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Total number of comments: 797 (since 2009-07-30 20:25:54)

syvanen

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  • Didn't they learn anything from Egypt?
    • Finally RW is telling us about the WB settlement movement. He is telling us something new -- the Jews legally purchased that land before 1948. Now he tells us why he supports the occupation. Good for you RW, I guess this requires our many IP investigators here at Mondoweiss to unravel the reality behind such claims.

      What a waste of time. One fool or outright liar can spend 10 minutes making claims that require serious thinkers thousands of hours refuting.

  • The Palestinian parallels
    • Excellent points Phil. It has been painfully obvious for a few years that the biggest advocates of Gandhian nonviolence have been the Israelis. Should a Palestinian teenager throw a stone, then he no longer has any rights and can be shot down in the streets. See how it is, if someone deviates from principles laid down by that great man, then it becomes an excuse for the Zionists to engage in brutal repression.

      Now we have just witnessed the acts of many thousands of Egyptians, against incredible odds, physically resisting the security police. And their resistance involved throwing their bodies against police lines, hurling rocks and, yes, physically fighting (violence folks) the Mubarak thugs that were sent out to clear them from Tahrir square. We all support these people in what they did.

      Now is the time to support those Palestinians who decide not to go limp in the face of Israeli police violence even if some of the younger protesters happen to throw a few rocks. Gandhi wouldn't approve, but just like in Egypt today, we should support the Palestinians in their quest for freedom.

      This is an extremely important point. In the thread above there is a mini debate over this. It should have been obvious in NY during the 2004 Republican Presidential convention, how easy it is for our state to emasculate pure non violent protest. Remember that day. The police set up those wire cages and ushered all of the non-violent, Gandhian inspired protesters inside, and completely neutered whatever protest message they were trying to make. They just sat there in those wire cages and were completely ignored.

      Contrast that to the WTO Seattle protests a decade back. There was some serious street actions that shook that institution to its foundation. To this day they not dare show their faces in any major city on earth.

  • Mubarak is out! Hands power to military as Egyptians hit the streets on ‘Farewell Friday’
    • Don't be a pill Avi. It is clear what I said. There was a terrible threat of violence hanging over this whole uprising. In the first few days the pitched battles between the demonstrators and special police were not Gandhian tactics. It was not just provocateurs that burned down Party headquarters. Once the army showed up and restored order the threat of violence passed on to them. And it sounds like it was used to force the resignation of Mubarak and Suleiman.

      I have tremendous admiration for the those people who stood up against the police in the first week -- it is not a smear to recognize that they engaged in some serious street fights against incredible odds.

    • We do not yet know what really happened but it looks like Suleiman is gone also.

      This was the best outcome possible. The Army, it seems, has turned against the state security agencies that were run personally by Mubarak and Suleiman. That split was essential from day one if this was going to turn out without even more casualties. But 300 martyrs folks, that is not a sign of a nonviolent uprising. What we are calling nonviolent is the fact that the people and army reached some kind of understanding that they were on the same side. This put the superior fire power of the Army against the smaller state security agencies -- it just took a few weeks for the Army to finally realize what they had to do. The final transition was nonviolent but it was the threat of terrible violence that led this outcome.

      Now is the time to educate the Army that they are really interim rulers.

  • Crash on the Nile– Mubarak isn’t stepping down!
    • It seems that many of these rumours about Mu's departure emmanated from Washington. I think this is another piece of evidence that the US really has very little influence over events in Egypt -- neither with the corrupt regime nor with the people.

  • I know you all fear that our fervor is waning. It is not
    • This all very good news Ahmed. It was clear last week that there was not going to be a quick solution and the delivery of food, water, commerce in general would have to be restored if the uprising could continue much longer. It looks like this obstacle has been overcome.

      You write (regarding US action) Today, it appears that the demonstrators are largely on their own. I think most of them have known that all along.

      What else could they think? After all you guys have essentially ousted our puppet who we paid over $40 billion and may very well topple the entire regime. The US will do what it can to save its investment. However, it is a mistake to over-estimate US influence. Just remember what happened in Iraq. In spite of total US military occupation we have proved powerless to stop the installation of a government that is basically allied to Iran. No observer of this process can believe that this was an outcome desired by the US, certainly no half sentient observer in the Arab world. The Iraq lesson I believe is very important in Egypt today. All of the players on both sides are aware of America's limited influence. The more that people believe in this then even less influence for the US.

      There is the one silver lining in that cloud of the US fiasco in Iraq. Ten years back a people's uprising that threatened the regime would be opposed by the US with what would be perceived as a credible military option -- today that option has expired.

  • The Meaning of Budrus
    • I saw Budrus this last weekend. It is impressive. Do go see it if you get the chance.

      This is a story of non violent resistance. Downright inspirational. RW would object, of course, because at one point when the border police invade the village itself, many of the youthful boys responded with what I thought was one impressive barrage of thrown stones. Other than that transgression, this does show the power of non violent resistance.

      One of the major characters interviewed here is a member of Hamas. He describes in very clear terms why he is supporting nonviolent resistance: in a nutshell because it seemed to be working. Not that it did him that much good personally since he spent nearly a year in jail for his involvement in these protests. Obviously, the Israelis were hoping to provoke a violent backlash but in this case they failed.

      As is pointed out above, it seems the involvement of women in the front lines was a major factor. I recall scenes from the "Battle of Algiers" where there were major demonstrations against the French occupation that were made up almost entirely of women. Those were powerful scenes. It is odd that the Palestinians are not taking more advantage of this.

  • Window of democracy has likely already shut (and Hillary knocks at Suleiman's door)
    • an uprising that is successful is a “revolution,” otherwise it is called a revolt.

      That is exactly where the Tharir square people are today. And if they cannot move beyond the "revolt" stage they will experience the crushing defeat stage.

    • What absurd comments there is nothing smart about them. The uprising shook the Egyptian power structure to its core. The fact that it is still standing and may very well survive this insurrection intact with all of its special privileges and disproportionate share of the wealth does not change what happened in the last two weeks. The rebellion may fail. But as of today it is still in play. I hope they do win, but am realistic enough to know that they could very well be crushed. Obviously, the US plan is to procrastinate the uprising to death and just get on with things as normal, maybe something like the very successful peace process strategy to frustrate Palestinian aspirations. But I doubt that it will play out that way.

      One of the things that held back the people from all out rebellion is their love for the army (as opposed to the special police forces represented by Suleiman). If the army ends up crushing the resistance that should serve to clear the cobwebs from the minds of the people -- i.e. the army is the enemy and in the future they should act accordingly. To view the army as a monolith is also a fundamental error -- the rebellion, from day one, could not succeed without a major split happening inside the army. That is as true today as it was two weeks ago.

      The fact that the regime has survived the initial assault, also probably means that further developments will be playing out in time scale of months and not days like the past two weeks.

  • Mike Huckabee’s ill informed and dangerous views on Israel/Palestine may end up in the White House
  • They're dancing in Palestine, too
    • The PA receives 100s of millions of dollars a year from the US and the EU. Now they are earning their money. The PA have become Israel's agents, basically jailers for colonialist. It has been obvious for some time.

      If the Palestinian papers didn't revoke the PA's mandate to represent their people, this despicable display of western servitude should finish the job. The people of Egypt have revoked Mubaraks legitimacy. Give that the PA continues to support Mubarak, they have also revoked their own mandate.

  • Only serious dissent on the Palestinian street will change the game: Former PLO negotiator Diana Buttu on the ‘Palestine Papers’ and the Egyptian uprising
    • from danaa: I, for one, tend to temper any criticism I might have of Fatah and the PA negotiating teams with a realization that these are captured people trying to negotiate with their kidnappers and jailers.

      Reasonable sentiment but when you consider that the US and EU is paying Fatah and the PA 100s of millions of dollars each year it sort of forces you to ask: who are the jailers?

    • Yes Alex great interview. Not much interest in this story today but in a few weeks it will be front and center.

      I have one serious disagreement with Buttu's assertion that Al Jazeera over-sensationalized the PA involvment in al Madhoun's assassination. I strongly believe that the PA was a co-conspirator and should be denounced by the Palestinian people.

      Consider this analogy. Say Mr A comes to me and asks me to assassinate a local official. I do not want to do it so I procrastinate, listen to his offer and come up with all sorts of excuses for why the timing is not right. So Mr A goes out and assassinates the official. I knew of the plans, did not warn the victim nor publicize the plot. There is not a prosecutor in the US that would not indict me as a co-conspirator.

      It is good to hear Butto's views but I think she may be too close to the PA to see how big the changes have been over the past two weeks. Though again I have never lived inside a terrorist police state. The US and Israel have set up and trained the PA police, the US and EU pay them 100 s or millions of dollars per year so perhaps the Palestinian people can be terrorized into accepting the Bantustan plan being pushed by the US and Israel. But then again, if Israeli violence failed to subdue the Palestinians over the last 40 years then why would turncoat violence succeed.

  • 'We are very much in the early stages of our revolution'
    • This is one of the big variables concerning the success of the street demonstrations. How long can people continue to face such threats? Naked police violence is very frightening. If they drive the people back into their homes, there is little doubt that the secret service police pick people off one arrest at a time.

      This is a time that the discipline of the MB and the desperation of the poor will be critical. It is probably too much to expect the upper class elements that seem to be Parvez's contacts to continue placing themselves in danger. And still the biggest unknown of all -- will the army defy orders to suppress the people on the streets. The stories about army elements involved in arresting people seem to involve the MPs -- a pretty nasty group in any army. The big test has not yet been seen.

  • True romance: Egyptian military sees it will regain its pride by standing up for the people
    • Paul Amar's breakdown of the various groupings is very useful. Not much to add but wonder why he didn't give a better description of the MB. Whatever the outcome they will be players.

      At the present time we all know where the students, organized workers and small farmers and the MB stand. The big unknowns will be how the upper class, business people and army happen to split. For this revolution to be successful, it is necessary that major schisms occur in those groups. It is pure fancy to expect them to back the demands of the people for open elections since as is so obvious too many of them have too much to lose if the current regime is driven from power.

      The best case for a successful outcome would be from mutinies in the army -- basically large numbers of soldiers and their junior officers refusing to follow orders to suppress the uprising. This assumes. of course, that the people occupying Tahir square have the strength to continue. Still too many unknowns to predict the outcome.

  • How the world can jolt Israel from its moral collapse
    • Fibonacci, one of the first great European mathematicians was trained in accounting by N. African merchants -- they were using zero which hadn't spread to Europe yet.

  • Obama's greenlight to Mubarak brings bloodshed to Egypt
    • Avi Actually my analysis failed to post over at the walt blog, my error above. What analysis are you talking about?

      In any case there did occur here some weird kind of pack attack on CK Macleod for simply disagreeing with the attacks on Obama for not more forcefully denouncing Mubarak. And then accusing him of being a settler. And these were people that otherwise seem quite sensible.

    • Hmm no wonder I tend to agree with you, I posted a similar analysis in the comments at walt.foreignpolicy today.

      Don't take the attacks here personally but your cool calculations tend to stir up feelings here -- these threads tend to be more emotional (or as the hard headed reds of yesterday would say 'idealistic') taking their cue from the more emotive Phil Weiss.

    • ck for what is worth I tend to agree with what you are saying here. There is practically nothing that Obama (ie US) can do other than issue meaningless statements. I am also glad to here that you are not a WB settler. Your cold realism seemed at odds with settler fanatics.

      Having said that my preference in meaningless statements would be those tending to give support to Baredei.

  • Brooklyn College reinstates teacher fired for scholarship on Palestine
    • It does sound like the faculty have reacted in a decisive manner against this attack against academic freedom. There are very few college administrations that will defy a unified faculty. There are a number of examples of administrations that fired faculty for communist sympathies in the early 1950s. This was during a period of fear. By 1960 this practice had stopped. The fear had broken and obvious cases of politically motivated firings were resisted. This climaxed in the University of California system over the 'loyalty oath' controversy.

  • Brooklyn College does right thing and rehires Kristofer Petersen-Overton
    • No their accreditation was not likely an issue. Looking at the timeline, it looks like there was a major faculty backlash a brewing and the administration is responding to that. But it is still a very significant development. In recent decades faculty would be very hesitant to support a scholar that was tainted with the charge of antisemitism and was a target of the zionist forces. Phil's analogy to Egypt is apt -- what is happening on the streets there is the loss of fear. Could it be that faculty are losing their fear of the zionist lobby?

  • Homage to Cairo: 'Ordinary people are standing shoulder to shoulder.'
    • We agree that Orwell is a great writer. But I insist he was a political fool. An analogy today, would be some sect in Cairo that pushes the people to denounce the current Army and challenge them in the streets. If such a sect were successful the outcome would be a military reaction that would lead to the deaths of thousands if not millions of citizens and the imposition of marshal law.

      Orwell basically supported analogous factions during the Spanish Civil War (namely the POUMist). I know idealistic leftist and anarchist continue to think that the Barcelona General Strike was the greatest revolutionary event since Spartacus, but in fact all they really succeeded in doing is attacking the Spanish Republic and thereby helping the fascist movements that were attacking them.

      Orwell was charged during this period with objectively giving support to the movements led by Hitler, Mussolini and Franco because of these events. In fact he deserved those awful charges. Ezra Pound is a great poet but that does not forgive his cooperation with fascism.

    • Terrible parallel you draw using Spain. You lead with the flag of POUM. This was one of many groups that made up the revolution that supported the Spanish Republic. Then the regular army tried to crush the Republic. This was the beginning of the Spanish civil war and the Republic was able to build its own army and put up significant resistance. But at the same time, the ultraleft leadership of POUM in Barcelona decided that it was time for the Proletarian Revolution and seized power. This was a revolt against the Spanish Republic which at that time was a "united front" government that included many capitalist element. They now had a two front war -- the fascist armies led by Franco in the South and ultraleftist general strike in Barcelona led by POUM. Republicans had no choice but to divert military forces to put down that insurrection.

      That briefly is what Orwell was writing about in Homage to Catalonia. As great a writer as Orwell is, he was a colossal fool when it came to politics. May the people of Egypt be sparred a similar fate.

  • Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood vs. Al-Qaeda
    • That question is not relevant today, maybe in a few months. But if that treaty is so important to Israel why did they continue stealing WB land for the last 30 years which more than any other factor is what is undermining it today. It is called look in the mirror time, dear zionist.

  • 'Muslims, Christians we are all Egyptians': Scenes from a revolution as told by one eyewitness
    • The great Robert Fisk has more on this:

      link to independent.co.uk

      Don't worry about RW, he has finally found his issue -- denouncing the insurrection because it has violates his sense of propriety. True balance -- white phosphorus on Gazans, OK, burning down the fascist party headquarters, not OK.

  • Egypt is burning and most western pundits have no idea why
    • WJ I am addressing the arguer. I have my issues with the Iranian theocracy and perhaps at an appropriate place I will lay them out. But now the issue happens to be what is happening in Egypt and if you wish to deflect the discussion away from the main issue, I must remind you that you are first and foremost an Israeli apologist. You do, I believe, engage in dissembling, deflection and obfuscation when issues painful to Israel arise. I am responding to a pattern of your responses over a period of many months.

    • I never looked at it that way, but oh so true, painfully true in fact.

    • Dear WJ
      As much as I appreciate your contributions here at Mondoweiss I still see you as a defender of Israel. That is fine. But it does color my reaction to your criticisms of other ME nations. You happen to support one ME nation that oppresses millions of Palestinians both inside Israel and in the WB and feel your primary responsibility is to attack Moslem nations that do not give their own citizens full rights. Nope. Not from you will I accept those criticisms.

    • Yes, yes, yes WJ we all know how horrible it is to live in Iran. Now if Israel is such a great democracy why is it that Arabs are not allowed to live in Tel Aviv ( or in most of its suburbs) or why their elected representatives to the Knesset are not invited into the government.

      I think the Iranian government is really bad. But please, WJ, do not try to hold up Israel as a counter example.

    • Yes Annie, that is also my understanding. But the fact remains, Mubarak rules the army (or, at least did this morning). It is understandable that people identify with them.

      And let all hope if they receive the order to shoot people on the street they do refuse.

    • Chaos you sound like a true anarchist. Though I do admire what many anarchists have done over the last 150 years, I still think organized leadership is important.

      Think of the possibilities that were presented in Alexandria this morning. What if a group of demonstrators along with even some of the police that had just given up (and even some Moslem Brotherhood activists) had just gone down to city hall (or whatever the Egyptian equivalent is) and declared the city free from the central government. They could have held a press conference and made the announcement. They would have held the stage for only a few hours before the army arrived, but just think of the impact such a demonstration would have made. This would have captured headlines around the world. Mubarak would have stood exposed as the naked emperor.

      In any case, I do not know that Baradei would necessarily be a "bad" leader.

    • Parvez I do not understand your hostility to Baradei. Just because he failed to see the moment and is joining in a few days late? Egad man your movement needs leadership. Look what happened in Alexandria. The people drove the police from the streets and there was no effective government rule left. It sounds like people just sat there dumbfounded. Then the army arrived to re-assert control and the crowds cheered them. This is a movement in need of leaders. So tell us what is wrong with Baradei. It sounds like your preference is the Muslim Brotherhood but for those of us who witnessed Tehran ,1979. that sounds like a pretty dumb idea.

  • Clinton statement celebrates 'civil society' in Middle East
    • This must be the worst 10 days of American foreign policy ever.

      1. Of course Egypt is story number 1 today and it could very well herald the collapse of another US puppet. But this has over shaddowed :

      2. The Palestinian papers which has pretty much thoroughly discredited the PA to such a point that they cannot today even contemplate further negotiations with the Zionists. Abbas, the US/Israeli tool is today a greatly weakened tool. Another puppet down the drain.

      3. Tunisia of course another lost lackey for US interests.

      4. But the one piece of news that seems to have been completely overshadowed by events is from Lebanon with the collapse of the Hariri government and its replacement by one approved by Hezbollah, Syria and Iran. And what I find absolutely incredible about this collapse is that the Clinton herself forced Hariri into taking the action that resulted in his governments collapse, even though he tried to resist US pressure to take that action.

      It is not clear how the US should manage the Egyptian crisis other than to stay out of the way, but the Palestinian papers and Lebanon fiascos are clearly made in Washington and the Lebanon outcome lies directly in Clinton's hands. If this happened in a European nation the FM would offer his/hers resignation immediately.

      These events have moved so fast that even usually insightful Israeli press has been left speechless. I cannot even imagine the Panglossian perspective that could spin any of these stories as positive for Israel.

  • A prayer for Egypt
    • Seham more power to you and your brethren in Egypt. We really can not predict what will happen in the next few hours in Cairo but it does seem that a change in the mentality of those citizens in the face of state oppression has happened. May the old dictator succumb this Friday. If not, then let us hope his days are still numbered.

  • Latest from Egypt: ‘Whether you are a Christian, a Muslim, or an atheist, you will demand your rights!’
    • That is one beautiful image at the top of this thread. One solitary protester standing against symbols of state violence. Does bring to mind, as someone pointed out, the hero in Tian Min square facing off against that tank.

  • Palestine Papers: Admiral Mullen says Palestinian state is a U.S. 'cardinal interest' after raising troop deaths
    • Hophni, the evidence is absolutely overwhelming -- it was israel and israel lobby that pushed us into the Iraq war. I suggest you go back and read the chapter in the Walt and Mearshiemer book if you want to see the evidence. Look at their references to that chapter. Though I thought I had a reasonably good under standing for why we invaded Iraq, I was completely overwhelmed with the evidence these authors assembled. This chapter has never been refuted.

  • 'Tahrir means Liberation': A report from Cairo
    • Very shocking. Did you see those children throw rocks at the police. Such unacceptable violence. Where is the Egyptian Gandhi?

  • Congresswoman Barbara Lee, and the silence of friends
    • Jeffrey I do understand your frustration. I worked on Dellum's first campaign (Berkeley city council many years back) and then his run for congress. It is frustrating to realize that he could not have moved to the next level without the zionist support. Barbara Lee inherited that baggage. That is politics.

      Hopefully we can over come their influence even in the most progressive congressional districts. But until we can, we have to live with the consequence.

  • World-renowned computer scientist suffers harrowing mid-air IQ drop
    • A lot of his anti-Iranianism is pretty reasonable,

      Absolutely not. These words were written in a context of defending Israel. His words are political weapons to be used on Israel's behalf. Major zionist forces both in this country and in Israel want the US to go to war against Iran. Using your bandwidth to politically support war against Iran is most unreasonable.

  • Brooklyn-Jenin: On concentration camps and Yonatan Pollack
    • What does Palin have to do with genocidal spouting Israeli rabbis?

    • I think the rabbis have a much clearer picture of the Palestinian "problem" then most give them credit for.

      Basically, they must see that the current policy with regards to those pesky natives is not working. The apartheid status quo cannot hold -- there is a dynamic leading in either towards two states (settlement free) or one state (end of a Jewish dominated Israel). These guys are willing to think outside of the box and consider the logical alternatives. Of course, they must be aware that actions such as this might cause Obama and Hillary to express deep concern, but they are willing to accept the political consequences because current policies will lead, in their world view, to even more dire results.

  • The day after Zionism
    • Richard I take it that you, on the other hand is not

      You’re at either/or already..

      So it sounds like you support discussion, humanization, negotiation, persuasion, or whatever nice sounding terms you use to engage these genocidal rabbis. Do you really think they will listen to you? And if so, what is there to negotiate with them?

  • The ethnocentric blindness of left Zionism
    • Richard but you have to agree that Norr was not just name-calling -- he did give an example (namely Avneri) and he presented a cogent argument. You cannot dismiss Norr's argument in the way you did.

      BTW I think Avneri is one of the truly great Israelis. His contributions over the years to the cause of justice for the Palestinians must be admired. I would never have written what Norr did in this piece because of the tremendous respect that I have for Avneri. However, the whole idea of "progressive Zionism" is ripe with contradictions and as much as I respect Avneri I also recognize that he carries those contradictions with him. Out of respect for him I would focus my arguments against other targets.

    • RW writes Without an example of what you are speaking when you say “ethnocentric blindness of left Zionism”, you are only name-calling at this point.

      Norr's entire essay describes exactly such an example. Can you read? Or is you can't reason?

  • Another name is registered in Gaza
    • Jim good point. Once earlier in my life I engaged in very long range target shooting. Hitting someone through the neck at 300 meters is very good shooting. I never achieved that level of accuracy. The sniper in this case must have been very highly trained. He must be very proud of his technical skills. That is probably why he took the shot. To show his buddies how good he is.

      During the second world war the best snipers were in the Russian army. Zaitzev came out of that conflict as a national hero having killed over 100 German soldiers with his skill. I saw somewhere that many of the best snipers in the IDF were Russian immigrants. I wonder if this killer came from that tradition.

      If so, it would be so sad. The techniques used against the NAZIs 70 years back are being used against the Palestinians today.

  • Birthright Israel calls on its alumni to 'take back Zionism'
    • I have noticed over the years that many progressive Jews will not tolerate criticism of Israel coming from gentiles. These are people who can be extremely critical of Israel when inside the tribe. That is why Mondoweiss is so important -- Phil and Adam can say things that will just be dismissed as antisemitism if it came from us. This situation is changing though -- I think operation cast lead really had a major impact on openly discussing Israel.

  • War and Michael Walzer
    • This just war theory in the absence of just resistance theory is just nonsense. There is little acknowledgment as to why Israel is being threatened. In the absence of that, Waltzer is just a shill for colonial domination. BTW he is NOT a moral philosopher, he is a public "intellectual" who has offered his services to power. As he will be known.

  • Who cares whether Jawaher Abu Rahmah had a previous condition?
    • eee you are completely deaf to Phil's initial post. If an Israeli Jew, as a practical joke, threw a CS canister into a crowd (of Jews, of course) and an asthmatic died, he would be charged and found guilty of murder. The fact of the pre-existing condition of the victim would not serve as a defense.

      What Israel did here is murder.

    • No one forced her to come to the protest.

      And that was true of Schwerner, Goodman, and Chaney who went to Neshoba County in the summer of 1964. And I am sure that was believed by all of those sheriff's deputies after they killed them. Thankyou eee for clarity of your ethical position.

  • US gov't official: Israelis ignore everyone in the US except Tom Friedman and Jeffrey Goldberg
    • So it is as we say – we shouldn’t make peace because the Palestinians are not interested.

      If your definition of peace is of total victory over the Palestinians and theft of their land and water resources then don't bother because all that you will get is continued resistance. We all hope that the resistance continues in the non-violent direction and in order for that to continue the rest of the world will have to support them through BDS.

      If that is the road you choose then that is what will happen.

    • Very good of you to admit that you know who the Amalekites are and are aware that religious WB Jews use that term to refer to Arabs. They are a very significant element in Israeli society. In fact, they are so significant that Netanyahoo cannot agree to a settlement freeze because his government would fail. We are talking about a group of people (about 15% of all Jewish Israelis) that determine WB policies. Your majority government is accommodating an extremely racist and potentially genocidal political movement. You are either being deceptive or extremely naive if you can't see this (Your insinuation that you did not know who the amalekites are, suggests deception).

  • IDF pushes claim that 'Palestinians lied' about Jawaher Abu Rahma's killing
    • Robert Fisk has spent a good part of his career documenting Israeli atrocities only to see the story that is spread through the MSM is the Israeli denial. This is automatic on the part of the IDF -- lie, lie, lie. In a few months they will issue a "correction" once the story is no longer on the front page.

  • Is it anti-Semitic to warn women about the perils of meeting Israeli men?
    • Clencher are you also going to blame the kidney organ traffickers on the Russians. We keep on seeing connections to Israeli doctors for the illegal organ trafficking coming out of the orthodox Jewish community in New Jersey and out of the criminal state of Kosovo (my god, can you imagine, the victims in this case were Serbian orthodox Christians, how could the Jews become involved in that).

      I know, I know the Swedish paper that broke the first parts of this scandal have been appropriately branded as "anti-semites" but please explain why we should blame the Russians and not the Israelis who have already been named.

  • 'The Palestine Cables': WikiLeaks dox expose Netanyahu's vision of Palestinian bantustan
    • Maybe OT but this is a story that deserves more exposure. Not just solitary confinement but Manning is not allowed to exercise during his 23 hours of isolation. I guess if he attempted to do push-ups, deep knee bends or sit-ups he would be declared "unruly". The military is definitely trying to break him. He reminds me of Vanunu. He at least survived his incarceration with his character and spirit of resistance intact. I can only hope that Manning has the inner strength and psychic skills to survive his ordeal. But for those of us in the opposition there is not much more than publicizing his ordeal that we can do other than praying for him.

      What we all should do is to remind any young soul who is tempted to enlist in the US military, that once they do they have given up their rights as a citizen. We on the outside can do very little to help them.

  • Palestinians in Israel would prefer one secular democratic state (but who's asking them?)
    • Audrey, thanks for a great article. Many of us have been aware that the Palestinians that survived the Nakba and ended up inside the green line have been ignored, even though they have have been victimized on a daily basis since 1948 -- living under marshal law up to 1967 and subjected to housing, job and land use discrimination up to this day. They pay taxes that are given to the orthodox yeshivas and the WB settler movement, while their own communities are denied bus service, sewer hook ups, trash collection, etc. Their day will come and once a settlement with the WB settlements is ever achieved Israel will have to come to terms with them.

      In any case it is important to put forth their grievances today, even if the diplomats are not.

      Also the resulting thread is quite interesting. A few years back the Hasbara team focused on simply repeating many of the myths propagated over the founding of Israel -- stupid things like "a land without a people for a people without a land", claiming that the surrounding Arab governments forced the migration of the Arab population, making the "desert bloom" (as if the Eastern Mediterranean lands did not have a vibrant agriculture for over 6 thousand years) and so on.

      In this thread we see a more sophisticated Habara response -- what I call deflection, dissimulation and obfuscation. They no longer deny the basic historical facts and even acknowledge the Apartheid nature of modern Israel. Michael F came close to deflecting this thread into a discussion of the tribal wars going on in Lebanon (or other Moslem nations). eee has worked tirelessly to distort Audrey's essays using cheap rhetorical tricks of dissimulation and obfuscation.. What is impressive are the many good responses that continue to bring the thread back to its basic point. And also in exposing the cheap tricks being employed by our resident Hasbarists.

  • Former Israel ambassador Lubrani says using force against Iran would be giant mistake
    • Clencher you really have no idea what motivates most of us who post here. Your comment is foolish. War with Iran will be very bad for the US and likely Europe and all of the ME countries. We criticize Israel because it and her followers are pushing the US in that direction. I suspect Lubrani believes it will also be very bad for Israel and I agree with him. But for those of us whose primary loyalty lies with the US the damage to us is of more importance.

      I criticize Israel not because there is any chance that that will influence Israel, but to shift the debate in this country towards accepting that Israel is on a self destructive course and that backing her will hurt us as well. There are many things about Israel that I admire greatly but many have reached the conclusion that something has gone very wrong with that country. It is not our responsibility to fix her, but it is our responsibility to protect our own interests.

  • What’s J Street doing meeting with Israeli officials on BDS?
    • I threw a few bucks to J Street when they first emerged. Today they just asked me for $25 to help rebuild those Jews only Israeli communities affected by the Carmel fires. If they would promise to give half of it to Palestinian farmers whose olive orchards were torched by WB settlers I might be tempted.

  • What are Israel’s priorities in time of natural disaster?
    • You overlook the upside of these fires. This will give the JNF a tremendous boost to its fund raising activities in the US. Wait for the advertisements asking for donations to replant those burned over lands. Also the publicity reinforcing Israeli victimhood. Send more money now.

  • Mt Carmel fire is huge news-- what about the arson all over Palestine??
    • According to JNF statistics, six out of every 10 saplings planted did not survive.

      Actually 6 out of 10 mortality is considered a successful planting, even for trees native to the region. This fact is not an indictment for the JNF forestration projects, but the current fires are. The problem is that these are totally artificial forests, as should be obvious to any sentient observer. In any case we are seeing the total failure to introduce a northern European ecosystem into the Eastern Mediterranean climate. Could this be symbolic of the failure of introducing a northern European culture into the mid east?

  • Oh, Canada: Al Jazeera investigates 'the other special relationship'
    • John thanks for this link. It does make the point. Hopefully one day those Canadians will recognize what they have done.

    • This is a great story. Wherever Zionists have settled and wherever they have prospered, they have used their money to buy support for Israel. Canada is no different from the US or Australia or whatever.

      But part of this current story should mention "Canada Park". Which I understand is a very lovely public park on the outskirts of Jerusalem. Not normally mentioned is that it was built over the ruins of three Palestinian villages. Many could dismiss this as just another 1948 Nakba story but they would be wrong. Those Palestinian villages were emptied of their natives, not in 1948, but in 1967. Yes Canada was actively involved in major ethnic cleansing operations at that late date. I think Canadians should really examine if they really want to be associated with these kinds of actions. I suspect that most Canadians have no idea how deeply the Zionists have taken control over their national foreign policy on this one issue, but I hope that they wake up see what has happened in their name. And it is in the name of Canada, all should know that.

  • The big fat national conversation could actually start w/ California divestment initiative
    • Annie I say do not feed the RW troll but I will violate my advice and respond to:

      I know so many humane progressive individuals in Israel, the vast majority of which regard BDS as counter-productive

      I am sure. They live in a society that is dedicated to seizing Palestinian land and water resources in the WB. Any effective political action that frustrates this goal would be obviously counterproductive. By definition. We know that your definition of "humane progressive" really doesn't apply to Palestinians, but that is your value system.

    • Annie, I expressed my concerns. But if you guys can put together a good campaign, I will support you even if looks like it is going to lose. I do believe that the good fight is worth fighting even if it might fail, but we have to make a good showing nevertheless.

    • Jeffrey I must say that I agree with your skepticism here. Politics is the art of the possible. If people like Annie think they can overcome the political forces you describe then more power to them. Here is the problem -- in the California market the Zionists can focus many hundreds of millions dollars against this measure. We do not have those resources. The divestment supporters will need a grass roots organization that can reach into every precinct in the state. We do not have the boots on the ground that can do this.

      Of course, if Annie and her allies are willing to do the work to reverse this obvious common wisdom, then I think we have no choice but to support them in this effort. But we should be prepared in advance to accept a major loss. I am not sure that it will help, but on the outside chance that it might I will reluctantly go along.

      I fear that a major electoral loss will give the Zionist forces a major propaganda victory -- confirming to all that the US public is one with Israel. Hope I am wrong.

  • Notes on Hanukkah: The Maccabees and Zionism's 'invented traditions'
  • 'Daily Kos' banned me and smeared Rachel Corrie, but we can't give up on the Democratic Party
    • I read all of these comments and I cannot argue that you guys are wrong. But I have always ended up voting for the lesser of the two evils -- I am 66 years old, I first voted at 21. I wish we had proportional representation, but we don't. The worse choice was Nixon or Humphrey in 1968. What to do? Either vote then was for more war in Vietnam. As it turned out Nixon won and killed another 30,000 US soldiers in that stupid war. In retrospect, Humphrey, had he won, would have likely killed another 30,000 US troops.

      But still, what choice do we have? At some point we should just recognize that popular votes do not really make all that much difference.

    • Hard to argue against what you are saying. But the brutal reality of the two party system is that only one of the two can win. I wish it was not so, but that is the political reality. We have a choice: President Palin or President Obama. Our choice!

    • Actually I have not given up on the Democratic Party since I am still active in my local club. But I do try to introduce antiwar positions into our agenda. However, I was banned from DailyKos the first week I tried posting there. Four years back Markos was pushing Wesley Clark for President (if you all recall, somewhat ironically, his candidacy blew up over his statement that Jewish (i.e. NY) money was a determining factor in who would end up winning. But what got me banned was bringing Clark's actions in Kosovo in 1999 when he tried to order British troops to throw out the Russians who had just seized the Pristina airport. A very sensible British general (Jones, was it?) countermanded his order. Anyway during his candidacy for President, I raised this issue in the DailyKos blog with the suggestion that he might be just a little too unstable to actually become CiC. There was a spirited debate for a few hours, but all the comment were purged and I have'nt been able to post since. I gave up then, figuring it was Markos's blog and if I was not welcome that was his prerogative.

      This is all history, we all have options elsewhere on the internet. We do not rely on Markos or FDL for that matter. Let us make Mondoweiss our home!

  • Is 'Peace Now' friending settlers?
    • You either convince your fellow compatriots and get the votes or you don’t.

      Well the peace camp in Israel has failed to convince their compatriots. That means oppression of the Palestinians and land theft are national policy. It is clear to any outside observer that Israeli politics will not change based only on internal dynamics. |What to do now? Just live and accept injustice and oppression or try something else.

  • WikiLeaks docs expose Egyptian complicity with Israeli war crimes (again)
    • 3 to 4 inches thick. I don't think so. Check your facts.

    • I hadn't seen that story but when the steel wall was first proposed I imagined how easy it would be to breech with an oxy-acetylene torch and a proper ventilation system. No surprise that this barrier failed.

  • Wexler told Israelis, American people will support attack on Iran if talks are tried and fail
    • Wexler tells the Israelis:

      Rep Wexler recommended that the Israeli people need to consider the US perspective and public opinion.

      That is a hoot. The Israelis probably laughed in his face (no not that bad, but as soon as they left the room). Didn't Wexler get the memo: Israel determines the US perspective and guides US public opinion. I can't believe that he is so naive as to believe that US perspectives and US public opinion are not molded by Zionist forces inside this country.

  • The opening of an American mind: Chalmers Johnson
    • As one on the left who has been involved in antiwar politics for numerous decades and as someone who has struggled to make sense of American foreign policy, the discovery of Chalmer Johnson's work work was a stunning revelation. It was extremely humbling to discover that he was a real conservative. However, it was from that perspective that made his analyses so original, he looked at the world from a completely different perspective than those on the left. What set him apart was his insistence looking at American foreign policy actions through the lens of people who were recipients of that policy. He was sensitive to their cultures. Always raising the question as how our actions will be perceived, how it is consistent with their history. He was the first Western political scientist to realize that the economies rising in Asia were not in the mold of Western capitalism. His passing is a real loss for all of us, his was a real creative voice.

  • Congressional request for Pollard pardon just another example of putting Israel's interests first
    • Evil writes:

      except the beer can is a human being

      let me fix that except the beer can is a traitorous, piece of scum human being

      But more seriously, Pollard should continue to rot in jail for his crimes. If you think it is too long, than let his time be spent for the crimes of Rosen and Weisbach of AIPAC who got off free through political pressure from the Lobby. These traitors can get away with much, but there has to be a limit and Pollard is the measure of that limit.

  • Do liberal zionists think that international law should be ignored because Israel will never adhere to it?
    • eee exclaims:

      What I see are Jews coming to Israel because it is easier at this time to find work here!

      What a hoot. Population of Israel is about 7 million and the number of Jews is about 5.3 million. This number includes about 700,000 that live abroad, mostly in the US or Europe thus leaving 4.6 million on the ground. In addition, another 1 to 2 million have dual citizenship with the US or Europe so if things get too hot they can leave in an instant. And this does not count the 2.5 million Palestinians living in the WB which will be part of Israel once the WB annexation movement is completed. The Jewish/goyim population balance could change in an instant and it won't be good for the Jews. I think we will all see what a Jewish democratic Israel will look like very shortly with Jews in the minority.

  • The Knesset has killed the two state solution
    • Colin have to agree with you. I am tired of hearing how the Israeli public really does support a two state solution and is willing to give up land for peace. It has been clear for the last five years (to me anyway, it probably goes back farther) that the Israeli public supports the annexation of the WB and Golan Heights and have no interest in peace with the Palestinians, other than as docile servants. It is not just the fanatical WB settlers but it is a clear majority of the Israeli people. This point needs to be understood in this country.

      I hate to put it in such stark terms, but the enemy of peace is not some rightest minority, but it is Israeli society. Their vote is important to record so that when we really attempt to apply sanctions against Israel and dismiss the argument that it will injure innocent Israelis that are opposed to the annexation. They are an insignificant minority and we should accept that painful pressure will have to be applied to the entire population to force them to change.

      This will of course create the impression of the whole world ganging up on victimized Jews, but unfortunately that is a situation they have created for themselves. The important debate is the one going on in this country -- will we continue to back Israel once it is obvious to all that this means we will in effect be backing the dispossession of the Palestinians. The "peace process" has obscured this reality, now the truth will be out. I really cannot predict how this new debate will play out here in the US, the Zionists forces are very powerful and they do have powerful allies in our MSM. On the other hand, these same people have been telling us for decades that they really do support a just two state solution. I am not sure they can win this argument after being forced to make such an extreme about face even with their resources. It will make this debate more interesting for sure.

  • The calm strength of a Palestinian woman
    • It really is quite amazing to think about it. Israel is suffering incredible bad publicity over this issue of settlers stealing Palestinian olives and destroying their trees. Why pay such a major price in bad PR for nothing? Well of course it not for nothing. Israel is getting something in return and those in the government feel the price is worth it. One can only speculate on what they think they are gaining.

  • Wait-- we are giving who?? 20 F-35 stealth attack jets?? for what??
    • Keith you just seriously misread what Tilley is saying. You were distracted by to achieve what it needs to do in AfghanistanThe rest of her essay places this in context. Don't be more radical than thou, the only way Palestinians will accomplish justice is in alliances with "the Mondoweiss liberal imperialists". I agree that W&M could fit that description, but they should be encouraged not insults.

  • J Street: 'Right wing activists and donors regularly intimidate Jewish communal institutions' re Israel
    • WJ agree with you completely here. Freedom of speech is a greatly misinterpreted concept. Any church, temple or mosque has the perfect right to restrict speech, in fact that is another right enshrined in our constitution. The important point of this story is the schism building in reform Judaism. Jews have the perfect right to vote with their feet if they disagree with their temple. In fact, the good news is the disintegration of Jewish unity over Israel and the more the rich Zionists attempt to enforce that unity with their crude attempts at suppression of debate and outright blackmail, the faster the disintegration. That way lies the possibility that US policy towards Israel will become rational.

  • Q: Does Chomsky feel Jewish responsibility for Israel's crimes?
    • Chomsky is highly ideological. The problem is that he sometimes overlooks facts that are discordant with his ideology. I first realized this in the mid seventies -- Chomsky continued to defend Pol Pot in Cambodia well after it became clear that this "anti-imperialist" movement had descended into a regime dedicated to killing an entire class of Cambodian people. These "anti-imperialist" killed perhaps 25% of the entire population. Chomsky was very late in realizing what was going on. I was in Boston during this period and recall arguing with many of his disciples that something was seriously haywire. Neither they nor their leader seemed to be aware.

      In spite of this, I have appreciated many of Chomsky's polemics against imperialism. But I have also been very gun shy about accepting his common sense --basically he doesn't have any. When it comes to Israel I am quite willing to accept that he does not have a clear vision for what is going on. As he has shown in the past he believes the only evil in the world is imperialism. Perhaps that is it. Maybe he is unwilling to point out the obvious influence of the Zionist lobby. That is understandable, for anyone who witnessed the horrors of the antisemitic backlash in Europe.

      Whatever limits his vision, I think he should be appreciated for what he is and not expect him to be more than that.

  • After FBI came to his door in '04, AIPAC staffer promptly called Israeli embassy
    • OK Yonira, please give us some links to the debunking. When I first saw this accusation my reaction was that it sounded like some kind of nutty conspiracy theory. I waited for an answer. Never saw one. So you know, please give us the links. I am willing to give it up, but so far all I have seen is silence.

  • In tribute to the 'Young, Jewish, and Proud'
    • George Galloway takes down Norm Coleman. One of the best testimonies in the Senate of all time

      I recall that incident well. It also occurred at a very important time -- right when many of us who opposed the Iraq war were at the depths of despair that no matter what we said would be totally ignored. Then this feisty Scotsman comes to America and wipes the floor with one of the more ignorant members of the US senate. It was complete pleasure to watch George expose that fool for the fool he is. I recall thinking: why can't we produce politicians with as much courage and gumption?

      Sad to hear that he lost his seat last May -- maybe the British electorate is also a little hesitant to embrace a real

  • In Haaretz: Young Jews tell Bibi, "Israel is delegitimizing itself"
    • I wonder how much of the $6 million will now have to be spent targeting young American Jews

      Now this is ironic. The JF pledge $6 million to reach the public with Israel's message, and five activists volunteers respond by spending $500 on gas and food and purchased the publicity that these jokers couldn't reverse for $60 million.

  • Video shows Israeli soldiers celebrating the demolition of houses in Gaza
    • Yes Yonira we all know that you have much to cheer about. It must have been down right exhilarating for you to witness the 1200 dead Palestinians during Cast Lead and (what a rush, 400 dead children) not to mention another 1000 dead Lebanese civilians killed in 2006 from Israeli aerial bombardment (as long as you can forget about the 150 Israeli soldiers who died trying to defeat Hezbollah). There is no question about it Yoni baby, you guys know how to kill and I am sure you will kill many more. But you are losing your soul and you will lose this war as well. It will be painful to watch, but it will happen.

    • I have difficulty blaming these individual Israeli soldiers for their violent attitudes towards the destruction of Gazan properties. They are simply expressing the attitudes of any group of youth that are indoctrinated in their own military culture. They have been trained to accept violence as normal.

      What is sad is that this typical military training that any military force on the planet expects of its late teen soldiers, has infected the entire Israeli society. I am afraid that is what happens when a country exists in a mental state of war for almost a century which is what happened to Prussia and if ancient history is accurate, what happened to Sparta. What has happened is that once military thinking dominates, then violence, not negotiated settlement, is the only solution.

      Israel may have become a perpetual war state with all of the militaristic thinking that goes with that. I fear that is the state of the Israeli people today. And the only solution they will accept is military victory or defeat. Even if "victory" means that the war will continue, while defeat will be irreversible.

  • Bil'in invaded for the fourth time in three days
    • This reminds me of an essay think was by Avenery a couple years back. It was about the dismal showing that the IDF made in combat with Hezbollah fighters in 2006. One on one, they really got their asses kicked.

      The point was that an army that is trained to terrorize civilians loses its ability to fight real soldiers. Those of us old enough, recall how the Argentine army simply collapsed before a British regiment in the Malvinas War, but perhaps never made the linkage to that collapse that it was an army that spent the previous decade terrorizing the Argentine people.

      A very small silver lining but you can see in the above photo the Israeli soldier looks terrified as he points his gun at that woman -- imagine how he will react when confronted with a hezbollah warrior shooting back.

  • You'd have to give Chris Matthews sodium pentathol to find out why we invaded Iraq
    • Your distortion of a very complex analysis to a difficult question is noted. Remember, “The Lobby did it!” End of story.

      No not end of story. There were multiple factors influencing the decision to go to what we all know today is a war that is lost. Why we went in is a major question.

      I have given this some thought and will mention two factors that were necessary but probably not sufficient.

      One was the Israeli Lobby especially in how they succeeded in penetrating major decision positions in the Bush administration.

      The other was an irrational reaction to 911 by a majority of Americans that we needed revenge and that it really didn't matter that the object of our revenge had nothing to do with 911. This is a psychological explanation that is very difficult to assess.

      The issue of oil is a factor, but it has low priority as a cause for that war.

      In any case your comment is pure dissembling and an attempt to distract attention from the very embarrassing position any self respecting Zionist must find himself in today.

  • Jewish Values vs. Israeli Policies: Why five young Jews disrupted PM Netanyahu in New Orleans
    • I remember the attitude of the white street in the US before and during MLKs march from Selma to Birmingham. This was in the north, well outside the south. MLK made people mad. It was only a few radicals here and there that embraced what he was doing. He was criticized for breaking the law, for being disruptive, for not sitting down and talking nicey, nicey with the white power structure, and so on. Something changed after the images of the Bull Conner and the police dogs went national.

      It is so ironic that RW keeps on bragging about his years as a radical in the early sixties without realizing for an instant that he would, today, be allied with those southern and northern "liberals" who decried MLK's disruptiveness.

  • Five young Jews disrupt Netanyahu speech with call for new Jewish identity
    • What a great demonstration. This is a real demonstration of freedom of speech. Given that the Zionist have unfettered access to the mainstream media those in the opposition must be creative to get their work heard. They must put their bodies on the line and create scenes of embarrassment for the followers of Netanyahoo and his ilk. And they succeeded here. If the Zionist do not like it, then maybe they should provide these people with an outlet in places like the Washington Post, the NY Times, NPR or the other news outlets. For sure, as long as their word is suppressed in the MSN , then direct public action is the only venue open.

      MLK did not gain national attention until he created major disruptions that forced the American press to pay attention to his message. Once that message was on the table, Jim Crow withered and died since it could not be defended. I do believe that the West Bank settlement movement will suffer a similar fate.

  • Sen. Lindsey Graham says U.S. should 'neuter' Iran
    • Sumud I don't disagree with anything that you say. What I am saying is that from the Israeli point of view, given their irrational policies and their fears (maybe mostly paranoid but not entirely) it would be quite rational for them, certainly if they felt the fear to flee the Tel Aviv area if Iran ever achieved the ability to make nuclear weapons. It does not make any difference if they actually do not construct any such weapons or if they do have no intention in using them on Israel, given the mass fear that they live under, it would be totally rational for them to leave Israel. And that migration would injure the whole notion of a Jewish state of Israel.

      So I agree that what Iran is doing is an existential threat to Israel. I think the whole whole country verges on the insane, but given their perspective, they are acting rationally. I see the contradictions here but I have a friend that works in a mental hospital and he tries to put himself in the place of his patients that may be acting out and figuring out what they see as "rational". I think the Jeffrey Goldberg article probing the thinking of Netanyahoo can give one that perspective.

    • In response to some of the discussion above. We should accept that Israel has very real fears of a nuclear Iran. Their fears are not completely irrational.

      Some background. After 1948 Israel made two major decisions, probably independent of each other, that created a dilemma for them.

      First they decided to introduce nuclear weapons into the ME. This means every Israeli knows that nuclear war is a possibility. That is not a problem for them as long as the other side does not have nuclear weapons.

      Second, in the course of settling Arab farms and villages with a majority of Jews, they ended up settling 80% of the Jewish population in the Tel Aviv area. What someone seems to have overlooked is that 80% of Israel's Jews today live in an area that can be covered by the blast diameters of 5 or 6 fission bombs.

      Talk about dumb, that is like challenging your neighbor to a rock fight after building a glass house. Fine, as long as he doesn't have any rocks.

      To repeat, every Israeli knows that nuclear weapons are on the table (because of their own actions) and, to repeat again, not a problem as long as their enemies do not possess them. But now it is beginning to appear that Iran, even if it is not building nuclear weapons today, is gaining the technological skills to build them in the future.

      I don't know about you, but if I were an Israeli I would be hysterical with worry. Especially, if my government tells me continuously that Iran's leaders have dedicated themselves to annihilating Israel. And especially if all of Israel's Jews have concentrated themselves into one tiny target zone. If Iran obtained nuclear weapons, I do strongly believe the most rational act of any Tel Aviv resident would be to move. It is what I would do.

      This is the major threat that Israel faces. Let us say that Iran gains the skills and capacity to build nuclear weapons. Then the only rational act for at 80% of Israel's Jews would be to move to a safer place. Now where might that be. Elsewhere in Israel? Not likely. More likely, many millions of Israelis would activate their citizenship's in Russia, Eastern Europe, Germany, France, England and the US. Now that is a major demographic threat to the Jewish state of Israel.

  • My mother gave up her seat
    • Saleema now I am curious about your background. You write so much about the Palestinians but you seem to have roots with with the Pashtun.

      First the British and now the Americans are making war against the Pashtun people in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The British succeeded in splitting these people into two countries -- Afghanistan and Pakistan -- and now the US is carrying on that imperialist struggle. What drew you to Palestine? I realize that US propaganda says we are fighting the Taliban, but the actual insurgents on the ground are made up mostly of Pashtuns. There is no way the Taliban could lead that kind of insurrection unless their roots with the people were deep.

  • Alienated affection: Israel relationship is costing the U.S. its alliance with Turkey
    • Maybe I am piling on but it seems that anything that leads the US, either willingly or not, to a less aggressive international position should be considered positive. So when Gil writes:

      That view of the U.S. , as a feeble, declining giant, unable or unwilling to defend its vital interests, may well increasingly be shared by many of our allies and potential adversaries. If so, that is a dangerous trend indeed, and one that we need to stop.

      I have to say that this is a positive development. This thread really does expose much of the tension among those who are critical Israel.

      One is the foreign policy types like Walt and Mearsheimer who, like Gil, are concerned that US support for Israel weakens the US influence in the world. Two are those who are simply concerned about the injustice against the Palestinian people. Three, those on the real left that oppose US imperial policy in general. Four those primarily concerned with the economic costs of the perpetual war the US has assumed on behalf of Israel. Of course, it is not inconsistent for many to be concerned with more than one issue but there will be people who seem on the same side of this issue that will conflict with others. I feel comfortable with all four positions but realize that if this problem is resolved the coalition will necessarily collapse because of the inherent contradictions between the different motives. That's OK, it the nature of political coalitions.

      In any case this tension between the different players is healthy and hopefully they will pull together to stop the crazed Israeli policies that have unfortunately become part of US foreign policy.

    • Bandolero

      Now this is one very good summary of the changes occurring in Turkish foreign relations. I sort of understood what was happening but you summarize those changes very well.

  • Jewish Federations acknowledge Israel's 'paradigm shift,' then circle the wagons
    • antidote picked up on the same quote but with a different twist:

      In recent years, we have witnessed an intensifying, highly organized and well-financed assault on Israel’s legitimacy.

      Let me add: As opposed to the highly organized and well-financed assault (by American Zionists) on Palestinian legitimacy (which has been a constant since at least the 1930's). Oh boo hoo, life is so unfair, the victims of Israeli aggression are finally responding in the national arena that really counts. That arena, of course, being the US and Western Europe.

      To drop my sarcasm, these stories are really significant. Zionist for once in this country are starting to sound defensive. That is positive. It means they realize that they no longer control the message. They are being forced on the defensive. No more will mindless slogans such as "a people for a land in a land without people", the Jews "made the desert bloom", "there is no such thing as a Palestinian", or "they never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity" suffice to carry the Zionist message. Nope today they must directly confront the issues and arguments being defined by the non-violent Palestinian resistance movement.

      This change is subtle and it is difficult to see it as progress, but yet it is. This is one reason a few year back Phil spent so much time writing about the changes that were occurring during the 1850's with regard to the issue of slavery. I thought then that he was being overly abstract, but the parallels to today are, to say the least, very interesting.

  • UK Foreign Secretary meets with Palestinian activists, when will the US follow suit?
    • Avi I have to agree with you on this. It will be very easy for Israel to thwart any pressure coming from Europe. The US veto in the UN prevents that body from doing anything.

      There is really only one politically effective path available to the PA. That would be to dissolve the PA, their members announce that they will join the non-violent resistance and dedicate themselves to the goal of justice and civil rights. Of course, all of the PA officials would lose their salaries that are being paid to the tune of hundreds of million dollars by the EU and US. Perhaps that is a sacrifice that is too great for any mortal to make.

  • Is Lev Leviev out of the settlement building business?
    • My reaction: when pigs fly. There is no way to believe what they say. They have made their position clear. The lands of the WB belong to Israel. Perhaps they feel some more deception is needed to make that happen but there is no way that any sentient being should believe them. They know how easy it is to deceive the rest of the world in what they really wish to achieve. BDS must keep up the pressure, do not let up until they are completely bankrupt. Maybe at that point we can relax. Even with Adelson, who lost about 90 per cent of his wealth or about 15 billion dollars in the latest real estate fiasco, has not pulled back from his support for the WB expansion. These guys are not just successful investors but dedicated WB expansionists. It is difficult to imagine that once they pass on that their heirs will continue with this fanatical mission of settlement building but until then they must be relentlessly opposed. No one should doubt that they have a life mission that goes beyond simple profit.

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