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Israel is ‘becoming a full-blown police state,’ Reza Aslan says after interrogation at border

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Yesterday Peter Beinart, the liberal Zionist writer, disclosed that he had been detained at Ben Gurion airport on August 12 for an hour of questioning of his political opinions/activities. Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu promptly released an unprecedented statement saying the detention had been a mistake, and Beinart said he would accept Netanyahu’s apology only if he apologized to Palestinians who are subjected to far worse. Many Zionists have responded angrily to the news by saying that the country is damaging itself in the eyes of the world by harassing leftleaning Jews who want to visit. And the Israeli attorney general says she is looking into the detention incidents.  

Today Reza Aslan, the bestselling writer on religion who was born in Iran and lives in LA, was moved by Beinart’s experience to tell his own story on twitter:

Peter’s experience has spurred me to share mine. 2 weeks ago, as I was crossing back into Israel from Jordan, I was separated from my family and detained by Shin Bet. “We can make it so you don’t see your kids for a long time” I was warned. This is what happened next.

The Shin Bet lady, who already knew everything about me and my family’s journey around the world, began with “You think because you’re a public person I can’t do whatever I want with you?” I was floored. This is how interrogations begin in police states.

“Why do you hate Israel?” She asked. “I don’t hate Israel,” I replied. “But you hate our Prime Minister.” “I’m sorry is your Prime Minister Israel?” “He was democratically elected!” (No he wasn’t but let’s just drop that) “So was Trump and I hate him and still love America.”

“Oh I know all about you and Trump,” she spat. I forgot the Israeli Right Wing’s affection for our racist Neo-Nazi loving president. “You don’t think Israel should exist yes?” That’s absurd. I’m against the occupation not Israel. Then the police state part began in earnest.

Write down names of Palestinians you know Write down names of journalists you associate with Write down names of Palestinian organizations you support And constantly, repeatedly, this threat: “if you don’t cooperate it will be a long time before you see your kids again.”

I tried to cooperate the best I could. It was 104 degrees. My wife, my two 6yr olds, my 3yr old, and I my two elderly in-laws had been waiting for me in the sun for hours. But (again the police state tactic): every answer I gave she told me was lie. “Stop lying!” She’d yell.

The questions got dumber and more surreal: “Who did your father work for in Iran?” I don’t know. I was 7 when we left “Oh Mr Scholar! You can tell me everything about the Ottoman Empire but you don’t know your own father’s history?” For the record I am not an Ottoman scholar.

In the end, after hours of this, she warned “I may let you into Israel but, who knows, I may not let you out. I will keep you here and kick out your family. It depends on you. You would miss your kids yes?” That my friends is the classic police state trick. Iran has perfected it.

Her final warning was not to visit the Palestinian Territories. Not to meet with or speak to any Palestinians or any Israeli trouble makers. “We are watching you.” 2 days later I went to Bethlehem, to the wall, and took this picture:

Painting of Ahed Tamimi on Bethlehem wall, photo by Reza Aslan

Two days after that, the Italian artist who painted this portrait of Ahed Tamimi was arrested and deported. This was my 4th trip to Israel in ten years and every time it’s gotten worse. It’s becoming unrecognizable as a democracy. It is becoming a full-blown police state.

When I was released my evangelical in-laws were in shock. “I had no idea it was like this,” they said. Now they do. So do more Americans each day. And if Israel loses them, who will continue to shield it from pressure to change course? The clock is ticking.

Addendum: Beinart managed to get out of detention quickly by calling on human rights attorney Gaby Lasky. Lasky represents Ahed Tamimi, the 17-year-old Palestinian woman in the painting, who lives in the occupied village of Nabi Saleh and spent 8 months in prison recently for slapping an Israeli soldier. It appears that Beinart’s case has already gotten as much attention as hers, and far more outrage; though of course Tamimi’s case is not that unusual. Today Samidoun released a report stating, “In July 2018, Israeli occupation forces arrested 520 Palestinians from the occupied Palestinian territories, including 69 children, nine women and five journalists.”

61 Responses

  1. amigo
    amigo
    August 14, 2018, 1:27 pm

    The question is ??.

    Who is going to flip his lid first.

    Trump or Nietanyahu.

    Poor Donald has a former aide who taped conversations inside the WH.He has his former Attorney also in possession of recorded conversations.He has a wife who must be on the verge of dumping him.He hasn,t a clue what Mueller has in store for him.His son is in danger of going to prison.

    He must be absolutely climbing the walls and abusing all aound him.(Tee Hee, Hee).

    Nietanyahu has ciminal investigations hanging over his head and his dear wifey may be going to jail.Palestinians and Jews are protesting in tens of thousands in TA. The international community is pushing back on his racist supremacist Nation State Law.American Jews are increasingly exposing Israel for the rogue entity it is.

    Somethings got to give with these 2 evil losers.

    • JLewisDickerson
      JLewisDickerson
      August 14, 2018, 4:26 pm

      Is the Trump presidency a religious cult? | Reza Aslan

      Big Think
      Published on Apr 15, 2018
      Are fundamentalist Christians a dangerous religious cult? Possibly. The controversial author and religious scholar Reza Aslan posits that President Donald Trump has much of his evangelical fan-base believing that he’s somehow been anointed by God to become President. Nevermind the Russian election scandal, his affairs with porn stars and unwarranted sexual acts towards women, or his inability to remember even a single Bible verse when asked. Evangelical Christians are abandoning their core moral beliefs to follow, as Reza suggests, someone who exhibits every trademark of a cult leader.

      P.S. ALSO WATCH THE CHILLING SIX-PART SERIES “HITLER: A PROFILE”
      LINK – https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=hitler+a+profile+Milentije+Kindlovski

      IMdB (7.9/10) – https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0168336/

      • amigo
        amigo
        August 14, 2018, 5:27 pm

        Thanks fo those links JLD .

        In the first video hitler is referred to as Souless and Fossiled.That describes both Trump and Nietanyahu perfectly.

        Two empty vassals.devoid of humanity.Hell was created for their kind.

  2. just
    just
    August 14, 2018, 1:32 pm

    It has really only ever been a “police state” and will continue to descend into more darkness as the world watches. Will those complicit in the myriad crimes of Israel continue with their unfettered support of this rogue ‘state’?

    “Jerusalem Hostel Booted by Birthright Bans ‘Haters of Israel’

    Several celebrities and newspapers, including Haaretz, are featured on the list of banned ‘Haters of Israel’

    A hostel in Jerusalem’s Old City published a list of Jewish activists, journalists and celebrities who have been “banned because of crimes committed against the Jewish People.”

    The Jerusalem Heritage House’s list, which refers to the people named as “sonei Yisrael” or “haters of Israel,” includes Jewish politicians like Bernie Sanders and Dianne Feinstein; advocacy groups like J Street and the Anti-Defamation League, “all staff” from the Times of Israel, Haaretz, CNN and The New York Times; and celebrities like Jon Stewart, Bette Midler and Natalie Portman.

    The list was published on Twitter by Jacob Kornbluh of Jewish Insider. …

    The Heritage House, which says it has hosted more than 60,000 people since it opened in 1985, did not respond to a request for comment from The Jerusalem Post.

    The hostel came under heavy scrutiny last year after Haaretz reported that a popular operator of Birthright trips run by the Orthodox Union had been referring participants to stay there for free in order to extend their 10-day trip.

    While at the Heritage House, residents were encouraged to volunteer in illegal West Bank outposts. Residents also reported seeing pictures and books about Rabbi Meir Kahane, whose political party was banned in Israel for racism and whose Jewish Defense League was classified by the FBI as a terrorist group. …”

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/jerusalem-hostel-booted-by-birthright-bans-haters-of-israel-1.6382894?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

    It seems instead that the West is learning from apartheid Israel:

    “Home Office stopped author from speaking at UK festival, says publisher

    Visa refusals mean Palestinian Nayrouz Qarmout unlikely to get to Edinburgh book festival

    “It feels like we’re all sleepwalking into a new age of nativism,” he said. “We’re not just talking about classic, difficult-to-prove institutional racism. We’re talking about quiet, effective cultural censorship. The Home Office is saying, in effect: British readers shouldn’t be hearing from other perspectives at our book festivals; their voices are of less worth; British voices first.”

    Speaking before the decision, Qarmout said she had found the visa application process “intrusive” and that the reasons provided for her refusal – one Home Office letter listed her single status as a reason – were “humiliating”.

    She attributed irregular payments in her bank statements to bureaucratic problems between the competing authorities in Ramallah and Gaza. “I am supposed to explain myself in the context of the plight of all the Palestinians in order to apply for a visa? Even though I am travelling as a cultural ambassador of my people, it makes me uncomfortable … I am not a terrorist and I am not a threat,” she said.

    Two Iranian illustrators, Ehsan Abdollahi and Marjan Vafaeian, are still awaiting updates for their visas a month after applying. Both have been informed by the Home Office that their applications had complications.

    Both have been denied visas to attend the festival before, with Abdollahi – who was supposed to be the festival’s annual illustrator in residence this year – eventually having his 2017 refusal overturned after a high-profile campaign …”

    https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/aug/12/home-office-stopped-author-nayrouz-qarmout-speaking-uk-festival-edinburgh

    The US is also barring folks from MENA… places that the US and its ‘allies’ have created refugees from their relentless wars on innocents…

    “Saudi Arabia and Israel are killing civilians – and Britain is complicit

    The slaughter in Yemen and the Palestinian territories is happening with British arms and support – and media silence …”

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/aug/10/saudi-arabia-israel-civilians-britain-yemen-palestinian-arms

    Oh, and this just out:

    “Israel Ranked 5Th From Worst of 20 Countries on Detention of Migrants’ Children

    The United States was ranked worst while Brazil was ranked best by the International Detention Coalition …”

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-israel-ranked-5th-from-worst-on-migrants-kids-detention-1.6382761?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

  3. catalan
    catalan
    August 14, 2018, 4:48 pm

    Israel views anyone with association with BDS as an enemy. The problem is that some see BDS as “nonviolent” but I think that objectively it is actually violent. The idea that certain deprivations need to occur in Israeli society, say of jobs, or food, or medical drugs seems to me at its essence violent. Of course, cancelling a concert is non violent. However, even that can carry repercussion for someone losing their job and not having money to buy essentials. BDS is a polite name for a blockade which is probably the oldest war tactic (when you can’t invade you starve the enemy). The question is not the effectiveness of BDS but rather the goals. BDS so far has not been effective but that doesn’t make it less desirous of deleterious goals.

    • JohnSmith
      JohnSmith
      August 14, 2018, 7:00 pm

      Oh, boo-hoo! BDS would obviously be successful with Israel buckling-under to its mighty power long before BDS led to a ruined, broken Israel of starved, desperate Israelis. BDS is about pressure and will be more and more successful over time, without ever reaching what you refer to as, in what I believe to be somewhat incorrect English, “deleterious goals.” What a ludicrous attempt at sympathy-trolling. Try caring about Palestinians, who, in the real world, suffer under these conditions ever day.

    • CigarGod
      CigarGod
      August 14, 2018, 7:56 pm

      Fighting fire with fire: jobs, food, medicine.

    • echinococcus
      echinococcus
      August 14, 2018, 8:30 pm

      I think that objectively it is actually violent

      So what, Buster? Come back when it exceeds the degree of Zionist+US violence.

    • amigo
      amigo
      August 14, 2018, 9:41 pm

      “Israel views anyone with association with BDS as an enemy. The problem is that some see BDS as “nonviolent” but I think that objectively it is actually violent. The idea that certain deprivations need to occur in Israeli society, say of jobs, or food, or medical drugs seems to me at its essence violent” catalan

      Sure catalan , we are wasting our time with this cruel violent approach.Just imagine , preventing poor most moral army soldiers from attending concerts during their time off, from shooting unarmed protesters on their own land.We should adopt the zionist entitie,s humanitarian tactic and just shoot them all , including Children.Much less violent , eh , pussycat.

    • chocopie
      chocopie
      August 14, 2018, 10:32 pm

      Let us know when the BDS blockade becomes as “deleterious” as the blockade on Gaza. We’ll send a flotilla.

    • Jethro
      Jethro
      August 14, 2018, 11:00 pm

      The problem is that some see BDS as “nonviolent” but I think that objectively it is actually violent.

      This is why everyone hates you.

    • Talkback
      Talkback
      August 15, 2018, 4:19 am

      Catalan: “The idea that certain deprivations need to occur in Israeli society, say of jobs, or food, or medical drugs seems to me at its essence violent. ”

      BDS is not capable of doing to Israel what Israel is doing to Palestinians. But you are correct that Israel’s illegal blockade and its illegal occupation are nothing else but violence. So even if Palestinians would be absolutely nonviolent, Israel can’t be. This is also the reason why it is almost always Israel that reignites violence.

      Catalan: “BDS is a polite name for a blockade which is probably the oldest war tactic (when you can’t invade you starve the enemy).”

      ROFL. Is BDS capable of not only controlling Israel’s import, but also reducing them to a minimum of calories like Israel does to Palestinians? BDS is not blockading Israel at all. It is an individual choice to engange with Apartheid or not.

      Catalan: “BDS so far has not been effective …”

      You don’t understand the scope of BDS and what it has allready achieved:
      BDS: how a controversial non-violent movement has transformed the Israeli-Palestinian debate
      https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/aug/14/bds-boycott-divestment-sanctions-movement-transformed-israeli-palestinian-debate

      And btw. How despicable is it of you to criticize a movement that wants to pressure an oppressor in ending its oppression?`This is the typical victim pepeprator reversal of Israsel’s apartheid apologists.

    • RayJosephCormier
      RayJosephCormier
      August 15, 2018, 10:02 am

      The idea that certain deprivations need to occur in Israeli society, say of jobs, or food, or medical drugs seems to me at its essence violent

      The idea that certain deprivations need to occur in Gaza society, say of jobs, or food, or medical drugs seems to me at its essence violent

      The idea that certain deprivations need to occur in Iranian society, say of jobs, or food, or medical drugs seems to me at its essence violent

      The idea that certain deprivations need to occur in North Korean society, say of jobs, or food, or medical drugs seems to me at its essence violent

      • CigarGod
        CigarGod
        August 15, 2018, 11:00 am

        Those darn Montgomery Bus Boycotts were so violent because the bus companies lost money. Prior to the boycott, forcing blacks to get to the back of the bus, or give up their seats to whites…wasn’t violent at all.

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso
      August 15, 2018, 10:57 am

      @catalan

      “The idea that certain deprivations need to occur in Israeli society, say of jobs, or food, or medical drugs seems to me at its essence violent.”

      “BDS is a polite name for a blockade which is probably the oldest war tactic (when you can’t invade you starve the enemy).”

      Hypocrite!! You obviously have no problem with Israel’s “violent” and illegal (i.e., in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, “collective punishment”) brutal occupation and blockade of the Gaza Strip and its “deprivations…of jobs, or food, or medical drugs” for its long suffering inhabitants.

      “BDS so far has not been effective but that doesn’t make it less desirous of deleterious goals.”
      Reality:
      http://www.timesofisrael.com/dysfunctional-israeli-leadership-failing-utterly-in-battle-against-bds-state-watchdog-warns/

      Times of Israel – May 24, 2016

      EXCERPT:
      “Dysfunctional Israeli leadership failing utterly in battle against BDS, state watchdog warns.”

      http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/parliament-votes-to-reject-campaign-to-boycott-israel/article28863810/
      To quote Patrick Martin, Canada’s Globe and Mail correspondent in Israel:
      Globe and Mail, Feb. 23/16

      EXCERPT:
      “Israel is increasingly concerned with the successes of the boycott and divestment efforts. In 2014, foreign direct investment in Israel dropped 46 per cent from the previous year, in part, a United Nations report said, because of BDS efforts.

      “These initiatives are taking hold at North American universities, churches and trade unions, where many institutions are dropping investments in Israel or Israel-connected companies. In Europe where hundreds of academics and entertainers are personally boycotting Israel, major companies such as telecom Orange and water company Veolia are pulling out of Israeli ventures, and some EU governments are putting warning labels on products produced in Israeli West Bank settlements.”

      https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/asa-winstanley/bds-winning-admits-top-israeli-sabotage-strategist

      “BDS is winning, admits top Israeli ‘sabotage’ strategist.”

      Electronic Intifada – 21 April 2017

      EXCERPT: “The boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel is winning, a top anti-BDS strategist has conceded.

      “At the ‘Ambassadors Against BDS’ conference in New York last month, former Israeli government advisor Gidi Grinstein said that ‘in 2016 our community probably invested 20 times … more resources in dealing with this problem compared to what we invested in 2010.’ Yet despite these tens of millions of dollars spent combating BDS, Grinstein asked: ‘why are we not winning?’

    • annie
      annie
      August 15, 2018, 11:04 am

      The problem is that some see BDS as “nonviolent”

      is the idea of ending international support for Israel’s oppression of Palestinians and pressuring Israel to comply with international law, inherently violent? is a people’s struggle for freedom, justice and equality inherently violent? this is the challenge for the powerful zionist nation and their online army, to divert a global audience from israel’s violent destructive behavior to a contentious discussion about an alleged inherent violent nature behind the very idea of bds.

      catalan continually provides example of this duplicitousness:

      The question is not the effectiveness of BDS but rather the goals

      it makes sense he takes a break from continually reminding us of how ineffective BDS is, to bypass its effectiveness and direct focus on the nefarious intent behind the movement (iow, ignore bds stated movement goals > to end international support for Israel’s oppression of Palestinians and pressure Israel to comply with international law).

      catalan’s “problem” is that people see Israel’s violence … They no longer question the effectiveness of zionism but rather the goals.

      zionism (a jewish homeland in palestine) is effectively violent towards palestinians. a movement that requires crushing palestinians, in their homeland, both literally and figuratively. and catalan would like us to examine the goals of those defending themselves from this inherently violent zionist movement.

    • oldgeezer
      oldgeezer
      August 15, 2018, 11:54 am

      @catalan
      “The idea that certain deprivations need to occur in Israeli society”
      “but I think that objectively it is actually violent”

      While I support the previous responders answers fully and think they are better I do have to say that is complete bs.

      If Israel discontinues it’s depredations and deprivations of the Palestinian people and comes to a mutually agreeable peace agreement then BDS ceases to exist.

      Instead Israel adheres to we take it all. You get less than a state approach which will never fly.

      There is no lack of a peace partner as the Palestine Papers clearly evidence that the Palestinians have already agreed to accept less than what they are legitimately entitled.

      It is risible for you to talk about people seeing a loss of income, etc as a form of violence when Israel has no qualms about stopping Palestinians from getting an education, getting medical care, trading goods and services with the world, coming and going from their country or as is clearly seen depriving children of their lives.

      So many zionists seem to think Jewish self determination means we can do whatever we want,when we want. You can’t. You need to get along with the rest of us as we all have to do with each other.

      Get your fascist boots off of their neck.

    • Maghlawatan
      Maghlawatan
      August 15, 2018, 2:01 pm

      Israel deems justice to be an enemy. And antizionism to be Hatred of Jews.

      For fuck’s sake. Justice is the essence of Judaism. Zionism is idolatry.

      https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/aug/14/bds-boycott-divestment-sanctions-movement-transformed-israeli-palestinian-debate

      Israel’s most powerful tool in the campaign against delegitimisation has been to accuse the country’s critics of antisemitism. Doing so required changing official definitions of the term. This effort began during the final years of the second intifada, in 2003 and 2004, as pre-BDS calls to boycott and divest from Israel were gaining steam. At that time, a group of institutes and experts, including Dina Porat – a Tel Aviv University scholar who had a been a member of the Israeli foreign ministry’s delegation to the 2001 UN world conference against racism in Durban, South Africa – proposed creating a new definition of antisemitism that would equate criticisms of Israel with hatred of Jews.
      By the state department’s definition, delegitimisation includes “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, and denying Israel the right to exist”. Thus anti-Zionism – including the view that Israel should be a state of all its citizens, with equal rights for Jews and non-Jews – is a form of delegitimisation and therefore antisemitic. According to this definition, virtually all Palestinians (and a large proportion of ultra-Orthodox Jews in Israel, who oppose Zionism for religious reasons) are guilty of antisemitism because they want Jews and Palestinians to continue living in Palestine but not under Zionism

      • just
        just
        August 15, 2018, 2:17 pm

        Both Rebecca Vilkomerson @ Jewish Voice for Peace and Ben Jamal @ Palestine Solidarity Campaign had their letters/responses to Nathan Thrall’s article published today in The Guardian.

        https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/aug/15/diversity-of-responses-to-israel-boycott-movement

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        August 15, 2018, 2:59 pm

        For fuck’s sake. Justice is the essence of Judaism.

        For fuck’s sake, temper your crazy religious enthusiasm. That “justice” looks like this (not that the other monotheistic insanities are much better anyway):
        “They warred against the Midianites, as the LORD commanded Moses; and they slew all the males … And the children of Israel took all the women of Midian captives, and their little ones … And they brought the captives, and the prey, and the spoil, unto Moses … And Moses was angry with the officers of the army, with the captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, who came from the battle. And Moses said unto them, “Have you saved all the women alive? … kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that has known man by lying with him. But all the young girls, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves…”

        And many, many more where this came from…

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        August 15, 2018, 7:10 pm

        Echi, you should stop reading that book. It isn’t good for you, or anyone else.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        August 16, 2018, 1:07 am

        RoHa,

        Only now do I appreciate all the fun I missed by not having read it when my uncle (not the smart uncle, the other one) gave it to me. I was a kid then and didn’t know better –the book looked nasty.

        Luckily there are illustrated introductions for the young nowadays. I strongly recommend this one:
        http://www.barbaragriffiths.com

      • Maghlawatan
        Maghlawatan
        August 16, 2018, 8:00 am

        Echi,
        That Torah genocide stuff is of historical interest and no more. Judaism didn’t survive 3000 years or whatever by worshipping violence. Getting along in the world requires more nuance than that.
        Israel will get its ass handed to it on a plate sooner or later because that is how violence works.

        Btw I do think there are some clear Jewish influences over how Israel works including the appalling inequality. I don’t think this Jewish state is anywhere near best practice.

    • ckg
      ckg
      August 15, 2018, 3:35 pm

      “BDS…is actually violent”

      Orwell lives

  4. Citizen
    Citizen
    August 14, 2018, 5:13 pm

    RE: “In the end, after hours of this, she warned “I may let you into Israel but, who knows, I may not let you out. I will keep you here and kick out your family. It depends on you. You would miss your kids yes?” That my friends is the classic police state trick. Iran has perfected it.”

    Do you mean Israel, or Iran, or both have “perfected it”?

  5. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    August 14, 2018, 6:07 pm

    Benjamin Netanyahu is a real setback for the Jewish homeland in Palestine. He might actually be right on certain issues. For example, a radical rejection of the imams of Iran might be the wisest policy for the west, so he might be right in terms of direction. But his rhetoric is a real setback, no question.

    It seems to me that Israel should annex the west bank and give the indigenous the right to vote. If I could go back in time and be in control, I would undo the settler movement, so that the west bank would be set aside for a palestinian state, but the time machine has not been invented yet, so moving forward: annex and give citizenship. this is not what will happen in the short term under bibi.

    moving further back in time i wonder how to undo the nakba and i haven’t yet figured it out. obviously the complications from the alternate history of no exile for hundreds of thousands of Palestinians is too radically different from the path of the last 70 years and it is difficult to imagine and since the idea of undoing the nakba is not near and dear to the hearts of those in control of border crossings, interrogation rooms, airports and nuclear facilities, so there is a hypothetical aspect to these aspirations that seem quite distant from the reality, a distance that probably won’t be traversed in the short range of my lifespan expectancy.

    bradley burston writes glowingly of the partnership of equality minded jews and palestinians. maybe it is a seed that can bear fruit. but it is very far from the corner of israel that seems to win elections.

    but back to bibi. even compared to rabin, barak, olmert and sharon, none of whom are/were sweethearts, bibi stands out as particularly pugnacious and annoying. but he’s a smart guy and somewhere i think he even in his own heart knows that action is called for on the gaza front. regarding the west bank he is against giving the Palestinians the vote and he is against ceding control, so the occupation without citizenship is the goal from here to the foreseeable, but regarding gaza there is no such imperative and i bet you he’d like to set gaza in a specific (hamas) direction. but he’s too politically astute to pull something like that now (less than 15 months until the next election, probably closer to 9 months) and one imagines that the habit of following the polls rather than acting in bold strokes might continue to rule his policy until his rule comes to an end.

    if the police ever indict him he’ll probably hold onto power at least for a while. he will not let go of the prime minister’s chair so easily.

    • eljay
      eljay
      August 14, 2018, 6:40 pm

      || wondering jew: Benjamin Netanyahu is a real setback for the Jewish homeland in Palestine. … ||

      Yup, what a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” needs – and what Jewish supremacists need to be able to rely on – is a strong leader who can secure the promise of a Thousand Year! “Jewish State”.

      It must suck to be a supremacist and witness how badly the supremacist leader of your supremacist state is mucking things up.  :-(

      || … If I could go back in time and be in control … ||

      …you’d establish a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in a smaller part of Palestine than other Jewish supremacists have. How sweet of you.

    • amigo
      amigo
      August 14, 2018, 7:10 pm

      “Benjamin Netanyahu is a real setback for the Jewish homeland in Palestine. ” WJakaYF

      Nope, the Jewish homeland in Palestine is a real setback for Jews looking foward. Clue==Bi National state.No time machine needed but I wish you well in that endeavour because if you succeed , you can not only undo the Nakba , you can undo the Holocaust and the millenia of Antisemitism.QED.

      Hell , maybe you can change the non Jew,s habit of eating White Bread and Mayo.But wait , that would mean we would be on an equal footing .Nope, better ignore that plan.

      ” If I could go back in time and be in control, I would undo the settler movement, so that the west bank would be set aside for a palestinian state,”YF aka WJ.

      Yonah , you are so transparent . You have an unfettered generosity of spirit in matters, over which you have absolutely zero control.

      Btw, don,t put all the blame on nuttyahoo.Blame the Jewish Israeli citizenry who keep choosing him as their leader.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        August 14, 2018, 11:06 pm

        Btw, don,t put all the blame on nuttyahoo.Blame the Jewish Israeli citizenry who keep choosing him as their leader.

        And every single Zionist anywhere.

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      August 15, 2018, 1:18 am

      “For example, a radical rejection of the imams of Iran might be the wisest policy for the west,”

      Why? What harm are they doing to the west?

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso
      August 15, 2018, 11:16 am

      @wondering jew

      the entity known as “Israel” is an abomination and Zionism is a betrayal of Judaism as well as the six million Jews who perished at the hands of the Nazis. The good news is that it is rotting within and being abandoned by Jews around the world, especially youth, at an increasing rate.

      To wit:
      Haaretz – Jan 22, 2018, by Judy Maltz
      “Young American Jews Increasingly Turning Away From Israel, Jewish Agency Leader Warns”
      “The Jewish Agency’s CEO and director-general called the trend ‘extremely worrisome,’ and said that a new strategy must be undertaken to engage young American Jews with Israel.”

      https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-progressives-welcome-aipac-is-all-just-gaslighting-1.5871623?utm_campaign=newsletter-daily&utm_medium=email&utm_source=smartfocus&utm_content=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.
      haaretz.com%2Fopinion%2F.premium-progressives-welcome-aipac-is-all-just-gaslighting-1.5871623

      “Why Young Jews and Democrats Are Waving Goodbye to AIPAC”
      “My generation has only known Israel as an occupier. We won’t back anyone who supports that injustice – including the powerful lobby that is AIPAC”
      By Emily Mayer, March 6, 2018 – Haaretz

      Newsweek – 5/10/18
      EXCERPTS:
      “Israel celebrates its 70th birthday in May with the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem. Yet the country is grappling with an existential crisis—one that doesn’t involve Iranian nukes or Palestinian protests. Spurred by the high cost of living, low salaries, and political and demographic trends, Israelis are leaving the country in droves, trying to build their lives elsewhere, mostly in the United States. Many of these young Israelis are moving to big cities, and yet, even in these often expensive places, they see more opportunities to advance.”

      “The available data is telling, analysts say. Between 2006 and 2016, more than 87,000 Israelis became U.S. citizens or legalized permanent residents, according to the most recent data from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. That’s up from 66,000 between 1995 and 2005. These figures take into account only those who took the legal route (many Israelis, analysts say, arrive on temporary tourist, student or work visas, then stay). And in addition to the Israelis now living stateside, according to the country’s Ministry of Immigrant Absorption, hundreds of thousands have moved to Europe, Canada and Newsweek elsewhere.

      “The country’s brain drain isn’t new. For years, many of its most talented scholars and researchers moved to the U.S., where the salaries are far higher and there are more jobs at top-tier universities. One report by Dan Ben-David, an economist at Tel Aviv University, found that the emigration rate of Israeli researchers was the highest in the Western world. Recently, however, the exodus has expanded to include average young people, many of whom say there’s simply no future in Israel.

      “According to government data, 8 percent of Israelis work in high-tech, which pays up to seven times the national average salary of $2,765 a month (before taxes). Israel has one of the highest poverty rates and levels of income inequality in the Western world. Meanwhile, it also has one of the highest costs of living. Tel Aviv ranks ninth among the world’s most expensive cities, higher than New York and Los Angeles; five years ago, it ranked 34th. The situation is so dire that a 2013 survey by the financial newspaper Calcalist (the most recent Israeli study conducted on this topic) found that 87 percent of adults—many with children of their own—depend on substantial financial support from their parents.”

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      August 15, 2018, 11:54 am

      “Benjamin Netanyahu is a real setback for the Jewish homeland in Palestine. …”

      So, now you tell us this?

    • annie
      annie
      August 15, 2018, 11:56 am

      i wonder how to undo the nakba and i haven’t yet figured it out..

      ..the idea of undoing the nakba is not near and dear to the hearts of those in control ..

      there is a hypothetical aspect to these aspirations that seem quite distant from the reality..

      the occupation without citizenship is the goal from here to the foreseeable

      yonah, what to do with these ponderings of yours about undoing what’s been done? what do you seek to accomplish? you can’t go back in time and you already know all this “hypothetical” stuff is “quite distant from the reality”, so why do you do it? “occupation without citizenship” has always been an intent, but the goal is the total judaizing of all the land, which ultimately requires the expulsion (or at a minimum total submission) of palestinians. but i just can’t figure out this inclination to repeatedly mention this idea of going back in time? what or how does it serve? are you trying to redeem the idea zionism, to somehow cleanse it (or possibly your complicity) by considering what it could have become? i find it baffling.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        August 17, 2018, 7:49 pm

        ” i find it baffling.”

        I can’t wait for “Yonah’s” new movie “Honey, I Shrunk the Issues”.

        When all else fails, trivialize, fantasize and trivialize!

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        August 18, 2018, 2:52 am

        Annie- I am trying to accomplish a summary of my feelings and attitudes towards the primary issues of the conflict at the given moment that I press “Post Comment”. I do not have an inflated view of the influence of my comments, but at the given moment feel a need to encapsulate my thinking.

        I’ve been reading a bit about Kahneman and Tversky in Michael Lewis’s “The Undoing Project” and this might explain my perspective. Kahneman speaks of regret as a factor that must be considered that is not considered by the previously reigning theory regarding decision making. And I am trying to measure my regrets or lack of regrets and whether I can imagine a reality different than the given one is very relevant to an attempt to understand the regret category.

        The original sin of modern Zionism was its ability to focus on one goal alone: Jewish independence and to disregard the needs of the Palestinians. The taking up of arms was essential to the enterprise and it seems that disregarding Palestinians was essential to the mindset. Spending time in an Arab/Jewish city (Palestinian/Jewish if you prefer), known as Jerusalem, I imagine coexistence on a large scale, because I witness it every day on a small scale. Not that the results should be passivity (on the part of my Arabic speaking fellow Jerusalemites), but in terms of imagination.

        I don’t think imagination is trivial, I think it is a major part of being human rather than robotic. Maybe sitting in the US reading headlines and issuing edicts about proper attitudes, imagination seems trivial. But in everyday life it is not trivial.

        You people, who have your attitude set in stone, that hasn’t budged a nanometer in the last decade, are baffled by someone groping for an attitude. For the foreseeable future Israel will be denying the West Bank Palestinians of their right to some sort of citizenship and I suppose that a right attitude towards them is what the ethos of this website requires. But there are many moments in the day and many days in the year and right attitude is not my priority at all those moments. Clarity and self expression are higher priorities to me sometimes. I have to rein in my anger at a lot of the emotions and attitudes expressed here, so I allow myself the freedom in this more self expressive direction.

      • annie
        annie
        August 18, 2018, 1:26 pm

        i don’t think imagination is trivial either yonah, but i would urge you to look forward, not back. visualize an ideal achievable future. not sure how measuring regrets or lack of regrets is helpful in that regard, but don’t beat yourself up over them too much. whatever happens, it’s the future that matters most, not the past.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        August 18, 2018, 1:35 pm

        “You people, who have your attitude set in stone, that hasn’t budged a nanometer in the last decade, are baffled by someone groping for an attitude”

        “Groping for an attitude”? “Groping”? My God “Yonah” WHERE IS YOUR FAITH IN ZIONISM?

        It’s a slippery slope from the freier to the frying pan “Yonah”, greased with schmaltz all the way down.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        August 18, 2018, 1:51 pm

        It’s a slippery slope from the freier to the frying pan “Yonah”

        Especially for a fish out of water. Never forget that.

        ” I have to rein in my anger at a lot of the emotions and attitudes expressed here”

        And Emet” knows why you do that.

    • Maghlawatan
      Maghlawatan
      August 15, 2018, 4:14 pm

      All Bibi’s fault. Pull the other one. Israel is sick.

    • Brewer
      Brewer
      August 16, 2018, 3:30 am

      ” i wonder how to undo the nakba and i haven’t yet figured it out”

      You don’t have to “figure it out”. The process of making reparations to indigenous peoples has many precedents in Australia, New Zealand, the U.S. and more. Templates exist and, whilst never totally satisfactory, they have resulted in relatively harmonious societies, at very little cost.

      Israel’s problem is not one of “figuring” it is the fact that its entire History is built on a mythical foundation, braced by a tissue of lies and at the first admission of culpability, the entire edifice will fall apart.

      It will fall apart eventually. Demographics will win in the end and you and your fellows will once again wring your hands and moan “why us?”

      Take a look around. The Syria campaign is lost. The big bully is in decline. The little bully will soon have no cover. A whole new Book of lamentations is in the making.

      “The roads to Zion mourn,
      for no one comes to her appointed festivals.
      All her gateways are desolate,
      her priests groan,
      her young women grieve,
      and she is in bitter anguish.

      Her foes have become her masters;
      her enemies are at ease.
      The Lord has brought her grief
      because of her many sins.
      Her children have gone into exile,
      captive before the foe.

      All the splendor has departed
      from Daughter Zion.
      Her princes are like deer
      that find no pasture;
      in weakness they have fled
      before the pursuer.

      Why oh why was she not able
      To deal when it was on the table”

      • CigarGod
        CigarGod
        August 16, 2018, 9:38 am

        Nice.

      • Marnie
        Marnie
        August 16, 2018, 10:33 am

        @Brewer “A whole new Book of lamentations is in the making.”

        The whole truth and nothing but. And they’ll wring their hands, point their fingers at everyone but each other and “moan why us” and someone will say it’s always been the occupation, stupid; dry your crocodile tears and sin no more.

  6. echinococcus
    echinococcus
    August 14, 2018, 8:40 pm

    The only interesting feature here is that moderately-moderate libZio Aslan didn’t dare write anything about his treatment at the hands of the ZZollgrenzschutz goonette before getting the green light in the form of a formal protest from the top, 100% Jewish Zlib himself.

    I suppose we have to thank him, though, for his snapshot of the Ahd Tamimi picture.

    • chocopie
      chocopie
      August 14, 2018, 10:47 pm

      One would like to think Aslan was just saving it up and planning to write about it at the ideal moment, but it does look suspiciously as if he waited for Jewish permission.

      Hopefully his family didn’t get too sweaty waiting out there in the sun. But really it’s the least they could do for Jewish self-determination. The 3-year-old can consider it his first mitzvah.

    • just
      just
      August 16, 2018, 10:41 am

      … “”The whole thing lasted close to four hours,” he told Haaretz. “The interrogation itself was about an hour, and the rest was just waiting time. I’ve never experienced something like this in Israel before. Never had explicit threats and warnings about what I can do and where I should go. Never been asked to write down names of journalists that I know and Palestinians that I support. Usually I get asked questions like why did you come here, what’s the purpose of your visit – legitimate questions. This was different.”

      Aslan told Haaretz that “my initial instinct was not to make a big deal out of it. Not to tell anyone. I come to Israel fairly regularly for work – writing, filming, other things I do. I didn’t want that to be taken away from me.” What motivated him to make the incident public, he explained, was the article published on Monday by Peter Beinart about his own interrogation at Ben-Gurion Airport. “That’s what pushed me to write about it on Twitter,” he said.

      During his interrogation, Aslan told Haaretz, he was asked by the security official, “Why do you hate Israel?” He said his reply was: “I love Israel, that’s why I come here so often, that’s why I came here with my family.” He also said the interrogation included references to his articles and social media posts.

      Aslan has been a vocal critic of Israel’s policies over the years, on issues such as the settlements, the situation in Gaza and the Iran nuclear deal. In 2014, Aslan wrote on Twitter that he supports boycotts against companies and individuals “profiting from the occupation,” but opposes “sanctions on Israel” in general. He also wrote: “I’m not BDS but I admit I enjoy the sheer terror it unleashes among America’s Liberal Zionists.”…

      … Aslan said that when he was reunited with his family, he could see that both his son – who has recently expressed interest in Judaism and attended Jewish holiday celebrations at a synagogue near their home – and his in-laws, whom he described as “white Evangelical Christians who support Israel,” were troubled by the incident. “It was an eye-opener for them,” he said.

      Despite the incident, Aslan told Haaretz he has “every intention” of returning to Israel in the future. “I love and respect many Israelis. I enjoy being in Israel, I love the history and the landscape. That’s why I debated from the beginning whether or not to make this incident public.” …”

      https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-israel-denies-reza-aslan-was-political-says-he-behaved-suspiciously-1.6384281?utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=dlvr.it

      That’s a lot of “love” for the “police state”. Why go at all, Reza? For your evangelical in- laws or your kids or your wife or yourself? Why not show them Gaza and give them the full monty of the Israel that you love? Introduce them to the people of the land~ the indigenous Palestinians. Introduce them to Iranian Jewish folk that would never make aliyah to that rogue state. Take them to other Palestinian refugee camps in Jordan and Lebanon and hopefully Syria soon, too. I mean, Petra’s lovely~ BUT! Embrace the totality of BDS~ please. Gideon Levy has said (many times) that change and justice can only come from beyond Israel… so why are you participating in the Occupation by visiting and dithering about losing your access???

      I hope that you’ll remember to try to stay firmly on the side of justice… you’ve been ‘privileged’ by the GOI until now. Israel has been using you~ on and off the air. ‘Liberal Zionists’ remain an oxymoron. Both Peter Beinart and you should wake up to that.

      • Marnie
        Marnie
        August 17, 2018, 12:29 am

        @just
        ” ‘Liberal Zionists’ remain an oxymoron. Both Peter Beinart and you should wake up to that.”
        Agree just but one thing – I think they are awake and have been fully awake since at least 2014, but have chosen to cop Zzzzzzzzz’s when it gets too ugly (and it does, like every day, at least). They better stay awake and not try to tell themselves it was an accident. If Beinart believes in a higher power than zionism, he should recognize his hand slap at ben gurion is his opening to preach to his fellow ‘liberal zionists’ that these fuckers have to go down asap.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        August 17, 2018, 1:58 pm

        “Both Peter Beinart and you should wake up to that.”

        I got a kick out of seeing Peter Beinart classed with Phil Weiss as among those “who have no place in Israel”. Peter’s come a long way.

  7. Boris
    Boris
    August 15, 2018, 11:43 pm

    Police state?

    I had lived in police state.

    I know what police state looks like.

    This ain’t police state.

    • CigarGod
      CigarGod
      August 16, 2018, 9:31 am

      You forgot to add the last line.

      “Because I ain’t a Palestinian.”

    • John O
      John O
      August 16, 2018, 11:18 am

      I, too, have lived in a police state (Franco’s Spain). Israel fits the description only too well.

  8. Marnie
    Marnie
    August 16, 2018, 5:19 am

    ‘israel’ is a police state; becoming a police state is so 20th century.

  9. Kay24
    Kay24
    August 17, 2018, 9:45 am

    American citizens are interrogated like the nazis did, treated very harshly, and still the American leadership says nothing, does not protest it, and sends billions of dollars and weapons. Something is wrong here.
    Surely with all the charity tax payers keep sending the biggest welfare queen, American citizens should at least be treated decently, and politely. I guess Americans like Beinert and Azlan were not suppose to criticize poor little Israel. They do seem to have some vicious officials over there.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      August 17, 2018, 1:50 pm

      “They do seem to have some vicious officials over there.”

      You can’t expect even the lowest Israeli official not to take advantage of the opportunity for religious-political backbiting of non-Israeli Jews offered by the new law.

      The natural hierarchy of Judaism can now be re-established.

      • Kay24
        Kay24
        August 17, 2018, 6:45 pm

        Good point Mooser.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        August 17, 2018, 8:02 pm

        Hi, “Kay”! Thanks.

  10. hophmi
    hophmi
    August 17, 2018, 10:43 am

    I tune out when someone like this goes to the Middle East and complains that Israel is a police state. Please, Reza. You know what a police state is, and Israel isn’t an example.

    • John O
      John O
      August 17, 2018, 1:40 pm

      Happy to be a slowly boiling frog, eh?

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      August 17, 2018, 1:55 pm

      “I tune out when someone…”

      “Hophmi” you are too tough on yourself. You read the article, you commented, really, you don’t need to do anything more than that.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      August 17, 2018, 8:05 pm

      “You know what a police state is, and Israel isn’t an example.”

      Sure, Israel will be able to enforce the ‘Nation-State’ law and the marriage laws with no policing at all. Everybody will be glad to comply.

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