then the rest of us backfill as needed to support that permission?

      Maybe so, maybe no. It's demonstrably clear however that J Street believes it.

      This mode of influence could continue indefinitely if it was even slightly additive to the quality of life of 99.9% of Americans (e.g. increased military aid for Israel and single-payer health care for the rest of you, or else...). But as it is currently constituted it's totally an extractive/zero-sum influence.

      Ho hum. Car balanced on a broomstick. Wind picking up.

  • 'Say Hello to Zenobia': A report from Palmyra rising from the ashes
  • 'Forward' columnist and Emily's List leader relate 'gigantic,' 'shocking' role of Jewish Democratic donors
    • Goldberg left out unions, or are they all "Jewish money" too?

      Sounds likes Clinton's DLC sprint away from representing the interests of working people left the Dems little choice. Glad Sanders is changing that back to a more distributed funding base.

  • In Brooklyn, Sanders stand on Israel attracts support despite controversy
    • @hophmi

      While true that blacks and maybe hispanics aren't voting for Sanders yet, the significance of that map is that it suggests that support for Sanders can migrate into the cities but support for Clinton cannot migrate outward.

      That dynamic shows Sanders what he has to do to win and how he has to focus his assertive economic message to achieve that. Clinton, however, is stuck with weak, strained apologetics to hold on. Apologetics of the, "My career-long support for free trade has actually been good for our cities/YOU. Just give it time. Trust me on this one." variety.

      Everyone knows that is false. If Sanders can put her on the defensive on economic issues a little more than he has already, he can erode her city support.

      If Clinton had won ANY county other than those immediately around cities I wouldn't say this. Heck, look at Suffolk County. Clinton's lead was less than half (10 pts) of what it was in the metro area. She's vulnerable.

      Sanders needs to decide what's more important to him as a candidate, the well-being and betterment of tens of millions of people he's seeking to represent or his situational notion of personal non-negativity. (Note to Bernie: Millions of people living the nightmare "out here" do not have the luxury of that choice.)

    • So in NY Clinton wins four cities and Sanders wins the rest if the state. ALL of it.

      link to

      What failed scenario does that remind me of?

      Oh yeah. Viet Nam.

      That NYT results map really is mind boggling. Sanders won every single NY county outside the cities. Surely that has some tactical significance for the Sanders campaign as it moves for the win and/or contemplates an independent run in the general.

  • PA under renewed criticism for security coordination with Israel
    • It's been two years now. Pols and media are forgetting how victimized Israel is. The manufactured poignancy is fading. The grass is in need of a mow.

      Time for a reason to make it happen. Et voila!

    • "Hamas spokesman Husam Badran for his part slammed the PA for adopting a “revolving door policy,” wherein Palestinians are released from PA jails only to land in Israeli prisons shortly after, as part of “escalating security collaboration” with the Israeli authorities."

      - See more at: link to

      That's the really rotten part of all this. It's not so much that the PA - corrupt as it is - uses harsh methids ti deter and stop violent attacks on Israel. It's that they are so feeble that they turn offenders over to Israel (making their mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, wives, and/or children targets for Israeli midnight "justice") instead of handling such incidents as internal Palestinian matters.

  • Anti-BDS legislation faces crucial hearing tomorrow in California Judiciary Committee
    • OK. It seemed important so I toned it down and sent an email (Stone, Morante) even though I'm not in CA.

      I am from out of state but felt I needed to say something.  This bill should not be passed out of committee.  It is deeply flawed.

      Beyond all the gross Constitutional affronts, AB2844 will have the opposite of its intended business effect. It will almost certainly serve to dry up new investment in Israel.

      No business that isn’t currently doing business in Israel will enter that tiny market when they risk losing access to vastly larger markets in the event they withdraw from the Israeli market, for any reason whatsoever, and with the “offense” being decided by person or persons unknown.

      No rational business (i.e. every business), assessing a cost-benefit decision on investing in operations in Israel, would consider this acceptable risk.  It is unquantifiable at best and overtly destructive at worst.  Unless there is some hugely offsetting upside, the decision to begin operations in Israel would simply be NO.

      There are many reasons not to pass this bill.  This is just one of them.  I hope the Committee makes a broader, more thorough assessment of Constitutional law and business effect implicitly and explicitly incorporated into this proposed legislation, and tables it.


      Thanks for the email list gitelsura.

    • Is the "I" supposed ti be at the front of Stone's email?

    • Is Alabama in California? :)

      Can anyone write, or do we have to be constituents?

    • Beyond all the gross Constitutional affronts, these types of legislative efforts will have the opposite of their intended effect. They will likely serve to dry up new investment in Israel.

      No business that isn't currently doing business in Israel will enter that tiny tiny tiny market when they risk losing access to vastly larger markets should they withdraw from the Israeli market for any reason whatsoever, with the "offense" being decided by person or persons unknown (i.e. star chambers).

      It's a no brainer.

      Israel is going to lose the broader business lobby as even acquiescent allies. The Iran deal initiated that divorce. From a business perspective, all these Israel-initiated "me first, you last" trade-restraining efforts stand to cause non-military businesses to lose tens of $Bs in sales.

      Hmm. Boeing v. AIPAC? There's a tussle Bernie could synergistcally leverage to the advantage of his candidacy, Boeing (as an example), and the well paid union employees in Washington state.

      Relating to the "left wing base" article currently up here, there's a much broader and deeper dynamic than just the outraged energy in the youthful "left" which is enabling Sanders to break new political ground.

      Great article Annie.

  • Sanders's leftwing base made him take on Netanyahu
    • Relating this and Annie's CA anti-BDS article, I believe that the political base that enables Sanders to break new political ground is broader and deeper than just the "leftwing." It extends to [some?/latent?] business interests as well. The left is probably the vocal component of that shift in interest/support.

      link to

  • 'Anti-Zionism = anti-semitism' is a formal logical fallacy
    • Hi Annie. I agree that it's a big story. If Sireen had a hard time detecting the tactic, it's effective and dangerous.

      It needs exposure.

    • "...We..." ?

      Strange comment. Color me skeptical, though you could well be who you present yourself to be.

      This from EI (Charlotte Silver):

      "Is anti-BDS group Sawtona impersonating Palestinians?"

      link to

      Just putting it out there. Seems like a new tactic (or an old tactic and a new effort).

  • Sanders' unprecedented call for 'justice and peace' marks decline of lobby's power
    • JLD, Thanks for the link on inverted totalitarianism.

      Very interesting. I think Wolin pretty much nails it. It's useful to know there's a name for what's happening to us so it can become common terminology (if it's not already).

  • BDS takes two big strides, at CUNY and U of Chicago
    • Before he goes spouting off about academic freedom, Chase Robinson should initiate a collaboration with a Gaza University and see what happens.

  • Clinton propagates false understanding of Camp David
    • @DD. No. Sorry for being unclear.

      Clinton repeats his tired bs of "training leads to jobs" (aka a bridge to somewhere TBD). That is smokescreen/code for value extraction from the middle class.

      "The Unwinding" is a few hundred pages showing that (and why) there are vanishingly few jobs to train FOR and why it is code for value extraction.

      Packer doesn't directly tackle the for-profit education scam. He's more oblique in that he uses many individual middle-class and working-poor experiences to spotlight the incurred debt (for education) vs. lack of jobs as an eddy in the larger self-reinforcing economic gyre of monetizing everything, extracting all possible value (upwards, always upwards), returning nothing (no domestic job-creating investment), and sending out Clinton-types to tell people that they just need to try harder (i.e. borrow more money/monetize themselves) to succeed in that environment. And the process repeats hundreds of millions of times.

      It's just really incredible and sickening that Clinton wasn't simply laughed off the stage. It's a little heartening that voters are starting to clue into the fact that it is ALL baloney.

      Which brings it back to Israel and why Sanders was able to say what he said - if it's ALL bs then people are more predisposed to start over and accept new input, ANY new input, that makes sense. (That was also a theme woven throughout "The Unwinding."; NPI)

      Sorry for the usual length. I just find this interconnectedness fascinating and hopeful. Equally fascinating is when a book describes a dynamic that predicts Clinton behavior like it is future history.


    • Wow.

      How in the...?

      He's a Dem?

      THAT'S his reaction to Sanders' points and the modern US middle class economic fragility?

      Oh never mind.

      PS. I just "Audibled" a brilliant book called "The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America" by George Packer, so I may be overly sensitive about the " of the [always in the] future" opiate. Value continuously extracted, no jobs, training doesn't matter for so many (even if they could afford it).

      link to

      Thanks (I think) DD.

  • 'NY Times' publishes op-ed writer's blatant falsehood about Palestinians without blinking an eye
    • @YoniFalic Too bad. It was a great observation either way. A lot to unpack there.

    • Yoni, Is that observation about ethics and science a response to me?

    • And to put this in a personal context, if I still had my aerospace engineering business I would find some reason to NOT hire Mr. Gladstone (if he applied). His complete divorce from factual reality is not compatible with designing things that go boom if you get it wrong, imho.

    • @dabakr Yeah man. You guys, like Gladstone, just make stuff up and then accuse others of your fictitious offense. It really is a performance art form - and nothing more.

      Where did I say "boycott?" Didn't think so. Not a bad idea though, now that you mention it.

      But I do believe that the ability to embrace, and publish, such an egregious misrepresentation of reality in one area DOES strongly reflect one's ability to deal with reality and facts in other (potentially life and death) areas. To most normal people that's a completely different concept than boycotting products for moral reasons. Consideration of the former is a self-preservation function. The latter is an advocacy option.

      What do you do for a living again? Air traffic controller?

    • What Ivy League degree track is Gladstone in? Pre-Med or something else where facts can save or kill?

      That comment should follow him for the rest of his professional life as an example/warning to his future patients (if med school it is) that his grasp of the stuff/abilities required to make life and death decisions completely escaped him from a very early age.

      On the other hand he could be in journalism school and this was a job interview with the NYT. Quite a future ahead of him if that's the case.

  • Israeli army operation in downtown Ramallah causes sweeping fire
  • The Jewish community must choose, between Sanders and AIPAC
    • Shorter corollary: By NOT having a regular, full-throated, in-country Palestinian voice reporting, great sites like MW reinforce this constraining dynamic. Unwittingly, imho.

    • Thanks talknic.

    • When I speak on my disenfranchised identity I am seen as a radical nationalist, whereas when a Jewish classmate or acquaintance speaks about peace and neutrality they are seen as relatively progressive. - See more at: link to

      Exactly. I just made a suggestion on the survey that addresses this unfortunate, if engineered, dynamic. The reporting here is great, topical, and focused, but MW needs a Palestinian stringer.

      The reporting here is done by Jews for Jews and that has the effect of reinforcing this dynamic. Phil, Adam, and Allison can come and go unfettered which leaves a subtextual sense that things aren't really so bad in Occupied Palestine. They do a great job (I mean it) and I know they don't mean for this to happen, but it does. Easy transit to and from Israel for them unwittingly but effectively belies the brutal severity of Palestinian daily life that they try so hard to convey verbally.

      Part of the problem is there are great guest Palestinian writers who appear here, but they don't get much activity. I think, rightly or wrongly, that this is due in significant part to the fact that we readers/commenters don't know them and our decades-old background indoctrination on this issue tells us - tragically and exactly as you point out - that they may well be only excitable rabble rousers and not "calm" describers of an increasingly ugly and desperate situation. They are viscerally (but NOT intellectually, imo) discounted for that reason.

      If there was an in-country Palestinian staff reporter here that we could get to know, rhetorically, on a regular basis, the "rabble rouser" discount would be avoided, the Palestinian experience more fully and viscerally documented, and Mondoweiss would sharpen its edge and appeal.

      Thanks for this article, Ms. Farah.

      Articles that move the stuff of subconscious into the realm of the conscious and realization are especially useful and necessary as this conflict moves into its broadening awareness and remedies phase. The morality has been established. The receptiveness to that moral message now needs to be enhanced. This article helps enhance that moral receptiveness.

  • Segregation of Palestinians and Jews in maternity wards becomes an issue in Israel
  • Sanders slams Clinton for ignoring Palestinian needs and thinking Netanyahu is 'right all the time'
    • Thanks for the specifics oldgeezer. I knew there had been a Hamas-enforced lull in rocket fire until Israel decided it needed to slaughter some kids to make itself look good to whomever "important" those things look good to.

      Yep. Intentionally, and knowing the effect.

      Sidenote, the one and only brief Twitter exchange I had with Jodi Rudoren (God only knows why she engaged...) was where I asked her why she conformed to the/a gag order to prohibit reporting on the fact those kids were alreadefuze and had been killed by loners. I mentioned she could have helped defuze the whole rationale for "Protective Edge."

      She responded only that there had been no gag order. Like that was the main point.

      I suppose normal people can make of that response what they will, but it physically sickened me. As you say, the slaughter of 500 children was completely orchestrated, and I had just interacted with one of the main orchestraters. Ugh. Double Ugh.

    • Great meta comment.

    • Bingo bryan. Lie after lie. Not even close. Complete psychopathic rationalization for past and future slaughter.

      What's the difference between a delusion and a hallucination again? Can one hallucinate a delusion? If so, Clinton seems to have mastered the art.

      Just on the rocket "rain," there were ZERO rockets for several months prior to the 2014 slaughter. There were a few AFTER the Israelis started killing innocent (16 iirc) Palestinians in the West Bank in their search for the kids that they KNEW were already dead. But even then there was a lag until after Israel had killed five or six West Bank Palestinians and made it clear they were not going to stop killing people who had absolutely nothing to do with the disappearance of those kids.

      Israel always instigates the killing and therefore the response. They NEVER attempt any peaceful method to solve their own problems. Not ever.

      Of course, all this assumes that a "rain" of rockets is actually considered a problem by the GoI. I think a compelling case can be made that it does NOT consider them a problem. As Clinton's words show, [Israel-instigated] incoming rockets appear to be an extremely valuable political asset for Israel-the-fake-victim.

      Thanks for taking the time to pull the quotes. What a truly breathtaking divorce from reality.

  • Israeli forces have killed over 5,500 Palestinians in the last 15 years and not one soldier has been prosecuted for murder
  • Trump supporters in New York take on ISIS
    • Say what you want about the right or wrong or practicality or probability of a draft, just the notion if it does raise the stakes and clarify the thinking.

      Great reporting style, btw.

  • 'NY Times' has double standard for Arab and Jewish reporters
    • [Rudoren] "...And what she said was that while working as an activist, she grew frustrated telling only one side of the story. And she decided that she wanted to become a journalist because she had a yearning to tell the multi-dimensional facets of this story and other stories." - See more at: link to

      Gawd. By Rudoren standards the NYT is an activist organization and Rudoren herself is not a journalist.

    • "...where they live."

      An excellent piece by Phil:

      Ghada Karmi visits the ‘New York Times’ reporter in her former house in Jerusalem - See more at: link to

      The Times owns an apartment in the Qatamon section of West Jerusalem that has become a symbol of the newspaper’s insensitivity to the Palestinian side of the story, because the house was formerly owned by a Palestinian family that was forced to leave in 1948 and never allowed to return. And never compensated for its stolen property either.

      Thanks mooser.

  • Advice to North Carolina
    • Great piece, DS.

      Electronic Intifada had a similarly satiric post by Salaita.

      link to

      I was genuinely shocked by how many people didn't get it. I think that that shows the danger of the plausible resonance of Israeli propaganda.

      Given the ubiquitous-ness of that propaganda, people seem to accept the logic rather than laugh at it. I think that's the larger point of all this. Your article here and Salaita's sharply counter the acceptability of the Israeli logic environment we seem to find ourselves within.

      Well done. Thanks. And at the risk if being repetitive, double thanks because you all have shown just how total the buy-in is to manipulative, fake Israeli logic posed as normal thought processes.

  • Israeli journalist Derfner succinctly analyzes the anti-Semitism vs. anti-Zionism debate
    • Something about notes and beams...

    • Thanks Stephen. Great uplifting story. And it seems she passed that ability on to you.

      I suppose the answer to the question of what triggers that empiricism (or not) is as varied as the number of people on the planet. In that sense it's almost a metaphysical unknowable.

      Bernie Sanders, First Jewish Presidential Candidate with a Shot at Winning, seems to have had the same epiphany somewhere along the way. I was curious about how he came to that point (maybe at birth??) as confirming insight into the man, the candidate, and the leader.


    • Agree.

      And just as a thought exercise, I wonder how that affects Sanders, not because of any Zionist affinity, but simply as an encultured Jew in America.

      Is his background thought process something like, "My upbringing tells me most of you have always hated me, hate me now, and/or will almost certainly hate me sometime in the future, but VOTE FOR ME anyway!"(?) If not (and I do think it is a "not"), it would be interesting to know how he got past that.

  • Israel demands correction from Sanders: it killed only 532 Palestinian children in summer 2014
    • Sibiriak,

      "In any case, I don’t want to reopen the debate on the Weir affair, so I’ll leave it at that."


    • Yes Sibiriak. It's identical because the charges leveled against Weir were that she went on the show in the first place, and having gone on the show she didn't directly or sufficiently confront the interviewer's underlying ideology.

      Is listing Israel's latest abuses directly contesting the underlying supremacist ideology? I don't believe it is. It's listing abuses/events, and only the most recent ones at that. The dehumanizing belief system that led to the latest slaughter, and will lead to the next one, went unchallenged.

      Sanders went on Zionist (bigoted) radio and let the 70-year pattern of murderous Zionist behavior go largely unchallenged. Weir went on white supremacist radio and let that pattern of bigotry go largely unchallenged. The situations are identical, imo.

      But this isn't about either Sanders or Weir. I get what both of them were doing - getting their message out to varied audiences. I applaud this. It takes (and shows) courage and discipline. No, this is about the decider-people that give one person a pass for doing so and not the other. The people who do NOT seem to think that Zionism is as bad as all the other supremacist ideologies out there. People that cleave off whole segments of Palestinian support for alleged bigotry while winking at Zionism - the very reason Palestinians need support so desperately in the first place.

      I get where you're going with this Sibiriak. I just disagree with your parsing (not used in a derogatory sense) criteria.

    • Hostage had some great insights on this case. Iirc, something about state actors cannot be prosecuted if acting under US/state policy.

      I'll look it up if I get a chance.

    • Jeez:

      "In an interview with the New York Daily News, a tabloid owned by ultra-Zionist multi-billionaire Mort Zuckerman, ... [not to mention the interviewer himself]"

      Sanders didn't seem to take the opportunity to explicitly and clearly call out either the Zionist owner or the Zioniat interviewer as bigoted/racist. Not even close. By Allison Weir (yeah back to that again, but a threshold was set and everyone was beaten over the head with it...something about "not being tolerated") standards Sanders should be deemed a bigot and ostracized.

      And there's Blumenthal, one of the people who led the charge against Weir and who wrote a book about extensive Zionist racism in Israel, completely silent about an IDENTICAL, current situation involving Sanders and Zionism. Either Blumenthal, et. al., mean what they say about bigotry universally, or they don't.

      It appears they don't.

      Do Blumenthal, et. al., believe Zionism is at least a form of bigotry, if not outright, flame-on racism? Do they believe what they said about Weir, that she, above all, needed to directly contest her interviewer's racist history in real time? That one is not serious unless one does so in every situation one finds one's self in?

      The answer to that would appear to be a resounding, it depends.

      Blumenthal needs to explain. He either made a mistake with Weir and hopes everyone forgets about it or he's a flaming hypocrite of the "Jews are exempt" variety, or he doesn't actually believe Zionism is bigotry (in which case what was "Goliath" about again), or the interviewer wasn't really a bigot, or something.

      I don't get it. The selectivity is astounding and destructive.

      Latuff needs to be less movement-"elite" buddy-buddy and ask some questions.

      Palestinians are really poorly served by such gaping double standards. So many people who say they advocate for Palestinian justice really seem to other primary goals in mind. Goals that are between 1° and 89° out of phase with directly pursuing that justice. I don't know. It's bizarre.


      Sorry, just. That article floored me. IDENTICAL situation. Completely different treatment by the same individual.

    • Yup. Well said.

      US popular support for Israel is a political inverted pendulum. Picture a car balanced on a broomstick. The political car is swaying, ergo the "anti-zionism equals anti-semitism" correcting function.

      I'm kinda curious what comes after the "anti-zionism equals anti-semitism" effort fails.

    • Agree. I wonder if Clinton even had the notion to ask. Too busy "romancing the donkey," I suspect.

    • Brilliant idea for Sanders to meet with Pope Francis. Brilliant on EVERY level. Pope Francis's changes/change mode is real and hugely popular among US Catholics.

      Largely common goals. Strong synergy.


      So will the next layer of attack on Sanders be that, "He will be taking his orders from the Pope!" ?? :))

    • Israel only killed 532 children. Healthcare for all. Israel only killed 532 children. College for all. Israel only killed 532 children. Reform the banks. Israel only killed 532 children. $15 minimum wage. Israel only killed 532 children. Etc.

      Change up the intonation a bit, but correct away.

    • Sanders ought to correct himself every other sentence, if not every sentence.

  • Why Clinton's Iraq decision matters
    • Great comment, DD.

      I would add that the "beauty" of the Trump campaign, if there is a beauty (and I think there is and this is it...), is that he is demonstrating that the whole presidential election process is a joke/scam. Pretty much everyone knew it, including and especially the politicians themselves, but he is publicizing it.

      If there's a floor fight at either convention against the top delegate winner (assuming for a sec that Sanders ekes out a win) where the super delegates overturn the popular will, both parties will have doubly participated in making the private political joke public. Both parties and the single power structure they represent may well end up being a foil for Sanders instead of the Plan A going into 2016 where he was supposed to be a foil for THEM.

      I might just have to quit smoking and stick around for 2020 to see where that all leads.

      Again, great summary. If one takes a slightly longer view of this election, it MAY not be so depressing (if, if, if,... of course).

    • I take that back. I just looked at her comment history and she may have actually asked them in good faith.

      I guess I shouldn't be so cynical. My bad.

    • Heh. You're such a sincere person, just.

      I don't think those questions were asked in good faith. The "Who got rich...?" tangent was the tell for me, but generally a pretty contrived obtuse-ness to it all.

    • Is this meant to be self-satirizing? If not you shouldn't ask sarcastic, rhetorical questions that you apparently don't know the answers to.

      The answer is yes to those questions and yes to the vastly more fundamental questions of regional hegemony, aid justification, and a magnificently-crafted, self-fulfilling, perpetual-motion, contrast-generating Islamophobic propaganda backdrop to engineer and/or propel a US public/military/intelligence opinion move in Israel's direction.

      Wars are easy to enter, hard to exit. Once "they" started killing "us" US support for Israel was assured for the foreseeable future. Brilliantly executed tactics, in a psychopathically murderous sort of way of course.

      At any rate, it doesn't matter what I or anyone else thinks. AIPAC themselves made the decision to, and did, lobby for that disaster (for the US). Ya know...

      ...ask THEM why.

  • The Jewish-Israeli navel-gazers
    • Echinococcus, you make some good points and/or keep folks honest, but you're not omniscient and simply do NOT know the future with the absolute certainty you espouse. There are many complex dynamics in play here, any of which, singly or collectively, could substantially alter outcome(s) in a heartbeat.

      And more today than there were yesterday. I think this issue is entering a highly unstable time. There's a LOT of "new" (eg. awareness, common purpose, rhetorical burden shifting ...) happening such that none of us know ultimate effect. Could be nothing. Could be everything.

      But saying it WILL NOT have effect is actively and aggressively advocating the former (which is pretty much one of Sibiriak's comments yesterday).


    • Great article. Brilliantly imaged!

  • 'Israel will not have better friend in White House than Hillary' -- Clinton adviser assures NY
    • Or in local terms, Alabama Medicaid is $100M underfunded for 2017. If that shortfall is not remedied it means the whole system goes away. Estimates put the number of poor children and adults (mostly children) that would cease to have access to medical care at 500,000+/-, just in this small state.


      Slightly more than 1 million people in Alabama receive Medicaid benefits, including 51 percent of the state's children. link to

      ALABAMA (WAFF) - Advocacy groups say proposed Medicaid cuts will mean serious medical complications or even death for those who need help the most. link to


      What voter is going to accept billions in aid to a theoretically proud and self-sufficient foreign country when their children are wasting away before their very eyes.

      In this very real circumstance, how is it possible that NO clever and ambitious politician will make the three sentence appeal required to tap into that level of voter angst.

      ● Israel is a proud and self-sufficient country. We send them $5B per year that could be used to make your children well. I will end that aid and fund Medicaid fully. ● [Sighs of relief. Applause. Candidate boxes checked]

      How can Israel be so, so, so politically sacrosanct that all the major party candidates will watch US children get sick and die rather than utter a peep about the grotesque priority imbalance?

    • To put it another way, Clinton and the people who strenuously support aid to Israel do not want your kids to go to college.

    • Somebody should ask Clinton to define exactly what the US "national interest" is with Israel. I can't see any.

      Lest we forget, Israel supports al-Nusra Front, Al Qaeda in Syria. Is supporting the entity that carried out the WTC horror (a NY issue if there ever was one) in our "national interest?"

      Let the other 20M voters in NY judge her answer. Voters who's sons and daughters go off to kill and be killed to support this alleged, never-defined, blank-check, and open-ended "national interest."

      Are you listening Bernie? So much ammunition. So little time. Dialing back aid (to zero, eh?) to Israel would pay for college for half the kids in the US (plus or minus), including those same NY voters. Prioritize!!

  • Bernie Sanders' record on Palestine
    • Super informative. Thanks.

      Sanders does seem to be evolving somewhat in the right direction in real [campaign] time.

      I will never understand, though, how someone who supports even the notional (as opposed to realistic, whatever that might be) concept of two states can oppose a "unilateral" declaration of Palestinian statehood. It would seem that such a declaration, and subsequent recognition would place Palestine on more even negotiating footing and make a 2SS MORE likely.

      That level of cognitive dissonance probably limits both the extent and durability of his evolution considerably, as his inconsistent voting record underscores.

      Still, he is different from all the other major party on this issue. More consistent across his professed moral spectrum. He could win the nomination if would become explicitly and/or bluntly consistent. It would hhighlight that he truly believes in what he is saying on everything else -- and is capable of acting on that collective belief system.

  • Attachment to Israel is 'central part of Jewish identity,' Forward editor says
    • Great comment Shmuel.

    • @talknic You're right of course. But I get the feeling that there is a logic labyrinth that says to some that it does justify all those things.

      As Shmuel said below, it is alarming, if only for the increasingly tighter spiral of self-justifying behavior that it fuels.

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