Commenter Profile

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

Sin Nombre

An average schlub.

Showing comments 500 - 401

  • Dennis Ross announces he is leaving the Obama administration in December
    • The first thought that I had upon seeing Ross departing is that this might well be Israel's message to those "in the know" in the U.S. Diaspora that it's dumping Obama, or at least it wants them to dump him.

      Possibly triggered by Netanyahu being pissed off about that G20 microphone gaffe, with that only being a trigger that was coming anyway.

      You read the Israeli press and then the Israeli partisans here and they hate Obama. Ross leaving thus might well indeed be a message that Israel is through with him, although I suppose it also could be Ross leaving so as to essentially say to Israel "See see? I can't stand the guy either, especially after those G20 remarks" and thus to preserve his cred with the Israeli Right.

      Either way, as someone above noted, this biz about "spending more time with his wife" is not just lame, but he knows it's lame and thus knows it's a signal.

      Besides, everyone knows he's really married to Israel. (Just like everyone knows who he's been screwing.)

  • How to avoid war with Iran
    • Matthew Taylor wrote:

      "Additionally, offer Iran normalized diplomatic relations, and as part of the package, both a non-aggression treaty and a broad agreement on a nuclear weapons free Middle East..."

      I'm delighted that someone in all this "attack Iran" hysteria has put their finger through the bubble that is the present (mainstream) discourse and brought up the ultimate, complete answer to or at least explanation of reality, which is a Nuke-Free ME Accord.

      Ought to be the first and the last thing out of the mouths of those opposing any attack upon Iran, or at least any American attack on Iran: Even if, for some reason, someone just accepts that the U.S. ought go doing Israel's bidding to protect Israel, it's just simply unanswerable:

      Israel *isn't* just simply and reasonably asking that it not be subject to nuclear attack, threats or blackmail by its neighbors. It's asking that it be the *only* one in the ME to be able to use nukes to attack, threaten or blackmail its neighbors.

      And this is an entirely different kettle of fish. Showing, no doubt, why the issue of a Nuke-Free ME Accord, or even just a mutual Israel/Iran Nuke-Free Accord is just never mentioned by anyone here in Western officialdom. When you can't counter the undeniable, do everything in your power to make everyone else ignore and forget it...

  • '48 is beginning to replace '67 in discourse -- even at UVa
    • Phil Weiss wrote:

      "’48 is beginning to replace ’67 in discourse..."

      I sure hope that at least the Blog entries of Phil are archived somewhere so that future historians of whatever the hell happens out of all this can have the benefit of same.

      It's not just that Phil is one of the first in this country out there saying some of this stuff, it's the *quality* of his observations too that are gonna be valuable, such as the above.

  • Bellow: Diaspora Jews support Israel because it restored our 'manliness' after the Holocaust
    • You know, the issue this once again raises with me is its very nature in being this rather big generalization about jewry. (That, apropos Israeli jews showing their manliness, "the Jews of the Diaspora were grateful and repaid Israel with their loyal support.")

      It's not that I think Bellow is at all wrong about this; indeed he's know far better than I about it and so I'd suspect he was right. (Bolstered by what can seem Phil's endorsement of his observation.)

      What constantly bothers me though is the double standard used with such generalizations: More to the point, why it is that *laudatory* generalizations such as this—that jews are proud of their toughness—are not just okay but common as all get-out, but then that negative generalizations are just screamed at. As if in some fairy-tale, Lake Wobegon world where the worst one can say is that no-one is below average and where it's only good things that exist generally and no bad things.

      It's not, however, that I'm upset that bad general things can't be said, just that there is this huge, glaring double standard that leaves the possibility of any real meaningful discussion—one that functions with a single accepted standard that is—just absolutely impossible.

      Try having a debate, that is, about any "big" issue you want, where you have such a huge double-standard at work. It's impossible. It's like a one-legged man trying to walk. Since there's no agreement about what standard to use, no-one can ever come away from such a debate reasonably saying that one side or another was more persuasive and was more "right" than the other. Because there was that double-standard there was never any commonly accepted ground as to what *is* persuasive and right, and at least one side if not both were just absolutely hobbled in terms of the evidence they could use.

      I dunno the answer. All I know is that Bellow's comments here made me grimace a bit despite me suspecting they have some validity. With my grimace coming in remembering the anti-semitic meme that might be thought to be so closely related to the effect— especially after witnessing the big jewish participation in the hyper-violent crimes of the Bolsheviks and their secret police and such uber-violent types as Rosa Luxembourg in Germany—that "jews are cruel."

      After all, as some of the other comments here suggest, one person's "manliness" is another's "cruelty."

      So which is it that "jews" admire and are "thankful for," someone might well ask? Well, *if* you accept the assumption made by Bellow that the "admiration" generalization is okay, then indeed it seems to me one can ask that latter question, no?

      Like I say I dunno the answer, but I do have to say I'm deeply suspicious of Bellow's assumption here because of its consequences, and indeed think it has to be rejected, despite its seeming validity. Just because something might be said to possess some molecule of validity doesn't mean it has to be given any weight that's determinative at all, does it?

      Again I dunno, and all I can say is that so long as there *is* a double standard on the issues here the debate/conversation about it can seem just utterly futile. It's like ... "Pick a standard, any standard, just so long as there's one, damn it." Because so long as there's more than one, well hell how can anyone ever say any side has the better of the argument?

  • Orthodox Jews' spitting attacks on Christian clergy in Old City are now daily occurrence
    • As I recall from reading some Israel Shahak some time ago this business of spitting on gentiles or doing something similar is somewhat commanded to jews per any number of their old primary holy-type documents/rabbinical statements and/or etc. Esp. as I understand it when jews pass by a gentile cemetery or place of worship apparently some spitting is supposedly required for the observant.

      All this however, Shahak took pains to say, was then non-required if doing so would in some way harm jews, such as bringing down some local gentile wrath upon them.

      Was especially interesting in that lots of this spitting/cursing stuff is ancient it seems, which kinda makes sense in one respect (what can one expect from very very old religions), although on the other I was surprised by it given that, contrary to so much of the apologias one hears for similar such things, that it did *not* seem to only spring from more modern (rabbinical or etc.) reactions against anti-semitism, reactions to pogroms or the like. More like ... just part of the original code/oath from what Shahak wrote.

  • Strategic asset or rogue state? Israel's threats to Iran 'concern' Pentagon
    • And I say again noting these ship-killers was a real astute point on your part, ToivoS.

      Moreover, I agree with the general thrust of your thinking to the effect that ... there's just *such* little upside to an attack on Iran that it's hard to see us coming anywhere *close* to participating in it with Israel.

      Not least, in my view, due to the answer to the simple question of ... what then? All such an attack would accomplish is, at best, set *back* Iran's alleged program. So that if it even *did* have a program the idea would have to be we bomb every five years or so, with diminishing effectiveness, and if Iran *doesn't have a program well bombing 'em is about the best way possible to encourage them—and others—to sure as hell get nukes as fast as they can.

      Plus, for all the talk of Iranian-sponsored terrorism against the U.S., my belief is that same has not even been half-hearted, and probably the work of this or that extremist faction in power. We bomb 'em though, and what's keeping their gloves on in this respect? They got lots of oil revenues, and time, so why not work on, say, some really smart, determined program of terrorism on U.S. soil? After all, they've been attacked, there's no statute of limitations on retaliation, so what if it takes 'em five years to boil up some crap to put in the NYC water system?

      It's just ... stupid.

      And yet, to me I don't think anyone can say with any kind of certainty we won't attack or join Israel because the big unknown to me is just how weak we are vis a vis what is, essentially, Israeli blackmail. That is, would Obama just simply face down Israel if it said, point blank, "we are going to attack, join us or not"? Because at that point the only way out for Obama is to say "Go ahead, and we are going to denounce it and not lend you a whit of support for it."

      Thus, it's the character of Obama's guts that seems to me the biggie here, and just can't be known. Yeah he's been a wuss so far with them, but this is a far bigger thing, and I'd like to think he'd draw the line at stepping our asses into the catastrophe such an attack would mean.

      In fact, I suspect he would, esp. given that Bush essentially drew that line reportedly, and he knows it, giving him some support there.

      So in the end I guess I'd agree with you: I'd bet there will be no Israeli or U.S. attack. I'd bet the Israelis are *trying* to have it otherwise, but know that if they can't move Obama that's okay too because at the very least they'll get some concession from him for stronger sanctions on Iran, more money to them and etc. and so forth.

      So it's kinda a win/win for Israel either way, even if I believe that Netanyahu's very first hope is that indeed he can get us to attack.

      That's my take anyway, and I'm sticking to it. For at least the next few hours.

    • ToivoS wrote:

      "I think it is very unlikely that the US will support an Israeli attack or perform one itself.... The reason is interesting ...."

      Given ToivoS' usual nuanced comments I know it was unintentional but I think this comes off as a bit ... essentialist, appearing as if there's just one grand consideration that explains—or will explain—everything. I remember seeing similar such things confidently predicting why Bush was bluffing about invading Iraq: It was the scuds, it was the fearsome Republican Guards, it was the huge number of Iraqi tanks, and etc. and so forth.

      Rightly or wrongly ultimately, I just don't think our decision-makers take only one consideration into account, and indeed even with undisputed big considerations their powers of rationalization to surmount (or dismiss) such things are vast.

      After all this ship-killing capacity of Iran's that ToivoS speaks of might indeed be seen—again by an essentialist—as THE reason that of *course* the U.S. will have to support any Israeli attack or indeed launch our own attack in the lead: Since Iran has this ship-killing ability, such argument would go, and since after any Israeli attack Iran would certainly start to use it to go after U.S. ships, then once Israel tells the U.S. it *is* going to attack the U.S. must take the lead or at least coordinate with it so as to pre-emptively take out these ship-killers.

      Indeed, on paper at least it can even *sound* like a damned persuasive theory in fact.

      Again though I wouldn't rest my whole thinking on just one such skinny plinth. There's lots of others, not least somethat far more certain than these ship-killers whacking our Navy which is that regardless of how any attacks went the price of oil would shoot through the roof and the damage to our already teetering economy might be positively scary.

      Again though I just think ToivoS unintentionally came off as sounding overly "narrowly-perspected" here, with there still however being a helluva lot of validity in his identifying this missile issue as one that no doubt does weigh heavily in the big balance for sure.

  • 'You lost' -- reporters at State say UNESCO vote isolates U.S. from world opinion (and possibly from intellectual property enforcement)
    • Hard to think of a better, purer rebuttal example of the eternal argument (of the sort always put forward by, say, the Chomsky's of the world) that no, the U.S. never really does anything just for Israel but is instead always just trying to serve its own interests.

      This was shooting ourselves in the foot just to prove to Israel that on its behalf we will indeed shoot ourselves in the foot just to make it happy.

      Next step, shooting ourselves in the head for it. (Which will *still* not get the Israelis to stop feeling contempt for Obama. One never appreciates what another if *forced* to do for you; after all that's the nature of the master and subordinate relationship. All you can really do is pity the subordinate for being so slavish, although of course more regularly it's not pity they get, but contempt.)

      A new low, not to be over-impressed with however given that Mr. Obama seems to bestow new lows of this sort on us in a regular fashion.

      At least Bush seemed to believe in Israel's rightness; what's to be said about our community organizer-in-chief?

      Hot theoretical topic in Tel Aviv and AIPAC offices: "Is there *anything* we we can't get Washington to kow-tow to? *Anything*?"

      Prediction: No matter what Obama does for Israel there's no U.S. President so far who is going to garner the contempt from Israel that he will. Including Jimmy Carter. They may hate Carter, but they aren't contemptuous of him.

  • Romney promises to abdicate American foreign policy towards Israel . . . to Israel
    • Now if only Ron Paul wasn't so genial and decent a guy he'd take these comments of Romney's and stick them so bluntly and vigorously and repeatedly up Romney's fundamental aperture that not only would Romney be instant toast but it would scare the living hell out of every other candidate and politician out there.

      Or maybe it would take Ron Paul doing so *and* the media to faithfully report on same, so meaning it's almost certainly hopeless, but, anyway, one can dream, no?

      Better than living with the reality of an American President openly boasting about abdicating his duty to serve the interests of the American people.

  • Reform Jews' biennial will feature ultra-right, Sharansky and Kristol
    • "But Natan Sharansky? Sharansky is a rightwing Israeli leader who..."

      It's interesting watching the necessary dynamic: As Israel has gotten itself into ever deeper waters its reliance on the U.S. has gotten ever greater of course, and so too one sees ever more open, official Israeli involvement in U.S. politics, U.S. political groups and etc.. Thus one sees more and more Israeli officials such as Sharansky ... making aliyah here, so to speak. And thus too one sees Israeli newspapers as well having to devote ever more space to happenings in the U.S. as well; indeed it can sometimes seem that the J-Post especially is a U.S. paper, just with some special but side-light interest in reporting on what's going on in Israel.

      Just how far can this go, you have to wonder? Both practically and from an appearance/psychological perspective?

      I.e., Israel is dancing merrily about Washington's love for it today and the benefits that it lavishes over it, but what country wants to put its fortunes so intimately in the hands of another?

      At some point you become a slave doing this it seems to me.

      And then there's that appearance/quasi-psych perspective. Again after awhile aren't the Americans gonna, um, notice that Israelis are just crawling all over our political process constantly? And what about the idea that the more you put yourself at the mercy of someone else the more they will eventually come to regard you as nothing but constant, pathetic beggars?

      Not to mention what this does to Israelis: They fret about deligitimization, but what's to be said of a country that seemingly can't stand on its own for the most part and only exists by being propped up—not just militarily but economically too, including via incredible amounts of commercial espionage, on a chronic annual if not monthly basis—by some Big Brother? Where's Israeli pride gonna go eventually after its recognized that this is the situation and is looking to necessarily continue ad infinitum?

      I dunno that I could have much pride in my country if it got itself to the point where its everyday survival much less fortunes were dependent on either the gullibility or the pity of another.

      Seems to me that while Israel thinks that it has so changed the U.S.'s political landscape in its favor, that by riding this horse so hard it's neglecting a reality that this is probably also changing itself too in an even more profound way. Who wants to be an eternal schemer or beggar, grubbing every day to graft of another in this or that way?

      That self-reliant "miracle in the desert" understanding just might end up turning into one more resembling a beggar's bowl perched precariously and entirely contingently at the whim of another in the sand.

  • J Street presses division inside Jewish community, blaming neocons for leading 'charge to war in Iraq'
    • Yeah, J-Street ain't in favor of monolithism now, but wait if the debate ever turns towards the idea of anyone ever, say, seriously proposing the U.S. cut its funding for Israel.

      I don't care if there were herds of starving people wandering the mall in Washington and the plains of Kansas a la Darfur, if the tide in the U.S. started turning against us cutting even one red cent from what we send to Tel Aviv the J-Streeters would be singing monolithism today, monolithism tomorrow, monolithism forever, period.

  • Esc and Ctrl: The Guardian investigates Israeli internet hasbara
    • Apologies to everyone for the misstatement as to when that previous video came out, and sorry I didn't catch the coverage of that earlier one here or where you wrote about it, Mr. Munger.

    • Yeah that's an interesting video story, but I got a better one I think, or at least a more important one.

      Some years ago the Deputy Foreign Minister of Israel Danny Ayalon took a video that was put out by the Yesha Council (umbrella organization of the settlers) and put it into English. That video was essentially an argument about how Israel had a rightful claim to the West Bank.

      The Yesha Council/settlers have now put out another video and it's not known if Ayalon/Israel is going to endorse it, but I'd bet a helluva lot of money this video precisely points the way in which Israeli thinking is going to go and is going to be the precise reasoning behind it eventually, openly saying it's not in favor of any two-state solution.

      A very very interesting—and, I'd bet eventually, in retrospect, gonna be looked upon as very important as well—video indeed:

      link to

      The mind just boggles at the reaction such a slick presentation would engender amongst jew here in the U.S. if produced here and talked about the relative demographics of *any* group whatsoever in any manner at all much less the way this video does with Palestinian demographics.

      Many people talk about how Netanyahu/the Israeli Right or etc. don't have a plan and are just hurting Israel because they don't appear to have any real solution in mind of their own.

      Au contraire, this video persuades me.

  • Vice PM Moshe Ya’alon: Regime change in Ramallah will ultimately be necessary for peace talks to progress
    • Moshe Ya'alon said:

      "he does not believe that peace talks will be possible with the current Palestinian leadership. He insists that Abbas is not someone Israel can deal with in good faith because he refuses to accept the existence of a 'Jewish state'..."

      Why is the question, and I think we just heard the answer. I've been saying for some time that the problem for the Palestinians in accepting this is that they cannot know what it might mean later for any arabs left in Israel after any peace deal. Could it mean, for instance, that Israel has the future right to expel same given their demographics starts to threaten their "jewish" state? Or deprive them of the franchise?

      And there's Mr. Abbas at the U.N. saying precisely that: The Palestinians will not do anything that might "prejudice the rights" of an Israeli arabs.

      And now we see Ya'alon coming out on the heels of same noting the regime's insistence on same, so indicating to me at least that not only is Abbas right to be worried about such an interpretation, but that indeed that or something very much like it *is* indeed Israel's interpretation and motive for insisting on what otherwise would seem a meaningless phrase.

      Interesting that in the talk about the I/P issue that I at least follow I seem to see ever more use of the phrase "ethnic cleansing" to describe people's unease/anger/etc. at Israel. Before it used to just be talk about land, such as "stealing land" or etc. Now, even if mostly evident before, I think people are cottoning on to the fact that this is accompanied by a desire for the expulsion of people too. And indeed I think that's getting very much closer to the darker heart of the matter, and if I'm right about Israel's intentions behind this "jewish state" recognition matter it's just gonna ever more central.

      Here's my bet: You ain't never gonna see Israel really explaining why it wants that hyped-up recognition in terms of defining what it means. Never. Because they know they can't say out loud the words "ethnic cleansing."

  • 'Time' features generational divide over Israel-- when will 92d St Y stage this family affair?
    • Well since I can't write in crayon for you Mooser all I can do is repeat in the same English I used before that this "payback" business wasn't mine, and that it clearly seems intellectually invalid and unfair.

      You go right ahead though pushing the idea that one can speak generally of jews (and not be an anti-semite) so long as one only ascribes positive things to them such as the Civil Rights movement. And go ahead too mocking any negative things, such as say Ms. Dohrn and her gleeful satisfaction in the killing of some policemen and the Manson gang's sticking a carving fork into the abdomen of an utterly innocent, bound and helpless woman. ("Wild," I believe she admiringly said of it.)

      What's the catch though, Mooser? That those cops and that woman (and her additionally butchered husband) weren't jewish like you?

      Nah, can't be that with what you clearly like to present as your all-terrain humor, but give us a citation anyway: Where's the last time you made a sneering, oh-so-jolly defense of someone who got a thrill out of butchered jews?

    • Dana Goldstein's mother said:

      "It makes me feel absolutely terrible when you stridently voice criticisms of Israel."

      You know, this is interesting given something I was reading the other day. (Elsewhere that is.) A hard-eyed attack on American jews for supporting Israel to the detriment of the U.S., in my estimation it just seemed to me to go over the line of sobriety. And my overall suspicion about this given the age of the writer, his conservative background and clear identification with "patriotism," and what he wrote otherwise was that his feelings were motiviated by payback in a way: Payback for what he saw as decades of American jews having been ... if not unpatriotic then at least delighting in trying to subvert traditional American mores and values and culture and etc.

      You know: the number of American jews in the Communist party of the U.S., the number of jews involved in soviet/communist espionage against the U.S.; the number of jews in the most radical student movements of the Sixties and the number of jews among lots of the professors and etc. who were cheering same and etc. and so forth.

      In short a kind of logically unwarranted "payback" emotion, but anyway then along comes this quote from this mother and I have to admit it did make me wonder: She feels "so terrible" now when she hears "strident" criticism of Israel, there's some suggestion there perhaps that no, she wouldn't if it were mere strident criticism of the U.S.

      And how did jewish mothers and fathers feel when their kids like Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin and Bernadine Dohrn and so many similar others were rather "stridently" criticizing America such as waving flags spelling out "Amerikkka" and saying it was irredeemably evil and visiting Castro and calling for even violent revolution here?

      And indeed have to admit my sense (from reading, having somewhat grown up during the times, seeing the older generation of jews in the academy at that time and etc.) was that no, those jewish parents weren't feeling so terrible about it. Indeed there seemed to be lots of pride and support for their kids, like the parents of that jewish girl arrested down in Peru some long time ago for consorting with Shining Path guerillas who didn't just seem upset with her treatment, but instead went about proclaiming how proud they were of her fight for "social justice."

      Anyway, as I say, not logically warranted and thus not intellectually fair, but it sure does kind of bring to mind the old saying about what goes around comes around.

      (Fully acknowledging that very much of the moral criticisms that are made of Israel now, and which are giving it such fits, did indeed—and righteously—were fought for by Diaspora jews, although that too can be seen as a "go-around-comes-around" kind of thing I guess, and is certainly bitterly ironic to some.)

  • Mourning the Jewish New Year
    • Mr. Ellis wrote:

      "Can Jews be silent about the ethnic cleansing of Palestine?"

      Well, except for those celebrating it using different words.

      Example: Is now a very interesting article in Haaretz pointing out something I picked up on too in Netanyahu's speech and that was his citing the "great [Lubavitcher] rabbi" in his talk.

      (link to

      As the article points out this rabbi (Schneerson) was viscerally—and famously—against returning even one inch of land back to the Palestinians and clearly even against allowing any non-jews any place in Israel, and his admirers if not devotees include that Goldstein guy who machine-gunned all those arabs in that mosque some years ago, and that Israeli rabbi who wrote one book celebrating Goldstein and then another more recently warning that it isn't always okay to go killing gentile children, but...

      Anyway, when I heard Netanyahu cite this guy in his U.N. speech it immediately hit me: "He's talking in code." While he's saying "Peace" to the outside world who doesn't know Schneerson from Smith, he's saying something entirely different to his tribe.

      As that Haaretz article noted, Netanyahu citing Schneerson in a speech "ostensibly in favor of a Palestinian state is like relying on a racist who fervently supports slavery in a speech that is ostensibly in favor of abolition, while also making abolition contingent upon conditions that will never be met."

      Reminded me precisely of that father of the neo-cons Strauss at the U. of Chicago whose big claim to intellectual fame was noting how one could speak both exoterically (for the outside, public world), and esoterically for an "in"-crowd.

      In short, you bet some jews can not just be silent about their ethnic cleansing but indeed they can brag about it. They just use special words to do so.

  • Let's negotiate over how we divide the pizza while I eat the pizza
    • I guess when Bibi said he was putting out his hand to the Palestinians at the U.N. he meant he was extending it get a grip on more of their land.

      What the hell is it in the Israeli national character that seems unable to resist positively relishing the humiliation of others? Seating that Turkish ambassador on a low couch and pointing it out to a photographer in Hebrew, announcing those new settlements right as Biden landed to visit, and now Obama. Not even a full week has gone by since they pressed him flatter than a wine grape to drool all that talk about how it wasn't land greed at the heart of Israel's position but security, and now...

      The U.S. President just got as openly pissed on as is possible without him actually getting wet.

  • Obama's impossible dilemma--and ours
    • Ach, didn't mean to represent your thoughts as that buffonish, Mr. Slater. Sorry. Was just rephrasing what I took you to say and putting it in what I at least see it means. I just assumed people had read your actual words and knew what I was doing.

      Anyway, and in accord with what I wrote further, don't you think that indeed at least after Obama is reelected he will have no real defense anymore to not calling Israel out? Given that ... one can't go along forever with the idea that Israel can always get crazier? Or do you in fact think that he does in fact have to quail in the face of that?

      If the latter though, doesn't that also apply to BDS'ers as well? I.e., that they too shouldn't be potentially forcing Israel into acting crazier?

    • Hi Citizen:

      Yes I've heard (and read) some of that, and all I can say is that at least Nixon could claim to have been motivated by U.S. interests. E.g., not just our "friend" Israel using nukes against arabs but also a possible Soviet nuke retaliation against Israel and thus the obliteration of Israel as an ally against Soviet power in the ME and etc. Plus, what of the effect on the Euros if it saw us willing to stand by and twiddle our thumbs over the nuking of one of our other friends, so meaning that we'd have to do at least *something* vis a vis the Russkies.

      Anyway, still, the precedent is important, not least I suspect in the minds of the Israelis in terms of the ... blackmailability of the U.S. via them threatening to use nukes. And not only important but possibly timely: What, say, if Bibi went to Obama and said "if you don't strike Iran conventionally tomorrow we shall do so nuke-wise the day after"?


      Even more reason to disengage with the whole ME mess.

      Notice too though, in addition to Nixon's help "working" in terms avoiding any Superpower showdown that the Oil Embargo we got somehow was never much connected with the '73 war and our helping Israel, was it? In the public mind ... as with everything it seems ... our helping Israel is just eternally cost-free. Only and always only good for us...

    • I very much like the way Slater is trying to think things through here. Analytical instead of just emoting.

      But, notice something: Let's say you accept his analysis that before his reelection Obama not only should but indeed *must* continue down the same path that he's been on because ... as Slater says ... to do otherwise would let in the Republicans.

      I don't know if I like such logic but let's say you accept it. I.e., sometimes, when an immediate situation is certain enough, you gotta bend to short-term exigencies.

      What then is the reason that *after* his reelection he can't stand up and say we should pull the plug on supporting Israel? What remains of Slater's argument?

      Well, okay, he says that Congress isn't likely to go along and that argument is probably still good. But so what, you do what you can, right? And get on the right side of things. You don't just ... go along the road to hell because gee, everyone else likes that road. Or at least you don't stay on that road *forever* because of 'em.

      So that then leaves what? Ah, Slater's argument that gee, even if we *did* pull our support for Israel it would ... just make Israel more insane.

      And *this* then—which seems to me *the* crucial "last hope" thing, is also precisely where Slater's argument just loses it totally.

      It is after all an argument that we remain complicit with almost whatever Israel ever does because ... Israel could always go crazier and worse.

      Let 'em, is the simple response. Let 'em, let 'em, let 'em. Not at least not with my freaking dollars and not with my country's flag standing besides 'em.

      The opposite argument, after all, is then that, gee, we can *never* stop subsidizing Israel, because it could *always* go crazier.
      And as to the related issue which I have no doubt would come into play by Israeli partisans, not one cent for what would amount to blackmail by them either promising that they *would* go crazier. Not a penny.

      In short Slater's made a fair-to-good argument why someone should cut Obama some slack on the IP issue right now and up until the next election. Not an ironclad one for sure, nor one that it's unreasonable to still reject, but it's still fair-to-good.

      But he's given not a jot or tittle of a reasonable argument for cutting Obama any slack afterwards, and nobody should. Not one particle. Not one neutrino.

  • Abbas at the United Nations a game changer? Maybe.
    • You know I think Remax hits on what may be the biggest *moral* issue/victim involved in all of this.

      Someone, I forget who but I seem to recall it being a jewish scholar/thinker/writer, noted that in the jewish community—in the U.S. at least, and the Diaspora outside of Europe—the Holocaust "changed." That ... in its immediate aftermath and up even until the 1960's while of course they felt it deeply it wasn't until that later decade if not into the 1970's that it started to become something that they identified as having some unique meaning to jewry and jewry alone. That they somewhat ... identified with it.

      Afterwards, this guy who I can't recall, said that it only then started to kind of become "owned" by jews in a way.

      Now of course no-one can gainsay their right to this, and indeed what I find interesting and dispiriting is not their reaction to it but everyone else's. When I was growing up (America's heartland, in the '60's and 70's), whenever the Holocaust came up it was still very very much talked about in the mode of "... see what humans are capable of?"

      I.e., not what only *Germans* were capable of, and not what only jews were subject to, but what humans are capable of doing to other humans, period.

      And predictably the Holocaust of the jews in the camps was really also just tied in when people were speaking—without in the least trying to minimize the special spite directed at the jews—at all the atrocities committed by all the various Axis actors in the war, against all the various victims. The Rape of Nanking ... and even—amongst the better read—the victims of the communists such as in the Gulag, or the starvation of the Ukrainians and etc.

      We're losing something then I think by letting that sensibility slip. And this means no criticism whatsoever of jewry for its sensibility; indeed, one might criticize the Poles or the Slavs generally for not having their own version of the Yad Vashem, or the Christian peasants in the Soviet Union, and etc. and so forth. Or maybe one big damn monument to all those lives flayed out in that spasm of madness that the two ideologies of fascism and communism caused.

      ... all once again bringing back what is I think is the primary lesson that in the end it's just f____ing *people* and human nature that's the core evil. The horror that, given the right circumstances, all of us are maybe capable of doing the same to someone else. A great big slap in the face to all our pretensions about how good we are, how incorruptible we are, how far from savagery we all are...

      Really a terrible thing if this kind of lesson somehow faded out I think. And a real danger: Oh how convenient to think that ... *we* could never be Germans. Or that because we are not jews that *we* could never be rounded up. Our subconscious just loves to edit out of our memories those lessons that don't support our own egos, doesn't it?

      And that lesson goes for everyone with two legs, in both ways: There's nothing about it that says that yesterday's worst perpetrators can't be tomorrow's worst victims, and vice-versa as well. And indeed that's *precisely* what that lesson says, doesn't it? "If you are human, your nature is that of both beast *and* prey."

  • A roundup of opinions from a busy week at the UN
    • "++++ Translation : We are preparing more settlements."

      That's funny. For my part I kinda wished Abbas would have spoken after this extension of Bibi's hand and said "Well thank you so much but until you drop the electric cattle prod from it..."

    • "I didn’t even know that Lieberman had walked out."


      link to

      "I don’t think the NYT has mentioned it."

      Um, well it *does* somewhat interfere with the "I extend my hand to the Palestinian people ... And with God's help, we'll find the common ground of peace" reportage of Netanyahu's talk that they gotta balance Abbas' comments with, right?

      I notice it missing from any number of other reports though too, and the only other explanation I can come up with is that they just feel ... it's just too damned boorish to report. Like I say, the worst anti-semite could hardly have scripted out a worse way for them to behave, and maybe they don't want to seem to be playing into such memes.

    • Maybe I'm wrong but to me at least I suspect Netanyahu and Lieberman just turned what would have been a bit of a chiding day for Israel into a world-wide debacle for it on the diplomatic level at least.

      And the absolute crowning, ultimate piece of it I suspect all came when, *after* Lieberman had *just* walked out on Abbas' talk showing not just how they really feel about the Palestinians but also an incredible boorishness, Netanyahu *then* stands up and oh-so-piously tells everyone he was extending his "hand" to the Palestinians because he's just so concerned for them and is such a lover of peace.

      Yeah, because as everyone perceives "peace" has just so always been in the forefront of this man's thoughts.


      If anyone can think of a performance better designed to provoke disgust with them I'd like to hear that work of art. They'd have been cosmically better off to have stayed home.

      Hell, they'd have been better off to have just stood up and spit and thrown urine and feces at the audience.

      The mood, I gotta surmise, went from a mere heightened sympathy for the Palestinians to a positively lip-curling recoil. Indeed it struck me that the worst anti-semite in the world could hardly have manufactured a performance better designed to display such historically anti-semitic memes as jews being organically insincere, boorish, insulting, and what-have-you-all-else.

      My God the vast majority of Israelis and jews have got to be just cringing, privately at least.

      And then, after just having insulted them, to start talking in terms of how much he expects their support against Iran and fundamentalist Islam...

      Wow. Spectacular. They shoulda charged admission.

  • Obama speech was shattering to liberal Zionists
    • libra wrote: "do you see any eventuality [] that isn't completely negative?"

      Accepting that "completely" can still mean something less than smoking nuke ruins all across the ME (although at least some of that may well still be in store!), and that "positive" means some reasonably fair result for the Palestinians, the short answer is nope. None whatsoever.

      Ask yourself some questions: Do you believe the Israelis will ever, all on their own, ever voluntarily agree to dismantle any of their major settlements? Or give up any of Jerusalem? (Indeed, haven't they even seemed to be adamant on not even stopping the *further* gobbling of ever *more* West Bank land?)

      Okay, so if your answer to either of these is "no," then ask yourself "Do you really believe American jews will ever really significantly break with Israel?" And then further that "even if they did ... that this would so affect the U.S. as it would then force Israel against its will to do so?

      Once again I at least see the answers as no. Even if the Diaspora population here did break with their brothers, as the U.S. political system has now been so completely manipulated and penetrated by Israel, and (as it would naturally have been also striving for) it has achieved this in a self-sustaining way, that there's no hope of the U.S. ever doing so. (After all when you've secured *billions* every year from the U.S. in cold hard cash that you can spend any way you want, what's a few measly tens of millions of that to be plowed back into further manipulating and penetrating the U.S. system? As some might say "such a deal!")

      Ordinarily of course one would have to consider that some reasonably foreseeable cataclysm might change the trajectory all this means, but I at least see none on the horizon. At worst a U.S. nuke strike on Iran, Syria or even Pakistan? But we'd win, and not suffer any cataclysm ourselves. And then, thanks to the manipulation/penetration, we'd be told it had nothing to do with Israel anyway.

      After that I suppose one might consider such things as ... giant meteorite strikes or some such other things on that order, but...

      (And yet another question for iamuglow: And what will stop Israel from "getting away" with this? Given it has the U.S. to help it, who is gonna stop it?

    • "Obama speech was shattering to liberal Zionists"

      Oh yeah? You just watch how fast all those Humpty-Dumpty pieces suddenly—miraculously!—just by themselves!—jump back up and put themselves together again. Especially at the first little tiny outbreak of the inevitable violence that is to come—that starts to injure jews that is. No matter if it's even launched by Israel. Or taken advantage of by Israel to claim the need to escalate it.

      Even if—so as to gather all those pieces back together again—that violence or escalation of same on Israel's part includes an attack on Iran. Indeed, if anything, the ultimate Ace-In-The-Hole Guaranteed Wayback Machine To Jewish Solidarity.

      So these "liberal" Zionists are once again just gonna be hostages, and the fantasy of a One State Solution is gonna then (allegedly) roll on.

      In fact, reading all the gloomy news above folks here in general ought to be *pleased*: Denying Palestine statehood just advances that One State idea, right? Just means it's the inevitable only alternative, true?

      Except ... that this assumes Israel can be forced into essentially agreeing to dissolve itself thusly via pressure and shame about being apartheid and blah blah blah. But ... it won't. No moreso than it's been sensitive to pressure over its settlements, or over its colonial status, and indeed even less so since a One State solution means the sure eventual vaporization of its entire existence.

      So what we've seen now is just another step towards the time that Israel begins annexing whatever it wants and just kicks out whatever arabs it wants, folds its arms across its chest and tells the World to go pound salt. And now it can do it knowing that it almost certainly is going to be able to accomplish such ethnic cleansing with the U.S.'s support.

      And then, aside from this or that little peep, see how miraculously quickly the "liberal Zionists" accomodate themselves to that. There will, after all, still be a place where they can go and not have to rub shoulders with the stupid goyim.

  • Ashrawi and Tibi say Obama made it sound like Palestinians are occupying Israel
    • But ... this wasn't really an appearance or speech for the U.N.: It was an appearance for American jews, demonstrating servility, a bootlicking groveling showing his willingness to utterly and totally abase himself for them. E.g., "Yes yes, I will appear before the entire world and publicly and indeed flamboyantly eat sh_it. And yes, I will look into cameras and into the face of the world and eat it in pieces, in prolonged fashion, so as to not just make it clear that I have indeed caved on things that I said before that displeased you, but also so as to satisfy your desire to see me suffer for it."

      So here's the choice: An Obama who is willing to do this, or a Perry or etc. who (at least?) *believes* we should be doing this.

  • 'I prefer to live with Jews': A liberal Zionist argument for the two-state solution
    • Eric Yoffie wrote:

      "Without a two-state solution, Israel will not longer be a state for my group; it will be a bi-national state without a clear Jewish identity. That is not the kind of place where I, or most Israeli Jews, will want to live."

      And here is Eric Yoffie not long ago about *American* anti-immigrationists: "anti-immigrant hysteria has reached new heights; the language used every day to describe the 12 million immigrants who are here illegally is vicious, hateful, and utterly shameful."

      So here, I gotta believe, must be the secret little personal mantra of Eric Yoffie:

      One rule for thee
      Another for me
      With the explanation that be
      Is that I'm Chosen, you see
      ... You miserable stupid little goyim

      No wonder that the nightmare of folks like Yoffie is a resurgence of American patriotism.

  • Arab Fall: Obama administration applauds Libyan seat at UN while it blocks Palestinian bid
    • This, it seems to me, is a glimpse into a cancerous process that in this instance has reached an advanced, blatant stage: The gov't starts with having one or two political people doing little whitewashes, but pretty soon all the gov't's people are obliged to keep repeating the whitewashes. Then there's progressively bigger lies from the politico types, and those career gov't types find themselves having to repeat those bigger ones too for sure. And now with this we've reached a kind of the acme or pinnacle of the process: A mere career spokesperson, who knows full well he is dishing shit, just stands there happily doing so, having made himself ready for doing so by having first just dished a little whitewash and the littler lies. And not a thought given to the idea that hey, it's his or her government too, which they presumably don't want to dish shit.

      It's like some disease process, slowly breaking down one's resistance, until pretty soon the disease feels like the norm. I.e., "Well it's just my *job,* man, no big deal..."

  • The privileged divide-- non-Jews want to talk the issue, Jews don't
    • Phil wrote:

      "The non-Jews all talk about it, the Jews don't."

      Well I wonder about that as I continually see examples of them talking about it amongst *themselves.* In another thread I noted what I thought was an extraordinary statement from the President of the (North American) Union of Reform Judaism Eric Yoffie who, among other similar things, said "I prefer to live among jews."

      (link to

      Now, even putting aside the fact that Yoffie has been a loud, long-time multi-culti kind of guy here, I don't suspect he'd be making this kind of statement out in the open in the U.S. But where he felt safe to say it to his fellow ethnics—in the J-Post—yet still out of the general earshot of the U.S. population and media, well, there he is.

      Of course one example doth not much evidence make, but without being able to come up with specifics I seem to rather regularly see U.S. jews saying things over there in Israel that I flat out would bet they'd just simply never say here openly. Never.

      So anyway I wonder if as Phil says jews don't talk about it (although certainly true with him for obvious reasons), but instead they do so talk but amongst themselves only because of *what* they are saying, such as what Yoffie said.

      After all if, as Phil sees it, they see themselves as "liberals, outsiders, exceptional minds, achievers, victims of anti-Semitism, analytical intellectuals and talkers (we're smarter), dedicated to civil rights and feminism...," well why *wouldn't* they feel the way Yoffie does?

  • Campaign to end military aid to Israel enters NY, underground
    • Pamela Geller wrote:

      "Atlas readers are well aware of the antisemitic ad campaign bouncing from city to city. We successfully fought back against racism and judeophobia in Seattle."

      "Judeophobia"? Well, okay, what's the opposite then?

      Perhaps "I prefer to live with jews" President of the Union of Reform Judaism Eric Yoffie can tell us!

      (link to

      I have no doubt though that with similar-minded jews the feeling is not just innocent, but indeed some incredibly high form of morality.

  • Michael Lerner says We need a Jewish state b/c Jews continue to face vulnerability, hatred
    • Almost certainly consciously Lerner kind of takes advantage of the passage of time and dimming memories: So as to have his jewish state it had to forcibly expel a native population, with such expulsion (inevitably) meaning the slaughter of those who resisted.

      Now ... just what other ethno-religious groups—or indeed anyone else—does anyone think Lerner would grant this right to?

      The stigmata of Zionists like Lerner: The eternal double standard.

  • US ambassador to Israel says 'test of every US policy in Middle East' is-- does it secure Israel?
    • U.S. Ambassador Shapiro said:

      "This test explains ... our efforts on Iran..."

      So that if the U.S. gets into a war with Iran we ain't never gonna hear that it's an anti-semitic libel that we are in it because of Israel, right?

    • From CNI Phil quotes Shapiro as saying that the test of "every" American policy is whether it "ensures Israel's future..."

      Ah, and the J-Post has Shapiro going one better: The U.S., he said, has an "everlasting" obligation to Israel's security.

      link to

      So that it's *every* policy, until the end of *all* time.

      It's funny though, as I understand how:

      (A) *Some* American politicians and through them their underlings can be *forced* to say things like this;

      (B) And how *some* super-hyper Israeli-partisan American politicians and their underlings—particularly jewish—may even *want* to say things like this;

      (C) But what I don't understand is why it seems that a good bulk of Israeli-partisan jews seem to *demand* such constant, servile ass-licking comments.

      Can they really believe that forcing American officials to say such things means anything? (Other than instilling U.S. anger towards them for succumbing to such manipulation and bullying?)

      Or that having such things said by a few hyper-Israeli U.S. government officials who want to say such things means anything? (Other than inciting U.S. anger at the jewish ones for seeming to use their official position to benefit their tribe?)

      Or that people don't eventually perceive (and not particularly appreciate) that jews in general seem to *demand* to be the object of such constant, servile ass-licking?

      Seriously: The language is just so goddamned different when it comes to Israel, isn't it?

  • Guess it wasn't Saddam after all: Israeli media now trying to pin 9/11 on Hezbollah and Iran
    • "Ynet: US lawsuit charges that Iran, Hezbollah involved in facilitation of September 11 attacks..."

      As Dana Carvey's Church Lady used to say ... How conveeeenient.

      Ire-inducing too of course given it's just one more further attempted manipulation of the U.S. public, not to mention also pathetic, cynical...

      Maybe the most impressive however is ... pathological in its single-mindedness. No different than ... "Yesterday Turkey good, today Turkey evil."

      You'd almost think Orwell wrote Animal Farm about some certain sub-class of human thinkers rather than just the hyper-Bolshies.

  • Why it is important for Jews to discuss the cultural boycott of Israel
    • While Ms. Nevel's fine piece here might touch on it, it seems to me the really big important reason that jews discuss the cultural boycott of Israel and Israel generally is in the hope that enough oppose it so as to head off a tsunami of anti-semitism in this country.

      Did you see, for instance, the tone of many of those comments to the website of that Israel-visiting congressman to the effect of calling him a traitor and etc.? If I recall right some were even saying stupid things like "you just wait" ominously enough.

      For all the Israeli partisans want to call the mainstream commentators on this site extremists or etc. one just knows that damn near the most rabid person here is a white-gloved gentleman compared to the anti-jewish sentiment I at least sense is building out in the U.S.

      And it's doing so supplied with lots of what seem ever continuing arguments: Forget the USS Liberty for instance, or Jonathan Pollard and the domestic jewish pressure to try to free him: That's old stuff comparatively. Think instead of the interminable wars Israel has cheerleaded us into getting involved in, and the blatant silence Israeli partisans have effectively gotten the media and the gov't to draw over why specifically the 9/11 plotters acted as they did. Think instead of Obama not saying a word about the killing of Rachel Corrie or that U.S. citizen aboard the Mavi Marmara, and yet ... instantly, it seems, springing energetically to the defense of Israel merely losing some bricks and mortar in Cairo. Think about what might happen vis a vis Iran.

      Yes it's the Lobby, pure and simple, but it's harder and harder to argue that its broad number of American contributors are *not* far more concerned with Israeli and jewish interests than those of their fellow American citizens. The country's going bankrupt and we've got our Congressmen assuring Israel it won't stop the flow our our taxes to it. Shoot an unarmed American on the high seas ... feh. Have an univited party at the Israeli embassy hurting no-one and the American President frantically jumps to call the Israeli prime minister to assure him of our help and support and undying love and blah blah blah...

      Domestic American jews may, I suspect, regard this website as somewhat extreme, but they are fooling themselves I at least feel. In the overwhelming main the folks here are painstaking in not sweeping "all jews" or even "most jews" into their fields of fire. But such discrimination, I suspect, isn't nearly as honored out in the living rooms and coffee shops and shop floors and etc. I suspect in fact it isn't even all that recognized.

      The American jewish community is playing with fire I think staying silent. Hopefully nothing will come of it. But just think of the simplest "easiest" possibilities even: The American economy tanks worse, the Palestinians rise after their U.N. move and Israeli settlers start shooting them in droves and Egypt and Hizbullah explode and Iran helps and the U.S. piles in on Israel's side—and in what seems against the side most of the world took in that U.N. vote—and suddenly we're in yet another war in the ME. Or we get hit with a few more terrorist attacks and the firewall against talking about the motives behind it crumples and an already unemployed, War-on-Terror exhausted U.S. population starts to look around asking "Who the hell got us into all this ... and is keeping us in it?"

      Not pretty, but hardly far-fetched, and hardly a unique kind of historical evolution either.

  • Boycott showdown at Sacramento Co-op draws bigtime lobbyists
    • Off-topic but great:

      Haaretz reports that in addition to reaffirming that Turkey will refer the Mavi Marmara matter to the Hague, Turkish PM Erdogan has now criticized Obama over the matter.


      "I asked President Obama whether the reason he showed no interest in one of his nationals being killed was because [the victim] was [ethnically] Turkish - he didn't reply."

      I.e., just as he hasn't said a word I don't think about the murder of that American on that ship. However, in another story Haaretz further reports that Obama has expressed "great concern" over the mob intrusion into the Cairo embassy of Israel and indeed called Egypt on it.

      The choice in the upcoming elections then, my fellow Americans, is clear as to who is more concerned about us: Erdogan for President!

  • 9/11 saved my life
    • Makes me laugh: After Watergate especially journalism just pumped itself up so full of righteousness it seemed to burst. It was just soooo virtuous. Journalists, we were told, were just sooo in love with the freedom to say what nobody else could, and point out what nobody else would.

      And yet how few we see today, like Phil, who in reality really care about that feeling of freedom and honesty to just simply write what they truly feel and state what is bloody obvious.

      Take heart and be proud Phil: In the eternal three o'clock of the morning where their pride now resides they know. They know. And they grimace.

  • Warped politics: Robert Gates says Israel is 'ungrateful,' but Obama will still veto Palestine UN bid
    • If you really wanna see ungratefulness just read about any Caroline Glick piece in the J-Post such as her most recent one concerning Obama. She sure seems to represent Likudish views to a T, and it appears to me that in its perception any failure to genuflect thrice a day towards Tel Aviv is evidence one isn't doing enough or Israel.

      Anyway, what's amusing is the kind of reaction this kind of story—or stories about AIPAC and etc.—get from Israel-Firsters: Much of course is denying that AIPAC does anything or that people like Gates are right because, they say, the great gentile mass constituting the American public overwhelmingly and genuinely supports Israel.

      Well, someone oughta keep track of all these kinds of statements from Israeli-Firsters because if and when the American public starts to wise up to what's going on and forces a change in our policies, sure as little green apples what we will then see is all the Israeli-Firsters going back to what they said not all that long ago which is that the great mass of gentile Americans are anti-semetic.

  • NYT's Keller implies Iraq War aimed to save Israel from a 'holocaust'
    • ... and, like so many similar others, the next time Keller betrays his supposed principles because doing so helps Israel, there he'll be afterwards issuing yet another mea culpa pretending he was misled, or the execution of it was bad, or it all went bad because of sunspots, and etc., etc., ad infinitum, ad nauseum.

      It's a stigmata of double-standards signaling how to identify establishment Lefties: If it's done for U.S. interests, it's evil. If it's done for Israel's, at worst it gets a pass.

      And now Keller's gotta rush out to attend a symposium or roundtable where he'll talk deeply and at length about how much journalism depends on fearlessness in the face of financial and social pressure.

  • Cohen: US policy toward Israel is a 'domestic policy' and it's undermining our 'strategic interest'
    • One point Cohen seems to miss completely, and indeed I haven't seen mentioned anywhere else: Just given the way Israel conducts itself generally—the extreme self-centeredness especially, bordering on the pathological—I don't believe anyone would really believe that any apology that it gave would be sincere. That's just not the way Israel thinks I don't believe, nor the way the world thinks that Israel thinks.

      It's really making itself stand out in the community of nations in several different respects I think.

    • Roger Cohen wrote:

      "So it goes in the taboo-littered cul-de-sac of U.S. foreign policy toward Israel, a foreign policy that is in large measure a domestic policy..."

      I've always thought it poetic-horrible that the U.S.'s unthinking support of Israel just gets us evermore looking like Israel every day: The ever-increasing "security" and militarized nature and obsession of the state, side-by-side with ever more terrorist attention; the ever-increasing international isolation and scorn; the ever-increasing reliance on ever-more rococo argumentation and demonization and etc., etc.

      And now this, following on Henry Kissinger's famous observation that Israel has no foreign policy either really and that everything there is just its domestic politics.

      Next up, getting rid of the red in our flag...

  • 'Commentary' blames Turkey for starting the insurgency in Iraq
    • seafroid wrote:

      "Israel has made a fine bed for itself."

      Umm ... in doing Gaza? Or in blockading Gaza? Or in attacking that ship and killing those folks? Or in refusing to just apologize for same?

      Kind of poetic that it was this Lieberman character who is said to have vetoed Israel's apologizing to Turkey. Indeed, gives me an idea of how to somewhat rate Israel's thuggish blunderings. I hereby then propose that in the future we rate them on a scale of "liebermans," as in, say:

      "Boy, killing a bunch of those turks could seem like it was only going to be a one or two lieberman thing, but now that Turkey's moving ahead improving its relations with Egypt and is going to go to the World Court about those ship killings and given all this is happening right before the vote on Palestine's recognition in the U.N., it really seems to be developing into a five or six lieberman thing."

      (Oddly, once you get up to ten liebermans you don't then call it a "netanyahu" given that the real Lieberman seems even more boorish than the namesake of that coin.)

      Now ... who's taking bets on Israel continuing to spurn Obama's desperate attempt to get it to agree to some further sham peace talks so as to help him avoid a Palestinian vote in the U.N., and how many liebermans that'll be worth?

  • Important study shows that a small network is fostering widespread hatred of Islam inside US politics and public opinion
    • I think hophmi argues well here that, as regards the majority of the culprits in question (Pipes, et. al.) it's not their religion (judaic religiousness, that is) that's motivating them primarily.

      And he also makes some good points on the evidence that it's not some first-and-foremost desire to serve Israel that's their primary motivation either.

      But this might be just misleadingly refined: What about a just more generalized primary concern for the interests of jews as a whole?

      While if this is the case one would expect to see at least some natural affection or affiliation of them for Israel, it wouldn't necessarily scream out. But what one would also expect to see is somewhat of a concentration at the least (if not an obsession) on or with issues related to jewish interests.

      And, from what I have seen, this seems to fit for a number of the guys in question.

      In any event the question then isn't ... "do we see these guys proclaiming their religion or their love of Israel all the time?," but instead "do we ever see these guys devoting themselves with the anywhere near the same passion and devotion that they bring to this Islamic business to any other issues that don't involve jewish interests?"

      After all, one classic hallmark test of anti-semitism is an obsessive or semi-obsessive negative "semetic-centrism," so to speak.

      To the extent that's a valid test then—and I think it's undeniable—why is it an illegitimate benchmark when one observes an obsessive or semi-obsessive *positive*

  • Terry Gross gives a fearful earful on a Christian movement seeking 'dominion of politics, business and culture'
    • Terry Gross talked about:

      "An emerging Christian movement that seeks to take dominion over politics, business and culture..." followed by Phil saying:

      Hilarious. One can just imagine the look on the faces of Gross and the NPR people proposing a show talking about "a jewish movement that seeks to take dominion over politics, business and culture."

      Or maybe not so hilarious. Hard not to see this kind of stuff over and over and Christians and gentiles not coming to perceive this as anything other than naked jewish ethno-religious-cultural aggression.

      Reminds me more than a bit of what even philo-semitic historians like Paul Johnson have said was going on in the Weimar Republic and what facilitated the rise of Hitler: Jewish personality after jewish personality appearing to do nothing but waging constant, ultra-vituperative war on the Christian gentile culture and society there. Crazy.

      Crazy crazy. And yet Phil says Gross is just absolutely generationally representative.

      I just love the journalistic exemption the Gross gives herself here too: If she had been reporting, say, on Exxon she no doubt would feel beholden to tell us if she held stock in same. Conflicts of interest and all... Except as to this one itty-bitty, apparently exclusive, self-granted exemption.

  • Serious questions on Palestine UN bid raised in legal opinion
    • Apropos of the idea of the Palestinians getting the U.N. to declare Palestine a state Ali Abunimah wrote:

      "This would be a severe blow to the potential for realizing Palestinian rights in the long run..."

      Theoretically far-sighted, historically and realistically blind. As Keynes said, "In the long run we'll all be dead."

  • What I've witnessed on the West Bank
    • "I have witnessed enough unnecessary violence and degradation by Jews in the West Bank to fill a very large book. I have seen IDF soldiers at a check point pissing on Palestinian shoes. In this instance, the Palestinian man tried to take a swing at the soldier who merely stepped back and shot the man in the chest. I watched ..."

      And now someone tell me why the Palestinians all wearing yellow stars to evoke to the world how they are treated would be wrong...

  • Aipac uses fear of Palestinian statehood initiative to raise money
    • "If America fails," AIPAC wrote (not only revealing the idea that Israel bears no responsibility for being in its pickle), then of course in keeping with the related kind of comments one sees all the time amongst Israeli partisans for other things what we will see is same blaming America for "betraying" Israel or etc., and it will all be America's sin and fault. (Once more leaving Israel blameless.)

      Same as one commonly sees America damned for not stopping the Holocaust.
      (Sooner, that is, without a molecule of appreciation for the fact that without us it wouldn't have been stopped at all.)

      You know, it's one thing to be The Sucker. It's another to then not just see a lack of gratitude for same, but instead get spit on for not having done more.

      Such a deal...

  • Another congressperson writes home from the Jewish State, surrounded by madness she compares to Nazism
    • Notice once again—as ever—how successful is the Israeli tactic of eternally presenting itself as victim.

      Maybe my pondering in that previous thread about how the Palestinians should maybe start wearing yellow stars to show that they themselves are victims too isn't the right thing for the Pal's to do. (Although I still think it would be way pungent and stimulate some thought in the West especially.)

      But so far at least, and for a long long time it seems—indeed maybe forever meaning since '67 at least—the huge mass of their message has in one way or another effectively concentrated merely on the relatively sterile claim of simply being wronged because of their dispossession, the evocativeness of which is further watered down by the idea that "well, they and Israel at least talk frequently and are working towards a rectification of that apparently sole problem."

      In other words ... no real (or even mild) emphasis on such things as the official discrimination against them and the accompanying humiliations, the random shootings they are subject to, the treatment of their children, how the settlers treat them and wreck their olive farms and wells, and etc. and so forth.

      You can't beat something with nothing, the old saying goes, and yet the Palestinians still seem to think that just out of the abstract air people are going to side with them. Not working out for 'em all that great, but there they continue...

  • Wikileaks: In '06, Lieberman told US ambassador of need to transfer Palestinians from Israel-- and US says nothing
    • "It would be portrayed as them mocking Holocaust victims."

      Yeah that's a serious and even grave consideration, I'll well concede. But I wasn't even thinking about jews being forced to wear those stars in the camps but instead before the camps or even the war got going when they were so required to wear them in Germany generally.

      I dunno, maybe it's too much, but one thing you have to admit is the asymmetry of the two sides' rhetoric and messages.

      The Palestinians are, as noted here often and then again just recently, all the time just generally called the worst of names and portrayed—again in a totally generalized way—in the worst of ways. See again, e.g., that Daniel Pipes speech quoted here elsewhere. And indeed even in terms of U.S. citizens trying to inject some balance into the question of the U.S.'s relationship with Israel they will get called the worst of names all the time. Just ask Steve Walt. Or just try to inject some of that balance by mildly observing the intense attachment to Israel of so many U.S. jews without getting smeared as being an anti-semite for alleging dual loyalty ... even though they themselves will loudly proclaim it otherwise.

      And yet, when it comes to the rhetoric and portrayal of Israel, well my God the delicacy that's exhibited in general in the West. (Where it seems the key is held to the Palestinians' future.)

      So how can any headway be made with this huge asymmetry somehow remaining sancrosanct? And isn't there a sense here of feeling that gee, the Palestinians (and indeed everyone else) should first be asking permission of Israel as to what criticisms of it are allowed?

    • Apropos my suggestion that the Palestinians protest their situation by wearing yellow stars Woody Tanaka wrote:

      "Because right now (rightly or wrongly) the system is such that the issue would quickly (instantly?) be whether the adoption of the symbol is anti-Semitic and not..."

      So what? Isn't *everything* they do or is done on their behalf now so challenged?

      I maintain it would be a powerfully evocative thing. As the quote from Daniel Pipes that someone quotes elsewhere in this blog shows, the problem for the Palestinians generally is that they are easily seen as the aggressors (if not crazed aggressors), and nobody sees 'em as victims.

      Why? While while one can of course much blame the media for this, what aspect of the Palestinian's experience have they *themselves* most trumpeted or highlighted?

      It really hasn't been their victimhood, I don't think, but instead their attempted war against their situation. Or, to put it in a starker way, not their sufferers but their warriors/fighters/whatever. (And, to be honest, their terrorists too.)

      Not exactly the ticket for evoking a full, sympathetic understanding of their situation.

      If, however, they wanna just keep the wages of their victimhood essentially invisible...

      Like I say: Think of the impact of them voluntarily donning and wearing yellow stars.

    • Phil Weiss noted Wikileaks revelation that "In ’06, Lieberman told US ambassador of need to transfer Palestinians from Israel– and US says nothing"

      Is anyone surprised really? That ... we should choke on this gnat while year after year, incident after incident, we swallow camels?

      Read the latest Gideon Levy piece in Haaretz about the casual shootings of Palestinians over the years that resemble nothing so much as that scene in Schindler's List where for fun that commandant would play target practice with his prisoners:

      link to

      Quote: "Data from Yesh Din - Volunteers for Human Rights show that only 8 percent of the investigations that were opened in the dark years of 2002-2009 culminated in an indictment. Only 14 people have been tried and there have been only 173 investigations in the wake of the killing of 5,518 individuals."

      The U.S. knows of this; our embassy collects info on this kind of stuff all the time and monitors these things. That's lots what embassies exist for.

      Same as with what I understand is the officially approved use of torture in Israeli prisons and etc. with Palestinians: Would be hard to blame the Palestinians for thinking that there's not a lot of difference between them and many jews who saw the insides of Hitler's prisons and were at the tender mercies of the Gestapo. j

      I don't mean to take the parallel too far, and indeed think that when it is it can indeed be anti-semitic. But c'mon: All these rather casual shootings? Levy himself called the killers of that one Palestinian hunters of humans.

      Provokes an interesting idea: Why don't the Palestinians start wearing yellow stars?

      Seems to me to make a rather pungent statement if I might be so immodest.

  • The empty pieties of David Grossman
    • HRK wrote:

      "Especially because modern Western gentile intellectuals seem so eager to bash their own European heritage."

      Amazing phenomenon, isn't it? A very interesting, complex story there begging to be explored. And certainly I think your focusing on Christianity with its universalist precepts is a very very smart observation of a huge factor in same.

      Funny too: Whenever I see one of those anti-European bashers who so often (if not invariably) consider themselves Christian bashers too, (and especially Catholic bashers), almost all their moral message seems clearly derivable from nowhere other *than* Christian and especially Catholic precepts.

    • AMERICAN wrote:

      "Maybe I wasn't clear."

      Not to the extent that I just did some erroneous extrapolation of what you had written. But thanks for your further comments anyway; very thoughtful.

      And, I'd still be interested in your opinion of what my final guess was, which is that ethno/racial/cultural/religious tribalism is indeed going to prove more durable in the world than multi-cultural pluralism.

      Yeah or nay?

    • AMERICAN wrote:

      "Not very or at least not without consequences I don’t think."

      Nice to see you're not squirming to leave yourself any wiggle-room there, AMERICAN...


      Seriously though, I take your numerous points in favor of saying that tribalism has its difficulties, and especially the one that today at least, tribal wars tend to be fought with politics instead of knives and guns.

      But how do we know that latter situation isn't just a temporary respite from resuming old history? And lots of your (clearly correct) history about, say, jews in the U.S. (and in the Diaspora generally too I suspect) not being very tribal until lately can be read in two ways, can't it?

      That is ... even *though* any perceived need for tribalism was very very low for a very long time, that even in a society and culture where tribalism was ever-more frowned upon if not basically condemned ... well there it was all the time latently, no? Ready at a moment's notice to be re-awakened in a considerably ferocious state.

      (Not to mention the idea that to at least some extent there was a goodly amount of jewish tribalism going on all along, but that it was just manifested in a non-obvious way given the lack of need and pressures to operate in openly identifiable ways.)

      And then there's that big recent foreign policy piece from I forget who published I forget where saying that while we in the West are in our bubble blathering on about multiculturalism and pluralism and etc., out in the vast-majority rest of the world it's just massively marching along re-organizing itself along ethno/racial/tribal/religious lines. The Balkans, Africa, Asia... Look for instance at the fault lines the Soviet Union fissioned along when it failed.

      Plus it seems to me that while you're right that tribalism does have its problems (the moral/ethical I suppose being the most problematic). But so too does ... ideology, doesn't it? (Meaning here essentially alternatives based on ideas instead of blood or religion.)

      Ideology after all is so ... abstract, theoretical, vague-ish, complicated... And it keeps running into such foundational-eating problems: Okay, that is, communism posits that our loyalties should be towards the dictatorship of the proletariat. But what about when that doesn't quite work economically...? And as to multi-culturalism/pluralism, well what does it command when it looks and says—with good reason and logic—that it has to compensate for past discrimination? Gee, discrimination itself really, no? (I.e., "affirmative action" or etc.)

      And then, as I mentioned in the my first post here, it just seems to me that a system trying to operate on a multi-culti/pluralistic basis might be a very unstable one. As I said before, it can seem one of those systems where all it seems to need to shake it very possibly to bits is one or two constituent parts not playing by its rules, leaving the others feeling that they too have to go tribal to defend or even just represent themselves.

      You know; the old "everyone's at the mercy of a very small denominator" phenomena.

      I dunno, AMERICAN. Obviously our national credo here esp. is that we are this "credal" nation, which is just another name for an "ideological" one that holds that we all should be blind when it comes to race/ethnicity/religion/tribe and etc.

      But that don't mean that this hasn't put us in a bubble of ... unreality in terms of how the rest of the world is going. Indeed it suggests the opposite to a big degree.

      And look even at the troubles the EU is having! And look at the admittedly ever new but still distinct turn in the most important and even the most "liberal" of its states—such as Germany and France and GB—saying that no, damnit, "multiculturalism" has "failed" and new immigrants are going to just have to conform to what's perceived as their national norms.

      Or, to put it another way, look at ... pretty much the entire rest of the West.

      We do live in a bubble here, no doubt. I mean ... the Israelis come here and just don't mention their tribal views other than as they perceive same as necessary. Little or no open talk, that is, of the sort that is said to be common in Israel referring to arabs as "insects" or etc. And the same is true for the arabs: Little or no talk on their part of their textbooks or common public opinions viewing jews as dogs or snakes or etc.

      I dunno, but I sure wouldn't count tribalism out, that's for sure.

    • What's interesting to me is the unabashed strength of identification with judaism that modern western jews have maintained. So much so, as we see with Grossman, that no matter how liberal-minded they are otherwise, in the end, when push comes to shove, no, damnit, they are just not going to join in bashing Israel even for something like Cast Lead. Nor come out and call a spade a spade that the occupation is colonialism and racism. They just can't bring themselves to do that. It would mean breaking with the tribe, even if they know they are hostages to crazy tribal leaders.

      And yet, while it's true that modern Western liberal thinking has embraced "multiculturalism" and has denounced racism, this has been done via especially saying that there's nothing special about European/Western culture or ethnicity that should be hung onto . Esp. in the U.S. If you are of Germanic descent, say, or Slavic of other European stock, sure nobody cares if you get involved in folk dancing from the old country. But otherwise you are not supposed to make any *important* decisions or value judgments or etc. so as to "keep faith" with your fellow-ethnics. Indeed that in and of itself would be called racist usually. No different than any attempt to have any kind of "White People's (political) Party," or etc., urging the membership or following of same based solely on one's race or ethnicity or etc.

      And of course this idea of the ... near total devaluation of ethnicity and etc. has often been most strongly or prominently pushed by liberal jewish figures.

      And yet, as we see with Grossman and so many others, jews have very strongly maintained their sense of ethnic/whatever identification. Very strongly. Very very strongly. Again so strongly that they won't even really absolutely condemn Israel's blatant theft of others' lands and its now decades-old domination over millions, even though they themselves would individually be against it.

      In short they just won't break with their fellow ethnics, no matter what. (And of course one can see that as very admirable; loyalty and all that.) Even as the rest of us are told that it's damn near the epitome of evil to base our decisions or judgments on any such similar criteria. (Or to even let that influence us.)

      A neat trick, but just how sustainable is this I wonder?

      Oddly enough though I don't think the ... "jewish" view of this is going to be the one in trouble anytime soon. One of those situations where ... all it takes is enough sustained perceived ethnic aggression by some, and the rest are essentially at the mercy of that denominator, with enough ultimately viewing themselves as having no choice but to revert to tribalism as a perceived mode of self-defense if nothing else.

  • Pennsylvania congressman censors the criticism of his Israel trip
    • AMERICAN said:

      "Israelis have said a lot worse thing about Arabs as a group."

      An observed apparently minor but actually not all that minor correction here: Israelis and their partisans seem to speak about generally about Arabs (or "Palestinians" or "moslems") as groups *all the time* now. Constantly. So utterly unchallenged in doing so it's unconscious.

      Hate to possibly dilute from one of AMERICAN's typically fine posts, and I don't know if this is just me, but sure as hell does strike that I see this constantly now, with never any comment whatsoever.

      Amazing, really: Israelis and their partisans talking generally about same in the exact same way about those that, if you substituted the word "Israelis" or "jews," well my God you'd just be slaughtered for.

      Can seem minor at first, but then you think: If every time you saw such references made and somebody took the time to point out the hypocrisy of it well what a difference it might make in that further give and take. To me at least, that is, it is indeed the fear people have of being merely *called* an anti-semite that keeps them from joining in the debate, speaking out and etc.

      So maybe not so minor after all: Might be a different national conversation entirely if only there was some equality in the possible language and rhetoric used. Puts both sides in exactly the position they belong in in the eyes of Americans: To be judged equally by the same standards.

      Just think in fact of how revolutionary it sounds when put in practice: For every reference to "the arabs" there was one for "the jews"...

      Obviously some—many—such references would be invalid or just downright bad. But it's no more invalid or bad when such references are used with one group than it is when used with another and that I think is a big point.

  • Hen of the woods?
    • "Does it matter if it was growing on the ground?"

      And here I get to defer to tree's obvious far greater scientific understanding of these things than my own. The only thing he said that urges a comment from me is that I at least never heard of any distinction made between a "true" sulphur and ... for want of a better word ... a "less true" one. Since the term is obviously a colloquialism, taking off from a common color, who after all decides what's true?

      (And my Audubon Field Guide doesn't seem to discriminate either really, seemingly putting all of 'em under the rubric of "chicken mushroom.")

      No big deal though, and this isn't to deny that with some species their sub-species can indeed be important: Heading down a logging road once towards a little trout stream I ran across an entire little hillside literally covered with a variety of what are called "false" morels. (Very different looking from what, colloquially, are generally called morels.) In any event though I mean ... basketfuls upon basketfuls.

      Well, they *looked* like Audubon's "Thick-Stalked False Morels" which are choice, but they also kinda looked like "Conifer False Morels," which, it is said, "develops a compound similar to one used in the manufacture of rocket fuel."

      I forbore to test...

    • "i like baby steps. in tree identification too…. otherwise its overwhelming…"

      Yeah, and I'm one who needs the baby steps on trees yet despite bunging around in the outdoors for forty years now.

      Sounds like a promising old farm area where you found this beauty; if it was close and I were you I'd hike around it a time or two a week until late Fall: You now know it's amenable to sulphurs, and again given its old-farm situation and oaks, you very well might find some hens-of-the-woods which will blow you away. Plus I've found puffballs tend to like the same area these others do too. If successful, from there, you'll be browsing that woods again year after year until you die. (Or, more likely, until they put up a parking lot over it as that singer said.)

      (And despite his excessive modesty I'd second "tree's" suggested experiment: You just never know. There's more than one reason mushrooms can seem magic; you never know where they'll grow—sulphurs have been known to sprout from rotting decks—or when they'll grow ... they can appear and disappear overnight and etc. Lots of fun.)

      One add'l thing about sulphurs: Their choiceness depends heavily on their age. Just a bit too long and the big shelves on them can get a bit tough, although the outer less orange rim is still tender being the newest growth.

      Of course we're always talking "cooked" here: One should never eat a mushroom raw I don't think, and even with absolutely clear edibles people unused to them should eat modest amounts of same at first; they won't be dangerous to them but some people's digestive systems just disagree with any too much.

      Anyway ... just can't get over that pic, Phil: It's just a beauty of a specimen even aside from its gastronomic potential, isn't it? Like nature showing off what it can do.

    • "And so the piece of decayed oak that it’s on, which is only a twig 1-1/2 inches in diameter, I want to put that back?"

      Well, I would certainly think that with the sheer size of the fruiting body you got almost certainly the vegetative part of the organism (its "mycelium," which looks like a mass of threads) would have to be way more extensive to produce same than just residing in that teeny twig.

      Thus, I'd bet the mycelium has at least well infiltrated into the decaying-oak infused ground there and likewise very probably if not even more likely deeper into some substantial buried part of the old oak; into a root, say, or into a substantial buried limb of the oak or etc.

      Ergo, I wouldn't be worried about putting that twig back if it's any pain. On the other hand, if it's handy close, sure, lightly bury it back around the same area against some soft/rotten part of that old oak: can't hurt, and you might start a separate colony which in some future year sprouts its own fruiting body/mushroom.

      For what it's worth you might be interested in a neat little book for newbie mushroom hunters called "Start Mushrooming" by Tekiela and Shanberg from Adventure Publications: P.O. Box 269, Cambridge, MN., 55008. (1-800-678-7006)

      Just deals with what I think are clearly the six most popular edible mushrooms—most of them being very choice ones too—making it easy to avoid any danger: The typical morel, the oyster, the shaggy mane, the sulfur shelf, the giant puffball, and the hen-of-the-woods. Also has some recipes and etc.

      You being a hiker/nature guy one great thing about mushrooming is that it gives you a great excuse to go rambling around the woods and etc. looking: Morels and sulphurs in Spring, puffballs and hens and oysters and sulphurs in the Fall, and etc.

      Pretty soon you'll get a sense of when and what habitat to look for: My "secret" for sulphurs somewhat but esp. hens is to try to find old farmsteads around or near mature oak woods where they had cows years ago at least. For some reason (the manure no doubt), they seem to like same, starting in early Sept. here (upper Midwest) and going well into October. (And you get a big hen and it'll make that sulphur you got seem tiny: They can get to 20 lbs. and more.) Fun to look for too, rambling from base of oak to base of oak, always keeping an eye out too for that orange of a sulphur or (usually higher up) the shelves of an oyster mushroom too.

      Bring a bird book and a pair of binocs and on a nice day it can put the world in perspective. (And a packsack for those big hens!)

      Spring morels are also fun, if a distraction from trout fishing, but life can be hard...

    • With mushrooms of course one should never absolutely guarantee anything, but, to put it mildly, I'd harvest and eat the one in the pic in a NY second so long as it was clear it was not growing on a Eucalyptus tree whose oils can make 'em nasty. Otherwise to me the one in the pic is an absolutely classic classic sulphur, and a beauty to boot. Really nothing else like 'em to worry about so far as I know, and I've been a mushroomer for a long time, got numbers of books on 'em and etc.

      Sulphurs are also known as a "chicken of the woods" mushrooms rather than the "hens of the woods." Hens are quite different, with the Japanese name for same being "maitake" mushrooms and being so named because their lobes supposedly make 'em look like a fluffed-up chicken. They too are great, and can get quite big, typically growing at the base of old oaks too; favoring 'em even morseso than the sulphurs.

      The reason sulphurs are known as "chicken of the woods" mushrooms is because to some people they supposedly taste or even smell a bit like same, although I've never found them so. May depend on what kind of wood they are feeding on. Regardless, they are delicious. Absolutely choice, with a fantastic texture, and the one in the pic looks at the height of freshness. Will turn whiteish as it ages, and far less tasty, if at all.

      Sulphurs are kind of an odd mushroom in that unlike most others (or at least most other edibles) it will fruit like in the pic anywhere from Spring to Fall. Nice thing about them, once you've found one (and harvested it—no problem there) at some point next year (likely about the same time) at the same spot on the same tree/log or etc. you're *very* likely to find another, and so on until it the buried fungus uses up all the nutrients in same. With a big dead oak, that can be years and years of absolutely gourmet eating of the fruiting body, which of course is what we call the mushroom.

      Tell anyone you want exactly where and when you found it, Phil, but after you taste it you're then gonna have to kill 'em.

  • Islamophobia has deep roots in our pathologies: Americanism, KKK, and supine media
    • "I am always reminded of Anne Coulter who..."

      That's a great observation, but even then the kind of vitriol she and her like-minded friends put out can't hold a candle to the intellectual (and indeed often direct familial) heirs of the neo-cons. Like I noted, good old Hofstader formally joined the CP right when good old Joe S. was stomping people into the dust in the Gulag and starving people into eating their children in the Ukraine ... and of course was as deadly an enemy of this country as could be imagined.

      No problemo for Hofstader though apparently; only when old Joe made a little nice with Hitler did he bolt the Party.

      And the intellectual and other heirs of the modern neo-cons were often Trotskyists too, even more of a fanatic hater than old Stalin.

      Again, inevitably I suspect as America wakes up at least a bit from this orgy of arab hatred that we were cheered into and as sober analysts start noting the racism involved in same those having done the cheering are going to eventually be twisting and turning every which way to disavow that they were behind it, but nobody should be fooled. The kind of deep hatred that they've whooped up about the arabs and muslims just was not seen in this country before, period, for the simple reason there was no need to as we had such limited conflict with them before and they were so remote.

      And their other crime is utterly reversing the positive *admiration* the arabs had for us in general before due to us ... then ... being anti-colonialists in their domain.

      Thus, once again, the neo-cons care for this country shows through in what one knows must be their vast happiness that so many arabs and moslems have now turned to hating us. Doesn't matter a fig to the neo-cons, because quite simply this country doesn't matter a fig to them other than as a source of plunderable resources, both human and financial.

      If *anything* is gonna save us then, it's gonna be our patriotism, or, so as disguise their hatred of it but inability to just come out and say it, our "Americanism."

    • "Jack Ross at Right Web has a fine piece on the extent to which the widespread hatred of Islam has been fed by an ideology of "Americanism"...

      I think Ross' piece is baloney, and I smell a great big rat in what he writes. An absolving-attempt rat.

      In the first place what's the difference between the natural degree of patriotism that people have for their country and the "ideology" here of "Americanism"?

      Funny you never see anybody slamming the Swiss for their "Swissism."

      Of *course* though we've always had our extreme nationalists: Who *hasn't*? And yet gee, when, some *other* extreme nationalists have come around, like, say, Ho Chi Minh, or Castro ... oh my Lord did the Left and the Progressives ever just love his great patriotic devotion ... to *his* country.

      Perfectly alright for foreigners apparently; just not okay for Americans. When it's the latter ... cue ominous music ... it's "Americanism" dum dum....

      And gee, who does Ross cite here above all? Why, it's Richard Hofstader. The self-identified jewish former communist-party member (when Stalin was in charge!), famous for saying " "I hate capitalism and everything that goes with it." And indeed he never stopped hating the country that is so identified with same, despite liking living here well enough and never quite finding the ability to escape this hell and move to live with Uncle Joe or in Israel. Just trapped here I guess, poor soul. And what a surprise then that his "scholarship" was devoted to ... pouring shit all over this country.

      And now along comes Ross citing Hofstader ... essentially absolving ... who else? ... the neo-cons for ginning up the anti-arabism and anti-islamism we see today.

      Goodness golly, what surprise.

      Sure, some small but loud tidbits of the anti-arabism and etc. that we see here today do come from the fever swamps of ultra-nationalism and fundamentalist religion, but before the neo-cons got going with it and with "Islamophobia" even those folks just regarded arabs and moslems as they had always rather naturally been regarded here: Somewhat exotic, no different than Tibetans ... simply because there were so few of them here.

      No different than if you go to remote parts of China today the locals will gather 'round you and marvel at your exoticness (and indeed will remark upon how ugly you appear to them.)

      Nothing uniquely "American" about this kind of thing at all. Not to say it's pretty, and it certainly isn't often enough, but there's nothing wrong with patriotism done right.

      So how lovely now for the neo-cons that Ross comes around with his new spin: "Ah," the neo-cons can now say, "yeah of course it was we who whipped up this stuff for Israel, but of course it's ugly, especially for us who supposedly are so much against racism and anti-semitism, so what a joy to now be able to shuffle it off on the American Christian rubes we've always hated. Just like we can pretend it wasn't *us* who got us into Iraq, or that 9/11 had nothing to do with Israel..."

      It was the neo-cons, pure and simple, who pioneered the *clearly* new strains of anti-arabism and anti-moslemism that we see here today. And just like they will blame "paranoid Americanism" on honest peoples' desire to, say, see the right thing done over the USS Liberty, or on people's critical reaction to seeing Barney Frank now shilling for Jonathan Pollard, they are gonna try to escape this "Islamophobia" responsibility now too.

      Like Washington said, that excessive devotion to a foreign power can do strange strange things: Make patriots into scoundrels even and vice-versa.

  • Pamela Geller slanders the Utoya victims (elitist anti-Semites, Hitler youth, oh and race-mixers)
    • While I don't think Geller can be held "responsible" in any meaningful way for what that nutball did, her reaction here precisely parallels something I've seen before when the subject comes up of the horrors carried out by the Bolsheviks, including even the Holomodor, and the greatly disproportionate number of jews involved in perpetrating same: "Well, " the reaction goes that I've seen any number of times, "those russian and slavic peasants were anti-semitic to the bone, so..."

      Not that this is anything exclusive to politicized jewry, but just shows how ideology can blind even to the worst of things.

  • Thinktank backed by Bronfman and Saban promotes claim that Muslims will force Jews from Europe and rape uncovered women
    • Phil Weiss wrote:

      "I'd remind you that this is the Foundation that ... wants war with Iran and has been backed by leading conservative figures in the Jewish community, including Haim Saban, Bernard Marcus (of Home Depot), Charles and Edgar Bronfman, and Michael Steinhardt..."

      While more of a libertarian than a conservative, I'd still take issue with calling these guys "conservative." Either in terms of what conservatism has traditionally meant as opposed to what the neo-cons say it now means, or indeed in any terms whatsoever very possibly.

  • The Larry David peace plan
    • Amazing. How can people ignore the fact that in this episode the filth he pours over the arabs there ... turns out to be justified. Shara *does* hate jews, as well, just coincidentally, as an unprincipled slut via sleeping with David. (*Precisely* echoing the calls of female settlers even in places like Hebron when they routinely go assaulting arab women in the streets or even their houses, calling them sluts and whores while they and their children either try to walk on or cower with fear in their homes.)

      And yet whats the absolute *worse* thing David might be saying about jews? Oh ho ho ho, maybe ... just maybe ... they are too quick to perceive anti-semitism.

      Gee, how ... even-handed, Larry.

      Laugh laugh laugh. Except, as Phil notes in another thread, that charge today is hardly a laughing matter. Go ask Phil Sanchez or Helen Thomas.

      And even then, once again, what evidence is there *really* that David meant to rib jews about over-sensitivity? Once again, his screed against arabs turned out to be *true* with Shara, didn't it?

      Now try going and deconstructing that ... "Professor ... and coordinator of African and African Diaspora Studies at Kennesaw State University." I wait with bated breath for the day when you'll defend a skit, say, where some white person walks into a black establishment, says the most vile, racist stereotyped thing about them all, and then concludes by showing one of those black individuals precisely fitting that stereotype.

      Like someone once said, there's some things so obvious it's only "professional intellectuals" that could fail to grasp same.

  • Geller and Spencer's work actually shaped Breivik's ideas, Walt explains
    • An interesting aspect of this Norwegian horror story that seems overlooked is that this Breivik guy seems to have been a regular user of some powerful drugs.

      One story that I saw said that he was using a powerful "anabolic steroid called stanozolol, combined with an amphetamine-like drug called ephedrine, plus caffeine to make the mixture really fizz."

      And then there's this from his "Manifesto" which really makes me doubt any real political thought behind his actions:

      "I can’t possibly imagine how my state of mind will be during the time of the operation, though. It will be during a steroid cycle and on top of that; during an ephedrine rush, which will increase my aggressiveness, physical performance and mental focus with at least 50-60 per cent but possibly up to 100 per cent. In addition, I will put my iPod on max volume as a tool to suppress fear if needed. I might just put Lux Aeterna by Clint Mansell on repeat as it is an incredibly powerful song. The combination of these factors (when added on top of intense training, simulation, superior armour and weaponry) basically turns you into an extremely focused and deadly force, a one-man-army."

      Plus I've now read that the guy is demanding that he be made chief of the Norwegian armed forces.

      As I said in an earlier post of mine, I don't think this guy was really created by any political talk; same was just a plinth around which his nuttiness gathered. It could just as easily, it seems to me, have gone in the exact opposite alleged-political direction.

    • Hi again justice:

      Well okay, I understand that the "simple cause and effect chain" isn't being argued, and that no "direct" responsibility is be argued against Geller/et. al. for this nut's behavior and instead only ... *some* sort of "responsibility"instead. (For "shaping [the nut's] ideas" as Phil so concisely puts it.)

      But in the first place even if so ... what does *any* kind of "responsibility" even *mean* unless one is willing to sanction those shirking that responsibility?

      Thus: Would you really criminalize Geller's words? Or even, say, allow this nut's victims to successfully sue Geller civilly for damages? And thus risk ... you and I here for instance to also be prosecuted and/or sued by the victims of some nut whose views were "shaped" by what we have written?

      And isn't the entire idea of "responsibility" just meaningless unless without sanctions? For instance, what would we call a law against speeding on a certain stretch of road ... that we likewise agreed should carry no penalty whatsoever?

      Again, not to say that *no* kinds of pure, clear, direct verbal incitement to violence (maybe event such talk that incites no-one) shouldn't be punishable, but just as it's ridiculous to hold it against someone for ... almost breaking the law (for obvious reasons), we shouldn't be talking about holding people "responsible" for not crossing the line into that pure, clear and direct incitement.

      It's cautionary, for sure, for all of us, but nothing more I don't think.

      Secondly and again I just very much don't think this was really politically motivated as such. Doesn't make sense. Why not kill a bunch of muslims? And this nut was not just citing Geller, but William Lind too, and was copying the Unabomber's manifesto too, right?

      Once more I think people here and others trying to nail Geller et. al. are just studiously avoiding the argument that of course they *too* are *trying* to "shape" people's ideas. And of course *especially* here there's lots and lots of rather thundering condemnations of Israelis, partisan jews, and even worse one might say against the Israeli settlers. But we would be outraged if anyone wanted to punish or even condemn the commentators here for merely having "shaped" to some degree the world view of another who—all on their own—decided that no peaceful means could see that world view succeed and so crossed the line into violence.

      It's that ... "line of violence" then it seems to me to be crucial. Drawing distinctions, after all, is at the heart of moral thought. So short of that line, I at least think, it's just incoherent to talk about punishing someone for ... almost breaking the law.

      Incoherent ... and dangerous. "Be careful of what you wish for" goes the old saw, right? So today some might say "damn right prosecute and/or sue Geller," only to find that tomorrow they themselves are the ones getting prosecuted and/or sued.

      As always though nice hearing your perspective, justice.

    • justicewillprevail wrote:

      "Your attempt to hang your theory on these events is less credible than Walt's."

      Well that's a smart way of putting things for sure, justice, and has caused me to consider that ... okay, neither I nor Zathras is really saying Walt was "wrong" in what he said, but I think that's because what he says is in the final analysis pretty weak tea.

      Look at Walt's summation of his "theory":

      "Geller, Spencer, and their ilk are not responsible for his specific decisions and actions, of course, but they do bear some responsibility for creating and promoting a vision of cultural conflict that makes such extreme responses more likely."

      So okay, I'd ask you, as a regular reader here I think I have a rough recall and sense of what your general take has been on the ME conflict. (Invariably smart if indeed I recall right, and certainly not notably nuts.)

      But ... if some nut cold-bloodedly went out and started murdering West Bank settler kids and it turned out he read everything you've ever written here, don't you think in the same vein someone could find at least *something* you wrote that ... "creat[ed] and promot[ed] a vision of cultural conflict that [made] such [an] extreme response[] more likely"?

      Very probably yes, I suspect the answer is (without even going and trying to resurrect what you've written in the past) ... simply because I suspect we *all* probably have.

      Why? Because there's nuts out there, who latch onto things because ... in many instances, they are subconsciously *looking* to latch onto something to justify their impulses.

      But ... THEY ARE NUTS, and I think that's the big Magilla here that people keep conveniently pretending doesn't exist.

      As Zathras said—plus noting that this nut wasn't even killing arab or moslem kids—this guy obviously had a Jones for just simply trapping and then gunning down loads of kids and he had thought long and hard about the best opportunity to do so. Or in other words, he just simply was a nut.

      And I don't think that anything anyone writes ought to be dinged because of what some nut has fixed on. There are no doubt nuts who went nuts after reading some math textbook. So before any future math guy writes another book does he have to research this knowing that at least *some* math talk "creates and promotes a vision that makes such extreme responses more likely"?

      Nah.... Just can't be I don't think.

      Not to dispute but that *some* writers *can* indeed bear great responsibility for prompting great evil, but the evidence here just doesn't come close to explaining this particular situation I don't think. No way, I doubt, is the evidence going to come out showing that he was otherwise a stable, reasonable guy who followed some line of logic to do what he did. Instead, I'd bet, his nuttiness simply grabbed onto something floating by. The same way Jack the Ripper ripped for reasons other than because he hated the laxness of Britain's anti-prostitution laws.

    • Phil Weiss wrote:

      "Steve Walt deals with [the question of Breivik's motivations and etc.] in a great post..."

      No, actually it was surprisingly weak for Walt to do what so many others do with similar stuff and try to perceive some big meaning, conveniently in line with his other beliefs, into this kind of thing.

      In fact he best comment about this whole thing and indeed this kind of phenomenon actually came from a commentator on Walt's site named Zathras which is so great I'll just reproduce it here:

      "I wish some people would learn to look out the window or go for a walk before using some events in the news as a hook for the expression of beliefs they held anyway.

      We all do it, those of us who write about public affairs for a living or as a hobby. It's not always a bad practice, or a harmful practice. All I'm saying is we should use some common sense. This Breivik person went to a place he knew had many children and no security, and spent well over an hour hunting down children with automatic weapons. His were the acts of a monster.

      What I understand from news reports to be this man's political ideology doesn't commend itself to me in any way, but ideology can serve as a pretext for morally despicable acts as easily as it can be a reason for them. This man clearly spent a great deal of time and effort thinking of a way to justify slaughtering children. If he hadn't come up with his goofy idea of being a modern Knight Templar, he'd have come up with something else.

      We don't tie ourselves into intellectual knots worrying what Jack the Ripper means for our tolerance of prostitution. He doesn't mean anything. This is no different."

  • Curb your racism
    • Here's the thing:

      If it wasn't intended as a satirical take on jews then of course it was simply in keeping with the extraordinary double standard we now see all that time that holds that one is just about read out of the human race if you stereotype a jewish individual based on their jewishness—about almost anything possible, no matter how light a matter ... but that doing so about "arabs" or "muslims" generally—about them all being genociadaire wanna-be's at best even—is just perfectly hunky-dory. (And indeed is an absolute staple of everyday mainstream foreign-policy analysis here.)

      But if it *was* intended as a satirical take on U.S. jews it then reflects the extraordinary assertion that while others having vicious racist views is appalling at best but more typically the vilest of vile, that when jews have them ... well, at worst it's just funny. Ha ha ha, we are supposed to go.

      And no, it's not "over-egging the pudding" to take this too seriously, not at a time when being branded an "anti-semite"—almost no matter how lightly or ridiculously done, such as with Charles Freeman, say, or Walt or Mearsheimer—is so serious an affair not only costing such people jobs and even entire careers, but very possibly costing us wars with arabs and moslems too via excluding such people from our government and keeping similarly-minded others cowed into silence.

      And then of course there's just simply the crystal-clear sense of smug superiority behind it all: "Ha ha ha, isn't it funny that when you do something we don't like we can make it socially and even professionally lethal, but when we do the same even worse ... we can make sitcoms about it."

    • EmmaZunz wrote:

      "It's actually a smart comment on the Jewish mentality."

      Let's assume you're right, Emma. I know in a couple of Woody Allen movies he was doing what you're saying, although it was much broader then in its obvious irony. Assuming your right however makes it even worse in a way, doesn't it?

      I mean ... in the first place one still can't imagine something making it onto the air with a couple of gentiles sitting in a jewish deli commenting that all jews are just out to suck their money from them, or destroy their culture or etc., right? Inconceivable. (Esp. and even, say, having any Palestinians sitting in that deli saying how jews don't even recognize their right to exist, which is closer to the mark than David's comment.)

      But then in the second place ... okay, so Larry David and Woody Allen are making inside jokes to fellow jews about how paranoid jews are, confident that the vast majority will get the joke. Well then, where is Larry David and Woody Allen and all these other "inside" jews who get the truth of the joke when it comes to defending people—like, say, Phil Weiss with this DailyKoss business—against these ridiculous charges of anti-semitism that are slung about so freely these days?

      Or springing to the defense of Walt or Mearsheimer?

      After all, if as you say it's just common inside knowledge that there's a ridiculous hyper-sensitivity among some jews (like the characters Woody and Larry are playing), all they do is sit back and let people get horribly smeared wrongly by such characters?

      I guess *that* must be part of the inside joke too, huh? No matter how clearly untrue, unjust or disgusting, never side with anyone called an anti-semite.

      Ha ha ha. What a belly-slapper...

  • 'JPost' does 'on the one hand/on the other hand' with Norway massacre!
    • Phil Weiss wrote of the J-Post's

      "... [f]rightening editorial ... which wants to remind us that you can't live with Muslims."

      Well you can't, can you? Not even the one's you keep on the lowest rung of the socio-economic totem-pole like ... those muslim grocery baggers. Before you know it the sneaky little beggars will steal your women!

      Merely boycott the store? Hell, in situations such as these, says my rabbi, "You need a whip to teach [it] a lesson..."

      link to

      Helluva problem though: There *is* Shabbat and there *are* lowly jobs that us jews of course shouldn't be doing so that, as Rabbi Yosef has said, we need "goyim ... donkeys" so we can "sit like an effendi and eat," but it *is* a constant struggle to keep 'em from rubbing shoulders with us and stealing our women.

      link to

      Robots. That's the answer; robots. An crash Israeli program to develop sufficient robots. Kind of like a ... Manhattan Project, except more important. We'll call it ... "the Brooklyn Project." Once successful I expect Hashem to take care of those pesky gentiles. After all, as the Rabbi has said "“[g]oyim were born only to serve us."

      (Including funding the Project!)

      Although ... what about all those bucks we get from all those American goyim otherwise too? And that nasty business of us needing those goyim organs from time to time?

      Damnit... I guess old Ham will have to keep *some* of 'em around *somewhere* at least...

  • 'J Street' official takes care not to mention 'occupation' till after the speech
    • Phil wrote:

      "An appeal that rests inside the Jewish community will be spavined by the fears and conservatism of that community."

      Well, overlooking the brilliance of how this is put (I don't think Phil realizes what a great writer he is), I wonder if it's too kind.

      Is it really "fears and conservatism" that is? Or is the fundamental, bottom-line explanation for all of of what we're seeing really just a deep and absolutely unquestioned belief in jewish superiority?

  • Message to Marty
    • Well clearly given the general phrasing of his Address he was warning against a general policy of permanent alliances with other countries or even just too close a relationship, but also he warned against working up any undying enmity towards any foreign nation too.

      There's little doubt that this general talk though was spawned by the goings-on during his term in office and even before. The Brits and the French were, as usual, at each other's throats (esp. with the French Revolutionary Wars) and the French esp. had worked here very hard to whoop up pro-French sentiment. In fact the French ambassador (Genet) had been organizing Americans to go a raiding on Brit ships and etc. Plus of course you then had the leftover anger in many parts against the Brits from our own Revolutionary War, and this led even to such pro-French sentiment that some of the holders of same started attacking Washington himself which was very outre indeed given how he was regarded. But they had some logic on their side since, not long after our Revolution we had in fact entered into a formal treaty of alliance with France.

      Nevertheless a good deal of time had passed, the French were seen as clearly trying to drag us into war with the Brits and going overboard (Genet was even harshly reprimanded for this by Jefferson even as Sec. of State, but who wasn't Washington's great ally), and the neutrality sentiment eventually provoked Washington into declaring formal neutrality and indeed I think an actual Neutrality Act was passed.

      Eventually in fact the U.S. passed a Neutrality Act formally.

      Having thus really won on the specifics of the situation it's clear in his Farewell Address Washington was not just referring to the remaining heat the still stirred about the French and Brits and our stance but was looking and advising forward.

      One thing that's particularly repulsive to me: When you read the Address and indeed the sentiments of damn near all the Founders and early Presidents and thinkers in this country it's clear that calling someone like, say, Pat Buchanan an "isolationist" is just laughable. Compared to how the Founders and etc. felt, man, such people are positive meddlers still.

      And yet, so often, who are these folks calling people like Buchanan "isolationists" or "appeasers"? So often it's people who either are "out" in terms of having dual citizenship, or others with obvious extreme partisan feelings towards or against other countries. Many times for obvious reasons such as ethnic ties. (And often financial ties too.)

      And yet it seems, despite even such East Coast old-line people like George Ball having warned against an overly "passionate attachment" for Israel, no, what we see in the Big Media when the charge of "isolationist" is made against a guy like Buchanan or Ron Paul or etc. is just repeating the charge and then silence. No matter how loudly and clearly they invoke Washington, it's like "gee, sorry," the media says, "we couldn't possibly point that out; it might make people *mad* after all at those manipulating us..."

      It's just f'ing disgusting oftentimes. Just as Washington in his wisdom foresaw in his address where he noted that such "passionate attachments" can even lead to the situation where true patriots become seen as treacherous, and the treacherous proclaim themselves patriots.

      In my opinion ought to be an object lesson of sorts for the New Left who I think laid the groundwork for exactly that which is what we are now seeing. By ridiculing patriotism in such an unrestrained way (with the unrestrained part being all I'm talking about) look what we have: People who at any other time and still in any other place really would indeed be called traitors or acting treacherously towards the U.S.

      And yet ... not a freaking word of this kind of sentiment ever makes it out of Big Media's mouth, does it? Not a freaking word. Despite it's clear applicability in at least some instances.

      Nuts, I doubt you can even find those words much applied in the Big Media to Jonathan Pollard even much less as applied to any others. It's like ... "What an archaic thing for someone to actually expect citizens of the U.S. to be loyal to this country."

      And of course the hypocrisy is just in your face since right alongside that sentiment is their tacit approval of such people like Pollard and etc. being loyal to *another* country.

      Disgusting all 'round.

    • "Marty Peretz is back on his soapbox again positing hostility towards Israel is 'fashionable' for 'chic progressives.'"

      And alls I gotta say in light of Marty loving such hostility towards the U.S. back in the Sixties and Seventies is...

      "How's it feel, Marty old boy? If you didn't positively love politics as fashion back then the worst you thought of it was that it was still worth a chuckle. Well, Marty, fashions change. Shoulda thought about that, huh? You know, the kind of thing a *serious* professor and thinker would have been doing instead of partying with the fashionable at the Hamptons like you were."


  • Thinktank that promoted war w/ Iraq (& now Iran) was funded by Steinhardt, Saban, Bronfman, Feith and Marcus (of Home Depot)
    • Seems to me presumptuous—and in fact probably wrong—to now think we *really* "know" who funded that thinktank.

      Pretty damned dumb of Israel not to just be using people like Saban and etc. to funnel money through to places like this, and indeed not the kind of trick it misses I don't think. Esp. the delicious aspect of Israel essentially funneling our *own* money back into these kinds of things given the monstrous amount of dough we ship to Tel Aviv every year.

      No different than the possible delusion involving the suspiciously high relative number of jewish billionaires and etc., so many of whom do seem so oddly devoted to blind support of Israel. Yeah, that is, without thinking about it, one probably just accepts that hey, these guys are just brilliant at making money.

      But then you think ... hey, if *I* were Israel you damned right I'd be on the lookout for smart guys abroad absolutely devoted to me, and help them *become* powerful as hell in all different ways I could. Underwrite their ventures, help 'em defeat their competitors, help 'em get whatever special considerations I could, and etc., etc., ad infinitum. (Plus, once you've helped 'em, you got 'em by the balls too in any number of big ways.)

      For instance, I've heard that Saban somehow got what amounts to an exclusive deal from the Chinese gov't to run some gambling on Macao. Now ... gee, just how the hell does that happen?

      And look at the incredible stats with re: those Russian "oligarchs" that sprang up. Really it's just ... coincidence or jewish business genius that of only 10 of 'em or so 7 or 8 were jewish? *That* much coincidence or genius? *That* much coincidence given what seems the clear truth that to even *begin* to do any moderate-size business after the fall of the Sov. Union it took lots and lots of big, continued bribes to accomplish same. So how is is that of the 10 or so with the big enough dough to do that 7 or 8 just happened to be jewish?

      Possible I guess, but...

  • Turkish Jews say that when Israel does bad stuff, they get blamed as 'Israelites'
    • hophmi wrote:

      "It's funny that..."

      No, you know what's funny, hophmi? Seeing AIPAC getting in the crosshairs (finally) of the FBI and then seeing so many American jewish personalities and jewish organizations gin up as much antagonism as possible towards the U.S. government prosecuting or doing anything further.

      Just like it's funny seeing all the American jewish personalities and organizations plumping for releasing Jonathan Pollard. (Albeit quietly.)

      Just like it's funny now seeing reported in Haaretz that some Hollywood guy was actually an Israeli agent who helped steal nuke tech from the U.S., and when he got in trouble due to our laws he then got Shimon Peres to "help" dealing with our government so that his loyalty-free-to-the-U.S. ass didn't end up in prison.

      (See link to

      Funny funny funny.

      Just like it's gonna be funny in the wake of this revelation that probably nobody but nobody in the jewish community in the U.S. is gonna condemn this guy, who in fact is probably gonna be celebrated for it.

      Just like it's funny how—rightfully—we are told it is wrong to impute to all jews the disloyal actions of just a few, (and indeed not just wrong but, my God, a beyond-mortal sin!), but that when it comes even to American jews much less Israeli ones they can somehow go around *all the time* talking trash about "arabs" generally all the time.

      *All* the damned time. Openly. Freely. Happily.

      Funny funny funny; you betcha. It's all just so funny 'cause apparently the joke's just on us goyim.

  • Will abstracted, isolated Obama be prey to neoconservative policy elite re Iran attack?
    • From Haaretz's print edition:

      "Last week, acting on orders from the government, the Civil Administration declared 189 dunams of land belonging to the Palestinian village of Karyut to be state land, so as to retroactively legalize houses and a road in the Hayovel neighborhood of the settlement of Eli. This would seem to violate Israel's long-standing commitment to the United States not to expropriate Palestinian lands for settlement expansion...

      In his speech at Bar-Ilan University in 2009, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, 'We have no intention to build new settlements or set aside land for new settlements. But there is a need to have people live normal lives and let mothers and fathers raise their children like everyone in the world.'"

      link to

      You just watch Obama go crazy now though and whack Israel or Bibi.
      Any second now.
      Just waiting...

    • Phil Weiss wrote:

      "So no wonder Netanyahu cleaned his clock, and why 'the neoconservative policy elite' is able to muscle Obama."

      Don't think it's that elite really. As I posted in another thread, per Zev Chafets and a "Democrat insider privy to unreleased research" it seems now that jews contribute about 80% of the individual contribs. to the Dem Party.

      link to

      Seems to resonate more with what we've seen of Obama. You wouldn't think even the "elites" would be able to make Obama grovel and eat excrement they way he has after he first has gone and said such things as he did in Cairo. But if the whole Party comes to him after same and tells him if he doesn't they could lose up to 80% of their blood, well...

  • Eric Alterman on his dual loyalty and the U.S. pressuring Palestinians to accept 'their historic position'
    • That's an interesting question, but a logically prior one is whether they are really liberal on any issues that actually *matter* to them.

      How much, say, does what I suspect is Alterman's self-proclaimed abhorrence of racism really matter to him when, regardless of what he says about perceived instances of it in the U.S., he seems not to notice it on flamboyant display in Israel? (Or at least certainly doesn't see it as very important no matter its virulence.)

      Or what about "nativism" and what I suspect is his "liberality" on the issue of how the U.S. should treat illegal immigrants and its borders, when he doesn't seem to have any problem with the jewish-only "right of return"?

      And on and on and on.

      In short, when you feel that somewhere else is where your heart really is, well, who the hell cares what positions you take about elsewhere? You don't really have to "believe" in them. Or, even worse, when you feel there's somewhere else where your heart really is *and* it's a place you can always flee to if the conditions in the place where you are goes South so you only have to rub shoulders with your own tribe members.

      Indeed I think it's even worse than that sometimes too: As Israel Shahak has written (and I think Phil has noted too) there is in some Diaspora jewish circles even a strain of positive hatred of western "Christian" countries and their populations. So why the hell *not* advocate policies that are toxic to their interests? Not that you really "believe" in them for yourself or your own chosen people of course, where indeed you find them absolutely repugnant.

    • Eric Alterman said:

      "I am a dual loyal Jew and sometimes I'm going to actually go with Israel, because the United States can take an awful lot of hits and come up standing. "

      And ...

      "The only people who can deliver peace, who can deliver a state to the Palestinians is the Israeli public..."

      Ah, how comforting to the American families whose sons and daughters have taken some of those "hits" in Iraq and Afghanistan and elsewhere and have died, been maimed, had their emotional lives wrecked and etc.

      And same with the families of those killed in the 9/11 attacks: "Sure sure, your loved ones had their throats cuts on planes or were incinerated or crushed in large if not exclusive measure due to America's blind support of Israel, but of course the only people who *matter* are "the Israeli public."

      Must be just a helluva dose of moral arrogance given during those ZOA trips to Israel: Gotta love Alterman's unspoken implication that it's *he* that decides just what "hits" America can and can't take.

      While candid at least, still, wasn't it Nixon who talked about such things as "modified, limited hangouts"?

      I.e., "okay" one feels to ask Alterman next, "given your willingness to sacrifice the interests of Americans for someone else's benefit, why in the world would it be wrong for America and Americans to treat you as anything but—at best—a potential traitor?"

  • Strauss-Kahn. Israel every morning
    • Very interesting: Greece, traditionally cool towards Israel, suddenly and while in the throes of needing vast economic help, goes all out to stop that flotilla to Gaza.

      And now we have a quote from the former head of the entire IMF saying gee, what's first on his mind every morning is helping his people in the big I.

      And this from a *European* no less, where the idea of jews having great devotion to Israel is far more sensitive than in the U.S.

  • Why this fund drive is important for us
    • Phil Weiss wrote:

      "For we continue to believe that the Israel/Palestine issue is at the crux of international justice questions and at the crux of our country's lost way in the Middle East."

      Well, what's at the "crux of our country's lost way in the Middle East" then?

      While off-topic, a new data point: Frequently cited on this site is the idea that jewish donors contribute "60%" or so of the indiv. donations to Democratic Party coffers. Seems to most often come from a Wash. Post article.

      Wrong apparently. Per Zev Chafets "The actual stat, according to a Democratic insider privy to unreleased research, puts the figure closer to 80 percent."


      link to

  • 'LA Times' fails to state that 'law prof' writing that Gaza siege is legit is ex-IDF Lawyer
    • Political correctness, plain and simple.

      Can't identify even a commentator's citizenship status: No no no; that would be McCarthyite.

      And it follows from there that you also can't identify even their past activities that peg them as probably or almost certainly having foreign or dual citizenship.

      Just like you shouldn't talk about Rahm Immanuel's service for the IDF for fear that someone might talk about dual loyalty.

      Just like you can't talk about the Israel lobby for fear of talking about domestic American jews' involvement in same.

      I've said it before and I'll say it again: Progressives—who I think are primarily responsible for political correctness—examine thyselves.

  • Sabotage on the Aegean: Propeller mysteriously cut on flotilla ship
    • That's interesting, annie. Someone's been thinking.

      Thank you.

    • Chu wrote:

      "Flotilla boats leaving harbor should have a dive team scan (with underwater cameras) their hulls [sic]. "

      In addition to watching their hulls they oughta watch themselves real carefully in terms of who they are allowing on-board. All it takes is one planted agent provocateur filmed raising an iron bar or throwing something and they're discredited.

      An oldie but still a goodie.

  • Is Greece being blackmailed to put the brakes on Gaza flotilla?
    • "Gilad Shalit is marking five years in captivity, a year and a half since the last sign-of-life. We won’t forget him."

      No, and you shouldn't. But then Israel somehow expects (officially even! with gov't sanctions!) the Palestinians to forget Nakba Day. (Not to mention the thousands of P's in the Israeli prisons. )

      Like I said above, you just start longing for Israel or its partisans to stick to just one standard for all.

    • Funny thing: Much of Israel's anger over the Goldstone Report wasn't disputing the facts of what happened on the ground, it was the imputation of guilt for same on Israel collectively.

      But when it comes to the collective guilt of the Gazans...

      You know, after observing the behavior of Israel and its partisans long enough you begin to wonder if there is even one teensy, tiny issue where they don't insist on their right to always and everywhere be judged differently than everyone else.

      Like some kind of belief in divinely granted uniqueness that everyone must bow down before.

  • Why the 'Jewish State' now?
    • Donald wrote:

      "I think you’re riding your own hobbyhorse about lefties and deconstruction here... But this is all tangential."

      Points taken, Donald. Of course I stand by the substantive aspect of what I wrote about Israel's demand to be recognized as a "jewish state," and indeed even by the general idea that fancy-ass, jargony theorizing is not helpful, but thank you for the sandpapering of my excessive irritation at same in this piece in particular.

    • "When all is said and done, the fact that the language of recognition and rights is resurfacing should not frighten the Palestinians."

      Ah, the perfect example of the fecklessness of the uber-Progressive Left: Trying ever so hard always to burnish their own goodness and sophistication and superiority, falling for such superficial crap such as "deconstructionism" with its constant hollow and pathetic talk of "discourses" and etc., they couldn't identify a real substantive issue if it fell on 'em. (Much less persuade anyone in any direction on any such issue.)

      Thus, no, the Israeli "language of recognition" ought to frighten the hell out of the Palestinians, just as anyone should have the hell frightened out of them when being asked to sign on to amorphous, open-ended, non-defined (and indeed non-definable) language.

      Think: *If* Israel ever reaches a deal with the West Bank and Gaza Palestinians gee, what's their remaining huge problem? Well of course it's the "Palestinians"—and indeed the arab Beduin too—who are still their huge "demographic" threat. And indeed it might be observed that its this very issue that seems to strike an even deeper fear into the Israelis than their problems with the "outside" arabs.

      So what the hell does anyone think the Israeli Right which started this demand for "the language of recognition" has on its mind with this language other than as an advance ticket to be waved in the air when it turns to deal with that "demographic" problem? So that when it does *whatever* in dealing with that problem—such as expressly disenfranchising its non-jewish citizens, or deporting them, or whatever—in response to the screams of the arabs Israel can turn and say to them and the world "Ha ha, that arabs*agreed*to this! They agreed to this! And nobody in the world objected to them agreeing to it at the time, so pfui to you the rest of the world as well...."

      Plus of course it's impossible to even begin to imagine all of what *else* this diaphanous "language of recognition" might be taken to justify.

      True, it would be nothing but a fig leaf, but for anyone actually watching and thinking about how Israel goes about its business instead of trying to ape the babblings of Jacques Derrida, well that's *exactly* how Israel has operated and exactly how it's been so successful in getting away with it.

      Sheesh. What a joke given these "deconstructionist's" constant jabbering about how others use words: Talk about getting lost in the whirlwind of one's own....

  • How readily do liberal US Democrats cite 'demographic' need for two-state solution
    • Apropos the harshness of the word "treason" what's amazing is the clamorous, instant and vehement scream of the equally harsh charge of "betrayal" which the Israelis and their partisans, en mass, will direct at anyone suggesting that the U.S. step back even a molecule from unquestioned support of Israel.

      AMERICAN makes some damn good points I think, for Progressives esp. to hear as I think that "conservatives" are just naturally more sensitive to/concerned about the idea of the country being betrayed.

      Just like, in my opinion at least, the political correctness esp. about ethnic matters that Progressives and the Left had such fun erecting is now making it impossible for anyone to talk openly in the mainstream media about the implications of such things as Wasserman Schultz has said.

  • Cantor says Arabs have a culture of 'resentment and hatred'
    • I actually 1/2 agree with Cantor: Within the bounds of reasonable generalization there are such things as cultures, and criticizing same (or praising them) isn't racist ... because it has nothing to do with race or any other inherent quality.

      Just as one can criticize the dominant culture in Nazi Germany without being a racist.

      Although, maybe my agreement with Cantor shrinks down to 1/8 or so: Not only do I think he's got arab culture wrong, I'm also sure that if one tried to ascribe any negative attributes to jewish culture well then for sure he'd see that as anti-semitic and thus racist.

      Who knows though? Maybe he's opened a breach in what's permitted to be talked about now so that he *will* be seeing people talking as openly about jewish culture as he talks about the supposed arab one.

      Doubt that he'd like the results...

  • An angry Obama warns the lobby that the 'world is moving too fast' (to preserve a Jewish state)
    • Phil Weiss wrote:

      "For just below the politically-hogtied phrases and praises for the Israel lobby that controls his future, it was filled with rage."

      I don't know if this is right or wrong—and if I had to guess I'd say if anything there was "frustration" rather than real "rage" present—but it's a provocative and even brilliant-in-its-way interpretation/perception regardless.

      And then too infused with Weiss's hopefulness in terms of giving Obama the benefit of the doubt....

      Just once again caused me to thank that I found this site so long ago now.

  • Help me, James Madison. 'NYT' runs Zionist piece that hints at ethnic cleansing of West Bank
    • Phil Weiss wrote:

      "The New York Times feels a responsibility to run this kind of racist argument, to placate an important bloc in the American establishment, rich conservative Jews."

      Well look at it this way, Phil: Maybe you've just momentously filled in what's been a huge blank for all those legions of writers and historians and scholars of jewish studies (who've built the incessantly heard conventional understanding) where they keep universally saying that gee, it's just a giant mystery but gosh darn it for all they can figure anti-semitism has always and everywhere just sprung, ex nihilo, from absolutely nothing.

      You watch; any day now out of scholarly joy at exploring the possible answer to a mystery not just of our times but indeed of the ages Ruth Wisse will be seizing on this like a rottweiler on a pork chop and just running and running with it.

      Any day now...

      Wait for it...

  • AIPAC issues annual
    • From Haaretz:

      "U.S. President Barack Obama will lay out a new U.S. strategy toward a skeptical Arab world on Thursday, offering fresh aid..."

      Yes, because those towel-heads can't *really* have any genuine principles about seeing their Palestinian brothers getting screwed....

      Not one of those who hates capitalism, but gotta admit it's funny the depth of the unconscious understanding we have that everyone's like we've become and has their price.

      Like some pigeons used to our own Skinner box, we keep pushing the bribe button but the arabs never really give us the food pellets we expect and all we know how to do is ... confusedly just keep pecking that button.

      Suspect Obama may mention to AIPAC throwing around this extra bribery dough for Israel's sake. Hoping it'll understand and give his election campaign a few of the kind of food pellets it deals in...

  • U.S. already affirmed '67 borders--only to have Obama backtrack
    • What's funny now, although I suppose it's only the next logical development of the U.S. being so totally captured by Israel-firsters, is how the U.S. is now quite clearly not just being forced to support Israel, but also to then save it from itself.

      That Palestinians, for instance, have clearly said that they are going to move for UN recognition, and all but the craziest Israelis have said this can mean lots of bad things for Israel. (With even the craziest just saying bring it on.)

      But, the P's have also clearly said (stupidly in my view for being so meek), they will not so move for UN recognition if a peace process merely starts up again with the Israelis putting a freeze on developments.

      So what does Netanyahu do? Says nope, no freeze even, and we gotta have troops eternally on any Palestinian land along the Jordan, and blah blah blah.

      And thus ... it's the U.S. now in the form of Obama pushing Israel to save itself from the UN recognition.

      Here's hoping he fails: The UN does then recognize a Palestinian state, the U.S. opposes it maybe but in any event loses and in any event then has to do more to work to staunch and lessen all the impacts of same on Israel thus increasing the obvious costs to the U.S. of its subservience to Israel, and perhaps hastening the day it all stops.

  • Mezvinsky: It's one state now and smart Israelis must cast away their Zionism and work for equal rights
    • What's going to be funny—no, hilarious, in addition to other emotions, including disgust—is when the world comprehends that Israel has made two states impossible and so starts insisting on Israeli citizenry for the Palestinians at which point we shall see any number of factions of Israelis postively *screaming* to give the P's their own separate state.

      *Anything* avoid having to rub shoulders with 'em....

  • Naomi Klein on Kushner: 'The invisible blacklisting has been made momentarily visible... it has to stop'
    • hophmi wrote:

      "Exactly, which disproves completely the master thesis advanced by this blog, which is that Zionism is so pervasive that people like Jeff Wiesenfeld can censor the views of others and that people like Jeff reflect the view of most American Jews."

      Even loosely speaking I don't think that this blog's "master thesis" is that "people like Jeff reflect the view of most American jews." At most, it seems to me, it's that *too many* people are like Jeff, but not all, nor even "most" American jews.

      With all due respect a pretty big difference I think.

      Chaos4700 wrote:

      "Kushner is Jewish. Would we even hear about this story if he wasn’t?"

      A damned good question. Anyone recall seeing Jewish Voice For Peace ginning up petitions supporting Juan Cole or Charles Freeman for instance?

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