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Total number of comments: 798 (since 2010-10-06 04:27:13)


I'm a retired civil rights attorney and a writer of both non-fiction and fiction. My interest in the Israel-Palestine issue came from my father's involvement flying Jewish refugees from around the world to the new state of Israel in 1948-49. David Ben-Gurion, Israel's first prime minister called my father "the Irish Moses" because of his exploits, hence the name of my blog site --


Showing comments 798 - 701

  • U.S. and European clothing brands are skulking away from workplace safety in Bangladesh -- at int'l risk
    • "...some tragic story that has absolutely zilch connection in any way or wise to Palestine, Zionist aggression, or the price of cat’s milk."

      I couldn't agree more. Just the title was a shock to me. What the hell is this doing on MW? There are dozens of perfectly valid human interest stories around the world on any given day. Why are you opening to door to diluting MW's message and mission? You will lose readers and certainly not help the original MW mission and vision.

      There are plenty of fora that would publish James North's important article. MW is not the place for it.

  • The United State of Israel and Palestine
    • Jon66,
      Whenever I engage with you or your ilk on MW, I end up feeling like I just jumped into a pit of pig shit to wrestle with the smiling pig. When I get out of the pit I reek of pig shit and wonder what was I thinking, jumping into the pig's pit and I look back and see the pig laughing at me, having had a great time in our mutual wallow in his own shit.
      Your vain, immoral attempt to analogize a relatively brief, properly conducted military occupation with your continuing faux occupation and oppression of another people in order to somehow put what you've done and what you continue to do in a good light is nothing more than pig shit. I regret I accepted the invitation and gave you a forum to apply lipstick to Israel's continuing war crimes.

    • Curatica,
      Thanks for your reply. Hopefully this will end up somewhere near but after your comment.

    • Sure. The US occupations of Japan and Germany. The details of the peace treaties occurred toward the end of the occupations. The conditions of surrender were largely unconditional but the ensuing military occupations were done in good faith with the aim of returning the defeated countries to democratic forms of government, rebuilding their destroyed economies and infrastructure. All this was accomplished in 6 or so years without the US seizing or annexing any of the losers' land and without any attempt to colonize those countries with US "settlers" transferred to those countries into exclusively US Christian-only settlements.

      Certainly the US held all the power but it used it wisely as the results amply demonstrate.

    • I would engage him only on his original playing field where he wrote the article about you. Make him address his outrageous statements. LinkedIn is just a tool for him to divert the conversation.

      Coincidence? Right.

    • Mooser: "This Dr. David Fincham..."
      Interesting link. Fincham replies in the first comment to Sigman's claim that Fincham is an academic fraud which he very effectively rebuts. Sigman then thanks him for "engaging" and says he will get back to him later with a reply. Almost 10 months later, there is no reply yet the scurrilous article remains on Sigman's blog. Sigman also claims MW is an antisemitic site.

    • Curatica,
      I did a quick read through of your prior postings on MW and found nothing to suggest antisemitism on your part.
      Lest I be accused of being a self-appointed thought cop, let me briefly explain my motivation. MW is often and unfairly accused of being an antisemitic site/blog. IMHO, any comment that seems to cross the line into antisemitism needs to be pointed out so there's no support in the comments that would substantiate that unfair slur on MW.
      Sometimes that line is crossed inadvertently, and at least once by me. Having it pointed out allowed me to correct the record.
      The sarcasm in my original comment ("links to studies") was inappropriate and for that I apologize.

    • A point of clarification for those not familiar with Israel's "Area" boondoggle. Area C encompasses the entire West Bank and surrounds all the dozens of remaining Palestinian enclaves including those deemed to be "Area A" and "Area B". Those dozens of separated enclaves (or "Bantustans") amount to 40 percent of the total West Bank area but are anything but contiguous. Area C is the West Bank excepting only those separated enclaves that are distasteful to Israelis because they are inhabited by mere "Arabs".

    • Curatica,
      "At least he is truthful to his grasping and egotistic Jewish nature."
      You seem to be making the claim that "all Jews are grasping and egotistic" by nature. As this could be interpreted as antisemitic, you might want to provide some evidentiary support (links to studies, etc.) for your claim or withdraw it. As stated, it would appear to violate Mondoweiss protocol.

  • As many as 1 million Israelis have left for the U.S.
    • Thanks, Danaa, and thanks to Keith as well. As usual, I've learned a lot about these issues (and key elements of the global warming "debate" no less!) from the two of you.

      While I now see how difficult the future may be for Israelis, I still see little hope for the Palestinians, particularly under their current approach.

      As to Israel's willingness to integrate Palestinians into their society, I see that as minimal window dressing at best.

      You are correct, I am totally unfamiliar with Israeli and Palestinian realities other than through my own reading and research. Fortunately, people like you have educated me and opened my eyes a bit.

    • Roha, re: Merriam, etc.

      Unfortunately, when I googled optics, your oxford dictionary didn't come up even when I used its abbreviation "OECD". So, in summary, if it don't show up on google, it don't exist. Kind a like Twitter, you only get so many characters.

      When I was in English 1A back in da day, my prof insisted we all buy a dictionary. I considered the OECD but it was 32 volumes vs 1 for the Big M. No brainer.

      We were also given an assignment to actually look up something in the OECD. I was then fascinated with the word "mons" and spent a good couple of hours delving into the OECD's near treatise on the term.

      Incidentally, I was pleased to see my double-comma-ing of "astonishingly" in my earlier post survived your scrutiny.

    • echinococcus re violence vs nonviolence:

      While violent resistance would be legal and justifiable, it's proved a loser for the Palestinians as the guided media will obediently focus only on the violence, ignoring the cause, the legalities, and the justifications, as in "Israel has a right to defend itself."

    • mcohen, John O, amigo, Mooser, and Roha:
      Attractive as the fantasy seems at times, I have no interest in abandoning my own country in a time of turmoil and distress. I'm here for the duration and hope we can work ourselves out of our current morass although I'll be damned if I can see a way out of it. All our current contenders deserve pox-filled houses. A good plague might cull out the offal and leave us with some better choices. Scary times.

    • Roha,
      The Shah's police were reported to be brutal. I suspect the same was true of the British police forces in India (both Brit and Indian). All three were willing to kill, if ordered, to stop major demonstrations. However, there is a limit that can be reached when such police, when confronted with repeated nonviolent mass protest, become unwilling to keep pulling the trigger. When that point is reached (after hundreds of deaths) things can take a quick 180 and the masters can become the hunted. I don't see Israeli police as immune from that possibility.

      As to the "optics" ( of such events, I think it would be difficult to quash once the carnage and death toll reached hundreds. Even the recent al Aqsa confrontation made enough media buzz that, astonishingly, Israel ultimately folded. That event may be a good template for the scenario I'm suggesting.

    • Roha: See Gamal’s post and link above re Irish sunny afternoons.

    • Roha: See Gamal's post and link above re Irish sunny afternoons.

    • Who knows? How about a succession of Fridays post prayer service marches. Several hundred killed during each attempt. Eventually, the police desire to shoot unarmed protesters attempting to take back just 20 percent of Palestine from illegal settlers might wane as has happened in other places (e.g. Iran, 1979, India, 1948). The optics of hundreds of unarmed men, woman, and children being killed for demanding their freedom would be awfully powerful. But who knows? Maybe Jared K could wrap it up and tie a bow on it in a couple of weeks? Not holding my breath. Call it the Gandhi ploy. God knows suicide bombings and knifings and Gazan bottle rockets haven't worked.

    • Re: John O and Amigo's suggestions::
      Alas, like most Irish-Americans, my Irish roots go back to the 19th century. Today we are a polyglot mongrel-lot. I think I have long-shot angle though: My very New England brahmin wife recently discovered her maternal grandparents were Jews (horrors! accompanied by desperate pearl-clutching at the revelation). So, we go to Israel and she claims right-of--return citizenship rights, gets an Israeli passport and we wait a brief period until Israel is admitted into the EU at which point we quickly scoot to the Emerald Isle to live happily ever-after enjoying the afternoon sun that Gamal has promised me. Cool, huh?

    • Thanks, Gamal, I needed that. Great tune. Still, if you follow the Irish approach to ridding itself of oppressors, knocking pom heads proved the solution, not aimless wailing for pity while accepting the bribes of those unwilling to really get involved and help. After all, modern "terrorism" AKA freedom fighting against colonial oppressors and occupiers, was invented by the Irish.
      So if you can't win the numbers game and if BDS proves futile, maybe the only solution is to go Irish. If you want it bad enough, you need to be willing to fight and die to get it. Plenty of historical examples of that working., Ireland being the first modern example.
      There's some evidence of that willingness in the spate of suicide by knife incidents and in the recent al Aqsa confrontations, but to work, it would need to be something like widespread mass unarmed demonstrations marching on and nonviolently occupying settlements at the price of hundreds being killed in the effort. That would be a real attention getter and hard to Hasbara out of.
      The current course, IMHO, is a fool's errand.
      Oops, Speaking of errant fools, I need to get back to Twitter Watch. It's painful being an American. Is there an Irish right of return for us diaspora folks?

    • Della Pergola is pretty reputable and the rest of it has a professional look to it as Danaa seems to agree. Sibiriak has also struck me as pretty balanced in all of this, particularly in comparison to some of our more persistent Hasbaristas.

    • Nice postings Sibiriak. Very effective rebuttal. Wishful thinking is a common characteristic on MW.

      My conclusion: Israel's future is very secure. It will be a Jewish-majority democracy and its occupation of the Palestinian territories will slowly become accepted as de facto then de jure annexation. The world will move on, a process that is already far-along.

      The only hope for the Palestinians is to be allowed a gradual integration into Israeli society with limited rights and limited autonomy in Areas A and B. BDS notwithstanding, it is all over but the shouting. Truly sad but sadly true.

  • Leonard Cohen song is anthem of Jewish exclusivists
  • 'New York Times' on Palestinians sounds like it's opining about 'Negro Problem'
    • Netanyahu looked and sounded kind of nervous to me, like he wasn't quite sure what he was dealing with. Trump has given him an uncomfortable choice. Find something agreeble with the Palestinians that involves one state or two states. The operative term is "agreeable" to both sides. If the Palestinians say we'll agree to a single state in which we have all the civil rights declared our right in the Balfour Declaration, how do the Israelis respond? " No, we can't agree to equal rights," what then? That response denies the validity of Balfour and implies Israel can only accept an apartheid state. So the Palestinians say, "OK, we'll accept the terms of the Arab Peace Plan." What then? Do the Israelis say, "No, we get to keep and annex all the large settlements." That's not going to fly.

      Tough choice, Bibi, your buddy, The Donald, has hoisted you on your own petard. You should be nervous, very nervous. Piss off The Donald and he will get very nasty and very public. I can't wait for his tweets. "Israel doesn't believe in equal rights for all. So sad."

  • Israeli govt and its supporters admit the fight to defeat BDS has failed
    • Here's a bit of a breakthrough. Rashid Khalidi was interviewed by Fareed Zakaria on his Sunday GPS program, yesterday, and allowed to rebut Levy's claims (see at 4:00 on video): It was a bit of an afterthought as the segment was previewed as a discussion about the US moving its embassy to Jerusalem (first 4 minutes of segment).

      Khalidi was very articulate and convincing (on both topics). Why doesn't he have a major presence in the MSM as an expert on the I-P issue? He certainly has the credentials.

      Zakaria sheepishly claimed that CNN was balanced on the issue but used "sequential balance" as opposed to "simultaneous balance." He also said he received a great number of angry emails from viewers concerning Levy's claim that BDS is antisemitic.

      A chink in the armor? We'll see what happens next.

      Incidentally, it was very difficult to find the segment on line although the Levy segment was highlighted on google searches of the GPS program.

  • The immaculate conception of Louis Brandeis
    • Siberiak: "Coming soon."

      Glad to hear it. I see her more as an untrained amateur historian with a definite agenda. I look forward to your analysis. A couple of examples would suffice unless you're planning on a full review of Weir's book.

      I really enjoy your postings on MW and I suspect your comment about Weir, ("a compilation of cherry-picked quotes and paraphrases used to construct a fundamentally fallacious conspiratorial anti-Zionist narrative.") was a momentary over-the-top lapse something I'm certainly guilty of. Your other, more balanced comments about her (in the same posting) show your more typical approach, in sharp contrast.

      In any case, I apologize for nit-picking half of one sentence among a number of your excellent posts on the Brandeis issue.

    • This quote was cited in the Brandeis/Frankfurter book I referenced up-thread and was why I said I thought Brandeis was attracted to Zionism because he saw it as compatible or similar to American progressivism, although his later actions aimed at preventing Palestinian self-determination were anything but progressive.

      Brandeis died I believe in 1940. I wonder, were he alive today, what he would have thought about what he wrought. He was the father of PEPism (Progresssive except for Palestine).

    • Siberiak and anyone else interested in Alison Weir's If America Only Knew book, particularly as it pertains to Brandeis, here's a lengthy, well-written review of it by a true historian, Stephen Sniegoski, who wrote one of the best histories of the Neocons and the Iraq War, The Transparent Cabal (

      Sniegoski's book was largely ignored and marginalized (surprise, surprise) and he personally seems to have been Finkelsteined, career-wise. Only Walt and Mearsheimer, who already had outstanding academic and I-R credentials, could survive writing a book like his (and theirs, and Norman's). Maybe I should replace Finkelsteined with Weired or Weirded).

    • Per Siberiak: "Her [Alison Weir's]book is, to put it a little less kindly, a compilation of cherry-picked quotes and paraphrases used to construct a fundamentally fallacious conspiratorial anti-Zionist narrative."

      I generally agree with your points here and admire your thorough review of Alison Weir's sources, but your above comment by itself, even though you qualify it later, is too strong to stand without supporting evidence. To be fair to Weir, you really need to provide half a dozen or so examples of the deficiences you found.

    • I'm responding above to Joe, not Danaa.

    • Brandeis is one of my heroes for his contributions to the law in this country. Unfortunately, his contributions to Zionism and the Israel project have harmed US interests in the long run. A lot of the things he did which proved so harmful to the Palestinian cause, seem out of character to me. This discussion would be worthy of its own thread.

    • That's simply not true. See my cite to the Brandeis/Frankfurter book in this thread. I do agree that it should be more prominent in the discussions of Zionist history.

    • I think The Brandeis/Frankfurter connection: The secret political activities of two Supreme Court justices, 1983, Anchor Books by Bruce Allen Murphy illuminates Brandeis's Zionist connection plus it's a great read on the political contributions and machinations of two of our great justices. (both committed Zionists). As I recall, it provides the source of at least some of Alison Weir's Brandeis material.

      My impression is that Brandeis's connection to Zionism was gradual but genuine. Per the author, he saw it as a form of Jewish progressivism. His contributions to the growth of American Zionism were monumental. He also saved the Zionist enterprise in Palestine at least three times by his personal interventions with President Wilson and others, from Balfour through the early 1930s. All his efforts and zeal for Zionism make it difficult for me to believe he became a convert for self-serving reasons.

      I wish I had time to lay out the case better. Unfortunately, there's no electronic version of the book allowing me to cut and paste apt quotes. Weir's book, which is available in Kindle version, may have some on this. Alison Weir's book, Against our Better Judgment, is more of a compilation of historians than a history. Her long footnotes make for fascinating reading and provide a good guide for further research. More than half of her book is footnotes. She definitely has an anti-Zionist point of view but I don't think it's fair to label her as an antisemite. In any case, this thread is about Brandeis not Weir.

  • Origins of a golden shower
    • Well, the money or gold is always found downstream in the big pot.

    • Roha: "Of course, this material is now useless as blackmail. "

      John McCain's involvement in this stinks to high heaven and needs to be investigated. When the ploy is pretty much at a dead end, he is given the "dossier" and then demands a one-on meeting with FBI Director Comey and demands an investigation. With apparently no investigation, CIA and FBI then decide it must be given to POTUS and POTUS-to-be under the theory that the latter could be blackmailed by the info. This is then leaked to high heaven which revives the discredited dossier ploy giving it a new life and invaluable publicity and credibility. "Blackmail" was just the cover motivation for giving this crap (sorry, Miranda, I meant urine) an incredible new buzz.

    • Brilliant piece, Katie. You've raised the principle of economy of words to new heights.

  • Why Israel wants us to say 'terror'
    • I recently came across a good article describing the negotiations between Olmert and the Palestinians (2008). Much of the same arguments above apply to these later discussions. The key breaking point for the Palestinians was Olmert's refusal to give up Ariel and a couple of the larger settlement blocks that would make an Palestinian "state" laughable. If Mexico were to offerr us 99 percent of the US but the missing 1 percent was NYC, Washington, DC, and LA, I suspect we would refuse (well, maybe not LA).

    • The Irish, who invented modern terrorism, found the civilian distinction less than compelling. They burned the mansions of British landowners and the Dublin docks and warehouses used to transport their stolen booty (Irish products and resources) back to Mother England.

      Who's more guilty a settler living in a Jews-only settlement built on stolen Palestinian land or the poor IDF conscript forced to guard the settlement during his enlistment period? Some civilians are truly innocent bystanders, collateral damage as they say, but that applies to military acts from both sides.

      Good article, brilliant discussion.

  • Mostly-Jewish golf club is roiled by a prospective member's stance on Israel-- Obama's
    • Me? Is that some sort of ill-disguised ad hominem? You see me as rich pond scum from the lawyerly class and, like the bard, seek to render me asunder? You hurt me to the quick, sir. I am rich only in spirit and as to the lawyer bit, I am but an aging ex.

    • re: Theo,
      Tax Returns:
      Simple answer is:
      1. There is no legal requirement that he do so (perhaps there should be).
      2. He judged that the political price he would pay in releasing them (even if they were largely benign) would be higher than the price he is paying for not releasing them. Plus (as he says), "I was elected."
      Looks to me like his strategy worked.
      "Using other peoples money"
      1. That's what finance capitalism is all about.
      2. That's what you do when you finance the purchase of your home.
      3. The big difference is that the big guys (like Trump) are able to get non-recourse loans and are then not personally liable to pay the money back if their development goes tits up. They just turn over the keys to the bank and walk away.

    • Interesting links. Thanks. He certainly knows how to work the system and bankruptcy is certainly one of the available tools as is negotiating debt reductions from lenders, etc. Despite all this, he is a remarkable figure who's managed to parlay his "success" into the highest office in the land. All I'm saying is don't focus too much on HRC and neolib talking points despite their grains of truth. This dude is one of a kind who has a proven capacity to shake things up. Hopefully, he won't bring us all down in the process.

    • He worked for than took over his dad's real estate business which was mainly developing apartment houses. He quickly eclipsed his dad by becoming a high rise office building and hotel developer in NYC and grew from there. The man may be an obnoxious boor but he's no dummy and he became one of the great business success stories in this country, surviving business down turns and near failure. Give him his due..

      What kind of a president will he be? I cringe in fear of what we may be facing. On the other hand, he could pull it off in his own inimitable, bizarre fashion. It looks like it's gonna be quite a ride.

    • While he scares me and I didn't vote for him but held my nose put my x on HRC, I actually think he could do a much better job mainly because he's started, managed, and owned his own businesses which is great experience and selects out those who are timid, poor managers, indecisive, things like that. Like him or not, he made it to the top of a very steep and treacherous pyramid. He won't be intimidated by N'yahu or other big players and will expert to get something for whatever he gives. We'll see.

      Obama had no experience relevant to the executive function. Being a senator, law professor, or communiity organizer is poor preparation. Hillary wasn't much better. All she'd learned was how to schmooze for dollars.

    • I see this as the first evidence of the Carterization of Obama. It may be herem-lite but herem it will be. If he was going to take on the I-P issue, he needed to be all-in and willing to use all his powers, most particularly the bully-pulpit to take on the lobby and Israel. It was clear early on he didn't have the experience or stomach for real confrontation. Freeman was the first clue, Rahm Emanuel appointment waa another. It was his prime personal issue but he ultimately didn't have the cojones for it. Thought he could do it with pretty speeches.
      Even his final flurry of UN/Kerry seemed more like a pathetic, nostalgic plea than anything of real substance. Notice he gave no speech but left it all, including Sunday's Paris IP summit, to Kerry. Don't want to hurt chances for huge speaker fee income.
      Prediction: he will be trashed by both sides with less than subtle help from Hillary's donor class.
      So sad.

  • Resolution for 2017: Stop substituting 'the occupation' for 'Zionism'
    • Sibiriak,
      I think your impressive argument about the validity of the term Occupation fails to distinguish legal versus illegal occupation. The legal version, under the 4th Geneva Convention on the Laws of War, or belligerent occupation, allows a belligerent to occupy another's land for a limited period of time in order to restore a normal, non-belligerent state of affairs at which point the occupier returns control to the occupied party and leaves or ends its occupation. The US ended its occupation of Germany in 4 years and 6 years in the case of Japan.. No colonies, just return to civilian control and leave. That's the legal version.

      Israel's legal belligerent occupation of Palestinian was very brief and arguably ended with the first settlements, in late 1967. Moreover, the secret Meron memo of that year put the Israeli government on notice that any transfer of Israeli civilians into occupied Palestine would be a war crime under Geneva 4. So, that knowledge coupled with its actions (transferring civilians into all-Jewish settlements in occupied Palestine) makes clear Israel intended to keep for itself as much of Palestine as it could get away with. Hence, the status of temporary, legal, belligerent occupation ended in late 1967. Anything since is clearly different and should properly be called something else. Illegal colonization, apartheid, anything but occupation which implies that the current state of affairs is somehow legal and temporary.

  • Israeli hysteria over UN vote is solidifying country's new status, as a rogue state
    • Per Annie, "i find the focus of the article strange, it is like a who-done-it. the big catch/reveal — that the US may have talked to palestine or who was behind the resolution!"

      I see this as a clever way of controlling the narrative, to keep the focus away from the plight of the Palestinians and get the MS media to focus on some imagined conspiracy on the US' part to sanction poor Israel.

      As usual, it's worked brilliantly. The Palestinians are invisible in the discussion; it's all about poor Israel and how it was betrayed by its US ally and its feckless outgoing president seeking last minute revenge.

      Straight out of Luntz's playbook, control the narrative.

  • Breaking: UN Security Council passes historic resolution against settlements as two-state solution 'slips away'
    • The resolution does mandate 90 day reports on compliance (or lack of) by Israel which could trigger sanctions motions where compliance is lacking and Israeli/Settler behavior toward occupied Palestinians is outrageous (i.e. the normal state of affairs).

      It seems to me that this ressolution is decidedly stronger than the Egyptian version, based on earlier reports I read. That should really stick in Netanyahu's craw.

      What a Xmas present for me personally and for the Palestinian people. This is the first positive news I've heard in the last 8 years.

      Congratulations to President Obama and Secretary Kerry. I suggest you go out in a final flourish by rewarding the contemptible comments by Netanyahu, Bennett, et al, with full UN membership for Palestine and recognition by the US of the State of Palestine within the 1967 borders.

      It would also be great to hear President Obama dedicate any entire speech to the I-P conflict, laying out the righteousness of the Palestinian cause and how supporting Palestinian self-determination is consistent with American values.

  • Where do we go from here? Our thoughts & yours on the US election
  • Trump’s Israel advisor (again) argues for annexation of the West Bank with bad math
    • Annie, I was attempting to show the logic (and danger) of Friedman's argument (or the annexation plan). The 11 million represents the total population that Israel wants to keep. They want to exclude Gaza because they don't want the 2 million Palestinians living there. His point is that "total population" will leave Israel with a large Jewish majority. As my math attempted to show, he's right, annexing everything but Gaza would give Israel that large Jewish majority.

      As to "Jews in Israel (including WB and EJ), I take your point although nothing in the tenor of my argument implies that I believe WB and EJ are part of Israel (I would have used Judea and Samaria instead if I believed that). I suppose I could have extended the line of that part of the equation to say: "Israeli Jews, including those living illegally in the WB and EJ." There, is that better?

      As to the actual substance of my posting, do you have any comment about that? As I indicate in my second post, Friedman has outlined the final solution to Israel's Palestinian problem. This is a vitally important MW article. I'm amazed (and disappointed) that it has attracted no attention and only a few responses.

      Posting problems may be causing this. I've noticed my posts for this article get rejected with an error message("error rendering page"). The only way I can make them work is to copy my post, exit MW, reenter, and then paste my post in the article. Hopefully, someone at MW is trying to fix this glitch.

    • That's why they'll sell the plan and do the annexation but slow-walk the actual granting of voting rights until the Palestinians prove they are no danger to the State of Israel. Same thing happened after 1948. The Palestinians in Israel lived under military rule until 1967.

      I see this happening once Obama is gone. It will be glossed up with great PR. Clinton, Trump, the Europeans, nobody has the energy to try to stop it. They just want the problem to go away and be seen as a "fair solution for both sides."

      The end times for the Palestinians' dream of self-determination are near.

    • I think the Friedman's numbers are pretty accurate. Here's how I calculate it:
      - Gaza 1.9 million Palestinians
      - West Bank 2.8 " "
      - Israel 1.8 " "

      Total: 6.5 million Palestinians
      less Gaza 4.6 million (From Jordan River to the Sea, not counting Gaza)
      Jews in Israel: 6.4 million (including WB and EJ)
      Total pop: 11.0 million (not counting Gaza)

      6.4/11=.58 or 58% Jews in Friedman's proposed annexed Greater Israel (he says 65%). Actual numbers are imprecise but likely in that neighborhood.

      The key is to exclude Gaza and call it a self-governing state ("Palestine"?). The annexed WB can then be allowed the same limited rights as Israeli Palestinians including the right to vote which then provides an argument that there is no apartheid in our new Greater Israel. They'll likely slow-walk the "full rights" for WB Palestinians ("until they no longer show violent tendencies toward the Jewish State") to allow time to maximize the Palestinian departures and increase the Jewish birthrates.

      Oh, and those 4.4 million Palestinians living in Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan, mostly as stateless refugees of which about 1 million still living in refugee camps, and about 2.5 million living in other countries? Faggetiboutit. Make your own way in the world and forget about ever returning to Palestine.

      And the world will tsk, tsk, and do F-all to stop it. Good PR (Hasbara) will make it look like the best solution in a difficult area of the world. How magnanimous are those Israeli Jews since, per God's word, it all belongs to the Jews alone! See, they are willing to share.

      Also, Friedman's West Bank, East Jerusalem Jewish numbers comport with what the Israeli Minister of Housing claimed a couple of years ago in an interview conducted in Hebrew for an Israeli Hebrew publication. He should know.

  • 'Ex-Neocon' -- Scott McConnell looks back on 20 years of ideological tumult
  • Your support today determines: How much truth?
    • Thanks Tova.

      I feel much better. I apologize for my unfair conjecture about MW being the author of the deletions. Conspiracy is so much fun.

      As penance, once the comments reappear, I promise to again make my massive donation (just enough to qualify me for free hats, shirts, coffee cups, books, etc.) Oh, and I'll do 50 hail maries,30 our fathers, and several apostles creeds. Good luck on that at my age!

      Two suggestions:

      1. When you have bad news to convey, do it immediately. Get out front or suspicious minds like mine will ponder up conspiracies.

      2. Some publications require paid membership to qualify for access to archives, access to comments (making, not reading), etc. I think most of us would be willing to pay a modest amount to be a special MW member. You could give honorary memberships to those you treasure the most. Mooser comes to mind.

      Thanks again, and keep up the good work!

    • Precisely. I was just researching Truman and the lobby and my search brought up a Mondoweiss article on Judis' book about Truman. Great article, BUT ALL THE COMMENTS AND DEBATE ARE GONE. POOF! No longer important in the Mondoweiss greater scheme of things. This has happened to me at least 5 times in the last week. Even my own articles on MW, several of which attracted over 150 comments, are now denuded of comments. No warning to allow download before the change. No explanations. Just a massive deletion of invaluable debate and commentary.

      This unexplained action has really undermined my faith in MW. My willingness to donate may return when and if my anger and disappointment subsides.

      What are you guys thinking? You couldn't have handled this matter in a worse manner.

  • Front-page play for Israel battle shows that Israel has lost the Democratic Party base
    • Per: rickaicp May 27, 2016, 11:40 pm

      "NYT is not implying that the “occupation” is “alleged”, as you say. NYT realizes and acknowledges that the final agreement must be a negotiated two-state solution. What they are implying by placing “occupation” in quotes is that those lands are currently in dispute."

      The solution is to revert back to the rule of law and abandon the chimera of a negotiated solution. There is no "dispute" as to whose land it belongs to. Israel is about to enter the 50th year of an illegal occupation and has blatantly violated the laws of war regarding the duties of an occupying power since 1967 by illegally, knowingly, and intentionally moving its civilian population into the territories occupied.

      There is no reason or obligation to negotiate with a lawbreaker. All that's required is for the members of the UNSC to decide they've had enough of Israel's behavior because of the danger it poses Middle East stability and act to condemn and severely sanction that behavior.

      Impossible you say? Quite possible. The recent Iran nuclear agreement provides a template on how that might work. P5+1+EU+UN agree to impose severe sanctions on Iran to force it to agree to give up possibility of nuclear weapons creation. Iran toughs it out for a few years but after sanctions prove too burdensome, enters into negotiations and ultimately an agreement to dismantle its nuclear enrichment program.

      See, that wasn't so hard was it?

    • Per hophmi May 26, 2016, 2:40 pm:

      "It’s actually completely appropriate to use quotes. It’s a legal term of art, and the question of whether Israel is a legal occupier remains controversial."

      Hophmi's correct, military occupation of the captured land of an adversary, is a legal term of art. Used in that context, it is supposed to be a temporary state of control to be relinquished as soon as possible after the cessation of hostilities. In even the most extreme examples, the US military occupation of Germany, Italy, and Japan at the end of WW2 was ended in 4-6 years, not 50 and counting as in Israel's case.

      The secret memo from now Judge Meron, commissioned by the Israeli government in 1967 made clear that attempting to extend the occupation and transfer Israeli Jewish civilians into all Jewish settlements in the occupied territories would be a war crime in violation of the 4th Geneva Convention (to which Israel is a signatory). Notwithstanding, the Israeli government went ahead with its illegal settlement program in 1967 demonstrating it had no intent to be a legal occupier of the Palestinian territories it had captured during the 67 war. Israel's conduct in the half century since clearly demonstrates its intent to keep the territories for itself having now moved some 10 percent of its Jewish population into the occupied territories.

      Israel, of course, does everything it can to maintain the fiction that its occupation remains legal and temporary because it can only be a state of apartheid once the fiction is removed.

      As to the controversy about whether Israel remains a legal occupier, there is none as the actions and statements of the Israeli government have made abundantly clear over the past half century.

      Putting the term of art "occupation" in quotes was inappropriate as it implies that Israel's status in the territories is arguably legal which it is not.

  • Hillary Clinton supported Iraq war because of Israel, say Matthews and Landler
  • Resolution 242 does not mean what you may think it means
    • Per the Moose: "So I guess in that case, there’s no possibility that dwindling Jewish numbers, and the alienation of Zionist support around the world will have any effect, much less any repudiation of Zionism by Jews? Oh well, then I guess it’s pretty much out of our hands."

      I think we're on the same page. I think shaming is a very powerful tool and can provide disaffected Jews with a way of repudiating and opposing Zionism or Zionism-as-practiced. (i.e. tribal self-shaming). There's a new group doing that. Is it "Not in Our Name"?

      I like your new slogan: "“Any two-state plan must leave Israel all the room it needs to shrink.”"

    • As I said, my hearts with you, but my brain is with Shakur. As I said in my longer post above, any change on the ground would need to be imposed by the major powers and at best that would be 67 borders with swaps for close-in settlements, a corridor to Gaza, token refugee return. In the real world, there is no way you're going to ever get more than that. Sad, but true.

      Appreciate your article and all the thoughtful comments it elicited.

    • Per Sibiriak:
      "The idea that a unified international community would put drastically severe, potentially catastrophic sanctions on Israel to force a major violation of its territorial integrity — to give up (not swap) a substantial amount of Israeli territory inside the Green Line is– to put it bluntly, a complete and utter fantasy."

      You misread my post or conflated with DGF's. I see no realistic hope of any partition plan or partial-partition plan outcome. Here's what I said:

      "I can’t imagine anything more than 67 borders and token refugee return being imposed in such a scenario." In other words, a Geneva or Arab Peace Plan solution, probably including swaps of land for close-in settlements.

      As to your severity of the required sanctions argument, I agree although lessor sanctions might take enough of a long-term toll that Israel might comply. Hard to say. Lessor but still severe sanctions might create a lot of internal political turmoil in Israel (and among US Jews) that could cause many to leave Israel and many Jews in the US to withdraw their support. The bloom would be off the rose so to speak.

      My main point is that the Iran nuclear deal provides an existing template for how the international community (with my caveats) could force a compromise solution that would provide some modicum of justice for the Palestinians. It is the only method I see that could work. Certainly, negotiations, BDS, French plans, etc. how no chance except maybe on the margins.

      Good analysis and good examples on your part.

    • Per the Moose,

      "So I guess in that case, there’s no possibility that dwindling Jewish numbers, and the alienation of Zionist support around the world will have any effect, much less any repudiation of Zionism by Jews? Oh well, then I guess it’s pretty much out of our hands."

      That would be nice: an outbreak of anti-Zionism-as-practiced self-shaming. That could do the trick if it caught on. Can't see it happening though. The ostrich gene is too strong.

    • I find my heart is with David Fincham but my brain sides with Shakur.

      The former seems to be saying 'what might have been can still be so', while the latter (Shakur) is saying 'face reality'. The reality is that Israel created "facts on the ground" in 1948 (ethnic cleansing + territorial expansion, again in 1967 (more ethnic cleansing and territorial expansion), and has continued to do the same since (land seizures and settlements in the OPT).

      These "facts" won't be reversed without massive intervention by either the UNSC or the EU, or the US, or some combination, which has so far proved unlikely. The success of the Iran nuclear agreement gives me a faint hope: the international community, faced with the possibility of the chaos that would be created by an Israeli attack on Iran, imposed severe sanctions on Iran to create leverage for an agreement whereby Iran would stop its nuclear program.

      That approach worked and could also work for the I-P conflict given similar unanimity of goals and sufficient resolve by the major powers. I can't imagine anything more than 67 borders and token refugee return being imposed in such a scenario.

      UNSC 242 is pretty much a dead letter in my view other than being useful as a partial justification along with the much stronger Geneva 4 convention articles. What is required is unanimity and resolve by the major powers to impose a solution (a la Iran deal) leveraged by massive sanctions. Without that kind of major power resolve nothing will happen and the facts on the ground will become more and more permanent.

      What's needed is dire enough circumstances for the international community to want to take such extraordinary measures. Unfortunately, Israel has always been clever enough to incrementalize its actions so the changes never appear severe enough to justify such measures. It is also very good at holding out the faint hope of negotiated settlement.

  • The occupation is over, isn't it?
    • rosross,
      The UN is toothless so long as a veto prevents action. To see the potential power of the UN and a US-led concerted effort to end the occupation, you need only look at the first Gulf War and how the UN condemned the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and then authorized the US-led military action to force Iraq to leave Kuwait.

      The two state solution is the only outcome that will work without another mass ethnic cleansing of Palestinians or a permanent state of apartheid.

      Moreover, it still remains possible and do-able if the UN is empowered by a Security Council vote and a US-led coalition (a la Gulf War 1). The UN could direct the US to assume control of all occupied territories, remove all settlers, and transition Palestinian territory to full Palestinian sovereignty. The US could enter the West Bank though Jordan and Gaza through Egypt. While Israel could resist, it would be a losing proposition and would cause it to lose any support in the West not to mention total destruction of its military.

      Assuming Israel accedes to US/UN jurisdiction and occupation of the Palestinian territories, what about all the settlements and some 750,000 Jewish settlers? Removing them would be a fairly easy, relatively peaceful task: Surround them, cut off all access, all water, all electricity, and all resupply, and wait them out. Give them a date certain (say 30 days) after which they would forfeit all assets and any right to resettlement and compensation.

      As to a civil war within Israel proper, I think that is unlikely so long as the IDF is removed from the territories and any responsibility for removing settlers. All the settlements would become the property of the Palestinian state and used to resettle Palestinian refugees, both internal and external.

      This is the only solution that guarantees a future democratic Israel (with a 75 percent Jewish majority). No single state solution does that without massive ethnic cleansing of Palestinians or permanent apartheid.

    • Per Fred:
      Is this Occupation? Is this colonization? Is this Apartheid?

      It’s all three. Israel is occupying Palestinian territory; Israeli settlements and the “matrix of control” are part of an illegal colonization project; Israel has instituted an illegal Apartheid regime in Occupied Palestine.

      It’s time to recognize the passage of the “invisible line of history”, lay the term ‘Occupation” to rest…"

      I'm in full accord with Siberiak. At best, you can say the legal military occupation has ended and did so when the intent to stay was demonstrated by the Meron memos and the beginnings of permanent, Jews-only settlements in late 1967. The continuing presence and military rule by the IDF since then constitutes an illegal occupation in violation of Geneva, a multifaceted grave violation which constitutes a continuing series of war crimes, now half a century old.

      What we need to put to bed is the delusion that the occupation somehow remains temporary and legal and somehow worthy of continuing settlement negotiations.

    • Fred,
      Thanks for the reply. I'll respond by number:
      2. Agreed except my point was that the acceptable moral standard and the international legal standards were much higher post 1949 than in the 19th century. Hence, the argument that Israel's conduct is acceptable because we did something similar 100 years before, really doesn't serve as a justification. for Israel's conduct from 1948 on. e.g. the Geneva Conventions on the laws of war (and occupation) came out in 1949 and were ratified by Israel.
      3. I know you weren't advocating that and I should have been more clear. My point was that most people would be surprised to hear that Area C is really a net thrown over the entirety of the West Bank and physically separates the "Palestinian areas into 60+ separate islands.
      4. I agree we can't know the future but if the non-white populations in the US has comprised 70 percent of the total US population, I think it is unlikely US Whites would have been willing to cede equality to all., which is precisely the demographic problem I was addressing in my point. Any concessions toward equality by Israeli Jews will spell the doom of the Jewish state. I also think some forms of government are far less likely to change for the better than others. Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, and Imperial Japan seem like apt examples. Still, we never know for sure.

      Good article. I hope to read more of your work.

    • Great article. Some miscellaneous points I think are important:

      1. While it's true that "occupation" is no longer a useful description, I think it is more important to recognize that "occupation" was a term used to Zionist advantage as it perpetuated the Zionist PR and negotiating myth that Israel's presence in the occupied territories was only temporary.

      2. While comparison's to US "occupation" and conquering of Native American lands in the 18th and 19th centuries is perhaps informative, there is a danger that the comparison attaches a moral equivalence to the two and provides a useful "moral" justification to Israel's occupation and conquering of the entirety of Palestine. The standards of international law and morality in the 18th and 19th centuries were decidedly different from the standards Israel should be held to in post WW2 and post 1967 Israel/Palestine.

      3. "Area C" is a dangerous concept to throw around loosely. Most will think Israel wants only to annex and control a 60 percent contiguous block of land leaving another separate and contiguous 40 percent for a Palestinian state. In fact, the Area C 60 percent entirely surrounds the entire West Bank and includes the Jordan Valley. The "Palestinian" Areas A and B comprise about 20 large, isolated and surrounded segments of land and another 40 or so smaller isolated and surrounded segments. Israel's Area C weaves its way around and through the entirety of areas A & B. The idea that a viable Palestinian state could be created in areas A and B is ludicrous. Look at a map.

      4. The demographic realities of Greater Israel make any possible future concessions by Israel toward democracy and equality inconceivable. At present, the Palestinian and Jewish populations in Greater Israel are roughly equal, about 6.4 million each. Any recognition of a Greater Israel will immediately raise the question of the Palestinian refugees of which there are about 4.5 million living in Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan, a million or so of which still live in squalid refugee camps. Another 2.5 million live largely stateless in other Middle East and Western countries. That problem won't go away. Even if Israel could limit the Greater Israel Palestinian population to its current inhabitants, any concession toward full equality and democracy would make the reality of a "Jewish" controlled state an impossibility, hence unacceptable to Greater Israel Zionists. Allowing any right of Palestinian return to even the West Bank portions of Greater Israel would further seal the fate of Jewish dominance and control of Greater Israel.

      So, Greater Israel is a reality (and has been, de facto if not de jure, for half a century). Unfortunately, apartheid is a necessary and ongoing condition of this reality. To argue that things can only get better is to ignore the demographic and moral reality of Greater Israel and its Zionist leaders and citizenry (not to mention its Zionist supporters in the US and the West in general).

      I suspect the Greater Israel Zionist powers that be will look for opportunities for "transfer" of the undesirable non-Jewish inhabitants to neighboring countries under the guise of protecting Greater Israel's Jewish population from the scourge of ISIS and its Islamic hordes. Absent that, they will be forced to continue defending the indefensible, an apartheid state. How long that can last is anybody's guess.

  • Ban Ki-moon keeps woofing at Israel over occupation -- but not a word about sanctions
  • Jewish West Bank settlers are as smug as white South Africans in 1980
  • After 'tepid' welcome at Israeli Embassy, Obama's pro-Israel speech brought down the house
    • Spot on, JWalters. While I'm normally a skeptic on this, it seems to me all your recent examples show rising impatience with Netanyahu and his apartheid-prone gang. If France recognizes Palestine, other large European powers may follow and France and Europe could lead the way to a UN resolution on settlement illegality and resolution parameters which I don't think Obama will veto as Israel and its lobby no longer hold any leverage over him.

      I also suspect there's some behind-the-scenes collusion between the US and the EU to force a solution without having the US lead the way. China's strong pro Palestine statement in Cairo suggests the collusion may be even wider.

      I think the real motivator is the realization by the Europeans that allowing Israel to continue and expand its oppression and brutality toward the Palestinians feeds into the ISIS/al Qaeda Crusader terrorism narrative and the sooner that can be shut down the better.

      We'll see, but I think we've turned a corner.

      I think we are seeing a small ball of snow rolling down the slope which may soon become a raging boulder of snow and ice.

    • Nice try, but that one won't fly.

  • Among the settlers
    • I encountered the same feeling when I was living in a small town in the Deep South in the early 1960s. There was a refreshing honesty in the local middle-aged rednecks as they talked about the race problem which they were a living part of. It's one thing to intellectualize about a problem; it's quite another to live in the midst of it. The moral conclusion is the same, but the feeling, emotional part of it is much different. I suspect there is a lot of similarity between life in a settlement and life in the post WW2 small town south.

    • HarryLaw,
      I read and enjoyed the Morrison piece. It lays out the limitations of the UN and the ICJ very clearly. A worthwhile read. My quibble is with the term 'meaningless'. You seem to be saying that since Israel's violations of Geneva IV as documented in the Wall case, have had no legal repercussions or consequences, the accusation that Israel has violated international law has no meaning and the legal status of the occupied territories remains a valid legal dispute even though you personally feel Israel's conduct to be illegal.

      I think Israel's conduct toward the Palestinians is almost universally seen as illegal and very meaningful in its effect on those millions of stateless, oppressed people. I hope and think that the rising ire of the public will eventually make it politically possible or even mandatory for the UNSC to finally put its foot down and impose severe enough sanctions to force a change. At that point, there will be meaning and consequences for Israel's actions. The UNSC certainly has the power to do so (assuming agreement among the Big 5) as its actions toward Iraq prior to Gulf War I demonstrate.

      I also think Israel's violations of G-IV and the Wall decision confirming same are meaningful in the sense that these are frequently used to provide legal justification for international bodies condemning and sanctioning Israel, like the EU.

    • I don't fault Phil for not divulging his full identity. His purpose was to go and learn what these settler folks are about. Identifying himself as the enemy would have made that impossible and likely would have resulted in his being fed liver (his own) with some fava beans and a fine Judean Chianti. Since he didn't divulge the the identity of those he interviewed, I see no harm and no foul.

      A very brave deed in my view. If some nerdish settler nebbish had discovered the full identity of their humble guest, we might be reading a very different story, a homage to our erstwhile leader.

    • Re: HarryLaw "It is meaningless to describe an action as illegal if there is no expectation that the perpetrator of the action will be convicted by a competent judicial body. In the real world, an action is legal unless a competent judicial body rules that it is illegal."

      I'm sure I follow the logic here. If Israel's actions violate provisions of the 4th Geneva Convention (to which Israel is a signatory), and a court of competent jurisdiction hears evidence and concludes Israel has indeed violated those provisions, why is it "meaningless" to describe Israel's actions as illegal? The law is pretty clear, as is Israel's acceptance of that law and jurisdiction. Israel's own internal government documents show (the Meron memo) Israel's fore knowledge of its pending violation of that law in 1967 and its decision to ignore and intentionally violate it.

      The fact that there are political obstacles that have prevented enforcement of the law doesn't mean those obstacles are permanent. While Israel may offer a convoluted, Charlie Manson-ish defense that the issue is "disputed", the US has never accepted the validity of Israel's position. The only thing standing in the way of a conviction of Israel for violations of Geneva IV is Israel and its US lobby's continuing ability to apply political pressure and extract a UN veto from the US government. There is no legitimate legal dispute anymore than there is a legitimate dispute about climate change or the spherical nature of the earth. The flimsy logic of corrupt naysayers does not a valid dispute make.

      I suppose I'm tilting at windmills since you agree that an ICC or UNSC decision against Israel would be a "slam dunk". What's sticking in my craw is the implication that there is some validity to the "dispute" and that both sides bring equal facts and evidence to the table.

  • 'Why do they hate us?' -- Israeli version
    • Good points. Thanks for the recommendations.

    • Re: Keith: "I would suggest that rather than an assumption of intrinsic Gentile hatred of Jews, what we have is an ideological construct designed to promote group solidarity and cohesion."

      Interesting point although I suspect there is some factual/rational basis for Jewish belief in intrinsic Gentile hatred of Jews. i.e. historical examples of Gentile oppression of Jews. But these examples are not evidence of some intrinsic Gentile Jew hatred. I think it just provides a simpler way of looking at it without having to engage in fact-specific examination of the cause of these incidents.

      The intrinsic Jew hatred explanation for antisemitism makes it easy to take logical leaps such as concluding any criticism of Jews, of Zionism, of Israeli conduct is ipso facto evidence of antisemitic motive, of intrinsic Jew hatred. I've encountered this on MW and on my own blog. It's the ultimate rejoinder: underneath all your clever argument you are really nothing more than just another Jew hater.

      I encountered this in Benjamin Ginsberg's "Fatal Embrace: Jews and the State", a scholarly work on antisemitism in pre-World War 2 Europe and the US recommended to me by you in an earlier less than pleasant discussion we had on another thread. I really enjoyed the book which provides an excellent history of antisemitism and its causes from post-Roman times to the 1990s . Yet, despite the scholarly nature of the book, the author concludes, without any attempt at explanation or justification, that criticism of Israel is per se evidence of antisemitic motive or Jew hatred.

      This dumbfounded me. So I think there may be something in what Ofir is saying, that Zionism assumes an intrinsic Goy hatred based on their assumption that gentiles will always hate Jews for no reason.

      Your suggestion that this is really an "ideological construct designed to promote group solidarity and cohesion" seems to dovetail with Ofir's conclusion that Zionists used this construct as a rationale for a Jewish state or national refuge for the Jews. In other words, it's an artificial device, a simple, clear, uncomplicated narrative that promotes group solidarity and acts as a much-needed justification for the creation of Israel.

      This is preliminary stuff on my part and I need to read more about it. Any suggestions would be appreciated. It occurs to me that we see the same simple narrative applied to the Palestinians: 'There is no such thing as a Palestinian, and, even if there was, they hate us and want only to kill us and push us into the sea.' Simple narratives prevent discussion and reasoned analysis. This is probably a human characteristic that Zionists have mastered.

  • Roger Cohen and Jeremy Ben-Ami go on the road for the two-state solution
    • Annie,

      Per Eva's word-by-word analysis. If I were to say, "Jews are morally responsible for the murder of our lord Jesus," it would arguably be an antisemitic statement, yet, none of the words in isolation is antisemitic. I think the same word-by-word analysis could be applied to any antisemitic statement to deny its antisemitic character which is the flaw in Eva's analytic method.

      As to the rest of your points, my various long responses adequately covered my reasons for feeling the original comment was borderline absent further explanation and clarification. I think this topic has been exhausted, at least I know I am.

      Thanks for your patience in monitoring.

    • Keith,

      I agree we're talking past each other and there's nothing to be gained by continuing.

      I actually agree with you on several points:

      1. The use of the antisemitism charge as a sword to prevent criticism of Israel is one. I've been the victim of that more than a few times on MW. It is a scurrilous device.

      2. Borderline, at least my use of it, is not a charge of antisemitism on my part. I'm just saying it is approaching that territory in my opinion. I've been guilty of borderline comments on MW a couple of times and have been called out on it. The last time was by Mooser, as I recall. In both cases, I ended up agreeing that I had attributed some characteristic to Jews that wasn't a characteristic that was limited to Jews, hence borderline even though inadvertent and poorly framed. I think both you and JWalter could have avoided the current kerfluffle by more carefully framing your arguments, particularly since the arguments were controversial. I make no accusation of antisemitism on either of your parts.

      3. Ironically, you are among my favorite MW participants. You bring a unique, economic view to many of the threads.

      I just received my copy of "The Fatal Embrace", per your recommendation. I'm looking forward to reading it and discussing it with you in calmer times.


      You made five general points. I'll respond to each:

      1. "To identify a particular miscreant or group of miscreants as being Jewish is to associate Jews with that conduct?"
      No, I said don't attach Jewishness to an alleged societal harm unless you provide evidence linking the harm to the Jews you allege are a major cause of the harm.

      2. “But that disproportionality is achievement-based, not religious-based.” Ah, meritocracy! No other factors involved? I guess that is as good an explanation as any as to why we white folks are more successful than non-whites."

      I think achievement or merit is the best explanation but not the only one. I wasn't discussing white achievement. You seem to feel that high Jewish percentages in finance reflect a Jewish predilection to engage in anti-social behavior, "chicanery". You are certainly entitled to hold that view but for it to be credible, it needs to be supported by logic and evidence not conjecture.

      3. "Who is attributing Jewishness to the cause of the chicanery?"

      Read your first post which starts with "...Jewish financial chicanery...", continues with a laundry list of alleged Jewish miscreants, and ends with, "And make no mistake, Jewish financiers have provided much of the impetus for this whole process which has resulted in our current casino economy." The implication is that Jews are largely the cause of all this harmful behavior. Again, you're entitled to your view and it's worthy of discussion but only if it is framed in a logical, evidence-based fashion.

      4. "The financialization of the economy is an absolute disaster that will get much worse very soon."

      I have no problem with discussing this issue, but you framed it with your largely unsupported allegation that Jewish chicanery was a major impetus and cause of the impending disaster you see.

      5. " would be nice if we could simply discuss the political economy without insinuations of anti-Semitism being bandied about. Bad enough from Hophmi, but when others join the amen chorus, we will never be able to discuss the relevant issues due to self-censorship."

      First, you didn't frame the discussion as involving "the political economy", you framed it as a discussion of the harmful effects of "Jewish financial chicanery" on the political economy.

      Second, accusing me as being part of an "amen chorus" alleging anti-Semitism is a thinly-disguised ad hominem attack that is normally beneath you.

      Third, the relevant issues in the discussion were chosen by your and JWalters framing: "Jewish financial chicanery", and Jewish "predatory financiers". You can't expect to enter into an argument you framed and have the responders limit their criticism to only certain parts of your argument.

      Fourth, no one is trying to censor you, self or otherwise, we're (I'm) merely expecting you to support your argument and conclusions with logic and evidence.

    • Re: Keith: "One of the great victories of Zionism is to create an intellectual environment where any mention of Jewish financial chicanery is considered anti-Semitic.'

      Re: JWalters: Jewish "predatory financiers".

      There seems to be two steps in the logic of this argument. Step one is to define a subset of capitalism using a derogatory term (predatory, chicanery). Step two is to associate Jews with that conduct. Now while it is true that some forms of capitalistic behavior (making profit off the sale of goods or labor) might be illegal (e.g. Madoff), other forms, such as making "excessive" profits are not. Hedge funds, credit default swaps, etc. have a valid purpose.

      While it is probably true that Jews make up a larger percentage of those in the world of finance than their percentage of the overall population, their representation in other professional fields, like medicine and law, is also likely disproportionate. But that disproportionality is achievement-based, not religious-based.

      So, to simplify an argument that should be laid out in many pages and cites, an argument about the flaws of international finance or capitalism should be made on its merits not on or related to the high percentage of a particular religious or racial group in its membership. High percentages of people who smoke also drive cars, but, absent strong evidence to the contrary, that doesn't justify the conclusion that driving cars is the cause of cancer. Correlation does not equal causation.

      If you see chicanery in finance or feel some or all financiers are predatory, tell us why and give us your evidence in support of your conclusions. Keep the Jews out of the discussion unless you are willing and able to present strong evidence in support of some conclusion you make attributing Jewishness as the cause of the chicanery or predatory behavior you see.

      Finally, some here seem to think that any defamatory claim (including antisemitism) must be direct to be defamatory. This ignores the role of innuendo in defamation. An indirect false claim, made by innuendo, is still defamatory. That's a whole different discussion but I think it is relevant to a few of the comments made.

    • This reply is for several responders who have no reply button:
      - Keith: I ordered Fatal Embrace. It seems a bit dated (1993!) but interesting and from a credible source.
      - Bryan: Thanks for the links.
      - Mooser: For your predatory humor.

      At least now I can see some evidentiary basis for the claim and do my own research to see if I agree.

    • JW: "irishmoses, I respect your question and your point.

      Thanks, JW. I take your points and I agree about the nefarious affects of unrestrained big money in politics in gereral.

      I think "financiers" is probably the wrong term to use since it generally means someone who loans money. Here we're talking about people who give money for political favors.

      When you combine financiers with predatory I think you are triggering an A/S meme but being a gentile, I'd rather hear opinions on this from Jews.

    • Why do I think the comment was borderline without further explanation and evidence of the existence and negative influence of these Jewish predatory financiers? I guess because it seems to single out Jews as having a powerful, controlling group that wields undue inflluence over the rest of the "pawns". Couldn't the same be said of American , society? If so, why single out Jewish predatory financiers? It seems to suggest that there is a nefarious subset of Jews who are predatory and wield too much influence over the weaker majority.

      Perhaps there is evidence of such a group. If so, the statement should have at least provided a link to such evidence. Now resuming there is such an identifiable group, "predatory financiers", why should just Jews need to divest themselves of this group? Are all financiers predatory, or just Jewish ones? If they all are, then perhaps we need to rid society of the finance function and just do everything on a cash basis to avoid the predation of money lending, of charging interest for the use of money?

      Historically, Jews were the money lenders of Europe because they could charge interest while Christians could not. The meme or image of the greedy, predatory, money lending Jew arose from that function and the resentment borrowers felt. So, any statement about predatory Jewish financiers feeds into that meme and, in my view is borderline without further explanation and evidence.

      The Bernie Madoff example doesn't really work because he was a thief, not a financier, predatory or otherwise.

    • JW: : "Predatory financiers"?

      Could we have a link or two that might enlighten us all on the existence and nature of this group and why and how Jewish predatory financiers differ from your normal non-Jewish predatory financiers?

      Without further clarification, this comment seems borderline at best.

  • Terrorism is an understandable response to west's wars in Middle East, realist and left writers say
    • A fair review. The book has all of those conflicts and more. I found it interesting because it showed that the Arabists were not just creatures of the State Department but also of the CIA and other non-governmental organizations, all of whom were working to keep Zionist Israelis from having too great an influence on US ME policy which all these Arabists felt was bad for the Arabs as well as bad for US ME interests.

      US "Arabism" was genuine but it all fell apart because of growing Zionist influence and political power, and because of Cold War paranoia and the influence of John Foster Dulles who felt any third world leader with liberal or socialist tendencies was a communist threat in the making. Imperfect people and and imperfect book but still a good and unusual read about US Arabists.

    • Hey Gamal,
      [this post belongs at the bottom on my replies]

      13 seconds! His opponent was eyes down from the moment he entered the ring. Lost the mental battle and only saw the punch.

      Once again, you've peeled several more layers from the onion and my simplistic view of the conflict. I'm left with the realization that I don't know near enough to even be bloviating about it. The Western view is so much easier. A CNN paid hand's summary is all you really need, at least until you come along and add nuance and complexity to what seemed like just a simple onion.

      Just read an interesting book from the American perspective: America's Great Game: The CIA;s Secret Arabists and the Shaping of the Modern Middle East, by Hugh Wilford. It shows how there were pro-Arab advocates in both CIA and State (and influential outsiders like Dorothy Thormpson) who were trying to battle the Zionist, pro-Israel efforts and influence in American Middle East policy post WW2. Ultimately, they lost because of Zionist efforts but also due to the interventionist impulses of then secretary of state Dulles. A sad but fascinating tale centered around two of Teddy Roosevelt's grandsons., Kermit and Archibald.

    • Is the email notification of comments function turned off? It doesn't seem to be working for me on this thread even though I checked the "notify me" box.

    • Hey Gamal.
      [This responds to your response to me below which no longer has a reply button.]

      GaeilgeMoses, I like that. Thanks for replying at length to my disjointed post. I always feel like another two layers of onion have been removed from an issue when you intervene, correct, elaborate, and clarify.

      As Mooser, and likely everyone else was clueless at what I was trying to accomplish in my post, let me try to clarify, hopefully briefly.

      My question was, or should have been, whether you agree that Israel's 67 war triumph was the door that opened the rebirth and appeal of Islamic fundamentalism? In other words, do you see, as others do, a direct link between that victory and the rise and success of OBL, AQ, and now ISIS? I realize we are dealing with gradations of grey, and that decades of western imperialism played a major role in all of this, but is there something unique about the Zionist triumph in 1967 that made others conclude that only the single mindedness of Qutb's approach would work? Was the totality of the defeat the psychological straw that broke the back of Arab secularism, nationalism, intellectualism (I'm struggling for the right term)?

      Is this link (if it exists) the key to where we are today? Krauss seems to feel our present state is a product of both Israeli and US actions and Qutb and his followers' disdain for our values (or lack of). I think the latter stems from the former. To win the war you need purity of purpose.

    • Gamal,

      Peter Bergen, in his The Longest War, says the rise or rebirth of the popularity of Islamic fundamentalism was a result of Israel's overwhelming victory in the 1967 Six Day War. Others have said the same. Bergen calls it the Salwa or Awakening which called into question the then reigning orthodoxies of Arab nationalism and socialism. Qutb, although he was executed in 1966, provided the intellectual basis for the Awakening by showing how Muslims could resist the influence of the Western ideologies of socialism, capitalism, and secularism by adopting an Islam that informed every aspect of everyday life. Only then could they expect to vanquish the armies of the Zionists and Crusaders.

      To attribute Israel's 1967 victory as the cause of the rise of Islamic fundamentalism may seem a bit of a stretch until you look at the physical and psychological extent of the victory. A tiny, newly created country defeats the entire Arab nation (6 directly involved, the rest provided some air support and supplies) which was over 100 times Israel's size and over 25 times its population, and does so effectively in about 3 days.

      To understand the humiliation and psychological impact of such a defeat, it would be as if the Mormons of the state of Utah had raised an army and then whipped the entire army of the US and captured a major portion of the country in less than a week. Dumbfounded we would have been to suddenly find ourselves and our precious Judeo-Christian heritage vanquished by a pagan offshoot of our religion. God, certainly, would clearly have not have been on our side in that one.

      I suspect, liberal atheist though I profess to be, I would have headed back to daily Mass in sackcloth and ashes. Although, the idea of multiple wives might have attracted me to the faith of my conquerers (sort of a version of the 72 promised virgins).

      Humor, and missing quotes aside, I find it interesting that our current state of affairs can be attributed to the phenomenal success of Israeli militarism and (later) US support and US interventionism. In other words, the I-P conflict is part and parcel of and even causitive of our growing current conflict with Salafi-Jihadism, from Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda to Bagdahdi and his nascent Islamic Caliphate.

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  • National Public Radio annexes West Bank to Israel
    • Exactly the problem. FTM, as they say.

    • Many of NPR (and PBS) major and minor contributors are Jewish. Kerfuffles over issues involving Israel often lead to threats of withholding contributions from some, not all Jews (much as threats of cancelling advertising affect commercial media).

      Follow the money path which will lead you to true enlightenment and wisdom.

    • How about "the Israeli-occupied Syrian Golan Heights?"

      I think it's no accident that country names like Syria and Palestine have disappeared from the geographic narrative involving Israel's illegally occupied territories in:

      1. The Syrian Golan Heights.
      2. Gaza, in the state of Palestine.
      3. The West Bank of the state of Palestine.
      4. The international city of Jerusalem.

      Names matter; dignity matters.

    • “We incorrectly refer to the West Bank as Israel’s West Bank. We should have called it the Israeli-occupied West Bank.”

      How about "Israeli-occupied state of Palestine", or "the Israeli-occupied West Bank of the state Palestine" recognized by the UN and some 140 countries, now including the Vatican. Same holds for Gaza which is also a part of the internationally recognized state of Palestine not some ambiguous "territory" that Israel lays a claim to. Words matter; dignity matters.

  • 'For me it is about the houses': A review of Suad Amiry's 'Golda Slept Here'
    • It's available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle versions. $9.99. Just got it.

      Make sure you look at her TED presentation (above). It's very funny and very inspiring both on an I-P and personal level.

  • 'Turning point' -- Obama defeats Netanyahu and 'destroyers of hope' on Iran Deal!

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