Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 1084 (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: http://www.beyondbethlehem.blogspot.com

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  • Oscar swag bag includes ten-day VIP trip to Israel worth $55,000
  • Bernie Sanders' spirituality is resonating with young religious 'None's
    • The New Yorker portrait is not just a smear, it's a Zionist smear:

      The demographic so often maligned as Generation Selfie is rallying behind the candidate who has far and away the most shambolic presentation of anyone on either side of this crazy race? A fist-shaker and haranguer who makes the “Yakety Yak” dad look chill, the nutty great-uncle at the Seder table who insists on debating the morality of the Ten Plagues while everyone else is dying to just eat already: Really? That’s the guy with the youth vote?

      Bernie’s attractiveness as a candidate relies on the premise of purity—a political value as ancient as politics itself. In contemporary American politics, purity is the domain of independents, who can claim to resist the nefarious influences that representatives from the major parties must necessarily fall prey to, including the influence of the parties themselves—their ingrained culture, their policy platforms, their network of donors, even their traditional voter base.

      Gee, why are so many of the writer's fellow 20-somethings attracted to a candidate who resists parts of the Democratic policy platform, network of donors and traditional voter base? It must have something to do with her tedious uncle talking about injustice at the Seder.

  • Obama kisses up to foreign leaders who lobbied against his signature achievement
    • Obama is not going to endorse Hillary. Initially, his holding back may have been interpreted as giving Biden space to decide whether he would jump into the race (not only are Presidents presumed to support their vice-presidents, but Obama and Biden are close). But, if Obama has not endorsed Clinton at this point, he won't unless the primaries are decided in her favor.

      He still may be bending over backwards to prove to establishment Dems that he is not trying to sabotage their fundraising efforts with Zionist donors. But he's not even doing as much of that as he used to.

      Hillary has managed to strong-arm and curry favor with a lot of superdelegates to line up their endorsements as part of her strategy of appearing the inevitable candidate (thus scaring off most of her potential rivals). She left the Obama administration four years ago with good reason. Obama has been gracious in describing her service, but his perspective on their differences over foreign policy occasionally slip through.

  • Pope Francis's missed opportunity to speak the truth
    • Last week, the Vatican furthered its recognition of the State of Palestine by signing an agreement about the state's treatment of its Christian minority. The Pope urged other states in the Middle East to protect their religious minorities. He wasn't just talking to Muslims.

  • Sophisticated Orientalism in the New York Times
    • Not only do MSM reports rarely mention the corrupt Saudi royal family's accommodations with its Wahhabist clerics. They also rarely mention that the majority of people in the country's qil-producing regions are Shia -- who are treated very badly. Saudis are afraid of their citizens getting uppity and blame the prospect on Iranian interference rather than reasonable response to oppression.

  • Krugman's economy: I will spend none of my immense journalistic capital criticizing Israel or its lobby
    • How much of an insider does Krugman consider himself to be? He may have a blog at the NYT website, but how often does he get an opinion in print, other than when David Brooks is on vacation? He may be a tenured professor at Princeton, but his hawkish colleague, Anne-Marie Slaughter was easily cleared to serve in the Obama administration, while his name was only among those rumored for consideration. From his Beinart blogpost, his silence appears to stem more from intimidation by the Zionist establishment than from enthusiasm for the Zionist project. Saying that Israel's self-destruction is bad for Jews and the world seems to imply that Israel doesn't care whom or what it destroys in its attempts to save itself.

      If Krugman wrote about the Zionist demands of billionaire donors, would the NYT print it? Would he continue to get published on the op-ed page, much less have his own blog? On the other hand, liberal Zionist readers of the NYT know that Krugman has just called two Jewish Zionist billionaires just as spoiled and selfish as the easily-ridiculed gentile, Donald Trump.

  • Israel and its lobby lose the Iran Deal all over again, in news of damning wiretaps
    • If the White House was the source of leaks for this story in the WSJ, it is possible that average Americans were not the primary targets for this information. Not only has the WSJ long catered to the interests of the 1% -- it used to be described as having a crack journalism staff and a crack-pot editorial page. In recent years, its reporting has tilted toward neocon bias as well. The WSJ also is only available online to subscribers. So, the average American would not be expected to read this story straight from the WSJ, with or without its usual bias. (Not to mention that this story broke between Christmas and New Year's, a low news-consuming time of year). In addition, other MSM outlets can not be depended upon to fully cover, if mentioned at all, a story that reflects badly on Israel or the Israel Lobby.

      People who do read the WSJ include those who give or receive large donations to political campaigns and Political Action Committees. They include people who give large tax-deductible donations to organizations that claim to qualify as 501c-3 charities. Is the White House signaling that there might be consequences from this evidence of the Israeli government coordinating closely with American Zionist charities to thwart American foreign policy? Will the justice department start pressing espionage charges that will have more sticking power than the Franklin, Rosen case? Having good evidence that many congresspeople, including some from his own party, are unable or unwilling to support the Executive branch in foreign policy where there are differences with the government of Israel, Is the White House signaling that it is ready to use its power in the UNSC to bring a resolution to Israel/ Palestine?

  • Obama's ISIS czar says we can't defeat extremism without resolving Palestinian issue
    • Between Malley's and Kerry's remarks, the Obama administration has just signaled not only that they have a strategy for Israel/ Palestine, but how they are going to get the message to the American people past the MSM's spin.

      The Obama administration will tie a resolution to Israel/ Palestine to the fight against ISIS/Al Qaeda; while the Left has been well aware that Israel has been a recruitment tool for AQ since 2001, the MSM has ignored it. The administration has been signaling since Netanyahu's reelection that he is not willing to negotiate in good faith and that therefore, the peace process -- a negotiated settlement -- is dead. Obama has not said anything since then to clarify exactly how he has reevaluated his options.

      In spite of the ways that Congress has tried to check Executive action regarding Israel/Palestine (QME, cutting funds to the UN and its agencies), I think that Obama is ready to use legal and administrative remedies. We've had no coverage in recent months about possible French or Jordanian resolutions at the UNSC. By tying recruitment for ISIS with Israel and Palestine, Obama may be moving not only to allow a UNSC resolution to pass, but to actively push for it. He may not have informed Samantha Powers yet.

  • Trump wasn't anti-Semitic
    • The NPR story opened by stating that Trump had offended the gathering. But every clip they played of Trump's remarks were followed by laughter ( a far cry from Hillary getting booed and hissed at AIPAC some years ago for making a moderate remark about Iran). One person they interviewed afterwards complained about Trump being unwilling to commit to a united Jerusalem.

  • Open letter to Rabbi Susan Talve from St. Louis Jews
    • Fifty years ago, Martin Luther King wrote "A Letter From a Birmingham Jail" and "Why We Can't Wait" to Liberal White Religious leaders. JVP tells this Liberal Zionist rabbi that they have waited too long and made too many excuses for her in this letter from Ferguson to Palestine.

  • 'NYT' does not own the Karmi house, former bureau chief stresses
    • It may well be that neither the nice family below nor the NYT in the apartment above fully own the property as far as Israel is concerned. If the home had been confiscated by the ILA, they would be prevented from giving or selling the property to a non-Jew even if they wanted.

      It is worth noting that, at some point, one of the Jewish owners of the property managed to build a two story apartment on top of a one-story house -- with or without building permits. Palestinian Citizens of Israel rarely can get permits to repair or improve the homes they already own much less to build new ones.

  • Taking on jihadists without taking on racism is a lost battle
    • Gee, thanks for the view from Qatar. The analysis is not inconsistent with the narrative from a middle east news source that American leftists came to rely upon over the years -- the Qatar-based AlJazeera. This paragraph is a good example:

      Second, the Paris attacks should be understood as a byproduct of the collapse of the old order in the Middle East ,which was brought about by the colonial West (France and United Kingdom) in 1916 with the Sykes–Picot Agreement. The agreement effectively divided the Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire outside the Arabian Peninsula into areas of future British and French control. In the context of colonial rivalry, the Arab world was divided by creating individual “states” in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, not to forget the Jewish state in Palestine. A hundred years later, that order has collapsed and the peoples of the area are engaged in internal strife and civil wars that have disintegrated and fragmented “their” states, allowing for Islamists such as ISIS to emerge as unbeatable domestic power brokers to fill the void by writing a new chapter in the region’s history

      On the one hand, pro-Palestinian, while on the other hand totally ignoring the role of neocons and Israel's Lobby in pushing to reshape the Middle East (to revisit Sykes Picot) -- as though Middle Eastern states have been dissolving in recent years on their own. It's like looking at the events of the Arab Spring without reading M&W's "Israel Lobby" or Sy Hersh's "Redirection" or noting the role of Qatar's AlJazeera in shaping the pro-MB narrative of the "democracy movements" and the MSM's demonizing of Arab leaders on the neocons' hit list.

  • 'New York Times' uncorks laughable Israeli propaganda
    • Rudoren is also misleading in her references to the Cremisan winery, playing a minor role in the story as a Palestinian internet pest. By her use of dating, Cremisans appear to date their wine making back to 2008, later even than the wine project from Ariel:

      But Recanati is not the first to sell wine from these grapes. Cremisan, a small winery near Bethlehem where Palestinians partner with Italian monks, has been using hamdani, jandali and other local fruit since 2008.

      “As usual in Israel, they declare that falafel, tehina, tabouleh, hummus and now jandali grapes are an Israeli product,” Amer Kardosh, Cremisan’s export director, sniped in an email. “I would like to inform you that these types of grapes are totally Palestinian grapes grown on Palestinian vineyards.”

      The Cremison monastery been making wine since the 19th Century (founded on the ruins of a Byzantine monastery). Apparently, its wine production and distribution was upgraded by an Italian partnership a decade ago.

      Beyond the distraction of the dating of Cremisan wine production, the Cremisan vineyards are in the middle of the story of the occupation and the wall -- an illustration of the reason for the EU's requirement for labeling settlement products.

  • Kagan pushed regime change in Iraq, now says US must get over 'trauma' and do Syria
    • more likely he saw cable airing the same clip thousands of time of Palestinians celebrating (something entirely unrelated) on 9/11.

    • Okay, I found some of the sources on this from a commenter's old link. The PA early allegation about recycled old '93 footage had no basis in fact. However, later MSM journalists did dispel the propaganda through fact-checking. Unfortunately, not only can a lie go around the world twice before the truth gets its pants on and not only are retractions often lost in a paper a few days after the fact, but journalists don't bother to read or remember the retractions. Consequently, they let the initial lie (that MSM itself later discredited) get repeated over and over.

    • In this NPR analysis of Trump's statement, the allegation about cheering Palestinians on 9/11 was recycled:

      MARTIN: Trump says - did he say he saw this on television, or he actually was in Jersey City? Or...

      MONTANARO: Well, so it appeared that he said that he saw it. He was not in Jersey City, and he later clarified that he'd seen it on TV. But he may be conflating that with Palestinians in the West Bank, who we'd seen on TV out in the streets celebrating. Republicans have - who are running against Trump have said that Trump's rhetoric goes too far, although we've seen no signs of it hurting Trump at this point.

      Weren't those clips of cheering Palestinians that were replayed over and over on cable from the Iraq War or some other event?

  • The only way to take on ISIS is to take on Wahhabi doctrine
    • The MSM may peddle this junk, but that doesn't mean we have to buy it here:

      The group’s expansion in a context of sustained aerial attacks highlights one of the main criticisms of the American-led campaign from the beginning, mainly, that it was treating symptoms and not the problem. By concentrating attacks against ISIS targets while refusing to implement a no-fly zone or provide heavy weaponry to rebel groups fighting the Syrian regime, the American strategy was doomed to failure from the very beginning because it never involved serious efforts to bring about a political transition in Syria that could end the conflict. In large part, this stemmed from a false dichotomy adopted in the West, that the ‘choice’ in the conflict was either between ISIS or the Syrian regime. The revival of the Hitler or Stalin dilemma the West faced in the 20th century is highly problematic because it assumes that these are the only choices for Syrians moving forward.

      The American strategy was doomed to failure from the beginning because a large majority of Syrians did not support America's attempted soft coup of its government (AKA Regime Change). Even after four and a half years of insurgency, support for the current government of Syria has increased. The majority of Syrian refugees have fled internally to government-controlled areas. In 2014, 3/4 of Syrian eligible voters turned out to vote overwhelmingly for another 7 year term for Bashar Assad.

      If there ever were "moderate rebels," they haven't existed for years and they never formed a majority of the insurgents. Within the first year after the Arab Spring, most of the opposition demanding reforms had returned home and worked with opposition parties. At this point, Syria's only chance for a stable future is clearing its country of foreign-backed insurgents and foreign takfiris and pursuing amnesty and reconciliation agreements with former Syrian rebels.

      Bashar Assad's second elected term ends in 2021. If the majority of Syrians want to replace him before then, that's their business.

  • NPR's Martin says that Beirut and Baghdad victims matter as much as Parisian ones
  • CAP runs deceptive article blaming settlement project on rightwing Christians
    • PEPs will decry the ideological settlers while defending the economic settlers who live in "neighborhoods of Jerusalem." or in "areas near the green line [conveniently located over aquifers] that everone knows will be part of Israel in a 2SS."

      My only comment that was ever hidden at Daily Kos was one where I compared the actions of the settlers to the KKK. Within context, I was clearly talking about extremists who had gotten away with a recent lynching or other terrorist activity. The zionist squad claimed that I was smearing all of the poor, decent, Jewish refugees who had been provided with housing in government-built economic settlements. The site administrator backed them up.

  • Rigged Netanyahu 'conversation' at Center for American Progress shows it's twilight of the Israel lobby
    • Or as the saying goes in "My Little Chickdee"
      Wide-Eyed Rube: (pulling up to card table) Say, is this a game of chance?
      WC Fields: Not the way I play it, no.

  • Questions Neera Tanden should ask Netanyahu at the Center for American Progress
    • What should someone claiming to represent the concerns of Progressive Democrats ask? Here are a few:

      Were you involved in the theft of American nuclear triggers?

      Why is Mordechai Vanunu prevented from leaving Israel, even Jerusalem, and why has he been penalized for talking with reporters when all of the top secret information he knew became public record almost three decades ago?

      Do you anticipate being able to travel abroad when you are no longer Prime Minister?

  • Obama friends Netanyahu with one-sided statement
    • FWIW, the transcript has been updated to include the word, "innocent" -- which one could take to mean that all Israeli citizens are automatically innocent or that he condemns violence against those Israelis who are innocent (but self-defense against racist thugs is something different):

      And we will also have an opportunity to discuss some of the concerns that both of us have around violence in the Palestinian Territories. I want to be very clear that we condemn in the strongest terms Palestinian violence against its and innocent* Israeli citizens. And I want to repeat once again, it is my strong belief that Israel has not just the right, but the obligation to protect itself.

      I also think its worth noting that Obama is giving Netanyahu a chance to clarify his thoughts about how a two-state solution could be viable (beyond when hell freezes over). Obama has not retracted his statement that he's reassessing his options:

      I also will discuss with the Prime Minister his thoughts on how we can lower the temperature between Israelis and Palestinians, how we can get back on a path towards peace, and how we can make sure that legitimate Palestinian aspirations are met through a political process, even as we make sure that Israel is able to secure itself.

      Beyond that, he's meeting with Netanyahu because its part of his job description (especially as far as congressional Democrats and Hillary's campaign are concerned).

  • Hillary Clinton promises to invite Netanyahu to White House in her first month
  • 'NPR' and 'NYT' present Netanyahu as a-- moderate
    • Inskeep's interview of Ross is so risk averse, you'd think it was Entertainment Tonight rather than a news show. Inskeep even asked more challenging questions of Netanyahu than he did of Ross. Netanyahu has been described as risk averse? He's been described as a propagandist, a war criminal and a thief of American nuclear triggers. Shall we allow Ross to gloss over the question of whether Netanyahu and Rabin are different not only in tone, but in substance? Why, yes we shall. How will the Liberal Zionist who does the ombud's quarterly assessment of NPR's I/P coverage rate this report?

    • I can't find the comments section for the Kershner article.

  • Recent West Bank protests not only reflect anger at Israel, but also the Palestinian Authority
    • The only ones who benefit in the long run from Palestinian infighting are Zionists and the Zionist project. Israeli governments have long known and exploited differences and factions not only by their overt actions, but by recruiting Palestinian informers through pressure or bribes and by seeding agents provocateurs among Palestinian violent and non-violent groups and demonstrations. Netanyahu has been trying to provoke a third intifada for years to distract attention from Israeli attrocities and provide cover for stepped up ethnic cleansing.

      In American MSM, if it bleeds, it leads and the mic will be given over mostly to Zionist voices that blame the bleeding on Palestinians. But they "don't do Gandhi well" -- which is why the Israeli government tries to undermine, crush, distort and distract from Palestinian non-violent resistance, including BDS.

  • JK Rowling stumps for Israel -- what would Harry Potter do?
    • As a former Amnesty International staffer, surely Rowling knows the reality that Palestinians live. I'm wondering if recent Scottish politics have influenced her circle of friends and allies. She came out strongly against Scottish independence, giving financial support to the campaign -- so she may be experiencing some animosity from the Scottish left. Support for BDS is even higher in Scotland than in England.

  • As Israel clamps down on East Jerusalem, police evict Palestinian family for new settlement
    • The PLO's statement nails what Netanyahu's provocations are all about -- the ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem:

      “Israeli policies and escalating practices in Silwan aim not only to alter the historic character of the area and to consolidate Israeli control over the Old City of Jerusalem, in particular al-Aqsa mosque compound, but also to contribute to the systematic ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem,” said the PLO in statement.

      Taking a page from the playbook of his mentor, Ariel Sharon, Netanyahu has been trying to provoke a third intifada for years by enabling Jewish settler and IDF violence against Palestinians on the Al Aqsa Plaza. When he finally got a violent reaction from isolated Palestinian individuals, Netanyahu claimed to be protecting Jewish citizens from Arab violence by locking down "Arab neighborhoods" of Jerusalem and inflicting collective punishment on the families of those accused of being attackers. Conveniently, these "Arab neighborhoods" appear to be in the Old City, Silwan and Sheik Jarrah, areas that the Israeli government has been slowly ethnically cleansing by a variety of tactics for decades.

      And American MSM just gives us a variety of Zionist angles on the story with an occasional human interest bit about a particular Palestinian or a passing statement at the end of the story that the Palestinian Authority disagrees with Netanyahu's perspective.

  • White House knows the violence stems from occupation, but won't spend political capital to say so -- Dakwar
    • Obama doesn't need much political capital -- the Republican congress won't let him pass anything anyway and the Democrats aren't going to blame him for ruining their fundraising from Zionist donors this late in the cycle (Democrats who are competing with each other to prove their Zionist credentials are too busy angling for jobs in what they expect to be the Clinton administration). No, in order to unravel the best-laid plans of neocons, our passive-aggressive prize president just needs to do a little clean up after the Iran deal, let Russia wrap things up in Syria and refrain from acting in the UNSC if another country should propose justice for Palestine.

      Obama may not be as principled as Carter, but he's not craven like Clinton.

  • Hillel Int'l champions animal rights activist to cover for its censorship of human rights
    • It would be useful to find out whether there is sponsorship for her trip from the Israeli government or major Zionist donors. The PACBI guidelines advocate boycott of academics or cultural groups who are sponsored by Israel or help promote Brand Israel. Do you have any more info or links about her work or her trip?

  • 'We want him to speak up on Palestine': Boston SJP statement on being kicked out of Bernie Sanders rally
    • If you have not yet done so, one way to send a message to Sanders and his staff is by endorsing his platform and writing in "Justice 4 Palestine" in the "other" box for "issue areas of interest". Sanders needs to know that the progressive base expects more than just lip service of "strong support for the 2-state solution." It's way past time for action.

  • As Palestine's flag is raised at U.N., Abbas dumps Oslo security obligations
    • Here's the passing reference to UN protection:

      It is no longer useful to waste time in negotiations for the sake of negotiations; what is required is to mobilize international efforts to oversee an end to the occupation in line with the resolutions of international legitimacy. Until then, I call upon the United Nations to provide international protection for the Palestinian people in accordance with international humanitarian law.

    • Precisely my take on his speech and the flag-raising. Abbas makes a passing reference to requesting blue helmets, even though the request has been turned down before.

      Demanding that Israel be forced by the UN to comply appears like Abbas' next logical step.

  • Anti-WASP tropes in the 'NYT'
    • Ghastly! That's exactly the character I thought of when someone mentioned the lockjaw. While the accent may not be entirely extinct, it certainly is more prevalent among North East elites born before the mid-20th century than today. One of my husband's elderly aunts had it.

    • I heard it referred to as the Lower Shore Lockjaw in college. At least that's what it sounded like when someone pronounced it through clenched teeth.

  • Building our Power: Announcing the 2015 national Students for Justice in Palestine conference
    • Part of the urgency for responding to requests for scholarship donations is that the conference is barely two weeks away (October 9-11, a fact that can be found, not in this article, nor anywhere on the conference page, but on the blog tab of SJP's webpage). Considering the challenges of getting cheap flights at the last minute, students wanting to attend this event (especially those on the quarter system whose classes haven't even started yet) will need to make their plans soon -- like the day after tomorrow:

      Registration is currently $25 per person, which is the early bird fee.
      Early bird registration ends on Sept 25. After that date, the fee will go up to $40 per person.
      Registration closes on Oct 2.
      Please make sure that you get your SJP registered as soon as possible to avoid late fees!

      We will take absolutely no applications after Oct 2. There are no registrations at the door under any circumstances.

  • Bernie Sanders is 'radical' on economic policy but a pussycat for Israel
    • In 2004, when Howard Dean called for an evenhanded approach to Israel and Palestine, he was attacked so viciously by the Lobby that he had to walk back his statement. Ultimately, his campaign was distorted and dismissed by the MSM and tanked by the Democratic establishment. No matter what Netanyahu and the Israeli Right have done to Israel's image, calling for an evenhanded policy is still further out than the MSM or the Democratic Party establishment is willing to go.

      Calling for bringing the parties together for talks is so twenty years ago and yet it is considered the safe Liberal Democrat position. Even so, decreasing or ending US military aid to Israel is not a safe position. Yet that is what Sanders advocates in the interview -- couched as optimally phasing out military aid and replacing it with aid to help build the Palestinian economy.

      Sanders is not going to get out too far ahead of Obama on foreign policy, even where he has some differences with him. The exceptions might be in cases where he can connect foreign policy with his domestic economic agenda.

    • At this point, six Democratic debates are scheduled. I hope that Chafee raises this issue in the debates for as long as he is a candidate. It would be refreshing to see a former Republican pushing the other Democratic candidates from the left on this issue. It would also force the MSM to acknowledge that this message resonates with a growing portion of the Democratic base.

  • Buy tickets now! Only $360 to hear Elliott Abrams and Dennis Ross!
    • Is it possible to bring Palestinians and Israelis any closer than they are now? A little breathing room will do the Palestinians some good. A little sunlight between the Israelis and Americans would be even better.

  • A guide to the worst refugee crisis since WWII
    • Mayhem's info about Israel's medical care for Syrians is distorted. Israel is operating as Al Nusra Front's MASH unit for operations in the Golan; the UN has reported observing the transport of wounded rebels across the fence into Israel's custody. Druze in Syria, many of whom had attempted to remain neutral, have started supporting the SAA after some of their villages have been given the choice by Takfiri insurgents between conversion to Sunni Islam or massacre. Druze in the occupied Golan Heights have overwhelmingly supported Bashar Assad since the biginning of the Arab Spring. Israeli Druze, who serve in the Israeli army, have increasingly resisted Israel's support for the Syrian insurgency.

    • Early in the conflict, Russia evacuated thousands of Syrians with Russian relatives or connections. Considering the huge number of Chechens who have fought with the Syrian insurgency (many of whom have been killed, others of whom have married Syrian brides), Russia has good reason to be cautious about screening Syrians trying to cross its borders.

    • Whoa! Did I just tune in AlJazeera? While Norton does valuable reporting on Palestine, when he ventures into Syria (as he also did last year), we get humanitarian intervention promotion worthy of Samantha Power. Seven million of the refugees from war-torn Syria have taken shelter in government-controlled areas. Gulf states, which have had no qualms about supplying arms to insurgents, have fallen far short of their promised humanitarian aid for refugees for the past few years. Erdogan, who has supported the insurgency since before the Arab Spring, has pulled many stunts from his bag of tricks to pull the UN or NATO into an R2P intervention in Syria. He's certainly not above pushing Syrian refugees out of Turkey's camps and into Europe in his effort to get a 'no-fly zone" for refugees in Northern Syria. But such motives can get lost easily in the flood of statistics about refugees.

  • AIPAC is going out with a whimper not a bang
    • If AIPAC takes Dine's advice, it might be able to bounce back as it did after 1982. Already, hasbarists are using the incident to claim that there is no Israel Lobby because AIPAC loses 1% of the time. As long as there is Citizen's United, there will be plenty of congresscritters eager to take AIPAC's donors' money and turn in AIPAC's drafts as their term papers. AIPAC's power will not be seriously curtailed until it is forced to register as the agent of a foreign government (AIPAC has been able to sidestep that requirement because of lack of foreign financing. Of course, when you consider that the Zionist project has always been a charity case dependent upon the largesse of its diaspora supporters, before and after statehood, getting American Zionists to send some of their support to AIPAC -- rather than to Israel, then Israel sending as much to AIPAC -- really simplifies bookkeeping.)

    • About five years ago, a few members of the JVP group, Young Jewish and Proud took turns holding up signs at a Netanyahu speech with variants of "Israel Delegitimizes Itself." It wasn't AIPAC, maybe AJC or ADL. I think one of the protesters was attacked with a folding chair.

  • Obama gets Wasserman Schultz-- and salutes her 'homeland' with a Netanyahu valentine
    • No doubt DWS was getting pressure not only from Israel-firsters in her district and in the White House about her vote. She also should be getting pressure about her leadership of the DNC for waffling about supporting the President on THE major foreign policy achievement of his presidency. POTUS has tremendous input about who leads the DNC -- in many cases picking one out. Faced with the choice between losing the DNC chair or risking Zionist support in her home district, DWS waited to see which way the wind was blowing (after Obama had secured 34 Senators) and then supported the President. She's an ambitious woman who reportedly has used the DNC position to earn a lot of favors from other politicians -- which she can cash in should she run for a higher office. While there are a lot of retired Jewish Zionist voters in her district, there are many other Democrats as well -- some of whom, like African Americans, would hold it against her if she dissed Obama.

      Courage has nothing to do with it.

  • Update: UK petition calling for Netanyahu to be arrested for war crimes reaches 100,000 signatures
  • Ben and Jerry won't tell you who's trying to kill Iran Deal
    • Their message seems to be more in line with JStreet than with AIPAC. Like Bernie, they are talking about Billionaires, but not about a top agenda for the majority of Billionaires who give big bucks to the Democratic Party.

  • NY's Center for Jewish History to host Ayelet 'Little Snakes' Shaked in conversation with Bret 'Hiroshima' Stephens
    • If the best that Israel can do to put a better face on its increasingly right-wing government is to put forward attractive, young spokespeople, it might grab some new eyeballs, but not necessarily the brains that are attached.

  • BDS call for boycott should not ignore states' responsibility to uphold international law
    • As long as politicians fail to apply International Law, individuals and civic organizations will have no other nonviolent recourse than Boycott and Divestment. As the people lead, more and more leaders will follow -- then we will begin to see increasing Sanctions applied to Israel (including the ban of settlement products).

  • Just as Dermer turned the White House into a diplomatic battlefield, Danon will do the same at the UN
    • Now would be an opportune moment for the UN General Assembly to review Israel's terms of membership. Since Israel has been given over 60 years to fulfill a condition for membership, the return of Palestinian refugees, and has made no sincere effort to implement that obligation, its membership in the UN and its committees should be suspended, if not terminated. Danon is the perfect face for Israel for that vote.

  • For the high holidays, Bernie should bring his presidential campaign to Tzedek Chicago
    • I wouldn't be surprised if West missed out on quite a few high-paying gigs by spending so much time helping to campaign for Obama. A lot of people who sacrificed their time and credibility to get Obama elected have been disappointed by his record thusfar. West has been more outspoken than others.

    • If Sanders doesn't happen to be in Chicago for Yom Kippur, supporters like West could fill him in on details about Israel and Palestine that he did not pick up at the kibbutz.

  • Pittsburgh Jews say Obama will allow 'Second Holocaust' while Israel's ambassador openly lobbies Capitol Hill
    • Or thinking of say, the Syrian Ambassador slinking around the halls of Congress. Oh wait -- there is no Syrian Ambassador and the Syrian UN representative is banned from traveling as far as DC.* Why? Because neocons and Israel Firsters, like Elliott Engel**, pushed through the AIPAC-drafted Syrian Accountability Act in 2003, steadily poisoning America's relationship with and limiting the Executive's options for diplomacy with that country ever since.

      *Syria's Jaafari is the only UN representative restricted to travel to within 25 miles of NYC.
      **Elliott Engel was one of the first Democrats to oppose the Iran Deal.

  • Jeffrey Goldberg's melodramatic apology for Chuck Schumer
    • Maybe Goldberg's actually noticed readers questioning why pundits who were so wrong in their promotion of the Iraq War still have such prominent jobs.

    • He should be toast. MoveOn is mobilizing its base to withhold contributions from any Democrat who opposes this deal. The savings should be diverted to support challengers in their state primaries. Schumer deserves the Lieberman treatment.

  • Roundtable on the Palestinian solidarity movement and Alison Weir
    • Actually, I believe that JVP's top priority is to reach Progressive Jews about Palestine. It is so involved in gaining access to institutional Jewish spaces (which have been shutting out proponents of BDS) that it is willing to throw "questionable" allies under the bus. If the ADL, Stand with Us or some other group has circulated dossiers with cherry-picked quotes about an ally through the Jewish community, JVP would rather disassociate from the ally than argue for the ally and risk losing Jewish institutional consent in order to gain access to a broader pool of Jews who self-identify as Progressive and yet have been spoonfed the Zionist narrative (like students affiliated with Hillel). The goals of BDS are important to JVP leadership; allies (no matter the longevity nor quality of work for the cause), not so much.

    • Alison gave me a copy of the book three years ago. The book itself is not new. But in the publishing world, if a book does not get reviewed and the author does not get interviewed within a short window, interest in the book can wane (in fact, a whole lot of "ink" has been spilt on this site about the lack of coverage for Blumenthal's Goliath in the MSM).

      According to Weir, the whispering campaign against her has been gaining traction for a few years, as she has found out that several groups, including JVP chapters, have been pressured by national JVP to drop her talks and booksignings. Indeed, the recent kerfuffle with JVP leadership and ETO came about at the same time that she was denied a table at this year's ETO's conference to sell her book, even though she has tabled in years past.

    • I have to say that I am disturbed by the extremely unprofessional way that Josh Ruebner has handled this affair. In late July, less than a week before an important briefing for Congress, he made a series of three public posts on his personal facebook page related to ETO's decision on Alison Weir. While he said that ETO's statements were not accusing Weir of being an anti-Semite, his subsequent posts slurred her as such. He proceded to block several people who disagreed with him from commenting on the discussion, calling them haters. He got snippy with others who disagreed, by claiming he really didn't have time to engage with them because he had an important briefing to prepare. I am also disgusted by the comments by some activists whose work I had respected calling loudly for purges of the movement. Fortunately, Ruebner has managed to avoid the topic on his personal page since then. I keep getting messages from ETO about their upcoming conference (which look increasingly desperate, offering discounts). I wonder how registration is going.

    • We do not need to speculate about "zionist infiltrators" in JVP's leadership to assume that they are as susceptible to "concerned" friends, family and former classmates as Phil Weiss was to Richard Witty. Certainly there have been dossiers circulated, in whole or in snippets, about every major critic of Israel. No doubt every appearance by Weir and every post at IAK has been subjected to a fine tooth comb to find quotes by her or others to scrape out of context to add to the dossier. One expects that whisper campaigns based on email and links to such a dossier has followed Weir to every appearance, if not been handed out as a Stand With Us flyer to protest her lectures.

      Further, anyone who has been active as a critic of Israel for half as long as Weir would know that no matter how available an informative speaker is to lecture to an audience, write op-eds or give interviews to media, the offers have been sparse -- especially from the mainstream media. It's not as though the MSM STOPPED calling Weir after she gave her first interview to a rightwing source. The MSM doesn't even have the guts to call Jimmy Carter until he admits that he has cancer. Indeed, Weir feels so strongly about Americans NOT getting this information from other sources, that she has a policy about giving interviews to ANYONE who asks her.

      Alison is an educator. She believes that, when given accurate information, minds can be changed -- even anyone within hearing range of the broadcast of a rightwing talkshow host. She's not trying to recruit groups to join a coalition, she's not trying to convince the Klan to march in your parade. She's trying to educate individual Americans, many of whom vote, some of whom even tell their legislators what they think about issues.

      The belief that people can change is a very liberal idea. The belief that hatred and bias is not a state of being to which a person is irredeemably doomed (one is "a racist"), is a liberal idea. The belief that ignorance can be fought with facts is a liberal idea.

      Alison also works with and gets information from many people and sources -- some of whom are or used to be part of The Establishment -- former ambassadors, congresspeople, intelligence officials. Working in The Establishment gives these people a lot of experience and expertise about government and foreign affairs. Even so, functioning in The Establishment requires a degree of compromise. For Weir's critics on the left, relying on these establishment figures and their varied analyses about Israel taints her as being blind to America's imperial sins when she argues for the interests of America rather than Israel.

      Frankly, there's been plenty of room on this site for debate between supporters of Chomsky, those of Mearsheimer and Walt and a host of opinions in between. Weir's positions on the Israel Lobby are not out of the range of acceptable debate here.

      The choice of JVP's leadership to try to exclude Weir from their events and ETO's membership may gain them some short-term advantage as they seek access to inter-Jewish spaces on campus and in local communities. Establishment Jewish organizations may have threatened to exclude them if they do not sever ties with "irredeemable anti-Semites" like Weir. But JVP's leadership has seriously underestimated the price that this choice has cost the organization's reputation with other groups involved in Palestinian rights -- including the American BDS movement (not to mention the many, many JVP members who disagree with the leadership's decision).

  • 'Bernie, what about justice 4 Palestine?'
  • President Obama wants us to argue about the special relationship
  • Shocker: 'NYT' runs front page press release for AIPAC warning Obama to cool his jets
    • Indeed, one might wonder whether the placement of today's article is a response from higher-ups to yesterday's opinion piece by Italian American editor, Carol Giacomo, that pointedly questioned Schumer's leadership credentials:

      Given Mr. Schumer’s wrong-headed and irresponsible decision, Democrats may want to reconsider whether he is the best candidate to be their next leader in the Senate, a job he desperately wants.

      In addition to being the third-ranking Democratic leader in the Senate and a major party fund-raiser, Mr. Schumer is Congress’ most influential Jewish member. His choice could affect the votes of other lawmakers who are wavering. Whether to support the nuclear deal is the most consequential foreign policy decision facing lawmakers since the Iraq war and opponents are waging a fierce multi-million dollar campaign to defeat it.

      Mr. Schumer is a smart man and a clever politician but his arguments for opposing the agreement are no more convincing than those put forward by other opponents. While supporters of the deal, including the major powers and most nuclear experts, acknowledge it has weaknesses, the fact is, it offers strong and unprecedented curbs on Iran’s nuclear activities.

      No doubt some major advertisers did not like her editorial.

  • Iran Deal Latest: AIPAC lies and, in a first, Schumer runs from the cameras
    • There's a reason a Friday News Dump is made on a Friday afternoon. Schumer's move has been all over the news today -- right alongside the Republican debate and Jon Stewart's last show.

  • Defying Obama on Iran deal, Schumer cites Hamas
    • Schumer and Engel need to be primaried for this. Even if opposition candidates do not win, diverting their time and resources to fight off a primary can tarnish politicians and drain them. New York is a big state with plenty of talent. No matter how much money Schumer can raise, maybe New York progressives are ready for a change.

  • 'I love Obama' 'You're infatuated' (The argument on the left)
  • Sanders risks losing left over unprogressive views of Palestine -- Washington Post
    • This might as well be Clintonites' talking points. Just as right after the BlackLivesMatter protest at Netroots (which Hillary didn't bother to attend, so she was not challenged to respond impromptu to the issue in that forum), the Clintonites put out the talking point that Sanders was insensitive to Black people.

      As is clear from articles on Counterpunch, much of the far Left is not planning to vote in the Democratic primary anyway. For the growing numbers of Democrats who are concerned about Palestinian human rights, Sanders is better on the subject than any other primary candidate running (although that is not stiff competition). The real question is whether Sanders can ATTRACT independents who do not usually vote for the Democratic Party's candidate.

  • Walker and Bush talk tough on Iran in bid for Adelson's millions
    • Bush can probably manage without neocon money in the primary. He needs to avoid attacks from neocon think tanks and pundits in the press and to avoid alienating Christian Zionists -- whose votes he will need in the general, even if they vote for someone else in the primary.

  • St. Louis Jews call on ADL to cancel honor to police
    • Sorry, that's GA, not AG. Here's the link to Alison's blogpost. Interestingly, the blogpost after Tucker's is "White House Correspondents Association refuses table to Helen Thomas at upcoming dinner – on 50th anniversary of allowing women journalists to attend, a breakthrough accomplished by Helen ."

      Back in the day when I was a regular at the Garish Orange Site, Zionist trolls used to try to entrap critics of Israel by links with questionable people or sites, no matter how many degrees of separation in order to get them banned (one of the people they tried that on was Anna Baltzer because she interviewed a member of Al Awda MB while living on the West Bank). Then other critics of Israel were threatened for associating with or defending the banned.

      The rituals of circular firing squads and throwing allies under the bus are based on fear. The longer I have been involved in this movement, the more weary I have become of these games.

    • For some of the reasons that ETO mentions in Annie's link. In JVP's initial letter to supporters, they also condemned her for her framing about the Israel Lobby and American National Interest: "Weir and IAK have a fundamental political framing that the U.S. is not implicated in the same racist and white supremacist structures as Israel. This "tail wags the dog" theory is a form of chauvinistic nationalism that absolves American interest in perpetuating injustice--not just in Israel but in other regions around the world. " Then again, as JVP has been increasing in name recognition and in challenging establishment groups, like Hillel, about definitions about who is authentically Jewish and why Jews who affiliate with BDS are excluded from Jewish spaces and institutional funding, perhaps they decided to throw Alison under the bus.

      It is interesting that among the charges against IAK is the presence of a blog post at a time when another controversial activist, AG, was being thrown under the bus. IAK provided the opportunity for a variety of voices to weigh in, including the one with the objectionable cite. The blogpost immediately preceding that one reflects Alison's typical stance:

      While people are suffering in Israeli prisons and being killed in Gaza, it is sad to see time and energy expended in a campaign against [AG]. I respect and like people on both sides of this controversy and am troubled over this distracting and destructive (but, I hope, temporary) split.

      I, of course, come down on the side of open discussion, even when the subject matter is difficult or troubling – in fact, that's probably when it's most needed. I believe in such old fashioned but critical concepts as the free marketplace of ideas, and I oppose censorship and would-be "thought police" telling others what they may or may not do, even when those attempting to do this have created valuable work that I admire.

  • Nine reasons Obama is going to win on Iran. The first: Netanyahu
    • Hillary has name recognition, a war chest so huge it has scared off most of her well-known potential rivals and lots of political chips to call in (but politicians already offered endorsements in 2008, they may not feel as obliged to publicly back her in this race). She can still rely on the elderly female voters who want to see a woman president before they die. But with many months to go before the first primary, her negatives will weigh increasingly for other women voters as they will for men.

  • 'Suck Iranian ****' --- Netanyahu's Farsi twitter account earns negative reviews
    • Bibi's trolling for hatespeech from Iranians. Then he can use the ripest of those responses to further his narrative of how crude, dangerous and untrustworthy Iranians are.

  • Abe Foxman says goodbye to an America of secret Jew haters
  • The case for US government sanctions on Israel
    • For the most part, little to no response. And yet, they are the ones on whom the American people must rely to enact legal sanctions -- as they eventually did to South Africa. I wonder what response Chomsky has gotten from his congresscritters about Sanctions against Israel for its war crimes and occupation.

    • Great statement about sanctions by LAJP. Frankly, I wish you had stopped there without bringing Chomsky's arguments about BDS into the discussion. You note that End the Occupation and some church groups, like United Methodists, have been urging various types of sanctions for years.

      What you fail to mention is that most American groups involved in BDS are part of the coalition of groups that have been a part of End the Occupation. I have not heard the leadership of any of these groups telling people to ignore Sanctions, to not bother with contacting politicians about I/P policy and just focus on the B and D of BDS. (I have heard many lay people complain about being worn out trying to get any response from their representatives on ANY issue related to I/P -- so they are not only relieved, but energized by the potential of doing something with their consumer dollars to Boycott Apartheid or their individual or collective investments to Divest from the occupation.)

      It is worth noting that politicians, who are required actors for enacting sanctions, are not known for their courage. If the people lead, the leaders will follow. The B and D of BDS were used in the South long before Congress passed the Civil Rights Act. The B and D of BDS were active long before Congress finally enacted sanctions against South Africa.

      It is a worthy task for the BDS movement to step up actions for Sanctions. The growing successes and public education from Boycott and Divestment initiatives may increase the calls from the general electorate for politicians to take a principled stand on I/P and support for those politicians who are willing to resist pressure from the Israel Lobby (and thank you for acknowledging that such a thing exists -- Chomsky hardly does). In the meantime, working on Boycott and Divestment makes dealing with recalcitrant politicians a less discouraging and draining task.

  • Hillary Clinton promises megadonor she will work with Republicans-- to oppose BDS
    • As the media acknowledges, "The Democratic frontrunner [who] has long touted her support of Israel as a senator and secretary of State, a key issue in the American political debate" uses that history of support in her jobs as American Senator and SOS to raise funds from major Zionist donors.

      The Israel Lobby has been trying to cloak the AJC-EUMC working definition as the "State Department Definition of Anti-Semitism" in its attempts to silence criticism of Israel and BDS activities on campuses. Since the State Department under Condi Rice resisted using the 2005 AJC-EUMC working definition and it was promptly adopted by State when Hillary became SOS, we may well re-brand it as the Hillary-Fundraising Definition of Anti-Semitism.

  • 'Jewish cow' is udderly superior to all other cows in the world, Netanyahu says
    • Interesting that, as a former Israeli is making his rounds of NPR talk shows promoting his documentary about the Beit Sahour nonviolent cow resistance, Netanyahu is talking up the Israeli dairy industry as though it is the envy of the world.

    • Not the first Hebrew speaker to talk about Jewish cows by far. One of the prophets called elite Israelites who were exploiting poor Israelites "cows of Bashan."

  • 'Six Jews sitting in the White House discussing the Palestinian state'
    • American Jews clearly have been forgetting their place: Their cousins and co-religionists who have made aliyah are clearly braver, stronger, worthier people than they. For this, all of their communications about and to Israelis should be framed in gratitude. Such gratitude can be best expressed through donating to Israeli causes and lobbying their congressmembers as AIPAC urges. And even though Israeli Jews think that diaspora Jews are soft and gullible, they will deign to accept their gratuities, if not their opinions.

      But for some reason, diaspora Jews are just losing touch with those feelings of gratitude. Perhaps they can be put in touch with their guilt by accusing them of being the wicked child.

  • State Dep't report on latest Gaza onslaught itemizes children's deaths for first time
    • Did Israel experience a slight impact on the face? That was a slap directed by the Facts. Uncle Sam has just reduced by a fraction its protection of Junior Israel from an encounter with Harsh Reality. Apparently, coddling Junior has not helped it learn how to play well with others. Perhaps this move by State is an indication of further reduction of the padding provided to the over-protected child. Separation anxiety can be rough.

  • Schumer says Jewish and American interests on Iran deal differ but he has 'to do what's right for U.S.'
    • In an interview on BBC today, the Kaspersky person was suggesting it was Israel because the spyware used was similar to the Stuxnet that was co-designed by Israel and the US.

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