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Total number of comments: 115 (since 2012-09-19 21:12:05)

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  • 'New York Times' finally tells its readers: Netanyahu is 'dangerous'
    • Israel attacking Iran would have embroiled Israel in a superfluous war? Seems it might have embroiled Iran in the same war, and probably the United States. And it would have been "superfluous"?

  • 'NYT' columnist says Hillary Clinton is not pro-Israel enough!
    • "Rosner says Hillary Clinton is wobbly on Israel."

      I think he's more or less correct. MJ Rosenberg has told us that the Clintons can't stand Netanyahu, and I think that's true, for obvious reasons going back to the 1990s. If Hillary becomes President, we can be fairly sure that her intentions will have been clarified to the people who have the power to indict her in the meantime. Those people are determined to uphold the agreement with Iran, to continue pushing for a resolution of the Palestinian conflict, probably to prevent Syria from becoming a failed state, and perhaps to wind down the chaos in Ukraine. Among other things. I don't think her campaign rhetoric is really congruent with what she would do if elected.

  • Kagan pushed regime change in Iraq, now says US must get over 'trauma' and do Syria
  • How rightwing settlers and a wealthy Aussie Zionist used Facebook to control Netanyahu gov't
    • "It is evident that the wealthy Jew King referred to was..."

      It took me a second to get clear on the fact that you weren't referring to the wealthy Jew King. I mean, I thought Netanyahu was the King, irrespective of wealth.

  • American press coverage grants Israelis all the humanity
    • "The Times piece is open to comment, the first time in days that the Times has permitted comment..."

      Since I boycott the New York Times, I rely on sites like this to tell me what they're doing. Is this the first time in days that they have permitted comment on Israel/Palestine, or on any story? I assume it's the former. Wow. They have a commenting facility but they turn it off for certain stories? That's shocking, and I'm not being sarcastic.

  • Anti-WASP tropes in the 'NYT'
  • Debacle for the Israel lobby: Booker jilts Boteach, and Netanyahu sinks AIPAC
    • Assuming that AIPAC continues to operate, despite U.S. laws regarding agents of foreign governments, in the meantime we might refer to it as RIPAC: Republican Israel Public Affairs Committee.

  • Shocker: 'NYT' runs front page press release for AIPAC warning Obama to cool his jets
    • The battle inside the establishment will be won by those who brought about the Iran negotiations and the agreement. That group has very substantial Jewish membership and leadership, although it is diverse and is committed to maintaining some measure of diversity. The Israeli establishment and its hard-line supporters elsewhere in the world will never cross over. But there are still many Jews in the middle who don't really understand what's happening, namely that Israel has become an intolerable problem for the globalist establishment, which as mentioned has very substantial Jewish leadership. The globalists will prevail, but they are doing so incrementally and are unlikely to resort to any sort of coup de grace. They began circumscribing Israel in late 2006, and the process will continue until Israel is well under control, and dreams of a flourishing empire based in Jerusalem are whittled down to implausibility. Of course some will keep the torch burning for many generations to come, and no one knows for sure what will happen in the very long term. But Israel is in the process of being restrained, and there's a lot more of that to come in the next ten years or so. None of the American Presidential candidates who has a real chance of winning in 2016 will defy the globalists. Obama's successor, no matter of which party, will move the process forward.

  • 'I trust Obama more than the Prime Minister of Israel to run our policy' -- George W. Bush's former pollster
    • “This bill is a complete catastrophe and I think you’ll see Chuck Schumer and many other Democrats vote against this bill,” said Morton Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America.

      He is confusing the bill with the agreement.

  • Crisis for the lobby: Clinton bucks Saban, AIPAC doesn't know what to say
    • "Hillary would do well to distance herself asap from [Saban]".

      No way.

      "Keep your friends close but your enemies closer."

  • Oren's demands make Israel's liberal apologists squirm
    • hophmi: Self-abnegation is never a problem. Selfishness is always a problem.

    • It's great that Oren is addressing the idea of Tikkun Olam. Some Jews are into it, and some simply are not. Most of those who are not want to hide that fact from the rest of the world. The cognitive dissonance that exists in the minds of people who believe that you can "do Tikkun Olam through Israel" has been intensifying over time. Many Jews have reached the breaking point and are asking the question "what are we about, really?"

  • Oren's memoir reveals Israel's elite is hyper-sensitive to U.S. criticism
  • Leading NY writer likens Edward Said to monster in a horror movie
    • Attention shoppers: each of Rosen's books is available now on amazon for a penny. These are some of the biggest deals you'll find anywhere in Jewish life.

      As for Nextbook Press, it's a repository of truth. Authors include Alan Dershowitz, Jeffrey Goldberg, Elie Wiesel, Shimon Peres, David Mamet, Daniel Gordis, and Ruth Wisse (the Martin Peretz Professor of something somewhere).

    • Page: 1
  • Israeli leader turns on US Jewish journalists Friedman, Wieseltier, Remnick and Silvers for disloyalty and anti-semitism!
    • Oren has psychological problems relating to tribal identity and so on, but he is intelligent and is in a position to know a lot about what's going on. I think this story is closely connected to the one from yesterday on Mondoweiss about Israel's demographic, economic, and financial prognosis, which is very poor. The committed Zionists view Israel in the way that leaders of countries, companies, government bureaucracies, and other organizations always do: the organization must continue to grow, to get bigger and stronger. If it's not doing that, it's shriveling and shrinking, moving in the wrong direction, toward extinction. Stagnation or, worse, shrinkage, is just not tolerable.

      It has become clear recently that the grandiose plans for Israel are most unlikely to be realized. The globalist network of London and New York, which is diverse but has very substantial Jewish participation, has obviously decided that Israel has evolved into a problem for them. The policies of the Obama administration since the 2012 election are not indicative of hostility toward Jews; those policies have been dictated to Obama by the globalist community. Since the 2012 election, there is indeed a raging power struggle underway which is substantially an internecine power struggle between Jewish factions. Ultimately the globalists have the tools and the power to prevail. The Natanyahus, Orens, and Kristols do not.

      The international community, with globalist diaspora Jews playing a central role, will whittle Israel down to a manageable, limited enterprise, which has Netanyahu, Oren, and Kristol in a state of panic.

  • After a hard week in the news, Israeli gets valentines all weekend from NPR
    • It might have taken me until 2005 or so to completely cut NPR off, but shortly after 9/11, when their reporters accepted all of the vocabulary given to them by Cheney and Rumsfeld, I started the process. They called the Guantanamo prisoners "detainees", and they called a whole wide range of things "weapons of mass destruction", as they were instructed to do. I would like to think that Phil listens to NPR not to "get his news" but as a self-sacrificing service to his readers.

      I think it's important to have some boycotts going on in one's life. I got rid of my television ten years ago, I boycott the New York Times and the New Yorker almost completely, Hollywood movies almost completely. And radio. The only radio I'll listen to is Joe Frank.

      Any "news" institution with a payroll is easily pressured. Few of them refrain from spinning and twisting their discourse in response. These days you have to get your news and commentary via news aggregators on the web, the best of whom barely make a living, and from carefully chosen podcasts and youtube channels, and the like. I'm grateful to people who monitor the New York Times and so on, but there aren't many people who can do that without being somewhat affected by the brainwash.

  • Sam Harris and the dangers of false atheism
  • Obama's role model to journalists -- Dorothy Thompson -- turned against Zionism and was silenced
    • The disappearance of Dorothy Thompson down the memory hole is an interesting and important story. But I find it especially interesting that Obama highlighted her in his speech, here in 2015.

      Why did he do it? I believe it is another clear signal of the power struggle between the globalists and the Israel network. The latter includes some Jews in diaspora, but many of the world's most influential diaspora Jews are with the globalists, including, I believe, the Rothschilds. The globalists do not want to be identified as primarily Jewish and are diverse to a meaningful extent. Obama works for them. They do not want Israeli power to keep growing, and indeed for about the last eight years it has been receding, due to the efforts of the globalists, beginning with the replacement of Rumsfeld with Robert Gates and then the election of Obama.

      The Bush/Cheney administration was heavily influenced, we might say "commandeered", by the Israel network, but others in the Bush family mobilized to begin to undo this, with Gates' appointment as the most visible consequence. Braman's support for Marco Rubio, and Adelson's seeming disinterest in Jeb Bush reflect their awareness of the Bush family's attitude.

      The U.S. military establishment, which is an independent node of world power (whose independence was challenged during 2001-2006 when Rumsfeld was SecDef), seems to be participating in the shift away from the Israel network toward cooperation with the globalists. I believe that this coalition (globalists and U.S. military) will continue to whittle down the independence and the power of the Israel network over time and at some point will impose a two-state solution on Israel/Palestine. It is important to the globalists that the Democratic Party retain control of the executive branch, and if they do, we should not be surprised if the next President is the figurehead in the imposition of a two-state solution.

      The anti-Zionists probably will not get much satisfaction, as a Jewish sovereign state is very important to the globalists for instrumental reasons. It is essential to the Israel network, needless to say, and it seems to be significant to the U.S. military complex, for reasons that are a bit more complex. There's no major power-bloc in the world that benefits from a just one-state solution.

  • Iran deal is important to 'keep really big bad things from happening,' Bill Clinton says
    • Haim Saban is wrong. Both Hillary and Bill want a two-state solution, as does the entire globalist-financial community, which has significant Jewish membership but is diverse, not monolithic, and which has been guiding the Obama administration from the outset and more or less controls the Democratic Party. Hillary's appointment of Gary Gensler tells us quite a lot. The Jeffrey Epstein scandal is a reminder to the Clintons that they will not be sovereign, they will take orders. Regarding Israel/Palestine, they will agree with the orders they are given. Saban's assignment is to do the best he can with the Clintons. He won't be able to do much.

      On the other side of the aisle, Phil reported yesterday on how Braman does not like Jeb Bush. The Israel hawks should be afraid of the Bush family at this point because they (the Israel hawks) commandeered the Bush/Cheney administration and badly tainted the Bush family name, in a way that Jeb and his parents do not appreciate one little bit.

      That is why the Israel hawks are backing Marco Rubio. They hope that he can beat Jeb in the Florida primary and derail Jeb's campaign.

      They have taken a hard look at Ted Cruz and have seemingly remained lukewarm at best. I think Cruz might be secretly aligned with the globalists. He is quite well educated and his wife works for Goldman Sachs, which makes his yahoo-extremist persona seem potentially fake. I think his role might be to get the nomination and lose the general. And if he wins it, we might find that he's not who he seemed to be.

      I don't understand how anyone can have high expectations for Scott Walker, and in any event there are reports that he is related to George Herbert Walker, George Herbert Walker Bush, and George Walker Bush. So he is not to be trusted by the Israel hawks, either.

      They don't have much to work with, and I don't think that the next President will be loyal to them and their global strategic vision.

  • Fingerhut boycotted J Street because 'millions of dollars' were on the line
    • Apparently the Israeli military and security elites say that Iran is a distraction and the Palestinian Arabs are the real danger to Israel. The distraction, however, is very valuable. So valuable that Netanyahu and the whole Israeli and global network that supports him are doing everything they can to derail the agreement. The agreement is not solely about removing the distraction from the Palestinian issue, but the globalists who are pushing the agreement, and who have very substantial Jewish membership, are aware that a resolution of the Iranian issue will shine a bright light on the Palestinian issue. Those globalists want a two-state solution, which is why the U.S. administration pushed for it after Obama was re-elected. It's also why Hillary stated rather bluntly that she supports the Iran deal and she wants a two-state solution in Israel/Palestine. The globalists control the Democratic Party, and they will block her from becoming President, as they did in 2008, if she bucks their agenda. Hillary is much more concerned about her relations with them than with, for example, Haim Saban. Netanyahu might well be in power for four more years, and the globalists will presumably use economic and financial pressure to steer Israel toward cooperation with them. They would like for Israel to have a cooperative Prime Minister and government. For them, Netanyahu is a big problem.

  • Iran is 'congenital cheating' 'Islamic power bent on world domination' -- Netanyahu tells US media
    • Iran's chances of achieving world domination are slim, as we all know. But every culture imagines itself to be the best in the world and deserving of dominance. Other cultures have better chances than the Iranians, such as the Jews, the Nordic Protestants, the Jesuits et al, and perhaps others. Some have had higher hopes in the past, including the Mongols, the Muslims, the early Bolsheviks, the later Soviets, the Japanese, and so on.

      By the way, Thierry Meyssan has just published an interesting take on the Iranian deal:

  • No one's talking about peace in Israeli election, U.S. liberal Zionists are warned
    • There have been some reports, perhaps unconfirmed, that as much as a third of the society in Gaza was not able to function for two months during the conflict last summer.

      - - -

      Post-traumatic can be pre-traumatic, as in always expecting more trauma. It might be that the essence of Jewish culture for centuries has been both post-traumatic and pre-traumatic. Pre-traumatic stress disorder can be self-fulfilling. Younger Jews, especially in the U.S., are now a lot less post-traumatic and hence pre-traumatic. At some point they might be in a position to decide that the thing to do is to settle the conflict and chill. Of course there will be the leftover post- and pre-traumatic Jews, given the realities of cultural transmission. But the majority who are already over it will urge the traumatic leftovers simply to get treatment, to find a way to normalize their brain function, relax, be human, and enjoy life.

      - - -

      After Clinton was elected, which of course came right after the GHW Bush-James Baker days, the neoconservatives, as it were, took the Democratic Party for granted and moved to get control of the Republican Party. Beginning in 2006, the Democrats and a subset of the Republicans began together to isolate and purge the neocons. The process is still underway. In the 1990s, without realizing what the consequences would be, and with great hubris and arrogance, the neocons voluntarily walked out onto a limb. For the last eight years, the establishment coalition has been sawing at the base of the limb. As the breaking point approaches, the risks will escalate, but we can hope that the deed will be done and that we will all survive. My letter in an Israeli newspaper will say that I wholeheartedly support the identification of Israel with one political party in the United States, namely the Republican Party.

  • Dear Mr. Netanyahu, please don't cancel your speech
    • I don't agree with some of the details here. I do agree that the speech will or would hurt Netanyahu. I don't think it's helpful to spell out all the reasons and urge him not to cancel. It would be much better to keep quiet about it and let Obama's handlers take the opportunity to ambush Netanyahu in the media and the political arena, which I think they have the power and the intention to do. Biden will be "travelling" at the time. I hope he and Kerry will be concluding a deal with Iran which can be announced before Netanyahu's speech.

      But I should really take my own advice and just shut up...

  • Speech to AIPAC could give Netanyahu his out
    • Well, Gideon Levy sold me on his view. Ultimately the results will be better for everyone if Netanyahu wins next month. He'll probably be able to hang in there for another two years or so, but then his time will be up. If the rest of the world intends to impose a two-state solution, which I think is possible, it would have to happen after the next inauguration in the U.S. I realize that it seems far-fetched, but I wouldn't rule out Naftali Bennett succeeding Netanyahu and acquiescing to the pressure to establish two states. They always say it takes a hawk to make peace. Even if Herzog wants to solve the problem, he probably would not be able to.

      I was all excited about how the Congressional speech thing might play out, but now I'm with Levy, hoping Netanyahu remains in place for a while longer. If and when an agreement is reached between Iran and the P5+1, Netanyahu's reaction will tend to clarify things, which should be helpful.

  • Why now? Story breaks that US teamed with Israel in assassinating Iranian 'agent' in '08
    • "Why now?" I don't know, but I do know that it's a good question, and, more importantly, it's an important kind of question. Y'all should ask a lot more of them here on this site. Official stories are always designed to bring about certain consequences, not to inform the public of the truth. All official stories about historical and current events should be doubted and investigated. All of them.

  • Couldn't there be just one 'NYT' columnist who was critical of Israel? (No)
    • Krauss, thanks for the update. My impression was based on the Carlos Slim bailout, the huge loss on the Boston Globe investment, and the fate of so many other newspapers (e.g., Jeff Bezos buying the Washington Post). They aren't crashing at the moment, but the long-term stock chart looks bad.

    • "It seems obvious from here that the narrow-minded policies of the current government are basically a gradual, long-run form of national suicide — and that’s bad for Jews everywhere, not to mention the world. But I have other battles to fight, and to say anything to that effect is to bring yourself under intense attack from organized groups that try to make any criticism of Israeli policies tantamount to anti-Semitism." - Krugman

      I boycott the New York Times but I often read about how bad (as in, evil) Krugman is as an economist on other websites. The quote above is worded mildly, but I'd say it's pretty accurate.

      In general, the Times is crashing as a business, its owners can't really sort out Israel/Palestine in their own minds, and even if they could, the paper's line would still be the same, because their core constituency is their readers in the New York metropolitan area. The Times puts out mixed messages on Israel, few of which are very close to the truth. It has to do that in order to forestall the eventual failure of the company. Unfortunately the paper won't go away, but it will be acquired by an entity or company that will be willing to operate it at a loss.

  • The 'bait & switch' politics of liberal Zionism
  • 'Desperate' Senator Graham promises 'violent backlash' by Congress if Palestinians go to UN
  • Israel will lose all American Jews but the crazies
    • Michael Oren is a slick, dangerous truth-twister. One day we'll know a lot more about June 1967 and it won't look much like his pretty picture of it. The minor consolations are that he is no longer ambassador and was removed from CNN as an "analyst".

  • Promoting regime change in Iraq paved the way to regime change at the New Republic
    • This is an important event, possibly epochal. There's a lot happening these days. The way things are setting up, either the little thing called the rest of the world will enforce a solution to the Israel/Palestine problem, or Israel will self-destruct under a leader like Naftali Bennett. There is some kind of blind urge to play out the latter scenario, which would undoubtedly become a global drama.

  • Saban confronts Bennett: 'Are you willing to cut commercial ties with Europe?'
    • Bennett's threats are so reckless and foolish that you almost have to wonder whether he is a liberal mole.

      Whether he is or not, any country, company, or individual in the little thing called the rest of the world that is not already working feverishly to eliminate its dependence on Israeli products should fly into action today.

  • Chris Hughes brings down the curtain on neoconservative New Republic
    • All these unemployed guys should talk to Rupert Murdoch, who would be glad to fund a new magazine to serve as controlled-opposition to the Weekly Standard.

  • When Hagee vilifies Obama as 'anti-Semitic,' Cruz and Dershowitz don't walk out
    • "’s necessary that they cross party lines, to make sure the two major parties are on the same page, knit on this issue as on no other." - Phil

      The two parties are not on the same page. That's why Hagee called Obama anti-Semitic. It's why this administration made Chuck Hagel Defense Secretary; it's why they demanded another round of talks between Israel and the Palestinians; it's why they are trying to negotiate a deal with Iran; it's why they still haven't toppled Assad. These are not Obama's decisions; he does not make the decisions. The Israel hawks would like to get control of the Democratic Party decision-making process, for obvious reasons, and they are working on it. Why Chuck Hagel was pushed out we don't know yet, but who replaces him will be telling. The fact that it won't be Flournoy is encouraging. The Clintons don't like Israel's strategy. Bill Clinton said some things at the steak fry recently. MJ Rosenberg has told us about how they feel. If Hillary becomes President, of course she will be pulled in both directions, and we'll have to see what she does. Obama waited until his second term to do the things I listed above. She would probably do likewise. But unlike the Republicans, the Democratic Party does not support the occupation; it wants the conflict resolved. Obama's actions since 2012 demonstrate this.

  • 'Zionism' is now a dirty word for American opinion elite, Frank Luntz concedes
    • "Being against Israel has become the cool thing to do."

      It's only a matter of fashion, and the lightweights who are against Israel this season will forget all about it by spring.

  • Pro-Israel billionaires Adelson and Saban muse over buying the New York Times
    • lysias: I'm eagerly awaiting the death spiral, whatever its proximate cause. There are individuals with twitter feeds that give us a more accurate view of the world than the New York Times does. People should wean themselves of all institutional news media. There's no news organ of any size that can't be pressured into craven cooperation with the powers that be.

    • This would be a great thing! The world according to the Times is a gross distortion of the truth, but the paper has a huge throng of believing readers. Many people, especially in the New York area, relate to the outside world primarily through the Times, they dwell in its virtual reality. For Sheldon Adelson to become its dominant shareholder would be a move in the direction of honesty.

  • Dempsey bucks Obama line by praising Israelis for Gaza tactics
    • "The US military is involved in fighting wars against urban populations not dissimilar in many ways from the fight Israel had with Gaza..." - yonah fredman

      What a coincidence! They should really compare notes from time to time.

  • A reverend sermonizes justice in Jerusalem
    • The Abrahamic religions haven't worked out very well, have they? The whole diverse edifice is built on top of a defective foundation, giving the foundation an exalted place in the scheme of things. The fact that the later religions propose to update and correct the source (the foundation) is a lame, half-baked enterprise. This is no way to develop a valid worldview. If you want to get it right, how can you start with Yahweh, the chosen people, and the promised land, on a random planet in the universe? It's laughable.

  • Normalizing occupation, NYT runs whimsical story on time zones
    • It seems obvious that the New York Times intentionally publishes a lot of whimsical material all through its pages all the time. The message is that you, the reader, are fortunate enough to enjoy quirky pursuits that have nothing to do with politics, nothing to do with war and international violence, with the devastation of American democracy and law. 9/11? The PATRIOT Act? The destruction of one Muslim country after another? Never mind. Look at this young designer of hats, look at this couple who has a clever way of using the space in their small apartment, look at this middle-aged suburban man who commutes to a too-big-to-fail financial institution on weekdays but has an eccentric hobby on weekends. It's pure brainwash.

      I appreciate sites like this that monitor the Times, because I don't.

  • 'Village on the volcano' is latest effort to change the subject from the occupation
    • " The US government gives 3 billion a year to Israel..."

      That's one component of what the US gives Israel. That number has been constant for how long? 35 years? We used to talk about millions and billions, but now we talk about billions and trillions. Three billion dollars is not what it was 35 years ago. One of the purposes of the fixed 3 billion number seems to be to induce people to repeat it over and over to other people, spreading the idea that $3 billion is the total. But the more we hear about billions and especially trillions, we realize that $3 billion is not very much. That's what we are supposed to think. An accurate accounting (which is certainly done in private circles but not public ones) would presumably show steady growth. I presume; I don't know for sure. Take it as a question. Some researchers and observers have offered answers. How about addressing the question here on this site?

  • Pogroms rage in Europe? Kidnaped Israeli teens were Freedom Riders? Liberal Zionists' desperate slogans
    • "Israel is the touchstone issue of our time because it’s something we in the U.S. have a great deal of agency over. Especially American Jews. I don’t have much agency in Syria." - Phil

      It's also a paramount issue in the United States because of the extraordinary level of agency that Israel and its zealous supporters have in this country. Syrians don't have much agency here in the United States.

  • Bill de Blasio ruins the liberal Zionists' glorious hour
    • "The way to take it on is to oppose the root cause, the ideology of Jewish privilege. Liberal Zionists can’t do that." - Phil

      Whether the phrase "the ideology of Jewish privilege" is the best one is obviously a huge debate. Characterizing "the ideology" might be the ultimate question in this whole area of inquiry. "Privilege" is one way to refer to the secular equivalent of chosenness. Clearly the religious notion of chosenness migrated, it did not disappear along with the loss of faith. For some, it flipped over to its opposite, universalism.

      There is also the huge question whether any notion of chosenness is operative among the highest-level strategists. Those guys understand power and focus on it. They were born into the culture and brought up in it, and are accepted as Jews. That's their team, and they get on with playing the game. Winning is the only thing that matters, as it is for every other team. For the leaders of the Jewish team, chosenness, religious or secular, is a sentimental notion that resonates among the fans, as it were. The strategists use that resonance in the game, whether they believe in it or not.

  • ISIS wants us to come in and bomb Arabs (Rouhani and Matthews agree)
    • "This is how Israelis think – managed conflict. From the Iron Wall on, they have believed that they have to keep committing violence against their neighbors till their neighbors accept them."

      What are the Israelis going to do when the Arabs accept them? Set up two states? I doubt it.

      The Israelis know that committing chronic violence against Arabs will strengthen the Arabs' determination to avenge the violence, no matter how many decades or centuries it takes. It won't end with the Arabs' acceptance of Israel. At least there will be a hard core of Arabs who will never give up on the dream of revenge. This is not to stereotype Arabs; revenge is a universal temptation. Some individuals forgive and move on, some do not.

      Given that the Israelis know this, we are left with one of the most important questions about the whole situation: what exactly is the strategy of the current Israeli establishment? The burden of proof is on those who deny that it is gradually to eliminate the Arabs. Krauthammer is correct to say that there is no final stroke, as in no Final Solution. Can't do that. It has to be gradual.

  • Burke and Lincoln would have hated the special relationship
    • This is a most excellent Shabbos, thanks to mondoweiss, and right during the High Holy Days! A barrage of important pieces.

      This piece alone is worth volumes of responsive commentary, mostly of a kind that amplifies what Phil is saying. I could spend all day on it.

      For now I will just underscore, not for the first time, that if we are "only guessing" about whether the NSA information is or is not being used to blackmail American politicians, not to mention other Americans in positions of power and influence, we are being naive. The feed that is being given to the Israelis is not limited to metadata, according to the reports. It is everything. The metadata would be bad enough, but they are getting all the content.

      Why would they not blackmail anyone and everyone who is worth the effort? "They wouldn't do THAT!" is not an answer to the question. It's just a wish.

  • No Surprise Dep't: David Brooks's son is in Israeli army
  • US gave surveillance data to a country 'hostile' to many Americans -- Bamford
    • We can be sure that Palestinian-Americans are not the only objects of Israeli surveillance and blackmail thanks to the data procured from NSA and other sources. Blackmail seems to me to be the only explanation for the behavior of most of the Senators during the Chuck Hagel hearings. That kind of behavior is too bizarre and extreme to be explained merely by campaign fund-raising concerns, nor by fund-raising and media coverage concerns combined.

      The good news is that since the 2006 election, with the replacement of Donald Rumsfeld by Robert Gates, and of GW Bush by Obama, there have been signs of a very cautious effort to undo this situation. Not all the evidence supports this view. Snowden and Bamford support it, as do many other indicia. If it's happening, the process will take time, since the actionable information, once out, can't be recalled, as it were. Therefore the situation might only improve generationally, as younger American politicians are less exposed.

      And another comment: Israel's regional goal is probably a bit more ambitious than merely to be "safe".

  • Did Snowden blow the whistle because of the US special relationship with Israel?
    • This is what needs to be added to the refrain about the influence of AIPAC and the lobby in general. It is not just about campaign funding. And adding media influence to campaign money also does not explain the phenomenon. It goes beyond those things, to information and blackmail. NSA is one source of the information in question, but not the only one, not by a long shot.

  • Warren, Schama, and Lipstadt address Holocaust echoes in Gaza conflict
    • Schama is pissing away whatever credibility he had. He's becoming a vengeful old Jewish man, as happens to so many.

      The use and abuse of the Holocaust and of the flexibly-defined idea of anti-Semitism is reaching a breaking point now, where people are saying "enough" in growing numbers.

  • Canadian gov't offered to pay leading fotog's way to Asian festival so long as he didn't talk about Gaza
  • 'NYT' finds a model relationship for Palestinians and Israelis: collaborator and his handler
    • Uprooting and getting rid of Hamas appears to be the last thing that the Israeli establishment intends to do. The recent operation in Gaza seems to have been intended to revive public support for Hamas, to divide Hamas from Fatah, and to further diminish the possibility of a two-state solution to the conflict.

  • On the use of provocative analogies (Nazism, fascism)
    • Large historical phenomena such as the Third Reich, the USSR under Lenin, the USSR under Stalin, Red China under Mao, Israel under Likud, and the USA after 9/11 are all vastly different from each other and unique. And it is possible to imagine something more evil than the Third Reich, which means that Nazism was not absolute evil. Absolute evil can't possibly be surpassed. Nazism was plenty evil, but it was not an abstraction; it was a specific, real historical phenomenon.

      As we know, there have been many Israeli leaders, including early Labor socialists, who would have killed or expelled all of the Palestinian Arabs if possible. But that would have been bad form, resonating too closely with the Nazi Holocaust. The public relations consequences would be unacceptable. The Nakba was bad, but it was measured, one might say, and then intensely covered up.

      If the Arabs are going to be eliminated, it has to happen very slowly, with endless finger-pointing at the victims. Because of this difference, it's foolish to liken Israel to Nazi Germany. It's also foolish to use anything like a 1-100 scale of evil. The right thing to do is to bear witness, to describe the phenomenon as it is, in granular detail, and to trust people to respond appropriately.

  • J Street can't tie Israel's latest 'illegal land grab' to cutting US aid
    • It would really be earth-shattering if the U.S. government could get the Israeli government to take notice of what it's saying.

  • The west is safer for Jews than Israel (duh)
    • "...we know that our permission to live freely and safely in any other country can be withdrawn at any moment. In our history as a people, we have seen it happen time and time again with devastating consequences. With a well-armed territorial state to our name, we no longer have to fear those consequences." - Jonah Shepp

      Nowadays, if one country with a large but not too large Jewish presence were to expel its Jews, a globally-coordinated effort would be able to resettle them in Israel. But if the diaspora Jews became collectively fearful of generalized international hostility, it would not be possible for anywhere near all of them to move to Israel and live normally there. Not possible logistically, economically, practically. Israel might be seen as a safe haven for Jews targeted locally, but it does not have the capacity for a global ingathering.

  • 'New Yorker' limits its expose of Israel lobby to AIPAC
    • Connie Bruck, edited by David Remnick and published by Newhouse, is not going to be a leading indicator on these matters. But obviously something's happening. It's "glasnost" in America with regard to Israel and AIPAC. Letting a little steam off, making a few adjustments. What's encouraging is that Soviet glasnost allowed the lid to be blown off rather quickly.

  • Gaza goyim jailbreak
    • Yes, it will be interesting to see what kind of role Israel/Palestine plays in the elections later this year and in 2016, given how voters tend to focus on economic issues.

    • The Clinton-Barak-Arafat Camp David summit ended in late July 2000 without an agreement. Kerry announced the latest effort in late June 2013. There was no US-sponsored effort of significance in almost 13 years because Bush-Cheney didn't do anything, and Obama waited until he was re-elected. If these criteria remain in force, and if the Democrats hold the White House and the next President gets re-elected, the next peace effort will be about seven years from now. If we don't get two more consecutive Democratic Presidential terms, it will be 11 or 15 years from now.

      The fact that there was no American peace initiative for 13 years and that the latest one was quickly followed by the current operation in Gaza has pushed many Americans, Jewish and not, past the breaking point. Many are asking what exactly is the long-term plan for the Palestinian Arabs. Many feel that for 45 years or so, since the Nixon administration's first peace proposal, the Israeli discourse about resolving the conflict as been, most of the time, dishonest, because the strategy of all the leaders other than Rabin, and that of the Israeli establishment, is gradually to get rid of the Palestinian Arabs.

      The current Gaza operation is prompting many Americans to realize that the extreme bias of the media and our regime of campaign finance are dire problems.

  • Our new look
    • Looks great. Here's a suggestion: there should be one page where all articles appear in chronological order (like the old home page!). Maybe the archive can be this, so long as you update it in real time. Without such a page, the user has to go to each category page in order to be sure not to miss anything.

  • Hillary Clinton just lost the White House in Gaza -- same way she lost it in Iraq the last time
    • Here are a couple of sources:

      Kreig has 34 five-stars out of 39 reviews. As for Madsen (and anyone), best to deal with his evidence rather than with him, ad hominem.

      Here is a good interview with Kreig:

      I don't think it was Soviet Communists who groomed Obama, and I don't think he is a communist at all. He is a factotum of the Democratic Party- Rockefeller-Goldman Sachs network, as opposed to the Republican Party-Bush family-military industrial network. More simply, the globalist-financiers versus the nationalist-militarists. And it's important to note that the former group, while well-represented by Jews, has lately taken an adversarial line toward the Israeli government and the neocons. This is evidenced by the appointment of Chuck Hagel, the Kerry two-state process, the refusal to invade Syria, and the diplomatic opening to Iran.

      The neocons are in trouble because they made their big shift to the Republican Party during the 1990s and now (1) the Democratic establishment is opposing them, as noted above, and (2) they are dismayed by the Republican field of candidates. Hence the recent Romney name-dropping, which smacks of panic.

    • Dan Crowther, who is going to win the general election?

      It is interesting to see Mitt Romney mentioned in the press several times recently. I think this is AIPAC, et al. I don't think they trust Jeb. One reason is that the Bush name has been tarnished by the neocons, and Jeb has probably heard all about that from his parents, both of whom are anti-semites. The Bush family won't be fooled and abused twice, I don't think, and indeed, someone needs to restore honor to the family name.

      The lobby won't stand for Rand Paul, nor will the non-Jewish party establishment, so he's out of the question.

      If they can't get Romney back in for another run, maybe they'll support Ted Cruz, who has been saying all the right things, but who really knows about him?

      I suspect that Jeb will find a way to get the nomination. Cruz might do well in the primaries, given the zealotry of primary voters. I'm starting to think that if Bush is the nominee, he will ask Cruz to be his running mate. Bush would sorely like to name John Kasich, so as to have Florida and Ohio covered, but it will be necessary to name Cruz in order to attract a swing constituency, namely Hispanics, to counter Hillary. I haven't been able to figure out a woman running mate for Bush.

      I don't know what other Republicans to consider seriously, but I'm open to suggestion.

    • Annie, in 2008 the best evidence that Obama had been groomed for the Presidency that most people knew about was the fact that he had given the keynote address at the convention in 2004, at a time when the only political office he had held was as a state legislator.

      If my wording suggested that it was obvious in 2008 that he had been groomed for the Presidency, I will agree that it was probably not obvious to a lot of people then. But I think it should be obvious by now. There's a lot of circumstantial evidence, which I'd be happy to discuss offline.

      Regarding whether "the collective psychology now is that it’s time for a woman", it would be more precise to say that there will probably be a constituency of swing voters who will vote according to that notion, and that there will probably be enough of them to decide the election. I think Obama has opened the door, and perhaps the floodgates, to women and minority Presidents.

    • Phil, much of what you say in this piece is true and encouraging, in my view. But with your prediction you are indeed out on a limb, and that limb is probably going to break.

      In 2008 there was an alternative candidate to Hillary who was a superb campaigner and a member of a disenfranchised group. He had obviously been groomed for the Presidency for many years, possibly going as far back as his adolescence. He gave the convention keynote address in 2004.

      Shortly after the New Hampshire primary, the media, including the liberal organs, started spinning things in Obama's favor. I don't think this could have been because there was doubt as to whether Hillary would win the general election, in light of GW Bush, Cheney, and the financial crisis which was already getting underway. I could go on about the machinations of 2008 and the people who were probably behind them, but I'll save it for another time and place.

      The collective psychology now is that it's time for a woman. We've had a "black" man (he's exactly half-black, but we see him as black), with the middle name "Hussein". I find it hard to imagine any candidate other than Barack Obama who could have stopped Hillary in 2008 (with, as I've suggested, a lot of help behind the scenes).

      What about other disenfranchised or minority groups? A Hispanic President? Probably soon, but not before a woman. A Jew? An open gay or lesbian? Not before a woman.

      But perhaps the weakest part of your argument, Phil, is the question which Democratic candidate is going to take the nomination away from Hillary. The party has not cultivated another woman who is now analogous to Obama in 2008. Not Elizabeth Warren, not Kirsten Gillibrand. There isn't one. The 2012 keynote address was given by Julian Castro, who is now 39 years old and was the mayor of San Antonio, Texas for six years. He is obviously being groomed to be a running mate first. Maybe Hillary's, but that's not at all certain.

      The only way to prevent Hillary from getting the nomination is for Joe Biden to inherit the Presidency well before the 2016 primary season. If that happened, he would probably ask her to accept the Vice Presidency and she would probably demur, stating that she will run for President in 2016. Who would win the nomination is hard to predict. In this speculative scenario, perhaps Biden would make Gillibrand his Vice President and his 2016 running mate. Certainly not Elizabeth Warren. I believe that many of the same individuals who orchestrated Obama's defeat of Hillary in the 2008 primaries have seriously considered this Biden scenario. Whether they would go ahead with it remains to be seen, but we should not expect it to happen until February 2015 at the earliest. Their motives have to do with the first Clinton Presidency, subsequent developments in the world, and the personalities of Hillary and Bill. I'll leave it at that for now.

  • Sam Harris defends his silence on Gaza slaughter (or tries to anyway)
  • Portrait of a Zionist
    • Jon Podhoretz is so bad, as are some of the others (Dershowitz, et al), that they make me wonder whether their intent is not actually to discredit the cause that they appear to support.

  • The Brits are way hipper about Palestine than Yanks
    • "Why does America continue its blind support of this one-sided exercise in ethnic cleansing? WHY? I just don’t get it. I really hate to think its just the power of AIPAC… for if that’s the case, then your government really is fundamentally corrupt. No, I don’t think that’s the reason… but I have no idea what it could be." - Eno

      It's not just campaign cash from AIPAC. It's a bundle of different things. The most powerful tool in the bundle is the raw NSA feed shared with Israel. We need to get beyond the idea that campaign cash is the answer.

  • Kerry is off the Israel bandwagon
  • Gaza massacre is generating ideological crisis in American Zionists
    • "The ongoing Gaza massacre is exposing the fact that whatever its merits on paper as a Jewish liberation story, Zionism unfolded in the real world to become what we see in the news, a violent and racist regime that, backed by powerful Americans, has lost touch with moral norms and is justly isolated in world opinion." - Phil Weiss

      The words "has lost touch with moral norms" makes it sound like it happened recently. Presumably when the decision to attack Gaza was made.

      I think what has happened recently is that the U.S. mounted a serious effort to resolve the Israel/Palestinian conflict; the Israeli government refused to cooperate; the Palestinians merged their political organizations; the Israeli government decided to attack Gaza; and worldwide perceptions of Israel reached a breaking point.

      I don't think that Israel or the Israeli government just recently lost touch with moral norms.

  • Democrat Eliot Engel appears at pro-Israel rally featuring anti-Muslim activist Pamela Geller
  • Israel's war is just beginning and has never ended
    • "Israel will stop when it’s in Israel’s interest to stop. Not before."

      That would have been a long time ago.

  • After repeated calls for vengeance, Netanyahu urges Israelis to be 'cool-headed' and seek 'justice'
    • Netanyahu's words bring to mind Richard Landes's theories, as reported here a few days ago, except that Landes was talking about Arabs.

  • 'About 60,000 Americans were murdered' by Palestinians in Israel, says Shmuley Boteach
    • "The rotting corpse of the Presbyterian Church suffered another nail in the coffin with its general convention vote on Friday to divest from companies doing business with Israel."

      That's not what the church did. He can't seem to nail anything down correctly.

  • Iran wins points from Brazil to State Dep't (even as Bill Kristol calls for another Iraq war)
    • Iran is probably going to get even better after Khamenei passes on. Good chance there will be a reformation of the government in which unelected Supreme Leaders will be replaced by elected non-supreme ones. And there's no reason to expect the country to depart from its tradition of cautious and non-inflammatory foreign policy. The U.S. should most definitely cooperate with Iran on the present Iraq troubles, and should reject the advice to do it ourselves in such a way as not to strengthen Iran. The only people who have anything to fear from Iran are those who want all the Muslim countries in the region to be or become failed states.

  • Neoconservatism is 'vindicated' in fawning 'NYT' piece on power couple of Kagan and Kristol
  • 'Numb, speechless, sad', Israel supporters grieve Cantor's loss
    • Cantor's defeat is actually very good for the Jewish people; some don't understand that, but we're working on it...

  • Shmuel Rosner's RX in the NYT: Occupation forever
    • Isn't this Naftali Bennet's long-term strategy? Israel will "manage the conflict" until, well, never mind when.

  • South African radicals wanted to kill Paul Simon for violating boycott -- Steve Van Zandt
    • It has been obvious to me for a long time that Paul Simon is a snake. If I recall correctly, there were people who said that his album "Graceland" was part of the impetus for the end of apartheid, and I don't think he ever demurred.

  • America's rabbi hoovers celebrities
  • Now Rand Paul wants to 'Stand with Israel'
    • It's good to have this coverage of Rand Paul and his machinations, even if he has no meaningful chance of becoming President, as I believe is the case.

  • Who will be the last neoconservative?
    • I noticed the references to prosperity by the U.S. source interviewed by Nahum Barnea and by David Brooks here. These references are aiming in different directions but both seem to be the same tactic, namely to threaten or inspire fear.

      The interview source said "Israel is not China. It was founded by a UN resolution. Its prosperity depends on the way it is viewed by the international community."

      Brooks said "...the order that we’ve counted on for the free movement of peoples and goods...that we really do rely upon..." Phil paraphrased Brooks' comments as "saying that the US needs to continue to run the world, and keep up the global stream of goods and services, or everyone’s prosperity will suffer."

      It's just interesting to see this tactic used on both sides now. Brooks is speaking to the mostly-American NPR audience saying, in his own euphemistic way, that the public should support a reassertion of the Pax Americana in order to ease the pain they're feeling in their wallets lately. Of course, this isn't why Brooks is making the argument. He doesn't give a rip about the American public.

      The reference to prosperity by the interview source, however, is particularly interesting. After a frustrating period of time working on an Israel/Palestine solution, a U.S. State Department source who must have had the approval of Kerry and Obama, and who might have been Kerry himself, starts talking about Israel's prosperity being at stake. That strikes me as cutting pretty close to the bone.

      I don't think the "peace process" is over, although it might not continue to look like a peace process. A very significant part of the American establishment, a network of people whose power is deeper than that of the Cheney/Rumsfeld network, decided a while ago to make some changes to American policy with regard to Israel. It is not about Obama and/or Kerry trying to secure their personal legacies. And this establishment is not going to "give up" because Israel refuses to cooperate.

      The interview was not a parting shot coming at the end of the latest peace effort. The pressure will continue, and I don't think that a Democratic successor to Obama will switch sides. And if, God forbid, Jeb Bush succeeds Obama, I don't think he will take us back to the days of Cheney and Rumsfeld, either.

  • Kerry says that Israel could wind up being 'an apartheid state'
    • It's silly to think, as Norman Finkelstein apparently does, that this round of two-state talks is all about Obama's and Kerry's preoccupation with their personal legacies. Since about 2006, a deeper American establishment than the neocon one has reasserted itself. They waited until their new President was re-elected and then launched the current two-state process.

      There are various motives, but my strong sense is that some of the main ones have to do with domestic U.S. politics. I don't think the ongoing Sheldon Adelson spectacle, for example, is good for the Republicans. Some voters notice it, but more importantly the political class does, and it's repulsive to most of them.

      It will be interesting to see how Hillary behaves in the meantime. Assuming she runs, I don't think she'll reveal much in the way of support for a solution to the conflict before the election, but I think she very much wants the conflict to be resolved.

  • Snowden revealed a world of conspiracies I once would have scoffed at-- Bryan Burrough
    • "I’d suggest that Gross or others at NPR get Chase Madar on to explain [Chelsea Manning's] significance."

      I'd suggest that Burrough study Bob Woodward for starters and then move on to 9/11. It's hard when you have a nice career in journalism and at some point are forced to look at evidence and facts that invalidate your worldview. Most don't want to know and won't go there. A few do, people like Robert Parry and Russ Baker. They are the ones we should be listening to. Maybe Brian Burrough will make the full transition, but we'll have to wait and see.

  • 'Secret' London conference seeks to link BDS to... terrorism
  • Why are two Republican congressmen doing a walkabout on the Temple Mount?
    • "The evangelicals are different. For a variety of reasons, the worse Israel behaves, the better it is fulfilling their needs."

      What are those reasons? I'm not implying an opinion here, just asking.

  • Hillary Clinton to do NY fundraiser with man whose 'only agenda' is Israel
    • P.S.: mondoweiss covers the media dimension of the question quite well, but there has to be more. Probably somewhere in the Edward Snowden realm...

    • It is absolutely not all about cash. Are we to believe that the behavior of the Senators who conducted the Chuck Hagel hearings was only about campaign money? Impossible. So what else is it? I'd like to see the mondoweiss team focus on this question. I think that shedding more light on the answers would have a very positive impact.

  • 58 angry, selfish, foolish Jews don't understand: AIPAC speaks for Israel
    • Hey Tzombo: Marcus is pretty much right. Every single time the far left has been in power in Israel, especially since 1977, AIPAC has supported them, except for Rabin in the 1990s. But he wasn't far left, he was, I don't know, crazy or something.

  • Jewish groups used anti-semitism smear to try to stop boycott debate -- Holocaust scholar who heads MLA
    • I would use the word "pressure". Blackmail is usually in the mix somewhere. I don't accept the scare-mongering about bloodshed and disaster. The main obstacle to an imposed two-state solution is the domestic political situation in the U.S., and it looks like that obstacle is in the process of falling. It is also becoming increasingly clear that Kerry is not begging the parties to agree. He's going to lay out the deal, and the U.S. is going to insist that it be implemented. We'll have to wait to see in what forms the pressure is applied, but it's naive to think that the U.S. does not have the power. It does, and its now-dominant political establishment obviously intends to use it.

    • "When the two-state solution officially goes down this year..."

      By "goes down" I assume you mean "fails". It could also mean "happens". I think a lot of people are underestimating the chances of it happening. I think this administration intends to impose a deal on the parties to the conflict, and I think the chances are pretty good that the next administration will be of the Democratic Party and will see the process through if it's not finished already. The deep American establishment is behind this; the opposition is becoming narrower. Some think that the U.S. cannot impose a deal, but I think we'll find out that it can.

  • Fearless authors dance on third rail of US politics...
  • 'Guard the state, no surrendering to Kerry' -- right-wing Israeli campaign
    • Lieberman is maneuvering to succeed Netanyahu. One scenario is that he teams up with the haredim and the various liberal parties, and in the meantime something is done to fracture Yesh Atid and bring about half of its members into a coalition. The other half can refuse to work with the haredim and stay out if they prefer. Likud and Naftali Bennett will be out.

  • Round up all the usual suspects (the peace process in pictures)
  • In 2014, BDS movement will outflank Israel lobby -- Beinart
    • I don't think they will "coast". I think they'll get creative. Bush Sr. helped to get rid of Shamir. There are many ways the U.S. can change the game over there if necessary. My sense is that something big has begun to happen since Obama's re-election with respect to the conflict and the region. It's consistent with the changing attitudes that this site monitors and is helping to bring about.

      And as I said, I think it has a lot to do with U.S. partisan politics. If Obama and Kerry keep pushing for a deal, and the Republicans get all nasty in 2016 in support of the settlers and Netanyahu (or some other right-wing leader), that isn't going to play well for the Republicans. It's like, they made their bed with the Israel hawks, and now the Democrats are forcing them to sleep in it. There's a lot at stake, and much of it hinges on the Democrats extending their control of the executive branch beyond two terms for the first time since 1952.

    • I think the Democratic nominee will be torn between the pressure coming from the Israel hawks, including the lobby, and the policies that the Obama administration has put into place thus far in the second term. Meaning Kerry pushing for a two-state deal, the refusal to invade Syria and depose the Shiite government, the agreement with Iran, and perhaps other things. I doubt Obama and Kerry (et al) will give up on a two-state deal. I think they will probably keep pushing until they get it or until the 2016 election. The Democratic nominee will probably try to stay aloof and even hint that she might not continue those policies if elected. In the meantime the Republicans will be very vocal in opposing Obama's Israel/Syria/Iran policies.

      I didn't say that the Democratic establishment is anti-Israel or anti-Zionist. I said that it wants a two-state deal. It's true that the Democratic establishment's foreign policy is now that of Eisenhower, Nixon, and Bush Sr. I don't think Israel will ever be an "enemy" of the U.S.

      To some extent I see these Obama policies as having a lot to do with domestic U.S. partisan politics. The Israel hawks shifted toward the Republicans after Bush Sr., and eventually did much to help bring about the invasion of Iraq. The Democratic establishment is now using this legacy against the Republican party. I'd say the tactic is working pretty well.

    • Beinart: "If [Kerry] fails, the United States won’t take another shot until it inaugurates a new president in 2017, and maybe not then."

      Probably not then. The new template would seem to be that Republican administrations do not push for a solution, and Democats do so only after being re-elected, if then. So if Obama and Kerry fail this time, the earliest resumption would be around the beginning of 2021. And that would be if the Democrats hold the Presidency for four straight terms, which would be the longest run for either party since FDR and Truman.

      It is possible that the circumstances surrounding the whole issue have already changed enough that this will not be the outcome. But the lobby would probably be in favor of this template, and 2016 is going to be a pitched battle with respect to Israel/Palestine. Hillary is doing everything she can to get their support, but the Democratic establishment obviously wants a deal, and Presidents are supposed to do what they're told, so I doubt the Israel hawks will trust Hillary.

  • Netanyahu tweets red-telephone picture, to show how happy he is with Kerry
    • Kerry: "...recognizes Israel as a country that can defend itself, by itself, ..."

      By itself. That's interesting.

  • Israeli ambassador's present to Obama -- settlement cufflinks!
    • We should not underestimate the significance of what the U.S. administration has been doing since the 2012 election. Petraeus out; Hillary out; Kerry in; Hagel in; Obama saying some interesting things when in Israel; two-state process renewed with some urgency; Kerry saying some blunt things; interim deal with Iran; and some other developments that might be quite related, such as the Snowden affair.

      Obama does not seem to me to be a force of nature. He is more a spokesperson. And a good one. Maybe the greatest of the great communicators to date. Case in point: scroll back up and look at that smile. It's the phoniest, most hideous smile you'll ever see, especially if you know the context. He maintains deniability while sending his message, loud and clear. Perfect!

  • Two rightwing supporters of Israel make huge grant to int'l LGBT campaign
  • Rouhani has 'American blood on his hands,' Emergency Committee for Israel says
  • Bored with the Jews
    • That's a bummer about Dershowitz. Harvard should have waited for him to resign and then appointed a Jewish dean.

  • Obama confidante says Iran would not use nuke against Israel, but 'I still think he will pull the trigger'
    • I don't think Obama will attack Iran, but I think he might attack Syria. The main reason for attacking Syria will be to diminish Hezbollah's ability to threaten Israel and thereby to diminish one of Israel's main excuses for refusing a two-state deal. Everyone with a brain believes that Iran won't actually use nuclear weapons against Israel. No one has ever used them since the first time, in 1945. In a multi-polar nuclear world, using nuclear weapons is not part of the logic of having them. Lester Crown tells us that Iran won't use nuclear weapons, but that if they get them it will exacerbate the Hezbollah problem. The problem is Hezbollah, not Iranian nukes. I think Obama will address the problem, not the non-problem.

      The real problem that Crown doesn't want to identify is that a nuclear-armed Iran will circumscribe Israel's imperial ambitions. That is the "emergency" that requires a "committee". The fear is of continued loss of imperial momentum, which has been happening for about six years now, and which I think will continue. The fear is not of a physical threat to Israel, which hardly exists, especially given America's unwillingness to tolerate such a threat.

  • Goddamn the neoconservatives
    • "Brooks 'let his veil slip' ... he has damaged himself, irrevocably."

      He did let his veil slip, no doubt about it, but I can see him recovering if he is allowed to. This piece by Phil is very encouraging in that respect, however.

      Recently MJ Rosenberg tweeted that "David Brooks combines condescension of the high bred WASP, his aspiration, with the ethnic chauvinism of the parochial Jew, which he is."

      Amusing as always, but not quite right in my view. In the Jewish Week article about Brooks (dated 11/15/11) that Phil linked to in his July 4 article a week ago, Brooks says of his family "that their social lives are less involved with Washington’s power brokers and journalists, but rather built around weekly Shabbat dinners with friends from their shul and their kids’ schools."

      I see Brooks as following the path that David Mamet has taken (one example among many), not as aspiring to be a high-bred WASP.

      The high-bred WASP act is camouflage, as are Brooks' many positions that make him a "moderate" Republican. It gives him the appearance of reasonableness, of being willing to consider all points of view and to balance them out and avoid extremist conclusions. On every issue except one, of course. Moderate, reasonable Republicans find themselves unemployed and powerless these days, unless they do the one thing that can make them unassailable.

      This approach, Brooks' approach, necessarily creates a certain amount of cognitive dissonance on the part of his readers, listeners, and interlocutors, apparently including Gail Collins. Many NYT/NPR/PBS followers will respond to statements like "We should be trying to turn the Syrian civil war into Iran’s Vietnam" by not quite knowing what to think, and in many cases just filing the idea away in their minds without due diligence.

      If Brooks isn't "the best of the neocons, the most nuanced and presentable," I don't know who is. He's insidious and dangerous, and he shouldn't be left alone to do his underhanded work. If he is, the damage he has done to himself will, alas, be revocable. It's good to see that Phil doesn't intend to let that happen.

  • David Brooks's track record on lesser cultures and religions that lack the 'democratic mentality'
    • I haven't looked around for a site or a writer that tenaciously shines a disinfecting light on the complex and dangerous discourse of David Brooks. It's good to see it happening here, but I think it would be appropriate to increase the effort and make him more of a focal point for mondoweiss than he already is.

  • Egyptians lack 'basic mental ingredients' necessary for democracy, says 'NYT' columnist
    • Egypt has a population of 85 million. Far from having defective mental equipment or intellectual DNA, the Egyptian people are by and large very worldly. For at least the last 32 years, Egypt has represented one of the world's most appalling wastes of human potential. Why couldn't Egypt compete with India as a high-tech economy? It could, but we all know why it hasn't.

      Every word that David Brooks writes or speaks is meant to influence events. Although he throws some of his stuff on Iran and other Muslim countries in this piece, I think his priority is that Egypt continue to be ruled by a dictator who will keep the 85 million Egyptians completely stunted. The notion of all those people being allowed to develop themselves, their political culture, and their skills and prosperity, makes Brooks and his ilk shudder.

  • David Brooks welcomes 'Enrique Cohen-Chan' diversity
    • " As America changes and there are more and more "Enrique Cohen-Chan"s walking around, a Jewish state is going to seem like more and more of an anachronism. Some day David Brooks will flipflop on that one too. "

      Uh, I'm going to say he won't. In fact, when I began to interpret Brooks as an Israel-Firster a few years ago, I found it to be an illuminating hypothesis. He's mild-mannered about it most of the time, even somewhat covert, but I think that's a more effective approach, and whatever we might think of his ideas (so to speak), he is a very effective, even dangerous, propagandist. He writes about a lot of topics, but I get the impression that in the end there's really only one thing he cares about.

  • 'NYT' columnist praises fundamentalist Jews as collective of 'the future'
    • Remind me, does MJ Rosenberg include Brooks in his list of alter kockers (along with David Mamet and others)?

  • Which will prevail-- latest neocon charge on Hagel over Israel, or D.C.'s fatigue over delay?
    • I would much prefer that the U.S. had a fluid party system as some parliamentary governments do. But even to break the party duopoly in America would require fundamental legal changes that aren't on the horizon at the moment. Something that's worth working for.

    • I've thought about Hagel running for President in 2016. I won't rehearse all the logic, but I think his best odds would be to switch parties and run as a Democrat, and those are long odds.

    • AJC says: "But in light of his complex record in the Senate..."

      Not good to have a complex record in the Senate. Must be simple and clear.

  • Hagel obeyed Senate taboo against criticism of Israel-- 'our most important ally in the entire world'
    • Do the Senators have a rational strategy in this case? Hagel is still expected to be confirmed, so what are they trying to do?

      Hagel must be enraged by this. Should they be concerned that his response after being confirmed will be to do the opposite of what they want him to do, or as little of it as he can get away with?

      Are they setting up a confrontation with the Administration, which seems to be moving in the wrong direction as they see it? If so, how risky is that? Do they know for sure that they can prevail when the time comes?

      It seems to me that it can't just be about campaign contributions. And the word "intimidation" doesn't even seem strong enough. It seems more like they're under control.

      I get the sense that some kind of reckoning is coming soon. I don't know how it will play out.

  • Endless 'debate over two-state solution' is cover for the real story, annexation of West Bank
    • The two-state solution is a solution to a problem. The problem is the public relations challenge associated with a gradual takeover of the West Bank. The solution is to talk about the two-state solution until the takeover is finished.

  • Was Obama just doing the rope-a-dope last night?
    • I don't think Obama won the battle, but I think he got closer to winning the war. He's just running out the clock at this point. My biggest fear is that Romney will close the gap enough that some faceless committee of people will decide that they can steal the election for him.

      And poor James North should just get rid of his television. Life is too short for tedious, centrist, dull, unchallenging TV programs.

  • Garrison Keillor comes out, slightly
    • Much better than nothing. By the way, and help me out here, but is he also joking by putting himself in the position of God? " have nothing to atone for to me..."

  • Obama says Netanyahu's demands are 'noise' and Romney seems to want to 'start another war'

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