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Total number of comments: 3225 (since 2009-08-08 06:29:45)


"Either we are all sacred or none of us is" - Paul Fourhorns Tenoso "One has to bear in mind that Israelis live in a largely mythic world, a somewhat modified and vastly simplified version of the Iliad. In this starkly polarized vision of reality, in which Israelis are by definition innocent victims of dark, irrational forces operating against them, heroic death in war always makes sense, and violent coercion is the option both of necessity and of choice. The Hebrew proverb says: “If force doesn’t work, use more force.” jon s November 16, 2014, 6:56 am "Hophmi, for participating in efforts to promote Jewish-Muslim understanding , is ridiculed, while Max and David , for spreading lies and promoting hatred , are to be admired." I just think Judaism needs to get back to that justice setting.

Showing comments 3225 - 3201

  • Spanish Jews resisted oppression in tunnels and, exiled, clutched their keys
    • The Spaniards are mongrels like every other nation. There is no purity. It's everyone who ever passed through. Visigoths raped and slept with locals and widened the gene pool. Same as the previous wave of visitors. And the one after.

      Spain went in for pork products in a big way post Reconquista. So much jamon. Just to put a point on it. We are not Muslim. We are not Jewish.

  • 'BirthWrong' in the Cradle of Jewish Culture: Jews gather in southern Spain for tour that aims to repudiate Zionism
    • Great idea. Hebrew needs to be depoliticised as well. Ladino is a normal langage. Hebrew isn't.
      Not with all the IDF crap in it.

      Allen Ginsberg on Vietnam rather than the Israel car crash but the sentiment is the same.

      Smoke some grass and relax. Drop the nonsense

  • Jewish and Palestinian women are segregated in Israeli maternity wards -- Chomsky
    • What's wrong with segregation, Dabakr? It stops Jews breeding with goys. And that is the only way to prevent intermarriage and save Judaism !

    • "Another 373,000 children are suffering from deep trauma and require desperately needed psychosocial support that is severely lacking in the Gaza Strip. "

      link to

      And onward, towards the ends of the east
      an eye still gazes toward Zion
      Our hope is not yet lost
      The hope of two thousand years
      To be a free nation in our land,
      The land of Zion and Jerusalem

      Such Middle Eastern tones to the music as well , of course.

      As a great Jew, Neil Postman , once observed, the history of the human group is in many ways a struggle against the veneration of crap.

  • From SJP to JVP to Open Hillel, the joint struggle is transforming the campus debate
    • “I believe the Islamophobic narrative is so pervasive, and people often don’t reflect about who is benefiting from this narrative and its repercussions. As a Muslim in America, I face the consequences of the misrepresentation of Muslims in the media through discrimination on a daily basis, but the Muslims overseas, such as the Palestinians, face it even harder. The Islamophobic propaganda campaign driven by the imperialist powers, such as the U.S. and Israel, dehumanizes Muslims overseas and thereby justifies violence against them.”

      It is disgraceful that Jews are involved in Islamophobia given the 24/7 whining about anti-Semitism . All of the moral stuff is so flimsy when compared to the lure of power, isn't it ?

    • "which alleges that UCLA is one of the nation’s most anti-Semitic schools. "

      At UCLA, Jews are treated worse than Dalits , are they ?

  • HRW: Palestinian children pass out, vomit, from farming with illegal pesticides on Israeli settlements
    • There are no industrial standards for Jews in the West Bank. They can cut corners, they can use poisons or pesticides that are banned in Israel, they can dump toxic waste, they can dump sewage and they do all of it because Israel does not give a fuck about standards when it comes to where Palestinians live.

      The level of cruelty, shortsightedness and cynicism goes way beyond whatever moral cover Judaism could possibly give.

  • Obama's long & passionate Monday with Saban, Foxman, Hoenlein and other Jewish leaders demonstrates power of Israel lobby
    • There is a real patronizing angle to Zionist discussion about Iran- Iranians are shifty, they can't think strategically, they have no rights to power, only Israel is special.

      Give us a break.

    • You said it , Annie . Israel wants to destroy Iran for the sake of destroying it. Sowing trauma elsewhere in the region to go with Gaza and Lebanon and the West Bank and Egypt and Iraq. Because they can.

      And this is supposed to secure a Jewish state into eternity.

      Nothing gentle or mindful about Zionism. It's more like cancer

    • "Shalom" is the worst possible greeting for an ideology such as Zionism which breathes "fuck you" through every sweaty and grubby pore.

    • I think kashrut is very unfair to shellfish.

      When it comes to lobbying , ritual Muslim and Jewish butchers are on the same team.

      It would be great if eating kosher made Jews moral but it's ludicrous to think it could in the face of the evidence.

    • "They’re worried about something that they are busy bring about "-

      link to

      "Real understanding lies in finding simplifications that bring order to disparate facts. Such was the nature of Rutherford’s discovery and of his understanding; and why he felt able to reveal his findings to the Manchester Library and Philosophical Society. But Rutherford’s task was easier in one important sense: the world he laboured to make sense of was unchanging and unaffected by our understanding, if not necessarily our observation, of it. The same is not true of business and finance." Or Zionist influence

      Jewish plutocracy and stagnant wages on Main St are an unstable combination.

      Inequality has gone too high, too far , too soon

      Why empires fall.

  • Baptism of Kardashian/West daughter moves celebrity press to place Jerusalem to Israel
    • Today's Turkey (maybe tomorrow's Kurdistan) but what would have been Armenia if the Turks hadn't killed everyone.

    • Kardashian is a representative of a parallel reality known as celebrity so she fits right in with Zionism. She came to fame via her ass and Jesus rode to Jerusalem on an ass so there is something to work with there.
      Have to say though that her trip to Armenia to draw attention to the 100th anniversary of the genocide was impressive. Most TMZ users have no idea where Armenia is or was and Turkey likes it like that. Kardashian has a bit more depth than the other denizens of planet Celeb. Imagine getting involved in politics!

  • The most massive child abuse in the world
    • Gaza is Jewish holocaust trauma live

    • There are also societal attitudes of shame towards mental health disorders , problems with drug addiction, and pharmacies that are not well regulated -

      Same in Libya

      link to

      "“Libya has a practice of not seeking help for psychological problems, and the few trained psychologists and psychiatrists have very limited experience of treating trauma and consequences of torture and war,” the report said.
      “In addition, severe social stigma exists regarding those affected by mental illness. Psychiatric symptoms are attributed to the act of pagan symbols like the evil eye, magic or sorcery.”
      Ahlam Chemlali, one of the Dignity field workers, recalled how “videos of rape and torture were so widespread and popular that people would name characters from the videos, like the ‘butcher from Misrata’ or the ‘rapist from Brega’ as if they were actors playing in a horror snuff movie. Filmed torture seems to have been a consistent way of spreading or exposing fear.”

      Israel does the snuff stuff in Gaza. Trauma 24/7 from the experts. Because they are so civilized.

      link to
      "Hassan, who has worked at the mental health center since 1991, spoke a lot in our conversation about the meaning of psychological treatment during periods of unrelenting and continuing trauma. “I came to the conclusion that such treatment is not ethical,” he said. “For 23 years, I have been trying to help children living in trauma, but there is no guarantee that they will not be affected again. It’s as if I am just preparing them to deal with something worse. You cannot provide true psychological treatment when the patients have no protection, no guarantee that it won’t happen again and soon, when what causes trauma never ends,” he said. "

  • Israel could reduce anti-Semitic violence by not calling itself the Jewish state, Finkelstein says
  • White House 'trolls' Netanyahu by co-opting infamous UN cartoon to sell Iran deal
    • Patti Smith

      At heart, I am a Muslim,
      At heart, I am an American,
      At heart, I am a Muslim,
      At heart, I am an American artist,
      And I have no guilt...

      link to

      Zionism is a cheap knockoff of Judaism

  • Faithwashing: the Muslim Leadership Institute and the academic boycott
    • Hoppy

      Say someone claimed to do regular work at a feminist club and then spent most of his time online posting the most misogynistic crap- that would be very like your shtick.

    • The only Muslims I can see Hoppy reaching out to are people like Walid Shoebat.

  • Rand Paul greeted by neocon opposition, in $1 million ad calling him 'dangerous'
    • Bipartisanship over Israel is vulnerable the longer the economic crisis lasts. Without wage inflation the GOP can't sell the American dream to voters. Economic uncertainty means ppolitical instability. Voters don't need Israel, which is a key weakness of American Zionism. Opportunistic pols will depart from bot scripts when it is politically profitable to do. Empires fall. The way of the world.

  • Hurt by the Israel lobby, Obama kisses it goodbye
    • Israel is anti progressive (try painting Palestinian births at checkpoints as progressive), anti-Semitic (dangerous for Jews) and anti democratic.

      link to

      As for theocracy, what is the basis for Israel's claims to Palestine? The Bible, FFS.

    • Page: 32
  • Bibi talk: 'New York Review of Books' trivializes Israeli fascism
    • I like Shulman. He is a scholar for whom the certainties of Zionism are cheap and meaningless. He understands power and the madness of crowds and how far Israel is from Jewish concepts of morality. He reminds me of Akiva Orr, RIP.
      For Yossi I the failure of the system is unthinkable but for someone like Shulman the imbalances make it very likely.
      The pity of it all.

  • Double standard in US political culture: BDS is fine for Indiana, not Israel
    • Terrorism is such an interesting word when used by a country devoted to systematic dehumanizing violence. We are supposed to be appalled by terrorism and take the systematic dehumanizing violence for granted.

      link to

      "Another technique, used in Sejarah during the current conflict, is to drive armed carriers into buildings, often family homes, creating holes in the walls through which to deploy soldiers. The soldiers “immediately get saturated inside the buildings themselves … moving, because it’s so dense, between the one house and the other. Like worms moving inside apples.”
      In this manner, architects can become “archaeologists of the present”, piecing together how things unfolded – which building was destroyed by artillery, which by tank fire, which by bulldozers. Weizman now leads the Forensic Architecture team at Goldsmiths, University of London – a unique project that provides “architectural evidence” for international prosecution teams, political organisations, NGOs and the UN. Their investigations include drone strikes, violence by state security forces on the Ixil Maya people in Guatemala and the use of white phosphorous in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead. They’ve also looked at Israel’s tactic of “knock on roof” warnings, which has been used extensively in the most recent conflict in Gaza.
      Cities are always about the links between buildings in the street, networks, infrastructure. When war happens in the city, people die in buildings, the majority in their own homes,” Weizman tells me. By carefully examining those buildings, you can find architectural evidence. If the Gaza conflict were ever to make it to the International Criminal Court, Weizman supposes he’d work with the prosecution: “We would show where there’s a violation of international law in the way in which buildings are attacked.” In this way, architects could play a role in reconstructing and therefore resisting violence."

    • If the Palestinians were all gay, hoppy, they wouldn't be on Israeli calorie plans.
      Just fancy that!

      But straight Palestinians are a threat to Jewish freeloaders on the West Bank.

      Parasites are actually very important to ecological balance , unlike Jewish settlers, hence my use of the term freeloader.

      link to

  • DEAL!
  • 12 pretty good signs you're vacationing in an apartheid country
    • Mikhael

      Hebrew is the language of the invaders.
      You can spin botulism around it but Hebrew wasn't spoken as a patois around Jerusalem for over 2 millennia.

      And no Palestinian calls al uds Yerushaleyim, as the first name on the Arabic sign.

    • 14 .

      You notice that all the road signs in the indigenous area have the language of the conqueror first and that even when they use the indigenous language below they give the names of the towns as the conquerors pronounce them.

      link to

    • "Its multitudinous skyscrapers project financial global might. But almost every one of the 30 people at this house is forbidden to visit the great city, and the seashore too, because of their origins. -"

      13. You stand on a hill near an indigenous village at night and look toward the forbidden coast which is bathed in electric light . You compare it to the darkness of the indigenous areas and remember that even light is political.

  • Philosophy prof who likened Palestinians to 'rabid pit bull' ignites protest on CT campus
    • Zionist coherence is very hard now. Philosophy has been road tested over millennia but Zionism was cobbled together in a few years last century and the stresses are really showing.

    • Gaza rubs the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again

      link to

      Put the fucking lotion in the IDF basket, Gaza
      Pessin is the dog barking in the background

  • On Netanyahu's apology to Palestinian citizens of Israel
    • Netanyahu's apology is like a Fox apology. The damage is already done, the circus has moved on and sorry is cheap. No change next time around.

  • Israel spying scandal comes to light one week before Iran negotiation deadline
  • In Israel, the mask is finally off
    • Catalan
      There is no nuance to zionism, it is as subtle as racism.
      Whataboutery and indifference to israeli cruelty are the hallmarks of the bot in my book.

    • Yonah

      The Foreign Minister at the time- what was his name? He was quite decent. Israel never had a FM like him afterwards. The moment passed and Israel went rightwards and became more cruel.

    • Bintbiba

      I read recently about the Battle of Aughrim in Ireland , 1690 . The Irish lost. The soldiers were stripped of all valuables and left to rot on the battlefield. A commentator noticed how pale their skin was , a whiteness on the land.

      And if you look at Irish people today we are so pale.
      link to

      That is continuity. The music is part of that. There is so much knowledge in the music. Palestinians have the continuity too. Israelis do not. One reason they are so vulnerable to demagogues and Biblical horseshit.

    • The Fed and the one percent are driving the US over the cliff. I don't think it's advisable, myself. Certainly not in a democracy.

      Janet is hopeless.

      Watch as Wall St's fantasy about Main St wage inflation crashes and burns this summer. Equities are trading at 27 times average earnings over the last 10 years.
      Credit is priced with zero risk margin.

      too far
      too high
      too soon

      Also, catalan, it's very hard to maintain the façade of neutrality as a bot, innit

    • PFO

      Cruelty in the name of land is the same everywhere
      Jews whining about how they are treated in the US
      as a comfortable minority is a joke.

    • She didn't go into that. I just saw the sadness in her eyes.

      Reminded me of gol na mban san ár, the crying of the women after the slaughter, composed in Ireland in the late 1500s after another English massacre

      You have to keep going but it's very hard

    • I met a Tamil refugee today. From Jaffna. Left 5 years ago after the Government killed up to 70,000 Tamils in the final battle against the Tigers. She said it was hell. I was thinking about American middle class Jews in universities whining about their sense of victimhood.

    • Seuss saw racism in Korea or somewhere after ww2 and wrote the book. He wouldn't have been a Zionist.

    • Is Israel about a mask or is it something else ?

      Handsome liberal democratic gay friendly eternally sexy Dorian Israel has a dark secret. He swapped reality for eternal hasbara. Every vile deed of moral degradation leaves its mark on a picture hanging in Gaza which shows a very different Dorian.

    • Gaza saw Israel without the mask from day 1. Cruel heartless bastards wearing Stars of David.

    • Israel is a very sick place. BDS will help it re enter reality.

  • Jeb Bush bashes Iran talks as 'foolish' and hails Israeli settlements as 'new apartment buildings in Jerusalem'
    • Bornajoo
      I wouldn't bet on Hillary. She was the establishment candidate in the 08 primaries but Obama won as the economy collapsed.
      Same thing could happen this time if the S&P 500,, valued at 27 times average earnings over 10 years, blows up again. Warren could win huge with her anti Wall St risk taking stance. She would also be the first female president.

    • The GOP is hopeless. Very few votes to get over the line in Zionism.
      The GOP need to get Latinos rather than rich Zionists.

  • Washington 'sits shiva' for the 2-state solution
  • The liberal Zionist lament: Joe Klein and Jodi Rudoren try to explain away Israeli racism
    • Maxi

      the dual fantasy of helplessness and unlimited power

      and Yanks are beginning to see through it


    • Rudoren is in danger of being left isolated while the people move on, like a homophobe as the population went over to the side of gay marriage. Repeating hasbara memes may not be career enhancing for much longer.

    • This paper is very interesting on the subject of bias "

      The Role of Decision-Making Biases in Ireland's Banking Crisis

      link to

    • Of “Israeli Arabs,” Klein asserted incredibly, “their loyalty is to Israel.” -

      They can't have any Palestinians on to speak for themselves because they'll only say something incoherent, right, Joe ?

      link to

      "Slim Williams delivers a stump speech in blackface. This was an important part of nearly every minstrel show -- a performer delivers a political speech filled with puns and malaprops. The speaker's demeanor is reminiscent of the pomposity of Zip Coon; he aspires to great dignity, wisdom and intelligence, but his hilarious mangling of language always makes him appear foolish and ignorant."

      And now Sabras are at it - and Jews were so prominent in desegregation and everything

      ya salaam

  • American Jews are taking back their power from Israel
    • Hoppy should talk to some Muslims via his outreach programs to see how they viewed Protective Slaughter.

    • Good old Jew hatred. Nothing to do with Sabra sons of bitches who think cruelty is politically effective

    • What age are you, Hoppy? Israel is like a FRED process- Fast Rise, exponential decay
      It'll be even more odious next year and you think the kids are gonna go with Likud ?
      Go for a lie down.

    • Israeli Judaism went this way
      link to

      American Judaism went off in other directions

      Impossible to triangulate

    • The speech and the arrogance and the racism of the election finally cracked the monolith.
      Israel had been running on fumes for some time. In Hebrew it's fine to decide peace is pointless but they never translated successfully into English. Israelis do not give a f$ck and the penny finally started to drop for Americans. Bad faith .

      The bots took away the fig leaf of hope and they are paying for it now. Hope is for goy losers, they thought..

      I can imagine well intentioned anti BDS activists who wanted to take a stand against something they felt was unjust because Israel would deliver a better way. The stab these people got in the back is unforgivable. Bad faith is the essence of Zionism .

      link to

      "Netanyahu's reelection takes away pro-Israel students' most powerful tool: the existence of a government committed to peace. "The situation has gotten so bad, so indefensible, that, over the past year, the pro-Israel community has given up on defending Netanyahu's policies. Instead, on-campus activism consists of harmless events about Israel’s startup scene or innovative water conservation research. Even “defensive” actions by pro-Israel groups against student government BDS resolutions no longer target the foundation of the BDS movement (that there are human rights violations occurring and that the best way to stop them is to cut ties with those complicit in them), for while they often lack critical context, the citations in the BDS resolutions about Israel’s human rights violations are ironclad. When the pro-Israel camp cannot present an alternative to the cycle of violence, it is very hard to oppose loud, angry students who say they have the answer. - "

  • I want my country back
    • Parasites are fascinating, Just. Such a key part of nature. Why wouldn't similar processes work on our brains ? Plutocrats and their memes- exactly the same

      Zionism reminds me of cordyceps with Judaism as the ant

      link to

      or as this snail

    • Wall St is deluded.

      Inequality is bad for equity valuations

      Earnings in the S&P 500 look good because of low interest rates, low labor costs, low commodity prices, cost-cutting and tax optimization but not because of better sales -
      there has been almost no sales growth for the last 4 years. In other words, earnings have increased but not because companies are doing more business.

      It's all going to come crashing down .

    • "I want my country back"

      Even if it was released from the clammy grip of the bots the plutocrats would still be holding it by the balls.
      Get rid of all rent seekers and give Main St wage increases.

    • You need to incorporate mind altering parasites

      link to

      And mindsuckers - Zionism is one of those
      link to

    • Rudoren reminds me of Mencken in his old age, when the country he analysed and skewered so expertly in his middle age suddenly became alien to him. The kids grew up and they thought differently to him and there was nothing he could do about it.

    • Obama has played Netanyahu like a violin. The shouty small dog versus the wily fox.

      Netanyahu has been relentless, the asshole.

      link to

      "Only a fraction of Obama’s May 19 speech was allotted to Israel and the creation of a Palestinian state. Yet the concrete language of that part—which contained names and dates, if not numbers—drew immediate and heated comment. The most controversial sentence was doubtless this: “The dream of a Jewish and democratic state cannot be fulfilled with permanent occupation.” It was a plain statement of an obvious truth. Obama, in addition, said that the shape of a Palestinian state would be based on the 1967 borders of Israel, only altered in accordance with “mutually agreed [land] swaps.”
      This had been the common understanding and phraseology of American-Israeli-Palestinian discussions over two decades; but in the past several years, the word “1967” was used less than before; and this became the detail Benjamin Netanyahu seized upon. Immediately after the speech, he issued a statement in Jerusalem that the 1967 borders of Israel were “indefensible.” He repeated the same objection after he met with Obama in the White House. The differences between the two leaders were played out once more in their speeches to the annual AIPAC convention.
      Without backing down, Obama explained the meaning of his reference to 1967: the borders of course would not stay the same, but land swaps would offset the differences. This candor, on the occasions when Obama shows it, is an impressive quality, and it seemed to be appreciated even by the AIPAC audience. Besides, on May 19 he conceded most of what Netanyahu could have asked. He alluded to Gaza only once. He offered no criticism of new Israeli settlements, as he had done in Cairo two years ago, and made no mention of the dispossession of Palestinians on the West Bank.
      From his silence on these points, it was clear that after the failure of the most recent shuttle diplomacy and the resignation of George Mitchell on May 13, Obama personally planned to initiate no further negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. He trusted that under the visible pressure of an Arab Spring of their own, now gathering on both sides of Israel’s borders, most Israelis would eventually see his words as a kindly prophecy.
      Netanyahu struck back as if Obama had mounted a deliberate assault with a threat of lasting enmity. Yet Netanyahu’s speech to AIPAC was emollient compared to his speech to Congress on May 24. There he made a conquest that can have few precedents. He began with brash familiarity, in a backslapping salute to Joe Biden; spoke with boyish humor about his early years as a diplomat within the Beltway, and his knowledge of an America beyond it; reestablished, with passion and simplicity, the close ties between America and Israel that Obama had sought to view with an impartial loyalty; in short, pulled out all the stops to undercut President Obama on his native ground. The speech itself was a tissue of clichés, anecdotes, and half-truths, but delivered with dramatic buoyancy and urgency as if his life depended on it.
      Congress gave Netanyahu twenty-nine standing ovations. How did he do it? By presenting himself to his audience as an all-but-American politician—one less lucky than they, and more brave, a leader with a fight on his hands; a real fight, in his own backyard and not six thousand miles away. He spoke with gusto of his part in an earlier episode of that never-ending war:
      I was nearly killed in a firefight inside the Suez Canal—I mean that literally: inside the Suez Canal. I was going down to the bottom, with a forty-pound pack, ammunition pack on my back, and somebody reached out to grab me and they’re still looking for the guy who did such a stupid thing.
      Netanyahu did not speak of the subsidized increase of Israeli settlements that accounts for the “certain facts on the ground” he had mentioned at the White House. He invoked the biblical names of Judea and Samaria as if they were as natural to modern Israel as St. Louis is to the state of Missouri. And Congress loved him, or seemed to think it should, from the very moment when he said in a flattering exordium: “Congratulations America. Congratulations, Mr. President. You got bin Laden. Good riddance!” The performance combined the maximum of demagogy with the maximum of smarm, and it mixed aggression, paternalism, and a preening collective self-love, in proportions that Netanyahu assumed Americans would be comforted by. Israel, this speech said, has everything in common with America. We are the home of freedom and wisdom among the ancients, just as you Americans are among the moderns.
      Netanyahu’s speech to Congress was also part of a larger strategy of his right-wing coalition. He got his invitation to address Congress from Eric Cantor, the House majority leader, and the Republican Party is now working to detach Jewish donors from the Democrats and to convert Republicans at large to the Likud and neoconservative politics that support a greater Israel. In the pitch offered to Americans, taking sections of the West Bank from Palestinians is as warranted as the taking of lands from American Indians. Mike Huckabee has indicated his sympathy with this point of view. Sarah Palin wore a Star of David on her necklace in her recent liberty tour. Glenn Beck has planned a mass event, “Restoring Courage,” on August 24 at the Southern Wall excavations in the city of Jerusalem. Americans of the chauvinist and evangelical right are being invited to think of Israel as a second homeland.

      Considered as a response to this predicament, Obama’s speech at the State Department, with its broad-gauge pronouncements and its candor regarding Palestine, was utterly overmatched by Netanyahu’s speech to Congress. It is an unhappy fact of politics that victory goes to the pressure that will not let up. Netanyahu’s belief in his immoderate purpose is stronger than Obama’s belief in his moderate purpose."

  • Why did Herzog run scared? He fears the Israeli people
    • Oman

      You never see stock pictures of Oman where everyone is in uniform either. Only in Judistan.

      And why has Israel never produced a book of poetry as good as Rumi's? any ideas ?

    • Annie

      the Likud breakthrough was in the 1977 election when Begin, a Polish Jew, harnessed the frustration of the Mizrahim with the Ashkenazi dominated Labor party and its Ashkenazi focus .

      That was also linked to the contemporary phenomenon of politics by poorer people as the post war consensus broke down. Also happened in India with the Congress party losing influence, for example.

      The right took over Israel - the left were never very kind to Palestinians but the right tried to create a different reality- like the GOP with Reagan.

      Bennett came along 30 years and many iterations later. He lives in a different religious world as do a lot of his voters.
      He would be something like Israeli Tea Party.

      Also nowadays Mizrahim and Ashkenazim right wingers are very ideologically close.
      But Likud got the ball rolling. and it was mostly Mizrahi to start with,.

    • That is so true, Walid. Liberal Sabras can't go that far. But, even still, when someone like Sommer writes that, it signifies a lakhbatah gaamidah.

      It's trying to fit the modern world into a worldview from 1000BC .
      The Orthodox drive the process. They have the certainty. It aligns wonderfully with the financial interests of the 14 families and the need for an army.

      link to

      "A real territorial exception, the land of Israel is far more than a territory. It is the image and the sign of the Jewish exception. Its intimate link to God sends back to God’s intimate link to Israel. Any change of the relations between Israel and its land is nothing but the clear sign of a change of its relations with God. However, no alteration of this kind is irrevocable and definitive. And none is as deep as appearances seem to tell. The land is a person endowed with will, which may be negative or favourable, now accepting now rejecting its inhabitants.
      Those who live on it, breathe a pure air and its dust for those buried in it has an expiatory power, comparable to that of the altar of sacrifices. Its successive conquerors did not manage to put down roots, which reveals its positive resistance to any illegal takeover. The land of Israel is hit by nothing but what it accepts to be hit by. Essentially pure, nothing could possibly stain it. The destruction and the oppression of a foreign ruler only has a limited impact on it: perhaps the divine impulse from above is no more as intense as it used to be, but evil has no grip on it, and it has itself the power to reject impurity. To consider that the effects of impious acts committed in the Holy Land through centuries are non-existent or fundamentally inessential is a way of implying that the relation of history to it, is like water off a duck’s back. The land of Israel is no more in history, but out of it. The rags of spoliation and destruction mask an essential, divine and unchanging land whose present troubles by no means affect it and which, some day, once again, is to reveal itself in all its untarnished glory. Indefinitely idealised, the land medieval Jews are dreaming of is this land toward which they turn to pray thrice a day. But it is also far more than that, and really something else. The more it is perceived as holy, the more it is lived as different – and as terrible."

      From a lecture by Jean-Christophe Attias and Esther Benbassa: ISRAEL, THE LAND AND THE SACRED

      link to

      "While Ginsburgh has written more than a dozen books—with titles like Awakening the Spark Within: Finding Your Soulmate; Kabbalah and Meditation, and Interpretation of Dreams and Paranormal Experiences—he is best-known for his notorious essay “Baruch Hagever,” praising Baruch Goldstein’s 1994 murder of 29 Arabs in the Cave of the Patriarch. Goldstein, he wrote, was following the five halakhic principles: sanctifying God’s name, saving life, revenge, eradication of the seed of Amalek, and war. "

      Baruch Hagever :

      link to

      Some things start good and go bad- other things are born bad and stay bad

    • Why would anyone want to run Israel ?

      link to

      "Since where else in the world can the prime minister speak the way our prime minister does? Where else on earth can the prime minister warn about the civil right and democratic duty to vote when it is exercised by a minority that makes up some 20 percent of the entire citizenry of the country? But in the Jewish state everything is permitted, for the Jews. After all, this is a moral no man’s land of the Western world.

      But no matter much we try to evade the final scene, we will fail since it is already written. Justice must be poetic. Sadly, it's becoming clear that the historic period will not come to an end, until we complete our transformation into an absolute monster. Only then will we succeed in breaking the chain of heritage of moral innocence and win the chance of real political emancipation.

      The Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and maybe even the founding of the State of Israel, are just subplots in the Jewish tragedy, and the Palestinian and Israeli victims — supporting characters. How many more victims will be required before we learn our lesson? What level of pain do we need in order to feel it? The future will tell.

      In the 2015 election we learned that it is impossible to complete historical processes through imagination. Maybe it's only natural: Has anyone ever really learned something from the experience of others? It has become clear to us that the time has not yet come for a dramatic political change and that Israel needs to see with its own eyes what is at the end of the path it is treading down with ever widening strides. "

    • It is very interesting to read the reactions of Liberal Sabras now the monster is out in daylight and baring its fangs . Pandora's box has been opened.

      link to

      "Yarrow, older and visibly more fragile, was undeterred, and had returned to Israel for a concert at the Jerusalem YMCA. Nobody anticipated the circumstances in which the show would take place, as the performance, scheduled more than a year and a half in advance for March 18 and 19.
      Between songs, Yarrow reminisced about the original Selma march for civil rights, which he participated in, and the recent commemoration of the event, where he performed at a synagogue. Standing below a banner that proclaimed “Celebrating Respect and Acceptance,” he spoke of love, peace, and decency and warned “if we do not protect freedom and justice, it will go away.”

      At the very moment he was speaking, critics in the U.S. were comparing Netanyahu’s “hate speech” to race-baiting politician George Wallace - the symbol of all that the marchers at Selma opposed.
      If any of this was going through the mind of the host, Ambassador Dan Shapiro, he didn’t let it show. After praising Yarrow’s program, he told the audience of how both Peter, Paul and Mary and David Broza were the soundtrack of his childhood and adolescence and young adulthood.
      Shapiro is a liberal American Jew fluent in Hebrew who attended Reform movement summer camp and spent a college year abroad in Jerusalem. He and his wife Julie Fisher wear both their personal connection to Israel and their support for progressive causes on their sleeve.
      Shapiro, a close advisor to President Obama, who would soon harshly criticize Netanyahu’s racial rhetoric on Election Day, saying that “ Israeli democracy has been premised on everybody in the country being treated equally and fairly … If that is lost, then I think that not only does it give ammunition to folks who don't believe in a Jewish state, but it also I think starts to erode the meaning of democracy in the country."
      As I watched the Shapiro-Fisher couple swell in pride as their young daughter joined Yarrow singing his most famous song “Puff the Magic Dragon,” I mused that the 40-something couple, who met in Reform movement summer camp might be members of the last generation of American Jews to grow up feeling that their deeply-held liberal beliefs and an attachment to the state of Israel are in any way compatible. All signs point to a future in which the little girl who was singing would live in a world where she would have to choose between one or the other. "

  • Netanyahu's victory ‐ what is the cost?
    • Bintbiba
      Israel is not stable. Injustice always bears that risk of disequilibrium. Zionist hegemony is not a rule of nature,, So I would not rule anything out. It will come down to how many goys are sickened. The news of the world is the template.

  • An American translation of Netanyahu's racist get out the vote speech
    • But also the insight from many painful episodes in history rather than some biblical riff.

    • Freedland. Usually he would spin it but not now. Too hard to triangulate. Netanyahu went too far.

      Israel really let down people like him. Bad faith now turned inward.

    • Walid

      Israel as a unit is sick. It can never find balance, hence all the wars.
      It is unlikely to end well. The standard of living is irrelevant. Deep dysfunction is what counts.

    • Fink had a different strategy and didn't deserve the flak. He is one of the good guys. I guess this Israeli election and the reaction to it will reinvigorate BDS and stop a lot of pointless but perhaps unavoidable bickering.
      They may all be on message as Zionists but they support a losing ideology. Israel is a very sick puppy. Driving a wedges of justice between Sabra hardliners and US jews will be great fun.

    • Torture, shortsightedness, plutocracy, underfunded education systems, inequality, police brutality, settler colonialism, exceptionalism syndrome- the 2 countries have quite a lot in common. But the US has a much more robust public debate and capacity to change when necessary. Israel has put all its eggs in the basket of darkness.

    • Jews in diaspora behave differently to jews in israel. Israel has to be racist because of Judaism and exclusion/chosenness. This is suppressed in the diaspora because it is not practical but in israel which is full of half educated bigots it is let rip.

    • What is the point of j street?

      This election is a vindication for max Blumenthal. He got so much crap from the jewish establishment for his feeling the hate in jerusalem video. And he was right.
      Now Israel is toxic.

    • The Hebrew trap. What is logical in hebrew sounds vile in English. And it does matter what the goys think , Israel.

    • A pyrrhic victory. Zionism is fucked when anti BDS campaigners say Israel is unbackable. Phil's mom may keep the faith but young American Jews will not. Lose the universities and it is over. Khalaas. God and her dopey people AGAIN. Dersh must be sickened. It is almost like Bibi is an antisemitic conspiracy rather than a jewish bogeyman. A fitting end to a sick hate filled career.

  • A response to Michael Douglas
    • If Douglas' mother was not chosen does it make him less jewish than Walter from the Big Lebowski? Does douglas roll on Shabbos ?

    • Criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitism, Hoppy. Hasbara is dead and it's not our fault.

    • Great post, Philip

      Jews in America do not have much to whine about.
      Middle class white people don't have either. Most whining is to protect privilege.

      Douglas would never swap places with an Indian Dalit from Tamil Nadu.

    • Douglas and his basic instinct to defend the indefensible

      link to

      Catherine: Killing isn't like smoking. You can stop.

      Except Israel can't.

      Nick: What's your new book about?
      Catherine: A Ziobot . He falls for the wrong ideologue.
      Nick: What happens to him?
      Catherine: She kills him.

      Gus: Everyone she plays with dies.
      Nick and the people of Gaza : I know what that's like.

  • Netanyahu's honesty towards Palestinians casts unwelcome light on American Jewish leadership
    • Dukkah is much nicer, duh

      link to

    • It can't. Because Judaism doesn't fit with democracy. The secular sabra Jews may have time for it but the Orthodox don't and they have the balls and Judaism is what they define.
      the absence of a Jewish 'pope" is also chronic- there is no discipline and renegade rabbis can say anything they want.

    • Mooser

      Zionism should never have had access to guns. The self obsession and chosen stuff is only for private use and shouldn't ever be tried on unwilling adults. Yonah can fantasise about being special in private but he wouldn't dare draw in his neighbours, would he ? Shmuley would never try it out on Taylor Swift fans even if he felt it strongly, which he probably does. Social constructs stop that kind of thing.

      That's as it should be but in Israel they actually overrode the voices in their heads and went the whole hog and that is why it is such a mess now.
      The Palestinian at the end of this video represents the rational trapped in a world of madness, as all the Palestinians are


    • "How about a person devoted to the least among us?"

      I used to wonder about that too but now I think it's not possible for a Jewish state where the self declared focus is on the survival of Judaism as a religion. When self preservation is the goal inequality is unavoidable.
      What counts for Yoffie is this. It's a noble goal until you look at the means. But yoffie never looks at them. He just looks at the goal.

      And what could be less controversial than securing seder evenings into the future if you ignore all the murder ?

      Self obsession comes as standard, along with military cruelty. Anything up to and including genocide and nuclear war if certain opaque red lines are passed and a Jewish Dick Cheney decides seder is under threat. No need to explain in detail. Or just some land is suddenly available. why not ? Margins.

      This is why it is so hard to keep the words Jewish and democracy together.
      “They believe that without Israel all Jews will perish " as Avigail A said yesterday

      Israel takes unimaginable risks and tell Jews it is doing it for them and that it is the only guarantee of a Jewish future.
      link to

      Certain Zionists justified last year's carnage in Gaza by bringing in intermarriage . Zionism is a parasite lodged deep in the Jewish brain.

      And it can never focus on the least among us. Because in doing so "all Jews may perish."

    • - a lot of American Jews think everything is fine eg Yoffie

      link to
      "American Jews who identify with Israel’s center-left are in shock. How, they ask, could this happen? How could Bibi-the-terrible be reelected? Surely, Israel is lostMy response: Get over it. It’s not that complicated, and it’s not that surprising. Isaac Herzog is an estimable man—smart, politically skillful, moderate, reasonable. But’s he also physically small, with a high-pitched voice, and without combat military experience. And he projects the image of a nerd. Indeed, he is not the charismatic general that Israelis seek in a leader. Israel is a small country in a dangerous neighborhood, surrounded by enemies, and, at the moment, by more extremism, civil war, and fanaticism than usual in the Arab countries on her borders. I am simply not shocked that despite their abhorrence for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – yes, abhorrence doesn’t seem like too harsh a word – Israelis still see him, and not Herzog, as the tough guy they need to steer the ship of the Jewish state.

      And no, Israel is not lost. Bibi, not a man of strong principle – or perhaps of any principle whatsoever – will adjust and reset his political compass and his image. He will reframe his comments on a Palestinian state. He will speak soothing, conciliatory words to the Israeli electorate. He will reach out to the American administration, promising cooperation and perhaps even “a new era.”

      When my American friends wonder how Israel’s political system could possibly be so dysfunctional, I remind them to look at the American political system, which at the moment is not functioning at all. We should not be surprised, I remind them, that Israel’s leaders are every bit as incompetent as our own. Democracies are imperfect instruments of governance, and we Americans are hardly in a position to be preaching to others on such matters.

      Yet none of this is to say that, as an American Jew devoted to Israel, I am happy with the results. I am not. While this election result will not bring about an immediate crisis, either with the American administration or with American Jewry, I am worried about the future. I am worried about the possibility of gradually deteriorating relations that, in the next few years, will undermine ties with long-time political friends, with Democrats and some Republicans, and with the mainstream of the Jewish community, which remains assertively progressive in its outlook.

      That being said, what do I, as an American Jew, hope to hear and see from Mr. Netanyahu in the days ahead?

      First: A statement that Israel is committed to democracy. I don’t need to hear another call for negotiations, or even a peace plan, but I do need a clear and plain proclamation from Israel’s elected leader that Israel will not budge from the democratic values that have always been the foundation of Zionism. Israel will be a Jewish and democratic state, Mr. Netanyahu must say, and he must give us his solemn assurance that even if the details of how to accomplish this are not clear now, the principle remains central to his political outlook. No equivocation, please. No dancing around. Just say what Zionists have always said, and American Jews – and all Americans – will be reassured. Surely that is not too much to ask.

      Second: An apology to Israeli Arabs for his comments about Arabs "voting in droves." Americans are immersed right now in remembering and celebrating the great achievements of the civil rights era. The events in Selma are very much on our minds, a source of pride for right and left alike. Mr. Netanyahu’s slur of Arab Israelis was, in many ways, more shocking than his statement dismissing a Palestinian state. Racism – and that’s what it was – is grating for all Americans and particularly shocking for Jewish Americans, who stood at the very core of American civil rights work. There is only one way for Mr. Netanyahu to deal with his repugnant words, and that is to repudiate them with a profound and sincere apology. Again, no dancing around. "Say you were wrong and that you are sorry, and that Israel fully embraces her Arab citizens. And then demonstrate that you are sincere by opposing legislation that discriminates against Arab Israelis by promoting Israel's Jewish character at the expense of her democratic character.

      Third: Don’t give away the store on matters of religious freedom. All Israelis, and Mr. Netanyahu in particular, tend to forget just how important religious pluralism is to the American Jewish community. It may not seem important now, but if in six months' time triumphalist ultra-Orthodox parties lash out at liberal Jews and rescind what few rights they have in the Jewish state, the American Jewish response will be anger and bitterness. Here I do not expect public statements from Mr. Netanyahu. What he needs to do is work quietly, behind the scenes, to make clear to the ultra-Orthodox parties that will soon be in his coalition that there are limits to what they can demand.

      All is not lost. Liberal expectations, in Israel and America, were unrealistic. Israel is resilient and strong, and it will survive a flawed leader as it has many times before. But there are things that Mr. Netanyahu can do to strengthen his position with America and American Jews, and my fervent hope is that he will be wise enough to do them. "

      What was it Michael Rosen said ?
      link to

      "I sometimes fear that people think that fascism arrives in fancy dress worn by grotesques and monsters as played out in endless re-runs of the Nazis. Fascism arrives as your friend. It will restore your honour, make you feel proud, protect your house, give you a job, clean up the neighbourhood, remind you of how great you once were, clear out the venal and the corrupt, remove anything you feel is unlike you...It doesn't walk in saying, "Our programme means militias, mass imprisonments, transportations, war and persecution.""

  • Netanyahu's victory marks the end of the two-state solution
    • This is a HUGE article.

      Anti BDS activist in the US who says Israel has just stabbed him and his colleagues in the back. Israel is too ugly now to defend.

      link to

      The real winner in Israel's election: BDS

      Netanyahu's reelection takes away pro-Israel students' most powerful tool: the existence of a government committed to peace.

      "The situation has gotten so bad, so indefensible, that, over the past year, the pro-Israel community has given up on defending Netanyahu's policies. Instead, on-campus activism consists of harmless events about Israel’s startup scene or innovative water conservation research. Even “defensive” actions by pro-Israel groups against student government BDS resolutions no longer target the foundation of the BDS movement (that there are human rights violations occurring and that the best way to stop them is to cut ties with those complicit in them), for while they often lack critical context, the citations in the BDS resolutions about Israel’s human rights violations are ironclad. When the pro-Israel camp cannot present an alternative to the cycle of violence, it is very hard to oppose loud, angry students who say they have the answer.
      This week, the Israeli electorate let slip the opportunity to elect someone with any vision or viable alternative to the status quo. Instead, they chose to reelect Bibi and his policies of “managing” the Palestinian issue. Netanyahu's victory is also a victory for BDS. His anti-Arab, anti-two-state-solution, nationalist coalition will serve as potent propaganda fodder for painting Israel as a racist, colonial power. Students for Justice in Palestine and the BDS movement will undoubtedly continue to gain traction as long as this government as power. What's more, Netanyahu's actions will further alienate committed young Jewish pro - Israel supporters, like myself.
      This is not to say that without Netanyahu, Israel would have suddenly cleared its blemishes and secured peace with the Palestinians. I do not trust that the current Palestinian leadership is truly committed to curbing incitement and anti-Semitism, or to giving up their territorial claim for the entire land. But I’d suggest that Israel would have been better off without a prime minister who is actively dedicated to making things worse.
      I am also not naive enough to proclaim that removing Bibi would have stopped anti-Israel sentiments on campus. The American college campus has bred Israel-bashers since Israel’s very inception – much before the occupation, the settler movement or the mistreatment of African migrants. Those extremist elements pose no threat to Israel’s standing in the world. The danger appears when moderate, peace loving liberals, who want to see nothing but justice and peace, are forced to side with the extremists because they see no alternative, given the positions of the Israeli government. "

    • Cheney is a grade A son of a bitch as well as a failure

      link to

      " Dick Cheney insists 'rectal feeding' was for medical reasons"

      link to

      "Prisoners were subjected to “rectal feeding” without medical necessity. Recta
      l exams were conducted with “excessive force”. The report highlights one prisoner later diagnosed with anal fissures, chronic hemorrhoids and “symptomatic rectal prolapse”.

      The report mentions mock executions, Russian roulette. US agents threatened to slit the throat of a detainee’s mother, sexually abuse another and threatened prisoners’ children. One prisoner died of hypothermia brought on in part by being forced to sit on a bare concrete floor without pants
      Prisoners were walked around naked or were shackled with their hands above their heads for extended periods of time. About five CIA officers would engage in what is described as a “rough takedown”. A detainee would be shouted at, have his clothes cut off, be secured with tape, hooded and dragged up and down a long corridor while being slapped and punched.

      One CIA cable released in the report reveals that detainee Majid Khan was administered by enema his “‘lunch tray’ consisting of hummus, pasta with sauce, nuts and raisins was ‘pureed and rectally infused’”. One CIA officer’s email was in the report quoted as saying “we used the largest Ewal [sic] tube we had”.
      Rectal feeding is of limited application in actually keeping a person alive or administering nutrients, since the colon and rectum cannot absorb much besides salt, glucose and a few minerals and vitamins. The CIA administered rectal rehydration to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed “without a determination of medical need” and justified “rectal fluid resuscitation” of Abu Zubaydah because he “partially refus[ed] liquids”. Al-Nashiri was given an enema after a brief hunger strike.

      Risks of rectal feeding and rehydration include damage to the rectum and colon, triggering bowels to empty, food rotting inside the recipient’s digestive tract, and an inflamed or prolapsed rectum from carless insertion of the feeding tube. The report found that CIA leadership was notified that rectal exams may have been conducted with “Excessive force”,

      The report suggests Abu Zubaydah was a broken man after his extensive interrogations. In CIA documents he is described as having become so compliant that “when the interrogator raised his eyebrows” he would walk to the “water table” and sit down. The interrogator only had to snap his fingers twice for Abu Zabaydah to lie down, ready for water-boarding, the report says."

      And Americans wonder why they failed in Iraq and where Daesh came from

    • Israel's economy is slowing down and inequality is a huge issue. I think the next 2 years will be fairly rocky economically so an election could come even sooner than this time 2017. Israel is running out of options on several fronts.

    • This Israeli election is great news. Yossi never wanted peace. Bring on BDS.
      And fuck Zionism

    • Jeff Halper's stats don't say what happened Zippy's party- she merged with Labor to form Zionist Camp - but her party came out of Likud so was hardly left .

    • Rubio is Latino, right? Soon there will be no Latino votes for Zionism.
      Jewish chingada is not very sexy.

    • Beinart is unusually aggressive in todays Haaretz

      link to

      "Our principle should be this: Support any pressure that is nonviolent and consistent with Israel’s right to exist. That means backing Palestinian bids at the United Nations. It means labeling and boycotting settlement goods. It means joining and amplifying nonviolent Palestinian protest in the West Bank. It means denying visas to, and freezing the assets of, Naftali Bennett and other pro-settler leaders. It means pushing the Obama administration to present out its own peace plan, and to punish — yes, punish — the Israeli government for rejecting it. It means making sure that every time Benjamin Netanyahu and the members of his cabinet walk into a Jewish event outside Israel, they see Diaspora Jews protesting outside. It means loving Israel more than ever, and opposing its government more than ever. It means accepting that, for now at least, the peace process is over and the pressure process must begin.
      For many Diaspora Jews, this transition will feel painful and unnatural. It certainly does for me. But there is now no other way. We know in our bones, even without Meir Dagan telling us, that Israel is headed toward moral disaster. We know that a non-democratic Israel is a dead Israel. We know that if Israel makes permanent an occupation that reeks of colonialism and segregation, an America that is becoming ever more black and brown will eventually turn against it. We know the BDS one-staters are winning. We know that if Israel continues on its current path, our children will one day live in a world without a Jewish state. We know that our grandparents’ generation of Diaspora Jews will be remembered for having helped birth the first Jewish country in 2,000 years, and that ours will be remembered for having helped destroy it.
      Yes, our influence is limited. But it is not irrelevant. Israelis have made their choice. Now it’s time to make ours. "

  • Who can save Israel now?
    • Yonah

      Kastner was a Zionist. He figured it was more important to save a few Jews for Israel than to fight the Nazis. He went into the lair of the devil and he made a deal.

      You have a similar problem. It's about securing the Jewish future, regardless of how dirty the means. Same incoherence.

      Surely there is a more rational way

    • Er gayt oys nokh a maydl

      Talking about how important Israel is to the survival of Judaism- why doesn't he find a nice Jewish lady and have Jewish babies with her in the diaspora instead of adding to the persecution of the Palestinians ? Or nice Jewish boy and adopt some Jewish kids ?

    • It think it's clear that the dysfunction is accelerating, Mooser. It becomes harder and harder to put the words "Jewish" and "democracy" together.
      The Israeli right is insane and the secular sabra Jews can't or won't stop the process.

      "One has to bear in mind that Israelis live in a largely mythic world, a somewhat modified and vastly simplified version of the Iliad. In this starkly polarized vision of reality, in which Israelis are by definition innocent victims of dark, irrational forces operating against them, heroic death in war always makes sense, and violent coercion is the option both of necessity and of choice"

      They just can't bring that into line with reality.

    • Will Oldham is a genius , imo
      What else have you got in the library ?

    • link to

      "I recalled a conversation in 1991 with Professor Stanley Cohen, the eminent sociologist who died last month. We were discussing IDF human rights abuses, which Cohen worked tirelessly to expose. He turned to talk instead about his profound concern for young Israelis, specifically the brutalising effect that militarisation was having, and would have, on successive generations of young men and women. At the time his concerns seemed misdirected; on reflection what struck me was their prophetic accuracy."

    • Bibi knows his sick people. We saw it last summer already

      link to

      "but what is happening in the meantime in distant Israel is far from its “finest hour;” this is one of Israel’s ugliest hours. All the seeds of ultra-nationalism and messianism that have been planted over the past several years are germinating now and blooming in the flower beds of rot. All of the Israeli hatreds have reared their heads in the wake of the kidnapping of three yeshiva students whose place of learning is in the heart of the occupied territory. All of the destructiveness and the intolerance for other views, all of the unity and the falling into rank in Israel have now assembled for the biggest display of ultra-nationalism ever. All the seeds of religiosity have sprouted into a mass prayer service led by the television broadcasters, every single last one of which has volunteered for propaganda duty. "

      There is no turning back for Israel

    • link to

      I’ve Had It With Israel

      "The polls were wrong.
      The election was decisive. A clear Netanyahu victory, fueled by a racist campaign–including race baiting President Obama by labeling him “Hussein Obama”–and Netanyahu’s pledge that there will never be a Palestinian state.

      The only good news was that the combined Arab List did well (13 seats), a show of Palestinian electoral power that bodes well for the future although exercising that power in a government that is decidedly racist and rightist will be near impossible.

      No, I correct myself. That was not the only good news. Perhaps even more significant is that given the Obama administration’s contempt for Netanyahu, it is likely that the U.S.-Israel confrontation will continue, over Iran and, now with the unambiguous rejection of two states, over the occupation.

      This is good news because it is now clear that confronting Israel, essentially ending the special relationship and treating Israel like any other moderately friendly country, is the only way to save Israel from apartheid and fascism, and the Palestinians from Israel.

      Unfortunately, there is no assurance that the Obama administration won’t flinch. With Congress firmly dominated by AIPAC, with candidates from both parties dependent on AIPAC-directed campaign contributions and with the GOP openly professing more loyalty to Netanyahu than to America, we could well see the United States working to get back in Israel’s good graces rather than the other way around. That is certainly what Hillary Clinton is hoping for.

      What we have to hope for is that President Obama stands firm, that he achieves the agreement with Iran and then goes on to quietly (or loudly!) slow down the delivery of US aid, reduce strategic cooperation and use every lever in his power to tell the Israeli people that they cannot take our money and UN vetoes and spit in or face at the same time. Now that Netanyahu has ruled out a Palestinian state, we must stop using our veto to block it. Also, we should start talking to all Palestinian factions, including Hamas.

      Why not? We are now free of the illusion that Israel will reform itself. The good Israelis can’t do it alone. They are dependent on U.S. pressure which we need to finally start using. As for the Palestinians no reason to trust us although, even if we refuse to be honest brokers, our pressure on Israel can only benefit them.

      But that all requires the U.S. government breaking free of the AIPAC stranglehold. And that is hard to imagine although–given that its position on Iran exposes it not just as the “Israel lobby” but as the “loyal to Israel, not America” lobby, it is vulnerable. Younger Jews and Democrats in general (not elected officials but voters) have already turned away from Israel. This election will accelerate the process that will leave old Jews, crazy Christian rightists, and the Orthodox as Israel’s support base in America. Israel’s days as a consensus issue are over. And not just on campus.

      As for individuals, we can’t do much although the BDS movement provides some leverage.

      Mainly, however, it’s up to Obama. He needs to stand tough, along with our EU allies, and let Israelis feel their isolation.

      Whether they in fact feel it or not, we can turn this situation around on our own. After all, we hold Israel’s mortgage. The banker can always decide what to do when the mortgage isn’t being paid. The threat of foreclosure does wonders.
      Use it. "

    • Music for the Likud party

      link to

      Umadunya khaalis

    • More like one in 6 considering all the disenfranchised Palestinians

    • It's all fear and loathing

      link to

      "But we learned, when we see him sending out tweets, texts and a video saying “Hurry friends, the Arabs are going out in droves to vote, bused in by the left” – we see in that moment what he really thinks of the 20% of Israeli citizens who are Arab. They are the enemy. They are a danger. They and their votes are to be feared. Their walking peacefully to their places of voting is an existential threat, just like every Palestinian organization of every political stripe. Just like Iran and ISIS and BDS. Just like the Obama administration. " -

      It's a paranoid form of Judaism.
      The Mr Hyde and Dr Jekyllstein show of peerless regional military power and eternal victimhood- boundless cruelty while simultaneous whining...

    • The Palestinian citizens of Israel do not deserve a sociopath like Netanyahu.
      Jewish Israeli society is sick. Palestinian society is not.

    • Get Gurvitz on the case, Phil
      link to

      Akiva Orr RIP would not be surprised
      link to

      Decent Jews have to seize control of the clown car but to do that they'll have to eliminate so many sons of bitches

    • "This is how Zionism ends"

      Not before an orgy of blood. Zionism is going to be worse as a cornered dog. Masada is more like how it will end


  • Netanyahu won. Now what?
    • Walid

      The Druze are really interesting- like a local version of the Jews. Same closed society, same strict rules on who belongs but they always kept it low key and taqiyya came in very handy. I think they manage the group and the future of the group better than the Israelis do. It's all very well believing the group is special but it should only be done between consenting adults. And the Palestinians never gave their consent- The source of all Zionism's problems .
      The Torah is a fine book but it has no place in Government.

      I would love to hear Walid Junbalat on how he sees Judaism and its place in the region.

    • I think it gives a very good background as to why Zionism evolved as it did. I would recommend it.

    • Avigail

      Many thanks for those insights.
      Re cults I was reminded of this

      link to
      "Nusayrism could be described as a folk religion that absorbed many of the spiritual and intellectual currents of late antiquity and early Islam, packaged into a body of teachings that placed its followers beyond the boundaries of orthodoxy. Mainstream Muslims, both Sunni and Shia, regarded them as ghulta, “exaggerators.” Like other sectarian groups they protected their tradition by a strategy known as taqiyya—the right to hide one’s true beliefs from outsiders in order to avoid persecution. Taqiyya makes a perfect qualification for membership in the mukhabarat—the ubiquitous intelligence/security apparatus that has dominated Syria’s government for more than four decades.
      Secrecy was also observed by means of a complex system of initiation, in which insiders recognized each other by using special phrases or passwords and neophytes underwent a form of spiritual marriage with the naqibs, or spiritual guides.
      It does not take much imagination to see how such beliefs, programmed into the community’s values for more than a millennium, and reinforced by customs such as endogamous marriage according to which the children of unions between Nusayris and non-Nusayris cannot be initiated into the sect—create very strong notions of apartness and disdain for the “Other.”

      Presumably Judaism is similar. It's a specific form of group organization, basically. Nothing particularly special about it .

      Nusayriism/Alawism developed coping mechanisms over centuries in its natural environment . Understood by everyone else.

      And the problem of getting Zionists with their history of persecution and untreated Shoah trauma into a position of power (with the capacity for unlimited violence) via a colonial project where an identity had to be constructed (artificially) at the expense of the locals - it was just too much , wasn't it ? The paradox of eternal victimhood and systematic military cruelty resulted.
      1948 eternal.

      The problem with national trauma on such a scale is that there is no "nice" way to fix it. BDS or war, basically.

      And there is never equilibrium. It will never settle to a level that is calm. That is one of the main problems with trauma.

    • A very interesting post, Avigail.

      "They believe that without Israel all Jews will perish -" I was wondering how valid this fear is when it has such an oppressive impact on a population of non Jews.

      Related to this is the problem of all religions that define membership too tightly in an age of globalization where marriage tends to be freer- why don't they just change the rules on who is a Jew? Wouldn't that save thousands of lives ?

      Another question I had related to therapy.

      link to

      "Hassan, who has worked at the mental health center since 1991, spoke a lot in our conversation about the meaning of psychological treatment during periods of unrelenting and continuing trauma. “I came to the conclusion that such treatment is not ethical,” he said. “For 23 years, I have been trying to help children living in trauma, but there is no guarantee that they will not be affected again. It’s as if I am just preparing them to deal with something worse. You cannot provide true psychological treatment when the patients have no protection, no guarantee that it won’t happen again and soon, when what causes trauma never ends,” he said. '

      Israeli trauma seems to be in part manufactured via the education system. See Danon's interview- link to

      He's Sephardi- his family were in the Middle East during WW2
      What is the value in treating manufactured trauma when it continues to be produced ?

      Strenger had a great piece pre the Gaza war about the psychological obstacles to peace.
      What do you think of his analysis ?

      link to

      "Almost every Israeli in the last 47 years has done military service in the territories. Almost all of them have had to do things that go against human decency and morality – often not for the sake of Israel’s security at large, but to protect some isolated outpost of settlers. If indeed Israel were to reach peace with the Palestinians and the Arab world, most Israelis would have to live with the painful realization that most of what Israel has done to the Palestinians was unnecessary; that Israel could have ended the occupation a long time ago; and that the energies and resources invested in the West Bank’s colonization could have been invested in Israel’s flourishing instead.
      This idea is too difficult to bear, and the regret would be unendurable. It is, therefore, psychologically imperative to create a narrative that explains why the occupation was inevitable; why Israel had no choice but to hang onto the West Bank; why all the sacrifice in human lives, moral turpitude and political isolation were necessary for Israel’s survival.
      Israel’s right-wing politicians instinctively know they need to reassert daily that the occupation is a military and moral necessity. This is why they keep explaining why a Palestinian state is an existential threat to Israel, and why Israel’s left has been selling empty illusions for decades. Of course, their case has been strengthened enormously by the second intifada and the shelling of southern Israel. But the constant fanning of fear not only serves Israel’s right politically. It also provides Israelis with a justification not only for the status quo, but for the expropriation, oppression and humiliation of Palestinians that Israelis have participated in for the last 47 years, to preserve the occupation.
      All of this is all-too-human. Only a few have the human strength of Moreh’s interviewees to look into the camera and say: “We did terrible things, and most of them could have been avoided if only the political leadership had realized that the occupation is Israel’s catastrophe.” Most Israelis, like most humans, need a narrative that justifies Israel’s actions as inevitable.
      3) Inability to let go of Zionism as a revolutionary movement
      This leads to the third psychological level. The history of Israel’s occupation and gradual colonization of the West Bank cannot be understood without the religious-Zionist movement that emerged from the 1967 war. The students of Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kook interpreted Israel’s victory in the Six-Day War as the onset of the Messianic Age. Every hill, stone and village in what they call Judea and Samaria acquired theological meaning, and every new settlement had metaphysical significance. Israel was not occupying another people: It was fulfilling God’s plan for the Jewish people, and for humanity as a whole, by speeding up messianic redemption.
      Most Israelis do not share this messianic interpretation of the occupation. But deep down, many Israelis feel that the settlers are the real Zionists; that the rest of us have become complacent, ordinary citizens who have lost the revolutionary ardor that once characterized the Zionist movement. The settlers continue the ethos of acre after acre, of settling the land and building the country.
      This, I believe, is part of Israelis’ enormous difficulty in stopping the settlers in their drive to undermine the last remaining chance for the two-state solution. Somehow, Israelis feel that if there is no deeper meaning for our being here, the suffering, danger and insecurity were not worth the while. While Israelis may not fully share the settlers’ ideology, many admire them and feel that the settlers provide a laudable model to justify the whole Zionist project. "

      Israel needs some kind of communal therapy.

    • Did you ever read Original sins, by Beit Hallahmi, Avigail?

      Israel is actually a failed settler colonial project.
      Failed because the natives didn't fade away.

      The Palestinians couldn't be bought off with alcohol (US and Canada) or killed off with disease (US, Peru, Mexico) .
      The Zionists wouldn't countenance intermarriage (Mexico) and genocide (Australia) is unfashionable.

      Unadikum is the Zionist nightmare. Every time it's played Zionism fails a little more.

    • Yossi Israeli is very unwell. Everyone hates him, or so he thinks

      link to
      "But we learned, when we see him sending out tweets, texts and a video saying “Hurry friends, the Arabs are going out in droves to vote, bused in by the left” – we see in that moment what he really thinks of the 20% of Israeli citizens who are Arab.
      They are the enemy. They are a danger. They and their votes are to be feared. Their walking peacefully to their places of voting is an existential threat, just like every Palestinian organization of every political stripe. Just like Iran and ISIS and BDS. Just like the Obama administration. "

      Is this book available in Hebrew? Couldn't JStreet do something useful and buy a copy for every Sabra ?
      link to

  • Israelis go to the polls today--and nobody knows who will win (Updated)
    • Walid

      for a t-shirt to wear in Israel
      It would have to be from this song

    • Walid

      I am going to get

      ..أشد على أياديكم
      أبوس الأرض تحت نعالكم

      printed on a t-shirt.

      Guaranteed conversation opener with Arabic speakers

    • The thing I love about Unadikum is that it recognizes every action to stand up for Palestine, no matter how hopeless it may seem. Gaza last year, for example. To keep the land alive in the hearts of the people.

    • Afwan. It's such a powerful song of Palestinian sumud.

    • Some great news in the fine print

      link to
      "Yahad does not appear to have met the electoral threshold, meaning that former minister Eli Yishai and MK Yoni Chetboun (currently with Habayit Hayehudi) are out.
      Habayit Hayehudi will lose a third of its representation, according to the exit polls, coming in with eight seats.
      Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu party crashed from 15 seats in 2009 (in 2013 it ran together with Likud) to six, according to the exit polls. "

      Lieberman and Bennett are two of the most rabid Israeli politicians- good riddance to those party ideologues rejected by Yossi

      Yishai was in charge (nominally) during the Carmel fire and blamed criticism of his response on anti Sephardi bigotry

      And another thing- why do so many pictures from Israel feature soldiers ? Is any other OECD country as likely to show conscripts when featuring civilian processes ?

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