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  • Through 'severe pressure,' U.S. can impose a two-state solution on Israel -- Nathan Thrall
    • Here's what Trump has to say about pressuring Israel into a deal:

      "I’m committed to working with Israel and the Palestinians to reach an agreement. But any agreement cannot be imposed by the United States, or by any other nation. The Palestinians and Israelis must work together to reach an agreement that allows both peoples to live, worship, and thrive and prosper in peace. And I will do whatever is necessary to facilitate the agreement — to mediate, to arbitrate anything they’d like to do. But I would love to be a mediator or an arbitrator or a facilitator. And we will get this done.

      I'm sure Netanyahu was very careful to school Trump on this point, and early on.

  • Video: 'Apartheid has been here for ages. It doesn't really bother us' -- Israeli comedian says in closing act
    • 182 "Caritas" Street - love that -- and, apparently a March 13 street party with Fatboy Slim? Really? Did I read that right? Maybe one of Mondoweiss' contributors - isn't Kate local? - can report on that. Video, please!

  • Some big Jewish donors to Clinton don't seem to care about Israel. Hallelujah
    • Silamcuz - I can see you're not an Alison Weir fan. Okay. May I suggest you buy a copy of her book, "Against Our Better Judgment," and read it? I have, and as I recall, the book is heavily footnoted. IIRC there are almost as many pages of footnotes as there are pages of text. Why don't you go through them, and search out all the footnote references, and determine if there are any inconsistencies or even outright falsehoods in the text? Then report back here with your results, especially if you discover proof of Weir's anti-Semitism.

      That would be more persuasive than unfounded innuendoes, or smears by association because Weir has been interviewed by people regarded by certain other people as anti-Semites, or whatever. No really; I'm interested. I'd love to hear what you find out. Do The Work. Please. I want to hear all about whatever you discover.

  • 'Because of the high volume of emails, at this time we are unable to respond'
    • @echinoccocus -- Me too. I like the door-to-door canvassers for the same reason. I harangue them for a while and then send them on their way with instructions to make my complaints known at HQ. I tried to give a copy of Goliath to one woman but she said she couldn't be seen holding that book whilst ringing other doorbells.

  • The power of hasbara culture
  • 'Personally I was glad to see the outpouring of anti-Semitism,' says Jewish journalist targeted by haters
    • @Annie "why would she want jews to be viewed (...) as a persecuted minority?"

      From Rationalwiki, "Persecution complex," with sub heading "Role in tribalism:"

      ...The formation of a tribe, in the sociological sense, relies on there being a common interest or goal strong enough that a group would in some way delimitate itself from the larger society. Persecution complexes are not inherent in all forms of tribalism, but they do lend themselves to the polarization of such groups. Communal reinforcement (and, often, indoctrination) reassures group members that they are indeed correct; how could all of us be wrong? At extremes this leads to the groupthink that places continued membership of a group and conformity to its norms above rational and critical evaluation. Such a process is highly evident in fundamentalist religion, but is almost a given for any group expressing sufficiently extreme ideology. Nothing brings people together like having a common enemy.

      Sociologically, people tend to form groups with like-minded people. These social units form a kind of tribe united against the world by an ideology or an idea. This is evident in religious groups, but the behavior can be seen in any group that places group cohesion above the need to critically evaluate its claims.

    • " of the great secrets of human nature is that the one thing people want more than love, security, sex, chocolate or big-screen TV's is to feel hard done by. Why? Because being hard done by is the shit. Feeling hard done by is the sweetest of drugs. If you're being persecuted -- it must mean you're doing the right thing, right? You get the mellow buzz of the moral high ground, but without arrogantly claiming it as your own. You get an instant, supportive community in a big dark scary world of such scope it may well literally be beyond rational human processing. When you are hard done by, you get purpose in a life where otherwise, you'd have to find your own. And when you ride that high, then no amount of logic, no pointing out that in actuality you and your beliefs are at a high point of popularity and influence for the last hundred years -- is going to pry that sweet crack-pipe of moral indignation from your hands." - John Rogers

  • UC Berkeley reinstates Palestine class, rejecting pressure from pro-Israel groups
  • It's war between Netanyahu and the generals (and the PM may just have lost the corporal)
    • Point taken.

    • I read Goldberg's piece and was struck by what an obsequious suck-up the man is. After the long, pandering description of how BC toiled away in the '95 peace negotiations and came so close, there are little brown-nosing nuggets like these:

      ...the only living person the antagonists would find, to their chagrin, impossible to ignore is Bill Clinton, a figure of singular stature in the Middle East.

      Bill Clinton, however, is the sui generis president who left office widely popular on both sides of the divide.

      A man of Clinton’s persuasive powers could conceivably organize such a complicated process. A man of his political gifts could also do the indispensable work of creating the conditions on the ground that would allow for an actual negotiation.

      It is a cliché in Israel to say that if Bill Clinton ran for prime minister, he would win easily.

      I was surprised at the swipes Goldberg took at Obama, but I suppose he feels Obama will understand that it's just business.

      Anyway, Goldberg's pitching here, the whole thing reads like he's auditioning for the role of "Court Jew" (didn't someone get in trouble for using that term recently?) I think if Bill Clinton bites, Goldberg will claim credit for coming up with the idea. Certainly he'll try to ingratiate himself into the process as some kind of advisor/consultant.

      I don't know Yakov. You vowed to keep Goldberg out of the White House but it looks like he's expending a lot of energy to weasel his way in. And I can't imagine he'd resort to such a shameless appeal to the Clintons' vanity unless he knew they were susceptible to it.

  • Months after saying he won't appear at Israeli foreign ministry events, Amos Oz will do just that in Paris
    • Hollywood denizens live in a bubble. They are completely myopic. They read the trades for their news and their world news (Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Deadline Hollywood) and that is their tiny, slanted window on the world. It's really not much. I would assume Natalie Portman is the same. She probably has VERY LITTLE idea of what is actually going on in the I/P conflict.

      Look at the quote above, where she gushes about Oz supporting the two state solution. Like he's some kind of a hero. She has no idea that the two state solution has been dead now for a long time. She is so naive. Because Natalie Portman lives in a fantasy bubble.

  • The Palestine-Israel language trap
    • Regarding the section on Hannah Arendt above, I will borrow from one of Froggy's comments on an earlier column on Elie Wiesel, quoting Howard Zinn:

      There have been shameful moments, travesties of Jewish humanism, as when Jewish organizations lobbied against Congressional recognition of the Armenian Holocaust of 1915 on the ground that it diluted the memory of the Jewish Holocaust. The designers of the Holocaust Museum dropped the idea of mentioning the Armenian genocide after lobbying by the Israeli government, among others.

      Our holocaust is MORE IMPORTANT than your holocaust!

      Thanks Avigail.

  • Israeli mayor: No Arabs in our pools because their 'hygiene culture is not like ours'
    • @Annie

      "Tchoupitoulas, anymore insight you might have on this identity would be appreciated." -Annie

      Annie, I know exactly who he is IRL, but I would have to be really, really furious to expose him to public ridicule on this website by naming him and at the moment I'm only in a state of mild irritation.

      You probably don't remember, but the resident archivist here, Mooser, might - that during his "Catalan" incarnation I think it was, Silamcuz once said that he prefers anonymity because he is a quasi-public type of persona. Something to that effect. Well, that actually was a truth he managed to tell in the farrago of all his lies. His online presence is not inconsiderable; he is eminently searchable.

      Funny how "Catalan" has just re-surfaced, and after such a long hiatus!

      Suffice to say everyone here already has him figured out - he's 100% Jewish, of the pasty-white Ashkenzi, one-percenter variety.

      But I think you already know that. If you haven't banned him by now for "imposture," I can only conclude it's because he's of some value here, perhaps as comic relief.

    • @Silamcuz

      I think it's kind of hilarious that you would accuse me of "stooping" and "cowardice" when you couldn't put a gun to my head to get me to do some of the sleazeball things you do to other people for the fun of it... from the safety of your office... hiding behind your assistant...

      Silamcuz, aka A4Tech, aka (briefly) Princess, aka Catalan, aka CraigSummers (in the Intercept threads, aka...

      Hmmm. I wonder if Annie [..] Your disrespectful trolling has pissed her off plenty.

    • @silamcuz

      Your parents really did a number on you, didn't they?

      You are so sulky, so passive aggressive.

      Cutting through all the layers of your disingenuous prevarication, your entire position could be summed up as:

      Human history is replete with racism, injustice and cruelty, and predators and victims. So why is everyone so upset now that it's the Jews' turn to be the predators?

      But you know you can't come out and say that honestly, it wouldn't fly, and maybe on some level (I hope) you might understand that that attitude is morally reprehensible. Can't you see what a shit hole this world would be if everyone felt the same as you do?

      So instead you construct this ridiculous sockpuppet, pose as a POC and rail against white privilege like a broken record. And you're fooling exactly no one.

      I know how important your Jewishness is to you. But the way you choose to interpret and express your Jewishness makes it your ugliest trait. Too bad it can't be surgically removed. Then you could join the rest of the human race.

      Like I said, I blame your parents. But at your age, you could shoulder a little of that responsibility yourself.

  • Hillary Clinton has a decision to make
    • @Yakov - thnx for your response. Will mull over. I saw the twitter back and forth between you, Kirchick and Pagano. You are definitely hitting a nerve. The are kind of trying to figure out what is going on...

      No need to respond, and good luck with your shiksa :)

    • Really excellent post Yakov. Being a stupid Goy I am glad you are here to parse Pagano's tweet, because its meaning is indeed ambiguous, but after turning it over and over in my mind a few times I think your analysis is correct. Pagano could only be saying that one of the lessons of the Holocaust is that Jews must kill people hostile to Jews before Jews themselves get killed. I did not see the explicitness of the link between Palestinians and Nazis in Pagano's tweet, but of course it is implied.

      This is my second favorite of your posts. Can't wait to see what else is coming down the pike. The psychoanalysis element of your posts is always fascinating, and the Zio-crazies you write about consistently provide you with fertile subject matter. Keep up the good work!

  • Huffpo writer expresses bigotry against Palestinians by equating battle for equal rights and anti-Semitism
    • Ya know, Annie, when I read Weisman's piece and looked at his Twitter feed, the first thing that popped into my head was that Common Dreams article about "Ham-Bacon-Eggs," the Jewish guy who created a whole roster of anti-Semitic alter egos to troll people with online. With the anonymity the Internet confers, there's just no way to know the real identity of commenters. Isn't it just possible that some of those people trolling Weisman as anti-Semites might actually be a division of the Hasbara brigade? Look at all the material they gave him to work with! If those are real anti-Semites, they seem like pretty stupid ones to me.

      People create false identities to further political agendas online all the time. It might even be happening here! Perhaps there is a commenter/commenters, posing as a left-leaning Person Of Color, who goes on and on, ad nauseum, in these threads, about white colonialist crimes, with the sole intention of making Israel's crimes seem smaller by comparison or at least more acceptable..

      Think about it. Anyway, if I was a writer at the NYT, I'd think, once, twice, three times before I'd write a piece like Weisman's, giving trolls like that so much attention.

      Common Dreams link here:

  • By putting the word occupation in scare quotes the New York Times demonstrated everything that is wrong with its coverage of Israel/Palestine
    • I agree with much of Yonah's comment.

      Netanyahu's stunt infuriated me but I was also paradoxically grateful, because it was like, "Good.
      Now the truth's out there for all to see."

  • Hillary Clinton supported Iraq war because of Israel, say Matthews and Landler
    • Thanks PW; I'm glad I happened to read this b/c I understand something better now.

      "...we cannot really ever make a fundamental difference in the Middle East unless the Israelis think we care whether they live or die. If they do, we have a chance to keep pushing for peace... we can’t get anything done unless [the Israelis] believe, when the chips are down, if somebody comes for them we will not let them be wiped out and become part of the dustbin of history.” - Bill Clinton

      So, basically he's saying the only path to peace is humoring and assuaging the fears of the paranoid, fearful Israelis, who are all convinced they are a heartbeat away from extermination. [um, from all their hostile neighbors that they keep attacking] So basically, the Clintons' position is they have to appease the crazy people in order to advance the peace process.

      God. Israel only has 400 nuclear warheads. What's it gonna take to make them "feel safe?"

      I think Israel is playing the Clintons, just like Israel is playing everyone else. I think Israel is crazy like the proverbial fox.

      And if I'm wrong, and the majority of Israelis really are in the grip of some existential panic, then I don't think smart leadership should involve humoring crazy people.

  • Sy Hersh's 'forbidden statement': Sanders's liberation from NY Jewish money could change US foreign policy
  • Jeffrey Goldberg terrorizes peers into silence over his daily intellectual and moral outrages
  • Chabon calls occupation 'the most grievous injustice I have ever seen in my life' and says he is 'culpable'
    • The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay was such a great book. I loved it so much. I'm glad Michael Chabon came out on the side of good, instead of evil. Otherwise I would be depressed.

  • Clinton will hold fundraiser in Tel Aviv
  • NYT Public Editor: It is impossible to accurately cover Sheldon Adelson without employing anti-Semitic stereotypes 
  • 'NYT' finally mentions 'Goliath' -- in rightwing ad smearing Max Blumenthal
  • Video: Meet Ahmad Dawabshe, the five-year-old survivor of the Duma firebombing
  • The Tantura massacre of 1948 and the academic character assassination of Teddy Katz
    • Jesus Christ. That is a harrowing tale. Teddy Katz is a real mensch to stand by his guns.

      Calling rugal_b: did you read this? You really ought to.

      I thought of The Goldstone Report, while I read this, and all the hideous pressure on him to recant, which he succumbed to also. And I thought of that book, The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold. The truth will out. It's just a matter of time.

  • As Trump takes on the neocons, Kristol likens him to Hitler
    • Who gave you the permission to co-opt the Palestinian struggle for liberty and self determination, as if you have some sort of divine obligation to help these poor brown folks due to your superior traits and higher culture? rugal_b

      There is some self-interest involved as well. We Americans do have "skin in the game." Or have you forgotten, or did you never know, or are you in denial, that our support for Israel's oppression of the Palestinians has resulted in terrorism here on American soil? There were the San Bernardino shooters, and there was...9/11.

      Did you ever read Osama bin Laden's statement about why he did it? One of the big reasons was US support for Israeli aggression against Lebanese and Palestinian civilians. Here:

      I say to you, Allah knows that it had never occurred to us to strike the towers. But after it became unbearable and we witnessed the oppression and tyranny of the American/Israeli coalition against our people in Palestine and Lebanon, it came to my mind.

      The events that affected my soul in a direct way started in 1982 when America permitted the Israelis to invade Lebanon and the American Sixth Fleet helped them in that. This bombardment began and many were killed and injured and others were terrorised and displaced.

      I couldn't forget those moving scenes, blood and severed limbs, women and children sprawled everywhere. Houses destroyed along with their occupants and high rises demolished over their residents, rockets raining down on our home without mercy.

      The situation was like a crocodile meeting a helpless child, powerless except for his screams. Does the crocodile understand a conversation that doesn't include a weapon? And the whole world saw and heard but it didn't respond. - Osama bin Laden

      I don't see any upside to our "special relationship" with Israel. I see plenty of negatives though, terrorism being only one of them.

  • Can we take 'Avi does the Holy Land’ seriously?
    • OK - I thought it was "straight," i.e. not satire, until I watched the pinkwashing episode - now I think it's pretty clearly satire.

    • Avi really knows how to work her holy of holies.

  • Neocon savages Christie for failing 'months and months of careful coaching' by foreign policy experts
    • they wield enormous power in *the party*

    • I hate to say it, and I have given to Sanders' campaign more than a few times, but I think he's someone who never expected to get as far as he did. I wouldn't go so far as to say his campaign was something he thought of as a lark, but I don't think he ever expected he would get this far. And now that he has, he isn't mentally prepared for the next step, which is scraping and smearing HRC all over the pavement. It would be easily done, but he doesn't seem disposed to do it. I kind of think he's afraid of her. She's Bill's wife, they wield enormous power in the senate, and having spent a lot of time working in government, he's intimidated by that.

      So, enter Trump.

    • God bless him.

  • Palestine and the anxiety of existence
    • Thanks, Yonah, for your kind (and wise) words.

    • Thanks Prof Salaita - it is good to read your writing. I have supported you (politically) but have not read your books yet. I can see from this O/P how sensitive and insightful you are, and look forward to re-reading this essay, and contemplating it further.

      I was a bit struck by this sentence, "Israel’s existential fears project its actual history."

      Have you read Freddie deBoer on this topic? I thought his essay for Andrew Sullivan was so concise, so elegant, so cogent -- "Palestinians Live What Israelis Fear:"

      Take care and good luck to you.

  • Having a settler for neighbor in Hebron
    • And thank you for your response, Talknic. The snark however, was unnecessary.

    • Thanks for your response.

    • “When we first came here they [the settlers] stabbed my little brother in the stomach..." and then,

      "But this is my father’s land, for many generations”, Ayat, one of the Jabari daughters says."

      Which is it, please? Or did I not read carefully enough? Are the Jabaris relatively new arrivals to the area? Or has the family been there for generations? Thanks

  • Oscar swag bag includes ten-day VIP trip to Israel worth $55,000 (Updated)
    • PABELMONT: The Coen Bros are not cut from the same cloth as Haim Saban. I doubt criticism of Israel would faze them even slightly. They caught some flack for A Serious Man, from those who deemed it "anti-Semitic."

  • Jewish Voice for Peace and Jews Say No! take credit for faux 'NYT' highlighting biased coverage on Israel/Palestine
  • Parody New York Times 'supplement' criticizing paper's coverage of Israel/Palestine distributed on streets of NYC
  • After 'tepid' welcome at Israeli Embassy, Obama's pro-Israel speech brought down the house
    • @ JWalters - Dana Milbank feels the same way:

      Eleven years ago, I carried my infant daughter into a synagogue basement and plunged her tiny body, head to toe, underwater.

      She emerged sputtering and coughing, then wailing. The procedure, immersion in a Jewish ritual bath called a mikvah, felt barbaric. But it was for an important reason: Her mother isn’t Jewish, and by Jewish custom — and Israeli law — the faith is passed on by matrilineal descent, so I converted my daughter. Making sure she is Jewish in the eyes of the Jewish state gives me peace of mind. If the Gestapo ever comes again, she and her descendants will have a place to go. Just in case.

      I think carrying around this kind of paranoia is a very unhealthy way to go through life. It's like, even if they weren't in the camps, or didn't even have family members that died there or were survivors, there's this large group of people, who are actually choosing to have a mild form of PTSD. That's just nuts.

  • Kerry and Shapiro bring the one-state news the NYT failed to deliver
    • There's a fundraising appeal in my inbox this morning from JStreet, referencing Shapiro's speech, and I think it's representative of how much more acceptable it's becoming to criticize the Israeli government and state policies. Of course Jeremy Ben-Ami is very careful, very diplomatic in his choice of words, very aware to the emotional sensitivities of his target audience, but the warning and rebukes are clear -- that Israel is on a self-destructive path. An excerpt:

      These are not spurious attacks coming from Israel’s enemies. They are vitally important -- if not desperate -- warnings from Israel’s friends. These friends see that the current Israeli leadership is protecting and prioritizing the settlement movement at the expense of Israel’s future as a liberal democracy, and they are trying to do anything reasonable and in their power to avert catastrophe. One can imagine they don’t relish the role of critic. But they also understand their inaction could prove disastrous.

      Sadly, if unsurprisingly, Prime Minister Netanyahu and his government have expressed outrage in response to these statements by the United States and the EU. They have refused to acknowledge even an ounce of legitimacy to the critiques of their policy, to recognize that under international law Israel is occupying the West Bank illegally and that it is unacceptable to the world for Israel to control millions of West Bank Palestinians who lack the rights of the Israeli settlers who live alongside them.

      The Netanyahu government and its close allies in the settler movement are choosing to stake Israel’s reputation on the legitimacy of the occupation. In their insistence that Israel is the settlements and the settlements are Israel, they have begun to treat all those who oppose the occupation and actively support the two-state solution as enemies of the state -- including those who are in reality some of Israel’s best friends.

      But friends of Israel, devoted to its future as a secure, democratic Jewish homeland, have an obligation to push back against these efforts. Some of Israel’s current leaders may be blind to the consequences of turning their back on the two-state solution, on democratic principles, and on their friends and allies -- but we are not.

      The whole thing is here:

      Am I crazy? I feel a sea change is happening. People are saying things it seems they would not have dared to say two years ago, especially with respect to drawing a clear distinction between the idea of an "ideal" Israel (that dreamcastle ref'd above) and the disturbing reality of what it actually is. It seems like real progress.

  • Palestinian cooking school uses food to resist Israel's occupation
    • Ooooh I wish I could spend a week at that school and learn all those women's secrets.... I do so much Lebanese/Middle eastern cooking these days, and I have to get all my recipes from books. I can wholeheartedly recommend this recipe I found at Wapo, of all places. It is outstanding!

      When can we look forward to MW featuring a recipe of the week. Just to lighten things up. Never, right? I'm guessing never. Oh well.

  • Video: Israeli sniper praised for shooting Palestinian protestors
    • @DS1216

      "Your reason for supporting them in general may even be correct."

      Well, at least that's a start.

  • Israel and its lobby lose the Iran Deal all over again, in news of damning wiretaps
    • Adam Entous also broke this August 2014 story at the WSJ, which was suspected to be a leak from the Administration and a jab at Netanyahu:

      Gaza Crisis: Israel Outflanks the White House on Strategy
      White House Now Scrutinizing Israeli Requests for Ammunition


      JERUSALEM—White House and State Department officials who were leading U.S. efforts to rein in Israel's military campaign in the Gaza Strip were caught off guard last month when they learned that the Israeli military had been quietly securing supplies of ammunition from the Pentagon without their approval.

      Since then the Obama administration has tightened its control on arms transfers to Israel. But Israeli and U.S. officials say that the adroit bureaucratic maneuvering made it plain how little influence the White House and State Department have with the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu—and that both sides know it.

      He must have good connections. Wonder what Brett Stephens thinks of that.

  • Why my books are not published in Israel
    • a4tech - I couldn't figure out what to get you for Hannukah this year: a copy of Walt and Mearsheimers' book on the Israel Lobby, or a silk screened tee-shirt that says "Je Suis Juif-Boy."

      Which would you prefer?

    • Still flogging that crap analogy? People of color and Muslims aren't segregated in the US, aren't discriminated against by the legal system, don't live under martial law, and can vote in elections. There's one set of laws for everyone here, regardless of your color or religion.

      You can't say the same for millions of Palestinians living in the territories illegally occupied by Israel.

      Old man... are you incapable of learning anything new?

  • YouTube becomes Israel's new battleground against Palestinians
    • Ugh. I hate to say it, but after reading this article the first thing I did was visit Wikipedia to review backgrounds of Google execs. The CEO is a Tamil. Larry Page's mother is Jewish, but he does not readily self-identify as Jewish.

      Sergei Brin on the other hand is Russian and Jewish, and apparently experienced a good deal of anti-Semitism in Russia.

      Does anyone know what Brin's political leanings are?

      So we will see.

  • The Star of David is fair game
    • For more on this, see Judy Mandelbaum's 2010 Salon article, "Is the Star of David the new swastika?"

      Time was when Nazis used to slather swastikas on synagogues and Jewish businesses to prepare the local population for expulsion or much worse. It’s sad that this sort of behavior persists around the world, as a new study by Tel Aviv University shows. But it’s even sadder to see Israelis regularly defacing Palestinian property with Stars of David with equal glee and with what appears to be the same brain-dead mindset.

      The article link, here:

  • White House uses Cheney to bolster support for Iran Deal
  • Videos: Brave Tamimi women of Nabi Saleh take down Israeli soldier assaulting injured child
  • It's not bigoted to call out the Israel lobby over Iran Deal
    • Best line from that FP piece:

      “Sharing a media market with Chuck Schumer is like sharing a banana with a monkey,” (Jon) Corzine was quoted as saying in New York magazine. “Take a little bite of it, and he will throw his own feces at you.”

  • Shocker: 'NYT' runs front page press release for AIPAC warning Obama to cool his jets
  • Morgan Freeman, Valerie Plame and Queen Noor say Iran deal will prevent nuclear war that will melt Jack Black's frisbee
    • I think we're the last 2 at the bar Annie, but I wanted to respond. I'm not suggesting that Frank, Keith and Marnie should appreciate the video. I'm just suggesting they not pan it, because this video was never meant for them. The fact that they missed the point of the video, as demonstrably intelligent as they are, I think proves my point, that the intellectual elite isn't the target demo of the video. Jack Black fans are - I'm guessing a young, college-age-y crowd. People that might not know much about US foreign policy in the ME, but might now be willing to look into it and get involved. Because Jack Black asked them to.

      Now, as to your reference "like Toast, man" I'm interpreting you felt that was really stupid. I get it. But, don't forget that Jack Black is not a lightweight buffoon just because it's his job to act like one in the movies, and he does it in a very wry, self-aware way. He's actually very bright. But he's playing an abbreviated version of the role that made him famous here in the video, and his character arc is that by the end of the video, he's been schooled and educated by the heavy weights. Yes: this video incorporates the bare bones of a little story, too.

      So call it a good start. Maybe there will be a Miley Cyrus PSA in the near future. Maybe other celebs will become more outspoken on the I/P issue, which is currently a very risky limb to go out on. But significantly, there were some big names in this video, and there's another audience that registered that fact, the Hollywood industry elite, and they are opinion makers. Some ground was broken here, and that matters.

      OK, that's all I got. Except, ugh: you made me watch Anaconda!

    • Thanks, Annie :-)

    • @ Keith - Hi, let me break it down for you:

      The intro of the video (first 24 seconds) celebs talk about how great life is and introduce idea that congress sabotaging the Iran nuclear deal could threaten our happy peaceful lives.

      From 24-48 seconds the prospect of Iran bombing the US is tossed around.

      0:48 - At 48 seconds, there is a major narrative shift as Queen Noor enters, like the cool voice of reason and debunks the paranoid idea that Iran will nuke America "We're not actually worried about Iran dropping a nuclear weapon on the United States."

      1:00 - At the one minute mark, enter Ambassador Pickering who explains that the consequences of congress killing the deal would be that Iran would get the bomb and that would most likely spark a nuclear arms race in the ME.

      1:12 - Morgan Freeman returns to explain what is the most realistic version of events if congress kills the deal: another long, expensive, pointless, destructive war in the ME.

      1:22 - Light comedy interlude.

      1:40 - Valerie Plame explains that war with Iran would likely accelerate Iran's development of a nuclear bomb.

      1:46 - Light comedy interlude.

      1:44 - Morgan Freeman returns to explain/reiterate that the current agreement is best way to insure that Iran doesn't get the bomb.

      2:00 - Queen Noor: "This deal gives us transparency," basically.

      2:16 - Various: "Diplomacy is better than war," basically.

      2:23 - Various "We don't want war and Iran doesn't want war" - is the gist here.

      2:30 - Various "Call your elected representatives NOW" - is the basic gist of the rest of it.

      Keith, if you follow the progression of ideas through the narrative carefully, I think you will see that the the point of the video is not to demonize Iran (Iranians love their children and so do we), nor to perpetuate the myth that Iran is seeking a nuclear bomb with which to attack America - the video is actually debunking that idea and humanizing Iran.

      As for the Israeli nuclear stockpile - they can't cover everything in a 3+ minute video. Most Americans don't even know Israel has nukes. Most Americans don't know where Turkey is and what "Kurds" are. Most Americans wouldn't have the slightest idea what "a soft-power assault on a regime not yet an imperial vassal" even means.

      Hey. I know how intelligent and educated everyone that contributes in these threads is. But you guys live in a bit of a rarified bubble, OK?

      I think it's great that whoever made this video made it, (and I have a sneaking suspicion I know who it was) and I for one am grateful that someone is taking the time to mobilize mainstream America, and addressing it in terms it understands.

      As Curtis Mayfield says, "Just be thankful, for what you got."

    • No one is better at understanding who their target audience is and knowing how to communicate with them than Hollywood industry pros. If they have to dumb down the message to make it legible to the target audience, they will.

  • British gov't welcomes Iran back into the 'community of nations' -- why can't we?
    • Hi Catalan. From your earlier post:

      "We are discussing how wonderful Iran is and how we should be best friends with them. I am noticing their prohibition of Facebook and Twitter, gentle penal code, public executions, and other wonderful features worthy of emulating....Be best friends with them and while at it, Google videos of their public hangings, there is one where a guy is fighting with the executioners, a bunch of kids are watching. Humane, liberal progressive stuff." - Catalan

      Be honest. Is your beef with Iran human rights issues? Or a (perceived) threat to Israel? Just be honest. Because I'm no expert, but doesn't Saudi Arabia beat Iran, hands down, when it comes to human rights violations? Isn't Saudi Arabia, so chummy these days with Israel, the progenitor of all the worst, most barbaric Salafist militants we are seeing in the ME today? I don't hear you complaining about our relationship with Saudi Arabia. Why is that? Be honest.

    • Some excerpts from Zack Beauchamp's article "This Iran deal is a disaster for Benjamin Netanyahu" in Vox today:

      "But even if the deal does end up being good on net for Israel, there is just no debating that it is a complete disaster for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

      This deal is a huge policy failure for Netanyahu, who in recent years has staked ever more of his legacy and political reputation on stopping it — even at the cost of setting back Israel's relationship with the United States. Now he has nothing to show for it but a giant political embarrassment that his opponents on the right and left are already using against him."


      "It's hard to overstate how much of a defeat this is for Netanyahu. He lost the policy fight on his top issue. It would not be too far off to imagine this as akin to Obama losing the 2010 vote on Obamacare, if Obama had insisted that without Obamacare, America itself faced imminent destruction.

      Netanyahu's Iran policy has become a disaster, a boondoggle, a total belly flop. His top priority was blocking a deal, and he couldn't get it done."


      The link:

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