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  • There Are No Facts: Excerpt from Max Blumenthal's 'Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel'
    • I haven't read the comments above, which is unusual for me.

      Mr. Blumenthal:
      Your prose is clear and descriptive and brilliant. This excerpt simply makes me want to buy the book, which I'm gonna do after I hit "post comment". Thank you, Mondoweiss, for sharing this. I think a lot of people have been waiting for a book like this. The material in this piece reaches a point where the hasbara bots simply do not matter any more. Thank you again, Max and MW, this will be shared all over the net.

  • Celebrity foodie Anthony Bourdain's trip to Palestine highlights Gaza blockade, racist settlers
    • Inspiring show overall -- a necessary crack in a mainstream hasbara wall that isn't gonna topple overnight. For most USA CNN viewers, this is radical stuff -- food is a great way to humanize people and fly under the mainstream media radar. Hard to imagine this show airing on CNN even a few years ago. Bourdain had guts and empathy to do it, regardless of the flash and hype and "balance" typical of the network.

  • The Har Homa Heat?: Meet the settlement-building family that owns the Miami Heat
    • Brilliant article, great links, excellent! The Octopus ink in the world of sports is murky, and I've read Zirin's book but hadn't heard of this. What an odious bunch of people... how do they sleep at night?

  • Feeling the wrath of the Israel lobby, 'WSJ' neocon virtually accuses some advocates of dual loyalty
    • Fascinating de-classified DIA instructional video at that link, thanks. One wonders how many go-along-to-get-along folks who work in such institutions would have taken the risk of reporting him. That woman who did so had a lot of guts. One also wonders how many Pollards are currently still anonymously at work. Knowing the mores of institutional culture, probably many.

  • Life under the F16s in Gaza
  • 'Birthright' ecstasy in Jerusalem -- Ziojuana, no occupation, lotta Jewish babies
    • Wow, so if I consume a Seagrams gin and tonic at the bar, I'm funding this crap?

      Wonderful job by Max and Lia. The tasteless 90's techno stylistic feel of the thing rendered me temporarily hors de combat. Are things really that vulgar over there? Kudos to Max for sticking to the task at hand, i.e., giving them enough rope.

  • 'Onion' 'joke'-- Israel vows to use constitutional veto power over Hagel
    • Is this a first for the Onion? Bravo. Some intelligent people they have that are seemingly getting more courageous on the topic. Have they done the Lobby before?

  • Exile and the Prophetic: Michael Walzer, repeat intimidator
    • Mooser, you're too much. Thanks for much-needed humor on this oft-depressing topic.

      Marc -- isn't it interesting how the Zionist thought police haven't changed their tune in thirty years? I remember the Israeli guys (cultural exchange or something) that came to my high school in the 80's as though it were yesterday. The first line: We're a nation surrounded by... dramatic pause... people who want to kill us! Push us into the sea! They really need some new clichés, even bad comedians deserve new routines. I'm digging your series.

  • Liberal Zionists and neocons battle over Chuck Hagel
    • Bull's eye RoHa. The US "fly-over" zone is not, in my experience, antisemitic, but this kind of stuff just doesn't go down as easily as it used to. Things are being discussed these days that were verboten in many circles even ten years ago.

  • Happy Hanukkah? Thanks, but not for me
    • So true, Ms. A. Your essay got me to think about a lot of things and I thank you for it. It's weird -- there are genuinely spiritual passages in the OT, but they're slim pickings. It seems more like a great system of controlling people. Looking at Shamanism and religions which are not monotheist, I don't see this ridiculous fear/hatred of women. That's a sticking point with me. And you're so right -- almost certainly, none of it happened that way. We critique journalism in real time these days, imagine what it was like then? I can't believe it's the "word" of anyone other than real human beings, some of them, perhaps, sh*t-faced.

      Btw, the feedback page on your amazing website (nice work!) doesn't work, I got re-directed to someone else's page when I hit "send". Just so's yer know. I wanted to shower you in admiration. All my best! Skol!

    • "By last count , you have had 1139 opportunities to peddle your agenda."

      Laughing out Loud, for real, Checkmate.

    • Avigail, God bless you. You are the way of the future, your vision points to a more humane monotheism of the future. Keep it up. You give a depressed gentile a ton of hope. (Sorry to be maudlin, the holidays do it to me! Happy Solstice!) And I raise a late night glass to your last sentence. Too true. I'm not proud of the Scots Irish in most ways, but it's half my heritage, and facing it, at the end of the day, is no big deal. Thanks for having the courage to do it in public.

    • I have to get the book where he says this, what's the title?

    • Last paragraph particularly great, American. They have nothing else in defense; they want to drive rational debate (and thought) into the toilet. The phenomenon of Hasbara is, to my knowledge, unique in this world -- there's that wonderful handbook for it, for crying out loud, which the zionist bots follow, hmm, religiously. A great strength of this site lies in its oft-Jewish identity and its toleration of oft-bewildered gentile commentators. Furthermore, they actually moderate here, all too rare on the 'net. Moderation takes a lot of time and no small amount of passion; it's a thankless task if you've ever done it. I think the ratio here of opinions on the I/P conflict is, on the whole, pretty damned accurate.

    • Thanks for the link!

    • "whoever came up with this crazy concept that “vengeance is the lord’s”?

      I imagine it was a very drunken man with a patriarchal bent on a bender 2500 years ago, and I imagine he had a bit of a problem with shellfish, foreigners, and women, but it's only a guess. How could any God who creates a universe on this scale be so petty? I just can't imagine a woman, ancient or modern, creating crap in this particular vein. Women don't engage in 'net flame wars anywhere near the way men do, come to think of it. Food for thought.

      Danaa, great point about the Hebrew versions and sanitized English versions. We need more translations of the orthodox stuff.

    • Furthermore, the revelers are supposed to be drunk while they're celebrating, right?

      "A person is obligated to become inebriated on Purim until he doesn't know the difference between "cursed is Haman" and "blessed is Mordechai." (Talmud Megillah 7b)"

      Piotr, keep the info flowing!

  • Why I joined Mondoweiss
    • Just a thought, Kathleen: I've always felt that some of Mondoweiss's PR power comes from the fact that the staff is mostly Jewish. I tell my friends about some news story, MW's largely Jewish staff (and the critical attitude they have towards Israel) often helps centrists neo-liberals take the info more seriously.

  • Exile and the prophetic: Israel's original sin
    • John, get your point but disagree. It took me a while to warm to it, but I'm enjoying the series. I don't agree with every point but Marc is asking important philosophical questions, rather like an anthropologist working on the inside. It's been useful to me and I don't think he's pandering to anyone.

  • It's time for the media to talk about Zionism
    • "But there are negative streams in Judaism, just as there are in Christianity and Islam. Abrahamic religions in general have a tendency to run off the rails in predictable ways."

      This is important and needs to be mentioned every so often. Negative, misogynist, often cruel. No big deal to admit it, most cultures have bloody histories and skeletons in the closet, which historians, if not lobbyists, eventually have to examine.

    • Yeah, Remnick surprised me and I'm eagerly awaiting more good stuff from the New Yorker, who'd have thunk it a year ago? And you don't have to agree with everything Phil says to realize that, for self-appointed moderates on the issue, this essay is powerful counter-hasbara. I think it'll have legs, as they say.

    • What a great post. I predict the War on Drugs will end like the Iron Curtain did, when people realize that there's no bogeyman appearing when people are free to, basically, not go to jail for doing something natural and normal. One day, enough people just won't believe in the "War". I hope that future generations will wonder what all the fuss and misery was about. It's a similar issue to I/P in a way -- people are starting to imagine that certain things could change and the world will carry on, no problem. Regarding opiates, if they were intrinsically ruinous, our Hospitals would have a hell of a time functioning. I'll sign it!

  • NPR host Siegel serves as moderator for Avigdor Lieberman at Saban gala
    • Wow. Game, set, and match. Thank you.

    • Very interesting info, Kathleen. I'd love to read that report. I can't stand listening to NPR because almost all of the announcers have this patronizing, bizarre diction that grates on my ears. I mean, compare Siegel's nasal twerpy delivery to anyone on, say, Democracy Now, just as a voice -- do people really speak like this? It's like baby-talk compared to the Al Jazeera or the BBC. I wonder if you have to talk like Siegel to get ahead at NPR? The photo above speaks volumes and is exactly what more people need to see. NPR is in need of an exposé, and MW is once again banging the door open, well done.

  • If only . . .
  • Israel supporters (and IDF officials) proudly display their bigotry on Twitter (UPDATED)
    • Woody/Mooser, right on. By the way, Hasbarists, this ain't 2008 and a lot of people are through giving your twisted Weltanschauung the benefit of the doubt. Your psychopathic "humor" is a far greater danger than Islam to what little bits of Western Civ we've got left.

  • Is the 'New York Review of Books' afraid of Islam?
    • I know it's a month late, Mooser, but I won't neglect another chance to drink to your brilliance.

    • A lot of good comments above. Generally -- NYRB has gone downhill from the 80's-90's when I used to read it at my folks'... A lot less dialogue about all sorts of stuff (including literature); a ton of stuff about what the establishment wants you to think (their multi-part Election special in the same issue Phil mentioned)... It depresses me. Phil, all your comments on NYRB are from the heart and I agree and feel the same way. I think the way forward lies in making new realities. New voices. You've done it here. But I do miss the old NYRB. [and I'm worrying about my friends in New Jersey, so I'm out...]

  • Don't conflate anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism, NYT arts critic asserts
  • On Romney plane, white and blue is as good as red, white, and blue
    • Thanks for the link.

      "In a separate episode, according to another two former U.S. officials, a CIA officer in Israel came home to find the food in the refrigerator had been rearranged. In all the cases, the U.S. government believes Israel's security services were responsible."

      Creepy crawly! Manson Family Values! What a wonderful freakout for US tax dollars to fund!

  • Bulgarian Foreign Minister: Mistake to blame 'any country or organization' for Burgas attack at this point
    • Is there a country in the Middle East, that, among other virtues, has a peculiar expertise in the production of convincing fake passports, fake ID's, fake drivers licenses?

  • The crisis of Jewish identity
    • Thanks for that, months later, Yonah. And thanks for the lead to other stuff, I mean that. Cheers.

    • Mooser, I know it's six months gone, but I have to say, you are a boon to humanity. We must find a way to duplicate you.

    • I know it's six month's too late, but I can't for the life of me fathom what on earth erty's reply is supposed to mean. It's kind of a classic from the vaults, I suppose. It stuns me. Hasbara at its pathetic worst.

      "Who is this man you refer to?" I don't agree with everything he writes, not by a long shot; but at least he's flesh and blood and a scholar, not some anonymous scribbler several thousand years ago with an axe to grind. And what on earth does Eritrea have to do with the subject at hand? Any tint of Islam renders his skills as an historian null and void? Thanks for warning me!

    • History does not teach us this.

      Juan Cole:
      " The “Jewish people” were not building Jerusalem 3000 years ago, i.e. 1000 BCE. First of all, it is not clear when exactly Judaism as a religion centered on the worship of the one God took firm form. It appears to have been a late development since no evidence of worship of anything but ordinary Canaanite deities has been found in archeological sites through 1000 BCE. There was no invasion of geographical Palestine from Egypt by former slaves in the 1200s BCE. The pyramids had been built much earlier and had not used slave labor. The chronicle of the events of the reign of Ramses II on the wall in Luxor does not know about any major slave revolts or flights by same into the Sinai peninsula. Egyptian sources never heard of Moses or the 10 plagues & etc. Jews and Judaism emerged from a certain social class of Canaanites over a period of centuries inside Palestine.", etc., etc.

    • Yeah, unbiased History is a bitch, Colin. Judea was not the center of the ancient world. Like Germany and Scotland, it was a backwater. I can't recommend Gibbon's Decline and Fall too highly on this subject. (The Wordsworth edition is the most readable).

      We could get into Ashkenazi stuff here... were the Jews in Europe before 1940 eating falafel? They were not.

    • I agree with Colin and I agree with you. I personally think ethnic differences make life _much_ more interesting. Learning a new language is a great way to realize how limited your experience of the world truly is. I can dig being a Scotch Irish/German American runt without having to wear lederhosen and support the Orangemen, necessarily... I don't see what's so hard to get about this, y'know, joining the rest of the modern world bit. Cultural differences are the spice of modern life, so long as religious fanatics don't get the best of you.

    • Disraeli, he didn't get anywhere either; the antisemitic persecution went that deep.

    • "Trouble is caused by the people who falsely believe that they deserve more rights and better treatment than others because of their identity."

      How much happier life would be if more people felt that way. Danke.

    • Have you read "I will bear witness" (forget the author's name, help me MW-ers)? A thoroughly assimilated German Jew wrote it, it covers the 30's-40's. I can ponder a lot of things that might have "worked" without Hitler and the Nazis. I've read less of Herzl than you have, I'd like to read where he discusses converting into German society. From Bertold Brecht to the entire Ufa production company to the originators of Berlin Cabaret, Germany in the 30's was full of German-Jewish intellectuals who helped define/lead a very stimulating artistic period prior to the dark ages of Nazism. German cinema in the 20's-30's lead the film world in many ways, and there were German Jews helping define it all, in ways far more interesting than Hollywood, then or now, few (none?) of them Zionists. The rot hadn't set in. Check out Berlin Cabaret by P. Jelavich, 1993.

    • A great synopsis. Gibbon basically said the same thing (Chapter 12 or 13, I think?) a few hundred years ago. You'd be hard pressed to find anything in history to argue against this interpretation of the OT/Talmud, yet it's not considered polite in the USA to discuss such things. "Cosmic bodyguard" -- I may have to nick that from you, thanks.

  • Woody Allen expresses typical American Jewish attitudes on Israel: Loves it but has never been there
    • God, that last paragraph (everything really) was good. Sorry to eulogize. I may have to steal some lines from you one of these days.

    • Great point, and I haven't heard a single argument to the contrary that carries any weight. Come on, Hasbara Brigade, do your very best. Roya puts it very clearly. Look at Tzipi and crew. Please. I suspect you don't argue it 'cause you've got no rational arguments left.

  • FOIA request nets U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency video on Jonathan Pollard
    • It's a cheesy video, which is typical of 80's productions, but I don't see how that fact changes the facts in this case. I suspect the actors were paid pretty badly. Cheap production all 'round. So what? Makers of the cheesy video also "anti-semites"? Prove.

    • Thanks as usual, Ms. K. Coming from C. Weinberger, this statement is pretty stunning, and not widely known.

  • An all-consuming occupation
    • Seafoid: "McMansions" for "Settlements" is what we're talking about, right? A stucco USA American dream, sort of? Please fill me in. A strange lack of aesthetics for buildings for the Settlers in the Chosen Land. One can google earth these places and they really do look "hideous". Florida/Suburban US is the model, sadly... Colin, above post is too hilarious as usual for this time of night and much appreciated.

    • Indeed. What a display of... something. Not my kind of party.

    • Simple, spot on, and unarguable. More and more of us like the simplicity of this argument every day. No anti-semitism discussion required (I am convinced that anti-semitism is a tiny minority viewpoint in the USA, compared to a few decades ago). What can the Zionists say to this? Nothing. They spay octopus ink.

    • Whole post appreciated with a ton of laughter.

    • "Obsessional", right on. These are the kind of words that change the focus of the debate. I don't think the hasbarists like words like that. Bull's eye.

      I have a bizarre book on "vampires" that mentions a lot of pseudo-history about Vlad the Impaler, but I've never heard that story. I suppose I should thank you. Cheers.

    • Whenever I hear phrases like "driving the Jews into the sea", I stop listening, sorry. I'm a goy raised in the USA and we had helpful (sic) Israeli visitors to our high schools using the same lines twenty years ago. Your jargon is no longer effective. The other responses to this strange and off-topic post have said it all. Mondoweiss is raising the level of debate and I learn more here on I/P than anywhere else. 'Nuff said. Great article Ms. Stein, what a bizarre "festival", I don't really know what to say about that video. The word "denial" comes to mind.

  • I left my hasbara in San Francisco
    • Your son is the future, in'shallah.

    • "Uncivilized" is right, and this is one of the factors the hasbarists didn't consider. "Uncivilized" turns a lot of people off. Unfortunately, most hasbarists have no manners and no argument left -- just the usual slurs, middle fingers from the youth in the photo, ad hominem attacks, and thuggish violence. This behavior has changed many people's attitudes towards Israel forever. We may not know the facts on the ground, but we know what we don't like. A seventh grade teacher, with help from "all sides", attacking a lone female demonstrator... how manly. Say yes to peace, right.

    • YMJ: Good point. They could be in Cuba! That "Stand with Us" ad is completely ludicrous. Also, even if they were the sole geniuses responsible for all medical advancement, how does that justify supporting odious foreign policy? This isn't clever hasbara; it's lowest common denominator argument; the end of the road.

  • MSNBC squelched Donahue, Press and Buchanan to make way for Iraq war cheerleaders
    • Kathleen, thanks for bringing up those anti-war marches and the lack of coverage. I was at many of them. They were not small, they were not covered. I stopped watching MSM TV when they went digital and haven't missed it a bit. MSM isn't relevant to a lot of us anymore, the internet is flawed in the extreme but you can't say there's a lack of voices.

    • Yeah, you're right, but you can turn that sentence around, replacing "left" with "right" in many cases. I think many of us on the left have left the white underclass out in the cold, and haven't thrown them a bone in a long time. Joe Baegent (RIP) wrote a lot about this. I think a lot of leftists talk of "Tea Party" people in a general way which doesn't represent a lot of people. I have a lot of friends on the Libertarian side.

    • Right on, I feel the same way. I'm a "recovering leftist"! I'm doing, too... people like you give me a lot of hope, which is somewhat scarce these days.

    • Annie, you rule. Great links. I would add NPR's coverage last week to the war cheerleaders. Thanks.

    • I totally agree, Krauss. I've made some calls to libertarian radio shows, and even got to the point of getting them to agree to "we'll stop bugging you about guns if you stop bugging us about abortion; let's concentrate on the real enemies"... seriously! Not all libertarians are nut-cases; some are sympathetic to a lot of left issues if you bother to talk to them... I've also become more sympathetic (if not participatory) to 2nd amendment stuff. The establishment's trip has always been divide and conquer... And there is a lot to agree on. Details are tricky, the Devil's in them. But I do think we have to try. The libertarians can be completely ridiculous about issues like climate change, but the Left hasn't exactly tried to engage or talk to them.

      Edit: Sumud, post noted and thank you, will check out that link.

  • 80 refugees are rounded up as Israel's Interior Minister declares, 'this country belongs to the white man'
  • Jane Harman, media mogul
    • As usual, thanks for the info and asking the right questions, Kathleen. I only remembered the details after reading your post... so much stuff goes down the memory hole these days. Bravo.

    • I would love to read your post. This isn't an ethnic thing per se; we can all talk about Italian mobsters, right? The topic leads to very interesting areas, where a lot of deals happen: the intersection of organized crime and spook agencies and politics. Ever read "The Politics of Heroin"? It's not only Italian mob involved, by a long shot. Anyway, I think you're on an interesting track and I wouldn't mind seeing more discussion about these topics here, as this site seems to do difficult stuff better than anywhere else I've found.

  • The things I miss (confessions of an activist)
    • Wow, great post. And thanks for bringing Blake into this, we need him around here (the world at large, not this site). Yeah, it's the insipid and hate-strewn arguments that really get you down. And the need to personally harass people... what you did was brave, and LA can be a dangerous place to stand up like you did, kudos.

    • Very well put.

    • Really interesting discussion here... worth looking into in a bunch of ways. What about manners, don't manners matter? Phil is right. But how to maintain manners with people who despise/despose of/manipulate manners? Shunning on campus, I can relate to that being weird in any direction; but haven't the Hasbara folks not just shunned their enemies, but even helped them lose their tenure a la Norman F? Information gung-fu is a strange game. Still, this site has the most interesting debate around, good comments all round, thanks.

    • Thank you, ritzl, for being brave enough to write your post. I've learned a lot from other posts of yours too. It's hard to admit when you've been unusually uncritical. (I love her piece too)... Cheers.

    • Bull's eye. What a jerk. Yet Mr. Oleg is in fact doing the world a favor. What normal human being -- anyone with any human empathy left -- would cast their lot in with the Hasbara brigade after reading such shallow crap? Sic transit Hasbara attack poodle rhetoric... good riddance to bad rubbish, I say.

  • The Messiah's Donkey: Settlers fire on Palestinian villagers as the Israeli military watches
    • Gamal hits the nail on the head, bravo. Where's the gefilte fish and matzoh balls? We'll have "Israeli" falafel and hummus instead? Food Imperialism is a really neglected topic. Not to mention that the Romans appropriated Greek; we're all still speaking Greek/Latin when we speak English, etc.. you're right, this kind of history, what exactly does it have to do with Zionist colonialism, the subject at hand? And thanks a million for contrasting mythic history with agreed-upon-facts history. Anthropology 101, oh yeah. I also notice no one has said the word "Ashkenazi" yet... they are and were "foreigners", by any definition of that term.

      Thanks for one of the best posts I've seen on MW, Gamal...

    • "Haven’t you figured out yet that the more that pro-Israel activists argue about Israeli politics with the world at large — and especially with Americans and Europeans — the more they turn the world off Israel?"

      Bull's eye, Sean; for any Goy that's not completely brainwashed, it's less of a turn-off than a total "Game Over".

      The gloves are coming off the hardcore fanatics of Zionism, and what's left is, increasingly, UGLY. Some people on MW try to reason with the specious, endless justifications and rationalizations, the ad hominem attacks (endless), and some brave souls will offer the Hasbarists olive branches (oh, the irony, with opponents who consider olive tree destruction an Olympic sport). I respect that, but it gets tiresome to hear repeated nastiness, and an obvious disrespect of anyone not blessed to live in a stolen, air-conditioned, USA-subsidized stucco box with a yarmulke and a million entitlements and grievances.

      The Settler Israeli, as a meme/concept/hero/role model, is a tough sell to anyone other than a complete sociopath! Sorry!

      Defending videos like the above... If one is a Hasbarist spewing octopus ink, maybe it made good sense ten years ago, a lot of people will yawn and change the channel, and I don't see a sophist yellow brick road PR victory out of that one.

  • Beinart's romance, and the coming tragedy
    • Of course, the Jews in the early 1900's had no power at all. Just like the Tibetans, who have easily convinced the UK to do another Balfour declaration, to create a homeland in the remote Himalaya. The World Zionist Council just appeared out of thin air, just like that, in '48. Financial support for it was always lacking. Come on, you're not that naive.

    • And that world-famous moral army, the Vatican City Defense Force (sic)? And the 16 foot wall around Rome...

    • Mr. Hophmi, who decides when it's persecution, and not a persecution complex?

      Persecution: "To harrass, afflict, hunt down, or put to death, esp. for religious or political opinions." Can anyone look at the I/P situation and see that happening, to the state of Israel? I don't see it. To the contrary, the slightest critique of Israel brings a mob of angry hasbara voices out of the woodwork, anywhere in the world. There's software and handbooks to help them do it.

      Allowed to? Of course they're "allowed to", the Israelis have gone their own direction for decades, seemingly unconcerned with the opinion of the goyim. Assuming that goyim and diaspora Jews in the US will forever love and support this Unification (in Israel) against (perceived) Persecution is probably asking too much, no?

      And if a certain group of Jews unites, and another group disagrees, who decides which is the authentic group?

  • Knesset members celebrate latest E. Jerusalem settlement by posing on evicted Palestinian family's sofa
    • You're missing the point, "Fredblogs" (great name! It sounds so, how shall I say, "fly-over", middle American, quaint, even! I believe you are really a dispassionate observer with no axe to grind! Not!). Oh, I'm so sure that you know who's lying and who isn't. The bulk of comments on this not-minute thread are about the disgusting, anti-human arrogance of a) the Israeli system that took someone's house away, b) the two jerks on the couch. Please consult your Hasbara handbook for details on more ad hominem attacks on the family who lost their house. A lot of gentiles are getting a teeny bit sick of your repetitive routine. I'm new here (first post!)... Please explain to me how this picture of Knesset members celebrating on an evicted Palestinian family's sofa is anything less than disgusting. Thank you.

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