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  • Ocasio-Cortez hedges criticisms of Israel-- 'I may not use the right words'
  • Hasbara is dead
    • In past years I would have discarded this analysis as wishful thinking, but now I finally dare to have hope that the veil of lies is lifting. You are right that Trump's election has played a role. Had Clinton won the center would have held somewhat longer, but now the rupture between Democrats and Israel seems unbridgeable.

      If it is true that the stars are aligning after so long, what the Palestinian need now more than ever is a set of thoughtful, charismatic, principled and strong leaders to help lead them to justice.

  • Obama was shocked -- shocked -- to find that settlements were eating the West Bank!
    • The idea that this was news to anyone in the administration is hilarious. I don't believe it. As you note, the condition of Palestine was very obvious from Oslo and to anyone who cared to read standard reporting from Palestine. So this whole premise of "discovering" the disappearance of Palestine seems very odd.

      I think it is an attempt to retroactively justify Obama's lack of action on Palestine for most of his tenure a President, and to lionize his eventual feud with Netanyahu as some sort of principled defense of the Palestinians (which it most certainly was not), in the context of changing opinions on the issue in America. Obama gave Israel weapons and money as thousands were being crushed and vaporized in Gaza with American support. He most certainly did not fight for the rights of Palestinians and was firmly, without reservations a "liberal Zionist". His feud with Netanyahu was internecine conflict: all about politics and saving-face, not about morality or defending the oppressed.

      No one who follows the conflict will be impressed by this fabrication. It's not to late though, Obama can join hands with Carter and speak out to be on the right side of history.

  • NY insurgent who said 'Dems can't be silent anymore' about Palestine clips AIPAC poodle in primary shocker
    • I was so impressed by her interview on The Intercept during her campaign. She addressed the massacre more directly than any American politician I can think of. I never imagined that she could win and am so excited that she did. I don’t live in her district, but told 3 or 4 of my friends who do about her and tried to convince them to vote for her.

  • Palestinian official links US withdrawal from UN human rights body with US taking 'crying babies from their parents’
    • I support open American borders. The whites depopulated a continent or three, and had essentially exclusive total freedom of movement into those conquered lands for centuries, and now they want to shut the doors and shutter the blinds? Nope! The Central Americans and Mexicans are far more native to this land than Anglos etc. and they deserve to be able to come here, and the so called protectors of the borders and the borders themselves are phony and illegitimate. There must be some semblance of parity: free brown and black migration into the continent for a few hundred years.

      This is another why as a South Asian American (born here) I have no one to vote for. I can’t and won’t vote for a democrat who qualifies their defense of immigrants with “No one believes in open borders... I believe in border security...” Those who - for caution’s sake - tentatively slurp at the balls of the racists and war mongerers are just as bad as the racists and war mongerers.

    • Spring Renouncer June 26, 2018 at 3:25 pm

      It’s telling how thoroughly the mainstream US media has been reporting the horrors at the US border, while at the same time totally ignoring the far, far more dire persecution of Palestinians, for whom prolonged arbitrary detention and the separation and destruction of families has become a routine fact of life.

      It is also interesting how differently the American and Israeli populations have responded to the repression at each of their borders - Israelis with a collective shrug and full support for the IDF’s massacres, and Americans, even some Republicans, with horror and opposition. This gives me hope that the Americans - despite their centuries of imperialism and bigotry - have fundamentally different values than their Israeli allies, and when and if they are shown the honest, plain reality of a situation ie. South Africa and Vietnam they are capable of sometimes making logical, correct decisions. Intervention in Iraq, Yemen and Libya etc. take extensive propaganda and concealment by leaders to pull off. But who in the mainstream can afford to tell the truth about Israel and Palestine loudly, boldly and consistently, without being immediately excommunicated/silenced? No one yet.

  • 'Let them eat candy' – Israel’s ideological war against incendiary kites from Gaza
    • For the past two weeks ago I’ve been seeing headlines and articles in serious American papers warning of the grave threat incendiary kites pose to Israel and casting the Palestinians who fly them as evil. I’m shocked (and then shocked that I can still be shocked) by how such surreal, incredible things can be passed as fact.

      On one hand you have a country that has the most advanced warplanes, drones, ICMBs, nuclear weapons, tanks and guns, which had been massacreing hundreds of unarmed civilian protestors, including children, medics and journalists and maiming thousands more - on the other you have imprisoned, impoverished, occupied Palestinians who are rising up in resistance, shouting slogans, burning tires and a kite or two so that their voices of pain might be heard by the world - and American and Israeli papers are trying to pass Israel as the victim of grave kite-attack and Palestinians as terrorists who deserve their fate?! What’s more, some people buy this narrative.

      This terrible, Kafkaesque state of affairs does give me a smidge of hope, though. The fact that American and Israeli propaganda has gotten so thin, desperate and ridiculous is a sign that the narrative and situation are slowly slipping out of their grasp, like burning balloons carried away by a breeze.

      Other recent headlines about Israel in the American press lauded the country for being the first to launch an airstrike with an American-made F-35 stealth bomber. These articles had an upbeat and congratulatory tone. They focused on the plane and its weaponry in a bizzarre isoltation from what the airstrike actually was: yet another of countless examples of Israel (this could apply to the US too) completely violating and ignoring the sovereignty and borders of its neighbors, yet again agressively attacking a country whose land it illegally occupies.

      The fact that the strike was illegal under international law was never mentioned; those who may have died were not considered human enough to discuss. On the other hand, when an Israeli plane was shot down after it bombed another country or when an unmanned drone ventured into terretory it occupies the sky falls: Israel is under attack. Up is down, down is up, victims are terrorists, the Hayena is called a rabbit even as it’s seen strangling the lamb.

  • Tom Friedman has advice for Palestinians: Embrace Zionism
    • jon s: Singapore was forced to become an independent state after being expelled from Malaysia; sovereignty was thrust upon it regardless of its people's will. Gaza on the other hand - though its populace yearn for freedom - is being cruelly deprived of its sovereignty by an occupying force, Israel. If Israel gave Palestinians freedom and justice, Palestinians would no doubt be better off in every way. Until the occupier changes its ways, the comparison is ridiculous and stupid.

      Any mediocre middle school student could provide a more logical and accurate assessment of the conflict, and provide more interesting and useful solutions to it than Tom Friedman ever has.

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

  • 'NYT' columnist says killing Palestinian civilians is... good for Palestinians
    • Spring Renouncer May 23, 2018 at 11:38 am

      Sorry for the ambiguity... I meant that I was disgusted by the NYT column described here - not Mondoweiss!

    • What a disgusting column. It makes me want to puke. How can people maintain such moral inconsistency and hypocrisy within themselves without seeming bothered?

      At the heart of American media's support for Israel is the fact that 21st century America is not what liberals want to see it as: not a land of equal opportunity and liberty, but a stolen place: an empire. Has any empire in history achieved anything near morality? Which empire has been able to reform itself from within?

      Some might compare the U.S. favorably to apartheid South Africa or Israel currently, but it is actually a case more extreme and "successful" than either, for the natives here were already totally destroyed and their land settled irreversibly 150 years ago; slaves were used and then discarded to poverty; foreign opponents have been bombed, nuked and otherwise conquered. Whatever legal equality or "justice" that has been achieved here in the past 100 years is just etching on the surface, an attempt to beautify empire.

      Expecting positive change in Israel and Palestine (or anywhere else globally) to spring from America - or from Jewish or Gentile Americans - might be blind optimism, or just ludicrous. Though I wish it were possible, there is not much in our history that suggests otherwise. For example, though liberal baby-boomers like to see their college activism as responsible for the fall of White Rule in S.A., the objective truth is that the tiny island of Cuba did more to defeat racism in Southern Africa from its revolution to 1991 than the U.S. did ever.

      When you are born and live at the center of global power it can be easy to develop grandiose expectations for your country, its people and its destiny. But it is possible that change will come from elsewhere. That as the US weakens and contracts relative to other powers its dependencies - like Israel - come under greater pressure. But maybe that's wishful thinking too...

  • Rob Malley and Chris Hayes can't talk about Adelson's influence in scrapping Iran deal
    • Spring Renouncer May 23, 2018 at 12:00 pm

      You are so right about MSNBC’s cowardice on this issue, and it seems that the more prominent a presenter is at the network the more they avoid the issue of Palestine on air. Last week, during and after Israel’s massacre of protesters in Gaza, I seethed as I watched Rachel Maddow deliver one of her regular obsessive rants on Trump and Russia - she even mentioned the new US embassy in Jerusalem, but totally ignored the Palestinians and their plight. There was such naked and desperate hypocrisy on display as vague, possible Russian help to the Trump administration was presented as the scandal of the decade, but Israeli hijacking of U.S. foreign policy was ignored as a non-issue. Later that night Lawrence O’Donell was the same: his demeanor and show totally unaffected by the slaughter.

      One MSNBC presenter who did take a somewhat more critical point of view on Israeli actions and Netanyahu was Ali Velshi. But his show is during the day and has fewer viewers, so the stakes are lower and presumably the pressure on him to toe the line lower also.

  • Stars — They’re Just Like Us: Celebs outraged over Gaza are speaking out
    • I'm really impressed by Hot 97's honest discussion of the issue. In that small 15 minute conversation the Hip Hop radio station featured more honesty about Israel and Palestine than mainstream American media - CNN, MSNBC, FOX and the NYTs - feature in a whole decade of their reporting. And this is true even though news isn't Hot 97's main concern! Please be inspired MSM.

  • Nikki Haley blames Iran, Hamas for deaths of Palestinian protesters, as UN officials call to investigate Israel
    • Spring Renouncer May 15, 2018 at 4:42 pm

      The bottom line is that Iran is the only cohesive state left in the Middle East, with an ancient heritage and borders and an identity that were not designed by the French, British, Italians or Americans. Israel, America and its Saudi and Emarati puppets, and Europe - to an extent -resent this and want to destroy Iran out of spite, for no even vaguely logical or moral reason. If anyone has provoked conflict it is the US which has fought two huge and bloody wars in Iraq and Afghanistan - the two countries surround Iran - for two decades, and whose politicians routinely and openly call for “regime change” in Iran.
      Blaming Israel and America’s genocidal treatment of the Palestinians on Iran is absurd and shameful. Nikki Hayley will say anything for power and has never wandered anywhere near empathy or morality. I can tell that she wishes to be white desperately; she is truly a blight on all of us South Asian Americans!

      Meanwhile people in the region have cast their lot with the Iranians and against the American, Saudi and Israeli murderers - the recent elections in Lebanon and Iraq are proof of this, as is public opinion in Syria and Yemen. Netanyahu and many American hawks (on both sides!) have lobbied for war and regime change in Iran for decades. I fear that the government there was naive and unrealistically optimistic for not vigorously pursuing nuclear weapons before the Iran deal, and for hoping that the West would play by its own rules once they agreed to the deal. This choice might prove to be disastrous for Iran and the whole world. If the Americans do launch a war against Iran, I swear I will block traffic and make a huge scene in front of the UN Headquarters until I’m arrested.

  • Live Blog: Massacre in Gaza as US and Israel celebrate embassy move to Jerusalem
    • Spring Renouncer May 15, 2018 at 1:09 am

      Lol you're right, sadly. I did hear from the Palestine Solidarity group at my college that there would be a small demonstration in Bay Ridge today, but that was too far and I wanted to be somewhere my presence could possibly have an effect (optimistic). So I ended up making my own sign which said "END THE GAZA MASSACRE NOW." on one side and "HEY BIBI +TRUMP HOW MANY KIDS DID YOU KILL TODAY?" on the other in blood-red marker on a white poster-board.

      I walked with my poster to the UN Headquarters, sure that there would be at least a small group of protester awaiting me there... considering what had happened how could their not, I thought. Lo and behold - there was no one there, and I stood alone with my sign for hours, though at some point a member of Neturei Karta came to protest on with flyers and a poster on the same block as I was. I appreciated his dedication but tried to distance myself from him, because though in the moment our interests were similar, I am not interested in theological critiques of Zionism and think that they are potentially distract from the constant human rights abuses I am concerned with; for the Neturei Karta human rights is inherently secondary to scripture.

      So there were just the two of us protesting across from the UN. It was a disheartening in a way, but also necessary for me to go - being shot at is of course immeasurably worse. Many UN employees who were leaving work were sympathetic and interested in my one man protest, but they were mostly foreigners. Sadly Americans were generally more apathetic or even hostile (not all of them though). There were a few menacing gawkers who yelled terrible things at me from their bikes and cars.

      Later I went a block away in front of the US Mission to the UN, which has a fancy glass wall, behind which are large portraits of Trump, Pence and Nikki Hayley. I stood there only for a minute before a man in uniform asked me in a very threatening way if I had to stand there. I asked him if I was "allowed to" and he said that he could not legally tell me not to, but that it was up to me... very ominous. He went back inside and seconds later a very aggressive lady in a different type of uniform came outside and barked at me to cross the street, because I was "not allowed to stand on federal property". I may have asked her some follow up question, which truly got her agitated, at that point not wanting to escalate the situation I started walking away, thanking her for her polite delivery of information. So that is how I learned that the 1st Amendment is null and void on the public sidewalk outside of a Federal Government building!

      I had no choice but to cross the street to the UN side, where there was a poster commemorating 70 years of the U.N.'s work towards securing Palestinan Human Rights; I thought it would be fitting to stand by it. But as soon as I did two UN security personal told me to cross the street. I tried to explain to them that I COULDN'T cross the street, because I had just been kicked off the Federal property sidewalk over there (the US agent lady never explained whether it was my holding the sign, or my mere presence that was the issue). The UN guards weren't having it, so I asked whether the Free Speech existed on the UN side of 1st avenue. This seemed to piss the security guy off, and he asked me whether I had a permit to protest, which he knew I didn't, and told me I would need one to stay there. Finally I asked him weather I could just walk through the UN sidewalk so as to avoid having to re-enter the federal property sidewalk. This confused him, so I asked if I was allowed to pass through if I put my poster away. As I rolled up my sign and began walking, he lectured that there was a proper way to express my opinions.

      I considered heading up the block to protest in front of the Trump Tower, but didn't feel like it was a good idea, plus it was getting dark and there were fewer people on that block. So I went back to my original spot across the street from the main UN building, right in front of the staircase street, and stayed there till it was dark. Right before I left - emboldened by twilight maybe - three separate bikers and a driver passed me and reacted to my sign in a hostile way.
      It is not worth going into all of it, but the worst gawker - an ugly middle-aged man on a bike - laughed at my sign, and then told me that it was great that the kids were killed, that I should go back to my home country (little did he know... I was there), and then he used some explitives and said some other awful things and then just began shuting "Israel, israel, israel!" on repeat like a maniac and went away.

      This is not a full description of the evening, but I'm getting sleepy... good night... I hope the news tomorrow isn't as bad as it might be.

    • Does anyone know if there will be a demonstration in NYC today? There must be - right now - in Union Square, in front of the Israeli Consulate, the United Nations or Trump Tower etc.!! If not, I will just make a sign and camp out outside the U.N.

    • It is fitting in a terrible and grisly sense that they celebrate their independence with a massacre of civilians: this state built on mass murder requires periodic butchery to persist. Global silence in the wake of this new atrocity truly disgusts me, though it is not surprising. And where is the ‘solidarity’ from the developing world, the formerly colonized? There is none. Ours is truly an era of impunity, of near universal global collaboration in oppression. This is, naturally, what happens when the ideology of profit triumphs over all else. I am particularly disheartened - but again not even a bit surprised - by how my parents’ homeland, India - ‘the world’s largest democracy’ - has sold out completely on Palestine.

      Gandhi and Nehru took principled stances against Zionism way before Israel existed, correctly grouping its supremacist urges with the nascent Hindu and Muslim nationalist movements on the Indian Subcontinent and with European Facism and Imperialism. While both the West and the Stalin’s Soviet Union and it’s satellites bought into Zionism before, during and after Israel’s independence, India, other non-agligned countries - many of them also former colonies - and some communist states continued to stand up for the Palestinians for decades, at least formally. Now it is just stupidity and naked greed that are passed as ‘foreign policy’ in India and beyond. Adding to the tragic irony of the situation is the fact that the current massacres in Gaza so closely respemble the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre (1919), when British troops with automatic rifles opened fire on protesting unarmed Indian civilians, murdering hundreds of them and sparking the movements for independence on the Subcontinent.

  • Israel just lost American Jews
    • The least we can do is hope for change. I hope the progress you write of is real, but criticism of Israel still seems like a fringe phenomenon in US media, politics and society. The most promising signs of change are in the attitudes of the young... I am not sure that the establishment can change, but eventually it will be aged out, replaced - hopefully - by something better. I also hope that MSNBC's critical coverage of the Passover Massacre in Gaza will spread beyond Chris Hayes' remark. I won't hold my breath, though.

      I was so affected by this most recent atrocity in Gaza that the day after it happened I wrote a long and strongly-worded Facebook-message to Lawrence O'Donnell. Realistically, the chance that he will read any of it is very slim, but I hope others with more influence will exert similar pressure on prominent hosts. We won't be able to know if the trend you describe is a genuine one, rather than just an anomaly, until the likes of Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O'Donnell openly confront Israel's crimes on air. Considering their lucrative myopic obsession with Trump and Russia, I don't know if they will find space to broach the subject. But as I wrote to O'Donnell: if you have time to sing praises of Parkland school-shooting survivors-turned-activists, such as David Hogg - shielding them from right-wing attack - then HOW DARE you ignore the story of Ahed Tamimi and other Palestinian children, who have - quite frankly - faced far more than Hogg or most American adults ever will with inspirational strength and poise?

  • Videos of Palestinians shot walking, running and praying appear on social media, but US cables keep mum
    • For the past two days I've occasionally tuned in to MSNBC and CNN, wondering if either would mutter even a word about this atrocity... they were mum, AND the supposedly "progressive" MSNBC is the WORST offender. I am seething at the phoniness and hypocrisy of that network's producers and hosts: they are probably following the story out of Gaza, but their flimsy spines cannot support their burgeoning apathy. How DARE they yap on about racism, the death of civilians in other conflict zones, and Trumpism while ignoring the horrors Palestinians face every day?

      Americans who don't actively seek out this story will probably remain in the dark. This is nefarious censorship by the self-lauding mainstream media of the "freest country in history"! When I finally did hear a MSM report on the most recent massacre in Gaza it was (predictably) while listening to the BBC Newshour on WNYC - note that NPR and W-NYC didn't report on the events adequately themselves...

  • In propaganda coup for Israel, NYT frontpager ascribes Gaza's misery to Palestinian infighting
    • Yesterday I encountered the NYT article mentioned, and two others on the Middle East, and came away ENRAGED! Reading the NYT's insidiously "smooth" and totally oblivious coverage of certain issues leaves anyone with an ounce of critical thinking feeling disoriented. I wonder: am I seeing all right?! Could this be an opinion piece?!! Am I the crazy one?!!!? And the Times is only the tip of the iceberg with regards to delusional US media, unfortunately... It is such a RELIEF that there are a few places like Mondoweiss, The Intercept etc. that exist and consistently call the MSM out on their BS!

      One of the other outrageous NYT articles I read yesterday was about the recent supposed confrontation between Israel and Iran. The article began with Israeli civilians being awakened by the frightening sound of sirens and phone alerts due to the shooting down of an Israeli F-16. The article had several sources, yet almost all of them were Israelis with Jewish backgrounds. The article was ostensibly about a conflict between two countries, but was only concerned with the repercussions of that conflict for the people and government of one of the countries: Israel, not Iran or Syria. Never once - even in tokenism - did the journalists question how Iranians felt being surrounded by nations violently destroyed by the US, Israel's prime ally, or after their nuclear scientists were blown to smithereens. Even more egregiously the article did not AT ALL consider how the war-battered Syrians were affected by perennial Israeli airstrikes on their country let alone mention that Israel has illegally annexed a chunk of Syria, violates the country's airspace with total impunity and seeks to create a land-grabbing buffer zone further into Syrian territory. You'd think that all of this information would be indispensable background when writing about tension among these countries. Instead, Iran is depicted as a monochromatic, aggressive, oriental force that is bent on expanding its shadow Empire at all costs... Israel is the victim ever innocent, ever threatened... ;//////

      Also the article Op-ed about targeted assassinations by Israel was somewhat ok, but in the end it too deifies Israeli military and political leaders, and legitamizes all sorts of historical myths about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and totally skips over much atrocity... AND Israel's long and conspicuous history of of political assasination is very well recorded and not at all controvertial: such facts can easily be presented outside of the opinons section. UGHHHH!

  • Israel would use nuclear weapons to keep refugees from returning -- Noam Chomsky
    • How disappointing. He's probably lost his wits with age. I don't understand why he would feel the need to say any of this; it would've been better to stay quiet. Those who have been in the spotlight for decades lose perspective and the ability to truly empathize. They end up becoming more interested in defending their opinions and preserving their relevance than helping anybody else.

  • Why a Texas rabbi keeps losing a debate over Israel with a white nationalist leader
    • I've seen a few interviews of this awful man recently, and it really astounds me that reputable, well educated, generally witty journalists are so fazed by Spencer's slimy and obnoxious demeanor that they allow him to dominate the conversation completely, without noting the obvious flaws in his strenuous arguments. Because of this, those interviews practically serve as free advertising for the "White Nationalist" movement. Invite any somewhat decent and communicative physical anthropologist, sociologist or historian to challenge this man on air, and his facade of ignorance will collapse like the house of cards it is. But no! The media is totally blind and incompetent. They publicized Trump for free, and now seem to be doing the same for these freaks.

    • @John Smithson I don't necessarily disagree with the content of the original post, but the style through which it is conveyed is problematic. "The pitiful figure of the of a liberal White-Jewish nationalist cutting short his bleating upon receiving..." That sentence should be revised or thrown out.

    • I hate to say it, and and am quite restrained and thoughtful in criticizing others, but your language is quite problematic.

    • There is no differences between the two terms, Stogumber.

    • Sorry, Scott, "national self-preservation" is an oxymoron of the worst sort. To me it really sounds like something an ardent Zionist might say in defense of Israeli policies (existential threat, self-determination, self-defence etc.)!

      You mention that your "neoconservative friends" had contradictory policies on immigration with regards to the U.S. and Israel, but sadly so do you. You seem to be sympathetic towards, and calling for the preservation of, the White settler state in North America, but against the Jewish settler state in Palestine: what inconsistency.

      Neither Israel, nor America, nor "Europe" nor Russia have any right to complain about immigration or changing ethnic compositions in their countries, whether real or imagined. All are settler/imperialist states that have destroyed natives and appropriated their land. The West has succeeded in making the entire world Western, even those peoples they see as their opposites. Now it is the West's turn to reap the "harvest of empire."

      Finally, claiming that "multiculturalism" is as far from the center, and as problematic, as neo-Nazism is really bizarre, illogical -- and in my opinion -- laughable. The world was not thrust upon Europe and America, but rather Europe and America upon the world. The only alternative to northward immigration from the global south would be a mass global redistribution of capital without the movement of people, which Westerners will never agree to.

      Europe and America have flung their own people, culture, religion, investment, technology and states across the earth's surface, with no regard for any border, whether ethical or physical, yet now demand that in return their "composition" must be "preserved". Sorry buddy, that simply won't fly -- regardless of Trump and his European equivalents. It is far too late to return to some prelapsarian "normalcy". Even ending the West's current oppressive and imperial economic and foreign policies at once will not suffice, for the damage has already been done long, long ago: "because races condemned to one hundred years of solitude, [do] not have a second [chance] on earth."

    • I'm sorry Mr. Ofir -- though I stand in solidarity with the Palestinians and all oppressed people, and am opposed to the abuses of Zionism -- I think it was a mistake to write an article that even vaguely portrays Spencer as morally or intellectually positive. You could have just as easily reported on this debate, mentioned what transpired therein, and made a comparison between attributes of "White Nationalism" and Zionism, etc. without having portrayed Spencer in a relatively positive light. An article like this could so easily be spun by those against Palestinians as an example of the supposed radicalism and antisemitism of critics of Israel, harming our entire movement, and tainting all of the great work you and others have put into journalism and activism.

      I'm a gay, non-white, non-monotheistic American, and have listened to interviews of Spencer with complete terror. He is sleazy, manipulative, and vile. The current political climate has given him and others like him attention they should not be getting; the media spotlight only fans the flames of hatred that these people light. Even this article may unwittingly be contributing to the normalization of Spencer and his ideology, which is something that he is trying very hard to achieve. It might have helped to mention some of his more egregious statements, and challenge his smooth but inherently flawed intellectual point of view.

      The Rabbi's positions on Israel are problematic in their own right, but Spencer's view on all sorts of domestic and foreign policy issues is far, far worse. Suggesting some equivalence between their respective ideologies, even if implicitly, is dangerous, and probably incorrect. Zionism operates very much like racism, but the truth is that if I decided to convert to Judaism officially, and spent the time and energy doing so (and getting circumcised!! :/), I could settle in Israel as (sort of) part of the oppressive elite. I would never do this, and am not advocating for anyone else to either, but this clearly demonstrates that Zionism is more flexible than Racism or White Supremacy, according to which I and most of the world's inhabitants are, and always will be, inferior.

      The fact that you are Israeli and Jewish gives you the ability to criticize Zionism and Israel plainly, without incurring as many unfounded accusations of antisemitism as other critics may -- though I'm sure you have to deal with all sorts of other social pressures due to your political positions. It is laudable that you are using your unique position to advocate for equality in Palestine/Israel; however, the international movement that Spencer is part of dwarfs even Zionism in it's potential to oppress and inflict damage. Spencer is as anti-Palestinian and Islamophobic as extreme Right-wing Israelis are, though in a distinct way. Thus he cannot be an ally of any sort, even incidentally, in any movement against oppression, including that of the Palestinians. I am very grateful for the effort you have put into writing articles for Mondoweiss, Mr. Ofir, and I am a regular reader of yours, but I fear that this time you have erred.

  • The battle over Obama's legacy, featuring Netanyahu, Zogby, liberal Zionists, and 88 senators
  • The two-stroke solution
    • That last Donald Johnson quote is gold! As someone who has had the misfortune of dealing with distant family and acquaintances who are Hindu fascists, I can attest to the fact that they are rabidly pro-Israel and Islamophobic. But the truth is that even though India is currently controlled by a group of conservative thugs - and PM Modi will visit Israel this winter - Indian foreign policy usually operates under realpolitik. The Indian government may cozy-up to Israel to acquire some weapons, or because of an ideological convergence, but India has not and will not base its policy on Israel/ Palestine on sentiment. India's economy is totally reliant on Middle-eastern oil, and its relationship with Iran is indispensable for it to access Afghanistan and thus oppose Pakistan and China. There are many other geopolitical and economic connections between the Muslim world and India, and an alliance with Israel will never outweigh them - unless fascism truly subverts the state, which could happen but probably won't.

      So the United States due to messianic Christian Zionists and AIPAC is uniquely illogical and unjust in its support for Israel. The Israeli right bluffs, claiming that the relationship with the US can be replaced by China and India, but this is simply not true, for the Israel is nothing but an iteration of Christian (and Jewish) American extremism and imperial delusion.

  • US aid deal gives green light to Israel's erasure of Palestine
  • Solidifying behind Clinton, foreign policy establishment gins up a cold war with Russia/Iran
    • OMG I was thinking the same Annie! If the Syrian government and its allies succeed in firmly securing Aleppo and the countryside near Idlib before Clinton takes over, Syria may be safe from the possibility of a US intervention. I'm sure that Assad, Russia and Iran sense this urgency, which could have compelled Russia to allow a thaw in relations with Turkey. The thaw also suggests that Turkey may take a relatively neutral stance on Syria. Meanwhile we see Saudi and Israeli leaders cozying up; expect Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States to try their hardest to derail the unification of Syria before Novenber. I will be so relieved if their efforts fail.

  • Democratic Party consultant asked about Palestinian rights: 'Not my problem'
    • Mark sounds like a dumb, boring person not worth interviewing. He uses a sort of 'America First' excuse to avoid addressing Palestine without realizing that the candidate he supports loves tinkering with countries around the world, often militarily.

  • Bill Clinton attacked all Muslim Americans during his speech to the DNC
    • I was struck dumb - but at the same time not at all surprised - when I heard this line.

      The Clintons are totally and completely disconnected from reality; this is yet another demonstration of their immense sense of entitlement and concomitant ideological sloppiness. Law, morality, The Constitution, decency, and logic all fall apart in the face of Bill and Hillary's quest for power: they get to decide who stays and who goes, who is American enough, who lives or dies. . . This is their attitude towards American citizens, vested with all their theoretical rights, just imagine how little regard they have for the brown and black people of foreign lands. Of course there's no need to try your brain imagining, for they both have extensive records of callousness, aggression and murderous destruction abroad.

      Contemplating Hillary Clinton's return to the White House is a frightening thing. Jill Stein is our only hope - the worlds only hope really.

  • The agonizing afterlife of Mahmoud Darwish
    • That is ridiculous silamcuz. Only those completely invested in the folly of heaven and hell, and of souls would interpret the title in such a bizarre way. The afterlife being alluded to is not a literal one, but simply an expression of how one is regarded by the living after their death (as in Homer). In this case Darwish's legacy is being maligned by Lieberman and others, and that is the agony being referred to in the title. Furthermore, while I don't think that hell, heaven or souls exist, if they did, knowing whether a dead man is in hell would be impossible.

      Also Mooser, bringing up right wing commentators opinions on people of color activists is not helpful, because those opinions generally do not reflect reality. Are you trying to say that silamcuz fits some concocted and racist POC activist archetype?

  • Meet Ali Kurnaz, young Democratic leader who lifted Palestinian flag on convention floor
    • The Democratic Party is sclerotic and not changing nearly fast enough. It is attempting to, yet again, integrate its dissidents back into the fold by giving them false hopes. Though generational change is occurring, young liberals are known to drift to the center as they age. Despite this, the Party could change over decades, but not before wrecking even more of the country and world. I think that abandoning the Democratic Party for the Green Party or a new party is the only way for voices like Kurnaz's to be heard reliably and heeded in a reasonable time scale.

  • Democrats and GOP are in a race to the bottom on Israel
    • To Mondoweiss editors: since Sanders has sadly conceded, it is time for you to strike his face off of the banner of candidates. Jill Stein should be added to the banner too. . . let's not be part of the mainstream campaign of censorship by omission against Stein.

    • Spring Renouncer July 17, 2016 at 1:42 am

      Jill Stein of the Green Party is openly supportive of the Palestinian struggle and BDS, and opposes military aid and arms sales to Israel.

      Libertarians, on the other hand - though they may advocate for less unnecessary military engagements - are creepy reactionaries at their core. They won't do much to improve the Palestinian situation considering their voters are mostly disaffected conservatives.

  • New York Times's breathless story on landing interview with Netanyahu reads like 'the Onion' on crack
    • Welcome Boomer, I really enjoyed it. Though it's enlightening non-fiction it reads like a novel.

    • The New York Times is truly a joke: a timid, clichéd, propaganda press.

      Years ago, I read an article from the NYT archives, written about the Sepoy Rebellion of 1857 -- also known as India's First War of Independence. I was amazed, not by the brazen racism and unconditional support for fellow Anglo-Saxon Brits even though they were undermining the US in all sorts of ways at the time, but because the article's haughty and ignorant tone was indistinguishable from that of the Times in articles about Israel/ Palestine in 2016. There is this mirage of progress, but our system's racist and imperial attitude has remained static in an unbelievable way. Also note that not all Westerners supported the British colonial venture in 1857, Marx, for example saw through the hysteria and labelled stories in the British press for what they were: racist propaganda. Bound to serve the interests of capital and ethno/religious supremacy -- just as today -- the Times was blind, just as it is blind when it reports Gaza and Palestine in general.

      Note that the destruction of Old Delhi and the subsequent extermination of the Mughal aristocracy -- who were very liberal -- is intimately and directly connected to the formation of radical Sunni Islam. William Dalyrmple talks about this process in his book "The Last Mughal".

  • Modern-day lynchings: an international view
    • Spring Renouncer July 8, 2016 at 5:47 pm

      Poor brown and black men and women are used to kill other people of color in Iraq and Afghanistan etc. They then come home to a society which murders and impoverishes their own families. The result is inevitable violence.

  • Family of Tel Aviv attacker tries to understand how star pupil turned to violence
    • Spring Renouncer June 17, 2016 at 4:11 pm

      Yes Mooser, wonderful hehe! From experience I know that right wing Hindus do the same thing. It's so annoying. Playing the victim is always the sign of a facist...

    • Spring Renouncer June 16, 2016 at 9:33 pm

      Mayhem, you can't label Jews as "self-hating" because they do not believe in Zionism. Judaism has never been equivalent to Zionism.

      In the article Ehrenreich doesn't editorialize at all. The soldier's account and the figures speak for themselves.

      Also, terror attacks against Israelis are extensively covered in MSM, while atrocities against Palestinians are not covered proportionately, despite the fact that many more Palestinians are killed.

      It seems to me that you reflexively turn to making unsubstantiated accusations, and set up false dichotomies so that you don't have to see the plain truth: the vast system of oppression Israel has set up to humiliate, disposes and kill Palestinians.

    • This is a heart-wrenching article from Politico, detailing one instance of the constant daily humiliation and violence Palestinians face, and which lead them to rebel in the only ways they have left. The only positive is that reports like this are beginning to reach the periphery of mainstream media.

  • Global Palestine - An Interview with Jeff Halper
    • Spring Renouncer June 16, 2016 at 3:07 am

      A great interview. He summarizes many recent and older trends well. The point about Abu Mazen's imminent demise and consequent challenges and opportunities it could pose is interesting.

  • Democratic Party is now split over Israel, and Clinton and Sanders represent opposing camps, says Pew
    • Spring Renouncer May 8, 2016 at 7:09 pm

      Mrs. Clinton is truly shameless. She worked as Bibi's stooge, desperately trying to destroy the Iran nuclear deal, yet now misses no opportunity to take credit for starting the process. Such blatant disregard for reality. And then when she's caught, there is no recognition of guilt. She is like a naughty child, she makes a face, and then diverts the conversation through any necessary means.

      I am a twenty-year-old 'democratic-socialist', and basically an archetypal Sanders supporter, but when I warn my like minded peers that a Clinton presidency may well lead to a war on the level of Iraq or larger, and that even a draft cannot be discounted as a possible consequence, I am scoffed at. When I say that a Trump presidency would be no worse in terms of foreign policy than a Clinton one, and that I cannot with a clean conscience vote for either candidate, and will be forced to vote for the Greens or Socialists if Bernie loses, I am again mostly ridiculed, and accused of abetting Trump by friends.

      I wish Sanders did more to make explicitly clear just how problematic an Imperial foreign policy has been for the world. He has tried in the debates and otherwise, but decades of propaganda fill the minds of even the supposedly liberal youth. Only a few exceptional cases, and some first generation anti-nationalist kids like me really see the danger. We need a new wave of artists, and writers and scholars to help us see the truth. There has to be a real cultural reboot before essential change will occur in terms of foreign policy. Sanders alone is not that change, and he knows it.

  • BDS takes two big strides, at CUNY and U of Chicago
    • Conscientious New Yorkers must boycott the new Cornell-Technicon campus being built on Roosevelt Island. Here is why:

      1. Technicon University is an integral part of Israel's military, industrial, propaganda and occupation complex.

      2. The new campus building, which is currently under construction, ruins one of the most iconic views in New York. It towers to the south of the beautiful Queensboro Bridge, obstructing views from the East Side and Long Island city. Part in parcel with the campus is the redevelopment of the southern tip of the island. Where once there was a beautiful, rocky, naturalistic shoreline - with unobstructed views of the old sanatorium - now there is an ugly, artificial, blocky, concrete condom, surrounding the tip of the Island and obstructing views of the historic sanatorium. This architectural and landscaping travesty has been vaunted in the local news, and forms the FDR "Four Freedoms" Park.

      Not only are the campus and adjoining park ugly, they expose the utter corruption infecting New York's construction, real-estate, and zoning realms. In any other wealthy world city, the culture and character of the city would be protected: the building would be limited to a height lower than the bridge, and the shoreline would be preserved. In New York, however, the limited interests of the upper middle class and rich prevail.

      3. The project does nothing to help the lower 99% of New Yorkers, who have no chance of getting jobs at the campus. The campus will attract rich professionals from out of city, state and country, and create only a few low paying jobs for locals. This would be acceptable if the land in question were private, or in an architecturally meaningless (or forgone) part of the city, or if the university involved was not participating in apartheid.

      Unfortunately this is not the case, and the city is essentially subsidizing those who need its help the least, while destroying its architectural heritage, facilitating the oppression of Palestinians, and legitimizing Israeli apartheid.

      Go BDS, get out Technicon!

  • Sanders is in Jewish tradition that rejected exceptionalist nationalism of Zionism
    • Spring Renouncer April 3, 2016 at 7:50 pm

      Oh my god! I was about to comment about this amazing piece after reading it a few days ago. It's great that you found time for the Village Voice. The NYT will be late to the party, as always...but they will have to arrive sooner or later.

  • 'Road to South Africa has never been shorter' -- as U of Chicago launches divestment campaign
    • Very good news; best of luck to these students.

      By the way Philip, when will you write about Rula Jebreal's new presence on CNN? She was pitted against Dershowitz on islamophobia, and Israel-Palestine was the elephant in the room. Sparks flew, and FINALLY there was some real opposition to the Zionist, islamophobic point of view! Generally pro-Israel commentators are pitted against tepid, apathetic centrists on CNN and other networks, not anymore it seems. Change is happening fast: very interesting.

  • Israelis don't exist
    • This is an enlightening, nuanced and vital article, Jonathan. The lack of a common Israeli nationality (discussed here), the lack of an Israeli constitution, the lack of political representation for millions of Palestinians controlled by Israel, and the fact that non-governmental sectarian organizations like the JNF have quasi-national power in Israel-Palestine, separates Israel from even the most peculiar nation-states. This ambiguity allows for and perpetuates the continued oppression of non-Jews within the territory.

      Israel is like the mobile Mongol capital, which was basically a movable garrison. Under the sway of this force, concepts like nationality, constitutional rights, and democracy are made obsolete, crushed and perverted by the dynamic violence of the 'great horde'.

  • Executed: Dania Ersheid, 17, from Hebron
    • As American feminists and supporters of the Black Lives Matter campaign, we must stand arm in arm in solidarity with our besieged, bloodied and murdered Palestinian sisters and brothers.

      In the U.S. black teenage girls are - in the supposed security of their schools - thrown around and pinned to the floor by White police officers, and then arrested. In Palestine, innocent Palestinian teenage girls are - in their own homeland - shot to death by Israeli soldiers, and then demonized even in death.

      The parallels are strikingly clear.

      If we address oppression in the U.S. while silently paying for the even more acute oppression in Palestine, we will be complicit and cowardly hypocrites.

      We must fight.

      Fight for the Palestinians, for the African Americans, for the girls and the boys:

      for ourselves.

  • In Israel/Palestine we are witnessing the end of a colonial regime
    • I hope that you are right and justice is inevitable. I am increasingly afraid, though, that successful popular rebellion against a technologically advanced occupier is a dying vestige of the Twentieth Century.

      Why is humanity so awful? Why can't we interact freely, make love, get high together, redistribute wealth and power, and dissolve the cruel idiocy of borders?

      I feel so disgusted by everything and everyone, chief among them, myself. 'I should run away to San Francisco. We should all run away to San Francisco and have a blast, and watch the sunset by the beach. We should bury our heads in the sand and eat lotus: forget our debt, our privilege, and the massacred thousands who used to own this land.'

      This is what I feel often. This is what Europe's oppressed and displaced Jews must have felt of Israel too. Escape and utopia are so terribly fraught with tragedy. Good intentions - one person's urge for pleasure, and escape from pain - crush 'the other' to death.

      The answer, then, is not to hail some elusive future victory (Marx' fatal flaw), but to never stop fighting. We must not stop fighting. We must not stop questioning those in power. Most importantly, we must never stop questioning our selves: we must ask, 'on whose withering body does my status rest? When have I sacrificed a human being to attain a thing, either material or conceptual?' We have killed. Our silence is killing right now, and it must be stopped.

  • Saudi-led coalition bombs Yemen wedding with US weapons, killing 131 civilians
  • Mental health in Gaza: a subterranean malaise
    • It is sad and ironic how much media attention (though not necessarily material resources) goes toward a few thousand U.S. Soldiers who have acquired PTSD after volunteering to kill people abroad, while their hundreds of thousands - or millions - of victims receive no help, let alone recognition. When our government and its allies - Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Europe - destroy scores of families, violence and insanity are totally predictable. It is not a stretch to say that whole generations probably suffer from war related mental health issues in Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine. This severe trauma is one explanation for the radicalization occurring in in Iraq and Syria (AKA ISIS. The other explanation, is that we dismantled the Iraqi state and its institutions, etc.)

  • Remi Kanazi will be a poet for as long as the western media is on coffee break
  • Syrian and Palestinian refugees can be helped by better representation on TV and in film
  • The Obama administration needs to own up to the quagmire in Syria
  • Spanish Jews resisted oppression in tunnels and, exiled, clutched their keys
    • Spring Renouncer May 2, 2015 at 5:26 pm

      Thanks for this subtle and touching piece Max.

      By the way, did I see you shopping at the Union Square Wholefoods on Thursday? I wanted a selfie, but I wasn't sure it was you ;)

  • How two Palestinian Americans plan to PIVOT the world
    • Oh my, I'm sorry. I posted a somewhat extraneous comment above before actually reading the report. I have read it now, and I must applaud this passionate couple for working towards creating this emotionally and intellectually valuable tool.

      Also they are both so attractive. I just attended a 9 hour organizing workshop for (fossil fuel divestment) activists, and am almost collapsing with exhaustion; if only a few of us were that good-looking the whole enterprise would seem less dreary!

    • Here is an article about an amazing new development concerning Obama's rapidly changing "Mideast" policy:

      Boeing is selling Iran the first aviation parts since the Iranian revolution. We of course all know that though nominally independent, Boeing is contained, subsidized, funded and controlled by the US government. SO, does this foreshadow a successful nuclear deal with Iran? Or indicate the possibility of a more comprehensive thaw with Iran? Is it also a snub to meddling Saudis and Israelis?

      Either way, this is BIG, under-reported news.

  • 'Large group' of indigenous Indians are cleared to immigrate to Israel and convert to Judaism
    • I am an Indian-origin American, and am aghast at this whole situation. How can Israel deny Palestinians being butchered in Syria the right to return, while letting in others to steal Palestinian lands?

      That being said, encouraging Indians to replace Palestinians is no more racist than encouraging European Jews to do the same - one migration may seem more 'authentically' Zionist, but both examples are equivalent.

      I deplore the Modi government, and see the wide-ranging support for him among American Hindus (they make me want to reconsider identifying with the term) as indicative of a fascist insecurity that is very similar to that of certain American Jews who defend all acts of Israel. In both cases the immigrant groups feel a real or perceived loss of the "homeland", and feel the need for a repressive, violent, and "virile" homeland to make up for this anxiety. This insecurity is not confined to the first generation, but passed down to children who have even less material connections to the "homeland" than their parents do. These individuals enjoy the pleasure of being liberal in the US, while not having to deal with the regressive consequences their actions have for those residing in the "homeland".

      Hindu Americans are the richest ethnic/religious group in the US, but many in my community - mostly middle class, upper-caste, males - believe, and indoctrinate their children into believing that the "Hindu people" are under existential threat from Muslims (of course the opposite is true in the Indian context). This engenders in them a feeling of victimization and perpetuates the violent insecurity I talked about before. Many Hindus then go on to donate to thinly veiled regressive "education" causes in India.

      Those that are Indian citizens, use their big salaries to donate the maximum amount allowed by law - which is actually not very much in Dollar terms, considering Indian campaign laws are designed for contributions in a country 30 times poorer than the US - thus the money of insecure software workers in the US distorts the entire Indian political system, giving the BJP enormous amounts of money to win elections. The BJP meanwhile refuses to release statistics concerning the origin of their money, while accusing other parties of accruing foreign funds.

      Essentially, Hindu Indians in the United States have simultaneously developed a sense of racist superiority and a sense of insecurity. They feel superior to the poorer Muslims, Latinos and blacks - dissociating themselves from other people of color in a way scarily reminiscent of the "honorary whites" of South Africa - in order to kiss up to the white power structure. Meanwhile they carry a clawing insecurity, that is compelling them to aggressively affect national and international discussions over India, Hinduism, Islam and Israel.

      All of the above being said, 'just' is wrong in saying that the case of the indigenous Indian Jews moving to Israel has anything to do with Modi (directly). Modi is part of the insane Hindu nationalist RSS organization, and is thus too cocky (and cooky) to ever approve of the conversion of any community of Indians to a non-Hindu religion. Also, the process of converting and settling this specific community began more than a decade before Modi came into power: it is simply culminating now.

      Of course Modi's position on Israel is very problematic, though. The Government of India is speeding up an FTA with Israel, which will probably contribute to the disenfranchisement Palestinians living in the West Bank. Furthermore, there have been indications that Modi will do away with India's long standing symbolic pro-Palestinian diplomatic position, which would be very troubling. I hope that India's relatively warm relations with Iran will preclude such an extreme development, though. India has also become Israels biggest client of arms, and is set to buy even more Israeli weapons under Modi, giving Israel's arms industry and government extra money and prestige they do not deserve.

  • Netanyahu claims to know 'details' of Iran deal -- and State Dep't mocks him
  • US and Israel divorce rumors over Iran
  • My fellow Muslim-Americans, in the wake of Chapel Hill we can’t stop speaking out - even if our voices shake
    • Why is this act not being labelled terrorism, as it should? Where are the huge marches of solidarity, the flood of foreign dignitaries, the air of resentment against the supposedly "guilty class"? Of course how could this be terrorism, who would the US bomb in this case?

  • B'Tselem video: Israeli soldiers blindfold and detain 11 year old disabled child
  • (Updated) In Photos: Worldwide protest against Israeli attack on Gaza
  • Israel's actions 'unjustified' in eyes of women, non-whites, Dems, indy's, and those under 50 -- Gallup
    • Spring Renouncer July 25, 2014 at 3:32 pm

      Yep, higher education is a real waste. The elite simply learn to justify the unjustifiable, to suppress the cognitive dissonance that erupts from the moral contradictions of their privileged lives.

  • On ‘Death to Arabs’ in Jerusalem & Tel Aviv
    • It must be terrifying to be a Palestinian in such a hostile environment. Terrible. First you must work below the Israelis, subject to their government and wealth, forced into subordinate jobs (like driving a cab) and then you must fear for your life. The only redeeming part of the video is the left-wing Israelis who try to confront the little fascist thugs who are mostly teenagers. Which parents could condone this, which society?.

  • Each one is a world
  • Federal official fires gun at pro-Palestine demonstrators following scuffle in LA
  • Jewish activists light children's dolls on fire at Yad Vashem to protest Gaza attack
    • OMG my prior comment should be disregarded or deleted. I saw the picture and did not read the rest of the article, and so I assumed that this was some sort of far-right act mocking the death of Gazans. But it was in fact a protest against the bombardment. So sorry for my mistake, and bravo activists.

    • It is strange that when Natali Cohen Vaxberg preformed her enlightening piece at the same place she needed a body guard, and was instantly vilified by various mainstream media outlets. The extremists on the other hand, committed this atrocious symbolic act unimpeded, and have not yet been reported on by any major paper.

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