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Total number of comments: 7932 (since 2009-12-29 19:42:59)

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  • AIPAC-backed legislation targeting BDS movement advances in Congress
    • Looks like a race between Canada and the US on which of the 2 will pass its anti-BDS legislation first. Canada is set for the 3rd and final reading of the law so it looks like it is about to be beat the US.

      ABC was just asking what has become of this US law a couple of days back. She has her answer here.

  • Marking Memorial Day in Tel Aviv with Kahanists and Combatants for Peace
    • It was absurd for al-Helou, Anati and the other 23 Palestinians, (that were rushed back to their side of the fence after the event) to have attended that gathering, especially that al-Helou's grandfather had to flee Gaza in 48 and 11 of his relatives were recently killed in Gaza by Israel. Ayman Odeh should have been there to light one of the candles.

  • Organizations across Canada oppose government effort to criminalize criticism of Israel
    • "Trudeau tweeted: The BDS movement, like Israeli Apartheid Week, has no place on Canadian campuses. -"

      In this weekend's poll, Trudeau is dropping like a stone even in his home province of Quebec and among Francophones. Mulcair of the NDP is ahead of him there.

    • Trudeau is kissing up to the wrong people and they'll still prefer Harper over him. He sure isn't like his father.

    • I wouldn't be surprised to learn that Israel could have had a hand at drafting this law, same with the American one.

    • "The gov already has the powers it needs and can invoke them when needed." (oldgeezer)

      The Emergencies Act (the former War Measures Act but with a leash on it) is for an actual terrorist situation. The new C-51 law up for third reading, with which the Liberals and the BQ agree is to give powers to the government to snoop on people in anticipation of a possible terrorist act, to get into a no-fly list, to monitor the internet chatter such as on Mondo and to put people on a black list. It's a Canadian version of the Patriot Act of the US that's full of sweeping measures and power in the hands of government.

    • Super paranoid southern neighbours after 9/11 and a religious Prime Minister close to Israel and the US that's driving the bus but the passengers haven't really changed.

    • Donna, for the names of 100 organizations and individuals:

      link to eff.org

    • Lysias, check out the wording, or rather the word acrobatics in the MOU signed in January (linked in above article) and you'd see how criticising Israel is made to dovetail into a security issue that could affect the country. Canada has signed past MOUs with Israel on moonless nights without much fanfare to not rile the natives; I'm thinking of the one of about 4 years back that duplicated the MOU with the US about allowing Israeli security people to monitor and train immigration officials in profiling of travelers at US/Canadian international airports.

    • Oldgeezer, last week's poll had Harper back on top. Unless Trudeau can pull a rabbit out of the hat as his father did in on the eve of the elections of 1968, there's a good chance that Harper will beat him.

      A couple of days back, 60 business leaders wrote an open letter critical of Bill C-51.

      From the National Post:

      "How C-51 will undermine Canada’s business climate: An open letter from 60 Canadian business leaders

      CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

      ... Many have spoken of the impact that Bill C-51 will have on Canadians in their everyday lives, so let us speak to the business impacts. We work with international clients, and we fear that this proposed legislation will undermine international trust in Canada’s technology sector, thereby stifling the kinds of business our respective technology companies can generate when that level of trust is high.

      We believe that, despite the rising tide of the knowledge economy, this legislation threatens to undermine Canada’s reputation and change our business climate for the worse:

      First, we must not allow censorship to become commonplace. Bill C-51 provides too much leeway for the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS) to take unjustified actions against our businesses, including the takedown of websites. As it stands, C-51 criminalizes language in excessively broad terms that may place the authors of innocent tweets and the operators of online platforms such as Facebook, and Twitter, along with Canada’s Hootsuite and Slack, at risk of criminal sanction for activities carried out on their sites. The Bill further empowers CSIS to take unspecified and open-ended ‘measures’, which may include the overt takedown of multi-use websites or other communications networks with or without any judicial supervision.

      We understand that harmful activity can occur online, however Canadian law already prohibits hate speech and promotion of criminal offences. This legislation proposes unnecessary and excessive speech prohibitions which, as Professors Forcese and Roach have pointed out, “contains no defences for legitimate expression of political or religious thought.” Taking down websites without these safeguards can unduly impact our ability to do business and commerce.

      Second, we believe that Bill C-51 will effectively grant the Communications Security Establishment (CSE), which is empowered to assist CSIS, an implicit offensive mandate to act within Canada. There is little sober second thought in the new open-ended world of covert action that C-51 creates for CSE. New CSE digital disruption activities can include measures such as the false attribution of disreputable content to individuals, and even planting of malware on individual computing devices.

      We are already concerned about the negative impact the activities of CSE and CSIS, including reports of spying on our trading partners, have had on Canada’s reputation. The impact of these new rules could collapse the necessary distance between investigative and executional powers. This distance should be increased, not done away with.

      Furthermore, Bill C-51 leads to expanded powers to detain or revoke travel for people on the Specified Persons list. We need to rethink the fundamental problems with the “false positives” on this list, and instead address this flawed process. Travel to and from Canada is a necessity for international trade.

      Most importantly, we ask for data security. We know that many of our clients, including our government, will only host services in Canada because of the invasive privacy issues in the U.S. The U.S. tech industry has already lost billions in revenue because of this, and we don’t want it to happen here.

      link to news.nationalpost.com

    • Security concerns would probably overrule the Charter. The War Measures Act overruling rights and freedoms was invoked 3 times in Canada's history, during the the 2 World Wars and in October 1970 for 6 months when the country was threatened by terrorists. The act while in effect suspended all civil liberties including habeas corpus. In 1970, about 500 people were arrested and held without charges being brought against them and it degenerated into an abusive free-for-all for all police forces to arrest people across the country even in those areas where there was a zero chance of terrorism. In 1988, the "Emergencies Act" ws enacted that repealed the War Measures Act and it contained a provision that any temporary laws made under the Act are subject to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

    • The Canadian Union of Postal Employees (CUPW), the first North-American union (51,000 employees) to boycott Israel since 2008 is one of those that would be immediately touched by the new law. Another very active boycotter of Israeli-settler products is the United Church of Canada, Canada's largest Protestant Church with 2 million adherents. There are 9 Canadian university student unions that are also into BDS. The new law would silence them all.

      The opposing Liberal Party as well as the Bloc Québécois support Harper's Conservative Party law, so there is no stopping it.

  • Jews of France: should they stay or should they go?
    • Nouvelle cuisine, guaranteed to keep you hungry.

    • Special security arrangements for French Jews are costing the French Government about
      365 million euros per year. They are at risk everytime Israel kills Palestinians. The root of their problem is Israel itself.

    • "... and the cooking is weird. " (RoHa)

      The only thing weird about it is how they put porc products in everything they cook, including the bread. It's OK unless you have a hang-up about porc in your food.

    • "not sure why diaspora jews should suffer because of israeli policy " (mcohen)

      It's because Israeli Jews keep bragging that they speak for ALL Jews, so you have Israel to thank for this erroneous and unjust interpretation by others. Netanyahu telling French and other Jews their actual home is Israel is not helping either. French Jews will always be happier in France, unless of course they are of the ultra-religious that perhaps would be happier in Israel for obvious reasons. I suspect those thousands of Jews leaving France for Israel are mostly comprised of the very religious.

    • "... so it is doubtful that the expression is originally Jiddish : (Elizabeth)

      The Grand Rabin of France refers to it simply as "heureux comme un juif en France" . He repeated it in a CNN interview during the Charlie-Hebdo jamboree in Paris. The word "God" was totally absent, so we have to assume that his version is the correct one. He said it in the context of Jews having always been happiest in France and that he wished for those happy days to return.

      The flourishing of Jews you mentioned happened only for the elitist Sephardic ones that were already emancipated to a certain degree. They dressed as elegantly as the Europeans, occupied high positions, did not have beards and blended easily into French and other Western European societies. The other ones, the Ashkenazi, had it very rough for a long while after the emancipation, even the Sephardic Jews did not want to associate with them or attend their synagogues and those that married into Ashkenazi became outcasts; the emancipation was meant to bring the overtaxed Ashkenazi out of the cellar.

    • It was a scene taken from "Casablanca". Just imagine Netanyahu in a SS uniform:

    • The good rabbi left out the parts about Dimona, Suez in 56, the blackmailing of the SNCF by French and American Jews, the JDL in France

  • 'NYT' runs piece of unadulterated propaganda for Israeli army
    • "... Since Australia is arguably the staunchest ally of the US " (RoHa)

      How many other countries claim that same privilege? Canada comes to mind and so does the UK, France and Australia. The only one with the same claim but that sure doesn't act the role is Israel. At times it appears as the US' worst enemy.

  • The moral hypocrisy of American Muslims for Palestine on the Armenian Genocide
    • Today is the centennial of the Armenian genocide. Fresh development involves Germany yesterday admitting complicity with the Ottomans in the genocide that the Turks continue denying. It seems that now the Armenians are looking for reparations in addition to an apology. Further to the German President's declaration, the Bundestag is today debating the issue.

      From Deutsche Welle :

      "German President Gauck labels Ottoman massacre of Armenians 'genocide'

      German President Joachim Gauck has described the 1915 slaughter of Armenians by Ottoman Turks as "genocide." The comments, which are likely to infuriate Ankara, come as Berlin prepares to reclassify the killings.

      German President Joachim Gauck made his speech at a nondenominational religious service at Berlin Cathedral on Thursday, the eve of the 100th anniversary of the bloodshed that is estimated to have led to the deaths of as many as 1.5 million Armenians.

      In the highly anticipated speech, Gauck spoke of a "genocidal dynamic to which the Armenian people fell victim," and of "systematic acts of murder."

      The president went on to use the word "genocide" directly in a passage referring to the possible complicity of Germany, a World War One ally of the Ottoman Empire, in the events a century ago. German troops were alleged to have been involved in planning and even implementing deportations.

      "In this case, we Germans collectively still have to come to terms with the past, namely when it comes to shared responsibility and perhaps even complicity in the genocide of the Armenians."

      Turkey has fiercely lobbied to stop countries recognizing the 1915 massacres as genocide. It recalled its ambassador to the Vatican earlier this month after Pope Francis used the term. On Thursday, it recalled its ambassador in Vienna over a condemnation of the killings as genocide by Austrian lawmakers.

      Indirect wording in declaration

      In referring directly to genocide, Gauck went further than a German coalition statement that is set to be put before lawmakers for approval on Friday. That statement uses a more indirect formulation, denoting the Armenian deaths as: "exemplary of the mass-extermination, ethnic cleansing, deportations and, yes, the genocides during the 20th century."

      German government officials said there had been an exchange of views between the president's office and the government.

      Armenians have said their ancestors were killed in a concerted campaign of genocide that was ordered by the Ottoman leadership that ruled Turkey at the time, in an effort to drive the ethnic group of eastern Turkey. The issue still divides the Turkish and Armenian governments.

      Turkey claims the 1.5 million figure is inflated and that those who died were killed as a result of war and unrest rather than a policy of genocide. It has also contended that hundreds of thousands were killed on both sides.

      Genocide was defined by the UN in 1948 as "acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group."

      More than 20 countries - France and Russia among them - have so far recognized the Armenian killings as genocide.

      rc/sms (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)

      link to dw.de

    • It's all about kissing up to Turkey, that's terrified of eventual claims against it eventhough the Armenians have repeatedly stated that they simply wanted an apology . Last week, Pope Francis called it by its name, a genocide and yesterday, the Maronite Cardinal of Lebanon that's home to 200,000 Armenians declared that the Turks owed the Armenians an apology; schools and government offices are closed on Friday to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the genocide.. Those Palestinians and other Moslems holding back for the sake of Turkey should be ashamed of themselves.

  • Leading American rabbi issues first public criticism of apartheid conditions in Jerusalem
    • "Islamic Republic of Iran and the Fascist Jewish State of Israel…the difference?…absolutely ZERO EXCEPT the Persian have the guts to declare their true intentions…" (chuckcarlos)

      Would you please elaborate?

  • Palestinian youth loses eye after being shot by Israeli forces in East Jerusalem
    • Great news out of Egypt; BDS has finally arrived there:

      "BDS movement launched in Egypt

      Adham Youssef / April 21, 2015 / 0 Comments

      Amid popular support from political parties, student and labour movements, campaign aims to “redirect political struggle to Palestinian cause”

      ShareThis Facebook Tweet Print Email

      Leftist activist Haythim Mohamden speaking at BDS campaign.
      (Photo by Mahmoud Fikry)

      Activists from different political parties, student movements, syndicates, and revolutionary groups launched Monday the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign in Egypt, with over 300 people attending the launch meeting.

      The conference was initially set to be inaugurated on 8 April, to commemorate the anniversary of the Bahr El-Baqar primary school massacre, where Israeli fighters attacked the school, leaving over 40 children dead.

      The meeting, which was attended by prominent activist figures, was held at the Press Syndicate in Downtown Cairo. The campaign aims to “redirect the political struggle of the Egyptian people to focus on the Palestinian cause and the Arab-Israeli conflict”.

      Leftist activist Haytham Mohamadeen said the campaign is to diversify the methods of resisting the occupation in Palestine. “The purpose of BDS is to allow all Egyptians to participate in the movement,” he said.

      “Previously, different boycott movements tried to convince the public not to buy some products that support the occupation. However, BDS will continue to be part of the existential struggle against Israel,” Mohamadeen said, adding that the campaign will also name the companies that are profiting from Egyptians and supporting the Israeli army at the same time.

      The labour leader added that the majority of labour syndicates demand to pressure those companies to end all ties with Egypt.

      This is not the first boycott movement to begin in Egypt. Since the signing of the peace treaty in 1979, different campaigns and mass protests have demanded the end of Egyptian ties with the Israeli state. Anti-Israeli protests were common in universities and syndicates.

      Spokesperson of Al-Dostour party Khaled Daoud said in the conference that the BDS movement has achieved many successes in the West, especially in the field of academia in Europe and the United States.

      Daoud cited different examples where the movement succeeded to convince investors and businessmen to halt cooperation with Israel.

      “By forcing the boycotts and the divestments, we can force Israel to abide by International Law and the basic laws of Human Rights, in order to restore all the rights of the Palestinian people,” Daoud said.

      He also called for boycotting Israeli products and halting their exchange in local and international markets.

      The campaign’s objectives also include working to legally prosecute “war criminals” who committed violations against the Arab nations.

      However, the organisers asserted that the campaign will not be dominated by a single political ideology, and that they welcome activists and citizens from all over the country to start their BDS campaigns.

      link to dailynewsegypt.com

      Also in Ahram, photos of the first gathering of BDS Egypt:

      link to english.ahram.org.eg

  • Israeli racism takes center stage at Manhattan JCC
    • Thanks, Laurent.

    • "This kinda reminds me of France, where people tend to “forget” that virtually everyone south of the Massif Central is descended from Arabs & Berbers" (Laurent)

      That's a new one for me.

    • "There are increasingly strong ties between Israel and Gulf countries, even with the Jordanian elite and with Egyptian military." (Ivri)

      That's because they share an equal disdain of Palestinians, making them sort of birds of a feather when it comes to racism.

  • Kristol frets that he walked into Obama's 'trap,' and Rubio says he'll demand Iran recognize 'Israel's right to exist'
    • You're right, Eva, it was the Thirty and not the Hundred. Should have caught it since the Hundred had nothing to do with religion. Thanks for the correction.

      Explaining the whole mess as simply a rumble between Sunni and Shia is really oversimplication of the situation.

    • Harry, for the Saudis and Americans that are in it together in Yemen, al-Qaeda are the now the good guys. In the last 3 days, al-Qaeda has made substantial gains in Yemen. From SF Gate:

      "Yemen weapons depot falls to al Qaeda fighters

      Associated Press

      Updated 3:05 pm, Friday, April 17, 2015

      SANAA, Yemen — Al Qaeda’s Yemen branch routed government forces from a large weapons depot in the country’s east on Friday, seizing dozens of tanks, Katyusha rocket launchers and small arms, security officials said, as air strikes by a Saudi-led coalition intensified in the capital, Sanaa, and also in Yemen’s second-largest city.

      The seized depot is located in Mukalla, the capital of Hadramawt — Yemen’s largest province where al Qaeda has been consolidating its control. Only the day before, the militants captured a major airport, an oil terminal and the area’s main military base.

      The gains highlight how al Qaeda has exploited the chaos in Yemen, where Shiite rebels are battling forces loyal to exiled President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. The Saudi-led air campaign in support of Hadi, now in its fourth week, has so far failed to halt the rebels’ advance.

      Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, as the Yemeni affiliate is known, is widely seen as the global network’s most dangerous franchise and has been linked to several failed attacks on the United States. The group claimed responsibility for the attack on a French satirical magazine in Paris earlier this year.

      However, the Saudi-led air campaign has not targeted areas with an al Qaeda presence, including Hadramawt, where the militant group has long been implanted despite U.S. drone strikes and Yemeni counterterrorism operations. The coalition says the air strikes are aimed at the rebels, known as Houthis, not al Qaeda.

      On Friday evening, hundreds of al Qaeda supporters and fighters gathered at a theater in Mukalla to celebrate their victories in the Hadramawt region, singing war songs and chanting slogans.

      Pro-Hadi forces gained some ground elsewhere in Hadramawt on Friday, with fighters capturing the province’s Masila oil field, the country’s largest, commander Ahmed Bammas said by phone..

      ... Thick plumes of smoke rose high above Sanaa as weapons stores in mountains overlooking the city exploded and burned, while local residents continued to flee the violence, said the officials.

      In Taiz, the rebels clashed with army units loyal to Hadi, with tanks and heavy machine guns firing throughout the day and air strikes hitting a military base of the Houthi-allied Republican Guard, the officials said.

      ... Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi on Friday said his country had deployed naval and air forces as part of the coalition’s efforts in Yemen, saying that anything else would require him to tell the public.

      link to sfgate.com

    • Algemeiner is pretending that since it's the PA refusing to hold elections and is not allowing Palestinians any leeway, you have to conclude that their occupation is actually at the hands of their Palestinian leaders. Twisted Zionist reasoning, nothing more.

    • Raimondo is off-base in paralleling the current Sunni-Shia clashes in the Middle East with the Hundred Years War of the 15th and 16th centuries between Catholics and Protestants. Today's wars are purely political and the current war on Yemen (where the Shia population is closer in its beliefs to the Sunni than it is to the Shia of Iran) is stemming from the Yemenis refusing Saudi and American dominance over them.

  • 'Everything Hillary Clinton will do will always be for Israel' -- Saban warns the Republicans
    • "But how does and why Saudi end up in this blind alley? " (traintosiberia)

      Yeterday, the Saudi air force carpet-bombing killed 4 Saudi soldiers raising the number of Saudis killed by friendly fire to 10. The Yemeni Houthis still succeeded in taking over Aden. Nothing is being spared from bombing in this country of 24 million; hospitals, schools, electricity generating plants, water treatment plants, food silos, homes and so on. A repeat of what Israel repeatedly destroyed in Gaza. Saudia is insisting that it's not harming civilians.

    • Page: 79
  • What to do when a hate group shows up outside your mosque
  • On the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day, Israel demolished the homes of Palestinian citizens of Israel 15 minutes from Tel Aviv
  • Just like the Nazis, Iran 'plans to exterminate six million Jews' -- Netanyahu
    • You are either deluded or blinded by your hatred of Judeo-Christian civilization. " (asherpat)

      Asherpat, you're running on empty; read Annie's post again and you may get a feel of what it's about and how it serves like a relief valve on a pressure cooker.

    • "@Shingo, @Walid, please don’t sidestep. Do you deny that Iran, from the lowest levels and up to the absolute top repeats ad nauseum “Death to Israel, death to America”?
      Or is it you claim that they just don’t mean it? " (asherpat)

      They don't mean it.

    • "“: an organized massacre of helpless people; specifically : such a massacre of Jews.” (webster on-line)"

      200 Jews killed, 600 injured and 1500 properties looted, but there was nothing organized about what happened. It was a spontaneous riot provoked by a misunderstanding of Jews bearing flowers that had been believed intended for the arriving British (see description by Gamal above). It was a stupid mistake that was fostered by the British. Before and after what you call a "pogrom", the Jews had 6 members of parliament and a minister and not long after the event of Shavuot 1941, the Jews returned to be prosperous and happy in Iraq until the Zionists came and spoiled it all by yanking them to Israel.

    • jon s, your view of the Farhud is way off; if you continue refusing to read what Iraqi Jews Naim Giladi, Ella Shohat and Violet Shamash wrote about it, at least read what was written about on the US Holocaust Memorial Museum site:

      link to ushmm.org

    • "No, seeing as there have been no attempts by the government to annihilate Israel." (Shingo)

      Exactly, those millions that attended the political rallies that had shouts of "death to Amreeka" and "death to Israeel" are not the ones doing any killing of anybody. Those that have been going around killing minorities, destroying churches, mosques and religious Islamic vestiges and cultural heritage sites of others like Assyrian museums and the Buddhas of Bamiyam are Israel's pals, the Islamists crazed with the fanatically ultra puritanical teachings of Mohammed ibn Abdul-Wahhab, born in 1702 in what became Saudi Arabia. The Prophet Muhammad, in his lifetime had ordered the protection of churches and synagogues.

    • "when people that sent their children to clear mine-fields with a book in their pocket say that they want to murder me and my family..." (asherpat)

      Even if ever proven true, which is highly doubtful as Shingo says, who mined these fields to begin with, and would these children be supposed to show love for Israel? This absurd statement by asherpat is of the same caliber as the one of Yonah wishing Shmuel a "happy Holocaust Day" or Dieudonné singing "chaud ananas".

    • "It’s important to mention the effect of the pogrom known as the “Farhud” in 1941 in destabilizing and traumatizing the Iraqi Jewish community. (jon s)

      Farhud: happened in 1941

      Mass exodus: happened in 1951

    • "Never said by vast masses in Iran?" (Asherpat)

      Of course it is but do people that say it actually mean it, or are they simply taken up by the roar of crowd and joining in without actually wishing death on anyone? Probably the same insignificant reaction with Israeli youths shouting "death to Arabs" without realizing or meaning what they are saying.There are exceptions of course with some ctually wishing death to either Americans or Arabs, but there aren't many of those.

      As to Iran, the roar of "death to Israel" is often heard, but never "death to Jews". You have the same roar in Beirut at Hizbullah gatherings.

    • "What does strike me as hypocritical is that the only expansionist regimes in the region are Israel and Saudi Arabia. (Shingo)

      You haven't yet heard Nasrallah's speech of last night that was all about the Saudi involvement in Yemen that he compared to Israel's assaults on Gaza's civilians. It was very disturbing, especially in light of 200,000 Lebanese currently working in Saudia and sending money home every month, (over $500 million annually). Nasrallah said that enough was enough and it was time for the world to wake up and do something about the creators and funders of al-Qaeda, Nusra and ISIS.

    • "If you want an opinion of a Lebanese Jew ask one of the 10000s that had to flee between 48 and ’73" (Dabakr)

      That's very telling. 48 to 73 represent 25 years after the birth of Israel and the war of 1948. So you're admitting that Jews continued living in Beirut for 25 years after Israel was created but this doesn't go very well with the Zionist narrative on all the Jews having been expelled from Arab countries when Israel was created.

      BTW, the Jewish population there after 48 continued to increase and the sudden drop in 73 happened just before the Lebanese civil war of 1975 when Jews and Lebanese left for better economic opportunities elsewhere, For the Jews, Israel was NOT the first choice. Same thing happened in Tunisia in 1956, that's 8 years after the birth of Israel when over half the Jews there opted to go to France, as Israel was also NOT their first choice. Iraqi and Yemeni Jews were not so lucky as they ended up being tricked into going to Israel by the Zionists and corrupt Arab regimes working in cahoots with the Zionists. The Zionist narrative on mass exodus from Arab countries is for idiots. Egypt is the only Arab country that actually expelled large number of Jews and it did it because of Israel's wars and false flags on Egypt in different waves- 48, 55, 56, 67.

    • "who ordered the bombing of the Masouda Shem-Tov synagogue in Baghdad, and if the Israeli Mossad and/or its operatives were involved. (Giladi)

      Same shit happened in Beirut in 1982 but it wasn't the Mossad then, it was the Israeli Navy in Beirut's harbor that lobbed a shell on the roof of the Magen Avraham Synagogue to spook Beirut's recalcitrant Jews that were refusing to leave the city for Israel with the occupying Israeli forces. Only a very few ended up going to Israel with most going to France, Canada and the US. Israel had been a dirty word for Beirut Jews since 1948 with most of them being hostile towards Israel and its Zionist enterprise.

    • "Good. Take care of yourself, as you best can." (Mooser)

      At least he doesn't have to worry about the septic tank.

  • New Episcopal Church group calls for divestment from Israeli occupation, in recognition of the new political landscape in Israel and Palestine
    • “This is a regrettable decision with far-reaching ramifications; the High Court justices are changing Israeli constitutional law as we have known it to date and put the interests of perpetuating the settlement enterprise over all the state’s citizens’ basic right to freedom of expression,” said Lasky." (Haaretz)

      Don't be impressed by these dramatic remarks, just, there is something unreal about them. There are now over 60 laws and amendment to laws enacted or pending that are dealing with racism towards Palestinians. Some of those laws were actually drafted in anticipation of the declaration of the Israeli state in 48 but it's only now that Lasky, Gush Shalom and friends are crying "foul" over current laws that are getting in their way of doing their thing.

      link to occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com

  • HRW: Palestinian children pass out, vomit, from farming with illegal pesticides on Israeli settlements
    • "... as dates are the top export from the region, and Israel is the highest supplier of dates in the international market. - " (Allison)

      Allison shouldn't believe everything the Israelis tell her. Israel may be the highest exporter of a certain type of date known as the "majdool", which totals about 20,000 tonnes annually that goes mostly to Europe; it's still a far cry from being the world's largest producers of overall dates. Nonetheless, over half of Israel's exported dates are grown on stolen Palestinian land which is currently the target of various Europen BDS chapters, especially the one in Leeds. In overall date production, Israel is somewhere between 20th and 25th in the world with Egypt, Saudia, Iran and the UAE each producing over a million tonnes annually .

      Last year, the Saudis accused the Israelis of buying the relatively cheaper-priced dates from Saudia and reselling them at a higher markup elsewhere. Canada and the US are known to be doing the same thing and repackaging the Saudi dates and reselling them at a much higher price.

  • Obama's long & passionate Monday with Saban, Foxman, Hoenlein and other Jewish leaders demonstrates power of Israel lobby
    • "that already received a commitment from the Russians to get its S-300 air defense missile system.” Should have had them years ago. " (RoHa)

      I'm not sure they haven't had them all along; now they are just finding a roundabout way of taking them out of the closet. Wasn't there talk a few years back that although Russia wouldn't supply them because of the embargo, they would teach the Iranians how to produce them themselves? I wouldn't be surprised if Hizbullah already has some of those too.

  • Marco Rubio and AIPAC allied in effort to insert poison pill into Iran deal
    • Sounds like everyone is rushing in to add something to the Christmas list; recognition of Israel hostages' compensation package, and 50 other amendments.

  • There is no better way than boycott
    • "It also names the deadbeat states – including Turkey, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia – that have failed to deliver on the reconstruction aid they promised for Gaza."

      The combined military budgets of Saudi Arabia and UAE last year was close to $100 billion. That's lots of money being spent on arms used mostly to attack fellow Arab states. In general, these people are super generous so if nothing is being spent on Gaza, can't help thinking that they are under some higher orders to not do so. This points back to the US and Israel.

  • Video: Pressure mounts on Robbie Williams to choose between Tel Aviv and UNICEF
    • "So why are they still reliant on handouts from Gentiles who, as we all know, are all anti-Semites just waiting to get out?: (MDM)

      On July 10 1996, Netanyahu in an address to the US Congress made the following promise:

      "... We are deeply grateful for all we have received from the United States, for all that we have received from this chamber, from this body. But I believe there can be no greater tribute to America's long-standing economic aid to Israel than for us to be able to say: We are going to achieve economic independence. We are going to do it. In the next four years, we will begin the long-term process of gradually reducing the level of your generous economic assistance to Israel. I am convinced that our economic policies will lay the foundation for total self-reliance and great economic strength."

      link to mfa.gov.il

      That was 19 years ago and he was supposed to have started getting off the dole by the year 2000. If anything, since 1996 has been asking for more and more each year and year after year, the US has been giving it more but hiding the actual extras in its acrobatic accounting to the American people.

      But this was to be expected from a liar. $3 billion a year is probably half of what Israel is actually getting if you start adding the non-budgetted extras like the Iron Dome, the Arrow, and similar projects. 50 years from now, the US will still be paying through the nose.

  • My personal journey of transformation
    • "We have Abraham to our father..." (michelle)

      That's where all our problems started; not a very illustrious ancestor one could brag about.

    • "She says I don’t favor a political solution, but then calls for an equal rights state in all of Palestine, which is indeed a political solution called the 23rd Arab majority state." (DS)

      It's actually 22 states in the Arab League that already include Palestine and Syria whose membership has been suspended since a couple of years and its seat occupied by the unofficial Syrian opposition that is backed by the US and the Gulf States.

      There are 4 or 5 of them that calling them "Arab State" is a bit of a stretch since there isn't much of anything Arabic about them. As Oldgeezer mentioned, there isn't much that binds them as a group other than religion and the classical Arabic language used to communicate with other Arab states. So far since 1945 their collective claim to fame has been centered around a failed attempt at boycotting Israel and at militarily attacking fellow member states such as Libya, Syria and Iraq. 4 of the group have formally recognized Israel and several others have overt and covert relations with it. Only Syria and Lebanon are still in a state of war with Israel, so the Israeli self-pittying claim of existential threat of facing 22 or 23 Arab countries is absurd.

  • A 22-year-old Palestinian dies after imprisonment, then his cousin, 27, is killed at his funeral
    • "Gaza needs to be left to live and prosper.”

      Won't happen, just, for as long as the same Fatah and Hamas players are still in the game and trying to outsmart each other. Neither group really gives a damn about the Gazans.Meanwhile, Israel is enjoying the popcorn.

    • Not going well at all for the coalition in Yemen. The only people getting killed by the bombing are civilians. Yesterday it was the bomb-the-football-stadiums day; 4 were totally destroyed. The Pakistani Parliament also voted to stay out of the anti-Yemen coalition that's in the process of falling apart anyway. Turkey that had promised to join is also having second thoughts and those 9 other Arab states that had promised to join the Saudis still haven't showed up. Some anaylsts are predicting that Saudia itself will be walking away from this can of worms. Both Pakistan and Turkey share borders with Iran and now with the black clouds over Iran starting to dissipate, neither wants to upset Iran that is sponsoring the Houtis.

  • Israel could reduce anti-Semitic violence by not calling itself the Jewish state, Finkelstein says
    • It's shameful what the Zionists have done to the memory of the Holocaust and being so overdone that it will eventually backfire. They haven't realized that it's time to stop milking it.

    • "hey Shmuel. i’d wish you a happy yom hashoah, but some would take it the wrong way." (Yonah)

      A "happy" yom hashoa? Isn't that like wishing a Christian a "happy" Good Friday? You never cease to amaze, Yonah.

    • "I also have not accused anyone of antisemitism, in fact till now I have not used that word on that forum. " (catalan)

      Great, it's an idiot term. A much more dramatic one that should be used is "anti-Jewish".

    • "There is a small group of pretty violent right-wing, pro-Israel Jewish thugs in this city that plays turf wars, “punishes” pro-Palestinian demonstrators, and even tries to enforce “consensus” on Israel within the Jewish community..." (Shmuel)

      Not in Italy and not recently, but in TA in 1982 in the wake of Sabra and Shatila at the massive Peace Now rally when right wing activist Yona Avrushmi tossed a hand grenade into the crowd killing a prominent Peace Now activist Emile Grunzweig and injuring several others. Avrushumi was released in 2011.

    • Ezra Nawi is a very colourful plumber, thanks. Never met a Jewish plumber, but I've had a few very good Jewish tailors.

      Now Mooser is really going to get pushy about selling me that bridge.

      Kidding aside, there are over 500,000 Jews living in poverty in NYC.

    • Greetings, Shmuel.

    • "I meant ” pockets of effluence”. My damn septic tank is overflowing again! - (Mooser}

      And you're fast too. Yes, about Jewish plumbers. Who's ever heard of a Jewish plumber?

    • "Take warning by our fate! Reduced to living in pockets of affluence. " (Mooser)

      This could give the erroneous impression that most Jews in the US are living in affluence.

    • "It is true that Walid was not commenting on Zionism but on the specific acts at a particular time by Israel." (Yonah)

      I used the Sabra-Shatila example to demonstrate a parallel/guilt between the party that does the actual killing and the party that orders the killing simply to address the usual alibi used by Jews that the killing of Jesus like the killing of the Sabra-Shatila Palestinians was not done by Jews/Israelis but by others. In his post, John F. appeared to support the Jewish concept that it was the Romans that killed Jesus and I wanted to clear up this statement.

    • Yonah, your assessment of my appreciation of Zionists is very accurate and this only because of Palestine but you are wrong on how I feel about Jews. I always felt closer to Jews than to any other group.

    • "This ‘Old Roman Bible’ must have been formed from texts that already had a reputation and which may have been composed, in their main substance, much earlier but which were still being edited..." (MHughes)

      As RoHa has already noted,there was a lot of editing and re-writing going on by the scribes. The same could be said about all the fantastic stories of the Old Testament that became the basis of both Christianity and Islam. Most of Genesis is a rehash of older Assyrian and Sumerian folklore. For all three religions, manuscripts, parchments, dried camel skin or whatever the stories had been written on were gathered for compilation and items that did not fit the desired narrative were simply discarded.

      For the full list of 99 other gospels there were not accepted for insertion into the New Testament:

      link to en.wikipedia.org

    • "Those who cite the new testament to condemn the Jews display an awesome blindness regarding the politics of the day in Jerusalem." (Yonah)

      Must be an awful feeling to always feel persecuted, Yonah. I only tried explaining to John F. that it wasn't all about the Romans as he was thinking. I have no reason to disparage the Jews of the time of Jews.

      BTW, about Luke that you mentioned, 2/3 of the supposedly written Gospel According to Luke and the Book of Acts (he wasn't even a disciple , or was around the time of Jesus) was taken from Mark and Matthew; You can guess as to where he got the remaining 1/3; it's said that he was a long time companion of Paul. The missing pro-Jewish part you mentioned are probably found in that 1/3 or from words "prompted" to him by super-salesman Paul that wanted to please everybody.

    • "He does seem to have had dealings with characters in Jerusalem, but no indication that those people had been disciples of Jesus rather than mere apostles. " (RoHa)

      In the Quranic version of the story of Jesus, the apostles or deciples are depicted as somewhat childish as they kept asking Jesus to perform a miracle, especially as it concerned spreading a table full of food before them with the help of God. They pretended that it was to be witnesses to miracles which they would relay to the people later, but these guys simply wanted a free show and a good meal.

      As to Paul, the greatest marketer in history, until he came on board, Christians that had basically been converted Jews numbered less than 3000 as they were still adhering to Jesus' rule of not altering the Judaic religion and not allowing non-Jews to join. With Paul in charge of marketing, 7 churches were set up in Turkey and Asia Minor with each contributing to the mother church in Jerusalem. Jewish dietary laws and circumcision were tossed out the window, which opened the door wide open to the non-Jews. Paul's new religion hardly had anything to do with Jesus.

    • "Walid, always check what when you write the Jews. Usually the the be dropped. " (eGuard)

      I get your point, eGuard, but my problem comes from both the Arabic that refer to the people collectively as "al-Yahud" or "the Jews" and likewise in French where we say "les juifs" or "the Jews"; there's no way of bypassing use of the articles "al" and "les" in any sentence structure as you could in English. When I'm more conscious of what I'm writing, I usually take care of using "some Jews" to avoid hurting sensitivities of people like Yonah, but people that actually know me are aware that I have no animosity whatever towards Jews as a people, unless of course they are Zionist ones.

    • Yonah, are you saying that I hate Jews as much as I hate the Zionists?

    • MHughes, I remember reading eons ago, how before Guttenberg the first scribes were not averse to editing what they were transcribing to make the stories more in line to what they believed they should be.

      You mentioned the four Gospels that made it into the Bible; the earliest version came out about 40 years after the death of Jesus while the last came out about 100 years after. So a whole lot of editing may have taken place. There are a dozen or so other Gospels but they were not approved for insertion into the New Testament.

      There was just about the same argument about the compilation of the Quran that had been in bits and pieces here and there until the approved chapters were finally accepted in book form about 40 years after the death of the prophet. While editing of chapters was never put in question, there was some picking and choosing about which chapters or parts of chapters would form part of the finished product.

      So all these excercises and arguments about material compiled centuries ago under dubious circumstances is pure gymnastics. As to Paul, he barely mentions Jesus (twice only) and some of the apostles that had spent years with Paul didn't bother mentioning him in the Gospels.

    • "Killing Christ, wasn’t that the Romans? " (John F.)

      Romans executed him but the hit had been instigated by the Jews. Jesus was arrested by a group of Jews in the Garden of Gethsemane. That's when Peter drew his word and cut off the ear of one of the Jews. Jesus was then taken to the head priest that didn't get anywhere interrogating him so he was sent over to Pilate that found him not guilty but the Jews insisted that Pilate condemn him. Pilate tried to get out of it by asking the Jews to decide on sparing either Barrabas the thief or Jesus as a Passover gift to the Jews but the Jews chose to save the life of Barrabas. So it was a Jewish hit job from the start; the Romans simply went along along to keep the Jews happy and executed Jesus because the Jews were not allowed to execute anyone.

      It's somewhat as what happened in Sabra Shatilla to the Palestinians. Technically, it was the Lebanese militia that did the butchering but they were able to do it only because the Israelis held the Palestinians down, provided night lighting and other logistical support that made the butchering possible. So you could say that it was actually the Israelis that were responsible for the massacres even though the Lebanese did the killing.

      So yes, the Jews were actually behind the killing of Jesus.

    • "The percent of white churchgoers who attend all-white churches has halved in the last two decades " (Marco)

      Attendance may be down but that old mentality hasn't changed. Those millions of Americans preparing themselves for the second coming are more Zionists at heart and mind than the ones in Israel. They'd cleanse Jerusalem of its Arabs to make way for it to happen faster than the Israelis.

    • "Normally, when one talks about the “WASPS” one is referring to the 1% of the Ivy League Protestant elite who were conspicuously successful beyond their numbers. -" (Keith)

      You mean like those Masonic ones? I think those guys were more spooked than those southern revivalists.

    • Mooser, Jewish used car and other things salesmen aren't on my list of favourites. Wouldn't buy my tires from one either.

    • "Did WASPs, originally and perhaps still to a large extent the powers in America, ever complain about fears, dangers to a supposed home-country, racial discrimination, etc.?" (pabelmont)

      Isn't that what 40 million American WASPS do every Sunday under their mega-sized air-conditioned revival tents? Their fire and brimstone sermons make John of Patmos' Book of Revelation appear like a stroll through the park.

      I think that all the dust kicked up in favour of Israel by the Jews in America along with their cheques are in lieu of their moral obligation of having to actually move to Israel. Remember the dispensations and indulgences sold by Tetzel? A cheque is just as good.

      From Barbara Goldstein in the JPost in 2013:

      "..The first Prime Minister of Israel David Ben-Gurion once spoke to a group in Sde Boker, and I was with them. He told us a story and said: ‘You need to become like a Catholic family’. Back then I did not know what a Catholic family was, and I asked what that was all about. Ben-Gurion responded: ‘in a Catholic family they always want one child, a boy, who will become a priest or a girl who will become a nun’. And I guess I still did not get it. Then he explained: “Every Jewish family in America should feel obligated that at least one of their children comes to live in Eretz Israel”. This is because one person moving to Israel would be followed by families visiting them.".

      link to jpost.com

    • "In western Europe, Canada, and the U.S., being Jewish “opens many doors and it closes none.” (NF)

      Maybe so today because people have evolved, but this hasn't always been the case; for a long time, they were as welcome at the front door as the JWs. I'd guess that this historical fact is what drove them to generally succeed today. Given the choice, I'd knock at the door of a Jewish doctor, dentist, lawyer, accountant and so on. But this isn't to say that there are no destitute Jews living in inner cities and this is especially remarkable in Israel.

  • French philosopher who shut down Paris BDS event as 'anti-Semitic' and one-sided will lecture in NY on 'Free Speech'
    • Lilam, we can still have a good discussion without getting your underwear all in knots. You are saying that the Director never met with you to offer you her help in finding an alternate location and I'm not doubting your word. I read that the Crif was bragging about having been instrumental in getting the event cancelled while the Director denied it. I wouldn't be surprised if both the Director and the Crif lied about what actually happened. My questioning here is how everybody started throwing stones at the Director without knowing 10% of what actually happened. AAG here is also a former normalien or normalienne and I already said that AAG probably knows much more about this story than I do. The information I had came from various writings in Le Monde and first-person recounting of her version of the story in an Israel settler paper. So relax.

    • AAG, thanks for the piece by Bamya. He is very eloquent and writes beautifully; I discovered that he is also a poet. But his after-the-fact open letter to Hollande is a lost cause and not much more than a letter to himself. He describes in it the past humanitarian glories of France but on its long list of accomplishments, he doesn't mention Suez '56 and Dimona or that France has been losing its virtue in Libya, Mali, the CAR and Syria. Those "freedom fries" really taught France a lesson on who was the boss. On reading to what degree French politicians including most ministers and the President of the Republic would give up their right arm to get invited to the annual Crif dinner makes it obvious that Palestine would never have a front row seat in France.

    • For those interested, the late Tony Judt is a former normalien, having taught at the ENS. He had a small run-in with Directrice Monique Canto-Sperber in 2010 after he wrote a short article on French intellectuals and the prestigious ENS that she mistook.

      link to nybooks.com

    • AAG, you being a former student of ENS and personally involved in this rumble, I have to step aside as you are definitely more qualified to discuss it. I don't support lawfare and if you'd have followed the thread here last July after the altercations at the synagogue with the JDL creeps, you'd know how much I'm against them.We've come full circle back to the essence of the problem at ENS, which is about whether or not the planned events with Hessel and the Apartheid Week were to be actual debates or simply platforms to disparage Israel. She claimed that the Crif had nothing to do with her decision, which is questionable since the Crif's Prasquier, the then president blabbed to all that would hear that it had been instrumental in having called the Paris University to have the event cancelled. You said that you have yourself organized debates at the ENS for Gulf I without any hassles, which more or less confirms what the Director said about debates being welcomed at ENS. What Hessel and the Apartheid Week people wanted to hold at ENS were not debates but political rallies, and this what the Director objected to. We're discussing something that happened 4 years ago; has there been other recent instances where the Director tried blocking a debate involving Palestinians?

      BTW, great links to university blogs, especially the first one.

    • AAG, what I'm trying to politely say in a roundabout way, is that just because Phil casts the first stone, we don't all have to unquestioningly pick up stones and start firing away. Of course, more often than not, he's right on target, but we still have to question. The overly dramatic title here about her "shutting down 2 events" is somewhat misleading. In fact, she did not shut anything down but simply refused to let them happen at her school. The 2 events could have been held elsewhere in Paris but the Collectif and Hessel himself were adamant on holding them at the ENS depite her offer to the Hessel event organizers to help find an alternate location. This should tell us something about their motive. A lot of stones are flying back and forth withot anyone really knowing what actually happened. I'm not sure that I know everything myself either.

      April 24th is still 12 days away and it would be great for Phil to attend the conference at the French consulate and to inteview her for a more up-to-date version of what actually happened in 2011. If after the interview he'd pick up a stone, I'd take his word for it and pick up the second one.

    • Train, these accountability bills are simply general platforms or springboards from which the US moves on with subsequent lockjaw laws made possible by the initial accountability laws which on the surface appear inoffensive. In the case of Lebanon that you mentioned, the Syria Accountability Act of 2003 having the full name of "Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act" gives you the false impression that it's all about kicking Syria out of Lebanon. It morphed into UN SC Res 1559 of 2004 that talked of disbanding militias with the between the lines understanding that it was actually aimed at disarming Hizbullah to give comfort to Israel. The 1559 in 2006 kicked off a new UN SC res 1701 after the war on Lebanon more forcibly reiterating the call to disarm militias in accordance with 1559, which of course alluded to Hizbullah, since no other armed militias existed in Lebanon at the time. All of this was kicked off by the Congressional accountability act. In short, beware of American accountability acts because they have a very long reach.

    • AAG, for a moment, put yourself in the shoes of the Director of the ENS and imagine being asked by a group of WB settlers to rent the ENS hall for a conference of fellow settlers to disparage Palestinians and demand that the ENS cease all cooperation with Palestinians. Would you rent them the hall? I surely wouldn't. So why can't Director Canto-Sperber refuse to rent the hall to a group in which she doesn't believe? So she is looking out for the Zionists; it's her right to do so.

      BTW, she holds France's highest honors, the Légion d'honneur, Officier de l’ordre national du Mérite, Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres. She is currently the President of PSL Research University (Paris), a new and innovative excellence entity that brings together 17 of the most prestigious academic institutions in Paris (such as the École Normale Supérieure, the Collège de France, the Paris Observatory, the Curie Institute, the Superior School of Industrial Physics and Chemistry, the National Chemical Engineering Institute in Paris, Paris-Dauphine University and the five most important Schools of Arts).

      In the Collectif's message that you posted, it was stated that "the group had set up a program comprising a series of conferences and debates as part of the international Israeli Apartheid Week, aimed at the ENS community. " So renting the hall at the ENS was planned to take on the ENS, and Canto-Sperber decided against it. This has nothing to do with free speech as the planned Israel Apartheid Week torpedo was specifically aimed at the ENS.

    • Mooser, he's also one of my favourites; there's isn't a type of music he hasn't written including classical suites but my favourite Legrand is in jazz.

    • "You also describe that she cancelled because she herself opposes an academic boycott. What is she doing in an academy at all?"

      eGuard, other than for a musically-inclined attachment to Barenboim, had you ever heard academic Edward Said say something nice about Israelis?

    • AAG and eGuard, thanks for reacting but here we are mixing up 2 separate incidents involving only one of them that develped into court case that was subsequently appealed.

      The first involved the booking of the hall in mid-December 2010 for the benefit of the intellectual and pro-Palestinian activist Stéphane Hassel on January 18, 2011 supposedly for a debate between Hassel and the students. The Director welcomed this event as she had repeatedly invited Hessel for such a debate with her students since the ENS encourages such exchanges. In time but before the scheduled event, the Director discovered through flyers being circulated and chatter on internet sites that the supposedly private debate with the students was actually becoming an open invitation to the general public with the podium to be shared by pro-Palestinian activists Michel Warchawski, Nurit Peled, Leila Shedid, the Palestinian rep in Brussels and others proponents of BDS. The French Jewish lobby CRIF got involved with complaints to the University of Paris, which resulted in the cancellation of the event at the ENS by the Director. This Hessel affair did not reach the courts but simply ended with the manifestation outside the ENS as mentioned by AAG. The director claimed to have been concerned with both the security issue and the nature of the scheduled non-debate, which had in fact become a free-for-all propaganda event, which went against the vocation of the ENS and Ministy of Education directives.

      The second event in February 2011 which gave rise to legal action and subsequent appeal by the Director involved her refusal to book the hall for an Israel Apartheid Week event March 8. 9, and 10 with a declared intention of campaigning for the rupture of academic exchanges between the END and Israeli institutions. The Director had no intention of getting her institution to stop any exchanges with Israeli institutions, so it was a foregone conclusion that the event would have degenerated into a security situation, so she refused renting the hall.

      Following the Director's refusal to rent the hall for Israel Apartheid Week, the Collectif Palestine-ENS comprised of ENS pro-Palestine students took their case to the Paris Administrative Court that ruled in their favour that the Director had overstepped the bounds of civil liberties and free speech by refusing to rent the hall to the Israel Apartheid week people. The Director then decided to appeal the ruling at the Council of State on February 28th.

      It's at this point that AAG stopped looking into the story.

      On or about the 7th of March 2011, the Council of State overturned the Administrative Court’s earlier ruling about the Director having committed any wrong and that in so many other words, she was in her full right to refuse to rent the hall for an obviously propaganda meeting, which went against the education department’s rules.

      Le Monde, March 7, 2011:

      link to lemonde.fr

    • Mooser, if you're a fan of Legrand, you'd enjoy one of his compositions sung in Arabic by the Lebanese Hiba Tawaji, the current frontrunner on this season's The Voice-France:

    • Pabelmont, no work goes to waste, Pierre Lellouche of Tunisian Jewish origin is a prolific writer of laws since 20 years that sponsors or co-sponsors 51 separate laws currently pending in the France's National Assembly, of which 4 deal with the current wave of terrorism and one which would denaturalize weapons-carrying terrorists. But not to be confounded with the French Jewish cinematographer Claude Lelouche of great films fame; the last scene from one of his classic masterpieces:

    • When I first saw the term "French Philosopher" I cringed at the thought of another so-called French philosopher, Bernard-Henri Lévy, who is actually more of a shit disturber than a philosopher. But in this case, the lady's credentials and academic credentials are a mile long and we may be unjustly condemning her without knowing her story as she explained it in her own words and as partly explained in the Le Monde article posted by Phil.

      The episode started in mid-December 2010 when she was approached to book the hall for what she thought would be a debate between the intellectual Hessel and her student-teachers and she in fact welcomed the opportunity. But as the days leading up to the event approached, she started hearing more and more that the vent wasn't actually a debate but rather a one sided presentation against Israel by pro-Palestinian activists, which went against the grain of l’Ecole normale supérieure's (ENS) policy of welcoming debates especially on Middle East matters. By January 7th, she learned of flyers being distributed outside the ENS inviting people to the event and that it was organized by Peace and Justice for Palestine. org that was very active in campaigning for academic boycott of Israeli institutions. She also learned that the event was not to be limited to Hessel debating her students but open to the general public with a roster of pro-Palestinian activists scheduled to make speeches, a fact that had been kept from her when she accepted to book the hall. Since she had no intention of stopping the academic exchanges between the ENS and Israeli institutions and since it was the vocation of the organizers of the event to demand such a rupture, she decided to call the person with whom she had agreed to book the hall, advised her of the cancellation and offered her help in finding an alternate location to hold the event and a list of contacts names for halls were given to her. The French Philosopher acted on her own without any outside pressure to do so, not even from Criff or other Israeli organizations and did so to avoid confrontations that were bound to happen at the ENS with the pro-Palestinian crowd.

      And then, without anyone bothering to ask her why she had cancelled the event, the witch hunt started in the press, on the internet and the petitions signed by the academics.

      Donna Shlela, President of U of Miami, with Lebanese roots did much much worse towards Palestinians and nobody threw so much as a pebble her way.

    • Harry, it involves 12 women that are referred to collectively as the Mulhouse 12 after the Carrefour supermarket in Mulhouse they visted following Cast Lead to plaster West Bank settler produce with stickers inviting customers to boycott them. The 12 women are aged between 23 and 68 and after having been arrested for disturbing the peace, the local lower court based on a Paris court judgement covering a very similar case that was acquitted, released them on probation and told them to stay away from Carrefour. But to their surprise, the prosecutor took their case to the appeals court in November 2013 where the initial judgement was overturned and they were condemned to each pay 1000 Euros as well as 120 Euros for court costs with a suspended jail sentence and for the 12 to collectively pay 28,000 Euros to the Office for Vigilance Against Antisemitism, the France-Israel Alliance, Avocats Sans Frontières and the LICRA. It was evidently a judgement to silence any future boycotters of Israeli products.

      The Mulhouse 12 appealed their case to the Court of Cassation.

    • BDS France is alive and kicking, especially the Toulouse chapter where the city mayor is campaigning against BDS. There has been 3 or 4 arrests and court actions against boycotters that made scenes at 2 Carrefour Supermaket branches and their position is that they are boycotting Israeli settlement products and not Israel itself. BDS France was very busy in the last few weeks with Israeli Apartheid Week events all over the country.

      Their website:

      link to bdsfrance.org

  • Future of Yarmouk unclear as PLO abandons aid convoy to besieged refugee camp
    • "Israel, stop treating wounded al-Nusra fighters, " (Stanley Heller)

      In the post above yours, Lina Khatib of the Carnegie is saying that the Nusra fighters are the good-guys in this story.

    • Sycamores, the Globe and Mail's stance on Israel/Palestine/Syria is very close to the one of the NYT. You could say just about the same of the Carnegie Center in Beirut.

      As to Miss Khatib's piece conjuring up some sophisticated plan by the Syrian regime in deviously pitting the Nusra against ISIS to finish each other off, it was only a couple of weeks back that Miss Khatib had another piece up in which she was vaunting the merits of the Nusra al-Qaeda gang in Syria and saying it should be given another chance at taking out the Syrian regime; some bits and pieces from it:

      "... The West currently sees the Nusra Front as a threat. But Nusra’s pragmatism and ongoing evolution mean that it could become an ally in the fight against the Islamic State, as became clear during interviews I conducted with Nusra and Islamic State affiliates and supporters along the Turkish-Syrian border in late February 2015.

      ... Nusra’s lifeline was not granted overnight. Its pragmatism has meant that what it lacked in military capability, ideological attraction, and resources, it gradually made up for with human capital.

      The human dimension of Nusra’s work on the ground in Syria cuts across several issues, but the group’s approach to ideology is at its heart. Despite sharing similar views with the Islamic State, Nusra does not impose its ideology wholesale. While local sources say 80 percent of the Islamic State’s adherents in Syria are not Syrians, Nusra members are mostly Syrian and therefore more aware of regional variations in culture and customs. This allows Nusra to modify the implementation of ideology according to those variations, making it more popular than the Islamic State among Syrians.

      ... The Nusra Front’s ability to deliver results is largely driven by its pragmatism. The group has been collaborating with a wide variety of local forces that are not pushed to fight under its umbrella. Instead, they fight with Nusra as allies—a radical departure from the Islamic State’s model, which does not tolerate collaboration unless absolutely necessary.

      ... While not everyone likes Nusra’s ideology, there is a growing sense in the north of Syria that it is the best alternative on the ground—and that ideology is a small price to pay for higher returns. “The one who defends me has the right to impose whatever law they see fit,” one sympathizer told me.

      The international coalition’s airstrikes that began in September 2014 took Nusra by surprise, but they further increased the group’s popularity. Many Syrians felt disappointed that the West did not act against the Assad regime, but instead attacked an entity that was fighting the regime. Many rallied around Nusra, providing local support and contributing to its intelligence-gathering capabilities. This allowed Nusra to increase the areas under its control not through territorial gains or the provision of services—methods the Islamic State uses to extend its reach—but through expanded local networks and influence.

      ... Qatar, which is seeking to boost its influence in Syria, has been watching Nusra’s rise and trying to detach Nusra from al-Qaeda. (Qatar’s motivation lies within its own ambition to use the Nusra Front as a winning card in international discussions about a settlement for the Syrian conflict.) Nusra cannot completely abandon al-Qaeda’s ideology for fear of losing legitimacy. But it has displayed flexibility in its application of this ideology, and it has now become the strongest component of al-Qaeda, to the extent that without Nusra, al-Qaeda’s future would be precarious, limited to significant influence only in Yemen through al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Ahrar al-Sham is even less severe in its application of ideology than Nusra. If their alliance continues—as is likely given Nusra’s pragmatism—it would have a tempering effect on the evolution of al-Qaeda’s ideology and its implementation.

      Instead of putting Nusra and the Islamic State in the same basket, the West should look beyond the Nusra Front’s ideological affiliation and encourage its pragmatism as it seeks an end to the Syrian conflict."

      Full Lina Khatib article:
      link to carnegie-mec.org

      Sycamores, now doesn't that sound like a recruitment brochure that gives you the urge to drop everything and rush off to join the Nusra gang, which is an affiliate of al Qaeda?

    • "... In response, Palestinian leaders in the West Bank announced they were planning to coordinate a major convoy that would truck humanitarian aid inside of Yarmouk. Then yesterday, the Palestinian officials reversed their decision." (Allison)

      Palestinian leaders should lighten up on the show business and begin helping to get humanitarian aid into Gaza. Instead of joining the Paris parade for the Charlie Hebdo Islamophobic victims, they could have held a parade or two for Gaza's victims.

      Yesterday I heard an interview with the UN Relief commissioner describing how he was getting daily phone calls for help from Yarmuk. With no electricity in the camp since months, how are they charging their cell phone batteries? There's something fishy behind this whole Yarmuk story.

      Yesterday, the PLO has finally come out in support of the Syrian regime and offered to help rid Yarmuk of ISIS. Maybe one day it will also support the people of Gaza.

  • SJP activists call on California community colleges to divest from human rights abuses in Palestine
  • White House 'trolls' Netanyahu by co-opting infamous UN cartoon to sell Iran deal
    • "Shah Mahmoud Pahlavi even with Savak, his crookedness, his torture and his murders is like Mother Teresa compared to Khomeini and the current regime. " (Steve Grover)

      You've got your torturing and murdering shahs mixed up. Mahmood spent most of his life chasing after Hollywood starlets and opium. You're thinking of his brother, Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlevi, the last Shah of Iran. Ayatollah Khomeini gave the country back to the people and his actions were much closer to Mother Teresa's than the Shah's.

    • I don't know about the cute part but he's got cool Iranian collarless shirts.

  • Faithwashing: the Muslim Leadership Institute and the academic boycott
    • Jesus was referred to as 'rabbi" by a few of his deciples.

    • Hophmi, speaking of outreach, you'd enjoy the great Arabic/Hebrew countertenor Emile Zrihan. The Zionists yanked the Jews out of Morocco but they could never yank Morocco out of the Jews.
      Emile Zrihan with the Andalusian Orchestra of Israel:

    • Thanks for the name correction, Annie.

    • He’s (Darrell Issa)been able to oppose AIPAC for 15 years, as a Muslim because he’s been highly sensitive to Jewish concerns, which requires Issa to understand Jewish concerns." (Jeff)

      Your man is a Christian; does it make him less sensitive to Jewish concerns?

    • "The Palestinians of Gaza want an end to the siege. Israel wants assurances that weapons are not imported into Gaza. Would you be in favor of trying to satisfy both these wishes?" (Yonah)

      Why is it that Americans and Israelis have a god-given right to bear arms and the Palestinians are not? You want Palestinians to remain unarmed, same with the Lebanese and same with other Arab countries that have limited arms. But not Israel; why is that?

    • Hophmi, all the visits to Israel by American Arabs would not bring back one dead Gazans, give back a square meter of stolen Palestinian land or release an imprisoned Palestinian. So of what good to go to Israel to "talk about it" with an Israeli, none of which is not benefitting directly or indirectly from the occupation. BTW, I'm not even impressed by the likes of Gideon Levy or Uri Avnery since they have no problem with the fact that half the water they are personally consuming is stolen.

    • This is the second time around the block for inter-faith mumbo jumbo from the Hartman and MLI people. The other time was on Januarry 30th written up by a pro-Israel-tripper Sabih Khan to the joy of Mondo's resident Zios; it was then that Mooser was happy to learn that hophmi was on 2 inter-faith boards:

      link to mondoweiss.net

      The whole faith washing thing is a sham.

    • "I’m not sure why anyone needs to go to Israel in association with a group that supported the bombing of Gaza. " (Donald)

      You probably haven't encountered the term "Arab-Zionists". These include all those that are pro-normalization with Israel and those that are not averse to physically attacking other Arabs for the benefit of the Zionists like ganging up on Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen and so on. It was only last week that we read how President's Abbas' senior advisor was counselling him to approach the AL to bomb Gaza. You also have the Shoebats, the Waffa Sultans, the Bridget Gabriels that earn their living by siding with the Zionists and singing their praise. Not surprising to see a few Moslem American Arabs kissing Zionist asses by going on free trips to the occupied Palestinian lands.

  • Italian BDS activists call on Unicef to pull out of cartoon festival honoring Israel
    • It's worth adding that before the massacre, Deir Yassin had an understanding with the area's Jews that it would remain outside the conflict with them and it was still respecting that agreement when it was attacked by the Zionist butchers. The ongoing rapes and killing of villagers was stopped by Jews from neighbouring villages that interceded.

    • Thanks for answering, Yonah. What you are saying in a nutshell is that Jews did what Jews had to to do and that you somehow regret that the Palestinians had to pay the price for it. This does not justify what happened to the 750,000 Palestinians that got shut out.

      I'm not against Jews having ended up there, I'm against Paletinians having been kept out and this is the great sin in which Israel was born.

    • I wonder what Hophmi and Yonah would have to say about Deir Yassin. But I'm sure they'll pass on it.

  • 'Passover siege' in Hebron: Palestinians endure military lockdown so Israelis can enjoy holiday in occupied West Bank
    • Contaminated hummus to go with their soggy falafel; that's Israel for you.

    • "Today my crime of guilt was to question the ethymology of Jerusalem as doubtfully coming from Hebrew. " (ziusudra)

      I don't put much into any of the claims of sanctity to Jerusalem by Jews, Christians and Moslems. Historically they are all weak and the city is cause for more strife than of any happiness for any of them. Other than that, great songs were sung about it from Fairuz in Arabic, to Salvatore Adamo in French to Ofra Haza in Hebrew, so just enjoy the music about it:

    • Good piece up today by Juan Cole for misinformed Zios that equate Islam with terrorism:

      Top Ten Ways Islamic Law forbids Terrorism
      By Juan Cole | Apr. 9, 2015

      1. Terrorism is above all murder. Murder is strictly forbidden in the Qur’an. Qur’an 6:151 says, “and do not kill a soul that God has made sacrosanct, save lawfully.” (i.e. murder is forbidden but the death penalty imposed by the state for a crime is permitted). 5:53 says, “… whoso kills a soul, unless it be for murder or for wreaking corruption in the land, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind; and he who saves a life, it shall be as if he had given life to all mankind.”

      2. If the motive for terrorism is religious, it is impermissible in Islamic law. It is forbidden to attempt to impose Islam on other people. The Qur’an says, “There is no compulsion in religion. The right way has become distinct from error.” (-The Cow, 2:256). Note that this verse was revealed in Medina in 622 AD or after and was never abrogated by any other verse of the Quran. Islam’s holy book forbids coercing people into adopting any religion. They have to willingly choose it.

      3. Islamic law forbids aggressive warfare. The Quran says, “But if the enemies incline towards peace, do you also incline towards peace. And trust in God! For He is the one who hears and knows all things.” (8:61) The Quran chapter “The Cow,” 2:190, says, “Fight in the way of God against those who fight against you, but begin not hostilities. Lo! God loveth not aggressors.”

      4. In the Islamic law of war, not just any civil engineer can declare or launch a war. It is the prerogative of the duly constituted leader of the Muslim community that engages in the war. Qur’an 4:59 says “Obey God and the Messenger and those in authority among you.” Nowadays that would be the president or prime minister of the state, as advised by the mufti or national jurisconsult.

      5. The killing of innocent non-combatants is forbidden. According to Sunni tradition, ‘Abu Bakr al-Siddiq, the first Caliph, gave these instructions to his armies: “I instruct you in ten matters: Do not kill women, children, the old, or the infirm; do not cut down fruit-bearing trees; do not destroy any town . . . ” (Malik’s Muwatta’, “Kitab al-Jihad.”)

      6. Terrorism or hirabah is forbidden in Islamic law, which groups it with brigandage, highway robbery and extortion rackets– any illicit use of fear and coercion in public spaces for money or power. The principle of forbidding the spreading of terror in the land is based on the Qur’an (Surah al-Ma’ida 5:33–34). Prominent [pdf] Muslim legal scholar Sherman Jackson writes, “The Spanish Maliki jurist Ibn `Abd al-Barr (d. 464/ 1070)) defines the agent of hiraba as ‘Anyone who disturbs free passage in the streets and renders them unsafe to travel, striving to spread corruption in the land by taking money, killing people or violating what God has made it unlawful to violate is guilty of hirabah . . .”

      7. Sneak attacks are forbidden. Muslim commanders must give the enemy fair warning that war is imminent. The Prophet Muhammad at one point gave 4 months notice (Q. 9:5).

      8. The Prophet Muhammad counseled doing good to those who harm you and is said to have commanded, “Do not be people without minds of your own, saying that if others treat you well you will treat them well, and that if they do wrong you will do wrong to them. Instead, accustom yourselves to do good if people do good and not to do wrong (even) if they do evil.” (Al-Tirmidhi)

      9. The Qur’an demands of believers that they exercise justice toward people even where they have reason to be angry with them: “And do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness.”[5:8]

      10. The Qur’an assures Christians and Jews of paradise if they believe and do good works, and commends Christians as the best friends of Muslims. I wrote elsewhere, “Dangerous falsehoods are being promulgated to the American public. The Quran does not preach violence against Christians.

      Quran 5:69 says (Arberry): “Surely they that believe, and those of Jewry, and the Christians, and those Sabeaans, whoso believes in God and the Last Day, and works righteousness–-their wage waits them with their Lord, and no fear shall be on them, neither shall they sorrow.”

      In other words, the Quran promises Christians and Jews along with Muslims that if they have faith and works, they need have no fear in the afterlife. It is not saying that non-Muslims go to hell– quite the opposite.

      When speaking of the 7th-century situation in the Muslim city-state of Medina, which was at war with pagan Mecca, the Quran notes that the polytheists and some Arabian Jewish tribes were opposed to Islam, but then goes on to say:

      5:82. ” . . . and you will find the nearest in love to the believers [Muslims] those who say: ‘We are Christians.’ That is because amongst them are priests and monks, and they are not proud.”

      So the Quran not only does not urge Muslims to commit violence against Christians, it calls them “nearest in love” to the Muslims! The reason given is their piety, their ability to produce holy persons dedicated to God, and their lack of overweening pride."

      link to juancole.com

  • BDS Victory: Veolia sells Israel businesses targeted by Palestinian-led boycott campaign
    • "Are you suggesting that Veiola’s recent actions were in fact not motivated by BDS?" (DoubleStandard)

      Yes, eventhough I support BDS and would like to think that BDS was behind the decision. I also believe that BDS was instrumental in making Veolia fail to get renewed its 10-year management contract with the Stockholm transit authority a few years back. The transportation business for Veolia was not as profitable as much as the water and waste management and its debt was weighing it down. Veolia dumped its 3 transit operations in Lebanon before dumping those in Israel and surely BDS had nothing to do with these. The main operation that was supposed to be dumped because it came under international pressure and it still hasn't been is the Jerusalem Light Rail that's operating in the Occupied Territories.

      I wouldn't put it past Veolia to pull a fast one over its divestment from the waste management contract on the WB with Oaktree. It tried that monkey business a few years back with the alleged divestment from Jerusalem Light Rail whereby it was selling its 5% stake in Jerusalem Light Rail to the Dan Bus Company and at the same time getting a management contract to continue fulfilling the contract in Dan's name since that company had no experience with tram lines but the deal fell through when Veolia decided to do the deal instead with the Egged Bus Company and was sued by Dan for the failed deal. It seems that Veolia is still involved deeply in the Jerusalem Light Rail. At the time of the attempted stunt, it had been under pressure by Saudi Arabia to drop the Light Rail as it was bidding on the building of several desalination plants in SA.

    • "Mainly due to boycott pressure on it in the US and Europe, and particularly the campaign’s focus on its “apartheid bus operations,” which served Israel’s illegal settlements, Veolia had sold its entire bus operations in Israel in 2013."

      Not an accurate assessment. Veolia in 2011 decided to divest from its problematic worldwide public transportation business and sink the relized cash from the divestment in writing down debt and investing into the more profitable water and waste management division. From Wiki:

      "... In 2007, the group posted revenues of €5.6 billion in 2007,[2] and sold Veolia Cargo, the rail freight branch of Veolia Transport in 2009 to SNCF and Eurotunnel.[3]

      A merger between Veolia Transport and Transdev was announced on 23 July 2009.[4] Transdev was then a subsidiary of Caisse des Dépôts. The merger was completed in March 2011. Veolia Transdev became the world's private-sector leader in sustainable mobility with more than 110,000 employees in 28 countries.[5]

      In July 2011, amid disappointing financial results, Veolia Environnement announced the launch of new restructuring plans and redeployment of assets and businesses.[6] In December 2011, Veolia announced a €5bn divestment program over 2012-2013.[7] As part of this programme, Veolia would divest its participation in Veolia Transdev and exit the transport business altogether.

      Until 2011, Veolia had diverse road and rail operations across the globe, employing 72,000 workers worldwide and serving completely or partly about 40 metropolitan areas with more than 1,000,000 inhabitants."

      link to en.wikipedia.org

  • Israeli settlers attack 11-year-old Palestinian child in Hebron
    • It was just a bit of entertainment for you on a slow Saturday, just. Could have just as well posted Goldie Hawn's debut movie with Walter Matthau "Cactus Flower", but it was too long.

    • A "sabra" is an Israeli that is born in Palestine such as Gideon Levy so the cactus can also be representative of an Israeli.

      In Arabic, "sabr" is mentioned 90 times in the Quran. While it means "patience" as Bilal tweeted, it also means "endurance", "tenacity" and "perseverence", all of these qualities being attributable to the desert cactus.

      Used idiomatically when people are close to being at the end of their rope, they would take a deep breath and invoke "ya sabre Ayoub", Ayub being the Job of the Bible that was put to the test over and over but still sailed through with flying colours.

      Those who possess a great degree of sabr are called sabiroun, like those that possess sumud are called samidoun.

      The fruit of the cactus plant is "soubar" better known by its colloquial name "soubeir".

  • Iran is 'congenital cheating' 'Islamic power bent on world domination' -- Netanyahu tells US media
    • Just, not surprising since nothing moves in Iran without the Ayatollah's blessings. If the negotiations reached this point, it was because the Ayatollah willed it and if he did, so did the Guard.

  • Finkelstein on God and Dershowitz
    • I was pulling your leg, CG, nothing spooky about you, but the bit about Modi and the statues is true.

    • "Personally, I think we should build statues of criminals. " (Cigar God)

      Sounds like a strange request you have there, CG, but this is actually happening in the world's second most populated country. In fact, Netanyahu's's pal the fascist prime minister of India is authorizing busts and statues to be erected in India's public places to honor the conspirators and actual assassins of Gandhi, believed to be bad news for India by Modi.

      Spooky how you, CG, think like Modi.

  • Yarmouk camp reaches out to the international community for help against IS invasion
    • Annie, as MRW said, there were probably a few "Al-Baghdadis" in circulation. Getting back to your question :

      From the Atlantic article posted here in February:

      " … And the prisons of the occupation, which housed countless young men caught up in the American dragnet, facilitated proselytizing and networking. Among those locked up was the previously unremarkable Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi; according to an Islamic State commander who did time with the future self-proclaimed caliph at Camp Bucca, “If there was no American prison in Iraq, there would be no IS now. Bucca was a factory. It made us all. It built our ideology.”

      … This isn’t to suggest there aren’t many intensely religious ISIS fighters, including Baghdadi, who has a doctorate in Islamic studies and reportedly used to preach.

      link to mondoweiss.net

      From Daily Mail UK about him being a clerk (or secretary):

      "Revealed: Brutal leader of ISIS was once a bespectacled SECRETARY working in an office admin department
      • Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was captured by American soldiers in 2004 in Iraq
      • Official documents reveal his job was 'Administrative Work (Secretary)'
      • Held for 10 months...but then released as he was not considered a threat
      • He has now gone on to become one of the world's most wanted men

      ByLaurie Hanna For Mailonline

      Published: 14:07 GMT, 19 February 2015 | Updated: 15:13 GMT, 19 February 2015
      Secretary: The official documents reveal Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was a civilian detainee who worked as a secretary. As he was not considered a terror threat, he was released 10 months later

      The bloodthirsty leader of the Islamic State was once a secretary working in office admin, newly released documents have revealed.

      Brutal Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was captured by American soldiers in 2004 in Iraq, and records from the time have revealed his life before he turned to terror.

      The declassified documents show that al-Baghdadi - registered under his real name of Ibrahim Awad Ibrahim Al Badr - was held for 10 months in a military prison in the south of the country.

      The terrorist's status was listed as 'civilian detainee', which means he was not then officially thought to be an insurgent. His occupation was written as 'Administrative Work (Secretary)'.
      He was registered as married, and an uncle is listed as being his next of kin - although all of his relatives' names have been redacted.

      It is believed he was detained during a raid aimed at arresting his friend, named as Nessayif Numan Nessayif, in Fallujah.

      The records, obtained by Business Insider, were released through a Freedom of Information Act request.

      Although his date of birth is also redacted, he is believed to be 43-years old-and has a wife and a young son.

      Friends of al-Baghdadi have previously told of how he was a talented footballer, with one former team-mate even describing him as the 'Lionel Messi of our team'.

      He was also remembered as a shy and unassuming young man who was interested in religious studies, before his radicalisation to a dangerous extremist.

      link to dailymail.co.uk

    • "links? sounds intriguing." (Annie)

      Posted it here about a month or so back; I have to dig it up.

    • Now everyone including the Palestinian National Authority is seriously preoccupied with Yarmuk. A couple of months back, the Palestinian leadership marched in the Charlie Hebdo jamboree in Paris but not a word was mentioned about the plight of the Palestinians in Yarmuk. Come to think of it, the 2200 dead Palestinians of Gaza 2014 didn't get a dinner either.

    • "Why do I get the funny feeling that these ISIS people can be turned on at will, where needed to precipitate calls for a little “humanitarian” help ..." (Danaa)

      Maybe it has something to do with a mild-mannered and shy company clerk and mosque cleric that was picked up in a US dragnet in Fallujah in 2004 and kept at a medium security military prison at Camp Bucca in Iraq where he was released after 6 months and eventually transformed into an an Attila the Hun type going under the nom-de-guerre of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Caliph of ISIS.

      The turning on and off feature was fine-tuned by Bush II that would take Bin Ladin out of mothballs whenever needed.

    • "Assad is no prince, but he’s not the evil and dastardly devil that the US and Israel and others made and make him out to be." (just)

      Just, he's a few notches below; he tried to outsmart a valid opposition that had risen against the regime by offering long overdue and honest changes in a new consitution. When the new constitution was released, the people saw that a spitball had been thrown at them, which played perfectly into the hands of those foreign powers that wanted him deposed.

      As to the stories going around Yarmuk, the great invincible army of ISIS fighters that are poised to take on the 500,000-man Syrian army, these ISIS fighters number about 200 are probably equally scrounging for food and water in the almost totally-destroyed camp. They are surely finding mostly favourable fans among the remaining camp refugees as otherwise, the 18,000 Palestinians would have fled along with the 130,000 that did. There's a huge campaign underway to garner world support for some king of UN/US/NATO/PLO offensive to take out Assad based on what's happening in Yarmuk. Everything else has failed. After 4 years, Yarmuk is now news.

    • "They are the real victims that need urgent help, support, and protection, from these violent, armed criminals. " (Kay)

      Yes, and from regimes in host countries too and they also need protection from Palestinian militias. They've been getting it from friend and foe for decades.

    • "Both ISIS and Nusrah have strident sectarian/religious profiles. Can anyone enlighten us about the sectarian/religious mix of the camp residents? " (ckg)

      Sames as ISIS and its Nusra associate, otherwise it would not be under a Syrian Army siege.

  • 'Walls divide and segregate' -- New Marine video might apply to Israel
    • You also have "palisade" from French palissade, from Old French, from Old Provençal palissada, from palissa (“stake”), from Gallo-Romance *pālīcea, from Latin pālus (“stake”).

      Also used for stake-like cliffs like the Palisade of New Jersey or the Hudson River Palisade.

  • When occupation becomes apartheid
    • Hi OG, I had guessed wrong; thought you were in St John's. Great down-to-earth people in your neck of the woods.

    • "They (Canadians) took in our Vietnam War draft dodgers and deserters, quietly, just as they took in all those planes that needed somewhere to land after 9/11." (Irishmoses- April 6th)

      OT here, Irishmoses, but further to what you said about Canadian people about 10 days ago in relation to 9/11, a documentary by Tom Brokaw and the people where Oldgeezer lives:

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