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  1. Kathleen
    Kathleen
    November 16, 2013, 11:01 am

    Boulder streets rising too:

    Put this up on my fb page
    “Author and journalist Max Blumenthalhttp://maxblumenthal.com/ spoke Friday night here in Boulder about his new book “Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel”. He spoke at length about his experiences on the ground in Israel and in the illegally occupied Palestinian territories. Much of what he reported was similar to what some of us have read in Edward Said, Ilan Pappe’s, Former President Jimmy Carter and other informative books written about this issue over the last five decades. As well as hearing eye witness accounts from Art and Peggy Gish and others who have witnessed human rights abuses committed against the Palestinians over the decades.

    This young man can share more facts about Palestinian oppression as a result of the illegal confiscation of Palestinian lands, creation of Israel, racist legislation, illegal settlements etc than anyone I have heard speak about this issue. All of which he has witnessed up front and close over the last six or seven years. Smooth delivery, calm demeanor, factual, humorous at times, humble and brilliant all rolled into one. He knocked it out of the park

    I believe he inspired many to take off their protective blinders about the facts on the ground.

    Here is my friend Professor Tom Mayer (emeritus) Dept of Sociology Univ of Colorado’s assessment of Blumenthal’s presentation.

    “Hello peace and justice activists:

    Max Blumenthal, author of Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel (2013), addressed a packed and attentive audience at the Boulder Friends Meeting House this evening. He spoke for about one hour and then answered questions for another hour. His main topic was the rightward drift of Israeli politics. As a result of this change racist, separatist, and authoritarian ideas are now thoroughly entrenched within mainstream Israeli ideology. Although these baneful practices have become more open and obvious, Blumenthal emphasizes that they were implicit in Zionist philosophy and practice from its very beginning.

    I found Blumenthal’s talk particularly impressive for his broad knowledge of the nitty gritty details of Israeli politics, for his fluent but informal way of speaking, and for his willingness to take bold and uncompromising political positions. Blumenthal thinks that the solution to the Palestine-Israel conflict is easy to express but extremely difficult to achieve. The solution to the conflict is simply the establishment or true political equality. True political equality means a state in which all citizens have fully equal rights and no citizens have special political privileges. A truly equal state must be a democratic state, but it must not be specifically Jewish state which gives Jews special benefits.

    When Max Blumenthal was asked how he came to write Goliath, he gave more or less the same answer as he gives in the Preface to the book:

    “I began working on this book in May 2009, almost as soon as I completed the book tour of Republican Gomorrah, and I have conducted uninterrupted research for four years, through early 2013. When I began, Israelis had just elected the most right-wing government in their history in an election conducted during Operation Cast Lead, a three-week-long military assault on the Gaza Strip that left much of the besieged coastal enclave in ruins. A transitional period that began with the collapse of the Camp David negotiations in 2000 was accelerating, with extreme nationalist elements consolidating control over the key institutions of Israeli society, from the Knesset to the courts to the educational system and the army. Through my reporting, I attempted to illuminate the impact of this momentous transition on the people themselves— both Jews and Palestinians— charting its progression through the 2012 Israeli national elections, and against the historical backdrop of the cataclysmic events of 1948 that haunt the Holy Land to this day.”

    During his talk Blumenthal said that it was Operation Cast Lead that finally broke his attachment to Israel. In his book Goliath (and also in tonight’s talk) Blumenthal describes how Israeli citizens cheered on the violent military attack on Gaza:

    “Parash Hill is a scenic overlook near Sderot, which is one of the under-serviced development towns originally constructed in Southern Israel to accommodate some of the hundreds of thousands of Jews who arrived to Israel from Arab nations during the 1950s, often as impoverished victims of government-led campaigns on expulsion. Parash Hill offers sweeping views of the Gaza Strip, and beyond it is the Mediterranean Sea. Here, hundreds of Israelis gathered at the vista to revel in the violence. For them, the hill offered mezzanine seats for the bombing; they cheered or stared with silent satisfaction while the hometown team exacted blood vengeance on the Enemy. “Of course I’m happy,” a twenty-six-year-old Orthodox Jew told a reporter from the UK’s Sunday Times as he watched Israeli jets bombard the strip. “It would be better if innocent civilians weren’t hurt, but the ones who cooperate with Hamas— that’s their problem.”

    A secular, middle-aged woman pointed to Gaza and calmly explained to Ulla Terkelsen, a Danish TV reporter, “They should just wipe the whole thing off the map.” With a dramatic wave of her hand, she added, “Yeah, I’m a little bit fascist.” A twenty-seven-year-old student surveyed the scene of picnicking Israelis and lamented, “People in Israel are addicted to violence.” (p.11)

    One of the most appalling revelations in Goliath was not mentioned tonight by Blumenthal. This revelation concerns the teachings of certain extreme right wing rabbis about killing non-Jews. These rabbis published a widely read book justifying the killing of non-Jews, even the killing of non-Jewish babies:

    “According to…Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira and Rabbi Yosef Elitzur, non-Jews are “uncompassionate by nature” and may have to be killed in order to “curb their evil inclinations. If we kill a gentile who has violated one of the seven commandments [of Noah] . . . there is nothing wrong with the murder,” Shapira and Elitzur insisted. Citing Jewish law as their source (or at least a very selective interpretation of it) they declared, “There is justification for killing babies if it is clear that they will grow up to harm us, and in such a situation they may be harmed deliberately, and not only during combat with adults.” (p. 303)

    These are, to be sure, the ravings of right wing maniacs, but this murderous gibberish apparently garners a surprisingly wide and sympathetic audience within Israel.

    I agreed with most of the things that Max Blumenthal said, but not with everything. One of the things that I did not agree with was his assessment of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) strategy. He described BDS as “the only game in town” for securing justice to the Palestinians. I think BDS is an important endeavor, and I fully support it, but I do not think it is the only game in town or even the most important method of securing justice for the Palestinians. Weakening the alliance between the United States and Israel is, I think, the key to transforming Israeli politics. Israel can continue its outrageous oppression of the Palestinians mainly because it can rely on generous US economic, military, and diplomatic support. If this were not forthcoming, then the government of Israel would come under enormous pressure to change its apartheid policies.

    There is now a reasonably good chance of weakening the US-Israel alliance. It is becoming increasingly evident that this alliance is dangerous to the USA. The Israel connection was an important factor that propelled the USA into attacking Iraq twice. The Netanyahu government is now trying to induce a US attack upon Iran. Many Americans now understand that the lock-step alliance between the USA and Israel spells war. We who seek justice for the Palestinians and peace in the Middle East (and elsewhere) should capitalize on this important political opportunity.

    Peace and Justice,
    Tom Mayer “

    • richb
      richb
      November 17, 2013, 12:04 am

      I was there and similarly impressed. I was the one that asked the Christian Zionist question at the end.

      • Kathleen
        Kathleen
        November 17, 2013, 5:20 am

        Great question. I asked Max at the end about how he feels about the human rights activist (giants) who have come before him. Edward Said, Vanessa Redgrave, Ilan Pappe, Art Gish. Decades of work that Max stands on. He answered in a humble way.

        I just always think it is so wise to mention all who have worked on these issues for decades and avoid inferring in any way that the movement started with a particular person. Max is a very wise and brilliant young man..would demonstrate more wisdom if he wove this important theme into his talks

    • Susan A
      Susan A
      November 17, 2013, 12:12 pm

      I agree that the US is paramount as to what happens in Israel/Palestine; that’s why I always come to Mondoweiss where I can be informed on the US AND Palestine. But I also think that this is where BDS comes in. The more the BDS movement grows, the more governments, including the US government, are put under pressure to act. This was the beauty of the South African anti-apartheid movement. Both BDS and its ultimate effect on the US government are imperatives for a just peace for all concerned.

  2. Kathleen
    Kathleen
    November 16, 2013, 11:09 am

    Denver rising and rising.

    Pushing back against attacks by the Denver editorial board who wrote that the Ethnic Cleansing of Palestinian ads posted by BDS Colorado on Denver buses were false. The Denver Post not allowing the many letters written in opposition to these claims to be put in the paper. Will be a protest of the Denver Post on Nov 20th
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Colorado-BDS/183535921686012

  3. Kathleen
    Kathleen
    November 16, 2013, 11:44 am

    Please sign this petition challenging the Denver Post editorial claiming that the Ethnic Cleansing of Palestinian ads on some of Denver’s buses are false. The Post has not allowed letters of opposition to these false claims into the pages of their biased paper.

    Please sign
    https://www.change.org/petitions/the-denver-post-publish-a-response-to-your-biased-editorial-on-ethnic-cleansing-in-palestine

    • Kris
      Kris
      November 16, 2013, 1:25 pm

      Thanks, Kathleen, I just signed the petition.

      The Denver Post editorial conflates ethnic cleansing with genocide in order to claim that because the Palestinian population is increasing, there is no ethnic cleansing: http://www.denverpost.com/editorials/ci_24452664/ads-rtd-buses-mislead-ethnic-cleansing-mideast

      This is what the U.N. has said about ethnic cleansing:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethnic_cleansing
      The Final Report of the Commission of Experts established pursuant to Security Council Resolution 780 defined ethnic cleansing as “a purposeful policy designed by one ethnic or religious group to remove by violent and terror-inspiring means the civilian population of another ethnic or religious group from certain geographic areas.”[1] In its previous, first interim report it noted, “[b]ased on the many reports describing the policy and practices conducted in the former Yugoslavia, [that] ‘ethnic cleansing’ has been carried out by means of murder, torture, arbitrary arrest and detention, extra-judicial executions, rape and sexual assaults, confinement of civilian population in ghetto areas, forcible removal, displacement and deportation of civilian population, deliberate military attacks or threats of attacks on civilians and civilian areas, and wanton destruction of property. Those practices constitute crimes against humanity and can be assimilated to specific war crimes. Furthermore, such acts could also fall within the meaning of the Genocide Convention.”

      • Kathleen
        Kathleen
        November 16, 2013, 6:28 pm

        Thanks Kris

    • annie
      annie
      November 16, 2013, 11:09 pm

      done. thanks kathleen.

      • Kathleen
        Kathleen
        November 17, 2013, 4:33 am

        And Colorado BDS thanks you Annie

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        November 17, 2013, 7:32 am

        I signed the petition also, and sent it out to my friends who may sign it, and, as well, passed it on via Facebook and Twitter.

      • Kathleen
        Kathleen
        November 17, 2013, 6:22 pm

        Thanks so much Citizen!

  4. Mike_Konrad
    Mike_Konrad
    November 16, 2013, 12:25 pm

    $3 Billion a year to Israel. I hate to inform you, but that is about 0.05% (1/200th) of our national budget. Were it dispersed equally among all the cities which have those anti-Israel signs, it would probably buy each city a whole traffic light. Yep! One whole traffic light, but certainly not a fancy one.

    You have to get a sense of proportion. The $3 billion in aid to Israel is more for show than real effect.

    • just
      just
      November 16, 2013, 6:50 pm

      please send it back!

      (ingrate– how much does Israel give to the US?????????????)

    • Ellen
      Ellen
      November 16, 2013, 7:03 pm

      This is the new hasbara line. It is just a tiny amount of all your money, it makes no difference. Actually the 3 billion is about triple that when interest free loans, grants, etc. are considered.

      But the new hasbara argument is no different than when one justifies taking something because the owner has so much already, they won’t miss it. Pathetic.

      The “aid” is unjustified and can be put to better use for the welfare and protection of American citizens at home. A little bit can go a very long way.

      Can you please stop taking it?

    • traintosiberia
      traintosiberia
      November 16, 2013, 7:09 pm

      Give it Haiti or Phillipine this year taking fromthe next year’s allocation.

    • traintosiberia
      traintosiberia
      November 16, 2013, 7:19 pm

      That was the argument of the Zionist from 1900.
      Arab has enough land to trek to, can’t they spare a little?
      America has enough arms ,can’t Israel have some?
      Can’t US take those Soviet Jewry ,it has enough land,money,housing,Medicaid and other system to help them when they come?
      Can’t US allow Israel to the billings for all the phones ,communication, US has enough other priorities?
      Can’t US support the export market of Israel, US is exporting all over the world?
      Can’t Israel use the pharmaceuticals research data to manufacture generic for sales to Europe, America has a big drug research development base?
      Can’t Israel sell its arms to US military no bidding from other allowed , US sells so much all over the world?
      Can’t Israel copy the technologies of US and sell, US has such a strict piracy laws against the rest of the world, can’t they make the exception to Israel

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        November 17, 2013, 7:48 am

        @ traintosiberia
        You forgot: “The USA can afford to take a few hits, Israel cannot.” Two wars on Iraq, one in the pen for Iran if AIPACed congress gets its way, unless the American Street rises up, as they did when AIPAC pushed for war on Syria.

    • talknic
      talknic
      November 16, 2013, 7:36 pm

      Mike_Konrad s “The $3 billion in aid to Israel is more for show than real effect”

      What say can some one come over to your place and drop an explosive traffic light on your head from about the height of a low flying fighter bomber? Just for show. There won’t be any real effect.

    • tree
      tree
      November 16, 2013, 10:05 pm

      $3 Billion a year to Israel. I hate to inform you, but that is about 0.05% (1/200th) of our national budget. Were it dispersed equally among all the cities which have those anti-Israel signs, it would probably buy each city a whole traffic light. Yep! One whole traffic light, but certainly not a fancy one.

      That’s bullshit math. The population of the US is slightly over 300 million. Divide $3 Billion by 300 million and you get $10 per person. In Albuquerque, where the sign is, its population is estimated at roughly 550,000. Given a $10 increase in income for every person in Albuquerque, that equates to $5.5 million more dollars for the people of that city alone, assuming that the money is shared among all Americans equally. If we restrict the recipients to those inhabitants of areas who have “those anti-Israel signs” then the take for Albuquerque would be immeasurably larger. As it is, if we account for the economic multiplier effect, Albuquerque could gain as much as 2 to 3 times that amount in additional income ($11M to $16.5M), which would be enough to compensate for their recent budget deficit.

      Traffic lights can cost up to $150,000 with all the fancy new computer controllers and such. At that price, Alburquerque could buy between 36 and 108 of them. Math is obviously not your strong suit, Mike.

      As for the $3 billion being “for show”, again, $3 billion divided by the 8 million people of Israel equals $375 per person in Israel. That’s equivalent to the average social security stimulus refunds that the US gave out to US citizens a few years ago. Israelis are getting the equivalent of a stimulus check from the US government every year, year after year, for decades! This has a very real positive effect on Israel’s economy. It ain’t just for show.

      • ritzl
        ritzl
        November 16, 2013, 11:17 pm

        Thanks tree. Or focus it in an infrastructure project every year, or new battery technology, or something. The list of domestic projects with real impact and benefits here at home is endless. As you say, it ain’t just for show.

    • annie
      annie
      November 16, 2013, 11:11 pm

      no mike, it’s you who have to get a sense of proportion. the money we give to israelis per person is more than most americans ever get from their own government in any given year. you do the math.

      http://www.aidtoisrael.org/section.php?id=379

      Click on the map below to learn how much money your state will give in weapons to Israel from 2009-2018 and what that money could fund instead for community needs. Underneath, you can filter the results for your Congressional district, county, and city as well.

      we could really use that money here mike.

    • Kris
      Kris
      November 16, 2013, 11:28 pm

      Whether Mike considers it chump change or not, that $3 billion would feed a lot of hungry Americans who are soon going to be even hungrier now that their allotments of food stamps are being cut.

    • Sammar
      Sammar
      November 17, 2013, 1:05 am

      And pray tell – why would the US have the need to “pretend” to be helping Israel?
      Probably you would also claim that the US didn’t really help in all the wars that Israel waged all by themselves?

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      November 17, 2013, 7:40 am

      Actually, you can add interest the US pays to Israel on that $8.5 Million per day; US borrows from China and Japan (also at interest) to give this to Israel, and this direct aid alone to a country the size of New Jersey with a mere few million people comprises the biggest chunk of total US foreign aid to the rest of the world combined–the second biggest chunk goes to Egypt, but only on condition it plays nice with Israel at Israel’s whims. There is no condition attached to the aid we give Israel. And we also underwrite Israel’s debt–even though we are technically bankrupt.

      You can go here to find out how much this aid to Israel will buy for your local US community: http://aidtoisrael.org/section.php?id=379

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        November 17, 2013, 7:50 am

        Oh, I see Annie already pointed to that url where you can discover how much your local community can buy if we divert the endless stream of money to Israel.

        From the interactive web site: ” How to Interpret the Numbers. The amount of military aid to Israel is the estimated 10-year contribution from that state, Congressional district, county, or city. That same amount of money could fund instead each year one of the following programs for the number of people indicated: affordable housing vouchers for low-income families, green jobs training for unemployed workers, early reading programs for at-risk students, or primary health care for the uninsured. “

    • bilal a
      bilal a
      November 17, 2013, 11:53 am

      The Iraq war for and by Neocons and Israel cost us 3 trillion and hundreds of thousands of permanently injured , the indirect cost of higher oil prices and interest rates adds trillions more, and much of these expenditures or cost rises amounted neatly to transfer payments from ordinary Americans to Neocon and Israeli subcontractors. A huge theft and scam as it was never about national security.

  5. RoHa
    RoHa
    November 16, 2013, 9:04 pm

    Certainly enough to buy a “Left Turn” sign for Albuquerque.

  6. Blaine Coleman
    Blaine Coleman
    November 16, 2013, 9:22 pm

    At least $118 billion has gone to Israel, according to a report entitled “U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel”, by Jeremy M. Sharp, Congressional Research Service, April 11, 2013.

    I am very glad to see the Albuquerque billboard demanding action against Israel by the City Council. Thank you! That $118 billion should be spent rebuilding Detroit, not bankrolling Israeli massacres.

    Something similar has been happening at the Ann Arbor City Council. See this article:

    “Protesters ask new Ann Arbor City Council member to spearhead resolution to ‘boycott Israel’ ”
    — in the ‘Ann Arbor News’, at http://www.annarbor.com/news/protesters-ask-new-ann-arbor-city-council-member-to-spearhead-resolution-to-boycott-israel/

    Hope to see more action to boycott Israel at city councils. When you show up to speak at the City Council, the reporters and photographers are waiting for you. It’s pretty easy to get a “Boycott Israel” news story that way.

  7. annie
    annie
    November 16, 2013, 11:12 pm

    i love this photo. go team!

  8. traintosiberia
    traintosiberia
    November 17, 2013, 7:48 am

    I would like to know if the activities by the city councils protestors ,or the bill board signs have factored in the ADL ‘s claims of rising antisemitism in US.

  9. yrn
    yrn
    November 17, 2013, 2:47 pm

    Out of the 20,000 people in this protest I love the issue that the average age is above 75.
    are the activist fading away…….

    • eljay
      eljay
      November 17, 2013, 3:58 pm

      Out of the 20,000 people in this protest I love the issue that the average age is above 75.
      are the activist fading away…….

      As will the supremacist “Jewish State”, which is also closing in on 75 years of age.

  10. Citizen
    Citizen
    November 17, 2013, 4:21 pm

    Americans, let’s get behind this move:
    http://fcnl.org/blog/2c/pentagon_lobbyists_gear_up/

    • Ellen
      Ellen
      November 17, 2013, 7:33 pm

      The Quakers have always been ahead of the curve and on the right side of social movements. And am sure they will be on the right side of history in this as well.

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