Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 66 (since 2013-08-30 06:32:01)

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  • We're all anti-American now
    • My family emigrated to the US in the early 80s. A few years later we obtained US citizenship and what a happy and proud day that was. After 20 years in the US, I moved to the ME. Now I am seriously considering renouncing my US citizenship. Americans living back home may be successful in wearing blindfolds and getting their world view from FOX News and CNN - and even CNBC does not bring the truth and nothing but the truth. Or the newspapers that follow government guidelines.

      But Americans overseas are more aware of the truth and when it was said that publishing the torture report was going to put Americans lives overseas in danger we were not worried at all. The findings in the torture report are common knowledge in the ME, nobody here was surprised by the contents of the report. Therefore the lack of masses stampeding to attack the US embassies, as fear mongers would have us believe. Nobody in the US media seems to wonder about that? A few cartoons led to mass uprisings but people just shrugged when the CIA report came out because for them it was old news. At best they were surprised at the uproar it created back home in the US.

      What is really sad is that both the US and Israel constantly get away with committing war crimes while sitting in judgement over other countries that wreak much less havoc in the world. I am ashamed and I am angry that by force of my citizenship and my right to vote I may be considered part of this. Most of all, I am just sad that the US and Israel, both countries that started out as a solution to end human suffering and persecution and torture have now become the biggest protagonists for the abuse of power.

  • Boycott movement reaches new heights
    • Shuki

      that is what Israel gets in return for refusing to end the occupation of Palestinian land and the oppression of the Palestinian people. BDS is not calling for the destruction of Israel, it is trying to bring an end to Israel's appalling treatment of the Palestinian people, just as BDS never intended to destroy South Africa but rather to end its appalling policies towards the original inhabitants.
      As for Jordan's record in regard to its treatment of the Palestinian people, it is the best in the Arab countries that were flooded with refugees caused by the ethnic cleansing actions of Israel. And certainly ways better than Israel's treatment of its own Palestinian-Israeli citizens and miles above the treatment of the Palestinians under Israeli occupation.
      Palestinians in Jordan were given Jordanian nationality with all the rights that Jordanian citizenship engenders. They have equal rights and equal opportunities in education, the job market, etc. But you know all that, I am sure. Just an attempt to throw stones from a glasshouse - usually not a smart move.

  • Father of photographer critically wounded at West Bank protest: 'This is life under occupation'
    • @ j ” When Jews were driven out, no provision was made for them, no help offered, no protest made. “

      The provision made for them was the Jewish State where they were given the "birthright" to go and live there. Most of them left because of the establishment of a Jewish State and because they wanted to "return" there. So don't make this into an equal situation with the Palestinians who had more than half their country taken by the UN and then more by Plan Dalet and other pre-planned actions to expand what they UN gave to the Zionists and take more land from the original inhabitants.

    • Interesting comment today by Joe Biden on the Ukraine crisis:

      ""No nation has the right to simply grab land from another nation," Biden said. "We will never recognize Russia's illegal occupation of Crimea."

      Does he even notice the irony? That's all Israel has been doing, grabbing land and illegally occupying Palestine. With the US supporting and actively financing the land grab and occupation. Why aren't there any journalists pointing this out when he makes ridiculous statements like that? Have they all lost their integrity and sense of fairness?

  • Reports: Abbas faults Israel for 'procrastinating,' says Palestine will move to join int'l organizations
    • The so-called peace negotiations - Kerry or no Kerry - were a sham from the beginning, just like the ones before. All it did was to give Israel the opportunity to build more settlements. This is all so much bullshit and the US is complicit up to their necks.
      Why would they even bribe Israel with Pollard to release Palestinian prisoners that Israel is obligated to release in the first place. But there has never been an agreement that Israel didn't break - and was not punished but rewarded for it by the US.

      I really hope Abbas will grow a pair and tell the Israelis and the US to stick their peace process and their frameworks where the sun don't shine and go to the International community, the International organizations including the UNGA and the ICC.
      This has gone on long enough - there has to be an end to this farce. Let's hope its now.

  • Loyola University Chicago student union passes resolution to divest from Israeli occupation
    • Yonah, just FYI:

      You are not an alma mater but an alumnus of Loyola U. The university is your alma mater.

      To support the Israeli occupation kind of runs against everything a good Christian would stand for - I am wondering what took them so long to pull their money out?

  • Why I didn’t make it to Gaza for International Women’s Day
    • Activities such as holding meetings or demonstrations and/or traveling to Gaza through Egypt always have to be co-ordinated in advance with the Egyptian authorities. One has to submit information on the participants ahead of time.

      Of course they knew who was coming and why. And of course they wanted to use this opportunity to discourage any further such activities. And btw, they also do hand the lists of people coming to Egypt for pro-Palestinian or anti-Gaza blockade events to the Israelis.

    • I was in Cairo a few years ago for the Gaza Freedom March organized by Medea.
      At that time the Egyptian government ( still Mubarak regime) also reneged on permissions to hold meetings in a school and to assist us with providing buses to the border with Gaza.
      Not only that, when some US citizens went to the US embassy to ask for assistance with the buses, someone must have called the Egyptian police, because they miraculously showed up within minutes and beat up some US citizens in front of the US Embassy and the embassy staff did NOTHING to intervene.
      By contrast, the French Embassy told Egyptian riot police massed in force in front of the French embassy where activists were holding a 'sit-in" demonstration that they would not tolerate any violence against the activists on their sidewalk.

  • 'NPR' praises Israeli assassination program in faulting US one
    • @hophmi

      its not a war. Israel has a powerful army and the most sophisticated weapons in the world. Palestinians are prevented by Israel from having an army and halfway decent weapons. I would not call that a war - it rather looks like shooting fish in a barrel.
      Israel needs a very "brave" and "moral" army to do that?

  • Israelis accuse Kerry of courting rockets, anti-Semitism, and Nobel Prize
    • I always thought that whatever else Friedman may be, he was smart. I revise my opinion. That is the most asinine justification for the attack on Iraq I have ever heard.
      We had to attack IRAQ after 9/11? Why? They were not involved. I guess the explanation he gives at the end "because we could' only proves once again that the US government know how false all the accusations of WMDs were.

  • Do SodaStream's workers have the right to vote? Roger Waters asks Scarlett Johansson
    • "Yes, they do have the right to vote. Whenever the P.A. holds elections."

      Sure, in theory. In practice, they are often prevented from even reaching the polling places.
      And it is the IOF who prevent them, not the PA forces. I don't know if shemiel is a celebrity but he should understand the distinction. And if he had a modicum of objectivity instead of just rote hasbara he would mention it.

  • Sharon's vision for 2 states was Palestinians' 'total surrender' to a fortress state -- Shehadeh
    • @ Krauss

      Sharon was not a convenient scapegoat. He was a butcher and a war criminal.
      He may have been better at what he did than anyone else, although I think there are plenty of people in Israeli politics and the "most moral army" in the world who can or would like to give him a run for his money.

      Yes, a lot of the ethnic cleansing was done by the Labor Zionists. That does not absolve Sharon of the despicable actions he committed. I do not think that history in the long run will see him as a scapegoat but rather as a war criminal.

    • Hi Shuki -

      what shampoo was used in your brainwash? Seems to have worked really well ;)

  • Ariel Sharon, whose political career was unhindered by civilian massacres, dies at 85
    • A warrior - a war criminal
      defender of a state - a state that is racist, stole its land from the rightful inhabitants and brutally oppresses them for decades
      larger than life - and remembered forever as the "butcher of Beirut" and for all the other atrocities carried out on his command
      keep enemies forever scared? It should scare the Israelis. The last 8 years of his life should tell you that nobody no matter how powerful you seem at the moment, it can all be taken away in an instant
      Israel is here to stay - maybe, but certainly not in its current size and as a racist apartheid state.

    • Walid -

      Bush even called him a "man of peace" during the Jenin massacre.

      "Denunciations of Israeli brutality in Jenin have been voiced throughout the world, with just one notable exception. The Bush administration has not only maintained its steadfast support for the government of Ariel Sharon, but has all but abandoned the pretence that it is seeking an Israeli military withdrawal from the West Bank.

      Speaking to reporters in the Oval Office as he met with Secretary of State Colin Powell on his return from Israel, Bush praised Sharon as a “MAN OF PEACE”, while criticising Palestinian Authority leader Yasser Arafat for not bringing an end to “terrorism.”

      Most significant of all, when asked if he was troubled that there was still a major Israeli military presence on the West Bank two weeks after he had called for an immediate withdrawal, Bush declared, “History will show that they responded”. Sharon, he added, “gave me a timetable and he’s met the timetable.”

      Sorry, still don't know how to put bold or underline when posting…

      I know you shouldn't speak ill of the dead, so I have nothing to say. Just that I am glad he is gone and that I hope there is a hereafter where he will be hold accountable for his actions.

  • Arab-American scholars back ASA boycott as legal threats start pouring in
  • Disillusioned with a Jewish State
    • I have no problem with the idea of a Jewish state, but not one that was built on the expulsion and dispossession and mis-treatment of the natives. The way the Jewish state is now already makes me sick to my stomach.

  • PLO official: Kerry threatened to stop funds if Palestinians do not agree to his framework
    • Probably a silly question but could the Federal Reserve play a role in where money goes and how much? An Israeli citizen was just appointed to serve as Fed vice chairman. Could he influence possible economic sanctions against Israel in the future?

      Scary. After Israel having succeed in buying the US Congress, we now have an Israeli citizen controlling the pursestrings. Interesting. These are facts, but to say this out loud probably engenders cries of "anti-semitism!!"?

    • "Well resign then PLO!"
      It is not the PLO who needs to resign but the PA. And it has been my fervent wish for many years now that they would do so. I am firmly convinced that putting responsibility ( and expenses) for the occupation back into Israel's lap is the last thing the Israelis want and the best thing to get some major concessions from Israel.

  • Dutch pension giant ditches Israeli banks over involvement with settlements
    • @ dimadok
      The PA has very limited options on who to sign any agreement with. The PA is basically forced to deal with Israel only. The Palestinians even have to buy back the water that Israel is stealing from them.
      I was at the UNOCHA office in Jerusalem a few years ago during the visit by Arun Ghandi. UNOCHA people told us that at least 40% of all the financial aid the Palestinians receive goes straight into the Israeli economy. Clearly the stranglehold on the Palestinians is good business for Israel.

      Any deal that the PA signs with Israel is not by choice but by necessity.
      Dimadok cannot possibly be that clueless not to know that.

      And anyway, wha'ts that got do to with the Dutch divestment? They have other options to invest their money, they don't HAVE to deal with Israel and they have wisely chosen to no longer do so.

  • As Kerry leaves Israel, Netanyahu announces 272 new settlement homes
  • 'Haaretz' says many Orthodox are taught to see non-Jews as 'not quite human'
    • Are you kidding? These people are nuts!!
      That's probably why some Jewish parents sit shiva when their child marries a goy or goya (?). Imagine the shame of their offspring marrying a future slave.
      It's so sick, it's almost funny…...

  • Cyndi Lauper, the country you are planning to entertain imposes violent segregation, not equality
    • Mahane Yehude -

      pardon my French, but you are full of ..it. Your letter to Cindy is full of lies.

    • NormanF

      What was your point? It's rather sad how the agents of hasbara are unable to deny the truth and always have to resort to bringing negative stereotypes about Arabs into a conversation in order to make Israel look better. It's pathetic and it doesn't work.
      If Cindy Lauper is ok with apartheid, oppression and racism, then let her sing in Israel. It will show everyone what she really stands for.

  • Remnick asks Shavit whether Zionism is a historical mistake
    • This is getting as tiresome as refuting the wrong translation of "wiping Israel off the map". The verses in the Koran are clear - they are not calling Jews apes or pigs, they say that those who transgressed and turned away from God were turned into apes ( which I assume like many things in the bible is not to be taken "literally").

      "AND LO! We accepted your solemn pledge, raising Mount Sinai high above you, [and saying;] “Hold fast with [all your] strength unto what We have vouchsafed you, and bear in mind all that is therein, so that you might remain conscious of God!” And you turned away after that-! And had it not been for God’s favour upon you and His grace, you would surely have found yourselves among the lost. For you are well aware of those from among you who profaned the Sabbath, whereupon We said unto them, “Be as apes despicable!” and set them up as a warning example for their time and for all times to come, as well as an admonition to all who are conscious of God. (2:63-66)

      Say: “O followers of earlier revelation! Do you find fault with us for no other reason than that we believe in God [alone], and in that which He has bestowed from on high upon us as well as that which He has bestowed aforetime? – or [is it only] because most of you are iniquitous?” Say: “Shall I tell you who, in the sight of God, deserves a yet worse retribution than these? They whom God rejected and whom He condemned, and whom He turned into apes and swine because they worshipped the powers of evil: these are yet worse in station, and farther astray from the right path [than the mockers].” (5:59-60)

      And then, when they disdainfully persisted in doing what they had been forbidden to do, We said unto them: “Be as apes despicable!” (7:166)"

      And this is what the Koran says of those who do not transgress and turn away from God:

      ""Surely, those who believe, those who are the Jews and the Sabians and the Christians – whosoever believed in Allah ( Allah being the Arabic word for "God") and the Last Day, and worked righteousness, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve."
      [al-Maa’idah 5:69]

      And then you have Israeli politicians calling Palestinians cockroaches and a cancer and other vile things - and not only those who transgress against Israel, but ALL of them.

  • Netanyahu tweets red-telephone picture, to show how happy he is with Kerry
    • "Can someone explain why the Arab Spring has not arrived in Jordan?"

      Maybe because people in Jordan have seen what it led to in the countries around them? The results have not been encouraging, to say the least. Name one of the "Arab Spring" countries where people are better off now than before.

      And don't forget that Jordan does not present any danger to Israel, so no need to instigate or support uprisings that destroy its economy and/or infrastructure.

      And anyway, where would all the refugees from Palestine, Iraq and Syria go if Jordan went up in flames as well?

  • Israeli ambassador's present to Obama -- settlement cufflinks!
    • I think Israeli politicians need to find a personal shopper or concierge service that can advise them on gifts. A book on the inquisition to the Pope and settlement cuff links to Obama??
      Are they really that clueless on etiquette and diplomacy?

  • Corasanti responds to Abulhawa: My purpose in writing 'The Almond Tree' was to shine a light on Palestinian suffering and help bring about peace
    • I haven't read the book - yet - but I think there is more nuance to portraying someone than a negative light or a positive way. Ever heard of the expression "damning with faint praise"?
      One can seem to show a person or a people in a seemingly positive way while insinuating a less positive picture between the lines.
      But as I said, I haven't read the book, so I don't know if it applies here.
      As far as the Palestinians are concerned, writing the truth will do just fine.

  • Only sanctions against Israel will end occupation -- Gideon Levy
    • You gotta love Gideon Levy - never shy to speak out.
      I agree with his take on the situation - Israel will never end the occupation voluntarily.
      Sure, sanctions would probably work, but I can't for the life of me seeing anyone imposing sanctions on the Jewish State - they would scream "holocaust" and "anti-semitism" and "existentialist threat" and the international community would cave in as usual.
      But one can always hope, can't one?

  • Not just the Prawer Plan: Villages across the West Bank face 'unrelenting assault' from Israeli military
    • And now a new twist - not in the Negev and not in the West Bank, but this time in the Galilee:

      ISRAELI PLAN TO BUILD NEW JEWISH TOWNS IN GALILEE

      The proposal, by the World Zionist Organization's Settlement Division, seeks to bring 100,000 new Jewish residents to the Galilee in order to create a 'demographic balance' with the region's Arab population.

      The objective is to bring 100,000 new Jewish residents to the Galilee by providing housing options “that will attract a stable Jewish population and create a meaningful demographic balance,” according to a letter the Settlement Division sent to urban planning firms.

      http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/.premium-1.561257

      PS. can someone please explain to me how to put things in "bold" on this site?
      This version of chutzpah definitely should have been posted in bold!

  • Petition to Hillary assails 'right wing Democrats' who take 'warmonger AIPAC' cash
    • "The Clintons are political opportunists, waiting out the storm over both events before reassessing which way the wind blows (and how to position themselves for the drift of any campaign donations)."

      Yes, I think that's a valid assessment. After all, Hillary will need lots of cash for 2016.

  • 'NYT' article on Palestinian refugees manages to quote Israeli govt spox but no Palestinians
    • fnlevit

      Kindly explain to me how you would live in peace with a neighbor who kicks you out of your house, keeps stealing your property, takes away all your human rights and keeps maiming and killing members of your family?

    • ivri - "All wanting “to return” to a miniature piece of land (which the lion share of them has never seen)"

      Isn't that what the Jews did? With no other connection for the lion share than a dubious religious claim of a "promised land"? So you claim the descendants of some Jews who were expelled 2000 years ago to have a "right" to the land but the descendants of the inhabitants of 60 some years ago do not?
      And why do Jews have the right to leave behind the immense territories of America and become settlers in Occupied Palestine?

    • fnlevit - "We have absorbed Jewish refugees from Arab countries so that they are not refugees now. "

      That's rich - you not only "absorbed" Jewish refugees from Arab countries, you worked very hard ( not shying away from using bribes, threats and even terrorism) to make them leave their homes and move to Palestine. You NEEDED them to lay a claim to the country and to fill the homes of the native inhabitants you expelled.
      They really can't be called "refugees" with the best of intentions.

  • AIPAC plays the long game on new Iran sanctions
    • "Israel is not a signer of the NPT, a racist apartheid Ethnocracy and also a State sponsor of terror
      Israel commits far more human rigts violations than Iran and is colonizng another peoples land.
      Iran hasnt started a war in hundreds of years.
      Israel regularly murders and steals and starts wars with a virtually helpless population."

      Exactly. But Israel needs an "existentialist threat" to sweep all this under the carpet. A moderate Iran is the last thing that Israel needs. Without being able to cry wolf every few month over the threat of being "annihilated" by an Iranian nuclear bomb, US and Western financial and political support may start to dry up in view of Israel's total disregard for international law and human rights.

  • The country that cried wolf
    • Israel needs a bogeyman. The US and its European allies have obliged and destroyed Iraq and Syria and helped ferment trouble in Egypt. Those former threats to Greater Israel have been removed, but without an "existentialist" threat Israel cannot demand unquestioning political and financial support. So there was this fabricated translation of "wiping Israel off the map" when all that Ahmedinajad proposed was a regime change. Something that is apparently totally acceptable when applied to Middle Eastern dictators who no longer serve their purpose.

      I can understand Netanyahu having nightmares about a final deal with Iran that will remove the sanctions and have Iran be a respected member of the International Community again. Hardly anyone respects Israel anymore, even if some countries still feel pressured to support it. Where will it leave Israel if it can't cry wolf anymore? That is the real "existentialist threat";)

  • The false analogy of Syria and Palestine
    • Walid -

      I am not even sure that wars and instigating uprisings in Arab countries were good for the US - and might not turn out to be so good for Israel either in the long run. The "dictators" were kept quiet and served US/Israeli interests ( often against the interests of their own people) by getting hefty payments for their services. Now neither the US nor Israel are sure anymore whom they can bribe, there are too many players on the scene now. Every Arab country where the West has meddled is in shambles - probably thought to be a good thing to ensure Israeli hegemony in the ME. I am not so sure in the long run it's gonna work out that way and the US and Israel should have been more careful what they wished for…...

  • (Updated) Senator Chuck Schumer promises more Iran sanctions, vows to 'defeat' Arab world and Palestinians
    • " ”Every time the Arab world, the Palestinians, have risen against us, we have risen to defeat them. The one existential threat to Israel’s existence is a nuclear Iran.”

      Who does he mean by "us" in this statement? It would seem that he sees Israel as "us" in that context. Does he have dual nationality - US and Israel? If so, maybe he should be a member of the Knesset instead of the US Congress? If not, why is he speaking for Israel instead of speaking for US interests? Which are clearly served better by improving relations with Iran. And as far as Arabs and Palestinians are concerned, they have risen up against Israel in response to its land theft and brutal occupation and support for those Israeli actions have never been in US interest either.

  • Buckeyes take their stand for Palestine
    • to jon s

      Many Palestinians who live in the WB do not necessarily live on the land they originally owned and from which they were indeed driven. And still are today, in order to make way for new or enlarged illegal Jewish settlements. Even inside Israel, many of the second-class citizens have been driven from their homes and their villages were destroyed.

      Whether they are living under Israeli occupation or under Israeli discrimination - let me assure you that we are lucky not to be in their place. Kudos to Ohio U for taking a stand that may well bring the ire of the Jewish lobby upon them.

  • Medical heroes arrive in Gaza, no fanfare, no NBC
    • I guess the people who do get help by the glory-seekers are still happy that they happen to be there and don't care what their real motives are.

      This said:

      “Every day dozens of Gaza residents go to Israel for medical treatments.”

      Not really. There is the occasional case where a patient is allowed into Israel for medical treatment - after all, hasbara has to keep up the illusion of a "humanitarian state". And let's not forget that most cases that make it to Israel for medical treatment are maimed or ill because of Israeli actions in the first place. The same goes for the few Syrians who have allegedly been treated in Israeli hospitals - great publicity stunt while fueling the civil war and calling for (US) airstrikes on the Syria that would doubtlessly kill many Syrians.

      Real humanitarian help comes from people who care about those they want to help and do so quietly, not those who just want to get into the newspapers or be hailed as heroes on TV.

  • 'Quietly, with no fanfare,' Israeli army delivers Philippine baby alongside NBC's Dr. Snyderman
    • "I can’t think of an army that has more experience in dealing with humanitarian catastrophes than Israel.”"

      I also can't think of an army that has more experience in creating humanitarian catastrophes than Israel - probably because they have been doing just that 24/7 over the last decades.

  • The American street, rising
    • And pray tell - why would the US have the need to "pretend" to be helping Israel?
      Probably you would also claim that the US didn't really help in all the wars that Israel waged all by themselves?

  • Palestinian-American student denied entry to Israel after being told, 'there is no such thing as Palestine'
    • Ellen - "The Embassy is obligated to assist you in such a situation in Israel."

      They may well be "obligated" in theory - but they probably wont be of much help in practice. Standards differ in Israel from any other country in the world. US embassy and consulate in Israel usually are unable - and possibly even unwilling - to provide any assistance to Americans who are being refused entry.

  • Netanyahu expands separation wall to Jordan Valley
    • Sorry Walid, but the wall has never kept the Israelis out of anywhere if and when they decided to carry out military actions in an walled off ( or -in) Palestinian area. Israel's walls are only intended to provide a one-way barrier - Israel still retains the right ( and ability) to cross it any time they want and wreak havoc on the other side.

    • Just heard on CNN that Netanyahu supposedly made an offer on where negotiations on borders should start: not on the Green Line but at the Apartheid Wall. So much for Israel's assurances that the wall was only a "temporary security measure". It was pretty obvious from the beginning that it was a land grab, no matter how much Israel tried to deny it. Why else would they have built it on Palestinian land and made sure it included all the wells and farmland on the Israeli side?
      Wonder what Kerry has to say to that offer? Does anyone in the US administration have a backbone???

    • Seems walls will be going up on the borders to Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon. I even heard talk about a "sea wall". So after getting out of the ghettos and shtetls and taking Palestine from the native population by force to make it their own, they are now turning Israel into a ghetto? Kind of ironic isn't it?
      A walled-in paranoid country is still a ghetto, whatever the size. Is that what the Zionist dream was all about?

  • Stop the demolitions in Jerusalem!
    • I cannot for the life of me understand why the Palestinian leadership still trusts the US and why they take part in "peace talks". It is so obvious that those talk are only intended to give Israel opportunity to continue its ethnic cleansing, its theft of land and the building of more settlements. I cant understand why they wont tell the US and Israel to take their peace talks and shove them. Why not bring their case to the UN and the ICC?
      The US is not a mediator, they are a facilitator for Israeli colonialism and the oppression of the Palestinians.
      So the US Congress is bought and paid for by Israel and the US president is either complicit or has to toe the line that AIPAC draws because of that. But what about the rest of the world?

      How long will they stand by and watch this charade? How long will they stand by
      and watch this horror show? They offer plenty of empty words of condemnation - why no actions?

  • 'I wanted to show Americans what they're paying for'--Max Blumenthal on why he wrote 'Goliath'
    • Just finished reading the book. It should be compulsory reading in US high schools and/or colleges - but of course I am only dreaming.
      For those of us who have been to Palestine and Israel and witnessed the oppression of Palestinians under occupation and Israeli Arabs in the "Israeli democracy", the book is only a confirmation what we have witnessed for ourselves. Many who have not had the personal experience might think he is exaggerating or biased - he is neither.
      He presents the truth. But I guess many people wont be able to handle the truth and therefore dismiss his words.
      Still, I am eternally grateful to him for putting the truth and the facts out there.

  • Israeli gov't upholds denying entry to American teacher in Ramallah
    • Norman,

      AGAIN - at the Jordanian border crossing one does not enter Israel, one enters occupied Palestine.

    • Norman,

      at the King Hussein Border crossing from Jordan ( called Allenby Bridge by Israel) one enters occupied Palestine, not Israel. Since Israel occupies the WB illegally, one does have to deal with Israeli border control. But they are denying legal entry into a country they illegally occupy.

  • 'Our relationship to Israel causes dead Americans and enormous expense in fighting Muslims' -- Scheuer to Congress
    • Stewart's statement that "they hate us because of our freedom" is stupid. Arabs actually admire the US precisely because of that, although in the years since 9/11 freedom has been curtailed to some extent. What they hate about the US are precisely the things Prof. Scheuer has cited.

      King's pro-Israel ravings were to be expected and only expose how brain-washed he is ( assuming that he has a functioning brain).
      Scheuer's 6 points of why the US is hated in the ME ( and elsewhere) are valid - I would put support for tyrannical governments and the total bias in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as the main points, followed by the attacks and destruction wreaked on Muslim countries, and the US military bases in the ME. I would say the preferential price of oil would be the least important to the "Arab street" but all the other points certainly cause resentment.

      It is scary to see that so many members of the US Congress apparently have a totally distorted view or reality. No wonder the US foreign policy does more harm than good to anyone. I think even Israel may suffer in the long run, they would be much better off with US support that leads to peace with the Arabs than support for their policies of occupation, land theft and apartheid.

  • 'The bra is a security threat': Harassment and interrogation at Ben Gurion airport
    • http://secularzionist.wordpress.com/resources/great-writers/

      Khaled Abu Toameh is part of the list of great writers chosen by "secularzionist". He is in illustrous company - Daniel Pipes, Elliot Abrams, Caroline Glick, Robert Spencer, etc.
      In 2009, he stated ""Israel is a wonderful place to live and we are happy to be there. Israel is a free and open country. If I were given the choice, I would rather live in Israel as a second class citizen than as a first class citizen in Cairo, Gaza, Amman or Ramallah."

      I am glad that he is happy to live in Israel - I am not sure who the "we" is he used in that sentence, since this is HIS opinion and he should not speak for others. No wonder Zionists love him.

      It may be better to live in Israel than in Ramallah while Israel is still occupying the WB and certainly better than to live in the world's largest out-door prison ( commonly called "Gaza"). And its certainly better to live in Israel if you say things like that and become a hasbara poster child.
      As regarding Cairo, I dont know, but I have many friends in Jordan who originally hail from Palestine. Quite a few of them have relatives who live in Israel and have visited there. They would not want to live under Israeli rule and they wouldn't want to live under the current PA rule either.

      I dont think Abu Toameh is the right person to convince me how wonderful Arab life in the Jewish state is. Besides the fact that I have been there and spoken to quite a few Arab Israelis myself - people who thought that the notion of a "free and open country" may apply to Jewish Israelis but certainly not to Arab ones.

    • And then there is the other side of the coin - or a new definition for chutzpah ;)

      http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.552351

      "The former commander of the Israeli navy, Rear-Admiral (ret) Eliezer Marom, was questioned Monday morning at London's Heathrow Airport immediately after landing in the United Kingdom, but his claims of being detained beyond routine seem to be unfounded.

      Following initial inquiries, none of the relevant British authorities, the Home Office, which is responsible for border controls, the London Metropolitan Police and the Foreign Office, are aware of Marom having been detained or questioned.
      Israel's Foreign Ministry is continuing to look into the incident but at this stage, it seems that Marom was under the mistaken impression that the routine questions he was asked at passport control at Heathrow Airport and the slight delay he experienced were actually an attempt to detain him over war crimes allegations.

      Marom hastened to call the Justice Ministry in Jerusalem where a special team of lawyers was on call to deal with cases of senior Israeli officials who are charged or questioned abroad. A few minutes later it transpired there was no intention to detain him, and that Marom had nothing to be worried about. By that time, however, the story had already been leaked from the Justice Ministry to the Ynet website."

      He got his panties in a bunch because he was asked a few questions? Wonder how he would have reacted if they had asked him to take off his underwear? Or treated him like so many visitors to Israel are "welcomed" by being harassed and humiliated for hours?

    • The same thing happened to me at the Allenby Bridge entering Israel. I am neither Arab nor Jewish. But I had been in Israel/Palestine several times before to provide humanitarian help for Palestinians.
      I was kept there for 7 hours, questioned twice by security ( Shin Bet?). I was strip-searched three times, although after the first time I had been under constant surveillance by security personnel. My luggage was also checked piece by piece with that little cloth-thing that they run through a machine to check for explosives. My things were thrown on the floor at times and at the end stuffed back in my bag in total disarray.

      I think they didn't make me take off my bra and underwear because when they took me for a body search for the third time I offered to undress completely and they could check all my clothes to their hearts' content. I told the woman who was taking me that I did not want to feel anyone's hands on my body anymore. I guess the fact that I am of advanced age and that they would have to look at my sagging, naked body scared them and there were no more strip searches after that.

      I was fingerprinted and photographed before being taken to interrogation. The guy had a file on his desk with a few pages with parts highlighted in yellow. No idea if the file was really on me or just meant to scare me. He asked about my ancestry. Sorry, not a single Arab or Muslim in there. He wanted to names of my children and where they lived and what they did for a living. He asked about the purpose of my trip. To visit friends. Where do they live? I told him some lived in West Jerusalem, and some in East Jerusalem. That seemed to make him angry and he raised his voice:
      "There is not East Jerusalem and West Jerusalem, there is Yerushalyim and its all ours." That is what he said, literally.
      Anyone having crossed the Israeli border before does indeed learn that it is better not to antagonize and to just bear it and get through. So I told him I was sorry, I was speaking geographically. Like in the US they have the West Coast and the East Coast. He grunted and relaxed a bit.

      Anyway, at the end of the ordeal, when they finally decided that they would let me pass, I ended up with the immigration officer holding my passport. She asked me if it was ok to stamp my passport. I asked her not to, as I wanted to be able to travel to Beirut in the future. She smiled at me and put a big fat Israeli stamp in my passport. Then she smirked and wished me "yom tov".

      I went to my consulate in Jerusalem the next day and wanted to file a complaint. They told me that I could do that, but that it would only end up in the waste basket of the Israeli foreign ministry and that no action would be taken. They said they had lots of complaints about people being harassed at the borders or airports.

      Anyone who is suspected to have any sympathies for the Palestinian people - even if they are Jewish - are considered security risks and/or enemies of the Jewish State.
      And while most Western nations go to great length to protect their citizens in foreign countries, it seems in Israel they wont lift a finger to help. Why is that????

  • Israel’s apartheid isn’t just political, it's ideology wrapped in history and religion
    • Netanyahu's grandfather was beaten by thugs in the late 19th century.
      How many Palestinian grandfathers have been beaten in the 20th and 21st century by Israeli thugs?

  • Netanyahu's tale of Iranian deception debunked by British diplomat
    • Another funny thing is that Israel is not actually a "Western" country, no matter how much they claim to be. They picked a place in the ME to establish their state. According to wikipedia:

      "Most Jews in Arab countries eventually immigrated to the modern State of Israel,[94] and by 2003 they and their offspring, (including those of mixed lineage) comprised 3,136,436 people, or about 61% of Israel's Jewish population."

      Add to this the Israeli Arabs and it looks like the big majority of Israelis actually has Arab roots. For Israel to call itself a "Western state" is more wishful thinking than reality, regardless of their participation in Eurovision and European football games.

  • Netanyahu delivers predictable speech fear-mongering on Iran
    • This whole notion of an "ancient people returning to their homeland" is ludicrous.
      There are probably more Palestinians who are descendants of the ancient Hebrews than there are Israelis.
      A person who has no Jewish roots whatsoever can convert to Judaism, make aliyah and "return to his/her ancient homeland"? How many Israelis are converts or descendants of converts who fall under that category? The BS is mind boggling.

      A poll carried out by the Israeli Democracy Institute in 2007 showed that 53% of Israelis said they do not keep the Sabbath at all. Zionism claims to have no religious foundation and yet, the religious premise of a "God-given right to the promised land" features prominently in Zionist claims to former Palestine.
      I can understand why Israel uses all kinds of BS to support their claim to former Palestine - i.e. the "ancient homeland" and the "promised land of the Bible". What I cant understand is why the rest of the world fell for it in 1947?

    • “I feel deeply honored and privileged to stand before you today representing the people of the State of Israel. We are an ancient people, dating back 4,000 years to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob etc”

      There you have Israeli apartheid proudly displayed at the UN. The State of Israel is for Jews only. Palestinians are invisible."

      That may have been his intention - but do the Palestinians as Arabs not also date back 4000 years to Abraham? Besides the fact that many of the Palestinians may be original Jews that converted to Islam centuries ago? What is the claim to Israel based on - ethnicity or religion? In both cases the claim stands on weak legs.

  • Cooper Union's bizarre 'Jewish values' panel: Accused war criminal and pro-occupation billionaires speak about the 'strong protecting the weak'
    • Walid - in criminal investigations motive plays a big role to determine the perpetrator. The Asad regime would have to be more than stupid to use chemical weapons on anyone at this stage. The regime was making headway against the rebels and certainly had no interest in giving the US an excuse to get involved in the conflict. The rebels on the other hand have been desperate for US assistance and involvement. Obama's "red line" was the only way to make that happen.
      Of course both sides are committing atrocities. Show me a war where that has not happened.

  • Rouhani statement on the Holocaust should lead to reconsideration of Ahmadinejad's similar message
    • Excellent post, RoHa - thank you.

      There are very few people left who were either victims or perpetrators of "The Holocaust". It was a terrible crime, and most people have all heard everything there is to hear about it. And we get it, so the Holocaust industry can give it a rest, maybe they should better worry why so many Holocaust survivors in Israel have been treated pretty shabbily by their government.

  • Sh*t rightwing Zionists say about liberal Zionists
    • I found it downright asinine. And of course totally misleading, nobody ever called for a "jew boycott" but of course you can't really bring the Nazi's into this unless you twist things.
      What morons - bad video, bad actors, bad intentions........

  • Double standard: Disarming Syria puts Israel's nuclear and chemical arsenal in the spotlight
    • Ecru

      I live IN the Middle East and the idea of an Iranian nuke or other WMDs scares me also a LOT less than the idea of Israeli ones;)

      I am not aware that Iran has ever used chemical weapons or attacked anyone - can't say the same about Israel.

  • Was Obama bluffing on Syria all along?
    • I watched it too. He presented what should be obvious but is often obfuscated: During wars or armed conflicts people are killed and maimed. Indiscriminately - soldiers and civilians, old people, women and children.
      They may be directly targeted or be "acceptable calculated collateral damage". Killing people in itself is "inhumane" - and yes, war is the breakdown of civilization.

      Every single nation in the history of warfare - including those who consider themselves "civilized" - has committed atrocities and warcrimes when at war ( and at times even when not).

      Obama's red line was not about the use of chemical weapons per se - it was about WHO is allowed to use them and who isn't.

  • AIPAC comes out for strike on Syria-- and mentions Iran more often than Syria
    • No need to gag me with a spoon after that Senate debate. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.
      What is most striking to me is that the use of chemical weapons by the Asad regime is presented as a fait accompli by Kerry and Co. while still no concrete evidence has been presented. I still dont understand what the point was of sending UN inspectors to check only IF chemical weapons were used but not to find out WHO had used them? In light of the proposed consequences of a military strike, wouldn't that be an important thing to determine?

      I particularly liked the chutzpah of Kerry's outrage that Russia and China were had blocked a UN resolution calling for the condemnation of the use of chemical weapons in Syria when not too long ago the US did exactly the same thing when their then-ally Saddam gassed the Kurds ( and Iranians).

      Does he really think that people have such short-term memories and already forgotten that little fact?

      From the comments of various senators, it is clear that a majority of the American population is not in favor of military action in Syria. Isn't a democracy supposed to adhere to the will of the majority and not lobbies and big campaign donors only?
      Yeah, right.....

  • Do's and don'ts for progressives discussing Syria
    • Another interesting aspect of the Syrian conflict:

      The whole article can be read here:

      http://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2013/aug/30/syria-chemical-attack-war-intervention-oil-gas-energy-pipelines

      I am posting a relevant excerpt:

      "Syria intervention plan fueled by oil interests, not chemical weapon concern
      Massacres of civilians are being exploited for narrow geopolitical competition to control Mideast oil, gas pipelines

      The RAND document contextualised this disturbing strategy with surprisingly prescient recognition of the increasing vulnerability of the US's key allies and enemies - Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states, Egypt, Syria, Iran - to a range of converging crises: rapidly rising populations, a 'youth bulge', internal economic inequalities, political frustrations, sectarian tensions, and environmentally-linked water shortages, all of which could destabilise these countries from within or exacerbate inter-state conflicts.

      The report noted especially that Syria is among several "downstream countries that are becoming increasingly water scarce as their populations grow", increasing a risk of conflict. Thus, although the RAND document fell far short of recognising the prospect of an 'Arab Spring', it illustrates that three years before the 2011 uprisings, US defence officials were alive to the region's growing instabilities, and concerned by the potential consequences for stability of Gulf oil.

      These strategic concerns, motivated by fear of expanding Iranian influence, impacted Syria primarily in relation to pipeline geopolitics. In 2009 - the same year former French foreign minister Dumas alleges the British began planning operations in Syria - Assad refused to sign a proposed agreement with Qatar that would run a pipeline from the latter's North field, contiguous with Iran's South Pars field, through Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and on to Turkey, with a view to supply European markets - albeit crucially bypassing Russia. Assad's rationale was "to protect the interests of his Russian ally, which is Europe's top supplier of natural gas."

      Instead, the following year, Assad pursued negotiations for an alternative $10 billion pipeline plan with Iran, across Iraq to Syria, that would also potentially allow Iran to supply gas to Europe from its South Pars field shared with Qatar. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the project was signed in July 2012 - just as Syria's civil war was spreading to Damascus and Aleppo - and earlier this year Iraq signed a framework agreement for construction of the gas pipelines.

      The Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline plan was a "direct slap in the face" to Qatar's plans. No wonder Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan, in a failed attempt to bribe Russia to switch sides, told President Vladmir Putin that "whatever regime comes after" Assad, it will be "completely" in Saudi Arabia's hands and will "not sign any agreement allowing any Gulf country to transport its gas across Syria to Europe and compete with Russian gas exports", according to diplomatic sources. When Putin refused, the Prince vowed military action.

      It would seem that contradictory self-serving Saudi and Qatari oil interests are pulling the strings of an equally self-serving oil-focused US policy in Syria, if not the wider region. It is this - the problem of establishing a pliable opposition which the US and its oil allies feel confident will play ball, pipeline-style, in a post-Assad Syria - that will determine the nature of any prospective intervention: not concern for Syrian life.

    • Danaa

      I am new here, but if I may make a few remarks regarding your post. I live in the ME and I travel extensively around the Arab countries.

      There are opposition groups in Saudi Arabia but it seems they are mostly religious fundamentalists who oppose even the slightest attempts by their rulers to bring Saudi Arabia out of the Stone Age where SA still resides as far as human rights and the emancipation of women are concerned.

      The Gulf countries are a different matter. The UAE for example has autocratic rulers that are smarter than their counterparts in many Arab countries. They provide for their population and enable them to have a good living standard. The government there provides jobs, free medical care and free education. Ultimately, all those "revolutions" are less about a quest for "freedom" than a quest for better living conditions for the masses.

      As for Jordan, King Abdullah cannot be compared to dictators like Saddam or Mubarak or Asad. There were serious protests in Jordan for a while, although nowhere on the scale of protests in neighboring countries. As long as they remained civil and did not escalate into violence and destruction of property the government took no measures to suppress them. And they mostly were a reaction to cancellation of government subsidies for oil which raised prices for everything. I can assure you that the majority of Jordanians do not feel "oppressed" but rather complain about unemployment and poverty. Jordan is a poor country without natural resources and even lacks the most important commodity of all - water. Sure, there is corruption in Jordan and better management of available means could improve the overall economic situation, but the current government under PM Ensour has made serious efforts in that regard. Improvement cannot come overnight, and I think the outcome of the uprisings in the countries around Jordan has put a damper on similar ideas in Jordan. People have started to realize that just removing the people at the top in exchange for others who have no qualification and no idea on how to run a country is not the best possible way to improve their living conditions.

      To come back to Syria, Obama has backed himself into a corner and is now damned if he does strike and damned if he doesn't. I also do not believe that the Asad regime is responsible for chemical attacks on civilians. Asad may be many things, but he is neither stupid nor suicidal. It makes absolutely no sense for Asad to try and involve the US in the conflict. It makes all the sense for the rebels.

      There is quite a bit of chatter on the internet pointing to Bandar of SA providing chemical weapons to the rebels. I don't think it is any secret that Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been fueling the conflict and funneling financial support, foreign mercenaries and weapons to the opposition. And still the regime was gaining ground in the last few months and Obama was dragging his feet in involving the US and their Western allies in the conflict. Thanks to Obama's promise of involvement should the "red line" be crossed, the use of chemical weapons blamed on the regime presented itself as a solution.

      I would also like to point out that quite a sizeable part of the Syrian population still strongly supports the Asad regime. This was not the case in Iraq or Egypt or Libya.
      This is ultimately a fight for power and control of the country, one side wants to retain power and the other side want to obtain it. It may have started out as an uprising for freedom but it has long been hijacked by groups with their own agenda. Ordinary people have become cannon fodder for both sides.

      I think there is little doubt that chemical weapons have indeed been used. Now we have the US saying that they know "for sure" that it was Asad who used them. And we have Russia calling it "nonsense" and claiming they have proof- satellite images and such- that it was the rebels who used them.
      I can for the life of me not understand why the US and Russia do not present their evidence to the UN to prove their case.

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