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Total number of comments: 37 (since 2016-11-27 23:17:30)

Peter Unterweger

Peter Unterweger is retired and living in Beacon, NY and Vienna, Austria. He previously was the Secretariat of the International Metalworkers Federation (Geneva, Switzerland) and worked as an economist for the UAW Research Department (Detroit). He was born in Vienna during WWII and attended university in the U.S.

Showing comments 37 - 1

  • 1948 and the Anglo–Saxim: on Western involvement in expulsion of the Palestinians
    • Thanks for this excellent article. For me the first paragraph leaves open the question of just what was the live-fire order Rabin issued on July 19. According to the same paragraph the destruction of the Palestinian communities had already taken place in the 10 preceding days, and Rabin is quoted as having urged the expulsion of the Palestinians from Lydda on July 12, i.e. a week earlier. I would greatly appreciate some clarification.

  • Dear Senator Harris, You have been drinking the pro-Israel Kool-Aid
    • Thank you Ms. Kisch for writing and Mondoweiss for publishing the letter.

      @ Keith - Frankly, I don't think it is helpful to accuse people who write such letters of "drinking cool-aid." This was an open letter posted on FB, and clearly meant to influence more people than Kamala Harris. Are there any people who read Mondoweiss that do not understand that the vast majority of Democratic politicians are in the Zionist Lobby's pockets? I see no need to reiterate the obvious. Letters and other protests put politicians under pressure to change their views and what we need is more rather than less resistance to business as usual.

  • Jennifer Rubin likens Trump to Hitler in 'blood and soil' ethno-nationalism that threatens Jews
  • Pedaling for Palestinian Rights: 20 cities around the world demand UCI and Giro d’Italia #RelocateTheRace
    • Judging from the lack of comments, long-distance road-cycling is not much of a past-time for Mondoweiss readers. But even if you are not a cyclist, please spread this information far and wide. The Giro d'Italia will have a global audience of perhaps 8 million viewers and will probably be THE BIGGEST PRO-ISRAEL, PRO-ZIONIST ADVERTISEMENT that the world will see this year. Three stages, i.e. three days, will be spent showing the beauty and "achievements" of the Zionist state, and nothing will be heard about the disappeared villages, the massacres, and the continuing oppression of Palestinians. Please let your voice be heard!

  • Keep seeing Mondoweiss in your news feed following changes at Facebook
  • Israel issues BDS blacklist against 20 organizations-- 'badge of honor,' Munayyer says
  • Israeli Jews 'will never accept' giving vote to Palestinians -- liberal Zionist leader
    • If you still believe in the 2ss solution then you must think that the "pastrami sandwich" Israel created on the West Bank according to Sharon's recipe can be undone. Despite Finkelstein's protestations, that is a ludicrous proposition. And then we come to the fact that none of the current power wielders in Israel want to grant anything resembling true sovereignty to a Palestinian state. For one, they insist on maintaining security control over the Jordan valley. So the 2ss is dead unless you believe that bantustans are sovereign states. Secondly, what is most pernicious about Chomsky's and Finkelstein's position is that they undercut and misrepresent the most effective instrument that we have in the struggle for justice for Palestinians - BDS.

    • 1. I tend to agree with Phil. If Naftali Bennet wants to call himself a liberal zionist and the liberal z's don't kick him out of the club then it's their problem, and not ours.
      2. Historically, liberalism meant rights for lords, and the propertied classes and none for the lower orders. Slavery was totally acceptable, as was indentured service. John C. Calhoun, spokesman for the slave South, identified himself as a liberal and democrat, and in fact claimed that slaveholders were the best kinds of democrats.
      3. Liberals more or less totally backed the Cold War and Israel, and one could go on with this list ad nauseam.
      4. If liberals want to claim the positive connotation of their label, they need to own up to all the evil they helped perpetrate.

  • Israel will get 'more understanding' from Trump's negotiators because they're all observant Jews, Sharansky says
    • Why is Sharansky being treated with kid gloves here without any mention of his roles in the Sharon government, his support for the confiscation of Palestinian land in East Jerusalem, overseeing settlement construction as Minister of Housing, and opposition to the withdrawal of settlements from Jerusalem? Here a brief extract of his career in Israel from Wikipedia:

      "In 1995 Sharansky and Yoel Edelstein founded the Yisrael BaAliyah ... It won 6 seats in the Israeli legislative election, 1999, gaining two ministerial posts, but left the government on 11 July 2000 in response to suggestions that Prime Minister Ehud Barak's negotiations with the Palestinians would result in a division of Jerusalem. After Ariel Sharon won a special election for Prime Minister in 2001, the party joined his new government, and was again given two ministerial posts.
      …[after 2003 Sharansky] … decided to merge [the party] into Likud (which had won the election with 38 seats) … and Sharansky was appointed Minister of Jerusalem Affairs. From March 2003 – May 2005, he was Israel's Minister without Portfolio, responsible for Jerusalem, social and Jewish diaspora affairs. Under this position Sharansky chaired a secret committee that approved the confiscation of East Jerusalem property of West Bank Palestinians. This decision was reversed after an outcry from the Israeli left and the international community. Previously he served as the Deputy Prime Minister of Israel, Minister of Housing and Construction since March 2001, Interior Minister of Israel (July 1999 – resigned in July 2000), Minister of Industry and Trade (1996–1999)."

      Clearly a key contributor to the rise of the most racist and oppressive government in Israel's lamentable history.

  • PEN International: Dareen Tatour is being targeted for her peaceful exercise of her right to free expression
    • @Ossinev - you are right about Ayelet Shaked, but don't forget that such campaigns are not primarily about changing an ethno-fascist minister's mind. They are about 1) showing Israeli authorities that the world is watching, and 2) spreading the word about Israel's injustice and undermining their claim to be "the only democracy in the Middle East". I, for example wlll make a public post of this MW article to my FB page together with my letter, which will inform people about injustice in Israel and in some cases help to put pressure on Israeli authorities. Here is my letter:

      Dear Minister,

      I have followed the story of Ms. Tatour’s persecution by the Isreali authorities since her arrest 2 years ago. Ms. Tatour is a poet and citizen of Israel and as such is clearly entitled to the freedom of speech that is a basic right in any country that wishes to be considered a democracy. PEN International, as well as its US affiliate PEN America have both recognized this violation of Ms. Tatour's fundamental l rights by the state of Israel.

      Moreover, during Ms. Tatours trial it became plain that the Israeli state arrogates to itself the right to determine what constitutes art and what not. In addition, it appears that the prosecution was based on a false or biased translation of the poem that the authorities considered offensive.

      In view of these facts, I urge you to immediately and unconditionally release poet Dareen Tatour from house arrest, and call upon you to drop all charges against her as she is being held solely for the peaceful exercise of her right to freedom of expression.


      Peter Unterweger

      Beacon, New York
      United States

      cc. Avichai Mendelbilt, Attorney General
      Embassy of Israel to the USA, Consular Services

  • PEN America slams Israel for effort to criminalize Dareen Tatour's poetry and denying her access to internet
    • An exciting development, not only because Dareen Tatour deserves the support, but also because it seems to indicate a change of direction of Pen America, now under the controversial leadership of Susanne Nossel. In addition to strongly supporting Dareen, PEN America earlier refused Israeli funding due to pressure from the movement for Palestinian rights.
      Nossel promoted military "humanitarian interventions" while at the US State Department under Hillary Clinton, and NATO's war efforts in Afghanistan while at Amnesty International.

  • 'Forward' finally publishes Stephen Walt -- ten years too late
    • Ossinev is right except for the part about Western Europe playing a leading role in the fight for equal rights for the Palestinians. I live part-time in Europe and work with Palestine-support groups there and the picture I see is hardly favorable. BDS activity is banned in France, and under severe attack in Germany and Austria. Jeremy Corbyn's travails have just been chronicled on Mondoweiss. The fight in Europe will continue, but at this point the movement in the US is at least as strong, if not stronger, than the one in Western Europe.

  • Chomsky on what 'everyone knows'
    • Although I have long admired Chomsky's work, I find this to be an excellent, cogently argued article. From a movement point of view, the Chomsky-Finkelstein critique of BDS is hard to comprehend. Indeed, as this article demonstrates, their arguments do not stand careful scrutiny. Nor do the ad-hominem arguments that accuse Chomsky critics of bashing him, and the characterisation of Chomsky as an analyst, and not a strategist, help his case. Paraphrasing Marx, I would say that analysts have only interpreted the world, when the point is to change it. Chomsky surely understands this, which leaves one wondering why he would devote such energy to undermining the most effective organising tool we have at the moment in the fight for the rights of Palestinians.

  • Jews argue whether Zionism is racism -- in the Forward!
    • Bayard Rustin, was a confidant of MLK and an organiser of the historic 1963 civil rights march in Washington. However, by 1975, when he signed the statement of this committee, history had passed him by. He wound up on the wrong side of the black liberation movement of the late 60's (i.e. Malcolm X, the Black Panthers, and the Black Liberation Army), and had become a captive of the ageing left-liberals (including pro-Zionists) that had supported the civil rights movement.

  • McMaster solidifies power at NSC -- and supports Iran deal, sees Israel as occupier
    • For what it's worth, main-stream-media report that the Kushners will no longer have direct access to the president. They will have to go through chief-of-staff Kelly. If true, that would reduce their status and influence.

  • Advocate of 'Death to Arabs' is EU's frontman in Israeli PR campaign
    • The EU's statement it a perfect illustration of the final paragraph of Jonathan Ofir's article: "This is why Israelis know they have nothing to fear from the EU. Like the United States, the EU gives an occasional slap on the wrist, Israelis cry ‘anti-Semitism,’ and everyone moves on. Nothing really happens." The EU could suspend Israel's most favored nation clause in the trade area, or put on sanctions until Israel ceases it's violations of human rights and international law, but all we really get are empty words.

  • Ensconced at New York Times, pro-Israel advocate Bari Weiss smears Sarsour as a 'hater'
    • Great rebuttal to Yonah and other neocons that use these arguments: "The idea that 'cop killers', 'FBI fugitives' and 'domestic terrorists'–all neat little phrases that do the thinking for the reader–are evil and any praise of them makes one persona non grata is simply taken for granted. Any robust discussion ... is irrelevant. The FBI said so, that’s The Official Narrative, and Sarsour and other Women’s March leaders should submit to it or be vanquished from polite society." The entire article is worth reading because it exposes the whole gang of former cheerleaders for the invasion of Iraq for the hypocrites they are. (

    • Ayaan Hirsi Ali is "a one-time parliamentary colleague of Wilders (extreme-right leader in the Netherlands), a person with near-identical views but with a power base that extends from Amsterdam to Washington DC, from Fox News to Breitbart ... an opportunist who lied in order to gain asylum, an Islamophobe who wants to deny asylum to others, a woman who calls women's rights activists "fake feminists", and a fellow traveller, at least, with people on the far right of both European and US politics." (

      Assata Shakur devoted her life to the black liberation struggle, and as a result was targeted like so many other activists by J. Edgard Hoover's notorious COINTELPRO, which was responsible for numerous grave violations of civil and human rights. Contrary to Yonah's claim she was never convicted of killing the police officer, but under a vague "aiding and abetting" statute. Moreover the entire incident in which the incident took place is surrounded by controversy. Assata's groups car was stopped on pretexts similar to what has led to numerous killings by police officers who then lied about the incident. (

      Citing such cases leads one to suspect that extreme right politics, including islamophobia, and persecution of black liberation fighters are just fine with Yonah.

  • Critics of U.S. 'Israel Anti-Boycott Act' say even requests for information could expose citizens to penalties
    • I'm sure AIPAC and other knee jerk defenders of Israel would make that claim, but the article I linked to does not. Personally, I hope that the ACLU's analysis is correct, but it would be interesting to know what other progressive legal experts make of the Cardin/Portman/Daily Beast arguments.

    • I would be very interested in a response to the following article:

      Basically the author claims (like the Senators pushing the bill) that
      1. it simply extends currently valid laws that go back to the 1970s to UN or EU sponsored boycotts of Israel (of which there are none at the moment).
      2. that although the underlying law is directed at "U.S. persons", this is in the context of Arab country boycotts of companies doing business in Israel, and is never used against private individuals (i.e. non-corporate persons) - according to information on the government watchdog agency that monitors compliance.

      Of course, It is unclear whether the watchdog agency orthe courts, particularly under Israel lobby and right-wing pressure could, interpret the legislations reference to "U.S. persons" to include individuals as well as organisations that promote the boycott of Israel or its settlements.

  • NBC plays up gruesome crashes in Tour de France-- then blames the riders
    • Thanks for this Phil! I am Tour watcher and long distance cyclist and could not agree with you more.

  • Israel's proof that Marwan Barghouti is a terrorist – a cookie
    • @jackdaw - your comment is just another red herring. No one had criticized Barghouti's trial for being held in a "Military Court", but you blithely ignore the fact that holding the trial in Tel Aviv itself constituted a violation of the Geneva Convention. So Israel once again violated international law, and it shows us that even you think that Israel's "Military Courts" are highly problematic.

  • Fake progressives
    • @Jon66 - MLK did was a great leader, but he was not infallible. Given his evolving views at the time and Israel's slide towards the right and racism since then, one has to wonder what he would say about the apartheid regime that has continued to grow since 1968. Clearly his words no longer reflect the views of the younger generation of leaders in the black community. Just look at the statements of the Movement for Black Lives or of Cornel West.

  • Sean Spicer needs to go to a Holocaust center
    • Stephen Cohen is one of the most well-informed and sensible commentators on Russia. Unfortunately the video linked several times in this thread is no longer available. Wonder why?

    • Interesting that we have heard nothing from the Zionist lobby on this. I checked the sites of AIPAC, ZOA, ADL, and J Street. None of them mentioned this huge blunder, and ignorance of the most heinous mass murder of the 20th century. Usually the reactions are swift, and when they can be associated with some significant event in Jewish life or history, such as, in this instance Passover, the charges of "anti-Semitism" follow in rapid order.

  • Confronting apartheid has everything to do with feminism
    • A very well argued essay. I like the "feminism of the 99%" and am surprised that the usually active commentators have had nothing to say on this topic.

  • The dismal cartography of Trump's pre-fascist state (and opportunities for progressive populism)
    • @Marc b: Maybe the day you have done a small fraction of what Richard Falk has contributed to the observance of international law and to aid the Palestinian struggle, you will be worth paying attention to.

  • Despite international pressure, Finkelstein gives talk on Gaza's 'martyrdom' at German institute
    • It is wonderful that Finkelstein was invited (Max Planck is one of the most prestigious German Scientific Institutions) and that he succeeded in making his presentation. Usually, the Zionist lobbies succeed in manipulating German guilt to prevent open discussion of Israel/Palestine related issues by people they have identified as enemies. Their undemocratic methods including: denying meeting spaces, closing bank accounts, etc.

      As in this case, the principals are often the same: the so-called journalist, Benjamin Weinthal, of the Jerusalem Post, support from the official Jewish Community, so-called anti-fascist (Antifa) movements (particularly a group called "Die Anti-Deutschen", i.e. the anti-Germans), and the right wing Media, all helped along by the cowardice of German intellectuals who fail to speak up for freedom of expression.

      Fortunately, this time, the news of Finkelstein's appearance seems to have surprised them, and no extensive campaign ever took off. The only media notice was from WeltN24, a subsidiary of the right-wing Springer Media empire. It's headline is typical "Max Planck Institute Offers Israel-Hater a Podium". But aside from this there was a few mentions in the local press and blogs. About 30 Antifas demonstrated before one of the lecture venues.

  • Ellison assures Dems he has made up with Haim Saban despite 'anti-Semite' accusation
    • This grovelling before the Zionist moneybags is disgusting. More evidence that unless the Democratic Party can be changed, it must be abandoned.

  • UN resolution on settlements is a step back for Palestinians
    • "I’m all for a new resolution, just not this new resolution." - Nsaway

      As far as I know Resolution 2334 was the only one on offer. Without it there would have been nothing, i.e. the status quo ante, and the fall-out I mentioned would not have happened. Sure the media will move on, but that was not my only point. The split in the Zionist lobby will deepen and that is not an evanescent matter, and awareness of the "flagrant violations" has been spread further.

      Concerning the "potential weakening" of rights: the numerous UN resolutions have not prevented the continued violation of the fundamental rights of Palestinians in the past 70 years, but, when highlighting Israeli violations, they do have at least two important functions in addition to the media effect I already mentioned:
      1. they boost the morale of the Palestinian resistance and of their supporters throughout the world, and
      2. they serve as important verbal ammunition in the struggle against zionist colonization and its promoters throughout the world.

      Only the combined pressure of Palestinian resistance on the ground and pressure from abroad will bring any real gains for Palestinians. Popular pressure on Western governments such as that mobilized by BDS and its supporters is essential.

      As Rashid Khalidi concludes in his most recent column in the NYT, Resolution 2334 "calls upon states to 'distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967.' This provides the international legal justification for sanctions by states, boycotts of goods produced in settlements, and divestment by unions, foundations and universities of assets in companies that support the colonization of Palestinian land." This is no minor matter as BDS is crucial in growing the movement for Palestinian rights.

      My answer to the final question, "What are you left with?" is that we will have a growing and strengthened movement to support Palestine, even as the Zionist Lobby is weakened.

    • I guess it would have been better if there had been no new resolution. The papers would not have had to put Palestine all over the front pages, and editorial columns. There would have been no need for OpEds discrediting the Zionist Lobby and the Zionist community could have spared itself all that agonizing debate and could continue to present a more unified front. Netanyahu could have spared himself all those angry off-putting words that alienated a lot of the world public. Just like before, only us engaged thinkers and activists would have to bother thinking or reading much about Palestine. That would be just great. I say thank you UN and all the countries who voted for the resolution, and will be happy to entitle the next leaflet "UN Security Council condemns Israeli settlements as flagrant violations of international law - 14-0" and look forward to discussing it with the public at the next vigil of Women in Black.

  • US Senate quickly passed the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act
    • "...the Global Anti-Semitism Review Act of 2004, uses the controversial definition of anti-Semitism produced by the European Monitoring Center on Racism and Xenophobia ..." The article should mention that, although the EUMC did produce this "working" definition. Its successor organization the EU's Fundamental Rights Agency disavowed the definition and removed it from its website. Several commentators including myself pointed this out in earlier comments to another article.

  • Saban calls Ellison 'clearly an anti-Semite' (and not on Wikileaks)
    • Has no one noticed that there is a total contradiction in Saban's statement? First he says: "...if you listen to Keith Ellison today and you see his statements, he’s more of a Zionist than Herzl, Ben-Gurion and Begin combined." And right after that he calls him an anti-semite.

  • New anti-Semitism legislation may stifle campus activism for Palestinian rights
    • The EUMC definition is a little more detailed, but that organization has now been replaced by the EUs Fundamental Rights Agency, which has disavowed the definition and removed it from its website over the objections of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

    • I'm glad Kenneth Stern is against enshrining his definition, but mystified as to why it's OK for the US State Department to continue using it. Zionist lobbies in EU countries often use the EUMC provenance to lend credence to their defamatory accusation of anti-semitism. Of course, they omit to say that the EUMCs successor body, the "Fundamental Rights Agency" disavowed the definition and removed it from its website over the objections of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

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