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Israel’s Racist in Chief

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Posted on Apr 13, 2009
Avigdor Lieberman
AP photo / Tsafrir Abayov

Israel’s new foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, stands in a field just outside the Gaza Strip. Lieberman’s right-wing Yisrael Beiteinu Party had an impressive showing in Israel’s recent election, campaigning with the slogan “Without loyalty, there is no citizenship.”

By Chris Hedges

It was unthinkable, when I was based as a correspondent in Jerusalem two decades ago, that an Israeli politician who openly advocated ethnically cleansing the Palestinians from Israeli-controlled territory, as well as forcing Arabs in Israel to take loyalty oaths or be forcibly relocated to the West Bank, could sit on the Cabinet. The racist tirades of Jewish proto-fascists like Meir Kahane stood outside the law, were vigorously condemned by most Israelis and were prosecuted accordingly. Kahane’s repugnant Kach Party, labeled by the United States, Canada and the European Union as a terrorist organization, was outlawed by the Israeli government in 1988 for inciting racism. 

Israel has changed. And the racist virus spread by Kahane, whose thugs were charged with the murders and beatings of dozens of unarmed Palestinians and whose members held rallies in Jerusalem where they chanted “Death to Arabs!” has returned to Israel in the figure of Israel’s powerful new foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman. Lieberman openly calls for an araberrein Israel—an Israel free of Arabs.


There has been a steady decline from the days of the socialist Labor Party, which founded Israel in 1948 and held within its ranks many leaders, such as Yitzhak Rabin, who were serious about peaceful coexistence with the Palestinians. The moral squalor of Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu and Lieberman reflects the country’s degeneration. Labor, like Israel, is a shell of its old self. Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu Party, with 15 seats in the Knesset, is likely to bring down the Netanyahu government the moment his power base is robust enough to move him into the prime minister’s office. He is the new face of the Jewish state. 

Lieberman, a former nightclub bouncer who was a member of the Kach Party, has the personal and political habits of the Islamic goons he opposes. He was found guilty in 2001 of beating a 12-year-old boy and fined by an Israeli court. He is being investigated for multimillion-dollar fraud and money laundering and is rumored to have close ties with the Russian mafia. He lives, in defiance of international law, in the Jewish settlement of Nokdim on occupied Palestinian land.

Lieberman, as did his mentor Kahane, calls for the eradication of Palestinians from Israel and the territories it occupies. During the massive Israeli bombardment of Gaza in December and January he said that Israel should fight Hamas the way the United States fought the Japanese in World War II. He noted that occupation of Japan was unnecessary to achieve victory, alluding to the dropping of atomic bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima. When he assumed his position as foreign minister he announced that the 2007 Annapolis peace agreement was dead. He said in 2004 that 90 percent of Israel’s Palestinian citizens “have no place here. They can take their bundles and get lost.” This statement was especially galling since Lieberman, unlike Palestinians who can trace back their ancestry for generations in the area, is a relative newcomer; he immigrated to Israel in 1978 from Moldova and retains a heavy Russian accent.

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Lieberman, from the floor of the Knesset, openly fantasized three years ago about executing the handful of Palestinian Knesset members.

“We requested that in the government guidelines it would say explicitly that all the inciters and collaborators with terrorism that sit in this house should bear the brunt of the penalty for those actions,” Lieberman said from the Knesset plenum in May of 2006. “All those who continue to meet freely with Hamas and Hezbollah—who go on monthly visits to Lebanon. Those who declared Israel’s Independence Day to be Nakba [Arabic for catastrophe] Day and raised black flags. …

“World War Two ended with the Nuremberg trials. The heads of the Nazi Party went to be executed—but not just them, also those who collaborated with them. Just like [prime minister of Vichy France during WWII Pierre] Laval was later executed, I hope that this is the fate of the collaborators in this house.”

He has suggested bombing Egypt’s Aswan Dam, an act that would lead to a massive loss of Egyptian lives. As Ariel Sharon’s minister of transportation he offered to bus several hundred Palestinian prisoners to the sea and drown them. He recently told the president of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, one of Israel’s few Arab allies, to “go to hell.” And, along with Netanyahu, he advocates massive airstrikes on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Hamas, the Iranian government and the Taliban have been condemned by Washington for advocating policies that mirror those expressed by Lieberman toward Palestinians. Ahmed Tibi, an Arab deputy in the Knesset, has called on the international community to boycott Israel as it did Austria when far-right leader Jorg Haider joined that country’s government. This seems a fair request. But I expect the hypocrisy and double standards that characterize our relations with the Middle East, along with our obsequious catering to the Israel lobby, to prevail. Racism, as long as it is directed toward Arabs, does little to perturb our conscience or hinder our support of Israel.

The Israeli leadership, following the assassination of Rabin by a Jewish extremist with ties to Kach, never again sought a viable settlement with the Palestinians. Successive Israeli prime ministers talked the language of peace and negotiations largely to placate the international community and Washington while they vigorously expanded Jewish settlements on Palestinian land, seized huge tracts of the West Bank, including most of the aquifers, and imposed a brutal collective punishment on the 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza. Palestinians have become, by Israeli design, impoverished, reduced to a level of bare subsistence and dependent on the United Nations for food assistance. They live ringed by Israeli troops in a series of pod-like ghettos in the West Bank and in Gaza, which is a massive, fetid open-air prison. And when these little Bantustans become restive, Israel swiftly turns off the delivery of basic food and supplies or uses F-16 fighter jets or heavy artillery to bomb the squalid concrete hovels.

The public embrace by a senior Israeli official of a policy of ethnic cleansing, however, is ominous. It signals a further evolution of the Israeli state from one that at least paid lip service to equality to one that increasingly resembles the former apartheid regime in South Africa. Racism, once practiced in private and condemned in public, has become to many Israelis acceptable.


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Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, August 13, 2009 at 8:28 am Link to this comment

“Thus, all the arguments lose validity as it’s clear that “TC” takes as axiomatic that Jews are not entitled to the same liberty and freedom as Palestinians.”InheritTheWind

The same applies to the Zionists in Israel that think the same way about Palestinians and can enforce it. Some are more equal than others…really those that are Israeli and those who aren’t treated as fully human. Is there something lower than goim?

Until both sides recognize each other equally nothing will change. The Palestinians are barely there now, so many have been removed. There is a map showing how well the extirpation has been working over the years of attrition. Will Avigor Liberman eventually get his wish?

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By RootJensen, August 13, 2009 at 2:55 am Link to this comment

And Jewish people wonder why they are despised!!
How can they expect the rest of the world to have sympathies (for the devil?), I would happily close down all the holocaust museums for is it not being hypocritical to scream blue murder about Hitler then create your own dirty fascist state and cleanse yourselves of others etc.
How can a modern state still be run on such archaic principles as divine rights, it’s absolute bullshit in this day and age.

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By Inherit The Wind, May 3, 2009 at 8:21 am Link to this comment

Figures.

That’s exactly all one can expect from “The Contigent”: Different rules and situational ethics apply when the victim changes from Jew to Palestinian.

Thus, all the arguments lose validity as it’s clear that “TC” takes as axiomatic that Jews are not entitled to the same liberty and freedom as Palestinians.

None of the sophist arguments here hold ANY water if it is taken as axiomatic that Jews and Palestinians, as humans, are all the same.

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By Fadel Abdallah, April 25, 2009 at 5:16 pm Link to this comment

“Lieberman, a former nightclub bouncer who was a member of the Kach Party. He was found guilty in 2001 of beating a 12-year-old boy and fined by an Israeli court.”
=========
It can’t get better than this for the so-called democratic and modern Israel. From the old traditional terrorists who rose to become presidents and prime ministers to this latest talent of a nightclub bouncer, beater of children, to become Israel’s so-called foreign minister.

If I were a foreign minister of any country, I would refuse to meet with such low creature, let alone dirty my hand by shaking his! I think his racist boss-in-chief, Netanyahu, is insulting the whole civilized world by appointing such low creature to be Israel’s foreign minister.

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By Sodium, April 23, 2009 at 11:36 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: Night Gaunt,April 23 at 12:46 am.

“Fools and shallow thinkers are not worth more than a second look for education purposes only.”

HOW TRUE!  HOW TRUE!  HOW TRUE!  HOW TRUE!

Night Gaunt,

Brilliantly and eloquently expressed. You have just expressed reality as I have known it for,at least,the last two years. Thank you for such splendid honesty. William Shakespeare once said:

“NO LEGACY IS SO RICH AS HONESTY”

New Subject: I want you to know that I did respond to your inquiry,in an earlier post of yours,on this thread,with regards to the fact I was/am still being unregistered commenter,but unfortunately TD did not publish it for reasons unknown to me,but I had to respect TD rights to do so. I do hope that TD will publish this response. If not,it is just tough luck.

In times past,I had tried to register several times but I failed. I had even tried,last week,once more to register and once more I failed. Perhaps,because I am basically computer illiterate when it comes to computer manipulations. I have belonged to the SLIDE RULE’s generation of the 1950s and 1960s. My licensed architect daughter,who does all her blue prints on the computer,in living colors,had taught me how to get some of the world’s newspapers and journals and websites,for reading,and how to get a print out and how to send E-mails-some very basic computer stuff. That is all about my “expertise?” in the computer world. Therefore and most likely,it is because of my own deficiency in computer manipulations I am still unregistered commenter. No body else’s fault but mine.

Thank you for your question and obvious concern.
Most appreciated.

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Robert's avatar

By Robert, April 23, 2009 at 10:54 am Link to this comment

By Sodium, April 23 at 3:55 am #
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: Robert,April 22 at 3:48 pm.

Robert,

Thank you for the Information Clearing House’s link which you so graciously provided your readers to watch on YOUTUBE. It is worth of every minute of the 45 minutes I spent watching it.

Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson,former Chief of Staff of Colin Powell,Secretary of State,during George W Bush’s first term,is impressive in his geopolitical analysis. So are the view points and comments of John Mearsheimer,Professer of political science at University of Chicago.So are views of the other debators.

I highly recommend watching it by anyone who cares to know more about the Israeli lobby,known as AIPAC.

Robert: Thank you again for an excellent link:

http:/www.informationclearinghouse.info/article20155.htm

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Sodium ... glad that you were able to watch the video. I thought it was excellent.

These kinds of videos / topics will NOT be seen on CNN, Fox, MSNBC & the rest of the AIPAC controlled news media.

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Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, April 23, 2009 at 7:51 am Link to this comment

Perhaps ITW confused his/her subject and predicate in a manner common to English speakers. [It is very easy to do in our hogue-pogue language if one is not careful.] Otherwise my analysis holds up and the whole concept is one one would expect of the slaver talking about the enslaved.

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By Sodium, April 23, 2009 at 3:51 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Subject: Israel’s Political Leaders Change,But Policy Remains The Same.

From Ben Gurion,the first Prime Minister of Israel to all who held that office after him,from Sharet to Levy Ashkol,to Golda Meir,to Manachem Begin,to Ytzhak Rabin,to Peres,to Itzhak Shamir to Bibi Netanyahu,Ehud Barack,to Ariel Sharon,to Olmert Ehud,to Tsipi Livni,to Bibi Netanyahu again,they all have failed to achieve peace between Israel and the Palestinian people. The question is: why? I shall attempt to answer this,why,by the following outline:

Just to say that all those Prime Ministers follow exactly the same fundamental policy towards the Palestinians is not good enough. I have to prove that. For that end,I will let Rachelle Marshall of “Jewish Voice For Peace” provides the answer for the why:

Quote
======

The Kadima government under Tzipi Livni did everything possible to prevent creation of an independent Palestinian state while maintaining the fiction of seeking a two-state solution. The Israeli government is now dominated by right-wing nationalist whose avowed goal,as Prof.Ze’ev Sternhell of Hebrew University describes it,is ” a colonial state that stretches from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River.” Obama therefore has to choose between ending U.S. support for Israel or subsidizing Israel’s efforts to achieve permanent dominance over the Palestinians.

Unquote
========

Sadly,this has been the case all the way through since the days of Ben Gurion,about 62 years ago.

Surely,Livini’s rhetoric about dismantling the settlements even if it takes a civil war does not hold water as she negate it by saying,according to Haaretz newspaper,that after establishing the Palestinian state she expects the Palestinian Israelis who currently live in places like Galali,Acr and Haifa inside Israel to migrate to the Palestinian state.

Question:

Why should any Israeli Palestinian migrate from his/her home,farm and lands that were inherited from his ancesters who lived in there for centuries and before Zionism arrived to the shores of Palestine? Why? Why? and more whys? It just does not make sense.

There will be No two-state solution because the grand project of Zionism did not want one. Israel cannot possibly control 317 million Arabs of the Arab world. Therefore,Israel has two options to achieve peace for its citizens or faces slow but certain social suffocation from within

~ One state-solution.
Or
~ Push for complete integration with the Arab world. Hence the Jews would have a safe heaven within the frame of a United Arab World(U.A.W.),provided the West will not hinder and obstruct unity amongst the 22 Arab States.

In his monumental book entitled “My People: The Story Of The Jews”,Abba Eban(deceased)who was Israel’s Foreign Minister in the 1960s made it clear that his people,the Jews,through out their rich history had prospered under two great civilisations:

(1) The Arab Islamic Civilisation.
(2) The American Civilisation.

Therefore,why not living the old history all over again,with honest and sincere effort from both Arabs and Jews?,provided the whole project of Zionism is totally abandoned,since for 62 years and 14 different Israeli governments and Prime Ministers could achieve no peace for Israelis and Palestinians alike.

The complaints about the Jews were considered second class citizens in some segments of the Arab rule,in time past,really pales away,as one compares the current Israeli government treatment of its Israeli Arabs within Israel itself and in the occupied territories of Palestine as well.

What all the foregoing means is that: Since all the changes in the Israeli leaders from Ben Gurion on wards has failed in achieving peace between the Palestinians and Israel,it is high time to start thinking boldly and start thinking of novel approaches as I have suggested above: the idea of complete Israeli integration with a hopefully United Arab World(UAW).

GIVE HUMANITY JUSTICE,PEACE WILL FOLLOW…

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By Sodium, April 23, 2009 at 12:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: Robert,April 22 at 3:48 pm.

Robert,

Thank you for the Information Clearing House’s link which you so graciously provided your readers to watch on YOUTUBE. It is worth of every minute of the 45 minutes I spent watching it.

Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson,former Chief of Staff of Colin Powell,Secretary of State,during George W Bush’s first term,is impressive in his geopolitical analysis. So are the view points and comments of John Mearsheimer,Professer of political science at University of Chicago.So are views of the other debators.

I highly recommend watching it by anyone who cares to know more about the Israeli lobby,known as AIPAC.

Robert: Thank you again for an excellent link:

http:/www.informationclearinghouse.info/article20155.htm

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By Shingo, April 22, 2009 at 11:30 pm Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind,

I have never heard anyone describe the Irgun as “victims”, much less victims who preferred their victimhood to their stated aims.

Were that to the true, the Irgun and stern Gang would still be around today would they not?

So in answer to your question, this idea is equally absurd whether applied to Arabs or Jews.

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Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, April 22, 2009 at 9:46 pm Link to this comment

“Funny you should say that, Shingo.  Because EXACTLY the same motivations are attributed to the Irgun terrorists, to all Zionists, from the liberal to the religious fanatics, and to today’s Likud parties.”Inherit The Wind,

How does the bizarre idea of the Palestinians ‘wanting’ to be victims by those who believe they are the victimizers and expect Palestinians to be victims equate with Irgun and the Zionists wanting a one state solution, the pure Zionist Eretz Israel and no Palestinians (which they claim is a fantasy anyway) be anything alike at all? They are definitely opposites.

Also I would add that what the Irgun/Zionists wanted they had obtained by force since it was power over their own lives they wanted and they wrested it from the locals, the UN and Britain to do it. In their opinion if the Palestinians can’t take it then they don’t deserve one of their own. So in essence you, Inherit The Wind got it all exactly wrong and was just a smear without foundation. However if you can point by point support your position and refute mine then I will agree with you. But you must use your mind to a far greater degree than before. I will accept nothing less. Fools and shallow thinkers aren’t worth more than a second look for education purposes only.

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By Inherit The Wind, April 22, 2009 at 8:07 pm Link to this comment

Shingo, April 22 at 6:28 pm #

Sepharad,

I suspect that the reason the theory put forward by the Atlantic Monthl hasn;t occured to you, is because it doesn’t make sense and has no basis in reality.
*************************************

Funny you should say that, Shingo.  Because EXACTLY the same motivations are attributed to the Irgun terrorists, to all Zionists, from the liberal to the religious fanatics, and to today’s Likud parties.

So….why should this be absurd in Arabs but natural to Jews?

Contradictions cannot exist! When you think you have found one, CHECK YOUR PREMISES!

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By Shingo, April 22, 2009 at 3:28 pm Link to this comment

Sepharad,

I suspect that the reason the theory put forward by the Atlantic Monthl hasn;t occured to you, is because it doesn’t make sense and has no basis in reality.

While there is no question that extremists on both sides of the conflict usually benefit the most from escalation in hostilities, the Atlantic Monthly ignores that Hezbollah and Hamas would never exist in the first place were it not for Israel’s occupation.

The elephant in the room of course, which the Atlantic Monthly somehow ignores, is the fact that we now have a situation where the US and the Palestinian leadership both want a 2 state solution and Israel’s does not.

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By Sepharad, April 22, 2009 at 2:09 pm Link to this comment

Tony, Night-Gaunt and Inherit the Wind,

Enjoyed your recapsulizations of the reality of empire and conquest, and its matter-of-courseness until recently. I recall related very heated disputes between contributors to our history magazine. Native Americans (who themselves conquered and in some instances enslaved other weaker tribes) were dominated and ill-treated by the Spaniards and then the Mexicans in California, who in turn were defeated and ripped-off by the Yankees. Every one of them considered their own actions as somehow advancing civilization and justice. One Native American man, who became a close friend and heads up Native American studies in one of the UC universities, has a Spanish last name. I asked him why he retains it instead of using the original Indian family name, which he’s learned through research. His response: “I keep it to remind myself that some Hispanic raped my great-great-great grandmother.” There should be a way to make people understand that no culture is innocent, the conquest cycle is inevitable, that our principles have changed but not necessarily our practices, which are all the worse for our denying that they exist. This in turn causes a lot of hypocritical finger-pointing, clandestine behavior, and all manner of truth-degrading activities. No wonder the UN and World Court are not more effective.

Yet another element of the equation has been tossed in by an article in the latest issue of Atlantic Monthly—which I have not yet read; just told about it—offering the premise that there is no Palestinian state because the Palestinian leaders don’t want one. The reasoning, apparently, is that there is more to be gained by victimhood and a stateless status that maintains the effectiveness of asymmetrical conflict, whereas if there were an actual armed state the conflict rules would change. One supporting analogy is that Hizbullah prefers to dominate, not officially own or rule, Lebanon for similar reasons. (Must say this idea never once occurred to me, and I have given a lot of attention to the state issue. I suppose I should read the article to see the studies on which it’s purported to be based; there is some sense to the premise though I don’t know how much it represents the Palestinian people. Governments and populations often have different desires and agendas.)

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Robert's avatar

By Robert, April 22, 2009 at 12:48 pm Link to this comment

The Israel Lobby

Video Documentary - VPRO

“For many years now the American foreign policy has been characterized by the strong tie between the United States and Israel. Does the United States in fact keep Israel on its feet? And how long will it continue to do so?

In March 2006 the American political scientists John Mearsheimer (University of Chicago) and Steve Walt (Harvard) published the controversial article ‘The Israel Lobby and US foreign policy’. In it they state that it is not, or no longer, expedient for the US to support and protect present-day Israel. The documentary sheds light on both parties involved in the discussion: those who wish to maintain the strong tie between the US and Israel, and those who were critical of it and not infrequently became ‘victims’ of the lobby.

The question arises to what extend the pro-Israel lobby ultimately determines the military and political importance of Israel itself. Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson (Colin Powell’s former chief-of-staff) explains how the lobby’s influence affects the decision-making structure in the White House.

With political scientist John Mearsheimer, neocon Richard Perle, lobby organization AIPAC, televangelist John Hagee, historian Tony Judt, Human Rights Watch director Kenneth Roth, colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, Democrat Earl Hilliard, Israeli peace negotiator Daniel Levy and investigative journalist Michael Massing.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Click on link for the video:


http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article20155.htm

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By Inherit The Wind, April 21, 2009 at 1:47 pm Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt, April 21 at 3:22 pm #

Don’t forget the Mongols that conquered China and swept to Iraq and was in sight of Vienna when the call came to come back and that was the end of the largest empire, by land mass and conquest of any that ever existed. Maybe the British but I doubt it. perhaps the Russians had comparable land mass though most of it was frozen tundra and scattered tribes while the Mongols took over whole settled countries and came close to making their imprint on Europe. Don’t ever forget the Mongols and their hordes of expert light cavalry.

“One State, Two States” By Morris, I will keep an eye out for it Sheparad. Thanx.
*************************************

Yeah, I just finished “Bones in the Hills” too.  I read each of the three as soon as Conn Igguldden (however you spell it) published each one.

Great series—as it goes on you see just how cold and cruel Genghis was and how little respect he had for ANY life, even his own.  He offered you only one way to live: Be his totally obedient slave, even to the death, or he will kill you, your family, your friends, your tribe, your people.

Having just been fired by a man who has that same Mongol mentality, I can tell it’s not fun having to serve such a monster.

So the Mongols won.  Big deal. Genghis was the first generation, Kublai was the third generation, and it broke apart after Kublai died.  Yeah, it was big.  Yeah the military victories were awesome. Yeah it was safe to travel…for what? 50-60 years?

Then it collapsed.

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Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, April 21, 2009 at 12:22 pm Link to this comment

Don’t forget the Mongols that conquered China and swept to Iraq and was in sight of Vienna when the call came to come back and that was the end of the largest empire, by land mass and conquest of any that ever existed. Maybe the British but I doubt it. perhaps the Russians had comparable land mass though most of it was frozen tundra and scattered tribes while the Mongols took over whole settled countries and came close to making their imprint on Europe. Don’t ever forget the Mongols and their hordes of expert light cavalry.

“One State, Two States” By Morris, I will keep an eye out for it Sheparad. Thanx.

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By Sodium, April 21, 2009 at 11:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To: Diamond and Tony Wicher.

Subject: Who gave the order to attack ThE USS LIBERTY?

Diamond and Tony Wicher,

Will you please try to get your hands on the following book and read it with an opened mind:

ThE USS LIBERTY
———————-
DISSENTING HISTORY VS. OFFICIAL HISTORY
BY
JOHN E. BORNE

You may find the above book in your local public library.If not,you may wish to try getting it from one of the following suppliers:

Reconsideration Press.
Telephone: (718)857-1745

Or from:

American Educational Trust.
Phones: (800)368-5788 or (202)939-6050

After reading it,you may change your mind about who had ordered the attack on USS LIBERTY,spy ship,during the 1967 war in the Middle East.

GIVE HUMANITY JUSTICE,PEACE WIlL FOLLOW…..

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Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, April 20, 2009 at 11:48 pm Link to this comment

Re DWIGHTBAKER, April 18 at 12:20 pm #


RACE IS THE TOPIC TRY MY TAKE

    x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

DB,

I have doubts about your take. Sounds a little racist - anti-white racist. I don’t think many people regard Rome as the last empire. The power of the Roman Empire turned into the power of the Catholic Church after Rome fell. This “Holy Roman Empire” lasted over a thousand years more. After the Reformation the power of the Church declined, and it was replaced over the next 500 years or so by a series of European empires - the Spanish, the Portugese, the Dutch and the English. After World War 1 the power passed to the U.S. We also should not forget the Russian Empire, which became the Soviet Empire. Before Rome there was the Greek Empire of Alexander the Great, the Persian Empire of Darius and Xerses, and of course the granddaddy of them all, the Egyptian Empire. So I think it’s fair to say that the formation of empires is a pretty universal characteristic of human society and therefore of human nature. More powerful nations have historically conquered the less powerful as a matter of course; it is only relatively recently that the world has reached a consensus that this is morally wrong.

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Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, April 20, 2009 at 11:12 pm Link to this comment

Re diamond, April 18 at 5:42 am

Thanks, diamond - we are on the same wavelength. If it is accepted that the Israeli attack on the Liberty was deliberate rather than accidental, commanded by a top Israeli general such as Moshe Dayan, it just seems more than likely to me that Dayan would not have risked such a move without getting the consent of the U.S. President and Secretary of Defense.

It’s like the Kennedy assassination. If one accepts that it was not done by a lone nut named Lee Harvey Oswald, then apart from the question of who actually did fire the shots, the question of who engineered the cover-up leads directly to Lyndon Johnson. If Johnson had wanted to catch the real culprits, it would have happened, and only the President had the power to prevent a real investigation.

Same thing with 9/11. In this case we are have overwhelming hard scientific evidence of controlled demolition of the three WTC buildengs. Nothing circumstantial here.

http://www.bentham-open.org/pages/content.php?TOCPJ/2009/00000002/00000001/7TOCPJ.SGM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_tf25lx_3o

ae911truth.org

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By Sepharad, April 20, 2009 at 10:26 pm Link to this comment

Shingo, Maybe things are looking up. Just read in Congressional Quarterly (online) that Obama is going to be out of town when Netanyahu’s scheduled visit takes place, and that Rahm Emanuel has taken a hard line against Netanyahu, telling him the U.S. wants Israel to give the West Bank back to the Palestinians. Also, Emanuel will be the only guy for Netanyahu to talk to when he gets here. I hope someone covers Round 2. (I’ve been critical of Obama lately re economy, caving in to the Republicans on not killing upper-income tax cuts and not doing much re health and entitlement programs, but maybe he’s going to be tough with Netanyahu and Lieberman, even without Freeman.)

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By Sepharad, April 20, 2009 at 8:16 pm Link to this comment

Shingo—You’re probably right. Also Livni is a political rival and Netanyahu is not likely to forget that. There IS a place for opposition,  however, but starting somewhere outside of it is conceivable. The IDF soldiers whose testimony brought out the abuses by other soldiers during the Gaza invasion began by talking to a professor, then to an academic conference and the media and rights groups brougt it to the public’s attention. Morris’ book is just a book, not proposed legislation, and as such could be discussed in academic forums and the liberal opposition parties, human rights and peace organizations might generate media attention and public awareness. How to make the leap from that to a commission is the question. I would be surprised if there are not people in Israel thinking about this, as Morris’ books are reviewed and authors such as he are interviewed by various broadcast and print outlets. Guess the best thing for me to do is bring it up to my own MeretzUSA party, maybe go on some of the blogs, websites, and see if anything is there. More to the point might be the attitude of the centrists, as that is Livni’s base. Too, there is nothing that would prevent Kadima from having a meeting with center and left-of-center Knesset members, however pathetically few, and studying some of Morris’ proposals. It’s been awhile since I’ve read the Israeli papers and should catch up in any case before doing anything else.

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By Sepharad, April 20, 2009 at 6:15 pm Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt—(Corrrection; I added “on” to Morris’ name in preceding post and also forgot to give the name of the book: “One State, Two States”.) I’d like to hear Cole and Fisk’s opinions (as well as yours; you have a way of cutting through the smoke) after they read the whole book and not my sketchy reference to it. What would the current racist leaders think? (Myself, I don’t give a damn what they think; they are no different than the late Meier Kahane. If they LIKED it I would worry and reassess the whole idea.) Of course Netanyahu and Lieberman WOULD strongly oppose the idea as would all settlers and the orthodox (including those rabbis who oppose Jews in Israel until the Messiah returns and personally conducts them there): it requires getting all Jewish settlers OUT of the West Bank then turning it over, which, when you add Gaza, plus a large hunk of real estate in Jordan, would make Palestine not only viable but probably larger than Israel.

It would also leave Israel with a tiny waist in its narrowest part, making the country vulnerable to being cut in half in wartime, isolating its only international airport. This “waist” has caused much worry and gives retaining Judea and Samaria some appeal. I worry about that myself, and understand the wrench of leaving Judea, namesake of the Jewish people, but the fact remains that Israel took the West Bank in a blatant land-grab after the ‘67 war, and should have given it to the Palestinians at the time; Jordan wouldn’t have objected. (The Golan Heights is different; even before the war Syria was lobbing the occasional shell from the Heights down on the kibbutzim below. But the Golan in exchange for normalization and peace with Syria would be a good deal, though that possibility remains complicated and remote.)

Reading Morris’ book together with Amos Oz’s “Please Help Us Divorce” (very very short; just two speechs to Euros explaining the issues and feelings of the two peoples concisely and accurately) makes each of the two books’ proposals seem almost doable, but not easy. A sizeable Palestine connected commercially with Israel as the kernel of a sort of Mediterranean Union could be good for other Arab countries. Oz sees Israel, without so much war budget, financing much infrastructure, including schools, and housing as recompense for the ‘48 displacement of Palestinians, and recommends that until the state is on its feet economically international money should pay for the establishment of a Palestinian army as well as a professional police force, so that it can defend its own territory and citizens, and control its own airspace and ports. Oz writes that Israeli Jews and Palestinians are not going to love each other overnight because there is too much accumulated distrust, fear, bitterness on both sides, but if both sides can cooperate economically, each keeping its own true, long-term interests uppermost (i.e. putting racism,  religion and old grievances on a very very far-away backburner), something might be achieved.

That’s jumping way ahead of the current situation, however. Like many Israelis and the country’s supporters (I don’t consider AIPAC and neocons “supporters”; they make bad policy that undermines Israel’s longterm good) I’m still on the mental track of frustrating the stated goals of the current leaders, still upset that Freeman’s strong voice is not going to be part of the deal-making (still hoping Blair will find someone else willing to be very tough with Israel for a good long while) ... there is a lot to think about. But Morris’ version of the two-state resolution is an idea that could work, and might have great appeal to Palestinians who want a sustainable country in which they can live normal lives and educate their children. (It will not appeal to their religious extremists, because poverty, hopelessness and helplessness and lack of opportunity comprise the soil best suited to grow converts with no vision beyond paradise.)

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By Shingo, April 20, 2009 at 5:14 pm Link to this comment

Sepharad, 

I think there is ZERO likelyhood of Tzipi Livni being given the scope to head a commission to work up the Morrison idea.  The Israeli government is opposed to a 2 state solution because Netenyahu is opposed to the idea of Palestinian sovereignty.  Lieberman more so.

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By Sepharad, April 20, 2009 at 4:04 pm Link to this comment

—- CONTINUED: PART 2—

3) Westerners still make faulty assumptions re Afghans and use them as excuses for abandoning democratization, e.g. that Afghans are tribal and don’t care about choosing leaders; that Afghanistan is a traditionally Islamic society and resents promotion of women’s rights and democracy as imposing Western values; that Afghans are such fierce fighters that the U.S. will get bogged down in the graveyard of empires: authors argue that a) in October ‘04 11 million Afghans (41% women) registered to vote; b) in 2008 survey by Asia Foundation, 76% of Afghans said democracy was the best form of government; c) 10 million Afghans (1/3) live in cities; d) 65% of Afghans are under 25 and came of age not under old tribal structures but under Soviet tanks and long civil war; e) the ‘90s civil war followed by Taliban totalitrianbism and Al Quaeda largely was result of half the population, women, having no social and political input.

They also point to the young girls who returned to their school with their parents approval a mere week after having acid thrown in their faces by Islamic extremists and also to the crowds of Shi’ia women who protested the new law drastically restricting their rights, adding “They don’t fear much—except that the world might abandon them.”

The source of their concern is Obama’s speech and the related white paper, “both avoiding any reference to democracy in Afghanistan, while pointedly pushing democratic reforms in Pakistan.” 

At last month’s conference (“Afghanistan: Ensuring Success”) led by America’s Afghan-born U.S. ambassador to the UN, Zalmay Khalilzad (which the authors helped organize) they say “speakers included Afghans from all walks of life and there was broad agreement that, in the words of President Obama, it was time to ‘pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off’ and strive for genuine democratic progress and self-reliance. But as we approach Afghanistan’s second democratic elections, in August, we cannot afford to have our allies falter—through rhetoric or policy—in supporting our nascent democratic forces.”

So, what do you TDs think? There’s the old saw “don’t throw good money after bad” which in these strapped times is not inconsequential;  there’s the all-war-is-bad conviction; there are the lives of our soldiers as well as Afghan civilians often killed in clashes between the Taliban and Western troops(mostly American as usual). That last consideration hits close to our home, like everyone else with loved ones in combat. Our son-in-law isn’t there yet; still training troops in local language and tradition as well as asymmetrical tactics, as he did in Iraq (which war he opposed), and, as in Iraq, would again be leading missions, and my granddaughter probably will have nightmares every night he’s deployed again. But he has Muslim grandparents, as well as what I usually think is a too-idealized sense of lasting good that might come if we leave a moderate and stabilized Afghanistan. Frankly, I’ve always thought the Peace Corps is a better way to go, where and when Americans and their ideas as well as help are welcome. But this Nadery/Humayoon article is making me question my old premises—depending, of course, on whether their allegations are true. Some of the cause-and-effects cited, though plausible, seem a bit shaky. And even if it’s all true, we can’t afford to engage the entire non-democratic world—having problems of our own in that respect, for one thing. But if the Afghan people are actually that receptive to a different direction re their women’s rights and aspire to some degree of democratization—it might make sense, for our interests as well as theirs, to provide consistent rhetoric plus advice re a few liberal institutions. We’ve poured so much money and lives into chasing ghosts and making mistakes in that country; if we CAN leave anything good behind not too expensively, we should do it.

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By Night-Gaunt, April 20, 2009 at 3:05 pm Link to this comment

Well that is quite a wrinkle in the equation isn’t it?
What would the hyper-nationalistic/racist leaders of Israel do in this case? I would think they would not like it or they would just force the Palestinians all into the East Bank and say it is Jordan’s problem. I would like to see what historians like Juan Cole would have to say about this and Rbt.Fisk?

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By Virginia777, April 20, 2009 at 3:05 pm Link to this comment

Benny Morris??

you’ve got to be kidding me

no thanks, no interest in what HE has to say

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By Sepharad, April 20, 2009 at 2:42 pm Link to this comment

PART I

I’m reading Benny Morris’ newest book re one-state/two state options. His conclusion is that only more territory will work because the Palestinian population is much larger than it was and even the pre-67 West Bank plus Gaza is too small. He suggests adding a large slice of the East Bank, which belongs to Jordan. The late King Hussein drove the Palestinians out of Jordan (which was previously part of Palestine, about 80%) only because the PLO was attacking Israel from Jordanian soil and he wanted to remain neutral. This King Hussein, whose wife is a Palestinian, might have a different attitude and willingness to return some of Palestine back to the Palestinians, because if such land became a part of Palestin, even if the Palestinians attacked Israel from land east of the Jordan River it would not be attacking from Jordanian territory. I don’t know if this is possible or not, but at least it’s something that could be considered by all sides. Actually, there was a time when I speculated whether Jordan would return to the Palestinians a hunk of what used to be Palestine but never took it seriously. Morris’s reasoning, however, makes it sound more of a solution. (Just now Israel’s left and peace parties and human rights groups are pretty focused on organizing to oppose and thwart Lieberman’s and Netanyahu’s policies. If Netanyahu wants to fund economic programs and requisite infrastructure for and with the Palestinians, that’s fine and good, but can’t be used to divert attention from the necessity of removing Jewish settlements from the West Bank. I hope that given all the scramble re L&N, someone will take the time to study Morrison’s idea. Perhaps Knesset could ask Tzipi Livni to head a commission to work up the Morrison idea, sound out public opinion and unofficially talk with Jordan’s diplomats. 

Re an off-topic issue: today’s New York Times’ OpEd pages include the article “Afghan Women March, America Turns Away.” Authors are Nader Nadery of the Afghan Human Rights Commission and Haseeb Humayoon, at Middlebury College who’s worked as a consultant to NGOs in Afghanistan. They make a very good case for America continuing to support democracy in Afghanistan (as opposed as the main mission to defeat Al Quaeda, stated by the Obama administration, with no mention of democracy). They raise and respond to possible reasons for administration’s lack of commitment:

1) economic crisis and domestic priorities suggest helping Afghanistan democracy is a luxury no longer affordable: authors say this shows misunderstanding of what is needed to help Afghans build a real democracy and the lasting interests of the U.S. 

2) belief among some in D.C. that if the push for democratic reform or women’s and minority rights were relaxed, Taliban insurgents would find “reconciliation” more attractive and war would end faster: authors argue this belief is encouraged by radical conservative forced which, since ‘05, have gained increasing power over Kabul government leading to backtracking of its committment to democracy since ‘05 (giving many examples), which has only led to escalating violence as Taliban consider it a sign of weakness of Afghan government and its allies, making Afghan citizens insecure;

—CONTINUED IN PART 2; AFRAID RUNNING OUT OF SPACE _—

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By Virginia777, April 20, 2009 at 2:06 pm Link to this comment

this one also!!

“At a time like this, a scorching iron, not convincing argument, is needed.”

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By Virginia777, April 20, 2009 at 12:14 pm Link to this comment

Thank you so much Dwight Baker, for Frederick Douglass just at the right time!

I love them all, but this one:

“If there is no struggle, there is no progress”

is so true.

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By Virginia777, April 19, 2009 at 9:55 am Link to this comment

All of the horror of Racism, corrupt governments, war-mongering, Hate, etc.

can be erased by Resistance! by a renewed commitment to(and the courage to fight for) Justice.

(optimistic, I know, but I believe this)

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By Robert, April 18, 2009 at 6:32 pm Link to this comment

APARTHEID ~~ YOU PROTEST, YOU DIE!

April 18, 2009 at 6:56 am

“It is often said that Israel is the ‘only Democracy in the Middle East’. Apparently this is true….. if you are an Israeli soldier on a mission to kill.

Yesterday, at the ongoing weekly demonstration against the wall of apartheid in the occupied Palestinian town of Bil’in, a Palestinian protester was killed while speaking to a group of Israeli soldiers. The man was unarmed, the man was not a terrorist…. but he WAS a Palestinian. THIS ALONE is a crime in this Democratic wonderland.

See for yourself the murder as filmed by a news team from Reuters. See for yourself where U S taxpayers dollars are going…. See it HERE…”

http://desertpeace.wordpress.com/2009/04/18/apartheid-you-protest-you-die/

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By Sodium, April 18, 2009 at 1:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: DWIGHTBAKER,April 18 at 7:45 am.

DWIGHTBAKER,

I have read and collected every article,book and testamony I could find on the Israeli military attack on the American spy ship called “USS LIBERTY” which was cruising,within the International Maritime Laws,in the eastern Mediterranean sea,to monitor the war that was going on initially between Israel and Egypt and later on included Syria and Jordan-the 1967 war or what was later called the six-day-war. I have a quite a bit of collection,including a Doctor of Philosophy’s dissertation submitted by John E. Borne to the History Department of New York University in 1993 as a partial fulfillment for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in history.However,I must admit that the link you have provided encompasses all the different and sometimes conflicting details about the incident in one single comprehensive article. For that I do thank you.

Based on the information I have,I am inclined to believe in the following points:

(1)President Lyndon Johnson hated President Jamal Abdul Nasser of Egypt then with profound passion and he wanted to topple him since 1960. Question:

On what basis I allowed myself to make such comments?

Answer:

In 1960,Lyndon Johnson was a member of the U.S. Senate and was running against Senator John F.Kennedy in the Democratic Party primary to get the Party’s nomination for President of the U.S.A. I was getting my second university degree in May of 1960 graduating class.Senator Johnson was the main speaker for the commencement of the class. He spent a large portion of his speech attacking Nasser of Egypt and calling him all kind of uncomplimantary names. I have not seen a man hating another man as Johnson had hated Nasser. The speech and Johnson’s hatred toward Nasser have remained in my mind till this very moment. Seven years later Johnson dream to topple Nasser was about to be fulfilled through
the six-day war,but at the end had failed since Nasser remained in power inspite of his military defeat. Nasser died in office in 1970.

(2) I believe the attack on LIBERTY was ordered by the highest Israeli military leadership to cover-up the war crimes committed by the Israeli armed forces against civilians and Egyptain soldiers captured by the Israeli military during the six-day-war.

(3) I do not believe that President Lyndon Johnson or Secretary of Defense,Robert McNamara ordered the Israeli leadership to attack the LIBERTY. All evidences available to me indicate that they might have given Israel the GREEN LIGHT to attack Egypt,but not the USS LIBERTY.

(4) The cover-up by Johnson and McNamara,after the fact,is the conspiracy which served Israel well. There is really no conspiracy as much as a cover-up of colossal proportions.

Final Words: Ed Harges is correct in the sense that for 42 years,(that is since 1967),no Congressional committee of inquiry has been allowed to form and to conduct legitimate investigations,like any other navel incidents,inspite of the repeated calls on members of Congress to do so by the crew members who survived the attack on the LIBERTY. None whatsoever.The question that must be answer is a very big: WHY?

DIGHTBAKER: I cannot thank you enough for the excellent link you have provided about the attack on the USS LIBERTY spy ship. I have already obtained a print-out of it and added to the information I have collected in the last 42 years. Most appreciated.

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By Night-Gaunt, April 18, 2009 at 10:57 am Link to this comment

Just as in every topic on this forum we find that human action is its root cause. No matter what philosophy or theosophy or humanist idea they can all be conceived and/or perverted by those who are the wolves among us. We call them psychopaths and their brain damaged kin that have no compunction about killing or harming in any other way those of us who are normal who they consider easy marks for them. They lust for power so that they and their confederates can rest easy. The greatest fear they have is to be found out and rendered impotent to the majority of us who have some empathy. They have none and the smartest among them know that and actively recruit those who can follow and emulate their values over our own. We see it in how our gov’t runs or what characteristics are played up in our society as ‘cool’ or ‘the best’ and they aren’t good for normal human kind.

“Israel has changed. And the racist virus spread by Kahane, whose thugs were charged with the murders and beatings of dozens of unarmed Palestinians and whose members held rallies in Jerusalem where they chanted “Death to Arabs!” has returned to Israel in the figure of Israel’s powerful new foreign minister,  Avigdor Lieberman. Lieberman openly calls for an araberrein Israel—an Israel free of Arabs”.

This shows that things have degenerated to such a point at least among the gov’t officials of Israel, that the psychopathic ideal rules openly now over being moot but active. In every gov’t where power collects at the apex, the psychopaths and megalomaniacs (sometimes one-in-the-same) will be attracted to. These people are very dangerous and will do great harm that could lead to the downfall of Israel or any other nation-state polity.

Be aware of it first then remedy it fast.

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By Sodium, April 18, 2009 at 3:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: Tony Wicher,April 15 at 11:13 pm.

Quote
======
The “fundamentalist” orthodox rabbi who originally opposed the establishment of Israel still do so,do not recognize the state of “Israel”,consider Palestinians their fellow citizens and want them repatriated into the land of Palestine that was stolen from them. They are known as the “True Torah” Jews.I am very far from being a fundamentalist or orthodox Jew,but I think they have been right about this since the early 20th century. As to the asshole like that Grand Rabbi who recently croaked after recommending carpet-bombing Gaza,hell,I do not call such people Jews any more than I call somebody like Hage(e) a christian. Nazis is what they are as far as I’m concerned-Nazis disguised as Jews.

Unquote
========

Tony,

I could not agree with your above comments more.They are excellent.

To reconfirm what you have said in the above quote,I highly recommend reading the following old book:

“What Price Israel”
By
Alfred Lilianthal

and the writings of the late Elmer Burger in the following book:

“Anti-Zionism: Analytical Reflection”
Edited by
Roselle Tekiner,Samir Abed-Rabbo,Norton Mezvinsky.

You may be able to find those two books in your local libraries.

Both Alfred Lilianthal and Elmer Burger were dedicated Rabbis to the “True Torah” and Judaism as a whole. I had the honor and privilege of listening to their lectures and eventually meeting them and had constructive conversations with each of them. That was in the 1950s and 1960s when I was undergradute and graduate university student. Since then I have read everything I could find written by either one of them. I have learned a great deal from them about Judaism and Zionism and then I did my own reaserches about Judaism,Zionism,Christianity and Islam,inspite of the fact my former education was concentrated in a highly scientific field. Human history has been my passion. I will never forget the late two Rabbis and what I have learned from them. They were marvelous in their dedication to Judaism and to their mission against Zionism.

I also recommend to those who are interested in knowing more about Jews who are holding beliefs similar or identical to the two good Rabbis I mentioned above,please try to collect as much information as you can about the"Naturei Karta Jews”. You can do so by just Googling the following:

Who are the Naturei Karta Jews?

and you will get plenty of information about those wonderful human beings who happened to be Jewish in their religious faith.

Tony: Thank you for pointing the fact that there are Jews who are against the establishment of the state of Israel,from the very beginning,based in their dedication to the “True Torah”.I pertsonally respect that very very much.

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By diamond, April 18, 2009 at 2:42 am Link to this comment

Ed Harges maybe you don’t believe Tony Wicher re the fate of the Liberty but do you believe the crew? The plan was for the ship to sink but it didn’t sink no matter what the Israelis threw at it and they threw everything they had. 34 of the crew were killed,I believe. The Liberty sent out an SOS and another American ship in the area was sailing to its aid when it was ordered not to go anywhere near the area. Naturally they obeyed orders but then more desperate SOS’s came through and the captain turned the ship to sail to the aid of the Liberty. Then to the captain’s absolute astonishment Robert McNamara himself was on the phone telling him not to go anywhere near the Liberty. This was absolutely unprecedented in the captain’s experience. Members of the crew who survived have said openly that their own government put them in that area so they could be attacked by the Israelis (in unmarked planes and boats) and it could be blamed on Egypt and the United States would then have an excuse to enter the war on Israel’s side. This is what amuses me when people say the American government wouldn’t kill its own people. Why wouldn’t they? Every time they send troops to invade another country they’re killing their own people. It means nothing to them: they think all American taxpayers are expendable and they’ve thought it for a long time. The sailors on the Liberty were certainly considered expendable by Johnson and McNamara but in an act of sickening hypocrisy they awarded the survivors decorations. I believe both Johnson and McNamara were sociopaths who should never have been given the power they had.

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By Sepharad, April 17, 2009 at 10:33 pm Link to this comment

Tony and Virginia 777—

Lyndon Johnson was a political creature who did amazingly wicked things (because his ambition ruled) and a few astonishingly good things (because he grew up terribly poor and also had a sense of justice). Without him, the Vietnam war might not have escalated into to horror it became. And without him, the civil rights movements the Kennedys started might have ultimately failed, because no matter how voters we were able to register, they might not have been able to exercise their votes without the abolition of the literacy test and LBJ’s Voting Rights Act, which nailed everything into place and made it impossible to interfere without violating a federal law. His Great Society also helped poor people all over the country, even as many of them were drafted and sent to Vietnam to die.

Wish life were simpler and purer, but it doesn’t seem to come that way. (Maybe never did.)

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By Sepharad, April 17, 2009 at 10:24 pm Link to this comment

Shingo, I’m going to look for Prof. Sand’s book. Interesting idea. Am always looking for information on the pre-mid-19th-century days in Palestine (and wish that when I was a kid I’d paid more attention to my grandfather’s stories about his grandfather’s and father’s experiences there. To me they were “stories”—was before I understood they were also “history”. Now of course I have hundreds of questions I would like to ask him, but he’s gone. When grandpa’s grandfather came from Romania in 1828, he had been a jeweler and glass maker but quickly had to adjust to subsistence farming. They had to pick many rocks out of the greyish soil before the could even plow it. Remember he said that there were Arabs on the other side of the wadi that separated the little hills, and they had goats and sheep, as did some Jews in the area, and they used to laugh at the family for doing anything so foolish and taxing as moving rocks from such ridiculously bad land. But they were also friendly and shared food and tea. When he had the time, grandpa’s grandfather took out his old materials in the evenings and made a set of tea glasses for the Arabs. Grandpa said they didn’t have any friction, as the subsistence farming they were doing did not conflict with the goat and sheep herders who moved from place to place for water and forage, but always returned to the same small village. In those days the Jews and Arabs, according to grandpa, had misunderstandings but generally got along pretty well, and referred to each other as “cousins”. 

The missed opportunities you spoke of to Inherit are too sad to contemplate ... at least now, when things are looking so desperately bad. Can’t lose heart now and drop out, however, or the bad guys will surely win.

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By Sepharad, April 17, 2009 at 9:55 pm Link to this comment

Please check out information that continues to be posted at http://www.bitterlemons.org. It’s especially important now, that Netanyahu and Lieberman think they are in control, for all who want the killing and hatred to stop to stay in contact. Ha’aretz is good, but not enough in these times. (Both Palestinian and Israeli activists write articles on this journal.)

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By Robert, April 17, 2009 at 7:35 pm Link to this comment

Plan for Palestinian state is ‘dead end,’ Israel tells U.S.

By Dion Nissenbaum | McClatchy Newspapers

Posted on Thursday, April 16, 2009


JERUSALEM — “In a direct challenge to President Barack Obama’s commitment to rejuvenate moribund Mideast peace talks, Israel on Thursday dismissed American-led efforts to establish a Palestinian state and laid out new conditions for renewed negotiations.

Leaders of Israel’s hawkish new government told former Maine Sen. George Mitchell, the special U.S. envoy, that they aren’t going to rush into peace talks with their Palestinian neighbors.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that he’d require Palestinians to accept Israel as a Jewish state in any future negotiations — a demand that Palestinians have up to now rejected — Israeli government officials said.

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told Obama’s envoy that past Israeli concessions led to war, not peace.

These were Mitchell’s first meetings with Israeli leaders since Netanyahu’s center-right government took power two weeks ago.

Palestinian leaders have said they won’t open peace talks with Netanyahu’s government until it agrees in principle to the idea of a two-state solution and imposes a freeze on building Jewish housing in the West Bank.

As expected, Mitchell made it clear that the Obama administration sees the two-state solution as the foundation for future talks.

“U.S. policy favors — with the respect to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — a two-state solution, which would have a Palestinian state living in peace alongside the Jewish state of Israel,” Mitchell said before meeting with Lieberman.

Netanyahu has refused to embrace that formula and has instead floated the idea of offering Palestinians limited rights that would fall short of independence.

Netanyahu reiterated his stand in his meeting with Mitchell, said one Israeli government official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to publicly discuss the details of the conversation.

Netanyahu also indicated that Palestinians would have to accept Israel as a Jewish state in negotiations.

“For us, this is a crucial element,” the official said. “It’s a fundamental element in peace talks.”

In recent years, Israeli leaders have been pushing this demand as a way to ensure that the nation retains its Jewish identity. However, compelling Palestinians to accept the idea would all but require them to abandon their demands that Palestinian refugees be allowed to return to homes they abandoned when Israel was established in 1948.

Yossi Alpher, a former official with Israel’s Mossad spy agency and a co-founder of the bitterlemons.org Middle East political Web site, said that Netanyahu’s conditions could be a poison pill that prevents any peace talks from getting under way.

“The position he took today cannot in any way generate a peace process,” Alpher said. “The Palestinians are not going to offer him this recognition. It could be a deal-breaker, but it could be an opening gambit. It’s too early in this whole new process to tell.”

Mitchell also faced resistance from Lieberman, an ultranationalist Israeli leader who began his tenure as foreign minister by declaring the death of the U.S-led peace talks that then-President George W. Bush launched in November 2007.

Lieberman told Mitchell that 15 years of faltering peace talks with Palestinians “brought neither results nor solutions,” the foreign minister’s office said after the meeting.

Real stability, Lieberman said, would require an American focus on preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

Israeli President Shimon Peres, who sought to quash growing concerns that Israel might attack Iran if international diplomacy fails, echoed that sentiment.”


http://www.mcclatchydc.com/world/story/66360.html

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By Ed Harges, April 17, 2009 at 2:29 pm Link to this comment

By Virginia777, April 16 at 7:49 pm:

Thanks - I’ll look at that book.

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By Tony Wicher, April 16, 2009 at 7:22 pm Link to this comment

Forgot to copy the link into my previous post. The
Harrit interview may be found at:

http://visibility911.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=453204#

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By Tony Wicher, April 16, 2009 at 7:15 pm Link to this comment

For people interested in the events of 9/11 who would like to do something to contribute to the discussion besides hurl insults and belch hot air like ignorant yahoo Rush Limbaugh clones, you might want to take a look at this interview with Niels Harit, associate professor of Chemisty at the University of Copenhagen. Take a good look at what a real scientist looks like, as opposed to one of those lab-coat wearing phonies that did the 9/11 NIST report.

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By Robert, April 16, 2009 at 6:07 pm Link to this comment

How Can You Trust The Cowardly BBC?

The BBC Trust is now a mouthpiece for the Israeli lobby which abused Bowen

By Robert Fisk

April 16, 2009 “The Independent”—“The BBC Trust’s report on Jeremy Bowen’s dispatches from the Middle East is pusillanimous, cowardly, outrageous, factually wrong and ethically dishonest.

But I am mincing my words.

The trust – how I love that word which so dishonours everything about the BBC – has collapsed, in the most shameful way, against the usual Israeli lobbyists who have claimed – against all the facts – that Bowen was wrong to tell the truth.

Let’s go step by step through this pitiful business. Zionism does indeed instinctively “push out” the frontier. The new Israeli wall – longer and taller than the Berlin Wall although the BBC management cowards still insist its reporters call it a “security barrier” (the translation of the East German phrase for the Berlin Wall) – has gobbled up another 10 per cent of the 22 per cent of “Palestine” that Arafat/Mahmoud Abbas were supposed to negotiate. Bowen’s own brilliant book on the 1967 war, Six Days, makes this land-grab perfectly clear.

Anyone who has read the history of Zionism will be aware that its aim was to dispossess the Arabs and take over Palestine. Why else are Zionists continuing to steal Arab land for Jews, and Jews only, against all international law? Who for a moment can contradict that this defies everyone’s interpretation of international law except its own?

Even when the International Court in The Hague stated that the Israeli wall was illegal – the BBC, at this point, was calling it a “fence”! – Israel simply claimed that the court was wrong.

UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 called upon Israel to withdraw its forces from territories that it occupied in the 1967 war – and it refused to do so. The Americans stated for more than 30 years that Israel’s actions were illegal – until the gutless George Bush accepted Israel had the right to keep these illegally held territories. Thus the BBC Trust – how cruel that word “trust” now becomes – has gone along with the Bush definition of Israel’s new boundaries (inside Arab land, of course).

The BBC’s preposterous committee claims that Bowen’s article “breached the rules [sic] on impartiality” because “readers might come away from the article thinking that the interpretation offered was the only sensible view of the war”.

Well, yes of course. Because I suppose the BBC believes that Israel’s claim to own land which in fact belongs to other people is another “sensible” view of the war. The BBC Trust – and I now find this word nauseous each time I tap it on my laptop – says that Bowen didn’t give evidence to prove the Jewish settlement at Har Homa was illegal. But the US authorities said so, right from the start. Our own late foreign secretary, Robin Cook – under screamed abuse from Zionists when he visited the settlement– said the same thing. The fact that the BBC Trust uses the Hebrew name for Har Homa – not the original Arab name, Jebel Abu Ghoneim – shows just how far it is now a mouthpiece for the Israeli lobby which so diligently abused Bowen.

Haaretz gave considerable space to the BBC’s findings yesterday. I’m not surprised. But why is it that Haaretz’s top correspondents – Amira Hass and Gideon Levy – write so much more courageously about the human rights abuses of Israeli troops (and war crimes) than the BBC has ever dared to do? Whenever I’m asked by lecture audiences around the world if they should trust the BBC, I tell them to trust Amira and Gideon more than they should ever believe in the wretched broadcasting station. I’m afraid it’s the same old story. If you allow yourself to bow down before those who wish you to deviate from the truth, you will stay on your knees forever.”
~~~~~~~

Click on link for the rest of article:

http://informationclearinghouse.info/article22438.htm

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By Virginia777, April 16, 2009 at 5:16 pm Link to this comment

Johnson signed in several Civil Rights laws, don’t forget that.

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By Tony Wicher, April 16, 2009 at 5:01 pm Link to this comment

Re Ed Harges, April 16 at 7:00 pm

Ed,

I don’t know if you lived through the 60’s and the Vietnam War. I did. Johnson and Macnamara were the lying treacherous snakes who got us into that war that ruined this country in the worst possible way, which is that they destroyed the morality and credibility of this country and the goodness of the American spirit in ways from which we have never recovered. I spit on their graves. They were capable of anything and I mean anything.  Johnson was a power-mad asshole who wanted to be president and who hated Kennedy. He is responsible for the Kennedy assassination. Lee Harvey Oswald was a CIA asset. The country has been fucked ever since.

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By Virginia777, April 16, 2009 at 4:49 pm Link to this comment

One point I would like to add to this debate (maybe it has already been made) is that according to Thomas Frank’s book The Wrecking Crew, the incredible prominence of lobbyists in Washington (their ability to literally buy whatever they wanted to),

came about as the extreme Conservatives advanced/bullied their way, into power during the Reagan years (and since then).

It seems like the Israeli lobby just followed a path (practice and method) that was already being used, and had been opened to them, by the extreme Conservatives of our own country.

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By Shingo, April 16, 2009 at 4:45 pm Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind,

I would appreciate any links you could provide regarding the vision that Nasser had for Pan-Arabism.  Nasser was no fundamentalist, but a loud mouthed secular Muslim AFAIK. 

The comparison between the liberal social-democratic flavor of Zionism and the Pan Arabic arrangement doesn’t rally apply.  From the beginning, Zionsim has already been heavily dependent on support (political and financial) from the Levant.  perhaps that was not how Hertzl intended it to be, but that’s what has emerged.

Furthermore, the idea of Pan Arabism was not to provide an homeland where Arabs are safe, but a united base from which Arabs can exert influence and free themselves from occupation. 

I was reading this intereting article yesterday by Gilad Aztmon, where he reviews a new book “When And How the Jewish People Was Invented” by Professor Shlomo Sand, an Israeli historian.  His theory is that the Palestinians were descendants of the original Israelites and that some of the early Zionists were hopnig the Palestinians would become part of the Zionist movement.

Even Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, the second president of the State of Israel, wrote in 1929 that, ‘the vast majority of the peasant farmers do not have their origins in the Arab conquerors, but rather, before then, in the Jewish farmers who were numerous and a majority in the building of the land.’”

Both Ben Gurion and Ben-Zvi regarded, at least at that early stage, the indigenous Palestinians as ethnic relatives who were holding close to the land and potential brothers. They as well regarded Islam as a friendly ‘democratic religion’. For some reason,, after 1936 both Ben-Zvi and Ben Gurion toned down their ‘multicultural’ enthusiasm. As far as Ben Gurion was concerned, ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians seemed to be far more appealing.

How different things could have been had a few different but crucial choices been made back then hey?

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By Sepharad, April 16, 2009 at 4:37 pm Link to this comment

Night Gaunt—re your April 16 query “If the majority of Israeli people do not like what there government is doing, then what can they do ....?”

Truthfully, about as much as we can do when we don’t like what our government is doing—but maybe a little more as it’s a smaller country and has more of an impact. What they do is have more human rights groups than you could imagine running around to cover every alleged abuse; members of peace parties stand in front of bulldozers (though making sure the bulldozer driver knows they are there) and otherwise protest government actions against Palestinian or Israeli Arab housing; as individuals, set up deals with farmers and craftsmen in the West Bank to market their produce and products, or as groups establish whatever communal cross-border economic systems possible, anything to bolster economic position in West Bank; vote; pressure reps in the Knesset; talk to reporters; IDF soldiers frequently refuse to serve in territories and are sitting in jail because of it; the Israeli Supreme Court is reachable by Palestinians who believe their livlihood is unreasonably compromised by where the wall happens to be, and get results. What Israelis SHOULD do, in my humble opinion, is push for a reorganization of government so that whoever gets the most votes in a general election for PM automatically becomes the next PM. The numerous-party system has its advantages but this last election became a disaster. Oh—the rabbinate has to be stripped of its political power. This has been a problem for way too long, and threatens the democratic nature of the society more than any other single factor.

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By Ed Harges, April 16, 2009 at 4:00 pm Link to this comment

re:By Tony Wicher, April 16 at 6:35 pm #


Tony, I say you’re much more anti-American than I am anti-Israel, and by that
I mean this: you bend over backwards to believe the most contrived conspiracy-theory garbage about the US government’s actions- like your wholly original and sanity-free proposal that Johnson and McNamara probably induced Israel to attack the Liberty and kill all those American sailors for their own nefarious purposes. There is nothing of which I have ever accused the Israeli government or its lobby that approaches this level of twisted, malevolent caricature, with so little in the way of evidence or reason to support it. This really clarifies something about you for me.

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By truedigger3, April 16, 2009 at 3:55 pm Link to this comment

Re:  By Sodium, April 15 at 11:29 pm

Thank you for your valuable input to the discussion
and your comment on my post.

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By Tony Wicher, April 16, 2009 at 3:35 pm Link to this comment

Re Ed Harges, April 16 at 12:47 pm #

Tony actually thinks that the likeliest explanation here is that the Israelis did this because Johnson and McNamara wanted them to! And that’s where Tony’s bias shows through.  He’s much more anti-American than I am anti-Israel.

  x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

Wrong again, Ed. I am probably the proudest, most patriotic American you will ever meet. I love my country. I have also been supporting Barack Obama since he first announced for president as the best hope to take this country back from the military-industrial Nazi traitor warmongers who have been running it my entire adult life. I think Obama just might turn out to be the best U.S. president in history. But he has an incredibly tough fight ahead of him against these bastards running roughshod over us and the rest of the world.

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By Tony Wicher, April 16, 2009 at 2:59 pm Link to this comment

Re Sodium, April 16 at 12:48 pm

Sodium,

Let me clarify a few things. Firstly, although I have Jewish relatives and ancestors, I was not raised as a Jew nor do I identify myself as a Jew. My parents were international socialists and as such did not teach me to identify with any particular nation or ethnic group. Nevertheless, I have always felt an affinity for Jewish culture and people. The proper word to describe me is “Semitophile”, that is, a friend of the Jewish people. 

Secondly, it ought to be clear from all my posts that I oppose Zionism, by which I mean the project of a Jewish state, on principle. In my view, Zionism is incompatible with principles of democracy and universal human rights. Democracy means that all humans are equal. There can be no such thing as a Jewish democracy that excludes non-Jews. I do not believe there will ever be a two-state solution to Israel/Palestine; the only possible solution is for the Zionist project to be given up and to reconstitute Israel as a multicultural democracy. I believe Zionism is death to Judaism and to all that makes the Jewish people great. I have been saying this for about 40 years to anybody who would listen. Because of this stand, I have been called anti-Semitic probably far more than Ed. I have spent much of my time defending myself against charges of anti-Semitism.

But although I am totally against Zionism, I have also found that every time I make an anti-Zionist statement, there are posters here that sound like refugees from the David Duke website posting things like, “So true, it’s those damn Zionists that are the cause of all OUR problems.” These people sound like Nazis because they are Nazis, and their use of the word “Zionist” instead of “Jew” is only a subterfuge. The fact is they are completely anti-Semitic in the classic sense. So which kind of anti-Zionist is Ed? Most real anti-Zionists who are not anti-Semitic are either Jewish or friends of Jews like me. Two great web sites for real anti-Zionism are Muzzlewatch and Tony Karon’s “The Rootless Cosmopolitan”. One of the best anti-Zionist intellecuals is Alan Pappe, author of “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine” - also Jewish. But as soon as one starts to blame Jews or Zionists for the actions the U.S.  government, you are getting into scapegoating Jews and real Nazi anti-Semitism. The U.S. government is the most powerful in the world.  The U.S. government is totally responsible for its own actions, including its support of Israel. Israel is totally dependent on the U.S. government for its existence. When our Nazis, namely the U.S. military-industrial complex, say jump, Israel says how high. The idea that it is somehow the other way around is just a subterfuge, and whoever believes this is really just buying and promoting the same Nazi big lie that the German people bought in the 1930’s.

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By Ed Harges, April 16, 2009 at 2:18 pm Link to this comment

re: By Sodium, April 16 at 12:48 pm:

Thank-you very much; I really appreciate that.

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By Night-Gaunt, April 16, 2009 at 11:59 am Link to this comment

Sodium why don’t you just register?

If the “E1” is completed the West Bank will be cut in two and access to west Jeruselam will be cut off. Thereby halfing the West Bank and killing any faint chance the Palestinians ever had (if any) for nationhood will be rendered moot. The Adumim area will be an expansion, if completed a combined population of 45,000 people and industry will encompass an area larger than Tel Aviv, Israel’s second largest city.

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By Sodium, April 16, 2009 at 11:21 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To: Ed Harges,Tony Wicher and truedigger3.

I have posted four posts concerning some of the posts you have already posted. I believe that you will be interested in reading them. If so,please roll this thread up-ward about 30-40 posts(by now you may have to roll the thread up-ward around 40-50 posts).

Because I am unregistered commenter,the editors of TD have to moderate my comments before they approve them for posting on TD’s website. That may take hours before they let go for posting. Since TD post the posts according to date and hours and minutes they were written,my posts appeared in between much earlier posts.

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By Robert, April 16, 2009 at 11:14 am Link to this comment

“Coexistence” and “Mixed Cities”: A Microcosm of Israeli Apartheid

By Isabelle Humphries

“So next time you hear an Israeli politician talking about “peace” or “coexistence,” remember the reality behind the rhetoric, the fancy words about peace designed to distract your eye from the bulldozer, the violence and the six decades and counting of Israeli apartheid.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The above also applies to the “Israeli/Zionism’s Hasbarah” propagandists on TD:


http://www.wrmea.com/archives/Jan_Feb_2009/0901015.html

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By Sodium, April 16, 2009 at 9:48 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To: Tony Wicher

Subject: Ed Haeges,as I knew him from reading his Posts.

Tony,

I do respect you more than I can tell you,because of your usual common sense,at least in most of your posts.

Because of being certain of what I have just said,I give myself the right to call your attention to the following points I have learned about Ed Harges,from just reading in between the lines of what he writes in his posts,for at least the last two years:

(1) Ed Harges is NOT an anti-Semites,by any stretch of imagination,NOT even by a very very long shot.

(2) Ed Harges is anti-Israel lobby in Washington DC,known for short,as AIPAC.

(3) Ed Harges is anti-Israel’s criminal behaviors,but not even an anti-Isralis,as human beings

(4) Ed Harges is anti-Zionism,as I am,because it is a destructive ideology for the obvious reasons: Zionism has exploited Judaism for political expediency and uprooted the Palestinian people from their homes,farms,small businesses and from their lands.And meanwhile it has brought only violence,bloodshed and wars to the people of the Middle East.

(5) Ed Harges is relentlessly fighting the usual bombastic trends in propaganda which claims that what is good for Israel is good for America.You know as well as I do,that is just NOT true.

(6) Ed Harges is one of the most knowledgeable and intelligent bloggers who usually post on truthdig’s threads.That is why,the content of his posts are so effective and may bring him accusations such as anti-Semites of which he is utterly innocent.

(7) I will not be surprized if Ed Harges turned out,at the end,to be a Jew,an enlightened one at that,just like yourself,Folktruther and many others I happened to know and admired,including Rabbis. If this turned to be the case,then instead of accusing him to be an anti-Semites,you have to change the accusation to a “self-hating Jew”,as the hard core Zionists usually do to belittle and defame those enlightened Jews who revolt against Israel’s criminal behaviors towards the Palestinians.

Ed Harges,an anti-Semites???? NO,Tony,NOT,as I said before,in a very very very long shot.NO WAY.Not Ed Harges.

Please take notes of what I outlined in this post and hold me on every word I posted about Ed Harges. If proven wrong,I will eat every word I wrote in this post.PEACE.PEACE.PEACE….

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By Ed Harges, April 16, 2009 at 9:47 am Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt writes:

What happened to the USS Liberty was that it got in the way of the Israelis who are nationalists and place their aims first over their patron the USA. No conspiracy there. However those in the US gov’t did minimize and cover up what was done by an ally for their own support of the Jewish state. Easy isn’t it?

Exactly, Night-Gaunt. People within the US government saw to it that it was covered up — but not, as Tony prefers to imagine, because Israel’s attack on a US ship was done at the behest opf the US government! Tony prefers the preposterous explanation over the probable, if that’s what it takes to make sure that Israel never comes out as the prime mover in any sort of crime. It’s always the US — in this case, gleefully contriving to have Israel attack the Liberty and kill a bunch of its own seamen.

Tony actually thinks that the likeliest explanation here is that the Israelis did this because Johnson and McNamara wanted them to! And that’s where Tony’s bias shows through.  He’s much more anti-American than I am anti-Israel.

The coverup in the US was almost certainly done for the much more logical reason: because of the ability of pro-Israel partisans in the US government to protect Israel’s interests.

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By Night-Gaunt, April 16, 2009 at 8:59 am Link to this comment

What happened to the USS Liberty was that it got in the way of the Israelis who are nationalists and place their aims first over their patron the USA. No conspiracy there. However those in the US gov’t did minimize and cover up what was done by an ally for their own support of the Jewish state. Easy isn’t it?

If the majority of people in Israel do not like their gov’t then what must they do to keep it from removing Palestinians, attack Iran, the stabilizer in the region (see Jordon and Syria on that) who do not have nuclear weapons (trumped up like with Iraq) and could blow back and hurt Israel. I don’t just mean the fallout from the nuclear processing plants and the prevailing winds will carry it back to them. Also what is to stop Iran from taking active action in attacking Israel? Or the USA stupidly coming to their defense and lighting the hot fire of real big war sucking in others?

Iran has been accused of many things most of them war mongering falsehoods to start a big war. Now the State Dept. says that they are “a year to a year and a half away from a nuclear warhead,” similar things were said about Iraq and we saw what happened there didn’t we in 1990 onward? 2009 and still there with over 2 million dead and 3 times that wounded. Just imagine if a few nukes are used this time by the USA and/or Israel?

I go for quality over quantity in my postings.

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By Inherit The Wind, April 16, 2009 at 7:31 am Link to this comment

Shingo, April 15 at 11:57 pm #

Inherit The Wind,

Question: Is pan-Arabism any morally different than Zionism? Is it any FUNCTIONALLY different? Is it any less racist than you claim Zionism to be and, if so, how?

That’s a very good question.  I don’t think it is the same thing, because as I understand it, pan-Arabism is about promoting Arab unity and co-operation.  While it encompasses predominantly Muslim members, it is a secular construct, made up of independent states, much like the European Union.

The Western resistance to such a concept gives a clear understanding of it’s implications.  Pan Arabism would ideally empower Arab states and promote co-operation and power and therefore, influence, through unity.  The West has played the divide and conquer game to great effect to prevent this eventuating.
********************************************

But Pan-Arabism as promoted by Nasser was not simply a press against the West.  It was much more of a neo-fascist movement where each of the leaders of each of the nations thought it was the path for HIM to be the Caliph—and we all know that the Caliph is both the religious and secular head of the Sunni Islamic state. 

But say your assertion is true:  And compare to the the liberal social-democratic flavor of Zionism: Jews working together in a common homeland where they are safe.  Are they really ANY different?  Many of the early Zionists, especially after the Founding WANTED their Arab neighbors to remain.  Of course some didn’t but I’m not talking about those.  I’m talking about that same social-democratic view.

It’s actually not only similar to pan-Arabism, it’s decidedly more liberal.

Now, there ARE, without a doubt, neo-fascist Zionists, but they are as close to the liberal social-dem type (that STILL makes up the majority of Israeli voters) as Pig Latin is to Latin.  And it’s a crying shame that they now have control of the Israeli government. 

How are they going to govern without creating disaster?  Sadly, I think with all the success Botch had governing without disasters….none.

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By Tony Wicher, April 16, 2009 at 12:20 am Link to this comment

By Ed Harges, April 15 at 10:20 pm #


re: By Sepharad, April 15 at 9:53 pm:

My point is that Tony calls me an anti-Semite for ascribing a degree of evil to Israel’s government that is in fact less than the evil which he unhesitatingly ascribes to the US government, offering preposterous hypotheticals such is the one you endorsed, namely, that of course, if Israelis deliberately bombed a US ship, then it must have because the evil goy American president made them do it (and poor sensitive things! - we can be sure they were shooting and crying)....

I’m so sick of your fraudulent moral superiority. You can all just go choose yourselves.

x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

Ed,

I never said Israel is any less evil than the United States. All I said was that Israel is less powerful than the United States, that Israel is a client of the U.S., not the other way around. Israel is our attack dog. Israel and Zionism has been a client of U.S./British imperialism since the Balfour Declaration in 1917. You and other posters start to sound anti-Semitic when you say that Israel controls the U.S. The U.S. government is in fact a hundred times more powerful than Israel and is fully responsible for its own immorality, greed and stupidity.

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By Tony Wicher, April 15, 2009 at 11:52 pm Link to this comment

By syvanen, April 16 at 12:11 am #


Nutter alert!!

Tony Wicher has just told us that Stephan Jones is an authority on 911.

Sorry boobs out there that believe him but Jones is a real craze ball. He first gained national attention promoting ‘cold fusion’ and now he is offering his junk science credentials promoting the idea that the WTC were brought down by intern demolitions.
——————————————————————————
Opinions are like assholes. Everybody has one.

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By Sepharad, April 15, 2009 at 11:26 pm Link to this comment

Ed, thanks. Actually I HAVEN’T read the whole Dershowitz book, was just dipping into it randomly to see what he had to say about some hot-button issues. I will get a copy of Finkelstein’s book because you say he dissects Dershowitz’s arguments—but truthfully probably won’t get to read either D. or F. through thoroughly for awhile; am falling behind in my own writing and have several books I have to read first. But I’m always interested in more than one side of any argument. Wish somebody would invent a way to “speed-think” along with “speed-read.” (But speed-reading never worked for me either. If I want to actually learn anything, I have to do it the hard way, slog slowly through material and pay attention. (By same token I’m a slow cooker from scratch, slow and patient training horses, and multi-tasking isn’t even on the chart. Often suspect I am living in the wrong century, but at least I enjoy what I do.)

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By Shingo, April 15, 2009 at 11:11 pm Link to this comment

Sepharad,

Regarding Dershowitz, I would suggest reading some of his op-ed pieces and doing a search on Youtube of the crap he presents a logical argument.

During the Lebanon conflict, he argued that all Lebanese citizens were fair game, because Hezbollah were among them.  In fact, he even made the bogus claim that Lebanon, not Hezbollah, had declared war on Israel and thus deserved to be killed.

In essence, his position is that Israel is always right.

If you’ve read his book, the case for Israel, then you might be interested in Norman G. Finkelstein’s Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History.  In it, Finkelstien dissects Dershowitz’s argument.

Dershowitz became so incensed, that he launched a vitriolic crusade against Finkelstein, trying to get Finkelstein’s boko banned, then lobbying to have Finkelstein’s candidacy for tenure denied.

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By Sodium, April 15, 2009 at 11:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To: Tony Wicher

Subject: The Assault on the US Spy Ship,The USS Liberty.

Tony,

For an objective treatise about the Israeli military attack on the U.S. spy ship called “LIBERTY”,during the 1967 war,try to get your hand on the following doctoral dissertation and read it as carefully as you possible can:

The USS Liberty
Dissenting History VS.Official History
By
John E. Borne

The above is “a dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy,Department of History,New York University September,1993”

You may be able to obtain a copy of the above dissertation from:

Reconsideration Press
Telephone: (718) 857-1743

Good luck,Tony. Nice to read your constructive posts. You are the reasonable of all reasonables. And you do it with admirable humility. Perhaps,that what makes your posts tick,as far as I am concerned.

Yes,indeed,Lyndon Johnson and Robert McNamara had covered up for the Israeli (mistake???) but they did not ordered the Israeli leadership to attack USS spy ship,Liberty.

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By Ed Harges, April 15, 2009 at 10:53 pm Link to this comment

re: By Robert, April 15 at 11:10 pm:

Searingly good article, Robert, especially the part about how the US/Israel-dominated elite and its muzzled “journalists” felt compelled to behave as though Israel’s deliberate orgy of vioence against the people of Gaza had been some sort of natural disaster, to which the only proper response was humanitarian aid.

It was like, “Today another Israel erupted, sending deadly pyroclastic flows of white phosphorus into Gaza. This was a particularly massive eruption, estimated at 7.6 magnitude on the Wolf Blitzer scale. As always, it has many in the West wondering why these simple people insist on living in the shadow of an active Israel, known to be full of Israelis. There are indications that some of the Palestinians may have wandered too near this highly dangerous Israel under the mistaken impression that this was a petting zoo. Let’s go to the nine-one-one tapes…. ‘It’s ripping my her face off’ ....‘Excuse me ma’am? What ....?” “Israel! It’s ripping my mother’s face off!’ ....”

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By Sepharad, April 15, 2009 at 10:50 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther, Jane Bond really doesn’t live here. I prefer taking risks exploring on horseback with my husband. As I think I’ve mentioned to you before, I read a lot of books by former spies of various agencies of course including Mossad, whose ex-leaders are much less muzzled than those of most countries (a habit I picked up during my investigative journalism days; you can learn a lot from people who live to acquire accurate information). What I have learned, mainly from these books, is that Mossad is highly pragmatic, on message (as American communicators like to put it), and have had different relationships with past PMs and other government officials as well as with other spy agencies. Their opinion of Netanyahu is hardly a secret. However personable, he is volatile and headstrong, less than ideal characteristics for tense times like these; Tzipi Livni would be much better in the job, for the Israelis, for the Palestinians, for peace.

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By Sepharad, April 15, 2009 at 10:18 pm Link to this comment

Night Gaunt—a PS to my 9:01 post to you. I’d noticed a couple mentions by another poster, not you, maybe Ed, that Alan Dershowitz is “such a pig” and “fundamentally dishonest.” I know he’s a lawyer, a class of people not universally loved, but he’s also one that takes on not-so-nice clients to help cover his appellate defense work for people whose individual rights are being violated but can’t afford a good lawyer. I have his book “The Case for Israel” but have never gotten to it, so I was reading parts of it to see what he’s said that generates such heated feelings.

In the process I stumbled on some stuff re MLK, and remembered your “What would Martin Luther King do?” (in chapter 31, “Are Critics of Israel Anti-Semetic?”). From the book: “Indeed, the Israeli government’s harshest substantive critics are Israelis, both inside and outside the government—and sometimes even in the cabinet itself. No one has ever called them anti-Semitic. The one prominent person I am aware of who equated anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism was Martin Luther King Jr., who responded to a question posed by a student who atttacked Zionism by telling the student that attacks on Zionists were often a euphemism for attacking Jews: ‘You’re talking anti-Semitism.’ [ftnt. 5] But King’s statement was made not in the context of criticizing Israeli policies but rather from a general attack on Zionism and the right of the Jewish state to exist. King believed strongly that all good people must ‘protect its right to exist,’ as Congressman John Lewis, one of King’s key assistants, recently recalled:

‘On March 25, 1968, less than two weeks before his tragic death, he spoke out with clarity and directness stating, “peace for Israel means security, and we must stand with all our might to protect its right to exist, its territorial integrity. I see Israel as one of the great outposts of democracy in the world, and a marvelous example of what can be done, how dessert land can be transformed into an oasis of brotherhood of brotherhood and democracy. Peace for Israel means security and that security must be a reality.”

‘During the recent U.N. Conference on Racism held in Durban, South Africa, we were all shocked by the attacks on Jews, Israel and Zionism. The United States of America stood up again st these vicious attacks.

‘Once again ther words of King ran through my memory, “I solemly pledge to do my utmost to uphold the fair name of the Jews—because bigotry in any form is an affront to us all.”’ [ftnt. 6]

(Ftnt. #5 - Seymour Martin Lipset, “The Socialism of Fools—the Left, the Jews, and Israel,” Encounter, Dec. ‘69, p.41; Ftnt. #6 - Rep John Lewis, “‘I Have a Dream for Peace’ in the Middle East”, SF Chronicle, 1/21/02.)

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By Sodium, April 15, 2009 at 10:18 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: Ed Harges,April 14 at 11:12 pm.

Ed,

I wish it is,as you put it,an “intellectual alchemy” what you have been relentlessly trying to expose.At least,alchemy was,once upon a time,considered a respectable scientific field,through which alchemists were intellectually and greedly motivated to change copper to gold.

What you are dealing with is not intellectual alchemy but INTELLECTUAL EMPTINESS,combined with loudness,assertion,repulsiveness,rudeness,arrogance and above all of that self-defeating conceit and passing the blame to the victimized Palestinians and the Arabs as a whole. But I must say that you have handled all of that with remarkable strides and obvious confidence in what you have posted,sofar.

You certainly know the tragedy of the conflict and who has been the cause of all the sufferings and agonies from A to Z,with profound knowledge and the required meticulous details as the circumstances may required. You need NO one to tell you what to do and how to pass your own judgements on posters,regardless who they are and what ideology,if any,stirs them to propagandize their destructive ideology through an old and boring tactics called “Divide and Conquer” because most bloggers world wide are against what Zionism has done to the Palestinians. And anyone who thinks that his or her bombastic or sneaky propaganda will cover-up the results of the last Israeli election,and the tilting of the Israeli society as a whole to the extreme right,and the ascension of a racist figure like Avigdor Lieberman to the apogee of power,as Minister of Foreign Affairs,are heading for a great disappointment,since the whole world is watching and most of the news I have covered sofar are not encouraging,at all. If anyone wants to see peace between Palestinian Arabs and Israelis,he or she must demand that Israel DE-ZIONIZES its leadership and becomes just Jews who want to live in peace with the Palestinians and be integrated with the rest of the Arab World,not as the “POLICEMAN” with nukes in the Middle East,but as equal partners in humanity.

Ed: Exposing what a few others are trying to cover-up is extremely essential,if peace has to pay a visit to both Israelis and Palestinians and meanwhile getting rid of the destructive activities of the Israeli lobby,in Washington DC,known as AIPAC.

Just keep truthdigging and the absolute relativism of the truth will eventually and triumphantly emerge.

And thank you for being what you are…...

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By Tony Wicher, April 15, 2009 at 9:22 pm Link to this comment

By Inherit The Wind, April 15 at 11:13 pm #


But as a (non-religious) Jew I simply want a safe haven in this world for Jews—one place where the world cannot turn on them, as it has turned so many times in the past.  Unfortunately, the religious fanatics, who, incidentally bitterly FOUGHT the establishment of Israel, because, like the primitive fundamentalist Christians, they await the Moshiach and expect Him any day, these fanatics want a Taliban Israel.

ITW,

The “fundamentalist” orthodox rabbis who originally opposed the establishment of Israel still do so, do not recognize a state of “Israel”, consider Palestinians their fellow citizens and want them repatriated into the land of Palestine that was stolen from them.  They are known as the “True Torah” Jews. I am very far from being a fundamentalist or orthodox Jew, but I think they have been right about this since the early 20th century. As to the assholes like that Grand Rabbi who recently croaked after recommending carpet-bombing Gaza, hell, I don’t call such people Jews any more than I call somebody like Hage a Christian. Nazis is what they are as far as I’m concerned - Nazis disguised as Jews.

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By Sepharad, April 15, 2009 at 9:18 pm Link to this comment

Inherit the Wind—Excellent ideas (your 7:35am post) all noted and copied.

It still disturbs me that people such as Ed and Virginia777 are so defensive about not criticizing events in Darfur. Oh well. Doesn’t matter. Samantha Power, in Obama’s cabinet, is concerned enough about genocidal works and ways and doesn’t need help from those two to contemplate same.

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By Shingo, April 15, 2009 at 9:14 pm Link to this comment

Fadel Abdallah,

Some advice to you.

With all due respects, attitudes like yours to those who disagree with you are part of the problem, not the solution.

ITS and Sephard both agree that Israel should withdraw from the West Bank and East Jerusalem and in the establishment of a Palestinian State, as well as self determination in both the West Bank and Gaza.

That is what Palestinians have asked for and all you have a right to expect from them.  They hold different priorities from you and that is their right.  The fact that they don’t agree 100% with you does not make them wrong.

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By syvanen, April 15, 2009 at 9:11 pm Link to this comment

Nutter alert!!

Tony Wicher has just told us that Stephan Jones is an authority on 911.

Sorry boobs out there that believe him but Jones is a real craze ball. He first gained national attention promoting ‘cold fusion’ and now he is offering his junk science credentials promoting the idea that the WTC were brought down by intern demolitions.

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By Fadel Abdallah, April 15, 2009 at 9:00 pm Link to this comment

An advice to those who debate with Sepharad and Inherit the Wind!

1. Whatever these two say about Israel or Zionism must be considered as a mixture of half truths and propaganda.

2. Whatever they say about Jews and Judaism must also be questioned since these two claim to be secular Jews. In my opinion, these two don’t understand that one can’t be a true Jew if he / she rejects Judaism as a religion.

3. Whatever these two say about Islam or Arabs must be rejected as simply pure or twisted venomous propaganda, based on a combination of ignorance and bigotry!

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By Shingo, April 15, 2009 at 8:57 pm Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind,

Question: Is pan-Arabism any morally different than Zionism? Is it any FUNCTIONALLY different? Is it any less racist than you claim Zionism to be and, if so, how?

That’s a very good question.  I don’t think it is the same thing, because as I understand it, pan-Arabism is about promoting Arab unity and co-operation.  While it encompasses predominantly Muslim members, it is a secular construct, made up of independent states, much like the European Union.

The Western resistance to such a concept gives a clear understanding of it’s implications.  Pan Arabism would ideally empower Arab states and promote co-operation and power and therefore, influence, through unity.  The West has played the divide and conquer game to great effect to prevent this eventuating.

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By Tony Wicher, April 15, 2009 at 8:52 pm Link to this comment

By Inherit The Wind, April 15 at 7:59 pm #

“TW, I thought you were more rational than that.”

x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

In the case of the Liberty as with 9/11, there are just too many unexplained facts. But I prefer to stick with 9/11, where the scientific evidence is overwhelming.

I’m starting to feel like a broken record, but please read the paper by Stephen Jones et. al. just published in the Open Chemical Physics Journal entitled “Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe”

It is available for download at:
http://www.bentham-open.org/pages/content.php?TOCPJ/2009/00000002/00000001/7TOCPJ.SGM

It is good science, clear and understandable to anyone with any sort of decent college education.
No one who has not read it has any business commenting on the issue. Read it, and then we will discuss my rationality. Also, I recommend the following interview with Neils Harit, a co-author of the paper and a professor of chemistry at the University of Copenhagen.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_tf25lx_3o

Are you going to say this guy isn’t rational? No, he’s a real scientist, is what he is. As distinguished from a Bush Administration scientist.

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By Inherit The Wind, April 15, 2009 at 8:46 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther, April 15 at 11:39 pm #

Ed Harges, I agree with Virgina, you are quite right. Sepharad is no more a humanist than Netanyahoo.  She is a very clever Zionist fanatic intermixes truth with Zionist absurdities.  and she has contacts with the Mossad.  Ther is no other way she could know that “Natanyaho’s judgement is not highly thought of by Mossad.”  She continually states what Mossad is thinking, when we don’t have a clue with what the CIA is really thinking.

However, she may really be part of that Zionist wing that is against attacking Iran.  In which case they sould be supported.  With the understanding that they are still in favor of the continual murder, torture and destitution of the Palestinian people.

Zionism is an evil ideology at the present time in history and capable of the same atrocities and massacres that the Nazies carried out.  Sepharad identifies with this evil, under the pretended guise of humanism.
********************************************

What about the boobs, Folktruther? You forgot about the boobs!

Question: Is pan-Arabism any morally different than Zionism? Is it any FUNCTIONALLY different? Is it any less racist than you claim Zionism to be and, if so, how?

Or is it, as I suspect, nothing more than the Arab equivalent of the WORST forms of Zionism?

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By Nissar Ahmed A. Naik, April 15, 2009 at 8:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Sephaard

Your history of Muslim intolerance is astonishingly different from the history widely accepted by Western historians. I can quote many sources but I will give you just one example. Stanley Lane-Poole in his book “Moors in Spain” pays glowing tributes to the Muslim rulers in Spain for their tolerance of Christians and Jews. He goes on to describe how Jews occupied important government positions in Muslim Spain. The Muslim countries have been astonishingly tolerant to Jews for the last fourteen centuries if you compare them to the bloody record of Europeans.

Shingo is right in his comments: The Iranians even have a seat reserved for the Jews in the Parliament.

I think Israel has to look at its own sad record of discrimination and blatant racialism before pointing figures at others.

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By Folktruther, April 15, 2009 at 8:39 pm Link to this comment

Ed Harges, I agree with Virgina, you are quite right. Sepharad is no more a humanist than Netanyahoo.  She is a very clever Zionist fanatic intermixes truth with Zionist absurdities.  and she has contacts with the Mossad.  Ther is no other way she could know that “Natanyaho’s judgement is not highly thought of by Mossad.”  She continually states what Mossad is thinking, when we don’t have a clue with what the CIA is really thinking.

However, she may really be part of that Zionist wing that is against attacking Iran.  In which case they sould be supported.  With the understanding that they are still in favor of the continual murder, torture and destitution of the Palestinian people. 

Zionism is an evil ideology at the present time in history and capable of the same atrocities and massacres that the Nazies carried out.  Sepharad identifies with this evil, under the pretended guise of humanism.

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By Tony Wicher, April 15, 2009 at 8:33 pm Link to this comment

By Ed Harges, April 15 at 5:57 pm #


re: By Tony Wicher, April 15 at 5:17 pm:

God, Tony, this is fantasizing at its most fantastic. You admit that the attack on the Liberty was committed by Israel deliberately, but you think Israel must have done it only because Johnson or McNamara told them to?

Why are the conspiracy theories of Israel’s defenders, no matter how ridiculous, never called “conspiracy theories”?

Tony, do you not see how ridiculous this is? Israel did it, but they didn’t really want to do it?

  x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

Ed,

I never said they didn’t really want to do it. Of course they hae their own reason for doing it, which was to involve the U.S. on their side in military action against the Arabs. Israel is and always has been been the willing stooge of U.S./British imperialism.

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By Tony Wicher, April 15, 2009 at 8:33 pm Link to this comment

By Ed Harges, April 15 at 5:57 pm #


re: By Tony Wicher, April 15 at 5:17 pm:

God, Tony, this is fantasizing at its most fantastic. You admit that the attack on the Liberty was committed by Israel deliberately, but you think Israel must have done it only because Johnson or McNamara told them to?

Why are the conspiracy theories of Israel’s defenders, no matter how ridiculous, never called “conspiracy theories”?

Tony, do you not see how ridiculous this is? Israel did it, but they didn’t really want to do it?

  x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

Ed,

I never said they didn’t really want to do it. Of course they hae their own reason for doing it, which was to involve the U.S. on their side in military action against the Arabs. Israel is and always has been been the willing stooge of the U.S./British imperialism.

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By Sodium, April 15, 2009 at 8:29 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: truedigger3,April 15 at 8:31 pm.

truedigger3,

Thank you for your straightforward and honest Re,in which you have called the attention of Sepharad NOT to equate the suffering of the Israelis with the unimaginable suffering of the Palestinian people whether they are existing inside Israel or in Gaza,or in the West Bank or in refugees camps in Jordan,Syria and Lebanon.

During the 1970s and 1980s,I paid visits at different times intervals,depending on free times available to me,to the Baka’a and Wahaddat refuggees camps at the outskirt of Amman,Jordan and to Yarmouk refugees camp at the outskirt of Damascus,Syria and to the famous Sabra/Shatila refugees camp in Beirut,Lebanon.Those Palestinian refugees are great in putting up with such unbelievable existence and insisting they wanted to settle in no other place except returning to their homes,farms and lands they were forced to leave by the various Zionist terrorist organizations,at gun points:you either leave or else…...

Since then I have made the Palestinian cause my own because the enormous injustice has been inflicted on the innocent Palestinian people of any crimes,genocide and holocaust committed by the Nazi against the Jewish people.The whole equation of relationships amongst the Christian West,the Jews and the Palestinian/Arab people just did not make sense to me. If the Christian West felt guilty for what had happened to the Jews during World War Two,the Christian West should have shouldered the whole punishment,NOT conveniently passing the punishment to the Palestinian/Arabs to bear,through international secret dealings and intrigues:Sysk-Pico secret accord between Britain and France during the First World War,dividing the Middle East between them and giving the Zionists what they were after from Great Britain: The Balfour Declaration through which Great Britain promised them to establish a homeland for them in Palestine.Of course at the expense of the innocent Palestinian people.

During my so many visits to those various refugees camps,I encountered old men and women who served me sweetened-minted tea and gave meticulous details of their ordeals and some of them showed me the keys to their homes,farms and the small businesses some of them ran.You hear their stories and you want to cry,as I felt at the time. There was no justification,whatsoever,for those people to lose everything they had and ended up refugees,just existing in such a miserable existence. What has been done to them is a crime against humanity and Avigdor Lieberman/Bibi Natenyahu and cohorts have no conscience to say ENOUGH,ENOUGH,ENOUGH.

You figure…...

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By Inherit The Wind, April 15, 2009 at 8:13 pm Link to this comment

Shingo, April 15 at 10:17 pm #

Ed Harges,

I think you have a point, and while there is no end to the tricks and underhandedness some Israeli apologists will sink to, I don’t think that Sepharad and ITW fall into that category.

The fact is that Israel does exist as do those who support Israel, as is their right.  The tricks and maneuvering you allude to (ie. the notion that the situation is too complexed for us mere mortals), are not working anymore.  There is nothing complicated to this issue.
******************************************

Maybe there is a glimmer of hope.

I’ve said what I want, and what I think CAN happen: A 2-state solution as a beginning, where Israelis and Palestinians can live side by side in full nations.  Not an occupied, divided West Bank.  And not a religiously fanatic run Israel.  And Jew who wants to stay in the new Palestine is subject to Palestinian Law, not Israeli Law.  Any any Palestinian in Israel is subject to Israeli Law.

Next would quickly come economic ties, followed by, maybe in 10-20 years open borders, followed by a European-style union including Lebanon, Jordan, and maybe Turkey and Iraq, if the former gets sick of Euro rejection and the latter finds some moderate-run stability.

I have NO desire to see a Jewish Taliban running a racist, tyrannical repressive Israel.  What a horrible thought! And yet those that want to drive all Arabs out of Israel, and even out of “Greater Judea”, and tear down the rock have surrogates in power, even though they don’t represent the majority of the people (Neither did George W. Botch).  I don’t hate Palestinians, Moslems or Arabs (I even learned a little Arabic “schweia” recently—it’s fun, though very difficult). 

But as a (non-religious) Jew I simply want a safe haven in this world for Jews—one place where the world cannot turn on them, as it has turned so many times in the past.  Unfortunately, the religious fanatics, who, incidentally bitterly FOUGHT the establishment of Israel, because, like the primitive fundamentalist Christians, they await the Moshiach and expect Him any day, these fanatics want a Taliban Israel.

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By Robert, April 15, 2009 at 8:10 pm Link to this comment

Solving Palestine While Israel Destroys It

By KATHLEEN and BILL CHRISTISON

April 15, 2009

“To a greater degree than perhaps ever before, Washington today is engulfed in denial about Israel and its stupefying behavior, about its murderous policies toward the Palestinians, about the efforts of Israel and its U.S. defenders to force us to ignore its atrocities.  Blinders have always been part of the attire of U.S. policymakers and politicians with regard to Israel and Israeli actions, but in the wake of the three-week Israeli assault that laid waste to the tiny territory of Gaza—an assault ended very conveniently just before Barack Obama was inaugurated, so that he has been able to act as though it never occurred—the perspective from which Washington operates is strikingly more blinkered than ever in the past.

At a symposium on Capitol Hill sponsored by the Middle East Policy Council just days before Obama took office, Ali Abunimah, a sharp Palestinian-American commentator who runs the website ElectronicIntifada.net, declared frankly that Washington exists in a bubble of ignorance and denial.  While the rest of the world, particularly at the level of civil society, is talking about war crimes tribunals for Israeli leaders and about sanctions against Israel, Abunimah observed, Washington and those world leaders beholden to it are trying to move ahead as if nothing had changed.  “We have to expect,” he said, “that the official apparatus of the peace-process industry—the Hillary Clintons, the Quartets, the Tony Blairs, the Javier Solanas, the Ban Ki-Moons, the whole panoply of official and semi-official Washington think tanks—will carry on with business as usual, trying to make believe that, through their ministrations, a Palestinian state will come into being.”  But in the real world, this state won’t happen, he said, and the time has come to speak frankly about what is going on.

So far, three months into the Obama administration, there is little evidence that Obama sees clearly or is ready to speak frankly.  Another very savvy Palestinian political commentator and activist, Haidar Eid, who lives and endures Israel’s constant punishments in Gaza, recently told an interviewer that the international reaction to Israel’s Gaza assault was like the reaction to some kind of natural disaster—as if no human hand had had a role in the destruction and nothing but money and aid was required to resolve the problem.  As if, he said, the disaster had not been “created by the state of Israel to annihilate the Palestinian resistance and Palestinian society.”

Eid was commenting on an international conference of donors that convened in Sharm el-Sheikh in early March and made themselves feel magnanimous by pledging almost $5 billion in aid to relieve the “humanitarian crisis” in Gaza—but not to do anything to resolve the political reality of Israeli occupation that is at the root of Gaza’s humanitarian plight.  The donors—the same “peace-process industry” leaders Abunimah spoke of—were there only to pretend concern and to dole out money, always the easiest way in the minds of political elites to make messy human problems go away.  Thus do they relieve their own consciences and at the same time tell Israel it can proceed with impunity to destroy Palestine and Palestinians; the international community will pick up the pieces and pick up the tab.  Israel has not failed to get the picture.

Any thought of forcing Israel to cease its gross oppression of Palestinians, any thought of doing anything to deprive Israel of the carte blanche it enjoys, was apparently beyond these do-gooders.”


http://www.counterpunch.org/christison04152009.html

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By Virginia777, April 15, 2009 at 7:56 pm Link to this comment

I would add that “debates” in the age of Blogs have become more like out and out Warfare. Under assumed names, attacking and demeaning your opponent is easier than ever. But these are “wars” that need fighting, and we all know it isn’t our Media that is going to do it.

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By Virginia777, April 15, 2009 at 7:46 pm Link to this comment

Shine them on Ed, and keep going! This is exactly the debate that needs to happen.

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By Ed Harges, April 15, 2009 at 7:20 pm Link to this comment

re: By Sepharad, April 15 at 9:53 pm:

My point is that Tony calls me an anti-Semite for ascribing a degree of evil to Israel’s government that is in fact less than the evil which he unhesitatingly ascribes to the US government, offering preposterous hypotheticals such is the one you endorsed, namely, that of course, if Israelis deliberately bombed a US ship, then it must have because the evil goy American president made them do it (and poor sensitive things! - we can be sure they were shooting and crying)....

I’m so sick of your fraudulent moral superiority. You can all just go choose yourselves.

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By Shingo, April 15, 2009 at 7:17 pm Link to this comment

Ed Harges,

I think you have a point, and while there is no end to the tricks and underhandedness some Israeli apologists will sink to, I don’t think that Sepharad and ITW fall into that category. 

The fact is that Israel does exist as do those who support Israel, as is their right.  The tricks and maneuvering you allude to (ie. the notion that the situation is too complexed for us mere mortals), are not working anymore.  There is nothing complicated to this issue.

Look at that pathetic chad, Jason. He pulled out that old warn out tactic of insisting we consider both versions of the events and when confronted with simple logic, has run away.  The fact is that so much information has come to the surface and so many of the myths used by these propagandists has been debunked, that the audiences who are suggestive to these talking points are diminishing rapidly.

They are losing the information war and they know it.

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By Ed Harges, April 15, 2009 at 7:01 pm Link to this comment

Oops - the last paragraph of my previous post was a bunch of fragments and false starts that I forgot to delete in the course of editing the thing down.

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By Shingo, April 15, 2009 at 6:58 pm Link to this comment

Sepharad,

The quote from Livni was reported by Haaretz,

“Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said a few months ago in a series of closed discussions that in her opinion that Iranian nuclear weapons do not pose an existential threat to Israel, Haaretz magazine reveals in an article on Livni to be published Friday.

Livni also criticized the exaggerated use that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is making of the issue of the Iranian bomb, claiming that he is attempting to rally the public around him by playing on its most basic fears. Last week, former Mossad chief Ephraim Halevy said similar things about Iran.”

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/916758.html

There is so much about Livni I want to like.  I think that in reality, she is a realist and a moderate, but as we see in Washington, the political consensus requires leaders to be bombastic and hawkish in public.

Dare I say it, she’s also a lot easier on the eye than her counterparts.

Religious extremists are often portrayed as hell bent on committing suicide, but in reality, those that rise to the top or become powerful soon develop a taste for self preservation.  Hamas’ leader lives in Syria as opposed to Gaza.  Hezbollha’s leader, Nasrallah remains in hiding.  Neither spend their days donning suicide vests. 

The same goes for Iran’s religious leaders.  They know very well that there even if they were able to launch a fist strike against Israel, there would be no victory to be had.

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By Ed Harges, April 15, 2009 at 6:55 pm Link to this comment

Re: By Sepharad, April 15 at 9:01 pm:

In his book, The Case Against Israel, Canadian Jewish professor of ethics Michael Neumann talks a lot about the false generation of complexities by Israel’s apologists. Sepharad’s post is a great example of this technique.

The ethical situation here is really quite simple, as Neumann shows: Israel is fundamentally in the wrong, the Palestinians are fundamentally in the right, and Zionism — ethically speaking — is inherently untenable.

But the weavers of fake subtleties are experts at hypnotizing earnestly attentive American liberal listeners, going into all these minutiae to make us feel totally out of our depth and bored besides, until our shaygetz eyes glaze over, and we just say, “OK, whatever, it’s hopeless”, and so nothing is done, and Israel’s unconditional US backing continues, because American and Israeli Zionists assure us it’s all so complicated that we would never understand, ergo we should just give them whatever they want and continue to endorse anything Israel does. We are not, nor will we ever be, qualified to decide what limits if any there should be to US support for Israel. They’ll let us know if anything further needs to be done. Honest they will.

But whenever a liberal Americans venture starts to shake of to point out that, gee, it sure looks a whole like what you Jewish liberals want us to do is support the violent and ethnically-based dominion of one set of people over another starts looking a little wobbly in his support of Israel,

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By Sepharad, April 15, 2009 at 6:53 pm Link to this comment

Ed—I’ll defer to Tony Wicher. I don’t know what “anti-Semitism” means to him, and I don’t think you do either. If he wants to, he can define his conception of the term. I do, however, recognize anti-Semitism when I see or hear it, whether or not it’s packaged neatly with anti-Israel or anti-Zionist stuff.

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By Sepharad, April 15, 2009 at 6:47 pm Link to this comment

Shingo—You’re right re Iran. The Persians have always been different. I should not have overlooked that. Additionally, some of the Ottoman rulers used to kind of look the other way (though many did not) as long as their taxes were paid on time.

If Livni believes Iran is no threat, I haven’t read it. Where did you read that? If it’s not in an available source I’ll take your word for it, indeed I would like that to be true, though it does seem that a nuclear weapon would reduce Iran’s motives to talk to anyone about anything, and significantly reduce their motive to not take on the Sunnis. A lot would depend on how secure the weaponry would be. While an Iranian statesman may not want to resort to it, how hard would it be for an overwrought religious extremist to get control of such a weapon? (I worry about the same thing regarding Israel’s extremists, or the U.S. Air Force’s, for that matter.) 

I’m a fan of Roger Cohen, as he usually tells things as he sees them—in fact I email stuff to him from time to time—and I’m not surprised that he was attacked by some Zionist/AIPAC-style bloggers. There really is a great deal of disagreement amongst the American Jewish community on many issues, not just Iran. A more balanced overall American Jewish perspective is usually reflected in the good old Jewish Forward (was originally published in Yiddish back in the 1890s) out of New York, and their regular columnists often disapprove of Israel’s policies as well as AIPAC. I subscribed to it myself until the amount of paper accumulating in our small house caused us to drastically reduce our subscription list. The magazine Jerusalem Report is also good about including variant points of view, though overall they are obviously sufficiently well disposed toward Israel to publish such a magazine in the first place. 

All the machinations and propaganda revolving around Iran—both here and in Israel—are getting truly dangerous, both on their own account and also because we may be looking at much worse problems in Pakistan being neglected because of the focus on Iran. My Iranian friends here are generally very liberal, not religious (except a couple of academics who consider themselves Zoroastrians, but I think more out of the desire to express their connection to their history and culture than any actual belief)and they constantly decry the inability of Americans government to internalize conflicting realities about Iran, a very complicated country. I hope Obama is up to the task but would feel better about that if he’d dug in and insisted that Freeman was approved. (Sometimes I think I underestimate the perceived importance of AIPAC, which is not viewed with much respect by many Jews I know, not just me. Maybe there is some vast loop I’m out of without realizing it.) Obama won the election, Freeman’s knowledge, sophistication and delicacy would make a great deal of difference in dealing with Near and MidEast issues in general. (He’s not just another Arabist-elitist tossed up by Ivy Leaguers in State who for decades have posed as shields of Islam because they thrive on the social cachet of identifying with old-school British upper classes. He has principles and he knows what he’s about.)

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By Sepharad, April 15, 2009 at 6:01 pm Link to this comment

Night Gaunt—I’m a humanist first. And humanism and Zionism—my kind, not Lieberman’s—are compatible. Apart from the Babylonian times (when a Persian king let any Jews who wanted to return to Palestine, and richer Jews who didn’t want to go supplied the money for poorer Jews who did), the earliest Zionism grew out of Eastern European Jewish humanism, “Haskala”, which expressed the cultural nationalism of the middle class Jews. (To place it in context, the Western Enlightenment was the philosophy of rich Jews and Hasidism was the religion of the poor.) Haskala eventually attached itself to philosophy (existentialism), literature via Hebrew and Yiddish (that undermined Hasidism and orthodoxy by featuring bold heros and heroines in Palestine), revolutionary movements in Russia (writers likening religion to Marx’s “opiate of the masses” and stressing the need to establish one’s own place in the world and resist, violently if need be, tyrants and kings, and eventually was widely interpreted and expressed by Ukrainian writer Ahad Ah-Ham (1856-1927)who settled in Tel Aviv in 1922. Basically, he saw the function of Zionism to establish the spiritual as well as political center of the Jewish people through cultural unification that bound the Jewish nation to its homeland. A century of such writers emancipated Jews from the rabbinate. This is the tradition of the secular and cultural Zionism in which mine is rooted. Though I live in America (which many good zionists see as old Babylon, i.e. friendly and tolerant) and my husband is not Jewish, the culture runs deep and my children share it. I am not a pacifist—or I’d belong to Gush Shalom instead of MeretzUSA. But I prefer gradual cultural change to war. When we were registering blacks to vote in the South, I’m sure some of the whites felt we were destroying their preferred civilization, and I’m not sure we would have accomplished it without strong government backing and protection. When people feel strongly about the way they’ve always done things, and the power of the government enforces change, I’m not sure that can strictly speaking be called non-violence, even though neither I nor MLK ever hit anyone. Gandhi was a great man and opposed partition of India with every fiber of his being—but he was never able to reconcile Moslem and Hindu.

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By truedigger3, April 15, 2009 at 5:31 pm Link to this comment

Sepharad wrote:
“Meanwhile Palestinians are suffering right along with Israelis who feel the wrongness acutely,”
_____________________________________________________

Sepharad,

With all due respect, please don’t equate the suffering of the palestinian people to what you call
the “suffering of the Israelis”.
The suffering of the Palistinian people is unimaginable. They lost their homes, lands and farms and were driven from comfortable dignified existence to crowded refugee camps and gehttos.
The Palestinians who remained in Israel are treated
as third class citizens after the European Jews and
then the non European Jews and last and least the Palestinians.
They live in severeley negected area and suffer severe discrimination in all walks of life.
The Palestinians who fled in 1948, and currently living under the Israeli occupation after 1967,
are in very heart wrenchins situations especially in
Gaza.
They live in crowded squalor where obtaining food is always a constant struggle and under the constant threat of brute force from the Israelis.
In the West Bank, there are humiliating check points everywhere. The little of land they still have are gradually confiscated to build more Israeli settlements and roads that are used by the Israelis only.
It is a life misery and no hope for themselves and their children.

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By Shingo, April 15, 2009 at 5:23 pm Link to this comment

DWIGHTBAKER,

>> Are you a practicing Religious JEW?  If not what you should know is that a public display has never been needed for them except here in the USA. 

What is your point?

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Ed Harges's avatar

By Ed Harges, April 15, 2009 at 4:59 pm Link to this comment

Sepharad writes:

”(Tony Wicher’s sketch of the Liberty occurrence is correct but fill in the details would take much more space than it should on this thread essentially re Avigdor Lieberman.)”

No, Sepharad. Tony’s characterization of that crime — that if the Israelis did it deliberately, they must have done it at the behest of the Johnson or McNamara — is so outrageous and stupid that it can’t be allowed to stand, and I will not let your casual endorsement of this crap stay at the top of this page.

Sepharad, do you know what “anti-Semitism” means, for a typical American Jewish liberal like Tony?

“Anti-Semitism” is the capacity to believe of Israelis or their leaders that they could ever be guilty of any sort of crime or evil motive which even remotely approaches the sulfurous evil which American Jewish liberals like Tony readily believe non-Jewish Americans to be capable of.

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By Inherit The Wind, April 15, 2009 at 4:59 pm Link to this comment

Ed Harges, April 15 at 5:57 pm #

re: By Tony Wicher, April 15 at 5:17 pm:

God, Tony, this is fantasizing at its most fantastic. You admit that the attack on the Liberty was committed by Israel deliberately, but you think Israel must have done it only because Johnson or McNamara told them to?

Why are the conspiracy theories of Israel’s defenders, no matter how ridiculous, never called “conspiracy theories”?

Tony, do you not see how ridiculous this is? Israel did it, but they didn’t really want to do it? If one concedes that Israel did it deliberately, which you don’t dispute, it is much more reasonable to assume that they had their own reasons for doing it. Only someone absolutely determined to bend over backward to absolve Israel could entertain your theory that they were following orders from the US President.
****************************

EH, you are a master of not recognizing how ridiculous your theories.  TW, I thought you were more rational than that.

You both sound like Col. Flagg from M*A*S*H.
Potter: Why are dressed up like an Italian .....?
Flagg: Because I’m impersonating the Chinese master spy Hong Sam.
Potter: But you don’t look at ALL Chinese….
Flagg: Neither would Hong Sam if he were dressed like this!

Not been a good day so this is comic relief.

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By Shingo, April 15, 2009 at 4:43 pm Link to this comment

Sepharad,

>> since the spread of Islam c.600-700A.D.
the Jews were always second-class citizens in Moslem countries, forbidden to practice their religion publicly and sometimes forced to accept Islam.

This is provably false.  There are 25,000 Jews in Iran who are not second class citizens, are able to practice their religion and have never been forced to accept Islam.

In fact, an American Jewish journalist, Roger Cohen, recently was at the center of a major controversy because having traveled to Iran to report about the Jewish population there. His conclusion was that Iranian society was “more tolerant, democratic and sophisticated than many American critics allowed”. 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/mar/29/new-york-times-roger-cohen

Predictably, Cohen was attacked by Jewish writers and bloggers. Some dsceibed him as the modern day equivalent of a Nazi stooge.

This is typical of a psychosis shared by a arge portion of the Zionist community.  They don’t want to hear that the entity they have painted as their enemy is human or less of a threat than they had been led to believe.

This goes to the heart of the Iran nuclear question also.  Tzipi Livni was quoted behind closed doors as admitting that even a nuclear armed Iran would be no threat, but in public, she, like other Israel leaders, must maintain the facade that Israel’s existence is threatened.  This feeds the insecurity of the population in Israel and thus, the fear and anxiety are maintained. It mirror the BS we were fed about the Soviet threat during the Cold War, which turned out to be hugely exaggerated.

Who benefited fro the Cold War? 

Netenyahu knows that Iran has no nukes and is no threat to Israel’s security.  What he and others are concerned about is Iran gaining influence and power in the region.  He, like others before him, is commited to maintaining the status quo, whereby all Arab states (including Iran) live in constant fear of Israel.

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