Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 4201 (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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  • Norman Finkelstein's 'Gaza' is an exhaustive act of witness
    • Yup.

      Finally, a fuller narrative requires the willingness to hold Hamas and other Gazan fighters to account, which this book does not do. Norman Finkelstein asserts that Hamas cannot be expected to avoid jeopardizing civilians by moving its fighters away from civilian objects, since they would be unreasonably exposed elsewhere. Given a right of armed resistance to occupation, he questions how poorer, obstructed belligerents are intended to resist, if not with primitive armaments like Hamas’s (un-aimed) rockets. He gives the suicide bombings of the Second Intifada no real, critical attention at all.

      This lets Hamas and the other Gazan militants off the hook too lightly. Accountability calls everyone to proportionate account. I think that the fighters’ accountability is of specific importance in Gaza.

      What does that even mean? Proportionate account? What is that exactly?

      Largely a favorable review, but at the critical, and I mean CRITICAL inflection point of resistance to oppression, favorability seems to evaporate. Poof.

      There either is or is not a right to resist, by whatever means. Terror begets terror. Who started it? Does it matter? Is finding a solution/accommodation the most important thing?

      Ehud Barak said, AS PM, in June 2008, iirc, that Hamas had reduced rocket fire by 95%, ostensibly as an observation of its unilateral expression of a willingness to go forward constructively. (This was where the 50-year hudna was introduced, iirc, for those keeping score at home.) Israel/the Barak Labor government did the 2008 Gaza slaughter-fest anyway - not two months later. With seemingly ZERO thought to building on positive steps by Hamas and reducing attacks on Israel to zero. I don't get it.

      I can find links, and I will if asked, but I've changed computers a couple of times since so it will take some digging... Munnayer did the cataloging of [diminished] rocket attack trends coincident with Hamas promises to do so, at The Palestine Center. Maybe it's still there. Barak's statement was reported in Ha'aretz, iirc. June 2008.

      Bottom line, to me, is that there is no equivalence to what Palestinians do to resist and what Israel does to promote the "Palestinians as terrorists!" narrative. Israel NEVER seeks to solve it's own self-caused problems. Not ever. And blames others for the failure, with 100% media obsequiousness. This reviewer defers to that obsequiousness, sadly. Even if only in that one little critical passage.

      None of this is new to anyone here, but it was worth summing up.

      As always, FWIW.

    • Page: 42
  • 'Struggle for one state with equal rights for everyone' is here, 'NYRB' reports
    • Good question Harry. Don't remember it ever being asked directly, and I'm positive that it has NEVER been answered directly.

      "What's your moral objection to one state?", should be the first question asked of Zionists at this point. The answers would be illuminating, imo.

    • Wow. Hope. Legitimate hope at that.

      It's possible that the current conventional wisdom of Jewish-Israelis will be and certainly is to leave if equal rights are gained in a one-state outcome. But the rational follow-on to that loss of Jewish Disneyland (assuming the coexisting sentiments of Israel-is-home and Israel-must-be-where-it-is are real/truly heartfelt by more than religious Jews) is that a state with the shared prospect of no conflict, but yet as a [negotiated??] special place for Jews (no other in the world, needed, and imo a major driver of Jewish waffling on the morality of/support for Israel, right or wrong) can be both achieved and attractive enough to encourage return/support (for one state) in, idk, collegial and/or participatory ways.

      What's the alternative, eternal killing? Historical oblivion? A blood-drenched mess?

  • What's wrong with colonialism?
    • Great article.

    • Annie wrote a contending response comment on the "Zionist safe space" contention in the teaching of Hebrew in Chicago-area schools, equating it to the teaching of communism.

      She didn't go far or deep enough, imo. The "Zionist safe space" contention is the equivalent of teaching colonialism as a positive in Chicago-area schools.

      Far, far worse.

  • 'He wants to kill us'— Gazans fear for the worst as Trump severs aid to Palestinian refugees
    • Eh, sorry. Gaza is discussed in the article. Note to self, shouldn't skim important stuff.

      Namaste.

    • More thoughts...

      In the previous comment, "Fight" means cornered with no options.

      Does this UNRWA cutoff mean even less aid to Gaza? (Does Gaza get any UNRWA assistance?) In very round numbers, half the population of Gaza is refugees. In Israeli-calculus, less aid means more rockets, and more rockets means more Israeli slaughter-sprees and the resultant US media clamor about/for "mowing the grass." Will anyone make the connection that the "tit-for-tat" clock started with starving people in Gaza getting pissed off at the people starving them (and SUBSEQUENTLY lashing out)? Will anyone in media make the connection that fewer starving people means fewer rockets?

      Manning for Senate!!! Is there enough of an angry left to mobilize for her in Maryland, and/or against perpetual war generally? Get rid of (BDS as a criminal act) Cardin. Please.

    • Once again, there is ZERO upside to Israeli tactics now, in furtherance of their own self-defined interests.

      On the assumption that Trump didn't just wake up yesterday and say to himself, "How can I harm Palestinians today?", that this is an Israel-backed and orchestrated move, what do they think Palestinians in Palestine will do now? Fold?

      Heck no, they're going to fight. What they're now going to fight for is an open question to be decided by themselves, but they have no other options but to be politically more contentious. And when the paychecks for PA employees start ending, more physically contentious on the ground and in far greater numbers.

      Will Israel be able to paint that contention as a generic Palestinian trait (terrorists all?), or will the hopelessness that this aid cutoff (and what options are left to a captive people) poke through as "THE [guiding] story?" I suspect the latter because the Palestine/Syria MSM PoV has been shown to enough people to be pure fiction that [maybe] enough of a body of support will form. Not sure, but maybe.

      Maybe it doesn't matter, because in the end there are no options remaining for Palestinians in Palestine. "It" is going to explode in some fashion. It will be what it's been distilled into.

      FWIW.

  • What MLK's 'Letter from Birmingham Jail' tells us about Ahed Tamimi in a cold Israeli cell
    • What MLK observed (about "white moderates", or moderates generally, as you point out) really is a constant and/or universal, isn't it.

      "I'm all for your struggle, but please don't make me uncomfortable, or challenge me deeply [to the point of affecting MY life]..."

      Well said pab.

    • Yes! LFBJ and Donald Johnson's call back of the slap scene in "The Heat of the Night" provide perfect context to Ms. al-Tamimi's efforts and courage. and resilience/sumud.

  • After New Orleans City Council implicitly endorses BDS, officials say resolution was not about Israel
    • What's the word? "Goldstoned?"

      It would be interesting to have some sense of how this NO City Council act came to be passed in the first place. What efforts went into it? How no opposition presented itself, and now it does.

      Will the passed resolution now be reversed? If not, is is safe to assume that the original wording will remain in effect? Can after-the-fact Zionist threats reverse a legislation/resolution that has previously escaped their watch?

      More to this story, imho. More in the sense of tactical insight.

      Good for you all for getting it passed in the first place. That shows some vulnerability and/or moral receptiveness on the part of normal (non-national-level) pols.

  • Ahed Tamimi should stay in prison because she might slap again -- Israeli ethicist
    • I think it may apply as a response, but I'm not sure... A few years back here someone pointed out that Israel is a VOLUNTARY totalitarian state. Maybe the first ever.

      I didn't get it then, but have come to believe that that observation was unbelieveably accurate.

      Tru dat.

      Totalitarian is totalitarian.

    • Having said that, Gideon Levy, Amira Hass, and some of the folks at 972+Mag are notable exceptions to Jewish-Israeli lack of self-awareness. Truth-tellers, all.

      But such lonely, lonely voices...

    • +10

      It really is incredible that Jewish-Israelis simply don't see occupied Palestinians.

      It's not that they don't see them as humans, which they certainly do not. It's that they do NOT see them AT ALL.

      When I read this kind of Kasher-crap, I DO always try to put myself in the mindset of the writer, just to sift through how someone can be so completely oblivious, or not. Maybe there's a tingle of a semi-legit reason there/something I don't understand. WRT the Jewish-Israeli cesspool of rationalizing oppression of Palestinians in Palestine, no tingles yet.

      NOONE would put up with how the Israelis treat Palestinians in Palestine for a second, ESPECIALLY the people doing it.

      The void of self-awareness in Jewish-Israel is hermetic.

      Books will be written...

    • "Israeli ethicist"... yeah buddy. That can happen, yeah you betcha.

      Pfft.

      Still, I suppose it's good to point out that those two words don't really coexist in any meaningful way. More "Israeli rationalizer", no?

  • Vic Mensa's searing piece in 'Time' on Israeli oppression is prefaced by clunky disclaimer re anti-Semitism
    • OT, but I'm really liking the Jimmy Dore Show.

      A skewering of Jake Tapper using UN Watch as a prime source on the UNGA vote and it's context. Really blatant MSM hasbara. Zero context or counterpoint. Israel's line pure, and without counterpoint.

      I guess the point is that Dore took on Israeli propaganda straight on. Never seen it before. Good on him...

  • A private tour of the Hebron Heights winery
  • Let the two-state solution die a natural death
    • Great article, Prof. Falk.

      I wrote this a few days back at Consortium News (article/context was the global notional condemnation of the Embassy move):

      ..."To bring it back on topic, I can't recall any situation in 70++ years where Israeli colonization and annexation (let's just call it what it is) of Palestine has been reversed. So Trump's embassy move almost certainly means Jerusalem is gone for a sovereign Palestine. Does that mean that the concept of a viable, sovereign Palestine is gone? I think it does, but that's just me. Per this article, and pretty much everything else I've read about this move, there seems to be a highly-touted "solidification" of [vocal] support against this move. Great. When this move gets reversed in the next couple (2) months (after that, its a done deal/irreversible imo) because of this clamor against it, I'll eat these words (i.e. action required; immediate shedding of lip-service as principle SOP on Palestine). Unfortunately this "solidification" of support seems like wholly, historically-inconsequential, two-state nostalgia (and/or target fixation) and not forward-looking behavior which can guide change.

      FWIW..."

      This article provides exactly that, an analysis which can be used to guide forward-looking change. I hope to see more, and more detailed, analyses into specifics from you and others.

      PS, where did Samel's comment go? That was a great comment!

  • Quaker group honored by Yad Vashem for helping Jews during Holocaust is now banned from Israel
  • Israel issues BDS blacklist against 20 organizations-- 'badge of honor,' Munayyer says
    • It'll be interesting to see whether this radicalizes (i.e. clarifies the thought process) groups like JVP which have consistently tried to straddle the intra-Jewish conflict on Israel.

    • Eljay says it far better, but great list you got there. Heh.

      Even by your own negative reckoning: Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Israel.

      Doesn't sound very democratic, does it?

  • Why I am not at the MLA
  • Haaretz smears the Tamimi family to counter worldwide solidarity with 16-year-old Ahed
    • Rant prompted by this article appearing in Haaretz FFS.

    • I really don't get it. I mean even IF Tamimi's views are founded in "Jew hatred", so what? Her entire life has been an exercise in being HARMED physically and psychologically by JEWS, for NO DISCERNABLE REASON other than to make her life more miserable.

      If she does harbor "Jew hatred" it's just a normal reaction to daily reality.

      Deal with it. Or f'g DO something to STOP it. Just don't opine (in a Israeli/LibZio political sous vide bath of complete lack of self-awareness and self-pity) it's existence. No sympathy here.

      If she does feel this way, I agree. Tough sh*t. Deal.

  • If you genuinely back the Palestinian cause, you must support the right of return
    • I don't know if it means anything, but I found it curious that when Trump gave Jerusalem to Israel, NOBODY couched that discussion in contrast using the Palestine position.

      Trump could well have "taken Jerusalem off the table" by "giving" East Jerusalem to a/some notional Palestinian state. NOBODY posed it that way.

      It's very bizarre, to me, how rooted this whole Palestine/Israel discussion is in Israel-defined terms. That's unfortunate. I don't think it makes for a parity in the discussion, nor does it bode well for constructive conversation or a positive outcome.

      And yeah, I support the RoR.

  • A foreign leader -- Netanyahu -- set Trump's agenda in Middle East, Michael Wolff book says
    • Term limits? How about Occupation limits?

      All Israeli PMs have expanded (or allowed/enabled) settlements and/or future retention (Jordan Valley agri-biz). It really isn't just Netanyahu.

      It's just an Israeli thing (to steal others' resources, etc.). As far as I can tell, there is ZERO resistance in Jewish-Israeli politics to the morality, let alone the implementation, of Israeli theft of Palestinian anything.

    • So Walt and Mersheimer were right? Who knew?!!

      It will be interesting to see if this aspect of Bannon's insight into Trump gets play or condemnation. Surely it has to be one or the other. Can one/media totally ignore one aspect of this book and totally hype another? From the same source??

      Probably, yes, but still...

      Strange times.

      We're getting closer and closer to total, obvious, nonsensical media meltdown/non-believeability. Who knows what that means for this issue, but my suspicion is that it can't be a negative.

      Perceptual, 52-card pickup on Israel is where we're headed.

  • Lorde didn't bow to pressure, she rose to the occasion
    • Can any of these conscientious and courageous artists play a venue in, say, Nablus?

      Would Israel make it logistically impossible, or just say "NO!"

      Would Regev's definition of self-education include playing in Israel-occcupied Palestine?

      Non-rhetorically, might that be a counter-offer/retort to Regev-ian BS? It would sure be interesting to see what the [creative] answer might be. Maybe a drinking game could be crafted around how many times the word "security" would be used to avoid the legitimate, unanswerable questions raised by an outright "NO!".

  • Writing about what should be done to girls in the dark is incitement to sexual assault -- Shany Littman to Ben Caspit
    • Does Caspit have any daughters?

      I guess maybe a better question is, would it matter?

      Or maybe he does and this is just an unguarded glimpse into the dark netherworld of Caspit family discipline.

  • How Ahed Tamimi was slapped first, and why no one is talking about it
  • New Israeli train line with station named after Trump was built on stolen Palestinian land
    • Right. Since you brought it up, what percent of Palestine was owned by Zionists when the “first” Zionists arrived in 1882?

      I’m guessing ZERO, by definition.

  • Israeli Jews 'will never accept' giving vote to Palestinians -- liberal Zionist leader
    • Hi yonah. Yeah sure, it IS seen in Israel (and by Zionists) as a zero-sum version of survival. No doubt.

      I guess that's the part that few can understand about Israel. Equal rights is simply NOT a question of "survival." It is a question of morality and equanimity. That is why Israel's fundamental basis is/is going to fail. It's irreconcilable with what most people believe, and live in their daily lives.

      Lot of money behind the Israel-concept though. But I think you know that equal rights wins in the end. Just because most people live that way by nature.

    • yonah, you’re one of most at least modestly reflective Zionist commenters here. But I realize that by merely asking a/the question I inserted a sort of “ritzl-in-the-loop” reflexive disagreement. Oh well. My bad.

      Point taken on inevitability as strategy. But recognizing, deference, and/or embracing inevitably IS a strategy.

      So I guess I’ll just rephrase and reassert my original question. At what point do reasonably introspective Zionists realize that this [bizarre] inconcongrency justfying Israel’s actions become non-explainable?

      Two realities. Only one can be actual reality.' Rationalizing, or attempting to do so, one of those realities, the demonstrably disprovable one, only hastens “inevitably” of the undesirable outcome you seem to oppose.

    • I think, yonah, and maybe you/others will correct me, is that there is simply not a way to maintain a Jewish state AND keep 5M Palestinians in perpetual bondage.

      Her statement is straightforward, except for that bit of incongruenxcy.

      Do you not see how bizarre and disconnected these things sound?

    • I mean, Israel's whole history is written in water. From the initial Zionist maps proposing the entire watersheds of the Litani, Dan, and Jordan, to the current occupation of the Golan and veto rights to Jordanian usage.

      Surely Ms. Sasson is aware of this concept/existential NEED/causus belli (as Sharon once called it wrt to Lebanon's legit use of it's own water, and then invaded).

      Heh.

      Zionists of any stripe do seem to be so willfully ignorant of so many things.

    • The problem with 5-10 year interim solutions is that it's already been 70-50-/ years of interim solutions with no end in sight.

      If only the Palestinians could be reasonable.

    • I suppose that Sasson also "cannot imagine" life without Palestinian (i.e. belonging to the/her envisioned sovereign State of Palestine) water to support her Euro-lifestyle in the "desert." If she sees equal political rights as a non-starter, how does she see the equal water rights situation she is so adamant about?

      Or maybe she closes her eyes and just doesn't think about it (or clicks her heals together three times, or something...).

      I'm guessing the latter.

      It's always so amazing how people this opinionated about things they seem to know nothing about (apparently they don't know what they don't know) simply refuse to walk a few kilometers and find out what they don't know (as in live with a Palestinian family for a week, or a day, or a few hours...).

  • Anti-Christianism
    • @Maghlawatan

      The end game, Sanders said, was that “you are on your own. You are 80 years old and you have cancer – good luck to you. Government is not there for you.”

      I would add, "...You are 80-years old, have worked your whole life and you have cancer...".

      I get a sense down here that the hard-core evangelism that overlooks Moore's spiritual "horns" because he doesn't actually have physical ones, is in some small/significant part borne of utter exasperation (desperation?) with this. It has been ever thus so God is the only means to relief. "God-as-last-resort" if you will.

      That condition becomes R political strategy, but it also suggests a medium-term political way out of hard-core evangelical bloc-voting. But nobody (Ds) offers up the alternative. My hope for Jones is that he MAY try. He's an amazingly courageous man and the hardest working SOB in local politics. TBD.

  • Neoconservatives may finally get their war with Iran, from Donald Trump
    • The founders of "The Atlantic" (abolitionists) must be spinning in their graves. Goldberg as Managing Editor? Argh. The Atlantic's message has now been coopted/corrrupted by [a] war monger. Or beyond war-mongering, a bigoted, racial purity (i.e. Israel), anything goes mentality.

      I've read recently that this is what goes on. 'Whatever*-washing by nasty types moneying themselves into positions of respectability. Golldberg as Managing Editor of "The Atlantic" looks like that.

      Goldberg is, prima facie, NOT an anti-repressionist. How did he get to be a Managing Editor at
      The Atlantic?

    • Agree RoHa. Well said.

    • Totally agree as well Misterioso. No less than the end of economic life as we (the "West") know it is at stake. And Iran would only have to sink or maybe even just missile-snipe at ONE tanker as a demonstration of capability for insurance rates to become unaffordable (and substantially limit oil traffic in the Persian Gulf). The cure for that exposure can only be much higher oil ($300/bbl production and shipping cost ++ speculator effect) to cover [only] the increased insurance costs for $300M replacement value tankers.*

      Are these loonies willing to risk that? Did I just answer my own question??

      Someone (specifically neocons) will be blamed for that (hopefully avoidable) war-at-any-cost-to-others scenario. Very "un-civilly. Maybe that's enough acknowledged self-interest for this war talk to go away or stop just short of actual war.

      Speculatively, I also think these competing pipeline proposals through Syria are part of this Iran-war calculus. If the Saudis had had their way, this transport problem/risk goes away and Iran war gets green lighted. But they lost in Syria. Bit of a snag, that.

      FWIW...

      Thanks for pointing this out.

      ---

      * math being $300M+/- ÷ 2M bbl/load = $150/bbl risk cost per trip - full exposure

  • 'We overstepped in that case' -- David Brooks offers another empty apology for supporting Iraq war
    • [Brooks] Iraq was Iraq, and it didn’t work out. But at least it was a belief in essential progress – that history is not just an endless war of all against all, but a common march toward a more common future.

      What does that even mean? It's not "all against all" but merely "us" against "them"?

      Can a person that is that muddled EVER come clean about anything.

      And Dean "counters" with "R2P" (the neo-lib version of "us against them")? "Democrats tend to require better records on human rights of the rulers they support..." (i.e. kill hundreds of thousands of people to install these new leaders?; open slave markets in Libya selling black Africans, anyone?). Blech.

      Hey CigarGod, if you are awake, or when you do wake up...kick me. Please

  • US Reform Jews endorse land theft in Israel and occupied territories
  • 'We don't want to pick a side,’ Nikki Haley says. But you just did
    • Hehe. But in the "life imitates Monty Python," tragi-comic sense, you might only be dreaming that you're awake... :)

      What passes for "serious" thought and/or people now (maybe ever?) would sure suggest something to that effect. But it just can't be...can it?

      Peace CigarGod.

    • I am always in awe of the talent of people (Mr. Ofir) who can write a rational critique about people who are clearly insane.

  • 'NYT' columnist says struggle for equal rights in one state is upon us
    • PW: "Israel must decide..."

      Hasn't Israel done decided? Long, long ago?

      ----
      Just as a perception quibble, but isn't Fisher's non-specific and pretty ethereal longing for a sometime-in-the-future, collective, Jewish-Israeli decision to maybe, incrementally, do the right thing a definition of sentimentalism? Seems like he's explicitly longing for an Israel that might have been. Leaving the door open, he is.

      Still, for the NYT this article is as close as it may come to declaring an end to all the theater supporting chimeric outcomes. It'll be interesting to see just how deep this epiphany runs at the NYT as the next wave of opinions and reporting rolls out.

  • How corporate media tacitly justify the murder of Palestinian children
    • @Jackdaw

      "Ynet" (current) and "Jpost" (2014?)??

      Ynet is a centrist outlet involved in a ratings war within right-wing Israel. JPost is a right-wing steno outfit for the Israeli power structure. Israel PTB are currently in flailing, war mode (Lebanon, Syria, Iran). Of course they are going to "report" what "fits" popular Jewish-Israeli beliefs.

      Do you even have a modest glimmer of, let alone understand, how completely self-absorbed you sound? You really should get beyond this total immersion, Jewish-Israeli narrative.

      It shows.

      You should take your own advice, imo.

    • Hi Mooser.

      Which could only be addressed by cutting health care, eliminating social security, giving huge tax breaks to the already-wealthy…

      If you're saying that blatant Republican cutting and masked, inexorable Democratic erosion (in chunks) do not end up in the same place, I disagree. I wish it were otherwise.

      If the Dems actually did something to counter Trump-onomics, it wouldn't have to be "only addressed" by inflicting more pain. But they don't. What's the answer?

    • Hi Maghlawatan. I agree that it is critically important for the reasons you describe. I'd disagree that Trump is solidifying any support other than his die-hard MAGA base. I think he's actually betraying the chunk (20%?) of voters that put him over the top. People here in Alabama know that they're approaching a "no-tampon" era. They know they're kids are dying from lack of health care while wars rage and $T new ones are started. But as you say, I don't think the connection has been made to Gaza (or Syria, etc.) as a pattern of deliberate global [psychopathic?; I'm using that word a lot now] destructive behavior toward middle class/powerless interests. The "live" part of "live and let live" is in full enforcement by the ptb, but the "let live" bit is somehow never part of the equation. People are starting to see that in stark relief, so maybe solidarity, background or otherwise, may come to be.

      My read is that Trump, the symptom, has demonstrated to the people who voted for him out of economic angst - angst deliberately unaddressed by the Dems for decades - that they are not immune. Just the opposite. They're targets.

      Trump's one and only positive is that his psychotic, public flailing and aggressive wrongheadedness (re: betrayal) has exposed the whole corrupt system - domestically and in empire. Trump-the-symptom has enabled a diagnoses of the disease. Coupled with the fact that Dems, given this GAPING political opening, have not remotely articulated a plan to address this angst (particularly since there are substantial majorities (60%+/-) favoring ending perpetual war, universal health care, etc.) Maybe voters will evaluate all this and come up with some corrective personal voting plan, maybe not. Dunno.

      FWIW.

      PS. Jones WON! In a swirl of special circumstances, but he won. Pretty amazing. Now he's got until 2021 to show some concrete reason/benefits why the people who voted reflexively Republican should vote FOR him next time. Hope he can.

      Sorry to the mods for going off topic at length, but as Maghlawatan suggests this is all connected at or just over the horizon.

    • Again Jackdaw, when you use words like "carefully crafted" to describe a traceable transaction/process to describe a minor plot that would, if/when discovered, inevitably/reflexively lead to the deaths of thousands of human beings in Gaza at the hands of the Israeli "war"-machine, you really expose yourself as a say-anything, true believer.

      Going from memory, I guess the reason the Israeli narrative (blaming Gaza Hamas) you describe fell apart for me at the time was the allegation that the perps bought land to bury their victims on. That's the opposite of "carefully crafted." Why would any "crafty" group wittingly link THEMSELVES to such a crime, knowing the reaction? Why not bury the murdered kids on some plot anywhere else NOT linked to them? Its was then, and still is, nonsense (imo).

      Also, there's the blatant Israeli lie used to amplify/hype the heinous nature of the kidnapping and support the Israeli public's need to slaughter some Gazans of "The boys may still be alive!!!" The Israelis KNEW they were dead before they started bombing Gaza. They could have ratcheted down the killing fervor in Israel by acknowledging this and pursuing the kidnappings as a police matter (you know, "We'll get to the bottom of this..." or similar). But no, not even a thought to that (and they conveniently killed the alleged perps before any interrogation could be done and facts uncovered). Nothing the Israelis ever do correlates to what they always say, yet somehow it gets swallowed whole. Go figure. Color me a skeptic.

      Hamas is still in power in Gaza, so 2014 (et.al.) had ZERO effect beyond the death and destruction imposed on a captive population. And they do this every few years (don't get me started on the cheerfully, blood-soaked euphemism of "mowing the grass") to equal effect.

      Point being, even if someone believes in your story, there was ZERO attempt by Israel to avoid killing thousands of people in Gaza. Never has been. The pattern is of willful behavior/intent.

      Murder.

    • One only has to read the dismissive "injured" to know that you're just making stuff up. These children were KILLED in hideous ways.

      Israel has never tried to de-escalate its sporadic slaughter reflex in Gaza. Just the opposite. The 2014 slaughter was rationalized and hyped by attributing the murder of those three kidnapped settler kids to Hamas - without a shred of proof (actually knowing full well, in advance, that it wasn't Hamas, but some local thugs). That's intent, so yes it is murder. 500 dead/dismembered Gaza kids worth.

      "Blood," yes. "Libel," not even a little bit.

    • Yup. The victimhood/retaliation/terror! clock ALWAYS starts one second after a Palestinian does something (and completely ignores decades of previous Israeli instigation, blockade, murder, forced dislocation, land/water theft, and other genocidal behaviors too numerous to list).

      It's astounding that it still works every single time.

    • Bingo gigante!!

      I've always laughed out loud at that oh-so-seriously-made-and-repeated assertion (for a microsecond until the utter sadness and psychopathy of it takes hold).

      How does one debate a psychopath anyway? I don't suppose the object can ever be to win the argument. It must be to expose the illness and let nature (public opinion, or something) take its course.

      Great comment kma.

  • Trump's 'Lord Balfour moment' is formal recognition the US was never an honest broker
    • Forgot the Erakat link...

      The Real News: https://youtu.be/C_PiW1J7rKw

    • A) Don't forget Wahhabism as the third component of Trump's Greek-chorus of adoring bigots/repressors.

      B) Noura Erakat made an interesting distinction between "peace process"/Oslo and a "two-state" objective - declaring the former a stillborn sham, and the latter now unachievable. Equally interesting is that she (pretty open-endedly) concludes that the "one-state" rights-based approach is equally unachievable. Hard to tell where it all leads now, but it has to lead somewhere new, I reckon.

  • Israeli ‘leftist hero’ Barak regrets US didn’t recognize Jerusalem 65 years ago
    • Annie posted a great comment on that hesitation a while back. The legal definition of Genocide includes "in whole or in part" when describing Genocide and its related behaviors. As Annie pointed out, the whole purpose of that definition was to PREVENT WWII-level genocides from happening.

      So, if lefty-Israelis see "what was happening" (i.e. acknowledge it is happening) it has already started.

      Sad.

  • Israel denies entry to Amnesty International staffer due to alleged 'BDS activities'
    • Thanks Citizen. When I went back to link the article it had been deleted.

    • OT, sort of, but has anyone heard of, or screen-grapped, this alleged Dickinson, TX USA city demand that hurricane victims sign a statement that they are not boycotting Israel in order to get hurricane relief assistance?

  • The Russia influence story just crashed into the Israel influence story
    • On the other hand, imo, the "But Russia!!!" hysteria is inviting comparisons AND commentary about the truer and vastly more prevalent and enduring "But Israel!!!!!!" story.

      Another Lobby backfire (along with the anti-BDS/free speech effort). The Israeli Lobby in the US seems to be at its acme. It can't do anything to seal its truth leaks that will not invite more negative attention.

      It's really hard to tell if the downward slope/wane of that influence will be steep or gradual, but the pervasive, zero-sum, completely self-interested Israeli influence is out in the open inviting comment and criticism. Incredulous criticism at that (i.e. the glaring double standard between Israel and Russia).

  • US Jews need to stop criticizing Israel if they want two-state solution -- Israeli liberal
    • Yes, yes. Separation. In Afrikaans that would be??

      Even the people in the occupying territories trying to find a "reasonable solution" can't steer clear of a crime against humanity.

      I think Hafrada should be added to the definition of that crime.

  • If the occupation is permanent, is an ethical Jewish future possible?
    • Sorry for the delay in responding, Maghlawatawn. I agree with the first part, but the exodus of "1M educated Jews" is a search for comfort, not change (imo). They are leaving the Palestinian Citizens of Israel to do their equal rights fighting for them (yet they prefer leaving their "homeland" to allying with Palestinians in that fight). That doesn't augur well for any outside-Israel, confrontational, vocal and/or sustainable change-driven "Israel bad" or even "Israel change" effort by them.

      The Jewish "community"/coerced orhodoxy on Israel is , imo, NOT primarily about generic or specific human rights. It's about comfort In 2017 society. That's what MW is up against.

    • There was a Latuff cartoon here recently explicitly showing the violent, completely APT, comparison between the Jewish exodus from Europe into Palestine, and the forced, violent expulsion (yes, exodus) of Palestinians to make room for them.

      I guess the Multi-Million$ question is, what's it going to take to make that connection within the Jewish "community"?

    • Anything can be rationalized, eh?

      It (the occupying territories) certainly is now (rationalized) in the Jewish "community."

      Question is, how long can the occupying territories' corrosive malignancy be rationalized within the Jewish "community". The Million$ question. Kinda what this site is (and has been since inception) all about.

      Is progress being made? As a non-Jew, I can't tell.

      My guess is that progress is NOT being made. At least not in time to counter the broad recognition of the "occupying territories" descent into mad, genocidal mode, and taking the Jewish "community" with it.

      To this site's great credit, Mondoweiss has warned, observed, coaxed, pleaded, acquiesced, straddled, etc., etc., in pursuit of a CONVERSATIONAL difference/discussion in those competing timelines. There just doesn't seem to be a much of a conversation.

      Sorry.

  • Balfour anniversary drives a wedge into British consensus on Israel
  • The problem with Miko Peled's 'Holocaust: yes or no'
    • So does this mean Peled will be disinvited from speaking at JVP, USCPR, SJP, and/or other Palestinian activist events?

  • The Israeli right can't condemn Charlottesville because its whispered policy is, Nakba
    • @db Right. Because having a concern about the totally disproportionate political influence (toward psychopathic, counterproductive war policy and misdirected $Bs while Americans die by the thousands for lack of healthcare) by a sh*tty little, self-absorbed, exclusively self-interested (zero-sum as a long-ingrained worldview/method), country halfway across the planet (How many times has Netanyahu addressed a joint session of Congress again? I forget.) is the same as being a murderously violent supremacist of whatever flavor happens to suit. Got it.

      Not sure how Skokie fits into your attempt to teach me a lesson, but yeah, in the US even neo-nazis have rights. How 'bout in Israel? I hear the Jewish majority routinely tries to boot Palestinian MKs out of the Knesset just for taking a boat ride, or therwise speaking words of which the majority doesn't approve. Gosh, do you think a rally advocating something like the Right of Return would be allowed in Greater Israel? Hell, Palestinians can't even hold a funeral without being shot or kidnapped and put into indeterminate "administrative detention."

      Where's the Israeli Skokie??

      Have a nice day demolishing the homes of people not the same as you!

    • Yep. The nazi-like right is the nazi-like right is the nazi-like right...wherever they exist (Ukraine, Israel, Charlottesville, [anti-gov] Venezuela (or south of the border in general), ...

      Kindred spirits, and mutually supportive.

  • Pressure builds on Booker, Gillibrand to get to Yes on Israel Anti-Boycott Act (for sake of 2020)
    • Thanks jd65.

    • Thanks just.

      Would that be "hacking"?

      Cynthia McKinney described her initiation to that influence. Don't ask me for a link, but there was a vid where she described a meeting with the "Garden Club of Charleston (or her base if that's not it), asking her to sign a pledge to support Israel in exchange for their support for her election.

      It was some years ago, and I'll try to find the link, but the explication, which I've come to believe, is that this "support Israel...or else" money/influence assertion is pervasive, certainly at the national level. Much more pervasive than "normal" people accept as possible or real.

  • Chomsky still believes in the old Israel. I did too, once upon a time
    • @Misterioso August 14, 2017, 10:58 am

      Thanks Misterioso. That was my read. Ben Gurion had cutouts for his ethnic cleansing needs/policy. God knows he wouldn't want to directly, and with paper trail, be seen as ordering such human rights abuses at the exact same time that "Never Again!" was becoming a/the post WWII legal norm. Pfft.

      It absolutely was his/zionist policy to the point where it became counterproductive in the broader concept (UN acceptance in real time, at the time).

    • Thanks Danaa. Always appreciate and learn from your takes on things.

    • Yes Rob Roy. Me too. Fully subscribed in my early 20s. Kinda makes my skin crawl now that I ever bought in so completely and so ignorantly.

      As an aside, the only sliver that I've been able to find of the "old Israel" myth merging with some bit of reality was via a guy named Ben Dunkelman. He truly believed in the vision of "good" Israel to such an extent and consistency that he disobeyed a direct order from Ben Gurion to cleanse Nazareth of Palestinians. He wouldn't do it. A real-life hero in my book.

      He paid the price though. Immediately relieved/fired, but by that time the broad cleansing process had wound down (I think the world was beginning to notice the irreconcilable gap between Israeli promises and deeds in the 47-48 time frame which complicated the international politics of seamlessly integrating Israel into the post-WWII world community/morality as a member in good standing.), so Nazareth survived.

      Ben Dunkelman!

      (Though "strangely" he is never touted as an example of good ole foundational Israeli values.)

    • Shouldn't "the old Israel" (implying a transient reality of benign glory even though neither were even remotely considered nor implemented) be/mean "the old myth of Israel" of the Leon Uris novel and Andy Williams song (meaning pure fiction)?

  • 'Pummeled' at town hall, Sen. Wyden says Israel Anti Boycott law is needed because 'movement has grown'
    • Bingo!!

      AUMF was only for Iraq. Pfft.

    • "might" decide...

      Sounds ominous. :)

    • Agree.

      A) Even if BDS was lead by a foreign government, political speech cannot be restricted in the US. Period. It doesn't matter who initiates or leads it. If you agree, you can say/do it.

      B) The anti-boycott law aimed at the Arab League boycott is concerned with restraint of trade as a requirement for doing business. Completely regulate-able commercial focus. This anti-BDS legislation is completely different. It's telling individuals/citizens what they can and cannot do of their own volition in support of a political epiphany/goal.

  • Lindsey Graham asks whether AIPAC, which comes to Capitol Hill in 'droves,' is a foreign agent
    • Lindsey Graham, FFS. South Carolina.

      I know people in my non-redneck circle are tired of the Russia!!! baloney, without mentioning any of Israel's unquestioned influence. All of em.

      I can only imagine what Graham's constituency is expressing.

      Quite the sea change...if it is a change.

  • Israel is losing the battle for public opinion thanks to honest journalists, and platforms like Mondoweiss
    • Not only honest reporting, but Israel's own actions. At the risk of being repetitive, this Israel anti-BDS legislative wave means that any company not already doing business in Israel will NEVER do business in Israel. The risks are simply not worth the rewards.

      If a company should enter the tiny Israeli market and then pull out for any reason whatsoever, it risks massive criminal and civil penalties for doing so, with the only evidence required being some private email or twitter post acknowledging the justification for BDS by some decision maker. Such assessments of bizarrely abnormal risk propagate quickly throughout the business community.

      Result: Israel as business pariah. By its own overreaching hand.

  • Bill making it a federal crime to support BDS sends shockwaves through progressive community
    • Good one, a blah chick.

      All it would take is one retweet of a BDS org tweet to show "influence."

      In any event, however one arrives at a pro-BDS belief, expressing that belief is completely, overtly, de jure, protected under the Constitution. That's the fight, and the demonstrable litigation/able benchmark for how far we've fallen (or how much trouble we're in)... all because of Israel.

      Not only is Israel shattering the post-WWI body of IL/IHL, it's taking full aim at the US Constitution. But I guess that's just how they do things over there.

  • Kill like an Israeli
  • Israel's P.R. campaign is failing: the more Americans know, the less favorable they are
    • I would add that the overwhelming mass of demonstrable fiction that constitutes the [related] propaganda about Syria is allowing more people to see how they are being manipulated in a whole raft of areas. Israel is just one, albeit a major (war and peace) one.

      "Russia!!!!" is the other one. Every time I ask a "Russia!!!!" person what they make of, or have to say about, far worse and vastly more blatant Israeli manipulations of US elections and policy I get a blank stare. Whether that's a "but shared values" blank stare, or an "I never thought about that that way" blank stare it's hard to tell, but people don't like to look like incredible dupes and I suspect either way an informed response requires a rethink of some sort. Emphasis on "think."

  • On Nakba Day I want the right to be angry
    • Hi Citizen. Don't know if you saw this at Truthdig but the discussion is starting at the top level about US state suppression of everyone.

      http://m.truthdig.com/report/item/trump_is_the_symptom_not_the_disease_20170514

      It's by Chris Hedges and is mostly about the murderous MOVE suppression in Philadelphia but he's trying to ( don't think he quite does explicitly) tie that to our current non-Constitutional state in a way to suggest that we're ALL (white people too) at risk of/will soon experience what the Palestinians have long experienced. A "First they came for MOVE..." sort of thing.

      That may be a little too vague a description, but I thought of your "Dick and Jane" examples when I read it. Hedges argues with some urgency that there's a long history of suppression (no surprise) that is expanding rapidly to include new victims including "Dick and Jane." That may generate new empathy for other suppressed peoples, but it also may be that once a broadly-shared empathy is achieved it may be too late to act on it (that was the unsatisfying, open-ended conclusion).

      That may be a stretch read of the article but it did suggest to me more organic awareness/solidarity with Palestinian issues is coming sooner rather than later, along the lines you point out is so sorely missing currently.

      FWIW.

    • This may be a duplicate...
      -----

      Brilliant once again Nada.

      A) You ABSOLUTELY have the right to get and be angry.

      B) I mentioned in another thread that I was recently involved in a conversation that was founded on the assumption, "If only the Palestinians could develop some empathy for their Jewish brethren in the Holy Land, progress could be made..." I got angry.

      C) I guess it needs to be asked, is it possible for Jews who seek to remain inside the "community" by using intentionally softened/vague/conciliatory language/meanings as buy-in for that inclusion actually help the Palestinian cause in any way? Or maybe a little more positively, is glacially nudging the Jewish collective conscience on Palestinian treatment in the right direction a prerequisite for Palestinian justice (i.e. justice for Palestinians is subordinated until the "right" time in the Jewish conversation, but necessarily so)?

      I increasingly get the sense that the ugly Palestinian reality is second or third priority amongst their own advocates.

      D) Following on (C), do groups like "If Not Now" ask themselves the questions Ms. Elia raises here?

      ----

      Btw eljay, the rape analogy only made her harden her boilerplate, liberal beliefs across the board. I guess this Zionist take on Palestinians is entwined with a whole body of perception and conceptual thought. Gonna be tougher than I thought to unravel, if it can be unraveled at all. It's less about discrete epiphanies than it is about preventing cracks in a fairly fragile world view. That may not be a "universal," but I didn't really foresee it even as a specific possibility, so again thanks. Learned something.

  • Norway’s largest trade union federation endorses full boycott of Israel to advance Palestinian human rights 
    • Just in case the situation arises, if it hasn't already:

      ““The flying of the Israeli flag by Dublin City Council will do profound damage to the reputation of our capital city and our country. Should further atrocities be perpetrated on Palestinians in the coming days and weeks, there is considerable risk that Dublin City Council will be internationally perceived to be supportive of terrorist acts (and countless other crimes against humanity),” he wrote.” [A Concerned Citizen]

  • Jews made America great so 'we deserve our influence' on Israel policy, Dershowitz tells Scarsdale synagogue
    • Yup. The US is becoming a zero-sum game with actual life-and-death stakes for a lot of people who don't like watching helplessly as folks around them wither and die from completely treatable afflictions (or a foreclosed, life in the street, or perpetual war, or pick one from the list...)

      And there's Dersh saying to Jews and for Jews (in his mind at least), "We got ours, make sure we use it to make sure we keep ours, and hopefully get more."

      Dangerous-er and Dangerous-er. Tickling the dragon.

      Dershowitz is a VERY bad man.

  • Fake progressives
    • Always to the core of the concept Nada.

      You're one of the best writers here, or even on this subject.

      Once this is resolved (God willing...) I look forward to your voice on other topics.

      Persevere. Make a difference.

  • New York rabbi links Jewish Voice for Peace to Osama bin Laden and Assad
    • Will do eljay.

      I agree it's relevant, also apt and powerful. When I get the sense that decades of insistent, ambient disinformation about Palestinian motivation/character is regurgitated by generally well-meaning people, it comes in handy to quickly refocus/reset the discussion to what's really going on there. Such was the case here.

      Another aspect of this conversation was a side discussion about political views in general and how people get [self-] lodged into unchanging beliefs. So there were two openings to use your analogy in the discussion.

      Too, it was painful because the look I got was the same as the look when I made the observation (pre-election) that the US political system had manipulated formerly/notionally anti-war people into voting FOR perpetual war in
      2016. That's maybe arguable, but it requires/insists a similar overturning of previously strongly held beliefs is in order.

      That's a lot to ask of people, but imho the level of blatant, across-the-board inconsistency is opening the door for just such a personal and public rethink. The rape analogy sparks a rethink on this issue, which may cause broader questioning.

      Still...TBD. Tough stuff to change.

    • OT...Eljay, I used your "rapist" analogy in a family discussion and the point was made, painfully.

      The context was one one where "hope" was expressed based on Palestinian kids visiting some German extermination camp and developing [previously "conspicuously"/characteristically absent] empathy for Jewish/Zionist sensitivities.

      I asked if it was equally hopeful/contingent for the rape victim to develop and show empathy for the rapist. Kinda left it there. Point made, pending some introspection. TBD.

      Thanks.

    • EXACTLY Citizen.

      "...in Palestine as a Palestinian."

      Or even (i.e. ESPECIALLY) in Israel as a Palestinian because that's from where all this ugly Jim Crow racism originates and outflows.

  • New book by Larry Derfner, the American-turned-Israeli journalist, crushes liberal Zionism
    • Agree. A pretty major thing to gloss over.

      Derfner's a mixed bag. He moves in the right direction generally and generally courageously, but his boundaries seem to be that Jews have be the sole arbiters of a good result for Israel (the implication being, counter to his observation of a immutable right-wing racist colonial-ruled future, that they can do so without integral Palestinian involvement even and especially inside '67 Israel). Seems somewhat contradictory and/or ambiguous.

      I don't know. Maybe we're reading too much into that particular phrasing. Perhaps Mr. Derfner will explain (He's been pretty good about that in the past...).

  • Palestinian college student on hunger strike after 22 days of interrogation in an Israeli prison
    • If these kinds of exchanges are going to be increasing, I hope somebody contacts the US participants and recommends they visit Hebron/Shuhada St. while they're over there. Especially the black sailors and soldiers and officers.

      Spread the word. Experience/embrace Israel in its entirety.

  • 'Negation of the diaspora' as Zionist antisemitism: The JCC bomb threats came from an Israeli Jew
    • Or more accurately, sometimes a single Jew in Israel can be responsible for the oft-cited, increasing GLOBAL trend/"wave" of rampant/open/virulent anti-semitism.

      Didn't happen. Isn't happening. But the definition and/or quickness of the [ faulty] assumption and/or loudness of the shriek is changing to suit the manipulation du jour.

      Wolf. Wolf. Wolf. Wolf. Wolf! Chomp. Pity that.

  • UNC SJP responds to ongoing debate over cancellation of Rania Khalek event
    • Yeah. More than ashamed.

      UNC-CH SJP "doesn't want Khalek banned" unless they do it themselves. What a cartoon. Syria is more important to Palestinian "advocates" than Palestine is. Hoodathunkit.

      This really bookends the article on better Palestinian advocacy, doesn't it.

      Palestinians have so very few advocates in the US. What they do have is a bunch of people who have Palestine in their org names but who defer to every OTHER cause/priority/sensitivity they are exposed to. It's really hard to watch anymore, let alone commit actual effort to a veritable Nile delta of articulated concerns at the top. It's all just so self-diffusing.

      Palestinian advocates have to advocate for Palestine first or no one is going to care. If your own cause is your third priority who's going to listen.

      Two specific suggestions:

      A) Reinvite Khalek; and,

      B) Rehabilitate Allison Weir.

      Put Palestine first. Let the others fall in behind the Palestinian cause. Lead ffs!

      ---
      Sorry Harry. I digressed.

    • Thanks HarryLaw and RoHa.

  • Mr Friedman, where do you stand on demolition of Palestinian village and school alongside Israeli settlement?
    • He "stands" right on top of the rubble.

      Tough to shame people like Friedman. He doesn't care one little bit. Palestinians don't exist.

  • 'We are losing the next generation' -- rabbis describe crisis over Israel in their congregations

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