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Israel From 10,000 Feet

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Posted on Jun 3, 2010
AP / Ariel Schalit

The botched predawn raid on the Mavi Marmara, the lead boat of an aid flotilla headed to the Gaza Strip, is but the latest strategic blunder by Israel’s conservative government.

By Joe Conason

The government of Israel is supposedly run by the Jewish state’s toughest and most ardent defenders, but so far they have inflicted worse damage on its security and its future than its enemies ever could. By treating a Gaza-bound aid flotilla as a military threat, killing nine civilians and imprisoning hundreds more, that government achieved the only foreseeable outcome: another episode of international isolation and internal demoralization.

Whether Israel’s commandos committed any criminal acts will be determined by investigation, but in the meantime it is safe to say that what happened was not only wrong but exceptionally stupid. Yet while shortsighted brutality has long been a hallmark of Israeli policy toward the Palestinians, that tendency is now clearly undermining the strategic interests of both Israel and its traditional friends, including the United States.

Consider the events over the past two years that have led up to this moment. The war on Gaza, initially justified by Hamas rocket attacks on Israeli civilians, was grossly disproportional and resulted in war crimes against Palestinians that completely overshadowed the casus belli. Since then, the blockade of Gaza has stopped humanitarian assistance and prevented reconstruction—which has only provoked worldwide support for Hamas’ human rights complaints against Israel.

Meanwhile, that war proceeded covertly, as well, leading to the clumsiest intelligence operation in Israel’s history—the murder of a Hamas official in Dubai by agents who left behind copious evidence of connections with Mossad. That evidence included passports issued by friendly nations, which of course strained diplomatic relationships with them. Worse, the choice of Dubai as an assassination location put severe pressure on Israel’s unofficial but strong relationship with the United Arab Emirates—a powerful force for moderation and tolerance in the region and beyond.

Whatever Hamas lost when Mahmoud al-Mabhouh was throttled in a Dubai hotel room, the damage to Israel was considerably greater.

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Certainly the same can be said of the latest fiasco, which has severely damaged if not ruined Israel’s longstanding ties with Turkey, whose citizens were among those killed and apprehended in the flotilla attack. Until the evening of May 30, the Islamic government of Turkey was prepared to permit its army to participate in joint exercises with the Israel Defense Forces—a stunning development that shows just what Israel’s government so casually risked.

Yet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his right-wing government seem blithely unaware or uncaring in the wake of its ruinous actions. The question that Israel’s friends must ask is the same question that sane Israelis are now openly asking themselves: What is their government’s strategy?

Indeed, what strategy could these tactics possibly serve to advance? How is their survival, let alone their future peace and prosperity, enhanced by behavior that alienates every friend and potential friend, while encouraging every foe and creating more of them?

If Israel and the United States believe that the most important security problem is Iran and that regime’s possible acquisition of nuclear weapons, then the sane response is to build regional and global alliances in response. Iran’s neighbors in the Gulf are almost as unhappy about that looming threat as Israel is. A wise policy would draw those states into regional security arrangements and enhance connections with them.

Of course, that kind of policy would mean refraining from such destructive acts as the Gaza blockade, the Dubai assassination and the flotilla attack. It would require the serious pursuit of renewed peace negotiations with the Palestinians and the Syrians, so that Iran, not Israel, would face isolation. And that, in turn, would demand the end of settlement construction and the acknowledgment that Jerusalem is an international holy place that cannot be controlled by a single state.

As Bill Clinton bluntly reminded Israelis in Jerusalem last winter, none of the fundamental factors that imperil the Jewish state’s democratic and peaceful future have changed since his own peacemaking efforts ended in frustration. How unfortunate—and dangerous—that the Netanyahu government is so determined to ignore his warning as its strategic position deteriorates.

Joe Conason writes for The New York Observer.

© 2010 Creators.com


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Ed Harges's avatar

By Ed Harges, June 7, 2010 at 6:50 am Link to this comment

re:By D.R. Zing, June 7 at 3:40 am:

You may fault me for failing to express my criticisms of Israel without resort to
invective, but I have seen over and over again that Israel’s supporters react with
merciless vengeance to even the politest opposition, no matter how much
sweet reason may be on the side of the angels.

Do you imagine that it’s only anti-Israel invective that’s the problem?

You write, with such touching innocence:

“So what I’m trying to do is give them [journalists] a specific point, give them
a specific idea they can take to the powers that be and say, hey, you know
when we let candidates get away with saying “they support Israel” without
making them define what that means, we’re deceiving tens of millions of
Americans who have no idea that we provide any aid whatsoever to Israel.
Maybe we should do something about that. “

Oh, goodness, if we could only supply the journalists some key facts and ideas
about the situation, and if only we could find these things stated plainly
somewhere, without any off-putting invective, maybe all these journalists who
are just yearning to do the right thing, but haven’t happened on the correct
facts and ideas, will be able to remedy the situation!

Journalists lie for Israel, or they get fired. Just this morning on “liberal” NPR, a
“reporter” referred to the “botched” Israeli raid - even though we know the
violence was absolutely premeditated, not at all botched. And then she
mentioned the fake “fact” that Hamas had come to power in Gaza through a
“violent takeover”, even though we know Hamas took power by winning a free
and fair election, certified as such by international election observers on the
scene.

American journalists don’t lie for Israel because they don’t have access to the
facts, or because they haven’t figured out a way to state the facts without
invective. They lie for Israel because that’s how you keep your job in the
American news media.

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D.R. Zing's avatar

By D.R. Zing, June 6, 2010 at 11:40 pm Link to this comment

To keep on track here:  Every article that mentions the American role in the peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians should mention that the United States provides social, economic and military aid to Israel and other countries in the Middle East. They should list those numbers regularly so our semi-literate brethren voters here in the United States know just where in the hell their tax dollars go. 

Every presidential and congressional candidate should be badgered as if he’d been caught banging Katja Kassin about how much aid America provides to Israel, how that aid is paid out, why it is paid, and what portion of it, if any, can be used as leverage in the peace process. 

To your question, Ed, no, my question was not rhetorical. But no doubt if you had asked workers in the nineteenth century who were literally pissing in their pants for lack of decent working conditions, who were burning for better working conditions, who were literally dying for better working conditions—if you would have asked them:  Do you think you’ll ever be able to piss any time you like at work, leave the building promptly when it’s on fire, and not be beaten to death for asking for such things? They would have said:  Is that a rhetorical question? 

Staggering as it may seem, this website is edited by an obscure guy named Robert Scheer who happens to be a journalist.  That guy, Pulitzer Prize winner Mr. Eugene Robertson who writes the despicable Puritanical articles about Tiger Wood’s philandering, also happens to write many great articles about other issues. That soft spoken, shy, always subtle and never shrill Mr. Hedges was at one time a bureau chief in the Middle East for the New York Times. And that lovable liberal Mr. Dionne has a bit of a national voice himself.

Here’s the deal, Ed, I don’t ask rhetorical questions of journalists because I make a distinction between them and the shitheads they work for.  We all work for dirtbags at one time or another. We all prostitute our skills at times. We disagree with our bosses.  And journalists in particular are a very abused set of people.  They have to write blindfolded with both hands tied behind their backs. Writers of haiku have more liberties than journalists do.  And one thing journalists hate—and are punished for in a way that can kill their careers—is invective. So when you say stupid shit like “parasitic succubus” in reference to Israel you are hurting the very cause you purport to support because journalists look at that and go:  That was invective directed at Israel.  I would be punished for that. This asshole should be punished for that. And I will punish him. I will not, no way in hell, attempt to report his point of view. 

But there are many, many journalists out there who do give a damn.  And they know the coverage of the Middle East and the peace process is bullshit. But they need help in conveying that point to the gatekeepers of journalism:  The editors, the ombudsmen, the producers, the owners, the board members, the stock holders and the stock market.

So what I’m trying to do is give them a specific point, give them a specific idea they can take to the powers that be and say, hey, you know when we let candidates get away with saying “they support Israel” without making them define what that means, we’re deceiving tens of millions of Americans who have no idea that we provide any aid whatsoever to Israel. Maybe we should do something about that. 

So, no, Ed, I’m not being rhetorical when I say: Journalists need to start writing regularly about America’s aid to Israel.  Nothing seems possible until it’s done and then it always seems to have been inevitable. 

So, I’m with you Ed. I want things to change for the better, particularly news coverage of events in the Middle East, and I do believe they can change.  And that’s no bullshit.

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BaileyWuXiang's avatar

By BaileyWuXiang, June 6, 2010 at 8:33 pm Link to this comment

This is the soberest, most concise assessment I’ve read to date.  Today, I read that Iran’s Republican Guard is threatening to form their own relief flotilla and deliver aid to Gaza under the protection of the Iranian navy.  I pray this is only bluster and bravado but such gunboat diplomacy, if anyone actually does follow through, will only match, not exceed, that of Israel’s. 

And in the middle of the current crisis, Israel has had the chutzpah to announce it has stationed three submarines armed with nuclear warheads off the coast of Iran.

The Netanyahu regime should be forced by the Israeli people to step down.  The likelihood of this occurring is diminished by the growing extremism in the electorate as well.

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Ed Harges's avatar

By Ed Harges, June 6, 2010 at 8:23 pm Link to this comment

re:By Arabian Sinbad, June 7 at 12:13 am:

I’m sure they’ll get Helen Thomas fired. It’s really scary how Israel goes farther
and farther in controlling what Americans are allowed to say and think. There
seems to be no limit. They completely own our asses.

Oh well, we can still gripe about it anonymously online—for now.

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Arabian Sinbad's avatar

By Arabian Sinbad, June 6, 2010 at 8:13 pm Link to this comment

Two relevant items related to Zionist terrorism:

1. An Israeli forced-apology for lying and getting caught concerning an edited (fabricated, staged) video related to the Gaza-bound flotilla!

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jun/06/israel-youtube-gaza-flotilla

2. Helen Thomas, the well-known veteran journalist is under attack by the Zionist Ari Fleischer, who was one of the lying press secretaries under evil Bush. He is calling openly for Helen to be fired for a latest comment to a question about the solution to the latest Israeli terrorist act, her simple answer was that “Zionist should leave Palestine!”

You can see how Zionist, in the person of one of them, have the audacity to go public about their right to control freedom of speech in this sad United States of America!!!

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Ed Harges's avatar

By Ed Harges, June 6, 2010 at 8:09 pm Link to this comment

re:By D.R. Zing, June 6 at 7:28 pm:

Zing writes:

“I’ve read Mearsheimer and Walt.  I recommend others do, too.”


Well then, perhaps your question posted June 6 at 5:28pm was rhetorical?

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Robert's avatar

By Robert, June 6, 2010 at 5:21 pm Link to this comment

CounterPunch Diary

Pariah Nation

June 4 - 6, 2010

By ALEXANDER COCKBURN

As the tv networks here give unlimited airtime to its apologists, the message rolls out that Israel is permitted every illegal act in the lexicon of international law, from acts of violence against a civilian population (the people of Gaza, starved under permanent blockade) to piracy on the high seas and the lethal attacks by Israeli commandos on the relief flotilla. The guiding purpose in this tsunami of drivel is that the viewers should be brainwashed into thinking Israel somehow has the right and the duty to act at will as the mad-dog of the planet.

Israel regrets… But no! Israel doesn’t regret. It preens and boasts and demands approval – which it duly gets from its prime sponsor, the United States government, and most of the press.  As former US senator Jim Abourezk remarked on this site last week “It’s very much like the bully who, after punching someone smaller in the jaw, requires the victim to apologize for getting his face in the way of the bully’s fist.

Two points need stressing. Some of the critical commentary suggests that Israel’s murderous onslaught on the Mavi Marmara represents a qualitative escalation in that nation’s brazen criminality. Scarcely. Brazen criminality coincided with the establishment of the state in 1948. Only last week I reminded CounterPunchers of the lethal onslaught on the USS Liberty in 1967 which killed 34 and wounded 173.

The attack on the Mavi Marmara was carefully planned. As Max Blumenthal reports on his website,

  Tel Aviv-Israel Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his senior ministers have attempted to blame army commanders for “the bungled raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla,” according to the UK’s Daily Telegraph. …

  But was the raid really bungled? Did the Israeli military command and Netanyahu government have no clear strategy going in? Or was the violence they meted out against the flotilla activists deliberate and methodically planned?

  Statements by senior Israeli military commanders made in the Hebrew media days before the massacre revealed that the raid was planned over a week in advance by the Israeli military and was personally approved by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Minister of Defense Ehud Barak. … Details of the plan show that the use of deadly force was authorized and calculated.

  The massacre of activists should not have been unexpected.

  On May 28, three days before the raid, top Israeli military officials revealed details of their strategy to Maariv, Israel’s most widely circulated paper. The caption of the Maariv article reflected the military command’s plan to use force: “On the way to violence; one of the boats is on its way.” “

=======

Click on link for the rest:

http://www.counterpunch.org/cockburn06042010.html

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D.R. Zing's avatar

By D.R. Zing, June 6, 2010 at 3:28 pm Link to this comment

Hi Ed,
I’ve read Mearsheimer and Walt.  I recommend others do, too. 
D.R. Zing

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Ed Harges's avatar

By Ed Harges, June 6, 2010 at 2:33 pm Link to this comment

Re:By D.R. Zing, June 6 at 5:28 pm:

Zing asks:

“Will American aid to Israel ever be discussed in detail during presidential or
congressional elections?”

Have you read Mearsheimer and Walt’s book on the Israel lobby?  That’s a good
place to start, if you want to get a good sense of why such a discussion is so very
depressingly improbable.

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D.R. Zing's avatar

By D.R. Zing, June 6, 2010 at 1:28 pm Link to this comment

Yes, Ed, your points are bitterly made and understood. 

I’m just making one that is a bit more narrow in scope.

Will American aid to Israel ever be discussed in detail during presidential or congressional elections?

Or will our “objective” news media continue to allow politicians to speak in code, to say they “support Israel” and have the journalists, analysts and talk show hosts parrot that line with: “Candidate Whacker Snapper today said he, she, it supports Israel” without ever explaining what the hell that means exactly? 

Or will journalists and analysts and talk show hosts actually describe what “supports Israel” means to the tens of millions of Americans who pay taxes and vote and don’t realize a portion of their tax dollars go to Israel? 

This is not taxation without representation; it’s apportioning tax revenue without public discussion. 

As for the sharp tenor of your comments, I have no personal beef with Israel. Just like any other country, it has the right to defend itself as it sees fit.  I just don’t want it spending my tax dollars to do it, particularly when even many Israelis believe Israel is behaving in an irresponsible, brutal and unnecessarily truculent manner.

Moreover, I think if we even threaten to take away some of the Israeli aid or at least begin discussing the aid when discussing the peace process, we could change Israel’s irresponsible, brutal and truculent behavior.

In sum, we might actually advance the peace process instead of standing on the sidelines like a bunch feckless cheerleaders (apologies go out here to all cheerleaders everywhere; I enjoy watching your prancing and cheering and dancing just as much as the next guy).

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Ed Harges's avatar

By Ed Harges, June 6, 2010 at 11:38 am Link to this comment

re:By D.R. Zing, June 6 at 2:48 pm:

Yeah, the financial cost of Israel to the US only begins with the annual 3 billions
dollars in direct aid to this wealthy country.

Our big annual payouts to Egypt and Jordan are bribes to keep them from doing
anything to interfere with Israel’s aggressions, and to compel them actually to
assist Israel in its crimes, for example helping maintaining Israel’s blockade of
Gaza.

Also, money given by so-called charities to Israel, often directly or indirectly
funding the settlements, is tax-deductible, so that’s another zillion dollars lost
to the US treasury for Israel’s benefit. And then there’s the Iraq war, undertaken
largely for Israel. Then there is the cost of protecting our country from
terrorism, much of it motivated by US support for Israel.

Then we have the looming war with Iran, wholly at Israel’s urging, which could
deal a death blow to the US economy from increased oil prices alone.

That Israel is a parasitic succubus has become so obvious, that the head of the
Israeli intelligence agency Mossad recently stated that Israel “is becoming a
burden” to the US (he didn’t dare state the truth: that Israel is already a burden
to the US and has never really been an asset, even at the height of the Cold
War).

Read all about it at intel news:

“The director of Israeli intelligence agency Mossad has publicly stated the
agency’s concerns that Israel is gradually turning from an asset to a burden for
American foreign policy.”

http://intelligencenews.wordpress.com/2010/06/02/03-161/

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D.R. Zing's avatar

By D.R. Zing, June 6, 2010 at 10:48 am Link to this comment

The United States has some levers it simply has not been pulling:  Loans guarantees, financial aid, military aid. 

It’s a shame our government never discusses or even attempts to explain how those levers could be pulled. 

Likewise the news media are terrified at the thought of mentioning the dreaded subject of aid to Israel. 

Yes, it’s complicated.  A big chunk of the aid is for Israel’s peace with Egypt, and, yes, we pay Egypt a big chunk of cash, too, not to mention the Palestinians, and what the hell is a loan guarantee anyway?

God forbid we actually trust the American public—genius that it is—to comprehend the nuances of foreign policy. 

Uh-huh. 

The bottom line is its our tax dollars. And we piss and moan about using our tax dollars to fund health care, to pay for education, and damn near anything else that actually benefits Americans. And the media jump all over that because it sells, it pits Americans against each other, and, besides, both Democrats and Republicans want to babble about and fight over health care, education, and damn near anything else that pits American voters, few though they are, against each other. 

But as for American aid to Israel and the fact that it comes from our tax dollars and the fact that we could cut off some of it off if we really wanted to turn the screws on the “peace process”—whatever the hell that is—well Republicans and Democrats don’t want to talk about that.

And the American media damn sure don’t want to talk about it because they don’t want to talk about anything that Republicans and Democrats don’t want to talk about (again, not so much a conspiracy as a confederacy). 

So, yes, what happened on the ships was handled poorly. The Israeli government is behaving badly.  What are we going to do about it?  Not a damn thing. 

Good luck with that.

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By omop, June 6, 2010 at 9:40 am Link to this comment

WHY NOT CONGRESSIONAL MEDALS FOR THOSE THUGS.

Unconfirmed reports the the Israeli sharpshooter (i.e. one that can hit
their
target in the head and back with automatic gunfire from within two
feet) who
shot dead several activists on a Gaza-bound international aid convoy
may
receive a medal of valor.

Rumors are that this and all future ‘medals of valor’ given to those who
murder
U.S. citizens and peace supporters will be made from stolen U.S. gold
reserves
pirated to Israel.


“That we use America’s own gold seems fitting. I may even name this
medal
after myself,”  Netanyahu was reported to have whispered to his agent
Rahm
Emanuel.

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By LJL, June 6, 2010 at 9:32 am Link to this comment

John Ellis, you’re nuts.  No one thinks Abraham was God, so whether his ‘seed’ was ‘spiritual’ or not has no bearing whatsoever on the deity one way or the other.  If you knew Greek or Hebrew, which you do not, you would know that the word ‘spiritual’ in not in the texts.  That concept was inserted there by stupid and dishonest Christians who wanted to disinherit the Jews from the silly promise.  Let me finished by telling you that you are a puffed up, uneducated fool.

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By LJL, June 5, 2010 at 11:15 pm Link to this comment

John Ellis, you have obviously spent a lot of time trying to educate yourself on matters touching the Bible and you should be commended for it.  But you lack the academic discipline to stay focused on the subject at hand, which if you remember was your insertion of the word ‘spiritual’ into the biblical text promising the Hold Land to the descendants of Abraham. Neither in the original Hebrew nor in the later Greek translations of it is there even a whiff of the word ‘spiritual’ that you erroneously and dishonestly inserted into the text.  Our argument is solely about a simple linguistic point, nothing more, and your ignorant emendation opens the text to an erroneous and ridiculous misinterpretation.  Unlike you, John, I really don’t give a f**k what the Bible says, but also unlike you, Mr Ellis, I do read Hebrew and Greek quite well.  By the way, who publishes the Greek Dictionary you compiled?

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By flickervertigo, June 5, 2010 at 9:17 pm Link to this comment

deathwish christians and deathwish jews are joined at ther hip.

both are too stupid to survive.

we have to hope against hope that you will be unable to fuck the rest of us as you destroy yourselves.

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By flickervertigo, June 5, 2010 at 9:12 pm Link to this comment

you’re an idiot.

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By flickervertigo, June 5, 2010 at 8:53 pm Link to this comment

We –Palestinians- are not alone
Best of humanity… on our side
Mighty truth… Gracious morality… on our side
Justice, dignity, human values, radiant hope
Are on our side

Soil, sand, and stones
Trees, poppies, lemon zest, and morning mist
Jerusalem sunshine and Jenin’s moonlight
Haifa’s Carmel and Jaffa’s shoreline
Are all on our side

We stand firm
As the stick of Moses
Splitting good and evil
Refusing to bow down

Our tragedy is a sieve
Filtering the wicked away

We all live and die…
Better die standing
Than to live crawling

Better to live with a wounded body
and a soul…whole
Than to live and die
with a disfigured soul
Weighed down by oppression
Bent by corruption
Inflated by arrogance
Twisted by greed
Intoxicated by power

Better die standing
With a soul…whole

so who’s healthier?

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By flickervertigo, June 5, 2010 at 8:20 pm Link to this comment

sooner or later, though, we have to wonder about deathwish jews, who seem to be willing to kill as many people as they can as israel goes under.

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By flickervertigo, June 5, 2010 at 7:58 pm Link to this comment

jews are supposed to be so smart

how come they got sucked into the idiocy of israel?

sooner or later, the myth will fail to satisfy jews.

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By flickervertigo, June 5, 2010 at 7:40 pm Link to this comment

if zionist jews are willing to put up with that kind of horseshit in their quest for tikkun olam or benovolent global hegemony…

the thing is: the hive queens will skate, and the poor boys will suffer.

that’s the way, and if you are willing to put up with it… okay.

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By flickervertigo, June 5, 2010 at 7:24 pm Link to this comment

apparently, being zionist is something like playing the lottery.

statistically, there’s not a chance in hell that you’ll win.

but if you do win, well, the sky’s the limit.

the big guys, though, have the inside information, so they’re not gambling so much.

they see the handwriting, and they plan.

and if a couple of you peons win, well, that’s the price the big guys will pay, to stay in the game.

jewishness is like a lottery… statistically, nobody except the insiders win, but on the off chance you do win…

there’s not a chance in hell you’ll win, statistically, but it’s fun to play.

the main thing is: getting away with it.

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nahida's avatar

By nahida, June 5, 2010 at 7:11 pm Link to this comment

.

The most logical and fair solution:


  Helen Thomas to zionists - “Get the hell out of Palestine”


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BsU2CeXNoQM


zionists… OUT of Palestine

.

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nahida's avatar

By nahida, June 5, 2010 at 7:08 pm Link to this comment

.

The most logical and fair solution:


  Helen Thomas to zionists - “Get the hell out of Palestine”


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BsU2CeXNoQM


zionists… OUT of Palestine
.

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rico, suave's avatar

By rico, suave, June 5, 2010 at 7:05 pm Link to this comment

berniem: Great post!

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By flickervertigo, June 5, 2010 at 6:56 pm Link to this comment

israelis are exempt from criticism because of the holyhoax.

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By berniem, June 5, 2010 at 6:44 pm Link to this comment

At the risk of seeming naive people in America, as well as worldwide, are accused of anti-semitism if they criticize Israeli behavior towards the Palastinians or any manner of self-defense actions against supposedly hostile Arab states. Looking at sheer demographics one is struck by the fact that the bulk of the Semitic people in the region are in fact the Arabs while the majority of the population of Israel, while Jewish, is of European stock many generations removed from it’s original genetic bloodlines. Now, not being of Semitic, Muslim, or Jewish descent, I can understand how the peoples of the Middle East may harbor resentment at the relocation of a sizeable group of persecuted Jewish Europeans from the lands of their suffering by mandate from a former imperialistic colonial power to a tract of territory not occupied as a state by said religious group for at least two millenia. Of course the Arab regimes in power in the surrounding states for a variety of political, economic, and religious reasons have felt compelled to eradicate this biblically “justified” and conveniently contrived nation(does anyone remember the good ship St. Louis?)at various times since 1948. Unfortunately for relations between the peace loving peoples of all nations in the region, Israel, has been manipulated over the years by the US into being a proxy for it’s strategic Cold War aims in the Mid-East as well an outpost for American style democracy, all the while propping up the very regimes hostile to Israel so as to guarentee the continued free flow of cheap oil. Throw into this hash a bunch of poorly treated Persians(Ah, who could forget the Shah?), increasingly right wing, neo-con governments in both Isreal and the US, and an anti-globalization and social justice movement and you have the formula for very risky, paranoid, and volatile policy decisions and spasmodic reactions to perceived crises. Israel will continue to up the ante knowing that the US will do nothing(remember ‘67?)while Iran knows that it can get away with a lot more since it too knows that America can’t afford to do anything and Israel’s dminished stock of international good will precludes its pulling any more dumb stunts as it has in the past few years.

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nahida's avatar

By nahida, June 5, 2010 at 6:43 pm Link to this comment

.

Illegitimate… Illegitimate… Illegitimate

  http://www.redress.cc/palestine/cking20100606


By Christopher King

Israel’s declaration of independence on 14 May 1948 when the British Mandate ended has no legal validity

“... the United Nations’ acceptance of Israel’s status as a legitimate state is inherently invalid

“The Jews of Palestine cannot conceivably, therefore, invent a country and national identity on land confiscated by armed force from the Palestinian people. It is not possible.”

“they do not wish to live equitably among those Palestinians who have prior and better claim to the land than they. In that case, I would suggest that they might select an agreeable location of about 22,000 square kilometres in the United States. They could emigrate, drive its American inhabitants out and set up a Jewish homeland there. More land could be taken over later if desired. As the United States has unfailingly endorsed these principles in the case of Palestine it will undoubtedly be in accord. Alternatively, perhaps Muslim Palestinians might do the same. I cannot see what possible objection the United States government might have.”

Read more:


  http://www.redress.cc/palestine/cking20100606

.

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By flickervertigo, June 5, 2010 at 6:39 pm Link to this comment

any sane person has to wonder how trustworthy you are, seeing as how you lied us into iraq.

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, June 5, 2010 at 6:27 pm Link to this comment

JDmysticDJ, - “You will support the Israeli Government account, and argue that the Israeli government account is authoritative, all the while….”

-

One fact that has completely missed your attention is that I have taken no position on this matter.  Less to write that I don’t know enough to hold a position and, commented on the media malpractice in its coverage of the incident.

You assume too much, my friend.

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By flickervertigo, June 5, 2010 at 5:51 pm Link to this comment

Soil, sand, and stones
Trees, poppies, lemon zest, and morning mist
Jerusalem sunshine and Jenin’s moonlight
Haifa’s Carmel and Jaffa’s shoreline
Are all on our side

but the webmasters are not on our side

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By flickervertigo, June 5, 2010 at 5:26 pm Link to this comment

the only website that surpasses this one for spasticity is huffington.

what are we supposed to think?

it’s time for guidance from the kommissars.

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By flickervertigo, June 5, 2010 at 5:05 pm Link to this comment

the only thing left to wonder about, really, is, why is this website so spastic?

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By Thomas Dooley, June 5, 2010 at 4:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Joe Conason—how sophisticated you must be! Where I find the news of a masked commando emptying a 9 mm automatic pistol into the face of a innocent person horrifying you see it as a “blunder” and fret that it may produce bad PR for Israel.

Gee whiz, it’s good to have guys like you writing clean up articles. Otherwise we ordinary types might get the wrong idea and not know that we should be wracked with worry that the killings, beatings and kidnappings might leave some bad affects—for Israel that is.

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By nahida, June 5, 2010 at 4:17 pm Link to this comment

Angel Gabriel

Thank you for your kind words, I miss everyone too, I am not writing much on ICH and other places but I still write on my blog and on Uprooted Palestinians

http://poetryforpalestine.spaces.live.com/default.aspx

http://uprootedpalestinians.blogspot.com/

also on Salem News

http://salem-news.com/staff.php

Unfortunately, I do not know Greta Berlin, but would be happy to get to know her

.

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By JDmysticDJ, June 5, 2010 at 3:59 pm Link to this comment

Go Right Young Man

The “facts” will always be in dispute. The eye witness accounts will be disputed by the official Israeli government account.

After the thugs took control of the ships, their first order of business was to confiscate all video and recording equipment.

You will support the Israeli Government account, and argue that the Israeli government account is authoritative, all the while knowing that the eye witness accounts are factual.

melpol, June 5 at 12:37 pm

If the Israelis had an enemy as virulent as you are, the solution would be simple. Assassination or imprisonment without trial would be your fate.

If you were about to be summarily executed; as a matter of principle, I would obstruct that execution. Being principled is counter intuitive at times.

I realize that the vile thoughts that spew from your mind, are only emotional responses elicited by a subconscious realization that you are vilely wrong.

Let me suggest that you give Mahida’s poem some serious thought. You might find it to be therapeutic.

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By flickervertigo, June 5, 2010 at 3:49 pm Link to this comment

i’d just like to say that, as far as i can tell, none of this is my fault.

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By flickervertigo, June 5, 2010 at 3:47 pm Link to this comment

“Our tragedy is a sieve

Filtering the wicked away”

that’s an amazing line, nahida.

here’s some funny poetry from leonard cohen… “closing time

you gotta wonder what he was thinking about when he wrote it.

i guess you also gotta overlook the crotch shots on the girl.

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By LJL, June 5, 2010 at 3:04 pm Link to this comment

John Ellis, it may come as news to Messers Liddell, Scott, Jones etc that you compiled their lexicon of Ancient Greek, which is the standard Greek-English dictionary in the English speaking world.  The Greek word Sperma means seed and all the other stuff you cite is inference.  But this is totally beside the point since we are really discussing the Hebrew ??? ?????

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By Angel Gabriel, June 5, 2010 at 2:57 pm Link to this comment

nahida, June 5 at 6:24 pm #

Lovely to see you here Nahida! I’ve long missed your comments and Verse on the other hangouts. Do you know Greta Berlin? She used to blog with us at Truthout Town Meeting some years ago now… Hopefully, if you haven’t met in person you’ll have the opportunity in the future. She a lovely and dedicated person like yourself! All the best Nahida - your friend AG

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By Angel Gabriel, June 5, 2010 at 2:50 pm Link to this comment

Go Right Young Man, June 5 at 12:10 am

You are correct in the sense that neither of us was onboard, so determining the absolute truth is impossible for us both. However I stand firm with my opinion on this matter based on historical accounts, and the facts. I also remain committed to the Maritime rule of Law on the Open Seas. The act of aggression carried out in International Waters by Israeli Assault forces was an illegal act, and considering there were unarmed civilian deaths caused by the Israeli aggressor intent on taking over the flagged ship of another country, this turns into an interesting case for adding Piracy, Pre-meditated Murder, and State Sponsored Terrorism to the charges Israel will be facing when being brought to account on this extremely sad and mindless incident.
Have a nice day!

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By nahida, June 5, 2010 at 2:24 pm Link to this comment

We are not alone

We –Palestinians- are not alone
Best of humanity… on our side
Mighty truth… Gracious morality… on our side
Justice, dignity, human values, radiant hope
Are on our side

Soil, sand, and stones
Trees, poppies, lemon zest, and morning mist
Jerusalem sunshine and Jenin’s moonlight
Haifa’s Carmel and Jaffa’s shoreline
Are all on our side

We stand firm
As the stick of Moses
Splitting good and evil
Refusing to bow down

Our tragedy is a sieve
Filtering the wicked away

We all live and die…
Better die standing
Than to live crawling

Better to live with a wounded body
and a soul…whole
Than to live and die
with a disfigured soul
Weighed down by oppression
Bent by corruption
Inflated by arrogance
Twisted by greed
Intoxicated by power

Better die standing
With a soul…whole

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

Love, salutation, and gratitude
To all the great pure selfless souls on board Flotilla

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By Mike3, June 5, 2010 at 2:22 pm Link to this comment

All this talk about religion and spirituality is all very well, but Zionism is an ideology and doesn’t give a rat’s fart about spiritual depth or the finer points of religious nuance but has used religion to further its own cause. Judaism like all the other major religions has links to a mystical spiritual core. That is why those Jews who are not Zionists oppose it and recognize it for what it is. Those Jews who have bought into Zionism want their Judaism to be of THIS world found in the stones and earth of old/ancient Jerusalem. They believe that there are certain places on this earth that are MORE holy than others. The same goes for Christianity and Islam. Buddhism having no Torah, Bible or Koran has rejected this as naïve stupidity and claptrap. Although Buddhists have rejected the concept of a divine creator they would if pressed say that everything is holy, (or everything is not holy), there is nothing MORE holy than something else. God didn’t decide I am going to make this more holy than that. So although Zionism is racist, it is playing on the gullibility of those Jews who believe that certain stones are MORE holy than others simply because some holy man stepped on them or blessed them. It is a recruiting agent for its cause but it is itself spiritually void.

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By flickervertigo, June 5, 2010 at 2:18 pm Link to this comment

Joe Conason says, ”...shortsighted brutality has long been a hallmark of Israeli policy…”

seems likely that the original plan, which started with sharon’s visit to the al aqsa mosque a year before 9/11, isnt shortsighted, at all.

more likely, the plan, including 9/11, is a response to global warming and sea level rise, which wont become a problem for decades, maybe centuries.

the most pressing problem is peak oil… which means that israel must be secured from sea level rise before its american protector expires from oil shortages.

global oil production has been more-or-less flat since 2004/2005.

given the “our way or the highway” attitude of zionists, it’s probable that they see the handwriting on the wall… that handwriting says 70% of the israeli population will be flooded out in however long it takes for the ice to melt.

the time it takes is moot, since israel is dependent on protection from america, and america is fatally dependent on cheap oil, and the cheap oil is gone…

...my point being, israelis are not shortsighted; they’re terminally desperate.

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By TAXAUTO, June 5, 2010 at 1:31 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

THE UNITED STATES AND ISRAEL HAVE SUCCESSFULLY DIVIDED AND CONQUER THE PALISTINE. THE PALISTINIANS SHOULD RECONIZED THAT AND UNITE. STOP THE FIGHTING AMONGST THEMSELVES AND UNITE. THAT IS THE ONLY WAY TO GET RID OF THE EVILS.

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By LJL, June 5, 2010 at 1:16 pm Link to this comment

John Ellis, you’re obviously well-meaning.  Unfortunately you are also a bit fluffy.  Scripture humping in order to make a political (let alone a religious point) is always dicey.  And even if you believe that stuff, you’ve got to admit that the Lord is a nasty trickster who nobody in his right mind should trust.  Just look at your “Promise” where you’ll see that the Lord way over promised the Promised land. . . to people as numerous as the sands or stars . . .  how big did he think that that land was?  (By the way, you threw in the word ‘spiritual’ into the “Promise”.)

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By flickervertigo, June 5, 2010 at 12:03 pm Link to this comment

LJL says, “I am emphatically suggesting that America “shrug off” the Middle East kerfuffle.”

how you gonna “shrug off the kefluffle” when zionists control american media, congress and foriegn policy?

and can you really characterize the situation as a “kerfluffle” when one of the parties is armed to the gills with nukes, and apparently intends to nuke as many people as possible as they go under?

does that intention tell you anything about the basic morality underlying zionist philsophy, or the likelihood of israelis breeding themselves out of existence by mating with palestinians?

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By flickervertigo, June 5, 2010 at 11:54 am Link to this comment

the question you zionists should be asking yourselves is this:

are your neocon buddies really that devoted to israel, or are they merely cashing in on israel’s exemption from criticism?

because maybe the neocons’ support for israel is nothing more than cover for the biggest looting operation in history.

when the shit hits the fan in america, your neocon buddies will flit off to argentina in their gulfstreams.

but that’s the way things work, isnt it? ...the big guys skate off into the sunset, and the little guys are left behind to take the fall.

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By Arabian Sinbad, June 5, 2010 at 11:52 am Link to this comment

I am appalled how easy people get side-tracked by the propaganda of the the victimizers and criminals in both Israel and the US!

Originally, there was the issue of all the people of Palestine, terrorized, dispossessed, and their lands appropriated by force by marauders occupiers who came illegally from the four corners of the world.

Then with further illegal occupation of Palestine in 1967, the issue of Palestinians was reduced to the so-called West Bank. And by creating more ugly facts on the ground by terrorist Israel, aided by the US, the Palestinian issue was reduced to Gaza and to the 1.5 million Palestinians living there. And with the legitimate election of Hamas as representative of the Palestinian people, the sell-out Mahmoud Abbas, with the support of Israel and the the US managed to further fragment the Palestinian issue and limit it to Gaza. And with Gaza besieged and terrorized by Israel, with the evil help of the US, Mahmoud Abbas’s group and the dictator Husni Mubarak of Egypt, the issue of Palestine was reduced to the besieged people of Gaza and their need for so-called humanitarian cheap-sympathy, which terrorist Israel still find it too much to concede!

But in the book of this freedom fighter, Gaza, the West Bank and all Palestinians, wherever they are, have the right to acquire arms and fight evil Israel with all means possible; for Israel does not understand but the the language of force and violence, and my motto in this is “nothing blunts steal but steal.”

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By LJL, June 5, 2010 at 11:48 am Link to this comment

Ed Harges, I am emphatically suggesting that America “shrug off” the Middle East kerfuffle.  There is no percentage (moral, political or militarily) for us to side with one side or the other.  At most we should 1) reiterate UN resolutions and maps of the two territories, and 2) recommend that America by example has the only viable solution to the problem of warring ethnic groups, which is a combination of multi-cultural, multi-ethnic acceptance that is tempered by a melting pot ethos.  Until the Palestinians become more like the Israelis and the Israelis more like the Palestinians resulting in intermarriage there is not going to be anything more than a transient cease fire in the “Holy Land”.

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By melpol, June 5, 2010 at 11:43 am Link to this comment

Gazians have a steady job and that is to annoy Israelis, the pay isn’t much, but it
is steady work.  Sadistic Arab neighbors are not giving them the chance to
emigrate, they would rather see them continue in their present job. Only a reverse
flotilla would upgrade the standard of living for Gazians, Darfur or Sudan are
growing nations and they would welcome Gazians, even if their only skills are
annoying Israelis.

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By flickervertigo, June 5, 2010 at 11:37 am Link to this comment

“I have an idea for Pal’s in Gaza.  Recognize Israel’s right to exist…”

...but that doesnt get the palestinians of the west bank off the hook, does it?

nope, their land will be stolen from them just in case israel needs that high ground… because maybe global warming will turn out to be the real deal, after all.

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By flickervertigo, June 5, 2010 at 11:32 am Link to this comment

“Israeli Jews are right in trying to defend what they’ve…” stolen.

and we’re supposed to ignore palestinians’ desire for justice while allowing israelis to get away with murder…

...including lying their american protector into more wars that have the potential of killing millions more.

will there come a point in time when israelis are no longer allowed a free lunch?

or are we to follow israel back to the law of the jungle?

is “benevolent global hegemony” a euphemism for “tikkun olam”?

is anyone supposed to believe in the benevolence of our global hegemony when that benevolence has already caused the deaths of maybe a million people?

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By Ed Harges, June 5, 2010 at 11:24 am Link to this comment

LJL writes:

“There is so little to choose between the two warring tribes as far as moral
rectitude is concerned that it is futile for outsiders to invest emotion energy in
their fight.”

LJL, that sounds like an argument for Americans to shrug it off. But see,
shrugging it off means that we continue with current US policy, which is hugely,
destructively devoted to supporting one of the two tribes, because one of those
tribes has huge political power in the US and passionately uses it.

So you see, it’s going to require a gigantic investment of emotion and energy
just to get our government into the neutral position which you wisely
suggest we ought to occupy.

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By Howard, June 5, 2010 at 11:22 am Link to this comment

I have an idea for Pal’s in Gaza.  Recognize Israel’s right to exist and completely abandon the stated goal of its destruction.  Not only would this lift the naval blockade, but it also put and end to this silly Mideast conflict . Israel would swiftly become a close regional partner insead of a country forced to be on the defensive, and the Pal’s would enjoy a new era of prosperity.

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By LJL, June 5, 2010 at 10:51 am Link to this comment

Arguments over the Palestine-Israel mess eventually descends into a load of virulent racist crap.  There is nothing unique about either Jews or Palestinians, neither is uniquely innocent nor uniquely guilty.  They are just ordinary people who through history and political arrogance have been brought into lethal conflict over a common piece of real estate.  Just as Israeli Jews are right in trying to defend what they’ve got, the Palestinians, whether Hamas or not, are right in trying to defend what was theirs.  There is so little to choose between the two warring tribes as far as moral rectitude is concerned that it is futile for outsiders to invest emotion energy in their fight. 

A small footnote about the Turkish sponsored aid flotilla:  Turks with their growing wealth and political stability have gained appreciation of their own history.  Not only are they coming to terms with the bad but they are also coming to understand the good things Turkey had done in the past.  Among the good things in Turkish history were the peaceful relations the Ottomans maintained among the Christians, Muslims and Jews in their empire.  Palestine, as part of the old Ottoman Empire, enjoyed religious harmony while the Turks ruled.  And so Turks today belief that they may have something positive to add to the Palestine-Israel conflict.

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By Ed Harges, June 5, 2010 at 9:20 am Link to this comment

Glen Greenwald lambasts our groveling, Israeli-owned Vice President:

Biden told what can only be described as a lie when, in order to justify his rhetorical
question “what’s the big deal here?,” he claimed that the ships could have simply
delivered their aid to Israel and Israel would then have generously sent it to Gaza
(“They’ve said, ‘Here you go. You’re in the Mediterranean. This ship—if you divert
slightly north you can unload it and we’ll get the stuff into Gaza’.”).  In fact, contrary to
the Central Lie being told about the blockade, Israel prevents all sorts of humanitarian
items having nothing whatsoever to do with weapons from entering Gaza, including
many of the supplies carried by the flotilla.

http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/06/03/israel/index.html

The activists’ refusal to take the boat to Ashdod for “inspection” was justified, because
Israel’s blockade forbids all sorts of things besides weapons and dangerous items from
entering Gaza. That’s why the humanitarian mission was needed in the first place!

How could the activists hand over this boat full of medicines and other relief supplies to
the very people who are running the blockade and who explicitly forbid or severely
limit entrance into Gaza of these very items?

Yes, Israel does allow some food, water, and other items to get through, enough to
keep the population miserable but barely alive. Israel doesn’t allow chocolate into Gaza,
for example. It’s a danger to Israel’s security that a child in Gaza might feel delight at
the taste of chocolate. Israelis are sadistic, hateful pigs who are simply delighting in
strangling these people slowly to death.

It would totally defeat the activists’ humanitarian purpose to bring the boat to an Israeli
port and trust the Israelis to remove only truly dangerous items and then kindly deliver
the rest to Gaza. Did the Israelis offer to inspect the boat on arrival in Gaza? Of course
not. Their aim was not inspection but confiscation. Greedy Israeli pigs are probably
gorging themselves this very moment on chocolate stolen from those boats.

Goodness gracious - does my language sound heated? Do I sound like I might not love
dear little Israel, and wish “her” well, and feel just awful about having to criticize
“her”?

Yeah, well, tough.

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By melpol, June 5, 2010 at 8:37 am Link to this comment

Emotionally frustrated bug outs and wackos who could make the world a better
place by peacefully committing suicide have decided to call themselves peace
activists. They have targeted Israel as the cause of their deep seated psychological
problems, but it only increases the pain of a mental disorder. If they got
themselves a second job, it would keep them busy instead of trying to cause
problems for Israel.

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By Go Right Young Man, June 5, 2010 at 8:32 am Link to this comment

Fact v claim.

-

Fact: The ships were in International waters. - Confirmed
Fact: The ship attacked where people were killed was Turkish. - Confirmed.
Fact: Witnesses (claimed) their goal was to delay the IDF to allow the journalists on board to maximize their satellite phone transmissions. - Confirmed
Fact: Everyone killed was a passenger on the ships. - Confirmed


The rest of ITW’s insights are either incorrect or unconfirmed.

Unfortunately these facts tell us painfully little.

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By Ed Harges, June 5, 2010 at 7:45 am Link to this comment

melpol writes:

“Haters of the free enterprise system and Jews have once again attempted to
embarrass Israel by sending in another ship under pretense of aiding the citizens
of Gaza.”

“Haters of the free enterprise system”? What a bizarre ideological connection to
make! Why is the preservation of a blockade an exercise in the defense of the free
enterprise system? And how is attempting to break a blockade an assault on the
free enterprise system? Melpol, you just get weirder and weirder.

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By omop, June 5, 2010 at 7:28 am Link to this comment

The Palestinians and other neighbors of Israel are in the process of following
Israeli Defense Minister EHUD BARAK’s statement on preparing for the future
along his beliefs that:

  ” THERE IS NO MERCY FOR THE WEAK IN THE MIDDLE EAST “

  Some future for Israel !.

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By PatrickHenry, June 5, 2010 at 6:47 am Link to this comment

Israel knows of the public relations fiasco they have unleashed and yesterday I heard that they were suggesting that the UN take over the blockade.

This would be a very good idea since I think this is just the beginning of flotillas of activists headed for Gaza.

It is only when American Jews and the many others who live outside Israel, around the world, bring pressure to bear will a solution be found.

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By melpol, June 5, 2010 at 6:32 am Link to this comment

Haters of the free enterprise system and Jews have once again attempted to embarrass Israel by sending in another ship under pretense of aiding the citizens of Gaza. But they are wasting their time as Israel prepares for the seven music concerts that will take place Sunday Evening In Tel Aviv and Haifa.

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By Inherit The Wind, June 5, 2010 at 4:51 am Link to this comment

Fact: The ships were in International waters.
Fact: The ship attacked where people were killed was Turkish, an ally of Israel.
Fact: Israel has not established the legality for a naval blockade of Gaza.
Fact: Israel had no reasonable suspicion that arms were being smuggled.
Fact: Israel found NO weapons on any of the ships.
Fact: Video by the IDF was carefully edited and witnesses stated that key sections were omitted.
Fact: Witnesses said that when the attack happened their goal was to delay the IDF to allow the journalists on board to maximize their satellite phone transmissions.
Fact: Everyone killed was a passenger on the ships. None of the IDF were more than slightly injured.
Fact: The only weapons found on any passengers were those taken from 2 IDF troops who were captured and disarmed.

I don’t get my facts from Faux Noise or radical left-wing sites.  I trust far more NPR, the BBC World, the NYTimes, MSNBC and CNN for starters.

As a supporter of Israel’s existence and security, as an ardent defender of her right to exist and defend herself, and as a Jew, I am appalled by this Bush-like neo-con act. 

Only those that question whether the Bush deliberately lied and deceived us to get us into Iraq can defend this horrendous and blatantly STUPID step by Israel.

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By Mike3, June 4, 2010 at 11:06 pm Link to this comment

Israel gets away with murder because it’s Sugar Daddy America allows it to happen. Obama has quietly turned away from this atrocity and is walking along an oil covered beach with his grief in the Gulf. The whole of western mainstream media seems to be as terrified of Israel as a defenseless Palestinian mother with her clutch of little children. American politicians like Joe Biden boast that they are Zionists. So the atrocity that took place in international waters is as much an American atrocity as an Israeli/Zionist atrocity. The autopsies of the dead show that most of the victims were shot at close range multiple times in the head; this from an article I read in the Guardian. So what kind of country has Israel now become? Can we say that it is now fascist? Racist most definitely. But the history of Israel with its clearing of the native population and its brutal military so resembles that of America. No doubt this is why they like each other. And let’s forget that attack on the USS Liberty. Let’s not allow a few dead American sailors spoil a beautiful friendship.

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By Richard_Ralph_Roehl, June 4, 2010 at 9:33 pm Link to this comment

I have no simpathy for the Israelis. They have become rabid dogs! One does not pet a rabid dog! You fukin’ shoot it!

Quite frankly… the world has had enough of the ethno-racist, $ociopathic criminal $yndicate of Zionist wackos in the vicious apartheid theo-crazy of Israel. The violent apartheid $tate of Israel invites a horrifying karma screaming for nuclear evaporation. And if this is what it takes, then so be it! Israel will either abandon the Zionist tribe-all-eeego racism… and incorporate Palestinians and others into a unifying $tate… or it will die!

There is a growing majority of Americans here in the $tates who are fed up with the mean-espirited little bully called Israel. The anti-semitic crapola is NOT going to work anymore! The jig is up! The tale cannot wag the dog in $ewertown (Washington D.C.) much longer!

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By PatrickHenry, June 4, 2010 at 8:38 pm Link to this comment

Its a pretty decent website Ed.  I’m suprised TD would blacklist it.

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By Ed Harges, June 4, 2010 at 8:35 pm Link to this comment

The Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions Movement may have a funny acronym, but it’s
the best peaceful way anyone’s thought of that might force Israel to change its
ways.

Just put on your best leather, pick a good “safeword,” and jump in:

b d s m ovementdotnet

(remove spaces from the above url, and replace the word “dot” with “.”)

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By Go Right Young Man, June 4, 2010 at 8:10 pm Link to this comment

Angel Gabriel, - “How bout the logical one based on the truth”

-

Am I correct in coming to the conclusion that you have chosen sides prior to this incident?  And, rooted this personal choice, you have determined your preferred logic and truth on this entire incident?

You’ll have to trust me when I write that I am in no way judging your opinions.  I am only looking at this event through my own lenses.  Just as you and every one else on this thread have.

-

I have professionally investigated crimes for over twenty-five years.  I am honest in saying I have no way of determining the “truth” in this incident.  There are simply too few real “facts”.  Only a great many opinions on which side acted in an justifiable manner.

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By MeHere, June 4, 2010 at 7:20 pm Link to this comment

Some think that we should not discuss this problem in terms of how it
affects Israelis and only focus on the Palestinian issue. I agree, but learning how
decent Israelis think and what they go through in their country because they
dislike the prevailing political atmosphere is all related. I think we should
encourage their voices. It’s all about the plight of the Palestinians in the end.
This is a beautifully written article by an Israeli writer:

  http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/i-too-did-not-speak-out-1.294208

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By Angel Gabriel, June 4, 2010 at 7:08 pm Link to this comment

“Putting all emotions aside; how are you arriving at your conclusions?  Which facts are you relying on in order to determine which narrative is correct?”

How bout the logical one based on the truth - The Flotilla’s main intent was to break the Seige Blockade of Gaza and deliver much needed humanitarian aid to the Palestinians being held in Israel’s open air prison gulag without hope for a future in sight.
Or maybe you can twist this one around to your purpose - The majority of world opinion leans toward taking the word of Humanitarian Activist’s in what occurred rather than the word of proven propogandist’s!
Having not been aboard these ships, there’s instantly a situation created that would force one to consider their ideals of what’s right and wrong, and make a choice of what to believe based on credibility of the ones making the report. Sorry, Israel doesn’t come out smelling like a bed of roses on this one based on your illustrious and violent past history. Maybe you should consider hiring those activists for your next Ad Campaign?

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By TheHandyman, June 4, 2010 at 6:55 pm Link to this comment

I am just tired out from trying to rebut and refute all the lies spread about why Israel has the right to do what it did. They did not and all of those reasons ranging from trying to stem the persecution of poor Jews by Arabs 60 years ago all the way through the horrific number of innocent civilian Jews killed by Palestinian Terrorists for absolutely no reason.

It seems that AIPAC is either working overtime spreading these lies hoping they will stick or they have already brainwashed far too many Americans into believing that the Jews are the Chosen people of the one true God. Something that has been ridiculous for some 8,000 years now. The old testament is the history of a nasty self-centered egotistical people who went around the middle east stirring up shit and smiting everyone they could in their self righteous wrath. Sure, every society can change and find redemption. Look at the Germans. They learned about what stupidity and war do. Too bad Israel and the US can’t learn the same lesson. Too bad that idiots and intellectually challenged people like melpol can muddy the water unrestricted and never seem to learn that life has consequences. Hopefully they will find out what they are!

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By Go Right Young Man, June 4, 2010 at 6:44 pm Link to this comment

Ed Harges, - “The activists were willing to allow the Israelis to inspect the ship on arrival in the port of Gaza.”

-

Both sides of this incident has given their initial account of events.  Both sides have offered their respective witnesses and summary time-lines. Both sides dispute the other.  And all of it given to us all through media lenses.  Some clearly pro-Israel some pro-Palestinian.

I would like to ask a direct question. 

Putting all emotions aside; how are you arriving at your conclusions?  Which facts are you relying on in order to determine which narrative is correct?

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By Ed Harges, June 4, 2010 at 5:59 pm Link to this comment

Howard has been passing on an untruth that I’d like to correct. He says that the
activists refused to allow the ship to be inspected by the Israelis. This is false.

The activists were willing to allow the Israelis to inspect the ship on arrival in the
port of Gaza
.

The Israelis insisted that the activists take the ship to Israel for “inspection”, which
the activists refused to do, because the ship was full of the very humanitarian
supplies which Israel in its sadistic hatred refuses to allow the Gazans to have.

It is obvious that Israel’s intent was not to inspect, but to make sure that the
people of Gaza continue to endure unmitigated misery, and to terrorize the
activists in order to deter any further attempts to lessen the deprivation of the
Palestinians of Gaza.

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By Ed Harges, June 4, 2010 at 5:38 pm Link to this comment

re:By melpol, June 4 at 6:08 pm #

melpol writes:

“My lady friend while shopping in the mall met a rabid anti-semite and member of the American Nazi Party[ANP]. Her being a very attractive
woman he accepted the fact that she was Jewish. After converting to Judaism they married and emigrated to Israel. Their two sons are now
members of the IDF. It is amazing how an attractive woman can turn a Nazi into an Israeli patriot.”

Melpol, you are beyond satire. I have no doubt your anecdote is true. It is easy to imagine that a Nazi may become a perfectly serviceable
Jewish Israeli patriot serving in the IDF. I’m sure the mental adjustment was quite smooth for him.

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By melpol, June 4, 2010 at 4:54 pm Link to this comment

It is possible to create a pleasure paradise in Gaza, tourists from faraway place
would come to have a taste of its potent drugs and beautiful women.  But this
quick fix to the problems of Gaza is not acceptable to those that want to keep its
people in poverty. The Gaza strip has been turned into a bayonet to cut the
jugular vein of Israel. It is being used as an excuse to punish the Jewish people for
the crime of not being perfect. But they will fail because Israelis are chess players
and they know how to checkmate Jew haters.

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By Night-Gaunt, June 4, 2010 at 3:26 pm Link to this comment

You will find that the USA will let its “special relationship” to Israel trump all treaties and the Constitution to support them. That is a fact no matter who is the president in these United States.

The fact that no contraband or weapons beyond two pistols shows that Israel is in big trouble. But they don’t care, they have the USA to watch their backs and stymie the lame UN.

Next question, what will happen to the next flotilla to aid the dying Gazans. [Who are not part of Israel that is.]

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By Ed Harges, June 4, 2010 at 3:12 pm Link to this comment

re:By Don Farkas, June 4 at 6:20 pm:

That’s a very good point, Don Farkas. Even though Americans are constantly told
that Israel is our “ally”, it is not, formally; yet Turkey, as a member of NATO,
is a formal, legal ally of the US. Thus, in attacking a NATO ally, it would
seem that the US is legally bound to defend Turkey from the aggressor - Israel.

I haven’t seen this point made anywhere else, Don. Good one.

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By gerard, June 4, 2010 at 3:08 pm Link to this comment

Peter Knopfler, it is very unlikely that most of the people who cricize Israel’s policies are “Jew-haters.” That kind of accusation is not only exaggerated but inflammatory, making it appear that no one dare make any criticism of Israel policies whatever, no matter how stupid and dangerouos those policies are. 
  If you hope to stamp out all criticism using this device, you will end by increasing the anger people feel toward Israel.  Public forums don’t need any anti-Semitism and should discourage it in everybody’s self-interest.  Racism has got to be stopped somehow, and freedom of speech was not meant to mean the right to inflame public anger against people of any nation, race or ethnic origin.
  If you truly want to defend Israel, encourage their government officials to listen to their own people’s “peace voice.”  Many Israelis are struggling to get their voices for ending the occupation heard in Israel and around the world.  Unfortunately, as in the US, their government is deliberately ignoring them.

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By diamond, June 4, 2010 at 2:54 pm Link to this comment

Yes, Melpol that’s a clever trick, turning a Nazi into an Israeli patriot but it’s not as clever as what Israel does: turning Israeli patriots into Nazis.

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By Inherit The Wind, June 4, 2010 at 2:52 pm Link to this comment

melpol, June 4 at 6:08 pm #

My lady friend while shopping in the mall met a rabid anti-semite and member of
the American Nazi Party[ANP]. Her being a very attractive woman he accepted the
fact that she was Jewish. After converting to Judaism they married and emigrated
to Israel. Their two sons are now members of the IDF. It is amazing how an
attractive woman can turn a Nazi into an Israeli patriot.

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

I thought that was a made-for-TV movie starring Ben Cross and Veronica Hamel called “Twist of Fate” from 1989.

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By Angel Gabriel, June 4, 2010 at 2:43 pm Link to this comment

I’ve had to come back to this article because there was something in it that has bothered me for a few days. Something that Conason said early in the piece about Israel attacking Gaza after Hamas rocket attacks launched into Israel. This is not the truth in the matter, and I think it needs to be clarifed.

Firstly, It was Israel that launched raids into Gaza in late October and early November during the ceasefire to kill Hamas members that spurred a reaction and retailiation by Palestinians against the intial aggressor - Israel. Secondly, anything fired by Palestine was, as I understand it, fired into their own Israeli-occupied territory - not Israel. The fact that Israel is illegally occupying Palestinian land comes to point here.
For the most part I agree with the remainder of this piece that Israel has caused themselves more damage than anyone else has - but I needed to clarify the slant that got put on this article from the early inaccurate statement above.

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By Don Farkas, June 4, 2010 at 2:20 pm Link to this comment

Query:  If the state of Israel (which has no formal military alliance or defense
treaty with the United States) has militarily attacked a Turkish flagged ship on the
high seas in a manner contrary to international law, and since Turkey is a fellow
NATO alliance member nation that the United States of America is obligated by
mutual defense treaty to assist militarily against aggression, then is not America
(and the other member states of NATO as well) obligated to come to the aid of
Turkey in militarily resisting the state of Israel’s action?

Just wondering what the ramifications of the Likud Party’s ill considered military
action and posturing might mean for protecting Israel’s legitimate security
interests in the long run.

Don Farkas, Los Angeles

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By melpol, June 4, 2010 at 2:08 pm Link to this comment

My lady friend while shopping in the mall met a rabid anti-semite and member of
the American Nazi Party[ANP]. Her being a very attractive woman he accepted the
fact that she was Jewish. After converting to Judaism they married and emigrated
to Israel. Their two sons are now members of the IDF. It is amazing how an
attractive woman can turn a Nazi into an Israeli patriot.

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By Ed Harges, June 4, 2010 at 1:39 pm Link to this comment

re:By Inherit The Wind, June 4 at 5:27 pm:

As I read further on this guy, I see that, while born in the US, he moved to Turkey
at age 2, was currently in school there, and presumably lived all or most of his life
in Turkey after age 2. It would seem likely that he also has Turkish citizenship. So
I guess in a way he’s not as “American” as I thought (which of course in no way
makes him more deserving of what happened to him, of course).

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By Inherit The Wind, June 4, 2010 at 1:27 pm Link to this comment

Ed Harges, June 3 at 5:43 pm #

re:By Robert, June 3 at 5:16 pm:

This guy was born in Troy, NY. Is it really known that he was a “dual US-Turkish
national” - i.e., implying that he was a dual citizen?

The article seems biased in its terminology, calling him a “Turk with US
citizenship”. Would they call an American guy born of Swedish immigrant parents
in Troy, New York (thus a US citizen from birth), who probably grew up speaking
American English and attending American schools, a “Swede with US citizenship”?

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

It doesn’t happen often, but for once you are right.  I’m not a “Ukrainian Jew with US citizenship”. I’m a native-born American, son of native-born Americans.  Period.

I find it everything about Israel’s actions in the mess to be disgusting, reprehensible, and, as a Jew, terrifying. 

John Ellis’s point that they’ve created a billion anti-Semites is EXACTLY what sane Jews around the world fear from actions by INsane Jews like Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman (who is more Russian mafia than Israeli patriot).  That the actions of the a-holes in power in Israel will cause others around the world to feel justified in attacking us and our children.

So…isn’t my “paranoia” based in reality?

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By Ed Harges, June 4, 2010 at 10:54 am Link to this comment

re:By Robert, June 4 at 2:23 pm :

Another great link from the indispensable Robert. Naomi Klein is absolutely right:
we should target Israel with boycott, divestment, and sanctions.

But I would be ecstatic if the US government would just stop actively, lavishly,
extravagantly supporting Israel. Even getting that support reduced would be
an unheard-of victory.

Boycott, divestment, or sanctions would be icing on the cake.

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By Robert, June 4, 2010 at 10:23 am Link to this comment

Naomi Klein speaks at Gaza Freedom Flotilla protest in Toronto, Canada

06.04.2010 | YouTube

http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/toronto-protest-video/

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By flickervertigo, June 4, 2010 at 10:21 am Link to this comment

anyhow, it’s beginning to look like israel is a bad idea that sprung from an obsolete philosophy…

...which wouldnt be that big a deal except for the fact that israel has so much control of the biggest, most powerful, most ignorant, most vulnerable country in the world.

that’s the problem.

israel seems perfectly capable of leaving a few dozen radioactive holes in the ground to serve as monuments to the terminal stupidity of an obsolete philosophy.

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By JT, June 4, 2010 at 10:15 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Peter Knopfler:

The blockade isn’t UN recognized. The supposed rules of
war you are referring to are unrelated to the current
situation, because they apply only to UN recognized
blockades.

You can’t use UN laws in unison with non-UN sanctioned
blockades. That’s dishonest to the point of making you
laughable.

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By Peter Knopfler, June 4, 2010 at 10:09 am Link to this comment

THAT IS WHY MEXICO MEDIA IS MORE HONEST THAN MOST USA MEDIA. When someone gets his head cutoff its front page news, pictures of the severed head from body the whole bloody mess front and center. At a traffic light you can see it plain as day. Now instead of showing you the 19 year old with a bullet hole between the eyes, they show him next to orchids of white and angel face with necktie, so Americans don`t get the naked truth any time only Yes only fantasies. The murders need to be displayed or they will never Stop. Show the dead drone killings, show the mutalated bodies, Saudi stoneings, the beheadings Daniel Pearl yes show it all until it makes you SICK, maybe just maybe everyone will stop all the killing!? Imagine if China sent drone killers to America because of some Chinese spy that defected, happens all the time-defections or defects from N.Korea, send drones to kill like America does in Pakistan,Yemen Afghanistan. DOUBLE STANDARD AGAIN. The RABBI on Roman CATHOLIC CROSS, has always been used to kill Jews right Ellis. Christians and Muslims are rooted in Judiasm, and all they want to do is kill the Jew, 400 years Inquisition and Muslims take up the slack.NOT to worry we will be around, Jews were here 3000 years before Christians 3500 years before Muslims and we will be here long after your gone self-sabotage is your destiny America, ONE WORLD GOVT IS THE RESULTING CONSEQUENCE:

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By Ed Harges, June 4, 2010 at 10:07 am Link to this comment

Great link, flickervertigo. This summarizes the impenatrable moral obtuseness
we’re up against:

[url=“http://www.forward.com/articles/13388/”]When Survival of the Jewish
People Is at Stake, There’s No Place for Morals[/url]

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By flickervertigo, June 4, 2010 at 9:45 am Link to this comment

howard thinks israelis are exempt from adhering to traditional jewish values because jews were persecuted in the holocaust…

so, because jews were persecuted, european jews have the right to move to palestine and treat palestinians like they were jews in europe before world war II.

so howard demonstrates the zionist sense of entitlement—the “kids in a candy store” syndrome—in which exemption from criticism is achieved through exploition of the holocaust.

israelis are even exempt from their own supposeded values, as mr dror, in the jewish forward has pointed out.

When Survival of the Jewish People Is at Stake, There’s No Place for Morals

or maybe it’s just that non-jews, most especially including palestinians, are not quite human, and are thus undeserving of justice.

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By Peter Knopfler, June 4, 2010 at 9:44 am Link to this comment

So we have a few JEW HATERS HERE right Ellis, tired of telling lies, let the truth come out get it off your mind tell everyone how you hate jews, 5770 years tells me you got 1/2 foot in the grave. NOT SUPPORTING ISRAEL IS LIKE TRYING TO KILL YOUR GREAT GRANDPARENTS IN THEIR OWN HOME RIGHT HOWARD LAME BRAINS FOR SALE; UNGLY AMERICAN DOUBLESTANDARDD WE ARE ALL KILLERS AT ONE TIME OR ANOTHER; SO FACE UP TO FACTS LIFE IS TO SHORT TO LIVE ON LIES; TELL THE TRUTH AMERICA:

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By Ed Harges, June 4, 2010 at 9:37 am Link to this comment

re:By gerard, June 4 at 1:31 pm:

Yeah, it’s like we’re supposed to believe that the right wing just somehow
reigns in Israel - and it has nothing to do with anything in the nature of Israel
itself.

And yet the truth is that the coming to power of ever more extreme right-wing
governments is inevitable, in a state whose religious/ethnic supremacist reason
for being cannot be reconciled with its more civilized - but finally secondary -
ambitions.

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By gerard, June 4, 2010 at 9:31 am Link to this comment

On Robert Scheer’s Comment Hour I just asked the question:  “How do you diagnose Israel’s continuously shooting itself in the foot, policy-wise?
  Sheer’s answer took us through the fact that Israel is in the hands of “right wing ideologues,” etc.
  The word “diagnose” was a hint to go a little deeper:  Why are “right wing ideologues in control?”
  I believe unless and until we can begin to discuss the psychology of what is happening in the world, we will just continue to refuse to recognize the results of history and of continuing “crimes and misdemeanors.”  Will anybody pick up on this, I wonder?

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By Ed Harges, June 4, 2010 at 9:21 am Link to this comment

To get the ship’s captain to stop sailing, the Israelis pointed a gun at the man’s
one-year-old child. A member of the Egyptian parliament who was on the ship
also reports nightmarish cruelty and violence by the Israelis:

‘“It was hell on the sea. I saw Israeli soldiers killing activists in cold blood and
then walking on their bodies,” Farouq, who was one of more than 700 activists
aboard the Freedom Flotilla attacked by Israeli commandos, said on Tuesday in
Cairo.

‘“The Israeli soldiers sprayed bullets as if they were a mafia in an American
film.” ‘

http://gulfnews.com/news/region/palestinian-territories/israelis-subdued-
captain-by-pointing-gun-at-a-child-1.636007

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By Howard, June 4, 2010 at 9:21 am Link to this comment

Pu ...leasse.
  Israel been around longer than most nations.  kind
of small little territory to restart 60 years ago.
Same land amount given to Pal’s.  If adjoining arab
nations had accepted the division of land for Israel
and Pal’s no problem would have occured.  Instead 5
arab nations attacked. 5 arab nations.  coun’t ‘em.
The have yet to make peace.  They would rather not
live next to Israel with a brand -new 23 arab nation
if Israel still around.
  Gazan citizens are misled by militaristic, wacky
leaders who keep them in economic distress.  Adjacent
arab nations do not want Pal’s to have country and
show them up as incompetent with their own citizens.
Even Egypt has tuffer blockade.  Jordan will not
help them.  All play lip-service to their plight but
offer No, no help at all.

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By N'Awlins, June 4, 2010 at 8:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This sort of thing has been going on all over the world for quite some time. Every been in the GOM or Caribbean when the USCG thinks you might be a (drug runner/terrorist/commie pick one). They are in international waters, but that doesn’t make any difference to them. Them come on board waving shotguns in your face and ramsack your vessel, whether recreational or commercial, at will. If you resist, BAM! They are loud, arrogant, and brutal.

It doesn’t matter if it is just granparents out with the kids for a day out of St. Johns. We are all Terrorists if we are not in their uniform! Forced at gunpoint to kneel in the bow (including the children) with a gun at your back. Think not? Think again! This particular set of grandparents had a US Congressman for a son. He raised H**l about it and got…. nowhere.

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By flickervertigo, June 4, 2010 at 8:52 am Link to this comment

howard is apparently unable to admit that israel is shaping up to be the worst idea jews ever had.

how do you reconcile traditional jewish values with israel’s founding in injustice, terror, and lies?

or are those “traditional jewish values” nothing more than a smokescreen to cover up ashkenazi racial supremacist philosophy?

will there always be jewish radicals who are locked into the worst of ashkenazi philosophy, and see themselves as the ultimate human predators, and see themselves as so exalted that they’re incapable of making mistakes?

“those who are able are obliged to prey on those who are unable to prevent it.

“those who choose to be neither prey nor predator are cast out.”

if your sole moral guide is “might makes right”, then we have to expect the worst.

if “traditional jewish values” are for real, then there’s hope…

no hope for israel, but maybe a little hope for the rest of us.

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