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  • Where you can donate to help Gaza -- Updated
    • The Rachel Corrie Foundation along with Rebuilding Alliance is working directly with two UNWRA schools - one in the north and one near Rafah - to set up procurement and delivery of essential items to the displaced. The Director of the Boys School in Rafah, Khaled Nasrallah, is coordinating on the ground there. He is a pharmacist by training and is the gentleman whose house Rachel was standing in front of when she was murdered. So far RCF and RA have made two transfers for personal hygiene packages - soap, laundry detergent, diapers, etc. Some of these supplies are available in Gaza but payment needs to be overseen and delivery to the homeless needs to be organized and administered. RC Foundation and RA are also coordinating advocacy work to try to safeguard the schools if fighting restarts, and to lift the siege if the peace holds. Both groups have a long history of working with humanitarian networks inside the territory. Here is the donor site on SiliconValleyGives:

  • Israel shells another UN school-- and even the US is 'appalled'
    • "I expect you are all aware that the boys school where ****** is in charge is the one that was hit today with at least ten killed and injuries. **** and ***** confirmed to me that ****** is safe, but it is hard to imagine all that he and others must deal with."
      Cindy Corrie

  • Reprint of Yochanan Gordon's "When Genocide is Permissible" (Updated)
    • I had some friends, good people. They really didn't want their daughter to take up with a non-Jewish boy so they wisked the two teen-aged girls to Israel for a month-long vacation. They loved the history, the archaeology etc etc. However, they stayed long enough to catch up with old friends, relatives and acquaintances. They were shocked, shaken really. The weather is like California, the social attitudes not-so-much.

      People with post-tramatic stress disorder + nuclear and chemical weapons in a giant Zimbardo experiment.

  • US suspended aid to Egypt after it slaughtered civilians -- why not Israel?
    • "Dear colleagues,
      It is very bad situation in rafah, half of rafah neighborhood left their homes and now in Streets, as no transportation available.
      Even no more unrwa shelters opend.
      The scary is widely as no safe placein all gaza strip.
      I received many families in my home.
      I will update you soon."

  • Speaking to the Deaf: Activists attempt to talk with the Israeli public about Gaza
    • This is an amazing performance. RT is so strange. We grew up hearing that Russia could not abide the truth. ("There is no truth in "News" and no news in 'Truth'"). Now, as a British NGO official in Jerusalem commented to me, all the Russians need to do to create mayhem in the ME is to tell the truth. Van Ceffeld is so pathetic. These folks, so used to an echo chamber, that, faced with actual debate, pick up their marbles and go home.

      Here we are, watching the US trying to stir up war in Ukraine in order to get Russia to STFU.

  • Each one is a world
    • Sometimes the only thing I am brave enough to do is to insist on the humanity of the Palestinians. I know it is not very much, but it is something. And it is because of the incredible humaneness of the Palestinians I have met in person. Amer, I am sorry for your loss.

  • Circular logic: Israel agrees not to discriminate against Palestinian-American travelers -- not that it ever did
    • What about the Christian Peacemaker Teams? Individuals are routinely harassed and some are not permitted to return to their work in Hebron and elsewhere. It's hard to make much of a case that they are a security risk. And it is, after all, Christian Holy Land too. Young people, some with a family connection, want to help the situation and believe that goodwill can make a difference.

  • Romeo and Juliet in Palestine
    • beautiful writing. insightful.

      There are so many hopes set on Area B. This casts a light on what is systematic reverse-development. A, B, C and Gaza: a textbook on calibrated social pathology and
      destruction of civic culture.

  • Israeli ambassador's present to Obama -- settlement cufflinks!
  • United States takes a 'new path' forward in the Middle East!
    • People who equate Iran and North Korea are relying on American ignorance.

      North Korea is a cyst, malign and isolated. It is a loony neighbor who periodically puts dynamite on the roof and threatens to blow up the neighbors unless they bring pizza. The Chinese suspect that a reunited Korea intends to be a nuclear power, that the money and technical know-how has not come exclusively from the workers' paradise. NK is useful, because it provides a foil/a provider of "stuff" for nuclear mayhem in other regions. NK functions as "not China" "not Russia" "not the US" and "not France" "not Britain" and "not Israel."

      Iran is a regional power, acting with effect in greater Kurdistan, Shia Iraq, Afghanistan, the Gulf and India. It has just parlayed its way onto the table of top nations by acting supremely reasonable. Like Germany, it doesn't need to go to nuclear weaponry if it keeps its edge in technology. It wants an agreement with inspections to prove to the world that it is not the source of all the nuclear skullduggery in the M.E. It wants a tough deal - because that is the deal that eventually Israel will be expected to sign. If Israel hadn't thumbed its nose at the international agreements/inspections structure it would likely BE at the table too. But it didn't want to play by the rules. Now it has to rely on Canada, who isn't there either, to help complain from outside the door. As long as Iran stays there talking it can demonstrate its value in helping to bring about calm and progress across the region/and can make the case for staying at the top table.

  • Making Boulder a sister city to Nablus would be 'anti-Semitic,' says local Republican
    • Because Lille, Dublin, Dundee, and Florence is a club with which Boulder wouldn't want to be associated.

      Or is it that Boulder should be more exclusive? We must have only have one friend.

  • Netanyahu's greatest fear: Linkage
    • Yes, and there is business to be done. Not charity, business. Like Germany, like Japan, like Vietnam, like Russia. How much more effective is business than warfare, at creating a world we want to live in. These guys are good at trade, smart and educated. The kind of ally we need in that particular neighborhood. So overdue.

    • This weekend was historic. The U.S. Foreign Minister talked directly to his Iranian counterpart. It is past time. It's been 34 years since the hostage crisis. Persia is an old culture, with a long history of effective governance. Seize the opportunity, it will be as significant as the thaw with China. It is important to keep a clear eye on events, because the fight in Washington is soon to turn nasty and personal. The single most constructive thing that could happen in the global community would be to bring the populations of Egypt (81 mm), Iraq (35 mm) and Iran (79 mm) back into the global economy. We need these consumers, and so does the EU/Japan/China. But Saudi Arabia has an enormous problem in its oil-rich Shiite Eastern province. Firing Shiite employees at Aramco will not eliminate the anger. American boys should not be policing this hatred, it's not our fight. Wahhabi-ism has no attractions for us. We will buy oil from whoever pumps it. That's it.

  • Echoing Netanyahu, Ted Cruz slams Kerry and calls on Iran to recognize Israel as 'Jewish state'
    • Yep. It's interesting that whatever process of verification/oversight is designed for Iran will of necessity be applied to Israel and its secret engineering projects too. How heavy-handed do they want it to be? Or can N just not imagine that any rules applied to Iran could ever be applied to Israel? He seems to thing rules are for everyone else. The U.S. has the luxury of pretending that rules are for everyone else, but small states, like Denmark, Thailand and others have made international rules their friends. Israel wants to play the international game "as if" it's the United States.

    • If you read Filkins, Iran made a strategic deal with the U.S. and stuck to it - namely they allowed the U.S. to exit Iraq without a "helicopters on the roof of the Saigon embassy, people hanging off the runners" scene. The relatively quiet U.S. military exit from Iraq was part of a deal, and importantly for Iran/U.S. detente, Iran showed they are a nation that gives its word, keeps its word. Possibly because of a risk/reward calculus, but that's ok. Shows they are rational, self-interested, competent. This is the most important story not told in recent years. But I think Americans sense that Panneta and Petraeus managed something quietly and well. They cut our losses and left. With Iran's help. Balance of power is the U.S. best bet in the region. That said, the guy who was democratically elected in 1953 would probably look pretty good about now.

  • Israeli paper misquoted Roger Waters, removing advice to Netanyahu to look for 'Israeli de Klerk'
    • Miko Peled. He even looks like a man who knows that truth and beauty are related, it's something in the eyes. They are not dead eyes, or snake eyes.

  • Backlash against Netanyahu: He gets 2-1/2 hours with Obama during shutdown, trying to thwart Iran opening
    • A nuclear disarmament deal that applies equally to both the Persians and the Israelis is something Americans can understand and support. Full stop. Yammering on about the evils of nuclear weapons without mentioning that Pakistan and Israel have them too is just not going to cut it.

  • Daniel Levy on 'boxing in Bibi'
    • The arrogance of this man is breathtaking. He lives so far inside the bubble that he does not know just how much Not-MOT Americans despise him. No one has forgotten the show before Congress, the Roman fanfares, the mafia-like bodyguards, the hectoring lectures. And of course if you asked him if Not-MOT opinion matters he would tell you, 'not at all.' It is the equivalent of being told to step off the sidewalk to make way. Hubris and its tell-tails.

  • Kristol says Obama appeases the new Hitler, Rouhani, making Israel 'the leader of the west'
    • Com'n Mike, look at a map. You can do this! 80 mln people. a real middle class. economic self-starters/heck they may have invented international trade, back in the day. high literacy rate. everyone has a cousin in Los Angeles.

      This is the ally the U.S. needs in the region; instead we are propping up Wahhabi clerics and Saudi royal cousins. The Persians governed all of Arabia to the Nile and they were good at it. The ancient Israelites allied with them and with the Parthians against Rome. The Romans weren't really amused by that. you can google it!

      The West needs middle class consumers, so by some strange logic we have taken the Persians, Egyptians (84 mln) Iraqis (32 mln) and Syrians (22 mln) out of the marketplace. Israel's 8 mm consumers are not going to carry the West.

      The Brits wrote the book on providing the balance-of-power in Europe to keep any of Germany, France and the Hapsburgs from becoming too strong. It's time the U.S. figured out how to manage. We don't have to have just one friend.

  • More mainstream snark over NSA sharing info with Israel
    • Israel cannot "walk point" for America if they violate our creed. Our creed is the very reason we have respect in the world, even still. It is the reason American boys fight. America is not Rome, though those empire forces are at play. And remember it only took 60 years to go from Augustus to Caligula.

    • "he tells me he is horrified: 'There seems to be no limit to the violations to their hard-won liberties that Americans will put up with in the catchall name of counter terror.'"
      John le Carre interview by Philippe Sands, The Financial Times, Sept 7.

      “There is no basis for democracy except in a dogma about the divine origin of man....

      “America is the only nation in the world that is founded on a creed. That creed is set forth with dogmatic and even theological lucidity in the Declaration of Independence; perhaps the only piece of practical politics that is also theoretical politics and also great literature. It enunciates that all men are equal in their claim to justice, that governments exist to give them that justice, and that their authority is for that reason just. It certainly does condemn anarchism, and it does also by inference condemn atheism, since it clearly names the Creator as the ultimate authority from whom these equal rights are derived." Chesterton, "What I Saw in America" quotes.

  • The morning commute (through the checkpoint)
    • Make no mistake, this is what the overlords have in mind for all of us, the Western hoi polloi. 25% unemployment in Spain, 35% in Greece, and men will put up with a lot for family. The treatment of the PALs is just a controlled experiment by the global Ubermenschen to see exactly how much people will swallow before they crack. Americans remain blithely unconcerned because we are still deluded that we will be among the privileged. But you don't have to spend too long among the uninsured in America before you see the disturbing lines and similarity to the appalling I/P health "system" (caste system) already pencilled in. Raise your voice in the workplace and you can be instantly uninsured and uninsurable. They'll just pay an Indian fellow to tell you, via Skype or the corporate equivalent.

  • A visit to the grave of mass-murderer Baruch Goldstein
  • 'Get me to the checkpoint on time!'
    • I think you misunderstand me. I certainly don't think stone-throwing by Palestinians justifies state-sponsored violence that ranges from the disappearance of teen-agers to the torturing to death of a family man. I have started to be concerned that Americans are no longer safe from this terrible behavior. The Israeli Border Police -often the worst - are now training the sheriffs in Oakland and Berkeley. disregard for civilians was a feature of the war in Eastern Europe (which did not end until 1989). Initially I was surprised that the IDF would be so unembarrassed at rolling out their fancy military equipment to terrorize civilians and use stone-throwing as sufficient justification. But now I think that it is part of a story that tries to tie Palestinians to the American frontier experience. It adds to the portrait of dangerous savages, and from there to the shared "white man's burden." Mr. Romney's ridiculous sneer about Palestinians lack of economic skills was part of this too, I think. The gap between this portrait and the reality is ridiculously wide. With all of the U.S. media in tow behind BHO, the Palestinians should not make it easy to play this useful fiction.

      The Palestinians are educated Europeans. Many are Christian. Americans do not know that. I am glad the bride wore a white gown.

    • A multicultural and truly democratic I/P on the territory under contention would be a force for good in a "region" that stretches from the Ukraine to Somalia and Sicily to Persia. The truth is that even if Israelis "win" in Hebron or Gaza the truth of their behavior shames them. It certainly shames Americans. It is our Holy Land too. My sense of the Palestinians is that they have what the Japanese call "gaman."

      There is no wisdom in extending the violence and subsequent need for forgiveness among neighbors beyond what is already demanded. Palestinians might remember what a nasty time 1946-1950 was in all of Europe. Ungvar and Nagyvarad no longer exist, nobody speaks Hungarian in Ughhorod or Oradea, and similarly across Poland, Slovakia and on and on.

      I think that the crazy ideas expressed by the racist settler on the video linked here a few days ago create legitimate fears in the Palestinians. There is a sense that "they want us to be their servants, their slaves." It would be easy enough to put such fears to rest. If the French and Germans can do it, these guys can do it.

      The Ottoman Sultan was shocked to discover that the King of Spain would send him such industrious new citizens in 1492. Similarly, the Israelis should be happy to have such good people as neighbors. truly.

      More publicity stunts, yes indeed.

    • I think the "stone throwing" accusation is very important. It is an individual act and crosses the line into violence (hence "terrorist") as someone mentioned elsewhere on MW. As such it justifies all of the overreaction of state-sanctioned violence. But it does more than that. It turns the Palestinians into "primitives" that is, people not like us. It is similar to the efforts to keep the Bedouin out front. "Palestinians live in caves, didn'tcha know? What can you expect? It's the white man's burden." But even impoverished and disrespected, the Palestinians know their 2000 year history.

      I get the sense that there is a more and more desperate effort in recent weeks to provoke violence from Palestinians before BHO arrives, in order to justify the money America has spent helping to "pacifying the natives." To spite this cynical campaign I hope that the Palestinians will demonstrate the forbearance for which they are famous.

      There is a great scene in Frayn's play, "Democracy" where Willi Brandt is standing before a crowd of Berliners and calmly urging "patience, patience." But his "patience" includes alertness, and the crowd is vibrating like a violin string. Sometimes that is all the force of history requires. The play shows the victory of the Cold War minus all the American self-admiration. Such alertness and determination are the Palestinians' greatest weapons.

  • Using secret travel ban, Israel prepares to deport activist Adam Shapiro preventing him from being at the birth of his first child
    • The State Dept. prevented Mr. Ramadan, a future leader in the profoundly important and friendly nation of Egypt, from entering the U.S. and teaching at the Univ. of Notre Dame, because, of course, the Roman Catholics of Northern Indiana were at serious risk of undue influence from radical, political Islam and had to be shielded for their own good. Such a dangerous thing, dialogue between university-educated American Catholics and university-educated Egyptian Muslims. It was positively Straussian in its incoherence. And today, when direct friendships with significant actors in Egyptian society...outside the army...would be very helpful, America has been handicapped for "our own good."

  • Denied entry by Israel, American teacher prepares to say goodbye to Palestinian students
    • It is. The Friends High School provides both the education and the network which will make governance of a Palestinian State possible. I would argue that some of the impressive forbearance the Palestinians demonstrate goes back to the Quaker education they have all received. This thuggery highlights the de-development mentioned above. But what a good idea! BHO should take Malia and seven friends from Sidwell Friends to visit Ramallah Friends HS while he is touring.

  • Video: Israeli settler lecturing Palestinian farmers -- 'You'll all be our slaves, if you're worthy, if you behave well'
    • To the extent the overweight white guy is actually "from" Judea, they are all cousins anyway. (see He needs a bit more melanin I think, to persist, but time will tell.

      Native Palestinians are just the folks who chose to stay despite the political ebb and flow of the Byzantine, Ottoman, and Arabic waves that washed over the territory. They have had plenty of practice at diplomacy and stubbornness. And why not? The land is beautiful, the food is good, the weather perfect.

      Palestinian culture is a peculiar brew of Jewish tribalism, Greek philosophy, Christian charity and the radical democracy and fatalism of Islam (everyone is equal before the Almighty, who is calling the shots). It abides.

  • Chuck Hagel confirmed as Secretary of Defense by 58-41 vote (Updated)
    • Wonder if Hagel will favor Texas and South Carolina with the base closures and other cutbacks in government spending they so loudly recommend. This should be interesting to watch. California welcomes the pivot toward the Pacific.

  • Which will prevail-- latest neocon charge on Hagel over Israel, or D.C.'s fatigue over delay?
    • Well the Hagel brouhaha is not about some speech or other. It's about whether he would silence the drumbeat on Iran for another American war.

    • racist? race isn't the subject. The U.S. has spent breathtaking amounts in Iraq and Pakistan, which are supposed to function as strategic allies. Every U.S. taxpayer has the right to ask why we stubbornly persist in such a spendthrift and foolhardy way. In both cases, still after all these years, their defining feature as a nation state is that they have few national institutions that work. How did we end up wasting our patrimony on these botched post-colonial experiments? Chiefly, I would say, because they neighbor Iran. Our obsession with "pay-back" regarding the Shah, the hostages, the mullahs etc. is unseemly and contrary to U.S. interests. It is Iran that has the essential thing America needs in Central Asia. It is the one country that could do what we profess to want to do, which is bring the Muslim world toward a modern economy and democracy. It was a heartbreak to watch the Green movement struggle and fail. As Kissinger observed we seem to be on the warpath. Somehow, containment was ok for the Soviets but not for Persia. Why? I want a better answer than 'because all Muslims are terrorists."


      180 mm people. Few national institutions that function. Nuclear weapons.

    • Possibly we could discuss why Iran is not a U.S. ally. Unlike Iraq or Pakistan it is a real country, not just a mishmash of unhappy tribes. Like Japan, Vietnam, Thailand and India it is a keystone in its region and could help us to stabilize the Asian continent. The US has a particular interest in a ring of strong and thriving countries around Russia and China to buffer their influence on the oil-belt. When did we sign on to police the competition between Sunni and Shia? Let the Wahhabis win that competition if they can by constructing an attractive modern society, rather than have us trash the competitor. Sixty years of hostility toward Iran is one of the great conundrums of the Washington view. Beyond the orbit of the mullahs the average Persian likes America. It would be great if McCain and Hagel could lead us out of that cul-de-sac. Do we really have to destroy the entire Persian cultural heritage first? Surely the lesson of Vietnam is that US business engagement is the best way to bring a country into the global economic system. Oh course nothing said at the Senate ASC hearings engenders any optimism. It is not a forum that encourages creative thinking. (We need a Nixon....)

      Israel, on the other hand, has an interest in weak neighbors all around, each struggling with domestic chaos and borrowing from the international banking cartel, at high rates just to muddle along. I would add Greece to that list by the way. Since the discovery of natural gas in the Eastern Med it is a dangerous competitor for Israel. You would think Deutsche or UBS would spot a business opportunity going begging but they follow the NY consensus like sheep.

      When the global economy is desperate for effective demand the US allows a country of 80 million consumers, a country sophisticated enough to lead the rest of the Muslim world toward a European standard of living, to be locked out. Similarly the chaos in Egypt.... I think that there are really important issues at stake for the U.S. in getting someone like Hagel into the Administration.

  • Hagel vote set for today as opposition flounders
    • Pollard...when they free Pollard it's really over for America.

      Many people wanted BHO to win chiefly because it would take Netanyahu down a notch.

      Huckabee is a dangerous joke, dangerous because he has a natural talent. We seem to have ducked a disaster there, but only because he was greedier than he was ambitious. (same is true with Palin). I am both shocked and frightened by the very public pushing forward of guys like Huckabee, the "magical thinkers." They seem to be supported by Kristol and others largely because they are malleable and not very bright.
      Does Kristol really think he can control these stooges once they have real power?

  • Hagel hearing was senators' audition for donors -- Rosenberg
    • Meanwhile it looks like the handover at State from Clinton to Kerry is being treated by the IDF as a window of opportunity in the Jordan Valley to win a round of "facts on the ground" while nobody is paying attention. It's pretty clear that Clinton was vigilant and quick to respond and pick up the phone. Where the heck is Kerry? I wonder if he's really up to the job.

  • Obama set to visit Israel this spring
    • I would suggest a follow-on to his Cairo speech. He should make it at the Friends High School in Ramallah. He should explain his vision of a civil society that can accommodate modernity and equality before the law. He should recommend the American innovation of a separation of church and state so that all groups who live in the Jordan Valley can fulfill their religious requirements while being good neighbors to each other. He should explain that this will require a special commitment to public integrity otherwise it won't work for long. He should talk about the progress the US has made just in the last 65 years toward fulfilling such a vision. He should tell the Palestinians that they are the best placed to lead the Middle East, by example, toward that kind of society. He should tell them how important their example will be to war-torn states around them. And he should tell them that the US and Europe want them to succeed.

      He should ask to visit Abraham's tomb in Hebron and take a walk through the old streets.

      He should go and visit Nasser Abufarha's olive oil co-op near Jenin (Canaan Fair Trade). According to the scientists at UC Davis the anti-inflammatory chemicals (oleocanthal) in their newest Rumi crop are off-the-charts. The Palestinian grandmas could have told you that it treats arthritis and prevents heart disease. Organic, fair-trade and righteous.

      He should make a trip to the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, which offers young people from all three states, Jordan, Israel and Palestine a way to work together on the problems of the environment - air, water, plants and animals - that they all must share.

      well, he could.....

  • Chomsky: Obama strongly supported Israel's 2006 Lebanon invasion
    • We all saw the dim-bulb Los Angeles mayor lie on national television about the result of the vote we had just watched, at the Democratic Convention. The Progressives don't want the fight, but the drumbeat for another American war in the M.E. will likely be a match to tinder.

  • Full transcript of Chuck Hagel hearing before Senate Armed Services Committee
    • Phil is right to reprint this. The questioning was such an embarrassment and such an indictment of official Washington that the actual hearing has just disappeared from view. The overwhelming focus on the M.E., the groveling, the insistence that Hagel recant, none of it plays very well in the red counties that send boys to the military. It was a show trial and the U.S. government were made to look like fools before both our allies and opponents. Sen. Levin allowed the circus, though he was embarrassed enough to make an excuse for himself. Sen. Hagel is less adept that the President of leaning on the ropes and taking the punches. The rope-a-dope may again succeed but it was a terrible thing to watch.

  • Robust debate? Murdoch apologizes for London 'Times' cartoon of Netanyahu as bloody obstructionist
    • hmmm. I read Rupert's tweet and went looking for the cartoon. This served to highlight the editorial position of his flagship newspaper. Mission accomplished, I'd say. Would never have seen it otherwise, as the Times is behind a paywall. The editorial position might be summarized as "We - the West - can't solve the problem until we name it accurately." The Times was calling out Netanyahu. Rupert seems to have played the international brouhaha perfectly, as now he has the US talking. This cartoon could not have been published here.

      This ranks alongside the Max Cleland editorial on Mr. Hagel this weekend, which had to be published in the Guardian. The US press has abdicated the kind of accuracy and scope needed to lead in the world, to make international policy. London, which needs the US to function constructively, keeps sending these editorials, stories and cartoons "over the transom."

      Murdoch has been moving very deliberately - I would say since his public apology for the wire-tapping scandal - back toward the family legacy, and it is a formidable legacy to be sure. 'Murdoch' meant telling hard truths to power, in order to build a better democratic society. The legacy deserves a dusting off. With anyone else I would say 'too late' but he's likely to have another 20 years, and all his wits.

  • Citing growing division among Australian Jews over Israel, cartoonist refuses to apologize for likening Gaza to Nazis' victims
    • No country sets as much stock in "fair play" as Australia. It has no history of anti-semitism and its inspirational founding myth is that the despised and discarded can work together to build something admirable and for the common good. It is always a pleasure to watch a casual demonstration of "Aussie" sportsmanship, equanimity and grit. I would say this is one of those times.

  • The day after
    • A well-traveled Palestinian commented to me, "Israel needs us more than they will admit.....We speak Arabic and Hebrew and English. We are Christians who understand Islam and Muslims who understand Christianity. We can travel where Israelis are unwelcome. Our children are wise-beyond-their-years, and make terrific diplomats. We are "green," we understand the land, the trees. We use water like people of the desert, not like Westerners who act as if wasting is a status symbol. This is a project for generations, so we hold onto family, very tightly. Our children know their grandparents." Country194 won a substantial victory by diplomacy last week, and that is only confirmed by the deafening silence. Your "venal" leaders play global chess quite well and are busy establishing a very positive "global brand." Don't diminish that accomplishment.

  • 'America and Israel are in it together,' Clinton declares-- and nary a word about settlements
    • After all the flattery, back and forth, and the establishing her bona fides as friend, nay family, Hillary says two things which the AIP group must hear: first, half of the people you are bombing in Gaza are children, and second, you must reward efforts made by peaceful and diplomatic means or you will see more and more of the opposite. These are the cautions made by a friend to a friend.

  • How Israelis imagine their future
    • I'd like to know who and why...... these "border" guys have been invited in to train the Alameda County sheriffs dept. Just not what Calif needs. (Problem with an empire is that the nasty stuff being done up in Germania or out in Parthia doesn't stay there, bad habits come back to the center.)

  • Did Israel provoke rockets from Gaza to pressure Palestinians to back off UN bid?
    • It's just a diversion to fill the news pages during the land grab. Nothing if not reliable. What kind of "joint military exercise" involves the deployment of bulldozers? The headlines are in Gaza but the dunums of farm land are in the Jordan Valley.

  • Villagers watch as Israel destroys homes in two south Hebron hills villages
    • A Turkish colleague of mine commented that "the Arabs are builders." Thank you for showing that these are not aborigines in caves. That beautiful house was built with generations in mind. The film almost says 'how dare they aspire to such a graceful, idiosyncratic home'. No shoddy drywall, no cookie cutter mass-produced ugliness. It required such a big war machine to take it down.

  • Netanyahu on election eve: Approves 1,200 new settlement homes while promising Israel won't wait for US to attack Iran
    • Morgan Bach is trying to go university to university and church to synagogue to mosque to explain settlements and demolitions in Area 'C' based on her year in the West Bank. Help her stay on the road, or offer her a house-party to explain "facts on the ground" to your friends and neighbors and a sofa to save travel money. It turns out the little guest house Morgan started in Al Aqaba means that Al Aqaba is on the couch surfing website, but NOT on Google Maps!

  • Whether legal or political, the Holy Land Five struggle will continue
    • I think that countries prefer when other people want to use their courts. The petitioners should take their evidence to a European court as the issue of legitimate financial transactions vs black market transactions moving through the international banking system is an important one. Let London or German courts create the precedents. It is a reproach to our system of justice when Arab speakers (180 mio) or Muslims (1 bln) feel they cannot be heard within the American system of jurisprudence. This is another step backward from international leadership. It is also a precedent that undermines Israel ultimately, because a disengaged US really does not need a forward base on the Eastern Shore of the Mediterranean.

      Islam has a remarkable tradition of personal charity, it is a requirement taken very seriously. But many American Muslims are afraid to give other than cash to anyone - because of this case.

  • A meeting with the spokesman of the Jewish settlers in Hebron
    • Like every other story about Palestine, the ugly behavior, and the efforts to document it, masks the incredible beauty of that thing the Palestinians are trying to preserve. Visiting Old Hebron is like visiting a beautiful museum alone. Everything is ready for visitors but they are afraid to come. Go to Hebron. What was most striking, in June was how many of the soldiers assigned to control the natives where African. So wierd when otherwise in I/P you rarely see a black face.

  • Israeli commandos board ship to Gaza and direct it to Israel
    • US tried this kind of economic warfare on a civilian population in Iraq for almost a decade but without the intensity and focus needed to be successful. (struggling to remember what we wanted them to do exactly, besides rise up against the dictator). Analogous in some ways to to the US version of concentration camps vs same in the hands of the properly determined. Gaza will be studied in war manuals for centuries as the best of its kind. Recognize that Americans imagine Gaza as Wounded Knee, a sort of last stand by the despairing in place both isolated and desolate. They would be shocked to know that this like taking Santa Monica and turning it into a hell hole. So who will be in charge of trying to destroy the civil life of Iran? The lackadaisical Americans or the properly focused Israelis?

  • Watching, and experiencing, 'Five Broken Cameras' in Bil'in
    • I agree. The walls, the whole Eastern Europeanization of the land, is a crime against beauty. It is no great accomplishment to create such physical and spiritual ugliness.

  • Jewish establishment pulls out of interfaith dialogue, threatens Congressional investigation of 'delegitimizers' over Christian letter
    • It would be far better if Christian church leaders continued to talk to Congress without intermediation. Congressional representatives need to hear that they have understanding and support in their community for their efforts to do the right thing. They have been subjected to intimidation, both personal and professional, for a very long time over this issue. The "Summit" sounds like a diversion to palaver (def. a long parley usually between persons of different cultures or levels of sophistication).

  • UN: In 2012, over 7,500 olive trees belonging to West Bank Palestinians have been damaged or destroyed by Israeli settlers
    • In the Canaan Fair Trade pressing room there is script that reads "the olive tree, neither Eastern nor Western." it so speaks of a love of "this place."
      they need to start to love this place...else, as Tacitus said, speaking of the hated Romans "... and where they make a desert, they call it peace."

  • Palestinians block Israeli-only road in the West Bank: 'Israeli daily life can’t continue on as normal while Palestinians suffer under settler terror'
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church calls for US inquest into human rights violations in Israel, and some Jewish groups are outraged
  • New ad describing Palestinian dispossession hits Metro-North, NY
    • Thanks for these links. To think that the Palestinians gathered an army in 1834 sufficient to face 2000 cavalry and 4000 infantry. What an interesting prospect. Very different from the swaggering we see from an army whose chief accomplishment appears to be the terrorizing of civilians.

  • Israeli celebration of winners at int'l science fair cites 'Jewish mind'-- and leaves out Palestinians!
    • There is something more to it, I think. By denying the accomplishments of non-Jews and so limiting their advancement, you create the reality of Chosenness so necessary for tribe worship. It was wrong when the Poles and Hungarians did it and it's wrong for I/P.

  • The crisis of the Israel lobby
    • maybe. it's like taking advice on foreign policy, war and peace from Snookie.
      at least it answered my biggest question of 2012, which has been why, with someone as qualified as Bob Gates standing there, did the GOP tap a neophyte and neophyte jr. to manage foreign policy.

  • Tel Aviv and the failure of the Zionist dream
  • Did you see the location for the presidential debate on foreign policy? Help!
    • This debate should be at Quantico or West Point so that the audience has at least some sense of the true cost of the last eleven years. The military families should demand that it is moved.

      By the way, if you haven't listened to Sen Webb's speech this weekend you should. It is a variant on the Clinton speech from the convention, that you do not have to worship at the Obama shrine, you do to have to put his picture behind the bar, to think he has a better plan for the country. This speech will play very well in western PA, NC, Florida Panhandle and southern Ohio. I would say that Sen. Webb is one of those guys whose political career has mysteriously not thrived, but he is beloved and would win in a fairer fight.

      For some reason it is hard to is a link to a clear, complete version

  • Abbas agrees to 'Dershowitz Formula' in NY meeting with Jewish leaders
    • Settlement freeze - what a meaningless commitment. There are more than 12,500 demolition orders on Palestinian homes and barns on land they own in the Jordan Valley. It's not what goes up that must stop, there isn't population enough to fill all the new homes anyway in these Potemkin hilltop fortresses for the

      It's what they are tearing down that must stop.

  • Morsi repeatedly stresses Palestinian issue in interview with the NYT
    • well its the whole "good as America" atmosphere. Israel truly invests in the country, but there is a sense that its to persuade new immigrants that its just like going to America. There seems to be no delight in being in this Middle Eastern space. I still cannot get over the black wool coats and fur hats, in 90 degree heat. In addition to dietary rules there should be proper dress for the Holy Land rules. If you listen to the earth it teaches you how to be in that place. But when I look at Israelis in Jerusalem, they see to be living somewhere else, either the Ukraine or New York.

    • The day the last Pharaoh Mubarak and his clan fell, the timeline changed. Everything that the GoI has done since that day has been an effort to disguise that fact.

      The most insightful thing I have read on I/P was written by STRATFOR, looking at Israel purely from a geographical/political point of view. This geography is a focal point of the competition between empires, not for the first time. Picking the wrong side in that clash, at the wrong time, has resulted in expulsion, a whole population removed from the front line. It has already happened twice in 5000 years, in this space, on this coast, between the Nile, the Euphrates and the Bosporus. This pivotal coastline is part of a web of trade among Italy, Africa and the Nile delta, Anatolia and the hinterland of Iraq and Persia. That is what really stands out when you visit Israel for the first time. Not the self-involvement and self-interest and self-adulation. But all the missed opportunity.

  • 'It was like pictures of Babi Yar' -- an Israeli witness to Sabra and Shatila speaks because of the stain on his soul
    • Thanks be, for the innocence of nineteen-year-old boys. That this was asked of the grandsons of Holocaust survivors is a great crime.

  • Anti-Semitism is alive and well (in the U.S. political discourse, anyway)
    • I was in Jerusalem in June and spoke to a British NGO official informally about the current situation. He commented on the uninformed, ill-informed sensibility of young, well-intentioned Americans, Christian and otherwise, who come to help in East Jerusalem, Gaza and the Jordan Valley. I think it goes to the parallel that all Americans make between Palestinians and Native Americans but also African Americans. It's the "white man's burden" missionary sensibility. We generally see photos of Bedouin living in tents and we are never reminded that there is 7000 years of civilization along this coast. This is the Riviera at the eastern end of the Mediterranean, with layer on layer of art and architecture. I see the word "savages" as a deliberate attempt to elide that this place is home to the Egyptian and Greek cultures that are the fundament of Western civilization. My British friend (he said Australian but I know Australian when I hear it) also said that the Russians operate in the ME by "telling the truth." That's all they have to do, the myth-making and mis-information is so convoluted that all the rest-of-world has to do is say fact-based things out loud.

  • Change of plan
    • Phil, what I wanted to say at the Brecht Forum was "nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition." I love America like most of us who have a realistic sense of what our family prospects were in Europe before the wars. American civic ideas are worthy of striving toward, worth teaching. What's more, you cannot tell an American woman that there is no such thing as progress. Look to Title9 if you want to see the revolution. I do not want to see women in veils, with mental blinders. Your issue, your obsession, has become central to understanding what is happening to America.

      I was happily trusting that globalization and economic prosperity would slowly but steadily resolve the problems of the ME, helped by the physical distance, the blessing of sunshine and the passage of time, from Europe, its grey winters, its dark history. I had great faith in the ethics at the heart of Judaism. However, in the last decade we have seen a pivot, with the ME version of crazy-making altering our laws and our civil rights and our safety. What you research and bring forward is profoundly important to THIS country, now. It is impossible to have a clear sense of what is happening without reading here, reading British newspapers, reading between the lines. Thank you for your courage even when it hurts your mother's heart. I think you are patriot in two countries.

  • Florida election theatrics: Netanyahu fearmongering on the campaign trail
    • The US military is really not amused by this. The PMofI is walking right up to the line beyond which the US military reaches over the heads of intimidated Congressmen to talk directly to the American people. It is possible. BHO has had four years to make some friends at the Pentagon. Mitt and his boys aren't really on the US team, they were all too precious to serve. McC isn't enough of an ambassador between the Pentagon and the Mitt dynasty; its cultural, the McC boys aren't shirkers. What's more, there is nothing the US military men hold in more contempt than the financial fraudster/evade-ster culture. I do think Benny and the Jets have misread the US zeitgeist.

  • Pro-Israel ads suggesting Muslims are 'savage' set to arrive in NY subways next week
    • Years ago, when we had small children and we lived in the highland park section of los angeles, I was really tired of looking at scantily clad women on billboards near my house every day. So I bought a super soaker and some nice japanese calligraphy ink, and took my children one sunday morning and gave the nice lady some clothes, because she was cold. I do think this falls within my constitutional right to free speech and the upholding of community standards. I think this falls within the same framework. a super soaker might be too dangerous in hyper-militarized NYC at the moment though. but a water-pistol?

  • David Gregory walks back bow to Netanyahu as 'leader of the Jewish people'
    • By silencing all dissenting voices the mainstream media is really missing the story, which is a general disapproval across the country for a third round of these wars of choice. I would say that the President's stance is a pretty accurate reading of where the country (outside Washington) is on more war. The analysis is pretty simple, and involves our doing the same thing and expecting a different result. Most Americans have clued in that more war will not reverse the damage done to our reputation. We are not winning hearts and minds.
      $3 Tril later, this is how the world sees us
      Romney's numbers have not recovered from his trip to Israel. Nobody says it out loud, though. Funny how that works. Mr. Romney is proving an inadequate messenger and the PM is looking a bit desperate.

  • Israeli court rejects Corrie family lawsuit; calls Rachel Corrie's death 'regrettable accident'
    • Such contempt. Such contempt for us. We know why she was standing there. It is our Holy Land too. Rachel acted on her expectation of Israel's people and it was quite a compliment. She trusted them, in the end. (Closest allies, dearest friends, shared values...all that. We can trust them with our children.) She was wrong, twice.

      The videos from Tiananmen Square of the young man in front of the line of tanks proved both the foolhardy courage of the young and the ethics of the "people's army." The government has worked for decades to erase that singleton act of courage in the face of military/industrial swagger, and they are still trying. The Wikipedia entry for "Tank Man" makes clear just how afraid the Chinese government was of this lone voice.

      Shot by firing squad? possibly. Erased from history? not likely.

      Wags said the name of the "Tank Man" in Tiananmen Square was "One Dum Fuk." Israel's Court has told the Corries that their daughter was "one dum fuk."

      Craig has famously said that it is important to give people the opportunity to do the right thing. He and Cindy have been so patient. If that is to be an American I am proud to stand with them.

      Some evidence, by the way, is written with indelible ink.

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