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Retired middle American.

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  • 'This is our state, the Jewish state.... our nation, language and flag' --Netanyahu triumphs with new law
  • Once again, Israel's influence outpaces Russia's
  • Israel closes Palestinian university in East Jerusalem, indefinitely
    • Kate, as usual, you list numerous deplorable events. There was a time when I would expected a U.S. official--some mid-leve State Department staffer perhaps-- to object to them, albeit ineffectually. I don't expect that now.

  • US has intervened in twice as many elections as Russia
  • Leading US Israel supporter is abused at Israeli airport for having 'Palestine' pamphlet
  • Riverdale alumni express outrage after elite NYC school cancels Israeli-Palestinian conflict class following parent pressure
    • Thanks for sharing this. It's a sad story, and disturbing, but at first I wasn't moved to comment. After all, it's about some rich folks far from me. Far geographically and in terms of socio-economic status. But on reflection I realized it is about the elites and narratives that guide our national culture.

  • Ocasio-Cortez hedges criticisms of Israel-- 'I may not use the right words'
    • Clearly, the story from the Guardian indicates that how one talks about Israel is an issue in UK politics too. I must confess, however, that the details are confusing to me (an American). Would I be correct to infer that Corbyn does not define criticism of Israel as per se evidence of anti-Semitism, and that he is for that reason being called an anti-semite?

    • Speaking carefully about Israel is as natural as breathing for a DC politician or a MSM news reader/actor. In that regard, Juan Cole puts recent events in perspective:

  • 'Killing Gaza' gives faces to statistics of 2014 massacre, echoing Goldstone
  • Obama was shocked -- shocked -- to find that settlements were eating the West Bank!
    • PS re Kerry's inexplicable peace efforts.

      On reflection, I wonder if his actions were prompted more by domestic considerations than by hope of results in Palestine/Israel? Maintaining the fiction of a "peace process" has long been a strategy of Zionists (liberal and otherwise). No doubt Obama's donors were happy to see Kerry on a wild goose chase. The fiction was maintained as long as possible. Only at the very end of his administration, when it was an empty gesture, did Obama refrain from using the veto at the UNSC on behalf of Israel.

    • re: "Yes it’s totally believable. It shows that even the smartest US guys are brainwashed – truly brainwashed – by Israel/AIPAC propaganda and their framing of the debate. A fundamental part of that propaganda is that Israel is and always has been willing to negotiate for some kind of two-state solution. Kerry AFAIK worked incredibly hard to sustain Israel/Palestinian negotiations – based on that “Israel is willing” foundation. His efforts were clearly pointless at the time – Netanyahu was clearly playing with him – but there don’t seem to be any decent psychologists in any US administration. You have to be quite mad – in this particular area – completely divorced from reality -, to believe that Israel intends to give anything back."

      You make some good points. I think that Obama probably did believe when he entered office that some kind of settlement was possible . . . a settlement that involved Israel at least giving up a claim to additional territory, and giving a decent degree of autonomy to Palestinians. Dealing with Netanyahu must have disabused him of that belief rather quickly, while dealing with political forces in the U.S. quickly forced him to conclude that he couldn't force a change in that reality . . . at least not without risking everything else he might hope to accomplish.

      Still, I find it hard to believe that the maps were a surprise. If they were, it suggests malpractice on the part of his advisors and briefers. Of course, I can well believe that people like Ross would have been guilty of malpractice, but there were lots of others who knew the score. Given that, Kerry's actions which you point to, do indeed seem bizarre. So I can't reject your conclusion. Perhaps there was some kind of group delusion. Goodness knows, there seems to be plenty of that in the Trump White House (though it's hard to know what is sincere delusion and what is simple lying.)

    • Still more evidence, depressing evidence, about the nature of our media was provided after 9/11. People may recall that the Bush Jr. administration called on the media not to publish the statements and videos of Osama bin Laden, and to a shocking extent they complied. But before the embargo was sealed, a few facts tricked out. I recall seeing a transcript of one of his videos in a newspaper (WaPo, I believe) that referred to U.S. policy in Palestine as factor. His reference to "80 years" was the hint that I needed to learn more about the history of the region during the early 20th century. That prompted me to begin the search for information that eventually led me to this site, among other sources.

    • PS re "Obama can join hands with Carter"

      I think Obama was careful to keep his distance from Carter, and from Palestine. He had his reasons, of course, but I felt that Carter deserved better, and that Obama could have done better. Still, I guess politics ain't bean bag.

      For reminders of reasons, see:


    • It's about dispossession and oppression and American complicity.

    • Thanks for the link.

    • re: "You can order the shrinking Palestine post cards of this map at If American’s Know. "

      Good to know.

    • re: "Obama can join hands with Carter and speak out to be on the right side of history."

      I think he said enough while President to satisfy himself on that point. He can point to "I told you so's." That's enough for him.

    • Page: 15
    • Re: "Obama was s shocked, shocked .. . "

      Laughable. (Though unlike the line in Casablanca, it isn't intended to elicit a smile.) Here is an excellent review of the facts. (I quote an excerpt and provide a link to the full piece, which is well worth reading):

      "NO PRESIDENT entered the White House with a more nuanced understanding of the Israeli- Palestinian issue or such boundless confidence in his ability to resolve the conflict than did Barack Obama in 2009.

      "Before his meteoric rise to the presidency, Obama had developed an intimacy with the Palestinian-American community, and an empathy with its narrative, that few politicians achieve. As an Illinois state senator with many Palestinian-American constituents, he often attended community events at which he “was forthright in his criticism of U.S. policy and his call for an evenhanded approach to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict,” according to Electronic Intifada founder Ali Abunimah’s firsthand account.1

      "And the close political bonds he developed with a coterie of liberal Jewish-American advisors in Chicago exposed him to that community’s non-monolithic views toward Israel. These advisors, who included people such as David Axelrod, Obama’s chief campaign strategist and later senior advisor, held to a “bitter estrangement from the see-no-evil Zionism of the American Jewish establishment,” wrote Peter Beinart. Obama was “repeatedly reminded, in a way most American politicians are not, that when it comes to Israel, many American Jews disagree with their communal leaders.”2"


      What is more plausible (and what makes it possible for Entous to get such an assertion published in a reputable media source read by some of the American elites) is the notion that many Americans were unfamiliar with the maps and the reality they represent.

      I, for example, first saw them on the back page of Harpers (hardly a mass circulation journal) right around 9/11, if my memory serves. (I could be wrong about the date they appeared.) I didn't see more discussion of them in other American MSM. Of course, other matters were deemed more important, and American policy in Palestine/Israel was not deemed relevant to those matters (at least not in mainstream MSM).

      I recall a Republican debate in which Rep. Paul alluded to our support for Israel as a factor that contributed to 9/11, to which Mayor Rudolph Giuliani responded "I never heard that." That was the extent of discussion of the matter in that debate, and indeed in the campaign.

      Though Giuliani's statement was as laughable as Entous's, the embargo on factual discussion in American MSM is sufficiently effective that it was almost plausible, and certainly safe enough for the Mayor. Of course, such ignorance on the part of a mayor of NYC and candidate for President should, in a ideal world, be disqualifying. But that's not the world we inhabit.

  • It's time for Tom Friedman to face the contradictions of liberal Zionism, and move on
    • PPS re: Tom Friedman

      On reflection, I think perhaps I was a bit too ungenerous. I wish that all liberal Zionists could bring themselves to the kind of epiphany and moral growth that Liz Rose describes. But that is hard for reasons we all can understand. Particularly for people who went through the stress of the Holocaust, or whose family members perished in it, it is normal to focus one's empathy inward exclusively on one's own group.

      I was reminded of this forcefully today, while slowly working my way through Robert Sapolsky's "Behave." Slowly, because I am only devoting a little time to it each day, and because it is (thus far) fairly dense, more so than his earlier explanation of "Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers."

      In one section he describes the effect of stress on the brain, and in particular on empathy. When one considers as well the potential for multigenerational effects via epigenetics as well as via culture, one may speculate that any group that has been exposed to extraordinary stress may be somewhat lacking in empathy for others.

      On the other hand, lots of people in the world today are, or have been under as much stress as are Israeli Jews. Palestinians, for example. The trauma of an earlier generation can't be a permanent dispensation. And Tom Friedman, in particular, is hardly a victim
      of any sort

    • PS re "Tom Friedman once gave me permission to believe in Israel and believe it wanted peace with Palestinians. "

      It has been his job to do precisely that for Liberal Zionists. His personal and professional success have been built on doing that. He may well be sincere . . . I'm not suggesting that he isn't. But his message on this topic isn't some unfortunate, minor facet of his body of work. It isn't an exception.

    • re: "It’s time for Tom Friedman to face the contradictions of liberal Zionism"

      Thanks for your essay. What you say about TF is true. But one could have equally well said the same 10 years ago,

      or 20 years ago,

      or 30 years ago,

      or 40 years ago,

      or 50 years ago.

      That takes us back to '68. TF has written often about the impact of the '67 war on him, and on many other American Jews. Considering his youth at the time, I guess he may deserve a break for initially getting swept up in that for a few months, maybe even a few years. But I don't see any excuse for him subsequently. He knows the facts, as his reporting from the region once upon a time demonstrated.

  • US quietly freezes aid to Palestinians under Taylor Force Act, reports Israeli media
    • re: " The United States has frozen aid funds to the Palestinian Authority on Tuesday morning, according to Israeli Walla news. The Hebrew language news outlet reporter that the aid has been suspended under the “Taylor Force Law,” which was passed in March of this year, and will prevent the Palestinian Authority from paying monthly stipends to families of killed, wounded and imprisoned Palestinians. "

      Thanks for reporting this sad news from Israel, which I had not learned from the other news sources I follow. Once again, the U.S. is complicit. Sad news for Palestinians, and sad for us.

  • 'Ali is on the grill!' Israeli settlers celebrate burning of Palestinian baby
    • re: "There’s something particularly disturbing about celebrating the burning alive of a baby."

      Well, yes, for most of us, that's true. But in fairness, you have to remember that the settler's Holy Scriptures do sing of how good it is, how happy it makes them, to smash the heads of their enemy's children against rocks. So burning them alive isn't that big a leap.

      Not that doing things like smashing and burning people is unique to their religion. Perhaps, for better PR, the settlers should add music to their chants. Robert Sapolsky reports in "Behave" how, during the massacres in Indonesia in the 1960's, the army would bring in a gamelan band while burning and otherwise killing people, "to make it more beautiful."–1966

    • Thanks for the link to "antiwar." It does provide a good summary or review.

      I think the answer to your question, "what can the Palestinians do to stop this?" is: "nothing."

    • Thanks for this report. We know that individuals commit terrible acts in every country. In the U.S., news of mass murders at schools and other venues has become routine. The initial act is evil. But the public reaction to it described here is chilling and depressing in another way. It reinforces the idea (supported by other news regularly reported at this site), that reconciliation, "two peoples living peacefully side by side" as the cliche goes, is unattainable in the near future.

      Recently, a memorial to the victims of racial lynchings opened in Alabama, of all places. That marks a milestone of sorts, but consider how long it has been in coming. Israel has a long road to travel, it would seem. I wonder if that will ever happen, or if the land will be "cleansed" of Palestinians before reconciliation is achieved. I think the U.S. owes them a home here, for those who wish to come, but the news from Texas makes it clear that that won't happen soon either.

  • IDF snipers: choosing who to shoot
  • If I had to live in Israel again, 'it would actually drive me insane' -- Shaul Magid
    • "Living in Israel would drive him insane." How nice for him, in that case, that he doesn't have to live there. He doesn't feel guilty, he says. Oddly enough, I do. I guess being Israeli-American means never having to say you are sorry.

      By the way, per WaPo:

      "The Trump administration withdrew from the United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday in protest of what it perceives as an entrenched bias against Israel and a willingness to allow notorious human rights abusers as members."

  • Israeli lawmaker: 'Jewish race is the greatest human capital, the smartest'
    • Mooser, I recognize that a humorous response would be the appropriate one, but I'm not gifted with your wit and whimsy. I fear any efforts I might make along those lines on such a sensitive topic might go astray. Also, I have no special expertise on the substantive question. So I'll just mention in passing that this article seems, to my layman's judgment, to have aspired to be a balanced review of the question:

      Personally, I've always assumed that social/cultural variables were at play, but that probably just reflects the fact that that view was the dominant one half a century ago, when I was in college. For example, my first course in psychology had us reading things by Muzafer Sharif, famous among us laymen for showing how boys at camp self-divide into hostile tribes, an aspect of human behavior more generally that seems depressingly common -- in the Middle East -- but also in the good old US of A.

      But over the past 50 years, we have learned a lot about genetics, and genetic explanations can't easily be dismissed. I'm still surprised at times by how far this may go. Today, for example, I heard James Fallon (who does have relevant expertise), suggest on The Moth Radio Hour that both the amount and the direction of an individual's capacity for empathy (directed inward to members of his group, or outward to others) may be influenced by genetics.

      He didn't say so, but it would seem to follow, I thought, that both intra-group solidarity and intergroup hostility might be enhanced by genetic factors. That episode doesn't seem to be up on the Web as yet (at least I didn't find a link) but here is something about him:

      My initial reaction to this idea was to be dismayed, because it seemed that genetic factors are less tractable than cultural. But then I realized that this may not be the case. Cultural patterns can persist for generations, while genetic differences can be reduced with a few generations of intermarriage. That's an approach embraced by some of the esteemed writers here, I believe.

    • re: "The thing is, that there was hardly any interruption to it, nor any rebuttal or expression of shock or anything."

      I am surprised that you are surprised. I don't know anything about the situation in Israel, but for many years I've seen open discussion here in the U.S. about the extent to which Jewish superiority is due to genetic vs. cultural factors. R. Cohen has dealt with it at least a couple of times in the Washington Post, for example. Of course, the word "race" has become problematic in some circles, so that other terms are more in vogue, but what matters (or so it seems to me) is the meaning, the idea, the belief, not the word used.

  • 'The Israeli military said,' the New York Times reports
    • Our "newspaper of record" whose motto is, "all the news that's fit to print."

      When I was young, I didn't understand the implications of the motto. Or the power that arises from being the record-keeper.

  • Israeli army arrest Hebron band over 'incitement' music
    • Thanks to Kate, as always, for the emotionally-difficult work of bringing news from this perspective . . . so rarely seen in the U.S. Today I stopped by a grocery store near me to pick up a few items. It has a selection of newspapers aimed at Jewish readers, some in English, some in Hebrew. Normally I don't notice them, but today my attention was captured by a large photo on the cover of the Jewish Voice. It showed two men trying to launch a kite in a barren landscape.

      The headline said, "Kite Attacks on Gaza Border Soar; Hundreds of Dunams of Land Set Ablaze." The caption read, "Taking orders from their Hamas terrorist handlers, Palestinian men are pictured here launching a flammable kite near the Gaza border fence. In the last several days, the rate of kite arson attacks has escalated."

      Now home, I decided to check out the website for this publication. I see from the latest headlines that "Iran Admits To Facilitating 9/11 Terror Attacks."

      It is amazing how different are the "realities" different people inhabit. That's true of many issues, of course. Some people live in a world that is warming, while others do not.

  • Literary hero Yossi Klein Halevi says anti-Zionist Jews aren't Jewish
  • 'New York Times' teams up with Israel to smear slain medic Razzan al-Najjar as 'complex,' not innocent
    • I haven't had cable TV for years, and haven't missed it, but I guess I have missed the rare bit of decent coverage or comment regarding Gaza. Juan Cole says that Mr. Bourdain spoke forthrightly about it:

      Coverage in NYT is, as one would expect, more "complex." More "nuanced." Thus Sarah Jackson lists many places around the world, and in the U.S. where he spoke out for various liberal causes, for victims of various sorts, and against injustice. She includes a reference to Gaza:

      "After he visited Gaza, he openly criticized what he saw as the dehumanizing representation of Palestinians in the media, and proclaimed that the world was 'robbing them of their basic humanity'.”

      Perhaps it's just me, perhaps I'm being too critical, but that "what he saw as" strikes me as essential distancing, saving Ms. Jackson from actually endorsing such a judgment, and thus making the sentence "fit to print" for the Times.

    • Ever since I started to follow this issue with some degree of understanding (which happens to be roughly since the WWW became available), I've noticed that so-called "liberal Zionists" ultimately fall back on "it's complicated."

  • 'Israel has no choice' -- 'NY Times' columnists largely line up behind Gaza massacre
    • re "shooting Palestinians for their own good."

      That's some "tough love." Back in the day when corporal punishment of children was routine, it was widely regarded as a necessary duty of parents and teachers. It was common enough for the authority figure to advise the culprit that a spanking was "for their own good." But shooting someone for their own good . . . that's a whole new level.

      Why am I not convinced?

  • Netanyahu used 'leadership of American Jewish community' to block Obama policy -- Ben Rhodes
    • re: "We’ve said all this before."

      Indeed you have. You kept us well informed as it was happening. It was painful to watch. So too, was it painful to watch our march to a tragic war and occupation of Iraq under Bush Jr. Obama's failure was less consequential, but more disappointing.

  • 'Let's talk about art'-- NPR promotes Israeli claims about Gaza massacre and leaves out medic's killing
    • re: "Or: “What do you think of Triumph of the Will?”

      I'm going off on a bit of a tangent, I know, by responding directly to that question, but I think there is an important warning there for us in the U.S. When I first saw the videos of Trump descending the escalator in his Tower to announce to the adoring (paid) crowd below that he would run for President, I thought of the famous scene in which Hitler's plane descends from the clouds.

      Part of her genius was the use of the new technology to enhance the impact of PR on the masses. We may not fully appreciate what she did, because we have become so accustomed to those techniques being deployed a thousand times a day to manipulate our emotions, to sell soap and cars and politicians.

      Today the new technology involves the internet, social media, cable "news" networks, etc. When Trump descended to save us, we didn't fully understand how these technolgies were being deployed. Even now, we see that only dimly.

      Another parallel is the open use of the big lie technique. Fake news, alternative facts, nothing matters.

      I am not predicting the U.S. will end up in anything like what happened in Germany, but there are many ways to go to hell, or at least to decline.

    • re: "I wonder if “ terror members of Likud” will ever become part of the lexicon?"

      We can hope.

    • re: What do you think of Picasso’s ‘Guernica’?

      A good question. I imagine that Raz (and Simon) would think it a great commentary on 20th Century Fascism in Europe, while seeing no connection to Israel.

    • Thanks for this report. I didn't hear it. It's disturbing, but not surprising. Simon is pretty consistent. And not only him. It seems to me that NPR's bias--always present--has actually gotten worse over the years. But that perception may well be due to the fact that, thanks to the WWW, I know more about the reality than I used to.

  • How to tell when defending Israel is actually racist
    • "How to tell when defending Israel is actually racist"

      An excellent analysis. Though in truth, defenses of Israel almost always are. If the defense does not include an acknowledgement of injustice and an assertion of the need to reparation and change, it is racist.

  • Heralded by Palestinians as 'angel' and 'merciful martyr,' Razan Al-Najjar is an afterthought in western press
    • How sad, how tragic, for her family, and for everyone. Thank you for this report, which is all the more important due to the shamefull bias in MSM coverage. Sometimes a single image or story about one person can be more powerful emotionally than statistics and facts about many in a crisis . . . a fact well known to charities raising funds for help with disasters. It's known as well to editors of our MSM.

  • 'Disappearing Palestine' maps must spotlight Jaffa
    • re: "From the recent votes at the UN, when the world voted AGAINST US and Israel, it seems the world is disgusted with the US and Israel."

      Yes. By the time Trump's replacement takes office, things will be worse for us.

    • Those maps of disappearing Palestine convey a lot of information concisely. I wish more Americans were familiar with them and the related facts. Yet they are rarely shown here. The first time I saw them was when Harpers published them, back in 2001 if my memory is correct. A person on this thread calls them " brilliant propaganda," but the truly brilliant propaganda is that which has successfully portrayed the aggressor as the victim, the victim as the aggressor.

  • Roseanne Barr talked trash about Palestinians and Muslims for years, without regrets
  • How an anti-Semitic US law helped bring about Israel's creation
    • re "“The Two-State Solution: An Autopsy” | By Henry Siegman

      Thanks for the quotation. Amazingly forthright. Perhaps noteworthy that it was published in the UK.

    • Keith: Thanks for remembering and quoting this from Tree. A lot of good history and analysis has been provided at this site over the years. Unfortunately, as users come and go, and post proliferate, only those with good memories are likely to retrieve it when relevant. I wish there were some way to organize or flag the more important contributions for the benefit of those of us who didn't see these things the first time, or who don't have such great memories. I know the moderators have enough to do as it is; I don't know exactly how it could be done.

    • And should be in the U.S.

    • re Misterioso "Worth noting"

      I second the agreement. There is a lot of good history and analysis at the site.

    • There was plenty of anti-Semitism around back then, but the law wasn't just about excluding Jews. Calling it an "anti-semitic" law doesn't communicate well what was going on. Racial thinking was indeed common at that time.. There was concern about social cohesion and economic factors as well.

      Many of the notions about race that were commonly accepted are now commonly regarded as pernicious, but some of the concerns about social cohesion are still discussed as legitimate issues among social scientists. Then too, after 1929, with the unprecedented unemployment of the Great Depression, concern about competition from foreigners was a factor supporting continued limitations.

      I'm not trying to sugar-coat the reality of that era, but it is well to remember it in context. Not many people outside Hitler's inner circle were dreaming of mass genocide. So the law had a frankly racist element, but it wasn't genocidal, nor all about Jews. Looking at the history, we can see that there was room for the U.S. to take more, but how many, and who was most entitled to accommodation at that time, may be complex questions.

      I'm no expert on the social science involved, but I suspect that modern societies with significant public welfare policies begin to encounter social pressures when the percentage of foreign born rise above a certain point. Where that point is, I can't say, but I imagine that it changes over time as the society and economy change.

  • Boycott of Tel Aviv LGBT Film Festival gains momentum with new cancellations
    • Speaking of boycotts, the print edition of the Houston Chronicle has a rare front page story about the topic today, under the headline: "No boycott rule, free speech clash in Texas." The subhead says "Foes say state law to support Israel flies in face of First Amendment on campuses." It describes how a speaker (in the Spanish creative writing program) at the University of Houston was surprised to learn that in order to receive payment for her appearance she would need to sign a pledge not to boycott Israel.

      The article appeared online a few days ago, but behind a paywall. Even if the law is eventually declared unconstitutional, it shows how firmly the pro-Zionist forces are in control of the political narrative. Texas is one of the states where the Christian Zionists may be as important to politicians as the Jewish Zionists. Certainly, when it comes to the ballot box, there are more Christians. (Example, John Hagee

      The news story isn't bad, but it is only at the end--with a passing reference Palestinians--that there is any hint why (apart from Jew Hatred) someone might want to boycott Israel. For people at this site, such explanation would be superfluous, but unfortunately that isn't true for many people in Texas.

  • The way to the 'occupied lands'
    • Thanks for this. Earlier today, I heard the current episode of the"Living on Earth" podcast. It includes a segment on the Marshall Islands, which are threatened by sea level rise. It is likely that the inhabitants will need to evacuate before the end of this century. The islands have been settled for 2000 years, but were controlled by a variety of European countries during the colonial era.

      The U.S. took control during WWII, but gave them independence afterwards (after performing some nuclear tests). The islands retain a free association with the U.S., which provides a variety of support. According to podcast, thanks to the association agreement, it is easy for the Islanders to move to the U.S. legally. However, most prefer to stay in their homeland. The podcast includes moving statements from some of them about their desire to stay in their homeland and home culture, and their unhappiness at the prospect of losing both. That is understandable, of course. One can only sympathize and respect their feelings. What is harder to understand is why the ruling elites in the U.S. and Europe don't accord similar sympathy and respect to Palestinians.

  • 'No one is happy with 60 killed' -- Ehud Barak comes to redeem Israel
    • re "no one is happy"

      Thanks for a good analysis. Maybe it will help clarify reality for some people.

  • 'A scream to the whole world': Gaza boats carrying students, medical patients, and wounded protesters attempt to break the blockade
  • Joyless in Zion
    • re: "More often it’s David Brooks writing in the New York Times that he gets “gooey eyed” about Israel"

      Though he has also written about that "rudeness" you mention: life is rough there, more pleasant here. It's better to live in NYC and visit Israel when the mood strikes. That's the advantage of having your "own thing." As the saying goes, "it's a nice place to visit, but you wouldn't want to live there." And, as another saying goes, "who needs Israel when you have Westchester?"

  • Tom Friedman has advice for Palestinians: Embrace Zionism
    • re: "We were at York University doing a creative action …a Zionist came by.. as I was lying on the floor he kicked me right in the gut really hard and said “You deserve to be raped before you have your terrorist children”, and that really stuck with me… The only way I could deal with it was to write back my poem and the poem is… I may be angry but what I’m going to produce is your next rebel and you won’t be able to stop us."

      Powerful. Thanks for sharing this.

    • re Mooser: "You want to stick around Israel when people are leaving, and find out at which number Israel collapses? I don’t think anybody else will either."

      I must admit that I can't predict the future reliably. Your vision of the future may be more accurate than mine. Societies do change, of course, and sometimes change seems to come quickly. At least it can appear quick, though usually it has been developing for some time under a seemingly stable surface.

    • re: "You’re putting us before a hard choice"

      It's how I've come to perceive the choice presented by reality, seen in light of my own preferences. Others may see things differently. I may be wrong, but I concluded years ago that Israel won't voluntarily give Palestinians a decent break, and nothing politically feasible will force Israel to do so.

      Sanctions might do so, if the U.S. government endorsed them, but I can't imagine that happening during the lifetime of most Palestinians who are alive today. Israel and its lobby control Congress. About half the states have passed anti-BDS laws that may be largely symbolic, but show who controls American policy and discourse. And no President since Bush the Elder has even tried to rein in Israel with more than a few words.

      As you say, the Vietnamese are examples. We never adequately acknowledged what we did to that country, in my opinion, but we did accept about a million refugees here. The rest of the world took a similar number. As I assess what is politically feasible regarding the Palestinians, it seems to me that the most we might hope for is something similar. Not a grand statement that we owe them that (though we do) but a policy and practice of accommodating those who want to come. Obama could have done more in that regard, had he wanted to do and had the courage. Perhaps Trump's successor will actually do it, and perhaps Congress will let him (or her) do so. At least that's the most I hope for.

      As for the Israelis leaving Israel and moving here or to Europe, no doubt some will do so for their own reasons, but I don't see that happening on a large scale. Certainly they aren't going to empty out the country and give the keys back to the Palestinians.

    • re: “A Palestinian State in Gaza modeled on Singapore”… This is absolutely delusional!!

      Reminds me of the "proposals" for an Israel "like Switzerland," with separate "cantons" for Jews and non-Jews. I've seen such "proposals" at least since Oslo, in the early 90's. Possibly they have been around even longer. Perhaps something like that might have been implemented back then, if Jewish Israelis had really wanted it, though I have serious doubts. It certainly doesn't seem realistic now.

      I put "proposal" in quotes because the ones I saw generally seemed vague and confusing . I liked the idea of finding a "solution," but it wasn't clear to me just how this work. Eventually I realized that the "proposals" that were clearer amounted to describing something like the status quo, but dressed up to make the surface look prettier for those people who like the idea of a "democratic, Jewish state" that does not give up any land or meaningful control to Palestinians and does not permit equal voting rights. To my surprise, a quick web search reveals that there are people still making such proposals, sometimes even describing them as "new."

    • re: "I don’t think that anyone here really cares about the Palestinians."

      You are wrong.

    • “smarmy git”

      I wasn't familiar with the term, but evidently it is highly pejorative. Too bad I can't use it, since most Americans would understand.

    • "Tom Friedman has always been on the side of his beloved Israel , and has occasionally allowed the better part of his conscience to be revealed, but that is just for few seconds, when he says something that sounds neutral, and then it is gone."

      Yes. Doesn't want to make his fans uncomfortable, or himself.

    • "It is the Israelis who should adopt Friedman’s approach. They’ve never wanted peace & justice with the Palestinians of Palestine, though. It’s always been a charade and fraud."

      Well said.

    • Yes, or just leave, if they can manage it.

    • Changed opinion of TF:

      you are not alone; we started out knowing less, and being misled. Older and wiser now.

    • Thanks for the quote and link to Guardian. A needed corrective. NYT has repeatedly written favorably about the show.

    • Thanks for this response to the ubiquitous Friedman. I've expressed similar ideas, including observations about that column, but not so eloquently and passionately. Actually, he has been at it for much longer than 8 years, as you know. He has long bemoaned the violence of Palestinians, saying that they could achieve "peace" if only they would adopt the nonviolent tactics of blacks in Jim Crow South,, or Indians in British-ruled India. He has a long record of writing stuff that pleases his audience (and his own ego) at the expense of reality and morality. At times he does tip his hat to reality, enough to show that he understands what he prefers to ignore or distort.

      Back in 1989 I was still ignorant about the Middle East, I still looked to people like Friedman for knowledge about the topic. So I read "From Beirut to Jerusalem." I recall a passage in which he acknowledges that many Israelis fear and hate Palestinians precisely because they (the Israelis) know what they have stolen from the Palestinians, and they know that they (the Israelies) would never forgive or forget such a crime against them. So he was capable of being honest once upon a time, but he has, like many successful people, gotten comfortable, and unwilling to risk his comfort.

      I'm a broken record, I know, but it seems to me that the best of the reasonably plausible options available to Americans now is to welcome and help resettle those Palestinians who wish to come here. It isn't a perfect solution, but perfection isn't an option. As for those who wish to stay, God help them: Israel won't.

  • Video: Who are the Palestinians traveling through Rafah crossing?
    • On another site, I saw a headline "What Accounts for America's Sadism toward Palestinians?" I clicked on it, in hope of learning the answer. Unfortunately, it doesn't really tell us. I like to think that most Americans are not actually sadists when it comes to Palestinians, only those in control of America's policies and actions. For the rest of us, there is a lot of ignorance, indifference, and impotence. But I don't know. It's a reasonable question.

  • 'Israelism' documentary tracks changing generational attitudes of American Jews
    • Your documentary sounds like a worthwhile project. I look forward to watching it. There is a sort of "Israelism" among Christian Zionists as well, at least among those I've met and talked with. They exist--so far as their understanding and attitudes toward Israel are concerned--in a strange world unconnected to current or historical facts. It's a world constructed by the narrative of preachers who are out of touch with empirical reality, seemingly sealed off from the reality I inhabit, as untouchable as some alternate universe that, according to some theories I don't pretend to understand, may exist. I have found no way to communicate with them, but perhaps your documentary will be a way, for those who are willing to watch it.

      For those who are not ready for so much reality, perhaps this would be an alternative:

  • Privacy and the GDPR at Mondoweiss
    • I'm seeking lots of policies due to this, but in general when I read them I am left wondering exactly what they mean. As a practical matter, I'm not sure how much difference the law will make for Americans. But I'm not complaining about Mondo: I don't perceive you guys as offenders (but what do I know?)

  • Falsely accusing Palestinians of anti-Semitism is malicious
    • Thanks to Mondoweiss for posting this; shame on WaPo for refusing to do so. It is disturbing to see this evidence of bias there. WaPo's Neocon editorial page was second to none in urging the invasion of Iraq, but I thought there was reason for hope when Bezos bailed them out. WaPo does good reporting on many topics, making this failure doubly disturbing. WaPo, WSJ and NYT remain the big three of our print news world, despite good work elsewhere. It appears that our big three continue to be firmly aligned with the oppressors in Israel.

      Thanks in part to Mondoweiss, I understand the realpolitik of the matter. Yesterday Ronan Farrow was interviewed on FreshAir. Among other things, he alluded to the pressures on him to abort reporting on Harvey Weinstein. Ultimately, he lost his job at NBC as a result. If our big business "journalists" are willing to compromise their journalistic ethics for a single sleazy film producer, just imagine the pressures involved when dealing with Israel and its lobby. In the case of our media, of course, it's not just a matter of outside pressure. The bias starts at the top at places like the NYT and, evidently still, WaPo.

  • Documenting Palestinian invisibility for 40 years -- an interview with James Zogby
    • "Invisible victims" . . . or at least inconvenient and ignored

      I'm looking forward to read it.

  • When it comes to Facebook 'incitement,' only Palestinians are arrested, not Jewish Israelis
    • Thank you for reporting on this, both the good and the bad. As for the bad, it it better to know the reality than to be ignorant of reality. As for the good, it is heartening to know that there are people with compassion and concern for others.

  • Rob Malley and Chris Hayes can't talk about Adelson's influence in scrapping Iran deal
    • I heard Ronan Farrow on Freshair today allude to the pressures brought on him to abort his reporting on Harvey Weinstein. Ultimately he lost his job at NBC. If that corporation was willing to compromise its ethics to that extent for the sake of one horny film producer, just imagine what pressures are like when it comes to bucking Israel and its lobby.

    • re references on political Islamic thought from gamal

      thanks for the links

    • It is and long has been routine to hear Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Muslim Brotherhood effectively equated with terrorism in the U.S. media, without any attempt to provide a broader contemporary or historical context. As with the framing that equates BDS with anti-Semitism, it tends to serve Israel's agenda, minimize the rights of Palestinians, and ignore the role of Israel and the West.

      I've learned to ignore Thomas Friedman as a source of wisdom on the subject, but if one wants an example of the pernicious, condescending, twisted crap he sells in this regard, see his current column. My local paper is a Hearst paper, but today it carries the column with this heading:

      "Ecosystem may affect the West Bank's future: Thomas Friedman says Israelis and Palestinians could eventually be forced to hammer out a new deal by increasingly tainted drinking water."

    • This morning I heard NPR do a story that mentioned BDS. I don't suppose it is the first time for NPR, but I don't recall hearing it discussed there. It was about a court case in in Arizona that is testing the state's anti-BDS law. One might take it as a good thing that NPR mentions it, but it seemed to accept the assertions by advocates of the law that it is intended to protect against discrimination. The case was cast as one that pits "free speech" against "anti-discrimination." Personally, I don't see anti-BDS laws as having anything to do with discrimination, but evidently that's how it is defined in the court case.

  • Holding Gaza close this Ramadan season and beyond
    • Thanks for a powerful statement from one who cares about the people who live in Gaza. I'm struck by how different is the tone in the NYT. Today, for example, the headline on one story about Turkey tells us that "Ties With Israel Sour as Erdogan Seizes Gaza Issue Before Election." Clearly, one infers, Erdogan is seizing on a pretext for political purposes, it can't be real concern about a real problem. Not to worry, however, "For all the rhetoric, he has not been able to change the situation for the Palestinians, and perhaps he does not intend to."

  • For we are God's special victims (an ode to the state of Israel)
    • "So what we’ve got here is a tendentious selective citation . . ."

    • re: "established on the village lands of Najd, which means “elevated plain” in Arabic."

      Thanks for these facts. It's facts vs narratives. Both narratives are powerful, but only one is armed with "qualitative military superiority" guaranteed by the United States.

    • Your heartfelt passion is powerful.

      My local newspaper is a Hearst paper, but today it again picked up NYT's coverage, including Kershner and Halbfinger's piece, under the headline "Israel reflects in a mix of support, sorrow." I guess it has the virtue of helping one understand the reality in Israel. One columnist is quoted as observing that many people, including Jews, have been exiled, "But only the Palestinians adopted an ethos of rejectionism, victimhood, suffering and death." If it were true, I guess that would make them unique, but not "special." Clearly, they are the culprits.

  • West's failure to act will be cause of the next Gaza massacre
  • The New York Times can't even report on the Eurovision Song Contest without resorting to Israeli propaganda
  • Nikki Haley blames Iran, Hamas for deaths of Palestinian protesters, as UN officials call to investigate Israel
    • re: Next year there might be a big Eurovision songcontest in Jerusalem –

      It's telling that Israel is part of the Eurovision contest. If one looks at the map, Israel appears to be in Asia, but of course its dominant population is comprised of people from Europe (some by way of North America). The next step, I suppose, will be for Israel to join the EU. First, however, I guess the EU will need to adjust its laws regarding human rights to comport with Israel's practices.

    • re Nikki Haley at the UN

      As an American, it is distressing to hear her, Bolton, et al. The U.S. is indeed headed down the sewer. By the time the next President takes office, our standing in the world will be much diminished. As for Gandhi, I'm reminded that for decades I've heard pundits like Tom Friedman blame Palestinians for violence, lamenting their failure to use nonviolence. Such pundits ignored the obvious truth that Israel's dispossession of Palestinians began with violence and Israel's oppression continued regardless of tactics used by Palestinians. The situations and cultures and external contexts in colonial India and in Jim Crow America were different from each other, and from Palestine. In truth, Palestinians have mostly been nonviolent, perforce, and that has availed them nothing.

  • Today's lead 'NY Times' article on the Gaza massacre is a model of dishonesty
    • I don't see Morning Joe (or any cable), but what you say reminds me of the days of "why do they hate us? they hate us because we are free!"

    • PS re Halbfinger's story. My local paper is a Hearst paper, but it used Halbfinger's story, as I assume many papers did around the country. Having read it again in print, I have to say it's not as bad as my initial reaction. That's not intended as praise, not a suggestion that it is an adequate report, just acknowledging that it's not as ugly as the reality it reports. In a way, I guess, the artfulness makes it more insidious. I'm actually more bothered by what I've heard from Steve Inskeep, who did, to be fair, try to be fair to a point. But to an inadequate point.

    • all the news that's fit to print

  • A Reuters photographer from Gaza explains what it's like to cover the Great March of Return
  • 1918, 1948, 2018: World War I, the Nakba, and the rise of ethnic nationalism
  • Fighting Nakba denial
    • Thank you, Prof. Levine. "Holocaust denial" is, indeed, not a problem in Western society. Anyone who actually attempted it would merely demonstrate their irrationality, and prove that they were unfit for any position of public trust. "Nakba denial," on the other hand, is everywhere evident in the halls of power in the United States. What's worse, the Nakba continues, and the U.S. is complicit in perpetuating it. I've no idea how I or any U.S. citizen can effectively fight this, but I commend your efforts. I have long thought that, since Israel won't give Palestinians a land of their own, nor equal rights in Israel, the next best action for the U.S. would be to invite the Palestinians to come here and become American citizens. Having done so much to help Israel take their homes and homeland, surely we owe them air fare here and the right to become citizens. To be stateless is to be "without the right to have rights," as a Supreme Court Justice once said. Of course, I realize that as long as Mr. Trump is President that won't happen. The U.S. will remain complicit. If the Palestinians are to receive help now, it must come from some other source.

      PS: the link to NYT is most interesting. I've long had the perception that the NYT (and other media too) is more biased in a Zionist direction that it used to be. I'm not sure that's true. I've never gone to the archives to attempt a comparison, and memory is unreliable, but your link certainly doesn't contradict my impression.

  • 'America crossed every red line': Palestinians in Jerusalem protest new US embassy
    • NBC News opened this morning (Tuesday) with a report from Richard Engel in Israel. He showed a brief interview with David Friedman, U.S. Ambassador to Israel, in front of the new U.S. embassy (which has Donald J. Trump's name etched in stone). When asked about the deaths in Gaza, Friedman said that Hamas needs to end its siege of Gaza. Once again, the Zionist inversion of reality is truly breathtaking.

      CBS News this morning opened with extensive coverage of Mrs. Trump's kidney; Gaza was the second story, starting about 7 minutes into the program. Holly Williams reported from Gaza. Her report was better than Engel's, for what that's worth.

      I don't know how ABC handled it.

  • Israel kills 58 Palestinian protesters during deadliest day in Gaza in four years
  • Israel repurposes Nakba myths to justify massacre in Gaza
    • NPR's 1A program (which replaced Diane Rehm's show) today had Daniel Kurtzer, former U.S. Ambassador to Israel and Egypt. Very much a mainstream guy, by US standards. "Israel has perfect right to push back" he said, framing Hamas as the violent party that wants to use violence to "challenge Israel," to question its legitimacy. Israel is defending itself. No hint that Palestinians are victims, have just grievances. He did allow as how there could be a question about Israel's choice of weapons to use to "push back."

  • 'Superpowers will not give us freedom so we will take it with our own hands': scenes from Gaza's final Friday protest at the border
  • Busailah's 'In the Land of My Birth' conveys the Palestinian literary culture wiped out by the Nakba
    • PS re "Americans have a lot to learn"

      My local PBS station is currently showing "Colliding Dreams," a 2015 documentary about the founding of Israel. It is the first time I've seen it. I don't know if it has been broadcast here before.. Based on what I've seen thus far, I'd say it makes an effort at balance, though it is more from a Jewish perspective than from a Palestinian perspective. It may not be perfect, but most Americans would find it educational.

    • re: "Americans have a lot to learn about the Palestinian catastrophe. "

      That's true, and likely to remain true. I don't expect to see it mentioned in any school curriculum.

      Still, it's good that you do what you can to make the facts available.

  • Jews Say No! publishes 'Moving Forward’ to highlight Jewish National Fund role in the Nakba
    • re: “Those of us growing up in Jewish communities in the US typically heard the story of Israel’s creation without any mention of its consequences on the indigenous people living there–the Palestinians."

      That is also true for those of us who are not Jewish growing up in the US. It is good, if late, to mention the consequences now.

  • Maybe Israel is interfering in our politics over the Iran Deal? Naaah!
    • re: "This was the worst decision Trump has ever made."

      Well, I don't know. In fairness, he has made plenty of bad ones. Pulling out of the Paris Agreement and the Trans Pacific Trade Agreement, most of his appointments, the list goes on.

    • re: "Despite making a number of valid points, it was a fundamentally dishonest presentation."


    • I mostly agree with you Maximus, though according to this guy, the blind spot is about the size of New Jersey alone, without New York.

    • re: "Andrew Rosenthal putting “Iran’s Nukes” in title of an NYT editorial."

      Thanks for mentioning that. I remember being surprised and bothered by that headline, but didn't say anything about it. And really, what good does it do for an individual to critique the NYT. Still, it was good that you called it out, and good Phil and Donald did so regarding Israel's role. Farrow has rightly and repeatedly emphasized the role of Black Cube, and the techniques deployed by powerful men in our society today, whether it's to suppress the truth about a rapist, or to suppress the truth about some other matter of public import. Regardless of exactly who contracted with them, the implications are ominous for our society.

      As for the NYT, I'm again reminded that oftentimes what matters is what the "Very Serious People" say matters, not the facts. I recall a long thumb-sucker by the former editor of the war-mongering paper, after the absence of WMD in Iraq was impossible to deny. He was concerned only with justification in the eyes of the "VSPs," as evident by his "putting aside those who opposed the invasion from the beginning," as not worth consideration.

  • 'Youtube' removes video tribute to Yaser Murtaja and other Gaza victims as 'sensational' incitement
  • Roger Cohen scares his readers: 'the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state'
    • re "Gaza is now about unlivability"

      It does seem so, but it it also seems to be about "unleaveability" for all but a very few.

    • Cohen's attitude toward Palestinians' desire to return to their homeland reminds me of Ehud Barak's comments, as reported by Benny Morris in the New York Review of Books. As is characteristic, the logic that might better be applied to Zionists is applied to Palestinians. As is characteristic, the mythic right of "return" for European Jews obliterates any right of the actual inhabitants:

      "Barak seems to hold out no chance of success for Israeli–Palestinian negotiations, should they somehow resume, so long as Arafat and like-minded leaders are at the helm on the Arab side. He seems to think in terms of generations and hesitantly predicts that only “eighty years” after 1948 will the Palestinians be historically ready for a compromise. By then, most of the generation that experienced the catastrophe of 1948 at first hand will have died; there will be “very few ‘salmons’ around who still want to return to their birthplaces to die.” (Barak speaks of a “salmon syndrome” among the Palestinians—and says that Israel, to a degree, was willing to accommodate it, through the family reunion scheme, allowing elderly refugees to return to be with their families before they die.) He points to the model of the Soviet Union, which collapsed roughly after eighty years, after the generation that had lived through the revolution had died. He seems to be saying that revolutionary movements’ zealotry and dogmatism die down after the passage of three generations and, in the case of the Palestinians, the disappearance of the generation of the nakba, or catastrophe, of 1948 will facilitate compromise."

    • How strange, yet how common (for Zionists) to assert that Palestinians' desire to return to their homeland is code for Jew hatred, while ignoring the plain meaning and justice of the term. It's possible to do that only by ignoring or denying the humanity of the non-Jew.

      Yet the rhetoric--when unchallenged in U.S. media--can be effective. I'm embarrassed to think how old I was before I realized that the feared "end of the Jewish state" merely means the end of Jewish dominance. As if one man one vote were genocide. Some whites in the Jim Crow South felt the same way about the prospect of blacks voting. Of course, before the WWW, the Zionist narrative was rarely contested in U.S. discourse, so my ignorance was more understandable.

  • The 'Jewish nation' is the central myth of Zionism. It needs to be dismantled.
    • Thanks for the explanation of the confusing use of "nationality" in Israel. I've seen references to it here before. At first I was mystified. Gradually, I've learned more about it, but it still seemed confusing. This is the best explanation I recall seeing. I realize now that the confusion or mystification is, in a sense, "a feature, not a bug."

  • Netanyahu hat-tips settler who called for extermination camps
    • People like Netanyahu judge themselves when they speak. Morally they are bankrupt. But militarily they are strong, in large part thanks to the United States. In Palestine/Israel they dominate the land and the people. And here in the United States, they dominate the narrative in the media. My local newspaper and TV stations are filled with remembrances of the Holocaust, with barely any hint of current events in Gaza. It seems strange. Somehow the effort to assure that the lesson of history is not forgotten obscures the present reality.

  • Videos of Palestinians shot walking, running and praying appear on social media, but US cables keep mum
    • I don't have cable, but I'd say that the commercial over-the-air stations also don't say much about Yemen, based on my non-systematic sample viewing. The News Hour sometimes does have good coverage, but its viewership is small. A story there last week was unbearably sad. Our leaders seem disconnected from reality. Especially now that Tillerson is gone.

    • Earlier today, WaPo ran a prime example of the inverted narrative Zionists have perfected from their Jerusalem bureau chief, Loveday Morris. Poor Israel. It has since been revised and improved somewhat, and Hazem Balousha has been added as a contributor to the story. Still, one can get some notion of the tone from the original headline, "Israel threatens to expand response, if Gaza violence continues," which lives on in the url:

      Once again, it seems to me, as an outsider, that Israel has lost its way. It seems that Israel isn't being true to the best in its own ethical traditions. I suppose it is hard for Jewish Israelis to see Palestinians as humans and as victims. If Israelis did so, they might then be confronted with serious, painful, consequences: moral, psychological, and practical consequences. So it's easier not to see Palestinians that way. But if the whites of South Africa could do that with the blacks of South Africa, why not the Jews of Israel with Palestinians?

      As an American, however, I'm more concerned with American complicity in this ongoing crime than with Israel's. How tragic for us that Israel does what it does with our government's diplomatic, financial, and military support.

  • 'NY Times' covers up Israel's killing of nonviolent protesters along the Gaza border
    • What you say about NYT is true, but it isn't just NYT. Corporate MSM in the US is predictably weak on this. NBC evening news didn't even mention it Friday night (unless I blinked during a some subliminal message about it). CBS evening news did at least mention it on Friday. The News Hour actually had a Skype interview with a reporter in Gaza. Of course, the viewership for the News Hour is small, especially on Passover/Good Friday.

  • In propaganda coup for Israel, NYT frontpager ascribes Gaza's misery to Palestinian infighting

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