Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 2420 (since 2012-06-23 07:13:37)

Showing comments 2420 - 2401

  • Defending Ellison, Jewish writers publish 'apartheid' description of Israel in 'Slate' and 'Washington Post'
    • joemowrey,

      Thanks for drawing attention to Ellison's warmongering (aka, liberal interventionism), especially regarding Syria.

      Keith Ellison in 2013:

      ...30 anti-war activists mobilized on very short notice and succeeded in speaking.

      Representative Ellison opened the meeting by explaining his decision to vote for bombing Syria. His reasons follow the administration’s line. He said, “ Every country has an obligation to defend its citizens from mass atrocities and when they don’t the U.S. has the responsibility to do it by force if necessary.” [emphasis added]


      A concise statement of American exceptionalism. No doubt Ellison would not recognize the same "responsibility to protect" (R2P) for Russia or other states not on board with Western global domination.


      Ed Felien cited the reports which dispute the claims the Syrian government used sarin gas and asked, “How'd you get your evidence?” Ellison replied that he got it from the Syrian American community.

      John Kolstad called on Ellison to call for the release of the documents which the administration claim shows the Syria government is guilty of using chemical weapons. He recalled Representative Alan Grayson’s (Democrat from Florida) Sept. 5 questioning of Secretary of State John Kerry, at the House hearing on releasing the communication report of the Syrian generals, which some sources say contradicts the administration version.

      One activist asked, “Are we going to drop DU [depleted uranium], white phosphorous and cluster bombs - all weapons of mass destruction - to deal with weapons of mass destruction?”

      * * *

      [...] Bruce Nestor from the National Lawyers Guild of Minnesota noted that it’s against international law to go to war without authorization from the UN.

      He said, “Would it have been OK if Russia or China had shot missiles at U.S. troops to stop the slaughter of 100,000 Iraqis by the U.S. and NATO?”

  • Groundswell for Ellison signals end of the era of political assassination by Israel lobby
    • Citizen: guided by a tiny state comprising 7 million?


      A tiny state in league with a large number of rich and influential American Jewish Zionists , and tens of millions of American Christian Zionists, and tens of millions of American Exceptionalist Zionists.

  • More than half of US aid 'to entire world' goes to Israel and it ignores our warnings on settlements -- Kerry
    • JWalters: it [sanction conditions] would include a cessation and reversal of land thefts, AKA “settlements”.

      Bingo! International sanctions would be conditioned on Israel taking concrete steps to implement the international consensus regarding a TWO STATE settlement.

      All the major world powers-all the states that could put teeth into sanctions-- the Arab League, and most all other UN members, are on board with that two-state consensus.

      Btw, China joined in to completely solidify that consensus earlier this year:

      Chinese President Xi Jinping [...] called for establishing a Palestinian state within the pre-1967-war borders amid efforts by Beijing to assert its economic and political clout in the Middle East.

      Addressing the Cairo-based Arab League, Xi said the Palestinian problem "should not be marginalized."

      "China supports the peaceful process in the Middle East [and] the establishment of a Palestinian state with its capital being eastern Jerusalem," he added

      The actual alternative to two states is not one democratic state, but rather either continued occupation/apartheid or Israeli annexation of territory +Palestinian fragmentation (Gaza linking in one way or another with Egypt, the WB with Jordan, or other such scenarios.)

      International sanctions and other coercive measures will be directly tied to the international two-state consensus. There is no way international sanctions will ever be conditioned on Israel absorbing Gaza and the West Bank to form a single state. Such a violation of state sovereignty and territorial integrity would be completely antithetical to international norms and anathema to the world's community of sovereignty-loving states.

    • echinococcus: As for sanctions against Russia, they preceded the Minsk agreement as far as I know -


      I gave you the links for the E.U. sanctions-- conditions for lifting them are clearly declared.

      International sanctions on Iran etc. had conditions. The US played politics with them, for sure. But an international agreement eventually came.

      Are you really so stupid as to suggest that international sanctions would be put on Israel without any conditions stated???

      You can't be that stupid.

      More like, the obvious answer to the question of conditions is too unpleasant for you to stomach.

    • JWalters: And all that weapons money will be utterly useless against international sanctions.


      International sanctions. Alright. Let's suppose that one day they do come about.

      What do you think the conditions would be? International sanctions must come with specific conditions.

      For example, EU sanctions on Russia are conditioned on the implementation of a peace deal that Germany and France negotiated between Russia and Ukraine.

      So, if sanctions are put on Israel, it will be declared that Israel will have to do X in order to have the sanctions lifted.

      What do you think that X will be?

  • US Senate quickly passed the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act
    • echinococcus: The point is that [the pre-1967 "Green Line" border] can be renegotiated. Hence it is not any country’s borders [...]

      Inane argument. Any countries' borders can be (re)negotiated at any time. Mutually agreed changes can be made at any time. The mere possibility of renegotiation does not make a border not a border.

      (Cf. just recently: )

      but just an armistice line maintained by naked force

      No. That armistice line evolved into an internationally recognized border.
      Hostage has demonstrated this in dozens of posts. See links above (Sibiriak December 4, 2016, 9:55 pm).

      And no, Israel does not maintain the pre-1967 border by force--it rejects it and uses force to violate international law.

      The fact that Israel rejects international law, however, does not change the reality of its legal borders.

      and a fake Oslo agreement.

      No. Israel's borders were legally established long before the fraudulent Oslo Agreements.

    • echinococcus: [ a Palestinian plebiscite] certainly looks like not doable before getting rid of the entire occupation, nohow. They should have thought of it when they started the partition nonsense.

      Indeed, but it’s too late now, as talknic correctly stated. Way, way, way too late.

      A plebiscite now to completely reverse history? "Not doable", you say. No kidding. A total fantasy.

      Except perhaps turning around US policy entirely...

      Greater pressure on Israel (including real international sanctions) to implement the international two-state consensus-- that might be possible.

      But get the U.S. to support the demise of Israel and to support a Palestinian right to disenfranchise/expel all of Israel’s millions of Zionist Jews-- More fantasizing. Moral purism run amok.


      [echinococcus:] Get a plebiscite of all Palestinians, without the invaders, and you’ll be closer to international legality.

      * * * *

      The [Palestinian plebiscite] question is simple: Do you agree to the presence of Zionist invaders, as equals, anywhere on Palestinian soil?

      A plebiscite including a group of people OUTSIDE of a UN member state, not citizens of that state, to strip away the all the legal rights of citizens of that UN member state?

      Are you really so stupid as to think that wouldn’t be a complete repudiation of international legality?

      I don’t think so.

      So what’s the point then about banging on and on about such an unfeasible, impossible, fantasy-land, international-law repudiating plebiscite?

      Do you think merely invoking such a inane plebiscite idea constitutes some form of argument?

    • echinococcus: Get a plebiscite of all Palestinians, without the invaders, and you’ll be closer to international legality.


      Wow! Great idea! A plebiscite of all the Palestinians-- in Israel, the West Bank, Gaza, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and elsewhere around the world.

      Should be doable. (Putting aside the minor problem of getting rid of the Zionist invaders beforehand.)

      And what exactly are you suggesting the plebiscite question should be?

    • Newt Gingrich declared that the Palestinians are an "invented" people who want to destroy Israel.

      Palestinians and their supporters should declare that the Jews are an "invented" people who want to destroy Palestine.

      Why not? Give them a shot of their own medicine.

      What could possibly go wrong?

    • Philemon: Sibiriak: “Israel exists as an internationally recognized UN member state and has the same rights and duties as every other UN member state.” And how it got to be one we will not inquire into, because it would be better not to, nor will we inquire into how it has failed in its duties “as a UN member state"

      Nonsense. Of course we shall inquire into Israel's maleficent history, and of course we shall loudly proclaim that Israel has failed in its duties and that Israel continually violates Palestinian rights and commit crimes against humanity. And of course we shall take ACTION to stop those crimes.

      But rejecting international law, which is indeed quite flawed in many respects, is not going to help the Palestinian cause. One of the main reasons the BDS movement has been so successful is that it recognizes the great practical and moral power that comes from having international law on your side. It would be an incredibly unwise move to throw that away.

    • Mooser: “Israel exists” And what are Israel’s borders?

      According to international law: the pre-1967 "Green Line" is the dividing line between Israeli territory and occupied Palestinian territory. That border can only be changed via negotiations, and there is no requirement that such negotiations ever take place. This has been affirmed in numerous UN resolutions and made crystal clear by the International Court of Justice in the 2004 "Wall" opinion.

      Please search for "borders" or "armistice lines" in Hostage's archives for 100's of posts that prove this fact.

      Or see some of my posts on the topic:


      [mooser:]At what point does Israel’s flagrant violation of the duties of a state start to interfere with its “right to exist”?

      I didn't say Israel had a "right to exist"; I say that Israel exists as a recognized UN member state and therefore, under international law, has rights.

      Those rights include the right not to have its territorial integrity violated. They include the right to sovereign control over the national territory; the right to make and apply laws with full civil jurisdiction, and to operate police and security forces etc.legally and unchallenged over the national territory. They include the right of access to international courts and other institutions of international governance; the right to make legally binding treaties with other states--and so on and so forth.

      On the other hand, according to international law, Israel has NO right to deny the Palestinian people their right to self-determination in Palestinian territory. Israel has NO right to set up an apartheid regime in the West Bank. Israel has NO right to build settlements on Palestinian territory or annex Palestinian territory. All this has been made crystal clear in numerous UN resolutions and by the ICJ.

      The UN et al. are free to sanction Israel for these violations of Palestinian rights. The BDS movement aims to make that happen.

    • Ismail: States are not the sorts of things to which rights apply.

      Actually, the idea that states have rights and duties is foundational to modern international law.

      For overview of the subject, please see:

      Oxford Public International Law, States, Fundamental Rights and Duties:

      Being the most prominent among the different subjects of international law, a State is by definition endowed with the capability of bearing rights and duties under international law.

      * * *

      Starting with the 17th century, the view was developed, especially by Hugo Grotius, of a natural legal order applying also to moral persons or collective entities such as States.

      * * *

      With regard to the development of written legal instruments dealing with fundamental rights and duties of States, several significant results were achieved during the 20th century.

      The Montevideo Convention of 1933 constituted one of the first examples of insertion of ‘rights and duties’ of States in a multilateral legally binding instrument.

      Whilst no express recognition was given on that occasion of their ‘fundamental’ character, rights recognized by the Montevideo Convention included the right to political existence, independence, self-preservation, jurisdiction, and equality. As to the duties, mention was made, inter alia, of non-intervention, respect for other States’ rights and the pacific settlement of disputes.

      [emphasis added]


      Israel exists as an internationally recognized UN member state and has the same rights and duties as every other UN member state.

      Of course, there are disputes about the exact nature of those states' rights and duties, just as there are disputes about individuals' rights and duties.

  • ADL is leading 'witch hunt' against Keith Ellison over Israel comments, J Street exec says
    • Identity politics?

      Hillary "Let's Make History" Clinton:

      “Sen. Sanders is the only person who I think would characterize me, a woman running to be the first woman president, as exemplifying the establishment.”

  • It is time to imagine how one state-- one person, one vote-- will work
    • It is now commonly acknowledged that the two state solution has become physically impossible to implement. [emphasis added]


      No. There are is nothing physically impossible about a two-state settlement. The impossibility is entirely political/psychological. And the very same political/psychological barriers that make a 2SS currently impossible make a single democratic state even more impossible.

    • Maghlawatan, I love you, man.

  • 'Tis the season, to boycott!
    • echinococcus: What exists can be made to unexist.

      Only if there is sufficient power to make such a change.

      How do you propose to make Israel unexist?

      Oh, you've already told us-- you think the nuclear-armed and superpower-backed State of Israel is going to be militarily defeated in a great bloody regional conflagration.

      Extremely unlikely, and not particularly desirable.

      On the other hand, you wish to negate two of the most powerful forces on the Palestinian side--international law and the rights- based BDS movement, both which call for an end to Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory acquired in 1967 , not the demise of Israel itself.

      The fact that Israel exists and is a recognized member of the U.N. means that, like it or not, morally correct or not, the state of Israel has rights under international law, the most important being the right to territorial integrity . On the other hand, international law makes it clear that Israel has no right to deny the Palestinian people its right to self-determination on its own territory in the West Bank and Gaza.

      You, however, call for the military destruction of the state of Israel and a plebiscite that would allow Palestinian Arabs to strip most Jewish Israelis of their citizenship and subject them to expulsion. Both of those actions would be blatant violations of international law.

      International law is obviously highly flawed and morally imperfect-- but it's a powerful force that's on the Palestinian side.

      It would be an incredibly stupid move to throw that away, considering the overall weakness of the Palestinian position.

      And it would be an incredibly stupid move to reject the rights-based BDS movement, which harnesses international law to its cause, avoids the divisive 1SS vs 2SS debate, and has thereby been incredibly successful.

      And yet, you do both.

      Out of an utterly misguided moral purism.

    • eljay: Which leave 92-95% of Jews pushed out of the Levant

      Indeed. Putting aside whatever plausible deniability he thinks he gets his imaginary "plebiscite" notion, that is exactly what echinococcus is calling for.

      And in doing so he is simply repeating (ad nauseum) a central Zionist talking point-- that the ideal goal of the BDS movement, and Palestinian resistance in general, is to dismantle the State of Israel and throw out the bulk of the Jewish population.

      I'm not saying that echinococcus is a "crypto-Zionist", though he could be. It's impossible to know for sure.

      More likely he repeats Zionist talking points simply because they are the logical outcome of his moral purism, his idea that "strict justice" trumps every other human value, and that the voicing the morally perfect position is more important than actually achieving any increase in human welfare.

      Echinococcus' moral purism in his own words:

      This is about what should be strived for in strict justice, not about what will effectively be done [...] [emphasis added]

      The ultimate aim of echino's moral purism is virtue signaling:

      [echinococcus] Your problem may be in the following:

      [eljay:] I acknowledge that the “Jewish State” project is illegitimate

      Acknowledging does not show your intentions with regard to an injustice; your readiness to overturn it is the only objective criterion. [emphasis added]

      So there you have it: for echino, showing morally perfect intentions are all that count; realism and results don't matter much.

    • RoHa: Why on earth is there a comma in the headline?

      To indicate a pause, presumably.

      ‘Tis the season [pause] to boycott! is quite different from ‘Tis the season to boycott! .

      Perhaps, though, you would prefer a dash or period instead of the comma?

  • Tulsi Gabbard's screw-the-neocons meeting with Trump sparks anger, derision, encouragement
    • Bandolero: What’s wrong with Modi?

      The fusion of extreme Hindu nationalism and hard-line neoliberalism isn't entirely ideal.

  • Sanders says fight among Democrats is to go 'beyond identity politics' and stand for all working people
    • Keith: Speaking of perversity, why am I virtually alone in being astounded by Modi’s demonetization of India? [...]Why isn’t this more widely discussed?

      Not the right forum, and not an easy subject for those not versed in political economy. I've been following the story over at Naked Capitalism.

    • Page: 24
    • Keith: [...] although I financially contributed to Jill Stein and voted for her, her recount activities largely financed by fat-cat Democrats will result in the destruction of the Green Party which has now obviously morphed into an adjunct of the Democratic Party in similar fashion to

      Please, please, the Stein recount activities are desperately needed to counter ex-KGB Putin's intolerable interference in American democracy:

      The subject of recounts in these states first arose late Tuesday when New York Magazine reported that election security experts were urging Hillary Clinton’s campaign to contest the results there, citing suspicious results.

      One of those experts, University of Michigan professor J. Alex Halderman , subsequently clarified that he did not have evidence suggesting that the election had been hacked. But he nonetheless recommended that the key states undertake a full audit — a procedure separate from a recount in which the voting technology itself is tested.

      The FBI confirmed during the campaign that hackers had penetrated two states’ voter registration systems. But when the Obama administration blamed Russia for election-season cyberattacks , it said it could not declare with confidence that Russia had been behind the voter-database hacks.

      "Green Recount Effort Poised to Explore Whether Russia Hacked the Vote for Trump"

      Investigating Russia’s role in interfering and with possibly hacking the 2016 presidential election vote is at the center of the Green Party-led recount effort.

      [...] “This election cycle was unique in the degree of foreign interference witnessed throughout the campaign: the U.S. government concluded that Russian state actors were behind the hacks of the Democratic National Committee and the personal email accounts of Hillary for America campaign officials and just yesterday, the Washington Post reported that the Russian government was behind much of the 'fake news' propaganda that circulated online in the closing weeks of the election,” Elias wrote on, then elaborating about their private investigative efforts to assess the impact of Russian interference in the campaign.

      Going even further, the first recount petition filed by the Greens, in Wisconsin, primarily focused on Russian hacking , not on the more easily understood line of inquiry of different voting technologies reporting different margins of victory for Trump despite their locations. The Green's petition opens by stating they believe “an irregularity” has occurred affecting the entire state. It goes on to say that in August, “foreign operators breached voter registration databases in at least two states and stole hundreds of thousands of voter records” at the same time the email systems of the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign were hacked and put online.

      * * *
      [..]The first piece of supporting evidence is an affidavit byJ. Alex Halderman, a University of Michigan professor of computer science and engineering, and director of the Center for Computer Security and Society based in Ann Arbor. He was part of the team set up by California’s ex-Secretary of State, Debra Bowen, that reviewed the vulnerability of its electronic voting systems and led to the state banning the same machines used in Wisconsin.

      Russia tried to breach voter registration databases in 20 states last summer, Halderman said, citing the Department of Homeland Security as his source. “Russia has sophisticated cyber-offensive capabilities, and it has shown a willingness to use them to hack elections elsewhere. For instance, according to published reports, during the 2014 presidential election in Ukraine, attackers linked to Russia sabotaged Ukraine’s vote-counting infrastructure, and Ukranian officials succeeded only at the last minute in defusing the vote-stealing malware that could have caused the wrong winner to be announced,” he wrote,

      * * *
      [...] the upcoming presidential recount is going to be controversial and headed into court at many steps along the way. It also shows that the Greens are taking the lead in advancing the one storyline the Clinton campaign did not get the media to heed—the extent to which Russia may have tampered with America’s voting machinery and tilted the result to a candidate who embraced Vladimir Putin. [emphasis added]

      Isn't advancing this "storyline" something that neoliberals and neo-progressives can agree on?

  • If American universities ignore attacks on Muslim students, who will defend them?
    • Annie Robbins: yes, it may have been the only chance of rescue for the jews he rescued, but no government official, jewish representative nor anyone else had the moral right to deceive so many people about their impending death. it’s one thing for a parent to lie to their child they are going to be dying. but to withhold that information from half a million people because the german government didn’t want riots or escapes? it’s unconscionable. people have a right to resist their own execution or chance escape.

      I've read a bit on Kastner and I've reached pretty much the same conclusion.

      A lot of anti-Zionists want to make Kastner's perfidy emblematic of Zionism as a whole.

      But Ben Hecht, as we all know, was a ardent Zionist himself.

      So if Kastner is to represent one current in Zionism, Hecht must be taken to represent another very strong one, one which flourished on American soil and whose overriding aim was to rescue as many European Jews as possible from annihilation.
      Hecht stood against not only the British, who "wanted no more Jews in Palestine," but also Zionists who "wanted 'only the best Jews.'" [Perfidy , p.18].

      (None of that, of course, justifies the creation of a Jewish-supremacist Israel, nor all evils heaped upon the Arabs of Palestine its creation required.)

  • Why 'give him a chance' is not an option
    • W. Jones: Voting for Hillary means voting for a deadly fundy war against millions of syrians. Voting for Trump means social programs I believe in risk getting cut.

      On the domestic front, Hillary Clinton has been a stealthy champion of Wall Street interests.

      One example:

      David Sirota: "Hillary Clinton And Wall Street: Financial Industry May Control Retirement Savings In A Clinton Administration"

      Very important article, which must be read in its entirety. Quick excerpts:

      While Hillary Clinton has spent the presidential campaign saying as little as possible about her ties to Wall Street, the executive who some observers say could be her Treasury Secretary has been openly promoting a plan to give financial firms control of hundreds of billions of dollars in retirement savings. The executive is Tony James, president of the Blackstone Group.

      * * *

      [...]Since 2013, Clinton has sent conflicting signals on retirement policy. During the Democratic primary, under pressure from progressive groups, she agreed to support some targeted Social Security increases and promised not to reduce benefits.

      But in paid speeches to Wall Street firms, according to recently leaked emails, she praised a presidential commission that recommended cuts to the program. Clinton has not publicly endorsed James’ plan, but her campaign’s blank slate on retirement policy provides a clear opportunity for the Blackstone president and his plan, about which he has just co-authored a book, “Rescuing Retirement.”

      "Blackstone’s Tony James Touting What Looks Like Hillary’s Scheme to Gut Social Security"

      It’s not hard to see the long-term game plan. Social Security will be cut due to purported need to keep the budget balanced while funding bombing runs in the Middle East. It will be turned from a universal social safety net more and more into a welfare program. That in turn makes it easier to make more cuts, since its core supporters will be further and further down the food chain.

      * * *

      Put it another way: this is just another form of looting. Obamacare was written by the health insurance lobby and look how well that has turned out. Just imagine what sort of cooking ordinary Americans will get from the kitchen of Tony James and his fellow private equity robber barons...

    • "US Syria policy: signs of shift as Trump son meets pro-Russia Damascus figure "

  • General under consideration by Trump for Defense has slammed Israel for impending 'apartheid'
    • pabelmont: Until the UNSC or some similar force takes decisive action (putting the “S” into BDS),


      Consider this: nothing Israel has done so far --all the war, ethnic cleansing, occupation, apartheid, oppression-none of it has come even close to moving the UNSC toward sanctions.

      Just the opposite: now, for example, we see Russia moving for even STRONGER economic and political ties with Israel:

      "Russian PM Medvedev in Israel to boost trade ties"

      "Over the last years, we did not develop our economic cooperation as well as we could have hoped. The current state of affairs - trade turnover between Russia and Israel stands at around $2 billion," Medvedev told Israeli TV station Channel 2.

      "That’s not much and we used to have a trade turnover some 30 percent bigger than that but it shrank because of the global economic crisis and the devaluation of the ruble, as well as because of the decrease of imports into Russia," he said.

      "Our two sides can reach a very fair level of trade relations," he said. "I’m not even mentioning here the large energy and gas projects we’re considering at present."

      Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a joint press conference in Jerusalem with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday afternoon during which the latter described how he felt at home every time visited Israel.

      During the conference, Medvedev spoke about the shared values between the two countries while highlighting his country’s obligation to combat anti-Semitism and as well as the mutual obligation to face common challenges.

      First and foremost it is terrorism that threatens the entire globe but here, in your area, it is felt particularly harshly. The Russian Federation also suffers from terror and it is part and parcel of the same thing. In light of this fact,” he said, “we have to fight terror together and that relates to security cooperation. With joint efforts we need to destroy the seed of terror which lies in the hands of ISIS.”,7340,L-4877405,00.html


      Russia and Israel are about to sign a free trade agreement in the very near future, Russian Deputy Agriculture Minister Sergey Levin told TASS on Friday after talks with his Israeli counterpart.

      “We’ve discussed the prospects of forming a free trade zone, which the government plans to put on paper within the shortest period of time,” Levin said, adding that the issue had also been discussed at a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich.

      Israeli Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel confirmed his intention to go ahead with the plan very soon.

      The two sides agreed on reciprocal purchases of agricultural products, setting up joint ventures and the introduction of agricultural high-tech, Levin said. Russia would like to increase its sale of wheat, beef and eggs to Israel, while Israel, a world power in agricultural technology, is ready to share its expertise with its Russian trade partners.

      [emphasis added]

      UNSC sanctions on Israel? Get serious.

      (And if by some amazing turn of events they ever did come, they would be conditioned on Israel accepting a 2 state settlement based on the "international consensus", i.e. 1967 borders w/ land swaps; Israel keeps major settlements; no effective RoR etc. )

    • Ossinev: As soon as Abbas goes either by passing away or by somehow being forced out by growing frustration amongst younger WB Palestinians the sooner the two state farce will completely implode and the world inc the US will be looking at South Africa Mark 2.


      Don't forget folks like Mohammed Dahlan are scheming to replace Abbas:
      "The Infamy of Palestinian Elites"

  • I'm not worried about anti-Semitism
    • tokyobk: The recent spate of swastikas and other such things is enough to be concerned even if Jews remain well placed and assimilated. As they were in Germany before the war. It dues not mean Trump is Hitler. It does mean things can change quickly for any group and it has repeatedly for Jews.

      Actually, no. A "spate" of swastikas (of unknown origin) does NOT mean things can change quickly for Jews in the U.S. Nor does the comparison of the U.S. today with "Germany before the war" have any factual foundation. You are making really wild leaps with such assertions.

    • Keith: Hillary’s despicable record of war mongering, nor to the people she surrounds herself with such as Victoria Nuland and Michelle Flournoy who pushed for the destruction of Libya and Syria, along with the coup in the Ukraine and their seething hostility to Russia.


      All true. But unfortunately it appears that the seething hostility to Russia is being suppressed by Trump & co., if it is, only in order to get Russia on the U.S side in the great War between Judeo-Christian Civilization and Radical Islam In terms of a possible nuclear conflagration, I suppose that is an improvement, but I don't think full-scale war with Russia was really in the cards anyway. War with Iran is a more realistic prospect.

      In any case, I'd like to see a lessening of tensions with Russia and a more rational approach to the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria. With Clinton, there was ZERO chance of that. With Trump...we'll have to wait and see.

    • if one day Muslim-Americans will be forced to register their identities

      The Trump proposals deal with foreign visitors and immigrants -- not U.S. citizens.

      Trump spokesman Jason Miller:

      The national registry of foreign visitors from countries with high terrorism activity that was in place during the Bush and Obama administrations gave intelligence and law enforcement communities additional tools to keep our country safe, but the president-elect plans on releasing his own vetting policies after he is sworn in.

      Of course, one is free to make "slippery slope" arguments.

    • Example from The Guardian:

      "The US will no longer feel like a haven for Jews under Trump"

      Jonathan Freedland

    • Keith: I would add that since Sheldon Adelson, Haim Saban and George Soros, et al, haven’t lost a nickel with Trump’s election, the actual change in deep state power relations is less than obvious to me. Perhaps Hillary’s defeat signals a leveling of Judeo-Zionist power accumulation rather a significant diminution of Jewish power.


      Yes. What evidence is there of a diminution of Jewish or Zionist power?

      I suspect the "Jews are no longer safe in America" line is being used to:

      1) Reinvigorate the Zionist idea that a Jewish State--Israel--is still very much needed as a "safe haven" for Jews.

      2) Increase fundraising for Zionist organizations by stoking Jewish fears.

  • Donald Trump picks anti-Muslim intel officer to be national security adviser
    • Bandolero: But I think I know a part of why the Washington Post is so much against Flynn. It’s this story, and all what’s linked with it: Former DIA Chief Michael Flynn Says Rise of Islamic State was “a willful decision” and Defends Accuracy of 2012 Memo. Flynn didn’t shut up on this, even when pressed.

      Good point.

      And there is this as well:

      (CNN)During a 2015 trip to Russia, Donald Trump's pick to be national security adviser, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, said he didn't know whether the 2013 sarin gas attack in Syria was conducted by the Syrian Army or by other forces in an attempt to draw the United States into the conflict.

      Flynn not ruling out the possibility of a "false flag" attack raises questions about how the Trump administration will approach the Syrian conflict. The Obama administration, the Arab League, NATO, and many western governments have pointed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime as being responsible for the attack. A United Nations investigation didn't assign blame, but evidence from the report pointed to the Assad regime being responsible.

      * * *
      [...]In a 2013 op-ed in the New York Times, Putin wrote, "No one doubts that poison gas was used in Syria. But there is every reason to believe it was used not by the Syrian Army, but by opposition forces, to provoke intervention by their powerful foreign patrons, who would be siding with the fundamentalists."

      The questioner's claim might be grounded in a 2013 article by journalist Seymour Hersh in the London Review of Books, which claimed the jihadist rebel group al-Nusra was behind the attack. The New Yorker and Washington Post both declined to publish the report, saying it didn't meet their standards. A follow up report from Hersh claimed the Turkish government supplied the chemical weapons for the attack.

      * * *
      [...] At the event, Flynn cautioned the situation on the ground in Syria was complex and deception was being use.

      "What I know is that the complexity of the situation on the ground right now is beyond anybody's wildest imagination," he said. "[The panel moderator] highlighted it in one of her questions. I think her question was a very good one. It's all of the things that are happening, not just in Syria. This is happening in the region in a big way. The things that you're talking about, there's this tit-for-tat or there's this give and take. People are doing things. There is deception being used."

      "There is false information being used," he added. "This slide that I have up here is a component of that false information or how false information is applied. [...]

      [emphasis added]

  • When Sanders changed political reality. And hasbara culture slapped him down.
    • Keith: As I understand it, a hasbara culturalist is a subset of Zionism. It would refer to those active in the doctrinal system who seek to frame every discussion within the framework of current Zionist ideology and mythology.

      Fine. The subsets of Zioinism can be delineated with modifiers/nouns, e.g. Zionist propagandist, Zionist ideologue, liberal Zionist, etc. "Someone immersed in Zionist culture"...

      Alternately, just "hasbarist", since my understanding is that "hasbara" basically means Zionist propaganda (aka PR).

      I just find "hasbara culturalists" awkward and unclear.


    • hasbara culturalists like Goldberg....

      "Hasbara culturalists " -- very awkward, or as they say in some circles, infelicitous.

      What's wrong with plain old "Zionist "?

      (Or "Israel supporter, defender, apologist" etc.)

  • Donald Trump is ready to bring Islamophobia into the White House
    • Maghlawatan: Bannon is complex.

      No he isn't.

      It’s Manichean.

      I.e. Simplistic, binary, false. Not complex.

      WW2 was about 2 different economic views of the world.

      Speaking of simplistic.

    • Bannon on Judeo-Christian Capitalism and its alternatives:

      I’m a very practical, pragmatic capitalist. I was trained at Goldman Sachs, I went to Harvard Business School, I was as hard-nosed a capitalist as you get. I specialized in media, in investing in media companies, and it’s a very, very tough environment. And you’ve had a fairly good track record. So I don’t want this to kinda sound namby-pamby, “Let’s all hold hands and sing ‘Kumbaya’ around capitalism.”

      But there’s a strand of capitalism today — two strands of it, that are very disturbing.

      One is state-sponsored capitalism. And that’s the capitalism you see in China and Russia. I believe it’s what Holy Father [Pope Francis] has seen for most of his life in places like Argentina, where you have this kind of crony capitalism of people that are involved with these military powers-that-be in the government, and it forms a brutal form of capitalism that is really about creating wealth and creating value for a very small subset of people. And it doesn’t spread the tremendous value creation throughout broader distribution patterns that were seen really in the 20th century.

      The second form of capitalism that I feel is almost as disturbing, is what I call the Ayn Rand or the Objectivist School of libertarian capitalism. And, look, I’m a big believer in a lot of libertarianism. I have many many friends that’s a very big part of the conservative movement — whether it’s the UKIP movement in England, it’s many of the underpinnings of the populist movement in Europe, and particularly in the United States.

      However, that form of capitalism is quite different when you really look at it to what I call the “enlightened capitalism” of the Judeo-Christian West. It is a capitalism that really looks to make people commodities, and to objectify people, and to use them almost — as many of the precepts of Marx — and that is a form of capitalism, particularly to a younger generation [that] they’re really finding quite attractive. And if they don’t see another alternative, it’s going to be an alternative that they gravitate to under this kind of rubric of “personal freedom.”


      Bannon on the Islam vs Judeo-Christian civilization

      The other tendency is an immense secularization of the West. And I know we’ve talked about secularization for a long time, but if you look at younger people, especially millennials under 30, the overwhelming drive of popular culture is to absolutely secularize this rising iteration.

      Now that call converges with something we have to face, and it’s a very unpleasant topic, but we are in an outright war against jihadist Islamic fascism. And this war is, I think, metastasizing far quicker than governments can handle it.

      If you look at what’s happening in ISIS, which is the Islamic State of Syria and the Levant, that is now currently forming the caliphate that is having a military drive on Baghdad, if you look at the sophistication of which they’ve taken the tools of capitalism. If you look at what they’ve done with Twitter and Facebook and modern ways to fundraise, and to use crowdsourcing to fund, besides all the access to weapons, over the last couple days they have had a radical program of taking kids and trying to turn them into bombers. They have driven 50,000 Christians out of a town near the Kurdish border. We have video that we’re putting up later today on Breitbart where they’ve took 50 hostages and thrown them off a cliff in Iraq.

      That war is expanding and it’s metastasizing to sub-Saharan Africa. We have Boko Haram and other groups that will eventually partner with ISIS in this global war, and it is, unfortunately, something that we’re going to have to face, and we’re going to have to face very quickly.

      So I think the discussion of, should we put a cap on wealth creation and distribution? It’s something that should be at the heart of every Christian that is a capitalist — “What is the purpose of whatever I’m doing with this wealth? What is the purpose of what I’m doing with the ability that God has given us, that divine providence has given us to actually be a creator of jobs and a creator of wealth?”

      I think it really behooves all of us to really take a hard look and make sure that we are reinvesting that back into positive thingsBut also to make sure that we understand that we’re at the very beginning stages of a global conflict, and if we do not bind together as partners with others in other countries that this conflict is only going to metastasize.

      They have a Twitter account up today, ISIS does, about turning the United States into a “river of blood” if it comes in and tries to defend the city of Baghdad. And trust me, that is going to come to Europe. That is going to come to Central Europe, it’s going to come to Western Europe, it’s going to come to the United Kingdom. And so I think we are in a crisis of the underpinnings of capitalism, and on top of that we’re now, I believe, at the beginning stages of a global war against Islamic fascism.


      Bannon on Russia

      When Vladimir Putin, when you really look at some of the underpinnings of some of his beliefs today, a lot of those come from what I call Eurasianism; he’s got an adviser who harkens back to Julius Evola and different writers of the early 20th century who are really the supporters of what’s called the traditionalist movement, which really eventually metastasized into Italian fascism. A lot of people that are traditionalists are attracted to that.

      One of the reasons is that they believe that at least Putin is standing up for traditional institutions, and he’s trying to do it in a form of nationalism — and I think that people, particularly in certain countries, want to see the sovereignty for their country, they want to see nationalism for their country. They don’t believe in this kind of pan-European Union or they don’t believe in the centralized government in the United States. They’d rather see more of a states-based entity that the founders originally set up where freedoms were controlled at the local level.

      I’m not justifying Vladimir Putin and the kleptocracy that he represents, because he eventually is the state capitalist of kleptocracy.

      However, we the Judeo-Christian West really have to look at what he’s talking about as far as traditionalism goes — particularly the sense of where it supports the underpinnings of nationalism — and I happen to think that the individual sovereignty of a country is a good thing and a strong thing.

      I think strong countries and strong nationalist movements in countries make strong neighbors, and that is really the building blocks that built Western Europe and the United States, and I think it’s what can see us forward.

      You know, Putin’s been quite an interesting character. He’s also very, very, very intelligent. I can see this in the United States where he’s playing very strongly to social conservatives about his message about more traditional values, so I think it’s something that we have to be very much on guard of.

      Because at the end of the day, I think that Putin and his cronies are really a kleptocracy, that are really an imperialist power that want to expand.

      However, I really believe that in this current environment, where you’re facing a potential new caliphate that is very aggressive that is really a situation — I’m not saying we can put it on a back burner — but I think we have to deal with first things first.

    • Bannon has called for a Judeo-Christian capitalist revival.

      And in that construct, Islam is the most extreme Other.

      This explains:

      1) Why antisemitism charges are off the mark.

      2) The ideological context for a pseudo-populist critique of neoliberal capitalism.

      3) Overtures to Russia -- limited to a role as an ally against "radical Islam."

  • Neoconservatives warm up to Trump (maybe they have an agenda)
    • echinococcus: [... solidarity with Palestinian resistance...] There is a huge potential among the general population...

      From all the evidence I've seen, I'd say the potential is small.

      And it would be very small if you define the goal of "Palestinian resistance" --like YOU do, along with many Zionists--as the demise of the Israeli state and the opportunity to strip millions of Jewish invaders of their citizenship and send them packing. No, no evidence of a "huge potential" for solidarity with that goal among the general population.

    • Kay24: ease up and quit playing monitor here

      That I agree with.

      Swedish women get hotline to report mansplaining

      Important news item. I want to hear RoHa's take on it.

    • Kay24: If you think for one minute that I keep forming my opinions because of Democratic party sources you are sadly mistaken. I do NOT go to Democratic nor Republican sources, never have, never will.


      And yet you uncritically link to a Huffington Post article as proof that "[Trump ] seems to be finding it hard to get his house in order," ["... way over his head and cannot get his act together. "]

      During the campaign, the Huffington Post functioned as an unabashed propaganda organ for the Clinton camp. Clearly a partisan "Democratic" source, even if not an official Party one.

    • Another statement to consider:

      Donald Trump’s administration will be made up of individuals willing to make changes to American policy, former CIA director James Woolsey, his senior adviser, told RT.

      Woolsey said the administration will likely be made up of “individuals who would normally be regarded as part of the establishment, but who are willing to work for him, with him to make some changes in American policy.”

      He went on to say that, as a man who was opposed by both parties and major media outlets during the election, Trump has endured to spark a “populist spirit” across the US.

      “Positive change” under the Trump presidency can spread across US borders, Woolsey said, stating that “there are opportunities for former adversaries such as the US and Russia to work together on some things,” particularly noting Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL). [emphasis added]

  • Saving the daughters of Israel from the annihilation of intermarriage
    • MHughes976 : So is it a question of my being English if people in general – or people in authority – agree that I am? Or are there objective criteria that I and others should recognise?

      I've reviewed a good deal of the literature on nationality, the right of self-determination of peoples, etc. and the predominant view is that a substantial claim requires a combination of objective and subjective elements. Views vary, of course, on the details. Claims are assessed on a case by case basis . It's all highly contested and politicized.

    • MHughes976: just wanted to ask Sibi if nationality exists in a morally significant way simply by self-ascription?


      "Simply by self-ascription"? No. And I've never seen that claim in any of my reading on the subject.

    • Mooser: If “minorities” have all their rights protected, why do they even need to be called out as minorities?

      Please note: I am NOT defending Israel's nationality laws or its treatment of national minorities. I only stated that "I have no problem with a multi-national states, so long as national minorities have all their rights protected .

      National minorities don't "need to be called out", I agree. But on the other hand, freedom of association and the right of self-determination mean that national groups within a state should not be forced to give up their national identities.

      The Russian Federation, for example, is a multi-national state, descended from the multi-national Soviet Union. Within the Russian Federation. Russians, Tatars, Chechens etc. are considered to be separate "peoples" or "nationalities" . In general, the rights of national minorities are protected by law.

      One Russian word for "Russians" ---русские--applies only to members of the Russian ethno-cultural group. A different Russian word for "Russians"-- россиянин--applies to all citizens of the Russian Federation, including those who are not members of the Russian ethno-cultural group. So, two words: one for Russian "nationality"; one for Russian citizenship.

      Russia is a huge “imperial” country built historically around its Russian core, but including many non-Russian-speaking peoples. Under the communist regime, with its avowed ideological commitment to the right of peoples to national self-determination , the former Russian Empire was reconstructed as the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics, with the full formal structure of a multinational state . The constituent national republics were regarded as having entered the Union voluntarily and enjoyed a formal right of secession. Russia, which comprised most of the Union’s territory (and itself included autonomous national republics for minority peoples), was, formally, merely one of the fifteen republics.

      * * *

      In post-Soviet Russia, the explicit acknowledgment of minority groups as “nationalities” could not be withheld , if only because this would have meant denying those groups something that was acknowledged under the communist regime.

      The distinct identity of the minority peoples is respected and their identification with the state is encouraged, but the state itself is unambiguously (though not exclusively) identified with the language, culture, and history of the Russian-speaking majority.

      The 1993 constitution speaks in the name of “we, the multinational people of the Russian Federation.” The unity of the state is guaranteed. Russian is the state language throughout the territory of Russia, while “republics” (of minority peoples) have a right to institute their own state languages (Article 68).

      * * *

      The “multinational people of Russia,” whose common state language is Russian, may in many ways be compared with the “Spanish nation,” with its constituent (minority) nationalities.

      Azar GatYakobso, "Nations " (p. 359). Cambridge University Press [emphasis added]


      [Mooser:] the very act of dividing a country up into “nationalities” (as determined by who?)

      It must be done by the people themselves, through freedom of association and self-determination.

      For example: Kurds in Turkey, Tibetans in China, Basques in Spain, indigenous peoples in North and South America, and so on an so forth.

      Arab Palestinian citizens of Israel

      Ilan Pappe writes:

      So the first part of any history of the Palestinians in Israel is a chapter about discrimination and dispossession. But it is also a story of self-assertiveness and steadfastness. Arnon Soffer of Haifa University, one of the leading professors in Israel who preaches against the demographic danger of the Arabs in Israel, states, ‘According to the predictions the Jews will be only 70 per cent of the population; this is a very awful picture.’17

      In response, one can only say that if this is indeed true, despite his and many of his fellow Israelis' ambition to get rid of the Palestinians in Israel, then it is a tribute to the latter's determination and assertiveness.

      They live – as their theatre, films, novels, poems and media indicate – as a proud national minority, despite being denied basic collective and individual human and civil rights in the self-declared only democracy in the Middle East. [emphasis added] (p. 7).

      * * *

      The Palestinians in Israel form a very important section of the Palestinian people , and of the Palestinian question. Their past struggles, present-day situation, and hopes and fears for the future are intimately linked with those of the wider Palestinian population. (p. 11).

      Ilan Pappe, The Forgotten Palestinians: A History of the Palestinians in Israel


      [Mooser:] The very act of dividing a country up into “nationalities” (as determined by who?) violates human and democratic rights.

      That would be true if the "dividing up" and defining of nationalities is imposed from above against the will of persons involved. I agree with you on that. (So does international law, see below.)

      However, if persons freely associate and self-determine their ethno-cultural groupings, there is no violation of human rights.

      Just the opposite.

      Under international law, groups of individuals in a state can have the legal status of national minorities or indigenous minorities . Citizenship status and national/indigenous minority status are not mutually exclusive.


      *Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 15:
      Right to a Nationality and the Freedom to Change It

      *UN Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities

      *Council of Europe’s 1995 Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities

      *UN Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

      *The Organization of American States’ 1997 draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.


      Note: "national minorities" are identified separately from "ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities"

    • Mikhael: I am not sure that calling re-designating every citizen (“ezraḤ”) as of Israel as having Israeli nationality would solve the problem of unofficial discrimination.

      I never advocated that. (Perhaps talknic does, but I speak only for myself).

      I agreed with you that Israel designates all citizens, Jewish and non-Jewish alike, as Israeli citizens.

      I have no problem with a multi-national states, so long as national minorities have all their rights protected.

    • @talknic:

      Mikhael wrote:

      "the Jewish State of Israel does apply the designation Israeli citizen to [the non-Jewish citizens of Israel]..." [emphasis added]

      You attempted to contradict that by pointing to the fact that there is no Israeli nationality

      "Supreme Court rejects ‘Israeli’ nationality status "

      However, nationality status is not the same as citizenship status. Under Israeli law, there is Israeli citizenship, but there is no Israeli nationality,

      So, Mikhael is absolutely correct when he says all citizens of Israel, Jewish and non-Jewish, are designated as Israeli citizens.

      Do you not agree?

    • talknic: [quoting from Times of Israel :] Residents cannot identify themselves as Israelis in the national registry [...]


      Mikhael refers to citizenship -- "the Jewish State of Israel does apply the designation Israeli citizen to them--while your quote refers to nationality , so there is no necessary contradiction.

      The problem remains that within Israel there is discrimination based on nationality (as defined in Israeli law).

    • eljay: Your Jewish identity is fundamentally religion-based

      So, Jewish identity is not a straightforward religious identity, it is only religion-based?

      And then again, it's not purely religion-based, it's further qualified as fundamentally (not entirely) religion-based?

      Out of curiosity, why are these carefully crafted formulations about Jewish identity so important to you?

  • We are in an era of conservative counter-revolution
    • On a personal note I might add: I can walk out of my door--and I've done this many times actually--go to the University and talk to bright, young, liberal Russian women, and 90% + will tell me they support Putin. The Trump-Putin analogy is nonsense. The political scene in Russia is simply not comparable to that in the U.S. There is no "liberal" / "conservative" divide here. Putin's appeal is totally different than Trump's. Putin is a unifying figure. He's seen as a strong leader, yes, but statesmanlike, cool-headed, reasonable, pragmatic--and, most importantly, successful.

      There is no "liberal" alternative to Putin politically. The next most popular party is the Communist Party. Putin brings together BOTH "liberal" and "conservative" trends in his policies. He's a balancer.

      If you really had to come up with a Russian parallel to Trump, it would be Zhirinovsky, not Putin.

    • Putinism undid the openings of Gorbachev.

      This is completely wrong.

      The "openings of Gorbachev" were undone not by Putin, but by Yeltsin &co, the "West", predatory neoliberalism, shock therapy, and the geopolitics of global U.S. military dominance. That led to complete economic and social collapse and the deaths of MILLIONS of Russian. The fact of this colossal crime are virtually unknown int the West. Putin represents a counter-revolution, imperfect of course, against that horrific neoliberal destruction, The Western "conservative" vs. "liberal" dichotomy is simply not appropriate for understanding Russia.

      Phil, unfortunately, appears to have adopted wholesale and utterly uncritically the Establishment propaganda on Russia.

  • Trump is fostering breakup of US Jewish consensus in favor of Israel
    • Naomi Zeveloff has a similar piece up at the Forward: that Trumpism contains both anti-Semitism and feverish support for Israel

      The accusations against Bannon still seem to lack substance. This is the only evidence Zeveloff presents for his alleged anti-semitism:

      At the same time, the site [Brietbart News, started by Jewish lawyer and businessman, Larry Solov] trafficked in anti-Semitic tropes. One article called Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum a “political revisionist,” noting “hell hath no fury like a Polish, Jewish, American elitist scorned.” Another called The Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol a “renegade Jew.”

      Bannon’s ex-wife branded him as an anti-Semite in 2007 court documents, in which she describes Bannon complaining about “whiny brat” Jews at their daughters’ school, according to the New York Daily News. Bannon denied that he made the comments, through a spokeswoman.

  • Epic battle looms over accused anti-Semite entering White House, and 'NYT' graywashes the moment
    • Epic battle looms over accused anti-Semite....


      The accusations:

      [Bannon, 62, a former naval officer and Goldman Sachs banker] [...]encouraged Trump to paint rival Hillary Clinton as part of a global conspiracy made up of the political, financial and media elite, a message that many felt carried antisemitic overtones. [emphasis added

      Because Jews are over-represented in key institutions of global power (finance, media etc.), it can be said to be anti-Semitic (anti-Jewish) to critique those institutions.

      And then there's the smoking gun:

      The ex-wife of Donald Trump's new campaign chief executive Steve Bannon claims Bannon made anti-Semitic comments while the couple fought over which private school to send their daughters to nearly a decade ago.

      The allegations — which came to light amid scrutiny over the appointment of Breitbart News head Bannon to Trump campaign CEO —were made in a sworn declaration by the ex-wife in a 2007 court filing.

      The court declaration was filed in the midst of a contentious divorce battle between them that lasted 10 years. The divorce was initiated in 1997, but disagreements over schooling choices for the couple's twin girls brought them back to court a decade later.

      [...] The court declaration from the ex-wife outlined three separate anti-Semitic remarks that Bannon allegedly made as she toured some of the most elite private schools in the Los Angeles area for their daughters.

      At one, Westland School, Bannon's ex-wife said he "asked the director why there were so many Chanukah books in the library."

      Then after the couple toured Willows Community School, she said he "asked me if it bothered me that the school used to be in a Temple. I said no and asked why he asked . . . he did not respond."

      Regarding another academy, The Archer School for Girls, the ex-wife claimed Bannon "went on to say the biggest problem he had with Archer is the number of Jews that attend. He said that he doesn't like Jews and that he doesn't like the way they raise their kids to be 'whiney brats' and that he didn't want the girls going to school with Jews."

      Ultimately they decided to send their daughters to Archer — but only after a prickly email exchange between the couple, which was also included in the documents.

      NBC News made multiple attempts to reach the ex-wife, but was unsuccessful.

      Preate denied the claims about Archer in an email to NBC News on Friday.

      "At the time, Mr. Bannon never said anything like that and proudly sent the girls to Archer for their middle school and high school educations," Preate said.

  • Challenging anti-Semitism and the Trump presidency
    • Atlantaiconoclast: Why is it anti Jewish to recognize a pattern of Jewish financial manipulation? The Left does not hesitate to call out the Christian right...

      The problem with that analogy is this: The Christian Right has an identifiable, explicit ideology/practice which is therefore subject to critique as such . You can easily point to Christian Right texts, statements, policy prescriptions etc.

      On the other hand, there is no identifiable Jewish financial ideology/practice. You cannot point to any specifically Jewish financial theories, policy prescriptions etc. Financial manipulators, free market ideologues etc. all share the same basic ideas/actions no matter what their ethnic or religious background, and they exist all around the world. So while there certainly is a global pattern of financial manipulation that some Jews are involved in, there is no pattern of specifically "Jewish financial manipulation."

    • No end to ridiculous Hitler analogies:

      "History Teacher Removed From Classroom For Comparing Trump To Hitler "

      Navarro, who is a Holocaust scholar, said his lesson was based on facts. Both Trump and Hitler, during their rise to power, vowed to deport foreigners and make their country “great again,” he noted.

  • Trump is bad because Israeli Jews will love him and US Jews will see it -- NYT columnist
  • Before Trump's revolution, there was Sanders'
    • Trump continues trumpeting his populist message post-election:

      The president-elect believes that his victory has been partly determined by how disappointed and angry people are about the US foreign policy – instead of focusing on things back at home.

      It’s a moment in time where politicians for a long period of time have let people down. They’ve let them down on the job front. They’ve even let them down in terms of the war front. You know, we’ve been fighting this war for 15 years,” Trump said.

      We’ve spent $6 trillion in the Middle East, $6 trillion, we could have rebuilt our country twice. And you look at our roads and our bridges and our tunnels and our airports…[They] are, like, obsolete,” he added

    • Kay: admit on tape he takes advantage of his celebrity status to grope women, behave like a crude oaf...


      [...]Liberal feminists, young and old, need to question the role they played in Hillary’s demise. The two weeks of media hyperventilation over grab-her-by-the-pussygate, when the airwaves were saturated with aghast liberal women equating Trump’s gross comments with sexual assault, had the opposite effect on multiple women voters in the Heartland.

      These are resilient women, often working two or three jobs, for whom boorish men are an occasional occupational hazard, not an existential threat. They rolled their eyes over Trump’s unmitigated coarseness, but still bought into his spiel that he’d be the greatest job producer who ever lived. Oh, and they wondered why his behaviour was any worse than Bill’s.

    • Donald FDR Trump:

      It is a movement combined of all races, religions, backgrounds and beliefs who want and expect to serve the American people and serve the people it will.

      Working together, we will begin the urgent task of rebuilding our nation while fulfilling the American dream. I've spent my entire life in business looking at the untapped potential of the American people all over the world. That is now what I want to do for our country. Tremendous potential.

      It's going to be a beautiful thing. Every single American will have the ability to realize their fullest potential.

      The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.

      We are going to fix our inner cities and rebuild our highways, schools, hospitals. We will rebuild our infrastructure. Which will become second to none and we will put millions of our people to work as we rebuild it.

  • Day One in Trump's America
    • Keith: doubt that it will be huge. Trump is not going to knowingly dismantle empire, although he may inadvertently cause problems for the imperial elite who have the power to deal with him if he becomes too big a problem. Realistically, the best we can hope for is that Trump may provide a welcome speed bump on the road to disaster.


      True. I'd simply welcome any lessening in anti-Russianism, which is a lynch-pin in "Western" imperial policy/ideology right now.

      WASHINGTON ― President-elect Donald Trump is leaning toward naming as secretary of state John Bolton, a bellicose enemy of Russia and Iran who is among the most hawkish members of the Republican foreign policy community, according to two sources familiar with Trump’s thinking.


      The sec of state appointment will tell us a lot.

      Nothing will surprise me, though. I've already posted several times on his choosing arch-neocon James Woolsey as a "national security" adviser.

    • This would be HUGE! (Watch for U.S. deep state and transnational "Western" political class countermoves...)


      Britain is facing a diplomatic crisis with the US over Donald Trump’s plans to forge an alliance with Vladimir Putin and bolster the Syrian regime.

      In a significant foreign policy split, officials admitted that Britain will have some “very difficult” conversations with the President-elect in coming months over his approach to Russia.

      It comes after Mr Trump used his first interviews since winning the US election to indicate that he will withdraw support for rebels in Syria and thank Vladimir Putin for sending him a “beautiful” letter.

      Mr Trump said that he will instead join forces with Russia and focus on defeating Isil. He has previously said it would be “nice” if the US and Russia could work together to “knock the hell out of Isil”. [emphasis added]

    • Let me see if I have this right.

      Yes, it was sarcasm.

      But have you ever seen the the liberal press gone THIS berserk?



  • 'The era of the Palestinian state is over' -- Israeli right celebrates Trump win
    • MHughes976: We need to be ready for the grand eliminationist gesture, though, and to be ready to oppose it.

      You might also want to prepare yourself for the petit-eliminationist gesture: annexation of Area C / major settlement blocs, leaving the rest of the West Bank--and Gaza--to the Palestinians , followed by renewed discussion of confederation of Palestinian autonomous areas with other Arab states.

      Poll: Palestinians Prefer Federation With Jordan

      Thursday, October 20, 2016

      Conducted by A-Najar University in Nablus, the aforementioned poll found that just 18 percent of Palestinians believe the two-state solution will actually resolve the conflict, and most respondents opposed the scheme altogether.

      Interestingly, a 46 percent plurality said that in place of an independent Palestinian state, they would prefer confederation with neighboring Jordan, where a majority of the population is “Palestinian” Arab.

      A solution along those lines would actually be reverting to how things were before 1967 - with Jordan administering the so-called “West Bank” and Egypt taking responsibility for Gaza.

      The only problem is that neither Jordan nor Egypt want such an outcome. [emphasis added]

      Yes, "neither Jordan nor Egypt want such an outcome", but such notions can be fodder for decades of talks and new "creative" proposals ("autonomy", "confederation", "economic union", trade deals etc.-- not direct "administration.")

      Of course, the most likely scenario to prepare for is more of the same: occupation without formal annexation.

  • 'Trump shows America's dominant ideology': A Palestinian take on the US election
    • @Keith: I agree with all your points.

      As an aside, following a link from some other thread (?), some Jewish publication called Trump’s ad anti-Semitic

      Cf. the intellectually and morally degenerate Huffington Post's absurd article:

      Donald Trump’s Closing Ad Has Anti-Semitic Overtones Not a great look for a campaign with record support from white nationalists and neo-Nazis.

    • Keith: We are where we are in no small measure because the voters have steadfastly voted for the corporate agenda which they claim to oppose but support with their vote

      In the final analysis, you are, of course, absolutely correct.

      I would only want to point out that Trump's actual rhetoric was predominantly anti-corporate, anti-establishment, anti-elite, anti-neoliberal.

      Please take a look (perhaps again) at one of Trump's final two minute ads:

      It's a simple, powerful, tell- it- like -it -is attack on the transnational capitalist elite and their predatory, people-crushing neoliberal policies.

      It's a populist message a real progressive could and should run on--but never will.

      Except perhaps for the reference to "massive immigration", it could have been written by Michael Moore.

      Now compare Hillary Clinton's final ad:

      Твою мать! How many vapid cliches can she try to shove down my throat? I want to throw up.

  • 'Atlantic' editor says that Israel's 1948 expulsion of Palestinians was not 'a tragedy'
  • Ari Shavit’s humiliating fall from grace: AIPAC, Hillel cancel events in wake of groping story
    • jd65: immediately passed go and went directly to blaming the victim

      I don't see that.

      Keith writes:

      My point being that Danielle Berrin is a willfull participant in the media overemphasis on sex. I have already made clear that I am not excusing Ari Shavit’s behavior, I am critiquing Berrin’s use of sex to promote her career. This is not just a case of someone looking good, this is a case of someone projecting the image of a seductress. As such, she is sending a message to both men and women as to what women in journalism need to do. Equating female journalists with glamorous talking heads is part of the problem. My position is based upon rock solid feminism, real feminism not imperial feminism. [emphasis added]

      I agree with that entirely.

      Where exactly do you disagree?

  • Draft of Clinton letter called BDS 'odious,' 'unconscionable' attack on 'legitimacy of Zionism'
    • JWalters : Saban is overlooking the fact that Hillary could be dropped like a poison potato when people realize she is a puppet of predatory war profiteers.

      And predatory Wall Street profiteers. But no, once elected she won't be so easily "dropped'.

  • What if the Syria no-fly zone won't fly?
    • A reasonable person condemns violations of humanitarian law by BOTH sides in this conflict-- while keeping the overarching reality of Empire-led aggression in view. A propagandist like lproyect, in contrast, condemns only one side's violations while parroting the false, fairy-tale narrative being propagated by the Western media, U.S. government etc.

      Journalist Stephen Kinzer:

      Coverage of the Syrian war will be remembered as one of the most shameful episodes in the history of the American press. Reporting about carnage in the ancient city of Aleppo is the latest reason why.

      For three years, violent militants have run Aleppo. Their rule began with a wave of repression. They posted notices warning residents: “Don’t send your children to school. If you do, we will get the backpack and you will get the coffin.” Then they destroyed factories, hoping that unemployed workers would have no recourse other than to become fighters. They trucked looted machinery to Turkey and sold it.

      This month, people in Aleppo have finally seen glimmers of hope. The Syrian army and its allies have been pushing militants out of the city. Last week they reclaimed the main power plant. Regular electricity may soon be restored. The militants’ hold on the city could be ending.

      Militants, true to form, are wreaking havoc as they are pushed out of the city by Russian and Syrian Army forces. “Turkish-Saudi backed ‘moderate rebels’ showered the residential neighborhoods of Aleppo with unguided rockets and gas jars,” one Aleppo resident wrote on social media. The Beirut-based analyst Marwa Osma asked, “The Syrian Arab Army, which is led by President Bashar Assad, is the only force on the ground, along with their allies, who are fighting ISIS — so you want to weaken the only system that is fighting ISIS?”

      This does not fit with Washington’s narrative. As a result, much of the American press is reporting the opposite of what is actually happening. Many news reports suggest that Aleppo has been a “liberated zone” for three years but is now being pulled back into misery.

      Americans are being told that the virtuous course in Syria is to fight the Assad regime and its Russian and Iranian partners. We are supposed to hope that a righteous coalition of Americans, Turks, Saudis, Kurds, and the “moderate opposition” will win.

      This is convoluted nonsense, but Americans cannot be blamed for believing it. We have almost no real information about the combatants, their goals, or their tactics. Much blame for this lies with our media.


      And much blame lies with shameless propagandists such as lproyect.

    • Amnesty International 31 October 2016:

      The fierce offensive on western Aleppo city launched by armed opposition groups on 28 October has been marked by indiscriminate attacks on civilian areas that cannot be justified as a way to break the relentless siege that has sparked a humanitarian crisis in eastern Aleppo, Amnesty International said.


      Armed opposition groups have displayed a shocking disregard for civilian lives. Video footage shows they have used imprecise explosive weapons including mortars and Katyusha rockets, whose use in the vicinity of densely populated civilian areas flagrantly violates international humanitarian law. Armed opposition groups must end all attacks that fail to distinguish between military targets and civilians.”

      On 30 October an alleged “toxic gas” attack took place in al-Hamdaniyeh and al-Assad areas of western Aleppo causing dozens of injuries according to the Syrian state news agency SANA.

      “Chemical weapons are internationally banned and their use is a war crime. Such weapons cause immense suffering and health damage. Their use can never be justified and regardless of who is behind this attack all parties to the conflict must halt the use of all prohibited weapons of war,” said Samah Hadid. [emphasis added]

    • lproyect: I suppose he is referring to the rebels who only took up arms in 2011 to defend peaceful protestors.

      So interesting when a slanderous, amoral, fact-phobic propagandist makes the insanely ludicrous assertion that Western/Saudi et al -backed Islamist rebels and terrorists were motivated to take up arms simply to "defend peaceful protesters".

      Why, surely that noble motivation must explain the "rebels" noble actions in Aleppo:

      "Syrian rebels' Aleppo offensive could amount to war crimes, UN envoy warns

      Staffan de Mistura voices his shock at the indiscriminate use of heavy weapons on civilian suburbs during effort to break siege"


      lproyect: One guy refers to a “murderously illegal attempt to invade” Syria. Was I missing something? When the USA wants to invade a country, it doesn’t take 5 years.

      So interesting how a fact-phobic, slanderous, amoral propagandist can twist the facts to turn reality on it head. Because there's been no full-scale U.S. invasion that means there has been no invasion at all? No foreign forces on Syrian soil? No U.S. effort to violently remove the Assad government? Insanely ludicrous argument.

      lproyect: They were murderous mobs that the democratically elected government had to defend a peace-loving population from

      YOUR words. Not any else's here. Strawman. Stupid. Slanderous.

  • Israel supporter refuses to share Bard stage with Dima Khalidi and cites stereotypes about Jews smelling bad
    • One of the historical stereotypes of Jews is that they smell bad. You don’t have a debate about whether Jews smell bad or not.

      Huh? Where does that even come from, with regard to Khalidi?

      Reminds me of:

  • Jeffrey Goldberg is Jewish
    • yonah fredman: I consider Phil’s post of April 2015 to be a shocking document.

      Oh yes. Who could forget that one?

    • JWalters: “And it is not up to a non-Jew to tell a Jew what is anti-Semitic.”

      It is up to any honest person to call out dishonest charges of anti-semitism


      Notice that Goldberg's formulation contains some subtle but crucial sophistry. He draws an analogy between two oppositions:

      Jeffrey Goldberg : It is not up to a white person to tell a black person what is racist and what is not. And it is not up to a non-Jew to tell a Jew what is anti-Semitic. [emphasis added]

      In the first case, one ethnic decriptor , "whites" is opposed to another, "blacks".

      In the second case, however, a non-ethnic descriptor "non-Jew", covering ALL ethnic and religious groupings minus Jews, is opposed to the ethnic-religious decriptor "Jews".

      Thus, the oppositions are not at all the same and the analogy is really deceptive.

      The first proposition rules out, correctly, one ethnic group having the right to impose its definition of racism on another ethnic group.

      The second proposition rules out ALL HUMANS not ethnically defined--i.e. the mass of INDIVIDUALS qua individuals- from having the right to express an opinion on definitions of racism and anti-Semitism.

      That second notion is completely untenable intellectually and morally.

  • New statement calls on the movement to focus on Palestine, not divisive internal conflicts
    • Donald Johnson: Why should people use some ” overarching reality” as a reason for not noticing that both the Syrian government and its various armed opponents murder civilians?

      With all due respect, that statement strikes me as a blatant straw man.

      The issue is not one of "not noticing" the deaths of civilians, but of putting them in context ( "the overarching reality"), and making political and moral judgments only after such contextualization. Facts and context--both are critical.

      Apparently it is the dreaded sin of moral equivalence.

      There is no sin of "moral equivalence" per se-- only one of asserting false moral equivalences, ignoring context and overarching power asymmetries.

      Thus when Keith writes:

      Western imperialism bears the ultimate responsibility for the carnage in Syria, just as in Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.

      it's not a case of ignoring facts, as you suggested, but putting them in context and only then drawing "ultimate" political/moral judgments.

      A false "moral equivalence" argument would assert that "both sides" are killing civilians and everyone, ultimately, is equally to blame.

    • Annie Robbins: it’s not inclusive and only seeks commitment from a portion of the movement — leaving others off the hook.

      Thank you, Annie, for pointing that out.

      Sadly, the profoundly one-sided "Stop Divisive Attacks" statement/examples list itself appears to constitute a divisive attack.

  • Trump is losing the Israel vote almost as bad as he is losing in New York
    • Lillian Rosengarten: Hillary is neither owned or a slave

      True. She is a free, self-determined Christian Zionist.

    • Trump is a fake-populist.

      Cf. "Donald Trump, After Blasting Iraq War, Picks Top Iraq Hawk as Security Adviser"

      Donald Trump named former CIA director and extremist neoconservative James Woolsey his senior adviser on national security issues on Monday. Woolsey, who left the CIA in 1995, went on to become one of Washington’s most outspoken promoters of U.S. war in Iraq and the Middle East.

      As such, Woolsey’s selection either clashes with Trump’s noninterventionist rhetoric — or represents a pivot towards a more muscular, neoconservative approach to resolving international conflicts.

      Trump has called the Iraq War “a disaster.”

      Woolsey, by contrast, was a key member of the Project for the New American Century — a neoconservative think tank largely founded to encourage a second war with Iraq. Woolsey signed a letter in 1998 calling on Clinton to depose Saddam Hussein and only hours after the 9/11 attacks appeared on CNN and blamed the attacks on Iraq. Woolsey has continued to insist on such a connection despite the complete lack of evidence to support his argument. He also blames Iran.

      Weeks before the invasion of Iraq, Woolsey called for broader war in the Middle East, saying “World War IV” was already underway.

      Woolsey has also put himself in a position to profit from the wars he has promoted. He has served as vice president of Pentagon contracting giant Booz Allen, and as chairman of Paladin Capital Group, a private equity fund that invests in national security and cybersecurity.

      He chairs the leadership council at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a hawkish national security nonprofit, and is a venture partner with Lux Capital Management, which invests in emerging technologies like drones, satellite imaging, and artificial intelligence.

      Woolsey went on CNN on Monday and said that he was principally motivated to support Trump because of his plans to expand U.S. military spending.

      Trump gave a speech last week in which he proposed dramatic expansions of the Army and Marines, and hundred-billion-dollar weapons systems for the Navy and Air Force. He offered no justification — aside from citing a few officials who claimed they wanted more firepower.

      Woolsey stood by Trump’s proposal on Monday.

      “I think the problem is her budget,” Woolsey said of Trump’s opponent, Hillary Clinton. “She is spending so much money on domestic programs — including ones that we don’t even have now, and the ones we have now are underfunded — I think there can be very little room for the improvements in defense and intelligence that have to be made.”

      Woolsey has previously called for NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden to be “hanged by the neck until he’s dead, rather than merely electrocuted.”

  • New ad campaign in college papers calls out Israeli leaders' bigotry against Palestinians
    • lonely rico: Finkelstein’s challenge to the audience to name “one state, just one” which is for the One State Solution is met with silence.

      The answer of course is ISRAEL !


      Absolutely NOT.

      1) Israel is not for ONE state. Israel has no interest in incorporating GAZA. (And Israel may very well be content with annexing only Area C in the West Bank, leaving bulk the Palestinian population OUTSIDE Israel. )

      2) The issue is a One State SOLUTION. Key word: SOLUTION. I.e. "One State Solution" means a single democratic state with equal rights for all citizens.

      So no. Israel is decidedly NOT for a One State Solution. Finkelstein's point stands.

  • With Governor Brown's signature, California joins the attack on BDS
    • Meanwhile over in sunny England...

      Momentum [pro-Corbyn campaign group] vice-chair Jackie Walker has suspended from Labour over controversial comments she made at a party training event.

      Leaked footage showed the campaigner saying she had not found a definition of antisemitism she could work with. The footage also showed her questioning why Holocaust Memorial Day was not more wide-ranging to include other genocides.

      Labour said it did not comment on individual party memberships but it is understood Walker has now been suspended. Labour MP John Mann called Walker’s comments “unacceptable in a modern political party” by any standard.


      [...]Walker, who along with her partner is Jewish, previously released a statement apologising for any offence. In an interview with Channel 4 News, she also questioned why Holocaust Memorial Day doesn’t mark genocides that occurred prior to the Nazis.


      [...]She said whomever leaked the footage from a Labour party antisemitism training event “had malicious intent in their mind”. She also said she was anti-Zionist rather than antisemitic, adding: “I think Zionism is a political ideology, and like any political ideology, some people will be supportive and some people won’t be supportive of it. That’s a very different thing.”

  • The omnipresent hawks-in-waiting of the Clinton administration
    • Keith: If we put the personalities of Clinton and Trump aside and simply look at who is advising them and who is likely to be a high level official in a Clinton administration, it becomes rather obvious that the virtually assured Clinton administration will be a neocon dominated war administration.


      Absolutely. As for her opponent:

      Donald Trump named former CIA director and extremist neoconservative James Woolsey his senior adviser on national security issues on Monday. Woolsey, who left the CIA in 1995, went on to become one of Washington’s most outspoken promoters of U.S. war in Iraq and the Middle East.

  • Jill Stein defends BDS in CNN town hall
    • echinococcus: What’s the sense of voting against something only when you know it won’t be against?

      I agree.

      Now if progressives really want to do something against the Democratic party establishment, they should vote for Trump in swing states.

  • Trump and Clinton campaigns both send message that Muslim loyalty to US hinges on condemning terrorism
  • When the language of genocide offends us more than ghettoizing another people
  • Jewish organizations' response to Black Lives Matter platform demonstrates inability to engage with reality in Israel
    • talknic: In one instance a person commits the crime, in the other a state commits the crime.

      Are you claiming that the legal definition of genocide includes a requirement that there be a state actor? Non-state actors cannot commit genocide by definition? Where is that spelled out?

    • talknic: Killing one person with the intentions described under the Internationally accepted legal definition [...], is enough to qualify a single death as a genocidal act.

      So, if a Palestinian kills or attempts to kill a a single Jewish Israeli with the intentions described in Article 2 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, that act can be legitimately and usefully labelled an act of genocide or attempted genocide?

  • Jews need to study the Torah in order to criticize Israel, Beinart says
    • eljay: You want to tear down Israel and ship off all non-indigenous inhabitants. [...]

      * * * * *

      [...] Best of luck with that.

      I don't think you give echinococcus enough credit for achieving moral purity, regardless of a lack of positive effects it might have on Palestinian well-being.

      Cf. "Taiwan president apologizes to aboriginals for suffering" (Aug. 1, 2016)

      Taiwan's president on Monday apologized on behalf of the government to the island's aboriginal peoples for 400 years of conquest and colonization, saying the facing of difficult historical facts was necessary for society to move forward.

      Tsai Ing-wen said her government wished to "take a further step" and offer its "fullest apology."

      "If we wish to declare ourselves as a country of one people, we need to face these historical facts. We have to face the truth. Most importantly, the government must truly reflect on itself and that is why I'm standing here today," Tsai said at a ceremony at the presidential office building in the capital, Taipei.

      A "justice and historical justice commission" would be established to deal with the problems of the past, Tsai said. She was speaking on Taiwan's official aboriginal people's day before representatives of the island's 16 officially recognized native tribes. [...]

  • The agonizing afterlife of Mahmoud Darwish
    • Spring Renouncer: That is ridiculous silamcuz.

      Of course. That's the intention.

      Are you trying to say that silamcuz fits some concocted and racist POC activist archetype?


  • Your support today determines: How much truth?
    • Tova:but that increase was intended to cover exciting new directions. If we have to spend $15,000 or $20,000 next year just on keeping all our current data properly housed for reader access, we won’t be able to step up our performance as much as we have been strategizing to do. But we’ll do what we have to; we understand that the discussions on Mondoweiss are part of the movement’s history and valuable for a whole raft of reasons.

      I hope this gives you some reassurance.

      Frankly, I'd like a bit more reassurance than that. Retention of the archives is far more important to me than than any strategies to "step up of performance" or move in "exciting new directions", and the idea that the former could have been sacrificed for the latter, even for the short term, is deeply disheartening.

  • The iron law of institutions versus Bernie Sanders
    • Daily Kos: But suggestions that she is "a liberal republican or a conservative dem," to take one example of a quotation I read today, should stop here. By her voting record in Congress, Hillary Clinton is squarely in the mainstream of the national Democratic party in America.

      This, to put it mildly, is nonsense-- given the fact that the "mainstream of the nationial Democratic party" IS in fact "liberal Republican" or " conservative democratic". Which is to say NEOLIBERAL.

      Democratic neoliberalism combines traditional liberalism on social/cultural issues with global militarism+predatory transnational capitalism. (Republican "conservatism" combines traditional conservatism on social/cultural issues with the same militarism/predatory capitalism.)

      Hillary Clinton's record demonstrates her neoliberalism in spades. Evidence of her liberalism on social/cultural issues alone provides no evidence whatsoever against her characterization as a neoliberal.

      Her neoliberalism is anathema to most Sanders supporters, i.e., old-style liberals and progressives. Rightly so.

  • Remembering Elie Wiesel, who inspired me to write about Palestine
    • @Henry Norr

      Here's a long quote from Peter Novick, "The Holocaust in American Life" (emphasis added):


      Six million is an instantly recognizable number, the generally accepted estimate of the Jews killed by Nazi Germany in its murderous crusade.23 The phrase "the six million" is a rhetorical stand-in for "the Holocaust." But nowadays, for a great many people, the real number of Holocaust victims is eleven million: six million Jews and five million non-Jews. What's at stake, of course, is not numbers as such, but what we mean, what we're referring to, when we talk of "the Holocaust." As we'll see, the question came to be hotly and angrily disputed in official American commemorations. More broadly, the various ways in which "six" and "eleven" have been used shed light on the uses of the Holocaust in American life.

      The eleven million figure—or, rather, the notion of five million "other victims" of Nazism, added to six million Jews—makes no historical sense. Five million is either much too low (for all non-Jewish civilians killed by the Third Reich) or much too high (for non-Jewish groups targeted, like Jews, for murder). Where did the number come from? Although there is no detailed paper trail, it's generally agreed that the figure of eleven million originated with Simon Wiesenthal, the renowned pursuer of Nazi criminals.

      How did he arrive at this figure? The Israeli historian Yehuda Bauer reports that Wiesenthal acknowledged to him in a private conversation that he simply invented it.24 He was, he once told a reporter, against "dividing the victims": "Since 1948," Wiesenthal said, "I have sought with Jewish leaders not to talk about six million Jewish dead, but rather about eleven million civilians dead, including six million Jews.... We reduced the problem to one between Nazis and Jews. Because of this we lost many friends who suffered with us, whose families share common graves."25

      The date in Wiesenthal's remark is worth noting. In postwar Europe, as in postwar America, while everyone realized that the fate of the Jews was "special," there was an inclination, even among many Jews, to include that fate under the larger heading of "crimes of Nazism." Wiesenthal—all the more so because of his lifetime mission of ferreting out Nazi criminals, and enlisting the help of European governments in that task—was sympathetic to the inclusion.

      Biography was also important. Many survivors of the Holocaust were stricüy observant Jews who were swept as children from the shtetl to camps where all their fellow prisoners were Jews. Nothing could have been more natural than for them to frame their experience as a solely Jewish one. Wiesenthal—in this he resembled survivors like Primo Levi—was not religious and had a relatively cosmopolitan background. For four years he survived camps like Mauthausen, where many of his fellow prisoners were not Jewish. Wiesenthal's invention of "eleven million" was bizarre, but given his experiences and the context in which he worked, there was nothing unusual or unnatural in his interpreting Nazi crimes in an "ecumenical" way. 26 In any event, it was with reference to those crimes in general, not "the Holocaust," that he spoke of eleven million.

      Before the late seventies, few in the United States had ever heard the figure "eleven million." Wiesenthal's fame in this country had to do with his exploits as a Nazi hunter, not as an interpreter of the Holocaust. This changed in 1977 when, in return for a subsidy for his program of tracking down war criminals, a California rabbi obtained the use of his name for what became a highly visible Holocaust institution, the Simon Wiesenthal Center.27 "Eleven million" was part of the baggage that came with the name.28 Inscribed at the entrance to the center's museum was a tribute to "six million Jews and to five million of other faiths"; center publications came to speak of "The Holocaust—six million Jews and five million non-Jews."29

      Though not originally advanced as such, "eleven million" had become a new description of the parameters of the Holocaust. By itself, the use of "eleven million" by the Wiesenthal Center might not have given wide currency to the figure. What put it on the agenda—what made "eleven million" a slogan for some and fighting words for others—was the setting in motion, in the spring of 1978, of the process that ultimately led to the creation of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington.

      That process began with the conventional understanding of the Holocaust. At a ceremony on the White House lawn in honor of Israel's thirtieth birthday, President Jimmy Carter announced that he was setting up a commission to explore creating a national memorial to "the six million who were killed in the Holocaust."30 On this occasion no other definition would have been appropriate, for, as is well known, Carter's initiative was an attempt to placate American Jews, who were increasingly alienated by what they saw as the president's "excessive evenhandedness" in dealing with Israelis and Palestinians.31 If the estrangement continued, it could be devastating for Carter's prospects for reelection, in part because of Jewish votes in key states, and even more because Jews traditionally contributed a substantial portion of national Democratic campaign funds.32

      Jewish White House staffers who developed the proposal for the memorial weren't moved solely by political calculations; several seem to have had a genuine commitment to Holocaust commemoration.33 But the potential political payoff was paramount. The final staff discussions of the proposed memorial were conducted amid all the hoopla over NBC's Holocaust. This led one of the aides of domestic policy chief Stuart Eizenstadt to worry that it might look like "a tacky effort to ride the coattails of the show." So it might, replied another, but "our relations with Jewish community need every little boost possible."34

      On the day after Carter's announcement of a proposal to commemorate "the six million," one of Eizenstadt's aides suggested to her boss that the new commission might "consider expanding this to eleven million," following the example of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.35 There were various reasons to move in this direction. Carter's initiative had preempted a bill recently introduced in the Senate (with twenty cosponsors) to establish a memorial to the Holocaust's "eleven million innocent victims, of all faiths."36 In congressional discussions after Carter's announcement, senators and representatives who lauded the proposal—Jews and gentiles alike—referred as often to "eleven" or "six plus five" or "six plus millions of others" as they did to "six."37

      When the President's Commission on the Holocaust was formally established some months later, with Elie Wiesel as its chairman, it solicited suggestions from numerous sources, including representatives of ethnic groups. The director of the Ukrainian National Information Service wrote that Ukrainians also "met Hitler's criteria for extermination" and were "numerically the second largest group to be destroyed in ... Auschwitz, Treblinka, and Dachau." He asked that whatever was done "reflect the various nationalities and the numerical proportions of the victims of the Nazi Holocaust."38 Aloysius Mazewski, the president of the Polish-American Congress, insisted that it was Poles, not Ukrainians, who deserved second place to Jews: his total of ten million Holocaust victims was made up of six million Jews, three million Catholic Poles, and one million "other nationalities."39 On the other hand, the president of the Alliance of Poles of America claimed that "more than six million Christians [mostly Poles]...lost their lives"; he spoke of "the need to memorialize the sufferings and death of our Polish Catholic brothers and sisters—and not only those of Jewish tradition. To do otherwise would make their suffering and death meaningless."40

      In April 1979, while the commission was deliberating, the first "Days of Remembrance" of the Holocaust were held in the Capitol Rotunda.41 By this time, for whatever reasons, the White House had changed its definition of "the Holocaust." President Carter spoke of "eleven million innocent victims exterminated—six million of them Jews." Vice President Walter Mondale spoke of bearing witness "to the unanswered cries of the eleven million." 42

      This redefinition was, of course, deeply offensive to Wiesel. His commission's report, delivered to the president in September 1979, was, above all, a rejoinder to Carter's new characterization. It insisted on the Jewish specificity—the Jewish essence—of the Holocaust: "any attempt to dilute or deny this reality would be to falsify it in the name of misguided universalism."

      The report contained phrases that Wiesel was to repeat frequently over subsequent years—acknowledging that Nazism had other targets, but insisting on the temporal as well as the conceptual priority of Jewish victimhood: "as night descended, millions of other peoples were swept into this net of death"; "Jews might not have remained the final victims of Nazi genocide but they were certainly its first"; "as always, they began with Jews[;] as always they did not stop with Jews alone." There were indeed "other victims," whose existence should be recognized in the museum being recommended, but, the report strongly implied—without quite saying so—they were not victims of "the Holocaust."43

      The following months saw an intense struggle between Wiesel and Jewish staffers in the White House over how the Holocaust should be described—who would be included. It was "morally repugnant," said one presidential aide, "to create a category of second-class victims of the Holocaust as Mr. Wiesel would have us do."44 Stuart Eizenstadt urged Carter that in the executive order creating the Holocaust Memorial Council (successor to the presidential commission) he should "make clear the memorial is to honor the memory of all victims of the Holocaust—six million Jews and some five million other peoples."45 This definition, one staff member pointed out, was that of Simon Wiesenthal, "whose Holocaust credentials are as good as anyone else I know."46

      At the eleventh hour there was an ingenious proposal from Wiesel and the commission's new director, Monroe Freedman, to resolve the question through punctuation. The White House draft spoke of commemorating "The Holocaust, the systematic, state-sponsored extermination of six million Jews and millions of other victims of Nazism during World War II." The proposed alternative would make a conceptual separation through the use of dashes: "The Holocaust—the systematic state-sponsored extermination of six million Jews—and the millions of other Nazi victims."47

      Eizenstadt, in the end, was willing to give in. "For better or worse," he said, Wiesel had become the symbol of the Holocaust, and if he resigned over the issue, "we simply would not be able to get another prominent Jewish leader to serve as Chairman." While Eastern European ethnic groups would prefer the original wording, the definitional issue was not, for them, "a live or die matter as it is with Wiesel." 48 But an exasperated Carter refused to accept the dashes, and the executive order creating the Holocaust Memorial Council referred to eleven million victims. Wiesel did not re-sign, and the museum he was charged with creating was officially committed to memorializing "eleven million."

      This was clearly unacceptable to Wiesel and others for whom the "big truth" about the Holocaust was its Jewish specificity. They responded to the expansion of the victims of the Holocaust to eleven million the way devout Christians would respond to the expansion of the victims of the Crucifixion to three—the Son of God and two thieves. Weisel's forces mobilized, both inside and outside the Holocaust Council, to ensure that, despite the executive order, their definition would prevail.

      Though Jewish survivors of the Holocaust had no role in the initiative that created the museum, they came, under the leadership of Wiesel, to dominate the counci—morally, if not numerically. When one survivor, Sigmund Strochlitz, was sworn in as a council member, he announced that it was "unreasonable and inappropriate to ask survivors to share the term Holocaust ... to equate our suffering ... with others."49 At one council meeting, another survivor, Kalman Sultanik, was asked whether Daniel Trocme, murdered at Maidanek for rescuing Jews and honored at Yad Vashem as a Righteous Gentile, could be remembered in the museum's Hall of Remembrance. "No," said Sultanik, because "he didn't die as a Jew.... The six million Jews ... died differently."50

      There were also attempts to mobilize Jewish opinion at large against blurring the distinction between the victimhood of Jews and that of others. Survivor Henryk Grynberg even objected to the ancillary role accorded to gentiles in Wiesel's phrase about others being, "as night descended ... swept into this net of death." This was, Grynberg said, "absolutely false": "Those millions of others would have perished in the war even if the Holocaust had never taken place."51

      Children of survivors were often among those who insisted on the distinction between the deaths of gentiles and of Jews. Gentiles, said one, "died a death invented for the Jews ... victims of a 'solution' designed for others."52

      For another child of survivors, dismayed by what he saw as the museum's blurring of the issue,the deaths of gentile victims "were of a different, non-theological order, untouched by the mysteries that reign at the heart of... the 'Tremendum.'" 53

      Yehuda Bauer enlisted in the battle against what he called the "Wiesenthal-Carter definition." It reflected, he wrote, gentile "envy" of the Jews' experience in the Holocaust, which "would seem to be an unconscious reflection of anti-Semitic attitudes."

      The Holocaust created a pro-Jewish reaction among large numbers of non-Jews.... A reversion back to "normalcy" regarding Jews requires the destruction of the Holocaust-caused attitude of sympathy.... This is achieved by claiming that the Holocaust was ... something that happened to many millions of others.... The Holocaust then becomes lost, flattened out ... and a "normal" attitude of anti-Jewishness becomes possible again.54

      Wiesel and his allies no doubt feared that the logic of the museum's "eleven million" mandate foreshadowed "other victims" receiving five elevenths of the space. In the end, largely as a result of the influence of survivors on the council, "other victims" wound up receiving little more than perfunctory mention in the museum's permanent exhibition.55 Thus, though he had lost in the preliminary skirmish with Carter over the museum's mandate, Wiesel won the war over its content. Carter's "eleven million" never became operational doctrine at the museum, yet there remained a vague commitment to a principle of inclusion, producing endless wrangling over the definition of the Holocaust at meetings of the council.

      Council member Hyman Bookbinder—the long-time Washington representative of the American Jewish Committee—was frustrated, and after reviewing the various elusive aphoristic formulas that were trotted out, tried to get Wiesel to answer a straightforward question: "Are the 'other millions' victims of the Holocaust, or in addition to the Holocaust?"56 Wiesel never gave a direct answer, and neither has the museum.57 Clarity was undesirable and imprudent; much better to leave the matter ambiguous.

  • 'NY Jewish Week' speaks bluntly of 'Israel firsters' in US politics
    • Raphael: Herzl, wanted a multicultural, and multilingual state.


      Cf. Hostage:

      A letter in the Financial Times Feb. 22nd raised some interesting issues regarding Shavit’s book, as to what Herzl was planning for the existing population of Palestine, in 1895.

      The Charter of Herzl’s Jewish-Ottoman Land Company (JOLC) contained an article which reserved the right of the Zionists to involuntarily transfer or deport the non-Jewish population of Palestine to other parts of the Ottoman Empire.


      Note: The above comment by Hostage has been erased from the archive. No link available, except to the article with missing comments:

    • Raphael: Herzl, wanted a multicultural, and multilingual state. He was much more “liberal” then today’s right wingers. [...] “The new national home would not be ‘Jewish’ but a multicultural, multilingual state like Switzerland, even though most citizens would probably continue to speak German.” .


      In any case, the creation of such a fanciful multicultural Switzerland-like, German-speaking state/Jewish home in overwhelmingly Arab Palestine would perforce have required the negation of the native inhabitants right to self-determination, since they were strongly opposed to any such plans.

      (The First Zionist Congress in Basel was in 1897, not 1887. It declared:

      Zionism aims at establishing for the Jewish people a publicly and legally assured home in Palestine. For the attainment of this purpose, the Congress considers the following means serviceable:

      1. The promotion of the settlement of Jewish agriculturists, artisans, and tradesmen in Palestine.

      2. The federation of all Jews into local or general groups, according to the laws of the various countries.

      3. The strengthening of the Jewish feeling and consciousness.

      4. Preparatory steps for the attainment of those governmental grants which are necessary to the achievement of the Zionist purpose.)

    • Another thing to read is, Etan Bloom, Arthur Ruppin and the Production of the Modern Hebrew Culture, 2008.

      pdf thesis version available here:

      Critical review here:

  • Clinton marshals African-American surrogates against BDS to stop pro-Palestinian influence 'in the public narrative'
    • This amounts to Israel’s “African Americans for apartheid” PR campaign.


  • Clinton to Palestine: Drop dead
    • yonah fredman: If pinsker preached antigentilism, which he did, then I excuse him [..] anyone who preached antigentilism, i.e. as in- one of these goys is going to murder your asses, then he was preaching a course in life saving, in swimming, a mitzva, common sense.

      Fine, that's debatable. But what possible excuse is there for Pinsker-style antigentilism today in the 21st century ?

      Pinsker adopted racialist concepts drawn from his 19th century medical training and developed the notion that antisemitimism, or as he called it “Judeophobia”, was, literally, an incurable inherited disease afflicting practically all non-Jews everywhere.

      [Pinsker:]Along with a number of other subconscious and superstitious ideas, instincts, and idiosyncrasies, Judeophobia, too, has become rooted and naturalized among all the peoples of the earth with whom the Jews have had intercourse. Judeophobia is a form of demonopathy, with the distinction that the Jewish ghost has become known to the whole race of mankind, not merely to certain races, and that it is not disembodied, like other ghosts, but is a being of flesh and blood, and suffers the most excruciating pain from the wounds inflicted upon it by the fearful mob who imagine it threatens them.

      Judeophobia is a psychic aberration. As a psychic aberration, it is hereditary; as a disease transmitted for two thousand years, it is incurable.

      * * * * *

      Like the Jewish people, it seems, the real “Wandering Jew,” anti-Semitism, too, can never die. He must be blind indeed who will assert that the Jews are not the chosen people, the people chosen for universal hatred.

      […]Having analyzed Judeophobia as an hereditary form of demonopathy, peculiar to the human race, and having represented anti-Semitism as based upon an inherited aberration of the human mind, we must draw the important conclusion: the fight against this hatred, like any fight against inherited predispositions, can only be in vain. [emphasis added]

      Arthur Hertzberg, “The Zionist Idea: A Historical Analysis and Reader

      Both history and science have proven Pinsker’s pseudo-scientific racist doctrines to be false and pernicious. As Hostage wrote:

      Pinsker, Herzl, Ruppin, and Jabotinsky wrote racist tracts and pamphlets. They held the same bigoted European views regarding the immiscibility of the races, the mystical connection between blood and soil, hereditary anti-semitism, and the need of us racially inferior Diaspora Jews for genetic improvement through Eugenics programs they intended to carry-out in Palestine to create "the New Jew", i.e.

      Even if the preaching of such racist anti-Gentile doctrines, apart from the damage they did, may have had the positive consequence of encouraging some few Jews to get out of Europe before the Nazi genocide, what possible justification is there TODAY for the continued propagation of such discredited racist, anti-gentile, mythological conceptions of antisemtitism--typified by the Seattle Times editorial-- and their cynical use in demonizing the BDS movement?

      The debate you want to have about who was worse off in Tsarist Russia—Jews or non-Jewish peasants—however interesting it might be, is clearly a distraction from that critical question.

    • @yonah fredman

      Your argument, if it can be called one, is based on a blatant false dichotomy .

      Keith criticized an ahistorical, mythological conception of antisemitism and its use in demonizing the BDS movement, a conception exemplified by this quote from the article he linked to:

      “In truth, despite the veneer of rationality attached to BDS and delegitimization, these tactics are not new — they are a continuation of what seems like an eternal campaign against the Jewish people.” (Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL)

      The notion that the BDS campaign is just the latest manifestation of an eternal, irrational, inexplicable, undifferentiated, autonomous, transhistorical, demonic power that forced Jews from their homeland, compelled them to practice their faith in secret, and was the root of the worst genocide the world has ever seen" --that is a mythological notion that has nothing to do with real fact-based history, and it is a despicable and disgraceful misrepresentation of the BDS movement.

      But you would have us believe that anyone who rejects that mythological conception of antisemitism necessarily rejects the reality of antisemitism entirely.

      That's false. Genuine history, in fact, requires the rejection of such mythological thinking.

      If you wish to argue specific historical points with Keith, that would be great. But to reply to his arguments with a completely spurious false dichotomy is not enlightening whatsoever.

    • yonah fredman: .... jews ruled by the czars and the only thing mother Russia could figure out how to do was to pass laws to repress them and here you are 130 years later denying history.

      Where does Keith deny that there was discrimination and repression against Jews in late 19th/early 20th century Czarist Russia?

      If you can't answer that question with a direct quote, you are engaging in blatant dishonesty.

      [yonah fredman] Between 1881 and 1917, one third of all jews left czarist russia for other locations. Historians attribute this migration to antisemitism, but according to you, keith, life was beautiful or what?

      Where does Keith say anything like "life was beautiful' for Jews (or the peasant masses, industrial workers etc.) under Czarist rule?

      What's the point of such a gross misrepresentation of his views? Do you think such obvious straw man arguments are persuasive?

    • @Keith

      Excellent, well-written Letter to the Editor.

      (In case you use it elsewhere--there's a typo in this line "This occupation continues today with no end in site" ).

    • The U.S. turns to Israel for help in the fight against the non-existent Russian threat.

      Reuters: The United States has tested the short-range interceptor missile used by Israel’s Iron Dome system with a view to incorporating it for a future American counterpart in European-based air defenses against Russia, a U.S. Army general said Monday. Developed with funding help from Washington, Iron Dome has had a 90 percent shoot-down rate against Palestinian rockets, Israeli and U.S. officials say.

      But the system’s $50 million unit price and limited reach have dampened its export appeal.

      Visiting Israel, Maj. Gen. Glenn Bramhall of the U.S. Army’s Air and Missile Defense Command said he saw a new need to complement his unit’s midrange Patriot and THAAD interceptors with a thrifty system for less powerful missile threats.

      To that end, he said, U.S. assessors have test-launched Iron Dome’s interceptor missile, “Tamir,” which is jointly manufactured by Massachusetts firm Raytheon Co. and Israel’s state-owned Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd.

      “With all that is happening in Europe, especially the fact that Russia has really awakened itself and has really decided to rebuild its military and is really posing a threat, we are looking at how we can do the multtiered defense,” Bramhall told Reuters at a conference hosted by the Israeli security organization iHLS.

    • Aspire on this:

      In a move that is virtually unprecedented in US politics, top Donald Trump adviser on Israel David M. Friedman gave an interview to Israel’s Channel 2 urging the nation not to accept any military aid deal from President Obama, and rather to wait until after the election.

      Friedman argued that Trump would “in all likelihood” increase Israel’s military aid “dramatically.”

  • Media accusations of blood libels -- against Abbas and Sanders -- amplify a Jewish tribal fantasy
    • Mikhael: ..there is a moral difference between collateral damage [...]and people being deliberately targeted for annihilation.

      So, the millions that a died as "collateral damage" to the Nazi onslaught are in a different moral category than the direct targets of the Nazi onslaught?

      How so?

      I'm not buying that distinction.

    • Mikhael: But when it comes to the many millions of Allied soldiers who gave their lives fighting Nazism (including many Jews in their ranks) we don’t count them as the victims who were singled out for annihilation.


      1)The Nazis categorized people for extermination in various ways-- in terms of ethnicity/race, political views, sexual orientation, physical and mental status etc. Slavs, for example, were declared to be subhuman and the majority of Slavic people were slated for extermination. So were communists, socialists, homosexuals, and people with physical and mental disabilities.
      Everyone in those those groups were "singled- out", not just Jews (or the Roma you mentioned).

      2) As Annie Robbins has repeatedly pointed out, you have presented no argument whatsoever why the murder of a person solely"because of their ethnicity or perceived race " is any more "tragic" than murder for any other reason (or slaughter in an immoral war). A life unnecessarily and immorally cut short is a life unnecessarily and immorally cut short, no matter what the motive of the killers.

  • Israel should be deeply disturbed by the Brexit vote
    • Speaking truth to power? From Nigel Farage's speech to the European Parliament:

      Isn’t it funny? When I came here 17 years ago and I said that I wanted to lead a campaign go get Britain out of the European Union, you all laughed at me. Well, I have to say, you’re not laughing now, are you?

      And the reason you’re so upset, the reason you’re so angry, has been perfectly clear from all the angry exchanges this morning. You, as a political project, are in denial. You are in denial that your currency is failing.

      [At this point Farage was jeered. He went on:]

      Well, just look at the Mediterranean. As a policy to impose poverty and the rest of the Mediterranean, you’ve done very well. And you are in denial over Mrs Merkel’s call last year for as many people as possible to cross the Mediterranean into the European Union. [It] has led to massive divisions within countries and between countries.

      But the biggest problem you’ve got, and the main reason the United Kingdom voted the way that it did, is that you have, by stealth, by deception, without ever telling the truth to the British or the rest of the people’s of Europe, you have imposed upon them a political union.

      And when the people in 2005 in the Netherlands and France voted against the political union, when they rejected the constitution, you simply ignored them and brought the Lisbon treaty in through the back door.

      * * *

      What happened last Thursday was a remarkable result. It was a seismic result, not just for British politics, but for European politics [and] perhaps even for global politics too. Because what the little people did, what the ordinary people did, what the people who have been oppressed over the last few years and who have seen their living standards go down [did], they rejected the multinationals, they rejected the merchant banks, they rejected big politics. And they said, actually, we want our country back. We want our fishing waters back. We want our borders back. And we want to be an independent, self-governing, normal nation and that is what we have done and that is what must happen.

      And in doing so we offer a beacon of hope to democrats across the rest of the European continent. I will make one prediction this morning; the United Kingdom will not be the last member state to leave the European Union.

  • BDS campaign hopes to take Israeli goods off Palestinian dinner tables during Ramadan
    • yonah fredman: Zaid, I hope readers will read the link and realize how misleading your presentation is.

      I agree. I don't see how a crazy revenge plan hatched by a few mentally unbalanced holocaust survivors in 1945 ,which included poisoning bread at a bakery, constitutes a "Zionist tradition" to poison civilian water supplies.

  • Letters to Hillary
    • OT:

      The head of NATO called for ramped up ties with Israel Tuesday, as President Rueven Rivlin visited the alliance’s headquarters ahead of the creation of a mission for the Jewish state there.

      The new mission had been discussed for several years but was held up by opposition from Turkey, a key NATO member which is reportedly on the verge of normalizing ties with Israel, once its close regional ally, top officials said Tuesday.

      NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said Israel had been an active alliance partner for 20 years and now it was “essential” to step up cooperation and go a step further.

      “Violence in North Africa and in the Middle East is a clear threat to all our nations…. It is vital that countries which share the same values … stand together against hate and terrorism,” Stoltenberg told reporters ... [emphasis added]


      In a speech at the Herzliya Conference, Israel’s military intelligence chief, Major General Herzi Halevy, took Israel’s long-standing position that it “prefers ISIS” over the Syrian government to a whole ‘nother level, declaring openly that Israel does not want to see ISIS defeated in the war.

      Quoted in the Hebrew-language NRG site, linked to Maariv, Maj. Gen. Halevy expressed concern about the recent offensives against ISIS territory, saying that in the last three months the Islamist group was facing the “most difficult” situation since its inception and declaration of a caliphate.

      Israeli officials have regularly expressed comfort with the idea of ISIS conquering the whole of Syria, saying they find it preferable to the Iran-allied government surviving the war. At the same time, they were never so overtly supportive of ISIS and its survival.
      [emphasis added]

  • Post Orlando, a Muslim's comment on homophobia within the Muslim community
    • silamcuz: we all know who the actual hateful savages are....

      "Hateful savages"? A revealing slip. Not surprising, though, that you employ the fallacious colonialist civilized/savage dichotomy. Your true ideological colors are showing through your fake MW persona.

  • The naked racism of 'Save Jewish Jerusalem'
    • Talkback: So what term would you use to describe hatred/bias etc. towards Nonjews AS SUCH?


      While you're at it..... what term would you use to describe hatred/ bias etc. toward non-Muslims AS SUCH? Or non-Christians AS SUCH? Or non-Americans? Or non-Japanese? ETC. ETC.

  • American Jewish identity: Moving beyond 'love for Israel' and the Holocaust
    • silamcuz: Zionism is a fascist movement... Young Turks ...Nazis... White Christian Republicans... nationalistic blights....Westphalian Nation state doctrines...

      The (de-)white(d) man doth protest too much, methinks.

  • 'Boycott' Israel over J'lem prayer rules, but 'work' against occupation -- Forward's double standard
    • It seems like all comments for everyone before June 1 2014 are gone. At least that's what a few searches show for me at this point.

    • Many great posts gone. Hostage's archive barely exists anymore. That's a huge loss--along with many others-- if it can't be retrieved.

  • Michael Lerner brings down the house at Muhammad Ali funeral by standing up for Palestinians and against Netanyahu
    • ritzl: ... advocating her signature policies of destabilization and death abroad and the effects of free trade here at home.

      The structure and content of the speech suggests otherwise. Lerner first calls for "speaking truth to power":

      That means us, everyone here and everyone listening. It’s up to us to continue that ability to speak truth to power. We must speak out...

      He then goes down a list of powerful folks that need to be subjected to popular pressure:

      Tell the politicians...

      Tell judges...

      Tell our elected officials...

      Tell the leaders of Turkey...

      Tell Israeli prime minister Netanyahu....


      That list of the powerful that need to be pressured culminates with the next president of the United States:

      Tell her that the way to achieve homeland security is not for us to try new ways of domination , the strategy of domination of the world of the other to get security has been tried for the last 10,000 years and it doesn’t work. The way to get security is for the United States to become known as the most generous and caring country in the world, not the most powerful. [applause]

      We could start with a global and domestic Marshall plan to once and for all end global and domestic poverty, homelessness — hunger, inadequate education, inadequate health care. [emphasis added]


      Lerner is calling for a progressive foreign policy that replaces domination with generosity -- the opposite of "policies of destabilization and death abroad"; and he is calling for a global and domestic Marshall plan to end poverty, hunger etc.-- the opposite of the Clintonite neoliberal " free trade" scam.

  • Activists descend on Cuomo NYC office to defend right to boycott
    • Joe Catron: , it concerns investments by public agencies. No contracts; no grants; and absolutely nothing else.


      Every investment by a public agency involves a financial contract as well as "funds [made] available" and "financial benefit" to the receiving entity.

      So I don't see what's inaccurate about the statement:

      It deprives Americans and New Yorkers who are constituents of Governor Cuomo from financial benefits, governmental financial contracts and funds available to them, based on their political views.

  • Another Israeli leader says Netanyahu misuses the Holocaust for political gain, but no one in the U.S. can say so
    • eljay: y.f. now:

      yonah fredman never advocated "conversation" or "dialogue" with Holocaust deniers.

      Besides, such a "conversation" would be a violation of the Mondoweiss comments policy:

      2. No Nakba or Holocaust denial. We’re not going to tolerate any discussion of the Jewish role in the rise of the Nazis which is used as a pretext for blaming Jews for the Nazi rise, a form of Holocaust denial we want no part of. Similarly, this policy includes Nakba denial as well, and efforts to blame the expulsion of Palestinians in 1948 on Palestinian actions. [emphasis added]

  • Huffpo writer expresses bigotry against Palestinians by equating battle for equal rights and anti-Semitism
    • echinococcus: ...often plain impossible restrictions to post-67 area products, as set by the official movement.

      Where do you find such "post-67 area" restrictions set by the official BDS movement? Link? Thanks.

  • Front-page play for Israel battle shows that Israel has lost the Democratic Party base
    • MHughes976 : Wouldn’t you think that invasion, occupation and illegal annexation – or the sham and forced election of a new sovereign – amounts to conquest?

      If "conquest", in your use of the term, implies either necessary permanence or international recognition, then no.

      But if "conquest" means simply the taking control of territory by force, yes.

      In the case of Palestine, the taking of territory by force in the West Bank has led to an illegal occupation. (Gaza is "occupied" as well, according to international legal terminology.)

    • MHughes976: The idea of occupation lasting 50 years with no end in sight is repugnant to common sense, as IM has mentioned. In common parlance this is conquest.

      Practically, it's conquest; legally it's still occupation. The situation is not unlike that of the Baltic states under Soviet domination.

      The occupation of the Baltic states refers to the military occupation of the three Baltic states—Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania—by the Soviet Union under the auspices of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact on 14 June 1940 followed by their incorporation into the USSR as constituent republics, unrecognised internationally by most countries.

      On 22 June 1941 Nazi Germany attacked the USSR and within weeks occupied the Baltic territories. In July 1941, the Baltic territory was incorporated into the Reichskommissariat Ostland of the Third Reich. As a result of the Baltic Offensive of 1944, the Soviet Union recaptured most of the Baltic states and trapped the remaining German forces in the Courland pocket until their formal surrender in May 1945.

      The Soviet "annexation occupation" (Annexionsbesetzung or occupation sui generis) of the Baltic states lasted until August 1991, when the Baltic states regained independence.

      The Baltic states,the United States and its courts of law, the European Parliament, the European Court of Human Rights and the United Nations Human Rights Council have all stated that these three countries were invaded, occupied and illegally incorporated into the Soviet Union under provisions of the 1939 Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, first by the Soviet Union, then by Nazi Germany from 1941 to 1944, and again by the Soviet Union from 1944 to 1991.

      This policy of non-recognition has given rise to the principle of legal continuity , which holds that de jure, or as a matter of law, the Baltic states had remained independent states under illegal occupation throughout the period from 1940 to 1991. [emphasis added]


      The Baltic states were illegally occupied and suffered alien determination for some 51 years. There is no time limit, however, on the right of self-determination of peoples. (A right I'm well aware you do not recognize.)

  • French premier says 'loathing of Jews' is behind BDS
    • loathing of the State of Israel, the loathing of a Jewish home, and therefore of Jews as a whole. [emphasis added]


      It's interesting--the alleged antisemitism cannot be directly observed ; it can only be deduced (fallaciously) from anti-Israel and anti-Zionist sentiment.

  • Thank you, Chief Rabbi. Now I know: Judaism is to blame for the Nakba
    • talknic: AFTER the Armistice Agreements were signed Israel was still trying on the 31st Aug 1949 to convince the UN to allow it the territories it had acquired by war. [emphasis added]

      Talknic repeats that "31st Aug" argument over and over, even though it's been refuted over and over.


      He is referring to a 1949 letter from the Palestine Conciliation Commission (PCC) which was established by the UN to promote a solution to the Palestinian refugee problem. It consisted of just three representatives, from France, Turkey and the U.S. Pace talknic, its purpose was conciliation, not making definitive judgments of international law!

      This is a classic case of making a mountain out of a molehill. As Hostage pointed out (see link above), that three-member commission had a very weak mandate and most certainly had zero power to allow or disallow any territorial arrangement.

      [Hostage:] The General Assembly eventually replaced that subsidiary organ with yet another one, the Palestine Conciliation Commission with a much weaker mandate.

      I don’t see how anything it said “rebuffed” Israel’s new territorial claims, since the text of Article 40 of the UN Charter itself doesn’t even allow the Security Council to do that under the terms of a Chapter 7 “provisional measure” – and that was the Article it had cited in its resolutions on the cease fire and armistice line...[emphasis added]

      The 1949 Armistice lines could only be changed by mutual agreement. In the absence of such an agreement, they were unchallengeable. Very quickly hopes for any final agreement faded, and the "Green Line" became solidified, politically and legally, as the border between Israeli and Jordanian territory.

    • talknic: Israel has never reached an agreement with the Palestinians.

      1) In terms of the "Green Line" (pre-1967 border), that is a completely moot point.

      **Palestine has already recognized Israel within pre-1967 borders--prior to any future negotiations, not as an outcome of them.

      **In its application to the UN, Palestine has declared it's borders--"the Green Line", NOT UN res 181 recommended partition borders.

      **Some 133 UN members states have recognized the "Green Line" as the border between Palestinian and Israeli territory.

      2) You are once again trying to have it both ways. You've claimed repeatedly that the union of the West Bank with Jordan was a legitimate act of Palestinian self-determination. (but see:

      If so, Jordan's King Abdullah was legitimately representing the West Bank Palestinians in the negotiations with Israel that led to the 1949 Armistice Agreement. That has been your position. But now you contradict yourself trying to argue that there never was an agreement with West Bank Palestinians.

      [Mensch:] b) Why should the Palestinians not demand the 1948 borders?

      [Hostage:] After Israel withdrew from Gaza, the Security Council adopted resolution Resolution 1860 (2009) which says that territory will be part of any Palestinian state. So, Gaza is no longer negotiable.

      The Palestinians asserted a claim to the 1948 borders through a safeguarding clause in the 1949 Armistice agreement.

      However, the West Bank Palestinians were represented in the Jordanian government that signed the agreement.

      It permits Israel to govern the territory until any changes are mutually agreed upon. Resolution 242 does not give Israel the right to violate that agreement. King Abdullah of Jordan did conclude a special agreement that would have provided for a corridor between the West Bank and Gaza and access to Israeli ports, but when the details became public, his Cabinet resigned. See Foreign relations of the United States, 1950. The Near East, South Asia, and Africa, page1095

      Bear in mind that the UN Mediator and nearly every Arab leader who had dealt with Israel in the Armistice negotiations was assassinated – Nokrashy in Egypt, Zaim in Syria, Riad Solh in Lebanon, and Abdullah in Jordan. The diplomatic history of the agreements shows that they were intended to be permanent settlements that would only be subject to minor revisions. The safeguarding clauses simply provided the negotiators with a plausible alibi. In any event, most of the negotiators ended-up being charged by their own Arab and Jewish citizens with permanently ceding away parts of the Arab or Jewish homeland.

      Under international law, an armistice agreement allows the belligerents the same rights and duties as those of an ordinary state. Those rights are not limited to the rules contained in the Hague regulations or the Geneva Conventions. Both Israel and Jordan extended their municipal jurisdiction to the new territories. Despite complaints from the Arab League, that was perfectly legal under the terms of their agreements. [emphasis added]

      Please read closely: "Both Israel and Jordan extended their municipal jurisdiction to the new territories. ...,that was perfectly legal . Extending municipal jurisdiction over a territory legally defines annexation; that extension of Israeli law was legal, therefore, that territory was legally annexed. (Israel can of course cede territory back to Palestine--but it can not be forced to do that. There is no legal requirement that a final agreement ever be concluded.)

      BOTH Israel and Jordan were non-members of the UN when they annexed territory following the 1949 Armistice Agreement. Israel continued to annex territory outside res 181 recommended borders/inside the Green Line and to transfer Jewish settlers into the area AFTER it became a UN member. None of these Israeli actions within the Green Line , before or after Israel became a UN member, have ever been condemned by the UN or held to be illegal by the ICJ.


      TALKNIC: Were it [Jordanian annexation of the West Bank] illegal, the UNSC would be bound by the UN Charter to condemn it, like they did the unilateral annexation of East Jerusalem by Israel.

      Likewise, were Israeli annexation of territory inside the Green Line after the 1949 agreement illegal, the UN would have condemned it, and the ICJ would have affirmed it's illegality. THAT HAS NEVER HAPPENED.

Showing comments 2420 - 2401