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  • Israeli president's diagnosis -- 'Israel is a sick society' -- doesn't go viral in the U.S.
    • "Does he have the makings of a De Klerk, the ability to state to his fellow citizens that the project has failed and must be reimagined? " (Phil)

      Not much reaction to what was said by the Israeli President because the man in his position has zero influence on anything actually happening in Israel; his presidential post is largely ceremonial. His messages to his fellow citizens have zero value and not any more reportable than the ramblings of President Peres.

      FWIW, Wiki says about him: "Rivlin is a strong supporter of minority rights, particularly those of the Arab citizens of Israel, and is opposed to the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, being in favour of a version of the One-state solution."

      Maybe Rivlin was made President to sidetrack him and this is where this outburst is coming from.

  • An exciting night at the opera: 'Klinghoffer' opening dominated by protest and heavy police presence
    • "lysias October 21, 2014, 6:54 pm I read someplace a few years ago that Abu Abbas was secretly working for Israel and that the attack on the Achille Lauro happened because the Israelis told Abu Abbas to have his people did something particularly outrageous -

      I also read that and based on Mossad's track record of false flag operations, this is highly plausible. After a 10-year battle in New York courts, the daughters settled on a secret compensation package with the PLO. The story from the Truthseeker UK site:

      "What Really Happened
      The hi-jacking of the Italian cruise ship the Achille Lauro by “Palestinian terrorists” was later reliably reported by former IDF arms dealer Ari Ben-Menashe in his 1992 book, Profits of War: Inside the Secret U.S.-Israeli Arms Network, to have been ordered and funded by Mossad.

      Ben-Menashe revealed that Israeli intelligence organizations regularly engaged in “black operations,” espionage activity designed to portray Palestinians and others in the worst possible light. “An example,” wrote Ben-Menashe, “is the case of the ‘Palestinian’ attack on the cruise ship Achille Lauro in 1985. That was, in fact, an Israeli ‘black’ propaganda operation to show what a deadly, cutthroat bunch the Palestinians were. ” According to Ben-Menashe, Israeli spymasters arranged the attack through “Abu’l Abbas, who, to follow such orders was receiving millions from Israeli intelligence officers posing as Sicilian dons. Abbas . . . gathered a team to attack the cruise ship. The team was told to make it bad, to show the world what lay in store for other unsuspecting citizens if Palestinian demands were not met.

  • Anti-semitism charge is increasingly being leveled against Israel's mainstream critics
    • Hi, Shmuel, I wasn't thinking about J-BIG but about so many others that have gotten on the Palestinians' bus that aren't really on it for the Palestinians' sake. You also have the Christian Zionists on the Israelis' bus but that actually have an anti-Jewish agenda. It was about putting things into perspective.

    • FWIW, I t was reported last night that Hanniyeh's daughter is being treated in an Israeli hospital. One of his granddaughters was also treated in an Israeli hospital last November and his mother-in-law received cancer treatment in June in Jerusalem too.

      Meanwhile there are hundreds of other emergency-case patients that continue to suffer in Gaza's under-resourced hospitals because Israel is refusing to admit them into its hospitals. Maybe because unlike Hanniyeh, they have zero propaganda value.

    • Mayhem, I didn't claim to be against anti-Semites, a term I consider propagandist; I'm actually against anti-Jews. You'd find hundreds of my posts here that are against Israelis for what they have done and continue doing to Palestinians and their other neighbours but you wouldn't find one in which I'm critical of Jews as a people or religion. You are brainwashed into believing that any criticisms of Israel are necessarily criticisms of the world's Jewish people, which of course is hogwash., just like the term you just love to throw around.

    • Of Jews constantly throwing stones at Israel and its Zionism, I'm always wondering how many are doing it because they sincerely empathize with the Palestinians and how many are doing it because they are anti-Zionists or anti-Israel and are actually using the Palestinian cause as a means to do it.

    • Yonah, you and your creepy general should be ashamed of yourselves of thinking of your fellow human beings, the Palestinians, in terms of carrots and sticks. I don't think you'd appreciate my using such an analogy about the Germans and the Jews if I'd have said said that had Hitler been offered carrots at Evian, a couple of million Jews could have been saved.

      It's most probable that you got distressed over Gaza because it exposed Israel's dirty laundry to the world, not because of any compassion you may have felt for the Palestinians. Your contempt for Palestinians is evident from your language.

    • Mayhem, you're so wrong. I turn off at the sound of the term "antisemitism" because it's shopworn and used in all kinds of sauces by hasbarists to spook people from criticizing Israel. When I hear of someone or something being anti--Jewish simply for being Jews, I'm the first to jump up and side with the Jews, even Israeli ones. Anti-Jewish activities have been around for centuries and I have always been critical of them. The other bogus dramatic term you dearly love to flash around doesn't have an effect on me.

    • The charge of anti-Semitism has become boring and meaningless, but it still works its magic on people who get spooked easily.

  • Europe wearies of Netanyahu's diversions
  • The Missing Context: 'Islamic State' sectarianism is not coincidental 
    • Yes, lysias, as far as the puritanical Almohad were concerned but still not at all close in wickedness to what IS is today. In its nostalgic yearning to get back to the old glory days of Islamic empire, IS has indicated that the whole of the Iberian peninsula is on its agenda, while Israel is not.

    • A bit of distraction for those that have an interest in what’s behind the IS flag and its nostalgic medieval roots:

      A plain black flag was used in the 7th century by the Prophet Muhammad’s armies in their wars and conquests, so it’s used by IS as the basis of its flag. At the end of the Medina-Mecca wars in 620-something, the Prophet was to send ambassadors to the rulers of Byzantium, Persia, Ethiopia, Egypt, Syria, Bahrain and Kashmir carrying a personal invitation from him to join Islam, or “else”. Someone in the Prophet’s entourage had advised him that it was de rigueur that such important letters from a VIP to another VIP to have a personalized seal by the sender. So for his letters, Muhammad had one made of silver set in a somewhat oblong circular Abyssinian stone and the seal of the Prophet was thus created with the 3 words “Muhammad Messenger (of) God” as read from the bottom up. The purported original seal or one of a few copies made by the Prophet’s successors is kept today at Topkapi Palace and is duplicated with its oblong circle at the center of the IS flag. The straight horizontal line of words at the top of the flag is half the Muslim’s Declaration of Faith, the Shahada, “La Illaha il l’Allah”, “There is no God but God”; the other half that says “Muhammad is the Messenger of God”, is picked up in the duplicated seal at the center of the flag. On dormira moins bête ce soir.

    • "The whole IS thing is a canard."

      Not that much, Brewer; to say that the Sunni and Shia always got along is somewhat of a stretch. There were exceptions of course where some communities of mixed sects got along, but these were rare. There was a tolerance of the other, but it was never really about love and the tension between them was always there although not discussed or errupted openly. The problem of not accepting the other was mostly from the Sunni side that considered the Shia the riff-raff of the religion and looked upon them accordingly. The Shia were always on the receiving end, reacting to whatever the Sunni threw their way. Now that the Shia numbers due to birth have multiplied extensively and that they are better educated, the tables have been turned in some areas where the Sunni have resorted to violence to get back at them. That opened the door for the likes of IS.

    • Brewer, The CIA and friends would pin the blame on the Iranians since at the time, Saddam was the good guy that had been unleashed on bad-guys Iran and the US simply looked the other way when the Kurds were hit. Also at the time, there was the buddy-buddy photograph going around of Rumsfeld with Saddam. The US also looked the other way when Saddam first invaded Kuwait as he was supposed to grab only the small border area where the Kuwaitis were slant-digging oil under Iraq's border. When Saddam got greedy and decided to take all of Kuwait, the US stopped playing along with him.

    • Kraus, the first ascension to power goes back to 1740 with Muhammad Ibn Abdel-Wahhab entering into a pact with the House of Saud to jointly rule the first Wahhabi Saudi Arabian state. It remained on the back burner all these years, but it was there all the time, simmering. The early 60s and earlier decades you referred to was of the lighter Muslim Brotherhood version that took root with al-Banna in Egypt that was easily snuffed out first by Nasser then a bit later in Syria by Assad Père. For the hardcore Salafi IS kind, you have to go back to 1740 to what eventually became Saudi Arabia.

    • I meant US-held terrorists rather than US terrorists.

    • Keith. I'm remembering the waves of former US terrorists detainees released, recruited and ferried to Libya to take on Gaddafi's forces. They went from being terrorists to freedom fighters overnight. After Gaddafi's downfall, they ruled simply as "fundamentalists". One has to be leery of those bearing fruits of democracy.

    • Brief reference was made by Baroud to the Jordanian Zarkawi (Ahmad Fadeel al-Nazal al-Khalayleh ) that was killed early in the game. It's worth noting that his hometown of Zarka (the "blue") is currently the hotbed of ultra fundamentalism in Jordan. In June, the Jordanian special forces averted an attack on Saudia from there. In the weird strategies being played out by the pro-West countries, last June Jordan released from jail the cleric that had inspired Zarkawi to join AQ, Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, to help the kingdom against IS (?). At the same time, the UK sent back to Jordan another jailed terrorist cleric, Abu Qatada, to also help the kingdom against IS (??) During the trial, Abu Qatada reportedly spoke out about the conflict in Syria, urging the two main terrorist factions there - the al-Nusra and ISIS - to unite behind the leader of al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri. He was acquitted and recruited to help against IS . It's puzzling how these 2 terrorists are helping Jordan.

  • British Parliament sends a message to Obama: the people see Israel as a 'bully'
    • Hello, Just.

    • The music to this beautiful song was by the great Egyptian actor-singer-composer Mohammed Abdel-Wahab, composer of the Egyptian, Libyan, Tunisian and UAE national anthems. The lyrics by Ahmad Shafiq Kamel were somewhat reminiscent of EBB's "How do I love thee?":

      Your eyes took me back
      To my days that are gone
      They taught me to regret
      the past and its wounds.

      Whatever I saw
      Before my eyes saw you was a wasted life.
      How could they consider that part of my life?

      You are my life that starts its dawn with your light.

      How much of my life before you was lost
      It is a wasted past, my love.

      My heart never saw happiness before you
      My heart never saw anything in life other
      than the taste of pain and suffering.

      I started only now to love my life
      And started to worry that my life would run away from me.

      Every happiness I was longing for before you
      My dreams they found it in the light of your eyes.

      Oh my heart's life .. You are more precious than my life
      Why I didn't meet your love a long time ago?

      Whatever I saw
      Before my eyes saw you was a wasted life.
      How could they consider that part of my life?

      You are my life that starts its dawn with your light.

      The beautiful nights
      And the yearning and the great love
      From a long time ago
      The heart is holding for you.

      Taste the love with me
      Bit by bit
      From the kindness of my heart
      That is longing for the kindness of your heart.

      Bring your eyes close so that my eyes can get lost
      In the life of your eyes.
      Bring your hands so that
      my hands will rest in the touch of your hands.

      My love, come
      And enough.
      What we missed is not little,
      Oh love of my soul.

      Whatever I saw
      Before my eyes saw you was a wasted life.
      How could they consider that part of my life?

      You are my life that starts its dawn with your light.

      You are more precious than my days.
      You are more beautiful than my dreams,
      Take me to your sweetness-
      Take me away from the universe

      Far away, far away.
      I and you
      Far away, far away.
      Alone

      With love, our days will awaken
      We spend the nights longing for each other

      I reconciled with days because of you
      I forgave the time because of you

      With you I forgot my pains
      And I forgot with you my misery.

      Your eyes took me back
      To my days that are gone
      They taught me to regret
      the past and its wounds.

      Whatever I saw
      Before my eyes saw you was a wasted life.
      How could they consider that part of my life?

      You are my life that starts its dawn with your light.

  • Ted Cruz praises Israel and gets booed off stage at D.C. Christian conference
    • For those that aren't familiar with what the problem and the conference were about, in a nutshell, before the US introduced democracy in Iraq, there were 3 million Christians; today there are 300,000 remaining. The West's vocation of emptying the ME of its Christians and redrawing borders goes back to the days of Kissinger.

      Cruz' opportunistic and shameful circus act came to a sudden end when Patriarch Laham (Melkite Greek Catholic) walked out. Later Maronite Catholic Patriarch Raii to diffuse the tension created by the Cruz incident erroneously made light humour of what had happened. This was the same Patriarch that had been insulted a couple of years earlier by Sarkozy's offer to transfer all of Lebanon's Christians to France. France, not one to give up in the West's never-ending mission to fracture the ME recently made the same irreverent offer to Iraq's Yazidis.

      There's an Israeli hand in all this emptying of the ME of its Christians, but as with everything else devious in what it does, it has others doing this vile work for it.

  • The best U.S. 'strategy' to combat ISIS? Stop supporting religious states
    • "the Wahhabi kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the US’s closest ally in"

      Dan, while the movement is rooted in S.A., this isn't the only country where it's thriving. You actually also have it in the ruling classes of UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman in varying degrees of passion and to a lesser extent in Kuwait. All these states are equally loyal to the US, so what you are describing applies to a large part of the ME.

    • "Yeah, a 9/11 redux."

      Taxi, there was a good essay on this here back in 2011 by Nu'man Abed al-Wahid during the hanky-panky on Libya by the US and NATO that in a nutshell details how Islamism had been used by the British to subvert its colonies' populations since the turn of the 20th century until it gave it up after WW II when America started using itself for the same subversive purposes and how it ended up biting the US in the ass with 9/11 and would again do so in the future as you are forecasting.

      For those interested in the background of the US funding and supporting various Islamist parties that's still ongoing with Da'ish, Nusra and other insurgents, reading this short essay would provide a good insight. It's worth remembering that it was the US that actually helped the Egyptian Brotherhood reach power after the fall of Mubarak and that it dumped shortly thereafter.

      The essay "British colonial strategy and the 9/11 blowback":

      link to mondoweiss.net

  • Israel has three years to end the occupation -- Abbas
    • Of course Israel and the US would agree in relocating all the Gazans to the Sinai that would have Israel ending up with all the Gaza offshore gas fields and beaches. It's an absurd balloon being floated by an Israeli paper.

    • Mustafa Barghouthi.

    • Connecticut.

    • Only one and he sincerely believes that things spiraling out of control are always beyond his responsibility; in short, there's always an American or Israeli gun pointed at his head and things are always happening to the hapless man.

  • Being Palestinian got me barred from visiting Palestine
    • From Jeff Blankfort to Jeff B, we've come a long way..

    • Greetings, Shmuel, glad to see you back. With the new Mondo, it's hard to follow where new posts are being made.

    • Another macabre episode straight out of the twilight zone for American-Palestinians with the full knowledge and consent of the USA. If the US has no respect for its native born citizens of Palestinian roots, how can one expect a better treatment of these people from the depraved Zionists? This story comes at the heel of the one of Tareq that was savagely beaten.

  • Countdown to the next round in Gaza
    • Are you insinuating that the fish are antisemitic, amigo?

    • More good news about Gaza, from Maan:

      ".... Gaza fishermen reap rewards as restrictions eased

      29/08/2014

      GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Palestinian fishermen in Gaza say they are already seeing the benefits of an extended fishing zone, with thousands of kilograms of fresh produce caught only days after Tuesday's ceasefire agreement.

      Fishermen say they have brought home a varied catch of sardines, squid, shrimps, crabs and lax to Gaza's markets since Tuesday, with some varieties of fish unavailable for years due to Israeli restrictions."

    • It's working wonderfully for Hizbullah. Israel has just about given up on trying anything militarily and is now working diligently at trying to put out Hizbullah's lights by way of the International Tribunal for Lebanon, illegally constituted under the UN's Chapter 7, that's trying desperately to frame 5 Hizbullah members for the 2005 murder of Hariri, to suck the whole of the UN into the Israel-Hizbullah conflict. Now in its 9th or 10th year at an accumulated operating cost of $500 million paid 50-50 by Lebanon and the UN, the court is still pissing in the wind. But militarily, Israeli doesn't even dream of hitting Hizbullah because of what Hizbullah has in arms and fighting manpower at the ready.

    • just, like you, I'm all for BDS but it's not going to be enough. At the rate it's picking up steam, it would still take a couple of decades to bear fruit but by that time, there wouldn't be anything left to save. Nothing can take the place of an armed struggle, especially for Israel; it's cranking out new markets and new products faster than BDS is snuffing out some of them.

    • Gaza's resistance should be re-arming and recruiting at a very rapid pace while the politicians from both sides are having tea together and talking about nothing. The political leader of one of the fighting factions that held a celebratory march today in Gaza said his group began rearming from the minute the cease-fire went into effect. Si vis pacem, para bellum.

  • The Palestinian message to Israel: Deal with us justly. Or disappear
    • "... after some 2000 years..."

      I'd have expected "next year in Jerusalem" to be mentioned, as before.

    • Walker, Israel's future big problem will be from within its own Jewish communities rather than from its Palestinian neighbours. The folklore that all Jews from the 4 corners of the earth are all one and the same people is already unraveling.

    • Just, I forgot to post the following at the end of my last post to you:

    • Hello, just, you see the man as a romantic character but I look at him from another perspective, one of having almost totally destroyed Lebanon during his stay there between Black September when the Arab League rammed him and his fighters down Lebanon's throat until Israel put him and his band on the boats to Tunis in 1982. One of his famous quotes describes his Lebanon stay that had effectively become a state within a state: "The road to Jerusalem runs through (Christian) Jounieh."

      He was invited to address the UNGA in 1974 but kept insisting to wear his gun inside the UN. He finally accepted to leave his gun outside but the UN had to accept to let him wear the holster.

    • Taxi, I agree fully with your assessment about the Palestinian Mokawama. It accomplished more in a month than BDS in 8 years. This is not to belittle BDS, as every little bit helps, but nothing gets the attention of the Zionists like the Mokawama. I don't care for the politics of Hamas just like I don't care for those of Hizbullah, but when it comes to resistance to the evil Zionist empire, both groups have my full respect.

    • Ivri, Israel is still around after all these wars and stronger than ever, but it's still as insecure as it has ever been and this will never change. Which of the two do you think feels more secure in his home, the Zionist squatter in Hebron that has about 15,000 soldiers looking out for him or the honest one living in Crown Heights?

      Things have changed in Crown Heights since back then and in other Orthodox neighbourhoods too:

    • The man wasn't a saint, just, he was as manipulative as his replacement but with charisma; he pledged the store for Oslo, which proved to be a total loss. Edward Said didn't like the smell of it at the time and he wasn't at all wrong. Arafat got back at him by banning his work.

    • What do you have against penguins, Citizen?

    • Gracie, Siegman isn't quite clear about Hamas' election victory in January 2006. It wasn't only in Gaza, it won a total of 74 seats to Fatah's 45, about 30 of them from the West Bank.

    • amigo, it became evident during the war's progress and Israel's inability to break the will of the people and the resistance of Gaza that the unified resistance forces had been thoroughly coached by the Israel-savvy Hizbullah. I read somewhere that one of its most important lessons was to ensure that collaborators and spies were either stopped in their tracks or fed disinformation to be relayed to Israel. Israel's failure to take out the tunnels, the launching sites and the missiles is attributed in good part to the resistance having controlled the flow of that vital collaborator information. Had Israel been courageous to enter Gaza with its land force, there would have been disastrous results for it. Instead, it chose to stay within 300 meters of the border and to cowardly carpet-bomb the rest. It had been just as cowardly during Cast Lead.

    • Maximus. in Silverstein's article, blame is somewhat pinned on Meshaal for Israel having pinpointed Dief's whereabouts after he phoned him from Qatar to discuss something in the ongoing ceasefire negotiations at the time. Seems that Israel was able to trace the call and knew exactly where to aim its bunker busters. Silverstein's snitches in the Israeli government are usually reliable.

      Kay, Meshaal wasn't saved by the antidote through any Clinton initiative, Jordan had threatened to put on trial the 2 Mossad hit-men it had nabbed and to execute them which would have been a disastrous PR move for Israel. Israel was so spooked by that prospect that it also agreed to free the jailed octogenarian, Cheikh Ahmad Yassin, the half-blind and paraplegic founder of Hamas. Israel subsequently killed him and 5 innocent bystanders with an Apache missile one Friday after he was being wheeled back from Friday prayers.

    • Yesterday after their victorious assault on the Syrian air base at Raqa, IS executed 200 Syrian soldiers it had captured. It can't be bothered with prisoners unless they have a ransom value.

      A few days, the publisher of the paper for which Foley had worked declared that IS had asked the US for a huge ransom for Foley, which the US in addition to have refused to pay, went on to drone-attack IS positions near Irbil and this is what provoked the beheading.

      On the other hand, Syrian Minister Bouthaina Chaaban said that the staged killing was bogus as the Syrian regime had information that Foley had been killed by his captors over a year ago.

      When surrounded by liars, which one do you believe?

    • Good descriptive photos, Pixel, thanks.

    • Sycamores, I don't think the cease-fire had anything to do with the terrorists taking over the border area. The US has decided to join the fight on IS in Syria and final details are being worked out with the Syrians that are adamant that the US must not pull any hanky-panky on the regime under the guise of hitting the terrorists. Syria demanded that every operation over Syria by the Americans has to be cooridinated in advance with the regime as otherwise, American planes will be fired on.

      This wouldn't be the first time that the long term enemies that are the US and Syria decided to unite temporarily to resolve a common problem. In joined the Coalition of the Willing in Iraq I and got several hundred millions in debts to the US written off for it in addition to getting US permission to occupy Lebanon for 10 years. Syria's participation in the Iraq war on the American side was limited to some of the logistics, just like Egypt's role as the US wanted them on board only to show that Arabs approved of American intentions.

      After Syria and the US get rid of IS, if they succeed of course, they'd go back to being bitter enemies.

    • Sycamores, most probably not a threat at all if you go by the area's news reports since several months that describe the close cooperation between Israel and the Syrian rebels and how Israel has been treating their wounds in Israeli hospitals, re-training them and re-equipping them and dispatching them back into Syria.

      Al-Nusra terrorists are offshoots of al-Qaeda, which essentially are the IS people in Syria and Iraq today. So Nusra and IS are the same now since most Nusra fighters have sworn allegiance to the IS cause. Furthermore, about a month or so back, IS declared that Israel is not in its plans as it has no intentions of going anywhere near it. So Nusra and IS are basically pals of Israel. Unless of course, IS decides to suddenly decide to change course and turn on Israel in the same way it double-crossed the US by going after Irbil. These people are unpredictable and their friends today could find themselves declared as the enemy on a whim.

    • Hoooray!!!. CNN just discovered that IS this morning had captured 42 peacekeepers (from Fiji) on the Golan. CNN is lucky to have Ben Wedeman on staff; he just reached the Golan.

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