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Ari Shavit calls out every brutality, except the ones Israel is complicit in

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Ari Shavit. (Photo: Spiegel & Grau/NPR)

Ari Shavit. (Photo: Spiegel & Grau/NPR)

Ari Shavit is perhaps the slickest “liberal” apologist for Israel’s brutal policies working today. He at least acknowledges the Nakba but claims the ethnic cleansing, massacres, and terrorism were justified because it resulted in a Jewish majority state on someone else’s land, and he needed that state more than those backwards, disposable Palestinians did. (Cue every apologist for colonialism, ever.)

But he’s outdone himself in sheer absurdity this time, with the most stunningly un-self-aware piece of writing I’ve ever seen him write — and that’s saying something. In my opinion, this piece should discredit him from being listened to by any serious person ever again.

The article is called “Liberals, look at the new Middle East,” published in Haaretz on August 14. The full text is below, along with my comments.

The new Middle East is a brutal one. Many Sunnis hate Shi’ites and many Shi’ites hate Sunnis. Many Sunnis and Shi’ites hate Christians, Jews, women and homosexuals. In numerous countries in the region, a considerable part of the majority hates the minorities – Kurds, Druze, Copts, Turkmen, Yazidis. Monarchs and secular people hate members of the Muslim Brotherhood and members of the Muslim Brotherhood hate secular people and monarchs.

So, apparently everyone in the Middle East is full of hate except Israeli Jews. I’ll be sure to tell that to the groups of right-wing Israelis who march around Israel freely shouting, “Death to Arabs!” and occasionally lynch people for speaking with the wrong accent. I’ll also be sure to tell the anti-miscegenation group protesting at a wedding where a woman born Jewish dared to marry a Muslim man she loved.

These hatreds turn into violence. The violence becomes ferocious. Too many demons awaken and begin devouring people. Heretics are murdered, sinners are stoned, women are sold to slavery. A new Middle East is exposing its face these days, and it’s a face of horror.

Hatreds do indeed turn to violence. As 400 Palestinian children could tell you if they had survived Israel’s most recent spasm of apocalyptic violence, a savage act of collective punishment against mostly innocent civilians.

The Middle East was tainted with inter-religious fanaticism and inter-tribal hostility in the past as well, but the Ottoman Empire, the colonial powers and Arab nationalism forced members of other religions and tribes to live together and restrain the primeval hatreds.

Funny how he mentions “the colonial powers and Arab nationalism” but says nothing at all about the Sykes-Picot agreement or, say, the Balfour Declaration.

The collapse of modern nationalism in recent years led to the breakdown of the joint frameworks and to a horrific outbreak of hate crimes. This is why today we see hideous sights that seem to have been taken from the Middle Ages. That is why today we’re facing a Sambatyon river of barbarism. The chopped heads and limbs of innocent human beings are much more than a blood-curdling metaphor. In large parts of the new Middle East there’s no place for human rights, human dignity or freedom. In many regions in East Asia and North Africa there is no room for individuals, equality for minorities or compassion for the weak.

The chopped heads and limbs of innocent human beings are indeed much more than a blood-curdling metaphor. And sadly, there are most certainly parts of the Middle East where there’s no place for human rights, human dignity or freedom, no equality for minorities or compassion for the weak. You have to look no further than Gaza to see that.

Violent fanaticism has spun out of control in Iraq and Syria, but is also raging in Libya and Lebanon and threatening Egypt and Jordan. Only Tunisia and Kurdistan still hold up the torches of progress. In all other states in the region, the choice is reactionary monarchy, military dictatorship, theocracy or murderous chaos.

You forgot Apartheid in the West Bank and an open-air prison ghetto with no rights or freedoms in Gaza, subject to bombing campaigns any time it misbehaves.

You also forgot to mention why so many of those dictatorships are so powerful. Hint: It’s not because their own people love them. And why and how theocracy got a foothold in a region where secular nationalism was, for a long time, the most popular indigenous political persuasion.

It is difficult for the Western liberal to observe the new Middle East. His worldview is based on criticizing the West and granting sweeping amnesty to those who are seen as its victims. This liberal’s code of values forbids him to define Third World evil as such. So he demonstrated against the war in Vietnam, but kept silent in the face of the Khmer Rouge genocide in Cambodia.

Seriously, is this guy for real? America’s brutal campaigns in Southeast Asia, including the war in Vietnam and carpet bombing of Cambodia, helped lead to the Khmer Rouge. And there wasn’t a hell of a lot we could do once those forces were unleashed and our exhausted, demoralized troops were called back home to a war-weary country.

Sound familiar? Hint: IRAQ.

He [a reputed naïve Western liberal] opposed the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but kept silent in the face of the oppression in Iran.

HE WASN’T RESPONSIBLE FOR THE OPPRESSION IN IRAN. Except perhaps inasmuch as the American and British governments overthrew Iran’s democratically elected Mossadegh government in 1953 when he tried to nationalize Iran’s oil, which led inexorably to the Islamic revolution in 1979. However, our Western liberal’s government was directly responsible for the brutal, blundering wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Shavit might as well say, “I don’t understand why that South African dissident opposes Apartheid but gives a free pass to North Korea.” Uh, what? Are you even listening to yourself?

This is why he hastens to denounce Israel, while displaying leniency toward Hamas’ fascism. The Western liberal knows how to rise up against Western exertion of force and likes doing so. But at the sight of Arabs slaughtering Arabs, he is lost. Whom will he rage against? Whom can he demonstrate against? At whom will he feel holy fury?

Those dumb abolitionists. Denouncing slavery but saying suspiciously little about slave revolts, African slave traders, or African civil wars. They should shut their hypocritical mouths!

The American President Barack Obama did the right thing this week when he provided humanitarian and military assistance to the murdered people in northern Iraq. Secretary of State John Kerry did right when he said uncompromising things about ISIS. Leading media in the United States and Europe have done and are doing holy work to expose the horror. But all these are not enough. The new Middle East is now raising penetrating questions that must generate an upheaval in liberal thought. Liberals can no longer ignore the awful plague of Middle Eastern brutality and the fact that millions of Arabs live with no rights and no future.

Indeed they can’t! That’s why they are increasingly supporting BDS.

While voicing justified criticism against Israel (for the occupation, settlements, racist fringes), they must lift their eyes and see the expanse in which Israel is located. An expanse in which Yazidis are massacred and Christians are persecuted and women are stoned. An expanse in which there is no democracy, or peace, or grace. This is a Middle East that liberals must see as it is – and deal with its diseases courageously.

Yes, this Middle Eastern heart of darkness must be recognized for what it is: a cesspool of “sullen peoples, half-devil and half-child,” barbarians at the gate who must be repelled or destroyed until some day they may be graced with Ari Shavit’s shining white civilizing touch.

Meanwhile, unlike those simple-minded Western liberals, poor Shavit and other clear-eyed realists must suffer “The blame of those ye better, the hate of those ye guard.”

It’s hard out there for a colonialist.

Pamela Olson is happy to send a free PDF copy of her book Fast Times in Palestine to anyone who wishes to learn more about life under Israeli occupation. Please contact her through her website to request one.

Pamela Olson
About Pamela Olson

Pamela Olson is the author of Fast Times in Palestine. She blogs here.

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51 Responses

  1. just
    just on August 20, 2014, 9:53 am

    Great dissection of this bigoted and Islamophobic mouthbreather, Pamela.

    “The chopped heads and limbs of innocent human beings are indeed much more than a blood-curdling metaphor. And sadly, there are most certainly parts of the Middle East where there’s no place for human rights, human dignity or freedom, no equality for minorities or compassion for the weak. You have to look no further than Gaza to see that.”

    Ask the father who gathered his shattered child’s body parts in a plastic bag.

    “Salem Antez, 29, approached with a purple plastic bag and opened it, its contents terrible.

    “This is my son,” he said and nothing else, tears tracking down his face. Mohammad, another family member explained, was two. The other dead were Abed Ali, 24, and Mohammad Ibrahim, 13. Salem bent back to his task – his bag becoming a little heavier. “They hit us at 8.45pm,” an uncle said. “We had just finished our Iftar meal and were gathered here for safety.””

    Of course, it’s only one of the thousands of victims of Israeli “civilization”.

  2. Justpassingby
    Justpassingby on August 20, 2014, 9:56 am

    Just read that alot of zoo animals have been killed in the israeli attacks, such sadism :/

  3. eljay
    eljay on August 20, 2014, 10:14 am

    Ari Shavit is perhaps the slimiest “liberal” apologist for Israel’s brutal policies working today. He at least acknowledges the Nakba but claims the ethnic cleansing, massacres, and terrorism were justified because it resulted in a Jewish majority state on someone else’s land …

    In the immortal words of “liberal Zionist” RW: “The nakba that occurred in 1948 was accompanied by the independence, the liberation, of the Jewish community. So, I primarily celebrate … “

    • RoHa
      RoHa on August 20, 2014, 10:24 am

      ” the ethnic cleansing, massacres, and terrorism were justified because it resulted in a Jewish majority state on someone else’s land ”

      A claim which stems from the idea that Jews are more important than other people.

  4. Kay24
    Kay24 on August 20, 2014, 10:18 am

    It is strange that apologists who are journalists, conveniently forgets facts and have memory lapses.
    He may want the world to take a look at the mess in the Middle East, and to a large extent, the mess is indeed because misguided Arab nations, and extremists, stupidly do the work of those western elements wanting chaos and confusion in these regions, by attacking each other, faction against faction, extremism against moderate leaders, and Islamic nations against Islamic nations, but they also ignore the fact that the US and of course Israel have their dirty fingers in many of the violence, whether it is bombing of Arab nations, occupation, training rebels to overthrow dictators that refuse to cooperate with the US and Israel, or arm those once deemed terrorists by the US and Israel, to of their dirty work. Lots of provocation, and US tax money, part of these covert ops.

    After all Muslim lives are so cheap. They can be pawns if they are stupid enough to think that the US and Israel are genuinely interested in their well being.

  5. American
    American on August 20, 2014, 10:25 am

    How much would it cost to give lobotomies to x million zionist?
    Maybe our 3 + billion spent on Israel would cover it.
    I think surgery is the only cure for the cult members.

    • seafoid
      seafoid on August 20, 2014, 10:50 am

      “Anti-Arab racism and anti-leftist incitement did not start this summer. Nor are they the product of an educational “error.” They are what could be expected from an educational system that for decades has been subject to a single narrative and a single curriculum and flees from any effort to confront multiple points of view.

      Young people shouting “Death to Arabs” prove the success of the educational system more than its failure. Such youths have internalized an aggressive worldview in which the strong side erases the “other” – be he Arab, poor or Mizrahi (a Jew of Middle Eastern origin) – just like they saw in school. Thus, in schools they recite Israel’s Declaration of Independence, which promises equal rights regardless of religion, race, or gender, but ignore the inequality between Jews and Arabs; they praise “equality of opportunity” for all, but don’t address the gaps between pupils from different socioeconomic backgrounds; they praise “national unity,” but marginalize the history of large swaths of the population. “

    • Kay24
      Kay24 on August 20, 2014, 11:17 am

      American, we have given them at least 100 billion these past years, and that is indeed mind boggling. We could have improved our infrastructure, given subsidized medical help to our people, given free education to many of our kids who struggle to pay for their education, and so much more to help within the US.
      Look at what Israel is today, brutal, constantly breaking international laws, keeping a horrible occupation going, and gives us nothing but problems, being a parasitic nation to us. Anyone here thinks 100 billion was well spent by us?

      • American
        American on August 20, 2014, 3:58 pm


        Its a lot more than that….and probably 2 trillion by now.

        Economist tallies swelling cost of Israel to US
        By David R. Francis, Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor December 9, 2002

        ”Since 1973, Israel has cost the United States about $1.6 trillion. If divided by today’s population, that is more than $5,700 per person.”

        full article here…..

  6. on August 20, 2014, 10:26 am

    Breathtakingly racist.

  7. Walid
    Walid on August 20, 2014, 10:36 am

    “but they also ignore the fact that the US and of course Israel have their dirty fingers in many of the violence,…”

    Bad news for Israel about its pals from ISIS this afternoon, 2 members in Anbar Province while strapping-on suicide vests accidently detonated one of them and several members of ISIS were killed.

    • lysias
      lysias on August 20, 2014, 10:40 am

      If ISIS is starting to use suicide vests, I wonder if that means they are going to start using them in Baghdad.

      • Walid
        Walid on August 20, 2014, 10:51 am

        Already used them in Baghdad and Shia areas under a different handle. Same for Syria and Lebanon.

    • Kay24
      Kay24 on August 20, 2014, 10:50 am

      Walid, sorry to be so naive, but I have read a few articles making connections between Israel and ISIS, what convinces you of that fact? I must say that I have come to a point when anything diabolical/devious when it comes to Israel being involved, makes me think it is a HUGE possibility. A serpent is a serpent.

      • Walid
        Walid on August 20, 2014, 11:15 am

        Kay, it would depend on how much faith you put in Snowden’s releases. He dropped this one about the self-proclaimed Caliph of the terrorist empire not long ago and some rumours are also going around that the Caliph is actually a Jew, but I’m not putting too much in that one. From Global Research:

        “ISIS Leader Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi Trained by Israeli Mossad, NSA Documents Reveal

        By Gulf Daily News
        Global Research, July 16, 2014

        The former employee at US National Security Agency (NSA), Edward Snowden, has revealed that the British and American intelligence and the Mossad worked together to create the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

        Snowden said intelligence services of three countries created a terrorist organisation that is able to attract all extremists of the world to one place, using a strategy called “the hornet’s nest”.

        NSA documents refer to recent implementation of the hornet’s nest to protect the Zionist entity by creating religious and Islamic slogans.

        According to documents released by Snowden, “The only solution for the protection of the Jewish state “is to create an enemy near its borders”.

        Leaks revealed that ISIS leader and cleric Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi took intensive military training for a whole year in the hands of Mossad, besides courses in theology and the art of speech.”

      • lysias
        lysias on August 20, 2014, 11:18 am

        Such a hornet’s nest would protect not only Israel but also Arab regimes in whose preservation the U.S. is interested: Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain, the other Gulf Arab states.

      • Walid
        Walid on August 20, 2014, 11:36 am

        3 headless corpses discovered in the Sinai today; looks like the bad guys are getting closer to Israel. With the decapitated American journalist yesterday, ISIS is starting to turn on its creators and masters. British PM starting to be very worried.

      • Walid
        Walid on August 20, 2014, 12:38 pm

        About the American journalist, Foley, decapitated by ISIS, Obama is about to come on live TV to ask people to stop circulating the youtube of the decapitation. ISIS is holding a second journalist and threatening to also decapitate him if Obama does not order a halt to the bombing of ISIS positions.

      • Walid
        Walid on August 20, 2014, 12:48 pm

        “Such a hornet’s nest would protect not only Israel … ”

        lysias, about a month back, ISIS released the map showing all the countries it intended to conquer and this map included Turkey, Albania, Spain and Portugal. When questioned about details of the future empire, ISIS said that Israel was off-limits for ISIS and it had no intention of conquering it. Makes you wonder why, especially that it holds one of Islam’s holy shrines, Aqsa, which are slated for demolition by ISIS including the Kaaba in Mecca.

      • Kay24
        Kay24 on August 20, 2014, 11:27 am

        Walid, I did see that connection made, and the fact that Mossad had trained the ruthless leader, Al Baghdadi. It is highly possible that this did indeed happen.
        It is so puzzling as to how these brutal killers came into being. They appeared from nowhere, well armed, ruthless, and seems very organized, unlike other rag tag groups. Now they are also accused of being wealthy after robbing a bank, so all signs are someone elements are behind this menace. It makes me wonder why they came into existence, and who benefits from their deadly violence.
        Another Israeli/US collaboration perhaps?

      • Walid
        Walid on August 20, 2014, 12:00 pm

        Kay, the collaboration appeared somewhat obvious with Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city. ISIS waltzed-in with the army having first abandoned it, their weapons, tanks and other vehicles and even their uniforms. At the time, there had been reports of advance Turkish and Israeli intelligence scouting teams having arrived at the city to coordinate logistics when ISIS would arrive and to reach them where and how to occupy strategic positions in the city. It’s evident the soldiers abandoned everything either they had been ordered to or were paid for it. Since then, hundreds of policemen have been rounded up and summarily executed. Similar executions are happening on an almost daily basis and shown on ME newscasts:

      • Pixel
        Pixel on August 20, 2014, 12:10 pm


        “everything”. is. connected.

      • Kay24
        Kay24 on August 20, 2014, 1:22 pm

        Every is also so murky. I still can’t get my head around the fact that the US may be fighting a group trained by Israel (and even with the knowledge/consent of the US).
        Apparently the spokesperson who spoke on behalf of ISIS today, had a British accent.
        It is a bit strange that knowing how disliked Israel is, especially for it’s brutality against the Palestinians, among the Arabs, that ISIS did not make Israel it’s first target.

      • ckg
        ckg on August 20, 2014, 2:41 pm

        Greenwald doesn’t buy it. From Twitter

        Sunny Hundal ‏@sunny_hundal ·Aug 6
        @ggreenwald Just to confirm, did Snowden ever say the ISIS chief al-Baghdadi was trained by Mossad? Hearing it all over FB

        Glenn GreenwaldVerified account ‏@ggreenwald Aug 6 @sunny_hundal I’ve never heard him say any such thing, nor have I ever heard any credible source quoting him saying anything like that.

      • Shingo
        Shingo on August 20, 2014, 5:41 pm

        It’s true there is no evidence of Snowden giving such an interview, but there are an abundance of reports of Israeli assisting the rebels in Syria, including Al Nusra.

      • Walid
        Walid on August 20, 2014, 7:02 pm

        Thierry Meyssan also disputes Snowden having said that but goes on to describe in chapter and verse the involvement of the US government headed by Senator McCain about the bogus “Arab Springs” everywhere including his contact with the future Caliph that was already on a US wanted list and with whom McCain was photographed in Syria.


        … However, since October 4, 2011, Ibrahim al-Badri (also known as Abu Du’a) was on the list of the five terrorists most wanted by the United States (Rewards for Justice). A premium of up to $ 10 million was offered to anyone who would assist in his capture. [9] The next day, October 5, 2011, Ibrahim al-Badri was included in the list of the Sanctions Committee of the UN as a member of Al Qaeda. [10]

        In addition, a month before receiving Senator McCain, Ibrahim al-Badri, known under his nom de guerre as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, created the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ÉIIL) – all the while still belonging to the staff of the very “moderate” Free Syrian Army. He claimed as his own the attack on the Taj and Abu Ghraib prisons in Iraq, from which he helped between 500 and 1,000 jihadists escape who then joined his organization. This attack was coordinated with other almost simultaneous operations in eight other countries. Each time, the escapees joined the jihadist organizations fighting in Syria. This case is so strange that Interpol issued a note and requested the assistance of the 190 member countries. [11]

        For my part, I have always said that there was no difference on the ground between the Free Syrian Army, Al-Nosra Front, the Islamic Emirate etc … All these organizations are composed of the same individuals who continuously change flag. When they pose as the Free Syrian Army, they fly the flag of French colonization and speak only of overthrowing the “dog Bashar.” When they say they belong to Al-Nosra Front, they carry the flag of al Qaeda and declare their intention to spread Islam in the world. Finally when they say they are the Islamic Emirate, they brandish the flag of the Caliphate and announce that they will clean the area of all infidels. But whatever the label, they proceed to the same abuses: rape, torture, beheadings, crucifixions.

        Yet neither Senator McCain nor his companions of the Syrian Emergency Task Force provided the information in their possession on Ibrahim al-Badri to the State Department, nor have they asked for the reward. Nor have they informed the anti-terrorism Committee of the UN.

        In no country in the world, regardless of their political system, would one accept that the opposition leader be in direct contact, and publicly friendly, with a very dangerous wanted terrorist.

        Who Then is Senator McCain?

        But John McCain is not just the leader of the political opposition to President Obama, he is also one of his senior officials!

        He is in fact President of the International Republican Institute (IRI), the republican branch of NED / CIA [12], since January 1993. This so-called “NGO” was officially established by President Ronald Reagan to extend certain activities of the CIA, in connection with the British, Canadian and Australian secret services. Contrary to its claims, it is indeed an inter-governmental agency. Its budget is approved by Congress in a budget line dependent of the Secretary of State…”

      • just
        just on August 20, 2014, 7:12 pm

        not surprised– McCain has always been a poisonous snake.

        So are you saying that his (and others) machinations wrt foreign policy and interventions are not in violation of the Logan Act, and are indeed authorized/ sanctioned?

      • Walid
        Walid on August 22, 2014, 7:54 am

        I don’t know what to say anymore, just, I’m just as confused about what’s going on as the rest of the world. You have to wonder at the speed by which the US this spring dispatched a navy carrier to stop a Libyan rebels’ ship carrying hijacked Libyan oil and forced it back to Libya because the US will not allow terrorists to sell oil on the market. Yet, the US in addition to doing absolutely nothing about IS selling hijacked Syrian oil to the Turks for redirection to Europe or letting IS benefit from royalties paid by the Kurds to allow oil to flow through the pipeline in the area it controls towards Turkey, it remained silent on the first 2 ships filled with oil from the Kurdish-IS pipeline, the first ship going to Israel and the second going to the US.

        Maybe its best to not ask too many question and to just go on simply bashing Zionists here, which is a much easier task.

      • just
        just on August 22, 2014, 8:00 am

        Walid– I do know this: ISIL/ISIS/IS could not have grown without the ‘help’ of the major/big money powers in and out of the region………something(s) smells to high heaven.

        “Maybe its best to not ask too many question and to just go on simply bashing Zionists here, which is a much easier task.”

        You and I both know we’ve got to ask questions. But, yes, Israel is making it almost too easy to call them out. There’s simply no reason to support that failure at all.

      • traintosiberia
        traintosiberia on August 21, 2014, 11:12 am

        The clues are mind bogglingly absent from discussion in the media.
        Why Jihadist are streaming out of Western countries ? Why they are not preemptively caught,why they are not detected , why not prevented from crossing borders , why they are not on the terror watch list or no flying list ? Are they being trained by western countries ? How is the money being transferred to them?
        Given the known facts about the extent of the surveillance ,and the types of entrapment operations ,and zeal of the treasury in pursuing the money launderers or the violators of any sanction , it is unbelievable that the thousands of Isis supporters from Europe , from Jordan, and from US-Canada-Australia could travel hundreds of miles or fly ,could plan,and could
        get hold of the money and the arms without the knowledge of Deep State / Surveillance State .
        It is also laughable to claim that the sudden appearance of Isis from Iraq’s west was not anticipated or the movement of this large army with black flags were not detected by the intelligence or by the satellite .

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976 on August 22, 2014, 9:19 am

        I’m not George Orwell’s greatest fan but maybe the ever-shifting alliances of Animal Farm and 1984 provide some illustration of the way in which ideological politics routinely produce situations that, from the point of view of the proclaimed ideology, make no sense.

  8. seafoid
    seafoid on August 20, 2014, 10:44 am

    “The chopped heads and limbs of innocent human beings are much more than a blood-curdling metaphor”

    It’s much more civilised to kill people with modern American equipment.
    Shavit exposed himself in July.
    “But over the weekend, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry ruined everything. Very senior officials in Jerusalem described the proposal that Kerry put on the table as a “strategic terrorist attack.” His decision to go hand in hand with Qatar and Turkey, and formulate a framework amazingly similar to the Hamas framework, was catastrophic. It put wind in the sails of Hamas’ political leader Khaled Meshal, allowed the Hamas extremists to overcome the Hamas moderates, and gave renewed life to the weakened regional alliance of the Muslim Brotherhood.
    The Obama administration proved once again that it is the best friend of its enemies, and the biggest enemy of its friends. The man of peace from Massachusetts intercepted with his own hands the reasonable cease-fire that was within reach, and pushed both the Palestinians and Israelis toward an escalation that most of them did not want. ”

    The German President is more of a Mensch
    “‘I saw then, if I hadn’t understood it before, that the fact they had vanquished their helplessness carried more weight for many Poles than the military defeat. I thus encountered an almost normative constant in the Polish attitude – namely that it is seen as a virtue to struggle and to fight in such an existential situation even when victory is highly uncertain. One of the most outstanding gifts that Poland has given its European neighbours is the message, reiterated by several generations, that freedom is so valuable, so vital, that people not only dream of it but fight for it and defend it too, even to the death if need be.”

  9. just
    just on August 20, 2014, 11:00 am

    Chemi Shalev, yesterday:

    “American Jewish leaders fiddle while Israeli democracy burns
    Jews fight for freedom, equality and minority rights in America but exempt themselves from the same battle in Israel.

    …Because by virtue of their strong interest and deep immersion in Israeli life, presumably, American Jewish leaders must be fully aware of the evil winds blowing in the Israeli public arena; of the rising intolerance, racism and xenophobia; of the efforts inside and outside the Knesset to stifle free speech and to inhibit freedom of the press; of the spreading use of violence and intimidation to instill fear among those who would stray from the government-inspired right wing line; of the ongoing delegitimization of liberal values and human rights and the organizations that safeguard them; of the increasingly vile and abusive language used in the public sphere and on social media against divergent views; of the growing official and unofficial intolerance and incitement directed at Israel’s Arab minority.

    But then the question must be asked: If they know all of this, why are they staying so silent? Why are they not speaking out? Why are these representatives of America’s Jewish millions not standing up for the values of tolerance, pluralism and democratic freedoms that that they hold so dear when it comes to their own lives in America? Why do they enlist in the defense of Jews everywhere around the globe – except those who live in their dear beloved Israel?

    Just imagine the outcry from American Jewish leaders if hundreds of white supremacist Christian protesters came to a wedding of a mixed couple somewhere in the U.S. to take part in a court-sponsored demonstration in which the most popular chant was “Death to the Jews”. Try to conjure the howls of protests that would accompany a public call by a senior U.S. cabinet member for a blanket boycott of Muslim shop-owners who closed their shops in solidarity with the people of Iraq during the Gulf Wars. Think of the torrents of protest letters that would be published if an American university dared to reprimand a professor who expressed sympathy not only for Palestinian losses during the recent Gaza fighting, but for Jewish ones as well. Visualize the mass sit-ins that would be organized in front of office whose owners dared to fire Jews because they expressed support for Israel on their private Facebook pages. Envision the dramatic calls for tougher police action against roving gangs of hooligans who go Jew-hunting in the streets of lower Manhattan – or Istanbul or Djakarta, if you prefer – whenever another Jew was convicted of a serious crime. Think of the hunger strikes and days of mourning that would be declared if Congress tried to legislate the supremacy of Christianity, the diminishment of minority rights, the enfeeblement of the Supreme Court.

    American Jews would go nuts, and rightly so. ”

    • American
      American on August 20, 2014, 11:16 am

      I think we covered this before. They want democracy in the US and elsewhere where they are in the minitory because it’s good for Jews if there is no majority rule—they want Jewish supremism in Israel because they believe in Jewish supremism.

  10. Stephen Shenfield
    Stephen Shenfield on August 20, 2014, 1:32 pm

    There is an implication in Shavit’s defense of the Nakba that he may not be too keen to draw out. If the right of people living in a country to stay there can be overridden by the right of other people to expel them because they have greater need of that country, then the right of Israeli Jews to remain where they are can be overridden on the same grounds. Given the plight of the Palestinians in Syria, for instance, don’t they need Palestine more?

    • seafoid
      seafoid on August 20, 2014, 3:16 pm

      “Might is right” is not good for Israel long term.
      Every empire eventually collapses and Israel will be no different.
      History hasn’t ended and there is no Messiah on the horizon either.

    • Gene Shae
      Gene Shae on August 20, 2014, 6:28 pm

      You are on to something.
      Israel offered Palestinians living in Syria the opportunity to find shelter and safety in the territories that she controls. Unfortunately for the Palestinians who need this protection as you suggest, Abbas vetoed the offer.
      Stunning, right?

      • traintosiberia
        traintosiberia on August 21, 2014, 9:29 am

        What are you trying to say? What are you referring to ? Provide the links or the context little more in detail.

  11. just
    just on August 20, 2014, 2:10 pm

    “Stop the Violence from Ferguson to Gaza: 90-Year-Old Holocaust Survivor Arrested in St. Louis

    AMY GOODMAN: We end today’s show with Hedy Epstein. She is a 90-year-old Holocaust survivor who was arrested on Monday in St. Louis when she was part of a protest outside of Governor Jay Nixon’s office. Hedy Epstein is co-founder of the St. Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee and St. Louis branch of Jewish Voice for Peace. In 2011, she was part of the Gaza freedom flotilla and was a passenger on the U.S.-flagged ship, The Audacity of Hope. Over the years, she has made many solidarity trips to the West Bank. She joins us here now in Ferguson.

    HEDY EPSTEIN: I was born in Germany, and I left in May 1939 on a Kindertransport, or Children’s Transport, to England. I came to this country in May 1948.

    AMY GOODMAN: So, what fuels you, keeps you going? By the way, happy birthday. You just celebrated your 90th birthday.

    HEDY EPSTEIN: Thank you.

    AMY GOODMAN: You’re wearing a black T-shirt with white letters that say, “STAY HUMAN.” What fuels you in your activism, from Gaza and the West Bank to Ferguson, Missouri?

    HEDY EPSTEIN: I know what it feels like to be discriminated against, to be oppressed, and I can’t stand idly by when I see there are problems. I can’t solve every problem, I probably can’t solve any problem, but I have to do whatever it is possible for me to do. I just cannot stand idly by, because if I did—and anyone that stand idly by becomes complicit in what is going on.

    AMY GOODMAN: Do you have a message, as you stand here in the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu?

    HEDY EPSTEIN: Stop the violence. Go to the table and honestly discuss what might happen, that it’s—if peace ever can be there in that area. That violence there has to end. I mean, it’s terrible, what’s been going on there. Not just now, but it’s been an ongoing thing. But Netanyahu has no intention, really. He talks about peace, but he doesn’t really want peace.

    AMY GOODMAN: And a message for your own president here, President Obama, who’s been dealing both with Ferguson, Missouri, and what’s happened in Israel and Palestine?

    HEDY EPSTEIN: I know he’s on vacation right now, but come here to Ferguson. Show your face. Talk to the people here. Talk to the young people here. They need you.”

    Entire interview with video here:

    • seafoid
      seafoid on August 20, 2014, 3:35 pm

      Hedy Epstein is an inspiration. Such a classy lady.

      • Citizen
        Citizen on August 20, 2014, 10:33 pm

        Yes, she is. She’s age 90–makes me ashamed of myself. Most people that age spend much of their time just trying not to fall down in their home.

  12. jon s
    jon s on August 21, 2014, 6:40 am

    Ari Shavit has a piece today on the rise of Antisemitism:

    • Shingo
      Shingo on August 21, 2014, 6:20 pm

      Ari Shavit has a piece today on the rise of Antisemitism:

      Of course he has. Like any apologists for apartheid and Ziofascism, he knows he cannot win with logic, so has to retreat to the safety of his bunker from which he can safely watch the arguments Pamela Olson has shredded fall apart from a safe distance.

      Truly pathetic and predictable.

      • seafoid
        seafoid on August 21, 2014, 6:42 pm

        MJ (Mike) Rosenberg @MJayRosenberg · 1m

        No, Prof. Lipstadt: It Is Israel’s Gaza Actions That Produced Spike In Anti-Semitism via @wordpressdotcom

  13. traintosiberia
    traintosiberia on August 21, 2014, 10:49 am

    Oded Yonon could have easily added Shavitz’s observation as an epilogue in his book or could have asked to Shavitz to contribute to the main messages of the book Yinon wrote . PNAC could have easily slipped this observation as the main objective .
    We have seen enough of wars to figure this possibility ( current violence in ME) as almost a certainty . Unfortunately the very people who knew it also the were first to ignore it . These folks will be in the frontline denouncing anybody who would see this as a likely possibility . Even doing an assessment of the provisions needed to prevent any such outcome will be denounced . The likely future scenario will be kept hidden from everybody . If unearthed , the predictions will be ignored . Exactly all of the above were mercilessly executed by the neocons .
    Libyan war was another element that added badly needed fuel when the chances of widespread violence was diminishing , frustrating the Transatlantic league of the neocon.

    This is exactly what Iraq war predicted . Same was true of Libya . Now Syria is added as next purveyor of violence,instability,acrimony,and destabilization to the wider ME

    The very violence that Shavitz is referring to , was anticipated,predicted,and feared . But it was not debated. It was not allowed to factor in . It was ridiculed by the neocon and the by the pupil of the neocon in the administration ,in the pentagon and in the media . Even academia chimed in to ridicule the thought that war and violence could break out .
    Neocons were doubly afraid to allow any discussion. One reason that the public will revolt against war. The discussion will delay the war . In the delay,more information against war will come out . They were also afraid that the main objective of fragmenting the ME will be in jeopardy . The neocons did not want any preventive,restorative,or corrective actions . Their aim was atomization of ME . Atomization involves death,destruction,shearing of social fabric,introduction of regressive primitive reflexes in cognitive and motor responses to chaotic events around and to sensory processing of postwar ambience around . This is what happens . It is known . It can happen anywhere . Itcan happen in Switzerland . Itcan happen in Norway . With enough firepower ,forceful diplomacy,bribing ,and elimination of established social structure or creation of scarcity – it can happen anywhere .
    But Shavitz are trying hard to forget and doing best to make the rest forget that the epilogue was written by the charcuterie of the play book. Today’s violence in ME could be in a nutshell ascribed to the planning,executions,and the dream of the neocon.
    History is replete with these kind of developments as collateral damage. But in this war planned and executed by the neocons,it was the goal.The neocons tapping into previous corrupting influences of Herz, Ben Guiron,Oded Yinon,Sharon,or PNAC and into ideas floated by various academics or assessments made by military planners or into worries expressed by intelligence in different time periods ,came to the inevitable conclusion that the cauldron would be the result . They had no difficulty to choose the path . Cauldron of violence and froth of destructive hatred were their goals. They jumped to the opportunity after 911.
    So Shavitz stay tuned . The next series of volumes are not out yet and you will not
    like the contents or the epilogues.

  14. traintosiberia
    traintosiberia on August 21, 2014, 11:53 am

    Following the wise foot prints of the international neocon who did so well creating Niger Documents, bringing to life a braindead alcoholic looking for asylum in the west -Curveball, intercepting putative meeting between Atta and Saddam’s friend in Prague and ignoring the clues left by Israeli on anthrax letter
    US arrived almost to the doorstep of another war with Syria

  15. traintosiberia
    traintosiberia on August 21, 2014, 12:09 pm

    The post war plannings that were never there

    Memo: U.S. Lacked Full Postwar Iraq Plan – Washington Post › World › Middle East › Iraq
    Jun 12, 2005 –

    Blair knew US had no post-war plan for Iraq | UK news | The Observer › News › UK news
    Jun 16, 2007 –
    Leaked UK report damns Iraq war planning – WikiLeaks
    Leaked UK report damns Iraq war planning …

    U.K. Memo: U.S. Flubbed Iraq Postwar Plan | Fox News…/uk-memo-us-flubbed-iraq-postwar-pla...
    Jun 12, 2005 –
    The plans could have prevented the violence Shavit is deploring .

    In addition-
    Wolfowitz castigated the military chief for suggesting more soldiers ,
    Perle and fellow travelers ridiculed anything other than cakewalk ,welcome with roses,and reconstruction with Iraq oil,cheap oil, democratic movement spreading to Iran from Iran,and jumping back to Palestine .
    They predicted and they lectured Pentagon how Egypt,Saudi would be the prizes and Jordan a pivot to “democraticize ” ME and usher in peace ( Third Reich promised peace of 1000 yrs )
    They then blamed Bush military ,and blamed the war conducts . They blamed not out of horror or the fate of Iraqis or American wounded soldiers. Nor out of concern of trillion losses but out of the fear of being scrutinized ,out of the fear of being exposed, out of the fear of being convicted , out of the fear of losing power and influences . Those concerns were shared by their Israeli patrons and friends also.

    Now Shavit is blaming the victims .but Kruthammer wanted the Atabs to fight among themselves . The sadism is endemic,pervasive ,and was also not u n expected from the neocons whose liberal wing saw it worth the sacrificing of 500,000 Iraqi children.

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