America Must Stop the False Choice Between Israel and Arab States

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goldstone un.jpgI’ve been in Amman, Jordan for less than a day — and the swirl of conflicting emotions here from nearly anyone I have spoken to about the United States is important to note. Most think Barack Obama is an “honest, fair man” and deserves the Nobel, which surprised me — but then the same people express huge doubts in what is unfolding with Israel and Palestine.
I have been repeatedly told that in the eyes of the Arab world, “Netanyahu won. Obama lost. Abbas lost.”
They say that for a while Israel was showing a softer side, rolling back inspection points and harassing Palestinian workers and commuters to a lesser degree — but things have reversed now.
One person told me that there are now checkpoints around Nablus — and there hadn’t been in a really long time. “These Nablus check points are brand new — and no one is saying anything about them.”
And in Jordan, people at all levels are intensely focused on the White House’s growing distance from and opposition to the UN investigation into war crimes violations in the Israel-Gaza war and the so-called Goldstone Report.
Some have told me that the US talks a good game about international law and human rights, but when a report emerges chaired by one of the world’s most respected, leading human rights and war crimes jurists, America goes the realpolitik course and embraces Israel no matter its behavior.
What I see is that while Barack Obama himself has often presented a vision of the Middle East with Israel and Arab states both in stable relationships with each other and with the United States, just about everyone else — including many on his own national security team — continue to push a false choice that favors America’s interests with Israel over Arab states.
This choice is a bad one for the U.S. — and Obama needs to realize that his team is failing to demonstrate that it has the ability to define reasonable lines for Israel with which the Arab world can then converge.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

90 comments on “America Must Stop the False Choice Between Israel and Arab States

  1. questions says:

    TPM is reporting a possible connection with India.
    It’s really too early to say anything for sure on this one.
    And if this guy has no previous spy experience, then there’s no reason to believe what POA is suggesting is a logical belief.
    We really simply do not know yet. Could be typical FBI entrapment, could be more significant. Who knows.

    Reply

  2. pauline says:

    “This is, of course, the precise sort of thing which FBI linguist-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds has been alleging concerning both Turkish and Israeli interests for some time. In her case, she has testified under oath to nearly-identical behavior by U.S. scientists, military personnel and academics at top-secret nuclear and military installations who are alleged to have done precisely what Stewart David Nozette has now been busted for, as reported today by AFP…
    A top American scientist who once worked for the Pentagon and the US space agency NASA was arrested Monday and charged with attempted spying for Israel, the Department of Justice said.
    Stewart David Nozette, 52, developed an experiment that fueled the discovery of water on the south pole of the moon, and previously held special security clearance at the Department of Energy on atomic materials, the DOJ said.
    He is charged with “attempted espionage for knowingly and willfully attempting to communicate, deliver, and transmit classified information relating to the national defense of the United States to an individual that Nozette believed to be an Israeli intelligence officer,” the DOJ said.
    Nozette had been dealing with an FBI undercover agent in a sting operation, the department said, adding there was no wrongdoing by Israel.

    “The conduct alleged in this complaint is serious and should serve as a warning to anyone who would consider compromising our nation’s secrets for profit,” said David Kris, assistant attorney general for national security.

    “From 1989 through 2006, Nozette held security clearances as high as top secret and had regular, frequent access to classified information and documents related to the US national defense,” the Justice Department said.

    “In addition, Nozette allegedly offered to reveal additional classified information that directly concerned nuclear weaponry, military spacecraft or satellites, and other major weapons systems,” DOJ said.
    In addition to allegations against a network of moles said to be based at U.S. nuclear weapons facilities, Edmonds has also fingered current and former members of Congress, such as Dennis Hastert (R-IL), Dan Burton (R-IN), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Stephen Solarz (D-NY) and Tom Lantos (D-CA, deceased), as well as high-ranking Pentagon and State Dept. officials such as Marc Grossman, Douglas Feith, Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz, as having participated, via bribery and blackmail schemes, in related espionage with Turkish and Israeli interests.
    Despite several high profile front-page features on all of this in the UK Sunday Times last year (here, here and here), Edmonds’ recent sworn deposition on these matters, a recent cover-story interview in American Conservative magazine, and an 18-year FBI executive officer corroborating key elements of her story and calling for a “Special Counsel” to investigate and prosecute, the U.S. corporate mainstream media have failed to report on the Edmonds story at all since she was finally allowed to speak about these matters in August following seven years of gag orders from the Bush Administration’s invocation of the so-called “State Secrets Privilege.”
    source —
    http://www.bradblog.com/

    Reply

  3. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Key point, the scientist THOUGHT he was dealing with the Israelis. Such a mindest does not occur in a vacuum, he obviuously believed the Israelis would be eager buyers for what he had to sell. And only an uninformed fool would believe different. When one considers the Liberty incident, simple espionage seems quite tame, really.
    But hey, we all know that the Israelis don’t have the Mossad actively working covertly in the United States, right? I mean, golly, they’re our “allies”, aren’t they?? Its just a “conspiracy theory” to imply otherwise.
    Which reminds me. What happened to those asshole trolls that invaded the debate about Sibel Edmonds??? Thats the only issue that matters top them? I guess thats the only issue “answers” was intersted in answering, eh?

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  4. questions says:

    Don’t introduce Mossad quite yet. We don’t know enough. Remember, the FBI were posing, offering money, posing, and offering money. Go slow before you explode.

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  5. M.T. Stein says:

    From BBC story,
    Last month, Mr Nozette was contacted by an undercover FBI agent posing as an Israeli intelligence officer, whom he allegedly told he would be willing to regularly answer questions about classified information in exchange for money and an Israeli passport.
    What should happen to Nozette? Full trial with all facts of case revealed? Who can quietly put this one away so Mossad not blamed?

    Reply

  6. questions says:

    This was an FBI set up — who knows what it means. Who even knows if Israel was involved in the least. The FBI has been trying very hard to entice people to do stuff lately. Murky and weird. And it’s not clear yet if he had access to stuff Israel didn’t have according to a kos diary. Lots of unanswered issues for this one.

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  7. M.T. Stein says:

    An American scientist who worked for the US defence department and the space agency Nasa has been charged with attempted espionage, officials say.
    Stewart David Nozette tried to give classified information to a person whom he believed was an Israeli intelligence officer, the justice department said. The supplied answers contained information that concerned US satellites, early warning systems, means of defence or retaliation against large-scale attack, communications intelligence information, and major elements of defence strategy.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8315538.stm
    Is this guy a schmuck or what?!
    Yiddish shmok, literally, penis

    Reply

  8. nadine says:

    POA, you seem to believe that Israel is accusing Hams of using human shields just because Gaza is densely populated. Not at all. Besides, Gaza is not so dense that there aren’t plenty of open fields – there is a lot agriculture in Gaza. It’s not one solid city. For the story of the Abd Rabbo farm and its takeover by Hamas against the will of the owners see http://www.palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=1304
    Israel is accusing Hamas of using open shields because:
    1. Israeli troops found residential homes booby-trapped to explode with the families still in them
    2. Hamas took off their uniforms when Israel invaded to blend in the civilian population
    3. Hamas stores its weapons in apartment buildings, mosques etc. We are not talking a few guns either, but its proper armories of rockets and explosives. There were several cases where Israel phoned up the apartments and told the people to get out, and Hamas responded by sending women and children to the roof. Israel then used a tactic nicknamed “knocking on the roof” – dropping a dummy bomb to scatter the human shields before dropping a real one. Many times Israel aborted the mission.
    4. Hamas built bunkers for its own use but no shelters for civilians.
    5. Hamas HQ was under Shifa Hospital – which was not bombed, btw.
    6. Hamas encourages kids to surround the fighters, knowing the Israelis don’t want to shoot kids. The kids have been told since they could first walk that martyrdom is the highest possible glory, so they gladly run to the front. Hamas also uses them as look-out and support troops.
    The Israeli high court has sometimes found Israeli soldiers guilty of using Palestinians as human shields, mainly to open doors they suspect might be boobytrapped and has ruled against this practice.
    But one thing you will never ever see, is Israelis using Israelis as human shields. The very idea is laughable, because Hamas considers every Israeli a target and is happy to kill them regardless of protected status.
    In real international law, both sides have a responsibility to safeguard civilians.

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  9. nadine says:

    POS, I’m still trying to decide whether you are a liar or a total idiot. Of course, the two are not mutually exclusive.
    The paragraph where Goldstone accepts the Hamas authories’ explanation that they don’t know any Hamas militants and admits he didn’t bother meeting with any, was a direct quote from the Goldstone report.
    In his report, Goldstone does perfunctorily note that Hamas has committed some war crimes. But he spends the vast majority of the report “documenting” Israeli war crimes by repeating credulously whatever Hamas’ chosen witnesses choose to tell him.
    But since the report came out, Goldstone is singing a different tune. In interviews like the one yesterday, Goldstone speaks of his report as if it condemned Hamas in similar terms to Israel, and he declares himself shocked, shocked! that the UNHCR resolution condemned only Israel and not Hamas.
    You have to be a total fool to buy this. The UNHCR commission that Goldstone accepted was so one-sided, so prejudicial to Israel, that even Mary Robinson refused it, saying it was too political. Goldstone knew exactly what he was doing — advancing his own UN career – when he delivered up 69 findings of law after only 12 days of meetings. You can’t possibly do that unless you have pre-judged every issue.

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  10. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “So Goldstone asked to speak to some Hamas guys were were fighting Israel during Operation Cast Lead, the Hamas authorities claimed not to know any of these guys. So Goldstone said, “Well that’s alright then. We’ll just skip that part. We didn’t really need to know about Palestinian fighters anyway. The mission is only to document Israeli war crimes”
    Once again we see this bigoted lying witch being deceptive in her arguments. The truth is that Goldstone listed crimes from BOTH sides, and just yesterday publically stated that he is disappointed in the wording of the UNHRC’s conclusions, as he felt Israel was overly singled out, and he would have liked to have seen the Hamas crimes mentioned as well.
    Nadine is simply a liar, and each and everyone of her posts twists, distorts, or creates “reality” to fit her argument. In the years I’ve posted here, I have yet to see someone so consistently, over a fairly substantial time period, be so despicably racist, dishonest, and arrogantly lacking in character or integrity.
    It bears repeating; Anyone concerned about Israel, ot Jews, should tell Nadine to STFU.

    Reply

  11. nadine says:

    OA, So David Rohde wized up that the Taliban actually meant what they said, but you will claim to your dying day that they are just misunderstood. If they don’t actually have the power to achieve their ends, they can’t mean it. Why can’t they mean it? Because you say so.

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  12. nadine says:

    Dan, this paragraph from p 134 of Goldstone speaks volumes to his absurd methods:
    “439. The Mission also addressed questions regarding the tactics used by Palestinian armed groups to the Gaza authorities. They responded that they had nothing to do, directly or indirectly, with al-Qassam Brigades or other armed groups and had no knowledge of their tactics. To gather first-hand information on the matter, the Mission requested a meeting with representatives of armed groups. However, the groups were not agreeable to such a meeting. The Mission, consequently, had little option but to rely upon indirect sources to a greater extent than for other parts of its investigation.”
    Translation: The Mission=Goldstone. The Gaza authorities=Hamas. The al Qassam brigades=Hamas. Armed groups=Hamas, Islamic Jihad, etc.
    So Goldstone asked to speak to some Hamas guys were were fighting Israel during Operation Cast Lead, the Hamas authorities claimed not to know any of these guys. So Goldstone said, “Well that’s alright then. We’ll just skip that part. We didn’t really need to know about Palestinian fighters anyway. The mission is only to document Israeli war crimes”
    And so Goldstone continued to airbrush Hamas fighting out of the picture, turning nearly all the dead into innocent civilians. He just took Hamas’ word for who was who.
    An “investigation” into “war crimes” that does not concern itself with the military objectives of each side or the nature of the fighting is a farce, a Stalinist show trial.

    Reply

  13. Outraged American says:

    Colin Powell’s warning on the Terror Industrial Complex correct
    http://tinyurl.com/yf7xe6d

    Reply

  14. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Using civilians for human shields doesn’t just happen with Hamas, you know. It’s become a standard feature of assymetrical warfare. Hizbullah does it, the Iraqi insurgents do it, Al Qaeda does it, the Taliban do it every day”
    There we see the blatant hypocricy of Nadine’s constant propagandizing spew. Never mind that the Gaza strip is one of the most densely populated areas on the planet earth, hence enabling the accusation that Hamas is using “human shields”, even when incidences cited are quite difficult to investigate. But there is no question that the IDF has regularly used human shields.
    http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/MDE15/143/2002/en/dom-MDE151432002en.html
    Cases were reported of the IDF using Palestinians as human shields, during Operation Defense Shield, beginning in 2002. Other actions included “Torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of detainees”
    In 2005, the High Court of Justice rules against thee use of humans as shields, despite IDF actions
    http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/MDE15/143/2002/en/dom-MDE151432002en.html

    Reply

  15. Outraged American says:

    Dan, I WANT my sewer gas problem fixed, but only after the kids
    die of noxious oder. My Taliban point?
    The tone of the NYT article, especially on the first page, was
    inflammatory — the implication was that the Taliban was intent
    on an Islamic emirate spanning the Muslim world. Not that they
    just “WANTED” it, but they were hell bent on getting it.
    I’m going to have to pause to laugh and take a puff off the
    hookah I share with Bin Laden’s corpse.
    But let’s say other readers of the article weren’t as clued in as
    the august readers of TWN. Let’s say they didn’t have the time or
    the intellect to see the nuances of Rhode’s article; what would
    come across to them is that OMG — THE TALIBAN WANTS TO
    RUN THE WORLD. WE’RE GOING TO BE WEARING BURKAS WITH
    CALLS TO PRAYER IN CLEVELAND AND DES MOINES!
    I can think of a few better ways to keep scaring Americans into
    supporting greater troop strength in Afghanistan. Well, actually
    I can’t. FEAR.
    Colin Powell, maybe in an attempt to redeem himself, for Mai
    Lai, for Iraq Parts I and II, actually talked about the Terrorism
    Industrial Complex in a Vanity Fair interview. Glad this is now
    getting some play:
    Powell warned of ‘terror-industrial complex’ in 2007
    interviewhttp://tinyurl.com/yf7xe6d
    H/T rawstory.com via antiwar.com

    Reply

  16. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “btw, Dan, mind if I ask you the question I have been repeatedly asking to no avail: If Operation Cast Lead was an illegitimate response to thousands of missiles and rockets being fired from Gaza into Israel…..blablablah…”
    Here we see the lying hasbarist wacko ignoring the FACT that it was Israel that broke the cease fire on Nov. 4th of ’08.
    In Nadine’s sick perverse little Hitler-like world of racist bigotry, it is only Israeli’s that have the right to “defend themselves”. The Palestinian’s have no such right, and if they retaliate against the war crimes and brutal oppression at the hands of the Israelis, then they are simply “terrorists”.

    Reply

  17. Dan Kervick says:

    OA, Rhode doesn’t say that he thinks the Taliban *can* create an Islamic emirate spanning the Muslim world. He only says that is what they want.
    However, the account contains this interesting bit:
    “Despite the danger, Tahir fought like a lion. He harangued our kidnappers for hours at a time and used the threat of vengeance from his powerful Afghan tribe to keep the Taliban from harming us.”
    So the colossal global ambitions of Taliban warriors don’t seem to match the humbling reality that the threat of retaliation from a single Afghan tribe was enough of a deterrent to protect the lives of the reporters.
    There are people everywhere who want to rule the world. But I hope our national security leaders are focusing more on actual capabilities than bold talk and ambitions.

    Reply

  18. Dan Kervick says:

    Nadine, the Goldstone report didn’t hold that the entirety of Operation Cast Lead was illegal, or lacking in a justifiable military objective. What it claimed was that the operation included a number of violations of international humanitarian law, including several failures to take reasonable precautions to distinguish civilian from military objects, and at least 10 incidents of direct attacks against Palestinian civilians in which there was no justifiable military objective at all.

    Reply

  19. Outraged American says:

    The kidnapped NYT reporter is a fool 1) to think that Bin Laden
    is still alive 2)to think that the Taliban could “create a
    fundamentalist Islamic emirate with Al Qaeda that spanned the
    Muslim world.”
    Sure, that’s gonna happen — tribesmen with Kalashnikovs are
    going to take on Iran, which according to UsRael is the biggest,
    baddest, meanest baddy in the whole Bad World. I’m changing
    that to “Mad World.”
    Both the NYT reporter and his Taliban captors appear to have
    been a leeetle..um…DOPED and dopey. Why have I never tried
    opium? Maybe I will since it’s so cheap now. Score one for the
    USA!
    So this “reporter” doesn’t leave the phone number of his Taliban
    “host” with the NYT bureau chief in case something goes wrong?
    When I go backpacking in “the wilds” of Arizona I leave all my
    info with the ranger.
    Of course, we do have armed Mexicans in our national parks and
    weed growers, so I guess I kind of have the same problems as a
    WHITE AMERICAN GOING INTO DEEPEST AFGHANISTAN TO SEE A
    TALIBAN CHIEF.
    Not too bright, this lad. But then neither is the New York Times.
    Here’s another quote — this NYT reporter has serious problems
    with critical thinking:
    “I knew that what we called the Taliban was really a loose
    alliance of local commanders who often operated independently
    of one another.”
    So on page one of the article this guy suggests that the Taliban
    could create ” a fundamentalist Islamic emirate with Al Qaeda
    that spanned the Muslim world” — which I would assume would
    include Indonesia given the Taliban’s modern and well-equipped
    navy — yet on page four, he admits that the Taliban is a “loose
    alliance of local commanders who often operated independently
    of one another.”
    I can’t wait for the next installment of this novel.
    This is the same article that Nadine posted about, except we
    elitists on macs have to use tinyurl to post URLs:
    http://tinyurl.com/ygzlsy3

    Reply

  20. nadine says:

    Interesting NYT article by David Rohde on his seven month captivity with the Taliban. It took captivity for him to realize that the Taliban actually believe all that stuff they keep saying about an Islamic emirate:
    “Over those months, I came to a simple realization. After seven years of reporting in the region, I did not fully understand how extreme many of the Taliban had become. Before the kidnapping, I viewed the organization as a form of “Al Qaeda lite,” a religiously motivated movement primarily focused on controlling Afghanistan.
    Living side by side with the Haqqanis’ followers, I learned that the goal of the hard-line Taliban was far more ambitious. Contact with foreign militants in the tribal areas appeared to have deeply affected many young Taliban fighters. They wanted to create a fundamentalist Islamic emirate with Al Qaeda that spanned the Muslim world. ”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/18/world/asia/18hostage.html?pagewanted=1
    And the Taliban didn’t just “become” extreme. The Taliban were already extreme in 1998 when they took Mazar e Sharif and slaughtered 5000 Hazaras. They believe the crazy stuff they say, and God help us, all our sophisticated reporters won’t believe what is in front of their eyes until they have been held prisoner for months by these fanatics. Only then can they bring themselves to believe that what you see is what you get.

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  21. nadine says:

    btw, Dan, mind if I ask you the question I have been repeatedly asking to no avail: If Operation Cast Lead was an illegitimate response to thousands of missiles and rockets being fired from Gaza into Israel, what was the legitimate response?

    Reply

  22. nadine says:

    Dan, I don’t know what country you’re talking about, but this does not resemble the America or American Jews I know — and that includes my Democratic relatives. They are not going to suddenly start believing that Israel has a moral duty to let Hamas shell and suicide-bomb Israeli civilians unopposed no matter how much psycho-babble you throw up about “denial, self-subterfuge, mythology and rationalization”. I predict that as the Hopium fumes of last year wear off, they will slowly realize to their distress that they have helped elect President Jimmy Carter II. Except even more so! and with less experience!
    Next year’s mid-term elections will tell the tale.

    Reply

  23. ... says:

    thanks dan… we can see this unfolding here in the comment section of twn.. why it was just today that wigwag was disengaging from an important part of the jewish culture that is expanding in israel – the ultra orthodox part -Haredi … what next wigwag??? if we find out nadine is ultra orthodox, then what??

    Reply

  24. Outraged American says:

    Nazi Germany vs. Israel today. MUST SEE VIDEO. No comparisons
    between the Nazis & Zionists???
    LAUGHING OUT LOUD, instead of crying on my tax returns and
    over the friends who have gone to war over and over in Iraq for
    Israel.
    And all the dead, and the dead yet to come when Israel
    bamboozles a gentle, or rather, gentile,, US populace into
    attacking our UBER ENEMY on the other side of the world, Iran.
    REALLY MUST SEE VIDEO.
    The ZioNazis have learned domination and humiliation well, as
    well as how to effectively exterminate a troublesome population.
    http://tinyurl.com/yg7u9g9

    Reply

  25. Outraged American says:

    Nazi Germany vs. Israel today. MUST SEE VIDEO. No comparisons
    between the Nazis & Zionists???
    LAUGHING OUT LOUD, instead of crying on my tax returns and
    over the friends who have gone to war over and over in Iraq for
    Israel.
    And all the dead, and the dead yet to come when Israel
    bamboozles a gentle, or rather, gentile,, US populace into
    attacking our UBER ENEMY on the other side of the world, Iran.
    REALLY MUST SEE VIDEO.
    The ZioNazis have learned domination and humiliation well, as
    well as how to effectively exterminate a troublesome population.
    http://tinyurl.com/yg7u9g9

    Reply

  26. Dan Kervick says:

    “I keep waiting for Dan to comment.”
    I have been a bit busy this week. But anyway, things seem to be evolving so rapidly that I am having trouble formulating a coherent position.
    I am taken aback by the rapid growth of extremist rhetoric emanating from Israel and its most devoted US supporters. The sense of paranoia, encirclement, xenophobia and sheer hatred is as palpable and frightening now among Israelis as it is on the American far right. Dark impulses and threats of horrifying scenarios that used to be hidden out of view, and only whispered about, are now laid right out on the table.
    I suspect this is going to cause rising tensions among American Jews. More will begin to regard Israel as a fanatical outpost and perversion of Jewish culture, in the way mainline Christians have regarded whacked-out cultists like the Branch Davidians. The psychic tension between the simultaneous defense of two distinct moral-political spheres – an internal Jewish Israel sphere where ethnic solidarity and purity, and the ancient might-makes-right norms of violent conquest, strength, dehumanization and domination hold sway; and an external liberal sphere appraised under moral standards of universal rights and justice – is growing too strong, and it is decreasingly possible for them to coexist harmoniously in a single mind.
    These tensions have always been there in the American Jewish relationship with Israel. But their coexistence required layers of denial, self-subterfuge, mythology and rationalization. But with the aggressive urge to purify, cleanse, expel and dominate becoming both more obvious and more brazenly acknowledged each day by Israelis, and with mainstream Israeli culture seemingly embracing the ideas that have usually been seen as to the right even of the Likud, I think more and more American Jews are going to find themselves having to make a choice.
    Some will embrace the ultra-nationalist, fascist alternative as a universal principle. But many will probably begin to embrace a definition of Jewishness and healthy Jewish culture that excludes the extreme Israeli manifestation as an acceptable form. Others might be driven to detach their personal sense of identity from Jewish identity altogether.

    Reply

  27. WigWag says:

    See Cynthia McKinney. A large % of funding for her opponent both times came from out-of-staters with …ummm…Jewish sounding last names. (Outraged American)
    Yes, I think you might be right. I contributed to McKinney’s opponent and my last name is Jewish sounding (kind of; it’s also German sounding).
    I was delighted when McKinney lost; in fact, I raised a glass to her defeat.
    Are you suggesting that there was something illegal or inappropriate about my makng a political contribution to a candidate who was trying to defeat someone I opposed?
    If my memory serves, the first candidate I supported because of his opponent’s position on Israel was Paul Simon of Illinois. He was running against Charles Percy. Fortunately we got rid of him too.
    How exactly do you think its supposed to work; candidates who agree with OA’s position are allowed to raise money and those who disagree with OA aren’t?

    Reply

  28. PissedOffAmerican says:

    After Geneva vote, Obama policies blasted in Jordan – Feature
    Amman – US President Barack Obama, at pains to improve his country’s worsening image in the Arab and Islamic worlds, received a major setback at the Geneva-based Human Rights Council when the US opposed Judge Richard Goldstone’s report about war crimes committed in the Gaza Strip, two prominent Jordanian politicians said Saturday. The politicians also rebuked European countries for failing to support the report, saying their credibility as independent peace brokers and advocates of human right in the world would be substantially undermined.
    “Obama’s moves to improve the US image has hit a major snag at Geneva. He has now proved that his policies are nothing more than an extension of those of George W Bush,” Mahmoud Mhaidat, Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee at Jordan’s lower house of parliament told the German press agency dpa.
    “Obama, who is trying to slaughter people in the region with a smooth hand, is now restoring the role as leader of the world’s most oppressive and criminal nation,” he said.
    His comments came after the United States opposed the Goldstone report, saying it could jeopardise current efforts aimed at resuming the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
    Continues…….
    http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/290600,after-geneva-vote-obama-policies-blasted-in-jordan–feature.html
    Well, one cannot get away with simply mouthing platitudes and empty rhetoric indefinitely. Sooner or later, insincere rhetoric is always discredited by actual action. It seems the global community is awakening to the real Obama. How soon before the American masses catch up?

    Reply

  29. Kathleen Grasso Anderse says:

    Nadine…ask NutandYahoo when the next election in Gaza will be…some time after the food and medicine run out, no doubt.
    Meanwhile, back at the MSM studio, Rachel is covering that giant flying jiffy-popper and KO is giving TMI new depth of meaning when he goes on and on about his Dad…we’re sorry for his illness and suffering, but it was a bit much, given everything else going on in the world.
    bart…chage of ve ue works for me…no fuss, no muss… no mas

    Reply

  30. DonS says:

    John it’s not just the certifiable loonies, of course, whose imagination runs wild. It’s even those in the supposed establishment who are scared stiff, or maybe just out to make a name and a buck;. On the New Hour last night, this Bruce Reidel fellow, who “chaired an Afghanistan policy review for the Obama administration” opined that as long as Al Qaeda has a safe haven in Af/Pak border region this poses and “existential threat” to the United States.
    So if Obama is getting bombarded with fear by the military types on one side, and bombarded with fear by “experts” from the civilian side, what’s left? I’m sorry, throwing around terms like “existential threat” (and we all know the sordid history of that term), just wants to make me throw something at the TV. It didn’t look like Margaret Werner was all that impressed either.
    Of course Obama’s got his own damn big foot in his mouth about the “war of necessity” that makes it pretty hard to walk back. Too bad it costs human lives to maintain this level of face saving charade.

    Reply

  31. JohnH says:

    Nadine’s extravagant imagination at work again: “abandoning New York so Al Qaeda can have it?” Now, Nadine, how exactly are a few hundred Al Qaeda terrorists residing in Afghanistan going to take New York? And, if they did, how would they ever manage the city? New York is almost impossible to manage, even by people who speak English!
    As for combating terrorism, have you ever considered addressing the reasons people become terrorists? Mostly it has to do with local grievances, having nothing to do with grandiose international schemes. DOD, IDF, arms merchants, and the foreign policy mob like to sensationalize the rare international scheme to help justify their own bloated budgets.

    Reply

  32. nadine says:

    Bart, while you’re at it, why don’t you abandon New York so Al Qaeda can have it?
    Since that is your only answer to terrorism against civilians. After all, you think Al Qaeda has good reasons too, right?

    Reply

  33. Outraged American says:

    Hallelujah! Wig is admitting is it’s Jewish $ bribing and
    threatening US politicians to support Israel, except for the true
    believers in Congress and there are many. The Christian Zionists
    provide the votes.
    Wig says, “The United States supports Israel so vigorously
    because tens of millions of Americans both Jewish and Christian
    support Israel with enthusiasm. These citizens vote; they
    contribute to political campaigns and they petition their
    representatives. They also articulate a case for supporting Israel
    that officials in government find compelling.”
    Bribes coupled with threats are always compelling. See Cynthia
    McKinney. A large % of funding for her opponent both times
    came from out-of-staters with …ummm…Jewish sounding last
    names. We covered the story of the pacs arrayed against
    McKinney, but I can’t remember the details except that they
    were very pro-Israel.
    Wig also says, “By far the largest group of Americans (hundreds
    of millions) is the group that couldn’t care less about Israelis or
    Palestinians. If they think about the conflict at all it’s with the
    unfortunate assumption that Palestinians are Arabs, Arabs are
    Muslims and Muslims fly jetliners into skyscrapers.”
    Well, beyond the question of WHO BENEFITED from Muslims
    flying jet liners into skyscrapers ( I think we need to ask that
    question of all the dead Muslim Iraqis, Afghans, Pakistanis,
    Lebanese, Syrians and Palestinians, even though it’s clear that
    Sept. 11 made them nice and comfortable in their shrouds)
    there is proof that, especially since the 1970s, Arabs have
    mysteriously become The Villain in a lot of movies. Especially
    big, action -type movies that unemployed, pimply, teenage
    youth in one-horse-town, Amur-a-ca i.e., cannon fodder, are
    more likely to see than say “Marly and Me”
    I’ve posted this before and I’ll post it again: watch the
    documentary “REEL BAD ARABS” — it exposes the truth about
    Hollywood and how it has shaped our perceptions about Arabs
    for decades.
    Watch REEL BAD ARABS online:
    http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/reel-bad-arabs/

    Reply

  34. JohnH says:

    “Tayyip Erdogan, challenge the Israeli lies.” Now we understand why Wigwag posts disparaging comments every time Ben Katcher writes about Turkey.

    Reply

  35. PissedOffAmerican says:

    http://uruknet.com/index.php?p=m58992&hd=&size=1&l=e
    Treatment is sought in U.S. for 3-year-old victim of white phosphorus attack in Gaza
    Philip Weiss
    October 16, 2009
    The Goldstone report is not an abstraction for me. My delegation was in Gaza at the same time as Judge Richard Goldstone was last June. We saw things that he also saw. I used the word “persecution” at the time; so has he now. One day human-rights-worker Fares Akram brought my group to a house in Beit Lahiya in the north of Gaza. He wanted to show us the hole in the roof made by a white phosphorus shell. It was smaller than a manhole, and throughout the apartment building the walls were still blackened and the studs charred.
    The matriarch in that house was Sabah Abu Halima, 45. Today she is a psychological wreck. In the few instants in which the long tentacles of white phosphorus were trapped in her house, she lost her husband, three sons, and her only daughter. Relief workers from the Palestinian Children’s Relief Fund say that Sabah is plagued by “nightmares and deep feelings of sadness.”
    Sabah also lost a daughter-in-law. The woman, whose name I don’t know, died in Egypt, being treated for her burns after the war. When this woman whose name I don’t know died, her badly-burned daughter was alongside her: 3-year-old Farah Abu Halima. The Egyptian hospital sent the girl back to Gaza before long, not fully treated. Her picture is below. An uncle is holding her. Farah is also psychologically damaged. She can’t remove her fingers from her mouth when people come to visit, and she clings to her uncle.
    Our group saw Farah clinging to her uncle in the charred house, and we saw the horrible spectacle that her uncle is about to present in the image above. He takes off her pants– or lifted her dress, when we were there– to show the third-degree burns on Farah’s legs. Her face is also burned, under her chin, and her hand too. You can see the burns on her abdomen.
    “I felt so many conflicting things,” our delegation’s leader, Felice Gelman, later told me. “The idea that a little child like that had been in constant pain for months– that was unimaginable to me…. And I know what happens to people with untreated burns. The older she grows, the more deformed she will become. And the idea that the only way that anyone could do anything for her was to display her. It was horrible.”
    continues…..

    Reply

  36. PissedOffAmerican says:

    http://www.redress.cc/palestine/gatzmon20091018
    Israel can fool Western leaders but it can no longer fool the people
    By Gilad Atzmon
    18 October 2009
    Gilad Atzmon argues that the success of Israeli leaders in hoodwinking Western politicians and historians is slowly beginning to unravel as ordinary people wake up to their deception, spin and lies.
    “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.” (Abraham Lincoln, 1809-65)
    Less than a week after Ankara cancelled an air exercise with Israel, Turkey’s state-sponsored channel TRT1 broadcast “Ayrilik” (“Farewell”), a new prime-time TV show that depicts the true image of Israel’s genocidal military operation in Gaza last January.
    The Israelis are not happy. “Broadcasting this series is a serious case of state-sponsored incitement,” Israel’s foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, said on 15 October. “Such a series, which doesn’t even have a weak connection to reality presents the IDF’s [Israel Defence Forces] soldiers as murderers of innocent children,” he added.
    I wonder whether one should remind the hardliner Lieberman, who happens to be an enthusiastic ethnic cleanser and a proud Judaeo supremacist racist, that the reality on the ground last January was sufficiently “connected” to warrant a inquiry into war crimes and crimes against humanity. Israel’s genocidal war against the people of Gaza left over 1400 Palestinians dead. It also left thousands more injured, most of them children, women and elderly people. However, for once Lieberman happens to read the map. The Turkish TV show indeed depicts the IDF’s soldiers as murderers of children, women and the elderly for this is what Israeli soldiers are and this is exactly what Israel stands for politically, symbolically, ideologically and practically.
    Turkish TV series “Ayrilik” (“Farewell”) depicts the true image of Israel’s genocidal military operation in Gaza
    Although Lieberman is trying to appease his Israeli constituency and may even succeed in doing so, his attempt to put pressure on Turkish TV and the Turkish government is unlikely to work. By now we all know that Israel is all about the establishment of a “Jew-only state” in a stolen land called Palestine.
    As it happens, we tend to spend a lot of time writing about and analysing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But the facts on the ground are actually very simple. Zionism is an ideology that inspired the plunder of Palestine. Israel has put the robbery of Palestine and the Palestinians into practice. We are talking here about a national revival project that is taking place at the expense of another people. It is a murderous project inherently inspired by the Bible and an unethical plundering project of “home coming”. It is a lethal combination of some deadly interpretations of the Old Testament together with a non-ethical present. The only question to be asked is how they have got away with it? How do they continue to get away with plunder, murder, spreading white phosphorus and piling up nuclear weapons?
    Spin, deception and lies are the answer
    A few weeks ago, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu stood in front of the UN waving the Wannsee Conference Protocol, suggesting that he was holding the “proof of the Nazi extermination of European Jewry”. With typical histrionics, he pleaded for the nations empathy. “Is this a lie?” he cried out. Embarrassingly, although the document he presented to the assembly was genuine, he was actually spinning the usual Zionist lines. The Wannsee Protocol refers in a rather general manner to the deportation to the east of the entire Jewish population of Germany and German-occupied territories. Although the document refers to the “Final solution”, the very “solution” it prescribed is rather different from the common interpretation offered by the Zionist Shoa narrative. The Wannsee Protocol refers basically to a sinister plan to exhaust the deported Jews by getting them to work in hard labour camps.
    As much as the Wannsee document is devastating, its relevance to the history of the Holocaust is rather limited, for the “Wannsee plan” has never materialized into an actual operational programme. It has actually nothing to do with the historicity of Jewish extermination known as the Shoa. It doesn’t set any plan for death camps or gas chambers whatsoever. As a legal document, it proves nothing but general Nazi inclinations. As a historical document, it by no means “proves” the Shoa and the extermination of the Jews; it just affirms that the Nazi regime was committed to the idea of Judenreine (free of Jews). However, this fact is well established and widely accepted even by most if not all Holocaust revisionists. As much as Netanyahu insisted on boosting the Holocaust with fresh credibility, he ended up waving a relatively insignificant piece of paper in front of the nations. Needless to say, he got away with it.
    However, far more crucial is the fact that the Wannsee Protocol outlines a programme that is not that different from Lieberman’s deadly plan for the Palestinians. In reality, it is the Jewish state that murders Palestinians en masse and starves those who survive. Moreover, it is very interesting also to elaborate on the following questions: how is it that the leader of the Jewish state stood in front of the world’s nation and spun his lines in broad daylight in the name of Israel and in the name of the Jewish people? What can we learn from the fact that an Israeli leader tried to fool the entire UN General Assembly? How is it that as Israeli prime minister managed to divert attention so easily from his own crimes against humanity that are taking place in the present with a relatively insignificant historical document? In short, how does he get away with it?
    The answer may be pretty trivial. As with the case of the Mossad motto, they make their wars by deception. The entire Jewish revival project is grounded on sets of lies. The entire tale of Jewish “home coming” is nothing less than a collective crime committed in broad daylight and based on false arguments and lies. Initially, Zionists were deceiving their fellow Jews but as time passed by they have been extending their tactics. For more than a while they have been spinning lies to us all. The Israelis and Zionists are born into a lie, they live their life through a lie, they tend to believe that they can get away with lies and deception, and the sad truth must be said: as far as world leaders are concerned, they actually do get away with it. As we know, not a single world leader challenged Netanyahu’s spin at the UN. More disturbing is the fact that not a single historian or intellectual tried to point out to the Israeli prime minister that, more than anything else, the Wannsee Protocol actually describes his own policies at home.
    Very few world leaders have the guts to oppose the Zionist spin operation. Recently, we have witnessed the courageous Iranian president, Mahmud Ahmadinejad, Venezuela’s leader, Hugo Chavez, and the Turkish prime minister, Tayyip Erdogan, challenge the Israeli lies. This is not a lot, considering the colossal atrocities committed by the Jewish state. However, it is better than nothing.
    The good news is that humanism and humanity are not exactly in the possession of politicians or so-called “world leaders”. It is actually our property, the property of members of the human race, the people out there who are witnessing the emerging evil. True humanity and humanism are delivered by kindness and an aspiration for ethics and truthfulness. In most cases it is actually artists and ordinary people who transform humanism into a vivid message. Our elected interventionists insist on dragging us all into more and more Zionist wars in the name of the Holocaust, democracy and liberation.
    Tragically, our Western leaders are still silenced or at least “captivated” by Zionist lies. But this shouldn’t be a major concern anymore. The betrayal of Western ideologies (left, right and centre), politicians and institutions are an established fact. Succumbing to Zionist lies is apparently just one symptom among many. Not only will truth win, it is actually winning already. The identification of the Zionist spin is becoming common knowledge. As the foggy cloud of the Zionist brutality expands, we all develop a growing yearning for some beams of truth and grace. We are beginning to grasp that they make their wars by through deception. They may win a few more pyrrhic battles but they are losing the war.

    Reply

  37. Bart says:

    The “change of venue” I suggested involves the unhappy location of Israel itself.

    Reply

  38. nadine says:

    JohnH, you seem to have missed the size of the Palesitnian diaspora, or the number of Palestinians (especially the abused Christians) who have left since it became clear that Arafat preferred war to peace.

    Reply

  39. JohnH says:

    Wigwag keeps saying that Palestinian aspirations keep slipping away. What’s amazing is that Palestinian fortunes keep diminished, but Palestinian aspirations remain intact. Against all odds–dispossession, humiliation and cold blooded killings–they continue to live in the Occupied Territories. Their resiliency is truly amazing. Meanwhile more and more educated Israelis are leaving to work in California and elsewhere. You have to wonder: whose aspirations are really slipping away?

    Reply

  40. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “That would interfere with your hatred of the Jews”
    You can take your charges of anti-semitism and shove ’em.
    You don’t like anti-semitism? Than you ought to put a cork in it, because you are nurturing it, world wide. And so are the leaders of Israel with their murderous, inhumane, and racist policies.
    Listen, you ignorant bigot, the “anti-semitism” schtick doesn’t cut it anymore. People like yourself have robbed the term of all meaning by using it to counter any and all criticism of Israel. You’re cutting your own throat, you damned fool.
    Any person concerned for Israel, or for Jews, would be well advised to tell you to just shut the fuck up.

    Reply

  41. nadine says:

    It takes a worse ghoul to aid and abet human misery in the service of hatred, POS. If you really gave a shit about Palestinian misery you would hate Hamas and support Arab liberals who want reform. But no. That would interfere with your hatred of the Jews.

    Reply

  42. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Keep telling yourself that POA, as Palestinian aspirations keep slip sliding away”
    Pretty friggin’ proud of Israel’s monstrous treatment of the Palestinians, arencha?
    You’re a despicable ghoul, WigWag. It takes a real sicko to gloat over human misery.

    Reply

  43. Kathleen says:

    And Rachel Maddow, Keith Olbermann, Chris matthews, Ed, Diane Rehm show did not touch the Goldstone report. Not a whisper
    and many noticed
    What was life like before the Internet. B.I.

    Reply

  44. WigWag says:

    Keep telling yourself that POA, as Palestinian aspirations keep slip sliding away.
    Do you really think Palestinian aspirations are going to be advanced by the internet and the global media? Come on, you’re smarter than that.
    Do you really think that there is any legitimate chance that the United States will reduce its support of Israel any time soon?
    Even in the extraordinarily unlikely event that it did, how exactly would this help the Palestinians?
    Israel is certainly not the most powerful nation in the world; which nation or combination of nations more powerful than Israel is going to force Israel to do anything it doesn’t want to do?
    You’re grasping at straws, POA.

    Reply

  45. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Anyone see Maddow or Olberman mention the UNHRC and the Goldstone report tonight? Thats not news?

    Reply

  46. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “The United States supports Israel so vigorously because tens of millions of Americans both Jewish and Christian support Israel with enthusiasm”
    Because they have had decades of being lied to by our government, and the media.
    The internet, and access to global media is changing that, quickly.
    More and more people recognize horseshit such as your’s and Nadine’s for the dishonest slop you both know you’re peddling.
    Just tell Israel to keep doing what it is doing, and in a few years there won’t be an Israel any longer, because the actions of the Israeli government are self destructive.
    The challenge for you and the bigot Nadine is going to be to formulate believable lies that belie the facts contained in the Goldstone Report. Its obvious Nadine isn’t up to the task, and I strongly doubt you are either. But hey, you can always fall back on penis size as your key point of debate. Or what a bigot I am because I don’t support illegal immigration. That’ll teach me, by golly, for daring to criticize Israel.

    Reply

  47. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “There are many reasons that supporting Israel is in America’s interest (Nadine has articulated them quite nicely)………”
    Nadine is a lying bigot.
    It really doesn’t boost your credibility to constantly compliment her racist and disingenuous spew, WigWag. Doesn’t say much for your character, either.

    Reply

  48. nadine says:

    Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic:
    The U.N. Human Rights Council, which includes such countries as Saudi Arabia, Cuba and Nigeria, has endorsed the Goldstone report, which argues that Israel committed war crimes in Gaza. This is a disaster not just for Israel, but for the West. Here’s a story that indirectly explains why.
    Nine years ago, I was in Cairo for an emergency meeting of the Arab League, which had gathered to discuss the outbreak of the second Palestinian intifada. Most everyone at the meeting was supportive of the Palestinian right, such as it is, to use suicide bombers to kill Israeli civilians. Even Amr Moussa, who was soon to become the secretary-general of the League, argued to me that suicide bombing represented a legitimate attempt at self-defense. When I saw Moussa in Cairo, I argued with him about this support. It seemed to me that Arab leaders would one day reap the whirlwind for their endorsement of this gruesome terror tactic, and I told him so. But he argued back, saying that the tragic and unique reality of Palestine — the special “desperation” of the Palestinians — meant that the tactic of sucide bombing would never spread beyond the borders of this one conflict.. He was wrong, of course, and many more Muslims have since died in attacks committed by suicide bombers than have Jews or Christians.
    Tactics deployed to hurt Israel inevitably cause collateral damage. It’s a good thing that the United States, and a handful of European countries, have opposed the referral of Israel to a war crimes tribunal, but they aren’t doing enough (and, of course, France and Great Britain absented themselves from the vote). They would do more, I think, if they understood that Israel represented a kind of test run for a uniquely nefarious idea. Israel may find itself in the docket soon, but the U.S., and Britain, and other Western democracies that are battling Islamist terror, may soon find themselves in similiar straits. Who could seriously argue that what happened in Gaza was unique? Talibs hide behind civilians in Afghanistan, and often those civilians get killed. It’s only a matter of time before David Petraeus, or Bob Gates, find themselves under attack from the same forces that want to punish Israel for trying to defend itself from a state-sponsored terror group seeking its elimination.
    http://jeffreygoldberg.theatlantic.com/archives/2009/10/the_un_human_rights_council.php

    Reply

  49. WigWag says:

    “Can someone explain to my why it is in America’s interest to support Israel?” (MNPundit)
    There are many reasons that supporting Israel is in America’s interest (Nadine has articulated them quite nicely) but there are also reasons why supporting Israel contravenes American interests.
    The question asked by MNPundit is asked all the time, but fundamentally it is a dimwitted question. The reality is that “interests” have little to do with it one way or the other.
    The United States supports Israel so vigorously because tens of millions of Americans both Jewish and Christian support Israel with enthusiasm. These citizens vote; they contribute to political campaigns and they petition their representatives. They also articulate a case for supporting Israel that officials in government find compelling.
    While tens of millions of Americans support Israel, perhaps tens of thousands (at most) support the Palestinians. The number of Americans focused on Palestinian aspirations is extremely low and those that do focus on it provide very few votes; very few political contributions and they are poorly organized. In addition, rather than making a compelling case, partisans of the Palestinians frequently sound hysterical, shrill and outside of the mainstream. A quick perusal of the comment section at the Washington Note proves the point.
    By far the largest group of Americans (hundreds of millions) is the group that couldn’t care less about Israelis or Palestinians. If they think about the conflict at all it’s with the unfortunate assumption that Palestinians are Arabs, Arabs are Muslims and Muslims fly jetliners into skyscrapers. Of course this group isn’t motivated to vote based on the Middle East conflict; they don’t contribute to candidates because of the candidate’s position on the conflict and they certainly don’t write or call their representatives to express their personal views on the conflict.
    The chance that any of this will change in the foreseeable future is virtually nonexistent.
    As a result, the likelihood that the United States will be changing its position on the conflict is extraordinarily low.
    In light of this, obsessing about whether supporting Israel is in America’s interest is actually a rather pathetic endeavor.

    Reply

  50. nadine says:

    Nasser, so let me get this straight: in 1765, when the political rift between Great Britain and her North American colonies began, the trouble was all caused by “occupation”? How did the British “occupy” their own colonies? People on both sides of the Atlantic called themselves Englishmen!
    The rift began when the American colonists could not get their grievances redressed in Parliament.
    In short “occupation” has nothing whatsoever to do with the case. But you have unwittingly provided a nice example of the Palestinian effort to shove every single round peg in the world through the square hole of “occupation” and “colonialism” (wait — shouldn’t this make you hate the Americans, who were the colonists?) no matter how severely you have to falsify history to do so.
    Check out the Declaration of Independence. All its complaints are political and legal. You’d think that if the American colonists had lots of British “brutality” to complain of, Thomas Jefferson might have mentioned it there. There was very little “brutality” and no “occupation” before the Revolutionary War started. War mean fighting, and fighting means killing.

    Reply

  51. nadine says:

    MNPundit, I’ll give you the straight realpolitik answer: because Israel has the strongest regional army and has been seen to be America’s ally at least since 1967. Dumping Israel now would be an enormous admission of weakness, which would only embolden the enemies of the United States. The US would loose the forward base that Israel provides, the advanced technology and intelligence it shares with the US (when it comes to the Mideast, more technology is transferred from Israel than to Israel) and gain nothing whatsoever from the Arabs. They might say nice things but they know there is no sense in making alliance with a weak ally.

    Reply

  52. JohnH says:

    I really don’t see why Israel would escalate a TV show into a diplomatic confrontation. I mean, can’t people just watch Al-Jazeera and other channels and see what’s happening on the ground? Arab movies also have lots of live footage of Israeli air attacks, blowing up apartment buildings, etc. So what’s so special about a Turkish TV show?
    Israel appears to be getting extraordinarily touchy about depictions of their behavior, not that that would cause them to change it or anything.

    Reply

  53. nadine says:

    Saying “fuck tha police” may be an expression, but making fake documentaries showing made-up instances of police brutality is a libel. It doesn’t matter if it’s against one cop or the whole force or police everywhere. The lie remains a lie.
    “Fake but accurate” should not be the standard for evidence, though it seems to be yours. If the brutality is real, then get some real evidence.
    The whole left seems to be moving toward the idea that conservatives are so awful you don’t have to find any real evidence against them, because everybody knows how bad they are.
    Like those fake quotes about slavery and Martin Luther King that CNN tried to pin on Rush Limbaugh yesterday. If he’s really a racist why did they need to make shit up? Why couldn’t they find some real clips to play? He’s been on the air 15 hours a week for the last 20 years, surely they could have found some real evidence of racism — if there was any.

    Reply

  54. MNPundit says:

    Can someone explain to my why it is in America’s interested to support Isreal?
    They have no oil and proposed energy conduits run around them. Our mindless support of them leads to much more animosity in the parts of the Middle East that ARE useful to us and depresses out standing in the world. What makes it more puzzling is our utter lack of influence on them. Witness what the feeling was, Israel won against the US and Fatah. How much value is there in restraining a nuclear armed state when we can’t actually restrain it?

    Reply

  55. questions says:

    Directed at an individual vs. directed at an institution. Directed at expressing a sensibility vs. directed at allowing the powerful to dominate the narrative.
    I think the Israeli army can take it if some tv show shows something fairly awful, even if untrue. And to be honest, I’ve read enough true things about the Israeli military that I’m not gonna say definitively that it’s false.
    US police are BRUTAL to many people. If a rap band wants to rap “Fuck tha police” even if it’s not referring to an actual event, it should be ok because it’s referring to a general cultural truth in the US. Police are brutal. There is racial profiling. DWB is a “crime”. We’re a screwy nation with screwy race problems. If someone from the not powerful end of the issue raps “fuck tha police” that should be fine.
    If a Turkish tv show says “Israeli soldiers are fucking brutal” that should be fine too. Because it’s true often enough. US soldiers can be pretty fucking brutal too. Expression is permissible. Expression is good. Political expression is the lifeblood of a nation.
    The blood libel is bad. But expression is good. The US has some issues with setting the boundaries between speech and action, for sure. But it’s better to talk about these boundaries than to start a diplomatic incident over a tv show. The boundaries — that’s an appropriate thing to talk about. The tv show — leave it alone.

    Reply

  56. Neo Controll says:

    give it a rest
    — nchq

    Reply

  57. nadine says:

    It is not a truth that Israeli soldiers grabbed little kids, pushed them against a wall, and shot them point blank. It is a lie. That lie was what Turkish TV showed.
    If I make a youtube that supposedly shows someone having sex with a little kid and I say it’s you, does that make it a “cultural truth”? By your own logic it’s fine because it’s my “cultural truth.” After all, don’t all lefties believe ‘if it feels good do it’? so there ya go, fake but accurate. Besides, it would be “trivial” of you to object.
    Just applying your own logic back atcha.
    Jews know from thousands of years of history that the blood libel – the accusations that Jews kill little Christian or Muslim kids, usually for ritual reasons – is the harbinger of mass murder against the Jews. Such words beget actions.

    Reply

  58. questions says:

    JohnH,
    Note that US police departments FREAKED out some years ago about a song called “Fuck Tha Police” by, I think it is, NWA. Same thing. Of course the song was more descriptive of reality than it was prescriptive. It wasn’t going to cause much in the way of police-fucking, but it still freaked out police. This song, among others at the time, are the major cause of Tipper Gore’s PMRC and the music-labeling crap.
    Cultural depictions of negative TRUTHS will always freak out some percentage of the targets.
    Please don’t fall into the kind of Israeli exceptionalism that holds that Israel must behave differently from all other nations. Yes there’s bad behavior, stupidity, corruption, wickedness and so on. And no, the fact that WE DO IT TOO doesn’t really excuse anyone, but, holding a nation up to a standard that few others or no others have to meet is a little much.
    It’s not just a matter of saying, “Well, I condemn the US too, or the police who trashed the song….” It’s really more that just as the US had its whole history to work out “relations” with Native Americans (not very pretty), with African Americans (also not very pretty), with Mexicans (not done, and not very pretty)… so too does Israel need to work out its relations.
    It’s hard to sit back and watch. It may even be impossible to sit back and watch. It may be immoral to sit back and watch. But the fact is that the US had its time to figure out stuff, is still in the process of cultural shifting (look at the weird race stuff with Obama, look at the race gap in school test scores, look at the race gap in health care, longevity, diabetes, cancer survival, stress levels, dental care, nutrition….)
    It takes time for humans to figure shit out. And we’re not any closer to it than anyone else.
    If you do need to explode about stuff, don’t pick something as trivial as a tv show. We do it all the time in the US.
    And yes, Israel made it diplomatic/international instead of national/local. But it’s the same basic dynamic.

    Reply

  59. JohnH says:

    “Israel’s Foreign Ministry issued an official rebuke to Turkey’s acting ambassador over a Turkish television program about Palestine that Israeli officials felt depicts their country in an unfair and highly negative light. For example, the program shows an Israeli soldier who appears to murder a Palestinian boy.”
    Never mind whether or not there was some basis for the depiction. As in the case of the Goldstone Report, the truth is not supposed to matter when it comes to portraying Israeli behavior. Better to rebuke others than to clean up their own behavior.

    Reply

  60. nadine says:

    questions, you can believe anything about Hamas except that they actually believe in what they say they believe in. Hamas is keeping the kids of Gaza watching its own tv shows, where they teach them to hate and slaughter the Jews.
    Nassur is the host, wearing a bear costume:
    Nassur: “There won’t be any Jews or Zionists, if Allah wills. They’ll be erased.”
    Saraa: “Chased away.”
    Nassur: “And just like we will visit the Qaaba [in Mecca]… everyone will visit Jerusalem.”
    [Seven-year old Palestinian child on phone tells how his father, a member of the Hamas Al-Qassam Brigades, “died as a Shahid (Martyr).”]
    Nassur to child on phone: “What do you want to do to the Jews who shot your father?”
    Child on phone: “I want to kill them.”
    Saraa: “We don’t want to do anything to them, just expel them from our land.”
    Nassur: “We want to slaughter (Nidbah-hom) them, so they will be expelled from our land, right?”
    Saraa: “Yes. That’s right. We will expel them from our land using all means.”
    Nassur: “And if they don’t want [to go] peacefully, by words or talking, we’ll have to [do it] by slaughter.” (Shaht)
    video at link http://www.palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=1339

    Reply

  61. nadine says:

    Hey, why doesn’t Egypt open THEIR border with Gaza if they are sooo sorry for the Palestinians? Israel cannot blockade Gaza by itself, it doesn’t control the Egyptian border! So why aren’t you mad at Egypt?
    As always, you don’t care what the Egyptians do to the Palestinians. You just love to hate Israel. The Palestinians are just props – and you had better remember that … or Khalid or whatever your name is. You are just a prop!
    The Left has divorced itself from facts entirely, like the Stalinists of old. I can show you a dozen youtubes of Hamas officials boasting of using civilians as human shields, of declaring “we love death as you love life”. And you disbelieve that they actually use human shields. You must believe that the Palestinians are helpless because your racist ideology says they are oppressed brown people, and oppressed brown people can only react to their white oppressors. Oops, did I say “racist”? Well it is.

    Reply

  62. mike claussen says:

    I keep waiting for Dan to comment. Most of the rest is just wordy mud slinging. Come on Dan K, we’re waiting.

    Reply

  63. Kathleen Grasso Andersen says:

    GO GOLDSTONE! UN Human Rights Council in Geneva just voted to send The Goldstine Report to the UN Security Council…Yeah!!!I cannot tell you how MUUUUCCCCHHH I wish I was there to witness this historic moment..POA…you see, it can be done.. I am so damned jazzed…
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091016/ap_on_re_us/un_un_gaza_war_crimes
    Sonovagun, guys. Steve, I told you Goldstone/Geneva was the “scene” to make…
    POA…maybe someone with Hillary’s ear reads TWN, too. I’m betting yes on that one…Anne Wexler’s husband was Asst. Secreatry of State for Humanitaria Affairs, under Carter and really close to Bill and Hillary.

    Reply

  64. DonS says:

    Perhaps Bart is thinking along the line of tactical nukes? Oh well, for Israeli hawks, there’s always a next time. Seriously though, asking this faux reasonable question is like asking what’s a poor tiger to do when it’s being nagged by a flea?

    Reply

  65. ... says:

    bart, nice that you got the propaganda talking points in while trying to come across with an attempt at a neutral sounding question! that is a beautiful thing! i wonder if their is a reason the brutal tactics israel always takes, maintaining a prison camp called gaza, not to mention the confiscation of others land that might have something to do with your answer??? i commend you on not shooting the messenger goldstone in your post!!!

    Reply

  66. Bart says:

    “I would ask all you soi-disant liberal protectors of human rights just what course of self-defense would have been proper for Israel against the 1000s of missiles falling on its civilians, against an enemy that uses civilians as human shields? Answer me that.”
    Request a change of venue?

    Reply

  67. questions says:

    Zathras, once again, thanks for the institutional read.
    I think there are probably ever more “levels of analysis” that need to be run through on ME issues, including what we’d even get out of a(politically impossible) complete switch of loyalties to the anti-Israeli side. Would we get loyalty in return, or would we be linking ourselves yet again to some fairly retrograde governments whose interests would not actually be served with a strong link to the US? I guess you could ask if Hamas wants to be BFF with the US.
    As the Iran debate here has moved through what it means to support either the mullahs or the protesters, so the I/P debate should move through what it means to support I or P. There are humanitarian concerns, realist/alliance issues, resource issues….
    If the admin were to take on the I supporters, what would the admin get in return? Benefits generally have to overtake costs.
    So, politically, as Zathras points out, it’s not going to happen. Internationally, it might not make sense. Morally, there’s a case for more even handed treatment, but probably not for tossing Israel under the bus, as it were. That could actually have some serious moral implications.
    We’re once again left with soft, third way, institution-building Huffingtonesque school-admiration policies. A little backbone on the institution front might be nice.
    What if there were an international demand to allow Gazan children to go to summer camp in a nearby host country? A soft challenge to the blockade. Israel looks sick if it refuses. Kids and summer camp. Kids and vaccines. Kids and schools. Kids — and Hamas steps back from anything Nadine could fuss about. Hamas looks good. Kids get services. Israel looks bad if they refuse, good if they accept. There’s money in the world for this. The crayon thing went no where. McKinney has no staying power. Someone with staying power needs to do this kind of thing. And that someone has to be someone Hamas trusts.
    The real I/P solution has to be institution building, culture changing, prejudice overcoming. And it has to be aware of every level of game theoretic potential failure on the part of every player, individual and group and national. If the rational thing is to defect, and there’s no trust, defection will happen over and over and over again.
    The fact that defection is rational in non-trusting game situations is what’s really at the heart of the dilemma. It leads to successful fundraising, violations of cease-fires, crazed individual bulldozer drivers and suicide bombers and border guards. Every individual is in a situation in which defection is rational. Every nation is in a situation in which defection is rational. Every group, as well.
    Solving the dilemmas is multi-faceted, time consuming, institution building, slow and painful and full of failed attempts.
    Instead of screaming at Obama, figure out the steps needed to make cooperation rational at every step. Trust, not threats. Self-interest well-served through cooperation. Stability. Cultural change on all sides. These are what must happen.

    Reply

  68. ... says:

    Fivish quote “There are plenty of Jews who are self hating like Goldstone.” it’s either ‘someone is a self hating jew’ or, ‘someone is anti-semite’… this is the labeling when one doesn’t tow the party line of apartheid israel… too bad fivish, but reality is going to bite you folks in the ass sooner then later…

    Reply

  69. DonS says:

    Re Zxthras point about Obama’s making more promise and centralizing decision making in the WH, I saw a clip last night of the visit to New Orleans and heard him make another ‘promise’ about action. He did temper it — was he thinking to himself about all that is on the plate — by saying wait till the end of the first term. I had the sick feeling about overextension.
    There is little question that energy to deal with Is/Pal could eat up valuable attention. But since it is one of the foreign affairs centerpieces he’d better find a way or become just another presidential asterisk in ME “peacemaking”. Hey, how about giving Hillary [more of] the portfolio, within parameters? Maybe she doesn’t even want that tar baby?

    Reply

  70. Nasser says:

    Hello Nadine you dumb airhead, taxation was the politics of the conflict – oppression and war was the real thing on the ground – basically, the brits persecuted anyone who didn’t agree with their regime.
    If the British were not brutal then why did so many American revolutionaries die along with their families? Their men were taken away and executed without trial, their villages and towns were burnt to the ground, and at times families were summoned to churches where windows and exits were sealed and the churches were burnt to the ground. I challenge you to research that in your Lib of Congress. You will not find it in your 9th grade history class (if you ever went to highschool by the sounds of it). The point is, occupation causes all of this. Read about the brutality of civilian oppression which your beloved zionists have been doing to the Palastinians for more than 80 years, razing and murdering innocent people. Gaza is a walk in the park compared to Dier Yassin and other villages who’s population was completely murdered and the village razed to the ground with no single structure standing human or not. The palastinians WILL have their ‘Tea Party’ whether you like it or not.
    Bottom line Nadine, you are pathetic and have no argument about the Atrocities in Gaza in December 2008 which is what this blog is about!

    Reply

  71. JohnH says:

    UNHRC just endorsed the Goldstone Report.
    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gsdjgCX2JtwyHVtOEKfuVieGZaLw
    A collective sigh of relief from the Israeli government–they have a new pretext for not negotiating. And Obama’s response? “Whatever…”

    Reply

  72. Zathras says:

    The real choice the Obama administration faces is not between Israel and the Arabs, but between the Middle East and Afghanistan, also health care reform, financial services regulation, unemployment, Iraq, and the federal deficit. And gay rights, according to the President himself.
    Like it or not, an administration commitment to confront Israel on the crucial settlements issue means a commitment of time, effort and political capital. It means protracted and difficult conversations with Israel’s American supporters in Obama’s own party, many of whom have gotten used to equating support of Israel with full endorsement of Israeli government policy on every issue. It also means an effort which, if successful, may or may not produce any concessions from the Arab side.
    This isn’t an argument for not making the effort, only for counting the cost before doing so. President Obama, before making his Cairo speech, appears not to have done this. The position he laid out with respect to Israeli settlements on the West Bank was a kind of bluff, which the Netanyahu government has called to accommodate its domestic political position. To the question, “what next?”, Obama and his team have no answer thought out beforehand and scant time to come up with one now.
    The Middle East situation is one Obama inherited, and the other demands on the administration’s time and attention were mostly unavoidable as well. I have some concerns that Obama is both multiplying promises for action on diverse issues and so centralizing decision-making in the White House that action on most of them is bound to become more difficult to take. Having said that, it’s hard to overstate the difficulty of the position he was left by his predecessor in the White House. The Middle East, featuring frustrated Arab governments and Israeli leaders grown, I am sorry to say, arrogant and used to taking unconditional American support for granted, is part of that inheritance. Improving the American position is going to take a lot more than a speech, or even several speeches.

    Reply

  73. DonS says:

    “. . . when a report emerges by one of the world’s most respected leading human rights and war crimes jurists, America goes the realpolitik route and embraces Israel no matter it’s behavior.”
    I totally take you point Steve, but talk about giving ‘realpolitik a bad name! Now that may have been the term used by your interlocutors, I don’t know. I would suspect they might way something more like the US talks a good game but in the end it’s all buillshit and PR.
    Singling out Obama as the presenting a vision that is then undercut in real time by the rest of his coterie is becoming more disingenuous by the day. Either he is in charge, or he is bent and swayed by the force of habit and opinion of those around him and the Israel pressure group that is always willing to squeeze.
    The only other conclusion is that he is a mountebank, a posturing fraud as some here call him. I believe that the last best chance for the ME, and a lot of other issues, is for Obama to really wakeup and kick it up a notch higher than he can imagine. He may have been smart enough and lucky enough to get in the position he is, but it’s just not good enough. Signing off on missions that continue to kill human beings in Af/Pak et. al. ought to be sobering enough to wake him up — unless he is just inured to the usual round of Washington activities . . . “presiding” rather than “leading”.
    Saying Obama has the vision but is being outflanked, subverted, overwhelmed, is fast becoming a fig leaf for far more harsh conclusions about Obama. Not that many people seem to really care. As usual.

    Reply

  74. John Waring says:

    Mr. President,
    Stop trying to unravel the knot.
    You, sir, are the de facto leader of the world on the issue of Palestine and Israel.
    Blast through the bullshit intransigence.
    Submit your peace plan, and let the world make it stick.
    Peace.
    Now.

    Reply

  75. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “One person told me that there are now checkpoints around Nablus — and there hadn’t been in a really long time. “These Nablus check points are brand new — and no one is saying anything about them.””
    This is the factor that is most telling about how empty and cowardly Obama’s “hardline” with Israel has been. We have seen no statements from the White House seeking to expose Israel’s FALSE claims of concessions. It is ridiculous to assume that the White House is unaware of the fictional nature of Israel’s claims, (such as its claims that it had temorarily halted expansion in certain areas). As exposed by Peace Now, it was total bullshit, and this Administration did NOTHING to counter the propaganda, actually complimenting Israel on “concessions” it HAD to have known were false.
    But once again, we see Steve try to address “America’s false choice”, without broaching the subject of Reid and Hoyer’s activism that is designed to derail any hopes Obama has of effecting change in our policies towards Israel. I know that this piece of shit Reid is one of Steve’s shining stars, but that does not negate the fact that you cannot responsibly discuss Obama’s failures to make headway without factoring in Reid and Hoyers’ mutinous activism, and the tremendous hurdle Obama must leap, namely the bribed and pimped, (and blackmailed?), whores in Congress who’s AIPAC loyalty obviously far surpassess any moral problems they have with the brutal oppression of the Palestinian people.
    Until I see Steve openly discuss this dynamic, and actually name names, it is hard to take his essays on this topic, and his sympathies for the Palestinians, with anything more than a grain of salt.
    It might help too, (if he wants to be seen as an even handed foreign policy wonk), to take Olberman and Maddow a World Atlas the next time he’s invited on, and point out to them that there is a tiny little nation named “Israel”, and it might be newsworthy to report about “Israel”, and its place in the spectrum of world news.

    Reply

  76. John Waring says:

    Peace between the Palestine and the Israel is a vital interest of the United States.
    It’s time for the President of the United States to present his own peace plan.
    Mr. President, you have the support of the entire world on this issue. Use your political capital.
    Peace. Now.

    Reply

  77. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Paul, there was no Gaza massacre”
    Once again, Nadine, you’re a lying sack of shit.
    “His Sec of State worked overtime yesterday trying to make Gordon Brown say no to the report”
    Yet one more reason to be deeply ashamed of my country, and totally disgusted with the Obama Administration. Change, my ass.

    Reply

  78. samuelburke says:

    Israel’s first heart transplant
    “Israel’s very first, historic heart transplant used a heart removed
    from a living patient without consent or consulting his family.”
    http://www.counterpunch.org/weir08282009.html
    “In December 1968 a man named Avraham Sadegat (the New
    York Times seems to give his name as A Savgat) (2) died two
    days after a stroke, even though his family had been told he was
    “doing well.”
    After initially refusing to release his body, the Israeli hospital
    where he was being treated finally turned the man’s body over
    to his family. They discovered that his upper body was wrapped
    in bandages; an odd situation, they felt, for someone who had
    suffered a stroke.
    When they removed the bandages, they discovered that the
    chest cavity was stuffed with bandages, and the heart was
    missing.
    During this time, the headline-making Israeli heart transplant
    had occurred. After their initial shock, the man’s wife and
    brother began to put the two events together and demanded
    answers.
    The hospital at first denied that Sadegat’s heart had been used
    in the headline-making transplant, but the family raised a media
    storm and eventually applied to three cabinet ministers. Finally,
    weeks later and after the family had signed a document
    promising not to sue, the hospital admitted that Sadagat’s heart
    had been used.
    The hospital explained that it had abided by Israeli law, which
    allowed organs to be harvested without the family’s consent. (3)
    (The United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized
    Crime includes the extraction of organs in its definition of
    human exploitation.)
    Indications that the removal of Sadagat’s heart was the actual
    cause of death went unaddressed.
    Director of forensic medicine on missing organs
    A 1990 article in the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
    entitled “Autopsies and Executions” by Mary Barrett reports on
    the grotesque killings of young Palestinians. It includes an
    interview with Dr. Hatem Abu Ghazalch, the former chief health
    official for the West Bank under Jordanian administration and
    director of forensic medicine and autopsies.
    Barrett asks him about “the widespread anxiety over organ thefts
    which has gripped Gaza and the West Bank since the intifada
    began in December of 1987.”
    He responded:
    “There are indications that for one reason or another, organs,
    especially eyes and kidneys, were removed from the bodies
    during the first year or year and a half. There were just too many
    reports by credible people for there to be nothing happening. If
    someone is shot in the head and comes home in a plastic bag
    without internal organs, what will people assume?” (4)
    Mysterious Scottish death
    In 1998 a Scot named Alisdair Sinclair died under questionable
    circumstances while in Israeli custody at Ben Gurion airport.
    His family was informed of the death and, according to a report
    in J Weekly, “…told they had three weeks to come up with about
    $4,900 to fly Sinclair’s corpse home. [Alisdair’s brother] says the
    Israelis seemed to be pushing a different option: burying Sinclair
    in a Christian cemetery in Israel, at a cost of about $1,300.”
    The family scraped up the money, brought the body home, and
    had an autopsy performed at the University of Glasgow. It turned
    out that Alisdair’s heart and a tiny throat bone were missing. At
    this point the British Embassy filed a complaint with Israel.
    The J report states:
    “A heart said to be Sinclair’s was subsequently repatriated to
    Britain, free of charge. James wanted the [Israeli] Forensic
    Institute to pay for a DNA test to confirm that this heart was
    indeed their brother’s, but the Institute’s director, Professor
    Jehuda Hiss refused, citing the prohibitive cost, estimated by
    some sources at $1,500.”
    Despite repeated requests from the British Embassy for the
    Israeli pathologist’s and police reports, Israeli officials refused to
    release either. (5,6,7)
    Israeli government officials raise questions
    Palestinian journalist Khalid Amayreh reports in an article in
    CCUN:
    “In January, 2002, an Israeli cabinet minister tacitly admitted
    that organs taken from the bodies of Palestinian victims might
    have been used for transplants in Jewish patients without the
    knowledge of the Palestinian victims’ families.
    “The minister, Nessim Dahan, said in response to a question by
    an Arab Knesset member that he couldn’t deny or confirm that
    organs of Palestinian youths and children killed by the Israeli
    army were taken out for transplants or scientific research.
    “‘I couldn’t say for sure that something like that didn’t happen.’”
    Amayreh writes that the Knesset member who posed the
    question said that he “had received ‘credible evidence proving
    that Israeli doctors at the forensic institute of Abu Kabir
    extracted such vital organs as the heart, kidneys, and liver from
    the bodies of Palestinian youth and children killed by the Israeli
    army in Gaza and the West Bank.” (8)
    Israel’s chief pathologist removed from post for stealing body
    parts
    For a number of years there were allegations that Israel’s leading
    pathologist was stealing body parts. In 2001 the Israeli national
    news service reported:
    “… the parents of soldier Ze’ev Buzgallo who was killed in a
    Golan Heights military training accident, are filing a petition with
    the High Court of Justice calling for the immediate suspension of
    Dr. Yehuda Hiss and that criminal charges be filed against him.
    Hiss serves as the director of the Abu Kabir Forensic Institute…
    .According to the parents, the body of their son was used for
    medical experimentation without their consent, experiments
    authorized by Hiss. (9)
    In 2002 the service reported:
    “The revelation of illegally stored body parts in the Abu Kabir
    Forensic Institute has prompted MK Anat Maor, chairman of the
    Knesset Science Committee, to demand the immediate
    suspension of the director, Prof. Yehuda Hiss.”
    Alisdair Sinclair’s death had first alerted authorities to Hiss’s
    malfeasance in 1998, though nothing was done for years. The
    Forward reported:
    “In 2001, an Israeli Health Ministry investigation found that Hiss
    had been involved for years in taking body parts, such as legs,
    ovaries and testicles, without family permission during
    autopsies, and selling them to medical schools for use in
    research and training. He was appointed chief pathologist in
    1988. Hiss was never charged with any crime, but in 2004 he
    was forced to step down from running the state morgue,
    following years of complaints.” (10)”

    Reply

  79. samuelburke says:

    if only know we could get the msm to also participate in the
    story of our age…my guess is that the story of israeli oppression
    of the palestinians and the atrocities committed against them is
    the most suppressed story of our times.
    maybe netanyahoo and the others who never fail to bring up
    nazi germany are right, they just fail to mention that it is their
    homeland that is emulating the nazis.
    July 23: FBI agents lead arrested suspects from their
    headquarters as part of a corruption investigation in Newark,
    N.J.
    NEWARK, N.J. — Levy Izhak Rosenbaum of Brooklyn called
    himself a “matchmaker,” but his business wasn’t romance.
    Instead, authorities say, he brokered the sale of black-market
    kidneys, buying organs from vulnerable people from Israel for
    $10,000 and selling them to desperate patients in the U.S. for as
    much as $160,000.
    The alleged decade-long scheme, exposed this week by an FBI
    sting, rocked the nation’s transplant industry. If true, it would be
    the first documented case of organ trafficking in the U.S.,
    transplant experts said Friday.
    “There’s certainly cross-national activity, but it hasn’t touched
    the United States or we haven’t known about it until now,” said
    University of Pennsylvania medical ethicist Arthur Caplan, who is
    co-directing a U.N. task force on international organ trafficking.
    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,534838,00.html

    Reply

  80. Paul Norheim says:

    Sorry, forgot to mention the source – an op ed in today`s New York Times:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/16/opinion/16iht-edcohen.html

    Reply

  81. Paul Norheim says:

    “An Ordinary Israel
    By ROGER COHEN
    Published: October 15, 2009
    NEW YORK — Is Israel just a nation among nations?
    On one level, it is indeed an ordinary place. People curse the traffic, follow their
    stocks, Blackberry, go to the beach and pay their mortgages. Stroll around in the
    prosperous North Tel Aviv suburbs and you find yourself California dreaming.
    On another, it’s not. More than 60 years after the creation of the modern state, Israel
    has no established borders, no constitution, no peace. Born from exceptional horror, the
    Holocaust, it has found normality elusive.
    The anxiety of the diaspora Jews has ceded not to tranquility but to another anxiety. The
    escape from walls has birthed new walls. The annihilation psychosis has not disappeared
    but taken new form.
    For all Israel’s successes — it is the most open, creative and dynamic society in the
    region — this is a gnawing failure. Can anything be done about it?
    Perhaps a good place to start that inquiry is by noting that Israel does not see itself
    as normal. Rather it lives in a perpetual state of exceptionalism.
    I understand this: Israel is a small country whose neighbors are enemies or cold
    bystanders. But I worry when Israel makes a fetish of its exceptional status. It needs to
    deal with the world as it is, however discomfiting, not the world of yesterday.
    The Holocaust represented a quintessence of evil. But it happened 65 years ago. Its
    perpetrators are dead or dying. A Holocaust prism may be distorting. History illuminates
    — and blinds.
    These reflections stirred on reviewing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to the
    U.N. last month. The first 30 paragraphs were devoted to an inflammatory conflation of
    Nazi Germany (the word “Nazi” appears five times), modern Iran, Al Qaeda (a Sunni
    ideology foreign to Shiite Iran) and global terrorism, with lonely and exceptional Israel
    standing up against them all.
    Here’s Netanyahu’s summary of the struggle of our age: “It pits civilization against
    barbarism, the 21st century against the 9th century, those who sanctify life against
    those who glorify death.”
    That’s facile, resonant — and unhelpful. Sure, it’s an outlook that Iranian President
    Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s unacceptable Holocaust denial and threats comfort. (Several Iranian
    leaders have also spoken of accepting any deal on Israel that the Palestinians agree to.)
    There’s another way of looking at the ongoing struggle in the Middle East — less dramatic
    and more accurate.
    That is to see it as a fight for a different balance of power — and possibly greater
    stability — between a nuclear-armed Israel (an estimated 80 to 200 never-acknowledged
    weapons), a proud but uneasy Iran and an increasingly sophisticated and aware (if
    repressed) Arab world.
    Some of Israel’s enemies contest its very existence, however powerless they are to end
    it. But the death-cult terrorists-versus-reasonable-Israelis paradigm falls short. There
    are various civilizations in the Middle East, whose attitudes toward religion and
    modernism vary, but who all quest for some accommodation between them.
    One casualty of this view, of course, is Israeli exceptionalism. The Jewish state becomes
    more like any other nation fighting for influence and treasure. I think President Obama,
    himself talking down American exceptionalism, is trying to nudge Israel toward a more
    prosaic, realistic self-image.
    Hence the U.S. abstention last month at a U.N. nuclear assembly vote calling on all
    states in the Middle East to “accede to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear
    weapons” (N.P.T.) and create a nuclear-weapon-free Middle East — an idea Obama
    administration officials have supported in line with a nuclear disarmament agenda.
    A shift is perceptible in the decades-old tacit American endorsement of Israel’s
    undeclared nuclear arsenal. This is logical. To deal effectively with the nuclear program
    of Iran, an N.P.T. member, while ignoring the nuclear status of non-N.P.T. Israel is to
    invite accusations of double standards. President Obama doesn’t like them.
    I’d say there’s a tenable case for Israel ending its nuclear exceptionalism, coming clean
    on its arsenal and joining the N.P.T. as part of any U.S.-endorsed regional security
    arrangement that stops Iran short of weaponization.
    It’s also worth noting the sensible tone of Defense Secretary Robert Gates — in flagrant
    contrast to Netanyahu. “The only way you end up not having a nuclear capable Iran is for
    the Iranian government to decide that their security is diminished by having those
    weapons as opposed to strengthened,” Gates says.
    In other words, as I’ve long argued, Iran makes rational decisions. Rather than invoking
    the Holocaust — a distraction — Israel should view Iran coolly, understand the hesitancy
    of Tehran’s nuclear brinksmanship, and see how it can gain from U.S.-led diplomacy.
    Cut the posturing and deal with reality. This can be painful — as with Justice Richard
    Goldstone’s recent U.N. report finding that both Israeli forces and Palestinian militants
    committed possible crimes against humanity during Israel’s military operations in Gaza.
    But it’s also instructive. Goldstone is a measured man — I’ve known him a long time. The
    Israeli response to his findings strikes me as an example of the blinding effect of
    exceptionalism unbound. Ordinary nations have failings.
    The Middle East has changed. So must Israel. “Never again” is a necessary but altogether
    inadequate way of dealing with the modern world.”

    Reply

  82. Paul Norheim says:

    BS

    Reply

  83. nadine says:

    Paul, there was no Gaza massacre. What you had was the IDF trying to attack and destroy Hamas (they failed) while Hamas used every trick in the book to use the civilians of Gaza as human shields. Armories in apartments buildings, mosques, military headquarter in hospitals, hundreds of bunkers but not ONE civilian shelter.
    Now if you have any intellectual honesty, I really would like to accept that Israel went into Gaza to attack Hamas and stop the missiles, and that Hamas uses civilians as human shields, because these happen to be facts and the defining parameters of the conflict.
    You don’t have to approve but if you have any attachment for facts above ideology at all, you should accept this much and not follow the Arab line in screaming ‘massacre’. There was no massacre in Gaza, anymore than there was in Jenin in 2002. If the Israeli army didn’t try to avoid killing civilians, Hamas would stop using civilians as human shields. The fact Hamas uses human shields shows that Israel cares. If Israel didn’t care, it wouldn’t work.
    Ironically, judging Israel guilty of war crimes it didn’t commit will only incent Israel to be less careful of civilians next time. If you are going to take the punishment for war crimes whether you commit any or not, you might as well fight effectively.
    And once more I ask, if you consider Israel’s response illegitimate, what was the legitimate response? Sit with folded hands as the missiles fall on Israeli civilians? End the blockade so Hamas could import long-range missiles from Iran? What?

    Reply

  84. nadine says:

    Nasser, your remarks about the “brutal British colonization regime” show that you know very little about American history. The falling out between Britain and her American colonies was over taxation and representation. The British didn’t run a brutal colonization regime at all; the American states were nearly autonomous; but the British kept raising taxes. America was founded in a tax revolt.
    If the British had allowed the Americans to send members to Parliament and had given George Washington & other American officers proper officers’ commissions in the British Army, they could have avoided the American Revolution entirely.

    Reply

  85. Paul Norheim says:

    “There are plenty of Jews who are self hating like Goldstone.”
    There we go again. Self hating Jews, Stalinist show trial and Obama and Chamberlain and
    1938…
    It reminds me of when Bush once in a speech, during the preparations for the invasion
    of Iraq, mentioned the League of Nations and 1936. At the time the Ethiopian Emperor
    Haile Selassie condemned the use of chemical weapons against his people in a famous
    speech. Implied in this analogy:
    Saddam Hussein = Benito Mussolino.
    George W. Bush = Haile Selassie…!
    Do you really believe that the Goldstone report will go away just by delivering these
    pathetic phrases and false analogies?
    Yes, Obama is indeed to blame – for keeping silent during the Gaza massacre, and for
    assisting the Israeli leadership in their attempt to stop the Goldstone report! His Sec
    of State worked overtime yesterday trying to make Gordon Brown say no to the report.
    And you guys have the chutzpah to blame this on the US President and call him the new
    Chamberlain!?
    Fucking unbelievable.

    Reply

  86. nadine says:

    Goldstone did not accept a mandate to investigate IF Israel had committed war crimes – he accepted a mandate that pronounced that Israel had committed war crimes. Verdict first, trial later. Even Mary Robinson, who presided over the Durban racism conference that became an anti-Semitic hate-fest, refused the commission. Goldstone’s method was to interview witnesses presented by Hamas, who testified in the presence of Hamas, and accept everything they said, while not accepting any Israeli testimony or evidence unless it told against Israel.
    So naturally, the witnesses Hamas presented told him their relatives were innocent civilians (even though some of them are memorialized on Hamas web sites as longstanding members of the Izzat al Din Brigades) and he accepted this at face value, not inquiring if they were fighting when they died.
    Goldstone notes at one point that there was some reluctance on the part of the witnesses to discuss the armed activities of Hamas. Gee, ya think? What Hamas does not want discussed was not discussed. Then, having pretty much airbrushed Hamas’ military activities out of the picture, he concludes that Israel deliberately attacked civilians. He even declined to consider the possibility of military necessity for Israel’s actions, even though military necessity is the sine qua non by which any action can be properly judged a war crime. But that’s according to real international law, not the mickey mouse version applied to Israel, where military necessity never exists, so every military action is a war crime.
    Goldstone has more in common with a Stalinist show trial than an investigation.
    I would ask all you soi-disant liberal protectors of human rights just what course of self-defense would have been proper for Israel against the 1000s of missiles falling on its civilians, against an enemy that uses civilians as human shields? Answer me that.

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  87. Fivish says:

    There are plenty of Jews who are self hating like Goldstone. He is just another Useful Idiot of the Loony Left who dont have the moral courage to see evil. The same mindset failed to see evil (Hitler) in 1938 and they still cant see the evil intent of Jihadist Islam!
    Obama is just another Chamberlain.
    Pandering to the Arabs wont bring peace anywhere and anytime soon.
    Israel has the most moral army in the world, yet it is constantly critisised for actions dreampt up by its enemies!
    There is hypocritically muted critisism of Hamas whose crimes against humanity are real and are daily celebrated in Gaza.

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  88. ... says:

    steve, thanks for saying some of the things you have here… you seem to have some characteristics of a chameleon… maybe i’m mistaken, and have been at twn for too long…
    to quote you “Some have told me that the US talks a good game about international law and human rights, but when a report emerges chaired by one of the world’s most respected, leading human rights and war crimes jurists, America goes the realpolitik course and embraces Israel no matter its behavior.”
    we’ve been telling you that here at twn in the comment section for a long time… glad you’re hearing this from a few other corners as well… they seem overly polite… the usa hasn’t had my respect for some time and many in the us seem too thick to realize how low the usa has fallen in the world of public opinion… it may not matter what public opinion is to some, but the usa has seemed hell bent on doing everything wrong for a long time now… i would really like to see it change!!!
    many of us had hoped obama would represent change… he may still, but it seems like it’s taking forever and many good opportunities for change seem to go by without being taken.. the goldstone report is another one.. perhaps it has to do with the thought that someone in the political spectrum might be held accountable and operating as one politician to another, they can’t condone having one of their own held accountable! those politicians representing the usa and all world democracies better wake up and soon. people aren’t going to accept it..

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  89. Nasser says:

    During the G.W.Bush regime, I refused to visit the US instead asking my business associates to meet up in Europe. My refusal was a self sanctioned protest. However, last June I finally decided its time to revisit the college years I spent in DC and NYC, along with my Fiance on her first trip to America. In DC, I intentionally booked us at the Mandarin Oriental on Maryland Avenue. Our suite overlooked the Lincoln memorial from one side, and the Washington Monument on the other. For the next 4 days, I took her (my Fiance) through the power of America’s history from Constitution avenue all the way up to the hill visiting museums, lib of congress etc. We did it all and it was wonderful especially getting re-acquainted with the forefathers who established this great country in protest of the brutal British colonization regime at that time.
    In this context, I urge the American People, Administration, the honorable Mr. Obama, to re-look at the historical model of the foundation of America back in 1776, and apply its reasons towards any country/territory that is illegally occupied, colonized against the will of its indigenous population. It is natural for people to rise up to foreign military occupation and refuse oppression of humanity along with its crimes. One thing for sure if history ever taught us anything, all oppressed nations and peoples will eventually have their own “Boston Tea Party”. Gaza is no exception.

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  90. colindale, london says:

    • It must have been an unenviable challenge
    for the Israel Foreign Ministry to endeavor to try
    to discredit the report of the eminent South
    African Jurist, Judge Goldstone, who has an
    impeccable record in the field of human and civil
    rights, both at home and abroad. The first
    insuperable problem was that he is not only a
    recognized authority on international human rights
    legislation and convention, but he is Jewish! So
    the standard allegation of anti-Semitism, was
    impossible. They could not attack his professional
    record, which was impeccable. So what action could
    be taken in damage limitation?
    • The matter has suddenly become urgent. If
    the world fully accepts the report, then Israel is
    branded a human rights violator and a perpetrator
    of war crime. The international community has been
    shocked at the allegations of gratuitous killing
    of hundreds of innocent children and over a
    hundred women in three weeks of unchecked
    violence, together with the destruction of Gaza’s
    infrastructure including ‘houses, factories,
    wells, schools, hospitals, police stations and
    other public buildings’.
    • The Report alleges ‘an overall and
    continuing policy aimed at punishing the Gaza
    population, and a deliberate policy of
    disproportionate force aimed at the civilian
    population.’ That, the Report states, ‘could lead
    a competent court to find that the crime of
    persecution, a crime against humanity, has been
    commited.’
    • The Israeli Government is in deep trouble
    as the allegations become more widely known,
    because there are few who now believe its denials
    and fewer still, its continuing propaganda. And
    there is a palpable sense of shock as the evidence
    unfolds as to what transpired in those three weeks
    of state-sponsored killing and destruction, under
    the pretext of self-defense.

    Reply

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