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  • On Easter week, Shaath says millions of Palestinians are denied access to Jerusalem
    • "... Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas's spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina stressed the talks could be extended if Israel released the 26 prisoners, the last batch of a total of 104 veteran prisoners Israel agreed to free." (Daily Star, today)

      Anyone here (other than Abbas' principal apologist here, of course) still believes that the talks won't be extended beyond the April 29th term, or that this whole UN 15 applications story wasn't a pre-planned gimmick to lead to the release of the 26 and the ultimately desired and agreed-to extension of the talks to allow both Abbas and Netanyahu to come out of it smelling pretty?

    • You know where that elegance came from, seafoid. It won't come again.

    • Over a thousand IDF and police goons stormed al-Aqsa compound this morning for no reason, firing live ammunition, tear gas and stun grenades. This came after yesterday's assault on the site by 5 Israeli settlers that wanted to sacrifice a goat on the site to reenact a Passover rite.

      There's an article and a Hebrew video on Silverstein's blog about an Israeli sect that wants to rebuild the temple and get back to sacrificing animals:

      link to richardsilverstein.com

    • Most noticeable, is the absence of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch, Theophillos III from the list of protesters in the march especially that this year, the Greek Orthodox Easter falls on the same date as the Latin one. He probably didn't want to ruffle the feathers of his Israeli friends. On Palm Sunday, Palestinians aged 35 and under were not allowed by Israel to enter the Church of the Resurrection and will most probably repeat this next Sunday for Easter. That's the "special" treatment Israel had in store for Christians that it said weren't really Arabs.

  • Fear of Arab-Americans in the public square
    • "I can’t help but relate it to holocaust deaths numbers…"

      You're getting close to taboo territory there, Sumud. You're not allowed to relate or compare anything to that event. Remember the last time you simply said that there were 6 million Palestinians; you were almost asked to go wash your mouth.

  • Handling holy hypocrisy at holiday season
    • W. Jones, for a long time, the Catholic Church WAS the tyrant. Check its history, especially that involving the current pope's order, the Jesuits.

    • Marc sees Judaism sinking because of its failure because of the Palestinians and he's insisting in dragging Christianity down with it. Would have liked to do likewise with Islam, but there was nothing paschal to it.

  • Alterman says BDS is helping Netanyahu
    • Those states that would such as Lebanon, Syria and Jordan couldn't for demographic reasons, and those that could such as Saudia, the Gulf and the North African ones wouldn't because they have no use for them. As to the states in the West, they would and they could but on condition that they'd cherry-pick a limited number that would help them with their own demographic shortcomings. An even uglier fact not being currently discussed but that has been around for decades, is Israel's insistence in having a say on limiting the inflows of Palestinian refugees into an eventual independent Palestine. In other words, Israel would not allow the 1.5 or 2 million refugees currently in the camps of Lebanon, Syria and Jordan to be repatriated to the WB. So even if they were to be paid off, these refugees are not welcome to stay in their host countries. And you want to add another 2 million Israeli Palestinians to those numbers?

      Why not ask that the Israelis that have roots in pre-48 Palestine to stay there and have all the others go back to their original countries?

    • He didn't have to say anything, puppies, especially the part about not boycotting Israel.

    • "This is why I recommend paying the Arabs to leave. "

      Leave for where, Mike? What about the 1.5 million in the camps waiting to return, would you pay them too and where would they go with all their money?

    • "This is undoubtedly why Mahmoud Abbas opposes BDS as well."

      I think it has more to do with wanting to be loved. By the wrong people, of course.

    • " Alterman makes the astonishing claim that BDS is helping Netanyahu pursue the occupation."

      I'm not sure he's totally wrong, especially considering the campaign announced by Lauder stressing that BDS is all about delegitimizing Israel. BDS has a lot of work ahead of it to do to counter that campaign.

  • Passover for Palestine
    • Speaking of Passover prayers, here's an interesting one published in the settlers' magazine by an Israeli minister imploring God to vanish the Palestinians from his life:

      By Dimi Reider at +972

      Lapid's Passover prayer: Lord, get the Palestinians away
      Finance Minister Yair Lapid, the great secular crusader, has finally found God. And he has but one thing to ask of Him.

      Finance Minister Yair Lapid, the moderate mainstay of Netanyahu’s right-wing government, published today a long, rambling post drenched in self-pity (typical enough, on the most reassuring of Jewish holidays). The post is titled ”A (private) Prayer for Passover,” and it contains the following paragraph:

      “There used to be a 16th century philosopher called Zeno, who asked: “Can God create a rock He himself cannot lift?” At the time they thought the question had no answer. That it was a paradox. Now we know that the answer is yes. There is a rock like that, and it’s called the Palestinians. And it’s true You can’t lift it, Father who art in Heaven, but could You roll it aside a little bit? Because this rock is a stone placed upon our hearts. They say You can’t stop a madman coming in with a knife to a school in Jerusalem, trying to kill students. But this is precisely why You are omnipotent. We need you in that place in which we always needed You: when all other possibilities failed. And even then, our Lord and Lord of our Fathers, it is not enough (lo dayenu).”

      Lapid may not be intelligent, moral, strategic, erudite, principled or good at math, but there is one quality that cannot be denied to him – he is a walking, talking, writing barometer of the Israeli public mood. This is how he got his stardom, this is why he scooped up all these profile votes: because he reflects to Israelis Israelis as they wanted to see themselves. And this inane little ramble touches on the the very heart of the Israeli attitude to Palestinians: They are a nuisance...

      link to 972mag.com

    • And in Toronto of all places. Bravo.

  • China Miéville: It's become a cliche to talk about Palestine as a dystopia, but when you see Hebron you know where the cliche is coming from
    • The absurdity of a city of over 200,000 Palestinians dominated by squatter settlement of about 700 Jews guarded by 4000 IDF soldiers.

      From al-Akhbar last October:

      "Israeli minister calls for doubling number of settler homes in Hebron

      Published Thursday, October 24, 2013
      Israel's housing minister on Thursday called for doubling the number of illegal Jewish settler homes in the southern West Bank city of Hebron, even as peace talks continue with the Palestinians.

      Uri Ariel, who leads the far-right Jewish Home party and lives in a West Bank settlement himself, told army radio he supported "concrete plans for the construction of 100 (new) homes in Hebron."

      "The land for this exists, and we're preparing the (building) project. We hope that during the coming year we can begin to build," Ariel said.

      The city of Hebron, home to nearly 200,000 Palestinians, also comprises some 80 settler homes in the center of town housing about 700 Jews who live under Israeli army protection...."

      link to english.al-akhbar.com

  • Israel to annex 1,000 dunam of Palestinian land; Peace Now spox: 'faithful reflection of Netanyahu policy to extinguish last embers of negotiations with Palestinians'
    • Ritzl, sorry to be the grinch again, but there's not much to hope for. Just when it looks like the Europeans are starting to lead the charge, Netanyahu is already working another front to help him get his way with the Palestinians.

      Lieberman divulged ongoing secret negotiations between Israel, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, which the Arabs of course denied. That's not good news for the Palestinians.

      link to english.al-akhbar.com

      Also today, Lebanon's Foreign Minister corrected a monumental error made by the Arab League in its declaration of last week reiterating the Arab Peace Initiative to Israel that DID NOT INCLUDE the Palestinians' right of return as one of the tripartite validating conditions and as guaranteed by the UN resolution. The Foreign Minister insisted on the needed correction to the statement which has since been made and stressed that the 500,000 Palestinian refugees in Lebanon's camps would never be naturalized. One has to wonder how such an error on a fundamental point could have happened. Not looking good at all for the Palestinians, especially from the Arab side.

      link to dailystar.com.lb

  • About that special relationship...
    • My feeling is that Scotland would vote "NO". Secession is far from being an easy thing to do. Crimea didn't actually secede to become independent as much as it decided to change houses to live with someone else which is a completely different story from Scotland's. Look at what happened to separatism in Quebec last week.

    • The special relationship is felt only from the American side; in return, Israel lies to America, spies on it, steals from it and gets it into shit wars on its behalf. To offset its guilt, rather than get itself entangled in a perpetual annuity, America should have simply paid off the Israelis up front, like the Germans did.

  • The Jewish community must not embrace Ayaan Hirsi Ali
    • When Sumud was living next to it being built, it was still called Burj Dubai. It was after Dubai's second major financial bailout averting bankruptcy that it took on the name of the bailer, Sheikh Khalifa of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. He also got his hands on Dubai's prestigious and very profitable airline 'Emirates" in the bailout. The UAE's sovereign fund with Abu Dhabi holding the biggest stake is second largest (after China's) in the world.

    • Comment in the Daily Star by Rami Khouri:

      "... I applaud the decision to withdraw the invitation, because Hirsi Ali’s wild and mostly false criticisms of the Islamic faith should not be honored with a degree from a quality university such as Brandeis. Yet the decision is problematic because it muddies the line that separates clearly unacceptable public statements from those which are simply aggressive and hurtful. Someone who makes a living spewing the filthy rhetoric that Hirsi Ali does will always find some place to speak on a college campus. But her ideas clash violently with the truth-seeking mission of a university – because her accusations against Islam as a whole are so extreme and false that they fall out of the category of intellectual debate and slip into the gutter of racist slander.

      The faculty, in their letter to the Brandeis president, Fred Lawrence, wrote that they were “shocked and dismayed, owing to Hirsi Ali’s virulently anti-Muslim public statements. We are saddened that Brandeis would choose to honor such a divisive individual at commencement, a moment of unity for the Brandeis community,” they wrote.

      Among the cited comments made by Hirsi Ali were calling Islam “the new fascism” and saying that Islam must be “defeated.” The faculty noted that journalist David Cohen had quoted Hirsi Ali as saying: “Violence is inherent in Islam – it’s a destructive, nihilistic cult of death. It legitimates murder. The police may foil plots and freeze bank accounts in the short term, but the battle against terrorism will ultimately be lost unless we realize that it’s not just with extremist elements within Islam, but the ideology of Islam itself. ... Islam is the new fascism.”

      They also noted that Rogier van Bakel had quoted her as follows: “Jews should be proselytizing about a God that you can quarrel with. Catholics should be proselytizing about a God who is love. ... Those are lovely concepts of God. They can’t compare to the fire-breathing Allah who inspires jihadism and totalitarianism.”

      Van Bakel then spoke of religions’ ability to bring about change for good: “Do you think Islam could bring about similar social and political changes?” Hirsi Ali answered, “Only if Islam is defeated.” Van Bakel then asked, “Don’t you mean defeating radical Islam?” To that she responded, “No. Islam, period.”

      ... Hirsi Ali is one of a handful of Muslim women who have left their home societies and set up shop abroad, in the United States mostly, where they spend much time trash-talking Islam as a religion of violence, hatred and cruelty and violence to women. Of course, there are many Muslim individuals who exhibit those traits and even worse ones. But making Islam itself the problem and calling for an Islamic reformation in order to copy the Western trajectory strike me as simultaneously simplistic, insulting and factually wrong.

      ... Brandeis should and did invite her to engage in a campus debate with others. Hateful and false as her views are, they should be banished from the public sphere not by executive fiat, but by the ridicule and factual retort in public. Hirsi Ali drew attention initially because she was an entertainer whose product is hate and venom, in a wounded American society that will accept almost any criticism of Islam or Muslims in its elusive quest to understand why it was attacked by a handful of Muslim terrorists among a world of 1.4 billion nonviolent Muslims.

      Intellectual freak shows such as Hirsi Ali’s eventually lose their appeal because they are exposed as hollow, false, and hurtful – not only to Muslims but to American society and the world."

      link to dailystar.com.lb

    • Maybe Walid knows a little bit about Muslims. If the democracy you have in mind is like one practiced in the Middle East's alleged most democratic country or like the one that was brought to Iraq and Afghanistan at a cost of a million lives, then no, it wouldn't be in that sense of the word. Your starting point should be that fanatic Sunni factions that kill unbelievers simply because they view them as unbelievers or that are suicide bombers aren't true Muslims to begin with and are in no position to dictate which ones are. You may have missed the parts of the religion that forbid the killing of civilians and of taking one's own life. Anyone breaking these 2 rules has stepped out of the bounds of Islam.

    • Stephen, Hirsi is wrong in assuming that the al-Qaeda doctrine is the real thing and you are wrong philosophizing whether or not she is right. Simply ask how many terrorizing fanatics there are among the world's 1.5 billion Muslims.

    • "BTW, she and Wilders were parliamentary colleagues for the Liberal party VVD."

      In next month's European Parliamentary elections, Wilders has already teamed up with fellow EU-integration rejectionist Marine Le Pen. Their extremist parties are expected to win big, especially with the EU blunders with Russia on the Ukraine conflict. Big but not big enough to take the Netherlands out of it. Gives an idea of the type of people Hirsi hung out with.

  • Florida university president who condemned boycott has financial ties to settlements
    • Thanks, Daniel.

    • Must be the Florida air. Another Florida university president that's aiding and abetting Israel's war crimes and doing it for the Jewish money for the university is University of Miami President, Donna Shalala, former Clinton Health Secretary and with Lebanese roots that got herself in deep poo in 2012 in Beirut but it didn't bother her because of her great love for Israel. She was booed by the students at the masters graduation ceremony at Beirut's AUB because of her pro-Israel and anti-BDS reputation. The AUB had announced her invitation and the honorary degree she was to be awarded only a week in advance to thwart students' protests that would have upset the planned event because the previous year (2011), the students had succeeded in ganging up on the university to disinvite another Israel-lover, former World Bank president James Wolfenson.

      Despite Shalala's university's agreements with UBG, the Technion and Bar-Ilan and her frequent visits to Israel, when she was departing Tel Aviv in 2010 after her visit to oppose the academic boycott at the behest of the American Jewish Congress, she was detained and interrogated during 2 hours because of her Arabic name but on arriving in the US, she said that it hadn't bothered her. Phil and Silverstein had articles on the humiliating 2010 incident.

      Donna Shalala's statement re ASA's boycott: "“We join with other higher education institutions in rejecting the actions of the American Studies Association as misguided, inappropriate, and hostile to the larger purposes of learning, academic freedom, and intellectual exchange— which are fundamental missions of American higher education.”

      Other than USF and U of Miami, also on the anti ASA bus are Florida State, Florida International, University of Florida, and Florida Atlantic.

      al-Akhbar article on Shalala in Beirut:
      link to english.al-akhbar.com

      Phil's article on Shalala in 2010:
      link to mondoweiss.net

  • 'No decision has been made on Jonathan Pollard,' says State Dep't
    • A personal feeling that he'd be very much like Arafat and popular among his people as you said. I wasn't a fan.

    • "... the imprisoned Palestine leader/ resister"

      Marwan Barghouti, a reincarnated Arafat.

    • And most probably, Barghouti would be thrown into the deal for good measure mostly to help Abbas as I've been guessing for a while. There will surely be an extension beyond the April 28 term but it will be announced at the 11th hour with lots of bells and whistles (Pollard, the 30, Barghouti) to make Abbas and Netanyahu come out of this smelling of roses.

  • 'Not a single person in this room would accept living as Palestinians do, generation after generation'
    • From the Palestinian Information Center:

      "Hamas calls for defending al-Aqsa Mosque
      [ 12/04/2014 - 03:30 PM ]

      GAZA, (PIC)-- Hamas Movement has called for defending al-Aqsa Mosque in light of Israeli settlers' intention to break into the mosque next Monday, warning the occupation of its aggression and violations in holy sites.

      Following Israeli extremist organizations' threats to storm al-Aqsa Mosque to mark the Passover, Hamas movement warned occupation authority of its escalated violations and repeated aggressions against al-Aqsa Mosque in total provocation to Muslims' feelings.

      In light of the US biased policy and international community's silence, Israeli occupation has escalated attacks on al-Aqsa Mosque. However, the Palestinian people's strong determination will foil these Israeli attempts to impose a status quo in the mosque, the movement's statement said.

      Al-Aqsa Mosque is wholly owned by Muslims and it will never be temporally or spatially divided, the statement stressed.

      Hamas called on the PA to stop negotiations with the occupation in response to Israeli continued attacks and Judaization policy.

      The Islamic movement also called for intensifying Palestinian presence in al-Aqsa Mosque in face of all Israeli attempts to storm it particularly between 14-20 April.

      The statement called on Arab and Islamic countreis to intervene to defend al-Aqsa Mosque and support Jerusalemites' steadfastness, and urged the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to take urgent steps to protect the holy mosque before it is too late."

      link to palestine-info.co.uk

    • Fun and games in progress in Jerusalem. Earlier in the week, settlers had served notice on Muslims to vacate the Haram. Today, they are actually attacking it.

      From Maan News:

      "Israeli forces storm Al-Aqsa compound, injuring 6 worshipers
      Published today (updated) 13/04/2014 10:45

      Palestinian men scuffle with Israeli police at an alleyway leading
      to the al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Feb. 25, 2014 in the
      Old City of Jerusalem.(AFP/Ahmad Gharabli)

      JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Sunday morning, attacking worshipers with stun grenades and rubber-coated steel bullets, as Muslim worshipers braced for raids by right-wing Jewish groups as Passover approaches.

      Director of Al-Aqsa Mosque Sheikh Omar al-Kiswani told Ma'an that more than 50 Israeli "special forces" stormed the compound through the Moroccan Gate and the Chain Gate during the raid.

      Al-Kiswani added that Israeli forces "besieged" Muslim worshipers with rubber-coated bullets and stun grenades, and closed the Chain Gate with chains.

      One of the Al-Aqsa compound security guards was struck by a rubber-coated bullet during the raid, and he was identified as Amjad al-Alami.

      In addition, five worshipers were hurt by pepper spray used by Israeli officers during the assault.

      Witnesses told Ma'an that Israeli forces had arrived in the early morning and stationed themselves near the Moroccan gate watching the movement of all worshipers inside the compound. The soldiers also denied right-wing Israeli groups access to the compound."

      link to maannews.net

    • Whatever became of Israel's plan of favouring the Palestinian Christians' status as non-Arabs?

      Today, Christians aged 35 and under are not permitted access to the Church of the Resurrection in Jerusalem for the Palm Sunday mass. Israelis are showing their idiotic side as Palm Sunday that is a feast commemorating the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem for Passover, is intended mostly for children that enter or are carried by their parents into the church carrying candles.

    • It's be put into perspective that in 1997 the satanic PNAC was spawned from an earlier (1996) and even more satanic blueprint for war that had been prepared for Netanyahu called " A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm" by just about the same group of zio-neocons. The PNAC plan triggered the execution of Israel's blueprint that was premised on the removal of Saddam and the subsequent toppling of the Syrian regime that is currently being attempted by the US and Gulf and Turkish friends for benefit of Israel.

      In 2003, in a NYT opinion piece it was written that:

      "... Douglas Feith and Richard Perle advised Netanyahu, who was prime minister in 1996, to make "a clean break" from the Oslo accords with the Palestinians. They also argued that Israeli security would be served best by regime change in surrounding countries. Despite the current mess in Iraq, this is still a commonplace in Washington. In Paul Wolfowitz's words, "The road to peace in the Middle East goes through Baghdad." It has indeed become an article of faith (literally in some cases) in Washington that American and Israeli interests are identical, but this was not always so, and "Jewish interests" are not the main reason for it now.

      ... What we see, then, is not a Jewish conspiracy, but a peculiar alliance of evangelical Christians, foreign-policy hard-liners, lobbyists for the Israeli government and neoconservatives, a number of whom happen to be Jewish. But the Jews among them—Perle, Wolfowitz, William Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard, et al.—are more likely to speak about freedom and democracy than about Halakha (Jewish law). What unites this alliance of convenience is a shared vision of American destiny and the conviction that American force and a tough Israeli line on the Arabs are the best ways to make the United States strong, Israel safe and the world a better place."

      link to en.wikipedia.org

    • "I can hardly wait the 30-40 years when Moslems form the majority in England and France, and declare them Islamic republics, without their requiring a name change either. I’m sure the minority of infidel Brits and Frenchman will be very accommodating to their countries’ new ethnic identity"

      Your above comment isn't reasoned nor civil and should tell you where the unpleasant reactions came from.

  • Amira Hass predicts Israel's 'colonial project' will eventually fail--but at what cost?
    • "She said a while ago that her life’s work was a waste."

      Another that reportedly said more or less the same about himself in so many other few words was Gibran Khalil Gibran: I am a false alarm.

    • American, from an American government trade site, 72% of all Palestinian imports of about $4 billion are of Israeli products and about 5% of American ones and 90% of Palestinian exports of about $700 million are to Israel. As to the other 23% of imports, these are coming mostly from Turkey, China( clothes and electronic gadgets) and Jordan (foodstuff).

      link to export.gov

    • Jenin, you're right, "distressing" was a more appropriate word. I often confound the actions of the Palestinian people with those of their leaders. I do the same about other Arabs not reacting to their leaders' rush to normalize relations with Israel at the Palestinians' expense.

    • "On the other hand, she said it was distressing to witness Palestinians shopping at malls in settlements, and said BDS needs to spread within Palestine for it to bite."
      (Amira Hass)

      How could BDS succeed with Palestinians and Arabs not fully endorsing the movement? Until the Palestinians decide to bite the bullet and deprive themselves of Israeli goods and products, nothing serious is going to happen. It's disgusting to see that while Americans and Europeans are boycotting settlement products, Palestinians are shopping in settlement malls.

  • Simon Schama's Israel whitewash
    • "all that gratuitous airport security reinforces the shtetl feel of Israel"

      seafoid, if it would be for Israel only, it could pass, but it's being gradually and surreptitiously imposed on the rest of the world. Most US and Canadian international airports are now complying with their guidelines if not under their direct security management since 5 or 6 years and by now surely also some European ones that have subcontracted their security to them. Must the whole world adapt to allow Israelis to maintain that feel wherever they go?

    • "I think they are afraid of the tables being turned and the Arabs visiting their cruelty on them. They are afraid of the IDF losing.

      seafoid; living inside all those high concrete walls and electrified fences is surely not helping their state of mind. They must feel as the elephants at the zoo; they can sleep where they want to but it has to be inside the walled area. I wonder what they feel when they travel on the outside. they must be constantly looking over their shoulder.

    • seafoid, they don't honestly crave it because if they'd actually attain it, their doom and gloom narrative with a serving of Holocaust guilt that has helped them get away with murder and theft wouldn't fly.

  • 'In every generation they rise up against us' -- Passover and the Jewish imagination
    • Not many give a thought or know what was on the table to be eaten. Even Leonardo didn't know because he got all his foodstuff wrong; The gathering was for a Passover Seder, the rest is easy.

    • W. Jones, that was a stupid question by a stupid person to which he gave a stupid answer.

    • "... the predominant view here is “let Judaism disappear.”

      yonah, I've yet to see anyone here calling for Judaism to disappear. Zionism, yes of course and the call for it to disappear is very predominant, but definitely not Judaism that's being used as a host for the evil parasite.

    • "Is that not more a Middle East thing?"

      A sharing custom most probably picked up from the Jews in 622 AD when the first Muslims at Medina started commemorating the Yom Kippur with the Jews that they termed "Ashura" ( Hebrew "Asor") and at which time they were still praying 3 times daily facing Jerusalem, like the Jews. Later, Jerusalem was dropped for Mecca and fasting was raised to a full the full lunar month of Ramadan that fell at another part of the year. One of the purposes behind the fast is to remember the plight of the poor, such as with the iftar for the others that you mentioned. At Adha commemorating the aborted sacrifice by Abraham, 2/3 of the substituted sheep that is slaughtered has to be donated to others that must include the poor.

    • "What would a Gentile traveler be doing in the Jewish ghetto or shtetl and why would he be interested in celebrating Passover?"

      Lived 5 years in a predominantly Jewish neighbourhood, although not a ghetto, and nobody ever opened the door to invite me to a seder and I would have been very interested.

      From the way you described it, invitations were limited to Jews.

    • The angel has grown lazy; now he sends in the robotic drones to do his killing and he doesn't take out only the first-borns but also the second, the third, the fourth, both parents and a few neighbours that happen to be nearby.

    • "“Let all who are hungry, come and eat; let all who are needy come and celebrate Passover.”

      ... This is the Jewish voice of welcome, of empathy. "

      Isn't this invitation and welcome intended for Jews only? My understanding of things as they were back then (at least at the time of Jesus) was that Jews were not supposed to break bread with non-Jews. I gathered this from the huge commotion about this between Paul and Peter about Jewish Christians versus gentile Christians first at Antioch and later at Jerusalem. For Paul, circumcised or not, everyone was welcome at his table while Peter insisted on eating only with the circumcised ones.

  • Why LA needs a city-funded Middle Eastern cultural center
    • "It’s called cultural diplomacy."

      Fancy words for normalization. With numerous, to not say hundreds of Jewish social groups' chapters in the LA area and with the very few Arab ones, is it really necessary to have an Arab center dedicated to "cultural diplomacy"? In which ways would this center favour other than Israel?

  • State Dep't tries to clean up Kerry's 'Poof'
    • Something else odd at the State Department this week. It is making a big story of the plight of the 2500 Armenians of Syria's town of Kasab near the Turkish border that has fallen to the jihadist rebels. As to the plight of the 2.5 million other Christians of Syria and other minorities like the Turkmen that are targeted for extermination by the fundies that are armed by the US and friends, not a word from the State Dept. Some Congressmen are now actually asking for the US to step up its arming of the rebels.

      link to armenianweekly.com

  • 66 years ago today 42 members of my family were slaughtered in Deir Yassin
    • "Denormalization is the father of Deir Yassin."

      Normalization or an attempt at reaching it resulted in screwing the Palestinians and bringing them to where they are now with less land and less water; it has been the Palestinians' biggest shortcoming. It's regrettable that the Arabs are now rushing into it while Israel continues its oppression of the Palestinians.

  • Brandeis retracts plan to honor anti-Muslim activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali
    • I read somewhere, probably in al- Ahram online, that the Brothers before their fall from grace had started sending out into the countryside doctors to revive FGM among the villagers. The article discussed the fearsome probability that the Brothers would be legalizing the outlawed FGM practice.

      But now that the Brothers are history, there's nothing to worry about this law but the practice is still there all over Egypt, especially among the poor.

    • There's no doubt that Hirsi is making hay with the prevailing Islamophobia and with encouragement by the Zionists. Zionist social groups just love to have people like Hirsi, Shoebat, Sultan and Gabriel visiting their chapters to bad-mouth Arabs and Muslims and they pay them handsomely to do it. There are big bucks for those that make a living out of speaking against Muslims.

      But among Hirsi's various declarations, she mentioned that she had been subjected to FGM and we can't necessarily group this declaration among her bogus statements because coming from Somalia, it's most probably true since according to the UN, 98% of girls in Somalia suffer FGM at a very young age, where she was born and lived until aged 9 (and equally horribly 91% in Egypt even though it's illegal there).

      And before Shuki and the gang get any false ideas and start running to the bank with them, FGM is a mostly African custom predating the Pharaohs that has nothing to do with Islam.

    • "Glad Brandeis has seen the light on this issue!"

      Brandeis didn't see anything; it was an exercise in damage control after Silverstein blew the whistle on them. Brandeis was already in Silverstein's crosshairs since last November after its shameful dissociation with al-Quds University under some absurd pretext. In his current post about this incident, Silverstein says:

      "... Note all, that Lawrence invited Hirsi Ali back to campus. Undoubtedly, they’ll pick the most distinguished academic lecture series on campus and invite her to keynote it. The trustees will throw a big party and fete her. Fred Lawrence will even introduce her just as he did Alan Dershowitz, when he spoke on campus. Neither Jimmy Carter nor Max Blumenthal got the same treatment! The president will talk about Hirsi Ali as a beacon of courage and hope and bulwark against Islamist extremism. He’ll endorse just about her entire world view. If this incident is mentioned, it will be but a brief footnote."

      So no bouquets are due to Brandeis that were trying to pass a "fast one" with Hirsi and got exposed for it by Silverstein.

      link to richardsilverstein.com

  • Christie will get another crack at not saying 'occupied territories' at NY Adelson fete
  • 'Poof' -- Kerry blames Israel for breakdown of talks (Updated)
    • "“Netanyahu orders halt to Palestinian talks"

      Now we'll see how serious President Abbas reacts to this move. If he plows ahead with the UN/ICC, it would show he was for real with the 15 applications. If not and he continues dilly-dallying until someone throws him a face or a life saver, it would prove that it was just another of his tactics in the spirit of his several threats of resigning.

  • In Ramallah, Palestinian Authority cracks down on Salafi anti-negotiation protests
    • "That would mean a return to pan-Arabism in our context. No? "

      I took this as an open question. Pan Arabism has nothing to do with the fundamentalist movement as it's about Arab nationalism with a good dose of nostalgia mixed with folklore and a yearning for something that never really was.

      The fundies are mostly always rooted in poverty, oppression and overall despair which push people to cling to religion is if to a buoy to avoid drowning. More often than not, the buoy actually drags them down into deeper despair. Where there's smoke, there's fire and Arab regimes that preoccupy themselves only with the smoke are doomed to fail. Going after the problem in Palestine, Egypt or anywhere else as if a virus that can be snuffed out by force is a big mistake. Other places where this stuff is simmering and likely to ignite any time soon are Jordan and in Saudi Arabia where this past weekend about 5 people posted Youtubes expressing what they feel as their oppressed situation. 2 or 3 of them have already been arrested for having spoken out, which appears to be encouraging others in the kingdom to do likewise.

  • 'For me, Palestine is paradise': An interview with Leila Khaled
    • That's what I implied when I said the number is taboo for some.

    • The question here is not whether or not the Palestinians have the right to resist, they most certainly do, but whether or not they have the right to do it by using terror against civilians and by hijacking civilian planes and they certainly do not. Leila is saying to use any means including violent ones to justify the end and I don't agree, unless the violence is directly strictly at the military. Attacking people on a bus or in a restaurant did not help the Palestinian cause. Leila's hijacking of the plane 45 years ago and subsequent ones by others have yet to stop Israel from its systematic theft of Palestine.

    • That number of six million Palestinians being discussed here is muddying the water.

      Sumud, for some the term "6 million" is too close to a taboo subject and it hit a raw nerve, especially when uttered by a Palestinian to describe something about Palestinians. All the other arguments about the proper way to establish population growth are minor details. Leila could have said 5 million or 7 million and the bystander would have continued bystanding quietly without objection.

    • "The Palestinians were distributed to different countries. Each country has had an impact on the people living there. Those in Lebanon, in the 70s and 80s, until 1982, were the ones that helped the armed struggle,

      ... After 1982, the main mission of the Palestinians was to achieve their rights, their civil and social rights, which they are deprived of in Lebanon..." (L.K)

      Everything has been happening to the Palestinians from the start in 1947. The Palestinians have never made anything happen.

  • Friedman says Iran's friends include BDS and Jews in Open Hillel movement
    • "Al Qaeda scares Iran more than Zionism does. "

      It's the Zionists that's been popping off Iranian scientists, not al-Qaeda. You're starting to believe your own propaganda.

      The FSA is not in a position to take over Syria as they have all but abandoned the fight. Those that seriously tried doing it were the al-Qaeda affiliates like the Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant that have both sworn to destroy Israel. These are the guys Netanyahu was backing in Syria.

  • Bill de Blasio gives Avigdor Lieberman the Big Apple
  • Courageous conductor, democratic society -- the NYT's Mehta meme
    • Thanks, puppies. Barenboim is a good musician but I dislike him since he made the snide remark about Palestinian kids and terrorism.

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