Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 2168 (since 2010-09-10 19:45:27)

Showing comments 2168 - 2101

  • I want my country back
    • A few days back I wondered how AIPAC would respond to Obama's critical comments. It seemed strange that they had let this story go on for about four days without a response.

      Well this is the answer. They were working on the NYTimes.. I wouldn't have guessed. In any case I think we will see a deluge of neocon, ZOA, AIPAC, etc analyses following now that the NYTimes have agreed to lead the assault.

  • American Jews are taking back their power from Israel
    • I have to agree with Phil that there has been a big change in just the last week. American Jewish support for Israel has been dropping little by little at least since 1982. Perhaps what happened was that some kind of tipping point has been reached.

      What I am most struck by is the lack of a significant response to Obama's recent statements critical of Nethanyahu. Perhaps I missed it but AIPAC seems quiet right now. What are up to? Maybe they think if they just keep quiet this whole thing will just go away? Maybe the division Phil documents extends into the AIPAC itself and they are struggling to define new party line? Whatever, the dog is not barking. That is a mystery.

  • An American translation of Netanyahu's racist get out the vote speech
    • Wasn't it rumored a few weeks back that Freedland would get the next exec ed job at the Guradian. Now it looks like it is going to Katharine Viner who co-authored the play "My name is Rachel Corrie".

      Freedland would usually spin things Israel's way but now it looks like he has been by-passed. Things are not going well for Israeli supporters this week.

  • The historic night for the Arab List
    • David, I have no idea what the value of Adelson's newspaper is to bibi, but Adelson is losing about $40 million per year running it. As far as anyone can tell, it is dedicated to supporting bibi.

  • Who can save Israel now?
    • The Israeli electorate is very difficult to pol. Many of the orthodox Jewish voters do not trust pollsters and provide misleading information. This has been true for years. It is probably why polls in Israel frequently miss outcomes. I suspect this would apply to exit pols as well.

  • Netanyahu won. Now what?
    • Did JVP unambiguously and unconitionally condemn the Gaza massacre?

      Yes, their membership surged after last August's massacre.

      Does it endorse BDS?


      Does it accept that Palestinians have the right to resist occupation

      Yes but they do not support armed violence.

  • Israelis go to the polls today--and nobody knows who will win (Updated)
    • Well it looks like Netanyahu has just achieved a resounding victory. 30 knesset seats! This has to be good news for those who believed that Israel was not at all interested in a two state solution. For those of us who believed that Israel was never really interested in that solution but just used the "peace process" to hide their true intentions this election strips away that facade. Now the whole world should be able to clearly see where the Israeli public stands on this issue.

      BDS has a real future. Especially in Europe. We no longer have to hear those diplomats arguing that we must give negotiations a chance. Negotiations with Israel are over. They have clearly made their voice clear on this issue. Time to stop the nonsensical talks and get down to some serious sanctions. Europe is ready and maybe even in the US we can advance the debate towards BDS.

  • What we talk about when we talk about ISIS
    • Nice summary of what ISIS is and isn't. I found Wood's article appealing because he does finally come to the conclusion that the US should even attempt to destroy ISIS militarily for the simple reason that this would make the problem even worse. Not just Iraq but Libya is a good example -- our interventions provide the cause that mobilizes opposition to our intervention.

      Eamon's suggestion in this piece that the core of ISIS's military strength derives from the remnants of the defeated Iraqi baathists military makes sense. These are people who see themselves as representing the Iraqi Sunni minority that held power underSadam Hussein. They are struggling to rebuild a new army. Why not appeal to the most primitive instincts in order to build a new army?

      Col. Patrick Lang at Turcopieler noted last year that the ISIS forces that over ran Mosul last year were being led by officers that he knew from his active duty time as officers in Sadam's army. These guys are certainly not Islamists.

  • Leaked e-mails show that Israeli consulate, StandWithUs tried to thwart Northwestern divestment (Updated)
    • annie that is not just hysterical but it is quite possible for Israeli partisans to support "end the occupation". After all J Street can adhere to that slogan. We all know where that slogan ends -- i.e. more peace process that can drag on for even more decades.

  • Finkelstein on Joan Peters's legacy (and Dershowitz's legal troubles)
    • Sorry, Robert from Israel, those claims by Joan Peters have been totally demolished. The increase in the population of the Palestinians during the 19th century was was do to a major decline in infant mortality. She has been shown as a fraud.

      Isn't it sad, Robert from Israel, that your whole world view is based on demonstrable lies? Can you survive or be willing to live with your self if you recognized the truth?

    • Annie at January 29, 2015, 6:23 am

      Thank-you for your reply. There is really not much in your comments that I disagree with. I think we both hold Norm is very high esteem. I was happy to see this thread with so many people giving him so much support. My first comment was in response to someone who suggested that Norm had been "smeared" by BDS advocates. I haven't seen that. Norm has taken a very clear stand against the BDS movement (as opposed to bds) because, to the extent there is a central organization, they have not recognized the legitimacy of the the state of Israel. It is only natural that people will argue against his position. That is not a smear.

      I hope I am not all over the map on this. We are talking about politics in the best sense of that term. Norm, perhaps not unfortunately, is politically naive.

    • annie at January 29, 2015, 1:21 am

      When I said "basically" calling for a purge of those Palestinians that do not recognize Israel that is essentially what Norm is requesting. The BDS movement is being led by Palestinians that support justice. They include those who support two states and those that do not. By definition, those who support two states accept the state of Israel. There are others that do not. The BDS movement has agreed to work for justice for the Palestinians and they have clearly not taken stand on the one or two state solution. This is a political coalition consisting of people with different goals.

      Norm is insisting that the BDS movement can not remain "agnostic" on the acceptance of the state of Israel. Should his demand be met it would immediately result in a split in that movement. When I say purge what I mean is that he finds it unacceptable to work with those that advocate a single state and he will not work with them. Is he asking that any Palestinian he is willing to work with should recognize the state of Israel? Sounds like it to me.

      I am assuming that the BDS movement is being led by Palestinians and feel it is not up to me what I personally would find acceptable. I am very sympathetic with those Palestinians who are unwilling to recognize the state of Israel that is unwilling to recognize them. Perhaps if Israel was willing to recognize a West Bank state then this situation might change. But as all of us know, the ruling government of Israel is led by a party that has written into its charter that they will never recognize a Palestinian state.

      In any case, I am happy to see that many people here are fond of Norm and recognize his strengths even if politically he is incredibly naive.

    • I am happy to see so many positive comments here about Finklestein. He deserves our respect. It has been unfortunate to see him get in this dispute with the BDS movement. I think it is incorrect to say that he has been smeared. It is a real political dispute. Norman has basically been asking the BDS organization to purge those members that have failed to recognize the legitimacy of the Israeli state. BDS is being led by Palestinians and many of them are not yet ready to accept Israel, especially since Israel is not ready to accept Palestine.

      Whatever I might think about one or two states in Palestine is not important, that will have to be resolved between the Palestinians and Israelis. In the meantime, any Palestinian resistance movement will have to consist of those two factions. It is not up to me nor Norman to insist on the Palestinians political position. The BDS movement has not taken a stance on this issue and is willing to remain neutral.

  • Obama won't meet Netanyahu during 'bizarre,' 'historic,' 'unprecedented' visit (Updated)
    • It is quite possible that Boner and Bibi have created a storm that they may wish to reverse. It is even more important to send those messages to Congress now and demand that our representatives do NOT endorse this insult to the President of the US. We have a rare opportunity for the public to let our government know what we think about the "special relationship".

    • For those of you who have not lost all faith in the American political process maybe this is a good time to send a message to your representatives in Congress -- all three -- and please ask them to not attend Bibi's speech. For those that do attend, please ask them to not stand and applaud during the speech. Then ask them to simply keep seated and not applaud at the end.

      For those with Democratic representatives remind them that Bibi interfered in our 2012 election and he supported Romney. Let them know that Bibi is an ultra-rightwing Israeli politician in active coalition with Republicans and that he is using this visit to advance his own election prospects next month.

      Even if you dislike Obama and the Democratic Party please take this action. One of the things that makes US support for Israel so difficult to confront is that it has for the last 40 years been bipartisan. This is an opportunity to drive a wedge into that bipartisan support. Stir the pot folks, this is a rare opportunity.

  • Living in Israel isn't the solution to antisemitism
    • This whole notion that European or American Jews will find safety in Israel is really bizarre. Maybe they will be safe there for a few decades but to think of it as a permanent solution is simply wrong.

      Here is why. Most of the Jews being asked to come to Israel are relatively well off citizens of their current countries enjoying a cultured bourgeois life. Where will they live? Obviously the West Bank is out being already settled by those uncouth fanatics and lower class immigrants from places like Peru, Ethiopia and Brooklyn. For the most part that leaves the Tel Aviv metropolitan area. Now how safe is that city?

      Israel was born in war with its neighboring states and have yet to find acceptance. They therefore decided 50 years ago to introduce nuclear weapons into their arsenal for protection. That might have made sense if they were the only ME power to ever posses such weapons. Can that monopoly in nuclear bombs be guaranteed into the future? If not, then it makes Tel Aviv an unsafe place to live if you want your children and grandchildren to be safe. Here is where the Israeli military and city planners failed to act in concert. It turns out that 80% of Israeli Jews now live in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area. That city might be considered a big but it should be noted that the city fits inside the blast radii of 4 Hiroshima sized atomic bombs.

      Who in their right mind believe they could build a family that would survive more than a few generations in that environment? So today, Israel is using the current hysteria in France to to encourage Jews to move to Israel. Talk about jumping out of the fire pan into the fire

    • oy vey opinions: I don’t think there were many Moroccans in Europe 100 years ago

      Well your thinking is wrong. Human haplotype studies show many genetic similarities between the peoples of Spain and NW Africa that indicate significant migrations (in both directions) going back many centuries. These signatures are independent of religious affiliation. Indeed, after the Spanish inquisition the only requirement to remain in Spain was conversion to Catholicism so it appears that many Moroccans at that time did so. This intermingling has been going on for many centuries if not millennia.

  • As Kerry and UN press on occupation, Netanyahu sees a 'diplomatic assault'
    • This has to be considered great news. Has Europe finally escaped the threats from the Lobby? Certainly one year ago who would have predicted that Europe would move so strongly against Israel. I certainly didn't. Maybe, just maybe, Israel went one step too far in the latest Gaza massacre.

      There might be something else happening here. It is possible that the US is quietly signaling to Europe that they are free to go ahead and punish Israel, not directly but indirectly by not vigorously lobbying the various governments. It is also possible that the US has used up much of its diplomatic capital when they pressured the EU to sanction Russia over Ukraine. It is clear that Merkel has experienced some serious political backlash at home over her anti-Russian policies so the US may be relenting over pushing too far.

  • SodaStream says it plans to leave West Bank for the Negev, but boycotters promise to not let up
    • Kudos to annie for efforts to focus the Soda Stream stock price collapse on BDS. I do recall the hasbara crowd coming out and claiming that BDS had nothing to do with soda stream's financial problems.

  • B'Tselem video: Israeli soldiers blindfold and detain 11 year old disabled child
    • After the last war in Southern Lebanon when the IDF got beat by Hezbollah I recall an essay by Uri Avnery deploring the degradation of the IDFs fighting ability against trained soldiers. He attributed this sorry state of affairs to the fact that the IDF has been reduced to fighting children in the WB and have lost their skills. This looks like another example of the skills of the new and improved IDF.

  • Sweden's recognition of Palestine will license activists
  • Tunnels-to-kindergartens propaganda Netanyahu peddled to NYT and CNN is exploded by Israeli news site
    • yep it seems to not have worked. Try this:
      link to

      Sorry folks, the a href code stuff is sometimes hard for me. But please if someone has some good links I am interested. This is not just an argument with one person, but it from someone inside my local community who has influence.

      In fact I have been shocked by how many people I have worked with in the antiwar movement (this was during the last Bush admin) who are now coming out supporting the latest massacre in Gaza. These were always people who always seemed critical of the settlements but now support the latest massacre. Denis Ross is their life line.

    • I am involved in a debate with a PEP that really thinks this Dennis Ross piece in the WaPo is definitive. I have my doubts but there are points here I have difficulty in refuting. In any case here it is: Denis Ross. Any suggestions would be helpful.

      The main point of Ross's article is that Israel left peaceably but it was Hamas that began the war after Israeli withdrawal and therefor forced Israel to impose the siege. I am unclear on what happened immediately after the initial withdrawal.

  • The Walzer Problem
    • I wonder if Waltzer would feel comfortable writing:

      But I would strongly advise anyone contemplating the loss of life in Gaza Lidice to think carefully about who is responsible, or primarily responsible, for putting civilians at risk. The high-tech army, for all its claims to precision, is often callous and clumsy. But it is the insurgents partisans who decide that the death of civilians will advance their cause.

  • Reprint of Yochanan Gordon's "When Genocide is Permissible" (Updated)
    • It must be very difficult for the editors of Jewish publications to maintain written ( in English of all things!) discipline among their activists writers. After all polling shows that 20 to 30% of Israelis support the genocide option for the Palestinian demographic 'problem'. If that many think genocide, then it should be expected that a once in awhile they just might slip up and write it down.

      Israel's dilemma. It is so difficult to live a lie because one has to be on constant guard against the truth slipping out while the lies keep changing.

  • Avishai says we misrepresented his views
    • Good, now that is the Bernard Avishai we all got to know. Yesterday I thought that Phil had let his optimistic enthusiasm run away from his better judgement. Today Avishai wants us all to know that he has not changed.

      I have been reading his stuff for about a decade. He always stood out as one who could twist liberal values, equal rights for all and justice into a Zionist vision. His audience has always been Americans, Israelis, both left and right, see him as a clown.

      One of his more impressive essays was describing his vision for a two state solution where Gaza and the WB could be integrated into a single nation. His idea was to build an underground tunnel between Gaza and the WB so Palestinians could move back and forth without having to go through Israeli checkpoints. Absolutely brilliant idea. Build a 40 mile tunnel to keep the Palestinians underground so the Israelis never have to see them. No suggestion that an above ground rail and highway system be built (that Jews only roads could cross with under- or over-passes). That is classic Bernard Avishai.

      His suggestion then brought to mind HG Wells "The Time Machine", with the Eloi and Morlocks. Great thinker Avishai, put the Palestinians underground so the oh so sensitive Jews need not see them.

  • Israel's message to the Palestinians: Submit, leave or die
    • Very good summary for where things stand. It is sad to see the Abbas admin paralyzed into inaction and passively accepting whatever Israel wants to do. Their next step should have been to go to the ICC and establish standing. I guess Abbas and his PA cronies cannot do this because the US has threatened to take away their allowance if they made that move. The US has set up a Palestinian leadership that has traded justice for the Palestinians in exchange for the generous funds to keep their 1% fat and happy.

      One sentence here grated on my sense of reality: It is incumbent on Palestinian civil society, joining with their partners on the critical Israeli left.... What critical Israeli left? Less than one per-cent of the nation that is politically irrelevant as far as anyone can tell. As wholesome as the writers are at 972mag, it does not look like they represent too many Israelis.

  • How long can Israel depend on Mizrahi docile loyalty? Smadar Lavie asks in new book
    • This idea of building a Mizrahi-Palestinian alliance in Israel strikes me overly idealistic. Certainly would be a nice development but likely impossible. The experience in the American south might be similar. Basically the enemy of poor whites and blacks was the social class structure. Efforts to integrate those people into a movement failed completely. This began almost a century ago. The one thing that the poor whites had was their superior position over the blacks and that was something they would never give up. I can't imagine the Mizrahi being different.

      I was not aware that a majority of WB settlers are Mizrahi. Of course these people will see the 2s solution as a threat to the little material gains they have managed to achieve. There is no way a European dominated left could ever attract those settlers or their relatives inside the green line. Alliance with the Palestinians is even less likely.

  • In Shuafat, Palestinian family delays funeral of murdered teen to search for answers
    • This poor boy's death seems to be a little different from the hundreds of other Palestinians children killed over the last few years. I noticed his picture above the fold at both the Guardian and BBC today. I guess after running the pics of the Israeli victims in this endless war for the last week the case of Mohammed Abu Khdeir seems to have received some attention in the MSM. Small consolation but significant nevertheless.

  • Can a neocon change his spots (and come back as a liberal interventionist for Hillary Clinton)?
    • I agree ritzl. Rand is hard to take. He will obviously run against SS, medicare and medicaid. Maybe against public education. That does not worry me too much because if he became president and tried to reverse those programs he would create a political backlash that would stop him in his tracks.

      The antiwar program he could represent is something else. As Gore Vidal said years ago the US is a one party state -- the war party -- that is divided into two factions the Democrats and Republicans. He might be the first politician in 60 years that could break that pro-war monopoly. George McGovern made a play at doing so in 1972 but he was crushed once the pro-war factions in the Democratic Party refused to support him. Maybe Rand could build a coalition that included left wing Democrats, libertarian Republicans and that vast center of undecideds who are sick of more war.

      I could see voting and even working for him in that case.

    • Openly recognizing that the neocons and liberal interventionists are different symptoms of the same disease is very healthy. The pathology is deeply embedded in the Obama administration. It has made its appearance on at least three occasions.

      The first was the Nato war against Libya. That was carried out with Hillary's enthusiastic backing. At the time many progressives and leftists were duped into supporting that action because they saw it as part of the Arab spring that bring forth 'people's revolution'. Today no one is defending that fiasco, but most of the progressive critics of Bush's war in Iraq remain silent about it now.

      The second was support for the rebels in Syria. Now that Iraq has blown up progressives are on a campaign blaming Bush and his neocons for starting the process that has led to that. They seem strangely silent that the jihadists fighting in Iraq today are the same forces we supported in Syria and before that in Libya.

      The third is the Obama administration is helping to undermine the legally elected Yanukovich government in Ukraine, backing the neo-nazi infested coup government and currently urging the current Poroshenko regime to militarily suppress the eastern Ukrainian uprising.

      It is time to stop just blaming Bush and his neocons. We need to openly admit that Obama is a big part of the problem. We can't ignore that and just jump to Hillary and say that the disease is reappearing in her re-election campaign. The neocons/liberal-interventionists remain alive and well with Obama in the form of Vic Nuland, Samantha Power and Susan Rice.

  • Make 'hasbara' a household word
    • It seems quite clear by now that the term 'hasbara' is weighted down with many negative connotations. Though it seems the original Hebrew term was defined in quite neutral terms. The problem began with how the term hasbara was used "to explain" Israeli's oppression of the Palestinians. Today, thanks in part to Edward Said, that word has been redefined as Israeli state propaganda.

      Propaganda is another term completely loaded down with negative connotations. However its definition over a century ago was fairly benign: "the particular doctrines or principles propagated by an organization or movement."

      American and British opponents of German and the Soviets demonized "propaganda" as their efforts to explain their positions. The Russian communist used a word that could be translated as "propaganda" to explain to the world their communist ideology.

      In any case, score one for the Palestinians in their war against Israel. They succeeded here in demonizing a common Hebrew word. If this keeps up the whole world will be ridiculing the Hebrew accent much as what happened to German during WWII.

  • Iran wins points from Brazil to State Dep't (even as Bill Kristol calls for another Iraq war)
    • This hopefully leads to a lessening of tensions between Iran and the US. Poor Israel is left sucking eggs on this one.

      An important contributing factor in empowering ISIS was the Obama admin deciding to support the rebellion against Assad in Syria. Now the US is forced into the uncomfortable position of having to fight Assad's enemy. Even though Obama tried to send our supplies and support to the FSA, much of that material ended up in the hands of the Islamists. Today FSA is no longer a factor in the civil war but all of those weapons we sent are still on the battlefield. This was our contribution while our allies Turkey, Qatar and the Saudis (which we encouraged) provided even more direct support.

      These facts need to be known by the American people. Especially, since it was Hillary Clinton who was the main proponent inside the Obama admin for supporting the rebels. This fact is not in dispute. Indeed, Hillary in her recent book even chastises Obama for not being more aggressive as she wished. This needs to be an issue when Hillary announces her candidacy for the presidency.

  • Neoconservatism is 'vindicated' in fawning 'NYT' piece on power couple of Kagan and Kristol
  • What the MLA vote showed: Israel is losing the battle for liberal support
    • The most interesting aspect of this vote is that even after being heavily lobbied by the Zionist faction who warned the members of this dangerous assault on Israel, over 90% did not bother to vote. That the Zionists are claiming a victory because over 90% do not care about Israel one way or the other is astounding.

      We have seen this for some time. Israel and its lobby can buy votes but they cannot convince people to support Israel. At some point they will run out of money and when that happens Israel is toast.

  • Enter Ken Pollack and Tom Friedman-- the Iraq experts!
    • Israelis most certainly supported the war in Iraq. Read the chapter on Iraq in the Mearsheimer and Walt book. It is thoroughly documented there. The fact that Israel wanted us to attack Iran is irrelevant.

  • Anti-Cantor coalition included Tea Partiers, Independents, Democrats
    • annie the district lines were changed in 2010 -- a few dozen inner city precincts were chopped off and heavy Republican ones added. Romney won 57-43 over Obama in 2012.

      Most of the pros think that the dems cannot win here even against a moronic tea partier.

  • Modern Language Association members condemn Israeli border policies, but vote is not ratified
    • This outcome is not surprising. It says that over 90% of the membership of MLA do not care enough about the IP issue to vote their opinion. What is interesting of those who do care, the pro-Palestinian position wins 60/40 over pro-Israel one.

      If Israel is going to claim a victory because over 90% do not care what happens to Israel then it seems Israel is in deep doodoo.

  • Super-PAC supporting Hillary Clinton launches outreach for one religious group (Jews)
    • For those of us not ready for Hillary we should focus on her record as SoS. In addition to the wink and nod support for the coup in Honduras here are a number of other accomplishments.

      The air war against Libya. This resulted directly in empowering an Islamist movement that is fueling a civil war war today. That was the real scandal behind the killing of our ambassador, not the nonsense the Republicans have brought up.

      Assad has to go. Hillary was the major proponent behind the US backing the rebellion against the Assad regime in Syria. Again, we directly empowered Islamist forces that are continuing another civil war. This one has seen 150,000 deaths so far.

      Pivot to Asia. On its face this might look like a reasonable policy. However, it focused on challenging China by building a military coalition to contain China. China has responded in a predictable way and is more directly asserting its rights in the East and South China Seas. This has already resulted in increased tensions with Japan, Philippines and Vietnam.

      The Ukraine crisis. Maybe not directly but she appointed the neocon Victoria "f* the EU" Nuland to the very high level post of controlling State's portfolio over Eurasia. Without doubt the crisis there has to be the biggest head ache facing the US today. The US directly encouraged the coup that brought to power Yatsenko who was handpicked by Nuland.

      Syria, pivot to Asia and Ukraine are directly linked to the accelerated alliance between China and Russia. Hillary can be seen as destroying the diplomatic situation put together by Kissinger and Nixon where the US gained considerable advantage playing China and Russia against each other. This has to be considered a disaster for US foreign policy.

  • Israeli government tries to undo image of Pope at the wall
    • Hebrew had died out as a spoken language centuries before Jesus was born. Rabbis knew Hebrew just like Roman catholic priests know the dead language Latin.

  • Netanyahu says Jews invented the idea of 'honoring your father and mother'
    • For those of us who are lactose tolerant as adults we can reasonably infer that our ancestors worshiped cows. That genetic trait allowed the European steppe people to expand their range into grass lands. It was the advent of montheism that purged a sacred cow from our religion. Isn't there some slanderous blasphemy in the OT against worshiping the Golden Calf?

  • Netanyahu scoffs at Obama's 2009 summons and 'threat'-- to stop all settlements
    • I think mzrt has a point. In 2009 when Obama made a big speech proposing a settlement freeze my first reaction was: What is he trying to do? It seemed politically impossible for the US to do this. My concern was not Israeli politics but US politics. At that time it was clear that the lobby could thwart any efforts by a US president to try to pressure Israel. However I gave Obama the benefit of doubt since I assumed that the new Obama admin must have come to some understandings with the major players in the Israeli lobby in Washington, otherwise they would not have set out on such a bold path. After all he had Axelrod and Emmanuel on his staff so he must have had a better understanding of what the lobby could do then I did.

      However, within months Bibi was publicly ridiculing Obama in international forums and before the US Congress with the full backing of the lobby. I still think this will be a question that future historians will ponder as to why he allowed himself to be so publicly humiliated by the Israelis? And why he failed to understand the power of the lobby?

      In short, Obama's failure was not in understanding Israeli politics, but in American politics.

  • New video shows Palestinian youths killed by Israeli army on Nakba Day posed no threat to soldiers
    • Bad idea amigo. Zach S and Mahani should be allowed to continue to post here. They are continuous proof of the lies of Zionism. It energizes the rest of us.

  • Report: Germany cancels military subsidy deal with Israel following breakdown of peace negotiations
    • Bando wants us to know: Israel, while publicly displaying a face of complete neutrality, has indirectly via it’s lobby and Israel-firsters played a big role in the crisis in Ukraine.

      Nope you are totally wrong. There happen to be Jews in the US State Dept that have been pushing this crisis in Ukraine. But it has nothing to do with Israel. Israel happens to support Russia. These are American neocons who have formed an alliance with the Brezinzki wing of the American War Party. Complicated for sure, but crazed Poles who have gained influence inside the US government have their own agenda sometimes in opposition to Israels'.

  • Rothkopf's jailbreak from the Zionist captivity is sure to embolden others
    • Perhaps Phil can see something in Rothkopf's letters to Oren that point to a major change going on Rothkopf's thinking. As long as he continues to dismiss Jimmy Carter and Mearsheimer and Walt as totally out of the discussion on Israel I would have to say that he remains inside the Zionists camp, if perhaps occupying a position near its left border. His nasty review of the M&W book in 2009 (with its ad hominem attacks as pointed out by Slater here at MW) clearly is his printed word on them. Maybe he wouldn't write those words today, but they stand as he has not retracted them.

  • Israelis are in Nigeria to help search for girls -- Susan Rice
    • Well this is very interesting. Nigeria has population of 168 million. And Israel is offering to help them with this very ugly insurrection. So how many Israeli troops are available to this humanitarian intervention? Given the size of Nigeria it would require at least 500,000 troops. D0es Israel have that many? I don't think so. Pure empty propaganda. Even the US does not have that force.

  • NY Times troubling corrections: Hebron youth who first 'had brass knuckles' now investigated for possessing 'weapons' (Updated)
    • Your'e right, that was a interesting piece by Avnery. He makes a very good case that the IDF command has lost control over the army if its orders go against the right wing Zionist interpretation. That means the political leadership is greatly constrained in what it can do.

      There seems to be something like this going on in Ukraine right now. The armed militias that put the current regime in power still control the streets of Kiev and probably most of western Ukraine. There is some suspicion that the current regime would not be able to issue them orders that conflicted with their right wing, nationalistic views. This is counterbalanced to some extent that the Ukrainian army is largely unwilling to follow orders to shoot at eastern Ukrainians (though we have seen a few exceptions to that lately).

      Somehow it is hard to be upset when repressive regimes lose control of their military, but if those troops are motivated by ultra right wing ideologies it is hard to see how much good can result from mutinies.

  • Beinart predicts J Streeters will tackle immigration before thinking critically about Israel
    • Beinhardt is obviously talking about himself when he is saying progressive Jews will move on to other issues and presumably away from Israel's problems. That was my impression when he abandoned Open Zion. At some level he faced the dilemma inherent in liberal Zionism. Just how does one reconcile the contradiction between liberalism and Zionism? It is just not possible to embrace both. Without taking the next step, it leaves one in an impossible position. He therefore decided to move on to other issues, though he has yet to define what those might be for himself.

  • Abunimah and Blumenthal's freedom ride
    • hophni yet again distorts American history: You seriously must be kidding. Comparing these two to the underground railroad is offensive. They’re two Americans who are traveling the college campus circuit in complete freedom, not ex-slaves.

      Actually in the 1840 and 1850s many American abolitionist and others involved in the underground railroad traveled freely through the north making their case against slavery. They were free to do so. And most of those speakers were not ex-slaves, though some were.

  • Long faces at Israel's birthday party
  • Jewish neocons and the romance of nationalist armageddon
    • Well thanks for that Yonah. My wife's family descended from Jewish communities in Odessa and Galicia. They emigrated to the US between 1900 and 1940. After WWII none of their relatives left behind were ever heard from again. Perhaps you have family that experienced similar stories. What caused me to react to your post above is that you are describing the current situation in Ukraine as a "freedom" movement by the Ukrainians when the political forces there descended from the same people that killed my inlaws family (and apparently yours to). Why do you support them?

    • Yonah writes The freedom of Ukraine is a worthy goal. If the US is not able to back up our attempt to help them gain their freedom it is not something to celebrate, but something to lament.

      What are you saying? Ukraine has been an independent nation for 22 years. What freedom is this? What we have witnessed is that one half of Ukraine has gotten tired that the other half keeps on electing candidates that represent those Ukrainians that identify with Russian culture. They (the western half) successfully staged a coup and purged the other (eastern half) from the government. You call that "freedom". Doesn't it embarrass you, Yonah, that the armed militias that conducted that coup are descendants of the Bandera organization.

      Does that ring a bell? These are the Ukrainians that were involved in the holocaust. Does Babi Yar stir any memories Yohan? It was a massacre of 40,000 Jews just outside of Kiev in 1942. It was the single largest massacre of Jews during WWII. The massacre was led by the Germans ( Einsatzgruppe C officers) but was carried out with the aid of 400 Ukrainian Auxillary Police. These were later incorporated into the 14th SS-Volunteer Division "Galician" made up mostly Ukrainians. The division flags are to this day displayed at Right Sector rallies in western Ukraine.

      Right Sector militias are the fighting force that led the coup against the legally elected Yanukovich government and were almost certainly involved in the recent massacre in Odessa. And you support them for their fight for freedom? You should be ashamed. Zionism is sinking to new lows that they feel the need to identify with open neo-Nazis.

    • Interesting to juxtapose Brzezinski and the neocons. In a Venn diagram they would over-lap 90%. The Ukraine crisis exposes that 10% difference. Brzezinski I very much doubt has any emotional attachment to Israel though he is happy to work in coalition with them to further his one true goal which is to isolate and defeat Russian influence in the world. In the 1980s both were on the same page in the "let my people go" campaign against the Soviet Union. Brzezinski saw it as a propaganda opportunity to attack Russia and the neocons saw it has a source of more Jews to settle Palestine.

      Right now, their interests have diverged over the Ukraine crisis. Though many of the American neocons do support subverting Ukraine as does Brzezinski it looks like Israel itself is leaning towards supporting Russia. When it comes down to it it is hard for many Jews, right wing or not, to support the political movement inside Ukraine that identifies with Bandera. Now that was one nasty antisemite whose followers killed many thousands of Ukrainian Jews during the holocaust. My wife's family immigrated from Galicia and the Odessa region and those left behind perished during the holocaust. The extended family includes anti-zionists and WB settlers. There is no way that any of them would identify with Ukrainian fascist movements now active there.

      In any case, there does seem to be a potential split among the neocons over Ukraine. It would be the ultimate in hypocrisy for all of those eastern European Jews who became successful in the US in the last few generations to enter into coalition with the Bandera brigades.

    • Interesting to juxtapose Brzezinski and the neocons. In a Venn diagram they would over-lap 90%. The Ukraine crisis exposes that 10% difference. Brzezinski I very much doubt has any emotional attachment to Israel though he is happy to work in coalition with them to further his one true goal which is to isolate and defeat Russian influence in the world. In the 1980s both were on the same page in the "let my people go" campaign against the Soviet Union. Brzezinski saw it as a propaganda opportunity to attack Russia and the neocons saw it has a source of more Jews to settle Palestine.

      Right now, their interests have diverged over the Ukraine crisis. Though many of the American neocons do support subverting Ukraine as does Brzezinski it looks like Israel itself is leaning towards supporting Russia. When it comes down to it it is hard for many Jews, right wing or not, to support the political movement inside Ukraine that identifies with Bandera. Now that was one nasty antisemite whose followers killed many thousands of Ukrainian Jews during the holocaust. My wife's family immigrated from Galicia and the Odessa region and those left behind perished during the holocaust. The extended family includes anti-zionists and WB settlers. There is no way that any of them would identify with Ukrainian fascist movements now active there.

      In any case, there does seem to be a potential split among the neocons over Ukraine. It would be the ultimate in hypocrisy for all of those eastern European Jews who became successful in the US in the last few generations to enter into coalition with the Bandera brigades.

  • The Algeria model -- a conversation with James D. Le Sueur
    • Congrats to Phil for great reporting. This long interview brings up many interesting questions. I found myself balking at many of Le Sueur's answers but the entire exchange serves to advance the discussion.

      Both Camus and Feraoun's ideas became irrelevant in the the historical context of the Algerian war of independence. Nonviolence became obsolete and violent revolution was the only course available left to those who sought independence for the Algerian people. Fanon was quite correct, given the political reality, in his support of violence. There was, after all, no alternative. Setif provided proof of that.

      That is why using Algeria as a model for the Palestinian independence movement is not relevant today. Unlike what happened in Algeria, it is still possible for those who support Palestinian rights to remain "above ground". This means that non-violent resistance to Israeli oppression of the Palestinians remains a viable option (in fact, probably the best option). The tools available to the Palestinians are BDS and the diplomatic efforts to place Palestinian rights before the numerous UN agencies and world courts. Not to discount the Palestinians on the street who continue to resist WB occupation and settler violence.

      Today nonviolence remains the best means for the Palestinians. If the Israeli's decide to pull off a Setif kind of massacre or try to forcibly transfer a few hundred thousand Palestinians into Jordan, then this might require the Palestinian resistance leaders to re-calibrate, go back to the underground and use violence. But as of today, non-violence is the tactic of choice.

  • When the going gets tough, Roger Cohen gets going
    • Sorry Keith you are wrong. Slavery as a formal institution of societies has disappeared. There is no country in the world today that recognizes the ownership of another human being as personal property. That was the slavery that was mostly abolished in the 19th century and that was the institution dismantled in the US by the civil war.

      You are talking about exploitation of workers that in many parts of the world may live under conditions indistinguishable from slavery. Marxists used the term "wage slave" to describe this exploitation of workers. But even Marx would know that exploited workers were not the personal property of another human or corporation. What changed is the property laws, within nations and within international institutions, whereby one could no longer sell and buy other humans.

    • Slavery was evil. It was never justifiable and had no merit whatsoever.

      Actually slavery was justified for most of recorded history. It wasn't until the late 18th century that a political movement first arose to oppose it. And then in less than a century slavery was mostly gone and people the world over came to believe that it was not justifiable under any circumstances.

      Quite amazing, to think of it, how long slavery lasted and then how quickly it disappeared.

  • Tensions rise on Temple Mount as rightwing Jews seek to hold Passover rituals there
    • Oh cut the crap carbonman, everyone knows the Temple mount is not the site of the second temple. That was located elsewhere. That wailing wall all of you nuts bang their heads against is in fact the foundations of a Christian Church that one of the Roman emporerors built in about 350 AD. Jews did not start to pray there until after the 13th century. After 1000 years it is hard to blame them for getting the site wrong especially after the Crusaders expelled all of the Jews from Jerusalem for over 2 centuries. It wasn't until the Muslims drove out the Christian Crusaders that they were allowed to return. By that time they had forgotten where the second temple was supposed to be.

  • Mark Halperin excommunicates Rand Paul, over Israel
    • I don't find this story depressing at all. It should be exciting to see a politician who stands up in public and takes on the lobby. It is hard to imagine seeing Paul win, but the public fight could definitely turn into a Pyrrhic victory for the lobby. At the very least it would educate a new generation of Americans that Rand Paul is surely to appeal to.

  • Reports of anti-Semitism in Ukraine and Hungary
    • The Treaty of Versailles is the treaty that keeps on giving. Those boundaries that define modern day Hungary were the result of that treaty and adjacent Hungarian provinces were given to adjacent countries as punishment and to weaken the German and Austro-hungarian states the West blamed for starting WWI.

      These were the decisions that were made back in 1919.

      Sudetan Germans assigned to an artificial entity made up of Czechs and Slovaks (though the vast majority identified as Austrians).
      Prussian city of Danzig physically separated from the rest of Prussia.
      Creation of Yugoslavia forcing Slovenia and Croatia (loyal subjects to the A-H empire) with Serbs (plus a Hungarian province).

      All three of these decisions resulted in horrible war. The first two resulting in the acceptance of the German people to rally behind Hitler's war. I find it hard to believe that a government in Hungary at this late date is bringing is stirring this up today.

      But this whole Ukraine crisis is the result of short sited decisions made by Lenin in 1922 and Khruschev in 1954 regarding Ukraine's borders. I do hope the Kerry and Obama are starting to realize the mess they have stirred up.

  • Friedman prepares American Jews for a divorce from zealot Israel
    • That description of the settlers is really close to what educated Israelis thought of them, at least as early as 1980. My friends back then described them as a bunch of losers from the poorer neighborhoods of Brooklyn.

    • I thought from the beginning of this latest round of talks that Kerry was just going through the motions in that he knew they couldn't succeed. The question was: What was his and Obama's goal? My guess was that they saw it as an opportunity to distract Israel from trying to sabotage the Iranian peace talks or from even attacking Iran themselves. C&D, this suggestion that they were just setting up Israel to convince Europe that sanctions was the only way to go is just too diabolical. I hope it works out that way but to think that Kerry and Obama could operate at that level of Machiavellian intrigue is hard to believe.

  • 'Secret' London conference seeks to link BDS to... terrorism
    • One sign that the Zionist and their supporters do not understand BDS is that they seem to think that all political activism is purchased for dollars. If they see a demonstration of thousands, they see a few hundred thousand dollars that purchased it. In Lauders speech he is implicitly threatening the movement with his big dollars. The notion that millions of people around the world are willing to donate their time and meager resources to the cause of BDS is totally alien to people like Lauder.

  • Two desperate anti-Semitism charges, from Foxman and Boteach
    • bilal I had no idea that we agreed. It is time for the US to stop giving billions of bucks to Israel while we also stop giving those billions to
      China. Let us be fare in our gifts!

  • Amid 'climate of fear' at Vassar, president comes out against 'action and protest' re Israel
    • cloak and dagger. Thanks for that. I think I know where this miss attribution comes from. Sorry, no link, but I remember reading something he once said that might be the reason for this erroneous quote. It was in an essay he once wrote. His words were a self criticism. It had to do with trying to solve a very difficult problem. He noted that when attacking a problem he often repeated the same approach that failed before. In order to rise above the problem, it was necessary to consider new approaches. There was nothing in his essay that could be captured in a pithy phrase nor did he call it insanity.

      The quote came from the NA handbook where I first heard it.

    • That quote is not from Einstein. Its earliest use was found in a narcotics anonymous handbook written in 1980.

  • New book explores intersection of Islamophobia and support for Israel
    • Citizen there a number of people I have met after 911 that do care. In my community there were a number of attacks on Muslims (not just that but one deranged guy killed a Sikh, mistaken him for a Muslim). I became involved in a number of events supported by CAIR (a fairly conservative Muslim organization) and I am sure that this book will be read by them. Also these people are active in local politics. They might not have influence at the national level but I can assure you they have influence in political races at the state level.

      What I have also noticed is that the big Zionist money is not investing in state level races as they did once. They are focusing their money on federal senate and house races. Not sure what this means but it could mean that there is going to be new candidates for national office that are not so beholden to Zionist contributions.

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