Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 9319 (since 2009-12-17 04:46:00)

Showing comments 9319 - 9301

  • Jerusalem at a breaking point
    • You have my sympathy. Given your background, I am sure it was not an easy decision to make.

      I will say that I think you have made the right call, but my view does not count for much. My son faces no checkpoints. No-one is shooting at me yet. I have no skin in the game.

      I wish you a safe return, and good fortune.

  • Hey Jews, listen up, Netanyahu is your leader!
  • 'Third intifada was launched,' Palestinian law student posted before carrying out fatal attack in Jerusalem
  • Bon Jovi's Tel Aviv gig is upstaged by Roger Waters's incantation of Israeli victims, including Dawabshe boy
    • Jon, you keep using the term "homeland".

      What do you mean by that term?

      I know you use the term in connection with the (unclear) term "people". What relationships to a people make a territory the homeland of that people? Are any other characteristics of the territory involved?

      What are the moral implications of a territory being a homeland?

      I'm sure that a teacher such as yourself will have some pretty clear answers. Otherwise, I, and the rest of your slower students, will think you are just spouting vague, meaningless, waffle.

    • Yonah, Christians also have a religious connection to Palestine, and Mulslims have a religious connection to Mecca and Medina. But these connections do not give any rights of residence. They do not make Palestine a Christian "homeland", or the Hejaz a Muslim "homeland". And that is the key point. The claim that Palestine somehow belongs to all Jews is a daft as the claims of the Crusaders. And look what happened to them.

  • Iran Deal coalition breaks apart, and J Street looks more and more like AIPAC
    • And yet there are still those who doubt my prophetic powers.

    • And other countries are joining in. A high level Japanese trade delegation has gone to Tehran, and I doubt that the S. Koreans, Malaysians, Indonesians, Indians, and a raft of Latin Americans will be far behind.

    • "Meanwhile, in Syria, Israel is supporting al Nusra, an al Qaeda affiliate, which makes Israel a suppore3r of terrorists and an enemy of the USA ,"

      But al Nusra is opposed to Assad and to ISIS. The USA is opposed to Assad and to ISIS. So that should make al Nusra and Israel allies of the USA. Except that ISIS is opposed to Assad and al Nusra, and the USA is opposed to Assad and al Nusra, so that makes ISIS an ally of the USA, and al Nusra and Israel enemies of the USA.

      Or maybe it's the other way round. It's a bit confusing.

      The main point is that we are supporting the good guys against the bad guys. We can be sure of that, because our PMs and Presidents tell us so.

  • The refreshing bluntness of Ayelet Shaked
    • The US is not a country of immigrants. The majority (around 90%, I have been told) of the population was born in the country. I think that nowadays the majority (though I do not know a percentage) of Israelis were born in Israel. If I am right about that, Israel is not a nation of immigrants either. In Australia, around 80% of the population is native-born, so not even Australia can be properly called a nation of immigrants.

    • "It follows that the residents of sub-areas are have no right to secede so as to make their race or religion dominant. "

      Of course, this conclusion applies not only to Kurds, but to all and any nationalist movement whose sole motive for secession is nationalist. This harks back to the vexed issue of self-determination. (On which you and I seem, rather disturbingly, to be in agreement.)

      One way to escape the conclusion would be to deny the very concept of social contract, but in practice nationalist groups usually take the line that they in some way oppressed, and thus that the contract has already been broken.

    • Mortgages are usually cheaper and less stressful.

  • How can a 'New York Times' reader possibly know what is truly happening in Israel/Palestine?
    • "Or do you want the occupied population to lay down and die? "

      Well, yes. Or at least go away somewhere. But if you don't have the deceny to just disappear and let the Israeli Jews take over your land, homes, businesses, farms, etc., what is a poor Zionist to do? They have no choice but to gun you down in the streets, drop white phosphorous on you, blow you to bits with bombs and shells, and so forth.

      While weeping about it all the time, of course.

      Do have some sympathy for the poor chaps. They are only trying to make the world a better place by creating a society that incorporates the best Jewish values. You've seen them doing that, haven't you?

  • 'NYT' reporters parrot Israeli claims re cherry tomato
    • "It’s rare that we need to irrigate in northern France and in the UK."

      Irrigation is a big deal here in dry, dusty, Australia. But in the UK you only have to wait for five minutes and nature will take care of watering the crops.

    • People eat broccoli?

    • "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu informed the U.S. administration that his speech on Thursday ... would be his swan song on his public fight against the accord"

      He's going to shut up about it? Oh, please!

    • Yeah? Well we invented the cardboard wine cask, the stump-jump plough, and the Tim-Tam biscuit. So tell those abos to stop grousing.

    • Page: 93
    • Soda that tastes of [shudder] celery?


      Time for me to start producing Vegemite Fizz.

  • To condemn, or not to condemn
    • @Cigar God.

      You have a punctuation policewoman who stifles your creativity? Excellent! Creativity that can be so easily stifled is worthless. There is too much of it about. It should all be stifled.

    • Mooser, as we proceed with the project of a truly moral legal system, you can be sure that the penalties for denying the Lord will be reviewed so as to take the dentally-challenged into account.

      And the issue of typographical emoticons will be dealt with as well. :-)

    • It means that we should work out what is right and what is wrong, and then do the right thing and make our laws support the right, regardless of what the old books say.

      (And a truly moral legal system would impose severe penalties on those who replace commas with ellipses, and put commas after subject clauses or compound subjects*. I would suggest lesser penalties for confusing "its" with "it's".

      *"The barbaric reasoning and acts of the past" is a compound subject.)

    • "Analytic and Algebraic Topology of Locally Euclidean Metrization of Infinitely Differentiable Riemannian Manifold" sounds quite interesting.

    • We should base our actions, and our laws, on morality.

  • Netanyahu's 44 seconds of silence at UN are being widely mocked -- 'pathetic,' 'creepy'
    • "uncooked crustacean"

      Don't explain this for the non-Australians. Let them figure it out.

    • And just to provide a little support for my claim that Putin is respected, here is a story in the dreaded Daily Mail.

      link to

      Go to the comments section, and click the "Best Rated" tab.

      And you will see this same support for Putin in the comments for most Mail stories about Syria.

      (And you'll find the PM's cat gets more respect than Cameron.)

    • In the Burns Museum in Ayr I saw a pair of glasses marked "Tibbie Stein's glasses", and I decided then that it was "Rabbi", not "Rabbie".

      (I went there with my parents, many years ago. My father and I made fun of the exhibits, in rather loud voices. My mother pretended she didn't know us.)

    • True of all the Oz TV channels. But Putin is widely respected in the world, in spite of their efforts. Our sagacious politicians are hardly likely to be misled.

    • No presidents. We do have Prime Ministers. They are all wise, sensible, intelligent, well informed, honest, moderate statesmen/women, whose only concern is the well-being of the Australian people.

      But this is what you would expect, since all our politicians are like that.

      You ask any Australians. They'll tell you.

    • "He keeps referring to the Holocaust at every opportunity, to bring sympathy for Israel. I think the world has done enough to compensate Israel for what happened then,"

      Not really compensation. The Holocaust did not happen in Israel. Israel did not exist at that time, and the Jews who were living in Palestine were being protected from the Nazis by the British. The Holocaust happened to European Jews. Real compensation would go to the survivors, regardless of where they live now. But I am told that quite a few of the survivors who live in Israel get no benefit from the "compensation" given to Israel.

    • This would be "Most Admired in the USA", I presume. Out in the real world, no-one has heard of this Bill O'Reilly, and Putin is very highly respected.

  • Israeli embassy's attack on Rosengarten just made her stronger
    • "You’ve never quite explained why Rosengarten’s survivor background is relevant,"

      Her background as a Holocaust survivor should be irrelevant to moral condemnation of Israel. However, Zionists continually wag the Holocaust at critics of Israel, and that context makes her status relevant.

      "particularly when there are hundreds of thousands of people who are survivors, the vast majority, who disagree with her perspective."

      Not only has your punctuation broken down, but also your logic. If her status as a survivor is irrelevant to the issue, so is the status of those survivors who disagree with her.

  • Saudi-led coalition bombs Yemen wedding with US weapons, killing 131 civilians
  • Facing Reality: Jewish terrorism is no longer limited to just a few bad seeds
    • "To put it another way, there does not begin to be a justification of the practice of Zionism in recognised moral principles. "

      I* have frequently asked for such a justification, but none has been forthcoming. The justifications that are offered seem to start from the presumption that Jews are more important than the rest of us, and that if they want something, they should have it. The justifications also show a total inability to distinguish between the moral and the merely legal.

      (*As you probably have guessed, I, too, am a moral objectivist.)

  • Anti-WASP tropes in the 'NYT'
    • "The richest WASPs are perhaps laughable for ultra good manners, emotional restraint"

      I have to say that I don't see anything particularly amusing about those characteristics. They are simply positive qualities which should be emulated generally.

      And why do you call emotional restraint "emotional frozenness"?

  • Celebrating Eid al-Adha in Gaza
    • "Millions of Jews regard themselves as part of the Jewish people and seek to preserve our unique identity. "

      And what's the point of that? Does "preserving unique identity" feed the hungry, or heal the sick? Does it make your cat obedient, or get you a discount at the liquor store, or stop your hair from falling out?

      What good has this "identity" stuff ever done anyone?

  • Palestinian shot by Israeli forces near Nablus last week dies from injuries
    • "I guess that Australia is a- ok with the way that Israel treats Palestinians in Gaza."

      The Australian Government certainly is. The Australian people are not quite so enthusiastic. On the other hand, they don't see that the world will be made a better place by being complicit in the cruel treatment the animals are subjected to.*

      And how cunning of the Israelis to attempt a bit of biological warfare under the guise of assistance!

      (*There was a temporary ban on export of live cattle to Indonesia because of the cruelty in Indonesian slaughterhouses.

      link to )

  • Israel's UN amb. called for annexing West Bank, tries to delete evidence
    • I love the background in the picture of Danon. Those glowering , "Big Bibi is watching you" , eyes must surely keep the lower orders in check.

  • Amnesty: Killing of Hadeel al-Hashlamoun was 'extrajudicial execution'
    • "a city clerk spoke to me rudely, the child dropped out because the level is low and there’s no money for a private school, the city isn’t fixing the sewage.’”

      You don't have to be a Palestinian to make those sort of complaints, but for most of the rest of us they are not made in the context of shootings and house destructions.

    • A small problem with that story. We usually think that the sort of girls who wear niqabs tend not to have boyfriends. But perhaps the stress of breaking up with her boyfriend turned her instantly into a swarthy, niqab-wearing, wild-eyed, Jew-hating, Islamist fanatic.

  • Mental health in Gaza: a subterranean malaise
    • It's astonishing that Gazans are not all gibbering wrecks. But perhaps the apparent sanity is an illusion, created by contrasting Gazans with what lies North of them.

  • Israel approves sniper fire and 4 year mandatory prison sentences against stone throwers
  • Settlers gawk as Palestinian woman lies dying at checkpoint (Update)
    • Not only will they find a perfect set of fingerprints on the knife, they'll find her DNA as well.

      link to

    • Ziusudra, your remarks are unjustified.

      Annie has to read and judge mountains of comments, most of which totally lack the sparkling wit, the verve, and the sheer intellectual awesomeness of my brilliant contributions. It is hardly surprising that, while pursuing this thankless task, she gets weary of seeing the same tired old themes cropping up.

      Apparently she has to eat and sleep from time to time (a weakness for which I have already chided her), but otherwise moderating and writing seem to be full time jobs for her*, and the overall quality of MW suggests that she does it well.

      An apology might be in order.

      (*No wonder she has not had a minute to locate the shift key.)

    • I don't approve of burqas, but a death penalty for wearing one seems a bit excessive.

    • So the US State Department doesn't know anything about events in other countries? Well, I didn't really expect it to.

    • "I’d still be of the opinion that there must be ways in which several heavily armed men ... can restrain an individual woman with a knife."

      As one who regularly practises such things, I can assure you that there are several ways a small, skinny, retired philosophy lecturer can disarm and restrain a woman or man armed with a knife, even if that man or woman is twice the size and less than half the age of said lecturer.

      One would think that, among several young soldiers, there would have been one with sufficient training to attempt it.

  • The Obama administration needs to own up to the quagmire in Syria
    • If you wear boots, I think you can safely bet them on the Russians having the airspace completely covered with their land and ship-borne radar, ECMs, and S-300 and S-400 systems, as well as the Air Force. They have a lot invested in reputation, as well as equipment, so they are going to set up the best protection they can.

      (I wonder if I could persuade that nice Mr. Putin to help in enforcing correct punctuation. I'm sure the prospect of a visit from a Spetsnaz team or a couple of SU25s would make people think seriously about their commas.)

    • I think that Putin has made his point. The coalition fighting ISIS is now Russia, Syria, Iran and Iraq. If rumours are true, China will be added shortly. And it seems that the bright sparks in the Pentagon have had another look at the list of Greatest Ideas of All Time and noticed that war with Russia isn't one of the top ten. They will be pressing that point on the politicians.

      So unless the US politicians are more stupid that US politicians usually are (a possibility not, alas, to be discounted) they will just have to grin and bear it.

      And I hope (not least because the Australian Government has its own collection of total nongs who follow the US slavishly) that they do.

    • And regarding Iraq warmongers:

      link to

      "Arrest Tony Blair for war crimes in the middle east and misleading the public."

    • "there are some a**holes working as interrogators who use dirty tricks when they deal with people they don’t like, like pushing someone stairs down and then say it was the prisoners own fault. "

      I should note that this sort of thing would never, ever, happen in Britain or Australia.

      Straight up, it wouldn't.

      No, not ever.


    • Interesting piece on Trump here.

      link to

  • Ad targeting Sen. Bennet says Iran wants to nuke the world's children
  • Tolstoy's War and Peace . . . and Palestine
    • Theater for Everybody can feel proud of themselves.

      Taking the core of War and Peace and turning it into a 40 minute play is an achievement in itself, let alone doing that under siege in Gaza.

      Are they going to take on And Quiet Flows the Don or The Water Margin next?

  • Israeli forces fracture teen's skull as Jerusalem demonstrations continue
  • Rev. Graylan Hagler disinvited to speak on Palestine, sent death threats
  • Nostalgia
  • Saudi king urges int'l action on Al-Aqsa as 20 Likud Youth visit Noble Sanctuary
    • This old nonsense again? Even if it isn't mentioned in the Quran, that doesn't mean it's not holy. Holiness comes from being regarded as holy by the believers.

      The Vatican isn't mentioned in the New Testament, but Catholics regard it as holy, so it's holy, see?

      And, if we use the RoHa scale, it turns out that the holiness of Jerusalem to Muslims outweighs the holiness to Jews.

      link to

      (If you don't like the RoHa scale, offer another method for measuring holiness.)

      Jerusalem is mentioned in the NT, and is where the most important event (the Resurrection) took place, so Christians should have few dibs on the place, too. And there are rather a lot of them.

  • Why is the U.S. mainstream press hiding Israeli Colonel Ofer Winter?
  • Israeli government is too involved in settler movement to take on Jewish extremists, says leading Palestinian legislator
  • Netanyahu 'declares war' on stone throwers
    • Jews may believe they need "a strong homeland for the Jewish people to defend themselves from the shifting political winds of anti-Semitism", but neither the belief, nor even the need, if it were real, gives them a right to such a homeland. And certainly not at the expense of other people. Jews are no more important than the rest of us.

      If Jews really do need to defend themselves from the shifting political winds of anti-Semitism, then they must find some other, moral, means of doing so. And if they can't find such a means, then they must take their chances with the world.

  • Coulter's point is that Republicans pander on Israel to win donors, not voters
  • Which nation spends more on its military: Iran or Israel?
    • "when a moderator dumps a comment, we try to keep it dumped. these kind of red flag announcements just help us out. "

      That is fair enough, but sometimes it is difficult for the commenter to know what aspect of his/her comment is the reason why it was dumped. It is even more difficult when the offending section has been permitted at other times.

    • @ lysias

      They know how to fly the planes and drop the bombs. That's using the equipment.
      Achieving their objectives and respecting international norms are totally different matters.
      The article suggests more US assistance, but the US isn't doing too well at achieving objectives and respecting international norms in other theatres.

    • Amidst all the incomprehensible blether about Putin, Assad, Iran, Hezbollah, you do ask an interesting and important question.

      Why has this wave of refugees happened just now?

      If, as you hint, it is ISIS that has sent them, how did they manage that?

    • The RSAF certainly seems to know how to use their equipment when directed against Yemen, and they were pretty good against Iraqi forces in the Kuwait war.

    • "And what about Israel? The International Institute for Strategic Studies estimates its annual spending at $23.2 billion,..."

      Er ...just who is spending the money to arm Israel?

    • "In a contrarian manner Iran`s biggest obstacle is Israel smallness in terms of the distance between the two countries – you send a missile and miss just a little bit you and you end up hitting Gaza, the West-Bank Palestinians, Lebanon or Damascus."

      Which is why the idea of Iran nuking Israel has always been ridiculous.

  • How Israel legitimizes vigilante terror
  • Long Island synagogue marks High Holidays with thanks to Israeli soldiers in Gaza war
  • 'New Yorker' says anti-Zionism is 'firmly rooted' in British left, and it's anti-Semitic
  • Dreamspace in Jerusalem
    • @talknic

      It works. Now all we have to do it make it mean something.


      1. Cass - ess - cues
      2. Not unless the context requires them.

    • It looks like a software-generated typo to me. My software sometimes insists on gluing words together and inserting them where they are not wanted.

      But let's not dismiss it too quickly. "Casescues" would be a good word for some form of architectural decoration that hasn't got a name yet.

  • Campus is seen as next battleground against Iran Deal -- by 'rightwing fanatics'
    • Plenty of Zionist influence in Australia already. The Greens are the only party that doesn't suck up to the Zionists, and they are more interested in trendy environmentalism.

    • And (as has been mentioned before) while all this wittering about the deal is going on in the US, Russia and China are firmly established in Iran, and Britain, France, and Germany are on the ground in Iran, ready to make trade deals.

    • I've never seen a flag in a mosque. Would it not count as a form of idolatry?

  • Israeli soldiers raid Al Aqsa courtyard, attack worshipers
  • I am Israeli
    • That's in your bio, Annie. But when you write your posts, you do not start them "as a mother, I think..." or anything like that. You stick to the subject and leave your bio out of it.

    • Perhaps Harriet Sherwood thinks of Nurit Peled-Elhanan the way you do, Maria, and so put that in as a sort of reflex action. She fails to show that it is relevant to the research. I'm pretty sure that Peled-Elhanan's results would have been the same even if she were childless. For that matter, they would probably be the same even if she were not a political radical, so mentioning her radicalism is not a lot more relevant.

    • A bit OT, but it seems odd to me that she is described as "a mother". Why? What relevance does it have to her study?

      Would anyone write "RoHa, a totally unimportant Australian academic, father, and political radical, has again exercised his zealous pedantry ..."?

      I think not. The fact that I have a son is not relevant to my unappreciated efforts to maintain the English language as an effective means of communication.

      So why did the Guardian writer include "mother"?

      (And I can't find an easy way of asking the writer.)

  • Iranian president issues New Year greetings to Jews
    • Off topic.

      Malcolm Turnbull has just bounced Tony Abbott out of the leadership of the Liberal Party. This means he will be our next PM.

      What difference will this make to Australia's position on the I/P question?

      Not a lot.

  • Iran Deal's liberation: Judaism is not Zionism
    • "The suggestion that the Jews should be happy with only one major Jewish population center (here in the US) seems to put all the Jewish eggs in one basket, which just on its face seems to be antithetical to the wisdom of dispersion as a survival technique."

      And yet Zionists seem to want to put all the Jewish eggs into the Israel basket. But, even if there were only one major Jewish population centre, dispersion would still be achieved by the numerous minor Jewish population centres that exist in many countries of the world.

    • I thought Judaism had a rule about setting up "images". Does it only apply to graven ones?

    • "told the audience Israel was due total support always by the USA, he explained this claimed conviction by further asserting that Israel was the sole insurance policy against further attempts to exterminate the Jewish people, "

      This excuse for Israel depends, of course, on the assumption that Jews are more important than Palestinians. It's just Saleema's "We matter and you don't " again.

      I'm prepared to turn the argument on its head, and suggest that, if such a monstrosity as Israel is necessary for the survival of the Jewish people, then the Jewish people should not survive.

      But I'm sure I'll get into all sorts of trouble for that.

    • @Citizen.

      I take exception to that claim. When it comes to brown-nosing the USA, no-one beats Australia.

    • "Anti-Zionists will never be inside the “Jewish Tent”. They will continue be viewed as fools who are persona non grata. "

      So you are saying that Jews will never understand morality?

      That they will always support murder of children, theft, lying, and a host of other evils?

      That they will always be totally devoid of humanity and basic decency?

      Seems a bit anti-Semitic to me.

  • Video: Israel's celebrated Labour Party 'is the mother and father of racism', says member of Knesset
    • Why not, indeed?

      A schoolmarm's job is to make sure you get everything right. How can that be a bad thing? The world would be a better place if there were more schoolmarms checking everyone's work.

      Especially schoolmarms like Ms. Hardman.

      link to

      And, Mooser, since some people can do Judy Garland, etc., I suspect you meant "Not everyone can do Barbara, or the Supremes, or Judy Garland".

      In order to avoid ambiguity, remember that the rule is that the negative precedes that which is to be negated.

    • So "off" means "on"?

      Poor Geoffrey!

    • "based off of the ideas of Zionism."

      Hardly. It's pretty obvious that the"Jews only" state was directly based on the ideas of Zionism.

  • Iran Deal aftermath brings warnings of donor backlash against Dems
    • "Very sad that so-called principled elected American politicians’ souls can be bought so cheaply. "

      Politicians have got souls?

  • Tell Kanye West: Don't be 'heartless' — Don't play apartheid Israel!
    • “Kim Kardashian’s father, Robert Kardashian, was Armenian. therefore Kim Kardashian, his biological daughter is Armenian.”*

      No, that just makes her an American with at least one Armenian ancestor.

      “Being close to one genocide, being morally outraged by it, and culturally sensitive to the history of it,”

      But she isn’t close to it. It was long ago and far away, and more so for her than for me. I was born closer in time and space to the Armenian Genocide.

      “should weigh on the decision to play in a country that is currently committing similar atrocities against another group of people elsewhere.”

      Why should it? What is the chain of moral reasoning that connects “closeness to one atrocity” with moral outrage towards similar atrocities against other people?

      (*I know a lot of people think in this way, but "commonly held" and "damned silly" are not, and never have been, mutually exclusive categories. It is our duty to resist such silliness, and not to pander to it.)

    • No, they are Americans as well.

      I approve of their refusal to play in Israel, but I would approve more if that refusal stemmed from recognition of the evil nature of Israel, and not from ideas about their ancestry.

    • "Kim Kardashian is Armenian."

      I've just checked. She isn't Armenian. She's American, so we cannot expect her to know anything about anything. (The Armenian Genocide has nothing to do with her, anyway. She was not involved in it )

      Kanye does have a moral obligation not to go to Israel, but that stems from the nature of Israel, not from anything to do with Kim.

    • I've seen the name "Kardashian" as well, connected with a TV show. Isn't it a soap opera about the sufferings of some poor Armenian refugees, or something of that sort?

    • I've seen this name "Kanye West" several times, now. Who is he, and why is he important?

  • Israeli politicians exploit refugees' suffering for political gain
    • Mooser, you seem to be doubting the truth of Jackdaw's Jerusalem b-fs.

      You're a slow learner. You should have realised by now that the truth of Zionists' claims is (a) too complicated for mere anti-Zionists to understand, and (b) whatever they say it is at the time.

      And if they say something different at another time, that's true too.

  • Could Syria's revolution have been different?
    • "The rest is history: Obama reacted not as desired by Israel, but made a chemcial disarmament deal with Syria "

      The way I recall it, Putin made the deal, and Obama had to go along.

Showing comments 9319 - 9301