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Ear to the Ground

U.S.-Israel on the Rocks

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Posted on May 29, 2009
Israel US
aljazeera.net

The dispute over settlements is likely to set the tone for future U.S.-Israeli relations.

Tensions have been mounting between the U.S. and its usual BFF, Israel. President Obama’s demand for an end to the construction of settlements in the West Bank was rejected by Israel earlier this week. Obama has responded by suggesting that Israel’s intransigence endangers U.S. security.

The Guardian:

Increasingly fractious relations between the US and Israel hit a low unseen in nearly two decades yesterday after the Jewish state rejected President Obama’s demand for an end to settlement construction in the West Bank, and the president responded by suggesting that Israeli intransigence endangers America’s security.

The dispute, which blew in during the open hours before Obama met the Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, reflects the depth of the shift in US policy away from accommodating Israel, and towards pressuring it to end years of stalling negotiations over the creation of a Palestinian state as it continues to grab land in the occupied territories.

Obama put down a marker at a difficult meeting with the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, in Washington last week when he demanded a halt to the expansion of settlements, which now house close to 500,000 in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem, as they are a major obstacle to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.

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By Zola, August 13, 2009 at 10:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

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By ardee, June 14, 2009 at 6:01 am Link to this comment

Sepharad,
Sorry to hear of your incapacity, hang in there. After two back surgeries and a knee procedure I am very aware of the nature of pain and suffering…Of course, several posters here are pretty much a pain as well…as am I to others I assume.

You have my sympathies and best wishes.


the link of which I spoke results in:

Action Denied: Blacklisted Item Found

using tinyurl, thanks to Shingo:

http://tinyurl.com/n9vhdl

Note to Admin,

I do not wish to appear to circumvent your rules here, though rules on censorship NEED circumventing I believe. Can you or anyone link here and let me know why this site needs blacklisting? Or any site engaged in political dicussion actually?

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By Sepharad, June 14, 2009 at 12:58 am Link to this comment

ardee and Shingo, I’m not sure I can be as impartial as you both because much of my family has been in Israel since 1828 (on my maternal grandfather’s side), and while they were pre-Zionist in the official sense of the term their experiences are not quite as simple as the anti-Zionists would have us believe.

Most of my concern is the condition of modern Israel, and I work with people who are pretty much on the same page—Peace Now, Meretz—though none of them are pacifists. No one wishes harm on another human being (well, there ARE a few individuals on whom I would wish harm if I could), and I’ve always seen the logic and feeling of the Palestinians’ case. How could I not?

But I will go back and reexamine the pre-1948 ruminations of the Zionist leaders.  Thought I’d read everything there was to read long ago, but will seek out some newer tomes and over the next couple months try to come up with a clearer picture. Am not in the best of health at the moment—the RA/lupus makes a big deal out of minor injuries and, being opportunistic, has advanced more than we thought. Anyhow, I can take care of most things that come up and read and do a bit of writing, but drugs and pain pills don’t make for razor-sharp analysis. I’ll get a grip eventually.

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By ardee, June 13, 2009 at 6:28 pm Link to this comment

Shingo, June 13 at 9:11 pm #

ardee,

Have you tried linking to web sites using tinyurl?
.............................

I have not in fact, but my reference was to an attempt to link the above cut and paste that failed with an internal message about a “blacklisted site”?

I will certainly look into tinyurl…is it an insult to someones manhood? wink

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By Shingo, June 13, 2009 at 6:11 pm Link to this comment

ardee,

Have you tried linking to web sites using tinyurl?

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By ardee, June 13, 2009 at 5:05 am Link to this comment

I was flabbergasted to find that Truthdig blacklists websites ,apparently for political commentary. I cannot show the link (incredible!) but here is the gist:

Israel’s Arab Minority
The Beginning of a Tragedy

edit…...........

There is another reason for telling the whole truth clearly. Israel is new. Israel is malleable, like a little child with soft and delicate bones. The evils of older states are the accretion of age, the slow hardening of youthful tendencies into ancient ritual. There is still time in Israel. But in Israel the bad, like the good, is aging quickly. – Hal Lehrman, Commentary, July 1949.

All well-wishers of Israel, including the official Zionists themselves, are accustomed to the platitude that its peace and security depend upon normal relations with the Arab world which surrounds it. Instead, there has been increasing hostility, in a vicious circle of reciprocal hatred, which threatens to embroil the region, perhaps the world, in war. It is to be feared that the outcome of the Zionist “fulfillment,” so far from being the solution to the Jewish problem that was heralded by Zionism, may mean a new act in the tragedy of the Jewish people.

edited for restrictions on content….

When the Israeli Arabs are not ignored, they are often labeled en bloc, as “fifth-columnists” and suspect agents of the foreign Arabs who are foes of Israel; for they are all Arabs, aren’t they? They are spoken of as the “remnant of the enemy defeated in 1948” in spite of the fact that they were not defeated in 1948 since they did not fight against Israel.

Israel’s Arab problem, of course, goes back to the beginnings of Zionist colonization. It is not true that the Zionists came into Palestine as “agents of British imperialism” with the creation of the Mandate after the first World War. What is true is that they came as conscious junior partners of British imperialism: they would ensure continued British domination of the country, they proposed, if they were in turn given a free hand to take it over from the indigenous Arabs. Chaim Weizmann, who became Zionism’s world leader and later first president of Israel as the shrewd architect of this symbiotic relationship, is quite candid about this in his autobiography. [1] It was not his fault, or that of the Zionists, if this policy foundered after 1945, when the British government under Bevin made a sharp turn to the Arabs.

The Zionist infiltration into Palestine, therefore, took place before Arab eyes as the entrance of an alien and hostile force, under the umbrella of another alien and hostile force. Unfortunately the Zionist movement and the Israel government, despite frequent bows to the ideal of Jewish-Arab friendship, have never ceased to give nourishment to this feeling.

At least ever since Dr. Weizmann blurted out in 1919 that Zionism aimed to make Palestine “as Jewish as England is English,” the Arabs have feared that this aim could not be achieved without driving out or otherwise getting rid of the population that was in the way. The Zionists countered with arguments supplemented by promises and pledges. Deeds are always more important.

Today we find that, in truth, the setting up of the Zionist state coincided with a process whereby the large majority of the Palestinian Arabs found themselves separated from their land and homes. How did this happen?
........

If one uses any search engine and uses the format, Ben Gurion policy on ousting Arabs, as criteria and one looks for a marxist website one can quickly find this link.

I must add, to the admin of this forum, why on earth treat us like children?

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By ardee, June 13, 2009 at 4:57 am Link to this comment

This is an important and an explosive issue, Sepharad, one that I hope we can discuss sans emotionalism. I know you to be very, very intelligent but the question remains ,“can you be impartial”?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:BL/whiteboard

http://www.palestineremembered.com/Acre/Palestine-Remembered/Story562.html


Zionist Transfer Policy
Another crucial precondition was the penchant among Yishuv leaders to regard transfer as a legitimate solution to the “Arab problem.” Recently declassified Zionist documents demonstrated the virtual consensus emerged among the Zionist leadership, the the wake of the publication in July 1937 of the Peel Commission recommendations, in favor of the transfer of at least several hundred thousand Palestinian Arabs—if not all of them—out of the areas of the Jewish state-to-be. The tone was set by Ben-Gurion himself in June 1938:

  “I support compulsory [Palestinian Arab population] transfer. I do not see in it anything immoral.”

Ben-Gurion’s views did not change—though he was aware of the need, for a tactical reasons, to be discreet. In 1944, at a meeting of the Jewish Agency Executive discussing how the Zionist movement should deal with the British Labor Party decision to recommend the transfer of Palestinian Arabs, he said:

  “When I heard these things. . . I had to ponder the matter long and hard ....[but] I reached the conclusion that this matter [had best] remain [in the Labor Party Program] . . . Were I asked what should be our program, it would not occur to me to tell them transfer . . . because speaking about the matter might harm [us] . . . in world opinion, because it might give the impression that there is no room in the Land of Israel without ousting the Arabs [and] . . . it would alert and antagonize the Arabs . . .”

Ben-Gurion added,

  “The transfer of Arabs is easier than the transfer of any other [people]. There are Arabs states around . . . And it is clear that if the [Palestinian] Arabs are transferred this would improve their situation and not the opposite.”

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By Shingo, June 13, 2009 at 12:41 am Link to this comment

Sepharad,

Can you reconcile Ben-Gurion’s slledged statement that any Arabs who had fled during the fighting could come back within six weeks, when he himself stated that he saw nothign wring with the forcible transfer of Arab from Palestine to achieve a Jewish majority.

Face it Sepharad, it just doesn’t pass the basic logic test.  The goal of the Zionists was to create a Jewish State with a Jewish majority.  Now, how would Israel have ever achived that dream without the enthnic cleasing of the Arabs?

Had the Nakba not taken place, Israel would not only not have a Jewish majority, but Israel would likely not be a Jewish state.

There are just too many quotes from the Zionist founders that prove they wanted the Arabs gone and that they were looking for a reason to do it.

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By Sepharad, June 13, 2009 at 12:23 am Link to this comment

ardee—I don’t want to whitewash anything. Everything I’ve read on the subject seems to point to some people being driven out, some leaving to give the Arab armies a clear field and not get caught in the fight, some who left because the mufti of Jerusalem told them to, and a small number of Arab towns stayed and fought on the Israeli Jews’ side. I’m open to revised information, however. Which tomes are you referring to? (I have Benny Morris’ “1948” and “One State, Two State” and a wide variety of older material, including a book written by two journalists, one a Palestinian and one a Jew, concerning what are regarded as controversial issues, e.g. Der Yassin.) Population statistics vary.) Would like to read anything that contradicts accounts saying that Ben-Gurion, at the war’s end, announced that any Arabs who had fled during the fighting could come back within six weeks, after which period the border would be closed.

I’ve read books that I do think try to whitewash the way refugee Jews treated the Arabs, because historically, populations who have been oppressed do not turn into kind gentle people until they have been safe for many many years. This is one reason, apart from the moral imperative, I think it’s important for Israelis to try harder to make the Palestinians’ lives less miserable.

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By ardee, June 5, 2009 at 5:02 am Link to this comment

Sepharad, June 5 at 3:18 am #


Sorry Robert. “Fled” is more accurate.

....................

I know that you know better than this. The expulsion of the indigenous Arab population was planned long before the State of Israel was born. How else to assure that Jews were not overwhelmed in the voting booths?

There exist several new historical tomes that detail both the planning, by Ben Gurion and others as early as the 1930’s, and the execution of that expulsion. Your desire to whitewash Israels guilt is understandable, but you are on an edge between loyalty and blindness.

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By Sepharad, June 5, 2009 at 12:18 am Link to this comment

Sorry Robert. “Fled” is more accurate.

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By Robert, June 4, 2009 at 9:30 am Link to this comment

By Sepharad, June 4 at 4:49 am #

I thought it was 700,000 Palestinians who left during the war, but 700 or 800 thousand is still a lot. The people who left obviously didn’t get the homes and property of the 900,000 Jews driven out in the population exchange (though they should have) and I understand that it was hard for them to begin again.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sepharad…says that the Palestinians “left”.

Its was “FORCED EXPULSION”, most of them had to flee for their lives & safety. The massacres of the inhabitants of the village of Deir Yassin and other Palestinian towns/villages by the Zionist Terrorist organizations (Irgun & Stern Gang) caused so much fear from a mostly unarmed Palestinian population. They were no match to the well armed/trained zionist terrorists/army.

Click on link to read what Ilan Pappe has documented of the expulsion & ethnic cleansing of Palestine: 
**********


Ilan Pappe and the Nakba Deniers

The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine

By JOHN WHITBECK

“For anyone who possesses a strong stomach and an equally strong desire to know the truth, I strongly recommend Israeli historian Ilan Pappe’s new book “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine”, which makes painstakingly and painfully clear the extent to which the expulsion of the great majority of Palestinians from their homes and homeland between 1947 and 1949 (an expulsion absolutely essential to create a “Jewish state” in a country where, in 1947, the population was still 70% Muslim and Christian and these non-Jews still owned 94% of the land) was meticulously planned, programmed and documented, ruthlessly carried out and, thereafter, efficiently covered up, sanitized, erased from minds and memories and, to the extent necessary, denied. Pappe also makes clear that the cleansing spirit and cleansing practices have continued ever since, with public discussion in Israel of the “demographic threat” posed by those Palestinians still remaining in Palestinian never more openly conducted and with a recent poll showing 68% of Israeli Jews in favor of expelling all Palestinian citizens of Israel.

Unfortunately, this book, published in England (and available from amazon.com), is highly likely to go unreviewed and largely unnoticed in the United States, a country where objective historical truth is much less popular than “revealed truth” and pure fantasy and where the Israel-First Lobby starts with a distinct home-field advantage in pursuing its successful efforts to convince American public opinion that American interests and values are identical to Israeli interests and values and to make American foreign policy and America’s wars indistinguishable from Israeli foreign policy and Israel’s wars.

While most of mankind, being comprised of peoples who have themselves been the victims of colonialism and racism, views racial-supremicist settler-colonial states founded upon the genocide or ethnic cleansing of an indigenous population as an abomination, Americans, exceptionally, are favorably inclined toward such states. The reason is simple. Until very recently, America was itself such a state, and the official Israeli narrative replicates the widely accepted American narrative of brave pioneers bringing civilization and economic advancement to a backward and savage land.

Furthermore, notwithstanding its history, America, as a nation, appears to have no regrets and to be troubled by no sense of national guilt. While, for reasons having less to do with bearing universal witness against man’s inhumanity toward his fellow man than with justifying one particular instance of such inhumanity, there is a Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, there are no museums there devoted to the genocide of the Native Americans, to slavery or to the century of legalized segregation which followed abolition.”


http://www.counterpunch.org/whitbeck01272007.html

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By Sepharad, June 4, 2009 at 1:49 am Link to this comment

Shingo, All madrasses aren’t hate-pumping mills, but too many are and only reinforce the standard tv fare and youth groups that are designed to radicalize the young. In truth, if the people on the West Bank were not in such a perpetually difficult situation I imagine a lot of the reactive hate-mongering would go away, or if not be rendered less effective. Rabid rabbis with access to IDF soldiers did a terrible disservice to their own people as well as the Palestinians in Gaza, but I was encouraged when some soldiers themselves complained to an academic who immediately gave them a forum and brought the matter to light. There are anti-Arab Jews too, from Rabbi Meier Kahane’s militants to some of the religious settlers today, but they likewise would be less influential if there had never been suicide bombers and missiles etc.

I thought it was 700,000 Palestinians who left during the war, but 700 or 800 thousand is still a lot. The people who left obviously didn’t get the homes and property of the 900,000 Jews driven out in the population exchange (though they should have) and I understand that it was hard for them to begin again. But for their children and their children’s children? Many did make a life for themselves and others left, but the majority—to judge from what exists now—haven’t been able or willing to rebuild their own lives. Most of those 900,000 Jews from Arab countries went from ulpan to kibbutzes until they got their bearings, after which they rebuilt on their own, often not as aggressively independent as the other emigrants and the Sabras: they tended to live in their own communities which to this day are very different from Sephardic and Ashkenazi in occupation (largely shepherds), tradition and customs. Some of them are very anti-Arab, and also accuse other Israelis of looking down on them, though I don’t know if that is based on reality. My only friends among the Mizrahi (Jews from Arab countries) are other journalists, and they are pretty cocky.

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By Sepharad, June 4, 2009 at 1:31 am Link to this comment

ardee—Excessive capitalism is definitely a problem in Israel, manifest in the ridiculous divide between a small class of very rich, a struggling but still numerous middle class, and an increasingly large group of people who are getting enough to eat and have a roof over their heads but are definitely poor. When we were in Israel last November, my husband took 60+ photos of Be’ersheva’s Sunday a.m. Bedouin market. There were more and poorer Jews and Arabs mingled there than there have been in previous years. The market is always crowded but the goods and the people are usually in better condition and spirits. In Jerusalem’s markets, this poverty is not so evident but it does exist. (I’ve never been in Tel Aviv longer than it takes to get a car and get out of the airport so I don’t know what it’s like there. More familiar with Haifa, Jaffe, Nazareth, Akko (Acre) and the northern and desert kibbutzes and small towns like Arad, Safed, Abu Ghosh etc. It’s obvious to me that capitalism has affected Israel’s people, Arabs and Jews particularly, for the worse in their daily lives and aspirations and politics. My friends there are leftish Jews and Arabs who are less affected by the economy because they live in kibbutzes or small towns or moshavs and are more into writing, reconciliation politics and policies, agricultural, animal husbandry, rural isolation, academics and anthropologists/antiquarians. The places where you see the good side of capitalism is in the hospitals, schools, research in a wide range of areas, particularly medical. These things cost money, and are heavily endowed by Jews throughout the world, as are the museums. 

You’re correct about the opposition and warring ideologies where politics and land are concerned.
There is also the fear and distrust factor that seems to be higher among both peoples than at any time since the ‘73 Yom Kippur War. Also more pessimism re peaceful side-by-side existence. It’s good that Obama is digging in his heels over the settlement issue (and Clinton’s strong discouragement of wild talk of attacking Iran). I wish at least 5 times a day that it were a Livni government instead of a Netanyahu, but I’m beginning to think that if it is possible to get Netanyahu back on the two-state track it would be of greater significance than it would if Livni were in—we all know she is for the second state, dividing Jerusalem (or sharing as I call it when trying to be tactful), and returning the West Bank. But people know that anything Netanyahu agrees to will not put Israel in more danger than it already is and there might be a reduction of the fear issue, which is very real and very important. Sort of like Nixon going to China only more fraught. Palestinian internal politics are also quite an obstacle. Saw many more burka-dressed women in East Jerusalem and even in Old City, which indicated (according to an Arab friend who lives in East Jerusalem) the presence of Hamas militants—he advised us to avoid areas where we saw too many burquas and he does the same.

I wish Israel was more like the U.S. My dentist is a Palestinian but came here with his parents and siblings in the ‘60s. His dental assistant is a well-eduated Russian Jewish woman who’s been here since she was 12. Everything here is so much less fraught—despite our party wars and the chokehold capitalism seems to have on our entire system.

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By Shingo, June 4, 2009 at 1:18 am Link to this comment

Sepharad,

I know perfectly well that the kibbutz was a wonderful institution and served Jews all over the world very well. My point was that madrassas raison d’etre are not to pump out Jew hating fanatics.  Like all institutions, some have been used to evil ends, so have some churches.

I read that JFK had a very antagonistic relationship with Israel, especially over their nuclear weapons program.

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By Sepharad, June 4, 2009 at 12:51 am Link to this comment

Shingo, Many native Israelis and their parents and grandparents in ‘48 were Zionists. My great-great-grandparents who came there in 1828 were not the Herzl-style Zionists, but plain old Jews wanting to go away from a country that obviously rejected them back to their ancestors’ land. There are many old songs and stories that predate modern Zionism and have been sung and told in many countries for a very long time. One that is always requested when our school choir used to sing for Jewish old-folks’ home residents was “Fair Zion, my pure dove, Fair Zion my sweet love, from afar for thy pleasures do I long. Benumbed be my hand, if I forget thee, my fair land, till cruel death at last stops my sweet song… etc.” George Eliot wrote her novel “Daniel DeRonda” in 1874, based on what a rabbi friend of hers told her when he came to England to recruit young people to come back to Palestine with him—England was full of young Jews who were eager to go—and the word “Zionist” is definitely used, though it’s not the same as the Herzl brand that later arose. (She used to correspond with her American friend Harriet Beecher Stowe on that topic along with other matters.) Jerusalem has never stopped being the cultural and religious studies center for religious Jews as well as writers and poet and thinkers. (During the ‘48 war, a huge issue was supplying the 150,000 Jews who lived there with food, after the Arab legions blockaded the city. The Jews built a nearly impossible road to truck in supplies in trucks and jerry-rigged armored buses which were fired on all the way as well as through the Arab quarter of Old City.)

In ‘48, the U.S. gave Israel her blessing for independence, which Truman did over the continuing noisy objections from the State Department. Britain didn’t give Israel any money—what it did was to make sure most of the arms stayed in the hands of the Arabs. Germany certainly was not contributing anything at all to Israel in ‘48. For one thing, Germany was devastated by the war and soon in the process of being cut in half by the U.S.S.R. Somewhat later many American Jews organized to give Israel monetary and any other kind of aid. The Czechs provided weaponry though not a lot in ‘48. Individual American pilots and ex-Army officers came
to help Israel fight. Later, American Jews organized even more money for Israel’s development but American politicians were never crazy about it. JFK and his brother RFK (and in fact their children, especially Caroline) were very pro-Israel, again against the opposition by the State Department, the CIA and some of the large car manufacturers whose lobbying on behalf of cheap oil had great outreach in many aspects. 

Yeshiva orthodox schools might be considered like madrassas—though as far as I know they don’t indoctrinate 3-year-olds in hatred comparable to the madrasses—but the kibbutz was an economic unit to encourage the Zionist/communitard ideology, integrate newcomers and provided needed foods and other products to support the community and needed by others. In the long run the kibbutz socialist system was too structured for many people—the in-between institution was the moshav, where people lived in their own houses but labored in common and shared the proceeds. Still later, socialism was not supporting the society as a whole sufficiently so private property and capitalism rushed in. It did build the infrastructure the country needed but brought with it corruption, greed, definitely non-socialist practices and now I believe the pendulum has swung too far towards capitalism, and hope the country will go a bit backward in that regard.

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By Robert, June 3, 2009 at 7:14 pm Link to this comment

The hidden cost of free
congressional trips to Israel

Jim Abourezk


SIOUX FALL, S.D. – “Democrats in Congress have moved quickly – and commendably – to strengthen ethics rules. But truly groundbreaking reform was prevented, in part, because of the efforts of the pro-Israel lobby to preserve one of its most critical functions: taking members of Congress on free “educational” trips to Israel.

The pro-Israel lobby does most of its work without publicity. But every member of Congress and every would-be candidate for Congress comes to quickly understand a basic lesson. Money needed to run for office can come with great ease from supporters of Israel, provided that the candidate makes certain promises, in writing, to vote favorably on issues considered important to Israel. What drives much of congressional support for Israel is fear – fear that the pro-Israel lobby will either withhold campaign contributions or give money to one’s opponent.

In my own experience as a US senator in the 1970s, I saw how the lobby tries to humiliate or embarrass members who do not toe the line.

Pro-Israel groups worked vigorously to ensure that the new reforms would allow them to keep hosting members of Congress on trips to Israel. According to the Jewish Daily Forward newspaper, congressional filings show Israel as the top foreign destination for privately sponsored trips. Nearly 10 percent of overseas congressional trips taken between 2000 and 2005 were to Israel. Most are paid for by the American Israel Education Foundation, a sister organization of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the major pro-Israel lobby group.

New rules require all trips to be pre-approved by the House Ethics Committee, but Rep. Barney Frank (D) of Massachusetts says this setup will guarantee that tours of Israel continue. Ron Kampeas of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported consensus among Jewish groups that “the new legislation would be an inconvenience, but wouldn’t seriously hamper the trips to Israel that are considered a critical component of congressional support for Israel.”

These trips are defended as “educational.” In reality, as I know from my many colleagues in the House and Senate who participated in them, they offer Israeli propagandists an opportunity to expose members of Congress to only their side of the story. The Israeli narrative of how the nation was created, and Israeli justifications for its brutal policies omit important truths about the Israeli takeover and occupation of the Palestinian territories.

What the pro-Israel lobby reaps for its investment in these tours is congressional support for Israeli desires. For years, Israel has relied on billions of dollars in US taxpayer money. Shutting off this government funding would seriously impair Israel’s harsh occupation.

One wonders what policies Congress might support toward Israel and the Palestinians absent the distorting influence of these Israel trips – or if more members toured Palestinian lands. America sent troops to Europe to prevent the killing of civilians in the former Yugoslavia. But when it comes to flagrant human rights violations committed by Israel, the US sends more money and shields Israel from criticism.

Congress regularly passes resolutions lauding Israel, even when its actions are deplorable, providing it political cover. Meanwhile, polls suggest most Americans want the Bush administration to steer a middle course in working for peace between Israelis and the Palestinians.

Consider, too, how the Israel lobby twists US foreign policy into a dangerous double standard regarding nuclear issues. The US rattles its sabers at Iran for its nuclear energy ambitions – and alleged pursuit of nuclear arms – while remaining silent about Israel’s nuclear-weapons arsenal.”

http://www.ifamericansknew.org/us_ints/freetrips.html

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By Shingo, June 3, 2009 at 5:15 pm Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind,

“This would be more accurate if you said it was like suggesting that the Kibbutz is where young Jews learn to despise Communism!”

That was my point.  Both mine and Sepharad’s assertions were equally wrong.

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By Inherit The Wind, June 3, 2009 at 10:19 am Link to this comment

Shingo, you and Sepharad are doing such a good job I’m just coasting for a while!  Except…

Shingo, June 3 at 3:21 am #

Suggesting that madrasses are simply where young children watch blatantly anti-Semitic programming, is like suggesting the the Kibbutz is where Jews learn to despise the goy.

This would be more accurate if you said it was like suggesting that the Kibbutz is where young Jews learn to despise Communism!  (which is why the Kibbutz system is declining).

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By Robert, June 3, 2009 at 8:50 am Link to this comment

Viva Palestinia

A Lifeline From The United States To Gaza

George Galloway

“June 02, 2009 “Information Clearing House”—-Fresh from the success of the Viva Palestina: Lifeline from Britain to Gaza aid convoy - which took over 100 vehicles to Gaza from the UK, Minister of Parliament, George Galloway has linked up on his US tour with the Vietnam veteran and peace campaigner, Ron Kovic, to launch a similar, but even larger venture from the States.

Galloway announced the initiative at a 1000-strong meeting in Anaheim, South California, rounding off a packed-out, coast to coast speaking tour highlighting the Palestinian cause.

“There’s a new atmosphere in the US over Palestine,” says Galloway, “the phenomenal response to this tour demonstrates that.”

Ron Kovic, whose story was immortalized in Oliver Stone’s Born on the Fourth of July, will be the co-leader of the convoy, which will travel from New York City to Egypt before making its way across the Rafah border into Gaza.

Viva Palestina: The USA Convoy to Gaza is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, but hopes individuals and groups from across the nation will organize locally to generate support for the convoy, which aims to raise 500 vehicles and $10 million of humanitarian aid.

“And what better day to head off,” says Galloway, “Than July 4 - Independence Day!”

TAKE ACTION!

What can YOU do to help the ease the suffering in Palestine?

The success of this movement depends on each of us, and EVERYONE has something to contribute - whether time, funding, skills, contact lists or organizing support! To see this convoy succeed, there are many needs we have yet to tackle…but our determination is great – WE CAN ALL DO SOMETHING TO COME CLOSER TO REALIZING THE GOALS OF THIS MISSION! http://www.vivapalestina-us.org/


http://informationclearinghouse.info/article22751.htm

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By ardee, June 3, 2009 at 3:47 am Link to this comment

Sepharad, June 3 at 4:48 am #
I don’t feel justified in pressuring Israelis to do anything as I don’t live there, but on the other hand I don’t feel justified defending Israel when some of the policies seem wrong to me, which is why I sometimes seem to be doing both at the same time. I’m tired, and I think it’s showing in my comments.
...................

Doing fine I think, agreement is not what I look for, coherency and factual reportage is….
There exists, in Israel, an opposition to the govt treatment of Palestinians both within and without the nation. Just as there exists in this nation of ours resistance to perpetual war for perpetual profit. The problem is one of control of government decisions, in both nations.

We are seeing, I believe, a logical and expected evolutionary action by the unrestricted capitalism that ultimately rules all decision making in governance. Hopefully we will see the death throes of such a system and the emergence of a better way, one that understands ultimate wealth is found in cooperation. But this will require speaking out regardless of how many borders ones remarks cross.

Yeah, Im a dreamer.

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By Shingo, June 3, 2009 at 12:21 am Link to this comment

Sepharad,

Most native Israeli Jews weren’t even Zionists at the time of Israel’s creation.

In 1948, very few countries had an international airport. 

Significant monetary support came from Great Britain, the US and and Germany. America’s leaders were among those that pushed hardest for Israel’s creation.

it’s not that the Arabs wanted the refugees to continue in appalling conditions, ti’s that those states were poor. Jordan’s King Abudullah maintained he would always remain a friend to Israel and wanted peace more than anything else. His foe was the Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, so that explains his reticence to help the Palestinians.

How can many Arabs have stayed where they were during the war, when 80% of them were removed by Israel? 

Suggesting that madrasses are simply where young children watch blatantly anti-Semitic programming, is like suggesting the the Kibbutz is where Jews learn to despise the goy.

I have no doubt that Israelis did built schools and hospitals in the West Bank, but soon after that, they also began home demolitions.

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By Sepharad, June 2, 2009 at 11:16 pm Link to this comment

Shingo, A difference between our perceptions exists here. When those 900,000 Jews from Arab countries arrived (in what the Iraqi delegate to the Arab League described as a population exchange), there wasn’t an international airport, universities, etc. There was a half-baked airstrip at Lodz, and the Israelis quickly set up the ulpan (assimilation center where people learned Hebrew, the currency system, and acculturation as many were not from the more sophisticated countries but backwards ones such as Yemen). Most Israeli immigrants, apart from town dwellers, went to the kibbutzes which were designed to absorb people of varying capacities and conditions and reflected the communist/social orientation of most of the Zionists.

The emotional support came from the native Israelis but mostly from other refugees. Monetary support was primarily from Jewish charitable groups. In those days, America as a country was keeping its distance—not like now—though individual Americans and other foreigners interested in the social experiment came to help as military advisors.

But you’re right—the Palestinian refugees at that time had little support coming in from other Arabs, though they began getting significant international funding a few years later and continuing to the present day from the E.U. and the U.S. The Arabs wanted the refugees to continue in conditions as pathetic as possible—only Jordan offered them full citizenship—because misery is a media honey-pot and it made the Zionist entity look bad. I think that if the Israelis had been more on their feet at the time it would have been decent of them to supply what they could to the refugees. (You do know, don’t you, that many Arabs stayed where they were during the war and fought the other Arabs side by side with the Jews. If captured, those Arabs were singled out for very harsh treatment by the Arab armies.)
But even so, after the first generation, you’d think the people would build whatever dwellings they could and try to get a means of living going. The schools are mostly madrasses, young children watch blatantly anti-Semitic programming constantly, glorifying suicide etc.

It is also true that after taking the West Bank from Jordan in ‘67 the Israelis did build schools, hospitals and the like for the Palestinians.

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By Shingo, June 2, 2009 at 11:11 pm Link to this comment

Sepharad,

In ‘48, what did exist were houses, farms, water networks, wells, schools, roads and ports.  Probably banks also.

In any case, the money flowing into Israel from Germany and donors was very significant.

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By Sepharad, June 2, 2009 at 10:50 pm Link to this comment

Shingo, most of the infrastructure you describe did not exist in ‘48.

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By Sepharad, June 2, 2009 at 10:49 pm Link to this comment

Shingo, if the bill on commemoration passes, I agree with you. Last I heard it was a matter of public monies. Thanks for the link; an entirely different matter.

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By Shingo, June 2, 2009 at 10:03 pm Link to this comment

Sepharad,

It should be emphasized that 75% of the new Jewish immigrants to Israel, after the 1948 war, operated looted Palestinians houses, farms, cars, truck, banks, and the infrastructure resource such as water networks, the power grids, railroads, airports, wells, the telegraph network, and the schools, roads, and ports.

In other words, Israel has had the looted Palestinian capital as collateral, German compensation money for war crimes committed during WW II, and over 120 billion dollars in American taxpayers’ money to help settle the new Jewish immigrants. On the other hand, Palestinian refugees and their corresponding host countries had no such good fortune.

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By Sepharad, June 2, 2009 at 9:48 pm Link to this comment

ardee, I don’t think Netanyahu has given his last word on that. And I don’t think he can face down Obama and Clinton AND the majority of Israelis who did not vote for him. It does concern me that Shimon Peres is not pushing as hard as I’d expect him to. Perhaps he knows something I don’t.

(On the other hand, I also thought Obama would be a better President than McCain. Geithner’s free hand and now the GM thing are making me wonder.)

Some on the right in Israel are trying to convince people that Israel Arabs can’t be trusted. I wish someone on the left (and I’ve suggested it to Meretz, my party of choice) would recast it all in terms of if it’s OK for longtime Israeli Jews to stay in their West Bank settlements it’s OK for Israeli Arabs to continue enjoying their citizenship rights without any alteration or any subtle or less-than-subtle harassment—but that it is not OK to increase the size of existing West Bank settlements or to allow new ones unless it’s also OK to let some of the Palestinians now in the West Bank resettle in Israel proper.

I don’t feel justified in pressuring Israelis to do anything as I don’t live there, but on the other hand I don’t feel justified defending Israel when some of the policies seem wrong to me, which is why I sometimes seem to be doing both at the same time. I’m tired, and I think it’s showing in my comments.

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By Shingo, June 2, 2009 at 9:41 pm Link to this comment

Sepharad,

One only need read the news to know that you are the one who is wrong I’m afraid. 

Israeli Bill Would Jail Any Arabs Who Commemorate Nakba
http://news.antiwar.com/2009/05/24/israeli-bill-would-jail-any-arabs-who-commemorate-nakba/

No mention of Israel being asked to pay for the commemoration.

I stand corrected on the issue of Jewish immigrants in the 30’s and 40’s.

You ask why couldn’t the Palestinian refugees have been sufficiently innovative to make a livable society? Are you seriously out of your mind? Their homes have been bombed and leveled for 40 years..  The population suffers from malnutrition.  Their means of survival have been destroyed or made impossible to access.

The Jewish refugees from Arab countries who fled to Israel, were given a home and received overwhelming international support unlike the Palestinians, who have been internationally isolated every since.

You might recall that 800, 000 Palestinians lost their homes and the 900,000 Jews who arrived quickly took possession of them, not to mention the mass looting that took place.

The descendants of these 900,000 Jews probably will not need to ask the Arab countries who took their homes and businesses for compensation, because they have received many times that thanks to the US tax payer and foreign donors.

The Palestinians HAVE recognizes Israel’s right to exist.  Even Hamas have said they would support a 2 state solution, which defacto, has to recognize that one of those states is Israel.  It’s hard for a prisoner to empathize with their captor, their taunters, their oppressor.

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By Sepharad, June 2, 2009 at 9:31 pm Link to this comment

Shingo, re Uvitz & closed-door meetings, I haven’t heard or read about that. Where?

I did hear that Sharon told Bush that the WMDs were no longer in Iraq, and Perle told Sharon to stop saying that. But it is only hearsay.

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By Sepharad, June 2, 2009 at 9:24 pm Link to this comment

Shingo, you’re wrong on so many things I no longer have time or patience to respond fully. Just a few:

*Nobody forbade commemorating Nakhba—Israel just will not pay for the commemoration. Any group or individuals are welcome to knock themselves out.

*Re Salamei, protection was in exchange for not attacking Americans abroad.

*U.S. and Britain both refused Jews trying to get out of Europe in the ‘30s and early ‘40s. Britain agreed to take a few hundred Jewish children but not their parents. Boatloads of desperate refugees were turned away by other countries, including one that sank after sailing out of New York harbor. Some made their way to South America, some to Shanghai and some to Bombay, but not that many. Varian Fry, editor of Foreign Affairs, was in Vienna when Kristalnacht struck and hurried back to urge the State Department to admit Jewish refugees but was stonewalled. He raised money from his writer friends, got Eleanor Roosevelt to badger State, but the best he could do was get a handful of notables out of Vichy France—Marc and Bella Chagall, Leon Feuchtwanger, Hannah Arendt—by personally leading them over the Pyrhenees into Spain. (The State Department had knowledge of the death camps by 1940, when the German experts were just getting efficient.) Most refugees who escaped did so via Turkish ships to Palestine, or led by Zionists through Turkey over the Syrian mountains. Most survivors reached Palestine via Turkish ships—some were interned at Cyprus by the British, others made it. My parents and I both know personally refugees who were refused by this country.

*So innovators just happened to live in Israel? Was it something in the air, the water? Why couldn’t the Palestinian refugees, now in their third generation and under Jordan/Palestine until ‘67, have been sufficiently innovative to make a livable society? The 900,000 Jewish refugees from Arab countries who fled to Israel after the ‘48 war came with nothing, Israel was still a small country with not a lot of infrastructure. But in the interest of peace,  descendents of these 900,000 Jews probably will NOT ask the Arab countries who took their homes and businesses for compensation, whereas I believe Israel should compensate the Palestinians for their lost homes and apologize sincerely for the trauma of displacement. When returning Gaza had such a horrific result, it would help if the Palestinians would recognize Israel’s right to exist and exhibit some signs of wanted to coexist profitably and peacably when they get the West Bank. It truly is immoral to not be able to imagine or empathize with the other—but that should go both ways.

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By Robert, June 2, 2009 at 6:45 pm Link to this comment

Navy Vet Honored, Foiled Israeli Attack

By Ray McGovern

“June 02, 2009 “Information Clearing House”—What’s the difference between murder and massacre?

The answer is Terry Halbardier, whose bravery and ingenuity as a 23-year-old Navy seaman spelled the difference between the murder of 34 of the USS Liberty crew and the intended massacre of all 294.

The date was June 8, 1967; and for the families of the 34 murdered and for the Liberty’s survivors and their families, it is a “date which will live in infamy” — like the date of an earlier surprise attack on the U.S. Navy.

The infamy is two-fold: (1) the Liberty, a virtually defenseless intelligence collection platform prominently flying an American flag in international waters, came under deliberate attack by Israeli aircraft and three 60-ton Israeli torpedo boats off the coast of the Sinai on a cloudless June afternoon during the six-day Israeli-Arab war; and (2) President Lyndon Johnson called back carrier aircraft dispatched to defend the Liberty lest Israel be embarrassed — the start of an unconscionable cover-up, including top Navy brass, that persists to this day.

Given all they have been through, the Liberty survivors and other veterans – who joined Halbardier to celebrate his belated receipt of the Silver Star – can be forgiven for having doubted that this day would ever come. In the award ceremony at the Visalia (California) office of Rep. Devin Nunes, the Republican congressman pinned the Silver Star next to the Purple Heart that Halbardier found in his home mailbox three years ago.

Nunes said, “The government has kept this quiet I think for too long, and I felt as my constituent he [Halbardier] needed to get recognized for the services he made to his country.”

Nunes got that right. Despite the many indignities the Liberty crew has been subjected to, the mood in Visalia was pronouncedly a joyous one of Better (42 years) Late Than Never. And, it did take some time to sink in: Wow, a gutsy congressman not afraid to let the truth hang out on this delicate issue.

Treatment Accorded the Skipper

As we gathered in Congressman Nunes’s office, I could not get out of my head the contrast between this simple, uncomplicated event and the rigmarole that senior Navy officers went through to pin a richly deserved Medal of Honor on another hero of that day, the Liberty’s skipper, Captain William McGonagle.

Although badly wounded by Israeli fire on June 8, 1967, McGonagle was able to keep the bombed, torpedoed, napalmed Liberty afloat and limping toward Malta, where what was left of the bodies of the 34 crewmen killed and the 174 wounded could be attended to.

Do the math: yes, killed and wounded amounted to more than two-thirds of the Liberty crew of 294.

I remembered what a naval officer involved in McGonagle’s award ceremony told one of the Liberty crew: “The government is pretty jumpy about Israel…the State Department even asked the Israeli ambassador if his government had any objections to McGonagle getting the medal.”

When McGonagle received his award, the White House (the normal venue for a Medal of Honor award) was all booked up, it seems, and President Johnson (who would have been the usual presenter) was unavailable. So it fell to the Secretary of the Navy to sneak off to the Washington Navy Yard on the banks of the acrid Anacostia River, where he presented McGonagle with the Medal of Honor and a citation that described the attack but not the identity of the attackers.

Please don’t misunderstand. The Liberty crew is not big on ceremony. They are VERY-not-big on politicians who wink when Navy comrades are killed and wounded at sea.”
~~~~~~~~~~~

An excellent article from Ray McGovern…a must read for all. Click on link below for the rest of the TRUTH story of what happened to the USS Liberty ship and its American crew:


http://informationclearinghouse.info/article22757.htm

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By Shingo, June 2, 2009 at 4:29 pm Link to this comment

One thing I forgot to add ITW,

Regarding Muslim immigration to the US after 911, the fact that it changed from being open and easy to difficult following extraordinary circumstances proves that the US does not (or did not) have an specific anti Muslim immigration.  The fact that Muslims are now victimized is itself hideous, but the point I am making is that the US didn’t have an immigration policy based on denying the right of Muslims to migrate to the US.

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By Shingo, June 2, 2009 at 4:15 pm Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind,

There’s no disputing that Muslim immigration to the US became all but impossible during the Bush years, though to be honest, much of that had to do with 911.

Nor do I dispute that the immigration policy in Arab states is a joke, but that’s not the argument here is it?  This issue was about whether Israel’s immigration policies were consistent with it’s claim to being a democracy.  No Arab states pretend to be democrcies.

Israel may not be unique if you insist on comparing it’s policies to those of other states throughout history, but we’ve come a long way in the free world.  one could argue that any country condoning slavery is entitled to do so because the US allowed it hundreds of years ago, but that wouldn’t go far would it?

Setting aside Netenyahu and his base, seeing as we are in agreement about them, the Law of Return still stands out like a saw thumb because it is fundamentally based on the premise that the privileges afforded one ethnicity should come at the expense of the human rights and survival of another.

It’s not even an exchange of equal proportions, because while the immigrants are rarely migrating to Israel as refugees, refugees are being created to accommodate them.

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By Inherit The Wind, June 2, 2009 at 3:46 pm Link to this comment

Ed Harges, June 2 at 4:39 pm #

ITW wrote:

“Immigration control is every nation’s right.  No American, no Arab, no European, and no Asian have a right to throw stones at Israel’s immigration policies.  It is a severe distortion of long-recognized national rights to insist Israel alone, of all nations, must cede its right to set its immigration policies and law.”

Good lord, Israel’s ideological inabilityl to accept its completely legitimate non-Jewish inhabitants, its refusal to grant them true political equality, is not an immigration problem! You and Sepharad are full of garbage, making comparisons to the immigration laws of other countries!

It’s not an immigration problem; it’s a Zionism problem, and it can’t be solved without Israel’s giving up Zionism.
**********************************************

In your now systemic twit-ieness you didn’t bother to actually READ or pay attention to what I wrote.

Please pay attention the BOLDED section below, which Sepharad ALSO strongly endorsed.  Try, try, TRY to keep up!

********************************************
If there’s anyone with a brain out there, here’s a simple definition of what Israel should be:

1) Every citizen of Israel must be equal. Period. No exceptions. Anyone who says I defend or support anything else is a liar. Period.

2) Immigration control is every nation’s right.  No American, no Arab, no European, and no Asian have a right to throw stones at Israel’s immigration policies.  It is a severe distortion of long-recognized national rights to insist Israel alone, of all nations, must cede its right to set its immigration policies and law.
*********************************************

See?  In your rush to rant and rage you mixed up IMMIGRATION POLICY, with domestic CIVIL RIGHTS POLICY.

These are TWO DIFFERENT THINGS, which you clearly have NOT figured out.

But…..rant on, EH, rant on.

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By Ed Harges, June 2, 2009 at 1:39 pm Link to this comment

ITW wrote:

“Immigration control is every nation’s right.  No American, no Arab, no European, and no Asian have a right to throw stones at Israel’s immigration policies.  It is a severe distortion of long-recognized national rights to insist Israel alone, of all nations, must cede its right to set its immigration policies and law.”

Good lord, Israel’s ideological inabilityl to accept its completely legitimate non-Jewish inhabitants, its refusal to grant them true political equality, is not an immigration problem! You and Sepharad are full of garbage, making comparisons to the immigration laws of other countries!

It’s not an immigration problem; it’s a Zionism problem, and it can’t be solved without Israel’s giving up Zionism.

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By Robert, June 2, 2009 at 1:16 pm Link to this comment

June 2, 2009

The US Needs to Impose a Policy of Disarmament

Obama and Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal

By GIDEON SPIRO

“Obama’s visits to the Middle East this week come on the heels of the surprise announcement by Rose Gottemoeller, the US Assistant Secretary of State for Verification, Compliance, and Implementation, that America would like every nation – including Israel – to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Israelis are still feeling the shockwaves generated by that announcement, confirming the hopes (or fears, depending on who you ask) that the Obama administration is initiating a major overhaul of its policy on nuclear proliferation in the Middle East.
The Obama administration will discover, however, that this is easier said than done. The current Israeli government will most certainly refuse to cooperate with the State Department’s new logical, fair-minded approach to non-proliferation.

It was none other than Avigdor Lieberman, the Israeli foreign minister, who declared – with quite a bit of chutzpah – that the US government would adopt whatever policy Israel dictated. But Israelis should realise that the American president cannot be reduced to a puppet of the Israeli government.

When Israeli leaders talk about halting the Iranian nuclear program, it is a barely concealed threat of a military strike. Just last month, the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz published an article by its senior commentator for military affairs calling for Israeli military action against the Iranian nuclear project. When the most liberal daily paper engages in shameless warmongering, alarm bells should start ringing.

Israel pushed the Middle East into a race for weapons of mass destruction. In 1986, Mordechai Vanunu, the nuclear whistleblower, exposed the frantic bomb-making activity going on behind the walls of the Israeli nuclear facility in Dimona. Experts on nuclear proliferation estimate that Israel is armed with hundreds of atom and hydrogen bombs. Adding to this the biological and chemical weapons that Israel produces in the Nes Ziona Biological Institute, a frightening picture emerges: a state that is a powder keg of atomic, biological and chemical WMD.

Today we know that Israel developed nuclear arms while deceiving the US government. President Kennedy was opposed to Israel acquiring or developing nuclear weapons because of the dangers to regional and global stability. But Israel successfully deceived the American nuclear inspectors who were sent to investigate the Dimona reactor, showing the inspectors only a small part of the nuclear facility while hiding the weapons-making program which was located behind secret walls and elevators.”

http://www.counterpunch.org/spiro06022009.html

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By Inherit The Wind, June 2, 2009 at 9:54 am Link to this comment

Granted Dumbya may have done it just to help his rich friends but he rarely deviated from the Far Right, especially on such a “value” issue (yes, it’s oxymoronic to call them that).

Living in the NE US (NJ) we see lots of races and issues.  Two nearby counties are being monitored—Bergen and Middlesex for voter discrimination TODAY in the primary (gotta go vote…) because they have large numbers of Hispanic folks.  But consequently we see a lot of folks with immigration issues and, inevitably, they are NOT Caucasian.

My point is the Chinese ban was simply one of many racist immigration policies that take place to this day.  Do you think for one second the Bushies weren’t finding ways to slow down and even STOP all Moslem immigration to the US because “they’re all terrorists” we get told by the Becks and Limbaughs?

Find out about immigration policy to ANY of the Arab states and see how hard it is for a non-Moslem to become a citizen…Blocking one group is simply the flip side of opening your doors to another.

You WANT Israel to be unique: Then it’s easy to condemn.  But if it’s NOT unique, you will need to review all your opinions on that state.  I KNOW it’s not unique, therefore I don’t see a problem with the Law of Return.  But I DO see a problem with the fascists under What-a-Yahoo.  I think THEY are bad for Israel, bad for Jews, bad for Palestinians, bad for Arabs, and bad for America.

Therefore I hope the President will NOT back down.  I understand he is patient and diplomatic—I’m OK with that—but I want him to be resolute as well.

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By Shingo, June 2, 2009 at 5:10 am Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind,

The admiration is mutual my friend. wink

Acording to your own explanation, the ban on Chinese immigration was precipitated by the shrinking demand for (cheap) labor.  In any case, I’m not denying that race was a factor, and I think I made it clear that all Western countries have a sordid history of racism. 

The point I was trying to make however, is that we have aknowledged that as the vulgarities of slavery and segregation. 

Without knowing much about your Indian friend, but having lived in Canada for many years, I can say that Canada has one of the highest intakes of non European immigrants of any country I have visited.

There is no question that racism is rampant in the US, and while it may influence how immigration is carried out, the policy itself is certainly not race based.  In other words, there are no religions, enthicities or races that are excluded from the immigration intake as a matter of policy.

I fully agree you about the the right-wingers venom nad howit is directed towards other races.  That’s the way it has always been, but it’s not how the US, Canada, the UK or Australia defines itself.

re Dubya and whether racism was one of his weaknesses, the jury it still out with me on that one.  His motivation for fending off the right’s border policies may have been self interest ie. keeping his friends happy with a supply of cheap labor.

I am willing to enterntain the notion that those who envisaged Israel probably had the best of intentions (as did America’s founding fathers), but as we saw in teh west, those ideas can easily be corrupted. 

The right of return however is unprecendented in recent history.

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By Inherit The Wind, June 2, 2009 at 4:42 am Link to this comment

Shingo,
I admire your tenacity in sticking to your assertion but it’s not supported by history.

The ONLY reason for the ban on Chinese immigration when Europeans were flooding our shore was race, pure and simple.  Japanese immigration was also slowed to a trickle by the mis-named “Gentlemen’s Agreement”.  This racism became blatant in WWII when Japanese-Americans were forced into concentration camps but German-Americans and Italian-Americans roamed freely.  Yet in the history of treason during WWII, a number of German-Americans were convicted but only one Japanese-American was-of a lesser crime.

The idea that a person is defined by his “country of origin” DESPITE his country of citizenship is simply flat-out racist. There is NO justification for it.  So my Canadian colleague, who cannot get Green card as a Canadian but is forced to wait for it as an Indian can only be in that fix because of his race, and the “country of origin” definition is simply a bureaucratic coverup for racism.

Racism is still, clearly rampant in the US and in immigration policy.  Look at the right-wingers rabid attacks on the so-called “browning” of America—the idea that at some point in the not-so-distant future Whites will be out-numbered by Blacks, Yellows (Asians) and Browns (Latinos).  They are vomiting with fury, choking on their bile, that our President, for the first time, isn’t White.  For 12 years under Reagan/Bush and again under Bush 43, they made a point of controlling immigration to try to slow that “browning” down.

(Curiously, for all his flaws and faults I don’t see racism as one of Dumbya’s weaknesses, and he successfully fended off the Right’s attempts at draconian Mexican border policies)

Israel, by creating laws that grandiosely speak of the right of every Jew to make Aliah only looks on the surface like a different and unique policy.  Perhaps this was Israel’s mistake because when examined as a law, it is no different than any other nation’s decisions. 

By analogy: You look at a Camaro and a Firebird and see two completely different cars.  I look at them and see the same car with different grills and tail-lights.  (Then again, I look at two GM cars and see the reasons why GM is bankrupt…on a tangent: I got a Chevy HHR as a loaner a few weeks ago when one car was being repaired after an old lady dinged it while it was parked, and it may be the worst car I’ve ever driven.  I got a Kia yesterday while my wife’s car was being serviced and, while it is VERY basic transportation, it was perfectly fine. Comfortable and everything was in a logical place and worked as expected—three simple traits the HHR didn’t have—all based on sane design.)

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By ardee, June 2, 2009 at 4:05 am Link to this comment

Sepharad, June 1 at 7:30 pm #

Netanyahu is going to have a hard time resisting Obama’s attack on new settlement building in the West Bank, because the Israeli public is very sensitive to not balking or embarrassing an American President or otherwise acting to damage their “critical ally” status. If N. goes too far, he could lose his coalition.
..................

I guess he didnt have that much of a hard time, yesterday he refused to consider the issue claiming that Israel needed “Lebensraum”.

Given Netenyahu’s history as a bloody butcher one might have anticipated such. The question remains will Obama display a backbone so far absent from view?

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By Shingo, June 1, 2009 at 11:17 pm Link to this comment

Sepharad,

As for intelligence sharing, you might recall Uval Steinitz, the chairman of the Israeli Knesset’s defense/intelligence committe from 2003 - 04.  He held closed-door hearings about the Mossad and military intelligence failures in Iraq. Israeli military officers such as Maj. Gen. Amos Gilad predicted that toppling Saddam in a war would create dramatic positive change in the Middle East.

That turned out well didn’t it?

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By Shingo, June 1, 2009 at 10:35 pm Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind
American immigration policy may indeed be political, and I have never desputed that, but to argue that immigration policy is shaped by a desire to achieve ethnic supremacy doesn’t hold up. 
Haitian’s may find it harder to enter the US, but it wouldn’t be because they were black, so much as because they were from Haiti, which has been a hotbed of ugly US foreign policy.  Of course, this doesn’t make it right but the fact that Indians ARE allowed in proves that racism is not the driving factor.
One could go back to when Chinese immigrants were blocked from entering, but then again, it could be argued that this was driven by economics, as opposed to race. The UK and Europe are making it more difficult for foreign workers to enter, gives the world economy, but this is not based on race or ethnicity either.
Israel’s blocking of one specific group is based entirely on the notion of ethnic identity and denial of the legitimacy of that ethnic group.  It is the only country in the world that not only gives unlimited rights to people belonging to a particular ethnic or religious denomination to migrate, but violates the rights of those who are native to the region in order to accommodate the immigrants.
So yes, Israel is indeed a special case.
There is no question that many Western States have histories of racism, but a) we tend to admit to these vulgar chapters and b) we have endeavored to correct those mistakes.  Israel not only refuses to change it’s racist policies, it argues that such policies are righteous.
In the case of post-war Germany, well, you have to go back 60 years to post-war Germany to come up with an example.  So again, you go back to what Patrick Henry points out – that because other countries did it in the past, Israel is entitled to do it.
Yes, in America and Canada, and Australia and the UK, if you are born in that country, you are a citizen of that country. 
Not so in Israel if you happen to be born to parents of the wrong religion.  Can you possibly deny this?

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By Inherit The Wind, June 1, 2009 at 10:13 pm Link to this comment

Quotas on immigration in Western countries are never based on ethnicity or religion.  Certainly, no ethnicity or religion is blocked from being considered by the West as a matter of government policy. Only in Israel is this the case.
*********************************

Shingo, while I disagree with you on many things, this is one time when you are flat-out dick-cheney/rush limbaugh WRONG!

American immigration policy has LONG been based on ethnicity—so any clod leaving Eastern Europe in the 80’s could claim “political asylum” but a Haitian Black person would be deemed an “economic refugee” and sent back. The whites were admitted with virtually no quotas, the blacks in a quota-driven trickle.  Even TODAY, as I said, a colleague cannot get the US to treat him as a Canadian immigrant (though he’s a Canadian citizen) but he must wait in line for the quotas allowing Indians in—a much longer line.  He’s not “Canadian” to the ICE (or whatever they call it now), he’s “Indian”.  Think THAT is not racist?

Perhaps you need to study how in American history Chinese immigrants were blocked once they were no longer needed for the railroad building.  This blockage went on for decades.  Go back and study not only past laws but CURRENT immigration quotas.  Israel blocking all but a few of one group and giving free admission to another is not only not unique, it is typical of nations.  But because the free group are Jews, regardless of their country of origin or race (an update-black Jews had a harder time), people go blind and think this is some special case.  It’s not.

Our immigration history, and Canada’s, and EVERY Western European state has been NOTHING if not racist.

How about post-war Germany and their use of Turkish guest workers.  Even children born in Germany were NOT legally Germans, nor if they had children would THEY be (now they are. We are not talking nazi-era Germany, but modern EU-NATO Germany.  We Americans take it for granted that NO MATTER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, if you are born on American soil you are an American and there is no way that can be taken away from you, unless YOU choose not to be.

This assertion of yours is so false it thuds.  And this claim that Israel is unique is, well, beneath you.  I’d expect such nonsense from “The Contingent”.

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By PatrickHenry, June 1, 2009 at 6:27 pm Link to this comment

I tend to disagree with Shep’s assessment that alot of good comes out of Israel.  It is well known that much of the espionage conducted against the U.S. by Israel is industrial espionage.

As for the evil oil producers: http://www.uruknet.org/?p=m42737&hd;=&size=1&l=e

Israel was also known to collaberate with the South African state when the world observed a boycott on that nation.  The exchanges even included the detonation of an Israeli nuclear weapon off the South African coast.  No wonder though, Debeers is but part of the Jewish monopoly in the diamond trade predating the state of Israel and which effectively controlled the South African government and was instrumental in creating the Apartheid state.

The mossad is and has been penetrated by the Soviets for along while. Any information (Pollard) gathered by that agency is usually compromised.  This is the problem with Israels immigration policy, one only has to claim “Jew” and they are fast tracked.  Even I could immigrate claiming I was a jew, not knowing anything about Judiasm.  The Russians know this and exploit it to their advantage.  There are large Russian communities in Israel which are no more jewish than I am.  They are the population counterweight to the Arabs which are and have been the rightful inhabitants since before the Nabka,  The rightful Palestinian land owners had to flee for their lives, I would call it abandonment under duress.

As for the internment of Japanese during WWII some 60+ years ago, it wasn’t a very good thing then as it wouldn’t be now.  The continual finger pointing by Israelis stating you did it so we are entitled to do it too doesn’t make it right either.  The U.S has evolved and needs alot more.  We now have a Black President, when will Israel be ready for an Arab one?

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By Shingo, June 1, 2009 at 6:13 pm Link to this comment

Sepharad,

Part 1 of 2

So what was the basis for the CIA supporting Ali Salimeh?

No, ccientific, environmental, biomedical, biotechnical, agricultural innovation, music, literature, intelligence sharing etc. have nothing to do with foreign policy and ally relationships. These contributions are a consequence of supply and demand.  The US does not send arms to Israel because of music and literature. 

The innovations in biotechnical, agricultural have nothing to do with US support for Israel. They are driven by free market forces.  As you say, we continue to do business with some pretty reprehensible countries because, but oil cannot be produced elsewhere.

The Israeli citizens who have come up with these innovations would still be sharing their advances irrespective of which country they were in and most of these advances are the product of US investment anyway.  Israel is nothing but a piece of land in which some innovators happen to be living, and it is delusional on your part to insist that Israel’s existence is itself a key to making these advances happen.

So no, your argument is false on all counts.

>> If there were no Israel, the people able to illegally make their way out of Germany during the war would not be here at all.

Rubbish.  Those people could just as easily have made their way to the West (as many of them did).  Your playing a game of what if’s that have no basis.  Innovation is inevitable because it is driven by necessity and demand.

As we have seen with Iran’s non existent nuclear weapons program, much of the so called intelligence Israel shares is false and deliberately misleading. 
The reason we do not have enough Arab speakers or agents intimate with the Arab and other Islamic cultures is because of the Islamophobia that permeates this country, Islamophobia that Israel fosters.

Furthermore, if intelligence is shared as freely as you woudl have us believe, there would be no reason for Israel to spy on the US. Since Jonathan Pollard was arrested, every Israeli government has lobbied for his release.

Quotas on immigration in Western countries are never based on ethnicity or religion.  Certainly, no ethnicity or religion is blocked from being considered by the West as a matter of government policy. Only in Israel is this the case.

No you can argue that this is Israel’s right, which may be so, but you cannot then argue that Israel can enact such policies and claim to be a democracy.

The U.S. and England did not refused to admit Jews trying get out of Europe in the 1930s and early ‘40s.  That is false.

Yes, Israel absolutely did steal Arab lands, and they planned to do so for a half a century before Israel was created.  As early as 1939, Ben Gurion told us he saw no moral dilemma with the “transfer” of Arabs from Israel.

Israel Zangwill,  stated as early as 1905 that:
“[We] must be prepared either to drive out by the sword the [Arab] tribes in possession as our forefathers did or to grapple with the problem of a large alien population, mostly Mohammedan and accustomed for centuries to despise us.” (Righteous Victims, p. 140 & Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 7-10)
Ze’ev Jabotinsky, the founder of the Israeli political Right, in 1926 explained that:
” ... the tragedy lies in the fact the there is a collision here between two truths .... but our justice is greater. The Arab is culturally backward, but his instinctive patriotism is just as pure and noble as our own; it cannot be bought, it can only be curbed ... force majeure.” (Righteous Victims, p. 108)
No, Israel did not buy the land at all. In 1948, Jews only owned 7% of the land in Israel and the Arabs 50%.  40% was given to the State of Israel.

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By Shingo, June 1, 2009 at 6:12 pm Link to this comment

Sepharad,

Part 2 of 2

The Arab landlords were not going to sell their land and Israel knew it, which is why they ethnically cleansed the Arabs from Israel and then argued that absentee landlords had forfeited their rights to their property.  The Arabs did not abandon their land, they were driven from it under threat of murder, having witnessed the massacres in Deir Yassin and other villages.

Recent investigations of the archives in Turkey have revealed that many of the land deeds were fraudulent anyway.

While Israel stole the West Bank from Jordan, Palestinians still owned most of the property in the West Bank.  BTW.  The Arab countries did no try to destroy Israel in 1967. Israel started the war because they wanted the west Bank and the Sinai.  Israel fired the first shots and both Menachem begin and Yitzak Shamir have admitted that Egypt was no threat. 

Land theft is land theft, so while Jordan may have offered the Palestinians citizenship in Jordan, that is besides the point.  The crime was committed by Israel and it was Israel who should have allowed the Arabs to return.  That is why the myth of the Jewish state is not accepted, because Israel violated the terms of the Balfour Agreement that:

”....it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”

The reason your previous posts about this subject have fallen on deaf ears is because they are flawed and unconvincing.

Hezbollah and Hamas are not threat to Israel’s security.  Hezbollah operate inside Lebanon.  So long as Israel does not invade Lebanon, as they have done on 5 occasions, they have nothing to fear from Hezbollah.  Hamas are only concenred with governing from Gaza and the West Bank, neither of which belong to Israel.  So long as Israel withdraws from these territories and allows them self determination, they have nothing to fear from Hamas either.

It’s quite simple.

22 Arab states have offered to recognize Israel as per the 1967 borders and Israel has rejected the 6 year old offer, so the argument about Arab countries not recognizing Israel is a fraud and a stalling tactic that Israel have used to avoid political settlement.

The unfair and draconian laws passed by the Israeli government have nothing to do with Israel being recognized.  They have to do with a society that is moving further and further to the extreme right.

WWII lasted less than a decade, and did not involve occupation.  The war Israel is engaged in is due to tit’s continued land theft, expansion and projection of power.

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By Sepharad, June 1, 2009 at 5:19 pm Link to this comment

Shingo, the CIA-Ali Salimeh story was told by George Jonas in his book “Vengeance” (on which Spielberg based his film “Munich”). Jonas was one of the Mossad operatives assigned to assassinate the planners and enablers of the murders of the 11 Israeli athletes in the ‘72 Olympics held in Munich.

Scientific, environmental, biomedical, biotechnical, agricultural innovation, music, literature, intelligence sharing etc. are very much a matter of foreign policy and ally relationships. We do business with some pretty reprehensible countries because of their petroleum production, which is more in line with foreign policy as in beneficial to our country’s commerce and welfare. As an ally, Israel shares their advances in these fields, some of which are are critical to us and our citizens wellbeing. You’re delusional if you think all of this would be happening if there were no Israel. If there were no Israel, the people able to illegally make their way out of Germany during the war would not be here at all. Israel also share much of the intelligence they gather, a significant advantage in the Middle East as we still do not have enough Arab speakers or agents intimate with the Arab and other Islamic cultures.

As for spying on the U.S., Israel is no different than the U.S. or Britain or France or any other country with an intelligence service. Often intelligence is shared or traded, sometimes its gained from spies. If the intelligence gained by the spy is passed on to a country that can use it to damage the spied-upon country, THAT is a breach that would take awhile to heal—e.g., if a WWII British spy took information gathered clandestinely in the U.S. and gave it to an enemy such as Germany or, in the Cold War, to Russia.

All countries have quotas and restrictions on immigration, usually official, sometimes non-official. In fact, there might not be so many Jews in Israel if so many countries—including the U.S. and England—had not refused to admit Jews trying immigrate to get out of Europe in the 1930s and early ‘40s.

Jews did not steal Arab lands in most instances—they bought it, and after the ‘48 war took land abandoned by Arabs during the war. They took the West Bank from JORDAN, not Palestinians, after Jordan joined other Arab countries trying to destroy Israel. Jordan took the land from the Palestinians during the ‘48 war, and offered all Arabs displaced by the war citizenship in Jordan. This is something I’ve written about in response to so many uninformed queries on this site that I’m leaving it at that. Don’t have time to keep repeating what people do not want to understand.

The loyalty oath is a dead issue, and the Israeli Supreme Court is perfectly capable of striking down discriminatory laws and frequently do. But as more and more pressure is put on maintaining Israel’s security by Hezbollah and Hamas, and as long as other Arab countries do not recognize Israel, I’m afraid that there will be some unfair, if not draconian, laws passed by this government. The U.S. interned Japanese citizens after the attack on Pearl Harbor, which was a serious abridgement of civil liberties, but it ended with the end of the war. As for voting rights, Israeli Arabs have those and have had them longer than American blacks have.

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By Shingo, June 1, 2009 at 4:53 pm Link to this comment

Sepharad, June 1 at 7:30 pm #

While it is true the loyalty oath was rejected, the proposed law banning the commemoration of the Nakba is still alive.

The dismantling of an illegal Jewish outpost in the West Bank could hardly be defined as ethnic cleansing, because it did not involved the “transfer” or forceful removal of those settlers from the area.  In fact, the chances are that those settlers are rebuilding that outpost as we speak.

Ethnic cleansing does not require buildings to be dismantled. As the 1948 Nakba demonstrates, it can be easily carried out in spite of it.

The fact that “a” Palestinian in the West Bank was hung because he sold his land to a Jew, is proof that
a” Palestinian in the West Bank was hung because he sold his land to a Jew.  You have raised this story a number of times over the last few months, so it isn’t new.  It too has nothing to do with enthnic cleansing.

>> Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority’s soldiers and police are attempting to kill or arrest Hamas militiamen in the West Bank.

Yes, and they will likely fail because the PA have no credibility or strength.

While the Israeli public might be reticent to embarrass Obama, the settlers are unafraid to tell Obama and Cinton to mind their own business. Obama has not even suggested that the “critical ally” status or annual aid package is under any threat.

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By Sepharad, June 1, 2009 at 4:30 pm Link to this comment

ardee and Ed, Lieberman’s notion that Arab Israelis be subjected to the loyalty oath was quickly shot down by the Cabinet, which I felt necessary to tell you as it would be easy to miss: the action was reported in a brief couple of paragraphs, unlike the huge stories that covered and dissected and gathered comments on his stupid idea. IDF soldiers recently shut down an illegal Jewish outpost in the West Bank, which I suppose could be defined as ethnic cleansing, and a Palestinian in the West Bank was hung because he sold his land to a Jew, as another instance of ethnic cleansing with a twist. Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority’s soldiers and police are attempting to kill or arrest Hamas militiamen in the West Bank.

Netanyahu is going to have a hard time resisting Obama’s attack on new settlement building in the West Bank, because the Israeli public is very sensitive to not balking or embarrassing an American President or otherwise acting to damage their “critical ally” status. If N. goes too far, he could lose his coalition.

Ed, I also read and appreciate Nation, having a more communist/socialist orientation.

Also, I share the views Inherit offered in his most recent post.

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By PatrickHenry, June 1, 2009 at 4:16 pm Link to this comment

By Inherit The Wind, June 1 at 10:50 pm #

Every so often a blind squirrel finds a nut and I agree with you.  For Israel to be a true democracy it has to accept those who would criticize it out of existence.  Adversity establishes the checks and balances of society.

BTW, you should be the last one on this website to accuse others of “insults”, however we know how hard it is for zealots to control themselves.

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By Shingo, June 1, 2009 at 4:14 pm Link to this comment

Sepharad,

What do scientific, biotechnical, biomedical, environmental, musical, literary achievements have to do with alliances and foreign policy?  This is a pathetic canard, even my your standards.

Scientific, biotechnical, biomedical, environmental, musical, literary works have nothing to do with Israeli foreign policy.  In fact, it is more that likely that such works would have been produced in spite of Israel’s existence.

I am afraid that democracy hangs on by a bare thread in Israel.  The very notion of a Jewish majority is a an anathema to democracy, as it the denial limits on liberties imposed on Arab citizens and the draconian laws that are being considered.

U.S. and other countries in the world do not deny immigration rights to any race or religion, whereas Israel does.  You are deliberately conflating quotas with maintaining enthnic identity.

Israel intelligence agencies both cooperate with and spy on the U.S. In indeed they are frequently caught doing so.

The fact that Israel has not gone public with information embarrassing to the U.S. proves nothing.  Most countries intelligence agencies maintain a dialogue with each other and often do deals.

I would be interested in proof of the Ali Salimeh story you recounted and how Israel did not go public with it.  Who’s to say Israel didn’t simply blackmail the US with the information?

The state of Israel is not willing to commit suicide to guarantee America low gas prices

Returning land that it stole from Arabs, that does not belong to Israel is not suicide.  It is law and justice.

After all, is not the rule of law the very foundation of a democracy?
, but they are working on technology to make petroleum irrelevant—same goal as Obama and many Americans, I believe.

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By Inherit The Wind, June 1, 2009 at 3:50 pm Link to this comment

ardee, June 1 at 6:50 am #

Sepharad, June 1 at 2:02 am #

Ed, democracy continues alive and well in the Jewish state. Israel simply wants to remain a country with a majority of citizens Jewish, the only way to avoid being absorbed into the Moslem Arab countries.
....................

I am certain that you are correct in the reasons that Israel treats its neighbors so harshly. But a nation founded on the actions of ousting 700,000 residents and stealing their lands and possessions has a stain upon its soul.

Further, the resistance to a two state solution and the continual violence towards those outside its borders, as well as the encroachment of illegal settlements upon lands they are not entitled to own is not explained by your remarks.
******************************************

Despite the fact that I disagree with your first paragraph RD, and think your second lacks clear thought, because you don’t dogmatically walk lock-step with “The Contingent”, three members are now adding you to their list of insultees, along with Sepharad and me.  This is despite the fact that the three of us disagree frequently.  But that won’t keep Thebeerdoctor, PatrickHenry and Ed Harges from layin’ the personal attacks on you.

But don’t worry: None of them has a sound argument between them, their logic is faulty and they have no reality check because none of them dares criticize the other no matter how outlandish they get.

So we get Beer attacking me viciously for pointing out that the views of 12 states’ attorneys general on foreign policy are irrelevant (which they are), PH goes back to cite for the thousandth time one of the few sources that isn’t TOTALLY laughable, and EH just goes into a full-out frothing rant that echoes Farakkhan’s calling Judaism “a gutter religion”, calling it “Israel’s turdish democracy”.

I guess the only democracies he likes are ones that Hamas and the Iranian Islamic Republic wins.

If there’s anyone with a brain out there, here’s a simple definition of what Israel should be:

1) Every citizen of Israel must be equal. Period. No exceptions. Anyone who says I defend or support anything else is a liar. Period.

2) Immigration control is every nation’s right.  No American, no Arab, no European, and no Asian have a right to throw stones at Israel’s immigration policies.  It is a severe distortion of long-recognized national rights to insist Israel alone, of all nations, must cede its right to set its immigration policies and law.

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By PatrickHenry, June 1, 2009 at 3:28 pm Link to this comment

By ardee, June 1 at 1:48 am #

The ambiguity of your posts is truely amazing.  It seems your opinions are largely absent of research. 

As with the M.O. of most of the zealots, you offer offending remarks in lieu of backup to your claims.

I suggust you read The Israel Lobby by Walt and Mearsheimer if you have time in your schedule of denial.
http://ksgnotes1.harvard.edu/Research/wpaper.nsf/rwp/RWP06-011/$File/rwp_06_011_walt.pdf

or you can visit the other 350,000 posts relating to the subject.  You might even find one that agrees with your opinion.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article14746.htm

As far as feeling insulted by offering your head up ass arguements, get use to it.

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By Ed Harges, June 1, 2009 at 5:27 am Link to this comment

Re:By Sepharad, June 1 at 2:02 am #

Sepharad writes that “democracy continues alive and well in the Jewish state.”

Um, no it doesn’t, Seph, by any fair definition of the term. At best, Israel is an ethnodemocracy, or a ‘herrenvolk democracy’, which is to say, democracy with an asterisk, a “democracy” that’s been distorted beyond all recognition after being squeezed through that foul, reeking asterisk.

And Israel’s turdish democracy is also in deep doo-doo according to this witness’s recent report, published at “The Nation” (I know, Sepharad; “The Nation” is now anti-Semitic, too [sigh]):

It is an assumption almost universally acknowledged among the liberal American intelligentsia that while the Israeli occupation is repressive and abhorrent, Israel itself is an open, fully democratic state with a lively, argumentative and very free press.

Perish the thought….

... the contradictions of a nation that claims to be both Jewish and democratic are fraying.”

http://www.thenation.com/blogs/notion/438863?rel=hp_picks

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By thebeerdoctor, June 1, 2009 at 4:21 am Link to this comment

re: Inherit The Wind

I know that it is your position to excuse or at least explain that which is basically indefensible. Be that as it may, I think you miss the point about the state attorney generals going to bat for our 51st state in the Middle East, our infamous junkyard of the cold war, who according to President Obama, and every POTUS before him, considers to be an important “strategic” ally and partner. Since you point that their action is not important in the larger scheme of things, it does make you wonder why do they waste time writing such letters at all? Your complaint about Abdallah and myself discussing this, provoked such a violent claim that we are like the people who now call the president’s pick for the Supreme Court racist? Really?
I can not speak for Fadel, who most certainly have his own take on all of this, as someone actually involved in the region. But as an American citizen, who simply rejects the policy that the United States aids Israel with military weapons, or for that matter, any other country. Like Mark Twain, I simply do not want the American eagle putting its talons into any other land.
But as an advocate for Israel, you must by the very nature of such a position, be an advocate for intervention, occupation and for extending violence to any other country or group that Israel perceives to be a threat, whether it is real or virtual or existential. And please be honest here, what in creation will be the super hawk government of Israel reaction be, if Hizbollah wins a majority of seats in the upcoming election in Lebanon? YOU KNOW what it will be.
As a thinking person, do you really believe that religious affiliation is a sound basis for establishing a nation? Certainly the Iranians and the Israelis and the Saudi Arabians believe this, but until recently I thought I was a citizen of a secular western nation, where religion was a separate private matter of the individual, with no standing in determining national policy. So when I contacted Senator Sherrod Brown about his support of Israeli policy in Gaza, I was doing so because I was concerned about the unnecessary suffering inflicted on people, whatever their religion, that is totally unnecessary, but will always, and I do mean always, be justified by money sucking cowards like Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown.
And by the way ITW, you know that Israel has stolen land through military conquest and never intends to give it up. So why don’t the advocates of Israeli colonial policy be honest and just state this? The double talk out of Washington and Tel Aviv, starts to wear awfully thin.

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By ardee, June 1, 2009 at 3:50 am Link to this comment

Sepharad, June 1 at 2:02 am #

Ed, democracy continues alive and well in the Jewish state. Israel simply wants to remain a country with a majority of citizens Jewish, the only way to avoid being absorbed into the Moslem Arab countries.
....................

I am certain that you are correct in the reasons that Israel treats its neighbors so harshly. But a nation founded on the actions of ousting 700,000 residents and stealing their lands and possessions has a stain upon its soul.

Further, the resistance to a two state solution and the continual violence towards those outside its borders, as well as the encroachment of illegal settlements upon lands they are not entitled to own is not explained by your remarks.

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By ardee, June 1, 2009 at 3:45 am Link to this comment

ITW

“But you must realize: some people simply are hopeless and all you can do is refute and discredit the false propaganda they continuously spread.”

On the mark! Its the only reason I remain in a place resembling a group therapy session for those with egos too large to encompass and facts too small to notice.

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By Sepharad, May 31, 2009 at 11:02 pm Link to this comment

Ed, democracy continues alive and well in the Jewish state. Israel simply wants to remain a country with a majority of citizens Jewish, the only way to avoid being absorbed into the Moslem Arab countries. The U.S. and nearly every other free society in the world has immigration quotas to preserve the character and tradition of their culture. So why should Israel be any different? There are only 5 million Jews in Israel, but multiple millions of Arab Moslems, and billions of Moslems including the Arabs, Persian, South Asian countries.

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By Sepharad, May 31, 2009 at 10:37 pm Link to this comment

Shingo, in your May 31 5:43a.m. post you wrote that “the Israeli government and the Israeli public are giving Obama the bird… . Hardly the actions of an ally or friend.”

Assuming you are discounting all the scientific, biotechnical, biomedical, environmental, musical, literary and archaeological wealth pouring out of Israel for the benefit of not just the U.S. but the whole world, Israel intelligence agencies cooperate with the U.S. whenever they can, respond to the occasional off-the-wall requests from the U.S. (e.g., asking Israel to stop Syrian tanks ready to invade Jordan immediately without actually attacking them) and do not go public with information embarrassing to the U.S. (e.g., not publicly objecting to the CIA’s protection of Ali Salimeh, “the Red Prince,” high-living architect of hundreds of attacks on Israeli citizens including the Israeli athletes held hostage then murdered by PLO terrorists at the ‘72 Munich Olympics—because the deal was that if the CIA protected Salimeh from the Israelis Salimeh would not launch attacks on American citizens abroad). The Mossad finally managed to assassinate Salimeh.

In Jerusalem’s Old City, vendors in both the Arab and Jewish quarters sell t-shirts emblazoned with “Don’t worry, America: Israel will protect you.” Tongue-in-cheek, I assume, as Israel is very very small and hardly able to shield the U.S. from the slings and arrows. But whenever the chance arises, Israel does what it can for the U.S. The state of Israel is not willing to commit suicide to guarantee America low gas prices, but they are working on technology to make petroleum irrelevant—same goal as Obama and many Americans, I believe.

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By Ed Harges, May 31, 2009 at 10:30 pm Link to this comment

re: By Inherit The Wind, May 31 at 11:16 pm :

Poor Inherit the Wind. What you can’t accept is that the very notion of Israel as a “Jewish democracy” is a contradiction in terms, and that Israel’s slide into outright fascism follows from its refusal to give up this nonsensical founding idea.

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By Inherit The Wind, May 31, 2009 at 8:16 pm Link to this comment

ardee, May 31 at 9:34 pm #

ITW

“You’ll never understand.  Never.”

Never say never or whats the point of being here? Now on to discuss something with another one with closed ears and equally closed heart.
**************************************

Yup.  And you’ll get nowhere. 

But you must realize: some people simply are hopeless and all you can do is refute and discredit the false propaganda they continuously spread.

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By ardee, May 31, 2009 at 6:48 pm Link to this comment

PatrickHenry, May 31 at 5:08 pm #

By ardee, May 30 at 11:44 pm #


On your previous post you offered defense of Israel on one hand indicating that it is a small insignificant country which has hardly any “play” in U.S. politics and went on to surmise Israels behavior to that of the United States.  The U.S. definitely has its faults, but past issues like segregation and equal voting rights have been largely resolved, it far surpasses Israel in these matters.
...............................
Firstly, I am not responsible for your abysmal lack of reading comprehension, or your knee jerk silliness to anyone disagreeing with a position.

My rejection of the conjecture that Israel has sway over American foreign policy is viewed by you as support for Israel. I took pains to note that I supported neither nations foreign policies but you just cannot debate in good faith can you? I guess you must be used to being called narrow minded.
........................................
You stated:

“Further I think it the height of absurdity or the depth of antisemitism to consider that Israel runs our nation in even a small way. The Jewish population of the USA is 1.7% of the entire population here”.

So one is either absurd or an antisemite if they believe other than your opinion.  So much for your sophomoric insults.
...................................

I think your responses deserves sophomoric retorts as you seem to think you only can offer such, get used to responses in kind . You say Israel runs our foreign policy, exactly how do they do that , you never actually mention methodology now do you. 1.7% of the population is the accurate number of Jews in America. It seems obvious that you believe these people hold a sway all out of proportion to their numbers here. ‘Fess up now.

You are, in my opinion, a dishonest poster, changing the thrust of your position as the discourse evolves. Perhaps that reflects the lack of substance of that position.

Tell me now, how does Israel have such great affect upon the policies of the USA…..Once again, they use each other in my opinion, as I have taken pains to note in preceding posts. You, on the other hand have not served up any meat with those potatoes.

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By ardee, May 31, 2009 at 6:34 pm Link to this comment

ITW

“You’ll never understand.  Never.”

Never say never or whats the point of being here? Now on to discuss something with another one with closed ears and equally closed heart.

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By yours truly, May 31, 2009 at 3:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Israel Puts Us All At Risk

“Based on?”

“It’s Masada fanatacism”

“Which is?”

“Our way or doomsday.”

“The answer being?”

“That Jewish colonizer and colonized Palestinian sit down together and work things out.”

“Based on?”

“One equals one.”

“Anything else?”

“Liberty and justice for all.”

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By Inherit The Wind, May 31, 2009 at 2:45 pm Link to this comment

Fadel Abdallah, May 31 at 5:35 pm #

By Inherit The Wind, May 31 at 8:55 pm #

thebeerdoctor, May 31 at 2:49 pm #

re: Fadel Abdullah
====================
By reading the latest rant of the senior member of the Z-Gang, I am convinced, beyond any shadow of doubt, that this looser hardly has the analytical capacity of a high school drop-out!

Finding this out is another piece of free, good news about an enemy of the truth whose vision of things does not go higher than his hero’s ground, the Yogi Berra’s ground on which he plays to distract and entertain suckers like our Z-Gang member!
**********************************

So, Fekal Azzollah, you wanna get down and play in the mud again.

Meanwhile you latch onto and believe any piece of crap no matter how outlandish as long as it says bad things about Jews or Israel.

And if you think insulting Yogi Berra will anything other than you are a putz, you are quite wrong.

Why did you make America your home when you hate everything about it and understand nothing?  I have Vietnamese friends who have been here far less than you, speak English with very heavy accents, almost incomprehensible if you don’t know them, yet they PROUDLY took out American citizenships and understand America far better than you will if you live here a thousand years.

I said to my friend “but you’re Vietnamese…” Big mistake.  He got angry: “I no’ vie’namese! I’m ‘merican!” he scolded me.

You’ll never understand.  Never.

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By Fadel Abdallah, May 31, 2009 at 2:35 pm Link to this comment

By Inherit The Wind, May 31 at 8:55 pm #

thebeerdoctor, May 31 at 2:49 pm #

re: Fadel Abdullah
====================
By reading the latest rant of the senior member of the Z-Gang, I am convinced, beyond any shadow of doubt, that this looser hardly has the analytical capacity of a high school drop-out!

Finding this out is another piece of free, good news about an enemy of the truth whose vision of things does not go higher than his hero’s ground, the Yogi Berra’s ground on which he plays to distract and entertain suckers like our Z-Gang member!

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By PatrickHenry, May 31, 2009 at 2:08 pm Link to this comment

By ardee, May 30 at 11:44 pm #

Believe me ardee, if you were in front of me I would call your opinion deluded.  If one were to attempt harm on me by my critique of their opinion, I can only say that the only thing beating them to the hospital is the headlights of the ambulance taking them there.

On your previous post you offered defense of Israel on one hand indicating that it is a small insignificant country which has hardly any “play” in U.S. politics and went on to surmise Israels behavior to that of the United States.  The U.S. definitely has its faults, but past issues like segregation and equal voting rights have been largely resolved, it far surpasses Israel in these matters. 

You stated:

“Further I think it the height of absurdity or the depth of antisemitism to consider that Israel runs our nation in even a small way. The Jewish population of the USA is 1.7% of the entire population here”.

So one is either absurd or an antisemite if they believe other than your opinion.  So much for your sophomoric insults.

Why do you (and others) continually attempt to link the jewish population in the U.S. to Israel?  These are two separate things.  Israel is a state, not a religion or ethnicity.  It is suppose to be democratic but it isn’t. 

While Obama doesn’t meet everyones expectations in regard to Israel, I do believe he has initiated a new positive course in our relations with that country with an understanding that Israel is not the only country in the middle east and by past action, does not have Americas interests before its own.

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By Inherit The Wind, May 31, 2009 at 1:55 pm Link to this comment

thebeerdoctor, May 31 at 2:49 pm #

re: Fadel Abdullah

Regarding your link, this is one hidden-in-the-open example of the Zionist agenda permeating throughout the different levels of government. I am reminded of the e-mail response I received from Ohio senator Brown, who stated he was concerned about civilian deaths in Gaza, but, (just like this letter) Israel has every right to defend itself, no matter what the cost or consequences.
But you do have to wonder why state attorney generals should be so concerned with matters their offices are not concerned with, except for the dollars (or should that be shekels?) they receive from AIPAC.

*******************************************

Didn’t it occur to you that this makes no phuggin’ sense at all?  Since when do STATE Attorneys general have anything to do with, or any influence at all on foreign policy?  Who in the State Dept, or the WH under ANY administration since Buchanan gives a rat’s ass what all 50 State AGs thought of foreign policy, much less 12?

It’s this mindless, analysis-less lemming-like attraction to ANYTHING no matter how incredible by “The Contingent” that never fails to amaze me.  Is there not one gray cell amongst you?  You are as bad as the Rethug nitwits who are currently claiming Sotomayor is a racist…

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By thebeerdoctor, May 31, 2009 at 11:49 am Link to this comment

re: Fadel Abdullah

Regarding your link, this is one hidden-in-the-open example of the Zionist agenda permeating throughout the different levels of government. I am reminded of the e-mail response I received from Ohio senator Brown, who stated he was concerned about civilian deaths in Gaza, but, (just like this letter) Israel has every right to defend itself, no matter what the cost or consequences.
But you do have to wonder why state attorney generals should be so concerned with matters their offices are not concerned with, except for the dollars (or should that be shekels?) they receive from AIPAC.

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By Fadel Abdallah, May 31, 2009 at 10:35 am Link to this comment

http://original.antiwar.com/zunes/2009/05/29/defending-israeli-war-crimes/.

The link above will give you access to a very disturbing unprecedented revelation about 10 U.S. Attorney Generals who signed a letter addressed to Hilary Clinton, defending Israeli war crimes in Gaza. This disturbing revelation indicates how Zionist control extends to areas beyond the traditional political-military-industrial complex. Reproduced below are the first few paragraphs of this article.
================
Defending Israeli War Crimes
by Stephen Zunes, May 30, 2009

“In response to a series of reports by human rights organizations and international legal scholars documenting serious large-scale violations of international humanitarian law by Israeli armed forces in its recent war on the Gaza Strip, 10 U.S. state attorneys general sent a letter [.pdf] to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton defending the Israeli action. It is virtually unprecedented for state attorneys general – whose mandates focus on enforcement of state law – to weigh in on questions regarding the laws of war, particularly in a conflict on the far side of the world. More significantly, their statement runs directly counter to a broad consensus of international legal opinion that recognizes that Israel, as well as Hamas, engaged in war crimes.
The wording of the letter closely parallels arguments by Bush administration officials in support for Israel’s devastating offensive during their final days in office. Having been signed nearly 11 weeks after the end of the fighting and made public only late last month, it may have been part of an effort to undermine tentative efforts by the Obama administration to take a more balanced approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

A statement by state attorneys general putting forth a legal rationale for the large-scale killings of civilians is particularly distressing as concerns about civilian casualties from U.S. air and missile strikes in Afghanistan and Pakistan have grown.
The attorneys general signing on to the letter included Republicans Rob McKenna of Washington, Mike Cox of Michigan, John Suthers of Colorado, Bill McCollum of Florida, Jon Bruning of Nebraska, and Mark Shurtleff of Utah. Signatories also included such prominent Democrats as Richard Cordray of Ohio, Patrick Lynch of Rhode Island, Jack Conway of Kentucky, and Buddy Caldwell of Louisiana.”

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By ardee, May 31, 2009 at 8:16 am Link to this comment

Shingo, May 31 at 5:48 am #

Inherit The Wind,

The question as to whether there is any benefit to the US-Israeli relationship is a matter of debate.
.......

Butting in I would ask if the question is really whether the US believes there is benefit to such a relationship not whether there actually is such. That would depend upon your own political perspectives…

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By ardee, May 31, 2009 at 8:14 am Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind, May 30 at 11:45 pm #

Uh-oh, RD, now you’ve done it!
......

Yeah, and Ive done it before too…and will undoubtedly do it again. This sort of nonsense we see from the “contingent”
( whatever that means) is unfortunately not isolated to either right or left.

I would remind you of an attempt at rational conversation regarding the action of two wealthy and philanthropic individuals that resulted in my being branded as a capitalist pig, and elite effete supporter of the ruling class, whatever.

Far too many of us, and I am a part of us, are so enamored of our own perspective that we see any divergence from it as an insult or a threat. Rather than read and ponder the words of others we search them for push button phrases to get our adrenaline flowing and our fangs sharpened.

Of course there are also those poor souls who cannot post a cogent or comprehensible offering to save their reputations…No idea why.

Anyway, we all muddle through I guess, thoguh it is progress that suffers.

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By Zeya, May 31, 2009 at 6:56 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s so refreshing to see that President Obama is striving to be an honest-broker in his efforts to promote a just peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

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By thebeerdoctor, May 31, 2009 at 6:05 am Link to this comment

True toughness in policy towards Israel would mean cutting off the purse strings of military assistance.

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By Inherit The Wind, May 31, 2009 at 5:48 am Link to this comment

Shingo, May 31 at 5:48 am #

Inherit The Wind,

The question as to whether there is any benefit to the US-Israeli relationship is a matter of debate.  It has certianyl been beneficial to military contractors and the Israeli extremist, but whether it serves US interests is hardly obvoious.
*******************************************

Ah, but that’s the key: “debate”.  You understand that concept.  “The Contingent” doesn’t.

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By Shingo, May 31, 2009 at 2:48 am Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind,

The question as to whether there is any benefit to the US-Israeli relationship is a matter of debate.  It has certianyl been beneficial to military contractors and the Israeli extremist, but whether it serves US interests is hardly obvoious.

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By Shingo, May 31, 2009 at 2:43 am Link to this comment

Sepharad,

Obama’s so called toughness has not yet trsnlated into policy or material changes.  Until we see angible evidence that Obama is putting his money where his mouth is, there is little reason to prematurely ignore that he is not or will not fold at the 11th hour.

There has not even been a suggestion that aid to Israel is going to be used as a carrot, especially with aid being increased.

We heard during the joint press conference, Netenyahu telling us that the US and Obama are a friend to Israel, but when was the last time we heard anything about Israel being a friend to the US?  The Isreali government and the Israeli public are givign Obama the bird and telling him and Clinton to go forth and multiply. 

Hardly the behaviour and actions of an ally, much less a friend.

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By Sepharad, May 30, 2009 at 10:43 pm Link to this comment

You’d think Obama’s toughness here would reasonably shut up all those TDers who constantly chide the POTUS for succumbing to Zionist masters, wailing that the Zionist Biden, Aipac and Rahm Emmanuel are running the country as Israeli governments dictate. (Obama’s even is making the suit against the Saudis for 9/11 go away. What does the poor guy have to do, grow a beard and wear a kibbeyah on his head, to show the politically correct that he is sufficiently Moslem-friendly?)

I posted all I have to say re the current situation on the thread “Conservatives go after Israeli Arabs”—but would to like to add that ardee and Inherit the Wind continue to be the rare voices of reason and reality among the rants.

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By Inherit The Wind, May 30, 2009 at 8:45 pm Link to this comment

Uh-oh, RD, now you’ve done it!

You’ve alienated two pillars of “The Contingent” and they will tag-team to pillory and blister you with insults, aspersions on your knowledge and intelligence, and never once will they come up with real, hard facts. Sure you’ll get hyperlinks—to sites loaded with biased, phony information.  See, PatrickHenry and Ed Harges ALREADY know the “truth”. They only use what facts fit their “truth”—reversing how intellectual research, discovery and progress are made.

They have “determined” there is NO benefit to the US-Israeli relationship.  If the ONLY cure to a disease afflicting a loved one came from Israel, they would STILL deny ANY benefits to a relationship with that country.  No reasonable discussion is possible.

Thankfully, they don’t run or even influence America foreign policy.  And for that I’m deeply grateful.  If they did, they’d make an even BIGGER mess of it than Dumbya did, though it’s hard to imagine how that’s possible.

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By ardee, May 30, 2009 at 8:44 pm Link to this comment

PatrickHenry, May 30 at 10:03 pm

What I believe is that you, and others to be certain, are so fixated in their own opinions that they tend to forget that they are opinions and not written in stone. You also seem to forget that others are entitled to differing opinions and courtesy from you as well.

Instead of such as this:
“ardee, you are delusional in your belief that our relationship with Israel benefits the United States in any way.”

you might consider that speaking this way to someone in front of you might result in a fat lip. But, as you relish the anonymity of this media, you take the cowards way out and, instead of discussing differences in an adult manner ,you descend into sophomoric insult.

What you call debate I call something completely different. You think I believe you naive, no, I believe you far to sure of opinion not backed by fact. Where are the facts of Israeli control of US decision making?

Once again, and for the last time on this subject, I believe Israel and the US use each other, like it or not, agree with it or dont.

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By PatrickHenry, May 30, 2009 at 7:03 pm Link to this comment

By ardee, May 30 at 1:41 pm #

“causes you to err in your opinion”.

Is this just an overly educated insult or what?  I guess you are privy to the “big picture” or just believe we are naive.

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By yours truly, May 30, 2009 at 4:55 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Israel’s intransigence not only endangers U.S. security, it puts the whole world at risk.  What’s the answer?  First of all our government must cut off all aid to Israel until it abandons its West Bank settlements, after which, on the basis of one equals one, Jewish colonizer and colonized Palestinian can sit down together for the purpose of working things out, such that, the first item of concern, guaranteeing the Palestinians’ the Right Of Return, receives unanimous approval, thereby setting us on course for a just and peaceful world.

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By yours truly, May 30, 2009 at 4:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Israel’s intransigence not only endangers U.S. security, it puts the whole world at risk.  What’s the answer?  First of all our government must cut off all aid to Israel until it abandons its West Bank settlements, after which, on the basis of one equals one, Jewish colonizer and colonized Palestinian can sit down together for the purpose of working things out, such that, the first item of concern, guaranteeing the Palestinians’ Right Of Return is unanimously approved, whereupon, a just and peaceful world is set on course.

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By ardee, May 30, 2009 at 3:28 pm Link to this comment

PatrickHenry, May 30 at 2:56 pm #

ardee, you are delusional in your belief that our relationship with Israel benefits the United States in any way.

Ed Harges, May 30 at 2:25 pm #

Ardee, your lack of understanding of the realities of US politics causes you to be misled by the superficial fact that Israel is physically a tiny country. This is a laughably shallow judgment.
........

I offered my opinion, you both offer insult in return. Were you so certain of your beliefs you might express them in a less sophomoric manner. You certainly should not expect a response in any other way but in kind. Rather than do that I will simply note that:

My belief is that Israel has been armed and propped up the the US for reasons related to our own foreign policy interests. Further I think it the height of absurdity or the depth of antisemitism to consider that Israel runs our nation in even a small way. The Jewish population of the USA is 1.7% of the entire population here, you certainly must have reasons for giving them so much power….

Certainly the Israeli lobby is powerful, AIPAC has the ear and the wallet of a number of Legislators to be certain. But so do any number of other lobbyists, nations, and interests, yet we do what benefits us not them ( by us I mean the corporations that run this country of course).

You are entitled to your own opinions. I wish you granted others the same right.

Our nation is a largely selfish one, and the reasons we do what we do, anywhere in the world, is to benefit ourselves, altruism need not apply. The day Israel is not needed as an armed presence in the Middle East is the day we will drop them like a hot potato.

Neither Israel nor the USA is a role model any nation or special interest should admire, but neither is Israel a sinister force insinuating itself into our government, yes they have lobbyists, yes they have a number of friends in government and without, but no they do not decide what our President, whether Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush or Obama will do. Hell, Truman told them to take a hike….Only naked self interest decides what America will do.

Israel is a nation on the wrong track, it is a human rights violator of the first order and its conduct, from its inception, has been marked by violence towards its Arab cousins. The history of Israels human rights violation is remarkably similar in nature if not scope to that of the USA in fact. We are allies in injustice but to believe that they run our policy making is to take a step into the Twilight Zone…Wasn’t Rod Serling Jewish? Oh then , that explains everything.

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By ThaddeusStephens, May 30, 2009 at 3:04 pm Link to this comment

I said:
http://www.truthdig.com/eartotheground/item/20090529_us-israel_on_the_rocks/#243130

Here’s the complete rundown on the Israel-Washington symbiosis:
ksgnotes1.harvard.edu/Research/wpaper.nsf/rwp/RWP06-011/$Fi le/rwp_06_011_walt.pdf
I meant what I said, and my comment makes it clear that I was not referring to the country in general but to the ruling elite. In view of Israel’s assigned task by Washington to ‘control’ and ‘balance’ the Middle East in a racist way, so the unwanted ethnicity of the area can be exterminated, then it is a symbiosis between the vultures of this country and the wolves of Israel.

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By PatrickHenry, May 30, 2009 at 12:22 pm Link to this comment

U.S.-Israel relationship on rocks, here are a couple of reasons at:

http://muhajabah.com/israel.htm

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By PatrickHenry, May 30, 2009 at 11:56 am Link to this comment

ardee, you are delusional in your belief that our relationship with Israel benefits the United States in any way.

Israels spying on America is well known.  From political fubars recently as Harmon, to military espionage involving known agents Franklin, Pollard and Kadish as well as the 200 art students of 9/11. Industrially,  it is well known that companies such as Amdocs and Converse Infosys monitor calls and have been a great concern to NSA, enough for them to issue a “white letter” warning congress about the Israeli intention of such companies.

Israel has given the U.S. nothing in return besides contemptous arrogance, demands and pressure through the stranglehold they have on our diebolded representatives.

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By Ed Harges, May 30, 2009 at 11:25 am Link to this comment

re: By ardee, May 30 at 1:41 pm:

Ardee, Read Mearsheimer and Walt, “The Israel Lobby”. You do not understand the power of Israel in US politics. Whatever net advantage Israel may have ever provided (if ever) to the US was in the context of the cold war and ended when the cold war ended. Mearsheimer and Walt show that Israel is a net strategic and security liability for the US and has been for some time.

Ardee, your lack of understanding of the realities of US politics causes you to be misled by the superficial fact that Israel is physically a tiny country. This is a laughably shallow judgment. Israel certainly does exercise a hell of a lot of control of US foreign policy in all matters related to the Middle East - to a degree that is approaching national suicide for the US, especially if Israel gets its war on with Iran.

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By ardee, May 30, 2009 at 10:41 am Link to this comment

Ed Harges, May 30 at 10:45 am #

Israel does not “help” us with our security needs.
...................

Lack of knowledge of the history of the region and the relationship between Israel and the USA as well as the purpose behind making them the best armed force in the region
causes you to err in your opinion.
......................................

The Israelis force us to treat the countries and peoples which they hate as our own mortal enemies. Then they offer to help us deal with the resulting “security threats” — for a hefty price.
......................................
Israel with its population of 7.1 million people and it s land mass of 12788 miles
(about the size of New Jersey) forces a nation of 300 million to do its bidding? Not bloody likely. It is a mutual relationship, one in which both parties are beginning to lose more than they gain I fear.
.........................................
Israel is the worst thing that ever happened to the United States of America
........................................

I would have guessed George Bush….

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By Ed Harges, May 30, 2009 at 7:45 am Link to this comment

Israel does not “help” us with our security needs.

The Israelis force us to treat the countries and peoples which they hate as our own mortal enemies. Then they offer to help us deal with the resulting “security threats” — for a hefty price.

Israel is the worst thing that ever happened to the United States of America.

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By thebeerdoctor, May 30, 2009 at 7:31 am Link to this comment

Fadel Abdallah has it correct. When Israel violates trade embargoes imposed by the United States, U.S. officials simply say that Israel’s actions are not helpful. And that is about the gist of it. Although the U.S. forbids trade with Cuba, Israel nevertheless trades with Cuba, despite voting against the resolution to end the embargo, along with the United States and the Marshall Islands. An embargo is one thing, but a cigar is a smoke!

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By Ed Harges, May 30, 2009 at 6:29 am Link to this comment

Fadel is right. Israel owns our asses. In US politics, Israel always, always, always wins.

To ThaddeusStephens: there is no “symbiosis” between the US and Israel. That suggests mutual benefit. The “special relationship” benefits only Israel.

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By ardee, May 30, 2009 at 5:45 am Link to this comment

rple Girl, May 30 at 7:45 am #

As an American Born of no particular faith- I hail the this decsion.
Why the Hell are we required to constantly Defend this so Called ‘Independent’ nation.
..................

We have used the nation of Israel as much as they have used us.We armed them, we supply 6 billion a year, mostly in military hardware, in order to have a military presence in that part of the world with whom we have a strong alliance.

At first Israeli was perceived as a weak and vulnerable little outpost in the sea of Islam, threatened with extinction daily. Our own interests were served (oil) in strengthening Israel to the point where they now have the most modern armed force in the Middle East.

We have never really tried to reign in their expansionist ambitions or embargoed our support in response to their numerous violations of human rights and international law, but are you surprised considering our own record of guilt in that same area?

The truth is that, while it isnt exactly Cain and Abel, the Jew and the Arab are certainly cousins. But , while there is no excuse for the violence on either side, as there is never an excuse for such, both sides have been manipulated for a very long time.

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By USMC SAM, May 30, 2009 at 5:41 am Link to this comment

I think I need a hanky, the tears are falling. Tell me something, which one of “ya” have fought in a war, how many of you had “kin” in the “towers”. Be glad I don’t have my finger on the button, or some of those places you mentioned, would be parking lots.

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By ThaddeusStephens, May 30, 2009 at 5:21 am Link to this comment

Obama is making overtures to the critics of the current regime’s strategy (in place since 1967) of favoring Israel. The critics have lambasted the folks along the Potomac who favor extermination of the Palestinians. The most severe of those critics, John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, have lined up the facts and show how our racist policies favor a nation which is dominated by Caucasian(European) immigrants over the ‘native’ Palestinians who are too brown to be looked upon favorably by the ruling elite who habituate the marble temples along the Potomac.

Here’s the complete rundown on the Israel-Washington symbiosis:
ksgnotes1.harvard.edu/Research/wpaper.nsf/rwp/RWP06-011/$File/rwp_06_011_walt.pdf

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By Purple Girl, May 30, 2009 at 4:45 am Link to this comment

As an American Born of no particular faith- I hail the this decsion.
Why the Hell are we required to constantly Defend this so Called ‘Independent’ nation. Why the hell are we expected to always take their side, even when their is Wrong and frankly Not in OUR Best interest.
The Israel Gov’t has been Sucking off our Teat and picking fights they expect US to champion them in. BS!
Ya Know what would be a True Blessing From God for Humanity- 3 Lightening Bolts to come down and Destroy all 3 major religions ‘holy’ Sites on that lil’ scratch of dirt. ya think that might drive home the Golden Rules, ‘thou shall not kill’ nor ‘Covet’. People are sick of this ‘Caine and Able’ grudge match, even more annoying is when our ‘Hatfields and McCoys’ try to tap in. Frankly they have all proven they don’t give a damn about their Faith and are Literally hell bent on creating needless Blood Shed, merely to possess and control brick & mortar and dirt.

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By cltx09, May 30, 2009 at 12:02 am Link to this comment

I think Abdallah is absolutely correct. Everything Obama has done has been a watered down compromise, which in essence, becomes no change at all, but only looks like change. I expect that the so-called “tension” between the U.S. and Zionist Israel will be neutralized and will blow over. I expect that that Israel will continue to do what it pleases. But, let’s hope that the United States will finally get some “Nads” when it comes to dealing with apartheid Israel.

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By ardee, May 29, 2009 at 5:20 pm Link to this comment

heavyrunner, May 29 at 7:34 pm

“Can you think of any other single action that would do more to bring about world peace?”
..........................
So, if I understand you correctly, what you suggest is a warlike move to bring about peace. Hmmm

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By heavyrunner, May 29, 2009 at 4:34 pm Link to this comment

We should use our Navy to break the blockade of Gaza.  Then we should begin deliveries of massive amounts of food and humanitarian aid that is so desperately needed by the people of Gaza.

Can you think of any other single action that would do more to bring about world peace?

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