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  • 'Netanyahu destroyed hope' -- Erekat
    • More good news:
      Yesterday November 7th was the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinians. Young people gathered at 6 pm in many towns and villages on the WB to chant "Mawtini" (My Homeland) I'd say sort of in defiance of the Palestinian Authority since the official anthem as dictated by the PLO since 1996 has been warrior-like anthem named "Fida'i" that sang the glory of the fighters of the fedayeen resistance.

      Mawtini was on the soft idealistic and romantic side about Palestinians aspiring for independence written in 1934 by Palestinian poet Ibrahim Tuqan. Yes , there were Palestinians around in 1934 aspiring for a state of their own and Mawtini became the de facto national anthem of Palestine until the PLO changed things.

      Yesterday's chanting of "Mawtini" instead of the PLO's "Fida'i was a turning point for Palestinians.

      Sadly in 2004 in Iraq under the American occupation, American Governor Paul Bremer decided all on his own that "Mawtini" would henceforth be the national anthem of Iraq, eliminating the current anthem "Ard Alforatain" that had been in use since 1961. Maybe the Palestinians are now claiming it back.

      Mawtini with English subtitles:

    • Donald, the outfit that did the hatchet job on Tarazi-Buto was the conservative London think tank "Adam Smith Institute" through one of its subs the "Negotiations Support Unit" (NSU) that funded the PA and that "helped" them out in their negotiations. The monies to the effort were actually paid by the British Government and funneled to the PA via the NSU of the Adam Smith Institute.

      Abbas disbanded the negotiations unit when it was discovered that 3 of its employees had leaked the 1600 documents to Al-Jazeera. Excerpt from the same article in which Khaled Amayreh wrote:

      "... The NSU is funded and effectively controlled by the Adam Smith Institute (ASI), a think-tank based in London which is vulnerable to pressure from pro- Israeli circles. For example, two years ago, the ASI forced the NSU to fire two highly-qualified Palestinian-American lawyers, Michael Tarazi and Diana Butto, for going too far in defending Palestinian rights, especially during TV debates with Israeli spokesmen. According to inside sources, one of the persons who pushed for firing the two Palestinian-American lawyers is Glenn Robinson, the author or co-author of the controversial RAND project "The Arc: A Formal Structure for a Palestinian State". Eventually, Tarazi and Butto were accused by pro-Israeli lobbyists, including some British MPs, of hindering the development of the Palestinian Ministry of Information and of not ensuring sufficient coordination with the PLO. Of course, these accusations were merely red herrings...."

      For the full story, go to the Adam Smith Institute and from there in the article to the section "Palestinian Negotiating Unit" halfway down in the article.

    • "Until big-money (corporate and personal) is removed from politics, we all (the world all) loses everything to corporate power" (Pabelmont)

      Compare between the US and Canada electoral financing laws in how much a political candidate is allowed to receive in direct and indirect contributions and how he is limited in the amount he is allowed to spend on his campaign. Very hard to buy a rep in Canada with the low limits.

    • Quick question for Palestine watchers: which has resigned or threatened to resign and backtracked the most often, Erekat or Abbas?

      When they fired the dynamic PR team of Michael Tarazzi and Diana Buto at the request of the Zionists it showed them up. The very fluent duo (he an American and she a Canadian) were constantly on American TV delivering the Palestinian message very efficiently for a change and giving a completely different and positive picture of Palestinians from the one that had been propagated by the Zionists, which cost them their jobs.

    • "Please Mr. Erekat go, with Abbas and families, to Paris, London and enjoy the luxury you have earned with your partnership with Zionism." (peeesss)

      My gut feeling is telling me when the time for the greener pastures arrive, it will be somewhere in Connecticut.

    • Netanyahu wasn't alone in destroying hope, he had help from the inside. The only negotiations of note reported on the Palestinian side were those in which Erekat and his team made one concession after another. The Jazeera-leaked Palestine Papers 5 years ago showed the extent of what the Palestinian negotiators had given away. Erekat says one thing like in this BBC interview but his actions go in the opposite direction

      According to Jazzera, the documents contain frank admissions in which Tzipi Livni says:

      “Israel takes more land [so] that the Palestinian state will be impossible . . . the Israel policy is to take more and more land day after day and that at the end of the day we’ll say that is impossible, we already have the land and we cannot create the state”. She conceded that it had been the policy of the government for a really long time.

      The Jazeera article went on to say:

      "Saeb Erekat, an old-time Fatah operative, is in trouble because he is revealed to have offered the Israelis much of East Jerusalem. He is also said to have been convinced by the Israelis that the future Palestinian state would not have an army, air force or navy (i.e. it would lack sovereignty over its own territory and would only be an ersatz state). Even then, the Israelis kept demanding more and more."

      From other Jazeera leaked papers, Erekat, he reportedly accepted to have a token number of returnees to Israel, some absurd number like 5,000 (from a pool of over 5 million refugees.) and that it would be spread over a period of several years.

      At just about the time of the release of the Jazeera Papers, that caused him to resign for 20 minutes before returning to his job. Erekat and 6 other Palestinian leaders made an ad for Israeli TV for a campaign called "Partners to Peace)". Here's Erekat's contribution in which he apologizes to Israel for the Palestinians' failure to conclude a peace deal:

  • Video: Two prominent Israelis envision replacing Dome of the Rock with Jewish temple
    • "Bra burning was a bad thing?" (Kris)

      Of course not, Kris. I sarcastically used the term for its 60s symbolism of women's rights to describe my impression of this religious movement that I had never heard of until it was mentioned here and read about. A more up-to-date symbolism I should have perhaps used was the Femen (topless) movement that in early September disrupted a controversial conference near Paris on the role of Muslim women. It doesn't bother me if Moslem men and women pray together in the same room. I took off on a tangent with this sect about having covered Christian objects in a Christian church that had graciously let them use the church, that's all.

    • “but they (the wives) continued being referred to by the people as “Jews” and “Christians” 15th Factually incorrect statement

      That should have been error number 16, Zaid, number 15 is already given out. The story about the horns on the horse was in jest; Mooser corrected me by saying that these were "palmate antlers" that act as stabilizers in thin high altitude air. Check out the link that Mooser posted of the flying horse and you'll see what this is all about. Relax an stop taking this discussion so seriously.

      Wife Rayhana, number 8 may or may not have been one of the official wives. After a monogamous 25-year life with wife number 1 and she died, the prophet had a series of about 20 wives, concubines and slaves, some of which were married to him in name only but most of the official wives had been widows that he wanted to help out. Rayhana was probably floating somewhere among these groups, which may have caused the confusion. Rayhana bint Zaid ibn Amar was a captured Jewish slave of the Banu Qurayza Jewish tribe that the Prophet defeated in battle. Wiki sums up opinions on her by Ibn Ishaq, al-Tabari and Ibn Saad via European writers as follows:

      "Her (Rayhana) first husband was one of the 600-900 Qurayza men whom Muhammad beheaded in April 627. He enslaved all the women and selected Rayhana for himself because she was the most beautiful. When she refused to marry him, he kept her as a concubine instead. "

      As to the adoption story that I didn't really want to get into, back then there was a religious law that prevented a man from marrying his daughter-in-law, even if she became divorced from his son, which in this story happened to involve an actually adopted son. A new celestial revelation to the father-in-law told him to abolish adoption , which he did, and made it retroactive thereby annulling his adoption of the son. Thereafter, the adopted son was no longer a son of any kind by virtue of the retro-law and his wife was free to marry her former father-in-law and the 3 went forward with a good relationship. The adopted son's name was Zaid and the infatuating wife was Zeinab bint Jahsh that became wife number 7. And that's how adoption became a no-no.

      This discussion bound to take a bad turn which none of us want, so we should end it.

    • "Islam indeed is iconoclastic" (W Jones)

      Not all od Islam, W Jones, but only a minority. The West became aware of them with the Bamyan Buddhas and did nothing about them. They went on to destroy artifacts in Iraq and now in Syria. But they have also been working in the shadows for decades. In fact Wahhabi fundamentalists for years have been into the destroying of vestiges of ancient of Moslem centuries like the house where the prophet lived, his companions; homes tombs in Saudia and so on al on the premise it's to prevent the faithful from turning these places into objects of adoration

    • "And then you go on to slam them some more." (Mooser)

      You're not a closet Mooooselim, are you?

    • "This whole marriage business is confusing and divisive. " (Keith)

      If you think marriage is a lot of brouhaha, you should take a peek at Moslem inheritance laws that have different rules for Sunni and Shia, especially concerning female members of the family. Shia females get their full share but Sunni get half of what males get.

    • "What ‘fanatical’ things do they do? " (Mooser)

      From the Wiki description describing that it started as a women's movement frustrated in not having segregated women's section in UK mosques so they started a movement to have men and women pray together in their own mosques. They remind me of bra-burners from a while back.

    • "It is better not to take offense when none is intended. -" (Kris)

      Looks like I get easily offended. I'm also enjoying this discussion, it's a refreshing break from talking about bad Zionists. From your description of the simplicity you liked about mosques, you'd probably like getting more familiar with the Baha'i concept. Their temples are also very bare; they are nine sided or have nine doors, one for each of the world's more important religions. People of different faiths enter through their specific religion's door and everybody meets at the center as one people under a dome that has only one inscription in Arabic "Allah". All their temples have beautifully kept gardens.

      Those "Initiative" people are not at all welcoming of other faiths since they cannot accept the trappings of the Christian church that had let them use the church, a gracious act and acceptance of the "other" which was way much more into interfaith than the Initiative pretenders.

      About Moslems not accepting any images or statues, this is borrowed from the Jews in compliance to God' first commandment. As to mosques being bare, this is true but in some of the larger ones the cash value of the carpeting and the giant chandeliers could feed thousands for many years.

    • "... was for forty years a reluctant acolyte and student (bastard beat me three games of chess night before he died, in front of my wife) of Dr. M.A.Z Badawi, amongst others, he was the senior Sunni in Europe for 20 odd years, ..." (gamal)

      gamal, there is no doubt about you being a very learned Moslem. What's your opinion on the child adoption issue?

    • "A Mosque is usually pretty austere." (Mooser)

      Maybe little local ones, but some the newer mega-mosques in European cities, like Rome and Moscow, Strasbourg and so on could put some of the Vegas structures to shame. The planned Barcelona multi-purpose religious center in the Plaza de Torros that can hold 25,000 is going to be very special. There's an ongoing race involving Saudia, Qatar and the UAE as which can build the biggest and most expensive mosque in Europe. Saudia is reported to have earmarked a huge sum for Berlin because of the sudden influx of refugees needing a place to pray. They wonder why...

    • "And then you go on to slam them some more."(Mooser)

      Cant hide anything from you, Mooser, can I? Like mostly all religious fanatics, their intentions are honourable; it's their actions that are not justifiable. The road to hell... and all that jazz.

    • "Walid you dont come across as having given this much thought, other than to express an opinion, anyway I don’t know. Read some stuff. " (gamal)

      Gamal, where do you think I come out with this stuff, from a vivid imagination? I don't read "stuff" but I do read history. My faith is not that strong to make me accept anything and everything told to me about religion. The 3 Abrahamic religions are based on myth and folklore.

    • "As to the wives I guess Ibn al-Kathir would agree with Zaid. link to -" (gamal)

      Not really, gamal, your man Ibn al-Kathir clearly spells out that the prophet's wife Safiyya was Jewish. He also talks about "Maria the Coptic". He fails to discuss his other Jewish wife, Rayhana. It goes without saying that these women converted to Islam, but they continued being referred to by the people as "Jews" and "Christians. You are telling me to check out a link that you obviously did not read yourself.

    • "Is there some reason to think that these worshipers intended to offend their hosts? " (Kris)

      I'm sure that this was not their intent. It was most likely their feeble attempt at creating some form of interfaith mood in the church by covering up symbols of a specific religion. But holding a solely Moslem prayer session is in itself contrary to their vocation of creating interfaith harmony, somewhat of a Baha'i concept of all religions meeting as one. What these Moslem innovators are doing is faux drama, and a bit on the circus side.

    • Segregation at places of prayers is not exclusive to Moslems with their special section for women. Until not too long ago, Christian men sat on one side of aisle in Church while the women sat together on the other side. Some Christian churches even had a screen mesh running down the middle aisle separating the male side of the church from the female one to prevent one side from seeing the other. The Coptic Orthodox Church still has separate sections for men and women.

    • "As a Christian, I don’t understand why anyone would care if Christian images were covered up during a Muslim service. " (Kris)

      The church people were kind to let them use the church. Covering the Christians' religious symbols are signs of disrespect and ingratitude. The Inclusive Mosque Initiative was initiated about 4 years ago by a couple of London Moslem ladies frustrated at the lack of special female sections in UK mosques. They are into mixed prayers in mosques and strive at creating interfaith harmony among all religions.

      Covering the Christians' religious statues and pictures in the Christians' own church is absurd and very far from the interfaith mumbo-jumbo they are preaching. They should have held their prayer session at a gas station.

    • "Are you expecting a new era of Muslim-Jewish peace and understanding based on this? (Mooser)

      Of course not, we're simply discussing historical fact and fiction.

    • "... Walid its all bit simplistic and you are burdening Muhammad with later and not really Muslim concerns. ..." (gamal)

      What are these concerns, gamal, that we keep believing that religion of Jews and Christians have absolutely nothing to do with the forming of the prophet's new religion?

      In one Hadith, it was described how God had instructed the prophet that Moslems pray 50 times each day and how it was Moses that coached him in negotiating the number down to 5 daily prayers. In another it was described how the prophet discovered the fasting of Jews for Yom Kippur and instituted a like fasting and celebration with a slight twist that became Ashura. Which of the Ahadith are authentic and which are not? What is your opinion on the 14th factually incorrect statement that involves adoption?

    • "“when it was designated as the place from which the prophet ascended on his winged… horse? (Mooser)

      Those horns on the horses look like bumpers.

    • "with plenty of images of Jesus and the Virgin Mary and these were covered for the duration of the Muslim event " (MHughes)

      The church people had reason to be upset; I would have thrown those Moslems out the minute they mentioned anything about covering Christian images and so on. Some Moslems are ignorant to the point of believing that Christians actually adore the statues and images rather than what they represent. Just so Zaid doesn't feel targeted about wrongful adorations, Christians went through their own iconoclastic controversy in the 8th and 9th centuries. The Feast of Orthodoxy symbolizing the restoration of icons is still celebrated during Lent.

    • "I am not religious" (Zaid)

      You could have fooled me. Try Google, it's very simple.

    • Aren't Moslems welcomed in churches and synagogues as long as they behave themselves and don't try to take over the place? For Moslems, Christians and Jews are "People of the Book" deserving a better treatment than others. Too bad the feeling is not reciprocal. Moslem men can marry Christian or Jewish women without their need to convert to Islam and they can continue practicing their religion but this favour is not granted to Moslem women as they are not allowed to marry a Christian or a Jew unless they first convert to Islam. Orthodox Christian men and women cannot marry outside their faith unless the others first convert. Roman Catholics are more lax on this issue. I think Jews also require conversion to Judaism.

    • "It’s not a bad idea to have some Jewish place of worship on the Temple Mount. " (Max)

      Not at all a bad idea. But with the Zionists in control, you give them an inch and they will want a foot, so it becomes a bad idea. The Zionists want it for their colonizing enterprise, not because it's Judaism's most holy site.

    • "Sixth factually incorrect statement..." (Zaid)

      Zaid, no need to get into insulting those that you don't agree with. It's obvious that you know little about Islam's early history, especially in regards to the Jews and most probably unaware that the prophet (PBUH) had 1 Coptic Christian and 2 Jewish wives.

      For a while, Moslems celebrated some of the Jews' religious holidays with them, prayed twice a day like them and faced Jerusalem to pray like them. They also celebrated Yom Kippur for the Jews' deliverance from Egypt, for contemplation and atonement and fasted on Asor, which was the 10th day of the 7th month that in Arabic is known as Ashura, both Hebrew and Arabic words meaning the 10th. You're probably saying to yourself that I don't know that Ashura is a Shia commemoration of the death of Imam Hussein at Kerbala, this year falling 6 days ago last Saturday; Hussein was killed on the 10th of Muharram, which happened to be the day of Ashura already commanded to be celebrated and is still commanded by the Quran. Some Sunni still celebrate the initial Jewish-like Ashura, especially in Pakistan.

      It's only after about 16 years when the prophet realized that the Jews would never accept him as their prophet that he started putting a distance between Islam and the Jews. The Ashura fasting was turned into a full month of fasting (Ramadan), daily prayers were hiked up to 5 times and the qiblah direction was shifted from Jerusalem, where the Abraham rock or stone was located to another stone of the more celestial kind in Mecca . There is an annex to the al-Aqsa mosque for women on the Western Wall.

      BTW, did you know that your namesake "Zaid" has a historic sense in Islam in regards to why it is forbidden for Moslems to adopt a child? History tends to separate fact from folklore. Don't be offended, I'm like this with all religions.

    • Putting up a flag on the Dome of the Rock is pure Zionist BS and sick Israeli propaganda, but the Jewish claim for some rights to the site containing the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque, 2 separate structures is not totally without foundation.. The "rock" place was initially Jewish until taken over by the Moslems around the 7th century when it was designated as the place from which the prophet ascended on his winged horse for an evening to heaven. Until then, the rock over which the Moslem shrine was built was believed by Jews (and subsequently by Moslems) to be rock which was the altar on which Abraham intended to offer his sacrifice. It is therefore sacred to both religions; it was after all the direction to which Moslems tuned to for their twice-daily prayers during the new religion's first 16 years or so before being instructed to shift direction to Mecca.

      As to Jewish access to the Mosque, once the occupation ends, it should be allowed provided the Jews take off their shoes and conduct their prayers silently without disrupting or disturbing others, perhaps in a designated section such as the one for women.

  • Goldberg says the root of the conflict is the Palestinians' anti-Jewish 'narrative'
    • "I mean, what else could it be?" (Mooser)

      Mooser, maybe it's inspired by the fantastic maple syrup that's produced there.

    • "Clearly you have never partied with an Atlantic Canadian." (OG)

      I'll second that from firsthand experience. They are easy- going and fun. RoHa probably encountered some rednecks from the west to have such an opinion.

    • "The Canadian national symbol is a leaf." (RoHa)

      RoHa, the Canadian national symbol or official emblem is the beaver; it goes back to the Hudson's Bay Company that was set up in 1670 to trade in beaver pelts.

      The leaf that intrigued you on the flag is that of the maple, one of Canada's predominant hardwood trees. In 1965 after 34 years of objections by diehard British loyalists, the maple leaf flag finally replaced the Union Jack. Canada had been independent of the UK since 1931 with the Statute of Westminster same as were Australia, South Africa, Newfoundland and a few other countries.

      But in 2015, 84 years after Westminster the colonial Union Jack still forms part of the Australian flag, not the kangaroo.

  • PLO: Abbas to head new Palestinian government, weighs national unity with Hamas
    • Article in Ma'an yesterday is saying that Fatah is upset with Hamas' direct negotiations with Israel which could only serve to destroy any chances of a united Palestinian state.

      "... Both Hamas and the Islamic Jihad group condemned the unilateral dissolution of the government, saying they had not been consulted over the decision."

      Chances of seeing a unity government are close to nil.

      From Ma'an:

      "Fatah says Hamas threatening national aspirations
      June 20, 2015 5:36 P.M. (Updated: June 21, 2015 2:15 P.M.) "

    • "Dr. Barghouti said he favors scrapping the national consensus government and formally establishing a unity government with Hamas as a partner. " (Allison)

      Dr. Barghouti is the sanest and cleanest one of that useless group but nobody buys into his vision. If they go ahead and scrap the national consensus government, it would be simply to sideline Hamas from any acceptable Palestinian government, which would please Israel, the US and especially the PLO. Wasn't it at just about the same time that the bogus national consensus government was announced when the 3 Israeli settler-teens were killed and the massive June 2014 assault on Gaza and the WB begun? A unit government is probably the last thing Abbas & Co would want.

  • Tutu endorses UCC divestment: 'It is unconscionable to remain silent'
    • While the million member UCC is debating the divestment and may still come out against BDS, another UCC (United Church of Canada) with half a million members along with the Canadian Quakers has been active riders on the BDS bus since 4 years and for them it's not just a matter of shifting investment portfolios. The UCC and the Quakers are actively campaigning for BDS by issuing regular circulars to their members encouraging them to boycott Canadian department stores that carry Israeli settlement-produced products. To simply divest is not enough.

      The recently passed Canadian anti-terrorist (and zero-tolerance of boycotts of Israeli products) law C-51 takes direct aim at Canada's UCC and the 50,000-member Canadian Union of Postal Workers that's also on the BDS bus. Major clashes are anticipated between the pro-BDS groups and the government if it tries to enforce the new law.

  • New program provides 'birthright' trips for US evangelicals to visit the holy land
    • Marnie, the Hebron shops opening couldn't be much more than an Israeli PR stunt. Makes you wonder why some shops would be allowed to open and some would not. A perfect recipe to make trouble for Palestinians among themselves.

    • Ramadan Mubarak, gamal.

    • "Ya’juj and Ma’juj, as in 21:96, are from Al-kahf, " (gamal)

      You're right, gamal, my mind went off into the wrong direction with majouj or majouz as I was writing it and compounded the error by doing worse to Ya'jouj. You're right also that the story is on the wild side.

      Thanks for the correction.

    • Hi ckg, lots of useless information but a good exercise to keep the mind sharp.

    • "a trip to Armageddon. I passed by the valley on my way to Nazareth and saw the rows of church tourist busses taking it all in where it’s all going down." (ckg)

      About Armageddon, there's a misconception about it that refuses to go away. It's the not the actual place where it's all going down but simply the location where the forces of good and evil would be massing for the big battle. The actual location where the big boom is supposed to happen is in the Valley of Kidron, just outside of Jerusalem, which is about 60 miles south of there. Armageddon is only mentioned once in the Bible but the story is pieced together from various prophecies in the Old Testament in Chronicles, Joel, Daniel, Zechariah, Amos and so on that in a nutshell puts the location of the big battle at Kidron Valley outside of Jerusalem. The story goes on to say that the battle will happen only when the forces of good will pass by Bethany to pick up the returned Jesus that is to lead them against the forces of the antichrist. Oddly, Moslems are also into this story of Jouz and Majouz (Gog and Magog)

      Maybe Kidron is not on the tour because that's where hundreds of tons of raw sewage are dumped in the valley's river by Israel, the settlements and the Palestinian towns.

  • Netanyahu likens BDS to Nazi Germany
    • "You really have to be some kind of psychopathic personality to put out something like this and ask for people to take it seriously, and to do it the day after you’ve exonerated your military for the brutal killing of children. That’s vile." (abc)

      Would you expect anything less from these people knowing how at one time Rabin gave truncheons to the IDF soldiers and ordered them to break the bones of children? Wiki mentions:

      "... In an article in the London Review of Books, John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt asserted that IDF soldiers were given truncheons and encouraged to break the bones of Palestinian protesters. The Swedish branch of Save the Children estimated that "23,600 to 29,900 children required medical treatment for their beating injuries in the first two years of the Intifada", one third of whom were children under the age of ten years old."

      Australian TV documentary on Israel dealing with Palestinian children:

  • After a hard week in the news, Israeli gets valentines all weekend from NPR
    • "Oh please spare us, the SAME exact claims were made during the Lebanon war of 2006, that Hezbollah were using civilians for human shields." (diaspora)

      Hizbullah fighters were actually fighting from within residential areas, but what the lame-brained Zios could never understand was that these fighters were doing the fighting to defend their homes. One of the findings on the resons behind Israel's failure to occupy south Lebanon in 2006 was that Hizbullah fighters were assigned to protect their respective villages in contrast to young Israeli soldiers having been thrown in to fight in a foreign country for a cause they didn't believe in. This was made clearly evident in the battle of Bint Jbail that was so obliterated by the shelling they started comparing it to Stalingrad. Yet, the Israel army of thousands could not take what was left of the city because the Hizbullah fighters there were citizens of Bint Jbail that were fighting for their homes and they knew every nook and cranny of the city. The same scenario was repeated in all the other villages that the IDF tried to enter and they failed at every opportunity. You could say the same of Hamas fighters in Gaza that have nowhere to hide. Saying that Hizbullah and Hamas use human shields is just making excuses for Israel's failures.

    • jon s, the land on which you are living may not be stolen but as with the rest of every Israeli irrespective of where they are living, you are assuredly living off the stolen fruit of the land. Over half of the water you are consuming is stolen and this cannot be denied.

    • "A nice, hot Reuben on rye beats pastrami any day. Come and get it! " (JLD)

      Doesn't take much to beat a fatty pastrami, JLD, ever try a hand-sliced Montreal-style smoked meat sandwich on rye?

  • BDS could cost Israel $4.7 billion a year
    • Kay, the Louvre and Sainte-Chapelle people are saying they get an average of 400 daily requests for group reservations with most days and specific visiting hours busier than others. Nothing was preventing the 12 students and their teacher from entering both sites individually by waiting 45 minutes in line like everybody else. The groupie reservation requests must have been to get in at a cheaper admission price if not altogether free as for EU students.

    • Kay, the Liberation article mentions something about time-slot approvals requests for tours being automated and a couple of other reasons why the TA student group request was rejected. Apparently demand for time slots for groups exceed the museum's availability. The group's teacher then filed a time-slot request using false names such as Abu Dhabi and the affirmative reply came back from the Museum within a few hours or a few minutes.

      Israelis using the phony Abu Dhabi name is actually dirty pool being played in light of Abu Dhabi having paid The Louvre $550 million for the rights to open a Louvre branch in Abu Dhabi and has spent another $750 million building the museum scheduled to open this year. So it was only natural that the Louvre would grant approval to Abu Dhabi students within 15 minutes of the phony requests.

      I think it's a minor problem since the 12 students were not refused access to the Museum or the chapel but simply refused the groupie-desired "time slots" and the Zionists as usual, jumped on the occasion to milk the story for whatever they could get out of it. The museum gets about 10 million visitors/year and I don't think they can be bothered to refuse entry to 12 arts students from TA.

      In the end, Israel will get egg all over its face from this story.

  • The 'Forward''s apprehension about sending a reporter to Gaza -- a further response
    • "Well, color me embarrassed. I’m sorry. Don’t trust what I say about certain topics where my knowledge is only as deep as the headlines. I saw the movie with Angelina Jolie and I thought that if such a serious accusation had been made by credible people it would have reached the headlines, but apparently not." (Yonah)

      Nothing to be embarrassed about, Yonah, lots of Jews got their history by way of MGM and de Mille oldies. I do it myself all the time; must have seen the Ten Commandments at least 20 times. Samson and Delilah was another great historical movie. So what if Angelina Jolie's movie said nothing about Pearl being a spy; even if the allegation was proved true, do you really think she'd say anything so detrimental about Israel?

      I didn't see the movie, but I'm guessing it's about Pearl the "martyr" so why would anything related to spying real or fabricated be included in this movie?

    • Jon s, the only thing I implied was that based on Israel's history of spying on everyone on this planet including its main benefactor the USA, there was a good probability that Pearl was a spy. I also mentioned that it was not proven that he was. And I don't believe anyone deserves to be cut up into 10 pieces, not even Zionists. BTW, Guantanamo confessions obtained under torture are meaningless.

    • "... Daniel Pearl. He, too, was a Jewish-American journalist"

      The journalist was more than simply Jewish-American, he was an Israeli-American, his 2 sisters are Israeli, his father and mother are Israeli with one of them having served in the IDF. It's claimed that Pearl was a spy for Israel although never proved. Based on the history of Israeli spying and false flags, there's a good probability that Pearl was a spy. How is it that Dan Cohen can walk freely and safely in Gaza?

  • Divestment with a bite
    • MHughes, Pius it now seems according to various Jewish publications actually saved over 200,000 Jews from Hitler.

      But this is not good enough for Abe Foxman and the Zionists that continue blocking his canonization by the Vatican. Foxman the man behind the blocking of the canonization since 2005 is claiming that many of those Jews were saved by Pius by having converted them to Catholicism (exactly as what had happened to Foxman himself during the war to save him from the Nazis) and he wants the Vatican to come clean and provide the names of all the Jews that had been converted to make them aware that they are actually Jews. In short, no list means no canonization of Pius and the Vatican is shaking in its pants at the prospect of being branded antisemitic by the Jews.

      From the ADL website in 2005:

      "ADL to Vatican: Open Baptismal Records and Put Pius Beatification on Hold

      January 13, 2005

      The recent disclosure of a Vatican directive, urging Catholic officials in France not to return Jewish children who were baptized and hidden during the Holocaust to their families, has raised anew questions about the appropriateness of the beatification of Pope Pius XII. ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman, a Holocaust survivor who was baptized by his Polish nanny and hidden in Lithuania, has said that the document's insensitivity toward Jews in the aftermath of the Holocaust is shocking.

      In a letter to Vatican officials in charge of Jewish-Christian relations, Mr. Foxman called on the Vatican to freeze the beatification process until the Holy See opens its archives and makes available all documentation on Pius' actions during the war. Beatification is the penultimate step before sainthood.

      The Vatican directive on hidden children evoked painful memories for Mr. Foxman, who as a child was hidden from the Nazis by his Catholic nursemaid as his parents were exiled into Jewish ghettos and concentration camps. At the end of the war, when Mr. Foxman's parents came to reclaim their only child, his nanny refused, prompting a drawn out custody dispute. The Vatican directive sheds new light on the woman's actions, Mr. Foxman said in a letter to The New York Times.

      In addition, ADL wrote to the Vatican Secretary of State to call once again for the release of wartime baptismal records. "There may have been tens of thousands of rescued and baptized Jewish children who to this day are not aware of their true origins," Mr. Foxman said. "

    • "Does this mean Christian churches in America are dependent on the government of Israel?! That would be amazing control! " (JWalters)

      Not the churches of America as much as the churches of Palestine that are under a more recent form of Babylonian captivity. Ellis touched lightly on this issue when he mentioned that Israel controls everything that the Palestinian churches do, almost to the point of controlling the air they breathe. This is in return for Israel allowing Christian churches operating in Occupied Palestine and Israel a very minimal and limited degree of autonomy, especially to the Greek Orthodox Church, which is the largest in the land and which owns the majority of land currently under the control of Israel. In fact, Israel has a say, along with Jordan and the Palestinian National Authority, on who gets elected as Greek Orthodox Patriarch. The Greek Orthodox Church, that's actually controlled by Greece rather than by Palestinians, is the landlord holding the current leases with the Government of Israel on the land on which the Knesset is built, the Museum, the Prime Minister's residence and most of Jerusalem's developed downtown and all these leases are set to expire with all properties built on them becoming property of the Church in about 15 or 20 years. This involves billions that Israel is trying to negotiate their lease renewals with the church leaders in Greece and a much more important investment/divestment issue than the few millions currently invested in Israel by the various American churches.

    • For ever the lout, Netanyahu gave his father's book to Pope Francis in December 2013. As soon as Francis was elected, stories about his questionable past as Archbishop of Buenos Aires and earlier began to appear. It involved stories of turning a blind eye to the junta's persecution of priests to mysteriously disappeared babies born to incarcerated Argentinian women. But just as fast as they had appeared, those stories disappeared from the news. The stories were briefly touched on by the BBC:

      "... It has all been perceived as a breath of fresh air. The stuffy papacy, which resembled a mediaeval monarchy, some say, is now gone.

      But lurking beneath the surface are pressing concerns that threaten to dog Jorge Mario Bergoglio from his time as Jesuit superior and cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church in Argentina.

      Within 24 hours of the white smoke from the Sistine Chapel, allegations emerged that he withdrew protection from two of his fellow Jesuits during the early years of the brutal military dictatorship of 1976 to 1983, which resulted in their captivity and torture.

      The Vatican acted swiftly to deny the claims. The remaining surviving priest, Fr Francisco Jalics, issued an initial statement saying he was "reconciled with these events". The words appeared ambiguous. Might he be saying he was betrayed but has now forgiven the Pope for his betrayal?

      A week later, a more robust statement was issued from his secluded monastery in southern Germany, saying that it was "wrong to assert that our capture took place at the initiative of Father Bergoglio". Any suggestion of a smoking gun appeared to have been extinguished.

      But can Bergoglio's efforts to be a witness for justice during the dark days of the military regime compare with those of Oscar Romero, the archbishop from El Salvador, whose uncompromising criticism of government death squads and oppression of the poor led to him being assassinated in 1980 as he celebrated Mass?

      "Bergoglio was not a Romero. Very few people were like that," says Ivan Petrella, religious affairs commentator at think tank Fundacion Pensar in his Buenos Aires office.

      But if Romero scored 10 on a 10-point scale for his courageous stand, how had the current Pope fared? "I´d say 7.5," says Petrella. "Allegations against him have no basis in evidence."

      But there is another story that demands answers - the supremely toxic affair of "disappeared" pregnant women, who gave birth to their children while being held in detention centres. Most of the mothers were murdered and their children handed on to "deserving" couples who were well connected with the brutal military junta.

      This is very much a live political issue. A number of the children have discovered the painful truth about their past, while hundreds more still remain blissfully ignorant of their parentage. The campaigning grandmothers assert that many priests and nuns were complicit in what happened and are still at large in society. They show no sign of letting the matter rest..."

    • "Has this new populist Pope said anything about Gaza, Israel, the Palestinian plight?" (Citizen)

      You are betting on the wrong horse; inasmuch as Benedictus XVI was beholden to the Zionists, Pope Francis is now more so; he's practically a kosher-approved pope. Abe Foxman had read the riot act to Benedictus in 2010 when he was about to announce that the Catholic Church neither recognizes that Palestine was promised to the Jews nor that the Jews are the chosen people; these 2 concepts have now been set aside by the Church. The threat remained in effect throughout Benedictus' papacy to prevent the overdue canonization of Pius XII. This pope issued the 3rd repudiation of the Jews' guilt of deicide, he said Jews as a collectivity had nothing to do with it and instead pinned the blame on those rooting for the release of Barabbas. The Zionists were holding some thing against Benedictus because he was in a Nazi youth party.

      Now 2 years have gone by for Pope Francis and he hasn't gone anywhere near the Pius XII canonization story but instead has canonized 2 unknown Palestinian nuns for show. When Francis visited Israel a year ago, everyone was hopeful that he would get a concession out of Israel for its land grab of the Cremissan Monastery but not a word was mentioned about it. As a Cardinal in Buenos Aires, he was very close to the Jewish community there and on becoming Pope, the Zionists knew they had someone on their team. Abraham Foxman congratulated the new Pope and said that he was a true friend of the Jews. Bnai Brith International President Jacobs congratulated the new Pope and Shimon Peres was the first head of state to invite the new Pope to Israel.

      In short, Pope Francis is so close to the Zionists, don't expect him to make any major waves to the benefit of the Palestinians.

  • Israel failed to interview eyewitnesses to soccer boys' slaughter
    • It's very hard to get into a discussion with someone that begins his first sentence with an insult. Anyway, you can alternate between "Moslems" and "Arabs" and the end result would still be the same. The same goes for Vera whether whatever she's feeling is out of religious, racial or any other type of affiliation. You're telegraphing to Vera that she's right in feeling ashamed for something she has nothing to do with.

      Who's claiming apostasy?

    • Echinococcus, I feel anger and repulsion for what ISIS/Nusra are doing in the name of Islam, but I feel no shame whatever and I don't consider myself irresponsible.

    • Nothing wrong with your background, Vera, the problem is with what the Zionists are doing in its name. Moslems have ISIS and Nusra giving them a bad name and the Jews have the Zionists doing the same to Judaism.

  • It's the borders, stupid (forget the BDS hysteria)
    • MHughes, the bigger problems are created by the interpretations much more than by the editing. Every group adapts whatever is being read to fall in line with what is the aspired meaning of any text. I saw it with how Jerusalem was assumed as a holy Moslem city. It's not just the Jews that have wild and wooly interpretations, Moslems have a few of their own too.

  • Orange CEO flies to Jerusalem to apologize personally to Netanyahu: Israel is ‘fantastic’
    • "... Everyone knows, of course, that the Chirac sentiment is still alive somewhere, so what is called anti-Semitism can also be called ‘endemic’" (MHughes)

      You are sort of saying that Gaullism is still alive in France; maybe that's what Netanyahu was hinting at when he asked the Jews of France to move to Israel. The "Crif" Jewish lobby that carries on in France as a state within a state and that keeps everyone in a constant state of spook under threat of anti-Semitic tarring surely had something to do with Orange's change of position on Israel.

  • Untold Stories: First-ever US Nakba Museum opens in Washington DC
    • Lots of internet background chatter from various Jewish sites to this museum's opening in DC. While none of them come out and actually attack it head on, they are critical of it because it doesn't go anywhere near the BDS issue and most importantly, it's giving rise to these sites to complain about the non-representation anywhere of the 850,000 Jewish refugees supposedly expelled from Arab states. I see the museum becoming a launching pad for press coverage on the Jewish Arab refugees. These sites are stressing that the problem of the refugees is caused only by the Arab states that are refusing to naturalize the Palestinian refugees.

    • Just, you also have other museums pertaining to Afro-Americans. There's the underground train museum and Freedom Center in Cincinnati and others for the underground railway in Ontario and Nova Scotia as Canada with its long border with the US was a popular destination of escaping slaves.

      A few words about the underground railway from Wiki:

      "... Underground Railroad was a network of secret routes and safe houses used by 19th-century enslaved people of African descent in the United States in efforts to escape to free states and Canada with the aid of abolitionists and allies who were sympathetic to their cause. The term is also applied to the abolitionists, both black and white, free and enslaved, who aided the fugitives.[ Various other routes led to Mexico or overseas. An "Underground Railroad" running south toward Florida, then a Spanish possession, existed from the late 17th century until shortly after the American Revolution. However, the network now generally known as the Underground Railroad was formed in the early 19th century, and reached its height between 1850 and 1860. One estimate suggests that by 1850, 100,000 slaves had escaped via the "Railroad".

      British North America (present-day Canada), where slavery was prohibited, was a popular destination, as its long border gave many points of access. Most former slaves settled in Ontario. More than 30,000 people were said to have escaped there via the network during its 20-year peak period, although U.S. Census figures account for only 6,000. Numerous fugitives' stories are documented in the 1872 book The Underground Railroad Records by William Still, an abolitionist who then headed the Philadelphia Vigilance Committee."

      Full article

    • A great program and an imposing lineup of speakers.

    • Maybe they should include a giant poster of D B-G in the same vein that the holocaust museum in Jerusalem has one of Haj Amin al- Husseini or steel sculptures made up of hundreds of old keys to the properties all welded together in one blobby art piece.. Would be great "deep conversation" starters.

    • There was a 3 week exhibition by 6 Palestinian artists in NYC at the Bridge Gallery in 2006. It attracted about 2200 visitors on opening night. Tanoreen Restaurant of Bay Ridge served Palestinian food..

    • "This is not about victimhood, politics or religion,” said Nassar, acknowledging the controversy and divisive rhetoric that often surrounds the issue of Palestinian refugees. “We want deep conversations that can lead to equality and justice in Israel and Palestine…. I’m trying to tell stories that people haven’t heard.”

      This sure sounds like a half-hearted, timid enterprise for such a catastrophic event that would need drastic measures. It wouldn't buy the refugees a cup of coffee but these "deep conversations" will surely score high points in normalizing an abnormal situation between the Zionists and the Palestinians.

  • Jeffrey Goldberg has never faced 'pundit reckoning' for pushing Iraq war
    • "Fight against Hizbullah or Assad or both lead to the same goal " (traintosiberia)

      Curiously, the mighty US along with a coalition of 20 partners all of them armed with F16s, drones and satellites are knocking out an ISIS Toyota pick-up every 5 days or so (never one of ISIS' 2500 Humvees for some mysterious reason) while Hizbullah is busy clearing the Lebanese-Syrian badlands border areas of all ISIS presence there without the need of any sophisticated weapons. Also doing a great job cleaning up Anbar and retaking Ramadi for the Sunni by capturing hundreds of ISIS fighters:

  • 'You have dual citizenship with Israel' -- NPR host hits Sanders with internet canard
    • "... but why wouldn’t a dual citizen have dual loyalties?" (Annie)

      We are confounding loyalties with sympathies, which of course makes it easy to have sympathy for both countries but the real test of loyalty comes up when there's a conflict between the interests of the countries in question and the person with the dual citizenship has to decide with which one to align himself. American-Israelis or Israeli-Americans are often faced with these conflicting choices and more often than not, the preferred choice is Israel, which demonstrates that there was never anything dual about loyalty in the first place.

    • "adding that Russia and China promised to veto any U.S. proposal in Security Council to delay investigation." (Kay)

      We are critical of the US automatic veto in favour of Israel and we applaud that of Russia and of China when they come to the defense of Syria but how is it that supposedly good guys Russia and China are AWOL at the UNSC when the questions of Yemen and Bahrain are raised? It demonstrates that these veto powers in the hands of the Big 5 are for nothing other than to serve their own interests. There has to be a deal of some sort in effect between the US and Russia/China to continue turning a blind eye on the systematic destruction of Yemen or the continued oppression of 80% of Bahrain's population.

      As to the prospect of a Russia/China veto to block the US' blocking of an investigation of Israeli crimes, I wouldn't hold my breath hoping. They'll work out something or other in the wording that would allow the investigation to go through without risk to Israel and without Russia/China losing face; that's how the cookie crumbles. Remember al the excitement and anticipation with the FIFA thing and how it fizzled out in a flash?

  • Is BDS practicing a double standard with respect to Arab countries?
    • What does Egypt's FMG have to do with the Israel-Palestine conflict? Is Cohen hinting that he wouldn't object to it if there'd be no boycott of Israel?

    • "... or as malevolent towards Jews as Algeria was to the pieds noirs. " (Yonah)

      I would hope so, since the exploitation of Palestinians by Zionists is not much different from that of the Jewish pieds-noirs towards the Algerian nationals. The Jewish and other colonists of Algeria got what was coming to them. The US is benevolent?

    • "Boycotting Saudi or Kuwait or Bahrain would be a great idea." (traintosiberia)

      Not really, yesterday's chatter at the Herzliya "annual" had senior Israeli officials hinting at possible joining of military forces of Israel with those of certain Arab countries to take on Iran. Those that you mentioned as possible targets of boycotts are the very country involved in the chatter. Last week it was all smiles and handshakes between Israeli piranha Dore Gold and a former general of Saudi intelligence.

  • Notes from the Munayyer-Beinart debate
    • "Interestingly, I actually own a property in Hungary that belonged to my father and I still possess the deeds. Whilst my family were not refugees, there was a period where it wasn’t possible to take ownership during the Cold War." (Freddy)

      Are you saying that your father walked away from filing a reparations claims? JVL reports that Hungarian Jews whose property had been confiscated have been compensated already with additional claims underway and your house is most probably on the list so hold on to that deed.

  • 48 Years Ago: Commemorating the ’67 War
    • Misterioso, Jordan knew what was up Israel's sleeve before the fist shot was fired; it always had advance warning. In 1967 whether to actually attack or simply to bluff, the Arab armies were mobilizing. Lebanon refused to join the mobilization simply because it did not have the capacity to do so and was made to pay the price for it by the Arabs a couple of years later. Those minor and meaningless attacks by Jordan you mentioned were strictly for show for the benefit of the Egyptians and the Jordanian nationalists at home. Same thing had happened in 49 when it had been agreed in advance that Israel would let Jordan take the WB unopposed and it put up a minor show of force to show the Arabs that it was on their side. The only thing that wasn't pre-planned was Jordan taking over East Jerusalem; Jordan cheated the Israelis when it took it.

    • "It hearkens back to the time before 1948 when Jews, Muslims and Christians lived in peace, and with harmony, in Palestine." (just)

      This was wishful and nostalgic thinking on the part of people of good will, but in actuality, peace and harmony were not around between these groups, especially not after the Balfour Declaration and the Ashkenazi/Zionist move to colonize Palestine at the expense of Palestinian Arabs.

    • "But than Jordan began firing artillery at Israeli air force bases, and enough was enough." (Jackdaw)

      Jordan never really got into a war with Israel and anything thrown at Israel by Jordan was simply for show. In 48, 67 and 73, the only army of worth was the Jordanian one, but to Israel's good fortune, it wasn't into fighting any serious battles with Israel. There was a collusion of sorts for the 48 war and advance warning given to Israel for the one in 73, which the Jordanians did not join. The Hashemites had been cooperating closely with the Zionists since the early 20s.

    • "Helmeted soldiers, guns poised, barged into the basement apartment. They searched every room, confirmed we were unarmed, confiscated watches and gold jewelry" (Iris Keitz)

      A very telling statement; there's nothing in the way between Zionism and thievery. Israelis still do it today, millions of dollars in cash and jewelry were reportedly stolen by IDF soldiers during their search for the 3 teens on the West Bank. Israel is a nation of thieves and Iris Keitz gives one more example of this from 1967.

  • Netanyahu under siege, in 'the most embattled democracy on earth'
    • "Druze Day of Rage" is nothing more than drama. I don't know about the Circassians, but I can tell you that the Druze don't like to make any waves, especially in Israel where they enjoy certain degree of limited autonomy. The whole thing, most probably up to the last minute cancellation was choreographed. I doubt the Israeli government would make a $625 million decision a few minutes before a scheduled strike.

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