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Total number of comments: 852 (since 2009-07-31 12:30:56)

Sin Nombre

An average schlub.

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  • John Kerry invokes apocalyptic 'domino theory' in call with House Democrats
    • Ah it doesn't get any richer than this:

      Young John Kerry, needing—nay, craving attention, carefully becoming the "winter" soldier, morally caviling against a war that, while stupid, at least was engaged in and pursued out of a valid, uncorrupted concern; to wit, the American interest.

      And now we have old John Kerry, mouthing word for word the sorts of memes he so heaped disdain on in the Vietnam situation so as to take us into a war out of a totally invalid, totally corrupted concern; to wit, *other* countries' interests.

      Sorta answers the song's question about what war is good for at least for John Kerry: His career! And at least with Nixon and Kissinger they appeared sincere.

  • Bacevich in 'LA Times': Camp David ushered in 4 decades of US militarism in Mid East
    • I for one am delighted to see this Bacevich piece moving the understanding of how we got where we are closer to the nub of the issue which isn't whether Israel is more or less right than its neighbors but our own national interest.

      What Jimmy Carter inaugurated with Camp David was essentially a new, moralistic-based U.S. policy towards the ME, and now we see just where exactly such an idea-rejecting stance gets one. In essence, mired in the sins of damn near everyone on every side of a fight that we have no real interest in whatsoever, and being ruthlessly taken advantage of all those parties to boot so as to try to validate that initial hopeless stance.

      Not that Carter was a bad man—manifestly, he isn't—but what this shows is the wages of supporting a leader based not on his smarts but on the perceived purity or goodness of his or her soul or desires.

      But then ... even Bacevich somewhat falls into this, lamenting that instead of supplying military equipment per Camp David we should have been supplying ... educational stuff and etc. I.e., yet another of the ridiculous, endless arguments that ... gee, if only we had meddled *differently* things would be just hunky-dory.

      It's all so tiresome and stupid: Everyone looking at that photo of Carter so proud holding up the hands of Begin and Sadat and thinking Carter such a great guy. Instead of the guy who—garnering all sorts of boost for his own ego—his just simply staked an incalculable and perhaps endless amount of our blood and treasure into a fight in which we have no vital or even important interest.

      That's what you get when you get behind a moral crusader. That's what you get when you move from the idea of your President as just someone to handle the nation's business and leave the moralizing to the pulpits (such as exemplified by Eisenhower, say), and go supporting some Great and Shining White God of Goodness. The latter get the adoration and the Nobel Peace Prizes, we get their results.

  • State Department official: 'You are likely to see Israeli settlements continue' during peace talks
    • And what else is very clear is that the U.S. political class will say that those arabs and moslems who say the U.S. is being hypocritical and is facilitating ethnic cleansing just hate us "for who we are" and are anti-semetic terrorists who we must either facilitate making war on, or make war on directly. The dead and wounded arabs and moslems and destruction that such wars result in also not being something the arabs and moslems have any right to take notice of much less resent us for.

      If you ask me the U.S. never really sank this low in modern times before. It's damn near perfect in its corruption.

    • Well of *course* they will continue.

      In the first place they've got good old Indyk telling our side it's okay.

      And in the second, they've got good old Indyk telling them (as "our" Ambassador to them his security clearance was revoked) exactly how far they can go in this or that direction doing this or that before we say this or that, and then of course exactly how far they can go before we actually *mean* this or that and ... on and on and on.

      And of course when the Palestinians tell us how far *they* will go as to anything good old Martin will make sure everyone knows *their* positions too, and can be counted on to tell 'em whatever, and to spend U.S. billions bribing them to accept anything, and ....

      Anyone who isn't sickened by the "Americans" like Indyk just isn't paying attention. But of course he's got good old Progressive political correctness making even the clearest and most obvious observation and recitation of their histories about them off limits.

  • In 'NYT' profile of Jewish leader, apartheid was long ago and far away and resisted by brave South African Jews
    • Phil Weiss wrote:

      "Freedman never pursues the obvious moral questions. He never asks Hurwitz about apartheid in Palestine."

      Because ... for Freedman and Hurwitz there *are* no moral questions there?

      I mean, isn't this the story over and over now in the Diaspora community—in chronic alleged disgust if not rage over what their adopted countries are doing, while being blithely supportive of Israel doing even worse—so absolutely common, long-standing and clear now that the explanation for same can't possibly lie in the mere vagaries of individuals or coincidences and must be part of a very widely shared and distinct world-view? A world view with a simply huge, blatant double standard? That the equation is that ... Israel remains morally immaculate while doing precisely what renders everyone else not just inferior but repulsive and sub-human?

      [...]
      How, after all, can "Israel" act without someone's human volition being behind same? So how to even *say* this equation is really "just" about Israel and doesn't really mean the individuals behind that mere construct?

  • John Kerry's peace process: Dead on arrival
    • mondonut wrote:

      "If with all things being equal the Palestinians would turn down a state without Jerusalem, then its doubtful that a state is their goal."

      But, we are presumably meant to believe, the precise opposite means nothing negative whatsoever about Israeli/jewish motivations.

      I.e., that if, with all things being equal, the Israelis would turn down peace w/o Jerusalem, of *course* this *doesn't* mean that peace isn't really Israel's goal. Of *course* it doesn't. Not even worth mentioning.

      So how does that work anyway? For some reason we all just gotta accept that if anyone else does X they have conclusively shown their knavery, whereas if Israel or jews do X of course one must simply accept the innocence and purity of their motives?

      Oh that's right, my blood not having earned me that trump card I forgot! That "chosenness" business...

      As I've said before, the two fundamental plinths of virtually all the argumentation: The double standard, and the charges of anti-semitism.

  • 'Nation' says rightwingers paint FDR as anti-Semite so as to manipulate US support of Israel
    • hophmi wrote:

      "is it your opinion that American Jews are banding together to force non-Jews to fight a war on their behalf? And you don’t understand why saying stuff like this is antisemitic?"

      I don't understand why saying stuff like this is anti-semetic, unless, as Chu notes, anti-semetism can include truthful statements.

      The Nation article after all documents that there are calls from American jews to other American jews to band together to support Israel. And it's undeniable that Israel has been plumping for the U.S. to go to war to attack Iran.

      And yet ... according to you it's beyond the pale to observe this.

      Who do you think you are fooling? And do you really want to rob the idea of anti-semitism of all meaning?

    • Right. So out of one side of the mouth when talking for a general audience these same sorts of folks say we should go to war against Iran because it's in America's interest. But then, when talking intramurally, the argument suddenly becomes that jews have to band together to get America to go to war with Iran for jewish interests.

      One just has to marvel at the thickness of such people: How are the goyim supposed to feel about calls to so expend their blood and treasure? Especially if those calls succeed and we do go to war as an Act II of all this and that war goes South for us?

      Obviously they don't care about the actual merits of the case, elsewise they wouldn't be making the intramural calls they are today of ethno-racial solidarity. So is it some sort of love of inciting anti-semitism? Or just simply confidence in the idea that after the fact any such observations about their intramural calls can be beaten down and thrown down the memory hole by denial and hysterical screams of same simply amounting to yet another historical anti-semitic blood-libel about jewish willingness to sacrifice others' interests for their own?

      Whatever it is it's fascinating living through Act I of this play seeing the brazenness of it. It's like watching someone looking at you straight in the eye today mouthing words at you that, if you repeat, you know they will be vehemently denying and viciously denouncing you for tomorrow.

      No wonder the goyim are thought to be so stupid as to fall for same.

  • How fair is Martin Indyk, who says he was motivated by 'my... connection to Israel'?
    • Hey, this is a cheap shot! Indyk follows precisely in the tradition of so many other prominent American partisans of Israel! Right down to his handling of sensitive American intelligence! (Having probably been our first and still perhaps only Ambassador to have ever had his security clearance actually revoked—while he allegedly was our man in Israel, 'natch.)

      Now move along, move along; nothing to see here....

  • Celebrating Morsi's ouster is easy, naive and shortsighted
    • I have no good idea of what Mr. Ellis is saying here, and certainly can't see how he could urge us doing or not doing anything thereby, with it seeming to me to be that the good reason he's confounded is what seems to me to be his constricted perspective of these sorts of things.

      Pretty clearly that is he seems to feel that "elites" determine everything, and, somewhat contradictorily, when they don't the result will always be better . Somewhat Marxisant in nature then, which is not meant pejoratively, but is ironic.

      Ironic because nothing could be clearer than that the Marxist movements led by Lenin and the Bolsheviks and Mao and his friends were hardly elites or even minutely supported by same, and yet they managed to get in power, and the same goes for Hitler for that matter. Likewise and more to the point even Mubarek was clearly a representative of the elites, and yet of course he was overthrown rather easily.

      Moreover, one has to go no further than citing Lenin and the Bolsheviks and Mao to note the error in assuming that just because some elite regime falls to this or that populist one the results are invariably or even likely to be better than before. Indeed it may even be the exact opposite. (Perhaps in part at least because elites prefer stability, and stability has some substantial virtues of its own for the common man.)

      No wonder Mr. Ellis is adrift then here. His perspective of "what matters" or "what determines" here is just far too constricted. Lots of time in history—and especially so in modern history—the elites have taken it in the ass, and lots of times that has happened the biggest sufferers therefrom have been the common masses.

      Pretty clearly one of the big dynamics at work here in Egypt and indeed in the arab/moslem world generally is that it is going through the process of wrestling with modernity, which was and to a degree still is tough enough for our relatively secular Western societies, and is thus is going to be very very difficult for the most Islamic of countries.

      Further ironically however our national error in addessing this is somewhat akin to Mr. Ellis' as well, which is that clearly our Administration is viewing the Egyptian situation the same way it is viewing the Syrian one which in turn is looking through a far too narrow perspective by simply asking which "side" or "group" of involved in the uprisings or etc. are best for Israel and which are not.

      The clear reality however is that nobody really understand the dynamics of all of what is going on in these countries, much less knows which are determinative. And what's even more opaque is trying to foresee and compare what different results are going to obtain in our pathetic attempts to foresee the possible outcomes. Consequently, and most opaquely of all no one can say with any authority whatsoever how to get X result from taking Y action.

      I.e., who knows who is going to "win" and who is going to "lose" and for how long and what is going to be best for "the people" in the long run?

      To me at least the clear lesson from all of this is that the last thing we ought to be doing is putting our finger(s) into the mix other perhaps than the strictly and clearly humanitarian. That ... our proper posture ought to be standing as far back as possible and simply extending our hope to the peoples caught up in all this for the least violence and loss of life possible, and sympathy for the troubles they are experiencing, period.

      And if you ask me further I'd say that just about the best way to end up with some regime or situation hostile to us is indeed for us to try to put our finger on the scale somewhere because no-one but no-one in the region believes that we do so other than to advance Israel's interest, which is like poisoning anyone we are seen as supporting.

  • David Brooks welcomes 'Enrique Cohen-Chan' diversity
    • Phil Weiss wrote:

      "And Brooks has a spotty record on this issue. Just a couple of months ago, he seemed to deplore America's growing diversity in a piece celebrating the Orthodox Jews of Brooklyn. "

      Phil, how could you miss this? This isn't being being "spotty." It's called ... condemning as "racist" or etc. any and all racial or ethnic or cultural singularism or favoritism or particularism or whatever in every single race or ethnic *other than* for or amongst Jews.

      [......]

      And just as surewin says, I'd bet quite a bit that no, you're never going to see Brooks flip-flopping on this. Indeed, I wouldn't be surprised to see him, like Marty Peretz, and like Rabbi Yoffie has indicated his desires, and so many others have done, is after spending the better part of their lives living here, pretending to hold this country's best interests as their own but typically lecturing us on how racist and terrible we are, go and retire to somewhere in Israel. Where, like Rabbi Yoffie says, he can be among Jews who he prefers. [....]

      Very possibly even retire somewhere to Israel squatting on stolen Palestinian land.

  • Kagan went hunting, and assimilating
    • I do have to say I found one of Phil's formulations—that Elena Kagan has shown "her sense of responsibility to Americans"—very interesting in that I hope he's wrong.

      My hope, that is, and indeed I think the common understanding if not demand of citizens in this country, is that Ms. Kagan doesn't differentiate herself from us other non-jewish "Americans" in this way at all. (And that's not even to mention the slight whiff of condescension that might exist in the opposite feeling, as if ... "oh aren't we other Americans lucky that Ms. Kagan or whatever other jewish American is at issue has deigned to feel some responsibility towards us!")

      I realize that anyone writing more than 10 words together is going to come up with formulations that aren't perfect, but this was the second such passage to this end in Phil's piece, and I wonder if it doesn't really illustrate how deep some "apartness" feeling is in people of Phil's background even greater than Phil has (so bravely and forthrightly) otherwise talked about.

      Not that I don't think too much can be made of this, but it does seem to me revealing. My distinct sense of what the other, "classic," voluntary European immigrants into this country in the latter part of the 1800's and the early 1900's experienced wasn't that they just felt some sense of responsibility *to* other Americans. But instead (and in general of course, but overwhelmingly) felt a huge responsibility *as* Americans, period.

      ... and if anything because of same felt a sense of responsibility to try to conduct themselves so as to not cause disdain amongst other Americans for their religious/ethnic/national background. Thus the stories are common of Italians and Eastern Europeans of various stripes and etc. putting lots of pressure upon others of their background to do this or not do that, or ostracizing this or that person or family that seemed to shame the background. I.e., the exact opposite of springing blindly to the defense of any and all kinsmen who come under some negative heat.

      A subtle but interesting issue.

    • A few points:

      Done properly hunting does inflict its inevitable cruelties, but they are mistakes when they happen.

      Moreover, even when they happen I'd venture to guess that most of the time the cruelty inflicted is still far less than the cruelty experienced by most animals dying their wholly natural deaths, which in the overwhelming main occur through prolonged starvation and/or disease, not infrequently ending in getting torn apart by some other animal.

      If you think it is cruel to shoot a deer or other animal that has had at least some time on the planet living wild and free and then eating it then you ought to learn at least a molecule about the entire miserable life spent by animals born, raised and killed in the factory farms of today.

      And as the writer John Gierach has observed, hunting is what enabled humans to get the protein to evolve the brains we have to even consider the question of hunting, much less to have developed the ethics of the sport and how one should treat other humans. Hunting is what has made us what we are.

      And as for any suggestion of the alleged soaring finery of jews in being behind their apparent injunction not to hunt, even forgetting those peoples (I forget the tribe's name) they are enjoined to even kill the infants of I hereby reproduce some coverage of a couple of things by "Failed Messiah" blogger Shmarya Rosenberg (at link to failedmessiah.typepad.com).

      Taking off from coverage from a video-type sting just last year at what is described as Israel's "premier" glatt kosher slaughterhouse, that video revealed:

      "... employees using stun guns on the genitals and eyes of cattle, and a manager standing by and watching as a calf was dragged across the ground by a forklift."

      Further, Rosenberg wrote:

      "This is not the first time animal abuse at Adom-Adom have been exposed. In September 2011, the activist group Anonymous for Animal Rights released a report that documented many similar abuses at Adom-Adom’s Beit She’an slaughterhouse. But the report was widely ignored."

      And then Rosenberg noted how this hardly seems unique to that jewish slaughterhouse:

      "In the most notorious case, Agriprocessors in Postville, Iowa, owned by Chabad’s Rubashkin family, cattle were mistreated before slaughter, put in a poorly maintained, poorly operated rotating slaughter pen and flipped on their backs. They were then – often after an uncomfortable and terrifying delay – slaughtered with a cut that was too shallow to quickly kill the animal.

      But the horror did not end there.

      As the animals lay on their backs chocking in their own blood, an untrained plant worker used a meat hook and and a hacking knife to pull out their tracheas and hack at their blood vessels. The pen was then rotated to return the animals to the upright position, and they were dumped down a short chute onto a blood-soaked concrete floor.

      But many of the animals were not dead or unconscious. Instead, grievously wounded, they struggled to right themselves and get up. Some managed to do so and tried to run away, their esophagus dangling from their open throat wounds."

      And, getting precisely to the point of what the vaunted jewish religion and its values might say, Rosenberg reported that:

      "Instead of condemning this barbarity, Orthodox and haredi rabbis – including Israel’s chief rabbis – with almost 100% public uniformity endorsed the cruelty, making it clear that the meat Agriprocessors produced was 100% kosher."

      But wait (!) as the commercials say, there's more! Beyond in Israel and the U.S. that is, as apparently the problem in kosher slaughterhouses was so widespread and bad that:

      In the years after the Agriprocessors abuses were made public, Israel’s Chief Rabbinate promised to stop other cruel practices at South American slaughterhouses that export to Israel and at Israeli slaughterhouses."

      But, Rosenberg then says:

      "for the most part those changes were [] never made."

      So spare me the sucking "jewish values" crap please.

  • 'This is worth it, folks,' Kerry says of talks-- and warns of 'avoiding war'
    • John Kerry said:

      "This is about a country, two countries and two peoples and peace and the possibilities of avoiding war and ..."

      And that's exactly what this is about, with the U.S. as usual being more concerned about that war than either of the protagonists because the U.S. was long ago was corrupted into taking unto itself any degree of harm so as to insulate Israel from the consequences of its own actions.

      It is thus only natural and normal that in the face of even the mildest possibility or threat that Israel would go to or find itself in any more hot conflict it's the U.S. and not Israel that finds itself desperately moving heaven and earth, and expending any amount of its citizens' money, to beg and bribe the parties involved so as to avoid that conflict.

      It's really a wonderful thing to see in a way: We get corrupted into supporting Israel in its conflicts even though it's against our interests, with the reward for doing so is that we then get essentially blackmailed into doing whatever for Israel or even its opponents so as to avoid any such conflicts.

  • The homogeneity and 'intense political programming' of Jewish day schools
    • Hilarious: A guy comes on and reveals what can only be described as an institution in the U.S. filled with U.S. citizens yet devoted to the indoctrination, recruitment and training of them as agents of one sort or another for a foreign power, and the main reaction of Progressives as might be deduced from most of the comments here is ... to not really even notice same? (Much less not to get incensed at the rat-f'g of this country that this represents.)

      To ... bewail the lack of "diversity" in that institution? A mere diversity about that foreign country's intramural issues?

      Riiiight. Because *that's* what's important here. Because *that's* what's likely to persuade the average American to believe in getting this country out the Mideast....

    • Yarden Katz wrote:

      "To grasp the absurdity of a school subordinated to “political programming”, it's instructive to consider the double standard. Imagine a private Catholic school whose mission included fostering commitment to the Republican Party, and where each year the top students are selected to attend an NRA-sponsored leadership event... It's important to clarify that "A'havat Israel", or love for Israel/Palestine, does not imply support for any government."

      Well it sure as hell does more than just imply support for a foreign *country,* that's for sure. Indeed, with perhaps the most accurate description of what you have revealed is that your school's mission was really nothing less than the recruiting of and instructing on how to be a good Israeli agent here, period. And that foreign country angle is what makes it so profoundly different from even that imaginary Catholic school that you mentioned.

      And yet ... where in all the words you wrote do you criticize *this*? In the least?

      Quite frankly I don't give a rat's ass about your schools having diversity so as to have their students squabble over this or that intramural Israeli issue. What boggles me is that even *you*—not to mention this school and the parents who send their kids to same and the others supporting the school—apparently think it's just fine and dandy to run around in semi-secret essentially endlessly thinking of ways to promote the interests of a country other than the one being sat in. With little apparent concern—or indeed none judging from your account—of whether those interests conflict with that country being sat in.

      Object to my analysis? Well let's look at your closing words:

      "In times of turmoil and devastation in the Middle East, the Jewish-American community must educate open-minded and curious individuals who can imagine a different future, one that takes into account the well being of the inhabitants of Israel and Palestine, rather than reproduce a political system devoted to special interests."

      So what about the "well being of the inhabitants" of *this* country, Mr. Katz, whose best interests are clearly not your highest concern? Might you please instruct us on your theory of why our blood and treasure is so lightly subject to sacrifice for the interests of the citizens and inhabitants of some foreign land? Indeed, *one* foreign land in particular? Might you tell us why you so consider same to be "chosen," to coin a phrase?

      Or maybe one should just ask your response to the blunter question your piece raises which is just what the hell are you really doing here, Mr. Katz? Forget the mere technical-legal, by whose and what "values" tell you its not ignoble or disingenuous at all to be the citizen and inhabitant of one country and yet to be more concerned about the interests of another?

      You know "... values": That word that is so often waved at us by folks expressing similar thinking to yours by way of asserting that they possess some especially enlightened form of same?

      So tell us your "values" here, Mr. Katz. Vis a vis how you really view us. Vis a vis ... simply what we mean to you.

  • American Jewish leaders are mad that settlement-boosting minister exposed their charade
    • ToivoS wrote:

      "Sin you are wrong here. There are a huge number of American Jews who support Israel that have no idea what their agenda really is...."

      Well of course time will tell, ToivoS, but think it through: Where are they gonna go? What's gonna be their option?

      And think through the easy path of rationalization that will beckon them:

      When Israel is either done gobbling all the land it wants or the U.S./world says "enough" and means it, Israel is merely gonna draw its border lines around same and tell the world that of course the Palestinians can have what's left, and if it's disjointed and infeasible well it's the Palestinians fault lo these many years but Israel can't help it anymore and too bad too sad, but it ain't gonna take in all those outside those borders, period.

      And of *course* Israel can't take those so excluded into its body politic because otherwise of course Israel wouldn't be jewish anymore, so while it might not be pretty of course American jews always believed that somehow someway Israel was always just gonna be for the jews. Either because God gave 'em that land, or because it's a refuge from Holocausts and repression. Just simply no intellectual room for any bi-nationality there.

      And even if they concede there's not enough land for a Palestinian state instead of Israel absorbing those Palestinians into their body politic of course the siren song will be that all those Palestinians have the ability to go live in any of the innumerable arab states around, so....

      An easy swallow, ToivoS. Not pretty, but easy.

      You just watch. There can't be many American jews who don't at least know of the exclusive death grip that Israel has proclaimed now over Jerusalem, and that hasn't bothered them, and Jerusalem of course has been at the core of jewish identity for 2000 years now. So what does giving up on Israel mean other than giving up on Jerusalem too?

      That giving up ain't gonna happen. You can argue that for a long time in jewish history it could have: During the time of its deep religious immersion when it was thought that being dispersed was just something that had to be accepted as God's puzzling judgment. And even more recently after secularism worked its will to such great effect and it might be said that universalism/socialism sort of became at the center of jewish identity.

      But with the creation of Israel and the destruction of the dream of international socialism ... forget it. There's no place left to go for them but supporting Israel. No meaning to being jewish anymore. Not all that unlike asking them to commit suicide to do otherwise.

      Brutally unfair of course, being put in this position by the likes of Jabotinsky and his progeny, but this isn't uncommon in history at all and the further history is clear: When put between a rock sharing your blood/culture and a hard place of screwing over someone else, the rock wins. *All* the time.

      You think the great mass of middle-and-upper class German people—the most phlegmatic, educated and cultured in Europe—*liked* Hitler? You think they didn't see him and his freak-show of a retinue for the thugs they were?

      Of *course* they did. But when put in the position of having nowhere else to go....

      Watch and see, ToivoS, and it might be coming within just a couple of years even given Obama and Biden's allusions to it already. All it will take is a U.S. President declaring that a 2SS is dead and that will be it. The Israelis will say "no, the Palestinians can have whatever shards we've left and if they don't want same too bad so our jewish state will be the One State solution and everyone everywhere can go pound sand," and thus the situation is fixed: Either support Israel in doing whatever it will in remaining jewish, no matter how undemocratic, or commit jewish suicide, period.

    • Alex Kane wrote:

      "the American Jewish establishment keeps clinging to Netanyahu’s current rhetoric about a demilitarized Palestinian state. Without that rhetoric, they’d be left drowning in the reality of the current Israel/Palestine situation: permanent Israeli control over millions of non-Jews. How would they able to sell that?"

      Mr. Kane's suggestion is wrong here. When The Word comes down—i.e. the official line from the Israeli government—the American Jewish establishment sure as the rising sun will be selling that. Indeed, because the only alternative at that point will be a truly democratic single state with equal rights for all, they will be selling it ferociously, and labeling anyone against it as an eliminationist anti-semite.

      The problem for that American establishment right now is that The Word is still to sell the two-state solution. Why? Because it's still doing its job of buying time, as is shown by American policy-makers still trumpeting it, even if everyone knows that even they don't believe it's viable anymore.

      Or one could put it this way: Can anyone really believe that the American Jewish establishment would break with Israel? Did it break with Israel when it attacked the Liberty? When Bibi refused to grant Obama's request for even one lousy 30-day cessation of settlement building? When Israel was caught spying on the U.S. with Pollard? Indeed, after first of course making sure that the U.S. was not going to take any serious action as a result of same what did virtually all of the establishment jewish organizations do? (After of course laying low for awhile?) Well of course en masse (but quietly of course) they then even went to bat to get the spy Pollard off the hook *individually* too.

      So, Mr. Kane, or indeed anyone who thinks that our native establishment is gonna break with Israel, gimme an example. Just one. Just one example of *anything* Israel could within reason possibly do (e.g., not "launching nukes against the U.S.) that would —*to anywhere near a clear, certain degree*—occasion the American jewish establishment's break with it. Just one.

      No, what's going to happen is that when the last little time-buying utility of professing allegiance to a Two-State solution is absolutely exhausted—which Israel hopes will be just about when it has taken all the land it wants, but in reality when a U.S. President can no longer bring him or herself to say they believe in such a sham anymore—The Word coming from Israel that you will suddenly and *immediately* hear repeated over here too, ad infinitum, is that of *course* everyone recognizes that the Palestinians long ago just dug their own grave and "chose" not to have any state ... and that it doesn't matter anyway because Israel is treating what is left of them fantastically well because of course of all the tikkum olam and milk and honey in their DNA and of course the Palestinians are living better than any other arabs in the world and etc. and so forth so that only anti-semites even pay any attention to the situation anymore, period.

      And you will hear that or whatever close variation of that which is used issued from just about every orifice there is of the American jewish establishment. Not that this means all American jewry, but from their establishment(s) for sure.

  • The kids are back, and it's not alright
    • I especially loved the weird, wonderful (if of course always self-congratulatory) invocation of the tikkun olam/"heal the world" mission alongside all the rest of it. Sort of delightfully head-snapping: Dispossession of Palestinians as a missionary endeavor!

      Now *there's* an instance of "tough-love" if I ever heard one.

      Wonderfully attractive kids though, they really ought not be used in this manner by either side.

  • The education of Samantha Power
    • Shmuley Boteach wrote:

      "I asked Michael if he would host Samantha at his office and he immediately agreed. About a month later Samantha arrived to address a closed-door meeting of about 40 American Jewish leaders...."

      Well of *course* she did. Of *course* she had to. No mere further silence on her part regarding the Israeli/Palestinian situation would do. Her book had made her too public and her comments concerning same were already too noticed. Nor even would any mere private recantation of this to some mere member of the tribe suffice. If she wanted to go anywhere on the coattails of her book—a professorial appointment, tenure, government service, use of the faculty restrooms—and above all as a person who saw herself dwelling on some moral Mount Olympus she most certainly wanted to go somewhere, she had to *crawl.* And not just via some simpering, pathetic paragraph in a letter to an editor somewhere saying she had been "misunderstood" with her previous comments, no matter how blatantly false or disingenuous or embarrassing. She had to *abase* herself in front of a Sanhedrin of sorts. Get down on her hands and knees and right in front of them and at their leisure and straight off the carpet eat up the shit she had previously emitted, with a smile on her face showing the sincerity of her acceptance to never ever ever come close to ever emitting anything like same again....

  • End your illusion: Israeli government will never implement a two-state solution, top official says
    • And tomorrow Obama and Kerry and whomever here will carry on blathering about the two-state solution and how the U.S. has to do X, Y and Z to facilitate it, including of course continuing and ever-increasing the fire-hose of money and support down the throat of our good friend Israel.

      One supposes some new word has to be invented for this. "Sham" ... "farce" ... they don't even begin to capture it, do they? Almost by definition they assume that their perpetrators believe there is someone left to fool. But who is left to fool as to this anymore? Who *possibly* believes that Israel will ever agree to any even near- reasonable two-state solution?

      So it's sort of a ... sham sham, as it were. A farcical farce. The U.S. pretends that it's not really just running interference for an on-going land grab and instead is working with Israel to get a two-state solution and ... the only people that applaud this are themselves shamming and instead are only farcically approving of same.

      Given the long history of this now and its durability—in the face of world-wide laughter even now—one suspects the question comes down to mere acreage.

      I.e., just how many few acres will be left un-colonized, un-ethnically cleansed, un-annexed before our American officials say "oh gee, it's sort of impossible to have a state the size of a football pitch, isn't it?"

      Gotta get down pretty damn small though: After all, the argument will go ... "Look at Monaco! Or the Holy See! See how the Palestinians think they're better than everyone else!"

      We oughta just ask Israel straight out now instead of prolonging the waiting: How many acres don't you want?

      Oh that's right though, Israel doesn't respond to same; that's why it doesn't declare its borders. (Despite constantly proclaiming it's just like every other state.) They're really secret from the rest of the world it seems. Expandable to utterly unstated and unknown limits, almost surely never to be formally declared.

      This entire situation has now reached some new height of ridiculousness never before seen in history. The degree of control exercised by a smaller state over its much bigger patron ... the blatantcy of the Israeli disingenuity about a two-state solution ... the utter laughability of official statements made about a situation by various governments (U.S. and Israel) ... and on and on.

  • Understanding the Holocaust, and the Nakba, in the Jewish narrative
    • In reply then to my invitation to tell us why he believes the Holocaust was "unique" in some significant if not great morally important manner hophmi wrote:

      "Number of deaths, volume of deaths in a short period, method of execution, and the fact that it took place in the 20th century, for starters."

      That's it? (I ignore the "for starters"; nobody is limiting you here, and indeed you just stopped here and then choose to expend all kinds of your time with some attempted diversionary verbiage.) That's *all*?

      The Holomodor, the purge spasms of Stalin, the mechanized-like butchery of the Chinese at the hands of the Japanese, the enforced starvation of zillions in the *second* half of the 20th by Mao, Pol Pot likewise in that second half, Rwanda in that second half ....

      And "the mechanism"? Being gassed to death you mean? As opposed to ... being starved into cannibalism? (Stalin and Mao.) As opposed to being lined up in queues for beheading-by-sword contests? (The Japanese.) As opposed to being worked to death digging ditches or trying to cut timber in the high arctic in mid-winter negative zero temperatures? (Stalin again.) As opposed to being buried up to your neck and the having your head beaten in while your family—who was next—watched? (Pol Pot.) As opposed to being put on a barge, towed out to the middle of a freezing river and then sunk? (Stalin, of course, yet again.)

      I don't want to say "you must be joking" because I know you are sincere in *feeling* that the Holocaust is unique and I my intent is not to hurt your feelings. But while you are entitled to your own feelings of some "specialness" you aren't entitled to your own facts. And I'm sorry but the facts here just blow away your assertion of some special, unique importance of the Holocaust. It was important. Maybe even cosmically so. But neither any less so nor moreso than any other, including those in the 20th Century.

      Moreover, as regards your claim of hypocrisy on the part of those of us who do not see the Holocaust as unique and yet focus somewhat on Israel's behavior due to our government's support of same, it frankly strikes me that once again your feelings of "specialness" are once again on display.

      After all, there are the people of your country asking the people of mine for help. And of course we have the absolute right to say no, *regardless* even of how we view your behavior, but *especially* if we find your behavior somehow objectionable to us. And thus it is only if you consider yourselves special that you could possibly feel aggrieved at those who would say no, including even those who would say no due to your behavior. In essence what you are saying is that we have some obligation to support you *regardless not only of our absolute right to say no for any reason,* but also regardless of our own standards.

      I.e., that you are somehow so special, that same trumps our right to say no for any reason as well as our right to say no due to our own standards.

      I will say this though hophmi: I think your original post here talking about how you feel the Holocaust was "unique" was right in one big sense: It explains alot. It gets to the nub of things in terms of that belief in its "specialness" and the belief in the alleged specialness therefore of Israel and jewry.

      But, as I said above, that belief just simply has no basis in fact, and so goes the feeling of specialness too.

    • C'mon, hophmi, in addition of course to the meme being lots trumpeted by others you yourself implicitly asserted that the idea that the Holocaust was unique was extremely important. So c'mon; seems to me you've got an obligation to say why you feel that way, or at least so say that you can't explain it but it just does. (Which, I'd add, is completely emotionally understandable at least.) But, either way, I'd like to hear you out.

    • In addition to questioning hophmi on this "Holocaust uniqueness" issue I'd like to make another observation about it:

      As I understand it Phil and Adam and Co. have banned any talk that would seem to deny either the Holocaust or the Nakba.

      Fair enough. Again as I understand it the idea is that doing is just ... beyond the Pale, so to speak, and traffics in matters that are really unprovable and are deeply offensive to many.

      Well, not that I'm advocating the doing of same here because I'm not, but why isn't it considered equally beyond the Pale, trafficking in matters that are unprovable and are deeply offensive to many to allow people to talk about the alleged "uniqueness" of the Holocaust and so minimizing if not dismissing the terror and damage inflicted by other mass murders?

      Again I don't think it should be banned, but it does seem to me to highlight a certain unconscious ... deformation of the discourse. Merely because this "uniqueness of the Holocaust" meme has been so often and loudly trumpeted—despite having a clear self-serving nature—that we must accept that it has at least some significant amount of legitimacy? At the same time huffily rejecting that as to any number of other arguments/assertions cutting in favor of someone else?

      I don't think the uniqueness of the Holocaust to the point of it being more morally significant that other mass murders comes anywhere close to being provable, and indeed maybe only amounts to just being within the bounds of reasonable differences of opinion.

      So how come we see the allowance here of an assertion essentially minimizing all the other mass outrages committed against all the other human beings on the planet throughout all the ages?

    • hophmi wrote:

      "... unfortunately, not the view of many here, who do not acknowledge the uniqueness of the Holocaust in the first place."

      And just how was the Holocaust unique, hophmi? Just how was it *so* different and worse—and thus of some greater importance which you must believe else you wouldn't find it noteworthy—than other mass slayings?

      Or, to put it another way you obviously mean it, how was it ... unique unique?

      Of course, that is, *every* mass slaying has had its unique aspects. None could possibly have come any too close in resemblance to another. Not even those perpetrated by the same people, seriatim so to speak. Tamerlane, going from one town to another, obliterating the populace of one then another. Almost certainly were differences even then. The people in one town half burnt to death in fighting, the people in the other all surrendering and still being put to the sword ....

      So tell me, as I've heard this meme so often before and it can obviously seem such a desperate attempt at claiming some greater moral import, what exactly do you mean?

      Let's have a specific, detailed talk about this, because (to flip your observation over) you and so many others keep saying this and it seems to be the absolute plinth upon some claim to a greater moral status than other mass slayings' victims or other survivors ... just how is it anywhere even *importantly* uniquely different?

  • UN nominee Power spoke of Israeli human rights abuses and US 'domestic constituency' with 'tremendous' financial clout
    • Not that it matters because Power will eat her words about the irresponsibility of Israel faster than shot goes through a goose, but boy, what's not to like otherwise? The U.S. ought to not only expend more billions upon billions over there, but then, it's implied, even "massively" stick our troops in harms' way over there as well?

      Geez, I just can't wait for that. And of course whatever we'd do wouldn't end up being manipulated to serve Israel's interests.

      The problems might all be from hell, but per Power all the solutions must come out of the pockets or blood of us Americans.

      But of course oh how morally superior she is; she must be right.

  • The 'double standards' issue and moral judgment of Israeli policies
    • "Why focus on the Shoah when Stalin murdered 20 million in the 1930s or Mao killed 40 million?"

      I was thinking along the lines of laughing at jews of all people condemning double standards when they want to run an ethno-racial supremicist state, but this is an even better retort. Indeed, brilliant.

      Plus, as opposed to launching into some tortured explanation, isn't it enough when Israelis cry "double-standard!" to just note that all this really represents is simply an admission of the allegations against it? Get accused of murder and walk into court and say "but others do it too!" and see how much weight anyone ascribes to same other *than* the admission part.

      This "double standard" cry you see so often strikes me as nothing other than the fantasy some jews seem to have that others are constantly concerned with jews or jewishness or give even one tiny damn for same. It's like someone raised with their momma telling them "now remember you're special and everyone's constantly going to be looking at you."

  • In confab over 'Jewish democracy,' Goldberg says the U.S. has plenty of 'schmucks' and 'fascists' too
    • Awww, what a nice ... solicitous little meeting they had there in the synagogue. Solicitude solicitude. Goldberg even for the disenfranchised Palestinians of Hebron. Shavit for the people in Syria. Tapper for Israel and young jews. Solicitude solicitude.

      Except—and I doubt this was talked about and just not mentioned by Mr. Voskamp—not a trace of solicitude that I see for *my* people and *my* country. You know, the one on whose land this synagogue sits. The one that shovels billions per year to the participants of all this Levantine fun. The one that one suspects Mr. Tapper and Mr. Goldberg are at least supposedly part citizens of.

      Nope. No mention that I could see. Just the total and yet utterly unconscious acceptance that for some reason of *course* the U.S. must just keep expending its blood and treasure over all these objects of solicitude in every way imaginable. Just the overwhelming sense that if someone had gotten up and said that the U.S. is getting screwed here eight ways from Sunday and ought to totally absent itself from all these issues as they have nothing to do with our vital interests that such person would have been regarded by everyone in that synagogue as some sort of extremist if not a monster.

      "The citizens of the U.S. should only be called upon to sacrifice their money or blood for their own interests???!!! Have you lost your mind? You you you ... anti-semite/anti-arab! Filthy nationalist! Racist! Only Israelis/jews and arabs have the right to watch out for their own interests, and certainly not you Americans! You are ... sheep! *Made* to be sheared!" (Just as both sides just did to us by getting Kerry to promise another $400 million to shovel to the P.A., thereby also rewarding Israel which is under int'l law actually responsible for the occupants there.) "So shut up and get out of here!"

      Indeed you can just *feel* the level of outrage this would engender, much less if supposed American citizen Jake Tapper with supposed concern for this country had even *hinted* of a concern for U.S. interests, as one might foolishly think given his job. *If* he was still able to keep his job at CNN by now he'd be the Permanent Special Correspondent For Reporting On The Weather In Outer Mongolia.

      But yeah, let's forget about this issue and go back to being the Great Stupid Enablers of all these parties (does anyone really believe that if the shoe were on the other foot the arabs would be treating the jews oh-so-gently?) mercilessly competing to rip us off by getting us talking about ... just where exactly the green line should go, and whether the arabs like homosexuals not enough and to just what degree "apartheid" is what Israel is now practicing and blah blah blah ad nauseum ad infinitum.

      Uh-oh though: Time for the next ... conference/confab/debate/symposium/whatever never coming within a zillion parsecs of talking about American interests in general. Gotta run and read up on the crucial question of ... what Herzl really said about the rocks on the other side of the planet from this country, and the intricacies of the Sunni/Shia split and other such issues so crucial to all Americans.

      What a larf. It'll never end. We're getting played like a stolen ukelele.

  • Chas Freeman on Israel's self-inflicted existential crisis
    • Chas Freeman wrote:

      "The first question is how long Israel can survive as a democracy or at all."

      Depends on how you define "first."

      In any event the more primary question from my point of view is whether the U.S. can avoid getting drawn into not only some more limited Israeli vs. arab wars (the answer to which is probably no), but some frightful cataclysmic general war Israel gets itself into with its neighbors. Say ... with Egypt, and say ... with the use of nuclear weapons.

      While Heilbrunn and Freeman are right that much is turning against Israel, and it's true that Israel is feeling this, what has to be taken into account is not only the increased hostility towards the arabs this is creating in Israel and some desire for some frightful conclusory war, but the huge discrepancy between the *popular* turn against Israel even in the U.S. and that which one cannot even see existing amongst our elites as of yet.

      Example: Netanyahu—like I think lots and lots if not all really possible Israeli P.M.'s now—conclude that the U.S. and the Euros are not going to stop an Iranian nuke program where they want it stopped. Not a whit of doubt in my mind that the reigning Israeli mindset is to force the issue, attack Iran itself, perhaps with tactical nukes to make sure it's effective, and from there just flatly count on the U.S. having to come to its aid in the ensuing chaos. And indeed right now and for as long as I at least can see into the future I think we *would* come to its aid. Our elites might not like it, but the AIPAC crowd would of course be absolutely putting them up to the wall to do so, and as usual the American people would prove sheepish.

      Can the U.S. extricate itself from the I/P conflict before getting itself drawn into some big, game-changing conflagration there is then to me the big question, and I'm not optimistic about the answer. Even right now it seems the region is far closer to any number of wars (e.g., Israel versus Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria, Israel versus Iran, with such wars having the potential to become general conflagrations...) than it is to any even *process* of peace.

      A more granular evaluation than Freeman's doth not make one sanguine I don't think.

  • Why Palestine is different
    • A.)

      I love the way even well-intentioned people like Bahour get taken in by the various shams involved in all this. E.g., that Kerry is going all-out to relaunch the peace process. I would bet that not a single State Department or other foreign policy person in the U.S. government believes that any such genuine process is possible and that absolutely none were advising Kerry to go on such a fool's errand. What Kerry was there for purely and simply was to collude with the Israeli to keep the charade going especially to give the corrupted Euro leaders a fig leaf to hide behind to resist the growing pressure in Europe to commence a serious BDS program.

      And, as always—and I have no doubt this was Israel's idea—it turns out that this involves the U.S. paying for it. As in the $400 million Kerry just announced we are going to spend to help "build" the West Bank, so relieving Israel of course of its international legal obligation to provide for the care of those under its occupation.

      B.)

      I am sick to death of the constant, unexamined cries about how everyone owes the jews for historic discrimination practiced against them by some long-dead/maybe ancestors. Gimme one freaking tear cried by jewish figures for the massive jewish role in the Bolshevik decimation of Christian slavs—largely conducted way before the Holocaust and including a consciously planned famine that saw cannibalism being rife—and then maybe I'll listen. Right now, the last thing I saw was that when Poland requested the extradition of just one of the communist beasts there who tortured and murdered thousands and who then fled to Israel as recently as in the 1990's, Israel's response was nothing less than a hack of spittle directed at Warsaw.

      What is this "historical guilt" business, a fucking one-way street only? And the idea that *America* which took in jews by the millions from Europe, bears some fundamental, ineradicable scar due to the rather mild sort of discrimination practiced on damn near everyone who came here is worse than laughable. We took them in and even after seeing things like the Rosenbergs giving the atom bomb to the communists who we were actively fighting at the time still there were no pograms here or anything of the sort.

      I'm so sick of this crap it isn't funny. There is no such thing as "collective" guilt or "historical" guilt. There's personal guilt and that's that. Because if you want to extend it beyond that well then every freaking human being on earth is no doubt equally morally condemnable, and yes that includes every jew too.

  • Ethnocracy on display: Cabinet ministers approve Israeli plan to forcibly displace Bedouin citizens
    • Reminds me of the issue of whether there are such things as "jewish values."

      I mean ... in this day and age, bulldozing the shacks of itinerant, rural people and ramming them into some alleged "town" ... well I don't know of any modern non-jewish values that would countenance that and be considered anything other than harshly colonialist. So I guess the answer is that either there is no such thing as a discrete body of "jewish values," or this is indeed what jewish values consider okay.

      Just can't think of any other possible answer. Either they don't exist, or this is them in action.

      They can't even claim that the beduin are like the Palestinians presenting any sort of theoretical threat to them. It's just purely and simply jews first.

  • Andrea Mitchell asks Michael Oren 7 questions. How many mention Palestinians?
    • Sort of funny: In response to a post Phil made just the other day optimistically saying that maybe the Boston thing would jostle the nation into talking about "why they hate us," I responded that it essentially wasn't going to happen because you couldn't find any figure in the mainstream media to diligently pursue the question. Moreover I said that lots came down to the choke-point of the Sunday talk show people, ending by saying you've got a long wait if you're hoping on David Gregory.

      And now ... here's good old Andrea, affirming you got a long wait with her too. Had to laugh in fact: Her foot-licking of Oren became so bad along the lines of "what should *we* do?" that Oren himself had to (dishonestly) say "oh gee, we aren't urging the U.S. to do anything and we are separate countries you know Andrea...."

      Yeah, Andrea, try to remember that: We are separate countries. And oh yeah, remember too you've not yet pulled an Oren and renounced your U.S. citizenship so take care for appearances. Like Oren, maybe *after* the usefulness of appearing as an American citizen no longer exists then you don't have to be so careful about the "us" word. But in the meantime ... appearances appearances.

  • Post-Boston vulnerability will at last force Americans to consider 'why they hate us'
    • Maybe if Phil could identify even *one* major member of the reigning mainstream media that now, as opposed to before, openly, honestly and diligently pursued the question of "why they hate us," one could have some hope that Phil was right here. But I at least see absolutely no sign of this. No sign, say, of any reporter with the confidence of his bosses that time and again could push the politicos he or she interviewed about it, asking about our support for Israel. None.

      And the real chokepoints are very very small: It isn't just the universe of all political reporters: It really damn near comes down to ... those reporters/commentators who are moderators of the Sunday network T.V. shows and those reporters/commentators they allow on, period.

      So ... waiting for David Gregory here ... good luck.

      I'd also mention however that the almost non-existent public support for the program that Phil and most of his audience here seems to hold greatly contributes to the problem.

      That is, it seems to me that what Phil and most people here want is for the U.S. to essentially switch sides, and start putting the finger down on the Palestinian's side for a change.

      While that's all well and good as an opinion based on fairness or whatever, it doesn't seem to me to resonate one bit with the vast majority of Americans who aren't Israeli partisans and are therefore the real possible change agents.

      Start talking about the U.S. just getting out of the Mideast *totally,* and be neutral, and then I think you'd have something . Something even the media couldn't ignore. Just as with Vietnam, bugging out was the American public's big clear answer.

      The way things are now though, there's absolutely no pressure in that direction, with utterly predictable results. Even by pro-Palestinian lights, you've made the perfect the enemy of the good. Instead of allowing the average American the option of saying "I don't know about and don't care about the intricacies of all that ME history I just want us out," no the only options you've given him or her are "who do you support, the Israelis or the Palestinians?"

      And you've don't so in a country whose media that does the reporting on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is just massively massively pro-Zionist.

      Bad calculation in my book. Ain't gonna work. Indeed, works against working.

      Wanna see the Israelis *really* get nervous/scared/serious? Argue U.S. neutrality, not U.S. turning pro-Palestinian.

  • Like Geo Wallace, Upper Nazareth mayor calls for segregation 'for ever and ever'
    • Phil Weiss wrote:

      "Upper Nazareth mayor calls for segregation ‘for ever and ever’"

      And meanwhile on the homefront we get treated in Salon to an ex-AIPAC staffer's hope that the Boston bombers would have turned out to be white Americans in the course of an exegesis about how bad bad racists we white Americans are, generating a concerned response from a conservative jewish fellow making sure with the AIPAC'er to note that American jews of course aren't members of that beyond disgusting category.

      link to salon.com

      link to salon.com

  • In bill discriminating against Arab- and Muslim-Americans, Boxer and 17 other senators serve Israeli gov't over their own -- Greenwald
    • Doubly ironic: Sumud not even being an American, showing a much more gimlet-eyed understanding of our politicos than those who are Americans and who think that mere complaining by them of their politico's actions is going to move the politicos in the face of AIPAC power, including those here who I suspect see themselves as even more tough-minded than the average American about politics.

      In any event, spot on Sumud. I don't like its reality, but it is reality.

    • Good I say. Great even: Let no one *ever* again shy away from openly and bluntly saying AIPAC acts treacherously towards Americans and their interests so as to serve Israel. Let no-one be stymied any more by the argument that AIPAC or the politicians signing on to this just see Israel's interests as being the same as ours.

      It's crystal clear, and it's irrefutable.

  • AIPAC president (tries to) defend Israel's rejection of WMD-free zone
    • Dan Fisher wrote:

      "Why couldn't Mr. Kassen answer a simple question?"

      Well of course because it would involve openly coming out and saying that what he and Israel are demanding is the double-standard right to be the only power in the region with the ability to obliterate everyone else, and because he's not schooled enough on this particular issue of Israeli double-talk to say the official Israeli baloney about oh-so-wanting a nuke-free accord but only after "peaceful relations exist for a reasonable period of time in the region."

      And you know something? While I (respectfully) think that most people in the commentariat on this site are far too starry-eyed and romantic about the arabs and Islamists (which is why I would just like the U.S. to be neutral in the I/P conflict), and do tend to downplay arab acts of terror and savagery, I will say that I wonder just how much of same has been caused just a sort of craziness over this sort of Israeli dealing.

      Put it this way: How long could you maintain your sanity trying to deal with someone who just constantly constantly dealt with you like Israel does the Palestinians and its neighbors? Always and forever demands upon you to do X, Y and Z immediately and always in exchange for mere promises on their part to do something in the future, which are never kept because there's just always some excuse used to avoid same, and when there's not even any excuse offered there's some brand new A, B and C demanded ("now that you've recognized us as a state, recognize us further as "the jewish state!"), and always always the insistence on a double-standard as to everything.

      After awhile of course I think it would drive you simply crazy, and indeed I think it was Henry Kissinger of all people who once said that he thought that was the true object of the Israeli negotiating style which obviously hasn't changed.

      How the hell do you deal with a party that regards "negotiating" in this way? As not really a means to an end of some conflict, but as just a means towards winning that conflict in toto?

      Of course this doesn't absolve the Palestinians for keeping on trying such negotiations now at least. It's way past the point of foolishness for them to keep trying and if they don't recognize they are losing by continuing nobody can save them. I see that Abbas has now got Kerry urging him to do X, Y or Z to re-start the "negotiations" with the Israelis and the fact that he hasn't thrown Kerry out on the street for bringing this message says it all.

      The Israelis wanna play for the whole enchilada the Palestinians ought to do the same and start demanding a One-State solution in full, in full-democratic form, in full stop, period. And if they don't, well, you might still end up sympathizing with them when they are left with nothing, but you can't save someone who refuses to save their own self.

  • Questioning Israel's 'international legitimacy,' Siegman says two-state solution would require Kerry to reject 'robbery' beyond '67 lines
    • It's funny but things move so fast and subtly and dishonestly on this issue that even Henry Siegman is behind the times. Thus he writes:

      "Obama's failure to address these well-known Israeli positions tells us how seriously to take his attempts to establish his evenhandedness in this conflict."

      But to me at least the whole *point* of Obama's recent address was to as openly as possible admit our *inability* to be evenhanded, phrased, of course, in the language of saying how much we all love to take Israel's side. Indeed he as much said that even no matter what Israel may do (ethnic cleansing being even mentioned elsewhere in his address), and no matter what Israel may become (ethno-supremacist, apartheid non-democracy), the U.S. would *still* support it.

      Thus it was that Obama laid the ground for his big pitch, made direct over the Israeli gov't to its people: "Please don't really want to go too far or become a non-democracy" he essentially (and pathetically) said, further essentially saying that while he himself doesn't have the cojones to object anymore the rest of the world would and would punish Israel.

      Even the great Henry Siegman then has let his hopes (that the U.S. would ever force Israel into a 2SS) blind him and let him get behind the curve. But ... Netanyahu has won, Henry. Time to admit it. The *only* faction in the U.S. that really could have stood in his way—Progressives, the Dem. Party—has thrown in the towel. Your Israel is gonna go ahead on its lebensraum project and is gonna get the U.S. to support, subsidize, fund and protect it, period. And the Dem Party is gonna continue to rake in jewish cash and votes because that's what's important to it, period.

      All we're doing right now is waiting for Netanyahu's new coalition to get its feet under it, address some other issues, and then turn to its lebensraum project. My bet: Not expressly but in effect Bennet's plan to concentrate on flooding Area C with settlements, putting special pressure on the arabs there to flee same, but at the same time never give up the legal stance that the entire West Bank belongs to it.

      Nothing's stopping it now.

      Interesting factoid vis a vis the recent talk here about dual citizenship and how we allow it and etc.: Bennett actually held American citizenry due his parents having held same when he was born. But, golly gee-whiz, did you know that upon being elected to the Knesset that isn't allowed? That he had to give that American citizenship up?

      Be an amusing thing to see the names you'd get called demanding that anyone entering our government give up any dual citizenship status. With "anti-semite" of course being one of the first on the list.

  • Rashid Khalidi on the Israel lobby
    • Hi Jim: Don't really have to say anything but that Citizen hit it on the head. The arabs/muslims may not mind us, but our government ....

      We oughta keep our distance, with a friendly hand out to all, but a partisan hand out to none.

    • I smell some ideology at work here with Khalidi, perhaps a Marxisant one of, above all, wanting to say that economics is the real determinant of everything. (Like one smells with Chomsky.)

      His two examples of the U.S. supposedly "dismissing" the lobby for its own interests are laughable: Yes the U.S. had some interest in prying Egypt away from the Soviet sphere. But in the first place the Israelis had the far greater interest in eliminating their entire Western front threat. And in the second ... if it weren't for the U.S. feeling it had to have Israel's back why would we have cared much beyond a fig if Egypt liked the Soviet Union or not? Clearly, just as the money we send to Egypt is due to our concern about Israel, the vast preponderance of our interest in Egypt is due to our being shackled to Israel.

      And then as to the sale of weaponry to the Saudis, what is Khalidi saying other than ... "so long as I can find even one instance in which the Lobby lost, it means it's not powerful." That "loss" of course took place a long time ago, and I recall at the time there was considerable question whether Israel really opposed it: If I recall right Israel very soon said it would be soothed over the sale if it then got XY and Z more from the U.S., which it did.

      And then of course just blowing Khalidi out of the water here is the fact that in exchange for standing by Israel per the Lobby our entire country took it on the nose to tune of uncounted *trillions* of dollars when OPEC took after us for that support, and yet the Lobby was essentially entirely successful in blunting retreat from that support. And what Khalidi say about this? Some utter incoherence. That Kissinger at some point said something about the Saudis being willing to "play ball" with us, meaning absolutely nothing given that the only ball the Saudis played back then was as leaders of OPEC. So what does Khalidi *mean*? That the U.S. *wanted* the oil shock and the decades-long misery it inflicted?

      And what is Khalidi saying about what's going on right now with Iran, with the U.S. damn near making daily threats against a nation that, even if it *had* nukes, could easily be contained by us? Does he really believe Iran *does* have nukes that *do* threaten the U.S., so making the U.S.'s pressures and etc. on Iran out for our own interest?

      Pfui. Everyone who hasn't willfully closed their eyes knows its Israel and the Lobby here, and thus the only conclusion is that Khalidi *has* let something close his eyes.

      And this brings us to another point which is why I think it's a mistake to try to get the U.S. to side with the Palestinians instead of just being neutral and getting the hell out of the Mideast: Just as the Israelis are not really our friends despite all we've done for them neither will be the arabs. If the U.S. suddenly scooped up every jewish person in Israel and transported them to the U.S. and every vestige of anger or resentment at the U.S.'s past support for Israel evaporated there'd *still be damn little on terms of grounds for friendship between us and the arabs and persians. And remember, while bin Laden certainly did cite our support for Israel as a big motivation for his movement against us, it wasn't his *only* gripe.

      Nuts to Israel and nuts to Khalidi. Or, rather, the same to Israel and the same to Khalidi and the same to us: Let Israel pursue its own interests, let Khalidi pursue whosever interests he holds dearest, and let us pursue our own interests, period. No more "taking sides" for no reasons involved in our national interest.

  • 'NYT' reporter's appeal to editor: young Jews raising money for IDF are 'just like your daughter'
    • More than just a little funny: Newspaper reporter sort of aghast at anti-American nature of the idea anyone would discriminate against jews and/or jews gathering to raise money for the Israeli army.

      And yet, any speck of talk on the part of said reporter that if any arab or muslim were to go about trying to raise money for many if not any of the forces that *oppose* the IDF that not only would they very possibly encounter some discrimination but would be clapped into irons and sent to *prison* for giving material aid to terrorism.

      Sort of a funnily particular sense of outrage on the part of Mr. and Mrs. Cieply there, no?

  • In enforcing DOMA, and in doing nothing against settlements -- Obama lacks 'courage of his convictions'
    • Well there's any number of other issues upon which Obama clearly doesn't have the courage of his convictions either: Closing Gitmo, continuing on with troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, very possibly the drone wars, very possibly lots of the useless crap that the Homeland Security Department does, and on and on.

      The interesting difference with him is his unusual degree of honesty in admitting that this is the situation. And not that it means everything at least some degree of virtue has to be paid to any honesty it seems to me.

      I also think that he has to be given some credence when he says he can't do what he'd like to do: The political persuasion of most here would just naturally tend to see their prescriptions as those the populace supports, and maybe that's true. But let's face it: Who probably gets the more constant, research-supported briefings on what the politics are about this or that issue? You, or Obama?

      And so we see Obama on any number of venues essentially saying "hey, I'd *like* to do X, but if I do it I get so hurt politically in one way or another that it isn't worth it and so I'll stick with Y."

      Of course one can look at this feeling it's an excuse, or that even if it's true it's disgusting, or in another way that Obama just feels the way H.L. Mencken felt about democracy which is that it's a system in which the people are felt to know what's best for themselves ... and deserve to get it good and hard.

      I think at least some of it with Obama is that he does take that wide-angle Menckenesque sort of view, and also that he's a picker of battles but maybe too much an avoider of a fight.

      So he likes to be liked, and maybe too feels with some validity that it contributes to a less conflicted political atmosphere or at least less conflicted than it would otherwise be and that this is perhaps more important than the sum of the particular issues he's not fighting over.

      You gotta admit, we all want the bearers of our philosophies to be warriors, but God do we hate the warriors among those of the philosophies that we oppose and that's sort of hypocritical on our part. And I'm speaking as a libertarian who has only a very limited natural affection for Obama's politics.

      Not to say that I endorse what Obama's doing vis a vis the Palestinians, but then again I wouldn't endorse him trying to pressure the Israelis all that much either as I just think we ought to be out out out of supporting or subsidizing either of those two sides.

      But ... just sayin', if you want to have a handle on Obama I think it lies in one or more of the directions that I mentioned here.

  • 'Better a battered dream than no dream at all' --liberal Zionist lament
    • Well, I dunno about the "arrogance" aspect of Fein wishing for something for country he doesn't even live in. My focus is on the one he *is* living in and his feelings about *this* one.

      I guess I just don't understand. If Israel is his big dream, then why the hell is he still here distastefully rubbing shoulders with those of us he'd never have to deal with in his "dream"?

      What are we, chopped liver? How are we supposed to believe he's willing to treat us given his dream countrymen live elsewhere?

  • NPR can't stop talking about Jews
    • dimadok said to Henry Norr:

      "You [sic] obsession with us Jews...."

      *Norr's* obsession?!!

      Next it'll be *Unz's* obsession for showing what seems to be a 3000% preference for getting in a Harvard if you are jewish over a similarly credentialed gentile.

      Not Harvard's apparent obsession. Not NPR's. *Ours.*

      That double-standard stigmata, over and over again.

  • New nationwide ad campaign to call for end of US aid to Israel
    • Amar: Your point is well taken vis a vis lots of Americans, but I could see enough stuff like this still having an impact on elites in our media who at the very least are sensitive to claims of racism, with this sort of thing perhaps prodding them in yet one more way to recognize American domestic opposition to the present U.S. support of Israel. Enough of it, that is to say, and they might simply have to take notice.

      Same with drawing attention to the peaceful demonstrations in the Occupied Territories, esp. now that Obama has sort of officially recognized same.

      Not that I endorse it because in the U.S. especially I think it would be confused with the Nazi practice in the Holocaust camps which is unfair, but in Europe especially I think it's recognized that one of the first things the Nazi's did when they came to power way before the Holocaust was requiring German jews to go about with yellow stars on, and I've observed before that if the Palestinian population were to start doing this it would be one more very resonating non-violent way to show their non-violent bona fides and understanding of what they are living under. Especially resonate in Europe I think. A hard thing to ignore, and impossible to combat I would think.

      But I don't like any intent to draw any parallel with the Holocaust, that's for sure.

  • Obama gets it
    • radkelt:

      (1)

      First, that's fine that there are *some* voices on the Palestinian side advocating for a 1SS, but until at least the PA does so—or at least *some* Palestinian body with at least some legitimacy and significant following does I don't see that mattering.

      Just to make clear, my point is really just sort of a prediction: That if the Palestinians—to a fairly en masse degree—don't soon switch to that 1SS they are dooming themselves and will neither get their own (second) state alongside Israel, nor get equal rights in a different Israel.

      Not saying it's right or fair or etc., just that same is my perception of the situation now, especially with Obama having said what he said. And I'd note that what I believe he effectively said—that the U.S. is no longer going to even bitch about the settlements nor even bitch about whatever non-democratic moves Israel makes or takes—is really just making explicit that which to only a slightly lesser degree has indeed been what the U.S. has been doing for a long time now. Thus, it has legs, and thus, having been made explicit, it's going have even stronger legs with any imaginable Obama successors as a sort of official U.S. policy. Certainly there's no Republican on the horizon (or on earth?) who is going to go out and be called harsher on Israel than Obama was. And Obama's idea here is I believe going to be almost rapturously embraced by any succeeding Democrats too: "Just give Israel what it wants vis a vis the Palestinians, why fight that, and let it drive itself into a ditch; perfect."

      Now of course as the situation deteriorates over there and there's violence or even war *during* same the U.S. will of course serve as an even more abject Israeli lickspittle, afterwards the present situation will re-establish itself and will highlight once again the damage supporting Israel does to the U.S. And this might *temporarily* persuade this or that U.S. President to try to detour from Obama's solution to this or that degree. But those detours have been tried before and never worked, so the political "smartness" of that formulation for our politicians will once again be made plain.

      Like I say, I think the major takeaway from Obama's speech is indeed its U.S. significance: It is that political "solution" for U.S. Presidents.

      (2)

      Your "rape" analogy doesn't seem to me to hold, even by your own lights: You seem to support a 1SS solution, so why is that akin to "rape" for the Palestinians?

      (3)

      As re the "Jewish State [being] bent on eradicating any possibility of ethnic Palestinian survival" being the difference between Israel and the Palestinians for a Palestinian-dominant state as I said in response to talknic, Donald and Taxi, I just don't think that matters enough to those who matter now that the U.S. has essentially given up and said it will just always support Israel no matter what. I.e., the Euros especially.

      So, now that the U.S. has done that, and indeed despite the obstacles the U.S. will continue to throw up against any Euro move to push a 2SS, my point is that at some very early point in them doing so to any effect Israel is going to scream that they are endorsing a judenrein scheme. And that alone is enough to scald the Germans and the French especially to ignore the non-democratic nature of what Israel is ultimately wanting.

      Thus I think at best it's a wash and you will *not* now in the wake of Obama's declarations suddenly see anyone else including the Euros step in strongly try to force a 2SS on Israel.

      And thus again this is why I believe it is now that the Palestinians just simply must switch to a 1SS agitation, or lose everything. With same, there just *might* be enough support generated to get countries to push Israel on same, boycott it and etc. Maybe even get the U.S. pushing in that direction in some significantly short period of time. It's exciting, it's new, it's logical, it's totally democratic, it's enticing in terms of settling this interminable conflict for everyone.

      But continuing down the 2SS for the Palestinians is worse than a dead-end for them I think: Wait too long and Israel will have arranged things so that not only is no 2SS solution is possible, but that it has irrevocably committed itself in a dozen ways to never being anything other than a jewish-dominated, non-democratic state.

      Just my analysis and prediction; that's just where the logic of the situation takes me.

    • @talknic, Donald:

      Once again you are mistaking what I believe the situation is for the Palestinians for what you wrongly understand to be my belief is what situation they should be in.

      On the other hand I could have phrased things better.

      Regardless, with it being kept in mind that I don't think the Palestinians' situation is at all fair but that fate has nevertheless stuck them with same, I appreciate and even somewhat agree with Donald's differentiation between the Palestinians' desire for a Palestinian-dominated state and the Israelis for a jewish-dominated one, but my point was that I don't think others do or will.

      That is, for what trouble the Israelis have in the rest of the world outside the U.S. and esp. with Europe which counts the most (with the U.S. not even caring and so giving them no trouble over same) for wanting a jewish-dominated state, I think their response that, after all, what the Palestinians want is just a mirror-image "judenrein" state has a lot of resonance. *Especially* in Europe.

      Enough resonance at least, to blunt any great European push for a Two-State solution, which it might be noted they weren't even very prominently vocal about even when the *U.S.* was still pushing the hell out of it. (As opposed to now when Obama, at least to my ear, has said we've essentially given up.)

      As unfair as it might be as I said given Obama's position it's time for the Palestinians to grasp the nettle and start agitating for a One-State solution before even that's too late. And while that unfairness perspective may occupy us now, history is just simply ruthlessly indifferent to those who unfairness overwhelms and who let the perfect be the enemy of the better.

    • @ Taxi:

      You're mistaking my belief in what I think the situation is with the erroneous belief that I think that's what the situation should be.

      A question for you however given your belief that the Palestinians can still get their own state: Given that this has been the U.S.'s position for 45+ years and they still don't have one, and the clear walking back from that position seen since Bush I got his nose pushed in trying to make even a little stink about same, and now what appears to be Obama's *express" disavowal of interest in the issue, by just what mechanism do you see as forcing the Israelis into any substantial withdrawal from the occupied territories? At a time when the trajectory of things is that they are *still* expanding, *faster* than ever before, and now house close to 1/2 million people? Do you really believe the BDS movement—as obstructed and even made illegal by the U.S. which will surely do so—is going to force that withdrawal before the Israelis have gobbled all they want?

      Not that one *can't* believe that, I just don't see *how* one does.

    • Ramzi Jaber wrote:

      "Onwards towards demanding our FULL rights in ONE DEMOCRATIC State of The Holy Land."

      Okay, Ramzi, except ... just how much longer can the Palestinian people keep *from* demanding their democratic rights in one state and continue instead to demand their dominated own before you start equating them with the Israeli jews wanting their own jewish-dominated state?

    • "I agree that Jews evoking transnational membership also can do this and that it can be confusing."

      "Confusing." Yes, that's it. Us goys are just too stupid to get it. How dumb of us to actually ... take jewish exceptionalists at their word.

    • While Obama's speech provides vast fodder for both praise and criticism it seems to me nobody is denying it was far more honest and *accurate* than we usually see. And one cannot doubt he has a good read on the American political situation. So what does that mean?

      First, that no, as officially as possible his administration at least is not going to pay any more attention to stopping settlement building beyond the pro-forma. He got his nose pushed in on same after Cairo and retreated from that position as clearly as imaginable since, and now it seems to me he's essentially verbally affirmed same.

      Second, that no matter *what* Israel is turning into and almost no matter *what* it does that this doesn't matter either: It's political stranglehold on the U.S. is unbreakable and unshakeable and so the U.S. will always support it, period. And again you have to grant the man a good perspective on the American political scene in making this analysis.

      Third, that despite the First and Second points, it isn't going to save Israel from continuing down its path. It might have the U.S. supporting it, but it and not the U.S. is going to bear the brunt of continuing its stupidities. (So ha ha ha.)

      Like it or not then, there it is, but instead of focusing all our attention on us or Israel it seems to me this means something for the Palestinians too, and that is ... if not now, when? Given these declarations by Obama you know exactly where you stand with the U.S., so stop your Two-State talk or take the consequences which is no state.

      After all, we here constantly criticize Israel for not being willing to have its jews share statehood with anyone else. But to the extent that the Palestinians reject a One-State solution isn't that exactly what *they* are doing too? Saying no no no they won't abide rubbing shoulders as fellow citizens with jews?

      Well of course they are, and for me at least their time is up. Obama has spoken and their choice is clear. It's now or never. Start agitating for a One-State solution or suffer the consequences, because without the U.S. you sure as hell ain't getting your own state.

      Not that I expect many others will take this lesson away from this visit of Obama's, but to me at least that's it. At *some*point the Palestinians just simply have to grasp the nettle, and if they don't do it now any sympathy I at least had for them has got to be tempered by reality: They aren't children, nor are they stupid. Before '48 at the most distant they never seem to have wanted a state of their own, and after '48 and up until just a few decades ago they *did* want a One State solution. Well, now's their chance, and anyone still sympathizing with their desire for their own "pure" Palestinian state has to explain why their sympathy doesn't also extend to the Israelis to have their own "pure" jewish state.

      Time to view this thing differently, I think. To be just as narrow-eyed when it comes to the Palestinians as we are to the Israelis. And the longer the Palestinians wait now (forgetting even the question of what they could possibly *now* be waiting for?), not only is their own state possibility going into utter impossibility, the less likely they will even get to be part of a bi-national state on their homeland.

      Time's up, Palestinians. Time to fish or get your bait cut for you.

    • Ah, the invariable double-standard stigmata. All that we Americans (and indeed all others) are *constantly* told, so uniformly, by even the most mainstream jewish organizations and spokespeople, is that there *is* such a distinct category. So that we're constantly lectured on how our Presidents must be oh-so-sensitive when talking to Israelis. Or that we non-jewish Americans can't really understand the jewish perspective to the point where we are obviously and commonly highly excluded or limited from even speaking on issues such as Israel.

      And then of course what's *the* most fundamental aspect of humanity of all? Well of course it's their values.

      And what, again simply *constantly,* do we hear concerning same?

      Oh of course: That there's a distinct category of "jewish" values. Which indeed are so often mentioned, and mentioned in such as way as to make it clear typically that they are thought to be far far superior to just regular old American or any other values.

      Your criticism of American then might be taken with a grain of validity after seeing you renounce the idea of "jewish" values and go savagely taking off after those who hold to that conception.

      Not that you'll have to look far to find them. Nor that I'll be holding my breath.

      Do you have *any* idea of how clearly this appears to be nothing but just some sort of smirky, in-group trick? "We can go about constantly and openly and indeed joyously distinguishing ourselves from all others, but let anyone else ever take us at our word and ... anti-semite!"

      Or does the "chosenness" business extend to forbidding others from taking you at your word too?

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