Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 2149 (since 2010-09-10 19:45:27)

Showing comments 2149 - 2101

  • 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.

    • Page: 21
  • Brandeis retracts plan to honor anti-Muslim activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali
    • I went through a period where I was buying into Islamophobic propaganda. This was a reaction to the Islamic revolution in Iran after the mullahs purged their left opposition and were executing members of the Bahai faith.

  • 'Poof' -- Kerry blames Israel for breakdown of talks (Updated)
    • I mentioned this last week that it looked like the usual Zionist supporters were not prepared to blame the Palestinians for the collapse of these talks when it was clear that the talks had collapsed. I would have not expected to see Kerry join in. It seems that everyone is on the same page here finally. Israel owns the WB and there is no one who can challenge that fact. I have trouble seeing why Israel thinks that owning up to this obvious fact is going to improve their position. Whatever, this is progress though in the immediate term the Palestinians will have to, yet again, pay a terrible price.

  • Distracted by the peace process: What really happened during the talks
    • That quote from Cook "start to appear' jumped out at me also. It is not just the IP negotiations, but it looks like US diplomacy is appearing desperate in every venue -- Syria, China and Ukraine. At least the Iran negotiations seem to be on a coherent course, unless that comes off the rails in the next month.

      Sadly, it looks like Kerry and Obama are floundering on every front. Israel is the least of their problems.

  • US is 'absolutely adamant' that Palestine not go to ICC and wreck the peace process -- Power
  • Reports: Abbas faults Israel for 'procrastinating,' says Palestine will move to join int'l organizations
    • Listened to NPR radio tonight that reported this story. It was the news reader interviewing three pro-Israel types -- Aaron Miller, Norm Pollack from WINEP and someone else. What I found interesting is that none of the three were accusing Abbas of trying to sabotage the negotiations. They simply resorted to the usual Zionist excuses that the issues are way too complicated for any mortal man to comprehend. What struck me was none of the nonsense following the Camp David talks in 2000 when Clinton and Barak blamed Arafat for the talks failure and that he simply walked away from a reasonable agreement.

      If my reading of these sentiments are accurate it might be the case that Abbas can now go to the UN and no one in the US will blame him for the failure of these negotiations. I guess that has to be considered progress. I am sure that the US and Israel have prepared some way to blunt this approach to the UN but it will not include the accusation against the Palestinians that they are being intransigent.

  • A British Jew warns US Jewish orgs to heed rapidly-shifting world opinion
    • Justpassingby says: Time to give up Palestinians. The Zionists have won. Further resistance is futile. Nothing you Arab lovers can do to change that outcome. To repeat, time to give up Palestinians.

      OK justpassing by, good to hear your advice. Somehow I do not think you are a supporter of justice for the Palestinian people. Just my guess.

  • Journalistic malpractice: Washington Post suggests Abbas doesn't recognize Israel's right to exist
    • If Netanyahu has set up the Palestinians to , as Weiss and North write recognize Israel as a Jewish state, a trap set by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu so that the failure of the current talks will be blamed on the Palestinians, then he has failed in that.

      Today Israel has just made it clear that they are not releasing the last group of Palestinians Times of Israel . I think all agree that this is a deal breaker.

  • Obama's European message-- self-determination, equality, dignity-- is null and void in Palestine
    • Keith says: March 29, 2014 at 4:35 pm The first massacres were against Serbs. In “late September 1991, over 120 Gospic Serbs, including prominent professors and judges, were abducted and murdered…

      There was that for sure. But also we should mention that Croatian forces in 1996, carried out the largest ethnic cleansing campaign since WWII that has not been rectified to this day. At that time, 140,000 Krajina Serbs were expelled from the border lands between Croatia and Bosnia. Today their property remains in the hands of the Croatians. Those refugees apparently have claims according to international law but they to this day remain refugees from their homeland.

      We should also realize, that the Croatian military action was supported by the Clinton admin. I recall that in 1996 that the Croatian attack against Krajina involved many "retired" US army officers.

    • K Renner says: March 29, 2014 at 3:20 pm Oh, look. More far-left blather.

      Do you think David Bromwich engages in far left blather (see my link below)?

      Renner, it is time to reconsider what you thought was happening in the Balkans during the 1990s and look at some of the history that has come out since. Please, keep in mind the the US government engages in lies when it wants to go to war. If you are in blind love with the Clinton admin, think about Bush in the build up to war against Iraq. If you think only Republicans will lie to the public to support war, please back up a bit and consider what the Johnson admin did to convince Americans to go to war in Vietnam.

    • One small correction. David Bromwich has pointed out one of the big lies in Obama's Kosovo story: HufPo

    • had the right and a duty to intervene in the former Yugoslavia to prevent ethnic cleansing of Kosovar villiagers,

      But there was no ethnic cleansing going on in Kosovo, at least not prior to our intervention.

    • Phil excellent dissection of Obama's speech that so clearly reveals the deceit and hypocrisy in his words.

      Other major lies in Obama's speech that is not commented upon and that is the US war to force the removal of Kosovo from Serbia. Many on the left at that time believed these lies, they were of course Democratic partisans -- part of the problem that wars started by democrats are good wars while those started by republicans are bad wars.

      The two major lies are that Serbia committed genocide in Kosovo and they committed ethnic cleansing and that is why we invaded. The first is based on reports in the West (promoted by the US in particular) that the Serbians had killed 25,000 Albanians in the years before we started bombing. Aerial photos of mass graves were produced as evidence. Post war investigations were only able to document the deaths of about 700 people, half of them Serbian police and soldiers and the rest active militants in the Kosovo Liberation Army that decided in 1996 conduct armed rebellion against Serbian rule. That is not genocide by any stretch of the meaning of that term, it is armed combatants dying in war.

      The second lie of massive ethnic cleansing was based on a major logical fallacy. There was no movement of Albanians out of Kosovo before the bombing began. Within a week about 2/3 of the population was driven into neighboring countries. Western press immediately inverted cause and affect to justify Clinton's war against Serbia.

      Besides these two whoppers, there was a third lie in Obama's speech. He made reference to a referendum that the Kosovo people had on their independence. There was no referendum on independence. After NATO occupied Kosovo, the first open election was for a president and parliament.

      What happened in 1999 is that the US and NATO committed naked, unprovoked aggression against Serbia and forced them secede their Kosovo province. And if you want to why the US did this, I have never really figured out a better answer than the fact that Clinton was in the middle of the Lewinsky scandal and was trying to distract attention from his impeachment. But there was nothing humanitarian or R2Pish about that war.

  • Right-wing news outlets attack U. Mich's divestment drive
    • I have too much respect for MJ to dismiss his worries as they’re all in favour of denying Palestinian rights and perpetuating Israeli jewish privilege over Palestinians.

      What he is worried about (and I think we could include Finkestein is this worry) is that many of the Palestinian activists that are working in the BDS campaign have given up on the peace process and its two state solution and have opted for the one state solution. This means, a single state between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea with equal rights for all inhabitants.

      If that happened, then logically, the Zionist construct of the State of Israel would be impossible. There is no way that once the Palestinian people achieved a majority that they would accept Zionist ideology to guide their new Palestinian state. Very simple logic. That is why many progressive Israelis and their American supporters (MJ and Finklestein included) have so strongly opposed annexation of the West Bank to Israel.

      Unfortunately for them they are a minority. The most powerful Zionist (and they have majority support) continue in their goal of West Bank annexation. The decision is being made by these forces and not the liberal Zionists like MJ and others.

      Somehow if Israel wants to commit suicide it is not for me to stop them. It is painful to watch MJ turn his anger against the inevitable reaction to Israeli policies and blame that reaction for what is going to happen to Israel. Namely, one state will be the end of the Zionist experiment.

  • Democrats have no problem with Israeli envoy addressing GOP group opposed to Obama
    • Diplomatic protocol to stay out of partisan politics in foreign nations? What was the US ambassador to Ukraine doing during the big street protests during the Orange revolution 4 years ago and what was our state department officials doing on the Kiev maidan this last winter? They were openly and obviously backing the pro Western parties against the elected Russian leaning government.

      Not to mention the numerous coups our embassies have engineered over the last century.

  • Obama's foreign policy has just one potential legacy-- Iran
    • Ahmed is quite correct that a peace agreement with Iran is really the only foreign policy issue where Obama can leave a positive legacy. I doubt that it will be seen as all that historic given that it will simply be the correction of a mistake. Rest of Obama's policies have been an incoherent mix of failures. These include: surge in Afghanistan, R2P in Libya, pivot to Asia, red lines in Syria and promotion of democracy in Ukraine. In all of these he made matters worse, realized his error and somehow managed to stop making things ever more worse. Ukraine is still in play so maybe he will yet manage to lead us into all out war.

      Iran is where he can actually do some good. He has so weakened himself with these other issues that it will embolden the lobby and the war party to work to sabotage the good progress he has so far made with Iran. I am hoping he succeeds.

  • The battle over Palestine is raging--and Israel is losing: Ali Abunimah on his new book
    • That is a good point. But on the other hand that makes the PA complicit with their own oppression and colonization by Israel which uses US funds and organizations to neutralize the Palestinian's national liberation struggle.

    • It goes deeper than that. MJs reason is, I think, the same as Finklestein's objection to Ali. If the 1ss comes to pass, in the sense that all of the citizens have equal rights and one person-one vote, Israel will no longer be the Israel we all know and love.

    • Because Ali supports the 1SS. If that happened Israel would not be a Jewish state but a state of all of its citizens. It would be the end of the Zionist dream.

  • Israeli teens dressed as KKK and in 'black face' for mock lynching at school Purim party
    • This sentence by the school administrator puzzled me: ‘This act essentially created a platform for discussion, it is no different from a Nazi costume’

      Do Israelis find it acceptable to dress up as Nazis during Purim? Sort of like Christians in the west dressing up in satanic costumes on Halloween, maybe?

  • Now the US is trying to 'delegitimize' Israel's defense minister
    • Has any US administration allowed Israeli officials to humiliate the POTUS this blatantly before? What kind of image of Obama this must be sending to the whole world? It is really pathetic and I must say as a US citizen downright embarrassing.

  • Video: SodaScream -- Bubble trouble
    • Well Annie, what I am saying is that it is not in Israel's interest to take a side in this Ukraine business. This crises is not the result of some Zionist conspiracy. What we are seeing is that many of the neocons have entered this fight. They are not doing it on behalf of Israel. These are people that were initially anti Soviet and today are anti Russian. If you remember your neocon history, this was a group whose roots go back to the Troskyites more that a half century ago. Their anti-Russian ideology is aligned with Brzezensky. This is the big picture.

      Please keep in mind that the neocons sharpened their teeth during the cold war against the Soviet Union. Some of them are now returning to their roots. There is no way that they are being encouraged by Israel. So far I have not seen any efforts by AIPAC on this Ukraine issue. In fact what I have seen is that some of the organizations that are part of AIPAC, (the World Jewish Congress being an example) are totally appalled by the recent emergence of the anti-semitic neofascists groups that have gained so much power in the current Kiev regime.

      I remain puzzled why MW has avoided this issue. There is no question that the Zionists have been using antisemitism in Europe (which usually turns out to be ME Muslim opposition to Israel) to further Israel's interests. Why do we avoid this obvious example of European antisemitsm in Ukraine that is being promoted by their nationalist parties. This issue is being ignored in the Western press.

      Why does MW ignore it?

    • Nope Yats was appointed by the neocon US state department Victoria Nuland. Does't make much difference since the current government does not have control over the recent internal police and defense ministries. Basically, the current government does not control the street.

    • Yep Susie I do know that there were some neocons that brought this mess on in the Ukraine. They were acting out of a tradition that was outside of the many Jews who came to this country from Eastern Europe and Russian. Those neocons came from a different tradition.

    • Way off topic but: For probably sound editorial reasons MW has avoided opening threads on the Ukraine. That discussion can open a real can or worms. However, for a site that spends much of its effort discussing Western Jewish attitudes towards problems in the ME, it does seem that what is happening in Ukraine is relevant.

      I do not think Israel is part of the problem in Ukraine nor do I think Zionist are particularly important players in this crisis. What is relevant is that the provisional government of Ukraine today is heavily influenced by neofascist and antisemitic elements. Twenty five per cent of the ministries of that government is controlled by the Svodoba Party and the Right Sector. These guys are without doubt fascists and old fashioned antisemites. Many Jewish immigrants over the last century have harrowing tales about the Ukrainian antisemites. Without going into the history this is one little anecdote that illustrates the issue: in September, 1941 just outside Kiev in a gully called Babi Yar, the Germans killed in one day 40,000 Jews. There were 300-500 Ukrainian Auxilaries that helped carry out that massacre. This was the precursor force that became part of the Bandolera brigades which are now worshiped by the current neofascists parties in Ukraine. Somehow I think this should be relevant to a site that spends so much time discussing the Jewish diaspora.

    • Yea for the Finns. I approve this message.

  • Does Israel Have a Right to Exist as a Jewish State?: An excerpt from Ali Abunimah's 'The Battle for Justice in Palestine'
  • Shira Robinson explains the DNA of Israel
    • I can't speak for Hostage but I can for myself and probably many thousands of fellow Americans. I have been active in the antiwar movement for many decades. Active in the sense of working in organizations, attending demonstrations, donating considerable time and money, and getting arrested on three different occasions. During most of that period I didn't really pay much attention to Israel and to the extent that I gave it much thought it was better to not introduce that issue into the various political groups where I worked because it would cause unneeded dissension.

      This attitude continued through the movement against war in Iraq. Then the penny dropped. That was a war that was openly supported by the lobby, those right wing Jews who brought Israel directly into American politics on behalf of war. All the while I and many compatriots were avoiding the obvious because we did not want to offend our pro-Israel comrades.

      Those days are over. Israel has made itself a major factor in the prowar Party here in the US and it seems to me that we have to take that on. I am not that engaged in the tribal war over Palestine much and if the US stopped actively supporting Israel in its perpetual war and the Zionists were purged from our government Israel would not be that big of an issue in my thinking.

      Then I could go back and work politically to fight America's tendency to commit war crimes, demand political control over the NSA and CIA, etc.

  • Review of recent 'NYT' corrections raises doubts about paper's commitment to getting the facts right in Israel/Palestine
    • Kershner's is wrong about the number of Israelis killed in the 2006 war. One does not call 160 deaths "dozens". This is interesting in that it was clear at the time that Israel tried very hard to minimize the costs to itself of that war. It looks like Kershner has internalized that denial.

  • J Street cheerleading for Kerry features Congressman warning Palestinians will demand the vote if two states fails
    • "Unremarked upon was what J Street would do if Kerry failed. "

      Duh, who in their right mind thought Kerry could succeed. If J street has no plan beyond Kerry's success they are more irrelevant than I thought before. This whole liberal Zionism thing becomes more and more divorced from reality as each year passes by.

  • 'This wall will fall' (the writing on the wall, at Ohio State)
    • What are you referring to? This comment is in quotes but where did it come from? Are you suggesting Putin? No way, Rich.

  • US Homeland Security investigates Israeli arms deal to Iran
    • mayhem, you simply do not understand what Richard Silverstein revealed. The US has been embargoing trade with Iran. What Silverstein reported is that an Israeli arms dealer was sending arms to Iran. This was totally unrelated to the thing that happened in the Red Sea last week. The US discovered that Israel was sending arms to Iran, for big profits. Israelis are greedy arms dealers and ideology is not something they care about. I am sure if the price was right, given the corruption inside Israel, they would sell Iran one of their nuclear bombs.

  • 'Daily Beast' labels Abbas 'stubborn' for refusing to recognize Israel as Jewish state
    • Well that is always a threat. My point is that the less time the US has to pressure the Palestinians the better for them. Of course if Obama and Kerry blow it and end up in a shooting war with Russia then everything changes.

    • I guess this Ukraine crisis might be good for the Palestinians. Kerry is now distracted by events there and will likely be taking pressure off the Palestinians to capitulate to the Israelis. Maybe Abbas can now focus some of his attention on their case before the UN and bring charges against Israel in the ICJ.

  • Dateline, Ukraine: How the State Department 'midwives' democracy
    • lysias you raise a good point. I have been trying to answer the question why is there such an anti-Russian sentiment in so much of the US press over the last decade. Given Putin's involvement in restoring the Russian Orthodox Church one would think he would be given some credit for that. He has largely, if not entirely, cleaned up the corruption that reigned during the Yeltsin years so what is not to like about that?

      The Putin hatred goes deeper and I think it has to do with historical bias. Many of our attitudes are absorbed directly from England -- the have two nearly continuous centuries of anti Russian (and Soviet) hatred built into their psyche. Many of today's leaders were raised in the anti-Soviet propaganda that dominated news up to 1992. The neocons were involved in that project very early starting with the expulsion of Trotsky from the Soviet Union. I think it is just in their blood. Victoria Nuland's policies are there for everyone to clearly see so there is no need form me to explain to you what they are.

    • This talk of Zionist running our policy in the Ukraine or having a significant influence on events there is completely unneeded. Israel will deal with whatever government emerges there and it not in their interests to be involved. The influence of the neocons is without doubt a major factor in US policy as witnessed by the antics of Victoria Nuland. The neocons have a history. When they first gained a foothold in the Washington power structure their primary issue was the Soviet Union and they were central to the most aggressive anti-Soviet policies during the Reagan admin. They are simply carrying on that tradition today. It was a group of aids to Senator Henry Jackson that was the core neocon group who was the biggest hawk in the Senate for decades. The Henry Jackson Society today is a hotbed of neocon activity.

      Because there is so much overlap between Zionists and neocons it is easy to be confused.

  • 'Netanyahu is a Nazi': Scenes from an Orthodox anti-military draft protest in Jerusalem
    • I think the ultra men are cute in their hair styles and medieval wardrobes. I find it difficult to ridicule a people who refuse to join the IDF or actively work to build the Israeli economy. They are certainly doing more to hurt the Israeli economy than any BDS movement has so far.

  • Following criticism, 'NYT' quotes Barghouti, Vilkomerson and Ashrawi on BDS
    • Thanks for your efforts trying to keep the NYT's honest. One tiny quibble: Overall, I think that the level of poor, biased reporting has remained largely unchanged for years. Perhaps the level of bias hasn't changed but there has been a huge change in the the level of acceptance of racist and right wing policies.

  • Thought experiment. Dateline Ukraine
    • That $5 billion dollars was spent over the Clinton, Bush and Obama admins.

    • That intercepted phone call was one smoking gun but there is so much more. Nuland gave that speech last December bragging about the $5 billion that State has given to the "prodemocracy" forces in the Ukraine. She was directly involved in handing out biscuits to demonstrators in the Kiev maidan this winter. During the Orange revolution, our ambassador to the Ukraine was openly supporting the street demonstrations against the first time Yanukovich was elected president.

    • The big story here is that the Ukraine is beginning to unravel. When it is over it will not just involve the Crimea but will extend over many provinces in Eastern and Southern Ukraine. This is a story that is bigger than anything going on in the ME right now. This process was set off by a successful ultra right coup that toppled the democratically elected Ukrainian government.

      What should be front and center on this story is that it was the US State Department that supported and encouraged the rightest forces on the streets of Kiev. Victoria -- f** the EU -- Nuland was the key player at State that pushed this policy. We should all know that she was a neocon holdover from the Bush admin that Hillary promoted to be Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs. That is one high position and she has made the most of it. I am sure that the current crisis is something that the neocon wing of the American power structure has desired and they have won big time. I doubt very much that Kerry and Obama have sought this result and must be appalled at recent developments.

      This is indirectly the result of our policies in the ME. Kerry and Obama have spent almost the entire year working on trying to clear up the mess in Afghanistan, Iran and Palestine without giving any thought to what is going on in parts of the world that are really important. Instead, they turned over the Eurasian portfolio to a neocon. It is absolutely amazing. The neocons create an absolute mess in the ME during the Bush years that Obama has spent 5 years working on and while his attention is there, they come in and help create what might very turn out to be a bigger mess in Eastern Europe.

  • AIPAC denies us credentials for its policy conference
    • What is up with HRW? I always considered them a legitimate human rights group. Their reports on the Syrian civil war sound like they were written by the "free" Syrian movement types.

  • ‘Safe Hillel’ Exposed: Undermining open dialogue in the Jewish community
    • I like the idea of a Safe Hillel. There many people of any religion who find vigorous political debate discomforting and they should be able to organize themselves into retreats. I suspect, that one of the appeals for cults and fundamentalists sects is that it provides people like this with political and social comfort. Now if they could simply gather all of the fanatical Zionists into isolated enclaves so they can talk to each and leave the rest of us alone what's wrong with that?

  • Settler leader's vision for peace: millions of American Jews must move to Israel and Palestine
    • Good response Keith. There does remain a few Jews in the Ukraine. It seems obvious that the Zionist want them to move to Israel. What better way then to support those antisemitic elements inside the Ukraine. Imagine the outcry from Israel if the US were to publicly welcome any Ukrainian Jew admission into the US because of antisemitic outbursts among the Kiev Maiden "peaceful demonstrators". No, no that was not the point -- we want them to come to Israel.

      It is one crazy world where those Ukrainian forces that supported the holocaust are now considered part of the solution for Israel's "demographic" problem.

    • I was struck by this statement from Wilder: People will come to Israel. If not because of love of Israel, then because of Obama the First, or the Second or the Third.

      It seems that no matter how much Obama capitulates to Israeli and lobby demands there is nothing he can do to gain their trust. White politicians are OK, but brown ones are not. What an incredibly racists society. There is absolutely no way that the Palestinians can live in peace alongside people like that.

  • Israel lobby group compiles secret dossiers on pro-Palestinian speakers
  • Mayor of Canadian city invites Ehud Barak to economic summit
    • PressTV is really not worth citing unless there is some independent confirmation. I have seen too many articles by them that are transparently false.

    • Seems like a Ukrainian thread might be appropriate today. With this headline in Haaretz Ukrainian rabbi tells Kiev's Jews to flee city
      Fearing violence against Ukraine's Jews, the Jewish community asks Israel for assistance with the security of the community.
      events there may well impact the Mid East.

      The rabbi sent a request to Lieberman asking for Israeli help in securing Kiev's Jewish community.

  • Scholar explodes 'canonic' American Jewish belief: Russian Czar was behind 1903 massacre
    • Stephen, your comment reminds me of a history about the Czar and the Jews I heard years ago. This might be an over simplified generalization but it makes sense.

      Going back 500 years the Russian state had a major problem on their hands and that was how to administer the vast territories they had under their control (hey, the military can conquer but who administers?). To make their empire work they needed administrators to collect taxes. This is not a trivial problem in a mostly illiterate country. The Czar hired the most literate and numerate people he could find. This very narrow filter included many Jews. In fact, he borrowed from the Polish nobility that had used Jewish scribes and accountants to manage their lands in the Ukraine and Southern Russia.

      What this did is to make Jews the tax collectors for the Czar. Over time those people paying the tax began to resent the Jews, and not the 'little father' czar as the enemy. I can see why the czar allowed that perception to persist. If only the US government could blame some minority for tax collection and not the government itself.

      This might be a major oversimplification of a few centuries of eastern European history but it makes some sense. One the czar needed the Jews to help manage his empire and two he needed them to provide an outlet for anger against the state.

    • Kraus asks: What percentage of the early communist leadership were Jewish in Russia? 70%? More?

      Nope, much less. And then goes on to assert:
      And NKVD was almost entirely Jewish in the beginning

      I seriously question this assertion. I quickly scanned some of those who those who first organized the cheka and found a Pole of noble descent (Dzherzinsky himself) , a Russian peasant, a Georgian noble and a Latvian farmer. Perhaps you could provide some evidence for this claim. Be careful though, Nazi propaganda is not considered a credible source.

  • Mohammed Assaf banned from performing at FIFA World Cup
  • At Sochi Olympics, Israel is in... Europe!
  • Influential Jewish group pushes New York bill aimed at Israel boycott
    • Any academic or independent artist or scholar over the last half century knows full well that criticism of Israel can have adverse on ones ability to gain grants. This is one of the Zionists most powerful tools to suppress dissent. This is something that is not openly acknowledged but anyone who has played the fundraising game (at least successfully) knows this to be the case. In any case this story is positive news. The Zionist are now out in the open attacking those academics who criticize Israel. Not sure I am willing to raise my head above the parapet quite yet. Kudos to the ASA for flushing the Zionist out into the open. Maybe soon, more scholars dependent of external grants will be free to express their true feelings about Israel. I suspect if we all could, there could be an avalanche of feelings directed against Israel.

  • Gaining the 'valuable hatred of their enemies,' boycott movement is educating others
    • Are you suggesting the Montgomery bus boycott was an act of violence? Or the Delano grape boycott? Southern racists and California grape farmers probably thought so and even argued as such. I am sure you could find some Afrikaner complaints that the ANC led boycott of South Africa was a terrorist act.

      You might want to clear your comment with hasbara central, even they should see how self defeating this argument is for the Zionist cause.

  • Student who exposed 'leftist' teacher is honored at Knesset, while teacher gets violent threats
    • piotr, thanks for that insight. I never lived in the Soviet zone and have to accept that my knowledge was definitely influenced by anti soviet propaganda. However I should have used the Mao era attacks on teachers in China as a better example.

      China was where I did have have some personal experience. In 1980 I spent 6 months working in Shanghai and Peking. I was working with academics and teachers. I heard one story after another where my colleagues had been publicly denounced by their former students egged on by the Red Guards during the cultural revolution. This was a period right after many of them had been restored to their previous positions. It was the beginning of the thaw and they were quite willing to describe to a westerner what they had experienced.

      At the time I was willing to accept that those "excesses's' were simply the result of Stalinist influence.

    • Shades of the former Soviet Union when school children that exposed their parents and teachers for having deviant political views were publicly hailed as heroes.

  • Thomas Friedman occupies BDS
    • The BDS movement has accomplished something that many supporters of Israel must find very troubling. BDS has basically put right of return back on the table. One thing that the Oslo process ending in the Taba summit in 2000 did was to make it appear that the Palestinians conceded on right of return. This was never officially relinquished by the PA but most analysts at the time felt that in a formal agreement the PA would accept some cosmetic actions that would never threaten the Jewish majority inside Israel.

      This was a concession that Israel has accepted and all talks since has been carried out with assumption that the PA had given up RoR. That seems to have changed. No thanks to the PA but Israel is now facing the prospect that they will get less today than they could gotten in 2000. Freedman must be hysterically worried about that development.

  • Get ready, Kerry will go where no American leader has gone before -- Ben-Ami
    • What exactly is a ” liberal Zionist?” What does that expression mean?

      it is a koan. Some simply call it an oxymoron. It is up there with profound questions like 'can I desire to be free of desire?'

  • 'Haaretz' analyst says surging BDS movement may be contributing to falling shekel
    • Seeing that the value of the shekel might be dropping brings to mind a possible historic precedent. The boycott against S. Africa went on for 27 years. For most of that time the smart money and the right wing supporters of Apartheid concluded that the boycott was a total failure. They were saying that up to about 1 year before the whole thing collapsed. What set off the final collapse was value of S. African bonds. Suddenly, their yields started going up and their face value dropped. It was just a few months that de Klerk threw in the towel and entered serious discussions with Mandela.

      These markets are fickle things. Bond markets are extremely sensitive to what people think might happen a few years down the road. Israel has been immune from that market concern since the US has always been willing to insure Israeli bonds. However, if market participants think that that insurance might be withdrawn, no rational investor would be willing to buy Israeli bonds.

      When people keep on talking about the 3 billion dollars we give to Israel every year, very little is being said about US backing of their bonds. If that were to stop their whole economy would go into a tailspin.

  • Israel and apartheid: a response to Hirsh Goodman
  • I stayed away from Israel just as I stayed away from Nazi Germany -- Hugh Trevor-Roper
    • The first time I heard "cosmopolitan" as a code word for Jews was from a French aristocrat that had been convicted for collaborating with the Nazis during WWII. I was raised in a very left wing environment and the only term I heard in reference to Jews was, well Jews. It wasn't until I was adult that I knew what Yid, Kike or Hebe meant let alone the usage of cosmopolitan in that context.

      Stalin had deep antisemitic feelings and probably picked up that term Russian culture.

    • Another if you don't like the message then distract attention and attack the messenger.

  • Kerry's framework according to Friedman and Indyk (Updated: Abbas Weighs In)
    • I guess if Abbas signs off on this deal he and the Palestinian 1% will be handsomely rewarded. The questions then becomes: What happens to the Palestinian movement for full membership in the UN and will they still be able to use the ICC? The second question concerns how this would affect the BDS movement? It seems that if Abbas signs then it would make it much easier for European governments to resist demands to sanction Israel.

      It is very difficult to see how this framework will not severely under cut the Palestinian movement for justice. It will be a big win for Israel and rich Palestinians but a big loss for the Palestinian people.

  • AP asks State: Why shouldn't folks boycott Israel when your own settlements policy is ineffective?
    • Well pabelmont, some one hears Matt Lee's questions, and the painfully awkward State Dept spokesmen's response, and that us who follow mondoweiss. These contradictions are penetrating well beyond this tiny corner of the internet. Maybe not the MSM today but there are many out there that are listening, thinking and trying to figure out how to bring these questions to a wider audience.

      This Matt Lee guy is incredible. I think it is a major victory for us that he has not been fired from his job. It means that there is someone in AP that is defending him and thereby allowing him to continue asking these questions.

  • 'NYT' fails to disclose that Op-Ed author arguing Israel's case against BDS is husband of 'NYT' reporter in Israel/Palestine
    • This quote from Goodman is revealing: as long as Israel continues with the status quo. Military occupation comes with checkpoints, antiterrorist barriers, military courts, armed soldiers and tanks. That’s the reality, no matter what your politics, and just the ammunition the Palestinians and their supporters need in their new war.

      Do note. He is not criticizing Israel directly for all of this suppression of the Palestinians, it is that is gives " the ammunition the Palestinians and their supporters need in their new war."

      That is just too much. Oppression of the Palestinians is OK but not if it gives the Palestinians ammunition to criticize Israel. This is the husband of the NYT correspondent in Israel? There is something really sick inside the NYT if they cannot see that there is something wrong here.

      Let us rework this quote: as long as Alabama continues with the status quo. Segregation comes with black only, white only public facilities, KKK enforced separations, white controlled courts, and armed police. That’s the reality, no matter what your politics, and just the ammunition the black people and their supporters need in their new war.

  • House committee advances bill to make Israel 'major strategic partner'--and waive visas for Israelis
  • Is Obama punting on Kerry's peace plan?
    • I guess I was saying that it was the right thing to do because there was no political force inside the US that could stop it. It was not right in a moral sense, I agree with you that it was not right in that sense, It was the correct (maybe not right) in a purely political sense. It could not be stopped. Hopefully after the initial invasion and the over throw of the Taliban government we could have the withdrawn, As we know, that did not happen, but that was the point where the US made its big error.

    • Dear Yonah thanks for that. Yes my position was based on political realism. I have been active in antiwar politics going back to Vietam. I was arrested maybe four times in a number of demonstrations. After 911 it was clear that the US would go to war in Afghanistan. The best we could hope for is that we (i.e. the crazed Bush regime) would not think we could rule that country. We should have left after a few months. But no, we are still there fighting that war.

      Once it became clear that we decided to stay in Afghanistan and after we invaded Iraq it was clear that the psychotics had taken over the asylum. Today US policy in that part of the world in total disarray.

    • yep as ugly as it sounds that is what I am saying. The alternative here is war with Iran. On the other hand I do not think the Palestinians will be defeated but they will be controlled and oppressed by the Israelis for a few more decades.

    • It was the right thing because the American people wanted to go to war after 911. That desire for war was burning deep in the heart of the American people. I realize that the Afghans were not responsible but the Taliban government at that time were a vulnerable target. I felt if the US could release its desire for war against that government then it might satisfy the desire for more ruinous wars. In that I was wrong. The neocons convinced moron Bush to then invade Iraq. If Bush was not such a fool it could have stopped with Afghanistan. In any case I was wrong but I was right about one thing -- the American people desired war and they got it big time.

      If we had more intelligent leaders in 2001 and 2002 the war desire might have been satiated with the Afghan war. If the goal was to satiate that desire our leaders made a humongous mistake in thinking they could rule Afghanistan for more than a few months. They then made an even more serious mistake attacking Iraq.

    • I have felt for a few months that Obama is not taking the IP negotiations seriously. I think their purpose is to distract Israel from interfering in the negotiations with Iran. The harder Kerry pushes Netanyahu the more he have to concentrate his energies on managing the ruling coalition. Also AIPAC may feel the threat and realize that they cannot win on both issues and will save their energies to make sure Israel will get to keep its stolen land in the WB.

      It is a worthwhile trade. War with Iran is out of the question. If Israel thwarts efforts at building a Palestinian state then the only alternative is going to be a one state solution. That might put off justice for the Palestinians for another few decades but in the long term it might be the best solution. The US needn't worry about that since it is Israel that is making the decision. The US did its best and now we should sit back and let nature take its course.

    • The war has turned out to be a disaster. The big mistake was thinking we could run Afghanistan. At the time, deposing the Taliban from power was the right move.

    • Phil, you need not apologize for supporting the Afghan invasion. That was one war that could not be stopped. The big mistake was thinking we could put in our puppet government and not leaving after 6 months. At the time that was, I thought, the big mistake.

  • Death toll rises in Yarmouk as siege and bombings continue
    • Sorry annie I was not relying on dictionary definitions. Alison implied two groups -- the PFLP-GC aligned militias and "most of its residents [who] sought to keep out of the conflict." She suggested two sides -- the evil pro-Assad Palestinians and the rest of the innocent Palestinian victims.

      As much as I respect Alison's reports from Israel, there is something really sloppy here on her part. Alex would be appalled.

    • Allison, it sounds like you are in Jordan where you can interview Syrian-Palestinian refugees? It would make it easier to understand your article if that was clear.

      This statement is a little ambiguous: Yarmouk was already divided. The PFLP-GC had sided with the regime, yet most of its residents sought to keep out of the conflict.

      Divided implies into two, but we should know that it is at least three. The armed PFLP-GC militias, the Saudi/Qatar backed terrorists and, of course, most of the 160,000 innocent Palestinian refugees. The two armed groups (what are the numbers, a few thousand or so) are responsible for turning the camp into a war zone. Assad's biggest failure of leadership is to allow that situation have emerged in the first place. He cannot be criticized for trying to isolate the terrorists once they have established themselves inside Yarmouk. Unless, of course, you think the Syrians should just surrender to the Saudi/Qatar terrorists that have invaded their country.

  • Deconstructing Scarlett Johansson’s statement on SodaStream
  • How we can oppose the Assad regime and Western intervention at the same time
    • Interesting you mention the March 14th movement twice. It should be noted that this political coalition is supported by Saudi money. I would guess that Jordan is also very dependent on Saudi money. The Turks on the other hand are more difficult to understand.

    • Interesting comment Inanna. I certainly have no inside knowledge of Syria but I have been reading the Angry Arab for some time who has described those anti-Assad and anti-imperialist forces you refer to. He is unrelenting in his criticism of Assad and those imperialist forces that define the current opposition. It seems quite clear that Syria no choice right now except to defeat the foreign militias that have invaded that country. Maybe later a real opposition could emerge.

    • Omar writes: When the protests began in Syria over three years, there was no ISIS, or Jabhat El-Nusra, or FSA or SNC or any other form of organized opposition.

      Not true. Armed gangs began appearing in those early demonstrations within days. There were a number of indications that an Islamist underground had been preparing for this day for some time. Almost certainly, the Saudis were supporting them before the war erupted.

      Also speaking of Saudis, do note that Omar doesn't have a word to say about them. He spends all of his efforts denouncing Western intervention, but nothing about Saudi intervention. There would no war today without Qatar and Saudi support.

  • Update: 'Blood bubbles' -- mainstream media turn on SodaStream and Scarlett Johansson
    • Well thank you for that seafoid. We all know that Israel is a nuclear power and we all know that they are threatening the world with nuclear war if they are not allowed to continue to oppress the Palestinians. Israel does believe it has its finger on the nuclear button. It really does not if we look at what nuclear weapons can really do.

      If Israel launches nuclear war, they will be toast. Eighty per cent of Israelis Jews live in about 4 nuclear blast zones centered on Tel Aviv. It is a tiny country. Even small countries like Japan and England would require dozens of nuclear bombs to reduce their populations significantly. China, the US, Russia, India might suffer serious casualties but their nations would survive. But not Israel. It would literally be toast.

      This still has to be one of the stupidest things Israel has done in the last 60 years. They could not begin to survive a nuclear war. And it was the current president Perez that led Israel to become a nuclear power. Talk about suicidal tendencies. It is some kind of Massada complex that drives Israel.

    • Hey Kris you do have a historic claim. Polk ran for president in 1844 with the slogan "54-40 or fight" and won the election. The fact that he then appeased the British colonialist and reneged on his promise and agreed to the 49th parallel does not erase the original claim (at least by Zionist reasoning).

    • mk writes: The world needs Israel more than Israel needs the world. and then Israel is going into paranoia mode. When a nation with more nukes than England, and the means to deliver them, reaches this point, it is dangerous. and but threatening Israeli sovereignty will only end in nuclear war.

      Oh the cries of Zionist desperation and empty threats are sweet sounds.

  • A double standard on 'terrorism'
    • shmuel writes: It’s an open secret in Italy that the Italian government paid “protection”.

      Then the Italians were the most sensible of the three given that it made no sense for any of them to be there in the first place.

  • Obama says likelihood of Iran deal and Israeli-Palestinian agreement are both under 50%
    • Well his policy towards Syria (i.e. Assad must go) looks like it will end in abject failure. These Geneva II talks have some hope if they can be used to pressure the Sauds and Qatar to stop funding the war in Syria and perhaps to use the talks to figure out a way to repatriate those thousands of terrorists in Syria back to their home countries.

      It goes without saying that the Kerry/IP talks are going nowhere.

      Now Iran is the critical one. I predict that will end on a positive note. Obama will somehow convince the Senate to not interfere and the international-diplomatic dynamics will result in an agreement where sanctions are lifted and Iran preserves its rights under the NPT.

      I would consider that 50% success for the three issues.

  • Rejecting collective punishment from Gaza to Syria
    • Well Annie, an Omar Shaban has a recent article in the Palestinian Chronicle and at the bottom a biographical sketch says: Omar Chaaban is a Palestinian activist based in Vancouver, BC. etc.

      The above sketch says: Omar Chaaban is a Palestinian activist based in Vancouver, BC. etc.

    • Good story Walid. It really illustrates the horror of war. Eighty armed and disciplined gunmen can easily exert their will over 10s of thousands of unarmed civilians. This is what happens during war and central authority breaks down. There is no question that the inhabitants of Yarmouk are victims either by being caught in the crossfire or being forced to flee to refugee camps. Rules of civilian life disappear once two armies meet on the battlefield.

      This horror will only stop once the war is over. In the case of the Syrian War, it looks like the easiest path to that end is the total defeat of the Saudi-Western backed terrorist militias.

    • Omar sets up his straw man Let us also accept, for one second, that the revolution in Syria is the main bastion of extremism and terrorism, and that there are no elements in it that could be reasoned with to sustain a stabler and more desirable future for Syria.

      There is no reason to accept this. The opening days of the demonstrations against the Asad regime revealed widespread opposition to that tyrannical government. However, within a few weeks an armed rebellion (and as we know today one that was prepared in advance) broke out. At this point any peaceful demonstration was no longer possible. It was now war. Two choices for the average Syrian and the Palestinian guests -- become an armed fighter or hide and try to survive. As the true nature of the armed rebellion revealed itself many of those who initially desired democratic reform found that their own survival meant supporting Assad.

      Omar's call for the Palestinians to to stand at the frontline of the struggle against Assad’s regime is an invitation to commit suicide.

  • As boycott pressure grows, Israeli business leaders plan to confront Netanyahu
    • This reminds me of some observations by Uri Avnery. He has often compared Israel to French-Algeria. One of the big differences is that there has been no Charles de Gaulle figure in Israel. The reason Uri gave was interesting -- namely, the French business community had soured on the war in Algeria. The main reason was that it was draining financial resources in France and made it very difficult for French businesses to compete with a resurgent German economy. It was the French business community that strongly backed pulling out of Algeria.

      Comparing Israel to French Algeria is not a pleasant comparison for many who hope for a binational state in Israel where Jews and Palestinians live in peaceful harmony. Once that Zionist dam breaks, no one can predict what will happen afterwards.

  • 'Palestinian liberation incomplete without the liberation of all'--a statement on the siege of Yarmouk
    • The logic of this letter seems to be that the Palestinians will never find justice until Saudi-Western backed al Qaida forces in Syria overthrow the Assad regime. It is hard to imagine a more cynical use of the Palestinian cause. There is even one commentator here that refers to the Palestinian people as Palis who decries their oppression (by Syria, for course).

      Right now the quickest way to see the end of the suffering for all of the people of Syria, including their Palestinian guests, is for the war to end. That will happen with the military defeat of the foreign al Aqaida militias which we are in the process of watching now. This war is close to over. Geneva II should lead to a process whereby the rest of the world works to escort those foreign fighters back to their countries of origin.

  • While you were neutral about Yarmouk
    • Yep I used 'guess' for a reason. Still he has taken a side here even if he used some weasel words to try to distance himself from the more extreme position.

    • Well it is interesting to note in the mature part of this thread that the hasbara brigade has come out to endorse Talal's reading of this tragedy in Syria. Also interesting to note that Talal is one of those Palestinians that advocates dialogue with the Zionists as opposed to opposition to Israeli oppression of the Palestinians.

      I guess Austin has also made his case clear. He has joined the Saudi and Western imperialist in supporting the Salafi inspired rebels in Syria. Sad to see this one. He has posted a number of reasonable pieces here at MW over the last few years. I guess he supports that wing of US imperialism known as the humanitarian warriors or the R2P. I guess he is trying to ingratiate himself with the Hilary, Powers and Rice wing of aggressive US foreign policy found inside the Democratic Party against any country that tries to defy US hegemony.

      Austin, you do sound good on occasion. Too bad to see you join the other side.

    • Cut the crap Astin. No one is denying that the Assad forces are laying siege to Yarmouk or that innocent Palestinians are suffering because of it. The fact is that misguided Palestinians accepted support from Saudi backed Salafi terrorists and turned that refugee camp into a battle zone. The Syrian army had no choice but to engage those forces in combat. Unless, of course, you think the Syrian army should just surrender to those Saudi backed forces and turn the nation over to a bunch of fanatics that would impose Wahabi inspired sharia.

      Those Palestinians that joined with those fanatics are responsible for what happened. If they were not resisted then we would see a Saudi inspired regime that would purge Syria of its Alawites, Christians, Druze, Shiites and other secular Muslims or about 55% of the population. It would be a Saudi backed Salafi dictatorship (backed by Western imperialism of course) suppressing a majority of the Syrian people. They are standing up for their own independence. The tragedy is that this Saudi money has convinced many Palestinian refugees to turn against the current Syrian government that has provided them with refuge for many years. Hopefully after the Islamists are militarily defeated, the Palestinians living in Syria will be able to restore their communities. This could be difficult.

    • What we have here is three people (Talal Alyan, Skidmarks and Austin Branion), who got caught up in the Arab Spring enthusiasm and desire for revolution who thought support for a rebellion against the Assad regime would be a really cool thing to do. Certainly, a number of Western far left sects, the Trots especially, somehow came to the conclusion that it was the correct revolutionary response. At first, I had not much opinion about the uprising since it did seem that Assad is pretty much a tyrant and deserved to be over thrown.

      However, it became clear within a few weeks that the so called "people's revolution" was being backed by Saudi Arabia and Western imperialism. Oh no, it was going to be a replay of the "people's revolution" in Libya. Saudi Arabia and Western governments do NOT support revolutionary movements. Big Period.

      It is tragic that this so called revolutionary fervor infected many Palestinians who then turned their communities into outposts of Saudi backed terrorists. The community of Yarmouk has paid a terrible price and without doubt most of the victims are innocent bystanders. At this point, relief for the innocent Palestinians of Yarmouk will not come until the Saudi backed terrorists are thoroughly defeated. This will happen soon. The Syrian Army has gotten the upper hand and they are now methodically destroying those rebel forces. The hysterical tone in three pro rebel voices here is probably due to their realization that this end game is now in play.

  • Scarlett Johansson watch: SodaStream stock plunges
    • Ellen I think you missed what Richard Cohen was saying in his article. He was criticizing those who called people criticizing Israel as antisemites (though he had to add that antisemites tended to join in the criticism of Israel). A little squishy to be sure but he was still upholding the rights of people to question Israel. He has been quite consistent in this regard over the years. He had a opinion in the WaPo in 2006 criticizing those who accused Mearsheimer and Walt of antismitism because of their essay on the role of the lobby. This was quite bold by the standards of that day.

  • Israeli and American flags fly at half-staff in the Five Towns
    • Of course Hopni is right here. The separation of church and state makes it quite clear that people can pray to any symbol they wish and that includes the flags of foreign nations. We are not calling out for restrictions on those rights protected in the constitution. We are just pointing out this odd custom that certain Jewish sects in the US are praying before the Israeli flag. It is an odd custom. I think the 98% of Americans who are not Jewish might find that custom amusing and it is certainly worth pointing out and talking about it.

      There is something else embedded in the US constitution and that is the right to ridicule religions and their sacred texts. Mark Twain was famous for many of his lampoons of the bible. Today we find it odd that many Jews pray before the Israeli flag and it our protected right to ridicule and laugh at that practice.

      You and Yonah might find our humor offensive but so be it.

  • Israeli settlement exports from the Jordan Valley down $29 million in 2013 due to international boycott
    • BDS will not work.

      Now that is an interesting response to incontrovertible evidence that BDS is in fact working. Mike you invite us to speculate on the working of your mind.

    • annie, good catch. This is an interesting development. I suspect it might mean that there are many reporters across this country that are very skeptical of Israel but do not have many avenues to report their feelings. This is simple business news and cannot be easily construed as a criticism of Israel.

      The question is why the Jordan Valley farmers are publicizing their plight. I suspect that the target audience is inside Israel. They might be trying to pressure the Knesset to provide them with support. Perhaps hoping that laws will be passed giving Jordan Valley products special advantages inside the Israeli markets by encouraging green line farms to increase their exports to Europe.

      Whatever the reason, they seem to have lost control of the story and it is a major propaganda boost for the BDS movement.

  • Ariel Sharon, whose political career was unhindered by civilian massacres, dies at 85
    • marc b I am in complete agreement with your comment. Somehow I thought it would be in poor taste to bring up this subject in this time of mourning, but once Oleg opened the door I couldn't resist pointing out the possibility that poor Sharon spent the last 10% of his life trapped inside this totally black room with no way to either receive information from the outside or to communicate back.

      Shron's situation over the past half dozen years kept on reminding me of the most depressing movies I ever saw: "Johnny get your gun".

    • I recall that it was hemorrhagic. At the time some unnamed neurologist was quoted as saying that the surgery performed in Israel was a huge mistake bordering on malpractice. The damage caused by the blood clot should have been considered irreversible and the humane response should have to let him die.

    • Not so inane. There is a real possibility that the conscious part of the brain remained alive. The damaged part of the brain involved that region that signals between the cognitive and the senses (hearing, sight, voluntary motor control, nerve impulses). We really do not know if he was or was not aware but we do know that he was not brain dead which means there was still measurable activity going in that part of the brain that controls consciousness. I think Oleg has raised an interesting possibility.

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