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Total number of comments: 3692 (since 2009-10-01 15:59:16)



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  • #JusticeForMikeBrown: NFL star Reggie Bush connects Ferguson to Palestine
    • Gamal,

      Are you good for the Palestinians? This style of abusive and overexcited commentary?

      Again: I think dragging the Palestinian cause into the middle of heated conflicts about racial conflicts in American society -- especially Ferguson -- could easily backfire -- the angry and negative energy surrounding these issues is formidable -- and there continues to be legitimate disagreements about what really transpired between Michael Brown and Darren Wilson.

      Michael Brown is a thin reed on which to try to rev up American sympathy and enthusaism for Palestinian rights in the Israeli-occupied territories. But by all means try and see how it goes.

      There is something obscene about comparing the situation of minorities in Ferguson with that of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank -- the conditions under which Palestinians live are truly horrific. One simply needs to review the photos and videos documenting the destruction of Gaza this last summer to understand this.

    • Annie,

      I have three comments in the current discussion sitting in moderation -- any chance that they can be cleared?


    • American,

      The two main questions that need to be dealt with regarding Michael Brown and Ferguson:

      1. What really happened? Did Michael Brown in fact physically assault Darren Wilson and try to take his gun? What are the facts?

      2. Can this incident be used to effectively energize activism for civil and human rights? Could it backfire? What impact have the scenes of rioting, arson, looting and vandalism had on the attitudes of the American public? Are there more worthy incidents to focus on, publicize and mobilize against?

      My impression is that the circumstances is this case are problematic -- and too easy to exploit by the political opposition. In recent days we seen the Brown family's lawyer being repeatedly hammered in the mainstream media by skeptical interviewers -- without an effective response.

      Using Ferguson as a propaganda meme to attack Israel and Zionism is rather a leap. More effective lines of argument are available.

      By the way, the complaint from all political quarters during the last outburst of riots has been that *insufficient* police force was used to quell them -- not too much. You need to get your narrative together.

    • Mooser,

      Have you bothered reading the grand jury report? -- apparently not.

      According to the report, Michael Brown reached into the car, punched Darren Wilson twice, grabbed his arm and hand and was overpowering him -- that is when the first shots were fired. Wilson had no opportunity to make a radio call -- he was instantly locked in a struggle for his life. I wonder how you would handle a situation like that -- putting yourself in the place of Wilson. Any thoughts? Would you permit Brown to take your gun? What do you think he would do with it?

      By the way, I am watching the Brown family's lawyer, Daryl Parks, being interviewed on TV as I type this, and being asked to respond to these points -- and he is being crushed -- he is offering no meaningful responses. His performance has been farcical -- and this is the lead guy trying to put a positive spin on Michael Brown's behavior.

      Regarding the arson, looting and vandalism that has occurred in Ferguson, look carefully at this appalling video:

      Surveillance Video Shows Looters Hitting Ferguson Market and Trying to Torch It – 11/26/14
      link to

      The fact that Fox News acquired the video (an outfit that I detest) doesn't alter the facts that the video presents.

    • Annie,

      You're right -- there has been no trial, we can't be absolutely certain that Michael Brown assaulted Darren Wilson and tried to seize Wilson's gun, there may be serious problems with the official police story, and our understanding of the facts could be overturned in the future in light of new information.

      But as matters stand now, the narrative about Brown has unfolded in the mainstream media in a way that has undermined his moral authority as a political and cultural symbol -- many Americans have formed negative impressions -- and were also turned off by the destructive rioting, arson, looting and vandalism that were egged by Brown's stepfather.

      Purely from the standpoint of offering pragmatic political advice, I would argue that this is too sketchy a situation in which to invest much political capital -- look for more righteous situations that haven't been so muddied by moral ambiguity -- there are plenty of them. And I don't see how Palestinians can come out ahead by getting involved in this controversy.

      Feel free to disagree -- we have different perspectives on several issues, as it should be.

    • chet,

      Annie, with the greatest of respect for yr views and commitment, it must be pointed out that seanmcbride’s comments do not constitute “solidarity here for the killer, the executioner” but rather a reasoned critque of the desirability of “yoking” the killing of M. Brown to the plight of murdered Palestinians.

      Thanks for the reasonable and intelligent response -- you read the meaning of my words perfectly. I don't know how I could have written them with more clarity.

      I underwent the same process of evolution in viewing events in Ferguson as you did -- the convenience store video made a strong impression on my mind -- I feel a strong distaste for people who physically bully much smaller people -- and more questions are nagging my mind after the grand jury endorsed the claim that Brown had physically assaulted Darren Wilson and wrestled for his gun -- that crosses a red line for me. Anyone who initiates a violent struggle for a cop's gun might just as well be trying to commit suicide by cop.

      This is a poor case on which to try to activate and leverage energy for political and social change.

    • Annie,

      I agree completely about the systematic oppression that is occurring against many black communities in the United States by largely white police departments -- that is an urgent issue to address.

      What makes the Michael Brown controversy problematic, in my opinion, is that Republicans will have a field day in exploiting the many weaknesses in the case -- for instance, according to the grand jury, Brown physically assaulted Darren Wilson (punched him in the face) and then wrestled for Wilson's gun in a menacing way. I don't know what city you live in, but in my city that behavior will quite likely get you righteously killed in the eyes of the judicial system. No sane person grabs for a cop's gun in a way that is threatening towards the cop.

      We also have a situation in which Michael Brown's stepfather egged on the rioters who destroyed many Ferguson businesses by arson, looting and vandalism. No doubt those business owners, and the employees of those businesses, are feeling a great deal of *DISGUST* and anger on this Thanksgiving about the crimes that were committed against them and their community by a violent mob.

      I think the plight of the Palestinians in the occupied territories is much worse than that of blacks in Ferguson and similar American cities. I don't see what they have to gain from associating the Palestinian cause with the Michael Brown case, which is incredibly messy from a political standpoint. I've seen the Brown family's lawyer in recent days be carved up like a Thanksgiving turkey by sharp-minded and skeptical questioners across all the major media outlets. He has definitely been on his heels in trying to defend Brown -- he is floundering and sinking fast.

      Seriously: aren't there more righteous and solid cases than this one to use to pump up national political energy for necessary police reform with regard to African-American communities? I am glad I waited for most of the facts to come out about Michael Brown before joining a crusade to defend him and avenge his death. And I am still waiting for more facts to come to light.

    • Ok,

      Back in August 15, 2014, many Palestinian leaders did in fact express "solidarity with the people of Ferguson":

      Palestinians express “solidarity with the people of Ferguson” in Mike Brown statement link to

      Perhaps they still feel that way after the grand jury decision and the latest riots -- in which the main problem was not police brutality, but the lack of police presence.

      If they do, they will have handed Republicans a major political opportunity to exploit. Palestinians are not likely to advance their cause in the United States by becoming entangled in problematic controversies like Ferguson.

    • Annie,

      Among (obviously) living Palestinian thought leaders, political leaders and media outlets have you noticed much interest in yoking the Palestinian cause to Michael Brown and his more excited supporters? -- like his stepfather, who called for burning this motherfucker and bitch (Ferguson) down?

      It's not a rhetorical question -- it's a real question -- I haven't noticed any sentiment that way on the Internet, but I may have overlooked it. My personal opinion is that Palestinians would spot the pitfalls of going down that road immediately -- it would stand a good chance of backfiring among most Americans -- including many or most thought leaders in the African-American community -- who strongly condemn street violence, both criminal and political. The Michael Brown case is a mess from the standpoint of developing clear and winning pro-Palestinian political themes.

      The main beneficiary of events in Ferguson may well be the Republican Party -- continuing all the way into 2016 and the next presidential election. That's my read. The Republicans will turn this into a generalized culture war -- not a white/black economic war -- enlisting quite a few prominent African-Americans on their side. Are you on side of civilization or chaos? -- that will be the predictable line -- and it will probably gain some significant traction. We will be squarely into neoconservative Clash of Civilizations territory.

    • gamal,

      How many Palestinian leaders are interested in using the events surrounding Michael Brown and Ferguson as part of the information campaign to further their political struggle against Israel? Do they view Michael Brown as a hero and a martyr? Do they believe that arson, looting and vandalism committed against their own neighborhoods would be an effective form of political protest? Do they even believe that Darren Wilson is a homicidal racist who should be charged with murder in cold blood?

      Seriously -- please keep us informed -- there may be some Palestinian leaders out there who are on the same page as you with regard to the wisdom of milking Brown and Ferguson for pro-Palestinian political operations -- but my impression is that they are too smart to do so.

      There are many clear-cut cases out there of crimes committed by white cops against innocent black kids with an obvious racist agenda. Why not focus on those cases if one is trying to move the political needle on these issues? The Michael Brown/Ferguson situation is too problematic to use effectively as "a teaching moment."

    • Most Americans strongly disapprove of strong arm robberies, the bullying and intimidation of store clerks, punching police officers, trying to wrestle guns from police officers, arson, looting, vandalism, incitement to "burn this motherfucker down" and "burn this bitch down" (Michael Brown's stepfather egging on the rioters in Ferguson), etc. Associating Michael Brown with righteous human rights activism and the Palestinian cause would be a political mistake, in my opinion -- one which would play right into hands of neoconservative and Fox News propagandists.

      Some progressives have rallied behind Michael Brown without doing much critical thinking. The minute that video of Brown physically bullying and intimidating a much smaller store clerk in the act of a strong arm robbery was released, Brown was politically damaged goods. That is the reality. One strongly doubts that serious Palestinian activists want to be linked in the public mind with that kind of criminal and antisocial behavior. And have there ever been instances in which any Palestinians have destroyed their own neighborhoods as a form of political demonstration?

      The results of the grand jury proceedings were the final nail in the coffin in terms of portraying Brown is an innocent and sweet boy who was murdered by an evil racist cop with no provocation. Darren Wilson in that George Stephanopoulos interview didn't come across as a racist thug -- quite the opposite. Brown, on the other hand, was unquestionably a thug -- the convenience store video made that clear.

      One needs to build political and social movements on strong foundations -- otherwise they collapse.

      Comparing the plight of Palestinians under Israeli occupation to the status of African-Americans in the United States is not persuasive. Can one picture a Palestinian ever becoming an Israeli prime minister, as Barack Obama has become an American president? It will never happen for fundamental structural reasons in Zionist ideology.

      There are major problems in American society with regard to how many police departments treat African-Americans, but the Michael Brown shooting is a poor case on which to address and remedy this issue. Not smart from the standpoint of effective practical politics.

  • Caltech prof says Israeli scientist passed NASA rocket secrets to his government
  • Al Jazeera investigates the USS Liberty attack in 'The Day Israel Attacked America'
  • ICC believes Israel may have committed war crimes in flotilla attack, but not of 'sufficient gravity' to justify formal investigation
  • NYT's opening to a 'fringe voice' excites rage from Israeli army, journalism, business leaders
    • DaBakr,

      you seem to be unaware of the irony applied to complaining about a group dedicated to expelling roman imperialists. maybe you just hate the fact that sicarii were jewish.

      The Sicarii specialized in assassinations by stealth, terrorism, hostage-taking, arson, mass suicide, etc. in the name of Jewish nationalism and religious messianism.

      Do you identify with them?

      Yigal Amir's assassination of Yitzhak Rabin was the tradition of the Sicarii.

      Two useful articles on the Sicarii:

      1. [Jewish Virtual Library: Zealots and Sicarii link to ]

      2. [The New Sicarii link to ]

      From the second article:

      Although they might not have been the first terrorists, they wrote the book on terrorism. Rejecting other landscapes but their narrow view of the world, they believed their inner might could defeat the invincible Romans and killed co-religionists who refused to continue the battle. By using concealed daggers to dispatch their foes, they acquired the name Sicarii. In effect, they were a suicide prone sect who didn't mind taking fellow Jews with them to death.

      The Sicarii played a principal role in provoking the Roman onslaught against the Jewish population in Jerusalem and in the eventual destruction of the city. Their identifying characteristics: victimhood, no compromises, use of daggers to resolve issues, generating hate, and creating victims.


      The modern Sicarii, those who claim to speak for the Jewish people but are bringing them to eventual decline, have replaced metal daggers with character assassination, defamation, attacking words, wounding innuendos and bludgeoning malice towards their fellow Jews. They have a unique focus of utmost loyalty to the state of Israel. Jews who don't share their views and refuse to profess similar loyalty receive their daggers of condemnation.

    • It would be interesting to construct a timeline of all the incidents over recent decades in which arson, assaults, blacklisting, censorship, death threats, firings, personal attacks and vandalism have been used to try to silence critics of Israel.

      Four recent examples:

      1. Neil Masterson's assault on George Galloway

      2. the firebombing of Rabbi Ahron Cohen's car in Salford, England

      3. the denial of a job to Steven Salaita at the University of Illinois

      4. death threats against Russell Brand

      The New York Times has been negligent in covering this pattern of activity, which has been occurring in the United States and Europe as well as Israel.

      Quite a few pro-Israel activists have moved beyond the realm of fair and open political debate to press forward their agenda.

      Browse these Google hits regarding threats against Michael Lerner:

      [Google; israel death threats michael lerner link to ]

  • Netanyahu erases the boundary between world Jewry and Israel in celebration of 'our country'
    • If a political movement came along which insisted that all Irish or all Germans worldwide belonged to a mystical ethnic collective, and that all Irish or Germans owed absolute loyalty to the Irish or German governments -- and to Irish or German ethnic nationalism -- you can be sure that most Irish or German Americans would object in the strongest possible terms.

      How many ethnic groups in the world would permit themselves to be backed into a dangerous corner like this? The assumptions behind this kind of collectivist thinking are outrageous, insulting and bigoted.

    • This point can't be stressed too much:

      As Scott Roth always says, this conflation of Israel and Jewry is anti-Semitic. If Israel is the Jewish people, then Jews can justly be blamed for what Israel does.

      I don't understand why more Jewish leaders in the Diaspora aren't protesting against the merging of the Israeli government and Zionism with Judaism and "the Jewish people" -- all of them. That this is a dangerous trap to fall in should be obvious.

      If I were head of the JPPI (not likely to happen :)), I would be developing an information program to emphasize to the world that Jews comprise a highly diverse community with many internal debates, arguments and contradictions. "The Jews" do NOT own the beliefs and policies of whatever regime is currently in power in Israel and should not be held responsible for them.

      By insisting that the Israeli government and Zionism are synonymous with Judaism and all Jews, many Jewish leaders are laying the groundwork for a potential major explosion of antisemitism worldwide. Why are they doing this?

  • Goldberg tries to police view that Israel's actions fuel anti-Semitism
    • yonah fredman,

      What's cool is that Jewish groups never express negative opinions about non-Jewish groups (ethnic groups, religions, nations, etc.). And certainly not Jewish Zionist groups. Non-Jews could learn a great from that inspiring model.

      In fact, one would have to characterize the tone of Jewish Zionists towards Muslims, Christians, Brits, Germans, the French, Arabs, Persians, Turks, etc. as highly respectful and diplomatic.

    • Again: among those serious consequences is a widespread confusion of Judaism and Zionism, which the Jewish state and its supporters have propagated. And anti-Zionists are doing the hard labor here, of explaining that Judaism and Zionism may be overlapping categories, but they are in no way congruent.

      The worldwide Jewish establishment has worked aggressively and relentlessly for decades now to synonymize "the Jewish people," "the Jews," Jewishness, Judaism, Zionism and the Israeli government in the mind of the world.

      Mission accomplished for most its propaganda targets in the United States, Europe and everywhere else. That work may now be impossible to undo without a radical revolution in the thinking of the Jewish establishment and decades of hard work to fix the damage it is has done.

      Why haven't Jeffrey Goldberg and hundreds of other Jewish thought leaders spoken out against the conflation of Zionism with Judaism and "the Jewish people" by the Jewish establishment and the Israeli government? Perhaps the problem is that they fervently hold that belief themselves.

  • British pol is beaten by man in Israeli army t-shirt, and the chattering classes are silent
    • The big story here is the outpouring of support all across the Internet, in posts, comments and tweets, for Neil Masterson's violent physical assault on George Galloway -- sometimes accompanied by the wish that the attack had been more violent than it was.

      Many more assaults like this may be in the works against any public figure in the United States and Europe who expresses disagreements with the Israeli government and the Israel lobby.

      Shut up about Israel or else. Find a new hobby. They are no longer playing by the rules of democratic societies or bothering to debate Israeli issues.

  • Elizabeth Warren says killing Palestinian civilians is 'the last thing Israel wants'
    • [Wikipedia; Bernie Sanders link to ]

      Sanders spent time on an Israeli kibbutz, an experience that shaped his political views.

      That fact of course doesn't prove he is a dual US/Israeli citizen.

    • Annie,

      you have no idea what i think of the term, because i didn’t engage in that argument. i just noticed it took up a lot of bandwidth in a thread about hillary clinton. and i’m wondering why it’s being conjured again.

      Glenn Greenwald recently remarked:

      Hillary is banal, corrupted, drained of vibrancy and passion. I mean, she’s been around forever, the Clinton circle. She’s a fucking hawk and like a neocon, practically. She’s surrounded by all these sleazy money types who are just corrupting everything everywhere. But she’s going to be the first female president, and women in America are going to be completely invested in her candidacy. Opposition to her is going to be depicted as misogynistic, like opposition to Obama has been depicted as racist.

      If one agrees with Greenwald about Hillary (and you may not -- I don't know), then one might hope that her base -- especially among liberal and progressive women -- would think more carefully about what she really stands for. And now the same for Elizabeth Warren, as well. That is the point to bear down on, in my opinion.

      Regarding a discussion about derogatory gender-specific terms, both male and female, in contemporary English usage -- that would be an interesting topic to pursue in another forum -- there is much to look into on that subject -- it's complicated.

    • Annie,

      So it has been your impression that the women's movement and feminism over the last half century haven't developed a critique on issues of war and peace and the often violent conduct of foreign affairs by male-dominated societies?

      I am fairly certain that I have noticed quite a bit of feminist literature on that subject in passing -- I would need to research it.

      I started paying attention to this issue when the first female secretary of state in American history, Madeleine Albright, described the killing of a half million Iraqi children by sanctions as "worth it" and when Hillary Clinton later threatened to "totally obliterate" Iran. And my attention intensified when I noticed that Hillary Clinton, Samantha Power and Susan Rice, according to many reports, were the most aggressive hawks in the Obama administration.

      A few days ago, invoked the dreaded word "harpy":

      "ISIS: Made in Washington, Riyadh – and Tel Aviv" link to

      The Sunni Turn took a fateful turn when the Three Harpies of the Apocalypse – Hillary, Susan Rice, and now UN ambassador Samantha Power – hectored Obama into pursuing regime change in Libya. In this case the US and its NATO allies acted as the Islamist militia’s air force while supplying them with arms on the ground and diplomatic support internationally.

      I respect your objection to the term, and will keep that in mind, but I am much more concerned about the content of the aggressive neoconservative policies that Clinton, Power and Rice have advocated than the language that has been used to deride them. (From now on I will refer to Clinton as a "war hawk" -- a gender-neutral term.)

      Regarding Elizabeth Warren: her public persona is that of a compassionate and kind mother and grandmother -- a nurturer, not a killer. But apparently the murder of hundreds of civilian women and children in the latest Gaza operation trouble her very little. That is disturbing. And she appears to be clearing the path for Israel to build more settlements that displace Palestinians from their own territory. This enlightened "progressive" is a tool of Likud Zionism and Greater Israelism.

    • Annie,

      The operative word here is "QUEEN," not warrior -- it is a gender-specific term.

      The main issue is that some of us were hoping that the rise to power of women in the Democratic and Republican Parties would lead to more more humane and less brutal testosterone-fueled foreign policies. Apparently those hopes were mistaken.

      For instance, the other night I saw Bill O'Reilly (!) reprimand Monica Crowley for being a maniacal and thoughtless warmonger.

      Elizabeth Warren's recent remarks were especially disappointing.

    • MHughes976,

      Clinton is a powerful personality revelling in her warrior queen persona....

      tree and ritzl would probably characterize your reference to "warrior queen persona" as being sexist. :)

      We can now add Elizabeth Warren to the list of "liberals" and "progressives" (like Hillary Clinton and Samantha Power) whose views on foreign policy differ little from those of Pamela Geller, Jennifer Rubin, Caroline Glick, Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann.

      Does everyone fully appreciate the magnitude of what Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren have done in recent days? -- they are pushing the Democratic Party to the *right* of Barack Obama and John Kerry on American Mideast policy on behalf of Benjamin Netanyahu, Likud Zionism and Greater Israelism.

  • 'New Yorker' limits its expose of Israel lobby to AIPAC
    • Adam and Annie,

      Thanks for looking into this.

      A user report: I signed up for email notifications for new comments to this thread, but so far haven't received any yet. There may be an issue there.

    • Annie,

      I see the checkbox with "Notify Me of Follow Up Comments By Email" but one needs to post a comment to activate that option. Is there another way that I am overlooking?

      I see "Mondoweiss In Your Inbox" at the bottom of the page, but that's not for receiving comments by email for specific articles.

    • Is there a way to subscribe to Mondoweiss comments by email without posting a comment?

  • Our new look
    • Keith,

      Doesn't Blogspot offer RSS feeds?

      Btw, I posted your blog entry to Mondoweiss on Friendfeed here:

      link to

      where it can be discussed at any level of depth and for any length of time.

    • ckg,

      I like finding new posts too. I’ve been reading the RSS feed of MW to get the reverse chronological list

      Not only can you track the reverse chronological list of articles for Mondoweiss here:

      1. link to

      2. link to

      but you can comment on those articles without moderation (post them immediately), edit your comments whenever you want, communicate privately with other commenters and proactively post your own original material.

      The second link above is focused exclusively on Mondoweiss material -- the first link is the full feed.

      Try it -- it couldn't be more simple to use. Click and start typing.

      Again: this group is a *supplement* for Mondoweiss -- definitely not a replacement. Use it to handle the overflow of discussion that is jamming up Mondoweiss.

    • Also: I just tried to use CTRL-A to select and delete the text of the comment I was composing and replace it with new text -- no go. That feature no longer works.

    • Automatically including a link when copying text can often feel more like a bug than a feature -- one is often forced to delete the link/clutter. That is a feature that one should be able to turn off.

  • Hillary Clinton just lost the White House in Gaza -- same way she lost it in Iraq the last time
    • tree,

      I know *many* women who use derogatory gender-based terms for both men and women when the terms fit like a glove, when they are appropriate and applied with pinpoint precision.

      I wish you luck in your efforts to police this common language behavior according to your ideological criteria, but you will be facing an uphill battle. Many of us appreciate the power of the English language as an expressive tool and its ability to hit many colorful notes.

      Derogatory terms for males and females are not innately sexist -- *some* individual males and females do in fact exhibit familiar negative characteristics for their respective genders.

      I wish you had more to say about the role of female neocon warmongers in the Democratic Party who have used feminism as a tool to acquire political power. This strikes me as an important issue -- arguably the most important issue concerning Hillary Clinton. We should bear down hard on it -- dissect liberal Zionists and feminist Zionists as two aspects of a single phenomenon. We need to try to strip away the automatic unthinking support of many women for Hillary Clinton.

    • Shingo,

      There are some religious fundamentalists -- Christian and Jewish -- who possess a more nuanced and complex humanity and literary sensibility than some doctrinaire leftists who have developed strict rulebooks governing approved and banned words.

      By the way, has anyone paid any attention to Rachel Maddow's coverage of the slaughter in Gaza? Maddow is a strident, self-righteous and often overbearing "progressive" who seems to be too timid to discuss Mideast and Israeli politics in much depth.

    • tree,

      don’t use the slur “battleaxe” which is a a slur reserved for women. You are being particularly obtuse about this point, seeming to want me to agree that the term is not offensive but I consider it so, regardless of who is is used to describe.

      I think you are being exceptionally stupid on this point. I used the term deliberately to ridicule and annoy a certain group of women in the Republican and Democratic Parties who have betrayed their own highest principles regarding feminism, and who in many cases seem to be leading the charge to wage vicious neoconservative wars on behalf of Greater Israel without regard to the enormous damage to *women* and *children*.

      With regard to using gender-specific derogatory words for both males and females to describe particular individuals for whom the words fit, first-rate authors do it all the time in the year 2014 and will continue to do so for a long time to come. Used the right way, those words can be highly effective -- they possess force and color.

      This doctrinaire and authoritarian approach you are taking towards language frankly bores me to tears. You really need to focus on the content of Hillary Clinton's policies and not on the words that are being appropriately used to taunt those policies -- and pay close attention to her flagrant hypocrisy on women's issues and feminist values.

      Hillary Clinton is both a liberal Zionist and a feminist Zionist -- quite a few Democrats are.

      By the way, I don't care whether you agree with me or not on any of the above issues -- feel free to believe whatever you like, to express yourself any way you like and to be offended by whatever you like. If the term "battleaxe" provokes your moral outrage and righteous indignation, fine. But you will only succeed in making me laugh.

    • tree,

      The real issue here is the degree to which Zionism has infiltrated, subverted and hijacked feminism, gutted it of meaningful content, and replaced that content with aggressive Jewish ethnic nationalism -- to the point that leading feminists in the Democratic Party now dismiss the mass murder of children as an inconsequential matter.

      Many other domains have been subjected to the same treatment and manipulation:

      1. Americanism
      2. atheism
      3. Christianity
      4. conservatism
      5. Conservative Judaism
      6. gay rights activism
      7. human rights activism
      8. liberalism
      9. libertarianism
      10. Orthodox Judaism
      11. progressivism
      12. Reform Judaism
      13. secular Jewish culture

      Hillary Clinton is a feminist in the same way that John Hagee is a Christian, John Bolton is a conservative, Chuck Schumer is a liberal and Bill Maher is an atheist. They are all in fact tools of Benjamin Netanyahu and Likud Zionism -- and they are all agitating to push the United States into more Mideast wars on behalf of Greater Israel.

    • Shingo,

      The trouble is that Warren is already ducking questions about Gaza, so she may turn into a Barbara Boxer just as quickly.

      There is not the slightest chance that Elizabeth Warren will dare to challenge the Israeli government -- the Israel lobby owns and controls the Democratic Party -- and could break her just like that.

    • tree,

      Some common definitions for "battle-axe":

      1. a fierce, frightening and unpleasant older woman with strong opinions

      2. an unpleasant older woman who speaks in an angry way and tries to control others

      3. a domineering, aggressive, sharp-tempered person, especially a woman

      4. a derogatory word for an old woman who is tough, worn and not to be messed with

      When the description fits, use it. This is a perfectly legitimate word to use -- as is "harpy" -- in the appropriate circumstances. Such people exist. There are many derogatory terms for males that are also legitimate to use in the appropriate circumstances -- and they have often been used by the greatest authors in world literature.

      The efforts by some progressives to regulate language along strict ideological lines tends to make me irritable. Sorry -- but your admonition is rolling off my back. Perhaps you can convince Mondoweiss to ban these offensive words.

    • tree,

      You are much more politically correct than I am. One should be able to use terms like "harpy" and "battle-axe" with gusto to ridicule the hypocrisy of liberal/feminist Zionists in the Democratic Party who have been agitating for murder and mayhem, including the mass murder of children -- the language is not directed at women in general -- only at specific individual warmongers who have used feminism as a platform to help build their political careers.

      Feel feel to use whatever language suits you to describe Hillary Clinton, Madeleine Albright, Samantha Power and Susan Rice. By all means be polite and sensitive to their feelings, if that is your disposition.

    • tree,

      To put this another way: "feminist Zionist" is as much an oxymoron as "liberal Zionist." To criticize feminist Zionists is no more an attack on feminists (or women in general) than criticism of liberal Zionists is an attack on liberals.

      One is noticing the egregious and absurd self-contradictions in these political labels (and in the politicians behind the labels).

      Criticism of Christian Zionists is not an attack on Christians.

    • tree,

      Can we cut with the gender-specific slurs of “harpy” and “battleaxe”?

      No -- you are missing the point. I am pro-feminist. I like women. I like women in politics.

      What is distressing is that quite a few women who are leaders in the contemporary Democratic Party, and who are associated in the public mind with feminist liberal values that are supposed to stand in opposition to traditional male aggression and warmongering, come across as aggressive warmongers themselves. It's a great disappointment. We were looking for women to bring more compassion and kindness to a male-dominated cultural and political system that has been driven by brutal aggression.

      You don't experience any cognitive dissonance on this issue, no mental jangling? -- some of us do.

      Hillary Clinton has acquired much of her political momentum on the grounds that she is a woman. Americans really need to pay much more attention to what she is saying and how she is saying it -- she is a crude militarist, even a swaggering militarist. Glenn Greenwald got it right about her:

      Hillary is banal, corrupted, drained of vibrancy and passion. I mean, she’s been around forever, the Clinton circle. She’s a fucking hawk and like a neocon, practically. She’s surrounded by all these sleazy money types who are just corrupting everything everywhere. But she’s going to be the first female president, and women in America are going to be completely invested in her candidacy. Opposition to her is going to be depicted as misogynistic, like opposition to Obama has been depicted as racist. It’s going to be this completely symbolic messaging that’s going to overshadow the fact that she’ll do nothing but continue everything in pursuit of her own power. They’ll probably have a gay person after Hillary who’s just going to do the same thing.

      link to

    • ckg,

      I agree that Hillary, Albright, Power and Susan Rice take marching orders from the ‘Israel lobby, AIPAC, neoconservatives and neoliberals’. But Palin and Bachmann are two seriously demented fundamentalists who foremost look to Daniel, and Ezekiel and the Book of Revelation for foreign policy guidance.

      It doesn't matter whether pro-Israel militants and hawks are religious or secular, conservative or liberal, Republican or Democrat -- the results are precisely the same.

    • Bandolero,

      "Hillary Wallops All Republicans, Elizabeth Warren Doesn't"
      link to

      Our new Zogby Analytics poll shows Mrs. Clinton comfortably leading all the Republican big names we submitted for testing. The new poll, conducted online August 13-15 among 1,223 likely voters nationwide, shows Mrs. Clinton shooting each GOP duck in a row.

      She beats former Florida Governor Jeb Bush 49% to 36%; Kentucky Senator Rand Paul 50% to 34%; New Jersey Governor Chris Christie 47% to 35%; former Massachusetts Governor and 2012 GOP standard-bearer Mitt Romney 50% to 35%; former Arkansas Governor and Fox News host Mike Huckabee 49% to 33%; and Florida Senator Marco Rubio 51% to 29%. As we can see, she hovers around the 50% mark against each challenger while none of her putative opponents receives 40%.


      Meanwhile, Ms. Warren runs about even with all of the GOP candidates: 34% to 36% against Bush; 34% to 35% against Paul; 34% to 37% vs. Christie; 36% to 38% against Romney: 35% to 33% vs. Huckabee; and 35% to 31% against Rubio.

    • # war harpies in the Republican and Democratic Parties

      1. Condoleezza Rice
      2. Hillary Clinton
      3. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
      4. Jennifer Rubin
      5. Kimberly Kagan
      6. Madeleine Albright
      7. Michele Bachmann
      8. Michelle Malkin
      9. Pamela Geller
      10. Samantha Power
      11. Sarah Palin
      12. Susan Rice
      13. Victoria Nuland

      Seriously: are there any significant differences on foreign policy between Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin or Michele Bachmann?

      They all take their marching orders from the Israel lobby, AIPAC, neoconservatives and neoliberals. It's all about all war all the time on behalf of building Greater Israel.

      Hillary Clinton, Madeleine Albright, Samantha Power and Susan Rice are classical "liberal Zionists" -- with all that oxymoronic expression implies. One doesn't recall feminism, as it was originally conceived, as being a warmongering ideology -- dedicated to "totally obliterating" foreign enemies or arguing that it was "worth it" to kill a half million children with sanctions.

    • It is going to be easy for opponents of Hillary Clinton to paint her as a bloodthirsty neocon, a warmonger, too old, tired, stale, mediocre, corrupt, etc.

      But here is the problem facing any possible Democratic challenger to Hillary (like Elizabeth Warren): the Israel lobby will be applying maximum pressure on them either to stay out of the race or to fall into line behind AIPAC. My impression is that Warren, and other Democrats of her stature, wouldn't dare buck AIPAC -- they will simply parrot the AIPAC party line in order to remain financially viable.

      Don't rule out the possibility of Hillary Clinton torpedoing her own campaign -- she is a lackluster mind and crude personality who makes unforced errors -- not nearly as bright, graceful and politically adept as Bill Clinton. She's gradually aged into a real battle-axe.

  • 'NYT' op-ed calls on Jews to abandon liberal Zionism and push for equal rights
    • yonah fredman,

      Your comment was essentially anti-Judaic and pro Christian.

      No it wasn't -- I am not a Christian and I wasn't promoting Christianity.

      I urged you to be skeptical and to think critically about all ideologies, both religious and secular, and to understand that they are human inventions, driven by human agendas, that are in a state of perpetual revision and reinvention.

      Your reply makes it clear that you didn't understand a word I said -- and that you are in fact underwater -- unable to rise above your own narrow ideological indoctrination.

      You said this Walid:

      Christians have been distorting the old testament for thousands of years and thus you consider the christian reading of the old testament to be accurate. It is not. It is distorted.

      Texts mean whatever human beings choose them to mean -- readings are creative inventions -- and religious Jews themselves have interpreted their own texts in endless and contradictory ways -- "accuracy" and "distortion" have little to do with it.

      Readings of texts tell us who the readers of those texts were at particular moments in time and space. The readings keep changing and evolving. I never read the same text today in the same way that I read it yesterday.

      Free your mind -- don't permit it to be controlled by the ideological inventions of others. Think for yourself.

    • David Samel,

      I started commenting on the strange disconnect between New York Times articles and comments about Israel among Readers' Picks back in October 2013:

      The comments on this New York Times article are overwhelmingly anti-Israel -- and express views that are systematically censored within the pages of the New York Times. We are looking at an untenable situation from the standpoint of the Times -- it is radically out of sync with its own readers.

      link to

      The top Readers' Pick comment on that day (October 10, 2013):

      That cheap blustering Netanyahu. Use your own money Bibi. Stop the settlements Bibi. Obey international borders Bibi! In other words take responsibility for YOUR problems!"

      Congratulations on your comment being pushed to the top of the picks by the best minds among the New York Times' readership. One wonders if the management of the New York Times understands that it is sitting on an erupting volcano.

    • Regarding David Samel's superb comment at the New York Times:

      Quite a few Mondoweiss writers and commenters are more impressive thinkers and writers than the New York Times' stable of approved (and stale) pundits.

      I have repeatedly noticed that New York Times comments are often more valuable than the articles on which they comment.

      Thank God for the Internet in kicking out the jams and opening up intelligent conversations about everything. May it ever be free and open.

      And thanks to Phil Weiss for having had the courage and determination to buck the entire corrupt and mediocre system that the New York Times has worked so hard to enforce over the last few decades.

    • yonah fredman,

      You will achieve enlightenment when you come to the realization that all human ideologies, both religious and secular, are arbitrary human inventions, in a state of perpetual flux and reinvention, and that there is no good reason for your mind to be bound by any of them.

      People who are in the grip of ideologies invented by others are underwater -- they are not awake -- they are essentially bots, under the thumb of self-appointed priesthoods.

      Most ideologies are invented to advance the interests of their inventors in competition against other groups -- to serve as rationalizations for predatory behavior.

      Ideologies deindividualize and mechanize their followers, keep them in a permanent hypnotic trance, by means of the repetition of formulaic expressions.

      How would you characterize the demeanor of the Abrahamic believers and cultists who have waged endless wars in "the Holy Land" for thousands of years until the present day?

      Free your mind.

    • Aren't these memes and themes of "higher" and "lower" grounded in Old Testament/Torah notions of chosen people exceptionalism?

  • 'Common Dreams' website traps Hasbara troll spewing anti-Semitism
    • German Lefty,

      I am ambivalent when it comes to moderation. On the one hand, I understand that it's necessary on this site. Without moderation Mondoweiss would be overrun by Zionist commenters and normal discussions would become impossible. On the other hand, moderation is very often used to silence non-mainstream voices.

      I don't understand why more Mondoweiss commenters aren't more proactive in exploiting social media platforms that are much more flexible and bottom-up than top-down platforms like blogs, which are a 1990s technology.

      One can use these multipolar platforms not to replace publications like Mondoweiss (which are irreplaceable), but to complement and supplement them -- to increase the ability of commenters to communicate freely with one another in real time and to moderate their own information streams -- with no top-down authority controlling the conversation.

      Several of us here on Mondoweiss have been using Friendfeed for this purpose for years now, with positive results. That is why I set up Mondoweiss on Friendfeed here --

      link to

      -- to provide an outlet for conversations that Mondoweiss wasn't interested in hosting.

      The Internet is a powerful tool -- but people must be PROACTIVE in using it -- not passive. Any obstacles on the Internet can be easily routed around. Everyone on the Internet stands on a level playing field.

      Modern social media platforms are all about freedom of association and free speech -- with no intervening authorities.

    • Mooser,

      For this he went to college?

      Laughing out loud literally. :)

  • 'Lesson: The Jews will defend themselves even if it means killing children'
    • Mooser,

      Gosh, Zionists know everything, don’t they? And wow, the skill he showed by deconstructing Danaa’s text, it’s word usage, syntax, etc, and quickly determining she is Christian. I mean really, it was so obvious, but we couldn’t see it.

      JeffB also claimed that Lewis Libby was a Christian (a WASP, no less). One begins to espy a pattern of miscognition -- a mental "tic," perhaps.

    • Mooser,

      Sean, I've had a bone to pick with those people for quite a while. Could you give me the address of the headquarters so I can write them? How about an e-mail, that'd be a start?

      You can find all their contact information from this starting point:

      Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organziations
      link to

      The Conference includes the most influential organizations and institutions in American Jewish life -- for both Judaism and Zionism. Collectively, this lobby wields extraordinary power in American politics -- in the US Congress and the White House -- and has defined the character of mainstream Judaism for quite a few decades now.

      AIPAC, ADL, JINSA, RJC, NJDC, AJC, BBI, etc. are all components of the Conference of Presidents.

      Does this subject make you nervous? -- you seem to be a bit defensive about it. Perhaps I am misreading your tone.

    • Mooser,

      Good, thanks for telling me. So if we do the opposite of what they do in Israel, we can't go far wrong. Or is their some Jewish authority which Jews must knuckle under to?

      When the leading organizational representatives of Judaism in the United States, Israel and Europe succeed in distancing themselves from Zionism as an ideology, and moderating the policies of the Israeli government, this will no longer be an urgent issue. But I, for one, don't see that occurring any time in the foreseeable future. And, in fact, I am predicting that this crisis in Jewish civilization is going to become much worse before these issues are resolved.

    • Dan Crowther,

      The worldwide Jewish religious establishment has projected an image of itself and of Judaism to the entire world that is entirely Zionist -- for the last half century (at least) it has been fusing Judaism and Zionism into a single ethno-religious nationalist ideology and political program.

      Simply consult the official statements issued during that time frame by the leading organizations representing Judaism.

      You can find a list of them here:

      Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations: Member Organizations

      link to

      In all the controversies surrounding Zionism, this issue strikes me as the most consequential by far -- the one that needs to be addressed most forcefully.

      The behavior of the Israeli government is not only delegitimizing Zionism -- it is delegitimizing Judaism. Zionism and Judaism are now joined at the hip.

      As for Mooser's dream of a non-Zionist Judaism emerging in any significant way -- I'll believe it when I see it. Matters are trending in the opposite direction -- especially in Israel.

  • Video: Gaza forces young Jew to overcome 'giant hostile ferocious backlash' of her community
    • Mooser,

      The choice is not between being a Zionist Jew and not being a Jew. The Zionists to not own Judaism. Judaism as it has always been will be whatever we make it....

      Maybe Jews can’t change the course of Israel, but we can if we want it take our religion back.

      Ok -- now I think I fully get your attitude towards Judaism -- and it's laudable. Now your job is to lead your brethren out of the wilderness. :) Don't laugh: a Jewish leader may come along to do just that.

    • Pixel,

      I’m in love with the 2-state solution:

      State #1: USA
      State #2: Israel

      Love it -- did you coin that?

      Let Israel go its way and the United States and Europe go their way. Israel is free to persist in building Greater Israel, but on its own dime and with its own political capital.

      If the United States and Europe ever do go "Zionist," their ethnic and religious nationalism won't be organized around Jewish ethnic and religious nationalism -- they have their own traditions and interests.

    • Why is the Zionist religious claim to the land any more valid than other religious claims throughout history?

      Because the Zionist religious claim is true and all other religious claims are false. It's in the Bible. End of story.

  • The Walzer Problem
    • James North,

      jon s: We are still waiting for your answer. Where is the link to the Hamas spokesman “openly boasting” about “using civilians as human shields”?

      We are still waiting for links and sources for all of jon s's claims.

    • lysias to jon s,

      What is your source for those figures?

      Jon s must have sources for those claims, otherwise he wouldn't have been able to post that data -- but he chose not to include the sources in his post.

      So, indeed, let's see the sources and judge their credibility -- jon?

  • US branch of the Jewish 'family' owes the homeland 'unconditional love' -- Rosner
    • JeffB,

      Regarding "the JINSA crowd" (JINSA=Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs):

      Secretary of State Colin Powell's Chief of Staff (2001-2005), Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, makes taboo-statements on the role of the neocons and Israel in bringing about the war on Iraq in the following video. "Tyranny & Politics of Fear, Loyalty to Israel vs. US."

      Wilkerson's statements about the neocons and Israel are largely based on his own direct experience as a member of the Bush administration. Wilkerson has made similar statements before and I include some of them in my book, "The Transparent Cabal."

      For example, "A lot of these guys, including Wurmser, I looked at as card-carrying members of the Likud party, as I did with Feith. You wouldn't open their wallet and find a card, but I often wondered if their primary allegiance was to their own country or to Israel. That was the thing that troubled me, because there was so much that they said and did that looked like it was more reflective of Israel's interest than our own." (T.C., p. 120)

      link to

      Regarding the oil factor:

      Finally, we have the oil argument. Wilkerson states the obvious in pointing out that Iraq has oil reserves. He does not show how particular individuals involved in the oil business lobbied for war. As I point out in my Chapter 18 of my book, the oil companies, instead of pushing for war, sought to eliminate sanctions on Iraq in 2001. Moreover, they have not shown much interest in acquiring leases that the current Iraq government has auctioned off, which have almost completely gone to non-American oil companies. American oil companies, American business in general, and the US government is certainly concerned about Middle Eastern oil, but that does not mean that they advocate US wars in this region. Actually, the oil factor is often a reason that peace and stability are sought.

      Regarding Israeli and neocon agitation for an American war against Iran:

      It should also be emphasized that the neocons are also pushing for war on Iran. The overall Israel lobby and the government of Israel had been supportive of the war on Iraq, but stayed largely in the background. Both these groups are much more openly supporting a war on Iran. That both wars have been pushed by supporters of Israel and have the support of the government of Israel should indicate that these factors are the most important motivation war in the Middle East. It is hard to see how bombing Iran, which is likely to greatly impede the transport of oil, would help the US to control oil in the region. Bombing Iran would not involve US occupation, so it is hard to believe how bombing a country would make its government or its inhabitants more favorable to American oil interests.

    • JeffB,

      By any reasonable measure: Iraq, Afghanistan are #1 and #2. After that South Korea.

      How many Iraqi, Afghan and Korean ethnic nationalists within the American political system are responsible for engineering these high levels of aid to those respective nations? None.

      Americans are spending a fortune in Iraq and Afghanistan as the result of the grand neoconservative plan to destabilize and break up power blocs that the Israeli government and pro-Israel activists see as a threat to Israel and Zionism. Google into Oded Yinon and the Clean Break paper for the details.

      From a strategic perspective, US aid to Egypt, Iraq and Afghanistan should really be filed under US aid to Israel. The Israel lobby has used US aid to Egypt to defuse and defang its opposition to Israel. We keep pumping money into Iraq and Afghanistan to support the delusional belief that the neocon wars against those nations have been a success -- when in fact they have been crushing failures and foreign policy disasters.

    • JeffB,

      The person most responsible for Nigerian Uranium spoof was Scooter Libby a WASP.

      Wrong: Scooter Libby is Jewish, not a WASP, and he was a key member of the group of mostly Jewish neoconservatives -- "the JINSA crowd" -- that engineered the Iraq War in the Bush 43 administration, along with Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, Abram Shulsky and many others.

      See Wikipedia:

      Libby was born to an affluent Jewish family in New Haven, Connecticut; his late father, Irving Lewis Liebowitz, was an investment banker.

      link to

    • jayn0t,

      “If ethnic and religious nationalism is “good for the Jews,” it’s good for every other ethnic and religious group on the planet.” If you believe in universal values, it is! But if you’re special – not at all.

      Many people have begun to notice that many Zionists believe that Jewish nationalism is the *only* legitimate form of ethno-religious nationalism in the world -- all other forms of ethno-religious nationalism are illegitimate or criminal. Certainly to some degree this world model must be grounded in biblical exceptionalism and the religious cult notion that there is a single chosen nation on the planet -- all other nations are subordinate to the instrument of God's will and master plan.

      Liberal Zionists bring these peculiar self-contradictory attitudes into relief -- they are strident in preaching universalism in the United States and Europe (which includes the disintegration of traditional non-Jewish ethnic and religious majorities) and strident in defending Jewish ethnic and religious unity and domination in Israel.

      Zionists (including liberal Zionists in the United States in Europe) openly agonize about demographic threats to Jewish domination in Israel -- much in the same way that white nationalists like David Duke in the United States or Anders Breivik in Norway agonize about demographic threats to white Christian domination in America and Europe.

      Actually, these attitudes aren't self-contradictory -- they are perfectly consistent. Universalism is "good for the Jews" in the Diaspora (among "the nations") and Jewish ethno-religious nationalism is "good for the Jews" in Israel (and even in the Diaspora, within "the nations").

      If WASPs developed the same organizational tools (like the Conference of Presidents and its constituent organizations) to promote and protect their ethnic and religious interests in the United States that the Jewish establishment has developed to promote and protect its ethnic and religious interests, they would of course be branded and attacked by the Jewish establishment as racists.

      This is not a level playing field.

    • JeffB,

      Regarding comparisons of the Israel and Latino lobbies -- what are the Latino equivalents to elements of the Israel lobby mentioned following? (Replace the question marks with the appropriate items.)

      # Israel lobby/Latino lobby
      1. AIPAC/?
      2. CAMERA/?
      3. Commentary Magazine/?
      4. Conference of Presidents/?
      5. Dennis Ross/?
      6. ECI/?
      7. JINSA /?
      8. neoconservatives/?
      9. NJDC/?
      10. NORPAC/?
      11. RJC/?
      12. Weekly Standard/?
      13. William Kristol/?
      14. Zionism/?
      15. ZOA/?

    • JeffB,

      Which one of these people you listed are Hispanic ethnic nationalists who have been lobbying for a foreign ethnic nationalist state? Not a single one that I recognize.

      Certainly none of them are equivalent to the Jewish neoconservatives who have been agitating for a series of American wars on behalf of Israeli interests or who have helped enable the transfer of many billions of dollars in American financial and military aid to Israel.

      The issue here is the prominent role of Jewish *nationalists* in American politics who feel a passionate attachment to Israel and Zionism -- not Jews in general, many of whom may well feel no involvement with Israeli issues at all.

      Joan Baez equivalent to Richard Perle, Douglas Feith or Sheldon Adelson? -- not remotely.

      To be clear on this: Jews and Jewish nationalists are two very distinct and different categories. Many prominent Americans of Irish descent are of course Irish -- but most of them are not Irish nationalists.

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