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Ear to the Ground

Israeli Right Sees Opening in Political Chaos

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Posted on Aug 1, 2008
Avigdor Lieberman
nytimes.com

From loyalty tests to racially influenced settlement strategies, the Israeli right, embodied in politicians like Avigdor Lieberman, is organizing ahead of Olmert’s planned resignation in September.

As if the situation in the Middle East couldn’t get any worse, this week’s news that scandal-plagued Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will resign has been seized upon by right-wing Israeli politicians, who believe the parliamentary chaos caused by Olmert’s departure will open the door for a return to hard-line, ultranationalist government.


The Guardian:

Israel’s ultra nationalist parties yesterday [Thursday] seized on Ehud Olmert’s decision to stand aside as prime minister to push for an early election, which would most likely return the hawkish Likud leader, Binyamin Netanyahu, to the helm.

While Olmert’s decision has thrown Kadima, his centrist party, and the nation into turmoil, Israel’s rightwing parties appeared to galvanise in calling for an end to the coalition government.

Netanyahu, a former prime minister who was also dogged by corruption allegations but nevertheless has led the polls as a potential prime minister for months, said: “This government has reached an end. National responsibility requires a return to the people and new elections.”

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By Sepharad, August 5, 2008 at 10:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Louise, I believe you mean well and would like a world where all people can live as brothers. So would I, so would most Israelis and so would most Arabs. You may have noticed that in Western countries and others where centuries of conquest cycles have done their bloody work and borders are established and there are plenty of resources for momst of the population, there is peace, if not perfect justice, equality etc. And people such as yourself are free to speculate about how the rest of the world should conduct itself.

Regions that have long been colonized are still struggling to get on their feet. There are obstacles of all sorts—lack of resources, lack of social agreements on customs and unsettled borders, wild variations on distribution of wealth and plenty of advice from foreigners whose ancestors have already secured a place where their descendants will be more or less safe. The Middle East has its unique set of problems, which are best described in several annual reports put together by secular Arabs under the auspices of the U.N. I strongly suggest you read them. Fouad Ajami’s book “The Dream Palace of the Arabs” is concise, and Edward Said’s “Orientalism” is also informative for bicoastal liberals caught up in the exoticism of it all.

I understand and respect the positions of the Arabs, particularly the moderates who are sitting home behind the shutters waiting for the nationalists and religious crazies to exhaust one another. Amos Oz, a great novelist and founder of one of Israel’s largest peace movements, writes lucidly and fairly of the agonizing attempts for Jews and Arabs to coexist side by side. We’re so much alike; my own family is multiethnic so I don’t really feel apart from the other peoples of the Middle East, though I often feel ill at ease in the West.

If Britain and France had not pounced on the fallen Ottoman empire and, in their unseemly greed for oil and position in the great game ... had they not redrawn the borders in the Middle East with no regard for ethnicity (not to mention giving away 80% of Palestine to a Hashemite king for WWI services rendered, leaving the Arabs and Jews of that region a sliver of land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River)  ... then perhaps the Jews and Arabs could have worked out an accommodation of two states side by side, which is a demographic necessity if Jews are not to live as second-class citizens (“dhimmihood” status in Arab Moslem countries). We still may do it, but with the religious fanatics Hezbollah and Hamas trying to force Palestinians and Lebanese into theocratic rule, and the hyper-religious Jewish settlers who want to bring back greater Israel, the prospect of two peaceful and prosperous states side by side is going to be a very close thing.

I’ve always found the term “Anti-Semitic” curious, as it implies hate for Arabs and Jews alike. Suspect it’s a European invention.

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By Double U, August 5, 2008 at 8:26 pm Link to this comment

Louise, you make a lot of sense and I appreciate your intelligence.

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By Sepharad, August 5, 2008 at 7:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Fadel,

If you don’t see the contradiction between Arab treatment of Berber Moslems and the fine words of brotherhood in the Koran and Hadith, there’s no way to reach you. Also, I never implied that there were no disputes among the Berber taigas—didn’t go into all the detail for lack of space; as you know the history of Al Andalus is Byzantine in its labyrinth characters and events. You can’t dispute the basic point, which is that Arabs did and continue to treat their darker brethren shamefully.

Infighting and intrigues were part of Berber as well as Arabic histories (and of all other cultures’ histories, for that matter, but that lack of ability to cooperate cost the Moslems dearly—the loss of Al Andalus). Philosophers and poets (poetry being another realm in which Moslems in Al Andalus excelled) had to adjust when they could and flee when they could not, just as people like Ib’n Rush’d (Averroes to Latin speakers)and Maimonides (who wrote much of his work in Arabic instead of Hebrew) accommodated to the very unpredictable currents of history in which they found themselves. And the great Christian warrior El Cid actually fought for both sides.

I would never dispute that the more fanatical regimes in Al Andalus also created incredibly beautiful architecture, gardens, etc. Fanaticism and cruelty and imperialism does not mean such people have no taste. Indeed, they possess the money and power to commission the finest architects and artisans to build monuments to their power and glory. I don’t think I’ve ever seen any building as spiritually powerful as the great mosque of Cordoba (despite the Christian cathedral features added into it and other changes that detract from its symmetry, e.g. changing the Islamic individual prayer spaces into chapels.) Also, there’s no place on earth as compellingly, delicately beautiful as the Alhambra and its gardens. One Christian king of Seville and a Moslem ruler of Granada were great friends, exchanging Moslem and Jewish artisans who worked on both the Alhambra and the marvelous Alcazar as well as other sorts of favors. When the ruler of Granada felt threatened by an aspiring kinglet, the king of Seville invited his friend’s rival and entourage to dinner. All were dead the next day.

Frankly, Jews fared better under most Moslem regimes than under Christians in Al Andalus, and many of us are still more comfortable with our Semitic cousins than with Christians. But religions as expressed by fanatics get in the way. I’m sure many of the residents of the Vale of Kashmir would feel similarly. Moslems pitted against the Hindu/Sikh peoples after living together for so long before the partition of India must be as discouraged as Israelis and Arabs. 

I am indeed a historian, but areas of expertise are pretty narrow: Israel/Palestine and Islamic Spain/Reconquista/Inquisition. Am not sure why you assumed I was a man. I’m a woman with Moslem and secular friends and colleagues, but my husband and I are closest to three couples—one Israeli, one Iranian, one Afghani—with whom we share our passion for horseback exploration. As a child my dream was to ride all the way around the Mediterranean with some Bedouin and Israeli friends. Never happened, probably never will, but one can hope.

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By ed_tru_lib, August 5, 2008 at 7:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Lefty…Lefty…Lefty…Thanks for the well-reasoned analysis and profundity of your response. Obama is a true conservative because…....LEFTY SAYS SO!!!
Well OF COURSE!!!. Obama is a liberal in the great tradition, and therefore as much a conservative, as FDR, JFK, MLKJr, and of course that flaming Reaganite, Bobby. Bernie and Dennis are great people who will help President Obama, and thus all of us, signifigantly. But of course neither of them, not that Saunders tried, had a hope of being president. I also heard Obama was planning a role for Nader-seems Barack’s dad left him an old corvair badly in need of a hand polish, something ol’ lifetime “bachelor” (and by Lefty’s standards undoubtedly a true liberal)Ralphie boy should have a real knack for. O well at least he’ll finally have not only a job at the white house, but one he is actually qualified for. O and happy Bastille Day to all, belatedly.

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By Fadel Abdallah, August 5, 2008 at 11:30 am Link to this comment

By Sepharad, August 3 at 10:33 pm #
(Unregistered commenter)

I too am a genuine lifelong progressive liberal, did voter registration down south, was active in getting the FoI Act passed, an investigative reporter, writer for ACLU, a historian AND am just the same a died-in-the-wool secular Zionist.
===================================
That you’re “a died-in-the-wool Zionist” I have no doubt about. However, your claim to be a “historian” is indeed a laughable matter. If you can claim that you’re a “historian,” then I can surely claim that I am the ultimate philosopher of history. (with my apologies to Ibn Khaldun as the founder of this discipline!)

To make a long story short, I am just going to explode your ignorance about one basic fact of history related to the Almoravids and the Almowahhids dynasties, which you pretentiously claimed to lament as examples of how Arabs abused Berbers and how fanatics Muslims are. In fact, these two dynasties are recognized by the facts of history as being purely Berber dynasties, something which proves what I said previously: that under the auspices of Islam the aspects of ethnicity and race were not the determining factors in social and political mobility.

Another piece of factual history is related to Ibn Rushd (Averroes). It was under the patronage of the Almowahid ruler Abi Ya’qub Yusuf that your favorite Ibn Rushd flourished. Though he later fell out of favor with his son and successor Al-Mandur, due to the Court intrigues, he was restored to his previous position as the court physician and a prominent philosopher.

Some of the greatest architectural monuments in Morocco and Spain belong this Almowahid period, which you falsely tried to depict as unenlightened fanatics. Of course, things are in the eyes of the beholder! Therefore, it is easy to understand how a fanatic Zionist like you will always see fanaticism in those you consider the enemy. It’s just a psychological defensive mechanism reflecting both your insecurities and falsehoods!

So Mr. impostor historian, leave Arabic and Islamic history for the true scholars and concentrate on you fanatic and terrorist history of Zionism and all the preceding theology that led to it in your Old Testament!

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By Louise, August 5, 2008 at 7:39 am Link to this comment

Sepharad:

“Many Israeli folk dances do reflect far-flung Diaspora countries, but others are much older—celebrating the defeat of Haman, and dances done by the Jews who foiled the Romans for several years atop Masada.”

~~~

Organized religion tends to focus on the negative and celebrate death and destruction. Why is that? Because the celebrants defeated the evil, or because the “Leaders” of the celebrants need to keep the memory of the evil alive, so as to keep the control alive?

I celebrate traditions my ancestors celebrated, even though I’ve never been to many of those far away lands. Not because they focus on this war or that abuse, but because they strengthen the bonds of family and history, and the growth of people and places.

I think the story of the Semites is in many ways a very sad story. Because it focuses on past deeds that brought about pain and destruction. Perhaps the motive behind an Israeli homeland allowing a people displaced to come together and celebrate their heritage is a good one. But the notion that one single tribe represents all of Israel I find a bit offensive. Sorry, that argues the reality of history. When the leaders in Israel embrace their neighbors with a real intent to recognize they have rights too, their neighbors will do the same. It takes the bigger man to make the first step.

~~~

“Israel IS our homeland, along with other Semitic tribes, but they have more than enough adjoining land:”

~~~

“they” and “our”

How sad is that. Reminds me of the rationalization those early American settlers made when they moved West and relocated the Native Americans to Reservations. “But they have more than enough adjoining land.”

That simply by-steps the issue. In the real world where we live and breath in the here and now, taking anything away from someone else is wrong. Whether their neighbors have more or not is beside the point. That’s like saying if a poor man has rich neighbors, you have the right to steal what little the poor man has.

Maybe someday the Human Beings in this world will actually grow weary of burying people who died for a stubborn religious or “tribal” point of order. Maybe they’ll actually recognize we ALL have common ancestors and we All have the right to expect to be treated fairly and we ALL need to learn to live together based on the simple notion; If we sink the ship, we all go down.

My “rant” was rooted in growing weary of posters accusing other posters of being anti-Semitic. That is beyond ridiculous when one considers, almost everyone in the Middle East, possibly the world has Semitic roots.

Being Semitic is not the exclusive property of people living in Israel any more than God is. And perhaps therein lies the real problem. Religious dictatorship and religious intolerance, and abuse in the name of religion and God, still alive and well. Just like in the Dark Ages. And more than that, because “they” as in the Diaspora did it to us, we have the right to do it to some other “they’s” or them’s.

For goodness sake, are there enough centuries left in the unfolding of mankind, for people to move beyond the grudges of the past?

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By Sepharad, August 4, 2008 at 11:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Louise, glad you enjoyed the Israeli folkdance but don’t read too much into Russian blouses. Yes, Semitic tribes have been fighting since Biblical times—not unlike barbarian tribes elsewhere in the world.

After renaming Israel Palestine (referring to the Jews’ old enemies the Philistines, hoping it would humiliate the famously stiff-necked Israelis),the Romans certainly tried ethnic cleansing but they didn’t kill or scare away everyone. Scholarly communities continued in Jerusalem, and many Jews remained in the countryside, farming, herding, working as artisans etc. Since that time, until Israel’s 1948 rebirth, there’s never been a local Palestinian government.)

There were Jews in Palestine when a Meccan camel driver decided that he was the prophet of Allah. There were Jews in Palestine when the fanatical Almoravids drove Islamic and Jewish scholars alike from Cordoba in Al Andalus. The Maimonides family refugeed to Jerusalem, settling where the elder Maimonides’ brothers lived, except for Moses Maimonides, who followed the Islamic scholars to Morocco where an expatriate Arab Palestinian, El Fadil, introduced him to Salah-ah-din, beginning a lifelong friendship. Jews in Jerusalem died with their Saracen neighbors, defending the city when the Crusaders conquered that city. There were Jews in Palestine when Salah-ah-din, accompanied by his physician and counselor Maimonides, took Jerusalem from the Crusaders and built new Jewish synagogues. When the Spaniards completed the Reconquista in 1492 and the Inquisition fires were burning, many Sephardic Jews returned to Palestine. (In Hebrew, Sepharad means both “Andalusa” and “Tree of Life.”)

Of course Palestine was bigger then—included what is now Jordan and parts of Syria and Lebanon.) In Europe’s medieval period, more Jews fled the ignorance and hatred, returning to Palestine. (Some went to Persia; Zoroastrians were more tolerant than Moslems.) Over the centures, Jews steadily returned from Eastern Europe, Romania, Lithuania and Russia, where pogroms were common. Some young men broke with the religion of their elders to fight back, some stayed to fight, others brought their farming skills to their homeland, where they could defend themselves and not be driven away again. Palestinians, both Arab and Jew, were suspicious of these newcomers, with their new farming theories and lack of respect for religious dictates. During the Ottoman Empire, the Jews were second-class citizens but flourished because Ottomans were open to new ideas—e.g., sending diplomats to observe European innovations—and because tribal skirmishing is bad for business. Throughout the 19th century many Jews returned to Palestine, to them Eretz Israel (among them some of my ancestors c. 1820s). Later, Herzl’s Zionist movement was born, the Jewish National Land Fund purchased more land from absentee Palestinian landlords, locals, and Ottomans. The end of WWI replaced the Ottomans with the Brits and French, who screwed up the Middle East with arbitrary borders not reflecting ethnicities. So you see, there were many Jews in Palestine before WWII’s Holocaust survivors, and before the Arab countries drove 900,000 Jews out of their homes during and after the ‘48 war in what the Arab League called a “population exchange.”

Many Israeli folk dances do reflect far-flung diaspora countries, but others are much older—celebrating the defeat of Haman, and dances done by the Jews who foiled the Romans for several years atop Masada. Israel IS our homeland, along with other Semitic tribes, but they have more than enough adjoining land: the vast Arab countries, especially Jordan, which was 80% of Palestine until the Brits gave it to a Hashemite king for services rendered.

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By Louise, August 4, 2008 at 9:46 am Link to this comment

I had occasion this morning to watch an Israeli folk dance. It was charming, the music was engaging, the costumes were familiar. Similar to traditional Russian Peasant dress, and Bulgarian Peasant Dress, and German, and Austrian, and so many other countries in Europe. But then that’s where most of them came from, along with a few other nations. So it’s only natural their traditional folk dress would reflect the history of their ancestors. Then something else occurred to me. Could part of the reason for their anger ... and martyrdom be a reflection of a bit of insecurity?

Most anyone who’s been forced to uproot and move to the other side of the world goes through some trauma. Especially when the environment they are moving into is so extremely different. Most especially when they had no choice, and in many cases they had no choice. But they had the strength of their religious heritage and their belief in being chosen above all others to bind them together. Or did they? Perhaps that notion was created to nudge them into compliance. Which would further compound the insecurity. History gives us similar examples in the settlement of the early West. How many of those mammas really didn’t want to be there? How many myths and legends and promises were created by those mammas to give their kids strength, and themselves courage?

The Jews were moved into the Land of the Semites. But that wasn’t the first time they had resettled after having been driven from their homes. In fact, that is the history of ALL the tribes of Israel in earlier times. And the history of the Jews in more recent times. Little wonder they wont give. But then one could also argue, since they too displaced a great many people maybe a little gratitude is in order.

They were moved into the Land of the Semites. A place where legend tells us they began, so many thousands of years ago. But the Semites who were already there weren’t to happy about giving up the land they had never left, for thousands of years. In fact, given the harsh climate and the shortage of actual fertile land in the region, I suspect if the Semites who were already there had been given the choice to trade places with the Semites who came from a richer, greener land, they might have been eager to do so. But that wasn’t the plan.

So here we are a few decades later and the newcomer Semites still don’t like the already there Semites. And the already there Semites still don’t like the new-comer Semites. And that’s probably because they both still claim all the land in that arid area. So I always marvel when I hear an Israeli or an “Israel firster” accuse anyone who questions the newcomer Semites right to abuse the already there Semites ... anti-Semites.

Long way of saying, there’s a lot of folks out there who don’t know their history. Another view ...
http://www.edofolks.com/html/middle-east.htm

Left-handed people are generally one side of a twin set. So left-handed people who have no twin might have a deep-seated sense of something missing. Maybe that’s Lefty’s problem. Maybe he’s missing a right side, and doesn’t know it. Or maybe he’s just confused.

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By Double U, August 3, 2008 at 11:37 pm Link to this comment

Israel continues to ignore the lesson history has offered.  Israel will continue to be a pathetic deputy until the future unfolds into history.  The lesson, pt. one, is: Rabid Zionism will destroy you so long as you refuse to wean yourself off the golden phallus.

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By Sepharad, August 3, 2008 at 11:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hey Lefty—I just saw your post on a different thread correcting Mad Max that you call yourself Lefty, and that you are a true, genuine, socialist, leftish, liberal but not a sissified pacifist Arab Electronic Jihadist Israel-bashing troll, and that you doubt the liberal bona fides of the many probable fascists, conservatives et al. I too am a genuine lifelong progressive liberal, did voter registration down south, was active in getting the FoI Act passed, an investigative reporter, writer for ACLU, a historian AND am just the same a died-in-the-wool secular Zionist. I’m not convinced that some of the Israel-bashing trolls and electronic jihadis and cyrena/robert/inherit-the-wind types actually realize they are fascists. I suspect they just don’t know what fascism is and don’t realize that it’s what’s coming out of their mouths

As a true supporter of Israel, I’m extremely worried about the possibility of Netanyahu coming to power. When he WAS in power he displayed an intolerance worthy of many on this thread, lack of judgment and impulsiveness that drove Mossad crazy trying to keep him from wrecking the country and annoying its Arab allies. Am really hoping—along with my family and friends in Israel—that Tzipi Livni will be able to outmaneuver him with the help of Labor and Ariel Sharon’s spirit. We’ll see.

Fadel is at it again. Last time, stung by the good if undeserved pr the U.S. is getting with a black Presidential candidate, he was congratulating the Arabs of the golden age on their tolerance and inclusion of blacks, when with a few exceptions it was their shabby treatment of the Berbers (who actually defeated the Visigoths)that accelerated the slow-mo Reconquista. As soon as the caliph back in Damascus realized what a juicy plum had fallen into Moslem hands, the Arabs drove the Berbers and other Mahgreb tribes from the most desirable spots in Al Andalus. This threw the enraged North Africans into hopelessness with the not-surprising resurgence of ignorant Islamist extremism. One wave, the Almoravids, conquered Cordoba and burnt all the books in that city’s five libraries. The great Arab philosopher Ib’n Rush’d (whose grandfather had been first imam at the great mosque of Cordoba), driven out along with other Arab and Jewish scholars by the fanatic Almoravids, looked back and muttered “There is no tyranny like the tyranny of priests.” Darfur is another example of the tender mercies Arab Moslems feel for their African Moslem brothers. And who do you think started the slave trade?

The great golden age Arabs would have been ashamed of Hezbollah/Hamas/Al Quaeda franchise types, appalled at Shiia killing Sunni and both killing the Kurds. If Salah-ah-Din were alive he would deplore the hatred being directed at Israel, and particularly shamed by the part of that hatred emanating from some of the Arabs. (He’s the guy who, on retaking Jerusalem from King Richard, built 12 new temples for the Jews who’d fought side by side with the Saracens when the Crusaders took Jerusalem in a massacre.)

Netanyahu gaining control of Israel would be about as catastrophic as McCain winning the Presidency. Obama is sure as hell no liberal but I’m going to vote for him, despite my conviction that he’s more of a same-old-same-old. My guy was Kucinich, or Edwards because of his seemingly sincere populism. Maybe someday we’ll even have a female or Jewish President. And if I’m lucky, Israel will get Tzipi though she wouldn’t be the first female prime minister.

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By samosamo, August 3, 2008 at 11:06 pm Link to this comment

Geez, has this place ever become infected with some vile vermin posing as neocons operatives or is it neocon operatives posing as vile vermin attacking people for their thoughts. Which ever, is doesn’t matter because even IF they or he were a ‘left’ progressive or whatever he is, he is keeping in line of maintaining the appearance of a disorganized group struggling to make a change for good which fits in so nicely into a neocon dirty trick to maintain their criminal hold on public policy.
Do us all a favor and volunteer for front line duty in Afghanistan to ‘blast’ others with your hatred, hell, they may not even shoot you but get you to fight with them.

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By Howard, August 3, 2008 at 7:29 pm Link to this comment

Drink some more beer.  Of course it was an accident man, during wartime.  Happens every day in Iraq and Afghanistan and Vietnam and Korea and WWII.

the U.S. was sending in materials and armmaments that very day to Israel.  There was no logical reason to attack an ally.

A-c-c-i-d-e-n-t.  Got it?  4 investgations by the Armed services found it to be that, also.

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By thebeerdoctor, August 3, 2008 at 7:40 am Link to this comment

re: purple girl

A little historical national security issue. On June 8, 1967 the USS Liberty, off the coast of Gaza, was attacked by Israeli forces, killing 34 men and wounding 174. Rescue flights were launched from the USS Saratogo, which were promptly recalled by Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, fearing an armed conflict would break out between the United States and Israel.
Israel has always claimed the incident was an accident. The crew members of the Liberty have always said it was a deliberate attack, and many others, higher up in the chain of command agree. Of course many who have questioned the Israeli account are immediately dubbed Nazi sympathizers, which has absolutely nothing to do with why a country attacks the ship of another country’s navy, and what was the recall of the rescue planes all about?

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By Purple Girl, August 3, 2008 at 6:46 am Link to this comment

It is an Outrage that our PUBLIC SERVANTS are allowed to maintain Citizenship in other countries, after taking an Oathe to Protect & Defend OUR against Foriegn & Domestic Enemies! CONFLICT OF INTEREST ?!? What does this Admin currently employ with such split nation allegience- about 20 just to Israel alone?
This MUST End!
Then we must investigate those who have had this Priviledge while holding of Position of power and/ or influence, to assure Our foreign policy has not been unduly influenced or effected. How have they Voted, What connection do they have to those in Power in those other countries. what historical facts prove their connection to past events- Evidence? This is a NATIONAL SECURITY ISSUE!

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By Fadel Abdallah, August 2, 2008 at 7:37 pm Link to this comment

By Double U, August 2 at 4:31 pm #

Well, I was going to wipe my brow, breathe deep, and salute every poster on this thread.  Then I got to LeftNutsy.  The salute still stands and the powerwhores still kneel.
=========================
Double U:

I understand your feelings! However, if you’re a regular reader here, then you should by now have gotten used to the likes of “LeftNutsy” who are programmed to only appear with their worn out rants when anything is posted about their little terrorist Israel.

My friend! This is the trade off for posting on a progressive forum. For the majority of the people of reason, you’ve got to have the few fanatic nuts who serve the purpose of proving the rule through their being the exception to it. Enlightenment and understanding are best appreciated when they are juxtaposed next to evil and fanaticism! So, as unpleasant as it might be to read the rants of the the LeftNutsy types, they serve the purpose of showing the difference between truth and falsehood!

Thanks for your salutation and for your concise and to the point comment!

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By Double U, August 2, 2008 at 5:31 pm Link to this comment

Well, I was going to wipe my brow, breathe deep, and salute every poster on this thread.  Then I got to LeftNutsy.  The salute still stands and the powerwhores still kneel.

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By ed_tru_lib, August 2, 2008 at 1:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Been a little while-just wanted to say an early Happy Rosh Hashanah to everyone, and celebrate the continuing common sense and maturity of the only democratic government, and U.S. ally in the middle east-Israel. Olmert gets caught with his hand in the till, and resigns, soon to be replaced by a freely elected successor. In the wonderful enlightened democracies the nuts who have posted here support, while calling Israel “war-mongering,” “racist,” “nazi,” etc, the only scandal that would remove a dictator would be he hadn’t had enough women stoned to death for wanting to walk a few feet less behind their husbands, whom their fathers chose for them, or handn’t arranged for enough planes to be flown into buildings. O well, thank God Barack is a proving to be a liberal in the great tradition, and not a lefty psycho, which would make these posters happy, until he lost the election of course, which would SURELY be because of AIPAC opposition, and not because he sounded like Bin Laden, or at least Nader.
Oh, Happy Labor Day and Yom Kippur to all as well.

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By Mossada, August 2, 2008 at 11:18 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

By Fadel Abdallah, August 2 at 9:42 am #

Fadel

I disagree.  AIPAC and the Israel Lobby are nothing.  It is a mistake to assume they have any real power when considering the Middle East situation.

And dont allow this latest AIPAC conspiricy hysteria to muddy the waters.  True, AIPAC, Likud and all the political culture of Israel are pretty obnoxious and in your face, but THE TRUE NATURE OF POWER IS TO DISGUISE ITS OBJECTIVES.  Flag waving US weapons manufacturers, Oil companies, CIA, Pentagon and Wall Street speculators are running American Strategic Policy,  make no mistake.

And the Funny thing is, American Tax Payers are picking up the mortgage on the Pentagon.  It had originally been planned that Iraqi oil would pay for the war, thankyou very much. That is, the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis (and American soldiers)  would assist in paying for this bloody business known as Rationalising Warfare, or as they say….the privatisation of a War Economy.

However the Dick Dastardlys of this world just wouldn´t roll over and die quietly in a corner.  Hence the label “Terrorists”. 

Remember President DICK Cheney´s First Commandment: Greed is GOOD. And if you object….you are a terrorist.

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By Fadel Abdallah, August 2, 2008 at 10:42 am Link to this comment

By thebeerdoctor, August 2 at 3:34 am #

re: Fadel Abdallah

I sometimes come across this bumper stick: WAR IS TERRORISM
=============================
Yes,thebeerdoctor, I concur! In fact, many times before I put it this way, “War is the worst form of terrorism.” This is so because it terrorizes the whole nation subjected to the terrors and horrors of war, not only a specific target, city, or community.

Furthermore, that’s why I call countries that manufacture, sell, and use weapons of mass destruction as terrorist countries. Given this definition, Israel and the United States top the list of terrorist countries in my dictionary.

As an aside, one of the most interesting bumper stickers I ever read was: “Congress is an Israeli-occupied territory.” When I first read this sticker years ago, I thought it was an exaggeration. However, after I read “They Dare to Speak Up” by Paul Findly; “The Isreal Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy” by John Mearsheimer & Stephen Walt and “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid” by Jimmy Carter, I am totally convinced that that whoever conceived that bumper sticker was ahead of his time and was very knowledgeable!

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By thebeerdoctor, August 2, 2008 at 9:47 am Link to this comment

re: Mossada

Chomsky is correct about a contradiction of terms. Too many accept this contradiction. For a nation built on secular principles, it is incomprehensible. But it goes on.
The politicians pander nonsense that too many, readily accept.

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By dick, August 2, 2008 at 9:37 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Over the past 60 years Israel has taken the US down, with the approval and support of our presidents, Congress, and Israel loyalists,  to death, destruction, depravity, and ultimate ruin.

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By KPinSEA, August 2, 2008 at 8:59 am Link to this comment

Reason No. XXXII I wouldn’t blame Iran for a second if they *did* want nukes:  there’s no guarantee that any one of their potentially hostile neighbors that already has them won’t be run by NUTS someday.

There can’t be a Nuclear Free Middle East Treaty soon enough .... and there’s hardly anything less likely to happen.

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By Mossada, August 2, 2008 at 7:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As Noam Chomsky said, a Zionist democracy is a contradition in terms.

Labor, Likud, Kadima….all basically from the right spectrum of politics.  Zionism is a euphemism for a racist assumption that Jews are chosen above all man kind with the revealed word (and circumcision).  So this notion perpetuated in the mainstream media of Israel being some parliamentary democracy is the truth, if you happen to be Jewish (white?)

But if we replace the Palestinians (also circumcised) on the west bank and Gaza with Africans….how would the world view Israel´s Mossad and IDF´s conduct then?  That Israel behaves like redneck white supremisist?

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By thebeerdoctor, August 2, 2008 at 4:34 am Link to this comment

re: Fadel Abdallah

I sometimes come across this bumper stick: WAR IS TERRORISM

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By Fadel Abdallah, August 2, 2008 at 4:25 am Link to this comment

In colonialist, terrorist and illegitimate Israel there is no good, better or best! There is only bad, worse and the worst.

So don’t waste your time speculating about what would happen is such or such terrorist would come to power! The only thing that’s certain is more of the same terrorism that brought Israel into existence in the first place!

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By cyrena, August 2, 2008 at 1:40 am Link to this comment

By Louise, August 1 at 7:54 pm #

Oh goodie!

The serial killer Israeli armed forces will finally be allowed free reign in Palestine!

Uh, check that.

How can already awful become even awfuller? Is such a thing possible?

~~~~~~

I fear it can Louise…I actually fear that it can. Odd that I was just thinking of Ariel Sharon last night…not even sure why he came to mind. Presumably he’s still in his coma. Terrorist that he was, he’s been the edge of a hope for that region. How can such a tiny place be such a destruction to the rest of the world, and for so damn long?!!!

What explains the mentality of the population that revered Sharon, (apparently for his prudence in recognizing the common sense of pulling out of the occupied territories) and now has Binyamin Netanyahu, at the top of the polls? I don’t understand this, but maybe I’m naive. Can that much of the Israeli population actually be that willing to live under another Hitler, even if he is allegedly one of their own?

Or, maybe it’s simply no more up to the average Israeli who becomes their leader than it has been up to the US population to select our own these past two elections…at least.

At any rate, this IS terribly depressing news. I’d honestly been foolish enough to hope that the more rational among them would use the opportunity of the chaos, rather than allowing the hard-line (how does it get any worse) hawks to move in.

Guess Ed Harges is right, there isn’t much difference. I’m not even gonna venture to speculate how this sets up for our own situation..the other half of the Siamese terrorist twins. We need an emergency operation to perform a radical separation of the twinship.

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By yours truly, August 1, 2008 at 11:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“First words out of a newly elected Prime Minister Netanyahu’s are going to be ‘Bombs Away’.”

“Will he get away with it?”

“Depends on who wins on November 5.”

“If it’s John McCain?”

“For sure.”

“And if it’s Barack Obama?”

“Not sure.”

“Then how can one support Obama?”

“Where there’s doubt hope has a chance.”

“Anything else?.”

“Yes we can.”

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By P. T., August 1, 2008 at 10:54 pm Link to this comment

It’s more Zionist expansionism regardless of who’s in power in Israel.  The place is a rogue state.

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By Louise, August 1, 2008 at 8:54 pm Link to this comment

Oh goodie!

The serial killer Israeli armed forces will finally be allowed free reign in Palestine!

Uh, check that.

How can already awful become even awfuller? Is such a thing possible?

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By Ed Harges, August 1, 2008 at 7:43 pm Link to this comment

Olmert’s “liberal” government presided over Israel’s viciously destructive and murderous 2006 assault on Lebanon. 

Olmert’s “liberal” government has been salivating for a war against Iran, and loudly pushing the US to start one.

And Netanyahu is the “right-wing” alternative to this?

Please!

Israeli politics has only two wings, and they are both right wings — named Tweedle-Awful and Tweedle-Horrible.

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By samosamo, August 1, 2008 at 7:34 pm Link to this comment

The British once did an admirable thing right after WWII and gave up their empire to maintain a domestic democracy of sorts realizing that after helping to defeat the nazis that they could not continue to act like nazis by imperial control of their crown jewel, India and several African nations. Wasn’t a nice smooth let go, matter of fact it was down right bloody and ugly in some places but they gave it up or allowed the USA to take it over which was not a good move either.
But izrael doesn’t give a shit. These bastard right wingers have even taken pages from the play book of the nazis and relish the idea of taking the place of the nazis and being the puppet master of america for their benefit.
Yeah, blackspeare, something is up and I bet it doesn’t mean good for the world.

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By Blackspeare, August 1, 2008 at 6:32 pm Link to this comment

Funny Olmert would pick this time to announce his resignation——something is up and I suspect the US wants Netanyahu to be in charge for obvious reasons.

Fasten your safety belts——we’re in for quite a ride!!!

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