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Experts weigh in: What Dennis Ross’s departure means for Iran and the ‘peace process’

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It’s been three days since Dennis Ross, the Israel lobby stalwart in the White House, announced his resignation, and what his departure means remains unclear. What, if any, are the implications of Ross’ departure on the moribund “peace process” and the steady drumbeat of an attack on Iran?

Issandr El Amrani at the Arabist blog recently raised some good questions:

* Why did Ross make the announcement at a gathering of Jewish leaders? Is it linked to the recent comments by Obama and Sarkozy about Netanyahu? Ross was often said to be, among other things, a key liaison to the lobby writ large — in a sense, their man inside the White House of a president that Zionists never fully trusted.

* As a corollary: does this mean that major Jewish organizations are likely to dump Obama for re-election? This is what Elliott Abrams suggests (perhaps wishful thinking on his part, and not representative in any case of the wider average Jewish-American electorate which remains pretty Democratic and mostly concerned about other issues than Israel — even if the major Jewish organizations have significant fundraising clout).

* Is it linked to Obama’s Iran policy, including his reluctance to beat the war drums? Ross was supposed to be the key pointman on Iran — was he pushed out of that role or frustrated because he could not get his way?

* Is it simply that with the peace process going nowhere (Ross having made sure of that), he is no longer needed or no longer feels useful?

* Is it that, ahead of the presidential election, the Obama administration will not engage in any major new initiatives, and thus Ross feels like he would be twiddling his thumbs waiting for an uncertain second term?

* Or maybe it’s just the promise to his wife — but if so, how come we didn’t know earlier than he would leave in December 2011?

No one but the Obama administration knows the answers to these questions. But other experts have weighed in, and have offered interesting takes.

Daniel Levy, a former Israeli peace negotiator, told reporters last Friday that the departure of Ross will have no effect on Israel/Palestine. Levy said the departure may have more implications for the debate over Iran:

I worry…[that] Dennis Ross leaving now and on the same day of making the announcement of rejoining the Washington Institute for Near East Policy…[sends a signal] to a part of that pro-Israel community, a signifigant part of that pro-Israel community in the United States, that all is not well with Iran policy, and that more external pressure [is necessary].

John Mearsheimer, co-author of The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, had a slightly different take in an e-mail:

My sense is that Ross’s departure will have little effect on either the peace process or the likelihood of an attack on Iran. Ross is just one small cog in the lobby machine, which will continue to make Israel’s case in effective ways with or without him in the White House. The lobby does not need Ross’s departure to understand that it is in not making much headway on getting Obama to attack Iran.

The verdict is still out on Ross’s departure.

Alex Kane, a freelance journalist based in New York.  Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.

Alex Kane
About Alex Kane

Alex Kane is a freelance journalist who focuses on Israel/Palestine and civil liberties. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.

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79 Responses

  1. Kathleen
    Kathleen
    November 14, 2011, 11:57 am

    “I worry…[that] Dennis Ross leaving now and on the same day of making the announcement of rejoining the Washington Institute for Near East Policy…[sends a signal] to a part of that pro-Israel community, a signifigant part of that pro-Israel community in the United States, that all is not well with Iran policy, and that more external pressure [is necessary].”

    this makes sense
    ——————————————————-

    “Why did Ross make the announcement at a gathering of Jewish leaders? ”

    Because this is who he represents. Not US interest

  2. Ael
    Ael
    November 14, 2011, 12:46 pm

    The Pentagon does *not* want a war with Iran.

    I suspect Ross and Panetta had an arm wrestle and Ross lost, decisively.

    • Charon
      Charon
      November 14, 2011, 2:28 pm

      Agreed, the Pentagon does not want war with Iran. If they did, it would’ve happened years ago during the Bush administration. The neocons called for war against Iraq for the entire Clinton administration and didn’t get it. The Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld trio made it pretty much a sure thing given their interests in such a war. By that time, Israel was more concerned with pushing for a war against Iran. That just didn’t make as much sense for Bush and his cronies although I’m sure Cheney was all for it.

      This administration isn’t interested at all. A few neocons can make their voices very loud because of their media influence. The US has to choose their words carefully so they don’t upset master Israel. So officially they say “We are very concerned about a nuclear Iran and condemn the assassination attempt on a Saudi ambassador” but behind closed doors they are only concerned with preventing Israel from attacking it.

      Speaking of assassinating ambassadors, Israel has some experience with that. After the UN SC passed the partition plan, the aftermath caused them to re-consider so they sent it to the GA for debate. The GA chose to send a UN ambassador, Folke Bernadotte. Future PM of Israel Yitzhak Shamir (whose hadn’t Hebrewed his last name yet which was Yezernitsky at the time) had Bernadotte assassinated. A prime minister of Israel had a UN ambassador, a peace mediator, assassinated. They don’t tell you that in the history books.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        November 14, 2011, 5:52 pm

        “A prime minister of Israel had a UN ambassador, a peace mediator, assassinated. They don’t tell you that in the history books.”

        I think they do. I’m presuming that’s where you got it from. The same books also talk about Menachem Begin’s past as a terrorist for the Irgun.

        Guess what. There are lots of political leaders in democratic countries with less than fantastic pasts, including ours. One day, some of those who were yesterday’s extremists in Iraq, and perhaps even some responsible for killing Sergio Vieira de Mello, will moderate and join government.

        Someday, people like Marwan Barghouti will moderate and join government as well. By definition, the veterans of a violent struggle for self-determination will have some blood on their hands.

  3. hophmi
    hophmi
    November 14, 2011, 12:50 pm

    ““Why did Ross make the announcement at a gathering of Jewish leaders? ”

    Because this is who he represents. Not US interest”

    Another antisemitic comment. Clearly, Kathleen, you have no substantive argument against Ross, or you’d make it instead of asserting in your hate-filled way that he’s somehow not a patriotic American because he believes in a strong US-Israel alliance.

    • Charon
      Charon
      November 14, 2011, 2:07 pm

      hophmi, how is that antisemitic?

      He used to be the chairman of the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute. If they represented Americans, it should be called the American People Policy Planning Institute. He announced his resignation at a luncheon of Jewish leaders

      How is pointing out the truth ‘antisemitic’? What does ‘antisemitic’ even mean when it is often used to smear somebody who isn’t being ‘antisemitic’?

      Here is a good example, compliments of Ben Stein:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOV0qCW7nBA

      Ben Stein’s logic: US occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan = ‘antisemtic’

      WTF?

      Those Jewish leaders are Zionist leaders. The Jewish People Policy Planning Institute is The Zionist People Policy Planning Institute. Ross is a Zionist.

      Zionists prefer to be called Jewish so that it gives the impression they represent all the Jewish people. So if you are critical of one of their policies, they can pull out the ol’ “A” card like you just did. The masses don’t know any better and just believe it is true. It has ended many a career.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        November 14, 2011, 3:28 pm

        “hophmi, how is that antisemitic?”

        Substitute Obama for Ross and Black leaders for Jewish leaders.

        “Why did Obama make the announcement at a gathering of Black leaders? ”

        Because this is who he represents. Not US interest””

        Tell me that’s not racist.

        “How is pointing out the truth ‘antisemitic’?”

        Because while his involvement with the JPPPI is a fact, stating that he represents Jews and not the United States in his capacity as an advisor to the President is not; it’s hateful nonsense.

        “What does ‘antisemitic’ even mean when it is often used to smear somebody who isn’t being ‘antisemitic’?”

        Again, simply substitute another name and their ethnicity, and then say that in his capacity as a governmental advisor to the President, he represented his constituency, not United States interests.

        “Zionists prefer to be called Jewish so that it gives the impression they represent all the Jewish people. ”

        Dennis Ross was an advisor to four Presidents. Like every other advisor, he gave advice he believed to be in the US’s best interest. You may disagree with his advice, but to assert that he represented “Jewish leaders” and not US interests is so transparently hateful, that if you don’t see it, it says volumes about what wrong with you and the people on this hate-laced blog.

      • philweiss
        philweiss
        November 14, 2011, 3:44 pm

        but Foxman using yiddish described him as an advocate for ISrael and Kurtzer and Aaron David Miller virtually described him as Israel’s lawyer. And Elliott Abrams says his leaving will have political consequences for obama. so ross represents a constituency: the israel lobby. certainly he’s not a partisan, he’s worked for dems and republicans.
        hop you dont think there’s a legitimate journalistic question to talk about allegedly congruent interests that aren’t in fact congruent?

      • Charon
        Charon
        November 14, 2011, 4:46 pm

        hophmi, the Obama example is weak and doesn’t work. Black leaders generally don’t have a dual loyalty leaning toward a foreign country. If Obama was the former chairman of the NAACP and announced his resignation with a group of black (advocacy) leaders, it wouldn’t be racist to say he was promoting black interests. You can’t say ‘over the US’ in this instance because they are Americans, you would have to say ‘over whites’ or ‘over other minorities’ and it still isn’t racist. The Jewish leaders might be Americans, but again the dual-loyalty thing.

        Stating that Ross represents Jews and not the United States is not a hateful response. The Jews he represents are Zionists. Ross wouldn’t be addressing a group of Jewish leaders if they weren’t Zionists. Zionism is dual-loyal by definition if you don’t live in Israel.

        If you are implying the statement means that all Jewish people put Jewish interests above US citizens, that is not what it meant and you know it. Don’t deliberately misinterpret and spin the comments like lawyers do with contracts.

        Dennis Ross gave advice he believed to be in Israel’s best interest, not the US. If he cared about US interests then he should have remained neutral in his role. His bias toward Israel extended the status quo, which not only was a collosal waste of time and taxpayer money, but it hurts our international standing in the ME which in turn is a security risk, among other reasons. He was never serious about peace.

        He should have been fired ages ago for conflict of interest. CONFLICT OF INTEREST. It is not ‘transparently hateful’ to point out this fact. If the US sent an advisor for hypothetical Pakistan and India negotiations, it would be a COI if they were Indian or Pakistani or practiced Hindu, Islam, Zoroastrianism, even Buddhism. They wouldn’t send such an advisor for that very reason. Why that logic doesn’t apply to I/P is obvious. Israel tells the US what to do, therefore Israeli-firster Zionist Jew Dennis Ross was sent. And if he was neutral in any way, he would have been smeared as a self-hater like Goldstone.

      • Kathleen
        Kathleen
        November 14, 2011, 5:31 pm

        “Dennis Ross gave advice he believed to be in Israel’s best interest, not the US. ”

        If Dennis Ross were working for US interest he would have pushed for pulling aid to Israel based on Israel’s persistent building of illegal settlements and illegal housing in E Jerusalem. He would have pounded Israel on its constant undermining of international agreements.

        If Dennis Ross had been working for US interest he would have warned and warned Israel to stop building settlements and then pushed for pulling aid to Israel.

        He would have also been pushing Israel to sign the NPT.

        Dennis Ross has helped with Israel’s stall game as they build more illegal settlements and illegal housing in E Jerusalem. Ross knows these actions have been undermining US national security

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        November 14, 2011, 5:36 pm

        “but Foxman using yiddish described him as an advocate for ISrael and Kurtzer and Aaron David Miller virtually described him as Israel’s lawyer. ”

        To describe him as someone who believes that there is no way to make peace without the Israelis, and thus, that it is in the US’s best interest to understand Israel’s viewpoint and keep Israel’s trust. That is a view that Aaron David Miller shares for sure. Miller’s also Jewish, and he’s not nearly as pro-Israel as Ross. Do you ascribe his views to his faith? And yes, I’ve heard Foxman in person describe Ross that way. It’s like any other controversial issue. There are people with many different viewpoints. One thing I can tell you – no one who has self-respect would claim that anyone acts out of anything but their belief that they are advocating what is in the best interests of the United States.

        “hop you dont think there’s a legitimate journalistic question to talk about allegedly congruent interests that aren’t in fact congruent?”

        No, not in the way you characterize it. Because we should be past talking that way as a society. We should be able disagree with viewpoints of those in government without impugning the faith or the character of those who hold them.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        November 14, 2011, 5:53 pm

        “If Dennis Ross were working for US interest he would have pushed for pulling aid to Israel based on Israel’s persistent building of illegal settlements and illegal housing in E Jerusalem. He would have pounded Israel on its constant undermining of international agreements.”

        Again, Kathleen, all valid points of disagreement. So why can’t you make them without making bad faith arguments about Ross’s religion?

      • Kathleen
        Kathleen
        November 14, 2011, 6:04 pm

        ““Dennis is the closest thing you’ll find to a melitz yosher, as far as Israel is concerned,” said the Anti-Defamation League’s national director, Abraham Foxman, who used the ancient Hebrew term for “advocate.”

        Read more: http://www.forward.com/articles/134642/#ixzz1divpfTKh

      • annie
        annie
        November 14, 2011, 6:10 pm

        your threadjacking. if you want to talk about anti semitism go to dkos.

      • annie
        annie
        November 14, 2011, 6:13 pm

        We should be able disagree with viewpoints of those in government without impugning the faith or the character of those who hold them.

        great, tell israel and their supporters who demand everyone and their brother reference israel as ‘the jewish state’. that’s placing faith and character right in the middle of it.

        give us a friggin break.

      • Charon
        Charon
        November 14, 2011, 7:20 pm

        So why can’t you make them without making bad faith arguments about Ross’s religion?

        Probably for the same reason a child molester has to stay a certain number of feet away from children and schools.

        You can’t call it a bad faith argument when the Star of David is on the flag. This is basically what you are arguing:

        Don’t judge a person’s actions based on their religion. Respect religious beliefs unconditionally. Don’t judge a person’s job by what they do outside of work.
        Nobody should be expected to tolerate extremist beliefs. Criticizing real animal sacrifice for being inhumane is not discrimination. It’s foolish to believe you can’t judge a person by some activities outside of work, especially if they affect the job

        There is no physical proof that Ross’ decisions were a result of being Jewish
        I’m sure there is proof if you look for it if common sense isn’t good enough. Ross is a Zionist. Zionists have a dual loyalty complex. His employment was a conflict of interest

        Respect leaders even if you disagree with them because this is a democracy
        Democracy is easily manipulated. The elite have gamed the system. You can try and play by the rules but don’t expect any MSM coverage. See Ron Paul for example. Financial capitalism is incompatible with democracy. The ruling class have turned us into a financial oligarchy. This is not a kook belief no matter how you try to smear it.

      • Charon
        Charon
        November 15, 2011, 2:54 am

        Alright hophmi, one last thing,

        If Dennis Ross’ role is replaced by somebody who is Jewish and I were to say that isn’t right because they are Jewish, would you call that antisemitic?

        I have no prejudice against any religion or ethnicity. But if a neocon, a Zionist (Christian or Jewish), somebody with a history of being pro-Israel, or someone who is Jewish were in Ross’ role it is a conflict of interest considering the subject matter. Crying antisemitism or religious discrimination is ridiculous on your part. I’ve said everything I wanted to say. Again, your opinion is baseless. Your ideology is irrational. You might as well quit your hasbara day job, you fail

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        November 15, 2011, 3:29 am

        Substitute Obama for Ross and Black leaders for Jewish leaders.

        Okay substitute the name of any other country in the phrase “pro-Israel community” if you can think of one that has invaded and occupied neighboring states and refused to discuss withdrawal of its armed forces until it’s recognized as the State of the Black people

        I won’t be holding my breath.

    • Charon
      Charon
      November 14, 2011, 2:39 pm

      Just to add to my previous comment,

      hophmi, what if Ross was a Saudi Arabian Muslim? What if he spent his entire career representing big oil above the interests of Americans?

      What if he was a former chairman for the “Islamic Policy Planning Institute?”

      What if he announced his resignation at a luncheon of Saudi diplomats and Islamic spiritual leaders?

      Now what if Kathleen wrote “gathering of Muslim and Arab leaders?”

      In such a hypothetical scenario, you would have absolutely no problem with saying he represents Muslim and Arab interests and not the US. You would agree 100% and probably say he should be charged with treason or deported.

      When the shoe is on the other foot it’s okay. Such double standards make your opinions baseless.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        November 14, 2011, 3:31 pm

        “hophmi, what if Ross was a Saudi Arabian Muslim? What if he spent his entire career representing big oil above the interests of Americans?

        What if he was a former chairman for the “Islamic Policy Planning Institute?””

        What if he was? I would say that I disagreed with him. I would have the humility to accept that he was acting in what he believed to be US interests, not impugn the man’s character based on his out-of-government associations and his religion.

        “What if he announced his resignation at a luncheon of Saudi diplomats and Islamic spiritual leaders?”

        Would not be a big deal to me.

        “In such a hypothetical scenario, you would have absolutely no problem with saying he represents Muslim and Arab interests and not the US. You would agree 100% and probably say he should be charged with treason or deported.”

        I would never say something like that. You make the mistake of thinking I’m a bigot like you are.

        “When the shoe is on the other foot it’s okay. Such double standards make your opinions baseless.”

        It’s unfortunate that you apparent think humanity is as much in the gutter as you are.

      • philweiss
        philweiss
        November 14, 2011, 3:46 pm

        do you ever talk about scalia’s catholicness when discussing his position on abortion? in the privacy of your mind, or home? i do. and if you think that, what’s wrong to say it, when religion is an actual adherence in our politics…

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        November 14, 2011, 4:30 pm

        “do you ever talk about scalia’s catholicness when discussing his position on abortion?”

        No. His position is shared by most conservatives, Catholic and otherwise, and there are plenty of pro-choice Catholics and plenty of pro-choice Catholic politicians. I respect Scalia and Thomas (both of whom are Catholic) enough to accord them their viewpoints without accusing them of placing religion above country as your commenter did. And no, I’m not a conservative like they are.

        “and if you think that, what’s wrong to say it, when religion is an actual adherence in our politics…”

        If Justice Scalia came out and said “my religion informs my views on abortion,” it would be one thing. There are certainly politicians who have said as much, running as “good Christians” and so on, particularly in the Bible belt. He has not, and to accuse him of such, to say he “represents Catholic interests” on the Court would be a hateful thing to say. He represents a conservative view of the Constitution, shared by many Americans of all races of religions. It’s no different than saying Ruth Bader Ginsburg represents the interests of the Jewish community by favoring the generally liberal views shared by most Jews on abortion rights, women’s rights, and so on.

        Phil, this is obvious stuff. You accord people the good faith of the arguments and judgments they make when they do things as government advisors and Supreme Court justices. You don’t say “he did this because he’s a Jew” or “he did this because he’s a Black” or “he did this because he’s a Muslim.” I’m sorry to say, if you’ve fallen into the trap of doing otherwise, you’re in the same boat as the Pamela Gellers of this world.

      • Charon
        Charon
        November 14, 2011, 5:10 pm

        I would have the humility to accept that he was acting in what he believed to be US interests, not impugn the man’s character based on his out-of-government associations and his religion

        Bullshit. What a ridiculous thing to say. What if a genocidal maniac was democratically elected into a position of power and started slaughtering minorities because he believed it to be in interest of the country? You would accept it? Really? What irrational logic. That sure is a new spin on the old ‘democracy’ rhetoric you guys use.

        I don’t think you’re a bigot, I know you’re a bigot. You can’t be bigoted toward Arabs and then say you are not a bigot.

        What kind of response is “It’s unfortunate that you apparent think humanity is as much in the gutter as you are” anyway? Because you took offense to be calling your opinions baseless? So now you represent humanity all of a sudden? Odd…

      • Kathleen
        Kathleen
        November 14, 2011, 5:34 pm

        “His position is shared by most conservatives, Catholic and otherwise, and there are plenty of pro-choice Catholics and plenty of pro-choice Catholic politicians.”

        And many of them stand by the law protecting a womans right to choose. Israel ignores international law and agreements. Dennis Ross has supported Israel’s disregard for international law and agreements

      • November 14, 2011, 5:40 pm

        A classic example of a “genocidal maniac, who was democratically elected into a position of power and started slaughtering minorities because he believed it to be in interest of the country” was a man, known for many, as Adolf Hitler.

        Q:”Was Hitler democratically elected as Chancellor of Germany in 1933?

        A: Yes. Of course he was.

        However, because the office of Chancellor was not filled by popular election, it might be more accurate to say that Hitler was constitutionally chosen to be the Chancellor of Germany, a democratic nation. The point is, there was nothing about Hitler’s appointment as Chancellor (30 Jan. 1933) which violated the Constitution of Germany. President Hindenburg legally selected the leader of the largest party in Parliament to head up a coalition government. It has happened hundreds of times throughout history without being considered undemocratic.”

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        November 14, 2011, 5:44 pm

        “Bullshit. What a ridiculous thing to say. What if a genocidal maniac was democratically elected into a position of power and started slaughtering minorities because he believed it to be in interest of the country?”

        Which one of us was being ridiculous, again? I’m talking about a guy who propounds a foreign policy viewpoint that is widely shared in government – that the United States cannot lead on the peace process without the trust of the Israelis. You’re talking about a wild hypothetical.

        “I don’t think you’re a bigot, I know you’re a bigot. You can’t be bigoted toward Arabs and then say you are not a bigot.”

        I’m not bigoted toward Arabs, but yes, to save Cliff the time and trouble, I did once say that the Palestinians supported Hitler during a conversation about how the Palestinians were perceived by the elites at the UN responsible for partition.

        “What kind of response is “It’s unfortunate that you apparent think humanity is as much in the gutter as you are” anyway? Because you took offense to be calling your opinions baseless? ”

        Because you automatically made the assumption that I would accuse a Muslim of caring more about Islam or more about Saudi Arabia than the US if he advocated a certain position on the Arab world or that I would call for him to be deported or some such nonsense. It’s apparently not possible for you to understand that I don’t do that, because you automatically assume I’m just as much of a bigot as you are.

      • Charon
        Charon
        November 14, 2011, 5:46 pm

        Hophmi,

        Did you miss the whole “religion is an actual adherence in our politics” part? You are talking in circles trying to spin it a certain way, to make it appear that what you say is rational.

        You are basically saying it is wrong to judge a person’s actions because of their religious beliefs. Why? If their actions are immoral and likely rooted in their religious beliefs, why is it wrong to point it out? Because it might hurt their feelings?

        Religious tolerance has restrictions. If you belong to a religion that requires you to not wear a shirt, when you get kicked out of Disneyland it isn’t because they are discriminating against you. It is because you don’t have a shirt on. This is exactly how Zionists create antisemitism when antisemitism isn’t there in the first place, and the “A” word has the ability to draw attention and controversy.

        Also related, you seem to believe that our leaders should not be judged by their activities outside of government. Why? If they belong to an anti-gun organization, why is it wrong to judge them on that? What if they are a recovering heroin addict who has relapsed multiple times yet swears they are done this time? Gonna be a sucker and take their word for it? People get fired all the time because of their facebook photos.

        If the POTUS happens to be a Christian Zionist of the fundamentalist and rapturous variety, it is not wrong to stereotype them as an Israel-firster and war mongerer. You call a spade a spade. The POTUS is a pretty important position and that particular religion could have a religiously-motivated foreign policy. If I interpreted my religion to say that there will be 1,000 years of peace if I destroy the UK, that’s a problem. Even if there was already a case to be made for a war with the UK. It isn’t wrong to point this out

      • Charon
        Charon
        November 14, 2011, 6:09 pm

        hophmi,

        Let’s say you and the general public supported a war against a certain country like Iran for example. Let’s say the primary motivating factor is that they attacked us. If the democratically elected president belonged to a minor religious sect who believed a utopia would appear if Persia was destroyed, the president’s primary motivating factor, is it wrong to say the president started a war because of their religion?

        What if, using the same example, that president wrote a book in the 70s advocating for the destruction of Persia? (even though we had diplomatic relations then) Where do you draw the line?

        Pretend two people are criticizing Israel over Cast Lead. One is criticizing them because of their behavior, and the other is only using it as an excuse to criticize them because they hate Jews. Isn’t that a problem? Zionists love to claim anti-Zionists are really just antisemites in disguise. Isn’t that kind of the same thing? Christian Zionists and Jewish Zionists support Israel for VERY different reasons. Again with the double standards. Not surprising though. Zionist live by double standards. Anti-Zionists make you angry, smear them as antisemites because some of them probably are. Christian Zionists support Israel because of a rapture belief that ends badly for Jews, welcome the support anyway. WTF?

      • annie
        annie
        November 14, 2011, 6:36 pm

        I’m talking about a guy who propounds a foreign policy viewpoint that is widely shared in government – that the United States cannot lead on the peace process without the trust of the Israelis.

        Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. i don’t care how many people share a viewpoint that is widely shared in government. we didn’t change iraq by gaining saddam’s trust. there are many ways to influence people to comply with international law besides gaining their trust. you don’t see israel trying to gain iran’s trust to try them to stop going nuclear. you’re not making sense you’re just parroting the propaganda line about why the US vetoed the settlement issue. this whole ‘gaining trust’ is bullshit. obama has bent over backwards and they treat him like shit.

        israel is a foreign country, we give them money, it’s not our job to gain their trust. they should grow up and stop expecting the world to cater to their criminality.

      • annie
        annie
        November 14, 2011, 7:58 pm

        oh look time mag weighs in

        Still, Ross’ own priority — like that of most of the pro-Israel establishment — was not the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but Iran’s nuclear program. Indeed, he said publicly that it was his confidence that Obama would be more effective than Bush had been in bringing more effective pressure to bear on Iran that prompted Ross to support the young senator’s campaign for the White House.

        “The Bush policy on Iran has failed, and unless the next president can change Iranian behavior, Israel will face an existential threat,” Ross wrote in the Jewish Journal in October 2008. “It is my Middle Eastern hat and my attachment to Israel that ultimately inspires my support for Obama… I know he understands that neither Israel nor America can afford four more years of Iran and the radical Islamists gaining strategic leverage in the Middle East.

        http://globalspin.blogs.time.com/2011/11/14/will-dennis-ross-resignation-raise-pressure-on-obama-for-a-tougher-iran-stance/

        it’s actually got lots of choice quotes

      • Charon
        Charon
        November 15, 2011, 1:28 am

        hophmi, your argument is invalid. Not a single thing you wrote made any sense or addressed what I said. You are just trying to get the final word in the matter because the ratio of readers to comments is higher and you are trying influence that opinion. Hasbara 101. We all know your tricks. Your hijack failed. At least Witty, DBG, and eee don’t go around calling everybody antisemitic. They at least know it is a dead end that no longer works.

      • annie
        annie
        November 15, 2011, 1:35 am
      • CloakAndDagger
        CloakAndDagger
        November 15, 2011, 1:49 am

        Why duel with mental midgets? If no one responds to them, they will clutter the thread less. Arguing with them gives them openings for spewing more, drowning out useful discussions.

        To paraphrase Mark Twain, resorting to protests of anti-semitism, is the last refuge of rogues and rascals. That bee has long lost its sting.

      • Charon
        Charon
        November 15, 2011, 2:48 am

        i called it first!

        :P

        You definitely called it and I copied. heh!

        hophmi’s threadjacking kinda derailed meaningful discussion as CloakAndDagger pointed out. A casual reader might come read this and erroneously believe hophmi has a point. That’s why they always want the final word. Their irrationality needs to be pointed out in that case.

      • annie
        annie
        November 15, 2011, 3:10 am

        That’s why they always want the final word.

        and frequently the first word if they can get to it on time even at the expense of NOT reading the article.

      • Kathleen
        Kathleen
        November 15, 2011, 8:46 am

        Religious, ethnic and cultural tribalism weave the way through the I/P issue.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        November 16, 2011, 2:15 pm

        People like Hagee brings tons of support and cash to Israel and Israel’s little helpers here in the USA, and they never criticize Israel no matter what it does, even if it impacts negatively on Christians under Israel’s control. These are facts. That it’s also a fact Hagee and his ilk believe most folks, including most Jews will not be joining God when the end comes on Earth, but only Christian fundies will–is a joke to Jewish Zionists. It’s a no-brainer to not openly voice ridicule at Hagee et al’s Pie In The Sky while taking Hagee’s cash and other support for the Real Deal here on earth. It’s no problem being an atheist, or an agnostic, and being Jewish, Zionist or otherwise. Belief in heaven or hell are not requirements either.

      • john h
        john h
        November 16, 2011, 5:10 pm

        I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, each is simply using the other for their own ends.

        Love or support might be professed, but the reality is it’s not even skin deep. When they think the time is right, they’ll cast the other off like a dirty rag.

        Both are on a maniacal fool’s errand; they deserve each other.

  4. Kathleen
    Kathleen
    November 14, 2011, 12:52 pm
  5. Kathleen
    Kathleen
    November 14, 2011, 12:57 pm

    Race for Iran

    http://www.raceforiran.com/

    [Kathleen it would be nice if you stopped violating copyright by copying and pasting almost full articles]

    • Kathleen
      Kathleen
      November 14, 2011, 12:57 pm
    • Kathleen
      Kathleen
      November 14, 2011, 5:35 pm

      Sorry do not do that very often.

      Race for Iran best information about the situation with Iran

    • Kathleen
      Kathleen
      November 14, 2011, 5:44 pm

      important paragraphs in the above link
      PULLING THE IAEA INTO THE “ATTACK IRAN” DEBATE WILL BACKFIRE
      “And so the latest IAEA report treats its readers to sensational stories of Iranian nuclear weapons designs and experiments on things that can supposedly only be applied to the fabrication of nuclear weapons. None of these stories is corroborated by hard evidence, but the Amano-led IAEA passes them on anyway, with its effective imprimatur.

      There are many reasons to question virtually every detail in the IAEA’s accounting of the “possible military dimensions” to Iran’s nuclear program. But, more importantly, the stories do not indicate that Tehran is currently trying to produce nuclear weapons. (And, remember, Iran does not have the weapons-grade fissile material needed to build a nuclear bomb.) In fact, no one has ever produced a shred of evidence that Iran has ever actually tried to build a nuclear weapon or taken a decision to do so. And that is why—notwithstanding the efforts of the Obama Administration, some allied governments, neoconservative and pro-Israel constituencies in Washington, and others to hype IAEA report to the maximum extent possible—the new IAEA report is, substantively, a colossal non-event. “

      • annie
        annie
        November 14, 2011, 5:54 pm

        excellent. i would also bold the essential segments. it entices people to click on the link and support the site.

      • Kathleen
        Kathleen
        November 14, 2011, 6:25 pm

        I do this for Mondoweiss all over the place. Will be sure to shorten the Mondoweiss paragraphs at other sites so that the copyright issue does not come up

      • annie
        annie
        November 14, 2011, 6:52 pm

        yeah, just give them enough info so they have to click the link, that way it drives traffic for the site.

        even when i post articles like this that i read on huff po, i had to write and get permission from the author. that’s why when phil or adam write articles and link they only uses a few paragraphs (w/few exceptions). one time i requested to copy a whole article from a blog and the person wrote back and said no (that usually doesn’t happen) because he wanted to promote his site. but even smaller blogs with less traffic (like students in gaza) i get permission.

        huwaida from ISM gave me blanket permission to copy anything from their website anytime (that is rare) so i know longer have to get their permission.

      • Bumblebye
        Bumblebye
        November 14, 2011, 9:07 pm

        annie
        Craig Murray has a post up that he explicitly asks other blogs to post in full (last para before update) should they wish.
        He believes the Fox/Werritty/Gould meetings, about which it has been extremely difficult for him to get much info is about the push for Iran. Gould is the UK’s first Jewish ambassador to Israel, and very Zionist.

      • Bumblebye
        Bumblebye
        November 14, 2011, 9:15 pm
      • annie
        annie
        November 14, 2011, 9:30 pm

        great, i’ll check it out and maybe we will take him up on it.

        it opens interestingly.

        On 29 May 2011 The Jerusalem Post reported: “British Ambassador Matthew Gould declared his commitment to Israel and the principles of Zionism on Thursday”.

        Remember this background, it is unusual behaviour for a diplomat, and it is important.

  6. annie
    annie
    November 14, 2011, 2:05 pm

    i’m inclined to agree w/b

    Dennis Ross Fired Over IAEA Dud

    As usual especially in Middle East issues the NYT buries the lede at the end its story.

    Mr. Ross was also involved in devising the administration’s pressure tactics against Iran, after Mr. Obama’s initial overtures fell flat. Tensions with Iran have risen in recent days because of a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency laying out evidence that Iran has continued to work on a nuclear weapon.

    Tensions with Iran have not really risen. What has risen is international, especially Russian and Chinese, resistance against the confrontational U.S. strategy towards Iran and abusing and damaging the IAEA at Dennis Ross’ advise.

    The recent IAEA report, published under U.S. pressure, and which even former IAEA inspectors in good standing call “unprofessional”, has widely missed the target the U.S. aimed at. Ross “was involved in devising the administration’s pressure tactics against Iran”. He certainly was and the tactics he advised to follow FAILED big time.

    more at the link. i would like to add another aspect that b may have implied but didn’t spell out. i’ve shared this before in the threads but just thought for the record i’d repeat it.

    the pressure against iran included the tactic of blathering the alleged results of the report all over msm for almost a week before the report came out. the timing of his departure (b called it ‘abrupt’) is perfectly in line with the release of the report. no one could conceivably blame ross for the lack of evidence of an iranian nuke weapons program but they can certainly blame him for the strategy of bragging about what the report was supposed to say, and didn’t. thinking no one would notice.

    that was really stupid. and for the rug to get pulled out from under the plan the very day the report came out (actually it was the day before) just made us look stupid stupid stupid. i think he was fired.

    • Kathleen
      Kathleen
      November 14, 2011, 5:39 pm

      Wondering what happened to the top Iran officials involved with alleged attempt to kill Saudi ambassador story? Did Ross have anything to do with this story?

      • annie
        annie
        November 14, 2011, 5:58 pm

        Did Ross have anything to do with this story?

        oh probably. that was probably designed at some neonut think tank. i don’t know how much ross initiates any of this stuff he probably just follows directions from people like abrams , kagan and ledeen etc etc. i’m not sure who all the top dogs of the food chain are but they probably take their marching orders from the saban center or something.

      • jewishgoyim
        jewishgoyim
        November 14, 2011, 9:20 pm

        That’s a pretty interesting question! How does the pro-Israel lobby work? What’s the chain of command? Who’s the ultimate boss when all is said and done? Netanyahu?

        Where does the buck stop?

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        November 14, 2011, 9:28 pm

        “How does the pro-Israel lobby work?”

        You should have little trouble answering this question using past Mondoweiss articles and links. Check the archives.

      • seanmcbride
        seanmcbride
        November 14, 2011, 9:31 pm

        Follow the money: a few dozen billionaires control the Israel lobby. Simple as pie. You can write their names on a single sheet of paper.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        November 15, 2011, 4:10 am

        That’s a pretty interesting question! How does the pro-Israel lobby work?

        After FBI came to his door in ’04, AIPAC staffer promptly called Israeli embassy

  7. November 14, 2011, 2:18 pm

    It looks like there is some kind of “inner” shuffle, behind the curtains in the White House, that the public is not really aware of.
    We can only assume.
    Or ,maybe, it is a sound of a mating call from a wifey??

    • Charon
      Charon
      November 14, 2011, 2:51 pm

      Ha! We can assume and hope.. If it’s a good thing that is

      Looks like the WH has been having an intifada of it’s own, shaking off Ziocons here and there. A good thing as long as they are not replaced with other Ziocons. They say the only way to keep a secret from Israel in the WH is to say it face-to-face in private. Even then they have ears everywhere. WH phones were secured by Israeli-designed software in the 90s. Until they were compromised. Probably left a back-door to Tel Aviv in the code if you know what I mean. Some say that’s how the Lewinsky thing leaked out. Netanyahu’s way of telling Bill to back off.

      I would like to believe that behind the scenes there are people trying to do the right thing. Probably just wishful thinking

      • November 14, 2011, 3:25 pm

        I’m afraid that those behind the scenes, who do, (try to do the right thing) are quickly “shushed”.
        And there is many, many ways, one can be “shushed”.
        Bribery or threat are the most effective ones.

      • flyod
        flyod
        November 15, 2011, 6:55 am

        yes,
        AMDOCS

  8. Kathleen
    Kathleen
    November 14, 2011, 5:53 pm

    Would really like to know more about his relationship with George Mitchell. I had read that it was not so good. Not good at all.
    http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/r/dennis_b_ross/index.html

    “George J. Mitchell, who was Mr. Obama’s special envoy to the Middle East, backed by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, argued in favor of a comprehensive American proposal that would include borders, security and the fate of Jerusalem and refugees. But Mr. Ross balked, administration officials said, arguing that it was unwise for the United States to look as if it were publicly breaking with Israel.”

  9. Kathleen
    Kathleen
    November 14, 2011, 6:03 pm

    http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/12322.aspx
    “The independent Palestinian new website Maan reported that Abu Sharif said that Mitchell blamed Ross for hindering the US initiative to move forward in the road to peace in the Middle East.

    Abu Sharif, known for his acquaintance with international figures, said that top US officials told him that Mitchell considered the appointment of Ross as an “Israeli step to block his efforts for the achievement of peace.”

  10. Kathleen
    Kathleen
    November 14, 2011, 6:23 pm

    I really did not hear Ross’s name brought up in association with the alleged attempt by Iranian Quds force members to kill the Saudi Ambassador. But that story was all over the place for about four days and then disappeared.
    US steps up pressure on Iran over alleged plot to kill Saudi envoy
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/oct/12/us-iran-plot-saudi-arabia

    ——————————

    Alleged Iran plot could have been trigger for war in Middle East

    State-sponsored or a rogue act, the killing of Saudi ambassador in the US would have ensured the Middle East went up in flames

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/oct/11/alleged-iran-plot-middle-east-war
    “Robert Baer, a former CIA agent with long experience of observing the QF, said: “This stinks to holy hell. The Quds Force are very good. They don’t sit down with people they don’t know and make a plot. They use proxies and they are professional about it. If Kassim Suleimani was coming after you or me, we would be dead. This is totally uncharacteristic of them.”

    What happened to that story?

  11. Kathleen
    Kathleen
    November 14, 2011, 6:35 pm

    Went looking for more articles about Ross’s leaving/firing (sp?) over to Steve Clemons place. A truly uplifting piece about Palestinian women and children and only a tiny mention of Ross’s departure
    http://www.thewashingtonnote.com/

    “Today, it’s difficult to see any serious international efforts focused on resolving Palestine’s standoff with Israel. Obama administration envoy George Mitchell has resigned. Hillary Clinton is filling her time with China stuff — not Israel/Palestine. National Security Council senior director for the region Dennis Ross has just announced he is leaving the Obama operation — having neither succeeded in bringing his friend Benjamin Netanyahu into any sort of constructive line and also not resolving the Iran challenge which was part of his portfolio. “

  12. seanmcbride
    seanmcbride
    November 14, 2011, 8:48 pm

    Hophmi,

    How many times have you made accusations of antisemitism over the last few years? A rough number?

    How many times a week on average do you think about your ethnic or religious enemies? A rough number?

    Have you ever noticed that most Americans aren’t preoccupied with ethnic or ethno-religious nationalist politics or attacking their ethnic or religious enemies? Have you ever wondered about why this is the case?

    What political issues do you care about more than your narrow ethnic nationalism? As much as? At all?

    Do you think there is a promising future for ethnic or religious nationalism of any variety in the modern democratic West? Are you placing your bets on an affirmative answer? Why?

    Regarding Dennis Ross: “It is … my attachment to Israel that ultimately inspires my support for Obama.” I think he has been pretty clear about his priorities. He is a straight-up Zionist.

    • Potsherd2
      Potsherd2
      November 14, 2011, 9:21 pm

      But just don’t call it “divided loyalties!”

      • seanmcbride
        seanmcbride
        November 14, 2011, 9:30 pm

        It is clearly a *single* loyalty — nothing divided about it.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        November 15, 2011, 7:51 am

        “But just don’t call it ‘divided loyalties!'”

        That’s exactly hophmi’s problem. He appears to operate pursuant to a logical fallacy: Because it is undoubtedly incorrect to assert that all Jews outside of Israel have dual loyalties (and that is no doubt the correct view of things), hophmi seems to presume that, therefore, no Jew has dual loyalties (or put his loyalty to Israel above that of, in this case, the US). So rather than examining the evidence to determine where the true may lie, hophmi dismisses the allegation out of hand.

        Logical fallacy.

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      November 14, 2011, 9:43 pm

      “Have you ever noticed that most Americans aren’t preoccupied with ethnic or ethno-religious nationalist politics or attacking their ethnic or religious enemies? Have you ever wondered about why this is the case?”

      They’re just lazy.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        November 16, 2011, 2:52 pm

        Yes, RoHa, like most lazy folks around the world most Americans don’t see any connection to their life and their country’s foreign policy, unless military conscription is in the mix and their country is involved in a war or its prospect. Post WW2, the average American did and does know something about communism. They often have no clue at all about zionism.
        There was a mainstream media engagement on the pros and cons of communism, and it’s still here to a considerable degree. But that same media has never felt any obligation to inform the American public about the ins and outs of zionism and its impact on America’s foreign policy. Most Americans have never heard of AIPAC or the Nakba, etc despite 9/11, Bush Jr’s war of choice with Iran, the continued peddling of fear regarding Iran in said media.

    • hophmi
      hophmi
      November 15, 2011, 4:22 am

      “How many times have you made accusations of antisemitism over the last few years? A rough number?”

      Outside of here? Virtually none. There’s a lot of antisemitism here, and unfortunately, most of you are ignorant of it.

      “How many times a week on average do you think about your ethnic or religious enemies? A rough number?”

      I’m not sure what that means. I don’t have ethnic and religious enemies.

      “Have you ever noticed that most Americans aren’t preoccupied with ethnic or ethno-religious nationalist politics or attacking their ethnic or religious enemies? ”

      It seems most of you are, and that your enemy is the American Jewish community.

      “What political issues do you care about more than your narrow ethnic nationalism? As much as? At all?”

      Don’t be an idiot. This is room that discusses the Israeli-Palestinian issue, so that’s what I discuss here. It does not mean it’s the only thing I care about. I don’t vote based on Israel.

      “Do you think there is a promising future for ethnic or religious nationalism of any variety in the modern democratic West? Are you placing your bets on an affirmative answer? Why?”

      Israel’s not a religious state. It’s an ethnically diverse democracy. Every single European state is more homogeneously Christian than Israel is Jewish. I don’t see any reason to believe that Israel won’t last as a Jewish state.

      “Regarding Dennis Ross: “It is … my attachment to Israel that ultimately inspires my support for Obama.” I think he has been pretty clear about his priorities.”

      Read the whole quote. “I know he understands that neither Israel nor America can afford four more years of Iran and the radical Islamists gaining strategic leverage in the Middle East.” It is clearly characterized as being good policy for the United States to check Iran, not just Israel.

      • Cliff
        Cliff
        November 15, 2011, 5:25 am

        There is not ‘a lot of’ antisemitism here. The only people who think that are ZIONIST fanatics like you. Phil and Adam have shined the light on the zeitgeist of the Zionist movement’s construct of Jewish identity.

        There is nothing antisemitic about stating FACTS.

        FACT: Dennis Ross represents Zionist Jewry in the States. Not everyday Americans. He is an Israel-firster. That is his identifier.

        Your definition of antisemitism is simple: you either agree with Zionist Jews or else be tarred and feathered by the Holocaust industry/the Israel Lobby/the sham identity politics of hasbarists.

        Nothing you say is reasonable and can be evidenced by the ridiculous vague, spurious nonsense conditions you afford that ‘shitty, little Levantine’ country.

        You’re just a whiny petulant child who thinks the world revolves around Jewishness and ‘Jewish’ (your conception, ie Zionist narcissism) problems.

        It’s only this issue, where absurd notions of ‘right to exist’ or ‘anti-Israel/semitism’ and other defense-mechanism-verbiage is utilized.

        If we were talking about China, and some Chinese partisan was steering American foreign policy into a goddamn abyss then we would be right in pointing out that guy’s OBVIOUS motivations.

        Now on the other hand, you don’t see anyone here say ‘Jews supported Hitler’ or even ‘Israelis supported Hitler’. Whereas a consummate idiot like you says ‘Palestinian support for Hitler’ followed up by a LIE, read it carefully – L I E, that you meant the Mufti or 9/11 or blah blah blah (whatever PATHETIC, 3-week late justification which had no bearing on your original comments).

        You are a pathetic liar who regularly uses Jewish identity as a human shield for Zionism. You are well aware of the the concept of identity politics. Zionists like you regularly attempt to emotionally blackmail opponents of Israeli policy and Zionism itself.

        You accused me of hating Israel. Would you accuse a Palestinian of hating Israel? Would you ask them to think about all the ‘good’ things Israel has done in their decision to hate Israel or not?

        WHO CARES! The point is that the bad outweigh the good. Who gives a damn about Israeli accomplishments when it is a colonial-settler State? Oh wait, people like you.

        No one has to love your favorite country. Certainly not the Palestinian people and their supporters. Do you actually think that is an insult?

        The only people who want Iran to have nukes are the same people who pay more attention to Hamas TV rather than indiscriminate Israel aerial bombing of Palestinian and Lebanese civilians.

        Crazies like you often say ‘Israel doesnt kill as many people as X, Y, Z (DARFUR DARFUR DARFUR)’ so why do we talk about Israel?

        Then, you proceed to WHINE about rockets on S’Derot or Iranian saber-rattling. This is how cynical and hypocritical freaks like you are.

        You don’t want people to think, talk or mention Israeli crimes. You don’t want to be under a microscope at all. It’s not the perceived imbalance of criticism (as if each individual is obligated to be Amnesty International).

        So while we compare Israel and the Palestinians, you compare the Israeli-Palestinian matrix to some non-related party like Darfur or China and their crimes. THEN, you whine about rockets which (up until the Gaza massacre) killed 8 people since the beginning of the 2nd Intifada. You go ON and ON about antisemitism from anti-Zionists while ignoring the well-documented (here from MW of course) antisemitic comments from Zionist intellectuals, politicians, etc. (‘Jews must infiltrate centers of power’ – that sort of thing).

        You trumpet Israeli casualties and fears and concerns which are NOTHING, repeat NOTHING, in comparison to Palestinian casualties and concerns and fears.

        You are the very definition of hypocritical and the ONLY people on Earth who are supportive of your logical reasoning with respect to this conflict are others who are equally deluded and UNFAIR and racist.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        November 15, 2011, 8:10 am

        “Every single European state is more homogeneously Christian than Israel is Jewish.”

        LOL. Kinda shows that Zionist talking point about Israel being a “Jewish state” to be nothing but nonsense designed to further secure the Zionist book on the neck of the Palestinian men, women and children, doesn’t it?

  13. CloakAndDagger
    CloakAndDagger
    November 14, 2011, 11:31 pm

    Interesting development, if true at http://www.veteranstoday.com/2011/11/14/israel-deal-gives-them-missle-for-us-threat/
    (not sure if I buy the whole article, but what do I know):

    The biggest threats to Israel, those putting the most pressure on Netanyahu are from 3 directions. President Obama has become increasingly hostile to Israel.
    The French, as seen at the “Open Mike” incident at the G 20 conference also believe Netanyahu to have had a “break with reality.”
    Only British Prime Minister Cameron has stuck with Netanyahu though private reports among his close associates indicate that his position has become threatened due to his alliance with Israel.

    • Charon
      Charon
      November 15, 2011, 1:19 am

      Interesting if true, CloakAndDagger. Duff is probably right half the time, but the other half just isn’t him. At least not his old self.

      • CloakAndDagger
        CloakAndDagger
        November 15, 2011, 1:51 am

        I got banned from his site for questioning a bunch of his stuff. But he does come up with gems once in a while, so I can’t completely discount him.

  14. Remax
    Remax
    November 15, 2011, 8:06 am

    I have just ploughed through all this and I would say that by hophmi’s definition I am pretty certain I must be anti-Semitic. So we can get that out of the way.

    If Ross has managed to influence the administration, or anyone else for that matter, he cannot be said to have served US interests unless you believe US interests in the global forum, and specifically in the ME, would be worse now without his input. Using the same criteria a similar conclusion might be reached for Israel which is undoubtedly less positively regarded than it was a couple of years ago.

    Yesterday afternoon I caught a fairly extended piece on France 24 about a Palestinian farmer who has lost 80 acres of olives, burned by settlers. Unfortunately I cannot find a link to it on their site, although using the search engine revealed that their coverage is quite extensive: http://www.france24.com/en/20111114-2011-11-14-0717-israel-west-bank-settlers-price-tag-attacks In any event it didn’t really say anything we had not heard before except that this guy has something like 200 acres and was clearly better educated than many Palestinian victim farmers. Israel is becoming increasingly exposed as an oppressor in reports like this and I don’t think it is bias because it would be hard to find anyone cogently to justify such destruction. One rabbi did say he doubted this was general as mostly the settlers just cut the tops of the trees (sic), which would grow back. This statement was made while the camera panned lines of trees so charred it would take a Lazarene miracle to bring them back to life.

    This from Haaretz this morning

    Germany, France join opposition to attack on Iran nuclear program
    U.S., Turkey also do not seem to support military option against Iranian facilities; EU, U.S. want to impose sanctions, but China, Russia, some Gulf states have trading ties with Iran….

    http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/germany-france-join-opposition-to-attack-on-iran-nuclear-program-1.395587

    That is a breathtaking lot of opposition to have aroused to balance a handful of individuals like Ross and the dreaded Tony Blair.

    What baffles me is why there is no serious political opposition to this lemming like behaviour and I don’t mean specifically the I/P issue, obviously that is active, but the whole direction Israel is taking. One can understand Obama’s off the cuff response to Sarkozy but isn’t it time the Israeli public stood up.

    • Potsherd2
      Potsherd2
      November 15, 2011, 8:55 am

      Hophmi has a definition of antisemitism? That would be a step in the right direction, we’d know what he’s talking about. Seems to me he just flings the insult in the direction of anyone who offers a fact he can’t refute.

      • Remax
        Remax
        November 15, 2011, 2:33 pm

        You are right. I probably should have called it a category rather than a definition. Anyway it is very broad and I am sure I qualify. Perhaps one might turn the implied opprobrium on its head and designate hophmi et al as pro-Semitic, using phrases like ‘Another pro-Semitic comment’. Then they would be obliged to ask, ‘How is that pro-Semitic?’

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