Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 179 (since 2010-09-10 19:45:27)

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  • Settler on motorcycle kills 85-year-old Palestinian shepherd and his donkey
    • Kate thanks for your reports. It is obvious that most of your reports do not generate a lot of comment activity because they usually include a long list of daily atrocities that Palestinians must endure. Most stories that generate huge comment activity are focused on a single incident of unusual violence by the Israelis. You on the other hand report the routine atrocities. Not just one or two but many. At some point many of us become numb to the routine oppression that Palestinians experience.

      This story has a "newsworthy" hook. Gee, how often is it that some fanatic settler kills an 85 year old herder and his donkey? In any case Kate, keep up the reporting, there are some of us who are reading your reports.

  • Solidifying behind Clinton, foreign policy establishment gins up a cold war with Russia/Iran
    • inbound I think Obama realizes that the Russians are not bluffing. The problem is that Hillary (and her crew of neocon advisers) seem to believe that the US can force the Russians to back down with a show of "determination". That way leads to a major military confrontation with Russia. The problem is that Russia has sufficient conventional weapons in Syria and the Eastern Mediterranean to sink US warships. What happens if that were to happen? Hillary in a fit of rage would likely escalate the conflict in such a way that could lead to an nuclear exchange.

    • Keith There is a totalitarian uniformity to this which fills me with dark foreboding.

      Absolutely agree. I have been very active in the Democratic Party for the last 20 years. I am seeing among many of my colleagues that define solid liberal Democrats an anti-Russian attitude that is all out of proportion. The Hillary campaign is stirring up pro war sentiments among those people that is down right scary. Once she assumes office she will have millions of liberals ready to support war against Russia. These are people who joined in demonstrations to oppose the Iraq war. Little did I realize at the time they only opposed wars led by Republicans. When Hillary assumes office she will have bipartisan support for war with Russia. If Morrel and Flourney are given high level appointments in Hillary's admin then things could go bad very fast.

    • I too was struck by Walt's statements. His comments reported here are at odds with much of his writing in FP over the last decade. I think he is trying to gain some credibility with incoming HRC administration. I doubt that will work, his book with Mearsheimer burned those bridges to any Democratic administration. We should simply accept that the US (either led by Republicans or Democrats) will threaten WWIII if Israel's right to annex the West Bank is threatened.

    • Congratulations Phil. It looks like you are beginning to realize that the Israel-Palestinian conflict is part of a much larger geopolitical situation. I must say that I was very disappointed a few years back when those Mondoweiss articles backing the "democratic" opposition movements against the Syrian and Libyan governments appeared at the beginning of the Arab spring. At that time it was clear within a few weeks that those movements were led Wahabbi inspired jihadists (i.e. backed by Saudi Arabia and Qatar that are US allies). Not just that but the weapons these "peaceful" demonstrators were using were directly being supplied by the US via the CIA.

    • Great comment Annie. It is imperative that the Syrian government complete the elimination of the al Qaida forces in East Aleppo before HRC assumes power in January. The Russians and Iranians know this more clearly than we do. The neocons inside the Clinton campaign (Morrel, Flouney and those 51 State Dept officials calling for more active US involvement in Syria) also know what the game is. They are out there threatening Russia and Syria and trying to encourage Obama to intervene now to protect those al Qaida forces trapped in East Aleppo.

      For the sake of sanity it is important that those terrorists forces are destroyed in the next 6 months. If so, then all of these psychopaths that are joining the HRC campaign will not be able to set off WWIII when they assume power in January.

  • Iran deal is still imperilled by deep state-- hardliners, Israel lobby, Hillary Clinton
    • The fact that Szubin is allowed to defy Obama's and Kerry's stated foreign policy objectives is indeed puzzling. We should also note that Szubin visited Western Europe and threatened their banks that sanctions against were still in place and that pointed out the realities of the secondary boycott. Kerry a few days later reassured the European countries that the sanctions were being lifted and they were free to trade with Iran. Szubin subsequently repeated his threats of secondary boycotts. That has to be blatant insubordination and he should be fired. But Obama does nothing.

      However, I am not too worried that the neocons will upend the Iran nuclear deal. Germany, France and England also signed it. They would be seriously pissed if the US unilaterally tried to abridge it now. The UN also lifted their sanctions so the US would end up defying practically the whole world. Somehow, even that fool Hillary would hesitate to isolate the US from the rest of the world on this issue, I would imagine.

      Also it looks like Iran itself is not that interested in establishing normal trading relations with the US. It is those secondary sanctions that they are upset about since they do want to trade with Europe without having to pay in gold. Once the Iranians join the SCO and the Chinese trading bank they should be free to engage in normal trading relations with the rest of the world.

  • Elie Wiesel is Dead
  • Cuomo's sliding scale
    • Oh silly Boris you simply do not think straight. Of course you have the right to boycott Katie's work. In fact you have the right to advocate to others that they do not read Katie. That is protected by the 1st amendment. Just like I have the right to not buy Israeli goods, which I have exercised for three decades now. Indeed the BDS organizations have the right to encourage others to not buy Israeli goods. That is what the 1st amendment is all about.

      I am really interested, Boris, in what habara school you attended that teaches you such silly nonsense?

    • If Cuomo actually has ambitions to run for President someday this anti-BDS legislation will come back to haunt him big time. Perhaps he didn't notice but that Sanders supporters were within the under 40 year olds, while Hillary carried those by a huge majority of those over 50. Methinks that the Sander's wing of the Democratic Party will be even stronger in 8 years. Does he really think he can win with those people not only not supporting him but motivated to make sure he does not win.

  • Why don't you share all the good things about Israel?
    • Angel is right that there are worse tragedies going on in the ME than the simple daily oppression that Israel deals out to its Palestinian subjects. I can name four.

      1) The chaos and civil war in Iraq. Now that began with the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 that was vigorously supported by Israel and its neocon backers in the US

      2) The war in Syria. This was largely promoted by the US, the Saudis, Israel and Turkey. The forces in the US were, yet again Israeli aligned neocons and R2Pers.

      3). The destruction of Libya. Again an enemy of Israel whose backers in the US pushed for that war (anyone remember Hillary's role)'

      4) The dismantlement of Sudan. Anyone paying attention will know that the South Sudan rebels were provided with arms by the Israelis going back to the late 80s as well as groups inside the US that have loyalty to Israel. All of this was going on during the Darfur rebellion that has US and Israeli fingerprints all over.

      I was going to mention 5 and 6 in this list but Israeli fingerprints are not that clear in Yemen and Somalia. Of course, it is not necessary to mention the Yinon plan to readers of Mondoweis, but perhaps Angel has not heard of it.

      In summary, Israel is the root of most of the violence in the ME today and this will not be resolved until Israel comes to a just settlement with their Palestinians living under Israeli occupation and in exile.

  • Clinton's foreign policy speech downplays Israel (and leaves out Palestine)
    • If this speech is considered by the Hillary supporters as her best speech ever on foreign policy then those fools are really grasping at straws.

      Besides not mentioning justice for Palestinians she made zero reference to Libya. Do note, that 18 months ago when her book came out she lauded her role in convincing Obama to destroy the Khadaffi government. Now that it is looking like Libya is another failed state and the city of Sirte has become a major base for ISIS she is quiet about that fiasco.

      She also failed to say too much about Syria. She strongly pushed for US active military involvement with the over-throw of Assad when she was SoS. At least, that is what she claimed in her book. Obama actually rejected that advice in this case. Now all she has to say about Syria is how bad Trump's suggestions are without letting her audience know that she was pushing Obama to give more support to the Islamists rebels. Her most substantive proposal, mentioned a few months ago, was that the US should establish a no fly zone over Northern Syria. She didn't bring that insanity up in this latest speech since any half conscious observer of the Syrian war would know that if that ever became policy it would lead almost certainly into a shooting war with Russia.

      And what did she have to say about Saudi Arabia, the major source of financial support for al qaida and ISIS? I might have missed this, but it seems like zero.

      Now we consider Russia. It was Hillary's appointee, Victoria Nuland, that threw the US behind the coup that toppled the Yanukovitch government. When that policy blew up in our face turning Ukraine into another failed state, she started babbling incoherently that Putin was anther Hitler.

      Can anyone who wishes to avoid WWIII even consider voting for Hillary even if she is running against Trump? Trump might be bad but based on what he has said so far he is less likely to start a war with Russia.

  • Max Boot has perfect propaganda on murdering medic-- but Jeffrey Goldberg is silent
    • I think it was not until early 1942 that those leading generals began to deplore the war. It started to become clear to them that Germany could not win. This was after their efforts to take Moscow in December of 1941 failed. That effort cost over 100,000 killed and the decimation of multiple panzer dvisions. Those military leaders like Stauffenberg, Canaris, Rommel, etc might have been effective if they tried to do something in the late 1930s, when they finally tried it was too late. At that time they were all enthusiastic supporters of Hitler who provided them with wonderful career enhancing opportunities to conquer other nations.

  • Clinton campaign is 'nervous' Sanders will push 'divisive' battle over Democratic platform on Israel
    • I find this phrase by Phil offensive: make to Bernie Sanders to try and placate his hordes

      Hordes? Why not "supporters". I am backing Sanders here in California. The press is referring to people like me as being part of a mob, a horde and terms calculated to denigrate Sanders backers. Why is Phil joining this thoughtless mob of reporters.

  • Sharansky disses American Jews for assimilating, then tells 'major donors' to universities to stop BDS
    • My Jewish mother in law said "at least he is not a schwartza". And with that she blessed her daughter's assimilation.

  • Michael Ratner was dedicated to radical social change, with humor and humility
    • Ratner was quite the man. Sorry for your loss Phil. What struck me about this obit was this: He got angry at me when I supported the Libyan intervention in 2011 and never let me forget it.

      But it seems you didn't incorporate the lesson he was trying to teach you. Just yesterday you publish this article by Robin Yassin-Kassab and Leila Al-Shami about Syria. Those characters are obviously supporting the US in trying to overthrow another secular ME government and are backing Islamic jihadist that include al Qaida if not ISIS itself. If Ratner taught you anything Phil, how could you possibly continue to back this "Arab Spring" nonsense that is nothing more, at least today, than a Saudi, Turkish, US neocon coalition that is attempting to destroy any secular governments in the middle east.

  • 'Either Assad or we'll burn the country' - An excerpt from 'Burning Country: Syrians in Revolution and War'
    • Did a little googling around and found that Yassin-Kassab has praised Erdogan for making war against the Norther Syrian Kurds that are turning out to one of the more effective ground forces battling ISIS. How in the hell can MW be promoting characters like these two authors?

    • This is a dreadful anti-Assad propaganda piece. It reports, without any critical comment, that it was Assad who used Sarin in Ghouta in 2013. This story has many holes in it. In fact, available evidence suggests that it was the Turkish backed Jihadi rebels that used the Sarin. It was, in short, mostly likely a false flag attack designed to make Obama think his red line had been crossed. Fortunately, US intelligence warned Obama that there was no conclusive evidence that the Assad forces were responsible for the attack. We know now that they had evidence that Jihadists did in fact have sarin at that time (probably from Libyan stockpiles that were smuggled into Syria via the rat line described by S Hirsch).

      This dreadful propaganda piece does not even hint at the undisputed reality that what is going on in Syria is not a civil war any longer (even it was, possibly in the first few months of 2011) but is rather a proxy war supported by the Saudis, Qataris, Turks, Americans, British and Israelis using mostly foreign mercenaries against the Assad government. I suspect that these authors are very likely funded by these very same forces.

  • Donna Edwards's campaign unsettles the Israel lobby inside the Democratic Party
    • This statement -- There can be no doubt that the grass-roots forces that support Edwards– women and blacks — are more progressive than the Democratic establishment on Palestine . -- is difficult to accept. Hillary is winning the black vote by a huge margin over Sanders. The House black caucus is overwhelmingly backing Hillary. John Lewis and Willi Brown have both accused Sanders of lying about his civil rights record.

      I am afraid that Palestine is not an important issue with Black voters.

  • 'Say Hello to Zenobia': A report from Palmyra rising from the ashes
    • Oh Stanley, so you bring up the Ghouta gas attack as an act carried out by Assad. You seem totally unaware that the attack was most likely carried out by those Islamist rebels you seem to love. Classic false flag.

      It was clear within two weeks after the outbreak of the Syrian Spring in 2011 that the so-called spontaneous "peoples" rebellion was being led by well funded and well armed Islamic forces. In those days they were called the Muslim Brotherhood but have evolved in a variety of al Qaida inspired groups as well as the foreign mercenaries that make up the active fighters of ISIS. It is amazing at the stupidity of some you Western leftists that have joined the American, Saudi and Qatari backed movement to destroy and fragment Syria.

  • Why Clinton's Iraq decision matters
    • Krugman is obviously angling for an appointment in the Hillary administration. He is willing throw away the support he gained from the progressive community by attacking the Bush admin. Right now a Sander's win over Hillary has to be his worse nightmare. Donald is quite correct that Democrats can sound good when they are in opposition to Republicans (though Hill couldn't ever bring herself to do that). However, when the Democrats start wars (Serbia, Libya, the Obama Afghan surge and Syria) they begin to sing from the humanitarian intervention hymnbook.

      In any case Krugman has now irreversibly aligned himself with the neocons/neoliberals and lost the respect of the progressive world. He isn't the first one to travel that road.

  • Attachment to Israel is 'central part of Jewish identity,' Forward editor says
    • Oh please Dan Walsh, of course antisemites have focused on Zionism. Go read Storm Front, Listen of Alex Jones radio programs. Read the comments in Russia Today articles. In recent years they have been equating Zionism with this massive Jewish conspiracy to rule the world. Instead of the Protocols of Zion they have focused on Israeli Zionism.

    • This statement in the opening piece is quite incorrect: She endorses the California Regents recent policy pronouncement saying that anti-Zionism is a form of anti-Semitism

      She [Brown President Christina Paxson][did not say that nor did the California Regents. What the regents said was that they opposed "anti-semitic anti-Zionism". That statement resulted from a long contentious debate where the first draft of the document said anti-Zionism was antisemitism. There is no doubt that many anti-semites have taken up the cause of anti-Zionism. So this statement made by the regents is not unreasonable.

    • This statement in the opening piece is quite incorrect: She endorses the California Regents recent policy pronouncement saying that anti-Zionism is a form of anti-Semitism

      She Brown President Christina Paxson] [did not say that] nor did the California Regents. What the regents said was that they opposed "anti-semitic anti-Zionism". That statement resulted from a long contentious debate where the first draft of the document said anti-Zionism was antisemitism. There is no doubt that many anti-semites have taken up the cause of anti-Zionism. So this statement made by the regents is not unreasonable.

  • Iceland proves corruption is far from extinct in the Global North
    • For once, hard to believe, I have to agree with Hophmi. Iceland does have a very robust civil political system. After the financial fiasco in 2008 the people made demands and their government responded. They defied the international finance establishment and they are better off today because of their resistance. It is relatively free of the corruption that is prevalent in wall street and the citi in London.

    • Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson came to power because he strongly opposed holding the state of Iceland responsible for the incredible losses that their banks experienced in 2007 and 2008. During that same time the governments of Ireland and Latvia assumed the losses that their banks had incurred during that period. International banks were absolutely furious with Iceland for not backing their banks with future taxes. Whereas, as we all know, the governments of the US, UK and EU countries all jumped in to bail out their failing banks. The US alone, through the federal reserve bank, created 3 to 4 trillion dollars, to bail out US banks. Iceland was the only Western nation to just let their banks fail and then suffer the consequences. What is interesting Iceland, very slowly to be sure, was the first country to begin recovering from that calamity. Today Ireland and Lavia are still severely burdened with paying back the money their banks lost.

      What is interesting to me is that the first political casualty from these Panama leeks happens to be one of the only political leaders that actually protected his nation's people from the crippling payments that came from "saving" their national banks. Somehow, I think Gunnlaugsson is being punished for defying the dictates of international finance. Of course, I cannot defend his actions in trying to preserve his personal wealth while the rest of Iceland suffered. The message that is being sent to leaders of other countries is to not defy the interests of international finance because they have ways to get even.

  • Why is AIPAC legitimating Donald Trump's bigotry?
    • As deplorable as Trump's Islamophobia is there seems to be considerable hypocrisy in singling him out about it. We have been inundated with it for the last 15 years. AIPAC is as bad as Fox News. Bill Maher anyone? The new atheists? Give us a break.

      One thing that Trump has going for him is his foreign policy instincts. He is the only candidate to clearly point out that US policies regarding not only the Iraq war was wrong but also Obama and Hillary's destructive regime change decisions destroyed Libya and destabilized Syria allowing ISIS to grow their. He also thinks our belligerent actions against Russia are a mistake. He is the only one to point out that Bush out-right lied when leading us to war in Iraq. Hillary, on the other hand, simply thinks it was all an intelligence "error".

      However bad Trump is in his attitudes towards Muslims and Mexicans, he is the only credible candidate over the last half century to seriously question the War Party. I think avoiding a nuclear showdown with Russia and/or China would be worth the risks that he might pose to our civil liberties. Also the POTUS has the power to make war on his own, in order to carry out his threats against minorities would require approval from the legislative and judicial branches.

  • A guide to the worst refugee crisis since WWII
    • Have you heard any talking head on any outlet mention that most of the refugee problem has been caused by U.S. bloody meddling

      Certainly not in major western news accounts. Iraq, Syria and Libya - 3 major failed states that were created by interventions carried out by the Bush and Obama admins. It was Hillary Clinton as Sec of State that advocated the latter two.

    • Ben Norton has a lot of anti Russian propaganda in this piece. He writes:

      Given their shaky legal status, the asylum-seekers’ rights as workers are frequently violated; many are exploited by Russian corporations, which tell them to accept low wages or “go back to Syria.”

      Interesting fact here. Where is the evidence for this? I have followed this story closely for 18 months and have not heard anything like this.

      Please do not accuse the Russians for not accepting war refugees. Today there are 2.5 million Ukrainians that live and work in Russia. After the Donbas region rebelled against the Kiev regime and Kiev army attacked that region, 600,000 Ukrainians fled into Russia. The Russian people and the their government have received them, provided them with aid and have tried to help them find jobs in Russia. This has been one major humanitaritan project. Ben Norton and his troll here, Renner, of course, ignore this important fact.

    • Keith You are right, K Renner is most certainly an advocate for more war. His cover is obviously the R2P or humanitaritan war justification that we hear from the neo-liberals like Hillary and her neocon followers. I certainly doubt that he has any sympathy for the Palestinian people, though he shows up here as "sympathetic".

  • Meeting Jimmy Carter
    • Very few presidents make their impact after leaving office. Carter's activities makes him the second best ex-president. The first, of course, was John Quincy Adams who after leaving office serving only one term returned to government as a House Representative. There he championed the abolition of slavery for 17 years including successfully arguing the case of the slaves who carried out the Armistead mutiny. Carter is in good company here.

  • If Americans support Iran deal, 56-37, what gives Israel the power to 'croak' it?
    • Lysias I agree there must have been an internal debate. Not all of those guys can be this stupid.

      The outcome of this debate was likely determined by pressure from Netanyahu and the Adelson types. It will be interesting to see if they will be able to come up with the $40 million to fund this effort. My guess is that there still remain a few rational types inside AIPAC that see the potential disaster coming. I suspect that there will be some resistance to this latest fund raising effort, maybe some passive resistance. Of course, if one Zionist sugar daddy pops up and is willing to fund the entire effort then maybe AIPAC will go through with this threat.

      It still does not make sense. They will lose big time however the vote in Congress goes.

    • The UNSC just lifted the international sanctions against Iran. The US can keep its own sanctions in place but there is nothing that we can do to enforce other nations to keep their sanctions. This part of the deal is irreversible. China, Russia, Germany and France already have sent in their trade delegations. If the US rejects the deal it will not likely discomfort the Iranians one bit. They have already achieved their major goal. Indeed, should the deal collapse now it would free the Iranian from having to put up with the intrusive inspections -- they must find those somewhat humiliating.

      I do not understand why the Lobby is making a big issue over this congressional vote. It has to be a lose-lose operation. It will force them into the blinding light of day and expose them to the American people as destructive to US interests should they convince Congress to over-ride Obama's veto. If they lose that vote it will tarnish their ability to instill fear in national politicians. I simply did not predict that they would do this.

  • 'Obama coffee' is black and weak -- racist tweet from wife of Israel's vice premier
    • Max Blumenthal and Joseph Dana documented this 6 years ago and people said they were lying

      In those days they had to go around the Streets of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv to find these quotes. Today all we have to do is to peruse statements from government officials and their immediate family to find them.

      Just a reminder for what Eric Alterman said in his opening paragraph reviewing Goliath that was entitled "I hate Israel handbook":

      Israel is rarely wholly innocent in the stories Blumenthal tells. Its brutal military occupation of Palestinian land, now entering its forty-sixth year, has not only deeply damaged Israel’s democracy, but also desensitized its citizens to the daily humiliations it inflicts on the Palestinians. But Blumenthal proves a profoundly unreliable narrator. Alas, his case against the Jewish state is so carelessly constructed, it will likely alienate anyone but the most fanatical anti-Zionist extremists, and hence do nothing to advance the interests of the occupation’s victims.

      Sorry Eric you were quite wrong and Max and Joseph were right. I wonder how Eric's career is going now -- Is he still pushing this pep stuff.

  • Israeli diplomats 'are not allowed to speak' on US campuses, but North Korean diplomats are, Israeli official says
    • With all the money and power being organized it’s getting real interesting watching how it is being deployed

      It certainly is. Saban and Adelson are spending millions and all they have can come up with is this Israeli official spouting easily refutable lies. Hasbara is in serious trouble if they can't do better than this.

  • The living martyr, a visit to the Bakr family in Gaza
    • Dabakr want us to know that if the families of the victims of Black-hating psychopathic murderer Roof, that they ‘forgave him’. If more of that existed in ME instead of cycle after cycle of attack/response/chicken/egg /revenge things might be much further along

      So are you suggesting that if the families of Palestinian-hating psychopathic murderer Israel was to forgive Israel then the cycle of violence would end? Interesting possibility to say the least. On the other hand maybe it would mean the end of the Palestinian people.

      Tough choice to be sure.

  • 'This land is ours. All of it is ours': Meet the Netanyahu cabinet members focused on fighting BDS & annexing the West Bank
  • The grave danger of derailing the Iran deal -- an interview with Chas Freeman
    • At this point I do not see the efforts of Israel and their lackeys in the US as a grave danger. Should they succeed in forcing the US to continue sanctions against Iran this will not change what the rest of the world will do. If it is perceived that the 'flea is leading the dog' this will only diminish US influence. That would be a positive development. In the long run it would be in the interests of the American people and the vitality of our nation. We could spend our energy and resources here improving this country and not wasting all of that money trying to rule the world. Leading the world is one very expensive investment and the returns are really not that much. Of course, this would be a major set back for US imperialism but what is wrong with that?

      If the US reneges on lifting sanctions at the last minute it seems reasonably clear that Europe would not. There seems to be a dynamic here that cannot be stopped by Congress. I would hope that Obama would refrain from vetoing any UNSC resolution on lifting sanctions and whatever Congress may say they cannot force Obama's hand at that level.

      There are some real dangers. One is that the US might end up going to war against Iran after Obama leaves but that danger has been there for over a decade. Another danger is that Israel might decide to pull a Masada and commit some suicidal action. But that is always a danger with Israel. All things considered it might turn out better if Congress succeeds in carrying out its threats.

  • Hurt by the Israel lobby, Obama kisses it goodbye
    • roha Carter has done more good for the world as an ex-president than most presidents have done in their term of office.

      I would include John Quincy Adams along with Carter. A one term president who went back to the House and for then worked against slavery and provided political support for the abolitionists.

  • DEAL!
    • Important point. There were many indications over the last year or so that Europe was getting impatient with those sanctions. Kerry was faced with the prospect of lifting sanctions through negotiations or seeing them dissolve in Europe without US approval.

      I suspect that the Iranians understand this better than we do. They know that the US Congress is controlled by Israel and they are probably willing to accept that US sanctions will not be lifted. But this deal, if I read it correctly, means that the US is lifting secondary sanctions against nations entering into economic deals with Iran. There is nothing Congress can do to change that. They also have no influence over the UNSC once those sanctions are lifted.

      Russia, China, India, Europe and the rest of the world will be completely free to trade with Iran. I suspect Iran is willing to accept that even if it means that American oil companies and internet providers are excluded from their market. I guess they will be even willing to accept they will not get back the US pistachio market they lost in 1979 (they once had over 80% of sales but after the sanctions California farmers have filled the void).

    • That is Schumer's dilemma. Support Bibi and lose his leadership position or support Obama and disappoint his financial backers. What is the lobby going to do?

      It looks like Nethanyahu's alliance with Congressional Republicans has created a political situation where Obama's veto for any efforts to sabotage this deal will not be over ridden in Congress.

    • French diplomats might be cautious but France is one country that wants the sanctioned ended. Before sanctions 5% of Peugot's sales were to Iran. Their automotive industry was not happy with those sanctions from day 1. And wasn't it a French bank that was fined $5 billion dollars by the US for violating banking sanctions? The French were not happy about that. One of the pressures against continued sanctions against Iran is coming from France. Even if there is an influential Israeli lobby in that country they are countered by some powerful business interests.

    • It seemed clear that at least by February, 2012 Obama had decided to reach an agreement with Iran. At that time it was clear that he would have to wait until after his reelection to do so. It has been a long and slow process but it does look like something will come from this.

      It looks like Netanyahu in his efforts to derail this agreement has made it easier for Obama and Kerry to conclude one. For once Obama played the politics well. He succeeded in turning most of the Democratic Party and progressive Jews against Netanyahu thereby making it very difficult for right wing and pro-Israel democrats from siding with Netanyahu against Obama. It will be very difficult for Shumer to sabotage this agreement in Congress (i.e. not supporting a veto over-ride, at least if he wants to become the next minority leader after Reid retires). It is also very interesting to see how that has played out. A secondary consequence of this is that the Palestinians are also in a position to gain from this dispute.

      Still the deal is not made. I would have hoped that Kerry could have concluded the agreement this week. Allowing this to fester will give the neocon opposition more time to rally their forces. Also, Obama has to come out with a strong statement about why it is now incumbent on the US to normalize relations with Iran. That is something that he will have to do to mobilize support from those of us who support this agreement today.

  • 12 pretty good signs you're vacationing in an apartheid country
    • I have virtually no influence over most of the horrors that are happening throughout the world. However, I do have a tiny bit of influence over the horrors that the US inflicts. It is my tax dollars that are being used to support Israel in its never ending wars against the Palestinians and their other Arab neighbors. And no, the Israeli Jews are not fighting against terrorists, they are fighting against the indigenous people of Palestine who are insisting on justice.

  • Philosophy prof who likened Palestinians to 'rabid pit bull' ignites protest on CT campus
    • Good catch Piotre Poor Andrew has been the victim of a terrorist attack. Somebody managed to figure out how to ignite sewer gases in a backed up toilet in his bathroom. Obviously the antisemites.

    • Not to mention that the introduction of car bombs to the mid east wars were first carried out by the Zionist terrorist in Palestine during that period. Also, few realize it but the first use of a terror bomb on a civilian airliner was carried out by Cuban expatriates employed by the CIA against Cubana Flight 455. These terrorist tactics were introduced by the colonialist themselves.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Does it endorse BDS?

      Yes

      Does it accept that Palestinians have the right to resist occupation

      Yes but they do not support armed violence.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      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.

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