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Tipping point?

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We’ve got trouble, right here in River City, folks! Two articles today about growing “anti-Israel” sentiment, on either side of Washington, D.C. So are we finally approaching a tipping point in US public opinion on the US relationship with the Jewish state?

First, the VA state bar cancels a trip to Jerusalem.

The Virginia State Bar Association has canceled a trip for its members to learn in Jerusalem later this year after some members campaigned against it, accusing Israel of “unacceptable discriminatory policies and practices” in how it ensures its border security.

The episode, confirmed in an email from Bar President Kevin Martingayle that was obtained by The Washington Times, is the latest example of the impact of an anti-Israel fervor that has swept across some parts of America in recent months as President Obama has feuded with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Here’s that letter from the bar president:

Virginia bar association

Virginia bar association

Note that this is the kind of trip that the New York City Council just took, with considerable pushback, but they didn’t apologize. And the kind of trip that more than 362 American politicians have made in the last six years, many of them at the behest of the leading Israel lobby, AIPAC, through its “charitable” arm, AIEF.

Second, the Guardian has a piece on the possible race between MD Congresspeople Chris Van Hollen and Donna Edwards for the senate seat that Barbara Mikulski will be leaving. And what issue divides them? Israel, says the Guardian. Not that Edwards is anti-Israel. She just isn’t pro-Israel enough!

Van Hollen’s views on the Middle East peace process between Israel and the Palestinians are rather mainstream. A former staffer on the Senate foreign relations committee, Van Hollen has long been viewed warmly by Jewish Democrats in Maryland. He was described to the Guardian as “a classic progressive Democrat who was not in lock step with AIPAC [American Israel Public Affairs Committee] but very much within their space”.

In contrast, Edwards has long been close to J Street, the leftwing Jewish group which takes a very dovish view of the peace process, and has long voted against efforts toughen sanctions on Iran and its nuclear programme. In 2013, she was one of only 20 members of Congress to vote against the Nuclear Iran Prevention Act, a bipartisan bill which contained measures to strengthen sanctions.

She also was one of 21 members to vote present on a 2009 resolution that recognized Israel’s right to defend itself against attacks from Gaza. The resolution, co-sponsored by Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner, passed by a margin of 390-5.

Despite those votes, Edwards is not anti-Israel. Instead, one pro-Israel Democratic operative took pains to tell the Guardian: “I’m going to say she’s not pro-Israel.”

You see, the top tier of Israel-disdainers in Congress is Keith Ellison of MN and Jim Moran of VA, who voted against funding Iron Dome. They are outside the pale. The new Israel lobby is J Street, up against the ancien regime, AIPAC.

And this is both distressing/encouraging. Baltimore is a prize in the race. This comment suggests that Israel will become an explicit issue in the race and that maybe just maybe Edwards won’t pander.

Edwards’s candidacy will likely not fare well with Baltimore’s Jewish community, which Art Abramson, the executive director of the Baltimore Jewish Council, noted is “a community that is center-right [on Israel] and a community where Israel is a very important if not the most important factor on how they vote”.

P.S. On the Virginia bar association story, note that the Washington Times spoke to Alan Dershowitz, who blames Obama for the bad climate.

Well-known New York Attorney Alan Dershowitz told the Times that President Obama himself has sparked an anti-Israel culture among liberals, pointing to his ongoing feud with Israeli president Benjamin Netanyahu.

“I think President Obama has set the tone, I think by himself boycotting Netanyahu and, through his silence, encouraging congressmen to boycott Netanyahu, he has implicitly encouraged others to do the same thing,” Mr. Dershowitz said.

Maybe they should mention that Dershowitz is the lawyer of Sheldon Adelson, who is funding Republican candidates.

Thanks to Susie Kneedler.

Update: It’s hard to imagine Maureen Dowd writing this column attacking “Republicans who want a loyalty oath on support for the Jewish state” and neocons who pushed the Iraq war and now want a war with Iran even six months ago. (h/t James North)

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42 Responses

  1. pabelmont
    March 29, 2015, 10:36 am

    J-Street is a “brand” without different content from that other “brand”, AIPAC. . Two toothpastes, same manufacturer, different “brand”.

    Or maybe there is a hair-line difference today. And maybe symbolism is enough. Say, “Of course i support Isrfael, but I do it via J-Street erather than AIPAC because I want to end the occupation, end the settlements, end the siege on Gaza, and get SOON to peace.” sounds good!

    • Krauss
      March 29, 2015, 12:26 pm

      2016 will be the last year that a senior democratic presidential runner will pander to AIPAC.

      2020 it will be divided, democrats will give their fealty to J Street.
      GOP to AIPAC.

      2024, BDS will be mainstream and J Street will have no choice but to jump on that bandwagon, too. JVP will drive the conversation among most non-elite Jews, especially the young as well as non-Jewish progressive elites who are looking for cues on Israel.

      If anything I may be too conservative. If you look at the last 5-6 years we have seen not just one but several revolutions in how this country talks about I/P. More has happened within that timeframe than 40 years before it.

    • JLewisDickerson
      March 30, 2015, 2:03 am

      J-Street has been very supportive of the Obama Administration’s negotiations with Iran. They can play a very positive role if the P5+1 and Iran reach an agreement.

  2. just
    March 29, 2015, 10:51 am

    Thanks for covering both of these reports, Phil. I was heartily pleased by the actions of the VSB. It is of note that the petition garnered 39 signatures and *poof* the “pilgrimage” was over.

    (totally expected that the Times quotes Lanny Davis and Dershowitz…)

    As for the MD race, it is truly amazing that such a small (4% acc. to some sources) proportion of the population seemingly controls the process and the narrative.

    Of extreme interest to me is this bit:

    “Art Abramson, the executive director of the Baltimore Jewish Council, noted is “a community that is center-right [on Israel] and a community where Israel is a very important if not the most important factor on how they vote”. ”

    “Very important if not the most important factor on how they vote.”

    It’s another ‘unmasking’. Americans voting for Israel first!

    • pabelmont
      March 29, 2015, 12:41 pm

      He says it, but most American Jewish voters have very different priorities. He’s trying to scare Edwards and might succeed, but his assertion about ‘his people’ is probably an exaggeration.

  3. Ramzi Jaber
    March 29, 2015, 10:57 am

    +1 just.

    “Israel is a very important if not the most important factor on how they vote”.

    The arrogance. The day of reckoning is snailing on.

    It’s just astounding how in 2015 so many so-called Americans pay allegiance to their true country, the zionist entity, over America. Despicable zionist-firsters.

    • Kay24
      March 29, 2015, 12:40 pm

      Today on the talks shows that was so obvious. Cruz could not stop talking about Israel, which was unbelievable. Anyone would think he was running for the Presidency of Israel, not the US, and that his policies and initial thoughts should have been the US and the American people, not proclaiming his devotion to a alien nation that has been a parasite to us. On the other hand, he must have been hoping sugar daddy Adelson was watching and was impressed.

      “How much do I love Israel, let me count the ways”….(insert name of ANY American candidate for political office, here)

  4. Krauss
    March 29, 2015, 12:20 pm

    I’m rooting for Donna Edwards. They will try to destroy the black woman because such a person is less reliable than a white man to support Zionism.

    Where is AIPAC’s tokenism now?

  5. Amar
    March 29, 2015, 12:42 pm

    Other than an odd couple articles every now and then, the MSMs general thrust is still over-protective of Israel. There can be no real tipping point unless it follows suit. Unfortunately Zio’s still have too much control and influence over it. Ultimately, its a greater factor over the direction of U.S. policy towards Israel than AIPAC has over congress. With a neutral MSM that isnt afraid to shine a light on issues (incl influence peddling), very few congressmen would risk public perception of themselves as donkey felators or traitors.

  6. Blownaway
    March 29, 2015, 12:43 pm

    Then you have that boob Biden pandering in Salon today

    Joe Biden’s Israel stunner: American Jews should let Israel protect them
    “No matter how deeply involved you are in the U.S. … there’s only one guarantee … and that’s the state of Israel”

  7. ckg
    March 29, 2015, 12:51 pm

    Thanks, @Blownaway. To Salon’s credit, the piece is written by Corey Robin. It is great to read Prof. Robin in the media.

  8. just
    March 29, 2015, 1:06 pm

    “New Rabbi Shmuley Boteach ad in N.Y. Times urges Obama not to appease Iran

    The ad, published Saturday by Boteach’s World Values Network foundation, comes as the United States and other world powers work to achieve an interim deal on curbing Iran’s nuclear program before a March 31 deadline.

    Last month, Boteach apologized for an ad in The New York Times accusing National Security Adviser Susan Rice of turning a blind eye to genocide, calling it a “personal attack” rather than a policy disagreement. Most major Jewish organizations condemned the ad.

    In the new ad, the words “Mr. President: Fighting al-Qaeda made you like Churchill. Appeasing Iran will make you like Chamberlain,” appear with a photo of a determined-looking Obama. Superimposed over part of the Obama portrait is a reproduction of a Times newspaper article from Sept. 30, 1938, detailing the signing of the Munich Agreement, which allowed the Nazis to annex portions of Czechoslovakia, which became known as the Sudetenland.

    The ad calls on Obama not to sign a deal with Iran until its supreme leader, Ali Hosseini Khamenei, renounces “all genocidal threats against Israel” and Iran ceases its support of terror around the world. Also, the ad says, Obama must not sign a deal that contains a one-year weapons breakout period for Iran.

    “Don’t allow Iran to become a nuclear power,” the ad concludes.”

    It’s “hard work” to keep track of these Israeli agents…

    • John O
      March 29, 2015, 1:18 pm

      “Mr. President: Fighting al-Qaeda made you like Churchill.”

      Wow! Al-Qaeda’s army are encamped 20 miles off New York and bombing the crap out of Brooklyn even as we speak. Who knew?

      Can we have a variant of Godwin’s Law proclaiming that the first person to mention Churchill/Chamberlain loses the argument?

  9. Citizen
    March 29, 2015, 2:02 pm

    Think I will talk to Charlie Sheen, Mel Gibson, Marlon Brando about this stuff. Forget any typical Hollywood producer.

  10. MRW
    March 29, 2015, 3:17 pm

    Hey, mods,

    This link doesn’t work;

    It’s hard to imagine Maureen Dowd WRITING THIS COLUMN attacking “Republicans who want a loyalty oath on support for the Jewish state”

  11. jsinton
    March 29, 2015, 5:45 pm

    I remember some 26 years ago or so when Chris Van Hollen was a freshman rep and he made a statement mildly sympathetic to the Palestinians. The Zio police fixed him fast and he changed his tune, never to look back again.

  12. just
    March 29, 2015, 7:58 pm

    “Chemi Shalev

    In call with Malcolm Hoenlein, Hillary Clinton calls for “returning the special US-Israel relationship to constructive footing””

    Heaven help us!

    • Kay24
      March 29, 2015, 10:14 pm

      Although we can be certain Hillary will be yet another politician who will toe the zionist line, she has called for a 2 state solution. Whether or not she will withdraw her support for Israel, if it continues the status quo, and as Netanyahu predicted, there is no State of Palestine, is predictable, but left to be seen.

      “Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has called for an improvement in American-Israeli ties, saying that “we need to all work together to return the special US-Israel relationship to constructive footing, to get back to basic shared concerns and interests.”

      Clinton said this includes “a two-state solution pursued through direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians,” adding that “we must ensure that Israel never becomes a partisan issue.”

      Clinton made the comments in a telephone calll with Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman of Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

      Mr. Hoenlein, who initiated the call, said that, “Secretary Clinton’s views are of special importance and timeliness given recent issues in the US-Israel relationship. We note her call for direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, which, we believe, is the only possible route to a true peace.” Haaretz

  13. ckg
    March 29, 2015, 8:54 pm

    It’s hard to imagine Maureen Dowd writing this column…

    I once read she dated David Brooks long before he became a columnist, but I have not able to find any supporting links. That must have been the date from hell.

    • piotr
      March 31, 2015, 12:50 pm

      It may explain her dim view on Republicans, although I swear to heavens, I never dated a Republican and my esteem of them is “not as high as it could be.” My favorite sub-species are moderate Republicans, who balance the few intelligent planks they favor is a variety of ways: Guliani — with personal viciousness, New Jersey governors — with utter fiscal responsibility, with some thuggery added in Christie edition, and so on.

      Then come less moderate cohorts, including “Rednecks for Israel”. The latter are almost amusing, because they regurgitate talking points of Zionist extremist (think ECI rather than AIPAC), but they garble them in ways that tell me that they have no idea what is going on. For example, they would proclaim that “we should demand equal rights for all people between the sea and the Jordan river” after being explained that Jews are being discriminated upon, and denied the right to settle in the West Bank. That was when Obama was trying to raise the point of the settlement freeze. Or they would proclaim that Israel should have logical borders, which means, borders described in the Bible. Good luck finding the Wilderness of Zin. (Just because those folks believe every word in the Bible does not mean that they read much of it with comprehension.)

      The few Republicans that have reasonable views on foreign affairs, those of libertarian bent, tend to be total nuts on domestic issues. Some of that is relatively harmless, like gold standard.

      That said, the best thing one can say about Democrats is that a candidate like Donna Edwards actually has a chance. In other words, the reality is “so-so”, but the potential is there. Unlike in GOP. I think I will follow Munger’s advise.

  14. Philip Munger
    March 29, 2015, 10:41 pm

    Rep. Donna Edwards was the first out-of-my-own-state candidate I ever supported financially. That was in 2006, in her unsuccessful bid to oust Rep. Al Wynn in the Democratic Party primary. I’ve continued to support her in each campaign. I urge others to do so too. My blogging guru, Howie Klein turned me on to her amazing potential. He continues to support her directly, at Blue America, and in his many essays about her at Down With Tyranny!

    • just
      March 29, 2015, 11:14 pm

      I remember that so well! It felt so good to support her…

      Howie Klein, Blue America, DWT, C&L and FDL were on fire and they lit it up!

    • JLewisDickerson
      March 30, 2015, 4:18 am

      Me too! (ActBlue)

  15. JLewisDickerson
    March 30, 2015, 2:09 am

    CORRECT LINK* FOR Maureen Dowd’s column (“Ready for 45?”) attacking “Republicans who want a loyalty oath on support for the Jewish state” and neocons who pushed the Iraq war and now want a war with Iran even six months ago. –

    * Phil’s link doesn’t work

  16. JLewisDickerson
    March 30, 2015, 2:26 am

    RE: “We’ve got trouble, right here in River City, folks!” ~ Weiss

    • JLewisDickerson
      March 30, 2015, 3:27 am

      Slippery slope
      A “slippery slope” argument is a common rhetorical device which suggests that a seemingly innocent small action will lead inevitably to a disastrous result. An argument of this form is invalid as there is no necessary logical connection between its premise and its conclusion. Indeed, it barely has any formal structure beyond if p, then q. Whilst it is therefore a logical fallacy, its emotive appeal remains a depressingly effective way of convincing those who don’t know their modus ponens from their elbow. If the conclusion does follow from the premise, then the argument is not a fallacious slippery-slope argument, but instead a reductio ad absurdum, which is a valid argument.
      ✔ If we allow this increase in administrative fees, soon tuition will double!
      ✔ If we don’t stop the terrorists in Iraq, they’ll invade Maine next!
      ✔ If we send in 100,000 troops, the next thing you know we’ll be in a quagmire like Vietnam!
      ✔ If we let gays get married, soon men will want to marry their kitchen appliances!
      ✔ You are not aware of the caliber of disaster indicated by the presence of a pool table in your community…. I say that any boob can take and shove a ball in a pocket. And I call that sloth, the first big step on the road to the depths of degraday—I say, first, medicinal wine from a teaspoon, then beer from a bottle! An’ the next thing ya know, your son is playin’ for money in a pinch-back suit*. And list’nin to some big out-a-town Jasper** hearin’ him tell about horse-race gamblin’. [Not a wholesome trottin’ race, No, but a race where they set down right on the horse! Like to see some stuck-up jockey boy sittin’ on Dan Patch***?] One fine night, they leave the pool hall, headin’ for the dance at the Arm’ry! Libertine men and scarlet women, and ragtime, shameless music that’ll grab your son and your daughter with the arms of a jungle animal instinct: mass-steria![1]
      SOURCE –

      * pinch-back suit—from pinchbeck – serving as an imitation or substitute; “pinchbeck heroism” (noun): an alloy of copper and zinc that is used in cheap jewelry to imitate gold. Made of pinchbeck; sham; cheap; spurious; unreal. –

      ** (out-of-town) Jasper – First used as slang in 1896 (according to the Online Etymology Dictionary), to call someone a Jasper is to call them a rustic simpleton… in other words, a hick. –

      *** Dan Patch (April 29, 1896-July 11, 1916) was the outstanding pacer of his day. Dan Patch broke world speed records at least 14 times in the early 1900s, finally setting the world’s record for the fastest mile by a harness horse (1m:55s) during a time trial in 1906, a record that stood unmatched for 32 years. –

      • JLewisDickerson
        March 30, 2015, 4:11 am
      • Mooser
        March 30, 2015, 11:37 am

        John, what are “scarlet women”, “libertines” and most confusing of all, what is “ragtime”?
        And what’s a “dime novel”? Or a “cistern”? and why does beefsteak need to be “pounded” And really; “Cap’t Billy’s Whiz-Bang?” what on earth?

      • JLewisDickerson
        March 30, 2015, 3:12 pm


        scarlet womensexually promiscuous woman
        This rather dated term comes from the whore ‘arranged in … scarlet colour’ and seated on ‘a scarlet coloured beast’ in St John the Divine’s prophetic vision (Revelation, 17: 1-5). He was probably referring to pagan Rome, though in later theological controversy the scarlet woman became an abusive epithet for the Roman Catholic Church. In secular vocabulary, she lacks these theological dimensions.
        ALSO SEE: Babalon
        P.S. Whore of Babylon, by William Blake (1757–1827)

        Libertine – A libertine is one devoid of most moral restraints, which are seen as unnecessary or undesirable, especially one who ignores or even spurns accepted morals and forms of behaviour sanctified by the larger society.[1][2] Libertines put value on physical pleasures, meaning those experienced through the senses. As a philosophy, libertinism gained new-found adherents in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, particularly in France and Great Britain. Notable among these were John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester, and the Marquis de Sade. [And Johnny Depp, of course! – J.L.D.] . . .
        SOURCE –

        Ragtime — also spelled rag-time or rag time[1] — is a musical genre that enjoyed its peak popularity between 1895 and 1918.[2] Its cardinal trait is its syncopated, or “ragged,” rhythm.[2] It began as dance music in the red-light districts of African American communities in St. Louis and New Orleans years before being published as popular sheet music for piano. Ernest Hogan (1865–1909) was an innovator and key pioneer who helped popularized the musical genre, and is credited for coining the term ragtime.[3][4] Ragtime was also a modification of the march made popular by John Philip Sousa, with additional polyrhythms coming from African music.[5] The ragtime composer Scott Joplin (ca. 1868–1917) became famous through the publication of the “Maple Leaf Rag” (1899) and a string of ragtime hits such as “The Entertainer” (1902), although he was later forgotten by all but a small, dedicated community of ragtime aficionados until the major ragtime revival in the early 1970s.[6][7] For at least 12 years after its publication, “Maple Leaf Rag” heavily influenced subsequent ragtime composers with its melody lines, harmonic progressions or metric patterns.[8] . . .
        SOURCE –

        Dime novel, a type of inexpensive, usually paperback, melodramatic novel of adventure popular in the United States roughly between 1860 and 1915; it often featured a western theme. One of the best-known authors of such works was E.Z.C. Judson, whose stories, some based on his own adventures, were written under the pseudonym Ned Buntline. The dime novels were eventually replaced by pulp magazines. Penny dreadfuls and shilling shockers are genres similar to the dime novel.
        SOURCE –

        Cistern – A cistern (Middle English cisterne, from Latin cisterna, from cista, “box”, from Greek κίστη kistê, “basket”)[1] is a waterproof receptacle for holding liquids, usually water. Cisterns are often built to catch and store rainwater. Cisterns are distinguished from wells by their waterproof linings. Modern cisterns range in capacity from a few litres to thousands of cubic metres, effectively forming covered reservoirs. . .
        . . . Some cisterns sit on the top of houses or on the ground higher than the house, and supply the running water needs for the house. They are often supplied not by rainwater harvesting, but by wells with electric pumps, or are filled by manual labor or by truck delivery. Very common throughout Brazil, for instance, they were traditionally made of concrete walls (much like the houses, themselves), with a similar concrete top (about 5 cm thick), with a piece that can come out for water filling and be re-inserted to keep out debris and insects. Modern cisterns are manufactured of plastic (in Brazil with a characteristic bright blue color, round, in capacities of about 10 000 and 50 000 liters). These cisterns differ from water tanks in the sense that they are not completely enclosed and sealed with one form, rather they have a lid made of the same material as the cistern, which is removable by the user.
        To keep a clean water supply, the cisterns must be kept clean. It is recommended to inspect them regularly, keep them well enclosed, and to occasionally empty them and clean them with an appropriate dilution of chlorine and to rinse them well. Well water must be inspected for contaminants coming from the ground source. City water has up to 1ppm (parts per million) chlorine added to the water to keep it clean, and in many areas can be ordered to be delivered directly to the cistern by truck (a typical price in Brazil is BRL$50, US$20 for 10 000 liters). If there is any question about the water supply at any point (source to tap), then the cistern water should not be used for drinking or cooking. If it is of acceptable quality and consistency, then it can be used for (1) toilets, and housecleaning; (2) showers and handwashing; (3) washing dishes, with appropriate sanitation methods, and for the highest quality, (4) cooking and drinking. Water of non-acceptable quaility for the before mentioned uses may still be used for irrigation. If it is free of particulates but not low enough in bacteria, then boiling may also be an effective means to prepare the water for drinking. . .
        Modern cistern
        Yerebatan Sarnıcı, Istanbul 138 m x 65 m, 80.000 m3, Justinian I, 523-542
        Portuguese cistern, El Jadida, Morocco
        Remains of a Nabataean cistern north of Makhtesh Ramon, southern Israel
        SOURCE –

        Beefsteak – A beefsteak is a flat cut of beef, usually cut perpendicular to the muscle fibers. Beefsteaks are usually grilled, pan-fried, or broiled. The more tender cuts from the loin and rib are cooked quickly, using dry heat, and served whole. Less tender cuts from the chuck or round are cooked with moist heat or are mechanically tenderized (cf. cube steak). . .
        SOURCE –
        P.S. FROM MY PERSONAL POINT OF VEIW: No matter how tender the meat, I highly recommend giving it a thorough pounding (up to, and including, mechanically tenderizing it). – J.L.D.

        Captain Billy’s Whiz Bang – Fawcett Publications was an American publishing company founded in 1919 in Robbinsdale, Minnesota by Wilford Hamilton “Captain Billy” Fawcett (1885–1940). At the age of 16, Fawcett ran away from home to join the Army, and the Spanish-American War took him to the Philippines. Back in Minnesota, he became a police reporter for the Minneapolis Journal. While a World War I Army captain, Fawcett’s experience with the Army publication Stars and Stripes gave him the notion to get into publishing, and his bawdy cartoon and joke magazine, Captain Billy’s Whiz Bang, became the launch pad for a vast publishing empire embracing magazines, comic books and paperback books.[1]
        SOURCE –


      • JLewisDickerson
        March 30, 2015, 3:36 pm

        P.S. RE: “FROM MY PERSONAL POINT OF VEIW” ~ me (from above)

        BORROWED FROM (in case you’re interested):

      • JLewisDickerson
        March 30, 2015, 3:50 pm

        P.P.S. RE: “■ scarlet womensexually promiscuous woman ~ from above

        SOURCE –

      • Mooser
        March 30, 2015, 6:02 pm

        Thank you, very much, John. Now I understand why Professor Hill had such strong objections to a pool table. Thanks again.

    • JLewisDickerson
      March 30, 2015, 4:12 am

      P.P.S. FROM WIKIPEDIA (Modus ponens):

      [EXCERPT] In propositional logic, modus ponendo ponens (Latin for “the way that affirms by affirming”; often abbreviated to MP or modus ponens[1][2][3][4]) or implication elimination is a valid, simple argument form and rule of inference.[5] It can be summarized as “P implies Q; P is asserted to be true, so therefore Q must be true.” The history of modus ponens goes back to antiquity.[6]
      While modus ponens is one of the most commonly used concepts in logic it must not be mistaken for a logical law; rather, it is one of the accepted mechanisms for the construction of deductive proofs that includes the “rule of definition” and the “rule of substitution”.[7] Modus ponens allows one to eliminate a conditional statement from a logical proof or argument (the antecedents) and thereby not carry these antecedents forward in an ever-lengthening string of symbols; for this reason modus ponens is sometimes called the rule of detachment.[8] Enderton, for example, observes that “modus ponens can produce shorter formulas from longer ones”,[9] and Russell observes that “the process of the inference cannot be reduced to symbols. Its sole record is the occurrence of ⊦q [the consequent] . . . an inference is the dropping of a true premise; it is the dissolution of an implication”.[10]
      A justification for the “trust in inference is the belief that if the two former assertions [the antecedents] are not in error, the final assertion [the consequent] is not in error”.[11] In other words: if one statement or proposition implies a second one, and the first statement or proposition is true, then the second one is also true. If P implies Q and P is true, then Q is true.[12] An example is:
      If it is raining, I will meet you at the theater.
      It is raining.
      Therefore, I will meet you at the theater. . .

  17. Marnie
    March 30, 2015, 8:15 am

    It is appalling that AIPAC and other “Israel First” type groups demand fealty from African American elected officials, to ass kiss and demonstrate undying love for the apartheid state that has demonstrated nothing but contempt and ridicule of the first African American president of the United States and has a well-known and very well documented history of contempt, racism, hatred, etc., for people of African origin. They have no shame in their game.

  18. hophmi
    March 30, 2015, 10:43 am

    This is not a tipping point. This is the Guardian making a mountain out of molehill because they have a very strong editorial bias against Israel. Edwards, regardless of her position on Israel, has little chance against Van Hollen.

    • piotr
      March 31, 2015, 1:16 pm

      If you say that the Guardian has anti-Israeli bias, it explains more about you than about the Guardian — they actually evade the issue of Israel, but it is hard to report on American politics without noticing it, at least if you want to show some connection of your reporting to reality (however small).

      I think that Edwards has a chance. Of course, it may be easy to exaggerate her progressive position on Middle East. But there exists an interesting indirect connection:

      [Politico]: “Edwards, who’s preparing for a difficult primary against fellow Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen, said in a two-minute announcement video that she wouldn’t compromise on the entitlement programs — “no ifs, ands, buts or willing to considers.” It’s a likely preview of the way she’ll hit Van Hollen, who progressives have argued has been open to cutting Social Security because of his support for a federal budget deal like the now-defunct Simpson-Bowles plan.”

      The problem with “progressive except Palestine” is all to often that they are not that progressive. Those that loose their virginity in interactions with one well-funded special interest group evolve to veritable tramps.

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