Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 958 (since 2012-06-27 14:34:05)

Stephen Shenfield

Stephen Shenfield is a British-born writer. After several years as a government statistician, he entered the field of Soviet Studies. He was active in the nuclear disarmament movement. Later he came to the U.S. and taught International Relations at Brown University. He is the author of Russian Fascism: Traditions, Tendencies, Movements (M.E. Sharpe, 2001). He now works as an independent researcher and translator. He is a member of the World Socialist Movement. A collection of his writings is on his new website at


Showing comments 958 - 901

  • NY's Public Theater cancels Palestinian production, 'The Siege,' it agreed to stage in May
    • The website of The Public Theater carries the statement: "The LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust provides leadership support for The Public Theater’s year-round activities." I suppose this is the most likely source of opposition. But if putting on the play was always contingent on the consent of funders and this consent had not been obtained, then the promise must have been insincere even at the time it was made.

  • Maya Angelou stood with Palestinians, but Israeli military uses her for Black History Month hasbara
  • 'New York Times' picks up Bernie Sanders's 'socialist' kibbutz but leaves out the ethnic cleansing
    • I see nothing unacceptable in what kalithea says. It is very easy to fall into wishful thinking ("wishful daydreaming" may be closer to the mark) and I suspect that I too have been indulging in it. There really is no evidence that Bernie is a closet anti-Zionist. His kibbutz experience may have formed a deep emotional tie to Israel that he has never broken.

      That said, he is obviously a moderate Zionist as Zionists go. If as president he were to speak his mind and act in accordance with his convictions he might force the Israelis into concessions that would give the Palestinians a little more hope. But he is a politician. He is cautious and "realistic." Not only has he not questioned Zionism, he has not even voiced any open criticism of the Netanyahu government.

      How do we know that he will start to act differently if he becomes president? We don't. Remember Obama? He too aroused our wishful daydreaming. He too had left-wing associations in his youth. There were signs that he too might moderate the US bias toward Israel. And when he was elected that expectation seemed to be vindicated by his Cairo speech. And then two whole terms and absolutely nothing. A few words of timid criticism of Israel by his underlings, presumably with his approval, but never the slightest hint of real pressure. What reason do we have to expect Sanders to do better?

  • Bernie Sanders' spirituality is resonating with young religious 'None's
    • Bernie: "I believe as a human being that the pain one person feels– if we have children who are hungry in America, if we have elderly people who can’t afford their prescription drugs– that impacts me."

      The first sentence, though not completed, implies that Bernie cares about every human being. But then the two examples he gives both express caring for Americans and the "society" he worries about is clearly the United States. Does he care about people in other countries? Is he a universal humanist or merely an American patriot? Who knows?

    • Spirituality means not being religious without having to call yourself an atheist.

  • Saudi court overturns death sentence for Ashraf Fayadh; new sentence is 8 years and 800 lashes
    • What happens to him if he refuses to go along with the "public repentance" on national television? After all, what has he to repent for?

      He himself speaks like a prophet denouncing the wealthy and powerful. They never did like prophets.

      Israel cannot be defended by comparing it to Saudi Arabis because it too is a theocratic state. For historical reasons Israel is less extreme in this respect than Saudi Arabia, but it is making admirable efforts to close the gap.

  • 'An Arab is an Arab'
    • True. Conflict also ties people together into a perverse sort of community. But conflict wasn't the whole story. How, for instance, could the British administration have functioned if there was nothing but conflict between its Palestinian-Arab and Palestinian-Jewish employees? I know that what I an saying is hard to believe from where we stand now, but study the sources from that period and you'll see I'm not wholly wrong.

    • For most of the pre-state history of the Zionist movement all Zionists were Ashkenazim (European Jews). Like most Ashkenazim, they had hardly any awareness of Arab or other non-European Jews or of the role of Arab culture in the history of Judaism (e.g. the fact that the famous Jewish scholars of Moorish Spain wrote and spoke in Arabic). Golda Meir even thought that all Jews come from a Yiddish-speaking background. The same distorted vision was characteristic of the British and other Europeans and Westerners. The Jews that the anti-Semites wanted to get rid of were European Jews, and the Jews that the Zionists wanted to turn into a nation in Palestine were European Jews. After 1948 they hoped to fill up the lands vacated by the Nakba with more Russian Jews from the USSR and were very disappointed when they had to make do with Arab Jews instead.

      All this fits your thesis very well. However, your view of British perceptions is oversimplified. The British DID use the term "Palestinian" during the Mandate, and they used it to refer to ALL the residents of Palestine, including both Jews and Arabs. At the time, moreover, the Jews, even the Zionists, accepted the word and applied it to themselves. They called themselves Palestinian Jews. So despite the Zionist-Arab conflict there was at that time a general Palestinian identity that encompassed both communities. It even had some practical manifestations, such as a certain amount of joint trade unionism and the Arab-Jewish municipal administration in Haifa. Of course, this joint identity was not strong enough to survive the British withdrawal and after 1948 it disappeared down the memory hole together with its linguistic expression in the word "Palestinian." But it did exist. And it can exist again.

  • 'We are all Jews' -- the Holocaust as imperial export
    • Under Polish rule the Jews did indeed form a privileged estate allied with the even more privileged estate of the Polish nobility, but under Russian rule they all fell on hard times. It's true that even an impoverished Jew or Polish noble was better off than a serf, and the Jewish poor could rely on communal charity. The Polish nobles never completed abandoned their noble identity, but they were absorbed into modern Polish nationalism, just as the Jews eventually created their own nationalisms, Zionism and Bundism, which borrowed a lot from their Polish counterpart. So the two cases are similar in many ways (abstracting from the colonial dimension of Zionism).

      I'm not convinced that our rejecting Jewish identity is helpful to Palestinians. Denunciation of Israel does not depend on rejection of Jewish identity. Many Jews denounce Israel in the name of Judaism or Jewishness. In fact, rejecting Jewish identity altogether may lead to near-indifference to the issue of Palestine. Why should a de-Judaized progressive care about Palestine more than about Myanmar, for instance? Rosa Luxemburg had no special feeling for Jewish suffering, but even if she had survived another few decades I don't think she would have developed any special feeling for Palestinian suffering either.

    • Mayhem: "was not faced by any other group"?

      Do you really not know about the Porajmos -- the Romani genocide??

    • I don't where Obama got the idea of saying "we are all Jews" but perhaps it comes from when the Paris students in 1968 chanted "we are all German Jews" after the French education minister referred disparagingly to Daniel Cohn-Bendit as a "German Jew." If it is supposed to mean "we all stand in solidarity with the persecuted" -- not that Obama has the right to claim any such thing -- then the contemporary equivalent should be: "we are all Palestinians."

  • Cultural Zionism good, political Zionism bad
    • There were really two distinct "cultural Zionisms." The first was the "Love of Zion" movement, which arose in Russia in the 1850s, long before Herzl and organized political Zionism. The revival of Hebrew as a modern literary language began with them. Was Abraham Mapu's Hebrew contaminated with the Yiddish and Slavic substratum that marked the Hebrew that began to develop in Palestine half a century later? I don't know but I would guess not. The earlier cultural Zionism was more distinct from political Zionism and could provide a more genuine Hebrew alternative for those Israeli Jews who feel a need for one as they struggle to wean themselves off political Zionism.

  • American Jewish Committee agent tries to dig up anti-Semitic dirt in a German refugee housing block
  • How many more orgasms will be had for Zionism?
    • Siberiak: There is plenty of evidence if you look hard enough. Another important project was the Kimberley Scheme to give refuge to European Jews in a region of North Australia (see Leon Gettler, An Unpromised Land). The contribution of Zionists to torpedoing such plans is hard to pin down because they were not the only opponents, but they certainly had an impact -- in some cases probably a decisive one. When naive Gentile sympathizers encountered virulent Zionist hostility in the name of "the Jews" they got confused and frustrated. It led many to abandon their efforts. They didn't understand the divisions among Jews or the anti-Semitic character of Zionism.

      However, some decent Gentiles persisted in rescuing Jews in spite of Zionist hostility. The Swedish government and parliament felt sure they were doing the right thing in taking in Jewish refugees and ignored the despicable opposition of Sweden's Jewish establishment, whose Zionism expressed their fear that newcomers would undermine their own position in Swedish society. They did not want to go to Palestine themselves -- they were Zionists in the sense of the ironic definition that "a Zionist is a Jew who pays a second Jew to send a third Jew to Palestine."

    • Yes, Mooser, newspeak it is. George Orwell explains it in 1984. Newspeak is a language designed to destroy thought and make thought crime impossible. Each successive version eliminates more words and concepts. Orwell gives a typical sentence: "Oldthinkers (people who still think in the old way) unbellyfeel (lack an intuitive feeling for) Ingsoc (English Socialism, the orthodoxy in Oceania)" -- I just replaced Ingsoc by Jewsoc. It could be called Ziosoc, but Jewsoc is better at conveying its "Jewish" character.

      One glaring difference, of course, is the attitude toward sex. Orwell's Junior Anti-Sex League is a far cry from the sexual utopia that the Zionists sell to Jewish youth. But perhaps Orwell and Reich were wrong about the cult of power necessarily having roots in sexual repression. The Nazis were divided over sex, with the SS celebrating Aryan sexual freedom in defiance of the philistine taboos of Nazis more closely tied to conservative tradition.

    • Once you have absorbed this intoxicating but poisonous brew how do you ever get it out of your system? Not without long inner turmoil, I suspect.

    • Oldthinkers unbellyfeel Jewsoc, Mooser.

  • Did Obama blunder in Haiti because he has to pay so much attention to Israel?
  • Dennis Ross says Clinton was the only president to stamp down anti-Israel forces inside the White House
    • He understands much more than he lets on. A lawyer, yes. For a lawyer words are weapons. Whatever words will best serve his client's interest in a given situation. It's futile to look for logic in them. The logic is there but it is hidden behind the words.

  • Adelson newspaper suggests Swedish foreign minister deserves assassination for questioning Israeli policy
    • gamal: That is Ishmael Khaldi. Kamal, as I said, is retired from the University of Damascus.

    • Logically they are equally unjustified, but in the aftermath of the Nakba the binationalist Zionists must have seemed less toxic than the uninationalist variety to some of those Palestinians who were aware of their existence.

      The interlopers did not immigrate as armed bands. They came unarmed and relied on the protection of the Ottoman and then the British mandatory authorities, only gradually building up the armed forces with which they eventually conquered Palestine.

    • I expect that Khalidi and Khaldi are variants of the same name and that it traces back to the general you mention, but what current relevance that has is beyond me. Some prefer to use one variant, some the other. Perhaps Kamal Khaldi wants to avoid being confused with the Palestinian-American scholar Rashid Khalidi.

    • Magnes was one of a group of Jewish intellectuals in Palestine at that time known as Ihud (Unity) who advocated a binational state in the whole of Palestine as an alternative to partition. The philosopher Martin Buber was another prominent member of the group. After the Nakba scholars in a number of Arab countries picked up their ideas. In particular, the exiled Palestinian political scientist Kamal Khaldi, who joined the faculty of the University of Damascus, wrote a book on a binational state in Palestine that was published in Arabic in Beirut. An English translation exists but has not yet been published. On the Israeli side, the former vice mayor of Jerusalem Menon Benvenisti has been advocating binationalism in recent years (he writes about it in his book "Son of the Cypresses"). I met both Khaldi and Benvenisti when they attended a conference at Brown University's Watson Institute for International Studies in 2000.

  • 'Little Jewboy' moment highlights coming divorce between US Jews and Israel
    • I wonder how long it is since Mr. Shapiro was called a "Jewboy" or subjected to any other anti-Semitic slur by a Gentile fellow American (if he ever was). For that he had to go to Israel! It may help him understand the real nature of Zionism.

  • Sanders calls for moving 'aggressively as we can to normalize relations with Iran'
  • What's the big difference between Israel's 1967 occupation and its 1948 occupation?
    • Of course 1947-8 and 1967 are two stages in the same process of Zionist expansion, but there are some significant differences. The ethos is different. The ethos in the first stage of settlement and conquest was secular and collectivist, left-nationalist, national socialist in the broad sense. The ethos in the current stage is religious nationalist.

  • Are Palestinian citizens of Israel banned from New York Times headlines?
    • It is not an official position of the PLO or PA that Palestinians are not Arab, but it is a common reaction of Palestinians disappointed at the limited help and solidarity they receive from other Arabs or feeling not understood by them. It is also a protest against the Israelis' stigmatization of them as Arabs. In both contexts a distinct Palestinian identity is ultimately a product of the Nakba. It is more of a political statement than an objective assessment, because of course Palestinians still have a lot in common with other Arabs. They speak a dialect of Arabic, after all. But over time the divergence may widen and acquire more objective substance.

    • From 1948 until Oslo it was a norm of Israeli discourse to recognize only "Arabs". The word "Palestinian" was prohibited. No such species existed. That applied not only to "Israeli Arabs" but to all the other categories of Palestinians. For instance, the people in the refugee camps were "Arab refugees" not "Palestinian refugees." The purpose of this norm was to minimize Israel's guilt for the Nakba and any right the exiles might have to return. The expelled "Arabs" had not been robbed of their homeland but merely transferred from one province of the broad Arab homeland to neighboring provinces -- not such a big deal. Viewing the Palestinians simply as "Arabs" makes possible the still popular argument that "the Arabs have so many states, why can't we be allowed just one?" (During its heyday pan-Arab nationalism inadvertently facilitated this Israeli usage.)

      With Oslo the existence of "Palestinians" received official recognition, but it was not explained who they were, where they had come from, or why they had suddenly moved out of non-existence and into existence. It was not admitted that the earlier usage had been erroneous. Ordinary Israelis and Zionists still felt uncomfortable with the word, and not only because it was rather long.

      The people now in power in Israel seek to erase the terminological innovations associated with Oslo and return to the previous usage. I don't think it is just a strategy to divide the Palestinians by recognizing some of them as Palestinians but not others, although that is perhaps a half-way stage. The goal is again to prohibit the word "Palestinian" in all contexts.

  • Facebook censors cartoon critical of Israel
  • Why Israel has silenced the 1948 story of Nazareth’s survival
    • I have two editions of "Dual Allegiance." The first edition contains an account of what happened at Nazareth that is excised from the later edition.

      According to the first edition, Dunkelman signed an agreement with the city notables in which he promised not to harm or expel the inhabitants. Obeying the order of General Laskov would have meant breaking the agreement and Dunkelman felt that would be dishonorable. Killing and expelling civilians in the absence of an agreement was presumably honorable.

      I am sure Ben Gurion could have found a way to enforce Leskov's order but instead he decided to countermand it. Perhaps the religious significance of Nazareth to Christians worldwide was a consideration. Perhaps also Ben Gurion did not want to alienate Dunkelman, whose services he greatly valued and who came from quite a prominent Jewish-Canadian family.

  • My one word interrogation at Ben Gurion airport
    • d65: My question was directed to Miko Peled and to Michael Rabb, who associates himself with what Peled said. I was reacting to Peled's use of the imperative mode: "Spare them etc." And to his assumption that you can either challenge Palestinians who identify their oppressors with Jews in general or challenge Jews who remain silent or worse. Why can't you challenge both? Solidarity with Palestinians doesn't require us to accept guilt for crimes in which we took no part.

    • I agree: no indignation, no long lectures. But how about making the point with a brief remark? For instance: "I'm a Jew and if I could I would give you back your land / release your father / let you return." Is that allowed?

  • Knesset anti-BDS meeting reveals Israeli fear of isolation
    • I too can see no alternative to the South African model, but I am worried by apparent differences that make Israel a much harder nut to crack. British companies played a big role in the South African economy and in bringing about the transition to majority rule. Afrikaners as an ethnic group did have a similar mentality to the Israeli Jews, but they constituted only half of the white population. Europeans had been established in the country for centuries already and the ANC never aimed to throw them out. All these things made it clear to a decisive section of the white population and especially the elite that they only faced a loss of formal political domination; they knew they were not going to be massacred, expelled, or even dispossessed. Most Israelis have no such confidence -- they really see no viable alternative (ein brera). If a dangerous animal is backed into a corner and sees no way of escape it will lunge out. It is necessary to convince the Israelis not only that they will have to pay an intolerable price for their obduracy but also that they do have a way out.

  • New Jersey teenager threatened with legal action by high school over pro-Palestine activism (Update)
    • 'The state could determine that she had committed an act of bullying for a tweet that referred to a fellow student as “that pro-Israel girl from my school.”'

      Does that amount to regarding "pro-Israel" as an insult?

    • hophmi: If she had been a pro-Israel activist no action whatsoever would have been taken against her. Anyone who knows the political situation in this country knows that. I can't believe that you don't know it too. It's very clear who the bully is here -- it's the principal. I don't believe that isn't clear to you too. Any subterfuge to protect Zionism and its reign of intimidation.

  • Palestinian citizens of Israel hold the key -- Zellner
    • It is a fundamental human right not to have scary-looking people around, especially in enclosed spaces like airplanes. Anyone has the right to call anyone else scary and get them removed, immediately and without argument. That applies not only to passengers but also to cabin staff and pilots. We know what harm dodgy pilots can do. Then everyone will feel comfortable except the people who have been removed, and they don't matter. True, people will start to fear that others will find them scary and pre-empt by declaring others scary first. Then no one will fly and the airlines will go bankrupt. That will be very good for the climate and environment.

  • Sophisticated Orientalism in the New York Times
    • It certainly isn't enough to explain the doctrinal differences, but it shouldn't be assumed that they are totally irrelevant to the social, political, and economic factors in the Sunni-Shi'i division. Historically Shi'ism arose as a rebellion against caliphs seen as corrupt (after the first four "righteous" caliphs) in the name of the original Islam, and in Sunni-dominated countries such as Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, and Lebanon Shi'ism still has this character as a rebellion of "underdogs". That is reminiscent of certain Protestant groups in Europe (e.g. Anabaptists). However, in another respect the stronger parallel is that between Shi'ism and Catholicism as variants of their respective religions with a unified clerical hierarchy, and that is more relevant when we consider a Shi'i society like Iran. (For this account I am indebted to a classroom discussion of the topic with Arab students when I was teaching at Brown University.)

  • Palestinian source for feel-good 'NYT' story on Haifa says newspaper censored his political views
    • This article lies at the intersection of two genres of hasbara. One is "Haifa hype," which uses the atypical relative tolerance of Haifa to give Israel a "cosmopolitan" image. The other is a contemporary version of the old claim (going back at least to the British Mandate) that the Zionist presence in Palestine assists social and cultural progress in Arab society. Neither of these ideas is completely devoid of truth, but then good propaganda is built not on lies but on exaggerated, isolated, and decontextualized elements of truth.

  • Goodbye to all that (my Jewish-WASP shtik)
    • Mooser: When I say "God" I'm not talking about a real entity. How can I be when I don't believe in God? I'm talking about God as he appears in the sacred writings of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. God is mentioned many times in these writings so even without temerity we can use them to describe him. One remarkable thing about God is that he often expresses human feelings and behaves in human ways. He makes deals (covenants) and gambles (see start of the Book of Job). He is irascible and does horrible things when angry (e.g., to Sodom and Gomorrah) but later he may regret them. It is odd for a being with absolute attributes to act this way. Is the similarity between man and God a result of God making man in his own image or man making God in his own image? Which seems more likely? Anyway, I can understand believers being afraid of God, or afraid of not being sufficiently afraid. I wonder whether fear of God makes people better or worse. It depends on what they think God wants them to do or not to do.

    • Italian ex-pat: The myth of romantic individualism leads people to overlook (or at least attach too little importance to) something that in the old days everyone knew very well -- when you marry you hitch yourself not just to an individual but to a whole family. Especially if you are a woman in a patriarchal culture where the wife joins the husband's family rather than vice versa.

      Even now, I would advise a Gentile woman not to marry a Jew unless she has determined -- not just by asking him but experimentally -- either that both he and his close relatives are truly open-minded and welcoming (possible though unlikely) or that in the conflicts that are certain to arise between her and her in-laws he will unequivocally take her side.

    • Mooser: God is King of the Universe (melech ha'olam). He rules as an absolute monarch over everyone and everything. He gives us commandments (we lucky Jews get 613 of them, Gentiles have to make do with fewer) and if we want to secure our place in the world to come and avoid the eternal torments of hellfire we had better obey them. He makes his wishes known to us through prophets, who receive his words on tablets at mountaintops or by dictation from an angel. I expect you can fill in more details yourself.

      That is the conception of God on which the religions of the Book are based. The Enlighteners introduced a weaker conception of God as an abstract "first cause" that set the universe in motion and then left it to its own devices. A god of that sort has no need to communicate with us through angels, prophets, holy writ, or commandments, nor will he bother to send any messiahs our way. Belief in such a god is no basis for being a Jew, Christian, or Moslem.

    • Yes, I was serious.

      It isn't necessary to expel believers, it suffices to intimidate them. In Albania under the "communist" regime there was a particularly strict anti-religious policy. That temporarily suppressed the Christian-Moslem conflict in that country, as you had to be an atheist. But it wasn't safe to have political differences with the regime even if you were an atheist.

    • In Northern Ireland non-Christians and non-believers are identified and identify themselves as Protestants or Catholics on the basis of family and community connections and the associated accent, mannerisms etc. Thus the joke: "Are you a Protestant or a Catholic?" "A Jew." "Are you a Protestant Jew or a Catholic Jew?" Or for "Jew" substitute "atheist."

      It seems to me that if you don't even believe in God -- let alone the coming of the Messiah, the Virgin Birth, or the Seal of the Prophets -- you are not a Jew, Christian, or Moslem but only a fraud, a hypocrite, and a moral coward. You can still give expression to your family origins by saying: "I am from a Jewish (Catholic, Shi'i, etc.) background." It is enough to be human.

  • The Rabin distraction
    • Israeli through and through but not allowed to have "Israeli" entered on his or her identity card.

    • From the documents disclosed in the Palestine Papers we now know that the Palestinian side only asked for two settlements to be dismantled in order to restore some contiguity to what remained of the West Bank -- Ariel (mentioned in the article) and Ma'aleh Adumim. These two settlements now have 80,000 residents between them (Ariel 20,000; MA 60,000), so Hophmi is right -- even if Israel accedes to these modest requests the maximum number of evictions is 80,000. But Israel has never offered to remove any big settlements at all, only a few isolated outposts, i.e. only a few hundred evictions.

  • US university defeated BDS by hiring three Israeli soldiers to talk up 'love' for Israel
  • Not the only 'proud Palestinian' in the family--Gigi Hadid's father details refugee history in Syria
    • Well, I have gone through eyewitness accounts of what happened during the Nakba in various places. There were Jews who refused to participate in expulsions or tried to protect one or another local Palestinian community. Some succeeded, some failed, but I have not come across any cases of "revenge" against them. They were not numerous enough to jeopardize the overall project of ethnic cleansing, so the easiest thing was to evade their efforts. If you didn't want to evict your neighbors, tenants, or hosts the Haganah would do it instead. So Jewish refugees who took it upon themselves to kick out their Palestinian benefactors were not acting under irresistible pressure, they were displaying a quite unnecessary level of Zionist zeal. Perhaps they felt embarrassed by their friendship with Palestinians and wanted to make sure that other Jews did not regard them as "Arab-lovers."

    • Kris: I don't think this is a matter of language. The refugees from Poland who dispossessed Zaid's family would probably have spoken Yiddish as their first language and possibly Polish. Both those languages have a word for "betray" (aroysgeben, zdradzać). As recent arrivals in Palestine they would almost certainly have not spoken much Ivrit. But in any case Ivrit too has a word for betrayal or breach of trust: בְּגִידָה

      I would guess they betrayed your trust because (a) they were culturally narrow people who did not include Arabs among those deserving of their consideration; and in addition (b) so absorbed in their own sense of victimhood that they had no awareness of an obligation not to victimize others. But I would like to track down those who did such things and find out what they have to say about it.

      Zaid: I wonder in what language your family communicated with these refugees. I wonder how it came about that you took them in. And I wonder whether there was any warning sign in their attitude toward you (indifference? contempt?).

    • I recall an interview in which Ghada Karmi says that the Palestinians are a fragmented people and are gradually losing their Palestinian identity and forgetting. Palestinians become Palestinian-Americans and then Americans, or Anglo-Palestinian and then British, etc. Some grow up never hearing about Palestine though later they may reclaim their heritage (like Ghana Karmi herself, or see my interview with Hala Gabriel). A gradual process of assimilation over the generations is inevitable, as it is for Jews, though the Zionists were clearly wrong in underestimating how long it will take. Perhaps it will be slow enough to give Israel a good chance of destroying itself first, showing that injustice doesn't always triumph.

  • Remembering Dr. Adel Yahya: How a pioneer of Palestinian oral history taught me to listen
    • Can you tell us a little about Dr. Adel Yahya's own family background? I ask because the Yahya's were the leading family in the village of Tantura before its destruction in 1948. Ruins of their house are still standing. Or perhaps it is a common name and there is no connection.

  • Brazil and Israel square off in diplomatic showdown over settler envoy
  • 'Valentino's Ghost' makes comeback after 4 years of suppression
  • Congress seeks to undermine Iran deal by linking Iran with ISIS
    • When Adam Szubin says that ISIL is "raising hundreds of millions of dollars in a year from internal sources" one of the things he is referring to is the oil exported by middlemen through Turkish ports, much of which ends up in Israel for use or resale. So when he says "we don’t have those same chokepoints to go after in terms of the foreign flows" he is talking gibberish. What he means is that Israel is profiting from this trade and Israel is sacrosanct.

  • Merry Christmas and get out of Israel, you blood-drinking Christian vampires

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