Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 2795 (since 2012-06-23 07:13:37)

Showing comments 2795 - 2701

  • Israeli settler passes out candy to celebrate killing of Palestinian
  • DC and Jerusalem reel over Trump disclosure of ISIS plan to-- hush!-- put laptop bombs on planes
  • 'Look, I didn't write that letter' -- Sanders on defensive for signing letter slamming UN on Israel
    • Look, I didn’t write that letter, I signed on to it. It’s not a letter I would have written.

      Prophylactic move.

  • Jake Sullivan seeks to rebrand 'American exceptionalism'
    • Kaisa of Finland: It is interesting that at the same time you oppose the Zionists occupying Palestine, but support Putin doing the same here (fex. Krim being an example).

      You think Crimea joining Russia is comparable to Israel occupying Palestine?

      My God, your ignorance is staggering! The propaganda machine in Finland is clearly on a roll!

      Please, go to Crimea. See for yourself. I have. There's nothing in common with occupied Palestine whatsoever.

      The vast overwhelming majority of people there are thanking their lucky stars--and Putin--for saving them from the U.S./E.U.-engineered catastrophe in Ukraine.

    • KEITH: ...interview of Mark Ames by Abby Martin describing what the US did to Russia after the fall of the USSR. .

      I've watched the video a couple of times-- I can't find one thing I disagree with. I wish the video were a bit longer though--it covers a lot of topics in a fairly short time (it appears to have been edited down.)

      If I had the time to comment on it in detail, I'd try to add a bit more on how certain specific forces in Russia aligned with the outside forces aptly described in the video.

    • Kaisa of Finland: You are free to move to Russia and experience the Russian reality on your own.


      I moved to Russia after living most of my life in the U.S.-- and can assure you, you are spouting pure propaganda. You have no real knowledge of Russian reality.

      If I get the time, I'll try to explain it to you in more detail.

    • Mooser: could be a lot more enlightening if the damned comment box wasn’t so small.

      Click and drag out lower right corner.

    • Keith: FROGGY- “Reports of Russian hacking Macron only sreved to further hurt Le Pen.” I am sure they did. That was, after all, the intent of the reports.


      New York’s Flashpoint and Tokyo-based Trend Micro have shared intelligence that suggests that the hacking group known variously as Advanced Persistent Threat 28, Fancy Bear and Pawn Storm was responsible. The group has been linked with the GRU, the Russian military intelligence directorate.


      "Has been linked..."-- brilliant use of the passive voice!

      Cybersecurity firms "Flashpoint"and "Trend Micro"-- about as credible as the notorious "Crowdstrike" firm. I.e., not at all.

    • Mooser: Keith seems to expect left-wing results from right-wing candidates.

      Mooser seems to think Clinton and Macron were not "right-wing candidates."

      (Right/Left dichotomy not so illuminating...)

    • RoHa: ..the US did win the war it started against Granada

      And a great blow to Islam it was!!

  • True independence on Nakba Day: accountability and healing as an Israeli aggressor
    • echinococcus: If, however, you think that the Zionists can be gotten rid of peacefully...

      Which Palestinian groups have plans to get rid of the Zionists?

      Which Palestinian groups have plans to "re-establish Palestine and the sovereignty of the Palestinian people over it."?

    • echinococcus: Get out. Shoo. Get lost

      Quite effective. High risk. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Speaking for yourself, of course. That that will surely help destroy the Zionist entity.

  • 'I'd rather die than live as a servile slave,' Omar Barghouti told his daughter
    • catalan: But please don’t take it the wrong way when I tell you [German Lefty ] that you genuinely scare me…

      If you are genuinely scared of the warm-hearted humanist German Lefty (unlikely), you are genuinely messed up.

    • catalan: It’s the people of Gaza I feel sorry for...

      Your compassion is palpable.

    • Catalan: But please don’t take it the wrong way when I tell you [German Lefty ??! ] that you genuinely scare me...

      I suspect your irrational Gentile-phobia was instilled in you long, long before you began trolling at MW.

  • Abbas should stop playing us for political gain, say young Gazan writers
  • New York rabbi links Jewish Voice for Peace to Osama bin Laden and Assad
    • Another Dave: Ask the Germans how well their nation protected them. Or the Soviets...

      Well, you can't ask the Soviets, but if you come to Russia and ask the Russians, you'll find that most very much do believe that their nation protected them and continues to protect them.

      Come to Russia on May 9th for День Победы -- Victory Day! The celebratory preparations are already in full swing.

  • 'Why do I not cry out for the right of return?' -- an exchange between Uri Avnery and Salman Abu Sitta
    • Mooser: Isn’t it pretty much established that any moves toward the ’48 lines and legal Statehood.( either unilateral or induced) for Israel will ignite a civil war? For that purpose, those lines might be very useful...

      More like: any moves toward the '67 lines (aka "Green Line")and legal statehood would ignite a civil war. ETC.

      (There are no moves contemplated, either unilateral or induced, toward '48 lines.)

    • Mooser: You and I have vastly differing opinions on Zionist Israel’s resilience...

      How resilient is Zionist Israel?

      I support BDS, and other strategies and tactics. For a reason.

    • BDS won't get you that pony.

    • @eljay

      Avnery, btw, agrees with your notion of actually-existing Zionism as a fundamentally religion-based- supremacist construct.

      I see little if any difference between his views and yours.

      “Another Theocracy in the Heart of the Muslim World” by Uri Avnery

      I am fed up with all this nonsense about recognizing Israel as the “Jewish state.”

      It is based on a collection of hollow phrases and vague definitions, devoid of any real content. It serves many different purposes, almost all of them malign.


      […]Any talk about the Jewish state leads inevitably to the question: What are the Jews—a nation or a religion?

      Official Israeli doctrine says that “Jewish” is both a national and a religious definition. The Jewish collective, unlike any other, is both national and religious. With us, nation and religion are one and the same.

      The only door of entry to this collective is religious. There is no national door.

      Hundreds of thousands of non-Jewish Russian immigrants have come to Israel under the Law of Return with their Jewish relatives. This law is very broad. In order to attract the Jews, it allows even distant non-Jewish relatives to come with them, including the spouse of the grandchild of a Jew. Many of these non-Jews want to be Jews in order to be considered full Israelis, but have tried in vain to be accepted. Under Israeli law, a Jew is a person “born to a Jewish mother or converted, who has not adopted another religion.”

      This is a purely religious definition. Jewish religious law says that for this purpose, only the mother, not the father, counts.

      It is extremely difficult to be converted in Israel. The rabbis demand that the convert fulfill all 613 commandments of the Jewish religion—which only very few recognized Israelis do. But one cannot become an official member of the stipulated Jewish “nation” by any other door. One becomes a part of the American nation by accepting U.S. citizenship. Nothing like that exists here.

      We have an ongoing battle about this in Israel. Some of us want Israel to be an Israeli state, belonging to the Israeli people, indeed a “state of all its citizens.” Some want to impose on us the religious law supposedly fixed by God for all times on Mount Sinai some 3,200 years ago and abolish all contrary laws of the democratically elected Knesset. Many don’t want any change at all.

      But how, in God’s name (sorry), does this concern the Palestinians? Or the Icelanders, for that matter?


      The demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as “the Jewish state” or as “the nation-state of the Jewish people” is preposterous.

    • eljay: It’s not ironic if he [Uri Avnery] – like you – believes that people who choose to be/come Jewish are entitled to a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in as much as possible of Palestine.


      FYI, Avnery rejects and ridicules the notion of Israel as a "Jewish State". He wants to see Israel transformed from ethno-theocratic state into a non-discriminatory liberal-democractic state.


      “The State of Bla-Bla-Bla” By Uri Avnery

      […] IF I were asked to swear allegiance to the “Nation-State of the Jewish People”, I would have to respectfully decline. Perhaps by then a law will be in force that will cancel the citizenship of Israelis who refuse this demand, and I shall be demoted to the status of permanent resident devoid of civil rights.

      I would have to refuse so as to avoid lying.

      First of all, I don’t know what the “Jewish people”, to which the state of Israel supposedly belongs, is. Who is included? A Jew in Brooklyn, a citizen of the Nation-State of the American People, who served in the Marines and votes for the American president? Richard Goldstone, who is denounced by the leaders of Israel as a liar and self-hating traitor? Bernard Kouchner, the French Foreign Minister, who was told this week by Lieberman to solve the Burka problem in France instead of poking his (Jewish) nose into our affairs?

      And how does the ownership of Israel by these Jews express itself? Will they be able to vote for our government (after this right has been taken away from a million and a half Arab citizens)? Will they determine the policy of our government – joining the Jewish billionaires, casino and brothel owners, who own our newspapers and TV stations and buy our politicians wholesale or retail?

      No Israeli law has defined what the “Jewish people” is. A religious community? An ethnic group? A race? All these together? Does it include all those professing the Jewish religion? Everybody who has a Jewish mother? Does it include a non-Jew married to someone with one Jewish grandparent, who today enjoys the automatic right to come to Israel and become a citizen?

      If 100 thousand Arabs were to convert to Judaism tomorrow, would the state belong to them, too?

      And what about the confusion between “Nation” and “People”? Does the Nation-State belong to the “Nation” or to the “People”? According to what scientific or juridical definition? Does the German “Nation-State” belong to the German “People” – which, according to some, also includes the Austrians and the German-speaking Swiss?

      We have here a knot of concepts, terms and semantic confusions, a knot that cannot be unraveled. […]

    • David Samel: ... one who believes that a Jewish State should exist, despite its inherent discrimination against non-Jews, is a “Zionist. Avnery necessarily fits that definition.

      But Avnery has explicitly rejected the idea that Israel should exist as a "Jewish state".

      He writes:


      Critics of Israel accuse it of practicing “Apartheid”, the South African racist doctrine. This analogy may be partly misleading. Unlike Apartheid, Zionism is not based on race, but on a mixture of ghetto mentality and 19th century European nationalism.

      Ghetto mentality is the spirit of a persecuted, isolated community, which saw the whole world as divided between Jews and Goyim (gentiles). European nationalism strove for a homogeneous national-ethnic state.

      The Jewish demographic state has absorbed both these elements: a homogeneous Jewish national-ethnic state, with as few non-Jews as possible.

      In Europe, where classical nationalism was born, it is giving way to the modern American outlook, which considers that every holder of a US passport belongs to the American nation, irrespective of race and ethnic origin. This has helped it becoming the most powerful state in the world, culturally, economically, and militarily. European nation-states are gradually ceding sovereignty to the European Union, and their citizenship is accorded to foreign immigrants, too, who contribute to their economy and safeguard their social welfare system. In Germany, children of immigrants born in the country receive citizenship, Britain and France are even more liberal.

      Israel is faced with a historical choice: to go back to being a Jewish ghetto, with demographic anxieties and state trappings, or to go forwards towards a new national outlook, on the American-European model.

      Zionism was the last European national movement. Israeli colonialism, too, has come 200 years too late. So it is perhaps natural that the challenge of adopting a new national outlook comes rather late.

      But in the end, I hope, the Jewish Demographic State will be replaced by the Israeli Democratic Republic, for the welfare and security of its citizens.

      [emphasis added]


      Calling for the "Jewish Demographic State" to be replaced by an "Israeli Democratic Republic" based on the American-European liberal-democratic model is simply not compatible with Zionism-- that, or the meaning of the term becomes so broad as to render it useless.

    • No, Avnery doesn't claim to seek a "just solution". He's more honest than that: he says peace and full justice are not compatible.

  • The war for 'The New York Times'
    • NYT Mocks Skepticism on Syria-Sarin Claims

      [...]Rutenberg traveled to Moscow with the clear intention of mocking the Russian news media for its “fake news” in contrast to The New York Times, which holds itself out as the world’s premier guardian of “the truth.” Rather than deal with the difficulty of assessing what happened in Khan Sheikhoun, which is controlled by Al Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate and where information therefore should be regarded as highly suspect, Rutenberg simply assessed that the conventional wisdom in the West must be correct.

      To discredit any doubters, Rutenberg associated them with one of the wackier conspiracy theories of radio personality Alex Jones, another version of the Times’ recent troubling reliance on McCarthyistic logical fallacies, not only applying guilt by association but refuting reasonable skepticism by tying it to someone who in an entirely different context expressed unreasonable skepticism [...]

  • Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti's op-ed calling Israel 'moral and political failure' is buried in int'l edition of 'NYT'
    • hophmi: Barghouti was convicted in a civilian court of five counts of murder. His trial was open and fair.

      Marwan Barghouti was convicted by three demonstrably biased Israeli judges in a highly politicized, grossly unfair trial involving numerous breaches of international law carried out in an illiberal, undemocratic apartheid state.

      The international Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) ( released a highly detailed report on Barghouti’s arrest and trial , based on extensive analysis of the events, including interviews with the prosecution and defense teams as well as international NGO trial observers. The report concludes unequivocally that Barghouti was not given a fair trial.

      Excerpts (emphasis added):

      In the opinion of the persons present at the debates in the Tel Aviv District Court, the hearings were conducted in a relatively impartial climate (apart from a few incidents which we will elaborate on). However, the overall conclusion is that the manner in which the phase leading up to the trial was conducted precluded any possibility of a fair trial.

      Owing to the fact that Mr. Barghouti was captured in Palestinian territory during a military operation, before being held incommunicado for several weeks, during which time accusations against President Yasser Arafat "leaked out", the Israeli authorities not only ran the risk of holding a trial in which the political controversy almost inevitably overshadowed the legal debate, but also the risk of a trial based on an investigation using questionable methods and hence on flimsy evidence.

      The purpose of this report is not to judge the political interests that came into play during the trial, but to examine the how the Israeli authorities treated the person detained and prepared the trial against him, from an exclusively technical perspective, in the light of relevant international standards. These standards were often clearly disregarded.

      * * * *
      Lack of presumption of innocence

      An incident occurred during Mr. Barghouti's first appearance, on 5 September 2002, before the panel presided over by Ms. Zerota.

      After Mr. Barghouti had described himself as a "fighter for peace for both peoples", she interrupted him and said "one who fights for peace doesn't turn people into bombs and kill children".

      Such a statement was most surprising coming from a judge who has the responsibility of ruling on the guilt of the defendant, and who, from the very outset of the trial, expressed a categorical opinion on the case.

      Mr. Barghouti probably should have been entitled to ask his judge to withdraw from the case because of this failure of her duty to show impartiality.

      Another similar incident occurred outside the courtroom which necessarily upset the tranquillity of the proceedings: in July 2003, some newspapers announced that the Israeli Government was tempted to negotiate the release of Mr. Barghouti under a prisoner exchange scheme, and that the Israeli Attorney General, Mr. Elyakim Rubinstein, had written to the Prime Minister to oppose this, declaring, in a letter which was made public, that Mr. Barghouti was a "first-rate architect of terrorism".

      Once again, this statement prejudged the outcome of a trial that was still ongoing, and demonstrated contempt for the presumption of innocence , which is surprising coming from a person in his position.

      * * * *

      The evidence adduced

      In support of the charges, the State Attorney's Office filed above all the statements and declarations made by the accused and by a few other individuals.

      I have not been able to gain access to the material evidence adduced, which essentially comprises documents seized by the army in Mr. Barghouti's office. Mr. Boulus explained to me that they were mainly letters addressed to Mr. Barghouti in his capacity as a parliamentarian, and that no document originated by Mr. Barghouti had implicated him in the acts of which he was being accused.

      The prosecution had called some 100 witnesses. The transcripts of the sessions, which were given to me in Hebrew and which I was able to consult with the assistance of a sworn translator, Mr. Bitar, stated that 96 prosecution witnesses had been heard.

      This figure should be seen in proportion, because 63 of these 96 people were investigators or individuals associated with the investigation into Mr. Barghouti, or investigations into the attacks that had been ascribed to him, and who were therefore unable to give a personal testimony regarding his involvement.

      Furthermore, 12 of these witnesses were victims or witnesses of bomb attacks and had given their account of them, but they had no information regarding the personal involvement of the accused.

      According to the prosecution, only 21 of the prosecution witnesses were actually in a position to testify directly regarding Mr. Barghouti's role in these attacks. But none of these 21 individuals in fact accused him. About 12 of them explicitly told the court that he was not involved. Most of them quite simply refused to answer the questions of the court, generally on the ground that it had no jurisdiction to judge Mr. Barghouti.

      Faced with the refusal of most of the subpoenaed persons to testify, the court had to fall back on the written statements collected by the investigators. I have not had the opportunity to examine these documents but, according to the trial transcripts, some of the subpoenaed witnesses had signed statements when heard by the investigating services, declaring that Mr. Barghouti might have been informed of certain bomb attacks before they had taken place, or that he may have sent money to finance the attacks, or had ordered the purchase of weapons for the attacks. Several witnesses told the court that these statements had been obtained under duress.

      * * * *


      […] From the beginning of the investigations until the final day of the trial, the prosecution put almost as much effort into staging a media event as it did into working on the legal aspects:

      • by organising information leaks, claimed to have come from the interrogations of Mr. Barghouti, at a time when he had been held incommunicado, so that neither he nor his lawyer could possibly have answered any questions;
      • by deciding to organise a public trial before the Tel Aviv District Court, rather than a trial behind closed doors before military judges, as has generally been the case in the past for other individuals arrested by the Israeli army in the Occupied Territories;
      • by staging the trial as a major media event, selectively admitting and accompanying members of the public, and organising press contact points even in the precincts of the Court.

      It is true that of all the Palestinian prisoners currently being detained by Israel, Mr. Barghouti is the most senior member of the Palestinian Authority hierarchy, and is said to be close to Mr. Arafat.

      Nevertheless, this has also been the result of the Israeli Government’s decision to make his capture and subsequent trial, into a political as well as a judicial or security issue. It is therefore hardly surprising that this has led to excesses, such as the following:

      • the statement by the Israeli Deputy Minister of Homeland Security saying that Mr. Barghouti "thoroughly deserves death";
      • the statement by the Attorney General calling him a terrorist;
      • the way in which his lawyers have been prevented from meeting him, and particularly the long interrogations to which his French lawyer, Ms. Halimi, was subjected on her arrival at the airport;
      • Israel's refusal to allow in an observer from the International Federation for Human Rights.

      These incidents have quite obviously been facilitated by the climate that has made this trial increasingly more a political, rather than a judicial, matter, but also by a breakdown of Israeli law placing it in breach of international law, by authorising prisoner transfers (which is clearly prohibited by the Fourth Geneva Convention) or tolerating interrogation methods which should be prohibited, in addition to the laws making it possible to keep a prisoner incommunicado for excessively long periods.

      The Israeli authorities are right to point out that their country is up against blind terrorism posing serious security problems that they have to address. This report is not the right place to discuss the origins of this terrorism, or ways of putting an end to it, but it does illustrate that the methods chosen to deal with it have been inconsistent with the rule of law, and sight has been lost of such equally essential principles as the absolute priority that must under all circumstances be given to respect for the physical integrity of prisoners.

      The numerous breaches of international law recalled in this report make it impossible to conclude that Mr. Barghouti was given a fair trial.

      Most of the persons contacted are convinced that Mr. Barghouti will receive a severe sentence, but all are equally convinced that the verdict will have no legitimacy because it will have been dictated far more by intense media pressure and political interests than by any rigorous application of procedures respecting the integrity of the defendant and his right of defence.

      The Barghouti case has very clearly demonstrated that, far from bringing security, the breaches of international law have, above all, undermined the authority of Israeli justice by casting discredit on its conduct of investigations and the procedures used.

  • Beyond apartheid: Fragments from the West Bank
  • Academic boycott campaign is growing fast at Trinity College Dublin
    • Ossinev: I seem to recall that Apartheid South Africa was brought to its knees not by war but by a BDS movement...

      A somewhat different recollection:

      rplatkin: [...]BDS played a small role in the end of legal apartheid in South Africa. [economic apartheid continues--Sibiriak] The heavy lifting involved mass confrontations threatening capital across the entire country, South Africa’s defeat in Angola with the help of Cuban troops, the ANC-SACP political line of a unified country devoid of any ethnic nationalisms, the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986 (US Government sanctions on South Africa), and an initial stress (later dropped) on economic equality.

      Most of these features are so far missing in Israel-Palestine, including a serious BDS call for US government sanctions on Israel.

  • Sean Spicer needs to go to a Holocaust center
    • Unless I am mistaken, here is a transcript of the CNN program:

    • Stephen Cohen with CNN anchors Poppy Harlow and John Berman.

      CNN Transcript:

      Aired April 11, 2017 - 09:00 ET

      Let's talk about all of these different foreign policy issues facing this administration. Our military analyst and retired Colonel Cedric Leighton is here, and Steven Cohen. He's a professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and at Princeton.



      [Cohen:] “there is zero evidence to tie Assad to that gas attack. Zero.”

      Berman responded, “well let’s leave that aside. The United Nations says there is. The people in the area say there are.”

      “No,” Cohen challenged. “The United Nations did not say that.”

      “Well Turkey has said it, Professor,” Harlow added. “The United States has said it.”



    • RT News:

      On Tuesday, the White House released a declassified intelligence brief accusing Syrian President Bashar Assad of ordering and organizing the attack, in which Syrian planes allegedly dropped chemical ordnance on civilians in the rebel-held town.

      The report “contains absolutely no evidence that this attack was the result of a munition being dropped from an aircraft,” wrote Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Professor Theodore Postol, who reviewed it and put together a 14-page assessment, which he provided to RT on Wednesday.

      “I believe it can be shown, without doubt, that the document does not provide any evidence whatsoever that the US government has concrete knowledge that the government of Syria was the source of the chemical attack in Khan Shaykhun,” wrote Postol.

      * * *

      [...]Earlier in the day, White House spokesman Sean Spicer also said that doubting the evidence would be “doubting the entire international reporting crew documenting this.” [LOL-Sibiriak]

      The report offered by the White House, however, “a wide body of open-source material” and “social media accounts” from the rebel-held area, including footage provided by the White Helmets rescue group documented to have ties with jihadist rebels, Western and Gulf Arab governments. [emphasis added]

  • Passover has become little more than an act of communal hypocrisy
    • RoHa: I suggested that rejection of the community was immoral

      A group which accepts the benefits of the society...

      How are you defining those terms "the community" and "the society" for the purposes of this discussion, i.e. what are you assuming to be boundaries of "the community" / "society"?

      Is the extent of "the community" or "the society" determined by national (state) boundaries? Or can "the community" be something smaller-- or larger-- than a (nation) state?

  • 'This miracle, this gift, this jewel' -- Obama's ambassador to Israel declares he's a Zionist
    • Talkback: What is the point to make a difference who (non state actor or state actor) acquired what territory by war and expulsion? It the latter less illegal than the former? Is it more legitimate...

      "Legality" based on international law has to be distinguished from "legitimacy", not to mention "morality".

      Furthermore, legality as officially expressed and codified by international institutions (eg. the UN, ICJ) has to be distinguished from non-official legal opinions , however valid the latter may be.

      Keeping those distinctions in mind, it has to be pointed out that the principle of the inadmissibility of territorial acquisition by war has been applied by the UN, ICJ etc to territory acquired by Israel during the 1967 war, but NOT to territory acquired before the 1949 armistice agreements, either before or after Israel proclaimed itself a state.

      From a legal standpoint , that first war was generally viewed as a non-international conflict to which international law largely did not apply. (The political reality was that no major power was willing to commit the troops that would have been necessary to prevent or roll back the ethnic cleansing carried out by Jewish forces.)


      [Hostage:] […]The Stimson Doctrine did not apply to civil wars between the lawful inhabitants of a State. In the 1930s only States could enter into international agreements and only States were considered persons of international law in accordance with Article 1 of The Montevideo Convention (1933). BTW, that was only an international agreement between States. Article 11 only established a conventional rule of their conduct that applied to wars between themselves (international armed conflicts). Treaties were not considered binding agreements with respect to non-State belligerents or insurgents.

      […]During civil wars in a High Contracting State, Common Article 3 of the Geneva Convention applies. Many of the 161 customary rules of international law do not apply to non-international armed conflicts , (NIAC). See the list for the applicable rules for international armed conflicts (IAC): link to


      [Avi_G.:]Phil, Finkelstein, and others sometimes like to separate the legal precedent that is the UN Partition Plan and Declaration of Independence, from the war of aggression of 1967, forgetting that land acquired in 1948 by force cannot be legally annexed.

      [Hostage:] The principles of international law regarding annexation of territory did not apply to the civil war (a non-international armed conflict) between the communities of the Palestine mandate.

      After the mandate was terminated, Israel declared its independence and the Arabs declared a union between Transjordan and Arab Palestine. Once Israel and Jordan were both admitted to the UN as member states, and none of their citizens shared a common Palestinian nationality, the on-going conflict was transformed into an international one. The ICJ noted that, in 1967, both sides were High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions. So the situation then was completely different.

      In 1947, the UN had been asked to propose a peaceful solution to the increasingly violent situation in Palestine. The Security Council accepted the General Assembly’s recommendation in principle, but it became clear that the partition plan could not be carried out by peaceful means. The members of the Security Council objected to the use of force to impose a political solution on the Charter basis that the United Nations is not authorized to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any State. So it called the General Assembly back into special session. A Mediator was appointed to find an alternative, negotiated, solution. The portion of the GA resolution on partition was never actually implemented, although both sides later claimed the other had “violated” the terms.

      The parties concerned entered into international armistice agreements which granted the belligerents civil jurisdiction to apply their municipal laws up to the “Green Lines”. That is the normal definition of annexation. The agreements also constituted “belligerent recognition” under customary international law […]

      [Hostage:] […]The Plan of Partition for the two states was only one of the many chapters in the recommended “Plan for the Future Government Of Palestine”, UN GA resolution 181(II). It was never implemented due to the non-international armed conflict in Palestine. Israel was created by its own act of secession during a civil war, so international law was largely inapplicable. […]

      [Hostage: […]The conflict in Palestine was essentially viewed as a civil war. For example, after the Deir Yassin massacre, the members of the Security Council met privately and decided that the anticipated entry of Abdullah into Palestine would not necessarily constitute an act of aggression – if he were coming to the aid of his disorganized and demoralized brethren who had become the objects of Jewish attack. Like Folke Bernadotte, they privately proposed a union of the Arab portions of the Mandate.

      The principles of inter-temporal law would prevent anyone from going to the ICJ on the basis of resolution 181(II) to take back territory legally occupied under the terms of the General Armistice Agreements. The ICJ has already said that it still considers the General Armistice Agreement between Israel and Jordan to be a valid undertaking. See paragraph 129 (.pdf)of the Wall advisory opinion. […]

      On the principles of inter-temporal law see:

      [emphasis added to comments]

    • talknic: Prior to 00:01 May 15th 1948 there was a civil war in Palestine. In this period properties were illegally taken by Jewish terrorist groups, non-state actors. Israel didn’t exist.

      At precisely 00:01 May 15th 1948, with Jewish forces already in territories outside the proclaimed borders of the State of Israel, the civil war became a war waged by the State of Israel on and in what remained of Palestine. From 00:01 May 15th 1948 on, it was the State of Israel illegally acquiring territories “outside the State of Israel”. [emphasis added]

      1)Did the American Civil War cease to be a civil war the moment the Confederate States of America were proclaimed to be an independent nation?

      2) If part of an existing state declares independence and tries to secede and war ensues, are you saying such a war is not a civil war?

      3) Is a mere declaration of independence enough bring a state into existence and turn a "non-state actor" into a "state actor"?

      4)Can you cite any legal document, legal authority or scholar that affirms as you do that at precisely 00:01 May 15th 1948, when Israel was proclaimed to be an independent nation, the civil war in Palestine ceased to be a civil war?

      5) Can you cite any official definition of "civil war " in international law? If not, what definition from what source are you using to make those claims?

      6)From 00:01 May 15th 1948 on, it was the State of Israel illegally acquiring territories “outside the State of Israel.

      So prior to that moment, the acquisition of territory by force by Jewish "non-state actors" was not illegal--because it occurred during a "civil war"?

    • Talkback: There’s no resolution which condemns the expansion of Israeli law (and therefore sovereignity) to the territories it conqured beyond res 181 and within 67 lines (excluding Jerusalem). Israel “exists” there, too.


    • after centuries of exile...

      Correction: after believing in a myth of exile , a relatively recent Zionist version specifically.

      Citations, links, discussion here:

  • Israel’s ‘right to exist’ and the Palestinian right to resist
  • The liberal double standard on boycotting North Carolina and boycotting Israel
    • YoniFalic: I can very simply explain the logic of removing the white racist genocidal European invader

      Could you also explain the method?

  • The real free speech threat
    • ...these attempts at censorship....

      When it's done to progressives, it's "censorship".

      When it's done by progressives, it's "no-platforming."

  • Trump's new war has neocons, Clintonites, and Israelis applauding, but left and realists dismayed
    • Donald Johnson: Gamal and Keith get mad when I say Assad is a war criminal, which is what I would also say about various US presidents and American allies and all for the same reason ...

      * * *

      I have stated plainly that the US has no right to intervene and is responsible for greatly increasing the death toll with its arming of rebels -


      So again I ask, what is your purpose in labeling Assad a "war criminal"?

      Is it just to make a moral judgment? To put Assad in the same moral category as U.S. presidents, European leaders, Middle East leaders, Israeli leaders, et al. ?

      That's interesting, surely. But are there any practical implications?

      If Assad being a war criminal does not justify U.S. or other foreign intervention, then are you suggesting legal action against him?

      Or what?

      Does it justify support for Islamist rebels fighting Assad? If not, why not?

    • Keith: At this stage of the game, it should hardly be necessary to examine all of the individual details of this one particular incident to arrive at the reasonable conclusion that this latest gas attack is probably a false flag and definitively a pretext for aggression.


    • Donald Johnson: There are similar reports of indiscriminate bombing and shelling.


      Thanks for the response. What I'm trying to understand is--who are you arguing with, if anybody?

      Has someone here denied that there are reports of Syrian government indiscriminate bombing and shelling?


      If one or both of the chemical weapons attacks were false flags, then both were war crimes, obviously and if the US knew then it is about as serious as you can get short of genocide.

      So, are we going to just leave those "if"s as "if"s?

      Just like these "if"s:

      If [Assad's] forces have deliberately killed large numbers of civilians in massacres or indiscriminate bombings, then he is a war criminal. If his forces torture or murder prisoners, again he is a war criminal.

      Don't you need to resolve both sets of "if"s? Otherwise, what conclusions, moral or political, can be drawn?


      Assad is a killer // Assad is a war criminal

      Those seem like simple assertions, but actually they are quite complex semantically.

      On the one hand, they can be taken as simple assertions of fact. But then, what is their significance? It isn't at all clear. Which of the Western and Middle Eastern leaders involved are not "killers" or "war criminals"? What are the implications of being a "killer"/"war criminal"? There is a whole range of "war crimes" subsumed by the term "war criminal", so it's descriptive content is very broad--while the negative emotional charge is huge.

      On the other hand, the labels "killer" and "war criminal" have a specific function in Western interventionist discourse. They are not simple factual terms, but demonizing labels used to justify military action, regime change, assassination etc.

      So I ask, how are you using those terms? For what purpose?
      If your purpose is factual description to serve as the basis of moral or political evaluation, not interventionist demonization, don't you need move beyond the labels and get much more specific?

    • Ben Norton: "Why Is Media Citing Man Accused of Kidnapping Journalists as Credible Source on Syrian Chemical Attack?"

    • Donald Johnson: If you made an argument that the Assad government is fighting the war as humanely as possible and that all the reports of indiscriminate bombardment and torture are false, that would be relevant. [emphasis added]

      Is anyone here making either of those two claims?

      If not, what is their relevance?

    • Donald Johnson: No doubt he fights as cleanly as Israel in Gaza.

      You seem to be creating a bit of a straw man...

      But in any case, on the issue of war crimes:

      If this latest chemical weapons incident was indeed a "false flag" operation, as likely also in the 2013 incident, conceived and carried out in order to justify U.S. intervention and the continued pursuit of regime change, how egregious a war crime would you judge that to be and what are its ramifications?

    • @Jwalters

      Some of the comments to the Consortium News articles are valuable as well.

    • Glenn Greenwald: "The Spoils of War: Trump Lavished With Media and Bipartisan Praise For Bombing Syria"

      "Something is Not Adding Up In Idlib Chemical Weapons Attack"

  • You know your country's in trouble when you're afraid to put on a bumper sticker
    • Larry Derfner is a brave man who broke with liberal Zionism ...

      Actually, Derfner has has NOT broken with liberal Zionism; he criticizes the establishment version--often radically-- but ultimately reaffirms its most fundamental tenets.

      He supports the end of the Occupation and the continuation of Jewish statehood in Israel, and he reluctantly supports BDS as a means to those ends.

      There is no ambiguity on this point: in his new book he describes himself as an "ultra-liberal Zionist". (p.238)

      And he writes:

      I've learned a tremendous amount from the left. The exposure has moved me further in their direction, mainly in recognizing the justice of the Palestinians' insistence on the right of return for refugees who were run out of the country in 1948.

      But the recognition of that justice has not led me to accept the left-wing view that Zionism is racism or that the Jewish state must be dismantled and replaced with a non-sectarian, Western-style democracy. Given the political geography and history of the Middle East, I don't see how Arabs and Jews will all serve together in the military and intelligence agencies of a country whose potential enemies are all Arab and Muslim states and militias--and if Jews and Arabs in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza can't defend a state together, they cannot maintain one together. As far as I am concerned, the one-state idea for Israel-Palestine is the local equivalent of the idea of a one-world government: It sounds sublime, and if it were workable it would obviously be preferable to nationalism, Jewish or otherwise, but that is not how people live. If the left's idea for Israel-Palestine were actually implemented, I believe it would lead to a civil war whose end would only come once most of the Jews or most of the Arabs were gone. So while I think the Palestinian refugees have the right to return, I also think the Jews of Israel have the right to live in a stable, secure country, and the only possible country of that kind, at least in the Holy Land, is one with a solid, lasting Jewish majority. So the Palestinian right of return and the Jewish right to security have to be balanced. As for feasibility, as unlikely as Israeli Jews are as to ever give up the occupation, they'll come around to that a long time before they'll give up the Jewish state. [p.238-39] [emphasis added]

  • Why so many are twisting Ken Livingstone’s words about Hitler and Zionism
  • Dershowitz gets drunk on water
  • Read the full translated text of the leaked Hamas charter
    • eljay: Hamas’ acceptance of a two-state solution means nothing if its clearly-stated ultimate goal is to reclaim all of geographic Palestine.

      Alternately, an "ultimate goal" to reclaim all of Palestine means nothing if a two-state solution is agreed to and implemented.

  • 'New sheriff in town' Nikki Haley is gonna kick anyone who objects to latest Jewish settlement
  • New book by Larry Derfner, the American-turned-Israeli journalist, crushes liberal Zionism
    • Derfner:

      But the recognition of that justice [Palestinians' right of return] has not led me to accept the left-wing view that Zionism is racism or that the Jewish state must be dismantled and replaced with a non-sectarian, Western-style democracy.

      * * *

      So while I think the Palestinian refugees have the right to return, I also think the Jews of Israel have the right to live in a stable, secure country, and the only possible country of that kind, at least in the Holy Land, is one with a solid, lasting Jewish majority.

      See longer quotation at :

      So we have Derfner stripping Zionism down to its most essential element-- a Jewish majority in Israel-- and arguing that such a minimalist "ultra-liberal" Zionism is not only compatible with BDS, but in fact requires it.

    • Derfner wants to end of the Occupation only; he wants "Jewish statehood" to survive. He rebuts the idea that BDS would lead to the end of "Jewish statehood".

      Whether good or bad, right or wrong, how is that not a variant of liberal Zionism?

    • Liberal Zionists distract by asserting that some BDS advocates actually want to end Israel as a Jewish state. Derfner quotes his own rebuttal, from a piece he wrote in the (excellent) online publication +972:

      I have no problem supporting BDS because I know that if Israel ever gets to the point where it’s ready to concede to international pressure, it will be responding not to the small left-wing groups calling for it to give up Jewish statehood, but to the powerful forces in the democratic world calling for it to give up the occupation alone.”


      Derfner critiques liberal Zionism, but ultimately reaffirms it. BDS, in his view, can only result in a two-state settlement that allows "Jewish statehood" to survive.

  • The rabbi's daughter isn't buying AIPAC's defense of Israel on apartheid charge
    • Res. 2334 affirms the illegality of the settlements in Occupied Palestinian Territory and calls for negotiations to end the Occupation.

      1. Reaffirms that the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two -State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace.

      * * * * *

      8. Calls upon all parties to continue, in the interest of the promotion of peace and security, to exert collective efforts to launch credible negotiations on all final status issues in the Middle East peace process and within the time frame specified by the Quartet in its statement of 21 September 2010;

      9. Urges in this regard the intensification and acceleration of international and regional diplomatic efforts and support aimed at achieving, without delay a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East on the basis of the relevant United Nations resolutions, the Madrid terms of reference, including the principle of land for peace, the Arab Peace Initiative and the Quartet Roadmap and an end to the Israeli occupation that began in 1967; and underscores in this regard the importance of the ongoing efforts to advance the Arab Peace Initiative, the initiative of France for the convening of an international peace conference, the recent efforts of the Quartet, as well as the efforts of Egypt and the Russian Federation;

      10. Confirms its determination to support the parties throughout the negotiations and in the implementation of an agreement;

      [emphasis added]

      Of course, Israel has shown no interest in negotiating in good faith.

  • Will assassination lead to war?
    • catalan: ... it is the Palestinians who are in a horrific predicament and this will remain so throughout my lifetime.

      Your compassion and moral outrage are palpable.

  • 'US is overwhelmingly partial to Israel,' Pelosi admits at AIPAC
    • Philip Weiss: the media gave top billing to the demonstrations against Vladimir Putin

      Actually, the demonstrations were NOT against Putin, but rather against Russia’s prime minister, Dmitry Medvedev, driven by accusations that he has accumulated vast real estate holdings through various forms of corruption.

      This distinction is critical for many reasons, not the least of which being that Medvedev is widely understood to be leading a pro-Western, neoliberal faction in the government.

      Keep in mind that anti-corruption demonstrations, far from being seen in Russia as "anti-Putin", actually fit in quite nicely with Putin's own ostensibly anti-corruption actions, most notably the recent arrest of Alexei Uliukaev, Minister of the Economy in the Medvedev government, on charges of extortion and corruption.

      Cf. "Putin Is (Finally) Purging the Medvedev Government " (highly speculative article)

  • UNC SJP responds to ongoing debate over cancellation of Rania Khalek event
  • No space for Zionism
    • Space for coalitions of anti-Zionists and liberal Zionists?

      Philip Weiss:

      Liberal Zionists have had it both ways for too long: supporting a “Jewish state” that they also claim is a “democracy.” Trump has marked the end of that farce. Now they must give up a cherished dream; the liberal Zionists who want to shape the future will have to build coalitions with Palestinians and anti-Zionists.

      From the Palestinian and anti-Zionist standpoint, what we are seeing is what activist and writer Sarah Schulman told us would happen five years ago: As you go from a vanguard movement to a broad-based movement, you must give up some of your litmus tests, egotism, and ideological purity, in the name of change.

      Cf. Ahmed Moor, "Is there room for liberal Zionists in an anti-Zionist movement?"

  • Some Jews support BDS 'from a place of love' for Israel, says AJC official
    • justly objectionable in the alt-right: endless rhetoric of losing a racial majority.

      Fear of losing a racial majority is objectionable; fear of losing a cultural majority, not so much-- apparently.

  • Open Letter: Against the blacklisting of activists and writers
    • Cf. Comment by David Green — March 7, 2017 @ 3:32 pm

      @ Louis. I don’t know if the WH are linked to AQ. But if Khalek thinks that, and even if it’s not true, it doesn’t make her a supporter of Assad. I’ve listened to hours of her podcast, and she has never supported Assad. She does not deserve to be vilified by you, and she certainly does not deserve to be “de-platformed”–not that anyone does.

      Your hatred for those whom you claim support Assad takes precedence with you over a basic sense of decency and fairness in debate about these issues. Your monomania about this issue results in your perspectives being twisted beyond reason.

    • Rania Khalek:

      Criticism of Wahhabism and Salafism is NOT Islamophobia. These ideologies are ultra-conservative, bigoted, misogynist and even genocidal. They have inspired an incredible amount of violence and hatred in the Middle East that has wiped out minorities and destroyed rich and vibrant cultures. And they have the blessing and support of U.S. empire.
      I have zero sympathy for the sensitivities of privileged westerners, especially those who identify as progressive, defending such ideologies.

      Also these are not organic movements. The idea that they represent the natural tendencies of Arabs and Muslims in the region is orientalist itself and frankly racist. These groups used to be minor and uninfluential. It’s because of decades of Western and gulf state support that they even have traction in the first place.

      I’ve seen the damage and destruction these ideologies have caused with my own eyes. I refuse to whitewash them.

    • Isaiah.Silver:This is *not* the same as having an SJP group cancel your talk after learning that the speaker has violated core solidarity principle through her anti-refugee, anti-Muslim, pro-“War on Terror,” and pro-Assad rhetoric

      But the SJP explicitly stated that they learned no such thing:

      [SJP]: We do not endorse nor reject her views on the Syrian civil war as they remain relatively unclear according to our members’ diverse opinions of Rania’s analyses.

      They did not reject her views. They cancelled the event because it was "met with a lot of anger " from one faction out to silence opposing views on a "contentious issue."

      So, your assertion regarding SJP is false.

      Worse: you slander Rania personally. You claim her rhetoric is "anti-refugee, anti-Muslim, pro-“War on Terror,” and pro-Assad". That is utterly false as well.

      Cf. Rania Khalek:

      "How U.S. Support for Syrian Rebels Drove the Refugee Crisis That Trump Has Capitalized On

      "America’s love affair with Salafi jihadists"


      Hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola discuss the campaign against Khalek, which led to the cancellation of her speaking event at the University of North Carolina.

      * * *

      [...]It all relates to the smears Khalek has had to confront because a faction of people—pro-regime change in Syria—have committed themselves to silencing her voice.

  • Video: 'Apartheid has been here for ages. It doesn't really bother us' -- Israeli comedian says in closing act
  • Finders Keepers in the Holy Land: So who was there first?
    • Talkback: ..the British respected the Ottoman land regulations and Bedouin’s grazing traditions contrary to the Zionist terror state’s thiefs and looters

      While the British did build on the Ottoman legal structure, and made some efforts to protect traditional Palestinian land rights, they also made major changes to land regulations, often to the benefit of Zionist land acquisition.


      "Zionism and Land Tenure in Mandate Palestine"
      by Aida Essaid

      Book description:

      [...]With her new book, Aida A. Essaid has made a worthwhile entry into this debate over Mandatory land policy and the related question of the aims of British land policy.

      [...] Her book’s conclusions align closest to Gavish’s thinking, arguing that the Mandatory government “allowed Zionism to take an active and collaborative role in every stage of the land tenure system…” (p. 15). As a result, Essaid believes that Zionism then used the resulting system to acquire the land needed for a Jewish state.

      The author arrives at this conclusion by way of an intricate, archives-based study of the legal framework and of British land policies that were promulgated in Palestine during the Mandate.

      Excerpt from "Zionism and Land Tenure in Mandate Palestine"

      In less than a century, beginning with the reforms of the Ottoman Land Code of 1858 and ending with the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, landownership in modern Palestine was completely revolutionized. The most substantial part of this transformation took place under the British Mandate administration, since it was during that period that the land tenure system was used by Zionist actors to fulfill another purpose – the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine through the means of a colonial-settler movement.

      The question posed in this book was whether the British Mandate land tenure system in Palestine facilitated the transfer of land from Palestinians to Zionist Jews, and if it did, to what extent?

      It was argued that in each process of the land tenure system, the Jewish Agency and Zionist actors played a collaborative role. This study therefore concludes that by penetrating every part of the land tenure system, consisting of legislation, land survey, registration, transfers, and disputes, Zionist actors were able to manipulate the land tenure system in Palestine.

      Furthermore, it contends that not only did they succeed in purchasing a small percentage of the land, but that this was the most fertile land and that in buying it they also dispossessed many Palestinian fellahin from their land while dividing and destabilizing the already weak economy. Finally, the strategic location of the land thus acquired would form the outline map for the proposed partition of Palestine at the end of the British Mandate. [p.238 ]

  • Name the six countries the U.S. is bombing in the Middle East
  • On rewards against terror and for justice
  • Trump is putting the crunch on liberal Zionism
    • As Netanyahu knows, the only “one state” that Palestinians are going to “like” — let alone accept ...


      Netanyahu doesn't give a rat's ass what the Palestinians might "like" or accept. The fraudulent "peace process" is over. Israel will act unilaterally, as it always has.

      There will be no "one state" offer of any sort to the Palestinians.

      “One state is not an option,” said Ghassan Khatib, a Palestinian political scientist at Birzeit University in the West Bank, noting that Israel, which was established to give Jews self-determination, would never give all Palestinians the vote. “We are talking two states or no solution, a continuation of the status quo,” he said.


      Two states is out. That leaves " no solution." But not necessarily the "status quo."

      ... Jewish Home party leader Bennett laid out his vision for the future of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which includes annexing some 60 percent of the West Bank, and offering Israeli citizenship to the Palestinians living there and autonomy to the remaining residents of the territories.

      “I am very pleased to see that gradually Prime Minister Netanyahu is adopting this approach.

      * * * *
      [...] Bennett said that rejecting Palestinian statehood did not necessarily mean applying Israeli sovereignty over the entire West Bank. [Israeli sovereignty over Gaza is, of course, completely out of the question.--Sibiriak]

      “There are some who would present it as either a Palestinian state or a one-state solution; I don’t buy that,” Bennett said.

      “My plan is something between those. I don’t think we should apply rule over two million Palestinians. I have no desire to govern them.”

  • Trump's dim view of Palestine-Israel
    • Perhaps the “state” Trump envisions is taken directly from Israel’s far-right playbook..."

      Ya think?

      Let's see, based on the highly-valued advice of right-wing Zionists Jared Kushner, David Friedman et al., Trump envisions:

      A.) A single democratic state comprising Israel, Gaza and the West Bank, with equal rights for all +Palestinian Right of Return, signifying the total and final annihilation of the Jewish state and the Zionist dream.


      B.) A Greater Israel, excluding Gaza and some highly-populated areas of the West Bank wherein Palestinians can enjoy "autonomy" or whatever, signifying a massive land grab and raucous consolidation of the Jewish state and Zionist dream.

      Hmmm. That's a tough one.

  • 'New York Times' on Palestinians sounds like it's opining about 'Negro Problem'
    • John O: . They will proclaim a single state from the sea to the Jordan

      No they won't. They are absolutely NOT going to claim Gaza as part of Israel.

      Naftali Bennett, head of Israel’s far-right, pro-settler Jewish Home party, hailed Mr Trump’s remarks as “new ideas” and the start of “a new era”.

      “No need for 3rd Palestinian state beyond Jordan & Gaza.

      And most likely they will not claim some highly populous chunks of the WB.

      Israeli Zionists may be evil, but they are not so stupid as a lot of people are assuming.

  • Albert Einstein's advice to Jared Kushner
    • In 1921, Einstein explained his vision of cultural Zionism. (Of course, his views were not static and changed over time.)

      How I Became a Zionist


      [...] I believe German Jewry owes its continued existence to anti-Semitism. Religious forms, which prevented Jews in the past from mixing with, and integrating into their environment, are now dwindling away under growing prosperity and better education. Thus, there remains only this contrast to their environment, called anti-Semitism, that leads to social separation. Without this contrast, the mixing of Jews in Germany would happen quickly and unhindered.

      Until seven years ago I lived in Switzerland, and as long as I lived there I did not become aware of my Jewishness, and there was nothing in my life that would have stirred my Jewish feeling or stimulated it. This changed as soon as I had taken residency in Berlin. There I saw the predicament of many young Jews. I saw how the anti-Semitic environment prevented them from pursuing orderly studies or struggling for a secure basis of existence. This is especially true for Eastern European Jews, who are continuously subjected to harassment. I do not believe they constitute a large number in Germany. Only in Berlin are there, perhaps, a great many. Yet their presence has become a question that occupies the German public more and more. Meetings, conferences, newspapers press for their quick removal or internment. The housing shortage and economic depression are used as arguments to justify these harsh demands. Those facts are deliberately overstated in order to bias public opinion against Eastern European Jewish immigrants. Eastern European Jews are made the scapegoats for certain defects in present-day German economic life, things that in reality are painful aftereffects of the war. The confrontational attitude toward these unfortunate refugees, who have escaped the hell that Eastern Europe is today, has become an efficient and politically successful weapon used by demagogues. When the government contemplated measures against Eastern European Jews, I stood up for them in the Berliner Tageblatt, where I pointed out the inhumanity and irrationality of these measures.

      Together with a few colleagues, Jews and non-Jews, I held university courses for Eastern European Jews, and I would like to add that our activity met with the official recognition and full support of the Ministry of Education.

      These and similar experiences have awakened my Jewish-national feelings. I am not a Jew in the sense that I would demand the preservation of the Jewish or any other nationality as an end in itself. I rather see Jewish nationality as a fact, and I believe every Jew must draw the consequences from this fact. I consider raising Jewish self-confidence necessary, also in the interest of a normal living together with non-Jews. This was the major motive of my joining the Zionist movement. Zionism, to me, is not just a colonizing movement directed toward Palestine.

      The Jewish nation is a living fact in Palestine as well as in the diaspora, and Jewish national feelings must be kept alive everywhere that Jews live. Members of tribes or peoples must —under today’s living conditions—have a lively tribal awareness in order not to lose their dignity and moral rectitude. It was the unbroken vitality of American Jewry that made clear to me how sickly German Jewry is.

      We live in an age of exaggerated nationalism and, being a small nation, we have to take this into account. But my Zionism does not preclude cosmopolitan conceptions. Starting from the reality of Jewish nationality, I believe that every Jew has duties toward his fellow Jews. The significance of Zionism is of course manifold. It opens the possibility of a dignified human existence to many Jews who presently suffer in the hell of Ukraine or decay economically in Poland. By repatriating Jews to Palestine and giving them a healthy and normal economic existence, Zionism is a productive activity that enriches human society. But the main point is that Zionism strengthens the self-confidence of Jews, which is necessary for their existence in the diaspora, and that the Jewish center in Palestine creates a strong bond that gives Jews moral support. The undignified mania of adaptive conformity, among many of my social standing, has always been very repulsive to me.

      The founding of a free Jewish community structure in Palestine will again put Jewish people in a position where they can unencumbered fully unfold their creative capabilities. The establishment of the Hebrew University and similar institutions will not only lead the Jewish people to its own national renaissance, but also give Jews the opportunity of contributing to the spiritual life of the world on a freer basis.

  • Trump says he's 'happy' with one-state outcome, ringing in a new era
  • Israel interferes in our politics all the time, and it's never a scandal
    • old geezer: but i would hope anyone wanting peace and justice would not want such a scenario.

      Absolutely. (I'm not sure why you chose to begin that clause with "but", as there is no conflict between my statement and yours.)

      inbound39 has repeatedly brought up the possibility of an attack on Dimona:

      Apparently, he/she relishes the idea of Israel's vulnerability, but I think these hyperbolic assertions are misguided and counterproductive.

    • inbound39: ... one missile from a saturation attack on Israel hits Dimona… then becomes uninhabitable


      From what I read, an attack on Dimona could result in radiation release and social/economic disruption, but would hardly make the country "uninhabitable." And of course, Israel's reaction to such an attack would be swift, massive and utterly devastating.

      So I wonder what's the point of your repeated hyperbole on this point.


      "Cf. Should Israel Close Dimona? The Radiological Consequences of a Military Strike on Israel’s Plutonium-Production Reactor"

      [..] a successful strike on an operating Dimona reactor that breached containment and generated an explosion and fire involving the core would present effects similar to a substantial radiological weapon or dirty bomb.

      Although consequences would represent only a small fraction of the Chernobyl release , for Israel, a country the size of New Jersey with a population of some six million, the relative economic dislocation, population relocation, and immediate and lingering psychological trauma could be significant... [emphasis added]

      If you have info that contradicts that assessment, please provide citations/links.

  • Jewish groups battle over Trump's choice for Israel ambassador
    • Sibiriak: Keith: some brief feedback would be appreciated
      Okay…. it might be a day or two.


      I got distracted.

    • Keith: Willful ignorance or just normal ignorance


      I suspect a bit of both. On top of the completely understandable normal ignorance (given the state of disinformation in the U.S.), there is the equally understandable desire to use the Trump/Russia thing to attack Trump.

      Then there is the kind of very deep-seated, personal, anti-Russian bias that Yonah Fredman has displayed here. He wrote recently:

      I am biased against Russian dictatorship, whether czar leninist or putin

      A very revealing statement.

      David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker magazine since 1998, would be a perfect example of that mentality.

    • Keith: some brief feedback would be appreciated

      Okay.... it might be a day or two.

    • Mooser: Gee, as far as I know...

      I'm saddened that you are so deeply ignorant about Russia.

  • Netanyahu comes to Trump meeting under pressure to kill Palestinian state
    • RoHa: What is the most common patter? SOV? VSO? OVS?

      SVO and SOV are both quite common. I'm not an expert, so I would hesitate to make any definitive statement.

    • @RoHa

      Russian has a very flexible word order. Here's a very typical Russian sentence:

      Я ничего не знаю.

      I nothing not know. = "I don't know anything." Double negative. SOV.

      The Russian cases allow the flexible order. For example:

      Очень грустную картину про Российскую Атлантиду нарисовал нам А Деряин.

      "A very sad picture of the Russian Atlantis painted for us A. Deryain."

      Direct Object (accusative case) --Verb--- Indirect Object (dative case)--Subject (nominative case)

    • RoHa: Sensible people, such as the Russians, put the verb between the subject and the object. (SVO)

      You apparently know very little about the Russian language.

      Nevertheless, я тебя люблю.

  • 'We cannot divide the land': Israeli academic Yehouda Shenhav on bridging the gap between Israelis and Palestinians through Arabic literature
    • bridging the gap between Israelis and Palestinians through Arabic literature

      Literature can bridge the gap in rights, freedom, power, wealth, life-opportunities?

    • There is no way we can divide the land because the Palestinians and the Jews are like Siamese twins.

      Siamese twins?

    • echinococcus: ...get the hell out, back to wherever you came from.

      Exhortation. Not backed by any feasible strategy/ power to carry it out. Not good for much. Except virtue signaling, perhaps.

  • Israeli govt and its supporters admit the fight to defeat BDS has failed

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