Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 862 (since 2009-09-16 20:15:12)

Rusty Pipes

"I am a Progressive Christian who wants to see our government act evenhandedly in resolving the conflict in Israel/Palestine, bringing about a just peace." I have been an active participant in I/P diaries at Daily Kos and related blogs (Booman Tribune, Talk to Action, Street Prophets) since 2005.

Website: www.beyondbethlehem.blogspot.com

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  • Rabbi in Ohio U. controversy leads group that denies there's an occupation
    • Leshaw may well speak for the majority of Jewish students who affiliate with Hillel. As part of the Israel on Campus Coalition, supporting Zionism and rejecting BDS are part of her job description. Whether she speaks for the majority of Jews on campus who do not affiliate with or are rejected(because of their BDS activities) by Hillel, is presumptuous of her to claim.

    • For some reason, students in Bobcats for Israeli Apartheid think they get dirty looks.

  • Yale Jewish center to hold 'intellectual' panel on storm over ousted priest's comments-- without inviting the priest
    • Just to be clear, the Yale equivalent of Hillel (the Center for Jewish Life) will hold a panel on anti-Semitism with Lipstadt as guest. This is not a University or Chaplain's office sponsored event any more than the Episcopal chaplain's statements were. If Hillel only wants to invite Jewish speakers to their events, that's their business. Let's hope some other groups on campus, religious or otherwise, tackle the topic of the Gaza massacre and rising Islamophobia in Europe.

  • Ted Cruz praises Israel and gets booed off stage at D.C. Christian conference
    • Looks like Cruz knew exactly what he was setting up for a media sound bite - red meat for his evangelical Christian base and for some Zionist donors. Even though the Arab Christians at the conference came from a variety of nationalities and denominations, few of them could be expected to applaud for someone who claimed that they have no greater friend than Israel, when Israel has attacked many of its Arab neighbors (including their Christian populations). Maybe some relatives of the South Lebanon Army (collaborators in Israel's occupation of Lebanon) would applaud, but few others.

  • J Street can't tie Israel's latest 'illegal land grab' to cutting US aid
    • Great! Declare them illegal, as previous administrations have. Declare a review of US policies and agencies effected by such illegality. But why depend upon the review itself to put pressure upon the Israeli government?

      Apply the laws and policies (and sanctions) upon Israeli settlements -- some of which are already well-known and shouldn't take long to implement: Prevent any organization that supports the settlements from gaining or maintaining tax-exempt status. Let a UNSC resolution pass that penalizes Israel for settling its civilians in occupied territories.

  • Three ways Palestinians can hold Israel accountable for Gaza war crimes
    • A timetable that Abbas wants overseen by UN or NATO. Considering that the Syrian insurgents in the Golan (the folks that get their injuries treated in Israeli hospitals) have been so successful at harassing and kidnapping UN peacekeepers in the Golan buffer zone, NATO troops might be more of a deterrent to the IDF and settlers.

  • 'Washington Post' says there's no such thing as Palestine, 'NYT' runs Gaza whodunnit
  • Three-sentence letter to the 'NYT' results in Yale chaplain's resignation
    • Two Jews, three opinions -- yet an alum who graduated over 40 years ago presumes to represent the feelings of the variety of Jewish Yale undergraduates (who comprise a larger percentage of students than 40 years ago).

  • When 'NYT' reporter's son joined the Israeli army, he didn't want news to get out
    • Frankly, Phil, as much as I would like to read your interview with Rudoren, I'd much rather see her address the concerns of Palestinian, Muslim and Arab American readers -- especially those who live in NYC. Ali Abunimah has followed the NYT coverage of Palestinians. Has she ever done an interview with him?

    • Would it be possible to add a regular disclaimer to her articles that they have to pass Israeli censors?

    • To be fair, "roughly a year of training" could have been around ten months -- which would make the total near 16 months. That's nowhere near the stupifying Zionist mathematics in which 5-1/4 million (Hilberg's number) rounds up to 6 million.

  • Israel has three years to end the occupation -- Abbas
    • The financial challenges for a Palestinian Unity government is a byproduct of the Israel Lobby's work in our Legislative and Executive branches. Congress mandated that an office be created in Treasury to deal with "terrorist funding." Congress also defines "terrorist" organizations not by what they do, but by whose enemies they are. Consequently, Hamas and Hezbollah, which have not targeted American civilians, are designated as terrorists and governments like Syria and Iran are designated as State sponsors of terrorism, whereas other organizations or governments which are our friends, like Israel and Saudi Arabia, which have sponsored groups that target Americans, are not. These groups and nations have been squeezed through various economic sanctions. Even if the money were readily available to Abbas, he would have difficulty finding a way to fund the backpay for Hamas-related civil servants in the Gaza strip without encountering American-enforced penalties.

  • The west is safer for Jews than Israel (duh)
    • Speaking of the "clean up your own mess" feeling, how about leaving the remaining settlers in charge of hundreds of nukes. And Americans are told to worry about takfiris getting ahold of some nukes (as though Pakistan wouldn't have been glad to sell them some ages ago).

  • Hamas is ISIS for dummies
  • Tzipi Livni's vacation nightmare
    • Gotta keep the Gazans from thinking they have a right to any of the products from its territorial waters. In other news, Israeli government source claims that they have negotiated a $15 billion contract with Jordan to supply them with natural gas, once Israel's "Leviathan" field (which spans the Lebanese, Israeli and Gazan coasts) is developed. How does Israel covet Palestine's resources? Let me count the ways.

  • Richard Cohen says he married Israel and has been faithful during ups and downs
  • 'New Yorker' limits its expose of Israel lobby to AIPAC
    • Yoffee's response to the article is a good reminder of why the glass is half-full. Bruck's article is not in the Forward, but in the New Yorker -- a publication that is read by many educated Americans who are neither Jewish nor even New Yorkers. The code that Phil sees here as a plug for JStreet will be less relevant to the majority of these readers than the permission (armed with illustrations) to criticize AIPAC. Even though Bruck narrows the definition of Israel Lobby to AIPAC, plenty of representatives of other lobby organizations, like Yoffee, are threatened by the slightest opening to any such criticism at all.

      A half-full glass could whet the appetite of many New Yorker readers for the undiluted stuff.

  • Salaita's hire set off fundraising alarm at U of Illinois, per emails to chancellor
    • While there was only one letter written in this category, its content may reveal something about how such a deluge of letters were sent to the school:

      Only one person — an alumnus — wrote to urge Wise not to block the appointment. Of Salaita, this alumnus wrote: “He offers what may be an inconvenient and unpopular viewpoint to many; however as a teacher, I have come to fully believe that is what makes for the richest of educational experiences.”…

      The writer did not write to endorse the appointment, but to protest the blocking of it -- indicating that the writer was aware of a campaign to pressure the chancellor to block it. Since most of these letters were variations on talking points, they were likely the result of a campaign by one or more representatives of the Israel Lobby. For example, the local Hillel could have been recruited for its list of alumni and donors to try and block the appointment of Salaita -- only to find that not all of those on its list were sheeple.

  • Democratic Party leader echoes Netanyahu's new theme: Hamas equals ISIS
    • While we expect right-wing Islamophobes like Pamela Gellar to be calling occupied Palestinians "The enemies of all civilized countries," one would hope for our Democratic leaders to distance themselves from such messaging.

    • For the past three and a half years of the "Arab Spring," the media has been covering the conflicts, especially in Syria and Egypt, at length (even if not in adequate depth). The American people have been exposed to all sorts of opinions about the Muslim Brotherhood, in Egypt, in Syria, in Palestine and Qatar. Among the points that have been emphasized over and over, is that although MB is conservative Sunni sect, that they have significant differences with Wahhabbists. Further, before the Arab Spring, Hamas had distinguished itself from other MB groups as being more of a national than a regional movement (even though it did align with broader MB regional goals during the Arab Spring, it has since refocused on national Palestinian goals). The only commonality for Americans between ISIS and Hamas is that they are both listed by the State Department as terrorist organizations, although for different reasons: ISIS, an offshoot of AQI, has targeted Americans, Hamas is an enemy of Israel. If anything, Israel's massacre of Gaza may cause more Americans to question why we have an organization on our terrorist list just because our BFF, Israel, hates it.

    • DAISH translates as the Islamic State in Iraq and Al Shams (Greater Syria or the Levant). When it is translated only as "Syria" people assume that it only means the modern state of Syria and not the whole region. Even though "Levant" has the ring of the British empire, it is closer in describing the particular geographic area for English speakers. Can you imagine American broadcasters butchering the pronunciation of Al Shams?

  • 'Common Dreams' website traps Hasbara troll spewing anti-Semitism
  • Rob Reiner wants to pick Palestinians' leaders for them
    • In many ways, Reiner is a PEP who lives in a Hollywood bubble. He answers the questions about international politics that King throws at him at the start of the interview with fairly boilerplate liberal Zionist rationalizations. Later in the interview, when King asks him about whether Hollywood influences politics, he talks about how individuals can use their celebrity to raise awareness about issues. There, he says that if a celebrity doesn't know their issue thoroughly, they can do more harm than good ... also mentions some issues he has championed, none of which involve the Middle East.

      Maybe Reiner just needs to be encouraged to step outside the bubble and learn about the issue in depth (especially regarding American biases about Arabs and Muslims). He also comes across as a long-time supporter of Hillary, but as more dedicated to the Democratic Party than to one particular candidate.

  • A month of solidarity in London -- does the BBC get the message?
    • Maybe it's time we started emulating the Brits, and protesting outside NPR. Not only is NPR's coverage of Gaza even less evenhanded than the BBC, NPR has been characterizing European protests about Gaza as an alarming increase in anti-Semitism. For example, Eleanor Beardsley covered the French protests and violence by focusing on Muslim immigrants without a word about the JDL's and other right-wing Jewish groups' attacks on Palestinian protesters.

  • Visiting Israel on AIPAC's dime, Rep. Steve Israel gets defensive about 'war crimes'
    • Some insurgents (Syrians or internationals) fighting against the Syrian Arab Army (which our media calls "forces loyal to Bashar Assad") in the unoccupied Syrian Golan have sought and received treatment for injuries in Israel. The majority of Syrians in the Golan are Druze who support the Syrian government and are unlikely to be seeking or receiving favors from GOI. Israel's selective medical treatment for insurgents from Syria shows no sign of being based on humanitarian concern.

  • Gaza Calling: All out on Saturday August 9 Day of Rage
    • Which will give Saturday's protest about the massacre in Gaza additional historical context. While there has been debate about the choices that led up to the bombing of Hiroshima, bombing Nagasaki three days later (when the scale of devastation from Hiroshima was known) has no rational justification.

    • On the 69th Anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki, it is appropriate to say, "overkill is a war crime." Israel must be held accountable for its genocide in Gaza.

  • Steven Salaita-- unremitting in criticism of Zionism and Gaza slaughter-- loses a job at University of Illinois
    • Chalk up another example of double standards and settler colonialism. Just to highlight that Broken Treaties aren't a relic of the past, Champagne-Urbana lures a professor of Native American studies away from a safe academic position with promises of a new job and then dumped him unceremoniously when his comments about another settler colonialist state were too caustic.

      Someone should send a copy of Nelson's "vampire bat" remarks to the administration and ask whether all faculty will now be censured for tacky public statements.

  • Hamas mimics Hezbollah tactics, and no one will have stability till blockade is lifted
    • Maybe not "all" of it is propaganda, but much of it may be. After the offensive on halamoun, Syria, Hezbollah fighters working with the IDF found that some of the tunnels that insurgents had used to escape through had some of the features that they had taught Hamas' Al Qassam brigades (such as distinctive ways of booby traps). This discovery created some tension between Hezbollah leadership and Hamas for a while. So, Al Qassam has gained some tunnel technical know-how from Hezbollah.

      Further, some reports from last week claimed that Hamas used some of its tunnels for storage of rockets; once they started using the rockets from a particular tunnel, they proceded to use up that whole cache because Israel could tehn pinpoint and destroy that tunnel. I'm not sure how accurate that report was, but such a strategy could have been accomplished through some basic tunnels. And, of course, we know that southern Gaza has had abundant tunnels for smuggling goods.

      However, the claim that Hamas basically has an underground city of tunnels, which they have fortified with tons of cement as the rest of Gaza has remained unrepaired and neglected for several years, does sound like Israeli propaganda -- an excuse to demonize Hamas, minimize the effects of its illegal siege and provide an excuse for a ground invasion to destroy more of Gaza's infrastructure, test the IDF's latest weapons' systems and bolster Netanyahu's standing among the increasingly right-wing Israeli public.

  • 'Slate' blames Birthright for indoctrinating American Jew who was killed fighting for Israel
    • With Bronfman involved in the inception of Birthright Israel, it does make one wonder where all of that money for "educational purposes" from the Holocaust Industry's shakedown of Swiss banks ended up. One of these days, parents are going to wise up to the cultish indoctrination techniques used by Zionism and be just as cautious about letting their kids go on a Birthright trip as an old-style weekend retreat with the Moonies.

  • The green line is gone: Hundreds of Palestinian citizens of Israel detained following protests
    • What does "clashed with" mean? As in "Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said about 200 Arab Israelis in Nazareth clashed with security forces, who responded with water cannon and stun grenades." Did their outfits not match? Did they play their music too loud? Did members of the crowd bump into the police officers? Did they shout insults about "yo mama?" Did they carry signs that clashed with the officers' delicate sensibilities? Did they refuse to disperse from a peaceful protest? None of these forms of "clash" merit the response of water cannons or stun grenades from security forces.

  • Watch: 9 Jewish activists arrested after occupying Friends of the Israel Defense Forces office
    • Why does the IRS allow such groups to operate with tax-exempt status? I realize that government employees are overworked, but surely this and so many other groups that support Israel and the occupation do not fall under the category of charity.

  • Democrat Eliot Engel appears at pro-Israel rally featuring anti-Muslim activist Pamela Geller
    • Witness the recently orchestrated 30th standing ovation for Netanyahu in the blank check resolution for Israel passed unanimously by both the House and Senate just days ago.

    • No US politician (especially from New York) takes any risk by appearing too pro-Israel. Rather, politicians who criticize Israel, or even don't support Israel with enough enthusiasm, may get low scores on their AIPAC report cards and risk losing their jobs to AIPAC-funded challengers.

  • How can Human Rights Watch conclude an Israeli didn't want to kill 4 boys on the beach?
    • As though the Press being present has deterred the IDF. There have been far too many cases of the IDF aiming at reporters, like the AlJazeera woman covering non-violent protests in the West Bank or Anthony Shadid, shot by the IDF while wearing a vest clearly identified as Press. Israel just wiped out a building in Gaza well-known to be a press center for foreign journalists. The NBC reporter was playing soccer with these kids minutes before they were targeted by the Israeli gunboat.

    • Not to mention Chris Hedges famous column about the IDF taunting Gazan boys and then using them for target practice.

  • Bowing to AIPAC, Senate unanimously passes resolution supporting Israel
    • What exactly is a "unanimous consent agreement?" Does that mean that 100 senators were present and each registered an "aye" vote? Did 100 senators give a voice vote of "aye" and none said, "nay?" Did a quorum of Senators present all vote "aye" and none "nay" by individually registered or collective voice vote? Did a quorum of senators present vote "aye" in the majority for an agreement phrased as "unanimous consent" with a minority voting "nay" or abstaining? If the reporter for the Hill is as slanted in covering the Senate as covering Israel's ground invasion, we'll never know.

  • Israel destroys el-Wafa hospital as staff evacuates all patients
    • This cuts both ways: "there cannot be a true partnership when one side endorses positions that delegitimize the other’s rights and core values." Presbyterians have the right to free speech and to free association. Stewardship of resources (including investments), peacemaking and seeking justice for the oppressed are core Presbyterian values. When the leadership of major Jewish organizations delegitimize Presbyterians' rights and values, they make it difficult to work together as partners.

  • 'Hamas... is putting their own people at risk' -- State Dep't on Israel killing 4 boys on Gaza beach
    • Speaking of "a crass strategy that takes all of our eyes off the real objective," Clinton's real objective is moving back into the White House in 2016 and his crass strategy on display here is pandering to what major Zionist donors want to hear.

  • Palestinian member of Knesset removed from meeting for saying, 'Your hands are covered with blood'
    • Excerpts from Bashar Assad's inaugural speech related to Palestine:

      Brothers and sisters,

      Your resilience constituted the official obituary of what was falsely called ‘the Arab spring’ and reset the course. Had this ‘spring’ been genuine, it should have started in the backward Arab countries. Had it been a revolution for more freedom, democracy and justice, it should have started in the most oppressive and tyrannical countries: the countries behind every catastrophe that befell this nation, behind every war against it, behind the intellectual and religious deviation and moral degradation. The existence of these countries is the West’s most important achievement and the most significant cause for Israel’s successes and continued existence. There is no clearer evidence than their current stand regarding the Israeli aggression against Gaza. Where is the ‘alleged’ zeal and ardour that they showed towards Syria or the Syrian people? Why haven’t they supported Gaza with arms and money? Where are their jihadists; and why haven’t they sent them to defend our people in Palestine?

      In order to know the answer, we should know that what is happening today in Gaza, ladies and gentlemen, is not a separate or passing event. It is an integrated chain of events: from the occupation of Palestine, to the invasion of Iraq and trying to divide it now and the division of the Sudan all planned by Israel and the West and always executed by the states of tyranny and backwardness in our Arab world.
      ...
      When Israel attacked Lebanon in 2006, it was those same countries that encouraged Israel and the West not to accept a cease-fire until the Lebanese resistance was destroyed, describing them as ‘adventurous.’ Because these satellite countries succeeded in their tasks, they were charged with funding chaos under the name of the ‘Arab spring,’ and with leading the Arab League after other Arab countries abandoned their roles. The Arab League itself was reduced to summoning NATO and imposing a siege on the Arab states that refused to comply.

      All of these events constitute a strongly linked chain aimed at liquidating the Palestinian cause; all the money spent by those countries since their creation has been for this purpose. And here they are today playing the same role: in Gaza through Israeli terrorism, and in Syria through terrorism belonging to 83 nationalities. The methods may differ but their objective is the same.

      This leads me to another important issue. Some have expressed indifference towards Gaza, on the premise that we have our fair share of national problems; others have gloated at the Israeli aggression,asa reaction to the ingratitude and disloyalty of some Palestinians towards Syria and everything we have offered for decades. Both cases however, reflect naïve thinking; what is happening in Syria and the region as a whole is strongly linked to what is happening in Palestine. Dissociating ourselves from these events would be like watching a neighbour’s house burning and not offering to help.

      That is why those who believe that we can live in safety and distance ourselves from the Palestinian cause are illusioned. It will remain the central cause based on principles and the reality that links what is happening in Palestine with what is happening in Syria. We need to distinguish between the resistant Palestinian people and the ungrateful Palestinians, between true resistance fighters – who we should support – and the amateurs who mask themselves in the mantle of resistance to serve their interests, improve their image or strengthen their authority;otherwise, we will be – consciously or unconsciously, serving Israel’s objectives of dividing us even further and making us believe that our crisis is local and isolated.

  • Joining Graham, Schumer calls for end of Palestinian unification for sake of Israel's 'survival'
    • The politicians didn't write this legislation. At most, they tweaked AIPAC's draft. Mearsheimer and Walt describe how this worked in the I-L conflict in 2006:

      ... at the beginning of the war, there was a bipartisan effort to temper the House resolution supporting Israel by inserting language urging "all sides to protect civilian lives and infrastructure." Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (then chair[] of the Senate Armed Services Committee), among others, favored this change in the legislation, considering the moral issues at stake. One would think that such language would be unobjectionable, if not welcome. But AIPAC, which wrote the original resolution and was the main driving force behind it, strongly objected to this particular clause. John Boehner, the House majority leader, kept the proposed new language out of the resolution, which still passed 410-8.(p.326)

      While big donor influence has only gotten worse, with Citizens United, since 2006, average American awareness of the realities in Palestine and congress have increased since then through social media. Pro-forma votes and actions, like the 29 standing ovations for Bibi or the overriding of the Democratic delegates' votes on the party platform can be replayed over and over on YouTube. As the attempt to attack Syria in fall 2013 demonstrated, the demands of the Israel Lobby can be counteracted when congressmembers get overwhelming resistance from their constituents. More than ever, we need to let each of our congresscritters know that the whole world is watching and that we will remember if they condone this slaughter.

  • 'Protective Edge' has nothing to do with protection
  • Chomsky and BDS
    • So, after the last Chomsky thread, has Hostage really cancelled his subscription and picked up the remote or is he just taking a holiday.

    • Au contraire: by crediting some nuance in Chomsky's thought, Suarez is challenging the true Chomsky fan boys to exercise a little critical thought. While there are many other valid critiques of Chomsky's thought, Suarez covers the major problems with Chomsky's Nation article.

  • After repeated calls for vengeance, Netanyahu urges Israelis to be 'cool-headed' and seek 'justice'
  • Liberal Zionists' denial of Israeli racism heightens danger to 'everyone living in this land' -- Blumenthal
  • 'Haaretz' conference trumpets tired word 'Peace' (when the only solution is 'equality')
    • I'd rather substitute the terms, "Piece" or "Pacification" rather than allow racist war-mongers to get away with polluting the term, "Peace," with their lies. False prophets have been saying "peace, peace where there is no peace" since before Biblical times. It's our job to expose them. There is no real peace without justice.

  • Jeffrey Goldberg leads the charge on latest BDS smear: Presbyterian Church divestment is anti-Semitic because David Duke supports it
    • Reserve Corporal Goldberg reporting for duty. How is it that a pundit so associated with morally-reprehensible rhetoric that has endangered the lives of thousands of Americans (advocating for the 2003 invasion of Iraq) still has a job in a reputable publication?

  • Fear of anti-semitism accusation did not stop Presbyterians from witnessing occupation
    • Or maybe one of those recent Israeli high school grads fluent (enough) in English to perform alternative service through the Foreign Ministry. They may have set this one loose before the training was completed.

  • Media postings twist 3-fingered sign of support for Mohammed Assaf into celebration of reported teen kidnapping (Updated)
    • Even worse, every person who claims to be signing "f" or signaling "OK" online will be revealed by ADL to be supporting Hamas' alleged abduction -- once again affirming the growth of anti-Semitism around the world.

  • Israeli army enacts curfew near Nablus and raids eight major West Bank cities
  • Anti-Cantor coalition included Tea Partiers, Independents, Democrats
    • While the votes for Cantor were lower than in the past and some of the votes against him were cast by independents, the Tea Party doesn't deserve much credit for Republican votes for his opponent. Koch money was going to Cantor.

      Right-wing talk show hosts, like Laura Ingraham, are claiming credit for raising Brat's profile and boosting his standing among hardline anti-immigration Republicans.

  • Palestinians 'under occupation... denied dignity and self-determination' -- Clinton
    • From previous Clinton MW article: "In her forthcoming memoir, Hillary Clinton generally aligns herself with President Obama but distances herself at the margins: She had a different take on Syria and the Bowe Bergdahl deal, she says." Perhaps now that Clinton has clarified her differences with Obama over Syria, he'll be freer to move even further from the neocon/neolib policies that Clinton and her major donors favor.

  • The Banality of Religion: 'Prayer summit' at the Vatican fails to inspire
    • Don't underestimate what the Pope is doing, no matter how the MSM is covering it. On the first day of his Middle East trip, he lashed out against war-mongers who are profiting from the destruction of Syria. The following day, Jordan expelled the Syrian ambassador. His photo at the Bethlehem wall is worth a thousand words; it got reprinted in the MSM more than any other image from the trip. If you pay attention to what the Vatican Secretary of State is saying, it is very clear that the Pope "gets it."

      But you can't be surprised that the head of the Roman Catholic Church believes in God, considers prayer an important part of his work and wants to get different people together who claim to be interested in peace to pray for peace in ways that can work out well for all who attend. It's not just a public ceremony for the Pope; he thinks that prayer makes a difference. (also, there is no accounting for what he might be saying to world leaders behind closed doors to influence their actions.)

  • Hillary Clinton's flipflop: We were wrong to take hard line against settlements
    • The development is not what she has said, but where she has said it: not at an AIPAC convention but in her campaign-launching book for the general public. The Democratic base has shifted even more since the last time she ran in a primary: the majority of Americans still oppose military intervention in Syria and the majority of delegates at the last Democratic convention voted against the Zionist amendments to the platform. The Democratic base thinks that Obama has been caving too much to right-wing hawkish nuts like Netanyahu, not too little. The only reason that HRC is polling so well this far before the primaries is because no serious contenders to her left have thrown their hats in the ring.

  • US is 'pushing privately' on settlements, as reporters point out nothing has ever come of that
    • If End the Occupation had a quarter of the funding and half as much organization as AIPAC to be able to mobilize its supporters simply to lobby on every single little piece of Israel-related legislation that comes before congress (not to mention actually drafting the legislation, donating major cash or identifying oneself as a single-issue voter for Palestinian Human Rights), then those congresscritters who are only voting from fear of AIPAC would have some cover to vote otherwise. When Congresscritters' offices were flooded with calls from constituents opposing military intervention in Syria and AIPAC was the only group supporting it, most members of congress (especially Democrats) resisted AIPAC's entreaties.

    • The State Department is committed to taking no actions that would upset Democratic congresscritters' Zionist donors only months away from the mid-term elections.

  • Another pro-Israel student leader offers himself as advocate for 'the Palestinian people' (shirtless)
    • Looks like a new Brand Israel campaign to reach out to apolitical Jewish students who have neglected to like Israel on facebook recently. Like popular pinkwashing, greenwashing and bluewashing campaigns, it uses culturally liberal images and buzzwords to appeal to students who haven't given Israel much thought (and may not want to give it or anything too serious or political, like even JStreet, much thought). Vague "human rights:" good. Specific human rights laws or violations: too political. Look for it at a Jewish Frat Party near you!

  • LA City Council members denounce student activists over ethics pledge critiquing Israel lobby trips
    • These six LA city council members have made an additional move to improve their fundraising among Zionist donors for the next election. Do they represent the views and interests of their broader constituents?

  • Clinton cautioned Israelis on giving up Golan because Syrians might try to poison Sea of Galilee
    • Clinton's AIPAC-aligned aides sometimes urged a harder-line than that of Labor government leaders. Even so, the transcript source from Israeli-intelligence should be seen in a broader context. Even the general public is now aware of the fallacy of crediting Barak for a "generous offer" to the Palestinians and placing all of the blame on the Palestinians. Representations about negotiations that were happening with the Syrians deserve the same level of critical scrutiny.

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