Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 1139 (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.


Showing comments 1139 - 1101

  • Israel's bogus history lesson
  • The two-stroke solution
    • I can't imagine how the Secret Service would feel about this. Even if Netanyahu rolls out the red carpet and skips the treatment many Americans of Color receive (strip search, long quiz, #6 on the luggage), there are plenty of crazy settlers who would love to injure Obama even after he's out of office.

  • 'Beholden to AIPAC' -- progressive senators Warren, Murphy, Brown sign letter seeking to limit Obama's actions
    • Politicians who have been worried about their AIPAC scorecards (even those who occasionally risk stepping out of line) have gotten used to signing on to "toothless" resolutions or letters because the only constituents who used to pay attention were Zionists. With the rising influence of the internet over the past decade or so, many more of their constituents are becoming aware of their signatures on AIPAC's napkins.

  • Amos Oz would never stand in the street in Tel Aviv shouting 'Kill all the Arabs'
  • Broadway club cancels 'Black Lives Matter' benefit because of movement's stance on Israel
    • Are people in the entertainment industry more afraid that supporting BLM will get them on the new Blacklist or that supporting BLM is becoming the new Black?

  • Bidding for access to Clinton, Goldberg says Bill can cut peace deal and win Nobel
    • Oh, the logic here is so obvious:

      I am writing this article in the courtyard of East Jerusalem’s American Colony Hotel, one of the loveliest places on Earth, and an epicenter of intrigue during the glory days of the peace process, in the 1990s. Tony Blair, the former British prime minister, set himself up here during his lengthy, unsuccessful term as a Middle East peace negotiator starting in 2007. There’s no reason the U.S. government couldn’t rent much of the place out for Bill Clinton. I think he would enjoy it very much, and my guess is that Hillary, and in particular her top aides, might enjoy having him here as well.

      Maybe the Clintons' dirty laundry is all so well explored that there is no risk of having Bill entertained in Jerusalem by a series of attractive Mossad agents. Also what risk could there be of any entanglements undermining his efforts to cement a deal?

      Also, as far as Clinton's major donors are concerned, these guys are all losers -- so why would Bill want to compete for the same prize they got? “Jimmy Carter, Al Gore, and Barack Obama—all… are recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize. Exclusion from this group cannot please such a competitive man.” On the other hand, Henry Kissinger and Elie Wiesel also got the prize ...

  • After building a protest movement, West Bank village of Nabi Saleh steps back from weekly Friday protests
  • Syrian death tolls and the kinder gentler jihadists
    • Thank you for revealing the stark contrasts between how our media relies on outside groups and data in reporting the destruction caused by countries in and out of favor.

      I would note that a slice of the Left does make exact parallels between Gaza and "liberated" (insurgent-held) areas of Syria. Qatar has been one of the major backers of the Syrian insurgency from the beginning. Its state-owned media, Al Jazeera, has extolled Muslim Brotherhood-allied insurgents across countries touched by the Arab Spring as revolutionaries and freedom-fighters. Many Progressives who had come to rely on AJ for its coverage of Palestine before the Arab Spring, continue to accept Qatar's framing of the conflict.

  • Huma Abedin dumps Anthony Weiner, occupation denier
    • Abedin and Clinton would have done well to have maintained some clear professional separations. Much as their private lives have made the headlines, this scandal about Weiner's sexting is minor compared to the role that Abedin had in both the Clinton Foundation and the State Department at the same time. Just another aspect about Clinton's "carelessness" with classified information and carelessness about the "appearance of impropriety" with donor access.

  • Progressive foreign policy missing from revised Sanders revolution
    • I went to one of the local Sanders watch parties; not only was Foreign Policy absent from his speech -- it's absent from the issues page at the Our Revolution site.

      After the presentation, one of our delegates told us some highlights of the convention. His retelling of the Panetta speech and "No More War" berniecrat chants got lots of laughs and cheers from the local supporters. There certainly continues to be support among Bernie's base for a more cooperative, less belligerent foreign policy.

      I know many Leftists and Greens who crossed over to voter for Bernie who will be supporting Jill Stein. I have heard varying opinions from my Progressive Democrat friends about whether they will vote for Clinton or Stein. With Clinton polling in the double digits against Trump, some of those Democrats may feel safer voting for Stein at this point.

  • Druze Arabs in the occupied Golan Heights discuss borders, identity, colonialism and war
    • Perhaps if Cantu had managed to find some other "Arabs" from the Golan Heights to interview, maybe from among those residents whom his interviewees admit to being in the majority, we might have gotten a more rounded picture of what it is like to be Syrian Druze in the occupied Golan Heights. Druze in different communities (Lebanon, Syria, occupied Golan and Israel 48) have divergent opinions on Bashar Assad, the Syrian Government and the Israeli government:

      WT: You asked what the connection to Syria looks like now. Because of what’s happened in 2011, it took things into flesh and blood, so it is no longer just something spiritual. After [the Syrian revolution] began, some of us in Majdal Shams, artists and others, wrote a manifesto that supported, very obviously and very directly, the demonstrators and revolutionaries in Syria, the peaceful people who were demanding freedom and dignity and so on. And we were also very obviously against the regime of Bashar Assad. So this was the moment of how a big gap developed in Majdal Shams between people here supportive of the revolution and people who supported the regime.

      AC: Did some people here see loyalty to Assad as part of their opposition to the Israeli occupation?

      WT: Some. [Supporters of the regime in Majdal Shams] took photographs of Assad and brought it in our faces, saying, “This is our god whether you want it or not, and he will be forever,” and so on. And the supporters of the regime succeeded in gathering more people than our side. They’re the same people who gather at the border twice a year and shout [to counterparts in Syria], “You are the best!” “No, you are the best,” and so on, this comedy took place for 20 years, every year, people lying to each other. And this was also one aspect that made young people feel that political life was disgusting. But for two or three years after 2011, things became very directly said and expressed, and even people here stopped speaking to each other and greeting each other.

      AC: What happened as the war went on?

      WT: When things in Syria went in other ways and the fundamentalists took the scene, things started to calm down [here]. The amount of blood and killing people see every day made people feel something… it meant there was something wrong in their original thinking, it’s not just one narrative. And people thought the regime will, you know, support the Druze, but Assad has killed the Druze, too. But the other part of it is, as Syria continues to be in chaos, there is less opposition to Israel’s occupation here.

  • Sanders-backed candidate in FL says Wasserman Schultz won't 'protect' Israel
    • So, rather than focusing on turning out the 35% of Bernie voters in the district for the special primary (which generally have low turnouts), he's trying to grab some of DWS' voters from the Zionist right. Among those 35% are possibly some young African Americans and Arab-Americans whom he could alienate with that tactic.

  • Sanders delegates recount 'Orwellian' message control by Clinton supporters during DNC
    • Did anyone get the Bernie email about helping to take back the Senate? I think that Bernie supporters should make it clear that they will give no support if it means helping Chuck Schumer (AKA Israel's Shomer) become majority leader (especially after the way the establishment treated Palestinian advocates at the convention).

  • New York Times's breathless story on landing interview with Netanyahu reads like 'the Onion' on crack
  • Hillary Clinton has a decision to make
  • Elie Wiesel is Dead
    • Frankly Marc, your assessment of Wiesel is far too generous. With all of the hagiographies in the MSM, I need a strong dose of Norman Finkelstein's old books at this point.

  • As occupation enters its 50th year, draft Democratic platform won't say the word
    • Any guess at how much of the next month is going to be dedicated in the MSM to his hagiographies?

    • Saudi Arabia is the leading State sponsor of terrorism in the region, by supplying funding, indoctrination and recruits. Turkey and Qatar are close competitors -- Turkey, by facilitating the transportation of weapons and recruits through its territories and Qatar, through funding and propaganda.

  • Harvard scholar calls for US-Israel treaty to 'lock in' special relationship before young Democrats end the romance
    • Israel defined its borders when it petitioned to become a member of the United Nations. It will not like to be reminded about what a small percentage of historic Palestine that was, nor that the UN has not recognized larger borders (acquired by war) since then.

      Israel also wouldn't like to be reminded that part of its agreement for being accepted as a member state of the UN was to allow the Palestinian refugees to return to their homes. More than 65 years later, Israel still hasn't fulfilled that commitment. Maybe it's time for the UN to review Israel's qualifications for membership.

  • Unlawful and brutal attack on Turkish boat improves with age in the New York Times
    • As the autopsy reports verify, the Israeli commandos sprayed the deck of the Mavi Marmara with machine gun fire as they descended from the helicopter, which downed Furkan Dogan. The only shots they had encountered from Furkan Dogan on the deck were from his camera shutter. The Israelis instigated the violence at every stage.

    • Nine Turkish victims and one American citizen, Furkan Dogan.

  • Dershowitz approves Clinton's 'muscular foreign policy,' and Sen. Warren is a 'surprising Israel hawk'
    • She has already shown that proclivity as Secretary of State in Honduras, Ukraine, Libya and Syria.

    • Warren could woo back the "Run, Warren, Run" progressives who pushed her to be a candidate for over a year and only reluctantly jumped on the Bernie bandwagon when they finally accepted that her "no" meant "no." A Warren pick could also help some other progressive Democrats feel less depressed about the Clinton ticket. But for those progressives who were attracted to Bernie primarily for his economic message, a Warren pick would have to be more than symbolic: Hillary would have to do more to make them feel hopeful -- like taking Bill off the economic team (if she had to pick out china, so can he), and accepting Bernie's economic proposals in the DNC platform.

      But some progressive Democrats feel so angry and betrayed by the DNC and the Clinton people that they will not vote for her, no matter who her running mate is (Warren's sounding like a typical fundraising Senator at AIPAC won't help Hillary win these folks over). Most Independent Bernie supporters I have met would rather vote for Jill Stein.

    • Oh no, he's gonna broker a deal, a huge deal. More beautiful than any deal you could imagine. He'd love to tell you all of the details he has in store for the deal. But then he'd give away his negotiating position. But it's gonna be beautiful. All sides will love it -- especially his friends, the Israelis.

  • The view from Gaza: 'The Turkish government has sold us out and wants us to be grateful'
    • Refreshing to see that you have all the talking points down consistent with the neocon playbook of regime change in seven MENA countries, including Syria. GOI has such humanitarian concern for the people of Syria that it is willing to operate as Al Nusra's MASH unit for Golan operations, but will not even allow Palestinians from Syria to take refuge in Israel/Palestine.

  • Media accusations of blood libels -- against Abbas and Sanders -- amplify a Jewish tribal fantasy
    • Unfortunately, the well-known realities among Palestinians that right-wing Rabbis, like the IDF's Chief Rabbi, incite soldiers to kill Palestinian children, that Hebron-hills settlers poison Palestinian flocks and that settlement waste water and sewage contaminate Palestinian fields and ground water can lead Palestinians to accept claims about Israelis in Arab media without fact-checking.

  • Democratic establishment wants to make Palestinians go poof in platform
    • If J Street can craft compromise language, Bernie would probably be thrilled to take it because the majority of his supporters are more focused on his proposed domestic policies . It would probably be closer to language that reflects the views of the majority of Democratic Jews, even if it does not reflect fully the justice concerns of Palestinians.

      It would be a coup by J Street over AIPAC, even if it upsets the more hardline of the Democrats' Zionist donors. By the convention, the Democratic nominee will already be pretty well set for cash and will need to be more concerned about getting the base motivated to vote.

  • Facebook hires longtime Netanyahu adviser
    • Another reminder that I spend too much time on facebook -- mostly weeding through junk from acquaintances. Facebook doesn't provide precise enough tools to show me the kind of information I care about getting from my friends and family, so that my time is not consumed with the minor details of their lives.

  • Barak says Trump should name Rice or Gates v.p. to improve his chances from 30 percent
    • If he's referencing Zabotinsky, Barak is even out-of-touch with American Liberal Zionists -- who still may idolize Ben-Gurion. Condi Rice and Robert Gates are not power-hungry enough to want to spend 24/7 next to an ego-maniac like Trump, even if it puts them one step away from the top. Are there any Republicans other than Trump's friend Chris Christie who would be willing to take the spot?

    • Barak is delusional if he thinks that Netanyahu could have gotten this from Obama: "Netanyahu should have accepted the inevitability of the deal a year ago and done his utmost to get concessions from the Obama administration. For instance, Israel could have gotten a large role in monitoring Iran and demanded from the U.S. the military “means to execute an independent surgical operation” against Iran if it violated the terms of the deal." Clinton, maybe, but not Obama. Netanyahu's arguing against Obama on the floor of Congress just made it easier for the American people to see the daylight between America's interests and Israel's.

  • 'We are Israel and Israel is us' -- Governor Cuomo ends all the confusion!
  • A government blacklist aimed at political beliefs -- NYCLU and UCC come out against Cuomo's BDS order
    • It is not clear whether mainline church divestment measures would be covered here, because most of them have been targeted not at Israeli companies, but at American companies whose businesses help Israel enforce the occupation of Palestine (like Caterpillar, Motorola and Hewlett Packard). However, Mainline church boycott measures clearly would be covered here, as they target the goods of Israeli companies that are produced in settlements in occupied Palestine. Some of the measures have mentioned specific products, like Medjool dates from the Jordan Valley, others have been broader in scope. Every local mainline church in the state of New York might be said to be participating, through a parent institution (denomination), in this boycott campaign to penalize Israel as a means of coercing political action.

      Should we mention that some of these denominations have been advocating for the return of Palestinians and a just and peaceful resolution since 1948? Does continuing to issue regular appeals to politicians to pressure both sides evenhandedly constitute promoting others to coerce political action or impose policy positions (like abiding by international law) on the government of Israel?

  • Shift: Two NY Jewish leaders describe checkpoints, innocent Palestinians killed, and 'good Jews' who denounce Israel
    • I wish that I could be as optimistic as you are about the leadership, Phil. I wasn't there; so I didn't hear the full context of these statements.

      The Hillel director's statement sounded like an Israeli sensibility to me -- calling Reform Jews, "secular." It sounded as though she was blaming some American Jewish parents for bringing their children up to be such "good Jews" that they become too soft-hearted, which leaves them open to deceptive tactics pushing human rights and justice that they become Palestinian advocates' "freiers." It sounded as though she thought these kids needed better indoctrination.

      The AJC director's statement sounded a bit more challenging. He was telling them that they could not afford to dismiss all people who consider BDS as anti-Semites. From his experience in trying to persuade people against BDS, he was finding that some of them experienced visiting Israel/Palestine differently than American Jews (especially those who visit the West Bank). He also heard people question whether Israelis share our values (we don't destroy peoples' homes). It's possible that he's only asking for a kinder, gentler occupation -- which would make it a lot easier to change the subject from BDS to talking about how much Israel wants peace.

  • How Eli Lake tricks readers so as to cast realists Walt, Mearsheimer and Freeman as anti-semites
    • The Saudi-Zionist axis wants to destroy Iran, Russia and Venezuela. Venezuela's independence and charitable giving under Chavez, when oil revenues were high, were a source of irritation to Israel and its supporters.

  • 'Either Assad or we'll burn the country' - An excerpt from 'Burning Country: Syrians in Revolution and War'
    • Better to read "Syria is Burning," by Charles Glass (a real journalist) than "Burning Country" by these citizen "activists," who have recycled the propaganda from MSM and Gulf media over the past five years into a coherent narrative.

    • Actually, it looks as though it was released on 11/30/15, but written during the Albright years at the end of Bill's term, 12/31/00. The sender and recipient aren't available. But this looks boilerplate PNAC rationale. This is before Bashar had done much of anything in office, so it is only in reaction to Syria's policies towards Israel:


      Date: 2000-12-31 22:00
      Subject: NEW IRAN AND SYRIA 2.DOC

      UNCLASSIFIED U.S. Department of State Case No. F-2014-20439 Doc No. C05794498 Date: 11/30/2015

  • Are Clinton and Sanders really all that different on Israel/Palestine?
    • On most foreign policy issues, Bernie has aligned himself with Obama -- and where he has disagreed with Obama, he has been in even stronger disagreement with Clinton who was pushing Obama toward those hawkish positions (like regime change). Obama would find any peace initiatives furthered more by a subsequent Sanders than Clinton presidency.

      As an aside, the Feel the Bern site is not an official statement of the Sanders campaign.

    • Page: 11
  • AIPAC apologizes for Trump, but cheers Cruz for vow to destroy Iran deal
  • What if Bernie Sanders had delivered his speech at AIPAC!?
    • From a JStreet missive, Bernie's speech appears to have gone over well, especially hitting their crucial points:

      Monday was a big day for discussion of the Middle East and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as every one of the presidential candidates from the two major parties made speeches totally devoted to the issue, four of them at the AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington, DC. We heard a lot of hawkish platitudes and Obama-bashing -- but also some support for the two-state solution and the importance of diplomacy.
      The one candidate who chose not to attend AIPAC, Senator Bernie Sanders, gave his own foreign policy speech on the campaign trail.

      In his most extensive discussion of the Middle East in the campaign to date, Sanders’ bottom line was clear: To be a true friend to Israel, the US needs to help lead the way to a two-state resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict -- and needs to be a friend to the Palestinian people as well.

      He affirmed that peace will only come with major compromises from both sides. Palestinians must unconditionally recognize Israel’s right to exist, and refuse to countenance violence against Israelis. Israelis must agree to end the occupation of the West Bank and the blockade of Gaza -- and recognize Palestinians' right to self-determination and independence in a state of their own.

      The Senator showed that he has little patience for settlement expansion and little sympathy for the arguments of the Netanyahu government:

      “I join much of the international community, including the US State Department and European Union, in voicing my concern that Israel’s recent expropriation of an additional 579 acres of land in the West Bank undermines the peace process and, ultimately, Israeli security as well. It is absurd for elements within the Netanyahu government to suggest that building more settlements in the West Bank is the appropriate response to the most recent violence. It is also not acceptable that the Netanyahu government decided to withhold hundreds of millions of shekels in tax revenue from the Palestinians, which it is supposed to collect on their behalf.”

      In strongly defending the Iran deal, Sanders did not hesitate to stand up for the effectiveness diplomacy, and to claim his support for diplomacy as the truly pro-Israel position -- citing dozens of Israeli military and security experts who supported the agreement.

    • I'd be interested to see how his speech would go over at JStreet. Actually, it's a little to the left of JStreet because it has some backbone. Maybe JStreet U would love it.

  • Trump abandons 'neutral' Israel position, Sanders adopts it
    • Hayes: Clinton also today talked about the Boycott Divest Sanction movement which is a you know international movement, some of the people who advocate those tactics believe that Israel should be a binational state they don't believe in Zionism some are Zionists but they want to see Israel support a two-state solution more strenuously move away from ... the settlements -- she linked it to racism to anti-Semitism basically she said she connected BDS to anti-semitism. Do you think that's a fair linkage?

      Sanders: Well, I think there is some of that, absolutely. Look, Israel has -- has done some very bad things. So has every other country on earth. I think if people want to attack Israel for their policies, I think that is fair game. But not to appreciate that there is some level of anti-Semitism around the world involved in that I think would be a mistake.

  • Trump 'has no business being president' because he would be 'neutral' to Israel -- Clinton tells AIPAC
    • AJ+ is the leftover of Al Jazeera America. Its material is progressive on everything except the Muslim Brotherhood and the Arab Spring -- especially when it comes to Syria. That's the Qatari meme.

    • I'm not a big fan of Qatari media, because AJ has been one of the biggest propagandists for the "moderate rebels" in Syria. But thanks for the link. I'm hoping to see more reports from alternative media.

  • Sanders will not attend AIPAC, offers to share remarks
    • I also do not expect him to write anything that will directly contradict his speeches about Islamophobia in Dearborn, Michigan or his general economic platform, including campaign finance reform.

      Mentioning his platform in general terms would be enough to give many AIPAC attendees heartburn. I don't know what percentage of people in the room will be millionaires and billionaires, but it will certainly be way higher than the average for his rallies. If he gets more specific, since he has talked about the influence of mega-donors on domestic issues, especially Wall Street donors on American Economic policies, he could talk about the influence of mega-donors on American Foreign Policy -- especially Democrats' mega donors -- and whether billionaires are buying our Foreign Policy in the Middle East.

      But I doubt he'll be that specific.

    • In other news leading up to the AIPAC conference, at a DNC major donor dinner, some anonymous attendees claim that Obama endorsed Hillary after reporters left the room. You'll just have to take their word for it, like the New York Times did. Just for some context on the event:

      The Austin event was hosted by Kirk Rudy, a real estate executive, and raised money for the Democratic National Committee. Attendees paid as much as $33,400 a ticket.

      Mr. Sanders is trying to reassure supporters and the public that he is still in pursuit of the presidency despite the long odds against him. Some of his supporters have complained that the Democratic National Committee has favored Mrs. Clinton in the primary battle

      Debbie Wasserman Schultz recruited mega donors (the majority of whom are probably Hillary supporters anyway) to come to a dinner where Obama encouraged everyone to rally around the nominee and unsurprisingly, some of them want us to believe that he was endorsing Hillary. Here's the White House spokesperson, according to the Hill:

      White House press secretary Josh Earnest on Thursday acknowledged the president's comments.

      “President Obama made a case that would be familiar to all of you, which is that as Democrats move through this competitive primary process, we need to be mindful of the fact that our success in November in electing a Democratic president is dependent on the commitment and ability of the Democratic Party to come together behind our nominee,” he told reporters.
      Mindful about keeping the party united going into November, Obama was careful not to officially endorse a candidate in front of the donors.

      Earnest said he “did not indicate or specify a preference in the race.”
      While Obama recognized both candidates have strengths, he once again praised Clinton as tough and qualified and said she would carry on the legacy of his administration

      Robert Reich thinks that even if the story is true or has some truthiness (coming from the NYT, "whose recent track record of impartiality is hardly impeccable"), Obama's statements were unwise:

      If the story is true, it was a bad idea for the President to hold such a meeting because:

      1. Barely half the primaries and caucuses have been held, and Bernie is expected to do well in coming contests in Arizona, Wisconsin, Idaho, Utah, Washington state, and New York.

      2. It’s hardly necessary to tell big donors to unite behind Hillary because they already have; Bernie isn’t getting their money.

      3. Such meetings with big Democratic donors won’t exactly help Hillary attract enthusiastic Bernie supporters if she gets the Democratic nomination and needs them for the general election.

      4. If anything, such meetings reinforce the notion that Hillary Clinton is the epicenter of the same Wall Street-corporate-Democratic complex that had far too much influence over both her husband’s and Obama’s administrations.

    • It's a passive-aggressive response from Bernie Sanders, much like those Hollywood celebrities who have been too busy to perform in Tel Aviv. His written remarks may not be what we here would want to hear, but I expect that they will be closer to what J Street would want to hear. Since Sanders was one of the first legislators to declare that he would not be present for Netanyahu's command performance in the Capitol, I doubt he's going to pander to Netanyahu. He'll likely support Obama's policy initiatives toward Israel pretty much down the line (which is more than Hillary will do). No matter how he phrases it, that's not what AIPAC wants to hear.

  • Palestinians grapple with knife attacks as violence enters fifth month
    • In other words, the majority of Palestinians living in the areas where the knife attacks are occurring (the West Bank and Jerusalem for the most part) oppose them.

    • Exactly. We should always talk about these incidents as "alleged knife attacks." Unless we have video of Palestinians attacking Israelis, for the most part, we are relying on allegations by Israeli soldiers or settlers.

      Apparently, some of the allegations about knife attacks do have a basis in fact. Many of the other allegations have witnesses or tape which dispute the claim or are so wild that they defy belief (like the settler who swerved off the road to run over a Palestinian girl at a bus stop because he claimed that he saw her holding a knife -- even if she were a circus-performer, the greatest threat she could have posed to a passing car would have been giving him a flat tire).

      Perhaps we could talk more about why Israel has been trying to provoke a violent intifada for years and the most response they have been able to achieve has been a small number of stabbings. Israel's hasbara machine has been able to capitalize on the fear of these stabbings (and motivate some Palestinians to emulate them), which has succeeded in taking Palestinian nonviolent resistance and sumud entirely out of MSM reporting.

  • 'NYT' columnist says Hillary Clinton is not pro-Israel enough!
    • Unsurprisingly, conservative Israelis prefer neo-con Republicans to neo-lib hawkish Democrats. I'm surprised that Rosner didn't complain that Hillary gave a grieving widow, Suha Arafat, a hug.

      Even though they love Republicans, especially Republicans who claim to love Israel, Trumpr is making them nervous, not only because he's dropped the scary term, "neutral," but because he is not telegraphing his negotiating strategy. There is still some hope for them that the neocon Cruz could win on a second ballot at the convention -- even though mainstream Republicans find Cruz really dislikeable.

  • 'What certainly influenced me' to support Iraq war, Clinton says, was Bush's billions of aid to NYC
  • Another instance of Israel lobby influence in this election no candidate will bring up
    • Perhaps we could reframe the question to Bernie as: "You've talked about the influence of mega-donors on domestic issues, especially Wall Street donors on American Economic policies. Could you talk about the influence of mega-donors on American Foreign Policy -- especially Democrats' mega donors? Are billionaires buying our Foreign Policy in the Middle East?"

  • Romney echoes neocons: Trump will lead U.S. 'into the abyss'
    • Not to mention that the Republican candidate running closest behind Trump, Ted Cruz, is universally despised by his Republican colleagues in the Senate. Business Republicans have often been willing to pull behind a Right-wing Christian for the good of the party; but they'll have a hard time rallying behind Cruz.

  • New Birthright trip for Jewish law enforcement seeks to counter BDS movement
    • How large is this Jewish law enforcement pool from which JNF is hoping to recruit? And why assume that Progressives are well represented among Jewish cops? Those Jewish police officers who do take advantage of the trip likely will be given more fodder for the arguments they may already be having with their Progressive peers and family members about Law Enforcement in the US and Israel.

  • As Trump takes on the neocons, Kristol likens him to Hitler
    • Hillary is carrying older Black voters in the South because she has poured money into her ground game in those States, she locked up the Establishment Democrats early, she has worked her Black church network (and Black churches know how to get their members out to vote) and because a lot of old people rely more on their selective memories of the 90's than on searching the internet for information.

      Every primary thusfar, MSM pundits have tried to claim that Bernie's successes have been exaggerated and that Clinton's are defining her as the inevitable nominee. It ain't over yet.

  • Neocon savages Christie for failing 'months and months of careful coaching' by foreign policy experts
    • Rather than bashing Netanyahu, Sanders could show some respect for Jimmy Carter -- a former president who has been shunned by much of the Democratic establishment and vilified by the Israel Lobby, but still loved and respected by many mainstream Christians for his charitable work (especially with Habitat for Humanity) as well as his efforts in peacemaking and diplomacy through the Carter Center and the Elders.

  • Milbank sponsored pro-Israel events and 'CIA torture' event-- but only raised objection to 'Palestine' event
    • Maybe off-topic, maybe not. It was reported in the news a few days ago that Beijing just surpassed New York City as having the top number of billionaires. Both cities have more than 500 resident billionaires.

      While many donors give out of the kindness of their hearts or to encourage other people to give to a cause near and dear to them, some donors do give with the thought of the benefits to themselves or their business of having their name associated with a prestigious organization, like Harvard Law School. Establishing a student activity fund would assure that the firm's name would appear several times a year attached to cutting edge intellectual and political issues, which is good publicity for a law firm. Quite possibly Milbank acted out of concern that having their name associated with Palestinian rights might scare away wealthy Zionist clients. Their heavy-handed action has only drawn national attention to their firm -- in a way that may turn off other wealthy clients.

  • Reinterpreting Truman and Israel: A review of Irene Gendzier's 'Dying to Forget'
    • Wasson, who had submitted several reports to Washington about Zionist atrocities, was assassinated in Zionist-controlled West Jerusalem in May of 1948. In November, his relacement, Burdette:

      William Burdett, who sent telegrams to Washington speaking of how the refugees simply wanted to go home “regardless of the government in control,” and were “victims not only of the UN and Israel but of the failure of the other Arab States to live up to their boasts.” As he added, their “lack of hope and faith…make the refugees an ideal field for the growth of communism.”

      Seeing how there has never been any accountability for either the murder of Wasson or Bernadotte, how safe is it for an American or UN official to report honestly about Zionism in Jerusalem?

  • Israel detains Washington Post bureau chief in Jerusalem accusing him of ‘incitement’ --updated
    • Since all MSM Journalists operating in Israel are obliged to sign the pledge, all of their articles should be accompanied by a disclaimer in the by-line. I look forward to seeing something like this daily in WaPo and the NYT: "All journalists credentialed by Israel’s Government Press Office are required to sign a statement agreeing to the military censor. Foreign press generally are told to make corrections after the time of publication." I'm sure this will help readers understand the freedom under which their press operates.

  • 'Politico' editor held 'secret contest' with Clinton aides at State Dep't to name a column
  • The list of foreign policy experts Bernie Sanders should be consulting
    • In addition to your list, especially:

      Rashid Khalidi, Center for Palestine Studies, Columbia University.

      Rob Malley, Now in the Obama administration.

      Richard Falk, professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University and former United Nations Special Rapporteur

      Helena Cobban, publisher of Just World Books, journalist, longtime observer of the Middle East.

      Phyllis Bennis, Institute for Policy Studies.

      John Mearsheimer, Realist at University of Chicago, co-author of The Israel Lobby.

      Chas Freeman. Former ambassador to Saudi Arabia, translator on Nixon’s China trip, and former Obama nominee to head an intelligence agency. Realist.

      Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett. Co authors of Going to Tehran. Extensive foreign policy experience, including high in US government.

      Noura Erakat, human rights attorney and assistant professor at George Mason University.

      Jim Lobe, longtime foreign-policy journalist

      Paul Pillar, former CIA official, leading realist writer.

      Trita Parsi, president of the National Iranian American Council, author of Treacherous Alliance

      Stephen Walt, former dean at the Kennedy School, co-author of The Israel Lobby

      Juan Cole, Professor of History at the University of Michigan

      Glenn Greenwald, Journalist

      I would add:

      Former President, Jimmy Carter
      Stephen Cohen, Professor Emeritus Russian Studies, Princeton
      Former Congresswoman, Cynthia McKinney
      Former Congressman, Paul Findlay
      Naomi Klein, author and activist (even if Canadian)

  • Nobody cares that Bernie Sanders is Jewish
    • The quote comes from the Forward article cited by Phil.

    • This shift in emphasis surely is not aimed at attracting Black and Hispanic voters in South Carolina and Nevada in the coming weeks:

      For the Clinton campaign it was a night that made clear that it is time to increase pressure on the Vermont socialist — including a harsher message to Jewish voters.

      “Hillary Clinton has been a very strong friend of Israel and that is something that should not be lost on the American Jewish community,” said Paul Hodes, a former New Hampshire congressman who came to rally for Clinton at her post-primary event. Hodes, who is Jewish and from New Hampshire, told the Forward: “Senator Sanders hasn’t showed himself to be the kind of friend of Israel that Secretary Clinton is.”

      In the past few weeks Clinton and her team have highlighted, openly and in press briefings, Sanders’ lack of foreign policy experience and his non-existent team of advisers who should have been working with him on these issues.

      In a message tailored specifically to Jewish voters, Hodes, who has been working closely with the Clinton campaign in New Hampshire, zoomed in on Sanders’ apparent lack of interest in Israel as a factor that should cause voters from the community to re-think their support for the American Jew who has just climbed higher than most others in Democratic politics.

      “Bernie is a secular Jew and I don’t think his religion influenced his stance on Israel,” said Hodes. “We know Hillary and we know she has an unshakeable bond with Israel, so this shouldn’t pose a great dilemma for Jewish voters.”

      Of course, it remains to be seen if a scorched-earth strategy will succeed in denting Sanders’ popularity.

      A Sienna Research poll of New York voters published Monday found that 41% of Jews in the state plan to vote for Clinton in the primaries, while only 33% of Jewish New Yorkers said they would give their vote to Sanders, who grew up in a Brooklyn Jewish family.

      At the same time, New York Jews expressed a more favorable opinion of Sanders than they did when asked about Clinton.
      Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook said in a memo that the Democratic nomination would “very likely” be decided in March, with the support of black and Hispanic voters key to victory. The next primary races are in Nevada and South Carolina later this month.

      “It will be very difficult, if not impossible, for a Democrat to win the nomination without strong levels of support among African-American and Hispanic voters,” Mook wrote

    • The next two states, South Carolina and Nevada do not have huge blocks of Jewish voters (like maybe Florida and New York). It's more likely that Clinton is reaching for a different Jewish donor-tier than the millionaires who fund her superpacs. Immediately after losing the NH primary, her campaign sent out an appeal for $1-3 dollar donations. They are trying to swell the number of small donors to appear as though Clinton still has broad appeal.

      But Clinton's campaign needs more $500-$2000 donors as well for direct funding of her operations. The loyal AIPAC donors could be a help here.

      In 2008, Clinton's campaign hit a wall with its donors in February and March when the major donors had already tapped out their eligible giving for the year. Obama benefitted not only from his own base of small donors, but from an influx of new small donors when Edwards dropped out -- which helped carry him over the gap when his large donors also tapped out.

  • Oscar swag bag includes ten-day VIP trip to Israel worth $55,000 (Updated)
  • 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.

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